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Jamadi-ul-Awwal 21, 1434






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Vol, V, No. 349


TODAY’S WEATHER HIGH: 28 LOW: 13 Showers and thunderstorms

Pages 12 I Price 10/-

Lawmakers face the law

2 ex-MPAs jailed for fake degrees  

PESHAWAR: A view of the destroyed building of Muhammadi Grid Station in Badhbher area. –ONLINE

SNEAK PEEK Board says love-sick killer Mehek is adult A four-member medical board, after her medical examination, on Tuesday declared that the age of Zahra Mehek is over 20 years. According to the board, Zahra Mehek, accused for murdering Shahzadi Bibi, aged 11, and Sawera Hakim, aged over 18, was taken to Poly Clinic Hospital for her medical check-up to verify her age. Page 02

Faria comes to fore in PTI ‘swinger’ for women seats The Pakistan Tehreek-eInsaf has changed its preferred list of reserved seats for women in Punjab Assembly. The move has been termed a party strategy, according to sources. The said preferred list for women seats has been changed twice, now; while the finalized list, as provided to ECP had all the names altered, upside down, which stands no chance of any further alteration as according to ECP rules. Page 04

Musharraf to be a fringe player in polls: US experts Pakistan’s former military dictator Pervez Musharraf, back home from his self-imposed exile, would remain a fringe player in the country’s general elections in May and should care more about his security, top American experts said today. Page 05

It is difficult to keep audience engaged: Ali Zafar Chashme Buddoor is all set to release this week and the film has grabbed eyeballs. However, Ali Zafar feels that it is difficult to keep audience engaged in today's world. On being asked about Chashme Buddoor as a remake, Ali said, "There are more angles in the remake. The film is done according to today's world so that audience need to accept it with time." Page 10

Saeed Ajmal says he doesn't require surgery In a major relief for Pakistan offspinner Saeed Ajmal, he will not require surgery to treat his abdomen problem as it can be treated with medication. Ajmal, 35, was told by specialists last week that he might require to have surgery to treat the abdomen problem which was related to hernia. “I had a complete examination including all tests in Lahore at the weekend and doctors now say the condition can be treated through medication and at the moment I don’t require a surgery,” Ajmal said. Page 11

8 killed in Peshawar grid station attack PESHAWAR: Eight people were killed and eight sustained injuries in the wee hours of Tuesday when militants attacked the Sheikh Muhammadi grid station on the outskirt of Peshawar. According to police, several armed militants attacked the grid station with rockets and destroyed machinery and towers. Police said the dead included five Wapda employees, including an SDO, and three community police personnel who were on guard duty on the outskirts of Peshawar. The militants fired at least 15 rockets at the grid station from the Sheikh Muhammdi village. They entered the building, held the staff and police guards hostage and planted several remotecontrolled bombs inside the grid station. The attack destroyed the grid station, resulting in disruption of power supply to several parts of the city and areas in the tribal belt. Due to the powerful explosion, fire erupted inside the grid station engulfing the machinery and transformers. The control room of the grid was destroyed. The attackers managed to escape under the cover of darkness. They killed two people on the spot and took nine people with them while six bodies of the kidnapped including two policemen and three WAPDA officials were found about half a mile away from the grid station. Four WAPDA officials identified as Fahim, Shoaub, Faiz ul Bari and Zeeshan are still missing. The deceased have been identified as Miraj Gul, Zahir Shah, Rafiq, Shar Mohammad, Yaseen and Mohammad Khalid.

The terrorists took six vehicles and four transformers with them after the attack. Police cordoned off the area after the incident while no arrest has been reported so far. Parts of Peshawar still lack electricity because the station was damaged in the attack. —ONLINE A police official said six vehicles of Wapda, control room and official records were also damaged in the attack, while an official of the bomb disposal squad said 14 bombs of five kilograms each had been planted to blow up the offices and the grid station. “Thirteen bombs exploded while one was defused by the bomb disposal unit,” he said. He said there were also signs of rocket attacks inside the grid station and that the machinery was blown up with the rocket fire. He added that bodies of Wapda employees had been recovered from the spot while three bodies of community police personnel had also been recovered. According to a local, the policemen and the WAPDA officials were brutally tortured by the militants. “We saw that some of the people were first thrashed with axes and then their bodies were badly broken into pieces, after which they were shot to death many times.” Four Wapda officials are still stated to be missing and the search is on for them. Another cope said the police had information that at least seven bodies had been found in the fields after last night’s attack. He added that the police was searching for five other missing personnel. –AGENCIES

EC orders reshuffle of bureaucracy ISLAMABAD: Election Commission has directed the federal and provincial governments to change all the federal and provincial secretaries and also heads of all the autonomous and semi-autonomous bodies. A notification issued here on Tuesday stated that if the governments consider that a federal or provincial secretary needs not be transferred or reshuffled‚ it may refrain from doing so under intimation to the Commission. It also directed the caretaker setups to assess whether the Chairpersons or Chief Executives of all autonomous‚ semi-autonomous and state owned bodies‚ IG Police‚ CCPOs‚ City Commissioners‚ DCOs‚ DPOs‚ SHOs‚ patwaris and EDOs are independent individuals and transfer those who do not meet the criteria. Political parties had expressed their reservations to the commission regarding favourable appointments made by the past government. Meanwhile, on the second of scrutiny by Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), over 7000 nomination papers’ scrutiny was completed and sent to the Returning Officers. ECP has received a total of 13,048 nomination papers across the country, for both national and provincial assemblies. –STAFF REPORTER

Former federal minister Kurd sentenced in dual nationality case 52 former MPs, 2 sitting senators have bogus documents: ECP

SWABI/DI KHAN/QUETTA: At least three lawmakers were jailed on Tuesday while arrest warrants were issued against many others as lower courts cracked down on former members of national and provincial assemblies for possessing fake degrees and holding dual nationality. Of the three lawmakers, who have been sentenced, former Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly member Javed Khan Tarakai is charged of dual nationality, while former federal minister Humayun Aziz Kurd and Khalifa Abdul Qayyum, another ex-MPA from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, have been found possessing bogus degrees. Tarakai was awarded one year term and fined Rs 5,000 in the dual nationality case by a local court in Swabi. Tarakai, who belongs to an entrepreneur family, was facing the dual nationality case, which was under trial for the last few months. District and Sessions Judge Tariq Yousufzai handed down the verdict, after which he was immediately arrested by police and shifted to the judicial lockup. Tarakai, who has both Pakistani and Canadian nationality, is uncle of Shahram Khan Tarakai, the chairman of Awami Jamhoori Ittehad Pakistan. He contested elections 2008 from PK-32, Swabi-II, defeating the Awami National Party candidate and former MPA Ameer Rehman.

And in Dera Ismail Khan, the additional district and session judge sentenced former MPA Khalifa Abdul Qayyum to three years in prison and penalty of Rs 5,000, while he also annulled the bail granted to the lawmaker. Khalifa had won the election in 2008 as an independent candidate. Following announcement of the judgment, he was taken into custody from the courtroom and sent to jail. On the other hand, Humayun Aziz Kurd, former MNA from NA-267, was sentenced to one year in prison and fined Rs 5,000 by the district and session judge in Sibbi. Later he was sent to the local jail. Mir Badshah Qaisrani, a former legislator from Punjab province, was indicted by a court in Dera Ghazi Khan for having a fake degree. In Balochistan, courts issued arrest warrants for Syed Nasir Shah and Maulvi Rozuddin, former MNAs. Meanwhile, the ECP declared the degree of ex-parliamentarian Maulvi Agha Muhammad Khan as invalid after in-camera hearing of the fake degree case and forwarded the matter to the respective session court. Agha was elected as member of National Assembly on the ticket of JUI-F in 2008 and his name was also included in the party list likely to contest upcoming elections from Balochistan.And in Islamabad, the Election Commission has

declared degrees of 52 former and two present parliamentarians as fake and uploaded the list on official website after scrutiny. According to media reports, the list of fake degree holders consists of 14 former MNAs, 35 MPAs, three former and two sitting senators, including three former federal ministers. Seminaries issued 14 fake degrees while nine each were issued by Punjab and Sindh universities respectively and Peshawar University issued three. List includes names of Sardar Umar Gorgage, Akhunzada Chattan, Hayatullah Khan Tareen, Ghulam Dastageer Rajar, Dewaan Ashiq Hussain Bukhari, Mazhar Hayat, Malik Amir Yar Warn, Javed Hussain Shah, Nasir Ali Shah and Maulvi Haji Rozdeen. Similarly, 35 members of provincial assemblies were also holding fake degrees according to the list of ECP, former KP minister Syed Aqil Shah, Shumaila Rana, Kishore Kumar, Bashir Ahmed Khan Leghari and Wasim Afzal Gondal also breached Article 62 and 63 by presenting fake degrees. Five senators (3 former, 2 present) of Balochistan also enlisted by ECP among fake degree holders, three senators have completed their tenure while Mir Israrullah Zehri and Nawabzada Akbar are still senators. –STAFF REPORTER/AGENCIES

14-member Alleged attacks interim cabinet inducted OUR STAFF REPORTER

ISLAMABAD: President Asif Ali Zardari on Tuesday administered oath of office to the 14-member interim cabinet. Caretaker Prime Minister Mir Hazar Khoso inducted his cabinet about a week after he took over the post of chief executive to oversee the May 11 general elections. The cabinet comprises Malek Habib‚ Ahmer Bilal Soofi‚ Dr Musaddaq Malek‚ Arif Nizami‚ Sohail Wajahat H. Seddiqi‚ Shahzada Ahsan Ashraf‚ Maqbool H.H. Rahmatoola‚ Abdul Malek Kasi‚ Asad Ullah Mandokhel‚ Mir Hassan Dhomki‚ Dr Sania Nishtar‚ Feroz Jamal Shah Kakakhel‚ Dr Younis Soomro and Shahzada Jamal. Of them, six represent Punjab province‚ home to 60 per cent of the country’s 180 million population, while Sindh and Balochistan provinces are represented by two each. The last two represent the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. Picture on Page 12

Pakistan rejects Afghan concerns OUR STAFF REPORTER

I SL A M A BAD : Expressing commitment to extend all possible support and facilitation for peace, reconciliation and stability in Afghanistan, Pakistan has rejected continued verbal attacks from Afghan government terming it harmful for the relations between two neighbouring countries. Breifing the media, spokesperson for the Pakistani foreign office categorically denied allegations leveled by Afghan Deputy Foreign Minister about rocket and artillery attacks against different areas of Kunar Province. "It has also not been found correct as no rocket or artillery shells have been fired by Pakistan Army in the recent days," said the spokesperson. Responding to a query regarding recent statement by Afghan Deputy Foreign Minister, the Spokesperson said that Pakistan has an old post called Gursal well inside Pakistani

territory bordering Nangarhar Province of Afghanistan, which is under routine renovation. Under the recently signed Tripartite Border SOP, both sides are supposed to inform any new construction closer to border areas. Despite being a renovation work Pakistan as a gesture of goodwill shared this information with the Afghan side. The same was also shared with the Afghan visiting delegation to Mohmand Agency on 24 January 2013. The renovation of the post is primarily meant to interdict terrorists and criminals as well as better management of the border area between Afghanistan and Pakistan. Afghan Deputy Foreign Minister Jawed Ludin’s recent concerns about construction and physical reinforcement along the Afghan border are therefore not in keeping with the spirit of the understanding on good border management and the recently signed Tripartite Border SOP.

UN approves first-ever global arms trade treaty UNITED NATIONS: The 193-nation U.N. General Assembly overwhelmingly approved on Tuesday the first-ever treaty on global arms trade that seeks to regulate the $70 billion international business in conventional arms ranging from light weapons to battle tanks and warships. There were 154 votes in favor, 3 against and 23 abstentions. Iran, Syria and North Korea last week prevented a treaty-drafting conference at U.N. headquarters

from reaching the required consensus to adopt the treaty. That left delegations that support it no choice but to turn to a General Assembly vote to adopt it. The Iranian, Syrian and North Korean delegations cast the sole votes against the treaty on Tuesday. Iran, which is under a U.N. arms embargo over its nuclear program, is eager to ensure its arms imports and exports are not curtailed, diplomats said. Syria's government is embroiled in a

two-year civil war and relies on Russian and Iranian weapons, they added. North Korea is also under a U.N. arms embargo due to its nuclear weapons and missile programs. The treaty will be open for signature June 3 and will enter into force 90 days after the 50th signatory ratifies it. Major arms producers China and Russia joined Cuba, Venezuela, Bolivia, Nicaragua and other countries in abstaining. A number of countries, led by India, which also

abstained, complained the treaty favors exporting over importing states. The United States, the world's No. 1 arms exporter, voted in favor of the treaty despite opposition from the National Rifle Association, a powerful U.S. pro-gun lobbying group. The NRA opposes the treaty and has vowed to fight to prevent its ratification by the U.S. Senate when it reaches Washington. The NRA says the treaty would undermine domestic gun-ownership rights, a view the U.S.

government rejects. The American Bar Association, an attorneys' lobby group, has said that the treaty would not impact the right to bear arms. Syrian U.N. Ambassador Bashar Ja'afari repeated that his government opposes the arms trade treaty because it does not ban the sale of weapons to non-state actors and "terrorists" like those allegedly active in Syria. The civil war there has claimed at least 70,000 lives, according to U.N. estimates. –AGENCIES


Tauqir Sadiq's residence raided, property sealed ISLAMABAD: The residence of former Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority chief Tauqir Sadiq was raided and his property was sealed by government officials on Tuesday. The former Ogra chief is suspected of embezzling a total of Rs83 billion. According to a private TV channel the residence is now in the custody of the court along with three other properties. Notices were placed on the properties that were sealed. The Supreme Court of Pakistan failed in various attempts to get Sadiq, the prime suspect in a corruption case back to Pakistan. Sadiq was provided deadlines to appear in court and a team was also dispatched to Dubai to bring him back to Pakistan, however nothing has materialized. Sadiq was accused of embezzling a total of Rs83 billion during his tenure as Ogra chief. He had taken refuge in the United Arab Emirates after his senior appointment at the regulatory body was declared illegal by the apex court. ONLINE

PML-Q gives tickets to wives, Milkmen drop inflation bomb as prices of milk, curd jack up daughters of its leaders ISLAMABAD: PML(Q) has ignored the common workers of the party and distributed tickets among close relatives of leaders and blueeyed persons. The sources said that PMLQ had received some 700 applications from the willing persons to contest elections from which the party had earned the funds of Rs 350 million. Sources said that PML-Q distributed all the party tickets for reserved seats for women on the

basis of nepotism. Those who got tickets for reserve seats for women included Tanzeela Cheema, the foster daughter of Chaudhary Shujaat Hussain, the spouse of General Secretary Mushahid Hussain Syed, Bushra Syed, wife of Raja Basharat, Pari Gull Agha, daughter of SM Zafar and sister-in-law of Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi. When Online contacted the secretary information of PML-Q Kamil Ali Agha, he told this scribe that the party tickets were distributed to the workers as not even a single ticket was issued outside the party. He said that the information about taking money by the leadership for the tickets is baseless because PML-Q is a democratic party and totally believes in democracy. ONLINE

ISLAMABAD: Gawalas (milkmen) have dropped inflation bomb on the citizens of twin cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad by jacking up prices of milk and curd unilaterally with the advent of summer season. The gawalas have raised price of milk by Rs 10 per kilogram fixing the new price at Rs 80 per kilogram as against the old price of Rs 70. Likewise, they have fixed new price of curd at Rs 90 per kilogram as against the previous price of Rs 80 per kilogram with the increase of Rs 10 per kilogram. The gawalas have held responsible motorway police and export policy of former government in respect of cattle. Earlier, they were allowed to bring truck

Polling stations in every Mohmand Agency tehsil

Operation against political hoardings kicks off


RAWALPINDI: On the directives of DCO, the Town Administration of the district has launched operation against hoardings, stickers and posters displayed illegally by electoral candidates. The display of hoardings bigger than the fixed size is against the code of conduct made by the Election Commission. The electoral candidates have been directed that they should not display such posters and hoardings, or otherwise, the reports against them will be sent to the Election Commission. ONLINE

Spring festival in Nawaz Sharif Park starts on 7th ISLAMABAD: Parks and Horticulture Agency is arranging Spring Festival from April 7 to April 21 in Nawaz Sharif Public Park, Shamsabad Rawalpindi. The festival will comprise Flower Show, Bird Show, Food stalls, cultural show and exhibition of handicrafts. All the preparations in this regard have been completed. During the festival, the training workshop will also be held in which artists from Fatima Jinnah University and National College of Arts will participate. Renowned artists from Taxila will train them. ONLINE

loaded with 70 maunds chaff via motorway but motor way police has reduced the quantity of chaff from 70 maunds to 50 maunds and this way they have to incur extra truck fare to bring chaff. “We are forced to shift the extra transportation charges on account of chaff to citizens,” they said. ONLINE

GHALANAI: “It is our main objective that more tribesmen cost their vote in the first party-base election in Mohmand Agency.” This was said by Political Agent and Returning Officer of Mohmand Agency, Dr Amber Ali Khan while addressing the nominated candidates from NA 36 (Tribal Area-1) at Ghalanai here on Tuesday. He said, “It is for the first time we are establishing polling stations at every tehsil so that these peoples cost their votes in his particular areas.” PA Mohmand urged the candidates that if there is any areas whose left of the polling station so contacts with the officials of the election commission. He said that in the 2008 general election there was no polling station in the populated area of Dawezai. “But now we have set up four polling stations in the area.” Assistant Election Commissioner Haroon Shinwari said that a total of 107 polling stations will be established in the area. He said that for this time the Biazai polling stations will established in the Bahi Daag area. Haroon said that through some security reason these polling stations shifted from Baizai border area to the Bahai Daag tehsil.

ISLAMABAD: Policemen searching a car at a security check-post as the security has been beefed up in the federal capital. ONLINE

Board says love-sick killer Mehek is adult HOMER BALOCH

Dr. Tanveer told The Spokesman that, “The medical board examined the age of the accused by following different methods and all of the results proved that the accused is not less than 20 years old. The verification process took one hour while the final report has been submitted to the police immediately”. On Monday, the lawyers of Zahra Mehek during her hearing in court had requested the session judge Kausar Zaidi to grant relaxation to her client by declaring her a juvenile as according to her academic documents she is 17 years old, while law council of Shahzadi Bibi and Sawera Hakim on the other hand requested that age of the accused should be verified medically, for which, Justice Kausar Zaidi adjourned the court till 4th April after giving orders to conduct a medical examination of the accused to verify her age. Advocate Raja Rizwan Abbasi, member of

legal counsel of Sawera Hakim and Shahzadi Bibi, when contacted told The Spokesman, “It is common in our society that the parents show their children younger than their real age in their educational documents just to gain some benefits in future and same happened with Zahra Mehek’s case. Her lawyers, in reference to her educational certificates, claimed that she was a juvenile. On the other hand, advocate Zulfiqar Ahmed Bhutta, the counsel for Zahra Mehek, when contacted, showed dissatisfaction over the medical report. “Her parents have mentioned her real age in her educational documents. However, I think the medical report is not authentic as the father of one of the diseased girls is a highly influential police official and he might have used his influence on the medical report,” advocate Zulfiqar Ahmed Bhutta said.

RAWALPINDI: Police raided at different places of gambling and Sheesha center and arrested 21 criminals on Tuesday. Gujar Khan police got secret information that few persons are busy in playing cards at Lori Terminal on which the local Police raided immediately and apprehended 5 gamblers Saleem, Nasir, Ilyas, Ghulam Shabir and Muhammad Taj red handed while also recovered gambling money of Rs 15,570 and different equipment of gambling from them. ONLINE

ISLAMABAD: A four-member medical board, after her medical examination as per the orders of session court, on Tuesday declared that the age of Zahra Mehek is over 20 years. According to the board, Zahra Mehek, accused for murdering Shahzadi Bibi, aged 11, and Sawera Hakim, aged over 18, was taken to Poly Clinic Hospital for her medical check-up to verify her age as per the request of the lawyers of Shahzadi Bibi. The medical board consisted of four doctors, namely Dr. Ahsan, chairman of the board and medical specialist, surgeon doctor Javed, dentist Dr Tajammul, and Dr. Tanveer, who is medico-legal surgeon. The board after examining the accused declared that Mehek is over 20 years of age and should not be considered as an adolescent.

ECP posts Musharraf nomination details

Imran joins popularity list with Obama, Hillary

ISL AMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan has uploaded the nomination papers of former president Pervez Musharraf on its official website. According to sources, total assets of the expresident are over Rs 645 million. The nomination papers submitted from NA 48 has embedded the cases of Anti Terrorist Court, Rawalpindi, as well as Quetta, while park road, Chak Shehzad, Islamabad, was also mentioned. ONLINE

ISLAMABAD: World’s renowned news site “Global Post” on Tuesday declared Imran Khan, chief of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf as third most influential leader across the globe for the year 2012 for having anti-drone strikes stance in Pakistan. According to the report, chief of PTI stood third in the popularity list among the nine top leaders who influenced the world the most during 2012 for having pacifist attitude. The report declared that Imran Khan opposed the ongoing drone strikes in tribal areas tooth and nail every movement.

