Tag Archive | "pakistan"

ANALYSIS-Pakistan worries over new U.S. Afghan strategy

ISLAMABAD, Nov 20  - As the United States ponders its Afghan strategy, Pakistan is waiting nervously, worried that a U.S. troops surge would widen the war but also keen to see a robust U.S. commitment that would convince the Taliban to talk.

U.S. President Barack Obama pledged on Wednesday to end the Afghan war before he leaves office.

He said he would announce the results of his long-awaited review soon and it would include an exit strategy to avoid “a multi-year occupation that won’t serve the interests of the United States”.

There are nearly 110,000 foreign troops in Afghanistan, including 68,000 Americans, more than half of whom have arrived since Obama took office. He is now deciding whether to fulfil his commander’s request for tens of thousands more.

That has raised worry in Pakistan of a spike of Afghan violence spilling over the ill-defined border into Pakistan where its army is battling its own version of the Taliban.

Those fears were raised recently in talks in Islamabad with visiting U.S. national security adviser General James Jones, a senior Pakistani government official said.

“We have concerns that Taliban may try to cross into Pakistan if violence increased after the new deployment,” said the official who is involved in Afghan policy.

“Such a situation will definitely complicate issues for us particularly at a time when we’re involved in the offensive in Waziristan,” he said, referring to a month-long offensive in South Waziristan on the Afghan border.

The army has seized most main Pakistani Taliban bases in the region of barren mountains and patchy scrub. The militants have retaliated with a barrage of bombs in towns and cities.

Responding to Pakistani concerns of a spill-over, U.S. officials said reinforcements would not open new fronts but would focus on securing populated areas, the official said.

While worried about the arrival of more U.S soldiers, Pakistan is probably more vexed about the possibility of their hasty departure.

Memories of the United States walking away from Afghanistan after the Soviet withdrawal in 1989 and leaving the country in chaos are still raw in Pakistan.

“They have always felt that the United States would run away and they would be left with the mess — just like they were in the 1990s,” said former CIA analyst Bruce Riedel.

“It is very hard to dispel that image,” said Riedel, who was in charge of Obama’s review of policy on Afghanistan and Pakistan last March. He is now with the Brookings Institution.


Obama’s talk of an exit before he leaves office is likely to compound fears of a U.S. rush to the door. The U.S. president comes to the end of his first term in just over three years. A second and final term would end in seven years.

“An exit strategy should be staggered over six to seven years .. They shouldn’t repeat the mistake made after the Soviet withdrawal,” said the Pakistani official, who declined to be identified.

Pakistan wants to see an orderly U.S. withdrawal after a negotiated settlement including elements of the Taliban.

The Taliban will seize on any sign of U.S. vacillating as weakness and will only be dragged into talks if they are convinced of U.S. commitment backed by troops, an analyst said.

“It’s very important that they should increase their numerical strength and give an impression to the Taliban that they aren’t going away. Tilt the balance in their favour to a point at least that some decent negotiations can go on,” said retired Pakistani general and analyst Talat Masood.

But any show of force to convince the Taliban of U.S. commitment must be accompanied by political reform to win over ethnic Pashtuns, another Pakistani official said.

The Taliban draw most of their support and recruits from Afghanistan’s biggest ethnic group, many of whom feel alienated by a Kabul government seen as dominated by ethnic Tajiks even though President Hamid Karzai is Pashtun.

“Military strategy alone can’t correct policy-level errors,” said a senior Pakistani security official. “They have to help create a system of governance that has broader acceptability and legitimacy by getting the larger Pashtun population on board.”

The United States also wanted Pakistan to be a conduit for talks with the Taliban, the official said. Pakistan officially cut contacts with their former allies after the Sept. 11 attacks.

(News sourced from: Reuters)

Posted in Afghanistan, News, USAComments (0)

‘Go America Go’ drive to end US intervention: JI chief

ISLAMABAD : Jamaat-e-Islami Chief Syed Munawar Hassan has said the ‘Go America Go’ drive aimed to end the US unhindered intervention into the country’s internal affairs.

