Sunday, September 29, 2013
After a one-year hiatus, Iran has returned to the Academy Awards with “The Past”, a family drama by Oscar-winning director Asghar Farhadi.
Former President Bill Clinton, who sat in the Oval Office during the last government shutdown, supports President Barack Obama's refusal to negotiate with congressional Republicans and argues he should call their "bluff" as the government nears a possible shutdown and default. "He could stop it, but the price of - the current price of stopping it is higher than the price of letting the Republicans do it and taking their medicine," he said in an interview that aired Sunday on ABC's "This Week."Clinton went on to say that House Republicans, having realized they have little chance of pushing through legislative items their party wants, have dug in and scrapped any plans of negotiating. "Give us what we want or we're going to shut the government down," Clinton said, describing how he sees the GOP strategy. "I think under those circumstances, the president has to take the position he's taken," he continued. "Which is 'You - not me - you voted to spend this money.' … You can't negotiate over that. And I think he's right not to." Obama has repeatedly vowed he won't bargain in the upcoming debt ceiling debate. If the debt ceiling isn't raised by October 17, the government won't be able to pay its bills. Republicans frequently point to Clinton's tenure, when he negotiated with congressional Republicans over raising the debt ceiling in 1996. But Clinton argued Sunday that was a different period in time, saying the negotiations then were "extremely minor" and the stakes at the time were not as large: "The economy was growing and the deficit was going down." He said while he was criticized for agreeing to lower the capital gains tax during those negotiations, in return he got the children's health insurance program, which ultimately led to coverage for 10 million kids up through Obama's first term. "That's what lawmaking is. It's that kind of compromise," he told ABC's George Stephanopoulos, Clinton's former communications director in the White House. "There's no opportunity for that in this forum. We don't have enough time. They don't want - they're mad because they don't want to negotiate." Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who was at the helm of the House in the 1995-1996 showdowns, told CNN's Piers Morgan earlier this week that he was able to work with Clinton because the former president was able to "compartmentalize," compared to Obama. "It wasn't that we were friends, but we both understood that you had to find a way to work for America, even if as political rivals," said Gingrich, who's now a co-host of CNN's "Crossfire." "We were little bit like two graduate students in that we would get in a room and we started talking and theorizing and remembering books and doing stuff. But in that process, you begin to get away from what you couldn't do and you begin to gradually work your way to what you could do." "My guess is that we spent more days together than Obama and (House Speaker John) Boehner has spent minutes together this year," he continued. "The president has to come off with his high horse. Boehner has to also say they may now be able to get everybody in his party to vote for something." Clinton, however, encouraged Obama to stick to his stand. "I think there are times when you have to call people's bluff," he said, according to a transcript of the interview. Republicans have signaled they plan to attach a number of items – including tax reforms and provisions to roll back regulations on businesses - in the upcoming debt limit debate. "If I were the president, I wouldn't negotiate over these draconian cuts that are going to take food off the table of low-income working people, while they leave all the agricultural subsidies in for high-income farmers and everything else. I just think it's - it's chilling to me," Clinton said.
Interview: Common interests, Chinese leaders' wisdom contribute to strong China-Afghanistan ties: Karzai
Common interests and Chinese leaders' wisdom have contributed to a strong China-Afghanistan relationship, said Afghan President Hamid Karzai here on Saturday. "This visit of mine proved with great certainty that China and Afghanistan have developed a strong relationship, based on commonality of interest between the two countries. This is also very importantly (based) on the wisdom of the Chinese leaders," Karzai said in an exclusive interview with Xinhua before winding up his four-day state visit to China.
At least 40 people were killed and about 100 were wounded after a bomb exploded at a bazaar in Peshawar, officials at a Pakistani hospital said.
