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Showing posts from June, 2008

India Beaten By Pakistan in the Final

DIRECT flights between Leeds and Pakistan will be restored from next month

Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) will fly twice a week to Islamabad, the capital of Pakistan, from July 2.

Flights to Pakistan from Leeds were launched earlier this year by Pakistan's second national carrier, Shaheen Air International, but thADVERTISEMENTey were dropped in May after just four months. The airline blamed "lack of aircraft availability" for its decision.

Tony Hallwood, commercial director at Leeds Bradford International Airport, said: "We are extremely pleased. A direct flight to Islamabad by PIA, one the leading international airlines, is a major achievement for the airport.

"It is excellent news for Yorkshire, confirming that Leeds Bradford is Yorkshire's premier international gateway," he added.

Mr Hallwood said he was particularly pleased with the speed with which a new operator had been found.

PIA managing director, Mohammad Aijaz Haroon, said: "PIA's flight operation meets the demand of our customers in the Bradford and wid…

Pakistan beat Canada to win 4-nation tournament

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DUBLIN, June 16 (APP): All time reliable right winger Rehan Butt scored a penalty corner goal two minutes before the close to set up Pakistan’s title 3-2 win over Olympic qualifiers Canada in the final of a four nation tournament here on Sunday night.

Infact the green shirts came from behind to equaliser at 2-2 before being 1-0 at break as Canada caused much panic for a much fancied former masters of the game by challenging their authority making it 1-1 and then established the edge at 2-1. Rehan, declared best players of the tournament scored twice to live up to the reputations of one of world’s finest right winger.

With this victory Pak team ended a title dead lock. Their last win was in July last year in a 4-nation tournament in Moscow.

Pak team maintained its style of striking victories in the event by bouncing back after conceding goals,the way they did against host and defending champions of the tournament, Ireland whom they beat 4-2 and then played a 3-3 draw against…

Pakistan Beat India in Cricket Final

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Butt and Younis inspire Pakistan to title

Pakistan 315 for 3 (Butt 129, Younis 108) beat India 290 (Dhoni 64, Yuvraj 56, Gul 4-57) by 25 runs

A familiar nemesis and a battle-scarred warhorse inspired a downcast bunch to brave the odds and hand Pakistan their first multi-nation title in more than five years. In front of their board chairman, who had lashed out after their previous loss, and their coach, who was criticised for his overly optimistic statements, Pakistan turned in an intense, yet controlled, performance to clinch the Kitply Cup and head home upbeat for the Asia Cup.

In an era of slam-bang cricket, Pakistan reverted to a strategy straight out of the early 1990s: win the toss, bat, see off the new ball, keep wickets, accelerate and launch a big score. From 75 for 1 in the 20th over, on a pitch where the ball appeared to be stopping on the batsmen, they soared to 315. Salman Butt cracked his fifth hundred against India, and seventh overall, but it was Younis Khan's pumped-up century that charmed - under the cosh …

Football fans held in Kashmir over pro-Pakistan slogans

SRINAGAR, Kashmir (Reuters) - About a dozen spectators were detained in Indian Kashmir for shouting pro-Pakistan slogans at a soccer match aimed at generating goodwill and ending alienation among locals, police said on Monday.

Those detained were among 5,000 people who had come to watch Sunday's final of the Indian national soccer championship, a rare major sporting event held in the violence-racked region.

They shouted "we want freedom, long live Pakistan" before police led them away, a senior police official told Reuters.

"Ten persons have been detained for provocative sloganeering and for inciting others," said the official, who asked not to be identified.

A number of Muslim militant groups are fighting Indian security forces in the region, seeking either Kashmiri independence or the merger of India's only Muslim majority state with Pakistan.

Tens of thousands of people have been killed in violence involving Indian troops and separatist militants since a bloo…

Delivery of four F-16s this month

WASHINGTON: The US Congress has approved the delivery of ten refurbished F-16 fighter jets to Pakistan, diplomatic sources have told Dawn.

Four of these will be delivered to Pakistan on June 28 and four others by July 28. Pakistan has already received two such aircraft.

Two refurbished F-16s are with the manufacturers and will be delivered soon.

Besides the refurbished planes, Pakistan is buying 18 new F-16 fighter jets from the United States.

Initially, Islamabad had agreed to buy 36 of these aircraft at a total cost of $5.1 billion, which included associated weapons, spares and upgrading of an earlier fleet purchased in the 1980s.

But due to financial constraints it later decided to halve the number of aircraft to be bought.

