Bilawal declares war on “hijackers of faith”

KARACHI: Chairman of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari, on Friday said he was declaring jihad (holy war) against hijackers of the faith.

Addressing his supporters at Karachi’s Karsaz on the occasion of the sixth anniversary of the Oct 18, 2007 bomb blasts that killed 176 people during a historic rally led by Benazir Bhutto, Bilawal promised supporters that he would fight for the people.

The PPP chairman said that on Oct 18, the Taliban had used a child in the suicide attack on the rally led by his mother on her return from Dubai.

He said the PPP was a party of jiyalas (zealots), adding that it had given numerous sacrifices on several occasions.

Speaking at the site of the attack amid cheer from party supporters, Bilawal said he had “sacrificed” his childhood and his mother for the country.

During the address, he said Karachi still remained “a colony of London” and pledged that his party would “rescue the people of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa from the tsunami”.

He laid a floral wreath at the memorial of those killed in the Karsaz bombing and offered prayers for the victims.

Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah, PPP leader Mian Raza Rabbani and various other party leaders were also present on the occasion.

Bilawal then headed to the mausoleum of Abdullah Shah Ghazi to pay his respects.

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PTI to unveil white paper on 21st

KARACHI: Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf chief Imran Khan said on Saturday his party would unveil on Aug 21 what he called a “white paper on the rigging during general elections.

“Our party has prepared a detailed and evidence-based white paper showing how the elections were stolen through widespread rigging on May 11, which will be made public on Aug 21,” he remarked at a press conference held at residence of a PTI leader.

He called for deployment of military personnel both inside and outside the polling stations during elections in 42 constituencies on Aug 22.

The press conference ended chaotically because the journalists present disagreed with Mr Khan’s response to a question about the attitude of his party’s workers at the airport earlier

Ten killed in Quetta during Eidul Fitr prayers

QUETTA: At least 10 people were killed and many others injured on Friday in an attack that targetted a mosque the Eidul Fitr prayers near Quetta’s eastern bypass.

The shooting came a day after a suicide bomber targeted a police funeral and killed 38 people, mostly police officers, in the same city.

“Four gunmen opened fire when people were coming out of the mosque after saying Eid prayers,” senior local police official Bashir Ahmad Brohi told dss.

Brohi said a former Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) provincial minister, Ali Madad Jattak, was also in the mosque and could have been the target.

“But we are not sure at the moment and are investigating, “he said, adding that Jattak escaped unhurt although bullets hit his car.

Another local police official, Sultan Ahmad, confirmed the incident and casualties outside the mosque, which is also a preaching and research centre.

Nobody has so far claimed responsibility for the shooting. Most recent attacks in Quetta, the capital of oil- and gas-rich Balochistan province bordering Afghanistan and Iran, have been linked to a Baloch separatist insurgency or sectarian violence.

On Tuesday Baloch separatists shot dead 14 people including three security officials, 70 kilometres southeast of Quetta.

Suicide attack on Quetta funeral kills 30: police chief

QUETTA: A suicide blast at the funeral of a slain police officer in Quetta killed 30 people on Thursday, including at least 21 police officers, said Balochistan police chief Mushtaq Sukhera.

“So far we can confirm 21 police personnel, including senior police officials, have been killed. Nine other victims are yet to be identified,” Inspector General Mushtaq Sukhera told a press conference. “I can confirm 40 people have been injured.”

Sukhera confirmed the attack was carried out by a suicide bomber. “The death toll may rise because the condition of most of the injured is critical,” he said.

According to reports, the suicide bomber detonated his explosives outside the mosque in Quetta’s Police Lines area where the funeral procession of station house officer Mohibullah was being held. The bomb went off as senior officers prepared to offer prayers for their colleague.

The injured were shifted to the Civil Hospital and the Combined Military Hospital.

Deputy Inspector General (DIG) Police Operations Fayyaz Sumbal, Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Headquarters Shamsuddin and Superintendent Ali Mehr were among the senior police officials killed in the bombing.

Sukhera said among the senior officials killed were one DIG and three DSPs. ”Our brave officers embraced martyrdom but we will continue sacrificing our lives for the security of our motherland,” he said.

