Tuesday, August 3, 2010
Sardar Latif Khosa, Adviser to the Prime Minister on Information Technology who resigned recently and wrote in detail to the PM that he would reveal billions of rupees scams to President Asif Ali Zardari at the right time.
“At this stage I will offer no comment, however, I confirm that I have written letters to the PM with all the proofs,” Khosa told, when he was asked about the contents of his letters.
Sources close to him say he is waiting for the right time so that someone may listen to him.
In a recent tug-of-war between Khosa and Secretary IT, the former has written a few confidential letters to the prime minister alleging massive corruption in MoIT focusing on USF fund as grey traffic has been going on unabated there.
Sardar Latif Khosa told that he had written letters to the prime minister according to his conscience because it was the PPP, which would be blamed for inactions.
However sources close to Khosa say letters sent to the PM were loaded with annexure showing proofs but so far no response has been given by the PM.
Regarding grey traffic, billions of un-audited money of MoIT, the games being played by IT Board and the role of Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA), Khosa in one of his letters to PM has written:
“Projects worth billions and subsidies to his (secretary IT) credit were neither audited by AGP nor mandatory report submitted to the National Assembly, which I directed. No better were the affairs of the ICT R&D. Both of which Senate Standing Committee and National Assembly Committee on IT have advised enquiries and regarding which I had also done so but with no progress. The board members were themselves bidders and with their conflict of interests under all standards national/international they continued to be there. They are all defaulters to the tune of billions and even defaulted towards fulfillment of their contractual obligations. How could I shut my eyes, as ultimately government would be blamed for inactions and collusion? I thus acted and also inserted these in the rules to stem illegalities. Even the PTA, which is under the Cabinet Division, is dicey about loss of billions of MOIT monies and grey traffic goes unabated causing loss of billions to the national exchequer.”
PTA says that it has recently raided some 25 illegal gateways to curb grey trafficking and the success of raid was 100 percent and PTA is still searching for other illegal gateways.
PTA says that it has recently raided some 25 illegal gateways to curb grey trafficking and the success of raid was 100 percent and PTA is still searching for other illegal gateways.
The spokesman of PTA said that the billions of rupees for which PTA was being dragged into controversy were collected by PTA on behalf of MoIT and were submitted in the consolidated fund of MoIT in the Finance Ministry.
It is worth mentioning here that PTA has so far issued 14 Long Distance and International licenses to telecom operators, which could transfer the international calls landing in Pakistan and whosoever, apart from these 14, would operate, as a gateway would be charged under grey trafficking.
A genius once said, “There is no great genius without a mixture of madness”, that was Aristotle.
I can totally relate that madness to how I experienced TEDxLahore on July 31st in the Ali Auditorium. It was a madness of ideas, visions, madness of how dreams, dares and do’s come together to form the perfect blend of ‘Collective Genius’.
Let’s start with a little about TED and TEDxLahore
TED is a small nonprofit devoted to “ideas worth spreading”. The conference started out as a platform to unite people with innovative ideas from the world of: Technology,Entertainment and Design but now the scope has become even broader. As of today, over 700 TED Talks are available for free online.
TEDxLahore finds its association with TEDx, a program that enables schools, businesses or groups to enjoy a TED-like experience that they themselves organize, design and host.
The following review doesn’t run down with a spoiler label since my only aim is to put the post-event thoughts in a blender, shake’em up and then present to you whatever comes out of it – good or bad.
The Hype, Excitement, Oops! And the Hoo-Haa
The team made it sure that I enjoyed the experience throughout. For me, the excitement started the day I came to know about TEDxLahore through it’s Facebook fan-page and even though the event is now done and over, the excitement still hasn’t ended. From the attendee application form to how I waited for the approval email, the wait just kept adding more and more to the hype and fun.
I knew the day I signed up that I was about to be a part of something big, something brilliant, something exhilarating and TEDxLahore hasn’t let me down.
Now let’s move on to a little controversial talk – shall we?
