Saturday, June 30, 2012
Bollywood starlet and controversy queen Veena Malik, says she aspires to be a singer. The actor was in the city to attend a press conference for her latest film, Daal Mein Kuch Kaala Hai. Veena, who has been in the news for a string of controversies of late, says she’s ready for a fresh beginning.Talking about her new flick, the Pakistani actor says, “The film is not a low-budget film, contrary to reports. I think it is has a good budget as it includes so many stars such as Shakti Kapoor, Jackie Shroff and many other big names.” Talking about her item songs — Madam Malai and Mumbai Money Hai in the movie — Veena says, “Madam Malai is not an item song, it’s part of the story. Madam Malai is the character’s name in the film. So, I won’t consider calling Madam Malai an item song. In fact, none of the songs are item songs in the movie.” The film has been made by Aanand Balraj. When asked about her future assignments, Veena says she wants to be a singer. “I wish I could predict my future, as it has been very unpredictable. This movie is not the ultimate goal for me. I want to become a singer ultimately,” she says. Veena speaks... On the film Though Daal Mein Kuch Kaala Hai s a comedy, there is lot of drama and also a message in the film On her item song Madam Malai is not an item song, it’s part of the story. Madam Malai is the character’s name in the film On future roles I can’t predict the future, as it has been very unpredictable. My ultimate goal is to become a singer.
The Express TribunePrime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf defended President Asif Ali Zardari’s immunity on Satuday, saying it would end the day after he leaves office. His comments came after the Supreme Court on Wednesday gave the new prime minister two weeks to indicate whether he would write a letter to the Swiss authorities, asking them to reopen corruption cases against the Zardari, the incumbent president. The issue precipitated in the removal of Ashraf’s predecessor, Yousaf Raza Gilani from office as prime minister on June 19 after the court convicted him for contempt in April, refusing to reopen the multi-million-dollar cases. “He (Asif Ali Zardari) is the democratically elected President of Pakistan and as per law he enjoys the immunity as long as he holds the office,” Ashraf told reporters in Lahore. When the new prime minister was asked what the government’s stance would be at the next Supreme Court hearing on July 12, Ashraf reiterated the presidential immunity. “All the legal experts have given us the same opinion… So we will see the matter from the same angle,” he said. Analysts say the latest notice by the Supreme Court indicate the judiciary is unwilling to end a showdown with the government that could force elections before the stipulated dates for February 2013, when the administration would become the first in Pakistan to complete a full five-year mandate.
Ali Azmat has long been hailed as our personal Pakistani rock star with an attitude to match, evident from his new single, “Bum Phata”, a satirical take on the deplorable conditions been faced by the people of Pakistan amid a worrisome lack of everyday essentials such as water, electricity and food. Already being hailed as the political statement of the year, “Bum Phata” has made headlines not only for the palette tickling video directed by Jami, but also for the international notice it is receiving. The single has now been handpicked to feature in Mira Nair’s highly anticipated movie ‘The Reluctant Fundamentalist’ based on the bestselling book by Mohsin Hamid of the same name. Since first being published in 2007, ‘The Reluctant Fundamentalist’ has become perhaps one of the most defining books of the last decade. It follows a young ambitious Pakistani man, Changez working at Wall Street, who aspires to live the quintessential American life, but becomes deeply troubled after the 9/11 attacks.
statesman.comOver 1.6 million population of the country is suffering from different kinds of psychiatric disorders and it is high time that the government should consider the fact with utmost concern and ensure appointment of trained psychiatrists and nurses in each public and private hospital in order to address the issue. Talking to APP on Friday eminent psychiatrists Dr Darya Khan Leghari said that the Pakistan has been rated as number 12 in the world where the people are suffering different psychological and mental disorders and by providing due attention, these affected people could be brought back to normal life. He said that the major psychiatric disorder in which patients lose touch with reality is called psychosis. The psychiatric disorders are complicated with changing nature, he said and added that severity of symptoms may vary with time and with the impact of an individual's life stresses. Dr. Darya Khan Leaghari said that mental and psychological disorders particularly schizophrenia are chronic recurrent ailments that require a comprehensive and long-term medical care.
Afghani's jam as rock and roll gains popularity.