This is the third attack in Peshawar in the last eight days.The blasts took place September 29 in the busy Kissa Khwani market near a police station in the city of Peshawar, toppling buildings and setting shops and cars ablaze. Zaheerul Islam, a deputy city commissioner, said investigators had arrived at the scene. "They are collecting evidence to find out what kind of and how much explosives were used," Islam said. "But I can tell you, it was a huge blast." An eyewitness said the explosions took place around 11:00 a.m. local time. "We couldn't see anything; everything turned dark," he said. "People were running around. There were dead bodies everywhere. There were no ambulances. People had to carry the wounded in their cars and on bikes." A second man said he watched helplessly as a car carrying women and children burst into flames. "They burned to death in front of our eyes," he said. Local police said six children and two women were among the dead. Police are investigating whether a car had been used in the explosion. Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, who is in New York for the UN General Assembly, strongly condemned the blast. "Those involved in the killing of innocent people are devoid of humanity and all religions," Sharif said in comments released by his office. The September 29 attack was the third major bombing to hit Peshawar in the past week. A twin suicide attack at a Peshawar church on September 22 killed 82 people, sparking nationwide protests by Pakistan’s Christian community. On September 27, a bomb hit a bus carrying government employees, killing 18 people. The violence comes as the government looks to open peace talks with the Pakistan Taliban.
At least 37 people were killed and more than 80 injured in a blast near Khan Raziq police station in Qissa Khawani bazaar of Peshawar, Geo News reported. Several vehicles and adjacent buildings were damaged. Law enforcement agencies have cordoned off the area. A police official who also confirmed the blast, said it took place immediately after a car stopped in the market. Police officer Zahid Khan said the Sunday explosion appeared to have been a bomb planted in a parked car and detonated by remote control. The blast killed at least 37 people and wounded more than 80 others, Commissioner Peshawar Sahebzada Muhammad Anis. He said four more people succumbed to injuries at the hospital. AFP adds: An official at Peshawar's Lady Reading Hospital, Jameel Shah, also confirmed the new toll. Local officials said the blast took place near a police station but they did not initially believe the station was the intended target. "Police station does not seem to be the target as it was away from the attack site," bomb disposal chief Shafqat Malik said. He said, "It looks like the market was the target." He told AFP the evidence suggested it was a remote controlled bomb. "In fact, the whole car, which had been parked along the roadside, was converted into a remote controlled bomb," he said. Sunday's attack was the third major bombing to strike Peshawar and its suburbs in the past seven days. Last Sunday a twin suicide attack at a Peshawar church killed 82 people. On Friday, a powerful bomb tore through a bus carrying government employees on the edge of Peshawar city, killing 18 people.
How does catastrophe look like? This question was asked by a child and his mother just slightly smiled but the question needs to be answered even I myself cannot find the answer, yet. When we all are born, living in catastrophe and have not been able to find its answer. Strange, maybe we do not want to accept reality of the catastrophe which leaves unending sorrows behind while putting the lives on the ashes of death. A mother that was incapable of answering her child about catastrophe. Now, she can show the face of mayhem through Balochistan’s earthquake. We journalists live in the world of news and know well that how situations can be turned into its worst phase. News are coming and giving facts regarding the damage in Balochistan due to earthquake. Sometimes, one thing makes us speechless and in the inner you become helpless, as it happened to me when I saw a picture of annihilated mud-home and a few children were leaving that home. Countless people have become homeless. Perhaps, people can say that if you face catastrophe then destruction becomes the destiny. It is very easy to say such kind of words and for a while can give a pause to the criticism but the pain of the homeless and loss can be felt by those whose souls have been injured. While looking at the picture of the damaged mud - house, I recalled my memories, when a girl was weeping and asking that where is my home? Do we have any home? Is our destiny in homeless? Constantly asking for house, then she stopped weeping, took a deep breath and said you people will never know the sorrow of being homeless. I do not know where is that girl now? If she saw picture of destroyed mud house in Balochistan, now she can surely say that homeless hearts know what the pain of being homeless is! On the earth one thing you cannot compare that’s anguish, hence sorrows have been walking in Balochistan but just now catastrophe has shown the real picture of people living in