21 gamblers arrested from Shesha centres

It is pertinent to mention here that Imran Khan was pulled off

Commission formed on Marriot land occupation OUR STAFF REPORTER

ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court on Tuesday constituted a one-man commission to examine the matter pertaining to the land allegedly encroached by Marriot Hotel for car parking, in connivance with the CDA. Juistice Shaukat Aziz Siddique heard the case filed by Hashwani Group through their counsel Naeem Bokhari in which they contended that despite getting license to use a piece of land as parking lot, CDA has now been asking the management of hotel to vacate the land which has created a lot of hardships for them. He requested the court to restrain the civic body from taking action against the Marriot hotel and also to allow them for using a piece of land for parking purposes. However, the court formed a one commission comprising former IHC Bar President Ashraf Gujjar to probe into the matter and submit report before the court within one week.

The CDA management wanted to auction the prized commercial plot in sector F-5/1, being used by marriot hotel, in order to generate funds for the authority. But after the CDA tried to vacate the plot from Marriot hotel its management got stay order from the IHC against CDA on March 22. CDA sources said that the five-star hotel has developed a parking lot in the right of way of 6th Avenue over an area measuring 10,289.44 square yards, which is in excess of the commercial plot it has occupied. The hotel management has built a rear gate and a paved path on the plot in violation of building by-laws. DMA extended the licence last year which is valid till September, despite orders to the contrary. “The open area licence for the plot is a clear violation of CDA’s Land Disposal Regulation 2005. The plot has not been auctioned because of the encroachment, causing financial loss to the civic agency,” the official added. The plot’s value estimated by the Planning Wing of the authority is around Rs4.6 billion.

from his Toronto-New York flight in Canada and was questioned by

PPP calls off rally I SLAMABAD: Outgoing ruling party on Tuesday called off a major public rally designed to kickstart its reelection campaign in favour of smaller events, media reports said. The PPP said last week it would start its campaign with a public rally in Garhi Khuda Bakhsh on the anniversary of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. But on Tuesday, a party spokesman in the nearby town of Naudero said the gathering would take place in a hall and would be closed to all but state media. PPP politicians would also hold separate events in other districts, he said. ONLINE

American customs and border protection for about an hour for his

stance against drones but Khan said, “My stance is known. Drone attacks must be stopped.” Casualties toll in tribal areas which caused by drone strikes was between 474 to 884 civilian deaths since 2004, including killings of 176 children, the report added. The news site revealed that Christine Laggard stood first, Barack Obama stood second, Imran Khan third, Hillary Clinton fourth, Kim Jong Un fifth, Aung San Suo Kyi sixth, Mohamed Morse seventh, Hugo Chavez eighth and Bashar al-Asad ninth of the list. ONLINE

Tribal students seek fee concession ABDUR RAZZAQ

PESHAWAR: Students belonging to Federally Administrated Tribal Areas studying at the University of Agriculture Peshawar urged the varsity administration to exempt them from submitting admission fee and refund the deposited one. The government had given exemption to the students of militancy-stricken areas and Fata for the year of 2009-10. About 2200 students from Swat and other areas had been availed the facility so far. Almost 2674 tribal students, enrolled at UAP. Talking to The Spokesman, a student of the Bachelor of Computer Science, Abdul Qayum Shinwari said that militancy in the volatile Khyber Agency had badly effected education and other infrastructure. He said the militants had targeted educational institutions and raised a number of state-run schools to the ground by planting explosives in these building. He said the mass destruction of the schools had not only been deprived students from education but also dropped the literacy rate in the agency. He said the tribesmen suffered huge losses in their businesses due to the on-


going a decade long militancy in the tribal region. He said most of the students dropped out from schools as their parents can not afford the hefty admission fees due to their limited source of income. “If the educational institutions give exemption to the Fata students in tuition fee (students reside at IDPs camps) so they would be able to take admission in the educational institutions of the province. Most of the tribal students could not keep continue their studies as they have no money to pay the heavy fee,” he added. Official data of Provincial Disaster Management Authority revealed that almost 12083 families from Khyber Agency and 359 from Bajaur Agency were still stationed at Jalozai IDPs camp. Hamid Afridi, another student of the UAP, said the displaced families from the Khyber Agency were forced to miserable lives at Jalozai IDPs camp, adding they did not even possess a single penny to buy food items for their families. “How could they pay such hefty fee to educate their children?” he asked. Waqas Khan, a resident of Buner district, said they were facing hardships to continue their studies due to financial

constraints. He appealed to the UAP authorities to refund him his tuition fee. He added that students from Bajaur, Buner, Dir, Swat and Malakand were still waiting for fee remission. “The administration told us to get written statement from Political Agent Khyber Agency to refund their admission fee. We completed all the required documental procedure but the administration did not consider their cases to date” Haseeb Afridi, a student of Agriculture University, said. While talking to The Spokesman, UAP Director Finance Zarshad Ali said that according to the directives of the Higher Education Commission, the university administration refunded tuition fee to the students belonging to Swat while the list of students from Buner had been sent to the HEC. To a quarry, he said that the administration did not receive any directives from the provincial government regarding fee concession for the students belonging to FATA, adding that if the KP governments ask the administration to provide lists of IDPs from FATA we would forward it to the government and would take necessary steps according to government orders.




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


he PPP is confronted by a serious political crisis. President Asif Zardari is constrained by the courts for taking an active role in political activities. Former Prime Ministers Yousaf Raza Gilani and Raja Pervaiz Ashraf stand disqualified and involved in serious cases respectively. As Makhdoom Amin Fahim is ordered to be arrested, the only person left is the new kid on the bloc—Bilawal Bhutto. The story of his estrangement with his father may have been untrue and Bilawal Bhutt may have returned but he remains constrained with regards to leading the electoral campaign. And it’s not just about his security. He remains a novice who will not be able to get the party out of a crisis largely caused by the party performance in the last five years. The PPP crisis of leadership may have further deepened by the issuance of arrest warrants against its party President, Makhdoom Amin Fahim. Makhdoom saw it coming after he returned over Rs 400 million that he allegedly got as kickbacks in the NICL scam. He was saved largely because of the favourable investigative agencies under the PPP government. With the caretakers in place, Makhdoom feels the heat. Raja Pervaiz Ashraf also gets involved in yet

Who is going to lead the PPP in the election campaign?


another case over inflating tenders for development in his constituency. He already faces serious chances of being arrested in cases of rental power project and OGRA appointments. A judicial sword dangles over his head and the party cannot afford to have its face arrested from a major rally or in the middle of the campaign. With the first PPP echelon restricted by the

legal, political and security issues, the party is left with little choice. The PPP kept its major speakers such as Aitezaz Ahsan and Raza Rabbani out of the mainstream. It is short of people even in its second tier. Even the best PPP faces such as Khursheed Shah, Qamar Zaman Kaira and Ahmad Mukhtar have not been groomed for leading the party in an election campaign. All of these political leaders may not have that national appeal, besides

being busy in their local elections. This leaves the PPP is a critical situation. The party can use Master Bilawal but the move is fraught with political risks. Many feel that it would be unfair to destroy his career by launching him to resurrect a very unpopular government. In any case, it remains to be seen how he will be received in the crowds. His launching over Benazir Bhutto’s death anniversary did not produce a

The independence of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has been lauded by a large section of the country. The intense scrutiny that candidates are being subjected to seems a refreshing break from the past. However, it increasingly feels that ECP may be stretching the limits. The recent episodes of Returning Officers (RO) asking candidates to recite the Kalima, Surah Yaseen, Dua-e-Qanoot and various questions pertaining to the offering of Namaz, have made this exercise seem a bit like a farce. Analysts have pointed out that such questions regarding religion are not the domain of ROs, since faith is a matter between God and man and ECP does not have the authority to judge whether a person is faithful enough. Even so, it is argued, these are not measures of determining whether a person is capable of good governance or that he is Sadiq or Amin. Some political analysts have also questioned putting up the assets of candidates on the website for all and sundry to see. They are of the view that since the locals know about the candidates from their constituency, it might not be needed. Also, they say, once a candidate gets to the National Assembly, only then should everyone be able to see the assets since it is at that time that the candidate is representing the whole nation. Until that time, the information should only be with the ROs so that anyone from the area who wants to examine the candidates can do so if he please, as it is the people of that constituency that need that information.

Cash strapped PTV spends millions on government farewell MIRZA KHURRAM SHAHZAD ISLAMABAD: Cash strapped Pakistan Television (PTV) has no money to pay market Competitive packages and medical facilities to its regular employees but it has enough funds to arrange farewell music galas and lavish dinners for outgoing ministers and Members of the National Assembly (MNAs), just because they may be able to award much lucrative contracts to Yousaf Baig Mirza (YBM) in future. The state TV, which is struggling to pay salaries and other facilities to its employees and relying on a forced public fee of 35 rupees per month imposed on electricity users, last month organised a farewell gala dinner combined with a superb musical concert costing around RS. 25 million to the national exchequer. PTV, which by no means is authorised to give farewell to the ministers and MNAs organised this event on the desire of some top cabinet members and government officials. The sources in PTV said that some key ministers asked MD PTV to organise this show and invite their favourite artists and guests. Obeying their instructions, YBM quickly ordered the event and arranged

the musicians and singers for the program. He also made available half of the funds from PTV accounts while half of the expenditures were paid by the government. The artists who were hired to perform at the event included Shafqat Amaanat Ali Khan and Misha Shafi. The sources said that PTV paid 0.950 million rupees to Shafqat Amaanat Ali while Misha Shafi was paid 0.750 million rupees for her superb

performance in the show. An official, who works in the programs department of PTV, said that besides the excellent singing program, the menu of the dinner was also specially caterred and all lavish meals were available at the table. The PTV management, however denied that any show took place. "No such event was organised," said Sohail Bukhari, the spokesman for PTV. "I can say it at authority that neither

any music show nor any dinner took place to bid farewell to the outgoing government and the National Assembly," he said. Asked MD PTV might had organised it privately and there might not be any official record for this show, he said it can't happen. "It is impossible that something happens in PTV and I am unaware of that," Bukhari said adding that the news may be a conspiracy to put the state TV in trouble. "People are spreading these rumours because they want the caretaker government to take an action against PTV management, otherwise there is no truth behind such stories," he said. The sources, however stood by their information and said the bills for this particular event can be furnished if required. PTV is facing very tough financial crisis because of some wrong decisions by the top management to start new channels including an English language news channel and a sports channel. The department is also facing trouble because the overload of dozens of employees hired on political grounds and that too on very high packages which has no match with the market rates.

lightening effect. Constrained by language, charisma and experience, he was, at best, heard by the crowds. But he did not create the frenzy that Benazir stirred at his age when the burden of leading the party was entrusted to her. The joke around town is that perhaps Asif Zardari should bring in Naheed Khan to lead the party or ask his foster brother Owais Muzaffar Tappi to do the job.

NadeemF.Paracha @ Nadeemf Paracha 4m Two motorbikes just broke a signal. '"Ah", I thought, "there go 62 and 63. Honda Sadiq and Vespa Amin." Umar Cheema @UmarCheema1 5m OMG. Really? MT"@usmanmanzoor: Congrats Arif Nizami sb on caretaker assignment. Plz spare time to file tax return as u have NTN since 2012." Junaid Jatoi @JatoiJunaid 7m So if i can recite some suras&kalmas, it means that i am Sadiq&Ameen??????#Elections2013 Aamer Sarfraz @AamerSarfraz 20h There are many things that we would throw away if we were not afraid that others might pick them up.- Oscar Wilde #PoliticalLotas Junaid Qaiser @JunaidQaiser 1h Ex-dictator Pervez Musharraf, guilty of high treason roaming freely, conducting pressers, while Chief Qazi is busy ensuring 62/63. Coward Bakhtawar Bhutto Z @BakhtawarBZ 20m This is new Pakistan, where TTP etc exist. Will take more than 5yrs 2change. Don't want new Pakistan, I want old Pakistan! #ZAB's Pakistan. Asad Munir @asadmunir38 40m EC staff should be made to run 3 KM,at 5.30 in the morning, till scrutiny, so that they are angry,and disqualify more politicians. Matiullah Jan @Matiullahjan919 20m Chief Justice's letter to Returning Officers for implementation of 62/63. Poor civil judges have 2 bosses, CJP & ECP. Is CJP interfering? Raza Rumi @Razarumi 6m Dua e Qanoot is a personal communication with God during act of worship. Not a public statement of electoral eligibility. Theocracy-istan! Javed I. Sheikh @sjikram 10m Very alarming scenario for Pakistan where most of Pakistanis are turning emotionally derailed and half mad. Asma Jahangir @Asma_Jahangir 4m Wait anxiously for a Parliament of saints! Hamid Mir @HamidMirGEO 2m @Asma_Jahangir next parliament will not have saints but at least will be a better than the previous one Rehman Malik @SenRehmanMalik 10h Next election is being set betweenthe pro Talban and anti Talban parties.This creation of division in coming election is pre poll riggings. Farooq Tariq @Farooqtariq3 46s @Asma_Jahangir I am appearing for my scrutiny of nomination papers for PP 86, 4th April, will not reply on question regarding my religion Hammad Anwar @manihammad 53s If Article 62/63 applied on judiciary in its real sense, most of judges would go home. Judges should be tested for their real ages. CJ any1? Ali Salman Alvi @alisalmanalvi 5m .@SaleemKhanSafi says that politicians are being punished for not removing article 62/63, included by a dictator, from the Constitution. Naheed Khan @NaheedNSafdar 1m "It doesn't matter what evidence you or anyone comes up with. They are going to murder me for murder I didn't commit."#April4th#Bhutto

Famous Actor Majid Jahangir flashing victory signs after scrutiny of his nomination papers for the upcoming elections. ONLINE PHOTO


Dasti hopes for justice in ‘fake’ degree case MUZAFFARGARH: Former PPP MNA from Muzaffargarh Jamshed Dasti appeared before a local court on Tuesday and recorded his statement in fake degree trial. He hoped that he would get justice from the court. Speaking to journalists after the hearing, he said that he submitted evidence to verify the authenticity of his degree. He added that final arguments would be held on Wednesday. The hearing was adjourned till Wednesday. Dasti, who is apparently very popular in Muzaffargarh, has filed nomination papers to contest elections against former foreign minister Hina Rabbani Khar. ONLINE

No confirmed dengue patient in Punjab LAHORE: Dengue virus situation in Punjab is under complete control till now and no confirmed patient of dengue has been reported from anywhere in the province, neither new dengue hotspots have been discovered. However, activities and steps by various departments are continuing effectively according to the Dengue Action Plan 2013. This was informed here in a Provincial Response Committee meeting under the chairmanship of Chief Secretary Punjab Nasir Mehmood Khosa. Besides Additional Chief Secretary Khizar Hayat Gondal, Secretary Health, Secretary Information, Secretary Environment,

Secretary Higher Education, Secretary School Education, Secretary Local Government, Secretary Agriculture, Vice Chancellor King Edward Medical University Professor Faisal Masood, Director General Public Relations Punjab Amjad Hussain Bhatti, Additional Director General Health Vector Born Diseases, In-Charge of Dengue Research Cell Professor Wasim Akram, senior officers of Punjab Information Technology Board, EDO Health Lahore and officers of district government were also attended the meeting. The meeting was informed that inspection of graveyards, warehouses, tyre shops,

construction sites and basements are continuing with full vigor to detect dengue larvae. Furthermore, zero periods is being conducted regularly in schools and colleges to provide information and awareness to the students on dengue menace. A compulsory question on dengue information would also be included in examination of students. Schools have been directed to ensure that children wear full sleeve shirts. Addressing the meeting Chief Secretary Nasir Mehmood Khosa said that dengue have been controlled previous year due to strong cooperation and collaboration of general public.

Dengue virus is a social issue as well as a disease as this particular mosquito is found inside houses where this exists upto 80 per cent, therefore, cooperation and active participation of the people is highly entail of eradication of dengue virus. Chief Secretary further directed that a vigorous awareness campaign against dengue disease should be continued so that the people are provided complete information regarding steps taken by the government and to adopted preventive measures against dengue disease. He directed concerned departments to continue their activities under Dengue Action Plan 2013. ONLINE

Wapda workers protest against Peshawar attack LAH ORE: Wapda employees staged countrywide protests against attack on the power grid station in Peshawar. At least seven people were killed when several armed militants attacked the Sheikh Muhammad grid station with rockets and destroyed machinery and towers on Tuesday morning. In Lahore, Wapda Paigham Union set up a protest camp outside Wapda House to condemn the incident. The protestors have vowed to continue protest until action is being taken against the miscreants involved in the attack. Wapda workers demand strict security at sensitive installations. ONLINE

Weapons, narcotics seized in Jamrud clean-up operation K H Y BER A GEN C Y: A cache of arms and narcotics was recovered by the political administration of Jamrud in a search operation conducted on Tuesday in Shahkas area of Jamrud, a sub-division of Khyber Agency, official sources said. The sources said that heavy contingents of Khasadar Force on the direction of Assistant Political Agent, Jamrud launched clean-up operation against anti-social activities in the area and recovered 26 AK-47, two pistols and 24 kilogrammes of hashish. Three suspected persons were also detained and put behind the bars for interrogation, the sources said. APA Jamrud Jahangir Azam Wazir flanked by political tehsildar Asmatullah while displaying seized commodities to the media persons said, “The operation has been initiated with intention to wipe out all anti-social elements from the area, adding that no one will be permitted to disturb the peaceful environment of Jamrud.” ONLINE

KARACHI: People returning after filling their cans with water from a leaked supply line in Korangi. ONLINE

Faria comes to fore in PTI ‘swinger’ for women seats LAHORE: The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf has changed its preferred list of reserved seats for women in Punjab Assembly. The move has been termed a party strategy, according to sources. According to PTI, the said preferred list for women seats has been changed twice, now; while the finalized list, as provided to Election Commission of Pakistan had all the names altered, upside down, which stands no chance of any further alteration as according to ECP rules and regulations. Shewna Bashir headed the initial preferred list, while she has been downsized to 13th position since, replaced by Saadia Sohail, from her previous of number 2 to number 1. Among others, Rizwana Iqtidar has gone to 42nd from

89 want to contest from Lahore LAHORE: A total of 89 candidates of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf have filed their nomination papers to contest the election for PA and NA seats from the provincial capital. According to a party spokesman, 39 candidates, including Imran Khan, Abdul Aleem Khan, Ibrarul Haq and Dr Yasmeen Rashid, have submitted their nomination forms to contest the election for National Assembly seats of Lahore. On the other hand, 50 candidates have filed papers for provincial assembly seats. However, till the filing of this report no candidate was finalised by the PTI parliamentary board. ONLINE her initial of number 6 position, Nighat Sultana from her 7th position in initial list to 45, Begum Naseem Majeed 2 ranks up from previous of 8th to 6th, while Faria Aftab has taken a quantum

leap from 54th position to 8th. Meanwhile, names of Nasreen Tariq, Nausheen Hameed, Naheed Naeem and Hina Kashif have altogether been omitted. ONLINE

Imran to contest on Peshawar seat as Tehreek-e-Insaf awards tickets Azra nomination draws objection over rickshaws

NAWABSHAH: Objection was raised on the nomination papers of Pakistan People’s Party’s Azra Fazal Pechuho, who filed her papers for NA-213. According to details, the returning officer has directed Azra Fazal to file a reply by April 5. Ali Gul Kerio of Peoples Party (Shaheed Bhutto) submitted an objection plea, accusing Azra Fazal of violating the ECP code of conduct after the announcement of election schedule. He added that Azra along with Deputy Commissioner Rasheed Zardari distributed CNG rickshaws in a bid to rig the election. Azra also attended an electoral procession organized by EDO Works and Services Pir Muhammad Siyaal that is the violation of code of the ECP code of conduct, Ali Gul added. The returning officer had called Azra Fazal in the court and informed her about the objections submitted against her. He also instructed her to file a reply on the same by April 5. ONLINE

