Wednesday, May 25, 2011

University of Peshawar :Sexual harassment

The issue of sexual harassment at the University of Peshawar (UoP) that echoed in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly in its last session is still pending as the committee formed by the assembly under Provincial Minister Sitara Ayaz has yet to submit its report to the chief minister.

Sources told The News that apart from the names provided by provincial legislator Nighat Yasmin Orakzai, some complaints were submitted to the university administration. Taking prompt action, the university administration suspended one Zahid Ali of the History Department and started probe against another teacher of the Electronics Department, the sources told The News.

After the action was taken against Zahid Ali, a committee was formed under Prof Dr Sara Safdar to look into the issue and submit recommendations to the university administration. The committee has held only two preliminary meetings so far to work out a strategy for probe into the issue and fix responsibility, the sources said.

The university administration is of the opinion that there was clear evidence against Zahid Ali on the basis of which the action was taken against him. According to reliable sources the action against him was taken on the basis of only one anonymous letter. The sources said Prof Dr Bashir, too, has been removed as provost of the university on the same charges. Dr Bashir had actually tendered resignation from his office about a week ago. However, the sources claimed that it was a forced resignation and the university wanted to provide a cover to him.

The committee formed by the provincial government has been collecting evidence against five teachers, who happen to be the senior most faculty members of the university and are holding key positions.

Talking to this correspondent, head of the committee and Provincial Minister for Social Welfare Sitara Ayaz said the committee had almost completed the job and would soon submit its report to the chief minister. She was of the opinion that some basic guidelines of the university were not followed in this case. Had those guidelines been followed, there would have been no such issue, she added.

She said the committee looked into each and every case, recorded statements and collected all possible evidence. She said the committee could not get the evidence as majority of the complaints had been made in anonymous letters and there were some sweeping statements having no solid proofs. “We would provide the names of the lecturers against whom complaints had been made. We would also give our recommendations and give whatever evidence we have collected,” she added.

When asked about the number of the people against whom the complaints had been made, she said that they were two or three. Majority of the faculty members of the university are seriously concerned over the issue. They are of the opinion that the issue got the undue and exaggerated coverage in the media. So far only seven people have been identified as allegedly involved in the issue and none has been found guilty.

The representative bodies of the teachers have also shown serious concern regarding the issue. The Peshawar University Teachers Association had declared that if anyone was found guilty, not only his membership would be cancelled but strict action would be taken against him.

The association had asked the university administration to launch a fair and prompt probe into the issue, fix responsibility and award exemplary punishment to those involved. It demanded that if the allegations held no ground, the mover of the issue should be sued in a court of law. The Tanzim-e-Asatiza had also made similar demands to the university administration.

Osama-Nawaz ties to haunt PML-N

Interior Minister Rehman Malik’s outburst against the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) in the National Assembly, saying the party had become an orphan after the death of Osama bin Laden who used to finance Nawaz Sharif in the past, has dusted off an old controversy, which is set to blemish the PML-N leadership.

In fact, it was way back on April 30, 1999 that the slain PPP chairperson Benazir Bhutto had accused Osama bin Laden, Mian Nawaz Sharif and a corps commander of toppling her first government in early 1990s. “Bin Laden financed an operation to topple me in cooperation with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and the Pakistani intelligence services,” she had stated in an interview with the London-based al-Hayat newspaper. “Ramzi Yussef (implicated in the 1993 New York World Trade Centre bombing) tried to assassinate me on two occasions in 1993 to facilitate Nawaz Sharif’s rise to power. Yussef admitted to Pakistani investigators before his extradition to the United States that it was his duty to assassinate me, only because I was a woman in charge of the government,” she had added.

Almost 20 months later, Benazir repeated her allegations in more detail in an interview with Herald magazine on January 11, 2001. “Osama paid $10 million to overthrow my government during my first term. A serving Corps Commander held several meetings with PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif and Bin Laden to chalk out the plan to topple my government. Osama bin Laden was told that a woman in the prime minister’s position in an Islamic country was against Islam and so he should give them money to overthrow her. Nawaz Sharif told bin Laden he would bring Islam to Pakistan.”

