Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Shoaib family rejects Aisha ’nikah’ claim

LAHORE: Shoaib Malik’s brother in law Imran Zafar Malik has denied that nikah happened between Malik and Aisha Siddiqi. 

Speaking to Geo here on Wednesday, Malik said that Aisha’s family was welcome to go to the court.

“India’s Siddiqi family has disgraced Shoaib, he said, adding, we will also not hesitate to take a legal course against them,” said Malik.

On the issue of marriage reports with Aisha Siddiqi, he said that Shoaib remained mum o the issue due to the involvement of a girl.

CRC members sign 18th Amendment draft

ISLAMABAD: A parliamentary committee agreed on a constitutional amendment Wednesday that strips the president of powers inherited from the country's former military ruler, fulfilling a long-standing opposition demand.

''This was a difficult job that has been done amicably and with consensus,'' Senator Raza Rabbani, the head of the parliamentary committee, told reporters Wednesday.

He thanked all the members of the committee and said the nation’s interest is kept first after setting aside party’s interest.

Federal Law Minister Babar Awan, after singing the draft, said there are nearly 100 clauses in the draft amendment.

“We will soon announce when we will take the draft to the parliament,” said Awan.

The draft amendment transfers a variety of powers, including the ability to fire an elected government and appoint military chiefs, from the office of the president to the prime minister, said Senator Hasil Baloch, another member of the committee.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Indian tennis star Sania Mirza will wed to Pakistan Cricket Star Shoaib Malik on April 15, 2010, Confirms father of Tennis Star and Pakistani Cricket Star

LAHORE: Pakistani cricketer Shoaib Malik and Indian tennis star Sania Mirza are going to tie the knot on April 15, Sania's father Imran Mirza confirmed to media and Shoaib confirmed the date on Internet.

As per reports, the two sports stars have been in an affair for the last six months, which had led to Sania's earlier engagement to break.

Sources said that the mother of Shoaib Malik went to Indian city of Hyderabad Deccan where she met with the family of Sania Mirza and finalized Shoaib and Sania's marriage.

This may be recalled that earlier engagements of both Malik and Mirza had come to an end.

Malik was engaged with Ayesha Siddiqui also from Hyderabad Deccan on June 3, 2002 while Sania on the other side was engaged with childhood friend Sohrab Khan which ended in January 2010.

The wedding ceremony of Shoaib Malik and Sania Mirza will take place in India on April 15 while the valima reception will be hosted by Malik on April 16 in Lahore.

"I desire to get married soon. You will soon get some good news but it depends on my family. I fully expect to get married this year," Shoaib had said in a recent interaction with the media.

Now, the Shoaib confirmed  on internet that his wedding will take place in India on April 15 and he further said that if Sania wants to continue his tennis career than he will not stop her from continuing her career.

Asked if it would be an arranged marriage, he said, "No can say what will happen, but it will take place with the concurrence of my family."

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Gilani in bid to break deadlock with PML-N

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani is trying to break a deadlock created by a sudden change in PML-N chief’s stance on the 18th amendment. 

The prime minister went to Lahore on Saturday evening to try to use his contacts in the PML-N to get in touch with Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, his son Hamza Shahbaz or Senator Ishaq Dar, a member of the parliamentary committee on constitutional reforms. 

The committee’s chairman Mian Raza Rabbani said: “I am optimistic about the outcome of the efforts initiated by the prime minister to break the deadlock. A positive development is likely in a couple of days.” 

Senator Rabbani said he had met Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam chief Maulana Fazlur Rahman and Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party’s leader Mehmood Khan Achakzai to seek their support for the success of the committee. 

He discussed with the two leaders ways of forging a consensus on renaming the NWFP. Both the leaders have supported ‘Pakhtunkhwa’, the name for the province proposed by the Awami National Party. 

PML-N leader Siddiqul Farooq said: “My party is sincerely cooperating in finalising the draft of the 18th amendment without compromising on independence of the judiciary, provided the government side also shows sincerity.” 

He said it was up to Prime Minister Gilani to handle the issue after having expressed his readiness to meet Mian Nawaz Sharif. 

When asked if there had been contacts between the prime minister and the PML-N leadership, he said: “Everyone has realised the seriousness of the matter.” 

The sources said that Mr Gilani had been upset by Law Minister Babar Awan’s ‘premature’ announcement about the convening of a joint session of the two houses of parliament without consulting him. 

The move drew an adverse reaction from the PML-N and upset the entire scheme of things, they said. 

During a meeting with Senator Rabbani, the sources said, the prime minister expressed regret over the incident and promised that he would try to control the damage by using his influence in the PML-N. 

According to the sources, Senator Rabbani who is also an adviser to the prime minister indicated that he would step down if uncertainty persisted over the work being done by his committee. 

Meanwhile, a leader of the Pakistan People’s Party said a section in the government was thinking of getting the proposed constitutional reforms bill approved by parliament without PML-N’s support by winning over the PML-Q and its splinter groups.

Dimming out for Mother Earth

This image released by the Nasa Earth Observatory of the Earth’s city lights was created with data from the Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP) Operational Linescan System (OLS). Originally designed to view clouds by moonlight, the OLS is also used to map the locations of permanent lights on the Earth’s surface. The brightest areas of the Earth are the most urbanized, but not necessarily the most populated.

Glasses containing candles form the number 60 in celebration of Earth Hour in La Paz.

People light candles during Earth Hour in Cancun.

In this combo picture, a view of Malaysia's landmark Patronas Twin Towers is seen before (L) and during lights out (R) for Earth Hour in Kuala Lumpur.

A combo shows the Eiffel tower submerging into darkness at 8-30 pm (local time) in Paris as part of the Earth Hour switch-off.

Jordanians hold candles, as they gather to mark 'earth hour' in Amman, Jordan.