Balochistan. Natural disaster has done its work and snatched lives along their houses, villages and cities. None is able to stop the wave of nature but state ought to do practical work, Balochistan is not untouchable province. It needs honest and worthwhile work by ruling party. Baloch people are suffering and especially children who are awfully affected. How do they feel when they are not receiving relief fund because due to absence of law and order situation around, international NGOs are refrained from going to Balochistan, according to the report? What’s the hell! Which type of law and order is being talked of? When your province has lost its villages where the damage live on, how do you see the existence of law and order on the dead-bodies. So, government must wake up and stop giving lame excuses. Many dead bodies buried without their shrouds. Ruling party PML-N pretends to be the powerful government that even cannot provide shroud to their bodies. And we do keep hopes alive that government will help them. However, are we senseless? Since people know rich rulers never help them. Balochistan has faced powerful struck earthquake but Mr. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is on his foreign trip, Oh I meant it can be said the ostensible foreign trip for democracy. When rulers would be asked about the nation, a nation that is crossing the line of disaster and their government is following three best steps of ignored-policy known as “Don’t see, Don’t Listen, Don’t Speak” then all matters will be fine. Of course, it is for rulers, not for the people. While enjoying democratic trip, Mr. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif must know that Baloch people have lost everything in earthquake. Sadly, What Mr. Nawaz Sharif is laughing for? How could he smile on his trips when people are dying and becoming homeless? I think, Mr. Prime minister Nawaz Sharif does not know about facial language of Diplomacy, if anyone’s country has serious loss and the damage, its rulers do not live smile on Media, nor turn their faces gloomy either. But one should be balanced in having gesture as Facial-Diplomacy leaves message to the world and Prime minister Nawaz Sharif Sb. was passing smiles that means he is no longer worried for his country people. If Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had known the art of Facial-Diplomacy as Bhutto(s) knew and knows it well. Government’s performance is very poor in Balochistan, people have pretty idea that in the disaster of Balochistan, country rulers would ask the world for funds. Are the rulers (they) are the merchants of catastrophe? However, if Pakistan’s assemblies rich ministers, politicians, businessmen and lords put hands in their pockets and take out money for Balochistan, even money must be utilized honestly for the recovery of ongoing damages in Balochistan then government may not need any funds from foreign countries. Bitter truth is that rich people seems poorest to help their people. Who will give money to affectees? None! In fact, merchants of catastrophe, they need such kind of incidents when their corrupt hands can collect more money. Government would ask for funds later funds go into their invisible boxes but hardly money can be used for people. After sometime, common people will collect bricks and start building their damaged and poor houses. Think for those who lost their families and homes, now living across the road-side who will give them home? I would leave this question for my dear people. We have homeless hearts, they are sleeping on the road while looking at the sky, and the sky may whisper that do not worry if people of the world do not give you shelter, my huge shelter is always here for you and someone might drop tears from his/her eyes, when they have no more even mud house and become homeless, their lives on the road. So, catastrophe actually looks like them whose lives become homeless. Isn’t it?
Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) on Saturday organized a special ceremony in connection with 100th birth anniversary of a renowned Afghan writer, poet and diplomat Abdul Rahman Pajhwok. Diplomats, writers, government officials and academicians attended the ceremony. Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr. Zalmai Rassoul, said that late Pajhwok was a great politician, culture figure, writer and a patriot who had made several considerable achievements in his life for the nation. “He supported freedom of speech and media as he was a seasoned journalist and writer. He was an outstanding diplomat in Afghanistan’s history and his knowledge in International Relations and Politics helped the country in international political arena. Pajhwok was the first diplomat from Afghanistan who worked as president of the United Nations General Assembly,” the minister said. Zalmai Rassoul hoped that young diplomats would be encouraged by Pajhwok’s work to remain committed to play their role in development of the country. Chief of the Public Relations Department of MoFA, Abdul Qahar Abed, said that Abdul Raman Pajhwok was a veteran politician, and writer who contributed in different fields through his writings. Abed said that Pajhwok became diplomat in 1946 and proven his skills