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Europe’s Islamophobia

It gives me great pleasure to send you this message of greetings. The Government wants Britain to become a more integrated society, where we celebrate the things we have in common. These include a soceity where every one can achieve their aspirations and realise their potentials, irrespective of their back ground where everyone plays their part in social, civic and economic life toghether and where behaviors run counter to our shared values can be chalenged: Prime Minster David Cameron (Message for the Conference)

“I hope that all the delegates at the SOAS and Social Cohesion Conference have an enjoyable day tackling what is clearly one of the most significant political and social issues of our generation. I am sure this conference will provide an excellent forum for an exchange of ideas and thought provoking debate.” Nick Clegg MP, Deputy Prime Minister (Message for the Conference)

The audience attended and invited from the diplomatic/ambassadorial, commercial/industrial, political/social & media/ press high profile circles, to share their own insight in the changing social environment based upon an evolution. South Asia Tribune weekly newspaper conceptualized and sponsored the conference; it was managed by associate EMMA. Full coverage of the Conference with pictures inside pages 16-17.

UK shuts Iran’s embassy Expels diplomats Foreign Secretary William Hague has ordered the immediate closure of Iran’s embassy in London and all diplomatic staff must leave the UK within 48 hours.

It comes a day after protesters stormed the British mission in the capital Tehran. Mr Hague told the House of Commons the British embassy has been closed and all staff have safely left the country.

Workers were forced to flee to safety after dozens of hardline students smashed windows, torched cars and burnt Union flags as they attacked the British Embassy and another British Continued on page 5 >>

100,000-pound fine PressTV: Ofcom Despite threats to close down Press TV, the British government’s broadcasting regulator has imposed a 100,000-pound fine reports Press TV. Ofcom announced last month that it has decided to remove the Iranian English-language news network from the Sky platform under the pretext that Press TV made administrative errors

in its application for a license in 2007. However, in its latest move, the regulator has decided to impose the 100,000pound fine for what it calls Press TV’s infringement of a journalist’s privacy.

Ofcom claims Press TV violated the regulator’s broadcasting codes by airing a 10-second soundbite belonging to the journalist, Maziar Bahari, in 2009. Recent documents released by WikiLeaks revealed that US and UK diplomats had explored ways to limit the operations of Press TV in Britain.

German court: Ruled against Muslim prayer in Berlin high school.

A federal court in Leipzig ruled on appeal Wednesday that a Muslim student’s religious freedom to pray should be restricted during school hours in order to preserve “peace” at his Berlin high school where many different religions are represented. In 2007, the student Yunus M. sued his high school in the Berlin neighborhood of Wedding after the principal forbade him from praying on his knees in the school hallway. The highest court in the region Berlin-Brandenburg had ruled in 2009 that the now 18-year-old Yunus had the right to pray on school grounds during his break from class. His high school subsequently granted him a special room for midday prayer, one of the five required daily prayers in Islam.

But the state of Berlin appealed the ruling out of concern that daily prayer would disturb the high school’s routine and jeopardize its religious neutrality. Although the federal court in Leipzig overturned the original confirmation of M.’s religious rights, it said the ruling was based on an individual case and that the state normally has to allow religious freedom in schools. Because the case concerns fundamental civil rights, the court permitted Yunus M. to lodge an appeal in the Constitutional Court. M.’s lawyer said they would wait until they had seen the written judgment.


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South Asia Tribune I Thursday 01 December 2011

Britain hit by public sector strikes

• Unions claim solid public support for strike • 58% of state schools closed in England, Department for Education says • Third of civil servants on strike, according to ministers • No delays at major airports despite walkout by border staff The government warned on Wednesday of further damage to the economy. Up to two million public sector workers have begun strike action in protest over planned Government changes to pensions - but disruption so far has been less than expected. Contingency plans in place at major airports, transport hubs and hospitals have swung into action, minimising the effects. Frantic efforts to cover border agency staff at major airports including Heathrow have seen a “significant” number of civil servants volunteering to provide cover and no queues have so far been reported. Hospital staff and workers on the Mersey tunnels Publisher Salah Bu Khamas (UAE) Sabha Khan (UK) UK Office 10 Courtenay Road, Wembley, Middlesex, HA9 7ND UK Phone: +44 20 8904 0617 Fax: +44 20 8181 7575 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 Phone +91 2632 222209 / 222211 Fax: +91 2632 222212 Post Box No. 98 /108 United Arab Emirates Office S.K. Group of Companies P.O. Box 9021, Karama Dubai, United Arab Emirates Tel: +971 4 2659970, 3359929; Fax: +971 4 2659971, 3341609 www.sk-groupofcompanies.com Managing Editor & CEO Mohammad Shahid Khan Group Editorial Managers Gulzar Khan (India) Abdul Khalique (Pakistan) Editorial Board UK Frances Brunner FYI Tribune team Adrian Fellar Misbah Khan Reema Shah Rohma Khan Keziah-Ann Abakah Art Department UK Ali Ansar (Art Director) Md. Reazul Islam