“No one had heard of Osama Bin Laden at that time, neither had me. He has become famous now. He would be sitting there and interfering with the government’s work,” Bhutto said and added that Osama also paid $10 million to a PPP member [of the National Assembly] to finance the no-confidence motion against her government, but they had voted against the motion.

However, the then ameer of the Jamaat-e-Islami, Qazi Hussain Ahmed, was the first Pakistani politician to have endorsed the allegation levelled against Osama and Nawaz Sharif by Benazir Bhutto, almost five years later. In an interview with Suhail Warraich that had appeared in the daily Jang on March 18, 2006, Qazi Hussain Ahmed said Bin Laden visited Mansoora and was willing to buy parliamentarians’ loyalties to ensure Nawaz Sharif’s election as prime minister. “Osama bin Laden said that if there was a way to buy votes [to topple Benazir Bhutto’s government and to bring Nawaz Sharif into power], he was willing to pay for them. Osama was a big supporter of the Islami Jamhoori Ittehad and Nawaz Sharif, who was the IJI president at that time,” Qazi Hussain Ahmed had added in his interview.

However, PML-N Information Secretary Siddiqul Farooq had rejected Qazi’s claim at that time, saying that Osama bin Laden never met Nawaz Sharif nor they ever talked about any political cooperation. “I want to keep it on record that American intelligence agencies, the then Pakistani government, the Inter Services Intelligence and other secret agencies, the Afghan Mujahideen, several religio-political parties including the Jamaat-e-Islami and Osama bin Laden were jointly fighting to liberate Afghanistan from the Soviet occupation. Bin Laden was a highly dignified person in the eyes of the US at that time. Later, differences developed between Osama and the US on the issue of Afghanistan and now they stand adversaries to each other. But Nawaz Sharif has no relevance to this situation,” Farooq said.

About Qazi Hussain’s claim that Osama wanted to see Nawaz Sharif as prime minister and was ready to buy loyalties of assembly members for this purpose, Siddiqul Farooq said: “It was Osama’s personal desire. And remember, Nawaz Sharif’s politics has been revolving around preserving and promoting the interests of Pakistan and its people”.

On March 21, 2006, hardly two days after Qazi Hussain Ahmed’s interview was published, a former ISI official Khalid Khwaja, who was considered close to Osama bin Laden, alleged that Nawaz Sharif had met Osama bin Laden and received funds from him to topple rival Benazir Bhutto’s government. “Let me tell you, Nawaz Sharif met Osama bin Laden on at least three occasions and was desperately seeking financial assistance to topple the Bhutto government,” Khalid Khwaja had told a Hong Kong-based web newspaper Asia Times Online in an interview which was also reported by Adnkronos International (AKI) on March 22, 2006. Killed in April 2010 after being kidnapped by Taliban militants, Khalid Khwaja, a retired officer of the Pakistan Air Force who was in the ISI in the late 80s, rejected a recent denial by the PML-N that its leader had only sought political cooperation from Bin Laden.

Khwaja said the al-Qaeda head wanted the secular PPP government overthrown to ensure that Pakistan continued supporting the Afghan jehad. Khwaja claimed that Bin Laden gave him funds, which he personally delivered to Nawaz Sharif. Giving a graphic account, he said Nawaz wanted to have a direct meeting with the Sheikh, which ‘I arranged in Saudi Arabia’. Nawaz met Osama thrice in Saudi Arabia. The most historic meeting between the two men was held at the Green Palace Hotel in Madinah. Osama asked Nawaz to devote himself to jehad in Kashmir. Nawaz immediately said: “I love jehad”. Osama smiled, and said: ‘Yes, you may love jehad, but your love for jehad is this much’, pointing to a small portion of a nearby pillar. “Your love for your children is this much,” he said, pointing to a larger portion of the pillar. “And your love for your parents is this much,” he continued, pointing towards the largest portion. Khwaja said such arguments were beyond the comprehension of Nawaz Sharif, who kept asking, in Punjabi, ‘Manya key nai manya?’ (Has he agreed or not to pay money?).

