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Tribune South Asia

Student of the Year: Alia Bhatt See page 18

Year 2

Issue 10

Thursday, 20.09.12

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Islamophobia reached its peak?

Now French mag publishes more caricatures of Prophet Mohammed(pbuh) Offices of magazine guarded by riot police French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo’s publisher, known only as Charb, presents to journalists, on September 19, 2012 in Paris.

late Tuesday.

Free speech or incitement?

After a week of deadly, international protests against an anti-Islam film, a French satirical magazine is fueling the debate between freedom of expression and offensive provocation. The magazine Charlie Hebdo published cartoons featuring a figure resembling the Prophet Mohammed in an issue that hit newsstands Wednesday. The cartoons are already drawing strong condemnation by the French Muslim community. Mohammed Moussaoui, president of the French Council of Muslim Faith, described a feeling of “indignation against this new Islamophobic act” to BFM-TV.

He said the cartoons are “insulting for the prophet of Islam,” and described their publication as a “new provocation.”

French authorities have already taken precautionary measures, with police vehicles parked outside the offices of Charlie Hebdo

France announced it would close embassies and schools in around 20 countries, fearing violence. French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo published the caricatures on Wednesday, saying the illustrations would “shock those who will want to be shocked.” Nude illustrations of Mohammed were included among the various caricatures in the release. Meanwhile, Russian news agency Interfax reported that Parisian kiosks sold out all copies of the magazine almost as soon as it hit the shelves. Charlie Hebdo’s website went down soon after the issue was published. Security was beefed up and riot police deployed at the Magazine’s offices in anticipation of retaliatory protests. Paris also announced that it would be closing its Continued on page 31 >>

First Robin Cook revealed the Falsehood Of Al Qaeda & Now

Al-Qaeda a ‘creation of the US and Britain’: MP George Galloway Late British Foreign Secretary Robin Cook who revealed the Falsehood Of Al Qaeda A Month Before his mysterious death . Robin Cook died suddenly, of a convenient heart attack while on a country stroll with his wife. He was whisked away to hospital by helicopter without his wife, who was not permitted to accompany him, although he was still alive. Robin Cook wrote in the Guardian, published on July 8: Bin Laden was, though, a product of a monumental

miscalculation by western security agencies. Throughout the 80s he was armed by the CIA and funded by the Saudis to wage jihad against the Russian occupation of Afghanistan. Al-Qaida, literally “the database”, was originally the computer file of the thousands of mujahideen who were recruited and trained with help from the CIA to defeat the Russians. Inexplicably, and with disastrous consequences, Continued on page 31 >>


NEWS

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South Asia Tribune I Thursday 20 September 2012

Respected in closer to Hijab!!!

Danish magazine to publish topless Kate pictures Danish celebrity weekly magazine Se og Hoer (See and Hear) reveals it plans to publish photographs of the Duchess of Cambridge sunbathing topless in its edition on Thursday. Editor-in-chief Kim Henningsen said the pictures of Prince William’s wife Kate will appear in a special supplement, to show Denmark “what these photos are all about.” The pictures have so far been published in France, Italy, Ireland and on the internet. St James’s Palace said “proportionate responses were under review”. On Tuesday, a Paris court banned future publication of the pictures in France, ordering French magazine Closer to hand over the originals. News of the Danish magazine’s decision emerged as Prince WilPublisher Salah Bu Khamas (UAE) Sabha Khan (UK)

tures of the topless Duchess of Cambridge, Kate. “Tomorrow we will publish a 16page spread full of piquant photos of England’s future queen.” The same decision tabloid editors also implemented in Sweden, Finland, Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Italy and a number of other countries. The images will not be displayed digitally on seoghør.dk, so you have to buy the magazine to get the pleasure of the royal bosom.

liam and his wife returned to the UK from a nine-day Diamond Jubilee tour of south-east Asia and the South Pacific.

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

portionate responses will be kept under review.” Kate topless photos: French police raid Closer magazine offices Police search Paris offices in bid to trace photographer who snapped Duke and Duchess of Cambridge Police have raided the offices of Closer magazine searching for the identity of the photographer

No British newspaper has printed the pictures. A statement on the Danish publication’s website on Wednesday said: “Se og Hoer has exclusively (in Denmark) obtained the pic-

A St James’s Palace spokesperson said: “As we’ve said, we will not be commenting on potential legal action concerning the alleged intended publication of the photos save to say that all pro-

who took pictures of the Duchess of Cambridge topless while on holiday in the south of France. Officers arrived at 10am on Wednesday morning at the magazine’s headquarters in the Paris suburb of Montrouge. They were reported to have searched the publication’s offices and examined journalists’ computers.

France to close embassies in 20 countries

Riot Police guard French magazine Charlie Hebdo office after it published cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad (Pbuh).

France said it would temporarily close its embassies and schools in 20 countries on Friday after a French magazine published cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad (SM), a move it fears will further inflame tensions over a film mocking the prophet. “We have indeed decided as a precautionary measure to close our premises, embassies, consulates, cultural centres and schools,” a Foreign Ministry spokesman said of the shut-down on Friday, prayer day across the Muslim world. Before publishing the cartoons on Wednesday, French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo, renowned for its irreverent treatment of the political establishment and public figures, argued that it had the right to uphold that tradition. “We do caricatures of everyone, and above all every week, and when we do it with the Prophet, it’s called provocation,” the paper’s editor, Stephane Charbonnier, told the news channel i>TELE. Issues of the magazine hit newsstands with the front cover and inside pages depicting the cartoons, a move criticised by the French authorities, which sent riot police to protect the magazine’s offices. The publication came amid widespread

outrage over a short film, made with private funds in the United States, that mocks the Prophet and has ignited days of sometimes deadly protests in the Arab world, Africa, Asia and some Western countries. Muslim leaders in France, which has Europe’s largest Muslim population, have appealed for calm. Charlie Hebdo’s Paris offices were fire

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius criticised the move as a provocation and said he had ordered security beefed up at French diplomatic offices in the Muslim world. “Is it relevant and intelligent in this environment to add fuel to the fire? The answer is no,” Fabius told France Info radio. “I’m very worried... and when I saw this I immediately issued instructions for

bombed last November after it published a mocking caricature of Muhammad [pbuh]. In 2005, Danish cartoons of the Prophet sparked a wave of violent protests across the Muslim world that killed at least 50 people. Most Muslims consider any representation of Allah or the Prophet Muhammad [pbuh] offensive.

special security precautions to be taken in all the countries where it could be a problem.” The government has called for restraint over the cartoons, restating the principles of free speech in France and urging those shocked by the images to take action through the courts. As outrage over the anti-Muslim film

continues to fuel violence and protests across the Islamic world, French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault said the authorities had rejected a request to hold a march against the film in Paris. “There is no reason for us to allow conflicts that do not concern France to enter our country,” Ayrault told RTL radio. Social media had circulated calls for a protest on Saturday against the film, after police arrested about 150 people who tried to take part in an unauthorised protest near the US Embassy in Paris last week. The main body representing Muslims in France, the French Muslim Council (CFCM), accused Charlie Hebdo of firing up anti-Muslim sentiment at a sensitive time. “The CFCM is deeply attached to freedom of speech but considers that nothing can justify insult and inciting hatred,” it said in a statement. “The CFCM calls on the Muslims of France not to give in to such provocation and urges them to express their indignation calmly and in lawful manner.” Former Charlie Hebdo editor Philippe Val was pursued in French courts on charges of racial injury, and ultimately acquitted, after the paper reprinted the Danish cartoons of Mohammad.


South Asia Tribune I Thursday 20 September 2012

NEWS

Arab-Israeli mayors and religious leaders sues Google to block anti-Muslim video in Israel

Arab-Israeli mayors and religious leaders demand Google ban access to the anti-Islam video in Israel. MK Taleb a-Sanaa and various Arab-Israeli mayors and religious leaders on Wednesday filed a petition with the Jerusalem District Court demanding that Google take down an anti-Islam video ridiculing the Muslim Prophet Mohamed from YouTube, to prevent future publicizing of the film and to block all access to the film in Israel. The petitioners characterized the film as abusive and violating the image of the Muslim Prophet

Muhammad in a racist manner, while trampling his sanctity and desecrating his name. The film was also considered highly damaging as it violated the dignity and faith of more than a billion Muslims and more than a million Muslim citizens in Israel, according to the petition. The petitioners claim that the publication violates the religious feelings of Muslims in contravention of Section 173 of the Pe-

Israeli border policemen fire tear gas toward Palestinian protesters on Tuesday.

nal Code, constitutes incitement to racism against Muslims in vio-

lation of Article 144 of the Penal Code, and is defamatory accord-

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ing to the 1965 Defamation Law. The petition was filed by attorney Kais Nasser, and was filed against Google, which owns YouTube. News reports have indicated that Google has already blocked access to the video in Egypt, Libya, Indonesia and India, but has rejected a request by the White House to pull it from the video-sharing site YouTube altogether. Authorities in Afghanistan ordered YouTube to be shutdown “indefinitely” to stop Afghans from watching the film, while Russia and Saudi Arabia also threatened to block the website unless it removes the film.

Britain is deporting Tamil refugees to be tortured in Sri Lanka

Human rights groups detail evidence of failed asylum-seekers facing beatings and rape The British government will force up to 60 Sri Lankan Tamils on to an aeroplane on Wednesday and send them back to a a country still

questioned about links with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and activities in the UK, with torture often playing a part.

immediately impose a moratorium on returns pending a thorough review of relevant UK policy and the introduction of new risk assessment

to the government may be subject to torture and other ill-treatment. In one case, a 32-year-old Tamil man from Jaffna was among 24

Sri Lanka. The security forces then took him to police headquarters in Colombo, where he was interrogated about his activities in London and

recovering from a brutal civil war. Inigo Gilmore reports. The United Kingdom should immediately suspend deportations to Sri Lanka of ethnic Tamils with real or imputed links to the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) or who have engaged in activities the Sri Lankan authorities might view as antigovernment, Human Rights Watch said today. At least two and possibly three chartered flights are scheduled to leave the UK Wednesday carrying an unknown number of Sri Lankan Tamils whose pleas to remain in the UK have been refused. The UK Border Agency (UKBA) refuses to discuss such flights until they have landed. The Home Office says it only removes people who face no risk of torture, but Freedom from Torture and Human Rights Watch both argue that the government has severely underestimated this possibility when it comes to returned Tamils, many of whom are routinely arrested and

The next scheduled deportation of Tamils from the United Kingdom to Sri Lanka was due to take place on September 19, 2012. Investigations by Human Rights Watch have found that some rejected Tamil asylum seekers from the United Kingdom and other countries have been subjected to arbitrary arrest and torture or other ill-treatment upon their arrival in Sri Lanka. Human Rights Watch today issued a document it sent on August 1 to the UK immigration minister detailing 13 cases of alleged torture of failed Tamil asylum seekers on return to Sri Lanka. All of these cases are supported by medical documentation. “In its haste to be tough on failed asylum seekers, the British government is turning a blind eye to compelling evidence that Tamils deported to Sri Lanka risk torture on arrival,” said David Mepham, London director. “Given the serious risk of torture that Tamils returned from the UK may face, the British government should

guidelines.” The Sri Lankan security forces have long used torture against people deemed to be linked to the LTTE, and growing evidence indicates that Tamils who have been politically active abroad in peaceful opposition

Tamils deported to Sri Lanka by the UK Border Agency on June 16, 2011, after his asylum claim was rejected. On return, he was questioned at the airport outside Colombo and subsequently picked up at the Omanthai checkpoint in northern

severely tortured. He told Human Rights Watch he was whipped with electric wires and suspended upside down and beaten with sand-filled plastic pipes and forced to sign a confession in Sinhala, a language he did not understand.


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EDITORIAL

The US film that insults Muslims and their faith reveals their bigotry and double standards on free speech, and is consistent with their negative attitude on Islam. No doubt the film is not about free speech. The UN says it is ‘hateful, malicious, deliberately provocative and portrays a disgracefully distorted image of Muslims’. The US leaders admit as much. Dozens have already died following violent reactions to the movie across the Muslim world. The US argues that its Constitution protects freedom of speech and it cannot stop such provocative videos. It won’t arrest persons behind such hateful, malicious speeches ostensibly because it cannot curb the right to free speech. Most Western nations share the same view on such matters. Clearly, there is duplicity here because the same free speech is not accorded to those they perceive are opposed to their values. For instance, several leading Muslim scholars cannot be allowed into the US or UK because of ‘hate speech’. Sheikh Bilal Philips who was turned away at JKIA early this year is not allowed into UK merely because of his anti-gay speech in the past. A Muslim cleric in US cannot make a tape on virtues of Jihad or a speech hateful of other faiths without being accused by the State of terrorism and other charges. Recently, the Russian punks Pussy Riot that held an anti-Putin stunt in a Moscow Cathedral was sentenced to jail for an act that the Russian Orthodox Church described as ‘blasphemy and sacrilege, the conscious and deliberate insult to the sanctuary and a manifestation of hostility to millions of people’. To the US, this was an affront to free speech. The violence that erupted in the Muslim world is not just about the video but an explosion of frustrations, deep-seated mistrust of the US and its perceived war against Islam under the guise of fighting terrorism. Conscious of this, President Obama took office pledging to improve relations with the Muslim world. Four years later, it is business

as usual. His major campaign platform, closure of Guantanamo Bay detention centre, remains a distant mirage. Freedom of speech enshrined in the Universal declaration of Human Rights is limited by Article 29 that there should be due recognition and respect for the rights and freedoms of others, in addition to meeting the requirements of public morality, public order and general welfare of society. The US does not believe in these declarations any more, yet talks of ‘equal and inalienable rights of all human beings’ as the foundation for freedom, justice and peace. Article 5 ‘no one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment’ means nothing to them too when dealing with Muslims. Dozens have been renditioned to jails in hidden prisons and subjected to torture as terror suspects. For most, including journalists, it is simply because of a speech or an expression. Article 6 “no one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile” is the most flouted by the US. At their instigation, we have Kenyans arbitrarily arrested and exiled to Uganda, Somalia and elsewhere. The US Supreme Court has over the years limited the free speech. The Court will not protect a speech that involves incitement, advocating use of force or violence; false statement of fact, including libel and slander; obscenity, including speech that ‘depicts or describes in a patently offensive way, contemporary community standards’; child pornography; fighting words and offensive speech which when addressed to ordinary citizen is a matter of common knowledge, inherently likely to provoke violent reaction. From the above, it is clear that if US Government wanted to act on this video, they would be well within the law. But they won’t! It helps them to portray Islam and Muslims as violent religion, and it helps them to cast the anti-terror war far and wide. Unfortunately, their actions continue to make the world less safer and peaceful by the day.

South Asia Tribune I Thursday 20 September 2012

Labour increases lead in new poll - but Cameron more popular than Miliband Even with a 15% poll lead Ed Miliband cannot be confident that Labour will win the next general election. Labour has opened up a 15-point lead over the Conservatives, according to a new poll. The 15-point advantage for Ed Miliband’s party is the largest recorded in a mainstream poll during this Parliament and would put Labour on course for a landslide if repeated at the election scheduled for 2015. However, the Populus poll for The Times also had bad news for Mr Miliband, as a clear majority of those taking part said they would prefer David Cameron to remain Prime Minister. Some 45% of those questioned said they would vote Labour in an election (up five points since

a similar poll in July), well ahead of the Conservatives’ 30% (down four) and Liberal Democrats’ 10% (down two). When asked whether they would prefer Mr Miliband or Mr Cameron in 10 Downing Street, just 31% opted for the Labour leader against 60% for the Tory chief. Of those selecting Mr Cameron as

their preferred PM, 23% said they were happy with how he has done the job so far, while the remaining 37% said they were dissatisfied with his performance but thought he would be better than Mr Miliband. Populus interviewed 1,510 voters for The Times between September 14 and 16.

Syria ‘contact group’ agrees New York talks: MENA

Foreign ministers of the regional “contact group” on Syria agreed at talks in Cairo to hold more consultations in New York later this month, the official MENA news agency reported on Tuesday. The top diplomats of Egypt, Turkey and Iran met in Cairo to discuss developments in conflict-stricken Syria, but Saudi Arabia, which is also a member of the group, was notably absent from the meeting. The ministers agreed to “hold their next meeting in New York on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly later this month,” MENA reported. “It is too early to say we have come up with any specifics,” Egyptian Foreign Minister Mohammed Kamel Amr said after the talks. The gathering of the “contact group” -- an initiative by Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi -- follows preparatory talks a week ago in Cairo held by lower-ranking officials from the four countries’ foreign ministries. “We exchanged views to reach a plan as soon as possible to end the bloodshed in Syria,” he said. Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu stressed Saudi’s participation was crucial. “Consultations with Saudi Arabia are necessary because the kingdom is a key player in the attempt to reach a solution to the Syrian crisis,” he said. The reasons for the absence of Saudi Arabia, Iran’s traditional rival in the region, were not immediately clear but Amr said the kingdom’s foreign minister “had previous commitments.”

Among the proposals put forward at the talks, Iran is suggesting it, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Turkey dispatch observers to its ally Syria in

out giving a source. The United Nations last month put an end to its own observer mission to Syria that was established

Egyptian Foreign Minister Mohammed Kamel Amr (C) and Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi (R) listen to Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu (L) during a joint press conference after their first high-level meeting on the Syria conflict on Monday in Cairo late on September 17,

an effort to quell the violence there, Iranian state media reported. Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi also offered to host the group’s next meeting in Tehran, the official news agency IRNA and broadcaster IRIB said. Salehi told his Egyptian and Turkish counterparts in Cairo that “observers” from their countries, and from Saudi Arabia, could “monitor the process of stopping the violence in Syria,” according to IRNA. He also called for peace talks “to help the process of fundamental reforms and finding a democratic approach in Syria.” Salehi appealed for “a simultaneous halt in clashes and violence by the sides in Syria, insisted on a peaceful solution without foreign intervention and a halt to financial, military and training support for the Syrian opposition,” IRNA reported, with-

in April, after a ceasefire between regime forces and rebels failed to take hold. Iran’s strong support for the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad contrasts with the positions of the other three members of the regional group. Egypt, Turkey and Saudi Arabia are all demanding Assad step down in order to bring peace to Syria, where more than 20,000 people have been killed since an uprising broke out in March 2011. Iran accuses Turkey and Saudi Arabia of supplying or facilitating military support to Syria’s rebels. International peace envoy for Syria Lakhdar Brahimi, who just finished a four-day visit to Damascus during which he met Assad and opposition members, was said by an Arab diplomat to have joined the meeting.


South Asia Tribune I Thursday 20 September 2012

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Origins of Alps killings ‘in UK’

Key witness who could provide crucial information has come out of coma, but is still unable to talk. Annecy’s chief prosecutor Eric Maillaud met his British counterparts working on the case at the al-Hilli family home in Claygate, Surrey. Mr Maillaud - who was accompanied by examining magistrate Michel Mollin, another senior member of the inquiry team - said it was “without any doubt that the reasons and causes (for the killings) have their origins in this country”. Police have revealed they are probing three lines of inquiry, focusing on Mr al-Hilli’s work, his family and links to his native Iraq. The aerospace engineer had been holidaying with his relatives at a campsite near Lake Annecy when they were attacked at 4pm last Wednesday. One sister is a “key witness” still under guard in a French hospital, her health too fragile for questioning. The other escaped the gunman who killed their parents by hiding beneath her dead mother’s skirts, but can’t explain what happened during their French Alps vacation. And, experts say, both could still provide crucial help - if

Girls the sole witnesses

handled carefully. The young British sisters, who survived the mysterious shootings a week ago, are the only known witnesses to the crime. And experts say 4-year-old Zeena and 7-year-old Zaina could be the key to solving the case. But it’s a delicate task. There are

sweep of the driveway and officers seen drilling holes into the roof of an overhanging porch. It was also reported the French police unit who examined the Mercedes which crashed killing Princess Diana in August 1997, in Paris, are studying the BMW.

that the bomb squad had been called in “due to concerns around items found at the address” in Claygate. But they added that the items “not hazardous.” As this developed, police also reported that a seven-year-old survivor, who could provide crucial new leads to the investigation, had

plenty of examples of investigators botching interviews with child witnesses, sometimes with devastating results. Zeena was flown back to the UK on Sunday and has been taken to a safe house near London. The victims’ bodies have been returned to their families, police said. Yesterday the forensic search of the al-Hilli home continued, with officers mounting a fingertip

Authorities investigating the murder of a British-Iraqi family in the French Alps called in a bomb squad after finding suspicious items at their home in Surrey, England. Investigators also ordered on Monday a temporary evacuation of neighboring homes and extended the police cordon as a precaution, Al Jazeera’s Peter Sharp reported. British police said in a statement

come out of coma on Sunday. “The little girl has come out of the artificial coma but she is under sedation and her speech is not yet audible,” prosecutor Eric Maillaud told the AFP news agency. She was shot in the shoulder and beaten around the head, suffering a fractured skull. The cyclist, former Royal Air Force pilot Brett Martin, helped the

injured girl and called for help. In an interview with BBC News, he recounted the shocking scene he stumbled across as he went on a regular bike ride in a national park. Martin said what he found in the parking lot -- three people shot dead in a car and a fourth on the ground nearby -- was like “a Hollywood scene.” His account came as French prosecutor Maillaud and investigating Judge Michel Mollin were in Britain seeking new leads in the case. They met with Surrey Police, whose officers have been helping French investigators to search the home of two of the victims, Saad and Ikbal al-Hilli, in Claygate town, Surrey county. Maillaud said it was “highly likely that the reasons and causes for (the crime) have their origin in this country.” “Our presence here does not mean that there are problems between the two jurisdictions,” Maillaud said. “We wish to reinforce our cooperation and understanding with hope to reach a conclusion to these horrible murders.”

