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tHUrSdAy April 11, 2013






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Vol, V, No. 357



Pages 12 I Price 10/-

Tribunals give relief to ‘victims’ of returning officers 

Lower judiciary’s decisions on major leaders overturned  Ayaz Amir, Faheem, Faisal Saleh, Abid Imam back in election battle  Mush, Raja, others also hopeful


ISLAMABAD: Questions hovering around the discretionary powers of the lower judiciary in scrutiny process of candidates and relevance of Articles 62 and 63 seems to have gained legitimacy on Wednesday as many of the known political big shots including PML-N’s Ayaz Amir, PPP’s Amin Fahim, and Abid Imam and PML-Q’s Faisal Saleh Hayat got their nomination papers accepted from Election Tribunals.

Chances of Gen. Musharraf getting his rights to contest elections from Kasur, Karachi and Islamabad are likely to be restored as he too has challenged his disqualification. Former prime minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf is also expecting the same from the judges of election tribunals as he too was thrown out of the race by ROs on grounds of dishonesty. “Restorations of these candidates from tribunals seems to have exposed standards of our lower judiciary for which our supreme commanders of


judiciary would be feeling ashamed,” commented many of the restored candidates and their legal counsels. Election Tribunals, headed by judges of High Courts in all four provincial capitals or their regional registries, have received more than 500 applications against the discretionary decisions of Returning Officers (ROs) in the first two days of their functioning. Majority of the candidates rejected by ROs were considered to be misfit to contest elections either on moral or purported

allegations of corruption. Open ended articles 62 and 63 were used with such an inconsistent impunity throughout the first phase of scruntiy by ROs that a syndicated columnists Ayaz Amir was thrown out of the race for exercising his fundamental right of expression. Talking to reporters , Ayaz Amir said his case was different from the others, adding that he had just given his personal views in his column. He said that he would try to raise his voice against Articles 62 and 63 after

LHc overturns dasti’s conviction MULTAN: The Lahore High Court, Multan bench has overturned the conviction of former MNA Jamshed Dasti on Wednesday. The court ordered his release and declared the three-year jail term handed to him as null and void. The verdict in favour of the ex-MNA came after no evidence was submitted and witnesses failed to appear before the court. Sources said Dasti is now eligible to contest the upcoming general elections. –AGENCIES winning the election. Tribunals will be taking decisions on appeals till April 17. Last date for

No respite in sight


doctors learn nothing as rape victim Shahzadi exhumed

Power crisis set to worsen

The doctors could not ascertain the cause of death of Shahzadi Bibi or possibility of her being raped before death while Sawera Hakim was confirmed to have been raped and strangled after the dead bodies of the two Bhara Kahu victims were exhumed on Wednesday. Page 02


Panja Sahib gets ready for Besakhi With the arrival of spring season, the farmers in Punjab enjoy the harvest of their wheat crop. At the same time, the second largest religious festival of Sikhs Besakhi is celebrated in the month of April. Besakhi is a festival which is celebrated every year in the town of Hassanabdal, District Attock, at Gurdwara Panja Sahib. It begins on April 11 and lasts till April 13. Page 05

ImF says easy monetary policy should stay for now Global growth is likely to remain tepid this year and central banks should keep their easy monetary policy in place, the head of the International Monetary Fund said on Wednesday. "Thanks to the actions of policymakers, the economic world no longer looks quite as dangerous as it did six months ago," IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde told the Economic Club of New York Page 09

Nadia Khan unveils her lawn collection 2013 Most popular and globally recognized morning show host Nadia Khan has now unveil her debut lawn collection 2013 entitled as ‘Pahno Mazey Se’. Nadia Khan Lawn collection 2013 Pahno Mazey Se is launched yesterday and the promo ‘Pehno Mazey Se’ is quite perky to attract women. 21 bold and striking designs made to win the heart of every woman. Page 10

tiger roars into masters seeking end to major drought Tiger Woods, favored to win this week's 77th Masters and take his first major title since 2008, says he would have won a couple more Masters crowns the past few years had he putted better. World No. 1 Woods, a 14-time major champion chasing the all-time record of 18 major titles won by Jack Nicklaus, has not won the Masters since taking his fourth in 2005 and has not won any major since the 2008 US Open. Page 11

Mounting circular debt said to be the cause Power theft and unpaid bills cited as culprits


cJP hints at probing Balochistan ‘uplift’ schemes Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry on Wednesday remarked that legislating, not obtaining funds is the job of the elected representatives and the court can assign the National Accountability Bureau to hold investigations into the development projects. Page 04

withdrawal of candidature is April 18. After which, the EC will publish a revised list of candidates on April 19.

RAWALPINDI: Pakistan on Wednesday conducted a successful launch of intermediate range ballistic missile Hatf-IV (Shaheen-1). The missile incorporates a series of improvements and is capable of carrying nuclear and conventional warheads to a range of 900 kilometres.

Sharifs make more inroads in Balochistan

PML-N, BNP agree on seat adjustment 

Shahbaz for addressing Baloch grievances  Mengal says ‘death squads’ still operating QUETTA: Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and Balochistan National Party (BNP) have agreed on seat adjustment in the coming general election. This was announced during a joint press conference by former Punjab CM Mian Nawaz Sharif and BNP chief Sardar Akthar Mengal on Wednesday. Speaking on the occasion, Akhtar Mengal said it seemed difficult to hold free and fair elections under the prevailing conditions in Balochistan. “Conspiracies are being hatched to stop us for participating in the elections,” he said and added that death squads were still operating in Balochistan and people were ‘disappearing’. Mengal said PML-N had presented certain proposals regarding the upcoming elections and a committee had been formed to take decision about seat adjustment. Addressing the press conference, the PML-N leader said that Balochistan was the heart and important part of Pakistan. “PML-N wants to address the grievances of the people of Balochistan” he added. He said that development in Balochistan would bring about prosperity in the whole country. “Several unpleasant

incidents occurred in Balochistan such as murder of Nawab Akbar Bugti and operations which created hatred among the people.” Shahbaz urged Mengal to take part in the elections, saying if there were any grievances of BNP those could be addresses jointly. “It is not the question of certain seats but question of the future of the country,” he said. He said PML-N would talk to the caretaker PM about the reservations of the Balochistan leaders, adding he had come to Quetta to show solidarity with the Baloch leadership. –AGENCIES


reLAted StOrIeS JI-PmL-N talks hit stalemate Pm orders strict security in Balochistan –Page 12

Policeman guarding polio workers shot dead OUR STAFF REPORTER

MARDAN: A policeman was shot dead and another wounded as they escorted a team conducting a polio vaccination campaign. Police officials said two men riding a motorbike opened fire on the two policemen as the vaccination team visited the Parhoti neighborhood area. The policemen were standing outside a home as the female polio workers were inside giving polio drops to children. “The polio team comprising two females and a male remained safe,” officials said. No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attack. In December, gunmen killed at least nine polio workers in separate attacks in different parts of Pakistan. Some Pakistani militants oppose the polio vaccination campaign, accusing health workers of acting as spies for the United States and claiming the vaccine is intended to make Muslim children sterile.

ISLAMABAD: With the beginning of a hot summer, mounting circular debt might force some power plants to shut down in the days ahead, worsening the electricity crisis across the country. Sources in the Water &Power Ministry told The Spokesman that Pakistan Electric Power Company (PEPCO) was to pay Rs 480 billion to fuel and power suppliers. They said thermal power plants are operating at 40 to 50 per centcapacity, which could drop due to held back payments. They also said that Orient, Halmore, Saif, Saphire, Uch and HubcoNarowalplants were shut down due to the circular debt issue. “PEPCO has to pay Rs 300 billion to Independent Power Producers (IPPs), which earlier was Rs 200 billion,” IPP Advisory Council Chairman Abdullah Yousuf said. The Senate Standing Committee on Water and Power was informed on Wednesday that there would be no relief from power outages this summer, which would be an average of eight hours at least across the country. Briefing aparliamentary panel presided over by Senator Zahid Khan, Water and Power Additional Secretary ArshadMirza said that financial constraints do not allow RFO fired power plants to be run at full capacity.He said the electricity subsidy would reach Rs 291 billion by end June against allocation of Rs 185 billion this financial year and a special bailout package of Rs 20 billion was approved by Prime Minister Mir Hazar Khan Khoso, but added that the government cannot afford financial bleeding for an unlimited time. He argued that Pakistan was going against international practices with respect to energy production, as no substantial hydro electric project had been started after the Ghazi BrothaHydropwer Project.“We have to reset our priorities and

concentrate on coal as the developing countries are giving preference to coal fired power plants. ADB has already offered financing for two blended coal thermal power plants,” he added. He apprised the committee that about 9200 MW electricity was being produced while the shortfall was 3400 MW, however line losses and technical faults had reduced distribution by 1800 MW.He said that electricity failures (erroneously called load shedding) would be controlled following the release of Rs. 20 billion by the PM to private companies. Mualana Abdul Ghafoor Haidri was annoyed and said Balochistan was being given less than 350 MW of electricity even though its share was 700 MW.Mirza assured him that Balochistan would be supplied up to 500 MW in the next three days and further improvements would be gradual. WAPDA'schief engineer from Lahore informed the meeting that out of the total production 21% was specified for Lahore Division, however it received only half of this. Senator Gul Muhammad Lot suggested that electricity should be provided to industry and the rich at full cost recovery. He argued that a short-term plan beput to the committee at its next meeting and the Ministry of Water and Power should take all appropriate steps to recover outstanding bills without fear, in the presence of a caretaker set up. “Brief us on your priorities at the next meeting, we will do what we can to provide relief to the people,” he said.Senator Zahid Khan said the price of electricity is already high so tariff should not be increased. Meanwhile, Senate Standing Committee on Rules and Regulations was informed that Senator Mukhtar Ahmad Dhamara restored power to electricity bill defaulters from Kandkot by coercing WAPDA officials. The senate committee met under its chairman Col Tahir Mashdi (Retd) on Wednesday in Parliament House.

Healing Swat by reviving Gandhara Art SYED FAKHAR KAKAKHEL PESHAWAR: While in Myanmar some Buddhists are engaged in the genocide of Muslims, 486 km from Islamabad in Swat, 24-year old Mohammad Yusuf is preserving the heritage of the ancient Buddhist Gandhara civilisation, using his art to promote peace. Mohammad Yusuf is a gifted sculptor from Odi Gram. He discovered his calling when he was just seventeen. ‘I was in Swat when the militants started destroying schools and cultural hubs. I heard of

militants blowing Buddha’s 20 ft high carving in 2005 at Jehanabad. I secretly visited the site and wept there for a long time. I brought home a piece of stone from the site. For eighteen days I worked on it and produced a replica of the Buddha. I felt so satisfied.’ He recalls the Taliban era in Swat, once known as one of the best tourist destinations in the region. ‘In no time the valley was in the grip of militants. Even our mothers and sisters had started supporting them due to their ignorance. As I was exploring the Gandhara civilisation, I felt insecure even at home. I feared that if my family members found out about my interest, they would stop me or may tell the Taliban who considered sculptures as idols.

But I continued my work secretly and kept my replicas in a hidden place on the roof.’ He narrated the incident when a villager Shahid was to be punished with death for making a replica of a Stupa. ‘Shahid was spared after paying a fine of Rs 0.2 million rupees and he left his work. I buried all my replicas, left the valley and shifted to Peshawar where I graduated in arts from the University of Peshawar. There is no sculptor in the faculty there so I had to be my own teacher.’ Till now he has produced hundreds of sculptures of Buddha and artefacts from the Gandhara civilisation using the same rocks that were used almost 2000 years ago. ‘Gandhara was a peaceful civilisation. I haven’t found any carving which depicts a violent

scene, or even a weapon. When I heard about the happenings in Myanmar, I thought that those responsible could not be Buddhists.’ When I asked him about the future of his valley he said with a smile, ‘I don’t think that the situation is all that bad. I have full trust in my State.

Being a Pashtun, I will stay on my soil. I own it, I own Gandhara. I am the defender of it and every inch of my home and heritage. This art is my message to the Taliban in Afghanistan who blew up Bamyan’s Buddha and also the Taliban in Pakistan.’ He concluded.


Failing agro farm owners land in trouble 

Final seven-day deadline issued for owners to come to terms


ISLAMABAD: In pursuance of Supreme Court’s directions, the Capital Development Authority has issued final show-cause notices to owners of the agro farms who have failed to meet the terms and conditions of their allotments. These agro farms would be cancelled after a seven-day deadline if their owners could not comply with the terms and conditions. A decision to this effect was taken at a meeting chaired by CDA Chairman Syed

Tahir Shahbaz. The meeting earlier reviewed the progress on the ongoing operation against the violators. Tahir Shahbaz directed the formations concerned of the authority to issue a seven-day ‘final show-cause notices’ to the owners who have violated the CDA by-laws and cancel their allotments who do not comply with the terms and conditions. The agro farm houses had been allotted for the cultivation of fruit, vegetable and poultry purposes. He directed CDA Magistrate to recover fine from the violators with immediate effect

whose cases for recovery of fine are under process. To discourage wedding ceremonies at the agro farms, the CDA chairman directed for establishment of proper and effective monitoring system to keep vigilance on such functions. He directed the Estate Management Wing to review the terms and conditions of allotment of agro farms for strict implementation. On this occasion, the chairman was apprised that in cases of non-development, a recovery of Rs.2 million on account of fine has been recovered from the owners of agro farms,

demolition of these structures. He also directed officials to bring up recommendations for reduction in the 12,500 square-foot of covered area on agro farms along with recommendations for basements for the purpose of construction of cold storage facility, in next meeting of the CDA Board. The CDA chairman also directed Member Planning and Design Syed Mustafain Kazmi to identify and plan marriage lawns at appropriate locations in different sectors convenient to general public, which would be offered for open auction.

while earlier, in case of fine against the illegal construction on the agro farms, Rs.17 million has been recovered. He was informed that a committee comprising of Building Control, Enforcement Directorate and CDA Magistrate has been constituted for carrying out operations against the violators of building bylaws, however, some of them have agreed for demolition of illegal structures at their own. Syed Tahir Shahbaz urged the concerned formations that if the owners show reluctance in demolishing of their illegal structures till Monday, then, carry out the operation for

Abduction turns out to be love marriage

Body remains unclaimed at PIMS ISL AMABAD: A man, aged 35 years, was on Wednesday found unconscious on a footpath in Chakk Shahzad. Later he died while being shifted to Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences, police and rescue sources said. The police spokesperson confirmed that an unidentified man was found unconscious and a pedestrian had informed them about the man. At PIMS he died after struggling for life for almost one hour. The doctor on duty told The Spokesman that there were no wounds on his body. No one has as yet claimed the body. On the other hand, the Shahzad Town police have pleaded ignorance about the issue. STAFF REPORT


10-day annual folk festival from Friday I SLAM ABAD: Lok Virsa, National Institute of Folk & Traditional Heritage, Ministry of National Heritage & Integration, has announced to hold its annual folk festival, popularly known as Lok Mela from April 12 to April 21 at its complex situated here at Garden Avenue in Shakarparian. Lok Virsa Executive Director Khalid Javaid said that the festival would open formally on Friday at evening with a prestigious inaugural ceremony to be graced by Federal Minister for Religious Affairs, National Harmony, National Regulation & Services, National Heritage & Integration Shahzada Jamal Nazir. Started in the year 1982, this unique event has become a symbol of the federation’s recognition and patronage to rich cultural diversity with the active participation of the people. The festival would features artisans-atwork exhibition, provincial cultural pavilions, folkloric song & dance ensembles, rural musicians, public and development organisations, general assembly of craftspeople, traditional cuisine, exotic craft bazaar, inaugural & award ceremonies and many other attractions.ONLINE

Rain turns weather pleasant in capital ISLAMABAD: Light rain in most parts of the country including Islamabad, Lahore and Faisalabad turned weather pleasant. Rain coupled with strong winds lashed Faisalabad and Lahore, while Islamabad also received light rain on early Wednesday morning. Pakistan Meteorological Department forecasted more rains in most areas during the next 12-hours. ONLINE

Govt to bear Reshma’s treatment expenses ISLAMABAD: President Asif Ali Zardari on Wednesday said that the federal government would bear all expenses incurred on medical treatment of legendry folk singer Reshma, who is undergoing treatment at a hospital in Lahore. Lauding the invaluable contributions of the legend in promoting culture and music, President Zardari said that Reshma through her folk singing introduced the rich culture of Pakistan throughout the world. The government values Reshma’s contribution and would do its utmost for her medical treatment, he said. ONLINE

An elderly woman and a child carrying firewood on their heads, head for home. THE SPOKESMAN

Doctors learn nothing new as rape victim Shahzadi exhumed 

Second Bhara Kahu victim Sawera Hakim confirmed raped


ISLAMABAD: The doctors could not ascertain the cause of death of Shahzadi Bibi or possibility of her being raped before death while Sawera Hakim was confirmed to have been raped and strangled after the dead bodies of the two Bhara Kahu victims were exhumed on Wednesday. The medical team from Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences, including Dr. Nasreen Butt and Dr. Naseer, monitored the exhumation process at a graveyard and collected samples of the dead bodies. Dr. Nasreen Butt, a member of the medical team and Medico Legal Officer at PIMS who had also conducted post mortem of Shahazdi Bibi, while speaking to The Spokesman said, “The cause of death and possibility of rape could not be confirmed as Shahzadi’s corpse was not in a state to be verified the same.” “The dead body was completely burned by her murderer(s). It was also charcoaled internally due to burns and the same made it difficult for us [doctors] to examine the body,”

the lady doctor said. “However the medical team has collected samples from different parts of her body, which will be sent to a forensic lab in Lahore for further tests.” She added, “I have already stated at the time of her post mortem that her charcoaled body is difficult to examine and to ascertain whether she was raped or not. Her DNA samples taken during the postmortem are also not enough to confirm that whether she was burned alive or after her death. After a lapse of almost two months of her death, it has become complicated for the doctors to examine her as her dead body has been more decayed,” Dr. Nasreen added. On the other hand, the dead body of Sawera Hakim, the deceased daughter of a police superintendent and the second victim of Bhara Kahu case, was also exhumed on Tuesday by the same medical team under the supervision of Bhara Kahu police. Dr. Naseer who monitored the exhumation told The Spokesman that the dead body had decayed after five months of her burial; however the

medical team collected samples from the dead body. “The team collected some evidence from the dead body of Sawera Hakim to confirm her death cause. The dead body was having some marks on her neck which indicates that she may have died due to strangulation. The initial report and the body samples also reveals that the deceased was also raped,” Dr. Naseer said. He said the initial report of both exhumations will be submitted to the police on Thursday. The deputy commissioner of Islamabad Amir Ali Ahmed on Saturday 23rd March allowed the capital police to exhume the dead body of Shahzadi Bibi aged 11 years who was murdered on 15th February 2013, and Sawera Hakim aged 18, murdered on 4th November 2012. The capital police have already arrested two accused namely Ibrar Qazi and Zahra Mehek for raping and murdering Shahzadi and Sawera. The couple during the investigation not only confessed to the murders, but also revealed that three more girls were raped by Ibrar Qazi with the assistance of Zahra Mehek.

I SLAMABAD: A girl allegedly abducted from Mirabheri area on Wednesday submitted a certificate that she has married her ‘abductor’. However her family accused the police of assisting the couple in their marriage by delaying their arrest. On Tuesday, the Shalimar police had lodged an FIR against five men on the complaint of Muhammad Mushtaq, who alleged that they have abducted his niece. Mushtaq in his complaint had stated that On April 9 “I woke up at 3 am and found my niece, Sumaiyya Bibi, missing from our house. In the morning, we also found Rs 50,000 cash and some jewellery missing”. He further stated in the FIR that accused Mamrez Ali along with his father Ali Shan and brothers Khan Muhammad, Amjad and Javed has abducted Sumaiyya. The police after lodging the FIR received a marriage certificate of Mumrez and Sumaiyya on the same day. The date of marriage was Tuesday. ASI and investigating officer Ashfaq Ahmed Warraich told The Spokesman, “Sumaiyya was not abducted. She actually ran away with Mumrez. The couple after fleeing their homes married in a court and sent us their marriage certificate. “The FIR against them will be cancelled when Sumaiyya presents herself in a court,” the cops said. He further said that according to the investigation, Sumaiyya’s mother also assisted her in her escape from home, however Sumaiyya in her written statement attached with her marriage certificate stated that she did not take any money or jewelry with her. On the other hand, Muhammad Mushtaq, uncle of Sumaiyya Bibi and applicant of the FIR, when contacted, told The Spokesman that the police assisted the couple by delaying their arrest and providing then enough time to get married, instead of supporting the applicant family. “It seems we should have followed any step to catch the couple instead of reporting ito police as the police also supported the couple.”

