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London 2012: ames Olympic Fear G

See page 5 & 16-17>>

Year 1

Issue 50


South Asia

Thursday, 28.06.12


Syrian President Bashar al-Assad says his country is in a state of war .The Syrian President underlined that we live a state of real war, and when we live a state of war, all our polices, directives and all sectors will be directed in order to gain victory in this war. President Bashar al-Assad on Tuesday presided over the first session of the new cabinet after the new government members sworn in before him. We live in a real state of war from all angles, President Assad told members of the cabinet who were sworn in on Tuesday. When we are in a war, all policies and all sides and all sectors need to be directed at winning this war. We want good relations He criticised countries that have been

We live in a Real State of War that we should Defeat: Assad

Lord Nazir Ahmed cancel Iran seminar under Zionist lobbys pressure

calling for him to stand down, saying that the West takes and never gives and this has been proven at every

stage. He added: We want good relations with all countries but we must know where our interests lie. Kofi Annan, the international envoy to Syria, is trying to organise a peace conference for Saturday which would include the Security Council and regional countries, notably Iran. Sergei Lavrov, the Russian foreign minister, indicated that he would attend and stated Irans participation was crucial to the success of a meeting, but Britain and America publicly oppose Tehrans involvement.

More report on page 3, 4, 6, 7 >>

Anuj Bidve Salford shooting sounded like firecracker

Friend of student Anuj Bidve tells jury of moment he was shot dead on Salford street
He calmly asked them three times what the time was and, when someone answered, he pulled out a gun without warning, put it to Mr Bidves head and red one shot. A gunman who shot an Indian student dead at close range gave a sarcastic laugh after pulling the trigger, a jury heard Wednesday. A friend of Anuj Bidve, Nitish Jalali, 23, said he saw him fall to the ground face-first after hearing a bang which he initially thought was a firecracker. Kiaran Psycho Stapleton, 21, walked quickly up to the group of friends in the street in Ordsall, Salford, in the early hours of Boxing Day last year. He calmly asked them three times what the

Trial into Anuj Bidve murder continues

A seminar Peace with Iran organised in the British House of Lords for this month, was cancelled after pressure on the organisers from The Jewish Chronicle amid warnings of violence report published in the daily times. The paper said that the Jewish Chronicle also threatened Lord Nazir Ahmed to keep him from chairing the seminar. The newspaper warned him of violence if the debate went ahead. The newspaper also contacted the Labour Party with objections over the extremist views of some of those involved in the seminar. UKs All-Party Parliamentary Group of the House of Lords had arranged the seminar for Continued on page 27 >>

time was and, when someone answered, he pulled out a gun without warning, put it to Mr Bidves head and fired one shot. Stapleton, of Regent Square, Ordsall,

admits manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility but denies murder. Mr Bidves friend Nitish Jalali, Continued on page 27 >>

A German court has ruled that parents cant have their sons circumcised on religious grounds in a move which has angered Muslim and Jewish groups in the country. The court in Cologne decided that a legal guardians authority over a child does not allow them to subject them to the procedure, which the court called minor bodily harm, reports The Financial Times Deutschland. Neither does religious freedom, which is protected by law in Germany, give grounds for such decisions to be taken for the children, the ruling says. The court was considering a case against a Muslim doctor, who performed circumcision on a four-year-old boy at his parents request. Two days after the procedure bleeding started, after
Publisher Salah Bu Khamas (UAE) Sabha Khan (UK) UK Office 10 Courtenay Road, Wembley, Middlesex, HA9 7ND UK Phone: +44 20 8904 0619 Fax: +44 20 8181 7575 India Office Satya Infomedia Pvt. Ltd. C/O Satya Group. 1st Floor, Avenue Appt., Near Sheth. R. J. J. High School, Tithal Road, Valsad - 396001 Gujarat, India United Arab Emirates Office S.K. Group of Companies P.O. Box 9021, Karama Dubai, United Arab Emirates Tel: +971 4 2659970, 3359929; Fax: +971 4 2659971, 3341609 Managing Editor & CEO Mohammad Shahid Khan Group Editorial Managers Gulzar Khan (India) Abdul Khalique (Pakistan) Editorial Board UK Frances Brunner FYI Tribune team Adrian Fellar Misbah Khan Reema Shah Rohma Khan Keziah-Ann Abakah Marketing & Sales Andrew Klugman (Manager) Art Department UK Ali Ansar (Art Director) Mohammad Reazul Islam

Religious circumcision of kids a crime - German court


South Asia Tribune I Thursday 28 June 2012

which the boy had to be taken to hospital. German authorities learned about the incident and launched a criminal investigation against

the doctor. The initial court trial ruled that there was no violation of the law, but the prosecutors office took the case to the Cologne district court.

The decision sets a precedent, which may affect medical practice across the country. The possible ban on circumcision provoked outrage among Jewish

and Muslim organizations in Germany, where every year thousands of boys are circumcised in their early years at the request of parents. They regard the ban as a serious interference in the right to freedom of religion. But none of the organizations so far has commented on the verdict, explaining they first need to study thoroughly the reasoning of the judges. Some experts however dont rule out that the right for religiously motivated circumcision will be considered by the Federal Constitutional Court.

Muslim mother banned from Manchester College parents evening... for wearing a veil
A British Muslim woman was turned away from a parents night at her sons college because she refused to remove her full face veil. Maroon Rafique, had been invited to attend the parents evening but said she was apprehended by security staff when she entered the Manchester College. She was told that for the security of the teachers and the children at the college there was a ban on any type of face covering. Rafique was also warned that if she did not remove her face veil (niqab) she would not be allowed onto the campus. Im born in this country and British. Why should what I wear offend anyone? I didnt want to make any fuss. All I wanted was to find out the information to help my son go to university. Rafique told Britains the Daily Mail.

I offered to sit at the back or at the front, anywhere where I wouldnt be seen. If they thought I was going to offend anyone, she said. However, her protests were to no avail and finally Rafique called her husband to come and take her place at the parents evening. 40-year old Rafique has been wearing the face veil for the past seven years. According to the Daily Mail, a

college spokeswoman defended the policy but said Rafiques concerns were being taken very seriously. At all times we need to be able to identify all individuals easily in order to maintain safety and security and therefore we ask that faces are clearly visible while indoors. Our dress code is reviewed through our quality improvement group and we will take this situation into

account at the next review, the spokeswoman said. In March, a Muslim woman was barred from serving on a jury in the UK because she refused to remove her niqab. The presiding judge told her that she could not sit on an attempted murder trial because her veil concealed her facial expressions. Unlike France, Britain has not introduced a full ban on face veils.

Twelve South Asian restaurants are set to go head to head in the battle to be crowned Tiffin Cup champions by Mr Speaker at the Houses of Parliament tonight. The Tiffin Cup, now in its seventh year, is the competition to find the best South Asian restaurant in the country as nominated by Members of Parliament. This year 89 restaurants were nominated by MPs. This is the highest number ever to enter so the competition is expected to be extremely tight this year, both among the restaurants and the MPs. The Grand Final of the Tiffin Cup 2012 will be held in the opulent Bellamys Restaurant in the House of Commons on Wednesday 27th June. The 12 finalists will have to prepare their signature dish for eight top celebrity judges, led by Chef Ainsley

12 Restaurants to battle for tiffin cup crown

Harriott. Keith Vaz MP, the Chair of the Tiffin Club said: We are delighted that Mr Speaker has agreed to present the trophy to the winner of the Tiffin Cup. The final will show the culinary talent in the United Kingdom today at its very best. It is a

chance to celebrate the best aspects of Britain; our diversity and our competitive spirit! Events such as these are so important. South Asian cuisine plays a key role in British culture in the 21st Century. Chicken tikka masala is nationally recognised as Britains favourite dish, and rightly so, who doesnt love a good curry?!

South Asia Tribune I Thursday 28 June 2012

Military Sources: British Commandos Operating In Syria, Assad Compound Under Siege
French, British and Turkish military sources have suggested that elite British soldiers have entered Northern Syria and are operating ten kilometers inside the country in what is thought to be the first offensive western intervention against the Assad regime. Our military sources estimate that the British military drive into Syria, if confirmed, is designed to establish the first safe zone along the Syrian-Turkish border, to be followed by more Western military incursions to establish additional zones of safe asylum in other parts of Syria. reports the Israeli intelligence website Debkafile. The site notes that sources have indicated that any such further coordinated action is to be determined based upon Syrian, Russian and Iranian (+ Hizballah) responses to the initial stage of the operation. The same sources also indicate that Syrian government forces and the rebel opposition are fighting in two Damascus suburbs, Qudsaya and Hammah. The sources have indicated that the attacks are targeted at the presidential palace of Bashar alAssad and the compound of the presidential guard. Reports of clashes and overnight shelling in the capital have been


corroborated by the Britishbased Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. Russian President Vladimir Putin warned Tuesday morning that Western military intervention in Syria would not be tolerated by

last Friday. The two-pronged operation the reported British incursion and major clash at the front door of Assads presidential palace would appear to be designed to widen the cracks in his regime

ammunition deliveries and overseeing the battle for the strategic city of Homs. Debkafile, reported that British troops are already in Syria leading armed groups, and that the MI6 has established four

Moscow, and that Russia would act decisively to prevent it. Debkafile also notes that the perceived double offensive against Assad began just hours before the NATO consultation in Brussels on the shooting down of a Turkish warplane by Syria

and speed its final breakup. the report states. The websites sources have proven accurate in the past. Back in February reports emerged suggesting that British and Qatari troops were operating inside Syria, directing rebel

centers of operation in the city. The British government denied that it was carrying out any clandestine operations within the country. These reports are untrue. There are absolutely no British troops on Syrian territory at the moment, an embassy

official said at the time. Earlier this month more reports emerged indicating that Britain was planning to set up refugee camps inside Syria under a humanitarian pretext, when in reality the operation was a cover for assisting armed rebels fighting against the government. It also emerged this month that Emissaries from the Free Syrian Army (FSA) have held meetings with high level U.S. government officials in Washington. The CIA, MI6 and Mossad supported rebels consulted with Obamas National Security Council and presented a shopping list of heavy weapons, including surface-toair missiles. Debkafile also reported that Barack Obama has told the US Navy and Air Force to prepare air strikes on Syria as part of a no fly zone that will be enforced with the aid of British and French military power.

Briton and Syrian sentenced to death for drug dealing in Abu Dhabi
A 19-year-old Syrian and a Briton, 21, were both sentenced to death yesterday for selling an undercover policeman Dh1,500 worth of marijuana. After the verdict was announced, the Britons mother collapsed outside the Criminal Court while the Syrians mother tried to comfort her, telling her they could appeal the decision. The two men were caught after a CID officer posing as a customer bought 20 grams of the drug. The officer had earlier bought Dh500 worth to test it and confirm it actually was marijuana. A Sudanese man who was also a defendant, was sentenced to one year in jail and deportation for taking the drug, while a 17-year-old Emirati was sent for rehabilitation. Previously in court, defence lawyers had attacked the credibility of the police investigations, because the witness said he did not know the address of the defendants. He also said that the Syrian asked the Briton to get him the drugs from the car in Arabic, which lawyers said did not make sense. Moreover, the two were speaking in English, which, they said, the CID officer did not understand. A spokesman for the UKs Foreign Office confirmed to a number of British media that one of its citizens is facing the death penalty here in the UAE, saying officials were in close contact with the accuseds legal team and were providing consular assistance.


South Asia Tribune I Thursday 28 June 2012

Gunman Kiaran Stapleton smirked Syria: Only diplomacy after shooting dead student Anuj can stop the war Bidve on Salford street, court told No political solution to Syrias unrest viable without Iran
President Bashar al-Assad of Syria declared his country was at war as violent clashes erupted on Tuesday around Damascus. If the conflict escalates further, as former UN Secretary-General and current envoy of both the UN and the Arab League Kofi Annan noted: Syria is not Libya, it will not implode, it will explode beyond its borders. The human cost of this conflict is incalculably high. Its not surprising that the normal human reaction is weve got to do something. But what is needed is serious diplomacy - not an army or air force action. Since mid-March 2011, Syria has been experiencing unrest. While the West and the Syrian opposition accuse the government of the killings, Damascus blames outlaws, saboteurs and armed terrorist groups for the unrest, insisting that it is being orchestrated from abroad. Last week, The New York Times reported that CIA agents have been in Turkey for several weeks, helping screen potential arms recipients while also establishing new contacts in Syria. Some observers have drawn similarities between the CIAs secret arming of the Mujahedeen in Afghanistan and the present situation in Syria. Last week Russias foreign minister said that Moscow isnt discussing Syrias future without President Bashar Assad as Washington has claimed. Sergey Lavrov denied Thursdays statement by U.S. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland that Moscow and Washington are continuing to talk about a post-Assad transition strategy. Meanwhile Russias main weapons producer has allegedly suspended its contract with Syria to supply S-300 long-range missile systems. Russias Vedomosti daily published the report, citing unnamed sources within the military-industrial complex. The very fact of the contracts existence was not known until it was revealed in an annual report made only last week and published online by the makers of the S-300 systems, Almaz-Antey. And now after President Bashar alAssad of Syria declared his country was at war. We live in a real state of war from all angles, Mr Assad said in a speech broadcast on state television. When we are in a war, all policies and all sides and all sectors need to be directed at winning this war. In his address to the new parliament in Damascus on Sunday, Assad said Syria was facing a real war from outside. We are not facing a political problem but a project to destroy the country, Assad said. The Syrian president also described last weeks Houla massacre as an ugly crime. The Syrian leader made his comments a markedly stronger acknowledgement of the seriousness of the conflict than in previous remarks as Turkey warned Syria not to make any incursions into its territory, warning it would retaliate if it did so. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has warned that Syria has become the target of a foreign conspiracy. According to a recent analytical report published by the Voice of Russia, the issue of a Turkish F-4 Phantom shot down on June 22 has been used by Ankara as a pretext to persuade military intervention in Syria. Also on June 26, the Turkish Hurriyetdaily reported that Ankara had deployed a large number of military vehicles to the Syrian border, including 15 armored tanks, in addition to long-distance guns and other military vehicles. Kofi Annan has proposed new negotiations including the Syrian regimes supporters, Iran and Russia, as well as those western, Arab and regional governments backing the armed opposition. So far the US has rejected the proposal, at least regarding Iran, with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton saying that Tehran is part of the problem in Syria and thus cant be part of the solution. According to reports the anti-government forces are being supplied with increasingly heavy weapons - allegedly paid for by Qatar and Saudi Arabia and coordinated by Turkey and the CIA. Iran and Saudi Arabia have not been invited to UN summit of world powers on Syria as peace negotiator Kofi Annan convenes the meeting in Geneva the coming weekend. In an interview Taleb Ibrahim, political analyst from Syria said what is going on inside Syria is an international and regional war game, as I have said, they is a real proxy war inside Syria. Iran is a very, very influential country and it is a very important country. No one can ignore Iran, in all over the Middle East, in Central Asia and the Caspian Sea rim and also in the Persian Gulf. So if you will find any, or if you will look for any political resolution for any crisis in all over the Middle East, even in the mid of Asia, you must look for Iran and you must engage Iran, you must bring Iran to the table and you must make a very big bargain. Taleb Ibrahim further said a political solution can be reached if all of the parties which have a real influence in what is happening in Syria, if they have a good intention about Syria, Yes, you can find a real political resolution for all of our problems otherwise we have no alternative for a political resolution to what is happening in Syria and to everything in the Middle East because the alternative is war and war, it is not only a small word, it means a very, very dangerous thing which may devastate all the Middle East and may spread very, very widely.

A gunman smirked or laughed after shooting a student through the head at close range, a jury has heard.

Kiaran Stapleton, 21, is accused of killing Anuj Bidve in the early hours of Boxing Day last year. The victim, a 23-year-old postgraduate student, was on his way with friends to queue for sales in Manchester when he was gunned down. At the start of Stapletons trial, prosecuting barrister Brian Cummings QC told Manchester Crown Court: With no warning

Holden was initially arrested as a suspect, but he is now due to appear as a witness for the prosecution. After being arrested, Stapleton is alleged to have said: So I suppose Ryan will be under the ... how do you want to put it ... the witness protection? Cos hes gonna need a hell more than that. Mr Bidve was a postgraduate electronics student at Lancaster University. His parents Subhash and Yogini have flown from their home in Pune, India, to attend the trial which is expected to last up to four weeks. Senior Labour MP Keith Vaz said: I welcome Stapletons admission of responsibility for this terrible crime. Nothing can lessen the pain of the Bidve family, but to see Anujs killer brought to justice will bring this tragic case to a close. Keith Vaz attended the start of the trial for the murder of Anuj Bidve in Manchester on Monday. He met with the Bidve family, whom he has been in close contact with since the tragic death of their son on Boxing Day. He welcomed the Bidve family to Parliament when they came to the UK to meet with the police and collect Anujs body in January, and subsequently visited them in Mumbai, to hand over the donations of the Anuj Bidve Memorial Fund, from members of the public and well-wishers. Mr Vaz has also spoken out to reassure overseas students that Britain is a safe place to live and study, and visited India earlier this year to encourage Indian students to make UK universities their destination of choice. He raised the matter in person with the Indian Home Minister, P. Chidambaram. Keith Vaz said: I am very concerned that the Bidves have all the support they need at this very difficult

the male produced a gun, put it to the head of Anuj Bidve and fired a shot. Anuj Bidve immediately fell to the ground fatally injured. The gunman smirked or laughed and ran off. The court also heard that a couple of days after the shooting, Stapleton had a teardrop tattoo painted onto his face. The tattooist had told the customer it could signify that he had killed someone. The defendant pleaded guilty to manslaughter on grounds of diminished responsibility

earlier this month, but denies murder. The jury was told how he had described himself at an earlier hearing as Psycho Stapleton. The Crown Court was told during the days proceedings that on the day after the shooting, Stapleton, who described himself in January as Psycho Stapleton, checked into a hotel near the scene of the crime. He was with a friend, Ryan Holden, at the scene of the shooting.

time. Greater Manchester Police have done an excellent job on this case. I am sure that this trial will be fair and an opportunity to allow the family closure. It is vital that we send out the message that Britain is a safe place for foreign students. We have world-class universities, which continue to attract top talent from across the globe. This was a deeply tragic incident, but it was a one-off and international students should feel secure here.

South Asia Tribune I Thursday 28 June 2012

Tony Blair: I would be prime minister again

Tony Blair has admitted he would be prepared to become Prime Minister again, in an interview marking the fifth anniversary of his resignation but that he recognises this is unlikely. He also claims that he has learned much in the past five years that would make him a better prime minister. During the interview, which appears in the London Evening Standard newspaper he guestedited today, Blair says that although he would be prepared to accept another term in office, he understood it was unlikely to ever happen. Blair described his relationship with Gordon Brown during the interview, saying he hadnt wanted to resign as Prime Minister, but felt I had to in order to avoid a very bloody battle internally which I thought would damage the country as well as the party. He also accuses Brown of leading Labour to an inevitable election defeat by failing to get to grips with the identity of the party. Blair told Evening Standard Editor Sarah Sands, The problem for the Labour party was that it couldnt make up its mind whether to stay New Labour or not, so it didnt really and then in my view defeat was inevitable after that.


In interview with the Evening Standard marking fifth anniversary of his resignation, Blair says he would do job again but admits it is not likely to happen
Speaking of how much British politics has changed since his time as Prime Minister, Blair said that although he was in office during a period of enormous world events, including 9/11, it had been in one sense very calm. There was a predictability about government and an inherent stability. I did not foresee the tumult which would follow the financial crisis and the aftermath of that, he added. Discussing his life since leaving office, Blair said: "I am seeing a lot of the world and I have learned an immense amount in the past five years. One of my regrets is that

what I have learned in the last five years would have been so useful to me [as prime minister]. Because when you see how the world is developing you get a far clearer picture of some of the issues our country is grappling with." "What I can do is contribute to the debate, whether it is Europe or the Arab spring or areas to do with economy and public service

reform here." Setting out his predictions for the future of British politics, Blair said: I think the Lib-Dems will struggle at the next election. My advice to the Labour party is to sort ourselves out with a strong modern policy. Ed Miliband has made a conscious decision that he is going to keep the Labour party in the centre, and that is sensible.