MP George Galloway claims al-Qaeda Egypt pursues makers terrorists a ‘creation of the US and Britain’ of anti-Islam video

GEORGE Galloway has claimed British and American troops trained al-Qaeda terrorists… in Fort William. The Respect MP unleashed his latest Good Night with George Galloway rant on YouTube yesterday. It comes on the heels of his video which said rape charges against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange had no basis as having sex with a sleeping woman “does not constitute rape”. And he later described a Twitter user as a “windae licker” – an abusive term for someone with special needs. Yesterday, Galloway insisted the 9/11 attacks were “clearly a conspiracy” and that “al-Qaeda are a creation of ours”. He said: “I’m not in any doubt that a group of alQaeda operatives entered the US from Germany, enrolled in flying schools, learned how to fly planes, boarded planes, seized control of them and flew themselves into the twin towers. “The reason they did it is an open question and, for that, we need to go back to the 1980s. AlQaeda and their forefathers and the Taliban are all inventions of the US and Britain. “Al-Qaeda were only ever in Afghanistan because we helped to send them there. We armed them, financed them, called them heroes and freedom fighters. “We trained them in Fort William… at the special forces military training schools there and in other places. “We gave to these jihadists in Afghanistan

fighting the Red Army in the 1980s all the wherewithal that they are now using against British and American soldiers in Afghanistan. “I don’t doubt who carried 9/11 out. It was al-Qaeda. Al-Qaeda are a creation of ours; a creation that we made on the principle that my enemy’s enemy is my friend. “Not only did we create these people in the first place but we have reached for them as a weapon of choice to deploy against our enemies.” The Home Office declined to comment on Galloway’s claims regarding al-Qaeda in Fort William. Fort William MSP Dave Thompson said: “If George has got evidence of al-Qaeda training people in Fort William then he needs to give it to the authorities immediately. “It’s up to him to say whatever he wants to say but it strikes me he’s making statements to court publicity.”

Arrest warrant issued for seven Egyptian Coptic Christians and Florida pastor in symbolic case meant to placate anger.

Egyptian prosecutor’s office has issued arrest warrants for seven Egyptian Coptic Christians and a Florida-based American pastor for their alleged role in an anti-Islam video that has sparked deadly riots across the Muslim world. The warrants were released on Tuesday, referring the defendants to trial on charges linked to the film entitled “Innocence of Muslims” The case is largely symbolic since the seven men and one woman are believed to be outside of Egypt and unlikely to travel to the country to face the charges. The decision to take legal action appears aimed at placating some of the public anger over the amateur film whose trailer has attracted tens of millions of views on YouTube. Key defendants

Among those charged is Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, an Egyptian Copt living in southern California and believed to be behind the film. Others include Florida-based Pastor Terry Jones, who has said he was contacted by the filmmaker to promote the video and Morris Sadek, a conservative Coptic Christian in the US who pushed the video on his website. The connection of the other five accused in the case to the film was not immediately clear. The prosecutor’s office said in a statement that the accused, who include the film’s alleged producer, face charges of harming national unity, insulting and publicly attacking Islam and spreading false information. The office said they could face the death penalty, if convicted. No date for the trial has been set The prosecutor’s statement, said that after studying the film investigators have determined that it contains scenes offensive to Islam and state institutions. It also says they questioned 10 plaintiffs before issuing the charges.


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South Asia Tribune I Thursday 20 September 2012

GCSE exams to be replaced by ‘English Bac Certificate’ Michael Gove Plans to Scrap GCSEs for ‘Harder’ O-Levels

Education secretary hopes to reintroduce O-level system of exams by 2016 in big shakeup of school exams system

The GCSE exam in England is going to be replaced by a qualification called the English Baccalaureate Certificate. A shake-up of the exam system, unveiled by Education Secretary Michael Gove, will mean a single end-of-course exam and one exam board for each subject. Pupils beginning secondary school this year will take the first new exams - in English, maths and sciences - in 2017. The Education Secretary Michael Gove is planning to ditch GCSE exams, almost a quarter of a century after they were introduced, amid criticism over falling standards. The report in the Mail on Sunday, which is not being denied by the government, suggests that GCSEs will be replaced by a new, tougher

exam which is being dubbed the “Gove level”. It is not expected that the new tests would be introduced until the next Parliament. This means the plans could be scrapped should Labour win the next general election. The Department for Education told Channel 4 News it was not denying the reports but said an annoucement would be made in the next few days. This notion of bringing back Olevels that would be untiered but accessible in some way shape or form to everyone is kind of risible. Dr Tina Isaacs The most recent batch of criticism of the exams followed claims exam boards were told to ration the top marks to guard against accusations GCSEs are getting easier.

There were also complaints that thousands of pupils who sat English exams this year were unfairly downgraded to a D instead of a C. Dr Tina Isaacs formerly worked for the qualifications watchdog Ofqual but is now programme leader for the MA in educational assessment at the Institute of Education. She told Channel 4 News: “Mr Gove has to be given credit for trying to improve the system but it’s a huge job both technically and philosophically.”

an exam that would be available to the whole cohort. “So this notion of bringing back Olevels that would be untiered but accessible in some way shape or form to everyone is kind of risible. How do you reintroduce a qualification which was originally aimed at the top 20 per cent and make it available for everybody? “That said, there’s so much missing from this report. Until we see what Mr Gove’s actually going to announce, it’s almost impossible to

of continual assessment, with a traditional end of course exam possibly lasting three hours. It appears that the new exams could also be set by a single exam board. Over the summer, the cross party education select committee called for standardised national syllabuses to strip exam boards of their right to decide the content of examinations and remove “perverse incentives” as boards fought for market share. And in April, Mr Gove announced he would be inviting the elite Rus-

It is understood that the new system will be single tier. Dr Isaacs questions how easy this idea will be to implement: “GCSEs were introduced in 1986 with the aim of being

see what he wants to do.” Single exam board Newspaper reports say the new exams would replace the current system, which includes a large amount

sell Group universities to become more closely involved in setting Alevels amid concerns that currently they do not prepare pupils for advanced study at university.

Russia backs ban of US anti-Islam film ‘Innocence of Muslims’

THE Russian prosecutor general’s office has backed a ban on the US-made anti-Islam film that has sparked deadly violence, saying it would seek to add it to a list of extremist material. A spokeswoman said her office “has prepared a request to a court to recognise the film, which is posted on the internet and is offensive to believers, as extremist material,” Interfax reported. The initially obscure Innocence of Muslims, produced by a US religious group, has been cited as one of the main instigators of riots that have killed 17 people from North Africa to the Middle

East and Afghanistan. Those killed include the US envoy and three consulate staff workers in Libya.

Russian prosecutors have also asked a government watchdog to prevent media from reporting on the content of the film, spokes-

woman Marina Gridneva said, adding that the film “offended the religious feelings of believers and fomented ethnic hatred”.

Prosecutors have contacted major Internet providers with a warning about showing the film, she said. Russia recently tightened a law on protecting minors from the internet, allowing the government to draw up a blacklist of banned sites showing child pornography, promoting drug use and offering tips on suicide. Under its extremism laws, any court can pronounce a material extremist, and the list includes issues of the Jehovah’s Witnesses’ The Watchtower magazine as well as videos posted on social network sites.


South Asia Tribune I Thursday 20 September 2012

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NEWS

America ‘was warned of Libya embassy attack but did nothing’ The Independent Revealed: inside story of US envoy’s assassination The White House has denied claims from a British newspaper that it ignored credible information about an impending attack on American diplomats in Libya.

The Independent has reported The killings of the US ambassador to Libya and three of his staff were likely to have been the result of a serious and continuing security breach . American officials believe the attack was planned, but Chris Stevens had been back in the country only a short while and the details of his visit to Benghazi, where he and his staff died, were meant to be confidential. The Independent is reporting shocking details about the attack on the Libyan consulate that resulted in the death of four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens. The details are so explosive that they will result in a Congressional investigation. In fact, they’re so explosive that they should result in the resignation of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. The only question now: What did Hillary Clinton know, and when did she know it? According to senior diplomatic sources, the US State Department had credible information 48 hours before mobs charged the consulate in Benghazi, and the embassy in Cairo, that American missions may be targeted, but no warnings were given for diplomats to go on high alert and “lockdown”, under which movement is severely restricted.

Mr Stevens had been on a visit to Germany, Austria and Sweden and had just returned to Libya when the

FAST Anti-Terrorism Reaction Team has already arrived in the country from a base in Spain and other

due to the video, called Innocence of Muslims. Patrick Kennedy, UnderSecretary at the State Department, said he was convinced the assault was planned due to its extensive nature and the proliferation of weapons.

US, Libya accounts differ on attack that killed ambassador

Benghazi trip took placevv with the US embassy’s security staff deciding that the trip could be undertaken safely. Eight Americans, some from the military, were wounded in the attack which claimed the lives of Mr Stevens, Sean Smith, an information officer, and two US Marines. All staff from Benghazi have now been moved to the capital, Tripoli, and those whose work is deemed to be non-essential may be flown out of Libya. In the meantime a Marine Corps

personnel are believed to be on the way. Additional units have been put on standby to move to other states where their presence may be needed in the outbreak of anti-American fury triggered by publicity about a film which demeaned the Prophet Mohamed. Senior officials are increasingly convinced, however, that the ferocious nature of the Benghazi attack, in which rocket-propelled grenades were used, indicated it was not the result of spontaneous anger

Top US and Libyan officials have offered starkly different accounts about the attack on the US consulate in Benghazi that left the ambassador and three other Americans dead. The US Ambassador to the United Nations, Susan Rice, said on Sunday it began with a spontaneous protest over the anti-Islamic video that had already set off similar protests in Egypt, leading to the storming of the US embassy there. “People gathered outside the embassy (consulate) and then it grew very violent and those with extremist ties joined the fray and came with heavy weapons, which unfortunately are quite common in post-revolutionary Libya and that then spun out of control,” Rice told Fox News Sunday. “But we don’t see at this point signs this was a coordinated plan, premeditated attack. Obviously, we will wait for the results of the (FBI)

investigation and we don’t want to jump to conclusions before then.” Announcing the arrest of 50 suspects, Libya’s parliament chief, however, blamed the attack on a few foreign extremists who he said entered Libya from Mali and Algeria and preplanned it with local “affiliates and sympathizers”. “The way these perpetrators acted and moved ... leaves us with no doubt that this was pre-planned, determined, predetermined,” Mohammed alMegaryef, president of the Libyan National Congress, told CBS News. “It was planned, definitely, it was planned by foreigners, by people who entered the country a few months ago. And they were planning this criminal act since their arrival,” he added. Ambassador Chris Stevens is believed to have died from smoke inhalation after being trapped in the blazing diplomatic compound in Benghazi, which came under fire from rocketpropelled grenades, mortars and small arms. Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula claimed the attack was revenge for the killing of the terror network’s deputy leader Sheikh Abu Yahya alLibi in a drone strike in June, but there is no clear evidence to support this claim.

Syria’s Muslims won’t perform Hajj this year as Saudi Arabia blocks Syrians

Saudi Arabia has barred Syrians from entering the country to perform the annual Muslim hajj pilgrimage, Syrian state media said Tuesday, marking the latest break between the two Arab nations. “The Syrian High Committee of hajj has announced the halt to the pilgrimage this year, due to a failure to reach consensus with the Saudi authorities,” the official SANA news agency reported.

The Syrian committee “took all necessary steps for the 2012 hajj season, but the relevant ministry in Saudi Arabia did not sign the accord as

it does every year,” SANA said. The hajj to Mecca -- the world’s largest annual human assembly -- is one of the five pillars of Islam and must be

performed at least once in a lifetime by all those Muslims who are able to. A decision to suspend Syrian participation in the holy pilgrimage, which has not

yet been confirmed by Saudi Arabia, would be the latest in a string of moves adopted by Riyadh against the regime of President Bashar al-Assad.


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South Asia Tribune I Thursday 20 September 2012

Far-right German group plans to show anti-Islamic film Germany Mulls Ban on Showing Hate Film

A populist group in Germany wants to publicly show the anti-Islam film “Innocence of Muslims,” Freedom of expression is a basic right in Germany, but recent controversy over the anti-Islam film “Innocence of Muslims” has sparked a debate among lawmakers about just how far that right extends. A populist group called Pro Deutschland wants to stage a public showing of the controversial antiIslam film “Innocence of Muslims,” which has inspired protests and deadly attacks on American and Western diplomatic missions across the Muslim world in the last week. Pro Deutschland may have just a few hundred members, but amid heightened fears of retaliation, the group’s provocative

threat has even attracted the attention of Chancellor Angela Merkel. Asked at a press conference on Monday whether she thought a showing of the film, which is highly disparaging of the Muslim prophet

Muhammad, should be prevented, Merkel said that a ban could be justified if public security was at risk. “I can imagine that there are good reasons for this,” she said

on Monday, adding that such measures were currently being considered by her government. Addressing the issue is a delicate maneuver for the chancellor, who is known to place great value in freedom of expression

France: Socialist deputy mayor refused to marry Muslim woman who wore hijab

Florence CyrulnikThe Collectif contre l’Islamophobie en France reports that on Thursday 6 September a young Muslim couple, Saad and Myriam, arrived at the town hall at La Seyne-sur-Mer in southeastern France to get married. However when Florence Cyrulnik, the Socialist Party deputy mayor who was to preside over their wedding, arrived she told Myriam abruptly that she would not proceed with the marriage unless the bride immediately removed her headscarf. Although Myriam was not wearing a face veil, which is of course illegal in France, she was informed that religious symbols were banned in public spaces according to a local secularist statute. Attempts to reason with Cyrulnik and her equally aggressive assistant Marc Vuillemot failed and Saad and Myriam were forced to call off their wedding. “What should have been the happiest day of their lives turned into a

humiliation coupled to an injustice”, the CCIF writes. The report adds: “The CCIF strongly condemns the municipality of La Seynesur-Mer and the actions of Florence Cyrulnik that violated the young couple’s fundamental right to marriage, as well as their religious freedom.” They support the couple’s decision to mount a legal challenge to the municipality over their disgraceful treatment.

and the press. Two years ago she lauded Danish cartoonist Kurt Westergaard for his courage in publishing caricatures along with several other colleagues that sparked protests and riots in the Muslim world. Westergaard’s

drawing, which showed the Prophet Muhammad with a bomb for a turban, even resulted in an attempt on Westergaard’s life. On Monday, Merkel acknowledged that she had been critical of the caricatures “in terms of taste.” But according to the modern sense of free expression, she said, “He is allowed to do this.” That is also the chancellor’s take on “Innocence of Muslims.” As such, she cannot ban the film outright. However, given the massive tensions over the work, she does want to prevent unnecessary provocations through its showing.

Legal Precedence

There is already legal precedence for this in German criminal law, which states that anyone who

publicly “insults the content of the religious or ideological views in a manner likely to disturb the public order, will be penalized with up to three years’ imprisonment or fined.” Other officials have advocated making it as difficult as possible for Pro Deutschland to show the film, though. In an interview with SPIEGEL this week, Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich, whose ministry is currently reviewing the issue, accused such groups of intentionally provoking Islamists. “By doing so, they are recklessly pouring oil on the fire,” he said. “We must use all legally sanctioned courses of action to stop them.”

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South Asia Tribune I Thursday 20 September 2012

NEWS

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Romney video: Palestinians not interested in peace

US Republican presidential candidate filmed at fundraising dinner saying Palestinians “have no interest whatsoever in establishing peace,” adding Iran would use nuclear capability to blackmail US.

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney told donors that Palestinians “have no interest” in

Tuesday. Romney said Palestinians are “committed to the destruction and

stability, but you recognize that this is going to remain an unsolved problem, and we kick the ball down the field and hope that ultimately, somehow, something will happen and resolve it,” Romney said. The remarks are in a video clip posted Tuesday morning on the website of Mother Jones magazine. The magazine said the video is from a $50,000-a-plate fundraiser in Boca Raton, Florida, on May 17. The new video is from the same event as a clip released Monday in which Romney says almost half of Americans “believe that they are victims.” Late Monday, Romney did not dispute the clip but said his remarks were “not elegantly stated.” The Romney campaign

peace with Israel and suggested that efforts at Mideast peace under his administration would languish, according to a newly released video

elimination of Israel” and that the prospects for a two-state solution to Mideast peace were dim. “You hope for some degree of

has not disputed the authenticity of the video released Monday. In the latest clip, Romney is asked about the “Palestinian problem.”

He gives a detailed, though somewhat rambling, response and says, “the Palestinians have no interest whatsoever in establishing peace,” and “the pathway to peace is almost unthinkable to accomplish.” The magazine’s website quotes Romney as saying he was against applying any pressure on Israel to give up disputed territory for a two-state solution with the Palestinians. “The idea of pushing on the Israelis to give something up to get the Palestinians to act is the worst idea in the world,” Romney said, according to the magazine. Mother Jones did not provide video of that comment. Romney also criticized President

part by a perception he has that his magnetism, and his charm, and his persuasiveness is so compelling that he can sit down with people like (Vladimir) Putin and (Hugo) Chávez and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and that they’ll find that we’re such wonderful people that they’ll go on with us, and they’ll stop doing bad things,” Romney says. “And it’s an extraordinarily naive perception.” Turning to Iran, Romney cautioned on the danger of allowing the Islamic Republic to obtain nuclear weapons capability. Using another hypothetical scenario, Romney imagined Iran giving Hezbollah “a little fissile material,” ordering the proxy to take it to Chicago, and then blackmailing the US

Barack Obama’s foreign policy approach as “naive.” “The president’s foreign policy, in my opinion, is formed in

over foreign policy issues. “We really don’t have any option but to keep Iran from having a nuclear weapon,” he said.

The al-Assad regime will fall but it needs more pressure, says McCain

Former U.S. presidential candidate and Arizona Senator John McCain has said in an interview with daily

Hürriyet that the Bashar al-Assad regime in Syria will eventually fall, but the pressure on it is not yet enough. “Everyone agrees that Bashar al-Assad will go, and I am sure that he will go,” McCain said in the interview. In the interview, McCain asked: “I agree that Bashar al-Assad will fall, but is there sufficient pressure to stop the massacres? 20,000 people - or 21,000 by the time you go to press – have already been massacred. The U.S. has not responded in a way that we traditionally have done.” Regarding the possibility of military intervention in Syria, Senator McCain

commented on the U.S.’s stance: “America is tired because of the wars it has been in, it doesn’t want its boots on the ground.

Tony Blair urges more pressure on Assad

Britain and the rest of the world should be “ramping up” their position on Syria to prevent even heavier bloodshed, Tony Blair said today. The former prime minister said rebels were currently being “crushed” and he did not believe it was “inevitable” that President Bashar Assad would be overthrown. Speaking on the BBC Radio 4 Today programme, Mr Blair - now Middle East envoy for the Quartet of powers - stopped short of calling for military intervention. But he insisted opposition from Russia and China should not be allowed to prevent a tougher stance against the regime.