Over a thousand applications were received but only a mere 380 were selected as attendees but the question that roams around the streets of mysteryville is how the attendees were selected, based on what criterion exactly?
For some of us, the “First come, first served” rule is enough to understand why some of us might have not been invited as attendees but for the rest of us I have another theory – The purpose of TEDxLahore wasn’t just to approve the attendee applications as they rolled in rather even consider the class of the applicant.
Teachers, designers, engineers, parents, journalists, technologists, entrepreneurs, students, professors, sportsmen, artists, writers are some of the many classes of attendees at TEDxLahore. Moreover it also matters how you filled out the application form since the team was probably hoping to look deep into your life experienceand ambitions instead of just knowing your name, age and location.
That brings it down to luck, wit, and enthusiasm but then again, it’s just my personal theory. On the other hand I think the TEDxLahore team could have done better by providing a sample of how the application form should be filled and as far as the issue of not notifying the rejected applicants is concerned, that was perhaps totally unprofessional on their part.
The Speakers, Talks, Performances and the Glitches
The choice of speakers was wise but the choice of numbers wasn’t. I personally would have preferred cutting down on the number of speakers and a primary focus on technology – but then again that’s just me. Perhaps language, culture, art define the flavor of the city of Lahore and perhaps that’s an experience that the organizers wanted the attendees to have.
I would label Dr. ZeeshanUsmani as the showstopper for the event for his brilliant sense of humor mixed with the great talk on ‘modeling a suicide bombing’, now that’s what you call innovation. The performance by NoorZehra (mother of Ali Noor from ‘Noori’) and the brilliant Tabla/Drum play by a group at the end of the show were the toppings of the delicious experience.
Much like any other event, TEDxLahore had some repelling elements but for all the learning and experience that the platform provided me with, I would happily want to ignore of all of it.
At the end of the day its for us to realize that nothing is perfect every new beginning is a start of something big and TEDxLahore is one such beginning for all of us, for many years and many experiences that are yet to come. Kudos to the AsimFayaz, the curator, and kudos to the team.
KARACHI: Thirty-two people were shot dead in the violence, according to agencies, following the killing of Muttahida Qaumi Movement Member of the Provincial Assembly (MPA) Raza Haider in the Nazimabad area on Monday evening.
Police put the death toll at 30 as violent incidents rocked the metropolitan city after the killing of the MPA, who was also a senior Muttahida leader. There were fears that the death toll could rise.
According to police surgeon Hamid Priyar, 30 people were killed in the recent spate of targeted killings. He said that by 2 am Tuesday morning, they had received 11 bodies at Civil Hospital Karachi, 11 at Jinnah Post Graduate Medical Centre, five at Abbasi Shaheed and two at Qatar Hospital in Orangi town.
More than 60 people were injured in the violence. Seventeen were shifted to the CHK, 24 to the JPMC, eight to the ASH and 11 to Qatar Hospital. About 30 vehicles, several shops, one petrol pump and many kiosks and pushcarts were also set on fire. There were also reports of violence and damage to property in interior Sindh.
Life in Karachi came to a standstill as soon as the news of the MQM leader’s killing spread. Massive traffic jams were witnessed at all the major thoroughfares of Karachi. In the ensuing violence, several vehicles were torched.
Police sources said that MPA Haider came to the Nazimabad area to console a death. Later, he went to Jamia Masjid Trust situated in Nazimabad No-2. In the meantime, armed men riding two motorcycles and a Corolla car stopped in front of the mosque. They first killed Constable Khalid, the MPA’s guard, who was standing outside the mosque. Then they barged into the mosque and opened fire at MPA Haider, who was performing ablution. A passer-by, Arsalaan, was also injured in the attack.
Police said that the people present at the scene shifted the injured to hospital where MPA Raza Haider was pronounced dead. Hospital sources said that the deceased MPA Haider received six bullet wounds on his head, right and left arms and chest. They added that PC Khalid received two bullets while Arsalan received three bullets.