were among the first to take action from midnight on Wednesday, setting up picket lines and displaying banners and posters attacking the Government’s pension reforms. Courts, government offices, schools, jobcentres, driving tests and ports are all also being hit in what was billed as the biggest day of industrial action since the 1979 Winter of Discontent. More than 1,000 rallies and demonstrations will take place across the UK with the biggest march in the heart of the capital this afternoon. Thousands are expected to join the protest calling on the Government to think again on pensions and pay. A great round up of the results in a number of polls from LV09: • Evening Standard - Do you think Wednesday’s strike by public sector workers is justified? Yes 32% No 68% • BBC - Do you think Wednesday’s strike by public sector workers is justified? Yes 61% No 39% • Guardian - Do you support the 30 November strikes? Yes 79.3% No 20.7% • Daily Mail - Do you support the public sector strikes today? Yes 90% No 10%

George Osborne plots collision course with Wednesday’s picket lines Staff warned of pay cuts on eve of mass strike Chancellor’s threat could scupper hopes of a deal on pensions, warn union bosses Brendan Barber, the general secretary of the TUC, has warned of further strikes if the Government does not return to negotiations over changes to

public debt rather than boost pension funds. Referring to the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement, he added: “We are told that after two years of a pay freeze, public sector workers pay will be held down for a further two years. In what appeared a deliberately provocative move, the Chancellor, George Osborne, said the Government would limit public sector pay rises to one per cent until 2015. GEORGE Osborne painted a bleak picture of further job cuts, belowinflation pay rises and delayed retirement in an uncompromising message about the state of Britain’s economy, on the eve of the biggest public-sector mass strike for a generation. Speaking as figures showed flatlining Britain will have to borrow £111 billion more over the next four years, the Chancellor declared he “cannot afford” to maintain the public sector in its present state and warned it may “prove hard” to avoid a second recession in three years. As tens of thousands of public-sector workers stay at home today, Mr Osborne

sector staff, from 66 to 67, by 2026. The move will affect anyone below the age of 52. That reflected the mood of the Chancellor’s autumn statement yesterday, in which he made it clear Britain’s recovery from the debt crisis would drag on for years, with Treasury officials pencilling in public-sector cuts as far ahead as 2017. Spending more money “this country can’t afford”, Mr Osborne said, was like “the promises of a quack doctor selling a miracle cure”. His bleak outlook came as the government’s official independent forecaster, the Office of Budget Responsibility (OBR), revealed this year had been the toughest on disposable household budgets since the end of the Second World War, with families’ spending power falling by 2.3 per cent compared with 2010. It blamed rising food and energy costs, which have dented household spending plans. The OBR said it would be 2013 before households generally began to feel wealthier. The markets remained largely neutral

workers’ pensions. The union leader said the Coalition had spurned repeated opportunities to resolve the pensions issues which led to Wednesday’s strike. Speaking by the picket line at St Pancras Hospital, he said the attack on public sector pensions was intended to tackle

warned that by 2017, nearly 750,000 will have lost their jobs. Those that remain in work, he said, could expect threadbare pay rises of only 1 per cent, following the end of the current pay freeze. Meanwhile, the state pension age will rise for both public and private

on Mr Osborne’s plans, with the FTSE up marginally. But an ITV/ComRes poll found 52 per cent of adults thought the government “has lost control of the economy”, with 32 per cent disagreeing and 16 per cent saying they did not know.