Do women defy the ban in their daily lives?Sometimes it's really urgent and a woman has to drive, like the kid is dying. But usually the women do not know how. It's a very foreign act. My friend, her dad died in front of her waiting for the ambulance because she couldn’t drive. She said, "If I could drive I would have saved my father." Even if a woman wants to do it and knows how, your neighbors see you driving and call the religious police.
What has happened since the protests last year?We’ve been talking to officials, writing articles, campaigning, trying to teach women to drive. I filed the first lawsuit against the traffic police for not issuing me a license. We believe the driving campaign rocked the boat. People talk about it now. The taboo has opened. There’s also been so much international attention. I never understood it, why people are so interested in women driving. But when I met Kathryn Cameron Porter, president of the Leadership Council for Human Rights, in the United States, she said, "Manal, you find women who didn’t care because we take everything for granted, and when they see this, they say, 'What? This woman can’t drive because she’s a woman?'" It is the power of a single story. Now anywhere you go, if they know one thing about Saudi Arabia, they know women cannot drive there. That means the government will be pressured to do something.
Do you believe this will change soon?I believe if women want to change their reality, it will change. If women are silent, I don’t think anything will change. Rights are never given. Rights are taken. We’re also hoping for some new and young blood (in the Saudi government). Sixty percent of us in this country are under 25, but the people in power are double our age. This creates a huge gap between us.
The Baloch HalBy Malik Siraj Akbar
www.statesman.comMinister for Information Mian Iftikhar Hussain Friday once again urged the federal government to shift detained Dr. Shakil Afridi to any other province owing to security threats to his life in Peshawar central jail, reports APP. Talking to newsmen here, the provincial minister said that the federal government should shift its prisoner from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa as Bannu jail like attacks could occur on other jails of the province. He said that there is a serious threat of attack on Peshawar jail due to presence of Shakil Afridi. The minister expressed grave concern over militants' attacks on Pakistan security forces from Afghanistan. He said that the allied forces have failed to eliminate the militants in Afghanistan. He said that now the militants were targeting the local peace lashkars in various parts of the province, reports APP. The government is finalising arrangements to move Dr Shakil Afridi, jailed for helping the US authorities trace slain al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden, from Peshawar central prison to a detention facility close to Islamabad. According to the Express News, despite pressure from some members of Dr Afridi’s family against shifting him from Peshawar, the government has directed the interior ministry to finalise arrangements for moving him to Islamabad. Dr Afridi will be detained in a rest house near Simly Dam. The facility has previously been used as a detention centre for various high-profile personalities and politicians. Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) chief Nawaz Sharif was detained there with his family following Pervez Musharraf’s coup in 1999. An official stationed at the dam’s vicinity revealed that “the staff serving the rest house has been alerted to make arrangements and declare the area ‘prohibited’ for routine visitors immediately, without informing them of the reason to ensure Dr Afridi’s security.” An Intelligence Bureau official in Islamabad told The Express News that “the decision might be unacceptable for Dr Afridi’s family but is truly aimed at securing Peshawar from incidents like the Bannu jailbreak.” Despite many attempts, the Minister for Prisons and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Inspector General (IG) did not confirm Dr Afridi’s transfer to Islamabad. Simly Dam is located 30km from Bhara Kahu and a 10-15 minutes drive from the Islamabad Convention Centre. One of the family members of Afridi, requesting anonymity, said that although Peshawar cell possesses adequate security facilities, they have agreed that he should be shifted wherever his security is duly accounted for. “We want him to be safe. His security is our top priority,” the family member added. “Although the K-P government is publicly saying that Afridi’s security is not a problem, it is trying to shift him, citing it as a matter of the federation,” the family member pointed out. K-P government has also conveyed a request to Sindh and Punjab to take in Afridi. However, according to sources, the request has been turned down by both the provincial governments.
http://www.businessrecorder.comPakistan and ISAF have agreed to improve Pak-Afghan border security and coordination, ISPR said on Friday.
