Wednesday, November 6, 2013
An Ethiopian man has been killed by Saudi police officers as Riyadh continues its crackdown on migrants. According to a statement released by Saudi police spokesman Nasser al-Qahtani on Wednesday, the man was killed in southern Riyadh on Tuesday. The Saudi government launched a crackdown on “illegal” migrants including workers early this year. Riyadh offered amnesty to allow the workers to legalize their stay. Expatriates account for around nine million of Saudi Arabia’s population of 28 million. Meanwhile, Filipino workers deported from Saudi Arabia say they have been abused and treated “like animals” by Saudi authorities. Thirty Filipino workers, who returned to Manila on Monday, revealed details of their ordeal during their stay in Saudi Arabia. “They treated us like animals,” said 46-year-old domestic helper Amor Roxas. Saudi police rounded up the workers in a crowded cell for four days before they were allowed to return home, Roxas stated. Yvonne Montefeo, another worker, said, “Our feet were chained.” According to Migrante International, a support group for overseas Filipino workers, the immigrants were among an estimated 6,700 Filipinos stranded in parts of Saudi Arabia for the lack of documents. The group warned that the Filipinos “are in danger of being violently dispersed, arrested and detained by Saudi authorities.”
Bahrain’s Ministry of Interior must immediately rescind the decision to strip 31 members of the opposition of their Bahraini nationality made a year ago, Amnesty International urged. On 7 November 2012, the Ministry took the extreme measure against the opposition activists, who are all Shi’a, saying they had caused “damage to state security”. Those without dual citizenship were effectively made stateless by the decision. “Stripping away the nationality of government critics shows that the Bahraini authorities continue to lash out and discredit anyone they deem a threat. Instead of addressing the criticism levelled against them, the authorities have found no other way to respond than depriving Bahraini citizens of their nationality,” said Hassiba Hadj-Sahraoui, Deputy Director of Amnesty International’s Middle East Programme. “The Ministry of Interior must rescind its earlier decision urgently and restore the Bahraini nationality to all 31 opposition activists. Such retaliation has a chilling effect on peaceful dissent and freedom of expression, and has serious human rights implications for everyone in Bahrain.” The 31 activists include two former members of Parliament, the brothers Jawad and Jalal Fairouz, both from al-Wefaq Society, the largest Shi'a political association. They are now in exile in London. Those affected also include religious figures such as Ayatollah Hussain al-Najati, who has reportedly been under immense pressure to leave Bahrain, as well as other London-based opposition activists who had been tried and given up to life imprisonment in several cases. Amnesty International has witnessed how some of those who had their nationality revoked and remain in Bahrain have found it difficult to challenge the legality of the decision in court. Some have been forced out of their jobs since the decision was taken. In July 2013, amendments were made to the country’s 2006 anti-terrorism legislation to include the revocation of Bahraini citizenship along with drastically increasing prison sentences for anyone found guilty of terrorism-related offences. Revocation of nationality resulting in statelessness is a violation of international human rights treaties which Bahrain is party to.
