Tribune South Asia
See Pages 25
Year 1 Issue 09 Thursday, 15.09.11
Altaf Hussain (MQM) Letter to Tony Blair
UK Govt Response? Lord Ahmed Questioned.
Also Asked Government ,are they monitoring any dissident Pakistani political leaders based in London? Full report on page 2 >>
Racist attacks in Athens
Decided to go on a hunger strike Continued on page 31 >>
According to KEERFA on Saturday September 10th an organized violent attack against Pakistani immigrants took place in Aspropyrgos,
Continued on page 31 >>
South Asia Tribune I Thursday 15 September 2011
Benazir murder case: Mark Siegel becomes witness against Musharraf
ormer Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto’s lobbyist Mark Siegel decided to become the prosecution’s witness against former President Pervez Musharraf in Benazir’s murder case,media has reported. Seigel, who recorded his statement Publisher Salah Bu Khamas (UAE) Sabha Khan (UK) UK Office 10 Courtenay Road, Wembley, Middlesex, HA9 7ND UK Phone: +44 20 8904 0617 Fax: +44 20 8181 7575 email@example.com India Office Satya Infomedia Pvt. Ltd. C/O Satya Group. 1st Floor, Avenue Appt., Near Sheth. R. J. J. High School, Tithal Road, Valsad - 396001 Gujarat, India Phone +91 2632 222209 / 222211 Fax: +91 2632 222212 Post Box No. 98 /108 United Arab Emirates Office S.K. Group of Companies P.O. Box 9021, Karama Dubai, United Arab Emirates Tel: +971 4 2659970, 3359929; Fax: +971 4 2659971, 3341609 www.sk-groupofcompanies.com Managing Editor & CEO Mohammad Shahid Khan Group Editorial Managers Gulzar Khan (India) Abdul Khalique (Pakistan) Editorial Board UK Frances Brunner FYI Tribune team Adrian Fellar Misbah Khan Reema Shah Rohma Khan Keziah-Ann Abakah Art Department UK Ali Ansar (Art Director) Md. Reazul Islam
in the US, claimed that Benazir Bhutto received a threatening call from Musharraf in London. Musharraf had warned Benazir not to come to Pakistan before the 2008 elections as the government will only provide security to her if
she comes after the polls. According to Seigel, Benazir had emailed him after an attempt at her life in Karachi, saying that Musharraf and his allies will be responsible if she was murdered. The statement will be used during
the hearing on Saturday at a special anti-terrorism court (ATC).Earlier, the ATC ordered authorities to seize all of Pervez Musharraf’s property and issued him a permanent arrest warrant in the same case. In February, the FIA cited
Musharraf as one of the accused in the case and declared him an absconder after he failed to cooperate with investigators. Musharraf has been accused of threatening Bhutto and trying to influence post-murder investigations.
Altaf Hussain (MQM) Letter to Tony Blair Continued from page 01 >> NATO shipping containers and other NATO equipment and supplies stolen from the port of Karachi and elsewhere in Pakistan. Lord Ahmed to ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they have made any representation to the government of Pakistan regarding the death and injury to NATO personnel and the loss of NATO equipment and supplies within Pakistan. Lord Ahmed to ask Her Majesty’s Government what response they have given to the letter of support by the Leader of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement, Mr Altaf Hussain, of 23 September 2001. Lord Ahmed to ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they are monitoring any dissident Pakistani political leaders based in London; whether they are aware of any such dissidents inciting and encouraging violence in Karachi or threatening journalists; and what action they will take to prevent such actions. Lord Ahmed confirmed that he will take Dr Imran Farooq murder issue further and will write to the concerned authorities as it sunder investigation. According to Published reports The murder case of MQM convener Dr Imran Farooq is nearing its conclusion as the secret agencies nabbed three suspects in Pakistan some days back, Reports further said a MQM activist named K S was given the task of killing Dr Imran Farooq in London. He sought the help of another senior activist of MQM named H S , who provided him two boys both of whom belonged to All Pakistan Muttahida Students Organisation.
K S arranged student visas for both these boys. The two youth met an unidentified man in London who briefed them about the routine of Dr Imran, and they killed him near his house on September 16, 2010. After the murder, both the killers left for Colombo instead of coming to Pakistan. After reaching there, they contacted the mastermind K S , who advised them to
Investigation Agency of Pakistan. According to another unconfirmed report A letter likely to point to the murderers of former Sindh governor Hakim Said has been allegedly recovered by Scotland Yard from the house of slain Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) leader Dr Imran Farooq. Scotland Yard is said to be treating the case of Dr Farooq’s murder with high
reach Pakistan. A secret agency recorded all the conversation between KS and the killers and kept the former under strict watch. KS had also planned to murder both these boys as soon as they would reach Karachi. The agencies arrested both the young killers when they reached Karachi from Colombo and shifted them to Rawalpindi whereas contacts were also made with the MQM for handing over K S. Pakistan senior journalist Nusrat Javed also investigated the issue further and discovered these MQM activist are possibly arrested by Federal
priority and are trying their level best to apprehend the killers before September 16. Lord Nazir Ahmed based his questions to the British government on the wellpublicised questions raised by former Sindh Home Minister Dr Zulfiqar Mirza. The startling disclosures of former Sindh interior minister Dr Zulfiqar Mirza not only came as a bolt from the blue for political forces in the country, but also astonishment for the sensitive agencies and the foreign establishments. Dr Mirza, while spoke about the involvement of the MQM in the Karachi killings, also termed the party
a “terrorist outfit” and dubbed its Quaid, Altaf Hussain, a “killer”. He also leveled allegations against Altaf for his association with foreign countries — USA and the UK — and said he was part of a conspiracy to disintegrate Pakistan. Dr Mirza alleged that during a meeting in London, Altaf told him that America and the world powers had decided to break Pakistan and he (Altaf) had supported their idea. He also ‘disclosed’ that Altaf wrote to Tony Blair, the UK prime minister in 2001, requesting him to “eliminate the country’s supreme spy agency, ISI, before it creates more Osamas. He also disclosed that the MQM was writing to foreign diplomats seeking their help. He quoted the name of Nasreen Jalil for writing the letters. Nasreen Jalil of the MQM wrote a letter to the Iranian Embassy asking for help to eliminate the menace of Taliban from Karachi. It is said that a copy of the letter was secured by a secret agency of Pakistan. Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) brushed aside the allegations leveled by former Sindh home minister Dr. Zulfiqar Mirza, terming them as completely baseless and false. The copy of the alleged letter shows the MQM Chief Altaf Hussain seeking disbandment of the Inter Service Intelligence (ISI) in return to offering his party’s services to ground human intelligence within Pakistan and in Afghanistan for the British and other western intelligence agencies. The alleged letter also sought foreign interference into country’s domestic affairs, political and administrative. One of the Pakistan’s leading spymasters has confirmed to a journalist the authenticity of the alleged letter of MQM Chief Altaf Hussain addressed to British Prime Minister Tony Blair and termed it “true”.
South Asia Tribune I Thursday 15 September 2011
“Lion of Panjshir”
Afghans observe Ahmad Shah Masoud martyrdom anniversary
he people and the government of Afghanistan observed the 10th death anniversary of late Afghan resistance leader Ahmad Shah Masoud on Friday. Recognized as national hero, Masoud who fought against the former Soviet Union occupation of Afghanistan from 1979 to 1989 and resisted Taliban outfit onslaught from 1996 until his death, was assassinated on Sept. 9, 2001. Two Arab nationals disguised themselves as journalists and committed the first suicide attack in Afghanistan and killed Masoud during an interview in Khaja Bahaudin district in northern Takhar province. In a ceremony held here to commemorate the late Masoud and pay tribute to his services, Afghan first Vice President Mohammad Qasim Fahim in his speech urged his countrymen to contribute for strengthening peace and reconstruction process of their war- battered Afghanistan. Without naming Taliban or any particular armed opposition groups, Fahim said that the government is ready for talks, adding, “we are ready for negotiation and through talks and understanding we can take the country towards stability and prosperity.” In his short speech, Ahmad Wali Masoud the brother of late Ahmad Shah Masoud called for formation of a special commission to initiate a probe into the assassination case of Afghan national hero the late
Masoud in order to expose those individuals and agencies behind his murder. Ahmad Shah Massoud helped repel the 1980s Soviet invasion and led the last bastion of resistance to the Taliban in the 1990s before being killed by an AlQaeda bomb on September 9, 2001. The anniversary of his death is an Afghan national holiday. Hundreds laid flowers at a landmark roundabout bearing his name in Kabul while in his home area of Panjshir, many shops flew black flags and displayed his photograph.
In Kabul, Saifurahman, a student visiting the monument who like many Afghans uses only one name, said: “Today is more important to us than 9/11 because Massoud fought to secure our country.”We have come here to commemorate this day and to keep his memory alive.” Although police deployed 2,000 officers to Kabul’s streets, some in armoured vehicles, and cancelled all leave in case of a Taliban attack, Karzai did not attend a memorial event at which other leading figures paid tribute to Massoud. He has made public appearances to mark the anniversary in previous years.A weeping First Vice President Mohammad Qasim Fahim, a Massoud ally, called him “Afghanistan’s national hero and a defender of his country” at the event at a Kabul school.Some experts say Massoud was deliberately
country to mark Afghanistan’s national hero services and pay tribute to the known and unknown martyrs of the country. In interviews last summer, just weeks before Sept. 11, Massoud made clear his disgust with the Taliban and his hopes for his country: “The Taliban are not a force to be considered invincible,” he told Newsweek Online. “They are distanced from the people now. They are weaker than in the past. There is only the assistance given by Pakistan, Osama bin Laden and other extremist groups that keep the Taliban on their feet. With a halt to that assistance, it is extremely difficult to survive.” And, “There should be an Afghanistan where every Afghan finds himself or herself happy. And I think that can only be assured by
assassinated by Al-Qaeda just before 9/11 to ensure that Taliban leader Mullah Omar would continue to support them after the Twin Towers attacks, despite near-certain US retribution.Others argue the killing came at Omar’s behest as the Taliban sought to wipe out Massoud’s Northern Alliance, without him knowing in advance about Al-Qaeda’s plan to stage the 9/11 attacks. Similar ceremonies have also been held in other cities of the
democracy based on consensus.” “I hear there was a program to kill Mr. Massoud 20 or 22 days before,’ says Dashty, the newspaper editor. “But they could only kill him on the 9th.” A filmmaker as well as an editor, Dashty had been working on a documentary about Massoud’s life for five years. When he heard that two foreign journalists planned to interview Massoud at his headquarters in the town of Khodja Bahauddin, Dashty decided to go and film the meeting.
He spent nine days in a guest house with the men, who appeared to be in their mid 30s. One was tall and spoke English, French and Arabic; the other was short and spoke only Arabic. They never gave their nationalities, and they were vague about their employer. “They said they didn’t work for a newspaper or TV but an Islamic
But the security was surprisingly slack. No one searched the men or examined their video camera. Massoud, who had survived assassination attempts, asked the men only where they came from and how they got there. At Massoud’s request, the tall man then read a list of 14 or 15 questions. Most were about the
organization in London. They said, “We want to research Islam and we came here to Afghanistan because it is an Islamic country and Mr. Massoud is a famous commander.’ “ Still, Dashty says, “they looked very calm and normal,” and he suspected nothing. The interview was set for Sunday, Sept. 9. Around noon, Dashty accompanied the men into a room where they found Massoud and four other people, including Massoud’s security chief.
Northern Alliance’s relations with the Taliban, al-Qaida and Pakistan, whose security forces had worked closely with the Taliban regime. “I think the last question was about Osama bin Laden,” Dashty recalls. “He asked, “If you take power in Kabul what would you do with Osama?’ “ At that point, the short man set his camera on a tripod. Dashty, assuming the interview was about Continued on page 6 >>
South Asia Tribune I Thursday 15 September 2011
‘Indira Gandhi’s a bitter pushy prune and de Gaulle’s an egomaniac’: EDITORIAL Jackie Kennedy’s extraordinary verdict on world leaders revealed Floods bring chaos Year after year, floods create havoc in some place or other during the monsoon. This year the focus has been on Pakistan where the rising waters have caused millions to flee their homes with livestock and destroyed crops across the country. Although India was spared disaster on such a scale, reports of heavy rains and consequent flooding have come in from many places. The figures released by National Disaster Management Authority are horrific; 209 people have lost their lives, 4.2 million acres of land has gone under water, and a total of 5.7 million people, including 2.5 million children, affected. The condition is getting worse in Sindh in general and District Badin in particular. Many areas of Badin are being evacuated as heavy rains continue to submerge more areas. It is, however, a source of relief that the UN has started its relief activities in the calamity zone. The UN at the same time warned that millions of people were in dire need of food and aid supplies. The response from the government as usual has been poor, unfortunately. Except for an emergency visit of President Zardari to a flood hit village meant ostensibly to goad the authorities into helping the people, the rescue and relief efforts have been highly inadequate. Like the previous year, the flood victims have been left to fend for themselves. The sad part is that the government is still not realising that big water reservoirs like Kalabagh Dam would be able to prevent flooding in many parts of the country, including Sindh. As this year’s flooding has been even more devastating than the previous year’s, there is enough reason for Kalabagh, whose feasibly is ready, to be taken up immediately. In its first seasonal forecast issued in April, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) had predicted that it would be a ‘normal’ monsoon with a deficit of only two per cent. In a normal monsoon, the nationwide rainfall is within 10 per cent of the long-period average. Heavy flooding in eastern India has killed 18 people and displaced almost 100,000 over the past week, government and aid officials said yesterday, warning of more wet weather to come. Orissa’s special relief commissioner Pradeep Kumar Mohapatra told reporters that access to 877 villages was completely cut off due to rising water levels and that 11,000 houses had been damaged. “The numbers of people affected have doubled in just a few weeks and there is more rain to come,” said John
• Jackie Kennedy told husband ‘I want to die with you’ when he tried to send her to safety during Cuban Missile Crisis • Unreleased interviews reveal she would watch him sleep and go for walks during height of confrontation with Soviet Union • Recordings were made year after his 1963 assassination
New Jackie Kennedy tapes offer White House insight J
FK had joked about the threat of assassination, Jackie Kennedy said Audio tapes of Jackie Kennedy, recorded months after the 1963 assassination of her husband President John F Kennedy, have been released for the first time. In the interviews with a White House historian, she says civil rights leader Martin Luther King is “a terrible man”. Jackie Kennedy, who died in 1994, reveals how JFK was scathing about Vice-President
Lyndon Johnson and some world leaders.
She recalls, too, how her husband joked about the threat
of assassination. Jackie Kennedy described the late Indian prime minister Indira Gandhi as a “prune - bitter, kind of pushy, horrible woman,” according to previously unreleased interviews. The same interviews also highlighted her criticisms of former French president Charles de Gaulle, sister-in-law Eunice Shriver as well as her calling her late brother-in-law Joe Kennedy Jr “unimaginative” compared to her husband John F Kennedy, the Daily Mail reported.
Teachers warn to hold UK biggest strike British teachers’ unions are preparing to hold the biggest teachers’ strike in UK history after more campaigners threatened to protest against pension reforms. The NASUWT has been the last among teachers’ unions that have announced plans for antigovernment strikes amid rising outrage over the proposed reforms to retirement funds, job cuts, and long working hours. National Union of Teachers (NUT) and the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL) have already announced that they would hold a second massive industrial action to protest against coalition government’s pension reforms. It is expected that the second mass walkout would close the majority of schools in England and Wales and create chaos for millions of
families. The news came only a day after the Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) revealed that unions would stage a second national action in November to urge the coalition government to
“compromise” over the planned changes to pension schemes. Chris Keates, NASUWT general secretary, said the British teachers have to deal with 15 months of harsh attacks on their salary, pensions and job security, insisting
the teachers “are buckling under the weight of excessive workload.” “Their ability to focus on teaching and learning is being seriously compromised as the Coalition Government rides roughshod over guidance, regulations and contractual provisions which were introduced to support teachers to work effectively to raise standards,” said Keates. Furthermore, Christine Blower, NUT general secretary, said that her union leaders could not make any progress in their talks with the government over the proposed changes. “Despite the numerous opportunities that the government has had to negotiate fairly on public sector pensions they have persistently refused to listen to the facts.
Oregon Muslim on U.S. no-fly list held after sailing to Britain British authorities today detained a 23-year-old American Muslim convert who traveled from Oregon to the United Kingdom by train and boat because he says he is on the U.S. government’s nofly list, the Associated Press reports. Michael Migliore, a dual citizen of the United States and Italy, had tried for months to fly to Italy to live permanently with his mother but was denied. As always, U.S. officials will
neither confirm nor deny the names of people on the no-fly list. Migliore says he believes he is on the list for refusing to let the FBI interview him without a lawyer after an acquaintance was charged last year with plotting to bomb a Christmastree lighting ceremony in Portland, AP writes. His lawyer, with the Council on American-Islamic Relations, has challenged the flying ban. Migliore, who graduated from
Portland State University this summer, took Amtrak from Portland to New York, then sailed on a cruise ship to the U.K. He was detained when he disembarked in Southampton Tuesday local time. Claudia Pasquale, a Catholic, told AP that her son converted to Islam when he was 18 and that he is not a terrorist. “He was finished in the States. If you think he’s such an undesirable person, let him go,” she said.
South Asia Tribune I Thursday 15 September 2011
Pakistan’s attitude of deception harmed ‘war on terror,’ former envoy says Anita elash Chris Alexander made a name for himself as Canada’s idealistic first ambassador to Afghanistan and as a UN representative there. Now a Conservative MP for the Ontario riding of Ajax-Pickering, he spent six years on the diplomatic front lines, as troops from Canada and dozens of other countries struggled to control a growing Taliban insurgency. In The Long Way Back, his new book about the conflict, Mr. Alexander says the stabilization effort has been far more effective than most observers realize. But he also argues the conflict cannot be resolved without a radical shift in Pakistani policy toward Afghanistan. The Globe spoke with Mr. Alexander on Friday. Do you still think it was wise to go into Afghanistan after 9/11? I think it would have been better to pay more attention to Afghanistan starting in the 1990s, after the Soviet withdrawal. Afghanistan wanted support from the international community but the world was focused on other things and instead Afghanistan had the civil war and then the rise of the Taliban. But given that we didn’t, 9/11 was a huge wakeup call to what was happening in Afghanistan and the region. And I don’t think we had any choice but to pay attention and to get involved. Should we also have taken a more aggressive stand with Pakistan right after 9/11? We should have paid more attention back in the fall of 2001, after this really rapid campaign to bring down the Taliban. They didn’t just
disappear. They took a lot casualties but their leadership withdrew into Pakistan where they very quickly became a regime in exile and that put everything at risk. I think if we’d confronted those issues earlier, we would have saved ourselves a lot of time and reduced the cost for
everyone. Despite the progress you write about, you also acknowledge that Afghanistan is still under a very serious threat. Where has the effort to stabilize the country faltered? For most of the past decade some in Pakistan, particularly in Pakistan’s army, simply denied that the Taliban
think the last skeptics came to their senses and we’ve all now started to see the cross-border nature of this conflict in all its dimensions. So you lay most of the blame on Pakistan? I do think the insurgency would not have been nearly as virulent or have lasted as long if the Taliban had not found very sophisticated forms of support in Pakistan. So yes, that is to my mind the main factor contributing to continued conflict in Afghanistan. Why didn’t that message get through earlier? Was the West too eager to placate Pakistan? Pakistan did arrest in those early years some high-profile members of al-Qaeda and we mistook those actions for a change in fundamental policy of Pakistan’s army, of support for the Taliban. But there’s also a lack of hard evidence. None of the traditional tools of fact checking was available in places where we now know the Taliban have been flourishing. It’s difficult to prove the Taliban are in Quetta when we have no objective means of proving they are. We spoke up and we wrote about
On May 1 when Osama bin Laden was found in Pakistan, I think the last skeptics came to their senses and we’ve all now started to see the cross-border nature of this conflict in all its dimensions. were there or that Osama bin Laden was in their country. Too many of us that were engaged in this project took those claims at face value. It simply wasn’t true. On May 1 when Osama bin Laden was found in Pakistan, I
it and we started to speak publicly about it, but the best way to describe the attitude of some Pakistanis was one of deception. That must have been frustrating. It was and the book is partly born
of that frustration. If we had had a clear understanding among allies that this was happening we might be in a different position today. You argue the key to achieving peace is to negotiate a settlement between Pakistan and Afghanistan. How do you overcome the decades and sometimes centuries of animosity? The key is to start talking about the real issues more openly and more clearly. One thing that encourages me is that some very influential voices in Pakistan are now saying:
‘Our policy over the past decade was wrong, we have suffered for it, we have made the Afghans suffer for it and we can change it.’ When do you think such a settlement could be achieved? [Laughs.] I’m the guy writing the book and sitting in the Parliament of Canada. It’s really up to politicians in Kabul and Islamabad to set the pace for these things and we know how complicated their lives are. The only thing I can say is the sooner the better. This interview has been condensed and edited.
