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Year 2

Issue 08

Thursday, 06.09.12

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The Untold Story A Pathetic historical Endeavour Documentary receives 1,200 complaints

British writer Tom Holland garbed Indiana Jones-style in billowing shirt and trusty hat treks across the Arabian desert, talking to local Bedouins, and inspecting historical artefacts to investigate the origins of Islam.

Muhammed, he concludes, probably never came from Mecca, but from Transjordania; the Qur’an and its teachings are largely borrowed from local religious traditions, Christianity, Judaism, Zoroastrianism;

and it is questionable whether ‘Islam’ ever really existed as a distinctive, coherent faith during Muhammed’s reign. Around 1,200 people have complained about a documentary on the history of Islam.

The Channel 4 show, called Islam: The Untold Story, was presented by historian Tom Holland and broadcast , 28 August. His investigation into the origins of the religion claimed there was little written contemporary

Muslim evidence about the Prophet Mohammed. He suggested Mecca may not have been the real birthplace of the Prophet Muhammad and Islam. The Islamic Education & Research Continued on page 9 >>

British Muslims Lady Warsi may be down but will rise again Fighting in Syria British Islamic extremists are being stopped from travelling to fight in

Baroness Warsi leaving role as Tory Party co-chairman, Grant Shapps replaces her, She is Now Senior minister of state at the Foreign Office and minister for faith and communities. Lady Warsi will go down in history for something truly noteworthy: she was the first Muslim woman in the cabinet, the very highest

echelon of the UK government. She told one reporter, while attending the US Republican convention last week, that

Americans had been amazed that a Muslim, Asian female could hold such a prestigious post; actually, Continued on page 9 >>

Syria amid concerns that they will return home with deadly skills in

weaponry and bomb-making. Scores of extremists, some newly converted to Islam, have been heading off to the Middle East and MI5 and counter-terrorism police units are using anti-terror powers Continued on page 9 >>


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South Asia Tribune I Thursday 06 September 2012

Netanyahu Desperate and Eager for War with Iran

Report: Netanyahu slams Obama over Iran nukes

Israeli Paper Details Alleged Tense Confrontation Between Netanyahu and U.S. Ambassador Over Obama’s Iran Policy: ‘Lightning and Sparks Flew’ Netanyahu is the only world leader who is still talking about the Iranian nuclear issue. One thing is clear about Israel and the U.S.: they are not on the same page when it comes to Iran. The Israeli newspaper Yediot Ahronot headlined its Friday paper “The Confrontation” with a photo of Netanyahu on one side and President Obama alongside U.S. ambassador to Israel, Dan Shapiro, on the other. Veteran diplomatic Publisher Salah Bu Khamas (UAE) Sabha Khan (UK) UK Office 10 Courtenay Road, Wembley, Middlesex, HA9 7ND UK Phone: +44 20 8904 0619 Fax: +44 20 8181 7575 info@satribune.co.uk 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 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 Marketing & Sales Andrew Klugman (Manager) Art Department UK Ali Ansar (Art Director) Mohammad Reazul Islam

correspondent Shimon Schiffer reports that during a private meeting last week, Netanyahu very undiplomatically attacked Obama and his advisers over what he views as their ineffective Iran policy. The incident took place when Republican congressman and House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers visited Netanyahu’s office for an Iran briefing, accompanied by the U.S. ambassador to Israel. Schiffer reports (translated via hard copy) The Netanyahu-Shapiro meeting took place behind closed doors two weeks ago. Last Friday, Israeli newspaper Yediot Ahronot cited unnamed sources present at the meeting as saying “sparks and lightning were flying” when the two men discussed the Iran situation. According to the sources, Netanyahu openly blasted what he called Obama’s ineffectual policies vis-avis Iran’s nuclear program, which Israel views as an existential threat considering the Iranian leadership’s very public declarations that it wishes to annihilate the Jewish state. Netanyahu reportedly told Shapiro

that instead of worrying about whether or not Israel will strike Iran, Obama should focus on the root of the problem and put some real pressure on Tehran. At that point, Shapiro was said to have broken diplomatic protocol and snapped back at Netanyahu,

Netanyahu pay if the former is reelected as America’s president in November. Israel’s Kadima party leader Shaul Mofaz made a statement on Thursday railing against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, accusing him of “creating a panic”

insisting that the Israeli leader was misrepresenting Obama’s position. Shapiro then reiterated Obama’s promise to not allow Iran to attain nuclear weapons, to which Netanyahu responded, “Time is running out.” Israeli cabinet ministers who spoke to Yediot’s Internet portal, Ynet, said they believe Obama will make

and “executing a dangerous and irresponsible” rally “for a premature military adventure” against Iran. Mofaz condemned the Prime Minister’s cabinet for “making threats and sowing the seeds of fear and terror. Mr. prime minister, you are playing a dangerous and irresponsible game with the future of an entire nation.”

“Mr. prime minister, you’re creating panic. You are trying to frighten us and terrify us. And in truth – we are scared: scared by your lack of judgment, scared that you both lead and don’t lead, scare that you are executing a dangerous and irresponsible policy. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s views are widely respected by U.S. Congress and they never fail to obey commands given by him. A confidant of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Saturday that U.S. President Barack Obama had yet to present a credible military threat that could deter Iran from seeking nuclear weapons. Netanyahu has said he will speak out about the dangers of Iran in an address this month to the U.N. General Assembly in New York. He is also expected to hold talks with Obama during his visit but no announcement has yet been made. A senior Israeli official told Reuters last week that Netanyahu would seek a firm pledge of U.S. military action if Iran does not back down.

Shafilea Ahmed’s mother seeks leave to appeal against conviction

Farzana Ahmed was convicted last month of murdering daughter with husband Iftikhar Shafilea Ahmed’s mother, Farzana, is seeking leave to appeal against her conviction for murdering her daughter, it has emerged. Farzana Ahmed, 49, and her husband Iftikhar, 52, were jointly convicted of murdering their 17-year-old daughter Shafilea following a three-month trial at Chester crown court in August.

Both parents were jailed for a minimum of 25 years by Mr Justice Roderick Evans following their murder conviction. The Crown Prosecution Service said the court of appeal had received an application from Farzana Ahmed. The grounds for appeal have not been made public. The spokesman said the appeal had been sent to the Court of Appeal, which will decide whether it can be heard.


South Asia Tribune I Thursday 06 September 2012

NEWS

Iran plans to deploy warships off US coast

Iran says it will counter US presence in its waters by sending ships to the international waters off the US coast, says Iranian Navy chief Admiral Sayyari. No specifics were mentioned, but during an interview broadcast on state TV, Sayyari said the plans were aimed for “the next few years.” In the past two years Iran has broadened the range of its navy, sending ships to the Mediterranean Sea and the Indian Ocean. Sayyari did not deny that the proposed measure was a response to the increase in the number of US vessels in the Strait of Hormuz, a key oil passageway off the coast of Iran, which Tehran previously threatened to shut off. “We will not allow anyone to trespass our country’s waters. There is no need for anyone else to establish security in our region,” said Sayyari.

The US Fifth Fleet is currently located in Bahrain, on the southern coast of the Strait of Hormuz. More than a third of all the seaborne oil in the world passes through the narrow waterway. Due to US and EU-led sanctions against the Islamic Republic, which the West suspects of covertly developing nuclear weapons, Iran’s

export of oil has halved in the past year. Financial data company Bloomberg reports that the country is missing out on $130 million a day in lost sales as a result. In response to the sanctions, Tehran threatened to block the Strait of Hormuz. A majority of Iranian parliamentarians voted

in favor of the blockade in July, and although the vote was seen as largely symbolic, the option is still on the table. The US then upped its presence, and currently has two aircraft carriers in the region, also scheduling extensive war games for later this month. Iranian high command has

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previously claimed that it will send its ships towards the US, but the threats have not yet resulted in actions. Tension between the two countries are at a high, as speculation mounts that Washington’s close ally Israel may carry out a (possibly USsupported) strike on Iran to derail its incipient nuclear program.

Muslim tycoon in divorce fight over affair ‘allowed under Sharia Law’

The court was told that Katrina had adopted his surname and uses the title “Lady” Jafari, but is not legally married to him. Wife of self-styled Muslim ‘lord’, 60, says husband had been ‘cheating on her for 35 years’ as she seeks divorce over live-in pregnant mistress, 33 :reports Daily Mail. • Mr Jafari - who calls himself a ‘tycoon’ - has got his mistress pregnant a second time • He was jailed in 2010 after throwing chicken bones at ‘disturbing’ helicopter. An unfaithful millionaire Muslim does not believe his estranged wife deserves

He moved out of the family home and moved his mistress, Katrina, 20 years his junior, into his £1.2 million apartment. In a tense divorce hearing today, the property developer, who styles himself

a divorce because polygamy is allowed under Islamic law, he told a court today. Houshang Jafari, 60, was unfaithful to his wife, Aghdas Bidaki, 53, with a younger woman by whom he has two children. Wife Aghdas Bidaki, 53, who wed Jafari, 60, in Iran in 1978, still lives in their family home.

‘Lord’ and was once jailed for attacking a helicopter, told Bristol county court that he was allowed a second wife under sharia. Bristol Crown Court was told Houshang Jafari, 58, became “extremely angry” after the helicopter landed near his flat, causing debris to hit his car. Ms Aghdas Bidaki argued that her

husband’s affair and illegitimate children were grounds for a divorce. They married in Iran in 1978, when she was 19, before moving to Britain, where

they had three children and he built his business, the court heard. In the following years, her husband had numerous affairs, Ms Bidaki said. She ignored them, hoping he would grow out of his infidelity, but their

marriage soon came under great pressure as he complained about her “cooking” and family life, she said. He would stay out overnight several

times a week, never tell her where he was or answer his phone because he had “no signal”. After threatening to end the marriage, she spoke to her husband about her concerns and he promised to buy her

a new three-bedroom home and a car and pay her a monthly allowance. But she decided to go ahead and seek a divorce after becoming aware that Katrina, who calls herself “Lady Jafari”, had become pregnant again two years after having a son with the developer. Her husband moved out of the marital home in Downleaze, Bristol, to a flat in a converted former hospital in Stoke Park. The Bristol County Court hearing continues.


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EDITORIAL

A Pathetic historical Endeavour of Tom Holland’s The Untold Story A Pathetic historical Endeavour of Tom Holland’s The Untold Story The persecution of Muslims by the British Media is real, and endorsed by millions. Last week Channel Four documentary about the origins of Islam which suggested Mecca might not have been the real birthplace of the Prophet Mohammed has sparked complaints . 1,000 complaints directed at the channel, and 200 have been received by Ofcom. The Islam Research and Education Authority, based in north London, published a detailed critique of the programme’s claims, with lengthy footnotes, describing the programme as “reckless”. “Holland claims that the city of Mecca is

Academy said. In the aftermath of Holland’s controversial research being aired and watched reportedly by over a million viewers, many people took to social media and reacted in obvious ways. Muslim viewers objected to what they perceived as a biased portrayal of Islam. Some who knew little about Islamic scholarship praised Holland’s work. Others went a step further and accused Muslims of reacting disproportionately and being incapable of accepting criticism of their faith- these are the folks who live with the dichotomy of upholding liberal values and yet marginalising those who disagree with their secular viewpoint. Still others resorted to inflammatory, hate-filled comments,

not mentioned in the Qur’an and therefore justifies his revisionist perspective. This is a complete fabrication. The Quran in the fortyeighth chapter clearly mentions the city of Mecca. We are puzzled why the broadcaster chose to feature the work of a pop historian who has come to study the religion of Islam so recently. “The documentary turned out to be poorly researched, badly presented and grossly unbalanced.” Last week, a UK television comedy about a Muslim community leader attracted around 200 complaints following the broadcast of its first episode. According to UK-based newspaper The Daily Mail, viewers claimed that BBC1 sitcom Citizen Khan, which depicts a British Pakistani family, “takes the mickey out of Islam”, includes “stereotypes about Asians” and is “disrespectful to the Qur’an”. According to the Daily Mail, Holland has been accused of distorting the history of Islam by claiming the Quran makes little or no reference to the religious city of Mecca. He has also been subjected to a number of abusive tweets, which include physical threats. One Twitter user accused him of trying to destroy Islamic history, while another tweet called him a ‘fool’ for suggesting Islam is a ‘made-up religion’. According to the report, the Academy claims the programme’s assertion that there are no historical records detailing the life and teachings of the Prophet Muhammad is flawed. “Holland appears to have turned a blind eye to rich Islamic historical tradition,” the

cursing Muslims and portraying Islam as an ideology that is about little more than hate, violence and oppression. Yes, the Islamophobes had a field day. Holland’s lack of familiarity with the wider literature in Western scholarship on Islam is thus painfully obvious to serious historians. Early on, Holland speaks of the study of history in Western universities as based on “scepticism and doubt” - in contrast, presumably, to Muslim historians, who simply shape ‘facts’ to fit their faith. The problem is that even though Holland looks dapper in his Indiana outfit, he is not really a historian - and in his latest work, it shows. Although for the last nine years Holland has written popular history, the bulk of his writing is fiction - including titles such as The Vampyre (1995), Supping with Panthers (1996), The Sleeper in the Sands (1998), and The Bone Hunter (2001). Yet he has no qualifications in history, and cannot even speak Arabic - which is why he employed a Syriac and Arabic-speaking researcher. Holland is a man on a mission. Uncritically parroting the Crone thesis that “there is no hard evidence for the existence of the Quran in any form before the last decade of the seventh century” - he infers that the Arab empires self-servingly concocted Islam as a radically distinct faith. A demonisation of Islam going on for decades, which damages community relations and creates alarm among Muslims. And again I have to say all the fuss and controversy and complaints or reaction will do one thing and for sure a Pathetic historical Endeavour of Tom Holland’s The Untold Story will sell well.

South Asia Tribune I Thursday 06 September 2012

Racism shown to harm children’s learning capabilities

CHILDREN from families subjected to racist abuse are more likely to struggle in school, according to new research. The study, by the Institute for Social and Economic Research at Essex University, found that racial prejudice had an impact on children as young as five. Youngsters from the families affected were found to be more likely to struggle with cognitive tests and faced more socioemotional problems than other children their ages. The findings were based on a study of

academic achievement - while the results also showed a small increased risk of obesity. Professor Yvonne Kelly, who carried out the research, said the findings showed how racism could affect the way families brought up their children. “Our findings suggest experienced racism or feeling fearful about racist victimisation might impact on what parents allow their children to do, and constrain their capacity to provide the conditions to foster healthy child development,” she

2,000 five-year-olds from ethnic minority backgrounds and their mothers. Of the women, more than one in five had experienced racist abuse, with 23% suffering verbal insults in the past 12 months, 20% reporting unfair treatment and 23% reporting unfair treatment of a family member. Researchers found that their children were more likely to have socio-emotional issues - such as hyper-activity or problems interacting with their peers. They also received lower scores in cognitive skills tests - a key influence on

said. “Living in an area where racist attacks are perceived to be common may lead to children spending less time outside the home environment than might otherwise be the case, thus limiting the breadth and interactions and experiences with others outside the home setting. “This may be further compounded by the impact of poor parental mental health, linked to experienced racism and discrimination, which is in turn likely to lead to non-favourable parent-child interactions and parenting behaviours.”


South Asia Tribune I Thursday 06 September 2012

NEWS

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Israeli actress: Save life of my lover Saif Gaddafi

Orly Weinerman has reportedly urged Tony Blair to help save Saif alIslam Gaddafi, her “discreet” lover facing the death penalty. Israeli actress Orly Weinerman reportedly has urged Tony Blair to help save the life of her “discreet” lover, Saif al-Islam Gaddafi. The Daily Mail, a British tabloid, quoted Weinerman, 41, as saying that Blair -- a former British prime minister and now envoy of the Middle East Quartet diplomatic grouping -- was an “old friend” of Saif al-Islam, the son of the late ruler of Libya, Muammar Gaddafi. Saif al-Islam Gaddafi is facing the death penalty in Libya, where he is on trial for his role in the killing of protesters during last year’s uprising

against his father. Weinerman “dated” Saif al-Islam for six year, after meeting him in London in 2005, the tabloid reported.

The paper quotes her as saying that “Saif worked closely with Mr. Blair before he was captured. The two are old friends.”

The Daily Mail added that the Israeli actress said her “discreet relationship” with Saif al-Islam, whose name means “sword of Islam,”

began in April 2005 when they were introduced by mutual friends. Weinerman’s parents were opposed to her converting to Islam, she said.

All Options Open in Assad Welcomes Red Corss as Long Case of Israeli Attack as It Works Independently, Neutrally

Hezbollah Secretary General Seyyed Hassan Nasrallah says he does not believe Israel will attack Iran in the “foreseeable future,” warning that Tehran’s response to any potential assault will anyway be “great.” “Personally, I do not expect the Israeli enemy - at least in the coming months or foreseeable future - (to wage) an attack on the Islamic Republic of Iran,” Nasrallah said in an interview with the Beirut-based Al Mayadeen television on Monday. “A decision has been taken to respond and the response will be very great,” Nasrallah added. Hezbollah secretary general considered that Iran is targeted because it is a strong and advanced Islamic country that is gaining more power, authority, and presence on the regional level, and it is an ultimate enemy to Israel. As he eliminated the possibility that Israel hits Iran, Sayyed Nasrallah pointed out that “if such an attack takes place, the latter will respond by hitting Israel and the US sites in the region.”

“Israel does not take any step separate from the US, so any Israeli attack on Iran will be considered an attack by the US,” he said. Nasrallah added that there were disagreements among Israeli officials over attacking Iran’s nuclear facilities.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said on Tuesday that Damascus welcomes humanitarian operations carried by the International committee in the country as long as it works independently and neutrally. President Assad’s remarks came as he received the Head of the ICRC Peter Maurer, state news agency, SANA, reported. “Talks during the meeting dealt with the standing cooperation between the ICRC and the Syrian government and setting the appropriate mechanisms for enhancing this cooperation,” SANA added. The agency said that Maurer expressed appreciation over the Syrian government’s cooperation with the committee, hailing the bridge of confidence built between the two sides. The meeting was attended by the Deputy Foreign and Expatriates Minister Dr. Fayssal Miqdad, Director

of Organizations Department at the Foreign and Expatriates Ministry Hussam-Eddin Ala and Head of the Syrian Arab Red Crescent Abdul Rahman al-Attar. For his part, Miqdad stressed the Syrian government’s commitment to facilitating the mission of the International Committee and providing all means to carry out its activities in line with principles regulating its work, particularly neutrality, independence

and achieving its humanitarian goals. As they reviewed means of enhancing the standing cooperation between the two sides, Miqdad and Maurer said they should overcome obstacles facing the ICRC humanitarian operations in Syria. The two sides agreed on certain coordination mechanisms to activate the humanitarian activities to cope with humanitarian needs of the Syrian citizens, state news agency added.

Israeli vandals target Catholic church

ANDALS have burnt the door of a Catholic monastery west of Jerusalem and scrawled antiChristian graffiti in an apparent “price tag” hate crime, police and witnesses said, putting pressure on authorities to take strong action. “A wooden door of the convent was burnt by unidentified vandals and the slogan ‘Jesus is a monkey’ was sprayed on the walls” of the Trappist monastery in Latrun, police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld told AFP.

The Trappist abbey of Latrun lies 15 kilometres west of Jerusalem on

the border between Israel and the occupied West Bank hard by the

1949 armistice line, and is one of the most famous monastic sites of the Holy Land. In addition to the anti-Christian graffiti, the words “mutual guarantee” as well as “Ramat Migron” and “Maoz Esther” were spray-painted in orange on the walls of the monastery. Maoz Esther and Ramat Migron are Jewish wildcat settlement outposts in the West Bank. Israeli police destroyed two structures in Ramat Migron last week.