Going by Khalid Khwaja’s claim, Nawaz Sharif was hoping for a grant of Rs500 million. Although Bin Laden gave a smaller amount, Khwaja said he arranged for Sharif to meet the Saudi royal family, which had pledged political support for him and kept its word until he was dislodged by Musharraf in 1999. “It was the royal family that secured Sharif’s pardon and exile to Saudi Arabia,” he reminded. “Now with these immortal accounts secured in my memory, I see the denials in newspapers, that Nawaz had nothing to do with Osama, and I think how can people forget their mentors,” Khwaja added.

The alleged links between Osama and Nawaz Sharif were once again highlighted by the British author and journalist Simon Reeves in his book titled “The New Jackals: Ramzi Yousaf, Osama bin Laden and the future of terrorism”, which was published in September 2009. Simon also claimed that Bin Laden not only sponsored the election campaign of the former prime minister and PML-N leader Nawaz Sharif in 1988, but paid him large sums of money to ensure protection of al-Qaeda operatives in Pakistan and to ‘Islamise’ the state and society. According to Simon Reeves, the ABC News also confirmed the same incident of payoff by quoting former FBI agent Jack Cloonan who used to interrogate one of the key al-Qaeda operatives in US custody, Ali Muhammad. Cloonan, who is currently working as an ABC News consultant, claimed that Ali had once told him that Osama paid Nawaz’s representatives $1 million for not cracking down on the militants in the Frontier Province.

The book further states that after re-establishing al-Qaeda, one of Osama’s first actions was to try and guarantee the security of his men living in Pakistani refugee camps by throwing money at the election campaign of Sharif, ‘an energetic Pakistani politician’ standing for the election of Prime Minister. According to Simon Reeves, Nawaz Sharif had received the money from Osama with a promise to convert Pakistan into a strict Islamic state. An American website - History Commons - has not only confirmed Cloonan’s claim but has also mentioned another book by Scott-Clark and Levy, claiming that General Hameed Gul had contacted Osama Bin Laden who was then known to provide financial support to the Afghan mujahideen, to pay for a coup and assassination of the late Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto.

However, the central secretary information of the Nawaz-led PML-N, Ahsan Iqbal has strongly rejected all these claims as a pack of lies.

Pakistani militants have upper hand: Dhaka daily

The deadly attacks on military establishments in Pakistan indicate that militants have "an upper hand" over the government, a Dhaka daily said Wednesday and added that the developments were disquieting for the South Asian region.

Pakistan's military, "long the dominant voice in the country", needs to salvage its image, The Daily Star said in an editorial.

There have been a string of terror strikes in Pakistan ever since Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden was gunned down in Abbottabad city May 2 by US commandos. On Sunday night, heavily armed terrorists struck at a key naval base in Karachi and destroyed two surveillance aircraft.

The Bangladesh daily noted the "absolute inability of the Pakistani authorities to prevent the militants from operating so freely as to target the country's military establishments".

"It will be easy to suggest that the Islamabad government take adequate measures to halt the drift to further chaos.

"The reality, however, is that for now the militants clearly have an upper hand. And the picture is disquieting for Pakistan and the region. Pakistanis deserve a better deal," it added.

Anti-Americanism rife in Pakistan army institution: Wikileaks

Officers received training biased against the United States at a prestigious Pakistan army institution, according to Wikileaks, underscoring concern that anti-Americanism in the country's powerful military is growing amid strains with Washington.

A U.S. diplomatic cable said the former U.S. ambassador to Pakistan, Anne Patterson, found officers at the National Defense University (NDU) were "naive and biased" against the United States, a key ally which gives Pakistan billions of dollars of aid to help fight Islamist militants.

Fears the military could be harboring militant sympathizers have grown since U.S. forces found and killed Osama bin Laden this month in a Pakistani garrison town, where the al Qaeda leader had probably lived for several years.

