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Quetta violence can inflame entire country: CJ

Malik saga ̶ thriller all the way-V

Questions blocking roads leading to Hazara Town  SC rejects report on Kirani Road bombing


The saga of Malik Riaz’s success is not just about a poor man making it big in a rich man’s world. It is more about the manner in which he did that. This tells about the country where bribery and kickbacks and the use of brutal state apparatus against helpless people can make you a tycoon—it just takes a few years. And this also says something about the state of affairs in the Army that promoted him and still retains him as a partner. Page 03

ISLAMABAD: Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry observed on Tuesday that the alarming situation in Balochistan, if not controlled by taking it seriously, could affect the whole country, causing an irreparable loss to the country. He was heading a three-member Supreme Court bench comprising Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan and Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed, which was hearing a suo motu case pertaining to unabated killings of the Hazara community in Quetta.

The court expressed dissatisfaction over a report submitted by the Balochistan government over the Quetta carnage, and directed the chief secretary, home secretary, IG Frontier Corps (FC) and IG Police to submit a comprehensive report until March 6 over the Kirani Road incident, and it must contain the steps taken or being taken to avert such incidents in future and restore peace in the province. The chief justice criticised the Balochistan government, saying despite reservations of the Hazara community, no steps were taken to secure them. He

said if steps were not taken, such incidents could spread to other cities as well. Additional Advocate General Balochistan Azam Khattak presented a report over the Kirani Road carnage, but the court rejected it. The report stated that a chemical used in fertilizers was being utilised in bombs. It said security of the Hazara community had been enhanced while a decision had been taken to block all the ways leading to Hazara town. “Do you want to isolate the Hazara Town,” the chief justice asked, adding that an affirmative solution of the matter should be devised, instead of

Private schools rise against watchdog plan

isolating them and turning the spot into a ‘no-go’ area. He said now the people of Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat were also complaining that their people were being targeted. He admonished the additional advocate general over killing of some accused without trial. “Do you live in jungle? Where do you kill the accused without trial,” the chief justice asked. Jaferia Alliance leader Allama Abbas Kumaili told the court that assassination of Shia community members had been going on in the province since 1990s; however, no suspect was arrest since then and if

anyone was arrested, he was released soon. Nasir Ali Shah, a PPP MNA, said attempts were being made to spread sectarianism in the province. The court directed the provincial government to identify and arrest the accused involved in the Quetta carnage. It also decided that it would hear the Quetta carnage case with the Balochistan unrest case in future. Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan noted that the authorities had failed to reach to the root causes of sectarian killings and terrorism in the province. Later, the court adjourned further hearing until March 6.

Pagara, Jatoi join forces with Nawaz

Terming the Islamabad Capital Territory Private Educational Institutions (Registration and Regulation) Bill, 2003, which was passed in the Senate on Tuesday, as a black law, the All Pakistan Private Schools and Colleges Association announced to stage a sit-in outside the Parliament House if their negotiations with the educational regulatory body failed. Page 02

PML-N makes inroads in Sindh

PIMS pursues court call on Bahria Town land-grabbing Following court directions for launching an operation against the Bahria Town administration for encroaching on land in front of Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences, Khalid Waraich, the executive director of the hospital, has asked the Capital Development Authority, through a letter, to take action against the Bahria Dastarkhwan, as it has become a security concern for the hospital. Page 04

More parties to join hands


KARACHI: PML-N President Nawaz Sharif addressing a press conference after a meeting with PML-F chief Pir Pagara at Kingri House. Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif and Sardar Mumtaz Ali Bhutto can also be seen in the picture. –ONLINE

Pakistan finally gets climate change policy

Khyber Agency lawless as ever Khyber Agency in a true sense presents the view of traditional “Shehr-eNapursan”, a neglected city without rule of law. Due to high cronyism, nepotism and patronage in the political administration the junior officials are working at senior positions and vice versa. The junior officers are holding high posts due to their strong political background. Page 05

ZEESHANJAVAID ISLAMABAD: The federal government on Tuesday launched the “National Climate Change Policy” with support from stakeholders including the United Nation’s (UN) Joint Programmeon Environment. The policy lays down measures for mitigation as well as adaptation for sectors including energy, transport, agriculture and livestock, industries, forestry, water resources, biodiversity, ecosystems with cross cutting themes of disaster risk reduction, human security and gender equality. A senior director in the ministry of climate change, Zia-ul-Islam, said there are number of climate change threats to Pakistan including considerable increase in frequency and intensity of extreme weather events, coupled with erratic monsoon rains causing frequent and intense floods and droughts. Federal Minister for Climate Change Rana Mohammad FarooqSaeed Khan said that the policy took into account risks and vulnerabilities of various development sectors with specific emphasis on water, food, energy, national security issues and provides strategic guidance in the form of appropriate

ʻRealisticʼ role for bold Veena in Zindagi 50-50 Pakistani actor Veena Malik says her role in Zindagi 50-50 is more realistic than bold. “I think this character is realistic rather than bold. This is a true story of a girl and I have given more than my 100 percent, thanks to Madhuri, the character I am playing,” Veena said on Friday at the music launch of the film. Veena plays Madhuri, a prostitute in the real-life inspired film. She even met the real prostitutes as part of her preparation for the role. “I met her. Had I not met her, I would not have been able to play this character with such ease,” she said. Page 10

mitigation and adaptation interventions. The UNDP Pakistan Director MarcAndré Franche congratulated the government on the launch of the policy and said Pakistan is among the most vulnerable countries facing climate risks, so mechanisms need to be devised for greener, more resilient options for growth and sustainable development. INP adds: In another development on Tuesday,President Asif Ali Zardari Tuesday signed the Instrument of Ratification for Pakistan to become a member of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). His spokesperson Senator Farhatullah Babar said that the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) that was founded on January 26, 2009, in Bonn, Germany, aimed to promote widespread and increased adoption and the sustainable use of all forms of renewable energy. To-date 149 countries have signed the statute of IRENA while 76 have ratified it. He said that recognizing the advantages of this international forum, Pakistan took active part in the formative phase of IRENA and participated actively in the preparatory meetings that were held before this forum was formally established.

Guard killed in attack on polio team OUR STAFF REPORTER MARDAN: A police guard was killed in an attack on anti-polio team in the Khawa area of Nawakili in Mardan while the lady health workers remained safe in the attack. According to District Police Officer Danishwar Khan, the anti-polio team was busy in administering polio drops to children in the locality when three unidentified persons opened indiscriminate fire at them. As a result, police constable Saeed Khan, a resident of Mayar, was killed while the lady health workers managed to save their life taking refuge in a house. Agencies add: A similar incident took place in Swabi where on January 29 gunmen attacked a polio immunization team in Gullu Dheri, killing a policeman who was escorting the team. The authorities had ordered police to provide security to anti-polio teams.

KARACHI: The ruling PPP may have cause for concern after their old allies, Pakistan Muslim LeagueFunctional and National People’s Party decided on Tuesday to side with their arch-rivals – the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz. Speaking at a joint press conference with PML-F chief Pir Pagara and NPP chief Ghulam Murtaza Jatoi, PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif said they would make all-out efforts to include other opposition parties including Jamaat-e-Islami in this alliance as well – possibly posing a credible counter to the PPP in its traditional stronghold of Sindh. The PML-N chief said that Karachi was being held ‘hostage’. “Chief Election Commisioner Justice (Retd) Fakhruddin G. Ebrahim should pay attention to Karachi in particular – if polls were not held in a transparent manner in the city, the results will not be accepted.” Earlier, Opposition Leader in the National Assembly Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan and Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, both members of the PML-N, also met with a PML-F

delegation at Kingri House. Both parties agreed to work with “full cooperation”. Nawaz also visited the home of the late Professor Ghafoor Ahmed, of Jamaat-e-Islami, to express his condolences. PML-F chief Pir Pagara, meanwhile, lashed out at former ally PPP, criticising its five-year rule. Nawaz said if the country wanted to see peace, then negotiations with the Tehrik-i-Taliban were necessary. Online adds: Nawaz Sharif said that an agreed candidate would be introduced for each and every electoral seat in Sindh for coming elections with consensus between allies parties in the province. He demanded the government to sack all governors who had been appointed on political grounds. PML-N president said local government bill was victory of Sindhi people and was in accordance with his stance. Nawaz, without naming MQM, said the people of Sindh were being made fools as a key ally of ruling PPP had quit the alliance to be granted opposition status for clutching favour in interim set-up.

US Army building facility for Pakistan at Karachi airport ISLAMABAD: The US Army Corps of Engineer has been granted permission to build a Tactical Command and Operations Centre (TCOC) compound at the Jinnah International Airport (JIAP), Karachi to exchange information with Pakistan Customs Drug Enforcement Cell concerning smuggling activities in and around Karachi, according to documents released by US Army Corps of Engineer, Middle East District. “US Army corps of engineer intends to solicit a Request for Proposal (RFP) to construction firms or Joint Ventures (JV) experienced in working in the Middle East region who are interested in submitting a proposal for the design and construction of tactical command and operations centre compound in Karachi”, the project document says.–DNA

Govt paves way to accommodate potential ‘job-losers’ TAHIR NIAZ ISLAMABAD: The government is making moves to accommodate cabinet members from the Senate as chairmen of standing committees once they lose their current job on March 16, as the Senate on Tuesday amended the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in the Senate amidst shouts of ‘No, No’, to help create new standing committees by reducing the existing ones' size from 15 to 12 members. The measure was taken to overcome the insufficiency of legislators for formation of more standing committees as a senator cannot be a member of more than four standing

Intends to form five new Senate committees to take in out-going ministers as their chairmen

committees at the same time. The government ignored the objection of the treasury as well opposition members and approved the numeric amendment in the Rules of Procedure, which also prompted the ANP to stage a walk-out from the House. This led the government to defer passage of the bill for creation of Bahawalpur-Janoobi Punjab province. The PML-N also opposed the bill but the government rejected its apprehensions, PPP chief whip Islamuddin Sheikh trying to the dispel the concerns of PML-N Senator Ishaq Dar that the government was intending to make more standing

committees to accommodate its outgoing ministers, who are also Senate members. Thirty three standing committees are already in place and with the addition of 5; the total number of house standing committees will reach 38. With 12 members required for each standing committee, the Senate Secretariat will be required to fill 456 slots from amongst the 104 senators. The chairman of a standing committee is entitled to a staff car, office and staff. At present, six senators are part of the federal cabinet, about to lose their jobs on March 16. These include Saleem H. Mandviwalla, Federal

Minister for Finance, Revenue and Planning and Development and Economic Affairs & Statistics; Farooq Hamid Naek, Federal Minister for Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs; Rehman Malik, Interior Minister; Mir IsrarullahZehri Federal Minister for National Food Security and Research; MoulaBakhshChandio Federal Minister for Political Affairs and Abbas Khan Afridi Federal Minister for States and Frontier Regions. There are reports that Naek is being taken as Chairman Senate again by replacing incumbent NayyarHussainBukhari. The remaining five are likely to be

accommodated as chairmen of standing committees. Earlier, ChaudhryShujaat and Kamil Ali Agha of PML-Q, TahirMaashhadi of MQM, Ishaq Dar and Syed Zafar Ali Shah of PML-N objected to “The ShaheedZulfiqar Ali Bhutto Medical University (PIMS) Islamabad Bill, 2013”, by saying that the government was attempting to “remove the name of Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah”. Dar said there were serious flaws in the proposed bill, as the domain for the proposed university was not determined which, he said, would have helped open the door for

underprivileged admission-seekers from across the country. However, Minister for CAADNazar Muhammad Gondal told the house that the opposition was only politicizing the issue,the government was not going to change any institution’s name. Interior Minister Rehman Malik, in reply to the concerns raised by the PML-Q lawmakers pertaining to the detention of Dr. AfiaSiddiqui in the US, said that he would take up the issue with US Secretary of State John Kerry. The house unanimously passed the Islamabad Capital Territory Private Educational Institutions (Registration and Regulation) Bill, 2013.


Spring Festival ends with melodic folk performances SHANEL KHALIQ

ISLAMABAD: The Spring Festival held at Lok Virsa concluded with a cultural night featuring melodious performances of folk artists here at Shakarparian. The festival was organised by the Ministry of National Heritage and Integration in collaboration with the Lok Virsa. The cultural evening held

at Open Air Theatre was attended by visitors of all age groups. Traditional folk singers from Balochistan, Punjab, Pakhtunkhwa, Sindh and Gilgit Baltistan sung some of the past melodies. Some of the much applauded dance performances included the traditional Kalash dance and the sword dance of Gilgit Baltistan. The festival that continued for three days

witnessed a number of activities including an exhibition of arts and craft, performances by cultural dancers and kite flying. More than fifty artisans displayed their craft at the exhibition. This included traditional truck art, stone carving, hand embroidery and handmade jewelry. The tradition of kite flying particularly was thoroughly enjoyed

by children and youngsters. It also featured stalls giving the visitors a flavour of the local traditional cuisines of the four provinces such as chappal kebabs and shinwari krrahi from Pakhtunkhwa. Lok Virsa Executive Director Khalid Javaid thanked National Heritage and Integration Secretary Asif Ghafoor for his patronage and the governments of Pakhtunkhwa and

Balochistan particularly for contributing to the festival. “We are thankful to all participants including craftspeople, folk artists, rural musicians and folk dance groups who came here and entertained our visitors with the demonstration of their skills and helped us in making this festival a success,” he said.

Maid who killed old woman on first duty night arrested ISLAMABAD: The Ramna police have arrested a housemaid for her alleged involvement in the murder of an elderly woman in Sector G-11/1. According to a police spokesman, Sofia was found dead in a bathroom of her house, tied with ropes, allegedly by her maid, Fiza Yasir, who killed her with the help of her aides. After killing Sofia, Fiza Yasir took away gold ornaments and other valuables of the deceased. The police registered a case against the murder under section 302/381/34 PPC and initiated investigation. ONLINE

Govt-owned flats a threat to residentsʼ lives ISLAMABAD: The governmentowned flats under the use of government-servants pose a threat to the life of its residents, as their miserable condition can lead to a serious accident. It has been reported that government-flats situated in Sector F-6, G-6, G-7 and G-9 can turn into rubble any time and need immediate repair. The residents are of the view that CDA should allocate budget for this purpose. When contacted, CDA officials said that the organisation is unable to resolve the matter as it is suffering from paucity of funds. ONLINE

CDA kicks off road work in Park Enclave ISLAMABAD: The Capital Development Authority has started construction work of two new roads in Park Enclave. The CDA official told that the construction for new roads located at park enclave started one week before and this project would be completed with an estimated amount of Rs 700 million. Meanwhile, CDA Engineering Member Sana Ullah Aman has given special direction to contractors that they should start swift work of roads so that it would be completed till December respectively. ONLINE

Tree plantation begins ISLAMABAD: Allama Iqbal Open University Vice Chancellor Prof. Dr. Nazir Ahmed Sangi has launched Spring Tree Plantation Campaign with planting a sapling of Orange in the premises of Academic Complex of the University. Those present on the occasion were included, Dean, Faculty of Science, Prof. Dr. Nowshad Khan, Controller of Exams, Hamid Khan Niazi,Incharge, Department of Horticulture, Dr. Zaiba Hameed, Senior academicians, officers and employees. ONLINE

New scales for teachers ISLAMABAD: Formal approval has been accorded to upgradation of BPS-16 and 17 teachers working under Federal Directorate of Education to BPS-17 and 18. The approval was given in a meeting of Departmental Promotion Committee of FDE held here. As per Federal Government Teachers Association president Azhar Khan Awan and secretary Information Shafqat, approval has been accorded to promotion of all the teachers under time pay scale formula who had completed five years service in their respective pay scales. ONLINE

Women taking an interest in a flower exhibition organised by Floral Art Society. —THE SPOKESMAN

Private schools rise against watchdog plan Sit-in planned outside Parliament House as still-in-store PEIRA will monitor quality of education, salary structure, annual audit of private educational institutions 


ISLAMABAD: Terming the Islamabad Capital Territory Private Educational Institutions (Registration and Regulation) Bill, 2003, which was passed in the Senate on Tuesday, as a black law, the All Pakistan Private Schools and Colleges Association announced to stage a sit-in outside the Parliament House if their negotiations with the educational regulatory body failed. The bill, passed by the upper house of the parliament unanimously, allows Private Educational Institutions Regulatory Authority to limit the role of private schools and colleges in Islamabad Capital Territory’s range. Earlier, opposing the bill, the APPSCA had threatened to shut more than 1,200 private schools and colleges in the ICT limits if the bill was passed. Since the bill has been passed, now the APPSCA, changing its strategy, has decided to call a sitin only. Further negotiations

between the association and the educational regulatory body are to be held today (Wednesday). A body with the name of Islamabad Capital Territory Private Educational Institutions Regulatory Authority will now be formed, which would be authorised not only to keep a check on the performance of the private schools and colleges, but also determine and fix fees of these institutions. Detailed investigation made by “The Spokesman” have revealed that almost 1,200 private schools and colleges are working in ICT alone, while more than 152,000 small, medium and upper level schools and colleges are engaged in commercial business across the country. Average fee in the small and medium level private schools is being charged in between Rs.500 to Rs.2,000, while the prestigious schooling chains like Beacon House, Roots, American Lyceum, City Grammar and the schooling system run by diplomatic

administrations have been charging average fee from Rs.3,000 to Rs.8,000 per month. They also charge for seasonal and occasional activities as donations, inland and foreign student trips and more. There are a number of private school systems, which are owned by either national political figures, like former foreign minister Khurshid Mehmood Kasuri, and business tycoon Faisal Mushtaq, or are owned by Punjab Group of Colleges run by Mian Amir Mehmood, a former Nazim of Lahore. The unanimously approved bill states that apart from setting of fees levels the new body would also check the qualification of the teaching staff, promotion of curricular and non-curricular activities on inter-institutional basis, capacity building of teachers, curricula designing according to federal scheme of studies, etc. After implementation of the bill, every private school and college in ICT will have to register with the

PEIRA, and the authority will then fix the gradewise rate of admission fee, security fee, monthly tuition fee and the amount being charged by private institutions under different heads. The PEIRA would also perform as a watchdog body to monitor the performance, quality of education, salary structure of the school/college employees as well as the annual audit of the accounts of the private educational institutions. No private educational institution would be able to proceed any suit or legal proceedings against the government, the PEIRA or individual acting under this act for anything done in good faith and whoever running a private school or college in contravention of the provisions of the act or the rules made there under shall be punished with imprisonment, which may be extended to one year or with fine, which may extend to Rs.5,000 for each day during the period of offence, or with both.

CDA men who allotted kiosk to Malik’s kin identified OUR STAFF REPORTER

ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court was informed on Tuesday that two officials of the Capital Development Authority, including DMA Directorate Deputy Director General Mansoor Khan, played role in illegal allotment of a kiosk on the name of Khalid Malik, brother of Interior Minister Rehman Malik. On February 19, IHC had issued showcause notices to the CDA Administration Director General Laeeq Yousafzai while terming his report misleading regarding the transfer of a kiosk earlier allocated at the name of Interior Minister Rehman Malik’s sister-in-law. The IHC bench directed the CDA to constitute an inquiry commission to probe the matter and submit the report within seven days. In light of the IHC directives, the CDA chairman constituted a committee headed by CDA Estate Member Shaista Sohail to probe the matter. In a report submitted before the court, the Estate member said that the then Assistant Director Kamran Rehmat and Mansoor Khan without getting CNIC of the applicant moved the case for approval before the then chairman. She recommended action against the officials under Efficiency and Discipline Rules 1973. Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddique was hearing the writ petition of Advocate Jehangir Jadoon against encroachments. The kiosk was allocated at Sector F-7’s Shalimar Park, where a controversy originated after the kiosk encroached upon the land beyond its limitation. Earlier, the IHC bench had ordered the CDA to inquire into the matter and the Admin director general in his report said that a former clerk of the CDA had changed the ownership of the kiosk. Petitioner Jehangir Jadoon while pointing out another case before the court said that the CDA wanted to auction the plot in front of the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences, but it has been taking no action due to ‘Bahria Dastarkhwan’ that is settled over the plot. However, the court directed the CDA to take action against the officials involved in illegal practice and adjourned the hearing until March 15.

