Sunday, May 18, 2014
Terrorist group the East Turkistan Islamic Movement (ETIM) was behind the attack that killed three people and injured 79 others at a train station in Urumqi, capital of Northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, last month, authorities said on Sunday. According to the region's publicity department, the attack was planned by ETIM member Ismail Yusup outside China. On April 22, he ordered 10 partners in Xinjiang to prepare to strike. The 10 set off explosives and slashed people with knives at the exit of the South Railway Station of Urumqi at around 7:10 pm on April 30. Two members of the mob, Saderdin Sawut and Memetabudula Ete, were killed by the explosion, and the eight others were caught by police. Investigation shows that the main members of the gang started to preach Islamic extremism in 2005. Ismail Yusup fled abroad after becoming wanted by police for making explosives, and joined the ETIM in 2013. Police are hunting Ismail Yusup in cooperation with the International Criminal Police Organization.
Residents of Soma demand answers as a funeral ceremony is held for one of the 301 people killed in Turkey's worst industrial disaster
Obama announced in his weekly radio address that he will be at the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y. on Thursday.President Obama says he’s heading to the Baseball Hall of Fame to stress how tourism can lead to good-paying jobs. In his weekly radio address, Obama says he will be in Cooperstown, N.Y., on Thursday. “Because believe it or not, tourism is an export. And if we make it easier for more foreign visitors to visit and spend money at America’s attractions and unparalleled national parks, that helps local businesses and grows the economy for everyone,” Obama said. Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/obama-visit-baseball-hall-fame-stress-tourism-leads-jobs-article-1.1796677#ixzz327wblc9Z
India’s opposition party has won a resounding mandate in the country’s general election, capturing a majority, on its own, of more than 280 of the 543 seats in the lower house of parliament. The outcome after a six-week election marks a historic loss for India’s original political party. The world’s largest democracy will have a new prime minister for the first time in a decade, able to form a government without relying on regional coalition partners. VOA's Steve Herman reports from New Delhi.
Dr. Nazir S Bhatti, President of Pakistan Christian Congress (PCC) expressed apprehensions, on May 16, 2014, on double standards of implementation of Blasphemy law on citizens of Pakistan and demanded immediate release of blasphemy accused Christians.Dr. Nazir S Bhatti, President of Pakistan Christian Congress (PCC) expressed apprehensions, on May 16, 2014, on double standards of implementation of Blasphemy law on citizens of Pakistan because when any Muslim commits blasphemy on electronic media watched by millions then he is pardoned on an simple apology note but when a Christian or Ahmadiyyia community member is allegedly accused of blasphemy by one Muslim spectator then he faces death sentence no matter how repeatedly he sworn that he has not defiled name of Holy Prophet of Muslims. He further said, “All Christian victims of blasphemy laws after arrests have publically denied committing blasphemy but not any court or complainant have pardoned them but when a Muslim cleric or any Muslim very openly defiles name of Prophet Mohammad then uproar of Islamic decrees appear to Pardon these Muslims.” Nazir Bhatti showed grief while commenting on a morning show of GEO TV in which a lady host committed blasphemy along with many other Muslim participants which was seen by millions of viewers but no FIR was lodged. Furthermore, Muslim clerics issued decree that registration of case under blasphemy law is not necessary after apology of show host. On the contrary, when a Christian woman Asia Bibi, mother of five children, was blamed for blasphemy by her Muslim co-workers, she was tortured and arrested despite her repeating statement that “She has not uttered any word to defile Prophet Mohammad but no one comes forward to Pardon her.
The Express Tribune
A woman was killed while six Levies officials were injured in a bomb explosion in Khaar, Bajaur Agency, Express News reported on Sunday. According to initial details, a Levies vehicle was the target of the attack. The remote controlled bomb went off when the vehicle passed by, injuring the officials and killing a woman who was going to work in the fields nearby. There is no information as to how intense the explosion was.