ISLAMABAD: The parliamentary board of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf on Tuesday finalized the party’s tickets for the upcoming general elections from Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa. According to the notification issued by the PTI central secretariat, the party’s chairman Imran Khan, who also chaired the meeting to announce the party tickets for candidates hailing from KP would contest the polls for NA-1, Peshawar-I. According to the list of candidates for National Assembly, Khalid Masood would contest from NA-2 Peshawar, Sajid Nawaz from NA-3 Peshawar, Asad Gulzar Khan from NA-4 Peshawar, Pervaiz Khan Khattak from NA-5 Nowshehra-I, Azizullah Jan from NA-6 Nowshehra-II, Fazal Muhammad Khan from NA-7 Charsadda-1, Anwar Taj from NA-8 Charsadda-II, Nasir Khan from NA-9 Mardan-1, Ali Muhammad Khan NA-10 Mardan-II, Mujahid Ali NA-11 Mardan-III, Anwar Haq Dad from NA-12 Swabi-I, Asad Qaisar from NA-13 Swabi-II, Shaheryar Afridi from NA-14 Kohat, Shamsur Rehman Khattak from NA-15 Karak, Khayal Zaman from NA-16 Hangu, Muhammad Azhar Khan Jadoon from NA-17 Abbottabad-I, Raja Amir Zaman from NA-19 Haripur, Muhammad Azam Khan Swati from NA-20 Mansehra-I, Nawabzada Sallahuddin Saeed from NA-21 Mansehra-II, Niaz Muhammad Khan from NA-22 Battagram, Mustafa Kundi from NA-24 Dera Ismail Khan, Dawar Khan Kundi from NA-25 Dera Ismail Khan Tank, Mutiullah Khan from NA-26 Bannu, Col. (retd) Amirullah Marwat from NA-27 Lakki Marwat, Mian Moinuddin from NA-28 Bunair, Sher Afgan Khan from NA-29 Swat-I, Jamal Nasir from NA-30 Swat-II, Abdul Latif from NA-32 Chitral, Muhammad Nawaz Khan from NA-33 Upper Dir, Muhammad Bashir Khan from NA34 Lower Dir, and Junaid Akbar Khan would contest from NA-35 Malakand. Whereas according to the list of candidates for

KPK provincial assembly, Shaukat Yusufzai will contest the election from PK-2 Peshawar-II, Ashraf Ali Khan from PK-3 Peshawar-III, Arif Yousuf from PK-4 Peshawar-IV, Yaseen Khalil from PK-5 Peshawar-V, Faheem Ahmad from PK-6 Peshawar-VI Mahmood Jan from PK-7 Peshawar-VII, Jahanzeb Khan from PK-8 (Peshawar-VIII), Arbab Jahandad Khan from PK-9 Peshawar-IX, Shah Farman from PK-10 Peshawar-X, Syed Muhammad Ishtiaq from PK11 Peshawar-XI, Khaliq-ur-Rehman from PK-12 Nowshehra-I, Pervaiz Khattak PK-13 Nowshehra-II, Jamshaid-ud-Din from PK-14 Nowshehra-III, Muhammad Idrees from PK-15 Nowshehra-IV, Qurban Ali Khan from PK-16 Nowshehra-V, Abid Jan from PK-17 CharsaddahI, Tariq Adam Khan from PK-18 Charsaddah-II, Muhammad Babar Khan from PK-19 Charsaddah-III, Nadeem Alam from PK-20 Charsaddah-IV, Muhammad Ilyas from PK-21 Charsaddah-V, Muhammad Arif from PK-22 Charsaddah-VI, Syed Umar Farooq from PK-23 Mardan-I, Muhammad Zahid PK-24 Mardan-II, Obaidullah from PK-25 Mardan-III, Iftikhar Ali from PK-26 Mardan-IV, Adil Nawaz from PK-27 Mardan-V, Muhammad Khattab Badshah from PK-28 Mardan-VI, Tufail Anjum from PK-29 Mardan-VII, Muhammad Atif from PK-30 Mardan–VIII, Yousuf Ali from PK-31 Swabi-I, Zahoor Ahmad from PK-32 Swabi-II, Zubair Ali Engineer from PK-33 Swabi-III, Fazal-e-Elahi from PK-34 Swabi-IV, Asad Qaisar from PK-35 Swabi-V, Rangez Ahmad from PK-36 Swabi-VI, Aurangzaib Khan from PK-37 Kohat-I, Ziaullah Khan Bangash from PK-38 Kohat-II, Imtiaz Shahid Qureshi from PK-39 Kohat-III, Gul Sahib Khan from PK-40 Karak-I, Muhammad Saleem from PK-41 Karak-II, Asif Zubair Sheikh from PK-44 Abbottabad-I, Abdul Rehman Khan Abbasi from PK-45 Abbottabad-II, Akhtar Nawaz Khan from PK-49 Haripur-I, Yousuf Ayub Khan from PK-50 Haripur-II, Faisal

Zaman Khan from PK-52 Haripur-IV, Syed Munir Hassan Shah from PK-54 Mansehra-III, Sajid Mumtaz from PK-55 Mansehra-IV, Haq Nawaz Khan from PK-56 Mansehra-V, Zulfiqar Ali from PK-57 Mansehra-VI, Amarullah from PK-58 Mansehra-VII, Javed Khan from PK-59 Battagram-I, Muhammad Naeem Khan Shaheen from PK-60 Battagram-II, Kifayatullah from PK61 Kohistan-I, Fayyaz Khan from PK-62 Kohistan-II, Afreen Khan from PK-63 KohistanIII, Ali Ameen Khan from PK-64 Dera Ismail Khan-I, Muhammad Amir Qayyum Barki from PK-65 Dera Ismail Khan-II, Hamayuddin from PK-66 Dera Ismail Khan-III, Umar Amin Khan from PK-67 Dera Ismail Khan-IV, Muhammad Daud from PK-69 Tank, Asif Rehman PK-70 Bannu-I, Taimur Farid Khan from PK-71 BannuII, Syed Munir Agha from PK-72 Bannu-III, Murad Ali Shah from PK-73 Bannu-IV, Saleem Nawaz Khan from PK-74 Lakki Marwat-I, Engineer Muhammad Arif Khan from PK-76 Lakki Marwat-III, Muhammad Iqbal from PK77 Bunair-I, Syed Fakhar Jahan from PK-78 Bunair-II, Sher Khan from PK-79 Bunair-III, Fazal-e-Hakim from PK-80 Swat-I, Azizullah Khan from PK-81 Swat-II, Amjad Ali from PK82 Swat-III, Azmat Ali Khan from PK-83 Swat-IV, Mahmood Khan PK-84 Swat-V, Nisar Ahmad from PK-85 Swat-VI, Muhammad Zaib from PK-86 Swat-VII, Shaukat Ali Yusufzai from PK-87 Shangla-I, Sultan Muhammad from PK-89 Chitral-I, Rehmat Ghazi Khan from PK-90 Chitral-II, Muhammad Nabi from PK-91 Upper Dir-I, Nawab Ali from PK-92 Upper Dir-II, Sajjad Fayyaz Khan from PK-93 Upper Dir-III, Muhammad Inam PK-94 Lower Dir-I, Obaidullah Sajid from PK-95 Lower Dir-II, Malik Fakhar-uz-Zaman Khan from PK-97 Lower Dir-IV, Yasir Khan from PK-98 Malakand-I, Shakeel Ahmad from PK99 Malakand-II have been awarded party tickets. ONLINE

12 more held, arms recovered in dawn operation KARACHI: The Rangers personnel launched a targeted operation at 4am Tuesday after a tip off about the presence of miscreants and members of banned outfits in Katti Pahari area. The 600 Rangers, including female troops and antiterrorist squad, participated in the operation while sniffer dogs were also used in the raids. All entry and exit points of the area were closed and 36 heavy and light weapons were recovered during door-todoor search while 12 suspected persons were also arrested from the area. Meanwhile, the Rangers also launched targeted operation against the outlaws in Korangi Dhai area where several suspected persons were arrested and more than 12 weapons were seized from them. ONLINE

BHC orders Rind’s arrest in ransom case QUETTA: The High Balochistan Court has issued the arrest warrants of former federal minister Sardar Yar Muhammad Khan Rind by cancelling his interim bail in the kidnapping for ransom case. On Tuesday Divisional Bench of BHC comprised Justice Jamal Khan Mandokhel and Justice Ghulam Mustafa Mangal held the hearing. Police had registered the case of kidnapping for ransom against chief of Rind tribe and ex-SAFRON minister during Musharraf regime, but he got interim bail form the court. ONLINE

MQM manifesto is ‘scientific’ and ‘practicable’: Altaf KARACHI: Muttahida Qaumi Movement chief Altaf Hussain says MQM’s Electoral Manifesto is `realistic’ which contains scientific and practicable solutions for progress and stability of democracy. Altaf urged intellectuals, columnists and journalists to offer their comments after a thorough study of the MQM Manifesto. This he said during his telephonic conversation with the members of MQM Coordination Committee and different departments at the party’s central secretariat in Azizabad. Hussain on this occasion also appealed to the country’s youth, students and people to study and analyze the manifesto. ONLINE


FATA should also get women reserved seats: experts Say democracy is a gradual process Security a huge challenge in tribal areas ANP leader suggests mobile polling stations SHANEL KHALIQ

ISLAMABAD: “Representation on reserved seats for women should be extended to the Federally Administered Tribal Areas as well, if FATA is to witness development.” This recommendation was expressed by Mr Quraish Khattak, Election Analyst Democracy Reporting International while addressing the launch ceremony of his organization’s latest report titled “Electoral Conditions in Federally Administered

Tribal Areas of Pakistan, yesterday. Other major recommendations of the report include integrating the region into Pakistan’s mainstream and incorporating measures to increase the registration of female voters. Further elaborating on the situation he said that in the last elections of 2008, FATA showed the lowest voter turnout amounting to only 31 per cent. However since then there has also been a 22 per cent increase in the voter registration. He also said that there should be some law devised to allow for

Five militants killed in South Waziristan MIRANSHAH: At least five suspected militants were killed as security forces launched an offensive operation against the terrorist outfit. The operation was launched in Baron area of South Waziristan Agency on Tuesday morning, a security official said. Dozens of militant hideouts and compounds were destroyed during operation by gunship helicopters. At least five militants were killed and several others were injured in the offensive. South Waziristan political administration had earlier asked residents to vacate the area for a military operation. Pakistan army is engaged in a war against Taliban militants in the region while US drones also target suspected militants in the same tribal agency. —ONLINE

PPP to kick off campaign tomorrow ISLAMABAD: Pakistan People’s Party is to kick off its election campaign on Thursday. According to the party sources former Prime Ministers Syed Yusuf Raza Gillani and Raja Pervez Ashraf will launch the campaign from Southern Punjab and Upper Punjab respectively. Mian Manzoor Wattoo is to start the party campaign from Central Punjab. He has also been assigned to look after the campaign in the Central Punjab. Chairman PPP Bilawal Bhutto Zardari will kick start the camping from Garhi Khuda Bakhsh on Thursday and would also address the public rallies and meetings at different places of the country . Meanwhile PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari on Tuesday directed party leaders to ignore media speculations and improve their performance ahead of the general elections. He expressed these views while presiding over a consultative meeting at Bilawal House in Karachi. The young PPP chairman was confident that his party would emerge as winner in the next general elections. Taking notice of workers’ protests, he directed the party to submit a report on the issue. In addition, distribution of party tickets and issues pertaining to election campaign came under discussion in the meeting. —ONLINE

Karachi delimitation case hearing put off KARACHI: Sindh High Court has adjourned the hearing of the appeal moved by MQM against delimitation in Karachi till today (Wednesday). The two-member bench under the supervision of Justice Maqbool Baqir resumed the hearing. MQM’s counsel Barrister Faroogh Nasim said in his arguments that the electoral process was started in the country on 17th of March, whereas the notification regarding delimitation was issued on March 25, which is illegal. He asked the court to declare the delimitation in Karachi null and void. —ONLINE

observing the election process. The report analyzes challenges faced by the residents of the area such as obstacles in acquiring a CNIC and hence getting registered as voters. The situation is further aggravated for women who represent only a third of the 1.7 million registered voters. Dr Ijaz Khan, a professor at the Department of International Relations at the University of Peshawar, speaking on the occasion said that democracy is a gradual process and in the case of FATA particularly challenges regarding

security are paramount. “The prevalence of a system of Jirga has no room for incorporating elected people”, he added. Hassan Khan, a journalist with considerable experience in the region criticized the FCR, for concepts such as “collective responsibility” that make the entire community responsible for the acts of an individual. Naheed Rehman Afridi, the vicepresident of Awami National Party from Khyber Agency, said that their party’s foremost demand is the incorporation of mobile polling

additional security for voters, candidates and polling staff and special measures for women voters to ensure credible, participatory elections in FATA. The DRI report reveals a continuing failure to bring FATA’s electoral conditions in line with constitutional and international commitments and details the many challenges to holding genuine elections that persist in the region. Barriers to voter registration present significant problems for women, who represent just over a third of FATA’s 1.7 million registered voters.

Musharraf to be a fringe player in polls: US experts WASHINGTON: former Pakistan’s military dictator Pervez Musharraf, back home from his self-imposed exile, would remain a fringe player in the country’s general elections in May and should care more about his security, top American experts said today. “In Pakistan he is widely seen as washed up, potentially in a hazardous position, because cases have been lodged against him and because he has a lot of very dangerous enemies in Pakistan right now,” Daniel Markey, an expert on India, Pakistan and South Asia at the Council on Foreign Relations, told reporters during a conference call. He was responding to questions on Musharraf ’s return to Pakistan last month to participate in the forthcoming elections. “There is a real question about his safety and security, and I join Dan (Markey) in hoping that very careful attention is being paid to that,” said Ryan Crocker, former US Ambassador to Pakistan. Nevertheless, Musharraf might win a couple of seats, Crocker added. Markey said Musharraf “undoubtedly” gets more respect in the US than he gets in Pakistan these days. “He is remembered here as few other Pakistani leaders are. In fact I would hazard to guess that if most Americans were asked to name a Pakistani leader, he might be still the top one who comes to mind,” he said. “I frankly was still a little bit surprised that he did in fact return to Pakistan. I read that the Saudis were assisting that return – quite possible, although have no proof of it. I hope that somebody is assuring his security, for his sake -- I think it would be disruptive -otherwise, for Pakistan’s sake,” he said. “He doesn’t have a real political vehicle yet to ride on as a party, and it would take him a matter of years to do that, to

‘Peaceful elections not possible without army’ ISLAMABAD: Former president General (r) Pervez Musharraf said fair and transparent elections are not possible without involving the army. Talking to media after arriving at his residence in Chak Shehzad here, he voiced the resolve to continue political activities in the country despite threats on his life. He said he wants to raise a third political force in the country by activating his party. Musharraf said he will himself supervise nomination process of party candidates. He demanded to hold elections under supervision of the army. Musharraf said he will appear before the courts where cases have been registered against him. The former president denied any deal, adding he did not impose martial law in the country. On this occasion, he presented a formula to hold transparent elections. The All Pakistan Muslim League (APML) President expressed satisfaction over the security given to him by the government, saying, “I am being afforded complete security.” —ONLINE build anything, and there’s no sign that he has the sense politically, as far as I can tell, to really make that a reality. So I’m not quite sure who’s advising him, but I wouldn’t expect him to be a major player any time soon in Pakistani politics,” Markey said. —ONLINE

Nomination papers of Bajaur’s Badam Zari accepted BA JAUR AGENC Y: Nomination papers of a female candidate, Badam Zari hailing from Pakistan’s Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) have been accepted for participation in the upcoming general elections. Thirty-eight year old Badam Zari from Bajaur Agency has become the first woman from the tribal areas to submit a nomination form and be cleared to contest for a national assembly seat, NA-44. Earlier, the tribal traditions disallowed women to exercise their right to franchise. While speaking to a

private TV channel, Badam Zari said she was contesting as an independent candidate in an effort to serve women from her area. “I want women to prosper in all fields and stand side by side with men.” Zari added that she would actively campaign and keep herself informed with problems being faced by the residents of her area despite the law and order situation in the agency. She praised the residents of Bajaur Agency and said they hold women in high regard. “In my opinion the residents of the area will support me.” —ONLINE

Main leaders will avoid each other, says Rashid RAWAL PI N DI : Awami Muslim League (AML) head Sheikh Rashid has claimed that leaders of the main political parties have filed nomination papers as independent candidates. He looked very relaxed after appearing before a returning office as part of scrutiny of his nomination papers. Speaking to reporters, he said all major parties were worried that their candidates may join other parties. “Due to this fear, they are delaying the awarding of tickets,” he opined. He further claimed that some key political figures would go into the elections independently without seeking ticket from any major party. The former railway minister said that main leaders would not contest elections against each other. The AML leader said he was in contact with religious parties to seek their support for his candidates in Punjab. He said AML and PTI hadmade seat adjustments on two Rawalpindi seats NA 55 and 56. —ONLINE

stations and registration teams. She said that due to cultural norms, women cannot travel long distances easily as they have to be accompanied by a male member of their family. Other panelists including Iqbal Khattak and Hidayat Wazir who represented the media and the development sector called for the authorities to provide ample security so that development processes can take place. Online adds: Democracy Reporting International (DRI) on Tuesday launched a report that called for

BANNU: A policeman in civil clothes standing alert behind a makeshift bunker near a 220KV grid station. The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Police has sacrificed hundreds of personnel in the war on terror. —ONLINE

KOHAT: As food inflation is getting out of control for the majority of Pakistanis, the vegetable and food production is experiencing a decline for the last few years. —ONLINE

Dual nationality

Review petition to be heard on 8th ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court (SC) has adjourned hearing of review petition filed by Roy Mujtaba Kharal, former MNA of PPP with reference to dual nationality case till April 8. A three-member bench of SC led by Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry took up the case for hearing on Tuesday. Applicant Mehmood Akhtar Naqvi who has challenged dual nationality of Mujtaba Kharal told the court that certificate presented by Mujtaba Kharal on relinquishing the Canadian citizenship is forged. The court remarked, “We have already asked ministry of foreign affairs in connection with verification of his nationality and the reply is still awaited.” —ONLINE

Media must educate people: Elahi LAHORE: PML-Q leader and former Deputy Prime Minister Chaudhry Pervez Elahi has urged the media to educate the people to vote for the parties on the basis of their previous performance. Addressing a news conference in Lahore on Tuesday afternoon‚ he said that PML-Q has made seat adjustments with the PPPP in some constituencies but both the parties will run election campaign separately. Chaudhry Pervez Elahi says PML-Q has made seat adjustments with the PPPP in some constituencies but both the parties will run election campaign separately. In reply to a question‚ Chaudhry Pervez Elahi said that electioneering will gain momentum after 18th of April. —ONLINE

With elections drawing closer.....

Shujaat fears political chaos WASHINGTON: PML-Q chief Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain has said Political chaos will escalate as soon as the elections draw closer. “Political chaos will further intensify in the country with drawing the election closer”, he said this in his exclusive talks with Voice of America. “We don’t believe in false pledges. As far as five years performance of the government is concerned, all the people will be eyeing on it at every cost”, he held. To a question he said vote will be cast not on ideological, political or collective basis but it will be cast on individual basis. “You will see people will take somersaults in the next month in such a way that you cannot imagine. They can go to any extent to win the polls”, he remarked. PML-Q chief was of the view “there can come a surprise but even then a hotchpotch will be cooked up. It seems to me that the matter of majority and minority will stand splintered. He further stated independent candidates would also come to fore and they will shape into a party. Regarding question on electoral

alliance, he said his party has made seat to seat adjustment with PPP. However adjustment with trusted candidate of some other party at local level cannot be ruled out if no candidate is fielded in any constituency, he added. Replying to a question on electoral alliance with former president Pervez Musharraf he said “this is out of question”. About foreign affairs he said normalization of relations with neighboring countries should be top priority. Regarding talks with Taliban he said it should be determined first we have to enter into dialogue to which Taliban. “All have personal interests. It is not known where the real Taliban are,” he added. —ONLINE

Court grants B-Class to Shahrukh Jatoi KARACHI: Anti Terrorism Court (ATC), Karachi, has allowed accused Shahrukh Jatoi and his cohorts the facility of B-Class jail in Shahzeb murder case. On Tuesday the lawyer of the accused Shaukat Zubaidi submitted an application in the court for granting “B” class facility to the accused in jail, which was accepted by the court. The lawyer told the court that as he appeared before the court after his sickness, so he wants some time to know the development of the case during his absence. He informed the court that his client has moved the High Court also for transferring the case to subordinate court from ATC as the track record of the accused is not criminal so the case does not fall under the jurisdiction of Anti Terrorism Court. He told the court that the main accused Shahrukh Jatoi is getting his education in Australia so the case may be transferred to another court. —ONLINE

Sindh govt forms bodies for free elections KARAC HI : The Sindh caretaker government has constituted five committees for ensuring transparent and free general elections. The committees will include representatives of Police, Rangers, intelligence agencies and armed forces. According to a notification, Provincial Election

Coordination Committee, Provincial Security and Peace-keeping Committee, Divisional Election Coordination Committee, District Election Committee and District Election Coordination Committee have been established. The Additional Chief Secretary Interior will be the

Chairman of Provincial Election Coordination Committee. The Committee on Security and Peacekeeping will comprise IG Sindh, federal security and intelligence agencies, representatives of the Election Commission, and those of armed forces and Rangers.

Divisional Election Coordination Committee will comprise Divisional Commissioner as its Chief, Regional Election Commissioner, DIG Police, Deputy Commissioner, and representatives of Special Branch, in addition to personnel of security and intelligence agencies.