Addressing the ‘Go America Go’ rally organized by JI women wing here on Wednesday, he said that JI anti-US drive is for the whole Islamic world not only for Pakistan. “We are against the US interference into the country’s affairs as it is meant to diminish Pakistan Islamic image”. He reiterated the US wants to deprive Pakistan of its nuclear power.

Terming the military operation against the militants as a failure, he said the political leadership and the army’s promises regarding eradicating the militancy from the country proved wrong as the troops absolutely failed to control the militancy rather it increased up to 50 percent since the offensive was launched.

He demanded of the government to carry out investigations of the militants’ attack on the GHQ which he termed “militants’ occupation at the GHQ for 22 hours”, adding that the forces behind the attacks should be exposed.

He said that the nation is facing backlash of the military operation because the government had ignored his party’s all warning regarding the terror attacks before lunching the offensive.

JI Amir insisted that Blackwater is involved in terror activities in the country as they are apparent evidences about its presence. “Why Govt is not surfacing the evidences of Indian and the American involvement in the country’s affairs even after seizing Indian-made arms in South Waziristan”, he posed question. He went on questioning what the announcement in this regard would be made when thousands of people would be killed and other thousands migrated.

He alleged MQM Chief Altaf Hussain and a Jewish lobby want to prove Qadiannis as Muslim again and Governor Punjab Salman Taseer also taking about amending the blasphemy laws. He said PPP-MQM talks held in Dubai were about to exclude Resolution of Objectives from the Constitutions.

“Pakistan will ultimately become graveyard of America as Afghanistan has become of Russia”, he added.

JI Islamabad Chief Syed Bilal and JI Punjab Secretary General Nazir Janjua also addressed the rally.

Posted in News, Politics, Press ReleasesComments (0)

Afghanistan: Barack Obama gets ready to make toughest call of presidency

President Barack Obama is expected to make a long-awaited announcement on his Afghan war strategy in the next few days in an attempt to bring an end to a prolonged period of uncertainty surrounding US intentions, officials said today.

Gordon Brown today attempted to shore up British public support for the war prior to Obama’s declaration, arguing that Nato’s resolve in Afghanistan would “never succumb to appeasement”, while offering to host a conference in January to agree a phased handover of the military effort to Kabul.

Nato allies are awaiting Obama’s declaration on strategy and reinforcements before deciding on their own contributions. However, impatient British defence chiefs have warned that the deployment of 500 extra British troops pledged by the prime minister was urgently required and should not be dependent on Washington’s decision, or on the political conditions laid down by the prime minister. “It’s nothing to do with politics. We need them now,” a defence official said.

Obama’s announcement is provisionally planned before the American Thanksgiving holiday on Thursday next week. If it is left until after that it could coincide jarringly with the ceremony bestowing the Nobel peace prize on the US president in Oslo on 10 December.

However, before finally deciding on how many more troops to send into the battle with the Taliban, the US is seeking specific commitments from the Afghan and Pakistani governments on what they are prepared to contribute to the fight.

The US and its allies are demanding fundamental reforms from President Hamid Karzai aimed at curbing the corruption rampant in his government and increasing the flow of recruits to a new Afghan national army.

Western officials are demanding that Karzai signal a decisive break with the past in his inauguration speech on Thursday and in his subsequent government appointments. There has been speculation in Washington that Obama, currently on a tour of Asia, might fly to Kabul to deliver that message himself.

Meanwhile, Obama’s national security adviser, James Jones, has been dispatched to Islamabad to ask the government there to extend its current offensive against Pakistani insurgents to fight Afghan Taliban groups sheltering on Pakistani territory. According to the New York Times, Jones told the Islamabad government that the US strategy would only work if Pakistan broadened its military offensive in the tribal areas along its borders with Afghanistan. The appeal was contained in a letter from Obama delivered by Jones to Asif Ali Zardari, Pakistan’s president.

Pakistan has raised concerns that a US military surge in Afghanistan would push more Taliban across the border and undermine Pakistani stability, at a time when its forces have been making gains against the insurgents responsible for a recent string of bomb attacks across the country.