SC disposes of Rawal Dam pollution case ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Tuesday disposed of the Rawal Dam Pollution case after Cabinet Division Special Secretary Mushahidullah Baig gave a written guarantee that no more refuse was being dumped in Rawal Lake. A threemember bench headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhary heard the suo motu case on Tuesday. The Special Secretary Division held the stance that the entire specimens from Rawal Lake have been checked, and the water supplied from the Lake is in accordance with the principles of hygiene. The CDA and Cabinet Division have also directed WASA to send weekly report with reference to the water supplied from Rawal Dam. ONLINE

Boyfriend and I killed another girl: Mehek HOMER BALOCH

ISLAMABAD: The murderer of the 11year-old Bhara Kahu girl has confessed to killing another girl. The ‘fresh’ victim is said to the daughter of a senior police official. Zahra Mehek, a tutor by profession, says her boyfriend also took part in the earlier murder. Police sources also confirmed that during their investigation, tutor Mehek and her boyfriend Ibrar has confessed another murder of a girl, who died few months ago in strange circumstances, for which, another FIR (No 74) was lodged against the accused for under Section 302/34 by Asfandyar Khan, brother of the second diseased. “The couple had confessed the crime two days ago during investigation, but the FIR was lodged against the accused today (Tuesday). The tutor is under arrest for further investigations,” said Mehboob

Ahmad, SHO of the Bhara Kahu Police Station. Sub Inspector Mansoor, the investigation officer of the case when contacted, confirmed their arrest and confession. “The accused couple has confessed that few months ago they had murdered another girl who was Zahra Mehek’s friend, by giving her toxic medicines and hitting her head with a wooden stick,” said Mansoor. He further said that the couple followed a way in which they used to give toxic medicines to their victim to make them unconscious, and then Ibrar used them to kill his sexual thirst. On the same way, the couple earlier had also injured a Christian girl who was shifted to the Polyclinic Hospital after surviving the side effects of toxic medicines. “Ibrar has physical relations with Zahra Mehek, and he also demanded Zahra to introduce him with her friends and other girls to satisfy his lust,” Mansoor

said. He said the night when the daughter of police official died, Zahra was also at their home to study with her, who later invited Ibrar when the family members were sleeping, and after following their same way of killing they also killed the police official’s daughter. It merits mentioning that in November 2012, daughter of a senior police official of the capital police, and close friend of Zahra Mehek was died in strange circumstances, and Mehek was among those who were said to be present with the diseased till her breath. It has also been learnt that the same police official who lost her daughter, was the one who was assisting his neighbour Zahra Mehek and their family in their case, in his ignorance. The police official was performing Haj when he was informed about her daughter’s death while the accused Mehek also attended funeral of her diseased friend along with her family.

A woman carrying dry twigs to use them as fuel. ONLINE

Illegal Afghan Basti to stay put; allottees to get new plots SALMAN ABBAS

ISLAMABAD: Keeping in view the helplessness of the Capital Development Authority and the capital administration for conducting operation against the illegal Afghan Basti in Sector I-11, the sub – committee of the National Assembly’s Standing Committee on Cabinet Secretariat on Tuesday recommended the civic body to arrange alternative plots to the I-11 affectees at any other suitable place in the capital city. Instead of providing relief to the I11 affectees, who are yearning to get possession of their plots for the last

several years, the move has created panic among them as the price of the land in Sector I-11 is much higher as compared to Sector I-15 or I-16 where the alternative plots will expectedly be allotted to the affectees. The Sector I-11 had been launched some 23 years ago and the allottees, majority of those comprises low-salaried employees, had been yearning to have possession of their plots. MNA Hameedullah Jan Afridi, who presided over the meeting, expressed annoyance over the failure of CDA for conducting operation while saying that alternative plots, although, would

be allotted to the affectees but such move would set a wrong precedent for future. CDA Chairman Tahir Shahbaz said that the expected candidates of every political party have conducted meeting in the area and also assured the settlers of the Afghan Aabadi that no one will take action against them. He said that even Dr Tariq Fazal Chaudhry, the committee member, assured the residents of the illegal settlement that CDA would not be allowed to carry out operation in the area. He said that the police was willing to carry out operation in phases and he has also reservations with the police attitude. He said that

the time should be given to police for doing search operation. Upon which the committee chairman said that after lapse of couple of months, it was beyond thinking that why the discussions were being made on such issues of conducting operation in the phases. He said it was not a right plea that political leaders were conducting public gathering in the Aabadi due to which operation could not be conducted. “If your plea is right than all of us should accept that the operation could not be conducted due to illegal political pressure and we should also arrange our transfers and

postings from such important government posts,” MNA Hameedullah asked the CDA chief. Islamabad Chief Commissioner Tariq Mahmood Peerzada said that such anti-encroachment operations need the back of the government as police can do nothing without the government support in such issues. He said that the dire consequences could be faced by the authorities after conducting operation in I/11 illegal settlement, adding that back in year 2005, the government was army backed due to which it become possible to conduct operation there. MNA Malik Nawab Sher Waseer

said that what the fault of those government officials who were was allotted plots in Sector I/11 but their dream to make their homes at the place cannot be materialised yet. He asked the CDA chief to arrange alternative plots for the affectees on priority basis. The committee directed the CDA to prepare a summary regarding availability of alternative plots for the affectees and given him a time of one week for doing so. However, the CDA chairman said that the summary would need the approval of the prime minister as he was the ultimate authority to allot alternate plots to the affectees.




enom Inc. This should not be held against me in a court of law as I solemnly declare that these are 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’t hesitate to share with us on our blog at

Tareen buys twitteratti?

witter has become a standard to value popularity. Well, not always. It is common knowledge that if you spend money you could buy a following. It helps when you happen to be one the biggest sugar barons of the country. Jahangir Tareen seems to have done that recently. His twitter following was 28000. And the next morning it crossed 50000. The funny thing is that he had not issued any tweet that night. This way he might just cross the great Khan who has over half a million following. Cousin Hamayun Akhtar should take a cue. You don’t have to tweet intelligent things actually, Money matters


Railways in the pit

Malik saga — thriller all the way-V he saga of Malik procured huge loans for DHA Islamabad at the Riaz’s success is not behest of Malik Riaz. This is the same money just about a poor that was paid to Bahria in advance for DHA man making it big in a Valley development for which the land rich man’s world. It is acquisition is yet to complete. Remember the Rs more about the manner in 62 billion scam. He goes on to allege that General Imtiaz as the which he did that. This tells about the country Adjutant General (AG) Army and then AWT where bribery and boss extended undue favours to Riaz. The DHA kickbacks and the use of Valley joint venture, signed among the DHA, brutal state apparatus Bahria Town and Habib Rafiq Limited hugely against helpless people favoured Malik Riaz as Imtiaz did not watch the can make you a tycoon—it DHA interests. Shafiq alleged that the DHA was in no Amir Mateen just takes a few years. And this also says something position to pay back the money. Imtiaz, who about the state of affairs in the Army that knew too much and was part of the whole promoted him and still retains him as a partner. scheme, was eliminated as a scapegoat. Malik Riaz got his big break when he lured the Dr Shafiqur Rehman also accused Malik Riaz Pakistan Navy, called Bahria in Urdu, into of murdering one Mansur Janjua who was an starting a real estate venture with him. Since the obstacle in a land development scheme in Sihala. armed forces were the biggest land developers He was allegedly killed because he being a friend in the country, before Malik Riaz arrived, the of somebody very powerful was dangerous. name tag Bahria mattered. The application ends on a sinister note The military remains one of the biggest predicting that Islamabad DHA officials, who business groups in the country had benefitted Bahria Town so any khaki connection gives at some stage, will get killed The DHAs of the perception of stability. Or one by one. Author Geoffery Karachi and so was the situation before Archer could not have Army Welfare Trust (AWT) Lahore are supervised by written a better plot. and Fauji Foundation got into the Corps Commanders The application was not some dubious economic entertained by the Supreme setbacks. This has taken away but the Islamabad is Court but remains part of the official record and the news some lustre off these corporate handled by the GHQ, reporting its contents giants in the last 15 years. But which means that the remains uncontested. back in the 1980s and 1990s, responsibility of What’s going on here, one it was great to be associated may ask. Clearly lots of with anything labeled ‘Askari.’ anything that goes money was made in lots of Malik Riaz got his wrong here can be dirty deals, particularly in the breakthrough when the Navy attributed to last four years of the got out of the joint venture the Chief of Musharraf government. The with him but he retained the Director Generals of Welfare name tag Bahria. He has not Army Staff. and Rehabilitation clearly looked back since then. How he built the Bahria empire has all obliged Malik Riaz, obviously not without a ingredients of a block-buster thriller. Except share in the pie, and have now left a trail of romance, you will find here every shade of controversies for the Army to handle. We are action from the deep mystery about embezzling told that the person who made the mega bucks billions of rupees, the conspiracy at the highest is not even in the country. These dubious deals levels to assassination accusations of Generals. have virtually made the Army’s corporate empire bankrupt. And the focal point of the Some of the charges are really serious. An application of a land developer, Dr whole scam remains one old MES clerk, dear Shafiqur Rehman before the Supreme Court, old Malik Riaz, No wonder he likes to be called which also got published in national dailies, Sultana Daku. Sadly, the issue is still being pushed under the should illustrate this. Dr Shafiqur Rehman is involved in litigation over land with Malik Riaz carpet and no attempt is being made to rectify the situation. It was funny when National for the last 17 years. He accused Malik Riaz of murdering former Accountability Bureau took up the case under its AWT Managing Director Lt-Gen Imtiaz. Police wing. Malik Riaz got the copyrights of the title investigation declared that Imtiaz committed Bahria when former Admiral Fasih Bokhari was suicide and his family agreed with the reasonably senior in Navy. Is there a connection conclusion. However, the application alleged here? A lawyer contesting cases against Malik that General Imtiaz being the AWT MD Riaz in the Supreme Court was quoted as saying

Politically Incorrect


that he had submitted evidence of agreements between Malik Riaz and Fasih Bukhari with the court. “The NAB is laundry that they want to clean their mess,” he said. In any other country, State Institutions keep themselves miles away from somebody who is accused of murder, extortion, land-grabbing, forgery, fraud, to name a few of the ‘charms that he is regularly accused of in hundreds of cases. Not so in his country where Malik Riaz remains the most sought after person. The DHAs of Karachi and Lahore are supervised by the Corps Commanders but the Islamabad is handled by the GHQ, which means that the responsibility of anything that

goes wrong here can be attributed to the Chief of Army Staff. The plight of the hundreds of DHA Valley victims, including the families of the martyrs, has damaged the morale of the institution. This lust for super DHAs has also created a wedge between the civilians and the Army. As the one and only, Munnoo Bhai describes his new interpretation of the Two Nation Theory: There are two nations in Pakistan. One that lives in cantonments and the other that doesn’t. Not only that, it has also created a wedge between the Army and the lesser privileged Air Force and the Navy. Will somebody do something about it.

e thought Railways was in the pitt. Turns out, it is possible to go further down. What do they call it—abyss. Sheshnag is told that the contract for six train routes between Lahore and Rawalpindi and back are being given to a company that has already defaulted for Rs 60 million. This will also take away the fun for those who could travel on cheap rates. The same company has also been given the contract for dining of eight trains. They say the firm has already got Rs 480 million from the Railways without delivering anything. And most of this is being done without procedures.


Syed Munawar Hasan @SMunawarHasan It is an honour for us that Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan has assured to support #JI in upcoming #Elections Nilofer Afridi Qazi @ninoqazi 'Acc to a media report, 44% of the 20,000 madressahs in Pak r located in Punjab province, many of them with links to these radical outfits.' Murtaza Solangi @murtazasolangi @AbidSherAli Imran Khan formed a committe to investigate PTI workers' hooliganism and report in 24 hours! Yousuf Nazar @YousufNazar Pir Pagara agrees to ally with Nawaz Sharif. Any doubts who the establishment is supporting? Establishment cannot defy the Saudis javed ahmed qazi @jvqazi Shrine of Hajjan Shah is not a Shia shrine, it is a sufi shrine, and every sufi shrine of Sindh is predominantly looked after by the Shias Zainab jameel @Zainabjameel3 English man: My grandfather died at the age of 96 Years.But he never used glasses MEERA: I know some people drink water directly from tooti Karachi_Post @Karachi_Post Massive protests in Interior Sindh against Deobandi backed attacks against Sufi shrines in #Sindh #Pakistan #Punjab akchishti @akchishti In 1946 Sindh Muslim League's majority of candidates were feudal while Congress Sindh nominated middle class representatives Nabiha Meher Shaikh @NabihaMeher Veena Malik to be kissed more than hundred times - The Times of India ainment/bollywood/newsinterviews/Veena-Malik-to-be-kissed-more -than-hundredtimes/articleshow/18672781.cms … Yousuf Nazar @YousufNazar How come Sharifs (so corrupt & Saudi proxies) get away with projecting a good image while IK gets all the flak from media? WHO's ON TAKE?

A smart Gilani who still enjoys a position MIRZA KHURRAM SHAHZAD ISLAMABAD: Gilanis across the country are no more considered worthy of holding key positions since their Murshad Pir Yousaf Raza Gilani was ousted by the brave Supreme Court of Pakistan, but one smart Gilani has still managed to occupy an important post, perhaps Rajas did not notice him or he is too heavy to move away. Syed Amir Hamza Gilani, a childhood friend of Syed Abdul Kadir Gilani, the one who is most famous in Lahore, where he spent his early youth with so many Gilanis and other friends, is still enjoying the post of the Director General Pakistan Sports Board (PSB). Arrived soon after the King Gilani entered in the Prime Minister Secretariat, Amir Gilani is about to complete five years in the office where normally people spend less time. The DG PSB is generally appointed for two years term and some officials get an extension for another period but it is rare that somebody completes his fifth year and still has no fear of removal or transfer, no matter he delivers or not.

The man, who is a former national athlete and was quite deserving for the post at the

As he still has four years to serve the government, there is no sign that anybody could send him packing as the Supreme Court sent former Prime Minister Gilani. His deputy is worried that if he manages to stay at the same position for next four years, his career will be ruined.

time of appointment, still had to make struggle and ask his family friends time and again for the contract letter. However, once settled in the chair, he thwarted all attempts to move him despite the fact that the senior Gilani could not stop the promotion of another deserving officer and he also got designated as the Director General. But using his family relations and of course the historic glory of the Gilani family, he managed to keep the newly appointed Director General at the distance when the Murshad Saheb in the PM secretariat distributed powers among the two DGs, declaring him senior and the new one his deputy.

The most prominent services, rendered during his tenure are changing the model of his official corolla car and the construction of a luxury flat and a new block in sportsmen’s hostel, where he lives his ‘bachelor’ life as he gifted the official residence to the other DG because his family refused to move to the dull Islamabad from the lively Lahore. The other services are dividing the National Olympic Committee (NOC) and forcing National Federations to divide sports fraternity by using his influence on them as he issues them financial grants and No Objection Certificates (NOC) for foreign competitions. Using all his bargaining skills, he has managed to sail through the lows and highs during the previous five years, despite that his opponents leveled the allegations of mismanagement of millions of rupees for the renovation of his office and construction of the luxury flat. As he still has four years to serve the government, there is no sign that anybody could send him packing as the Supreme Court sent former Prime Minister Gilani. His deputy is worried that if he manages to stay at the same position for next four years, his career will be ruined. But a few of lower grade employees, who had to face tough time during his tenure pray that he might go back to Lahore and join his family after Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) leaves power. He goes or not and he served the national sports during his tenure or not, are less interesting, the most interesting is that how he managed to survive at his position when all the ‘Gilanis’ were facing tough times after the removal of Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani and were being thrown out of their offices.


Talks better than war against Taliban: KP IGP

High tax imposed on per minute international calls SAHTAK BALOCH

ISLAMABAD: A high tax to the tune of 8.8 cent per minute has been imposed on the international calls in the name of International Clearing House Charges which in result would give one billion dollar annual earning to the national kitty. Sources disclosed to this reporter that a tax dubbed as International Clearing House Charge has been imposed on per minute international calls. The Pakistan Telecom Authority (PTA) has issued orders in this regard to the concerned companies to start fleecing the consumers. About 14 companies have started collection of 8.8 cent per minute tax on the international calls. With the imposition of the new charges, the cash-starved government would annually earn one billion dollar, the sources said. On October 23, 2012, the Lahore High Court had suspended collection of this tax. However, the Supreme Court on February 21 had declared the (LHC) decision as null and void.

Schools with no fire fighting tools to be sealed RAWALPINDI: Directives have been issued to install state of the art fireextinguishing equipment in all the private schools and multi-storey buildings in all the districts of Rawalpindi division. This action has been taken in pursuance of Commissioner Rawalpindi directives, which were issued in the aftermath of fire, incident in a building of private school at Lahore, which had claimed several lives of children. District administration of all the four districts including Rawalpindi, Chakwal, Jhelum and Attock have issued necessary directives to the owners of all the schools and skyscrappers to ensure installation of modern fire extinguishing equipment by March 16. They were also warned that crack down would be launched against them from March 17 if they would fail to comply with these directives till March 16. The private schools will be sealed in the event of their failure in installation of the equipment by the deadline set by the government and cases will be registered against their owners. Owners of the schools and skyscrapers have been served notices and teams have been set up to conduct operation from March, 17. ONLINE

RAWALPINDI: Traders of Bagh Sardaran Road staging a protest against murder of a fellow trader. ONLINE

PIMS pursues court call on Bahria Town landgrabbing SALMAN ABBAS

ISLAMABAD: Following court directions for launching an operation against the Bahria Town administration for encroaching on land in front of Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences, Khalid Waraich, the executive director of the hospital, has asked the Capital Development Authority, through a letter, to take action against the Bahria Dastarkhwan, as it has become a security concern for the hospital. According to the letter which was also submitted before the Islamabad High Court, the PIMS administration has time and again bring it in the notice of CDA that the Bahria Town administration has setup a charity service in front of the hospital where a people belongs from far-flung areas came to get free food. “Access for terrorists and anti-social elements to

the hospital has become easy which can result in any untoward situation,” said the letter, a copy of which was also available with The Spokesman. It said that besides security threat, such charity service was also resulting in health hazards for the visitors as litters have been thrown everywhere around the land of this Dastarkhwan. Application written by the PIMS executive director stated that if anyone wants to start charity service for poor people, he/she could donate funds to the hospital management for starting such charity services. It was requested to the CDA for taking action against the Bahria administration to remove their setup at once because the security men of the hospital also time and again bring it into the notice of high-ups that security issues were increasing due to the kiosk. The IHC also

Shujaat to retain party post ISLAMABAD: Ch. Shujaat Hussain and Mushahid Hussain Sayed are likely to be re-elected unopposed as President and Secretary General of the Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PMLQ) respectively for the fourth consecutive term on Thursday (tomorrow) as no one else from within the party seemed ‘interested’ in filing nomination papers in the party’s central leadership elections. Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain was elected President PML-Q for the third time in 2009 and Mushahid Hussain Sayed as Secretary General in the party’s central leadership elections. Senator Dilawar Abbas told The Spokesman that as of Tuesday, nobody else filed the nomination papers with the election authority adding it seemed that Ch. Shujaat and Mushahid Hussain would be elected unopposed. STAFF REPORT

N falyed for ‘sabotaging’ PTI polls

Traffic mess on city roads badly affecting businesses RAWALPINDI: Heavy traffic jams on city roads are creating a lot of problems for the masses of Rawalpindi. The motorists said that they have to face inconvenience when they reach their destinations late. Talking about the traffic jams in the city, people belonging to different walks of life said that the traffic mess on the Benazir Bhutto Road, Raja Bazaar Road, Bank Road, Banni Chowk, Saidpur Road, Peerwadhai Road, Tench Bhatta and Chungi No 22, has mitigated the importance of these very important areas of Rawalpindi. ONLINE

directed CDA to get vacated its land being used by the Bahria Town for their charity service under name of Bahria Dasarkhwan. During the tenure of former CDA chairman Imtiaz Inayat Elahi, the CDA Directorate of Municipal Administration had issued license to the Bahria management of a makeshift podium not higher than one foot from the ground, so that attendants of the patients could sit over it to have charity meal. “The license was issued only for one year and the administration never get it renew after completion of its period,” said the CDA source. On one hand, the duration of licence has been cancelled and, on the other, the Bahria Town administration has constructed walls at a big piece of land worth billion of rupees with the capacity to accommodate 160 people, he pointed out.