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South Asia Tribune I Thursday 06 September 2012

UK govt says Mubarak asset freeze required convictions

Following controversial BBC report, British government insists criminal convictions were necessary to freeze assets of key Mubarak regime figures Britain accused of failing to enforce freeze of Mubarak assets A six-month investigation, conducted by BBC Arabic and released in conjunction with the Guardian and pan-Arab newspaper al-Hayat, identified many valuable assets, including properties and business interests, linked to Mubarak’s family and associates that allegedly were not frozen by the UK. A BBC investigation has found property and businesses of Egypt’s ousted Mubarak regime remain unaffected by sanctions that were meant to quarantine the assets of the corrupt former leader, Hosni Mubarak, and his ruling circle. The UK government has been asked if it’s more concerned with preserving links between it and the Arab financial sector. Reports that President

Hosni Mubarak and his inner circle stole tens of billions of dollars helped fuel the revolution which overthrew him on 11 February last year. About £85m ($135m) of assets belonging to Mr Mubarak, his wife, two sons, and 15 other Egyptians have now been frozen in the UK. According to the BBC, Britain took 37 days to act on the request, while Switzerland began freezing assets within 30 minutes. The British government has responded to BBC claims that it failed to freeze major assets of key members of Egyptian expresident Hosni Mubarak’s regime, saying criminal convictions were necessary and that restraint orders could not be made based on suspicion alone. The assets of 19 individuals – mainly former Egyptian officials and their relatives, including the former president and his two sons – were supposedly frozen by the UK government last March in the wake of Egypt’s 18-day uprising. But a six-month investigation by BBC Arabic, released on Monday, claimed that assets worth millions of pounds sterling – including top-end London property and UK-registered companies belonging to the 19 individuals – had remained unfrozen. In a Tuesday statement, Alistair Burt, UK Minister for the Middle East and North Africa, stressed that “substantial

evidence” was essential for the UK to act, and a legal process had to be fully followed in order to protect the innocent as well as pursue the guilty. “We understand the strength of feeling in Egypt on this issue and we are working closely with their authorities to identify

and restrain assets their courts have identified as stolen,” said Burt. “It is crucial that the recovery and return of stolen assets is lawful. It is simply not possible for the UK to deprive a person of their assets and return them to an overseas country in the absence of a criminal conviction and confiscation order,” he added. The UK government says it has frozen a total of £85 million (roughly $133 million) worth of Egyptian assets. The UK was currently in the process of assigning a legal expert to Egypt to fully explain the country’s domestic legal process and show how to work within its boundaries, Burt added. “The UK government cannot obtain a restraint order on the basis of suspicion alone,” he stressed. Plunderers of Egypt’s Wealth.. Documented and Published in Almanar Egypt. The level of corruption characterizing Hosni Mubarak’s regime over thirty years, resulted in deals and commissions worth billions of dollars, which Mubarak and his family were to hide and launder through a complex network around the world. Apparently, those who were in charge of that network were running a global Mafia to launder dirty money and hide it. This is only related to large amounts of

money exceeding hundreds of billions of dollars, as it’s clearly demonstrated in the two documents. The first document was signed by Hosni Mubarak Dec 05,2009, before being signed by the notary public in the UK Dec 17, 2009. It shows how looted money is laundered through a long cycle of different accounts and names of British companies. It is clear that the owners of those companies were receiving large commission fees for the laundering process they had been carrying out. The process of laundering and camouflage consists of two stages: A - Commissions are collected as treasury bonds, policies and international stock exchange bonds, not cash which can be traced in global banking systems. B - Money is laundered through assignments in favor of global banking companies in the UK, Switzerland, Dubai, Luxembourg and other countries.

handwriting (Dec 5, 2009). The signature was marked in red and written in English, to clarify the date of Mubarak’s signature. On the other side, there is a signature dated Dec 17, 2009. It seems that it refers to an official in the British financial sector. On the right bottom appears the seal of the UK notary public (Andrew Gregg), his office address and British telephone number. The second paper that almanar.com.lb displays, is apparently the second step of the money laundering process stated in the first document. Sir Peter Squires deposited the assets provided in the first paper for a period of 36 months in a Swiss company named (ECOTRADE) with the postal address: 17, CH 9050 Appenzelle, Switzerland. At the left bottom of the second paper, the signature of Sir Peter Squires appears,

laundering his money, and being one of the essential cards in the process of dirty money recycling and laundering. It is a sub-document with a serial number related to the previous published papers, where Hosni Mubarak’s funds are transferred to the account of a previously mentioned banking company – ECOTRADE - based in Switzerland. The paper refers to the deposit of treasury bonds by ECOTRADE in the UK Bank of Caledonia LTD of the global Morgan Stanley Co., which is classified in the category of Protestant banks in the world. According to the document, the deposit dates back to Dec 17, 2009; same date of a British financial official’s signature on a treasury bond placed by Hosni Mubarak at the disposal of ECOTRADE AG on Dec 5, 2009. The paper proves Barclays Bank had issued a deposit under the certificate

The assignments stipulate a deposit of a treasury bond and other bonds in those global companies for a period ranging between 24 and 36 months. The document was a holding power of attorney providing for Hosni Mubarak’s deposit of treasury bonds in a company owned by a British man named (Sir Peter Squires) holding a UK passport No. 801 170 699. In the document, Squire’s address and his UK phone number appear. At the forefront of the document shows the number of the treasury bond owned by Mubarak (298 709), as well as the law upon which the assignment was based (No. 98 702 e – n), alongside a text on the completion of the process under the law of secrecy of Special Certified Operations of the World Organization for Funds Control, based in New York. Worth mentioning that the amount of $620 billion was the total package of the contract, of which Mubarak had a share. The bottom of the paper shows the signature of Mubarakdated by his Arabic

dated Dec 28, 2009, while at the right bottom appears the signature of Ecotrade director (Tomas Karasek). The money had been obtained by the ousted Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak’s family, via exploiting the political and authoritarian power in every possible means, particularly through systematic looting of public funds, committed by the subordinates of the ruling family or fake companies established for that purpose. As noted earlier, the process of laundering money and assets in the global market was carried out through a complex network of global mafias, active in the money-laundering operations of massive accounts. Such accounts were laundered not only through being recycled in more than a country and more than a bank, but also through using it in global stock markets and treasury bonds in some Western countries, namely the UK. This document does not mention the name of Hosni Mubarak, despite being directly related to the process of

guarantee bond number (298 709 fc 702), in the Bank of Caledonia, i.e. the same treasury bond serial number that belongs to Hosni Mubarak published in the second episode of the series. The document also states that the deposited bond in the Treasury Bank is clean and of non-criminal origins, obtained from a legal source. It is clear of any encumbrance or lien, and available to ECOTRADE as the beneficiary. The name of Sir Peter Squires appears again in the last paragraph of the document, which states that the Bank of Caledonia confirms the said amount (i.e. six hundred and twenty billion U.S. dollars) is held in safe keeping irrevocably, until paid and cancelled at the expiration date, or until cancelled in writing by Sir Peter Squires. At the left bottom of the document, two signatures appear: the first refers to the chief executive officer in the bank, named (Urs Schneider); and the second to (Stephanie Chase) on behalf of the board of directors.


South Asia Tribune I Thursday 06 September 2012

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NEWS

Tutu urges trial for Blair and Bush over Iraq

Nobel Peace Laureate says former leaders of UK and US left world more destabilised as result of their roles in 2003 war. Archbishop Desmond Tutu has called for British ex-prime minister Tony Blair and former US president George W Bush to face trial in The Hague for their role in the Iraq war. The South African peace icon, writing in Sunday’s Observer newspaper, accused the pair of lying about weapons of mass destruction and said the invasion left the world more destabilised and divided “than any other conflict in history”. Tutu argued that different standards appeared to apply for prosecuting African leaders than western counterparts, and added that the death toll during and after the Iraq conflict was sufficient for Blair and Bush to face trial. ‘Playground bullies’ “On these grounds alone, in a consistent world, those responsible for this suffering and loss of life should be treading the same path as some of their African and Asian peers who have been made to answer for their actions in The Hague,” Tutu wrote in the weekly

UK newspaper. “But even greater costs have been exacted beyond the killing fields, in the hardened hearts and minds of members of the human family across the world.” Tutu, a long-standing vocal critic of the Iraq war, also defended his decision to not attend a South African conference on leadership last week because Blair was

attending. “I did not deem it appropriate to have this discussion... As the date drew nearer, I felt an increasingly profound sense of discomfort about attending a summit on ‘leadership’ with Mr Blair,” he added. The Nobel Peace Prize winner also argued that the US-led 2003 Iraq war to topple Saddam Hussein had created the backdrop for civil war in

Syria, and a potential wider Middle East crisis involving Iran. “The then-leaders of the United States [Bush] and Great Britain [Blair] fabricated the grounds to behave like playground bullies and drive us further apart,” he wrote. “They have driven us to the edge of a precipice where we now stand - with the spectre of Syria and Iran before us.”

Blair responds Blair strongly supported Bush as he launched a “war on terror”, sending British troops to Afghanistan in 2001 and, more controversially, Iraq in 2003. Blair issued a stern defence on Sunday in response to the article. “To repeat the old canard that we lied about the intelligence is completely wrong as every single independent analysis of the evidence has shown,” he said. “And to say that the fact that Saddam massacred hundreds of thousands of his citizens is irrelevant to the morality of removing him is bizarre. “We have just had the memorials both of the Halabja massacre where thousands of people were murdered in one day by Saddam’s use of chemical weapons; and that of the Iran-Iraq war where casualties numbered up to a million including many killed by chemical weapons. “In addition his slaughter of his political opponents, the treatment of the Marsh Arabs and the systematic torture of his people make the case for removing him morally strong. But the basis of action was as stated at the time.”

Iran says it treats Israeli military threats as American

Naval commander Ali Fadavi says ‘Zionist regime separated from America has no meaning’ Iran makes no distinction between US and Israeli interests and will retaliate against both countries if attacked, an Iranian military commander said on Wednesday. The comments came after the White House denied an Israeli news report that it was negotiating with Tehran to keep out of a future Israel-Iran war and as US President Barack Obama fends off accusations from his election rival that he is too soft on Tehran. “The Zionist regime separated from America has no meaning, and we must not recognize Israel as separate from America,” Ali Fadavi, naval commander in Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, was quoted as saying by the Fars news agency. “I assure you that if the US warships do a foolish action, they won’t leave the area (regional waters) unhurt,” Commander of the IRGC Navy Rear Admiral Ali Fadavi said in a gathering in

Iran’s Northeastern holy city of Mashhad on Wednesday.

the Persian Gulf in order to keep distant from the Iranian naval forces. Earlier in July, Chief of Staff of Iran’s Armed Forces Major General Hassan Firouzabadi announced that the country has drawn a plan for closing the world oil lifeline, the Strait of Hormuz, but meantime stressed that Iranian forces will not shut the waterway before they receive the needed permission from the

the Supreme Leader,” Firouzabadi told reporters on the sidelines of an annual gathering of the IRGC commanders at the time. “The Armed Forces have their own plans for every subject, but the decision to close the Strait of Hormuz lie on the Commanderin-Chief (Ayatollah Khamenei), who also receives consultations from the Supreme National Security Council (SNSC),” he added.

that we are bluffing in a bid to appease themselves.” “Of course, we don’t want to block the Strait of Hormuz, but we have a plan for closing it, which is a clever and wise one,” Firouzabadi said. Iran has threatened to close the strategic Strait of Hormuz at the entrance to the oil-rich Persian Gulf if its nuclear program is targeted by air strikes that Israel and the United States reserve as

He stated that the US Navy is afraid of Iran’s naval power, and said the US warships have even rerouted their line of voyage in

Supreme Leader. “We have a plan for closing the Strait of Hormuz, but executing the plan needs the permission of

The general dismissed the western states’ claims that Iran is not able to block the Strait of Hormuz, and said, “They allege

an option. An estimated 40 percent of the world’s oil supply passes through the waterway.


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South Asia Tribune I Thursday 06 September 2012

Israeli attack on Iran ‘would not stop nuclear programme’

An Israeli attack on Iran would delay but probably not stop its nuclear programme, the most senior US military officer has claimed. General Martin Dempsey reinforced Washington’s opposition to unilateral Israel military action as he made clear that US military chiefs were equally wary of getting ensnared in Syria. America’s top military chief, General Martin Dempsey, reinforces Washington’s opposition to unilateral Israeli action Speaking of Israel’s threat to attack Iran, General Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, told reporters on Thursday, “I don’t want to be complicit if they [Israel] choose to do it.” General Dempsey is the highest ranking officer in the U.S. military and is currently in London, U.K, serving as head of the U.S. delegation at the Paralympic Games. In a media statement, Dempsey announced that he is against U.S. participation in any Israelled attack on Iran, even though pressure to destroy Iran’s nuclear program continues. He told reporters in London on Thursday that an Israeli attack would “clearly delay but probably not destroy Iran’s nuclear program,” and added that he was against U.S. cooperation in a unilateral attack on the Islamic Republic. He stated to reporters, “I don’t want to be complicit if they [Israel] choose to do it.” At the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) meeting held on August 30 and 31, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei told heads of state, “Our motto is nuclear energy for all and nuclear weapons for none. Iran will never pursue nuclear weapons but it will not give up its national right to peaceful nuclear energy.” This claim has not yet been independently confirmed or denied by any foreign nations, and on Thursday, the UN International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) reported that Iran was uncooperative with attempts to investigate their facilities and suggested that Iran could be procuring nuclear weapons. In regard to a claim by the IAEA on Thursday that Iran was doubling the number of uranium enrichment centrifuges at the country’s underground Fordow site, General Dempsey said, “There are many cracks

in the ring closing tighter on Iran. We criticize this,” he said, also mentioning UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon visit to Tehran, where Ban was invited to tour the nuclear facilities to reassure himself of the peaceful intentions of Iran’s nuclear program. With regard to the pursuit of peaceful nuclear energy, on August 30, Iran officially began operations of its first nuclear power plant at Bushehr in Iran’s southwest. Israel, who is closely allied to the U.S. has also claimed that Iran’s nuclear program is motivated by the manufacture of nuclear warheads, and in May, Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak stated, “Our position has not changed. The world must stop Iran from becoming nuclear. All options remain on the table.” However, in London on Thursday, General Dempsey said that an Israeli strike against Iran, over fears regarding their nuclear program, would be without merit, and might even erode the pro-Israeli alliance currently existing. Dempsey told the media that, “International coalition” applying pressure on Iran “could be undone if [Iran] was attacked prematurely,” He added that, “Intelligence did not reveal intentions” to procure nuclear weapons.

Report: U.S. scales back joint military exercise with Israel

Time Magazine reports number of American troops in mid-October exercise to be cut by two-thirds, in what a senior Israeli official says is a message of mistrust conveyed by Washington.

The report quoted both Israeli and American sources as saying that Washington had slashed “by more than two-thirds the number of American troops going to Israel and reducing both the number and potency of missile interception systems at the core of the joint exercise.” The exercise, Austere Challenge

12, will be the latest in a series of periodic joint maneuvers focusing mainly on missile defense. The exercise will combine simulated missile fire with training for the command posts. The current round will feature various intercept systems - Iron Dome, Arrow II, Patriot and Aegis - along with the American

X-Band radar that is permanently stationed in the Negev. According to the report in Time, however, the crews operating the Patriot missiles will not arrive in Israel as planned, and instead of the two Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense warships scheduled to arrive, only one might possible be dispatched.

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South Asia Tribune I Thursday 06 September 2012 Academy said it was “historically inaccurate” and “clearly biased”. He claimed there was little hard evidence for the origins of Islam and asked why it took several decades after the death of

Muhammad for his name to appear on surviving documents or artefacts. He also questioned where and when the Quran was written and said there was an historical “black hole” surrounding Islam’s beginnings. the Islamic Education & Research Academy said: “Tom Holland’s assertion that there is no historical evidence for the 7th Century origins of Islam is historically inaccurate. “This notion cannot be sustained in light of the contemporary non-Islamic as well as material evidence.” It added: “Holland appears to have turned a blind eye to the rich Islamic historical tradition. There are no ‘black holes’ and there is no missing information. “There is plenty of material evidence available to substantiate the accuracy of the Islamic narrative on the early history of Islam.” Around 1,000 have complained directly to Channel 4 with another 200 complaining to the watchdog Ofcom. According to the Daily Mail, Holland has been accused of distorting the history of Islam by claiming the Quran makes little or no reference to the religious city of Mecca.

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The Untold Story

He has also been subjected to a number of abusive tweets, which include physical threats. One Twitter user accused him of trying to destroy Islamic history, while another tweet called him a ‘fool’ for suggesting Islam is a ‘made-up religion’. The Islamic Education and Research Academy has published a long paper denouncing the programme, but historians have rallied to Holland’s defence, the report said. According to the report, the Academy claims the programme’s assertion that there are no historical records detailing the life and teachings of the Prophet Muhammad is flawed. “Holland appears to have turned a blind eye to rich Islamic historical tradition,” the Academy said. In the aftermath of Holland’s controversial research being aired and watched reportedly by over a million viewers, many people took to social media and reacted in obvious ways. Recognising the shortcomings in Holland’s methodology, Muslim viewers objected to what they perceived as a biased portrayal of Islam. Some who knew little about Islamic scholarship praised Holland’s work. Others went a step further and accused Muslims of reacting disproportionately and being incapable of accepting criticism of their faith- these are the folks who live with the dichotomy of upholding liberal values and yet marginalising those who

disagree with their secular viewpoint. Still others resorted to inflammatory, hate-filled comments, cursing Muslims and portraying Islam as an ideology that is about little more than hate, violence and oppression. Yes, the Islamophobes had a field day. In Channel 4’s Islam: the Untold Story, British writer Tom Holland - garbed Indiana Jones-style in billowing shirt and trusty hat - treks across the Arabian desert, talking to local Bedouins, and inspecting historical artefacts to investigate the origins of Islam. Muhammed, he concludes, probably never came from Mecca, but from Transjordania; the Qur’an and its teachings are largely borrowed from local religious traditions, Christianity, Judaism, Zoroastrianism; and it is questionable whether ‘Islam’ ever really existed as a distinctive, coherent faith during Muhammed’s reign. Rather, the religion of Islam was an innovation of the Arab empires, cynically manufactured to legitamise its expansion by conquest over much of what we now know as the Middle East. To vindicate this thesis - based largely on his new book, In the Shadow of the Sword - Holland interviews a handful of sceptical Western scholars of Islam. But his narrative is replete with elementary, often laughable, errors. Perhaps the most glaring is his insistence that Mecca is only mentioned once, ambiguously, in

Lady Warsi may be down but will rise again

many Tories were equally amazed that she had been allowed to keep her job for as long as she did. Sayeeda Warsi was never popular with the rump of the Tory party: she was accused of being strident, and of keeping too low a media profile. And although she was cleared of allegations that she wrongly claimed parliamentary expenses, her reputation never totally recovered. Warsi’s rise – the daughter of an immigrant Pakistani mill worker in the north of England who became a lawyer, life peer and political trailblazer in Westminster – will make for a great story. But historians will also be curious about why her star fell so abruptly after two years. After considering an offer from the prime minister overnight, she decided to accept demotion to senior minister of state at the Foreign Office, and a role as minister for faith and communities. She will attend cabinet. Warsi used her official @ToryChairman Twitter account to confirm she was “signing off,” saying it had been “a privilege and an honour to serve my party as co-chairman.” A Tory chairman tweeting their exit – that must be another first for the history books. Operation Black Vote’s director, Simon Woolley pointed out, as much of the pressure for her to be sacked had come from within his own party. “That sends a worrying message, that frankly the challenges of tackling the baggage towards women and minorities haven’t properly been addressed,” Woolley told BBC News on Tuesday. Sayeeda Warsi was appointed co-chairman of the Conservative party with Lord Feldman and a minister without portfolio in the coalition cabinet in May 2010. She was demoted from her position as co-chair of the party in

the September 2012 reshuffle and offered a position at the Foreign Office with a seat in the cabinet • Warsi was the first female Muslim to serve as a minister in the UK. • She has never won an election, having lost her only attempt to win a seat in the Commons, standing for Dewsbury at the 2005 election when she was the first Muslim woman to be selected by the Conservatives. She was appointed to the House of Lords in 2007. • Warsi has never been far from controversy. She was accused of pandering to the BNP in 2007 when she said immigration had been out of control and was making people “uneasy”. But she strongly criticised the BNP when she appeared opposite party leader Nick Griffin on a controversial edition of Question Time in 2009. And last year she warned that Islamophobia has “passed the dinner-table test” and become widely socially acceptable in Britain. • In February this year, Warsi warned that Britain is under threat from a rising tide of “militant secularisation”, writing in the Daily Telegraph: “You cannot and should not extract these Christian foundations from the evolution of our nations any more than you can or should erase the spires from our landscapes.” • Warsi was found guilty of a “minor” breach of the ministerial code in June this year after failing to give a full account to officials of her family links to a businessman who accompanied her on an official visit to Pakistan. The independent adviser on ministerial interests indicated that no action should be taken against Warsi and David Cameron issued a statement of support,

the Qur’an - evidence for Holland that the Prophet (PBUH) never came from Mecca. But this is a strange inaccuracy, for the Qur’an mentions Mecca clearly: “And He it is Who held back their hands from you and your hands from them in the valley of Mecca after He had given you victory over them.” (48:24) He then makes much of the Qur’an’s references to “Becca”, as if this must be a completely different place, oblivious to the fact that in South Arabic, the language used in the south of the Arabian peninsula during the time of Muhammed(PBUH), the sounds b and m were interchangeable - as documented in 1973 by Princeton University Arabist, professor Philip Hitti. Holland also argues that the Qur’an’s frequent references to vines and olives points to the existence of an agricultural society. Mecca was barren and lacked agriculture; therefore, hey presto!, Muhammed’s (PBUH)message originated elsewhere. The inference is truly bizarre: neighbouring Medina, where Muhammed (PBUH) emigrated fleeing persecution in Mecca - and where he continued to receive a large bulk of the revelations of the Qur’an - was a thriving “agricultural settlement, with widely scattered palm groves and armed farmsteads.” Holland’s other pillar of evidence is equally meaningless. Holland visits the site of Sodom, and highlights the Qur’an’s statement that its readers “pass by them in the morning and at night” (47:133-8)

describing her as “a great asset”. As details of the reshuffle emerged, the exercise seemed more driven by efforts to solve political problems than provide new impetus to solving Britain’s economic woes. Leading lights of the Cameron government were not disturbed, but International Development secretary Andrew Mitchell was moved as the chief whip in order to ensure stronger control over Conservative backbench MPs than has been the case so far. Mitchell was replaced by Justine Greening, who was Transport secretary. A significant change was moving Culture, Media and Sport secretary Jeremy Hunt to Health. Hunt was the focus of much attention recently due to his alleged pro-Rupert Murdoch leanings during the BSkyB takeover bid, and his evidence before the Leveson Inquiry. Maria Miller is the new Culture secretary. Veteran Conservative Kenneth Clarke, 72, who held the Justice portfolio, has been moved to an economic role in the Cabinet, with the designation ‘minister without portfolio’. Denying it was a demotion, Clarke said: “At my age you do occasionally have to step down from a heavy departmental role before you suddenly realise you can no longer quite handle it.” Those continuing in their posts include Foreign secretary William Hague, Home secretary Theresa May and Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne. Osborne had come under much criticism for making deep funding cuts and other measures intended to cut budget deficit, while recent economic indicators suggest that his plans to kick-start the ailing British economy is not working. Osborne was booed during the medal presentation at the Paralympics yesterday.