and capabilities in short time. He became a high ranking official in Foreign Ministry of Afghanistan. He served as president in deferent branches of the UN General Assembly. Due to political problems in Afghanistan in 1978 he resigned from his position in the UN and came back to his motherland. Later he became sick and died in 1995, in Hayatabad area of Peshawar. President Hamid Karzai in his massage which was read by the president’s advisor, Yahya Maroof, said the personality of Pajhwok would persuade the young diplomats to prove themselves while exhibiting their skills and performing well. Abdul Raman Pajhwok was a smart diplomat of Afghanistan in foreign country. During his career he worked hard to protect and promote the national interest at international level. He performed his duties honestly and with great zeal, President Karzai said. Karzai said that Pajhwok had command over the two national languages and published several poems and other writings. In the ceremony other writers also shed light on personality and writings of Abdul Rahman Pajhwok. Biography of Abdul Rahman Pajhwok: Abdul Rahman Pajhwok was elected as president of the United Nations General Assembly in the twenty-first session, and served as permanent representative of Afghanistan to the United Nations since April16, 1958. He remained member of Afghanistan’s delegation to the General Assembly since 1948. He was born in Ghazni province on March 7, 1919. He received his education in Afghanistan. He started his career as a journalist. He joined Foreign Publications of Government Press Department as director. Later, he worked as Director General of Bakhtar News Agency. In 1946, he was appointed as Cultural and Press Attaché in Afghanistan’s Embassy in London. The following year, he joined the Information Section of the International Labor Organization, where he remained for two years. In 1949, he returned to his country’s diplomatic service and became Cultural and Press Attaché at Afghan Embassy in Washington. He remained there until 1951 when he returned to Kabul to take over the position of Director of the Asian and African Affairs Section and to serve as acting Director of the United Nations Section of Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Political Department. In 1957, he was appointed as Director General of the Political Affairs Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, a post he held until his appointment as Afghanistan’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations. Pajhwok represented Afghanistan during the Economic and Social Council from 1959 to 1961. He was a member of the Commission on Human Rights from 1961 to 1963, serving as chairman in the latter year. In 1963, he served as Chairman of the United Nations Fact-Finding Mission to Vietnam, sent to examine the relations between the Government of the Republic of Vietnam and the Vietnamese Buddhist community. He was Chairman of the Ad Hoc Committee on Oman in 1964. Mr. Pajhwok has represented Afghanistan at several international conferences, including the Bandung Conference in 1955, the Preparatory Conference of Foreign Ministers held in Cairo in 1961 and the Belgrade Conference of Non-Aligned Nations (also called NAM) in 1961. He headed the Afghan delegation to the conferences of Foreign Ministers in Djakarta in 1964, and Algiers in 1965. He was also a member of the delegation of Afghanistan to the Second Conference of Non-Aligned Nations, held in Cairo in 1964. He served as president and honorary member of the Royal Afghan Academy of Literature. He has also been a member of the Society of Historical Studies of Afghanistan.
http://www.afghanistantimes.af/Leaders of the United States and India on Friday said the two countries had shared interests in Afghanistan, as the war-hit country is on the verge of a critical political juncture. US President Barack Obama and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh during a joint press conference at the White House pledged to remain committed to bringing lasting peace and stability to Afghanistan. “We both have a shared interest in making sure that Afghanistan continues on its path to a peaceful, democratic country,” said Obama, adding that the US and India shared an interest in making sure that they helped Afghans stand up for the rights of all groups and that the rights of women and minority groups were protected. Obama stressed the upcoming elections must happen in a way that maintained and continued to strengthen stability in the troubled country. Both the leaders reiterated their commitment to contribute to peace, stability and development in Afghanistan during the critical transformation decade 2015 to 2024. In a joint statement, the two leaders said they reflected on the important strategic partnerships the US and India had formed with Afghanistan. Obama and Singh reaffirmed their commitment to supporting a smooth security and political transition. “The leaders recognized that violent extremists continue to pose challenges to Afghanistan’s security and stability and, in this context, emphasized the need for coordinated international support to help build the capacity of Afghan National Defense and Security Forces,” the joint statement said.