The blast was the second targeted attack on Thursday on police personnel in the provincial capital, which has been under high security the entire day. SHO Mohibullah was shot dead by unknown gunmen earlier this morning when he was reportedly taking his family for Eid shopping.

Eyewitnesses said fear and chaos spread among the people attending the funeral following the blast. TV channels broadcast live footage from inside the mosque of frightened mourners scrambling for cover as they heard the loud explosion.

“All my colleagues are gone. The DSP, SP, DIG… they’re all gone,” said one emotional eyewitness reduced to tears.

Some described the horror after the explosion. “I was inside the mosque and we were lining up for the funeral prayers when a big blast took place. I came out and saw injured and dead bodies,” policeman Mohammad Hafiz told reporters. “I have no words to explain what I’ve seen. It was horrible.”

No militant group has yet claimed responsibility for the bombing, one of the worst targeted attacks on police in the violence-hit provincial capital.

Over 2,000 journalists may miss their right to vote

ISLAMABAD: Over 2,000 journalists working in various media houses in Islamabad and Rawalpindi will not be able to cast their votes in their ancestral areas due to their duties on election day.

The journalists, who belong to various parts of the country, have demanded of the Election Commission of Pakistan to devise a swift strategy to facilitate them to cast their vote in their respective constituencies on May 11.

A large number of journalists have been assigned election duties by their organizations in the Federal Capital and neighboring Rawalpindi for providing prompt information to the general public.

The elections are one of the biggest exercise in the peace time and every media organization wants its proper coverage. But unfortunately the ECP has not devised any system in this era of high technology to ensure use of vote right by the journalists.

Zaghum Abbas Naqvi, a journalist belonging to Sargodha, told APP that the government employees had been given an opportunity to cast their vote through ballot papers but this facility was extended to the journalists.

Hafiz Nasir, another journalist who belongs to Raheem Yaar Khan, said that the ECP through a number of advertisements, seminars and conferences educated the people about the importance of their vote for the betterment of country. Ballot is the only way to elect representatives, he added.

He regretted that the ECP did not devise a mechanism for the journalists’ of the twin cities to cast their votes registered in their native areas.

Waqar Satti, President of Rawalpindi and Islamabad Union of Journalists, talking to APP, said that the it was the responsibility of the ECP to install a system through which the mediamen could cast their votes.

He urged the ECP to take immediate action in this regard and devise  a system facilitating the journalists to use their democratic right.

When contacted, ECP spokesman Khursheed Alam said that under the law there was no system for journalists or private employees to cast their votes.

There is a need to amend laws enabling such people to caste their votes, but it is not possible at this stage, he added.

Barrister Afzal Hussain, talking to APP, said that the parliament had been dissolved after completing its term and now only the President of Pakistan could promulgate an ordinance in this regard.

He said that the journalists sacrificed a lot for the democratic system in the country by upholding the rule of law and they should be given the right to cast their votes.

Afzal requested the President to promulgate an ordinance facilitating the journalists to cast votes in their receptive areas while performing the duties at their workplace.

INTEL PICKS INSIDER AS CEO, DASHING HOPES FOR SHAKEUP

Intel Chief Operating Officer Brian Krzanich is seen during an interview with Reuters at Intel headquarters in Santa Clara, California March 13, 2012. REUTERS/Robert Galbraith

SAN FRANCISCO/NEW YORK– Intel Corp chose veteran insider Brian Krzanich as chief executive, disappointing some investors who hoped an outsider would push for aggressive changes to help the world’s largest chipmaker catch up in the mobile revolution.

The company also announced on Thursday that software honcho Renée James, 48, had been elevated to the post of president. Her appointment signaled to some that Intel, while likely intending to stick with its formula of intense investment to keep it ahead in the microchip technology game, is willing to explore new growth areas.

The company said last November that it might go external for its next CEO, raising hopes that it might find someone to shake it out of recent doldrums.

Seen as a frontrunner for the job since November, Krzanich inherits a company with margins of almost 60 percent that has all but extinguished rival Advanced Micro Devices Inc in the past few years, and is now the dominant maker of microprocessors for computers and servers.