Berlin terror suspects had ties to Afghanistan
wo alleged militants arrested in Berlin last week on suspicion of plotting a bomb attack had links to extremist groups in Afghanistan, German news magazine Der Spiegel reported.
The report, to be published on Monday, said one of the suspects, a 24year-old German of Lebanese origin identified only as Samir M, belonged to a group backing the German Taliban in Afghanistan. Citing documents
from the investigation, Der Spiegel said Samir M had good contacts with two men in Berlin who have been convicted of abetting a foreign terrorist organisation. Samir was stopped at a Berlin airport
in September 2009 from flying to Iran and had his passport confiscated. He told police, he wanted to go hiking in Iran and Turkey but investigators believe he aimed to join the battle against NATO troops in Afghanistan,
according to Der Spiegel. Meanwhile, authorities believe the second suspect, a 28-year-old Palestinian from the Gaza Strip identified as Hani N, received training at a terror camp in Afghanistan and had contact with a known people-smuggler in Iran. Der Spiegel quoted investigators as saying he had tried to acquire large quantities of chemicals to build a bomb, including sulphuric acid and packs of dry ice containing ammonium nitrate. It added that investigators believe the suspects had not developed a plan for an attack. The men were detained on Thursday and remanded in custody Friday, ahead of the 10th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks in the US and a papal visit to Germany later this month.
South Asia Tribune I Thursday 15 September 2011
9/11: Our leaders are liars
he bells which tolled around the world yesterday tolled for all of us. The three thousand citizens of the world who perished in blazing inferno, plunging aircraft, or diving from high windows to escape the flames first and foremost. But the more than one million whose life’s blood was taken in the aftermath too. There are no memorials to them beyond the expressions of “regret” from just a few of the guilty men, Colin Powell who now regards the tower of lies higher than the Tower of Babel he told the United Nations on the eve of the illegal war on Iraq as “a blot” on his record. The Labour leader Ed Milliband, whose brother David was one of the foremost propagandists for the slaughter has described New Labour’s role post-9/11 as “a mistake”. From the other warcriminals, Tony Blair, Iain Duncan Smith, George W Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and the Washington gang regrets, or indictments there are none. Cold comfort then for the nameless faceless uncountable victims of the aftermath. Interpol are looking for Saifal-Islam al-Ghaddafi a two-bit playboy in a desert backwater responsible, if he is, for the deaths of hundreds. But they continue to honour and protect those like Blair who swan around the world making millions, brazen, increasingly unhinged. Blair, the middle-east “Peace Envoy” last week called for two new “western” wars in the middleeast, in Syria and in Iran. For how long will taxpayers fund this madman in his palace in the wellnamed “American Colony” hotel in Jerusalem? Further evidence of his messianic pretentions was provided last week when it was revealed that on the banks of the
<< Continued from page 5 to begin, was adjusting the lights on his own equipment when he heard an explosion. “In the first minute I couldn’t understand what happened. My hands, my face, my legs were burned. I saw a security guard and I asked him to take me to the hospital and he said, “What happened to Massoud?’ When I looked back I saw a lot of dust, smoke, the doors and windows were damaged. Then I saw Massoud, all of his body -- his face, his hands, his legs -- full of shrapnel.” The bomb, hidden in the camera, instantly killed the short man, Massoud’s secretary and his security chief. The other assassin tried to
River Jordan Anthony the Baptist, clad entirely in white, acted as “Godfather” at the baptism of Rupert Murdoch’s daughter. I SO knew he was a wrong ‘un from the start, a wolf in sheep’s clothing, a prancing popinjay ready to fight to the last drop of other peoples blood. How could he have fooled so
Tribune Comment many Labour Mps and for so long? Remember if you will his swansong on his last day in the commons when throwing convention to the wind the House rose virtually to a man and woman, many with tears in their eyes, to applaud him out the door. Neither was I surprised at his invasion targets now. He told me this in a heated altercation just before the Iraq invasion, in the members corridor outside the Gentlemans lavatory opposite the House of Commons Library. With his Goebells, Alistair Campbell trying to pull him away from me, thinking as well he might that I was going to tear his cheating heart right out of his body, Blair said that if he could he would invade “Burma, Zimbabwe, Iran, Syria...” He waved the shrouds of the innocents from the twin towers in aid of his Crusading zeal but of course he and his praying partner Bush (the two got down on their
knees at Bush’s ranch in Crawford Texas on the day they secretly committed each of their countries to the forthcoming war - I know this from someone who was there) went on to kill hundreds of times more innocents than Bin Laden ever dreamt of. Not that I got everything right. As Bush would put it I “misunderestimated” the good sense of the majority of the British people in opposing the Iraq war even before they knew what they know now, that it was all based on a lie at which Goebells himself would have blanched. The American people too who, more slowly sensed eventually in their majority that no good could come from invading a country that not only had nothing to do with 9/11 but was in fact (like Ghadaffi) in the opposing camp to Bin Laden. I over-estimated most of the British media whose shameful, slavish acceptance of the case for the war has never been atoned
Blair Corporation - in particular covered itself in disgrace. When Andrew Gilligan and Greg Dyke were sacrificed to the pirahnnas orchestrated by the venal Campbell over the Dr David Kelly affair something in their died and it will never be recovered. Last week I went into the Corporation to appear on Five Live’s show dealing with the damning report on the toture and death of British detainees in Iraq the host Nicky Campbell was spoiling for a fight with me. So desperate was he to have me in the debate they practically knocked on my door that morning to pull me out in my pyjamas. As usual they had lined up knuckle-dragging critics and apologists for torture (without telling me) to assail me. They were disappointed when I took the wind out of their sails by saying that I didn’t blame the poor bloody infantry - men in their teens and twenties mainly - who
From the other war-criminals, Tony Blair, Iain Duncan Smith, George W Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and the Washington gang regrets, or indictments there are none. Cold comfort then for the nameless faceless uncountable victims of the aftermath. for. Piers Morgan of the Daily Mirror on whose British television programme I am scheduled to appear to speak about these matters, was hounded gleefully from his job, not because he was wrong about the provenance of some photographs but because he was right about the insanity which had gripped three quarters of our MPs. The BBC - The Bush and
had done the dirty deeds, but the besuited barbarians in Whitehall who’d sent them into that maw. Campbell’s still swaggerin insouciance about the war is absolutely typical of almost every correspondent who interviewed me back then and interview me now, oblivious to the fact that hardly anybody believes a word they say anymore.
“Lion of Panjshir”
run, but was shot by guards. In retrospect, Dashty does not see how Massoud could have survived the blast, so devastating were his wounds. Still, he was loaded onto a helicopter and flown to a hospital in neighboring Tajikistan. Northern Alliance aides insisted he was still alive. So did Massoud’s brother, who told CNN in a phone interview from London that he had been assured Massoud had regained consciousness and was even eating and talking. “He’s in a much better situation now,” the brother said. In fact, Massoud almost certainly
died on the spot, Dashty believes. But he and most other Afghans did not officially learn of his death until several days later. By that time, the Northern Alliance commander had been placed on a helicopter for his final journey, to the windswept mountaintop overlooking his beloved Panjshir Valley. Today, Massoud lies in a simple grave marked by the green Northern Alliance flag. Around the earthen mound, his countrymen have erected a small mosque, which they rushed to complete by today’s anniversary of his death. A more elaborate, permanent shrine will someday take its place.
French police eventually identified one of Massoud’s assassins -- the short man -- as a Tunisian named Dahman abd Al Sattar. He and his companion had traveled under fake Belgian passports and posed at least part of the time as Moroccan TV journalists. While living in Belgium, police said, Dahman joined a radical Islamic group that sent new recruits for training in Afghanistan, then supported them when they returned to Europe where they formed terrorist cells. To date, four people have been charged with involvement in Massoud’s assassination; among the charges are providing false
On my talksport show last week and even more on my New York talkshow I am practically the only person talking who doesn’t believe in the conspiracy theories about 9/11 being an inside job. Polls show that well over half, getting on for two-thirds of the public in Britain and America disbelieve the official version of events. That’s partly because that version begs as many questions as it answers, but its more because of the collapse in credibility in government on both sides of the Atlantic, an unexpected casualty of the wars which followed the catastrophe. From climate change to 9/11 itself the great Irish journalist Claud Cockburn’s 1930s dictum “nothing is true until it has been officialy denied” has come to pass. I was a relatively little known Scottish back-bench MP on September 11th 2001. Now I have an international weekly audience of millions of people, I have addressed literally thousands of gatherings all around the world. Not because I’m any better a politician now than I was then but because I and my friends in the Stop the War Coalition turned out to be right and the others turned out to be wrong. As I told the American Senate back in 2005 “everything I said about this war turned out to be right, and everything you, Senator, said turned out to be wrong, except where it was deliberate falsehood”. So as we bow our heads in rememberance of all those who lost their lives on 9/11 and thereafter as a result of it, remember too that the Phoenix which has arisen from the ashes of Ground Zero is an informed public which now knows that our leaders are liars. George Galloway documents. But who was the mastermind behind the plot? Last month, the Associated Press quoted a senior Taliban official as saying bin Laden personally ordered the murder. The official later denied making such a statement; the news agency stands by its report. The AP story speculated that bin Laden might have had Massoud killed to ingratiate himself with Taliban leader Mullah Mohammed Omar, thus ensuring Omar’s protection if America retaliated for the Sept. 11 attacks. U.S. officials have said they think bin Laden had prior information about Massoud’s murder but have not commented on what level of involvement he might have had.
South Asia Tribune I Thursday 15 September 2011
Only Remembered - Bells of Hope Adrian Felaar “History is much more than the path left by the past; it inﬂuences the present and can shape the future”. he words of the Speaker of the House of Commons, the Rt. Hon. John Bercow, are more than a truism for this commemorative Sunday - September 11, 2011 – as a vast majority of the international community pauses to remember an ominous morning, eternally to be ingrained in the heart of Americans and the world. The reason the 9/11 attacks disrupted the psyche of the United States in such an immense fashion is that Americans had for a while lived under the auspices of false security. And for that misapprehension of safety Americans cannot be held liable because never had an atrocity of that magnitude been perpetrated on national soil. There was Pearl Harbour in 1941. Yet the attack on Pearl Harbour, by the then “Empire of Japan”, did not strike the heart of the mainland. Al Qaeda’s attack was orchestrated in such a way as to deliver a deadly blow to the very chief cornerstones of the American Constitution – dignity and patriotism bred through freedom. Al Qaeda employed fiercesome strategy to take their war to the door of America. That organisation was first to throw down its gauntlet in challenge. Ten years later, the death of nearly 3 000 American civilians, the world’s biggest manhunt in time memoriam and the 2 613 coalition force deaths, the question still insists: is America more secure? For the last ten years America’s theme has been security. Notwithstanding the fervent effort to beef up security across all areas, Al Qaeda still looms in the shadows of the Afghan and Pakistani mountains. It continues to send forth their ministers of terror to preach a sermon of defiance, to the extreme point of humanity; to spread an ideology which is much like a metastasising cancer, to take hold of those of an impressionable nature. In the week, the US government released a statement revealing that they had foiled another terrorist attack plot which was intended to coincide with today’s memorial. Philosophy has a propensity to remind us that from the day of our birth, from the first inhalation of that life-giving
source, Death stalks us like the shadow our opaque bodies cast on this earth…Al Qaeda is an extension and actualisation of that classical metaphor. The scars of 9/11 still dominate Lower Manhattan. Where once the North and South Towers of the World Trade Centre penetrated the troposphere, now remains a testament to mankind’s mortality and frailty. Although this article has centred much on America, we must not forget that every British Citizen is linked to the US through the alliance summarized by the “Special Relationship”. The countries of the United Kingdom and the United States are intrinsically linked through shared history and politics. If we are to investigate the instigating accusation made by bin Laden in 2004, we will find the raison d’être for the September 11 attacks: “U.S. support of Israel, the presence of U.S. troops in Saudi Arabia, and sanctions against Iraq”. Add to this list the British involvement in the War in Afghanistan and we are “guilty by association”. This prompts a more inclusive question to jostle its way through the various corridors of
our brain, to the forefront of our cerebrum: Are we, Britain and America, any more secure than we were a decade ago? Moreover,
can we pursue international relations without bringing other countries and their populations into the line of condemnation? Truth be told…our security is not a surety. If anything, the risk and threat of terrorism has soared and it is an ever present possibility. Nonetheless I would not advocate that we continue in an attitude of fear and paranoia. That is precisely the atmosphere these expositors of anxiety would wish to imbue in our lives. This is something we can impede. We may not be able to step onto combat grounds; we may never fly in Chinook helicopters or march in some mobilised battalion. However we can continue living. We ourselves, as Londoners, had to overcome terrorist attacks in 2005 when our transport system was besieged by suicide bombers. Yet our greatest pride will be found in rising every time we fall and not in ever faltering. Some would say that Britain and America have brought this judgment upon themselves through their inherent characteristic to adopt the role of the international village’s police force. Often their intervention is misconstrued as meddling and perhaps the West should take a more relaxed approach to intervention, even if it is in the best interest of the global majority. Or else, what is the purpose of the UN? It sometimes would appear that the UN acts
on the whims of the Western Powerhouses and not on its own mandate. There are enough problems at home – problems of an economic dimension. Before we can deservedly call ourselves “catalysts for global action” we must rebuild our economy. Although we are faced daily with terror threats, we still have a great amount to be thankful for. The concept of being thankful for the daily mercies of life was captured by a status of a friend of mine on the popular social networking site Facebook: “9/11 is Pakistan’s 24/7”. All across the world, particularly in the Arab Spring, innocent people are murdered daily. In essence, even with terrorist attacks looming constantly, we are still gifted with life. And that is a blessing Ultimately we, the future generation of tomorrow, will be tasked with responding to terror attacks and the infringement of our human rights. Unfortunately we will have to co-habit this world with terrorism for an indefinite period. Whatever transpires we will have to be resilient in the face of adversity, much as we have been in the wake of the 7/7 bombings and like our American counterparts. Today, as the Bell of Hope rings out during the remembrance service, the world will remember and be reminded of the suffering that is inevitable in our world.
SORRY FOR YOURSELF Marisa Paulson Everyone had dreams, everyone had emotions and everyone had a life they all wanted to live. But for a dream to become reality took time, for our emotions to forge took someone or something to trigger it, and the only way our lives could be real, was if we had a death that made us contain it. Yes, this was our reality. In order to understand we needed to pain, in order to pain we needed to suffer, in order to suffer we needed to endure, to endure we needed happiness, and for happiness we needed the containment of hate. Yes, the very balance of these things was how we accepted our life. But I was sorry; sue me for not being able to accept it. The harsh realities of our life were not some mere cloud that would waver away to reveal sunlight, it would engulf our light like the shadows of a dark weather; this was our reality. And why was it that I thought like this? If the mere word of “I’m sorry” caused such a change in our current tranquillity, then I was sorry, sue me, for I have now spoken it again. 1. TODAY Anna glared upon me in wrath once I punched her, so grave the redness on her eye was evident. Guilt-driven by my atrocious act of trouncing her, I stood there with
clenched fists, awaiting her next reaction: she bawled. My face contorted from fright yet remorse: I feared her impulse. In that instant I instinctually and desperately reached to touch her neck, but she flinched, slapping my hand away. Distraught she tenderly shielded her eye almost as if she anticipated another attack. “I’M SORRY! I-I’m sorry Anna, I didn’t mean...it was an accident, babe...please, I’m sorry.” Relentlessly her tears hurled. My heart cracked. Again, I reached for her. Again...she turned and rejected me. I sighed, “Please! Anna,” I clutched to her arm and she yelled; needing she fought me off, “Get off me! Leave me alone!” Her strained shrieks prompted my heartache, I couldn’t believe this was happening; she feared me like it was my intent. I sighed releasing her. As she wept, she hastily dashed up the stairs away from me. Continuously I called out to her; it only further increased her tears. My dismal sighs never ceased as I knew the odds of her forgiveness were low, very low indeed. I had to march up. “I’M SORRY, I’M SORRY!” In trepidation she flinched away from me, forcibly I pressed into her eye. Resisting, her limbs tussled me off; I knelt down onto her legs, locking her arms and pressed even harder: she screamed; but it was the only way.
South Asia Tribune I Thursday 15 September 2011
DEBATE Tomorrow’s money or today’s joy? Keziah-Ann Abakah
e all have a bucket list. The dying, the sick and even the healthy. No matter what strand of life we are pulled from each of us have a list of the things we want to do or accomplish before we die and whilst one may think they are being innovate, original and outgoing when constructing their bucket list they are not because the cold sad truth is that all our bucket lists look more or less the same. Make a lot of money, go on an exotic holiday, do something you’ve never dared to do before, get married somewhere down the line, have kids even further down the line and lastly, buy one very expensive possession just for the hell of it. The fact of the matter is this. Our bucket lists share similarities where our wallets do not. So, with the knowledge that one day we will pass form this world to the next should we live doing what we want when we don’t have the financial means to do? Case one: Your love asks for your hand in marriage yet neither one of you have the financial means to see a wedding through. You are desperate to begin life as married man and women you are equally desperate to have that one magical day in all its awe and glory yet the money you need for this you do not have. There is no rush; you can get married at another time when money begins to flow in your direction. Yet when
that time comes will your love have withstood its length? Case two: You have reached that stage way down the line where you are settled, mature and ready to have kids. With kids come joy, sleepless nights, fulfilment and a price tag on just about everything else. Kids need food, consumption of food leads to growth, growth leads to the purchase of new clothes, new clothes leads to this, that and at the end of the day kids cost money. Now knowing you’re not going to be young forever and that older age leads to health problems and a few other things do you follow through on your plan of having kids or let the opportunity pass you by because of lack of funds? Case three: You’ve worked day and night twenty four seven for the last twenty years. You’ve never taken a sick day; you’ve never taken advantage of a weekend and you’ve never taken that exotic holiday that you well and truly deserve. With summer fast approaching you decided that this year it’s time for you to treat yourself yet your practical savings account has other ideas. Knowing that taking this holiday is what you deserve but also knowing that upon your return financial life will be a challenge but salvageable what do you? Live or Loose? We all have a bucket list? We all have wants and dreams? We all have a financial status that will at most times but heads with our desires but what exactly are we living for? Tomorrow’s money or today’s joy?