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South Asia Tribune I Thursday 20 September 2012

RAW tapped senior US official’s phone, ‘heard’ US-Pak move on J&K

Indian agency snooped on conversation of US envoy in Islamabad The Indian intelligence agency, RAW, successfully tapped Raphel’s call, despite this being from Washington to Islamabad, and apparently forwarded a tape and transcript to Srinivasan. In his memoirs “Diplomatic Channels”, Kris Srinivasan, 17 years after he demitted office as foreign secretary, reveals that in 1994 India’s external intelligence agency, RAW, snooped on a telephone conversation between a reputedly pro-Pakistan US assistant secretary of state for South Asia, Robin Raphel, and John Cameron Monjo, then US ambassador in Islamabad, which confirmed that the US would not back a draft resolution against India on Kashmir moved by Pakistan at the United Nations, and therefore it would fail to proceed any further. The book, to be launched in London soon, recounts that Pakistan

had provisionally introduced the resolution at the UN general assembly’s first committee in Sept 1994. To counter this, the ministry of external affairs, led by Srinivasan, approached then prime

and pave the way for a return of Red Cross to the state. Thereafter, meeting his counterpart in the US administration Peter Tarnoff, Srinivasan argued “a negative vote against India at

India soon came to know of the frustration of Robin Raphel — “which we came to hear from a phone intercept”, says Srinivasan. She informed her colleague, the US ambassador, that she had pressed

minister P. V. Narasimha Rao to instigate the release of Kashmiri dissidents, initiate the process of elections in Indian-held Kashmir,

the UN would only stimulate militant activity and render futile the democratic steps the Indian government was trying to take”.

for an affirmative vote for the Pakistan resolution, but had been blocked by the “higher-ups”. The Indian intelligence agency,

RAW, successfully tapped Raphel’s call, despite this being from Washington to Islamabad, and apparently forwarded a tape and transcript to Srinivasan. Interestingly, as a decoy, India had moved a draft resolution in the UN first committee on the desirability of complete elimination of nuclear weapons — based on various previous public pronouncements by the US, Russia and China — within a fixed time-frame, which had, in fact, found co-sponsors. This alarmed the Americans, who were pressing for a resolution favouring the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. They promptly despatched a senior arms control expert to Delhi to ask India to desist. The Indian foreign office withdrew the draft, conveying to Washington that it would reciprocally expect the same attitude when it came to India’s concerns.

China signs Lanka visa, trade deals

China signs 16 agreements with Sri Lanka, ranging from visa exemption and marine development to economic and technology cooperation, and promises to expand investment and increase imports from the South Asian country. Experts said the expanded cooperation demonstrates deepened political trust, and will help make Sri Lanka “Asia’s miracle” in terms of economic growth. The two countries have agreed that holders of diplomatic and service passports of the other country will be exempt from visa requirements. Cooperation on marine development and management, and economic and technological cooperation, will be boosted. Other agreements include favorable loans offered by Chinese banks to some major infrastructure projects in Sri Lanka and cooperation on telecommunication and railway system renovation. No details of these agreements have been revealed. Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse and visitor Wu Bangguo, China’s top legislator, witnessed the signing ceremony of the agreements. Wu arrived in Colombo on Saturday to start the first ever visit by the chairman of China’s

National People’s Congress Standing Committee. Wu is also the highest-ranking Chinese official to visit Sri Lanka since the island nation ended longtime civil war with the separatist Tamil Tiger guerrillas three years ago. During a meeting with Rajapakse on Monday, Wu said China will continue to adopt various measures to increase imports from Sri Lanka and will encourage more Chinese enterprises to invest in the country. He proposed the two countries maintain and expand cooperation in infrastructure construction and will expand collaboration in new sectors such as marine scientific research, climate change, disaster prevention and relief, animal husbandry, agriculture product processing, bio-energy and tourism. Commenting on concerns that China is attempting to increase its influence over South Asia by expanding cooperation with Sri Lanka, Sun Shihai, president of the Chinese Association for South Asian Studies, said Chinese assistance to Sri Lanka does not negatively affect a third party. He said that with the development of globalization, China and South Asian countries will engage in more communication and cooperation, which will have global benefits.

Rajapakse said Sri Lanka is now devoted to becoming “Asia’s miracle” and there is a great need for infrastructure construction and the training of professionals. He said the country welcomes Chinese investment and would like to offer favorable policies for big infrastructure projects such

year-on-year, according to China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. China also remains involved in almost all the large-scale projects under construction in Sri Lanka. Some of the biggest projects financed by China include a $1.3 billion coal power plant on the northwestern shore and a host

as the railway, ports and power generation stations. Since the Sri Lankan military defeated the Tamil Tiger rebels three years ago, the country has undergone rapid development. It recorded a strong GDP growth of 8 percent in 2010 and 8.3 percent in 2011, according to official figures. The Sino-Sri Lankan bilateral trade volume reached $3.14 billion in 2011 - up 49.8 percent

of other investments in the south including a $1.2 billion port and a $209 million airport, according to figures from the Chinese government. China has also pledged $760 million to improve the country’s road network and is heavily involved in highway construction. Hu Shisheng, an expert on South Asian studies with the China Institutes of Contemporary

International Relations, said Sino-Sri Lankan cooperation has a broad spectrum, and the visa exemption policy shows the deepened political trust between the two countries. After the civil war, Sri Lanka urgently needs to rebuild its infrastructure, which offers great opportunities for China, while China also seeks to increase overseas investment, so both countries have a strong will to cooperate, Hu said. Sirimal Abeyratne, head of the economics department in the University of Colombo, said he is upbeat about the benefits of Wu’s visit not just on political grounds but also on economic cooperation. Abeyratne said the Sri Lankan government should work toward the expansion of trade between the two countries and not simply depend on loans in order to make the economic growth of the country sustainable. He noted that Sri Lanka’s exports to China correspond to 1 percent of the island’s total trade. “Trade between the two countries is still at an early stage but is very important given the size and depth of China’s market. Relations need to expand beyond investment and loans. Then it would be enormously beneficial for Sri Lanka,” he told Xinhua News Agency.


South Asia Tribune I Thursday 20 September 2012

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French police break up anti-Muslim film demonstration, briefly detaining over 100

Paris police detained 150 protesters when crowds rallied outside the US embassy against a controversial film that denigrated Islam’s prophet. Arrests were also made in neighboring Belgium, with police pepper spraying Muslim protesters. Muslim protesters, including women and children, answered social media calls to gather at the world-famous Champs-Elysées and pray on the wide, tree-lined sidewalks. Only a small group managed to get close to the American Embassy compound, with most of the protesters unable to penetrate police lines in the Tuileries Gardens. Police had to briefly detain 150 people due to the lack of permit as they dispersed the crowd. Four officers were slightly injured. While in the Belgian city of Antwerp police used pepper spray to disperse around 200 Muslim activists who had gathered in the city center and arrested 120 people. The demonstrators carried black flags associated with Salafi radical Islam and chanted anti-US slogans

such as “Obama go to hell.” On Tuesday, the US Ambassador to Libya and three US Foreign Service employees were killed in Benghazi. More violence followed, with attacks on the US embassies in Egypt, Yemen, Sudan, Tunisia and many other countries, including other NATO members. Islam is the second-most widely practiced religion in France, observed by an estimated 10 percent of the country, or about six million people, reports French daily Le Figaro.

No DNA link to Assange in condom central to sex assault case

A ripped condom given to Swedish police by one of Julian Assange’s accusers does not contain the WikiLeaks founder’s DNA, forensic scientists have reportedly found. In a 100-page document shown to Assange’s lawyers, it was revealed that the torn prophylactic, having been examined by staff at two forensic laboratories, did not bear conclusive evidence that Assange had ever worn it, the Daily Mail reported on Sunday. Assange’s lawyers said the lack of DNA evidence on the condom, which was allegedly used during a supposed August 2010 sexual assault, indicates that a fake one could have been submitted. The woman in question, now aged 33, claims to have been molested by Assange at her flat in Stockholm. She says that at one point he deliberately broke a condom in order to have unprotected sex with her. Assange claims he had consensual sex with the woman, but denies intentionally tearing the condom. He had previously told police that he continued to stay at her residence for the week following the alleged incident, saying his accuser never made any mention of the ripped condom. But DNA purportedly belonging to Assange was present on a condom submitted by a second woman, who has accused him

the second woman as well. The Swedish prosecutor’s office refused to comment on

Safe passage to Ecuador has not been secured by British authorities, however, as the UK maintains it will arrest him if he leaves the embassy, deporting him to Sweden. of rape, prompting Swedish authorities to push ahead with their bid to have him extradited from the UK. However, his second accuser, now 29, who claimed to have been raped in her sleep by Assange, apparently told police she had not been opposed to having unprotected sex with him despite previous statements to the contrary, the daily reported. Assange denies the allegation of rape, maintaining he had consensual sex with

the report, saying that the investigation was ongoing. The whistleblower has been holed up at Ecuador’s Embassy in London since June, after the UK Supreme Court upheld his extradition warrant to Sweden. In August he was granted political asylum by the country’s president, Rafael Correa, out of fear he could be handed over to American authorities upon setting foot in Sweden, and eventually charged with

leaking classified documents. Safe passage to Ecuador has not been secured by British authorities, however, as the UK maintains it will arrest him if he leaves the embassy, deporting him to Sweden. In August, Assange told Ecuador’s Gama television network that he expected the diplomatic impasse with the UK to be resolved within a year. And while Canberra has often been accused of turning a blind eye to Assange’s plight, the Indigenous Social Justice Association, an Australian group which wants recognition of Aboriginal sovereignty, showed their support by offering him an Aboriginal Nations passport on Sunday, the Sydney Morning Herald reports. His father, John Shipton, accepted the document on Assange’s behalf at a celebration in Sydney, which was attended by more than 200 people. “Australian governments of every color are happy to abandon their citizens when they’re in difficult situations overseas,” the daily reports him as saying. The group, which also accused the Australian authorities of failing to provide sufficient aid to one of its citizens, said the passport will be sent to Assange in London.


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COMMENT

South Asia Tribune I Thursday 20 September 2012

Freedom to offend

Irene Khan

As the infamous You-tube film unleashes outrage and mob violence on the streets across the Muslim world, we are confronted with a moral and legal dilemma: what are the limits of free speech? There is no excuse for violence. All sensible people, Muslims and nonMuslims, condemn it. The film is deeply offensive. All sensible people, Muslim and non- Muslim, also agree on that and denounce it. Ban the film, take it off the web, say some people. That is where the dilemma arises: when does the exercise of freedom of expression becomes such an abuse of it that it should be censored? Taking the film off the web means in effect introducing internet censorship. In future other films could also be removed if they are considered to be offensive. Offensive to whom? Offensive by what standard? And who will decide what is or is not offensive? Offence is subjective. What offends

Why protest for the actions of non believers when they will never learn and will never stop what they are doing . Can anyone, believer or non believer effect on the Allah, the One and Only; Allah, the Eternal, Absolute; He begetteth not, nor is He begotten; And there is none like unto Him...Allah Protect Quran and Islam (We have, without doubt, sent down the Reminder [i.e., the Quran]; and We will assuredly guard it [from corruption].) (Al-Hijr 15:9) “Verily, I revealed the Dhikr and verily I will preserve it.” [Noble Quran 15:9] Allah caused the Quran to descend from the Protected Tablet (al-Lawh al-Mahfuth) on which it was written to the lowest heaven. In this revelation all of the Quran was sent down at one time to a station in the lowest heaven referred to as “Bayt al-’Izzah” (The House of Honor or Power). The blessed night on which this descent took place is called “Laylatul-Qadr” (The Night of Decree), one of the odd-numbered nights in the last ten days of the month of Ramadan. Allah referred to this initial revelation as follows: “Haa Meem. By the Clear Book, verily, I revealed it in a blessed night.” [Noble Quran 44:1-3] Some Selected Verses From The Holy Qur’an On OUR BELOVED PROPHET MUHAMMAD Sallallahu ‘alayhi wa Sallam HIS EXALTED STATUS 1. He is Nur (Sacred Light) (5:15) 2. Allah blesses him (33:56) 3. Mercy for all the worlds (21:107) 4. His name is Muhammad (Meaning the Most Praised One) (47:2) 5. Allah has exalted his Zikr (remem-

and what does not can be difficult to judge. The artist M.F. Hussain’s depiction of the goddess Saraswati in the nude enraged Hindu rightwing groups, but as the Indian writer Salil Tripathi points out, the images of nude and cavorting gods and goddesses in the caves of Ajanta and Elora cause no offence to Hindus. Just a few weeks ago in Pakistan a fourteen year old Christian girl was accused of burning some pages from the Holy Quran and charged with blasphemy which carries the death penalty. Her family has gone into hiding for fear of retaliation from angry mobs. That blasphemy exists as a crime in this day and age is a chilling thought. To seek to use it to punish a child shows how far misguided religious fervour can go. The eagerness to censor the net is not limited to religious zealots. Just last month a Chinese human rights activist was freed after 10 years in prison for sharing information over the internet. He had offended the state, not any religious group, but the response of the Chinese authori-

ties raised very similar questions of whether, why, how and when -- and if ever -- the state should be allowed to control free speech on the net.

The internet is the final frontier of freedom where we can hear and be heard by everyone. We should let the net be. This is not to say that there should be no limit to free speech. Net crime is outlawed in many countries, and as every first year law school stu-

dent knows, you cannot shout “Fire”” in a crowded theatre with impunity. Most liberal democracies have some legislation on hate speech, although the more “liberal” a democracy the more sparing it is in applying the law, as the Danish cartoon case showed a few years ago. Ironically, the US is alone among western countries in having no crime of “hate speech.” Regulation of hate speech is a seen as a violation of the First Amendment. The US is a true marketplace of ideas, no matter how crazy or odious. Many will argue that if the child is not prosecuted in Pakistan, the mobs will take justice in their own hands, or if the film is banned by the US, it will calm down the extremists. Using a threat to public order as a benchmark for controlling free speech creates a dilemma because by doing so we allow violent extremists to set the boundaries of what we can think and say. There is also the difficulty of judging when words or pictures are so likely to lead to violence that it would be irresponsible not to ban them, and when the authorities are

Why protest? brance) (94:1-4) 6. His exaltation on the Night of Mi’raj: his heavenly ascent (53:8-9) 7. His Station of Praise (Al-Maqam alMahmud) (17:79) THE BELOVED OF ALLAH 1. If you want to gain the love of Allah, follow him (3:31) 2. Allah addresses him with love and affection (20:1) (36:1) (73:1) (74:1) 3. Allah says: Realize that My Prophetic Messenger himself is with you (49:7) 4. Allah describes him with His Own Attributes of Rauf (Most Kind) and Rahim (Merciful) (9:128) 5. Allah Himself praises him (33:45-47) 6. Possessor of Allah’s Grace (4:113) 7. He is a special favour of Allah (Sub’hanahu wa Ta’ala) (3:164) 8. Allah does not punish people if he is in their midst (8:33) 9. Allegiance to him is allegiance to Allah (48:10) HE RECEIVED THE HOLY QUR’AN 1. Allah gave him Surah al-Fatiha and the whole Qur’an (15:87) 2. Totally inspired (53:3-4) 3. Allah revealed the Noble Qur’an on his blessed heart (26:192-197) 4. The first revelation he received (96:1) 5. Teaches the Holy Qur’an and Hadith Sharif (Wisdom) and purifies people (62:2) AMONG THE PROPHETS (‘Alayhimussalam) 1. He is the Final Prophet (Sallallahu ‘alayhi wa Sallam) (33:40) 2. Mentioned first among the greatest Prophets (‘Alayhimussalam) (33:7) (4:163) 3. A Prophet whom Allah appointed with proven prophecies (30:1-6) (48:1) (48:27) (61:13)

4. Given the knowledge of the unseen (3:179) 5. Nabi Ibrahim (‘Alayhissalam) prayed for his coming (2:129) 6. Foretold by Nabi ‘Isa (Jesus) (‘Alayhissalam) (61:6) 7. Allah asks all the Prophets to believe in him (3:81) 8. Confirms the previous (Prophetic) Messengers of Allah (37:37) SERVES ONLY ALLAH (THE GLORIFIED AND THE EXALTED) 1. Worships only Allah (Sub’hanahu wa Ta’ala) (72:19-20) 2. Puts total trust in Allah (Sub’hanahu wa Ta’ala) (9:129) 3. Selflessly labours for Allah, asks for no reward (25:57) (42:23) 4. Rewarded by Allah (68:3) (108:1) HIS EXEMPLARY CHARACTER 1. Most examplary character (33:21) (68:4) 2. Sadiq (Truthful) (33:22) 3. Final judge and arbiter (4:65) (24:51) 4. Honoured, Noble (69: 40) 5. Forgiving (7:199) 6. He is Burhan (Clear Proof) (4:174) 7. Brave: Commands Muslims in battle (3:121) PREACHES ISLAM

1. Established the correct Message of Islam (6:161-163) (39:11-12) 2. Preacher to all humanity (4:170) (25:1) (34:28) 3. He is Bashir and Nadhir (Bearer of glad tidings and a warner) (5:19) 4. Invites people to Islam (12:108) 5. Even the jinn respond to his call (46:29-31) 6. He brought the truth (17:81) (39:33) 7. He brought a new law (Shari’a) (7:157) 8. A perfect guide to be followed (7:158) 9. He calls you to that which gives you life (8:24) 10. Brings people from the darkness (of Ignorance) to the Light (of Islam) (65:11) 11. His religion prevails over all religion (48:28) HIS BLESSED FAMILY AND COMPANIONS (Rady Allahu ‘Anhum) 1. His Family purified by Allah (Sub’hanahu wa Ta’ala) (33:33) 2. His Companions praised by Allah (Sub’hanahu wa Ta’ala) (48:29) 3. His Companions: The Muhajirin and the Ansar (8:74) (9:100) (59:8-9) 4. His Companions pledge allegiance to him (48:18) BELIEVE, HONOUR, LOVE, RESPECT AND OBEY HIM 1. Believe, honour and respect him (48:9) (61:11) 2. Love Allah and His Beloved Prophet more than anything else (9:24) 3. He is closer to the believers than their own selves (33:6) 4. Respect him (49:1-3) 5. Obey Allah (Ta’ala) and His Beloved Prophet (Sallallahu ‘alayhi wa Sallam) (3:132) (4:13) (4:59) (4:69) (4:80) (9:71) (24:52) (24:54) (24:56) (33:71) (49:14) (64:12) 6. Follow the Commands of Allah

merely banning the material either to pander to extremists or because it suits their own political agenda. A much better path is for us, as individuals, to be our own censors. We do not have to watch the film if it offends us and we can persuade others not to do so either -- but by word, not violence. Such boycott will deprive publicity seekers like the bank fraudster who produced the film from the oxygen of infamy they crave. Freedom of expression is so essential for sustaining democracy and pluralism that any limit on it must be very exceptional and restrictive. Free speech allows us to challenge authority, and even to ridicule it if we so wish. The internet has magnified the ability to do so, but that is no reason to limit it. For free speech advocates this incident brings home more than ever the adage attributed to Voltaire: “I do not agree with what you have to say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.” The writer is Director-General of International Development Law Organization (IDLO) in Rome.

(Sub’hanahu wa Ta’ala) and of His Beloved Prophet (Sallallahu ‘alayhi wa Sallam) (33:36) 7. Whatever he gives you, take it (59:7) 8. The reward of believing in him (57:28) WAGED JIHAD AMIDST PERSECUTION 1. Non-believers plot to kill him (8:30) 2. His persecution (22:39-40) 3. Commanded to fight alone for Allah (Sub’hanahu wa Ta’ala) (4:84) 4. He led Muslims in prayer while in battle (4:102) 5. Allah asks him to seek peace (8:61) 6. Allah helped him in Jihad (33:9) 7. Allah made him victorious (110:1) HIS MIRACLES 1. Living miracle: The Holy Qur’an (2:23) (17:88) (52:34) 2. Human miracle: he was the wasila (means) through whom people’s hearts were transformed (5:83) 3. Heavenly miracle: Isra’ and Mi’raj (his heavenly ascent) (17:1) (53:8-18) 4. Historic miracle: Hijra; escaped while surrounded (9:40) 5. The miracle of the Battle of Badr: Victory against all odds (3:123-125) 6. The splitting of the moon (54:1-2) INTERCESSOR (SHAFI’) 1. Allah appointed him as an intercessor to plead for people’s forgiveness (3:159) (4:64) (60:12) 2. An accepted intercessor (19:87) (20:109) 3. His supplication a relief for hearts (9:103) Why worry for any film or Cartoon or worst possible actions of Kuffars will do nothing on the Honor or respect of Our Great Prophet (SAW). But sure they will earn Hell fire.