Pakistan's military also controls the country's nuclear arms, and a series of attacks against military installations has heightened fears about the safety of those weapons.

"The elite of this crop of colonels and brigadiers are receiving biased NDU training with no chance to hear alternative views of the U.S.," the Wikileaks cable, which was published in the Dawn newspaper, quoted Patterson as saying.

"Given the bias of the instructors, we also believe it would be beneficial to initiate an exchange program for instructors."

Some of the officers believed the CIA was in charge of the U.S. media, the report said.

Anti-Americanism runs high among many of Pakistan's mainly Muslim people but it has deepened after bin Laden's killing in a secret U.S. raid which many Pakistanis see as breach of sovereignty.

Patterson said the United States must target a "lost generation" of military officers who missed training programs in the United States after Washington imposed sanctions against Pakistan in the 1990s for its nuclear program.

The cables also documented the account of a U.S. army officer, Colonel Michael Schleicher, who attended a course at NDU and corroborated the views expressed by Patterson.

"The senior level instructors had misperception about U.S. policies and culture and infused the lectures with these suspicions, while the students share these misconceptions with their superiors despite having children who attended universities in the U.S. or London," the cables quoted Schleicher as saying.

Hamayoun Khan, a teacher at NDU, however denied that anti-Americanism was being taught at the university.

"I haven't seen bias which she has mentioned here," he said.

Dawn said dozens of cables from U.S. embassies around the world also showed that the United States continued to intensely monitor Pakistan's nuclear and missiles programs.

In 2008, the U.S. deputy chief of mission at the U.S. embassy in Ankara, Nancy McEldowney, detailed her discussions with Turkish authorities about the U.S. desire to see action taken against suspicious shipments to Pakistan.

U.S. officials, according to the cable, "urged the GOT (government of Turkey) to contact the governments of Japan and Panama to request the shipment be diverted to another port and returned."

Pakistan's nuclear program came under increasing international scrutiny after the 2004 confessions of Abdul Qadeer Khan, the father of Pakistan's atom bomb, about his involvement in sales of nuclear secrets to Iran, Iraq and North Korea.

The government pardoned Khan but put him under house arrest. A court in 2009 ordered his release.

A militant raid on a navy base in the southern city of Karachi this week has raised fresh anxiety about the ability of Pakistani security forces to protect installations and the country's nuclear arsenal.

A Taliban spokesman said militants had "so far" no plans to seize Pakistan's nuclear weapons.

"We will protect these weapons from dangers from foreigners," Ehsanullah Ehsan, a spokesman for the Pakistani Taliban told Reuters by telephone from an undisclosed location.

Many Pakistanis believe the United States and India would like to confiscate their nuclear weapons.