What the stars had to say about 9/11... As we all know 9/11 was for most of us an extremely tragic day. Many lives were lost and the great twin towers were brought to the ground. We all paid our respects and so did many celebrities. Ashton Kutcher, Ellen DeGeneres and Demi Moore, were just a few of the celebrities that felt compelled to Tweet about the event. Jennifer Lopez tweeted: “Spent 9/11 in my city! NYC STAND UP! Thinking about lives lost. Thanks 2 armed forces & public servants who keep us safe. GOD BLESS AMERICA!” Will.i.am, Black Eyed Peas singer tweeted that he was “sending love to the world so no hate, fear, pain, or distortion happens.” All celebrities were joined by millions around the globe, honouring the memory of the victims of 9/11. By Rohma Khan
Camel, navy and red tones are a wardrobe essential this fall. Take a look at our picks on the hottest trends that have taken over autumn’s high street. Knee high’s are back and they are ready to kick. This season horse riding wear is a big trend and nothing says ranch chic better than these Knee-high riding boots, £39.99. www.hm.com/gb
Knits are not only essential this season they are a hit on the runway so; a stylish way to layer your outfit this season is with this amazing Peter Pan collar cardigan, £16.00 www.peacocks.co.uk Dark red is a key colour this season. Pair this classy blazer with yellow tones and denim to create the ultimate 70’s look. £45.00 www.riverisland.com
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Dear Miss R On May 3rd, 2008 my dad was killed in the line of duty. For some reason the reality of it hasn’t actually hit me yet. But I still find myself under a lot of stress. Mostly because I have so much schoolwork to catch up on, I have to take care of my mum, and it’s just so hard knowing my dad’s never coming home. Sometimes I don’t know how to deal with it. Taking time alone doesn’t work, being with people doesn’t work, and talking about it doesn’t work. I haven’t done anything to hurt myself because I know that would be wrong and very immature. But I don’t know what to do. It’s bad now even though it hasn’t sunken in yet. I was just wondering if you have any advice on how to work through it when it does actually sink in that he’s gone. Amber, 15 Dear Amber I’m sure by now you’ve come to realize that there are no magic words or actions or medications or ways of thinking that will make it alright. Talking is a good and healthy thing to do, as is counselling, praying, and being around the people that you care about the most. These things will help you come to peace with yourself. Even so, none of them brings your father back or resolves the pain and loss at the core of your being. The passage of time helps. Time dulls the pain, but even that doesn’t replace your dad so that doesn’t mean forgetting about him but moving on and being happy which is what he would’ve wanted you to be. The best thing you can do is mourn for as long as you feel you need to. It’s good that you have realised that you should not resolve to anything stupid and harmful as it will make things worse however your mental state is just as important. Miss R
Saarc international I Thursday 15 September 2011
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Floods bring chaos to Pakistan and India
ore than a million people have been displaced and at least 16 killed as floods in India’s Orissa state submerged entire villages, officials said yesterday. Heavy monsoon rains submerged about 2,600 villages across 19 districts. Meanwhile more rain has been forecast in Pakistan’s southern Sindh province where, officials say, 199 people have died over the last two weeks. Millions have been affected by floods there and the UN has begun relief work. The United Nations Children’s Fund, Unicef, said up to 2.5 million children had also been affected by the rains.One official said children and families, many of them still recovering from last year’s devastating floods, are in urgent need of help before the situation worsens. Almost one million houses have been destroyed or damaged and floods have
affected nearly 4.2m acres of land, the UN says. “The situation in Sindh is already serious and there will be more flooding and more problems because of these rains,” Arif Mehmood, a meteorology official, is quoted as saying by the Reuters news agency. Floods Wreak Havoc 150 000 displaced in Indian floods Relentless rain lashing coastal areas of India has caused several major rivers to overflow, resulting in severe damage. The eastern state of Orissa was the worst hit, while others affected by floods included West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra. New Delhi - Floods caused by heavy monsoon rains have killed 19 people and left more than 150 000 homeless in India’s eastern state of Orissa, officials said on Tuesday.
The state administration stepped up rescue and relief efforts after incessant rains over the last week affected almost 4 000 villages across the coastal and western parts of Orissa. “According to the latest information we have, a total of 19 people died in the torrential rains and floods,” said S Pradhan, an officer at the Orissa relief control room in state capital Bhubaneshwar. “Nineteen of the state’s 30 districts including Cuttack, Puri and Kendrapara have been affected,” she said on the telephone.Nearly a dozen people were swept away or drowned in flood waters, Pradhan said, adding a majority of deaths had been reported since Saturday. A total of 157 767 people have been evacuated and moved to government-run shelters from the flooded low-lying areas. The loss to crops and property was being
assessed, state Chief Minister Naveen Pattnaik said.The state’s disaster department said military helicopters were dropping food packets to the thousands stranded in villages. The monsoon season in India lasts from June and October. More than 800 people have died during the rains so far this year. Helicopter food drops Officials in Orissa said at least 61,000 people had been evacuated to safety and relief and rescue operations had begun. Several rivers, including the Mahanadi, are overflowing and flood waters have severed a number of key road links. Roads at several places in Puri, Kendrapara, Cuttack, Jagatsinghpur, Sambalpur, Boudh and Sonepur districts had been affected.” A navy ship from Vishakhapatnam with a helicopter and relief material is set to join the See page 10
Backdoor channel: Zardari, Nawaz keep in touch through aides
exploit the situation. A spokesperson for Sharif, however, denied any backdoor communication either with Zardari or his party, saying it was against PML-N’s policy. The president’s letter was leaked to the media a day after Sharif bluntly blamed Zardari for all the problems the country was facing at a gathering in Lahore. Political observers said Sharif had apparently toned down his rhetoric against the president since then as the PML-N leader went on a trip to Sindh to visit flood survivors there. PPP Information Secretary Qamar Zaman Kaira. denied a direct communication channel between the president and Sharif, saying there was no need for it.
espite growing bitterness between them,President Asif Ali Zardari and his political arch-rival Nawaz Sharif are maintaining a backdoor communication channel as part of their broader understanding to resist any “adventure” against democracy in the country. Close associates of both leaders said they were in touch with each other through their point-men, a revelation that seems at odds with the public perception that the two are incommunicado. Several leaders from the PPP and PML-N told The Express Tribune on Sunday that Zardari and Sharif had agreed in 2008 to not take their political differences to the level that some other “institution” could
Floods bring chaos to Pakistan and India << Continued from page 9 Floods leave 4m homeless in Sindh Gilani asks people to lend financial, moral support to rain-hit people of Sindh; Hopes international institutions, world will pay attention to needs of affected people. Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani launched a passionate appeal to the nation and international assistance agencies to come forward and provide financial and moral support to the rain and flood-affected people of Sindh, as torrential rains and breaches in canals left more than four million people homeless in the province by Saturday. Addressing the nation through Radio Pakistan and the Pakistan Television, Gilani said the magnitude of the devastation was beyond the country’s resources and “we will have to face the challenge with courage, determination and the spirit of sacrifice”. He urged the political and democratic forces of the country to bury differences and provide full support to the affected people. He assured the people of Sindh of standing by them, saying the nation would do all to mitigate their He also reiterated the international appeal for assistance launched by President Asif Ali Zardari, hoping that international institutions and the world would pay attention to the needs of the affected people. Gilani expressed confidence that the global institutions and international community
Saarc international I Thursday 15 September 2011
would give sympathetic consideration to the president’s appeal for expediting the rehabilitation of the affected people. The prime minister said the federal government had so far provided assistance worth over Rs 2 billion to the affected people that included medicines, food, potable water and other essential goods. He said the National Disaster Management Authority had been instructed to provide tele-health facilities in the affected areas, warning that the continuity of extraordinary rain could make the situation worse and could pose a major challenge in the affected areas. Gilani pointed out that in recent days, the affected areas received 142 percent more rains than normal, submerging 4,100,000 acres of land and claiming 141 lives. He said 4,000 relief camps had been established where 150,000 affected were being provided accommodation. He said rain and floods had destroyed crops over 1.7 million acres, 700,000 houses and claimed 64,000 cattle heads. Meanwhile, waterborne and viral diseases are spreading across the affected areas of lower Sindh, with Badin, Mirpur Khas, Nawabshah, Tando Mohammad Khan and other areas being hit the hardest. Epidemics in Badin district have claimed 30 lives. Sanghar DPO Abdullah Shaikh said the district had been declared calamity hit, as floodwater level was rising and people were suffering more by the day.
70-member Indian lawyers team in Pakistan
70-member delegation of Indian jurists and officebearers of the bar, arrived here through Wahga border on Friday to attend a three-day international conference titled ‘Justice for all and impunity for none’. A 70-member delegation of Indian jurists and office-bearers of the bar, arrived here through Wahga border on Friday to attend a three-day international conference titled ‘Justice for all and impunity for none’ organised by the Supreme Court Bar Association of Pakistan (SCBAP). SCBAP President Asma Jehangir, bar officebearers and senior lawyers received the Indian delegation at Wahga. The members of the Indian delegation appeared in quite a happy mood on crossing border for a high profile seminar on justice system of the whole region which is almost the same being legacy of the British like the problems of the two countries. Talking to mediamen on the occasion, Asma Jahangir said India and Pakistan should enhance cooperation and exchange of people
to address the misperceptions and bridge the gap. She said an enhanced people to people contact will also go to ensure joint steps for development and growth of the whole Indo Pak Subcontinent. “If Pakistan and India would turn away their faces, things will not be changed,” Asma said at Wagha flanked by member of Indian delegation comprised mostly if senior lawyers and officer bearers of Indian’s top bars’. Asma condemned the recent bomb blast near Delhi High Court and termed it a tragic event. While, President Indian Supreme Court
Bar Association Pravin H Parekh and former Indian Solicitor General Soli Sorabjee said that people of both the countries face similar problems which need to be resolved jointly. They said in India and Pakistan people are facing injustice and violations of human rights which they said existed in all areas such as legal, police and justice system. They said both countries should make joint efforts to develop a mechanism for protection of human rights in the region by involving lawyers and civil society groups and exchange of good-will delegations.
Mazhar chooses to stay out of Mirza-MQM row
indh Senior Minister Pir Mazharul Haq has refused to comment on his meeting with Altaf Hussain. Former Sindh Home Minister Zulfiqar Mirza had said he and Pir Mazharul Haq attended the meeting in which MQM chief Altaf Hussain talked about plans to break Pakistan. Meeting Sindh Governor Ishratul Ibad , Pir Mazharul Haq said the meeting with Altaf Hussain was a courtesy call, therefore he would choose not to comment on it. Alluding to Mirza swearing while holding the Holy Quran, Pir Mazharul Haq said that only those
people do so in Sindh who doubt people would trust them. Certain powers, internal or external, are out to destabalize Pakistan, he added. Moreover, he said, it is the need of the hour to close ranks to foil such conspiracies. If there is peace in Karachi, investment would start pouring in the country. Many international companies, including Saudi and Chinese, are interested in investing in Pakistan, provided there is peace, he informed. He also said that the 1973 Constitution has been fully restored and provincial autonomy should be used for the welfare of the people.
Saarc international I Thursday 15 September 2011
WEEKLY REVIEW OF AFGHANISTAN NEWS
Brutality by Afghan local police reported ways: seeding the ground for further abuses, building local support for the Taliban and eroding people’s faith in the government to crack down on corruption, lawlessness and powerful local warlords. The NATO-led International Security Assistance Force offered a measured response to the assessment, saying in a Twitter posting that the report offered suggestions for refining and improving parts of the year-old Local police forces trained and financed by United States have killed and raped civilians, stolen land and carried out other abuses against
Afghan villagers they are charged with protecting, according to a report released on Monday by Human Rights Watch. The rights group’s
report said the Afghan government’s failure to punish abusive local police officers or the militias known as arbakai was causing harm in several
program to build up the local security forces. But it said that other aspects of the report were “dated/incorrect.” “This report will be carefully evaluated, to take the necessary steps,” said Brig. Gen. Carsten Jacobson, a NATO spokesman in Kabul. “ISAF welcomes fair criticism and advice, and will continue to support the buildup of Afghan institutions, with a view of full accountability and openness.”
US-Afghan talks on track for longterm pact: Afghan official
US must stay in Afghanistan for long haul: ambassador
merica must remain in Afghanistan “for the long haul”, a decade after the 9/11 attacks triggered the United States’ longest
ever war, its ambassador has said. Ryan Crocker told a ceremony marking the anniversary of the attacks that America’s presence had kept al-Qaeda from re-establishing itself in Afghanistan. Kabul and Washington are
currently in negotiation over how many troops and advisers will stay and how much funding America will provide after the 2014 deadline.
Mr Croker told the ceremony on the Kabul embassy’s front lawn: “Some back home have asked why we are still here. It’s been a long fight and people are tired. The reason is simple. Al-Qaeda is not here in Afghanistan and that’s because we are. We are
here so that there is never again a 9/11 coming from Afghan soil.” He continued: “We are in this for the long haul. We are transitioning security responsibility to Afghan forces, but transition does not mean disengagement.” Recent opinion polls have shown most Americans now oppose the war in Afghanistan and want troops brought home quickly. America currently has about 95,000 troops in Afghanistan and has lost 1,762 dead in the past decade according to the icasualties website. He said: “For me the last ten years have always been about 9/11. I keep in my office in a small frame the boarding pass I have from that flight. “I will never forget what happened on that day and I will never give up on my commitment to do everything I can to ensure 9/11 never happens again.
senior Afghan official predicted Friday that the United States and Afghanistan will soon sign a broad deal for U.S. use of Afghan soil for counterterrorism missions. US obligations to the fledgling democracy it has sponsored since toppling the Taliban regime in Afghanistan weeks after the terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. He told The Associated Press the
overarching goal of the agreement is to establish Afghan sovereignty over its national security and external affairs, a position potentially at odds with U.S. contingency plans to pursue terrorists or militants who threaten the United States. “Afghanistan will never allow the use of Afghan soil against Afghanistan’s neighbors or other third countries,” Spanta said after the close of talks Friday evening.
Afghanistan struggles to build army as diverse as nation E
very morning, jobless young men gather by the hundreds at the busy central square here in this southern city, desperate for whatever work they can find. In other places, this would be an army recruiter’s dream. Not so in Kandahar.Many of the men here have brothers and cousins in the insurgency, or are former fighters themselves. Others fear what would happen to them or their families if they joined the Afghan Army.” I don’t want to be killed by the Taliban,” Janan, 30, who like many Afghans goes by one name, said as he jostled with the crowd under a scorching sun. Afghan and NATO officials have long struggled to entice young men
in the heavily Pashtun south — the Taliban heartland — to join the Afghan Army.
Despite years of efforts, an analysis of recruitment patterns by The New York Times shows that
the number of them joining the army remains relatively minuscule, reflecting a deep and lingering fear
of the insurgents, or sympathy for them, as well as doubts about the stability and integrity of the central government in Kabul, the capital. The influx of tens of thousands of U.S. troops, who have pushed the Taliban back in much of the south, has done little to ease those concerns or to lift recruitment. In some places, the numbers of southern Pashtun recruits are actually shrinking, causing an overall decline of nearly 30 percent from a year ago. As the deadline looms for the withdrawal of most foreign forces in 2014, the need to enlist more southern Pashtuns is pressing if Afghanistan is to have a national army that resembles the ethnic and geographic makeup of the country.
Saarc international I Thursday 15 September 2011
WEEKLY REVIEW OF BANGLADESH NEWS Police arrested a man with 42 bombs
Police arrested a man with 42 bombs at Jatrabari area in the capital Wednesday morning. Acting on a tip-off, a team of Detective Branch (DB) of police raided the house of Ataur Rahman Litu, a city unit leader of Jatiyatabadi Jubo Dal, at Mirhazaribagh in Jatrabari and recovered the bombs from his house, said Gazi Mozammel Haque, deputy commissioner (DC) of Wari Division.
The caretaker of the house was nabbed during the drive, the DC added.
PM stresses increased regional cooperation P
rime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Wednesday emphasised bolstering regional cooperation in South Asia for building it as a prosperous and peaceful region. Hasina made the remarks when visiting Secretary General of South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (Saarc) Fathimath Dhiyana Saeed paid a courtesy call on her at the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) in the morning.
She expressed the hope that the Saarc countries would join a partnership for promoting democracy, democratic practice and the rule of law in South Asia. The prime minister said Saarc is considered as a catalyst for regional cooperation as well as sustainable development and social progress for all the people of the region.
182 BGB men jailed, 5 acquitted in BDR mutiny case Man arrested A special court of the Border Guard Bangladesh on Monday sentenced 182 soldiers to rigorous imprisonment for various terms, ranging from four months to seven years, on charge of mutiny on 25-26 February, 2009 in the headquarters in Dhaka. The Special Court-8, chaired by BGB’s deputy director general Brigadier General Abu Sayeed Khan, also fined the convicts including two freedom fighters Tk 100 each. It, however, acquitted five accused soldiers of the charge. Of the accused soldiers, who were barefoot in the dock and with shackles around their ankles, and without the BGB uniform, 20 were given the highest punishment —
rigorous imprisonment for seven years — under the Bangladesh Rifles Order 1972.
Three soldiers were jailed for six years, 14 for five years, two for four years and six months, eight for
four years, sixteen for three years, eight for two years and six months, twenty-three for two years, twenty for one year and six months, thirtythree for one year, thirty were for six months and five for four months. The court delivered the verdict in the makeshift courtroom at Durbar Hall in the Pilkhana where the bloody rebellion began on 25 February, 2009. Members of the army and Rapid Action Battalion were seen guarding the courtroom and the convicts.This was the fifth verdict in a case filed on mutiny charges in Dhaka after the February 2009 rebellion. The trials of six more cases against 2,932 soldiers of six units of the Dhaka sector and the BGB headquarters are going on.
with 22 fake passports
Police arrested a man with 22 fake passports at Swamibagh in the capital in the early hours of Wednesday. Arrestee Abdur Rahim Dewan, 46, is a member of a gang that cheated overseas job seekers, said Masudur Rahman, additional deputy commissioner (ADC) of Dhaka Metropolitan Police. Of the passports, five are Nepali while the rest Bangladeshi. Acting on the information extracted from the gang members arrested earlier last week, a team of Detective Branch (DB) of police conducted a raid around 1:30am and arrested Rahim from Swamibagh intersection.
WB to lend $359 million to govt’s health sector Khaleda was asked to
go into exile
The World Bank would, under an agreement signed on Monday, lend to the government US$359 million for its Health Population and Nutrition Sector Development Programme for the next five years. The government intends to utilise the credit to support to the programme seeking to achieve health related millennium development goals of reducing infant and under-five year child mortality, improving maternal health and ensuring access to reproductive health services. It also seeks to combat HIV/AID, malaria and other communicable diseases and reducing population
growth. Economic Relations Division secretary M Musharraf Hossain Bhuiyan and World Bank country director in Dhaka Ellen Goldstein signed the agreement at National Economic Council Building. Officials said that the government intends to implement the programme over five years from July 2011 to June 2016. Of the total estimated to cost of US$1.8 billion, IDA would provide US$ 358.9 million as credit and the rest would be provided by 16 other development partners as grants or credit, they said.
The credit form the International Development Association, WB’s soft loan window, has 40 years’ maturity, including a 10-year grace period, carrying no commitment fee, but a service charge of 0.75 per cent a year. Goldstein said, ‘The programme will support the government in implementing its maternal and child health goals.’ She said that the programme was expected to increase the number of women delivering babies in heath facilities by about 70 per cent and to cut down malnutrition in children of the poorest families by 10 per cent.