Rain threat to London Olympic Games has Britons in a sweat

A quarter of a million rain ponchos, an army of volunteers equipped with umbrellas and rain jackets, and five dedicated weather forecasters it must be a British Olympics. WHAT are the biggest risks to the London Olympics? The most senior civil servant helping to organise the Games did not place terrorism, protests or traffic jams at the top of the list, but the inevitable British rain. As a result, organisers have asked the Met Office to produce detailed climatology reports, based on data amassed over 30 years, on what to expect in July, August and September. MI5 chief talks threats before Olympics what it has been for much of the past decade, it is still at substantial. The level means an attack is a strong possibility, Our assessment is that Britain has experienced a credible terrorist attack plot about once a year since 9/11, MI5s Director General Jonathan Evans said in a rare public speech Monday to the Lord Mayors annual defense and security lecture in London. The (Olympic) games present an attractive target for our enemies and they will be at the center of the worlds attention in a month or so, he said. But the games are not an easy target, and the fact that we have disrupted multiple terrorist plots here and abroad in recent years demonstrates that the UK as a whole is not an easy target for terrorism. Not so long ago, 75 percent of the terror threats prioritized by MI5 had links to Afghanistan or Pakistan. But Britains efforts, along with those of its international partners, has brought that percentage down to below 50 percent, Evans said. You could say that we are near to reaching a form of stalemate, said Evans. They havent stopped trying but we have got better at stopping them. MI5 has grown since the 2001 terror attacks in the United States, going from 1,800 to 3,800 staff - some of whom joined after Britains own homegrown suicide bombings that killed 52 people in 2005. Evans stressed that other countries, such as Iran, shouldnt be underestimated in the evolving terror threat landscape. Evans has been in charge of MI5 since 2007.

Rochdale child sex ringleader is revealed Shabir Ahmed has been convicted of 30 child rape charges
The ringleader of a gang of Asian men who groomed young white girls for sex can finally be unmasked after he was found guilty of 30 child rape charges. Shabir Ahmed, 59, led a child sex exploitation ring of nine men who targeted vulnerable young girls in the Rochdale and Oldham areas of Greater Manchester. He was jailed for 19 years last month following an 11-week trial at Liverpool Crown Court. But Ahmed - known to his victims by the nickname Daddy - could not be named as he was awaiting trial on separate child rape charges. He was convicted of 30 charges of rape by a jury at Manchester Crown Court and Judge Mushtaq Khokhar lifted reporting restrictions, which means he can be identified for the first time. The court heard that he raped and sexually abused a young Asian girl over many years. It was also told he treated her as a possession which he used for his own sexual gratification. Ahmed, formerly of Windsor Road, Oldham, wearing a black Lonsdale tracksuit top, smirked as the jury returned the unanimous verdicts. Judge Gerald Clifton, who sentenced Ahmed in Liverpool, said the gang treated their victims as though they were worthless and beyond any respect. Ahmed was violent and dominated his victim, a jury of six men and six women was told in his latest trial.

Britain has seen a credible terrorist attack plot about once a year since the Sept.11 attacks - a worrying pattern as security officials brace for an array of threats ahead of next months summer Olympics, the head of the countrys domestic spy agency says. Although Britains threat level is a notch below

Rachel Smith, opening the case for the prosecution, said Ahmed repeatedly raped the victim for more than a decade. She said the victim was eventually forced to submit to him and the abuse happened on an almost weekly basis. Eight of the men were publically named after being convicted of a range of offences including rape, trafficking and conspiracy. But the media were banned from naming Ahmed to avoid prejudicing the latest case. After the fresh conviction Nazir Afzal, chief crown prosecutor for north west, said: Shabir Ahmed has shown in this trial, as he did in that earlier trial, that he accepts no responsibility and shows no remorse for the sexual offences he has committed against children. He is a sexual predator, who targeted his victims because of their youth and their vulnerability. Thankfully he will now be spending many years behind bars where he can no longer present a danger to children. Ahmed will be sentenced in connection with the latest case on August 2.

Turkish jet shot down in international airspace without warning Syria: downing of Turkish plane not a hostile act UK condemns outrageous Syrian attack on Turkish jet
Syria said Saturday that it shot down a Turkish military jet because the aircraft had violated its airspace, but Turkey threatened retaliatory action as it searched for its two missing pilots. Both sides signaled they do not want to escalate an incident that has the potential to explode into a regional conflict, but the downing of the Turkish reconnaissance plane on Friday was a dramatic sign that the violence gripping Syria increasingly is spreading outside its borders. Turkey has said, it was consulting with NATO allies on a possible reaction. According to sources, the discussions could involve invoking Article 4 of the alliances charter, which calls for consultations among member countries when the security of any parties is involved. Our plane was shot down in international airspace, 13 nautical miles from Syria, Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutolu told TRT television yesterday. After a short, unintentional violation of Syrian airspace, the plane returned to Turkish airspace after being warned by its own radar that

Turkey threatens action after Syria downs jet


South Asia Tribune I Thursday 28 June 2012

The Syrians knew full well that it was a Turkish military plane and the nature of its mission, he said. The aircraft did not have arms and was flying on a training mission to conduct a national radar system test for national security over recent [developments] along the Mediterranean coast, he said, adding that it was alone, had no hidden identity and had no mission to gather any kind of information. The minister said search and rescue operations for its pilots were not joint operations with Syria but coordinated with the country, since

sudden and unrestrained reaction, the minister said, adding that Ankara would act on the basis of international law while reserving all its rights. There is an aggression against the Turkish plane which was flying in international airspace without any hostile intention. No one should try to test the capacity of Turkey, the minister said, adding that Ankara would take determined steps but that its current priority was to locate the pilots. Ankara will inform the international community about the details of

the incident, the minister said, while accusing Syria of spreading disinformation. Davutolu has had a series of telephone conversations with ministers of NATO members and regional countries, including Russia and Iran, since late June 23, the minister said. Davutolu said his Iranian counterpart, Ali Akbar Salehi, had called to say it would be useful to stay in touch and added that he had asked for support from his Iranian counterpart. Turkey also asked Russia for any additional information on the incident. Turkey will brief the NATO Council, as well as the U.N. Security Council, on the incident this week, the minister said. Turkey is neither the planner nor the cause of the events in Syria, Davutolu said in reference to the Arab republics crisis, which has driven a wedge between Ankara and Damascus. Davutolu also said Ankara would continue to support the Syrian people.

it strayed over the air border, the minister said, adding that Syria shot down the plane after it had returned to international airspace. The plane did not show any sign of hostility toward Syria and was shot down about 15 minutes after having momentarily violated Syrian airspace, he said, adding that Syria was trying to link the two incidents. Dismissing Syrias allegations that it did not know the plane was Turkish, the minister said Turkey had intercepted radio communications from the Syria side suggesting that they knew it was a Turkish aircraft. We have both radar info and Syrias radio communications, Davutolu said, adding that there was no warning from Syria before the attack.

the plane crashed into Syrian waters after being struck. British foreign minister William Hague condemned Syrias shooting down of a Turkish jet as outrageous on Sunday and said Britain was ready to support robust action against Syria by the United Nations Security Council. Turkey will consider response Turkish president says downing of fighter cannot be ignored Turkish President Abdullah Gl said today it was not possible to ignore the fact that Syria had shot down a Turkish fighter jet and said everything that needed to be done following the incident would be done, Turkish media reported. Turkey is not a country to give

Feds Seizing Illegal $1M Dino Skeleton

Tyrannosaurus belongs to Mongolia, court decides
The US Department of Homeland Security has been ordered to detain a dead, 70 million-year-old, 24-foot-long illegal immigrant. The skeleton of the Tyrannosaurus BataarT. Rexs Mongolian cousin was sold for $1 million at an auction in New York last month despite objections from the Mongolian government, which bans the export of fossils, reports the BBC. A court ordered the auction house to surrender the skeleton after experts viewed it and decided that it had almost certainly originated in Mongolia. When it was imported from Britain in 2010, sellers claimed that the skeleton had been dug up in Britain and was only worth $15,000. A spokesman for Heritage Auctions says

the skeleton was bought in good faith, and had been restored at considerable expense to the auction house.

South Asia Tribune I Thursday 28 June 2012

Saudi and Turkey get serious about supporting Syrian rebels

American CIA operatives have allegedly been distributing arms among various opposition groups in Syria via a clandestine network of go-betweens in southern Turkey. According to Zaman newspaper, the opposition fighters are getting assault rifles, anti-tank rocket launchers and other weapons paid for by Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar. A source in the Turkish government told the newspaper that Ankara was in no way engaged in such activity. The paper says the CIA oversees arms supplies to Syria for fear that the weapons might end up in the hands of terrorist groups, including al-Qaida. Saudi Arabia is set to pay the salaries of the rebel Free Syrian Army to encourage mass defections from President Bashar al-Assads forces, Britains Guardian newspaper reported on Saturday. The payments would be made in either U.S. dollars or euros -- which would mean a rise in salaries as the Syrian pound has fallen sharply in value since the revolt started 16 months ago, the broadsheet said. The idea was first proposed to Saudi Arabia by Arab officials in May, the Guardian reported, citing sources in three Arab states and adding that the plan has also been discussed with U.S. officials. However a spokesman for the Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs offered no comment to Al Arabiya to stop guns crossing the border into the hands of rebel fighters. The Guardian says its reporters coordinate with opposition leaders within Syria. It is alleged that 22 people have been recruited to run Turkey was among a number of countries shipping weapons to Syrian rebels over the border.

CIA distributes arms to Syrian opposition: newspapers


on such claims, suggesting the topic is likely to be addressed at the joint GCC-EU council and ministerial meeting set to take place in Luxembourg on Monday. The Guardian also claims that Turkey has allowed the establishment of a command center in Istanbul co-coordinating the supply of weapons to the rebel fighters in Syria, staffed by more than 20 mainly Syrian nationals. The report comes amid a crisis between Turkey and Syria after Damascus confirmed that it shot down a Turkish fighter jet that it said had violated Syrian airspace. The Guardian said Turkey sees weapon supply lines as crucial to the defense of its border with its former close ally Syria, with Syrian forces edging closer in an attempt

witnessed weapons being transferred across border from Turkey into Syria in early June.

the center, most of them Syrian nationals. On Friday, Ankara denied

According to the report, Turkey has given the green-light to establish a command center in Istanbul, to

allegations in a New York Times report, citing U.S. officials and Arab intelligence sources, that

The New York Times also reported that the CIA was on location in south Turkey assisting allies in the distribution of weapons amongst opposition fighters. Turkey does not ship weapons to any neighboring country, including Syria, foreign ministry spokesman Selcuk Unal said. The neighbors relations are already strained over outspoken condemnation by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Syrias bloody crackdown on protests against Assads government. Turkey is hosting more than 30,000 Syrian refugees living in camps near the border, according to foreign ministry figures, as well as army defectors including 12 generals.

Putin: Israel, Russia strive for peaceful resolution to Iran nuclear issue

China felicitates Pakistan Prime Minister

China on Monday congratulated Raja on assuming office of the PM of Pakistan and assured to continue allweather partnership with its south Asian neighbour. China congratulates Raja Pervez Ashraf as prime minister of Pakistan, said Chinese Foreign Office spokesman Hong Lei while responding to a question at a regular press briefing. He said being a close neighbour, China will continue to support Pakistans efforts to realise national stability and social and economic development. Hong said, China is also ready to continue to cement its all-weather partnership with Pakistan.

Speaking at joint press conference with Netanyahu, Russian leader says Israel-Russia ties based on deep friendship; PM: Israel, Palestinians must resume peace talks. Israel and Russia will continue consultations geared at resolving the nuclear standoff with Iran

through peaceful means, Russian President Vladimir Putin said in a joint press conference with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday, adding that IsraelRussia relations are based on a deep friendship. Speaking to the media after meeting PM Netanyahu, Putin

thanked Israels leadership for inviting him to visit. My visit here reinforced the assumption that we have friendly relations, and these are not just friendly relations, Putin said. This is a solid basis for building dialogue and partnership. Earlier Monday, President

Shimon Peres greeted Putin in a dedication ceremony for a memorial to the Red Armys victory over Nazi Germany in Netanya. Peres said he is certain that Russia, which fought fascism, will not tolerate similar threats, not an Iranian threat and not bloodshed in Syria.

Assange Episode 10: Noam Chomsky and Tariq Ali

very traditional pattern. Theres a playbook that you pursue that gives you a kind of a game plan when some favorite dictators lose the capacity to rule. What you do is support them until the last possible minute, when its impossible any longer maybe the army turns against them you get your intellectual class to issue ringing declarations about democracy, and then you try to restore the old system, as much as, says Chomsky. But the uprisings do carry important lessons to be learned for all freedomloving people in the world, not just the Arabs, Chomsky and Ali say. Sometimes people say: But nothing much has changed. This is true. But one thing thats changed is that the people, the masses, have realized that in order to bring about change they have to move and become active. And that is a big lesson from these uprisings, believes Ali. On a more global scale, the growing protest movement shows that the current system of world governance is unbalanced, and a replacement should be found sooner rather than later. The answer may be coming from the Latin America, which is experimenting with models which differ from a western state capitalism increasingly running amok. Theyre developing models take Bolivia [for example]. One of the most striking things thats happened there is that the most repressed part of the population in the hemisphere, the indigenous population, has moved into the political arena. Its also happening in Ecuador, and to an extent in Peru. Well, theyre developing new and significant models and some of the aspects of those models the West had better pick up pretty soon, or else fall and be over, Chomsky says.


South Asia Tribune I Thursday 28 June 2012

With the Arab Spring, the Euro crisis, and mass protests in Russia and the US, the world has become a different place in less than two years. Two prominent public thinkers Noam Chomsky and Tariq Ali - help Julian Assange make sense of it all. The revolts in the Middle East, and protests across the world are all stemming from a profound economic disparity and the feeling of being oppressed by their respective governments, Chomsky and Ali agree. We are witnessing that democracy is becoming more and more denuded of content. Its like an empty shell, and this is what is angering young people, who feel Whatever we do, whatever we vote for, nothing changes, hence all these protests, Ali said. When it comes to Middle Eastern turmoil, Western powers, who currently dominate the world, try to limit the damage to their oil-exporting dictatorial allies, the liberal thinkers say. In Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the Emirates, the major oil producing

regions, it never got off the ground. The intimidation of the security forces, backed by the West, was so enormous that people were literally afraid to go into the streets in Riyadh, Chomsky explained. However, the so-called Arab Spring took everyone by surprise, which resulted in the fall of several key figures in the region. But that would not permanently damage western interests in the region, they argue. The West mainly France in

Tunisia, the United States and Britain in Egypt are following a










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underway. Justice Mulk asked National Accountability Bureau (NAB) how former prime minister Gilani, who appointed Adnan A Khawaja as chairperson Oil and Gas Development Company Limited (OGDCL), was not aware that Khawaja was a convicted person. Justice Khosa observed that Gilani and Khwaja had also spent some time in jail together then how NAB could say that Gilani was not aware about this aspect of Khawaja. The Supreme Court had earlier directed NAB to hold inquiry to fix responsibility for appointing a convicted person (NRO beneficiary) as chairman OGDCL. An application was filed in the Supreme Court on Tuesday praying that contempt proceedings against the incumbent prime minister Raja Parvaiz Ashraf be initiated for giving a statement that he will not write a letter to the Swiss authorities.

Saarc international I Thursday 28 June 2012

Thursday, 28.06.12


To write Swiss letter or not?

SC tells Ashraf to decide by July 12
While hearing the National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO) implementation case on Wednesday, the Supreme Court ordered Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf to submit a written response to the court on whether or not he will write a letter to the Swiss authorities by July 12, News report. A three-member bench, headed by Justice Nasirul Mulk, ordered Attorney General Irfan Qadir to get in touch with Ashraf and inform the court about Ashrafs stance. The court had already issued an order when a contempt of court case was underway against former prime minister Yousaf Raza Gilani, in which it was told to disregard the summary made by the Law Ministry and write a letter to the Swiss authorities to open graft cases against President Asif Ali Zardari. The federal government had asked the court to not implement the order yet as Gilanis case was

26/11 plotter Abu Jindal confirms LHC gives Zardari Pakistan role: P Chidambaram
Dual offices case

one more chance

The Lahore High Court (LHC) has given President Asif Ali Zardari one more chance to comply with the courts order, adding that the court will begin contempt proceedings if this was not done, Express News reported on Wednesday. On May 12, last year, a full bench of the LHC had ruled that Asif Zardari could not continue as cochairman of the ruling Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) while sitting in the Presidency.

The bench had asked him to either step down as co-chairman of the PPP or stop using the presidency for politicking. During the hearing of the dual offices case in the LHC, the court said that it was the presidents duty to implement the order of the full bench which he had violated earlier. The court had earlier issued a notice to Zardari for holding two offices in violation of its earlier order.

Home Minister P Chidambaram has said that there was Pakistans involvement in the 26/11 attacks. Speaking at Thiruvananthapuram, the Home Minister said that key 26/11 conspirator Abu Jindal has confirmed Pakistan involvement in the 26/11 attacks. However, he said that there was no pinpointing to any particular agency yet. There was state involvement in 26/11 attack. Jindal has confirmed that to us. No pinpointing to any particular agency, Chidambaram said. Chidambaram also said that India had been tracking Abu Jindal for almost a year and hunted him down successfully. Today the world appreciates the restraint we have shown. We have been tracking Abu Jindal for nearly a year. We tracked him, found him and apprehended him,

Chidambaram said. Chidambaram also lashed out at Pakistan for not acting effectively against the 26/11 accused. The world appreciates how India is tracking every one of the accused in the 26/11 case. In contrast, Pakistan comes out poorly as a country in denial, he said. The Home Minister said that Pakistan was under pressure and has asked India to share information on Jindal with them He, however, said that India will

share information if Pakistan keeps its promise of acting against terrorists. Yesterday I got a note from Rehman Malik requesting that India share information about Jindal with Pakistan. We will do that in due course, but I insist that Pakistan keeps its promise and gives us the voice samples of all those whose list I have given. Lets see how Pakistan reacts. Its Pakistan who is under pressure, Continued on page 10 >>


Pakistan frees 315 Indian fishermen

ministers had been postponed. Pakistan has been in political upheaval since the Supreme Court dismissed the prime minister last week. We have released 315 Indian fishermen from our jail on the instructions of the government, Nazeer Husain Shah, superintendent of the Malir district prison in Karachi told AFP. Those released include 14 teenage boys, he said. Haider Ali Haider, who runs charity Saiban designed to help imprisoned fishermen, said six buses had taken the Indians to the eastern city of Lahore, from where they would cross the Wagah border. Officials say at least 150 Indian fishermen are still in Pakistani jails and 250 Pakistanis in Indian prisons. Sharjeel Memon, the information minister for southern province Sindh on the Arabian Sea, said the releases were a goodwill gesture.


Saarc international I Thursday 28 June 2012

Pakistan on Wednesday released 315 Indian fishermen, including 14 teenagers, who were held in prison for violating territorial waters, officials said. The release, described as a goodwill gesture, is part of an understanding between the countries to release citizens who mistakenly stray into each others territorial waters. It came one day after India said a planned meeting between the Indian and Pakistani foreign

India asks Pak to release Sarabjit Singh

unfortunate case of Sarabjit Singh who has spent 20 years in prison. This is a good time for the Government of Pakistan to take a lenient, a humanitarian view. I can very well understand the agony his family must have gone through. I also appeal to the government of Pakistan to release all Indian nationals who have completed their prison terms, said External Affairs Minister S. M. Krishna during a breakfast interaction with newspersons. While diplomats were stoic after reports filtered in from Pakistan on Monday evening about Islamabads plans to release Sarabjit Singh, Mr. Krishna immediately welcomed the decision with his office not bothering to get a confirmation from the Indian mission in Islamabad. 'old tricks' MEA officials, on being told about the move to pardon Sarabjit (it later turned out to be Surjeet), had not been impressed. They termed it as one of the "oldest tricks in a media managers book" in a reference to the attempt by Pakistan to offset the embarrassment caused by the deportation of Zabiuddin Ansari, suspected of involvement in the 2008 Mumbai attacks, to India. But Mr. Krishna covered his tracks on Tuesday with a more careful statement. While thanking Mr. Zardari on the basis of "reports about the impending release of another long time Indian prisoner Surjeet Singh, he renewed his request for the release of Sarabjeet Singh.

