Friday, May 4, 2012
http://www.onlinenews.com.pkFederal Law Minister Farooq H. Naek Friday warned third power may get benefit if the Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) maintains its negative attitude then there would be a threat of derailing of democracy. Talking to media outside the Parliament House Naek said Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) would soon table a resolution in the Punjab Assembly for creating Seraiki province with the help of coalition parties. He termed PML-N current style of politics as negative that would be devastating for the country and resolution passed in the National Assembly for forming Seraiki province is as per the aspiration of the people of that region. Answering a query, he said the Supreme Court has not disqualified the Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani so far and opposition should wait for the detail judgment of SC, adding that SC will explain causes behind the conviction of the PM in detail decision and after that PM will file an appeal regarding the contempt of court case. Earlier addressing the NA, Law Minister Farooq H Naek told the House that the opposition’s attitude violated the National Assembly’s code of conduct. Naek warned the PML-N that its “rowdiness would create anarchy in the country and derail democracy”. “Rowdiness is against democratic norms and rules of procedure. It would lead to anarchy and if democracy is derailed, the PML-N would be responsible for it,” he said. The law minister said that the Supreme Court had not disqualified the prime minister. “Even today, Gilani is member of this House and the prime minister,” he added. The minister said the government also wanted to create the Hazara province but the measure required the consensus of the coalition partners. “Once we evolve consensus with the coalition partners, we shall bring a resolution in the House about creating the Hazara province,” he added.
Published in The Express Tribune
Author: Daphne Grathwohl / jc
Interior Minister Rehman Malik on Thursday said the Sharif brothers have devoured a sum of over Rs 3.9 billion of various banks and did not even bother to formally arrange the waiver of the amount. Talking to media persons outside Parliament House, he said the nation demands return of the looted money from former prime minister Mian Nawaz Sharif and Punjab Chief Minister Mian Shahbaz Sharif. He said both brothers also allegedly committed money laundering of $32 million. He called for taking suo moto notice of this money laundering.
EDITORIAL:DAILY TIMESThere seems to be no end in sight for the ongoing miseries of Balochistan. As has become gruesomely routine now, another bullet-riddled body was found dumped in the Mastung area on Wednesday. As is also the case with most of the corpses discovered in this fashion, evidence of torture was all too visible. This is in spite of the fact that the Chief Justice (CJ) of Pakistan Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry is currently holding regular hearings on the situation of missing persons in Balochistan and has not only condemned the atrocities being perpetrated against the Baloch but has also demanded that law enforcement agencies guarantee the life and property of every citizen in the province. The CJ has expressed his serious concern over the deteriorating law and order in the province. It is actually quite amazing the stubborn disregard with which the Supreme Court’s (SC) orders are being met by the powers that be in Balochistan. It is also tragic. Courts exist to take into account any breaking of the law. Their judgements and orders are to be upheld. Those who are behind the forced disappearances and massive human rights violations in the largest province are essentially thumbing their noses at the highest court in the land. And, it seems, there is nothing the SC can do about this beyond a certain point. The provincial and federal governments are following a syndrome of apathy where their lacklustre efforts at following through on serious political dialogue to address the real grievances of the Baloch have seemed little more than a joke. It is largely acknowledged that the security forces and Frontier Corps (FC) are running amok in the province, accused by the Baloch as being behind the kidnappings and murders that have now made their presence felt in the media and political circles, especially after the US Congress took notice of these crimes against humanity. The SC took seriously the missing persons’ case earlier also when Musharraf was president and that, amongst other reasons, got the CJ ousted. Considering this chequered history, it is heartening to see that the SC is once again making it clear that things have gone too far; the SC bench is said to have worked 15 hours straight for this latest hearing. However, no amount of umbrage and dogged pursuit by the SC will be enough to make up for the utter helplessness of the police and government where guaranteeing the safety and security of the Baloch people is concerned. The military/security agencies are unwilling to open themselves up to inquiry. The Balochistan Chief Secretary, Yaqoob Fateh Muhammad, informed the court that the ISI, MI and FC were not ready to cooperate when provided with a list of 62 missing persons. This is just a small reminder of how the people actually in charge in Balochistan care little for ‘small’ issues such as human rights and the welfare of the people. A very real challenge has been thrown up for the SC to rein in and hold accountable those belonging to the security agencies, which after all are answerable to the courts — a point noted by the CJ himself. Balochistan is burning and has been for a long time. The struggle is escalating, with even the country’s highest court railing against cruel injustices. It is time those responsible for causing grief to the Baloch change their policies and end their murderous spree.