The decision to reduce the order by half would also halve the cost of buying new F-16s and that of the weapons associated with them.

Pakistan, however, will still have to spend $1.3 billion on mid-life update and modification of the F-16A/B aircraft purchased earlier. …

THE detention of paceman Mohammad Asif

THE detention of paceman Mohammad Asif in Dubai on charges of possessing contraband drugs is the latest in a series of shocks that have left Pakistan cricket reeling. With Shoaib Akhtar fighting to have a life ban lifted, the Pakistan Cricket Board chief having just retracted his defamation suit against the maverick fast bowler, the PCB getting partial with the truth in its dealings with the Senate Standing Committee on Sports, rumours of financial bungling within the board, uncertainty over the future of the national coach and, amid all this confusion, the falling standard of the team�s performance, there can be little doubt that Pakistan cricket is in bad shape both on and off the field. It would take some bravado to even attempt a denial. That a senior official has now been rushed to Dubai for damage control is yet another indication of the PCB�s tendency to be more reactive than proactive. Indeed, no one can be expected to keep a constant eye on individual players, but corrective …

Why blame America?

By Humayun Gauhar submitted 22 hours 12 minutes ago

What is "the establishment" is a question that has never properly been answered. But since this amorphous entity has become the favourite whipping boy of losers who blame all their failures on "the establishment", the question demands an answer. The best way to describe "the establishment" is that it is that collection of vested interests that always ensure that the status quo isn't disturbed either by organised revolution (unlikely in Pakistan) or maverick rulers (regular in Pakistan).
Revolution is neither in our history and nor, one is forced to deduce, in our psyche. We regularly side with one "devil" to get rid of another and call it revolution. Then we get into bed with the same old "devil" we had removed to get rid of the "devil" we were in bed with first. Again we call it revolution. And so goes our "revolutionary" syndrome, on and on and on... The maveri…

The USA: Hurtling Towards A Catastrophe, Head On

By G. Asgar Mitha

Several years ago, maybe 1995, I remember reading an article in the Pakistani daily newspaper “The Dawn” titled “Jews Rule America”. The article was written by the late Dr. Eqbal Ahmed who passed away in Pakistan in 1999 from heart failure. Dr. Ahmed, in his article wrote as an opener that the title was not his. It was borrowed from a Tel Aviv newspaper he read on an airline en route to his destination. In fact, the contents of the article, as I remember correctly were borrowed from a sermon given in a synagogue by a Rabbi. Dr. Ahmed was not anti-Semitic or anti –Israeli and for the matter of fact neither am I. A nation has all rights to exist. What follows is what I, too, recently read in the Israeli newspaper Haaretz. Most Muslims are not anti-Israeli. Like any Jew, every Muslim wants to live in peace and that is what 95% of the world’s human beings also aspire. For both Jews and Muslims, the greetings are Shalom or Salam meaning peace. Unfortunately, war is thrust …

Kala Kola Klub — Khalid Hasan

Admiral Ardeshir Cowasjee has always had a thing about dyed hair, which makes it hard to answer why he is such an ardent admirer of Gen. Musharraf. I suppose it is something else about him that he likes so much that he is prepared to overlook his jet black head of hair

What is common between President Pervez Musharraf, Imran Khan, Sheikh Rashid Ahmed, Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain and Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry? Even a schoolboy knows the answer: They are all members of the Kala Kola Klub.

Imran Khan is a member with enhanced credentials. He has had a hair transplant too and he has had it dyed. I am a life-long member of the Imran Khan fan club and I would be in his corner even if he dyed his hair shocking pink. And even if he had no hair.

Since we are on transplants, at the risk of having Raiwind county guards set bloodhounds after me, were I reckless enough to enter its green acres, mention needs to be made of the most famous of our transplanted: the brothers Nawaz and Shahbaz…

Who is the movement against?

The impressive gathering in front of the parliament in Islamabad in the early hours of Saturday is supposed to have sent a particular message to certain quarters. What did the message contain? Was there one message or more than one? For whom was it meant? What impact did it have? If there was a message or messages, were they being articulated by one party or many? Who were the people in the big crowd in Islamabad ? Unfortunately, the answers to these questions are not clear. There are as many answers as there are contenders in the movement.

Analysts of the phenomenon are of two kinds: those who support the gathering with a cool and rational head and those who cannot prevent their anger and passion from slipping into their assessments. So there is virtually no impartial observer.