09 Flabbergasted, Holland asks: “What is it doing here - a thousand kilometres from Mecca?” That the Meccans were frequent travelling traders who would have routinely passed through this area - as widely documented by scholars such as William Montgomery Watt in the Encyclopedia of Islam (2008) and Ira Lapidus in his Cambridge University study (1988) - appears to be lost on Holland. Holland’s lack of familiarity with the wider literature in Western scholarship on Islam is thus painfully obvious to serious historians. Early on, Holland speaks of the study of history in Western universities as based on “scepticism and doubt” - in contrast, presumably, to Muslim historians, who simply shape ‘facts’ to fit their faith. The problem is that even though Holland looks dapper in his Indiana outfit, he is not really a historian - and in his latest work, it shows. Although for the last nine years Holland has written popular history, the bulk of his writing is fiction - including titles such as The Vampyre (1995), Supping with Panthers (1996), The Sleeper in the Sands (1998), and The Bone Hunter (2001). Yet he has no qualifications in history, and cannot even speak Arabic - which is why he employed a Syriac and Arabic-speaking researcher. Holland is a man on a mission. Uncritically parroting the Crone thesis that “there is no hard evidence for the existence of the Quran in any form before the last decade of the seventh century” - he infers that the Arab empires self-servingly concocted Islam as a radically distinct faith.

British Muslims Fighting in Syria

to disrupt their travel plans. The civil war is largely seen as a fight between the Free Syrian Army and the repressive regime of Bashar al-Assad. The Mail reports. There are up to 100 British fighters in Syria in the forefront of foreign brigades, fighting side by side with the terrorist groups in the country, the British Mail Online newspaper said Monday. In a special report on Syria it posted, the daily revealed that a team of MI6 officers working with GCHQ’s monitoring station in Cyprus is trying to trace the whereabouts of British fighters, “including one who said he was a London hospital doctor.” The man was one of a group of extremists who kidnapped the British journalist John Cantlie and the Dutchman Jeroen Oerlemans, it added. “Both detainees were held for a week before being rescued and said many of the rebels appeared to be British Pakistanis with London accents,” the British newspaper noted, adding that some of the Pakistani origin have been also identified among foreign fighters. Before this fact, British extremists are being stopped from travelling to fight in Syria amid concerns that they will return home with deadly skills in weaponry and bomb-making. “MI5 and counter-terrorism police units are using anti-terror powers to disrupt their travel plans,” Mail Online claimed. Last week The telegraph reported An NHS doctor led a group of Islamic extremists who took a British photographer hostage as he covered the conflict in Syria, the former captive has claimed. John Cantlie said the fighter told him he had taken two years’ leave from a London hospital to travel to the Middle East for holy war. The medic was said to have described his hospital experience in detail and carried NHS medical kit, saying he planned to return to the UK to become a trauma consultant in A&E, according to Mr Cantlie’s account to a newspaper. Last night, MI6 was said to be trying to track down the doctor. Mr Cantlie, 41, and Dutch colleague Jeroen Oerlemans were held captive at a camp two miles inside the Syrian border last month before being rescued by Syrian rebels. The photographer told The Sun on Sunday: “It was a bit of a surprise to find an NHS doctor as one of our captors – with an AK-47 and preaching sharia law. “When we asked his name he said ‘Just call me the doctor. I’m the only one here.’ He told us he had a wife and a child in London. “He spoke with a south London accent and said he had taken two years out from his work as an NHS doctor to fight jihad.” The doctor, believed to be 28 and of Pakistani descent, was apparently one of ten to 15 Britons at the camp – many of them from London.


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South Asia Tribune I Thursday 06 September 2012

Ahmadinejad ends Non-Aligned Movement Summit with call for world peace

In his closing speech as new NAM chairman, Iran’s president says “all NAM member states approved the need for a new world management upon the basis of freedom, justice and friendship.” The Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) summit in Tehran ended late Friday with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad pledging global peace. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad read out the resolution, which included

over seven-hundred clauses, in the final session of the summit on Friday night, Aug 31. The final communiqué expressed support for Iran’s nuclear energy program, rejected the United States’ unilateral sanctions against the Islamic Republic, and called for greater efforts to support the

Palestinian cause. The need to combat Islamophobia and racism throughout the world as well as global nuclear disarmament were some of the other key issues mentioned in the document. In the closing ceremony, President Ahmadinejad hailed the resolution as “effective and historic” and

expressed his gratitude to all of the participants of the summit, which he said had a very important message for the entire world. The draft resolution had been drawn up and approved during the NAM meetings of senior officials and foreign ministers. Over 100 countries sent representatives to the NAM summit,

which kicked off on Sunday with a two-day expert-level meeting in the Iranian capital, followed by a foreign ministerial meeting that ended on Wednesday. Iran assumed the rotating presidency of NAM for a threeyear term on Thursday, when the meeting of heads of state and government opened with an

inaugural speech by Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei. NAM is an international organization with 120 member states that is not formally aligned with or against any major power bloc. Nearly two-thirds of the countries of the UN are also NAM members.

MEMRI – A Propaganda Machine for Israeli Extremists! MEMRI is a tax exempt organisation based in Washington DC, which aims to influence public opinion and by extension influence government policies in America and elsewhere. MEMRI was founded in 1998 by Yigal Carmon a former colonel in the Israeli military intelligence and another Israeli Meyrav Wurmser who was one of the authors of the “Clean Break” report which proposed reshaping Israel’s “strategic environment” in the Middle East by overthrowing Saddam Hussein and weakening Syria. MEMRI’s board of directors include some of the most infamous Islamophobic and pro-Israeli extremists such as Oliver “Buck” Revell, Steve Emerson and Elliott Abrams. MEMRI monitors television channels that are broadcast in Arabic and it then provides selected clips from these broadcasts with “English translations”. The majority

of the very loosely “translated” clips available on MEMRI’s website are themed around pro violence and anti- semetic sentiments within fringe elements of Muslims whilst neglecting the mainstream views in Middle Eastern society. It therefore provides a distorted insight into Middle Eastern society to its Western audience, where the average Muslim is perceived as a mindless savage. These selected clips have featured in almost every major television channel in America and in the United Kingdom including CNN, Fox, Sky, NBC and CBS. It’s clear that MEMRI have had a big impact on how the Middle East is perceived by the West. In addition to portraying Muslims as mindless savages MEMRI has played a pivotal role in the breakdown of relations between different branches of Islam. In particular it has sort to exploit and exacerbate the differences between

the Shias and the Sunnis. MEMRI’s latest ploy to manipulate relations between different branches of Islam is a clip which appears to show a

group of so called Shias celebrating the death of Aisha RA, the wife of the prophet Muhammad SAW. This clip has reached above 10,000

views in a couple of days; it will no doubt change the perception of Shia Muslims amongst many Sunni Muslims and lead to disunity. It is needless to state that according to the Shia branch of Islam it is totally prohibited to insult the wife of the prophet. Despite this one Facebook user commented about the clip “may the Shias kuffar burn in hell!” Indeed such generalisations are the exact planned outcome that MEMRI had intended in order to weaken the position of Muslims around the world. In light of MEMRI’s close ties with Israeli officials and the sheer volume of clips on its website related to creating a negative perception of Muslims and increasing sectarianism. One can quite reasonably conclude that MEMRI is an Israeli propaganda machine ultimately aimed at weakening the Muslims. MEMRI presents a global threat to Muslims.


South Asia Tribune I Thursday 06 September 2012

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Raj Thackeray threatens to shut Hindi channels misquoting him Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray Sunday took potshots at Hindi news channels and said that he would shut them all down if they did not stop misquoting his speeches.

that comes to his mind, however irrelevant. He is someone the Congress keeps, to take the brunt of all criticism.” Thackeray, in a slapstick manner, retorted to Singh’s remark with a

politics, and that she considers guests like god, Thackeray rebuked the singer saying he wondered if the real reason she participated in the show was “Paisa devo bhava” (Money is god).

Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar on Sunday lashed out at the Maharashtra government for not taking action against MNS chief Raj Thackeray for his threat to throw Biharis out of Maharashtra. “The MNS chief’s diatribes against Biharis pose a challenge to all governments to deal with a person who has been holding out threat to the migrant people. People have the constitutional right to live and work in any part of the country,” he told reporters in Patna. “It is the duty of the central

the Hindi news channel to first understand the issue before it is broadcast ... otherwise we know how to deal with it,” he said. Thackeray had on Friday threatened to brand Biharis as “infiltrators” and force them out of Maharashtra if authorities in Bihar take legal action against Mumbai policemen who picked up a teenager from there without informing their counterparts in that state. Thackeray, whose party has often launched campaigns against Hindispeaking people in Maharashtra, was reacting to a media report that Bihar chief secretary Navin Kumar has written to Mumbai police commissioner voicing displeasure over the arrest of the youth for vandalising the martyr’s memorial during Azad Maidan protest on August 11. Demanding strong action against the MNS chief, a visibly angry Kumar asked as to how the Centre and the Maharashtra government would deal with terrorism if they could not rein in a person like

government and the government of the state (Maharashtra) to take note of the conduct of a person like Thackeray and deal sternly with such elements,” Kumar said. In Mumbai, Thackeray accused Hindi news channels of “distorting” his statement. “I want to tell

Thackeray. “Has the Mumbai police and the Mahashtra government outsourced governance to Thackeray?” he asked. On Thackeray’s threat to declare Bihari migrants as “infiltrators” and drive them out of Mumbai and Maharashtra, Kumar said,

Nitish Kumar slams Raj Thackeray for ‘migrant’ remark, asks Centre to take action

“People from Hindi channels dole out news without understanding the issue. Such channels should discontinue doing this, otherwise we will do what we can to stop this game,” Thackeray declared. He then joked about how the channels would run “breaking news” about his “threat”. “I am sure these channels will be running “Breaking News”... “Raj Thackeray threatens to shut down Hindi news channels,” he said, gesturing wildly with his hands, mocking the news channels. Speaking about the cases filed against him and the coverage of it in the media, Thackeray claimed that he knew the law. “Don’t issue me threats claiming that you will file (criminal or defamation) cases against me. I know of several laws that are broken every now and then. Should I also go to court and sue those guilty,” he questioned. Lashing out at Congress General Secretary Digvijay Singh’s remark that Thackeray’s family too came originally from Bihar, he said, “Digvijay Singh says anything

question: “So is Digvijay Singh’s family from Sulabh Shauchalay (public toilet)?” Last week, Thackeray had called Biharis in Maharashtra “infiltrators” in reaction to reports of a letter from the Bihar chief secretary warning Mumbai Police against picking up suspects from the state without first informing local police. “How come most offenders are from Bihar,” Thackeray asked, adding that there was no need for Bihari politicians to teach Maharashtra the rules. Bringing up the matter of the cinema wing of MNS’s threat to disrupt shooting of a television programme featuring Pakistani artistes, Thackeray said he did not favour the inclusion of Pakistani performers. “I stand by my views. It is wrong to entertain Pakistani artistes when we are not welcomed in their country,” he said. Asha Bhonsle is also a part of the show titled “Sur Kshetra” to be aired on Color and Sahara channels. Last week, when Bhonsle said that she does not understand

“if he (Thackeray) challenges the Constitution and democratic rights of the people, then it is a challenge to all governments to deal with the brazen disrespect.” He said he will write to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh about it soon and demand action against the MNS chief. Kumar said Maharashtra government and Mumbai Police have sought clarification on the protest letter written by Bihar DGP to the Mumbai police chief against the manner of arrest of the accused person, Abdul Qadir, from his native Sitamarhi district by Mumbai police without taking into confidence Bihar police. Defending Bihar DGP’s letter, he said as per the circular of the Union Home Ministry the police or investigating agency of any state was duty-bound to inform the local police and seek its cooperation in the arrest of an accused person in a case. It was not done by Mumbai Police in the arrest of Qadir and several other accused persons from Bihar by police of other states, he said, adding Bihar government and its police were within their rights to protest the manner of such arrest. The “lifting” of an accused person by the police of another state without intimation to local police cause law and order problems, Kumar said and demanded that the guidelines issued by the Union Home Ministry on it be adhered to by all state governments and investigative agencies, including police. In Delhi, JD(U) president Sharad Yadav alleged that Thackeray was a “stooge” of the Congress which was using him against the Shiv Sena-BJP combine for electoral gains in the state. “Raj Thackeray is a stooge of the Congress and the ruling party in the state is using him against the Shiv Sena-BJP combine,” Yadav told reporters when asked about the MNS’ chief’s remarks.


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South Asia Tribune I Thursday 30 August 2012

Thousands of overseas students faced possible deportation Universities chase London Met students as Thousands of Pakistani and Indian and Bangladeshi students in British universities face deportation Universities in and around the capital are working to find places for international students displaced from London Metropolitan University to boost

which allowed it to sponsor visas for students from outside the EU -- revoked by the UK Border Agency on Wednesday over alleged failings in its procedures. London Metropolitan University is one of the most popular universities for the prospective students aiming to study in UK from Pakistan. Its popularity

service, and deal with student visas and immigration issues,” a woman who gave her name as Meghna Mittal told HT on the phone. “We got an email update this (Friday) morning that some LMU students might be approaching us for getting into other universities.” Questioned, she revealed that some students, although living

university, one of the largest in London. “It will be working very closely with the UK Border Agency, Higher Education Funding Council for England, National Voice of Students (NUS) and its own Students’ Union. Our absolute priority is our students, both current and prospective,

faced by Pakistani students . Association of Pakistani Lawyers Chairman Barrister Amjad Malik said, “The enquiries are in hundreds and I am currently dealing with around 10 cases where students suffered on account of college closure.” Colleges losing licences are refusing to pay the students’ fees and new colleges reluctant

their numbers of lucrative learners from outside the EU. The thousands of students who can no longer study at the university after it was stripped this week of its powers to sign-off on student visas are searching for suitable courses so they can stay in the UK and finish their degrees. The future of thousands of Pakistani and Indian students studying in British universities and colleges is at stake . Some 2,600 foreign students affected by the London Metropolitan University (LMU) visa ban have been given until at least 1 December to find a new course. The UK’s London Metropolitan University, may be now forced to take the case to the High Court for ending the bitter dispute with the British Government and immigration officials, legal experts have said. Over 2,000 Pakistani and some 350 Indian students are at risk of losing the-ir ‘right to remain’, if British institutions were stripped of their ability to educate the people from outside the European Union (EU). Thousands of overseas students on Thursday faced possible deportation from Britain after the government stripped a London university of its right to sponsor their visas. Amid alarm at the potential damage to the foreign student market in Britain -- worth an estimated £14 billion (17.7 billion euros, $22.2 billion) -- the government rushed to reassure foreign students that it was an isolated case. London Metropolitan University had its Highly Trusted Status --

amongst the Pakistani students can be gauged from the fact that it is a regular advertiser in all the leading newspapers of the country and was one of the first international universities to open its regional office in Pakistan. Not only Pakistani students Indians are also among the foreign students facing an uncertain future, including possible deportation, following the British Government’s decision to strip the London Metropolitan University’s (LMU) right to sponsor visas.

in the “Birmingham area” were enrolled in LMU, adding: “It’s only a 2.5 hour train journey to London.” Such private companies have been able to move in swiftly because students are desperate. Despite repeated offers of help by the university and the UKBA, the fact is that September is the start of the academic year in Britain. Having paid more than 10,000 pounds in fees, no one wants to go back. Both current and future students are in a state of limbo after the UK

and the university will meet all its obligations to them,” the statement said. The UK Border Agency (UKBA) should ask the universities to create spaces and accommodate legitimate students on priority basis. Assad, a law student at Queen Mary University of London, said, “The UKBA has given very short time to the students. It is very difficult to arrange all documents to change the college and university. This is injustice to the students who came here

Touts target Indian students in London Desperate South Asian students are being hunted out by immigration and education touts after the UK Border Agency gave students of the London Metropolitan University 60 days to enrol for courses elsewhere or face deportation. Accordign to Hindustan Times an Indian immigration tout who targeted distressed Indian students. Smartly dressed and describing himself as a “legal and educational services consultant” from Mumbai, the man wrote down the cellphone numbers of a teenaged Pakistani girl, two Nepali men and a man from Andhra Pradesh. “We can enlist these students in other universities that we are working for,” he said, claiming that “thousands of colleges” are being investigated by the UKBA. In the city of Birmingham, 200 miles away, Bright Learning Academy - run by Indians - is also helping local students enrolled at LMU. “We are a student extension

Border Agency (UKBA) revoked the university’s ‘Highly Trusted Status’ (HTS), meaning it will no longer be allowed to authorise visas, leaving even enrolled foreign students uncertain about whether they will be able to complete their courses. “The implications of the revocation are hugely significant and farreaching, and the university has already started to deal with these” says a statement issued by the

rightfully.” Assad asked the Pakistani government take action against the agents mafia and consultants who were misguiding the students. He said that there should be a crackdown against agents and consultants who have got different schemes for innocent students. The Pakistan High Commission in London should enhance the programme it runs to address the issues

to issue new Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies letter. The Border Agency is concerned that some students at this particular university have remained in the UK without valid visas and others have used their visas by way of getting into the country as illegal immigrants. London Metropolitan has also been criticised for failing to adequately test both the English language and general academic ability of its foreign students. Indians currently represent about 10 per cent, or 350 students, of the foreign student body represented at the two central London campuses of the university. Amidst continuing uncertainty facing over 350 Indian students, the London Metropolitan University has closed its two offices in New Delhi and Chennai, which until recently were involved in processing the applications of Indian students. LMU vice-chancellor Malcolm Gillies has denied his university was a threat to immigration control. Responding to the British Home Office claims that the university’s licence was being revoked “due to a failure to comply with their sponsor duties and the resulting threat to immigration control,” he said, “The university is extremely disappointed with this news. It comes after six weeks of suspension during which the university has done everything it could do to demonstrate that the current state of its operations warrants continuing HTS (highly trusted sponsor) status and that a new management has worked to remedy past weaknesses.” Continued on page 13 >>


Saarc international I Thursday 06 September 2012

Continued from page 12 >> Students confused, in panic Amitabh Das, a first year student from Kolkata studying for a degree in public relations, told The Tribune, “Definitely, we Indian students will be affected. It’s very sad that the university may not be there for us to continue and we may have to go back if the university’s sponsorship licence is taken away. I am a 20-year-old and completely confused about what to do.” Another Indian student said in a message sent to LMU, “I have read that the university’s student visa licence has been suspended by the UKBA. Can you please let me know the status of your college now? I almost applied for the September 2012 intake for MSc Aviation Management. Now, I am in two minds. Please, please,

please clarify.” Student Union official Adnan Pavel said, “Our licence has been suspended for the last six weeks and the university is suffering. Government ministers say no final decision has been made, but students are scared about what may happen. Long-term, there will be a negative impact, especially for students from India, Pakistan, Nepal and Bangladesh who will be reluctant to come. They will prefer to go to a university in countries such as USA, Canada and Australia.” Pavel, who is from Bangladesh, told the local media: “If the university’s licence was revoked while I was out of the UK I might not be able to come back. I am the only son and my parents were waiting for me. But after I read

NEWS

the story and saw how critical the situation was I couldn’t fly. I paid £580 for a flight with Emirates, but I lost all the money because I cancelled at the 11th hour.” He added: “Students are in panic, they do not know what to do. Some of my friends studying for PhDs just need to complete their dissertations. Which university will take them if they just need to complete one semester?” Another Bangladeshi student and union official, 26-year-old Syed Rumman, 26, told London’s Evening Standard newspaper: “I am also on the university’s governing body. If I am forced to leave, the students would lose out on representation. The students are panicking. They have come all the way from their home countries and have left their families, and

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this news is causing a lot of stress for them. This would be a threat to higher education across the whole of the UK. People think a British education is the best in the world but they won’t come here if this happens.” MESS AT LONDON MET • As many as 2,000 foreign students face deportation unless they find some other approved university or college that is prepared to sponsor them • There are currently around 350 Indian students at the two central London campuses of the university • Most Indian students pay fee of about £10,000 (`8.6 lakh), discounted by £1,000 for their first year

Pakistan High Commission, London to extend all possible support to Pakistani students in UK The High Commission for Pakistan has been following the situation arising out of the revocation of London Metropolitan University’s Highly Trusted Status for International Students. The High Commission is in touch with the University and the British authorities regarding the status of Pakistani students at the University and possible support to them. We understand that this step by the British authorities is not specifically directed at Pakistani students alone. Pakistani students of the London Metropolitan University are welcome to contact the High Commission’s Education Division for assistance in this regard.