No plots for those on secondment SALMAN ABBAS

ISLAM ABAD: In a major blow to officials working on secondment in Capital Development Authority, the Islamabad High Court on Wednesday restrained the civic authority from allotting plots to them. Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddique was hearing the case filed by the Former CDA Officers Association through its counsel Arafat Ahmad Chaudhry. He had challenged the amendment in the CDA Land Disposal Regulation 2005. Ahmad pleaded before the court that government servants enjoying good relations with influential personalities always tried to get postings in the CDA for plots. He said that by amending the Land Disposal Regulation 2005, the CDA had made all these deputees eligible to get plots, which was a great injustice with the regular employees of the authority. Many officials working on deputation also

found involved in adopting illegal ways just for getting plots. On June 21, 2012, some officials also issued allotment letters to 109 officials by violating all the laws. A large number of deputees were also included the list of 109 officials who tried to get plots in violation of rules. The IHC also declared the balloting of June 2012 as illegal and directed the CDA to form a seniority wise list for allotment of plots to regular employees of the authority. The petitioners submitted that the CDA employee become eligible of getting plot after ten years of service whereas the officials working on deputation can get same facility just after one year. They requested the court to restrain the authority from allotting plots to the officials working on deputation in future and also to cancel the already issued offer letters to deputees. After hearing the arguments, the court declared the deputees ineligible of plot allotments.

Traders protesting in Blue Area, lead by Capital Founder Group President Nadeem Mansoor. THE SPOKESMAN

Two gangs busted, currency, wine seized

German Ambassador Dr Cyrill Nunn meets with Air Chief Marshal Tahir Rafique Butt at Air Headquarters. They discussed matters of mutual interest. They also exchanged souvenirs. THE SPOKESMAN

ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad Police have busted two gangs of criminals and also arrested two proclaimed offenders besides recovery of 15 snatched mobile phones, eight pistols along with 200 cartridges, 271 wine bottles and 48 cans of beer from their possession, a police spokesman said. SP Investigation Mustansar Feroz constituted special teams of officials of the Crime Investigation Agency to launch crackdown against the absconders involved in different crime. A team being supervised by DSP Zubair Ahmed Shaikh arrested an Afghan national Abdul Rauf wanted to police in dacoity, theft and street crime at Shalimar, Margalla, Golra and Industrial areas. Muzammil Abbassi, another proclaimed


offender, was also arrested for his involvement in dacoity and other theft cases in Islamabad. Six other outlaws involved in dacoity and theft cases were also arrested by this team who have been identified as Shahbaz Masih, Babar Iqbal, Kamran, Khalil Munir, Ilyas and Asif Masih besides recovery of 14 snatched mobile phones, two pistols, 48 cans of beer and 48 wine bottles from them. Sub-Inspector Habibur Rehman and Mansha Hussain from the Shahzad Town police station arrested a gangster Akram involved in bootlegging activities and recovered 220 wine bottles from his vehicle. Investigation is underway from him to arrest his other accomplices involved in selling of wine.ASI Muhammad Azam Khan busted a gang of

fraudsters identified as Yaseen, Aqib Ejaz and Abdul Basit and recovered fake currency worth Rs 66,000 from their possession. SI Tahir Khan from Aabpara police station nabbed a bootlegger Waseem and recovered four bottles wine from him. ASI Muhammad Ishfaq from Secretariat police station arrested a thief Qasir Abbas. SI Ghulam Muhammad Shah from Bhara Kahu police station nabbed Zafran and recovered stolen property from him. SI Mansoor arrested Adeel Ahmed and recovered 450-gram heroin from him. The police in different areas also nabbed criminal and recovered looted items from their possessions. Cases have been registered against these nabbed persons and further investigation is underway. ONLINE




Shahbaz Sharif visits Quetta for latest alliances with ʻelectablesʼ 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


Aleem Khan̶the ugly face of PTI

mran Khan seems to have failed the crucial candidate selection test by giving a ticket to Aleem Khan. Yes, Imran may have given majority of his seats to the “pious” but it will be this one seat that will be bandied about by his critics. Aleem Khan, we are told, is the decisive factor in Lahore. He has been given ticket NA 127, which falls in Kot Lakhpat but he is also contesting from a provincial seat in Defence. Not only that, he has been a major influence in the selection of tickets in Lahore. This can be detrimental for the PTI as Lahore remains the nerve centre of the political battle. The contest has come down to one major factor: Anybody who wins in Lahore and the central Punjab makes the government in Islamabad. And it is in Lahore that Imran seems errant in his political decision making. Many say that giving Mahmoodur Rashid the ticket in the posh Gulberg area may be another mistake. A former Jamaat member may not click with a largely liberal constituency. Still others criticize the allotment of ticket in the walled city seat of NA 119 to an outsider Mohammad Khan Madni. Imran is more focused on Khyber Pashtunkwa and northern Punjab while ignoring the rural Punjab, which may have the biggest concentration of votes and seats. This is akin to focusing on Istanbul and Jakarta while ignoring Mecca. But his biggest battle is in urban areas, particularly Lahore, where he is found deficient in decision-making. Even Hamid Khan, who contests from Defence, is also under fire for defending Malik Riaz in the courts. Now, he is also defending PPP’s Asif Hashmi. This gives credence to the allegation that it’s all just a farce. Asif Hashmi is the crude face of the PPP—as much as Aleem Khan is of the PTI. So where is the “Naya Pakistan?”


PML-N strategy nears completion AZEEM KHAN hey say actions speak louder than words. In that case Shahbaz Sharifs’ courting spree in Balochistan on Wednesday screams that Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) does not believe its own rhetoric about having won hearts and minds all over Pakistan due to their supposedly magnificent governance in Punjab. A look at the past few months reveals that the party has little faith in the leadership qualities of its leadership. Yesterday the younger Sharif went to Quetta and apparently whispered sweet (seat) nothings in Balochistan National Party (BNP) chief Akhtar Mengal’s ear. They confronted the press hand in hand (metaphorically), reaching an agreement regarding seat adjustments in Balochistan. Sharif was then reported having met Talal Bugti, the son of slain former Baloch leader Nawab Akbar Bugti, and head of Jamhuri Watan Party. The race for seat adjustments seems to be led by PML-N. On March 14 the party inducted Sheikh Waqas Akram from PML-Q, just days after he openly condemned PML-N for their alleged alliance with LSWJ, the political wing of Lashkare-Jhangvi, responsible for the brutal killings of Shias in Balochistan and Karachi, as well as being a banned militant outfit. Despite repeated claims by the party denying the seat alliance with LSWJ, the consensus of voices outside of the party seems to be unanimous that there is an electoral alliance with the banned outfit. On March 5, another Baloch leader joined the party. Lashkari Raisani entered the fold along with 22 fellow politicians. PML-N seems to have taken the major political players of Balochistan under its wing. This policy, on paper, seems to be a winning hand, as the province hads an extremely volatile security situation and by getting the players of the province on their side the party


has reduced the need to put considerable effort into campaigning in the region. The party’s flirtations with JUI-F are also aimed at getting a foothold in Balochistan and Khyber Pashtunkhwa, where they are considered to have a presence. All bases are being covered. Hilarity often ensues when political analysts predicate the forming of alliances on having some common ideological ground. In all fairness, though, the analysts may actually be onto something as the ideology is apparently the acquisition of power. Anyone with a vote bank will do, it seems. The treatment of the Like-minded group of the Pakistan Muslim League, led by Arbab Ghulam Rahim and Humayun Akhtar is a classic example of the aforementioned strategy. The Sharifs’ allegedly reneged on their promises to the

party once they had gauged that the standing of Like-minded was nothing substantial. They have also formed a coalition of 11 parties in Sindh, aiming to bring down the Pakistan Peoples’ Party (PPP). This includes Pakistan Muslim League Functional (PML-F), led by Pir Pagara. The Pir had also pledged to support Pakistan Tehreeki-Insaf vice-chairman Shah Mehmood Qureshi; confusing indeed. More confusing is how two separate parties claiming to be Pakistan Muslim League could enter into an alliance! Surely ideological common ground cannot be the case here. With Sindh and Balochistan seemingly covered, Khyber Pashtunkhwa is the one province left where the party does not have a traditional stronghold, except in the Hazara area, where they won 7 out of

Anjum Kiani @AnjumKiani3h

The Pakistani Twitter community was abuzz yesterday with a discussion on the manifesto of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf, with #PTIManifesto being the most popular trend in Pakistan on the social networking website.

#PTIMANIFESTO Pledge 5 Education. Well What can i Say i dont think it was even Included in the Maniifesto. Which Jahil Forgot to add it.

Sherry @CherieDamour_3h

iSupportPTI @iSupportPTI9 Apr

#PTImanifesto is ideal, rather ideal to the level of un-achieveable, specially the time frames given!

Great #PTIManifesto - never saw a manifesto like this before - clearly differentiate #PTI from old parties.

Anjum Kiani @AnjumKiani3h

#PTIManifesto pledge 3 : Corruption Ends in 90 days. Sorry! ur party stayed Silent on Muk Muka for last 6 Months & will do for 90 days too.

Mariyam @EaglesOnrise1h

Hassan Khan NA-125 @hassan_k824h

Tabdeeli Razakar Scheme should first focus on rural areas,ppl there need to be enlighted first of #PTIManifesto

#PTIManifesto , paste it on every corner of your house towns and cities

Mansoor Ali Khan @MansoorGeoNews8h

Dr M. Nauman Shad MD @Dr_naumanshad1h

Imran Khan’s dream by @hidhussain …

#PTIManifesto should include #Pakistan on the following list to become the promised Islamic Welfare State:

Ahmer Murad @AhmerMurad2h

Punjab joined the party and so did two MNAs from PML-Q. Punjab was supposed to be the party’s stronghold. This was where they had launched numerous schemes and where they had supposedly produced such good governance that the masses revered Nawaz Sharif and Shahbaz Sharif. In the former Chief Minister’s own words, PTI would be a very distant second in the polls. The race for electables, though, did not really reflect that belief. In the space of under two months, the race for alliances and electables was undoubtedly won by PML-N. The party has apparently executed a strategy where there is little room for error. Whether it is a successful strategy remains to be seen but one thing is certain; the diligence and meticulousness displayed in executing the strategy has been astoundingly impressive.

9 seats in the 2008 elections. Given their strong performance there it would not be out of the question if not too much attention was paid to this region of KP. On March 4, though, Chairman of Sooba Hazara Tehreek and former PML-Q leader Sardar Mohammad Yusuf was inducted, along with his supporters, including MPA Wajiuzzaman Khan. Again, all bases were being covered, considering the fact that PTI is supposed to be very strong in the province and did not contest the in 2008. Another point worth noting here is that PML-N was not able to fulfill its promise of a separate province for the people of Hazara. Getting the leader of the party fighting for a separate Hazaran state looks like another political masterstroke played by the party. On February 15, 9 PPP MPAs from

Shah Mehmood Qureshi @SMQOfficial9h

30 Days left 2 GE. Talk to at least about 5 voters about #PTIManifesto & convince them to vote 4 #PTI.

PIA and Wapda will be comercialized, loadshedding should be ended in 3 years #PtiManifesto PTI4NayaPakistan @SaadMalik_11h PTIManifesto can be dowloaded from here … #Pakistan

If #PTI can deliver on nothing but devolution of power & development funds to a local level, the country can be transformed. #PTIManifesto

PTI will establish a 150,000 seat call centre to take service calls and facilitate e-gov. This wld generate 250,000 new jobs. #PTIManifesto

The two things that can transform #Pakistan are a clean, committed leadership & devolution of power & funds to local levels. #PTIManifesto

asad shah @asad_552h

Ahmer Murad @AhmerMurad2h

Dr. Shahzad Waseem @dswpti13h

Religious parties fading into obscurity MOHAMMED RIZWAN

LAHORE: The current joke in town is

that Jamaat-i-Islami has asked PMLN to hand them over three national assembly seats from Lahore along with six provincial assembly seats. That is not all. From Punjab JI demanded 30 national and 50 provincial assembly seats. In return, JI has assured the baffled PML-N leadership of its ‘massive vote bank’ that is scattered all over the place. The PML-N team, led by Saad Rafiq excused themselves out of the room and informed its chief Nawaz Sharif of the demands. Sharif, in good Punjabi humour, offered to merge his party into JI. JI political minds are terming it the second Nawaz betrayal. Just before the 2008 elections, a high-level political meeting took place at old Model Town residence that now serves as the PMLN secretariat. The meeting included Qazi Hussain Ahmed, Imran Khan and Mehmood Achakzai among many others. It was held under the banner of APDM and it decided to boycott the general elections because Musharraf was still in uniform and the opposition, that also included Benazir Bhutto, was vociferously demanding the General to change into civvies. After a couple of days, however, BB invited Sharif over dinner at her F-8 residence and both decided to run for elections. Both JI and PTI were left alone on that high moral pedestal and fuming, both opted to stay out of elections. In a stroke the APDM, which was

considered quite a potent force in those days, fizzled out into the thin air leaving PPP and PML-N to share the spoils of the elections. However, one thing was pretty clear. On their own, JI and PTI could not have won anything significant and both the parties were eager to turn APDM into an election alliance. If that had happened, both the parties would surely have demanded

the same number of seats that the JI is demanding from PML-N today. After that dreamy windfall of 2002 elections where the religious alliance led by JI and JUI (F) snared some 60 national seats under the watch of Pervez Musharraf and his spy chief at that time, Ihtisham Zameer, JI and JUI (F) are finding it difficult to wake up to the realities of life. At that time

the elections were stage-managed to show the west and the US that they (the west) has no real alternative to Musharraf and his Junta. However, soon after in the spring of 2008, when Musharraf was still there but barely without his uniform and commanders’ stick, he was reduced to a has been and was in no position to help his traditional religious allies. Exactly

as predicted by many political pundits, the first casualty in the wake of Musharraf abandoning the post was MMA. The alliance was split and JI opted out of general elections. The over-ambitious Maulana from DI Khan, however, stuck to the name and contested the elections on the symbol of Book but he could bag only seven seats throughout the country. The rest

went to the emerging forces of ANP and PPP in NWFP and Balochistan. Today, once again, there seem to be no takers for religious political parties like JI and JUI-F. Both are desperately struggling to stay afloat and it shows. JI yesterday finalized its seatadjustment deal with Dr Qadeer Khan’s party, which has pretty difficult acronyms. Unfortunately, there are no seats to be adjusted and the alliance is a zero-sum game. On the other hand, Maulana Fazlur Rehman is trying hard to secure two seats for himself and his lookalike brother Ataur Rehman. First he wanted some alliance with anyone who might show an interest and now he is confined to his constituency where he is facing the Kundis and an old damsel, Musarrat Shaheen. A talk with PML-N negotiators reveals that the JI lives in a world of its own. Mansoora thinks that in every constituency of the country JI has some 15000-20000 votes. It might have been true in the good ole 80s when religious parties were having state patronage but today the figure looks over-exaggerated. The jihadis and, more importantly, ‘social-jihadis’ like Jamaat ud Dawa have managed to steal a lot of the political capital of mainstream religious parties right from under their nose. The religious political parties today have lost their electoral appeal as the society has drifted towards two extremes – a large majority having sympathy for the Jihadis’ agenda and a small group of liberal middle-class which is shrinking by the day.


Presiding officers to get special cell phones SARGODHA: The Election Commission of Pakistan has decided to provide special cell phones with secret numbers to presiding officers to ensure transparency in the upcoming general election. The ECP sources revealed that the special numbers would be allocated to the presiding officers which will remain completely secret. The ECP will direct the presiding officers that the issued SIMs should only be used to contact ECP officials. The suggestion of providing wireless sets instead of mobiles was also under consideration, because if mobile phone service would remain suspended on Election Day, then contact will only be possible through wireless, the sources said. ONLINE

SC says deception is the issue, not degrees 

Justice Khawaja says degree condition no longer there during upcoming general election

ISLAMABAD: Justice Jawwad S Khawaja of the Supreme Court has remarked that not BA degree but deceit is the issue in the upcoming elections as degree condition stays no more. He gave these remarks while presiding over a two-member Supreme Court bench during the hearing of the fake degree case on Wednesday. Appearing in the court, Higher Education Commission legal adviser Advocate Abdul Rehman said that Maiza Khan had passed matriculation and intermediate

time in connection with the verification of the degree to the chief justice. The court disposed of the petition filed by Maulana Ilyas against the HEC. The HEC informed the court that the Supreme Court had issued orders for the verification of the degrees till April, 5. “But people are still coming to us what should we do,” the lawyer said. Justice Jawwad remarked “you please resort to chief justice bench on this count.” ONLINE

nomination papers. Tell us if returning officer has passed on any order on this count.” Wasim Sajjad said as April 5 was fixed in this regard therefore only copies of certificates and degree have been filed and “we could not file original documents. We would have filed original certificate had more time been allowed to us.” Justice Jawwad remarked this order will be issued by the chief justice as April 5 order was issued by this bench. The court referred the application by Maiza Khan on extension in

without English language. Wasim Sajjad said she has passed the matriculation and intermediate and now BA degree has also been verified. Justice Jawwad Khawaja remarked degree was no more issue in these elections. “Deceit is only the issue,” he said. Wasim Sajjad said original degree has to come from London. “We want time be allowed to us. The objection raised on us is that we have not attached original documents.” Justice Jawwad remarked “you have filed

PPP unveils partial list of candidates for Sindh

WB launches MLARRR centres in Asia ISLAMABAD: The World Bank has launched two national and a regional centres of excellence as part of the Management of Land Acquisition, Resettlement and Rehabilitation programme. The newly-established centres have been funded through the AusAID. The national centres have been established at the University of Punjab in Lahore and the BRAC Development Institute in Bangladesh, and the regional centre at the Administrative Staff College of India. A fourth national centre for Nepal is being developed at the Tribhuvan University. The management of the land acquisition resettlement and rehabilitation programme has been supporting these institutions through course development and training with the aim of fostering more sustainable infrastructure delivery and so. ONLINE

‘Invention to Innovation’ summit inaugurated ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Science Foundation Chairman Prof Dr Manzoor H Soomro has said that collaboration between experienced researchers, eminent scientists and young entrepreneurs can do miracles in scientific advancement to achieve socioeconomic progress. Addressing the inaugural ceremony of a two-day Invention to Innovation Summit-2013, the chairman emphasised the need for forging collaboration among academia, research and development organisations, public sector departments and the industry. Punjab University Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Mujahid Kamran said that all the scientific advancement was only possible through young researchers. He said that Isaac Newton at the age of 24 and Einstein at the age of 26 put forward their theories for which they were well-known today. ONLINE

Cellular phones to go off on election day ISLAMABAD: Interior Ministry is mulling to suspend cellular phone service on May 11, the election day, to ensure security of masses. The government has started consultation with concerned authorities regarding suspension of mobile phone service on the eve of polling for 24 hours, from 7:00 am on 11 May upto next morning. Former interior minister, Rehman Malik suspended mobile service on many occasions that brought fruitful results. AGENCIES

LHC seeks response from trial court on BB case RAWALPINDI: The Lahore High Court’s (LHC) Rawalpindi bench has sought a reply from the trial court regarding separate proceedings of former President Gen (Retd) Pervez Musharraf in the Benazir Bhutto murder case. A single-judge bench comprising Justice Ali Baqir heard the case. Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) prosecutor Chaudhry Zulfiqar said the former president had not appeared even once before the court, despite repeated summons, however the trial has been started anew. He also observed that only 25 witnesses had recorded their statements in the court in the past five years. AGENCIES


KARACHI: A man roaming around the streets of this port city to sell water. ONLINE

CJP hints at investigating Balochistan ‘uplift’ schemes 

Says legislating, not obtaining funds is the job of lawmakers

ISLAMABAD: Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry on Wednesday remarked that legislating, not obtaining funds is the job of the elected representatives and the court can assign the National Accountability Bureau to hold investigations into the development projects. He gave these remarks while presiding over a three-member bench during the hearing of the Balochistan unrest case here on Wednesday. Amanullah Kanrani appeared on behalf of the Balochistan government while Iftikhar Gilani and others represented the petitioner. The court expressed dissatisfaction over the report with regard to development funds for Balochistan presented in the court. Iftikhar Gilani took the plea that these all development schemes were of individual nature. Justice Gulzar questioned was the law not kept in view while awarding the contract. Justice Azmat Saeed observed that criminal negligence has been committed in the province as per report of the Balochistan officer. “We have filed the report. Whosoever is involved be proceeded against,” Iftikhar Gilani said. The chief justice inquired

how the development schemes were allocated to elected representatives. Iftikhar Gilani said that parliamentarians use the funds on their own instead of the institutions in most of the projects. The chief justice remarked people of Balochistan were suffering from sense of deprivation, therefore, the situation was not better in the province. He said that public deprivations were root cause of ills in Balochistan. Iftikhar Gilani said billion of rupees were being embezzled. “This is opportune time that government controls the situation before the installation of next government and the court should assist it,” he said. Justice Azmat remarked this practice was started since (General) Zia’s rule after 1985. “List of the persons be provided to us against whom the action has been initiated on misuse of funds,” he said. The chief justice remarked that there were only a few persons who were enjoying. “Where is the amount provided under NFC award has gone. No drinking water and medicine is available to people of Balochistan,” he said. “Only money matters in Balochistan for all,” he said.

