Indo-Pak Express Break Up

December 1, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

By Parvez Fatteh, Founder of http://sportingummah.com, sports@muslimobserver.com

Pakistan’s Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi and India’s Rohan Bopanna announced this week that they have dissolved their successful men’s tennis doubles partnership, which was hailed as a symbol of friendship between the rival nations. Bopanna told the Indian Express newspaper that he will team up with veteran compatriot Mahesh Bhupathi in 2012, while Qureshi will next partner Dutchman Jean-Julien Roger at the Australian Open in January.

“As the season has ended now, I can confirm that I am playing with Mahesh in 2012,” Bopanna said, declining to elaborate on the reason for parting ways with Qureshi after four years. “Who I want to play with is my decision… I did have a successful year with Aisam but now I am starting a new year with Mahesh, and it’s as simple as that.”

Bopanna and Qureshi, who joined hands in an unlikely partnership in 2007, shot to fame when they reached the US Open doubles final last year and are currently ranked ninth in the world. The duo actively promoted better India-Pakistan ties and even offered to play tennis over the land border dividing the two countries, which have a history of warfare and political tension.
Bopanna’s announcement also confirmed media speculation that India’s best-known men’s doubles combination of Bhupathi and Leander Paes, who won three Grand Slam titles, would not play together on the circuit.

Bopanna was non-committal on whether the decision to change partners was due to the London 2012 Olympics. “As of now Mahesh and I have decided to start the year together,” he said. “The Olympics have a lot of other technicalities like form and rankings, and we will see how it goes.”

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Shahbaz Bhatti Assassination: Family Rivalry as Motive?

August 11, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

By Zahid Gishkori

Pakistan

The photograph above, taken March 4, 2011, shows Pakistani Christians as they attend a funeral ceremony of slain Pakistani minister for minorities Shahbaz Bhatti in his native village of Khushpur.

ISLAMABAD: 

Family rivalry and not religious victimisation claimed Minorities’ Affairs Minister Shahbaz Bhatti’s life, according to investigators.

In an interesting twist, the daylight murder in the capital has been attributed to a property dispute between relatives. Police investigators have concluded it was not a religiously-motivated murder in their latest report despite the fact that the Punjabi Taliban had claimed responsibility for the assassination.

Justice appears to be a long time coming for the former minister’s family since the murderers have fled the country.

“Shahbaz’s murder is said to be linked to a ‘chronic rivalry’ with relatives who lived in Faisalabad five years ago,” revealed an investigator associated with the Joint Investigation Team (JIT).

New clues have led the Islamabad police to a family, who left the country due to the rivalry with the Bhattis, the JIT stated in its latest report. The family was also residing in Bhatti’s native town Khushpur, which has produced famous priests and nuns, but some family members are now reportedly living in the UAE. Two or three of them have converted to Islam and are living in Malaysia, said a member of the JIT.

The Express Tribune reported on June 29 that Shahbaz’s murder was plotted by al Qaeda-linked militant commander Ilyas Kashmiri. National and international media ran the  story quoting the newspaper. All but two of his brothers moved to Europe in the aftermath of the assassination for security reasons.

The murderers are currently in Dubai or Kuala Lumpur according to an investigator. However, their names have not been identified yet. “We will approach Interpol for their arrest,” he said.

Paul Bhatti, the slain minister’s brother and an adviser to the prime minister, said he has moved his family to Europe. But he did not disclose their exact location due to security concerns. When questioned if his brother’s murder was a case of family rivalry, Paul only said that Interior Minister Rehman Malik had told him he had contacted Interpol to arrest some accused from the UAE.

However, there has been no further progress, he said quoting police officials. “I will request Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani to constitute a judicial commission to investigate my brother’s murder.”

Minister for National Harmony Akram Masih Gill said he would take up the issue with President Zardari and the prime minister on August 11, the day they are to inaugurate Shahbaz Bhatti’s memorial trust. “Paul will also speak to both dignitaries to convey the minorities’ resentment which is increasing with every passing day,” Gill said.

Interpol has not been contacted for assistance because we have no clue about the exact location of the accused, said an interior ministry official familiar with the matter.

“We cannot put our case before Interpol without substantive proof,” he added.

“Firstly, we wanted to close the investigation but then we learnt that there was a chronic ethnic and property dispute between the two families which led to Shahbaz’s murder,” said a police official.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 9th, 2011.

Express Tribune

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