Bangladesh Nationalist Party chairperson Khaleda Zia acknowledged months before her arrest by the military-controlled interim government in September, 2007, that she was under pressure to go into exile. At a farewell meeting the then US ambassador in Dhaka, Patricia A Butenis held with Khaleda, at Sheraton Hotel on May 25, 2007, the Bangladesh Nationalist Party chief stated that she was ready to leave the country if her two sons were allowed to accompany her, according to a diplomatic cable sent by Butenis to Washington on May 30, 2007. Khaleda also urged Butenis to support her embattled sons, Tarique Rahman and Arafat Rahman, said the cable published by WikiLeaks on August 30, 2011. Khelada also said she had no contact with the military, and was mystified by the military’s actions and objectives, said the cable. It reads, ‘The ambassador expressed sympathy for their suffering, but told them that the international
community lacks the influence to intervene in individual cases.’ ‘Blame the corrupt but my family is not corrupt.’ Khaleda Zia was quoted by the cable to have told Butenis. It said Khaleda had claimed to be surprised by the military’s actions against Arafat Rahman, who was ‘very sick,’ and Tarique. ‘We are from the “same family,” ’ she remarked in a reference to the army. ‘But they don’t talk to me.’ ‘Tell me, what do they want? Why are they against me?’ Khaleda was quoted by the cable to have said. Khaleda stoutly denied anyone in her family had wealth overseas, the cable said.
Saarc international I Thursday 15 September 2011
WEEKLY REVIEW OF BHUTAN NEWS
Flood fear looms large in Yangtse
Fear of a flash flood is looming large among the people of Baychen village and Trashiyangtse town. The fear is mostly born of the belief that Berzam Chhu and Serkang Chhu flood once in every 100 years. Berzam Chhu flows through Baychen village, which is above the town, and Serkang Chhu runs through the town. Residents say it has been 100 years since the rivers last flooded. If the rivers flood, it will not only destroy Baychen village and the town, but also the storied Gomphu Kora Chorten. People’s concern over the threat of a flash flood has been growing despite the dzongkhag’s mitigation works along the river banks. Yangtse Gup Karma Wangchuk said people are worried because many strongly believe that the rivers flood every 100 years.
Corporate Bhutan’s compensation woes Just as the recent pay revision came as relief for the corporate sector, whose employees were relishing a sense of being rewarded, many felt disheartened by the apparent unhappiness of the concerned authorities over the revision. Ironically, some of these entities of the corporate sector were given the highest commendation for meeting tall, socio-economically relevant targets, but which now appear perfunctory. Praise is free but that was not what inspired most of them when they were formed. Neither can the praise be ignored now, nor can we afford to impress on the employees of these corporate entities that they are orphans of Bhutan’s corporatisation process. The pay revision for the corporate sector was an appropriate response to an exigency that was triggered by some external circumstances.
There was basically no choice left. Even with the hike, the corporate sector still does not come out to be an attractive destination for job seekers. The corporate sector’s strategic and cautious move
Revenue or mandate? Druk Holding and Investments (DHI) only takes revenue generating corporations under its wings and doesn’t seem intent on including others, especially the state-owned enterprises (SOEs) that don’t generate big revenue. This means the government’s priority is money and not mandate of the companies. Some people say this approach is not in line with GNH. The SoEs include Bhutan Postal Corporation, Bhutan Agro, Food
Corporation of Bhutan, Bhutan Development Bank Limited, and
The dust is yet to settle
Bhutan Board Products, among others. These companies don’t make as much money as DHI-owned companies. Some observers say that doesn’t mean they are less important. Some of these companies, in fact, have bigger mandates than some of the DHI-owned companies.
therefore deserved a measured response. Wallowing in the appreciation showered on its achievements, the corporate sector had its expectations running high. But
if they are disheartened now, it is not because their expectations were not met; but because it was how they felt they were being treated. Repercussions of the revision will have to be viewed holistically and weighed carefully, not just from the standpoint of the revision happening, but as well as it not happening. More than the purported repercussions, the fallout arising out of how the situation was handled poses some potential risks. Such unpropitious circumstances had to happen at a crucial time when the corporate sector is fighting a losing battle to stop the steady haemorrhage of experienced employees, and when it required the support of the concerned authorities most. Murphy’s law cannot go wrong.
Delayed for years
The one-stop crisis centre at Jigme Dorji Wangchuck National Referral Hospital in Thimphu has remained as a sign board for more than three years now. Bhutan’s first one-stop crisis centre was supposed to have become operational in 2008. Currently, a victim of domestic violence has to go to different places to seek medical services, legal counselling, social support, and security protection. The one-stop crisis centre is supposed to put all these services under one roof. “Somehow, we couldn’t start the centre,” said the forensic expert at the hospital, Dr Pakila Dukpa. “We have had two stakeholders’ meetings but there has been no consensus and no endowment.” He added that although there is support
from the Ministry of Health and National Commission for Women and Children (NCWC), there is no intersectoral consensus. NCWC has helped the centre buy equipment and furniture and conduct study tours. The centre is waiting for a policy framework which will define the roles and responsibilities of the agencies. Until the framework is finalized, victims of domestic violence will have to keep running from pillar to post.
Yet to be vetted for domestic air service T
even shopkeepers have on Tuesday appealed to the high court, accusing the works and human settlement ministry of not allotting them plots in the new Bajo town. The group also on September 1 submitted a petition to Wangdiphodrang district court, but the court dismissed it on the ground that it was an administrative case. Representative of the group said the government did not allot them plots in accordance with the criteria set by
the joint committee (dzongkhag and ministry’s town committee). They claim that the remaining seven plots in the town were promised for seven of them based on the criteria set earlier.Of the 138 plots, demarcated in the Bajo town, 131 were awarded to businessmen, who fulfilled the criteria then received a plot each during the allotment. The remaining seven were kept aside to allot to the next seven eligible shopkeepers, according to the shopkeepers.
he department of civil aviation (DCA) has not yet approved the national airline’s ATR aircraft from performing test flights at Yonphula airstrip in Trashigang. DCA director general, Phala Dorji said outside experts have been called in to study whether the ATR 42-500 can safely be operated to Yonphula, and Batpalathang airstrip in Bumthang. The study will focus on the runway lengths of the two airstrips, and the take off and landing lengths required by the ATR aircraft. The runway length for Batpalathang and Yonphula are 1,200m and 1,300m respectively. Calculating take off and landing lengths requires a number of factors
to be taken into consideration, such as altitude, weight of aircraft, temperature, wind speed and direction, among others. Meanwhile, DCA has also instructed Drukair to store spare parts to
prevent lengthy groundings of its ATR. The length of the groundings was primarily due to transportation of spare parts from abroad. The aircraft was grounded almost the entire month in August.
Saarc international I Thursday 15 September 2011
WEEKLY REVIEW OF INDIA NEWS
If exonerated, Narendra Modi likely to shift to national stage I
f the trial court chooses not to proceed against Modi and he then wins the next Assembly election due in 2012, he is almost certain to be brought in as the next party president of the BJP at the end of the 3-year tenure of present incumbent Nitin Gadkari. If there were any doubts earlier on the timing of Narendra
Modi’s entry into the national political arena, the Supreme Court verdict asking the trial court in Ahmedabad to make a determination on the guilt or innocence of the Gujarat Chief Minister in the Zakia case has certainly brightened the chances of an early entrance. As long as the matter was under the active consideration of the Supreme
Anna has fresh demands, 16 children dead as encephalitis ravages Bihar’s Magadh division protest warnings “Hazare wants to know from PM what are his views on having a ‘none of the above’ button on ballot papers (EVMs). Also, if majority of voters prefer the ‘none of the above’ button, there should be a provision to reject the candidate,” Arvind Kejriwal said. Diversifying his campaign against corruption to electoral reform, social activist Anna Hazare will write to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, seeking his views on having an annual performance audit of the MPs. “In the letter, Anna would be asking the PM whether he thinks there should be an annual performance audit of MPs. On the basis of this people should have the right to recall elected representatives,” Team Anna core committee
Court, the sword of Damocles was hanging over Mr. Modi’s head. If the trial court chooses not to proceed against the Chief Minister and he then wins the next Assembly election due in 2012, he is almost certain to be brought in as the next party president of the BJP at the end of the three-year tenure of present incumbent Nitin Gadkari.
Political parties get bulk of funds from unnamed donors
member Arvind Kejriwal told reporters after the group met in Ralegan.”Hazare also wants to know from PM what are his views on having a ‘none of the above’ button on ballot papers (EVMs). Also, if majority of voters prefer the ‘none of the above’ button, there should be a provision to reject the candidate,” he said.
Water-logging, resulting from rains, compounded with poor drainage systems in the division, is being suggested by government health authorities as the chief cause of this latest vector-borne disease bout. Bihar is in the grip of yet another seasonal outbreak of encephalitis that has claimed the lives of at least 16 children in the Magadh division
in less than three weeks. As on Sunday, the governmentrun Magadh Medical College and Hospital (ANMMCH) in Gaya district reported at least 65 admissions from four districts in the division, making it the second major encephalitis outbreak to occur in the state within a span of less than two months.
olitical parties are sourcing a major chunk of their funds from unidentified donors, according to their income-tax returns. Donors’ lists and tax returns filed by the Congress, BJP, NCP and BSP for the past five years show they have not identified those who account for most of their funding. For instance, the Congress collected at least Rs 978 crore through sale of coupons in the five years till 2008-09, for which it has not provided any contributors’ list to authorities. In comparison, contributions collected by the ruling party with donors’ names account for a mere Rs 85 crore in the same period.
M claims Delhi blast, warns Krishna flood waters submerge 11 villages of attack on Sept 13
The mail sent from “chotoominani5@ gmail.com”, received at 12:37 pm by Headlines Today news channel, claimed that ‘HuJI’ could have had no role to play in the blasts which, it claimed, had been effected by the ‘Indian MuZahideen’. Another mail received by media houses in Mumbai and Delhi,
purportedly written by one ‘chotoo minani ayushman’ of ‘Indian Muzahideen’ today claimed responsibility for the Delhi High Court blasts and warned that another blast will take place at a shopping mall next Tuesday. The mail sent from “chotoominani5@ gmail.com”, received at 12:37 pm
by Headlines Today news channel, claimed that ‘HuJI’ could have had no role to play in the blasts which, it claimed, had been effected by the ‘Indian MuZahideen’. The mail said that Wednesday had been chosen as the day of the blast as it was the busiest day for the High Court and there is a lot of crowd. Wednesday is the day for Public Interest Litigation at the Delhi High Court. The mail warned that another blast will take place outside a shopping complex next Tuesday [Sept 13]. Responding to the email, UK Bansal, Secretary (Internal Security) in the Home Ministry, told reporters: “We are examining the email received by the media houses...About its authenticity and veracity and (we are) taking it seriously,” Sources said as of now nothing was being left to chance and the origin of the mail was being ascertained and, if need be, the service provider Google would also be contacted.
The discharge of over 5 lakh cusecs of water from the Nagarjunasagar Dam led to the marooning of 11 villages in Bellamkonda mandal of Guntur district and inundation of five colonies in Vijayawada necessitating evacuation of 1,650 persons. No casualties were reported from both Guntur and Krishna districts. Municipal Corporation authorities evacuated people from lowlying The water level at the Pulichintala Project site was 41.8 metres from river bed inundating the structure completely. In Guntur district, cotton fields spread over 3,000 acres are lying submerged under a sheet of water for the past three days. Meanwhile, in Krishna district, six families were evacuated from Pappayi Lanka, in Ghantasala Mandal downstream the barrage after water entered their houses. People living in Yedlalanka, in Avanigadda were also evacuated. Meanwhile, residents of the four villages are refusing to shift as they are under the impression that the water level would come down.
Saarc international I Thursday 15 September 2011
Pakistan has been India not committed to retrieving black money: Elmer unreliable ally: Biden
Rudolf Elmer, a whistleblower who has brought out much information on secret Swiss banks accounts, has accused the Indian government of not being serious enough in getting details of black money stashed away in Swiss banks. In an explosive revelation, Swiss banking whistleblower Rudolf Elmer has said even cricketers and filmstars hold secret accounts. While refusing to give out names of tax evaders, Elmer accused the Indian government of not doing enough on the black money front. “There is a need for global commitment and action,” Elmer, who was released from jail on July 25, 2011 told Headlines Today on Monday. In his first interview after being released from jail, Elmer has said there is a need for global commitment towards tightening noose around tax evaders - who he said are
“criminals” - including filmstars and cricketers. “There is a need for global commitment and action,” Elmer, who was released from jail on July 25, 2011 told Headlines Today on Monday. Fearing reprisals, Elmer declined to reveal names of “politicians, cricketers and filmstars”. He said it’s “all about approach”, saying if the Indian government was at all serious about bringing back black money. Elmer cited the example of the US which had succeeded in getting the list of tax evading Americans who held accounts in tax havens.”The government is not committed. I think society has to put pressure on the Indian government to act. India is a big country, which is getting stronger by the day. It has the negotiating power,” Elmer told Headlines Today executive editor Rahul Kanwal, while responding to a question as to how
India needs to proceed on the issue of black money. Saying he can’t give names because “I’ll in serious problem”, Elmer told Headlines Today, “I can’t give a date, but it will happen sometime”. He added the government was not doing enough. Who is Elmer? Rudolf Elmer is a former employee of Swiss bank Julius Bar, a highly reputed Swiss bank. Elmer worked at this bank for more than 20 years and headed the bank’s wealth management services in Cayman Islands for over 8 years.While he was the bank’s Chief Operating Officer in the Cayman Islands, Elmer claimed to have found evidence that his bank was helping its clients evade tax. He said he was fired when he brought this evidence to the notice of his bosses in Switzerland. It is this evidence that Elmer has copied onto a CD and handed over to Julian Assange, the editor of WikiLeaks in 2008. The CD contains details of bank accounts between 1997 and 2002. Elmer shook the world in January this year when he handed over to WikiLeaks a CD containing 2000 names of tax evaders. In that list figured the names of several Indians. Julius Bar alleges that Elmer has doctored evidence to suggest tax evasion. On July 25, 2011, Elmer was set free.
Pakistan has been an unreliable ally of the United States in the war against al Qaeda and other extremist organizations, U.S. Vice President Joe Biden told CNN in an interview aired on Monday night. Biden, who spoke to CNN on the eve of the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks, said Pakistan has failed “on occasion” when forced to choose between the US and al-Qaeda. Vice President Joe Biden has said Pakistan has been an “unreliable ally” of the US in the war against terror and asserted that it was in their interest to cooperate more. Biden, who spoke to CNN on the eve of the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks, said Pakistan has failed “on occasion” when forced to choose between the US and al-Qaeda. The price of Pakistan’s choices has been the “loss of life of American soldiers in Afghanistan,” he was quoted as saying on the CNN website. The interview is set to air later tonight. Islamabad has “been very
helpful in other times,” he added. “But it’s not sufficient. They have to get better. We need a relationship that is born out of mutual interest. And it’s in their interest that they be more cooperative with us.” “We are demanding it,” he said. The US-Pak relations had dipped to the lowest level since the May 2 US military operation that killed al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden in Pakistan’s garrison city of Abbottabad. Pakistani authorities insist they did not know bin Laden’s location. Despite troubles in Pakistan and elsewhere, the US is “getting close” to bringing about an end to organised, legitimised terrorist activities, Biden said. “We have done great damage to ... al Qaeda,” he said. “Satellite organisations” have emerged in Somalia and elsewhere, he said, but “they are less coordinated” and “less capable.”
Pakistan WSJ Ad Unlikely to Change Narrative
As a solemn nation observes the 10th anniversary of the Sept 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, Pakistan made a feeble attempt on Saturday to reach out to the American public, telling them that it was a victim, not perpetrator of terrorism. Pakistan availed this opportunity to tell the Americans that it was with them in the fight against terrorists “Which country can do more for your peace?” asks an advertisement published in the Wall Street Journal. “Since 2001, a nation of 180 million has been fighting for the future of the world’s 7 billion.” Pakistan had first offered this ad to The New York Times but they refused to publish it, forcing Pakistani officials to go to a business newspaper with a specialised but influential readership. The ad informs the American public that since Sept 11, 2001, 21,672 Pakistani civilians have lost their lives or have been seriously injured in an ongoing fight against terror. The Pakistani Army also has lost 2,795 soldiers while 8,671 soldiers have been wounded. There have been 3,486 bomb blasts and 283 major suicide attacks. More than 3.5 million have been displaced while the country has lost $68 billion due to terrorism. The Pakistani nation is “making sacrifices that statistics cannot reflect”, says a caption above a picture of former prime
minister Benazir Bhutto, who was also killed by the terrorists. “The promise of our martyrs lives on,” it adds. Despite these sacrifices, the ad notes, the Pakistan stays engaged in “the war for world peace”, with 200,000 troops deployed at the frontline and 90,000 soldiers fighting on the Afghan border. “Can any other country do so? Only Pakistan,” says the advertisement published as an official notice from the government of Pakistan. In New York or Washington, officials further tightened security arrangements on Saturday, deploying hundreds of officers at bus and train stations and in shopping malls. Pakistan’s leaders have been publicly trying to promote a competing narrative, but with almost no success. People will quibble with these statistics from a country where reporters often find it difficult to get basic data. It was not clear whether the ad was
carried in other U.S. publications. Pakistan’s government also tried to place it in the New York Times. The Times
asked for “more clarity in the ad about who was placing it,” according to a spokeswoman for the newspaper. The Times did not hear back from the government and so has not yet run the ad, she said. The ad as printed in the Journal carries a line at the bottom in small font saying “Government of Pakistan” next to a web address for the government. A spokeswoman for the Journal declined to comment. Will the advertisement be effective in shifting the narrative? It’s unlikely. The points raised are all fair enough. Pakistan has been hammered by suicide bombings by Islamist militants against civilian and army targets. It’s perhaps fair to say that many in the U.S. have failed to recognize the changes in Pakistan, especially in the past few years, that have led to its domestic war against militancy. Still, many in the U.S. and elsewhere are likely to shrug their shoulders. In the U.S. and India, where
Pakistani-based militants are viewed as a daily threat to security, many politicians, analysts and ordinary citizens blame Pakistan for failing to stop the export of terrorism and being selective in which Islamist militant groups they go after. Pakistan has waged a war against homegrown Pakistan Taliban militants for the past three years, suffering large casualties. But U.S. defense officials say publicly they are concerned that the country continues to protect Afghan Taliban fighters that don’t attack inside Pakistan. It’s these fighters who use Pakistan soil as a base from which to launch attacks on U.S. forces in Afghanistan, they say. Some U.S. officials say they believe Pakistan’s argument that it’s too stretched fighting the Pakistan Taliban to open new fronts in its war against militants. But many members of Congress and U.S. defense officials say Islamabad wants to keep ties strong with the Afghan Taliban so it can influence politics over the border once the U.S. pulls out its troops by 2014. India blames Pakistan for failing to crack down on Lashkar-e-Taiba, the militant group which carried out the attacks on Mumbai in 2008, killing over 160 people, and has hit Indian targets in Afghanistan. LET has not carried out any attacks against the Pakistan state.
South Asia Tribune I Thursday 15 September 2011
South Asia Tribune I Thursday 15 September 2011
Recent days, the affected areas received 142 percent more rains than normal, submerging 4,100,000 acres of land and claiming 141 lives. 4,000 relief camps had been established where 150,000 affected were being provided accommodation. Rain and floods had destroyed crops over 1.7 million acres, 700,000 houses and claimed 64,000 cattle heads.
