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Thursday, January 31, 2013

PSL: Cricket Australia & Cricket South Africa Deny Support

Pakistan Super League (PSL) suffered a major blow as Cricket Australia and Cricket South Africa denied support for the upcoming Twenty20 competition. Pakistan Cricket Board's effort to bring international players for PSL suffered a setback on Wednesday, 30 January 2013. Pakistan will start Pakistan Super League in March 2013, which will be a 5-team T20 tournament. Cricket Australia made it clear that they would not support any contracted players participating in PSL.

A spokesman of Cricket Australia said: "Due to the ongoing security concerns in Pakistan, Cricket Australia and the Australian Cricketers’ Association would not be supportive of any international or state contracted player participating in the Pakistan Super League".

Cricket South Africa has also refused to issue NOCs to its players for Pakistan Super League, given the security situation in the country. South Africans were not satisfied with the idea of sending players to Pakistan after reviewing security situation in Pakistan.

PCB had offered $2 million life insurance & tax-free income for foreign players participating in Pakistan Super League. But the International union of Cricketers, FICA was not impressed by this offer. Federation of International Cricketers' Associations (FICA), along with England's players' representative, Professional Cricketers Association (PCA) had advised international cricketers to stay away from the League.

Geo News -
The News -

Friday, January 25, 2013

PSL: Foreign Players offered $2 million Life Insurance & Tax-free Income

Pakistan have offered a handsome insurance policy of $2 million worth and tax-free income for foreign cricketers who will participate in the Pakistan Super League (PSL). Cricket operations in Pakistan aren't tax exempted. But the PCB is offering residential and non-residential players tax-free income from the PSL. Apart from the "emerging" players, they stand to earn between $25,000 and $100,000 for taking part in a 10-day tournament. The base price for the top category diamond players starts at $100,000.

Pakistan have not hosted international cricket since terrorists attacked the Sri Lankan team bus in Lahore in March 2009. Since then they have had to play their "home" matches at offshore venues such as England and the UAE. The idea of having a PSL in the country is a strategic move by the PCB to win back the confidence of cricketing nations. Pakistan supplied 5,000 police and para-military personnel to provide security, when a World XI played two Twenty20 exhibitions in October 2012. Pakistan will host Pakistan Super League in March 2013, a 5-team T20 tournament.

But the world professional cricketers' union, Federation of International Cricketers' Associations (FICA) has raised its concerns over the security situation in Pakistan and warned players against taking part in the PSL, citing it an unmanageable risk. Professional Cricketers' Association (PCA), England's players representative, had also advised international cricketers to stay away from the Pakistan Super League.

PCB chairman, Zaka Ashraf told ESPNcricinfo: "We understand their concerns and we can't blame them". "It's the negative perception about Pakistan that has to be changed and people should understand that things are not so bad. "But for their sense of security we are offering an optional insurance policy worth $2 million for the satisfaction of their families. They will be our special guests and we are ensuring every possible step to give them security at a higher level and if they think this isn't enough they can take the insurance option as well."

"Government is ready to grant us the exemption on income of the PSL and it's an added advantage of our product for the players to earn tax free income," Zaka Ashraf said. "We are offering the most money compared to the other leagues in the world. In ten days you can get the most out of it before going to the IPL starting in April."

Cricinfo -
Telegraph -
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Saturday, January 12, 2013

No Intra-Party Elections By 114 Political Parties : ECP

Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has revealed that 114 political parties have not held intra-party elections in years. Holding these elections is not only a legal requirement under the election laws of the country, but it is also part of every political party's election manifesto.

The Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), Pakistan Muslim League - Quaid e Azam (PML-Q), Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), Pakistan Muslim League - Functional (PML-F), Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam Fazl (JUI-F) registered under Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA), Jamhoori Watan Party (JWP), Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party (PMAP), Qaumi Watan Party are among the 114 parties that have not held intra-party elections before the general elections and within the time frame given in their manifestoes.

Under its party manifesto, the ruling PPP is meant to hold elections every two years. However, the last time it did so was in 2006. Pakistan Muslim League-Functional (PML-F) under its party manifesto, has to hold party elections every three months; but has also failed to do so since 2009. PML-F is now led by the Pir Pagara Syed Sibaghtullah Shah Rashdi after the demise of his father Syed Shah Mardan Shah-II.

Likewise, the renowned Imran Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, which held its last intra-party elections almost 11 years back in 2002, is meant to hold the polls every four years. PTI is going through intra-party elections these days. It is hoped that this process will complete by the announcement of General Elections 2013.

Meanwhile, religious parties have also failed to fulfill the constitutional requirement. Religious parties – which contested in the 2002 elections, under the banner of Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA), while the JUI-F contested the 2008 polls under the MMA flagship – are supposed to hold intra-party elections every six months; however, they have not held any since 2007.

