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Updated: 8 hours 59 min ago

Saulat Mirza’s wife claims he did not kill Shahid Hamid

11 hours 28 min ago

KARACHI: The wife of Karachi’s most notorious target killer has claimed that her husband did not murder K-Electric Managing Director (MD) Shahid Hamid in 1997, despite the fact he has confessed to the murder a number of times.

“Saulat is not a murderer. He did not kill Shahid Hamid,” she said, speaking to The Express Tribune.

Mrs Saulat – as she likes being called – maintains her husband did not pull the trigger on the former Karachi Electric Supply Corporation’s (KESC) MD.

In her quest to absolve her husband of blame, she is making strong appeals to the government to launch a re-investigation into the murder for which he is sentenced to death.

Read: Saulat’s love: The woman behind Karachi’s most notorious target killer

“His role should be re-investigated. He was part of a team which got directions [to carry out the crime],” she said. Saulat himself confessed hours before his execution on March 19 that he murdered Hamid on the directions of Muttahida Qaumi Movement chief Altaf Hussain.

The son of the slain managing director of K-Electric, Omar Shahid Hamid, however, ruled out the possibility of forgiving his father’s killer.

“My father was killed while performing his official duties, this murder was not due to any personal enmity or grudge,” he told Javed Chaudhry, the host of Express News programme Kal Tak on March 20.

Mirza’s wife, however, has insisted that the case “should be investigated – whether he was an accomplice? Whether he was the one passing directions? Or was he the one driving?”

She said other ‘high-profile’ MQM leaders were also nominated in the First Inquiry Report (FIR) but they were never arrested. She demands that they too should be punished.

The last time she met Mirza was a week ago at Mach Jail, where she said her husband, who is usually expressive, now maintains complete silence on party discussions.

Read: Confession from death row: Saulat Mirza says he killed KESC chief on Altaf’s order

“When he heard that the MQM had disowned him, he was shocked. And now he becomes quiet when we talk about it,” she said.

She also said he deeply regrets joining the party and keeps asking his wife about young MQM activists.

“Larkay kia bol rahay hain. Aankhain khul rahi hain un ki?” (What are the boys saying? Have their eyes opened to the situation around them?), she quoted him as saying.

Mirza’s wife remains hopeful that the outcome of her struggle would be positive for both herself and her husband.

Read: Death warrant re-issued for Saulat Mirza

“Being hopeful is part of our religion. I was hopeful the last time I met him and I am hopeful even today,” she said.

The post Saulat Mirza’s wife claims he did not kill Shahid Hamid appeared first on The Express Tribune.

Categories: Pakistan & World News

South Korean gets plastic surgery ahead of robbery spree

11 hours 52 min ago

Reuters – Police in South Korea say a man who was jailed for theft a decade ago had plastic surgery to obscure his identity and embark on a nine-month robbery spree beginning last April that netted cash and goods worth more than $479,000.

The 35-year-old-man was arrested on March 23 for 87 cases of robbery across the country, a police officer in the city of Incheon said by telephone.

The police officer said the suspect, who had been jailed for robbery in 2005, underwent surgery to alter the structure of his jaw and also procedures to stretch his limbs to gain height.

The suspect confessed to the robberies but said he had the surgery because he did not like his appearance, the officer said.

South Korea is home to more than 4,000 plastic surgery clinics and has the world’s highest rate of cosmetic procedures.

The suspect devised his own tools to disable digital locks to break into houses, the police officer said.

($1=1,105.7800 won)

The post South Korean gets plastic surgery ahead of robbery spree appeared first on The Express Tribune.

Categories: Pakistan & World News

UN says attack on Yemen camp broke law, calls for accountability

12 hours 37 min ago

An air strike that killed at least 40 people at a camp for displaced people in north Yemen was a violation of international law and those responsible should be held accountable, the United Nations said on Tuesday.

The Mazraq camp for displaced people near Haradh was struck on Monday, humanitarian workers said. Some 200 people were wounded, dozens of them seriously, the International Organization for Migration said.

“We have not identified who is responsible for this attack,” UN spokesperson Farhan Haq said. “Whichever forces are hitting them are in violation of the law, there should be accountability for that and ultimately all such attacks have to cease.”

Read: 62 children killed in Yemen in past week: UNICEF

Saudi Arabia is leading a coalition of Arab states in a six-day-old air campaign against the Houthis, who emerged as the most powerful force in the Arabian Peninsula’s poorest country when they seized Yemen’s capital last year.

A Saudi military spokesperson said on Monday the kingdom was seeking clarification on the incident.

Mazraq, in the province of Hajja next to the Saudi border, is a cluster of camps that are home to thousands of Yemenis displaced by over a decade of wars between the Houthis and the Yemeni state, as well as East African migrants.

“Whoever is responsible, this is a violation of international humanitarian and human rights law. This camp, as well as the hospitals that have also been hit, are under protected status and should not be hit,” Haq said.

Haq said the United Nations has now withdrawn its remaining 13 international staff from Yemen, leaving several hundred local staff to continue the world body’s work. There were about 100 international UN staff members in Yemen.

Read: Another PIA flight to bring stranded Pakistanis from Yemen

In response to calls by Yemen for an Arab ground intervention, Haq said: “We would be concerned about any further escalation of this conflict.”

The UN Children’s Fund, Unicef, said on Tuesday that at least 62 children have been killed and 30 injured during fighting in Yemen over the past week.

Separately, at least 37 workers were killed when a dairy in western Yemen was bombed overnight, an official said Wednesday after a seventh night of Saudi-led air strikes against Shiite rebels.

Eighty others were wounded at the plant in Hodeida, provincial governor Hasan al-Hai said, without specifying whether the factory was hit by an air strike or rebel shelling.The head of the provincial health authorities, Abdulrahman Jarallah, gave a slightly different toll of 35 people killed and dozens wounded.

Part of the factory was destroyed and rescue teams were looking for survivors under the rubble, according to a medic at a Hodeida hospital that received the dead and wounded.

