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HOME VOTERS GIVE LAST CHANCE TO PPP PG I 03 Jamadi-ul-Awwal 26, 1434

MONDAy April 08, 2013






PG I 06

PG I 07



Vol, V, No. 354


TODAY’S WEATHER HIGH: 33 lOW: 18 Cloudy, warm

Pages 12 I Price 10/-

Major players except Raja Rental sail through scrutiny SAEED MINHAS

ISLAMABAD: Election Commission of Pakistan continued to create ripples in the political waters with its inconsistent decisions by allowing many heavy weights to contest the elections yet rejecting their nomination papers on basis of moral accusations filed under Articles 62 and 63 from other constituencies. The inconsistency in ECP decision making is likely to usher a new phase of judicial activism where nine tribunals of ECP will remain engaged with the

appeals against Returning Officers from over 1000 candidates across the country. On the last day of scrutiny of papers, Article 62 and 63 was seen in full swing against PPP stalwarts and former President Musharraf as nominations papers of former Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf from NA 51, Imtiaz Safdar Warraich’s (PPP) for NA-98 and former president Musharraf papers from NA 250 and NA 48 were rejected citing the same clause. The main victim of this article

Tribunals to hear appeals by 1000 candidates from today from PML (N) remained Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan whose papers were rejected for NA-53 Taxila but was allowed to contest from his hometown NA 52 Chakri. Raja Pervaz Asharf is left with no option but to sit and watch the elections from the sidelines except that his appeal gets some consideration by the ECP tribunals, where he is contesting his rejection. Rejecting the papers, the RO said that apparently the ex-PM did not fulfill the criteria of Articles 62 and 63

as involved in corruption. Nawaz Sharif emerged unscathed despite accusations of land grabbing and NAB’s reservation about his nomination and was allowed to contest from NA-120 (Lahore). An RO in Rawalpindi, rejecting objections over Chaudhry Nisar’s nomination papers, accepted the PMLN leader’s nomination papers for NA-52. Objections over Nisar’s degrees were raised by a citizen of his constituency. Nisar on Sunday

produced his verified degrees before the RO in a reply to objections. Earlier, an RO in Gujranwala also rejected the nomination paper of another PPP Leader and former federal minister Imtiaz Safdar Warraich for NA-98 Gujranwala. Imtaiz Safdar Waraich has mentioned wrong detail of his assests,” the RO said. Papers of Manzoor Wattoo’s (PPP) for NA-146, NA-147 (Okara) were accepted. Shahbaz Sharif ’s papers for NA-129 were also accepted.

Scrutiny to go on after polls: EC

SNEAK PEEK PC gets ready for crowds as new café opens “Terrace Café”, another breathtaking café and mock tail bar, has opened in Pearl Continental Hotel here. Clive A. Webster, chief operating officer of the Hashoo Group of Hotels, Sheharyar Mirza, the general manager of the hotel along with ambassadors, high commissioners, deputy high commissioners took part in the cafe’s inauguration. Page 02

‘kashmiris want dialogue and peace, not war’ The World Kashmir Flower Day was celebrated in Mirpur on Saturday as thousands of people sang the national anthem of Pakistan and Azad Kashmir and danced on the music performance at a special event. Page 05

kerry urges Turkey, Israel to normalise ties Secretary of State John Kerry urgedTurkey and Israel on Sunday to restore full relations, calling this vital to regional stability, but said it was not up to Washington to dictate the conditions of rapprochement. Page 08

Dubai — Alien City There are just over 2 million residents in Dubai, 80 per cent of them are expatriates. Around 14,000 are Australian. It's one of the very few places in the world where expats outnumber locals to such a degree. Page 09

Barfi! wins top honours at TOIFA The story of a deaf and mute boy, ‘Barfi!’ turned out to be the top winner at the maiden edition of the TOIFA cornering the best film, best director, best actor and best actress trophies. Page 10

Serena crushes Venus for Family Circle Cup final Serena Williams crushed her older sibling Venus 6-1, 6-2 to reach the final of the Family Circle Cup in the most lop-sided match of their WTA Tour careers between the American sisters. In the first match between them in four years, Serena needed just 54 minutes to send Venus packing on the green clay surface here on Saturday. Page 11

Report on fake degrees sent to SC


President urges healthcare providers to help the ailing President Asif Ali Zardari while reiterating commitment of the government to cater to the health needs of the people urged the health-care providers to step up efforts to help alleviate sufferings of the ailing. Page 04

Nomination papers of PTI Chairman Imran Khan were also accepted from NA-1 Peshawar while papers of former Railway minister Ghulam Ahmed Bilour were also accepted from the same constituency of Peshawar. PML-Q president Chaudhry Shujaat’s papers were accepted from NA-104 Gujrat. ANP’s chief Asfand Yar Wali papers were also accepted from NA-7 Charsada.Former federal minister and PPP leader Syed Khursheed Shah’s nomination papers were accepted from NA-199 Sukkur.

QUETTA: BNP President Sardar Akhtar Mengal flashing victory signs at a public rally here. –ONLINE

eCP verifying papers, Balochs verifying bodies

Mengal warns of bloodshed 


Says no decision can be enforced at gun point


QUETTA: Balochistan National Party chief Akhatr Mengal Sunday said there should be no illusion that decisions could be enforced upon the Balochs at gunpoint against their wishes. Addressing a public rally, the Baloch leader lamented that neither democracy nor those who chanted slogan of "Sab Se Pehlay Pakistan" addressed miseries of people of Balochistan. Mengal, who arrived here after four and a half years, said both the democracy and dictators gave only dead bodies to the Balochs. He also criticized Pakistani institutions for spreading disappointment in the province. However, the BNP chief said that the people would not give up their hopes and courage to achieve their ultimate goal. He said the Baloch did not pour their blood for acquiring power. A large number of BNP(M) supporters took to the streets and roads to welcome Mengal. His supporters waved flags and chanted slogans in his support. Later, talking to reporters, Mengal said that steps taken by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to ensure free and fair elections would not be helpful in Balochistan until killings in the province are stopped.

Pipeline blast triggers outages in Punjab, Balochistan

“While the ECP is busy in verification and scrutinising of nomination papers all over Pakistan, some areas of Balochistan are still no-go areas, and Baloch people are busy in verifying the bodies of their families,” he said. About the current situation of the province, he said, “People are still being abducted and killed in different areas of Balochistan.” He said a conducive atmosphere was required for free and transparent elections in Balochistan. He said that symbolic moves cannot ensure transparency of elections. He said the situation in the volatile province had not improved in the caretaker setup, adding that the establishment was not ready to pay heed to Baloch voice. Mengal said that issues could not be resolved through use of forces instead use of force complicated them. He said that the election process would be doubtful if law and order situation was not improved in Balochistan. He hinted that free and transparent elections in Balochistan are very hard to imagine under the current circumstances in this regard. He said weather in Quetta is pleasant but atmosphere is bloody and we can smell the blood of martyrs.

QUET TA: An explosion in gas pipeline suspended gas supply to the Uch power plant in Balochistan on Sunday morning triggering blackout in many areas of Balochistan and Punjab. An 18-inch Sui gas pipeline was blown up in the early hours here. The explosion suspended gas supply to the Uch power plant in Balochistan causing a reduction of more than 525 megawatts of power generation. As a result, electricity supply in many areas of Punjab has been shelved. Gas officials said repair work has already commenced and restoration could take about two days. Barely two days earlier, a gas pipeline explosion in Quetta, reduced 150 megawatts of power generation due to which Habibullah Coastal Power and Sheikh Munda Power Houses are still closed. The overall electricity shortage in the country has reached 5000 megawatts.

ISLAMABAD: Additional Secretary of Election Commission of Pakistan, (ECP) Afzal Khan Sunday said the process of scrutiny of candidates would continue even after elections. Talking to media, he stressed on the caretaker government to eschew making appointments of partial officials, concentrating instead on appointing neutral officials. “The caretaker government should prone its neutrality and fairness in elections by making sure that not even the slightest of rigging in polls should be engineered,” he said, adding that full impartiality and neutral attitude should be observed during new appointments and reshufflings of governmental officials. He assured that the ECP had taken all necessary measures to ensure that all roads to any kind of riggings were totally blocked, while also carrying out stringent scrutiny of all candidates. “Anybody having any grievances, objections can refer to higher Courts for redresses,” he assured. Meanwhile, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) abiding by orders of the Supreme

Court have completed its report regarding fake degree of former parliamentarians and have forwarded it to SC. The report says that of the 189 degrees, 83 Parliamentarians have been cleared in this regard. The names include Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, Pir Kashif Ali Chisti, Chaudhry Khalid Pervez Warq, Pir Syed Sadaruddin Shah Rashidi, Afrar Sayab Khattak, Syed Khursheed and other notables. On the other hand, 19 such parliamentarians that include Gulzar Ahmed Khan, Manzoor Ahmed Wattoo, Rukhsana Banghsh, Sardar Sana Ullah Zehri, Tauqir Fatima, Hanif Abbasi and Mrs Nadia Gabool verification of degrees are in doldrums after certain matters from universities and boards. With the scrutiny of nomination papers over, all candidates will have the right to file appeals against the decision of the Returning Officers on the acceptance or rejection of nomination papers till April 10. Decisions on these appeals can be taken till April 17 after which a final list of candidates will be published on April 10.

Zardari objects to rOs behaviour KARACHI: Calling it inappropriate, President Asif Ali Zardari Sunday objected to the behaviour of Returning Officers (ROs) and the Election Commission (ECP) in the the scrutiny of election candidates. The president made this observation after meeting Sindh Governor Ishratul Ibad Khan and Caretaker Sindh Chief Minister Justice (retd) Zahid Qurban Alvi. The president was also introduced to the provincial caretaker cabinet. Mr Zardari said despite ROs and ECP’s behavior, he has chosen to stay quiet, so that the caretaker government can facilitate the elections in a credible environment. He said the elections will be held on time and that there should be no doubt at all on this issue. The president stated during the meeting that he will stay quiet on the ROs and ECP issue, so that the task of the caretaker setup is made easier and democracy in the country is allowed to progress forward. After the meeting, Sindh’s Caretaker Information Minister Noorul Huda Shah said that instructions have been given to make sure that the elections are held on time. Shah said that putting police officers on six-hour duty during election day, was also discussed during the meeting. Provincial Caretaker Finance Minister Shabbar Raza said President Zardari approved special budget for the police to provide for security in the province, especially Karachi. -Reporters

CIA deal on drones, sealed in blood MOMO BAIG

NEW YORK: The CIA allegedly negotiated with Pakistani intelligence to kill a Pakistan state enemy in exchange for the US receiving access to the country's airspace for the start of their controversial drone campaign. New York Times national security correspondent Mark Mazzetti suggests in his new book that the CIA agreed to a secret deal with Pakistan to execute a drone attack in June 2004 that killed Nek Muhammad, a Pashtun tribesman in Waziristan. That operation served as an initiation test of sorts and allowed the CIA drone program.

In his book, The Way of the Knife: The CIA, a Secret Army, and a War at the Ends of the Earth,' Mr Mazzetti states that the American intelligence community was desperate to begin using drones in 2004 as it faced increased scrutiny over its use of

relATeD STOry FO rejects report –Page 4

torture in intelligence gathering. An internal review conducted by CIA Inspector General John L. Helgerson offered scathing criticism of the agency's network of prisons where arrested insurgents were taken to be tortured and interrogated. In the wake of the Abu Ghraib

torture scandal in Iraq, the CIA wanted to shift the strategy from apprehending suspected terrorists to simply eliminating them with the use of drone strikes. In an excerpt from Mazzetti's book, published in the Sunday edition of the Times, he writes, 'The ground had shifted, and counterterrorism officials began to rethink the strategy for the secret war.' 'Armed drones, and targeted killings in general, offered a new direction. Killing by remote control was the antithesis of the dirty, intimate work of interrogation.' The Pakistani military took credit for the 2004 attack on Nek but it became widely reported that the causalities had actually been caused

From car thief to jehadi Nek Muhammad was the hero of the tribes living in Waziristan. He had led a band of militants to fight Pakistani troops and offered refuge to Al Qaeda operatives fleeing Afghanistan after the Americans invaded in October 2001. Born near Wana, he spent his adolescent years as a petty car thief and shopkeeper in the city's bazaar. He found his calling in 1993, around the age of 18, when he was recruited to fight with the Taliban in Afghanistan, and rose quickly through the group's military hierarchy. He also saw another use for the arriving fighters. With their help, over the next two years he launched a string of attacks on Pakistani military installations and on American firebases in Afghanistan. by a Predator drone operated by the US. Though in 2004, the Pakistani government offered a peace gesture

to Muhammad, the public posturing did little to change circumstances and both sides continued in their conflict.


Capital rejects Musharraf ’s desire to run in polls 

ECP rejects nomination papers of former president from NA-48 constituency  Asset details, Matric and Inter degrees not submitted along with papers  Supporters, opponents exchange hot words, slogans

Lawyers shouting slogans against former president Pervez Musharraf after rejection of his nomination papers from NA-48. ONLINE toppling the democratic government, SALMAN ABBAS humiliating the judiciary by sacking ISLAMABAD: The desire of former top judges, conducting military president Pervez Musharraf to contest operation against the mosque and for the general election on a National his alleged involvement in murder of Assembly seat from the federal capital two-time former prime minister could not be fulfilled as the returning Benazir Bhutto and former Balochistan officer on Sunday rejected his governor Nawab Akbar Bugti. The Election Commission nomination papers from NA-48 representative also raised the constituency of the capital city. RO Additional District and Sessions objections against Musharraf for not Judge Azam Khan announced the giving the details of his assets and for decision after hearing a number of not submitting his degrees of applications and objections against the matriculation and intermediate along former president, including those of with the nomination papers. On

Sunday, several leaders of the All Pakistan Muslim League appeared before the returning officer on behalf of the former president after his decision not to appear in person before any returning officer in connection with the scrutiny of his nomination papers. During the course of hearing, one of the applicants against Musharraf, Advocate Anwaar Dar, flanked by other lawyers, submitted before the returning officer that the Supreme Court had observed that Musharraf violated the constitution on November 3, 2007 by imposing a state of emergency, adding that the former president also ridiculed the judiciary by sacking the top judges due to which he was subject to disqualification as envisaged in Article 62 and Article 63 (g) of the constitution. However, some other lawyers also submitted their verbal complaints against Musharraf, contending that the former military ruler has confessed in his book that he was a good dancer while the lawyers also showed a video to the returning officer in which the former president was dancing at a

function. One of the applications was also filed by former army men Lt Col (retired) Khalid Abbasi and Lt Col (retired) Inam in which they raised the objection that Musharraf had himself confessed in his book, In the Line of Fire, that “In mid-1965, with clouds of war with India…I applied for six days leave to go to Karachi with Sunday on both ends. It was affectively eight days leave…my commanding officer would have none of it, it was too long, he said …I defied his decision…went home for eight days…I was told to return immediately. I refused and took the full eight days off that I had granted myself. On my return, my commanding officer initiated court martial proceedings against me. What saved me was the war of 1965.” The applicants pointed out that when the war was imminent and an emergency had already been declared by the government, Musharraf deserted the service which was an offence. He escaped the punishment because of the breakout of the war. However, APML leader Barrister Ahmad Raza Kasuri contended that

APML workers shouting slogans against the returning officer after he rejected former president Pervez Musharraf’s nomination papers. ONLINE though several cases were pending assets would be provided in additional against the former president, there was pages after some time. He went on saying that not even the not even a single case in which challans of cases pending against Musharraf was found guilty. “Any accused cannot be declared guilty Musharraf were presented before the until the final verdict of the case filed courts so it was unjust to declare him against him/her,” Kasuri said, adding guilty of committing such deeds. After that the apex court had just mentioned hearing the arguments, the returning the name of Musharraf in its remarks officer reserved the judgment for a while hearing the case related to sacking while and later rejected the nomination of top judges whereas his name was not papers of the former president. mentioned in the judgment. Regarding Meanwhile, supporters and opponents the details of the assets, Kasuri said of Pervez Musharraf exchanged hot that they have mentioned in the words and chanted slogans against nomination papers that the details of each other on the occasion.

Javed Hashmi, Mian Aslam, Raja, Sakhi get green signal for NA-48 

PTI’s Hashmi may give chance to other party leaders as his aim was to compete with Musharraf


New leaves and young flowers galore on this tree of Gul-e-Nishtar.

Art Gallery, USAID showcase crafts by rural women ISL AMABAD: Nomad Art Gallery, in collaboration with USAID, is showcasing an impressive exhibition regarding crafts prepared by domestic women. The 10-day exhibition titled “tea and crochet” would be highlighting women crafts from such diverse Pakistani rural cultures as Bahawalpur, KP and Sindh. The impressive list of items include traditionally crafted, clothing items, bags m carriers and other household items. USAID’s Angela Brad termed such endeavors as highly conducive for domesticated rural women to highlight their talent and also make the exhibition as their easy, direct sale point. ONLINE

PNCA to hold puppet show today ISLAMABAD: Pakistan National Council of the Arts, Ministry of National Heritage & Integration has scheduled free puppet show on Monday, at 4:00 pm at PNCA Auditorium, F-5/1, Islamabad. National Puppet Theatre will present Folk Tales, Skits to provide entertainment and education about social problems like Health, Education and Environment etc. Children along with parents are invited to see the show. The puppet show will be presented every Monday at the same venue and time. ONLINE

ISLAM ABAD: The returning officer on Sunday accepted the nomination papers of 91 candidates for NA-48 constituency while the papers of 10 more candidates were rejected due to several reasons. Meanwhile, the nomination papers of 56 candidates were accepted for NA-49 constituency of the capital city whereas the papers of nine candidates were rejected. Most prominent among those whose nomination papers were accepted for NA-48 included Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf President Javed Hashmi, Jamaat-e-Islami leader Mian Muhammad Aslam, Pakistan Peoples’ Party Parliamentarians’ Faisal Sakhi Butt and Raja Imran Ashraf and Pakistan Muslim LeagueNawaz’s Chaudhry Muhammad Ashraf Gujjar. However, the nomination papers of All

Pakistan Muslim League chairman and former president Pervez Musharraf, APML leader Chaudhry Muhammad Shafiq, and PTI leaders Shehzad Amjad and Chaudhry Ijaz Ahmad were rejected whereas the candidate of Muttahida Qaumi Movement, Sarfraz Nawaz, Jamaat-e-Islami’s Muhammad Kashif and an independent candidate, Umar Imtiaz, withdrew their nomination papers. According to a survey conducted by The Spokesman, tough competition is expected between the candidates of three major parties - PPPP, JI and PTI in NA-48 whereas a strong competition is expected between the candidates of the PPPP and PML-N in NA-49. According to the sources within the parties, PTI President Javed Hashmi was likely to get the ticket from NA-48, PPPP’s Faisal Sakhi Butt may get the party ticket whereas JI leader

Mian Muhammad Aslam seems to be the strongest candidate if PML-N and JI reach a consensus on seat adjustment formula. “After the rejection of Musharraf ’s nomination papers from NA-48, PTI’s Hashmi will give chance to other party leaders to contest election from this capital city seat,” said a PTI leader, who wished to remain unnamed, adding that Hashmi’s main aim was to compete with Musharraf. A local PPPP leader told this scribe that Faisal Sakhi Butt has been enjoying good relations with President Zardari and also remained much active during the PPPP tenure due to which he may get the party ticket whereas PPPP leader Raja Imran Ashraf, who is the brother of former PM Raja Pervaiz Ashraf, made his entry in the federal capital after his brother became the chief executive of the country.

“Although Raja tried hard to get the party ticket, there are very rare chances for him to contest the elections on PPPP ticket,” said the leader. Sources in the PML-N and JI told that if both the parties enter into seat adjustment, Mian Muhammad Aslam of JI may be the candidate of both the parties in NA-48 constituency. The Nawaz Sharif-led party is trying its level best to woo the JI for seatadjustment to counter the PTI, however, even if they both agreed on seat-sharing formula, the JI seems in no mood to surrender its contestant - Mian Mohammad Aslam - in NA-48 - as the religious party believes firmly that it is in a much better position to win over its opponents in these constituencies. It was widely believed that there would be a nick-n-neck contest between Javed Hashmi and Mian Aslam.

