Saturday, December 8, 2012
Radio PakistanPresident Asif Ali Zardari says government is determined to equip the children‚ particularly the girls‚ with education. He was speaking at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham where he has gone to enquire about the health of Malala Yousufzai.
http://www.aljazeera.comEgyptian President Mohamed Morsi has annulled a decree he issued last month expanding his powers, an official told a Cairo news conference. A referendum on a draft constitution would however still go ahead as planned on December 15, said Selim al-Awa, an Islamist politician acting as spokesman of a meeting Morsi held earlier on Saturday with other political leaders. The constitutional decree is annulled from this moment," al-Awa said. He said that constitutionally, Morsi was unable to change the date for the referendum. But he added that, if the draft constitution were rejected, a new one would be drawn up by officials elected by the people, rather than ones chosen by parliament as for the current text. The decree and the referendum were at the heart of anti-Morsi protests that have rocked Egypt in the past two weeks. At least seven people have been killed in the unrest, as demonstrators opposing and supporting Morsi clashed near the presidential palace. Al Jazeera's Sherine Tadros, reporting from Cairo, said the withdrawal of the decree was a "huge development", but "for the opposition, this may only go half way in terms of their demands being met." "The big question now is how the opposition will respond." 'Meaningless' move Khaled Dawood, the spokesman for the National Salvation Front, one of largest opposition parties in Egypt, said annulling the decree was "relatively meaningless". "The key issue of securing the process of adapting of the constitution is done," he told Al Jazeera. "Unfortunately I don't think the president is leaving us any other option than to escalate our opposition. Asked whether the opposition's goal was to unseat Morsi, Dawood said: "This is definitely not in our agenda at all. Our agenda is basically limited to having a new draft constitution that everybody is satisfied about before going to a referendum. "We respect he was elected with 51.7 per cent of the vote, but 48 per cent did not vote for him. That means that he has to compromise, he has to build consensus." Several of Morsi's political advisers have resigned after the decree was issued on November 22. The country's main opposition parties say the draft constitution is biased and have rejected Morsi's call for dialogue. Earlier on Saturday, Egypt's military gave warning on "disastrous consequences" if the political crisis gripping the country was not resolved through dialogue. "The path of dialogue is the best and only way to reach agreement and achieve the interests of the nation and its citizens," the military said in a statement. "The opposite of that will take us into a dark tunnel with disastrous results." The military statement was issued as demonstrators fenced off an administrative building in Cairo's Tahrir Square. It also came after the state-run newspaper Al-Ahram reported that Morsi would soon authorise the armed forces to help police keep order.
Pakistan's president has visited a British hospital where a 15-year-old schoolgirl is being treated after being shot in the head by a Taliban gunman. Birmingham's Queen Elizabeth Hospital says Asif Ali Zardari met with doctors treating Malala Yousafzai during a visit Saturday.
The Queen of Bollywood, and one of the most beautiful women in the world, talks for the first time about courting controversy on-screen, her weight, and whether she will return to film. Sir David Frost travels to Mumbai to meet Aishwarya Rai, one of Bollywood's biggest stars. Rai discusses her rapid rise to fame: "I was virtually invited into the industry with very good assignments." She also talks, for the first time, about her first on-screen kiss, saying: "You're going to get me to talk about something I haven't, in any of my interviews." After much acclaim at home, Hollywood came calling for her global pulling power. But her conservative Indian background held her back from raunchier roles. Rai tells Sir David why she turned down a chance to star opposite Brad Pitt in Troy: "The very material on celluloid involved a lot of lovemaking scenes that I wasn't comfortable with." She married into Bollywood's most famous family. But when Rai became a mother four years later her fans turned on her for failing to lose weight quickly after the birth of her baby. "I was comfortable and that's why I've been who I've been. If I did think it was a big deal I would've been in hiding or would've done something about it," she says. And, over a meal together, she tells Sir David: "I've never dieted. Never." She talks about her favourite home cooked meal, and introduces Sir David to Indian cuisine. Rai talks about India's new middle class and its burgeoning desire for more real-life films tackling taboo topics. "We have a lot going on creatively. It's a very interesting time because the audience is diverse and the opportunity is tremendous," she says. And, she tackles the question all of her fans want an answer to. After a two-year break from the big screen, will she return? "I'd love to." But, she cautions: "The day I'm bored, if it does not excite me I will not make the time." She sits down with Sir David in the heart of Bollywood to talk about her life, address her fans' criticisms and explore the role of new Indian cinema.
