Tag Archive | pakistan

Lack of coordination delaying Kerry-Lugar funds

ISLAMABAD: Lack of coordination among the authorities concerned in Pakistan and the United States is delaying the disbursement of funds under the Kerry Lugar Law (KLL).

Although the law was passed by the US Senate on Sept 24, progress on implementation has been slow, sources in the finance ministry told Dawn.

“Basic issues like procedures for finalisation and execution of projects are still under discussion,” an official said, adding that delays were politically damaging for the government.

“The delay … is preventing the launch of many social sector projects,” he said.

The US ambassador to Pakistan, Anne W. Patterson, had acknowledged that there were misunderstandings on both sides about how the funds were to be released.

In a meeting with reporters, she had said Pakistan would get $800 million by March. There is a general perception that after the passage of the law, yearly civilian US aid to Pakistan would triple to about $1.5 billion for the next five years.

However, Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin told Dawn that the US authorities had said that Pakistan expected to receive only $500 million under the Kerry-Lugar programme.

“Funds for projects under the programme will be received before June this year,” Mr Tarin said, adding that efforts were being made to streamline coordination between authorities in both countries. According to a senior finance ministry official, the main hurdle for the approval of projects was lack of coordination between US administration officials.

“Robin Raphael, David Lipton and Richard Hoolbrooke have different approaches about allocation of funds,” the officials said.

Richard Holbrooke, the US envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan, supports the idea of executing all projects through the NGO sector in Pakistan.

Robin Raphael, who is expected to oversee non-military US support to Pakistan, supports granting funds for projects through the Pakistan government. She recently scrapped a working paper to grant projects worth $300 million to NGOs through the USAID, the sources said. David Lipton, director for international economics, National Security Council, is a strong advocate of executing development projects under the Kerry-Lugar programme in areas affected by militancy.

The situation in Pakistan is no different: there is no single agency for coordinating with the US administration. Officials said the finance ministry had asked the Economic Affairs Division to ensure coordination, but most of the projects were being prepared by the Planning Commission without any coordination.
Moreover, the US has also delayed payments under the Coalition Support Fund.

GHQ siege mastermind captured, claim police

LAHORE: Security agencies captured on Tuesday ‘Qari’ Ishtiaq, a key ‘commander’ of the Punjabi Tehrik-i-Taliban network, who allegedly masterminded the Oct 10 attack on the army headquarters (GHQ) in Rawalpindi.

Ishtiaq was arrested during a raid in Bahawalpur and security agents seized 400 kilograms of explosives and weapons.

He is also said to be linked to the Islamabad Marriot Hotel bombing and attacks on the Manawan Police Training School and FIA headquarters in Lahore.

Ishtiaq was arrested on information provided by Hijratullah who had been captured outside the Manawan Police School on March 30.

Seven other militants were picked up from Sargodha, Gujranwala and Mailsi on information provided by Ishtiaq.

Security was beefed up in Lahore after receiving information that two militants had entered the city with explosive-laden vehicles.

Police said that pickets and road checkpoints had been alerted about two cars (one of them LEM-4942 white Suzuki), which could be used for bombing attacks.

According to sources, the Taliban had also transported a Mazda truck a few days ago, containing 2,500kg explosives stuffed in canisters of vegetable ghee, for terror attacks in Punjab.

Capital City Police Officer Pervez Rathore told Dawn that agencies had warned police three times over the past weeks about the arrival of suspects and explosive-packed vehicles.

Intelligence reports also suggested that 15 suicide bombers, aged between 16 and 20, had entered Punjab with as many explosive-packed vehicles. Nine of the 15 vehicles were said to be white, three red and another three were silver coloured.

According to the sources, terrorists could target government buildings, sensitive installations, schools and markets. A police official, however, cautioned that not all information provided on by intelligence agencies could be correct.

He said it was not possible for police to guard all high-profile personalities, establishments, offices and places mentioned in dozens of reports issued by the agencies over the past six months because going by them the entire city would appear to be the target of terror attacks.

Pakistan, England reach settlement over forfeited test

KARACHI: The cricket boards of Pakistan and England have resolved the financial dispute that arose after the forfeited Oval test on Pakistan’s tour to England in 2006.

