Tuesday, August 27, 2013
Pakistani teenager Malala Yousafzai, an outspoken proponent of girls’ education who survived a Taliban assassination attempt last year, has been awarded a top Dutch children’s honor for her activism.
Secret Agencies in a report have informed the Inspector General of Sindh that Taliban and some police officers were jointly running crime centers in some areas of Karachi. According to the report, the biggest crime center in Nazimabad is operating under the patronage of local SHO. Some high officials of police, CID and SIU are also bribed to overlook the whole activity. The activities of TTP have an enormous impact on life for the citizens of Karachi; criminal undertakings are their favored means for raising funds for the battle in the tribal areas. Taliban also indulge in target killing to settle scores with the rivals or ‘business partners’. Large swathes of Pakhtun neighborhoods in districts west and east, as well as pockets in districts Malir, central and south are reported to be under the influence of the TTP. While all 30 or so of its factions have a presence in the city, the most influence is wielded by the Hakimullah Mehsud and Mullah Fazlullah factions. According to local police and residents of the affected areas, elements belonging to the TTP have entrenched themselves in these areas after having terrorised the local Pakhtun population into submission, and driven out the ANP from most of its traditional strongholds.
Some members of Congress are calling on President Obama to get congressional approval -- or at least consult more closely with the legislative branch -- before launching military strikes against the Syrian government for its alleged use of chemical weapons.On Monday -- giving a clear indication that the administration is readying for action -- Secretary of State John Kerry said the evidence "is screaming at us" that chemical weapons were used in Syria. On Tuesday, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel said that the world's most powerful military was "in place to be able to fulfill and comply with whatever option the president wishes to take" in Syria. Mr. Obama and his administration have communicated with some lawmakers on the situation in Syria this week, but some congressmen insist the president should follow the War Powers Resolution of 1973 and receive authorization from Congress before using any military force in Syria. Rep. Scott Rigell, R-Va., a member of the House Armed Services Committee, began collecting signatures in Congress Tuesday for a letter urging Mr. Obama to get congressional approval before launching any strikes. "Engaging our military in Syria when no direct threat to the United States exists and without prior congressional authorization would violate the separation of powers that is clearly delineated in the Constitution," the letter says. "If you deem that military action in Syria is necessary, Congress can reconvene at your request. We stand ready to come back into session, consider the facts before us, and share the burden of decisions made regarding U.S. involvement in the quickly escalating Syrian conflict." Libertarian-leaning Republicans in Congress, including Reps. Thomas Massie, R-Ky. and Justin Amash, R-Mich., said via Twitter on Tuesday that any action without congressional approval would clearly be unconstitutional. On Monday, House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, communicated with the White House on the situation in Syria but he urged the administration to increase its engagement with Congress. "The Speaker made clear that before any action is taken there must be meaningful consultation with members of Congress, as well as clearly defined objectives and a broader strategy to achieve stability," Boehner spokesman Brendan Buck said in a statement. A handful of senior lawmakers have confirmed to CBS News that they've also consulted with the executive branch on Syria. House Armed Services Committee Chairman Buck McKeon, R-Calif., has been briefed by senior Defense Department officials about the developing situation, a congressional spokesman said. On Monday, an aide to Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said that members of the administration including Kerry have reached out to Menendez. Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., the top Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, spoke to administration officials a couple of times over the weekend and on Monday about the evolving situation in Syria. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., the top Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee, has spoken to both Mr. Obama and National Security Adviser Susan Rice in recent days. Other senators on Monday called for more consultation with Congress. Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, called the use of chemical weapons "despicable" but said that "absent an imminent threat to United States national security, the U.S. should not be engaged in military action without Congressional approval." Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colo., a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee and the Intelligence Committee, said in a statement, "Secretary Kerry was clear that it is now a question of how, not whether, the United States will respond, but Congress still needs to hear from the president directly. More importantly, the president needs to explain his plan to the American people, who are understandably reluctant to support further military engagement in the Middle East." Udall said he has "real concerns" that a surgical strike in Syria could lead the U.S. into deeper involvement in a complicated civil war, but that remaining on the sidelines could also have grave consequences. Other lawmakers, meanwhile, came out more forcefully for action against Syria. Rep. Elliot Engel, D-N.Y., the top Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said in a statement Monday, "I hope that the Administration will now move quickly to act against the Assad regime and show the world that the use of such weapons will not be tolerated." Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., a member of the Homeland Security Committee, told CNN on Monday that "we have to act." Furthermore, he said that Mr. Obama doesn't necessarily have to get congressional approval. "I believe, as commander in chief, he has the right to take this action," he said. "It's in his interest to consult with the leadership in the House and Senate, but I don't believe he has to." King added that he's still not an advocate of the Syrian opposition, explaining, "I believe that in the last year or so they've become significantly controlled by al Qaeda."