http://www.dailyqudrat.com/)حزب اختلاف کے سینٹ کے ’’اوپن ایئر‘‘اجلاس میں ڈرون حملوں کے معاملے پر حکومتی پالیسی اور حکیم اللہ محسود کی ہلاکت پر وزیر داخلہ کے مبینہ واویلے اور اس کیساتھ ساتھ حکیم اللہ محسود کو شہید قرار دینے والی مذہبی سیاسی جماعتوں کے راہنماؤں کو شدید تنقید کا نشانہ بنایا گیااور وزیراعظم سے مطالبہ کیا گیا کہ وہ ڈرون حملوں پر دورہ امریکہ میں ہونیوالے سمجھوتہ پر قوم کو اعتماد میں لیں۔ بدھ کے روز حزب اختلاف کی جانب سے منعقد کئے گئے سینٹ کا علامتی اجلاس پارلیمنٹ ہاؤس کے باہر سبزہ زار میں ہوا۔ اجلاس میں سینیٹرز زمین پر بیٹھے تھے جبکہ کچھ سینیٹرز کیلئے کرسیاں فراہم کی گئی تھیں اس کے علاوہ کچھ سابق اور موجودہ ارکان قومی اسمبلی بھی اجلاس کے موقع پر موجود تھے۔ اجلاس کیلئے پہلے ایجنڈا آئیٹم جس میں حالیہ ڈرون حملوں کے معاملے پر بحث کے دوران ارکان سینٹ نے ڈرون حملوں کے معاملے پر حکومتی پالیسی‘ مختلف مذہبی جماعتوں کی طرف سے حکیم اللہ محسود کو شہید قرار دینے اور حکیم اللہ محسود کی ہلاکت پر چوہدری نثار علی خان کے واویلے کو شدید تنقید کا نشانہ بنایا اور وزیراعظم نواز شریف سے مطالبہ کیا کہ وہ اپنے دورہ امریکہ میں ڈرون حملوں کے معاملے پر صدر اوباما سے طے پانے والے معاہدے کے بارے میں عوام کو اعتماد میں لیں۔ سینیٹر افراسیاب خٹک نے کہا کہ حکومت نے آل پارٹیز کانفرنس کی جانب سے بھرپور مینڈیٹ ملنے کے باوجود طالبان کیساتھ مذاکرات کے حوالے سے کوئی پیشرفت نہ کی اور وزیراعظم نے امریکہ اور برطانیہ کے دورے کئے اور انہوں نے طالبان کیساتھ مذاکرات کیلئے کوئی پالیسی اختیار کی اور نہ ہی ان کے پاس ڈرون حملے رکوانے کیلئے کوئی حکمت عملی ہے۔ انہوں نے گذشتہ حکومت کو خراج تحسین پیش کرتے ہوئے کہاکہ سلالہ چیک پوسٹ پر حملے کے جواب میں پیپلزپارٹی کی اتحادی حکومت نے سات ماہ تک نیٹو سپلائی کو بند رکھا حتی کہ امریکہ پاکستان کیساتھ مذاکرات کیلئے مجبور ہوگیا اب وفاقی اور صوبہ خیبر پختونخواہ کی صوبائی حکومت ڈرون حملے رکوانے کیلئے نیٹو سپلائی بند کرنے کی بات کرتی ہیں لیکن دونوں حکومتیں ایسا نہیں کرسکتیں اور نہ ہی ایسا کرنا چاہتی ہیں اس لئے دونوں ایک دوسرے پر ذمہ داری ڈال رہی ہیں۔ان کا کہنا تھا کہ خیبر پختونخواہ کی صوبائی حکومت کا موقف ہے کہ ڈرون حملے اقوام متحدہ ہی رکواسکتی ہے لیکن دونوں حکومتوں کو اقوام متحدہ نہیں بلکہ پاکستانی عوام نے مینڈیٹ دیا ہے اور دونوں حکومتوں نے ڈرون حملے رکوانے پر عوام سے ووٹ لئے ہیں۔سینیٹر افراسیاب خٹک کا کہنا تھا کہ کتنی ستم ظریفی ہے کہ اگر آدمی ایک یا دو قتل کرے تو وہ قاتل ہے اور اگر وہ سینکڑوں لوگوں کو ماردے تو وہ شراکت دار بن جاتا ہے۔ یہی حال موجودہ حکومت کی پالیسیوں کی وجہ سے ہے کیونکہ اب دہشت گرد شراکت دار بن چکے ہیں۔سینٹ چاروں صوبوں کی برابر نمائندگی کا واحد وفاقی ادارہ ہے لیکن ستم ظریفی ہے کہ وزیراعظم نے ابھی تک اس ادارے کو اعتماد میں نہیں لیا اور عوام کو بھی امن عمل سے نکال دیا ہے۔ ان کا کہنا تھا کہ صوبہ خیبر پختونخواہ کی صوبائی حکومت کی پالیسی کی وجہ سے پولیس میں بڑی بے چینی پائی جاتی ہے کیونکہ پی ٹی آئی کی حکومت دہشت گردوں کو بری کردیتی ہے اور پولیس کو ہدایت کی گئی ہے کہ وہ دہشت گردوں کا احترام کرے۔انہوں نے کہا کہ چوہدری نثار علی خان حکیم اللہ محسود کی ہلاکت پر رونا پیٹنا شروع کئے ہوئے ہیں لیکن کسی نے آج تک فاٹا میں ڈرون حملوں کی وجہ سے جاں بحق ہونے والے افراد کیلئے فاتحہ خوانی نہیں کی۔ ان کا کہنا تھا کہ اگر حکومت ڈرون حملے روکنا چاہتی ہے تو وہ پاکستانی علاقوں سے غیر ملکیوں کو باہر نکال دے،ڈرون حملوں کی وجہ خودبخود ختم ہوجائے گی۔ ان کا کہنا تھا کہ موجودہ وفاقی حکومت دہشت گردوں کی بی ٹیم بن چکی ہے۔ اے این پی کے سینیٹر عبدالنبی بنگش نے تحریک پر بحث میں حصہ لیتے ہوئے کہا کہ دہشت گردی اور ڈرون حملوں میں پچاس ہزار سے زائد لوگ جاں بحق ہوچکے ہیں اور ان میں سے پینتالیس ہزار معصوم شہری تھے لیکن وفاقی وزیر داخلہ کی جانب سے سینٹ میں دئیے گئے اعدادو شمار سے پتہ چلتا ہے کہ ڈرون حملے دہشت گردوں کو نشانہ بنانے کیلئے بہت کارآمد ہیں۔ ان کا کہنا تھا کہ ایک کمانڈو جنرل نے ایک فون کال پر جہادیوں کو دہشت گرد قرار دے دیا۔ اے این پی نے ماضی میں بھی ڈالروں کے عوض جہاد کو فساد قرار دیا تھا اور کمانڈو جنرل کی طرف سے جہادیوں کو فسادی قرار دینے کی بھی مذمت کی تھی کیونکہ ڈالروں کے عوض جہاد اور جہادیوں کو دہشت گرد قرار دئیے جانے کی وجہ سے ملک آج دہشت گردی اور شدت پسندی کی لپیٹ میں ہے۔ ان کا کہنا تھا کہ چوہدری نثار علی خان آمریت کی پیداوار ہیں اور انہوں نے سینٹ میں جو اعدادو شمار دئیے ہیں وہ ڈرون حملوں کی حمایت کرتے ہیں۔ ان کا کہنا تھا کہ وزیراعظم امریکہ میں کیا ڈیل کرکے آئے ہیں اس بارے میں کسی کو کچھ پتہ نہیں کیونکہ وزیراعظم امریکہ سے واپسی کے فوری بعد برطانیہ کے دورے پر چلے گئے۔انہوں نے کہا کہ چوہدری نثار قوم کو گمراہ کررہے ہیں کیونکہ حکیم اللہ محسود اشتہاری مجرم تھا اور وفاقی حکومت نے اس کے سر کی قیمت پانچ کروڑ روپے مقرر کی ہوئی تھی۔ ان کا کہنا تھا کہ ڈرون حملے وفاقی حکومت کی مشاورت سے جاری ہیں اسلئے چوہدری نثار علی خان کا حکیم اللہ محسود کی ہلاکت پر واویلا سمجھ سے بالاتر ہے۔ عبدالنبی بنگش نے کہا کہ جو مذہبی راہنماء حکیم اللہ محسود کو شہید قرار دے رہے ہیں ان کو شرم آنی چاہئے کیونکہ حکیم اللہ محسود کے ہاتھ بے گناہ پاکستانیوں کے خون سے رنگے ہوئے ہیں تاہم سید منور حسن اور مولانا فضل الرحمن صرف طالبان کے خوف سے حکیم اللہ محسود کو شہید قرار دے رہے ہیں۔ انہوں نے کہاکہ اگر جنرل پرویز مشرف ملک سے فرار ہوتا ہے تو یہ اسی طرح ڈیل کے تحت ہوگا جس طرح نواز شریف ڈیل کے تحت ملک سے باہر گیا تھا۔ پاکستان مسلم لیگ (ق) کے سینیٹر کامل علی آغا نے کہا کہ چوہدری نثار علی خان نے موجودہ حکومت کے دور میں ہونے والے کسی بھی ڈرون حملے کی مخالفت نہیں کی اور انہوں نے صرف اس ڈرون حملے کی مخالفت کی جس میں حکیم اللہ محسود ہلاک ہوا تھا۔انہوں نے کہا کہ وفاقی حکومت عوام کو گمراہ کررہی ہے کہ حکومت نے ڈرون حملے کے معاملے پر امریکی سفیر کو طلب کیا تھا حالانکہ امریکی کہہ رہے ہیں کہ انہیں کوئی بھی احتجاجی مراسلہ نہیں دیا گیا اور نہ ہی پاکستان نے ڈرون حملے پر کوئی احتجاج کیا ہے۔انہوں نے کہا کہ وزیراعظم نوازشریف نے امریکہ سے واپسی پر لندن ایئرپورٹ پر کہا تھا کہ ہمیں سب سے پہلے اپنے گھر کو صاف کرنا ہوگا اس کا مطلب ہے کہ وزیراعظم امریکہ سے ڈرون حملوں پر ڈیل کرکے آئے تھے اور اب حکیم اللہ محسود کی ہلاکت پر چوہدری نثار علی خان قوم کو گمراہ کررہے ہیں۔ انہوں نے کہا کہ حکومتی پالیسیوں میں شفافیت ہونی چاہئے اور وزیراعظم کو عوام کو بتانا چاہئے کہ وہ اوباما سے کیا ڈیل کرکے آئے ہیں۔ یہ بہت اہم ایشو ہے اور اس معاملے کو سنجیدگی سے لیا جانا چاہئے۔ بلوچستان نیشنل پارٹی (عوامی) کی سینیٹر کلثوم پروین نے کہا کہ اس اجلاس کا مقصد عوامی اہمیت کے معاملات کو اجاگر کرنا ہے خاص طور پر وہ معاملات جن پر حکومت مصلحت کا شکار ہے اور بات کرنے سے ڈرتی ہے۔ انہوں نے کہا کہ وزیراعظم نواز شریف کو اپوزیشن سے رواء رکھے گئے روئیے کا سخت نوٹس لینا چاہئے کیونکہ میاں رضا ربانی نے اٹھارہویں ترمیم کے تحت نواز شریف کو تیسری مرتبہ وزیراعظم بننے کا موقع فراہم کیا اس کے بعد چیئرمین احمد حسن نے سینٹ کا علامتی اجلاس (آج) جمعرات کی صبح گیارہ بجے تک ملتوی کردیا - See more at: http://www.dailyqudrat.com/2013/11/06/%d9%85%d9%88%d8%ac%d9%88%d8%af%db%81-%d9%88%d9%81%d8%a7%d9%82%db%8c-%d8%ad%da%a9%d9%88%d9%85%d8%aa-%d8%af%db%81%d8%b4%d8%aa-%da%af%d8%b1%d8%af%d9%88%da%ba-%da%a9%db%8c-%d8%a8%db%8c-%d9%b9%db%8c%d9%85/news.html#sthash.dqOj7FPk.dpuf
Interior Minister Ch Nisar Ali Khan’s claim that the US drone attack that killed Hakimullah Mehsud was carried out shortly before a three member government delegation was to meet the TTP leadership, does not seem credible keeping in view TTP spokesman’s Nov 1 statement (hardly six hours before his boss was to be droned to death), denying Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s Oct 31 declaration that dialogue with the Taliban has begun. The interior minister had claimed at his Nov 2 press conference in Islamabad that the drone attack that killed Hakimullah was a deliberate attempt by the US to sabotage the peace efforts that were poised to begin by a three-member delegation which was on its way to meet the TTP representatives, carrying a letter from the government side formally setting out the dialogue offer. But the Taliban circles strongly refute Ch Nisar’s claim as a white lie, saying they were never informed about a three-member delegation; neither anyone from the government had approached them [seeking a meeting with the TTP leadership either on Nov 1 or Nov 2] nor was any such meeting ever scheduled, as claimed by Nisar. The Taliban sources refer to the Nov 1 statement issued by TTP spokesman Shahidullah Shahid wherein he had refuted Nawaz Sharif’s statement [issued in London on Oct 31] during