Daily Times The Balochistan Assembly Saturday expressed fear that if the crippling poliovirus is not eliminated from the country, Pakistanis could face a ban on travelling abroad. The legislators also stressed expediting rescue and relief activities in the earthquake-affected areas. The session of the Balochistan Assembly began on Saturday after a day’s break, with Speaker Jan Muhammad Jamali in the chair. Due to non-furnishing of replies to the questions asked by some members of the House the question-hour was deferred. Having no other agenda, the members of treasury and opposition benches spoke on different issues on points of order, however, eradication of polio and relief activities in the earthquake-hit areas dominated the session. Leader of the National Party (NP) Rehmat Baloch said that as September 30 was being observed as the World Anti-Polio Day to create awareness about the disease, therefore, all members of the House must monitor anti-polio campaigns in their respective areas. He said some corrupt people had made polio campaign as a source of their income. He said that in Panjgur the polio teams did not administer polio drop to the children. “The local officers, by showing dummy teams, receive TA, DA allowances,” he added. Meanwhile, JUI-F leader Gul Muhammad Dumar said that he had recently visited his constituency where he was astonished to see that schools were closed and the teachers were absent despite being paid regularly. He said law and order, health and education needed special focus of the government otherwise the people would not be satisfied. Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party (PkMAP) leader Nasrullah Zehray welcomed observance of September 30 as the international polio day and said it was a good step. Zehray noted that no polio case had surfaced in Pishin, Qila Abdullah and Quetta since March 14. He said that world had decided to eradicate polio until 2015 and if we fail to eradicate the disease from the country, Pakistanis could face travelling bans. He also said there were only a few countries, including Afghanistan, Nigeria, and Pakistan, which still had poliovirus. “We should actively participate in the anti-polio campaigns to get rid of this crippling virus,” he added. PkMAP leader Sardar Mustafa Khan Tareen said that the Civil Hospital was right in front of his house but during the last three months, the polio teams have not visited his house to administer polio vaccine to children. He said polio teams were not working actively which was also one of the reasons polio cases keep surfacing. Speaking on his turn, MPA Mujeebur Rehman Muhammad Hassani said in order to eradicate polio, monitoring committees had been constituted at the district level, and they should be monitored through MPAs and deputy commissioners. Speaker Jan Muhammad Jamali regretted that funds were coming from foreign countries for the eradication of polio but were not channelised properly. Other MPAs, including Obaidullah Babath, Shahida Rauf, Dr Hamid Achakzai, also spoke about the eradication of polio and gave their recommendations and expressed their resolve to cope with the deadly virus.
At least four people were killed and several other injured in drone attack near Miranshah at Darga Mandi on Sunday, officials at Miranshah said. Official said two missiles were fired at a house killing four people inside the house. The officials however did not disclosed who the killed were and what their background was. On the other hand curfew was also imposed on all major roads of North Waziristan Agency.
PPP Patron-in-chief Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, has expressed profound grief and sorrow over the loss of precious lives in a bomb blast near khan Ghazi police station in Peshawar. He said that every segment of our society wants peace, the terrorists seem to be unbridled in mounting attacks. He expressed sympathies with those injured and demanded the government and concerned authorities to provide all possible assistance on urgent basis. He prayed Almighty Allah to bless departed souls with eternal peace and grant courage to the bereaved families.
Twin blasts in the northwestern Pakistan city of Peshawar killed 33 people and wounded 70 on Sunday, a week after two bombings at a church in the frontier city killed scores, police and hospital authorities said. Islamist violence has been on the rise in Pakistan in recent months, undermining Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's efforts to tame the insurgency by launching peace talks with the Taliban. The blasts hit outside a police station in an area crowded with shops and families. Police said it appeared at least one of the explosions had been a car bomb. There was no immediate claim of responsibility. A crowd gathered outside the Lady Reading Hospital in Peshawar, where many of the victims had been taken. Distraught relatives frantically tried to dial mobile phone numbers of those caught up in the blasts but were unable to get through. Women sobbed as ambulances pulled up with more bodies. "Who is burning Peshawar, who is burning Peshawar?" screamed one woman in a long headscarf. Shopowner Sher Gul said he had made repeated trips on his motorbike to bring six people to hospital. Gul cursed a provincial government minister who came to visit the victims. "Why have you come so late?" Gul shouted. The blasts follow an attack by a Taliban faction on Peshawar's Anglican church last Sunday that killed more than 80 people, the deadliest attack on Christians in predominantly Muslim Pakistan. The Taliban have repeatedly rejected Pakistan's constitution and have called for the full implementation of Islamic law and for war with India. Sharif is due to meet Indian counterpart Manmohan Singh on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly later on Sunday, only hours after Singh described Pakistan as the "epicenter of terrorism in our region". Another Pakistani politician, former cricket player Imran Khan, has suggested the Taliban might open an office in Pakistan to negotiate but the suggestion drew an angry response from those caught up in Sunday's blasts. "The government wants to open an office for the Taliban? What office? They are killing us, for how long do we have to suffer like this? I have no hope," said Waheed Khan as he searched for his nephew, a rickshaw driver, among the dead and wounded.