Pakistan to release Surjeet, not Sarabjit

Continued from page 9 >>

26/11 plotter Abu Jindal

the Home Minister said. This comes close on the heels of the India-Pakistan Foreign Minister level talks, scheduled to take place in July and is likely to be the top focus in the talks. Sources say investigating agencies are now trying to track down the man who inducted Abu Jindal into LeT. They also say that Jindal was involved in planning the 26/11 Mumbai attack since early 2008. In 2006, Jindal went to Pakistan via Bangladesh. Jindal was arrested from the Indira Gandhi International Airport on June 21 and is in the custody of Delhi Police till July 5. The Maharashtra Anti-Terror Squad has now produced a production warrant in Delhis Tis Hazari court for Jindals interrogation. The ATS wants to question him regarding the Aurangabad arms haul case of May 2006 and the German Bakery blast case of February 2010. The Mumbai Crime Branch will now want to confront Jindal with Kasab, the foot soldier who carried out the attacks, and corroborate evidence provided by the latter with those of Jindal, with his voice samples being the key.

Five hours after the Sarabjit Singh story hogged headlines and talk shows in both India and Pakistan, the Presidency said late on Tuesday night that it was not him but the much older Surjeet Singh whom Pakistan had decided to release. The clarification came close to midnight (local time) amid growing criticism from right-wing organisations and in the media about the commutation of the death sentence of Sarabjit Singh, who had been arrested and convicted in 1991 for terror attacks in Faislabad and Lahore. By this time, practically every prime time talk show had led with discussions on Sarabjit Singh whom a couple of anchorpersons compared to Ajmal Kasab, the lone terrorist nabbed alive in the Mumbai terror attacks case. Surjeet Singh, who is from Faridkot, had been arrested when General Zia-ul-Haq was in power for alleged espionage. "I think there is some confusion. First, it is not a case of pardon. More importantly, it is not Sarabjit. It is Surjeet Singh, son of Sucha Singh. His death sentence was commuted in 1989 by President (Ghulam) Ishaq (Khan) on the advice of (then premier) Benazir Bhutto," said Presidential spokesperson Farhatullah Babar. Any references to President Asif Ali

Zardari in the entire matter were "out of context", he added. Law Minister Farooq Naek today [on Tuesday] conveyed to [the] Interior Minister that Surjeet Singh has completed his life term in jail and ought to be released and sent back to India. Keeping him in jail any longer will be illegal confinement, Mr. Babar said in a detailed text message sent out to all media personnel covering the Presidency. The Presidency also sought to distance itself from the decision, with Mr. Babar adding that any reference to President Asif Ali Zardari in the decision was out of context. India on Tuesday called on Islamabad to take a lenient view and release death row convict Sarabjit Singh whose release was mistakenly announced and corrected almost five hours later by the Pakistan Government. "We have always taken up the

Pakistan to strengthen India talks: New PM

Pakistan desires peaceful ties with its neighbours, including India, and will work to strengthen the dialogue process that is already underway to resolve problems like the Kashmir issue, Prime Minister Raja Parvez Ashraf says. Ashraf promised to make the improvement of ties with India as one of his foreign policy priorities. We want peaceful ties with our neighbours Afghanistan, Iran and India. We desire good relations in our region on the basis of the philosophy of peaceful coexistence, Ashraf said during his first address in the National Assembly or lower house of parliament following his election. We are ready to strengthen the process of talks that is underway to solve all problems, include the Kashmir issue, he said, while focussing on Pakistans foreign

policy and the regional situation. Ashraf replaces Yousuf Raza Gilani, who was disqualified by the Supreme Court this week for refusing to re-open corruption cases against Pakistans president. The 342-member National Assembly chose Ashraf with 211 votes against opposition PML-N nominee Sardar Mehtab Ahmed Khan Abbasi who got 89 votes. He was to be administered oath of office by President Asif Ali Zardari as the countrys 25th Prime Minister. Following the issuance of arrest warrants for the PPP partys first nominee Makhdoom Shahabuddin, Ashraf emerged as the main coalitions preferred candidate. However, he is steeped in controversy. Currently he is fighting a corruption case from his tenure as water and power minister.

Saarc international I Thursday 28 June 2012




Lucrative Afghan oil deal was awarded properly, Karzai Says

valuable revenue for the country as international financial support begins to wind down. It is in the process of negotiating a series of contracts with companies to develop the projects. Afghanistans National Security Office asked the countrys attorney general earlier this month to investigate allegations that Gen. Abdul Rashid Dostum, a powerful warlord and political rival of Mr. Karzais based in northern Afghanistan, had pressured Chinese engineers who were starting preparatory work on the Amu Darya oil field, demanding illegal payouts. General Dostum and his political bloc, the National Front, denied the allegation and accused Mr. Karzai of trying to protect the interests of the Watan Group, an Afghan company associated with Mr. Karzais family that, along with the Chinese National Petroleum Company, had won the contract to operate the oil field with a Chinese company. The main goal of the government and its leadership is not protection of the national wealth but is protection of interests of shareholders of the project who have family relations with the officials in the government, the party said in a statement. The National Security Offices allegations against General Dostum prompted a reaction by a Republican congressman from California, Representative Dana Rohrabacher, who has sharply criticized Mr. Karzai and what he has described as the corrupt little clique around him. Mr. Rohrabacher, in a letter this month to Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta, said General Dostum believed that the benefits of such energy development must accrue to the Afghan people and not a corrupt Afghan leader who sees the Afghan government as a family business. Local Afghan news media reported that on Sunday government ministers attended an opening ceremony to mark the beginning of extraction of oil from the Amu Darya field.

President Hamid Karzai, responding to recent allegations that insiders close to him are plundering the nations mineral wealth, said Sunday that the United States and British govts had given their imprimatur as to how a lucrative oil contract was awarded. Mr. Karzais office put out a statement saying that he met Saturday with the American and British ambassadors to Kabul to clarify recent reports of bias and that both men had agreed that the concession awarded to a Chinese company and a local Afghan company was done so transparently and fairly. The U.S. and U.K. ambassadors confirmed the transparency and fairness exercised in the Amu Darya oil tender, according to the statement, which was accompanied by a photograph of the United States ambassador, Ryan C. Crocker, and other officials meeting with Mr. Karzai and the Afghan mines minister, Wahidullah Shahrani. The statement said experts from the American and British governments had properly

audited the process by which the contract was awarded and it was done according to international best practices. Although it is unusual for a foreign government to claim independently the support of outside nations against internal criticism, the United States on Sunday supported Mr. Karzais assertion. We have no problems with the characterizations in the news release and we have nothing more

to add, said Gavin Sundwall, a spokesman for the American Embassy in Kabul. The British Embassy in Kabul offered no comment. In the past few years, vast deposits of untapped mineral wealth worth billions of dollars have been identified in Afghanistan, and the Afghan government hopes these deposits of copper, oil, gold, iron ore and critical industrial metals like lithium could provide

To the people of Afghanistans teeming, dusty capital, sparkling blue Lake Karga on the citys outskirts has long been a tranquil haven. But in a brazen evening attack, a team of Taliban assailants turned the quiet lakeshore into a scene of horrors. Storming a popular hotel, seizing dozens of hostages and killing 18 people, most of them diners relaxing over a late-night meal. The 11-hour siege of the Spozhmai resort, the latest in a series of high-profile insurgent strikes around the capital in recent months, ended Friday when elite Afghan police supported by NATO troops killed the last of the attackers. Though the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and the countrys government hailed Afghan forces for preventing even more fatalities, the attack was graphic demonstration that insurgents can still strike seemingly at will. Their reach leaves many Afghans feeling jittery and fearful as the U.S.-led NATO force begins pulling out. In claiming responsibility for the attack, the Taliban described the hotel as a hub of obscenity and vulgarity, a description that harked back to the deeply conservative movements five-year rule over Afghanistan before being dislodged by the 2001 U.S.-led invasion. Under its harsh interpretation of Islam, a place where men and women mingle and dine together, and where guests are permitted to consume illicitly procured alcohol on the premises, is seen as an

Lakeshore resort in Afghanistan shattered by violence

abomination. The victims were also apparently targeted for who they are: well-educated, affluent and cosmopolitan, representing an elite class generally supportive of President Hamid Karzais government and the presence of Western troops in Afghanistan. Targeting them was explicit warning that once the NATO force is gone, they will be defenseless. The Afghan government issued a blistering statement blaming brainwashed terrorists based in Pakistan for the attack. Gen. John Allen, the U.S. Marine who commands Western troops in Afghanistan, said the assault bears the signature of the Haqqani network, a Taliban offshoot with its home base in Pakistans tribal areas. Evidence of a link to Pakistan could further inflame tensions between the U.S. and the Pakistani security establishment. In the aftermath of the attack, the picturesque

hotel lay in ruins, its facade blasted away, floors sticky with blood, furniture smashed and shattered glass and shell casings littering the ground. Bodies lay heaped and scattered amid the debris of half-finished meals and forlorn possessions: here a handbag, there a shoe. The attack began shortly before midnight Thursday. By some witness accounts, the assailants initially wore all-enveloping blue burkas to disguise themselves and buy a few moments of confusion, throwing off the garments when they stormed into the hotel. First reports put the number of attackers at seven; the government later reduced that to four. Heavily armed and wearing suicide vests, the gunmen swiftly seized control of the hotel, leading to a battle that continued until the following midmorning. Several hundred people were inside the complex at the time, including dozens attending a private party in the dining

hall that was targeted. Many were cut down while they tried to flee as the room was sprayed with bullets; some saved themselves by jumping out windows and into the lake. At least one of the attackers blew himself up in the course of the assault. Survivors described the terrifyingly methodical execution of some diners, mainly men, who pleaded for their lives but were shot point-blank. In a sign of the lethal efficiency of the assailants, only five people were reported wounded, including a police officer taking part in the rescue operation. Dozens of people were seized as hostages, and survivors said the gunmen ranted about pimps and prostitutes who they insisted were present in the hotel. A 14-year-old waiter named Ebadullah said that after killing the security guards, attackers cornered him in an adjacent room and demanded to know where the adulterous bastards were. I told them, I dont know, Uncle, he said. They left him alive, and he spent the long night crouching alone, listening to the din of gunshots and explosions. I was frightened to death, he said. The Taliban claimed that foreigners were among the dead, but Afghan authorities said all those killed were Afghans. After the siege finally ended, weeping relatives gathered outside the hotel, waiting to claim the bodies.



Saarc international I Thursday 28 June 2012


BNP, allies to form steering committee

The opposition alliance led by the Bangladesh Nationalist Party has decided to form a steering committee with heads of some of its major components to make instant decisions in the evolving political situation. The BNP chairperson, Khaleda Zia, will head the proposed steering committee. The acting BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir told New Age on Sunday that the committee would be formed with three to five parties of the alliance, which has 18 parties in it. It would be formed by this month, he added. Fakhrul further said that a liaison committee of the alliance would also be formed. Authority has been vested on Khaleda to choose the alliance components for the proposed steering committee, a top leader of a component of the alliance told New Age. He said that the number of the parties on the proposed steering committee would not be more the number of the people on the committee would not be more than seven. The committee will maintain communications and deal with internal problems, if any, of the alliance partners. Khaleda formally announced the launch of the 18-party alliance on April 18 aimed at intensifying the current anti-government movement. The alliance is composed of Bangladesh Nationalist Party, Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami, Bangladesh Jatiya Party (BJP), Islami Oikya Jote, Khelafat Majlish, Liberal Democratic Party, Jatiya Ganatantrik Party, Bangladesh Kalyan Party, National Peoples Party, Bangladesh National Awami Party, National Democratic Party, Bangladesh Labour Party, Bangladesh Muslim League, National Awami Party (Bhashani), Bangladesh Islamic Party, Democratic League, Jamiyat-e-Ulamaye Islam and Bangladesh Peoples League.

Govt to formulate national integrity strategy to fight corruption

than seven. Alliance component Bangladesh Kalyan Party chief retired major general Syed Ibrahim told New Age that the matter had been discussed. Redwan Ahmed, the secretary general of the Liberal Democratic Party, another component of the alliance, said that the party might be incorporated in the

committee. The committee will be formed after Khaledas return from Saudi Arabia, according to party insiders. Khaleda is scheduled to return early Monday. Another leader of the alliance said that an alliance meeting also decided to institute a liaison committee with people of the rank of secretary general and

The government will formulate a national integrity strategy to bolster anti-corruption activities and establish good governance in line with suggestions by the donor agencies, officials said. A meeting in this connection was held at the secretariat on Sunday afternoon with finance minister AMA Muhith in the chair. Muhith told reporters that more meetings would be required to complete the task of formulating the proposed strategy paper. Advisers to the prime minister, Mashiur Rahman, Gowher Rizvi and Tawfiq-e-Elahi Chowdhury attended the meeting. Besides, secretaries of the cabinet division, the ministry of finance, law and energy were present. The policy paper would aim at reducing corruption and strengthening good governance, said the finance minister.

Rights situation worries Germany

None will be able to destroy Awami League: PM

The prime minister has termed Bangladesh Awami League as one of the oldest and populist political parties of the subcontinent and said it is so deeply rooted in people that no levels of conspiracies to destroy it will succeed. In the past many dictators could not destroy the party, and in future none will be able to distract the party from its cherished goal and uproot it from the soil of Bangladesh, she said. Prime minister Sheikh Hasina was addressing a discussion, marking the 63rd founding anniversary of her party at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre in the capital Saturday afternoon. Sheikh Hsina said that prior to the 2008 general elections BNP said AL would not get more than 30 seats but as the Almighty wanted it BNP had to eat its words after the elections as it had faced the results it wished for AL. Now they are saying that Awami League will not get more than 10 seats in next election. But, I dont know, if the Almighty desires, it will again happen to BNP, she remarked. Deputy leader of the Jatiya Sangsad Syeda Sajeda Chowdhhury, Advisory Council member Amir Hossain

Expressing concern over killings and human rights situation in Bangladesh, visiting German foreign minister yesterday urged all political actors to work together to strengthen democracy, ensure human rights and uphold the rule of law in the country. Like all others, we are concerned about the recent killings of activists [political and garments]. We hope the incidents would be investigated and the people responsible would be brought to justice, German Federal Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle told a press conference after meeting Foreign Minister Dipu Moni at the state guest house Meghna. He arrived in Dhaka at 12:35pm yesterday on a two-day official visit. Expressing satisfaction with the role of the civil society in Bangladesh, he said the civil society is crucial to

institutionalising democracy in any country. Asked about the ongoing political crisis here, he noted, It is not my work to give any lesson. I am here with a big high-level business delegation as we are eager to expand our trade relations. He emphasised the importance of holding free and fair polls, ensuring freedom of expression and free press to strengthen democracy. The German minister added that his country has been a partner of Bangladesh for 40 years and has so far provided two billion euros in development assistance. Besides, it has granted a soft loan of 60 million euros for power transmission to the countrys western zone. Germany is the biggest trade partner of Bangladesh in Europe, and

Bangladeshs export to Germany stands at three billion euros a year, he mentioned. Both the foreign ministers expressed their satisfaction at the bilateral relations between the two countries. Westerwelle yesterday called on Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, met representatives of civil society and joined a meeting of BangladeshGerman Chamber of Commerce and Industry. He also had meetings with Iftekharuzzaman, executive director of Transparency International Bangladesh, and NGO Federation Chairman M Ibrahim in the citys Westin hotel. Meeting sources said they discussed the present political situation in Bangladesh, governance and the role of civil society, NGO and media.

Amu, Presidium members Sheikh Fazlul Karim Selim and Abdul Latif Siddiqui, general secretary Syed Ashraful Islam, and party central leader Mohammad Nasim took part in the discussion. Senior journalist and writer Rahat Khan, Workers Party leader Rashed Khan Menon, Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal president Hasanul Haq Inu, and Jatiya Party secretary general Ruhul Amin Hawlader, acting president of Awami League Dhaka City unit MA Aziz and general secretary Mofazzal Hossain Chowdhury Maya also spoke. The Bangladesh Awami League was founded in 1949 by Maulana Abdul Hamid Khan Bhasani, Shamsul Huq, Huseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy and Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. Sheikh Hasina said Bangladesh was now recognised as a peaceful nation in the South Asia.

Saarc international I Thursday 28 June 2012




The air reeked of charred wood, as thick black smoke continued to loom above the ruins of the traditional Wangduephodrang dzong. Almost 18 hours after the fire engulfed it, the embers of the timber that once made up the ancient fortress were still burning around 10pm yesterday. While the fire might have ebbed with the dzong that it brought down, people continue talking about the fire, that was suspected to have started around 4pm from one of the locked rooms in the administrative block, on the left side of the dzongs main entrance. Had there been enough water and people, we could have contained it, dzongkhag Lam Neten Pemba Tshering said. He was among the first to reach the spot and help battle the fire. After it reached the roof, it was impossible to contain it, he said. The wind spread it to the other parts of the dzong. Between 3pm and 4pm that afternoon, Lam Neten, who lives inside the dzong, had called the Bhutan Power corporation manager,

The burning question: What started the blaze?

saying there was some burnt smell in his room. The dzongda had also sent a message to the manager, saying there was no power in their area since noon. The manager said he asked the Lam Neten to switch off the main lights, and rushed there with three technicians. BPC does not do maintenance inside the dzong but, thinking it was an emergency, they went and checked the main switch box. There was no burnt smell and we didnt see anything physically wrong, the manager said. But one of the phases inside the box was down. He explained that a short circuit does not occur when a phase was down. The light will be dim, but therell be no short circuits, he said. Power officials then went to check for flaws with their substation. They had found nothing wrong there and were returning to the dzong ,when two policemen on duty came out running, saying there was a fire. We saw smoke rise from one of the locked rooms, and I could only call the dzongda and the Punatsangchu

office for fire engines, he said. But the fire couldnt be controlled. The main cable that runs from the dzong to the lhakhang is the same, he said. We cant say if its a short circuit, because the fire started from a locked room, he said, But if its a fire from short circuit, you get the smell of burnt rubber and there was nothing like that. But even if it was, the fire has now destroyed everything it came across. By 4.30am yesterday, dzongkhag officials, army and police personnel

started retrieving the relics from the cacti growth around the dzong. After fighting the fire, they had to watch out for the thorns that covered the relics. The paths small and we had to place planks over the cacti to collect the relics, a dzongkhag official said. The relics were carried to the bridge, and then taken to the dzongs new drasha just above the dzong (hostel). An inventory so far showed about 97 items, including mud statues, that were saved from the fire. An order for about four safes and

20 almirahs have been made to store the relics, home minister Minjur Dorji said. The business community of Bajo town, shops, hotels and restaurants have been supporting with food, lunch and dinner for people involved in the work on the razed dzong. A new location for the dzongkhag administration has been proposed at the old fuel station above the dzong. The location will be finalised today. All that is left of the dzong are the stairs, made of 13 slabs of stones that once led to the dzongs entrance. After that, the dzong is just black rubble, soot and burnt timber. Around 14 fire-fighting trucks, each carrying between 6,000 to 10,000 litres of water, made several trips to the dzong since Sunday afternoon. One of the drivers from Punatsangchu made 14 trips, carrying 10,000 litres, while his friend made five. Until the embers die, the dzong will remain cordoned off, dzongkhag officials and police said. The stones inside had turned red from the heat, when we managed to get inside with the water pipes, a fire fighter said.