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Pro-people system key to economic growth, says development report

South Asia has not generated adequate jobs or substantial poverty reduction despite witnessing some positive developments in people’s empowerment. Only pro-people as well as people-centered system of governance can ensure sustainable economic growth in the region. This was the crux of the presentations of speakers from Pakistan, India and Bangladesh at the launch of Human Development in South Asia 2012 report on ‘Governance for People’s Empowerment’ by Lahore University of Management Sciences’ (LUMS) Mahbubul Haq Human Development Centre on varsity campus on Friday.Speakers say that a majority of South Asian countries continue to live under poor economic management with high fiscal deficit and public debt, soaring inflation, and significant unemployment and under-employment in the informal sector. Despite several poverty reduction efforts in the region, the report said, the absolute number of poor people is still as high as about half a billion poor people. The report says economic governance in most of South Asian countries has made their economies bigger, but not better. Former State Bank of Pakistan governor Shahid Kardar said the forthcoming elections would test the government in Pakistan as a large proportion of population was still living below the poverty line. He said neither the Public Accounts Committee nor civil society made political lead-

ership accountable. “Nature and the degree of crisis are mostly self-inflicted,” he added. Mr Kardar said the violation of merit by state institutions had damaged the governance

system. He said scores of industries without National Tax Number had commercial electricity connections. He also asked that who was protecting “kunda connections” in the country. Centre president Khadija Haq said South Asia was facing a huge empowerment deficit in terms of poor delivery of public services in education, health and justice. Despite the existence of strong judiciaries, she said, inadequate and ineffective lower courts were not providing timely justice to the poor. According to her, South Asia was a home to nearly 400 million illiterate adults, of which 250 million were women; over 160 million people were without access to drinking water; and one billion people were without ac-

cess to improved sanitation services. Dr Haq said the Governance for People’s Empowerment report had revisited the Humane Governance Index (HGI), first developed by late economist Dr Mahbubul Haq. She said the index measured the extent of humane governance, giving a composite figure for its three interlinked dimensions: economic, political and civic governance. “The South Asian countries have not fared very well in HGI, leaving scope to improve governance in all three dimensions,” she added. Dr Haq said the parliament, bureaucracy and judiciary could function in ways to either hamper or propagate human development and economic management. She said the adoption of poverty reduction strategies and social protection mechanisms could play a significant role in protecting the marginalized and the poor. ESCAP Regional Office New Delhi director Nagesh Kumar said the humane governance needed to empower people. Stating that the share of services had risen at a fast pace to 56 per cent that triggered colossal transformation, he said that still there was a need to pull more and more people out of poverty. “People need social protection but still most of them are on the verge of poverty line,” he added. He said job creation could be the only way forward and emphasis on education could never be over emphasised towards achieving this goal.

Taliban bomb kills 15 people in Lower Dir

A roadside bomb planted by the Taliban killed 15 people in Lower Dir on Sunday, police officials said, when it blew up under a truck carrying villagers to a market near the border with Afghanistan. A spokesman for the Tehreek-eTaliban Pakistan said the attack, in the Jandool area of Lower Dir, was launched in revenge after villagers formed a progovernment militia. He said such attacks would continue. “We have informed them of the repercussions of supporting the government but they didn’t

stop backing the armed forces,” Taliban spokesman Sirajuddin Ahmad said by telephone from an

undisclosed location. A government official from the area said those killed were all civilians and none was a member of either the militia or the armed forces. Police said three women and three children were among the dead and seven people were wounded. Support for the Taliban has fallen in some areas in the north, analysts say, in part because their bloody bombing campaigns have claimed so many civilian lives. Since 2009, the army has increased its control in much of Pakistan’s tribal areas but insurgent attacks remain common.

Former Bangladesh finance minister M Syeduzzaman stressed the need for civil society taking up an active role to ensure that states should provide people access to education, health and other services as well as role in local governments. In Bangladesh, Mr Syeduzzaman said the local government system had weakened under the influence of Parliament. Acknowledging that NGOs were playing an important role in helping people attain empowerment, he stressed the need that good working conditions needed to be ensured for workers besides their skills development and right to making trade unions. LUMS Vice-Chancellor Dr Adil Najam said the earth as a whole was a poor country by any measure. He said that almost 80 per cent of resources were in the hands of 20 per cent population, while the 80 per cent of population was struggling with the remaining little resources. Stating that the planet earth was a poorly governed country, he added, “it is fragile and Third World country as a whole”. He said the number of Indians killed by Pakistan in the last 60 years was less than the number of children, who died in New Delhi every year because of dirty water. Same was true for Karachi in Pakistan, he added. Centre governing board member Qaiser Ahmad Sheikh and Centre for Policy Dialogue, Bangladesh, chairman Prof Rehman Sobhan also spoke.

Anna Hazare parts ways with Kejriwal

Team Anna on Wednesday suffered a vertical split with Anna Hazare and some top activists choosing to part ways with the Arvind Kejriwal-led group, opposing their plans to form a political party. After a roller-coaster ride of 18 months in which they came together to run a high-steam anti-graft movement, the group led by Hazare had acrimonious discussions with Kejriwal and his supporters including Prashant Bushan and Shanti Bhushan on the issue of forming a political party. Backed by activists including Kiran Bedi and Justice Santosh Hegde, Hazare told the other group during the nine-hour deliberations that they were free to form a political party but cannot use his name or photo for their campaign. “It is unfortunate that the team has separated...I will not join any party or any group. I will not go for their campaign. I have told them not to use my photo or my name in their campaign.

You fight on your own,” he told reporters here. Hazare refused to accept the survey done by India Against Corruption which overwhelmly favoured a political path, saying he does not agree with the exercise done through social networking sites. “My best wishes are with them (those taking political path). There is no harm in it. If they think that they can get majority in Parliament, it is good...The paths have been separated. Both of us have chosen our (separate paths). When pointed out that Kejriwal had earlier declared that he will not form any party if Hazare does not approve it, he said if that was the case, then the party should not be formed but ‘it is a good thing’. The discussions saw a section alleging that Hazare was ‘exploited’ by the Kejriwal group. It was countered by others saying ‘people in Delhi have made Anna what he is now’.


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South Asia Tribune I Thursday 20 September 2012

2 British soldiers killed in Afghan insider attack

A gunman in an Afghan police uniform killed two British soldiers in southern Afghanistan on Saturday. A day after insurgents dressed in US Army uniforms attacked a military base, killing two American Marines, wounding nine other people and destroying six Harrier fighter jets, military officials said. Britain’s defense minister said the two soldiers, from 3rd Battalion the Yorkshire Regiment, were killed at a checkpoint shooting in Nahri Sarraj district of Helmand province in southern Afghanistan, where the Taliban have their strongest roots. Nato said earlier that the gunman was wearing a uniform used by the Afghan Local Police, a villagelevel fighting force overseen by the central government. They were the latest deaths in a surge of insider attacks that are fracturing trust between Afghan forces and their international partners. So far this year, 47 international service members have died at the hands of Afghan soldiers or policemen or insurgents wearing their uniforms. At least 12 such attacks came in August alone, leaving 15 dead and raising concerns that the country will not be able to take charge of its own security as planned by 2014. The insider attack came a day after

insurgents conducted a brazen attack on Camp Bastion, a sprawling British base, also in Helmand province. Nine personnel with the US-led

suicide vests. Besides destroying the six jets, they demolished three refueling stations on the base and damaged six aircraft hangars.

coalition, eight military and one contractor, were wounded in the attack, but none of their injuries are life-threatening. Coalition military authorities said in a statement issued early Sunday that the assault was carried out by about 15 insurgents who appeared to be “well equipped, trained and rehearsed.” Fourteen of the 15 were killed. The other insurgent was wounded and detained. They said the attackers were armed with automatic rifles, rocketpropelled grenade launchers and

The attack began shortly after 10 pm Friday when the insurgents, organized into three teams, penetrated the perimeter fence of the camp and attacked planes and helicopters parked at the base, aircraft hangars and other buildings, the coalition said. Six AV-8B Harrier jets were destroyed and two others were significantly damaged. Jamie Graybeal, a coalition spokesman, confirmed that two US Marines died in the attack. He said two insurgents wearing suicide vests took part in the assault, although

he did not say whether they blew themselves up. The Taliban claimed responsibility for that attack, saying it wanted to avenge Muslims insulted by the amateurish film that mocked the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), the main motivator in a string of protests across the region this past week, and also because Britain’s Prince Harry is serving on the base. A spokesman for Britain’s Ministry of Defense said Harry, third in line to the British throne, was unharmed in the attack, which according to Britain’s Press Association took place two kilometers from the section of the complex where he was staying. The official spoke on condition of anonymity in line with government policy. The prince is serving a four-month combat deployment as a gunner on an Apache helicopter. Harry, who turned 28 on Saturday, is set to start flying Apache missions this week, and Britain’s defense ministry did not plan to cut short the deployment after the attack. This is his second tour in Afghanistan. Afghanistan’s southern region has been a hotbed of the insurgency and attacks against foreign forces that occur daily, although the Taliban have largely been routed in the country’s capital and its larger

towns. Helmand remains an active battlefield between insurgents and Nato forces and for years has been the site of some of the war’s bloodiest engagements. In addition to the near-daily bombings and attacks, Afghans have staged two anti-American protests against the anti-Islamic film. On Saturday, a few hundred university students protested in the eastern city of Khost, shouting “Death to America” and burning an effigy of President Barack Obama. A larger demonstration was held Friday in Nangarhar province, also in the east. The Afghan government blocked video-sharing web site YouTube to prevent Afghans from viewing a clip of the anti-Muslim film, said Khair Mohammad Faizi, a spokesman for the Communication Ministry. He said it would remain blocked until the video is taken down. Other Google services, including Gmail, were also blocked in Afghanistan during parts of Friday and Saturday. In other violence on Saturday, a police vehicle hit a roadside bomb during a routine patrol in Kandahar, the largest city in southern Afghanistan, killing a police inspector and wounding two other policemen, Kandahar provincial spokesman Jawed Faisal said.

Teen kills parents and sisters for neighbourhood girl

Shahrukh, a 17-year-old college student, fell in love and vowed not to let anything come in between him and his beloved, K, even if it was his family. on Monday that 19-year-old Shahrukh had killed his father Mohammad Akram, 45, mother Shagufta, 40, and two sisters, Insha, 11, and Warisha, 12. At 3am on Monday morning he picked up a TT pistol and shot his father, mother and two sisters. They died on the spot but when he turned to pull the trigger on his youngest sister she begged for mercy and he let her live, said the Market police. “When Shahrukh reported the case, he said that his uncles killed four members of his family and were trying to rob

their house,” said SHO Wahid Bux Laghari. “We arrested his uncles and searched the house to confirm if a robbery had taken place but found none.” The SHO added that circumstantial evidence suggested that Z was falsely implicating his relatives. However, the situation grew complicated for Shahrukh, as the only surviving member of his immediate family told the police what he had done. His sister had promised to remain silent but once she saw her uncle being handcuffed, she broke down. When Z learnt that the police knew what he had done, he surrendered. The police said that they found empty bullet shells and the murder weapon at the scene of the crime. The evidence was sent to a forensics

laboratory for an examination. Shahrukh’s 40-year-old father

used to work as a lineman for the Hyderabad Electric Supply

Company, while his mother was a headmistress at a government school. His sisters were all under 15. According to his relatives, Shahrukh was involved with a girl in the neighbourhood. “The boy is a brat,” said a relative while talking to The Express Tribune. “He would fight and argue with his parents over petty issues and used to fire in the air to threaten and blackmail them.” The relative added that Shahrukh’s parents wanted him to focus on his education and did not like the girl or her family. The DSP of the Market police, Aijaz Bhatti, said that Shahrukh’s uncles had been released and an FIR would be registered after the family was buried.


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India to develop entry point from Pakistan as tourism spot

The entry point to India from Pakistan at Attari-Wagah border will be developed with modern tourism infrastructure to attract more tourists from home and abroad, Punjab Tourism Minister Sarwan Singh Phillaur says. A big parking lot will be developed in view of the heavy turnout at the ‘Beating Retreat Ceremony’ every evening, he told reporters here. He said an ‘Open Air Theatre’ and a ‘Welcome Centre’ will also be developed at the international border. No delay in tourism projects, says Phillaur Heritage village to come up by January, 2013; Gobindgarh Fort to open for tourists in March next year Punjab Tourism Minister Sarwan Singh Phillaur today denied that there had been any delay in the ongoing work on various tourism projects in the holy city. Punjab Tourism Minister Sarwan Singh Phillaur addresses a press conference in Amritsar on Friday. Photo: Sameer Sehgal Addressing mediapersons, Phillaur said as soon as a project was announced the people started expecting its early completion, but they did not realise that even if the blueprint was prepared

a project could only materialise after receiving funds from the agency concerned. About Gobindgarh Fort, he said it was handed over to the Tourism Department in 2008 and the Centre

of 2014. He said the work on the heritage village was 70 per cent complete and it would be over by January, 2013. He said Amritsar had ranked 28th among major tourist destinations in

Durgiana Temple. He claimed that their initiatives like Heritage Walk and Panj Sarovar Walk have evoked great interest among tourists, though maintaining cleanliness on the route had become a major issue.

phase, they would refurbish the outer look of Gurdwara Chaurasti Attari and Gurdwara Saragarhi with the consent of the SGPC. The department would also lend a fresh look to Thakur Dwara and Jalebiwala Chowk, he added.

provided the state government funds for its restoration in 2009. However, the project could not be completed due to paucity of funds. He said the funds were later received in May, 2012, and now the work on Gobindgarh Fort would be executed at a fast pace. He said the fort would be opened for tourists in March, 2013, when they would be able to see a light and sound show, besides the bungalow of General Dyre there, while the work would be fully completed by the end

India a few years back, but due to the efforts of the Tourism Department it reached the 12th spot. “We will try our best to bring Amritsar among top 10 tourist destinations in the country by the next year.” For promoting tourism in Amritsar, Phillaur said they would soon be putting up special campaign material like hoarding and signboards along the main roads leading to key points like airport, railway station, bus terminus, Golden Temple and

He said keeping the route clean was not possible without the help of local residents and therefore the department had launched a drive to sensitise the people about it. Besides, Baba Kulwant Singh and his volunteers had come forward to help maintain cleanliness on the route. Phillaur said they would also revamp the outer look of the old heritage buildings falling on the route of the Heritage Walk with the permission of the building owners. In the first

Phillaur revealed that Amritsar would host a Sufi Festival, being organised by SAARC on October 20, which would witness participation of artistes from India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan. He said they had also launched an awareness programme with the help of the United Nations Organisation (UNO) under which school and college students would be sensitised about tourist destinations.

President Zardari asks US to end drone strikes, remove mistrust

Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari Saturday reiterated demand for ending US drone attacks on militants in its tribal areas and called for removing a “trust deficit” with the United States. Zardari’s remarks came after talks with US special envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan Marc Grossman, who arrived in the Pakistani capital on Friday for meetings with top officials. “They discussed bilateral relations, the fight against militancy, the regional situation, drug trafficking and drone attacks,” presidential spokesman Senator Farhatullah Babar told reporters. Zardari “reiterated his call for an end to the drone attacks, terming them counterproductive in the fight against militancy and in the battle of winning hearts”, Babar said. “We need to discuss alternatives on the question of drone attacks,” Babar quoted Zardari as saying. Zardari said “the goal of establishing a long-term, sustained and durable Pakistan-US equation would remain elusive until the issue of trust deficit was addressed in an effective manner”. Attacks by unmanned US aircraft are

deeply unpopular in Pakistan, which says they violate its sovereignty and fan antiUS sentiment, but American officials are

issued by Ashraf’s office. Grossman had said future relations between Pakistan and the United States

said to believe they are too important to give up. ‘US a major development partner’ Pakistani Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf also held talks with Grossman and said his country regarded its relations with the United States as “very important”, and that Pakistan valued it as a major development partner. “We have a shared objective in fighting terrorism and need to cooperate more to get rid of this menace,” said a statement

should be based on market access and trade, it said. The US government was working on a bilateral investment treaty to “facilitate” US investment in Pakistan and improve market access, according to the statement, adding Washington has promised 200 million dollars for the construction of the Diamer-Basha dam in northern Pakistan. A statement issued by the US embassy in Islamabad said Grossman had also held talks with Foreign Minister Hina

Rabbani Khar, Army Chief Ashfaq Kayani, Foreign Secretary Jalil Abbas Jilani and parliamentarians. The US envoy also raised the case of Pakistani doctor Shakil Afridi, who was jailed in May for 33 years after he was arrested following the killing of Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden by US troops a year earlier. However, the statement did not mention the response by Pakistani officials. The US had earlier admitted Afridi was working with US intelligence by collecting DNA to verify bin Laden’s presence in the northern town of Abbottabad — although he was eventually jailed for alleged ties to a warlord. The relationship between Islamabad and Washington has been rocky for years, and relations have only just resumed after nosediving following the raid that killed bin Laden and an air raid that accidentally killed 24 Pakistani troops. Washington considers Pakistan’s semiautonomous northwestern tribal belt as the main hub of Taliban and Al-Qaeda militants plotting attacks on the West and in Afghanistan. Continued on page 20 >>


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Anti-Islam film: Thousands protest around Muslim world Anti-Islam film ‘violates international law’ — experts

A film that sparked an attack on a US consulate in Libya has caused uproar from Algeria to Afghanistan. Media experts on Sunday said the anti-Islam film “Innocence of Muslims” violated international law governing freedom of expression. “The film cannot be considered part of freedom of expression because it spreads hatred and hurts the feelings of Muslims. The film faked historical facts and it has nothing to do with free expression,” Yahya Shuqeir, an analyst and expert on media laws in Jordan, told The Jordan Times on Sunday. The film faked historical facts and it has nothing to do with free expression,” Yahya Shuqeir, an analyst and expert on media laws in Jordan, told The Jordan Times on Sunday. “The provocative film violates Articles 19 and 20 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and Article 29 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,” said Shuqeir. Fresh protests are taking place around the Muslim world over an amateur anti-Islam video produced in the US. Fuming over an anti-Islam film - “Innocence of Muslims” depicting Prophet Muhammad as a fraud and womanizer, Muslims across the world, staged anti-US protests on Friday with Western embassies in Tunisia and Sudan being raided, and similar violent attacks in Lebanon, Yemen and Egypt. Hundreds of Israeli Arabs protested on Saturday across the north of the country against a provocative anti-Islam film that sparked violent demonstrations in the Muslim world, police said. On Thursday around 60 Israeli Arabs took part in an Islamic Movement protest outside the US embassy in Tel Aviv. Thousands of Palestinians joined demonstrations in the Gaza Strip. The Israeli Arab community has its roots in the 160,000 Palestinians who stayed on their lands after the creation of Israel in 1948 and today numbers 1.6 million, 20 percent of the Israeli population.

SHEIKH IMRAN HOSEIN ABOUT ANTI -ISLAM MOVIE

Salam Alaykoum: as you know a film looking humiliated our Prophet (Alayhi Al Salat wal salam) was made and as Muslim we have been affected and we are right to be angry, because to our Prophet (Alayhi Al salat wal salam) it is affected in our model, to elected officials among the creatures, to the one who had the best conduct that is never existedthat we love more than our parents, our children, our assets and the rest of the lower world. My brothers and sisters in this

Bauchi, Jos — Prominent Islamic clerics yesterday urged Muslims in Nigeria not to resort to street demonstrations over the blasphemous film made in the US, as violence spread in the Middle East and North Africa. Another prominent Islamic scholar Sheikh Alhassan Sa’id said the only way Muslims can be appeased is for the United States to take measures to arrest and prosecute these behind the movie. But he urged for restraint among the Muslim community in Nigeria. Former Prime Minister Tony Blair said today that an antiIslam film published by a US filmmaker is “laughable”, but that the reaction to it has been “dangerous”.Mr Blair told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, “The good news there is plenty of people who agree this reaction is absurd. “No one should take the film seriously. It’s a laughable piece of film work”. The United States has ordered non-essential diplomatic staff and their families to leave Sudan and Tunisia. In a statement, the state department also urged US citizens in Tunisia to make their way out of the country. The US embassies in the Tunisian

and Sudanese capitals have both been attacked in the wave of antiUS protests in the Muslim world over an anti-Islam film made in the US. Earlier, Sudan refused to allow the US to send Marines to protect its embassy.