Balochistan should be more developed province than others on the basis of quantum of money which is provided to it under the development fund. Iftikhar Gilani said cost of construction of a road has reached the figure of 11 billion rupees. “NAB is investigating this matter,” he said. Additional advocate general said that the Balochistan government had imposed ban on the project that the job will be done by one to whom it has been assigned. “Tell the court wherefrom funds are released to members of parliament as per constitution. Who released these funds,” the chief justice asked the additional advocate general. Amanullah Kanrani said amount was earmarked in the budget on this count. “Share is given to MPA too,” he said. The chief justice observed that “tell us as per rules of business. MPAs should only inform about projects related to their respective constituencies and funds be not given to them.” Justice Azmat Saeed remarked that ministers have shifted all development schemes to their respective constituencies. Development works be got done but distribution of funds be made equitably, he said. ONLINE

Governor Mahmud, CM Sethi meet Zardari, discuss elections in Punjab ISLAMABAD: President Asif Ali Zardari on Wednesday urged the Punjab government to take every possible step to ensure holding of a free, fair and transparent general election in the province. Talking to Punjab Governor Makhdum Ahmed Mahmud and Chief Minister Najam Sethi here at the Aiwan-e-Sadr, the president expressed the hope that they would rise to the expectations of the people in this regard. Both the governor and the chief minister apprised the president of the various steps being taken to ensure free, fair and transparent elections in the province. The president was also briefed on law and order situation and overall situation in the Punjab province. President Zardari also hosted a lunch in honour of the governor and the caretaker chief minister. Later, addressing the passing out ceremony of 40th Common Training Programme of probationers at the Civil Services Academy in Lahore on Wednesday, Punjab Chief Minister

Najam Sethi called upon the government servants to adopt the motto of service to the people, keep the doors of their offices open for the people and take priority-based steps to redress grievances of the suffering humanity. He held the bureaucracy as crucial for progress, prosperity since it played a fundamental role in running state’s administrative affairs. He said that the government officers cannot serve the people by just sitting in their air-conditioned rooms and they should step into the field to ensure redress of genuine grievances of the masses. “A good administration is the one which delivers,” he expressed, stressing upon the government servants to play their effective role in promotion of good governance besides exercising their powers in a responsible manner for the service of the people. Addressing the ceremony, Chief Minister Najam Sethi said that Civil Services Academy was playing it’s vital role in providing training to officers in various fields, who, after completing their training,

would effectively serve in different sectors. He called upon probationers to establish glorious examples of honesty, trustworthiness and public service after completing their training, besides shunning corruption. He said the people faced tough situation and being deprived, did not get justice and their problems were not resolved. He said it was responsibility of the government servants to ease the difficulties of exploited people, improve their standard of living and resolve their problems. He said the government officers had to play role in elimination of poverty, besides removing difficulties, stressing that all the servants should discharge their responsibilities with honesty and impartiality. He said that, after completing their training, new government officers would definitely face a difficult situation, but they must establish shining examples of service, honesty, trust and public service, as they play a crucial role in forging national integrity. ONLINE

KARACHI: Pakistan People’s Party continues to be indecisive in connection with awarding party tickets, as it only announced names of a few candidates Wednesday for Sindh for the upcoming general elections. Ayaz Somro, Faryal Talpur, Eijaz Jakhrani, Azra Afzal Pechuhu and Makhdoom Amin Fahim have been nominated for national assembly seats, while Sharjeel Inaam Memon and Ahsan Mirza, son of Zulfiqar Mirza, have been named as PPP candidates for provincial assembly seats. Addressing a press conference here in Karachi, president PPP Sindh Qaim Ali Shah announced the party candidates. PPP candidates for National Assembly seats are: Ayaz Somro (NA-204: Larkana), Faryal Talpur (NA-207), Eijaz Jakhrani (NA-208 Jacobabad-I), Mir Hazar Khan Bajrani (NA-209), Ehsan ur Rehman Mazari (NA-210 Kashmor), Azra Afzal Pechuhu (NA-213), Syed Ghulam Mustufa Shah (NA-214 Nawabshah), Nawab Wasan (NA-215 Khairpur-I), Sadiq Muhammad (NA-216 Khairpur-II), Makhdoom Amin Fahim (NA-218), Ali Mohammad Sehto (NA-219 Hyderabad), Sagheer Ahmed Qureshi (NA-220 Tando Illahyar), Naveed Qamar (NA-222), Abdul Sattar Bachani (NA-223), Sardar Kamal Khan Chang (NA-224 Badin), Yousuf Talpur (NA-228 Umerkot), Sher Muhammad (NA-229 Thar parker), Syed noor Muhammad Shah (NA-230 Thar parker), and Malik Asad Sikander (NA-231Jamshoro). PPP candidates for provincial assembly are: Ghulam Qadir Chandio (PS-27), Manzoor Wasan (PS-32), Abdul Jabbar (PS-49), Sharjeel Inaam Memon (PS-50), and Hasnain Mirza (PS-57).

Senate body orders Housing Ministry to replace PWD DG I SL AMABAD: Senate’s Standing Committee on Housing, following accusations regarding massive corruptions by the director general of the Public Works Department, has directed the authorities concerned for the appointment of a new head of the department. The meeting of the committee held on Wednesday under the chairmanship of Shahi Syed. The lawmakers issued orders that the summary of the appointment of a new director general be immediately forwarded to the prime minister. Briefing the committee, the officials said that massive corruption had been carried out in Gujar Khan tehsil of the former prime minister, in which brother and son-in-law of Raja Pervez Ashraf were deeply involved, earning million of rupees in the process. The committee was informed that earlier all transfers and appointments had been carried out after the orders of a former federal minister; over which the committee berated the PWD director general for his ineptness. Chief Engineer Gulab Zameer informed the committee that the ministry was earning quite a bad reputation due to inept and unqualified officials, because countless tenders had been awarded in contravention of regulations. He also said that several illegal appointments had been made during the tenure of former federal minister Faisal Saleh Hayat, while Shah Din Shah was the director general of the department. ONLINE

Roots School System celebrates silver jubilee SHANEL KHALIQ

ISLAMABAD: Group photo on sliver jubilee awards ceremony of Roots International School and College. THE SPOKEMAN

ISLAMABAD. Roots School System celebrated its silver jubilee in a magnificent and colorful ceremony to honor its high achieving students, held at the Convention Centre on Wednesday. Roots School System is a privately run institution that has been in the business of providing quality education to students across many cities of Pakistan. The ceremony recounted the twenty five year long journey that Roots school has travelled, producing a number of talented and accomplished students who have gone further to study in world class universities and colleges. Starting from a small school offering primary education in Harley Street in Pindi it can now

boast of a number of purpose-built campuses across many cities offering undergraduate level education as well. German Ambassador in Pakistan Dr Cyril Jean Nunn while addressing the gathering congratulated the parents of children with outstanding achievements in academics and extracurricular activities. He also praised the Chief Executive Officer Roots School System, Ms. Khadija Mushtaq, for her efforts in establishing the institution and helping it expand tremendously over the years. While highlighting the importance of education in a country’s progress he said that Germany lacks natural resources however it has made its place at the international front due to its commitment to learning, knowledge and research.

He also said that for a country like Pakistan which is facing several challenges, education can play a key role in helping it surface as a strong international power. He applauded the focus of Roots School System on culture, arts and creativity too apart from emphasizing core subjects such as science and mathematics. The school can today proudly boast of a number of high achieving students. Many of these students graduating from the A’levels programme came on stage and highlighted their experience of studying at Roots School and how the mentoring of their teachers and the school administration helped them achieve their goals. One of the high achieving students Aun Zaidi who passed out this year has been accepted by five Ivy League universities on scholarship.


Village school increases enrolment with modern facilities G UJ RANWALA: US Consul General Nina M Fite on Wednesday inaugurated new school facilities at Sohail Bin Sadiq Model School in village Herpoki, Gujranwala. These facilities were constructed with a $100,000 grant from the US Ambassador’s Fund programme. “Education is central to improving lives and building economic prosperity. I am very glad to have been able to partner with Friends Development Organization to increase the opportunities for the children of Herpoki village to receive a quality education,” said Consul General Fite. With support from the US Ambassador’s Fund programme, the Sohail Bin Sadiq Model School was able to construct seventeen new classrooms, a science lab, a computer lab, a cafeteria, principal and staff rooms, and other

Man shot dead for honour in Mirpur MIRPUR (A JK): A man became the latest victim of honour as he was shot dead in the town on late Tuesday night. The victim, Abbas Ali, was shot three times. He was a worker at a local poultry farm. The news of brutal killing is felt sorrow and grief across the town. Police arrested the two killers before his funeral. The two suspects - Rashid and Babar who are cousins of the victim - admitted committing the crime. Rashid told police that Abbas had developed illicit relations with his sister and he stopped him several times but he didn't heed to his advice. The previous night, he returned home late and found Abbas there. “He ran away from the spot but we chased him and killed him,” the accused added. –STAFF REPORT

Man throws acid on wife, children KARACHI: A man threw acid on his wife and three children at Nusrat Bhutto Colony in Karachi. According to police, Asghar Ali, in collaboration with his nephews, poured acid on his wife and three innocent children and fled the scene. The victims were rushed to the Civil Hospital, where the condition of Ali’s wife is said to be very critical while her children Husnain, Waqas and Ahmed - have been discharged. The incident is a result of a dispute involving Watta Satta (exchanging brides between two families), children’s uncle told police. The accused, he said, escaped after the assault. –ONLINE

Girl commits suicide over harassment

improvements. The grant also provided new furnishings such as ceiling fans and desks. Prior to the construction, students at the crowded Sohail bin Sadiq Model School often had to hold classes out in the open, enduring bad weather and distractions. Modern facilities for computer and science classes were not available. Since the school was rehabilitated, students have enthusiastically embraced science and computer studies and overall enrolment has increased from 595 to 707 students. “Convincing my parents to continue my education was a great challenge, as they did not allow me to travel outside our village for higher classes. Now with the extension of our school, I am able to continue my education,” said Faiza Rani, a student at Sohail Bin Sadiq Model School.

US assistance helped 11,417 eye patients MANDRA: American Ambassador Richard Olson on Wednesday visited one of the largest providers of eye surgery in Pakistan at the Layton Rahmatullah Benevolent Trust (LRBT) hospital in Mandra, Punjab, to commemorate World Health Day. The LRBT is the recipient of a grant from the US Agency for International Development (USAID)’s Small Grants Programme, which has funded surgeries for 11,417 Pakistani women at LRBT. The initiative targeted those who are unable to afford treatment for cataracts and other eye ailments. In the past year, USAID has worked with LRBT to fund surgeries at six hospitals throughout Pakistan, located in Akora Khattak, Mansehra, Khanewal, Mandra, Lar, and Rashidabad. “LRBT’s success over the past year is an excellent example of how our countries can work together to address difficult, health-related challenges. USAID’s small grants are used to augment the efforts of Pakistani organizations throughout the country, and I’m pleased we were able to work with LRBT to improve the lives of so many Pakistani women,” the US ambassador said. At the event, the Ambassador toured the hospital, witnessed the use of the latest technologies to conduct surgeries, and heard directly from women who had received USAID-funded surgery about how their lives had been transformed by renewed vision. USAID’s five-year, $25 million Small Grants Programme provides opportunities for Pakistani NGOs, civil-society groups, private-sector organizations, and communities to apply for and receive funding assistance for small-to medium-sized projects that will help to increase jobs, improve educational opportunities, and increase energy resources. To date, USAID has awarded 43 grants totalling $10.5 million under the Small Grants Programme to innovative initiatives in energy, education, adult literacy, and economic policy. –ONLINE The US government is building or rehabilitating 850 schools in Pakistan, which is just one part of the United States’ comprehensive

education assistance program. Through the USAID basic education programme, the US government is helping 3.2 million

RAWALPINDI: As many as five prisoners of Adiala Central Jail have contracted HIV AIDS and treatment is being provided to them under Punjab Aids Control Programme (PACP) Lahore. Sources said a foreigner woman, stated to be national of an African country, was amongst these five prisoners. PACP has decided to impart training on HIV AIDS treatment to paramedical staff deployed in six prisons in Rawalpindi region. Two staffers from each prison have been selected in this regard. HIV kits will be provided to medical staff too. –ONLINE

Judicial body hears cases of 18 missing persons QUETTA: A judicial commission for the recovery of the missing persons heard the cases of missing persons from Balochistan in Quetta on Wednesday. Justice (r) Javed Iqbal is heading the commission, which heard the cases of 18 missing persons. The hearing of the cases will remain continued till 12th of this month‚ during this period 32 more cases will be heard. The commission said if anyone has reservation about the missing persons he should appear before the commission along with complete particulars of the missing person. –ONLINE

at over 100 teacher colleges and universities and operating the largest Fulbright academic exchange programme in the world. –ONLINE

Tough competition in NA-36 Mohmand 43 candidates in the race for NA-36 29 of them are independent and 14 ticket holders FAUZEE KHAN MOHMAND

G H AL ANAI : Tough competition is expected on NA-36 Mohmand Agency Tribal Area-I as 43 candidates, including former member National Assembly Malik Bilal Rehman and his father Nawabzada Malik Abdur Rehman alias (Reman) as independent candidate, have filed papers for the seat. The other candidates who will contest elections against Malik Bilal Rehman are Dr Farooq Afzal of PPP, Ex-MNA Maulana Ghulam Muhammad Sadiq of JUI-F, Muhammad Saeed Khan of JI, Malik Zar Khan Safi of PML-N and Malik Dawood, Sajid Khan, Fakhre-Alam and Rahim Shah Khan of PTI. Some independent candidates - like Abdul Waheed Safi, Nisar Mohmand, Malik Safdar Musa Khel, Abdul Waheed Khan, Maulana Amirullah Junaidi, Maulana Samiullah and Abid Shah - are also in the run. All the candidates belonging to the main political parties are sure that they will win the elections. It is pertinent to mention that about five members of Malik Bilal Rehman family have submitted their nomination papers for NA-36 Mohmand Agency which included Malik Bilal Rehman, His father Malik Abdur Rehman, his uncle who is against former senator Malik Abdul Wahid, his cousin Malik Dawood Khan and his uncle Malik Fazle Hadi. Malik Bilal Rehman's position is strong because he has a large vote

bank in this constituency and he has also done a great deal of development work, including the up gradation of Ghalanai Grid Station, 2700 dug wells in all agency, upgradation of 12 schools in Mohmand agency, constructions of five basic hospitals, several links roads in the far flung areas of Ambar, Pandiali, Prang Ghar and Haleemzai, construction of Khewezai Grid station and other small and big projects during his tenure. Tribal elders and educated people of the constituency have also decided to vote for him and have him elected so that he can complete the pending projects of the area. There are total 179,304 voters in the area out of which 119,259 are male and 60,045 female. According to the Election Commission officials, 50 candidates have submitted their papers in which 43 were accepted while the remaining 7 were rejected by the ECP. There are 107 polling stations in the area in which 34 for female and the remaining for males. 19 polling stations will be established in Safi tehsil, five in Khewezai, 14 in Baizai, 19 in Haleemzai, 22 in Pandilai, 11 in Ambar, 12 in Ekkaghound and five in Tehsil Prang Ghar. This year, 29 independent candidates are contesting the election while 14 political parties’ candidates are in the race. In 2008 general election, there was 23 per cent turnout in Mohmand, but it may increase this time around after the extension of the Political Parties Order.

HARIPUR: A young girl has committed suicide in examination hall after reportedly being harassed by a youth on Wednesday. According to media reports, police said the girl, student of ninth class, had left a written message for her mother on her hand, expressing sorrow over her decision, and a cell phone number on her other hand. Police suspects the cell phone number belongs to the youth involved in the harassment. Further probe was underway to ascertain as to where from the girl got the firearm. –ONLINE

Five Adiala prisoners contract HIV AIDS

children to read at or above grade level over the next five years. The United States is also launching new degree programmes in education

PESHAWAR: A man preparing traditional sandals called Peshawari chappals. –ONLINE

FAISALABAD: Demand for mosquito nets is on the rise as summer sets in. The fear caused by dengue is also forcing people to adopt precautionary measures. –ONLINE

No clue to missing former AG QUET TA: Despite Caretaker Chief Minister Nawab Ghaus Bakhsh Barozai having taken notice of the abduction of former advocate general Salahuddin Mengal, his recovery could not be made so far. As a result, the lawyers continued to boycott the courts much to the inconvenience of the litigants. Balochistan Bar Association General Secretary Attaullah Langov told Private TV that the courts being boycotted in protest against the abduction of senior lawyer Salahuddin Mengal On the other hand, the caretaker CM had taken notice of the kidnapping of Salahuddin Mengal had directed the administration for his immediate recovery, which could not be made so far. The family of the abducted lawyer alleges that the law enforcement agencies are not admitting their failure and indulging in rhetoric only. –ONLINE

JUI-F rejects ‘un-Islamic’ changes in syllabus Party’s former minister says ANP working on an agenda to promote Western culture AMJID ALI

SWABI: Former provincial education Minister Maulana Fazal Ali on Wednesday said that the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUIF) had rejected the changes made in the public sector schools’ curriculum by the former provincial government of Awami National Party (ANP). Addressing a press conference, Fazal Ali said under a wellcalculated strategy, the ANP regime had inserted unwanted changes, especially in the secondary courses before the completion of its constitutional tenure. Flanked by JUI-F candidate from NA-13, Swabi-II, Atta-ulHaq Dervish and other party leaders said that the Voice of God had been replaced with the ‘joint poem’, the Holy Prophet with Helen Killer and Hazrat Umar-e-

Farooq (RA) with Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah. He alleged ANP leaders had been working on the American agenda and it was one of the major demands made by Washington. He said that Hijrate-Nabvi, hamd and naat had been excluded from the 10th class Urdu. He questioned that how the hamd and naat were kept out from the Urdu book. Ali said that the Islamic sections had also been removed from the Pakistan Studies subject of class 10. “Reading both 9th and 10th class English books has made it clear that the philosophy behind these changes is to promote the western culture,” the JUI-F leader said and warned that they would have no option but to launch a full-fledged campaign against the new course if these changes were not reverted.

Panja Sahib gets ready for Besakhi

 Three-day festival starts today More than 3,000 Sikhs from abroad expected to attend the festival RASHID ALI

ATTOCK: With the arrival of spring season, the farmers in Punjab enjoy the harvest of their wheat crop. At the same time, the second largest religious festival of Sikhs Besakhi is celebrated in the month of April. Besakhi is a festival which is celebrated every year in the town of Hassanabdal, District Attock, at Gurdwara Panja Sahib. It begins on April 11 and lasts till April 13. Every year, the followers of Sikhism from every part of the world, particularly from India, come to participate in the religious rituals and prayers. Gurdwara Panja Sahib is regarded as one of the most sacred of places in their religion where the Besakhi festival is celebrated with full zeal and fervour. According to the Sikh tradition, Guru Nanak came to this place for the first time in the month of Besakh (a month of Indian calendar which is based upon seasons) in Hassanabdal along with Mardanaji and stayed under a tree at the same place where Punja Sahib is located today. Whereas in the front on the hillside, a Muslim saint with the name of Baba Qandahari also

lived who, under some pretext, threw a stone towards Guru Nanak which the latter stopped with his own hand. Suddenly, a water stream started flowing at that place. The sign of that hand is still there at Gurdwara Punja Sahib and that is the only reason why even today this Gurdwara (religious place of worship of Sikhs) is known as Punja Sahib. Like every year, this year’s threeday festival of Besakhi is being celebrated with the same zeal and religious sanctity from today (April 11). To participate in this event where Sikhs belonging to all parts of Pakistan will be coming, some 3,000 pilgrims from other parts of the world like India Canada, USA, UK and Australia are specially arriving in Pakistan. The Sikh pilgrims from India will reach the town late Wednesday night. They will stay here for three days and will finally leave on April 13. In the Besakhi festival, the ritual of Bhog is the most vital one and will be celebrated on April 12. During the event, the Sikh pilgrims coming from India will participate in their religious rituals with full religious freedom, whereas stringent security

Gurdawara Panja Sahib in Hassanabad is one of the most sacred places for Sikhs. –STAFF PHOTO arrangements are being made for the DHQ Hospital Attock has been premises of Gurdwara Panja Sahib.In protection of these foreigners. For directed to remain alert, while a team order to facilitate the Sikh pilgrims this purpose, a 1,500-member strong of Rescue 1122 will also be positioned within the vicinity of the Panja Sahib, contingent of police and other law at the site to tackle any eventuality the facility of money exchangers, all enforcers will provide them security for the three-day event. To further branches of the banks, various stalls cover under the leadership of a DSP- strengthen security, special security and mobile easy load facilities will level officer. Moreover, all the staff of passes have been issued to enter also be made available.