KARACHI: Inspector General of Police Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Muhammad Akbar Khan Hoti said on Tuesday that the dialogue with the Taliban was better option than waging war against them in the country. He was talking to media after inaugurating 10th International Safety and Security Exhibition titled “Safe and Secure Pakistan” which was organized by Pegasus in collaboration with Capital Development Authority here on Tuesday. “If we fight against them, there would be big loss in the country”, he said adding that if they were brought in the mainstream, it would be beneficial for the province. “Besides, Taliban are also Muslims and they should be brought into the mainstream which can help us to change their ideology also.” However, the process of the capacity building of the province’s police has been initiated to overcome the issue of security, the IG told media. The total strength of the police in the province is 74000. Hoti said that if any policeman embraced martyrdom, the government of KPK would provide Rs 3 million and one plot for building house to the martyr’s heirs and in addition, one of his children of over 18 years would be appointed in the police department. ONLINE


HYDERABAD: Revenue Department Employees staging a sit-in against land-grabbing in their residential society. ONLINE

RAWALPINDI: Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) seemed to have returned to the pre-90s era when the incumbent governments used police to sabotage the political activity of their opponents as on Tuesday Rawalpindi police forcibly stopped the PTI intra-party elections, taking cover of a stay order granted by a civil court. In its reaction to what happened at a polling station at Rawalpindi where the local police stopped the PTI intra-party elections, Pakistan Tehreek e Insaf condemned the interference of Rawalpindi police and PMLN-led Punjab government. It said the Punjab government made a lame attempt to take cover of an order of civil court in the matter of a union council election. Taking note of this illegal order by the CPO, PTI

Information Secretary Shafqat Mahmood said that this police officer had no legal authority to any such orders. “Even if there is a stay order by a court, which in this case is not, the police does not go enforcing stay orders. If anyone has had any grievance, the correct procedure is to move a contempt application in the court.” Shafqat said police have no authority under the law to stop the intra-party elections. “Actually this is an attempt by the PML-N to interfere in internal party elections of PTI and NLeague like other dynastic parties conducts sham elections to fulfill a legal requirement.” “They are now terrified of a real internal party democracy that PTI has started. The dynastic leaders see the tradition of internal party polls as a direct threat to their hold over the parties and thus would do anything to stop the process”, he added.

Bid to smuggle 60,000 bottles of liquor from UAE to Pakistan foiled

Sindh cities mourn Dargah Hajan Shah blast

KARACHI: Custom intelligence and maritime security jointly foiled a bid to smuggle 60,000 bottles of liquor from UAE to Pakistan, arresting nine accused in Arabian Sea. The custom intelligence and maritime security jointly carried out a raid at a launch, pronounced as Al-Khair, in Arabian Sea. The bottles of liquor have been seized while nine accused were also arrested in the raid. ONLINE

SHIKARPUR: Several cities of Sindh including Shikarpur, Hyderabad and Larkana are mourning the blast at a shrine in interior Sindh that resulted in four fatalities and left at least 12 people injured. According to Media Reports, Angry demonstrators protested against the incident and resorted to aerial firing in several areas of Hyderabad including Qasimabad and Hussainabad. Situation turned tense in Larkana as well where Rangers and police were deployed to control the situation. Hussaini Party and other religious organizations have also called for a strike today. On Monday,

Power loadshedding irks Lahorites LAHORE: Three to four hours of unannounced electricity loadshedding in various areas of provincial capital perturbed people. Faisal town, Johar town, Dharampura, Gari Shaho, Wasanpur, Shahdra, Gawalmandi, Gulberg, Model Town, Nishtar Colony and others areas are facing 8 to 9 hours of loadshedding. People in the areas complained that they are facing shortage of water due to the prolonged loadshedding. ONLINE

Qadri leaving for Canada today for ʻcheck-upʼ LAHORE: Tehrik-e-Minhajul Quran Chief Dr Tahirul Qadri is set to fly for Canada today (Wednesday). His family sources said the moderate scholar, who happens to be a PakistaniCanadian national, will leave for Canada for medical checkup through a private airline on Wednesday night. “He will return by March 10,” sources said, adding that Qadri is likely to address a press conference before his departure. ONLINE

a blast tore through Dargah Pir Hajan Shah Huzoori in Marri village near Shikarpur when a large number of devotees were visiting the shrine. Eyewitnesses said an unknown man was spotted shooting off after leaving a suspicious looking bag at the scene, but no one could do anything as the bomb in the bag went off the next moment. "The explosion came on the heels of his throwing a bag full of explosives among a throng of visitors. He was nowhere to be found after the blast", said an injured devotee. Sources said Syed Hajan Shah, the Gaddi Nasheen --a living descendant of the saint buried as well as the custodian of the shrine-- was also

MQM denies differences with Ibad KARACHI: Muttahida Qaumi Movement on Tuesday rejected news of rifts between the party leadership and Sindh Governor Dr Ishratul Ibad. According to a handout issued on Tuesday, the coordination committee said that the reports of difference between the leadership and the governor “are baseless and have nothing to do with reality”. Altaf Hussain and MQM has complete faith on Governor Sindh Dr Ishratul Ibad, they said. “Certain forces are trying to among the critically injured. He was shifted to Larkana for medical treatment. Later, the deputy commissioner Shikarpur told media

create panic in the lines of MQM,” the handout said, adding that the party workers should maintain unity among themselves and avoid paying attention towards false reports. Meanwhile, Muttahida Qaumi Movement continued its protest in the National Assembly on Tuesday against the statement made by Sindh’s Education Minister, Pir Mazhar-ul-Haq objecting the establishment of a university in Hyderabad. ONLINE

that Syed sahib would be moved to Karachi for treatment. Angry devotees and local residents took to streets and shut the city down.

Violent protests broke out in parts of Shikarpur. "Protestors blocked the national highway and the railway track after the incident. ONLINE

No tribal elder invited to JUI-F’s APC SALEEM MEHSUD

ISLAMABAD: Expressing concerns over the All Parties Conference on February 28 to evolve consensus in the light of traditional tribal jirga to hold formal talks with Taliban, the elders of Mehsud tribe on Tuesday said that Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-F chief Fazlur Rehman has not invited tribal elders in the important forum. Malik Haji Mohammad Mehsud said that the convening APC for the restoration of peace was a welcome move but how tribal jirga could be framed to hold talks with Taliban when elders of the tribal region were not being invited to attend the conference. Malik Mehsud said that Fazlur Rahman claimed that the declaration of tribal jirga, held under the auspicious of JUI-F in December last year in Peshawar, would be put before the participants of the APC, adding that the

December jirga was actually convened to discuss the current status of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas. Mehsud said that tribal Jirga of Peshawar was not convened to evolve consensus for holding peace talks with the Taliban. “Only a few favorite tribesmen of the JUI-F chief have been invited to attend the APC,” Haji Mohammad said, adding that few tribesmen couldn't represent the whole tribal region. Ex federal minister Malik Abdul Qayyum Mehsud said that JUI-F chief neither invited him nor invited prominent Maliks and elders of the Mehsud tribe including Malik Inayat, Malik Sadram, Malik Mehsud, Malik Karam Ali Khan and others then how traditional tribal Jirga could be constituted to held talks with the Taliban. Abdul Qayyum said that convening of APC is good for political scoring and getting space in media, adding that first chairman of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) held

peace rally for restoration of peace in the tribal belt then Fazlur Rahman convened tribal Jirga in Peshawar. Watching the development, Awami National Party (ANP) at the end of their tenure convened APC in Islamabad and in tit-for tat JUI-F chief also convened APC to evolve consensus for holding talks with the Taliban. Abdul Qayyum said that neither effort of any political parties got success in restoring peace in the tribal region, adding that convening of APC by JUI-F chief is an effort to achieve political goals. On Thursday, Maulana Fazlur Rahman informed that his party would evolve consensus in light of traditional tribal Jirga to hold talks with Taliban militants. For the purpose, he said JUI-F is going to convene an All Parties Conference (APC) on February 28, in Islamabad, in which leaders from all different political and religious parties have been invited.

LAHORE: PPP members of Punjab Assembly and party workers celebrating Pak-Iran Gas Pipeline Agreement. ONLINE


PkMAP for Pakhtun province in Balochistan QUETTA: The chairman of Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party (PkMAP), Mehmood Khan Achakzai, has expressed his strong resolve to abide by his demand, struggle for a separate province for Pakhtuns in Balochistan. Addressing his party’s central Qaumi Congress on Tuesday, he also lauded a successful launch of historical Qaumi Congress, and electing party’s democratic institutions. He declared PkMAP as a party endeavouring to unite an otherwise bifurcate nation and realizing true national identity. He said no one would be able to bar the way for establishment of an independent provincial homeland for Pakhtuns in Balochistan. He hoped that Baloch brothers would also express and prove their willingness in carving out a new Pakhtuns province in Balochistan, since any refusal on part of Baloch brothers would not be conducive for harmony and integrity of the land. ONLINE

Khyber Agency as lawless as ever Juniors occupying higher positions, seniors not ready to leave low-grade slots as everyone in search of lucrative jobs TAHIR ALI

LANDI KOTAL: Khyber Agency in a true sense presents the view of traditional “Shehr-e-Napursan”, a neglected city without rule of law. Due to high cronyism, nepotism and patronage in the political administration the junior officials are working at senior positions and vice versa. The junior officers are holding high posts due to their strong political background. And in certain cases, these officers despite their promotion to high posts are not leaving their ‘highly productive’ junior positions. The office of senior political tehsildar (PT) at Landi Kotal is run by a junior political naib tehsildar (PNT). Earlier this year, Landi Kotal PT Arshad Khan Afridi was transferred

and PNT Shakeel Burki, who enjoys the support of Awami National Party (ANP), posted there. Arshad Afridi resisted but he could not sustain the pressure from above and resultantly gave up the struggle. Likewise, the post of senior PT at Jamrud Subdivision is occupied by PNT Asmatullah Wazir, a man with strong family background. Despite the presence of a number of senior officers, the office is being run by the junior. To make position vacant for junior officers, the seniors are usually transferred to FATA Secretariat in Peshawar. If the senior officers show resist it could be harmful for them in future−that keep them hush. In Mulla Gori tehsil, the office of political naib tehsildar is being occupied by Muhammad Shakeel

Khan Omarzai who is basically a political ‘muharrar’. The description of his job is to keep record or to register the first information report (FIR) atchawki. Shakeel Khan Omarzai having deep roots in political administration of Khyber Agency and it is the reason that being an ordinary ‘muharrar’ he is acting as PNT Mulla Gori. Due to his strong support in the political administration, he was previously appointed as PNT at Torkham. He was removed from the post after he crossed Pak-Afghan border, without seeking permission from the highups, and attended a function at Nangarhar. After such an irresponsible act, he was expected to be fired but Shakeel Khan Omarzai was only transferred to FATA Secretariat in Peshawar. Shortly he

QUETTA: A bullet-riddled body of an unidentified man was recovered from the Satellite Town area of Quetta on Tuesday. Soon after receiving information, police reached the spot and shifted the body into hospital for autopsy. Later, the body was kept in the morgue for further identification after completion of legal formalities. Police claimed five bullet wounds had been found on the body. ONLINE

SUKKUR: Sardar Mumtaz Ali Bhutto, a leader of PML-N, has said that the PPP and the MQM are inseparable from each other. Talking to media men on Sukkur Airport on Tuesday, the PML-N’s leader said the MQM was pretending a separation from the PPP just for the sake of inclusion in the caretaker setup. “In this way, they will be able to rig the general elections and come into power again.” He said the present government had failed to do anything for people’s welfare. In reply to a question, Mumtaz Bhutto said the Sindhi people had already rejected the dual local government system. He denied news about him being a part of the future caretaker setup. ONLINE

UNESCO urges free education in KPK PESHAWAR: To gear the support for ‘Right to Free and Compulsory Education’ in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) and Peshawar University Teachers Association (PUTA) organised a forum on Tuesday. Dr Kozue Kay Nagata, the UNESCO representative, in her statement expressed her confidence in the provincial government to implement Article 25-A in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. She said, “Today’s meeting will provide us an opportunity to learn about vision, and plans of Provinces. INP

FC repulses militants attack in Bannu BANNU: The security forces and Frontier Corps (FC) on Tuesday repulsed militants’ attack at their joint camp in the Janikhel area of Bannu. According to security forces, a group of unidentified armed militants attacked at a camp jointly set up by security forces and FC personnel in the area. Immediately, the security forces and FC personnel retaliated the attack and the miscreants managed to flee the scene. No loss of life was reported from both sides. AGENCIES

office needs four muharrars there would be one and vice versa. From the Karkhano Market to the Torkham border, there are eight check posts on the PeshawarTorkham Highway; each of the check-post having four muharrars against the single vacancy. These muharrars are deployed by different ‘powerful people’; the muharrar will have to earn for himself and also for the officer who has deployed him. This is the route being used by smugglers from Afghanistan to Pakistan and vice versa. Contrary to these check posts, at certain offices in the Tehsils of Jamrud, Bara and Landi Kotal the posts of muharrars are vacant. In some cases, ordinary ‘Khasadaran’ are doing the job of muharrars, as the seconds are not available.

Programme launched for efficient use of energy

Bullet-riddled body recovered from Quetta

PPP, MQM are inseparable, says Mumtaz Bhutto

was reappointed as PNT at Mulla Gori. It clearly indicates the strong backing of Shakeel Omarzai. The real power behind Shakeel Khan Omarzai is his brother Arshad Khan Omarzai who is serving as stenographer (steno) at the office of Khyber Agency political agent (located in Peshawar). In contrast, the big brother is not leaving the vacancy of junior official despite he is promoted as senior PT. The reason behind is the ‘charming’ of the job of steno; he is enjoying since last 16 years in the PA office. At the moment, he is being appointed as senior Tehsildar at Tirah in Bara subdivision but he is unmoved from his old position. Apart from the aforementioned cases there are also unequal and irrational deployments of political ‘muharrars’/clerks. For instance, if one


CHINIOT: Giving final touches to a bed - Chiniot is famous for furniture industry which provides jobs to thousands of people. INP

Farmers demand wheat procurement policy Say Punjab govt not addressing their problems ATHAR LASHARI

BAHAWALPUR: The wheat growers of south Punjab has demanded the government to announce the Procurement Policy for 2013, as the harvesting is going to start from April 1, while the federal and provincial assemblies are expected to be dissolved on March 16. The farmers feel panic about their wheat crop, as the Punjab government has not announced the wheat procurement policy for this year. Many farmers’ organisations in Punjab are demanding the provincial government to announce the policy and ensure the funds for the interim setup. According to Jam Hazoor Bakhsh Lar, the spokesman of Kissan Board South Punjab, the sitting government give the plan now. “Our problems are not a priority of Punjab government. Farmers are facing problems for the five years regarding the Food Department,” he said. He added that the process to

receive gunny bags from food centres is very difficult. “A patwari has to decide about giving gunny bags to the farmers,” Jam said, adding that last year, the Food Department had more than two million bags and the farmers faced problems. According to Rao Afsar Ali, the vice-chairman of Agri Forum Pakistan, the Food Department’s policies are not favouring the farmers. “We are demanding at least 10 gunny bags per acre for the irrigated areas and 12 for flooded (Kacha) areas, but the Punjab government is not moving from the figure of eight,” Afsar elaborated his point. He alleged that at the procurement centres, the food staff never supported the farmers and weighed two kgs of extra wheat for every 100 kgs. “Last year, more than 1.1 million bags were found with 103-kg weight instead of 101 kg each.” He added that the payment for the procured wheat should be made on the spot instead of

waiting for three to five days. On the other hand, the Punjab Food Department officials claimed that they already had a procurement policy for this year. “Formers should not be panicked; we are ready to buy four million tonnes of wheat this year which is 1.2 million more than the last year,” Food Secretary Irfan Ali said. He added that the Food Department currently had 1.4 million tonnes of wheat in stores, which would be 0.5 million tonnes on April 15, the opening date for wheat procurement. According to Food Department Director Capt Usman, they have a covered area for 1.8 million tonnes only; therefore, 2.2 million tonnes of wheat will be placed in open grounds covered with polythene sheets. If one can recall, a huge chunk of stored wheat is affected by rains every year due to placing it in open grounds. In Dera Ghazi Khan Division, many of the food centres were affected by floods because of not making necessary arrangements.

MIRPUR AJK: In the given scenario of energy crisis, especially the shortfall of electricity, AJK Rural Support Programme has started a project in collaboration with USAID’s Citizen Voice Project in Mirpur, Bhimber and Muzaffarabad districts. In this connection, a workshop was held in Mirpur on Tuesday where representatives of all the relevant stakeholders, including those from local communities participated. The project objectives and expected results were shared with the participants that mainly include mobilising the communities to participate and cooperate in the energy-related matters of the state like production, distribution and load management. In the project, Citizen Electricity Forums will be established in all three districts which will play a liaison role between authorities and the consumer

citizens. The project also aims a peoplecentric energy policy in AJK which can ensure the effective and efficient utilisation of the electricity and to reduce the energy related problems of the citizens. Moreover, through IEC campaign, masses will be sensitized regarding energyrelated problems, their causes and solutions with and through the electricity department. The chief engineer of Electricity Department, Munir Qureshi, applauded the project objectives and its implementation mechanism. He said that in AJK, there were more than 0.5 million electricity connections for which huge network of infrastructure, in shape of transmission lines and transformers, was installed. He mentioned various possible ways to develop effective linkages with consumers and department. This would ultimately help out to save government revenue as well.

Shutters down against load-shedding LANDI KOTAL: Hundreds of Jamaat-e-Islami workers, shopkeepers and civil society members Tuesday staged a protest demonstration against the prolonged power outages, water shortage and observed complete shutter down strike in Landi Kotal bazaar. The protest demo organized by Jamaat-e-Islami FATA also took a rally from Landi Kotal Press Club to Bacha Khan Chowk in Landi Kotal Bazaar. The protesters were holding banners inscribed with slogans to end the unlawful and immoral load shedding in Landi Kotal. They chanted full-throat slogans against the local MNA, TESCO and political administration officials for not paying any attention to their grievances. Speaking on the occasion, Zarnoor Afridi, deputy chief of FTA and JI candidate for NA-45, condemned the negative role played by MNA Noor-ul-Haq Qadri during the last ten years of his tenures. He alleged that the MNA was sitting in Islamabad since he was elected twice but never returned to his people suffering from load shedding, lack of clean drinking water and terrorism. He said that TESCO officials diverted the tribal electricity supply to Peshawar while Landi Kotal residents have only few minutes light in 24 hours. Zarnoor Afridi said that dozens of tube-wells have become useless, shops and business centres were closed or shifted to Peshawar due to unavailability of electricity in the Landi Kotal bazaar. Zarnoor alleged that the officials of Landi Kotal administration were busy in making black money while residents have started migration to Peshawar and other cities due to lack of life facilities in the area. Urging the residents, Afridi said that the game played with the local people would no more be tolerated. He threatened if power supply was not restored within 24-hours they would come out on the roads and block the Pak-Afghan Highway as a protest for all kinds of traffic. INP

Police recover kidnapped child OUR STAFF REPORTER

ATTOCK: Police in a successful operation recovered a kidnapped child and arrested two abductors. This could be made possible only because of sincere efforts and use of modern techniques by police. Addressing a press conference at Attock City Model Police Station, District Police Officer Syed Ali Nasir Rizvi said to recover the kidnapped child and arrest the culprits, police used state-of-the-art technology which led to a successful operation. He said during the initial interrogation, the culprits - Abdul Rehman alias Pappu and Yasir Mehmood - disclosed that they were going to kill the child in case of non-payment of the ransom. According to the DPO, police soon after receiving the information given by Rehana Kausar (the mother of the kidnapped child Abdul Subhan) constituted a team led by DSP Hafeez Ahmed Aulakh and launched search operation. Meanwhile, the kidnappers through cell phones contacted Rehana and her relatives and demanded Rs 3.5 million as ransom. The team through technical evidences and mobile phone data traced the culprits, arrested them and recovered the abducted child.

PESHAWAR: A goldsmith at his workplace as he waits for restoration of electricity. The energy crisis have paralysed the economy, resulting in thousands of lay-offs. ONLINE

ANP gets ready for Mardan battlefield as elections loom Aspirants submit applications for party ticket District has three National Assembly and eight provincial legislature seats ASADULLAH MAYAR

MARDAN: The ANP has completed the process of receiving applications from the aspirants in Mardan for upcoming elections. The district has three National Assembly seats – NA-9, NA-10 and NA-11 – and eight provincial assembly constituencies from PK23 to PK-30. In 2008 elections, the ANP won three provincial seats, including that of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Amir Haider Khan Hoti, who won from PK-23, while Ahmad Khan Bahadur and Ghani Dad Khan grabbed PK-24 and PK-25 respectively. The ANP was also the winner from NA-9 where former federal minister Khawaja Muhammad Khan Hoti its candidate. But after some time, he left the party and first joined the PTI and switched over to PML-N. In the by-poll held

after Hoti’s resignation, Himayatullah Mayar managed to keep the seat for his party, the ANP. For the upcoming elections, the ANP had asked the party workers to submit applications from February 15 to 25. According to ANP District General Secretary Imran Mandoori, dozens of party workers and former parliamentarians have applied for the party ticket. Chief Minister Hoti is a candidate for NA-9 and PK-23 – won by the ANP in previous elections. For PK-24, Ali Khan (the son of former federal minister Yaqoob Khan), Attaullah Khan and Haji Muhammad Hussain submitted their applications, while the sitting MPA from the said constituency Ahmad khan Bahadur is not among the aspirants because of differences with the party leadership on the ticket issue. The ANP leadership wants to award party ticket to Ali Khan.