US ambassador along with 4 American colleagues was killed), Tunisis, Sudan, Pakistan and Lebanon. Tunisian security forces outside the US Embassy in Tunis struggled hard to rein in the protesters who rained stones on police firing

in Lebanon, and international peacekeepers were attacked in the Sinai. Protests in over 20 nations from Middle East to Southeast Asia were peaceful mostly but turned violent in several nations, presenting challenges for the

Earlier, weapons were fired and police cars torched by protesters in the Afghan capital Kabul. A large rally is due in Lebanon after Hezbollah’s Sheikh Nassan Hasrallah called for protests to continue. A trailer for the obscure, poorly

died in protests since. In London, 150 protesters marched on the U.S. Embassy chanting “burn burn USA” as the American flag went up in flames, soon joined by the Israeli flag. In Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, the local

A protest of thousands of students took place in the nearby city of Peshawar, reported AFP news agency. In the biggest city, Karachi, police fired in the air to disperse a crowd heading for the US consulate, reported Reuters, and lawyers marched in Lahore. About 3,000 protesters burned US and Israeli flags in the southern Philippines city of Marawi, and hundreds of students called for the expulsion of the US ambassador in Yemen’s capital Sanaa, said AFP. Sheikh

Nasrallah:

tear gas and shooting into the air. Some protesters scaled the embassy wall and stood on top of it, planting the Islamist flag. Yesterday, an American fastfood restaurant was set on fire

leaders who came to power in the Arab Spring. One protester was killed in violent protests in Pakistan and thousands attended an angry demonstration in the Philippines city of Marawi.

made film at the centre of the row, entitled Innocence of Muslims, came to light in recent weeks and protests first erupted in the Egyptian capital Cairo last Tuesday. More than a dozen people have

press club was burnt down and government offices attacked in the Upper Dir district. One protester was killed in an exchange of fire with police, following the death of another protester on Sunday.

retaliated with tear gas. More protests were reported in Srinagar, Indian-administered Kashmir. Hundreds of Palestinians staged a peaceful protest in Ramallah, holding a sit-in, according to AFP. Earlier, angry demonstrators in Afghanistan’s capital Kabul fired guns, torched police cars and shouted anti-US slogans.

shrouded in mystery, although US authorities say they believe the film was made by Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, a convicted fraudster living in California who has since been questioned over his role. The eruption of anger has seen attacks on US consulates, embassies and business interests across the Middle East and north Africa. British, Swiss, German

A large protest is expected at about 1700 local time (1400 GMT) in a Hezbollah stronghold in southern Beirut, Lebanon, called by Sheikh Nasrallah, leader of the influential Shia Muslim militant group. On Sunday he called for a week of protests - not only against American embassies, but also to press Muslim governments to express their own anger to the US. The exact origins of the film are

and Dutch properties have also been targeted. The US ambassador to Libya was among four Americans killed on the day protests first broke out. President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton walk back to their seats Friday after speaking at the Transfer of Remains Ceremony at Andrews Air Force Base marking the return of the remains of four Americans killed in Libya.

“Those

who should be held accountable, punished, prosecuted and boycotted are those directly responsible for this film’’ In Indonesia’s capital, Jakarta, hundreds of protesters faced off with police, throwing stones and petrol bombs, while police

The indignation over the antiMuslim film that started in Cairo on Wednesday with protesters scaling the US embassy walls and burning the American flag, went on to spread contagiously to other nations like Libya (where

time of anger and sadness, emotions must not lead us to do anything, mean the with the

Qur’an and the Sunnah. And for what is our role is to show the true image of our Prophet (Alayhi Salat Wal Salam Al) in not responding to this insult, following his sunnah (actions, lyrics...), being wise and in clinging to religion until our death, while shouting, insulting, and brittle... saying I love the Prophet (Alayhi Salat Wal Salam Al) without the following this is that followed by passion and this built nothing. Shiekh Imran N Hosien


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Meet Karan Johar’s Student Eros Now Music launches Vaishnava Janato by Shivali of the Year: Alia Bhatt

Young but not immature, confident yet not brash and stylish without trying too hard -- Alia Bhatt, 19, is quite simply, a breath of fresh air. Born into a film family, Alia is the youngest daughter of filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt. She thinks like her father and speaks like her half sister Pooja Bhatt, but she infuses it all with an energy that is her own. And now she is being presented to Bollywood and the rest of the

world in the grandest way possible, through the vision of the man who can make almost anything look beautiful -- Karan Johar. Alia tells Rohit Khilnani how she got lucky. You come from a famous film family. So is it right to assume that you always wanted to be an actor? Yes, always! I always wanted to act

but it was not because of the influence of my family. I just wanted to act since I was four! I used to watch a lot of movies. One of the things that attracted me were the songs picturised on Govinda and Karisma Kapoor, who would dance in the middle of the street! How did Student Of The Year happen? It was common knowledge that I was interested in acting. One day, I was called and was told to come

down and meet Karan. I didn’t know what it was for or which film it was for. I was about to start my 12th standard so I never thought I would be offered a lead role at that age. I was three times my size at that time! (Laughs) I met Karan. He said he was making a film -- a young college film --

and two boys were finalised. They were looking for a girl. I was told to audition along with 500 other girls, who auditioned for the same role. I made it to the top 10! Then Karan told his team to call me and ask me to lose some weight. This girl had to be a young, hot college girl, perfect in every way. I was put on to a personal fitness instructor, who put me on a diet. So all I ate was vegetables and chicken and gave up everything that I loved to eat. That must have been tough, right? Oh very tough! There was a phase when I used to wake up and tell everyone at home that I dreamt of cake. (Laughs) But eventually a few weeks later, I was 16 kilos lighter. After the photo shoot, Karan finalised me for the role.

Eros International has announced the launch of the soulful Bhajan Vaishnava Janato from the upcoming album ‘Urban Temple’ by London based artist Shivali on its dedicated YouTube music discovery channel, Eros Now Music. Born and raised in London, Shivali retains her Indian heritage and reflects her fusion of traditional and modern in ‘Urban Temple’. A blend of traditional bhajans and mantras with shades of RnB, Soul, Rock and Pop. She took up singing professionally at an early age; her strong connection to India led her towards music with spiritual rhythms and tones. Petite, vivacious and incredibly confident, Shivali’s first album was the successful The Bhajan Project in 2010. She believes the best way to illustrate her love for God is

through producing music that can help many to bond with the Divine in the modern world. Widely regarded as the rising star of devotional fusion music, her debut album Bhajan Project featured in the top 10 of the iTunes world music chart. At first look you might regard her as a fashionable pop-diva but when she sings the devotion is unquestionable and contagious. Shivali’s positive attitude, immense passion and devotion for the Lord promise to delight and inspire all who listen to the album, As Indian music becomes more global in the digital age and new platforms make it easily accessible it is also becoming a more visual art form. Shivali is part of Eros’ vision to raise the stakes and take modern Indian music to the next level and a new generation globally.

Nine Indian films to hit Bangladesh movie market despite protests in October Filmmakers and cultural activists have voiced grave concern over the fate of Bangladesh film industry as the distributors have finalised deals to import nine commercial Hindi films by the second week of October next, reports UNB. They said the unregulated import of Indian movies is opening up the avenues for cultural aggression by Bollywood, and it will push Bangladeshi commercial films towards an ‘unequal competition’ with the much-developed Indian film industry. Secretary General of Bangladesh Motion Pictures’ Distributors Association (BMPDA) Mian Alauddin told the news agency that the distributors will be able to submit nine Hindi films to the censor board very soon as the films will arrive by the second week of October. He said the nine Bollywood-hit films of both past and contemporary

times are Sholey, Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham, Don, Wanted, Three Idiots, Taare Jameen Par, Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge, Dil to Pagal Hai and Kuch Kuch Hota Hai. Alauddin said this will be the

second batch of movies coming from India, following the screening of three Bangla Indian movies that hit the Bangladeshi screens on December 23 last year. “The government has also assured

us of allowing more imports on a regular basis in the coming days and we’re hopeful of doing better business and reviving the movie houses,” he added. The Indian films that have already

been screened in movie houses are Jor, Bodla and Sangram. There were protests when the Commerce Ministry gave permission for the import. The Information Ministry also fought against the decision in the High Court (HC). Although the HC gave its verdict in favour of the Information Ministry, it also gave another order to allow the screening of the three Indian movies already contracted by Bangladesh cinema hall owners in response to a writ petition filed by them. Talking to the news agency, Moshiuddin Shaker, director of the prominent movie ‘Surja Dighal Bari’, said, “This is a doubly fatal move for the country’s film industry. From the commercial perspective, it’ll lead to an unequal competition. On the other hand, launching of Indian commercial movies on the mega screen will bring forth severe cultural consequences.”


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Thursday, 20.09.12

international

Eight dead, several injured as twin bombs hit Karachi market

Eight people including a young girl were killed when two bombs went off in a busy commercial area in Karachi on Tuesday, police and hospital officials said. The bombs went off in quick succession in the usually crowded Hyderi Market in central Karachi during the evening rush hour, police officer Azam Khan said.

nine-year-old girl. More than 18 others have been wounded. Karachi city police chief Iqbal Mehmood said: “The blast occurred at a place from where we had recovered and safely defused a heavy bomb last month. “I can’t say which terrorist organisation or individuals are behind this at this point of time,” he said, adding that investigations were ongoing. The powerful blasts were heard several kilometres away, residents said. The casualties were taken to the local Abbasi Shaheed Hospital. Doctor Mohammad Shafqat, confirming the toll, said: “We have received bodies of six blast victims.” He added that there were 18 injured, including three women and one child. “We are compiling the figures of deaths and injured,” Provincial Health Minister Saghir Ahmed said, adding that emergency has been declared in all state run hospitals in the city. One victim later succumbed to his wounds in the hospital during treatment. “The blast was caused by an improvised explosive

One bomb exploded near a dustbin and three minutes later another went off at the main parking lot in which about a dozen vehicles were damaged, he said. “We suspect the bomb was planted in a car or a motorbike parked in the area. “Casualties were caused by the second blast,” he added, confirming that the deceased included a

device carrying at least eight kilogrammes of explosives,” bomb disposal squad official Abdul Hameed said. “Both bombs were planted, one was on a motorcycle and another on a pushcart abandoned nearby,” provincial police chief Fayyaz Laghari said. Nobody immediately claimed responsibility for the bombing.

Long range strategic missile AgniIV test-fired

India on Wednesday test-fired its nuclear-capable strategic missile Agni-IV with a strike range of about 4000 km from a test range off Odisha coast. It was test launched with the help of a mobile launcher from launch complex-4 of ITR at Wheeler Island, about 100 km from here, at about 11:45 hours, defence sources said. A high performance on-board computer with distributed avionics architecture and high speed reliable communication bus and a full Digital Control System were used to control and guide the missile to the target. “It is equipped with modern and compact avionics to provide high level of reliability,” a DRDO official said. “The state-of-the-art Ring Laser Gyros based high accuracy INS (RINS) and Micro Navigation System (MINGS) complementing each other in redundant mode have been incorporated into the missile system in guidance mode,” the sources said. The sophisticated missile is lighter in weight and has two stages of solid propulsion. The payload, with a re-entry heat shield can withstand temperature of more than 3000 degree Celsius, a defence scientist said. The missile, is undergoing developmental trials by country’s premier Defence Research and Development Organisation. The last trial of the missile, carried out on November 15, 2011 from the same base was successful.


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Stranded Pakistanis in Bangladesh praised Lord Nazir’s efforts

In a Letter to Lord Nazir Ahmed the SPGRC Assistant General Secretary HaroonUr- Rashid and stranded Pakistanis praised him for his efforts and prompt action to stop possible evection or demolition of their only homes concentrated in 70 different camps in 13 district in Mirpur, Dhaka Bangladesh. Last week Lord Nazir Ahmed of Rotherham called on Bangladeshi government to withdraw the ‘Forcible Eviction Order’ aimed

Mirpur, Dhaka, known as Mirpur10.11 (Millat Camp) and 12. Lord Ahmed decided to approach

fax messages from “stranded Pakistanis” who want to continue living in a camp in Mirpur and

many others in Dhaka and I have had a very close working relationship with the leader of the

away a few years ago. I now work with Haroon – Ur –Rashid and others in SPGRC for the long term settlement of Behari Muslims,” Lord Ahmed wrote. Lord Ahmed has warned that moving 4000 people will lead to a catastrophe unless proper housing and shelter is provided and sufficient employment routes are available. “They have lived in these camps and 70 others in 13 districts of Bangladesh for over 40 years and need to remain there until a proper consultation and implementation plan is approved

at nearly 4,000 Urdu-speaking stranded Pakistanis in a camp in

the Bangaldesh government after receiving requests via emails and

don’t want to be moved out. “I have visited this camp and

Behari Muslims in Bangladesh, Al-Haj Nasim Khan who passed

by the people in these camps as well as the Government.

11 dead in Karachi violence

Dr Tariq Pervaiz Mehmood, a former Town Nazim and his friend were shot dead after unidentified men opened fire on them, DawnNews reported. Jamaat-i-Islami chief Syed Munawar Hasan condemned the killing of Dr Tariq Pervaiz Mehmood, calling it an act of terrorism. Former City Nazim Naimatullah Khan also condemned the killing and called for the killers to be arrested. Meanwhile, MQM-H chief Afaq Ahmed also condemned the attack according to a press release. A tortured body was recovered from Napier Road area, raising the death toll in the city to eleven so far in various acts of violence. In Azeempura, one man was killed in a firing incident. A body was recovered from Nishter Road while another was found in a gunny bag in Ramswami. Meanwhile in Gulshan-e-Iqbal, a woman and her daughter were tortured and killed. On Rehmat Chowk, Orangi Town, unidentified men killed Dr Shahzad Iqbal. After the incident, the area was extremely tense. In Shah Faisal Colony near Star Gate, a man named Farhan was killed after unidentified men sprayed him with bullets. In Kalri, Lyari town, the tortured

body of a man was found. In different raids carried out in various city areas, police managed to nab ten culprits. Special Investigation Police nabbed two target killers Mohammad Rafiq alias Memon and Mohammad Sadeeq alias Noman Taynee from Hub River Road and recovered weapons from their possession. Meanwhile, CID police carried out a raid in Peerabad and arrested two Tehrik-iTaliban men Noran Gul and Dost. A huge cache of arms was recovered from their possession. In Korangi Industrial Area arrested

three culprits were arrested after a police encounter. However two of their accomplices managed to run away. A motorcycle and arms were also seized during the attack. In another raid, police arrested three extortionists from Al Asif Square. Meanwhile, the funeral prayers of a firing victim Ali Reza was held at Shahra Pakistan. Reza was killed during clashes in front of the US consulate on Sunday during protests regarding an anti-Islam video. He was buried in Wadi-e-Hussain. The situation remained tense in the surrounding areas while unidentified men torched a bus in Samanabad area.

President Zardari asks US to end drone strikes, remove mistrust

Continued from page 14 >> Grossman in the talks also addressed the issue of an anti-Islam video produced in the United States and circulating on the Internet that has led to protests in a number of countries. He stated very clearly, as Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has done, “that the United States Government had absolutely nothing to do with this video”, said the embassy statement. The movie, “Innocence of Muslims”, portrays Muslims as immoral and gratuitously violent. A mob stormed the US consulate in the Libyan city of Benghazi on Tuesday, killing the US ambassador and several other staff, as part of a wave of protests over the video across the Islamic world. Separately, the Pakistani foreign ministry in a statement said Khar will visit the US from September 18-22. Khar will hold talks with Clinton and other senior US officials, and also meet with lawmakers, academics and visit think-tanks, it said. She will later proceed to New York to join a delegation led by Zardari to participate in the forthcoming United Nations General Assembly session, it said.


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WEEKLY REVIEW OF AFGHANISTAN NEWS

Taliban claims credit for NATO scrapping Suicide bomber in Afghan capital kills at least 9 joint operations with Afghan forces

The Taliban has claimed credit for NATO’’s decision of withdrawing joint operations with Afghan security forces, hailing it as the beginning of their overall defeat in Afghanistan. The Islamist insurgent group said it had “forced” NATO commanders into the decision by sowing distrust among Afghan

and foreign troops. According to NATO, the Taliban are only involved in a quarter of Afghan security personnel attacks on Western soldiers. It attributes the rest to grudges, misunderstandings and cultural differences. “This is the result of the mujahideen’’s operations and

tactics that forced the enemy to abandon their plans,” The Telegraph quoted Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahed, as saying. “This is an achievement for the mujahideen who have managed to create mistrust among the enemy forces and, God willing, this is the start of their overall defeat in Afghanistan,” he added. The U.S.-led International Assistance Force announced the change in strategy after an unprecedented number of Western soldiers were shot dead by their local colleagues and amid an angry backlash over a US-made film deemed offensive to Islam, the paper said. Experts say the move is a setback for NATO’’s long-held strategy of containing an 11-year Taliban insurgency by training and advising Afghan forces to take over as most of its troops withdraw by the end of 2014, it added.

Afghan police say a suicide bomber driving a small sedan rammed into a mini-bus believed to be carrying foreign aviation workers near Kabul airport, killing at least nine people. Kabul police chief Gen. Mohammad Ayub Salangi says the large explosion took place Tuesday on a large avenue northwest of the city center near Kabul International Airport.

The criminal director for Kabul police Mohammad Zahir says at least eight men believed to be foreign nationals working for an aviation company at the airport were killed. He said their Afghan driver was also killed. An AP reporter on the scene saw at least six bodies next to the destroyed mini-van, which was tossed about 50 meters (yards) by the explosion.

Pakistan devises plan to send back Afghan refugees

Pakistan government has chalked out a contingency plan for repatriation of registered Afghans refugees in 2013 as they are likely to lose their legal status by the end of this year, according to well-placed sources. Ministry of Sates and Frontier Regions (Safron) has devised the plan, which roughly requires Rs9.397 billion, for repatriation of 1.7 million registered refugees in the coming year. The Proof of Registration (PoR) cards, issued to 1.7 million Afghan refugees to validate their temporary stay in Pakistan, will expire at the end of current year. “The ministry has completed its homework and will share it with interior ministry, foreign office, UN agencies, all provincial governments and other stakeholders,” said an official. He said that federal government would decide about the future of registered Afghans. The official said that Safron would approach the federal government and UN agencies to finance the extensive exercise. “The government requires about $250 million for repatriation of 316,008 refugee families,” he said. The cost includes transportation, food, health and administration expenses.The tripartite commission comprising Afghanistan, Pakistan and UNHCR held a meeting in Istanbul, Turkey last week and discussed future of the registered Afghan refugees, who would lose their legal status if

Islamabad didn’t extend their stay beyond December 2012. The meeting thrashed out the current return programme of Afghan refugees from Pakistan and decided that the voluntary repatriation process, through an agreed mechanism, was

them to wind up their business and other activities. Pakistan, a non signatory to the Geneva Convention, has been sheltering the largest refugee population since early 1980s. Ministry of Safron said that total

UN agency and Afghan government are in favour of extension to the tripartite agreement. The contingency plan said that voluntary repatriation process was very slow and was also declining gradually. It said that with the present

repatriation of the refugees. It said that Afghanistan’s economic growth was impressive with 8.2 per cent GDP while various social and economic indicators were showing progress. “Since 2002, over five million refugees have voluntarily repatriated to their

vital for those vulnerable people, the UN refugee agency said in a statement after the meeting. The statement quoted Safron Minister Shaukatullah as saying that his ministry was presently holding inter-ministerial deliberations to review options for future national policy about Afghan refugees that would be considered shortly by the government. The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government has already informed all registered and unregistered Afghans that they would not be allowed to live in the province after December. The provincial government has asked

1.701 million registered Afghan refugees were still living in Pakistan and an additional 300,000 Afghan nationals had yet to replace their old PoR cards. In addition, about one million undocumented Afghan nationals are also residing in the country, according to the ministry. They were directed in May 2012 to go back to Afghanistan. The UNHCR is vehemently opposing forced return of registered refugees, arguing that owing to security issue and its socio and economic conditions Afghanistan is not in a position to absorb in bulk return of refugees. The

pace of repatriation, the refugees stay in Pakistan seemed prolonged and roughly 100,000 newborns were added to the population of Afghans annually. Officials said that total 280,000 refugee families had returned to their country in 2002 while the number reduced to around 10,000 families in 2011. “If Pakistan government waits for voluntary repatriation then it will take decades,” said an official. Ministry of Safron said that the recent indications about Afghanistan’s security and economy were very positive and the war-turn country’s conditions were quite suitable for

homeland that shows that situation in Afghanistan is improving,” the ministry argued in its plan. It further said that the drawdown of Nato forces from Afghanistan by 2014 was also a clear indication that Afghans had ability and capability to run their affairs on their own. The ministry proposed establishing of transit camps and de-registration centres in all four provinces from where refugees would get free transportation. Similar facilities would be set up across the country to facilitate the returning refugees. It said that return process was likely to be completed in one year.