The Express TribuneMusthaq Ahmed’s family has been making the rabab, a string instrument, for 200 years. But now Ahmed finds it increasingly difficult to stay in the profession. Ahmed’s ancestors moved to Peshawar during the reign of Abdur Rehman Khan in the late 19th and early 20th century. The instrument’s avid use in classical music in Pakistan had paved way for rabab makers, originating from Afghanistan, to settle in Peshawar. However, as contemporary music took over, these people lost their business and now Ahmed is the only rabab maker left in the provincial capital. The usage of the instrument in Afghanistan and the northwest Pakistan dates back to the 7th century. Ahmed is the son of famous rabab player and Pride of Performance recipient Samandar Khan. “I have learnt the art from my father and grandfather, who belonged to Afghanistan.” He now barely makes ends meet as there are too few buyers. One instrument costs between Rs5,000-Rs8,000 and takes up to seven days to make. Because of his meagre earnings, Ahmed’s eight children have had to quit school and find employment. The lack of use of this conventional instrument is a major reason in the decline of its sale. “There was a time when a Pathan’s hujra (guestroom) would be incomplete without a chillum (pipe) and rabab, but now trends have changed,” Ahmed told The Express Tribune. But there are more crucial reasons too. “The law and order situation in the city has greatly affected my business,” the artisan said. When insurgency in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas increased, the number of rabab players in the province decreased.”Security problems have affected more than 70% of our business.” “When security problems worsened in Peshawar and cultural events came to a halt, the instrument lost its place in the public realm,” said Malik Nisar, a rabab player in Peshawar. Despite the tide going against him, Ahmed has not given up. He still has hope that the instrument will find its place again. “New musicians love rababs and some even buy it these days,” he said. Nisar added that upcoming musicians from Peshawar such as Khumaryan, Yasir and Jawad are using the instrument in their music.
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BY: SALMA ATAULLAHJAN
http://www.rferl.orgAuthorities in Pakistan's northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province have shut down 12 illegal FM radio stations. The closures followed a provincial cabinet decision that called for closing down all stations operating without a government license. Qamar Ali, an official in Khyber Pahtunkwa's Home and Tribal Affairs Department, said the stations engaged in propaganda and were agitating for a rebellion against the government. He said the stations were run by various mosques and religious seminaries in the rural Swabi district near the provincial capital, Peshawar. Authorities in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province see the illegal radio stations as a clear threat to government authority. Illegal broadcasts were blamed for helping instigate a bloody Taliban rebellion in the Swat Valley in 2007.
ndtv.comThe captain of the Pakistan blind T20 team (the world cup is currently on in Bangalore) who is partially visually impaired, accidentally drank diluted soap, which was kept in a plastic bottle on a table where usually mineral water bottle is kept at his hotel here on Saturday, official sources said.
http://www.brecorder.comThe Balochistan Assembly is unique in many ways and to its credit it has some unique records. Its one-member opposition has never been able to attend its sessions, nor is there a Leader of the Opposition because the ruling coalition is in no mood to grant the lone opposition member, Yar Mohammad Rind, his due status. The ruling coalition comprises the most broadly represented leadership. Irrespective of highly conflicting and contentious stances on national affairs at the level of federation or in other provinces, the political elite of Balochistan is the one to enjoy the 'fruits of democracy' as they all sit on the treasury benches in an abounding ambience of bonhomie. The Balochistan Assembly is unique for the reason that almost all of its members, minus the one-man opposition in the house, are either ministers or advisors - after all what is left in politics if you don't have power. And on Monday, it set yet another record: it met for just less than three minutes and adjourned the session till the next day without doing any kind of business. Why did the Balochistan PA meet? It had met to receive a brief by Interior Minister Rehman Malik in complete violation of the Constitution. Under Article 110 of the Constitution, only "the Governor may address the provincial assembly and may for that matter require the attendance of the members". In this case, Chief Minister Nawab Aslam Raisani had accepted federal interior minister's proposal to brief the house on law and order situation of Balochistan. Minister Malik, who is always anxious to brief the elected members in-camera, didn't turn up because of his 'very busy schedule'. But Chief Minister Raisani was not prepared to concede Malik's priorities and burst out deploring the "non-serious and undemocratic attitude" of the interior minister. Chief Minister Raisani was angry all the more for the reason that it was not so simple as one would think to call the Balochistan Assembly into session. Speaker of the assembly, Aslam Bhootani, had refused to preside over the house, arguing that the sitting chief minister and his government is unconstitutional in the wake of Supreme