PC gets ready for crowds as new café opens Capital parks in a shambles

ISLAM ABAD: “Terrace Café”, another breathtaking café and mock tail bar, has opened in Pearl Continental Hotel here. Clive A. Webster, chief operating officer of the Hashoo Group of Hotels, Sheharyar Mirza, the general manager of the hotel along with ambassadors, high commissioners, deputy high commissioners of the Maldives, Romania, Algeria, Somalia, Nepal, Uzbekistan, Libya, Cuba, the UAE, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Argentina and Kenya took part in the cafe’s inauguration. Sheharyar Mirza while addressing the media and the guests said, “The food at Terrace Café is of excellent quality which is why we are sure that people will spend their valued time here. Everyone will find their favourite dish(s|) on the Terrace’s menu.” A jubilant Mirza added, “The Terrace Café offers an amazing location to relax and enjoy with friends and family.” Asadul Hussain, the public relations manager of the hotel, also addressed the media. He said, “The Terrace Café is a suitable venue for any occasion; perfect for any meal of the day, corporate function or social outings. Serving hours are from 10 am to 2 am, seven days a week. PR

Her Excellency Dr. Aishath Shehenaz Adam, High Commissioner of the Maldives, Mr. Clive A. Webster, Chief Operating Officer of the Hashoo Group of Hotels, Mr. Sheharyar Mirza, GM of Pearl Continental Hotel, ambassadors, high commissioners, DHMs of Romania, Algeria, Somalia, Nepal, Uzbekistan, Libya, Cuba, the UAE, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Argentina and Kenya along with celebrities from television and film industry inaugurating Terrace Café.

ISLAMABAD: The public parks in almost each sector of the federal capital are in very poor condition due to negligence on the part of Capital Development Authority. Public parks and playgrounds are very essential for promotion of healthy activities among people but unfortunately, the neglected parks in federal capital have failed to attract the visitors. The residents of Islamabad complained that public parks situated in various areas were in very poor condition. The parks situated in posh sectors of F-6, F-7, G-6, G-7 and G-8 are in pathetic condition because the jogging tracks, swings, lights and benches installed in these parks have broken. Wild bushes are growing in these parks and the parks have turned to woods. With advent of evening, the revellers and junkies thronged at these parks and make fuss. The families have started to avoid visiting these parks due to poor management. The residents have demanded of CDA to take notice of the situation and ensure entertainment facilities at these parks. ONLINE

Protesters block Park Road after robbery 

Robbers deprive resident of Rs 0.2m in cash in Jagiyot village


A boy walking past a poster of PTI chairman Imran Khan.

ISLAMABAD: Furious protesters blocked the Park Road for more than two hours by protesting against the Bani Gala police due to a robbery which occurred in Jagiyot village in which the citizen were deprived almost 0.2 million rupees and one citizen injured, on Saturday. A large number of residents of Jigiyot village demonstrated against the robbery incident in which the robbers deprived the citizen from their cash during day light while the police remained silent while the robbers managed to escape successfully. The demonstrators raised slogans against the police in front of the Bani Gala police station at 9:30 and continued their

demonstration for more than two hours demanding the police to arrest the robbers immediately and also ensure the safety and security of the citizens. An eye witness of the incident Muhammad Maskeen, a resident of Jagiyot and working as a driver in district court, told The Spokesman, “On Saturday at 4pm, eight men carrying arms stopped the vehicles at Jigiyot road and started robbing them. The men confidently robbed almost eight vehicles on depriving them from almost 0.2 million rupees in which, one million was snatched from a Shehzor driver who was carrying payment of the goods he transferred to somewhere. There were also two police men patrolling but they did not interfere the


robbers and kept a complete silence.” He said that the robbers also injured his son during the robbery. “My son Zeeshan who also works as a driver was among the victims. He tried to escape from there but two robbers attacked him by hitting him with their weapons. Zeeshan in his attempt to escape reversed his car and hit a tree on road side which injured him badly,” Maskeen added. The incident raised a wave of anger among the villagers and in result, a large number of men blocked the Park Road in Chak Shahzad area and demonstrated in front of Bani Gala Police Station and raised slogans against them. The police registered the FIR (No 30) of the incident but the demonstrators were not satisfied with the FIR. A

villager during the demonstration said, “At the time of robbery, one of us called the police to inform them about the incident but no one in the police station responded the call. The police arrived after two hours of the incident and started asking us where the robbers are. The police could arrest the robbers by arriving at the crime scene immediately but now after four hours of the incident, the registration of the FIR will not be enough to calm us.” Bani Gala Police SHO Fayyaz Ranjha when contacted told The Spokesman that the FIR of the incident has been registered but the police have neither arrested any of the robbers, nor any operation and activity against them has been started yet.




enom Inc. This should not be held against me in a court of law aˇ I solemnly declare that these a˘e absolute lies, dirty whispers and wild speculation that I have heard while crawling in the dark power corridors of the creepy Capital. You will believe them at your own risk Shh...If you have venom to spill please don’ˆ hesitate to share with us on our blog at


Law is what I make of it

he electoral scrutiny has exposed the judiciary to the hilt. Ideally, there should be one law for everybody. But the judges are interpreting it in their own way and in accordance with their own sweet will. Musharraf gets axed in three constituencies of Karachi, Qasur and Islamabad but his nomination gets accepted in Chitral. Chaudhary Nisar’s papers get rejected in one constituency but accepted in another. It’s a bigger mess when it comes to sentences for fake degree holders. The HEC has declared the degree of some former parliamentarians fake but they have been allowed to contest as “due process of law has to take place.” Others have been sentenced for three years jail, and still others have been awarded oneyear jail sentence. About 96 members still hang in the balance. Nobody knows whether their cases will be investigated or they will be spared. Hamayun Kurd was sentenced for three years but later bailed out by the Balochistan High Court. The likes of Jamshed Dastis stand imprisoned and disqualified. What is going on here, if one may ask the Lordships?


Annoyed by local leaders, home voters give last chance to PPP MIRZA KHURRAM SHAHZAD

GARHI KHUDA BAKHSH: Devotees in Pak-

istan Peoples Party's home are annoyed as they were ignored by the top and lower leadership during the previous five years. A visit to the native town of Bhuttos, and its surroundings, suggested that the commoners are much against President Zardari and his sister Faryal Talpur as well as local representatives because they did not visit them frequently when they were in power. The villagers in Garhi Khuda Bakhsh say they were not taken care of as they were used to by the deceased leader Benazir Bhutto. However, still feeling the love and emotions BB had for them, they say they will vote for the party, at least in this election. Deedar Ali Badani, 45, a hari (agriculture labourer) in Qambar Shehdadkot, who visited the grave of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto on his April 4 death anniversary, said that the Peoples’ Party has become Zardari league now. "This is not the party that left by Bhutto Saheb, it is Zardari league now," said Badani, while standing with the grave of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto. "I am not willing to vote for this party. But the name of Bhuttos is still attached with it. Secondly, the owner of lands where I work is a real gentleman and he is contesting for this party, so I will vote for it may be for the last time," he said. "I also want to give one chance to Bilawal. We

will see how he handles the party. If he acts like his mother and grandfather, the party will recover, but it will be all over if he acts like his father," he said. Ghulamullah Bhutto, a sixty year old landlord

Abdul Sattar, a hari of Bhutto family, said that neither Faryal Talpur nor the local MNA Ayaz Soomro visited Garhi Khuda Bakhsh during previous five years. "BB and her father were used to visit us regularly when they were alive. They would have asked us about our problems and solved them, but these people even don't come here," said Sattar. "We won't come out to vote on the polling day this year. We will confine ourselves inside our homes. We will give our vote to PPP only if Bilawal, Faryal Talpur and other leaders come to us and promise to solve our problems, to give jobs to our children," he said.

Perplexing Celebrations ML-N workers were in a celebratory mood over the acceptance of the nomination papers of Nawaz Sharif. It would seem they had won a majority in the elections, judging by their reaction. The normal response would probably be a sigh of relief at passing the scrutiny process, since it is the very beginning of the electoral race. Shahbaz Sharif had only a couple of days earlier vowed to leave politics if anyone could prove they had used a single penny of the taxpayers’ money. Such belief in the family’s financial cleanliness belies the reaction from supporters. Had they shared their leader’s confidence, the reactions would probably have been different. Does their expression of joy betray a sense of doubt about their leader’s credentials? Were they worried he might not pass the test? Or did it just convey their confidence that now that the test of the Returning Officers had been passed, nothing could stand in their way towards the government and victory was a mere formality? Knowing the secrets of the supporters’ hearts is impossible but it would surely be immensely interesting. Were the celebrations due to hesitation regarding their leadership’s ability to pass a strict scrutiny process or was it a premature celebration of success? One can only wonder.


who is also a relative of Zulfikar Bhutto, says the party ruled very badly. "The country was governed very poorly during the previous five years. The crime and loot was at rise and people became jobless. Party ministers openly sought bribes worth million of rupees even to party workers," he said. "The friends of Zardari have destroyed Pakistan Peoples' Party. We will vote for the party of Zulfiqar Junior this year," he said. Abdul Sattar, a hari of Bhutto family, said that neither Faryal Talpur nor the local MNA Ayaz Soomro visited Garhi Khuda Bakhsh during previous five years. "BB and her father were used to visit us regularly when they were alive. They would have asked us about our problems and solved them, but these people even don't come here," said Sattar. "We won't come out to vote on the polling day this year. We will confine ourselves inside our homes. We will give our vote to PPP only if Bilawal, Faryal Talpur and other leaders come to us and promise to solve our problems, to give jobs to our children," he said.

Nadeem Ali, a 28-year-old graduate who is looking for a job, said the people were annoyed by the local leaders of PPP. "Local people are angry with Faryal Talpur and Ayaz Soomro. The issue is that Bilawal has a serious security threat and he is unable to come openly in public, so it will be difficult for the party to get much votes this year," he said. 78-year-old Muhammad Umer, who is voting since the first election of Bhutto, said the local PPP leader had looted everything and violated peoples' rights. "The MNAs and MPAs of PPP ate all the aid for flood affectees. They distributed aid items among their cronies. Where are our rights, nobody is giving jobs to our children, we are dying with hunger," said Umer. Umer, however, said they can't resist voting for PPP because its symbol has the memories of Shaheed BB. When pointed out that BB is shaheed now and is no more the chairperson of the party, he said they will vote for PPP at least in this election and will see how Bilawal performs.

Today's take: PTI Mess PTI leader about its internal rifts and he or she that it’s the beauty of its democratic culture. APTIskwillisasay undergoing a deep mess.

Shah Mahmood Qureshi: Insecure: because he is not sure about his Multan constituency. He knows he has a better chance in Umerkot as he has got a considerable following there. Plus, the Pir of Pagaro has announced his support to him. But the problem is the support is for him and not PTI. Ideally, it would suit him but will the PTI allow this? PTI, already under criticism for lack of discipline, will not look good if it allows it. Perhaps Shah Mahmood should check with Gorha Saeen. Remember him?

PML-N and PTI set to lock horns in Battle of Attock

Inamullah Niazi: Rebellious: because he is hell bent on contesting elections. So far he is being rebellious without being, well, “rebellious.” But if Shah Mahmood is allowed to contest independently why can’t he do that? Of course, he is contesting against the party chief, Imran Khan, besides being in a fight with Amjad Niazi, Sher Afgan’s son. As he has not taken back his papers against Imran Khan, this shows that he will give the Khan competition if push comes to shove—the family nonsense be damned. Javed Hashmi: Greedy: for contesting on five seats. Originally, he wanted to make a record for the Guinness Book by contesting from maximum seats but his rivals in the party opposed his ambitions. They question his logic of contesting from so many seats. Is it insecurity or he wants to create an aura of a national leader or he has just gone bonkers. A little bit of everything, we think.

ATTOCK: Maj (Retd) Tahir Sadiq addressing a public mee!ng on Sunday.

ATTOCK: PML (N) Candidate Sheikh Aab Ahmad speaks during a press conference on Sunday.


elections and he has already started his efforts in this regard. One other rising force in this constituency is Major Tahir Sadiq of PML-Q who was also twice elected district Nazim during Musharraf 's era. Sadiq appeared on the scene just a couple of months ago but his previous experience as Nazim was more than satisfactory and this could help him grab a fair number of votes. His daughter Emaan Waseem conteseted on the same platform in 2008, bagging the third highest number of votes.He is also the brother-inlaw of PML-Q chief Chaudhary Shujaat Hussain One other factor that might play a vital

s the date for elections draws nearer, one can feel the heat of competition in the urban areas of Attock, a relatively under developed and neglected district of Punjab. The major competitors for the National Assembly seat (NA-57 Attock-1) are the incumbent member national assembly Sheikh Aftab Ahmed of PML-N and Malik Amin Aslam of PTI. Sheikh Aftab Ahmed got elected by defeating Amin Aslam, who was then an independent candidate by a meager margin of 300 votes. Though Ahmed won the seat for the fifth time, his current tenure was marked by corruption charges and incompetence, something that was largely absent from his previous four tenures. There


were hardly any development projects. But competition between Amin and Ahmed is expected to be tough. Amin Aslam will also benefit from the PTI factor vote in the urban areas since the party enjoys overwhelming support due to abysmal performance of Aftab Ahmed. This factor is not that heightened in the rural areas due to a lack of awareness. Also, Aftab Ahmed did door to door campaigning against Amin Aslam in 2008, in the rural areas where he used Aslam’s education in foreign universities, convincing people that such a man could not solve the problems of the common man. This strategy is also expected to work in this

role in deciding the winner for the seat would be right wing votes. There are a large number of right wing nationalists residing in different pockets of the constituency. Apparently, these right wing people are supporting the PML-N candidate primarily because of the party’s tacit backing of some religious elements including LeJ, which enjoys its largest support after Jhang – its birthplace. PPPP is yet to field its candidate for the constituency. It didn't perform well last time either and if they get any significant number of votes this time, it would be safe to call it a miracle. In conclusion, we can say that a fierce competition is expected between contenders from PTI and PML-N but good campaigning strategy can also lead PML-Q to make its presence felt.

Aleem Khan: Upbeat: for becoming the most important person in PTI. Whoever controls Lahore will control the party, right? He’ll get the tickets for his ilk also, after threatening to return the tickets. It was easy in the end. After all, money matters. So what if it has created a deep rift within the party or that the PTI public image has been damaged. Shafqat Mahmood: Frustrated: for thinking that there was room for some idealism in the PTI. No chance for the best face of PTI, while the likes of Aleem Khan got the tickets of their choice. Shafqat erred in the past in making political choices and this may have been yet another one. Imran Khan: Exposed: for his leadership qualities. There is a mess in Khyber Pasthunkhwa where Azam Swati has revolted as he is being opposed by the local leadership. The party hardly exists in Balochistan and Shah Mahmood plans to contest independently from Sindh. And Punjab is a total mess. If he can’t control the mess in his own party how could he stake his claim for leading the country?

MONDAY, APRIL 08, 2013

President, PM condole Taj Langha’s death ISLAMABAD: President Asif Ali Zardari Sunday expressed deep sorrow and grief over the sad demise of veteran politician and head of Pakistan Saraiki Party Taj Mohammad Langha. In a condolence message the President paid tributes to late Taj Mohammad for his role as a politician and his services to the masses. The President prayed to Almighty Allah to bless the departed soul in eternal peace and for courage to the grieved family to bear this irreparable loss with equanimity and fortitude. Prime Minister Justice (retired) Mir Hazar Khan Khoso also expressed his deep grief over the demise of President Pakistan Saraiki Party Taj Muhammad Langah. In his condolence message, the Prime Minister said that Taj Muhammad Langah devotedly worked for the betterment and uplift of his area and the people of South Punjab would remember his struggle for long. The Prime Minister prayed to Allah Almighty to rest the soul of the departed leader in eternal peace and grant courage to the bereaved family to bear the great loss with fortitude. APP

PML-N will revive economy PML-Q launches its if voted to power: Shahbaz seven-point manifesto LAHORE: Former Chief Minister Punjab and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Shahbaz Sharif has said that PML-N will restore the national economy if voted to power in the forthcoming elections. In a statement in Lahore on Sunday‚ he said that attempts were made to keep him and Mian Nawaz Sharif out of elections. Shahbaz Sharif said that conspiracies against free and fair elections have failed. He said that PML-N will contest elections on the basis of its previous performance. He said after coming into power PML-N will revive national economy. ONLINE

LAHORE: Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) has announced its seven-point manifesto, emphasising on education for all‚ combating extremism‚ eliminating terrorism and uprooting corruption from the country. As per details, senior party leader S M Zafar presented the main points of the manifesto. PML-Q chief Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain was also present on the occasion. He said that if PML-Q comes to power, education would be provided to all and standard of education would be improved through public-private partnership. ONLINE

Shahbaz Sharif: Full of hope?

Chaudhry Shujaat: The architect?

PTA becomes a pariah as telecom firms gain strength SAHTAK BALOCH

FO rejects US paper’s report on drones ISLAMABAD: Foreign Office on Sunday responding to a query regarding a story published in New York Times on an alleged deal on drones, said that the story is baseless and a part of the propaganda to create confusion about the clear position of Pakistan on this matter. “We have repeatedly affirmed that Pakistan regards the use of drone strikes as counter productive,� said Foreign Office Spokesman Aizaz Ahmed Chaudhry responding to this news. He said drone strikes violate Pakistan’s sovereignty and International Law. The spokesman said there is now a growing debate in the international community to consider the legality and legitimacy of drone strikes. APP

Huge revenue made from defaulting vehicles RAWALPINDI: The Excise Department expects million of rupees in recoveries, in its continuing drive against vehicle owners with defaulting token-taxes, life-time token tax defaulters and vehicles plying roads without registration. An overall of 130 vehicles were fined during one such recent move by the department. ONLINE

Police arrest two Lyari gang war suspects KARACHI: The Crime Investigation Department on Sunday arrested two men, allegedly involved in the Lyari gang war, from Kalakot, Lyari on Sunday, media reported. According to SSP CID Fayaz Khan, the arrested gang war suspects were wanted in more than 50 incidents of murder, kidnapping for ransom and dacoities. “They also killed three women in interior Sindh,� he said. ONLINE

Anti-PPP factions gang up in Sindh LARKANA: Alliance of anti-PPP political parties, a union of 10 parties, convened a meeting on Sunday for seat adjustment with an aim to defeat PPP in forthcoming polls from Sindh. On the occasion, Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam hosted the meeting at Jamia Islamia Madrassah, led by JUI Secretary General Dr. Khalid Mehmood Soomro. Dr. Khalid Mehmood Soomro said that the objective of the meeting was to bring all the political forces on one platform to defeat PPP and MQM in Sindh. The JUI, PML-N, PML-F, JI, NPP, STPP, SUP, QAT, JUP and nationalist parties attended the meeting. ONLINE

First death anniversary of JSQM leader observed LARKANA: The first death anniversary of Chairman Jeye Sindh Qaumi Mahaz (JSQM), Bashir Khan Qureshi was observed on Sunday here at Ratodero. On the occasion, hundreds of party workers attended the death anniversary and paid rich tributes to the late nationalist leader. ONLINE

LAHORE: People taking part in an anti-dengue marathon on Jail Road. ONLINE

SHOs to secretaries will be shuffled, says Sethi LAHORE: Punjab Chief Minister Najam Sethi has said that caretaker government will ensure free, fair and impartial elections at any cost and no one will be allowed to create hurdles in this regard. He expressed these views while addressing a function of Old Ravians Union at the Oval Ground of Government College University Lahore. President Old Ravians Union Kamran Lashari, Honorary Secretary Dr. Khalid Manzoor Butt, Vice President Mansoor Feroze Khan, Vice President for Women Kiran Khurshid, Vice Chancellor Government College University Dr. Khaliquz Zaman and a large number of Old Ravians were present on the occasion. Najam Sethi said that changes are being made in bureaucracy and police to ensure transparent conduct of elections and officers from SHO up to provincial secretary level would be reshuffled. He said that top priority of the caretaker government is only and only to hold transparent and fair elections. He said people are still facing uncertainty and ask whether elections will be held or not and it is his promise to them that

general elections will be held on time. He said that he has no political designs and does not want to stay in power for even one more day than is required. He said that clean, nonpolitical and impartial ministers have been inducted in the Punjab cabinet. He said that DPOs, RPOs, Commissioners and DCOs will also be transferred and the process of changes in administration and police will be completed within next few days. He said that Punjab government has taken no decision so far to celebrate Basant, however, consultations are being made in this regard. He said that provincial government will make no irresponsible or non-serious decision and the public interest will be held uppermost. He said that he believes that caretaker government can discharge its responsibilities with six ministers, therefore, more than one additional departments have been allocated to every minister so that governmental affairs could be run smoothly. He said that when he took over as caretaker chief minister, about two hundred persons gave their bio-data to him for

appointment as ministers. Sethi said that he is of the view that Safarish and nepotism are anathema to merit but it is also a fact that these social evils have taken roots in the society and people consider Safarish as their right and are irritated if it is not accepted. He said that he had made it clear on the very first day of his appointment, while talking to journalists, that as long as he is caretaker chief minister he has no friend or relative. The chief minister said that caretaker Punjab government is performing its duties efficiently however it is not supposed to formulate policies but only to conduct elections. He said that his doors are open to everyone and he tries to respond to every telephone call and SMS. He said that he has a deep affiliation with Government College Lahore as he was only fifteen when he got admission in the college. He said indeed Government College Lahore totally changed his life as it is not merely a college but a complete institution. He said that memories of the able teachers of the college and its campus are still fresh in his mind. ONLINE

I SLAM ABAD: Less attention by the government has made Pakistan Telecommunication Authority an inactive regulatory body as telecom sector companies have declined an inspection by the regulator, sources said on Sunday. The sources also said that limited role of PTA was quite enough to speak about its inactiveness towards monitoring and regulating the entire sector. However, it was very much clear when the inspection team of PTA, after finding complaints of violation of PTA rules and regulations by the telecom companies, sprung into action and raided the office of a telecom company for inspection the officials of the company refused to allow the PTA inspection team to do so. “Officials of telecom companies have sought written permission letter from the PTA team at the time of raid, sources said, adding, that since the PTA team could not produce any written permission letter to the official so they (PTA team) withdrew their plan of inspection without taking any action and quietly came back to office. And, in this way the so called PTA raid could not bore any fruit. It is also learnt that PTA’s role of regulatory body had ostensibly become inactive to some extent primarily with effect to one of Lahore High Court’s decision taken in the month of February declaring null and void to the appointment of farmer chairman PTA Farooq Awan and secondary with end to the service period of Member Finance and Member Technical of the PTA in the month of March had also contributed to make the body an inactive regulator. Sources in cabinet division also told that the division can delegate some powers to the Director Generals (DGs) of the authority but due to less attention of the government these powers could not entrusted to the DGs. Consequently, the PTA in case of absence of its chairman and members does not have powers to fine or issue show cause notice to any company of the telecom sector, sources added.

