Tag Archives: Pakistan

Top Scottish lawyer found dead in hotel room

One of Scotland’s leading lawyers was found dead in a hotel room in Pakistan at the weekend. Initial reports suggest Paul McBride QC had died in his sleep.

It has been said that Mr McBride felt unwell in the lead up to his death and his body was discovered by friend and colleague, human rights lawyer, Amaer Anwar.

Mr McBride’s Twitter was updated to read today:

Paul McBride – Tonight I will be gone from your twitter screens forever in your hearts and memories #RIPPaulMcBrideQC it’s been a pleasure!

Other tributes have been flowing in on Twitter from people who knew him in some capacity and others who didn’t.

Gerard McDonald – Had the pleasure of meeting #paulmcbride twice in my capacity as a taxi driver. He was a sound guy and a great Celtic fan. #celticfamily

Scottish Fashion Publicist Tessa Hartmann – Devastated to hear about the tragic death of #PaulMcBride QC – deepest sympathies to Gary and his family. A huge loss for Scotland.

Writer and Actor, Stuart Hepburn – Shocked at the death of #PaulMcBride. He gave me a great deal of support on script research in the past. A great loss.

Graeme Tait – Sad news about Paul McBride. Thoughts and prayers go out to his family! #paulmcbride

Celtic Football Club, Chief Executive Peter Lawwell issued a statement on their website with their condolences to his family.

“This is tragic news. Paul was a very good friend of Celtic and someone who cared passionately about the club. His passing is clearly a great loss and he will be sadly missed.

“The thoughts and prayers of everyone at Celtic are with Paul´s family at this very difficult time.”

Mr McBride was one of three people who had been sent petrol bombs to their home between 1 March and 15 April last year. Celtic manager Neil Lennon and former MSP Trish Godman were also sent packages. Trevor Muirhead, 43 and Neil McKenzie, 42 who are accused of conspiring to murder McBride, deny the charges against them.  The court heard last week that a postman had become suspicious about a parcel being delivered to the lawyer when he noticed that it smelt strongly of petrol. When investigated by police officers, the parcel was found to be a device which contained nails, a bottle filled with liquid and wires leading to a timer. It is alleged that the devices were capable of exploding.

The trail continues.

Read more about Paul McBride: https://edinburghnapiernews.com/2012/03/05/paul-mcbride-qc-1963-2012/

Cricket in a right old ‘fix’

Salman Butt. Photo: courtesy AFP

Disgraced former Pakistan Captain Salman Butt and promising 19-year-old sensation, Mohammad Amir, lost their appeals yesterday when the Lord Chief Justice dismissed their claims of disproportionate sentencing in the Lord’s spot fixing case.

On November 3, Pakistan’s Butt, Amir and Mohammad Asif were convicted of spot fixing and sentenced to prison. Butt was given a 30 month sentence and Amir was charged to spend six months at a youth correctional facility. The bookie, Mazhar Majeed, was handed a sentence of 2 years and 8 months.

Asif, who is facing a one-year sentence, is also scheduled to appear. Balham Chambers, a London-based lawyer will be representing him. Unlike his fellow disgraced teammates though, Asif is appealing against the conviction itself.

The Incident

During the course of the fourth and final test match between England and Pakistan, at Lord’s from 26-29 August, it was proved that Butt influenced Asif and Amir to bowl no-balls to signal to Majeed that ‘everything was going according to plan’

Had he not been caught, Butt’s pocket would have been ₤150,000 heavier.

Deadly Impact

Any illegal activity in sport is disastrous, let alone players accepting money to underperform. They represent their country when on the field.  Is ₤150,000 enough justification to betray one’s motherland?

At a time when the International Cricket Council (ICC) is looking to widen the reach of cricket around the globe, the poison of match fixing is the last thing they want. As seen by the misdemeanor of the Pakistani trio, something as small as a no-ball has caused widespread havoc: young talents ruined; old cases dug up; fingers pointed; administrations in uproar. Would someone new want to pursue a sport in such malady?

And what of the loyalists?

The thrill of watching a ‘good game’ is now diluted with persecuting doubts. ‘Wait, this is too spectacular. Could it have been fixed? they wonder.  ‘Can I ever watch a game without being paranoid?’

But it is the players who are true to the game who bear the worst impact of match fixing.

They adhere to rigorous training, tackle overwhelming pressure and display inspiring human toughness to bring glory to their country. But instead of the recognition they deserve, their efforts are rubbished in one simple phrase: ‘Oh, it’s obviously been fixed!’

Change in attitude

Cricket is already suffering from a lack of fan involvement. People are starting to prefer the comfort of their homes to the excitement of the stadiums. Add in the needless Umpire Decision Referral System (UDRS) controversy and the ICC has more than enough on its plate already without having the bane of match fixing threatening to destroy the credibility of the sport.

Punishments and procedures can only go so far in curbing cricket’s worst illness, as seen from previous cases (Salim Malik’s life ban being removed, Marlon Samuels’ light sentence). The incentive is on the players themselves to resist temptation and it isn’t that hard. All one needs to do is remember the pride of wearing the national crest to spit in its face.

Wanting a little extra on the side doesn’t give anyone the right to cheat.