District Election Committees have also been established in which Deputy Commissioner, respective SSP, and District Election Commissioner will be the members. Deputy Commissioner will be the head of the respective District Election Coordination Committees. —ONLINE

SC moved against Sindh MPAs pay-hike ISLAMABAD: The increase in salaries and perks of MPAs passed by former Sindh government in its last days has been challenged in the Supreme Court. The applicant made caretaker chief minister, chief secretary, secretary law and justice and Sindh Assembly secretary respondents in the case. He took plea in his application during the last few days of Sindh government, provincial assembly had passed the resolution regarding increase of pay , allowances and other facilitates for the outgoing assembly members. According to resolution passed by former Sindh assembly The salary of MPAs was enhanced by 60 percent while they would enjoy lifetime amenities like private secretary, cook, driver, travelling allowance and medical. In addition to this they would also avail state protocol and stay at government houses on government expenses for whole life. The applicant argued that these perks and facilities to MPAs were in violation of law. —ONLINE



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

Filtering out the fake The Supreme Court on Monday gave a final chance to 189 legislators to get their educational degrees verified or face disqualification. Hearing a case regarding the former legislators who are yet to submit their certificates to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) for verification by the Higher Education Commission (HEC), despite the ECP’s repeated reminders over the last two and a half years, the court gave the deadline of 5 April for compliance. The court directed the ECP to ask the returning officers to withhold the assessment of nomination papers submitted by these legislators till their certificates are verified by the HEC and observed that the ECP had the authority to reject the nomination papers of those who failed to meet the deadline. The vigilance shown by the Supreme Court against formers legislators who had filed fake degrees to contest the 2008 elections bodes well for the future of democracy. Though the condition of being a graduate introduced by the government under General Musharaf for those wishing to contest elections to the national and provincial assemblies was removed by the last government, the issue of parliamentarians with fake degrees is still of great importance. Legislators who had submitted fake degrees to contest the last elections had not only committed the crime of forgery for which they should be punished, they had also violated the public trust and forfeited their right to represent them. The same applies to legislators who had not declared their dual nationalities at the time of contesting the 2008 elections illegally. It is important to ensure that individuals indulging in such fraudulent practices are kept out of the assemblies, making room for law-abiding candidates who would obviously perform better than these liars, restoring respect to the parliament which has been badly damaged due to the presence of such individuals and their dubious commitment to their constituents. During the hearing of the case, the HEC informed the court that the ECP had failed to take action against 54 former legislators whose degrees had been found to be false. It is a cause of great concern that the ECP had issued a press release on 27 February in which it had given a clean chit to 27 fake degree holders. This is inexcusable. Why should the ECP that is entrusted with the task of clearing the candidates for elections, favour the fake degree holders? Earlier as well, the ECP has been found dragging its feet on orders of the Supreme Court for making the elections fair and reforming the electoral process. The commission should understand its responsibility and brush up its act. Hiding behind excuses of established conventions and not wishing to rock the boat too much is deplorable. The only way to strengthen the democratic process is to abide by the law and weed out individuals and practices that compromise the efficacy of the democratic system. The Supreme Court has ordered that action be taken against all legislators with fake degrees. The very next day, two former legislators were sentenced for submitting fake degrees and one for withholding information regarding his dual nationality. We look forward to the punishment of the remaining fraudsters in the coming days.

Party manifestos: are they serious? Almost all major political parties have similar-sounding manifestos, vowing to ensure social justice and the welfare of the people without delineating any plans on how they will go about achieving this MOHAMMAD JAMIL There is a consensus among politicians, intellectuals and analysts that the general elections held in 1970 were fought by political parties on the basis of ideology. The PPP and Awami League manifestos had promised social justice and provincial autonomy which routed other political and religious parties that stood for the status quo. But today, at the end of the Cold War era, almost all political parties have similar-sounding manifestos, vowing to ensure social justice and the welfare of the people without delineating any plans on how they will go about achieving this. Curiously, land reforms are never on the minds or the political roadmaps of any leader. Not even the MQM, which draws its sustenance from the middle class and takes a rhetorical position against the landed classes, has ever made land reforms a condition for joining the many governments it has been a part of. Recently, some of the main political parties, or at least those with a significant presence in the assemblies, made their manifestos public. As expected, there was not much difference between the manifestos of the PPP, the PML-N and the MQM. Besides, there is no particular difference between the new and the older versions of their own manifestos. Before commenting on the reforms these parties have promised, it must be said that these parties need to begin the democratisation process from within by holding genuine intra-party elections and not just token selections to fulfill the requirement of the Election Commission. They must give overriding consideration to the merit of candidates, letting go of the age old practice of nepotism and cronyism, and once in power, they should implement the promises made in their manifestoes. It is no secret that majoritarian parties like the PPP, the PML-N and PML-Q are run like family enterprises, a practice that needs to change visibly if people are to put their trust in them. To keep the grip on unlimited powers within their own parties, the last parliament deleted sub-clause 4 of Article 17 of the Constitution which made it obligatory for the parties to

hold intra-party elections to elect its office-bearers and party leaders. The second attempt was the amendment to Article 63-A regarding the disqualification of a member on the grounds of defection. This strengthened the party head who was enabled, after the passage of the 18th Amendment, to send a reference for the disqualification of a candidate, which was earlier the prerogative of the parliamentary leader of the party. Through this amendment, the dictatorship of the party leaders has been reinforced. The self-styled custodians of democracy are in fact autocrats who wish to pass on the party to their family heirs, and dictate and guard party policies from open

assembly through legislation. Speaking at a seminar organised by the Pakistan National Forum, former Finance Minister and chairman of the PML-N manifesto committee Sartaj Aziz said: ‘Pakistan Muslim LeagueNawaz manifesto is a roadmap for the sovereignty and self reliance of the country and the prosperity of the nation, which will be fulfilled through the revival of the economy’. He said that emphasis has been laid on energy, load shedding and education in PMLN’s manifesto; the target of doubling the growth rate of GDP from 3 percent in the past five years to over 6 percent in the next five years has been fixed, besides accelerating the rate of industrial growth from 3 to 8 percent

All parties express their determination to give a fair deal to the small farmer but fail to provide any details on land reforms and limits to the landholding. PML-N stands for corporate farming, while the PPP favours co-operative farming discussion by members. This is the reason that no mainstream party has a second tier of leaders and when the head of the party goes into exile the party disintegrates. Pakistan Peoples’ Party recently announced its election manifesto with the pledge of enhancing basic wages, creating a new province in South Punjab, and empowering the poor. The manifesto pledges to increase minimum wage to 18,000 Rupees per month by 2018 and enhance the monthly grant under Benazir Income Support Program (BISP) from 1000 to 2000 Rupees. A mother and childcare programme will be launched to ensure healthcare for the poor through vouchers and cash transfers. The manifesto promises universal primary enrolment by 2018 and 10,000 higher education and technical vocation scholarships for FATA and Balochistan. Labour representatives will get 4 seats in national assembly and 2 seats in each provincial

per annum. On energy, he said if voted to power, the government will generate 10,000 MW additional electricity including 5000 MW new coal-fired power plants under the IPP mode. The manifesto promised to increase the budget for education from 2 percent to 4 percent of the GDP by 2018. The Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) called its manifesto “peoplecentric” stressing reforms in education, health, economy, governance, corruption, terrorism, law and order, poverty alleviation, unemployment, industries and labour sectors. It said that the empowerment of people was a key for the country’s prosperity, adding that the MQM would take effective measures towards empowering the masses and bringing the feudal class and landlords under the tax net by imposing agricultural tax. Dr. Sattar said the MQM would hold local bodies’ elections for devolution of powers, adding that

reforms will also be introduced in the present dual system of education under which Urdu medium public sector educational institutions will be brought at par with the private sector English medium institutions. Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf is poised to release its manifesto any time. The party had boycotted elections in 2008, but released a comprehensive manifesto “Agenda for resurgence” before the elections in 2002, prepared by working groups of experts from various disciplines. The manifesto delineated the minute details of institutional reforms vis-a-vis constitutional, judicial, local government, police, administration, accountability and media. It had a chapter on human development that envisaged education for all, healthy people healthy nation, population welfare, housing, youth and empowerment of women. A separate chapter was allocated for economic revival which dealt in detail with major economic policy issues, debt management strategy, tax reforms, and agricultural reforms. In the last chapter on foreign policy, the party promised not to bend to the dictates of alien powers. All parties express their determination to give a fair deal to the small farmer but fail to provide any details on land reforms and limits to the landholding. PML-N stands for corporate farming, while the PPP favours co-operative farming. The PPP has once again added the slogan of roti, kapra aur makan, but under the head of land reforms it said that ‘the maximum number of rural households own a minimum specified area of land’. None of them have approached the Supreme Court to challenge the verdict of the Federal Court Tribunal to annul the verdict against land reforms. This just shows that their promises are hollow and there is no sincere commitment to changing the living conditions of the majority of people of Pakistan, especially since mainstream parties mostly comprise people from the landed classes. None of the parties has so far detailed how they will bring an upswing to the flailing economy, although all of them promise to do so. THE WRITER IS A FREELANCE COLUMNIST

Gujarat 2002 and politics of the saffron brigade AJAZ ASHRAF Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Rajnath Singh’s decision to accord a prominent role to Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi is presumably based on the belief that the diverse Indian electorate would forgive him for the communal mayhem of 2002, as it often has the Congress for the riots under its rule. This can be presumed from the comments Mr. Singh made at a function in Delhi in early February. In a recriminatory tone, he had then asked, “Our opposition parties allege that BJP is the party which creates enmity between Hindus and Muslims. Did riots not take place during Congress rule?” Not just the votaries and apologists of the BJP but even ideologically neutral individuals often echo the sentiments Mr. Singh expressed. From Jabalpur (Madhya Pradesh) in 1961 to Bharatpur (Rajasthan) in 2012, the Congress has palpably failed to control communal hotheads from running amok periodically. Yet the party hasn’t been tagged communal, and still garners a substantial chunk of the minority as well as secular votes. What explains the dichotomy in the public response to the riots under the BJP rule as compared to those under the Congress governments? For one, the phenomenon of communal riot is an elemental aspect of the Sangh Parivar’s ideology, an extreme manifestation of its politics which is predicated on articulating and

Riots in India under BJP rule are the culmination of the Sangh Parivar’s ideological impulse to keep communal tensions alive while for Congress they are tactical instruments redressing the grievances of Hindus, real or imagined, the provenance of which lies either in the medieval past or in post-Independence public policies the saffron brigade perceives as unjustifiably favouring the minorities. This worldview pits the Hindus against the minorities, particularly the Muslims, until such time the inexhaustible list of grievances is addressed. The politics emanating from this worldview consequently spawns an ambience of tension among communities, reduced or heightened depending on the exigencies of circumstances but never allowed to dissipate. In other words, the inter-community tension, signifying the abnormal in politics, has no possibility of closure in the immediate future. It is designed to become our daily state of existence. The tension is stoked at pan-India, State and district levels. The Ram Janmabhoomi movement sought to meld the Hindus, with all their class, caste, linguistic and regional divides, into a monolith, through a demand asking Muslims to voluntarily relinquish their custody of the Babri Masjid. Of similar nature are the demands for relocating mosques abutting the Krishna and Shiv temples in Mathura and Varanasi. These symbols of pan-India Hindu mobilisation are augmented through the

Every politician wants to do well to grab power. They are blinded with the “Razzle Dazzle” of money and power. They want money and power; the absolute power that corrupts absolutely. The nation suffers at their hands, and progress is stilted. They play games and score political points. They issue statements on issues to stir the pot. They are not sincere to the cause. Many great leaders have been assassinated or removed in encounters and planned target killing. Later, someone kills the “murderer” and the real culprits behind the scene escape punishment. Further, the police investigations fall short of right Political assassinations conclusions. They wipe out the critical evidence to weaken the case. The world is plagued with the fever of John F Kennedy the President of political assassinations by the state and United States was assassinated in his private actors. These callous car from the bullets of a Cuban assassin murderers are ruthless executioners. who was later murdered in the court by They are motivated by the Jack Ruby. A commission was set up opportunists who use them to under Justice Warren, and investigated eliminate their opponents.

manufacturing of disputes over places of worship of local significance. Into this category fall the protracted disputes over the Bhagyalakshmi temple at the base of the Charminar in Hyderabad, the Baba BudangiriGuru Dattatreya shrine in Karnataka, and the Bhojshala complex in Dhar, Madhya Pradesh. In addition, there are hundreds of places of worship and graveyards in mofussil towns whose ownerships are contended between Hindus and Muslims. No doubt, some of these disputes date back decades but, over the years, myriad groups comprising the Sangh Parivar have taken over the leadership of these ‘little battles of liberation’. For variety, Christian priests are attacked and churches vandalised on the charges of converting Hindus to Christianity. In this culture of inter-community tension, alternatively fanned and allowed to simmer, the riot is the logical culmination of an insidious process. It is akin to a person experiencing a nervous breakdown after suffering acute mental agony for months. Indeed, communal tension in perpetuity is less traumatic only in degrees to an outbreak of a riot. The sheer salience of tension-riot in the politics of BJP is precisely why a localised intercommunity conflict under its rule acquires a resonance countrywide. It is perceived as

for months and a lengthy trial failed to reveal the real killers. A new theory of conspiracy was invented. Abraham Lincoln’s murderer went unpunished in the same fashion and the case was never solved. The same fate awaited the inquisition of Robert Kennedy's murder and Martin Luther King Jr’s assassination. These two leaders lost their lives for the rights and freedom of their fellow citizens. Pakistan's first Prime Minister Liaquat Ali Khan’s murder mystery was never solved. Recently slain leader Akbar Bugti, Benazir Bhutto, Imran Farooq, and other cases also remain unsolved. The best efforts of the police have produced no results. We are still speculating over the assassins and their motives. Even the UNO report failed to provide any satisfactory answers in the Benazir case. The report became controversial and was shelved by the government. No attempt has been made to unravel the strange circumstances and claims

illustrative of the fate awaiting the minorities in an India in which the BJP exercises untrammeled power. The 2002 riot of Gujarat was horrifying not only because of its barbarity but also because it was viewed to have been ideologically driven and, therefore, bound to be replicated elsewhere. By contrast, the riots under the Congress rule, even the ones its activists spearhead, are instrumental rather than ideological. Barring the anti-Sikh pogrom of 1984, the riots under the Congress rarely spill beyond a parliamentary constituency or two. The motive behind such mayhem is usually a local Congressman wanting to win an election from a constituency; a riot or communal tension rarely becomes a tool for political mobilisation countrywide, again, the 1984 riots being the exception. Though cynical, the breakdown in inter-community relationship is almost always followed by attempts to restore the earlier social harmony. No doubt, the Congress was justifiably implicated in the 1984 riots. It symbolically atoned for its guilt by appointing Manmohan Singh as Prime Minister, and he, on August 12, 2005, apologised not only to the Sikh community in Parliament, but also to the entire nation “because what took place in 1984 is the negation of the concept of nationhood in our

Nawab Akbar Bugti was a Baloch leader of great stature and reverence. He was murdered in a mysterious rocket attack on his abode - the cave. The cave’s walls caved in and he was thus killed. The Ex-President Musharraf has been implicated in this murder as the prime suspect. His red warrant has been issued by the court. But so far the police has failed to arrest and bring him back. All these assassination were the result of political animosity. The nation needs to know the real facts of these cases, and the fate of the accused persons, and their involvement in such heinous crimes. JAVAID BASHIR LAHORE

Paradoxical society Strange world, weird life, eccentric people and their thoughts; results in a paradoxical society. People believe themselves to be mostly lawful,

Constitution”. More significantly, the Congress is forgiven because the riots under it are often (not always, though) the handiwork of organisations owing allegiance or belonging to the Sangh Parivar. It’s a conclusion several commissions of inquiry appointed to probe riots have reached. There are just too many to be quoted. But sample what the Joseph Vithayathil Commission on the Tellicherry riots of 1971 said. It traced the origin of communal tension in the town to the RSS’s decision to establish its units there. In an incident the rioters accosted one Muhammad and offered him the following choice, “If you want to save your life you should go round the house three times repeating the words, ‘Rama, Rama’.” The commission noted, “Muhammad did that. But you cannot expect the 70 million Muslims of India to do that as a condition for maintaining communal harmony in the country”. More than 40 years after Tellicherry, tensionriot remains the Sangh Parivar’s defining strategy of achieving its ideological goal of turning India Hindu. This is why we remember the riots under the BJP and not those under the Congress, which too has been responsible for the spilling of blood and untold misery.

generous and great but they forget that these three words are used rather too easily. These types of people are paradoxical. While discussing other people they blab whatever comes to their tongue but when the same story applies to them, they become innocent and the world around them changes. These are least the lawful because they make new laws of survival and they rarely care about others. They are not great because they discuss people. Actually they possess small minds. They are unaware of the fact that small minds discuss people whereas great ones discuss ideas. They are prejudiced though are unaware. They just give prejudiced opinions as if what they speak is true… The society we all are living in seems to be nice but the truth is bitter and the society is full of paradox. It is most commonly seen when a girl grows old enough to leave the parents’


house. I mean when proposals start knocking at the door. When a girl listens that she has to send her photographs to and fro, for acceptance. At this point a girl thinks how disbelieving it is that those who told her all the years back not to exhibit her to anyone through pictures, are doing the same now. But no one is there to satisfy her, with loads of queries swimming in the mind. At last, she quenches the thirst of tears by writing on a piece of paper. Questions the mother earth for the traditions it made. Cries for justice in solitude and wishes to get answers from the paradoxical people of the paradoxical society with paradox taking birth in them, relentlessly. FATIMA HASAN ZAIDI RAWALPINDI Please email your letters to or post them to our address in Islamabad.


The stage is set Imran Khan has done many favours to his countrymen but the quality that most inspires his young followers is his truthfulness. So whenever he spoke, they listened for certainty, accuracy and conviction. His words now endorsed the issues that plagued the streets of Pakistan lived joyfully; were fed well; clothed gracefully; lived with dignity and honour. A wonderland where justice would rule and prosperity herself would knock at every door. Where merit HAFSA SIDDIQUE would be the sole judge and life would have a meaning. Each setting was gorgeously decorated Such were the marvels of the and elaborated with tales of globe that nothing could match triumphs and treasures. its ambiance or the romance it The loud denial of Imran Khan’s diffused in the air. Life was tough growing popularity only helped for the Elizabethan Londoners PTI to plan, organise and but ah, there was respite too. structure themselves as an Away from the dreary, institution. Yet, there were many disheartening and jammed life, miles to go before Imran’s tigers the youth of Pakistan back in the ‘90s was also looking for a similar could sleep. Thankfully, wit, passion and need kept an iron breather as the old Londoners grasp around this eager lot since enjoyed and that they found it in the very start. Yes, the dreams Imran Khan’s dream. were sky high, yet the ground Here under the nascent canopy of PTI (Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf ) realities were mercilessly set on the table through highs and lows. they found something to hold on to, like a script or an idea. So they The tigers getting trained to become battle hardened to roar read through the lines that took their presence. Perseverance them into this world of colours became the core party philosophy. and exotic settings. It was a oneImran Khan has done many act play that enclosed a number of scenes and each episode ending favours to his countrymen but the quality that most inspires his with a cliff-hanger. However, young followers is his there was a drawback to this truthfulness. So whenever he fancy; a spoiler even before the spoke, they listened for certainty, climax. The script blatantly accuracy and conviction. His declared the conclusion of the words now endorsed the issues story in the beginning. What a that plagued the streets of naive mistake, or so they said! Nevertheless, the romantics, the Pakistan. Imran Khan now mattered more than ever. He fantasists and the poets hung on became a statesman. to the wishful thinking of the Recently, PTI presented its idealist who had put pen to paper policies, brick by brick, on various and inscribed a journey that issues, which has put this party would come about in the near under the spotlight. Detailed future. Along with these out-ofpolicy papers on diverse issues work daydreamers, there was an such as energy, education, army of angry protesters that economics, environment, local accompanied the idea from the bodies, youth, women, disabled, other side of the fence. These seasoned politicians, analysts and industries, etc. has added such journalists would clench their fists fervour to Imran’s long account. and gritted their teeth at the mere Each step has taken his young performers closer to the crowded mention of this deceiver who opposition. Like the groundlings visualised himself as a chief, a hero…a leader. In their view it was at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, his thoughtlessness and arrogance this crowd is going to miss no attempt to grab at the performers’ behind his blind faith in himself. To date, some of these fellows are ankles. Khan with his overwhelming performance has fixed to the same notion. already set the stage on fire! Whilst the opposition stood Shakespeare’s stories with happy united against Imran, they lost ending were known as comedies the measure of his strength. He and those ending in dismay as was now described and depicted tragedies. Imran’s story was as a lost soul, a loner and a written keeping the end in mind; a failure. Little did they know that comedy that would bring years of Imran was slowly but surely joy. Using the benefit of hindsight, setting up foundations as strong today it seems that it was the as his will; on which he would one day build his playhouse; held perfect launch of his vision, for the up by the massive pillars of faith, resolve to get more from life created dreamers. Dreamers, who struggle and honesty. Hence, the colourful crowd that inspired many others to dream more, learn more, do more and surrounded the celebrated become more… persona of Mr Khan multiplied. The scenes he wrote read the THE WRITER IS A FREELANCER stories of a land where people