Power wires endanger lives RAWALPINDI: The uncovered wires dangling from electric poles and in streets and roads in residential and commercial areas, particularly congested localities of the town, pose a serious threat to human lives, but the authorities concerned seem unmoved. Most of the areas, especially Tench Bhatta, People’s Colony, Bakra Mandi, Dhok Saydan, Masrial Road, Lalkurti, Amarpura, Raja Bazaar, Committee Chowk, Buni, Akalgarh and Motti Bazaar, the electric wires are not properly hanged. "These dangling and uncovered power wires pose serious threats to the residents," said Khalid Ahmed, a resident of People’s Colony. He said the residents of the area have submitted several applications to the authorities concerned but to no avail. Bashir Khan, another resident, pointed out that most of the dangling uncovered power wires were just like an accident waiting to happen. The electricity service providers are fully aware of the danger, but have turned a blind eye on the issue. In Tench Bhatta, the residents said that no one has ever bothered to have them covered or removed these wires. They asked the authorities to take effective measures and rectify this problem and save the consumers from any untoward incident. ONLINE

RAWALPINDI: PML-N workers and leaders protesting aginst their party’s decision to give an election ticket to Shakeel Awan. THE SPOKESMAN

‘Healthcare providers must do their job’

HYDERABAD: PML-N Leader Liaqat Ali Jatoi presiding over a meeting of a 10-party alliance at his house on Sunday. ONLINE

ISLAMABAD: President Asif Ali Zardari while reiterating commitment of the government to cater to the health needs of the people urged the health-care providers to step up efforts to help alleviate sufferings of the ailing. In a message on the World Health Day, the president said Pakistan stands with the international community in raising awareness about the health challenges faced by the people. The President urged the health-care providers both in the public and private sectors, the nongovernmental organisations, private entities, philanthropists, community leaders, media and other stakeholders to step up efforts in not only raising awareness about the health issues, but also in alleviating the sufferings of ailing human

beings through improved diagnostic and therapeutic procedures. The president said the World Health Day was a reminder of the need to undertake concerted efforts in raising awareness and finding solutions to meet the growing challenges in the field of health in the fast paced world of today. He said the rapid advances in science and technology and the massive transformation of socio-economic dynamics during recent years have drastically altered the way of life. Zardari said technology and machines have brought new comforts but they have also generated new stresses resulting in new diseases for which effective and affordable remedies have to be found. He said the growing

health requirements of the people have outpaced the ability of the governments to keep pace. This has further compounded the problem, he added. He said hypertension calls for greater attention by all the stakeholders, especially the health practitioners. “We need to raise awareness about the precautionary measures to guard against the disease and at the same time explore new diagnostic and therapeutic procedures to combat it,� President Zardari said. He said he was pleased to learn that various activities and campaigns on this day will focus on raising awareness among the public about the causes and consequences of high blood pressure and also about how to combat it. APP

MONDAY, APRIL 08, 2013

Tribesmen victims of war, depression and anxiety

Elections in FATA

Voters' education given no attention MONITORING DESK LANDIKOTAL: The Election Commission and government have failed to educate the tribesmen on the importance of vote in FATA, while NGOs and political parties also set aside voters’ education issue in the terror hit tribal regions, says a report. It further says money and tribes influence will play the vital role in the upcoming general elections in FATA. Political parties’ nominated candidates in tribal regions could not produce good results this time though educated and people of political mind set wish them success rather than any independent candidates. Low education ratio and unawareness about votes’ significance are the main hurdles to let the people cast their votes rightly, this was revealed in a survey conducted in NA 45 Khyber Agency regarding voters’ education. Total registered vote in NA-45 Khyber Agency is round about more than 0.175 million whereas total polling stations in this constituency are 116 out of which 62 will be set up in Landi Kotal only. Chief of Tehreek Haqooq Qabail Fazlur Rehman Afridi regretted that political parties could not include the basic problems and rights of the tribal people in their electoral manifestos to bring FATA into the main stream, saying the government, election commission and political parties neglected any awareness move on voters’ education in FATA to guide the people to choose their best candidates. That is why tribesmen are not able to decide appropriately in election, he remarked, adding that he was personal in favour of political parties to win elections in FATA, Fazal said. He said that elected representatives had not played their due role to promote tribal areas due to which from agriculture and forest to environment and communication everything was devastating in tribal regions. Ahmad Nabi Shinwari opined that NGOs and Election Commission had no plan to educate tribal people on the strength of vote, saying that even journalists in FATA are not aware of the voters’ education, so he said that who would guide the tribesmen in the right direction to cast votes in favour of an eligible candidate so that he could solve their basic problem. “Money and tribes play the main role in favour of any candidate, Shinwari said, adding that illiteracy was also one of the factors in their wrong decisions. He said that there were very less than two lakhs registered votes in NA 45 Khyber Agency, but the total number of the news papers in this constituency is round about two thousand, which shows that media could not play any positive role to educate and guide the people regarding their votes. A social worker, Rahat Shinwari informed that two NGOs SAWERA and FAFEN had arranged seminars in Khyber Agency on voters’ education, reminding that due to security reasons that campaign could not be run for long. Due to aggravating law and order situation in Khyber Agency and the lack of political consciousness, it is hard to expect more turn out of female votes, Rahat recalled. Siraj Khan, a common man, observed that some independent candidates were exploiting the poverty and illiteracy of the tribal people just to win the seat. Voters should support political parties’ candidates in FATA, Siraj suggested. Noor Sat Khan, a journalist said that tribesmen were deprived of their basic political rights for the last fifty years that is why tribal voters could not make right decision in the upcoming election. Khyber Welfare Home (KWH) President Khalil Jebran said his organisation had worked on voters’ education but in a very limited area. People should cast votes to their favourite candidates without any greed and pressure, he recommended. Dr. Bilal Khan said that troublesome situation had awakened the tribal people so they would make a right decision this time, expecting high turnout.

PESHAWAR: After nine friends and relatives were killed in a US drone strike four years ago, Mohammed Fahim took tranquillisers to blot out the nightmares. The 19 year-old is one of a growing number of Pakistanis living in the tribal areas who has suffered from conditions related to depression, anxiety and mental health problems because of war. US drone strikes, fighting between Pakistani Taliban and the army, mass displacement, chronic unemployment and disillusionment are all causing mental suffering on an unprecedented scale in northwest Pakistan, say psychiatrists. Mohammed lost an eye in the January 2009 attack, but the mental scarring has been even more traumatic. The flashbacks are still

sudden and powerful. “I feel like my head is exploding,” he says when he remembers how four uncles, a cousin and four neighbours died when they came round for tea in North Waziristan, the most notorious of Pakistan’s Taliban and Al-Qaeda bastions. He insists that no one in his family was associated with Islamist militancy. “Depression is really high in Waziristan,” says doctor Mukhtar-ulHaq, head of the psychiatry department at the Lady Reading Hospital in Peshawar. “There is uncertainty generally in Pakistan but particularly in this area. They are always apprehensive about the drones, about their life,” he added. While drone attacks do bring patients “episodically” for treatment, he says, residents in Waziristan complain of

living in constant fear of drones that patrol in the skies above and the buzzing sound they say they emit. “The sound alone gives us psychological grief,” says Kaleemullah Mehsud, a man in his 30s from Waziristan. Haq says his worst case was a man who became so aggressive and paranoid that he was admitted to the Lady Reading Hospital. He had no predisposition to psychiatric illness. Instead Mehsud found a SIM card out on the family’s farmland one morning. Popular belief has it that SIM cards emit signals, guiding the drones to attack. Haq said that after four hours, Mehsud developed “full-blown” psychotic delusions. There are no statistics about the rise in psychological illness, but Mian Iftikhar Hussain, a psychiatrist with a

private clinic in Peshawar, believes cases have increased three fold in recent years. “There are multiple problems — the Afghan war and its spill over into Pakistan. Migration, violence, kidnapping, poverty, unemployment,” he said. The most common conditions are anxiety, depression, a mixture of the two, then psychosis, schizophrenia and cannabis-induced psychosis. “Even soldiers come with somatic symptoms, with severe anxiety, these are related with the difficulty in coping with the stress going to the war front.” A mother of nine tells the doctor about the death of her relatives. A young man, hallucinating, shows the burns he has inflicted on his own arms. Consultations last around 10 minutes. Most patients are sent away with prescriptions, the more serious

No clue to three missing fishermen Victims from Lower Dir and Malakand Agency were in Iran to earn livelihood OUR STAFF REPORTER

BANNU: Living in a nuclear state - Children bringing water on a donkey cart as the city suffers an acute water shortage. –ONLINE

World Kashmir Flower Day

‘Kashmiris want dialogue and peace, not war’ OUR STAFF REPORTER MIRPUR (A JK): The World Kashmir Flower Day was celebrated in Mirpur on Saturday as thousands of people sang the national anthem of Pakistan and Azad Kashmir and danced on the music performance at a special event. Various folk singers participated in the ceremony and gave the message of peace and harmony to the world by giving flowers to each other. A Pakistani flag was also made by the kids of various schools with flowers. Flowers were especially brought from Srinagar for the ceremony and people appreciated the beautiful and charming scenes of flowers all around the stadium. They also enjoyed the performance of musician and others artists. There was a fireworks show at the end of ceremony which was wellappreciated by the crowd. More than 30 thousand people attended the event to tell the world that Kashmiris are a peaceful nation and they want to resolve the Kashmir issue not with war but with peace. The AJK government sent flowers to 190 heads of different countries and gave them a message of peace and love. The Kashmiri community living in aboard also celebrated this day

A little girl giving a flower to AJK Prime Minister Chaudhry Abdul Majeed. and gave gifts of flowers to their relatives and friends to tell the world that Kashmiris and Pakistanis are united and they want peace all over the world. “International countries and justice courts should take immediate actions to resolve Kashmir issue as soon as possible because this is the only way of peace in Asia, especially between Pakistan and India. Kashmiri are peaceful nation and by celebrating the World Kashmir Flower Day. We are telling the whole world that we want our rights not through war but by peace talks," urged Prime Minister Chaudhry Abdul Majeed told the gathering. “Kashmir belongs to the Kashmiris and they are the one to decide their fate and not India,” he added.

Indian black laws condemned MUZAFFARABAD: The chairman of Islamic Political Party (JK) Mohammad Yousuf Naqash has said that Indian government has invoked black draconian laws to legalize state terror and oppression in the occupied Kashmir. He said in a statement issued on Sunday from his office he said that these laws are not only brutal murder of humanity, human values and principles, also amount to flagrant violation of International Human Protection Laws including Universal Declaration of Human Rights, International Bill of Rights and Geneva Red Cross Conventions, notwithstanding International obligation to observe these international Human Rights Laws in letter and spirit for being signatory to them. Naqash said that non implementation of these laws in Kashmir has neutralized their legal sanctity and credibility. He further said that government of India has crossed over the limits of Fascism for crushing and curbing the peaceful voice and freedom of expression in Kashmir and is trampling the international obligations in regard to protection of human rights in Kashmir. In spite of the extreme Indian oppression in Kashmir, the UN and international human rights organizations unfortunately have so far utterly failed in taking impressive measures to prevail upon and pressurize Indian government. He appealed to the world community to take concrete and appropriate measures in prevailing upon and pressurizing Indian government to oblige international agreements and promises in this regard. He also stressed upon Amnesty International team which is currently on visit to Kashmir to expose the fascist face of India so that world is made aware about the gross human violations perpetrated by Indian forces. -ONLINE

BATKHELA: Three fishermen from Malakand Division are still missing after they disappeared in Iran in September 2012. The victim’s families are worried about the fate of their relatives and have requested the Government of Pakistan to search the missing fishermen. Muhammad Ibrahim son of Haji Muhammad and Arshad Khan son of Asad Khan from the Khadagzai area in Lower Dir and Noor Shad from nearby the Totakan area in Malakand Agency had went to Konark, a coastal area of Iran, where they were affiliated with fishing. On September 4, 2012 they reportedly left for Tanzania and after that there is no news about their status. It is not clear that whether they drowned or they were arrested by certain country. Bacha Khan, the elder brother of


traced back to days when the Gilgit-Baltistan was comprised small but independent princely states before 1947 and during the 17th and the 18th century. People used to take pride in wearing a clean and well decorated cap that

represented their culture. The white cap was part of the uniform of Gilgit Scouts during prepartition days, a force commended by Major William Brown. It is still part of the uniform of security force such as Northern Light

Infantry Regiment [NLI]. The birth of the cap is attributed to parts of human efforts to stay healthy against the otherwise freezing winds of the region parts of which see dropping of temperature to 25 degree centigrade below freezing point during winters. According to a resident of Gilgit, Masrood Khan, the ‘taste’ of the traditional cap is when it is put on as per the local style. “It will give you the taste only if you wear it the way it should be worn in the region,” he said. The added advantage of it is that cap serves as the protective cover against the northern chilly winds. Prepared locally, it is available in three colours - white, brown and black - but brown colour takes the choice for it is more frequently

Muhammad Ibrahim said, “There are no information about their whereabouts; our family is passing through very difficult time. We request the Government of Pakistan to search my brother and his other two workfellows.” Shahid, the cousin of Arshad said, “We have no resources to go and find them; we had informed the local political leaders to help us know the status of these missing persons but no one gave us satisfactory answer.” It is important to mention here that hundreds of fishermen from Malakand division are associating with fishing in Iran. Without any legal procedure, these people crosses over to Iran from Gwadar area of Balochistan via boats and earn livelihood for their families. Some smugglers, after offering high amounts to these poor fishermen, use them for drugs trafficking.

‘Tented’ candidate promises change

Abdul Waheed Khan poses for a photo outside his election office. –STAFF PHOTO


GHALANAI: “It is my main objective to serve the poor and ignored community of the area and to resolve their basic issues,” said Abdul Waheed Khan, an independent candidate from NA-36 Mohmand Agency Abdul Waheed Khan while addressing the inauguration ceremony of his tent office at Ghalanai on Saturday. According to Waheed, he does want to contest election on the basis of money and he is in the race for the National Assembly to deliver a positive message. “I have got my

Gilgiti Cap withstands modern attire influence GILGIT: Though the technologybacked new trends have influenced life and style across the globe, the traditional cap of Gilgit-Baltistan, is still an integral part of the traditional formal dress in this mountain locked region. Made up of the wool, the price of the cap varies starting from 250 to 1550 per piece, depending on the quality of stuff. Zia Khan, a business man dealing with traditional csloths, acknowledges that the trend of wearing local cap has decreased over the years but insists that there are people who still love to wear it. “The business gets better especially when the tourists flock the region in summer,” he said. The history of the cap can be

cases are referred for electroconvulsive therapy. In conservative Pakistani society, mental health problems have long been a stigma, but while that may be slowly changing, demand outstrips supply. Health services are basic to abysmal. Many people are more focused on survival — food, water and shelter. Taking time and money out to treat depression is beyond the means of millions. “Health and education are the lowest priorities on the government agenda and among health, mental health is at the bottom,” said Hussain. According to the national association of psychiatrists, there is one psychiatrist for every 333,000 people in the country of 180 million. “The people we receive here is just the tip of the iceberg,” said Haq. -Agencies

used cap than the rest for its absorbing capabilities. The white colour – a symbol of class – is used on special occasions like weddings and other ceremonies. The stuff might be same but the design and style of Gilgit-Baltistan cap is different from those used in the neighbouring Chitral and elsewhere in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Unlike others, the local cap is simple, devoid of any handwork on it, however it requires expertise in giving it a final shape before use. Notwithstanding its colours, it is very popular among foreign tourists visiting Gilgit-Baltistan during summer. With weather getting hot, the hustle-bustle returns to shops dealing with business of local handicrafts.

education in England and earned livelihood through daily wages. Now I now want to represent the poor and deprived people of the area,” said Waheed. He said the wanted to create awareness among the people and sensitise their feelings, as he was their voice of peoples. He further said a balanced distribution of uplift schemes, establishment of standard education facilities, formation of advisory board to resolve the issue of unemployment and organising a committee of well-educated youth for consultation on the area problems were main objects of his manifesto.

COURT NOTICE In the Court of Mr. Muhammad Tariq Wali Judge Banking Court-I, 13-A Qafla Road Tehkal Payan, Peshawar Case No.78/1-2013 Date of hearing 21/5/2013 at Camp Court Bannu. Suit for the recovery of Rs.556317.07/United Bank Ltd Preedy Gate Bannu Versus Taj Ali Khans other Notice versus : 1. Taj Ali Khan S/o Wali Khan r/o Sargarh Muhammad Khan P.O. Tajori District Lakki. 2. Basar Ullah Khan S/o Sher Jam 3. Irfan Ullah S/o Hukamzad r/o Tap Takti Khel P.O. Tajorri District Lakki. Where as the plaintiff Bank has instituted a suit for the recovery of Rs.556317.07/- against you under section 10(2) of the Financial Institution (Recovery of Finances) Ordinance 2001. You are hereby summoned to obtain leave of the court to appear and defend the suit within 30 days after receipt/publication of the notice in the newspaper failing which an experte decree shall be passed in favour of the plaintiff Bank with costs. Issued today on under My Signature and seal of the court. Seal of Court Sd/- (Kefayat Ullah) Registrar Banking Court-I, Peshawar.