Ravaged by floods
Rescue Sindh, rescue Pakistan
he calamity caused by torrential rains in Sindh is unprecedented in living memory. Though the human suffering caused is much larger in scale compared to last year’s floods, being confined to Sindh alone and lacking the dramatic impact of the flood in mighty Indus, it has failed to receive the required media attention. This is highly worrisome as, according to NDMA, the catastrophe has affected nearly 5 million people, over 100 people have died, 80 per cent of banana, date, chilli, sugar cane and cotton crops have been destroyed and nearly 100,000 cattle heads have either died or are missing. As millions of people are rescued, other uphill tasks pose a formidable challenge. These include providing food, shelter and medicines for such a large population and to finally rehabilitate it. The provincial government is financially in no position to cope with the consequences of
a calamity of this magnitude. A call needs to be sent to the whole nation to come to Sindh’s rescue. Any display of apathy is bound to cause estrangement. The appeal by Zardari is timely though while advising Nawaz to eschew political gimmicks, the wording “Don’t hesitate to visit flood-hit areas of Sindh only because Zardari is already there” is indicative of one-upmanship. All national parties need to join hands to collect funds, edible goods, clothes and tents. The major leadership must go to rainaffected areas in a show of solidarity. The funds allocated by the federal government have failed to be translated immediately into goods and services because of the slack and inefficient Sindh government machinery. There is a need for volunteers from all over the country to help distribute goods. The NGOs, too, have to put their act together.
An imminent resource gap has forced the government to finally decide to issue an international appeal for help, though bureaucratic inertia has delayed the dispatch the request till the next two or three days. Meanwhile, President Zardari has urged UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to launch an international appeal for humanitarian assistance to the flood victims in Pakistan. Had this been done a fortnight back when the extent of the damage was beginning to manifest itself, the situation would have been less desperate. Spare a moment for the 1.2 million left homeless, for all those forced to live in desperate, unhygienic conditions. Muted by world media, flood victims in Pakistan have fallen off the radar in 2011. Over a week has past and relief has been slow to reach people in the hardesthit regions of Badin and Thatta in Sindh,
Pakistan’s southern province. While politicians bumble around, attempting (or appear thereof) to find a solution for the 1.2 million flood affectees, the bell tolls noiselessly. Beyond Pakistan’s national news, coverage of the 2011 floods has been a silent movie playing out on the fringes of the international media (if at all). A few more weeks of radio (or print and TV) silence and the region will become as quiet and stone cold as international media outlets. The unmoved press, which has refused to cover the calamity in the region, may finally get to report on a wave of death due to curable waterborne diseases. Intense, speedy and wholehearted as the response has been among the compassionate and the aware, it has been far too noiseless. For Pakistanis, for humans and humanity, this is not a time for whispered crying, silent and ardent prayers, aimless grumbling and soundless emails.
Saarc international I Thursday 15 September 2011
London calling: Altaf Hussain a man in the eye of multiple storms
Analysts believe what could be bothering him may be the fast forwarded investigation into the murder of Dr Imran Farooq and the reported arrests of two suspected killers who have allegedly confessed their links to the MQM and may lead the Scotland Yard to the MQM head office in London It was one of the few conferences Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) chief Altaf Hussain has addressed since his self-imposed exile in London, and one that few will forget. Hussain made no explosive statements, but one was fairly telling of how the next few months may look for Karachi. Referring to the number of Urdu-speaking community members who have been killed in Karachi in the past few months, Hussain warned that “if action is not taken, I will take back the appeal for calm issued to
MQM workers.”“Are you scared of going into the areas where they have killed Mohajirs?” he asked, addressing his party.Hussain repeated the comment during the question and answer session, and said that if the MQM workers are free, they are free to make whatever demands they want.The MQM leader repeatedly addressed many of the allegations made against the party in recent years, but chose not to refer to the ones made by former Sindh home minister Zulfiqar Mirza in the past couple of weeks. Much of his criticism was directed towards Nawaz Sharif, the head of his own faction of the Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N). He also claimed that the US had paid ANP leader Asfandyar Wali Khan millions of dollars to win the last general elections. Hussain said he believed his life was under threat. “I will speak freely today because
I do not know if I will be alive tomorrow to say this.”When asked if he would accept the verdict in the suo motu case that is being heard by the Supreme Court of Pakistan, Hussain said that they would have to wait and see. Altaf Hussain also spoke about the investigation into the murder of Dr Imran Farooq. “We are constantly in touch with the local police and investigation team. Whenever we get information we convey this to them, whatever we can share. The Scotland Yard is a very experienced and good agency.” Hussain also declined to name a successor to his party’s leadership. He also said that he had spoken to the president to ask about why the Federal Investigation Agency were reporting on the MQM to UK’s agencies, and that the president had investigated and reported that this was not happening. Hussain,
speaking via a Skype connection, talked for a few hours before the floor opened up for questions. The drama and the casual, informal address to his workers, which was deliberately couched as a news conference to get maximum TV time, which it got, hardly addressed any core issue confronting Karachi and Pakistan as on most of these main questions Altaf Hussain either remained evasive or did not respond at all. He did not answer any charge raised by PPP leader Zulfikar Mirza saying he would not respond to that mad man, he did not touch the issue of his highly controversial remarks about breaking up Pakistan in front of Pir Mazhar and Mr Mirza, he ignored the Tony Blair letter totally, he did not deny that his party indulged in target killings, he refused to accept that not just his party but others also had a stake in peace of
Karachi. But the most pathetic part of his address was his explanation and defence of the May 12 events which left his viewers and the nation reeling as May 12 is so fresh in everyone’s mind and what MQM did that day could never be denied in the manner Altaf Hussain did. Twice he said that MQM was prepared to join hands with PPP “for peace in Karachi” The obvious message was that MQM wanted quickly to get back into power as the heat outside the power corridors was getting too hot to handle. Finally he appeared to be a man in the middle of a serious crisis, threatened by the acts of omission and commission that were catching up with his party, and may be personally against him, and the three-hour press outing was an attempt to justify whatever may be coming towards him as a runaway train, without brakes.
Akbar Bugti case: Govt to present progress report on Musharraf’s extradition
he federal government will submit a progress report on the extradition of former president Pervez Musharraf, the principal accused in the murder of Nawab Akbar Bugti, when the Balochistan High Court (BHC) resumes hearing of the case on Tuesday. The court asked for a report after the government consistently failed to extradite Musharraf from the UK and present him before the bench. Shakil Hadi, counsel for the slain Baloch nationalist leader is of the view that the request can be made under Pakistan’s extradition act. He has alleged that the federal and provincial governments are pressuring Bugti’s son and other family members to stop pursuing the case against Musharraf and six coaccused. Nawabzada Jamil Bugti, elder son
of the former Balochistan governor and chief minister, who was killed in a military operation in 2006, petitioned the court after Musharraf was forced to step down three years later, to take up the murder case of his deceased father.“False cases are being instituted against Jamil Bugti and his close relatives by the federal
and provincial governments to force them to give up the case proceedings, Hadi told The Express Tribune on Monday. Last month’s raid by the Frontier Corps (FC) and the police at the residences of Jamil Bugti and his brother- in-law Humayun Marri in Quetta, was conducted to harass
the petitioner and his family, Hadi contended. The police had claimed to recover a huge cache of heavy arms and ammunition. However, both Baloch nationalist leaders had rejected the claim and termed the raid an act of political victimisation. Hadi pointed out that no case was registered against the
two leaders by the police after the raid. “Why did the government not register a case against Bugti and Marri for illegal possession of arms and ammunition?” he questioned. “They have, however, instituted a case against the federal and provincial governments for sending the FC and the police to harass them.”
Saarc international I Thursday 15 September 2011
The city of Dubai is built on foundations that are steeped in history and tradition. From the evocative Dubai Museum to the spectacular Jumeirah Mosque, and from the breathtaking Bastakiya to the imperious Heritage Village. There are many mysteries waiting to be unravelled. Explore Dubai at your pace and relive great traditions from day gone by.
Saarc international I Thursday 15 September 2011
WEEKLY REVIEW OF PAKISTAN NEWS
Gilani urges nation to help the flood-stricken P
rime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani on Saturday appealed to the nation as well as political and democratic forces to support the government’s efforts for relief and rehabilitation of the people affected by floods in Sindh. In his address to the nation on TV and radio, the prime minister urged the international community to extend a helping hand for the flood-hit people. He appealed to political and democratic forces to cooperate with the government in helping the distressed
people in Sindh by keep their political differences aside.“Rains have caused
141 deaths, inundated over four million acres of land, displaced about four
million people and damaged 700,000 houses,” he said.“The country has faced many disasters in recent years, starting from the devastating 2005 earthquake in Azad Kashmir and northern areas. This was followed by the wave of terror in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and the worst flood in the country’s history last year.” He praised the nation for facing these challenges bravely and the armed forces, civil agencies and NGOs for utilising all possible resources for relief
and rehabilitation efforts. Mr Gilani lauded the support and assistance extended by the international community to offset the losses caused by the 2010 floods and said: “Today I am addressing you when torrential rains have caused widespread devastations in Sindh.” President Asif Ali Zardari has already appealed to the international community through the United Nations for help in meeting the challenges posed by the floods in 21 districts of Sindh.
Situation in Karachi will improve after SC verdict
The government had “totally failed
SC will not care about who gains or loses as an outcome of the verdict
hief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry on Wednesday said the security situation in Karachi will improve after the Supreme Court gives its verdict on the case. The chief justice made this remark during the hearing of the suo motu case on Karachi violence which is underway at the Karachi Registry of the Supreme Court. During the hearing, the chief justice also vowed that the government will be on alert after the verdict.Sindh High Court Bar Association President Anwar Mansoor said that there are linguistic, political and religious
clashes in the city.However, the chief justice asserted that there is no ShiaSunni dispute in Karachi. The CJ said that the situation in Karachi was depressing and worse than Waziristan.He also expressed concern over the Inspector General (IG) Sindh Wajid Durrani’s comment that about 30% of the police were terrorist sympathisers.Meanwhile, Justice Jalal Usmani said that there was a lack of political ethics by the government which is why the country had witnessed military interventions. Justice Usmani further said that
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and India agreed on Friday to sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on cooperation between their counter-narcotics agencies in fighting drug trafficking in the region. The agreement came after a two-day meeting between antinarcotics officials of the two countries in Rawalpindi. Major General Syed Khalid Amir Jaffery, the Anti Narcotics Force director general, headed the Pakistani delegation while the Indian side was led by Narcotics Control Bureau Director General KC Verma. A joint statement
issued after the seventh round of director general-level talks said that realising the region’s sensitivity to transit-trafficking of drugs, both sides emphasised closer co-operation between their drug law-enforcement agencies. “To enhance co-operation between the two countries and to give proper direction and substance to this co-operation, a draft memorandum of understanding was discussed and agreed upon in principle,” the statement read, adding that the MoU would be signed shortly. “The two sides recognised both countries’ efforts in fighting drug trafficking and
the government had “totally failed” and the law and order situation was
Pakistan and India signing MoU on counter-narcotics
appreciated the need for furthering their efforts through enhanced cooperation,” it said. Detailed discussions were held on drug supply and demand reduction. “There was convergence of views on issues of mutual concern and the two sides reaffirmed their resolve for regular exchange of information on drugrelated issues,” the statement said. The leader of the Indian delegation also paid a courtesy call on Minister for Narcotics Control Ghous Bux Khan Maher. The two sides agreed to continue these talks, the statement said. staff report.
purposely being kept this way.The chief justice said that whenever the government neglects its duties such a situation will arise and that the government needs to reinforce its writ rather than “looking at bodies on the roads and in gunny bags”. He asserted that the SC will not care about who gains or loses as an outcome of the verdict, but the verdict will be according to the four pillars of the state. Justice Chaudhry said that 310 people had been killed in targeted killings in 2011 and it would be “sad” if someone claims that the current government is a successful one.“The Court will try its best to support the government to develop the will to
control law and order” he added. The chief justice also expressed dissatisfaction over the fact that the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) report was not submitted directly by the government but through other means.He also took a notice of the Interior Minister Rehman Malik’s statement that said that the target killers are being arrested and they belong to “all the political parties” which the CJ said was a matter of concern. The CJ also asserted that everyone denounced the criminals and that they will not be protected. He said that the criminals will have to surrender after they will have “nowhere to go”. He also said that foreign writers are writing articles on these lines for their personal gain.The case is being heard by a special five-member larger bench headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, comprising Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali, Justice Sarmad Jalal Osmany, Justice Amir Hani Muslim and Justice Ghulam Rabbani. During the hearing, Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry remarked that after the apex court’s decision, the situation in Karachi has taken a turn for better .
Four schoolchildren and a van driver were killed in an ambush by militants in the Mattani area of Peshawar The school van was carrying the children back home to Kala Khel when it came under attack in Ghaziabad. The attack killed four on the spot and 17 others sustained injuries. Police immediately cordoned off the area and the injured were shifted to Lady Reading Hospital in Peshawar. All the school children belong to Kala
Khel village, an area where locals have formed a peace militia against militants. Speaking to the media, police official Sahibzada Sajjad said the attack was an act of revenge against the residents of Kala Khel as they were committed to rooting out militancy from the area.
Saarc international I Thursday 15 September 2011
WEEKLY REVIEW OF MALDIVE NEWS
“Don’t marginalise Sri Lanka”: Nasheed to Human Rights Council
Minister Dr Ahmed Shaheed said he felt the government’s position on Sri Lanka “has been misunderstood”, particularly its comparison with the government’s stance on Libya. “But I think Naseem’s comments and the government’s position on Sri Lanka have been misunderstood. The Libyan situation is different from the current situation in Sri Lanka. Libya is ongoing – things are happening today on the ground, and we need to try to prevent further abuses tomorrow,” he said at the time. UN Secretary General Ban KiMoon has submitted a report documenting alleged war crimes in the closing days of the Sri Lankan
resident Mohamed Nasheed called for an “amicable solution”.“As long as we argue about Sri Lanka, the government is increasingly marginalised and we are losing the government and the country outside the fold of the international community,” Nasheed warned. “We must understand that a number of very, very bad things happened but we must be able to move forward,” he said. Current Maldivian Foreign Minister Ahmed Naseem has previously described the UN report as “singularly counterproductive”, while during a recent interview with Minivan News, former Foreign
Civil War to the UN Human Rights Council. The report accuses the Sri Lankan military of killing tens of thousands of civilians through shelling in the closing days of its war with Tamil separatists, and increases the likelihood that the Human Rights Council may be called on to vote for a full international, independent investigation. Sri Lanka has meanwhile rejected the report’s findings and stated that it opposes an outside investigation. Instead, the government has appointed its own ‘Learnt and Reconciliation Commission’ (LLRC), which is expected to publish its findings on November 15
Health Ministry warns EC to introduce e-voting for 2013 Elections over dengue outbreak Health Ministry has alarmed on a renewed outbreak of dengue fever across the Maldives. In a statement, the ministry said the number of cases reported and patients admitted at the hospitals for treatment of dengue have increased over the last three weeks. The ministry stressed that the heavy rain being experienced in all parts of the Maldives would increase the chances for mosquito
breeding, leading to an outbreak of dengue. According to the ministry, 2,421 cases were reported by August with 11 fatalities recorded. The ministry requests to intake as much of fluid with Panadol tablets and consult a doctor within three days if high fever is observed. However, immediate medical treatment at a healthcare centre is advised if the patient shows signs of fatigue, vomiting and bleeding.
In an effort to ensure more trans¬par¬ent vot¬ing, the Elec¬tion Com¬mis¬sion has planned to intro¬duce electronic voting for the 2013 Presidential Elections. At the meeting of the members of the Elections Commission, the five members of the commission unanimously agreed to the decision to introduce electronic voting. The President of the Elections Commission, Fuad Thaufeeg said that the current elections laws stand in the way of implementing such a system because they refer to paper voter lists and ballot boxes. He said that the commission is working with the necessary authorities to amend the elections laws to introduce electronic voting system.
Fuad Thaufeeq said that the electronic voting will present numerous advantages over traditional paper ballot voting.
State expenditure 20 Attract and Parliament to summon percent more than income retain competent defence, police chiefs talent in Tourism over drowning accident Industry: VP
The state expenditure increased by 20 percent against the income received from January to September 8, according to the financial statement published by the Finance Ministry.The financial statement detailing state income and expenditure from the beginning of the year to September 8 shows that the government earned Rf6.3 billion as income while expenditure increased by Rf1.2 million, amounting to Rf7.5 billion. The largest amount (Rf3.2 billion) was earned as tax while Rf1.6 billion was
earned through import duty and Rf314.7 as grant aid. The financial statement notes that Rf5.7 billion was spent on recurrent expenditure, Rf1.3 million on capital expenditure and Rf563 million on debt repayments. The Finance Ministry incurred the most expenses with Rf1.9 billion allocated from the special budget and an extra Rf311 million allotted to the ministry. Education Ministry followed on the second with Rf1.2 billion in expenses.
Vice President Dr Mohamed Waheed has said that it is necessary to attract and retain the most competent and the brightest talent in the tourism industry to uphold the image of the Maldives in the international community. Speaking at the opening ceremony of the “Workshop on Development of a Strategic Human Resource Tourism Plan for the Tourism Industry” held at Social Centre this morning, the Vice President said that the tourism industry requires creative, competent and dedicated staff for the industry as it is the defining factor of the Maldives’ image in the global world.
The parliamentary 241 committee is to summon police commissioner and defence chief today in its enquiry into Friday’s drowning accident in Kaaf atoll Hura that killed four students and principal of Hiriya School. Haveeru understands that the committee unanimously decided last evening to summon Chief of Defence Force Moosa Ali Jaleel at 9.30am and Commissioner of Police
Ahmed Faseeh at 10.30pm. Several people have claimed that the police and Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF) did not respond well to the report of the drowning accident – a claim denied by the police and armed forces. According to sources, ruling Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) members initially had different opinions over summoning the police commissioner and defence chief.
Saarc international I Thursday 15 September 2011
WEEKLY REVIEW OF NEPAL NEWS
Govt tables austerity plans in Cabinet
Tabled for a review in the Cabinet on Monday, the 102-point and 13page austerity code prepared by the Ministry of Finance proposes a range of measures--from making government officials fly on economy class tickets to banning alcohol at state-funded meetings or seminars. The code, the details of which were yet to be divulged, proposes no disbursement of additional funds to ministers beyond what has been approved officially in writing. Designated secretaries of ministries will strictly monitor the measures in their respective ministries.
The Cabinet on Monday dwelt on the draft titled “Directives for austerity measures in government expenditure2011” and decided to discuss more on it and solicit ministry-wise feedback and suggestions. The draft has been circulated to Cabinet members, a senior government official said. The proposed code is being delayed as one of the key ruling partners, Madeshi Morcha, has requested Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai to wait until they study it in bold detail. The next Cabinet meeting is likely to take a call on this, an official privy to the development told the Post.
According to officials, these measures will be strictly followed by the PM himself, the ministers and other senior government officials. All state-funded foreign trips and programmes and meetings, be they inside the country or outside, would be strictly observed to make sure that officials adhere to the austerity measures. Once the code is approved by the Cabinet, the PM, the foreign minister, Cabinet ministers and other government officials will have to fly economy class while travelling outside the country.
Media academy PM to fly economy class to New York South Asia and China trade fair in Nepal York on September 19. According to the organiser, the to be established According to officials at the Office fair will witness participation from
The government has begun the process of establishing a media academy with the aim of enhancing the capacity of media persons. Narayan Regmi, joint secretary at Ministry of Communications, said the government has earmarked Rs five million this fiscal for the media academy. As per the request of media organisations, the government has taken the initiative through the media academy, Regmi said. He informed that a study report had recommended setting up a Fund to help conflict affected journalists. Regmi said an evaluation panel for grading local newspapers has been established in 10 Tarai districts.