For NA-10, Farooq Akram Khan has submitted application while this constituency was won by JUI-F’s Maulana Qasim in 2008. For NA-11, Inayat Khan is the sole aspirant. PPP’s Khanzada Khan was the winner from this constituency in the last general elections. For PK-25, sitting MNA Himayatullah Mayar, MPA Ghani Dad Khan, former provincial president of Pakhtun Students Federation Saeed Alam Baba, Niaz Ali and Aziz Khan are inspiring for the ANP ticket. Currently, Ghani is holding the seat for the party. In PK-26 won by the PPP in 2008 elections, Israr Mohmand and Malik Ijaz submitted the applications. PPP’s Sher Afghan is the current MPA from the constituency. For PK 27, Haji Bahadur Khan, Imran Khan, Muntazir Shah, Malak Aman and Khalid Khan have applied for the party ticket.

PPP’s Senior Minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Rahim Dad Khan had won the seat in 2008. For PK-28, ANP Mardan President Farooq Akram Khan, Inayat Khan, Ghauhar Ali Shah, Syar Khan, Roz Muhammad Khan, Wakil Said, Muhammad Ghafoor, Samar Khan and Shan Akbar submitted the applications while this constituency was won by JUI-F’s Hafiz Akhtar Ali in 2008. For PK-29, which is currently held by PPP’s Abdul Akbar Khan (party’s parliamentary leader in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly), the applicants are Sohail Bacha, Idrees Bacha and Gul Hameed Khattak are the applicants. There is only one potential candidate, Latif Gul, for PK-30, which had been grabbed by Imtiaz Shagay of PPP in 2008. According to analysts, the ANP-led provincial govt carried out a lot of devolvement works, including roads,

hospitals, parks and playgrounds as well mega projects like Bacha Khan Greater Campus in which Abdul Wali Khan, agriculture and engineering universities and a medical college are currently functioning. The Bai Zai irrigation scheme is another mega project of the government, which will provide water to 25,000 acres of land in the Katlang area. In the city area, MPA Ahmad Khan can create problems for ANP if the party decides against awarding ticket to him for PK-24. Other parties – PML-N, PPP, QWP, JUI-F and PTI are also in contact with him. But according to sources, Ahmad will soon join the PPP as he is consulting his loyalists in the party and relatives. On the other hand, the ANP workers are also in confusion because of their disagreement with the leadership’s decisions.



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

Politics of Oscars Appearing live on screen from the White House, U.S. first lady Michelle Obama surprised the Oscars ceremony and announced this year’s best picture award. The winner this time was Argo, a maliciously misleading film about Iran and the hostages held at the American embassy in Tehran after the revolution that toppled the Shah. Before announcing the winner, the glamorously dressed first lady was all praise for the nominated films, ‘They reminded us we can overcome any obstacles if we dig deep enough and hard enough. They are especially important for young people. Every day they engage in the arts, they learn to open their imaginations.’ If there were any doubts in anyone’s mind about the Oscars being a politically motivated villainous scam rather than the standard-setting academy honouring the best of cinema that it pretends to be, they should now be conclusively removed. The thinly veiled circus is clearly aimed at imprisoning, rather than opening, the imaginations of people around the world, young and old. The other hot contender for this year’s best picture award was Zero Dark Thirty, a CIA-sponsored drama about hunting Osama Bin Laden that glorified torture and glamorised the cold-blooded CIA sleuths who perpetrate it. Like Argo, it tampered facts to paint CIA agents as heroes who save America and Americans. The Hurt Locker, by the director of Zero Dark Thirty, won the best picture award a few years back for dehumanising Iraqis as moronic barbarians refusing to be saved by the valiant American soldiers occupying their country. This year it was the turn of the Iranians whom Argo projected as irrational fanatics thirsting for the blood of Americans. Last year, Pakistanis in awe of the fraudulent awards celebrated the country’s first half-Oscar for a documentary that highlighted the worst face of their countrymen and drove home the point that our salvation could only come from cold western shores. They didn’t stop to consider why the academy would award a film with no special merit other than its single-minded vilification of Pakistan. The power of films to mould public perception and opinions is tremendous. Films first ate up literature, trivializing enriching works of masters in flaky 90-minute flicks. And now it is the turn of history. The biggest manufacturer of illusions, Hollywood, understands this, and specialises in producing films that reinforce the narrative of power. From humour to adventure, social dramas to historical epics, it creates a version of reality that feeds into the imperialist project. Lately, it has turned its attention to demonising societies that need to be attacked, so that when the western armies bomb and invade them, the public, fed on the distorted depiction of people who live there as a mass of ignorant cavemen with no humanity or reason, are not repulsed by the barbarism of their governments but actually heave a sigh of relief. It cooks up a reality to suit their war games. The Oscars are a publicity gimmick for films that the spinners of illusion would like the world to watch.

Maligning OGRA, fleecing consumers Who’s to blame for the losses to the state-run gas monopolies? OGRA or the government? amongst which is non-payment by consumers in certain areas, especially Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and M.S. KARIM Balochistan. As someone who pays his gas bills in a timely manner, I am yet to understand the logic of passing on Much has been said in the recent someone else’s bills onto me. heated war of words between and Besides, the fallout of OGRA Chairman Oil and Gas Regulatory capitulating to government’s demand Authority (OGRA) and Dr Asim of passing on its losses to the Hussain, Advisor to the PM on consumers will be damaging in the Petroleum. The advisor has repeatedly long-run. It will not be a one-time accused OGRA of causing losses to practice to begin with. And as new the state-run gas monopolies (SSGC entrants into the field appear in the and SNGPL) by not allowing the future, the same allowance may by government to pass on their ‘losses’ to requested by them. This basically consumers. OGRA on the other hand means that while the country’s gas claims that these losses are actually distribution and transmission system inefficiencies created by poor remains inefficient, the consumers will management. Passing these on to the continue to be subjected to pay a price consumers will be unfair, which is unreasonable, unfair and contradictory to the principles of based on politically motivated factors. regulation and OGRA’s charter. So One can understand where the who is at fault? government is coming from but it I am not going to dwell upon the cannot be absolved of its basic intricacies of the regulation theory function of governance. The dilemma although the devil lies in the detail. I The fallout of OGRA capitulating to is that the government likes to wear shall only attempt to study the government’s demand of passing on two hats and tends to forget that this evolution of gas sector in Pakistan creates hurdles in the way of over the years. Pakistan’s first elephant its losses to the consumers will be effective governance. The gas field was discovered in Sui in the damaging in the long-run. It will not government should not expect the early 1950s. The two gas distribution regulator to mete out a preferred and transmission companies were set be a one-time practice to begin with. treatment to the State-run up and became operational soon after And as new entrants into the companies. There is no doubt that development at the upstream got the donors are pressuring the completed. These companies were field appear in the future, the same government to ‘reform’ the gas run by competent people with minimal political interference. These allowance may by requested by them companies. There is also no question that the huge balance of payment in were the early days. the energy sector is having an As gas became more and more impact on State-owned companies. available, becoming the fuel of choice But that is a problem for the for most Pakistani consumers, the size enterprise on a day by day basis by the enables the enterprises to raise debt government to resolve without and role of these gas companies and equity in the future. Its effect on government creates a natural conflict expanded. Like all other state run the interests of consumers is however burdening the consumers, even if it which can be guarded by none other has not created it. institutions, political interference in questionable. The measure is than an active, vibrant and an So, while OGRA is not free from ills the day to day management of these designed to create complacency and independent regulator. So is OGRA and its role in the past may be companies became more frequent. promote inefficiency, the burden of fulfilling that role? Typically, the government of the day which is being effectively passed to the questionable, on this one occasion One may argue that OGRA has not consumers. In a non-competitive and OGRA is doing the right thing. As for would want to appoint its favoured fulfilled that role in the past. the government, expecting the non-contested environment that we people on key management positions Examples of its failures include the regulator to facilitate backdoor have in play, it should have been disregarding merit and transparency; indiscriminate licencing of CNG measures is not in the best interests OGRA’s foremost aim to undo this wish to get its party workers employed outlets under political pressure, of either the gas companies or the profit guarantee to the state-owned in hordes and also allocate knowing very well that the country country. The government’s sole gas companies. connections at will to new areas based will not have sufficient gas to cater to focus should be to improve the The matter of disallowing so called on political considerations. the growing needs of this industry. technical and management system losses to be passed on to The reforms introduced in the Precious investment of Pakistanis, 1990s changed the structure of these both in the business of setting up new consumers is different. The losses that efficiency of these enterprises. the two gas companies continue to companies from being 100% outlets as well as vehicle owners, has M.S.KARIM IS AN OIL INDUSTRY accumulate, and desire to ‘recover’ government owned to public hence been compromised. from the consumers, run into billions companies listed on the stock Another example quoted is PROFESSIONAL BASED IN ISLAMABAD of rupees. These losses have piled up exchanges. The control, however, allowing a much higher than usual WITH A MASTERS DEGREE IN through a host of factors, the biggest remained with the Ministry of gas price to a private gas producer PETROLEUM POLICY Petroleum. The sectoral reforms of the 1990s also called for a Regulator to regulate the midstream and downstream sectors. This was eventually created in the 2000s in the form of OGRA. The aims and objectives of the Regulator are no different to what they are anywhere else in the world: it is expected to guard consumer interests, disallow the creation of monopolies and provide a level playing field to all operators among others. It is expected to take up a benevolent role for taxpayers rather than promote its own self-interest or act on the wishes of the government in charge. The Regulator’s role becomes all the more important in an environment where the only operators are owned and controlled by the State. While the essential role for the government is to provide policy guidelines, running the

and although the matter is subjudice, one cannot but blame OGRA for acting against consumer interests, its fundamental responsibility. The Supreme Court took a suo moto notice of the situation and an effort was made on part of OGRA to rationalise the gas prices as a result. As a result of another Supreme Court case, the former OGRA chief, a political appointee wanted for corruption, has run off to Dubai. There is also the issue of guaranteeing a fixed rate of return (ROR) to the gas companies by the government - a step predating OGRA’s formation. On recommendation of the World Bank, the government has guaranteed a fixed return of 17.5% and 17% respectively to SNGP and SSGC. This measure promotes the interests of investors on the stock exchanges and

Finding a way out of the state of crisis More than a failed state we are actually a failed nation. Our failure lies in the fact that we never learnt the art of taking pride in the diversity of our society ASIF MAHMOOD The Prime Minister, finally waking up from an apparently deep slumber, has ordered a “targeted operation” (sic) in Quetta. Whether it would suffice in restoring peace to the terror-hit Quetta is anybody’s guess because the question is not merely of restoring the rule of law. It is of social, moral, intellectual and institutional disorder as well and what we need is not only a halfhearted operation but also a complete regeneration of our society and outright reconstruction of our state institutions. If we can do this, great, if not, doomsday scenario would cease to be a scenario and could become a reality pretty soon. The recent surge in terrorism is not merely a failure of security agencies; it is the failure of the whole society without any exceptions. It is the natural outcome of our follies and blunders spanning over decades, today we are just a whisker away from landing the ignominious “distinction” of being declared a

failed state. The ‘Land of the Pure’ has literally been transformed into T.S. Eliot’s Wasteland. In fact, one feels that more than a failed state we are actually a failed nation; our failure lies in the fact that we never learnt the art of taking pride in the diversity of our society. No human congregation is homogenous, differences are always there. How you take those differences and manage them speaks for the strength and maturity of your society. We have failed because instead of facilitating understanding amongst the various tiers of society we promoted intolerance, extremism and hatred. From homes to offices and from schools to madrassas we are alien to the culture of dialogue and are prone to the syndrome of self-righteousness. It is not only the mullah who is promoting intolerance and extremism; every one of us is sailing with the mullah in the same boat. As if this isn’t enough, the bumper crop of self -styled opinion makers, our TV anchors, are busy stoking fires of hatred on a daily basis. The way these TV anchors behave, their standard of discussion, their selection of semi-literate or

The real power behind Malik Riaz

EDITOR’S MAIL BOX Feedback from the web

Malik Riaz-the real power broker Journalists here were not given a chance to check with the Sheikhs if the news of 45 billion dollars was authentic or not. The owners of the respective channels aired the news themselves. It was an executive order and nobody in the newsroom was happy to air it. FAWAD FAWADRIZVI @ GMAIL .COM

I wrote it the day first when I saw this advert with one of the rulers from the Emirates. It amazed me that how come such investment can come in Pakistan when global and regional powers are creating dubious situation in Pakistan. It is not only Malik Riaz who used influential people to build empire and loot people. Government ruling parties and allies are hidden Robin Hoods including civil servants. Since 1945, if we see over all scenario. UNO is a young organisation and yet is governed by elite of the world. Above practice is in place in other countries too but in a different sense, they still give little bit to their public whereas the case in Pakistan is the opposite. Malik has been advised wrongly. Such a clever person made such a big mistake; it is not understandable. Whatever you wrote in the piece, he admitted in his talk shows. What about those adverts which are coming from India? Media is not a pillar yet is getting a National

illiterate guests and their appetite for ratings, one can only dub it a sham that carries no shame. The standard of discussion in these shows reminds me of roosters fighting in the streets of my village. What to talk of category B, when even Nawaz Sharif himself denies Mr Asif Ali Zardari an opportunity to offer condolences on the demise of his younger brother. If this is the level of our politeness and tolerance, what good are we waiting for? Our political elite is riddled with extremism to the extent that even a scholar like Maulana Maududee went on to declare that elections in 1970 were not just an electoral contest.“Election against Bhutto is another Ghazwa e Tabook”, he reportedly said. Look at the films we are producing: Dada Badmaash, Gujjar da Wer, Wehshee Gujjar, Athra Gujjar. If it is true that art is reflection of the social behavior, we can only think where we are headed. And then there is the fact that Sultan Rahi sahib with his gandasa had been the most popular hero of this society of the faithful for years.

Security Threat, creating chaos always. MUHAMMAD NAEEM UL FATEH MNULFATEH @ GMAIL .COM

The roots of cleric power I am regularly \blogging and i genuinely appreciate your content. The article has seriously aroused my interest. I'm going to bookmark your web site and maintain checking for new information and facts. MICHAEL KORS BAGS NOXINDUDDYNEW LKIBNT @799 FU.COM

What's up, I would like to subscribe for this blog to obtain most recent updates, so where can i do it please assist. ALICIAMCCANTS @ GAWAB .COM

The Baloch question What most people seem to be oblivious of with regards to the situation in Balochistan is that the Baloch question is directly linked with

It appears that scholars have been neglected in this society by design and militancy promoted in its place. Can anyone forget how Jamat-e-Islami glorified Major Mast Gul in the 80s and 90s? Book culture stands eliminated. There are no libraries to speak of, but there are many missiles - in all shapes sizes and ranges - and bombs installed on the roads. Calling it a mere coincidence would be tantamount to gross over simplification. There is another conundrum. We are swinging like a pendulum between Ummah and a nation state. We are unable to decide which way we should go. We have been hypnotised by Urdu columnists and by the rhetoric of clergy to the extent that we are unable to understand that the Ummah is washing its dirty linen in our courtyard. For long we have been the battlefield of the cold war of at least two countries of the Ummah. Isn’t it time we tell these brother countries ‘enough is enough’? After all, these brother Islamic countries themselves are typical secular ‘nation states’ that use the concept of

the Hazara question. Every single factor that has led to turmoil in Pakistan’s largest province has its roots in sectarianism and the fact that everyone seems to be acquiescing to the behemoth that this pointless division has nourished. The ethnic cleansing of the Shia community in Hazara is the depiction of the overall discrimination that Balochis are facing in Pakistan. I fear that we might have another East Pakistan-esque debacle on the cards, as the discrimination continues to surge with regards to Balochistan. What is the point in fretting over the future of Kashmir, when we can’t even manage the provinces that we have in our territory as things stand. OMER HAYAT LAHORE

Skewed numbers for India I was going through your editorial pages the other day when I came across this article on Indian economy and the disparity between the richest and the poorest in the county. It was a massive myth buster for me.

Ummah only to protect their national interests. We have been exploited in the name of Ummah and today we are witnessing the ultimate results of these policies. There is no check and balance anywhere in this country. You are free to promote hatred and extremism. The state has failed to protect its citizens and the confusion is mounting whether it is negligence or a willful default on the part of the state. The society at large is getting sick and human values are on a decline. If a Shia is killed only the Shia protestors throng the road, when some Deobandi is killed only Deobandis protest and when a Barelvi is killed only the Barelvis feel the pain. No one cares about humanity. There has never been any collective human response to any act of terror. This sad state of affairs often reminds me of Marcellus, a character of Shakespeare’s ‘Hamlet’, who says, “something is rotten in the state of Denmark”. THE WRITER IS AN ISLAMABAD BASED LAWYER,

While the global media touts India as one of the fastest growing economies, what we see is this massive disparity between the richest and the poorest in the country. The numbers are clearly skewed, and I’d love a report on global economy that depicts the fiscal state factoring in the disparities between the richest and the poorest. ALI HAIDER ISLAMABAD


Miraji - the return of Anima An interesting analysis... Continuing the analysis, would you please cite the 10 best poems of Mira Jee which support, reinforce and exemplify your analysis. It would be truly educational for me as a humble student modern Urdu poetry. TALAT AFROZE TALAT. AFROZE @ DAREECHAH .COM


Youth camp discusses gender equality I'm impressed, I ought to say. Truly rarely do I encounter a blog that is both educative and entertaining, and let me tell you, you have hit the nail on the head. Your thought is outstanding; the concern is something that is not being addressed by sufficient individuals. No one is speaking intelligently on the topic. I am rather pleased that I stumbled across this in my search for something relating to this. CRORMIBRA KXULMX @799 FU.COM

Appreciation Just wanted to send a little token of appreciation to the team of The Spokesman. From what I see, you are fitting the bill of being the spokesman of the people, and I wish you all the best in continuing on the same road. Best of luck! SANIA WASIM ISLAMABAD Please email your letters to or post them to our address in Islamabad.