President Obama had a little too much to drink

Rights group wants Saudi female driver freed

International and local rights groups lashed out Tuesday at the arrest of a Saudi woman for defying the kingdom's female driving ban, while other Saudi women posted video clips online showing themselves behind the wheel.
Having so far escaped the unrest sweeping the region, Saudi rulers have cracked down harder than usual on 32-year-old Manal al-Sherif after seeing her case become a rallying call for youths anxious for change.
Al-Sherif was arrested Sunday after a video clip was posted online of her much-publicized drive last week — part of an effort to bring attention to the Facebook and Twitter campaigns she helped organize to encourage women across Saudi Arabia to participate in a collective protest against the driving ban.
The Facebook page, called "Teach me how to drive so I can protect myself," was removed after more than 12,000 people indicated their support for its call for women drivers to take to the streets on June 17. The campaign's Twitter account also was deactivated.
Saudi Arabia is the only country in the world that bans women — both Saudi and foreign — from driving. The prohibition forces families to hire live-in drivers, and those who cannot afford the $300 to $400 a month for a driver must rely on male relatives to drive them to work, school, shopping or the doctor.
The issue is a highly emotional one in the kingdom, where women are also not allowed to vote, or even travel without their husbands' or fathers' permission.
The arrest prompted calls Tuesday for al-Sherif's release from international rights groups as well as protests from local rights activists.
Human Rights Watch warned the arrest will hurt the country's image.
"Arresting a woman who drove her family around in a car and then showed it online opens Saudi Arabia to condemnation — and, in fact, to mockery — around the world," said spokesman Christoph Wilcke. "The longer she stays in prison, the more the kingdom will have to answer for."
A local rights group, the Association of Saudi Women's Rights, visited al-Sherif in the detention center in the eastern city of Dammam where she was ordered held for five days, and urged the Saudi government to "take a decisive stance and give women the right to drive their cars."
"This is a natural right," the group said.
Over the past couple of days, at least two young Saudi women appeared in online video clips driving their cars in support of al-Sherif and defiance of the ban.
One young woman, identified only as Ruba and dressed in the all-encompassing black abaya all women must wear in public, was shown driving inside a compound in Riyadh. "Ruba drove in Riyadh. Congratulations Ruba," the voice of her female companion is heard saying.
Another, a teenage girl whose name was not given, was filmed by a male companion in the eastern city of Jiddah. "After this car, turn right and slow down," he was heard saying.
Al-Sherif's arrest has prompted hundreds of activists to set up Facebook groups and campaigns calling for her release and an end to the driving ban. One group, called, "We are all Manal al-Sherif," had some 14,000 participants.
About 800 Saudi people have signed a petition urging Saudi King Abdullah to release al-Sherif and to make a clear statement on women's right to drive.
"We are fed up," Waleed Aboul Khair, a lawyer and rights activists said. "Be frank," he said, addressing the country's rulers. "For the first time in the history of the kingdom, we have hundreds of people calling for the king to be frank."
"The society has moved. The society is not silent anymore," Aboul Khair said.
There is no written Saudi law banning women from driving, only fatwas, or religious edicts, by senior clerics that are enforced by police. King Abdullah has promised reforms in the past and has taken some tentative steps to ease restrictions on women. But the Saudi monarchy relies on Wahhabi clerics to give religious legitimacy to its rule and is deeply reluctant to defy their entrenched power.
Al-Sherif was initially detained for several hours on Saturday but was released after she signed a pledge agreeing not to drive. She was taken into custody again before dawn on Sunday and ordered held for five days while the case was investigated.
The ruling establishment moved to blame outside forces.
The Saudi daily Al-Watan, which is owned by a member of the ruling family, claimed that al-Sherif broke down in "an episode of crying" during interrogation and blamed the campaign on "women from outside the kingdom."
Her lawyer, Adnan al-Saleh, told The Associated Press that al-Sherif has not spoken to reporters. "I am saying she didn't say a single word and we will sue," he said

