Sunday, April 1, 2012
The party of democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi said she had led it to a landslide election victory Sunday, setting the stage for her to take public office for the first time and head a small opposition bloc in the military-dominated parliament. As results came in Sunday night from the poll watchers of Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy, party spokesman and campaign manager Nyan Win projected it would win 40 of 45 parliamentary seats at stake.Other party members, who asked not to be named because they were waiting to verify some returns, said they achieved a clean sweep of all 44 seats they contested. No official results were expected before Monday. Independent verification of the vote was not possible. The victory, if confirmed, would mark a major milestone in the Southeast Asian nation, where the military has ruled almost exclusively for a half-century and where a new reform-minded government is seeking legitimacy and a lifting of Western sanctions. It would also mark the biggest prize of Ms. Suu Kyi's political career, and a spectacular reversal of fortune for the 66-year-old Nobel Peace Prize laureate who the former junta had kept imprisoned in her lakeside home for the better part of two decades. A digital signboard outside the National League for Democracy's headquarters in Myanmar's main city, Yangon, announced in the late afternoon that Ms. Suu Kyi had won a seat. Supporters gathered by the thousands began wildly shouting upon learning the news, chanting “We won! We won!” while clapping, dancing, waving red party flags and gesturing with thumbs-up and V-for-victory signs. As more counts came in from the NLD's poll watchers around the country, the crowd grew to as many as 10,000. The party's security guards tried without success to keep the traffic flowing past the people occupying much of the road and all nearby sidewalks. Party executive Soe Win said Ms. Suu Kyi had won in 128 of the 129 voting stations in Kawhmu, the constituency south of Yangon that she contested. He said the party had reports of irregularities in the sole holdout.
Minister In-charge of National Harmony Dr Paul Bhatti said on Sunday that he would raise objections in the parliament if the government fails to safeguard the places of worship of minorities, particularly the Hindu community. “Minorities in Pakistan are in deep trouble,” Bhatti told the Express Tribune. “The government should be committed to safeguard the places of worship of all minorities in the country and all possible steps should be taken for the care and maintenance of these places,” said Bhatti. Taking notice of the Hindu community’s protest in front of the National Press Club in Islamabad for the repossession of their temple, the minister said that no one should be allowed to occupy their places of worship. He also directed the concerned authorities to take up the matter and resolve it at the earliest. More than 30 Hindus from Tehsil Zafarwal in Norowal district took part in the protest on Friday. Bhatti said: “We should respect the places of worship of others and demonstrate tolerance to establish peace in the country in order to promote interfaith harmony. All religions are integral parts of the society.” “Interfaith harmony can only be achieved through interfaith relationship,” added Bhatti. “Interfaith dialogue and harmony among the people of different faiths can create an environment of peace and tolerance in the society.” “We should have interactions to understand each other’s point of views.” He further said that peace was necessary for the development of the country and the socioeconomic uplift of the minorities so that the people of different faiths can sit together and work for the welfare of the nation.
AL ARABIYA NEWS
By DANIELLE ANGEL
Pro-democracy campaigner Aung San Suu Kyi has won a parliamentary seat in Burma's government, her National League for Democracy party said on Sunday. The NLD says it is on track to win 44 of the 45 seats at stake.
Daily TimesPakistani actor and coming-of-age star, Ahsan Khan, talks to Daily Times about his upcoming film 'Ishq Khuda', his break from Lollywood, and the much-awaited drama serial 'Bilqees Kaur'. Q Tell us a little about the role that you're playing in 'Ishq Khuda', and how much can you relate to it? A. I play Ahsan, the love-bound boy-next-door that almost every guy would be able to relate to. He finds himself stuck in a love triangle, which is very believable and convincing, without any sign of artificiality. Whether I relate to the character or not, I think yes. I can in more ways than one. I play this very regular guy who finds himself in an inevitable situation, and I guess I've been there, done that. Q Why do you think Shehzad approached you for the role? A. You see, Shehzad was the one who introduced me to Lollywood, with my first film 'Nikaah'. The two of us got along immediately, and he is the sort of person I share my mind with. The big hit 'Nikaah' was, and the educated, accomplished director Shehzad is, I said 'yes', without a second thought. Q Did you initially have any reservations or apprehensions about the role? A. Shehzad is of the few filmmakers that we have who make nice, enjoyable, family movies. Many people might not know it but Shehzad's 'Salakhen' was the first Pakistani film to be released in India. Whatever apprehensions I did have, immediately went away as the role and the script was narrated to me. I trust Shehzad with the films he makes and all his directorial ventures. Q How is this role different from other roles that you've played? A. It's not really, actually. I always make sure that