The circumstances of the bombing were unclear, with some witnesses saying the dairy was hit by a coalition air strike and others blaming rebel forces loyal to former president Ali Abdullah Saleh.

The post UN says attack on Yemen camp broke law, calls for accountability appeared first on The Express Tribune.

Categories: Pakistan & World News

Djokovic storms back to reach Miami quarters, Murray bags 500th victory

12 hours 42 min ago

MIAMI: Desperate Novak Djokovic fought back from a set and a break down to defeat Alexandr Dolgopolov 6-7 (3/7), 7-5, 6-0 Tuesday, salvaging hopes of defending his Miami Open title.

World number one Djokovic won 24 of the last 27 points to reach a quarter-final against Spanish sixth seed David Ferrer, a 7-6 (7/5), 6-0 winner over Frenchman Gilles Simon at the ATP and WTA hardcourt tournament.

Ukraine challenger Dolgopolov was unable to stretch his lead to a double break in the second set, Djokovic saving two break points in the fourth game.

“I was really frustrated,” Djokovic said. “I was trying to calm myself down, because inside there was a big fire. You could see a little bit of that in the first set.

“Just try to get to the state of mind where I have a serene, controlled mind and emotions and where I’m able to just be in the present moment. That’s where I was focusing on.”

The Serbian top seed turned the match on its head in a 22-minute final set in which he could do no wrong, sustaining his chance for a US double after his Indian Wells final victory over Roger Federer.

Dolgopolov began breaking down in the third set after getting blisters on both feet taped. Near the end he was clasping at his thighs with cramps as he went down to defeat.

“It wasn’t my kind of a day,” Djokovic said. “Just on the warmup the entire day was one of those days where you don’t feel so great mentally.

“But I fought my way through. I was just trying to find a way to come back in the match. He was playing well. He has a very unorthodox game, tricky opponent, mixes up the pace, and can easily get you out of the rhythm.”

Britain’s Andy Murray won his 500th career victory, defeating South Africa’s Kevin Anderson 6-4, 3-6, 6-3.

The third-seeded Scotsman, who holds two Grand Slam titles, needed his best effort against his 17th-ranked rival.

Murray, who has won four of five matches against Anderson, improved his career match record to 500 triumphs and 155 defeats with 31 titles, including the 2012 US Open and 2013 Wimbledon crowns.

“I hope I’ve still got a lot more wins in me,” Murray said. “To get to 500 is good. It’s not an easy thing to do at my age. It’s nice. Hopefully I can keep going.”

Murray is the first British man, the ninth active player and the 46th man in the post-1968 Open Era to achieve the 500-win plateau.

“There have not been loads of players that have done it. It’s nice for me the fact that it happened here as well,” said Murray, who trains in Miami in the off-season. “It’s just fitting just because I have spent so much time training here and working to get better and to improve. That was nice.”

Next up for Murray will be Austrian Dominic Thiem, who defeated Frenchman Adrian Mannarino 7-6 (7/5), 4-6, 7-5.

“He had his best year on the tour last year. He’s a very talented guy. He’s strong,” said Murray. “I know him fairly well and practice with him quite a bit. I expect tomorrow will be a tough match.”

Japan’s fourth seed Kei Nishikori beat Belgian David Goffin 6-1, 6-2 with Nishikori set to move to a career-best fourth in the world, sending Rafael Nadal to fifth.

“I feel a lot of confidence. It’s really going well these three matches,” Nishikori said. “It’s tough to compare, but maybe I have been playing a little better than last year.”

Next up for Nishikori will be American John Isner, who won a big-serve duel with Canada’s fifth-seeded Milos Raonic over two and three quarter hours. Isner’s 6-7 (3/7), 7-6 (8/6), 7-6 (7/5) triumph featured a combined 35 aces but no service breaks.

Another quarter-final was set as Czech eighth seed Tomas Berdych advanced thanks to a mid-match withdrawal from France’s injury-hit Gael Monfils.

Berdych won 6-3, 3-2 when his opponent stopped a game after falling heavily on his right hip. Monfils has now withdrawn 15 times in his career.

Berdych will play Argentina’s Juan Monaco, a 6-3, 6-3 winner over Fernando Verdasco. Monaco will be playing in the last eight at the ATP Masters level for the first time in three years.

On the women’s side, Spanish 12th seed Carla Suarez Navarro eliminated three-time Miami winner Venus Williams 0-6, 6-1, 7-5.

The Spaniard advanced to a semi-final against German ninth seed Andrea Petkovic, who  ousted Czech 14th seed Karolina Pliskova 6-4, 6-2.

Britain’s Murray takes milestone 500th victory

Britain’s Andy Murray won his 500th career victory Tuesday, defeating South Africa’s Kevin Anderson 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 to reach the ATP and WTA Miami Open quarter-finals.

The third-seeded Scotsman, who holds two Grand Slam titles, needed his best effort against his 17th-ranked rival.

Murray, who has won four of five matches against Anderson, improved his career match record to 500 triumphs and 155 defeats with 31 titles, including the 2012 US Open and 2013 Wimbledon crowns.

A brief post-match ceremony paid tribute to Murray’s achievement.

Murray is the first British man, the ninth active player and the 46th man in the post-1968 Open Era to achieve the 500-win plateau.

Next up for Murray will be Austrian Dominic Thiem, who defeated Frenchman Adrian Mannarino 7-6 (7/5), 4-6, 7-5.

Also advancing was Japanese fourth seed Kei Nishikori, who dispatched Belgium’s David Goffin 6-1, 6-2. That will push Nishikori to fourth in the world rankings with Spain’s Rafael Nadal falling to fifth.

Nishikori next will face the winner of a later match between Canada’s Milos Raonic and American John Isner.

Another quarter-final was set as Czech eighth seed Tomas Berdych advanced thanks to a mid-match withdrawal from France’s injury-hit Gael Monfils. Berdych won 6-3, 3-2 when his opponent stopped a game after falling heavily on his right hip. Monfils has now withdrawn 15 times in his career.