Russia’s new radar to monitor all Europe including Britain On Tuesday, President Dmitry Medvedev put a radar station on combat alert in the Kaliningrad oblast , a western Russian exclave. This is Russia’s reaction to NATO’s plans to deploy Missile Defense systems in Eastern Europe despite Russia’s objections. Russia is awaiting the reaction of the West and is ready for further discussions on Missile Defense. The new station plays a significant role in the complex of measures, which Russia takes in response to the growing power of the US missile defense system. The radar station in the Kaliningrad region will be put into service of the air defense system on November 29, Viktor Esin, the former chief of Russia’s missile troops told Izvestia newspaper. The over-the-horizon missile warning radar VoronezhDM is situated in the settlement of Pionerskoye of the Kaliningrad region. According to Viktor Yesin, the station will monitor the western direction on the distance of up to 6,000 kilometers. “The radar virtually covers all of Europe, including Great Britain,” the official said.

The station will be able to detect all missiles launched in Europe and monitor airspace in western areas from the North Pole to the north of Africa. The radar station of the new generation was developed at the Moscow Research Institute of Long-Distance Radio Communication. Unlike the stations of the previous generation, Voronezh-DM consists of only 23 blocks of equipment. The new station consumes 40 percent less electric power. It is possible to redeploy the radar station quickly, if necessary. Russia has a similar radar station operating in the south,

the Krasnodar region. Another station like that will be ready in 2012 in the Irkutsk region (Siberia). The radar station in the Kaliningrad enclave can serve for 20 years and be modernized afterwards. Last week, President Dmitry Medvedev released a harsh statement in connection with USA’s refusal to guarantee that its missile defense system would not be aimed against Russia. The president ordered the Defense Ministry to put the radar station in the Kaliningrad region in operation and strengthen the defense of strategic nuclear forces.


South Asia Tribune I Thursday 01 December 2011

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Imran Khan reveals about failed marriage

‘I almost lost the will to live’: Imran Khan reveals torment over breakup of his marriage to Jemima Goldsmith Former Pakistan cricketer Imran Khan has spoken of ‘losing the will to live’ after the break-up of his marriage to heiress Jemima Goldsmith. He said the six months leading to the divorce and the six months after was the ‘hardest year of my life.’ Speaking for the first time about his nine-year marriage, Mr Khan admitted not seeing their two sons - Sulaiman and Kasim, then aged eight and five caused him deep anguish. He said: ‘I loved fatherhood more than anything I had ever experienced in life...now not having them around was the hardest thing to come to terms with. ‘For the first time I began to understand how people could lose

power, Mr Khan writes how politics and family life failed to mix after he married Miss Goldsmith in 1995 when he was 43 and she was 21. ‘My greatest sacrifice for being in

him, was faced with allegations that she was part of a Zionist plot to take over Pakistan. “Poor Jemima, as well as putting up with the whole Zionist plot

was ‘raked over’ in the media. He recalled how critics would attack her to get at him. ‘Hard for anyone, this kind of treatment was particularly distressing for somebody

the will to live. The children’s obvious distress exacerbated the misery. Seeing Sulaiman’s pain doubled my pain. I missed them terribly. Nothing filled the void.’ In a new book on his rise to political

politics was not always being able to spend as much time as I wanted to with my family,’ he is quoted in the Daily Telegraph. Meanwhile his wife, who had converted to Islam when she married

story, had to see endless articles criticising, mocking and ridiculing her husband,” he says. Jemima, ‘wished I had never gone into politics,’ he writes. He had become the butt of jokes and his private life

like Jemima, who was naturally shy and sensitive.’ She returned to Britain with the boys to study a course on modern Islam at university and the couple finally divorced in 2004.

Mr Khan’s sons visit him in Pakistan during their school holidays while he stays with his former mother-in-law, Lady Annabel Goldsmith, when he comes to London to see them. The legendary former cricket captain reveals his relief that the ‘burden of Jemima’s unhappiness’ was lifted from him after they parted. He writes: ‘If there’s one thing worse than seeing a loved one leave, it’s seeing a loved one unhappy.’ Mr Khan admits that he now realises his wife may have been too young and inexperienced to cope with the challenges of his political career. He writes: ‘It pained me that she had to endure all the suffering that divorce entails. She gained two

beautiful sons, though, and a second home in Pakistan, where she was much loved.’ Book review in side on page …

Keep Up The Pressure For Babar Ahmed Caroline Lucas MP calls for Public Inquiry into CPS handling of Babar Ahmad case

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he Free Babar Ahmad (FBA) Campaign supports Dr Caroline Lucas MP’s call for a full public inquiry into the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) after learning that it has admitted for the first time that it was never shown the evidence in relation to Babar Ahmad upon which it could have made a decision to prosecute him here.