Chief Editor: Huma Ali Executive Editor: Atif Mateen Resident Editor: Saeed Minhas Consulting Editors: Jalees Hazir Samina Choonara Block 11, G-6/1, Aabpara, Islamabad Telephone: 051 260 7153-4 Fax: 051 260 7498

Compromised leadership General (r) Pervez Musharraf seems to be in trouble after his arrival in Pakistan charged with what he has termed as his passion for playing his role to extricate Pakistan from the mess it is in. Reportedly, former president Pervez Musharraf has had meetings with ambassadors of some friendly countries including Turkey. Other regional players including Saudi Arabia are also keen to come to the rescue of the “commando” by arranging a safe deal, the way they had done to pave the way for Mian Nawaz Sharif ’s departure to Saudi Arabia. Late Benazir Bhutto had been hobnobbing with the US State Department for her return to Pakistan to participate in the elections, and this was facilitated through the NRO. Such meddling in the internal affairs of Pakistan is a cause of concern. It also reflects on the credentials of leaders who claim to be motivated by the interests of Pakistan and would like to represent its people. Rather than relying on the support of Pakistani people and building that support through politics, they rely on foreign guarantors when they are in trouble. A large majority of the leaders dotting the political scene seem to have no faith in the power of pro-people politics. They are clueless and directionless, and do not know what people think about them. Except a few honourable examples, those occupying the positions of power whether at the centre or in the provinces have been making a hash of governance with their incompetence, ineptitude and corruption. And it has only gotten worse over the years. The PPP government broke all records of corruption, nepotism and mismanagement during the last five years. The bizarre propensity of politicking even on the people’s most grievous distress is a problem with all segments of the political class. Mian Nawaz Sharif, during the seven years of exile in Saudi Arabia, had been insisting that he had not signed any document regarding his exile and that it was forced upon him. Later, it was revealed that some friendly countries like Saudi Arabia and Lebanon had actively played a part in getting Mian sahib out of woods. At least once, while replying to a question by an anchorperson, Mian sahib acknowledged that he had signed an agreement. However, he said that on paper the agreement was for a 10-year exile, but he was assured that it would be revised to read as five years. There is no way to ascertain the truth about his claim because what had transpired between the “guarantors” and Nawaz Sharif was not made public at that time. Later, the scion of Rafiq Hariri revealed that the Sharifs had approached the then Crown prince Abdullah, now King and custodian of two holy mosques. It was confirmed that Rafiq Hariri had made trips to Pakistan to get Nawaz released from jail and arrange his deportation to Saudi Arabia. This shady nexus between the leadership of Pakistan and the “friendly” countries they depend on for their power-jockeying is a big question mark against their credibility and ability to represent Pakistan and its people. If they are brought into positions of power, can they be trusted not to be swayed in their decision-making by the interests of those who helped them in their hours of need?

What if I’m not Jewish? Daniel Pearl was the first casualty among the journalists covering the “war on terror”, ostensibly killed for being Jewish, and the only one whose case was investigated and the murderers apprehended FAKHAR KAKAKHEL

category is of those who owned this war like we saw in Iraq when US journalists were seen wearing the US flag on their shirt, looking more like I was in a hostel at the University of US marines rather than like Peshawar when one of my classmates journalists. The fourth sub category came to my room and informed me comprised those who got into the that my picture had been published in syndrome of providing “Breaking the newspapers saying that a journalist News” which brought them to the fore had been beheaded. I rushed to the of the war and got them killed. To my news stall where I found that the mind, all four categories relate to the news was about the South Asia problem of unprofessional behaviour. correspondent Daniel Pearl who had The second reason concerns video a slight resemblance with me; one journalists who have to be right there thing that both of us had in common at the scene of action and so video was journalism. He may be journalists, including photographers considered the first journalist who and technical staff are also exposed to lost his life in Pakistan in the “war on danger. The third reason is terror” in this region. international organisations. Most To date, he is the only slain journalist colleagues working for foreign whose abductors and murderers were organisations face a greater threat. The nabbed, brought to the courts and fourth reason is conflicting loyalties. jailed. We lost more than twenty local We are in a situation where there are journalists while covering the war only not only conflicting parties in different in Federally Administered Tribal Areas areas but also different types of war. (FATA) and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa There are areas where the military is (KPK). None of the cases were at war with militants, while in some investigated or the facts brought to areas there is a kind of guerilla war, light. The series of killing journalists while in other areas different sects are started from South Waziristan. Two fighting against each other, there are video journalists from the Wazir tribe still others where people of different working with a foreign organisation, Fiqh are fighting against each other. Allah Noor and Amir Nawab, were So not understanding these conflicts killed on 7 February 2005 in front of and different modus operandi of war, South Waziristan Agency Headquarter has also put the lives of local Hospital, Wana. I always think and events are not enough to deal with this journalists in danger. discuss the killings of fellow journalists assured us that he would leave no Daniel Pearl was killed but a grave issue. What I found common in stone unturned for Hayatullah’s because I think those who died in this thorough investigation was carried out all these cases can be categorised into recovery. But, he informed us there line of work have lessons to teach the that led to the arrest of Ahmad Omer were unconfirmed reports that he may four reasons that led to their death. living ones. What did they do? Why Shiekh in 2002, and the confession of Foremost, I think is nonwere they killed? How were they killed have left the country. One thing was Khalid Sheikh Mohammad in 2007 at professionalism. After 9/11, when the clear: he had received death threats and what happened later on. With Guantanamo Bay, that he personally war shifted to our tribal areas where from militants. In the marketplace at these questions in mind, I met with, beheaded him. Even though Daniel journalism was just coming into its Miramshah, people were saying that Dilawar Wazir, a journalist who had own, according to the Frontier Crimes Pearl was trapped by a double agent foreign militants kidnapped him, survived that attack. Regulation, the law dealing with FATA, working for a British organisation as since there were charges on him for “The political administration had mentioned by Pervez Musharraf in his journalism is illegal in these areas and spying. We received his dead body on invited all journalists from Wana to book In the Line of Fire. I am a because of this, the area became a 16 June 2006. cover the peace accord, duly signed by journalist working with the world’s focus for the international media with Many others were killed from 2006 the government and the militants. The only press club which was targeted by a bags full of dollars. till 2008. Kamil Mashhadi was killed administration had sent a vehicle to suicide bomber. We have lost more According to law, foreigners are not on 30 Dec 2007 on siding with the carry us to Sara Rogha, but allowed in tribal areas and they had to than twenty journalists in just seven surprisingly, both Allah Noor and Amir opposite sect. Mohammad Ibrahim rely on locals for information and video years of war, but not a single case was from Bajaur Agency, another video Nawab refused to sit in the vehicle investigated properly, and no arrest journalist, was killed on 22 May 2008. reports. So the first reason may be saying somebody had a plan to kill us was made. Every time we lost a friend, divided into four sub categories. The He went to meet some militants and so they were not going to trust a statements were issued and it received first sub category comprises those government-provided vehicle.’ Later, all was killed on his way back to the city. global condemnation, but what colleagues who were not able to journalists from Wana, including Allah Musa Khan Khel, a video journalist followed? Nothing but discussing who differentiate between spying and from Swat was killed on 18 February Noor, Amir Nawab, Anwar Shakir, is next in line. I can see Malik Mumtaz reporting. The locals were unable to 2009. I was there at the time because Hafeez Wazir and Dilawar Wazir who was recently killed before my eyes detect who is working for whom we were covering the peace process boarded one coach. Recalling those and am waiting for the next attack. I among these foreigners. Different moments, Dilawar told me, ‘We had no after a deal had been cut between the may not be Jewish which is the reason idea. Allah Noor and Mir Nawab were government and the militants of Swat. organisations had different agendas cited for why Daniel Pearl was killed, Keeping in mind the South Waziristan and some of them were conflicting, now completely at peace and were tragedy of Allah Noor and Mir Nawab’s which put the lives of these journalists So what if I am not Jewish? I am a feeling safe and secure. We dropped journalist too. Hafiz Wazir at his office, and when we deaths, I asked half a dozen journalists at risk. The second sub category to take care as a third party may target comprised those who got personally entered Wana Bazar I heard Allah THE WRITER IS AN INDEPENDENT us to deteriorate the situation. And yet, involved due to tribal affinities which Noor and Mir Nawab talking to their put them in danger. And the third sub Musa Khan Khel was sent by his families about their safe return to JOURNALIST BASED IN PESHAWAR Wana. A car was continuously blowing its horn behind us and I asked the driver to give way to them. Within seconds, we were sprayed with dozens of bullets. I was in complete shock. After a while, I saw we were in front of the headquarters’ hospital and people were rushing towards us. Anwar Shakir was injured while Allah Noor and Mir Nawab were both dead.’ This is how our hunting season began, with routine condemnation being issued without any further action. At the end of 2005, Nasir Afridi from Darra Adam Khel was killed on 5 December. Next in line was Hayatullah Dawar from North Waziristan. He was also a video journalist and was working with a foreign organisation and was kidnapped. This time, the Tribal Union of Journalists raised their voice. I met the political agent, North Waziristan, Zaheerul Islam, at his office and he

organisation to cover a gathering and was killed on his way back to Mingora. Nasirullah Afridi was the only video journalist from this region who was killed with a planted car bomb on 10 May 2011. He was blamed for siding with the conflicting party. Mukkarram Khan Atif who was working with a foreign radio was killed on 17 January 2012. The Tehrik-e-Taliban took direct responsibility for his killing, on the grounds that he was siding with the government. Some colleagues were killed in a follow up blast or crossfire or as a passerby in a suicide blast. There is a serious need to review all these murders by international media organisations and journalists’ bodies who need to sit together to review each case thoroughly. These one-day seminars and functions at luxurious hotels funded by donors on specific

Since Pearl’s murder, more than twenty journalists have been killed in the last seven years covering this war in FATA and KP and their murderers are at large

The lessons of the Global South RON JACOBS

Prashad’s book is a full frontal assault on neoliberal capitalism

Vijay Prashad is fast becoming the historian of the Global South. His books and articles discussing the relationships between the oligarchs of global capitalism and the people and institutions of those it manipulates into its money pit of debt are detailed discussions of the intricacies of those relationships. His newest book, titled The Poorer Nations: A Possible History of the Global South, is as detailed and well-cited as anything written by Noam Chomsky. Therein, Prashad turns the statistics and descriptions he writes into prose that is understandable and simmering with a justified rage at the robbery it describes. Most fundamentally, Prashad’s book is a full frontal assault on neoliberal capitalism. Deservedly, he spares no political party, bank, or government linked to this most devastating edition of capitalism. Whether the collusion was willingly engaged in or merely the result of an unwillingness to lose personal or political power, Prashad paints a sweeping indictment of those who want to rule the earth with little or no regard for most of its inhabitants. While keeping firm hold on his left anti-

imperialist foundation, Prashad acknowledges the shortcomings of social democrats in their attempts to compromise with the ravenous beast of neoliberal capital. Naturally, these politicians and parties get some of the blame for the economic devastation caused by the banks and other machinery of that beast; Prashad saves the bulk of the blame, however, for its rightful targets: the IMF, World Bank, finance capital, and the men and women who operate that beast. Since the crash of 2008, commentators have pointed to various financial manipulations from the ten years prior to the crash when looking for reasons for the crash. The shortcoming in this approach is clear. One needs to go back much further. The Poorer Nations does that. In doing so, the role of financial capital in today’s economic crisis can be better understood just by examining its role in the impoverishment of the global south and its role in the market crashes of 1989 and in Asia around the same time. This rich history of the capitalist project’s last several decades makes one thing clear. The oligarchs of finance will do whatever it takes to

Delightful drama The new sensation in the drama world on TV is Turkish star Fatima Gul. Najanay Meray Kasur Kaya has been well received by the audience. It is a thrilling serial, and its fans eagerly wait for the next episode. The viewers

haven’t been disappointed so far. It has a riveting and unique story that deals with the day-to-day life of the characters. All the actors have played their part with great ability. Some people feel offended by the modern lifestyle of the Turkish people. They must understand that Turkey is part of Europe, and the people are westernised and depict their true culture. Turkish men and women drink alcohol and attend clubs and dance halls. Overall, it is a great drama and represents millions of girls in Fatima Gul's position. The shocking rape incidence has changed her life altogether. The same actress has played the lead role of Fatima Gul that played the role of a bitter woman in another great serial ‘Ishaq -e- Mamnoah’. She is a versatile actress, and lives and breathes through the role, according to the situation. She has acted out the true feelings of a rape victim, and deserves the appreciation of viewers. The other actors have done

maintain and, if possible, increase its profits. Another thing that becomes clear in Prashad’s telling is that capitalism is parasitical, constantly seeking new hosts to attach to and consume. This is especially the case in its current configuration - a configuration dependent on the production of capital, not goods; and interested solely in increasing profit, not industry. This stage of capital, based on credit and the accumulation of debt, is known as neoliberalism. It is the curse of the modern world and may well be its downfall. Reading The Poorer Nations in the current situation, it is difficult not to consider that Prashad’s history might very well be our future. The fate of the nations he describes: indebtedness, deindustrialisation, destruction of agrarian economies; all of these and more can be seen in the daily newspaper. The nation of Cyprus is but the latest country to suffer a parasitical raid of its assets. In this case, the finance capitalists went straight to individual savings accounts. The theft becomes more blatant with each succeeding crisis. The Poorer Nations makes clear what many

marvelous jobs in their roles. A good drama is always about teamwork, and the team of this play has clicked. It is a must-watch serial. Let us have fun till it lasts. JAVAID BASHIR LAHORE

Give charity to the deserving

have always said and even more have suspected. This transfer of wealth was made possible with (at the least) the tacit complicity of many European social democrats and democratic socialists. All too many of these individuals and parties were involved at the very beginning of the neo-liberal project. Their belief in capitalism and the importance of profit ensured their rejection of the welfare states they championed. Perhaps the only social democrat in power during the period Prashad discusses who did not fold almost immediately when Wall Street began its final play to take over the world economy was the West German Willy Brandt. Unfortunately, his play was too late. Even though other economic methods of organisation have proven to be more beneficial for everyone but the greediest, argues Prashad, the faith in the market by those who benefit from it the most denies that fact. This includes the various national upper classes as well as the international financiers. Although, capitalism does not require greed to flourish, it certainly ensures that it does, especially in its current phase. As to be expected, those without qualms

benefit Third World countries as far as shortage of basic needs is concerned. The international trade policies are not effectively handled due to internal conflicts and unrest in Third World countries. Some of the African countries suffer extensively due to hunger and many die due to lack of nutritious food every day. In reality, charity initiatives by the United Nations and other social organisations do not reach deserving people. It is quite sad that the threat to the lives of millions due to scarcity of basic needs continues.

World hunger is a reality today. When people in rich countries enjoy their life in a lavish style, millions go to sleep on NAMRAH SYED an empty stomach every day. The fact is that rich people divert a good amount of ISLAMABAD their revenue to luxury and conveniently overlook the plight of those starving. The initiatives by wealthy nations and Flu virus aid organisations around the world are not enough to stop millions from falling hungry every day. The appearance of a new bird-flu virus A recent global initiative agreed to strain in China is a matter of concern. review and assess trade policies across Last year, the announcement that the globe to ensure how they can scientists have created a man-made

benefit the most from this fact. Prashad relays their story too; leaders and officials of the global south spending their nations treasury (earned and borrowed) on luxury vehicles and villas and military hardware to protect the assets of the powerful. Despite the dismal tale told in these pages, Prashad ends The Poorer Nations with hope. In his final chapter, he discusses the situation of the world’s dispossessed, whose numbers have multiplied exponentially as a result of the financial and political machinations described in the previous chapters. Many of these millions live in urban slums of their own creation and work at low-paying jobs or in marginalised activities. Recently, however, they have begun to realise the political power of their numbers. This, writes Prashad, is where the hope for a new and more just world is to be found. It is the power they hold that can change the world and wrest it back from the ecological and impoverished future the masters of finance and their political and military lapdogs are heading towards.

bird flu virus, raised the specter of global bio-warfare. It took just five tweaks to the H5N1 bird flu virus to make it contagious. This new virus can cause a pandemic on a global scale. It is far more infectious and could pass between millions of people at a time. The current strain of H5N1 has only killed 500 people and is not contagious to cause a global pandemic. There are fears the modified virus is so dangerous it could be used for bio-warfare, if it falls into the wrong hands. FAROOQ IFTIKHAR ISLAMABAD

Darkest moment In present times, Pakistanis have witnessed some of the darkest moments of their turbulent history. It was one of the darkest moments for me personally when a person who remained a staunch Congressite through out his life, was


opposed to the idea and creation of this country, was eulogized by naming Peshawar airport after his name. Ironically, no voice was raised against this act. On 18 January 2013, in the KPK assembly, some members of the pro-Congress, ANP, dared insult Mohammed Ali Jinnah. As if this was not enough, they passed a resolution to recommend Nishan-e-Pakistan for Bashir Ahmed Bilour. One fails to understand how it is that while these people are opposed to this country, don’t have any respect for the founding father of this country following their decades old convictions, why don’t they recommend a “Padam Shri” medal for Bashir Ahmed Bilour? ABID MAHMUD ANSARI, ISLAMABAD Please email your letters to or post them to our address in Islamabad.


Facebook torments I guess when it comes to social media, we forget to apply the etiquette we follow in social gatherings types… They will post cryptic heartbroken status several times a week. They are in an eternal emo-state and are always eating out on their hearts publicly. There is this one friend who would already know what’s MARIAM SHAFQAT GORAYA wrong but he/she will still like the status and post a comment asking Facebook, or any other social media, is frightfully revealing. The only thing ‘what’s wrong?’ and to keep the drama going on, they will just reply it doesn’t reveal too much is your back with ‘inbox’! physical appearance. With display The fourth category would be Heypictures taken in a certain way and look-I-am-so-beayootiphull. edited several times, it can definitely Ok let’s accept it, they are good make you come across as some real life model who just couldn’t make it looking and they know it. They will post nothing but their own pictures, to the ramp. But when it comes to one outside in the sun, in cloudy the rest of the content, it can come weather, when it finally starts to rain, off as a sickening yet interesting with balloons, with a cute kid, with insight into our urban middle class, several other less good looking educated minds. people, a picture where they just The first category would be Mr. woke up, where they are about to Closet Pervert. sleep, where they are about to pee, Mr. Closet Pervert is the one who where they recently got a new haircut. would gleefully make pages like On a serious note, please make no ‘Bachi of the Day’ and post sassy exceptions; I have seen both girls and ‘bachi’ jokes several times a day. But boys doing this. no, he is not done yet. Sometimes, or The fifth category would be I-ammaybe on a regular basis, Mr. Closet NOT-single-anymore. Pervert would simultaneously share And this, my friends, is the epic pictures showing uncovered female category. Call me bitchy, but it’s flesh as toffees upon which several exclusively for girls and about girls. masoom houseflies are flying and This is how it begins: All of a sudden how to perform wuzzu, oh I mean the cryptic messages fade away and it wuddu, correctly. starts with sharing pictures of A cursory look on bhai jaan’s ‘like’ wedding dresses and expensive list can easily come off like this : We jewellery and finally with a love Islam, Beyonce, Veena Malik Sexy, Veena Malik Jahanumi, We can relationship status update saying, ‘miss-not-single-anymore just got get 10000000000 likes for ‘Islam is engaged to some guy’. the best’ and of course, ‘Piyari What follows on is rather torturous. Bachiyan’; the list goes on, but you get Miss-not-single-anymore is set on the drift. No this is not where Mr. posting several pictures a day (and Closet Pervert stops; he stalks every tagging her hubby-to-be), mentioning ‘mutual friend ki mutual friends’ profile and sends friends requests. In all the qualities of what constitutes a case he is unable to send a request he good father and a husband. Occasionally, she will begin to feel will drop a message saying: ‘Sister, sad about having to leave her parents please take off your cover picture, its and will post a sad note on how open for public view. Regards, betiyaan are parayee amanat and it Khudaye Thekay Daar’. should be well taken care of. In case In case Mr. Closet Pervert has already got a few chicks on his hands, dulha bhai is living far away, an even he would make sure to throw a kunda more tortuous side of Facebook to catch this one hot fish for his friend, display of affection will unleash, who is obviously not as resourceful as making you feel like a cold hearted loner who never had the chance to Mr. Closet Pervert himself. shower FDAs (facebook display of The second category would be Mr. affection) on your ex, family members Islamic Encyclopedia. or your cat for that matter. Share a picture of dead whale and Finally miss not-single-anymore they will ask: what about all those becomes miss-just-got-married to dead Palestinians, Bosnians, eventually just-became-a-mom. She Kashmiris? When they are done will post several thousand pictures of with counting all the dead bodies of all the Muslims belonging anywhere herself with her hubby, with that outside the geographical coordinates same smile and that same shadiwalla-jora for the next nine months of Pakistan, they can always just until the baby is out and voila, here provide you with free Arabic comes the actual explosion: no matter pronunciation service like: it’s not how ugly the baby looks, she will post Rana, its RaaA’na, brother. What is the point of this throat, my the pictures so many times that you brother, if you are not going to use it? will be able to read minute differences between all the Facebook babies that Islamic encyclopedia can also go were born around the same time and in detail on how a woman who have become Facebook celebrities refuses to sleep with her hubby already. At this point, if you make all would be deemed Veena…err no I those babies sit in a line, you can mean kafira one day. They would easily identify them and tell that tag you with pictures of Mekkah which one belongs to whom. and send you group messages to Social media is all about showing over 100 friends, asking them to off and sharing, but I guess when it read Subhan Allah three times and will ask you to forward the message comes to public forums, we forget to apply the same etiquette we follow before shaitan stops you! in social gatherings! The third category would be Emotional Atyaacharis. THE WRITER IS A SOCIAL CRITIC Yes the Why-oh-God-why-me