Obama’s military advisers, on the other hand, are worried that the collapse of the Karzai government, leading either to anarchy or a Taliban government, would represent a far more powerful threat to Pakistan’s long-term stability. They argue that the future of Pakistan, a volatile state with nuclear weapons, is ultimately of more strategic importance to the US than Afghanistan.

barack-obama-hamid-karzai-asif-ali-zadariThey also believe the fall of Kabul would provide al-Qaida once more with an expanse of territory from which to plot new attacks on the west on the scale of September 11.

Brown echoed those arguments in his Mansion House speech tonight. “We are in Afghanistan because we judge that if the Taliban regained power, al-Qaida and other terrorist groups would once more have an environment in which they could operate,” he said, according to an early text of his remarks. “We are there because action in Afghanistan is not an alternative to action in Pakistan, but an inseparable support to it.”

The White House’s decision-making over Afghanistan policy has been complicated by widespread fraud involved in Karzai’s re-election, and by leaks from assessments by the US commander in Afghanistan, Stanley McChrystal, suggesting he needed 40,000 more soldiers. The Obama administration was furious at what it saw as the general’s attempt to pre-empt the president’s decision.

“I’m sceptical of having such a large increase in foreign forces at this time,” said Malcolm Chalmers, a former British government adviser now at the Royal United Services Institute. “Part of the problem with the current debate is that it’s a sort of double or quits mentality: either you’ve got to get out or you’ve got to have some massive increase, which is predicated on the assumption that with one last push you’ll succeed. It’s an illusion to think that the Taliban are going to be defeated. There’s not going to be an outright military victory, that’s not the nature of the conflict … what the military can do is contribute to creating a sustainable form of government in Afghanistan.”

Meanwhile, British army chiefs warned that the Afghan war was not an “aberration” but rather the shape of conflicts to come in which Britain would be involved. They published two documents which built on the lessons learned in Afghanistan and Iraq: one on the role of the military in providing security, notably in failing states, and the other on counter-insurgency doctrine, the first such document in eight years.

“Counter-insurgency requires some sort of political accommodation,” the counter-insurgency chapter of the new army field manual states. It adds, echoing the approach British commanders want to see in Afghanistan: “Reconciliation is a two-way process, best undertaken from a position of strength.”

British commanders have been pressing for greater contact with reconcilable Taliban elements as well as with provincial and district officials and tribal elders.

(News sourced from: guardian.co.uk)

Posted in Afghanistan, News, Politics, USAComments (0)

Pakistan moves up in global corruption index, ranks 42

Karachi, Nov.17 : Pakistan ranks 42nd in the global list of most corrupt countries, the Transparency International’s (TI) latest report has revealed.

The TI’s report said Pakistan has gained few positions from last year and now stands at 42nd place in the list of most corrupt countries in which Somalia, Afghanistan are seen as the most corrupt among 180 nations.

New Zealand and Denmark are the two least corrupt countries in the world, The News reports.

New Zealand was the top-ranked country with a score of 9.4, followed by Denmark at 9.3, and Singapore and Sweden, both on 9.2, the report said.

Releasing the annual report, the TI chief in Pakistan, Adeel Gilani, said anti-corruption efforts in the country had taken a 180-degree turn after the then President General Pervez Musharraf issued the National Reconciliation Ordinance in October 2007.

Countries that improved their position on the list included the United States, whose points rose to 7.5 from 7.3.

TI cited Washington’s swift response to the financial crisis, including reforms demanding greater transparency and accountability as one of the prime reasons of such a change. (ANI)

Posted in Diaspora, News, WorldComments (0)

Proof of India role in Balochistan at suitable time: PM Gilani

ISLAMABAD: The evidence regarding Indian involvement in Balochistan will be presented at “a suitable time”, Prime minister Yousuf Raza
Gilani said Sunday adding that “the country’s nuclear assets are safe”.

Speaking to reporters in Multan, Gilani said the issue had been taken up during his meeting with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh at the Egyptian resort town of Sharm el-Sheikh and was made part of the joint statement.