China, Bhutan ready to establish diplomatic ties

Chinese and Bhutanese leaders have expressed willingness to establish formal diplomatic ties following a first-ever meeting between the heads of government of the two countries on Thursday, Chinese State media reported. Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao held his first meeting with Bhutanese Prime Minister Jigmi Y. Thinley strained relations between the two countries. Thursdays meeting marked the first instance of a statement from the heads of both governments indicating the two countries were willing to establish diplomatic relations. Mr. Wen told his counterpart China is ready to forge formal diplomatic relations with Mr. Wen told him that China was willing to complete border demarcation with Bhutan at an early date, telling his counterpart that Beijing a foreign policy of good-neighbourliness. Bhutan, which enjoys close diplomatic, political and military relations with India, has in recent years begun to widen its diplomatic engagement, establishing relations with another country in the region, Myanmar, earlier this year. Bhutan also has diplomatic ties with Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and the Maldives, but does not have formal relations with either the United States or the four other permanent members of the UN Security Council. Bhutan, which borders Tibet, has looked to improve relations with Beijing, taking forward talks on the border dispute and also voicing its support to China on the Tibetan issue. Mr. Wen said on Thursday China highly appreciates Bhutans staunch support of Chinas position on issues concerning Taiwan and Tibet. The Bhutan Prime Minister was

on Thursday in Rio de Janeiro, on the sidelines of the United Nations Rio+20 Conference on Sustainable Development. Bhutan, which neighbours both India and China, does not have diplomatic ties with Beijing, although it has held 19 rounds of talks over a border dispute that has

Bhutan on the basis of the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence, the State-run Xinhua news agency reported on Friday. Mr. Thinley was quoted as saying Bhutan wishes to forge formal diplomatic ties with China as soon as possible as well as settle border issues in a cooperative manner.

quoted as Xinhua by saying his talks with Mr. Wen carry great historic significance as it marks the first meeting between the heads of the two governments. He also assured Mr. Wen on Bhutans support on the Tibetan issue, saying the government firmly sticks to a One China policy. Ties between the two countries have been strained, with Bhutan closing its border to Tibet after thousands of Tibetan refugees fled to the country following the Dalai Lamas journey to exile in India in 1959. Mr. Thinley said Bhutan highly appreciate[d] Chinas endeavour to safeguard the common interests

of developing countries in international and regional affairs, adding that the country was willing to enhance bilateral economic and trade cooperation. Bhutan and China held the 19th round of border talks in Thimphu in January 2010, when both countries pledged to look for a just and reasonable solution to the border dispute and to push forward relations. The talks appeared to make progress following the previous round with China offering a package solution, including recognising Bhutanese claims over 495 sq. km. of disputed land, and the two sides deciding to conduct joint field surveys.



Saarc international I Thursday 28 June 2012


As G-20 countries worked on steps to tackle black money, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has said it is a problem but no magic solutions were available to deal with menace. The problem is there but there are no magic solutions available. I think it is going to be a slow process, Singh told reporters accompanying him on his return home after his eight-day foreign tour. The Prime Ministers remark came when he was asked whether the black money issue has become irrelevant for the Group of Developed and Developing countries (G-20) or any

Black money a problem, but no magic solutions: PM

improvement was there in dealing with the problem. It is too early to say one way or the other, he said. The just concluded G-20 Summit at Los Cabos in Mexico welcomed the efforts to enhance interagency cooperation to tackle illicit financial flows. In its communique, the G-20 said it supported the renewal of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) mandate, thereby sustaining global efforts to combat money laundering. In the tax area, the G-20 leaders including Prime Minister Singh reiterated their commitment to strengthen transparency and comprehensive exchange of information. The 14-page document also called on relevant stakeholders to play an active role in fighting corruption, saying graft impeded economic growth, threatened the integrity of markets, undermined fair competition and undermined the rule of law. Global Financial Integrity (GFI), a US NGO, praised G-20 leaders today for prominently focusing on the issue of illicit financial flows and committing to move toward the automatic exchange of tax information. G-20 leaders have committed to lead by example in implementing the practice of automatic tax information exchange, and called upon other countries to join this growing practice as appropriate, a move lauded by GFI as a major step in the right direction. Corruption, crime, and tax evasion in the form of illicit financial outflows cost the developing world US$1 trillion per year, according to GFI research. We are thrilled to see the G-20 commit to adopting a standardized system of automatic tax information exchange, said GFI Director Raymond Baker. Automatic information exchange will go a long way towards curtailing tax evasion.

I will resign from all posts and campaign for presidential poll: Pranab
For Pranab Mukherjee, the nostalgia of homecoming seemed to merge with a tinge of sadness as he announced his retirement from active politics to contest for the Presidents post. Speaking to reporters at his Mirati home on Saturday, Mukherjee said he would resign as the finance minister and from all Congress posts on June 26. His career would now take a new direction, after four decades of party politics the day he files his nomination for the Presidents post on June 28, declared the veteran leader. It has now come to an end. I will resign from all the posts that I now hold and then campaign for the presidential elections. I would request all parties to support me. Barring one, all UPA parties are behind me. Even non-UPA members like CPM and Forward Bloc have supported me. I am grateful to all of them, he said. The presidential nominee added that though the election was a political process, the office was above party politics. The President has no political colour. He is above politics and has to make sure the Constitution is followed and upheld in true spirit, he added. It was a big day for quiet Mirati village, which did its best to make it a memorable one. It was decked up with festoons, flags, banners and posters, even as a group of drummers made a ruckus, tribal dancers swayed to a traditional tune, hundreds of party workers lined the streets and every village home set aside daily chores to witness the homecoming. Mukhrejees last visit to his ancestral home before he starts

Govt approves Indian spy Sarabjeets release

work on the race to Raisina Hill turned out to be quite a momentous one, both for Mukherjee and his village. While he soaked in all the adulation from his family and neighbours who welcomed him like a son, the village, too, made the best of its brief tryst with fame. All roads led to the Mukherjee home at Mirati and Rajlakshmi Bhavan his sisters residence, which is two km away. Crowds jostled with the police at both addresses but refused to budge. The wait stretched into hours till Mukherjee finally appeared at 2.30pm, treading gently on a red carpet and waving at the crowd which showered petals on him. Its good to see he has not only remembered his roots but made it a point to visit his village immediately after he chose to join the presidential race, said 82-year-old Amarnath Datta, who taught him at the Kirnahar Shibchandra High School. Teachers of the school, led by headmaster Nilkamal Banerjee, gifted Mukherjee a citation, a copy of the Chandimangal, an uttariya and invited him to visit the school. Mukherjee spoke of his life in the village while addressing the press in his courtyard, next to a bamboo and hay structure of the Durga idol, which is now being prepared for Durga Puja. The Government of Pakistan has approved the release of Indian prisoner Sarabjeet Singh, convicted of espionage charges, who been languishing in a local jail despite completion of his prison term. Federal Law Minister Farooq H. Naek has signed the summary for Singhs release and handed over his release orders to the Interior Ministry. Singh was imprisoned in Kot Lakhpat jail. Speaking to DawnNews, the law minister said Sarabjeet Singhs death sentence had been converted to life imprisonment by the President and that the Indian prisoner had completed his sentence. Singhs release orders come after last months orders by the Indian Supreme Court allowing ailing Pakistani microbiologist Mohammad Khalil Chishti to travel to his home country on humanitarian grounds.

Dr Chishti had gone to India in 1992 to see his ailing mother where he was implicated in a murder case. After an 18-year-long trial, the octogenarian professor was awarded life imprisonment and sent to the Ajmer jail in January last year.

Saarc international I Thursday 28 June 2012

Heavy floods are expected in mountain ranges of Himalaya, Hindu Kush, and Pamir again this year. Possible affected countries include China, Northern India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Tajikistan, as well as northern parts of Afghanistan. Pakistans disaster management chief has admitted to the BBC that floods are likely again in a matter

Fears of fresh oods in Pakistan as monsoon season nears

more than 30 people, officials said Saturday, with dozens reported missing. Waters swept through villages and parts of the city of Cheghcheran in central Ghor province early on Saturday, engulfing dozens of homes, provincial spokesman Abdulhai Khatibi told AFP. An unusual meteorological system has been creating havoc with these Himalayas and Pamir, entering into the hot areas of South Asia, and colliding with hot and heavily wet clouds coming from the Bay of Bengal and Arabian sea, resulting in cloud bursting and causing heavy floods for the last two years. Monsoon clouds historically do not cross over the Himalayas and enter into cold areas of Pamir and over the Himalayas, but for the last Emergency Situations and Civil Defense, noting that the risk of mudslides and flooding remains high on the Panj river (in the middle reaches and the lower reaches), Vakhsh, Kafirnigan, Varzob, and Shirkent Karatag. It is noted that the level of flood risk rises after heavy rains fall during the high temperatures. Unusually high temperatures cause rapid melting

Heavy oods feared in China, India, Pakistan, Afghanistan



Pradesh has worsened with most rivers flowing above the red mark. In Changlang district, 75 Chakma families were trapped in Bijoypur village with Army help being sought, Bordumsa Additional District Collector Kento Riba said on Monday. Assams flood situation deteriorated on Sunday as incessant rains breached embankments inundating

of weeks because of a lack of proper prevention measures. Millions of Pakistanis were affected following monsoon rains in both 2010 and 2011 prompting huge international aid mobilisation efforts. Aleem Maqbool reports from the worst affected area last year, the province of Sindh. At least 14 people were killed and more than 11 lakh people affected after downpours triggered flash floods and mudslides in Chinas southwestern regions and some parts in the north over the past three days. Floods triggered by the rainstorms have killed six people, affected the lives of more than 450,000 people, destroyed some 1,000 houses and inundated almost 17,000 hectares of cropland in southern Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region, a spokesman with the Regional Department of Civil Affairs said. Direct economic losses were estimated at 128 million yuan (USD 20.3 million), the spokesman said, adding local authorities have launched relief operations. Local meteorological authorities forecast that more heavy rainfalls will hit parts of Guangxi tomorrow, Xinhua reported. Local governments have relocated about 26,890 people to avoid flood risks. Ten major reservoirs in Jiangxi have seen their water level rising above the warning levels, said the headquarters said. flash floods in Afghanistan triggered by days of torrential rain have killed

areas for the last two consecutive years. Pakistan, India, and China faced its worst kinds of floods during year 2010 and again in year 2011. This unusual meteorological system is again developing with an expansion towards Central Asia and

two years, it has been happening, therefore, cloud bursting is being observed over Pamir knot, as well as over the Himalayan side of China, and the upper northern parts of Afghanistan, and the northern areas of Pakistan, Indian Punjab, and

is expected to hit Tajikistan also. file The Meteorological Department of Pakistan has warned that such a system is again developing over Pamir knot and the Himalayas. In South Asia, seasonal winds blow from the Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea in the southwest, bringing heavy rainfall to the area during summer, and this system is called the Monsoon. The term was first used in English in British India (now India, Bangladesh, and Pakistan) and neighboring countries to refer to the big seasonal winds blowing from the Bay of Bengal and Arabian Sea in the southwest, bringing heavy rainfall to the area. These winds carry hot clouds full of moisture. However, amazingly cold clouds are crossing over the lofty

India Himachal Pradesh. Floods in the year 2010 played havoc in Pakistan causing 1,750 human deaths along with deaths of approximately 1.20 million livestock. As many as 2,710 people were seriously injured. Over 2 million homes were destroyed, rendering over 7.5 million people displaced. The country has suffered $4-6 billion worth of damage to infrastructure, livestock, and crops. Displacement of 20 million in 2011 floods in Pakistan was the biggest number of population displacement in reference to floods in the history of mankind according to UN agencies. This year, Tajikistan government has already released flood warnings and Information and Analytical Center (IAC) at the Committee of

of snow in the mountains. Hydrometeorological Centre of Tajikistan reported that between June 22 to 25 in the country, it is expected that unstable weather will bring intermittent rain, thunderstorms, and possibly even hail. At the same time, in some ar areas, rainfall is also expected to be very strong, with mudflows. There is risk that this trend will continue during July also. According to the monthly report, Monitoring and early warning in Tajikistan, in May of this year, the country has seen 45 natural disasters, including one case of thunderstorms with strong wind gusts, resulting in 2 people injured; 3 cases of loss due to heavy rains; 7 major earthquakes; 1 case of an avalanche, 5 landslides, and 1 case of a breach vodosbrosnika. Also registered were 11 floods and 16 cases of rain and hail, rain and hail that caused mudslides, rain and hail that caused mudslides and floods, and rain floods and landslides. Experts say that despite the heavy rains that fell above the norm in the first 5 months of 2012 and caused flooding, mudslides, avalanches, and other related phenomena, such weather since the end of 2011 contributed to the revival of pastures, increased inflow of surface water, and improving production of winter wheat and the seeding of spring crops. Assam flood situation deteriorates Flood situation worsens in four Arunachal districts The flood situation in Changlang, Lohit, Dibang Valley and Upper Subansiri districts of Arunachal

several villages, vast tracts of cropland and affecting nearly two lakh people. The current deluge has so far claimed eight lives in the state and nearly two lakh people have been affected, official sources said. Altogether 14 districts have been affected by the floods. The districts are Lakhimpur, Dhemaji, Dibrugarh, Tinsukia, Barpeta, Kamrup (Rural), Baksa, Sonitpur, Chirang, Bongaigaon, Nalbari, Nagaon, Morigaon and Dhubri. The sources said the Brahmaputra river and its tributaries are in spate and flowing above the danger mark at several places in the 15 affected districts of the state. The water level of the river was also rising alarmingly in Tinsukia and Dibrugarh districts and DibruSaikhowa National Park, famous for its ferral horses and white-winged wood duck, has been inundated, forcing animals to move to safer uplands. In Jorhat district, the rising water level of Bhogdoi river breached the embankment at Bormer, inundating 20 villages and roads in different parts of the district. The famed Kaziranga National Park is under threat of being inundated by the deluge as well. There are reports of animals from the sanctuary moving to highlands and the situation is being closely monitored, officials said. More than 7500 hectares of cropland have been inundated while road communication remains disrupted in several parts of the affected districts.


London 2012: Olympic Fear Games

South Asia Tribune I Thursday 28 June 2012 South Asia Tribune I Thursday 28 June 2012


Attending the London Olympics 2012? So just how dangerous can it be?
London a hard target for potential terrorists
Any potential attacker planning to threaten the Olympic Games will nd London a hard target to penetrate, according to a former British security minister.

False Flag operations are not general knowledge. But thanks to the net, more and more people have learned about them. According to analysts in the spirit of 9/11 in New York and 7/7 in London, 26/6 was planned for the opening of the Womens Football Championship in Berlin in 2011. But thanks to the initiative of two independent lawyers and a number of websites, the attack did not take place. It had been announced by the use of many symbols in a number of lms. The same technique has now been detected and presented in a number of videos on YouTube: Is the media predicting a terrorist attack at the London 2012 Olympic Games? The 9/11 false

the only areas not subjected to savings are security measures and business thriving on fear. The London Olympics to be held from July 27 to August 12 will be attended by 150,000 athletes from 205 countries. Nearly two million people have obtained entry visas. The opening ceremony is expected to be attended by one hundred and twenty heads of state. The initial budget for the Games of 2.37 billion exceeded 10 billion and, according to Sky News, will reach 24 billion. Over one billion pounds have been spent on safety. It is no coincidence that the Olympic mascot - the one-eyed creature Wenlock - is dressed as a policeman. RAND Corporation has developed and described in detail 27 possible scenarios of threats. To counter them, 48,000 policemen and 13,500 soldiers were involved, which is more than the size of the British troops in Afghanistan. Missile batteries Earth-to-air and sound weapons that create an intolerable sound inside the victims head were placed on the roofs of houses. Drones are ready to control the air space. All the major Olympic venues are surrounded by a fence with high voltage, 55 teams of trained patrol dogs have been created. In addition, an aircraft carrier anchored at the Thames. This ship has equipment capable of conducting electronic

London Olympics security report warns of extremist threat in host borough

Security chiefs identify more than 150 threats to the London Olympic Games

Sunday 12 February 2012 High-level threat of al-Qaida-inspired extremism reported in Waltham Forest, home to part of the Olympic Park One of the London boroughs hosting the Olympics has been warned by counter-terrorism ofcials that it is home to a high number of al-Qaida-inspired extremists.

MI5 tells Cabinet terror threat remains substantial

MI5 director-general Jonathan Evans briefed the Cabinet on the terrorist threats facing the UK in the run-up to the London Olympics. It is thought to be the rst time that Mr Evans has addressed a full meeting of Prime Minister David Camerons top team this Parliament.

But Downing Street ofcials said it was a routine update, and not prompted by any new intelligence or change in the assessment of the terrorism threat level, which remains substantial. Home Secretary Theresa May also addressed colleagues on legislative efforts to confront the terrorist threat, including measures in the recent justice and security Green Paper.

Ministers, police and military bosses have drawn up detailed plans to deal with risks that could threaten the continuity of the Games Security chiefs have identied 150 potential threats to the Olympics, including terror attacks and a Chernobyl-style nuclear disaster. Ministers, police and military bosses have drawn up detailed plans to deal with risks that could threaten the continuity of the Games. More than a third are terror-related, but organisers are also preparing for cyber attacks, infectious disease outbreaks, energy failure, strikes and serious trafc disruption. A Cabinet Ofce source said: The Games will undoubtedly see a very large number of minor and probably several major incidents. Security bosses have warned the Olympics could be hit by a -catastrophic Level 3 emergency such as a 9/11-style attack or nuclear accident. Level 2 incidents could include a terror attack on a smaller scale than 9/11 or outbreak of animal disease. who disseminate advertisements of anything other than the Olympic sponsors. The British capital has a record number of surveillance cameras. Locations where crowds

from Southeast Asia and Africa by Albanian gangs dealing in sex and drugs. His prediction is based on what he saw at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver. Of course, the Olympics have never been safe. Think back to the massacres of students in Mexico City in 1968, an attack gangs in Los Angeles in 1984 and the murder of Israeli athletes in Munich in 1972. But do sports festivals need to be protected by aircraft carriers, air defense systems and unmanned aerial vehicles? Todays Olympics have lost their meaning to unite the nations as a community through sports. Today the Olympics are the neo-liberal Trojan horse aimed at business expansion and reversing the basic civil liberties. During the crisis real benet will be obtained only by Qatari and Saudi tycoons who bought the Olympic real estate and business built on fear. The

British authorities had chosen the British private military company G4S that patronizes Israeli checkpoints in the occupied West Bank, as well as

security at the infamous prison in Ramallah Ofer, as the ofcial developer, distributor and exploiter of the security. Ofer prison is infamous for torture of Palestinian political prisoners, including children. The British Parliament sharply criticized this choice and is trying to gure out the grounds on which the rm became an ofcial partner of the Olympic Games. Journalist Tony Gosling, who was quoted by RT, sounded an alarm saying that this was a private company that is leaking into and privatizing the British police. One of worlds largest private companies in the security business employs 630,000 people. It maintains order in prisons, detention; protection of oil and gas facilities, VIPpersons, embassies, airports and operates in 125 countries. The website states that G4S focuses on what it calls life support in extreme conditions. Security is now a commercial boom. With the threat of global catastrophe that is as close

ag event was predicted in the media. There seems to be adequate evidence that the British media is predicting a false ag terrorist attack at the London 2012 Olympic Games. Although it is of course speculative and not based on hard facts, bear in mind that the 9/11 event was predicted in the media before it nally occurred. The opening ceremony is on the 27 July 2012. Read Following published reports:

Britain is a country that in the last three years has allowed unrestricted immigration with no records kept of who has entered. A country which is involved in wars with at least three homicidal and suicidal terrorist religious factions. They are hosting an event which is a huge terrorist target. The Daily Mail, a British newspaper, thinks security is a major problem and indeed forecast a nuclear dirty bomb at the Olympic venue. Seven years ago, when Great Britain won the tender for the Summer Olympic Games in 2012, there were expectation that the City of London will be gorging on cheap credit and mega-bonuses. A few days later, terrorists staged a series of explosions on public transport in London, killing 52 people. Then came the global nancial crisis and expectations of easy money have failed. The Olympics are prepared in a tight economy, where

You read some of published reports

surveillance and intercepting any suspicious negotiations. On board there are 40 helicopters for the landing of two thousand marines and 20 ghters. The aircraft carrier is equipped with impressive missile defense systems. It is the largest

mobilization of the security forces of the United Kingdom since the Second World War. We are talking not only about the means of the reection of external aggression, but also invasion into the privacy of citizens, because now the terrorists are searched for within the country as well. The law on the Olympic Games in London, adopted in 2006, mentions the use of police, security forces and the army against any expression of protest. At the time of the Games, strikes, street trading, and any corporate meetings that did not receive ofcial approval are prohibited. Volunteers will watch after the streets. Police was granted the right to arrest beggars and suspicious persons lazily strolling around and wearing hoodies, and those

are possible have installed biometric scanners to check ID cards, surveillance systems that recognize license plates of cars, epidemics control system, and new police stations, especially in Muslim areas of Westminster. London police are afraid of making London the center of prostitution. Dennis Hof, owner of the largest brothel in Nevada, said to the BBC that he expected an inux of merchants in London, and at least, 1,000 girls have to be imported

as ever, the rich and powerful elites around the world aspire to a more calm and condent way of life. In fact, we are talking about corporate security and extracting huge prots by using the fear created after September 11. In this case there is another process - the expansion of privatization and outsourcing of the security sector (transfer of public functions to private traders) under austerity measures.