Daily TimesPrime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani has said the PML-N adopted a stance in his contempt case in haste, as it took a decision without waiting for the detailed verdict, and said the party was isolated in the present political arena with no one on their side because of their attitude. With the baking of a parliamentary resolution reposing confidence in him, a confident Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani on Thursday said the PML-N had lost the game following the passage of the resolution in parliament on southern Punjab. Talking to media at the Prime Minister’s House, Gilani looked much more composed after the passage of a resolution in his favour and lashed out at the PML-N leadership, which he believed had been exposed through its behaviour in parliament. The PM categorically stated he doesn’t accept “Sharif Courts” who declared him disqualified when the detailed judgement of the contempt of court case against him was still pending. Regarding PML-N’s plan to move a resolution for new provinces in parliament, Gilani said if the party was sincere then it should move a resolution in Punjab Assembly following the approval of a resolution from parliament. Speaking on his conviction from court, Gilani said it was not a criminal case neither had he committed any moral or financial corruption, on the basis of which he should be disqualified. He said his was not the only case that was in court, as many cases of the opposition, such as the Mehran Bank scandal, were also in the courts, and questioned whether it was justified the PML-N leadership was taking out a procession in favour of the judiciary, which was hearing their cases. When asked why NATO supply routes were not being opened since parliament had passed unanimous recommendations on reengagements with the US, the premier said the US had been conveyed parliament’s recommendations and different groups were working between the two countries to discuss the new terms of engagements. On whether he was hopeful of the opening of NATO supply routes, Gilani responded in affirmative and said the talks were heading towards a positive direction.
Each year, some 15 million babies in the world are born too early. Preterm births account for more than one in 10 of the world’s live births, and 60% of them occur in South Asia & sub-Saharan Africa. Pakistan with 748,100 preterm births annually has fourth highest number after India at 3,519,100; China at 1,172,300, Nigeria at 773,600, Tanzania number 12 on list followed by Uganda at 14, and Kenya at 15, says The Global Action Report on Preterm Birth, authored by 45 international multi-disciplinary experts from 26 organisations including Aga Khan University, Karachi and 11 countries with over 40 organisations in support. Worse, Pakistan is eighth of top 10 countries with highest rates of preterm births: 15.8 for every 100 births along, again, with countries from sub-Saharan Africa: Malawi, 18.1 per 100; Comoros and Congo, 16.7; Zimbabwe, 16.6; Equatorial Guinea, 16.5; Mozambique, 16.4; Gabon, 16.3; Indonesia, 15.5; and Mauritania, 15.4. Rate for East African countries of Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania are at 13.6, 12.3, and 11.4 respectively “For too long prematurity has been regarded as synonymous with a limited chance of survival. Our studies suggest that several low cost solutions are possible for care of women before and during pregnancy and importantly after preterm birth. These have huge potential for saving lives and improving pregnancy outcomes,” says Dr Zulfiqar Bhutta, Founding Chair of Women & Child Health at Aga Khan University, and one of authors of report. Basic measures such as antenatal steroid injections for mothers in premature labour; ‘kangaroo care’ where infant is held skin-to-skin on mother's chest for warmth and ease of breastfeeding; antiseptic cream to prevent birth cord infection; antibiotics to prevent and fight infection, important cause of neonatal death, are all inexpensive, proven forms of care for premature babies that could dramatically improve the chances of survival.