“In the end I feel sorry for Gael. That’s not the ideal way to finish up the match,” Berdych said. “But in the end, I’m through. That’s what matters. That’s what counts.

“I’m happy with the win. Really it’s not the way that you want to finish the match, but that’s how it is. So we need to move on and just go for the next one.”

Berdych will take on Argentina’s Juan Monaco, a 6-3, 6-3 winner over Fernando Verdasco. Monaco will be playing in the last eight at the ATP Masters level for the first time in three years.

Spanish sixth seed David Ferrer beat French 12th seed Gilles Simon 7-6 (7-5), 6-0.

On the women’s side, German ninth seed Andrea Petkovic ousted Czech 14th seed Karolina Pliskova 6-4, 6-2.

The post Djokovic storms back to reach Miami quarters, Murray bags 500th victory appeared first on The Express Tribune.

Categories: Pakistan & World News

Shah Sharabeel returns with ‘You Only Marry Twice’

12 hours 47 min ago

KARACHI: Shah Sharabeel returns to the theatre scenario with another farcical recreation, You Only Marry Twice (YOMT). 

You Only Marry Twice is an Urdu remake of Ray Cooney’s comedy play Caught in the Net which revolves around a bigamist taxi-driver who tries to keep both his families separate and blissfully unaware of each other. In the local rendition John Smith is replaced by Faisal Mirza whose children from different wives meet over the Internet and fall in love.

You Only Marry Twice is Shah Sharabeel’s fifth play after the phenomenal Bombay DreamsThe Phantom of Opera, Moulin Rouge and Tom Dick & Harry.

PHOTO: Sameen Hassan

PHOTO: Sameen Hassan

The play stars Faizan Sheikh in the lead role, who has previously participated in performances like Laakhoun Mein Teen and Andhera Ujala.

New entrant Ahmed Majeed is playing the role of Faizan’s son from one wife who falls in love with Faizan’s daughter from the other wife.

Saqib Sumeer, who has wowed theatre artists and critics with his performances many a times, also has a guest appearance.

In the female lead is Muzaina Malick who plays one of Faizan’s wives. Malik has successfully completed several acting courses at NAPA and has previously played the phenomenal Kamla in the Pakistani remake of Kamla, an old original from India.

PHOTO: Sameen Hassan

PHOTO: Sameen Hassan

Theatre fans and critics are excited and hopeful about Sharabeel’s return with YOMT. Syeda Aqsa Rizwan, a crew member from YOMT shared her excitement saying, “It’s my first theatre performance and I can’t wait to hit the stage on March 30. I am sure You Only Marry Twice will be bigger than previous productions of Centre Stage Productions.”

“It was a good show for me. There have been a few glitches but nothing that can’t be fixed for tomorrow’s show”, Sharabeel said after the first show.

When asked how he felt with his comeback and whether YOMT could compete against the likes of Anwar Maqsood ka Dharna or Sawa 14 August, Sharabeel replied with a smirk, “There’s no competition in art. Competition is for horses. I can never be at Anwar Maqsood’s standard but I’m happy with what I have done”.

PHOTO: Sameen Hassan

PHOTO: Sameen Hassan

Commenting on how the International Theatre Festival happening across the street at NAPA will affect YOMT’s turn out, Sharabeel said rather optimistically, “Where there’s good product, public will go there. We had lesser public today but I am sure we will have housefuls in the coming weeks”.

Speaking to The Express Tribune, veteran Saqib Sumeer remarked he was happy how the show came out. “I have a pretty small role in the theatre since I was busy on other projects, but how these young people have pulled it off is amazing.”

Faizan Sheikh remarked “It was a wonderful experience being on stage with all these great people. Sharabeel is amazing at what he does and I’m very happy with how the show came out”.

You Only Marry Twice will be showing in Karachi from March 30 to April 19, after which it will move to Islamabad. It is not yet confirmed whether it will be shown in Lahore.

PHOTO: Sameen Hassan

The post Shah Sharabeel returns with ‘You Only Marry Twice’ appeared first on The Express Tribune.

Categories: Pakistan & World News

5 ways to win over your wife

13 hours 23 min ago

After a long and tiring day at work, a nagging wife is not a very pleasant surprise to come home to, or worse yet, a wife who chooses to ignore your existence. Sadly, this is the reality of most marriages that we know of.

Once the “honeymoon” novelty is over and the struggles of daily life begin to take over, it can feel as if the marriage has fallen into a rut. Gone is the spark the two felt in those giddy initial days, when one look at your better half gave you butterflies in your stomach. Now everyday life has set in, and the initial romance seems to have gone out the window. Fortunately, there are some very easy ways to get the missing spark back in your married life.

1. Your satisfaction lies within your own home


The easiest solution during the fallout seems to be to give up and start a new beginning elsewhere. But such a solution is only temporary at best and comes with no guarantees. Recognize the fact that the satisfaction you seek is already there in your own home – you just need to work to find it.

2. Tell your wife you love her


Tell, don’t show. Your wife needs to hear those three magic words from you. It’s very easy to think that you show your love for her through everything you do for her, but the truth is that she feels reassured when she hears you say “I love you” from your mouth from time to time.

3. Appreciate what she does for you

Your wife is super-woman! She holds the fort at home when you go out to earn your daily bread. She cooks, cleans, cares for your children, probably your parents, and sometimes even manages her own job along with all this. Surely, she deserves some praise and appreciation for all that she does for you. A burnt roti is not the end of the world, thank her for being the great wife/mother that she is.

4. Surprise her with gifts for no reason at all

We don’t mean that you splurge on an expensive diamond necklace if you can’t afford it, if you can afford it, then by all means. But there are other little things you can get your wife. Don’t wait for her birthday or Valentine’s Day. Surprise her by coming homing with a bouquet or have some delivered to your house while you’re at work. It will be worth it just to see a smile on her face.

