Tuesday, August 21, 2012
The author is director of the Institute for Foreign Policy Studies of the Shanghai Institutes for International Studies. firstname.lastname@example.org
The Sunday Times:The British intelligence is covertly aiding the armed terrorist groups to launch terrorist attacks in Syria, the British newspaper Sunday Times reported on Sunday. In an article published on Sunday, the newspaper cited a Syrian opposition official as saying that the British authorities "know about and approve 100%" of intelligence from their Cyprus military bases being passed through Turkey to the militia of the so-called Free Army. "British intelligence is observing things closely from Cyprus," said the official, adding that "The British are giving the information to the Turks and the Americans and we are getting it from the Turks." The Sunday Times said that, according to the official, the most valuable intelligence has been about the movements of the army forces in the city of Aleppo. The UK owns two military bases in Cyprus, one at Dhekelia and another at Akrotiri. The bases monitor regional airwaves and report to the GCHQ (Government Communications Headquarters), Britain's national electronic surveillance center in Cheltenham, the article pointed out. The unnamed opposition official told the British newspaper that the US and its intelligence services (the CIA) gave his armed group satellite photos through Turkey. The newspaper also highlighted that the British foreign intelligence (MI6) and the US intelligence (CIA) have overlooked supplies of heavy machine guns coming from the Gulf states.
Saudi-backed regime forces in Bahrain have attacked people mourning the death of a teenage boy killed in Manama’s violent crackdown on protesters. Sixteen-year-old Hussam al-Haddad was killed on August 17, when regime forces carried out a brutal attack on a peaceful demonstration in the city of Muharraq, northwest of Manama. On Tuesday, the regime forces set several checkpoints on the roads leading to Muharraq and tried to prevent mourners from visiting his grave. They used teargas to disperse protesters and arrested a number of them. Scores of people have been killed by Bahraini regime forces since a popular uprising erupted against the ruling Al Khalifa family in February 2011. The protesters hold King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa responsible for the deaths of demonstrators during the uprising. Anti-regime protests continue in Bahrain despite a heavy-handed crackdown backed by Saudi Arabia.
The Express Tribune NewsFrance on Tuesday added its voice to mounting international concern over the arrest on blasphemy charges of a young Christian girl in Pakistan. The girl, Rimsha, is reported to have Down’s syndrome. She faces the death penalty for allegedly burning pages with verses from the Holy Quran. French foreign ministry spokesman Vincent Floreani said Paris welcomed an announcement by Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari that he would look into the case. “France calls on the Pakistani authorities to free this young girl,” he added. “We would also recall that the very existence of a crime of blasphemy is in breach of fundamental liberties, the freedom of religion or of conviction as well as the freedom of speech. “We call on Pakistan to respect its international commitments in this respect.” Zardari has asked the interior ministry to submit a report on the case, the details of which remain unclear. Reports in Pakistan have suggested the allegations against her were triggered after she burnt papers collected from a garbage pile for cooking.
http://www.thenewstribe.com/Pakistan Interior Minister Rehman Malik on Tuesday said the government’s efforts to recover Shahbaz Taseer, son of slain Punjab governor Salman Taseer, would soon prove fruitful. “Multiple efforts” on the part of the government were underway which would result in a “positive” outcome, Malik tweeted. Earlier in July, Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah had said in a Geo News TV programme that the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) had been negotiating with militants over Shahbaz’s release. Sanaullah said that the kidnappers were demanding a large ransom and the release of some of their colleagues. Shahbaz Taseer was kidnapped from Lahore on Aug 26, 2011 in the morning near his company’s head office. Slain Governor of Punjab Salman Taseer was killed by his bodyguard last year after he criticised Pakistan’s blasphemy laws.