Pakistan :Slaughter of higher education

By Dr. Muhammad Hafizullah

“World has changed and the economic wheel is no more turned by the Capitalists and Capital, not by Fords, Tatas and Adamjees; but by the knowledge and skills of the dedicated and committed, by Einstein, Christian Barnard, Bill Gates and their followers”.
Prof. Zafar Ullah Chaudhry,
President CPSP.
The crowd has found the door into the secret garden. Now they will tear up the flowers by the roots . . . .
Alan Bennett (1969) Forty Years On: 78
There was a time, not so long ago, when the way into the secret garden of higher education even in the developed world was known to a very few. Over the last four decades in UK, successive governments have worked very hard to change things: increase accessibility of higher education from being the privilege of a middle class élite to being accessible to a huge section of society. In the 1960s only about one in 18 young people made their way to university; today in UK it is over 40 per cent, and it is the declared aim of government that half of all young people will go through higher education in the near future. Education policy announced by the elected government of Pakistan in 2009 committed to 7% of GNP to education with 20 percent going to higher education. The policy, also, aimed for increase in access to higher education to 10% by 2019 which translates to 2.3 times increase in current enrolment in universities. The envisage increase to 15% in 2020 means 3.8 times increase in enrolment which will be a herculean task by any standard. The goals that HEC has set for herself remain increase inaccessibility, relevance and maintaining quality.
Trevor Hussey and Patrick Smith wrote in ‘The Trouble with Higher Education -A Critical Examination of our Universities’ set in British scenario: “Let us start by stating the obvious. Education is of eminent value and profound importance to any liberal society. But how should we interpret that statement? With our contemporary commercial habits of mind, it was tempting to see it in terms of an investment that a nation makes so as to get a profitable return. Like buying shares or bonds, we invest in education so that it produces the people and ideas we need to repay the expense and make us even more prosperous.
There is, in this picture, a simple feedback loop: society invests in education and education repays with interest. By this means we can keep the tills ringing even in the face of severe international competition.”
HEC has been able to achieve a lot to be proud of! They have been able to create a vibrant university culture and enhance the choices available to students passing higher education.
At the time of independence Pakistan had only 2 universities; in 2005-6 we had 53 public universities. The number of universities has grown at a high rate in the last few years due to the higher education commission’s active encouragement. Pakistan today boasts of 133 universities: 73 in public sector and 60 in private sector. Of them we have 41 in Punjab, 39 in Sindh, 24 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and 8 in Baluchistan. Of the rest 16 are housed in Federal area, 1 in Gilgit and 4 in AJK. Academic standards have been brought to internationally acceptable standards and quality enhancement cells are now operational in most universities. Major investments have been made in human resource development and around 8000 PhD scholars will be available in Pakistan in coming 5 years. These scholars are the real hope for a prosperous and educated Pakistan. The number of research papers has increased many folds and research is being recognised as a major responsibility of universities. The input in the form of improvement in infrastructure is obvious in most universities. The ultimate benefit of all this, of course, goes to general public.
In Pakistan only a meager 4% population in the age group from 16 to 26 years have access to university education. Total number of students enrolled in university is 244,513 males and 178,723 females. In 2004 total students enrolled for PhD were 4,662 males and 1,810 females. In 2004-5 total number of students studying for Masters were 65,000 males and 44,000 females. Students attending colleges for bachelors are 167,000 males and 128,640 females. This resulted in total enrollment of students in university from 276,000 in 2001 to 332,000 in 2002-3 and 423,000 in 2003-4. As per current data, 18 to 26 years of age enrolment in university in 2001-2 was 1.46% males and 0.87% females, total being 1.16%. In 2004-5 it increased to male 1.99%, female 1.41% and total 1.70%. But this has to be increase exponentially! Even if we double it up in five years still it remains abysmally low. Still a lot lower than most nations in the developing world!
Only in the field of medicine and health sciences, 57 development projects have been approved and implemented. In medical / health sciences 350 scholarships have been awarded for studies in technologically advanced countries and 444 scholarships for indigenous studies. Post-doctoral research facilities were offered under the scheme “Post Doctoral Fellowship for University Teachers” to 88 university teachers in Biological and Medical Sciences. Travel grants in Medical Sciences, Pharmacy and Nursing were awarded to 79 members of faculty of public and private sector universities and degree awarding institutions to present their research papers in International conferences abroad. As many as 63 Assistant Professors, Associate Professors and Professors were recruited in medical universities under the tenure track system. Pakistani Universities produced 105 PhD scholars in Medical/Health/Biological Sciences. HEC has 130 approved Ph.D. Supervisors in Pharmaceutical and Bio-medical Sciences working in universities and have 89 National Research Projects in progress in Medical Sciences. In Social Sciences/ Arts & Humanities 298 scholarships were awarded for studies in technologically advanced countries and 522 in Pakistan. HEC can be proud of producing 2,287 PhDs by Pakistani universities in Social Sciences.
The increase, the little that we had, has been proportional to the input in the form of budgetary allocation being 3,801 million in 2001-2, 8,375 million in 2002-3, increasing to 10,281 in 2003-4 the epic being 14,319 million in 2004-5. Suddenly education and especially higher education has lost priority in the eyes of those at the helm of affairs. Drastic cuts have been slapped on higher education –the worst so far. If enemies of Pakistan had to plan to inflict severe blow to the progress of country, they will neither target our nuclear arsenal nor State Bank but attempt to thwart the progress in higher education to ensure that Pakistan is deprived of future thinkers, scientists, engineers and doctors. They are the hope of tomorrow - the critical mass which can possibly revolutionise the condition and accelerate Pakistan’s journey to progress. Imagine the plight of a large developing country with deprived present but more importantly with no hope for tomorrow!
The only way forward for developing nations is to invest in education and perhaps more so in higher education. Those in power have to understand that the way to progress and earning a better place in the comity of nations is to equip maximal number of citizens with purposeful education. The education has to be directed and goal orientated. Education should create individuals equipped with skills - to be a driving force for the nation. These educated persons should contribute towards the country’s progress and not merely add to the pool of job seekers. Many exciting new fields await us; the need is to encourage the higher education to take on the challenges. Urgent steps need to be taken to reap the benefits of education and it will be most unfortunate to withdraw at this critical junction where the huge investment of last few years are about to bear the fruits. As very aptly quoted by Chairman HEC, we have to follow the advice of Rabindarnath Tagore, “if they answer not to your call walk alone, if they are afraid and cower mutely facing the wall, o thou of evil luck, open thy mind and speak out alone.”