There are 130 district bars in Pakistan and the total number of lawyers in the country is just over 100,000. The long march and gathering was supposed to be of the lawyers’ movement but it was forcefully strengt…

Pakistan hands over 4 Jundallah men to Iran

TEHRAN: Pakistan has handed over four Iranian militants to Iran, including the brother of a Sunni militant leader in restive southeastern Iran, AP quoted Iranian state media as reporting on Saturday. The handover took place as part of a security pact between Iran and Pakistan, state television said. Jundallah (Army of Allah) leader Abdolmalek Rigi’s brother Abdolhamid Rigi was handed over to Iran on Friday night, the IRNA news agency said. “Rigi had been jailed in Quetta over the past year,” IRNA said, adding that he had sought to declare himself along with 15 others as Pakistani nationals. “But he was handed over after officials presented evidence that these people are to be prosecuted in Iran,” it said. The Rigis are members of Iran’s ethnic Balochi minority, which can also be found in Pakistan and Afghanistan. Rigi has claimed his group fights for the rights of Sunni Muslims oppressed by Iran’s Shia government. Meanwhile, Pakistan has launched a search for 16 Iranian border guards …

Inspired Pakistan takes down India

Dhaka: Adversity can throw up heroes, produce men for the moment. The resurgent Pakistanis were a bundle of joy under the lights.

Shoaib Malik’s men played the key moments of the contest better to clinch a thrilling 25-run win in the final of the Kitply tri-series at the Sher-e-Bangla Stadium here on Saturday night.

Well-paced centuries from Salman Butt and Younis Khan powered Pakistan to 315 for three after the side won a crucial toss. Then Umar Gul & Co. closed out a tense duel.

Salman Butt was adjudged Player of the Series, and Younis Khan, Man of the Final.

A determined Mahendra Singh Dhoni (64, 59b, 3x4, 2x6) kept India in the hunt till the last stretch with calculated aggression before being held in the deep off leg-spinner Shahid Afridi with ten deliveries remaining.

Gul employed the short ball effectively initially and impressed with his swing and yorker length at the death. Left-armer Sohail Tanvir’s craft was visible in the manner he used the crease and changed the angles.

A Line Not To Be Crossed

By ERIC MARGOLIS, TORONTO SUN

The killing of 11 Pakistani soldiers by U.S. air and artillery strikes last week shows just how quickly the American-led war in Afghanistan is spreading into neighbouring Pakistan.

Pakistan's military branded the air attack "unprovoked and cowardly." There was outrage across Pakistan. However, the unstable government in Islamabad, which depends on large infusions of U.S. aid, later softened its protests.

The U.S., which used a B-1 heavy bomber and F-15 strike aircraft in the attacks, called its action, "self-defence."

This latest U.S. attack on Pakistan could not come at a worse time. Supreme Court justices ousted by the Pervez Musharraf dictatorship staged national protests this week, underscoring the illegality of Musharraf's continuing presidency and its unseemly support by the U.S., Britain, Canada and France. Asif Zardari, head of the ruling Pakistan People's Party, shamefully joined Musharraf in opposing restoration of th…

Kalat or Qalat – A town in The Balochistan Province of Pakistan

Kalat or Qalat (Urdu: قلات) is a historical town located in Kalat District, Balochistan, Pakistan. Kalat is the capital of Kalat District and is known locally as Kalat-e Baluch.



Kalat, formerly Kilat, is located roughly in the center of Balochistan, Pakistan, south and slightly west of the provincial capital Quetta. It was the capital of the Kalat Khanate. The population is almost completely muslim.



Kalat

The town of Kalat is said to have been founded by and named Kalat-e Sewa, after Sewa, a legendary hero of the Brahui people.



The origins of the Brahui speaking tribes are uncertain, but their language indicates they are a Northern Dravidian people whose language has been modified by residence in the proximity of largely Iranian peoples, most notably the Baloch with whom the Brahui have been greatly mixed. The Brahui people had already long been resident in the Kalat area when the Balochi speaking tribes arrived from the west. The Balochis established a large kingdom in the 15th century,…

Pakhtoon Defenders ready to defend Pakistan

GHALANAI, Pakistan - Fiercely independent tribesmen, angered by a U.S. air strike that killed 11 Pakistani soldiers this week, vowed to raise a militia to help Pakistan's army defend the border with Afghanistan.

Pakistan, a staunch ally in the U.S.-led war on terrorism, denounced Tuesday's attack on a border post in the Mohmand tribal region as "unprovoked and cowardly" and said it could undermine the cooperation in the battle against al Qaeda and the Taliban.