At least 29 people were killed and more than 70 injured in a blast near Khan Raziq police station in Qissa Khawani bazaar of Peshawar, Geo News reported. Police have confirmed the blast and said it occurred in a vehicle, parked near the police station. Initial report said that the explosive material was planted in the vehicle and was detonated with a remote device. Commissioner Peshawar confirmed killing of 10 people in the attack. Rescue sources have confirmed that more than 40 people including children were wounded and have been shifted to Leady Reading Hospital. Hospital sources said 29 people have been killed in the attack. Emergency has been declared in the LRH. Several vehicles and adjacent buildings were damaged. The blast occurred a week after a twin suicide blasts at a Church killed more than 80 people.
The Express Tribune Pakistan came into being following a historic struggle of the Muslims of the subcontinent. Addressing the newly-found nation, the father of the nation, Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, had said that “You may belong to any religion or caste or creed — that has nothing to do with the business of the State”. It is unfortunate that the ideals of the Quaid-e-Azam were quickly brushed aside soon after his death and a group of vested interests took control of power. This group brazenly used religion to perpetuate its hold on power. The Afghan war pushed the country into the raging fire of war in the late 70s. The fire continues to burn with intensity even today as people of Pakistan across its length and breadth are falling prey. There are no visible signs that the country could be pulled off from this fire and put on the path of progress and prosperity. Extremism is beginning to stifle the spirit of Pakistan and the dreams of the founding fathers are turning into nightmares. Thousands of lives have been lost in bomb blasts and suicide attacks. This includes officers and men of country’s armed forces and paramilitary forces as well as thousands of innocent civilians. Despite this, a recently held All Parties Conference (APC) gave the government the mandate to hold talks with these extremists and militants. The main spirit behind this mandate was to give peace a chance. The militants, however, continue to strike relentlessly. A serving major general of the army was martyred in an IED blast after the offer of dialogue to the Taliban. Militants spurned the offer by carrying out two suicide blasts in a church in Peshawar killing scores of people, including women and children. They have made it clear that they would continue to strike in future as well. These recent acts of terrorism have provoked a huge wave of anger in the country and some quarters are demanding that the dialogue offer with the Taliban should be withdrawn forthwith. In response to this anger, some pro-Taliban parties are arguing that these recent attacks were carried out by some fringe groups and not the Taliban. They are also claiming that there are nearly 25 groups within the Taliban and some of them are still not in favour of talks, thus the possibility of their involvement. This argument throws the whole question of talks into deep complication: if the Taliban is not a unified body and lacks the ability to control other militant groups, would it be fruitful to talk to it? Should we talk to the Taliban or these fringe yet powerful groups or both? There are some politicians in the country who maintain that the issue can be resolved by holding dialogues and some even suggest that the militants should be allowed to open an office for this purpose, thereby recognising them as a legitimate stakeholder. This is a dangerous idea. A country has its own well-defined stakeholders: armed forces, the police, bureaucracy, economists, major political parties, ethnic and religious groups, etc. These stakeholders play positive and constructive roles in the process of nation-building, thereby strengthening the country. On the other hand, there are elements that work for weakening the country by engaging in destructive activities. It is these non-stakeholders who are commonly termed anti-state actors or anti-state elements. Those who claim to be the most patriotic people in Pakistan but consider these non-state actors as the integral part of the state seek to legitimise what is patently illegitimate. We all want peace in the country and we all want to see the country emerging as a modern democracy among the international community. We all recognise the importance of holding dialogues for resolving issues but I would like to put a question to leaders, scholars and academicians. Dialogue but with whom?