Life after Pakistan judicial coup

political one. In democracies, constitutional bodies give each other a respectably wide berth. Courts avoid politically loaded petitions, while the executive usually honours the decisions of the judiciary. There are obvious infirmities in the Pakistan Supreme Courts position, not least being its decision to disqualify a representative of the people on the basis of civil contempt. Gilani was not a flamboyant politician, and neither was he- in the context of the Pakistan Peoples Party he represented- all powerful. But he had the virtue of possessing political skills that enabled him to be the second longest serving prime minister of Pakistan. In other words, despite heading a government, marred by charges of corruption and incompetence, he did provide a measure of stability to the governance of the country. Gilanis tenure was eventful. Once the celebrations die down in the Opposition camp, they will have to confront the issues surrounding the Gilani verdict. If an elected Prime Minister can be deposed by a judicial verdict, then the supremacy of parliament will forever remain in question. But the joker in the pack remains the military. Many people suspect that the Chief Justice, who has taken a tough line with the civilian government, and has gone easy on cases related to the military, is playing the game of the deep establishment in the country which has never trusted the Bhuttos and the Zardaris. There will be many who argue that the lesson of Gilanis departure is that there is little point dealing with civilian governments in Islamabad, prone as they seem to be to coups, earlier military and now judicial.


Saarc international I Thursday 28 June 2012

On Tuesday, Foreign Policy and Fund for Peace published their fourth annual failed states index. The good news was that Pakistan had moved from the 12th position to the 13th in the rankings. The bad was that on the same day, the Supreme Court of Pakistan had conducted a judicial coup and declared that Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani stood dismissed from his office. The celebrations in the ranks of Imran Khans Tehreek-e-Insaf and Nawaz Sharifs Pakistan Muslim League can attest to the fact that the Pakistan Supreme Courts decision was a

Pakistani PM Gilanis removal: judicial coup?

There are very few good guys in Pakistani politics, only worse and the less-worse. The Supreme Court has dismissed the prime minister for refusing to press corruption charges against the president. And yes, very likely the president is corrupt, and the prime minister venal. But the Supreme Court is corrupt too! And in cahoots with the militarists and the Islamists! So its hard to choose sides. Last week, a billionaire businessman made explosive accusations in court and in the media that he had given $3.7 million in kickbacks to [Chief] Justice Chaudhrys son in order to swing several cases his way. The furor over those accusations, centered on the judges son, Arsalan Iftikhar, is now likely to fade as the country grapples with its latest political crisis. Maybe the allegations against Justice Chaudhry are false. In Pakistan, truth or falsehood are categories that dont mean what they do elsewhere on earth. Pakistans courts are very willing to hear and accept allegations of actual treason on the basis of dubious testimony riddled with perjury, as we saw in the unhappy case of Hussain Haqqani, former ambassador to the U.S. To understand how this system works, there is no better guide than Haqqanis own book, which shows how the Pakistani military works through controlled civilian

institutions, like the courts, to rule the state while casting all the odium for the states failures on the powerless civilians who hold titular office. Those civilians, in turn, too often use their tenure to steal everything they can, while the stealing is good. And all the while, that same military collects aid from the United States in exchange for a bizarre behavior pattern that consists partly of cooperation with US counterterrorism operations and partly of supporting those same terrorists. It is the first time when the Prime Minister has been disqualified by the court, otherwise we would have seen that every time when an elected government was stopped by the military. But right now maybe the context is different. But the fact is that this kind of intervention whether by the military or by the court creates

a political dis balance in the country. Interview with Muhammad Amir Rana, the Director of the Pakistani Institute for Peace Studies in Islamabad. Dr. Rana, thank you so much for joining us. Please tell us, is the case of the Prime Minister being disqualified, is it a unique case in the Pakistani history? Yes, of course it is quite unique in Pakistans history. It is the first time when the Prime Minister has been disqualified by the court, otherwise we would have seen that every time when an elected government was stopped by the military. But right now maybe the context is different. But the fact is that this kind of intervention whether by the military or by the court creates a political disbalance in the country. Do I get it right that some analysts

even described it as a judicial coup, like they put it? So, what does that point to? You are saying it creates a political disbalance but there has already been a certain standoff between the civil Government and the judiciary. It is always the judiciary power knot, but we have not seen all its implications because I think of the democratic transition. So, as it changes the political institutions which need to be strengthened are facing the challenge by the judiciary, by some components of the media and the military pressure is always there. So, in these circumstances

And the Prime Minister you can say was performing his normal functions and no institute has a real objection, neither the court and even the media has somehow reconciled with the reality that he is not going, the opposition parties. I think there were more indications that this decision is going to be implemented. And quite interestingly that after the 26th of April the political activists who had finally appealed to the law and judiciary in Islamabad to make clear if this Prime Minister is disqualified or not. And this court a few weeks before had come up with a clear message that the Supreme

the implications of the smooth democratic transition, you can say are quite concerning for a common Pakistani. Even a couple of days before this disqualification no one knew that he is going to be disqualified. The reason to oust the MP was quite ambiguous.

Courts verdict is not clear that he has been disqualified. And until this hasnt been cleared by the Supreme Court he is a legal and constitutional Prime Minister. So, this decision addressing him, obviously it cleared some troubles on the political scene in Pakistan.

Rameswaram: Four Indian fishermen attacked by Sri Lankan Navy

Four Indian fishermen were on Sunday attacked allegedly by Sri Lankan naval men off Katchatheevu, even as nine others detained by the island Navy arrived at the coastguard camp in Mandapam near here. Sri Lankan naval personnel allegedly beat the four fishermen with nylon ropes off Katchatheevu, an islet ceded to Lanka in the 1970s, fisheries department officials said. The four were part of about 3,000 fishermen who had put out to the sea last night in 676 boats from here, the officials said, adding that the Sri Lankan naval personnel allegedly surrounded the boats and threatened them to leave the area at gun point. They also took away the fish catch from various boats. The fishermen were warned that they would be imprisoned for life if they entered the Sri Lankan territory, officials quoting the fishermen said. Meanwhile, nine Indian fishermen, set free by a court in Sri Lanka after being detained by the island Navy for straying into their waters, arrived at the coastguard camp in Mandapam near here on Sunday. The fishermen, belonging to Akkaraipettai village near Nagapattinam, were handed over to three days after they had put out to sea. They were produced in a court in Kankesanturai in northern Sri Lanka. The court had released them with a warning after the fishermen said that they had strayed into Sri Lankan waters due to wind and rough sea. Talking to reporters on their arrival, fishermen Prabhu, Jayaraman and Prakash said they were given good food and taken care of well while in Sri Lanka. They thanked Tamil Nadu government for its intervention in taking up their case with the Centre and securing their release.

Indian Coast Guard personnel at the international maritime boundary line (IMBL) last evening and brought to

Mandapam this morning, officials said. The fishermen were taken into custody by Sri Lankan naval men on June 19,

Pakistans power play intensifies

After sacking one PM, the crusading head of the judiciary sets his sights on the new premier. Twenty-seven new federal ministers and 11 new ministers for state took oath.

Saarc international I Thursday 28 June 2012



Political turmoil is nothing new to the people of Pakistan. But last week they experienced something unprecedented. A sitting prime minister was disqualified by the Supreme Court, the man proposed to replace him was forced to stand aside after a court issued a warrant for his arrest, and a controversial alternative candidate was eventually elected for what most observers say will be a curtailed term. The disqualification of Yousaf Raza Gilani by the Supreme Court and his replacement by the former power minister Raja Pervez Ashraf took Pakistan into further choppy waters at a time when it is facing challenges on multiple fronts. The economy is struggling, its relationship with the US is fraught and there is a crippling power shortage that has sparked angry riots in many cities. Pakistans new prime minister, Raja Pervez Ashraf, formally assumed office on Saturday and is facing countless and tough challenges ahead, with the most formidable ones being the energy crisis, corruption, dealing with independent judiciary, aggressive opposition groups and the revival of normal relationship with the United States. Ashraf took over three days after the countrys Supreme Court ruled that his predecessor, Yusuf Raza Gilani, is disqualified from holding office. He was convicted of contempt of court for refusing to re-open corruption cases against President Asif Ali Zardari. The new prime minister in his maiden speech to parliament Friday evening offered talks with the opposition to deal with the countrys difficult problems, but opposition leaders dismissed any possibility of reconciliation and called for fresh parliamentary polls. Ashraf faces internal and external problems and the most challenging issue remains corruption cases that he himself and several key leaders of his ruling Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) are presently facing.

Shortly before his election as new prime minister, Pervez Ashraf received a strong message from the Supreme Court that it is set to resume next week hearing of a controversial amnesty law, which has been the major reason for Gilanis exit. After the vote rose petals were thrown over Ashraf as he walked triumphantly into the chamber, greeting supporters and making his way to the seat reserved for the

controlled Anti Narcotics Force in pushing for the warrant has raised suspicions that the army is also flexing its muscles against the government. The PPP hopes to become the first in Pakistan to complete a full five-year term without collapsing or being swept away by a military coup. However the party is unlikely to enjoy a smooth ride in the months before March, when an election must be called.

against this backdrop, as carrying an element of revenge. The prospect now is of an intensifying clash that could further unsettle Pakistans weak and faltering democracy. Some conspiracy theorists whisper that the powerful army is looking on with gratification, plotting to gently bring down the government and install a caretaker set-up of assorted technocrats for the next few years.

prime minister. I will do my best to make sure I live up to the example set by those who have come before me, he said. The successful rallying of its coalition partners to vote for Ashraf represented a success of sorts for the Pakistan Peoples party (PPP), which has suffered a series of setbacks in recent days. On Tuesday the countrys supreme court disqualified Yousaf Raza Gilani as prime minister over his refusal to reopen fraud investigations into president Asif Ali Zardari. Critics of the court and its leader, the chief justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, fear it is targeting the government and overreaching its constitutional powers. Some described Gilanis ousting as a judicial coup. Then, on Thursday, an arrest warrant was issued against the PPPs preferred candidate to take over as head of government, Makhdoom Shahabuddin, almost as soon as his name had been proposed. The involvement of the military-

Either way, questions abound about the Chief Justices involvement, knowledge or complicity. Mr Chaudhry hasnt proceeded in an entirely dispassionate manner. He decided to summon both the billionaire, Malik Riaz Hussain, and his own son to the Supreme Court, without any wariness of an obvious conflict of interest. The verdict against Mr Gilani, which came just days later, is being seen,

But Pakistans politicians are unlikely to accept their fate so easily. Mr Zardari has won a reputation for cunning and brinkmanship. He is not going to let his power quietly drain away. And the opposition, led by the former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and Mr Khan, the former cricketer, are in no mood to see their political gains slip into the hands of a non-political coterie.

Whatever the outcome, Pakistan will certainly not be dull for the next few months. US hopes new Pakistan PM will get ties back on track The United States yesterday welcomed the election of a new prime minister in Pakistan eyeing an end to the political upheaval in its key, but wary regional Asian ally. Indian Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh has congratulated Raja Pervez Ashraf on his election as the prime minister of Pakistan and hoped for progress in the bilateral dialogue process on all issues. In a message to Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf, Dr Manmohan Singh said, I would like to extend to you my heartiest congratulations on your appointment as the prime minister of Pakistan. The Indian prime minister further said, On behalf of the people and also on my own behalf, I convey to you our best wishes for success in your new assignment as well as for the peace, prosperity and wellbeing of the people of Pakistan under your leadership. I am confident, excellency, that during your term as prime minister, our two countries will continue to make progress in their bilateral dialogue on all issues and build good neighbourly relations by strengthening their cooperation in all areas for the benefit of the people of both countries.



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Free fair elections top priority of the Govt: PM

Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf says his top most priority is to hold free fair and transparent general elections to ensure strong democratic system in the country. He was talking to media after visiting Mazar-e-Quaid in Karachi on Sunday evening. The Prime Minister said confrontation among the state institutions will not be in the interest of anyone and the government is pursuing policy of reconciliation. He said the issue of writing the letter to the Swiss authorities will be addressed as per the constitutional provisions as we do not want confrontation with any institution. Raja Pervez Ashraf said rule of law and supremacy of the constitution are of vital importance and every state institution should work within constitutional parameters. He said the government wants to take on board every stakeholder to ensure progress and prosperity of the country. The Prime Minister said no discrimination will be made in national affairs and invited opposition to come with solid suggestions to improve the economy and overcome energy crisis. He expressed the resolve to continue to work with the support of the allied parties for stgrengthening of democracy and resolving the problems of the people. He said the government will make every effort to resolve the issues of energy crisis and law and order situation. He said the government will give relief to common man. will follow the recommendations of the parliament while finalizing new terms of engagements with the United States and restoration of NATO supplies. He said Karachi is business hub and special steps will be taken to protect lives and property of the people to ensure sustainable economic activities there. Raja Pervez Ashraf said he has initiated his official work from the Mazar of Quaid-e-Azam with a view to seek guidance from his golden principles of Unity Faith and Discipline. He said Shaheed leaders of PPP also followed the vision of Quaid-e-Azam and even laid their lives for the cause of democracy. The Prime Minister laid floral wreath on the grave of Quaid-i-Azam and offered fateha.

To a question about relations with the United States the Prime Minister said Pakistan wants good

relations with all countries on the basis of bilateral respect and dignity. He said the government

Pakistan ranks 13 in Gilanis actions get presidential shield failed states index

Pakistan, a country which is run by a military obsessed with India and by a civilian elite that steals all it can and pay almost no taxes, has been ranked 13th in the latest ranking of failed states. The unique ranking compiled by the prestigious Foreign Policy magazine is topped by African countries Somalia (114.9 points), Congo (111.2), Sudan (109.4), Chad (107.6) and Zimbabwe (106.3). Afghanistan with 106 points is ranked at number 6, followed by Haiti, Yemen, Iraq and Central African Republic. Pakistan with 101.6 points, the magazine said, is ranked 13, a slight improvement from the previous two years. In 2011 it was ranked 12th in the list of failed states, while in 2010 and 2009 it was ranked 10th. The country is run by a military obsessed with - and, for decades, invested in - the conflict with India,

and by a civilian elite that steals all it can and pays almost no taxes, Robert D Kaplan, the chief geopolitical analyst at Stratfor, wrote for the Foreign Policy. But despite an overbearing military, tribes defined by a near-universal male participation in organized violence, as the late European anthropologist Ernest Gellner put it, dominate massive swaths of territory. The absence of the state makes for 20hour daily electricity blackouts and an almost nonexistent education system in many areas, he wrote. Explaining the reasons for Pakistan being in the list of a failed state, Kaplan said the root cause of these manifold failures, in many minds, is the very artificiality of Pakistan itself: a cartographic puzzle piece sandwiched between India and Central Asia that splits apart what the British Empire ruled as one indivisible subcontinent.

President Zardari issued an ordinance to give constitutional protection to the decisions made from April 26 to June 19 by Gilani, recently ousted by the SC. When they ousted Gilani, the Supreme Court said he was no longer prime minister from the date of his contempt conviction, raising the prospect of any actions he took as premier in the past two months being challenged. The ordinance, issued in accordance with the powers conferred on the president according to Article 89 of the constitution, maintains it as of considerable importance that all legislation carried out by the disqualified prime minister should be given legal cover and acceptance in order to ensure that all assembly and Senate proceedings continue, unperturbed. The functions including parliamentary functions performed, actions taken, orders passed, directions issued, instruments made, MOUs executed, national and international commitments made, process of communication issued, advice given to the President in any matter, including in respect of Acts and Ordinances, SROs and other legal instruments issued, powers confirmed, assumed or exercised, or appointments made,

by Syed Yousaf Raza Gillani, Prime Minister of Pakistan from 26-04-2012 to 19-06-2012 (both days inclusive), shall be deemed to have been validly done, performed, taken, passed issued, made, given, confirmed, assumed, executed, exercised and provisions of this Ordinance shall have, and shall be deemed to always to have had, effect accordingly, the ordinance said. It said that no suit, prosecution or any other legal proceedings, including a petition, should lie in any court, including the Supreme Court, against any order made or functions performed by the former premier. The ordinance also covers all domestic and foreign agreements signed by Gilani on or after April 26. Renowned legal expert SM Zafar said the ordinance would give legal protection to the ex-premiers decisions for it had a legal status as both houses of parliament were not in session. Talking to Daily Times, Zafar said that even the Supreme Court had not categorically declared invalid all the decisions made and actions taken by the former prime minister during the last two months. On June 19, the Supreme Court disqualified Gilani due to his conviction in the contempt of court case, for refusing to reopen graft cases

in Switzerland against the president. Many important decisions were made between the time when Gilani was convicted for contempt of court and when he was dismissed on June 19, including the federal budget for the next financial year beginning July 1. The apex courts ruling against Gilani had triggered speculation about the legal status of decisions made by him after his disqualification, which led the government to protect theoe actions, as it feared petitions might be filed against the former premiers decisions made after his disqualification, pleading the courts to declare his actions and decisions since April 26 null and void. Apart from the federal budget, a key action related to the judiciary as various judicial appointments had been made after April 26 on the advice of Gilani. Foreign agreements are another important area. Gilani visited United Kingdom during the said tenure and inked various agreements with his counterpart. The PPP government, dogged by corruption allegations, has been locked in a stand-off with the judiciary for years. Zardari was forced to ditch his first choice to replace Gilani, Makhdoom Shahabuddin, after an anti-narcotics court ordered his arrest over a drugs scandal.

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Former President Nasheed warns against vote delay

Mohamed Nasheed, the former President of the Maldives who says he was ousted in a coup, is appealing for new elections to be held this year, warning that a delay would have dire consequences. The former political prisoner became the first democratically elected president of the Indian Ocean archipelago in 2008 elections but says he was forced to resign in a mutiny after anti-government protests in February. On a visit to Washington, the 45-year-old called for elections within the year to prevent a strengthening of anti-democratic forces in the nation of 330,000 people. If they dont take place in 2012, I have my doubts, Nasheed told AFP in an interview. If we give them enough time to entrench themselves, they could do many things. They could skew the field in such a manner where an election cannot happen, he said. However, the new administration of President Mohamed Waheed has ruled out snap polls and said that the earliest elections could be held under the Maldivian constitution was July 2013. Nasheed was in Washington speaking to officials, scholars and activists. He met Monday with Robert Blake and Michael Posner, the top State Department officials handling South Asia and human rights respectively, a spokeswoman said. Nasheed plans to run as the nominee of his Maldivian Democratic Party in the next election. He says that in Maldives and in fact the whole political infrastructure that we were able to build in the last five years. As Nasheed left office, protesters entered the Maldives National Museum and smashed up Buddhist statues that they considered idolatrous. The vandalism destroyed much of the Buddhist heritage of Maldives, where Islam is the state religion. Waheed has said that Nasheed resigned voluntarily and accused him of creating chaos. Waheed said that unrest has cost the atoll nation an estimated 180 million rufiyaa ($11.8 million). As president, Nasheed became known as a champion of action to fight climate change amid fears that his low-lying nation will disappear as rising temperatures melt the planets ice. Nasheeds campaign is at the center of a new documentary, The Island President, which was completed shortly before his removal from office. Nasheeds successor Waheed flew to Brazil for this months Rio+20 summit on the environment and announced that the archipelago would become the worlds biggest marine reserve to protect its fish and biodiversity. Any preservation is good either done by a coup government or not, Nasheed said. Anything good is good, but the Maldives has always been a marine reserve. Theres nothing to do about it.