5. Offer her a shoulder to cry on

That taunt from your nosy neighbour may seem non-consequential to you, but your wife may have taken it to heart. Hear out your wife, no matter how silly her problems may seem to you. Not only will a vent and a good cry make her feel instantly better, she will also come to consider you as her confidant. Just remember to listen to her without offering any solutions. When a woman mentions her problems to you, she is only looking for a channel to vent. Unless she specifically asks you for help and advice, she is not looking for solutions to her problems, so don’t feel that you are obliged to.

The post 5 ways to win over your wife appeared first on The Express Tribune.

Categories: Pakistan & World News

Saudi man hospitalised with shoe heel lodged in his head after dispute with wife

13 hours 34 min ago

SAUDI ARABIA: In a first of its kind medical case, a man in Saudi Arabia was admitted to a hospital with the stiletto of a heel lodged in his head . 

Local media reports said that the incident took place following a dispute between the man and his wife which led her to hit him in the head with the heel of her shoe.

Upon his arrival at the hospital, doctors said they had never encountered such a case before.

The news of the incident caused quite a stir and many took to social media to tweet about the rare case.

#Saudi man admitted to hospital with the heel of his wife's stiletto lodged in his head. http://t.co/pqgwjBLk1l

— Raquel E Saraswati (@RaquelEvita) March 31, 2015

I dont mean to be trivial about domestic violence, but ahem ahem! "Man hospitalized with a heel in his head!" http://t.co/gdZhYR9xWy

— Shuja Malik (@shuja_malik) March 30, 2015

Bad night with the wife. Man ends up with high-heel shoe lodged in head. http://t.co/iaY4FXy0xT pic.twitter.com/ovpu4Mu8bk

— The Mouse (@audiobook___) March 30, 2015

Saudi Man Admitted to Hospital with Shoe Heel in His Head deatails on http://t.co/WC52QBuIZr http://t.co/yQiXxcQwze

— winkfm.net (@WinkFmUg) March 31, 2015

Lesson: Bald men (ahem) should be careful. Man hospitalised with shoe heel lodged in head after dispute with wife | http://t.co/yRkuiwJswH

— Shantanu Datta (@desktopdiarist) March 31, 2015

Saudi man hospitalized with shoe heel lodged in his head after dispute with wife http://t.co/MtMxdFx36o pic.twitter.com/qUvZby0IQK

— Zahرa (@MarjaoPliss) March 31, 2015

#Saudi man hospitalized wid heel lodged in head after dispute with wife http://t.co/hc48VUtHsp ay mei apny husband wasty save kr k rkhna ay

— Baji PrimeMinister (@RestlessSprit) March 31, 2015

Don't mess with this wife. Man admitted with stiletto heel of a woman’s shoe in his head. http://t.co/dHzmBllDKd pic.twitter.com/VgItfQTql1

— Free ebooks (@ebook_dude) March 31, 2015

 

This article originally appeared on Riyadh Connect

The post Saudi man hospitalised with shoe heel lodged in his head after dispute with wife appeared first on The Express Tribune.

Categories: Pakistan & World News

Google Maps transforms streets into giant Pac-Man game

13 hours 38 min ago

As part of Google’s attempt to fool its users, they have released a new feature in which they have revived the much loved 70s game, Pac-Man, which can be played on virtual streets.

The game, which can be played through Google Maps or iOS and Android apps allows users to play the game through virtual streets of their hometown or any other place they want to explore.

Read: Google Maps: ‘Faisalabad mapped almost like any American city’

By clicking the Pac-Man button in the bottom left corner, Google maps transform into a giant version of the classic Atari game.

 

PHOTO: GOOGLE MAPS

The up, down, left and right arrows allow Pac-Man to navigate his way through the streets and the aim is to collect as many dots and cherries as possible while avoiding the ghosts.

Read: Geo-tagging database: Punjab maps location of 11,000 madrassas

To play the game, visit Google Maps in a browser on your computer or on the updated Google Maps app on your mobile.

The addition to the Google Maps feature was released in time for April Fool’s Day and it remains uncertain how long the game will remain a feature.

 

PHOTO: GOOGLE MAPS

 

Google also featured an interactive Pac-Man game for its Google Doodle in 2010 for the 30th anniversary of the game.

 

PHOTO: GOOGLE MAPS

 

The Doodle came complete with the arcade game’s trademark music and sound effects, and an ‘Insert Coin’ button where Google’s ‘I’m feeling lucky’ button usually is.

Pac-Man was designed by Toru Iwatani and was first released by Japan-based Namco into arcades on May 22, 1980.

 

This article originally appeared on Mail Online 

The post Google Maps transforms streets into giant Pac-Man game appeared first on The Express Tribune.

Categories: Pakistan & World News

Netherlands too strong for lacklustre Spain

13 hours 43 min ago

AMSTERDAM: The Netherlands once again proved too good for an under-par Spain as goals from Stefan de Vrij and Davy Klaasen handed the hosts a 2-0 friendly win in Amsterdam on Tuesday.

Spain were hoping to exact revenge for the 5-1 thrashing they suffered at the hands of the Dutch at last year’s World Cup, but their chances were undone by two goals in the opening 15 minutes.

De Vrij rose highest to head home Wesley Sneijder’s in-swinging cross before Klaasen was given an alarming amount of space inside the box to fire home on the rebound after David de Gea had saved his initial effort.

Defeat means the European champions have now lost friendlies against three continental heavyweights France, Germany and the Dutch since being dumped out in embarrassing fashion after just two games at the World Cup.

“It seems impossible that we haven’t scored,” said Spain boss Vicente del Bosque.

“We paid for the first 20 minutes. We dominated the game, were on top of them and had a lot of chances, the only thing we lacked was a goal.”

His Dutch counterpart Guus Hiddink said it was a good result but denied that it had been a crucial one for him even though it was only his third win in eight games since taking over after last year’s World Cup finals.

“This result will boost the confidence of the team,” said the 68-year-old, who is in his second spell with the national side.

“Is it a relief to me personally? No because I didn’t have the impression I had a weight bearing down on me.