Living in denial The Quetta carnage left many questions unanswered. It’s the time to decide that everyone will have religious freedom in Pakistan ‘true Muslim’, ‘faithful sect’ and ‘infidelity’ are debated. Unless, the government, judiciary and society reject the notion of the State having a religion and stop rating people for their beliefs, violence will not end. This is the time when we TAHIR MALIK should decide whether Pakistan is only for Muslims or do people from Finally, the government has ‘successfully resolved’ another national different faiths have the right to live in the country freely and peacefully. crisis by negotiating with the families Religion is never the binding factor. and empathisers of Shias killed in Had it been, Muslims of Afghanistan, Quetta. Nationwide processions and Iran and the Middle East would have protests are over; bodies are buried; been living peacefully. Pakistan has roads are cleared; public transport is failed to solve border issue with on the move. Well done, Pakistan! Afghanistan. Iraq and Kuwait were at The issue is substituted by another war. There has been a cold war issue on media, government of Pakistan considers that the mission is between Saudi Arabia and Iran for centuries. Recently, Iran has built a accomplished, and prepares to solve wall on its border abutting Pakistan. the next crisis on the same lines. Abnormally, the predominant focus Pakistan is amongst the three Muslims countries whose entry to of the government, civil society, Kuwait is restricted. Knowing these political parties, politicians, opinion facts, we still reject the very notion of makers, the SC, different state diversity. establishments and the print and Since the inception of Pakistan, electronic media was that sectarianism stakeholders have been corrupting is the serious delinquent which must innocent minds on the basis of a be taken care of by an iron fist. In simple words, the majority thinks that distorted Two Nation Theory, which differentiates us from Hindus and it is a law and order concern. Sikhs on the basis of religion and In my opinion, this approach is culture too. This ideology was simply sickening and anti-societal. strengthened when PPP’s founder and Not allowing diversity is denial of the late Prime Minister Zulfiqar Ali basic principle of social living: Bhutto’s government declared multiplicity. History shows that Ahmadis as non-Muslims. Gen. Ziaul societies have been living with Haq promoted the same ideology of a heterogenity; it is a necessary State-owned religion. Resultantly, the ingredient of a human society. No fort of Islam started weakening its nation has ever experienced absolute own roots by killing fellow homogeneity; one language, one countrymen in the name of the same religion, one culture, one way of ideology, which separated us from thinking, one sect, one dream, one Hindus and Sikhs in 1947. friend, one enemy, one dress. But the The government, media, civil society Pakistani society is asking for this absoluteness. They are living in denial and the rest are chanting slogans of justice and the right to live but it of diversity. seems that no one is prepared to deal Having sects and more than one with the real issue. The civil society faith is normal and necessary for any protested nationwide. Some even healthy society. The problem with protested in London before the Pakistan is not variety but not Pakistan High Commission. Majlis-eallowing people to live differently. Wahdatul Muslimeen has demanded That is the real issue. It seems the that Balochistan be given under the State, government and society in control of the military. A military general, are not willing to let others operation against terrorists is being live their lives according to their demanded. Lawyers also observed diverse perspectives. And if Pakistan strikes. Markets in metropolitans does not learn to live with diversity, remained closed to show solidarity there would be endless killings based with Shias. The provincial upon different notions. governments of Punjab and The Quetta carnage left many Balochistan announced one-day questions unanswered. The foremost mourning and the national flag flew at is whether the government is bent upon depriving the people of the right half-mast. The honorable Chief Justice of Pakistan took suo moto of freedom of expression and having notice. The Attorney General and the diverse beliefs? Advocate General of Balochistan were It was the time to decide that called on by apex court. The Governor everyone will have religious freedom in Pakistan and to uphold the right of and Corps Commander Balochistan met and discussed the issue. Sources the individual to decide his faith confirmed that the military would be would be protected at any cost. given the responsibility to ensure However, the government, its institutions and media have cunningly peace in Balochistan. Above all, PM Raja Pervez Ashraf has given approval kept a Nelson’s eye on the real issue of a targeted operation against and camouflaged the Balochistan terrorists in Quetta. The civil society crisis with the so-called peaceful has also shown solidarity with the negotiations. Oblivious of the fact victims; but to no avail. Even so, none that diversity is an essential element of them brought up the question of of any society, none of the stakeholders addressed the real crisis. diversity. It can be sorrowfully Do the steps taken by the government concluded that the crisis will remain ensure that what happened in Quetta unresolved and justice won’t prevail. If we really want to change the course, will not happen again? we have to get rid of show bazi. You cannot put an end to sectarian Everyone is crying at the top of their violence in the Land of the Pure voices but problems remain unless it is generally believed that the unresolved. We are the architects of range of beliefs is the real beauty of our own destruction. Unless we accept any society. Generally, it is believed diversity of thoughts, beliefs and that Pakistan was founded in the ideologies, nothing will change. name of Islam where only Muslims could live thus people of other faiths THE WRITER IS AN INDEPENDENT are undermined. It becomes even JOURNALIST CURRENTLY TEACHING more frivolous when concepts such as MEDIA STUDIES IN THE US

Healing the sectarian divide ISRAR AHSAN As we can see, the rate of sectarian violence is increasing day by day all over Pakistan. It is spiraling out of control and the situation in Gilgit Baltistan depicts the volatility of the situation. Law enforcement agencies have failed to hunt down the actual force behind it all. Mostly innocent people have been targeted; those that have no criminal background and do not belong to any political group. In this regard, thorough research is very crucial for law enforcement agencies and would help them find out the actual powers involved. Previously, a lot of researches have been carried out on sectarian violence and while the issue has spread throughout the country, Gilgit Baltistan, the land of peace, has been the most affected. The ongoing massacre of innocent people hailing from Gilgit-Baltistan has actually escalated the increasing uncertainty and animosity in one of the most geographically strategic areas of our country. A country that has been jeopardised by internal and external hegemonies for ages has now turned into a veritable quagmire. In fact if we don’t take an initiative now, the current situation would exacerbate and the consequences would spiral out of our control. Without forgetting national issues such as that of Balochistan, other concerns like the Pak-Afghan border clashes, increasing American pressure, tension over Iranian energy supply, country’s energy crisis, and terrorism, this issue must be tackled by the rulers, legislators, politicians, policymakers and other concerned authorities of the country. The region of Gilgit-Baltistan has remained neglected and people have been disenfranchised from the political process, which includes their right to cast vote in both the National Assembly and

Peace process in Gilgit-Baltistan cannot be formulated unless there is the support of ministers, bureaucrats, religious scholars, old citizens and young men and women from both sides the Senate. Gilgit-Baltistan legislative assembly has been working like “a ship without a rudder”, a place where hopes are already marginalised with the region now metamorphosing into a catastrophe-stricken state, with only celebratory voting rights. Gilgit-Baltistan Legislative Assembly was supposed to be a “real” representative body with powers on decision and law making, and not a mere nominal one, and that is hardly the case. Even so, hopes from this very body still continue to emanate. When behavioural or psychological conflicts occur between communities of varying demographics and geographies, consensus and mutual understandings are hard to be worked out. That is why the region, so called a paradise for local and foreign tourists, is being humiliated by the suspended intellect of decision makers of the country, who are not taking concrete actions. The question is not limited to the creation of proactive measures; rather it extends to the achievement of its solutions vested in honesty, faith, integrity, and rationality. Help and guidance from senior citizens of the region can indeed play a positive role. Having said that, consistency in peace would not be possible without taking the youth into account, as they are more influential and committed to eradicating this fatal crime of sectarianism. These young people, aging between 18 and 40, belonging to both the major sects, namely Sunni and Shia, must be included in the peace process. Monthly meetings with positive publicity around the city through local newspapers, TV and radio channels, posters and flyers, must

make the people of all age groups aware of the fundamental issues that need to be highlighted in the peace talks. Awareness ought to be the main focus of the peace programme to tackle the existing widespread hatred, resulting into fruitful outcomes which suit a civilised society. Peace, harmony, brotherhood, tranquility, as well as the hitherto neglected role of women, teachers, elders and institutions, can play a significantly empirical role in overcoming this vulnerable issue. Implication of peace process into its physical structure cannot be formulated unless there is the support of ministers, bureaucrats, religious scholars, old citizens and all the influential bodies that can further nominate different groups of young men and women from both sides. This selected group of people must be counseling and supervised by another body regulated by the same chain of peaceful command. Is it anything less than blatant shame for the region, when its own countrymen do not deem it worthy to sit, walk, or talk to fellow citizens? Since, sectarianism has not only penetrated the GilgitBaltistan region, but has also deepened its roots in other parts of the country too. Gilgit-Baltistan should thus, stand out and become an example for other regions to follow by initiating this peace process. Traditionally the people of Gilgit Baltistan are peace loving. There are reports of many inter-ethnic and inter-tribe marriages in region and ethnics ties and tribal loyalties conventionally surpassed sectarian identities. However, things have taken a sharp turn for the worse since the late 1970s. Today the entire population has been divided on sectarian basis. The situation has reached such a stage over the

past four decades that petty issues suffice in sparking bloody sectarian clashes. The first reported clashes started between Shia and Sunni in 1972 in Gilgit, and the tranquil region changed into a battlefield for sectarian skirmishes. The formerly peace loving people became thirsty for one another’s blood, and the situation is still the same as things stand. The first reported sectarian clash in Gilgit-Baltistan took place, when Sunnis raised objection to the procession for 10th Muharram. Bhutto prohibited Shias from engaging in this practice. The consequent Shia resentment resulted in firing by police, injuring many and resulting into killings, protest, kidnapping and destruction of property. Things deteriorated dramatically during the tenure of General Ziaul Haq through the 1980s, after coming to power under slogan of Nizam-e-Mustafa he imposed Sharia in largely anti-Shia interpretation in order to legitimise his military rule and to promote jihad in Afghanistan and in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir with help of Sunni Islamist parties and Deobandi groups. The Zia era witnessed the creation of extremist groups like the anti-Shia Sipha-E-Sahaba Pakistan (SSP) and in the response to these the Shia Tehrik-e-Nafaze-Fiqah-e-Jaffaria in 1996. SSP created an armed wing the Lahskar-E-Jhangvi at the other end the Shia formed the own armed outfit the Sipah-eMuhammad Pakistan (SMP). The impact of the aggressive Sunni Islamisation drive initiated by Zia fell substantially on the Shia dominated Gilgit Baltistan. T HE WRITER




Drones, Africa and the decline of American power NORMAN POLLACK

Counter-terrorism is a ploy, a phony diversion, for achieving the classic objectives of imperialism

The announcement (Feb. 22) that the US has opened a drone base in Niger has been deliberately couched in abstract counterterrorism terms: unarmed Predator drones for reconnaissance purposes in order to track Al Qaeda and, never to be missed, “its affiliates.” Who could possibly object to such worthwhile activity? The New York Times, in its news story, didn’t seem to. And if polls are any indication, the general effort, especially in that far-off nebula called Africa, where the baddies, whom we’ve got on the run from Pakistan and Afghanistan, hang out, has Americans’ rock-solid support. We know the bit about “unarmed” and “reconnaissance” is not meant seriously, a Brennan-Obama wink as it were, because the same introductory ploy was used in Djibouti, where a very large US drone base was established on those terms, and quickly transformed to the only real purpose of such an enterprise, i.e., targeted assassination. Djibouti was carefully selected because of the wide swath of territory it covered, and because the government was amenable to US terms, including a status-of-forces agreement, just as now in Niger, in which US personnel are exempted from local jurisdiction in the commission of crimes. An ideal situation, in which we can roll up our sleeves and go after the Enemy, which in the Djibouti case meant al-

Awlaki and his son, both US citizens. What of course is not being said, about Niger, Djibouti, and the whole counterterrorism effort is that, as a result, Africa is “in play” more than previously for American imperialist activities, which before, could be taken for granted as normalized, almost routine, exploitation of rawmaterials production, but now, with China’s penetration, and far more sophisticated relationships to the peoples affected, such as building soccer fields and promoting education, requires of the US a catching-up phase to hold its own. As with imperialism, whether or not historically attached to colonialism, the socalled “natives” are a mere incidental factor in the execution of policy, yet in this case, not only they but also counterterrorism is incidental to US purposes. Even imperialism per se begins to blend into a wider framework, which, let’s call, the geopolitical strategy for a) maintaining the security of capitalism in, and chief architect of, the world system, and b) buttressing America’s claims to lead and work advantageously in that system. We are in Africa whether or not al Qaeda and “its affiliates” are present, because Africa, in what has become an increasingly multipolar world, is both ripe for pickings in its own right and a pivotal sector in the political-economic rivalries of the Great Powers. Indeed, the fight is also becoming ideological. Just as we feared

Russian penetration outside its immediate sphere of influence during the Cold War, now it is China, in a Second Cold War, or perhaps the First continued under new conditions, which we must at all costs prevent from invading our sphere of influence or testing our military strength. Bless al Qaeda, it enables us to prosecute our warlike activities against China! To paraphrase Sartre’s seminal essay on antiSemitism, anti-Semitism is about everything except Jews; here, counterterrorism is about everything but terrorists; and if we didn’t have al Qaeda and “its affiliates” to contend with, we would have had to invent them, as part of our desperate attempt to remain the unilateral dominant power on the global stage. The strain, however, is showing. The blanket use of assassination, coming directly from the personal authorization, down to specific targets, of His Majesty POTUS (and the Svengali-like Brennan always at his ear on the Terror Tuesday swing-dings off the Situation Room), is itself admission enough to the world that America, like Rome before it, is beginning its decline, placing it—except for its huge nuclear arsenal, which partly accounts for the deference still shown the US by the world community—as one among the many others in the family of nations, a position ordinarily satisfying to a country, but not to one which is accustomed to having its own way and, in addition, depends on the huge

defense-cum-military budget to ward off economic stagnation and unemployment (even here, not succeeding all that well). This airstrip in Niger is more than the opening of a new front against terrorists. It is a straw in the wind, embodying the doctrine of permanent war, the necessity for creating an active regional presence throughout the globe, a forward line of bases to ensure the stabilization of areas intended for political-commercial penetration— and, if possible, gain the jump on China. To falter in this regard is to risk falling victim to the psychological version of the domino theory: If the US loses in Africa (incidentally, Niger and Djibouti nicely complemented each other for controlling the East and West), this will encourage its (nonofficial) enemies from gaining ground in other areas of US interest. The unraveling of international power must be stopped. And behind China, what of Brazil, what of the Third World erupting and industrializing on its own terms? What of other regions, once drone warfare and assassination have deprived America of its moral coloring, would these countries still show deference to America? And in fighting this rearguard historical battle, the US can enter the realm of still greater urgency and its soulmate, denial, by fleeing from the major questions threatening world civilization itself, such as climate change and environmental degradation, taking refuge

in the fairy land of antiscience, as though challenges to American might and challenges to the well-being of the planet will alike disappear, if we only close our eyes and keep our finger on the firing trigger (8,000 miles from target) for further assassinations. [Here follows my New York Times Comment (Feb. 23) to the article on Niger drone base.]: Why assume the new base in Niger is directed against Al Qaeda, when in fact the drone presence, necessitating airstrips, provides the basis for establishing a US regional penetration that is part of exerting greater political and economic influence in Africa–head-to-head in competition with China, which has already gained access to raw materials and investment channels. Counter-terrorism is a ploy, a phony diversion, for achieving the classic objectives of imperialism. The status-of-forces agreement with poor Niger indicates, not respect for another country, but the forcible wresting of concessions from them. Moreover, do you really believe the unarmed drones–if such be the case– will remain unarmed for long? The name of the game is to get inside, then proceed the way the US planned all the time. Assassination leaves a stain on US foreign policy which surely will come back to haunt America. (COUNTERPUNCH)


EU urges Iran to be flexible in nuclear talks

21 Sri Lankan fishermen held in India released

COLOMBO: Twenty-one Sri Lankan fishermen have been released from India and are due to arrive here on Wednesday, a Fisheries Ministry spokesman said here. Along with the fishermen, four fishing boats that were taken into custody by the Indian Coast Guard have also been released, said ministry spokesman Narendra Rajapaksa. –AGENCIES

Fatah-linked group claims rocket fired into Israel

USA, Israel and their allies repeatedly accuse Iran of pursuing non-civilian objectives in its nuclear energy programme

ALMATY: The European Union (EU) hopes to see Iran "show some flexibilities" in the ongoing talks held here on the Iranian nuclear issue, an EU official said Tuesday. "We have given proposals. Now we are waiting for Iran's response to it," EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton's spokesman Michael Mann told Xinhua during a news briefing. Tuesday's talks were attended by representatives of Iran, the EU and the so-called P5+1 powers -- Britain, China, France, Russia, the United States and Germany.

"Things have been moving forward, progresses have been made. However, we really hope to see Iran show some flexibilities and then we can go forward," Mann said when asked about EU's expectations on the talks. The EU does not expect a done deal, but "we are not here to talk just for talk's sake," he added. The talks are expected to be finished in two days. The negotiations began in southeastern Kazakh city of Almaty on Tuesday with the presence of representatives from Iran and the P5+1 (Britain, China, France, Russia,

meeting.” He added that powers should know that by relying on nuclear weapons and exerting various pressures on the Iranian nation, they would not be able to dissuade the Islamic Republic from achieving its nuclear rights. Iran and the P5+1 group have held several rounds of talks with the main focus on Iran’s nuclear energy program. The last round of negotiations between Iran and the P5+1 group was held in Moscow in June 2012. The United States, Israel and some of their allies have repeatedly accused

and the United States plus Germany). Secretary of Iran Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) Saeed Jalili is heading the Islamic Republic’s negotiating delegation. The P5+1 representatives are led by EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton. In a meeting with Kazakhstan's President Nursultan Nazarbayev in Almaty on Monday, Jalili said, “The international community expects the P5+1 group’s constructive, logical and reliable answers to Iran’s comprehensive proposals [presented] during the Moscow

GAZA: A militant group claiming ties with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah party said Tuesday it fired a rocket from the Gaza Strip into Israel, the first cross- border violence in three months. The rocket landed in Israeli coastal city of Ashkelon, Israeli media reports said, adding that it caused some damage on a road but did not hurt anybody. –AGENCIES

No backslide to Cold War, says Medvedev

ʻSL security forces rape, torture Tamil detaineesʼ NEW DELHI: Sri Lanka's security forces have used rape to torture and extract confessions from suspected Tamil separatists almost four years after the country's civil war ended, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said in a report on Tuesday. –AGENCIES

100m euros spent for Mali military intervention PATHUMTHANI: Buddhist monks hold candles as they walk around a Pagoda on Makha Bhucha Day at the Dhammakaya Temple in Pathumthani province. Makha Bhucha day is observed in Thailand on the full moon of the third lunar month and commemorates the day when 1,250 monks gathered to be ordained by the Buddha. –WIRE SERVICE

PARIS: France's "Serval" military operation in Mali has cost the government over 100 million euros (131 million US dollars), French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian estimated on Tuesday. "All these figures will be presented to the National Assembly's Finance Committee who shall be kept informed every week about the situation in Mali," Le Drian told RTL radio. According to the minister, France's annual budget for external operations stands at 630 million euros. –AGENCIES

Berlusconi hints at talks with center-left

Powerful cyclone ʻRustyʼ nears Australia SYDNEY: Australian authorities urged the evacuation of parts of the resourcerich northwest on Tuesday as a powerful cyclone whipped up huge seas, while a man died in heavy flooding in the northeast. Wild weather was pounding northern Western Australia as tropical cyclone Rusty, upgraded to a severe category three storm, neared the coast and a second low-pressure system formed in the Indian Ocean. –AGENCIES

PLA plans 40 military drills in 2013 BEIJING: The People's Liberation Army (PLA) will conduct 40 military exercises in 2013 in order to improve its combat abilities, according to the Military Training Department of the PLA General Staff Headquarters. A statement released Tuesday by the department said the PLA will put China's core security-related interests in a more prominent position and will strengthen live-ammunition and confrontation exercises. –AGENCIES

Iran of pursuing non-civilian objectives in its nuclear energy program. Over the false allegation, Washington and the European Union have imposed several rounds of illegal unilateral sanctions against the Islamic Republic. Iran refutes the allegation and argues that as a signatory to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency, it is entitled to develop nuclear technology for peaceful purposes. –AGEENCIES

ROME: Silvio Berlusconi, ex-prime minister and leader of the center-right coalition, on Tuesday hinted at willingness to negotiate an alliance with the center-left coalition after Italy's parliamentary election turned into a rare political deadlock. "Italy deserves to be governed... Now we have to take time to reflect," Berlusconi said in a local TV program when asked about the possibility of making an agreement with the center-left. The center-left coalition led by Pier Luigi Bersani narrowly won the election in the lower house in order to be assigned to form a new government, according to the count of all domestic votes by the interior ministry. But Bersani did not obtain a majority of seats in the Senate, leaving him the awkward option of allying with either Berlusconi or Five Star Movement's Beppe Grillo if forming a government. In the Senate, the projected number of seats is 113 for Bersani, 116 for Berlusconi, 54 for Grillo and only 18 for outgoing Prime Minister Mario Monti. Any party or coalition needs 158 seats in the 315-strong Senate for a majority. The center-left's ideal option would be allying with pro-reform Monti's centrist party if it could have won more seats. Berlusconi also declared "no agreement with Monti" via his Twitter account, without mentioning the obvious fact that an alliance with Monti

could go nowhere due to lack of enough seats in the Parliament. Italy's government always needs the support of both the lower house and the Senate to govern, which have equal lawmaking powers. Apparently the center-left could be desperate enough to force itself into alliance negotiations with its rival center-right. Democratic Party's deputy secretary Enrico Letta said late on Monday that his party would prefer not to have a second election. Bersani was also quoted as saying that Italy was faced with a delicate situation and that his coalition would manage the responsibilities that "these elections have given us in the interests of Italy." Global markets have been severely shaken by the prospect of Italy's political stalemate that could undermine the stability of the whole eurozone. “We need to see on what points we can agree with the other coalitions,” Berlusconi said. A second vote wouldn’t be useful, he said. The media magnate said he doesn’t think an alliance with outgoing Prime Minister Mario Monti is possible. Aides to Bersani claimed victory and said he should get a chance to form a government. No formal steps can be taken until a new parliament convenes March 15. Grillo ruled out alliances and has said he wants to destroy the established parties, not work with them. He said he would relish another vote. –AGENCIES

India urged to co-sponsor anti-Lanka resolution NEW DELHI: Tamil rights activists on Tuesday urged India to co-sponsor a US resolution against Sri Lanka in the forthcoming session of United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva and make it stronger. UK-based British Tamil Forum (BTF)and Tamils Against Genocide (TAG), a US-based Tamil advocacy group, today said that they hope India will not only cosponsor the US based resolution but also bring out a stronger resolution. "We urge India to not just support but also cosponsor the US based resolution against Sri Lanka and also push to make it stronger. We also hope that India brings out a stronger resolution," Kana Nirmalan, Human Rights Coordinator, BTF said. Calling for independent international inquiry into the allegations of war crimes committed by Sri Lanka, the groups said that they want creation of an International Commission of Investigation. –AGENCIES

MOSCOW: The relations between Moscow and Washington will not slide back to the Cold War stage, because they are able to tackle various problems together, says Russian Prime Minster Dmitry Medvedev. "There are no deeply rooted, fundamental reasons for the 'Cold War.' On the contrary, we are capable of jointly tackling a large variety of issues in many areas," Medvedev told Brazilian TV channel Globo in an interview on Tuesday. In the interview, conducted during his Latin American tour last week, Medvedev acknowledged that Russia-US relations have recently been soured over the child adoption issue, the missile defense problem and others. The United States was to blame for the difficulties in bilateral ties, said Medvedev. "We were forced to respond to these decisions." He mentioned the so-called Magnitsky Act as an example of unfriendly moves by the United States that have triggered tit-for-tat retaliations from Moscow. The Magnitsky Act targets Russian officials believed to be involved in the death of a Russian lawyer named Sergei Magnitsky in detention in 2009. In response, Moscow introduced the so-called Dima Yakovlev Act, banning adoptions of Russian children by US citizens. The