16 whales die after being stranded on Scottish beach

The pilot whales were part of a pod of at least 40 which had been seen swimming in shallow water off St Andrew’s. SIXTEEN PILOT WHALES have died after beaching themselves on the east coast of Scotland, officials said today. Another 10 whales from the same pod also stranded themselves at Pittenweem, near St Andrews, but were refloated after being kept alive by vets from British Divers and Marine Life Rescue with help from the local fire and police services. Another 24 whales from the same pod were swimming in the shallows three miles along the coast, and experts were fearful that they could also be beached by the rising tide. The local coastguard was notified of the mass beaching at 7:00am, and there were soon 30 medics and 25 support crew from the emergency

services on hand to try and save the six-metre mammals. In the United States, 17 pilot whales died after beaching themselves Saturday morning at Avalon Beach State Park, on the east coast of Florida, despite efforts by volunteers

and experts to save them. Two other groups of whales swam onto beaches in North America – one in Cape Cod on Saturday and another in Canada on Sunday. The causes of the events remained unclear.


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South Asia Tribune I Thursday 06 September 2012

Iran and non-aligned movement

By Khaled Ahmed: If Iran were to defang its aggressive stance toward the Middle East, and rely on its economy to dominate the region it will win the victories it aspires to. Once that is achieved, Iran will qualify as a member of SAARC. President Asif Ali Zardari has talked trade, investment and energy with his Iranian counterpart, President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad, on the sidelines of the 16th summit of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) being held in Tehran. The two discussed the situation in Afghanistan and Syria, the two war theatres that may affect their countries in unexpected ways. Despite behind the scenes pressure from the US Pakistan reviewed progress with Iran on their ongoing mega projects, including the IP gas pipeline, the 1,000MW TaftanQuetta power transmission line, the 100MW Gwadar power supply project, construction of NoshkiDalbandin section of Quetta-Taftan Highway and upgradation of the Quetta-Taftan railway track. More significantly, after the current IndoPak thaw they also discussed the opening of the new border posts to connect Karachi and Gwadar with Cahaba and Bandar Abbas ports through the coastal highway. NAM is a very large group of states that had gone into eclipse after the end of Cold War. Its revival by Iran has been expected, signalling a helping hand to Iran if it wants to quit isolationism and to the US

that its option of invasion of Iran was not acceptable. The presence of the UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon at Tehran was significant as a gesture of acceptance of Iran as a non-pariah state despite US sanctions that have hurt Iran

Iran’. More realistically ‘Tehran wants to seize this opportunity to neutralise Western-imposed isolation over its nuclear efforts and to defend its programme, which has been consistently supported at past

invasion – but it has learned to puncture some of its self-imposed isolationism by winning support at the UN from Russia – former superpower – and China – the emerging superpower. It has also successfully courted India in the

recently. Iran says it is helping NAM ‘recapture its original political imagination, reflected in the 1955 founding Bandung summit’s 10 principles emphasizing independence and anti-hegemonic orientation, in light of Iran’s neither east, nor west ideological expression that has been a hallmark of the post-revolutionary order in

Nonaligned Movement summits as well as by nonaligned countries in the International Atomic Energy Agency. Concurrent with the Tehran summit will be a new round of Iran-IAEA talks in Vienna that promise of greater nuclear transparency by Iran’. Iran may be in trouble with the US and its allies in Europe – all of Europe may not support an

region which has been putting Pakistan under some pressure in the past. What militates against the aggressive isolationism of its leaders is Iran’s oil which needs buyers in the rapidly developing states of the world. The irony however is that oil also induces isolationism because of its power to lessen state dependency on the outer world, as has been proved

by states like Venezuela and some others in South America. But the middle course is what the friends of Iran will recommend to it. America may not succeed in invading Iran because of lack of international support but Iran’s contradictions with the Arab states in the region of Middle East will harm it despite its size and military power. Moderation should be the message emanating from the Tehran conference, not more aggressive isolationism. Both China and India – major buyers of Iranian oil – have signalled this message to Iran by reacting to the US sanctions in a measured way. Pakistan’s own defiance with the regard to the Iranian gas pipeline – and handing over of Gwadar to China for development that will ease communications with Iran - is a measured policy, not an endorsement of all of Iran’s policies. Among the Al Qaeda terrorists killed in Syria recently were some Pakistani Punjabi Taliban, signalling Pakistan’s own internal contradictions. Iran-Arab faceoff puts Pakistan in an awkward position because it simply cannot afford to offend either party. If Iran were to defang its aggressive stance toward the Middle East, and rely on its economy to dominate the region it will win the victories it aspires to. Once that is achieved, Iran will qualify as a member of SAARC, the regional economic bloc where Iran’s presence would a key factor.

NEWS

Pakistani young scientists fly their flag high at the London International Youth Science Forum 2012 Five Pakistani young scientists (science students) participated in the world renowned science forum- “London International Youth Science Forum (LIYSF) 2012”. The two-week forum was organized at the Imperial College London from 16-29 August, 2012 and has a distinct history of over 50 years since 1959. However, it is for the first time that five Pakistani science students participated in the forum in an organized way on the initiative of Pakistan Science Foundation (PSF) under the patronage of Ministry of Science and Technology, Government of Pakistan. The students include Ms. Fatima Sajid of Army Medical College Rawalpindi, Ms. Zainab Sohail and Mr. Omer Maqsood of NUST, Mr. Awais Ahmed from University of Agriculture Faisalabad and Mr. Fahad Sohrab from Malakand- a student of FAST

University Peshawar. Theme of this year’s Forum was “The Human Planet”. LIYSF provided a superb opportunity to participants of ages between 17-21 years to meet and interact with young scientists

from all over the world, to exchange ideas, to learn scientifically and culturally and to discuss and debate some of the major issues confronting the world and scientific community today as well as listen to

the lectures by prominent scientists of the UK and Europe. During the forum, students interacted with youth in science from over 50 countries, visited Science and Natural History Museums, some of

the renowned science and research laboratories and universities including Rothamsted, Oxford, Cambridge and CERN. Pakistani students actively participated in the debates and discussions as well as in cultural events. The students along with Chairman PSF Prof. Dr. Manzoor Hussain Soomro were invited over a cup of tea by High Commissioner Wajid Shamsul Hasan at the High Commission for Pakistan in London to encourage the students. The students shared their unique experience with the High Commissioner, who encouraged them and lauded the initiative of PSF for providing the opportunity to the Pakistani youth to interact with young scientists around the world. He also offered all possible assistance to Pakistan Science Foundation for any activities in the UK.


South Asia Tribune I Thursday 06 September 2012

NEWS

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India seeks speedy Pakistan trial for improving relations

India has told Pakistan that a speedy trial of people held in Pakistan in connection with the 2008 Mumbai attacks would help improve relations. The long-awaited meeting between President Asif Ali Zardari and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh held on the sidelines of the NAM summit here on Thursday achieved little beyond the former reiterating the desire for close bilateral relations and improved trade and the Indian leader saying little except stressing the need for Pakistan to act firmly against militants blamed for Mumbai attacks. It was expected that Dr Singh would make a positive announcement about his long overdue visit to Islamabad and that the two sides would set a date for the visit, but he again restricted himself to saying that he would travel to Pakistan at an ‘appropriate time’. President Zardari said Pakistan and India must make determined efforts and maintain focus to steer their dialogue process in a productive and result-oriented manner. “We have covered a lot of ground but we still have to go a long way.” The president said it was important to move beyond reiteration of positions to more substantive results. He said Pakistan was committed to pursuing the process of dialogue and engagement with India.

He said Pakistan was keenly looking forward to a visit by Prime Minister Singh at an early date. Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar described the meeting as “good”. “There is an ample proof that the political leadership of the two countries is committed to improving and normalising ties with each other,” she told APP. Ms Khar said Pakistan believed that it was the right approach and the requirement of the times and emerging regional situation to have better ties with all countries, particularly those in the region. “It is important that we are able to move past the challenges of the past and into a new era of cooperation and being able to resolve our disputes,” she said. The foreign secretaries of the two countries are scheduled to meet in

Islamabad in September to review the second round of dialogue process that resumed after a gap of two years. The president recalled his meeting with Dr Singh during his daylong private visit to India in April and said he was deeply touched by the warm hospitality extended to him in New Delhi and Ajmer Sharif. He praised the Indian prime minister’s vision for a peaceful and prosperous South Asia. The president said Pakistan desired to have friendly, cooperative and good neighbourly relations with India, as it had a deep interest in promoting peace and stability in the region. President Zardari said the South Asian region had enormous potential and cooperation between the two countries was imperative to exploiting this potential. The two leaders also noted a

substantive improvement in economic and trade relations between the two countries. The president expressed satisfaction at the completion of the second round of the dialogue process. According to an Indian news website, Prime Minister Singh told President Zardari that expeditious conclusion of the Mumbai terror attack trial would be a ‘major’ confidence-building measure in bilateral relations. The prime minister “underlined our terrorism-related concerns. He pressed for an expeditious conclusion of the 26/11 trial and said action taken in this sphere would be a major CBM,” Indian Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai said while briefing reporters on the meeting. Mr Singh said action in Mumbai attack trial in Pakistan would help in bridging the trust deficit and build public support for the kind of relationship India would like to see between the two nations. “The prime minister said he attached great importance to normalising relations with Pakistan and that he would like to visit that country at a suitable time, that is to say, he would like a well-prepared visit,” Mathai said. Reiterating India’s desire for peaceful cooperative relations with Pakistan, Prime Minister Singh said there was a need to proceed with a “step-by-

step, graduated” approach given the complexity of bilateral relationship. IRAN PIPELINE: According to APP, a meeting between President Zardari and his Iranian counterpart Mahmoud Ahmedinejad reaffirmed the commitment of the two countries to expeditiously completing work on several joint mega projects, including the Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline, electricity transmission lines and road links. President Zardari offered condolences to the Iranian leader over recent losses suffered by Iran in an earthquake and said Pakistan was ready to provide all possible help to overcome the effects of the disaster.The president stressed the need for creating viable linkages in the areas of trade and investment, energy and connectivity to bring the people of the two countries closer. He said there was tremendous potential of trade between the two countries and effective steps were needed to realise the targets set in this regard. He said the current volume of trade between the two countries was far below the potential. SRI LANKA: During a meeting with his Sri Lankan counterpart Mahinda Rajapaksa, the president called for diversifying trade between the two countries and urgently removing the obstacles in way of having a greater economic interaction.

NAB ‘raids’ CDA office, quizzes high-ups

CDA, throughout the day, remained busy explaining before several inquiry panels the factors which persuaded them to opt for disposal of valuable plots without auction. Early in the morning, Chairman CDA Engineer Farkhand Iqbal along with Authority’s board members appeared before the Awareness and Prevention Division of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to explain the civic agency’s point of view over the issue. The NAB investigators directed the Chairman CDA for a comprehensive presentation to the Prevention Committee of the NAB on September 11 on the issue. Since the Chairman CDA was inside the premises of NAB headquarters, he was informed by his staff that Secretary Cabinet Nargis Sethi along with Additional Secretary Cabinet Division Shahidullah Baig have reached CDA Headquarters to hold an inquiry into the same issue on the direction of Premier Raja Pervaiz Ashraf. “At around 10:30am Nargis Sethi was in CDA. She “occupied” the conference room in front of Chairman office. At that time Chairman CDA and Board Members were at NAB Headquarters,” informed an official of the Authority.

The CDA Board Members and Chairman were investigated turn by turn. A questionnaire was also distributed among the board members

on Friday, I informed the same to Secretary Cabinet,” Iqbal said. He termed the whole event as a drama, highly scandalised by the same forces,

office. The issue started when in recent past the city managers had decided to sell commercial plots meant for various

who responded in accordance with the queries. “I can’t share the details of questions posed by two-member committee, as have taken an oath,” said Member Planning Abdul Aziz Qureshi. However, Chairman CDA Engineer Farkhand Iqbal briefly discussed the “nefarious” designs of those elements, which hatch such sort of conspiracies to derail the smooth working of the civic body. “When the matter caught the attention of media I asked my staff to bring the related file to me. I came to know that I have even not signed any paper aimed to allow any such auction. And

which had recently tried to remove him (Farkhand) from the office of Chairman CDA. He vowed that he would continue to work for the betterment of the capital until he was present in the office of Chairman CDA. “When I had assumed the office, CDA was not even able to pay the salaries of its employees. By holding consecutive auctions of land I managed to provide a breathing space to the Authority,” he said. Sources in Cabinet Division informed TheNation that Secretary Cabinet would submit a report containing her findings today (Saturday) with the PM

mega projects in extension part of existing Blue Area on pre-qualification basis rather than open auction. On the closing date for the submission of expression of interest documents only 11 individuals/firms have submitted the documents for the auction where 12 commercial plots were supposed to be presented for auction. The situation has raised eyebrows of many even inside CDA. “Media has thwarted an attempt of CDA highups to dispose off such valuable plots at throwaway prices to “selected” individuals,” said an official of estate wing of the Authority. The CDA was

expecting generation of revenue amounting to Rs5 billion from this auction. The 12 commercial plots, including plots no A-1, A-2, A-3, A-4, B-1, B-2, B-3, B-4, C-1, C-2, C-3 and C-4 were offered for auction among pre-qualified parties. The plots are located at F-9/G-9 Blue Area (Extension). All the 12 plots are of same-size, that is 1333.33 square yards each. It was the first land auction of CDA’s financial year 2012-13 that has now been put off. For fiscal year 201213 the city managers have anticipated generation of enormous Rs21.423 billion from disposal of residential and commercial plots through auction, both on open and pre-qualification basis. The enormous target of generation of revenue amounting to over Rs21 billion by sale of land for fiscal year 2012-13 shows that this year too, like previous years, the Authority would continue with its selling spree of precious land. “The Authority will expedite the process of selling its land, that is the main source of generation of revenue, during upcoming financial year,” Chairman CDA Engineer Farkhand Iqbal has said while addressing a news conference after presenting CDA’s Budget for 2012-13.


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Saarc international I Thursday 06 September 2012

Saarc international I Thursday 06 September 2012

Highlights of London Paralympic athletics event

Paralympic athletes ‘working harder to break records’

The high number of records being broken at the London 2012 Paralympics is more down to the quality of athletes than improved technology, organisers say. At the half way point of the Games, 228 Paralympic records have been broken, compared with 339 in total at Beijing.

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Saarc international I Thursday 06 September 2012

Jay Sean and Cash OMG (Oh My God) Akshay Kumar In Rowdy Rathore Moustache Blooper! Money Records Celebrate Another Number 1

Cash Money Records co-CEOs and founders Bryan ‘Birdman’ Williams and Ronald ‘Slim’ Williams are proud to announce that the first

Akshay loved the picturesque locale of Hampi so much, that he requested his good friend and ‘Rowdy’ director Prabhudeva to shoot the extra scenes at the idyllic spot for the song Mere Nishaan.

Bollywood superstar Akshay Kumar provided some off-camera comedy capers recently when the superstar was involved in a curious mix-up on the set of his new film OMG (Oh My God). Akshay, who stars as a modern-day Lord Krishna in the film, as well as having produced the project, was shooting a beautiful and poignant sequence for a song entitled Mere Nishaan from the film OMG (Oh My God) in the same location of Hampi, where he had just completed his blockbuster film Rowdy Rathore.

As filming got underway, and Akshay transformed into his character of Lord Krishna complete with rousing emotion and full-costume, he forgot one small, vital detail – that he was still wearing his famed moustache from Rowdy Rathore! Always a good sport, Akshay

recently shared the blooper footage online. He said of it: ‘Sharing an exclusive footage with you’ll from the song Mere Nishaan from OMG (Oh My God), which also happens to be my personal favourite. While I

was shooting for Rowdy Rathore in Hampi, we decided to shoot some portions of Mere Nishaan as well since we had time. All went well but it was only after the shoot that my director, Prabhudeva and I realised that we’d forgotten to remove the fake moustache!’

Indian American’s antiObama film a box office hit

An anti-Obama documentary, directed by an Indian American filmmaker, has become the most successful documentary of all time by outperforming Hollywood films like ‘Sparkle’ and ‘The Apparition’. The film, ‘2016: Obama’s America’, directed by Indian American Dinesh D’Souza, a former staffer of President Ronald Reagan, took in USD 6.5 million to land at No 7 at last weekend’s domestic box office. It had gathered the cumulative revenue of USD 10.3 million from 1091

locations, since its release on August 24. With its catchphrase, ‘Love Him. Hate Him. You Don’t Know Him,’ the movie, which explores the roots of President Barack Obama’s political views, burned past the per-screen average of the ‘Expendables 2’. Based on the D’Souza’s book ‘The Roots of Obama’s Rage,’ the an hour-and-a-half-long documentary portrays a gloomy future if Obama is re-elected. The documentary claims Obama inherited a left-wing, anti-colonialist

world view from his father - whom he barely knew - and that if re-elected he would turn to socialism and bankrupt the United States. Despite its anti-Obama tone, the filmmakers said they only received funding from private investors, not the Republican Party. They said that the movie’s proceeds are not headed to Republican challenger Mitt Romney’s campaign. The film is co-directed by D’Sousa with John Sullivan and produced by Gerald Molen. Molen is a Hollywood veteran who produced ‘Jurassic Park’ and ‘Schindler’s List.’ D’Sousa, who moved to America in 1978, brings his words to the screen by serving as documentary’s narrator. The documentary may have done well at the box office but it has not found favours with critics. Newsday’s Rafer Guzman called it an ‘attempt at character assassination.’ The Los Angeles Times’ Betsy Sharkey said it was a ‘sluggish film’ whose ‘outrage falls flat.’ The Variety review noted, “There’s no gainsaying the value of ‘2016’ as a sort of Cliffs Notes pr cis of the conservative case against the re-election of our current US president.”

Cash Money Records and YMCMB artist to reach number 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 charts, Jay Sean takes the hot spot again! Jay’s current collaboration with Latin artists Chino y Nacho, ‘Bebe Bonita’ rose over 20 spots in less than 7 days to take pole position on the Billboard Hot Latin Songs Chart. With this latest hit, Jay Sean has become the first British male artist to reach the top spot on the Latin Billboard Charts as well as the first Asian artist to achieve the same honour. In 2009 Jay Sean’s single ’Down’ hit the number 1 spot on the Billboard Hot 100 chart making him the first YMCMB artist to do so. “Jay Sean continues to expand his global fan base. We are very proud of his ability to cross many musical boundaries and his continued efforts in and outside of the studio,”

says Bryan “Birdman” Williams. There’s a reason they call Jay the international superstar, his current single ‘I’m All Yours’ featuring ‘Pitbull’ is 2 times platinum in Australia, went to No1 in the Japanese pop charts, currently sits in Germany’s top 30, and has over ten million views on YouTube. Jay has also reached No1 with the single he penned for the Australian boy band ‘Justice Crew’. The song ‘Boom Boom’ hit No1 on iTunes over the weekend and is No1 on the overall Aria Chart (Australia’s Music Sales Chart). “The Latin Billboard No1 means so much to me. In the 10 years I’ve been working as an international artist, South America was the only continent I felt I had yet to make a real impact on and I guess there’s no better way of doing it than getting that top spot! I’m delighted to be on the record with Chino y Nacho who are already huge stars in the region. For me this is just the beginning, I’m looking to do a lot more work in the Latin world,” says Jay. Jay’s single ‘Sex 101’ featuring ‘Tyga’ off his recent mixtape ‘The Mistress’ is also making a splash, garnering over 400,000 downloads and an astonishing 8 million views in less than 4 days during its debut on www.worldstarhiphop.com and over two million views on VEVO. Jay is currently gearing up to release his fourth studio album, his second with Cash Money Records, ‘Worth it All’ due out later this year.