“I have been criticised but journalists have a habit of being scathing. We just get on with our work and everyone is pulling in the same direction.”

Del Bosque made nine changes to the side that sneaked past Ukraine 1-0 in a Euro 2016 qualifier on Friday, whilst Hiddink made just five alterations from his side’s 1-1 draw with Turkey.

The extra strength in the Dutch side paid dividends in a flying start as De Vrij, who also scored in the 5-1 thrashing in Salvador 10 months ago, opened the scoring with a superb header from Sneijder’s dangerous cross.

Just three minutes later it was 2-0 when Klaasen pounced on a loose ball inside the area and despite firing his first effort too close to De Gea, the rebound fell kindly for the Ajax midfielder to lash the ball high into the net.

Spain improved as the half wore in and should have pulled a goal back when Pedro Rodriguez was denied by Kenneth Vermeer after robbing Bruno Martins Indi, whilst debutant Juanmi curled an effort inches wide.

Cesc Fabregas missed an ever better chance at the start of the second period as he failed to make contact with Juan Bernat’s inviting cross.

However, the Netherlands’ set-pieces were still causing problems at the other end and Martins Indi should have scored a third when he headed over despite being unmarked six yards out.

Sevilla winger Vitolo was also making his international debut and passed up a huge opportunity to get the visitors back in the game midway through the second-half when he skewed wide.

David Silva also had a goal ruled out for a marginal offside call as Spain continued to have the better of the second-half, but they lacked a killer instinct in the final third as the Netherlands held on.

The post Netherlands too strong for lacklustre Spain appeared first on The Express Tribune.

Categories: Pakistan & World News

Townsend steals Kane limelight as England hold Italy

13 hours 44 min ago

TURIN: Tottenham winger Andros Townsend came off the bench to steal the limelight from club-mate Harry Kane with a late equaliser in a 1-1 draw against Italy in Turin on Tuesday.

England manager Roy Hodgson was forced to hand Spurs sensation Kane his full debut alongside Wayne Rooney due to injuries to both Daniel Sturridge and Danny Welbeck.

But while the 21-year-old Kane failed to shine, Townsend made the most of his 20-minute appearance beating Gianluigi Buffon with a fine strike 11 minutes from full time to level Graziano Pelle’s 29th minute opener.

Hodgson – whose side lost 2-1 to Italy when they met at the group stage in last year’s World Cup finals – admitted the first-half display had been short of what he wanted but he was delighted with the performance following the break.

“I’m really happy with our second half, I thought we were the better team. That’s pleasing in the sense that under (Antonio) Conte, Italy are a strong team,” Hodgson said.

“We’re missing a few players and when they’re available, we have a few more options.”

After what was an “emotional return” for former Juventus handler Antonio Conte, the 45-year-old coach admitted Italy remain a work in progress.

“Today it was prestigious friendly against a side with some top players, but we competed well and I’m happy with our performance,” Conte said.

“Ultimately it was a fair result, because we struggled a little more in the second half.

“But we’re still working to help this squad grow. There are a lot of young players here but thankfully their experiences in their respective leagues has shone through.

“The Italian national shirt means a lot to them and nobody can deny that.”

At the end of an insipid opening half, Italy had most to cheer with Marco Parolo, new Italy recruit Eder and Pelle testing Joe Hart in the England goal prior to the Southampton striker’s headed opener.

Parolo hit a speculative shot from 35 metres that dipped, forcing Hart to react quickly and tip over on 10 minutes.

England’s first real chance came before the half-hour when Kane rose above his marker at the back post. Although his header was blocked, the clearance fell for Rooney to fire a shot which bounced off the bar.

It only served to move Italy up a gear.

Their efforts paid off just before the half hour when Pelle escaped his marker to meet Giorgio Chiellini’s inch-perfect delivery from the left with a glancing header that took Hart totally by surprise before landing inside his far post.

England had the first chance after the restart, when Kane found himself in possession outside the area only to fire his shot straight at Buffon.

But the visitors were immediately on the back foot as Italy pressed.

Pelle did well to set up Italy debutant Mirko Valdifiori and although he beat his marker to set up Eder inside the area, Hart somehow saved from the Sampdoria striker with his legs.

England showed another glimpse when Rooney helped set up Kane to the right of the area, but his deflected shot hit the side netting.

Conte made a triple substitution, Ignazio Abate replacing Florenzi, Franco Vazquez replacing Eder to make his Italy debut and Pelle making way for Ciro Immobile.

Immobile was robbed of a great chance in front of goal seconds later, and at the other end Rooney spurned a great chance when he fired straight at an alert Buffon when Kieran Gibbs’ long cross caught Chiellini unawares.

Rooney came close again, his slight touch in front of goal from Kane’s drive trickling just wide of Buffon’s far post.

England’s pressure finally paid off with Townsend, who replaced Fabian Delph on 70 minutes, creating space on the edge of the area to beat Buffon with a precise shot at the keeper’s far post.

Italy were let off the hook moments later when Rooney ran down unchallenged on the left only to see his low drive blocked by Buffon.

Italy pressed for a late winner but Vazquez saw his shot flash just wide of Hart’s far post after a move which saw the Palermo striker run on to Immobile’s ball.

The post Townsend steals Kane limelight as England hold Italy appeared first on The Express Tribune.

Categories: Pakistan & World News

CM disqualification case: SHC suspends ECP’s order of case transfer

Tue, 03/31/2015 - 13:43
KARACHI: 

The Sindh High Court (SHC) suspended on Tuesday the election commissioner’s order to transfer the proceedings on Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah’s election on Khairpur’s provincial assembly seat, PS-29, to the Hyderabad election tribunal.

A division bench, headed by Justice Munib Akhtar, also issued notices to the secretary of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), the chief election commissioner, the CM and the provincial advocate-general to file their comments by April 7.

The restraining order came on an election petition filed by the former CM and Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz candidate, Ghous Ali Shah, who had lost the election on PS-29 to Qaim Ali Shah during the May 2013 general elections.