Prime Minister Dr Baburam Bhattarai has decided not to fly business class for his trip to New York, where he will attend United Nation´s 65th General Assembly. Prime Minister Bhattarai along with 12 delegates will leave for New
Dozen illegal weapons seized in 2 months
Banke police have launched a crackdown on smuggling of weapons into Nepal from India. A day after seizing two revolvers and two homemade pistols, Banke police on Friday seized two more home-made pistols. Police have seized 12 weapons of various types in the last two months alone. “As Dashain festival approaches, criminals are smuggling small arms from India to extort businessmen,” said SP Dinesh
Amatya of Banke police. “Therefore, we have launched a special operation to control arms smuggling.” According to the police, a homemade pistol costs only Rs 10,000. Small-time Indian weapon agents easily supply small arms to Nepal. The easy availability of arms has given rise to criminal activities. Police say that weapons smuggled from India are circulated across the country.
of Prime Minister and Council of Ministers (OPMCM), Dr Bhattarai has asked the officials to arrange for an economy class ticket for him and his delegation. “This is surprising but may set a precedent for others to follow.” Altogether, 13 members are leaving for New York to attend the UN General Assembly this time. “I know I am a peasant´s son and I mustn´t enjoy facilities that a majority of Nepalis are not enjoying,” an official quoted Dr Bhattarai as saying during the conversation with OPMCM officials. “Please, arrange economy class ticket for me and government delegates without any further debate,” he is reported to have said.
countries like China, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Thailand, Myanmar, Singapore, Japan and Nepal. The South-Asia & China Trade Fair 2011 is all set to kick off from Thursday in Bhrikuti Mandap, Kathmandu. The sixth installment of the event is being organised by Nepal China Executive Council (NCEC) and supported by Trade and Export Promotion Centre, Federation of Nepalese Chamber of Commerce and Industries and National Micro Entrepreneurs Federation Nepal. The five-day fair is being managed by Direction Nepal, one of the prominent names in the domestic event management set-up. The organiser expects that the fair will
successfully draw around 70,000 people. “Last year’s edition had fetched around 40,000 visitors. With Dashain on the horizon we feel that the figure of 70,000 is achievable,” said Khatri. Direction Nepal has left no stone unturned to manage the fair efficiently. “We have tried our best to deliver the best, mobilising all the possible resources,” said Khatri.
Peace process to be concluded in 45 days: FM
Nepal’s Maoist-led government will complete all works related to the stalled peace process, including integration of the former rebels with security forces in next 45 days as a breakthrough was expected soon, Finance Minister Barsha
Man Pun said Sunday. “There will be a break-through in the peace process soon,” he said.”All the works relating to the peace process including integration and rehabilitation of the Maoist combatants will be completed in
the next 45 days,” Pun told PTI in an interview in the capital.He underlined that the governmentled by Prime Minister Babu Ram Bhattarai is committed to conclude the peace process within one-anda-half months.
Saarc international I Thursday 15 September 2011
WEEKLY REVIEW OF SRILANKA NEWS
UN under pressure to re-examine Lanka ‘abuses’ The alleged abuses took place in the final stages of the civil war in 2009. A report commissioned by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon says that both sides committed violations.The UN Human Rights Council, meeting in Geneva, is under growing pressure to re-examine alleged violations of human rights which took place in Sri Lanka. The alleged abuses took place in the final stages of the civil war in 2009. A report commissioned by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon says that both sides committed violations. An earlier council session on Sri Lanka stopped short of condemning violations and congratulated the government on bringing the civil war to an end. That was a move that was harshly criticised by human rights groups. The BBC’s Imogen Foulkes in Geneva says that Sri Lanka is not formally on the agenda of this Human Rights Council session. But our correspondent says that if, as expected, Mr Ban’s report lands on the desks of council member states in the next day or two, the pressure on them to act will be immense. The report - compiled by a panel of UN human rights experts - documents widespread violations committed by both sides during the closing stages of Sri Lanka’s conflict with
Tamil Tiger rebels. Allegations of summary executions, the shelling of hospitals and the use of civilians as human shields would, if proved true, the report says, constitute war crimes and crimes against humanity. Sri Lanka has reacted angrily to the possibility of being debated once again at the Human Rights Council - its government is particularly irritated that Ban Ki-moon’s report recommends an independent investigation into the alleged violations, something the council could authorise. Sri Lanka has set up its own Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission to address grievances - but human rights groups say
President, Blake discuss LLRC
ssistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Robert O. Blake during his meeting with President Mahinda Rajapaksa today discussed the report by the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC).
prejudge the report but to view it objectively and dispassionately. The group present at the meeting included the Minister of External Affairs and Secretary to the President Lalith Weeratunga. They informed Mr. Blake that talks with the Tamil National
Minister of External Affairs Prof. G. L. Peiris speaking to the Daily Mirror stated that Mr. Blake had inquired about the LLRC report and that the President assured him that the report would be out mid-November and that the government would decide on its next course of action based on this report. He had further called on the international community to not
Alliance would resume on Friday. “We informed him that these talks would resume and this would carry forward the continuous and constructive dialogue between the two groups. He was very interested in this,” Minister Peiris said. Prof. Peiris also stated that the President dispelled any myths held by Mr. Blake that there was militarisation of the North. “We told him that there was no such thing.
that body is biased in favour of the government and is deeply flawed. Earlier on Monday, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights
(UNHCR) Navi Pillai said that anti-terror measures adopted by member states had frequently been designed “with insufficient regard
for human rights”. She said that Sri Lanka was an example of states “undermining rights to combat terrorism... And fostering a culture of diffidence and discrimination”. In Sri Lanka, “the response of successive governments over the years has undermined independent institutions, human rights and the rule of law”, she said. But Plantations Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe - who is in Geneva on behalf of the Sri Lankan government - denounced the UNHCR as being “biased... and departing from well-established principles and procedures”. He said that the government had already taken measures to improve the rights situation.
Blake calls on Secretary Defence
U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Robert O. Blake on his five-day official visit to Sri Lanka and India paid a courtesy call om Secretary Defence Mr Goatabaya Rajapaksa this evening, 12th September. Assistant Secretary Mr Blake was accompanied by US Ambassador to Sri Lanka H.E. Ms. Patricia Butenis at the meeting. Today morning, Assistant Secretary of State Robert O. Blake met with H.E President Mahinda Rajapaksa. During his stay in Colombo he will meet with government officials, civil society representatives,
university students and political leaders while in Sri Lanka, government information department reported.
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Saarc international I Thursday 15 September 2011
63rd death anniversary of Quaid-i-Azam observed
he 63rd death anniversary of founder of Pakistan Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah is being observed here on Sunday with respect to the father of the nation.
In the morning, Quran Khawani was held at the Quaid’s mausoleum in Karachi, where Sindh Governor Ishrat-ul-Ibad and provincial cabinet members attended the prayer.
Governor Ishratul Ibad and cabinet members laid floral wreaths at the mausoleum, while representatives of three armed forces of Pakistan also visited the mausoleum and
laid floral wreaths.Earlier, President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Gilani called upon the people to adhere to the principles of Quaid-i-Azam.
On judges and journalists Pakistan may not have democracy in the sense the world knows. Nor will it pass the muster in the economic ﬁeld. But it has to its credit independent judiciary & free media which the lawyers and journalists have won after long battles in their respective.
* No democracy without their freedom Bangladesh and Sri Lanka cannot emulate Pakistan because both countries have authoritarian rules, Sheikh Hasina at Dhaka and Mahinda Rajapakse at Colombo. The judiciary and the media exercise independence to the extent the two allow. India is a different cup of tea. The country’s constitution and the democratic system guarantee free functioning of both the judiciary and the media. Yet the baffling point is that the Manmohan Singh government, battered by scams running to a loss of billions of dollars and the Anna Hazare movement, did not interfere in the functioning of either the judiciary or the media. However, while licking the wounds the government has begun a new way of thinking: should the media and the judiciary have the freedom they enjoy? It is like finding fault with the sea after the ship has been wrecked because the captain failed to act. Home
Minister P Chidambaram, Human Resources Development Minister Kapil Sibal and the experienced Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee are reported to have urged the PM to “do something” to correct the two. For action against the media, the suppressed report by the Press Council of India has come in handy. ‘Paid news’ is not to the liking of journalists or the people. And it would help cleanse the field if the guilty could be spotted and punished. But the government’s proposed remedy is to give teeth to the council. Such a measure has been discussed many a time and rejected because the Press Council is not another law court, but a forum where peers judge peers. The sanction is moral and ethical, not legal. The government’s proposal may defeat the very purpose of the council. Talking to bodies like editors’ guild and union of journalists may be more beneficial. Rajiv Gandhi, hurt by the criticism on the Bofors gun scandal, tried to have an antidefamation act. There was such a widespread protest that he had to beat a hasty retreat. In democracy, the media hands have a duty to perform. They cannot be silenced by the group of ministers or even the entire cabinet. Left to the government, nothing would appear in the press except official handouts. The government’s mind is clear from the manner in which its television network, Doordarshan, treated the Hazare movement. It just did
not cover it, the biggest story since Gandhian Jayaprakash Narayan’s movement in 1974. India’s taxpayers finance Doordarshan. It does not have to depend on advertisement.
Tribune Comment Readers or viewers would always revert to private avenues to get the news. This is exactly what happened when the Congress government imposed censorship in 1975. The fact is that no government wants strong media or judiciary. It has a way to indirectly influence the judiciary because the budgetary allocations are made by the
Rattled by the Hazare movement, the government is playing its old game by digging out cases against Hazare team members Prashant Bhushan, Arvind Khejerwal and Kiran Bedi. And I do not know why Manish Tewari who rescued himself from the standing committee should return to it? Is the government serious about working of the standing committee? As for the judiciary, the members of different parties are peeved over the obiter dicta of judges’ while hearing a case. Such remarks never make part of their judgment. For example, a Supreme Court judge said a few days ago that people would teach a lesson to the government. This was a realistic assessment against the background of the countrywide anti-corruption movement. It is apparent the government and the opposition have not liked the remark. But should parliament go overboard to counter it? Giving vent to their annoyance,
As for the judiciary, the members of different parties are peeved over the obiter dicta of judges’ while hearing a case. Such remarks never make part of their judgment. government. Media can be ‘disciplined’ through corporate sectors which have large advertisement budgets.
members of a house panel of parliament have recommended to the government to set up a mechanism to scrutinise the
declaration of assets by the Supreme Court and High Court judges (what about the cabinet ministers who too have declared their assets?). But the bizarre proposal is that the media should be prohibited from publishing names of judges under probe. This reminds me of the days of the emergency (1975-77) when no judgment could be published without clearance from the authorities. Whether names are published or not they soon become talk of the town. All this should not in any way affect the independence of the judiciary. Hazare did well to keep it separate from the ambit of Lokpal. After all, the Lokpal pronouncements are subject to a judicial review. How could, therefore, the judiciary come under the Lokpal? Yet, the judges should shed their sensitivity over what forms contempt. There is a lesson in how Lord Chancellor in the UK treated a remark after a judgment. The remark was that he was an old fool. His reply was that he was indeed old. As for being a fool, it was a matter of opinion. He let the matter rest at that. High Courts and Supreme Court judges in the subcontinent should take a lesson from Lord Chancellor’s attitude. They use the rule of contempt of court at the drop of a hat. The authority should rarely use it but never against the media. The two are on the same side. The writer is a senior Indian journalist.
Saarc international I Thursday 15 September 2011
MERE BROTHER KI DULHAN: LONDON PREMIERE
he BFI at the Southbank was abuzz with activity last week as Bollywood hotties Katrina Kaif, Imran Khan and Ali Zafar, along with director Ali Abbas Zafar, were
present to talk about their latest film with Ameet Chana. The occasion was an exclusive “In Conversation” with the stars and the director of the latest YRF blockbuster - Mere Brother Ki
Dulhan (translated as My Brother’s Bride) – hosted by Yash Raj Films in association with Asiana.tv, Cineworld, B4U and Etihad Airways. Later that evening, the stars
descended at the Cineworld Cinema in Feltham, for the red-carpet London premiere of the film. Fans of all ages and from across London gathered outside the cinema to catch a glimpse
It was a state of frenzied excitement, as dancers dressed in traditional Punjabi costumes welcomed the stars of the film and the director with dholaks, trumpets and the works! You almost felt you were at a real wedding! The film is an out-and-out romantic comedy set in the world of the upper middleclass of Northern India. Kush Agnihotri (Imran Khan) is looking for the ideal Indian bride for his Londonabiding brother Luv Agnihotri (Ali Zafar). After an array of entertaining, wacky and mildly crazy encounters with several families, Kush finally finds the perfect girl in Dimple Dixit (Katrina Kaif). Luv is smitten by her, the families approve of one another, and preparations for the wedding are in full swing… but there is just one problem: Kush and Dimple fall in love! What follows is a comical and unpredictable series of events in this topsy-turvy tale of love. “The comedy is over-played and deliberate in this film; it’s a louder style of humour which is more Ali’s (director) form,” Imran said, while Katrina admitted that she herself was surprised at the lead pair’s chemistry in the film. “You actually feel the romantic moments in the film, despite it essentially being a complete comedy,” she said, to which
Imran added, “You can’t develop chemistry, it’s either there or its not. We were fortunate that it worked with us!” Being a love triangle, could the stars relate to their characters? “An actor doesn’t always need personal
with your partner. You can make grand romantic gestures and give her a bouquet of roses every day, but that could be all paint and plaster. I believe in actually making it work, rather than making it look like its working!”
brother, Luv Agnihotri (Ali Zafar) has a job in London. Luv has just had a break-up from his girlfriend of several years, Piyali (Tara D’Souza). Luv telephones Kush, asking him to bride-hunt for him. He’s confident that his younger brother would be
experience to relate to a role,” Katrina smiled, telling us that she’s even played a murderer in one of her films! The recently married Imran, meanwhile, revealed his love tips: “A marriage works on the basis of the foundation of the relationship, the actual bricks and mortar. In the end, it all boils down to how you are
Mere Brother Ki Dulhan is written and directed by Ali Abbas Zafar and produced by Aditya Chopra, the film released worldwide on September 9th. Yash Raj Films’ Mere Brother Ki Dulhan is a love story. Kush Agnihotri (Imran Khan) works as an assistant director in Bollywood. His elder
able to find a girl of his taste, as both the brothers have similar tastes. Now begins Kush’s hunt for a duhlan for his brother. After many failed attempts, he finally meets Dimple Dixit (Katrina Kaif), daughter of a bureaucrat (Kanwaljeet), when her father invites Kush in response to a matrimonial ad for Luv. Kush is
Photo Credit: Sohail Anjum / Asiana.TV of their favourite Bollywood ‘dulhan’, the newest Khan-on-the-block and the Pop Prince of Pakistan, Ali Zafar. shocked to meet Dimple as he knows her as a wild, fun-loving, bold but endearing girl whom he had met five years ago on an excursion. The two families also approve of the liaison and so preparations for the marriage of Luv and Dimple begin in right earnest. Although the Agnihotris live in Dehradun, the marriage is scheduled to be held in Delhi where the Dixits stay. In the course of the preparations, Dimple and Kush fall in love with one another, a fact Dimple realises on the first day she goes out with Luv when he arrives in Delhi from London for the marriage. Dimple speaks her heart out to Kush who takes a little longer to realise that he too is in love with her. Dimple forces Kush to elope with her. Does Kush oblige? Is it so easy for the two lovers to unite? Or do they sacrifice their love for one another? Does Luv get to know that he is about to get married to a girl who loves his brother and whom his brother too loves? And what about Piyali? Answers to these questions are revealed in the latter part of the film. On the whole, Mere Brother Ki Dulhan has reasonable entertainment value, very good music, exciting song picturisations and an impressive start to make it a rewarding experience for all concerned.
Bollywood’s Legend Bachchan Makes His Hollywood Debut in Baz Luhrmann’s THE GREAT GATSBY
Bollywood megastar Amitabh Bachchan has said he will act for free in his first Hollywood role in director Baz Luhrmann’s new screen adaptation of the classic novel “The Great Gatsby”. The 68-year-old wrote on his blog Sunday that he was making “a mere one scene appearance as a friendly gesture” in the film, which also stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire and Carey Mulligan. Bachchan’s character, Meyer Wolfsheim, is a shadowy organised
crime figure who helps the mysterious millionaire Jay Gatsby make his money in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s 1925 novel. The “Big B”, as he is known to his millions of devoted fans in India and
across the world, said he agreed to take part after Luhrmann - a Bollywood fan - visited India last year. “He called last month and wondered if I would do this small role in his film and I agreed. It is a gesture. I have
refused any remuneration on this too,” he wrote on bigb.bigadda.com, in his first comments on the film. Bachchan visited Australia last month but did not disclose why. On Sunday he revealed that he was in Sydney to take part in a preliminary readthrough of the script with the cast, as well as have hair, make-up and costume rehearsals. “It has been a wonderful experience to be a part of their (Hollywood’s) system and to observe with what detail and diligence they work,” he added.
Bachchan is considered the elder statesman of Hindi-language cinema and has starred in more than 150 films. He is best known for his roles in the 1970s hits “Sholay” (Sparks), “Deewaar” (Wall) and “Don”. Australian director Baz Luhrmann will shoot a new 3D version of The Great Gatsby in Sydney later this year. Luhrmann has brushed off New York, which is the actual setting for F Scott Fitzgerald’s classic 1920s novel, and chosen Sydney’s Fox Studios for the production.
South Asia Tribune I Thursday 15 September 2011
India, Pakistan to continue dialogue process Activity on initiating the second round of post-Mumbai attack talks will start after the visit by Pakistan Commerce Minister Makhdoom Amin Fahim towards this month end when officials expect a big ticket announcement to expand trade ties.Even as investigators trace the roots of Wednesday’s Delhi High Court blast, India and Pakistan will shortly begin work on continuing with their dialogue process on all outstanding issues, said government sources.Activity on initiating the second round
of post-Mumbai attack talks will start after the visit by Pakistan
Commerce Minister Makhdoom Amin Fahim towards this month
end when officials expect a big ticket announcement to expand
trade ties. With External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna slated to visit Pakistan in the second half of next year, meaning by June end, officials said both sides would be looking at dates “between now and then” to begin talks on eight subjects. Officials expect talks between Mr. Fahim and Commerce Minister Anand Sharma to set the tone for the next round of comprehensive talks that will cover subjects from terrorism to culture.
Industrial growth falls to 3.3 per cent in July CBI questions top director of Maxis
Growth in the factory output, as measured in terms of the Index of Industrial Production (LIP), had stood at 9.9 per cent in July last year.Industrial growth fell to a meagre 3.3 per cent in July this year on account of poor performance mainly by capital
goods, manufacturing and mining sectors, reflecting sluggishness in the economy.Growth in the factory output, as measured in terms of the Index of Industrial Production (LIP), had stood at 9.9 per cent in July last year. During the April-July period of
this fiscal, IIP growth stood at 5.8 per cent, as against 9.7 per cent in the corresponding fourmonth period last year.Output of the manufacturing sector, which constitutes over 75 per cent of the index, grew by only 2.3 per cent in July compared to 10.8 per cent expansion in the same month last year, according the official data released today. Production of capital goods declined by 15.2 per cent in July, in comparison to a growth of 40.3 per cent in the same month of 2010. The growth in mining production was 2.8 per cent in the month, down from 8.7 per cent in the same month last year.Production of intermediate goods fell by 1.1 per cent during the month under review against a growth of 8.5 per cent in July 2010.
uestioning focuses on Maran brothers’ alleged links. Speeding up its probe into the Aircel deal, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Monday questioned Ralph Marshall, a top director in Malaysia-based telecom firm Maxis. Sources in the CBI said Mr. Marshall, who enjoys number two position in Maxis, was quizzed about the Aircel deal and his alleged links with the former Telecom Minister, Dayanidhi Maran, and his brother Kalanithi Maran, who
heads the Sun television network. The questioning focussed on the alleged connections of the Maran brothers with the Malaysian firm even before it took over Aircel. After registering a preliminary enquiry (PE), the CBI is probing the allegation that Mr. Dayanidhi Maran as Telecom Minister had deliberately delayed giving licences to Aircel and pressured its promoter C. Sivasankaran into selling the firm to the Maxis group, owned by T. Ananda Krishnan in March 2006.