Gin and Rees ft Aslam Ali ‘Sanu Teh Changa’

After many years of creating music behind the scenes, producing duo Gin and Rees are set to release their debut single ‘Sanu Teh Changa’. Featuring the beautiful lyrics of the musical genius Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Gin and Rees have not only

managed to pay homage to the maestro of qaawal, but have managed to find a vocalist that truly does justice to the Ustad. The track, will be released on the 23rd August features the soulful vocals of India based singer Aslam Ali, whose voice so closely resembles the mighty Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan. Listeners will not only be amazed, but emotionally touched by memories of

the musical giant. Gin who first heard Aslam sing on a trip to India says: “The hairs literally stood up on the back of my neck. I could not believe that anyone could have a voice that even came close to my hero. But Aslam is incredible and I knew that we had to work with him.” Gin and Rees, who are not only co-producers but also brothers, have grown up in the music industry, with Gin mastering Indian percussion (Dhol, Dholak and Tabla) and melody from a young age. Rees also fell in love with Bhangra music and dance; the brothers have been running the now famous VP Entertainments. The dance troupe which made it’s mark with a scintillating Bhangra performance at London 2012’s closing ceremony. However, creating music is in their blood and ‘Sanu Teh Changa’, shows off their musical vision and talents. With a beautiful melody that perfectly complements the heart-wrenching lyrics, this track will, without doubt, melt and steal hearts.


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Work displayed in saarc int. are a review of southasianmedia.net. The information on this page is for information purposes only. The South Asia Tribune and SAARC International Ltd. assume no liability for any inaccurate, delayed, or incomplete information, nor for any actions taken in reliance thereon. The full story can be viewed at www.southasianmedia.net

international

Thursday, 06.09.12

US daily calls PM ‘tragic figure’, government wants apology Washington Post stands its ground, says no apology for PM article

“India’s ‘silent’ prime minister becomes a tragic figure” Washington Post Months after the Time magazine termed Prime Minister Manmohan Singh “an underachiever”, an influential US daily described him as “a dithering, ineffectual bureaucrat presiding over a deeply corrupt government”. The Washington Post on Wednesday said that no apology has been offered for an article written by the India bureau chief which called Manmohan

Singh a ‘silent’ Prime Minister who has become ‘a tragic figure’. TV channels claimed that the Prime Minister’s Office has sought an apology from the paper and said that its demand was accepted but the Washington Post vehemently denied it. Simon Denyer, the bureau chief, in a tweet from his personal account responded to a reader saying: “@ KabirTaneja Its not true. No threats were issued from their side, no apology

was offered from mine”. The government reacted testily and demanded an apology from The Washington Post. In an article, “India’s ‘silent’ prime minister becomes a tragic figure”, the newspaper said Manmohan Singh helped set India on the path to modernity, prosperity and power, but cited critics saying the soft-spoken 79year-old is in “danger of going down in history as a failure”. “The architect of India’s economic reforms, Singh was a major force behind his country’s rapprochement with the United States and is a respected figure on the world stage. “But the image of the scrupulously honourable, humble and intellectual technocrat has slowly given way to a completely different one: a dithering, ineffectual bureaucrat presiding over a deeply corrupt government,” The Washington Post said. The daily said that for the past two weeks, the Indian parliament has been adjourned every day as the opposition demands Singh’s resignation over allegations of waste and corruption in the allocation of coal mining Continued on page 27 >>

Centre asks Punjab to crack down on LeJ * Meeting observes strong nexus exists between TTP faction and LeJ * Orders probe into foreign visits of Malik Ishaq * TTP fuelling sectarian strife in and around Quetta

The federal government on Tuesday asked the Punjab government to crack down on Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ) without further delay, as most cases of sectarian violence had been claimed by the defunct organisation. This was observed in a meeting on Tuesday, chaired by Interior Minister Rehman Malik, to review law and Continued on page 28 >>

52 charred to death in Tamil Nadu’s Sivakasi factory fire At least 52 persons were burnt to death and 50 injured on Wednesday in a devastating blaze that raged through a fireworks factory on the outskirts of Sivakasi, the country’s cracker manufacturing hub. The toll might go up as several persons were still feared trapped under the debris, police and fire brigade said, as the fire was doused by the evening amid intermittent explosions.

Officials said the dead bodies had been accounted for from hospitals at Sattur (16), Virudhunagar (13),

Sivakasi (21). Two others died on way to a hospital in Madurai. Almost all those killed were

workers, with some persons, who rushed inside the factory complex to try and rescue those trapped

inside, also falling victim to the blaze, they said. The tragedy struck when workers were engaged in mixing chemicals for fancy fireworks. The blaze gutted all 48 sheds located in the premises of Omshakthi fireworks factory, police and fire officials said. They said the entire production had been stored in a godown Continued on page 27 >>


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Muslim Leaders Support Pakistani Girl Rimsha Masih who was Accused of Blasphemy Rimsha’s case has raised a high level of concern because of her age and media reports that she has Down’s Syndrome. Hardline cleric deliberately framed Rimsha Masih, believed to be just 13, in order to ‘get rid of Christians’, court hears The mullah Khalid Jadoon Chishti at the centre of the furore surrounding a young Pakistani Christian girl facing a death sentence for blasphemy has been accused of deliberately framing her by planting burnt Islamic texts. A local magistrate court on Sunday handed over Khalid Jadoon, the prayer leader who allegedly fabricated evidences against an accused Christine girl for blasphemy, to Adiala police on 14 days judicial remand. In an extraordinary development in the case, which has attracted international condemnation, Hafiz Mohammed Khalid Jadoon Chishti arrived in court blindfolded and under tight security after being arrested late on Saturday night. The judge ruled he should be held in police custody for two weeks. Police say two of his colleagues gave statements that he added pages from the Qu’ran to strengthen the case against Rimsha Masih, who has been in custody for two weeks after she was accused by Muslim neighbours in her Islamabad neighbourhood of burning the

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Pakistani mullah ‘planted charred texts’ on girl accused of blasphemy

holy book. The crime is particularly serious under the country’s much-criticised blasphemy laws and offenders can be sentenced to death. Maulvi Zubair and two other assistants at a mosque near Rimsha’s house told police Chishti deliberately added pages from the Qu’ran to some charred refuse she

by Christian worshippers had disturbed Muslim residents. Muslim clerics and scholars -including representatives of radical groups -- have voiced support for a Pakistani Christian girl accused of blasphemy. An official medical review, meanwhile, has revealed

chair of the council, told the BBC. He called on the government to impartially investigate the accusations and punish the accusers if they falsely pointed the finger, according to Toronto’s Globe and Mail. A lawyer representing the man who

stood up for non-Muslims,” Ishaq told McClatchy. “We are together, demanding justice, demanding an unbiased investigation.” Deliberately framed Rimsha Masih accused of blasphemy must wait until at least Monday to learn if she will be given bail, after a judge

was carrying. Zubair is said to have objected at the time but Chishti insisted it was the only way to get rid of Christians in the area. Rimsha’s lawyers maintain that she did not commit any crime. They say that not only is she only 13 years old, and should be tried as a juvenile, she also has Down’s syndrome and therefore “cannot commit such a crime”, according

she has mental difficulties. According to media reports, the All Pakistan Ulema Council, an organization of Muslim clerics and scholars, denounced the climate of fear and vigilantism surrounding Rimsha Masih, who was accused of blasphemy for burning religious texts and then arrested when an irate mob demanded action. The facts of the case -- including

accused a Pakistani Christian girl of blasphemy has said that if she is not convicted, Muslims could “take the law into their own hands”. Rao Abdur Raheem, lawyer also said: ‘The girl is guilty. If the state overrides the court, then God will get a person to do the job.’ The fact that Muslim mullahs -- even radical leaders -- were defending Masih was not lost

to her bail application. Chishti has been outspoken about his dislike of the hundreds of Christian families who live in the area, even appearing on a popular national television show to complain that the noise made

what the young girl burned while cleaning -- are in doubt, and some media reports say she has Down syndrome. “The law of the jungle is taking over now and anybody can be accused of anything,” Allama Tahir Ashrafi,

on Sajid Ishaq, chairman of the Pakistan Interfaith League, which includes Christian, Sikh and other religious minorities. “This is the first time in the history of Pakistan that Muslim community and scholars have

adjourned her case on Saturday amid doubts over legal paperwork. Rimsha has been in custody since she was arrested more than two weeks ago. Judge Muhammad Azam Khan adjourned the case until Monday and asked police to investigate a bail application made on Rimsha’s behalf after prosecutors claimed the paperwork had not been signed by the girl or her mother. Talking to reporters outside the court, Rimsha’s lawyer Tahir Naveed Chaudhry accused the prosecutors and lawyers for her accuser of delaying tactics. “The medical report has declared her an underage person with low IQ. She is innocent and should be released,” he said. A medical report earlier this week said Rimsha appeared to be around 14-year-old, which would make her a minor, and had a mental age below her true age, but the court has yet to decide whether to accept the assessment. Still, Rimsha Masih, whose arrest last month angered religious and secular groups worldwide, may be in danger if she returns from jail to her village.

93rd anniversary of Independence Day of Afghanistan celebrated In Pakistan

A large number of diplomats attended the function to mark the 93rd anniversary of Independence Day of Afghanistan in a local hotel and had candid exchange of views about the situation prevailing in Pakistan. Ambassador Afghanistan Muhammad Umer Daudzai hosted the reception in which federal minister Engineer Shaukatullah Khan was the chief guest. Pakhtoon leaders. A delegation of Afghanistan’s Hizb-e-Islami led by its central leader Ghairat Baheer also attended the function.

Gulbadin Hekmatyar is head of the party whose whereabouts are not

known. PPP (Sherpo) chairman Aftab

Ahmad Khan Sherpao, Ms Aneesa Zeb Tahirkhaili, Sikandar Sherpao,

Swat’s valiant political leader Lala Afzal Khan, Awami National Party (ANP) acting president Senator Haji Muhammad Adeel, Senator Ilyas Ahmad Bilour, Jamat-e-Islami KPK leader Siraj Khan, former foreign minister Gohar Ayub Khan and several other leaders belonging to different parties attended the reception. Interior Minister Rehman Malik, chief of protocol Ghalib Iqbal, director general Foreign Office Ibrar Ahmad and senior officials of the armed forces represented their respective departments.


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WEEKLY REVIEW OF AFGHANISTAN NEWS

Suicide attack kills 30 at Afghan funeral

A suicide bomber targeted an Afghan government official at a funeral on Tuesday, killing at least 20 people and wounding dozens more near the Pakistan border in one of the deadliest attacks of the year. The local administration said up to 25 people had died and other officials warned the toll could rise after the devastating blast in the remote district of Dur Baba in the eastern province of Nangarhar. District governor Hamisha Gul was the target and was wounded in the blast. One official said one of the governor’s sons had been killed in the attack, which happened at around 2:30 pm. There was no immediate claim of responsibility but the Taliban routinely target officials in their 10year insurgency aimed at evicting

US-led Nato troops and bringing down the Western-backed Afghan government. Violence has risen in recent months as insurgents look to capitalise on the phased withdrawal of the bulk of 130,000 Western combat troops, due to leave at the end of 2014 and transfer full responsibility for security to their Afghan counterparts. One witness described scenes of horror shortly after the blast. “I heard a big bang and saw smoke

all over the place, then I saw pieces of flesh and people all around me were covered in blood. I don’t know what happened, but it caused a lot of casualties,” he told AFP from a hospital without giving his name. In Kabul, the interior ministry confirmed 20 deaths and said 50 people were wounded, including the district governor. “Some wounded people are in a critical condition, the toll might rise,” spokesman Sediq Sediqqi told AFP. Due to the remote location of the

The NATO dilemma in Afghanistan Experts agree that NATO has to learn and understand the history of the Afghanistan conflict to find a solution to the country’s problems. If not, they will only go from being the hunters to the hunted. Who are our friends and who are our enemies? These questions seem to be of vital importance at the moment in NATO’s Afghanistan strategy.

This year so far, there have been attacks nearly every week on international troops by Afghan security forces. By the end of August, 45 soldiers had died in such attacks. The radical Islamist Taliban and their helpers have been planning for around three years to infiltrate the Afghan army and police – apparently with success, South Asia expert Konrad Schetter told DW. “Their main strategy is to destroy communication and interaction between the international forces - the representatives of NATO - and the Afghans, and thus destroy the trust between Afghan and international security forces.” Damage control Damaged cooperation between Afghan security forces and their international allies would make the formation of a

stable security apparatus impossible in the country. The Afghan army and police are still in the process of reconstruction. From 2014 onward, after international troops have left Afghanistan, they are supposed to entirely take over responsibility for the country’s security. But before it can do that, Afghan security forces have to receive intensive

training from their NATO partners. Joint operations against insurgents can be seen as one part of the training. But this socalled “partnering strategy” don’t seem to be possible, according to Schetter. “The training of Afghan soldiers is now being conducted with wooden rifles. They are trying to demilitarize Afghan soldiers on all levels. But training on wooden rifles can only get you so far - it is more difficult to re-enact serious situations than with real weapons and ammunition.” NATO countries are faced with a dilemma: “they know that they have to train and build up Afghan security forces but up to now, they have not had a strategy for minimizing the influence of insurgents on them,” Schetter explained. ‘Ungrateful partners’ In addition, the Afghan government did not seem to have understanding for

current problems the international forces are facing in Afghanistan, Afghan military expert Assadullah Walwalgi told DW. “President Hamid Karsai and the Afghan government are not helping their partners one bit with their anti-American strategy. The President himself has been blaming the country’s problems on the US and international security forces for years. You don’t even need the Taliban to create anti-Western sentiment among the Afghan security forces and population.” President Hamid Karzai likes to refer to the radical Islamist Taliban as his “brothers.” He feels deserted and humiliated by the Obama administration. Afghanistan’s friends in Washington were, to put it mildly, very reserved, after Karzai was reelected in 2009. The difference of opinion, according to Walwalgi, is the best ammunition for the insurgents. “The insurgents and their helpers know that the citizens of the NATO states are definitely not ready to sacrifice their soldiers and an endless amount of money for a state that does not show any gratitude.” Learning from mistakes Walwalgi also criticized the governments of NATO countries. He accused them of acting like armatures even after over 10 years of war. He said they had to understand that the conflict was taking place on three levels: the national, regional and international levels. And only a solution that represented all three could bring lasting peace to Afghanistan. He also said that NATO had only itself to blame if it did not want to learn from the history of the country and it should not be surprised if it failed.

attack, casualty reports differed. “Twenty-five people, including the son of the district governor, have been killed and 30 other people were injured,” said Nangarhar provincial spokesman Ahmad Zia Abdulzai, adding that Gul was wounded by the attacker, who came on foot. Tuesday’s bombing was one of the worst attacks of the year in Afghanistan and comes just weeks after the deadliest assault of 2012, when a group of suicide bombers killed at least 30 people in

southwestern Nimroz province, on the border with Iran. It is not the first time that suicide bombers have attacked funerals in Afghanistan. On December 25, 2011, 19 people, including an MP, were killed in the northeastern city of Taluqan after a bomber walked into a burial ceremony and detonated explosives strapped to his chest. Lawmaker Abdulmutalib Baiga, a former anti-Taliban Northern Alliance commander and the former police chief of Kunduz province, died in the Taluqan attack. He was working with opposition leader Abdullah Abdullah in the newlyestablished National Coalition of Afghanistan. The United Nations says 1,145 civilians were killed and 1,954 wounded in the war in the first six months of this year, with the world body blaming 80 per cent of the deaths on insurgents.

Difficult task ahead in Afghanistan, says Obama US President Barack Obama said on Saturday that America still had a `difficult task ahead’ in Afghanistan and would continue to stay engaged with that country even after most of its combat troops left in 2014. Mr Obama devoted the last two days, Friday and Saturday, speaking about the war in Afghanistan as his Republican rival Mitt Romney faced a barrage of criticism for not mentioning the Afghan war in his acceptance speech on Thursday night. Television commentators and newspaper writers from both conservative and liberal camps reminded the Republican presidential candidate that more than 2,000 Americans had died in Afghanistan and almost 90,000 US troops were still there. They argued that developments in Afghanistan and Pakistan would also impact America’s security and therefore it was not right to ignore such an important subject. Determined not to repeat Mr Romney’s mistake, President Obama on Friday visited US troops at Fort Bliss, Texas, some of whom had served in Afghanistan while some were going there later this year. On Saturday, he chose to highlight the Afghan issue in his weekly radio address, telling Americans that “there is still difficult work ahead of us in Afghanistan”. The US and allied forces, he said, had “broken the Taliban’s momentum in

Afghanistan, and begun the transition to an Afghan lead” but that was not the end of America’s engagement with Afghanistan. Mr Obama noted that next month the last group of troops he ordered as part of the 2009 surge against the Taliban would be returning home. The US and Nato forces, he added, were well poised to meet the 2014 deadline for handing over military command to Afghans. During his visit to Fort Bliss, Mr Obama met soldiers both returning from and departing to Afghanistan and told them that now was the time to strengthen America. “Part of honouring their service means strengthening the nation they fought so hard to protect. As we turn the page on a decade of war, it’s time to do some nation-building here at home,” he said. At Fort Bliss, Mr Obama also signed an executive order expanding suicide prevention and mental health efforts in the military.


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WEEKLY REVIEW OF BANGLADESH NEWS

BUET Pro-VC to resign, decision on VC later

Pro-vice-chancellor of Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology Habibur Rahman will be removed and cases filed against BUET teachers and students withdrawn as steps to resolve the protracted crisis in the university. Education minister Nurul Islam Nahid announced the decision to reporters at 1:15am Tuesday after two hours of crisis management meeting with an 11-member delegation of teachers led by BUET Teachers’ Association president Mujibur Rahman and general secretary Ashraful Islam. Asked whether vice-hancellor SM Nazrul Islam would resign, Nahid said necessary steps would be taken about him after discussions. The education minister said other irregularities in the university would also be looked into and settled through discussions.

He said academic activities at BUET would resume today. Mujibur Rahman said, ‘We have

sit with the teachers and students, apprise them of the outcome of the meeting and normal activities of

been assured by the minister’s decision and normal activities will be restored and academic activities will begin soon.’ Asked whether the classes would resume today, he said they would

the university would be restored. Large contingents of police were deployed at various points of the BUET campus, including in front of the administrative building and the vice-chancellor’s residence.

Police’s Ramna zone assistant commissioner Shiblee Noman told New Age that reinforcements were dispatched to ensure security on the campus. Police barred students from using PA system on the day. No classes and academic activities have been held in the university for 10 consecutive days as the teachers abstained from taking classes without announcement after the reopening of the institution. The vice-chancellor on July 10 closed the university for 44 days from July 11, triggering agitations by teachers for removal of Nazrul and Habibur. Students and employees later joined the protest. The High Court on July 31 ordered an injunction against demonstrations of teachers on the campus and since then the teachers, however, had not announced any

fresh programmes. The university authorities last week issued a notice to all deans, department heads, teachers and officials concerned asking them to resume classes and to immediately begin the admission process. Meanwhile, leaders of Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal, at a press statement condemned the cases filed against BUET teachers and students. Jatiya Mukti Council, Naya Ganatantrik Ganamorcha, Jatiya Ganatantrik Ganamnacha and Jatiya Ganafront in a joint statement called for an expeditious settlement of the BUET crisis and condemned the cases filed against its teachers and students. Sachetan Sthapati Samaj leaders in a statement urged the BUET vicechancellor and pro vice-chancellor to step down immediately.

Dipu Moni : ‘Donors trying BNP asks PM to explain ‘corruption’ to influence govt on election’ by ministers, advisers

Foreign Minister Dipu Moni said Sunday that donor agencies are trying to interfere in the government’s bid to hold the next general election as per the country’s constitution. “The government will hold next election as per the constitution of the country, whereas donor agencies are trying to influence,” she told reporters after talks with State Minister for Foreign and Home of Singapore Zulkifli Masagos at state guest house Padma. She said that there is no reason for international community to be worried about the next election. She mentioned that over 5200 elections at different levels were held under the present government without any allegations of unfairness. “All these elections were free and fair, and there was no question raised about their fairness,” she

said. The foreign minister denied any ‘diplomatic failure’ in handling the World Bank’s allegations of corruption intent in Padma bridge project. The Bank has cancelled its $1.2 billion credit to the project on allegations of corruption conspiracy. The government is trying to woo the bank back to the $2.9-billion project. Dipu said the World Bank has taken its decision without any concrete evidence of corruption causing a problem for Bangladesh. She said the government does not want to get into a dispute with any friendly country or donor agency. Rather Dhaka will continue its effort to make them understand that their decision was wrong.

The Bangladesh Nationalist Party has demanded an ‘explanation’ from the prime minister over the reports published in different foreign newspapers about the alleged corruption by the government’s ministers and advisers. The acting BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir made the demand at a rally at Nayapaltan organised by Jatiyatabadi Juba Dal makring the 4th anniversary of the release of the party’s senior vicechairman Tarique Rahman from jail. Fakhrul said that not only the people of the country, but others were also pointing the finger at the ministers and advisers of the government for ‘corruption’. ‘We want an explanation from the prime minister over the allegations. People want to know what is happening,’ he said.

Presided over by Juba Dal president Syed Moazzem Hossain Alal, the rally was also addressed, among others, by BNP leaders Gayeshwar Chandra Roy, Amanullah Aman and Barkatullah Bulu and Juba Dal general secretary Saiful Alam Nirob. Fakhrul said that the names of the prime minister’s advisers Modasser

Ali, Mashiur Rahman and Toufiq-eElahi and former minister Syed Abul Hossain had come up as being involved in ‘corruption’. He said the government should resign on moral ground. Fakhrul alleged that the government was engaged in a ‘smear campaign’ against Tarique Rahman. The government cannot survive by spreading ‘falsehood’, he added.