But the company is in danger of finding itself sidelined as mobile devices such as tablets and ever more powerful smartphones accelerate a contraction of the personal computer market. The majority of gadgets today run processors based on rival ARM Holdings Plc’s power-saving chip architecture.

“An external candidate might have been a better choice – with no negative reflection on Brian – simply because of the juncture Intel is at with what’s happening in the PC market and the need to take major action outside of PCs,” said Cody Acree, an analyst at Williams Financial Group.

“Brian may very well come in and make those same very difficult dramatic choices, but it’s less likely.”

He will take on the top job at the company’s annual shareholder meeting on May 16, replacing Paul Otellini.

A relative unknown outside the tight-knit semiconductor industry, Krzanich has worked at Intel since 1982, rising to chief operating officer just over a year ago.

The 52-year-old has earned a reputation for being a decisive leader who liked to keep a low profile. Intel on Thursday stressed that he will have a strong partner in James, who in 2011 spearheaded Intel’s $7.7 billion acquisition of No. 2 security software firm McAfee Inc.

She ran software product and service sales as well as a team of engineers focused on improving the performance of Microsoft Corp’s Windows 8 and Google Inc’s Android software when run on the company’s microchips.

Her elevation “puts emphasis on the many businesses Intel is in beyond just chips. This is an important promotion, and it clearly signals the board wants to make Intel a much broader company,” said Jack Gold, who runs research outfit Jack Gold Associates.

Intel shares closed 0.5 percent higher at $24.11 on the Nasdaq on Thursday.

CRUCIAL TIME

Intel’s board took six months to deliberate on who could best helm a company with deep roots in Silicon Valley and computing history. The company today rakes in more than $50 billion in annual sales and runs manufacturing facilities across the globe.

Over the past few months, media reports have mentioned several possible external candidates including Sanjay Jha, former head of Motorola’s mobile device division.

Intel Chairman Andy Bryant said Krzanich is capable of effecting a transformational move. But he also said Krzanich and James made for an “extremely powerful” partnership, and that the pair had co-developed a long-term strategic vision for the company that won the board over.

“They formed a partnership through the last few months that has blossomed into an extremely powerful pair,” he said.

“You’ll see a fairly dramatic change over a period of time,” Bryant told Reuters in an interview. “If you look at Intel’s past, with every CEO we’ve had that.”

Krzanich’s appointment comes at a crucial time for the company, which is gearing up for a transition in manufacturing processes to larger, 450 millimeter wafers, a gradual migration that may eventually trim production costs but which requires spending billions of dollars to upgrade facilities.

And it is scrambling to finalize and launch next-generation processors – code-named “Haswell” – that it hopes will cut down on power consumption and close the gap with ARM-based rival chips, popular among mobile users who prioritize battery life.

A chemical engineer by training who went to school in Northern California, Krzanich started with Intel in New Mexico as a process engineer before moving on to a series of factory management positions. He holds a patent for semiconductor processing and sits on the board of an industry association.

He told Reuters in a 2012 interview his best work during his three-decade career included shortening turnaround times in the chipmaker’s factories.

Intel announced in November that it was looking for a new CEO as Otellini announced plans to retire.

The Santa Clara, California, company came under fire during Otellini’s tenure for missing out on the mobile revolution, while underestimating the scale of the eventual drop-off in personal computer demand. The company, which once said emerging markets could offset a dropoff in developed-world demand, orchestrated a push on pricey “Ultrabook” laptops that has so far failed to excite consumers.

Last month, Intel warned that current-quarter revenue would fall as much as 8 percent, given the drop in PC sales. The company affirmed its full-year revenue growth target, but analysts think that forecast will be hard to hit.

“Some investors preferred an external option on the belief that new blood was needed,” said Raymond James analyst Hans Mosesmann.

But “the appointment is an indication that Intel will continue Paul Otellini’s strategy of building bigger, better fabs to attack the market.”

HIGHER EXPECTATIONS FOR DIGITAL MEDIA AT NEWFRONTS

NEW YORK — Last year, the inaugural Digitas NewFronts didn’t skimp on the hype.