Russian PM lamented the fact that a small group of“individual adventurers” in the United States were able to take advantage of an unfortunate incident in one person’s life in order to pursue their political and commercial ambitions. “It has nothing to do with us personally, but, to my regret, it puts a strain on our relations with the U.S., which we would not like to have happened," he said. The Magnitsky Act, which US President Barack Obama signed into law in December, makes it possible to deny American visas and freeze the assets of Russian nationals who US officials say are complicit in the death of Sergey Magnitsky, the former accountant from Hermitage Capital who died in prison in 2009 while being investigated in a massive tax fraud case. Meanwhile, there are other issues that continue to hamper Russia-US relations, including the welfare of Russian orphans who have been adopted into American families, some of who have met with a tragic fate. In December, President Putin signed the Dima Yakovlev Law, which imposes a ban on the adoption of Russian children by US parents. Russia has also toughened laws regulating the activities of nongovernmental organizations that receive their financial support from abroad. –AGENCIES

19 tourists killed in balloon explosion in Egyptʼs Luxor CAIRO: Nineteen tourists were killed in a balloon explosion Tuesday morning in Egypt's Luxor governorate, state-run al-Ahram online reported. "The explosion happened in the early morning. The pressure was too high in the balloon and then fire of the engine touched the balloon and suddenly the balloon was on fire," a local tourist guide named Mohamed told Xinhua. "The balloon belongs to the Sky Cruise company. The dead and injured have been transferred to the Luxor International Hospital, " he added. Al-Ahram online quoted a source in the Sky Cruise company as saying that the hose attached to the gas tanks was cut while some workers were trying to tug the rope of the balloon during landing, which led to the explosion. The source added that after the hose had been cut, the tanks exploded, and the balloon rose up in the air for 400 meters and got ablaze with 19 tourists inside. The source noted that the balloon driver and an English guide jumped from the balloon during the fire and were seriously injured. –AGENCIES

US-led west arming extremists in Syria The purpose of now repeatedly lying about arming only ‘moderate’ militants in Syria, is to cover up both past admissions that the West planned to overthrow both Syria and neighboring Iran by arming and funding Al Qaeda since at least 2007, as well as obvious evidence that they are in fact doing just that in Syria now TONY CARTALUCCI EPEAT a lie often enough, and hopefully people will begin to believe it. That is what a concerted effort by Western media houses hopes to achieve as they claim the recent flow of heavy weapons from Western nations and their Arab-Israeli partners is boosting "moderate rebels" and "tilting" the balance of Syria's conflict against the Syrian government. The Washington Post in particular, sets the tempo for this coordinated propaganda campaign, claiming that: A surge of rebel advances in Syria is being fueled at least in part by an influx of heavy weaponry in a renewed effort by outside powers to arm moderates in the Free Syrian Army, according to Arab and rebel officials. The report also states: The officials declined to identify the source of the newly provided weapons, but they noted that the countries most closely involved in supporting the rebels’ campaign to oust Assad have grown increasingly alarmed at the soaring influence of Islamists over the fragmented rebel movement. They include the United States and its major European allies,


along with Turkey and the United Arab Emirates, and Saudi Arabia and Qatar, the two countries most directly involved in supplying the rebels. The Washington Post refuses to use the term, "Al Qaeda," and instead labels the international, Persian Gulf financed, armed, and harbored terror organization as, "radical Islamists." It quotes an unnamed Arab official as saying: "If you want to weaken alNusra, you do it not by withholding [weapons] but by boosting the other groups." Al Qaeda and the "Moderates" are one and the same. Al-Nusra, of course, is Al Qaeda in Syria and is linked directly to the openly Western-created and backed "moderate" opposition. Moaz alKhatib, leader of the so-called National Coalition, demanded the US take alNusra in particular off their list of sanctioned terrorist organizations. In December of 2012, Reuters quoted alKhatib as saying: "The decision to consider a party that is fighting the regime as a terrorist party needs to be reviewed. We might disagree with some parties and their ideas and their political and ideological vision. But we affirm that all the guns of the rebels are aimed at overthrowing the tyrannical criminal regime."

In the same article, Reuters would admit: The United States designated the Jabhat al-Nusra (Nusra Front) as a foreign terrorist organisation and said it was trying to hijack the revolt on behalf of Al Qaeda in Iraq. While the Washington Post tries to claim Al Qaeda is somehow a separate entity from the "Syrian opposition," the West's own opposition front openly defends and supports Al Qaeda's ongoing violence, which most recently manifested itself in a car bomb targeting scores of civilians, including school children. As the West simultaneously accuses Saudi Arabia and Qatar of being the primary financiers of Al Qaeda, it has admitted years before the so-called "Syrian uprising" began that it was itself funding and arming extremist groups with direct ties to Al Qaeda with the goal of fostering the very violence now taking place in Syria and along its peripheries. The purpose of now repeatedly lying about arming only "moderate" militants in Syria, is to cover up both past admissions that the West planned to overthrow both Syria and neighboring Iran by arming and funding Al Qaeda since at least 2007, as well as obvious evidence that they are in fact doing just that in Syria now.

In 2007, the Wall Street Journal published an article titled, "To Check Syria, U.S. Explores Bond With Muslim Brothers" which stated: On a humid afternoon in late May, about 100 supporters of Syria's largest exile opposition group, the National Salvation Front, gathered outside Damascus's embassy here to protest Syrian President Bashar Assad's rule. The participants shouted anti-Assad slogans and raised banners proclaiming: "Change the Regime Now." Later in the article, it would be revealed that the National Salvation Front (NSF) was in contact with the US State Department and that a Washington-based consulting firm in fact assisted the NSF in organizing the rally: In the weeks before the presidential election, the State Department's Middle East Partnership Initiative, which promotes regional democracy, and NSF members met to talk about publicising Syria's lack of democracy and low voter turnout, participants say. A Washington-based consulting firm, C&O Resources Inc., assisted the NSF in its planning for the May 26 anti-Assad rally at the Syrian embassy, providing media and political contacts.

The article then admits: One of the NSF's most influential members is the Syrian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood -- the decades-old political movement active across the Middle East whose leaders have inspired the terrorist groups Hamas and Al Qaeda. Its Syrian offshoot says it has renounced armed struggle in favor of democratic reform. Also in 2007, reported by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Seymour Hersh in his New Yorker article, "The Redirection," it was stated: "To undermine Iran, which is predominantly Shiite, the Bush Administration has decided, in effect, to reconfigure its priorities in the Middle East. In Lebanon, the Administration has cooperated with Saudi Arabia’s government, which is Sunni, in clandestine operations that are intended to weaken Hezbollah, the Shiite organization that is backed by Iran. The U.S. has also taken part in clandestine operations aimed at Iran and its ally Syria. A by-product of these activities has been the bolstering of Sunni extremist groups that espouse a militant vision of Islam and are hostile to America and sympathetic to Al Qaeda." While the Western media now

concedes that Al Qaeda is playing a primary role in Syria's violence, it not only is pretending as if open, and repeated admissions by US, Saudi, and Lebanese officials as far back as 2007 to organise and arm Al Qaeda in the first place never happened, it continuously attempts to frame Al Qaeda as being somehow separate, even opposed to "moderate rebels" despite these "moderates" defending and embracing Al Qaeda's al-Nusra front by name. The West with its Israeli, Saudi, and Qatari partners, created and have since fueled Al Qaeda for over 3 decades using them both as the ultimate casus belli and as an inexhaustible mercenary force from Mali, Algeria, and Libya, to Syria, Iraq, Iran, and Pakistan. Al Qaeda linked extremists are finding themselves a lynchpin in the West's geopolitical agenda even as far as Southeast Asia where so-called "fundamentalist" groups are linking up with Wall Street's proxy Anwar Ibrahim in Malaysia. Ultimately, the Washington Post concedes that terrorists are failing in Syria, and that even with the influx of heavy weapons, regime change may still be a far-fetched goal. (


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ECC approves Rs 12b worth bailout package for PIA 

Sanctions collection of Rs 6 billion worth of PARCO dues from consumers


ISLAMABAD: Federal cabinet’s Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) on Tuesday approved to collect Rs6billion outstanding dues of PARCO from consumers and 12billion worthy bailout package for Pakistan International Airlines (PIA). Under the chairmanship of Federal Minister for Finance and Economic Affairs,Senator Saleem H. Mandviwalla, the ECC approved to collect Rs6 billion from over burdened consumers of petroleum products, which the Oil and Gas Regulatory had declared contrary to the decision of apex court. However, Petroleum and Natural Resources Ministry submitted a summary to the ECC and sought review of oil marketing companies and dealer’s margins in pursuance of the ECC decision for its review on yearly basis. The ECC has

approved the margin for oil marketing companies and dealers, sources privy to the development told TheSpokesman. The sources also said that under the approved raise in margin of companies and dealers, 25paisa increase in OMCs margin on petrol and 10 paisa/litre on diesel while dealer margin has also been increased by 41 paisa per litre, sources in cabinet secretariat told this scribe during a midnight exclusive communication. The OGRA was against the decision of raise in the margin of oil dealers and oil marketing companies, a source added. “With the approval of highest economic forum of the country, the already heavy loaded consumers, bearing high brunt of sky high prices of petroleum products for a long time, would have to pay Rs40crore monthly. Similarly, consumers of petrol would now to onward additionally pay Rs0.30/litre while Rs0.38/litre of diesel

consumers, a source said. It is also learnt that a bailout package of Rs12billion for the PIA to acquiring aircrafts. More, the ECC has also approved commission on petroleum products of oil dealers and oil marketing companies (OMCs). Under the approved raise in margin of companies and dealers, 25paisa increase in OMCs margin on petrol and 10 paisa/litre on diesel while dealer margin has also been increased by 41 paisa per litre, sources in cabinet secretariat told this scribe during a midnight exclusive communication. The OGRA was against the decision of raise in the margin of oil dealers and oil marketing companies, a source added. According to a hand out issued by the finance ministry, under the approved interim business plan presented by PIAC for the next five years, the highest economic forum (ECC) has agreed to allow Ministry of Finance to issue

continuing fresh guarantees to the tune of PKR-49 billion during the year 2013 to meet with the critical liquidity condition of the Corporation. ECC also agreed to the request of the Ministry of Defence (MoD) arrangement/provision of US $ 46 million by Ministry of Finance with or without GoP guarantees enabling PIAC to acquire five narrow body aircrafts to replace its ageing fleet. The ECC also agreed to the proposal for extending the loans/guarantees of PKR 33.5 billion until June 2013. The ECC further agreed to the borrowing by PIAC of PKR 13.50 billion from NBP against letter of comfort to be subsequently replaced by GoP guarantees. The approved measures/ strategy will provide for: a) Fuel efficiency through fleet modernization. b) Optimum fleet deployment on network.

c) Introduction of additional frequencies on high demand high yield routes. d) Revenue enhancement and increase in market share. e) Separation of the Core airlines business activities from non core (SBUs). f) Restructuring of PIA liabilities to reduce financial cost. Sources further told that petroleum ministry has also asked the ECC to approve Rs6billion collection from consumers on account of crude oil transportation cost, long pending dues, production of quality diesel etc. which OGRA had earlier stopped its collection from the consumers. The summary seeking heavily charging the consumers was not circulated among the concerned authorities but was directly sent to the ECC, sources add. Petroleum and Natural Resources Ministry also submitted a summary before the ECC seeking its approval for

Industrial chair established at Quaid-e-Azam University

Application for GSP plus duty advantage to be submitted in March ISLAMABAD: Pakistan would submit an application with the European Commission by the middle of March for availing the GSP plus duty advantage for its exports, according to commerce ministry here. Talking to Private TV, commerce ministry deputy secretary (foreign trade), Muhammad Ashraf said that the concerned inistries/organizations would submit their reports relating to the compliance of the UN Conventions for availing GSP plus duty advantage from EU by February 28 to his ministry, which would be attached to the application, as it was mandatory for obtaining GSP plus facility. Muhammad Ashraf said that the prime minister has already given his approval for the submission of application for trade facility and hoped that Pakistan would succeed in getting the GSP plus facility. –AGENCIES

Intel Accelerates Mobile Computing Push ISLAMABAD: Intel Corporation announced a range of new products, ecosystem and enabling efforts that will further accelerate the company’s presence in mobile and help usher in a range of new devices and richer experiences with Intel Inside®. The announcements include a new dualcore Atom™ SoC ("Clover Trail+") platform for smart phones and Android tablets, and the company’s first global, multimode-multiband LTE solution. Other disclosures included “Bay Trail” momentum, a new multi-platform enabling program, and continued smart phone momentum in emerging markets with the Intel® Atom™ Z2420 processorbased platform. “Today’s announcements build on Intel’s growing device portfolio across a range of mobile market segments,” said Naveed Siraj, Country Manager for Intel Pakistan. “In less than a year's time we have worked closely with customers to bring 10 Intelbased smart phones to market in more than 20 countries, and have also delivered an industry-leading low-power tablet solution running Windows 8.” –AGENCIES

CCCP issues guidelines for telecom consumers ISLAMABAD: Competition Commission of Pakistan (CCCP) has prepared guidelines for the consumers regarding telecommunication products and services in the country to protect consumers from anticompetitive behaviour. The draft guidelines have been shared with the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority, all telecom companies, and placed on the Commission’s website for soliciting feedback and suggestions from stakeholders. These guidelines are meant for telecommunication companies to comply in their sales, marketing, advertising, and communication in all forms across all mediums, online and point of sale. Effort has been made in the guidelines to provide guidance on what may constitute as deceptive marketing practices and avoid actions that may amount to violating the law. –AGENCIES

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

BUYING 99.10 129.21 149.64 26.90 26.30 348.10 95.63

SELLING 99.35 129.42 149.85 27.15 26.55 351.85 97.32

the recovery of PARCO claims from freight pool (IFEM). The ECC in this regard directed OGRA to continue with the implementation of earlier ECC decision dated 16th August 2011 and reimburse the price difference to PARCO as per existing practice. M/o Petroleum and Natural Resources moved another summary seeking approval of the ECC to the formula for fixation of ex-refinery price of high speed diesel (HSD). The ECC approved the proposed mechanism/formula for computation of HSD price due to change of benchmark price from HSD 0.5 sulphur to HSD 0.5% Sulphur (Euro-II) which will remain in force till June 30, 2014. The ECC banned the marketing of high speed diesel with Sulphur content more than 0.5 per cent (Euro-II) grade high speed diesel in the country. The Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources solicited the approval of the ECC for allocation of gas from new sources.


ISLAMABAD: Masood Siddiqui OGDCL MD/CEO and Professor Dr Masoom Yasinzai, Vice Chancellor Quaid-e-Azam Universiy exchanging MoU to establish a Dr Salim-uz-Zaman Siddiqui chair for Earth Sciences at QAU. –STAFF PHOTO

We won’t allow PSM to be privatised, says board KARACHI: Board of Directors (BoD) of Pakistan Steel Mills (PSM) has decided that the mill will not be allowed to be privatized. The decision was taken in the meeting of the BoD held here under its chairman Fazal Qureshi Tuesday. Meeting was attended by federal secretary Gul Muhammad Rind, chairman CBA Shamshad Qureshi, CEO PSM, Muhammad Javed and others. It was unanimously decided in the meeting that national industry PSM would not be allowed to be privatized and no such proposal was under consideration at present. This entity will soon be able to stand on its feet with the cooperation of the government, they declared. It was told in the meeting that

supply of raw material has been started in PSM. It was also decided in the meeting that perks and privileges in respect of officers and subordinate staff will continue. Earlier ahead of the meeting a delegation led by Chairman CBA Shamshad Qureshi met federal secretary for production Gul Muhammad Rind in PID House and apprised him of their reservations and unrest prevailing among the employees. Federal secretary assured the delegation that PSM would further progress and bring improvement in the national economy. Full protection is being provided to the employees and this entity is out of the list of privatization, he said. –AGENCIES

World market declares PSO defaulter ISLAMABAD: Pakistan State Oil has been declared defaulter by the world market due to delay in payments under the LC head. A private TV channel reported that PSO needs Rs 30 billion for making the payments in two days. It must be remembered that PSO owes Rs 145 billion to various organisations and Rs 128 million to local refineries. According to private TV channel, supply of petroleum products to Pakistan can be suspended for one month, in case payments are not made in two days. Energy crisis in Pakistan can worsen as a consequence of the suspension of oil product’s supply. –AGENCIES

ISLAMABAD: Dr. Salim-uz-Zaman Siddiqui, renowned Scientist of Earth Sciences Department of Qauid-e-Azam University, Islamabad has been honoured by establishing a chair in recognition of his services by OGDCL and Government Holding Private Limited (GHPL) here today at Islamabad. Dr. Asim Hussain advisor to Prime Minister was the Chief Guest to grace the occasion, the ceremony was organized at Qaid-e-Azam University, Islamabad Masood Siddiqui MD OGDCL and Vice Chancellor inked the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in the presence of Chief Guest. The chair was sponsored by OGDCL and GHPL with donation of RS 3.58 million. The objective of chair is to bridge gap between industry and university and to initiate research activities in earth sciences department. Professor Dr. Masoom Yasinzai Vice Chancellor presented research activities of the university and thanked Honorable Advisor to Prime Minister and MD OGDCL Mr. Masood Siddiqui for the sponsor ship of the Chair and support to the University. MD OGDCL said that knowledge and education is very close to their heart and they always try to support educational institutions in Pakistan. The sponsorship of this chair in the University is one of the step for educational support. Dr. Asim Hussain Advisor to PM for P&N.R appreciated the efforts of OGDCL for the establishment of chair at Qaid-eAzam University and urged the university to enhance research activities as the scientific knowledge was originated by the Muslim scientist and now we should bring back the glory of knowledge to our institution. He also stated that OGDCL has also converted training institute to institute of science technology in which master classes in Petroleum Engineering and Earth Sciences will be started soon.