Khamenei lauds Dhaka’s role in OIC, NAM

Khamenei has praised the ‘influential role’ Bangladesh was playing as a member of the Organisation of Islamic Conference, Non-Aligned Movement and the D8 Group, hoping that cooperation among Islamic countries would further increase. Khamenei made the remarks during a meeting with prime minister Sheikh Hasina on the sidelines of the 16th NAM summit in the Iranian capital of Tehran on Friday. The Iranian supreme leader noted that if unity and cooperation seriously existed among independent and Muslim states, they would not have

witnessed the ongoing crises in Bahrain and Syria. He said that the only way to confront the global policies of ‘bullying powers’ was close collaboration among independent and Muslim states, adding that ‘in case such unity and cooperation existed

in a serious manner, we would not have been witness to the unfortunate developments that are currently underway in Syria and Bahrain.’ Khameni also pointed to historical and cultural commonalities between Bangladesh and Iran and noted that

profound cultural ties provided a very good ground for the promotion of political, international, economic and social cooperation between Dhaka and Tehran. Hasina underscored the need for unity among the Muslim Ummah, expressing the hope that the OIC would take initiatives to solve problems within the Ummah through consultations among the Muslim nations. Hasina expressed her country’s desire for further expansion of ties with Iran in various fields, particularly in economic and trade sectors.


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WEEKLY REVIEW OF BHUTAN NEWS

Bhutan carrier Drukair launches Singapore flights

at Changi Airport yesterday afternoon with Her Royal Highness Princess Chimi Yangzom Wangchuck onboard, together with senior government officials from Bhutan. “We felt from Singapore we’d be able to have better connectivity. We have noticed a lot of tourists who come through Singapore to Bhutan,” said Tandin Jamso, chief executive officer of Drukair. “Changi is a good hub as far as South-east Asia is concerned.” The airline, which has two A319s and an ATR 42-500, is leasing another aircraft for a three-year period from this month. It has also signed an agreement to purchase an A319 from airplane maker Airbus, which it expects to take delivery in 2015.

BHUTAN’S national carrier Drukair will commence a twice-weekly service between Singapore and the city of Paro from Sept 1. Singapore is the fifth country to be linked to Bhutan by air, joining other cities such as Bangkok, New Delhi and Kathmandu. Operating out of Changi Airport’s Terminal 1, Drukair is using Airbus A319 aircraft for the sector, which flies via Kolkata, in a two-class configuration with 20 business class seats and 94 economy seats. The flight arrives in Singapore from Paro at 3.15 pm on Wednesdays and Saturdays, while the return flight from Singapore to Paro departs Changi at 6 am on Thursdays and Sundays. A special inaugural flight touched down

Bhutan receives US$ 8.323M from Global Fund

He said the proposal for these three diseases is a priority as the number of patients suffering from them is rapidly increasing in Bhutan. He added that without this fund essential services to the people suffering from these diseases are impossible. The fund

Bhutan will receive US$ 8.323 million from the Global Fund. The fund has approved US$ 850,210 for malaria treatment, US$ 6.722 million for HIV and US$ 751,144 for TB for the next two years. Bhutan’s is one of the 56 proposals approved by the Global Fund Board submitted under the Transition Funding Mechanism (TFM) by Ministry of Health (MoH). The Global Fund is a public-private partnership and international financing institution dedicated to attracting and disbursing additional resources to prevent and treat HIV/AIDS, TB and malaria. The fund, according to MoH officials, will be used only to treat serious malaria, HIV and TB patients. Tandin Dorji, a chief programme officer of the ministry, said the fund cannot be used for any other purpose than treating vulnerable groups.

will help avoid deaths and substantial rebound in transmission. Malaria is rampant in southern Bhutan and a few other districts. HIV/AIDS and TB cases are seen in all the districts. The fund will be disbursed to the hospitals around the country and made available to the people suffering from these diseases. The Global Fund last year received 61 proposals from 48 countries across the world with a total funding request of US$ 606.6 million. The fund secretariat assessed all proposals to ensure they meet the minimum requirements. Out of 61 proposals, five were rejected because they did not meet the TFM requirements. The Global Fund announced that it will support continuation of early diagnosis and detection where it is considered an essential component of disease programmes.

Bhutan elected vice chair of the 16th NAM summit Bhutan has been elected as one of the vice chairs of the 16th summit of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), which began in the capital city of Iran, Tehran, yesterday. Lyonchhen Jigmi Y Thinley delivered a statement at the summit’s opening session as the vice chair of the summit on behalf of the Asia-Pacific states of the NAM after the summit opened with Iran assuming the chair from Egypt for the next three years. Lyonchhen conveyed the gratitude of the Asian group members of the NAM to the people and government of the Islamic Republic of Iran. He said that “just as we are touched by the generosity and warmth of the Iranian hospitality, we are also inspired by the history and culture of this great nation. And we are certain that the city of Tehran will deliver to our summit a very successful outcome.” The summit’s inaugural session was also marked by opening remarks of president of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Egyptian President Muhammed Morsi and UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon. Lyonchhen said that as Egypt passes on to Iran the mantle of the Movement’s leadership, the Asia Pacific region wishes to place on record deep appreciation for the outstanding manner in which the outgoing chair steered the NAM through a tumultuous period. One

certainty in the turbulent world, Lyonchhen said, is the rapidity and growing complexity of change, so the future years will be increasingly challenging. “But the dedication and commitment with which Iran

with which the member states are prepared to cooperate towards a more peaceful, harmonious and happier world. He assured the gathering that the Asian pacific group will continue to contribute

assumed the role of stewardship, give us the confidence that NAM will continue to be a powerful and positive force in shaping the destiny of human society,” he said, adding that to this end, the Asian group welcomes the offer of Venezuela to host the next summit. Lyonchhen also said that the high quality of the reports and the outcome documents which are about to be adopted, bear not only evidence of the knowledge but hard work of the teams of both the outgoing and current chairs. He said that they also speak eloquently of the spirit of understanding and accommodation

actively and meaningfully to the principles, vision and endeavour of the Movement. Lyonchhen will deliver his keynote address today. Meanwhile, Lyonchhen met with the president of Benin, Dr Thomas Yayi Boni, who currently holds the presidency of the African Union, His Royal Highness the Prince of Jordan, Hassan bin Talal, special envoy of the prime minister of Australia, Julia Gillard, and the leader of the delegation of Vietnam. He also met and interacted with several other heads of states and governments, and leaders of delegations.


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WEEKLY REVIEW OF INDIA NEWS

Manmohan Singh ‘readies for fight’

Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh on Monday ruled out immediate cancellation of one

hundred and forty-two coal block allocations as demanded by BJP and made it clear that he was ready for a fight with the opposition on the issue. Singh conveyed his determination about not going for immediate

cancellation of the coal block allocations informally to some senior ministers here, sources told. BJP has demanded cancellation of 142 coal blocks but the Prime Minister is of the view that this could not be done immediately, the sources said. Singh has made it clear that he was ready to fight it out with the opposition on the issue and was ready to give answer to every question raised by the BJP, they said. Earlier, coal minister Sriprakash Jaiswal said the coal block allocation issue was being probed on two fronts -- one by the CBI and other by an inter-ministerial group (IMG) -- and that cancellation cannot be resorted to before the IMG gives its report by September 15.

Pro-Telangana protests reach Delhi

Pro-Telangana agitation today reached the capital when hundreds of BJP cadre from Andhra Pradesh tried to march towards the Prime Minister’s residence demanding a separate state, forcing police to use water cannons and tear gas shells to quell them. The drama unfolded at around noon outside the Parliament Street Police Station, less than a km from the highly-fortified Parliament House complex, as the protesters marched from Jantar Mantar, where they have been holding an agitation since yesterday. The BJP cadres led by party leader Prakash Javadekar tried breaking the barricades after they were stopped by a large posse of policemen outside the station and even attempted to clash with the police. With protesters insisting that they would march towards Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s residence, police warned them that they would use force to quell them as they did not have permission. As the police warning went unheeded, the men in khaki used water cannons and tear gas shells to disperse the protesters from the area. After a while, the protesters led by Javadekar courted

arrested and went inside the station where they raised slogans against the UPA Government. Shouts of ‘Jai Telangana’, ‘We are ready to face lathi and bullets for Telangana’ resonated the area as hundreds of protesters courted arrest. The protestors were demanding the Centre immediately take steps to form a separate state of Telangana. BJP, the principal Opposition party at the Centre, is supporting the demand for bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh.

PM Singh invites Rahul PM must clarify his remarks, Joshi to join govt yet again Prime renewed pitch for Rahul to join his Cabinet despite persistent indications that the Congress gen sect may prefer to ensure higher representation and profile of younger leaders in the govt rather than accepting a ministerial responsibility himself. Asked about Rahul’s announcement of playing a greater role in politics, PM Singh told reporters on his way back from Tehran, “I have always favoured

of Parliament. It also suggested that Singh was hopeful of the Congress general secretary switching to the government. However, Congress sources are sceptical of the possibility and maintain that Rahul would instead prefer a leg up for younger party colleagues. Sources said Rahul has urged the leadership for elevation of around seven young junior ministers. It could mean Cabinet sporting a younger look

that Rahul play a more active role in government. I have invited him to be a member of the Cabinet on several occasions. I sincerely hope that this time he will consider my request seriously.” The PM’s stress on “this time” while making his fresh offer to Rahul was interpreted as confirmation of the speculation that Singh will effect the last significant reshuffle of his team in the weeks after the monsoon session

post-reshuffle. Such a rejig would put his stamp on the government, preparing the party to project him as its prime ministerial candidate in the 2014 elections. “He has made this known to the leadership,” said a senior party leader. The reluctant scion’s earlier statement that he would soon take up a bigger role in politics had triggered wild speculation. It was seen as a prelude to his gradual taking over of party reins.

Senior BJP leader and Public Accounts Committee Chairman Murli Manohar Joshi on Sunday asked Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to clarify his statement on the Comptroller and Auditor-General’s report on the coal blocks allocation. Dr. Joshi’s point was that Dr. Singh’s statement — the facts were not correct and the basis of the estimated loss was wrong — should not hamper any probe by the PAC. Furthermore, no official would take a stand different from Dr. Singh’s. People’s faith in parliamentary practices would be eroded if a wrong precedent was set. “How would democracy function?” he asked.

Talking to journalists at the BJP headquarters here, Dr. Joshi said that during 2004-05, the Coal Secretary of the day said the auctioning of coalmines would fetch the government revenue, but the government went

ahead with the process of allocation. “The PAC will continue with its probe if it is found that undue benefit was given to a few industrial houses.” Dr. Joshi assailed Congress general secretary Digvijay Singh for his remarks that the CAG nursed political ambitions and the report was inspired by political gains. The CAG, he pointed out, was a constitutional functionary and the Congress-led UPA government was determined to stall the probe. He pointed out that in 1960, the then Defence Minister, V.K. Krishna Menon, had to withdraw his statement critical of the CAG after the Lok Sabha Speaker ruled that no comment could be made against the government auditor.


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WEEKLY REVIEW OF PAKISTAN NEWS

President, PPP Sindh leadership discuss political situation President Asif Ali Zardari on Sunday chaired a meeting of senior party leadership from Sindh and some members of Sindh Cabinet here at Bilawal House. Those who were present during the meeting included among others Chief Minister Sindh Syed Qaim Ali Shah, Pir Mazhar-ul-Haq, Muhammad Ayaz Soomro, Agha Siraj Khan Durrani, Syed Murad Ali Shah, Rafique Engineer, Abdul Qadir Patel and Rashid Hussain Rabbani.

Law Minister Farooq H.Naek was also present during the meeting.

The meeting discussed current political situation, matters relating to coalition, local bodies election in Sindh, developmental issues, flood situation and law and order situation in the province, particularly Karachi. Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah briefed the meeting on the steps being taken to maintain law and order in Karachi including equipping the law enforcing agencies with modern tools to fight criminals in effective manner. The President reiterated that the restoration of complete law

and order and stability and protection of lives and property of the citizens in the Port city was priority of the Government and that no compromise would be made in this regard. The President while condemning the incidents of violence in Karachi directed that criminals and all those involved in disturbing peace and stability in Karachi be tackled with an iron hand regardless of political affiliations. The Chief Minister also apprised the President about yesterday’s meeting of the Core committee of PPP Sindh and MQM.

190 murder registered Pakistan in talks to hand in Karachi Gwadar port to China

190 murder cases were reported in the metropolis in August, said SSP Asif Ejaz Sheikh while addressing a press conference here at his office on Friday. SSP Sheikh informed that 62 people were killed by target killers, 52 over personal enmity, eight during robberies, while motive behind killings of 51 persons could not be determined. Moreover, identities of 17 victims could not be ascertained, he added.

He said that police arrested some 2,880 accused, including 68 target killers, 94 bandits, 10 extortionists, 80 street criminals and 122 proclaimed offenders wanted to police in various cases. He further informed that police recovered 463 pistols, nine hand grenades and hundreds of cartridges during the outgoing month. ‘MQM behind killing of 425 PPP activists’ A senior leader of the ruling Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and Member of National Assembly, Qadir Patel, has accused key coalition ally the Muttahida Qaumi Movement of killing at least 425 of his party leaders and workers since 2008. The damning allegation against a party which is the major stakeholder of urban Sindh and especially Karachi and which has certainly helped the PPP to remain in power at the centre has not gone down well with the MQM leadership, activists

and supporters. “The allegations without any proof by a senior PPP leader is not only disappointing but disturbing. We strongly denounce such a baseless accusation being coalition partner. Such statements are not going to do any good but only harm,” a MQM spokesman told newsmen. He also claimed that the MQM had lost more workers and supporters in Karachi in the last four years than any political

party but so far we have not blamed any one but always insisted the authorities to take stern action against those involved in this heinous crime. According to the PPP leaders since 2008 at least 425 party workers have been murdered in the city at the hands of the MQM hitmen. “PPP’s polling agents of last elections are specially targeted and are being killed one by one,” alleged Patel. “The target killings of the PPP four to six workers every week including four Sindh Council members has become a daily phenomena and this cannot be tolerated any longer. I urge our leadership to take notice of these killings,” Asif Rahi, a PPP leader told newsmen. He also said that galleries of the martyrs were established at the Bilawal House, People’s Secretariats, Lahore, Islamabad, Gilgit and Garhi Khuda Bakhsh and we called them ‘Graveyards’, of PPP workers.

Pakistan is planning to transfer operational control of its strategically important Gwadar deep water port from Singapore’s PSA International to a Chinese company, according to a Pakistani minister. “We have reached an agreement with PSA where they have decided to leave the port at Gwadar. They are in discussions with a possible Chinese investor,” Babar Ghauri, Pakistan’s minister of ports and shipping, told the Financial Times in an interview. Although the transfer of management control is likely to be portrayed in both Pakistan and Singapore as a commercial decision, any step that increases Chinese influence over its ally Pakistan will be watched closely by the US and by India, Pakistan’s neighbour and regional rival. Gwadar, built with the help of a loan from China, is close to the PakistanIran border and the Strait of Hormuz, through which much of the Gulf’s oil exports are carried by ship to international markets. PSA began running the port five years ago under a contract valid for up to 40 years but is now preparing to leave. PSA declined to comment but Mr Ghauri and Singaporean sources confirmed that PSA’s imminent handover of control was triggered in part by Pakistan’s failure to fulfil its commitments, one being the building of a motorway link to service the port. Other differences included the government’s failure to transfer land for the port’s expansion. “There is a decision for PSA to leave and we have given our consent,” said Mr Ghauri, who declined to name the potential Chinese replacement. However, Pakistani officials said strategic as well as commercial

interests played a part in the change. China’s assumption of the port contract “will be a landmark development, both for Pakistan and China”, said a senior government official. “This has great value for China,” he said. “We believe the Chinese may use their presence at Gwadar to lay down a pipeline in future for transporting Middle Eastern oil to western China.” Another Pakistani official said the port contract would be “the second most vital Chinese investment in Pakistan after the Karakoram highway”, the road linking Pakistan to western China. Any Chinese expansion of its interests in south Asian ports is likely to reinforce concerns in India about “encirclement” by China. Liang Guanglie, China’s defence minister, is visiting Sri Lanka and is expected in India early next week. Last year, Chaudhry Ahmed Mukhtar, then Pakistan’s defence minister, told the FT that it had asked China to build a naval base at Gwadar and expected the Chinese navy to maintain a regular presence there, although Mr Liang said the Chinese government had not

discussed the proposal. Chinese military experts have been debating how the People’s Liberation Army navy can transform itself into a deep water force and support missions far from home, where ships need access to foreign ports to refuel, change staff or replenish food supplies. The PLAN has used its anti-piracy missions in the Gulf of Aden to use some ports along the way on a caseby-case basis but Beijing has been careful not to commit to plans for fixed foreign bases. Beijing agreed to lend Sri Lanka more than $800m for the second phase of development at Hambantota port on the island’s south coast, Reuters reported from Colombo last week. The first phase was financed with a US$400m Chinese loan. The port is being built by China Communications Construction, a state contractor. Gwadar port, which had a total investment of $248m, received $198m in funding from China, according to the commerce ministry in Beijing. The port was built by China Harbour Engineering Company, a subsidiary of China Communications Construction.


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WEEKLY REVIEW OF MALDIVE NEWS

Maldives caters to more Chinese tourists than Europeans

Maldives president rolls out red carpet for a new kind of tourist Chinese food? Shopping? Gaming? It will no longer be difficult for travelers to find these popular Chinese pastimes when enjoying a holiday in the Maldives, the collection of idyllic islands in the Indian Ocean. The island nation’s resorts have traditionally been designed for European tourists, but the Maldives is now focusing on how to better cater to Chinese travelers. Maldivian President Mohammed Waheed Hassan, told China Daily in an exclusive interview that the number of Chinese tourists visiting the Maldives is rising, and they have quickly become the biggest money spenders of all tourists to the Indian Ocean country. “Most resorts in the Maldives were developed for European tourists ... With more Chinese tourists coming, I think we can also create resorts that are better suited to, and cater to the needs of Chinese travelers with more Chinese restaurants, with shopping, with gaming,” Waheed said at the second China-Eurasia Expo. The expo started in Urumqi, capital of the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, on

Sunday. China has become increasingly important to tourism in the Maldives. China leapfrogged the United Kingdom in 2010 to become the No 1 source of arrivals for the country’s pillar travel industry. Official figures reveal that China made up

Now the Maldivian president has himself led his country’s delegation to Xinjiang. Pictures and videos of beautiful scenery from the Maldives were shown in an attempt to attract people from Xinjiang autonomous region, which unlike the Maldives boasts mountains covered by

For the Maldives, China’s status as the largest source of tourists can only partially illustrate its importance. “China is a fast-developing nation and most products are being made there. Both small and big economies are trying to establish trade ties with China. Hence we

22.2 percent of all arrivals to the island nation this year - up 14.5 percent from last year. In June, 17,809 arrivals from China were recorded, representing 30 percent of the total market share and a 15.6 percent growth compared to June last year. As a result, Beijing established an embassy in the Maldives last year.

snow, lakes and deserts. Even though the potential visitors may never have been to the ocean and cannot swim or dive, this will not be an obstacle to enjoying their holiday, Waheed said. “I think we have to have more supportive services, they can come to Maldives to learn to dive, learn to swim, and they will enjoy the Maldives better.”

should also follow suit,” Waheed told local media on the eve of his China visit. The Maldives Ministry of Economic Development’s figures show that imports from China have more than doubled between 2010 and 2011, reaching $68.9 million. Waheed had a meeting with Premier Wen Jiabao in Urumqi on Sunday. The

two leaders later witnessed the signing ceremony of cooperation documents between the two sides, including the granting of Chinese loans for infrastructure and construction projects in the Maldives. “This year marks the 40th anniversary of the bilateral relations between China and Maldives. So I always want to visit China to express the gratitude from the people of my country to the people of China, for the excellent cooperation between our two countries, and for the support and assistance China provides to Maldives,” the president said. “China is a big country, we are very small. But China has been very good to Maldives,” he said. “China has always treated us as an equal ... China believes in non-interference by other countries, China has always been very supportive of our country, in good times and bad times.” The Maldives has decided to celebrate the 40th anniversary of diplomatic ties with Beijing “in a big way”, the president said. Aside from various events, “we’ll have a big party for the anniversary in Maldives”. China and the Maldives established diplomatic relations on Oct 14, 1972.

Clashes after Maldives coup ruling

Maldives police disperse protesters after clash

Maldives security forces wielding batons late on Friday charged thousands of protesters led by former leader Mohamed Nasheed heading along a road leading to the presidential palace, badly injuring one. More than 3,000 protesters, mostly youths, marched towards the palace along with Nasheed, demanding the government hold an early election and calling on President Mohamed Waheed to resign. Supporters of a former president of the Maldives scuffled with soldiers on Thursday in a protest against a report which said the leader’s ousting this year did not constitute a coup. The verdict of the Commonwealthbacked Commission of National Inquiry is a blow for former President Mohamed Nasheed, who hopes to return to power. About 1 000 supporters took to the heavily-policed streets, hours after Nasheed urged his backers and the army to topple the new government of President Mohamed Waheed. “If the commission report declares it was not a coup, then it is legitimate for the people to topple the government from the street,” Nasheed said.