Gilani said: “The evidence will be presented at a suitable time.”

Interior minister Rehman Malik had said in October that India was responsible for the rising wave of terrorism in Balochistan province.

Gilani said Pakistan wanted good relations with all its neighbours and desired the resumption of the composite dialogue process with India, adding that dialogue was the only way forward.

He said no military operation is currently underway in Balochistan and that the ongoing operation in Southern Waziristan will soon end.

Pakistan has been hit by a wave of terror attacks that have killed over 250 people. One of the worst attacks took place Oct 28 when a massive bomb killed over 115 people in a crowded market of Peshawar.

The Pakistani Army is battling the Taliban in the rugged terrain of South Waziristan. The Taliban has vowed to retaliate against the US drone strikes, one of which killed its chief Baitullah Mehsud in early August.

Gilani said there was no threat to the country’s nuclear assets which were completely safe and secure.

“Pakistan will not compromise on its nuclear programme and the country’s nuclear assets are safe under the NCCA (Nuclear Command and Control Authority),” Geo News quoted him as saying.

The prime minister said the country had the will to fight the war against terrorism, but the international community’s help would be vital in enhancing the country’s ability to win the war.

He said Pakistan only lacked state-of-the-art equipment to fight terror and the international community had been asked to help the country build its anti-terror capacity.

The prime minister said the government’s timely decision had resulted in successful operations in Swat and South Waziristan. Criticising US drone attacks, Gilani said the strikes were counterproductive. He said: “While we are trying to separate militants from tribesmen, drone attacks are doing exactly the opposite.” Gilani said the US should transfer the drone technology to Pakistan.

(News sourced from : The Times of india)

Posted in Balochistan, News, PoliticsComments (0)

Pak national arrested from Indian airport on espionage charge

PKonweb Monitor

A Pakistan national is said to have been arrested by India’s security agencies from the Indira Gandhi International airport in Delhi for ’spying’ on Indian defense secrets.

“One Pakistani spy was arrested at the IGI airport yesterday,” Union home secretary GK Pillai told PTI as reported by DNA news web site.

He said the foreign national ‘was arrested for spying’ for Pakistan government and passing on defence secrets. Further investigations in the case are on, Pillai said.

Asked if the arrest had any connection with the on going investigations into the trails of terror suspect David Headley arrested by FBI or his co-accused Tahawwur Hussain Rana, a Canadian of Pakistan origin, Pillai said it did not have any connection with the probe.

Official sources told PTI Indian security agencies have seized some documents and photographs from him.

Posted in NewsComments (0)

The convenient curtain of myth

Recently, I met some jihadis who have been in the business of holy war since the 1990s. I was surprised to hear that even though they were in support of the jihad in Afghanistan and Kashmir, they were opposed to the idea of destabilizing Pakistan itself. When asked who was responsible for the suicide bombings and target killings they had an overarching theory to explain the tricky business. According to them, India, the United States, and Israel had colluded resources to create a super-agency to dishevel this entire region. Though they admitted that convincing a hardened jihadi that the government of Pakistan was also part of the enemy collaborative wasn’t too much of a stretch, they also added that a true jihadi would not be involved in the killing of innocent people.

Surprisingly enough, this whole India-US-Israel theory has a lot of popular currency these days in Pakistan, a country whose national sports should be lounge room politics and conspiracy theorising instead of cricket and hockey. The myriad of television talk-shows on every news channel are heavily relying on this theory of a triangulated axis of evil out to destroy Islam and Pakistan with one nifty stone’s throw of insurgent terror.

I don’t mean to dampen Pakistan’s highly built up superiority complex laced with self pity at the whole world’s always being out to get us, but has anyone ever thought of questioning why we always situate Pakistan at the centre of our world view? It is true that Pakistan is in the news a lot these days, and that the location of our borders in terms of resources and trade routes present significant geopolitical interests. But isn’t it a bit much to consider the current conflict in terms of issues that lie beyond the immediately obvious uses of Pakistan’s soil, and therefore hurl the current conflict in to the realm of myth and conspiracy?