The Express TribuneThe Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) should have independent local media. This will create an enabling environment for political participation in the region ahead of the next general elections, said mainstream political parties and elected officials from the region here on Thursday. The parties and MNAs demanded that President Asif Ali Zardari urgently issue an executive order or an ordinance extending the jurisdiction of the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) to FATA so it may start issuing licenses for local radio stations and TV channels. The demand came in the form of a special declaration at a roundtable discussion, “Can There Be Political Reforms in FATA without Media Reforms?”, conducted by Intermedia Pakistan, a national media advocacy organisation. Currently, local media in the region is catering to more than five million people through only three state-owned FM radio stations. “Under current laws there cannot be local independent radio stations, TV channels or print media in FATA, which hampers the exercise of constitutional guarantees of freedom of expression and the right to have access to information,” Intermedia Executive Director Adnan Rehmat told the participants, whom included MNAs, senators and other politicians from the PPP, ANP, PML-Q and PML-N. The participants said they “wholeheartedly” endorse the demand for media reforms made in three preceding roundtables on the theme held in Nov 2011 and June 2012 by the same organiser. “In view of the upcoming elections, we emphasise the need for steps to optimise the opportunity for FATA residents to vote for their representatives through a facilitative and enabling open and local media environment,” said a declaration passed at the conclusion of the discussion. “We, the political parties of Pakistan, and elected representatives of FATA, collectively emphasise that the residents of FATA have the same constitutional and political rights as citizens in the rest of Pakistan,” said the declaration. The roundtable also endorsed a draft notification prepared by legal experts and members of bar associations from across Pakistan at the third roundtable for the president, which can form the basis for urgent media reforms for FATA. Copies of the declaration will be sent to the president, members of parliament and the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa governor.
EDITORIAL:THE FRONTIER POSTHow many Hazarganji has this beleaguered nation been left out to witness? And for how long? Now for months together, the Hazara community in Balochistan has its head in the crusher of sectarian slaughter. Its pilgrims are massacred while travelling on buses and vans for pilgrimage. Its religious congregations are fatally attacked with terrorist bombs and blasts. Its community members are mowed down in targeted shootings. Its mayhem continues right inside and outside the metropolis of Quetta. And no end is anywhere in sight to its carnage as yet. Then where are the enforcers of law? Have they lapsed into a swoon or a stupor? Why are they not doing something to stop this holocaust of this community? Why are they not nabbing the masterminds, financiers and perpetrators of this brutal slaughter? Surly, the shady characters wreaking this horrific bloodbath on the Shia community of Hazaras do not descend from the skies. They are very much present on the ground. They have their sleeper cells in the province and in the metropolis of Quetta. They plot their vile acts there. Their money bags sit there. Their handlers are ensconced there. Their slayers fatten in their own stables. Why then are not their lairs being sought out and they being smoked out? Where are the intelligence hounds of the provincial security apparatus? Haven't they been tasked to bust the hideouts of sectarian monsters and dismantle their terror networks? And why federal agencies are not going after these vile characters when terrorism, sectarian or otherwise, is no region specific but a countrywide vine, spreading all over the land in an interlinked manner. Terror groups are no longer monolith monstrosities, either. Quite perceptibly, terrorists of various hues and stripes have ganged up together, helping and assisting one another in their sinful criminality. And even those wearing the masks of spurious religiosity have linked up with criminal gangs of the underworld. This is a very vicious combination that indeed has transformed the entire land veritably into a slaughterhouse. No place is immune from the wickedness of this vile terrorist-criminal axis. Every province, every region, every niche of the land is in the eye of the storm. Terrorists and criminals kill and maim wherever and whenever they want. And every time, they just go scot-free. After every strike, the law enforcers are very prompt in telling the weight of the explosives used. But what they conveniently tell not unabashedly why had they failed so scornfully in preventing the use of these explosives. After all, they are not there to tell the explosives' weight. They are paid not to allow anyone to murder with those explosives. But no heads ever roll. No questions are even asked; no explanations demanded. It seems the top echelons have taken that so long as they are safe and secure, it hardly matters if the commoners are killed and maimed in terrorist assaults. No extraordinary concern is perceptible in their echelons even as the country has become a sprawling abattoir of terrorists and their criminal accomplices. It really is disconcertingly shocking that stray ideas and plans the top echelons had condescended to take up to beat out the terrorists are lying undone unattended for these top echelons' disinterest. Almost four years down the road, a contemplated nodal agency, national counter-terrorism authority, is nowhere near formation. The plan is lying stuck up some in the official labyrinths forgetfully. A proposed amendment to tighten up the anti-terrorism law is gathering dust in the Senate chamber for more than three years. For long, one is hearing of plugging up the holes in the evidence act but nothing has as yet come of it. This disinterest of the top echelons is self-hurting. They must understand. Terrorists will not keep confined to killing and goring the commoners. They will get the top echelons too. Already, a few of them have come under their attack. But if these echelons keep up with their disinterest, it will not be Hazaras alone to suffer fatally at the terrorism monsters' hands. Their vile hands will reach up to higher throats more frequently. The state security apparatus perforce needs to get out of its hibernation and move out systematically, methodically and powerfully against the terrorist thugs before they pull down the fa�ade of the state structure with their thuggery.