People should know the role of the Judiciary- CJ

Chief Justice Ahmed Faiz has said that the people should be made aware of the role of the judiciary under the constitution. In a training program for journalists organized by the Department of Judicial Administration, Chief Justice Faiz said that some of the people have been misinformed of the responsibilities of the judiciary and its role. Faiz noted that the primary responsibility of the judiciary is to interpret and apply the laws, and ensure their constitutionality. The Chief Justice said that it is not the role of the judiciary to execute the verdicts issued by the courts of law. He added that some of the media have been misleading the public by showing pictures of the courts of law when broadcasting reports on executing of court verdicts. He said that such misleading news regarding the judiciary has been resulting in the people maligning the judiciary and judges regarding issues that is not from the mandate of the judiciary. Faiz said that the judiciary is the third branch of the government and its role is to defend and uphold the Constitution and assure the rule of law prevails.

he quit under duress in February after around 300 soldiers seized control in the island capital Male. Nasheed has charged that Islamic radicals, local businessmen and holdouts from veteran strongman Maumoon Abdul Gayooms regime were involved in the plot. The issue is that the people of the Maldives must be governed by an elected leader that they choose, not through brute force, not through a regime that has come into governance through brute force, Nasheed said. We feel that during the last three and a half years in government weve been able to deliver to the people, and Im sure that they want us back again, he said. Nasheed warned that his opponents would be able to rescind freedom of assembly and expression

$27 m belonging to Maldivians in Swiss Banks

year 2007 deposits by Maldivians amounted to CHF25.4 million. Before deposits increased in 2008 looking back at the 10 years before deposits had only increased in 2002 to CHF28.5 million. Shedding light on the loans issued to the Maldives statistics show that the amount issued in loans had decreased by 23.5 percent in 2011 compared to 2010. Swiss banks had issued CHF17.9 million (USD18.6 million) in loans in 2010. Most loans were issued in 2008 during which CHF29.3 million (USD30.5 million) was issued in loans to the Maldives after which most loans were issued in 2002 amounting at CHF28.5 million. Around 58 central banks from several countries are members of the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) however the Maldives Monetary Authority (MMA) the central bank of the Maldives is not a member of the bank. BIS is not an institution that can be held accountable by any government.

Govt seeks Majlis approval for MVR300 M loan

The annual report published by Switzerlands National Bank has revealed that an amount of 26.02 million Swiss Francs (CHF), (USD27.1 million) belonging to Maldivians has been deposited in several banks in the country. The annual report for the year 2011 which was prepared based on the transactions of the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) shows that Swiss banks had issued loans worth CHF13.76 million (USD14.4 million) to the Maldives in the year 2011, however the loans issued to the

government and individuals were not listed in detail. Statistics show that deposits by Maldivians in Swiss banks increased by 35.5 percent last year compared to 2010 when only CHF19.20 million deposited in Swiss banks belonged to Maldivians. The annual report contained data beginning from the year 2002 and shows that deposits by Maldivians in Swiss banks was the highest in the year 2008 during which CHF29.27 million was deposited in several Swiss banks. In the

Government has forwarded a proposal to the Parliament to seek approval to obtain a loan of MVR300 million as State budget support. Chair of the Finance Committee of Parliament Ahmed Nazim detailed that the government has sought the approval to secure the loan due to the delay in obtaining the USD65 million (MVR1 billion) loan as budget support from abroad sanctioned by the Parliament when the State budget had been approved. Thats why the government has asked for the approval of a loan of MVR300 million. But there had been divergences of opinion in the Committee today. Some members claimed that the loan should be approved by the Parliament itself, Nazim said.

He claimed that he would seek the advice of the Counsel General and move forward in accordance with the resulting decision. If the Counsel General decides that the loan must be approved by the Parliament, we will adhere to his judgment, Nazim said. The Finance Committee Chair stressed that along with the loan interest and arrangement fee, the government would need to repay the bank a total of MVR384 million. Government Spokesperson Abbas Adil Riza claimed that the decision to secure the loan from a local bank was made as it was deemed more beneficial to the State. He admitted that the loan was being obtained to cover previous expenses owed by the State.



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We have received the ECs demand for Rs 10 billion for holding the fresh CA elections, confirmed Rajan Khanal, spokesperson at the Ministry of Finance (MoF). The Election Commission (EC), which recently asked the government to amend the law and postpone the election date in order to make it more convenient to hold the fresh constituent assembly (CA) polls, has sought Rs 10 billion for the purpose. Though he did not elaborate, sources said the EC has estimated its requirements based on the assumption that the fresh election

EC seeks Rs 10b for new CA polls

will be no different from the previous one in terms of logistics and other arrangements. Top MoF officials said that the EC demand has meant severe pressure on the ministry to arrange the additional funds. The National Planning Commission (NPC) that capped the size of the budget for 2012/13 at Rs 429.60 billion after calculating all the fund sources had not included the cost of elections. The ceiling was set after calculating the optimum amount of funds that the government could realistically mobilize in the new fiscal year from

different sources including revenue, foreign loans and grants and domestic borrowing.

Despite the ceiling, funding demands from different ministries had totaled well over Rs 500 billion. After a series

of tough negotiations, we had barely managed to bring the demands of a majority of ministries within the ceiling. Now the ECs demand has compelled us to negotiate further cuts, said a source. Officials from other ministries, aware of MoFs quandry, have exerted pressure on it to increase the size of the budget over what the NPC has recommended, so that late-finalized programs could be continued. But MoF officials ruled out such a possibility. We simply have no strong enough sources for that, said the official.

Nepal at risk of becoming a failed state

Failed States Index 2012, an annual ranking of 178 nations prepared by the Fund for Peace, put Nepal at the bottom 27th position for the second consecutive year since 2011. A report by an international organization says Nepal continues to remain as one of the fragile states in the world due to political brinkmanship, uneven development, poor judiciary and weak media and civil society among others, and was susceptible to collapse. The index gave Nepal an aggregate score of 93, which however, is slightly better than 93.7 in 2011. With this score Nepal falls in alert zone, which includes countries such as North Korea, Myanmar, Syria, Sierra Leone and two South Asian countries, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. The score was based on the countrys level of stability and the pressure it faced and was tallied on various social and economic data collected between January and December of 2011. The report shows Nepal secured the worst score of 9 in addressing group grievances, which indicates the country is one of the worlds worst when it comes to ensuring security in case tension and violence arise between groups. Nepals best score,

among 12 different political, social and economic indicators was 5.6 in the category of human flight - an indicator which shows the countrys vulnerability to brain drain that can create vacuum of human capital. Among others, Nepals global standing in human rights situation was also poor, with the country securing 8.2. The country scored the same marks in the category called factionalized elites, which shows Nepali leaders often engage in deadlock and brinksmanship for political gain, undermining the social contract. It is the same with uneven development, in which Nepal scored 8.4. These poor scores are warning that problems are festering and is pushing the country to the verge of collapse. Although the report acknowledged no country was immune from shocks and pressures, it says countries with strong state institutions based on the rule of law and democracy can manage such pressures better. This sadly is not the case in Nepal as the report says the countrys leadership, military, police, civil service and civil society are all weak. Surprisingly, the report has also classified Nepals media as weak and judiciary as poor.

The government wants to enact three laws on anti-money laundering, including a law on organized crime. When he met President Ram Baran Yadav on June 13, Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai informed him that the government wanted to enact three laws concerning antimoney laundering, including a law on organized crime, and sought cooperation from Yadav, who was under pressure from the opposition not to sign any ordinance. Bhattarai handed the drafts of the three ordinances right there and then for the presidents perusal. So the presidents office was surprised Sunday when the prime ministers office forwarded only two ordinances -- Extradition Ordinance and Mutual Cooperation Ordinance -- to the president for promulgation. The office asked Chief Secretary Madhav Prasad Ghimire whether the third ordinance -- on Controlling Organized Crimes -was left out by mistake. The office was told that it was dropped. The ordinance dropped at the last minute was long sought by law enforcement agencies as it was believed it would help contain organized crime. A draft of the ordinance had already been distributed to cabinet members a day before their meeting, according to a minister. Cabinet sources told Republica that the proposed law was dropped as Maoist and Madhesi ministers feared that they themselves would feel its full force if enacted. The prime minister proposed to us at Sundays cabinet not to discuss the draft although it was on the agenda along with the other ordinances, said the minister, preferring anonymity.

Curious case of the missing ordinance

When the minister pressed for the law, the prime minister said he did not want to pass it now. Madhesi ministers supported him. Senior officials at the Prime Ministers Office and the Home Ministry had advised the prime minister to get the proposed law endorsed by the cabinet. Senior officials said the law would have prevented political parties from seeking forcible donations from businessmen. The law would also consider any forcible obstruction of peoples movement a criminal act. This would have an immediate effect on any strike enforced by political parties. Similarly, the proposed ordinance says vandalising private property would be considered organized crime. The minister said this provision would have impacted political parties that resort to vandalizing vehicles during their strikes. The proposed ordinance says those vandalizing private properties would have to pay compensation. The ruling Maoist and Madhesi parties became equally concerned

over a provision that criminalizes the activities of goons and thugs. Political leaders face allegations of using thugs and goons. Under the ordinance, any support to such elements would be a crime subject to up to three years in jail and Rs 200,000 in fines. However, Maoist Minister Post Bahadur Bogati claims that the cabinet dropped the ordinance because it had not been discussed with other parties. The fact is there was no consensus on this ordinance. It was not good to pass it without having the opposition on board, said Bogati. When it was pointed out that the opposition had also not agreed to the two ordinances that were approved, Bogati said, They were normal. When drafts of the proposed laws were discussed in the Bills Committee of the Constituent Assembly, the Maoist and Madhesi parties had opposed them, according to Chandra Dev Joshi, chairman of the CPN (Samukta) and a member on the Bills Committee.

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President orders assistance to farmers

President Mahinda Rajapkasa yesterday instructed government officials to provide immediate relief and assistance to farmers affected by the drought. The President gave the above instructions during an urgent meeting convened yesterday to look into the difficulties faced by farmers of the North Central Province due to drought. It was attended by politicians, farmers, and government officials of the Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa districts and ministry Secretaries. President Rajapaksa on the occasion instructed officials to prepare a plan to provide immediate compensation to farmers whose cultivation has been affected by the drought. He also appointed a special committee comprising officials from the Treasury, Irrigation Department, Agrarian Services and Wildlife During discussions attention was drawn mainly to areas such as providing compensation for drought affected farmers, assistance to dredge wells, providing water pumps to farmers, seed preservation methods, relief on loans obtained and renovating and dredging tanks. The President after pointing out that the drought has also affected some parts of the hill country told officials that if the conditions prevail it could affect the electricity generation as well. He discussed water management methods with them to overcome such difficulties. Officials also pointed out that in comparison to past seasons, this year farmers have taken steps to cultivate more paddy lands. This too was cited as a reason for lack of water for paddy cultivation in some areas. Here attention was drawn towards encouraging farmers to engage in other cultivation as well, where the amount of water used is less. Following the meeting the farmers conveyed their appreciation to President for taking swift measures to help them in their hour of need. They pointed out that the President had taken steps to assist them immediately after returning to the country following a visit abroad. The discussion was attended by North Central Province Chief Minister Berty Premalal Dissanayake, Ministers Maithripala Sirisena, Nimal Siripala de Silva, Basil Rajapaksa, S.M.Chandrasena, Tissa Karaliyadda, Mahinda Amaraweera, Mahinda Yapa Abeywardene, Secretary to the President Lalith Weeratunge, other politicians, Ministry Secretaries and government officials and represantatives from farmer societies in the Province.


Department, Agricultural Ministry and Disaster Management Ministry to look into the above. After listening to the farmers grievances the President assured them, that the government will never let them down in their hour of need and the drought affected will be provided maximum assistance. The President after being informed that the water levels in most tanks have gone down and also the

capacity of some tanks has been reduced due to the gathering of sediment, instructed officials to take steps to dredge tanks to remove silt and sediment to enhance their water retaining levels. The farmers also pointed out that some main tanks which provide water for cultivation have not been renovated for a long period and the President instructed officials to look into it.

Hungary to provide scholarships to Sri Lanka

The Hungarian government has turned its attention to providing a series of educational scholarships to Sri Lanka following a meeting management systems for both countries, during the meeting. Talks also focused on how Sri Lanka can go about promoting of independent nations. It should strengthen the capacity of sovereign countries to move forward strongly as independent nations, the two

between President Mahinda Rajapaksa and Hungarian President Janos Ader on Friday. The meeting took place on the sidelines of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, Rio+20 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The scholarships on health education, such as, medical and dental health, received much focus, according to reports reaching from Brazil . The two leaders also contemplated on having effective water resource

Solar Power as a means to address its future power requirements. Meanwhile, in another meeting held between President Mahinda Rajapaksa and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on the sidelines of Rio +20 summit,the two Presidents vowed to function in unity to strengthen the Nonalignment Movement. President Rajapaksa and President Ahmadinejad discussed the importance of empowering the Non -Alignment Movement to become a powerful organization

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leaders agreed, sources in Brazil yesterday told the Daily News. The two leaders discussed at length the progress of the Uma Oya Water Supply Project and Sapugaskanda Oil Refinery Expansion Project, funded by Iran. They also discussed the ongoing rural electrification projects in Sri Lanka funded by the Iranian government. External Affairs Minister Prof G L Peiris, Environment Minister Anura Priyadarshana Yapa, Construction Engineering Services Housing and Common Amenities Mainister Wimal Weerawansa, MP Sajin De Vas Gunawardena, Secretary to the President Lalith Weeratunge and Sri Lankan ambassador to Brazil Dr Mahinda Balasuriya were present on this occasion.

President Mahinda Rajapaksa arrived in the country yesterday after completing successful official visits to Cuba and Brazil where he participated in the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD), Rio+20 in Rio de Janeiro. In Cuba prior to the Rio+20 summit, the President met Cuban leader Raul Castro and held discussions to strengthen bilateral relations between the two countries. President Rajapaksa, arrived in Brazil on Tuesday and addressed the Rio+20 summit on Wednesday. The President addressing the Rio+20 Summit, the UNs largest conference on green economy and sustainable development, called for developed countries, which largely contribute to the environmental crisis, to take the responsibility of saving the environment and not leave it to the developing nations at the cost of their development. The President noted in Sri Lanka, development was not at the expense of nature and pointed out that both protecting nature and development go hand in hand. The Rio+20 Summit was attended by a number of world leaders, members of both government and non-governmental organisations and members of private sector organisations. On the sidelines

President returns after successful visits to Cuba, Brazil

of the green summit, President Rajapaksa met several world leaders to apprise them of the present situation in Sri Lanka and encourage them to enhance bilateral ties in various sectors, including trade, technology and agriculture. Among the world leaders President met during the summit were his Chilean counterpart Sebastian Pinera Echenique, Bhutans Prime Minister Jigme Thinley, Nepal Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Hungarian counterpart Janos Ader and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. The President held lengthy talks with the Indian Prime Minister where the two leaders stressed that they would not leave any room for a disruption of the longstanding friendly ties between the two nations. Ministers Prof G L Peiris, Anura Priyadarshana Yapa, Wimal Weerawansa, Patali Champika Ranawaka and Mahinda Amaraweera, Deputy Minister Nirupama Rajapaksa, Parliamentarian Sajin Vaas Gunawardena, Western Province Chief Minister Prasanna Ranatunge, Western PC Minister Udaya Gammanpila and Secretary to the President Lalith Weeratunga accompanied the President.



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India reassures Nepal on Japan keen to invest in Bangladesh economic agreements

The Constituent Assembly was elected to a two-year term in 2008 to draft a new Constitution but was unable to finish the task. Its tenure was extended four times, but the Supreme Court rejected any further extensions. The revised tax treaty was signed during the Finance Minister Mr Pranab Mukherjees visit to Nepal last year. It will replace the 1987 treaty. The agreement, among other things, will facilitate exchange of information on banking between the two countries and will exempt Indian investors and traders from paying tax in India once they pay taxes in Nepal. India is the largest source of foreign investments in Nepal and the bilateral trade between the two countries is estimated to be $2.7 billion in 2010-11. During his talks with Mr Bhattarai, Dr Singh said that he was confident that all parties in Nepal would sit together and find a way out to deal with the political situation. The Prime Minister also had a meeting with the Sri Lankan President, Mr Mahinda Rajapakse.

India says the fluid political situation in Nepal will not have any fallout on their recently signed Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA), a key step to boost bilateral economic ties. The political situation in the Himalayan nation came up for discussions during a meeting between the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, and his Nepalese counterpart, Mr Baburam Bhattarai, on the sidelines of the

Rio+20 summit here. The double taxation pact is in place and so is the case with other bilateral pacts signed so far, Foreign Secretary, Mr Ranjan Mathai, told reporters after the meeting. Mr Bhattarai has called new elections in November after the term of the Constituent Assembly expired without political leaders completing the task of writing a new Constitution.

A delegation from the TCCI will visit Ctg soon in this regard, said MA Latif, former president of the CCCI, after his return from a visit to Japan on Sunday. Japanese entrepreneurs have expressed their keen interest to invest in Chittagong. The CCCI delegation exchanged views with Japan Textile Importers Association, TCCI and Bangladeshi expatriates. In the meeting with the TCCI on June 18, MA Latif sought Japanese investment in human resource development. He also urged Japanese investors to invest in Bangladesh in prospective sectors. Mahbubul Alam, senior vicepresident of the CCCI, sought Japanese investment in RMG,

pharmaceuticals, ceramics and leather goods sectors on joint venture basis. Tokyo Chamber leaders said that they preferred Bangladesh to China, Vietnam or Malaysia regarding investment. They expressed their keen interest in establishing business relations with the CCCI and urged to ensure hazard-free environment for trade and business. TCCI general manager (international project division) Takeshi Akagi, manager-inchief (international division) Takashi Okamoto and assistant manager Kazuhiro Omori, and Bangladesh embassy, Tokyo commercial counsellor Rashidul Islam were also present in the meeting.


This time judiciary

Things are happening that give one a sense of dj vu. The SC removed an elected PM who still enjoyed the support of the majority in National Assembly. The ruling coalition accepted the decision without throwing tantrums but the CJ still considers it necessary to send the message that there could be no legislation which is repugnant to constitution or Islam. One fails to understand the need to affirm this at a time when the National Assembly cannot be accused of acting in a belligerent way. There are many who

think that the SC would do well to avoid taking over the responsibility of defining where Islam ends and heresy begins. An SC bench has been formed, headed by the CJ, which is to start hearing the NRO implementation case among other cases. A new confrontation between the executive and judiciary may not be far off. Attempts are on to divide, pressurise and malign institutions and civil society organisations. Sidestepping the Pakistan Bar Council and the Supreme Court

Bar Association, PTIs senior vice president Hamid Khan convened a lawyers convention which announced a countrywide strike by lawyers on June 27. As the convention and its announcements were declared unconstitutional by the PBC and SCBA, there is likelihood of a split among the lawyers. Many consider that the Arsalan Iftikhar affair was a conspiracy to pressurise the judiciary and malign the media at the same time. While this happens, political parties remain divided and sufficiently discredited.

The ruling coalition has committed enough sins of omission and commission to gain unpopularity. These include an abysmal neglect to tackle the power issue, failure to put an end to targeted killings in Karachi and Quetta and to ameliorate the lot of the common man. The PML(N) has been mired by financial indiscipline and bad governance. After recruiting the whole lot of politicians known for shifting party alliances, the PTI which was considered earlier by the youth as a harbinger of change is now seen by many as another party of the status quo. There is a perception that attempts are on by those who matter

to oust the present PPP government through courts, install an interim administration, give it indefinite extension and delay the general election. A peaceful transfer of power is the only hope for putting the system, battered by one military intervention after another, on an even keel. Any interpolation by the army or the courts would damage the system beyond repair. What needs to be done by the political parties is to agree on early elections, reach understanding on a permanent CEC and an interim set up and go for an orderly transition of power.