The delicate gender balance ROBINA FELIX

Learning from our past, absorbing from history and great civilisations, seeking guidance from Holy Books and building upon our experiences, we should give it our best to maintain the delicate balance of gender equality

growth? The list of questions is endless, some might seem a There are innumerable references in repetition of old questions, but have we ever taken time to reflect on our The Holy Bible recounting the own perceptions, knowledge, creation of man and woman. From attitudes and behaviour that shape these passages, all Christians our practice? understand that God created My mother, who has been a woman from man’s rib for a specific teacher for more than 37 years, purpose. Woman was not created professed to treating her children from his head to rule over him, nor from his foot to be trodden upon by equally. She did that to a large him, but from his rib to be protected extent in terms of equal opportunities for health, education, by his arm, to be close to his heart, and to be part of his very breathing. recreation, allowances etc. But when it came to choosing a life I understand from my Muslim partner, somehow her standards of friends that the concept of creation equality faltered a little and they is no different in the Koran. I have not suddenly taken the role completely shattered when it came to division of assets. I am fortunate of a religious scholar. On the contrary, I am trying to understand to have a brother who believes in when God created man and woman equality and so I did not have to fight for my inheritance, but equal, what transpired over the everyone is not that lucky. One of years so that women are now my friends, in all innocence, signed fighting for their right to life. In Pakistan, there are only 100 women the power of attorney for her assets in favour of her brother who for every 108 men, pointing to something not being right. We know cheated her off her rightful inheritance of a house and a share that a lot of women in Pakistan die in other family assets. What I am each year giving birth and many saying is that even the most more are undernourished. Is it the enlightened of us are blinded by will of God that women should tradition, customs and social norms, slowly vanish from the face of the completely obliterating the earth or does it have something to guidance from religious text when it do with our own way of life? Do we comes to financial decisions and treat women on an equal footing as inheritance. we do men? Do we as parents treat Our parents are not used to our children equally? Do we making a legal will clearly dividing segregate our children on the basis of sex and limit our girl-child access their assets among the children after they are gone, so it’s left to the to resources? At the government children, and predominantly the level, do we provide equal male children, how they divide the opportunity for education and health maintenance to our male and assets. Why is this important? It is not just about the money, but female population? What are the reflects the importance one attaches mechanisms in place in our society to the girl-child and underpins deep to ensure that all children are rooted biases dictating levels of treated equally and provided a safe sexual equality granted to children. and secure environment for their

If parents treat their children equally, then they take measures to ensure that all children get their due share of inheritance. It is important to make your daughters master of their own destiny just like your boys. When we talk gender it is the roles assigned to men and women by society. Some of these are the traditional roles of cooking and cleaning by women and earning money by men. Some are related to the physiology of men and women, it is the women who bear children and men who take the workload. But things are not always that simple. What should the men be doing now at home when their wives, mothers, sisters and daughters are also working? If a man helps in the house he is made fun of by his peers. It is this mentality that we need to challenge and not look for freedoms that have no essential bearing on equality e.g. women smoking as a symbol of being liberal or adapting a dress code totally in contrast to one’s surrounding and so on and so forth. We should not go about deciphering sexual equality according to our own understanding and interpret it anyway we like. Learning from our past, absorbing from history and great civilisations, seeking guidance from Holy Books and building upon our experiences, we should give it our best to maintain the delicate balance of gender equality. Some gender activists go about it in a way so as to tip the balance in the opposite direction. Women’s empowerment to me means that a girl-child is provided the freedom to speak her mind, to play, to study, to get equal attention of both parents, to help in daily chores in accordance to her

age and not over burdened. Likewise, boys should be trained to help in household chores and need to learn it is not unmanly to wash dishes when your mum is unwell or overloaded by work. It does not hurt to help your sister in household work. As daughters, it is their right to be loved equally by their parents, especially fathers. As sisters, it is their right to be awarded a secure and safe environment where they can play and do things that help them to develop physically. As wives they have a right to be loved, protected and cherished. As grown-ups, all of us should be given equal opportunity to realise our true potential irrespective of sex, cast, creed or colour. As adults, women should be given the right to decision making at the household level and their opinion should be sought in all matters. As part of the work-force, women should be paid in accordance to their capabilities and financial remunerations should be the same for men and women working at the same level. They should be provided a work environment which recognises their special needs owing to their physical disposition - a separate toilet, maternity leave and kinder-care for working women with children. A world where all are equal and have equal opportunities to prosper seems a distant reality but it’s not impossible. The trick is to maintain the delicate balance in a way that nature has intended for us. It is the balance in all relations that keeps them beautiful and ensures a secure and happy future that we all dream about. THE WRITER IS A SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT AND HEALTH MANAGEMENT SPECIALIST

Costs of Iraq, Afghanistan wars could rise to $6 trillion BILL VAN AUKEN Over a decade of US wars of aggression in Afghanistan and Iraq will in the end cost as much as $6 trillion, the equivalent of $75,000 for every American household. These wars have left the United States heavily indebted and will have a profound impact on the federal government's fiscal and budgetary crises over a protracted period. These are the conclusions of a new report issued by Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government. Drafted by Linda Bilmes, the Daniel Patrick Moynihan Senior Lecturer in Public Policy at Harvard and a leading expert on financial, budget and veterans issues, the report attributes the largest share of the trillions of dollars in continuing costs to care and compensation for hundreds of thousands of troops left physically and psychologically damaged by the two wars. ‘The Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts, taken together, will be the most expensive wars in US history - totaling somewhere between $4 trillion and $6 trillion,’ Bilmes writes. ‘This includes long-term medical care and disability compensation for service members, veterans and families, military replenishment and social and economic costs. The largest portion of that bill is yet to be paid.’ Another major share of the long-term costs of the wars comes from paying off trillions of dollars in debt incurred as the US government failed to include their cost in annual budgets and simultaneously implemented sweeping tax cuts for the rich. In addition, huge expenditures are being made to replace military equipment used in the two wars. The report also cites improvements in military pay and benefits made in 2004 to counter declining recruitment rates as casualties rose in the Iraq war.

Continuing costs of caring and compensating for hundreds of thousands of troops left physically and psychologically damaged by the two wars form the largest chunk Biles warns, ‘The legacy of decisions taken during the Iraq and Afghanistan wars will dominate future federal budgets for decades to come.’ Among the most staggering findings of the report is that some 1.56 million US troops 56 percent of all Afghanistan and Iraq veterans are receiving medical treatment at Veterans Administration facilities and will be granted benefits for the rest of their lives. According to figures cited in the report, ‘one out of every two veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan has already applied for permanent disability benefits’. The report stresses that the official figure of 50,000 American troops "wounded in action" vastly underestimates the real human costs of the two US wars. It notes that, ‘One-third of returning veterans are being diagnosed with mental health issues - suffering from anxiety, depression, and/or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)’. In addition, over a quarter of a million troops have suffered traumatic brain injuries (TBI), which, in many cases, are combined with PTSD, posing greater problems in treatment and recovery. Constituting a particularly grim facet of this mental health crisis is the doubling of the suicide rate for US Army personnel, ‘with many who attempted suicide suffering serious injuries.’ Overall, the Veterans Administration's budget has more than doubled over the past decade, from $61.4 billion in 2001 to $140.3 billion in 2013. As a share of the total US budget it has grown from 2.5 percent to 3.5 percent over the same period. Soaring medical costs for veterans is attributable to several factors. Among them is that, thanks to advancements in medical technology and rapid treatment, soldiers in Iraq

and Afghanistan have survived wounds that would have cost their lives in earlier conflicts. While the US government has already spent $134 billion on medical care and disability benefits for Iraq and Afghanistan veterans, the report estimates that this figure will climb by an additional $836 billion over the coming decades. It notes that the largest expenditures on health care for World War II veterans took place in the 1980s, roughly four decades after the war, and that spending on medical care and disability payments for Vietnam War veterans is still rising. The most common medical problems suffered by troops returning from the two wars, according to the report, ‘include: diseases of the musculoskeletal system (principally joint and back disorders); mental health disorders; central nervous system and endocrine system disorders; as well as respiratory, digestive, skin, and hearing disorders.’ 29 percent of these troops have been diagnosed with PTSD. Among the most severely wounded are 6,476 soldiers and Marines who have suffered "severe penetrating brain injury," and another 1,715 who have had one or more limbs amputated. Over 30,000 veterans are listed as suffering 100 percent service-related disabilities, while another 145,000 are listed as 70 to 90 percent disabled. The worst of these casualties have taken place under the Obama administration as a result of the so-called surge that the Democratic president ordered in Afghanistan. ‘Walter Reed is treating hundreds of recent amputees and severe casualties - the hospital received 100 amputees for treatment during 2010; 170

amputees in 2011; and 107 amputees in 2012,’ the report states. ‘The Marines have suffered an especially high toll.’ As the report points out, massive direct spending on the two imperialist interventions continues. Over 60,000 US troops remain in Afghanistan. It is estimated that the cost of deploying one American soldier for one year in this war amounts to $1 million. These troops continue suffering casualties - including in socalled "green on blue" attacks by Afghan security forces on their ostensible allies. As they are brought home, they will further drive up the costs of medical care and disability compensation. Moreover, Obama's claims that the ‘tide of war is receding’ notwithstanding, an "Enduring Strategic Partnership Agreement" signed by the US president and America's puppet in Kabul, Hamid Karzai, envisions US military operations continuing in Afghanistan for at least another decade after the formal withdrawal deadline at the end of 2014. And, as the report points out, ‘The US is maintaining a vast diplomatic presence in Iraq, including at least 10,000 private contractors providing support in security, IT, logistics, engineering and other occupations; as well as logistics support and payments for leased facilities in Kuwait.’ Finally, there was the way in which the US government financed the wars, which was based on just as much of a lie as the phony pretexts of terrorism and "weapons of mass destruction" used to launch them. The Bush administration claimed at its outset that the Iraq war would finance itself out of

Iraqi oil revenues. When Bush's National Economic Council director Lawrence Lindsey told the Wall Street Journal that the war would cost between $100 billion and $200 billion, he came under intense fire from others in the administration who claimed that this was a gross overestimation, and he was forced to resign. Washington ended up borrowing some $2 trillion to finance the two wars, the bulk of it from foreign lenders. This accounts for roughly 20 percent of the total amount added to the US national debt between 2001 and 2012. According to the report, the US ‘has already paid $260 billion in interest on the war debt’, and future interest payments will amount to trillions of dollars. Vast resources literally went up in smoke in Iraq and Afghanistan, while tens of billions of dollars were squandered on supposed aid and reconstruction programs that were riddled with corruption, incompetence and inefficiency, doing little or nothing to improve conditions for the populations of those countries. In its conclusion, the report seeks to dispel illusions that ending full-scale wars in Iraq and Afghanistan will produce any kind of "peace dividend" that could help ameliorate conditions of poverty, unemployment and declining living standards for working people in the US itself. ‘Instead, the legacy of decisions made during the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts will impose significant long-term costs on the federal government’, it warns. ‘In short, there will be no peace dividend, and the legacy of Iraq and Afghanistan wars will be costs that persist for decades.’ (OPEDNEWS.COM)

MONDAY, APRIL 08, 2013

Kerry urges Turkey, Israel to normalise ties

Egypt releases weapons ship after investigation CAIRO: Egyptian authorities released a ship loaded with heavy weapons and its crew three days after they were seized for entering Egyptian territorial waters in the Red Sea, two security sources told Reuters on Sunday. The Togoleseflagged ship named COMR, with a crew of 14, was escorted into the port of Safaga, 569 km (356 miles) south of Cairo, on Wednesday after straying into Egyptian waters off the Sinai Peninsula. Authorities found weapons and ammunition, and detained the crew members for investigation. "We let them go on Saturday after we confirmed that the ship belongs to an international security firm for ships and the weapons are used for security," one source said. He did not name the company. International shipping operators have begun to employ private security firms to ward off the threat of Somali pirates, with contractors often picking up weapons from floating armory ships off the coast of Djibouti as they enter the areas at risk. That, together with the presence of international warships patrolling the Indian Ocean, has seen the number of successful pirate seizures of ships fall sharply to five ships in 2012, from 25 in 2011, and 27 in 2010. –AGENCIES

ISTANBUL: Secretary of State John Kerry urgedTurkey and Israel on Sunday to restore full relations, calling this vital to regional stability, but said it was not up to Washington to dictate the conditions of rapprochement. An Israeli-Turkish reconciliation could improve regional coordination to contain spillover from the Syrian civil war and easeIsrael's diplomatic isolation in the Middle East as it faces the challenge of Iran's nuclear program. Kerry said it was

imperative for Israel to honor its commitment to pay compensation to the families of those who were killed by Israeli marines aboard a Turkish vessel trying to break a naval blockade on Gaza in 2010, and for both countries to return their ambassadors. He was speaking in Istanbul some two weeks after President Barack Obama brokered a thaw between Turkey and Israel, whose relations were frozen by the killing of nine Turkish citizens in that raid on a Gaza-bound flotilla.

agreement be fulfilled, that the ambassadors be returned and that full relationship be embraced, but it's not up to us to discuss the timing." Israel on March 22 bowed to a long-standing demand by Ankara, once its close strategic partner, to apologize formally for the deaths aboard the Turkish ship Mavi Marmara. It was boarded by Israeli marines who had intercepted the flotilla challenging Israel's naval blockade of the Palestinian-run Gaza Strip.

"With respect to the Israel-Turkey track, it is not for the United States to be setting conditions or terms," Kerry told reporters alongside Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu. "We would like to see this relationship that is important to stability in the Middle East, critical to the peace process itself, we would like to see this relationship get back on track in its full measure," he said. "To be back on track in its full measure it is imperative that the compensation component of the

DPRK may be ready to test missile: Seoul 

Japan orders SDF to shoot down any incoming North Korean missile

China reports 2 more cases of new bird flu virus BEIJING: Shanghai has reported two more cases of human infection of a new strain of bird flu, raising the number of cases ineastern China to 20. The death toll among those who contracted the virus remains at six. Health officials believe people are contracting the H7N9 virus through direct contact with infected fowl and say there's no evidence the virus is spreading easily between people. China's official Xinhua News Agency reported the two newShanghai cases Sunday, citing local authorities. Shanghai has been ordered by the agriculture ministry to halt its live poultry trade and slaughter all fowl in markets where the virus has been found. The capital cities of the neighboring provinces of Zhejiang and Jiangsu also have suspended sales of live poultry. Both provinces have reported H7N9 cases. –AGENCIES

Egypt extends Mubarak’s temporary detention CAIRO: Egypt's prosecution ordered Sunday former President Hosni Mubarak for 15 days more in temporary custody over profiteering and corruption charges, state-run news agency MENA reported. Prosecutor-general Talaat Ibrahim Abdullah ordered extension of Mubarak's detention as interrogations revealed he looted the public funds allocated for maintenance and other works in the presidential palaces for himself, his wife Suzanne Thabet and his two sons Alaa and Gamal. The 15day temporary detention will take effect once his temporary detention on other cases is over, according to MENA report. Mubarak is currently serving life imprisonment over responsibility for the killing of protesters in early 2011, while his two sons are in custody over corruption and profiteering charges. The Cairo Appeals Court has set April 13 to retry Mubarak, his two sons, his interior minister Habib al-Adli and six of his assistants. –AGENCIES

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office said he had agreed to conclude an agreement on compensation and that he and Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan agreed to normalize ties, including reinstalling their respective ambassadors. An Israeli delegation is expected to arrive in Turkey this week to begin discussing the details of the compensation agreement. Neither country has said, however, when their ambassadors would go back. –AGENCIES

WASHINGTON: People celebrate the Pillow Fight Day in Washington. –WIRE SERVICE

Syria launches heavy airstrikes in south

Palestinians halt bids for UN agencies membership

AMMAN: After weeks of rebel gains in the south, Syria's regime launched a heavy and widespread series of airstrikes on Sunday that targeted at least seven cities or regions and killed at least 20, activists said. The government also urged rebels to surrender their arms, warning in cell phone text messages that the army is "coming to get you." State television said the primary goal of the airstrikes was to "recapture areas taken by the terrorists," the term the regime uses to refer to opposition fighters in the civil war. Rebels trying to topple President Bashar Assad have been making gains in recent weeks, especially in the south near the border with Jordan. They have seized military bases and towns in the strategically important region between Damascus and the border with Jordan, about 160 kilometers (100 miles) away. Last week, they looked poised to take over the area along the Jordanian border, which could be used to try to stage an attack on Damascus, Assad's seat of power. Some rebel factions are also receiving heavier flows of weapons through Jordan as well as training there by the U.S. and other countries. The rebels already controlled large swaths of northern Syria, and captured their first provincial capital — the northeastern city of Raqqa — last month. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Sunday's airstrikes targeted the northern city of Aleppo, the central cities of Homs and Hama and the city of Idlib city in the north near the Turkish border. The western Mediterranean city of Latakia, and the eastern province of Deir elZour and the suburbs of the capital Damascus were also targeted. Regime fighter jets pounded villages in rebel-held areas in Latakia province before.