Elders from ethnic Pashtun tribes in Mohmand, one of seven semi-autonomous tribal regions, issued a statement late on Thursday condemning the attack as "naked aggression" and said they were ready to raise a "lashkar", or army.

"It's the duty of the government to protect and defend the frontiers and we are ready to raise a lashkar to help our army in their cause," the elders said.

"We are ready to fight for our homeland as we fought in Kashmir in 1948," they said, referrin…

Time for solutions in Balochistan

The Balochistan National Party’s (Mengal) president Sardar Akhtar Mengal, is demanding that all Balochistan projects including Gwadar Port and the Iran-Pakistan-India (IPI) gas pipeline should be scrapped because they were formulated and finalised during the Musharraf regime. He repeated his stance that all resources must be controlled by the people of Balochistan and that the issue of Balochistan’s autonomy could not be achieved through the 1973 Constitution. He said: “The Balochistan issue is not so simple that it can be resolved by seeking forgiveness”. According to him, the Baloch were always ready for a dialogue but the governments had let them down in the past. He also demanded release of all “disappeared” Baloch nationalists. Earlier, on June 6, his lieutenant, Mr Sanaullah Baloch, had resigned as a member of the Senate “in protest against the injustices and the army operation in Balochistan which had led to the killing of Nawab Akbar Khan Bugti”. Mr Baloch did this after retur…

Pakhtoon Defenders of Pakistan

The growth of resistance in tribal region of north-western Pakistan and southern Afghanistan is usually attributed to the popularity of their messianic brand of Islam and to covert help from Pakistan.
But the Pakistani Pakhtoon identity has a large part to play in this issue as the increasing co-operation between Pakistani Pakhtoon nationalist and Islamist forces against American domination.
In Afghanistan, where the Pakhtoon are the largest single ethnic group, they bitterly resent the disproportionate influence enjoyed by the Tajik ethnic minority in the regime of Hamid Karzai, a legacy of US collaboration with Tajik militias in overthrowing the Taliban. More importantly, it is the Pakhtoon who have been the main victims of US-NATO bombing attacks on the Taliban, who are largely Pakhtoon and operate almost entirely in Pakistani Pakhtoon territory. In one authoritative estimate, civilian casualties in Afghanistan have numbered nearly 5,000 since 2001.
In Pakistan, census data indica…

Pakistan fury at deadly US strike

Pakistan's Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani has condemned an air strike by Afghanistan-based US forces that Islamabad says killed 11 of its troops.

The incident took place inside Pakistan, near the border with Afghanistan.

The incident comes as relations between the US and Pakistan militaries have been hit by mounting tensions.

The soldiers' deaths occurred overnight at a border post in the mountainous Gora Prai region in Mohmand, one of Pakistan's tribal areas, across the border from Afghanistan's Kunar province.


Cowardly act


It is the worst incident of its kind since US and Nato-led forces began fighting militants in Afghanistan in 2001.

Prime Minister Gilani condemned the deaths, telling parliament: "We will take a stand for the sake of this country's sovereignty, for the sake of its dignity and self-respect".

"We do not allow our territory to be used. We completely condemn this, and will take it up through the foreign office."

Pakistan's m…

Surrey boosted by Razzaq signing

Surrey have announced the signing of Pakistan all-rounder Abdul Razzaq.

Razzaq, 28, joins the Brown Caps on a short-term deal for the remainder of their Twenty20 Cup campaign, starting from Friday against Kent at the Oval.

Surrey coach Alan Butcher told BBC London 94.9: "He's an experienced international cricketer and has always been known for his dynamic output.

"Twenty20 suits his style of play down to a tee and we felt that we needed some of the skills he can provide."

Razzaq will replace Surrey's current overseas player Matthew Nicholson for the three week Twenty20 Cup period in June.

Butcher added: "The Pakistani cricketers have proved very adept with hitting the ball out of the park in the latter stages of innings, bowling slower balls, reverse swing and Razzaq is someone who brings that to the game."

Razzaq previously played for both Middlesex and Worcestershire.

Major Guantanamo setback for Bush

Foreign suspects held in Guantanamo Bay have the right to challenge their detention in US civilian courts, the US Supreme Court has ruled.

In a major legal setback for the Bush administration, the court overturned by five to four a ruling upholding a 2006 law which removed such rights.

It is not clear if the ruling will lead to prompt hearings for the detainees.

Some 270 men are held at the US naval base, on suspicion of terrorism or links to al-Qaeda and the Taleban.

US President George W Bush said he would abide by the court's ruling even if he did not agree with it.