The Baloch HalThree children were recovered alive after three days from the rubble in Mashkay tehsil of Awaran which was badly hit by 7.8-quake on Tuesday (September 24). Amid the dust and wreckage in Mashkay, there have been some moments of hope – three children, the youngest just three years old, were found alive in the ruins of a house. Similarly, three dead bodies were also retrieved as the people are still awaiting massive rescue and relief help from the government functionaries. A large number of journalists present in Awaran and Mashkay for coverage told this scribe on phone that no rescue teams had arrived in most of the parts of Awaran and Mashkay. “Some rescue teams are engaged in the relief work in urban Awaran, but no team has reached far-flung areas where a massive devastation has occurred,” they added. Some local people staged a noisy demonstration outside the office of the deputy commissioner, demanding immediate relief and rescue for their trapped dear ones. Mashkay Assistant Commissioner Mir Naseer Ahmed Mosiani told media persons that a widespread death and destruction had been caused by the earthquake and there was no water available for human consumption while most of the natural springs had disappeared following the earthquake. He confirmed that more than 200 people had lost their lives in Mashkay only. A local journalist, Ismail Sasoli, claimed more than 400 people had been injured in Mashkay alone. The assistant commissioner said that more than 10,000 tents were needed for the Mashkay subdivision whereas official and other sources confirmed that only 200 tents had arrived in Awaran. Mir Naseer Ahmed Mosiani categorically said the environment in Mashkay subdivision was completely peaceful and normal and there was no threat to life, so volunteers should come and start the rescue and relief operation. “Scores of volunteers, belonging to some non-governmental organizations (NGOs), managed on their own to reach Awaran. All of them were stopped at check posts for unknown reasons and no official of the district administration came to guide them to start the relief work,” a local journalist, Shabbir Rakhsani, complained. He added there was no control room in the entire district to guide and help the people ready to undertake rescue and relief operation. There was a general impression of the local people reached by telephone that the government’s rescue and relief efforts were still missing even after three days of the deadly earthquake. A journalist visited Teer Tej village where 2,000 mud houses collapsed and more than 80 people lost their lives. According to some NGOs, the Frontier Corps detained relief truckloads at Lasbela, disallowing them to take the supplies to the affected people when they refused to hand over the supplies to the FC troops more than 200 kilometers away from Awaran. After intervention by the higher officials, these truckloads were, however, allowed to move. The trucks reached at 3am at Awaran where they were parked close to the DC office, but did not reach the quake victims. A large number of people gathered outside the DC office and expressed their anger while some of them took away food and items from the trucks in desperation. There was only one doctor to provide medical aid to the injured. He was just giving painkillers to the patients as there was no other medicine available. There was no x-ray facility to detect bone fractures as well.Meanwhile, an aftershock of 5 at Richter scale was reported in Awaran and the other affected areas, with no report of loss of life and property so far. PDMA Chief Hafiz Basit told a news conference in Quetta that a 50-bed hospital in Awaran had been made functional, having doctors and medicines. Mir Jan Muhammad Buleidai who was also present on the occasion said 22 truckloads of supplies had been dispatched to the affected areas. He confirmed that seriously injured people were being shifted to Karachi for better treatment.
The US secretary of state John F. Kerry said in the fourth Ministerial Meeting of the Global Counterterrorism Forum that he was deeply distressed over recent Peshawar Church attack. “ There’s no way to describe these other than as acts of hatred, cowardly acts that take innocent lives, and they really ought to reinvigorate all of us with respect to the challenges that we face and that we’re discussing here today,” he said. “In Nairobi, we know that at least 68 innocent men, women, and children are dead, many more injured, including some Americans, and probably many of you sitting here, I know, have citizens of your own countries. In Peshawar, there was a heinous attack on the All Saints Church, long a bastion of interfaith harmony and cooperation, and at least 85 people were killed and another 100 injured,” he continued. He further said, “Now tragically, there is nothing that can erase the bitter feeling that these attacks leave in their wake. The haunting images are going to forever be seared in our minds, and they unfortunately meld with haunting images from too many countries and too many places where people resort to these completely empty, nihilistic acts.” Secretary Kerry added, “I think the images out of Peshawar of lifeless bodies strewn across a church, and in Nairobi, likewise, people up and down the mall lying lifeless, parents hugging their children for safety, people running in fear. At the same time, we have images of the heroism of rescuers and the