Demonstrators streamed towards the city’s main square, shouting “We want elections now. Waheed resign.” Some tried to shove through a line of soldiers outside the president’s house. Police arrested 50 people. “This government should go and the commission report is a total flop,” said Mohamed Shafraz, 45, a builder who had come to the protest from Addu atoll, 370 km (220 miles) away. Nasheed, who won global attention by holding a cabinet meeting underwater to highlight the threat rising sea-levels pose to the low-lying archipelago, was the Maldives’ first democratically elected president until his ousting in February. His fall from power and the violence that followed dented the Indian Ocean nation’s reputation as a laid-back

luxury tourist paradise. But the commission said the transfer of power followed the constitution. Commonwealth Secretary-General Kamalesh Sharma said the investigation was objective and credible. “The change of president in the Republic of Maldives on February 7 2012 was legal and constitutional,” the Commission of National Inquiry said in the report. “The resignation of President Nasheed was voluntary and of his own free will. It was not caused by any illegal coercion or intimidation.” Nasheed said at the time of his removal that he had been forced to resign at gunpoint by mutinying police and soldiers. His resignation sparked rowdy protests by his supporters, some of whom

complained of heavy-handed policing. The report said police brutality should be further investigated. The commission was appointed to look into the circumstances that led to the crisis. Referring to Nasheed’s accusations that his removal was a coup, the commission said: “Nothing in the Maldives changed in constitutional terms - indeed, the constitution was precisely followed as prescribed. “Accordingly, there appears nothing contestable in constitutional terms under the generic notion of a ‘coup d’etat’ that is alleged to have occurred - quite to the contrary, in fact.” Waheed told a news conference the findings upheld his government’s legitimacy. “Nasheed was not under duress. He

resigned voluntarily,” Waheed said. “There is no chance to question the legitimacy of the current government now.” U.S. State Department spokesman Victoria Nuland, in a statement, commended the commission and called the investigation “thorough and inclusive”. “Now is the time for all parties to work together through dialogue to chart a positive way forward,” she said. Nasheed, speaking to thousands of followers in Male late on Wednesday, called on the public, the army and police to rise up. He demanded next year’s presidential election be held earlier. The nominee of Nasheed’s party on the commission resigned from the panel on Wednesday after saying evidence likely to support the accusations of a coup was missing from the report. The Maldives, for almost nine centuries a sultanate before it became a British protectorate, held its first fully democratic elections in 2008. Nasheed defeated Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, who after 30 years in power was then Asia’s longest-serving leader and accused of running the country as a dictator.


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WEEKLY REVIEW OF NEPAL NEWS

Nepal president, Maoist govt Top Nepali leaders hold talks on contentious debate wartime amnesty political issues

The uneasy relationship between Nepal President Ram Baran Yadav and the ruling Maoist-led coalition is being tested again over proposed amnesty for crimes during the civil war. The Baburam Bhattarai government recently sent four ordinances to Yadav including one on setting up a commission of inquiry on disappeared persons, truth and reconciliation. But there’s fear that by merging the two commissions — one related to disappearances and other on truth and reconciliation — the government is planning to give blanket http:// www.hindustantimes.com/ Images/Popup/2012/9/03_09_12metro15c.jpgamnesty to human rights violators. Once established, the commission would have absolute discretion to recommend amnesties for serious human rights violations committed during the 1996-2006 civil war. Rights groups both within Nepal and outside are now urging Yadav to reject this particular ordinance

which was forwarded without consulting stake-holders and the national human rights commission. Last month the president had refused to endorse two pollrelated ordinances forwarded by the government. It ended the government’s hopes of holding fresh elections soon. “Far from delivering justice, truth and reparation after years of grievances, the proposed commission would allow for amnesty for crimes under international law,” said Sam

Zarifi, Asia director of International Commission of Jurists. Besides ICJ, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and TRIAL (Swiss Association against Impunity) have written a joint letter to Yadav requesting him to reject the ordinance. Nearly 16,000 people were killed by Maoists and government forces during the civil war and 1,400 disappeared. The conflict witnessed extra-judicial executions and sexual crimes, including rape.

Nepal PM meets Dr. Singh keeping FM officials in dark, suspicion galore

Expectedly Nepal’s India elevated Prime Minister Baburam held a one to one ‘secret’ meeting with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on the sidelines of NAM Summit being held in Teheran of Iran. They talked for over an hour. In fact Nepal PM had gone to Iran simply to meet Man Mohan Singh. The meeting according to reports, between the two prime ministers took place Thursday evening August 30, 2012. What India is to gulp now from Nepal is any body’s guess. Nepal’s foreign ministry officials who had accompanied Baburam were taken aback the other day when they heard that their prime minister without informing them had met his Indian master. This Baburam with unfortunate JNU tag. As per the planning, the meeting was set for early hours on Thursday but due to some reason the meeting got cancelled. “We were all present at the summit hall (including the prime minister). We have no idea when the prime minister left the venue and met the Indian Prime Minister”, said a bewildered foreign ministry official, writes Nagarik National Daily. “We came to know about the meeting

through online news. We then tried to know who were present during the meeting”, the official claims. “Baburam was alone representing the country. Leading the Indian team was Indian Prime Minister himself and present at the meeting were India’s security advisor Shiv Shankar Menon, Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai and other foreign ministry officials,” the official reveals. Nepal caretaker PM must have completely submitted as Menon and Maathai are taken as number one arm twisters. They both far excel Brajesh Mishra. Not even Foreign Minister Narayan Kaji Shrestha who is also in Teheran was present during the meeting. Who cares Kaji? Be that as it may, reports have it that during the Indian Prime Minister meet with Nepal PM the former hoped that Nepal’s political leadership was itself capable to resolve their internal problems. Good joke indeed. He also advised Nepal’s political leaders to unite. “We believe that Nepal’s political leaders are themselves capable to resolve their internal problems.

Unity between political leadership is a must,” stressed Singh. Baburam appealed Singh to support Nepal through development assistance and increase investments in Nepal. With this secret meet, analysts have expressed concerns as to what is being snatched from Nepal as per the June 2002 treaty? Awake Nepali nationalists.

Seeking a solution to the political deadlock in Nepal, top leaders of the three major parties held a meeting here to discuss the contentious issues of Constitution drafting but the talks ended inconclusively. The meeting of the top leaders of UCPN-Maoist, Nepali Congress and CPN-UML was held on Saturday at the residence of CPN-UML chairman Jhalanath Khanal. “The top leaders discussed issues ranging from peace process to constitution drafting and from federal structure to the forms of governance”, Nepali Congress sources said.

Citing the meeting as a ‘positive one’, the political leaders have vowed to continue the talks, media reports said. However, not much progress was made during the talks as both the ruling and the opposition parties stuck to their respective stances, the party said. Maoist chief Prachanda, who also attended the talks, expressed hope that the contentious issues in constitution writing would be resolved in a couple of days. “The meeting of the major political parties would hammer out a deal within a day or two to end the protracted political crisis in the country,” Prachanda said talking to journalists.

Continued from page 19 >>

US daily calls PM ‘tragic figure’,

concessions. “The story of Singh’s dramatic fall from grace in his second term in office and the slow but steady tarnishing of his reputation has played out in parallel with his country’s decline on his watch. Under attack from a combative opposition over alleged corruption in the allocation of coal blocks and a spate of other scams, the government Wednesday said it would seek an apology from the newspaper. “How can a US daily take the matter such lightly and publish something about the prime minister of another country? I will speak to the Ministry of External Affairs and the government will seek an apology from the daily,” Information and Broadcasting Minister Ambika Soni told reporters. Soni termed the report by The Washington Post as a piece of “yellow journalism” and “baseless”.

Prachanda also said that the Baburam Bhattarai-led government would not be an obstacle to the formation of a consensus government. He called the leaders to stress on the need of forging consensus rather than asking for the Prime Minister’s resignation. This was the first time top leaders of the major three parties have discussed the contentious issues since May 27 when the Constituent Assembly (CA) was dissolved. Though the parties had reached an agreement on almost all the key issues of the constitution, they had failed to find a consensus model of federal structure. While the UCPN-Maoist and other parties were in favour of singleethnicity based federal model, Nepali Congress and CPN-UML were for federating the country into multiple ethnicity-based federal model. This difference had led to dissolution of the CA without promulgating the Constitution three months ago. Speaking to media persons at the Janakpur Airport today, Prachanda said that the three party meeting was seriously discussing various alternatives, reinstatement of the Constituent Assembly or holding fresh election, to rescue the country from the current stalemate. “We will discuss about holding the CA election if no consensus could be forged on revival of the Constituent Assembly,” Prachanda said. Nepal is facing a political deadlock for the past two months after the Constituent Assembly was dissolved by Prime Minister Bhattarai without framing the constitution and fresh elections were declared to take place on November 22.

52 charred to death in

against official advice. The sheds were reduced to ashes in the sprawling complex of the company and the debris had to be cleared to get a clear picture of the actual number of casualties, an official said. Fire officials said that due to a variety of chemicals used in pyrotechnics crackers, there was thick and suffocating smoke, making their task difficult to enter the factory. The smoke could be seen 1.5 km away from the spot. “These are times ahead of Deepavali. So activities go on at breakneck speed in the cracker units,” Virudhunagar District Superintendent of Police Najmul Hoda said. A factory official said 300 persons were at work at the unit at the time of the incident. Thousands of people thronged the area near the factory to inquire about the fate of their relatives working in the unit. In October 2009, 32 people, most of them Deepavali shoppers, were killed at a cracker godown fire in Pallipattu in Tiruvallur district.


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WEEKLY REVIEW OF SRILANKA NEWS

Man swallows £9,000 diamond at Sri Lanka gem show

A Chinese man arrested for attempted theft after swallowing a diamond worth nearly £9,000 at a gem exhibition in Sri Lanka on Wednesday will have to undergo surgery to remove the stone, police

said. The 32-year-old had asked the stall owner for a close inspection of the 1.5-carat diamond on the opening day of Facets Sri Lanka, an annual jewellery show in the capital

Colombo. “He came with another Chinese man. One of them tried to distract me while the other had a diamond in his hand,” Suresh de Silva, director of the Belgrade International gem store, told AFP. “When I realised what was happening and shouted, one ran away and we managed to catch the man who swallowed the stone.” The man was taken to the Colombo National Hospital where he was to be administered laxatives, but police said X-rays showed the diamond was lodged in his gullet and was not going down. “Doctors have advised surgery to remove the diamond,” police spokesman Ajith Rohana told AFP.

Sri Lanka, China seek to strengthen military ties Sri Lanka and China have sought to strengthen their military ties, the Sri Lankan defense ministry said on Friday. The remarks followed a meeting between Chinese Defense

the political trust between the two countries has deepened with the rapid expansion of exchanges and cooperation in various fields. Liang expressed the hope that the two

Minister Liang Guanglie and Secretary to the Sri Lankan Ministry of Defense Gotabaya Rajapaksa. During the meeting, Liang said

sides would continue to work hard to maintain the close and friendly relations and strengthen exchanges and cooperation in the field of nontraditional security and improve the ability to respond to crisis together, so as contribute to regional peace, stability and development. Gotabaya Rajapaksa said that Sri Lanka greatly appreciated the valued assistance and cooperation extended by China in times of need. Liang arrived in Colombo on Wednesday for an official goodwill visit at the invitation of the Sri Lankan Defense Ministry. It is also the first visit by a Chinese defense minister to the south Asian island country. During the visit, Liang also had discussions with Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa who thanked the government and the people of China for standing by Sri Lanka at times it was facing various challenges internationally and for extending cooperation in the fields of economy and culture.

Sri Lanka’s election monitors warn of violence in the East on election day

Election monitors in Sri Lanka warn that violence was likely to grip the Ampara District in the Eastern Province if the law enforcement authorities fail to uphold law and order during the Eastern Provincial Council election. The Campaign for Free and Fair Election (CaFFE) has stated that Muslim-dominated Akkaraipattu in Amapara was likely to become another Kolonnawa with several Muslim parties contesting for the power in the Council. Kolonnawa turned violent last October during local government elections with a shooting incident

that killed four persons including a Presidential advisor and severely injured a governing party parliamentarian.

CaFFE Executive Director Keerthi Tennakoon has said that law enforcement authorities had ignored warnings by election

monitors during last year’s local government elections resulting in the violence in Kolonnawa. He has explained that the situation in Akkaraipattu was similarly tense. According to Tennakoon, the battle between Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) Leader, Minister Rauf Hakeem and National Muslim Congress (NMC) Leader, Minister A.L.M. Athaullah is turning out into a full-blown conflict. He has added that law enforcement authorities needed to therefore pay attention to the situation in the Ampara District.

Centre asks Punjab to crack down on LeJ

Continued from page 19 >>

order and security situation in the country. The meeting also ordered an investigation into the foreign visits of LeJ leader Malik Ishaq. It was observed that sectarian violence is being prompted by paid agents of elements hostile to Pakistan. The meeting was of the view that analysis of available intelligence suggested that there was a a strong nexus between the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi and one of the factions of the Tehreeke-Taliban Pakistan (TTP). It was also observed that the TTP was fuelling sectarian strife in and around Quetta for financial gains. The meeting also observed that two former Harkatul Ansar terrorists were supervising and handling the killings of innocent Shias in the country, adding that one of its members, Asmat Muawia, was operating from upper and central Punjab. The participants believed there was no religious strife between Sunnis and Shias and hostile elements were trying to create a conflict between the two sects. Moreover, the Intelligence Bureau director general was directed to submit comprehensive report based on available intelligence about the recent wave of sectarian terrorism. The

two intelligence agencies – IB and Inter-Services Intelligence – have also been directed to provide real-time intelligence to the FC and police to counter sectarianism in Quetta. During the meeting, all provincial governments were directed to send progress reports to the Interior Ministry on how many members of the proscribed organisations had been placed in Schedule 4 of ATA, enabling the federal agencies to monitor their activities. It also observed that all members of the proscribed organisations had been placed on the Exit Control List with immediate effect, while a complete investigation has also been ordered into Malik Ishaq’s visits abroad. The meeting was told that Mastung is a haven for united members of the TTP, Baloch Liberation Army and LeJ. It was told that intelligence agencies had also identified some militant camps around the area and Frontier Corps is being directed to conduct raids there. The FC was also directed to ensure that raids were conducted only on specific targets to avoid any casualty of innocent people. The intelligence agencies also suggested there was a conspiracy to kill Hazaras to create unrest in Quetta and adjoining areas to achieve their nefarious designs. Home secretaries of Sindh and Balochistan were directed

during the meeting to monitor entry and exit points of Karachi and Quetta, respectively, to avoid further acts of terrorism in these cities. The officers posted in Balochistan from the FIA have been ordered to be relieved with immediate effect. The FIA director general has been further directed to urgently verify the antecedents of some agents working for supervisors abroad. It was also decided that the directors general of the Federal Investigation Agency and FC would form a task force to monitor the border along Afghanistan and Iran to control human trafficking and movement of terrorists. The meeting also reviewed security for upcoming holy month of Muharram and the interior secretary was directed to hold a preliminary meeting with all the home secretaries, inspectors general and intelligence agencies to chalk out a security plan for the entire country during that month. The FATA additional chief secretary was also directed to adopt special measures in Parachinar to avoid any untoward incident. Earlier, MNA Mir Humayun Aziz Kurd called on Interior Minister Rehman Malik and discussed problems of his area related to the National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) and passports. The minister assured Kurd of resolving all the issues.


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The Bhutan-China-India Triangle – Analysis About: SAAG Profile SAAG is the South Asia Analysis Group, a non-profit, noncommercial think tank. The objective of SAAG is to advance strategic analysis and contribute to the expansion of knowledge of Indian and International security and promote public understanding. Website http://www.southasiaanalysis.org/ This article seeks to examine the growing strategic and diplomatic importance of Bhutan for its big neighbours: China and India. China has recently intensified its efforts to woo Bhutan and engage with it directly, despite the lack of diplomatic ties between them. To improve relations with Bhutan, China first has to resolve its border dispute with the tiny Himalayan nation. China shares a 470-km-long border with Bhutan. The border is not formally demarcated and the border dispute is a major source of irritant between the two countries that hasn’t been resolved even after they have had 19 rounds of talks so far. China claims a large chunk of the border territories, stretching from Doklam in the west and then from Gamochen to Batangla, Sinchela, and down to the Amo Chhu. The disputed area in Doklam covers 89 square kilometers, while the disputed areas in Sinchulumpa and Gieu cover about 180 sq kms. Frequent Chinese incursions into Bhutan have added to tensions in Sino-Bhutan relations.

Five Finger Policy Bhutan, China, India and Nepal

The Chinese hard power juggernaut is moving in all directions and not even tiny neighbors are out of its ambit these days. In the latest instance of China’s hyper active diplomacy, Beijing is vigorously pursuing one finger of its so-called

“five finger policy” – Bhutan. The other four fingers are Arunachal Pradesh, Ladakh (both parts of India), Nepal and Sikkim; while the palm is Tibet. The Chinese objectives in Bhutan, a country with which it has been having a protracted border dispute, pose a major foreign policy and security challenge for India. China has played its most important diplomatic card vis a vis Bhutan till date by proposing an exchange formula to resolve the vexed border

relations for the first time ever after an unprecedented meeting between Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao and his Bhutanese counterpart Jigmi Y. Thinley on the margins of United Nation Rio+20 Conference on Sustainable Development in Brazil in June 2012. China’s idea is to resolve its border dispute with Bhutan in one stroke through a package deal, rather than through the sector-by-sector approach that it has so far been having not only with Bhutan but

for decades – Indian foreign policy czars cannot firmly rule out such a scenario in future. Thirdly, Bhutan doing China’s bidding on the border issue would trigger a security nightmare for India as the northwestern Bhutanese territory in question, if ceded to China, would bring Chinese troops within a few kilometers of India’s chicken neck area, the Siliguri corridor that connect India’s mainland with the Northeastern India. So far Bhutan has enjoyed extremely

the Chinese success strike rate has been phenomenal. Beijing’s move to build a highway right up to Mount Everest base camp is no less than a diplomatic and strategic coup. Roadmap For Future However, now that Bhutan is modernizing and opening up its economy like never before, India has to be in sync with the changing times. The best way to do it is not to resist the inevitable but to make things all the more difficult for the rival. In the changed circumstances,

dispute. With an eye on fortifying its position on Tibet, China has proposed to Bhutan to cede a part of its northwestern territory in lieu of which Beijing would give up its claim over Bhutan’s central areas. The area that China wants Bhutan to cede is very close to Chumbi Valley, a tri-junction abutting Bhutan, Tibet and the Indian state of Sikkim and a highly strategic area perceived as militarily vulnerable for the Chinese as the British colonialists had used this as a gateway to launch their military expedition in Tibet in 1904. The British had occupied this area for nine months then. The Chinese had first made this package deal offer to the Bhutanese in 2004. Latest indications are that Beijing is once again pushing the envelope at a time when China and Bhutan are on the verge of setting up diplomatic relations. Both sides have agreed at the highest level to have full-fledged diplomatic

with India too. Interestingly, China had resolved its border dispute with Nepal through a package deal only, not through the laborious sectorby-sector approach. India’s Worries The Indian worry is manifold. First, Bhutan has of late shown its keenness to improve relations with China and the pro-China lobby in Bhutan is getting stronger by the day. India is understood to have given its tacit approval to Bhutan establishing full diplomatic relations with China, not because New Delhi was being magnanimous but because there was hardly any other option before India’s Bhutan policy managers. Secondly, Bhutan has consistently kept India out of the loop in matters of its talks with China. Though there is nothing on the ground to suggest that Bhutan is going to play the China card with India – a tactic that Nepal has employed with India

good relations with India and the two neighbors share a relationship wherein their citizens do not require visas to visit each other’s country. India is the major propeller of Bhutan’s economy and has been a bulwark for Bhutan’s security. In fact, during the 1962 Sino-India war, Bhutan had permitted India to move its troops through the Bhutanese territory. No wonder then that Bhutan is the only country in South Asia that doesn’t have diplomatic relations with China. The evolving Bhutan-China synergy is perhaps more significant, and doable, than the Pakistan-Russia synergy that showed signs of germination a few years ago but did not quite take off. The Sino-Bhutan dalliance may gather full steam in the near future. After all, the Chinese have been immensely successful in wooing India’s next door neighbors: Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Maldives and Nepal. With Nepal particularly,

while India does not have the luxury of shaping Bhutan’s foreign policy anymore, New Delhi is still not without an option. India can counter China in Bhutan by doing the next best thing: ensuring that the Bhutanese diplomatic space is opened to other foreign powers to achieve a strategic balance. Japan is one power that is waiting in the wings. It is not surprising that Tokyo has already announced its intent to open its own diplomatic mission in Thimpu by 2014. One should not be surprised if the two developments – establishment of diplomatic relations between Bhutan and China and Bhutan and Japan – take place concurrently. Once that happens, the United States and other Western powers will not be far behind. (The writer is a New Delhi-based journalist-author and a strategic analyst. He can be reached at bhootnath004@yahoo.com)

India pledged ‘assistance’ to Nepal

Nepal PM meets Dr. Singh keeping FM officials in dark, suspicion galore In a one-on-one meeting on the sidelines of the NAM summit in Tehran last week, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Nepal’s PM Baburam Bhattarai had a brief discussion on bilateral affairs and Nepal’s political transition. While Mr. Bhattarai apprised the Indian leader of the political situation at home and put in a request for additional power supply, Dr. Singh is learnt to have pledged India’s full support and assistance to Nepal. With Nepal facing the prospect of an acute electricity crisis this winter, and power cuts expected to go up to over 20 hours a day, Mr. Bhattarai requested India to supply an

additional 200 MW. Diplomatic sources informed about the discussions told The Hindu that Dr. Singh assured Nepal that he would ‘institutionalise steps to get it done’. India had supplied 150 MW to Nepal in 201112, which itself was an addition of 80 MW from 2010-11. Mr. Bhattarai had apprised the Indian leader about the demise of the Constituent Assembly (CA), without the constitution getting delivered, during their meeting on the sidelines of the Rio+20 summit in June. In Tehran, he is understood to have assured Dr. Singh that ‘all efforts’ are on to reach a consensus on

‘constitutional issues’, failing which, there would be no option but to go for ‘fresh elections

to a new CA’. Nepali parties have resumed negotiations after a three-month stalemate to determine a future political roadmap. Dr. Singh said he was ‘hopeful’ that the remaining tasks of the ‘peace process’ would be completed soon, and the constitution would be promulgated ‘on the basis of a consensus’. Sources said that India broadly agrees with the position that that if there was no political consensus, a fresh mandate was the only way out. Dr. Singh reiterated India’s willingness to ‘assist Nepal, in any manner and pace to be decided by the people and government of Nepal’.