Walid Moualem, the Syrian foreign minister, has 'categorically' denied that his country was using chemical weapons on its own people. At a press conference held in Syrian capital Damascus on Tuesday, he challenged the world to provide evidence that the Syrian government was behind last week's alleged chemical weapons attack in eastern Ghouta, a suburb of the capital Damascus. The Syrian foreign minister accused John Kerry, his American counterpart, of lying and disregarding the work of UN inspectors when he stated there was “undeniable" evidence of a large-scale chemical attack. "We are all hearing the drums of war being beaten around us. If these countries are willing to launch an aggression or military act against Syria, I believe, the pretext of chemical weapons is false, baseless and groundless. And as I said, I challenge, I dare them to produce any single piece of evidence", Moulem said. He also claimed that the second trip of the UN inspectors to the site of an alleged chemical weapons attack had been postponed to Wednesday due to disputes among the rebels. The Syrian foreign minister said the rebels in eastern Ghouta could not reach agreement about guaranteeing the team's safety. "A comprehensive assessment determined that the visit should be postponed by one day in order to improve preparedness and safety for the team", the UN announced in a statement released just after Moualem's press conference. The UN inspectors were due to begin a second day of investigation into last week's alleged chemical-weapons attack in the suburbs of the Syrian capital, Damascus. The Syrian opposition says more than 1,300 people died when toxic gases were unleashed on Eastern Ghouta and Moadamiya - two neighbourhoods on the outskirts of Damascus - last Wednesday. The UN team came under sniper fire on Monday as they tried to visit an area in western Damascus. The convoy of six vehicles was shot in the buffer zone between rebel and government areas near Damascus as it travelled to Moadamiya and Ghouta.
Syria's opposition expects a Western military intervention against President Bashar al-Assad's regime within days and has been consulted over targets, one of its officials said Tuesday. "There is no precise timing ... but one can speak of an imminent international intervention against the regime. It's a question of days and not weeks," said Ahmad Ramadan, a Syrian National Coalition political committee member. "There have been meetings between the Coalition, the (rebel) Free Syrian Army and allied countries during which possible targets have been discussed," the official said. Ramadan said they included airports, military bases and arms depots. The targets cover "airports used by planes equipped with missiles and explosive barrels, command centres used by regime officers, (Iranian) Revolutionary Guards and by (Lebanese Shiite militant group) Hezbollah," he said. Ramadan also said bases used to fire missiles and Scuds, especially the army's Brigade 155 near Damascus, were targets for Western punitive strikes following alleged chemical weapons attacks last week. Meanwhile National Coalition's envoy in Paris also said they have been informed of a possible military strike on Syria. "We have been informed of a strike by the world powers to punish the Syrian regime but we do not have the details," Monzer Makhous, the National Coalition's envoy in Paris, said. "This is being left for the world powers to decide." He adds: "We will support any move to punish such a regime, which has been killing its own people to remain in power at any expense." Read more: http://voiceofrussia.com/news/2013_08_27/US-military-ready-to-act-on-Syria-immediately-if-asked-Hagel-7295/
Moscow has voiced “regret” over a US decision to put off bilateral talks over Syria. Russia has sought to placate calls for military action over the alleged use of chemical weapons, saying there is no evidence of the Assad regime’s complicity. The US government announced it was postponing bilateral talks with Russia late Monday, citing “ongoing consultations” over the Syrian government’s alleged use of chemical weapons. Russian and American officials had been scheduled to meet in The Hague on Wednesday for bilateral talks on the Syrian conflict. Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov tweeted a response to the move Tuesday morning, expressing concern over Washington’s decision. “It is a pity that our western partners have decided to cancel the bilateral US-Russian meeting to discuss calls for an international conference on Syria,” Gatilov wrote on Twitter. He added in a later post that discussing terms for a political solution were needed now more than ever in the face of possible military intervention in Syria. Russia on Tuesday warned a military intervention in Syria could have "catastrophic consequences" for the whole region and called on the international community to show "prudence." "Attempts to bypass the Security Council, once again to create artificial groundless excuses for a military intervention in the region are fraught with new suffering in Syria and catastrophic consequences for other countries of the Middle East and North Africa," foreign ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said in a statement. "We are calling on our American partners and all members of the world community to demonstrate prudence (and) strict observance of international law, especially the fundamental principles of the UN Charter," he added. Foreign Affairs Committee chairman of the Russian Duma, Aleksey Pushkov also posted on his Twitter, alleging the US had already made the decision to strike Syria and they had gone too far. Russia has no plans to strengthen its fleet in the region at the Mediterranean sea facility, the naval base at Tartus, a source from Russia’s Defense Ministry told Itar-Tass news agency, adding that withdrawal plans have also not been considered. However , the source did not exclude the possibility that one more military vessel might be transferred to the region from Russia’s Black Sea fleet and one nuclear submarine added from the North Sea fleet. A number of western countries including France, the US and the UK have condemned President Bashar Assad’s government for last week’s alleged chemical weapons attack in a Damascus suburb and called for a response, hinting at possible military action. On Monday, Russian President Vladimir Putin told British Prime Minster David Cameron in a phone conversation that there was still no evidence the Assad government was behind the attack. However, Cameron insisted that Assad’s forces were behind the “chemical weapons” attack, saying that the Syrian opposition did not have the facilities to orchestrate such an attack. Cameron also cited the Syrian government’s delay in allowing a team of UN experts to examine the site as an indication that it had something to hide. Washington has also seen an increase in rhetoric, urging action against the Assad government. Samantha Power, the US Ambassador to the UN, decried the Assad government for the attack on her Twitter account, and demanded accountability. Meanwhile, the UN weapons inspectors are due to start their second day of investigations in the Damascus suburb of Ghouta, where the toxic attack happened last Wednesday. The team’s convoy of vehicles came under fire from unknown assailants Monday as they visited the area. In spite of the sniper attack, the team managed to collect samples for analysis and gather witness testimonies at a local hospital. Contradicting claims from the US and UK that the probe was too late to yield accurate results, the UN stressed the mission was still valid, although almost a week has passed since the supposed attack. The alleged attack took place last Wednesday in an eastern suburb of Syria’s capital. Media published conflicting reports on the death toll, ranging from “dozens” to over 1,300 dead. French charity Medecins sans Frontieres (Doctors without Borders) put the death toll at about 355.
Leader of the Opposition in Senate, Chaudhry Aitzaz Ahsan on Tuesday congratulated President Asif Ali Zardari and both houses of the parliament on a peaceful and democratic transition of power, the first in Pakistan’s history. Taking part in the debate on the last presidential address to the joint sitting of parliament, he said for the first time in the country's history, the president was constitutionally completing his five-year tenure in a respectable and democratic manner. Asif Ali Zardari is the first elected president of the country who is completing his five-year term on September 9. He also has the distinction of addressing joint sittings of parliament six times. Senator Ahsan said despite reservations, the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) leadership accepted results of the recently held general elections for the noble cause of continuation of democracy and peaceful transition of from one democratically elected government to the other. The PPP government was the first in Pakistan's history to complete a full five-year term and transfer power at the ballot box. But after a rudderless campaign, the party lost badly on polling day in May. President Zardari was credited with wheeling and dealing to keep the PPP in power for its full term – helped by the army chief of staff keeping to the sidelines and the opposition's unwillingness to force early elections. Aitzaz Ahsan, in the upper house of parliament today, also urged the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) to implement its electoral manifesto and promises made with the people, including raise in the basic salary for labourers to Rs15,000, end of power loadshedding, stoppage to drone attacks, elimination of terrorism among others. The PPP leader said the raise in the estimated cost of Nandipour power project was not justified. Referring to the registration of a case against a private news channel, he said the government should have shown tolerance.