collective cry of the Kenyan and the Pakistani people, who say loudly: “This was an attack on our families and our communities.” He assured, “The United States stands firmly with the people of Kenya and Pakistan, and our thoughts and prayers are with those who mourn the loss of their loved ones and those who wait for the wounds of loved ones to heal.” “So, my friends, we face a common threat in terrorism, whether it’s in a church in Peshawar or at a mall in Nairobi, and our charge is clear: We need to prove to the world that what we build together, and the power of our ideas, is far more powerful than what the terrorists seek to destroy. In the attacks of the past week, death has made war upon our collective house, but the victims and their families are not alone. They’re not without kith and kin. They have the steadfast support of the United States and its partners and the allies,” he reassured. - See more at: http://www.christiansinpakistan.com/peshawar-church-attack-an-act-of-hatred-says-united-states-secretary-john-kerry/#sthash.eSdXAazf.dpuf
According to details, Karachi police has registered a blasphemy case against three Christian men namely Babar, Ilyas and Robert under blasphemy laws as an outcome of being involved in violent protests over Peshawar Church attack. The three Christians has allegedly participated in a violent protest staged a day after suicide attackers blew up a Church in Peshawar killing more than 100 Christians. Reportedly, during the protest, a fight and punch-up took place between Christians and Muslim youth after some of the protestors threw stones at a mosque at Zaman Town in the Korangi area. “As a result of the protestors turning violent a Muslim man also died in the brawl after he got hit in the head,” the police said. Moreover, the Muslim-Christians clashes resulted in torching of houses of Christians ; the situation was however later brought under control by intervention from police. The police confirmed on Friday, 27th of September, 2013 that Nazir Ahmed- a member of administrative committee of the Khulfai Rashideen mosque has filed an FIR against three Christians namely Babar, Ilyas and Robert for allegedly committing blasphemous acts. According to the police, the complainant has accused that the three Christian men pelted stones during the protest whereby hitting the names of the caliphs with stones and sticks that is seen as a deliberate desecration. Mohammad Khan the concerned police officer said, ”The three men were arrested on Thursday 26th of September but were released on bail on Friday. The case was registered under section 298-F that is a lenient clause of the law as the maximum sentence under this act was three year imprisonment. Under the main clause of the blasphemy law the maximum punishment is death here.” “A murder case against three other men was also registered but they were absconders,” the police said. - See more at: http://www.christiansinpakistan.com/voilent-protestors-over-peshawar-church-attack-booked-under-blasphemy-charges/#sthash.zyCOlNeB.2eHXmhIa.dpuf
http://www.pakistanchristianpost.com/Dr. Nazir S Bhatti, President of Pakistan Christian Congress PCC said that Christians are not enjoying equal rights in Islamic Republic of Pakistan as claimed by Prime Minister of Pakistan Mian Nawaz Sharif in his speech in General Assembly session of United Nation in New York today. In his address to UN General Assembly, Premier Nawaz Sharif demanded rights of Palestinians and expressed concern on propaganda against Islam and Holy Quran in Western world but fell short to amend blasphemy laws which are root cause of violence against religious communities in Pakistan. Nawaz Sharif mentioned in his speech incident of suicide bombing attack on Peshawar Church which killed 86 Christian men, women and children and injured more than hundred but not assured security measure to stop such massacre. Nazir Bhatti said “Whenever Nawaz Sharif comes in power, the violence against Christians rises in Pakistan” Commenting on claims of equal rights by Nawaz Sharif, PCC Chief said “Christians cannot elect their representation in parliament with their votes; Christian youth have not equal opportunities in jobs nor have in higher education admissions, if these are equal rights for minorities in Pakistan then its mockery of equal rights” The province of Punjab which is governed by Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz Group for decade which is headed by Mian Nawaz Sharif have never ensured justice to Christians which are second biggest population of this province after Muslims weather it was incident of Gojra or Korian or Bahminwali where Muslim mob destroyed Christian properties and burnt alive Christians. The PML (N) government in Punjab sold thousands of jobs of Christians in Lahore Metropolitan Corporation to their Turkish friends denying privatization menu and plans to expand their privatization in other cities of Punjab only jobs of Christians in this tenure instead of Privatization of sectors of these corporations which have Muslim employees. Nazir Bhatti said that repeal of blasphemy laws and right to elect Christian representation in Local Governments, Provincial Assemblies and National Assembly with Christian votes is only step forward to equal rights for minorities in Pakistan. PCC Chief said that Christians are being treated like 2nd class citizen in Pakistan and never enjoy equal basic democratic rights.