A newly married couple Ruchita and Vishvas Sawant participate in candle light rally for Earth, in Mumbai, India.

A fire acrobat performs in front of the Bulgarian National Theatre, with lights turned off as part of Earth Hour in Sofia.

A man lights candles during Earth Hour by the West lake in Hanoi.

An Indian family eats under candlelight at a restaurant in observance of Earth Hour in Amritsar, India.

Emirati girls stand next to mascots Spark and Splash during the Earth Hour lantern march in Dubai. Hundreds of people, from white-robed Emiratis to foreigners in shorts, marched with small lanterns to mark Earth Hour, as the lights went out in some of Dubai's landmarks and most iconic buildings.

A Pakistani boy holds a candle in front of the national assembly in Islamabad.

During last Saturday’s Earth Hour, homes, office towers and landmarks around the world turned off their lights from 8.30 pm local time, for an hour, to raise awareness about climate change and the threat from rising greenhouse gas emissions. Buildings in some 4,000 cities in more than 120 countries unplugged to reduce energy consumption. –Photos by Agencies

Landmarks, cities worldwide unplug for Earth Hour

LONDON: Europe's best known landmarks - including the Eiffel Tower, Big Ben and Rome's Colosseum - fell dark Saturday, following Sydney's Opera House and Beijing's Forbidden City in joining a global climate change protest, as lights were switched off across the world to mark the Earth Hour event.

In the United States, the lights went out at the Empire State Building in New York, the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C., and the Coca-Cola headquarters in Atlanta, among many other sites in the Eastern time zone.

Millions were expected to turn off lights and appliances for an hour from 8:30 p.m. in a gesture to highlight environmental concerns and to call for a binding pact to cut greenhouse gas emissions. This year's was the fourth annual Earth Hour, organized by the World Wildlife Fund.

''I think it's great to see that hundreds of millions of people share this common value of lowering our carbon footprint,'' said Dan Forman, a spokesman for WWF in Washington.

Some 4,000 cities in more than 120 countries - starting with the remote Chatham Islands off the coast of New Zealand - voluntarily switched off Saturday to reduce energy consumption, though traffic lights and other safety features were unaffected, organizers said.

''We have everyone from Casablanca to the safari camps of Namibia and Tanzania taking part,'' said Greg Bourne, CEO of WWF in Australia, which started Earth Hour in 2007 in Sydney before it spread to every continent.

Other sites expected to participate in the U.S. were businesses on the glittering Las Vegas strip and the Mount Rushmore presidential monument in South Dakota. The lights stayed on at the White House, US Capitol and the Lincoln and Washington monuments, though they were switched off at the Smithsonian Institution and the National Portrait Gallery.

In Europe, Italy's Leaning Tower of Pisa, the Arc de Triomphe in Paris and buildings across Germany went dark. Amsterdam planned to cut the lights at most city buildings including Schiphol Airport, Artis Zoo and the Amsterdam Arena.

''It's saying to our politicians - you can't give up on climate change,'' said WWF spokeswoman Debbie Chapman in the UK Buckingham Palace and the British Parliament building were scheduled to go dark to support the campaign, along with other famed London landmarks including St. Paul's Cathedral and the Royal Albert Hall, as well as Edinburgh Castle in Scotland.

''Tackling climate change is urgent and vital to both safeguard our environment and our children's future. We can make a difference if we act now and act together,'' said British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, who switched off lights at his Downing Street residence in London.

Rome switched off the lights of the Trevi Fountain, the 18th-century landmark where many tourists flip a coin in hopes of coming back to the city. State-TV RAI showed the fountain that was immortalized by Federico Fellini in ''La Dolce Vita'' falling dark.

Moscow's iconic and imposing State University, perched on a hill overlooking the city, all but disappeared into the darkness as the city took part in the protest. The gigantic Luzhniki Stadium nearby also went black, as did the skyscraping Ukraina Hotel downtown. Restaurants in Vladivostok held a so-called Candle Evening, promoting Earth Hour as a chance for romance.

Sweden turned out lights at the government's headquarters in Stockholm, the golfball-shaped Ericsson Globe arena, royal castles and streets in several towns, including popular skiing resort Are.

Giant panda Mei Lan led events in 30 Chinese cities, walking onto a platform amid dimming lights in her enclosure at the Chengdu Panda Breeding Research Center in the southwestern province of Sichuan, said Chris Chaplin of WWF in China. Lights were also turned off in Beijing's imperial palace known as the Forbidden City.

Taiwan's Presidential Palace and at least 20 Taipei skyscrapers went dark, while hundreds of Taiwanese placed candles beside a Taiwan map formed by energy-saving LED lights at a square outside the city hall.

Researchers at the Davis Station, in Antarctica, also joined the campaign - shutting off lights at the base.

''Tonight, hundreds of millions of people are raising their voices by turning out their lights. It is a simple act, but a powerful call to action,'' said WWF Director-General, James Leape.

Last year, some 88 cities took part in Earth Hour, which is backed by the United Nations as well as global corporations, nonprofit groups, schools, scientists and celebrities.

Pak cricket team training camp begins today

LAHORE: The training camp of the Pakistan cricket team in preparation of the Twenty20 World Cup will begin today in Lahore.

The players included in the squad reported at the camp.

Pakistan team with its new coach and new captain will begin its preparations for the T20 World Cup.

The five reserve players will also take part in the camp along with the selected 15 players of the team while eight more players from the 30 probables have also been invited for practice at the camp.

According to the PCB spokesman, first a detailed meeting of the players and the management will be held before the camp begins in the morning and the practice schedule will be finalized.

Later, the players will do net practice from 3-00 pm to 6-00 pm.

Coach Waqar Younis will address at the news conference during the camp.