RAMALLAH: The leadership Palestinian decided to suspend its bid to join UN agencies for two months to allow US efforts to revive its peace talks with Israel, Palestinian foreign minister said Sunday. US Secretary of State John Kerry "asked for two months for it to push forward the peace process... and we agreed to this," said Palestinian Foreign Affairs Minister Riad Al-Maliki. "If Kerry fails in this, we will restart our bids to join international organizations, Al-Maliki told Voice of Palestine radio. The United States opposed the upgrade of the Palestinian status in the UN General Assembly to that of a non-member observer state in November 2012. After the Palestinian bid succeeded, the United States appeared to be more interested in restarting the peace negotiations, which have been stalled since 2010. The US efforts intensified when President Barack Obama visited the region last month. He said that Kerry will follow up with Palestinian and Israeli leaders to bridge their gap in conditions for reviving the talks. –AGENCIES

But they do not frequently hit the city of the same name that is mostly populated with Syrian minority communities including many members of the Alawite sect, an offshoot of Shiite Islam that Assad and his family belong to. The rebels and opposition supporters are mostly Sunni Muslims, a majority in Syria. Anti-government activists in Aleppo posted videos on line, showing the aftermath of Saturday's airstrike on what they say is Sukkary district in the northern city. Dozens of residents are standing on piles of rubble in front of a row of residential buildings, looking in disbelief at the front of the building that was blown off when a missile slammed into it. In another video, men are seen helping a woman climb down from a balcony of the second floor of a building that has partially collapsed after a missile ripped through it. The videos appear consistent with AP reporting from the area. The Aleppo strike was the deadliest air raid on Sunday, killing up to 12 people, according to another antiregime activists group, The Local Coordination Committees. In the southern city of Daraa, a man was shot and killed by an army sniper, the Observatory said. It added that there was little rebel advancement in the province where opposition forces seized large swaths of land over the past two weeks. In the outskirts of Damascus, the army pursued rebels in Adra district and raided their base in the neighborhood of Qarra, the state news agency SANA reported. It also said the army "demolished two dens with all terrorists and ammunition inside them in al-Khalidiya district in the central province of Homs, killing several terrorists." –AGENCIES

SEOUL: A top South Korean national security official said Sunday that North Korea may be setting the stage for a missile test or another provocative act with its warning that it soon will be unable to guarantee diplomats' safety in Pyongyang. But he added that the North's clearest objective is to extract concessions from Washington and Seoul. North Korea's warning last week followed weeks of war threats and other efforts to punish South Korea and the US for ongoing joint military drills, and for their support of UN sanctions over Pyongyang's Feb. 12 nuclear test. Many nations are deciding what to do about the notice, which said their diplomats' safety in Pyongyang cannot be guaranteed beginning this Wednesday. Tensions between Seoul and Pyongyang led South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff to announce Sunday that its chairman had put off a visit to Washington. The US military said its top commander in South Korea had also canceled a trip to Washington. The South Korean defense minister said Thursday that North Korea had moved a missile with "considerable range" to its east coast, possibly to conduct a test launch. Meanwhile, Japanese Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera on Sunday ordered the Self-Defense Forces (SDF) to prepare for the shooting down of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK)

ballistic missiles in the event that any are launched, Kyodo news agency quoted government sources as saying. While such an order has been issued three times in the past over DPRK missiles, the latest order was the first to be issued prior to Pyongyang actually making a launch announcement, said Kyodo. "There is not a high possibility that a missile would target Japan, but we have determined we should prepare for any contingency," Kyodo quoted a source as saying. –AGENCIES

Switzerland offers to mediate in Korean crisis ZURICH: Switzerland has offered to mediate with North Korea as tension rises on the Korean peninsula following UN sanctions imposed in response to a North Korean nuclear weapon test in February. The Swiss foreign ministry recently made contact with the North Korean authorities but there are no current plans for any talks, a spokeswoman said. "Switzerland is willing to contribute to a de-escalation on the Korean peninsula and is always willing to help find a solution, if this is the wish of the parties, such as hosting meetings between them," she said in an emailed statement. North Korea has issued increasingly strident warnings of imminent war with South Korea and theUS, urging diplomats on Friday to consider leaving Pyongyang. –AGENCIES

Nuclear talks with P5+1 should continue: Iran TEHRAN: A senior Iranian lawmaker said Sunday that the talks between Iran and the P5+1 group, namely the five permanent UN Security Council members plus Germany should continue, semiofficial Fars news agency reported. Alaeddin Boroujerdi, the head of Iran's Majlis (parliament) National Security and Foreign Policy Commission said that there is no way possible to achieve a favorable result in the talks other than lifting the unfair and illegal sanctions imposed on Iran by the West. Stressing that uranium enrichment will never be ceased in Iran, he said that Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) endorses the right of all members to uranium enrichment. Iran is the one to decide to what degree it does the enrichment activities, added the Iranian lawmaker. The two-day nuclear talks between Iran and the P5+1 group in Almaty of Kazakhstan concluded on Saturday with both sides saying that the gap of views over the key points could not be bridged. –AGENCIES

UN arms trade treaty’s deadly loophole While many call it a welcome development and the first step in regulating the $70 billion global conventional arms trade, there is little evidence that it will accomplish anything more than increase the frequency of illicit transfers under different guises


OUNDATION fellows and diplomats have lauded the overwhelming approval of the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) by the General Assembly of the United Nations, with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon describing it as a means to obstruct the illicit arms flow to warlords, pirates, terrorists, criminals and the like. Many who have critically monitored the situation in Syria and the ramifications of foreign intervention in Libya may have difficulty swallowing Ban’s words, as some would argue that the UN has itself been complicit in these crises for turning a blind eye to arms and funding going to al-Qaeda-linked rebels in various countries. Twenty-three countries abstained from the vote (representing half the world’s population), including Russia, China, India, Cuba, Bolivia, Nicaragua and Egypt, while three – Syria, Iran, and North Korea – voted no. Iran’s Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN Gholam-Hossein Dehqani called the treaty a political document disguised as


an Arms Trade Treaty, and with highly legitimate reasons for doing so. “The right to acquire and import arms for their (importer states’) security needs is subject to the discretionary judgment and extremely subjective assessment of the exporting states. That is why this text is highly abusable and susceptible to politicization, manipulation and discrimination,” said Dehghani, referring to conditions that arms exporting states would be able to impose on importing states. The pact prohibits the export of conventional arms to countries deemed guilty of violating international human rights laws and committing crimes against humanity – sure, this appears to be ethical and just at first glance, but more careful reflection is required. If we assume that the United Nations makes the call on which states qualify as human rights abusers and which states do not, then Israel would not be hindered from purchasing conventional weapons, but a country like Syria would be barred from purchasing arms to defend itself and its territorial sovereignty. What makes the treaty not only toothless, but also particularly

dangerous, is the fact that it lacks any explicit prohibitions regarding arms proliferation to terrorists and unlawful non-state actors. "Without such provisions, the ATT would in fact lower the bar on obligations of all states not to support terrorists and/or terrorists acts. We cannot allow such a loophole in the ATT," said Sujata Mehta, India's lead negotiator for the ATT in a statement. What this means is that NATO and Persian Gulf states that supply arms to opposition groups in Syria will retain the flexibility to continue to do so, while at the same time having a greater say over whether individual importing states can arm themselves in accordance with their legitimate defense and national security interests. There is no doubt that certain states would take advantage of this loophole’s vast potential for misuse. The treaty does not recognize the rights of all states to acquire, produce, export, import and possess conventional weapons for their own legitimate security purposes. In theory, this treaty gives the United States, the world’s largest arms exporter with heavy sway over the UN, much greater ability to

influence whether or not an individual country is allowed to obtain weapons for its own defense. The treaty, in its glaring bias and predictability, completely fails to prohibit the transfer of arms to countries engaged in military aggression against other nations, such as Israel. “Somebody probably wants to have free rein to send arms to antigovernment groups in countries ruled by regimes they consider inconvenient... When we started work on the document, the General Assembly set the task of establishing the highest possible international standards in the area of arms transfers. In reality though, the treaty has established minimally acceptable standards,” said Russian treaty negotiator Mikhail Ulyanov in a recent interview. The treaty applies to the transfer of conventional weapons such as battle tanks, armored combat vehicles, large caliber artillery systems, combat aircraft, attack helicopters, warships, missiles and missile launchers, small and light weapons, while the proliferation of UAV drones and other modern military technology is not addressed or scrutinized. While feel-good rhetoric

prevails and politicians pat themselves on the back, the United Nations by its own admission concedes that the treaty does not ban or prohibit the export of any type of weapon. It is clear that the countries that rely most on the illicit trafficking of arms to execute their foreign policy objectives have had noticeable influence over the contents of this treaty. The treaty depends on how stringently individual countries implement it, and international arms transfers that involve barter deals or leases are also not scrutinized. While many call it a welcome development and the first step in regulating the $70 billion global conventional arms trade, there is little evidence that it will accomplish anything more than increase the frequency of illicit transfers under different guises and further legitimize the ‘Good Terrorist-Bad Terrorist’ dichotomy – it also contains no language concerning the right to self-determination by people who are under occupation, as is the case in Palestine. The treaty contains some reasonable common-sense measures, such as introducing national systems that monitor arms circulation in

countries that lack such systems, but the absence of progressive processes lends credence to accusations that the text is highly industry-friendly and serves to reinforce the status quo. Most importantly, the treaty pays no focus to actually reducing the sale of arms by limiting global production, which should rightfully be the objective of a treaty that uses global mass causality figures to legitimize itself. According to the UN Office for Disarmament Affairs, armed violence kills more than half a million people each year, a figure that should rightfully strengthen calls to regulate and decrease global production rather than solely focusing simply on trade. Rather, the treaty institutionalizes and legalizes the arming of good terrorists while denying arms to unfriendly governments. Until the UN can cease being an appendage of a handful of the most powerful arms exporting states, there is little hope that any international arms trade treaty can reduce human suffering and have a meaningful impact on the lives of the most vulnerable in conflict zones around the world and elsewhere. (


Keep the door open for trade 

Bilateral crises and trade bottlenecks notwithstanding, Pakistan and India need to find ways to continue to do business


f ever a reminder was needed of the slippery nature of the grounds on which India-Pakistan relations are played out, a most recent offering is the Washington-based Wilson Center study on India-Pakistan trade. Fairly up to speed on bilateral relations, by recording developments as recent as November 2012, the study has already been rendered outdated by the subsequent turn of events. Still, it remains relevant as it reiterates a wellknown and acknowledged fact — that the two countries need to find some way to do business, crises notwithstanding. The atmospherics have changed considerably since the Asia Centre of the Wilson Center co-hosted a conference on India-Pakistan trade along with the Karachi-based Fellowship Fund for Pakistan in April 2012. The presentations made at the conference have now been put together as a study called “PakistanIndia Trade: What needs to be Done? What Does it Matter?” Bilateral relations have gone south since the conference and the


momentum that had been gained on the trade diplomacy front has lost pace; the hope that was driving it this time last year. Pakistan is yet to accord Most Favoured Nation (MFN) status to India. By all indications, that is not going to happen till midyear as Pakistan is now in election-mode. That is a six-month delay over the schedule announced in 2012. MFN status

Though bilateral relations took a drubbing after the clashes along the Line of Control and subsequent mediainduced loss of appetite for improving relations with Pakistan in India, the Pakistan Peoples Party-led coalition government maintained till its last day that, despite the delay, the country was steadfast in its commitment to granting MFN status to India. In fact, barring the religious right wing groups, all mainstream political parties of the country agree on this. The reasons for pushing forward on trade, as Michael Kugelman, one of the editors of the study, puts it are “compelling with immense potential payoffs for both sides.” But equally compelling, at least for

the naysayers, are the concerns that are stalling the process. Much of these, according to some of the contributors to this study, stem from a lack of proper information about developments in either country on addressing, in particular, the NonTariff Barriers (NTB). Such being the case, Arvind Virmani, who was executive director at the International Monetary Fund till 2012-end, stresses the need to make the positives known as the “negatives will always be blown up” by the media. “This is not a question of biasing one’s conclusions. It is just working to make the facts known to everybody so that people can make informed judgments.” Direct trade

As a case in point, he flags the “pure deadweight loss” from India-Pakistan trade that is going through third countries. “Once this trade takes place directly between the two countries, instead of transiting third states, we should see a visible improvement, because this is going to be a shared benefit.” This is borne out by a survey conducted in 2005. Nisha Taneja, professor at the Indian Council for

Research on International Economic Relations, shows in her presentation that the transaction costs involved in trading through a third country, for example the Mumbai-Dubai-Karachi route, was 1.3 to 1.7 times that of the Mumbai-Karachi route. Needless to say, much of the stuff that travels in and out of the two countries through Dubai are those outside the positive list on which trade was allowed till Pakistan switched to a negative list approach last year. But, in terms of efficiency (transaction costs incurred per container per kilometre between direct and indirect routes), Ms Taneja concluded that the Mumbai-DubaiKarachi route is 2.6 times more efficient than the direct MumbaiKarachi route, primarily because of systemic bottlenecks in bilateral trade. While stressing the need to keep expectations from bilateral trade realistic — at least, in the short term — Ishrat Hussain, Director of the Institute of Business Administration at Karachi and former Governor of Pakistan’s central bank, the State Bank of Pakistan, seeks to address a major concern among Pakistani businessmen

of being swamped by Indian goods by drawing a parallel with China. “With the signing of the free trade agreement with China in 2006, Pakistani markets and producers have already adjusted to relatively cheaper imports from China,” is his submission. Quality standards

What emerges in his paper is that some of the concerns of Pakistani businessmen actually arise from poor implementation of quality standards in Pakistan. This is particularly the case with the pharmaceutical industry which not only fears being squeezed out by cheaper Indian variants but also drugs of dubious quality entering the market due to laxity in enforcement of standards. Since quality control measures in Pakistan are not too stringent, the pharma industry wants arrangements in place to apply the same quality standards effectively to Indian products as India has for Pakistani products. Providing an insight into the thinking that went into Pakistan’s decision to open up trade with India, Zafar Mahmood, who as Commerce Secretary steered the process into

Asia’s resource scramble is an obstacle to its rise

Brahma Chellaney ompetition for strategic natural resources including water, mineral ores and fossil fuels has always played a significant role in shaping the terms of the international economic and political order. But now that competition has intensified, as it encompasses virtually all of Asia, where growing populations and rapid economic development over the past three decades have generated an insatiable appetite for severely limited supplies of key commodities. Asia is the world’s most resource-poor continent, and overexploitation of the natural resources that it does possess has created an environmental crisis that is contributing to regional climate change. For example, the Tibetan Plateau, which contains the world’s third-largest store of ice, is warming at almost twice the average global rate, owing to the rare convergence of high altitudes and low latitudes — with potentially serious consequences for Asia’s freshwater supply.


In other words, three interconnected crises — a resource crisis, an environmental crisis and a climate crisis — are threatening Asia’s economic, social and ecological future. Population growth, urbanisation and industrialisation are exacerbating resourcerelated stresses, with some cities experiencing severe water shortages, and are degrading the environment (as anyone who has experienced Beijing’s smog can attest). Fossil-fuel and water subsidies have contributed to both problems. Faced with severe supply constraints, Asian economies are increasingly tapping other continents’ fossil fuels, mineral ores and timber. But water is extremely difficult and prohibitively expensive to import, and Asia has less fresh water per person than any continent other than Antarctica, and some of the world’s worst water pollution. Likewise, food scarcity is a growing problem for Asian countries, with crop yields and overall food production growing more slowly than demand. At the same time, rising incomes are altering people’s diets, which now include more animal-based proteins, further compounding Asia’s food challenges. The intensifying competition over natural resources among Asian countries is shaping resource geopolitics, including the construction of oil and gas pipelines. China has managed to secure new hydrocarbon supplies through pipelines from Kazakhstan and Russia. But this option is not available to Asia’s other leading economies, Japan, India and South Korea, which are not contiguous with suppliers in Central Asia, Iran or Russia. These countries will remain dependent on oil imports from an increasingly unstable Persian Gulf.

Furthermore, China’s fear that hostile naval forces could hold its economy hostage by interdicting its oil imports has prompted it to build a massive oil reserve, and to plan two strategic energy corridors in southern Asia. The corridors will provide a more direct transport route for oil and liquefied gas from Africa and the Persian Gulf, while minimising exposure to sea-lanes policed by the US Navy. One such corridor extends 800km from the Bay of Bengal across Burma to southern China. In addition to gas pipelines — the first is scheduled to be completed this year — it will include a high-speed railroad and a highway from the Burmese coast to China’s Yunnan province, offering China’s remote interior provinces an outlet to the sea for the first time. The other corridor — work on which has been delayed, owing to an insurrection in Pakistan’s Baluchistan province — will stretch from the Chinese-operated port at Gwadar, near Pakistan’s border with Iran, through the Karakoram mountains to the landlocked, energy-producing Xinjiang province. Notably, in giving China control of its strategic Gwadar port in February, Pakistan has permitted the Chinese government to build a naval base there. Given the significant role natural resources have historically played in global strategic relations, including driving armed interventions and full-scale wars, increasingly murky resource geopolitics threatens to heighten existing tension among Asian countries. Rising dependence on energy imports has already been used to rationalise an increased emphasis on maritime power, raising new concerns

about sea-lane safety and vulnerability to supply disruptions. This partly explains the current tension between China and Japan over their conflicting territorial claims to islands in the East China Sea, which occupy an area of only 7km² but are surrounded by rich hydrocarbon reserves. Disputes in the South China Sea involving China and five of its neighbours, and in southern Asia, are equally resource-driven. While strategic competition for resources will continue to shape Asia’s security dynamics, the associated risks can be moderated if Asia’s leaders establish norms and institutions aimed at building rulebased co-operation. Unfortunately, little progress has been made in this area. For example, 53 of Asia’s 57 transnational river basins lack any water-sharing or cooperative arrangement. Indeed, Asia is one of only two continents, along with Africa, where regional integration has yet to take hold, largely because political and cultural diversity, together with historical animosities, have hindered institutionbuilding. Strained political relations among most of Asia’s subregions make a regionwide security structure or more effective resource co-operation difficult to achieve. This could have significant implications for Asia’s ostensibly unstoppable rise and thus for the West’s supposedly inevitable decline. After all, Asian economies cannot sustain their impressive economic growth without addressing their resource, environmental and security challenges — and no single country can do it alone. –COURTESY BD LIVE

Dubai — Alien City 

It's not just Dubai's architecture that seems to be out of this world, but its people are mostly alien too

here are just over 2 million residents in Dubai, 80 per cent of them are expatriates. Around 14,000 are Australian. It's one of the very few places in the world where expats outnumber locals to such a degree. Given the large amount of international guests calling the UAE's biggest city home, one must question whether some of the perceived cons of living in a such a city, is valid. I travelled to Dubai as a guest of Qantas as part of its strategic alliance with Emirates earlier this week. While I was only there for two full days, I tried to speak to as many people as possible to get an idea of where it is economically and what Aussie expats really think of this growing city. The International Monetary Fund says the United Arab Emirates economy grew by 4 per cent in 2012 and is expected to slow to 2.6 per cent this year. The head of Dubai Tourism and Commerce Marketing, Helal Al Marri told me, that while growth in 2009 was 1 per cent, the average from 2006 to now has been 8 per cent. Dubai is expected to grow at just over 4 per cent this year. The city has always been a trading hub, but its wealth exploded in the late 1960s when oil was discovered. Some buildings were left unfinished, while others just took a bit longer to build. The sector has stabilised, and John Iossifids from Mashreqbank told me prices altogether are around 40 per cent off their lows now, but still 20 per cent off their 2007 peaks. One of the reasons why Dubai has been able to ride out the global storm, is because of its diverse economy. While Dubai's riches may have come from oil, its focus is now on tourism, services and trade. Tourism for example contributes to one quarter of total GDP. There has been a 10 per cent increase in the number of visitors to the city in the last 2 years, year on year according to Dubai Tourism and Commerce Marketing. What the city is doing, is


Dubai Tourism's Helal Al Marri told me positioning itself as a luxury family "There is definitely a need for people who holiday destination. It's home to a number of 'big' things. visit, to at least understand the local The world's biggest building completed customs and cultures." Expats say, that elements of the law can in 2010 is the Burj Khalifa, which now incidentally is close to 90 per cent be frustrating, especially when no occupied. The Dubai Mall is the world's precedent has been set. Some feel that it's biggest shopping centre. The JW not so black and while, compared with Marriott Marquis Dubai is the world's Australia. Ultimately, expats agree that taking the time to understand the process, tallest hotel. Business large and small are attracted to makes doing business in Dubai easier. Food and the equine industries are big the city thanks to its generous tax advantages. No personal income tax is while some Australian manufactured goods have also paid. Its location is found a market in the also a big factor. city. In fact, the Dubai is 4 hours from Victorian made a third of the world's Toyota Camry is population. probably the most Dubai International successful export Airpot saw nearly 58 with many taxis in million passengers the city using the enter its terminals, make. Education is and only recently also playing a key overtook Charles De role, as Dubai Gaulle as the world's expands its second busiest airport knowledge based behind Heathrow. It's economy. expected to take out The University of the top spot by 2015. Ricardo Goncalves Wollongong has It's this growth, expanded its Dubai which has drawn more than 200 nationalities to the city, and a campus, and its President, Professor surge in expats which outnumber Trevor Spedding told me that it started nationals, or Emirati people, 4 to 1. Of with a business course with just six or course those who have decided to live in seven students, which has grown over the last 20 years to about 3,500. Despite the the city, must abide by its rules. differences, expats say Islam is the official religion of the cultural UAE, but the government has blended Australians and Emiratis are similar in the interpretation of Sharia Law with the business, stemming from an economy customs on non-Muslim expatriates based on natural resources and a making Dubai, somewhat more relaxed multicultural society. Emiratis like Australian's can do than other centres around the country like Abu Dhabi, and other parts of the attitude. Small talk before a deal is essential, and is part of the UAE way of Middle East. Still, their customs and traditions have life. Luckily, this is where Australia's been around for hundreds of years, and mostly relaxed approach to business can while Dubai may be a little more lenient be advantageous. The Emirati people do than other parts of the Arab world, rules lead privileged lives. It is after all, their land. They get free education, do exist.

healthcare along with access to housing funds and marriage funds. Expats lead privileged lives too, with many affording luxuries they just couldn't back home, like live-in help. Middle East-based recruiter, Michael Leonard told me, that Dubai is a very transient type of place, so getting people to stay for more than two years who aren't chasing the dollar is difficult. Dubai may sound like an appealing place to work, live and do business, but as with every aspect in life, there are risks. Some worry about just how far Dubai's economy may expand for, and whether the European financial crisis will spread into the city. But it seems the biggest threat may be regional. The Arab Spring has actually been beneficial for Dubai. The uprising around the region has seen cash flood into the UAE which is more stable, and international businesses set up regional offices in Dubai. However, John Iossifids says, if that spreads, it may be a problem, but highly unlikely. Roderick Couch adds, any conflict between the US and Iran, which has deep historic relations with the UAE may also add to instability, but again, that's unlikely. As for my own personal experience, obviously two full days isn't enough, but it did give me a taste for what Dubai offers. While the city does literally rise up from the desert, it is eternally clean and safe. Dubai Tourism tells me it is one of the safest cities in the world, with a crime rate of just 1 in 100,000. What was frustrating, was the process to gain filming permits across the city for various locations, which I must admit Dubai Tourism and Qantas did help with, but even in approved areas, we were stopped by police a couple of times, who asked to see papers. In our situation, we had no issues though. There are a lot of things that I didn't get to see, nightlife being one of them, but I guess I may have to leave that for another trip.

top-gear, also dwells at length on the trading links that existed till the 1965 war. He draws attention to the historical fact that signatories to the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, which was being negotiated around the time of Partition, took into account that the subcontinent was a single economy and allowed a special dispensation for India and Pakistan. Today, thanks mainly to these two countries, South Asia, despite its historical and cultural linkages, is the least integrated of all regions in the world. A recurrent thought among the Pakistani contributors to this study is also echoed by Mr. Mahmood when he states that because of “its dominant economic position, India needs to be large-hearted and more accommodating” towards its neighbours. “Granting trade concessions to its smaller neighbours would not hurt it economically. It would not only earn goodwill and respect for India in the region, but would also contribute to the economic integration of South Asia.” –COURTESY THE HINDU

Big banks’ success could spell their doom s Washington likely to break up the country’s biggest banks? No, not right now. But perhaps soon. Political momentum for dismantling them has been, in recent weeks, overstated. That unanimous vote in the Senate for a budget amendment critical of big banks? It was a nonbinding amendment Ezra Klein to end “too-big-to-fail subsidies.” As it happens, there isn’t a line item in the federal budget titled “too-big- to-fail subsidies.” The vote was a freebie against the abstract concept of taxpayers subsidizing Wall Street -- that’s why the outcome was unanimous. It was like a vote against halitosis. Similarly, in a town starved for bipartisanship, the oddbedfellows coalition of Senator Sherrod Brown, a liberal Democrat, and Senator David Vitter, a conservative Republican, has attracted quite a bit of media attention. But if you want to see even more bipartisanship, regard the huge, bipartisan effort to leave the biggest banks alone, which counts dozens of senators from both sides of the aisle among its supporters. That said, those who dismiss efforts to break up the big banks as no more than a populist fantasy are missing the long game -- and for opponents of a concentrated financial sector, the long game is going surprisingly well.