Human rights groups have welcomed the move, Amnesty International saying it was an "essential step forward towards the restoration of the rule of law".

Thursday's ruling potentially resurrects several cases which had been put on hold in recent months.

Federal judges, law clerks and court administrators are scrambling to read the 70-page opinion and work out how to proceed.

And a military lawyer for Osa…

Why Euro 2008 is a political game

By Gideon Rachman

1. Small countries prosper
The European Union is set up partly to defend the rights of small nations. And so it seems are the European football championships. Small countries that would never stand a chance in the World Cup can win the Euro championships. Greece won Euro 2004; the Danes won in 1992, Holland won in 1988 and Czechoslovakia won in 1976. The fact that the European soccer championship is a shorter tournament, with fewer teams than the World Cup makes it easier for a small country to go on a winning streak. It also helps that Brazil and Argentina aren’t allowed to compete. Top tip among the tiddlers for 2008 is Portugal, led by their magnificent, hair-gelled winger Cristiano Ronaldo.

2. You can mention the war
For historical reasons, many teams in Europe particularly enjoy beating Germany. The Danish, Dutch and Czech tournament triumphs all featured emotionally satisfying victories over the Germans. But these old grievances are fading with the passage of tim…

Pope hails Irish role in Europe

Diarmaid Fleming
BBC NI Dublin Correspondent

The pope has timed a speech about the role of Ireland in European history to coincide with the eve of the Lisbon Referendum.

Pope Benedict has used his weekly audience to praise the central role of Irish missionaries in European history, a day before voters go to the polls to decide the future of the Lisbon Treaty.

Speaking to tens of thousands of pilgrims in St Peter's Square, the Pope gave a sermon about the life of St Columbanus, an Irish monk born in 543 who travelled to Europe to spread Christianity.

In his speech charting the saint's life, Pope Benedict said that Columbanus could be called a "European saint".

The Pope explained that Columbanus, who was born in Leinster, entered monastic life in Bangor aged 20, before leaving "with 12 companions to begin missionary work on the European continent, where the migration of peoples from the north and the east had caused entire Christian regions to lapse back into pag…

Respect for law is in Russia's interest

By Gideon Rachman

A burglar breaks into your house, ties you up and starts loading your possessions into a bag labelled "swag". From behind your gag, you say: "May I suggest that behaving in this fashion is not in your long-term interests?" That could be true. But the remark still sounds a little weak.

Such bleating, however, tends to be the stock response of western businesses when they run into nastiness in Russia. The current dispute between BP and its Russian partners does not involve overt law-breaking. But BP executives may feel that they are being subjected to a sort of legalised mugging.

Tony Hayward, BP's chief executive, is struggling to rescue the situation. Last week he issued the standard, futile appeal to Russian self-interest, arguing that the country's economic future depends on "consistent application of the rule of law".

BP's Russian partners may, in fact, have some legitimate grievances about the management of their joint ventu…

America Declares War On Pakistan

First shots have been fired in war between United States of America & Pakistan.

Do not get me wrong, but Americans have started a war by killing 12 solders from Frontier Corps paramilitary force and one more attack like this will start a wave that will make sure that Pakistani Government will no longer be able to support American war in Afghanistan.

I believe that events are moving at a speed which is no longer in the hands of government in Pakistan. The best the Pakistani government can do is to protest the American attack in strongest possible terms and allow retaliation if this kind of thing takes place again.

I know that Pakistani paramilitary forces are outnumbered and outgunned on the Western border by the Americans and the NATO troops but so are the many nations on this planet. Being lesser in firepower does not stop any attacked nation to defend itself against foreign invaders/attackers. Pakistanis must fight tooth and nail if war is imposed upon them.

On the other hand Am…

Seperatists Shutdown in India's famous Darjeeling region

New Delhi - Business came to standstill Tuesday and scores of tourists were stranded after a regional party called an indefinite shutdown in India's eastern Darjeeling demanding a separate state within India for the Gorkha people.

The strike call by Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (Gorkha People's Liberation Front) met with a good response as most of the shops, markets and business establishments remained closed.

Hundreds of tourists had started leaving Darjeeling Monday after the GJM announced plans to shut down. But officials estimated that 10,000 tourists including dozens of foreign tourists, were stranded in the nearby Siliguri city in the plains.

Since early Tuesday, GJM activists had started blocking highways in the region linking Darjeeling to other districts in the eastern state of West Bengal.

Some outbreaks of violence were reported from the neighbouring Jalpaiguri district and at least 350 GJM supporters were arrested after clashes with the local people and police, PTI news …