According to the Political Parties Act 2002, a political party is bound to fulfill two conditions to be eligible for elections, including submitting to the ECP a consolidated statement of accounts audited by a chartered accountant 60 days before the close of each financial year. The second requirement is to hold intra-party elections and submit its results to the ECP. Though the provisions do not provide any verification mechanism to the ECP, the law serves just a cosmetic exercise.

Parties usually file asset details and before the announcement of the election schedule release a statement claiming that intra-party polls were held. The list of the 'elected' office bearers of the party is attached with the statement.

However, election authorities have no mechanism to check the authenticity of such statements. Similar is the case when it comes to filing annual statements of assets by elected legislators for the national parliament and the members of the provincial assemblies.

Note: PTI Intra-Party Elections
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) is going through Intraparty polls already. Intra-Party Elections at UC Level in all provincess are underway at the moment. PTI is expected to complete this exercise before the announcement of 2013 General Elections.

Geo TV -
The Express Tribune -
Business Recorder -

Friday, January 11, 2013

Altaf Hussain Targeted Quaid e Azam's Nationality In His Political Drone Attack

Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) Chief Altaf Hussain in defence of holding dual nationality, said that Quaid e Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah also held British passport. Altaf claimed that Quaid-e-Azam took oath to remain loyal to British crown and his successors. He made a telephonic address in emergency meeting of MQM Executive Committee and workers in Lal Qila Ground Azizabad Karachi on 10 January 2012.

Altaf Hussain said that 99% of Pakistanis did not know the real historical facts. He echoed: "I do not want to keep the nation in dark", adding historical facts have been concealed from people in past. Altaf Hussain said: "It is wrong that Pakistan got independent status 1947". He claimed that Pakistan became a democratic republic in 1956 before which it was under the British Empire. Altaf had earlier said that his upcoming speech would set a new direction for students' research articles and studies. He had advised students to keep a pen and paper hand while listening to his address.

Altaf Hussain false attacks Quaid-e-Azam

MQM cheif showed the image of Quaid-e-Azam oath that he took as first Governor General of Pakistan. Altaf claimed that Quaid e Azam pledged to remain faithful to the King of England, George VI in his oath. He said that first three governor generals of Pakistan took the same oath, as it was a legal necessity. He also read a provision of Indian Independence Act 1947 which stated that the office of Governor-General in each of the two new countries (Pakistan and India), as representative of the British Crown.

Defending his stay in London, Altaf said he had been constantly in touch with his workers for the last 22 years. He advocated: "I was forced by circumstances to live away from country, it was not my choice". He echoed: "PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif stayed in Saudi Arabia for eight years on diplomatic passport when his government was toppled by Parvez Musharraf". He said that various leaders of PPP also lived abroad. Under the pretext of his arguments, Altaf tried to defend his dual nationality. He reasoned that one can be faithful to ones country despite having nationality of another country.

The News -
Geo News -
The Nation -
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Pakistan Today -

Pakistan Super League: PCB Launched Twenty20 League

Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) announced Thursday, 10 January 2013, that it would host Pakistan Super League (PSL) in March 2013 in hopes the Twenty20 competition can revive international cricket in Pakistan. PCB aims to host a multinational Twenty20 League on the lines of the cash-rich Indian Premier League (IPL), which has featured more than 100 foreign players since its inception in 2008.

Pakistan is suffering with no top-class international cricket since militants attacked the Sri Lankan Cricket team in March 2009. The tragic incidence killed eight Pakistanis and injured seven visiting players. Foreign teams have kept away from the troubled country over security fears, leaving Pakistan to play its home series in England and the United Arab Emirates.

The logo of the Pakistan Super League was unveiled at a colourful ceremony in Lahore,Pakistan. PCB chairman Zaka Ashraf, former International Cricket Council chief executive Haroon Lorgat and Pakistan captains Mohammad Hafeez and Misbah-ul Haq were present on the occasion of new T20 event launch.

Haroon Lorgat, who is acting as adviser to the new league, said he hoped the participation of foreign players would help Pakistan in a big way. "With the rising popularity of Twenty20 cricket, every ICC member country has the right to host its own league. Pakistan has done hard work and I hope with foreign players' participation, perceptions about the country will change", Lorgat echoed.

Cricinfo -
Geo News -
Dawn -

Thursday, January 10, 2013

BCCI ensured MS Dhoni got Man of the Match award in 3rd Ind-Pak ODI to boost morale: TOI

The decision to give Indian Captain MS Dhoni the Man of the Match award for 3rd Ind-Pak ODI on Sunday, 6 January 2013 has surprised many watchers. Though the skipper had top-scored in the match for India with 36, his wicket-keeping wasn't spectacular and he dropped the catch of Misbah-ul-Haq, his opposite team captain. Times of India (TOI) quoted from some sources that Dhoni wasn't the frontrunner for the award but left others behind to the accolade at the last minute. Insiders have accused the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) of influencing the jury of commentators to name MS Dhoni for the award for the match that India won by 10 runs. Team India has scored 167 in 50 overs, but managed to bowl-out Team Pakistan on 157 in 49th over.