a meeting with British Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, saying dialogue with the Taliban had begun as his government could not wait and see innocent people being killed. Shahid had stated: “We once again reiterate our previous demand that the US drone attacks should be stopped before initiation of peace dialogue. Whatever Nawaz Sharif and Ch Nisar Khan have said with regard to the initiation of the talks is not true. No one from the government has approached us for peace talks so far. We are surprised to read these misleading statements. That’s why we have called an emergency meeting of TTP Shura today (Nov 1) to check if someone [from TTP] was really negotiating with the government”. Shahidullah Shahid’s statement also addressed the query as to why the TTP Shura was holding a meeting under Hakimullah’s chairmanship on Nov 1 in Danday Darpa Khel village of Miramshah in North Waziristan. Interestingly, the government side has been giving an impression ever since Hakimullah’s killing as if the TTP Shura had met to chalk out the agenda of peace talks with the three-member government delegation. On the other hand, sources in the security establishment also express lack of knowledge about any meeting having been scheduled between the government side and the TTP leadership hours before Hakimullah was killed. They reminded that the TTP had made conditional the initiation of peace parleys with the release of convicted and under trial TTP prisoners, withdrawal of the army from FATA, enforcement of Shariah in the country and the halting of the American drone attacks in Pakistani tribal areas. And the government was not in a position to entertain any of these demands which were simply rubbish. The establishment circles referred to Ch Nisar Ali Khan’s Nov 4 statement on the floor of the National Assembly, saying: “The biggest dilemma for the government in the way of the peace talks is that the TTP is actually a lose conglomerate of at least 37 different jehadi groups based in the tribal areas. But despite being members of the TTP umbrella, each of these groups is fully independent in decision making which is a major problem. Therefore, holding peace talks with a single group would be useless”. According to the establishment circles, Nisar’s statement was self-contradictory and clearly negated his earlier claim of having struck a breakthrough [with Taliban to hold talks] shortly before Hakimullah was killed. On the other hand, the Taliban sources pointed out that Ch Nisar has not yet named the “so-called” three-member delegation which was to hold talks with the TTP leadership. “Had there been any such delegation, its members would have come forward by now to at least condole with us the said demise of our ameer”, said a Taliban commander while requesting anonymity. While referring to Shahidullah’s latest statement, the TTP leader said there are clear indications to suggest that the Sharif government was also involved in Hakimullah’s killing. Shahid said the other day that the group’s leadership knew that the government was not sincere in peace talks but had decided to hold parleys for the sake of Pakistani people. We did not want innocent Pakistanis to suffer any more. But the government, by helping the US in the killing of Hakimullah, has proved that it was actually deceiving us”. According to the Taliban commander, any breakthrough between the government and the TTP was out of question after the Oct 30, 2013 US drone strike in the main bazar of Miramshah in North Waziristan. “The attack was conducted hardly a couple of days after Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s recent meeting with American President Obama in New York after which the Pakistan government gave an impression as if the Americans had agreed to halt their drone