Tag Archives: Pick

In the line of fire: Families of deceased policemen left to pick up the pieces


Policeman Shaheen Islam’s three children had been eagerly awaiting their father’s return from duty for nearly a week; they were not expecting him to come back in a coffin.

Head constable Shaheen and another policeman, Ibrahim, died on Tuesday night in Shabqadar when militants hurled a grenade at a police van, causing it to burst into flames.

The 50-year-old who hailed from Latamber, Karak had served the country for most of his life; he had retired from the army in 2012 and joined the police force.

According to his cousin Fazal Muhammad, Shaheen spent all his savings on building a house in his village after retirement. With no other source of income left, Shaheen then joined the police. “He was a real soldier and he lived and died as one,” said Fazal Muhammad.

Shaheen’s son Saqib Islam, a first year student at Government Degree College Latamber, told The Express Tribune his father was a brave man. “His biggest desire was to serve the nation.”

According to Saqib, the family had last met Shaheen on November 13. “We were waiting for him to return, but instead we received his body,” said the bereaved teenager.

“My father was the sole breadwinner of our family. He wanted me to become a doctor, but I cannot continue my studies any longer; my mother remains ill and I must take care of the family now,” Saqib added.

He said Shaheen’s colleagues have visited his family and assured them of help. Being the eldest son, if the police department offers Saqib a job in his father’s place, he will accept. “I want to be a police officer and serve my country as my father did. If I die in doing so, I will die like my father, a hero,” said the teenager.

The militant attack that Tuesday night also shattered another family. Ibrahim, who had joined the police in 2007 as a van driver, also lost his life, leaving behind two children and a widow.

Ibrahim’s colleague Marwat said he was a good-natured person and performed his duty enthusiastically. “He sacrificed his life for the country, but now there is no one to care for his family,” said Marwat.

Published in The Express Tribune, November 21st, 2014.

Amid looming deadline: Parliamentary panel to pick new vote chief


As the government and the opposition failed to evolve a consensus on a new chief election commissioner (CEC), a parliamentary committee will now pick from the names shortlisted by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and opposition leader Khursheed Shah.

The two leaders will forward their nominees to the 12-member parliamentary committee today (Tuesday) which will start deliberations the next day. Headed by Senator Rafiq Rajwana, the parliamentary panel has equal representation from treasury and opposition benches. And under the rules the nomination has to be endorsed by a two-thirds majority.

Despite PTI chairman Imran Khan’s objection to the name of Justice (retd) Tassaduq Hussain Jillani, the lists prepared by both Nawaz and Shah carry his name. The Supreme Court Bar Association has also opposed Jillani’s nomination. However, under the Constitution it is only the prime minister and the leader of opposition who have to consult each other and forge a consensus.

In the event of their consensus, the name is forwarded to the parliamentary committee where a two-thirds majority vote is needed for approval of the name. But if there is no consensus, they can send their separate lists to the committee which has to pick one name through a two-thirds majority vote. Once the matter lands in the parliamentary committee, it has 14 days to decide the matter.

A meeting of the parliamentary committee will be convened on November 12 (Wednesday) only a day before the Supreme Court’s deadline (November 13) expires, after which it may withdraw its judge who is currently serving as acting CEC.

According to sources, Khurshid Shah has proposed in his list names of Justice (retd) Jillani, Justice (retd) Tariq Pervez and Justice (retd) Ajmal Mian while the prime minister’s list carries the names of Justice (retd) Jillani and Justice (retd) Saeedul Zaman Siddiqi.

The PML-N excluded from its list the name of Justice (retd) Rana Bhagwandas after he excused himself from the job while the opposition dropped the name of Justice (retd) Nasir Aslam Zahid proposed by the PTI due to some reservations.

Some media reports claimed that Justice Jillani has also declined to accept the responsibility. The PTI and some other parties which have been calling for revamp of the Election Commission may not accept the new appointment to be made by the PML-N and the PPP – parties which have a major say in the matter because of their numerical strength in parliament.

Due to growing political polarisation, the appointment of CEC has become a very contentious issue.

Talking to The Express Tribune, the parliamentary committee’s chairman, Senator Rafique Rajwana, said that under the laws the committee would contemplate the names and develop a consensus on one name. “If we fail to reach a consensus, then voting will take place and the new CEC will be appointed through a two-thirds majority,” he added.

He said the 12-member parliamentary committee included six senators and six MNAs. “PTI’s MNA Shehryar Afridi may not participate in the meeting due to his party policy. However the rest of the members will attend the meeting,” he added.

Apart from Rajwana and Afridi, Captain (retd) Muhammad Safdar, Muhammad Junaid Anwar Chaudhry, Muhammad Arshad Khan Leghari, Muhammad Ayaz Soomro, Shazia Marri, Dr Farooq Sattar, Dr Darshan, Haji Muhammad Adeel, Islamuddin Shaikh and Sardar Muhamamd Yaqoob Nasir are part of the committee.