Google, Hulu, Yahoo and others made brash, glitzy presentations to advertisers trumpeting their ascendancy in a rapidly changing media landscape. Even Jay-Z dropped by.

There will be plenty of the same this week in New York at the second Digitas NewFronts, the digital world’s take on the annual TV “upfront” tradition. But ahead of this year’s five-day-long overture to Madison Avenue, the talk is of both the great progress of digital entertainment and unrealized promises.

“It was absolutely a learning experience,” Doug McVehil, senior vice president of content and programming for the music video destination Vevo, says about last year’s NewFronts.”I know there’s some things we can do better this year both at the presentation itself and in terms of follow-up. But we’re all fairly new at this. This is a young thing for the digital media industry.”

In 12 months’ time, the industry has come a long way. Netflix’s first major original series, “House of Cards,” proved that streaming video can compete with the most prestigious cable programs. Google’s YouTube rolled out its 100-plus funded channels in a bid to bring higher quality videos (and thus advertisers) to its platform. One of the biggest TV stars, Jerry Seinfeld, launched a handsome Web series, “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee.”

But some of the digital series touted last year have disappointed. Although Yahoo’s “Bachelor”-spoof “Burning Love” has proved a modest hit, its Tom Hanks animated sci-fi series, “Electric City,” didn’t live up to its creator’s reputation. While the top YouTube channels have grown considerably, several of its star-driven efforts have fizzled.

“Last year, there were some big promises about not only the quality but the volume of shows that people are going to make,” says Eric Berger, executive vice president of digital networks for Sony Pictures TV, which owns the video site Crackle. “If you look back over the course of the year, as we talked to brands and agencies, there’re some questions about quality and about the volume of things that were actually produced.”

Crackle didn’t participate in the NewFronts last year but will this year. It will be promoting, among other shows, an upcoming second season of Seinfeld’s series.

Naturally, growing pains are inevitable, especially when so much is changing so fast. The wide array of NewFront presenters this year exhibits the evolving nature of media companies.

New presenters include The Wall Street Journal and Conde Nast, both venerable publishers known for their print products. But Conde Nast earlier this year launched online series slates for two of its magazines (GQ and Glamour), with plans to do the same for its other properties, including Vanity Fair and The New Yorker. The Journal, more than any other newspaper, has developed live video programing with its “WSJ Live” app.

“The Journal has really transformed itself since News Corp.’s acquisition into a complete content provider and not just business, finance and economics,” says Michael Rooney, chief revenue officer for The Journal, explaining its entry to the NewFronts. “The world still needs to learn and understand about that and what we have to offer.”

Yahoo will come into its presentation on the heels of acquiring the rights to archival clips to all 38 years of “Saturday Night Live.” YouTube recently announced that in May it will begin a series of theme weeks to highlight its premium channels, starting with comedy. On Sunday night, Vevo will kick off the fourth year of its flagship program “Unstaged,” a concert live stream. (Vampire Weekend will perform with Steve Buscemi directing the webcast.)

Performances will play a big part of Vevo’s presentation, with appearances by Carly Rae Jepsen, Kendrick Lamar and Jessie Ware. But McVehil says at this year’s NewFronts, brands want more than a good show.

“As we mature, I think it’s going to be about people looking hard at real numbers and performance and judging companies based on that more than how sexy their presentation was,” McVehil says.

Some companies are going it alone. NBCUniversal’s digital division, having been a part of the NewFronts last year, held a separate event in New York last week, as did the gaming network Machinima. The talent agency CAA will preview its clients’ digital projects this week, but not in an official NewFront.

Still, there are close connections for several of the 18 media companies in the NewFronts. Disney Interactive has several YouTube channels and in February partnered with Vevo to produce family friendly music content.

Ad agency Universal McCann predicted deals at the NewFronts could reach $1 billion. That’s still a fraction of what broadcast upfront presentations pull in, but few don’t expect digital media to continue to increase their share of the advertising pie.

“We’re bigger this year, both in terms of the scope of the event and the amount of content,” says Mark Walker, senior vice president of Disney Interactive Entertainment. “We had a few programs before and some speculation. Now, we have conclusively demonstrated that there’s a robust audience demand for the kind of high quality video content that we’re producing.”