Dr Asim welcomes EU interest in Oil, Gas exploration ISLAMABAD: Advisor to the Prime Minister on Petroleum and Natural Resources Dr. Asim Hussain has said that Pakistan has always welcomed the cooperation extended by European Union (EU) in various sectors of the economy. He was talking to Ambassador Patricia Flor EU Special Representative for Central Asia who called on Dr. Asim Hussain today in Islamabad. The meeting was also attended by Mr. Abid Saeed Secretary Petroleum and Syed Tauqir Hussain Joint Secretary (I&JV) Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources. Dr. Asim Hussain apprised the EU Ambassador about the ongoing projects of the oil & gas sector in Pakistan and informed that the Government is providing incentives to the Companies intending to invest in Oil and Gas sector of Pakistan. The Advisor stated that Pakistan needs to balance its

Energy mix, for which various projects and policy initiatives have been taken including policies on Shale Gas, LPG, LNG, Tight Gas, Flared Gas and Marginal Gases. He welcomed the interest of EU in helping out Pakistan in the Oil and Gas Exploration. The EU Ambassador was also requested for possible collaboration in the field of Petroleum education, particularly at the Institute of Science and Technology recently established by OGDCL under the direction of Advisor / Minister Petroleum. Ambassador Patricia Flor apprised that EU is already providing assistance to Pakistan in various sectors of economic and social development. She thanked the Advisor / Minister for meeting him and assured that the EU would extend all possible help in the energy sector and transfer of technology. –AGENCIES

ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Water and Power Ch Ahmed Mukhtar, H.E. Mr. Andrey S. Budnik Ambassador ,Colonel Vladimir G. Popov Military, Air and Naval Attaché anf others cut the cake on occasion of the National Defender’s Day of the Russian federation. —STAFF PHOTO

Iran deploying aging foreign tankers, to avoid sanctions LONDON: Iran is using old tankers, saved from the scrapyard by foreign middlemen, to ship out oil to China in ways that avoid Western sanctions, say officials involved with sanctions who showed Reuters corroborating documents. The officials, from states involved in imposing sanctions to pressure Iran to curb its nuclear program, said the tankers - worth little more than scrap value - were a new way for Iran to keep its oil exports flowing by exploiting the legal limitations on Western powers' ability to make sanctions stick worldwide. Officials showed Reuters shipping documents to support their allegation that eight ships, each of which can carry close to a day's worth of Iran's

pre-sanctions exports, have loaded Iranian oil at sea. Publicly available tracking and other data are consistent with those documents and allegations. "The tankers have been used for Iranian crude," one official said. "They are part of Iran's sanctionsbusting strategy." Dimitris Cambis, the Greek businessman who last year bought the ships - eight very large crude carriers, or VLCCs - to carry Middle East crude to Asia, flatly denied doing any business with Tehran or running clandestine shipments of its oil to China. Cambis said he had not been involved in shipping before but had bought the tankers as part of a new venture he runs from the United Arab Emirates. He denied trading

with Iran - though he has contacts there from his previous work in the oil industry. He denied his vessels have loaded oil from Iran while at anchor in the Gulf. Known as ship-to-ship transfers, or STS, such movements are hard to track as crews can switch off tracking beacons or not update their recorded positions for periods to conceal that one vessel has come alongside another. Cambis also explained a stop in Iran by one of his tankers - recorded in publicly available tracking data - as having been only for an emergency repair, not to load an oil cargo. "There is no Iranian vessel that has done any STS with us," Cambis told Reuters in Athens in response to the officials' allegations of taking

oil from Iranian tankers owned by Tehran shipping group NITC. "We have nothing to do with NITC." The officials involved with sanctions dispute his account and showed documents detailing several ship-to-ship loadings. They said all eight of the tankers were involved in Iran trade. In one instance in early December, according to the shipping documents shown to Reuters by the officials, an NITC tanker named Marigold loaded Iranian crude onto the Leycothea, one of Cambis's eight ships, while both were at anchor off the UAE emirate of Sharjah. Public tracking showed Cambis's tanker made a call about a month later to Zhanjiang oil terminal in China. Loading at sea lets vessels pick up a

cargo without visiting the country of origin of the crude. Officials allege the tankers are also used as offshore storage for Iranian oil which can then be transferred onward to other ships, concealing its origins. Officials in Iran, which rejects Western allegations it is seeking nuclear weapons, did not respond to requests for comment. Experts on sanctions law said that by operating outside the European Union, ship-owners had no clear obligation to observe rules barring EU companies from buying Iranian oil, though banks and insurers with EU or U.S. business ties are giving a wide berth to firms they suspect of dealing with Iran, given U.S. and EU efforts to penalize such firms within their own jurisdiction. –AGENCIES


Salman Khan is set to go ʻMentalʼ in Dubai

Rihanna warns Chris Brown, says will walk away if he hits again

MUMBAI: The talks over Salman's next feature film have been going on for a while now. However, seems like Sohail Khan has finally locked on the shooting schedule of the film. Reportedly titled Mental, Salman's next which stars him along with the southern hottie Daisy is all set to take off on February 27 in Dubai. Besides Daisy, the film will also mark the debut of Sabarresh (son of action director Vijayan), who will be playing the villain in the film.Buzz is that the film will be shot all over Dubai for one whole week. -SHOWBIZ DESK

LONDON: R&B star Rihanna has warned boyfriend Chris Brown that she will walk away if he ever hits her again. The 25-year-old Diamonds singer claimed Brown, who physically assaulted her in 2009, now had a fantastic heart, reported Sun Online. "If he gives me that again, here's what I give him: nothing. I just walk away. He doesn't have that luxury of messing up again," she said. Rihanna shocked millions when she took Brown back in October. She even went to the Grammys with him this month, despite the fact his assault came at a pre-Grammys party in 2009. The pair are currently holidaying in Hawaii. -SHOWBIZ DESK

‘Realistic’ role for bold Veena in Zindagi 50-50


Kareena Kapoor to walk the ramp

SHOWBIZ DESK MUMBAI: Pakistani actor Veena Malik says her role in Zindagi 50-50 is more realistic than bold. “I think this character is realistic rather than bold. This is a true story of a girl and I have given more than my 100 percent, thanks to Madhuri, the character I am playing,” Veena said on Friday at the music launch of the film. Veena plays Madhuri, a prostitute in the real-life inspired film. She even met the real prostitutes as part of her preparation for the role. “I met her. Had I not met her, I would not have been able to play this character with such ease,” she said. Meanwhile, Veena who has shown a keen interest in working with the Khans, said: “I love all three Khans, be it Aamir, Shahrukh or Salman. I would love to get a chance to work with them. But I think even if Veena Malik does not work with any of them, she will still remain Veena Malik.” Zindagi 50-50 also features Riya Sen, Arya Babbar, Rajpal Yadav and Rajan Verma.

Entertainment should reflect society: Irrfan Khan SHOWBIZ DESK MUMBAI: Entertainment is not just time pass; it should "reflect the society that we live in", says seasoned actor Irrfan who is working with the motto of challenging the definition of entertainment. A name to reckon with in the international arena thanks to his powerful performances in The Namesake and Oscar winning films Slumdog Millionaire and Life of Pi, Irrfan is equally respected on home turf for his extraordinary work in Maqbool and Paan Singh Tomar. Sharing his views on movies and its content, the alumnus of the National

School of Drama told IANS: "I am just trying to find entertainment, which is not regular definition of entertainment. It has to keep evolving and it should also reflect the society that we live in. I am constantly challenging the definition of entertainment. Entertainment has to do something more than just time pass." With an interesting bouquet of work that boasts of variety and quality, have his options narrowed as an actor in pursuit of challenges? "That has always been a problem because the industry doesn't know

what to do after a point," Irrfan said, adding that once "they (filmmakers) thought they will make me a villain and I didn't expect that".

SHOWBIZ DESK MUMBAI: Actress Kareena Kapoor will be walking the ramp for Lakme Fashion Week Summer/Resort 2013 which kick starts from March 22. Kareena will be the show stopper for the grand finale which will be presented by designer Namrata Joshipura. Last year too Kareena had walked the ramp for grand finale designers Kallol Dutta and Pankaj and Nidhi. "Yes this year too Kareena, being the brand ambassador of Lakme, will be walking the ramp for the finale. She is quite excited about it. We hope she would have some time from her busy schedule," Purnima Lamba, Head Innovations, said. On if Kareena's husband Saif too will be

present this year, Purnima said, "I think as Saif is busy with his shoots, he might come to admire her. Since the show is more to do with women, he might not walk the ramp and just be present there." Namrata, excited about her show, said, "I am really looking forward for the finale. I am quite happy to showcase my collection, which will be a blend of contemporary and modern." "I had an interaction with Kareena but my focus would be to keep her look quite to the essence of the show which is contemporary modern," she said. The Lakme Fashion Week Summer/Resort 2013 will be held at a suburban five star hotel from March 22 to 26 where a total of 87 designers will present their collection.

Jennifer is more perfect than I am, says Ben Affleck SHOWBIZ DESK WASHINGTON: Ben Affleck has admitted that his proudest accomplishment is finding a soulmate in his wife Jennifer Garner. After thanking the actress during the Oscars, he spoke to Access Hollywood about how much Garner, 40, meant to him. "All marriages, all relationships to a certain extent, require your work. They

Sunny and Kangana at first look of 'I Love NY' NEW DEHLI: Sunny Deol and Kangana Ranaut, who will be starring together in the movie 'I love New Year' for the very first time, unveiled its first look in Mumbai. Speaking at the occasion, the 'Yamla Pagla Deewana' star said that the movie is a romantic comedy with a twist of coincidence. "It's about two strangers that meet up somewhere and things go wrong and eventually whole thing turns into something beautiful," he said. 25-yearold Ranaut said that she got very excited when the movie was offered to her as the role is totally different to what she has already done before. The T-series production is ready to hit the theatres on 26th April, 2013. -SHOWBIZ DESK

Madhuri launches online dance academy

require work and investment. We work on it together, we try our best. Nobody's perfect. I would be lying to you if I said that either she or I were. She's more perfect than I am, I can tell you that," Us magazine quoted him as saying. "We do our best. She's committed. She's as committed as I am. We work together, and we have three great kids," he said.

Ben Shaves ʻLucky Beardʼ after Oscars  Argo director ditches his face fuzz at Argo after party LOS ANGELES: Ben Affleck has shaved off his "lucky" beard following his movie Argo's Best Picture win at The Oscars. The actor and director is claimed to have taken a razor to his chin rug at the Argo after party, which was held at Craig's restaurant in LA. It is claimed that he had not shaved before because he had been sporting the beard when his career prospects began looking up in recent years - and he had come to view it as a good-luck charm. -SHOWBIZ DESK

MUMBAI: Madhuri Dixit has her hands full with two films, a reality show, endorsements and now an all new online dance academy - 'Dance With Madhuri', which she wants to use as a platform to reach out to those who want to learn to shake a leg. Post her marriage, Madhuri had relocated to the US for almost a decade. It was in October 2011 that she shifted her base back to Mumbai along with her family. And since then, the veteran actress has been a busy bee. "Right now I am busy.I have two films, I have Jhalak Dikhla Jaa coming up, I have this online dance academy. I think I need to take a breather now," Madhuri said in an exclusive interview with The 45-year-old is not only known for her acting skills, but also for her fabulous dancing skills. -SHOWBIZ DESK

Stars beeline for the post- Oscars parties Oscars were engraved, dinner was served and shoes were kicked off SHOWBIZ DESK

Jennifer goes back into Katniss mode LOS ANGELES: Jennifer Lawrence may be an Oscarwinning actress now, but she still has a job to do. The 22year-old star of "Silver Linings Playbook" went back into Katniss mode on Monday, dying her hair dark brunette for the re-shoots of her upcoming "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire" sequel. The actress was all smiles as she quickly made her way to the car carrying a bag of goodies from the salon. -SHOWBIZ DESK

LOS ANGELES: Women around the world, take comfort in this bit of Oscar night trivia: When it comes to enduring sky-high heels, stars really are just like the rest of us. Which means their feet give out eventually. "Mine are killing me," admitted Octavia Spencer at the Governors Ball on Sunday night after the big show. "They're dead." Inside, Helena Bonham Carter took off her heels at one point, and Jennifer Garner followed suit. As she and Ben Affleck were surrounded by well-wishers at the huge bash, Garner slipped off her purple satin Gucci pumps, momentarily preferring the plush gold carpet lining the party. To be fair, Jennifer Lawrence started the trend early in the evening. On the red carpet she briefly hopped out of her Brian Atwood heels, hiding her bare feet under her blush Dior Couture gown while chatting with press. The glittery ball is the first stop after the Oscar show for anyone carrying a statuette. Winners must

Anne Hathaway, carrying her Oscar happily as she arrives for the party. walk through the ballroom to a bar-like area at the back where a nameplate is put on the trophy, making it official. Garner gave husband Affleck, whose movie Argo won best picture, a kiss as he took a seat to watch while a small metal plaque was affixed to his golden trophy. At the party, which was attended by almost all the night's nominees, Jessica Chastain still looked

Winner JLo changed into a slinky silver dress for the 'Vanity Fair'.

Ben Affleck gets his Oscar engraved.

gorgeous in her Armani Privé gown, but she had pulled off a diamond Harry Winston clip-on earring from her smarting ear. "I'm just afraid to lose them," she said, holding the valuable piece in her hand. Catered by Wolfgang Puck, the party was bathed in jewel tones and illuminated by a glittering, 120-foot chandelier. This year's change from a more formal sit-

down dinner to a more casual style of being served as they stood and chatted encouraged more convivial conversation. Joseph GordonLevitt schmoozed very seriously with Charlize Theron for about a half-hour and then they were joined by Amy Adams, who said that she loved Theron's musical number and couldn't wait to congratulate her. "She's such a lovely dancer," Adams said.


England retain No.2 spot on ICC ODI Championship

Nepali becomes first woman to climb Everest twice in a week KATHMANDU: A young Nepali Sherpa climber has become the world's first woman to scale Mount Everest twice in a week, Guinness World Records has confirmed. Chhurim Sherpa, 29, climbed to the 8,850 metre (29,035 feet) Everest summit on May 12 and 19 last year. "This is a big recognition for me," Chhurim, who like most sherpas is known by her first name, told Reuters. Chhurim, who hails from the Solukhumbu region in northeastern Nepal that is home to Mount Everest and other notable peaks, returned to the base came for some rest after her first ascent only to head back up the peak seven days later. "It was difficult and hard while climbing up a second time. But once I reached the top everything was fine," she said. "I was very happy that I could accomplish what I had always wanted to do." She said she wanted to return to Mount Everest sometime but had no immediate plans to do so. About 4,000 climbers have climbed Mount Everest since it was first scaled by New Zealand beekeeper Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay Sherpa in 1953. Apa Sherpa, a Nepali climber who lives in the United States, holds the record of 21 ascents of Mount Everest. AGENCIES

Bolt to run 200 in Paris Diamond League meeting PARIS: Six-times Olympic champion Usain Bolt will race over 200 metres at the Paris Golden League meeting on July 6 as part of his buildup for the Moscow world athletics championships in the following month. The Jamaican world-record holder will compete against France's European 100 metres champion Christophe Lemaitre in the final race of the evening. Lemaitre finished third in the 2011 Daegu world championships 200 metres which was won by Bolt. Bolt, 26, who became the only man to win the 100-200 metres double at successive Olympics during last year's London Games, will compete in a 150 metres race on Brazil's Copacabana beach on March 31. His only other confirmed race this year is over 200 metres at Oslo's Bislett Games on June 13. AGENCIES

Russian wrestler returns gold in protest MOSCOW: Russian freestyle wrestling Olympic champion Sagid Murtazaliev announced Tuesday he was giving back his gold medal in protest at the International Olympic Committee (IOC) executive board guidelines to exclude wrestling from the Olympic programme. "The decision to return my Olympic medal was very hard for me," the RIA-Novosti news agency quoted 2000 Sydney Games Olympic champion Murtazaliev as telling IOC president Jacques Rogge in a letter. "But after some deep thinking I decided to follow the steps of Bulgarian wrestling federation president Valentin Iordanov. "I made this move in protest against the IOC executive committee guidelines to exclude wrestling from the Games' programme." The IOC executive panel agreed their recommendation to exclude wrestling from the 2020 Games programme at its meeting on February 11. Earlier this month 1996 Atlanta Games Olympic champion Iordanov announced his decision to return his gold medal in protest against the decision. AGENCIES


DUBAI: Novak Djokovic of Serbia hits a return to compatriot Viktor Troicki during their men's singles match at the ATP Dubai Tennis Championships on Tuesday. AGENCIES

India thrash Australia by 8 wickets to lead Test series CHENNAI: An Indian victory that seemed imminent minutes after tea on day four was eventually completed by Sachin Tendulkar, 40 minutes before lunch on day five. Australia's resistance over that period arrived too late to change the result, but in it may be found the clues to a tighter contest when the second match begins in Hyderabad on Saturday. MS Dhoni, R Ashwin, Virat Kohli and Tendulkar were the pivotal contributors to India's 1-0 series lead, showing greater discipline and awareness of the sort of cricket best played on the MA Chidambaram Stadium's clay court. Save for Michael Clarke's first-day century and James Pattinson's fiery pace, it was not until Moises Henriques stood up with the bat in the second innings that the tourists showed evidence of catching up. A target of only 50 to win was reached with the help of some Tendulkar fireworks – towering sixes from his first two deliveries against Nathan Lyon – but Pattinson again bowled well to the openers and Lyon showed far greater consistency of line and control of length than he had managed while being taken for 3 for 215 in the first innings. India were left with some questions about

their opening pair, M Vijay and Virender Sehwag doing little in either innings, and they may also wonder about subtracting another seam bowler from their XI should the Hyderabad surface be anything like this one. Australia have found a steady batting hand in Henriques, but much of their display in this match will be the cause of serious introspection. Henriques and Lyon had put on 66 for Australia's last wicket, a defiant gesture after the earlier batsmen had failed to stand their ground. Henriques' unbeaten innings completed a fine double for the debutant, who has surely made his place safe for the second Test. Ultimately it was Ravindra Jadeja who ended the stand after 25 minutes on the final morning, switching from over to around the wicket against Lyon and coaxing an inside edge onto pad that was snapped up by short leg. Pattinson's first ball of the innings was a snorter, pitched short and seaming back sharply at Vijay, though it angled away from Matthew Wade and flew away for four byes. The ball kept Vijay thinking, and after depositing Lyon for one straight six, he fell when an indecisive drive was

SCOREBOARD AUSTRALIA FIRST INNINGS 380, (M Clarke 130, M Henriques 68, D Warner 59, R Ashwin 7-103) INDIA FIRST INNINGS 572, (Dhoni 224, V Kohli 107, J Pattinson 5-96, N Lyon 3-215) AUSTRALIA SECOND INNINGS (overnight 232-9) E Cowan lbw b Ashwin 32 S Watson c Sehwag b Ashwin 17 D Warner lbw b Harbhajan Singh 23 P Hughes c Sehwag b Jadeja 0 M Clarke lbw b Ashwin 31 M Wade b Harbhajan Singh 8 M Henriques not out 81 P Siddle b Jadeja 2 J Pattinson c Sehwag b Ashwin 11 M Starc c Tendulkar b Ashwin 8 N Lyon c Vijay b Jadeja 11 EXTRAS: (B 15, LB 2) 17 TOTAL: (all out; 93 overs) 241 FALL OF WICKETS: 1-34, 2-64, 3-65, 4-101, 5-121, 6-131, 7-137, 8-161, 9-175, 10-241 BOWLING

well taken by Henriques at a shortish mid-off. In the next over Cheteshwar Pujara offered a sharp chance when padding up to Lyon, the ball striking pad and glove but eluding Wade, who was unable to adjust to the ball's shifting trajectory. Sehwag sliced a brace of boundaries over the slips cordon from Pattinson, and when Peter Siddle replaced him he drove sweetly down the ground. Lyon, meanwhile, showed some

Ashwin 32-6-95-5 Harbhajan Singh 27-6-55-2 Jadeja 31-8-72-3 Sharma 3-1-2-0 INDIA SECOND INNINGS (target: 50 runs) M Vijay c Henriques b Pattinson 6 V Sehwag c Clarke b Lyon 19 C Pujara not out 8 S Tendulkar not out 13 Did not bat: V Kohli, R Jadeja, MS Dhoni, R Ashwin, Harbhajan Singh, B Kumar, I Sharma EXTRAS: (B 4) 4 TOTAL:(2 wickets; 11.3 overs) 50 FALL OF WICKETS: 1-16, 2-36 BOWLING Pattinson 3-1-13-1 Lyon 5.3-0-29-1 Siddle 3-2-4-0 Man of the match: MS Dhoni (India) Umpires: K Dharmasena (Sri Lanka) and M Erasmus (South Africa) Third umpire: VA Kulkarni Match referee: C Broad (England)

evidence of improvement in his bowling. He twirled down far fewer deliveries that could be tucked around the corner behind square leg, and the better line forced some impatient premeditated strokes from Pujara. It also undid Sehwag when he snicked to Clarke at slip. This little joust was ultimately immaterial to the result, sealed as it was by Tendulkar's sixes, but demonstrated that Lyon was learning. AGENCIES

PTF opts expensive Rashid questions coach venue for Davis Cup tie Whatmore after 3-0 loss MIRZA KHURRAM SHAHZAD

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Tennis Federation (PTF) has selected an expensive venue to play its away Davis Cup tie despite that Sri Lanka offered its facilities for free. A source in the PTF told The Spokesman on Tuesday that the International Tennis Federation (ITF) gave Pakistan an option to select any country for the neutral venue of its Group II tie against New Zealand. The PTF, which is already under financial crisis, first went to Malaysia and requested them for permission to organise the event there but the Malaysian Tennis Federation (MTF) rejected the request. They then contacted Dubai officials but they sent them heavy estimates of around Rs.4.5 million to allow the contest. Sensing that it may create problems for them, they went to Sri Lanka and got a very friendly response. Sri Lankan officials offered maximum of their facilities for free and also offered cheap rates for the supporting staff. After paying for the hotels and all other arrangements, a weeklong competition at the islands would have cost the PTF around Rs.2.5 million. But before they had finalised the venue, the family of Pakistan’s No. 1

player Aisamul Haq Qureshi requested that he wanted to play in Myanmar because his coach Robert Davis belonged from there. The PTF then contacted Myanmar and requested for the facilities. They agreed to allow an organisation in their country but expressed problems to find out some good grass courts for the competition. Aisam, being best at the grass surface, insisted to play in Myanmar and asked his coach to arrange courts in his country. The coach then arranged one of the top clubs in his country and the PTF quickly agreed to play there. Later, the estimates suggested that they would have to pay around Rs.3.5 million for this tie. The federation still did not hesitate to organise the event there and wrote the ITF that they would play in Myanmar. The sources said that the federation would spend one million rupees extra just to entertain Aisam and his family’s desire. Pakistan is scheduled to play Davis Cup Group II second round tie against New Zealand from April 5-7. Pakistan are playing their Davis Cup ties at foreign soil for last five ears as no team is willing to come to Pakistan due to security concerns. Pakistan last played at home courts in 2008 when they faced Thailand at Bagh-eJinnah courts, Lahore.