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

Remembering Baghdad The “shock and awe” bombing of Iraq started on 20 March 2003 and for all intents and purposes this was the beginning of the invasion. However, Baghdad fell to the Coalition of the Willing on 9 April 2003. The international press has noted that the 10th anniversary of the fall of Baghdad passed quietly in Iraq. This is not surprising. For the Iraqis, the occasion offers no reason to rejoice. During years of occupation, hundreds of thousands of civilians including the elderly, women and children were killed. The infrastructure around the country was destroyed and public services vanished in the air. The democracy built on the ruins of Iraq has polarised its people on sectarian lines. Even before the invasion, more than 500,000 children had reportedly died of malnutrition and lack of medicines due to sanctions imposed by the US and its allies. The suffering of the Iraqi people during four decades of Saddam’s rule pales in comparison with the hell let loose on them by the Coalition of the Willing. What makes it all inexcusable is the fact that the case built for the war on Iraq was steeped in a pack of lies. President Bush, in a speech on 7 October 2002, informed the world about Saddam’s links to Al Qaeda. Propaganda was launched that Saddam Hussain possessed weapons of mass destruction. These charges were not only proved wrong, it was revealed subsequently that the leadership of the “Willing” knew that their pretexts for going to war were cooked up. The US failed to make a case in the United Nations for launching an attack on Iraq, but that did not stop it. The Coalition of the Willing was cobbled together under the US umbrella to invade Iraq. Hiding behind the selectively applied concepts of democracy and human rights, the coalition posed to rescue the Iraqi people from the clutches of a brutal dictator. Iraq and Iraqis are still reaping the poisonous harvest of the devious occupation that followed. Giving lie to the reality on the ground, in an opinion piece in the Washington Post, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has written that the overwhelming majority of Iraqis agree that they are better off today than under Saddam’s brutal dictatorship. This is a cruel joke on his country and people. Iraq was a strong power in the Arab world, thanks to the US and Arab countries that had funded and supported him against Iran and Saddam Hussein’s dictatorship had been acceptable to the US and its allies until he chose to challenge their hegemony. The strategy to build a false case against developing countries that refuse to bow down to the exploitative diktat of the US and its western allies, and then using violence to change their governments is nothing new for them. After Iraq, they followed the same strategy in Libya, and it can be seen at work in Syria today. It is not only the targeted countries and their people who suffer as a result of the violence, destruction and anarchy that follow imperialist interventions. The people of these developed countries pay dearly for the false wars their governments impose on others as well.

A peep into the militant narrative The crop of militants is being raised on a literature that closes all doors to peace. Picking up out-of-context fragments from the Qur’an and books of Hadith, a narrative has been pieced together to fuel perpetual war TAHIR ALI

both in Pakistan and Afghanistan, think the time for this has arrived. Quoting again from jihadi literature, a Hadith is cited that says, ‘Before After remaining for over eleven years doomsday, a person will emerge from in Afghanistan, NATO-led forces are the line of my predecessors whose scheduled to leave the country in name will be like my name 2014. The US claims that it was a “Muhammad” and his father’s name response to Al-Qaeda attacks of 9/11 will also be like my father’s name that the outfit’s chief, Osama Bin “Abdullah”. Some literature claims Laden, had planned from his Afghan that his full name will be Muhammad base. His host, the Afghan Taliban ibn Abdullah, and he will appear at government, was toppled in 2001 and the age of 40, his features described as after 10 years of hunting their “guest”, a high nose, fair complexion, shining OBL was finally eliminated. Without teeth, a thick beard, a scar on his keeping in view the miseries of the cheek, of light weight and medium Afghans, the US has termed its height, his look will be modest and presence in Afghanistan as a will be soft spoken’. successful mission. To further strengthen this belief, the According to some observers, the militants quote another Hadith from withdrawal of NATO-led forces from the book Kanzul Amaal, chapter 14, Afghanistan will bring back the page 264, that says, ‘When you see security situation of Pakistan to black flags emerging from Khurasan, normal, but this is a misconception. join it (the group), as the Mehdi, the Before 9/11, there were few caliph of Allah, is among them’. “sponsored” jihadi outfits but today Another story about Imam Mehdi they exist in dozens. These groups says, ‘Actually, he will belong to Arabia cannot be tamed. Under the but he may be in Afghanistan for jihad philosophy of the “unending holy and when a lashkar (armed force of war”, they will continue their jihad the black- turbaned people) reaches and search for new battlefields. the Gulf, he will be among them’. Pakistan is already under attack by Under this concept, the extremists are these extremist jihadi groups, but of the view that Imam Mehdi is India is likely to be the next country to currently in the region of Afghanistan see the rise of religious militancy. or Pakistan among the Arabs and will India complains about the activities of emerge one day from the ranks of AlLashkar e Tayyeba (LeT) and Jaish e Qaeda. The jihadi literatures also say Muhammad (JeM) and always asks that Allah’s blessings will be on two Pakistan for action against these types of people: first, those who take includes the current Khyber in the first stage, a decisive battle will groups. Even if these groups are part in the battle of Hindustan and Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan in take place in Hindustan and after completely eliminated, India will still second those who will accompany Pakistan. Presently, all militant and vanquishing the enemy, the likely to face the music because it is extremist organisations are of the view Jesus. The jihadists quote another mujahedeen will go forward to join not just these two organisations but hadith in the book Nisaye, ‘Among my that the black flags refer to the Alalmost all jihadi outfits desire to fight hands with Christ’s army on Arabian followers there will be two parties Qaeda and Taliban and thus the soil. Such jihadi literature points out in India, as their literature terms which will never be sent to hell, one mujahedeen have emerged in that the time is near for the Taliban jihad on Indian soil as a superior one Khurasan, or Afghanistan, tribal areas group which will fight the battle of and the fighters taking part in it as the (after getting control of Pakistan and Afghanistan) to turn towards India for and some parts of Balochistan that are Hindustan and the second group will task of the “holiest” fighters. be that of Jesus’. Another Hadith is already under the influence of these Tehrik e Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and a decisive battle, thus every militant also quoted from the book Kanzul people. The Taliban are people who desires to fight in India to be Punjabi Taliban have already Amal, ‘A lashkar of Muslims will fight will support Imam Mehdi, according announced that they will fight Indian considered an elite jihadist. in Hindustan and they will succeed; to jihadi literature. The word Mehdi Whenever a group of Taliban is forces. Even the ex-spokesperson of this group will capture the rulers of means a guide towards an unseen TTP, Azam Tariq, had earlier claimed defeated in Pakistan or Afghanistan, Hind; Allah will forgive all the sins of the militants do not term it as a defeat destination, thus the Mehdi will go that the militant outfit has prepared ahead in search of the original volume this group (meaning they will go to and claim that they are making around 3,000 suicide bombers for Paradise) and afterward this group of the holy books revealed to Moses preparations for a larger battle, Jihad Kashmir. Mullah Dadullah Akhund will join Jesus in Cyprus’. and Jesus (the old and new (killed 2010) − the initiator of suicide e Hind, and during this period their The narrative fed to the militants fortunes may go up and down. All the testaments). bombings in Afghanistan− had gives an insight into their minds. Imam Mehdi, according to jihadi militants hope to become a part of the claimed that after defeating the Northern Alliance, the Afghan Taliban army of Imam Mehdi that will emerge literature, will be the leader who will TAHIR ALI IS A JOURNALIST BASED reunite the Muslims against the from Khurasan. will free Kashmiris from Indian infidels. He will appear near According to them, a group of occupation. It was 9/11 that changed IN PESHAWAR AND TRAVELS doomsday and the warring militants, mujahedeen will soon emerge from the whole scenario. EXTENSIVELY IN FATA According to their religious literature, which all jihadists of this region follow, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India cannot rid themselves of the jihadi elements and they refer to the Qur’anic injunction which says ‘ jihad will continue until Doomsday’. They also quote some Hadith about the emergence of jihadists from this part of the world who will accompany Imam Mehdi and Jesus Christ while taking on Dajaal (the Antichrist) in Bait-ul-Muqaddas. But before all these battles, according to their philosophy, the mujahedeen will fight a “decisive” battle on Indian soil. Jihadists, whether the Afghan Taliban or Pakistani Taliban; JeM or LeT; Harkat-ul- Mujahedeen or Hezb-ul-Mujahedeen; Al-Badar Mujahedeen or Harkati Jihadi Islami are all agreed on this one belief that,

Khurasan to fight the final battle between the Muslims and nonbelievers. The first battle will be fought in India followed by another one in Arab countries. In this regard, they quote a Hadith from a book Kanzul Amaal that says, ‘Black flags bearers will emerge from Khurasan; no one will be able to stop them, their flag will be hoisted even on top of Bait-ul-Muqaddas’. To further explain this idea, a renowned Muslim scholar, Imam Zehri, writes in his book Kitabul-Fitn, ‘Black flags will appear in the East, they (mujahedeen) will be dressed in loose clothes with shaggy beards, they will mostly belong to rural areas and they will use symbolic names (all these signs point towards the Taliban)’. Actually “Khurasan” was the old name of Afghanistan which also

According to their religious literature, which all jihadists of this region follow, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India cannot rid themselves of the jihadi elements. Under the philosophy of the “unending holy war”, they will continue their jihad and search for new battlefields

Bush on steroids PATRICK BARR My closest and dearest Black friends think I hate Obama, because I never miss a chance to share with them, his broken promises; that he, a Constitutional lawyer, is busy shredding the Constitution; a Nobel Peace Prize winner showing his true colors by running more wars, behind more regime-change, backing more coups than any of us can keep track of. My friends, in the presence of whom I now fear to mention the name Obama, in order to avoid besmirching the status of “The First Black President”, are all wrong. Hate is not to be squandered because it robs the soul of energy. I don’t hate Obama. I detest him. Which is worse, because it carries a smidgen less bile while still sending that strong message that he should be detested for the program that he appears to be prosecuting for his handlers. It doesn’t take intellectual brilliance to ask the question: What has he done for us lately? Versus, what has he done for the powerful from Day 1? What promises has he made, and which has he kept? Some of my friends are alarmed that a Black man should be criticising the Black President. My friends ought to know that I have sufficient principle that if I have

No repeats in history Just a brief note in response to many essays and discussions I have read on your editorial and opinion pages. When writing about Pakistan, most writers respond almost instinctively to self criticism (there is enough of it out there internationally) and self disparagement. As though we are a particularly blighted people, unlike

Some of my friends are alarmed that a Black man should be criticising the Black President. My friends ought to know that I have sufficient principle that if I have lambasted President Bush, why should I give President Obama a pass? After all, I consider him far more dangerous than Bush lambasted President Bush, why should I give President Obama a pass? After all, I consider him far more dangerous than Bush could ever be, simply because he is far more intelligent. Which is why I refer to him as “Bush on Steroids”. The handlers who made him President are men who understood that a black President could do things that a white President wouldn’t dare contemplate. This black President could, and did, kill Americans, including a 16-year-old, with drones in Yemen, while the Liberals who attacked Bush, to this day, remain silent. Muzzled. Weren’t we all surprised and, at the same time, confused when we heard that Obama had received the Nobel Prize? For doing what, I suppose we all asked ourselves. Then we rationalised that it would help him roll back the wars. Yes, he could, we assured ourselves. I refer you to this excerpt from his Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech: ‘Where force is necessary, we have a moral

any other in history, somehow culpable for the political problems of this region, somewhat lacking in “moral fibre”. Some writers even question if we are a nation at all or different, warring sub-nationalities, living together in an arranged marriage that we seem to have outgrown. What truly perplexes me as a reader is how many times columnists express their sorrow over ‘we have not learnt from history’. As though history were a textbook lesson, the same one, for every region and peoples and if it history was in the habit of repeat itself, a bit like a wheel that went round an axis, and as deterministic. Also, somewhat like a religious text, though even that is interpreted over time. Are we supposed to learn from history or read it with interest and intelligence, questioning who wrote it and for whom? To my mind, there is a need for Pakistanis to stop distinguishing themselves in self loathing –you can spot a Pakistani abroad in how loudly

with any crime or been judged. He’d rather threaten the financial health of US citizens.’ Then he worked with Al Qaeda to overthrow and kill Gaddafi and is again backing Al Qaeda in Syria. Last time I heard, he was fighting Al Qaeda, his main reason for being in Afghanistan. But he’s not only engaged in destruction in the Middle East and Africa (only a black President could get away with introducing AFRICOM into Africa), but he is engaged in damaging the US as well. On 20 January 2009, the day Obama took office, the national debt was $10.626 trillion. This February, the Bureau of Public Debt at the Treasury Department reported that the debt was now $16.7 trillion, to be exact $16,687,289,180, 215.37. The warmongers, Wall Street, the banks-too-big-to-fail got their cut, Homeland Security purchased 1.6 billion bullets (including outlawed hollowpointed) presumably to fight a 20-year-war, if need be, against American citizens. And now it is left to struggling citizens like me to pick

and strategic interest in binding ourselves to certain rules of conduct. And even as we confront a vicious adversary that abides by no rules, I believe the United States of America must remain a standard bearer in the conduct of war. That is what makes us different from those whom we fight. That is a source of our strength. That is why I prohibited torture. That is why I ordered the prison at Guantanamo Bay closed. And that is why I have reaffirmed America’s commitment to abide by the Geneva Conventions. We lose ourselves when we compromise the very ideals that we fight to defend. (Applause). And we honour - we honor those ideals by upholding them not when it’s easy, but when it is hard.’ According to the MailOnline: ‘Four years after Obama promised to close it, Guantanamo Bay military prison will get $195.7 million in renovations and new construction. My conclusion is that Obama would rather imprison men who, contrary to the US Constitution, have not been charged

he or she distances her/himself from the country – and also time to think over the philosophy of historiography which is not as simple as history. History is far too complex and based on too many variables to repeat itself and only a very surface reading (coupled with our distinguishing habit of self accusation) can make it seem otherwise.

wisely distribute the seats or else the support of youth that he has achieved, with the entire struggle, will just disappear. RAMSHA KOHATI ISLAMABAD

Alfred Hitchcock

SAMINA ALI A chillingly, real make-over, that has LAHORE thespian Anthony Hopkins taking on a near-impossible impersonation of probably one of Youth’s disillusion Hollywood’s best directors who surprisingly never won an Oscar, in The youth wing of Pakistan Tehreek-i- a distinguished career spanning four decades, will see the “Silence Insaaf is quite unhappy as the of the Lambs” star taking on the promised seats for the youth have not role of Alfred Hitchcock. been fairly distributed amongst them. With an uncanny resemblance — Imran Khan knows that the only two from the gaunt, rotund frame to the powers he has with him are the youth and the elite. If even one of the groups prying mind of a director well emulated by today’s gets upset, PTI will be nowhere in the contemporaries, Hopkins’ forthcoming elections. During a immersion into a role, thought to sensitive time like this when everyone be a real genius’ art, sees him is counting on him, Khan should

up the pieces and, like Cypriots, pay the bill. The US never fails to remind the world that their President is the most powerful man in the world (Hillary Clinton may soon change that), and in some ways, he is. But the facts belie the myth. Truth is that the President answers to powerful forces (I knew you’d ask me to name them) pulling the strings behind the curtain. OK, I’ll name one: the CIA. All right, I’ll name another: the FBI. I’m not a student of the history of Presidents in the United States, but I have often ventured to declare that President Barack Obama must be the worst president of all times. I fear that the United States which had taken several steps forward before he became president (one of those steps allowed him, without producing a legitimate birth certificate, to become “The first black President”) may have already taken more steps backward, with several months left to regress even more.

bringing the late director to life in an re-enactment of the times when he was busy preparing for, perhaps, filmdom’s greatest murder film, “Psycho”. Together with Rear Window, The Birds, Vertigo, Spellbound, Marnie and 39 Steps, the veteran director of over 50 mainly suspense films, “Hitch” still remains a filmic institution, and Hollywood’s denial of the famous Black Lady, in recognition of his talent, and contribution to American folklore, is still the industry’s greatest faux pas. FAHAD MALIK ISLAMABAD

Lamentable state The news that the National Theatre in Nigeria has become a place to dump corpses filled me with sadness because I still remember


the beautiful façade of the centre and its 5,000-seat main hall, with a collapsible stage. It brought back fond memories since once I have worked in that area. The National Arts Theatre is the primary centre for the performing arts in the country. The monument is located in Iganmu, Lagos State. To get a seat for the stage drama was a difficult task for us (friends). Its exterior is shaped like a military hat because the National Arts Theatre was built during the military regime of Olusegun Obasanjo in 1977. Allow me to add that it has also two 800capacity cinema halls, which are equipped with facilities for simultaneous translation of more than eight languages. HAROON RASHID ISLAMABAD Please email your letters to or post them to our address in Islamabad.


Doha diaries With a small indigenous population of fewer than 250,000 people, foreign workers outnumber native Qataris. What is remarkable is how much it has developed in only its forty-second year of independence

SABA AZIZ Last year I spent a couple of months in Doha, where my father has relocated for business purposes. Never having seen this part of the world before, I wanted to experience what life is like living in the Middle East. Formerly one of the poorest Persian Gulf states, Qatar has become one of the region’s wealthiest states largely due to its enormous natural gas revenue. With a small indigenous population of fewer than 250,000 people, foreign workers outnumber native Qataris. What is remarkable is how much it has developed in only its forty-second year of independence. And now with the 2022 FIFA World Cup being held in Qatar, the whole world will witness what this tiny desert state has to offer. One of the first few things that struck me about Doha (the capital of Qatar) was its architecturally captivating skyline. Not as towering or extravagant as the Dubai skyline, there is a unique subtlety to it. At the centre, stands the Doha Tower, which was recognised as the overall "Best Tall Building Worldwide" in the 2012 CTBUH (Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat) Awards Programme. Extending along the crystal blue Doha Bay is the Corniche seafront, a popular location among walkers, bikers and joggers. This is where I spent a part of my spare time, running along the water and the date palm trees, amidst a flock of people of various nationalities. It was a wonderful atmosphere, especially at night time. Considered one of the safest places in the world, it took some time to digest the reckless abandon of the Qataris. Leaving fancy four-wheelers unlocked with the car keys and other valuables inside and the car engine running, while the Sheikhs go offer namaz, was a common sight. A land of millionaires, I don’t recall coming across a single beggar or poor person during my two months there. Doha beautifully blends modern life with ancient traditions. On the one hand you have the ultra-modern sky scrapers and malls filled with familiar American and European brands, while on the other you have the traditional souqs where people have traded goods for centuries. Souq Waqif, also known as the Irani Market, has an Aladdin type feel to it, with its old buildings, lanterns and Arab music. With dozens of indoor and outdoor restaurants, serving cuisines from all over the world, small cafés and shisha lounges, the locals and expats alike love spending time here. Built on the water, a few feet off the Corniche, is the Museum of Islamic Art. Its unique architectural design attracts as much attention as its complete collection of Islamic artifacts. From ancient manuscripts, textiles, ceramics, priceless jewellery to weapons, the place is a wonderful representation of Islamic history. The

items on display originate from all over the world, specifically Spain, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Turkey, India and Central Asia. Shopping, or malls for that matter, do not excite me, but the Venice-themed Villaggio Mall, located in the Aspire Zone, is one of its kind. This single story shopping mall is built around a long indoor canal with gondolas and the ceiling gives the effect of a cloudy sky, creating a mini Venice in Doha. Places like these, along with the City Centre Mall, are thronged with people of many nationalities on the weekends. Spoilt Arab children spending hours in the gaming zone and food courts, while the thobe-clad Qatari men enjoy their shisha, it’s not a lifestyle I can quite come to terms with. Special effort has been made to depict traces of the Qatari heritage through places like the Katara Cultural Village. Built near the beach, with art and photographic galleries, a visual art centre and the Qatar Music Academy, Katara is an absorbing place where you can spend hours. The Doha Tribeca Film Festival, an annual five-day event, is held there promoting Arab and international filmmaking. Watching “Kon-Tiki” on an open rooftop theatre on a cool winter’s night was an unforgettable cinematic experience! If you’re a sports fanatic, then Doha is the place to be. Home to the largest and the most technologically advanced sports dome in the world (at the Aspire Academy), Doha is gradually becoming the centre of attraction in the sporting world. Having already hosted the Asian Games in 2006 and the 2011 Asian Indoor Games, Doha is setting its sights on bigger things. Each year, some of the best men and women tennis players take centre stage at the Khalifa International Tennis Complex for ATP and WTA level tournaments. I had the pleasure of practicing there with some of their national team players. With 27 synthetic hard courts and a stadium court with a capacity of 7,000 spectators, it is probably the best tennis facility I have come across in my playing career. The Qatari professional football league, known as the Qatar Stars League, is beginning to attract some very high profile footballers, including the likes of Spanish legend Raul, Nilmar, Harry Kewell and Abdul Kader Keita. I couldn’t resist the opportunity of watching my childhood idol, Raul, live on a football field so I dragged my dad into taking me to the Al Sadd-Al Khour game at the multi-purpose Al Sadd stadium. In a carnival like atmosphere, crazy locals dressed in Spanish attire and the Al-Sadd colors, chanted to the accompaniment of drums each time the home team built an attack and expressed their utter disapproval at a bad miss. If there’s one thing, the Qataris are really passionate about their sports. With constructions taking place at the speed of light, Doha is still in the process of developing and finding its own. It won’t be long before this Pearl of the Gulf is fully established as one of the preferred tourist destinations for visitors from all around the world. THE WRITER IS A FREELANCER