MS Dhoni

Headlines claimed that a famous commentator received a call from a senior BCCI official and was clearly told to make sure that Dhoni was named Man of the Match. So the commentator proposed Dhoni's name during the jury meeting. Although there were protests, the one who proposed Dhoni's name was influential enough to ensure the decision was taken as the BCCI wanted, even though the announcement raised several eyebrows.

The decision surprised some commentators not involved in the decision making so much, that they questioned the reason of giving the Indian captain a 'consolation prize' when others deserved it more. Sources said the commentators who voted for Mahendra Singh Dhoni, claimed that the choice was unanimous. But one former cricketer who voted in favour of MS Dhoni told TOI that Dhoni was given the award to boost his morale at a time when the time wasn't doing well.

The contenders for Man of the Match (MoM) of Sunday included Pakistan's Saeed Ajmal, who was almost unplayable as he teased the Indian batting to claim his career best ODI performance of 5 for 24. He was on hattrick chance in 29th over after picking Suresh Raina and R Ashwin. He also ended little cameo innings of RA Jadeja. Saeed Ajmal's performance was the most dominated one throughout the match.

Saeed Ajmal

Another top contender was India's Ravindra Jadeja, who scored valuable 27 runs when Indians were struggling. Then bowled his spell of 10 overs economically giving away just 19 runs and picking a crucial wicket of Umar Akmal. He also fielded brilliantly throughout the match and took a brilliant catch in the deep.

Medium pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar was also in the running for MoM award for his magical opening spell which claimed two Pakistan wickets. Ishant Sharma was also another contender as his 3 wickets broken the backbone of Pakistan middle order. As far as the number of runs are concerned: Misbah-ul-Haq, Nasir Jamshed and SK Raina bagged similar scores to MS Dhoni. It is not known whether or not Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) complained about the MoM issue or not.

Times of India -
CricketNext -
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Geo News -

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Obesity on rise in Pakistan

Obesity and overweight are the fifth leading risk for global deaths. Estimates by the World Health Organization (WHO) suggest that 26 percent of women and 19 percent of men in Pakistan are obese. Women are 2-3 times more likely to be obese then men. Childhood obesity is increasing at an estimate of 10 percent. It was stated by Professor Dr. Muhammad Iqbal Choudhary, Director International Center for Chemical and Biological Sciences (ICCBS), Karachi University.

He delivered a lecture at the 4th International Symposium-Cum-Training Course on Molecular Medicine and Drug Research being held at the International Center for Chemical and Biological Sciences (ICCBS) on Wednesday, 9 Janary 2013. Over 350 scientists are attending the international event, which is organised by Dr Panjwani Center for Molecular Medicine and Drug Research (PCMD), University of Karachi. It includes 35 foreign scientists from 24 countries.

Fatness in Pakistan

Dr. Iqbal said that obesity had become a serious health problem globally, as a result of an imbalance between energy intake and expenditure. The molecular cascade involves in obesity and associated disorders are not fully understood. Proliferation of adipocytes plays an important role in the onset and progression of obesity, he said. Obesity is linked to a number of serious health risks like heart disease and stroke, high blood pressure, diabetes, cancer and more.

Overweight and obesity are major risk factors for a number of chronic diseases, including diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and cancer. Once considered a problem only in high income countries, overweight and obesity are now on the rise in low and middle-income countries as well. Obesity and overweight are largely preventable; the intake of healthier foods, and regular physical activity are easiest ways to prevent obesity, he added.

There is an urgent need to have R&D programme in the field of anti-obesity drug discovery and development, he urged. He echoed that the fundamental causes of obesity are an increased intake of energy-dense foods that are high in fat, salt and sugars but low in vitamins, minerals and other micronutrients; and a decrease in physical activity due to the increasingly sedentary nature of many forms of work, changing modes of transportation and increasing urbanization.

Overweight due to Fast Food

Talking about the multi-drug-resistant pathogens, he said that a rapid decline in research and development on new antibiotics coincides with increasing frequency of infections caused by multi-drug-resistant pathogens. The key reason of bacterial resistance is the indiscriminate of suboptimal use of antibiotics.

During the first three days of the symposium, various lectures of the national and international scientists were held on different scientific issues. The event is scheduled for January 7 - 10, 2013.