COMMENT

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Saarc international I Thursday 06 September 2012

“How am I supposed to be good at English when I came here to learn it?”

Shabana Saleem “I don’t know English well, which is why I paid so much money to come here and study it,” said Saira, a Pakistani student at the London Metropolitan University. Saira is one of the several thousand students affected by a UK Border Agency (UKBA) ruling against the university’s visa regulations. She has recently discovered that she may have to learn the language she came to study in order to survive in the country as her university has failed the BA standard for English competency of international students. She termed the decision, “really, really shocking.” In hindsight, it was probably in the works for a long time. The UK Border Agency (BA) has previously suspended the visa licence of private institutions when systemic failings have been identified, and subsequently revoked the visa licence if they failed to remedy these failings. However, when – in a landmark decision – UK BA withdrew the licence of a public institution it left thousands of students in uproar and the university community in shock on the impact it will have on a £12.5billion-a -year industry. When Dawn.com spoke to the students affected by the ruling, some broke down into tears while others were left fuming at what they call “inhumane treatment” at

the hands of the UKBA. Yakoub is an ‘A-Grade’ Mathematics student at London Metropolitan University who is currently searching for alternatives in order to complete his degree but the only offer he has been able to receive is from Brunel University, where he

universities are trying to squeeze more money out of us, and if they tell everyone to repeat one year how can we say no after all the hard work we have done? You come to this country for a better education, and we have done nothing wrong but the way we are being treated is

will have to repeat his second year. This leaves him with two extremely challenging tasks: Firstly, he does not have the finances to repeat his second year. He has been heavily reliant on his elderly parents for fund-raising in his village back home in Pakistan. Secondly, the UKBA does not grant a visa to international students who have to repeat a year but Yakoub must repeat a year to finish his studies at Brunel. This means he must prove this rule should not apply to him by either paying for legal advice or learn the law to prove that he has made “academic progress.” Yakoub says indignantly “these

so inhumane.” Adnan, from Bangladesh, and Javeed, from India, were studying Computer Sciences. When asked whether the taskforce set up by the government had been any help, they replied: “The taskforce is useless. They can not say one way or the other. There is no help at all.” These students have a little over a month to come to terms with the news, find an alternative university place, try to find the finances to pay for this having lost money at London Metropolitan and deal with the family concerns. Even if they are lucky to find a

placement, they feel they are held hostage by whatever financial and non-financial demands that these institutions make as they have no feasible alternatives. “Sixty days is not an adequate remedy for these students,” legal advisor Mohammad Jamali told Dawn.com. The London Metropolitan University should immediately establish a compensation board to help students with the immediate costs suffered and the BA should grant an extension of 80-100 days to alleviate the harrowing struggle these students are battling. Students enrolled at the London Metropolitan undertook a silent protest outside No.10 Downing Street on Thursday, taping their mouths and carrying placards stating, “International students not welcome here.” Bello, a Union Welfare Officer, says that an astounding nine out of ten Student Union Officers are international students. These officers will need to vacate their posts and leave the remaining university students without a union on which to rely, during an extremely trying period, unless the BA grants a reprieve to retain the union officers, which is highly unlikely. This is just one of the many non-financial contributions that international students make within the UK community, which will be severely affected. The National Union of Students

(NUS) has criticised BA’s decision for withdrawing London Met’s visa licence of London Metropolitan in order to meet UK government’s target to reduce immigration. Fellow varsities, such as Bristol University, have criticised decision as failing to be proportionate given the irreparable damage that this message will send out to international students and the fact that this has left London Metropolitan exposed to an indeterminate amount of compensation claims. The BA, meanwhile, has responded saying that London Metropolitan had been undergoing a BA audit for several months and the visa licence was suspended July 2012 after three significant systemic failings were uncovered and the subsequent revocation has been a “sensible measure to ensure we have immigration control.” The London Metropolitan University is currently undertaking legal advice to respond decisively at the BA decision which they considered to be a wildly insensible measure. While the finality of BA’s decision, and the future of international students remains unclear, growing concerns on immigration have sent one clear message: the UK is taking no prisoners as it grows more strict with immigration. Shabana Saleem is a freelance writer based in London.

Media-persons want India, Pakistan to relax visa regime

Leading media persons of Pakistan and India call upon the Foreign Minister of Pakistan Ms Hina Rabbani Khar and the Minister for External Affairs of India Mr S M Krishna to extend the same visa to journalists as being granted to businessmen. Leading media persons of Pakistan and India in a joint statement called upon the Foreign Minister of Pakistan Ms Hina Rabbani Khar and the Minister for External Affairs of India Mr S M Krishna to extend the same visa to journalists as being granted to businessmen to facilitate two-way information flow. South Asian Free Media Association’s Secretary General Imtiaz Alam expressed his serious apprehensions about the protocol or MoU on the new visa regime being signed in Islamabad. He demanded of the foreign ministers to implement the promises successive governments of the two

countries had been making to allow free movement of journalists. While addressing successive SAARC Journalists Summits, organized by South Asian Free Media Association (SAFMA), successive foreign ministers of Pakistan and India and from other countries assured SAFMA delegates from all countries of liberalizing visa regime, including granting of SAARC (Visa) Sticker for travel across the region. The Council of Ministers of SAARC had twice decided to issue SAARC Sticker to journalists from member countries. But its decision has not been implemented by the governments of India and Pakistan. “To our sheer disappointment nothing has moved and the proposed visa regime is frustrating,” he said. Through the joint statement, the media leaders urged the governments of Pakistan and

India to grant multiple-entry oneyear whole-country visa exempted from police reporting and without

Free flow of information and free movement of journalists is a prerequisite for any kind of confidence

the restrictions on entry and exit points. They appealed to the foreign ministers of the two countries not to disappoint the media community in the sub-continent.

building, conflict resolution and meaningful regional cooperation. It is essential to overcome information and trust deficits between India and Pakistan and for improved regional cooperation

to the benefit of all countries, they said. Signed by: Imtiaz Alam, Secretary General, SAFMA; M. Ziauddin, Executive Editor, Express Tribune; Arif Nizami, Editor, Pakistan Today; Nusrat Javeed, President, SAFMA Pakistan; Khushnood Ali Khan, President, CPNE; Aamer Mahmood, Secretary General, CPNE; South Asia Media Commission President Kumar Ketkar; Media CommissionIndia President K K Katyal; Vinod Kumar Sharma, President, SAFMA Indian Chapter, Political Editor, Hindustan Times; Satish Kumar Jacob, General Secretary, SAFMA India Chapter; Gautam Lahiri, Vice President, SAFMA India, Chief of Bureau (Delhi), Sangbad Pratidin, Kolkata; Vijay Purushottam Naik, Vice President, SAFMA India, Editor, Sakal Papers; Renu Mittal, Joint Secretary, SAFMA India; Satnam Singh Manak, Joint Continued on page 31 >>


Saarc international I Thursday 06 September 2012

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‘Hitler’ Shop to Be Renamed After Israeli Intervention

Owners of a garment store named ‘Hitler’ located in Vastrapur area of the city that stirred a controversy, have decided to change the name of the shop, following intervention by Israel and locals Jews.

“We have voluntarily decided to change the name of our shop within this week and shall remove the billboard ‘Hitler’,” Rajesh Shah, one of the owners of the shop said. The name board of the shop - adorned

with the word ‘Hitler’, in which, the ‘i’ is dotted with a Nazi swastika- had stirred a controversy. Earlier, a group of local Jews from synagogue here had demanded the shop owner to change the

Media-persons want India, Pakistan to relax visa regime Continued from page 30 >>

Secretary, SAFMA India Chapter, Executive Editor, Ajit Group of Publications, Jalandhar; Sajjad Mirza, Joint Secretary, Punjab Kesari; Kalyan Barooah, Joint Secretary, SAFMA India, Bureau Chief, The Assam Tribune; P.L. Uniyal, Coordinator, SAFMA India, Bureau Chief, Dainik Kashmir Times; George Kalivayalil, Chief of Bureau, Deepika (Kottayam); Anand Kumar, Principal Correspondent, New Indian Express; Manoranjan Bharti, Political Editor, NDTV-India; Dr. Jabbar Khattak, Editor Awami Awaz; Rehana Hakim, Editor, Newsline; Iftikhar Ahmed, Geo; Sohail Warraich, Geo; Khalid Farooqi, Editor, Daily Awaz; Siddique Baloch, Editor-in-Chief, Balochistan Express; Nazir Leghari, Editor, Daily Awam; Babar Ayaz, Columnist; Mateen Haider, DAWN News; Fahd Hussain, Waqt News; Tariq Chauhdari Vice-President PFUJ; Rana Jawad, Bureau Chief, GEO News, Islamabad; Sirmed Manzoor, General Secretary, SAFMA-Pakistan; Rahimullah Yusafzai, Resident Editor, The News, Peshawar; Abdullah Jaan, The News, Peshawar; Farzana Ali, Aaj TV, Peshawar; Shamim Shahid, President, SAFMA, Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa; Ziaul Haq, Bureau Chief, ARY TV, Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa; Saleem Shahid, Dawn, Quetta; Munnoo Bhai, Columnist Daily Jang; Tahir Hassan Khan, President, Karachi Press Club; Pervez Shaukat, President, Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists; Arshad Ansari, President, Lahore Press Club; Ahmad Waleed, Controller News, SAMAA TV; Agha Nasir, Senior Broadcaster; Pakistan Broadcasters Association Chairman Qazi Muhammad Aslam, KTN; Senior Vice Chairman Jawaad Raja, Khyber TV; Vice Chairman Dr Abdul Karim Rajpar, Sindh TV Network; Secretary General Sarfraz Shah, Apna TV Network; Joint Secretary Arshad Zuberi, Aaj TV; Finance Secretary Ilyas Shakir, Dhoom

TV; Shahzada Zulfiqar Bureau Chief Pakistan Today and Vice President, SAFMA Balochistan; Saleem Shahid, Quetta Bureau Chief, Daily Dawn and President, Quetta Press Club; Abdul Khaliq, Senior Reporter, Daily Jang, Quetta and Secretary, Quetta Press Club; Essa Tareen, Bureau Chief, INP Quetta and President, Balochistan Union of Journalists; Raza Ur Rahman, Bureau Chief Quetta, Daily Express and Express TV and Assistant Secretary, PFUJ; Irfan Saeed, Bureau Chief, Quetta, Dunya TV; Mujib Ahmad, Bureau Chief, Quetta, Aaj TV; Irshad Mastoi, Bureau Chief, Online, Quetta; Abdur Rasheed Baloch, Bureau Chief, Balochi Channel News Watch, Quetta; Hamid Husain Abidi, Editor, Amn; Ghulam Nabi Chandio, Daily Pak; Nasir Dad, Daily Sindh Sujaag; Younus Mehr, Daily Halchal; Zahida Abbasi, Daily Naosij; Yousuf Shaheen, Daily Barsaat; Mangal Daas, Daily Hilal-ePakistan; AbdurRehman Mangio, Daily Indus Post; Syed Mumtaz Shah, Editor Mashriq Quetta and Lahore; Anjum Rasheed, Senior Journalist Jang Group; Khalid Chaudhry, Former Editor AajKal; Shoaib Adil, Editor Naya Zamana; Saida Fazal, Resident Editor Business Recorder; Former Sec-Gen PFUJ, Mehmal Sarfaraz, former Editor Oped Daily Times; Khaled Ahmed, Editor and Columnist; Allama Siddiq Azhar, Columnist Waqt; Asma Shirazi, Anchor SAMAA TV; Afzal Khan, Columnist; Mustansar Javed, Editor, Dateline; I A Rehman, Senior Journalist and Director HRCP; Hussain Naqi, Senior Journalist; Ghazi Salahuddin, Columnist; Mujahid Barelvi, Anchorperson CNBC; Irfana Mallah, Columnist; Jehangeer Aslam, President Turbat Press Club; GN Mughal, Senior Sindhi Journalist; Lala Asad, President Sukkar Press Club; Khalid Khokhar, Editor; Fayyaz Naich, Anchorperson Sindh TV; Amer Sindhu, Columnist; Ibrahim Shirwani, Senior Journalist; Rana Qaisar, Resident Editor Pakistan Today, Islamabad; Shamsul Islam Naz, Nazir Naji, columnist, Group Editor, Dunya.

controversial name saying that it hurt the sentiments of their community. The Israel Counsel General Orna Sagiv, who is on a visit to Gujarat, had also taken up the issue with the top state officials here. “I met the top state officials in Gujarat and expressed my concern about this shop and why we see it so seriously,” Israel Consul General Orna Sagiv told reporters. In the past few years similar incidents have been reported from Nagpur and Navi Mumbai, where the shop owners later changed the name, she said. Sagiv said that “ignorance” was the reason behind such type of acts. “After realising how much pain and hurt it caused to some community, he (shop owner) decided to change the name of his shop,” Sagiv said. The shop that sells western menswear, was opened last month and the name was selected as an

attribute to the grandfather of one of the shop owners, who was nicknamed ‘Hitler’ for being very strict. Esther David, a well-known Jewish Indian author who was part of a group that met with Mr. Shah, said she was happy that their protests had been heard and surprised that he had agreed to change the name so quickly. “We were very dejected after meeting Mr. Shah” last month, she said. “It was clear to us that he knew what Hitler stood for and was adamant on not changing the name when we met him.” Mr. Shah said he would cover the costs of rebranding his store, though he had said earlier that he should receive compensation to do so. He said business had been good since the store opened. “All my customers, all of them said they liked the name. A man even called from Assam, to tell me the name was good and that I should not change it.”

Pakistan Cricket Board unhappy on Ajmal overlook in ICC awards Continued from page 32 >> course of the series, as India defeated New Zealand 2-0. Ashwin, who was named player of the series, also achieved a career-high rating of 591. Ashwin’s team-mate, Pragyan Ojha, ended with a match haul of seven for 148 and moved up a place to 14th, which is his career-best ranking. Ojha’s overall rating of 675 is also his best-ever rating. Pakistan Cricket Board lodged a protest with cricket’s governing body Monday over the exclusion of off-spinner Saeed Ajmal from the shortlist of an annual award, saying they hope his name will be included after a review. The 34-year-old’s name did not feature among the four nominees for the coveted ‘Test Cricketer of the Year’ award, despite being Test cricket’s leading wicket-taker in the period under consideration. Ajmal took 72 wickets in the 12 month period, including 24 in Pakistan’s 3-0 rout of then world number one Test team England earlier this year. PCB spokesman Nadeem Sarwar said they have written to the ICC on Ajmal’s omission. “Yes, we have shown our concerns on Ajmal’s name not shortlisted for Test player of the year award despite his excellent performance in Tests during that stipulated period,” Sarwar told reporters. For New Zealand, fast bowler Tim Southee, who returned career-best figures of seven for 64 in India’s first innings, has jumped 10 places to 40th. His overall rating of 432 is also his career-best to date, the ICC said in a statement. India pace bowlers Zaheer Khan (15th) and Umesh Yadav (48th) slipped a place each. New Zealand bowlers, who dropped in the latest rankings are Doug Bracewell in 30th

(down by one), James Franklin in 49th (down by five) and Trent Boult in 69th (down by six). The rankings for Test bowlers is still headed by South Africa’s Dale Steyn, with teammate Vernon Philander and Saeed Ajmal of Pakistan in second and third positions, respectively. The two centurions in the Bangalore Test, New Zealand captain Ross Taylor and India’s Virat Kohli, made upward movements in the batting chart. Kohli, who scored 103 and 51 not out, has vaulted 12 places to achieve a career-best ranking of 35. His overall rating of 580 is also a career-best for the batsman. Taylor, who made 113 and 35, has moved up six places to 12th. The other batsmen to make upward movements are Mahendra Singh Dhoni in 36th (up by two), Daniel Flynn in 68th (up by nine), Kruger van Wyk in 75th (up by 23) and James Franklin in 88th (up by three). Batsmen losing ground after the Bangalore Test include Sachin Tendulkar in 16th (down by five), Virender Sehwag in 23rd (down by one), Brendon McCullum in 28th (down by four), Martin Guptill in 37th (down by two), Gautam Gambhir in 38th (down by two), Kane Williamson in 43rd (down by six) and Cheteshwar Pujara in 58th (down by two). Sri Lanka’s Kumar Sangakarra remains the top-ranked batsman, followed by South Africa’s Hashim Amla and West Indies veteran Shivnarine Chanderpaul in second and third positions, respectively. The rankings for Test all-rounders is still headed by Bangladesh’s Shakib Al Hasan with South Africa’s Jacques Kallis in second spot. Meanwhile, the 2-0 series win has fetched India two ratings points in the ICC Test Championship, lifting them to 106 ratings points, just three behind fourth-ranked Pakistan, while New Zealand has slipped to 76 ratings points (down from 80).


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South Asia Tribune I Thursday 06 September 2012

Pakistan Cricket Board unhappy on Ajmal overlook in ICC awards

Ashwin and Kohli achieve career-best ICC Test rankings

Indian off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin today broke into the top 20 of ICC’s Test Rankings for the first time at a career-best 18th spot after guiding the team to a series whitewash over New Zealand at home. The 25-year-old from Chennai, who took five for 69

in New Zealand’s second innings in the second Test at Bangalore, jumped seven places on the chart. The off-spinner finished the two-match Test series with 18 wickets, and gained 26 places on the bowlers’ table through the Continued on page 31 >>

SAT

Sports

Pakistan won by 7 wkts

Pakistan bowl Australia out for 89 Mohammad Hafeez (c) c D Hussey b Pat Cummins 17 15 Imran Nazir c Cameron White b Shane Watson 22 26 Nasir Jamshed b B Hilfenhaus 10 10

19.3 overs Australia 89 (Warner 22, Tanvir 3-13) v Pakistan Pakistan 90/3 (14.5) Australia didn’t even compete. They were bowled out for their second lowest score in T20Is and were never in a position to challenge Pakistan after that. Hafeez, Imran Nazir and Kamran Akmal enjoyed some batting practice and Pakistan finished the match with 31 balls to spare. They will be happy with Kamran Akmal’s contribution in particular; he looked aggressive and confident and helped himself to some runs as well. The lesser said about Australia the better. This is their biggest loss in terms of balls to spare. Australia slumped to their lowest total in a completed T20 innings since 2005 as Pakistan put in

Kamran Akmal (wk) not out 31 24 Shoaib Malik not out 9 14 Extras: (b 0, lb 0, w 1, nb 0, p 0) 1 Total: (3 wkts, 14.5 ovs) 90

an outstanding all-round effort with the ball and in the field. The Australians were bowled out for 89 in the 20th over, their second-lowest T20 total of all time and their lowest since they were skittled for 79 by England in Southampton seven years ago, in what was the second T20 international ever played. Saeed Ajmal, Mohammad Hafeez and the debutant Raza Hasan each picked up two wickets and the regular breakthroughs, combined with the large boundaries, starved Australia of runs. It was the first Australia failed to hit a six in a T20 match since another game against Pakistan in Dubai, back in May 2009, and they managed only three fours, all of which came from the openers Shane Watson and David Warner.

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