Imran Khan and the new US policy In this political vacuum a rising politician like Imran Khan, with a clean record and general popularity, suddenly is drawing US attention under Musharraf the Pakistani military gave up sovereign claims by handing ATHAR MIAN over control of military bases, logistics and supply routes on its own soil, with the US building its own spy network After the self-imposed, unmitigated disasters of the last couple of years and and establishing direct channels with various insurgent factions. Pakistan’s the pir-babu-sepoy Pakistani state nuclear programme was also collapsing under its own arduous compromised by public admissions of weight, there are some new signs that proliferation by its top scientists, with the sahibs in Washington may be smiling again. Whether this works out the effect of virtual US control over nuclear policy- it is no longer an issue for the people or provides temporary relief to the beggar brigade will remain between Washington and Islamabad, and wasn’t championed by the GHQ in a question given the complex politics Rawalpindi even after the Abbotabad faced by the US after its recent North and Salala debacles. Korea experiences. The net effect has worked well for the The elections in Pakistan are US, exposing the complete dependence unexciting except popular aspirations of our flailing elite on US aid and for Imran Khan, whose 23 March Lahore show has not only energised his influence to keep them in power. But the rise of a post-revolutionary Iran, weakened campaign post-Waziristan, but has advanced him to a knight from endorsed by the Arab Spring revolutions and US failure in Iraq, the pawn on Washington’s Af-Pak chessboard. Khan only need win 15-20 rag-tag Taliban’s valiant struggle with popular Afghan support, and now the national seats to make him the main power broker in Pakistan, with possibly emergence of China as a military super power (besides becoming the #2 global the Punjab government in a coalition. economy after the US) has necessitated Given his long term positioning as the bridge between the people, Taliban and a complete re-alignment of US foreign policy. the West and an honest antiThe US, now a declining empire, is corruption leader with a global celebrity profile, he now is an attractive contemplating another nominal Cold War, this time against a frenemy, prospect with Washington which is busily trying to extricate itself from the China, in Asia instead of against Af-Pak quagmire in the face of growing Russia, the ex-enemy, in Europe. It has decided, not surprisingly, to Taliban influence, now joined by consolidate its dominion so as to focus strategic Iranian support for an on long term competition. No wonder American exit. then that the US, given its ongoing Under Obama, the Bush-Musharraf budget crisis, has canceled its new non-NATO ally partnership, however missile defense extensions on Russian meaningless (how many US borders in Europe in favour of represidential visits did Pakistan get building a dormant naval presence in during a dozen such tours to neighbours?), was simply downgraded the Pacific and a new anti-nuclear to a temporary contractual relationship missile shield against North Korea with the aim of direct negotiation with (and by extension, China.) The post Arab Spring thinking in the the Taliban, preferably with a Karzai White House is clear now, with the regime partnership. Unlike under confirmation of DefSec Hagel and General Zia during the Afghan Jihad,

SecState Kerry. America needs new friends in the Middle East, both in Shia Iran with whom it keeps trying to negotiate; and with the Sunni Ikhwanul-Muslamoon (Muslim Brotherhood) whose vast social uplift and political networks across Arab lands despite severe repression by US-planted dictatorships have landed it a popularly elected government in pivotal Egypt, and by extension, dominant influence in the region. In the short term then, a Taliban cutand-run deal is central to US policy, and also affects its bargaining power with Iran. Given the new urgency from the unexpected North Korea nuclear stance, the US seems prepared to ditch the unpopular and corrupt Karzai regime as partners if push comes to shove, just as they have given up on their Pakistani peers. The 2014 withdrawal announcement was already preponed to 2013 last year, and major diplomatic shuffling, with Pakistan merely on the sidelines for discussions away from the main events, is in full swing. In this political vacuum with ineffectual, corrupt and unpopular regimes including distrusted militaries on both sides of the Durand Line, a rising politician like Imran Khan, with a clean record and ethnic Pushtun background as well as general popularity, suddenly is drawing US attention. He is an intriguing figure, a global cricket celebrity and philanthropist, a political neophyte having spent the last 15 years on television talking of a political storm, joining and then reneging the last military government, and finally, blossoming his campaign just last year, promising to end corruption in 90 days and ending Pakistan’s violence and western dependence while building bridges to all. Khan could be a trusted negotiator,

the missing bridge he has claimed to be, after all. He brings much absent credibility and a face-saving for the US, as the only likable westernised figure. Khan could bring all important factions to the table- Pushtun Taliban (both the Mullah Omar variety as well as the Haqqani border group and Pakistani Taliban- TTP), otherAfghans (Hazara and Tajik Northern Alliance), the new faction headed by the most known mujaheddin leader, Gulbeddin Hikmatyar (who lived in Tehran after failing to take Kabul in 1994); and potentially negotiate with Iran too as a Pakistani leader. For Pakistan, he could bring much needed stability via co-operation from various lashkars against whom the oppressive elite state is helpless. Certainly he could initiate a far reaching peace agreement by instituting much demanded sharia laws approved by an ulema (Islamic scholars) council, and also gain international stature bringing in trade and investments. Right now, the babu-sepoy state of Pakistan is teetering on financial bankruptcy and a total breakdown of authority owing to multi-ethnic and religious violence. Popular aspirations of more local autonomy and accountability have created a tinderbox in Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkwa, and Karachi is aflame again. All of above is a tall order, but Imran Khan stands out as Pakistan’s new and best hope for a reconciliation with itself. It is a fragile hope, but our passive and fearful masses are loathe to solving their own problems in their lingering multi-generational mindset of subservience to the colonials. Imran Khan is their white knight in many decades. THE AUTHOR IS A SILICON VALLEY ENTREPRENEUR WITH AN MS AND MBA FROM COLUMBIA

The treason of intellectuals CHRIS HEDGES The rewriting of history by the power elite was painfully evident as the nation marked the 10th anniversary of the start of the Iraq War. Some claimed they had opposed the war when they had not. Others among “Bush’s useful idiots” argued that they had merely acted in good faith on the information available; if they had known then what they know now, they assured us, they would have acted differently. This, of course, is false. The war boosters, especially the “liberal hawks”—who included Hillary Clinton, Chuck Schumer, Al Franken and John Kerry, along with academics, writers and journalists did what they always have done: engage in acts of self-preservation. To oppose the war would have been a career killer. And they knew it. These apologists, however, acted not only as cheerleaders for war; in most cases they ridiculed and attempted to discredit anyone who questioned the call to invade Iraq. Nicholas Kristof, in The New York Times, attacked the filmmaker Michael Moore as a conspiracy theorist and wrote that anti-war voices were only polarising what he termed ‘the political cesspool’. The late Christopher Hitchens said that those who opposed the attack on Iraq ‘do not think that Saddam Hussein is a bad guy at all’. He called the typical anti-war protester a ‘blithering ex-flower child or ranting neo-Stalinist’. The halfhearted mea culpas by many of these courtiers a decade later always fail to mention the most pernicious and fundamental role they played in the buildup to the war - shutting down public debate. Those of us who spoke out against the war, faced with the onslaught of right-wing “patriots” and their liberal apologists, became pariahs. In my case it did not matter that I was an Arabic speaker. It did not matter that I had spent seven years in the Middle East, including months in

The power elite, especially the liberal elite, has always been willing to sacrifice integrity and truth for power, personal advancement, foundation grants, awards, tenured professorships, columns, book contracts, television appearances, generous lecture fees and social status Iraq, as a foreign correspondent. It did not matter that I knew the instrument of war. The critique that I and other opponents of war delivered, no matter how well grounded in fact and experience, turned us into objects of scorn by a liberal elite that cravenly wanted to demonstrate its own “patriotism” and “realism” about national security. The liberal class fueled a rabid, irrational hatred of all war critics. Many of us received death threats and lost our jobs, for me one at The New York Times. These liberal warmongers, 10 years later, remain both clueless about their moral bankruptcy and cloyingly sanctimonious. They have the blood of hundreds of thousands of innocents on their hands. The power elite, especially the liberal elite, has always been willing to sacrifice integrity and truth for power, personal advancement, foundation grants, awards, tenured professorships, columns, book contracts, television appearances, generous lecture fees and social status. They know what they need to say. They know which ideology they have to serve. They know what lies must be told - the biggest being that they take moral stances on issues that aren’t safe and anodyne. They have been at this game a long time. And they will, should their careers require it, happily sell us out again. Leslie Gelb, in the magazine Foreign Affairs, spelled it out after the invasion of Iraq. ‘My initial support for the war was symptomatic of unfortunate tendencies within the foreign policy community, namely the disposition and incentives to support wars to retain political and professional credibility,’ he

wrote. ‘We “experts” have a lot to fix about ourselves, even as we “perfect” the media. We must redouble our commitment to independent thought, and embrace, rather than cast aside, opinions and facts that blow the common - often wrong - wisdom apart. Our democracy requires nothing less.’ The moral cowardice of the power elite is especially evident when it comes to the plight of the Palestinians. The liberal class, in fact, is used to marginalise and discredit those, such as Noam Chomsky and Norman Finkelstein, who have the honesty, integrity and courage to denounce Israeli war crimes. And the liberal class is compensated for its dirty role in squelching debate. ‘Nothing in my view is more reprehensible than those habits of mind in the intellectual that induce avoidance, that characteristic turning away from a difficult and principled position, which you know to be the right one, but which you decide not to take,’ wrote the late Edward Said. ‘You do not want to appear too political; you are afraid of seeming controversial; you want to keep a reputation for being balanced, objective, moderate; your hope is to be asked back, to consult, to be on a board or prestigious committee, and so to remain within the responsible mainstream; someday you hope to get an honorary degree, a big prize, perhaps even an ambassadorship.’ ‘For an intellectual these habits of mind are corrupting par excellence,’ Said went on. ‘If anything can denature, neutralise, and finally kill a passionate intellectual life it is the internalisation of such habits. Personally I have

encountered them in one of the toughest of all contemporary issues, Palestine, where fear of speaking out about one of the greatest injustices in modern history has hobbled, blinkered, muzzled many who know the truth and are in a position to serve it. For despite the abuse and vilification that any outspoken supporter of Palestinian rights and selfdetermination earns for him or herself, the truth deserves to be spoken, represented by an unafraid and compassionate intellectual.’ Julien Benda argued in his 1927 book “The Treason of Intellectuals” - “La Trahison des Clercs” - that it is only when we are not in pursuit of practical aims or material advantages that we can serve as a conscience and a corrective. Those who transfer their allegiance to the practical aims of power and material advantage emasculate themselves intellectually and morally. Benda wrote that intellectuals were once supposed to be indifferent to popular passions. They ‘set an example of attachment to the purely disinterested activity of the mind and created a belief in the supreme value of this form of existence.’ They looked ‘as moralists upon the conflict of human egotisms.’ They ‘preached, in the name of humanity or justice, the adoption of an abstract principle superior to and directly opposed to these passions.’ These intellectuals were not, Benda conceded, very often able to prevent the powerful from ‘filling all history with the noise of their hatred and their slaughters.’ But they did, at least, ‘prevent the laymen from setting up their actions as a religion, they did prevent them from thinking themselves great men as they carried out these

activities.’ In short, Benda asserted, ‘humanity did evil for two thousand years, but honoured good. This contradiction was an honour to the human species, and formed the rift whereby civilisation slipped into the world.’ But once the intellectuals began to ‘play the game of political passions,’ those who had ‘acted as a check on the realism of the people began to act as its stimulators.’ And this is why Michael Moore is correct when he blames The New York Times and the liberal establishment, even more than George W. Bush and Dick Cheney, for the Iraq War. ‘The desire to tell the truth,’ wrote Paul Baran, the brilliant Marxist economist and author of ‘The Political Economy of Growth,’ is ‘only one condition for being an intellectual. The other is courage, readiness to carry on rational inquiry to wherever it may lead … to withstand … comfortable and lucrative conformity.’ Those who doggedly challenge the orthodoxy of belief, who question the reigning political passions, who refuse to sacrifice their integrity to serve the cult of power, are pushed to the margins. They are denounced by the very people who, years later, will often claim these moral battles as their own. It is only the outcasts and the rebels who keep truth and intellectual inquiry alive. They alone name the crimes of the state. They alone give a voice to the victims of oppression. They alone ask the difficult questions. Most important, they expose the powerful, along with their liberal apologists, for what they are. (COMMONDREAMS.ORG)


DPRK restarts operations at N-complex

Belarus ready for dialogue with EU: FM MINSK: Belarusian Foreign Minister Vladimir Makei says his country is ready for dialogue with the European Union (EU) on the travel ban list, but without pressure and sanctions. "We are neighbors with the European Union. Neighbors are destined to live in peace, friendship and accord," Makei said in an interview with RIA Novosti news agency, which was published on Monday. Makei said the EU travel ban list is totally absurd, "It is clear that we will make little headway unless this problem is removed from the agenda of our relations." Makei stressed that this list includes not only officials who are believed to be responsible for the actions of the government, but also journalists and representatives of election commissions of all levels and even judges. –AGENCIES

PYONGYANG: The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) said Tuesday it has decided to restart operations at the Nyongbyon nuclear complex. A spokesman for the General Department of Atomic Energy told the official KCNA news agency that the country will "readjust" and "restart" all nuclear facilities at the complex, including a uranium enrichment plant and a 5MW graphite moderated reactor that had been "mothballed and disabled under an agreement reached at the sixparty talks in October, 2007. " The spokesman said the decision was made at a plenary meeting of the Central Committee of the ruling Workers' Party of Korea on March 31 to cure the country's electricity

shortage and boost up nuclear armed forces. Such a move came days after the DPRK claimed that it had entered a "state of war" with South Korea. South Korean President Park Geun-hye on Monday instructed the military to strongly respond to possible provocation by the DPRK without any political considerations. Tensions have been running high on the Korean Peninsula since the DPRK conducted its third nuclear test on Feb. 12 as a countermeasure against the joint military drills of the United States and South Korea. The DPRK has also threatened to launch a preemptive nuclear strike for self-defense and unilaterally nullified

the 1953 armistice that suspended the Korean War. The US Navy was moving a seabased radar platform closer to the Korean Peninsula in order to monitor military moves of the DPRK, including possible new missile launches, CNN quoted a Pentagon official as saying on Monday. The reactor began operations in 1986 but was shut down as part of international nuclear disarmament talks in 2007 that have since stalled. North Korea said work to restart the facilities would begin "without delay." Experts estimate it could take anywhere from three months to a year to reactivate the reactor. –AGENCIES

UN chief urges talks in North Korea crisis ANDORRA: United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said on Tuesday that a crisis over North Korea had gone too far and urged dialogue and negotiation to resolve the situation. "Nuclear threats are not a game. Aggressive rhetoric and military posturing only result in counter-actions, and fuel fear and instability," Ban said at a news conference in Andorra, where he was on an official visit. Earlier on Tuesday, North Korea's leader appeared to tamp down hostile rhetoric that had threatened impending war with the United States and South Korea. The US has bolstered its forces in the region after a series of threats by Pyongyang to attack US bases in the Pacific and to invade South Korea. "Things must calm down, as this situation, made worse by the lack of communication, could lead down a path that nobody should want to follow," Ban said, offering to help the parties to begin talks. "I am convinced that nobody intends to attack (North Korea) because of disagreements about its political system or foreign policy. However, I am afraid that others will respond firmly to any direct military provocation," he said. –AGENCIES

Battles break out in 2 Damascus neighbourhoods

WHO plays down China bird flu fears GENEVA: The World Health Organisation on Tuesday played down fears over a strain of bird flu which has killed two people in China, but said it was crucial to find out how the virus infected humans. “It’s the first time that H7N9 was found in humans,” the UN health agency’s spokeswoman Fadela Chaib told reporters, referring to the deadly strain of avian influenza. “It is of concern to WHO and we will be following this with the health authorities in China to know more. But for the time being, it’s only three cases and it has shown, for the time being, no human-to-human transmission,” she added. China’s National Health and Family Planning Commission said over the weekend that two men, aged 87 and 27, died in Shanghai in early March after being infected with H7N9 avian influenza. –AGENCIES

Serbia, Kosovo talks reach 'decisive stage' BRUSSELS: The leaders of Serbia and Kosovo are negotiating Tuesday on one of the most important issues dividing them, as Serbia strains to meet conditions for eventual membership in the European Union. Talks between the prime ministers of the two countries have reached a "decisive stage" as the two focus on the thorny issue of the status of Serb-dominated northern Kosovo, an EU official said. The official spoke on condition of anonymity in order to discuss closeddoor talks. The talks — the eighth face-to-face session between Serbian Prime Minister Ivica Dacic and Kosovo Prime Minister Hashim Thaci — are being held under the mediation of EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton. "Today is a historical day," said Thaci as he entered Ashton's office building Tuesday morning to begin the talks. "It is a decisive moment for Kosovo and for the region." Kosovo, a former Serbian province, declared independence in 2008. While many countries have recognized it as an independent country, Serbia has not. The ethnic Serbs living in northern Kosovo — up to 50,000 people — have rejected the authority of the government in Pristina, the Kosovo capital. They have created so-called parallel institutions, including hospitals and schools, all financed and supported from the Serbian capital, Belgrade. –AGENCIES

WEST BANK: Palestinians take part in a protest after a Palestinian prisoner died of cancer while receiving treatment at an Israeli hospital. Maysara Abu Hamdia, 64, who was suffering from throat cancer, spent his last few days at the intensive care unit of Soroka Medical Centre in southern Israel. –WIRE SERVICE

Meshaal reelection may better Hamas ties with West GAZ A: Khaled Meshaal’s reelection as leader of Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip, provides a chance for the Islamist group to improve ties with the international community, analysts say. The veteran leader was chosen Monday to serve another four-year term despite indications he might be forced aside by the movement’s powerful and more radical leadership in Gaza. Based in exile, the pragmatic politician’s more moderate line on Israel and inter-Palestinian reconciliation has given him wideranging support in the Arab world and some sympathy in the West. “Meshaal’s differences with Hamas’s more radical leadership, and flexibility on issues like reconciliation and peace, presents him to the world as a rational leader whom it is possible to deal with,” said Walid al-Mudallal, a politics professor at Gaza’s Islamic University. He excels in... relations with the Arab world,” and his reelection “will give a big enough chance to improve Hamas’s ties with the West and to market it as a movement that isn’t hostile,” he said. Meshaal’s comments last year that he was willing to “give a chance” to talks

with Israel may make him more palatable to the international community, but it sat uncomfortably within a movement whose charter calls for the destruction of the Jewish state. Late last year, Meshaal said he would not seek another term as Hamas chief, but the ongoing upheaval in the Middle East changes in the region forced a rethink. “Arab and regional changes were the fundamental reason for Meshaal changing his mind about candidacy, and for his victory,” said Mukhaimer Abu Saada, a politics professor at Al-Azhar University in Gaza. “No one has his political experience,” he added, saying his candidacy was supported by Hamas leaders across the territories as well as externally. Hamas has a long and bitter history of rivalry with the Fatah movement of president Mahmud Abbas which governs the West Bank, is viewed as a terrorist organisation by Israel, and has strained ties with Cairo which suspects Gazan involvement in a deadly attack on troops in Sinai last year. But with Meshaal at the helm, things could well change, Abu Saada said. –AGENCIES

Train derails in B’desh hartal violence, some 40 injured DHAKA: Some 40 people were injured Tuesday morning when six compartments and the locomotive of a passenger train veered off the tracks in eastern Bangladesh as miscreants removed several fish-plates hours of before the opposition sponsored hartal began. Nazrul Islam, superintendent of Railway Police, told Xinhua the railway communications between Dhaka and premier seaport city Chittagong, some 242 km southeast of capital Dhaka, also came to a halt due to the derailment that occurred early morning. "Some 40 passengers were injured in the accident but none critically," he said. He said a salvage train has started rescue operation of the compartments which derailed from the track near a station in Comilla, some 96 km east of capital Dhaka, halting the capital Dhaka-southeastern Chittagong seaport city railway services. –AGENCIES