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WEEKLY REVIEW OF BANGLADESH NEWS

PM for stopping screening of anti-Islamic film

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Sunday strongly condemned the making of anti-Islamic film by a US producer and urged the US government to immediately stop sale and projection of the controversial film. “No Muslim can tolerate such defamation of Prophet Hazrat Muhammad (SM),” she said urging the US government for exemplary punishment to the filmmaker for demeaning Prophet (SM). “We have already taken necessary steps so that the film can not be screened in Bangladesh,” she said while inaugurating the Hajj Programme for the Hajj pilgrims of 2012. Ministry of Religious Affairs at Hajj camp at Ashkona in Dhaka organised the programme. This year the first Hajj flights takes off tomorrow carrying 419 pilgrims by a Bangladesh Biman Airlines flight. Hasina said Awami League always devoted to serving Islam and would not accept any activities which undermine the spirit of Islam. The party always works for preaching and flourishing Islam, she added. State Minister for Religious Affairs Advocate Shahjahan Mia presided over the function while Minister for Civil Aviation and Tourism Faruk Khan, Chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on the Ministry of Religious Affairs, and Mujibur Rahman spoke, among others, on the

occasion. Secretary of the Ministry of Religious Affairs Qazi Habibul Awal gave the welcome address. “Before we assumed office in 2009, terrorists resorted to murders, bombings and anarchy across the country as it was their daily affairs at that time in the name of Islam. We have strongly handled the terrorists and rescued the country from the stigma of a terrorist nation,” she said. But, now Bangladesh is considered as a model of religious harmony all over the world, she added. Referring to her own experience, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said mismanagement ruled supreme in the Hajj arrangement prior to 2009 when the Hajj pilgrims had to experience immense sufferings because of disturbance of intermediaries and cheats. After taking office, we have framed National Hajj Policy 2010-2014 to ensure safe Hajj management, she said adding now Hajj programmes have come under a systematic process and facilities of the pilgrims have also increased. Hasina said over the last three years massive qualitative changes have come in the Hajj management. Saudi government has ranked Bangladesh as the best Hajj manager in South Asia. The PM said her government has taken a number of steps for better Hajj management. The office of Hajj wing

was shifted to Mecca from Jeddah. As a result, it became easy to provide better service to the pilgrims. Pointing to digitalisation of the Hajj management and information, she said it helped the pilgrims to get Hajj services easily and to be connected with the relatives at home and abroad to know their wellbeing. A separate plaza was hired at Jeddah Hajj terminal in 2010 at a cost of Taka 40 lakh for easy immigration of the pilgrims, she said. According to her commitment, the premier said four lifts were installed in the Hajj camp and airlines, customs and immigration areas were brought under central air-conditioning system. Modern dormitories were hired for the pilgrims in Mecca and Medina on plain lands in nearby areas instead of old houses at a long distance or

above the hilltops. And complete transparency has been ensured in hiring the dormitories. The PM noted that against the backdrop of restoration of discipline and improvement of services, the number of country’s Hajj pilgrims is increasing every year. In 2009, the number of pilgrims was 58,220. Now the number increased three- folds and this year the number rose to 1,12,570, she said. Pointing to her government’s steps taken for promotion of Islam, the PM said the Holy Quran has been digitalised in Arabic, Bengali and English. Digital Quran has created immense opportunity for Bengali speaking people at home and abroad to read Quran and understand the meanings of its verses, she said. Hasina said religious education has been made compulsory at school

level. The government has taken steps to involve the religious leaders for development of human resources. Under the plan, Imams are being given training. And, trained Imams and religious leaders are playing an important role in building a peaceful and harmonious society. She said the Awami League government has reinitiated the mosque-based children and mass education project at a cost of Taka 643.55 crore, creating employment opportunity for thousands of Alem and Ulema and scope for millions of children to learn the Holy Quran rightly. She said over the last three years, Bangladesh’s Hajj management facilities have been improved in terms of development of infrastructure, recruitment of manpower, interministerial linking and development of relation with Saudi Government on Hajj issue. As improvement of the Hajj management is a constant process, she hoped that the trend of success in this area would continue in the days ahead. She wished good health of every Hajj pilgrim and their safe return to the country after performing the holy Hajj. Civil Aviation Minister Faruk Khan said every Hajj pilgrim would be given Saudi SIM card this year so that their relatives from earlier know the mobile number and communicate with them time to time.

Khaleda says has ‘evidence’ 4 new ministers take charge of PM family’s ‘graft’

The Bangladesh Nationalist Party chairperson, Khaleda Zia, on Saturday night said she had evidence that the family of prime minister Sheikh Hasina was involved in corruption. Referring to Hasina’s remarks in parliament that her family was small, Khaleda said the smaller the family was the easier it would be to catch them for corruption after the BNP returned to power. The BNP chief, while exchange views with journalists,

poet and writers at her office at Gulshan, said each member of Hasina’s cabinet was involved in corruption. She said the government would not be able to return to power by steps like reshuffling the cabinet. The BNP chief said her son Tarique Rahman, also the party’s senior vice-chairman, was now active in politics. Tarique is staying in London for medical treatment. She said Tarique would return home after his recovery. Khaleda said the government would be forced to accept the opposition’s demand for elections under a ‘nonparty’ government. She called upon all irrespective of profession and political affiliation to forge unity for movement from a single platform. She said more political parties would carry out movement simultaneously with her alliance. BFUJ faction president Ruhul Amin Gazi , secretary general Shawkat Mahmud, DUJ faction president Abdus Shahid and National Press Club president Kamaluddin Sabuj, among others, addressed the meeting. Acting BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir also spoke at the meeting conducted by the BNP chief’s press secretary Maruf Kamal Khan.

Four out of five ministers, who were assigned portfolios on Saturday, took charge on the first working day of the week. Information Minister Hasanul Haq Inu, Railway Minister Mazibul Hoque, Disaster Management Minister A H Mahmud Ali and Information and Communication Technology Minister Mostafa Faruque Mohammed all joined office on Sunday. However, Mahiuddin Khan Alamgir, who will be replacing Shahara Khatun as the Home Minister, could

not take over as she is abroad. Senior Home Secretary C Q Moshtaque Ahmed said Alamgir will be taking over after Shahara returns on Monday. Inu, arriving at the ministry around 11:30am, expressed his intention to ensure that the people get correct information and discourage unethical journalism. The newly appointed Disaster Management and Relief Minster A H Mahmud Ali called for everyone’s support to maintain the government’s ‘success’ in the sector.


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WEEKLY REVIEW OF BHUTAN NEWS

Bhutan eyes China, but bond with India remains strong

Is Bhutan getting closer to China? Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao briefly met the Bhutanese Prime Minister Jigmi Y. Thinley on the sidelines of the G20 Rio summit in June 2012. The 20th round of boundary talks between the two countries in August has also made the situation critically worth watching for India. India’s Minister of State in External Affairs E Ahamed responded to a related query raised in Parliament in late August on the Sino-Bhutan relationship by stating that “the government keeps a constant watch on all developments having a bearing on India’s security.” Recent advances in the SinoBhutanese relationship have clearly been multi-faceted, touching on cooperation in political and economic matters, which link to India’s regional strategic interests and its relationship with Bhutan, where India has traditionally been the “guiding” partner of Bhutan’s foreign affairs. Bhutan currently does not have diplomatic ties with China, but in the light of the growing political understanding between them, mainly their regular border talks and attempt at demarcating their common boundary, it may not be long before Sino-Bhutanese diplomatic ties are formally established. Bhutan and China have some 470 kilometers of unresolved borders. China has shown keen interest in having a deal with Bhutan’s northwestern areas in lieu of exchanging some specific central areas in the border region. Bhutan’s northwestern region is close to the Chumbi Valley, and particularly to Tibet, and India’s state of Sikkim. Any settlement between China and Bhutan on these border issues is bound to affect India’s national interests. Bhutan, India and China constitute a “tripartite” strategic triangle in the Eastern Himalayan region. The Chumbi Valley, located in the Yadong county of Tibet Autonomous Region, is close to the Siliguri corridor of India’s northeast. India fears that China will have an edge once China’s border negotiation with Bhutan succeeds. There has been a surge of political interactions between China and Bhutan all these years. Before their 1984 border talks, Bhutan’s border

issue with China was part and parcel of the broader Sino-Indian border discourse. While many in India would presume that the China-Bhutan boundary talks are a cause of discomfort, India still

Bhutan still maintains with India. While it notes the “perpetual peace and friendship” between the two countries, it stresses mutual trust and understanding, and aims to maximize cooperation

currently. In terms of security and economic stakes, India still has a huge share and stake in Bhutan as a close partner and neighbor. Though India would like to maintain the same vigor of cooperation and trust with Bhutan, much will depend upon how Bhutan decides to maintain and conduct its relationship with

the outside world. Bhutan must act smartly, and shouldn’t really complicate its bearings either with China or India. China may genuinely be a matter of economic attraction, but Bhutan is still deeply ingrained politically with India. The institutional cooperation between Bhutan and India is still vital for Bhutan’s future.

Slovenia Forges Diplomatic Ties with Bhutan

conducts its relations with Bhutan on a separate and independent track. From the Indian standpoint, Bhutan remains central to its broader Himalayan sub-regional politics. The India-Bhutan relationship is based on the 1949 Treaty of Friendship, updated in February 2007 when King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuk visited India. The 2007 treaty is fundamentally different from its predecessor treaty, and puts Bhutan internationally on a different track. In 1949, the government agreed “to be guided by the advice of the Government of India in regard to its external relations.” The revised version states that “the Government of the Kingdom of Bhutan and the Government of the Republic of India shall cooperate closely with each other on issues relating to their national interests.” Even so, Article 2 of the 2007 treaty states that both countries need to “cooperate closely with each other on issues relating to their national interests.” Bhutan’s holding bilateral border talks with China is linked to India’s national interests in the Eastern Himalayan region. Hence, it is expected that Bhutan should consult India on the matter. A few contours of the 2007 treaty are also central to the overall India-Bhutan relationship. It shows the solidarity that India shares with Bhutan, and the trust

in various fields, including trade and economics, particularly in hydroelectric power sector. Though Bhutan is completely sovereign and independent today, still it will be difficult for Bhutan to ignore India’s influence, contribution and partnership both at bilateral and global levels. Many Chinese people and businessmen have shown an interest in touring and investing in Bhutan. Bhutan has pursued the one-China policy, and has started seeing China as an economic opportunity. Yet, the Indians are the predominant community in Bhutan

The Kingdom of Bhutan has become the 185th country to forge diplomatic ties with Slovenia. Slovenian Ambassador to the UN Sanja Stiglic and her Bhutanese counterpart Lhatu Wangchuk signed a joint statement Friday establishing diplomatic relations, Xinhua reported quoting the foreign ministry. Declared independence from former Yugoslavia in June 1991, Slovenia

covers 20,273 sq km and has a population of about two million. It is today a member state of both the European Union and the NATO, in addition to the UN. Bhutan is a landlocked kingdom located at the eastern end of the Himalayas in South Asia, bordering with China and India. Its territory stretches over 38,000 sq km. Its population is about 700,000.

Bhutan and Slovenia establish diplomatic relations Bhutan and Republic of Slovenia established diplomatic relationship on September 13 at the Permanent Mission of Bhutan in New York, the USA. The Joint Communique on the establishment of diplomatic relations was signed between Lhatu Wangchuk, ambassador and permanent representative of Bhutan to the United Nations in New York and Sanja Stiglic, ambassador and permanent representative of the Republic of Slovenia to the United Nations. The representatives expressed interest of their governments to cooperate closely in the bilateral and multilateral fields at the signing ceremony, and expressed desire to

Ambassador of Bhutan (left) and ambassador of Slovenia

further deepen cooperation between the two countries at the United Nations and at other multilateral

forums. Slovenia is the 41st country with which Bhutan has established diplomatic relations.


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WEEKLY REVIEW OF INDIA NEWS

India holds interest rate steady despite pressure

The Reserve Bank of India had been under pressure from business leaders and the government to cut rates to give a further boost to the ailing economy, which grew at 5.5 per cent year on year in the AprilJune quarter. Bank governor Duvvuri Subbarao acknowledged that recent reforms “have started to reverse sentiments”, but he said that inflation was still too high. “For the moment, inflationary pressures, both at wholesale and retail levels, are still strong,” he said in a statement. However, in a move to increase liquidity and lending in the banking sector, the bank cut its cash reserve ratio, the amount banks have to keep aside as deposits, by 25 basis points to 4.50 per cent. Finance Minister P. Chidambaram said the RBI was “supportive of what the government is doing.” “Infusion of liquidity is a small but a welcome step,” he told the NDTV television channel, saying that additional government measures were expected before the next RBI meeting on October 30.

The Mumbai-based central bank has not cut benchmark rates since April in a bid to keep a lid on inflation, which hit 7.55 per cent in August — far above the RBI’s comfort level. These inflationary pressures made it difficult for the bank to enact “big bang measures”, according to Siddhartha Sanyal, chief India economist with Barclays capital. “He is still not comfortable with inflation but wants to send the message that he recognises growth concerns,” he told AFP. C. Rangarajan, head of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s economic advisory council, said the RBI had taken a “cautious stand”. “If inflation touches (the) eight per cent level, then (the) RBI will have very little manoeuvrability to change rates,” he told NDTV. Subbarao has repeatedly called for policy action from the government to reduce subsidies and improve the investment climate before further cuts can be approved. Singh’s cabinet approved a slew of measures late last week, hiking diesel prices, opening the doors to foreign investors in key sectors and

India landslide death toll rises to 45

The death toll from a series of landslides and floods reached 45 in northern India on Saturday as rescuers pulled 17 more bodies from the debris, a state government minister said.

of Rudraprayag,” local disaster management minister Yashpal Arya said to AFP, adding that army personnel were helping local rescuers search for more bodies in four affected villages. “We fear that up to

Most of the deaths occurred in the early hours of Friday after heavy downpours in Rudraprayag and Bageshwar districts of the scenic Himalayan state of Uttarakhand, local disaster management minister Yashpal Arya said. “Seventeen bodies were found today from the affected areas of Rudraprayag,” Arya said, adding that army personnel were helping local rescuers hunting for more bodies in four affected villages. Heavy downpours in the Rudraprayag and Bageshwar districts of the state led to most of the deaths in the early hours of Friday, report. “Seventeen bodies were found today from the affected areas

18 more bodies could be still buried in the debris in Rudraprayag.” The Himalayan hills are prone to deadly landslides and flash floods during the June to September monsoon season, according to PressTV. The four-month season accounts for 75 percent of India’s annual rainfall, half of which occurs in the first two months. In August, at least 34 people were killed in the same area when it was hit by torrential rains that caused flash floods and landslides. The heavy and constant rainfall in Uttarakhand started on Wednesday, noted AFP. Landslides also stranded 100 pilgrims traveling to an ancient Hindu temple atop the Garhwal Himalayan range.

approving the part-privatisation of four state-run companies. Business leaders have been clamouring for a rate cut to help revive Asia’s third-largest economy,

with growth in the three months to June the slowest in three years. “They have kept the door open for a rate cut in future and shown their intention to promote growth,” said

Abheek Barua, chief economist with private HDFC Bank, who had predicted a rate cut. Investors’ disappointment in the policy was evident on the benchmark 30-share Sensex index, which was trading 0.18 per cent higher at 18,498.35 in the early afternoon, well off the day’s high of 18,715.02. The rupee also slid marginally later in the day, from its four-month high of 53.66 against the dollar seen in the morning.

Left, right & Centre mum on UP riots

The political silence over yet another religious clash in Uttar Pradesh showcased the importance of Mulayam Singh Yadav in the current flux, with neither the right nor the Left wanting to annoy him. The killing of six Muslims in police firing following arson over

such violence for five years. The rapidly deteriorating communal situation has, however, drawn no reaction from the political class, a silence seen as linked to Mulayam’s unique position as flag-bearer of the “secular” bloc in future central politics.

desecration of the Quran wrecked the peace in industrial Ghaziabad. While the clash involved police and a violent mob, it was the sixth communal incident in UP since SP took the reins of power from BSP this March. These small, localized clashes involving religious groups have shattered the record of Mayawati regime which had kept UP free from

The violence reiterated the salience of SP in the wake of turmoil over Centre’s decision to allow FDI in retail. The Left and Samajwadis have joined hands in opposing the move that could wipe out native retailers. Mulayam, who once again floated the idea of ‘third front’ by partnering the Left bloc to protest against the coal scam in Parliament last month, is seen as critical in deciding the shape

of secular politics post-2014. He is eyeing leadership of the ‘third front’ for a last shot at prime ministership. Both the Left as well as Congress are aware of his political muscle. He may be a big beneficiary in the 80seat state and could determine who rules Delhi. The Left will prefer him to stay with the third front. Congress, on the other hand, is keen to keep him on its side, as much for UPA-II as for 2014. No wonder, the party has desisted from criticizing the UP regime even though it ran a campaign during state polls accusing Samajwadis of using communal polarization for electoral gain. Trinamool Congress is eager to coordinate with Mulayam since early polls suit both parties. Interestingly, while Mulayam cannot ally with BJP, the latter has its own calculations post-retail ruckus in keeping away from the UP regime. The saffron party does not want to stoke the ‘communal vs secular’ debate by talking about the sensitive issue since it would evoke strong ‘secular camaraderie’ from Congress and keep Mulayam on the UPA side.


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WEEKLY REVIEW OF PAKISTAN NEWS

PM show-cause notice: SC gives govt until Sept 25 to draft letter

The Supreme Court on Tuesday gave the government until Sept 25 to draft the letter to Swiss authorities to reopen a graft case against President Asif Ali Zardari and adjourned the hearing in the show-cause notice for contempt of court against Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf to the said date, report. A five-judge bench of the apex court, headed by Justice Asif Saeed Khosa, heard the show-cause notice for contempt of court against Prime Minister Ashraf over the NRO implementation case. Earlier, a Supreme Court bench had issued a show-cause notice to Prime Minister Ashraf for not implementing its orders in the NRO case of writing the letter to reopen a graft case worth $60 million against President Zardari. 10: 18: The prime minister departed from the Supreme Court’s premises after the completion of the hearing. 10: 14: The court granted the prime minister exemption from appearing for the upcoming hearing. 10: 11: The bench ruled that the government must draft the letter by Sept 25 and adjourned the hearing to the said date. 10:10: Justice Khosa appreciated the prime minister’s efforts for the resolution of the longstanding issue. 10: 07: The court moreover gave the government until Sept 25 to draft the letter. 10:01: Time for consultations is over, the bench said, adding that now the government should focus on writing the letter. 10:00: The court gave a deadline of two days to compose the letter’s draft, whereas, the prime minister had requested the court for a month’s

time for consultations. Justice Khosa told the prime minister to authorise the law minister to draft the letter in a matter of two to three days

“so that this chapter can be closed as soon as possible”. 09: 56: Justice Khosa directed that the matter of the letter be resolved and it should be sent to Swiss authorities by Oct 2. 09: 53: Justice Khosa said the court could resume the hearing day after tomorrow which would give the prime minister the time to delegate authority to the law minister who would draft the letter. Upon which, the prime minister said that the hearing could be held at the end of the month. At that, the law minister

said he required time to draft the letter upon which Justice Khosa remarked that the prime minister had given Naek an order with which he had to comply. 09: 51: Justice Khosa instructed the prime minister to write the letter to Swiss authorities following four steps: The prime minister would authorise someone in writing to write the letter, the content of the letter should satisfy the court, subsequently the letter is sent and the court be informed as to who would be delivering it and lastly the court is informed once the letter is sent. 09: 49: Justice Khosa further remarked that the court had reviewed the government’s reservations over the issue and that the issue of Article 248 was internal. 09: 44: The prime minister concluded his arguments in the court. 09: 42: The prime minister requested the court to exempt him from court appearances. 09: 40: Prime Minister Ashraf said the general elections were not far off and requested the court to issue a ruling which would be in the greater national interest and would also resolve the matter. He moreover informed the court that he had delegated the authorities over the matter to the federal law minister. 09: 39: The prime minister said he was experiencing pressure from different quarters

and questions were being asked, adding that, the matter should be resolved. Prime Minister Ashraf moreover said that the Russian president was coming to Pakistan and that President Zardari was also going to attend meetings at the United Nations. He added that as prime minister, he was also the party’s secretary-general, and therefore wanted a resolution which would help retain the dignity of both the Supreme Court as well as the office of the president. 09: 37: The prime minister said he had reviewed the matter and its complications from several angels after which the decision to recall Qayyum’s letter was taken. He added that the matter was not simply about the person of Asif Ali Zardari but of the office of the president. He said he hoped that the court would also keep the matter in mind. The prime minister further said that if the court cooperated, the matter could be resolved amicably. 09: 35: During the hearing, the prime minister told the court that he had asked the federal law minister to withdraw the letter sent to Swiss authorities by former attorney general Malik Qayyum for the closure of the graft case against President Asif Ali Zardari. 09: 15: Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf arrived in the courtroom along with his counsel Wasim Sajjad for the hearing.