Court's order and he would not like to run afoul of the Constitution. And there is damaging split in Raisani's own party, PPP, over the question of his legitimacy. How much this house can then deliver on the critical challenges the law and order situation in the province of Balochistan one would be extremely sceptical. No wonder then Balochistan is in the ever-tightening grip of chaos and anarchy given the vulgar display of Byzantine politics. The question, however, remains as to what made Interior Minister Rehman Malik to ask for the Balochistan Assembly session and then not to show up at the eleventh hour. Was there a plot, as alleged by Sadiq Umrani who heads the Balochistan chapter of the PPP and is said to be the man who manoeuvred suspension of Nawab Raisani's basic party membership, to 'pitch the federation against the judiciary'? By not showing up in the assembly Rehman Malik has exhibited his political maturity, claims Umrani. But all this had happened to immense annoyance of Nawab Raisani, who would like to stick to power come what may. And in this desire he's not alone; the whole cabal of feudal lords, tribal chieftains and high-ranking clergy is with him, as shown by them last month when the house gave a vote of confidence to Nawab Raisani. On that occasion, they couldn't give too hoots about judiciary; they didn't care at all about it. No doubt, the Team Nawab's antics might have pleased some textbook of democracy. But have the elected representatives of Balochistan delivered on the mandate given to them by the people? Certainly not. Tragically, as Balochistan is gradually being sucked into a black hole of violence and lawlessness, the ruling elite is so much out of sync with bitter ground realities. What a simulacrum or a profoundly unsatisfactory imitation of democracy!
THE FRONTIER POST
Addressing a public gathering here, he said that his party can never support the dam and rejects it even after the court’s decision. “Punjab must not act like a commander but should behave like an elder brother,” he said. Asfandyar Wali said that no consensus is needed on the controversial dam as it can never be allowed to be built.
Radio PakistanPresident Awami National Party Asfandyar Wali Khan has said that three provinces have opposed construction of Kalabagh Dam in strongest words. He was addressing Anti Kalabagh Dam conference in Nishtar Hall Peshawar on Saturday. Asfandyar Wali Khan said we oppose the decision of Lahore High Court about construction of Kalabagh Dam. He said that the issue has already been buried in the past. Judiciary must respect sentiments of people of three provinces. Speaking on the occasion Chief Minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Ameer Haider Khan Hoti said raising the issue of Kalabagh Dam is a conspiracy against Pushtoons which will not be succeeded. He said that construction of Kalabagh Dam is not acceptable in any condition. He said that we will attend consultative meeting in Islamabad and present our stand. Our representative says that provincial ministers‚ ANP leaders and large number of party workers attended the Anti Kalabagh Conference. They also chanted anti Kalabagh slogans.
http://ibnlive.in.com/us/President Asif Zardari of Pakistan is in Paris spearheading the high profile UNESCO-co-sponsored global event 'Stand Up for Malala: Girls' right to education' on December 10. Just before the event President Zardari and his daughter Aseefa Bhutto Zadari had visited Malala in the hospital to enquire about her recovery, to convey prayers and best wishes of the people of Pakistan in person and to convey to her how proud entire nation was over her bravery and commitment to strive, to seek and not to yield under threats to kill from the blood thirsty terrorists. Malala has become a symbol of nation's pledge to root out terrorism, sectarianism, extremism and its determination to return the country to the liberal and tolerant vision of Quaid-e-Azam and martyred Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto. Dark forces of obscurantism had struck what they thought a debilitating blow that would run panic among the peace-loving people of Pakistan. The Taliban killers believed had they succeeded in assassinating brave 15-year old Malala Yusufzai of Swat (Octover 9) half of their battle against education of girls and empowerment of Pakistani women would have been won. Allah, the Most Compassionate, willed otherwise. Malala is safe and steadily recovering thanks to expert medicare by Pakistani doctors followed by painstaking efforts by the doctors at Birminigham's Queen Elizabeth Hospital. Horrendous attempt on Malala's life - a teenager whose only fault, along with other hundreds and thousand of girls in Pakistan - was pursuit of modern education and enlightenment. An injured Malala has blunted lethal terrorist attack on her by showing rare resilience for a girl of her age by declaring that she being a follower of martyred Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto - who has been a role model for her - she would continue her sublime mission in accordance with the teachings of Holy Prophet Mohammad who had commanded his followers - irrespective of gender - to pursue education and knowledge even if they have to travel as far as China. Despite the murderous attack Malala is determined to pursue enlightened education to be a model and an example for others to emulate. December 10 Paris "Stand up by Malala" conference organized jointly by UNESCO and the government of Pakistan is coinciding with International Human Rights Day. This high profile event for the cause of