WE compliment the law enforcing agencies for the arrest of two groups of potential terrorists from two different parts of the country. However, it should not surprise anyone with a very basic idea of terrorism to see them reemerge. We had in these very columns warned of any smugness in this regard. And we are happy to note that the agencies have so far in the last five years been able to successfully anticipate these groups. But it is their complete obliteration that we have not been able to ensure. If we want to see the end of religious extremism and terrorism then we have to counter effectively the ideology professed by these people, who are driven by distorted motivation and convoluted and warped understanding of the scripture, to recruit new bodies in their ranks. This is very fundamental to any counter-terror strategy, because without a dedicated rank and file no amount of money or other resources will allow the extremists to survive. Furthermore, combating religious extremism successfully depends on having a dynamic counter-terror strategy. Do we have one, and if at all, are we implementing it properly? If anyone in our crop of policy planners and law enforcement agencies thinks that the hanging of a few of the extremist leaders belonging to HUJI (B) or JMB was the death knell of the extremists will commit an elemental but cardinal judgmental error. These groups will cease to exist as an entity only when the rationale for their existence is defeated.
The 28-year-old glamorous female singer Afghanistan, Aryana Sayeed has been widely criticized for her performance, specifically after she appeared as one of the judges on TV talent show, The voice. Despite receving angry ctitics and even death threats, Aryana Sayeed remains committed to cotninue with her efforts in bring changes to women’s lives in a strictly conservative Islamic society. Aryana Sayeed who defies ctitics to remain a symbol of female independent in the country said, want women to have rights, to talk freely, to walk freely, to be able to go shopping when they wish. The glamorous singer quoted by AFP said, “I’m not saying that they have to take their clothes off, or even remove their head scarfs. Freedom is being able to live as a human being.” She said, “I have to be so careful as they’re constantly checking what you are doing, what you are saying, even how you laugh,” she said. “I said ‘I love you’ to one contestant because he was so good. He was 15-years-old. Even that caused trouble. People asked ‘What did she say? This is not something normal in Afghanistan’,”she said. Aryana was born in Afghanistan before moving to Pakitan as a child. She grew up travelling in many different countries and currently lives in London, England. She was the first Afghan Female Artist to break it into the International market with her smash hit song “mashallah”. In one of her songs, Aryana sings “Because I am a woman, I am a slave” against a background of images of women in burqas. “Women have no rights whatsoever here, so I want to be an example as somebody who is constantly fighting,” she told AFP, admitting that her beliefs mean that security concerns dominate her life. “I have a lot of trouble online, receiving messages from people telling me that they will kill me or that they’ll put acid in my face. They tell me to stop singing. “Kidnapping is something to keep in mind all the time. You’d rather die than be kidnapped. I don’t get out a lot.”
The Express TribuneOpposition Leader Syed Khursheed Ahmed Shah has opposed Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) chief Altaf Hussain’s demand for military administration in Karachi, Express News reported on Tuesday. He criticised the MQM by saying that the party officials usually make big demands and abruptly deny to their own statements. Shah further commented that a military administration in Karachi can consequently be a big mistake and MQM chief’s demand could be a part of a conspiracy. He further stated that army supervision in the city can undermine democracy. Earlier in the morning, MQM deputy convener Farooq Sattar also demanded military control in Karachi. He proposed his demand while addressing the National Assembly. Sattar stated that military administration apparently seems unimportant but only armed forces can control the violence in the city. MQM chief Altaf Hussain has demanded military supervision in Karachi as a result of continuing violence and target killing in the city. He has expressed his concerns on Sindh government failed protection to the residents of Karachi, especially the business community. He stated that police and rangers have failed to do their job and only armed forces can rescue the city from criminal elements.
Afghan President Hamid Karzai has extended his stay in Pakistan for another day,so the leaders of both could continue to confer on matters of common interest in the bilateral and regional context.