Auction of 3G licences: Finance minister Sensex rebounds in opening trade forms body to resolve dispute on firm Asian cues
Auction of 3G licences: Finance minister forms body to resolve dispute. The cabinet committee, which was constituted by the prime minister to examine the auction of 3G spectrum and the Share Purchase Agreement (SPA) of Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited (PTCL) with Etisalat, met here on Friday with Finance Minister Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh in the chair. Sources said that pros and cons of the auction of 3G spectrum were discussed during the meeting. It was decided that a subcommittee would be formed, which would look into the details of the matter. They said that there were differences over the interpretation of an agreement between Pakistan and the international telecom player reached at the time of the sale of shares of the state-owned telecommunication company.The telecom giant was of the opinion that Pakistan could not sell a new telecom licence for any spectrum
until seven years, which would end in March 2013. The government has taken the position that 3G licence is not something new, but actually
China Mobile.With regard to the transfer of PTCL properties to the provinces and departments concerned, the
an extension of existing services. It has also a different interpretation of the time limit.The issue of the long distance and international (LDI) licence to China Mobile also came under discussion during the meeting. The finance minister said that the Ministry of Information Technology could negotiate with Etisalat for granting the licence to
meeting participants were told that out of 3,248 properties of PTCL, 3,101 properties had been transferred to the provinces and the departments concerned.The finance minister directed the secretary of the Ministry of Information Technology to prepare a report about the rest of the properties, which would be sent to the prime
minister for further action.Shaikh also approved recommendations about the wireless local loop auction and its policy directives. The finance secretary, Planning Commission’s deputy chairman, Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) chairman and senior officials from Etisalat and the Ministry of Information Technology were also present in the meeting.
The 30-share BSE index, which has lost almost 665 points over the previous two sessions, rose by 180.04 points, or 1.09 per cent, to 16,681.78 in the first five minutes of trade this morning. The Bombay Stock Exchange benchmark Sensex gained over 180 points in opening trade on Tuesday on fresh buying influenced by firm cues from other Asian bourses amid easing concerns about the euro zone debt crisis. The 30-share BSE index, which has lost almost 665 points over the previous two sessions, rose by 180.04 points, or 1.09 per cent, to 16,681.78 in the first five minutes of trade this morning. All the sectoral indices were trading in positive terrain, with gains of up to 2.08 per cent. In a similar fashion, the widebased National Stock Exchange Nifty Index moved up by 47.90 points, or 0.97 per cent, to 4,994.70.
South Asia Tribune I Thursday 15 September 2011
Pakistan: Basic food prices rose by 74pc in 3 years
he cost of basic food items increased by 74 per cent in three years (from June 2008 to 2011), leading to increased hunger and malnutrition, according to official findings. Based on data provided by the Federal Bureau of Statistics, Ministry of Food and other public sector organisations, the Planning Commission has noted that “given the continued sharp increase in prices of staple, mainly wheat, vegetable ghee and sugar, during the second half of 2010, and follow up in the first half of 2011, the
years and of sugar by 163pc. The prices of meat, pulses and milk went up by 103pc, 89pc and 85pc, respectively. A comparatively low increase was witnessed in prices of rice, 44pc, vegetable ghee, 66pc, and vegetables 39pc.
number of people suffering from chronic hunger is likely to have increased further”.
Finance Ministry seeks details of MoU with China
The cost of 2,150 calories, needed to keep the body and soul together, increased from Rs960 to Rs1,670,
a hike of 74 per cent. The report said the price of wheat flour increased by 78pc in three
General estimates suggest an additional five per cent per year increase in the number of undernourished people over the national estimates of the proportion of the undernourished in 2009 to 2011.
Pakistan and Malaysia agree to expand trade ties P
hina is providing financing to Pakistan in the form of grants, concessional loans, preferential buyer’s credit and export buyer’s credit at different rates in which $1748 million and RMB270 million have already been provided to Pakistan. Finance Minister Dr. Abdul Hafeez Shaikh has sought complete details of the memorandums of understanding (MOUs) signed with China along with their financial implications from the Economic
Affairs Division and Ministry of Commerce. Finance Minister gave these directives while chairing the China portfolio review meeting. China is providing financing to Pakistan in the form of grants, concessional loans, preferential buyer’s credit and export buyer’s credit at different rates in which $1748 million and RMB270 million have already been provided to Pakistan on different portfolios in the recent past.
akistan and Malaysia have agreed to enhance bilateral economic cooperation and explore avenues for joint ventures in a host of sectors including agriculture, construction and Halal industry. The understanding to “tap full potential of bilateral economic relations” was reached here at the first ever meeting of the Pakistan Malaysia Joint Committee on Review of the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between the two countries. According to message received here from Malaysia, the meeting co-chaired by Zafar Mahmood, Secretary Commerce, Government of Pakistan, and Datuk Dr Rebecca Fatima Sta Maria, Secretary General, Ministry of International Trade
& Industry (MITI), undertook a comprehensive review of the performance of FTA with special focus on customs procedures, concessions under trade in
goods and services, preferential treatment to products and issues relating to the establishment of sub-committees for trade and goods, investment and services.
Big Indian investors likely to visit Bangladesh next month
“The big Indian investing companies are interest to invest in gas drilling, tyre manufacturing, gas pipeline, power grid project, railway and telecommunication sectors in Bangladesh,” India -Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce and Industry told a briefing.At least seven large Indian investors including. Tata Steel, Bharat Heavy Electricals, Airtel, and RPG Group (CEAT Tyre) are expected to visit Bangladesh early next month to submit their large investment
proposals to the government. This was disclosed by India -Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce and Industry (IBCCI) President Abdul Matlub Ahmed Saturday in Dhaka.”The big Indian investing companies are interest to invest in gas drilling, tyre manufacturing, gas pipeline, power grid project, railway and telecommunication sectors in Bangladesh,” Matlub told a briefing, arranged at a local hotel to analyse the impact of recent visit of Indian Prime Minister Dr.
Manmohan Singh to Bangladesh. Mittal of Airtel, Harsh Goenka of RPG Group, vice chairman of Tata Steel B Muthuraman and chairman of Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited B Prasad Rao are among the top Indian investors who are likely to visit Bangladesh.Each of the large Indian companies has proposed investment worth above $1.0 billion, Matlub added saying discussion on the proposed investment has already been started with Board of
Investment.A Special Economic Zone for Indian investment is being planned at Chhatak, Sylhet on 100 acres of land, which is owned by Nitol Group, the IBCCI President said.The proposed investment may be in the form of joint venture, Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) or under the Public Private Partnership (PPP) initiative, Matlub elaborated. Terming the recent visit of Indian Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh to Bangladesh a success, the IBCCI President said the deals
signed during the visit would be beneficial for both the countries, particularly for Bangladesh. Matlub claimed under transit arrangement, the businessmen of India, Bhutan and Nepal were ready to provide logistics to Bangladesh government at half of the current cost for carrying goods from one country to another and from one state to another state of India.He expressed the hope that both the agreements on transit and sharing of Tessta water would be signed within 2011.
South Asia Tribune I Thursday 15 September 2011
Europe’s biggest shopping centre opens
Europe’s largest urban shopping centre and gateway to the new Olympic Park has opened its doors to the public with a star-studded event on Tuesday. Westfield Stratford City shopping centre in east London will be home to more than 300 shops, 70 restaurants, a 14-screen cinema, three hotels, a bowling alley and the UK’s largest casino. A mix of celebrities and Olympians will be there to launch stores and sign autographs. The opening will be hosted by Pixie Geldof and Nick Grimshaw, with pop star Nicole Scherzinger performing live. Kelly Brook will be at New Look, whilst synchronised swimmer Jenna Randall and rower Andy Triggs-
Hodge will open Next’s new shop. Key retailers such as Marks & Spencer and John Lewis have taken outlets of more than 200,000 sq ft and 95 per cent of the centre’s 1.9 million sq ft has been rented.
Top Shop, Apple, Prada, Hollister, Nike, Hugo Boss and Mulberry are among the retailers due to open stores at the centre, which cost £1.4 billion. As well as being the access point for
the Olympics, Westfield Stratford City will have large screens to show the main sporting events. The new Westfield Stratford City complex? Ten facts: 1. Westfield Stratford City is a £1.45 billion development comprising 1.9 million sq ft of retail and leisure, as well as 1.1 million sq ft of office space, three hotels and homes. 2. The shopping centre is located next to the Olympic Park and will form the gateway to the Olympic Games in 2012. 3. Up to 8,500 permanent jobs will be provided by the retail sector at the shopping centre. 4. There will be 300 fashion, food and lifestyle brands including H&M, Next, Topshop, River Island, Primark,
Boots, WH Smith and Monsoon. 5. There will be 50 restaurants including Wagamama, GBK, Strada, Pizza Express, Nandos, Jom Makan, Las Iguanas, TGI Friday and Giraffe. 6. 70 per cent of visitors to the Olympic Games will pass through the centre on their way to the Olympic Park. 7. Westfield Stratford City will be the first UK shopping centre to have a fresh food market called the Great Eastern Market. 8. There are 58 trains per hour connecting Westfield Stratford City to central London. 9. There are 5,000 car parking spaces on site. 10. A 253,000 sq ft rainwater harvesting system will be incorporated into the main retail centre.
Britain offers ‘bribes’ to Tube drivers
Tube drivers to get £1,800 bonus not to strike during the Olympics Tube drivers are set to receive a cash bonus of up to £1,800 simply by turning up for work during next year’s Olympics, it was disclosed yesterday. Britain has offered train drivers £1,800 bonuses in bribes to encourage them not to give in to union demands for strike during the London Olympics next summer. The hefty bonuses were offered by transport chiefs amid concerns that the National Union of Rail,
Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT) would stage industrial action at the time of the Games and spark unprecedented chaos in the capital, British media reported. Union bosses are threatening to launch the “biggest campaign of civil disobedience in Britain’s history”, disrupting public services and blocking motorways as well as declaring they are ready to ‘go to prison’ in protest at proposed changes to pensions. Public sector unions are also expected to move closer to a
UK officials at odds on IMF comments
British officials have clashed over recommendations made for improving the dire situation of the British economy by the managing director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF). As British Chancellor, George Osborne, insisted that his deficit reduction plans were “appropriate” and endorsed by the head of IMF, Christine Lagarde. Britain’s Shadow Chancellor, Ed Balls, has called for Osborne to seek alternative economic policies maintaining that the Chancellor had misunderstood Lagarde’s comments. Speaking in London ahead of the G7
meeting, Lagarde referred to Osborne’s economic policies as she said: “The policy stance remains appropriate, but this heightened risk means a heightened readiness to respond - particularly if it looks like the economy is headed for a prolonged period of weak growth and high unemployment.” Osborne interpreted her comments as strong support for his deficit plan as he called it Britain’s “rock of stability.” Osborne claimed that any change in the economic policies he has employed would inflict severe damage on British homeowners and businesses.
‘winter of discontent’ on Wednesday by announcing widespread ballots for a wave of strikes, according to the reports. MPs condemned the proposed payments as a ‘bribe’, and said they are astonished to understand that the £1,800 bonus deal with Tube drivers does not even include a no-
winning side will automatically get a cash reward of Rs.1.5 lakh each. “Today, I have called all of you to clarify a small thing that I think has unnecessarily snowballed into a big controversy. There is a government scheme of the Sports Ministry, which provides for cash awards to various medal winners in international events. And this is a scheme, which is there in existence even before I took over as Sports Minister. And, a number of times in Parliament, I have made a mention
of this scheme,” Maken told media persons here. Maken said the government has distributed 48.14 crore rupees in cash awards to different players who have won gold, silver or bronze in international events through this scheme The Indian hockey team had earlier rejected Hockey India’s cash reward, saying the paltry amount of Rs.25,000 each was not proper recognition of their achievement. India defeated Pakistan 4-2 in the Asian Champions Trophy finals on Sunday in Ordos, China.
the talks. “It’s outrageous, holding people to ransom. People should not have to be bribed just to do their job”, said Conservative MP Matthew Hancock. “The Olympics should be a celebration for London - not a chance for the travelling public to be ripped off”, added the MP.
Treasury loses five-year fight to conceal 40 names linked to collapsed bank BCCI
The Treasury has lost its five-year fight to conceal the names of 40 individuals and companies linked to BCCI, the fraudulent international bank that collapsed two decades ago. At first, the Treasury claimed the full release of the so-called “Sandstorm Report” into the bank’s activities would “prejudice the UK’s relationship with one or more other states”. It later challenged the release on the grounds of “data protection”, before finally losing its case at an Information Tribunal. The Daily Telegraph reported. According to the telegraph One of the
Indian hockey team for winning Asian Champions Trophy Continued from page 32 >>
strike clause. “The glaring omission leaves them free to pocket the cash and still cause mass disruption with industrial action”, said the MPs. “The drivers could have demanded fur coats for the wives or football season tickets for the men if they wanted”, said a senior source connected with
people whose name the Government was trying to protect is Agha Hassan Abedi, the Pakastani founder and former chief executive of BCCI, who has been dead for 16 years and was named by the Tribunal as playing a “pivotal role in both the development and decline of BCCI and the fraud and deception carried out by its management”.
that needlessly cost taxpayer, given that almost all of the information has now emerged through other channels. “The UK Government has clearly been
The Treasury had also redacted the names of states such as Dubai and Abu Dhabi, which had been connected as clients, plus companies, such as Bear Stearns, which was a broker to the bank. The Tribunal ruled: “There can be no possible reason for treating information about an entire country’s government [or a company] as personal data.” The daily Telegraph further reported The full publication of the report marks a victory for Professor Prem Sikka, a freedom of information campaigner, who is an accounting academic at the University of Essex. On Friday night, he accused the Government of a pointless cover-up
engaged in a massive cover-up and used taxpayers’ monies to fight the case,” Professor Sikka said. “Just look at the names of the individuals and organisations – these include wellknown domestic and foreign banks from home and abroad, rulers from the Middle East, business advisers and sundry. Some of the people have already been convicted of criminal activity, but even 20 years later the Government was protecting their identity.” The Tribunal ruled that in almost all cases there was legitimate or significant public interest in disclosure, overturning an earlier ruling by the Information Commissioner.
South Asia Tribune I Thursday 15 September 2011
Interview with Former FBI Agent Ali Soufan
‘We Did Exactly What Al-Qaida Wanted Us to Do’
Former FBI agent Ali Soufan successfully interrogated captured Islamist terrorists after 9/11 without resorting to “enhanced’ techniques. In a SPIEGEL interview, he revealed how he got jihadists to talk using tea and trucker magazines and explained how 9/11 could have been prevented.