Mortar attack kills at least 4 near Syrian capital

DAM ASC US : Fighting between Syria's rebels and loyalist troops raged in two Damascus neighbourhoods on Tuesday while shelling of a village near the capital left four members of a family dead, a watchdog said. "Fierce battles broke out in the Barzeh district of northern Damascus. Shelling in the area wounded five people and caused material damage," said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which relies on a broad network of activists, doctors and lawyers for its reporting. "Clashes also raged in the outskirts of Jobar (in eastern Damascus), next to Abbasiyeen square," the monitoring group added, referring to one of the capital's main squares. Violence has escalated in Damascus in recent weeks as the army battles to push back insurgents seeking to penetrate the capital from enclaves in the outskirts. Shelling on Al-Hajar Al-Aswad in southern Damascus killed at least three men and wounded more than 20 civilians, the Observatory said. In Mqailyabeh in Damascus province, large swathes of which are under insurgent control, army

shelling killed a three-year-old boy, his five-year-old sister, their mother and grandmother, the group added. Tuesday's violence comes a day after at least 150 people were killed, among them 69 civilians, 44 rebels and 37 loyalist troops, the Observatory said. The month of March was the deadliest in Syria's two-year conflict, with more than 6,000 people killed, the watchdog said. The UN says more than 70,000 people have been killed since March 2011, when a protest movement broke out against President Bashar al-Assad. The peaceful movement spiralled into an insurgency after the army unleashed a brutal crackdown on dissent. At least four people, including two kids, were killed Tuesday when armed groups fired a mortar shell that landed at a town near the Syrian capital Damascus, the state-run TV reported. The shell slammed the victims' house at Mukailabieh town in the countryside of Damascus, the report said. However, activists' groups waved off the state media's account, saying the victims were killed during an overnight shelling on the town. –AGENCIES

Fire at Islamic school kills 13 boys in Myanmar YANGON: A fire caused by faulty electrical equipment killed 13 boys at an Islamic school in Myanmar on Tuesday, the fire service said, although some Muslims voiced concern since it followed a wave of anti-Muslim violence in the Buddhist-majority country. The boys suffocated after the fire broke out in a dormitory of the school in the central, multi-ethnic Botataung district of the former capital of Yangon at about 2:40 a.m. (2010 GMT on Monday). Yangon Region Fire Service said it was setting up a team to investigate the fire with the police, the electricity company and representatives of Muslim groups. "The fire, caused by the overheating of the transformer placed under the staircase, spread, trapping the boys sleeping in the attic. As a result, 13 twelve-yearold boys died of suffocation after inhaling smoke," a fire service officer said, reading from a statement. –AGENCIES

Obama’s peace antics in Israel Aside from resounding rhetoric about peace, Obama is finally towing the Israeli line exactly as Netanyahu and the lobby would expect of him, or of any other US president. He has little to offer Palestinians, or Arab nations, but much to expect from them


T the precise moment US President Barack Obama’s Air Force One touched down at Ben Gurion Airport on March 20, persisting illusions quickly began to shatter. And as he walked on the red carpet, showered with accolades and warm embraces of top Israeli government and military officials, a new/old reality began to sink in: Obama was no different than his predecessors. He never had been. On the day of Obama’s arrival, Israeli rights group B’Tselem, released a disturbing video. It was of Israeli soldiers carrying out a ‘mass arrest’ of nearly 30 Palestinian children on their way to school in the Palestinian city of al-Khalil (Hebron). The children plead and cried to no avail. Their terrified shrieks echoed throughout the Palestinian neighborhood as they tried to summon the help of passersby. “‘Amo’ – Uncle,” one begged, “for God sake don’t let them take me.” Nonetheless, several military vehicles were filled with crying children and their school bags. But what made the release of the video truly apt is the fact that it was released on the day president Obama was meeting Israeli children at a welcoming ceremony at


the home of Israeli President Shimon Peres. “Their dreams are much the same as children everywhere,” he said, referring to Israeli children, of course. “In another sense though their lives reflect the difficult reality that Israelis face every single day. They want to be safe, they want to be free from rockets that hit their homes or their schools.” Many Palestinians immediately pointed out the moral discrepancies in most of Obama’s statements throughout his stay in Israel. Still, his visit was ‘historic’ declared numerous headlines in the US and Israeli media. However, aside from the fact that it was his first trip to Israel as a president, it was barely momentous. His unconditional support for Israel has been tedious and redundant, predictable even. Those who have followed his unswerving pro-Israel legacy – including his visit to Israel as a presidential candidate in 2008, his talks before the Israeli lobby group AIPAC and many other examples – could barely discern a shift, except perhaps, in the total disinterest in political sensibility and balance. He truly delivered in Israel. This was to the total satisfaction of the Israeli Prime Minister and his pro-settler government which was assembled shortly before Obama’s arrival. Obama

spoke as if he were entirely oblivious to the political shift to the extreme right underway in Israel. Indeed, the new Israeli government is more right-wing than ever before. The extremist Jewish Home party has three important ministries, including Jerusalem and Housing and the ultra-nationalists of Yisraeli Beiteinu have been awarded the tourism ministry. It means that the next few years will be a settlement construction bonanza, ‘ethnic cleaning’ and greater Apartheid. “It’s good to be back in The Land (Israel),” Obama said in Hebrew, at the Tel Aviv airport. “The United States is proud to stand with you as your strongest ally and your greatest friend.”Aside from the 3.1 billion dollars in financial support, Obama has rerouted hundreds of millions of US funds to bankroll Israel’s air defense system, the Iron Dome, whose efficiency is questionable at best. Obama’s past transgressions, as far as Israel is concerned, is that he dared ask the right-wing government of Netanyahu to temporarily freeze settlement construction as a precondition to restart the stalled – if not dead – peace process. But that matters little, since Israel’s illegal settlements continued to thrive during Obama’s first term in office. Expectedly, Netanyahu was

gloating. He has managed to assemble a government that will cater mostly to extremist Jewish settlers in the West Bank and also masterfully managed to humble the US president, or at least quash his ambitions that the US is capable of operating independently in the Middle East, without Israeli consent or interests in mind. Now that Jewish colonies are flourishing – with occupied East Jerusalem area EI being another major exploit – Netanyahu is once more aspiring for a war against Iran, one that would not be possible without US funding, support and likely direct involvement. “Thank you for standing by Israel at this time of historic change in the Middle East,” Netanyahu said while standing near the mostly USfunded Iron Dome. “Thank you for unequivocally affirming Israel’s sovereign right to defend itself, by itself against any threat.” Obama did in fact spare a few, although, spurious thoughts for Palestinians. “Put yourself in their shoes — look at the world through their eyes,” he said to an Israeli audience. “It is not fair that a Palestinian child cannot grow up in a state of her own, and lives with the presence of a foreign army that controls the movements of her parents every single day.”

One would even applaud the seeming moral fortitude if it were not for the pesky matter that the US had voted against a Palestinian state at the United Nations last November and tried to intimidate those who did. Many Palestinian children would still be alive today if the US government had conditioned its massive support of Israel by ending the occupation and ceasing the brutality against Palestinians. In a joint press conference in Ramallah, alongside Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, Obama even demanded Palestinians drop their condition (proposed by Obama himself) of a settlement freeze in order to return to the so-called peace talks. “That’s not to say settlements aren’t important, that’s to say if we resolve the (main) problems, then settlements will be resolved,” he said. “If to begin the conversation we have to get everything right from the outset … then we’re never going to get to the broader issue,” Obama added. The broader issue, according to the US president is “how do you structure a state of Palestine,” which again, Obama voted against last year, and passionately so. Aside from resounding rhetoric about peace, Obama is finally towing the Israeli line exactly as Netanyahu

and the lobby would expect of him, or of any other US president. He has little to offer Palestinians, or Arab nations, but much to expect from them. Arab states must seek normalized relations with Israel, and Palestinians must “recognize that Israel will be a Jewish state, and that Israelis have the right to insist upon their security,” he lectured in Jerusalem on the second day of his trip, reported CNN online. The obvious danger here lies in the fact that Israel oftentimes conflates ‘security’ and its ‘right to defend itself’ by mass arresting children on their way to school in Hebron, or by inflicting or supporting wars against other nations – Lebanon, Iraq and now Iran. Obama will eventually get back to his Oval Office desk, ready to resume work as usual. This will include the signing of many papers concerning additional funds, loans, military technology transfers and much more for Israel. Palestinians meanwhile will carry on with their long fight for freedom, without his noted oratory skills. Meanwhile, the families of the 30 children kidnapped by the Israeli army in Hebron will have many days ahead of them in Israeli military court. But that, of course, is a different matter, of no concern to Obama and his many quotable peace antics. (counterpunch)


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Inside laiki countdown to catastrophe

bofa settles for $165m with credit union regulator WASHINGTON: Bank of America Corp (BAC.N) agreed to pay $165 million to settle charges by the U.S. credit union regulator involving sales of mortgage-backed securities to corporate credit unions that have since failed, the regulator said on Tuesday. The bank and certain subsidiaries entered into the settlement, the National Credit Union Administration said. The agency did not release settlement papers and declined to provide additional details about the deal. The regulator previously indicated it objected to a proposed $8.5 billion settlement between Bank of America and investors in the toxic securities. On Friday it withdrew its notice of intent to object to that settlement, which is awaiting approval in New York state court, but did not provide a reason for the change. Separately, the regulator has filed 10 lawsuits against banks including units of JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM.N), Barclays (BARC.L), Credit Suisse (CSGN.VX), Goldman Sachs (GS.N) and Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS.L) - over mortgagebacked securities they allegedly sold to corporate credit unions that later collapsed due to losses on the securities. The regulator has settled similar claims against Citigroup (C.N), Deutsche Bank (DBKGn.DE) and HSBC (HSBA.L) for around $170 million. Bank of America did not admit fault as part of the settlement, the credit union regulator said. –AGENCIES

cyprus finance minister quits after bailout NICOSIA: Cyprus's finance minister resigned on Tuesday after concluding a 10 billion euro bailout deal with international lenders in which the country slashed its dominant banking sector and hit depositors with losses. Michael Sarris, a lead player in talks with International Monetary Fund and European Union lenders, said he had completed his task but also that he was likely to come under scrutiny in an investigation into the crisis. Tuesday's deal, which still needs ratification from national EU parliaments and euro zone finance ministers, will see Cyprus receiving a 10 billion euro loan, carrying an interest rate of approximately 2.5 percent. It is repayable over a 12 year period after a grace period of a decade. "This is a very important development which ends a very long period of uncertainty," said Christos Stylianides, Cyprus's government spokesman. Sarris said he expected the first disbursement of aid in May. Compared with a previous draft deal with lenders brokered in November, Tuesday's agreement gave authorities additional room to reach a primary surplus by 2018, longer than an initial 2016, Stylianides said. –AGENCIES

‘legislation needed for compliance of horticulture’ ISLAMABAD: Chief Executive Officer Harvest Trading, Ahmad Jawad said country produces above 14 million tonne of fruit and vegetables annually, of which almost one-third is wasted before it reaches consumers, as horticulture exports have not seen any quantitative improvement. Speaking in Seminar, he said we stand at bottom level in the world of horticulture market among total worth of $180 billion. The high postharvest losses lower the net income of producers and traders, and also reduce the quantity of produce available in local markets as well as for exports. Country needs Sanitary and Phytosanitary measures food safety legislation to ensure compliance of horticulture products for better access to global markets. Till date we are still lagging behind in modern techniques when it comes to enhancing the value of exports. The in-competitiveness of Pakistani products in the neighboring markets is apparently because of the lack of government support and best agricultural practices, availability of research & development (R&D) facilities, presence of better quality, lower cost and value added products of India for the last over 35 years. Jawad mentioned the example; in 2010 twenty-seven export consignments from Pakistan were rejected by the EU countries due to the pesticide residue in the fruits and vegetables. –ONLINE


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


98.70 125.00 147.10 26.55 26.05 340.90 95.38


98.95 125.25 147.33 26.80 26.30 347.46 97.08


n the evening of the last Wednesday in March, the directors of Laiki bank, the second largest in Cyprus, gathered in their sixth floor board room for the last time. With the portraits of chairmen past staring down at them, they all resigned, something that had become inevitable earlier in the week when each director received a letter from the Central Bank of Cyprus telling them a special administrator had been appointed to run their bank and the board was suspended. After less than an hour, the board broke up for the last time, its members accepting that their 112-year-old institution was no more. "It was like a funeral," one director said. The death of Laiki, also known as Cyprus Popular Bank, was brutal. Board members said they had fought to the bitter end, imploring political leaders not to accept the bank's closure as part of a 10 billion euro ($13 billion) bailout deal last week to save the country from bankruptcy. The bank the directors were fighting to save lost 1.8 billion euros before tax in the first nine months of 2012 and another 4.1 billion euros the year before, as a gamble on Greek bonds ended badly, and bad lending decisions took their toll. "Laiki Bank was a very good bank for many, many years," said Afxentis Afxentiou, a former governor of Cyprus' central bank. "Unfortunately, they were the victim of too many things. First, the haircut on the Greek sovereign debt which caused a loss of about 2.5 billion euros, secondly its exposure to Greece in loans given to Greece, and thirdly the world economy crisis which hit the company." A government-ordered inquiry into Cyprus' banking and economic crisis prompted the country's finance minister Michael Sarris, a former Laiki chairman, to resign on Tuesday. Reuters spoke to five of Laiki's 11 recentlydeparted directors; all requested anonymity as they wanted to be able to speak more freely about sensitive issues Laiki's first major blow came in 2011 when Europe agreed to an unprecedented restructuring of Greece's sovereign bonds. Laiki was holding 3.1 billion euros of the bonds and ultimately suffered losses of 2.3 billion euros. After merging with Greek bank Marfin in 2007 and coming under Greek management, Laiki in 2009 built up a large position in Greek bonds, which offered attractive interest rates. The eventual losses were a devastating hit for a bank which began 2011 with total equity of just 3.6 billion euros, but it was almost a year later before Laiki was rescued after flunking the European Banking Authority's 2011 stress tests and failing to attract private capital. In June 2012, Laiki got a 1.8 billion euro bailout from the state, giving the Cyprus government an 84 percent shareholding. Seven new directors were appointed by the finance minister, and the board was charged with drawing up a business plan that would convince the European Union the bank could be viable again. The new directors knew of the bank's Greek bond tragedy, and had also seen accounts of questionable lending practices. A Greek parliamentary enquiry had called attention to "serious conflicts of interest" in Laiki's Greek operation. It had loaned money to a community of Greek monks involved in land deals, and to others who used the money to support a share sale by Marfin Investment Group, a company linked to Laiki through a shared chairman, Andreas Vgenopoulos, until November 2011. Vgenopoulos denied any wrongdoing. The board were taken aback by size of the problem at Laiki. "I found what I did not expect to find," said one board source, describing how the bank was already relying on the Cyprus central bank for more than 9 billion euros of emergency funding that had to be renewed fortnightly. The priority was to appoint advisers to help create a plan for Laiki to cut costs, sell assets, recapitalize and "ring fence" its Greek operations so any shocks in its 11.8 billion euros Greek loan book wouldn't hurt the Cypriot parent. At the end of June, they appointed KPMG, which drew up a plan that called for selling assets, cutting costs and putting bad loans into an asset management company. Laiki was also prepared force losses on people who had bought "senior" bonds, a traditionally safe investment that has so far avoided taking any hits in the banking crisis. Imposing losses on depositors, the strategy controversially included in Cyprus' bailout plan, was not considered. "No-one would have the view that we could impact depositors," said one director. At the end of August, the plan was submitted to the authorities. Around the same time, the bank's chief executive Christos Stylianides, a long-time Laiki staffer who had mainly worked in the UK and Cyprus before taking the top job in December 2011, went on sick leave. As a stand-in, the board chose Takis Phidias, then head of Laiki's life insurance arm. About 500 staff were laid off in Greece, another 120 in Cyprus, salaries were cut, mobile phone use was restricted, and the bank renegotiated its rents. Asset sales began, as did talks on selling Laiki's 50 percent stake in Russia's Rossiysky Promyishlenny Bank.


NICOSIA: Depositors wait to enter a branch of Laiki Bank. —AGENCIES

FBR extends last date of vehicle amnesty scheme ISLAMABAD: The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has extended the vehicles amnesty scheme for smuggled and non custom paid vehicle to April 06 and a notification has been issued in this regard. Official sources told that following the success of regularization of non-duty paid smuggled vehicles, FBR has requested the care taker prime Minister to further extend the last date of amnesty scheme to April 06 that has been accepted by the prime minister and date extended. Official informed that under this amnesty scheme more than 10,000 vehicles were regularized till March 31 and following this situation

further extension in the last date was requested. He said under this schemes FBR got Rs 3 billion. It is pertinent to mention here that under this new more than 100,000 vehicles will come into the formal regime. One of the main benefits of the amnesty scheme would be

that non-duty paid vehicles could not be used in illegal/criminal activities as the same would be legalized through a lucrative incentive for documentation. In this way, documentation of such vehicles would ensure safety at national level. Another major benefit of

documentation of smuggled vehicles is that the owners would have to pay the token tax on regular basis, which comes to around Rs 1-2 billion per annum. The scheme would also be applicable on the vehicles, having age beyond the period of 5 years. –ONLINE

Inflation rose to 6.6 per cent in March ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s year- on- year inflation in March rose to 6.6 percent, Pakistan Bureau of Statistics revealed on Monday. According to statistical data of PBS, Consumer price Index increased by 0.4 percent in March 2013 as compared to a decrease of 0.3 percent in the previous month. Statistics further stated that Sensitive price index (SPI) inflation on year on year basis increased by 8.7 percent in March 13 as compared to 1.5 percent in March last year. SPI on monthon-month basis increased by 0.8 percent in March as compared to an increased of 0.1 percent a month earlier. Wholesale price index (WPI) inflation increased to 7.9 percent during March as compared to 4.5 percent in Mach previous year. WPI inflation on month on month basis increased by 0. 3 percent in March as compared to an increase of 0.3 percent a month earlier. –ONLINE

Unreasonable price increase

CCP imposes Rs 8.64b penalty on FFC, EFL ISLAMABAD: The Competition Commission of Pakistan has imposed a penalty in the sum of Rs 8.64 billion on part of Engro fertilizer limited (EFL and Fauji fertilizer company (FFC) for abuse of their dominant position through unreasonable price increase. Chairperson, Competitive Commission of Pakistan (CCP) Rahat Konain Hasan announced this during a press conference here on Tuesday. She said both companies abused their power and by virtue of their power increased urea prices by 86 per cent in last years. Due to unjustified hike in the urea prices by these two companies, CCP has imposed maximum penalty on both urea manufacturer companies. Rs 5.5 billion penalty has been imposed against FFC and Rs 3.1 billion has been imposed on Engro fertilizer limited, Konain informed. She said that despite enjoying subsidy from the government both companies increased prices of urea that directly impacted food items and increased inflation in the country. Significant increase in urea prices increased food prices by 40-45%, she added. Giving further details about subsidies of these

due companies, Rahat Konain said that during last three years Rs 77 billion subsidy was given to these companies and Rs 11 billion subsidy was given to FFC and Rs4.5 billion subsidy was given to EFL. Rahat Konain said that CCP has taken notice at its own and during hearing over the issue both companies stated that due to gas curtailment companies increased the prices. She said that mechanism needs to be evolved by the Government of Pakistan so that the subsidy (if any) should be directed at the farmer who is the ultimate beneficiary of subsidy as per the objective of fertilizer policy 2001 to ensure availability of Urea at an affordable price. She said that in the absence of competitive market both companies enjoyed their position and there was no competition After tax deduction profits of FFC in 2010 was 103 per cent to 104 per cent and EFL was at 47-53 per cent. Answering to a question Chairperson CCP said that urea imported to meet the shortage in the country and no one can be allowed to earn profit over it. She said that CCP has advised Security and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) to conduct forensic cost audit of both companies. –ONLINE

Industrial need-based research vital to meet S&T development goals ISLAMABAD: Federal Secretary for S&T Akhlaq Ahmad Tarar said research and Development (R&D) sector must approach the industry to know their research needs for need-based research to set certain goals regarding science and technology (S&T) development in the country. Addressing as Chief Guest at the inaugural session of the 3-day Pakistan Congress of Zoology (International), Akhlaq Tarar said the R&D organizations should take initiatives to establish linkage with industry to get their input for industry-based research. He said Korea is a success example of making S&T projects. PSF Chairman Prof. Dr. Manzoor H. Soomro addressing the Congress said quality science education was key to solution of all problems including energy crisis, economic and environment problems as well as terrorism. He urged the forum to focus on improving primary education standards to bring a scientific change in the society through inquiry-based science education. He called upon the researchers to understand how the world is changing. –ONLINE


Wall Street up on health insurers, S&P near intraday record NE W YOR K: Stocks rose on Tuesday, pushing the S&P 500 within striking distance of its alltime intraday high, as healthcare stocks surged after a government decision raised prospects of higher profits. The group gained after the U.S. government dropped plans to cut payments for private Medicare Advantage insurers and instead said it would raise them 3.3 percent. Humana, which derives about two-thirds of its revenue from Medicare Advantage business, rose 7 percent to $80.11. UnitedHealth Group rose 6.2 percent to $62.67, and Cigna Corp was up 4.1 percent to $65.49. "Given how lean these companies are, this news is pretty significant and could mean a 10 to 15 percent increase in earnings," said Phil Orlando, chief equity market strategist at Federated Investors in New York.