Umpires Darrell Hair and Billy Doctrove ruled Pakistan had forfeited the fourth test at the Oval, as the visitors had refused to come out after tea on the fourth day in protest at being docked five runs for alleged ball tampering.

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) then claimed for the loss of revenue due to the early finish to the match.

According to official documents seen by Reuters, the boards have signed an agreement under which Pakistan will forfeit revenue from a Twenty20 international on their tour of England next year as a full and final settlement of the dispute.

Pakistan is scheduled to play four tests, five one-day internationals and two Twenty20 matches against England between next July and September for which the ECB have agreed to pay them a participation fee of $3.6 million.

‘The participation fee does not include the fee for one Twenty20 match on this tour which the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has agreed to waive as full and final settlement of the Oval test match dispute,’ a clause in the agreement stated.

Under the agreement, the PCB also received 68,000 pounds ($111,700) to settle all outstanding amounts from the 2006 tour.

Pakistan will also be playing a ‘home’ series against Australia in England next year for which the ECB has guaranteed a minimum payment of $1.9 million against ticket sales, corporate hospitality and ground advertising rights for the two tests and two Twenty20 matches.— Reuters

Pakistan, Taliban still together: Krishna

WASHINGTON: New Delhi has charged that Islamabad’s disruptive role in the Taliban insurgency alongwith aid for the Afghan Taliban provided by Pakistan’s spy agency has complicated the military situation in Afghanistan, with India’s foreign minister asserting ‘they are still together’.

‘They are a tandem,’ External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna said in an interview with the Wall Street Journal on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York.

Krishna asserted that the Pakistan government has been unable to break the ties between its spy agency, Inter-Services Intelligence, and the Taliban in Afghanistan.

Krishna also said India felt ‘vindicated’ after former Pakistani president Pervez Musharraf said recently that some US anti-terrorism aid had been used to bolster traditional defences against India.

‘We have always been cautioning our friends, the United States, that please, please for heaven’s sake make sure that the aid you are giving to Pakistan is not directed and misappropriated to be used against India, a friend of yours,’ the foreign minister said. -Online

Security forces kill 10 Taliban in Zhob gunbattle

QUETTA: At least 10 Taliban were killed and several others injured in a clash with security personnel in the Sambaza area of Zhob district on Friday.

Official sources told Dawn that a group of Taliban attacked a security post near the Afghan border, killing one soldier and injuring two.

Security personnel cordoned off the area and returned fire.

‘We have information about the death of 10 Taliban in the fierce gunbattle,’ a security official in Quetta said.

He said the militants had taken away the bodies of their associates while escaping.

‘We found their caps and weapons used in the attack,’ the official said. He said the militants belonged to the Mullah Shamsullah group.

Afghanistan, Pakistan, Russia to act against drugs, terror

TRIESTE: Pakistan, Afghanistan and Russia agreed on Friday to improve cooperation on fighting terrorism, combating illegal drug production and trafficking and promoting good-neighbourly relations, regional stability and sustainable development.

The agreement was reached in a meeting held here by Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi with his Afghan and Russian counterparts, R.D. Spanta and S. Lavrov.

According to a joint statement issued after the meeting, the foreign ministers discussed prospects of cooperation among the three countries.

They decided to explore the potential of cooperation in the areas of border control, exchange of information on terrorist activities and organisations, training of anti-terrorist and anti-drug police personnel, as well as promoting tolerance and inter-cultural dialogue and tripartite cultural and humanitarian exchanges.

They recognised that the terrorist threat could not be countered solely by enforcement measures, which, they said, must be accompanied by efforts to promote socio-economic rehabilitation and development of the region.

The ministers emphasised that terrorist activities were largely financed by the proceeds from illegal drug trafficking.

They expressed their conviction that the fight against drugs must be intensified and focussed on all elements of the chain: cultivation, production, trafficking, consumption and supply.

They called upon the international community to take additional steps in cooperation with the Kabul government to combat the drug threat.—APP

Pakistan, Sri Lanka in ICC World T20 final today

LONDON: Pakistan and Sri Lanka will contest the World Twenty20 final at Lord’s today.