campaign. Therefore, there were zero chances of any breakthrough between the government and the Taliban leadership after the Oct 30 drone attack. Therefore, no one could believe in Nisar’s claim that the TTP leadership was scheduled to see a government delegation to hold talks on the eve of Hakimullah Mehsud’s demise”, the TTP commander added. In a related development, despite Ch Nisar’s recent anti-US tirade and announcement to summon the US ambassador for lodging official protest over Hakimullah’s death, the US State Department spokesperson Marie Harf declared yesterday in Washington that ‘it had no specific communication to report on a protest note from Pakistan over the killing of the TTP chief in a US drone attack’. Therefore, it is not that much difficult to ascertain as to who is actually correct.
AMERICANS ARE deeply divided politically, so much so that polarization itself has become an issue that may overshadow the specific substantive disagreements among parties and candidates. After all, if partisan animosity renders the government machinery dysfunctional, then it hardly matters who the people choose to operate it. So one of the big questions hanging over Tuesday’s voting, not only in our area but also in other states, was whether voters would send a clear signal in favor of pragmatic, as opposed to ideological, governance. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s reelection suggests that the answer is at least partly “Yes.” This was not necessarily foreshadowed in the first year or two of Mr. Christie’s term, which began in 2009. The Republican governor made a national name for himself by confronting opponents, sometimes in angry language. But the issues he tackled — educational and pension reform — were genuine. And when the time came to legislate, he proved capable of working with Democrats. His embrace of President Obama when Superstorm Sandy hit his state during the waning days of the 2012 campaign may have infuriated GOP leaders, but it was in his constituents’ interest. You don’t have to be a fan of Mr. Christie to be impressed by his victory, just someone who believes that the entire two-party system would benefit if more Republicans were to follow his more inclusive brand of politics rather than the tea party variant. Next door in New York City, Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, a Democrat, was elected mayor by a huge margin after campaigning on a rather different theme. An unabashed liberal populist, Mr. de Blasio spoke of a “tale of two cities ” and promised to focus on the plight of the 46 percent of New Yorkers who live on incomes equal to 150 percent of the federal poverty line or less. After 12 years of centrist, nonpartisan government under Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg (I), city services run more efficiently, school reform has advanced and crime has plummeted. Yet economic inequality represents the unfinished business of Bloomberg-style centrism — as, indeed, it remains a major issue nationally. Mr. de Blasio has promised to tax the rich to pay for preschool and to abandon the “stop-and-frisk” policing methods that Mr. Bloomberg credited for curbing crime — but that also alienated minority youth who bore the brunt of these tactics. If Mr. Christie has made himself the new hero of mainstream Republican conservatives, Mr. de Blasio is the champion of those on the Democratic left who are disillusioned with President Obama and eager to implement their undiluted ideas on the Big Apple’s big stage. With unions already lining up to press for fatter contracts, the new mayor’s challenge will be to husband the city’s resources and use them to cut inequality and expand opportunity — without forfeiting the gains in safety and livability that New York made during Mr. Bloomberg’s time.