Flood havoc in Balochistan 600,000 marooned in two districts

Balochistan Chief Secretary Babar Yaqoob Fateh Mohammad has said that floods triggered by torrential rains have marooned almost 600,000 people in Naseerabad and Jaffarabad districts. The floods have caused at least 22 deaths, destroyed crops on 24,866 acres and swept away about 4,000 houses.

distress,” the chief secretary told reporters at the Provincial Disaster Management Authority’s office after supervising the despatch of relief goods to the affected areas. He said the government had sought assistance from the Army and the Frontier Corps to step up the pace of relief work. Fateh Mohammad said he had asked

The chief secretary called upon international organisations, the federal government and philanthropists to help the provincial administration in transportation of essential commodities to the flood-ravaged region. He said all resources were being used to stop the spread of waterborne diseases and to meet shortage

Pakistan tests nuclearcapable missile

Naseerabad, Jaffarabad, Sibi, Jhal Magsi and Kachi are the worst affected districts. “Dera Allahyar, Dera Murad Jamali, Sohbatpur, Manjopur and Manjoshori are under two to six feet of water. Thousands of families are in

his counterpart in Sindh not to divert water from Jacobabad towards Balochistan because it would aggravate the problems manifold. “We are in touch with the Sindh government to avoid more losses in Balochistan.”

of food and drinking water. Electricity supply to the main towns in Naseerabad and Jaffarabad districts had been restored and efforts were afoot to repair the damaged roads. “The irrigation department’s engi-

Pakistan on Monday conducted a successful test fire of the indigenously developed multi tube Cruise Missile Hatf-VII (Babur), having a range of 700 kilometers. Babur Crusie Missile is a low flying, terrain hugging missile, which can strike targets both at Land and Sea with pin point accuracy. It carries stealth features. Equipped with modern cruise missile technology of Terrain Contour Matching (TERCOM) and Digital Scene Matching and Area Co-relation (DSMAC), it can carry both nuclear and conventional warheads. The missile was launched from a state of the art Multi Tube Missile Launch Vehicle (MLV), which significantly enhances the targeting and deployment options of Babur Weapon system. The test was witnessed by Director General Strategic Plans Division Lieutenant General (R) Khalid Ahmed Kidwai, Chairman National Engineering and Scientific Commission (NESCOM) Mr. Muhammad Irfan Burney, senior officers from the armed forces and strategic organizations.

neers are at work to plug breaches at 13 places,” Balochistan’s top bureaucrat said. Six army helicopters and 18 boats have been pressed in to move affected people to relief camps. In reply to a question, he said the losses caused by floods in northern and southern Balochistan were so huge that the provincial government would not be able to cope with the disaster on its own. He said the chief minister was coordinating the rescue operation by PDMA, the provincial government, the Army and the FC. The Balochistan government has decided that every member of the provincial assembly will release Rs20 million out of the funds granted to him for the affected people, Fateh Mohammad added. SCHOOLS CLOSED: All government schools in the five rain-hit districts of Balochistan have been closed for an indefinite period. Schools in Naseerabad, Jaffarabad, Jhal Magsi, Kachi and Sibi will reopen only after the situation returns to normality, a notification said.


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WEEKLY REVIEW OF MALDIVE NEWS

Nasheed’s case closed MMC to investigate Raajje TV dispute despite channel’s defiance says Supreme Court

The Maldives Media Council (MMC) has said it intends to continue its investigations into the police’s refusal to cooperate

with Raajje TV despite the channels refusal to work with the MMC, reports local media. The MMC statement said that

it was constitutionally obliged to look into the case and to ensure a stable and free media environment in the country. Haveeru reported that Raajje TV had sent the MMC a letter accusing it of incompetence, having – in its view – failed to resolve the issue previously. The station said that it would not comment on the case further until the Civil Court had finished deliberating on the issue. Raajje TV has filed cases against both the police and the President’s Office alleging that the station had been boycotted as well as not receiving appropriate protections from the authorities.

Alterations to the Finance Act made by the parliament during former President Mohamed Nasheed’s government do not contradict the Constitution, according to a decision made by the Supreme

Court. The decision comes from a case filed by the Attorney General of Nasheed’s government in December 2010, requesting the Court to rule that articles 5, 7, 10(a) and 34 contradict the Constitution. This includes making decisions on taxes, fees, loans, lease of government property on concession basis, salaries, returns and pensions. Also included is passing the government budget and financial statements in financial functions and financial commitments. The Court’s decision details that in democratic countries across the world, it is accepted that the Parliament watches over government finances.

Maldives rejects dancing Maldives bans controversial ban, vows ‘tolerant society’ anti-Islamic movie

Government says ban not enforceable as it has no basis in Maldivian law The Maldives government rejected on Sunday a ban on dancing in public between men and women called by its own Islamic Affairs ministry and pledged that the honeymoon hotspot would remain a beacon of tolerance. Presidential spokesman Abbas Riza said a circular issued by the ministry prohibiting dancing between men and women was not enforceable as it had no basis in Maldivian law. “There has not been and never will be a ban on dancing,” Abbas told AFP in an e-mailed statement. “Under the constitution, no one could enforce or prohibit any freedom unless under a law.” “The Maldives will always be a very tolerant society [which is an] example to the world.” It was the first formal government reaction to the ministry circular to all state institutions and the media banning the holding of any mixed-gender dance events. The ministry is headed by a member of the main Islamic Adhaalath Party, a coalition partner in President Mohammad Waheed’s government which came to power after the controversial resignation of Mohammad Nasheed in February.

The ministry also ordered a ban on events where adolescent girls were required to dance, local media reports said, adding that the directives were intended for both state bodies and individual citizens. “It is very clear that this is just an issuance of their view, not legally binding on any sector of society,” Abbas said. The Maldives with a population of 330,000 Sunni Muslims is an Islamic republic known for its liberal lifestyle and upmarket tourism. However authorities have been concerned about rising extremism in recent years and have resisted calls from extremists to shut down luxury tourist resorts, which serve alcohol and pork. On Friday, hundreds of men and women demonstrated outside the United Nations building in the Maldivian capital Male over a film mocking Islam that has led to protests around the world, police said. “About 100 to 400 people gathered outside the UN building during a two-hour period... and dispersed peacefully,” police spokesman Hassan Haneef told AFP. The Maldivian government condemned the burning of a US flag outside the UN compound and said the demonstration had been backed by opposition groups.

The National Classifications Bureau (NCB) on Tuesday announced a ban on watching or bringing in copies of the controversial “Innocence of Muslims” movie to the Maldives. The NCB is reported as saying that watching or sharing the movie is an offence under the law defining material which is not allowed to be brought into the country (Act No. 4/74). Such material includes other contraband such as pork, alcohol, and religious items not for personal use. According to Article 4 (a) of the said Act, bringing into the country, creating, owning, selling, sharing

or spreading material which is against the principles of Islam is an offence. The penalty for the said offense, as defined in Article 13 (c) is a jail sentence, banishment or house arrest for a period between 3 to 8 years. Meanwhile, the Communications Authority of Maldives (CAM) has announced on Sunday that it is working to block the offending trailer from the online video sharing channel YouTube. CAM Chief Executive Ilyas Ahmed said at the time that they were attempting to just block the video alone, instead of the site itself,

as blocking YouTube was ‘not practical’. Pakistan is reported in international media as having blocked access to YouTube in the country after the owners of the site refused to block the offending video. Following similar protests across the globe, protesters in the Maldives gathered in front of the UN Building on Friday September 14. Protesters carried placards with messages ranging from “Maldives: future graveyard to Americans and Jews” to “May Allah curse America”.

Islam and politics cannot be separated- Sheikh M. Didi Minister of State for Islamic Affairs Sheikh Mohamed Didi has said that politics cannot be separated from Islam. Speaking at the Ramadan Revival program Sheikh Moamed Didi said that Islam is not restricted to daily prayers but it is also a political-judicial-cultural ideology as defined by the Quran and the Sunnah as implemented under Islamic Sharia Law. The sheikh said that Islam obligates enjoining good and forbidding evil. He added that this is ordained in different levels. He said that the punishment of the criminals is a responsibility upon the relevant authorities and not

an individual responsibility. He said that the government is obliged to implement the punishments prescribed in the Islamic Sharia Law. Sheikh Mohamed Didi stressed

that Islam and state is indivisible. He said that Islam cannot be separated from the state because it guides Muslims through every detail of running the state and their lives.


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WEEKLY REVIEW OF NEPAL NEWS

Nepal Army and US Celebrating Nepal in China military conclude joint ops

Nepal Army and the US military have concluded their first joint humanitarian assistance operations in Pokhara. More than 300 personnel from Nepal’s Army, US military and local community members attended the closing ceremony of ‘Operation Pacific Angel Nepal’ yesterday at

Machhapuchhre Higher Secondary School in Pokhara, a major tourist hub in western Nepal. During the six day-long joint military exercise starting from September 10, over 4,195 local villagers were given free medical assistance in pediatrics, optometry, physiotherapy, public health infection control, food safety, women’s health and pre-post partum nutrition care, according to a US Embassy statement. The ceremony was attended by Nepal Army’s Western Division Commander Lt General Nepal Bhusan Chand and Major General Russell J Handy, Director of Operations, Plans and Programmes, who was officiating on behalf of the Commander of the US Pacific Air Forces, Hawaii. “We are honoured to have worked alongside

the Nepal Army through our Pacific Angel programme, and deeply appreciate the hospitality our Nepali hosts have extended to us,” Handy said. “Throughout this past week, we have been continually impressed with the professionalism of the Nepal Army, and

their diligent efforts to improve the quality of life of Nepal’s citizens,” he added. Three construction and renovation projects were completed at Macchapucchre primary and secondary schools, and at the Macchhapuchhre district post. A team of 80 Nepal Army and US military designers, electricians, plumbers, carpenters, painters, and brick-layers enhanced and improved a school hostel, restroom facilities, water tank, pump systems and school cafeteria. “These efforts are a visible expression of our combined commitment to peace and stability in this region with the desire to strengthen the relationship between our countries and our continuing resolve to ensure increased humanitarian assistance and disaster relief in this region,” Handy said.

The first ever Nepal Cultural Festival has commenced in Beijing, China today. Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs Narayan Kaji Shrestha inaugurated the four-day festival. The function named Nepal Cultural Festival 2012 will continue till September 19 at the National Centre for Performing Arts in Beijing. The festival is Nepal’s reciprocity of China’s biennial cultural festival being held since 2002 in Kathmandu. Artist, dancers, painters, singers, musicians representing Nepali bands and institutions such as Sukarma, Rastriya Naachghar, Academy of Fine Arts and Nepal Academy are set to perform their arts. Chancellor of Academy of Fine Arts Kiran Manandhar, painter Karna Maskey, lead guitarist of Sukarma Dhurbesh Chandra Regmi, Haribhakta Dulal along with dancers, singers, lyricist, and senior officials from the Ministries of foreign affairs and culture are among the delegates. Lyricist Chetman Gurung and Tabala player Hari Shrestha have also joined in from Hong Kong. Governments of Nepal, Embassy of Nepal in Beijing along with Non-Resident Nepalis in China are hosting the cultural function. This function has coincided with the Year of Friendly Exchanges between Nepal and China, which was agreed upon during the Nepal visit of Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao in January. “One of the basis of cordial and historic relations between Nepal and China is our deep cultural linkages,” Deputy PM and FM Shrestha told. “Since we have already agreed to celebrate this year as Year of Friendly Exchanges, this festival will reflect our commitment into action.” “It’s a new dimension to enhance Nepal-China relations,” he added.

Two events-- cultural programme and painting exhibition will be held. Besides, a separate fine-arts book entitled “Friendship Across Himalayas” which includes paintings from both Nepali and Chinese painters, will be lunched. Renowned Chinese ERHU musician Bian Liunian( who composed the theme music of the closing ceremony of Beijing Olympic 2008) will also perform during function, said Dr. Mahesh Maskey, Ambassador of Nepal to China. In the course of festival, Nepali Chinese artists perform Manjushree dance, Tappa dance, Nepali folk music fusion, lakhe dance, dhime dance, Chinese musical performance, kumari dance,jhagad dance, songs in Nepali and Chinese version by both Nepali and Chinese artists. Meanwhile, DPM Shrestha is scheduled to meet high Chinese officials, including Vice Foreign Minister Fu Ying, to discuss about the bilateral issues later today. DPM Shrestha said the meeting will be focus on the implementation of the past agreements between the two neighbours, especially the agreements, understanding and the commitment sealed during Premier Jiabao’s Nepal visit.

Teej festival in Nepal – in pictures

The three-day Teej festival is celebrated by Hindu women in Nepal and some parts of India. It commemorates the union of the

Hindu goddess Parvati and Lord Shiva, and involves sumptuous feasts and rigid fasting. Married women fast during the day

and pray for long lives for their partner, and unmarried women pray for handsome husbands

Nepalese Hindu women offer prayers at the Pashupatinath temple during Teej festival celebrations in Kathmandu.


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WEEKLY REVIEW OF SRILANKA NEWS

Sri Lanka’s major Muslim party joins government

The political vigil over the new eastern province government ended on Tuesday when the country’s main Muslim party, the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC), joined hands with the government to form a ruling coalition. “In addition to power sharing in the provincial council, the government has given us assurance that it would look into the grievances of Muslims. There have been many issues the Muslims have been facing, and the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) cannot give us this assurance,” said deputy leader of the SLMC Nazeer Ahmed.

The SLMC split from the government to contest independently in the eastern provincial elections at the eleventh hour, after announcing its decision to contest under the

government umbrella. Party leader Rauff Hakeem pronounced his disillusionment with the government’s lack of interest to resolve the issues faced

Sri Lanka is no stage for India-China rivalry: Envoy

Amid New Delhi’s concerns over growing military ties between Beijing and Colombo, Sri Lanka’s envoy Prasad Kariyawasam has said there is no zero-sum game between India and China. He said his country will not be reduced to a stage for the two rising Asian powers to play out their “rivalry”. “We are not in the habit of looking at our relations with India and China as a zero-sum game,” the envoy told IANS in an interview “We will not allow our land or sea to be used for any inimical purpose by one country against the other,” the envoy said. Kariyawasam was responding to a question on the recent visit of Chinese Defence Minister Gen. Liang Guanglie to India, which saw the two sides declaring their resolve to enhance defence cooperation in different areas, including nontraditional security. The visit was preceded by a slew of announcements that included China pledging $100 million for the construction of facilities in Sri Lanka army camps to be set up in the the north and east, and around $600 million for phase II of the Hambantota port project, envisaged as an international hub to consolidate Sri Lanka’s status as a container trans-shipment centre in South Asia. The envoy rejected concerns raised by sections of the strategic community in India about Colombo’s growing military and economic ties with Beijing,

especially after the end of the war with the rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam. Security analysts were concerned that the heightened China-Sri Lanka cooperation in military and commercial matters could be detrimental to New Delhi’s interests in the island nation.

“Why should there be rivalry? We want to use the best commercial opportunities that emanate from the growing economies of both India and China,” the envoy said. In anticipation of India’s concerns, Gen Liang had clarified during his visit to Sri Lanka that China’s military ties with the island nation were not targeted at any third country. The envoy underlined that Sri Lanka was just trying to leverage new opportunities thrown up by the rise of India and China and wanted to retain its historic role as a hub of trade in the Indian Ocean region. “Sri Lanka wants to be a hub of trade in the Indian Ocean, like we

always have been in history. The first country to benefit from this approach will be India,” he said. “India and China are today the most powerful and leading countries in Asia. They have managed their relationship without much difficulty. “Our expectation is that these powers will have the capacity to manage their relations in such a way that the Indian Ocean will remain a zone of peace, a region of peace. That’s how Sri Lanka views the Indian Ocean and our relations with our close friend and neighbour India and our friend China.” Underscoring the special relationship between India and Sri Lanka that is rooted in history and culture, the envoy said that the fates of the two neighbours were linked. “If India is in trouble, we will be in trouble. If Sri Lanka is in trouble, India will be in trouble,” he said, plainly. The envoy’s assurances, however, will not calm apprehensive analysts in India. Chinese military participation in the Sri Lanka joint services exercise “Cormorant III,” which started Sep 10 and will go on till Sep 25 in Eastern Vakarai in the Eastern Province has only added to the concerns. Troops from China, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Pakistan and the Maldives are participating in “Cormorant III,”. While Indian troops are not participating, it is an exercise Indian observers will keenly watch.

by the 10 per cent ethnic minority Muslims in the country as reason for the split. Several issues related to land for Muslims displaced due to the ethnic cleansing by the Tamil Tigers more 15 years ago and the attack on mosques by segments of the anti-Muslim Buddhist clergy have angered the Muslim community in the recent past. In response to why the SLMC did not coalesce with the TNA, which secured 11 seats, just three less than the UPFA, the deputy leader said that the TNA could not “give us the assurance to resolve the issues that the government has. We were not looking only at positions. And with the TNA it would be a coalition with the UNP too, and we cannot justify going with the UNP,” he said.

The TNA last week promised the chief ministerial position to an SLMC member the first half of the tenure, to be followed by a TNA member for the next. However, the SLMC failed to participate in talks with the TNA last Friday, opting instead to hold discussions with the government. According to the SLMC, on the request of President Mahinda Rajapaksa, the party leaders had agreed to a government representation of the former Minister and Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) organiser to Trincomalee, Najeeb A. Majeed as the Chief Minister in the eastern province. However, negotiations have concluded in the two parties agreeing to the second tenure of two and a half years to be given to a member of the SLMC. During the last eastern provincial elections, the government appointed a former Tamil Tiger rebel Sivanesaturai Chandrakanthan, better known as Pillyan as chief minister. This is the first time a Muslim has been appointed as Chief Minister in the province that has a majority Muslim population.

Nepal PM warns President, says not to exceed his limits

Prime Minister Baburam is of the view that President Ram Baran has been accorded honorific position by the interim constitution and thus he should abide by the constitutional limits set by the constitution. “The President should be aware that executive rights lay right with the cabinet. I am confident he will abide by the constitution.” Nothing remains now to be told to the President. Baburam cautioning the president talking to media persons in Pokhara September 17, 2012 added further, “In the absence of the parliament, the ordinances have been forwarded to the president. I think that he is left with no option than to accept those ordinances.” At another plane said Baburam, “Political Parties have been making delays to hold consensus but I am hopeful they will soon come to terms and resolve disputes. The government is eagerly awaiting consensus between parties.” “I believe that formation of a national unity government and revival of the constituent assembly is the only solution that lay ahead of us.”