making enlightened education available to all girls - irrespective of caste, creed, colour or country - has brought together representatives of governments, UN partners, international and bilateral organizations, foundations, donors, private sector, civil society, academics, religious leaders, eminent personalities, the media and other stakeholders in an effort to renew commitment and seek support for education of girls globally. President Asif Ali Zardari, along with Ministers for Foreign Affairs and Education and Chairperson Benazir Income Support Programme, is personally attending "Stand up by Malala" to ensure his own and his government's resolute commitment to the cause of promoting and universalising education for girls. Besides the UNESCO conference, the President will be having a briefing meeting with Director General UNESCO Iriva Bokova who is the host of the event. A Memorandum of Understanding to establish Malala Fund to promote education for girls is expected to be signed between Pakistan and UNESCO during this Presidential visit. Pakistan will provide seed money for the establishment of this fund. President Zardari will also meet French President Hollande to discuss bilateral issues during his three-day visit on December 9-11. Among other high-level International figures to participate in this conference include Jeam-Marc Aryalt, the Prime Minister of France, former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, UN Special Envoy for Global Education, Tarja Helnon former President of Finland, Michelle Bachelet Executive Director UN women education and Former President of Chile, Sheikh Abdullah Foreign Minister of UAE, Liela Zerrougui Under Secretary General and Special Representative of UN Secretary General for Children and Armed Conflict, Dr Abdulaziz Othoman Altwaiijri Director General ISESCO, Maria Arnholm State Secretary to Minister for Gender Equality and Deputy Minister for Education. British government is being represented by Baroness Sayeeda Warsi-- its first high profile Muslim Minister in the FCO holding as well the portfolio of Interfaith Relations and Human Rights. While the broader framework of Education for All (EFA) seeks universalisation of education for the less and under-privileged in line with the EFA goals and the priorities of the 'Education First' initiative, the overall objective of this event is to advocate for and promote right of girls to education, encompassing on all facets and all aspects of education, so that education becomes available and accessible to all girls. EFA framework will so moulded that it will be readily acceptable and adaptable to every country's specific needs and circumstances. Since Malala has come to be a global icon of hope and inspiration, defrosting the world-wide inertia, awakening and igniting a revolutionary reaction and mobilising support for education for girls globally, Pakistan's response has been quick, positive and a way forward to grapple the bull of illiteracy by the horns. President Zardari inspired by martyred leader Mohtarma Benazir Bhuto's desire to seek education for all girls and less privileged children, has been overly expressive of his determination to renew her and Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah's commitment to provide meaningful impetus to encourage, to protect, and to promote education for girls in line with the objective of achieving EFA's goals. Being held beyond the frontiers of Pakistan encompassing all those who consider education for girls as a must for fostering equality of genders, the historic Paris conference "Stand up For Malala" is a landmark manifestation and commitment of Government of Pakistan to take this opportunity to wake up and mobilize the global support for inalienable right of education for girls all over the world. This unparalleled initiative of Government of Pakistan and UNESCO shall blossom into a trail blazer for 61 million children across the world, most of which are girls, who want to be educated but can not go to schools for reasons beyond their circumstances and resources. The sublime objective of the Paris "Stand up for Malala" conference is to sensitize the global community about the importance of education for girls and enormous challenges and obstacles encountered by those millions of them seeking education. It will also pave way beyond basic schooling for advance education for girls as an imminent policy. "Stand up for Malala" would go a long way in motivating, mobilizing support and commitment from various participants for giving an accelerated boost to the global agenda for education of girls.
http://www.torontosun.comEgypt’s President Mohamed Mursi, facing street protests over his attempts to push through a new constitution, will soon authorise the armed forces to help police keep order, the state-run newspaper al-Ahram reported on Saturday. The daily said the cabinet had approved a legal measure under which the armed forces would help “maintain security and protect vital state institutions” and would be given powers of arrest, but did not say when it would be issued. The opposition was still staging protests around Mursi’s official palace, where clashes with his Islamist supporters killed seven people and wounded 350 earlier this week. Egypt’s military was the power behind all previous presidents and an army council temporarily took over after a popular revolt toppled Hosni Mubarak last year. However, Mursi pushed the generals aside in August, two months after he was elected and they have shown no appetite to intervene in the latest crisis in the most populous Arab nation.