The Screaming Babus Posse ATHAR MIAN

Flip-flop is not a genre yet in music, like hip-hop is. Hence our Screamin’ Babus Posse is born, sounding rock‘n roll-ish, but really, snob thuggish. A light-hearted spoof in trying times

whose Urdu problems would be drowned in the mixed lyrics anyway, and that Pindi Babu, Last Friday’s dismal job report Ashfaque Khan, who, like his rival, jolted the recovering US economy. is now destroying student minds at Job growth dropped to a mere huge public expense. 88,000 jobs in March from After failing to land any role in 268,000 in February, the worst in the interim administration, this a year. Half a million workers left would be a life saver gig for such the job market. This suddenly “Musharrafeen” (not to be increases pressure on the Obama White House, already reeling from confused with ashrafeen, or honourable), the brown-category sequester cuts and the new GOP EHMs or economic hit men as refusal to pass a reformed budget, described in the 2004 bestseller to show some quick win on other Confessions of an Economic Hit than the economic front, possibly Man. They are the Pakistani on AfPak. But the North Korea version of those twin characters, dilemma is worse too. Kerry and Mini-Me and Dr. Evil from ‘The Company then will surely want to find a white knight in our region to International Man of Mystery’ rescue them with some face-saving. movie series. Their dominion crumbled before they could be Meanwhile, our elite babus and cryogenically frozen, to be pirs remain engaged in a media defrosted at a later date. cacophony of slurs, pointing fingers, blaming ex-friends for not Understandably then, they cannot be good performers, but unlike the doing more for the estranged defrosted Dr. Evil, our sahibs at public expense, now that megalomaniacs suffer from no the sahibs don’t even talk about performance anxiety. aid. But what to do? As the Urdu Our duo can masterfully imitate proverb says, Is hamam mein sab those disfigured marching zombies nangay hain (All are naked in the from the resurgent Michael this cesspool). Jackson Thriller, both threatening In Blues Brothers’ fashion the and theatrical. Most likely not Me answer is, The Band! We all know Phi Me’s Revival song from how talented our babu folks think Wynona Ryder’s still cool ‘Reality they are, turn a ship on a dime. Why not have these revolving door Bites’ movie. They probably cannot sing like Blondie or Pink, or chameleons do in a team fashion pirouettte like the aging, but still what they crave, great publicity in rollin’ Rolling Stones either but, if the West? Let them manage their “The Source” were to be asked, own selves, and extend them partial public loans so they can pay they are the badass Gangsta Rap kings (to dilute the actual label) of for their TA/DA and foreign tour the Paki Terror Wars scene, replete expenses, something they live for. with their gold chains, ear and And ask them to bring back some nose rings, bejeweled living large much needed foreign exchange, neck clocks, plus those $5000 given their tall claims. Nikes. Those other Snoop Dogs But they all want to be leaders would be envious. If only a fake jail with a big entourage. So let’s pick sentence could then complete the as co-leaders the dollar fanatic, Public Enemy profile. You gotta be Karachi Baba, Ishrat Husain,

real, bro. But unlike in EHM and politics, flip-flop is not a genre yet in music, like hip-hop is. Hence our Screamin’ Babus Posse is born, sounding rock‘n roll-ish, but really, snob thuggish - no Bob Marley and the Wailers here. A venue to think of is the hip-hop friendly Webster Hall in lower Manhattan, given that Limelight, Palladium and Tunnel, like Studio 54 and CBGB’s before, are long gone, being scenes of drug laced drinks to keep folks longer on the dance floor and later gun fights and murder, courtesy of their loneeyed Canadian owner who went to jail for fraud. In London, one can think of Ministry of Sound, or MoS, still going strong, and a major label. DJ Pete Tong, also of BBC radio and ex-Pure Pacha Nights at Ibiza might be a good host given his international associations. Ibiza itself really is too hip for our Babus label. It is the artists in the end, after all, and changing label to, say, Babooz won’t make the cut. The real deal as ever, is the crowd. The Screamin’ Babus can be a novelty brand, attracting celebs, especially cross dressers from finance and politics - forcibly retired ones would do fine (Paul Wolfowitz, with donations?) Media attention pre-event doesn’t sound a problem, given Pakistan’s reputation. Ticket sales can always be managed by usual scams expat promoters are known for. Think JV Khan of Leeds. However the real danger, or fun, is those swarming Pak-Brit youths, fed up in the first 30 seconds by babu miscues, becoming Angry Birds throwing rocks at our faking jammers, in a bludgeoning riot tear gassed by British police. And if those rocking skinheads with

steel toe boots and chainsaws show up for the party, wouldn’t that be major league media coverage? As Amitabh Bachan asks comrades in a 1970s movie, Badnam houn gay to kya nam na ho ga (Isn’t infamy fame)? Isn’t that what our elite are all about, really? During the good old days of the other dictator, Zia ul Haq, attempts were made to change the army’s classic Irish Pipe Band, unchanged from the British Raj period, to an “Islamic” theme in the heady days of the Afghan Jihad. What was proudly produced hilariously turned out to be “Onward, Christian Soldiers,” an English hymn from 1865 (used by Churchill and Roosevelt in 1941 with the Atlantic Charter’s antiGermany war declaration.) That is exactly what it turned out to be, with the proxy war resulting in the dismemberment of the Soviet Empire. Until, of course, the Taliban arrived on the scene. Our Screamers are more suited to a plaintive parody of Doris Day’s Que Sera Sera, wailing betrayal of the sahibs who have thrown them over to such wolves: When I was just a little girl I asked my mother, what will I be Will I be pretty, will I be rich Here's what she said to me. Que Sera, Sera, Whatever will be, will be The future's not ours, to see Que Sera, Sera What will be, will be. For our brown Englishmen, the times of the Cinderella-loses-reddancing-shoe-meets-prince-charmi ng are long gone fairytales. The prince too is a pauper now. THE AUTHOR IS A SILICON VALLEY ENTREPRENEUR WITH AN MS AND MBA FROM COLUMBIA

The hypocrisy of Margaret Thatcher K. NATWAR SINGH

A former Indian diplomat recounts a revealing encounter

India House is among the better known diplomatic establishments in London. I first set eyes on the imposing building in 1952, when I was a student at Cambridge University. Thirty years later I entered India House as Deputy High Commissioner. Early in the summer of 1975, Mr. Chandraswamy telephoned me. He was in London. The late Yashpal Kapoor had asked him to contact me. Chandraswamy invited me to meet me at his place. I said if he wished to see me, he should come to India House. This he did the next day. At the time, he was in his late twenties. He was in his “sadhu” attire. He did not speak a word of English. Now he does. At this, our first meeting, he dropped names. After a few days he again came to see me. He invited my wife and me to have dinner with him. A few days later Y.B. Chavan, the then External Affairs Minister, was on his way to the United States. I went to meet him at London’s Heathrow airport. He confirmed he knew Chandraswamy well. I also told Chavan that Chandraswamy had asked me to arrange a meeting with Lord Mountbatten and also with Mrs. Thatcher. Should I arrange these meetings? To my discomfiture and surprise, Chavan saw no harm in Chandraswamy meeting Lord Mountbatten or Mrs. Thatcher. I rang up Lord Mountbatten. He said he would have been glad to meet “your friend”, but he was leaving for a holiday in Northern Ireland the next day. I was quite relieved. I informed Chandraswamy. What

about Mrs. Thatcher? She had been elected leader of the Conservative Party six months earlier. Doubts still assailed me about Chandraswamy meeting Margaret Thatcher, not yet the iron lady. Suppose Chandraswamy made an ass of himself. I would look a bigger ass. I sought an appointment with the Leader of the Opposition. She promptly obliged. I met her in her tiny office in the House of Commons. Her response was, ‘If you think I should meet him, I shall. What does he want to see me for?’‘That he will tell you himself,’ I said. She agreed to see him in her House of Commons office early the next week. ‘Only ten minutes, Deputy High Commissioner,’ she announced. I thanked her and left. Chandraswamy was on cloud nine when I gave him the news. I cautioned him not to do or say something silly. I was putting my neck on the line for him. ‘Chinta mut kareay, (don’t worry) said the sage. So, to the House of Commons the two of us proceeded. Chandraswamy was dressed in his “sadhu” kit, with a huge tilak on his forehead and a staff in his right hand. Rudraksha malas round his neck. He banged the staff on the road till I told him to stop doing so. I confess, I was feeling self conscious. Not Chandraswamy. He relished the attention he was inviting. Finally, we reached Mrs. Thatcher’s office. Introductions over, Mrs. Thatcher asked, ‘What did you want to see me for?’ Chandraswamy spoke in Hindi. I translated. ‘Tell her she will soon find out.’ His tone was

arrogantly respectful. Mrs. Thatcher responded, ‘I am waiting’. The clock was ticking away. Chandraswamy was in no hurry. He asked for a large piece of paper. He gave Mrs. Thatcher five strips of paper and requested her to write a question on each. She obliged, but with scarcely camouflaged irritation. Chandraswamy asked her to open the first paper ball. She did. He gave the text of the question in Hindi. I translated. I watched Mrs Thatcher. The irritation gave way to curiosity. Next question. Again bull’s eye. Curiosity replaced by interest. By the fourth question the future iron lady’s demeanour changed. She began to look at Chandraswamy not as a fraud, but as a holy man indeed. My body language too altered. Last question. I heaved a sigh of relief. Mrs. Thatcher was now perched on the edge of the sofa. Like Oliver Twist, she asked for more. Chandraswamy was like a triumphant guru. He took off his chappals and sat on the sofa in the lotus pose. I was appalled. Mrs. Thatcher seemed to approve. She asked supplementary questions. In each case, Chandraswamy’s response almost overwhelmed the future Prime Minister. She was on the verge of another supplementary, when Chandraswamy regally announced that the sun had set. No more questions. Mrs. Thatcher was not put out. She enquired if she could meet him again. I was entirely unprepared for this. Very coolly, almost condescendingly he said, ‘On Tuesday at 2.30 p.m. at the house of Shri Natwar Singh’. I told

him that he was over reaching himself by dictating the day and time without taking into account her convenience. This was not India. He was unmoved ‘Kunwar sahib, Anuvad kar dijiye aur phir dekhiye’. Please translate and then see. I was astounded when she asked me, ‘Deputy High Commissioner, where do you live?’ This was not all. What followed was something out of a weird novel. Just as we were about to leave, Mr. Holy Man produced a talisman tied to a not so tidy piece of string. He then pronounced that Mrs. Thatcher should tie it on her left arm when she came to my house on Tuesday. I was now on the verge of losing my temper. I said I would not translate this dehati rubbish. Mrs. Thatcher intervened to know what the holy man was saying. ‘Mrs Thatcher, please forgive me, but Chandraswamy would like you to wear this talisman on your left arm’. She took the talisman. We were saying our goodbyes, when Chandraswamy produced his sartorial bomb. Turning to me he said ‘Kunwar Sahib, kindly tell Mrs Thatcher that on Tuesday she should wear a red poshak. I felt like hitting him. He was overdoing this. I firmly told him it was the height of bad manners to tell a lady what she should or should not wear. Mrs. Thatcher looked a bit apprehensive at this not so mild altercation between a distraught Deputy High Commissioner and a somewhat ill-mannered holy man. Very reluctantly, I said to her that the holy man would be obliged if she wore a red dress on Tuesday. I was looking down at

the floor as I said this. On Tuesday, at 2.30, Mrs Margaret Thatcher, leader of the Conservative Party, arrived at Sun House, Frognal Way, Hampstead. It was a beautiful day. She was wearing a stunning red dress. The talisman too was in its proper place. She asked many questions but the most important related to the chances of her becoming prime minister. My wife was also present. Chandraswamy did not disappoint Mrs. Thatcher. He prophesied that she would be prime minister for nine, eleven or thirteen years. Mrs. Thatcher, no doubt believed that she would be prime minister one day. Nine, eleven, thirteen years was a bit much. Mrs. Thatcher put one final question. When would she become a prime minister? Chandraswamy announced — in three or four years. He was proved right. She was PM for eleven years. This narrative should have ended here. But there was an aftermath. The Commonwealth Summit was held in Lusaka, Zambia in 1979. Mrs. Margaret Thatcher had by then become prime minister. I had been posted to Zambia in August 1977. Along with other High Commissioners, I went to Lusaka airport to receive Mrs. Thatcher. When she greeted me and my wife, I gently whispered ‘Our man proved right’. For a moment she looked flustered. She took me aside, ‘High Commissioner, we don’t talk about these matters’. ‘Of course not, prime minister, of course not,’ said I. (THE HINDU)


Libyan arms fuelling warfare in Syria, Gaza: UN

Syrian Opp dismisses al-Qaeda-rebel merger DAMASCUS: The Damascus-based oppositional National Coordination Body (NCB) on Wednesday dismissed the merger of al-Qaida's Iraqi branch and a Syrian rebel movement. "It will not succeed ... They will not find a supportive environment in Syria and will eventually have to pull out," NCB head Hasan Abdul-Azim told Xinhua. He was responding to Tuesday's announcement by the Islamic State in Iraq that it had joined ranks with al-Nusra Front, a jihadist group bent on toppling Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. The new group is named the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant. –AGENCIES

NEW YORK: Arms out of postGaddafi Libya are empowering militant groups, including terrorists and criminal gangs across the Middle East and Africa, a UN report said. Twelve countries are involved in the illicit trade of weapons, including portable SAM missiles. Eighteen months after the civilian conflict and NATO bombing campaign ousted longtime Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi, most of the weapons in the country remain in control of civilians and militias,

according to a UN Security Council report. The trafficking of those arms is both a lucrative business and a major security threat to the entire region, the report revealed. "In the past 12 months, the proliferation of weapons from Libya has continued at a worrying rate and has spread into new territory: West Africa, the Levant and, potentially, even the Horn of Africa," the panel said."Illicit flows from the country are fueling existing conflicts in Africa and the Levant and enriching the arsenals

mines," experts wrote in the 94-page report. Proliferation of portable surface-to-air missiles (SAMs) has long been deemed one of the most alarming consequences of the turmoil in Libya, as such weapons may be used by terrorists to shoot down civilian aircraft. Experts claim they have confidential information that 30 SAMs have been trafficked from Libya to Chad’s capital Ndjamena. Egypt is facing the worst influx of Libyan arms, the report says, with a large portion being directed to armed

of a range of non-state actors, including terrorist groups." The recipients are empowered not only by the sheer number of new arms in their possession, but also by new kinds of weapons. "Cases, both proven and under investigation, of illicit transfers from Libya in violation of the embargo cover more than 12 countries and include heavy and light weapons, including man-portable air defense systems, small arms and related ammunition and explosives and

Obama sends Congress $3.8 tr spending plan

Israel closes Gaza’s crossing for third day GAZA: Israel on Wednesday kept the Gaza Strip's only commercial crossing point closed for the third day in a row due to security concerns. Palestinian militants, who were inspired by alQaeda, fired rockets out of Gaza late Sunday. Israel then closed Kerem Shalom crossing in response to the rockets, Israel Radio reported. The report said that Erez crossing point is partially open for humanitarian purposes, mainly for Gazan patients who seek treatment in Israeli hospitals or in the West Bank. The situation on the boundary between Israel and the Gaza Strip have been volatile for more than a week. Palestinian rockets and Israeli aerial bombings took place despite a ceasefire brokered by Egypt last November. –AGENCIES

‘Earthquake has no effect on Iran’s nuclear plant’ TEHRAN: Executive manager of Iran's Bushehr nuclear power plant, Mahmoud Jafari, said Wednesday that the structure of Bushehr nuclear power plant is strong enough to resist earthquakes at the scale of 8 Richter, official IRNA news agency reported. Talking to reporters in the quake-hit region of Iran's southern Bushehr province, Jafari said that Tuesday's quake had "no effect on the power plant at all." He described the daily activities in the plant as normal and stressed that things are going as scheduled. On Tuesday, an Iranian lawmaker said that the 6.1-magnitude earthquake on the Richter scale in Bushehr province did not affect the operation at the Bushehr nuclear power plant. –AGENCIES

Merkel’s coalition to win governing majority: poll BERLIN: A survey showed on Wednesday that German Chancellor Angela Merkel's coalition government has enough support to win a governing majority in September's election, the administration's best poll result in more than three years. According to the Forsa institute poll carried out for Stern magazine and broadcaster RTL, Merkel's Christian Democrats (CDU) and their Bavarian sister party the Christian Social Union (CSU) have 41 percent support, while the junior coalition partner the Free Democrats (FDP) has 6 percent. Together, the coalition parties would win a clear governing majority, the Forsa institute said. It was the first Forsa poll since 2009 that showed a clear majority for Merkel's government over the combined support for the main opposition parties. –AGENCIES

groups in the Sinai; this poses a serious internal security threat for Cairo amid its unending political turbulence. Libyan arms in Egypt are then smuggled into the Hamascontrolled Gaza Strip; militants there purchased modern assault rifles and anti-tank weapons from Libya, the document warns. Other trafficking destinations for these weapons include Syria and Mali, both of which have witnessed violent conflict and seen radical Islamist groups gain significant influence. –AGENCIES

MILAN: FEMEN activists protest in front of the Tunisian Consulate in Milan. The radical feminists, calling for more sexual freedom for Arab women, were protesting in support of a young Tunisian woman who received online death threats from ultraconservative Muslims after posting topless photos of herself online. –WIRE SERVICE

S Korea ups watch as North moves missiles SEOUL/WASHINGTON: South Korea said on Wednesday there was "very high" probability that North Korea, engaged in weeks of threats of war, would launch a medium-range missile at any time as a show of strength despite diplomatic efforts to soften its position. Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se said South Korea had asked Chinaand Russia to intercede with the North to ease tension that has mounted since the UN Security Council imposed fresh sanctions on North Korea after its third nuclear arms test in February. But all was calm in the South Korean capital, Seoul, long used to North Korean invective under its 30-year-old leader Kim Jong-un. Offices worked normally and customers crowded into city-center cafes. Seoul stocks edged up 0.77 percent from a four-and-a-half-month low hit earlier in the week, though trading was light with threats from the North still clouding the picture. The won currency gained 0.3 percent. Other officials in Seoul said surveillance of North Korean activity had been enhanced. Missile transporters had been spotted in South Hamgyong province along North Korea's east coast - a possible site for a launch. North Korea observes several anniversaries in the next few days and they could be pretexts for displays of military strength. These include the first anniversary of Kim's formal ascent to power, the 20th anniversary of rule by his father, Kim Jong-il, who died in 2011, and the anniversary, next Monday, of the birth of the young Kim's grandfather, state founder Kim Il-Sung. The near-daily threats to South Korea and the United States of recent weeks were muted in the North's state media on Wednesday, with the focus largely on the

upcoming festivities. State television showed mass gatherings, including women in traditional flowing robes, listening to addresses, laying flowers at monuments and taking part in a culinary competition. The North's KCNA news agency said people were "doing their best to decorate cities". Another dispatch reported a "production upsurge" in the coal, steel, iron and timber industries, with figures showing a quarterly plan set by authorities had been "overfulfilled". In Washington, Admiral Samuel Locklear, the commander of US forces in the Pacific region, said the US military believed North Korea had moved an unspecified number of Musudan missiles to its east coast. The trajectory of the missile, if launched, is unclear as the North has failed to inform international bodies - as it did in previous instances - of the path it is expected to take. But it is unlikely to be aimed directly at the South. The Musudan has a range of 3,500 km (2,100 miles) or more, according to South Korea, which would put Japan within range and may even threaten Guam, home to US bases. South Korea can be reached by the North's short-range Scud missiles. Foreign Minister Yun told a parliamentary hearing: "According to intelligence obtained by our side and the US, the possibility of a missile launch by North Korea is very high." North Korea, he said, could launch a Musudan missile "at any time from now". The US-South Korea Combined Forces Command in Seoul raised its "Watchcon 3" status, a normal condition, by one level to boost monitoring and increase the number of intelligence staff, a senior military official told the South's Yonhap news agency. –AGENCIES

ME feminists reject Europe topless protests RABAT: Bewilderment, scorn, resentment. Women's rights activists across the Middle East are reacting with everything but joy to topless demonstrations in Europe by a Ukrainian feminist group held in solidarity with a Tunisian woman who posted topless photos of herself protesting religious oppression. They fear the bare breasts may hurt their cause more than help it, after FEMEN activists protested in front of mosques and Tunisian diplomatic missions last week to support 19-year-old Amina Tyler, who caused a scandal in her country with her Facebook postings. Tyler herself, a high school student, said that while she was encouraged by the solidarity, the burning of the black flag bearing the Muslim profession of faith in front of the Paris mosque was a step too far, even if the banner has been championed by ultraconservatives and jihadists. "I am against that," she told French TV Canal+ on Saturday. "They didn't insult a certain kind of Muslim, the extremists, but all Muslims." Tyler, who has described herself as a FEMEN member, said she now fears for her life in Tunisia after ultraconservative Muslim clerics recommended she be stoned to death for posting the photos. –AGENCIES