Dramatic Change

Policy change isn’t a predictable process. It follows a pattern political scientists call “punctuated equilibrium,” consisting of long periods of stasis interrupted by brief periods of dramatic change. Much of the real work of policy making, then, is preparing to take advantage of those moments when dramatic change is possible. As Rahm Emanuel, soon to be White House chief of staff, famously said on the eve of Barack Obama’s inauguration: “You never want a serious crisis to go to waste.” Emanuel was referring specifically to the political opportunities inherent in the aftermath of the financial crisis. Yet peculiarly, that crisis proved more advantageous to health- care reformers, high-speed-rail enthusiasts and champions of large middle-class tax cuts than to financial reformers. The Capitol today is thick with financial wonks arguing that too-big-to-fail is too-big-to-exist and working to devise the policies that would break the banks into smaller pieces. Some say we need to dismantle the big banks totally. Others suggest levying a hefty tax on assets above a certain threshold so that size is penalized. Still others advocate onerous capital requirements that would make too-big-tofail banks too cautious to implode. In a future crisis, reformers will have a menu of options to choose from. And, in a development that should worry the financial sector, these ideas have gained traction on the left and the right, among radicals and establishmentarians. It’s an odd issue that unites conservative columnist George Will and liberal Senator Elizabeth Warren. There are reform adherents on the Federal Reserve’s Board of Governors and in the ranks of former Wall Street chief executives. You’ll hear support for breaking up the banks at an Occupy Wall Street meeting and in the halls of the American Enterprise Institute. The financial industry has noticed. In February, Hamilton Place Strategies, a Washington consulting group that works to advance Wall Street interests, released a report defending American megabanks. The paper touts “the value of large banks to the global economy and their growth over time, the dramatic improvements in safety and soundness over the past three years, and the context of international competition,” and it explores “the consequences of ignoring these facts by breaking up the banks.” Bank-Breakers

The authors make some good points. But the paper’s very existence suggests that the bank-breakers have been more successful than anyone could have predicted a few years ago. Wall Street has fought viciously against the Dodd-Frank financial reforms. A remarkable, 10,000word article in the Washington Monthly by Haley Sweetland Edwards vividly details the coordinated attack the financial industry has mounted through the rule making process. There’s a real possibility that Wall Street will manage what George W. Bush memorably called a “catastrophic success.” If the financial sector is too effective at evading meaningful reforms, then it’s probably only a matter of time before some too-big-to-fail institution selfdetonates, putting the entire economy at risk. That’s when the bank-breakers will have their moment. They’re the only group in town with a persuasive answer if current reforms allow a too-big-to-fail bank to once again threaten the economy. If that threat never materializes, then neither will the reformers’ policies. If it does happen, well, they’re not going to let a second crisis go to waste. – COURTESY BLOOMBERG


Meditation helps Evan Rachel relax

Amitabh Bachchan finds working therapeutic

LOS ANGELES: Actress Evan Rachel Wood has asserted that meditation helps her relax, gives her a sense of calm and keeps anxiety at bay in her hectic life. The 25-year-old, who is expecting her first child with husband Jamie Bell, insisted that she began meditating when she was just 12 and has now started doing yoga too, Contactmusic reported. The 'Little Secrets' star added that in the movie business, it's easy to get caught up in the anxiety of it all, so she likes to take time to sit and breathe by the ocean and there's something so calming about it that it puts everything into perspective. She further added that dancing is another way for her to clear her mind. -SHOWBIZ DESK

MUMBAI: He might be 70 but megastar Amitabh Bachchan likes to be occupied with work and hopes that he stays busy always. Amitabh Bachchan, who is currently shooting Prakash Jha's next film Satyagraha in Bhopal, said work has a "therapeutic" effect on him. "The sun sets again and another day of turmoil comes to an end. The work is the place that I would like to be always. It is almost like a balm across an aching forehead - therapeutic. Work dissects me from the daily and hourly burdens, that man carries, perhaps right to his grave," he posted on his blog. The actor also said working gives him satisfaction in life. "The atmosphere around a unit at work is intoxicating. There is always ofcourse the feel of being aware of all about. Not just the place of work, but also matters that concern us individually. Mostly those that remain in the realm of domesticity. It is impossible to be in a situation of enactment, when thoughts and mind are occupied elsewhere," he added. Bachchan is also gearing up for the release of his Hollywood debut project The Great Gatsby, which will release on May 10.-SHOWBIZ DESK

Why Pakistani models want to become ultra-thin SHOWBIZ DESK KARACHI: Pakistani women models have revealed that it's the designers and photographers who are pressurizing them to lose weight. Designers all over the world usually use size zero mannequins to make clothes and then want the same effect on the ramp. The scenario results in a model's

ultimate desire: becoming railthin. Model Fayezah Ansari, who recently came clean on her drug addiction, said if the clothes don't fit, then designers get upset, News Track India reported. A former model, who chose not to be named, revealed that drug abuse is the biggest problem in the Pakistani fashion world. She stated that drugs are used to dehydrate the body and kill

appetite. "Real men don't want skeletons, it's the other men [photographers and designers] in the industry who want to transform a girl into a stick. They pressurize women to become ultra-thin," she said, referring to photographers, make-up artists and designers who create outfits for unrealistic models. The industry is cutthroat, she said, adding that models opt for

tummy-tucks, full body liposuction and most have eating disorders. Model Nadia Hussain said it's not the girls who criticize each other about weight; it's the designers and photographers. She said designers and photographers force them to lose weight and revealed that some models will starve themselves or throw-up to get the perfect figure.

VANCOUVER: Aishwarya Rai with her husband, Abhishek Bachchan walked the red carpet for first TOIFA awards. The couple performed for the first time after the birth of their daughter Aaradhya.

Republican lawmakers seek details Michael Jackson feared Barfi! wins top honours at TOIFA being shot on-stage SHOWBIZ DESK on Beyonce, Jay Z Cuba trip SHOWBIZ DESK

LONDON: Two Republican members of Congress have asked the US Treasury Department for information on what type of license American pop star Beyonce and rapper husband Jay Z obtained for a highprofile trip to Cuba to celebrate their wedding anniversary. Beyonce and Jay Z celebrated their fifth wedding anniversary this week in Havana, where big crowds greeted them as they strolled hand in hand through the Cuban capital. They ate at some of the city's best restaurants, danced to Cuban music, walked through historic Old Havana and posed for pictures with admiring Cubans, who recognized them despite the past half-century of ideological conflict that separates the United States and Cuba. In a letter dated on Friday, U.S. Representatives Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Mario Diaz-Balart, asked Adam Szubin, director of the Office of Foreign Assets Control, for "information regarding the type of license that Beyonce and Jay-Z received, for what purpose, and who approved such travel." Ros-Lehtinen and Mario Diaz-Balart represent districts in south Florida where there is a high Cuban-American population. "Despite the clear prohibition against tourism in Cuba, numerous press

The 50-year-old musician had predicted his own death weeks before his fatal overdose.

reports described the couple's trip as tourism, and the Castro regime touted it as such in its propaganda," the letter said. "We represent a community of many who have been deeply and personally harmed by the Castro regime's atrocities, including former political prisoners and the families of murdered innocents." Representatives for Beyonce did not immediately respond for comment.

LONDON: Weeks before his actual death, King of Pop Michael Jackson had feared being shot on-stage while performing in a concert, says singers' close friend Jason Pfeiffer. The dermatologist also claimed that the 50-year-old musician had predicted his own death weeks before his fatal overdose that actually killed him, reported Sun Online. "The last time I saw him he was saying his goodbyes to everyone in the office. It was like he knew he was never coming back, and he would often say he thought he was going to be shot on stage," Pfeiffer said. Pfeiffer believes Jackson chose UK for his long-awaited stage return as he thought there was less chance of being gunned down there. "He said the comeback was in England due to the gun laws there. That's why he ditched a US comeback as people had access to guns here and would shoot him. He thought America was too dangerous," his office manager said. Jackson died of acute propofol and benzodiazepine overdose on June 25, 2009, after suffering from a cardiac arrest. -SHOWBIZ DESK

VANCOUVER: The story of a deaf and mute boy, ‘Barfi!’ turned out to be the top winner at the maiden edition of the Times of India Film Awards cornering the best film, best director, best actor and best actress trophies. At a glittering awards function, Anurag Basu picked up the best director award while Ranbir Kapoor and Priyanka Chopra carried home the best actor and best actress trophies, respectively. Southern actress Ileana D'Cruz, who made her bow in Bollywood with ‘Barfi!’, won the best debut female award for her performance. The award for the best debut

Ileana D'Cruz receiving her award for debut female

male went to Ayushmann Khurrana for super hit ‘Vicky Donor’, in which he played a sperm donor. Rishi Kapoor won the best actor in a negative role trophy for "Agneepath". In the critics awards category, Gauri Shinde won the best debut director critics award for telling a heart-warming tale in ‘English Vinglish’, best actor female critics award went to Deepika Padukone for ‘Cocktail’; best actor male critics award was given to Irrfan for playing the steeplechase-runner turning into a dacoit in the ravines of the Chambal in ‘Paan Singh Tomar’. Anurag Kashyap-directed "Gangs of Wasseypur", a gritty celluloid saga of the coal mafia and blood thirsty vengeance, won the best film critics award.

Ranbir Kapoor's winning moment

Sound waves by Gohar Mumtaz I

t's been six years since Goher Mumtaz, the vocalist and lead guitarist of Pakistan-based band Jal, promoted an album in India. "Our last album Boondh was released in 2007 and the past six years have been spent on creating Pyaas," he says. Pyaas has 12 songs, including remixes of the group's new numbers Tanhai and Dil Harri. At a show at Hard Rock Cafe on Friday, Mumtaz and guitarist Shazi performed songs from Pyaas and popular hits such as Woh Lamhe and Aadat. The former also talked about love and loneliness, the band's cancelled gig in Mumbai, and why he is listening to Enrique Iglesias. Why did you title your new alum Pyaas? Because of our desire to produce good music for our fans. The name is also synonymous with the name of our band, Jal. There's a lot of heartbreak in your new album. The theme revolves around falling in love, rising up again from heartbreak, loneliness and the loss of love. Dil Harri, the new video of which has become popular on YouTube, is about losing your heart to someone when you are in love. This is also the first album that we have produced. The

album has a lot of fusion apart from the acoustic guitar, we have used the harmonium, tabla, percussions and Punjabi words. The line-up is different from when the band was formed in 2002. How did you deal with the departures of vocalists Atif Aslam and Farhan Saeed? I think what matter is the kind of music one produces. When Atif left, I wondered what to do after this. I just wanted to make sure we brought something new for music lovers. With Sajni and Moray Piya, which were big hits, we did just that. People will

follow you depending on what you do with music. Why was your Mumbai show called off last week? The official reason is that there were permission issues. We are sad and disappointed because Jal has a huge fan base in Mumbai. We are trying to come back next month to perform in Mumbai. What is the next project that you are working on? We are working on an album with Spanish singer Enrique Iglesias where we would be mixing our tracks with his. It will be out this year.


Tomic-Ito steer Australia and Japan to Davis Cup play-offs

Pakistan win Under-16 Asia Cup OUR STAFF REPORTER

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan won the Under-16 Asia Cup title by routing Bangladesh 5-3 in the final in Singapore on Sunday. According to information received from the Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF), Pakistan's Muhammad Atiq, who enjoyed a goal spree throughout the tournament, scored two goals in the final. While Sikandar Mustafa, Shan Irshad and Adeel Latif scored one goal apiece. Pakistan won all their matches in the event.

SING APORE: Recalled wild child Bernard Tomic was the hero for Australia and Tatsuma Ito sealed a pulsating tie for Japan as both countries reached the Davis Cup World Group play-offs on Sunday. ALMATY: Lukas Rosol of Czech Republic put the defending champions into the Davis Cup semi-finals with a tough win over Kazakhstan's Evgeny Tomic, back in the fold after being Korolev at Astana on Sunday. Rosol, who is 63rd in the ATP rankings, won 7-6, 6-7, 7-6, 6-2 in his first ever head-to-head meeting with the 25-yeardropped for disciplinary reasons, beat old Korolev to give his team an unassailable 3-1 lead in the tie. "It was a really difficult win as Evgeny showed really classy tennis today and kept me Denis Istomin to give Australia an under pressure throughout the match," Rosol said. "Luckily I managed to resist the pressure and won. It's our joint win, the entire team's result." unassailable 3-1 lead in their Both players started cautiously, trying to avoid unnecessary risks, before Rosol snatched the opening set tie-break. In the second set Korolev, who is Asia/Oceania Group I tie with 187th in the world, broke in the sixth game but Rosol broke back in the ninth to set up another tiebreak, which Korolev won to level at one set all. Uzbekistan, after also winning his The third set was almost a carbon copy of the second as Korolev grabbed the lead in the fifth game, while Rosol levelled in the 10th. But this time first singles match on Friday. In the 27-year-old Czech was more precise in the tiebreak to clinch a 2-1 lead. In the fourth Rosol underlined his clay supremacy, breaking his rival's Tokyo, 24-year-old Ito held his nerve serve twice to win the set, the match and a place in the semi-finals for his team. –AGENCIES to defeat South Korea's Cho MinHyeok 6-3, 6-3, 6-0 in the decisive match, after rookie Lim Yong-Kyu upset Japan's Go Soeda to leave the fixture poised at 2-2. "I tried to play 100 percent," Ito said. "I did my best from the beginning until the end." Australia and Japan now go through to the World Group play-offs in September where they will try to seal a spot in the global team competition's top tier next season. Meanwhile India and China enjoyed 5-0 whitewashes respectively against Indonesia and Taiwan, who will contest a relegation tie in September with the loser dropping to Asia/Oceania Group II. Australia's captain Pat Rafter has endured a rocky relationship with Tomic, who has had a fractious relationship with senior tennis figures and several run-ins with the law. But Rafter was full of praise for the 20year-old, Australia's top player at world number 43, after he battled back from a set down to win 4-6, 6-2, 6-2, 6-3 against the 46th-ranked Istomin, following Friday's win over Farrukh Dustov. "Bernie played some of the best tennis I've seen him play," Rafter told Australian Associated Press. "To play two great matches in a row now, that was really important for him. "Everything went perfectly, it's actually ridiculous how (perfect) it was. I'm very proud of the guys." –AGENCIES Members of Czech Republic's tennis team celebrate their victory after their Davis Cup quarterfinal match against Kazakhstan in the Kazakh capital Astana on Sunday. –AGENCIES

Rosol puts Czech Republic into semis

Cancellara clinches 3rd Paris-Roubaix cycling title ROUBAIX: Swiss Fabian Cancellara kept his composure to win a third ParisRoubaix title, outdoing Belgian Sep Vanmarcke in a session of track cycling tactics at the end of a 254km ride on Sunday. Cancellara, who won the Queen of the Classics in 2006 and 2010, entered the Roubaix outdoor velodrome, where the finish line was drawn, for 1-1/2 laps against a rival who is supposed to be a better sprinter. Yet the RadioShack-Leopard rider, who achieved his second Tour of Flanders/Paris-Roubaix double, forced his opponent to a standstill on the velodrome as both men played mind games for position. Vanmarcke was tricked into starting the sprint and the Blanco rider was leapfrogged on the home straight. Dutchman Niki Terpstra won a four-man sprint for third position after the OmegaPharma-Quick Step team – who were supposed to ride for Frenchman Sylvain Chavanel in the absence of holder Tom Boonen – and Thord Hushovd's BMC outfit failed to mount a proper challenge around their designated leaders. On a sunny yet cold day in northern France, the battle started early but Cancellara, who crashed earlier this week in the Scheldeprijs and again while checking out one of the 27 cobbled sections of the Paris-Roubaix, remained focused all day. –AGENCIES

Australia's Ormsby holds nerve for maiden victory

Some wins as Tadese sets new record in Paris PARIS: Kenyan Peter Some was a shock winner of the Paris Marathon on Sunday as he won the 37th edition of the event ahead of Ethiopia's Tadese Tola and compatriot Eric Ndiema. In the women's event Boru Tadese streaked clear of the field to set a new course record of 2hr 21min 06sec. Some took three minutes off his previous personal best, from Frankfurt in 2012, to win in a time of 2hr 05min 38sec. Tola, the winner here in 2010, outsrpinted Ndiema to take second place, almost a minute after the winner. Some made his break for home around the 30km mark with a fierce acceleration that left the group of favourites trailing in his wake. Tadese beat countrywoman Merima Mohammed into second, more than two minutes behind, with Kenyan favourite Eunice Kirwa coming third. The winner's time eclipsed that of another compatriot, Tirfi Beyene, who won in 2hr 21min 40sec last year. A record of almost 50,000 people took to the streets of the City of Lights under mild sunshine that took the edge off a chilly morning. –AGENCIES

Competitors run past Rivoli street during the 37th edition of the Paris Marathon on Sunday. –AGENCIES

Golf NEW DELHI: Australian Wade Ormsby held his nerve to overcome a triple bogey and complete a wire-to-wire victory by one stroke for his maiden professional title at the Panasonic Open India on Sunday. Ormsby, who held at least a share of the lead from the opening round, carded a final-round one-underpar 71 for a total of nine-under 279 to finish a shot ahead of Thai Boonchu Ruangkit (69) at the Delhi Golf Club. Singapore's Lam Chih Bing (72), who had the lead briefly during the final round, finished third while India's Shiv Kapur (71) bogeyed two of his last three holes to finish three shots behind Ormsby in fourth. Starting the day with a onestroke advantage, Ormsby came back strongly after the triple bogey by sinking three birdies in four holes from the fifth to the eighth hole. He dropped another shot on the 12th hole but an 18foot birdie conversion on the 17th was enough to seal his victory. "It means so much. I've played tournaments worldwide but to finally get a win in Asia is fantastic," the 33-year-old, who finished tied 33rd and tied 20th in Malaysia and Chiangmai respectively, told the Asian Tour. "I was so disappointed in Malaysia and Chiangmai as I played well on both weeks but didn't finish them off. I knew there was a win in there for me

Pakistan skiers qualify for Winter Olympics 2014 MIRZA KHURRAM SHAHZAD

LAHORE: Pakistan has collected the required points to qualify for the 2014 Winter Olympics Ski Championship, the Ski Federation of Pakistan (SFP) announced on Sunday. Pakistan got the required points by participating in the International Ski Federation (FIS) races held in Europe and Asia. The Winter Olympic Games are scheduled in Sochi, Russia in February 2014. A Pakistan contingent comprising 01 coach and 03 athletes participated in the FIS races held from February 17 to March 18 in Italy, Lebanon and Turkey. The national team consisting of Mir Nawaz, Karim and Muhammad Abbas scored 137, 130 and 122 FIS points in these three races respectively.