The petitioner told the two judges that the election tribunal in Karachi had recorded evidence on his election petition regarding alleged rigging in the PS-29 election when the high court restrained the tribunal from further proceeding with the matter. Later, the ECP extended the tenure of all the election tribunals across the country except the one in Karachi, he added.

Advocate Aslam Bhutta said that, on March 3, the ECP passed an order on Shah’s application, transferring the proceedings to the Hyderabad tribunal. This was illegal as no prior notices were issued by the election body to the parties. He also claimed that Shah is a good friend of the head of the Hyderabad tribunal, Ashfaq Baloch. He pleaded the court suspend the election commissioner’s order for the transfer.

The bench issued notices to the ECP secretary, the chief election commissioner, Shah and Sindh advocate-general to file their comments by April 7. “Till then, the operation of the impugned order is suspended,” ordered the judges.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 1st, 2015.

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Categories: Pakistan & World News

Encounters and killings: Two cops shot dead, police kill two suspects

Tue, 03/31/2015 - 13:42

KARACHI: Two police officials were shot dead in Lea Market late Monday night. Meanwhile, police claim to have killed two alleged gangsters involved in the killings of policemen. 

The two police personnel were targeted by unidentified persons while on duty at a checkpost near Lea Market, within the limits of Kharadar police station. They were identified as Idress Shah and Nadeem Anwar. Both were rushed to Civil Hospital, Karachi, where they succumbed to their injuries.  Police officials said that the victims were shot by members of a Lyari-based gang. The funeral prayers were offered at Police Headquarters, Garden, on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, police claimed to have killed two alleged gang members, Sumair alias Kichal and Rashid Mullah alias Jadugar. Napier SHO Azam Khan claimed that the suspects were commanders of the Baba Ladla group. He added that they were involved in the Jhatpat Market carnage in March 2014 and the targeted killing of the banned Peoples Amn Committee leader, Zafar Baloch. In the former incident, 19 civilians were killed and another 50 injured when gangsters affiliated with the Baba Ladla group launched an offensive against their rivals, the Uzair Baloch group.

The officer suspected they were also involved in the targeted killing of the two police personnel near Lea Market earlier that night. He said they were sure the law enforcers were targeted by the Baba Ladla gang and it was possible the two deceased gangsters were the perpetrators.

On the other hand, the suspects’ families claimed they were killed in a fake encounter as both had been detained by the police a couple of weeks ago.  The families demanded a fair inquiry into the incident and called for strict action against the police personnel involved.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 1st, 2015.

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Categories: Pakistan & World News

Know your rights: ‘Implementation starts with the people’

Tue, 03/31/2015 - 13:41
KARACHI: 

Implementation starts with the people; if your daughter’s rights are violated and you don’t speak up, neither will your neighbour.

Shehla Raza, the deputy speaker of the Sindh Assembly, was speaking at a provincial consultative workshop about the implementation of women’s laws, organised by the Aurat Foundation at the Movenpick hotel on Tuesday. The purpose of the workshop  was to build up pressure for the implementation of such laws and to determine how the stakeholders in the criminal justice system could help in this.

Raza suggested that the media should create awareness about the legislation and rights of women so that implementation could begin from home.

“Laws are made to punish people and if we cannot punish people, there is no point in making any laws,” said Karachi AIG Ghulam Qadir Thebo. “We have decided to establish human rights violations desks in every district in order to monitor crimes against women and children. Besides this, we also want to set up citizen service centres in various districts to address minor issues.”

Meanwhile, Dr Kaleem Sheikh, a medico-legal officer (MLO) at Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre, told the audience about how MLOs can be approached: through the police, directly or through the Citizens-Police Liaison Committee. “When the police are involved in violence, people can come directly to our office and make a case about it,” he said.

“There can be no implementation of any legislation if the SSPs or SHOs do not understand it,” said Abdul Rasheed Solangi, the secretary of the provincial women development department. “Police training should include knowledge of the law so that they know how to take action against those who violate it.”

Published in The Express Tribune, April 1st, 2015.

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Categories: Pakistan & World News

What should Islamabad do?

Tue, 03/31/2015 - 13:39

ISLAMABAD: Unfortunately, a dangerous crisis has developed in Yemen. It is the duty of the Muslim world to tackle it on an emergency basis, otherwise, it is likely to endanger the whole of the Muslim Ummah. It is important that a meeting of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) must be called on an emergency basis and a solution to the problem is found. Iran must be persuaded to disengage itself from helping the Houthi tribes of Yemen, which have rebelled against the elected government of the country. A well-recognised principle is that no country should involve itself in the internal affairs of other countries. The OIC must also try to remove the genuine complaints of the Houthis against their government.

Having said that, discussion that has started in Pakistan on whether it should give a positive reply to Saudi Arabia’s call for help in the conflict. There are some people who are opposing Pakistan helping out the kingdom. They think that this will annoy Iran, which is our neighbour. I dare to say that this argument is not sound. Firstly, Saudi Arabia is not fighting Iran. It is only trying to protect itself from possible attacks by Houthis. Iran is helping the Houthis with money and arms, and possibly volunteers. Iran is not justified in interfering in the internal affairs of another country.

Nisar A Kayani

Published in The Express Tribune, April 1st,  2015.

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Categories: Pakistan & World News

Applause for the Rangers

Tue, 03/31/2015 - 13:37

KARACHI: The Rangers deserve appreciation for undertaking the most difficult task of removing barriers fixed on roads throughout Karachi. These barriers posed great inconvenience to the people, especially to those living in the surrounding areas. Barrier-removing exercises have been carried out in the past as well, but the barriers used to reappear after a while.

Now people are eagerly awaiting the fate of the greatest barrier of Karachi in front of Bilawal House — with its concrete wall causing many traffic jams on the nearby roads. No one has the right to occupy land, roads and raise construction under the cover of security. If someone feels insecure, they should get the services of private security guards.