WASHINGTON: President Barack Obama is sendingCongress a $3.8 trillion spending blueprint that seeks to achieve an elusive "grand bargain" to tame runaway deficits by raising taxes further on the wealthy and trimming popular benefit programs such as Social Security. The president's proposal being unveiled Wednesday includes an additional $1.8 trillion in deficit reduction over the next decade, bringing total deficit savings to $4.3 trillion, based on theadministration's calculations. It projects that the deficit for the 2014 budget year, which begins Oct. 1, would fall to $744 billion. That would be the lowest gap between spending and revenue since 2008. But instead of moving Congress nearer a grand bargain, Obama's proposals so far have managed to anger both Republicans, who are upset by higher taxes, and Democrats upset with cuts to Social Security benefits. House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis., rejected the administration's argument that the refusal of Republicans to consider further tax increases represented inflexibility. "We Republicans have already done things to move to the middle, to find common ground," Ryan said on MSNBC. "We really believe if we set the stage right, we can get fundamental tax reform." The president's spending and tax plan is two months late. The administration blames the delay on the lengthy "fiscal cliff " negotiations at the end of December and then fights over the March 1 automatic spending cuts. The president's plan tracks an

offer he made to House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, during December's budget negotiations, which Boehner ended up walking away from because of his opposition to higher taxes on the wealthy. The Obama budget proposal will join competing budget outlines already approved by the Republican-controlled House and the Democratic-run Senate. Obama's plan is not all about budget cuts. It also includes an additional $50 billion to fund infrastructure investments, including $40 billion in a "Fix It First" effort to provide immediate investments to repair highways, bridges, transit systems and airports nationwide. Obama's budget would also provide $1 billion to launch a network of 15 manufacturing innovation institutes across the country, and it earmarks funding to support high-speed rail projects. The president also is proposing establishment of program to offer preschool to all 4-year-olds from low- and moderate-income families, with the money to support the effort coming from increased taxes on tobacco products. The administration said its proposals to increase spending would not increase the deficit but rather are paid for either by increasing taxes or making deeper cuts to other programs. Among the proposed cuts, the administration wants to trim defense spending by an additional $100 billion and domestic programs by an extra $100 billion over the next decade. The budget proposes cutting $400 billion from Medicare and other health care programs over a decade. –AGENCIES

Kerry to visit Turkey for third time in two months ANKARA: US Secretary of State John Kerry will attend the upcoming Friends of Syria meeting in Turkey, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan told reporters on his way to Kyrgyzstan, local media reported Wednesday. Kerry's trip to Turkey will be his third visit to the country in the two months since his appointment to the post. The Friends of Syria meeting will gather 11 countries in a bid to boost the international community's efforts to find a solution to the Syrian crisis. Erdogan also said he would probably visit Gaza after his meeting with US President Barack Obama in Washington on May 16. Erdogan earlier said he wanted to visit Gaza in April. However, Kerry, in his last visit to Istanbul on Sunday, advised Ankara to reconsider the timing of the visit in order to avoid denting efforts to revive the Middle East peace process and normalization of ties between Turkey and Israel. –AGENCIES

What is the real American game in Syria? JIM W. DEAN

We know the CIA coordinated the covert arms-push operation with Jordan and Turkey logistically involved and the Saudis and Qatar paying the bills. This is what the Obama administration calls not providing lethal aid - proxies do it

ENERAL Dempsey has been in the news this week. The Sunday April 7th Press TV report had the startling Dempsey headline quote, ‘Syria could become another Afghanistan’. He continued, ‘I have grave concerns that Syria could become an extended conflict’, that drags on for many years. These were not off the cuff statements. They aired on a US funded Arabic satellite TV channel. Every word was pre-scripted. In the analysis business we often refer to this as 'a card being played'. So task number two is to figure out what is it really for. Digging back to a March 18th Dempsey talk to a Washington think tank, ‘I don't think at this point I can see a military option that would create an understandable outcome...and until I do, it would be my advice to proceed cautiously.’ But we knew from our own sources and later published ones that a big covert arms push was already in process, flowing into various rebel


staging areas as preparation for a sustained final push to topple Assad. We know the CIA coordinated the covert arms-push operation with Jordan and Turkey logistically involved and the Saudis and Qatar paying the bills. This is what the Obama administration calls not providing lethal aid - proxies do it. Dempsey is on record having favored arming the rebels for a quicker overthrow to avoid a drawn out contest which would risk leaving the Syria in ruins. Obama objected back then, but not now. They are doing it under the radar, sort of. When Dempsey was asked if anything short of military intervention might be contemplated he gave a prepared, and what we know now to be a partially honest answer, that any such opportunities would be led by U.S. Allies. He played another prepared card, “We very much do believe that the answer to Syrian is through partners, because...they'll understand the complexities better than we would.” I could only wish to have been able to ask the general if he was so concerned about the 100 ring circus of rebel and

insurgent groups operating against Assad, then would he like to address the Saudis providing bases, training, funding and arming of a new generation of Jihad fighters, even in northern Iraq. The Saudis are even running terror operations against Iraq now to keep them back on their heels. Dempsey has to be aware of this. Any statements of America not arming these Syrian insurgent groups is duplicitous because we know that the Saudis are. They are supporting the Wahhabi extremists, who are taking heads as I write. Dempsey has to understand that when headhunters are loose on the land the Syrian Army and their militias are going to fight to the death. We picked up a leak that an arms push would be coming soon by a “card” Dempsey played during an airborne press interview. He said he would potentially consider arming the insurgents directly to end the fighting sooner and preserve the country's institutions from being destroyed in an uncivil war of attrition. Dempsey acknowledged the obvious even back then that the end game of increased armaments could contribute

to a more violent new civil war among the various groups after the fall of Assad. The Balkans analogy has been widely used in the media to describe it. Lots of heads got chopped of there, too. All of these card clues are what we call psyops - 'preparing the minds' of the public for things you have in the works to test their reaction. This is standard “game theory warfare”. Senator John “Cowboy” McCain even has an acting roll, asking for bombing of Syria now which makes the covert arming of the rebels look like the non wild, cautious approach. My bet is that all of these carefully played cards are a set up for two things, one of which is already in motion. Enough arms and ammo have been prestaged to back a final push to collapse Assad. The Syrian army counter strategy can clearly be seen to breakup up the rebel forward positions, find their hideouts and get their weapons caches. But if the Jihadis look like they could be the dominant force in an overthrow then the U.S. would come in with major arms supplies, but only for certain groups who would not only

fight the Syrian army, but also the Wahhabis. What kind of weapons are we talking about here? Start with longer range anti-armor and add ground to air missiles. I would bet that selected insurgents have already been trained in these weapons and are waiting for the right time to be deployed. The Arab League seems to already know the general plan. You can look back now and see their violating their own charter to pre-empt the outcome by giving one faction of the rebels the Syrian seat. This was their assigned role in this slow motion train wreck. And I predict some of them will regret setting this precedent. But there is a wild card: the Russians, Chinese and the Iranians. The Russians man the Syrian air defenses, and they are not going to quietly sit by while the walls come tumbling down around them. If the U.S. felt that a 'deteriorating situation' justified intervention to “save the country”, then other parties would thereby have permission to do the same. I don't think they are going to just sit back and watch the carving up of their own ally and the threat that would pose

to them not only in loss of face, but in future aggression. A failed intervention would be a huge blow to imperial militarism, as would the supplemental war bills that would be hitting the steps of Congress, requiring more red ink to fund. Assad was correct when he stated, “If the unrest in Syria leads to the partitioning of the country, or if terrorists take control...the situation will spill over into neighboring countries and create a domino effect throughout the Middle East and beyond.” The West killed any negotiated settlement with the big March arms push. They seem to be going for a military settlement, but one where a mess could be laid on someone's doorstep. But we all know the rebel groups will not negotiate because they feel they have the West behind them and time is on their side. We have the blind leading the blind here in a situation which could trigger an even larger blood bath. What the Western dummies and their proxies are doing is tossing a live hand grenade around in a circle. The outcome of that does not require a genius, or even an analyst...just someone who isn't crazy. (


gold (oz)

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Govt aware of CNG sector’s problems: Sohail Siddiqui ISLAMABAD: The Petroleum Minister Sohail Wajahat H. Siddiqui has said that the government is aware of the problems being faced by the CNG sector, however, it must be realized that gas supply is constrained Federal minister said this while receiving a detailed presentation from All Pakistan CNG Association (APCNGA). Ghayas Paracha Chairman APCNGA apprised the Minister regarding problems being faced by the CNG sector and suggested various options to resolve their problems. Mr. Sohail Wajahat assured that there would be no injustice done to CNG sector and the limited amount of gas has

to be distributed equitability among consumers. The Minister further said that today’s detailed interaction between the Ministry and the CNG sector is a proof itself that the Government is sincere in resolving gas supply problems, and series of meetings with other gas consuming sectors including power, fertilizer, textile and others would also be convened very shortly. Sohail Wajahat emphasized that there would be no favoritism in provision of gas and supply would only be based on efficiency and returns to the Government. Moreover, the Minister said that consumers should also realize

that gas is a precious resource and urged that it should be used with care and wastage be avoided. In this regard, MD’s of both Sui Companies have already been directed to control UFG as top priority. Petroleum Minister also called on Maqbool H. H. Rahimtoola, Federal Minister for Commerce, and discussed issues of mutual interest that would further strengthen the coordination and working relationship between the two Ministries. In a separate meeting, Sohail Wajahat reviewed the progress regarding construction of Petroleum House, and issued instructions to pick up the pace of work on the project. –ONLINE

‘Ranking of Pakistani products needs to improve’ ISL AM ABAD : Federal Minister for Industries & Production Shahzada Ahsan Ashraf said that the ranking of the Pakistani products in the International markets needs to be improved to portray a better image of the products abroad. He stated this during his short visit to National Productivity Organization (NPO) and Industry Facilitation Center (IFC) Head Offices here on Wednesday. Comprehensive presentations about the companies were given to the Minister regarding the ongoing activities, projects, progress and future plans. The Minister appreciated the working of the NPO and IFC and said that the ranking of the Pakistani products in the international markets need to be improved. Higher-ranking position will provide an opportunity to boost our exports by portraying a better image of our products in the international markets. He directed the authorities concerned that necessary measures be taken for the improvement of the ratings of the Pakistani products. During the presentation by the IFC, the Minister was told that Industry Facilitation Center is providing round the clock state-of-art business facilities to both the public sector corporations and private business entities. It was also told that ITC plans to inaugurate the earth-breaking ceremony of its second project within a couple of week’s time. –ONLINE

‘Pakistan should use Bulgaria’s experience in coal power generation’

‘economic progress linked to R&D organisations collaboration

ISLAMABAD: Collaboration between experienced researchers, eminent scientists and young entrepreneurs can do miracles in scientific advancement to achieve socioeconomic progress of the country, said Pakistan Science Foundation (PSF) Chairman Prof. Dr. Manzoor H. Soomro while addressing the inaugural ceremony of a two-day Invention to Innovation Summit2013. The Chairman emphasized the need for forging collaboration among academia, R&D organizations, public sector departments and the industry. Prof. Dr. Mujahid Kamran, Vice Chancellor, University of the Punjab, Lahore said that all the scientific advancement is only possible through young researchers. He propounded that Isaac Newton at the age of 24 and Einstein at the age of 26 put forward their theories for which they are wellknown today. He said that the only need is to bring in fair intention and self-confidence in young researchers to innovate. Dr. Abid H. K. Sherwani, CEO, IRP and Dr. Hasan Sohaib Murad, Rector, University of Management and Technology, Dr. Aamir Ijaz, Director, Office of Research Innovation and Commercialization, UoP and several other dignitaries, students, research scholars and industrialists attended the inaugural ceremony of the Summit. –ONLINE

Minister visits Oilseed Development Board ISLAMABAD: Federal interim Minister for National Food Security and Research (NFS&R), Mir Hassan Domki, Wednesday, visited Pakistan Oilseed Development Board (PODB), central office here. Syed M. Nasir Ali, Managing Director, PODB gave a comprehensive presentation about the objective and functions of PODB. He apprised that PODB was established as a government department in 1995 through a resolution. The Board helped the government in developing policies frame work on oilseed sector, besides, promotion of oilseed crops viz sunflower, canola and oil bearing trees (Oil palm olive). Managing Director, PODB further explained to the honorable Federal Minister that PODB has been playing its role very successfully to increase the areas of sunflower and canola. From 1995 to 2011, area of sunflower was increased from 185,000 to 11, 45000 acres and area of canola was increased from 8000 acres 260,000 acres. –ONLINE

WB launches MlARRR centers in Asia ISLAMABAD: As part of the Management of Land Acquisition, Resettlement and Rehabilitation (MLARR) Program the World Bank has launched two national and one regional centers of excellence in MLARR. These centers have been funded through support from AusAID. The national centers have been established at the BRAC Development Institute in Bangladesh, University of Punjab in Pakistan, and the regional center at the Administrative Staff College of India. A fourth national center for Nepal is being developed at the Tribhuvan University in Nepal. The Management of land acquisition resettlement and rehabilitation program has been supporting these institutions through course development and training with the aim of fostering more sustainable infrastructure delivery and so. –ONLINE


US Dollar Euro British Pound UAE Dirham Saudi Riyal Kuwaiti Dinar Canadian Dollar


98.80 127.62 149.20 26.60 26.10 341.53 95.57


99.05 127.85 149.44 26.80 26.30 347.46 97.09

WASHINGTON: US President Barack Obama talks about the Fiscal Year 2014 Budget while next to acting Director of Office of Management and Budget Jeffrey Zients in the Rose Garden at the White House.

Asia moving along an unsustainable energy path, warns ADB ISLAMABAD: The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has warned that Asia is moving along a dangerously unsustainable energy path that will result in environmental disaster and a gaping divide in energy access between rich and poor. According to its recently released report Asian Development bank highlights the complex balancing act the region faces to deliver energy to all its citizens while scaling back its reliance on fossil fuels. Report stated that if by 2035 Asia merely expands energy access without fundamentally changing the way it consumes, then region’s oil consumption will double, natural gas consumption will triple, and coal consumption will rise a whopping 81%, with costly and devastating environmental impacts. “Asia could be consuming more than half the world’s energy supply by 2035, and without radical changes carbon dioxide emissions will double,” said ADB Chief Economist Changyong Rhee. Report said that with only 9% of proven global oil reserves, the region is

currently on track to almost triple oil imports by 2035, rendering it significantly more vulnerable to external supply shocks. It said that Asia must find the political will and innovation to scrap outdated policies and recalibrate its energy mix. For one, policymakers will need to replace general fuel subsidies that artificially lower the cost of power and impose huge fiscal burdens with targeted subsidies for the poor. The report suggests eliminating wasteful subsidies worldwide would also lower CO2 emissions by 2.6 billion tons in 2035. Renewable energy technologies wind, solar and bio fuel technologies must be stepped up. Countries cannot meet all their power requirements on their own, so Asia must accelerate cross-border interconnection of power and gas grids to improve efficiency, cut costs, and take advantage of surplus power. With increased cooperation, a pan-Asia energy market is achievable by 2030, the report says. –ONLINE

Ansar Javed is the new FBR chairman ISLAM ABAD: Ansar Javed, chairman of the Federal Board of Revenue, assumed his charge on Wednesday and canceled leaves of all staff for achieving the revenue target. Earlier on Wednesday, Interim Prime Minister Mir Hazar Khan Khoso had appointed Ansar Javed as chairman of the Federal Board of Revenue. Javed belongs to Income Tax Group and is a grade-22 officer. Interim PM Khoso received names of Ansar Javed, Shahid Rahim Sheikh and Abdul Samad for the slot. However, the prime minister approved the name of Unsar Javed. Before his appointment, Javed was serving as Director General Training in Lahore. On Tuesday, the Islamabad High Court had declared void the appointment of previous chairman FBR Ali Arshad Hakim. –ONLINE

Car sales increase by 6pc ISLAMABAD: Car sales in the country have showed growth of 6 percent on MoM in the country as 13,344 units sold in March 2013 as compared to 12,628 units in previous month. Industrial sources told, in Mar’13, LCVs sales have increased by 37% MoM to 1,763 units mainly with the support of newly launched Toyota ‘Fortuner’. However, passenger car sales improve by 2% to 11,581 units in the month. Amongst individual companies, Pak Suzuki Motor company (PSMC) sales declined by 32% to 55,428 units in 9MFY13 versus 81,360 units in the same period last year. However, on monthly basis, PSMC sales remained stable at 7,100 units in Mar’13 as compared to 7,000 units last month. Similarly, Indus Motor (INDU) sales also went down by 34% to 25,829 units in 9MFY13 as against 38,858 units in the same period last year. The source informed that decline in sales is mainly because of 32% decline in ‘Corolla’ sales to 22,346 units in the period and termination of ‘Coure’. However, on monthly basis, Indus Motors sales has increased by 11% to 3,979 units in Mar’13 vs 3,591 units in Feb’13. Although ‘Corolla’ sales declined by 2% MoM to 3,284, growth in sales is mainly supported by LCVs. In the first month of launch, company sold 228 units of Toyota Fortuner while ‘Hilux’ sales were increased by 86% MoM to 467 units in mar’13, the source added. With restriction on used imported CBUs going into effect coupled with expectation of strong buying in wake of upcoming elections, foresee decent growth in local car sales is expected in coming months. The source further appraised that Pakistan locally manufactured car sales (including LCVs, Vans and Jeeps) have reached 96,326 units in 9MFY13 as compared to 128,567 units in the same period last year, down 25%. Due to the huge influx of used imported CBU’s in 1HFY13, termination of Non EURO-II compliant cars (‘Alto’ and ‘Coure’) and\ absence of taxi scheme, cars volumes remained subdued. –ONLINE

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and Bulgaria should expand and strengthen their bilateral relations in various fields including economy, trade, culture and education, a diplomat said Wednesday. The two countries should expand political consultations while Pakistan can make use of Bulgaria’s solid experience in coal power generation to exploit Thar Coal, said Daniel Hristov, Head of Consular Department, Embassy of the Republic of Bulgaria. Talking to Senior Vice Chairman of Pakistan Vanaspati Manufacturers' Association (PVMA) Atif Ikram Sheikh, he said that we needs to promote economic ties and expand bilateral trade and investment. We should also strive to enhance links between state-run as well as private educational institutions; he said adding that my country fully supports Pakistan to get EU trade concessions to improve its economy that has suffered to ensure world’s peace. Daniel Hristov said that Bulgaria has rich experience in generating coal energy and can share its experience with Pakistan to overcome energy crisis and ensure economic revival. The diplomat said that Thar Coal is better than lignite coal being used for power generation in many countries. The global share of coal in power generation is 37 per cent while it is 45 per cent in Asia which projected to go up to 60 per cent in 2020, he informed. Many Bulgarian companies are willing to invest in Pakistan, he said. At the occasion, Atif Ikram Sheikh lauded the offer of Bulgaria to play positive role in Pakistan’s development. Trade relations and economic ties between our two countries would grow further in the years to come, he said. He said that world is witnessing a shift back to the use of coal. Thar Coal is suitable for electric power generation, cement, sugar and steel industries. –ONLINE

Caretaker govt de-notifies Raghib Shah’s appointment SAHTAK BALOCH ISLAMABAD: Ostensibly succumbing to the pressure of financial institutions including World Bank, Asian Development Bank, International Monetary Fund (IMF), USAID etc, the caretaker government has de-notified the appointment of WAPDA chairman Syed Raghib Shah as power sector coordinator. Earlier, Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda) Chairman Syed Raghib Hussan Shah was made the power sector coordinator with an aim to turn around the entire power sector, which is besieged with circular debt causing scheduled or unscheduled hours long power outages. More, the masses from a long time have been bearing heavy brunt due to announced or unannounced load shedding and electricity tariff hike. Sources in water and power ministry told that the ministry was under huge pressure after the threat of halting credit line worth in billion of rupees (300400billion) from International financial institutions (IFIs) over reversing power sector reforms, sky high subsidies being given to the power sector and last but not least putting all the entities (DISCOS & GENCOs) under the umbrella of Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) by appointing Raghib Shah as power sector coordinator. The IFIs particularly USAID were annoyed over the breach of agreed terms.