Despite the gains, stocks in the healthcare sector are still seen as cheaper than the overall market. Humana, which has a market cap of about $11.9 billion, has a forward price-to-earnings ratio of 9.4, below the S&P 500 P/E average ratio of about 16.5. UnitedHealth has a P/E ratio of 10.6 and Cigna has a P/E ratio of 9.7. The broad market's rise countered Monday's sell-off. Most investors expect moves to be limited this week before Friday's U.S. monthly payrolls report. In an effort to bring down the unemployment rate, the Federal Reserve has maintained an accommodative monetary policy, which has also benefited stocks. "Good numbers are good and bad numbers are good because it keeps the Fed at the side of the market," said Burt White, managing director and chief investment

officer at LPL Financial in Boston. "The market continues to move higher, driven by the premise of stimulus." The March payrolls survey could give clues on lowering unemployment, one of the primary headwinds for the economy. About 200,000 jobs were created last month, according to a Reuters poll, down from 236,000 last month. The S&P index last week set an all-time closing high but has thus far been unable to reach its intraday record of 1,576.09, an important level that analysts say could draw in more investors. Intraday sessions have been volatile, with stocks dropping sharply on Monday before rebounding. The Dow Jones industrial average was up 94.70 points, or 0.65 percent, at 14,667.55. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index was up 10.03 points, or 0.64 percent, at

1,572.20. The Nasdaq Composite Index was up 24.48 points, or 0.76 percent, at 3,263.65. "We've not had two consecutive up or down days in 10 sessions, and that is a good sign of a trend reversal," White said. Investors mostly shrugged off Tuesday's data. February factory orders rose 3 percent, slightly above expectations. The Institute for Supply Management-New York's March index of regional business activity came in at 573.3, slightly higher than last month's 572.7. A weak reading on U.S. manufacturing sparked Monday's decline, although other recent indicators pointed to a strengthening economy and helped Dow and S&P to record highs last week. Telecommunication shares were among the most active. Verizon Communications and AT&T have

been working together on a breakup bid for British mobile operator Vodafone, according to the Financial Times' Alphaville blog. Verizon rose 1 percent to $49.72 while AT&T was up 0.4 percent at $37.39. Both stocks are Dow components. U.S. shares of Vodafone gained 5.3 percent to $29.84. The S&P is up 10 percent so far this year, and while investors view market momentum as positive, many are also calling for a pullback given the size and swiftness of recent gains. Goldman Sachs removed Apple Inc from its Conviction Buy list, though it affirmed its "buy" rating on the stock. "We believe Apple may find it difficult to hit consensus expectations in the March and June quarters," the bank wrote to clients. Apple rose 1 percent to $433.03. –AGENCIES


It is difficult to keep audience engaged: Ali Zafar

Kareena to endorse Malabar Gold and Diamonds

MUMBAI: Chashme Buddoor is all set to release this week and the film has grabbed eyeballs. However, Ali Zafar feels that it is difficult to keep audience engaged in today's world. On being asked about Chashme Buddoor as a remake, Ali said, "There are more angles in the remake. Rishi Kapoor is playing an important role. The film is done according to today's world so that audience need to accept it with time. The basic plot and the soul have been intact." "Every time has its own demand and speed. It's a fast youth time and audience has lost on patience. It's difficult to keep audience engaged," added Ali. "The film has dialogues which are done considering the family audience and David Dhawan has treated it very nice," concluded the actor.This remake was filmed in Goa, and produced by Viacom 18 Motion Pictures.The film has been re-written by the original director, Sai Paranjpye. Regarding the film Ali Zafar says, "It's a different film from Sai's young, a little over-the-top, adapted to modern times and coloured by David's sensibilities". -SHOWBIZ DESK

MUMBAI: Malabar Gold & Diamonds has signed Kareena Kapoor as their Brand Ambassador. With her pedigree and ethereal beauty, Kareena Kapoor brings with her the essence of brand Malabar Gold & Diamonds- as a jeweler who is accepted and recognized for the variety and design of their jewelry. "Kareena Kapoor is an epitome of beauty and style and we are extremely delighted to have her as our Brand Ambassador. She symbolizes contemporary India and represents the emerging youth of this country. Her presence in our communication will enhance our brand equity and will help us to move seamlessly into the northern Indian market which is our focus for the coming years," said Mr M.P. Ahammed, Chairman of Malabar Group at the signing ceremony. "It is my pleasure to be the face of such a prestigious brand that has become synonymous with style, design, beauty and trust. -SHOWBIZ DESK

Angelina opens girls school in Afghanistan Plans to sell her jewellery line to raise fund

Films aren't fast food, says Martin Scorsese LONDON: Martin Scorsese has spoken of the importance of teaching children why movies are a culturally important phenomenon. Martin Scorsese has urged young people to understand that not all movies are "to be consumed like fast food and then forgotten". The legendary film maker gave the annual Jefferson humanities lecture at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington last night. He is the first director to give the talk, which was established in 1972 and sees someone who has been highly involved in the humanities lecture on their chosen topic. Martin's speech was called Persistence of Vision: Reading the Language of Cinema and he used it to talk about the importance of pictures. "We're face-to-face with images all the time in a way that we never have been before. Young people need to understand that not all images are out there to be consumed like, you know, fast food and then forgotten," he said. "We need to educate them to understand the difference between moving images that engage their humanity and their intelligence, and moving images that are just selling them something." Martin is behind movies such as Taxi Driver and Goodfellas and received the best director Oscar for The Departed. He suggested "visual literacy" should be made part of the school syllabus and claimed movies are a vital part of history because they "tell us who we are, ultimately". The director used film clips to show what he thinks is vital in movies, citing light, movement, time and inference as what marks out a hit. He also used portions of films which weren't widely appreciated upon their release but went on to enter the canon to show how vital it is to "preserve everything". -SHOWBIZ DESK

KABUL: The 37-year-old actress and UNHCR Goodwill ambassador has extended her generosity to a small village outside Kabul, Afghanistan, where she has opened an all-girls elementary school, she told E! News. The doors of the school are already open, there are 200 to 300 students enrolled and the location was targeted not only because there is a high-refugee population, but it's also a place where the education of boys is valued higher than that of girls. Jolie who has six children, including three daughters, with fiancé Brad Pitt is tapping an interesting source to fund the institution: it's bling for books! The "Maleficent" star will be expanding her Style of Jolie jewelry collection, which she creates with her long-time jeweler Robert Procop (he crafted her engagement ring, among other pieces in her personal collection), to retail stores. All of the profits that's 100 percent will go to her foundation The Education Partnership for Children of Conflict, which will pay for the school. Or make those schools. The Academy Awardwinning actress is hoping that the business model is such a success that she will be able to build additional schools for children in need around the globe. "Beyond enjoying the artistic satisfaction of designing these jewels, we are inspired by knowing our work is also serving the mutual goal of providing for children in need," Jolie said. The Style of Jolie collection will be available starting this Wednesday through the Kansas City-based jewelry store Tivol. -SHOWBIZ DESK

Barfi wins Japanese award over Oscar-nominated films

JLO furious at SRK’s statement LOS ANGELES: Jennifer Lopez is allegedly furious with the way her refusal to perform at the opening ceremony of the 6th Indian Premiere League has been made to look by Shahrukh Khan’s production and distribution company, Red Chillies Entertainment. According to Indian media sources, the “Jenny From the Block” star feels the company deliberately exaggerated her demands to make her look bad, because her requests were not far out of line from those of many Bollywood stars. Reportedly, fervent e-mails passed between J Lo’s representatives and Red Chillies’ spokespersons as we write. Her alleged e-mail accuses SRK’s side of leaking the story and tarnishing her image because she’s confident nobody other than his organizers and hers knew about the deal. Indian media now reports the Hollywood actor-singer did not demand a private jet, although demands for accommodation of her entourage, including stylists, butler, chef and security are neither false nor outrageous. On the other hand, Red Chillies Entertainment remain positive and focused, reportedly saying they considered many options before settling for Pitbull, and were sorry to lose J Lo over scheduling conflicts. Unfortunately, the “Chak De India!” star Shahrukh Khan is not allowed to attend the match on 7th May between the Mumbai Indians and Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), the IPL team he co-owns with fellow actress Juhi Chawla and her husband Jay Mehta. He has been banned by the Mumbai Cricket Association for five years, based on his tiff with security officials of the cricket body last year following KKR’s win. -SHOWBIZ DESK

SHOWBIZ DESK JAPAN: Ranbir Kapoor and Ileana D'Cruz are pairing up for the first time in Barfi but share an intense chemistry. Priyanka Chopra is seen in a different avatar. Ranbir KapoorPriyanka Chopra starrer Barfi! may have failed to woo the jury at the Academy Awards or the National Awards but the film has managed to bag the Grand Jury Award for Best Film at this year’s Okinawa International Film Festival, Japan. The film was up against critically acclaimed international films from last year, including Beasts of the Southern Wild (USA) that had received four Academy Award nominations and even won three awards at Cannes 2012. Talking about winning the award, a happy Anurag Basu (director) says, “This is not just an honour for me or my film, it’s an honour for the entire

The impact of a great star long gone

country. This award proves that Barfi! is a universal film. I am doubly happy because it won over Oscar-

nominated films. A few people thought Barfi!’s selection for the Oscars was a wrong decision.”

John Mayer confirms split from Katy Perry LOS ANGELES: Singer-songwriter John Mayer has confirmed his split from pop star Katy Perry but refused to disclose the reason for their break-up. Mayer and Perry parted ways last week after dating for about a year, reported Aceshowbiz. The 35-year-old spoke about the break-up on Ellen Degeneres show. When the host asked Mayer about the split with Perry, he answered with a one word answer, "Correct". "Listen, it was a very private relationship going in. It was a private relationship during, and it's a private relationship, still. I've been much happier since then. I'm on the same journey as everyone else. Coupling is a tricky thing," Mayer added. -SHOWBIZ DESK

HONG KONG: Leslie Cheung, more commonly known as ‘Gor Gor’ by his fans, played the cruelest April’s fool joke in 2003. From the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in central Hong Kong, he leapt to his death after leaving a brief suicide note. It might be a relief for the idol suffering from depression, but this irreversible truth has left a void in many hearts. Cheung, who was 46 when he died, marked an golden era of Hong Kong cinema with his versatile roles in classics such as 1987 s ‘A Chinese Ghost Story’, ‘He’s a Woman, She’s a Man’, cult splendor ‘Happy Together’ by Wong Kar-wai, Hollywood director John Woo’s most acclaimed ‘A Better Tomorrow’, and the award-winning ‘Farewell My Concubine’, which swept international awards including the Cannes. Each year, hundreds of fans gathered at the hotel where he committed suicide to attend a candlelight vigil. -SHOWBIZ DESK


I promote woman who confidently enjoy being a plus size, since size in our society is troublesome matter. People believe that being skinny is everything but for me size really does not matter.

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LAHORE: Hadiqa Kiani with Juggan Kazim at launching her own clothing line called ‘HK Fabric World’ that features chic and sumptuous collection of lawn and chiffon cloth.

Price matter as much as style or trends in prêt wear The whole concept is ready to wear is to make clothing accessible and how can it be accessible if it is not affordable.

Anum Mukhri

A designer is an amalgamation of an artist and a scientist with a mind that is never at rest, it is always distracted by design in nature or elsewhere even dreaming up ideas in our sleep.

Anum Mukhri

A designer is an amalgamation of an artist and a scientist with a mind that is never at rest, it is always distracted by design in nature or elsewhere even dreaming up ideas in our sleep.


World’s youngest swimming record-holder Muir dies at 60 CAPE TOWN: Former South African swimming great Karen Muir, the youngest-ever world record holder in any sport, has died of breast cancer aged 60, South African media reported on Tuesday. Muir was elected to the International Swimming Hall of Fame in 1980 having set 15 world records in the backstroke at 100-metres, 200metres, 110 yards and 220 yards. Her first was in the 110-yards event at the 1965 ASA National Junior Championships in Blackpool, England aged 12 years, 10 months and 25 days, making her the youngest world record holder in any sport. Muir also won 22 South African Championships and three US National Championships, but never competed at the Olympic Games because of the sports boycott imposed on her country. Muir went on to qualify as a doctor and immigrated to Canada where she practised until her death. –AGENCIES

6th Indian Premier League commences today

Islamic Solidarity Games

Kolkata Knight Riders take on Delhi Daredevils in opener

Indonesia postpones games after workers shut stadium

KOLKATA: The sixth season of the Indian Premier League (IPL) will begin with defending champions Kolkata Knight Riders hosting a depleted Delhi Daredevils on Wednesday, thus setting into motion a run of 76 matches across 12 venues as the Indian sporting landscape switches to coloured clothing, cheerleaders and lots of sixes. Not much can be gauged from the first match of IPL 6 considering the unpredictability of the format and the duration of the tournament, but Delhi, who have been hit by injuries - the latest is that Virender Sehwag may also miss the match - and will be hoping to go one better than 2012 and make the final, would love to get off the mark with victory. KKR are champions having enjoyed a strong run in IPL 5 which culminated in a memorable fivewicket win with two deliveries to spare against Chennai Super Kings. The hero on that night was Manvinder Bisla, the domestic journeyman wicketkeeper-batsman who shone on that starry night of May 27. It is on such domestic players like Bisla that KKR will again rely on, especially with the cap on overseas players. That means Bisla, left-arm spinner Iqbal Abdulla, medium pacers L Balaji and Rajat Bhatia, Yusuf Pathan (who had a torrid IPL 5), Shami Ahmed, Laxmi Shukla, Debabrata Das

and Manoj Tiwary will have to be consistent. Success in the IPL is so often about how the local players support the international stars, and how much KKR extract from the aforementioned names will ease the workload of Jacques Kallis, Brendon McCullum (who won't play against Delhi owing to a hamstring pull), Sunil Narine and Brett Lee. Lee will be boosted by the arrival of fellow Australian James Pattinson, and it will also be fascinating to see how and when KKR pair up Narine with Sri Lankan offspinner Sachithra Senanayake on whom $650,000 was spent at the February auction. Having reached the pinnacle, the onus will be on KKR to repeat their success. They are now bona fide champions, and with that tag comes the burden of expectations - more so because of the passionate fans in Kolkata and the name Shah Rukh Khan. KKR's opponents will be out to spoil their party, starting with Delhi who will carry aspirations of winning the title this season. It won't be easy, because Delhi have been dealt three major blows. Kevin Pietersen, Jesse Ryder and Varun Aaron have all been ruled out with injury which leaves the team reliant on a handful of experienced players. Should Sehwag be ruled out of Wednesday's opener, Delhi would be left reliant on David Warner and skipper Mahela

Jayawardene. With the ball, the team's big assets are South African quick Morne Morkel and the Indian pair of Umesh Yadav and Irfan Pathan. The acquisitions of Johan Botha and Jeevan Mendis have bolstered a weak spin attack. On a tacky Eden Gardens surface, the role that spin plays is expected to be big. KKR could then hand Senanayake an IPL debut in the season opener, pitting him and Narine and Abdulla against a top-heavy Delhi batting order. But that would mean dropping an overseas batsman, which would leave a long tail. Delhi may not yet field two overseas spinners in Botha and Mendis, instead relying on Shahbaz Nadeem to partner one of the two new signings. Head-to-head, KKR and DD have come up against each other eight times across five seasons – there was one washout in 2008 – with KKR owning a 4:3 advantage. Probable XIs: Kolkata Knight Riders: 1 Manvinder Bisla (wk), 2 Gautam Gambhir (capt), 3 Jacques Kallis, 4 Manoj Tiwary, 5 Yusuf Pathan, 6 Laxmi Shukla, 7 Rajat Bhatia, 8 Iqbal Abdulla, 9 Brett Lee, 10 L Balaji, 11 Sunil Narine Delhi Daredevils: 1 Mahela Jayawardene (capt), 2 David Warner, 3 Naman Ojha (wk), 4 Unmukt Chand, 5 Kedar Jadhav, 6 Venugopal Rao, 7 Irfan Pathan, 8 Johan Botha, 9 Umesh Yadav, 10 Morne Morkel, 11 Shahbaz Nadeem. –AGENCIES

Former tennis umpire fined for Noah doping slur PARIS: Former international tennis umpire Milan Sterba was on Tuesday ordered to pay damages to Yannick Noah for falsely claiming in a newspaper interview that the French former player took performance-enhancing drugs. A court in Paris told Sterba, who was not present at the hearing, to pay 5,000 euros ($6,400) in damages and interest to Noah and also imposed a suspended 800-euro fine. Sterba’s claims were made in a March 2011 interview on the Swiss Internet site 20 Minutes and related to Noah’s victory at the 1983 French Open. At a previous hearing on February 19, Noah’s lawyer William Bourdon said the comments were ‘undeniably defamatory’ against the popular singles and Davis Cup player, who was once ranked number three in the world. –AGENCIES

Serena set to defend Charleston clay crown CHARLESTON: World No. 1 Serena Williams, fresh from winning a record sixth Miami Masters title, will seek her third trophy of the season at the WTA Family Circle Cup claycourt event. Defending champion and top seed Williams, who like the other top-eight seeds received a first-round bye, will play her first match on Tuesday against Italy's Camila Giorgi, who eliminated Mandy Minella 6-4, 6-4 on Monday. Williams, a 15-time Grand Slam singles champion, won at Charleston in 2008. The 31-yearold American won this year at Brisbane as well as Miami, where she downed World No. 2 Maria Sharapova of Russia in the final. Danish second seed Caroline Wozniacki has won four clay titles in her career, including at Charleston in 2011. Wozniacki will open against Spain's Silvia SolerEspinosa, who outlasted Italy's Francesca Schiavone 3-6, 6-4, 7-6 (8/6) in the opening round. ustralia's third-seeded Samantha Stosur, the 2010 Charleston champion, is also in the mix, playing her first event since pulling out of Indian Wells with a calf injury. –AGENCIES

JAKARTA: Indonesia has postponed the Islamic Solidarity Games due to be held in June until October after construction workers closed the main stadium in protest at not being paid in full, organisers said Tuesday. Some 5,000 athletes from member countries of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference had been due to take part in the third edition of the games from June 6 to 17 in the city of Pekanbaru on Sumatra Island. But organising committee secretary Timbul Thomas Lubis told AFP the games would now be held sometime in October as sub-contractors hired to build the main stadium were angry as they owed, 400 billion rupiah ($41.2 million). “They refuse to open the stadium for the games until they are paid in full,” he said, adding that funds had been prepared so subcontractors should receive their payment soon. It is the latest embarrassment for Indonesia in its efforts to host big sporting events after two people were killed in a stampede at a Jakarta stadium in the Southeast Asian Games football final in November, 2011. Lubis said the Islamic Solidarity Games had also been beset by other problems, such as a failure to start the tender process for some contracts related to the games early enough, meaning they would not be complete in time. “We feel it’s better to delay the games because of lack of preparation. We are trying our best to get everything settled by then,” he added. The 2009 edition of the games, which include football, badminton, and archery, was also postponed and later cancelled over a dispute between Arab countries and Iran over the name of a waterway. –AGENCIES

Saeed Ajmal says he doesn’t require surgery OUR STAFF REPORTER

LAHORE: In a major relief for Pakistan offspinner Saeed Ajmal, he will not require surgery to treat his abdomen problem as it can be treated with medication. Ajmal, 35, was told by specialists last week that he might require to have surgery to treat the abdomen problem which was related to hernia. “I had a complete examination including all tests in Lahore at the weekend and doctors now say the condition can be treated through medication and at the moment I don’t require a surgery,” Ajmal said. Ajmal, who made a late start in international cricket, has remained Pakistan's top bowler in the last few years having taken 133 wickets in 26 Tests, 125 in 79 ODIs and 71 wickets in 51 T20 internationals. “Honestly speaking I was a bit apprehensive and nervous after being told I could require a surgery. But I am very relieved now that my stomach problem will be treated through medication,” he said. “I want to be 100 percent fit before we go to the Champions Trophy in England and for other assignments

DOHA: Diaky Ibrahim Amuah (L) of UAE's Al-Jazira fights for the ball with Qatar's El-Jaish Karim Ziani during their AFC Champions League match at the Al-Rayyan Stadium on Tuesday. –AGENCIES

AFC Champions League

ICC Champions Trophy

Steelers send Japanese champions crashing

PCB to make England-like pitches for team

SINGAPORE: Former Asian title-holders Pohang Steelers dealt Sanfrecce Hiroshima's AFC Champions League bid a crippling blow Tuesday when they beat the Japanese team 1-0 away to leave them on zero points after three games. Bae ChunSuk's strike on 17 minutes condemned the J-League champions to stay rooted at the foot of Group G, needing a dramatic change in fortunes in their last three pool games if they are to reach next month's knock-out round of 16. Elsewhere FC Seoul survived a late fightback to beat Japanese visitors Vegalta Sendai 2-1 and extend their lead at the top of Group E, while China's Jiangsu Sainty beat Buriram United to bounce from bottom to second in the same pool. Sanfrecce badly needed a win to breathe life into their campaign but they were rocked by the early goal from striker Bae after a cross from Go Moo-Yul, who had breached the Japanese side's defence from the left. Bae was denied a second by Hiroshima goalkeeper Shusaku Nishikawa's foot on 26 minutes, before Park Hyung-Jin came close to converting a chance at the other end. South Korea's Pohang, the 2009 Asian champions, squandered several more goal attempts in the first half, while just before the break Hiroshima midfielder Gakuto Notsuda headed Hironori Ishikawa's cross over the bar. On the hour-mark, Naoki Ishihara was denied by the width of the post when he met Mihael Mikic's cross and headed off the woodwork. Bae fired over