Apart from this, another big nuisance in the city is the way car showroom owners have occupied footpaths. One can often see the owners parking their cars on main roads, often occupying up to two lanes, causing traffic jams and creating great inconvenience for pedestrians. This practice has spread like an epidemic in the city. According to building laws, the leased portion of shops or houses end at their boundary walls and the rest of the adjacent land belongs to the government.

There is definite need for the Rangers to clear the footpaths and roads and bring an end to this hooliganism. This, in fact, is perhaps even more important than removing barriers as many pedestrians put their lives in danger as they are forced to walk on roads instead of on footpaths as the latter are loaded with cars and miscellaneous goods. There should be no compromise on this issue and action must be taken.

Mukhtar Ahmed

Published in The Express Tribune, April 1st,  2015.

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Categories: Pakistan & World News

Respect for New Zealand

Tue, 03/31/2015 - 13:36

KARACHI: During this World Cup, New Zealand stunned cricket fans with their outstanding performance. They did not only win all their matches up till the semi-final, they also made it to the final of the tournament for the first time in history. The semi-final between New Zealand and South Africa was one of the most exciting matches of the tournament.

New Zealand’s brilliant performance was the result of tremendous team work. Tim Southee, Martin Guptill, Ross Taylor and Brendon McCullum gave amazing performances. Daniel Vettori’s comeback also made a huge difference to the team’s morale. Vettori’s return to the Black Caps ranks in the One-Day International line-up in October 2014 had caused quite a stir. After more than a year of being absence due to injuries, his comeback performance against Pakistan showed the world that he still had spark in him. He started off as an 18-year-old boy, and was the youngest player for the New Zealand Test team. He went on to serve his team with full passion. In the World Cup, he gave his best picking up 18 wickets in eight games at an economy rate of 3.98 and made his team and country proud. Though New Zealand fell at the last hurdle and could not win the World Cup, they definitely earned the respect of fans from all over the world.

Saroj Rizwan Khan

Published in The Express Tribune, April 1st,  2015.

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Categories: Pakistan & World News

Lights out: DHA residents lose appliances due to fluctuation

Tue, 03/31/2015 - 13:36

KARACHI: Home appliances worth millions of rupees were burnt due to fluctuation in electricity in Defence Housing Authority’s Phase VI last week.

“The issue started last Monday morning when there was severe power fluctuation in the whole area,” said Qasim Khan, a resident of Phase VI. “We called their complaint cell numbers and emailed them [K-Electric] as well but received no response.” He added that due to these frequent fluctuations, most of their home appliances stopped working completely.

Another resident, Ibrahim, said that their internal security system, LCD TV, deep freezer, generator and other valuable appliances were burnt beyond use. He added that they could not make claims for the appliances from the utility service either. Malik Amjad, a resident, said that the default started from Street 33 of Phase VI. He claimed that this meant that it was not a failure in the internal wiring system or the illegal kundas.

“This is a failure of the K-Electric and their power distribution system,” he said. “They must compensate all those who have suffered. We have lost appliances worth millions because of this.”

According to the K-Electric spokesperson, however, the power utility cannot be blamed. He claimed that power fluctuations only happen in areas where residents don’t regularise their power loads or use illegal connections. He added that electricity fluctuations were common as people openly used kundas or were using extra electricity without informing them.

“In posh areas, the residents do not regularise their electricity loads and do not install distribution boxes,” he said. “This is why fluctuation takes place.” He added that a distribution box is something everyone should have as it maintains the voltage and electricity load.

The spokesperson claimed that if there is a fault in the fluctuation, the distribution box will automatically switch off. He said that there were houses, which were regularised for four air-conditioners but were using eight without a distribution box. This, he added, meant that there would be a lot of fluctuation.

When the KE team arrived for the repairs on Tuesday evening, their supervisor demanded the residents pay Rs10,000 each to get the new meters installed, claimed another resident.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 1st, 2015.

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Categories: Pakistan & World News

Celebrations gone wrong: Two grooms spend wedding night behind bars

Tue, 03/31/2015 - 13:34

KARACHI: Two brothers, who were getting married on Monday, spent their wedding night in police lock-up after being arrested for letting off firecrackers during the celebrations.

Faizan and Suffyan were sitting next to their brides when their family members opted for different means of celebration and merrymaking. The sky over PIA Garden on University Road seemed to be full of colours. Little did they know then that these would get the grooms arrested.

The two men, along with three of their relatives, were arrested for ‘causing an explosion likely to endanger lives or properties’. Subsequently, they spent the night behind bars. The two brothers, who work as scrap dealers, were taken into custody at midnight from inside the marriage hall. “They are facing charges under sections 2 and 3 of the Explosives Substances Act,” said Aziz Bhatti SHO Abbas Golarchi. “The excessive use of fireworks at the wedding created panic.”

No cracker or explosives material, however, was recovered from the grooms’ possessions. “Some remains of the firecrackers have been seized as evidence,” said Golarchi.

According to the officer, while it was not an act of terror, it still is an offence.

However, Golarchi seemed to be taking a lenient approach with the case. “Our DIG has asked us to settle the case [as soon as possible] for the sanctity of their [wedding] event.”

Legal opinion

According to a high court lawyer, Zafar Ahmed, the sections put into the case can lead to an imprisonment of 10 years of more. “It is unfortunate that grooms have been arrested,” he said. “They did not fire the crackers themselves.”

Raising questions on the credibility of the officer who booked them, he was of the view that implicating the men under the explosives act is tantamount to harassing them.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 1st, 2015.

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Categories: Pakistan & World News

Tales from the sidewalk: The child who grew up too soon

Tue, 03/31/2015 - 13:30

KARACHI: Each morning, she goes to school. Every afternoon, she joins her mother, Fatima, at the protest camp on the footpath outside Karachi Press Club (KPC). Her evenings are spent doing her homework. The mother-daughter duo has been living in the makeshift tent for the last seven months.

At her tender age, 11-year-old Laiba Ali has seen life the way no other child deserves to. “Two weeks ago, I appeared for my grade two exams. The results are to be announced on April 6,” she says, as she turns to look at her mother who is cooking their evening meal on the make-shift stove.