Pakistan, who beat favourites South Africa by seven runs in Thursday’s semi-final, have bounced back in style at this tournament.

They will face unbeaten Sri Lanka in the final after their Asian rivals thrashed the West Indies by 57 runs at the Oval on Friday.

Despite the events in Lahore, Sri Lanka captain Kumar Sangakkara said relations between the two sides had remained friendly.

“What Lahore really brought home to us was we are just the same as anyone else,” he said.

Sri Lanka beat Pakistan by 19 runs in a Super Eights match earlier at this tournament but Sangakkara said: “We’ve played Pakistan many times before but in T20 you must take every game in isolation. Different players come into form at different times.

“Hopefully, we can put in a good performance and walk away with a trophy.”

The dangerous Shahid Afridi produced a brilliant all-round display in Pakistan’s semi-final triumph, scoring 51 and then taking two wickets for 16 runs with his leg-spinners.

“He is a guy who can take the game away in few overs, but we can’t just concentrate on him,” said Sangakkara.

In Muttiah Muralitharan and Ajantha Mendis, Sangakkara has two star spinners of his own although Pakistan’s Saeed Ajmal should not be disregarded.

“Mendis, the way he’s bowled in the middle overs had been a charm,” Sangakkara said. “Even Pakistan watch him closely, they know he can get their wickets.”

Sri Lanka’s semi-final victory was built on a brilliant innings from Tillekaratne Dilshan, the leading scorer at the tournament with 317 runs, who carried his bat for 96 not out in a total of 158 for five.

Then came a sensational first over in the West Indies’ reply, which saw seam bowler Angelo Mathews take three wickets as Xavier Marshall, Lendl Simmons and Dwayne Bravo all played on for ducks.

Chris Gayle made 63 not out but none of the West Indies captain’s colleagues could stay with the left-handed opener long enough to mount a serious chase as Sri Lanka won with 14 balls to spare.

Dilshan decided not to employ the ‘Dilscoop’ shot where he flicks the ball over the wicket-keeper’s head and settled for more orthodox strokes.

“Now we’ve one more match, hopefully I can stay strong. I think I’ll keep the paddle for the final,” Dilshan explained.

Sangakkara, who said he expected something special from veteran batsman Sanath Jayasuriya in the final, added: “I have run out of superlatives for Dilshan. He is a pioneer stroke-maker in Twenty20.

“The best thing is that he understands his role and has become very responsible and mature. He has finally understood how good he is.”

And as for Mathews, the captain said: “It’s Mathews’s first major international tour and you can’t ask for much more than three wickets in the first over.

“Now we will take this confidence into the final against Pakistan.”

Pakistan, who lost by just five runs to arch-rivals India in the inaugural 2007 World Twenty20 final in Johannesburg, are desperate to go one better this time.

The dark horses of this tournament, they have justified veteran coach Intikhab Alam’s belief that they would be at their best when it mattered most.

“We want to make people back home happy,” Pakistan captain Younus Khan said. “Winning the title will mean a lot to them and that will inspire us in the final. One more game and the World Cup will be ours.”

West Indies captain Chris Gayle said: “You couldn’t ask for a better final, they are two quality teams.”

Pakistan, Sri Lanka in ICC World T20 final today

LONDON: Pakistan and Sri Lanka will contest the World Twenty20 final at Lord’s today.

Pakistan, who beat favourites South Africa by seven runs in Thursday’s semi-final, have bounced back in style at this tournament.

They will face unbeaten Sri Lanka in the final after their Asian rivals thrashed the West Indies by 57 runs at the Oval on Friday.

Despite the events in Lahore, Sri Lanka captain Kumar Sangakkara said relations between the two sides had remained friendly.

“What Lahore really brought home to us was we are just the same as anyone else,” he said.

Sri Lanka beat Pakistan by 19 runs in a Super Eights match earlier at this tournament but Sangakkara said: “We’ve played Pakistan many times before but in T20 you must take every game in isolation. Different players come into form at different times.

“Hopefully, we can put in a good performance and walk away with a trophy.”