Pakistan to protest after Davis Cup tie forfieted OUR STAFF REPORTER

Wade Ormsby of Australia poses with the winning trophy on Sunday. –AGENCIES and I am glad I came here." Boonchu, who was looking to become the oldest winner on the Asian Tour at 56, was happy to have been able to challenge his younger opponents. "Conditions were really tough out there the entire week but to be able to play the way I did even at 56 years old really says a lot about my game," Boonchu said. "I've shown that I still have

what it takes to compete against the younger boys but I just ran out of steam towards the end. But overall, it has been a good week and all I can say is never write off an old man." Ormsby, Boonchu and Lam, the top three finishers, will be invited to the Asia-Pacific Panasonic Open, co-sanctioned by the Asian Tour and Japanese Tour, in Osaka in September. –AGENCIES

LAHORE: The Pakistan Tennis Federtion (PTF) on Sunday said it would protest to international tennis authorities over a referee’s decision to award Pakistan’s Davis Cup tie to New Zealand because of an unplayable court surface at a neutral venue. The Asia Oceania Group II tie was played in Yangon, Myanmar after the International Tennis Federation (ITF) declared the security situation in Pakistan was not conducive to host the second round matches. Pakistan’s Aqeel Khan won the first singles rubber against Artem Sitak while Aisam Qureshi was leading Dan King-Turner 3-0 in the third set of the second when the tie was abandoned. The referee declared the tie as abandoned and awarded it to New Zealand as the courts were Pakistan’s responsibility, a

Serena crushes Venus for Family Circle Cup final CHARLESTON: Serena Williams crushed her older sibling Venus 6-1, 6-2 to reach the final of the Family Circle Cup in the most lop-sided match of their WTA Tour careers between the American sisters. In the first match between them in four years, Serena needed just 54 minutes to send Venus packing on the green clay surface here on Saturday. Defending champion Serena dominated from the opening serve against Venus who had eight double faults and won just 27 percent of her second serves. Venus, 32, even had trouble with Serena's 70 mph second serve which was considerably slower than Serena was serving in her quarter-final match on Friday. Serena will get a chance to go for her second straight Charleston crown and third

overall when she plays the final against Jelena Jankovic who defeated Stefanie Voegele 6-4, 6-7 (6/8), 6-2 in the other semi-final Serena said she is handling pressure better now than she did in the past. "I will never change who I am. I am passionate, I get angry, frustrated but not as much," Serena said Saturday. "As long as I know how to bring it back and not take it too far, US Open-style, then I can stay calm." The 31-year-old Serena said she was fortunate to be back in good condition and not struggling with health issues like Venus, who has an ongoing battle with Sjogren's Syndrome -- an auto-immune disorder that can cause fatigue. "I am so inspired by Venus everything she is going through," Serena said. "I feel like I don't have those problems so

In a momentous run of the FIS race (slalom discipline) held in Lebanon, Mir Nawaz won a silver medal, qualifying for the Winter Olympics 2014 with flying colours. Pakistan first participated in the Winter Olympics in 2010 when Muhammad Abbas of the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) participated in the giant slalom discipline of alpine skiing at Vancouver Games. The national skiers were sent to a number of international events after that to win another opportunity for the Olympics and Pakistan players have finally succeeded in it. SFP president Air Marshal Farhat Hussain Khan, Vice Chief of the Air Staff, has advised the national players to concentrate on their physical fitness in summers for performing even better in the next ski season.

why am I not winning." Serena finished with six aces and won 75 percent of her first-serve points although she won just two points all match on her reduced second serve. Serena now owns a 14-10 career win mark over Venus, which includes a 6-2, 7-6 (7/4) victory in their last contest in 2009 in the final of the WTA Championships in Qatar. This was even more one-sided than when she beat Venus 6-2, 6-2 in Miami in 2002. Serena has won the last five consecutive matches in their sibling rivalry. The sisters, who grew up in the crime-ridden, drug-plagued streets of south Los Angeles, have played some competitive matches over the years but this certainly wasn't one of them. Serena won the opening set in just 22 minutes and clinched the match when Venus lobbed a return of serve high and

well past the baseline. Serena didn't commit her first unforced error until early in the second set. She broke Venus in the first game of the second and never surrendered her serve the rest of the way. Another break made it 5-2 and Serena held easily in the final game of the match. The top-seeded Serena enters Sunday's final riding a 10match winning streak and shooting for her third title of the year. She won in Miami last week and also captured the season-opener in Brisbane, Australia. Serbia's Jankovic finished with five aces, one double fault and won 73 percent of her firstserve points against Voegele. She has won four of nine career matches against Serena, including their only contest on clay in the semi-finals at Rome in 2010. –AGENCIES


decision PTF president Kaleem Imam said was unjust. “We are devastated at the decision,” Kaleem said. “If the surface had any problems why didn’t the referee tell us before the tie started, or why did he allow the first match to go on? “We are going to lodge a protest against the decision.” Pakistan has been forced to play their home ties on neutral venues since 2010 after all international sports were suspended in the country following terrorists’ attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team bus in Lahore in March 2009. Kaleem said Pakistan had already been suffering because of no home matches. “We have not been able to play at home and now after we chose to play in Myanmar, this untoward incident has taken place. This has left my players devastated and we will follow this matter through our protest,” said the PTF chief.



APRIL 08, 2013

Army intensifies operation in Tirah Valley

23 soldiers, over 30 militants killed in clashes OUR STAFF REPORTER KHYBER AGENCY: A decisive operation has been launched against militants in the Tirah valley of Bara by Special Services Groups (SSG) forces along with regular troops, during which at least 23 troops have been killed along with local lashkar men. Scores of militants have also been killed in the offensive during the last three days. Official sources confirmed that several soldiers, including SSG commandos, have been killed in the

battle for Tirah valley on Saturday, while over 30 militants have also been confirmed dead along with scores of others injured. Sources said SSG commandos along with regular army troops and Frontier Corps are battling to root out the last pockets of resistance in the Tirah valley especially on the border of Orakzai Agency. The landlocked area is reported to be a bastion of the banned Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and other foreign militants. The offensive has entered a crucial

phase, after softening of targets by gunships and jet fighters. Ground troops along with local volunteers have been mobilised to clear the area. Security experts had already hinted at a decisive strike in the Tirah valley as the TTP and Lashkar-i-Islam had started consolidating their positions in the valley. The two groups pose a serious threat to the settled areas especially Peshawar. The FC media cell had confirmed on Friday that four soldiers were killed and over 14 militants had died in the

clashes which have been continuing since then. Sources confirmed that one dead body of an SSG commando and six injured SSG soldiers along with eight other soldiers were shifted to the Peshawar CMH on Saturday. Artillery and mortar shelling has also intensified as troops have started an advance march and door-to-door offensive to clear pockets of resistance. The former secretary of security for FATA region and an expert on tribal affairs, Brigadier Mehmood Shah said Tirah would become a headache for the

Pakistan administration if it is not cleared of militants. He said militants from Khyber Agency’s Bara area and the Dara Admakhel TTP have also shifted their operational base to Tirah valley as they consider it to be a safer place to regroup. He said if Tirah valley is left unattended, it would become even more dangerous than South Waziristan Agency. The recent clashes between the Ansarul Islam (AI) and the TTP, also supported by the Lashkar-i-Islam (LI), had left many fighters dead on both

Mush’s papers accepted in Chitral

Degrees of 11 former MPs declared fake ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has declared the degrees of 11 more former lawmakers as fake. The ECP declared the degrees of Rana Ijaz, Bashir Khan, Tariq Magsi and Nadir Magsi as fake. Among others to have been declared as holding fake degrees are Samina Khawar Hayat, Seemal Kamran, Shumaila Rana, Shabina Khan, Rehana Yahya Baloch, Israrullah Zehri and Mir Mohabat Khan Marri. Meanwhile, Nawabzadah Nasrullah Khan’s son Nawab Mansoor Khan was also exposed to be holding a fake degree. At the same time, Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaf candidate in Haripur, Yousuf Ayub Khan’s papers were rejected after it was revealed that he held a fake degree. –AGENCIES


Afghanistan warns Pakistan over border activities

Rejected from Capital, Karachi Former president to challenge rejections


India test-fires nuclear capable Agni-II missile NEW DELHI: India on Sunday test-fired its nuclear capable Agni-II strategic ballistic missile from a military base in Odisha, Indian media quoting defence officials said. The test was conducted from Wheeler's Island in Bhadrak district, around 200-km from here, by army personnel as part of a training exercise, Indian officials said. The medium-range surface-to-surface missile with a range of over 2,000-km has already been inducted into the army and is part of the Strategic Forces arsenal for nuclear deterrence. –AGENCIES

sides, providing a conducive environment for security forces to launch a major offensive. Another factor which might help the security forces this time is the internal rift in the TTP after the death of its commander Tariq Afridi. Following the death of Tariq Afridi, the Central TTP and Afridi’s own faction both have appointed their own chiefs. This indicates widening rifts between the Hakimullah-led militants and Tariq Afridi’s loyalists who suspect that the TTP central commander was responsible for Afridi’s murder.

KARACHI: Rangers’ soldiers collecting evidence from the site after a hand grenade attack in Sher Shah Area. –ONLINE

NATO strike kills 10 Afghan children 10 children and one woman have been killed in the air strike,” he said. A spokesman for International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) confirmed the strike but said up to 10 women and children were wounded in the attack rather than killed. A US civilian died in a militant attack at the scene, he said. The interior ministry said in a statement the attack by coalition forces killed six Taliban including two senior commanders. On Thursday a Nato air strike killed four Afghan policemen and two civilians during a pre-dawn clash with Taliban at a police post in eastern Ghazni province. After an air strike killed 10 civilians, mostly women and children, in February, Karzai banned Afghan security forces from calling in NATO air strikes. However, it is unclear whether the ban has been enforced and many operations are jointly run by Nato and Afghan forces. The latest strike came a day after at least five Americans, including a young female diplomat, were killed in two Taliban attacks in the country’s east and south. A suicide car bomber struck a Nato convoy in the southern province of Zabul Saturday, killing three US soldiers and two civilians, one of whom was a female US diplomat. They were travelling with Afghan officials to distribute books to students. The nationality of the second civilian was unclear. –AGENCIES

JI not involved in any scandal: Munawwar QU ETTA: Ameer of Islami Syed Jamaate Munawwar Hassan Sunday said there are no corruption scandals against any member of his party. Addressing a public gathering here on Sunday‚ the JI Ameer said Baloch people have been deceived in the name of Balochistan package. He said the PPP government had given the masses nothing but corruption. He said former military ruler Pervez Musharraf is wanted in different cases but he is freely roaming in the country. Talking to newsmen‚ Syed Munawwar Hassan said talks with PTI and PML-N for seat adjustments are continuing. He asked all the political parties to nominate such candidates who fulfill the criteria of Articles 62 and 63 of the Constitution. He said that the participation of nationalist parties in the election is appreciable. “Returning Officers are quizzing unnecessary question,” Hassan replied to a query about question of the RO to electoral candidates during scrutiny.

ISLAMABAD/KARACH I: Former President General (retd) Pervez Musharraf ’s nomination papers for NA-48 (Islamabad) as well as NA-250 (Karachi) were rejected but accepted for NA-32 (Chitral) on Sunday. The returning officer of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) rejected the papers for NA250. He said Musharraf did not fulfill the criteria established in the Article 62 and 63 of the Constitution. Musharraf ’s spokesperson, Aasia Ishaque, said the former military ruler refused to appear before the returning officer at the time of filing the nomination papers because he said the objections against his candidature were flimsy and vague. She said Musharraf will be appealing against the rejection of the nomination papers before the election tribunal. In Chitral, close to the Afghan border, the returning officer approving Musharraf ’s candidature, said: “His papers are in order. He is not convicted so far so we cannot disqualify him.” But in the retired general’s home city of Karachi, officials turned down his nomination on charges of violating the constitution and sacking top judges. Returning officer Ikramur Rehman upheld objections raised by his rivals that Musharraf had violated the constitution and sacked top judges by imposing emergency

rule in 2007. Musharraf had also filed nomination papers for NA-139 Kasur. However, his papers were also rejected earlier this week when Maulana Javid Kasuri, a leader of Jamaat-i-Islaami, raised objections against his candidature. It may be mentioned here that leaders of Pakistan Tehrike Insaf, PML-N and PPP said they would challenge the acceptance of papers of former president from Chitral. SC to hear petitions today

CJ quit bench hearing Mush case ISLAMABAD: A 2-member bench of Supreme Court will hear petitions against former President Pervez Musharraf on Monday. Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry has withdrawn from the petition citing personal reasons. The former dictator’s lawyers had raised objections to the presence of the Chief Justice in the bench citing bias against Musharraf. In a petitions filed by Maulvi Iqbal Haider and others, former dictator President Pervez Musharraf faces serious charges under Article 6, as removing a democratically elected government, sidelining the Constitution of Federation and enforcing emergency in Country. He also faces charges of keeping the judges under house arrest.

PESHAWAR: A policeman was injured as two blasts with minutes of interval ripped through Charsadda Road on Sunday. According to media reports, the first blast occurred when a power generator of a private bank blew up. As the police personnel and media teams reached the spot of the blast, a second blast occurred near the same spot. As a result, a policeman was injured while windows of private TV’s vehicle were shattered. The policeman was rushed to a nearby hospital. –AGENCIES

ASADABAD: A NATO air attack in eastern Afghanistan has killed 10 children, officials said Sunday, the latest case of civilian casualties which provoke great anger in the war-torn country. The children were killed during a joint Afghan-NATO operation in the Shigal district of restive Kunar province bordering Pakistan late on Saturday. An Afghan official involved in the operation who did not want to be named said air support was called in after local and coalition forces came under attack, resulting in the death of an American and injuries to several Afghan soldiers. The official said the force did not know there were women and children in the houses that were hit. Civilian casualties caused by Nato forces have been one of the most contentious issues in the 11-year campaign against Taliban insurgents, provoking harsh criticism from Afghan President Hamid Karzai and angry public protests. “Ten children and eight militants were killed in the strike, six women were wounded,” Wasifullah Wasifi, the spokesman for Kunar province, said. Shigal district governor Abdul Zahir confirmed the death toll. He said people had brought the children’s bodies to the centre of the town and the wounded women were taken to Kunar’s central hospital. Sayed Rahman, security commander of Shigal, said one women was also among the dead. “We have reports that

Asia faces ‘new challenges’ to stabilty: China

SNGPL about to blow whistle on Rs. 9b defaulters

BOAO: Chinese President Xi Jinping Sunday said Asia faced “new challenges” to its stability and warned no one should be allowed to throw the region into chaos as tensions mounted over North Korea. Xi, delivering a speech at an annual international forum in Hainan, did not mention the crisis on the Korean Peninsula or China’s territorial disputes with Japan and Southeast Asian nations. But he said there should be no tolerance for those who foster “chaos for selfish gains” and reiterated that China would “firmly” uphold its “sovereignty” and “territorial integrity”. Tensions have soared in recent weeks with North Korea threatening nuclear war after the United Nations imposed fresh sanctions over its latest atomic test and the US and South Korea launched joint war games.–AGENCIES


KABUL: Afghan Ministry of Foreign Affairs has strongly criticized abnormal activities of Pakistan in the border areas including construction of barrier wall and continuation of mortar attacks on border regions by Pakistani militia. Spokesman Janan Musazai asked Islamabad to halt the unusual movements in the border regions main across the Durand Line. Pointing out the recent atypical movements of Pakistan alongside the border, spokesman said Pakistan intended to construct an illegal gate in zero point area alongside border region in Gusha district of Nangarhar province and the move followed serious retaliation of our border security forces and prevented the construction of such a gate. –INP

One hurt in twin Peshawar blasts

ISLAMABAD: The largest gas distribution network Sui Northern Gas Pipeline Limited (SNGPL) is in trouble because industrial and commercial customers owe it Rs. 8.892 billion. Documents with The Spokesman reveal that the SNGPL's management not only failed to decrease accumulated arrears but in fact provided relief to industrial and commercial consumers, sending the outstanding sum with the industrial sector up to Rs. 7.62 billion and the commercial sector Rs. 892 million. However after taking stern action by second largest gas distribution

network Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC) against the defaulters, SNGPL also decided to take action against the customers who yet to be clear their payables. A senior SNGPL official said the company decided to act against the one of the biggest defaulters — ‘CNG sector’ — that has defaulted for approximately Rs. 3.5 billion till date. According to details, the Cherat CNG from Peshawar has defaulted on SNGPL worth Rs. 50.697 million, Global CNG in Sheikhupura Rs. 32.465 million, Kohsar CNG Islamabad Rs. 30.795 million, Gas Top CNG Rs. 27.044 million, Khalil CNG Peshawar Rs. 26.538 million, M/s Ittifaq CNG Station Rs. 23.068

million, M/s Johar City CNG Station Multan Rs. 18.043 million, Kalim CNG station Islamabad Rs. 17.994 million, Three-Star CNG Islamabad Rs. 14.865 million, Natural CNG Gujrat Rs. 8.497 million, Capital CNG Peshawar Rs. 8 million, Grace CNG filling Rs. 6.741 million, Zam Zam CNG Islamabad Rs. 4.99 million, among several others. Sources in the company informed The Spokesman that caretaker federal minister of petroleum and natural resources, Sohail Wajahat was worried by the performance of gas distribution networks and directed companies to take stern action against defaulters. Meanwhile SSGC also decided to publicize the names of industrial


Taj Langah passes away OUR STAFF REPORTER

M ULTAN: Pakistan Seraiki Party (PSP) Chairman Taj Langah passed away on Sunday morning at party’s headquarters after he suffered heart attack. Langah was the main leader of the Seraiki province movement since 1970s. He was born in 1940 In District Lodharan and completed his Bar at Law degree from London in 1964. In 1967, he started his political journey from the platform of PPP. Langah was one of the close companions of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. In 1970, he contested the National Assembly election as a PPP candidate from Vehari against Mumtaz Daultana. In 1977, he left

defaulters of an outstanding Rs 328.013 million. Colourital (Pvt) Ltd, Karachi, Rs 90.536 million, Dewan Textiles, Hyderabad Rs 86.345 million, Afroze Textile Industries, Karachi Rs 72.279 million, Bhittai CNG Station, Karachi Rs 44.626 million and Dewan Mushtaq Textiles, Hyderabad Rs 34.226 million. Total outstanding of public holding offices Rs 56.649 million. Bolan Medical Complex, Quetta Rs 20.020 million, Sandaman Civil Hospital, Quetta Rs 11.523 million, University of Karachi Rs 8.938 million, Superintendent District Jail, Quetta Rs 8.921 million and Sh Zaid Women's Hospital, Larkana Rs 7.247 million. Similarly, Fazal Textiles,

Published by Ahmad Waleed from Yasmeen Majeed Printing Press 69 Cricket Stadium Rawalpindi.

the PPP and become one of the founders of Awami Jamhoori Party. In 1982, he founded the Seraiki Lawyer Forum and he became the founding member of “Seraiki Sooba Mahaz” in 1984. On April 7, 1989, he founded the PSP. The day when he passed away was the party’s foundation day and also the silver jubilee. Late Taj Langah’s nominations papers were already approved by from NA-155 Lodharan. He was buried at his hometown in Tehsil Kehror Pakka. The party workers and the entire Seraiki belt shared grief on his death. According to Prof Rifat Abbas, it is a big loss for the Seraiki cause. The PSP announced a seven-day mourning.

Hyderabad Rs 11.570 million, Superintendent Central Prison, Hyderabad Rs 11.531 million, Residence Colony Paramount Spinning Mills, Kotri, Rs 4.052 million, Barrage Colony, Tando M Khan Rs 3.273 million and ATF Complex, Eastern By-pass Road, Quetta Rs 2.840 million. Total outstanding of commercial customers Rs 16.730 million. The breakdown is: Deedar Hussain Janwiri, Larkana Rs 5.939 million, Abdul Farooq, Hyderabad Rs 3.664 million, Zulfiqar Ali Mawa Bathi, Nawabshah Rs 2.864 million, Muhammad Khan, Karachi Rs 2.210 million and Madina Al-Sadaat Hotel, Karachi Rs 2.053 million.

The spokesman  

of the people 08-04-2013