Federal Information Minister Senator Pervez Rashid hoped that the government would meet the SC’s deadline for appointment of the CEC. He neither denied nor confirmed the inclusion of Justice Jillani in both lists, but said that almost all parties have shown trust in his person.

Meanwhile, former president of Supreme Court Bar Association Asma Jahagir opposed the appointment of Supreme Court’s former judges as CEC. “I believe retired judges should not be made a burden on national exchequer as they are already getting around Rs600,000 in pension,” she said.

Published in The Express Tribune, November 11th, 2014.

Monica Dogra can afford to pick and choose

MUMBAI: US-based Indian origin singer and actor, Monica Dogra, anxiously awaits the release of her forthcoming movie Fireflies,  and is of the view that as an artist, she can afford to be choosy about the projects she is offered.

She tried acting as a full-fledged actor with Dhobi Ghat, which was released in 2010. Since then she has had only one release, David.

“I don’t really consider me not doing films as something bad,” she commented when asked why she’s not seen more frequently on the big screen.

“I am choosy about the projects I do because I can afford to be choosy, because I am an artist. I create work. I don’t really rely on someone else to give me the opportunity to be an artist,” Dogra said  in an interview.

The 31-year-old, who had shared screen space with superstar Aamir Khan in Dhobi Ghat, is not so concerned about acting in big films or being in the limelight.

“I’m not really concerned about working in commercial films and being a mainstream actor,” she said, adding that her name is “quite known” for what she is and what she does.

“I prefer to be an individual than something sellable. That’s kind of my ethos,” she said.

She plays a writer In Sabal Singh Shekhawat’s directorial debut film Fireflies.

Set for an October 31 release, the film’s story revolves around two estranged brothers – portrayed by Rahul Khanna and Arjun Mathur – and how fate brings them together after 15 years.

She is not only acting in Fireflies, she has also penned two songs for the film and will be seen in a bolder avatar in the movie.

“My character in Fireflies is named Michelle. She is a writer and she experienced success with her first book but is experiencing what all creative people experience after one project is successful, which is writer’s block and finds it difficult to turn out work. She goes on a journey to find inspiration and that’s how she finds Raunaq (Arjun Mathur),” she said. 

Published in The Express Tribune, October 30th, 2014.

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Australia pick pacemen for South Africa ODIs in Perth

SYDNEY: Seamer Josh Hazlewood was one of six speedsters named Wednesday in Australia’s initial one-day squad against world number one South Africa in November, as selectors look to the 2015 World Cup on home soil.

The 23-year-old, who has played only two ODIs for Australia and has struggled with injuries, has earned rave early season reviews for New South Wales.

“We are continuing to keep a close eye on players we feel could have a significant role to play in the 2015 ICC Cricket World Cup,” said national selector Rod Marsh. “And many of these players have been rewarded with selection.
“At this stage, the squad is only for the first two matches of the series and balances out player preparation for long and short form of cricket as we build into a big summer.”
Ashes avenger Mitchell Johnson leads the six pacers in Australia’s 13-man lineup, but there is no specialist spinner for the two games on the fast and bouncy WACA track.
“Nathan Coulter-Nile has returned from injury after missing the Zimbabwe tour and along with Josh Hazlewood, finished in the top three wicket-takers in the [domestic] Matador Cup,” he said.

Mitchell Starc and James Faulkner, who were in the side that won the ODI series against Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates earlier this month, have been left out of the initial squad to face South Africa.

Wicket keeper Matthew Wade was called in to replace Brad Haddin who will be rested following the UAE tour.

Australia are expected to include only one keeper in their 15-man squad for the World Cup, which gets underway on February 14, and selector Trevor Hohns suggested Test vice-captain Haddin remains first choice.

“I’ve got the opportunity to play two more games for Australia and then Haddin will probably come back so I’ll just take it for what it is,” said 26-year-old Wade.

Selector Marsh also praised the batting lineup.

“It has great balance with the likes of David Warner, Aaron Finch and Shane Watson at the top of the order complemented by players such as Michael Clarke, George Bailey and Steve Smith.”

Clarke, who missed the ODI whitewash of Pakistan with back problems, returns as captain while all-rounder Shane Watson has also been included at the expense of Phil Hughes.

Before the ODI series, South Africa first play three Twenty20 games against Australia on November 5, 7 and 9 after a warm-up against a Cricket Australia XI on Friday at North Sydney Oval.

Australian squad:

Michael Clarke (capt), George Bailey, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Aaron Finch, Josh Hazlewood, Mitchell Johnson, Mitchell Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Kane Richardson, Steve Smith, Matthew Wade, David Warner, Shane Watson.
ODI fixtures: Australia v South Africa
Nov 14: Ist ODI Perth
Nov 16: 2nd ODI Perth
Nov 19: 3rd ODI Canberra
Nov 21: 4th ODI Melbourne
Nov 23: 5th ODI Sydney


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