KARACHI: Former captain Rashid Latif has questioned Dav Whatmore's coaching after South Africa humiliated Pakistan 3-0 in their Test series. "Chairman, captain, vice-captain and coach all should be held accountable and it should start from the coach," Latif said on Tuesday. Pakistan lost the third Test by an innings and 18 runs at Centurion on Sunday inside three days against world's No. 1ranked Test team. Pakistan's humiliation began in the first Test at Johannesburg when they were bowled out for their lowest ever total of 49 in the first innings to lose by 211 runs. Younis Khan and Asad Shafiq scored centuries in the second Test and offspinner Saeed Ajmal took 10 wickets in the same match, but even those performances could not save Pakistan from a four-wicket loss at Newlands. "Seriously I was not expecting a whitewash," Latif said. "But the way our batsmen flopped on bouncy wickets it showed there was no homework done. For how long are we going to complain that we can't bat on fast seaming tracks?" Latif said. "It's all lame excuses. Cricket

is a game of professionals and if you are picked for the national team it means you are the best to face the best in the world." Latif said he got fed up after seeing batsmen repeating the same mistakes again and again while playing seamers away from their bodies and "gifting" their wickets to South Africa. "We crossed the 300run mark only once in six matches, what was the coach doing?" he said. Pakistan's former wicketkeeper said it was high time for the selectors to look for different players for the three formats Tests, one-day internationals and Twenty 20s - if Pakistan wanted to compete against the top teams like South Africa. "Our problem is that we pick too many players for all the three formats and this will not solve the problem," he said. Hafeez, Jamshed, Ajmal and fast bowler Umar Gul are some of those players who play in all the three formats for Pakistan. "We have to stop this practice and look for specialists in all the three formats," he said.

LAHORE: England’s 2-1 win in the threematch series against New Zealand has not only given them a perfect build-up to the ICC Champions Trophy 2013, which is just 100 days away, but has also kept them on course for finishing second in the ICC ODI Championship table at the April 1 cut-off date. England’s come-from-behind series win means they have retained second place but have dropped two ratings points to now lead third-ranked Australia by just one ratings point and fourth-ranked South Africa by five ratings points. India have taken an outright lead on top of the table with 119 ratings points. With India and Australia not scheduled to play any ODIs before the cut-off date, South Africa are the only side that can push India and England down the order when they take on Pakistan in a five-ODI series from March 10. The only way South Africa can leapfrog England and add another $75,000 to its account is by beating Pakistan 4-1 or better. If South Africa win 4-1, then the Proteas will join England on 117 ratings points but will be ranked above Alastair Cook’s side when the ratings are calculated beyond the decimal point. If South Africa make a clean sweep of the ODI series, then they will jump three places to claim top spot, which, in turn will mean they will win $175,000 as well as the ODI shield. These two are presented to the side that tops the ODI table at the 1 April cut-off date. Build-up to the ICC Champions Trophy:

Reverting to the New Zealand-England ODI series, this was the penultimate series for both sides before they meet again in England in May as a precursor to the ICC Champions Trophy 2013, which will be staged from 6 to 23 June in England and Wales. The two sides will then meet again during the group stage of the ICC Champions Trophy 2013. Group A of the ICC Champions Trophy 2013 includes defending champions Australia, 2000 winner New Zealand and 2002 champions Sri Lanka, along with hosts England, who reached the final when they last staged the event in 2004. Sides in Group B are 1998 winners South Africa, 2004 champions West Indies, 2002 winners India, and Pakistan. The tournament opener at the ICC Champions Trophy will feature two former winners, when South Africa take on India in Cardiff on June 6. The following day, West Indies will face Pakistan at the Oval. The semi-finals of the ICC Champions Trophy 2013 will be staged at the Oval (19 June) and in Cardiff (20 June), while Edgbaston will be the venue of the final, to be played on June 23. McCullum back among top 10 ODI batsmen:

Meanwhile, New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum has returned to the top 10 of the ICC Player Rankings for ODI batsmen after scoring 222 runs in the three-match series against England. McCullum has moved up 16 places to ninth, thereby also achieving a careerbest 685 ratings points. Also breaking into the top 20 is former New Zealand captain Ross Taylor. The right-handed batsman has jumped four places to 13th in the latest rankings, which were released on Monday after the ODI series between England and New Zealand and the first two ODIs between West Indies and Zimbabwe. The most impressive gain in the batting table is England's Joe Root, who has jumped 61st places to 55th. The batting table is still headed by South Africa’s Hashim Amla, followed by his captain AB de Villiers in second place and India’s Virat Kohli in third place. In the ICC Player Rankings for ODI bowlers, England fast bowler Steven Finn has jumped two places to third with a best-ever 755 ratings points. The only other England bowler to move upwards in the top 20 is England’s James Anderson. Anderson was the highest wicket-taker in the three-match series against New Zealand with seven scalps, and he moved up nine places to 11th. The bowlers’ table is still headed by Pakistan’s Saeed Ajmal. West Indies’ Sunil Narine has moved up a place to second with a career-best 766 ratings points. The ICC Player Rankings for ODI all-rounders is still headed by Pakistan's Mohammad Hafeez, with Bangladesh’s Shakib Al Hasan in second place and Shane Watson of Australia in third.



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Wrestling diplomacy cuts tension at nuclear talks with Iran BY YEGANEH TORBATI AND FREDRIK DAHL

ALMATY: For a brief moment on Tuesday, the nuclear dispute between Iran and the United States took a back seat to sport. US diplomats found rare common ground with the Islamic Republic at a fresh round of nuclear negotiations between Tehran and world powers, noting Iran's victory in the freestyle wrestling World Cup held in the Iranian capital last week. Sports officials from the two countries –

which are at odds over the nuclear issue and many others – have expressed dismay at a surprise recommendation by the International Olympic Committee this month to drop wrestling from the 2020 Games. "During the plenary, we did note Iran's success in the recent wrestling World Cup and our shared view that wrestling should continue to be an Olympic sport," a US official said on Tuesday after the start of high-stakes nuclear talks. Iran and six world powers

are holding their first meeting in eight months in the Kazakh city of Almaty this week, to try to start resolving a dispute over Tehran's nuclear programme that threatens to trigger another war in the Middle East. Diplomatic ties between Iran and the United States have been cut since 1980 after Iranian students took 52 US diplomats hostage in the aftermath of the 1979 Islamic revolution. But wrestling, one of Iran's most popular sports has proven a rare arena

in which the two countries have friendly relations. US wrestlers visited Tehran last week to compete in the World Cup, where 2012 Olympic gold medallist Jordan Burroughs was cheered on wildly by Iranian fans at the capital's Azadi stadium. "Iran has amazing fans!" Burroughs tweeted, posting a picture of Iranian supporters eagerly reaching down over a barrier at the stadium to touch his hand. A second US official told reporters in Almaty prior to the start of the Feb. 26-

27 talks that Iran and the United States agreed that wrestling should continue as an Olympic sport. "Although we cannot come to agreement yet where it comes to Iran's nuclear programme, clearly our wrestlers get along just fine," the US official said. "We and Iran agree completely that the Olympics should continue to have wrestling as a sport ... so we will be working vigorously with them to make that come to pass." There was no immediate reaction to the US statement from Iranian diplomats.

Wrestling is a major source of Iran's Olympic medals, and Iranian sports officials have said they will work with other countries to lobby for it to stay in the Games. "The issue of removing wrestling from the Olympics is very serious," Mohammad Aliabadi, the head of Iran's Olympic committee, told state news agency IRNA this month. "We must prevent this action with the help of many of the major countries in the world," Aliabadi said, without naming any specific nation.



Pakistan’s incompetence led to Kishanganga chaos

Pakistan pays $391.8m to IMF under SBA

Taking case to The Hague cost Rs 500 million for nothing  Perks, privileges and nepotism order of the day

KARACHI: Pakistan has paid $391.8 million to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) as the 10th repayment installment against the loan obtained under the standby arrangement, the State Bank of Pakistan said on Tuesday. According to the central bank, with repayment of current installment Pakistan to-date has repaid $3.232 billion since July 2012. The remaining amount due under IMF/SBA until September 2015 is around $4.891 billion. The next installment under IMF/SBA facility will be due at end of May 2013, amounting to around $390.1 million, the central bank added. –INP

ZEESHANJAVAID ISLAMABAD: The incompetence of the non-technical legal team pursuing the case of the controversial 330MW Kishanganga Hydropower Project in the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) in The Hague, caused a loss of Rs. 500 million to the government, revealed a close associate of the adviser to the prime minister on water and agriculture. Speaking with “The Spokesman” the senior officialwho has dealt with the issue and close associate of Adviser to

Prime Minister on Water and Agriculture Kamal Majeedullah, explained that there was no reason to put the sensitive matter to the international court knowing about the strong position of the Indian authorities on it. He said that this case — which was already won by the Indian authorities on the grounds of Annexure D clause 15 sub-clause-3 of the Indus Water Treaty (IWT) 1960 — allowed the Indian authorities to divert the water to another tributary but only to the extent that the agricultural use or hydro-electric use by Pakistan at the

time on the former tributary would not be adversely affected. Quoting a telephone conversation between the adviser and a senior Indus Water Commission (IWC) official, the source maintained that IWC official recommended that the adviser adopt a give-and-take policy with the Indian authorities instead wastingtime and money in the court of arbitration. He said Pakistan's agent (Kamal Majeedullah) did not have the requisite education nor experience to tackle the issue, except his past journalistic experience in a

Sindhi regional newspaper, compared to the Indian agent who is a serving secretary to Indian government in the Ministry of Water Resources, Dhruv Vijay Singh. The Pakistani team had 8 members and four foreign lawyers who were hired for a hefty fee, while the Indian team had 15 members including the secretary to the ministry of water and power, senior lawyers from the top court of India, joint secretary and legal adviser on external affairs and Ambassador of India to The Hague. The Spokesman also learned that

Mr. Majeedullah tried to keep a very important cog out of this case; the commissioner of Indus Water SherazMemon. Another character, Ms ShumailaMehmood was allegedly appointed as Counsel for Pakistan despite her lack of expertise with such cases. The adviser and counselor reportedly have dual nationalities (UK and Pakistani) and have salaries up to Rs. 500,000 each per month besides other perks and privileges. Moreover, senators on Tuesday also questioned the expertise of Pakistan's legal team led by Adviser Majeedullah.


Five more killed in Karachi violence

India financed problems for Pakistan

KARACHI: At least five persons including a woman and a member of a religious organisation were killed in separate incidents of violence here on Tuesday. An activist of a religious organisation was killed when unknown gunmen opened fire in Karachi’s Lines area. Enraged protestors took to the streets burning tyres and blocking roads in Saddar area. One person was killed and another injured in a gun firing incident in Orangi Town area. Another person was killed in a firing incident in Surjani Town, Sector Four area. A woman was shot dead in Garden area. A body was found near Saeedabad graveyard on Tuesday. –INP

ANP to part ways with PPP ISLAMABAD: Coalition partner the Awami National Party has decided to disassociate itself from the PPP after dissolution of assemblies. Party sources told a private TV channel that the Awami National Party finally has taken a decision that it would stand no more with the PPP; rather it would pave the way for its strategy for forthcoming elections for its survival. An ANP representative also said that the PPP used them for momentary benefits; when the vested interests of the government were over, they were thrown to the winds. –INP

Degree cases to be disposed of before March 16: ECP ISLAMABAD: Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) claimed Tuesday that all cases regarding fake/unverified degrees would be disposed of before March 16 and letters had been sent to courts for quick completion of fake degree cases still pending with them. Member of election commission Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) Shehzad Akber and member of election commission Balochistan Fazal ur Rehman heard in Islamabad a fake degree case of Member National Assembly (MNA) Mir Ahmedan Bugti who belongs to Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid e Azam (PML-Q). –INP

SC asks NAB to have Tauqir deported ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court has directed the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) and other concerned authorities to take immediate steps for getting deportation of Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority’s (OGRA) former chairman Tauqir Sadiq, accused of Rs 82-billion scam. A three-member bench comprising Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan and Justice Sh. Azmat Saeed, was hearing a case pertaining to implementation of its (SC) orders in Rs 82-billion scam in OGRA. Additional Prosecutor General NAB Rana Nazir told the court that every possible step was being taken for the arrest and deportation of Tauqir Sadiq from Dubai. –STAFF REPORTER

New Delhi rejects statement by US Defence Secretary nominee Chuck Hagel 

LAHORE: PTI workers waiting to vote in the intra-party elections on Tuesday. The process was marred by violence, as the supporters of various groups clashed at different polling stations in Punjab. –INP (RELATED STORY ON PAGE-4)

‘Missing’ prisoners Zardari leaves for can’t be released: AG Iran today MASOOD REHMAN ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court was informed on Tuesday that missing prisoners of Rawalpindi’s Adiala Jail, being detained by the Inter Services Intelligence (ISI), could not be released until the regulations pertaining to assistance of civil authority were in effect. A three-member bench comprising Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry, Justice Ejaz Afzal and Justice Sh. Azmat Saeed, was also informed that under the law, trial of these prisoners was not necessary until operation against the terrorists was in progress in the tribal areas. Appearing on notice, Attorney General Irfan Qadir also presented before the court a notification issued by President Asif Ali Zardari calling army for assistance of civil authority in tribal areas, adjacent to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The chief justice noted that the notification indicated that attorney general had not been consulted prior to its issuance. Irfan Qadir stated that when it was issued, he was not holding the office of attorney general. To a court query, Irfan Qadir stated that the notification was issued by the president under Article 245 of the Constitution. He

said since it was the matter of individual’s freedom and fundamental rights, the court would also have to see who was authorized to issue such a notification. He said it was the matter of individual’s freedom, which could not be usurped for indefinite period. He said despite the lapse of over two years, no evidence could be brought against the prisoners, adding that evidence was a must for detaining any one. Irfan said the court would have to see whether it had the jurisdiction in tribal areas, as the suspects were arrested from the semi-autonomous tribal belt, where army had been fighting militants for around a decade. “The suspects must be put on trial, as holding them indefinitely violated their human rights, the chief justice noted, adding that these people cannot be kept in illegal custody for an indefinite period because it is against the constitution and basic fundamental rights. “We don’t say you should release them, we want you to try them in accordance with the law,” Justice Ejaz Afzal said. The court rejected a report submitted by the FATA Secretary Nasir Jamal over the prisoners. Later, the court adjourned the hearing until February 28.

SC orders 423 Sindh cops suspended KARACHI: The Supreme Court (SC) on Tuesday issued a show-cause notice to Sindh Police IG for concealing facts of police officials’ involvement in criminal cases and ordered him to immediately suspend 423 police officials. A larger SC bench headed by Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali was seized with Karachi law and order suo motu implementation case. The IG in a report said the officials facing criminal charges had been issued show-cause notices and departmental proceedings initiated against them. The court expressed extreme annoyance when it was brought into its notice that some officials facing trials, including section 302 of PPC (intentional and deliberate murder), were enjoying field postings. Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali remarked that how a person would testify against those police officials involved in heinous crimes if they are enjoying field postings. The Sindh Police chief could not satisfy the court about whether police personnel found involved in any crime should be suspended or not. The court observed that it was alarming that FIRs were lodged against delinquent officials but they are not suspended. It went on to say that was failure of the police that they were not going to take any action despite court orders. –AGENCIES

ISLAMABAD: President Asif Ali Zardari would leave for Islamic Republic of Iran on two-day official visit today (Wednesday). According to the Presidential Spokesman Farhatullah Babar, during the visit‚ the President will meet Iranian President Mahmood Ahmadinajad and discuss regional situation and bilateral relations including proposed gas pipeline with his counterpart. The visit was part of the ongoing contacts at the leadership level to further strengthen the bilateral relations and to consult each other on regional and international issues of concern to the two countries. The President has been urging for further strengthening of the bilateral relations and for early completion of the mega projects between the two countries and expressed the hope that the visit would lend further impetus to the efforts aimed at early completion of the bilateral projects. –ONLINE

NEW DELHI/WASHINGTON: India has sharply rejected that it "financed problems" in Afghanistan to create trouble for Pakistan, as alleged by Chuck Hagel, President Barack Obama's Defence Secretary nominee. "Senator Hagel's remarks are in sharp contrast to the viewpoint of the Obama Administration that has always been in praise of India's developmental role in Afghanistan and in fact has been pressing New Delhi to do more in Afghanistan," a statement by the Indian embassy in Washington clarified. The contentious remarks are part of a speech by Mr Hagel in 2011 which was uploaded recently by an online newspaper. "India for some time has always used Afghanistan as a second front, and India has over the years financed problems for Pakistan on that side of the border"," Mr Hagel said. "And you can carry that into many dimensions, the point being [that] the tense, fragmented relationship between Pakistan and Afghanistan has been there for many, many years,"

Mr Hagel said. The Indian embassy's statement said, "Such comments attributed to Senator Hagel, who has been a long-standing friend of India and a prominent votary of close IndiaUS relations are contrary to the reality of India's unbounded dedication to the welfare of Afghan people." The controversial speech by Mr Hagel is being leveraged by Republican Senators opposed to his confirmation as Defense Secretary. The video was sent by the office of powerful Republican Senator John Cornyn to top leaders of the Indian American community. "In light of our shared interest in the US-India relationship, thought you would want to see this," said the email sent by Mr Cornyn's office with the video. As Nebraska Senator for two terms from 1997 to 2009, Mr Hagel was a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, frequently travelled to South Asia and voted in favour of the historic India-US civilian nuclear deal. –AGENCIES

NA passes ‘The Capital University Islamabad Bill’ STAFF REPORT ISLAMABAD: The National Assembly Tuesday adopted “The Capital University Islamabad Bill, 2013” with an aim to set up a university in the federal capital to contribute to the higher education. The House with thin presence of legislators only disposed of four agenda items out of total 31 on the order of the day. Earlier, ANP MNA Bushra Gohar asked the government not to exercise haste in moving the bill. Federal Minister for Religious Affairs Khursheed Shah rejected the notion that government was showing any urgency to do the legislation as these bills have long been pending in the house. MQM senior MNA Abdul Qadir Khanzada welcomed the bill and said that universities should also be set up in all the provinces of the country. He said all the four provinces should have representation in the Capital University adding that students

from all over the country should have equal opportunity to get admission in it. Earlier, responding to a callattention notice State Minister for Interior Imtiaz Safdar Warraich said that Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and some foreign elements were involved in subversive activities in Karachi. He said that TTP has scattered after facing defeat in Swat but set up their hideouts in Karachi. He said that law enforcing agencies were actively working to purge the port city of all criminals, including TTP and anti-state elements. He said the law enforcing agencies had arrested several accused and seized huge cache of arms besides explosive materials. To a question, the minister said the weapons recovered from the accused were mainly locally-manufactured. Speaking on a point of order, MQM legislator Sajid Ahmed demanded of the Sindh Assembly to immediately approve the bill for establishment of Jinnah University in Hyderabad.

Disconnect between govt, donors in development programmes SHANEL KHALIQ ISLAMABAD. There is a huge disconnect between the government and donor agencies on allocation of resources and implementation of development programs in KP and FATA which is resulting in wastage of valuable monies and efforts because ground realities of war-torn areas remain unchanged, observed various eminent panelistshere on Tuesday. Representatives from international donor and implementation agencies from the UN, OTI, USAID, GIZ, Asia

Foundation, ADB, members of civil society, elected representatives from federal, provincial and FATA areas, provincial and federal state functionaries including from Frontier Constabulary (FC) and KP Police were in attendance at a “Governance Compass Dialogue” organized by Devolution Trust for Community Empowerment (DTCE). A candid dialogue throughout four sessions of the conference helped highlight key governance challenges and opportunities in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and FATA particularly in light of the increased

investments being made by international donors in partnership with the governments of KP and FATA. While representatives of the donors and implementation agencies agreed to overview and better coordination with the government, representatives of the government such as Adviser to Prime Minister on Social SectorShahnazWazir Ali and Chairman of Intellectual Property Organization (IPO) Hamid Ullah Jan Afridi were heard complaining about fragmentation of development sector and their disconnect with ground realities.

Similarly, when donors were asking for government guidelines, ShahnazWazir Ali considered it an uphill task for the government on the premise that “donors come with their own agendas and budget cycles, without even caring for the government’s development agenda and budgetary allocations, thus ending up in duplicity of efforts.” Responding to queries during an open session, donors agreed to not only develop better monitoring and evaluation practices to ensure community engagement with their projects but also to lessen the trust deficit between them, government

and beneficiaries.Each session focused on separate angles and issues of the main theme including “coordination between government and implementing partners”, “issue related to embedding and sustainability”, integration and cross

Published by Ahmad Waleed from Yasmin Majeed Printing Press, 69-Cricket Stadium, Rawalpindi

fertilization of programs”, and “challenges and opportunities in the elections transition phase”. Foreign aid groups acknowledged that the government of the province must take a proactive approach and provide the necessary infrastructure.

The Spokesman  

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