‘Nawaz wants to become CIA, RAW agent’

PPP Parliamentary leader in the Punjab Assembly Zulfiqar Gondal has alleged that PML-N chief Mian Nawaz Sharif has left the service of ISI and was now trying to become an agent of CIA and RAW by serving their objectives in the country.

Addressing a press conference at Lahore Press Club on Friday in connection with the new revelations of Wikileaks saying Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif and MNA Khawaja Saad Rafiq called on US Consul in Lahore, Bryan D Hunt, in 2009 and reportedly said to him that deposed Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry should be restored to vindicate the stance of PML-N but he should be removed after some time.

Gondal further alleged that the Sharif brothers would now collect donations from CIA and RAW on whose behest they were now attacking the ISI. Regarding the demand of Nawaz Sharif on presenting defence budget in parliament, Gondal said why Nawaz Sharif did not present it in parliament when he was the prime minister. He said the PPP had offered Nawaz Sharif to wait for the retirement of CJ Dogar which was due after two months, following which Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry would be restored. But he refused that, he added.
Nawaz Sharif is howling day in day out against the Army and ISI certianly joining the corrus of CIA. Damaging national institutions like this is surely an act of treason,as no one else than the enemies of pakistan will be taking pleasure out of it. Nawaz should tell the nation what has he done for Punjab in his party 3 years tenure.Punjab is as bad as it was before his party tookover, yes his palatial living is in much better shape than before.

91m Pakistanis lack access to sanitation

Around 91 million people are without proper sanitation conditions in the country inviting various viral diseases including diarrhoea, says a report. The Pakistan Council for Research of Water Resources (PCRWR) in its report said that 74 million people in rural areas and 17 million in urban areas were deprived of proper sanitation. Around 48 percent schools do not have toilets. In Punjab around 36 million people are without proper sanitation and 33.6 million belong to rural areas while 2.4 million are from urban Punjab, the report says.Around 22 districts of the province are also below than provincial average for access to sanitation facilities. Pakistan is the third largest country in the world in terms of deaths due to diarrhoea. Poor hygiene and lack of access to sanitation contribute to about 88 percent of deaths from diarrhoeal diseases.Pach year more than 200 million ton of human waste and vast quantities of waste water and solid waste go uncollected and untreated around the world, polluting the environment and exposing millions of children to disease.Around 2.6 billion people worldwide lack access to proper sanitation and two billion live in rural areas, 980 million are under 18 years, 280 million children under 5 years, the report added.One in two people in the developing world lacks access to sanitation, the PCRWR report added

Veena Malik bounces back

Veena Malik, whose car was hit by a speeding vehicle en route from Islamabad to Lahore on May 16, has recovered from her injuries and is set to make an appearance on television in the next couple of days.