Edinburgh Restaurateurs Come To Pakistan’s Aid

by Kirsty Tobin

Mumbai Mansion, owned by general secretary of the Scottish BCA, Salim Haider

A number of restaurants and takeaways across Edinburgh have this past week taken part in a charitable event raising money for Pakistan Flood Relief.

The event is the brainchild of the Bangladesh Caterers Association of Scotland. Three restaurants and four takeaways throughout the city pledged to donate fifty percent of profits from one night of service to the relief effort. The proceeds from the evening will be given to a representative from the Pakistan High Commission.

Kamal Mahi, a member of staff at the participating Morningside Spice Indian Restaurant, explained what will happen with the money once it has been collected and counted: “from there it’s going to be distributed equally to wherever it’s needed most”.

The evening also benefits from donations given by various providers of produce in the area: “some people have donated lamb, chicken, even vegetables, to the restaurants,” said Mahi.

The profits have not yet been tallied. The committee is meeting on Friday, following the return of the Chairman of the Scottish branch. General Secretary, Salim Haider, expects to be able to make the formal donation early next week.

The participating restaurants have been selected by the heads of the Scottish branch of the BCA.


Radio version of article: Food for Pakistan

News In Brief -International

Save The Children Workers Kidnapped: Somanlian gunmen have kidnapped two British Save The Children Workers in the Horn of Africa. Local residents have said the hostages have been taken to an area controlled by al Qaeda-linked al Shabaab rebels.

Chillian Miners Sent Home: The first three of the thirty-three Chilian miners rescued on Friday have been cleared to head home after spending two months underground.  

Pakistan willing to assist: Pakistan is  willing to assist talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban. However Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said the talks must be led by Afghanistan

Power share not to be renewed: President Robert Mugabe calls for “power-share government” not to be extended. The current agreement between Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai will expire in four months.

Middle East Policy should be revisited: The current stalemate in peace talks with Isreal should force leading World powers to “rethink” their Middle East strategy claims senior Palestine officals.

Haiti Earth Quake Victimes Rehomed in Africa: Haitian students were welcomed to their new homes in Senegal, Africa as part of President Abdoulaye Wade’s project to Haitians free housing.

Assault on Police Academy leaves 14 dead in Pakistan

By Elizabeth Gorrie

Fourteen people have died and nearly one hundred injured after an eight hour siege by gunmen on a police academy in Lahore, Pakistan.

It is being reported that Pakistani police forces have recaptured the building following an eight hour stand-off which saw the exchange of heavy gunfire between the two groups. Military helicopters were later brought in to help diffuse the situation by firing directly on the gunmen.  Officials have confirmed that eight popakistan1licemen are among the dead.

Speaking to the BBC,Pakistan’s Interior Ministry chief Rehman Malik believes this was a “planned, organised, terrorist attack”.

The siege began around 7am UK time when gunmen, disguised in police uniform, took the academy by force using rifles and grenades. Around seven hundred trainee officers are thought to have been in the building at the time, many of whom were taken hostage by the gunmen. Eye-witnesses claim there were a series of loud explosions during the siege.

There are unconfirmed reports that the Taliban may have been behind this attack.

Former head of Pakistan’s police academy, Afzal Ali  told the Guardian: “We are at a state of war. This was a relatively soft target. You can’t expect recruits to take on hardened terrorists.”

Today’s attack comes less than one month after the attack on Sri Lanka’s cricket team in Lahore which resulted in the deaths of seven people.

The Mumbai Menace threatens to continue as more bombs are found

by Marii Stoltsen

In a response to criticisms about intelligence and security failures, the active police force in Mumbai conducted

Condoleezza Rice giving a speech in the US embassy in New Delhi, India, Wednesday, Dec. 3, 2008
Condoleezza Rice giving a speech in the US embassy in New Delhi, India, Wednesday, Dec. 3, 2008

raids of locations targeted in last week’s brutal attacks and discovered two four-kilogram bombs hidden in a bag at Chhatrapati Shivaji train station. The police, who had reopened the station on the Thursday following the attacks after declaring it safe, are not sure why the bombs were not found earlier and fears of new attacks have surfaced.

The attacks, which killed 171 people and injured 239, are suspected to be the work of the outlawed Pakistani militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba, who were also responsible for the Mumbai train bombings of 2006. The fears of more attacks in the near future were solidified as interrogations with the only surviving attacker confirmed the existence of specialised Lashkar camps for terror action in Pakistan.

The American and British governments, whose citizen’s were the main targets of the attacks, are demanding Pakistan cooperate in the investigation into the three-day terrorist siege. US Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice arrived in New Delhi today to meet Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and other officials, calling for “resolve and urgency” from Pakistan in dealing with the matter. Pakistan’s president Asif Zardari assured that he would “look into all the possibility of any proof” and insists that the 20 suspected terrorists be tried under Pakistani law.

The British Foreign Secretary, David Miliband, expressed in an interview that “the modern threat to Pakistan does not come from India…[it] comes from within,” and insists that the Western nations have a duty to help Pakistan tackle terrorism through improving their security, the economy, and the political system. With the Mumbai terrorist attacks bringing the Pakistan situation to the forefront of national issues, the pressure is on the West to act.