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Only in India: Judge on info panel

India is likely to be on an unchartered territory when it implements the Supreme Court order mandating the presence of a judicial officer and an expert to hear appeals in information commissions across the country. According to an independent survey on information commissions across the world there was no precedent of retired or serving judges as members of panels hearing cases related to freedom of information. The rapid survey — conducted by Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI) — says that none of the ‘’35 national and provincial jurisdictions had retired or serving judges as members’.’ Among the countries that were surveyed included Australia, Canada, Germany and the UK. CHRI in its survey said that the SC had cited international practices regarding the composition of judicial tribunals and the qualifications for appointment of their members from

countries such as the UK, Germany, the US, Australia and New South Wales (a province in Australia).

commissions and information commissioners must be compared with their foreign counterparts —

could not find any serving or retired judge appointed as information commissioner in any of the 35

Arguing that this could be an unfair comparison CHRI’s Venkatesh Nayak said in most of the international jurisdictions, the Commission or the Tribunals have been treated to be part of the court attached system of administration of justice. However, Indian information

other information commissions (commissioners) established for the purpose of administering the access to information laws and for adjudicating information access disputes. ‘’They cannot be compared with other judicial tribunals established in other countries for other kinds of adjudication. We

jurisdictions that we surveyed,’’ Nayak said. While the UK information commissioner is a history graduate and worked in Advertising Standards Authority and BBC, only one deputy information commissioners has a law degree and has practiced as a government lawyer. The other

Congress has forgotten Bofors lesson, says BJP

The Opposition has taken strong exception to Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde’s remark that people would soon forget the coal scam like the Bofors case, with the BJP pointing to the Congress’ massive loss in the general election after that episode. “In 1984, post-Indira Gandhi’s death, the Congress had won more than 400 seats. After five years, post the Bofors scandal, the Congress went out of power and its seats got halved… it is

a different matter whether people have forgotten Bofors or not, but the Congress has forgotten what Bofors did to it. Since then, the Congress has not got a majority on its own,” BJP MP Balbir Punj said here. In Pune on Saturday, Mr. Shinde reportedly said that “earlier the Bofors was a talking point... people forgot about it. Now it is coal… this too will be forgotten.” Janata Dal (United) president Sharad Yadav asked his “old friend” (Mr. Shinde) to concentrate on the working of the Home Ministry rather than making reckless comments. “People will not forget the coal blocks issue in the 2014 general elections,” CPI(M) general secretary Prakash Karat told journalists in Kolkata. “The fact that the Congress lost elections after Bofors is a message that people gave to the government of the day… the Congress and Mr. Shinde should remember this,” said CPI MP D. Raja.

Sri Lankan President to visit India

Rajapaksa is visiting India at the invitation of Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan

Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa will pay an official visit to India this week against the backdrop of protests by several Tamil Nadubased politcal parties against alleged

atrocities commited against the ethnic Tamil community on the island nation in a long-drawn out civil war that came to a bloody-end in 2009. Rajapaksa is visiting India at the invitation of Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan to inaugurate an international Buddhist university at Sanchi on Friday, foreign ministry spokesman Syed Akbaruddin said. The government will extend all facilities to the President of Sri Lanka which is an “important and friendly neighbour,” Akbaruddin said. On Thursday, Rajapakse will hold talks with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and President Pranab .

served as chairman of the data protection supervisory body of EUROPOL. In Australia, the information commissioner has served as Commonwealth ombudsman, while the country’s freedom of information commissioner has a doctoral degree in artificial intelligence and law. The privacy commissioner has a bachelor’s degree in arts and held senior management positions in government agencies. Both the Canadian information commissioner and its assistant information commissioner have a degree in law and served as lawyers in various capacities but not as a judge. The European ombudsman, according to the survey, has a doctoral degree in political science. Germany’s office of the federal commissioner of data protection and freedom of information is headed by a former government official, who has a degree in economics.

Infected sheep: PM seeks inquiry report

PM Ashraf has directed the Sindh Govt to submit a report about the import of a large number of infected sheep from Australia and to identify the persons responsible, Radio Pakistan reported. Recently, a Sindh Government official had said that media reports suggesting that sheep recently imported from Australia were infected with a contagious bacteria, are baseless and fabricated. The import of the sheep had raised alarm bells throughout Pakistan. Muttahida Qaumi Movement’s (MQM) chief Altaf Hussain had claimed that medical reports had confirmed that the sheep were infected with the disease and that their meat was unfit for consumption. He had demanded an

inquiry into the issue, adding that the government should prohibit the sale of the infected sheep. However, reports emerged on Sunday that commissioner Karachi, Roshan Ali Shaikh had ordered dumping of the infected sheep after

administering poisonous injections to them. The Australian high commissioner to Pakistan Peter Heyward has insisted that the sheep were healthy and the refusal by Bahrain to offload them was puzzling.

Australia’s High Commissioner to Pakistan, Peter Heyward, said on Tuesday he was “surprised and concerned” about a cull of imported Australian sheep over disease fears, despite assurances from Australian diplomats that the animals are safe for human consumption Heyward claimed the animals met Pakistan’s health requirements for imported sheep and they posed “no human or animal health risks”. Pakistan ordered the cull on Sunday after the sheep, which had been turned away from Bahrain, tested positive for the salmonella and actinomyces bacteria, officials said. Salmonella and actinomyces, said Heyward, “are part of normal gut flora and are present in livestock

throughout the world, and in this form pose no threat to human health”. But Karachi’s top administrator, Roshan Shaikh, said the cull of 21,268 sheep would continue, denying reports it had been halted. Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, veterinary

chief of the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation, who is supervising the cull, said orders to dispose of the sheep had come “from the top”. “We are busy in culling the infected sheep with no respite barring a few hours in nighttime when the area experiences power outages,” he said.

Australian High Commissioner “surprised” over Pakistan sheep cull


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Saarc international I Thursday 20 September 2012

Bomb blast kills 10 in Peshawar: officials

A bomb apparently targeting a Pakistan air force vehicle ripped through a van in the northwestern city of Peshawar on Wednesday, killing nine people, officials said. At least 10 people were killed and 22 others injured when a Pakistan Air Force van was targeted with a car bomb on the outskirts of Peshawar city in the country’s northwest on Wednesday, officials said. The PAF van was headed for the local airbase when explosives planted in a car were triggered by remote control in Badabher area, police officials said. The powerful blast also hit a crowded bus that was passing the area. Ten people were killed instantly, police officials told reporters. It could not immediately be ascertained if any PAF personnel were among the dead. Officials at the Lady Reading Hospital said they had received 22 injured people, including three children and three

women, and seven bodies. Local residents rushed the injured and bodies to the hospital in private vehicles.

All windows of both vehicles were blown out. The explosion also damaged 10 shops. Police officials estimated over 100 kg of

around five to eight kilograms of explosive material was used in the explosion, DawnNews quoted the Federal Investigation Agency’s (FIA) special unit as

Police officials said no senior PAF officers were in the van, which was carrying low ranking personnel. Witnesses said the van was packed at the time of the blast and it had no security escort. Footage on television showed that the PAF van was destroyed while the bus extensively damaged.

explosives were used in the attack. No group claimed responsibility for the bombing though such incidents are usually blamed on the Pakistani Taliban.

claiming. The FIA’s team visited the site of the explosion and analysed the area for forensic evidence. “The explosive material contained around 500-800 ball bearings,” FIA’s investigation unit said. At least seven people, including a threemonth-old baby, a 12-year-old girl and

Lashkar-i-Jhangvi faction involved in Karachi blast: police Initial investigations of Tuesday’s North Nazimabad blast revealed that

a woman, were killed and 22 others injured — the victims predominantly belonging to the Dawoodi Bohra community — when twin blasts rocked the North Nazimabad neighbourhood. LJ involvement Police detained two brothers of one of the men suspected to have been involved in the blast. According to police’s initial investigation, Lashkar-i-Jhangvi’s (LJ) Shuja Haider group was involved in the attack. Police claimed that LJ members Mohammad Shaqib Farooqui, Murtaza alias Shakil, Arab Miskeen, Murad Shah and several others were involved in Tuesday’s blast. The LJ members were also suspected to have been involved in three blasts in 2009 — a blast in Orangi Town on Muharram 8, a blast at Paposh Nagar Chandni chowk on Muharram 9 and a blast in the Light House area on Muharram 10.

Bangladesh, USA to conduct Arrest anti-Islam disaster response exercise film maker: Khaleda US govt, through the US Army Pacific, in collaboration with the Bangladesh government and the Armed Forces Division is conducting the 2012 DREE to prepare both countries for a catastrophic earthquake in Bangladesh.

The DREE will be conducted in Dhaka by USARPAC and AFD in collaboration with the US embassy in Dhaka from 17 to 20 September. Additional US participants include the Oregon National Guard, 18th Medical Command, Tripler Army Medical Centre and the US Army Corps of Engineers. A press release of the US embassy said the exercise is being funded by the US Pacific Command. The exercise will be led by the

US Army Pacific Civil-Military Operations Department and the US Army Corps. The press release said that DREE is important to both the Bangladeshi and American communities because it showcases efforts to prepare for

disasters before they occur. By preparing ahead of time, each country can mitigate issues that may arise before an actual disaster takes place, leaving them more prepared to provide vital public services in accordance with the citizens’ demand. The DREE will emphasize field preparedness to a mass-casualty earthquake affecting Dhaka. The response exercise will commence with presentations focused on future

trends in disaster management and earthquake preparedness, as well as an overview of what resources already exist in Bangladesh to respond to, and recover from, largescale disasters. It will be followed by a Table Top

Exercise and Field Training Exercise. Both exercises will allow USARPAC and the Bangladesh government to test communications, practise search and rescue measures, assess complex situations and respond to medical scenarios. This is the third repetition of the DREE, and marks the first time that the USARPAC and the Bangladesh government have practiced disaster response exercises in a field environment.

BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia on Monday strongly condemned the making of a blasphemous film on Prophet Hazrat Muhammad (pbuh) and urged the US government to immediately ban the film and its screening. In a statement, the opposition leader also urged the US government to take action against the filmmaker and those who are spreading it. “We’re strongly protesting and condemning the very recent film made in the US and posted online on the life of Prophet Hazrat Muhammad (pbuh) with false, fabricated and motivated information,” she said. Mentioning that the film has hurt the religious belief and sentiment of the Muslims in the word, the BNP chief said, “We think all concerned should be respectful and tolerant to all religions for main-

taining world peace.” Referring to the killing of four people, including the US ambassador, in Libya and some vengeful reactions to the film in some other countries, Khaleda said there is no place of vengeance, extremism, unjust killing and resentful reaction in the Islam as it is a religion of peace. She condemned the revengeful attacks and urged the Muslims to exercise restrain and maintain peace.

Indian Defence Minister inaugurates CMTC

Visiting Indian Defence Minister Shri A K Anthony attended the inauguration ceremony, to lay the first bricks of the Comopsite Maritime Training Centre (CMTC) that is now currently under construction. Anthony, along with the Indian High Commissioner, D M Mulay and members of the Indian delegation visited Maafilaafushi to attend the inauguration as part of a three day visit to the country. Brigadier General Adbulla Shamal spoke during the ceremony, and stressed that India is the oldest friend of the Maldives. Shamal further stated that India has always been the quickest to respond in times of need and highlighted the 1988 coup and the Tsunami disaster of

2004. The Brigadier general also praised the Indian government for the benefits of the annual shared training exercise “Dosti” set up to increase the magnitude of the Maldives’ military.

Indian Sikhs priest Mal Singh (C) carries the Guru Granth Sahib, the holy book of the Sikh religion, during a procession from two holy buildings the Gurdwara Ramsar to the Sri Akal Takhat - at the Golden Temple in Amritsar on September 1, 2012. The procession took place for the 408th anniversary of the installation of the Guru Granth Sahib, the holy book of the Sikh religion.


Saarc international I Thursday 20 September 2012

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31

The 40-year-old toy cars Collector

Collecting models of cars his collection is more than 4000 in quantity which he claim as the biggest collection of Toy Cars in Pakistan. “ During my childhood, toy cars were available for Rs10. Now they cost between Rs150 to Rs200” Aamir Ashfaq, Pakistani toy collector What makes his passion unique is that is not a ten-year-old rather he is 40-year-old. Collecting model cars since childhood. Based in Lahore Pakistan,he managed to collect more than 4000 model cars over the course of 32 years. Aamir started collecting cars when he was only eight years old. It was quite difficult to collect a large

number of die-cast cars in Pakistan because of their non-availability. Can’t explain why, but he is really attracted to cars and feel extremely happy when in his toy-car showroom. Aamir pursuit may not have gone far enough to earn a World Record, but no doubt such a collection is still unique in Pakistan. Over the years, he managed to collect model cars linked to famous personalities — Among his collection cars modeled after the wheels that James Bond, Mr. Bean, Michael Knight and Batman would choose to drive. Aamir also have models of luxury cars, antique cars, classic cars, vintage cars, sports cars, muscle cars, formula 1 cars, NASCAR and

Matchbox, Hot Wheels, Majorette, Corgi, Johnny Lightening, Burago, Tomica, Jada Toys, Real Toy, Norev, Maisto, Welly, Siku, Kinsmart etc. which are Made in USA, England, Germany, Italy, France, Portugal, Greece, Japan, Hong Kong, Thailand, Malaysia, India, China, Taiwan and Macao. American vehicles have always tempted me, so model cars of famous brands like Chevrolet, Buick, Oldsmobile, Cadillac, Pontiac, Chrysler, Plymouth, Dodge, Jeep feature very prominently in

Aamir Ashfaq from Lahore, Pakistan.

movie cars like Knight Rider, Back to the Future, Gone in 60 Seconds, The Italian Job, Fast & Furious

Series etc. Among Aamir’s possession of cars numerous brands, including

my display. Furthermore, British, Italian, French, German, Japanese, Swedish, Australian automobile models are also the part of my extensive collection. Every toy car is equally important for me. Aamir is married and have three lovely daughters (Iman, Rimsha and Asma) who help him in his passion. To find out more about Aamir collection of toy cars, visit website: http://www.mytoycars.weebly.com Continued from page 1 >>

Islamophobia reached its peak? embassies and schools in around 20 countries, fearing subsequent violence, according to AFP. French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius announced special security measures “in all the countries where this could pose a problem.” French politicians and religious leaders have called for calm at the decision to publish the images amidst violent worldwide Muslim protests against the American-made film “Innocence of Muslims” that have been raging since last week. Approximately 40 people have been killed in the wake of the violence across the globe. Any representation of Mohammed is considered insulting and blasphemous under Islamic law. The French government condemned the publication as needlessly provocative, while at the same time urging for cooler heads to prevail. French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault’s office said in a statement, “In the current

climate, the prime minister wishes to stress his disapproval of all excess and calls on everyone to behave responsibly.” “Freedom of expression constitutes one of the fundamental principles of our republic. Such freedom is exercised within the framework of the law and under the supervision of the courts,” the PM said. Dalil Boubakuer, rector of Paris’s Grand Mosque issued “a call for calm” to members of the Muslim faith, while expressing his sadness over the magazine’s act. “I learn with much astonishment, sadness and concern that a publication could exacerbate the outcry in the Muslim world,” he said. “I call on all not to pour oil on the fire.” “But I regret that incitement to religious hatred is not punishable by law is as incitement to racial hatred. We appealed to the District Court of Paris after the cartoons Charlie Hebdo published in 2006, but our complaint was not upheld.”

Al-Qaeda a ‘creation of the US and Britain’

it never appears to have occurred to Washington that once Russia was out of the way, Bin Laden’s organisation would turn its attention to the west. Now MP George Galloway has claimed al-Qaida terrorists have been trained in Britain by our troops. The Bradford Respect politician believes “al-Qaida are a creation of ours”. He claimed in his latest YouTube podcast that Britain “financed, armed and trained” the terror operatives to fight the Russians in the 1980s. Galloway, 58, said: “Al-Qaida

were only ever in Afghanistan because we helped to send them there. “We armed them, financed them, called them heroes and freedom fighters. We trained them in Fort William in Scotland.” Shortly before his untimely death, former British Foreign Secretary Robin Cook told the House of Commons that “Al Qaeda” is not really a terrorist group but a database of international mujaheddin and arms smugglers used by the CIA and Saudis to funnel guerrillas, arms, and money into Soviet-occupied Afghanistan.

Continued from page 31 >>

India beat Afghanistan by 23 runs

The Afghans, batting with gay abandon, raced to a comfortable 75-2 in the 12th over before a late collapse saw the non-Test side being bowled out for 136 with three balls to spare. Mohammad Nabi was the star batsman with an aggressive 31 off 17 balls with two boundaries and as many sixes, while Karim Sadiq made 26 and skipper Nawroz Mangal chipped in with 22. Seamer Lakshmipathy Balaji and left-arm spinner Yuvraj Singh claimed three wickets each and offspinner Ravichandran Ashwin took two, but India were fortunate to emerge unscathed from the group A match. The Afghans continued to attack till the end, but the loss of regular wickets cost them an unlikely win. Tall left-arm seamer Shapoor Zardan gave the Afghans a superb start when he removed openers

Gautam Gambhir and Virender Sehwag by the fifth over with only 22 runs on the board. But Afghanistan, playing their second World Twenty20, were let down by a shoddy display in the field, dropping four catches, two of them return catches by Mohammad Nabi. Yuvraj, who opened his account with a six, put on 46 for the third wicket with Kohli before he was caught at third-man off spinner Karim Sadiq. Skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni hit a four and six off the final two deliveries to carry India past the 150-run mark. India play defending champions England next in Colombo on Sunday. Afghanistan await England at the same venue on Friday. The top two teams from the group will advance to the Super Eights round.

England beat Pakistan by 15 runs in final warm-up Zimbabwe could never cope with Mendis’s unreadable deliveries and they collapsed like a pack of cards in pursuit of the daunting target of 183 set by Sri Lanka at Mahinda Rajapaksa Stadium. T20 World Cup: Pakistan beat India Pakistan beat India during the World Twenty20 warm-up match at the R. Premadasa Crickte Stadium in Colombo. Akmal scored 92 runs out of just 52 balls giving the crowd a lot to cheer for including five fours and

six sixes. Mohammad Hafeez and Shoaib Malik both scored 38 runs, while Shahid Afridi was dismissed for 0. India started off strong with

Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir but were bowled out by Umar Gul for 10 and Afridi for 26 respectively.


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South Asia Tribune I Thursday 20 September 2012

India beat Afghanistan by 23 runs An uneasy win for IndiaStadium against Afghanistan here on Wednesday.

Comeback man Yuvraj Singh provided three crucial breakthroughs but India were far from convincing as they launched their ICC World Twenty20 campaign with a scrappy 23-run victory over minnows Afghanistan at R Premadasa

India, sent in to bat, took advantage of their rivals’ butter-fingered display to recover from a bad start and post 159-5, with Virat Kohli top-scoring with Continued on page 31 >> 50 off 38 balls.

SAT

Sports

England beat Pakistan by 15 runs in final warm-up Reigning World Twenty20 champions England overcame a batting failure to bounce back and defeat Pakistan by 15 runs in a warm-up match in Colombo on Wednesday. England, shot out for 111 after electing to take first strike, hit back to restrict Pakistan to 96-9 on a bowler-friendly pitch at the P. Sara Oval. Danny Briggs, a 21-year-old leftarm spinner, claimed three wickets

four for 14 and Raza Hasan and Yasir Arafat took two wickets each. England take on Afghanistan in their first Group A match at the Premadasa stadium in Colombo on Friday, before meeting India at the same venue on Sunday.

for 15 runs after being asked to open the bowling by England’s captain Stuart Broad. Seamer Jade Dernbach finished with three for 14 as Pakistan’s batsmen faltered against both pace and spin. Asad Shafiq’s 20 was the highest score as seven batsmen failed to reach double figures. England had themselves failed with the bat, losing their last five wickets in the space of eight deliveries. Luke Wright’s 38 off 36 balls was the only notable contribution as off-spinner Saeed Ajmal grabbed

Tuesday. Sri Lanka cruise to win over Zimbabwe in opener Spinner Ajantha Mendis took a record six wickets for just eight runs as hosts Sri Lanka humbled Zimbabwe in the opening match of the World Twenty20 on Tuesday. Mendis, 27, marked his international return after an eight-month injury lay-off with the devastating haul to wreck Zimbabwe for 100 in 17.3 overs in the Group C match in Hambantota.

Published by Saarc International

Pakistan will travel to Pallekele for their two group D games against New Zealand on Sunday and Bangladesh on

Continued on page 31 >>

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