The dangerous Shahid Afridi produced a brilliant all-round display in Pakistan’s semi-final triumph, scoring 51 and then taking two wickets for 16 runs with his leg-spinners.

“He is a guy who can take the game away in few overs, but we can’t just concentrate on him,” said Sangakkara.

In Muttiah Muralitharan and Ajantha Mendis, Sangakkara has two star spinners of his own although Pakistan’s Saeed Ajmal should not be disregarded.

“Mendis, the way he’s bowled in the middle overs had been a charm,” Sangakkara said. “Even Pakistan watch him closely, they know he can get their wickets.”

Sri Lanka’s semi-final victory was built on a brilliant innings from Tillekaratne Dilshan, the leading scorer at the tournament with 317 runs, who carried his bat for 96 not out in a total of 158 for five.

Then came a sensational first over in the West Indies’ reply, which saw seam bowler Angelo Mathews take three wickets as Xavier Marshall, Lendl Simmons and Dwayne Bravo all played on for ducks.

Chris Gayle made 63 not out but none of the West Indies captain’s colleagues could stay with the left-handed opener long enough to mount a serious chase as Sri Lanka won with 14 balls to spare.

Dilshan decided not to employ the ‘Dilscoop’ shot where he flicks the ball over the wicket-keeper’s head and settled for more orthodox strokes.

“Now we’ve one more match, hopefully I can stay strong. I think I’ll keep the paddle for the final,” Dilshan explained.

Sangakkara, who said he expected something special from veteran batsman Sanath Jayasuriya in the final, added: “I have run out of superlatives for Dilshan. He is a pioneer stroke-maker in Twenty20.

“The best thing is that he understands his role and has become very responsible and mature. He has finally understood how good he is.”

And as for Mathews, the captain said: “It’s Mathews’s first major international tour and you can’t ask for much more than three wickets in the first over.

“Now we will take this confidence into the final against Pakistan.”

Pakistan, who lost by just five runs to arch-rivals India in the inaugural 2007 World Twenty20 final in Johannesburg, are desperate to go one better this time.

The dark horses of this tournament, they have justified veteran coach Intikhab Alam’s belief that they would be at their best when it mattered most.

“We want to make people back home happy,” Pakistan captain Younus Khan said. “Winning the title will mean a lot to them and that will inspire us in the final. One more game and the World Cup will be ours.”

West Indies captain Chris Gayle said: “You couldn’t ask for a better final, they are two quality teams.”

Pakistan, China vow to fight terrorism

SANYA (China), April 17: President Asif Ali Zardari and Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao agreed on Friday to jointly fight terrorism and resolved to strengthen bilateral ties in economic, defence and energy sectors.

President Zardari met the Chinese leader after he arrived here from Tokyo to attend the annual Boao Forum.

Premier Wen Jiabao said China would help Pakistan safeguard its independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity.

President Zardari and Premier Wen Jiabao discussed a range of strategic and economic matters.

President Zardari said Pakistan and China enjoyed a high degree of mutual trust, understanding and convergence of views on bilateral, regional and international issues and called for translating the deep strategic partnership into a robust trade and investment relationship.

During his three-day stay, President Zardari will deliver a keynote speech at the plenary session of the BFA on ‘Asia: managing beyond crisis’ and hold meetings with several leaders.

Premier Wen said it was high time to address the global economic crisis and find a way to counter its impact on developing economies.—APP

Miliband hails Zardari, Nawaz to defuse crisis

LONDON: Britain welcomed Monday the reinstatement of Pakistan’s deposed top judge and the cancellation of an opposition march as signs of “real political leadership” to defuse a threatened crisis.

“The steps taken to defuse the political crisis in Pakistan show real political leadership by all concerned,” said Foreign Secretary David Miliband in a statement.

President Asif Ali Zardari’s decision to reinstate Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry and former premier Nawaz Sharif’s response in calling off the Long March “demonstrate that both men are willing to put the interests of Pakistan first.

“I hope that all parties will now quickly come together around a common agenda to consolidate the political steps made, and to agree measures that will strengthen democracy and impartial justice in Pakistan,” Miliband said.

source : jang.com.pk

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 45 other followers