SPIEGEL: How would you describe the state of the United States 10 years after 9/11, four months after the death of Bin Laden? Is this the beginning of the end of the story? Soufan: It is the beginning of a new era. I think today, al-Qaida is definitely, significantly damaged. The al-Qaida that attacked us on 9/11 does not exist anymore. Its central command is very, very weak. In these 10 years, because of mistakes made, the United States’ reputation was seriously damaged. But at the same time we have been working to reverse this damage: All secret jails have been closed. The enhanced interrogation techniques have been cancelled. Memos have been declassified, so we put it all out there and we said we face up to what we did. That’s very rare in any country around the world. SPIEGEL: You started investigating against Osama bin Laden and alQaida years before 9/11. Do you remember when you first heard bin Laden’s name? Soufan: The very first time I heard about him was in an Arabic magazine. They did an interview with him in Sudan and I was like: Who is this guy? Then I started reading about him in the papers and became a little bit concerned about the level of his rhetoric. And for a kid who grew up in Lebanon, I understood these kind of rhetorics. I kept following his statements until I joined the FBI in 1997. I mean it wasn’t like: Oh my God, we have to pay attention to that guy. It didn’t happen overnight. It was a process. But then, with bin Laden’s fatwa in February 1998, a new level of interest started. Then I was 100 percent convinced that something was going to happen. SPIEGEL: Your later boss at the FBI, John O’ Neill -- who left the service to become head of security at the World Trade Center and who died in the 9/11 attacks -- was also aware of the potential danger of alQaida at a very early stage. Soufan: John definitely understood the threat and I never met anyone who knows how to think about and work on a terrorism case in putting it together more than John. I learned a lot from him. I think he was phenomenal. And he saw the threat of bin Laden very early on, he continued fighting the fight. He saw
what was coming up, with the East Africa embassy bombing, with the U.S.S. Cole. He fought the fight until the day he left and he knew that the big one was coming. Unfortunately nobody paid attention to it. SPIEGEL: As you explain in your book, you are convinced that 9/11 might have been stopped if there had not been the so-called “Chinese wall” between the CIA and the FBI. Soufan: We always worked together. We worked together during the East Africa embassy bombing. We had a great relationship. But suddenly
“Holy crap, look what’s happening here.” For me, this is something beyond incompetence. SPIEGEL: In your book, you also criticize the fact that the US never really understood its enemy alQaida. Soufan: I think we definitely underestimated the ideological motivations for these groups: what makes people blow themselves up, the religious signification of alQaida. It’s not politics. The Chinese military strategist Sun Tzu said a long time ago: “If you know your
that wall appeared due also to the misunderstanding of new guidelines organizing the relationship of intelligence and law enforcement. Unfortunately that directly contributed to the lack of knowledge about 9/11. We had actionable intelligence we transferred to the CIA but there was no follow-up. SPIEGEL: What kind of information was that? Soufan: We were investigating the Cole incident in Yemen. And we had a person who participated in blowing up the ship -- killing 17 sailors, injuring 39 -- tell us he delivered money to a main al-Qaida guy. So people who were involved in the Cole incident delivered money to two people who later flew a plane into the Pentagon. People in our government knew that these two people were in the United States, in San Diego. So, when you’re doing an investigation and almost a year before you know about people moving and money and meetings, I think you have to understand that there are some limits to the wall. We had the lead, the CIA knew the identity of the two in San Diego but they did not put them on a no-fly list, they did not communicate their names to the State Department so that their visa would not be renewed. SPIEGEL: Did they ever apologize for that? Soufan: Yes, on Sept. 12, 2001, they told us: “Remember those two guys that delivered the money... Well they actually met two guys who we know and we didn’t tell you that before. Sorry.” Why didn’t they check their computer screens before and say
enemy and know yourself, you will win a hundred times in a hundred battles.” Unfortunately with the war on terror we forgot who we are, but also we didn’t know our enemy. Look at al-Qaida. On the eve of 9/11, they had about 400 operatives. They led us into a war longer than World War I and World War II. Not because they are such smart people, but because we did not understand our enemy. Instead, we applied waterboarding and enhanced interrogation techniques. We did exactly what alQaida wanted us to do. When you do this, what are you proving to the guy? You’re proving that everything he thinks about you is right. But if you come with a cup of tea, he doesn’t know how to act. SPIEGEL: That was your strategy
you are lying.” And we found out that indeed they did not fulfill the promise they made. I said to him, “OK, we messed up. Sorry, I apologize.” And I gave him the phone. SPIEGEL: Did your method work? Soufan: He couldn’t believe it. But after he made the phone call and he heard his wife’s voice, he kneeled and started crying and thanked God. We took him back, we gave him some water, tea. For about 20 minutes
Laden. He was driving the car when bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri were talking with each other about the fourth plane. He was there when Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (ed’s note: the planner of 9/11) briefed the leadership of al-Qaida about the 9/11 operation. He told us all that, he was willing to talk. It is another example of where I don’t think we played it right. SPIEGEL: You wanted him to be a key
he didn’t say a word. And then he started asking me about Yemen and then said: “OK, what do you want to know?” SPIEGEL: At the time you were one of the few agents who could speak fluent Arabic and able to quote the Koran in interrogations. Soufan: Sure, that helped. Many times I used to lay down on the ground next to to him, as if we were taking a nap, but we were talking. We brought fish sandwiches from McDonald’s to Hamdan and US truck and car magazines from the local shop in Guantanamo. He read them all. SPIEGEL: Truck magazines instead of waterboarding -- that was your
witness in the upcoming trials, even perhaps with a plea agreement? Soufan: Yes, but then they suddenly declared him an “enemy combatant” without even coordinating with us. So when you declare him an enemy combatant, you give him a lawyer. So the person who’s talking, you give him a lawyer so he can’t talk anymore even if he was cooperating. SPIEGEL: Who took that decision? Soufan: The White House, based on Pentagon recommendations, being under a lot of pressure to prosecute people. So they said, let’s declare them enemy combatants -- without thinking about the long-term effect of that. Hamdan was a historical witness, he could have been very useful for other cases and trials. Today, he is a free man, he had been sentenced to 5 years, time he already had spent in Guantanamo. He left quickly after the judgment. He is lost for us today. SPIEGEL: You also interrogated another important key terrorist supporter, Abu Zubaydah. President Bush praised his capture in March 2002 in Pakistan as a great victory. The US government mistakenly considered him to be the number three in al-Qaida. Later he would be the first detainee to be subjected to waterboarding. What kind of condition was he in when you saw him for the first time? Soufan: He was in a very bad health condition when we saw him after his capture. He was heavily injured
The White House, based on Pentagon recommendations, being under a lot of pressure to prosecute people. So they said, let’s declare them enemy combatants -- without thinking about the long-term effect of that. Hamdan was a historical witness, he could have been very useful for other cases and trials. as an interrogator, to come along with a cup of tea? Soufan: Every interrogation is different. You have to get them out of their comfort zone. Even if conditions are harsh, it can still be a comfort zone. Because you behave like they expect the enemy to behave. You have to confuse them. I interrogated bin Laden’s driver, Salim Hamdan, in Guantanamo. Another American before me had promised him that he could make a phone call to his wife. But he never could. When we came, he said to us: “All of you Americans,
recipe for success? Soufan: You don’t need to be tough. Why should you? Anyhow, he is in custody. He knows that you are the boss. You don’t have to act like a boss. SPIEGEL: Sounds nice, but what about the intelligence you gained from Hamdan? Soufan: He might have been a key witness in upcoming trials. He knows everyone, being bin Laden’s bodyguard, being bin Laden’s driver, being the person who always was with bin Laden, the closest to bin
Continued on page 30 >>
South Asia Tribune I Thursday 15 September 2011
The Feminist Revolution and The Last Age
The Qur’an likened the creation of the male and the female to that of the ‘night’ and the ‘day’, implying that they complement each other “… like twin-halves of a whole.” But they are also functionally different; hence a successful and harmonious malefemale relationship requires that the ‘day’ (i.e. the male) must function as ‘day’ and not try to become ‘night’, and similarly the ‘night’ (i.e., woman) must function as ‘night’ (which covers and conceals) and not try to become ‘day’. Prophet Muhammad (sallalahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) ordered, “. . when a girl reaches the age of puberty nothing must be seen of her body except this and this (he pointed to the face and hands).” And so Muslim women have always covered themselves in Hijab—concealing arms, legs, bellies, head, hair, etc., in loose-fitting clothing. Since women have a basic function of bearing and rearing children it was necessary that they be freed of an obligation to earn their livelihood. Thus the Qur’an obliged men to maintain, as well as to guard and protect them, and, in turn, obliged a
Continued from page 29 because there had been a shooting, that was a very big concern for us. But one of the things that happened is immediately upon his capture he was cooperating with us and because of his cooperation and because he was giving us some actionable intelligence, Washington said: Death is not an option. So we needed to do everything possible to keep him alive because he had a lot of good information. SPIEGEL: So you were treating his wounds and establishing a real relation with him? Soufan: Yes, and when his condition became really critical so that we got a call that he would die and that we should hurry up with our questions, we took him to a hospital where he underwent surgery. In the hospital, we continued the interrogations. During that time he told us about the last time he spoke with bin Laden, the people who were there, and what he wanted to do in this operation. And he gave us a location. I said: “So, who’s in charge of that operation?” He said so and so from bin Laden’s gang. And we knew so and so. We had his picture, it was on the 22 “most wanted” terrorists poster. SPIEGEL: So, once again your method was successful? Soufan: In fact, by accident it was. I said to my partner: “Give me the photo of that guy.” And he loaded it out of the poster of the 22 most wanted on his Palm Pilot, as we had no FBI photobook with us. We both had the same guy in our mind. Then he gave his Palm to me, you know these old ones, with the small
Shiekh Imran Hossein
Tribune Comment woman to be obedient to her husband or guardian. Men and women ought to marry in Allah’s blessed name, and live in accordance with His guidance. Then, says the Qur’an, “… Allah places love and kindness betwix their hearts” in consequence of which they experience Sukun, i.e., peace, contentment and tranquility. But Prophet Muhammad (sallalahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) warned that among the signs of the Last Day was Dajjal the False Messiah or Anti-Christ. “… The last people to follow him would be women”, and his spell over women would be such that “… a man would have to return to his home and screen. We hit the wrong photo without realising. So, I gave the Palm to Zubaydah asking him if this was the guy we were talking about. And he said: “No.” And I really got pissed off, because we had cleaned the guy, we kept him alive, we thought we had something and now he was lying to us. And I said: “Oh yeah, and who is this?” And he looked at me and said: “Don’t play games with me, brother. This is Mukhtar. This is the guy who did 9/11.” I’d been hearing about this guy Mukhtar, I knew he was important, so I looked at it and it was Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. At that time we did not know that KSM, as we called him, was a member of Al-Qaida. So Zubaydah gave us the details of what happened on 9/11. It wasn’t waterboarding. It wasn’t torture. It was an accident and a lot of luck and a certain kind of relation we had with him. SPIEGEL: President Bush confirmed that the important revelation that KSM had been the chief planner of 9/11 came from Zubaydah but said it was one of the results of the “enhanced interrogation techniques.” Soufan: I know that version. Bush presented it as the success of the EITs. It was not. The CIA contractors who later used enhanced interrogation techniques on Zubaydah in a blacksite prison, at a location I cannot reveal to you, were not even on the ground at that time. It was Zubaydah in his hospital bed who told us how Khalid Sheikh Mohammed came up with this idea to him. KSM was trying to find a sponsor for the operation and Zubaydah said to him: “Go talk to Bin Laden. He will sponsor you.” He told it to us, not to the CIA.
tie down (i.e., coercively restrain) his wife, sister and daughter to protect them from being seduced by Dajjal.” This prophecy indicated that women would be deceived and swept off their feet by something that would turn their world upside down. It would appear to be positive, whereas the reality would be destructive. Indeed, it would be in consequence of Dajjal’s attack that the ‘night’ would attempt to become ‘day’. The Prophet prophesied 1400 years ago that women would “… dress like men”. This is already manifesting in
would culminate with people committing “… sexual intercourse in public like donkeys.” One has to be absolutely blind not to recognize that this prophecy is today fulfilled. Trinidad’s Carnival, for example, is now dominated by women many of whom are bent on parading their nakedness in a truly pagan public display of flesh and vulgarity. And many there must be who participated in Carnival yesterday, but who today turn away in disgust! The best secular response to this wanton destruction of every sacred
And so children rebel and become uncontrollable, even for the police. But they also pay back their parents in the same coin by placing them, in their old age, in daycare centers for the aged that are really junkyards of human beings. the modern feminist revolution. He also prophesied, “… women would be dressed and yet be naked”, indicating that the feminist revolution would spawn a sexual revolution that SPIEGEL: Do you know of any really decisive intelligence that was obtained under torture or under the special interrogation techniques? Soufan: Nothing I can think of. If you tell me that we saved lives because of that, maybe I’ll shut my mouth. But most of the people who went to Iraq to fight against us in Iraq, their motivation were the pictures of Abu Ghraib. So, basically, it cost lives. And I just do not believe in these methods. After 183 sessions of waterboarding, 9/11 planner Khalid Sheikh Mohammed still lied about the so-called Kuwaiti, Abu Ahmed al-Kuwaiti, the courier who finally led us to bin Laden this May. KSM claimed that he was a lowlevel guy and not important. We now know this was not true. SPIEGEL: The CIA heavily redacted your new book “The Black Banners” and blacked out numerous parts, especially those about the enhanced interrogation techniques. Did you expect this kind of reaction? Soufan: As a former FBI agent I had to submit the book to my former agency, which I left in 2006 because I could no longer continue there. I wanted to start something new. I was very surprised by the CIA’s reaction. They even blackened it when I said “I” or “me” or “our.” They blackened things I said in a public Senate hearing. I mean, it is all public. They redacted things that were already in the public domain. This is absurd, completely absurd. I plan to compel disclosure of the redacted information through legal means now. SPIEGEL: Mr. Soufan, thank you very much for this interview. Interview conducted by Britta Sandberg.
value that binds the sexes together is a public distribution of condoms. The implication of this dramatic and ominous fulfilment of those prophesies is that a society that
so corrupts itself eventually self destructs. Neither government nor opposition have a clue of how to prevent such an ignominious end. “The sun rising from the West”, which is a major sign of the Last Day, appears to represent modern Western civilization’s ‘upside down’ world in which, among many other things, women abandon their primary responsibility of rearing children in order to dress like men and go out to work full-time the way men do. The daycare center becomes the new Mummy. The child never forgets, and never forgives this neglect. And so children rebel and become uncontrollable, even for the police. But they also pay back their parents in the same coin by placing them, in their old age, in daycare centers for the aged that are really junkyards of human beings. Truly, modern Western civilization’s feminist revolution has succeeded in causing the ‘night’ to become ‘day’ with dire consequences for society. Yet, with a deceptive smile, that false Western sunrise declares to her, “You’ve come a long way baby.”
Norman Mailer once advised another author to wait 10 years before writing about the attacks of September 11 because “it will take that long for you to make sense of it.” The estimate by the prominent New York novelist and journalist, who died in 2007, may have been premature.
As the world marks a decade since the attacks, literary circles are still waiting for a definitive work on the topic. “The world has changed since 9/11 and our culture has changed but I haven’t yet seen the book or the movie or the poem or the song that captures the people we are now and helps us redefine who we are in this new post 9/11 world,” Said Lawrence wright in an interview. Lawrence Wright a New Yorker
writer, brings exhaustive research and delightful prose to one of the best books yet on the history of terrorism. He begins with the observation that, despite an impressive record of terror and assassination, post-WWarII, Islamic militants failed to establish theocracies in any Arab country. Many helped Afghanistan resist the Russian invasion of 1979 before their unemployed warriors stepped up efforts at home. Al-Qaeda, formed in Afghanistan in 1988 and led by Osama bin Laden, pursued a different agenda, blaming America for Islam’s problems. Less wealthy than believed, bin Laden’s talents lay in organization and PR, Wright asserts. Ten years later, bin Laden blew up U.S.
embassies in Africa and the destroyer Cole, opening the floodgates of money and recruits. Wright’s step-by-step description of these attacks reveals that planning terror is a sloppy business, leaving a trail of clues that, in the case of 9/11, raised many suspicions among individuals in the FBI, CIA and NSA. Wright shows that 9/11 could have been prevented if those agencies had worked together.
South Asia Tribune I Thursday 15 September 2011
Pakistani National Indicted in Scheme to Illegally Export Restricted Goods and Technologies to Pakistan A federal grand jury has indicted Nadeem Akhtar, age 45, of Silver Spring, Maryland, on charges related to a scheme to illegally export items that are used directly or indirectly in activities related to nuclear reactors and the processing and production of nuclear-related materials. The indictment was returned on March 11, 2010 and unsealed today. A Maryland-based Pakistani businessman has pleaded guilty to illegally exporting nuclear-related materials to restricted entities back home and faces a maximum sentence of five years and a USD 250,000 fine. 46-year-old Nadeem Akhtar’s conviction before a U.S. court on Friday is the product of a
“vigorous, cooperative joint-agency investigation focused on denying and disrupting the illegal export of controlled nuclear technology
destined for Pakistan,” Eric L Hirschhorn, Under Secretary of Commerce for Industry and Security, said.
Amnesty says war crimes committed by both sides in Libyan war F
orces on both sides of the Libyan war have committed war crimes and the country risks descending into a bloody cycle of attacks and reprisals unless order can be established, human rights group Amnesty International said on Tuesday, as Muammar Qaddafi’s forces launched surprise attacks on three fronts. Qaddafi’s actions against civilian protesters were a crime against humanity, while arbitrary
Muslim Aid launches emergency Appeal to help victims of Pakistan floods
Muslim Aid has launched an emergency appeal to help the victims of the recent flash floods in Pakistan, which is still recovering from last year’s devastating deluge. After heavy monsoon rains in August which are still continuing, up to 5.2 million people have been affected by floods in 22 districts in Sindh Muslim Aid Pakistan has strengthened its staff presence in Sindh and is responding to the emergency. These services will be provided by Muslim Aid Pakistan in partnership with World Vision and CARE International. Initially, Muslim Aid is focusing its efforts in Sanghar, Badin and Dadu where the impact of the flood is most severe. A Spokesperson for Muslim Aid said, “The humanitarian crisis in Sindh caused by the flash floods may potentially lead to the catastrophic consequences witnessed in Pakistan last year. The victims of this emergency are in desperate need of humanitarian assistance.
detentions, torture of prisoners and widespread abductions were war crimes, the London-based charity said in a report. Amnesty also criticized Libya’s opposition forces and said Qaddafi’s fall from power after 42 years had left a “security and institutional vacuum” that they exploited to carry out revenge
killings and torture. It urged Libya’s interim rulers, the National Transitional Council (NTC), to investigate abuses on both sides and to put human rights at the top of their agenda. The 112-page report was compiled by an Amnesty team after visits to Libya between February and late July.
According to his plea agreement, Akhtar, a lawful permanent resident of the US, from October 205 to March 2010 used his company Computer Communication USA (CC-USA) to obtain or attempt to obtain radiation detection devices; resins for coolant water purification; calibration and switching equipment; attenuators; and surface refinishing abrasives for export to restricted entities in Pakistan. The value of these items, which required export licences due to their use in both commercial and military and nuclear applications, exceeds USD 400,000. The restricted entities in Pakistan to which these items were being sent included organisations of concern to
the US which were acting contrary to the national security or foreign policy interests of America, the Justice Department said. Among these restricted entities were Pakistan’s Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission; and the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC) and its subordinate entities such as the Chasma Nuclear Power Plant I in Kundian and the research reactor maintained by Pakistan Institute of Engineering and Applied Sciences, a constituent institution of PAEC in Nilare specialising in nuclear— related research and development. Exports of commodities to these entities were prohibited in absence of issuance of an export license.
Racist attacks in Athens Continued from page 01 >> Athens. More than 25 immigrants were wounded – four of them were hospitalized. Forty thugs with bats and other weapons gathered on late afternoon close to the suburban train station. From there they started the assaults. hey stopped a public bus, held it for 15 minutes and attacked 4 immigrants that were on it. Then, they invaded at least ten houses and destroyed immigrants’ property. In some cases they even destroyed the roof. They broke furniture and stole systematically laptops, mobile phones and money.
up to the door of Aspropyrgos Police Station! The head of the local police said that police officers searched for the attackers, but did not find anyone! The pogrom is an escalation of systematic fascist violence in Athens. Ten days ago, in the neighborhood of Aghioi Anargyroi, fascists stabbed an immigrant from Bangladesh and burned a mosque. Last August At least five Pakistanis have been murdered in Greece , causing panic among the Pakistani community . Three bodies have been sent back to Pakistan while two are still in
Decided to go on a hunger strike Continued from page 01 >> The last British detainee in the Guantanamo Bay prison has decided to go on a hunger strike as he announced that he has been treated inhumanly. Shaker Aamer, the Saudi Arabian born British resident, has been held for almost 10 years at the US prison in Cuba. Former President of the United States, George W. Bush, did admit in 2007 that the American government had no evidence against Aamer as he was cleared for release. Aamer was detained in Afghanistan in December 2001 and was accused of leading a unit of fighters in the country. Nevertheless, the American government failed to provide any evidence against Aamer as it continued to keep him in custody. In a letter obtained by BBC Radio 5 live’s Victoria Derbyshire
programme, Aamer, along with eight other detainees, stated that they have been subject to inhuman treatment while in custody describing themselves as “hostages.” “Inhumane treatment is taking place at the hospital among other areas, especially affecting the sick and those who are on (hunger) strike and our deprivation of real treatment, health, diet and appropriate clothing which are not provided to us, nor we are allowed to provide them for ourselves,” Aamer stated in the letter. Aamer was transferred to the Guantanamo Bay prison in February 2002 and has gone on hunger strike several times to protest against his unfair detention. Aamer has called for a “just and public” trial so that he could be freed and return to London where his wife and two children live.
Around 11pm, at the house of Sampir Hussein, the same fascist gang went to the extend of drawing guns. Two people that were at home were shot – the bullet passed close to the shoulder of one. AND THE POLICE? Outside the Aspropyrgos Police Station the same gang broke the car of a Pakistani immigrant who went
police custody, Online news agency reported. Rana Imran, a 26-year-old from Sialkot, was stabbed to death by another Pakistani after an argument during a cricket match. Imran was residing in Greece along with his cousin for the past six years. Mazhar Iqbal, 25, from Punjab province was killed due to an old
there to report the attack at his house by the same gang! Four or five cars of the gang had followed the immigrant
rivalry. Two youths - Mian Tifal and Parvaiz Kayani - were also found murdered.
South Asia Tribune I Thursday 15 September 2011
India beat arch-rivals Pakistan 4-2 on penalties
Both teams played an attacking game but failed to score and the match went to penalties after 15 minutes of extra time. Pakistan were wasteul during normal time in which they were awarded five
penalty corners but could not convert a single one. The score remained 0-0 in extra time too and the match had to be decided on penalties. Pakistan missed two out of four penalties
and lost the shoot-out 4-2. Previously in the tournament, Pakistan defeated Malaysia, China and South Korea while recroded a draw with India and lost to Japan.
Rs 1.5 lakh to each player of the Indian hockey team for winning Asian Champions Trophy With controversy surrounding the prize money given to the Indian hockey team for winning the Asian Champions Trophy gained momentum, a cornered Sports Minister Ajay Maken on Wednesday clarified that players of the Continued on page 28 >>
Bangladesh may host Pakistan in December
he Bangladesh Cricket Board has played down reports of a strained relationship with the Pakistan Cricket Board, insisting that the proposed bilateral series in December is to make up for the abandoned series last August. Pakistan could tour Bangladesh in December this year as the boards of the two countries discuss the possibility of scheduling a full series when both teams are available. “The two boards have worked closely together to schedule a visit by Pakistan in December which is when both teams will be free from other commitments,” Rabeed Imam, the Bangladesh Cricket Board media manager, told the Express Tribune.
“Bangladesh is set to host West Indies from October to November this year but have an extensive window to host Pakistan after that until March next year when we are supposed to host the Asia Cup. “With December being the only month when Pakistan could play us, a series may be finalised
at the end of the year is part of the Future Tours Programme one originally scheduled for last August and later moved to 201112,” Imam said. “The BCB and the PCB have always been in a cordial and healthy relationship. You may recall that Bangladesh toured Pakistan in 2008 when other teams weren’t touring and we returned for the Asia Cup later that year as well. for that time but the schedule is yet to be finalised. The tour may comprise two Tests, three ODIs and a Twenty20 but that’s all to be confirmed.” Bangladesh last toured Pakistan in 2008 but since then the two sides have played against each other only twice across all three
formats, once each in the World Twenty20 2010 and in the Asia Cup 2010. Pakistan were scheduled to visit Bangladesh last year but the series was postponed amid reports of differences between the two boards. “The proposed tour by Pakistan
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