The News -
Geo News -
4th International Symposium-Cum-Training Course on Molecular Medicine and Drug Research

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

India to build 292 Dams in Himalayas causing 8% reduction in Indus River water

Government of India (GOI) aims to build 292 hydroelectric dams throughout the Indian Himalaya over the next several decades. India Govt is embarking on a fast-track dam-building program, which will result in roughly a dam every 20 miles. If completed, the 7,000- to 11,000-megawatt dams will double current hydropower capacity and will meet about 6% of projected national energy needs by 2030. India's total carbon emissions are projected to more than double by 2030, with the use of coal set to expand. New dams can play dual role, helping to limit carbon emissions while providing power to needy people.

Indian government is not been hesitant about relocating its citizens. India is second only to China in embracing the practice. Estimates of the number of people already displaced by Indian dams in past decades range from 16.4 million to 40 million. Because India has not approached the subject of resettlement in a people-friendly way, its citizens are organizing more powerful resistance movements against hydropower development. It included protest by Tawang people mostly monks and villagers led by Save Mon Region Federation (SMRF) on 25 December 2012 in Itanagar, Arunachal Pradesh. It also included media coverage of the divastating situation resulting in protest against Neelum-Jhelum hydropower project, although such efforts receive relatively little attention in the Western press.

Dams on Indian Himalayas

Impact on species and ecosystems will be disastrous according to an estimate by Dr. Grumbine and Dr. Pandit that was published on 26 December 2012 in Conservation Biology. The dams are proposed in areas of the Himalayas that are rich in biodiversity. And their creation threatens to submerge over 130,000 acres of forest, which would probably push 22 plants and seven vertebrate groups into extinction by 2025, according to an estimate by Dr. Grumbine and Dr. Pandit that was published earlier this year in Conservation Biology.

How this dam-building exercise will affect communities and ecosystems in neighboring downstream countries like Pakistan Bangladesh is not discussed much. Scientists predict that by 2050, the water supply from the Brahmaputra and Indus — two major rivers among the 28 that would receive dams — will decrease by about 20 percent and 8 percent, respectively. These water-supply reductions will cut the rivers' capacity to produce electricity, and in reult undermine the dams' purpose.

India loses about 20 to 30 percent of the total power it generates annually, as a result of poor grid transmission and energy theft. This amount is greater than current hydropower production. If power losses could be reduced, the need for building more dams would lessen.

Newyork Times -
ScienceMag -
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Skardu temperature lowers to -17°C while Astore -15°C & Hunza -12°C

Temperature of Skardu in Gilgit-Baltistan regin of Pakistan has droppped to -17°C. While Astore and Hunza witnessed -15°C and -12°C repectively. Although the snowfall has stopped for time being in the region, but the freezing wind from the mountainous range has decreased the temperature. Cold weather in Attaabad has frozen lakes and streams in the region. Snow has covered and blocked the roads in Northern Areas of Pakistan. Azad Kashmir, Malakand, Hazara and FATA continue to suffer due to harsh weather.

People living in Pakistan's Northern Areas are facing several difficulties due to blockage of roads and unavailability of gas. Sky rocketing prices of gas cylinders and wood for burning is adding misery to the population problems. A passenger coach turned turtle due to heavy fog injuring six passengers in Muzaffargarh, Azad Kashmir.

According to the Pakistan Met Office (, the current cold wave will continue to freeze different parts of Gilgit-Baltistan, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, Kashmir and Balochistan for the coming three days. While the plain areas of Punjab and Sindh will remain covered in dense haze.

Severe cold weather in Pakistan's upper regions

Snow has covered and blocked the roads in Gilgit-Baltistan. Cold weather in Attaabad has frozen lakes and streams in the region. According to Pakistan met department (, the temperature in Skardu has dipped to the lowest of -17 degrees in the country. Temperature has dropped to -15 in Atore and -12 in Hunza. Malakand, Hazara, Azad Kashmir and tribal areas continue to suffer due to harsh weather.

Harsh weather in upper areas of Pakistan

Residents of Northern Areas of Pakistan are facing many difficulties due to blockage of roads and unavailability of gas. Adding to the problems is the sky rocketing prices of gas cylinders and wood for burning. A passenger bus turned upside down due to fog that injured six persons in Muzaffargarh.

Source: Geo News -

Several cities of Pakistan face cold wave and thick fog

Upper areas of Gilgit-Baltistan are facing extreme weather conditions where the temperature has decreased below the freezing point. Snowfall has now halted in northern areas. But the freezing wind from the mountainous range has decreased the temperature. The minimum temperature of -17 was recorded in Skardu, -15 in Astore and -12 in Hunza.

Extreme cold weather conditions in Pakistan

People in Kashmir, Sawat, Malamjabba, Kalam, Kurram Agency and Hazara Division are also facing extreme winters. While the plain areas of Punjab and Sindh remained covered under thick fog. A passenger coach turned turtle in Muzaffargarh, Azad Kashmir; due to dense haze wounding six passengers.

The met department of Pakistan ( told that the current cold wave will continue to freeze different parts of Balochistan, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan for the next three days.

Source: Geo News (