“I had a lot of friends when we used to live in our house in Nawabad, Shah Waliullah Road, Lyari. But the bad men came to our home, took away our all belongings and forced us to leave the area,” she says nonchalantly, referring to members of the gang led by Wasi Lakho, a notorious criminal who is wanted by the police in several cases of crime.

The then IG, Iqbal Mehmood, recalled a woman from Lyari had once met him and he had ordered the police to address her grievances. Soon after this, he was transferred. “Till my transfer, the woman did not return. I have no idea if she received the relief or not.”

In Lyari, Laiba’s life was anything but comfortable. Yet she had a roof over her head, attended a private school and had lots of friends to play with. It is the latter she misses the most. He father, a drug addict, was almost an absent figure in her life. Yet the mother and daughter made do with what little they had. Life wasn’t perfect but they still had plenty of reasons to be grateful for.

But then the gangsters took over. Initially, they took refuge in a relative’s house in the same area. The situation took a turn for the worse when Fatima registered a complaint with the then police IG, who ordered strict action against the criminals and for the property to be handed back to them. The police raided the house. Lakho’s aides hit back with full force, launching several attacks against the family.

Helpless, the mother and daughter were forced to leave the area. They set up camp in front of a Rangers picket near the ICI Bridge. “The Rangers personnel asked us to leave due to the frequent clashes between the gangsters and the police,” recalls Fatima. “They suggested us to take our camp outside KPC.” She heeded their advice, hoping someone would notice their condition and take pity on them. No one has.

Not giving up yet

Despite their ordeal, Fatima and Laiba have refused to give up hope. Fatima’s main priority is her child’s education. As soon as she set up camp outside KPC, she started looking for schools in the vicinity. “Someone advised me to enroll Laiba in the government school adjacent to Governor House.” Initially, the school administration was reluctant to admit her. Fatima’s persistence, however, finally paid off and the headmistress allowed her to appear for the entry test. Laiba passed with flying colours. “All this happened last Ramazan and we have been living in this camp since,” says Fatima.

At the dingy, cluttered camp that Laiba has come to call home, she proudly shows her school books and her test results that she has aced. She wants to become a lawyer. “It is my mother’s wish that I become an advocate to plead the cases of the poor,” says the young girl. She has even purchased a second-hand lamp from the market to study during the night. “I cannot sleep properly on the footpath and the protests disturb my studies,” she laments.

Safety concerns

Even more than her studies, however, Fatima is scared for their safety. One night, two disabled persons from a nearby protest camp entered their tent and tried to harass them. The mother screamed for help and ran out to seek assistance from the employees of a nearby petrol pump. “The next morning I had to appear for my mathematics paper, which did not go very well,” she says sadly. They have now purchased a shape-edged knife that they keep under the pillow to protect themselves.

Laiba misses her home. She misses her friends. She misses having a roof over her head and not being scared in the middle of the night. But most of all, she misses humanity; for no human would remain unmoved after seeing her plight.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 1st, 2015.

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Categories: Pakistan & World News

Jumping ahead: Bilawal House to let go of barriers on main road

Tue, 03/31/2015 - 13:29
KARACHI: 

Clifton residents may finally be able to drive freely to Sea View from Boat Basin as the barriers outside Bilawal House that had been blocking the main thoroughfare for several years are coming down.

Nearly a week after the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) wrote to the Rangers DG to exempt the residence of the party chairman from their drive against barriers and no-go areas in the city, the party surprisingly announced on Tuesday that it will take down the blockades on its own. They had said that the place holds significance as a president camp office from when Asif Ali Zardari was the president of Pakistan.

“Despite security threats, we are removing the barriers in front of Bilawal House on the instructions of former president Asif Ali Zardari,” said PPP vice-president Sherry Rehman, adding that necessary directives have also been issued to Sindh Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah.

The residents are rejoicing the news. “We are happy that the barriers have been taken down since they were a hindrance in traffic and communication,” said 20-year-old Amna.

Other residents pointed out how the large walls along the main road were a hindrance in daily commute. “Hopefully, open access to the road will ease traffic hurdles for the residents of [Clifton] Block 2,” said a 19-year-old young man, who lives in the apartments opposite Bilawal House.

The party did fail, however, to confirm whether or not the walls built on the main road will be taken down as well. Bilawal House spokesperson Eijaz Durrani only spoke about the barriers placed on both ends of Sharae Saadi. These barriers were erected in consultation with the Sindh government and the law enforcers given security threats. It will be the Sindh government’s prerogative to remove them, he said.

These barriers were put up during 2008 and 2013 when the PPP government was in power, said a government official, adding that the barriers may be taken down on Tuesday night.

Following the raid at Muttahida Qaumi Movement headquarters on March 11, Rangers DG Bilal Akbar had given a three-day deadline to the residents of Karachi to take down barriers in their neighbourhood. A few days ago, the DG had conveyed a message to the party leadership — through information minister Sharjeel Memon — to remove the barriers at Bilawal House otherwise it would be difficult for them to take action across the board, claimed party sources.

However, Memon insisted the decision was their own and they have not succumbed to ‘any pressure’. “How can the Rangers pressurise us into removing the barriers that they put up in the past?” he asked. The PPP made this decision for the sake of the ongoing operation in Karachi and the barriers were main hurdles in pursuing terrorists and criminals, he said.

Meanwhile, PPP Sindh general secretary Senator Taj Haider also issued a statement in which he drew parallels between the security at Bilawal House and those given to consulates. The provision of security by the government was directly related to the threat perception to a person or place, said his statement, giving examples of the consulates of the US, Iran and Saudi Arabia, where barriers have been erected and road closed for vehicular traffic.

The demand to remove barriers from around Bilawal House was not only illogical but was also driven by hatred and prejudice, claimed Haider. Why did those elements not demand the removal of barriers near the US Embassy or the British High Commission, he questioned.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 1st, 2015.

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