http://www.cbsnews.com/Bill de Blasio will be the first Democrat in two decades to serve as the mayor of New York City, as the Associated Press estimates he will defeat Republican Joe Lhota, a longtime adviser to former mayor Rudy Giuliani, for the job. Considering his huge margin of victory -- De Blasio, the public advocate, was trouncing Lhota 73 to 24 percent in incomplete, unofficial returns reported by The Associated Press early Wednesday -- it wasn't always such a sure road for de Blasio. In the spring, de Blasio was in fourth place in a crowded Democratic primary race that included former Rep. Anthony Weiner, D-N.Y., who resigned from Congress in disgrace after it was discovered he sent lewd photos and messages to women he met online, and City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, who would have been the city's first female and lesbian mayor. Weiner led the race until late July when the news came out that Weiner had engaged in an additional three online sexual relationships since leaving Congress, which caused his poll numbers to take a hit. Quinn suffered from her ties to Mayor Michael Bloomberg, including her role in changing New York's two-term limit, which allowed both herself and Bloomberg to seek a third term.But it wasn't until August that de Blasio hit upon the winning strategy: making his mixed-race family, and in particular his children, the public face of his campaign. It started with an ad starring his teenage son Dante, who, sporting a large afro, praised his father's positions on affordable housing and New York's controversial stop-and-frisk policy. With his solidly liberal agenda, including opposition to stop-and-frisk, and pledge to raise taxes in order to pay for universal pre-kindergarten, de Blasio has promised voters a departure from the 12-year-long Bloomberg era. In particular, he stressed a desire to narrow New York's widening gap between the haves and the have-nots. "This election is a very stark contrast between two very different candidates. Mr. Lhota clearly wants to maintain the status quo in the city. I'm calling for fundamental change," de Blasio told reporters Tuesday after voting in Brooklyn. The Quinnipiac poll showed that voters are divided on whether he'll be able to keep his campaign promises. Forty-two percent say yes; 43 percent say no. Lhota, who served several positions in the Giuliani administration and was recently the head of the Metropolitan Transit Authority during superstorm Sandy, has suggested that de Blasio's policies won't be able to keep crime down and that he has insufficient experience. But his similarity to Bloomberg offered too little change for voters seeking a fresh face in Gracie Mansion.
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Pakistani opposition lawmakers on Wednesday held their own "session" outside parliament to protest a disparity in figures for civilian casualties in US drone attacks and terror strikes. Despite a request from minister of state for water Chaudhry Abid Sher Ali, the opposition refused to enter the Senate or upper house of parliament and chanted "Shame, shame, shame". The opposition lawmakers said they would discuss a 10-point agenda during their "session" outside parliament, including interior minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan's "attitude", a power tariff hike, inflation and the law and order situation in the financial hub of Karachi. "The ( casualty) figures submitted by the interior minister were incorrect and were justifying the drone attacks conducted by the US," Pakistan People's Party (PPP) lawmaker Raza Rabbani said. The interior minister recently said 2,160 militants and only 67 civilians were killed in US drone strikes. However, the figures were contested by opposition parties and rights groups. Even the defence ministry told the media that these figures were wrong, Rabbani claimed. "The records should be corrected immediately and the interior minister should withdraw figures pertaining to casualties in terrorist activities that he had presented in the upper house," Rabbani demanded. He said the opposition did not have any other way but to hold a session outside parliament. Meanwhile, leader of the house Raja Zafrul Haq, a senior leader of the ruling PML-N, informed the Senate about progress being made by a parliamentary committee to reconcile with the opposition. He said the committee held two meetings with opposition members but they decided to carry on with their protest. The treasury benches are making efforts to bring the opposition back to the Senate and something positive will hopefully emerge from the meetings, he added.