The media circus in Pakistan has truly turned grotesque. Sensationalism and grabs for the highest ratings have reached new heights with sensibilities being offended and all decorum being chucked out the window. A certain media house has recently been in the crosshairs for everything from being accused of collaborating with the US and Israel to the biggest crime in the land: blasphemy. What is happening to Pakistan? We seem to be spiralling out of control, where anyone whose name resembles that of a religious persona can allege that blasphemy has occurred if he is insulted, e.g. the police officer in Jhang, Umar, who claims lawyers protesting against him and his abuse of power were insulting his namesake! One thinks twice before saying anything now as murderers roam free, killing off blasphemy accused with impunity. To illustrate this horrifying reality, on Friday a teenager just walked into a police station in Sheikhupura and shot dead an Ahmedi man accused of blasphemy. How could this happen? Where was the police? Where was security for the accused? One finds it hard to swallow that the police were not in collusion with the killer. A full judicial investigation must be conducted as the police department cannot be trusted here. It is against this volatile backdrop that our independent media takes on the role of judge, jury and executioner. In a race for ratings, other media channels have chastised the media house and its morning show, going all out and accusing it of blasphemy. Do these anchors not know how dangerous it is for all the employees of that channel, for the hundreds who are part of the media group under attack? In this media race, are these anchormen and women really ready to live with the consequences of playing the blasphemy card and, in effect, signing the death warrants of many? Media freedom is all well and good but where on earth is media responsibility? It is time for the blithering media to take stock and understand that we are living in dangerous times; adding fuel to the fire will only end up in all getting burned.
Narendra Modi and the Bharatiya Janata Party’s victory may ultimately work out in Pakistan’s favor.As others have reported today, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) won a landslide victory in India’s parliamentary elections this month. It’s the first time that a single party has won a clear majority in an Indian election in three decades. The BJP’s victory will bring Narendra Modi to power as India’s next prime minister. As Ankit and I talk about on the podcast today, Modi and the BJP’s victory are in many ways a nightmare for Pakistan. The BJP is a Hindu nationalist party, and both Modi and the BJP have been perceived as being especially hardline when it comes to Pakistan. Ankit, for instance, pointed out that Modi has suggested that India might conduct covert cross-border raids targeting specific Pakistan-based anti-India terrorists. Another harrowing possibility is that Pakistan-based terrorists, at least assumed to be working in cohort with Pakistani terrorists, will carry out another major terrorist attack in India in the mold of the 2001 bombing of the Indian Parliament building or the siege of Mumbai in 2008. A BJP government under Modi is unlikely to act with the same restraint that the outgoing UPA government has shown in these incidents. Even if incidents as dramatic as these don’t materialize, Modi and the BJP’s victory could put the brakes on the nascent Indo-Pakistani détente. As The Diplomat has reported, since Nawaz Sharif’s assumption of power in Pakistan in 2013, India and Pakistan have made small but notable progress in expanding trade and people-to-people ties. It’s possible that Modi will reverse course on this front, which is probably one reason Sharif has been so quick to reach out to Modi and congratulate him on his victory. Although none of these possibilities should be dismissed, it’s possible that Modi will actually become an asset for Pakistan on a couple of fronts. First, the BJP in general and Modi in particular have been widely criticized as being anti-Muslim. Most notably, many believe Modi either acquiesced in or actively encouraged the anti-Muslim riots in Gujarat back in 2002. At the very least, Muslims in India are extremely wary of Modi and the BJP at present. If actions and rhetoric in the ensuing months and years confirm their current suspicions, Indian Muslims and other non-Hindu Indians are likely to become extremely dissatisfied. Moreover, if the Indian government enacts egregious anti-Muslim policies, or condones anti-Muslim actions (especially something like the Gujarat riots in 2002), this will hurt India’s image in the international community, particularly among Western nations like the U.S. and Muslim nations in the Middle East. Pakistan will have opportunities to exploit this dissatisfaction among Indian Muslims, although it will have to tread carefully so as not to provoke Delhi into a kinetic conflict. At the same time, it will benefit from India’s image suffering in the court of international opinion. Second, Modi’s premiership might push China even closer to Pakistan. As Ankit discussed on the podcast today, it’s not clear that Modi will take a hard line against China, especially given the importance he places on economic growth. Still, if history is any guide a BJP prime minister is likely to see China with greater alarm than a Congress Party leader. And if India adopts more hardline policies towards China, Pakistan becomes a bigger asset in the eyes of Beijing. This would be extremely beneficial to Islamabad, given its desperate need for Chinese assistance and aid in numerous areas, especially as the U.S. is likely to reduce its own aid to Pakistan as it withdraws from Afghanistan. Thus, while on the surface Modi’s electoral victory is unsettling to Pakistan, it may ultimately work out in its favor.