Islamic mythology has obviously played a huge role in the formation of our national identity. It is telling that the history books we’re taught in school start from Mohenjodaro and Harappa, jump to the life of the Prophet in pagan Arabia, and then an interlude of early Islamic history until the likes of Muhammad bin Qasim finally brings Islam to the subcontinent. After that, the Muslim personalities involved in South Asian politics are closely followed up until the creation of Pakistan as a homeland for the Muslims.

Given this strange mix of religious indoctrination and nationalist propaganda, it isn’t a shock that our national identity is hopelessly intertwined with religion. The great ups and downs of our history are also then viewed though the mirror image of early Islamic Arabian history, starting with the Partition of 1947 where the oppressed Muslims in the land of infidels partake in a hijrah-like migration to greener pastures. This is also responsible for similar coinages as mohajir’s for people who migrated from the other side of the border, and of course the Muttahida Quami Movement as well. Looking across the border with the same deeply rooted scepticism through which we historically view pagan Mecca also comes with the national identity combo-meal.

After two wars with our neighbour that have been cloaked in the same historical-identity mirror as jihads which the Prophet Muhammad participated in – the 1965 war, where a small number of Muslims beat a larger threatening army of infidels akin to the scenario in Jang-e-Badar, and the 1971 war being similar to Jang-e-Uhad, where the Muslims suffered heavy losses owing to their greed and indiscipline. Kargil would then be seen as the Battle of the Trench, had it not ended with such a national disaster.

The idea of martyrdom has been historically very close to these times of crisis when national unity is a must. The list of the dozen or so shaheeds who gave their life for the country is also present in every textbook. Unfortunately, the idea of the martyr as a member of Pakistan’s armed forces has become one that is hotly contested in recent times, as the right to declare a martyr isn’t the sole prerogative of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. The ISPR’s version of a shaheed in Waziristan is diametrically opposed to that of the TTP’s version of shaheed.

The same mujahids who valiantly fought in Kashmir and Afghanistan for Islam and Pakistan, seem to have turned on the Islamic Republic as the very fabric of propaganda which binds Islam with Pakistan is ruptured beyond repair. With the popularly elected government being portrayed as infidel rule propped up by the Americans, and the culture of the modern, westernised elites is labeled as shamelessness and excessive debauchery, it seems we’re caught in the middle of a storm where the hero can no longer be told apart from the enemy.

For decades, the enemy image coined in our heads has been that of the Islam-hating, darker-skinned Hindu at the eastern edge of our border. One can imagine how much violence the average Pakistanis’ worldview must have been subjected to when the heroic mujahid suddenly became the enemy, in less than a decade. A painful readjustment of the conventional enemy image is needed in order to re-galvanize the nation behind these destroyers of the idea of Pakistan.

This interesting transposition was evident in an armed forces award ceremony in which shaheeds from the current conflict were inducted into the ranks of those martyred in Pakistan’s conventional wars. The reenacted footage telegraphing each incident showed a mysterious tribal as the concealed enemy. The army also seems to be relying on foreigners being involved in the tribal areas as a way to distance the conflict from civil strife. The circulation of reports of large containers of alcohol belonging to Uzbek militants also seems to be a way of distancing Islam from the enemy.

However, it appears that instead of reevaluating things through a more rational approach, we’ve stuck to our patchwork quilt of mythological identity through a couple of quick-and-easy adjustments. As a matter of convenience for our security establishment, the principal enemy obviously remains India. But those polygamous infidels couldn’t possibly be the solely responsible for such an ingenious plan that redirects our tactics against them and literally brings the country to its knees? No, that’s not possible. So who could they possibly be in cahoots with?

Once again the answer is conveniently available from early Islamic Arabia, where the Meccan pagans were conspiring with scheming Jewish tribes. A simple transposition of the historical onto our mythological identity yields the result of India and Israel collaborating for the destruction of Pakistan, with the US sitting on the fringes like the Holy Roman Empire.