I play roles I and the audience can relate to, ones which have the power to convince and have the believable factor to them. QWould we see you dancing and shaking a leg in the film? A. (Laughs) Totally! I love to dance, actually. It's part and parcel of being a commercial film actor I guess. Not in-your-face dancing, but the kind that would get the audience grooving as well. There are not many fast beat tracks in the film, as most of them have a lot of emotion involved. The film has a musical aspect to it, with the kind of touchy-feely sense to it, and not just mindless crooning on which actors and made to dance to. QWho has choreographed the songs for 'Ishq Khuda'? A. You might be surprised but Shehzad himself is an amazing dancer. He's done most of the choreography himself, alongside Pappu Samrat and Jabbar. So, there's a lot of versatility and flexibility to the dance steps. Q We'll be seeing you on the silver screen after a long time. Why's that? A. I wasn't able to find a good role to fit in. Bad timing, you can say. At that time, I could relate more to the drama roles that I was being offered so took a wild plunge in that. It wasn't as if I had made a niche for myself in dramas. I longed for a good film role, and with 'Ishq Khuda', I felt that connection I was longing for. QWhat are you most comfortable in? Silver screen or drama? A. I'll be honest here. I think drama is my real edge. I've learned so much from it, still am. It has really brought out the actor in me. But then again, film is forever. It's a one-time running show and leaves an impact, which is inerasable. I love doing films. QHave you ever tried your hands in theatre? A. Unfortunately, I've not, as drama and my current projects take most of my time. But I'd definitely love to. Working in theatre is one experience I'd love to gain. QHaving Meera as your co-star in 'Ishq Khuda', who has major film experience, both in Pakistan and in India, and boasts of a large fan following, did you at any point feel intimidated that she might outshine you or you might get unnoticed? A. Never for once did I feel that way. I was rather more excited and looked forward to working with her. The experienced actress that she is, the moment I came to know that she'll be my co-star, I realised how much I could learn from her. Acting should be an extractive job. You should extract everything from the cast and the crew and just should never stop learning. Also, I'm a very focused actor and just give everything my best shot, so that leaves no room for insecurity. Q What are the different genres of 'Ishq Khuda' and what is that one genre you're very comfortable in? A. The film is about unconditional love, the sort of love that God has for us and vice versa. Unconditional so to say, along with a beautifully-scripted love story. I really enjoy performing emotional scenes, where one has to do a lot to get inside the skin of the actual character that you're playing. You see, when you just have to laugh or spell out dialogues from a calm setting, you're not doing much. A scene, which asks for an enactment of emotions, is where I like to challenge myself. Q That's interesting to know. So, what is next for you, after 'Ishq Khuda'? A. Well, I'm doing another Lollywood film, which is Faisal Bukhari's 'Sultanat'. Then there a few good plays in my kitty as well, one of them namely 'Bilqees Kaur' with an amazing cast, which includes Bushra Ansari. I'm launching my own fashion store, 'Ahsan Khan', mid-April, Insha Allah. My other play which I'm eagerly looking forward to is 'Heera Ranjha' directed by Yousaf Salahuddin. 'Meri Ladee', 'Kiski Ayegi Baraat', 'Mere Qatil Mere Dildar', and I've two more projects with Momina Duraid in the pipeline.
Daily TimesPakistani feature film ‘Ishq Khuda’ is currently under production. Its cast and crew recently came back from the beautiful valley of Swat, which included Ahsan Khan and Meera. Portions of songs were filmed during the spell. The director of the film, Shahzad Rafique, said, ‘’By the grace of Almighty Allah, I was able to shoot in the beautiful valley of Swat. It wont have been possible without the support of the Pakistan Army, the police and last but not the least, the public! The public is as good as the weather there. My passion to show my beautiful Pakistan to the world was fulfilled! It’s my message to all the tourists to visit it without any fear. It’s a beautiful place with great people! I am also thankful to my lead artists Ahsan Khan and Meera and also my crew who without any fear participated in the shoot of ‘Ishq Khuda’ with full enthusiasm!’’ The next spell is expected to start from April 7th in Soon Sakesar Valley where other cast and crew of the film will also participate. Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, Shazia Manzoor and Sanam Marvi have sung the songs for the film while marketing and PR is being handled by Hasnat Afridi.
Provincial Government Sunday ordered to send back 929 Afghan families serving in Afghan National Army. Khyber Pakhtunkhwa(KP) government sought details of the Afghan refugees from all over the province in 66th session of KP Cabinet. Provincial Home Ministry directed commissioners of all districts and Police officials to take Afghan citizens into custody working in Afghan National Army alongwith 306 Head Imams living in the province to be deported to Afghanistan. According to the details, 964 Afghan Citizens have purchased properties illegally whereas 473 Afghanis comprised relatives of several ministers and governors work illegally in the province. Most of them belong to Northern Afghanistan are presently living in posh areas of the province.
By SAEED SHAH