Saarc international I Thursday 28 June 2012

After the action film Singham, you are teaming up again with director Rohit Shetty in the comedy Bol Bachchan
Bol Bachchan is an entertaining movie. It is a Rohit Shetty film. The audience will get all the things they like to watch the most in Ajay Devgn-Rohit Shetty movies. Apart from the entertaining portion, the film also has drama and mindblowing action. Tell us more about your character in Bol Bachchan? This is the first time that I have played a Pehelwan (wrestler). The role has been beautifully written, and since I had never played a now you have Bol Bachchan in July 2012. Was the timing deliberate? People say if you deliver a big hit in a particular week, one should follow that trend. It is something we have been following for years. It is not a superstitious thing but wheres the harm? We released Singham within a stipulated time frame. But Bol Bachchan is a bigger film made on a bigger canvas. It is not a film we could complete and release within a specific period. Luckily, we managed to finish the What kind of response has the song, the trailer and the look of the film drawn? In these times, when theres no long-term for a film, its first look and trailer play a very vital role. Todays audience decides whether to watch a film or not from its look and trailer. So the fate of a film is decided the day you launch your trailer. We took our own time so that the first impression of the film is appreciated. The




on Amit-ji. It is just that we shot it after we completed the entire film. Obviously, the presence of Amitji, even in the song, enhances the prospects of the film. The title of the film is Bol Bachchan and it also

Pehelwan before the entire team thought it would only enhance the film. It is good for an actor to keep playing different types of roles. Also, todays audience doesnt want to see an actor play the same role time and again. How long can you entertain the audience with the same type of character? The basic idea is to entertain the audience. Now you have to decide how much entertainment you can deliver through your film. We, as a team, try to give 100 per cent entertainment. With Bol Bachchan,

film recently and thus decided to release it in July. Singham is still fresh in audiences minds. And let me tell you, it is not just film experts who remember which film released when, it is audiences too. At the end of the day, the audience decides the fate of a film. If they were with you for your last film, they will be with you for your next film. If you give them what they want, they will stand by you. Bol Bachchan is one such film, made purely for the audience and their entertainment. Will Bol Bachchan become your

response has been overwhelming and much bigger than expected. We wanted to convey what we had made through the trailer. We also wanted to communicate that it is an entertaining film made on a much bigger and much more entertaining canvas this time. Tell us about the title track and performing with Amitabh Bachchan was this always part of the film? People associated with the project always knew this song was part of the film. From the inception itself, we had decided to have this song

has Abhishek Bachchan. So how can this film be complete if we dont have Amit-ji? Looking back Rohit Shetty started his career with Zameen, which had Abhishek Bachchan and you in the lead? Sometimes, things just fall into place and a project happens. This was not the first time Rohit thought of bringing us together. Before this, either the character didnt suit Abhishek or there was another reason why we didnt work together. But this time, with this title, we knew it had to be Abhishek.

And everything worked just right. Since Abhishek and I have known each other for years, the chemistry on screen is outstanding. So many people have told me that we look good together on-screen. Real-life bonding helps on screen. Will Bol Bachchan become your third film that crosses the Rs 100crore mark in India? We make a film to entertain the audience and if we succeed, we are rewarded in return. Who doesnt want his or her film to do well? I want my films to do better than my previous ones. Im always competing with myself. After Bol Bachchan, you will only have Son Of Sardaar this year? Yes. In the recent past, I have been having two to three releases a year. I believe this is the best way to go. Son Of Sardaar will release during Diwali and, after that, I will have my next release in 2013. Do you think comedy and action in a film will make it a success at the box office? Making a good film is a safe bet at the ticket counter. Action and comedy always entertain but just gags and punches on a villains face dont make a film entertaining. You need to have a base, a good story. Yes, comedy and action enhance the fate of a film.

Akshay Kumar Signs 50 Crore Deal To Be New Star Brand Ambassador Of Honda Motorcycles And Scooters India
Bollywood superstar Akshay Kumar has been signed as the new face to front mega-popular motoring brand Honda Motorcycles and Scooters India (HMSI). Star of such huge hits as Housefull 2 and new action blockbuster Rowdy Rathore, Akshay Kumar will be the new brand ambassador for HMSI in a five-year deal, which will net him a reported 50 Crores. Akshay Kumars signing was announced at a special press meet to launch HMSIs mass-market motorcycle Honda Dream Yuga 110, part of its strategy to harness Akshays huge appeal with the masses in the country. Speaking about his new role, Akshay Kumar said: Honda is the worlds

we will be providing 100-plus per cent entertainment. I can assure you my character will entertain the audience from the beginning to the end. Yes, kids love characters like these, but who says older people dont? Dont they watch wrestlers on WWE, whom you can also call modern Pehelwans? This film is for people of all ages. Singham released in July 2011 and

third film that crosses the Rs 100crore mark? We make a film to entertain the audience. And if we succeed, we are rewarded in return. Who doesnt want his or her film to do well? But Im not among those who are, like, Iski 100 huyee, uski nahin. I want my films to do better than my previous ones. Im always competing with myself.

number one motorcycle maker. I am deeply impressed by Hondas vision and proud to associate with this young and vibrant brand that is innovative, technologically advanced and committed to society. A Honda spokesperson said: With over 100 films to his credit and a repertoire

from action films to family shows, Akshay has amassed a mass following across the length and breadth of India. Hondas association with Akshay Kumar will be symbiotic as both are driven by the power of dreams.


Olympic torch bearer from Pakistan, Zainab Imran

grown-ups, too, of all abilities in schools and communities across the world, particularly in developing countries, by offering them the opportunity to access and participate in high-quality proud of you, Zainab, said the High Commissioner. He also appreciated the good work done by International Inspiration in the fields of sports and physical education in Pakistan.


South Asia Tribune I Thursday 28 June 2012

The young Pakistani girl Zainab Imran who will carry the Olympic torch as it makes its way to London was felicitated at an evening reception at Pakistan High Commission, London on

25 June 2012. The event was organized in collaboration with the British Pakistan Foundation, International Inspiration (a global NGO investing in sports in the developing world including Pakistan and working alongside UNICEF), Sports Aid, and the British Council. Zainab, who has only recently done her Matric, is one of 20 people from across the world selected as torch-bearers through the International Inspiration programme. The programme looks to use the power of sport to enrich the lives of tens of millions of children, young people and

and inclusive sport, physical education and play. In the process of selection Zainab demonstrated strong leadership qualities. She is also a member of the Young Leader of International Inspiration Club. She has taken Young Sport Leadership training and is also very active to impart this training to her local community. Speaking at the ceremony, Pakistan High Commissioner for UK Mr Wajid Shamsul Hasan congratulated Zainab on her selection through a competitive process to represent Pakistan at London Olympics. We are

In her talk, Zainab stated that she was very happy after getting selected for the torch relay at the London Olympics 2012 and was

looking forward to representing her country at the biggest event in sports. She expressed her gratitude to her parents and teachers for their guidance and encouragement.

The London 2012 Olympics Torch Relay would be held in Nottingham on June 28, 2012 where 20 students from Azerbaijan, Brazil, Bangladesh, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Jordan, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mozambique, Nigeria, Pakistan, South Africa, Turkey, Tanzania, Trinidad & Tobago, Uganda, and Zambia would participate. Mr Shahid Azeem of British Pakistan Foundation, Mr David Bulls of International Inspiration and UNICEF and Mr Bill Morris of Ceremonies, Education and Live Sites spoke on the occasion. Ms Suniya Qureshi Executive Director British Pakistan Foundation moderated the event.

Pakistan has formally allowed its territory to be used to send Indian food aid to Afghanistan, helping New Delhi replace a back-door channel that involved higher risks and costs. Wheat will be shipped to Karachi and ferried from there to Kabul by road, as is being done at present under the unofficial arrangement. But now, the gunny bags used for packing the grain will not have any markings suggesting they originated in India and will only mention Goods in transit to Afghanistan. The move is being seen as a precaution against terror attacks. Islamabad is unsure of the reaction of radical elements to such an arrangement. It has so far resisted attempts by India to conduct trade with Afghanistan

Pakistan allows transit to Indian food aid for Afghanistan

via Pakistani territory. Indian goods are now sent to the war-torn nation through Iranian ports and from there on a highway that Indias Border Roads Organisation (BRO) has constructed. Sources said Islamabad agreed to grant the transit permission as it involved assistance to a food-starved Afghanistan. The aid is part of the 2.5 lakh metric tonnes India promised in 2009. Nearly one lakh metric tonnes have already been sent over the past year. India had feared attacks on the consignments as the trucks made their way through Pakistani territory. There were no untoward incidents but the absence of paperwork and the lack of tenders and insurance meant the aid cost both India and Afghanistan much more to transport. Both New Delhi and Kabul had sought reassured by the incident-free transportation so far. After the permission came through,

the transit nod from Islamabad, which acceded to the request partly

the external affairs ministry invited bids earlier this month to have

the wheat transported. The tender mentions some precautions, including one about the lack of markings and another that requires only ships with an Afghan flag to carry the wheat from Gujarats Kandla to Karachi. It also lays down that contracted costs can change in the event of civil unrest, border issues, extreme weather conditions especially rainfall, act of god, terrorist attacks, or any other unforeseen circumstances which is beyond the control of Afghanistan. Ministry sources appeared cautious, however, when asked whether the aid transit could be a precursor to trade with Afghanistan via Pakistani territory, a prospect that promises huge saving cost savings.

South Asia Tribune I Thursday 28 June 2012



Eight dead in Quetta market shooting

At least eight Sindhis, including a policeman, were gunned down and another was injured in Mill area of Sariab Road on Saturday. According to DIG Investigation Hamid Shakil, unidentified armed men entered a laundry in old Sariab Mill and opened fire, killing six people on the spot and injuring three others. Police said that armed men entered a laundry shop, situated in the Mill area of Saryab Road, where 11 people were present and opened indiscriminate fire, killing six people on the spot and injuring three others. The injured were shifted to the Provincial Sandeman Hospital, where two of them succumbed Continued from page 01 >> responsibility for the attack. Mohammad Ali, a shopkeeper told The Express Tribune, We heard the sound of firing from the laundry shop and rushed to the spot. He added that the armed men, who were on motorbikes, were fleeing when they reached the spot. The deceased were identified as Police Constable Gul Mohammad resident of Dera Allah Yar, Nurullah and Mohammad Umair from Jacobabad, Sher Ahmed from Bhag Nari, Mohammad Ishaq Soomoro, Abdul Hameed and Mohammad. The owner of the laundry shop, identified as Shehzad, was also injured in the attack and is currently in critical condition.

to their injuries. A case has been registered against unidentified gunmen and investigations are under way, according to officials. DIG Investigations Hamid Shakil denied the attack was a case of targeted killing, saying it was possibly a case of personal enmity.

Some reports suggested that the attackers were targeting Sindhi -speaking people. However, local residents dismissed these reports, saying there is no conflict between the Sindhis and Baloch militants on any issue.They argued that there is a possibility that the attack was fuelled by revenge.

According to AFP, initial investigations indicated that the victims were settlers, senior police official Iskander Tareen said, referring to people who have settled in Balochistan from other provinces of Pakistan. However, there was no claim of

22, told a jury at Manchester Crown Court that he felt anxious when a man wearing a white hoodie instantaneously walked towards them. Mr Jalali asked his friends to ignore him. He came over and he asked what the time is and we did not respond the first time, he told the jury. He said he immediately asked the same question and finally got an answer of 1.30am from a member of the group on the third occasion. Then he pulled the trigger, Mr Jalali said. There was a bang sound, it sounded like a firecracker, he added. Then Anuj fell flat, facefirst. He said that as he turned around he saw the mans hand level with Mr Bidves head and saw a silver patch on the top of the mans hand. By the time he had completely turned round, the man, who had shaven hair, had gone. Prosecutor Brian Cummings QC asked: Did anything else happen? Mr Jalali said: He laughed. Mr Cummings said: Describe that laugh. He replied: It was more of a sarcastic laugh. He then saw him run off with another male who stayed on the opposite side of the road throughout the incident. Mr Jalali told Simon Csoka QC, cross-examining, that he was sure it was a sarcastic laugh he heard, rather than just a brief noise. He said the man appeared perfectly normal when asking the time and was not aggressive in any way. A second witness, Sarang Kulkarni, said he saw the man in the hooded top laughing as he stood behind Mr Bidve, who was on the ground. Mr Kulkarni told the court: My first thought was I imagined he

Trial into Anuj Bidve murder continues

was playing a prank because I saw him laughing. I did not hear the laughter but I did see him laugh. I saw an expression on his face which I thought was of laughter. Mr Csoka asked him if the expression could have been one of surprise. I think I was able to tell the difference between surprise and laughter, he replied. Yesterday, in the opening of the case, the jury heard that the defendant had a killer tattoo inked on his face two days after the shooting. He went to a tattoo shop in Swinton and had a teardrop design put on his right cheek. Mr Cummings said staff remembered the visit because the tattoo can signify that the wearer has killed someone. He said: This was pointed out to Kiaran Stapleton, in an effort to ensure that this was really what he wanted, and he said words to the effect that he had killed his goldfish, did that count? The next day the defendant was arrested and initially denied being the killer before he was charged with Mr Bidves murder. When he made his first appearance at Manchester Magistrates Court, he was asked if his name was Kiaran. Stapleton replied: No, Psycho. Psycho Stapleton. Mr Bidve was studying for a micro-electronics postgraduate qualification at Lancaster University after arriving in the UK last September and had travelled with eight fellow students to spend Christmas in Manchester. Mr Bidves parents, Subhash and Yogini, have flown from their home in Pune, India, to attend the trial, which is scheduled to last up to four weeks. The trial continues.

a debate on restoring diplomatic relations with Iran, lifting the siege and threat of war, exposing the deception and hypocrisy and proposing peaceful and legal solutions to the contrived crisis with the country. The Zionist lobby also threatened Lord Nazir Ahmed to keep him from chairing the seminar. The lobby also contacted the Labour Party with objections over the extremist views of some of those involved in the seminar. The Zionist lobby in Britain has been even more successful than the same lobby in the United States of America, rightfully argues Janine Robert, an investigative journalist. According to the journalist there are 13 pro-Zionist Senators in the US Senate and 30 in the House of Representatives. This is while, in the UK, where there is a Jewish Community 20 times smaller, there are 18 proZionist lawmakers in the House of Commons and 41 in the House

Lord Nazir Ahmed cancel Iran seminar under Zionist lobbys pressure
of Lords. It is the highest Jewish representation in the West, where all these figures are Zionist, thanks to former prime minister Tony Blairs patronage, Janine believes. Many decisions made in both Houses of Parliament and Lords are made as a direct result of lobbying by parliamentary colleagues, constituents or outside pressure groups including private companies known as lobbyists employed by organizations. For example, Labour Friend of Israel (LFI) is a UK parliamentbased lobby group promoting support within the British Labour Party for a strong bilateral relationship between Britain and the Zionist regime of Israel. According to their manifesto, LFI supports a two-state solution in the occupied Palestinian territories with Israeli regime recognized and secured within its self-declared borders and

the establishment of a viable Palestinian state. Labour Friends of Israel (LFI) was founded in October 1957 at a public rally during the annual Labour Party Conference. Anthony Greenwood MP was appointed its first Chair. For over 50 years LFI has remained one of the most active groups in the Labour Party, drawing wide support from ministers, MPs, MEPs, peers, members of the Welsh Assembly and Scottish Parliament, advisers and activists. The groups chair is Andrew Gwynne and senior politicians including Tony Blair, former Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, also a former Prime Minister, David Blankett, a former Home Secretary, Chris Bryant, a former minister of Europe, Stephen Byers, former Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, John Reid, a former Home Secretary and many other high-ranking Labour politicians could be

Pakistani Student Iqra Shahzad presenting a shield to Lord Nazir Ahmad during a reception in the honour of a delegation of Pakistani position holder students. Vice Chancellor GC Lahore Prof Dr Khalil-ur-Rehman, Member UK Parliament Yasmeen Qureshi and President PML (N) UK Zubair Gul are also seen in the picture.


Green groups in Germany say no to Bhopal waste

Germany Plans to Dispose of Bhopal Toxic Waste

NEWS South Asia Tribune 28 Years after Chemical Accident

I Thursday 28 June 2012

The toxic chemicals in question originate from the site of the 1984 Bhopal disaster in India, which killed thousands of people and contaminated the surrounding area. The gas leak in Bhopal, the capital of Madhya Pradesh state, killed at least 15,000 people. The waste destined for Germany is not connected to the toxic methyl isocyanate gas that leaked from the plant in 1984, but comes from indiscriminate dumping at the

Now, German experts want to clean it up. On the night of December 2, 1984, one of the biggest chemical accidents in history occurred in the Indian city of Bhopal. A factory owned by the US chemical company Union Carbide, now part of Dow Chemical, produced an insecticide called Sevin at the Bhopal plant. The facility was intended to bring work and prosperity to the capital of Madhya Pradesh, a largely rural state

development. About two weeks ago, almost 28 years after the accident, a group of cabinet ministers in New Delhi decided to sign over the disposal of the toxic waste from Bhopal to the German technicians. According to the presentation that was used as a basis for reaching the decision. It explains in detail how the GIZ subsidiary International Services will transport roughly 350 tons of toxic waste to Germany for disposal.

bank guarantee is also required, in case something goes wrong en route to the incinerator. The disposal of Bhopals toxic waste in Germany, about 6,500 kilometers (4,000 miles) away, will cost Indian taxpayers about 3.4 million ($4.25 million). We couldnt have wished for a better partner than the Germans, says state Urban Development Minister Babulal Gaur, 62, who is responsible for the rehabilitation of the gas victims

Bhopal project could be completed within a year. The toxic waste, which is still sitting in the abandoned plant in open containers, will be collected by workers in protective suits and gas masks, sealed into airtight containers and flown to Germany, preferably in the cooler months between October and March. Distorted Faces The real question is why it took almost 28 years before the disposal of the

site in the decades prior to the deadly accident. Much of the waste dates from before the accident at the Union Carbide pesticide plant. The earth around the site contains somewhere between 25,000 and 50,000 tons of toxins, which are steadily seeping into the groundwater and polluting the water sources of nearby slums. The German Agency for Technical Cooperation (GIZ), a state-owned service that provides technical expertise to developing countries, has offered in a first step to dispose of 350 tons of the residues at a highly-sophisticated incineration plant in Germany - a move that Indian officials have warmly welcomed because the country has no appropriate disposal facilities of its own. Rusted metal barrels filled with a dark, dusty material stand in a warehouse on the site of the former Union Carbide plant in Bhopal, India. Dirt and sand trickle from worn plastic bags piled up in a corner. The barrels contain toxic materials, but they have no lids and are not inside any containers. Any slum child can pick the lock on the entrance gate. Its hazardous waste storage, Indian style.

in the heart of India, a little bigger than Italy. Instead, the plant brought death to the residents of Bhopal. Several dozen tons of methyl isocyanate, a highly toxic chemical, leaked from a tank that night, releasing a deadly cloud of gas over the city. The leak is

A February letter from the GIZ to the relevant ministry in Bhopal mentions disposal at an incinerator in Hamburg. This information is incorrect, say GIZ officials, noting that the incineration contract will be put out to Europe-wide tender, but only after the contract has

and is the former chief minister of Madhya Pradesh. Gaur would have preferred to dispose of the waste in India. Ive held that dirt in my own hands. The material lost its toxicity long ago, says the minister, downplaying the hazards. But all

believed to have caused up to 30,000 deaths, although the exact number, especially in the slums adjacent to the plant, was never determined. Today the people in Bhopal still live with the consequences of the gas cloud and are still fighting for compensation. It took a decree by Indias highest court for the toxic waste to finally be removed. The partner the Indians found to perform the task is the German Society for International Cooperation (GIZ), a German government agency that provides services for sustainable

been signed. Germanys Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, which the GIZ answers to, has already approved the project. The GIZ had the draft contract sent to the Indian government last week. The most problematic issue is the question of who assumes the risk and costs for possible transportation accidents on German soil. According to the GIZ presentation, the current owner remains responsible for the waste until its final disposal. A

Indian states that were candidates for reprocessing went to court to fend off the toxic waste. Problematic Residues According to analyses performed by the German disposal experts, the fears of the Indian states are understandable. According to the GIZ report, the material -- supposedly pesticidecontaminated soil which is not directly connected to the 1984 accident -- still contains problematic residues of chlorine, mercury and heavy metals. The German planners believe that the

toxic waste was seriously addressed. Corruption, ignorance, incompetence -- you can pick the reasons, says Rachna Dhingra, 35, a member of an organization that advocates on behalf of the Bhopal victims. Politicians wear masks when they talk to us, says survivor Abdul Jabbar Khan. The 57-year-old Muslim, who lost about 60 percent of his eyesight in the chemical gas accident, is looking at a box containing his daily ration of medications. He has organized protest marches in the past, and he is embittered by the indifference of the authorities. Large black-and-white photos, close-ups of the victims of the 1984 disaster, hang on the wall next to his improvised desk. They show twisted bodies in the throes of death and distorted faces of victims, their mouths wide open, like fish gasping for air. Khan views the announcement that the remnants of the toxic waste will finally be removed from Bhopal as pure propaganda. He fears that its just a ploy to silence the victims once and for all. But Khan refuses to be silenced. I wont do them that favor, he vows.