I think it’s time we quit hiding behind the convenient curtain of myth, and take the bitter pill of reality. For once, for that might help us frame this conflict in more rational terms and possibly lead us closer to a solution, rather than further feeding propaganda to the conflict. If the present reasoning of global evils out to destroy Islam and Pakistan continues, then the only answer is the apocalyptic war which is talked about in fringe mythologies related to the arrival of the Antichrist.

The last thing we want is for this to be a self-fulfilling prophecy! We need to step away from viewing this as a clash of civilisations, in terms of Islam versus the West. This is a misinformed dichotomy, since the West is not a religion, and Islam isn’t a geographical location. The more hopelessly intertwined our nationality becomes with a faux mythology, the more susceptible it becomes to being hijacked by those wishing to extract temporary gains from this vulnerability.

(Souce: DAWN)

Posted in Articles, Asif AkhtarComments (0)

Watson, Johnson rested for final ODI in India

Allrounder Shane Watson and paceman Mitchell Johnson will be sent home ahead of Australia’s last limited-overs international in India in order to rest and prepare for a heavy domestic summer involving series against the West Indies and Pakistan.

Australia clinched the seven-match ODI series by winning the sixth match and taking a 4-2 lead ahead of Wednesday’s last match in Mumbai.

Chief selector Andrew Hilditch issued a statement Tuesday saying it was important to manage the workloads of Watson and Johnson, despite a string of injuries that has depleted the Australian team in India.

“In view of the extremely heavy workload shouldered by Mitchell Johnson and Shane Watson since the ICC World Twenty20 in May and with the imminent start of the Australian summer … the national selection panel has decided Mitchell and Shane will depart India as soon as possible,” Hilditch said in a statement.

Australia will open its home season with the first test against the West Indies at Brisbane on Nov. 26. Following test, limited-overs and Twenty20 series against West Indies and Pakistan, the Australians will tour New Zealand.

Johnson has led a weakened Australian bowling attack throughout the year, including test tours to South Africa and England, the Twenty20 World Cup and the Champions Trophy defense ahead of this series against India.

Watson, who has a history of injury-enforced layoffs, has been opening the batting for Australia and bowling in all forms of the game since the third Ashes test in England in July.

Earlier Tuesday, Australia captain Ricky Ponting said his lineup would be aiming for nothing less than a big victory in Mumbai.

“We want to finish the tour on a very positive note. As far I can see 5-2 looks better than 4-3,” he told reporters in India. “Yes, the series has been decided, but certainly it is not over as far as we are concerned.”

{Source: ARY News}

Posted in CricketComments (0)

Diabetes kills 89,000 a year in Pakistan

Pakistan will have the fourth largest population of diabetic patients in the world by 2030 if the country fails to check the rate at which the disease has been spreading.

According to an estimate of the International Diabetes Federation, about 89,000 deaths of men and women occur every year in the country because of diabetes-related complications.

These were the views of senior health experts at a ‘diabetes awareness walk’ organised by the National Institute of Diabetes and Endocrinology (NIDE) on the Ojha campus of the Dow University of Health Sciences on Sunday.

The walk was part of programmes being organised to observe World Diabetes Day on Nov 14.

The theme of World Diabetes Day launched by the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) and the World Health Organisation (WHO) is ‘diabetes education and prevention’.

The day marks the birth anniversary of one of the discoverers of insulin in 1922 — a life-saving substance given to diabetic patients.

According to World Health Organisation statistics of 2005, more than 180 million people worldwide have diabetes and the number is likely to more than double by 2030, if the condition is left unchecked.

Almost 80 per cent of diabetic deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries, according to the report, experts say.

A good number of people, including faculty members of the university, students and diabetic patients, participated in the walk.

The director of the NIDE, Prof Zaman Shaikh, said that diabetes was a serious threat to public health and the leading cause of blindness, limb amputations and cardiac problems worldwide.

Quoting the IDF estimates, he said that some 285 million people worldwide would live with diabetes in the year 2010 and the figure was expected to reach 438 million by 2030.

The South-East Asian region was worst affected and it had about 58 million people suffering from diabetes and their number could reach about 101 million by 2030, registering an increase of about 72 per cent, he said.