LAHORE: Stung by the Pakistan’s inconsistent performances in South Africa, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has ordered preparation of pitches similar to the ones in England so that the team can prepare well for the Champions trophy. A PCB official said Tuesday PCB chief Zaka Ashraf after discussion with the national selectors and team management decided that special pitches be prepared for the national camp. “Pakistan captain Misbahul Haq initially suggested having a month-long training camp before the team leaves for Ireland and England for a ODI against Ireland and Scotland and then the Champions Trophy. Ashraf agreed to this suggestion and has now issued instructions that special pitches be prepared for the camp which should be similar in nature to the ones found in England,” the official added. He said the idea was to allow the players to acclimatize to the sort of pitches they would find in the Champions Trophy. “Having learnt from the experience of the South African tour the board now wants the players have a proper chance to prepare for the England tour,” he said. The official also confirmed that the board would now fasttrack the process of appointing a batting coach with the team. “The appointment will be made now in a week or two so that he is available for the training camp.” He said the board was ready to look at both foreign and local candidates.

shortly afterwards and Pohang again came close at the death when Cho Chan-Ho dribbled towards goal and fired off the right post. "We have no choice but to win the last three matches and keep believing it's possible," said Hiroshima captain Hisato Sato. "We need to throw everything at the last three matches." In Seoul, the hosts were cruising after first-half goals from Sergio Escudero and Kim Jin-Kyu. But they had to endure an anxious finish after Sendai's Brazilian forward Wilson reduced the deficit with an 87th-minute penalty. China's Jiangsu had an easier evening in Nanjing after two goals in consecutive minutes put Thai visitors Buriram on the ropes just before half-time. The hosts were already in the ascendancy when Le Bofei rifled in a rebound on 41 minutes, and they floored Buriram just a minute later when Sun Ke rose unmarked to head home Ji Xiang's cross from the left. Sun had a second-half effort flagged off for offside as Jiangsu leapfrogged Buriram and Sendai to lie second in Group E, three points behind leaders FC Seoul. Tuesday's action continues with Bunyodkor against Beijing Guoan, which is the competition's first game between teams from Uzbekistan and China, and four more fixtures in the Middle East. The top two from each of eight groups will go into next month's round of 16 of the trans-continental competition, which then takes a mid-year break and does not wrap up until November. –AGENCIES


as well,” he added. Ajmal, spurred on by the good news, made his only appearance for his regional team Faisalabad Wolves in the National Super Eights T20 Cup final against Sialkot Stallions and bowled a decent spell. “It is harder to bowl in domestic cricket now because once you have earned a name in international cricket, batsmen are always keen to do well off you so that they can come into the spotlight. It requires hardwork to manage things in domestic cricket,” Ajmal said. The offspinner had kept away from the tournament because of the fears he might require surgery.

Olympic champion Kuzenkova banned for doping MOSCOW: Russian hammer thrower Olga Kuzenkova, the 2004 Olympic champion, has been handed a two-year ban for doping, the country's athletics federation said on Tuesday. The federation said that the samples which Kuzenkova gave for testing at the 2005 athletics world championships in Helsinki, Finland, contained banned drugs, without elaborating. Kuzenkova's ban was backdated to March 27, 2013 and all of her results from August 12, 2005 until August 11, 2007 were cancelled. The shot putter Svetlana Krivelyova, who won the bronze medal at 2004 Olympics, was also banned for two years from Tuesday as samples she had given in Athens also contained prohibited substances. Again, the federation did not specify the drugs. The antidoping panel of the Russian athletics federation meanwhile said it had also banned 400m runner Yelena Churakova for two years from February 28, 2013. Her samples taken in the training camp

in Portugal in January contained testosterone and methandienone. Russia has long been considered a black spot in world anti-doping, with a string of athletes found guilty of doping violations in recent years, but the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has said it is confident of a turnaround. Moscow will host the World Athletics Championships this year while the Winter Olympics come to the Black Sea resort of Sochi next year, which the IOC hopes will prove a spur to more rigorous testing. –AGENCIES

English clubs eye redemption in Europa League LONDON: After a collective blow-out in the Champions League, England has a three-pronged attack on Europe's second tier competition with Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur and Newcastle United all vying for Europa League success. The three Premier League sides were all kept apart in the draw for the last eight and head into Thursday's quarterfinal first legs looking to earn back some of the country's European lustre. European champions Chelsea host Russian outfit Rubin Kazan, London rivals Tottenham welcome Swiss side Basel and Newcastle travel to Benfica. Fenerbahce's clash with Lazio is the only quarterfinal not to feature a Premier League club. For Chelsea,

Thursday's match against Rubin is the start of a gruelling fixture pile-up that involves playing five matches in 13 days as they look to do battle in three competitions. Defeat to Southampton in the Premier League on Saturday left them looking vulnerable in a three-way fight with Tottenham and Arsenal for the final two Champions League qualification spots. But victory over Manchester United in an FA Cup quarter-final replay 48 hours later set them up nicely for an end-of-season push for silverware. "My priority is the top four and trying to win the next game, in the Europa League," Chelsea's persistently under-fire interim manager Rafa Benitez said

after Monday's hard-fought 1-0 win. "We're in the semi-finals of the FA Cup, quarterfinals of the Europa League. It's a great season at the moment. It could be even better." Chelsea favourites: Chelsea start as overwhelming favourites but Rubin are no pushovers having knocked out holders Atletico Madrid and their La Liga rivals Levante in two previous rounds to reach a European quarterfinal for the first time. The club from the Volga region, the last remaining Russian side in the competition, warmed up for the Chelsea clash with a 2-0 home win over Lokomotiv Moscow on Saturday, moving them into fourth place in the league table. Tottenham, who like Chelsea are

almost certainly prioritising their fight for a top-four finish in the Premier League, host Basel, the Swiss champions for the last three seasons. The Swiss have lost only two league matches since Murat Yakin, a former Switzerland defender, took over as coach at the end of October and are unbeaten domestically this year. They are the only reigning domestic champions still in the Europa League. They last reached the quarterfinals of a European competition in 2005/06 when Middlesbrough knocked them out of the then UEFA Cup. "We are extremely excited about this draw," said Yakin. "Tottenham Hotspur are a great team from a wonderful city. We have nothing to lose against them. We have


earned the opportunity to play against teams like these. It's already a huge accomplishment to be in the last eight of the Europa League." For Newcastle, the Europa League is a distraction from their domestic battle to avoid relegation with the club three points above the drop zone following a crushing 4-0 defeat to Manchester City on Saturday. Manager Alan Pardew, who was handed a remarkable eight-year contract at the start of the season, has promised fans that his side will put in an improved display in Lisbon. "It's one of the great European adventures, trust me," Pardew said. "Their stadium is going to be rocking on Thursday night - and after our result

they will be looking forward to us coming. "But we will certainly be better than we were on Saturday." Fenerbahce host Lazio with the Turkish side looking to improve on a dismal record against Italian teams, having lost 10 of 13 clashes to date. Lazio are fifth in Serie A after their 21 win over Catania on Saturday but still have an outside chance of finishing third and a place in the Champions League next season. Coach Vladimir Petkovic, who speaks eight languages, said of Fenerbahce: "They are very good, especially at home. Turkish sides don't usually shine when they play away, however. "We have great respect for them but they are not unbeatable." –AGENCIES



APRIL 03, 2013

Power costlier for Gujranwala and Lahore

NIcL scam case

SHc grants protective bail to Amin Fahim KARAC HI : Sindh High Court (SHC) on Tuesday granted ten-day protective bail to former Federal Minister for Commerce Amin Fahim. Granting bail, the court ordered Fahim to submit bound worth of Rs. 500,000. Amin Fahim who is now on foreign trip, had earlier filed petition in seeking protective bail in NICL scam case. On Monday, a provincial anticorruption court issued non-bailable arrest warrants against Fahim and seven others in the case. The anti-corruption court also ordered police to arrest Fahim and present him before the court on April 12. Fahim, who recently kicked off his election campaign by addressing a public meeting in Bhanote, would face disqualification if convicted in the case. –ONLINE


RAWALPINDI: PPP activists burning tyres on the murder site of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto during a demonstration against the alleged unjust distribution of party tickets in the upcoming elections.–ONLINE

NAB chairman contempt case

How secret letter found way to media, asks SC

PTI’s Qamar Zaman joins PmL-N PESHAWAR: Former world Squash champion Qamar Zaman has announced to join Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) after quitting Pakistan Tehreek-eInsaf (PTI). According to media reports, the ex-world champion squash said that he had landed to PTI having the motive to change the system, however, Qamar Zaman added that the party's internal circumstances disappointed him. People who clung with power for so long are gathering around Imran Khan, said Qamar Zaman. He further said, instead of teaching youngsters, PTI is spreading the culture among the youth that is against our values. –ONLINE

PmL-N leaders exchange harsh words over ticket LAH ORE: Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leaders Khawaja Saad Rafiq and Dr Nabila Tariq Tuesday exchanged hostile words over issue of reserved seats in parliament. According to media reports, Saad Rafiq and Nabila Tariq had a brawl over difference of opinion on reserved seat for women. Dr Nabila Tariq alleged that Saad Rafiq got her name removed from the list of reserved seats for women. She said the incident took place when she arrived at party’s secretariat to submit application for reserved seat where she discussed the matter with Saad Rafiq. She claimed that Saad used harsh words against her on the occasion. However, Saad Rafique turned down the incident, saying that he could not even think of being unkind with any woman, adding that it was a baseless allegation. –ONLINE

SC defers Faseeh Bukhari’s indictment till April 10

ISLAMABAD: Supreme Court (SC) has adjourned till April 11, hearing of intra court appeal filed by NAB Chairman Fasih ud Din Bokhari with reference to contempt of court case. A 5-member larger bench of Supreme Court (SC) led by Justice Anwar Zahir Jamali Tuesday resumed the hearing of intra court appeal filed by NAB chairman Fasih ud Din Bokhari. Latif Khosa counsel for chairman NAB took the plea that his client was not responsible if his letter had reached the hands of media. Aitzaz Ahsan had admitted before media on February, 17 that Chief Justice (CJ) Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry had expressed his desire to include Raja Amir Abbasi in legal branch of NAB. NAB is answerable to the president with respect to its annual performance, therefore, NAB chairman had written a letter to the president. “Letter was secret. We don’t know how it reached media. The media presents remarks and observations of the court as the verdict of the court”. He further argued contempt of court law does not exist at all and this law has ceased to exist from 2004.All are initiating proceedings under 2003 laws. Legislation is needed on this count. Justice Ejaz Afzal remarked reply in this respect has been given in Yousuf Raza Gilani contempt of court case. Latif Khosa argued the bench which has rendered decision cannot hear this case.

Chairman NAB wrote secret letter to the president of Pakistan on January, 27 on the performance of NAB and the difficulties being faced by it. Justice Anwar Zahir remarked if the letter was secret then it should have remained between the senior officers. How it found way to media? Latif Khosa said his client had not given this letter to media, then, as to why he is being indicted. Justice Ejaz Afzal remarked if no evidence comes against chairman NAB then he will be acquitted. Latif Khosa said Arsalan Iftikhar and Malik Riaz had expressed lack of trust on NAB, therefore, investigation was withdrawn from NAB. Dr Arsalan had written a letter to chairman NAB on June, 21, 2012 that chairman NAB had relationship with Malik Riaz and his daughter is working as employee in Bahria Town since several years. The court adjourned the hearing of the case till April, 11. Meanwhile, Supreme Court has deferred the indictment of Chairman NAB, Faseeh Bukhari in contempt of court case, on the ground that he has to appear before the court in another case. A three-member bench of the apex court headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhary heard the case on Tuesday. Prosecutor General NAB, K K Agha told the apex court that Bukhari is busy in intra-court appeal, and is waiting for the final verdict. He requested the court to delay the hearing. As a result, the Court adjourned hearing of the case till April 10. –ONLINE

PTA lifts ban on call operators AHMED AHMADANI ISLAMABAD: After six long years, Pakistan has now lifted ban over issuing new licenses to the long distance international (LDI) operators, which managed incoming international calls to the country it is learnt on Tuesday. This much-awaited decision will open new business avenues for those LDI operators who are interested to invest in Pakistan and would also help in managing the traffic flow of international calls to Pakistan in a legal way. Sources in Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) disclosed to this scribe that a ban imposed in 2006 on issuing new licenses to LDI operators, which managed incoming international calls to the country, had been vacated on March 31. Due to lifting ban, there would be a visible reduction in illegal traffic in future. They said only 13 operators owned licenses and annually these few operators brought 20b minute incoming international calls to the country. The PTA had decided to issue new licenses due to continuous increase in the incoming international calls. However, issuance of licenses would be started after the appointment of chairman and members of PTA.

Nizami vows to work for media freedom ISLAMABAD: Newly established Interim Cabinet Federal Minister Arif Nizami on Tuesday vowed to work for freedom of media and free and transparent elections in the country. He said that Election Commission is fully functional in Pakistan. Talking to Pakistan Television channel, he said that democracy is gradually strengthening in the country. He said that maintaining law and order should be the priority of the Interim Cabinet. He said that main objective of the interim set-up, is to hold free, fair and transparent elections across the country. –MONITORING DESK

ISLAMABAD: President Asif Ali Zardari administering oath to the caretaker ministers at President’s House. –ONLINE

ISLAMABAD: Despite the country has been facing so earlier prolonged power load shedding up to 12 to 16 hours, National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) increased the consumer-end tariff up to Rs 1.34 per unit for residential consumers of Lahore and Rs 2.60 per unit for Gujranwala regions, beside the another increase of Rs 0.63 per unit under head of fuel adjustment charges. The recent decision taken by NEPRA against the petition filed by Lahore Electric Supply Company (LESCO) and Gujranwala Electric Power Company (GEPCO) allowed them to increase the power tariff for fiscal year 2012-13 to generate the revenue of accumulated amount Rs. 299 billion during ongoing fiscal year. The copy of decision available with The Spokesman revealed residential power consumers of LESCO consuming up to 50 units, tariff would remain the same, however the consumers for peak load requirement less than 5kw consuming up to 100 units, company marginally decreased the tariff from Rs. 11.43 to 11.09 per unit showing cut in tariff paisa 34, while on consumption of electricity unit within the slab of 101-300, the company increased in slab rate up to Rs 1.34 from Rs 12.66 to Rs 14 per unit, within electricity consumption slab 301-700 units, new power consumer end tariff for LESCO region determined by NEPRA Rs 17 per unit showing increase of Rs 1.34 per unit as compare to tariff determined for last FY 2011-12, electricity consumption above 700 units, company would charge Rs. 18 per unit showing paisa 34 up from existing Rs 17.66 per unit. Similarly, the residential power consumers of GEPCO consuming up to 50 units, tariff increased Rs 1 per unit, while the consumers for

peak load requirement less than 5kw consuming up to 100 units, company increased the tariff from Rs 9.50 to 12.10 per unit showing power tariff up Rs 2.60 per unit, on consumption of electricity unit within the slab of 101-300, the company increased in slab rate up to Rs. 1.45 from Rs 13.55 to Rs 15 per unit, within electricity consumption slab 301-700 units, new power consumer end tariff for GEPCO region determined by NEPRA Rs 17 per unit showing increase of Rs 1.50 per unit as compare to tariff determined for last FY 2011-12, electricity consumption above 700 units, company would charge Rs 19 per unit showing paisa 2.50 up from existing Rs 16.50 per unit. NEPRA also allowed both most power consuming power distribution companies to increase the consumer end tariff of commercial, industrial and agricultural tube well consumers. While under head of fuel adjustment charges, NEPRA increased Rs0.63 in the price of per unit of electricity on account of fuel price adjustment over the request of Central Power Purchasing Agency (CPPA), sources said on Tuesday. During the hearing, Central Power Purchase Agency informed that totally 5.40 billion electricity units were generated at a fuel cost of Rs. 43.38 billion during the month of March. While 370.60 million units additional loss surfaced under head line losses in comparison with the set target. Though NEPRA set Rs7.64/unit as Reference Fuel Cost (RFC) for the month of February yet actual fuel cost remained at Rs8.31/unit so the CPPA sought Rs0.67/unit hike in electricity price. The NEPRA approved Rs0.63/unit hike in electricity price over the request of CPPA but this raise would not impact the consumers of KESC and those who use 50units in a month.

PML-N’s Sakina attempts suicide after party ticket denied MONITORING DESK

QUETTA: A disgruntled Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) woman worker attempted to immolate herself after she was denied a party ticket to contest in the general elections to be held in May, Geo News reported. Reportedly, PML-N leadership had refused Sakina Mengal a ticket to run for one of the reserved seats for women, which frustrated her to the extent that he doused herself with kerosene oil and tried to set herself on fire outside Quetta Press Club, however fellow workers did not let her strike a match. Later police arrested Mengal for attempted suicide. According to sources a resentful Sakina Mengal was unhappy with the PML-N top brass, which she said, awarded tickets to junior party members bypassing a senior worker like her. “I condemn this sheer injustice as it is not like Pakistan Muslim

League-Nawaz at all. It runs counter to the true spirit of the party. I should be awarded a party ticket when I deserve it”, said she talking to media afterwards.

‘Silent’ CDA puts thousands of lives at risk SALMAN ABBAS ISLAMABAD: Negligence of Capital Development Authority (CDA) towards keeping a strict check on the violation of building by-laws and lack of fire prevention measures adopted by the high-rise buildings in federal capital has put the lives of hundreds of thousands residents in danger. Neither fire exits nor any fire extinguishers are installed in the buildings whereas the poor maintenance in high rise residential apartments and even in commercial buildings has also become a headache for citizens thanks to the lethargy of CDA ‘baboos’. According to a survey conducted by The Spokesman, there are hundreds of high-rise buildings in the city,

including many luxury residential apartments. The number of flats in these apartments is around 300 with an average of five family members in each, but most of these apartments and buildings lack fire prevention measures. “We have written a number of letters to the CDA Chairman Syed Tahir Shahbaz to look into the matter but he has paid no heed towards our complaint,” said Ahmad Abbas, a resident of Al-Mustafa Towers in Sector F/10. “The unfortunate incident of Margalla Towers collapse in the earthquake of 2005 is still fresh in our memories: we daily see the wrecked and ruined structure that reminds us constantly of the irreparable loss of over 90 lives and the irretrievable

damage caused to property. The sight of the destroyed building keeps haunting all the residents of AlMustafa Towers and we feel extremely insecure and vulnerable when we observe the decaying and crumbling status of the Al-Mustafa towers building,” said one of the letters written to the CDA chairman by the residents of a high-rise apartment building, a copy of which was available with The Spokesman. But unfortunately, neither the chairman nor the concerned department of the authority seem serious about ensuring the fire safety measures and proper renovation of high rise buildings. CDA officials tried to linger on the issue by making pretext of conducting survey in this regard.

Additional director of CDA Emergency and Disaster Management Directorate, Zafar Iqbal, told The Spokesman that it was not possible for the authority to complete the survey in a short period because hundred of buildings existed in the city. “Our survey is underway and several teams have been constituted for the purpose which have been visiting all the buildings of the city," said Zafar. However, CDA sources said that the lack of fire safety measures by the building owners are also a danger for the infrastructure of the city, adding that the issue is an old one but the owners of the buildings are violating fire prevention measures deliberately. He said that the CDA was trying hard for a long time for compliance of

"Building standards for fire prevention and life safety 2010" and it also boosted its efforts after the incidents in two provincial capitals, but many of the buildings in the city cannot meet the criteria of said bill just because of their old maps. The CDA building standards under “Building Standards for Fire Prevention and Life Safety 2010” have been divided into three clauses; fire prevention, life safety and fire protection. A CDA official said that the Directorate of Building Control Service, CDA notified the standards which were mandatory to comply with by the owners of buildings under category-II, III and IV. Category-II includes two-storey buildings, industries and all other non-residential

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

buildings except farmhouses whereas category-III includes non-residential buildings up to five stories (including ground floor) and category-IV includes all high-rise buildings that are sixstories and above including ground floor. In case of non-compliance, the Authority can use its powers to vacate or seal any building or impose a fine of up to Rs 500,000 on violators. The existence of such standards was felt during the fire at Shaheed-i-Mould Secretariat in January 2002, fires in the parliament building in 1989, 2002 and 2007 and the bomb blast and fire at Marriott Hotel in September 2008 and after the incidents of Lahore and Karachi, it became obligatory for the CDA to safeguard the federal capital against any such incident.

The spokseman  

of the people 03-04-2013

The spokseman  

of the people 03-04-2013