The Express TribuneHindus in Peshawar celebrated Diwali on Tuesday at the historical Balmiki temple situated in Kali Bari where a number of Hindu families reside.
Ahmadiyya TimesA Pakistani Christian is in fear of his life because of a frequently misused blasphemy law. The law provides the death penalty for blaspheming Mohammed or the Koran. In the latest case, Adnan Masih, a Christian lay pastor, ran into a problem while at work. William Stark of International Christian Concern tells OneNewsNow he found a coworker's book, an extremist text against Christianity. “He wasn't offended by the book but he wanted to answer the book's questions,” he explains. “So, as he sat at his work station reading through this book, he made notes in the book questioning the points and putting counter arguments supported by biblical texts to refute the anti-Christian claims of this book.” The owner of the book found it, took it to police and filed a blasphemy charge. Adnan found out, skipped town and is now in hiding, but there is an additional twist to the story. “Adnan's brother, the Christian owner of the workplace that he was at and Adnan's cousin have all been arrested and are currently imprisoned so that the police can pressure Adnan into turning himself in.” If he does, he could be killed by extremist mobs or sentenced to death by the state. Stark is calling for prayer. Meanwhile, Asia Bibi, who was sentenced to death by hanging four years ago on a false blasphemy charge, remains in prison.
By Qambar Baloch
The Baloch HalEarthquake victims suffer as Pakistan denies foreign aid in Awaran, a district in south-western Balochistan region that was devastated by two major earthquakes in September, claiming more than 600 lives, leaving hundreds injured and more than 100,000
An additional sessions judge submitted a written order requesting the release of former president Pervez Musharraf in the murder case of cleric Ghazi Abdul Rasheed and his mother during the Lal Masjid operation, Express News reported Wednesday. Musharraf’s bail of two surety bonds of Rs0.1 million each was submitted to the court earlier today. The judge said a police joint investigation had deemed the evidence insufficient, declaring Musharraf innocent. Musharraf’s farmhouse – that had been notified as a sub jail earlier – will be de-notified and the jail staff that was guarding it will leave. Musharraf is still on the Exit Control List (ECL) but he can freely move within the country. His counsel, Ilyas Siddiqui, said that Musharraf was granted bail in all four cases against him and he is now an “average citizen”. On November 4, a trial court had granted Musharraf his request for bail in connection with the murder as there was not enough evidence linking him to the crime. Musharraf was arrested on October 10 on the order of Islamabad High Court (IHC) over the alleged murder of the deputy cleric of Lal Masjid, Abdul Rasheed Ghazi and his mother during a military operation in 2007. The ex-president had filed an application before the Additional District and Sessions Court and sought bail in this case. During the course of hearing on October 30, attorneys from both the sides completed their arguments and judgment had been reserved till November 1. The hearing had further been delayed to November 4 to allow the prosecution more time to collect evidence. Ilyas Siddiqui, had maintained that his client was wrongly implicated in the case as the First Information Report (FIR) was based on mala fide intentions. Advocate Tariq Asad, representing the prosecution, termed the court’s decision unlawful, adding that they fully intend to challenge this decision.
The members of the opposition held the Senate session outside the Parliament House to protest against the behaviour of Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan on Wednesday, Geo News reported. Addressing from the session held outside the Parliament, PPP Senator Raza Rabbani said traditions were exploited in the Parliament House while it has been made hostage. Aitzaz Ahsan and other opposition leaders were also present at the occasion. During his address at Constitution Avenue, Senator Rabbani said the state is trying to suppress them by using powers. He further said that they will continue their struggle to uphold Parliamentary traditions. Raza Rabbani contended that giving a wrong answer in the Parliament is equivalent to exploiting the Parliament’s discretion. The opposition wanted Chaudhry Nisar to retract his statement but he made it an ego issue, although Foreign Office and Defence Ministry also termed it fallacious. Later, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Minister Abid Sher Ali reached at the opposition session outside the Parliament House. He tried to persuade the opposition members and said that he wanted to respond to their queries. The opposition chanted “shame, shame” slogans following which Abid Sher Ali left the venue.