South Asia Tribune I Thursday 28 June 2012

who was named man of the match for his unbeaten 199 in Sri Lankas first innings. SCOREBOARD Its nice to continue the winning momentum, said Sri Lankan captain Mahela Jayawardene, whose team won the preceding one-dayers 3-1 and now leads 1-0 in the three-Test series. Jayawardene defended his decision not to enforce the follow-on despite a lead of 372 runs after Sri Lanka shot out Pakistan for a modest 100 in the first innings. The idea was to bat Pakistan out of the match and also give my bowlers a bit of a rest, he said. The weather was a bit of a concern but then Kulasekara was outstanding with the new ball. Younis and Shafiq batted really well, but we knew that once we broke the stand, we will go through. Mohammad Hafeez, who led Pakistan after regular

Sri Lanka seal thumping win Continued from page 32 >>

captain Misbah-ul Haq was banned from the Test for a slow over-rate in a one-day match, said he was proud of the entire team. Ours is a young side and this match was a learning experience for everyone, he said. There was very good spirit in the side and it was really satisfying to see Younis and Asad fight till the end. But we need to work hard at the nets. It will be a big boost when Misbah returns for the next Test. Randiv claimed the last three wickets to give Sri Lanka their third win in the last five Tests, a turnaround in form following a dip after the retirement of the legendary Muttiah Muralitharan from the five-day game in 2010. The second Test starts at the Sinhalese sports club in Colombo on June 30. The third match will be played in Pallekele from July 8.



Pakistan, Sri Lanka jointly demand DRS

India rejects mandatory cricket technology
INDIAS powerful cricket board has maintained its opposition to mandatory video technology despite backing for the system from the sports world chiefs. Pakistan and Sri Lanka united Tuesday to demand mandatory video technology after several umpiring howlers in their first Test, placing themselves in opposition to Indias powerful board. The Decision Review System (DRS), which uses ball tracking and thermal imaging to verify umpires decisions, was recommended for mandatory use by cricket chiefs Monday, subject to member nations financing the technology. The Galle Test, which Sri Lanka won by 209 runs on Monday, was marred by at least 12 contentious decisions by umpires Steve Davis of Australia and Ian Gould of England, with Pakistan suffering the most. DRS is not being used in the three-Test series, reportedly due to cost factors. The ICCs Executive Board will consider a recommendation by its chief executives committee to make DRS mandatory at meetings in Kuala Lumpur over the next two days. The ICC had previously made DRS mandatory for all series, but changed its stance last year following objections from the influential board in India, which accounts for the lions share of global cricket revenues. Mohammad Hafeez, captaining Pakistan in Galle in the absence of Misbah ul-Haq, said the uncertainty about the video referral technology should end. One thing I want to say is that it is time for the highest authorities to make a decision about the DRS, said Hafeez. It should be made compulsory for every game.

Gurinder Chadha The Torch Bearer!

Bend It Like Beckham director Gurinder Chadha carried the Olympic torch on Saturday 23rd June 2012. She ran the Blackpool to Manchester segment near Burnley. Blackpool is where she shot her first feature film, the unforgettable Bhaji On The Beach and Manchester was of course home to a football team connected to a certain Mr Beckham! Says Gurinder: "It was a complete and utter exhilarating experience, I am honoured and blessed to have been selected as one of only a few thousand out of all of Britain's 56 million population to run with the Olympic flame. I shall treasure my torch and display it in my house next to my OBE!" Gurinder could barely contain her pride: "My goodness, I don't think my parents would have ever imagined I would have such honours showered on me when they first arrived on British soil in the sixties. I am proud to be a British Punjabi and when I first took hold of the flame I said to myself 'Bole Sonihal'. Saturday has been a great day for me and my community!"

The city of Dubai is built on foundations that are steeped in history and tradition. From the evocative Dubai Museum to the spectacular Jumeirah Mosque, and from the breathtaking Bastakiya to the imperious Heritage Village. There are many mysteries waiting to be unravelled. Explore Dubai at your pace and relive great traditions from day gone by.


Continued from page 32 >>

Danish Kaneria
he will be able to play club cricket in the final two years of his suspension. The ICC is wrestling with the problem of spot-fixing, often bowling no-balls to order by bookmakers, at its annual conference in Kuala Lumpur which wraps up on Thursday. Kaneria has not played for Pakistan since appearing against England in August 2010 the same tour that saw the infamous fixing episode in the Lords Test, which led to then-captain Salman Butt and bowlers Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir being jailed on corruption charges. Butt, jailed for 30 months last November on charges of accepting corrupt payments, was freed from an English prison on Thursday. Amir was released in February after serving half his six-month sentence while Asif, jailed for 12 months, was freed in May.

authorities for his involvement in the Mervyn Westfield spot-fixing case. The 31-year-old Pakistani has vowed to appeal the sanction. The lawyer acting for the Pakistan bowler, Danish Kaneria, has called for his appeal against a life ban from cricket imposed by the ECB to take the form of an open hearing on the grounds that it increases the prospect of a fair trial. Westfield was jailed for four months in February, but served two before being released in April, after admitting he accepted #6,000 ($9,346) to under-perform during a Pro40 match between Essex and Durham in 2009. The now 24-year-old Westfield named Kaneria arrested with him in 2010 but released without charge as the link between bookmakers and players. Westfield was given a five-year ban for bringing cricket into disrepute, a charge the seamer accepted, although


World Anti-Narcotics Day 26th June


South Asia Tribune I Thursday 28 June 2012

Like other parts of the globe, World Anti-Narcotics Day, is being observed on Tuesday with a resolve to continue the fight against narcotics and to raise public awareness about the negative effects of drugs. To mark the day, seminars, walks and other gatherings will be arranged across the country in which speakers will threw light on current drug scenario in Pakistan and the need to

public places, will be the chief guest at the event. Pakistan was always at a peril of becoming a victim of drugs abuse due to mass production of

make efforts for creating a drugfree society. The day is observed to reiterate commitment to fight against narcotics and create awareness about drug abuse. In Lahore, the Youth Council for Anti-Narcotics will organise an event at a hotel on June 26 to mark the day. District Coordination Officer Noorul Amin Mengal, who recently initiated a crackdown on sheesha smoking in

narcotics in Afghanistan which is the largest narcotics producer in the world with an estimated global opiate market share of 93 percent. Officials claimed that the Ministry of Narcotics Control is planning to establish drug rehabilitation centres in various cities to facilitate willing addicts with free and cheap treatment. Law-enforcement agencies, nongovernmental organisations (NGOs) and the education department need to work together to devise special drug prevention programmes to prevent the youth from falling victims to drug traffickers, the

sources said. The need of the hour is that regular campaign and educational programmes should be organized to create the awareness among the children and youths, they said. Commenting on the history of drug supply in the country, the sources said that drugs, particularly heroin, was introduced in Pakistan in 1979 after three mega events the imposition of the Ziaul Haq regime, Afghan War, and the Iranian Revolution. Before that time, Europe was the biggest international drug market, where drugs had been smuggled from

agenda.Heroin, cocaine and other drugs continue to kill around 200,000 people a year, shattering families and bringing misery to thousands of other people, insecurity and the spread of HIV, around the world, the head of the United Nations anti-drugs office Tuesday said that countering transnational organized crime and illicit drugs must become an integral part of the development

the Executive Director of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), Yury Fedotov, told the General Assembly during a thematic debate on drugs and crime as a threat to development. CREATING AWAKENING:NCC cadets taking out an awareness rally jointly organised by State and Central anti-narcotics agencies, against drug abuse in Chennai on Sunday. The rally was flagged off by City Police Commissioner J.K. Tripathy. An anti-narcotics officer counts packages of cocaine after a raid on a lab. Oxi, the latest drug to surface in the Amazon, is reputed to be twice as dangerous as crack cocaine available at just a fifth of the price.

Afghanistan via Iran and Turkey. The UN Secretary-General in his message on this Day said: Drug abuse and illicit trafficking continue to have a profoundly negative impact on development and stability across the world. The billions of dollars generated from illicit drugs fuel terrorist activities and abet other crimes such as human trafficking and the smuggling of arms and people. Highlighting the impact of drug abuse

South Asia Tribune I Thursday 28 June 2012

Iranian Vice President Mohammad Reza Rahimi condemned the Zionists for inciting global drug trade and addiction in a bid to annihilate nonJewish communities in accordance with Talmudic teachings,Fars News Agency (FNA) reported. Addressing a ceremony for the International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking held in Tehran on Tuesday, Rahimi alleged that the prevalence of narcotics and drug-addiction throughout the world is rooted in the Talmud. The teachings of the Jewish book of law, the Talmud, are a driving force behind the international drugs

Zionists to blame for world drug trade 27 million problem drug

The Talmud teaches that it is lawful to acquire wealth through legal and illegal means... which gives (the Jews) the right to destroy humanity, he said. If one seeks what lies behind all forms of corruption, there is the repugnant face of Zionists. This is the same case for the narcotics trade ... whose primary operator is the Zionist regime, he said. The Zionists spread destruction not only by drugs, but also by (attacking) cultures. Iranian officials have repeatedly courted international outrage with tirades against the state of Israel but criticism of Judaism as a faith has been rare. The Talmud is a book of oral tradition derived from the Jewish holy book, the Torah, that contains all the principles that govern daily life. Ahmadinejad has said many times that the Jewish state is doomed to destruction, while supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has branded it a cancerous tumor that must be removed. In February last year, Iran accused Israels Mossad spy agency of promoting drug use in Iran by selling narcotics at cut price in the hope of weakening the regime. Rahimi pointed to Irans heavy spending and loss in the campaign against drugs, including the loss of 4,000 lives. We could receive money and allow drug cargos to pass through Iran as a transit route and end up in the western countries without leaking into the Iranian society, but our religious teachings do not allow us to do so because paving the ground for the transit of narcotics to the other countries is against ethical codes, he said. Eastern Iran borders Afghanistan, the worlds number one opium and drug producer. Irans geographical position has made the country a favorite transit corridor for drug traffickers who intend to smuggle their cargoes from Afghanistan to drug dealers in Europe, noted FNA.



users worldwide UN

Iranian VP Mohammad Reza Rahimi says Jews, Talmud incite global narcotics trade. Jews think theyre a superior race, he said.

trade, Irans First Vice President Mohammad Reza Rahimi said in comments reported on Wednesday. Rahimis remarks, at an international anti-drug conference in Tehran attended by many foreign diplomats on Tuesday, were a rare diatribe by an Iranian official targeting the Jewish faith, rather than the state of Israel. The spread of narcotics in the world emanates from the teachings of the Talmud... whose objective is the destruction of the world, Rahimi said in comments published by the official website of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and state media.

Some 27 million people worldwide are problem drug users, with almost one per cent every year dying from narcotics abuse, while cannabis remains the most popular drug, a UN report showed Tuesday. Heroin, cocaine and other drugs continue to kill around 200,000 people a year, shattering families and bringing misery to thousands of other people, insecurity and the spread of HIV, director Yury Fedotov said as he presented the 2012 World Drug Report of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). Global production and use of illegal drugs remained relatively stable last year, the report found. However, this masked shifts in trafficking and consumption that were significant and also worrying... because they are proof of the resilience and adaptability of illicit drug suppliers and users, the UNODC warned. Cannabis remained the most widely used drug with up to 224 million users worldwide, although production figures were hard to obtain, the agency said. Europe was the biggest market for cannabis resin, most of it coming from Morocco, although Afghanistan is becoming a major supplier and domestic production in Europe is also rising, the UNODC said. Most European Union member states [are] reporting the cultivation of cannabis herb to be a phenomenon that appears to be on the increase, the report added, noting the increasing involvement of organised crime. Opium production in Afghanistan, the worlds biggest producer with 90 per cent of the global share, meanwhile, jumped by 61 per cent in 2011 to 5,800 tonnes from 3,600 tonnes in

2010, when the crop was hit by disease. In Southeast Asia as well, cultivating opium was increasingly popular, expanding by 16 per cent in 2011, with Myanmar still the second largest producer behind Afghanistan. Only a small share of this made it to Europe and North America, where opiate use was stable or dropping. Instead, 70 per cent of users were in Africa and Asia, the report found. Cocaine use too was stagnating or falling in Europe and North America, but this was offset by growing use in South America and Australia, as well as parts of Africa and Asia. Synthetic drugs including methamphetamine and ecstasy pills were meanwhile on the increase, with a recent hike in seizures pointing to the drugs continued popularity, the UNODC said. Some 230 million people, or 5 per cent of the global population aged 15-64, used illegal drugs at least once in 2010, the last year for which data was available, the report found. As growth in use shifts increasingly from developed to developing countries, UNODC director Yuri Fedotov appealed for more help to newly-affected nations, ill-equipped to fight this problem. Drug use has also been spilling more into countries along trafficking routes, such as Iran or parts of western and central Africa, the office noted. Besides the health effects, the UNODC estimated the financial cost of drug use at about $200 billion to $250 billion (160 billion200 billion euros) to cover drug treatment worldwide, a far cry from the sums currently provided

Pakistans Supreme Court has indicted Prime Minister Gilani for contempt of court because he refused to ask Swiss authorities to investigate corruption charges against President Zardari. If the Court thinks Zardari is unfit for office, it must not transfer this important matter to a foreign country.
By Hans Dembowski
Pakistan is in crisis, threatened by Islamist militants. Its state institutions are weak, the economy stuttering and corruption rumours abound. The military has a long history of coups; it last ran the country from 1999 to 2007. The secret service ISI originally fostered the Taliban, and Islamabad officially severed those ties only after Osama bin Laden orchestrated attacks on New York and Washington from Afghanistan on 11 September 2001. Today, Asif Ali Zardari is Pakistans president. He should not be. He has an impressive track record of legal problems, mostly because of corruption. He was convicted of money laundering in Switzerland. Zardari was only free to enter politics once more thanks to an amnesty that pardoned all Pakistani politicians and their families in 2007. This amnesty was based on a deal that Zardaris wife Benazir Bhutto struck with the president at the time, Pervez Musharraf, a general who had toppled an elected government. The idew as to return to decmocracy. Benazir Bhutto was a former prime minister who hoped to lead the nation once more, and Musharraf was under double pressure to hold free elections: Mass protests had erupted after he had removed Iftikhar Chowdhry, the chief justice at the Supreme Court, from office. so her widower Zardari succeeded Musharraf as president in late 2008. For a country struggling with corruption, a blanket amnesty is not healthy, and it was indeed ruled un-constitutional in 2009 by the Supreme Court under re-instated Chief Justice Chowdhry. The judges seem to be itching to punish corrupt leaders. Unfortunately, they have shied from tackling Zardari head on. In February, the Supreme Court lost patience with Gilani. The judges indicted him for contempt of court. Found guilty, he would face a sentence of up to six months. He could not stay on as prime minister. Gilani is otherwise likely to become the first prime minister in Pakistans history to serve a full term. The proceedings against him mean that there is a risk of a severe constitutional crisis. The matter was adjourned before D+C/ E+Z went to press. In past months, Gilani expressed criticism of Pakistans powerful military, speaking of conspiracies against his civilian government and warning there must not be a a state within the state. The generals are furious because western media reported that the government had asked for US support to prevent a coup after US forces had killed bin Laden in Pakistan in May last year. They asked the Supreme Court to investigate possible leaks. The military resents Gilanis relatively outspoken, though still understated rhetoric. It has obviously been a state within the state in Pakistan for a long time. Some observers say the Supreme Court is doing the generals a favour by turning against Gilani. However, it has also begun to investigate matters that relate to violence committed under military rule, so others argue it is asserting itself as an independent branch of government. Pakistan certainly needs judgements to end the culture of impunity which, so far, serves both military leaders and corrupt politicians. No selfrespecting judiciary can close its eyes to such matters. Nonetheless, the Supreme Courts action against Gilani is misguided. A self-respecting judiciary must try culprits under its own jurisdiction; it cannot transfer such a matter to foreign authorities. If the judges think Zardari deserves to be in jail, they must charge him. To do so, they must either find a way to lift the presidents immunity or wait until his term in office ends. A country in crisis cannot afford the dangerous distraction of a judicially challenged prime minister when the real problem is the president.

Dangerous distraction

The US administration of President George Bush junior wanted a more legitimate person to lead Pakistan. The transition to democracy did not go well. Benazir Bhutto was killed in December 2007. Her party subsequently won the elections,

Instead, they ordered Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani to ask Swiss authorities to restart investigations against Zardari. Gilani refused to do so, arguing that the president enjoys immunity in Pakistan as well as abroad.


South Asia Tribune I Thursday 28 June 2012

Danish Kaneria: ICC nations agree in principle to ban for corruption

The International Cricket Councils (ICC) board said domestic bodies should recognise and respect the sanctions including by enforcing and giving effect to

Kaneria wants an open appeal

them within their own jurisdictions to the fullest extent permitted by law. Kaneria was banned for life by English Continued on page 29 >>



Sri Lanka seal thumping win

Sri Lanka closes out opening Test over Pakistan
NUWAN Kulasekara and Suraj Randiv combined to vanquish Pakistan as Sri Lanka won the first Test by a massive 209 runs in Galle. The tourists, set an enormous victory target of 510, were bowled out for 300 just before stumps on the fourth day despite defiant batting from Younis Khan (87) and Asad Shafiq (80). It was Sri Lnakas biggest win over their Asian rivals. The pair kept the Sri Lankan attack at bay for three hours to add 151 for the fifth wicket before both fell on either side of the tea interval. Spinners Randiv (3-86) and Rangana Herath (2-91) and seamer Kulasekara (3-48) grabbed the bulk of the wickets to ensure Sri Lanka ended the match with a day to spare after Pakistan appeared to be taking the fight into the final day. Randiv finished with seven wickets for the game, but it was teammate Kumar Sangakkara Continued on page 29 >>

Pakistan still want ODIs against Australia

Pakistan has asked Australia to play three ODIs and three Twenty20s in the UAE in August and September, despite being granted ICC permission to change the series to six T20s. Cricket Australia is believed to have agreed in principle to the proposal, but is not expected to sign off on the deal Lumpur and agreed in principle on a series of three ODIs and three T20s in the UAE. The PCB chairman, Zaka Ashraf, said the matches would start in the evening in order to avoid the worst of the heat. The Australian Cricketers Association has already expressed

until discussing it with its players, its concerns about playing ODIs in after the Australian Cricketers such hot weather, whereas T20s Association expressed significant would lessen the problem due concerns about the extreme heat to a later start time and shorter in the UAE at that time of year. games. However, Pakistan insists The PCB was open to the idea that the conditions can be handled of only T20 games but the by starting the 50-over matches in broadcaster had objected for the evening. commercial reasons. The PCBs Cricket Australia confirmed that request for the ICC to allow a positive discussions had taken six-match T20 series due to the place in Kuala Lumpur, between weather conditions was approved Cricket Australias chief executive Dubai Airport Free Zone Airport Road Tong Ping this week, but Pakistan considered James Sutherland and chairman P.O. Box 293674 - Dubai, UAE P.O. Box 572 - Juba, South Sudan it only a backup plan in case the Wally Edwards and their T: +971 4 2533028 | F: +971 4 2533029 T: +211 99 9000 099 | F: +211 99 9000 098 ODI portion of the series could Pakistan counterparts. However, not go ahead. a spokesman said further details The chairmen and chief executives of the series, including the mix of of both sides met during the matches, grounds and start times Quest Qualitas is Atlas Copco and Dynapac Authorized Distributor in South Sudan | ICCs annual conference in Kuala were yet to be finalised. Published by Saarc International Ltd, Suite 101, 10 Courtenay Road, London HA9 7ND. UK Telephone:020 8904 0619 Fax: 020 8181 7575 E-mail:, Printed at Webprint UK Ltd, Unit B1 Eastern Approach, Alfred Way, Barking, IG11 0AG