Alibaba announces Wu as new CFO SHANGHAI: Alibaba Group, China's largest e-commerce company, said on Wednesday Maggie Wu will be appointed as the firm's chief financial officer from May 10. Wu has been working as the company's deputy CFO since October 2011. Wu joined Alibaba in 2007 as the CFO of an Alibaba unit,, said the official Alibaba blog, Alizila. Before Alibaba, Wu was an audit partner with KPMGin Beijing. Joe Tsai, Alibaba's current CFO, will become an executive vice chairman in charge of overseeing Alibaba's strategic investments and maintaining relationships with key stakeholders. Last month, Alibaba chose Jonathan Lu, its chief data officer who has more than a decade of experience in executive roles, to lead the company as it prepares to launch an initial public offering. –ONLINE

IMF chief says easy monetary policy should stay for now NEW YORK: Global growth is likely to remain tepid this year and central banks should keep their easy monetary policy in place, the head of the International Monetary Fund said on Wednesday. "Thanks to the actions of policymakers, the economic world no longer looks quite as dangerous as it did six months ago," IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde told the Economic Club of New York. But while there were signs that financial conditions are improving, Lagarde said those changes were not yet translating into improvements in the real economy. "In present circumstances, it makes sense for

monetary policy to do the heavy lifting in this recovery by remaining accommodative," Lagarde said ahead of meetings of global finance chiefs in Washington next week. "We know that inflation expectations are well anchored today, giving central banks greater leeway to support growth," she added. She said a threespeed recovery was underway led by fast-growing emerging economies, followed by countries like the United States that were on the mend, and the euro zone and Japan trailing. Lagarde said exceptionally loose monetary policy of central banks in advanced economies was a concern

for emerging economies, which fear a sudden reversal of the large capital flows that have flooded their economies in recent years as investors sought higher yields. "Right now, these risks appear under control," Lagarde said but urged emerging economies to boost their defenses to deal with the possible repercussions should central banks start to exit from quantitative easing. The IMF chief welcomed the unprecedented burst of monetary stimulus announced by the Bank of Japan last week to revive its economy. She urged Japan to deliver a credible

fiscal plan to lower its public debt "which looks increasingly unsustainable". "Japan needs a clear and credible plan to lower public debt over the medium term," Lagarde said. "It needs comprehensive structural reforms to shift the economy into higher gear." Lagarde said the 'fiscal cliff ' in the United States had been avoided but it was vital now for the

Obama administration to put in place credible, medium-term plans to cut debt. In Europe, Lagarde said monetary policy was "spinning its wheels" with low interest rates unable to translate into affordable credit for those who need it because of unfinished repairs to the banking sector. "The priority must be to continue to clean up the banking system by recapitalizing, restructuring, or, where necessary, shutting down banks," Lagarde added. –AGENCIES


De Niro, Ramirez to star in Hands of Stone

Katrina is an inspiration: Jacqueline Fernandez

LOS ANGELES: Hollywood actors Robert De Niro and Edgar Ramirez will reportedly star in Hands of Stone, a biopic on boxing legend Roberto Duran. Ramirez will play the legendary sportsman and De Niro will play his trainer Ray Arcel, reports Duran was among the world's elite boxers during his heyday, winning 103 of his 119 fights, and had many well-remembered bouts with fellow boxing legend Sugar Ray Leonard, including one infamous match in which the boxer gave up midway through the fight, crying, No Mas. The film, which is expected to focus on the relationship between Duran and his trainer, is written and directed by Jonathan Jakubowicz. Jakubowicz will co-produce the film with Jay Weisleder of La Piedra Films. Duran will also contribute to the film as an associate producer. -SHOWBIZ DESK

MUMBAI: Sri Lankan beauty Jacqueline Fernandez, who forayed into Bollywood in 2009, says she finds inspiration in British-born actress Katrina Kaif, who has carved her own niche and battled language problems to become the "success" that she is despite being an outsider for the Indian film industry. ‘I would like to mention Katrina Kaif because she is someone that I can relate to a lot. She has come from abroad and she has come from London. She went through the same language problems and not being from the industry, so I can relate to her a lot. She is such a success story that I have to mention that she is an inspiration,’ Jacqueline said at an event. The 28-year-old actress made her Bollywood debut with ‘Aladin’ opposite Riteish Deshmukh, whereas Katrina made her acting debut here with the 2003 film ‘Boom’. -SHOWBIZ DESK

Nadia Khan unveils her lawn collection 2013

KARACHI: Most popular and globally recognized morning show host Nadia Khan has now unveil her debut lawn collection 2013 entitled as ‘Pahno Mazey Se’. Nadia Khan Lawn collection 2013 Pahno Mazey Se is launched yesterday and the promo ‘Pehno Mazey Se’ is quite perky to attract women. Ladies and girls were waiting for this collection of their favorite show host Nadia Khan. The colour blend and prints are going to be as electrifying as Nadia Khan itself. She has been ruling hearts of many with her friendly nature and hosting talent and has now decided to adorn Pakistani ladies with bright and catchy colors of spring. Nadia Khan is an award winning television actress, presenter and producer who has carved out her own niche launches her first ever lawn collection. 21 bold and striking designs made to win the heart of every woman. Overwhelming response at the launch of her Lawn collection is seen. -SHOWBIZ DESK

Luke Evans will be the new Dracula LONDON: The Hollywood Reporter has announced that British actor Luke Evans will play the lead in a movie about Count Dracula's beginnings. Thirty-three-year-old Evans has stepped in to save this project, which started in the late 2000s under the working title Dracula Year Zero. Sam Worthington toyed with the lead role around the time Alex Proyas wanted to direct the movie. The movie, now simply called Dracula, has the support of Universal. Gary Shore, a publicist who is moving into fiction, will direct the movie before the year is out. The story will center on the events that led to the Romanian prince Vlad Tepes's becoming the first vampire in the history of the 15th century. -SHOWBIZ DESK

Madhuri Dixit in a never seen bold avatar SHOWBIZ DESK MUMBAI: Bollywood's dancing diva Madhuri Dixit had shocked her fans with a bold number Dhak Dhak from Beta way back in the 90s'. The lady with a million dollar smile is once again set to shock her fans. The actress, who is making a comeback on the silver screen with Gulab Gang, will be doing away with her traditional avatar and will instead sport a glamorous look for the next season of dance reality show Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa 6. Madhuri is making a bold statement with the first

Justin Timberlake performs at White House WASHINGTON: Singer-actor Justin Timberlake serenaded President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama at a concert in the White House. The Mirrors hitmaker performed at the US President`s celebration of soul music from Memphis, Tennessee, the singer`s hometown, at the latest `In Performance at the White House` concert, singing alongside the likes of soul legend Booker T Jones, Queen Latifah and Cyndi Lauper, reported Washington Post. The 32-year-old star entertained the couple and a private audience in the East Room of the White House in Washington, DC with a cover of Otis Redding`s The Dock of the Bay`, while Steve Cropper, who wrote the song along with Otis, looked on and appeared to be impressed by the crooner`s take on the soulful hit. The event marked the 10th `In Performance` concert at the White House since Obama first took office in 2009. The concerts celebrate America`s rich musical history, with the latest gig particularly focusing on soul music from the south. The president was seen bobbing his head, tapping his feet and mouthing lyrics to the performances. Obama also exchanged words with Justin and wife Jessica Biel, 31, who accompanied the `Suit & Tie` singer to the event. -SHOWBIZ DESK

photos and is keen on shedding her desi avatar. According to reports, Madhuri Dixit has decided to change her wardrobe and is keen on experimenting with her looks for the new season of Jhalak. Moreover, Madhuri Dixit has shown off her singing chops in Gulab Gang. Her dancing skills are legendary. However, not many people know Madhuri Dixit is a talented singer as well. In a first, the actress has lent her voice to an entire song from Soumik Sen's Gulab Gang starring Juhi Chawla and her in the lead. Giving her company is her mother, who, we hear, has done an equally good job.

KARACHI: Shamaeel Ansari poses for the cameras at Fashion Pakistan Week 2013 Red Carpet Day 1.

I no longer fit in Indian cinema: Lata Mangeshkar

Rani signs Aditya’s next film SHOWBIZ DESK

NEW DELHI: Pradeep Sarkar has not signed his preferred actress Vidya Balan, but gone ahead with the YRF favourite. Aditya Chopra has signed his ladylove Rani Mukerji for his upcoming film, Mardaani. The film will see Rani playing a cop. According to sources, it is the boldest subject attempted by the Yash Raj Films till date. While YRF spokesperson confirmed the news, Sarkar said: ‘The film will be raw and gritty. It is something that neither Rani nor I have attempted before. And it's always good to invade in new territories, isn't it?’ Previously, Sarkar has directed Rani Mukerji-Abhishek Bachchan starrer Laaga Chunri Mein Daag and Deepika-Neil Nitin Mukesh starrer Lafenge Parindey. Said Sarkar: ‘After

Lafenge, I was working on Mardaani. I didn't make much noise about it and people wondered where I had gone. I directed many ads in the interim. But now I am bursting to get back on film sets.’ When asked why Rani and not his

favourite Vidya Balan, whom he introduced in Parineeta, Sarkaar replied, "Yes, Vidya is my favourite. But I have other favourites too. And Rani is definitely one of them. I have a very comfortable equation with Rani.”

SHOWBIZ DESK MUMBAI: After recording songs for more than 1,000 films in 36 languages in a career span of seven decades, legendary singer Lata Mangeshkar says she now feels out of place in the Indian movie industry. ‘Cinema has changed a lot from the times when we used to work. I will not say that it's not good, but I don't fit into it. If I would sing in any film today, then I don't think I will be able to sing it beautifully,’ said the 83-year-old singer at an event organised to announce the recipients of Dinanath Mangeshkar Awards. However, she believes that ‘change is inevitable in this world,’ and said that she is not ‘blaming anyone for this’. From classical to romantic numbers to ghazals to bhajans, Lata has made her mark in a variety of genres. Lata started her singing career in 1943 at the age of 13 with the song ‘Mata ek sapoot ki duniya badal de tu’ for Marathi film ‘Gajaabhaau’, and she even did bit roles in films for her family's living. The singer admits she hated acting in films, but had no choice at that time. ‘I have worked in some seven to eight films and I didn't enjoy it. I used to be very sad when I worked in those films. But at that time I

was helpless. I had no choice,’ she said. Her last song in a Bollywood film was ‘Tere hasne se’ for 2011 film ‘Satrangee Parachute’. She also launched her music label LM Music with a bhajan album last year.

Vogue's new rules for models Girls must eat, take breaks and work no longer than 10 hours a day SHOWBIZ DESK

long days, with, in some cases no breaks for hours on end and mistreatment both at catwalk shows LONDON: Fashion giant Vogue has signed a landmark 10 point code over and shoots. Working days are also limited to 10 hours, with no more the treatment of models on shoots than five hours without a and in shows. Equity, the modelling break. union has reached an While these demands agreement with 10 may seem basic, British Vogue on the • British Vogue has signed the Equity reports that code of conduct to be point code over els od m of they are not followed followed to try and t en tm ea tr odel's union in the industry today, improve the working • Signed with m e with models being environment of Equity to improv stry forced to work 20 models. Models must treatment in indu odels hour days with no be given time to eat on • Code states that m e to eat tim break, being n shoots and informed ve gi be t mus ‘surprised’ with consent on nudity on shoots 10 to d nudity in a shoot, according to the new ite lim e • Days ar ore than m and even being told code. British Vogue no ith w s, ur ho eak br a t off for pausing to eat ou have signed on to ith w s five hour informed or go to the toilet. ve observe a 10-point code ha t us m s el • Mod dity The Model Code over the treatment of consent on any nu k or will stipulate models, aimed to w e th in involved whether or not improve conditions in r he ot pe ho ty ui • Eq w nudity is involved llo fo w the industry. Modelling no ill w n publicatio in a shoot before a may look glamorous but de suit and sign co model agrees to it, it can involve incredibly

and ensure they are well treated while working. At present, a request to take off their clothes can be made during a shoot with no prior warning and a model can find it difficult to refuse or to fully consider whether they want to do it. Model Sara Ziff, who founded Model Alliance, which offers support for those in the fashion industry, says this code is necessary. Speaking to the Guardian she says: 'To many, fashion seems fun and frivolous, and so it follows that modelling is seen more as a privilege than a job. This is wrong. The industry's glossy veneer camouflages the sometimes harsh realities of working as a model. ‘As someone who, on occasion, has worked 20hour days and been admonished for so much as asking to use the toilet, the Equity and Vogue code represents a welcome change. ‘In an industry that relies on a labour force of minors who know they are highly replaceable and who are often too

Alexandra Shulman, Editor of British Vogue. timid to say no to such demands, this important protection is long overdue.’ Equity say on their website that: ‘Models hired by British Vogue for editorial work will now get assurances on hours of work, breaks, food, transport, nudity and seminudity, temperature, changing rooms and prompt payment. ‘British Vogue readers can also be assured that all

models in Vogue’s editorial are employed in line with the Code, and additionally that models under 16 years of age will not be used in photoshoots representing adult models.’ British and American Vogue have both already pledged not to use models under 16 or who appear to have an eating disorder.


Kvitova leads Czechs against Italy in Fed Cup PRAGUE: Holders Czech Republic on Wednesday named a five-member squad led by world number eight Petra Kvitova for their Fed Cup semifinal tie against Italy on clay in Palermo on April 2021. Besides Kvitova, team captain Petr Pala has called up world number 21 Klara Zakopalova and 25th-ranked Lucie Safarova along with doubles specialists Andrea Hlavackova and Lucie Hradecka, the world numbers four and five in doubles. The Czechs eased past Australia 4-0 at home in this year's first round in February, while Italy beat the United States 3-2. Kvitova and Safarova led the Czechs to two straight Fed Cup victories in 2011 and 2012. Besides the two recent wins for the Czech Republic, the former Czechoslovakia lifted the Fed Cup five times between 1975 and 1988. –AGENCIES

Malaysia bids to host 2019 Soccer Asian Cup KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia is bidding to host the 2019 Asian Cup, looking to edge out 10 other countries interested in holding the region's premier football tournament, an official said Wednesday. An official with the Football Association of Malaysia said the Southeast Asian nation had started submitting documents to the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) to support its bid. "We are bidding for it. The process has begun," he told AFP. Malaysia, whose national team is currently ranked 164th in the world, previously co-hosted the cup, which takes place every four years, in 2007, together with neighbours Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam. AFC said in a statement last month that 11 countries have expressed interest in hosting the cup. Besides Malaysia, whose team is ranked lower than all its potential rivals, the prospective hosts are Bahrain, China, Iran, Kuwait, Lebanon, Myanmar, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Thailand and the United Arab Emirates. The countries have until June 1 to submit the necessary documents for their bids, the football body said. –AGENCIES

UEFA proposes 10-match racism ban LONDON: Players found guilty of racial abuse will face minimum suspensions of 10 matches, under plans laid out by UEFA general secretary Gianni Infantino on Wednesday. Infantino also said racist offences would trigger partial stadium closures in the first instance and full stadium closures for a second incident. The proposed punishments would affect all matches in European competition. "We have to have sanctions and they must have a deterrent effect and what we are proposing is if a player or official is convicted of racism, they should receive a 10-match suspension at least," Infantino told the Soccerex forum in Manchester. "If supporters at a club are found guilty of racist abuse, the first sanction will be a partial closure of the part of the stadium from which the racist abuse took place. "For a second offence, there will be the full closure and a minimum fine of 50,000 euros ($65,000)." Infantino said that all of UEFA's national member associations would be urged to adopt the measures. Two recent high-profile cases of racist abuse in England saw Chelsea's John Terry and Liverpool's Luis Suarez banned for four and eight matches respectively, but Infantino believes that is no longer enough. "We are saying that it should be 10 matches – it has been five matches and we will double it," he said. –AGENCIES

Borussia Dortmund, Real Madrid in last four of Champions League PARIS: Borussia Dortmund produced a stunning late comeback to beat Malaga and progress to the Champions League semifinals on Tuesday, while Real Madrid saw off the challenge of Galatasaray. After a goalless draw in last week's first leg in Spain, Dortmund looked to be heading out of Europe when they trailed 2-1 on the night with the game at the Signal Iduna Park moving into injury time. Marco Reus gave the Bundesliga club hope when he made it 2-2 in the 91st minute, but at that point Malaga were still heading through on away goals and it took Felipe Santana's close-range finish to decide the tie in Dortmund's favour. With Madrid leading 3-0 from last week's first leg, there was never likely to be as much drama in their quarter-final return against Galatasaray in Istanbul, and even less so after Cristiano Ronaldo put the Spaniards ahead early on. But three goals in 15 second-half minutes gave Galatasaray some hope before Ronaldo's second of the night in stoppage time finally ended any doubt as to who would progress. Still unbeaten in this season's Champions League, Dortmund had plenty of reason to be confident of seeing off the challenge of tournament debutants Malaga, but there must have been a nagging concern at their inability to score an away goal at La Rosaleda last week. And they were left with an uphill struggle to qualify when Joaquin gave the visitors a 25thminute lead on the night, capitalising on slack defending to drive a low shot through the legs of Neven Subotic and past Roman Weidenfeller in the home goal. The Signal Iduna Park's huge South Stand was momentarily silenced by that goal, with Dortmund now needing to score twice to go through. They got one back five minutes before the interval when Robert Lewandowski ran on to a stunning Marco Reus flick and scored his sixth of the season in the competition. But Malaga looked certain to be heading through when substitute Eliseu, from an offside position, tapped in a Julio Baptista shot in the 82nd minute. Suddenly Dortmund needed two more goals but they got one when Reus finished from close range a minute into injury time and the stadium

Malaga's Argentinian defender Martin Demichelis (C) and Malaga's midfielder Ignacio Camacho (R) vie for the ball with Dortmund's striker Julian Schieber (L) during the UEFA Champions League quarter-final second-leg match of Borussia Dortmund vs Malaga CF in western Germany. Dortmund won the match 3-2 and qualified for the semi-finals. –AGENCIES erupted when Santana bundled in at the very end. The Brazilian looked to be in an offside position, but the goal stood. "There is one very disappointed team at the moment and one lucky team," admitted Dortmund coach Juergen Klopp. "It is unbelievable. It was our worst game in the Champions League this season but over the two games I think we are deserving winners. "If we play like tonight we won't win the Champions League," he added. "But now we've reached our target, a semi-final." In contrast, Malaga were left heartbroken, with striker Roque Santa Cruz saying: "We were four minutes away from the semis. There is huge disappointment in the dressing room. We had the tie in our hands." In Istanbul, Ronaldo's closerange finish from a Sami Khedira centre put Real ahead on the night and left Galatasaray needing to score five times to turn the tie around. In a remarkable 15-minute spell in the second period, Emmanuel Eboue's thumping effort levelled the

scores on the night before Wesley Sneijder's neat finish made it 2-1. Didier Drogba, a Champions League winner with Chelsea last season, then back-flicked a Nordin Amrabat cross into the net to make it 31, but the Turkish giants still had too much to do, and Ronaldo's second of the night – his 50th in Europe – made the final score 3-2 on the night. Real progress 5-3 on aggregate and coach Jose Mourinho can now look forward to his seventh Champions League semifinal. "In this kind of match we had everything to lose but nothing to gain," said Mourinho. "Now we have a semi to play, against a great team. We do not know which one yet, but they will be great. It will be hard but now is the time to enjoy ourselves and not to be nervous or afraid." The semifinal lineup will be completed on Wednesday when Barcelona meet Paris Saint-Germain and Juventus take on Bayern Munich in the other quarterfinal second legs. –AGENCIES

Pakistan’s tennis star to fight Davis Cup case OUR STAFF REPORTER LAH ORE: Pakistan tennis star Aisamul Haq Qureshi Wednesday said he would fight Pakistan’s case after a referee’s decision to award a Davis Cup tie to New Zealand

because of an unplayable court surface at a neutral venue. Qureshi, 33, the country’s first player to reach a Grand Slam doubles final, was part of the squad that faced New Zealand in an Asia Oceania Group II tie, which was shifted to

Aisamul Haq Qureshi (L) is flanked by his partner Aqeel Khan as he speaks during a news conference on Wednesday. –AGENCIES

Pakistan launches hunt for fast bowlers OUR STAFF REPORTER

L AHORE: The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on Wednesday launched a hunt for fast bowlers to overcome a shortage of quality pacemen in the country once known for its production line of quicks. Under the ‘King of Speed’ programme, the PCB will seek out bowlers who can hit 145kph (90 mph) for a special training camp with legendary left-armer Wasim Akram. Wasim and pace partner Waqar Younis formed one of the deadliest pairings in international cricket and furthered the art mastered by their illustrious mentor and captain Imran Khan in the 1970s and 80s. Speed king Shoaib Akhtar and Mohammad Sami dominated the scene in 1990s and 2000s and both attained speeds of over 100 mph in international matches. But the lack of quality pace bowlers has been a concern, with the country's chief selector Iqbal Qasim last month raising fears Pakistan might not get quality stuff in the pace department unless concerted efforts were made. “The King of Speed camps will be set up in ten cities across Pakistan from April 13 to 21,” a PCB spokesman said. Wasim last week agreed to help the PCB unearth talented fast bowlers and also help the current bowlers in the national team ahead of the eight-nation Champions Trophy to be held in England from June 6-23. The PCB along with their sponsors will give away a grand prize of one million rupees ($10,000) to the bowler who achieves the fastest speed above 145-kph. “The trials will be held in two phases, potential bowlers will be registered at their respective stations and the top two bowlers with most potential from each camp will represent their respective cities and move onto the second phase which will be held in Lahore and Karachi,” added the spokesman. To facilitate this grand activity the PCB will extend full support during the selection process in each of the selected cities and will provide speed-detecting guns for the selection of candidates. “After the completion of round two, the three players selected via wild card will join Wasim Akram along with bowlers from the Pakistan national team at national bowling camp to be hosted in Karachi.