EDITORIAL:Daily Times:The culture of impunitySomeone has to be held responsible for the brutality unleashed on the Hazaras in Balochistan. The chief of Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ), Malik Ishaq, should be taken into custody and inquiries conducted about his party’s blatant involvement in the killing of Hazara Shias. The law enforcement agencies have to answer about their lax and inefficient security measures that are letting the Hazaras be killed like flies. The Balochistan government owes a response for its failure to ensure the right of life to its people, especially the Shias belonging to the Hazara community. These are the questions that need answering by the self-admitted perpetrators of these atrocities as well as those whose responsibility it is to ensure law and order in the province. The suicide attack on a bus carrying 50 pilgrims back to their homes in Quetta from Taftan, Iran, on Thursday, resulting in 14 deaths and 30 injured, is one more link in this continuing horror story. It was yet another attack on innocent people, whose only fault was their ethnic identity and religious beliefs. Not so long ago, a school bus was hit by an explosion, killing innocent Hazara students. We also had the Mastung bus carnage, not once but twice, when the passengers were lined up and shot at close range in front of their relatives. The killers are not just interested in snuffing out lives but inflicting the worst possible forms of butchery, not sparing even children, as part of their heinous sectarian agenda. Bomb disposal officials seem convinced the 50 kg of explosive material used in the suicide attack on the pilgrims’ bus was meant to create a bigger fallout. The fear factor sought to be created has so far eluded the authorities, who appear to be sitting ducks while ironically pampering the likes of Malik Ishaq, who openly struts his stuff from the platform of the Difa-e-Pakistan Council. The inept and callously indifferent approach of the authorities to what has now emerged as the latest woe in a long litany of unending sorrows seems doubly tragic when the killers have no qualms in publicly claiming responsibility. It is incomprehensible why the admitted killers and their leaders are left free to wreak their havoc on a peace-loving and inoffensive community. The shameful inaction of the government in exposing and bringing to justice the elements behind the killings reflects its callous lack of seriousness in bringing peace to our terror-stricken society, particularly in Balochistan. Even our society’s well known penchant for conspiracy theories struggles to explain what is going on and why and who is ‘protecting’ these barbarians. According to the new security protocol adopted after the pilgrims’ route to Iran became a killing field, every bus carrying pilgrims is supposed to get security clearance before entering the city. The ill fated bus that exploded in Hazarganji did not follow the protocol. This latest atrocity is a ghastly reminder of how unsafe the Hazara community of Balochistan has been rendered. The incessant security lapses have come to be seen, especially by the Hazaras, as a systematic genocide of their community. Recently the UN Human Rights head, Navi Pillay, has raised concerns over the gravity of the situation in the province, particularly for the minorities. Some voices on the social media go so far as to accuse the judiciary of suffering from paralysis in bringing the culprits to book following the Lahore High Court’s acquittal of LeJ chief Malik Ishaq. Some others are asking the UN to step in more vigorously. Since 1999, 700 Hazaras have been killed in Balochistan. The incidence of violence against the community has risen sharply, with clear indications of a further intensification in the near future. From 2008 to date, almost 20,000 have left the country for safety abroad. It is time to untangle the venomous web that Ziaul Haq had woven around this country in the misused and abused name of Islam. To go about this tough chore, especially when a large swathe of the country is ensnarled in it, may not be easy. But there is no escape from the task of exposing and bringing to justice the elements making blood cheaper than water.