Prof Shaikh said that Pakistan had a diabetes prevalence rate of about seven per cent in the entire population which was an alarming situation.

If steps were not taken, the figures would multiply to an extent that by 2030, Pakistan would become the fourth leading nation in the world in terms of people having diabetes.

He said that diabetes treatment was expensive and to combat the problem, all sections of society must act together under the IDF motto ‘Unite for Diabetes’.

Prevention strategies, he said, were the most important and for this lifestyle changes, including regular exercise and dietary changes, could be of the utmost importance.

That could help control blood sugar and prevent the complications in the long term, he said.

Prof Zeenat Ayub also spoke. A free blood sugar screening and body mass index test was also arranged.

Posted in HealthComments (0)

Strings, Abrar-ul-Haq to add glitter to Pak-NZ T20 games

Dubai: In order to turn the two T20 matches between Pakistan and New Zealand into an unforgettable event and attract more people to the stadium to watch the encounter, sports authorities in Dubai have invited renowned Pakistani singer Abrar-ul-Haq and Strings, the famous music band, to perform at both games.

Haq will perform ahead of the first match at the Dubai Stadium on November 12, while Strings will be seen entertaining people before the second match on November 13.

Dubai Sports City’s General Manager for sports business, Maqbul Dudhia said these attractions would provide viewers with a full dose of entertainment.

“Twenty20 is all about entertainment and having these top-class acts alongside some of the world’s best cricketers means that the fans coming to these matches will enjoy a feast of entertainment on both nights. A ticket for the matches represents great value for money and both evenings will be very special occasions for Dubai Sports City and the UAE,” The Nation quoted Dudhia, as saying.

Abrar-ul-Haq is the pioneer of bhangra music in Pakistan. Punjabi folk music has reached new heights in the country primarily due to Haq’s chartbuster songs.

Strings is one of the few Pakistani band acclaimed internationally. At its inception, the band had four members, but now has only two singers Faisal Kapadia and Bilal Maqsood.

Posted in News, SportsComments (0)

New Zealand clinch series despite Aamir, Ajmal heroics

New Zealand survived Mohammad Aamir’s explosive half-century to clinch the series against Pakistan with a narrow seven-run victory in the third one-day international here on Monday.

Aamir, 17, hit an unbeaten 73 for his maiden half-century —the highest score by a number ten batsman in a one-day international —to bring Pakistan, chasing 212, close to an unexpected victory after they were 101-9.

Pakistan were bowled out for 204, giving New Zealand a sensational 2-1 victory in the three-match series. Pakistan won the first match by 138 runs on Tuesday before New Zealand levelled the series with a 64-run win on Friday.

Aamir and Ajmal added a Pakistan record of 103 for tenth wicket but, needing eight off the last over bowled by Jacob Oram, Ajmal holed out for a career-best 33 to end a sensational match.

The previous highest one-day score for a number ten batsman was 56 not out, made by Zimbabwe’s Douglas Marillier against India at New Delhi in 2002.

When Ajmal joined Aamir Pakistan needed a mammoth-looking 112 runs in 16.5 overs, but Aamir set the tempo for an unexpected win by hitting Daniel Vettori for three sixes in one over.

Slowly and gradually, he and Ajmal approached the target, beating the previous tenth wicket partnership record by Pakistan in all one-day of 72 by Abdul Razzaq and Waqar Younis against South Africa at Durban in 1998.

Aamir, who hit seven boundaries and three sixes during his 81-ball knock, improved on his previous highest score of 24 made against Sri Lanka earlier this year.

In the end New Zealand kept their nerves and did not spoil the early good work by bowlers which saw Pakistan slump from 47- to 101-9.

Earlier, off-spinner Ajmal took a career-best 4-33 to raise hopes of a Pakistan win but Salman Butt (25), Khalid Latif (19), Umer Akmal (12) and Shoaib Malik (11) threw away wickets.

Pakistan got off to a solid 47-run start before Vettori triggered a slump, trapping Latif leg-before in the ninth over. That started the slump.