By Lt. Gen. Arvinder S Lamba Former Vice-Chief of Army Staff The recent killing of five soldiers in Poonch has reverberated the calculated and tested strategy of the Pakistan Army once again. Pakistan’s dubious track record of such events since the killing of Captain Saurabh Kalia and five other soldiers in May 15 1999 to the killing five of our brave men on Aug O5, 2013, inside our LoC are indicative of a revival of such dehumanization. The emotions and concerns raised by the nation each time may well be justified, but undue intensity in responses and reactions may often go to consolidate success of the perpetrators. In a contextual perspective, recurring events of this nature fall in line with the processes of authorization, routinization, and dehumanization, used by Kelman and Hamilton in studying My Lai and related events, to explain the dimension of Pakistan’s Military psychology. Pakistan military can learn from its record of atrocities in Bangladesh with larger ramifications of isolation in international relations, a possibility that Nawaz Sharif Government cannot allow. At a tactical level, Pakistan’s military psychology may be seen focused on a sense of achievement vis a vis India within the vacuum created by enormous disparities of conventional combat power or as a moral ascendancy/supremacy in the prevailing imbalance. While the dare exhibited in this raid may certainly be a shot of Adrenaline for the Pakistani military, but this may not be without a risk of escalation. India therefore, cannot and need not be cowed down by the hyped responses and talks of nuclear retaliation built up by Pakistani military establishment, to any action taken by the Indian Military and reiterated by every single Pakistani participant during television debates or panel discussions . Perhaps Our responses need to be fearless, timely and appropriate at the tactical level, and beyond glare of the media. While objectives of such or similar actions identified by India’s Security and Defence Experts during recent debates and discussions are extremely relevant, the outcome intended this time may well be more subtle and strategic. It is pertinent to bring here the internal security dynamic and declining influence of the Pakistani Military in the post elections scenario. The divergence in the civil military relationship between the Army, the PML-N and PTI on several security issues has been increasing . India’s role in Afghanistan, and cooperation between India and Pakistan towards peace and tranquility may well be the most serious differences that may threaten peace. In its first steps towards its strategic objectives of return to constitutional hierarchy, the Government’s focus is on the place of the Military denying it its traditional space of decision making on national issues. The federal government’s recent decision to initiate a high treason case against former military dictator Pervez Musharraf for subverting the constitution of Pakistan twice, which led to exile of Nawaz Sharif, and landing the shame/ humiliation of Kargil upon Pakistan are significant . Commencement of investigations , fully supported by the PTI and PPP’ have added to concerns of the Military , as any such prosecution would threaten many to similar fate. Silence of the Army chief, General Kayani during the entire process of campaigning and elections, and of keeping the Taliban at bay while propagating opportunities of their conditional return to main stream, while a step in the good and orderly direction, was viewed with serious reservations from many quarters within the Army. The implicit intent of the civil government may well be the nemesis of the Pakistan Army from a place of pre eminence and control, to a place of irrelevance or relative insignificance. The only field left where the Military can draw or perhaps redraw its significance is the LoC and issues of terrorism that may turn focus from civilian engagement to military incidents that tend to rally nations and people against each other reversing the entire process of restoring peace. Katharine Houreld from Reuters on 20 May this year, quoted Lieutenant Talat Masood who viewed the past five years significant in this context , in that, while the military remained the most powerful force behind the scenes, it no longer wanted to take direct power, Musharraf, the last military dictator, was in detention, Generals had been hauled up before Pakistan's feisty courts and accused of vote-rigging, corruption and extrajudicial killings. The army does not have the monopoly of the power it once did. With a judiciary supportive of the Prime Minister s and a pro government media, an Army with a reformed, pro-democracy mindset, will complement the underpinnings for change in the overall environment in both Rawalpindi and Islamabad. Towards this, Nawaz Sharif will have to address the singular and greatest obsession of the Pakistan Military leadership and the rank and file, from its perceptions of India being the entire reason de etre of its existence to one of relevance in the national interests and internal contingencies. The fragile peace between India and Pakistan is once again under threat, but this time, the unease and tension may not be between India and Pakistan but between Pakistan and Pakistani Military establishment. For the latter, it may be a last strategic defensive for the Military’s relevance than a tactical victory vis a vis India.
صدر آصف علی زرداری نے کہا ہے کہ 65 سال میں ایوان صدر سے عزت سے رخصت ہونے والا پہلا صدر ہوں ۔ جمہوریت اور معیشت کے
Emphasising the need for resolution of all issues with India through dialogue, President Asif Zardari on Sunday asked India to stop violations at the Line of Control (LoC).