Wisden celebrates 150 not out

Myanmar over security fears in Pakistan. Pakistan were leading 1-0 on Friday and Aisam was ahead in the second singles match when Sri Lankan referee Ashita Ajigala stopped the match and awarded the tie to New Zealand, as the courts were Pakistan’s responsibility. The Pakistan Tennis Federation (PTF) had already announced it was lodging a protest with the International Tennis Federation (ITF), but Aisam said he would meet Davis Cup officials in London to present the team’s case. “I am leaving for London and will meet Davis Cup officials on Friday to put Pakistan's case before them and I am positive of a solution as the tie was unfairly awarded against us,” Aisam told a press conference. “It seemed the referee was not working for the ITF but for New Zealand and he was clearly partial and unjust.” The area declared unplayable was outside the lines of the court, he added. Aisam paired with India's Rohan Bopanna, dubbed the ‘Indo-Pak express’, to reach the final of US Open doubles in 2010, where they lost to the American Bryan brothers.

LONDON: It started as a work of a former cricketer looking to secure an income in his retirement and was priced at a modest one shilling. By contrast, Wednesday saw the publication of the 150th edition of Wisden Cricketers' Almanack, with the hardback edition a somewhat more expensive £50 ($76, 59 euros). In the intervening years the publication founded by John Wisden – an English professional bowler known for his "fast and ripping off-cutters" – has established itself as the "bible of cricket". Published every year since 1864 – not even two world wars interrupted the unbroken sequence – the appearance of the annual, primarily a review of the previous year's English cricket season but now encompassing the global cricket calendar, has become a landmark event among the game's enthusiasts. That first edition was a 112page work, in contrast to the some 1,500 pages needed to encompass the modern game, and included such random details as the lengths of Britain's canals. Also there were the dates of the Wars of the Roses – a series of dynastic wars fought for the English crown in the 15th century – and the rules of an ancient pub game called Knur and Spell. But over time features that have become staples made their first appearance, with 1889 marking the debut of the Almanack's Cricketers of the Year – a highly prized award which a player can win only once in their career. Recipients have ranged from giants of

the game in the 19th and early 20th centuries such as W.G. Grace and Jack Hobbs to modern-day greats from Viv Richards and Ian Botham to current England skipper Alastair Cook and Indian legend Sachin Tendulkar. "It was an honour to be named one of the Wisden Cricketers of the Year in 1993 because you feel like you are being recognised by one of the game's great institutions," former England captain Alec Stewart told the BBC. The reference work's familiar yellow cover made its debut with the 1938 edition, as did the woodcut image by artist Eric Ravilious of two Victorian-era gentlemen playing cricket, which has since become Wisden's emblem. Having outlived some early rivals, Wisden established a pre-eminent place in cricket publishing. But in an age when cricket statistics and comment are just a mouse-click away and the Internet provides a constantly updated supply of information, how will Wisden, having reached a well-known cricketing landmark "score" of 150, press on to its double century? "In an age of tweeting and blogging, which are both important nowadays, we try to make a virtue of the fact that we can step back and take a considered view," current editor Lawrence Booth told the BBC. "The fact that people still buy Wisden suggests there is still an affection for that approach. Until people stop buying it we will carry on doing it." –AGENCIES

Tiger roars into Masters seeking end to major drought AUGUSTA: Tiger Woods, favored to win this week's 77th Masters and take his first major title since 2008, says he would have won a couple more Masters crowns the past few years had he putted better. World No. 1 Woods, a 14time major champion chasing the all-time record of 18 major titles won by Jack Nicklaus, has not won the Masters since taking his fourth in 2005 and has not won any major since the 2008 US Open. But Woods has won three times this year, his 77 career titles only five shy of Sam Snead's alltime record, and has displayed clutch putting skill in triumphs at Torrey Pines and last month at Doral and Bay Hill. "I feel comfortable with every aspect of my game," Woods said. "I feel that I've improved and I've got more consistent and I think the wins show that." Except for last year when he shared 40th, Woods has been a contender at Augusta National since he last won a green jacket, finishing sharing third in 2006, second in 2007 and 2008, sharing sixth in 2009 and sharing fourth in 2010 and 2011 when his infamous sex scandal and injuries hampered his bid. Asked if he would have had a couple more Masters victories had he simply putted better over the undulating greens of Augusta National, Woods replied, "Absolutely." "I was there ball-

striking-wise a few years through that stretch where I hit it pretty well, but just didn't make enough putts. I was there on Sundays with a chance, and unfortunately just didn't get it done. "You have to make your putts. You have to make the majority of the putts inside 10 feet and you've got to be just a great lag putter." Woods said his 2005 triumph, which came when he beat Chris DiMarco with a birdie on the first hole of a playoff, felt like a long time ago. "I put myself in the mix every year but last year," Woods said. "It's not like I've been out of there with no chance of winning this championship. "Not real happy with the fact that I haven't won more. I've been in the mix and just haven't gotten it done. "But the whole idea is to give myself opportunities and as of right now I'm tied for second on the all-time win list here, so that's not too bad, either." There's a sense that his top rival this year will be Rory McIlroy, who played the past two weeks to round his game into shape, particularly his swing. A second-place effort at last week's Texas Open boosted McIlroy's confidence. "When I don't play my best, it's when I get into bad habits in my swing," McIlroy said. "Whenever my golf swing is where I want to be, that's when I produce results and that's what I've seen has started to happen over the past few weeks."

The Northern Irishman, who saw Woods vault past him to take the World No. 1 ranking last month for the first time since October 2010, hopes to add a green jacket to a major haul that includes the 2011 US Open and 2012 PGA Championship. He's not worried that Woods is showing his best form in years. "Doesn't make a difference to me at all," McIlroy said. "I'm here to concentrate on myself and play my game and try to shoot the best score that I can. It really doesn't matter what anyone else does. "If I can do that, I know I'll have a good chance." Defending champion Bubba Watson, who has not won since taking last year's Masters, considers Woods the man to beat. "If you're No. 1 in the world, I think you should be the favorite," Watson said. "It would be kind of weird if he's the underdog and he's No. 1 in the world. He's playing the best. That's all you need to look at." The last time Woods won back-toback events just ahead of Augusta as he has this year was in 2001 when he won Bay Hill and the Players Championship before a Masters win completed the "Tiger Slam" of four major triumphs in a row. "We all know what he is capable of doing," Australian Adam Scott said. "He has got the runs on the board for that. "(But) he is far from running away with it. He has returned to No. 1 but that is just a number.


Paul Lawrie of Scotland hits out of a bunker on the second hole during a practice round prior to the start of the 2013 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on Wednesday. –AGENCIES looking at his score," Mickelson said of Woods. It's not a foregone conclusion." Three-time Masters winner Phil Mickelson "You're always worried about him making that hopes to make a charge as well, having won big run the way he has always done throughout earlier this year at Phoenix and taken the green his career, and now that he's doing it and jacket in 2004, 2006 and 2010. "Even at times winning tournaments in such a dominating where he has not played his best, you know fashion, it does have the feel of what we expect what he's capable of, and so you're always to see from Tiger." –AGENCIES



APRIL 11, 2013

Political parties up the ante against caretakers 

Shujaat calls all caretaker ministers irresponsible  ANP submits motion in Senate


ISLAMABAD: "Irresponsible" and "controversial" are the two words which has started circling around the caretaker government of Mir Haza Khan Khoso as former allies of Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), PML-Q and ANP have formally raised questions on the inclusion of two ministers in a set up which was supposed to hold free, fair and just elections on May 11. Ministers involved in the controversy are interior minister

Malik Habib and petroleum minister Sohail Wajahat. These political parties are also considering filing a complaint against the caretaker set up of Punjab but fearing the repercussions from a TV-anchorturned-caretaker chief minister, they are contemplating on this move. Meanwhile, the PPP is considering to make it a central theme of their strategy for the upcoming elections by contacting all its former allies to rally around

this idea of keeping not only the caretaker governments under pressure but also putting Election Commission of Pakistan in some trouble, informed key party leaders. They were of the view that MQM seems to be interested in joining the chorus while some in Balochistan and JUI-F might also like to join the bandwagon. They, however, said that Punjab’s case is special and the party leadership is trying to work out its strategy with regard to the TV-Anchor run caretaker set up of Punjab. “But we

won’t take very long on that,” they assured when asked. PML-Q President Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain Wednesday wrote a letter to the Chief Election Commission (CEC) Fakhruddin G Ebrahim raising objections over the behavior of all caretaker ministers by calling them “irresponsible”. Shujaat asked the CEC to announce a policy which defined the duties of the caretaker cabinet. On Tuesday, the Election Commission of Pakistan took notice of a statement made by the caretaker interior

minister regarding PML-N President Nawaz Sharif. In a related development, the ANP has submitted multiple adjournment motions against caretaker ministers of Interior and Petroleum in Senate. These motions were submitted in Senate’s Secretariat on Wednesday, which were signed by ANP Senators Zahid Khan, Shahi Syed, Afrasiyab Khattak and Haji Adeel. ANP Senators took stance that the caretaker Interior Minister Malik Habib has become controversial by

uttering statement in favour of PML(N) leader Nawaz Sharif , while caretaker minister of Petroleum Sohail Wajahat has corruption charges and Transparency International has also raised objections on him. “It would not be appropriate to keep both the personalities in the caretaker cabinet, so the debate on their inclusion in the government may be held in the Senate and they should be expelled out from the federal cabinet”, the motion added.

Khoso on maiden visit to home province

PM orders strict security in Balochistan

Zardari okays appointment of 2 additional LHc judges ISLAMABAD: President Asif Ali Zardari Wednesday approved the appointment of the six Additional Judges of Lahore High Court for a period of one year. The President on the advice of the Prime Minister approved the appointments of Shoaib Saeed, Atir Mahmood,. Shahid Bilal Hassan, Miss Aalia Neelum, Shezada Mazhar and Abid Aziz Sheikh. President’s Spokesperson Senator Farhatullah Babar said the nominations were forwarded by the Judicial Commission of Pakistan to the Parliamentary Committee on Judges Appointment in the Superior Courts which were subsequently forwarded to the Prime Minister under Clause 13 of Article 175A of the Constitution. –ONLINE

Judge refuses to hear Nawaz disqualification plea LAHORE: Justice Khawaja Imtiaz, heading an election tribunal, Wednesday refused to hear plea filed over disqualification of PML-N President Nawaz Sharif. Justice Khawaja Imtiaz said he could not hear the plea as he had earlier given decision in favour of Sharif family in defaulter case. He sent a circular to Chief Justice Omar Atta Bandial for referring the hearing of the plea to another bench. –AGENCIES

QUETTA: Chairman Pakhtoonkhwa Milli Awami Party Mahmood Khan Achakzai meets Caretaker PM Mir Hazar Khan Khoso at Governor House. –ONLINE

Jamaat demands 20 NA and 50pc seats in KP

JI-PML-N talks hit stalemate

US judge sets Osama son-in-law’s trial NEW YORK: A New York federal judge has set the terrorism trial of Osama bin Laden’s son-in-law for January after defence lawyers said US budget cuts would make it hard to prepare by an earlier date. Judge Lewis Kaplan issued an order signed Tuesday fixing a January 7 start date for the trial of Sulaiman Abu Ghaith. Alleged to have been the late AlQaeda founder’s propaganda chief, Abu Ghaith is accused of conspiring to kill Americans. He has pleaded not guilty. –AGENCIES

Indian court reopens probe into Sikh riots NEW DELHI: An Indian court on Wednesday ordered federal investigators to reopen a case against a ruling Congress party leader over deadly 1984 riots that killed at least 3,000 members of the Sikh community. The CBI had earlier cleared Jagdish Tytler and closed the case but a local judge in New Delhi ruled that his alleged role in the November 1984 riots must be investigated again. “The court gave directions to the CBI to record the statements of the witnesses who had seen Tytler lead the mob,” lawyer for one of the riot victims said. The court also asked the CBI to investigate whether Tytler had incited a mob that killed three Sikh men at a shrine during the riots, Phoolka added. –AGENCIES

Seat adjustment delaying party tickets


IS L AM ABA D: With Jamaat-eIslami (JI) demanding more than 20 National Assembly seats and 50 percent seats for the KhyberPakhtunkhwa assembly in the seat adjustment formula with the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), the talks between the two political parties have hit a snag. According to the sources, the PML-N was even ready to surrender two seats to the JI from Lahore to accommodate bigwigs of the religious party which include Liaqat Baloch, Hafiz Salman Butt and Fareed Paracha in view of what the former viewed as an unrealistic demand by the latter, but as the religious party insisted for at least 18 seats from across the country, the PML-N seemed to be in no mood to move forward on the seat adjustment formula. “The talks between the two parties have hit a deadlock due to the unrealistic demand by the JI”, sources privy to the development told The Spokesman on Wednesday. Besides this, they said the JI is demanding half of the constituencies in every district of the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province under the seat

adjustment formula, which is quite incomprehensible for the PML-N leadership, particularly keeping in view the strength of the religious party in the province. They said Nawaz-league was also willing to support JI candidate for NA-48, Islamabad but they added, the latter was demanding the other federal capital seat also. The Nawaz-led party believes that the JI was using the Imran factor as a tool to increase psychological pressure upon it. After the parleys between the two parties reached a deadlock, the Nawaz-led party has decided to pursue the JUI-F on the seat adjustment formula. Same is the case with JUI-F, however, the sources said the Nawaz-led party is somewhat courteous towards the former due to its strength in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan. “The talks between the PML-N and JUI-F on the seat adjustment are in progress”, the sources said. The inconclusive talks with both the religious parties however, have caused delay in award of party tickets to the PML-N candidates as it is not clear about in which constituency it will be entering into a seat adjustment formula with the Fazl-led party, the sources added.

Indira offered N-tech to ZAB: WikiLeaks NEW DELHI: Former Indian prime minister Indira Gandhi had offered nuclear technology to her Pakistani counterpart Zulfikar Ali Bhutto after India’s first nuclear test in 1974, said a Times of India report on Wednesday quoting WikiLeaks. According to WikiLeaks, Indira had informed her parliament on July 22 that she told Bhutto that New Delhi would be ready to share relevant technology to Pakistan. “I have explained in my letter to prime minister Bhutto the peaceful nature and the economic purposes of this experiment and have also stated that India is willing to share her nuclear technology with Pakistan in the same way she is willing to share it with other countries, provided proper conditions for understanding and trust are created. I once again repeat this assurance,” WikiLeaks quoted Indira as saying. The US Embassy cables released by WikiLeaks added that Bhutto had rejected Indira’s offer. The cables said that Indira was “evasive about nuclear weaponisation”. “If our scientists have the basic knowhow, without which they couldn’t have done this, then any government could have directed them to make a bomb if they had so desired,” she was quoted as saying. –STAFF REPORTER

Meets governor, CM, political leaders

QUETTA: Caretaker Prime Minister Mir Hazar Khan Khoso on Wednesday directed the provincial government to ensure foolproof security for the leaders of political parties and voters besides taking steps for holding free, fair and transparent elections. He made these remarks while talking to Balochistan Governor Nawab Zulfiqar Ali Magsi and Caretaker Chief Minister Nawab Ghous Bakhsh Barozai at Governor’s House. The Prime Minister arrived on his maiden visit to his native province to review the law and order situation with special focus on the arrangements for the general election 2013 in Balochistan. “Overwhelming participation of the nationalist parties in the general election is an encouraging sign which would bring about positive change in overall situation in Balochistan,” Khoso stressed. He said that caretaker government was impartial and committed to creating a conducive environment for elections across the country. “We are in contact with the provincial government and a concerted strategy is being

evolved to ensure that all concerned departments remain neutral during the polls,” he maintained. Mir Khoso, on the occasion, was briefed about the steps taken for maintaining peace and necessary arrangements pertaining to the elections. Balochistan Chief Secretary Babar Yaqoob Fateh Mohammad, Home Secretary Akbar Hussain Durani and Balcohistan IG Police Mushtaq Ahmed Sukhaira were also present. Leaders of political parties including Pakhtunkhwa Mili Awami Party (PkMAP) Mehmood Khan Achakzai, Central Senior Vice President Balochistan National Party (Mengal) Dr Jhanzaib Jamaldini and a delegation of notables from Sibi, Jaffarbad and Naseerabad also met with the caretaker prime minister. Development projects executed in parts of the province were discussed besides matters pertaining to mutual interests. Later, the caretaker PM was also briefed on Gwadar Deep Sea project. Khoso directed the officials concerned for improving irrigation system in Sibi, Dera Allahyar, Jhal Magsi and Nasirabad. –AGENCIES

ECP expresses inability on overseas voting 

Favours voting by postal ballot


ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) Wednesday pointed out difficulties in providing electronic voting facilities to overseas Pakistanis. The ECP held a meeting to discuss voting of overseas Pakistanis. Talking to media after the meeting, ECP Secretary Ishtiaq Ahmed Khan said it was the wish of the Commission, Supreme Court and others that overseas Pakistanis should have the facility to vote. However, he stated that there would be difficulties in providing this facility in the May 11 elections. He said time constraint was a major hurdle in providing overseas Pakistanis the facility to vote. The ECP Secretary said NADRA had created the software for e-voting which would be presented in the Supreme Court on Thursday. He said

all ministries have assured their complete cooperation regarding ongoing efforts to render voting rights to overseas Pakistanis. The Secretary said vote casting through postal ballot is possible, but added: “The Supreme Court has ordered the Commission to develop a system of electronic voting.” He said that ministries of interior, finance and foreign affairs and overseas Pakistanis would also give their arguments on the issue before the Supreme Court on Thursday (today). Agencies add: North Waziristan agency will have the lowest female representation in Pakistan’s upcoming general elections, shows new district-wise data released by the Election Commission. According to data, men will outnumber women in the coming polls, with 48.25 million or 56.5 per cent male voters as compared to 37.16 million or 43.5 per cent female voters.

World capitals keep anxious eye out for election results MOHAMMED RIZWAN LAHORE: As the national elections draw closer, not only people across the country wait with bated breath for the outcome of what is being billed as ‘make or break elections, foreign capitals around the world too, are watching anxiously for the emergence of new leader in Islamabad. True, most nations that deal with Pakistan understand where the equilibrium of power lies when it comes to foreign policy issues, however, the ideology and public demeanor of the new national leader will certainly have the potential to induce changes,

however slight, in the framing of foreign policy objectives. The all important capitals for Pakistan – Washington, New Delhi, Kabul, Beijing, Riyadh and Tehran – would certainly like to know how the new leader responds to centrifugal forces. Given, like all other civilian leaders, the new leader would also remain in the national security orbit but certain leaders would have different tendencies dealing with various capitals. And that slight tilt or pull in certain situations, could matter. Take scenario one. If, as some polls suggest, Nawaz or brother Shahbaz head a PML-N coalition, it will be an

interesting scenario for Washington as both Sharifs are publicly staunch opponents of US drone policy which has been so effective so far for Washington. Here, Washington will definitely have to give concessions to new civilian government to save them from public embarrassment. The concession could come in form of more intelligence sharing from Pakistan which, consequently, could cut back on collateral damage, the main source of friction. Two, the sources of aid from Washington are not going to flow back to heydays anytime soon and it has the potential of decreasing the US leverage on Pakistan. It would mean that

Pakistan’s dependence on Riyadh will increase more as long as Sharifs would stay in power. However, the catch is to perform the balancing act between the Saudi wishes and Tehran’s aspirations. Pakistan, like during President Zardari’s time would be in a position to keep acting as a balancing wedge between Riyadh and Tehran. Pakistan will continue to seek a friendly, if not pro-Pakistan, government in Kabul and the use of proxies against any future Northen Alliance-led government is likely to reduce. As far as New Delhi is concerned, Islamabad will be practically receptive to friendship offers but in public, the

rhetoric will have to match the wishes of real power centres. The bilateral trade with Beijing and Delhi will pick up as would the quest for new markets. If Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaf, somehow, surprises its detractors and manages to form government in either Centre (unlikely) or Khyber Pakhtoonkhaw (more likely), there could be a longdrawn process of talks with TTP and affiliates with the help of tribal leaders that may result in relative calm in the country’s embattles north-west. FATA will be brought under the provincial government to give the Pakistan administration more development leverage in the area. Imran’s personal

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

charm and influence over the tribals would play a key role in bringing those areas to normalcy and that might give PTI a nation-wide popularity. If PTI rules in KPK or centre it will be the time of talk-talk and little fight on the side. However, none of these two parties will have ultimate say in the affairs of Balochistan. Islamabad’s foreign policy preferences will continue to reflect in Balochistan and mere dressing on the wound will not be enough to bring peace in the province. However, here, PTI will be more willing to change its foreign policy directions to redress the situation in Balochistan as compared to conservative PML-N.

The spokesman  

of the people 11-04-2013

The spokesman  

of the people 11-04-2013