BEIJING: A 50-year-old Chinese man Li Sanju, from Niwuei, has been eating only grass and roots, for the last year and a half, without any serious health problems.
The eccentric Chinese says the idea came to him, in October of 2008, while watching TV show, where he learned man can survive for 10 days without eating. This inspired him to live on water and stuff he could find on the mountain. At first he gave up meat completely, but continued eating some rice. After a few weeks, he gave up on rice and only ate grass, roots and tree leaves.
After eating a lot of grass, Mr. Li suffered from diarrhea, for days in a row. He believed it was from the pesticides spayed on plants around the village, so he decided to only pick his food from up the mountain. He has lived like this for a year and a half, and says it made him healthier. The tumors he had on his right leg simply vanished, and he hasn’t had any other health problems.
Li Sanju says he rarely goes to the city these days, since there’s little for him to eat there. Someone offered him 10,000 yuan to eat a piece of meat, but he says he declined, for fear of dying.
LONDON: Highly-caffeinated energy drinks pose serious health risk to children, experts said. It argues that the growing availability of energy drinks is a potential danger to the health of young people who are vulnerable to the effects of caffeine.
At a minimum, all products with caffeine levels exceeding 100 milligrams should have labels and advertising that carry warnings comparable to those required for caffeine tablets. To minimize use by children, there should be no advertising targeting this vulnerable group.
The excessive amounts of caffeine can lead to irritability, loss of sleep, nervousness, and even rapid heart rate.
MUMBAI: Bollywood actor Aamir Khan seems to have taken a long break from acting after the huge success of 3 Idiots.
In fact Sharman Joshi and Rajkumar Hirani along with Aamir have not touched a single new movie and have been away from shooting for the last eight months.
Buzz is that Aamir has been flooded with offers after 3 Idiots but he has opted to sit out.
A source says, "Any other actor would’ve made the most of having been part of a successful film.
Aamir is busy with film promotions, Raju is writing his scripts and Sharman, who refused comedies like Golmaal 3, has not signed anything yet. Sharman has always stressed on quality over quantity.
He will only do so when a genuinely good script and a challenging role comes his way."
SINGAPORE: Oil rose towards 12-week highs above $79 on Monday, driven by investor appetite for commodities and energy risk, with macroeconomic indicators in top consumers the United States and China showing slower but sustained growth.
U.S. September crude CLc1 rose 24 cents to $79.19 a barrel by 0200 GMT, having reached a 12-week high of $79.69 last week and climbed 4.35 percent last month. ICE Brent LCOc1 gained 19 cents to $78.37.
Money managers increased bets that prices would rise, the so-called net long crude oil positions, to the highest level since May on the New York Mercantile Exchange in the week to July 27, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission said on Friday, when wheat surged to cap its biggest monthly gain since 1959.
"Long positions are starting to creep back into the market," said Ben Westmore, a commodities analyst at National Australia Bank in Melbourne, adding, "It's a gradual process of regaining confidence that there is not going to be a default soon," in a reference to the euro zone's debt crisis.
"The market is aware of the fact that it's going to be a pretty slow recovery in the U.S. and the euro zone, so although oil demand will grow over the next 12 months or so, it's going to be a slow, gradual process," Westmore said.
U.S. gross domestic product expanded at a 2.4 percent annual rate, missing expectations for growth of 2.5 percent, after an upwardly revised 3.7 percent growth pace in the first quarter.
"People are looking more closely at the U.S. GDP number and although the core of the market was disappointed, it was not too far from expectations and there was a revision upwards to the first quarter," said Westmore. "It was slightly more positive."
China's official purchasing managers' index (PMI) fell to a 17-month low in July of 51.2 from 52.1 in June, the China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing (CFLP) said on Sunday.
The PMI is designed to provide a timely snapshot of business conditions and a figure above 50 indicates expansion.