Captain Younus Khan continued his wretched form, edging Shane Bond to slips after making just three. In the previous over, Younus misjudged a single which resulted in Butt’s run out.

Umer Akmal (12), Malik (11), Afridi (five) and Akmal (four) played reckless shots as Pakistan slumped badly.

Earlier Brendon McCullum, who scored a brilliant hundred on Friday, stood out once again with an aggressive 78-ball 76 which included three sixes and six boundaries.

New Zealand were well on course for a big score but once McCullum got out, caught and bowled by Shoaib Malik, Pakistani spinners led by Ajmal sparked a middle-order collapse to take last seven wickets for 47 runs.

New Zealand had raced to 72 by the 12th over, with McCullum reaching his fifty off just 47 balls.

It was paceman Umar Gul who provided the breakthrough, removing opener Aaron Redmond caught off Aamir for 21. This was Gul’s 100th wicket in 67 one-day internationals.

Ajmal then came into his own, removing Martin Guptill (eight), Ross Taylor (44), Daniel Vettori (15) and Jacob Oram (two) to improve on his best one-day figures of 2-16 against the West Indies at Johannesburg in September this year.

Ross Taylor, who failed to score in the first two matches, helped McCullum add 50 for the third wicket before Ajmal trapped him leg-before.

Both teams now move to Dubai where they play two Twenty20 matches on November 12 and 13.

{Source: AFP}

Posted in CricketComments (0)

Tariq Ali on Zardari

A MUST WATCH: Acclaimed author and Pakistan analyst, Tariq Ali, provides a scathing assessment of President Asif Ali Zardari on popular talk show “Democracy Now”. He points out Zardari’s dismal public support, massive corruption, and hostility to Chief Justice of the Supreme Court Iftikhar Chaudhry. He says it it is well known that he is one of the most corrupt politicians in the country.

Tariq Ali said US VP Dick Cheney and Zalmay Khalilzad put him in power because they knew he was an ‘obvious creature’ and called him and Karzai as twins fighting terror.

Posted in Editor's Choice, Newsmakers, VideosComments (0)

Talk Shows

  • ISLAMABAD TONIGHT with Nadeem Malik: Nov 19
    November 20, 2009 | 8:16 am

    PM Gilani’s wife beneficiary of NRO? Guests: Justice (R) Tariq Mahmood Former PSCBA, Nawabzada Malik Amad Khan and Khurram Dastagir Khan

  • DUNYA TODAY with Dr. Moeed Pirzada: Nov 19
    November 20, 2009 | 8:11 am

    Discussion with Khalid Mirza, Chairman of Competition Commission of Pakistan (CCP)

  • CAPITAL TALK with Hamid Mir: Nov 19
    November 20, 2009 | 7:43 am

    National Counter-Terrorism Center USA says Pakistan facing maximum brunt of terrorism worldwide. Guests: Tariq Fatemi (Ex Amb to USA), Rustam Shah Mohmand (Ex Amb to Afghan), Zafar Hilaly Ex Amb to USA) and Lt. Gen. (R) Talat Masood (Analyst)

  • KAL TAK with Javed Choudhry: Nov 19
    November 20, 2009 | 7:36 am

    PM Gilani says will resign if it is proved that his wife is a beneficiary of NRO. Why others are silent? Guests: Capt (R) Muhammad Safdar (PML-N), Sheikh Waqas Akram (PML-Q), Abdul Qayyum Khan Jatoi(PPP)

  • BOLTA PAKISTAN on Aaj Tv: Nov 18
    November 19, 2009 | 11:35 am

    Moon issue during Eid. Guests: Sardar Yaqoob Khan, Anwar Sajidi, Babar Ayaz, Ch. Daniyal Aziz and Dr. Pervaiz Tahir.

  • RSSArchive for Talk Shows »
PK Papers
Biz Recorder

Daily Times
The Nation
The News
Frontier Post
Daily Express
Daily Ibrat
Friday Times

Help Wanted

PHP Programmer in Pakistan to work for us from home; Cartoonist based in Pakistan; Photographers based in Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad; Send Resume to: [email protected]

Daily Posts

November 2009
« Oct