Malik, who has been discharged from the hospital and is living in her Lahore residence these days, told The Express Tribune: “I have a slight pain in my arm, but I have recovered now although doctors have advised rest. I will make my appearance through television in the next few days”.

“I had some sessions with a psychiatrist, as I had some fear in my mind regarding driving again. I was driving myself when the vehicle hit my car, so I consulted a psychiatrist to avoid any problems when I drive again. Now I am fine, and won’t have any problem when I drive again,” Veena Malik said.

When asked about her upcoming projects, she replied: “I am going to focus more on my projects in Pakistan now. Yes, there are offers from Bollywood and I will do work there, but I will also be working here in Pakistan. Talks are underway, and before June 15 I will finalise agreements to host a program for a Pakistani TV channel. I will record a few episodes for my show before I leave for India.”

Speaking about the format of her upcoming talk show for a Pakistani TV channel she said: “This will be an entertainment show and I will be inviting Bollywood celebrities to my show and chit-chat with them. Bollywood celebrities who are much talked about in Pakistan will appear on my show and talk about different things.”

A source told The Express Tribune that Veena Malik, who is scheduled to leave for India after June 15 for two months, has also signed an Indian film which will feature Ajey Devgan in a lead role opposite her. The actor, when asked, neither denied nor confirmed this. She said: “Yes I have signed a film in India and will start shooting for it when I go there after June 15. The film is a romantic one, and I am working opposite one of the leading Bollywood heroes. I cannot reveal the name for now, and will announce it afterwards. However, the hero of my film is not Ashmit Patel.”

When asked whether she plans to work for the Pakistani television industry, which is doing pretty well these days, Malik said: “I have an offer to play a lead role in a drama serial by PTV. I am seriously considering it and might work for it after coming back from India.”

Malik, who couldn’t travel to participate in The Oslo Freedom Forum, a unique global affairs conference that take place in Norway every year, said she would be at the gathering next year. Previously, Mukhtaran Mai from Pakistan has been invited to the event.

“I am thankful to all my fans and supporters who prayed for me when I was injured. It is because of their prayers that I have recovered so soon. I thank all of them,” she said.
The Express Tribune

Car bomb destroys police station in Pakistan, 2 dead

Suspected militants drove a car packed with explosives into a police station in the Pakistani town of Peshawar on Wednesday, killing two policemen and wounding 20 people, the latest attack since Osama bin laden was killed this month.

The police station, where the office of the Criminal Investigation Department which also investigates militancy is located, was destroyed in the blast, a Reuters witness said.

Residents said the explosion rattled windows throughout town. Television showed police and soldiers cordoning off the affected district.

Two policemen were killed and 20 were wounded in the dawn attack, police said.

"The car was packed with explosives; it hit the gate of the police station," said senior superintendent of police Ejaz Khan.

Another police officer said about 20 policemen were present in the building when the explosion happened.

"A few of them are still screaming. We can hear it. We are trying our best to evacuate them," police inspector Bahadur Khan told Reuters by telephone from the scene.

"But there is little chance that we could recover them alive as it is taking so long to remove rubble," he said adding four wounded policemen had been recovered from rubble.

The bombing comes two days after a brazen raid on a heavily guarded Pakistani naval base in the southern city of Karachi in which 10 military personnel were killed and two aircraft destroyed. The Pakistani Taliban said they staged that assault to avenge the death of al Qaeda leader bin Laden.

Wednesday's attack in Peshawar occurred about 1 km (half a mile) from the U.S. consulate and in the same district where a car bomb exploded last week as a U.S. consulate convoy passed by. One man was killed and about a dozen people were wounded, including two U.S. nationals.

Peshawar is the gateway to Pakistan's turbulent northwest region believed to have become a hub of al Qaeda and Taliban militants.

The Pakistani Taliban also claimed responsibility for the attack on the U.S. convoy, the first attack on foreigners since a U.S. commando team killed bin Laden early this month.