But Japan's Nikkei average climbed 1.3 percent on Monday as investors snapped up shares of firms with robust corporate earnings, helping the market shrug off the lacklustre U.S. and Chinese economic data.
A tropical cyclone forming in the mid-Atlantic also lent support to oil prices as the hurricane season enters what in recent years has been a period of peak activity between August and early October.
The U.S. National Hurricane Center (NHC) said late on Sunday that a tropical depression may be forming in the mid-Atlantic, assigning an 80 percent likelihood that the system may become a tropical cyclone within the next 48 hours.
Attention this week will remain on U.S. economic data, with the Institute for Supply Management manufacturing index expected later on Monday, followed by July payrolls on Friday.
U.S. crude inventories posted their biggest weekly increase since 2008 in the week to July 23 as imports surged, while gasoline stockpiles climbed for a fifth consecutive week and supplies of distillates including diesel for a ninth.
"The oil balance is not going to tighten too much," Westmore said.
ATLANTA: Nearing a milestone in the long and divisive Iraq war, President Barack Obama on Monday hailed this month's planned withdrawal of all U.S. combat troops — "as promised and on schedule" — as a major success despite deep doubts about the Iraqis' ability to police and govern their country.
Portraying the end of America's combat role in the 7-year war as a personal promise kept, Obama said Iraq will have 90,000 fewer U.S. troops by September than when he took office — a steady homeward flow he called "a season of homecomings." But there could still be more fighting involving U.S. forces.
"The hard truth is we have not seen the end of American sacrifice in Iraq," the president said in a speech to the national convention of the Disabled American Veterans. "But make no mistake, our commitment in Iraq is changing — from a military effort led by our troops to a civilian effort led by our diplomats."
A transitional force of 50,000 troops will remain, down from the peak of 160,000 in 2007. Their mission will be to train and advise Iraqi security forces, protect U.S. civilians, manage the chain of supplies and equipment out of Iraq and conduct counterterrorism operations.
Those soldiers and Marines will remain in harm's way and will be likely to engage at times in some form of fighting. Iraqi commanders will be able to ask the U.S. for front-line help.
All American troops are to leave Iraq by the end of next year, as mandated under an agreement negotiated before Obama took office, between the Iraqis and President George W. Bush.
Obama's speech Monday was the first of many, with appearances planned throughout the month by the president, Vice President Joe Biden and other administration officials. The schedule reflects a White House eager, with pivotal congressional elections approaching, for achievements to tout, especially in areas with the emotional significance of the Iraq war.
Obama's campaign pledge to oversee a speedy conclusion to the U.S. fighting was the promise that most defined his presidential campaign, and it brought him significant support.
KARACHI: Raza Haider, an MQM leader and member Sindh Assembly, and his guard were shot dead here at a mosque in Nazimabad on Monday, Geo News reported.
Unknown armed motorcyclists fired shots at Raza Haider as well as his guard when he was preparing to attend a funeral prayer at a mosque in Nazimabad Block No.2.
Raza Haider succumbed to his wounds died when he was being rushed to Abbasi Shaheed Hospital. The guard died later while receiving medical aid at the hospital.
The MQM leader was elected an MPA from PS-94 Karachi 6.
Separate incidents of firing were reported in different parts of the city shortly after the fatal attack on MQM leader while several vehicles were set on fire in different parts of the metropolis.
The incident sent a wave of fear and panic across the metropolis, as shopkeepers pulled down their shutters in view of any violent reaction by enraged people.
Interior Minister Rehman Malik condemned the incident, urging the people to remain calm.
He termed the targeted killings in Karachi as a ‘latest formula’ being used to destabilize the country.
Rehman Malik urged MQM leaders to wait for investigation and called upon the people to observe restraint.
He said he would soon hold a meeting with MQM leaders.
MQM leaders Babar Ghauri and Haider Abbas Rizvi expressed profound grief on the tragic incident.
“It would be difficult to put a cap on the chapter opened (today),” Babar Ghauri asserted.
Posted by newsbook at 7:48 AM