Dr Lucas made her comments in a Westminster Hall debate on extradition and putting Babar Ahmad on trial in the UK. She made the claim based on a letter dated 22nd November in which the CPS states that the police did not send them the evidence on which Babar Ahmad is being prosecuted in the US, for it to make a decision. Instead the police, having searched Babar Ahmad’s house in December 2003 and detained him under the Terrorism Act for six days, sent the evidence to the US. It appears that no review has ever taken place in this country of the evidence that was sent to the US, even though it was all seized by the Metropolitan Police in London for the then claimed purpose of investigating offences in the UK.

The Free Babar Ahmad Campaign welcomed Jane Ellison MP’s comments during the debate that the Backbench Business Committee was

“more than happy to hear further representations in the future from other backbenchers for time in the Chamber to return to the subject”.

The father of Babar Ahmad, Ashfaq Ahmad stated: “It is quite shocking to learn that the CPS made no effort to examine the evidence seized from Babar’s home but instead simply outsourced our criminal justice system to the US. Had it examined the evidence, then it could quite easily have prosecuted Babar in the UK.” “We support Dr Lucas’ call for a public enquiry into the behaviour of the CPS and reiterate our call for a full review by the Director of Public Prosecutions of all the evidence in this case with a view to putting Babar on trial in the UK.” “We welcome the consensus of the 35 MPs who attended the debate for the matter to be listed for a full debate in the main Chamber of the House of Commons.”


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EDITORIAL ‘damp squib’ Mr Cameron branded the industrial action “irresponsible and damaging” and on Wednesday he told the House of Commons that support among public sector workers had been far from universal. The public sector strike on November 30th, most definitely is the largest strike in the UK since the general strike of 1926. Two to three million workers could tooke part in defence of pension rights under brutal assault by the Tory-led Coalition government, following overwhelming yes votes in ballots by thirty unions. Public opinion is strongly in support of the strikes despite desperate attempts by the government to isolate those taking action. Mr Miliband said this morning: “I’m not going to condemn public servants who feel they’re in an impossible position. It is the Government’s failure that has led to today’s strike.” Yet, and this is the final answer to the question ‘why strike?’, all of this cynical positioning by the Labour leadership constantly erodes its relationship with ordinary trade unionists. It was they who put Ed Miliband where he is, but they are not mere cannon fodder for the leadership. Labour’s weak response means that it cannot offer a parliamentary strategy for resisting the cuts, and nor does it have the credibility in the labour movement to persuade people to hold their fire and wait for the election. An opinion poll commissioned by BBC News suggests more than 60% of people believe public sector workers are justified in going on strike later this week over changes to their pensions. It also indicates large numbers feel pessimistic about the economy, so are we heading into a financial storm? The poll also suggests almost four out of five of us - 79% - do not expect our personal financial situation to get any better in the next year. Almost a third of us think it will get worse, one-in-five expect an improvement. So who do we blame for all this? Telegraph readers are in line with the Government. According to their poll 67 per cent have said “strikers are wrong and their action is damaging” and 24 per cent have pledged support to the strikers. Whichever government spin doctor came up with the idea of labelling the latest pensions offer “generous” and strikers “irresponsible” failed to think through how badly this would play with women. Or perhaps the ministers they advise still don’t get who the great majority of the teachers, healthcare workers and civil servants walking out really are. Two-thirds of public service workers – are women and they are so concerned and so angry. These workers make up the core of what has become known as the “squeezed middle”. Last week, the prime minister said that if the strikes went ahead “people will know who to blame”. These two-thirds of public service workers do know this well.

South Asia Tribune I Thursday 01 December 2011

Syria committed crimes against humanity: UN report A

United Nations commission of inquiry on Syria said on Monday Syrian military and security forces had committed crimes against humanity including murder, torture and rape and the government of President Bashar al-Assad bore responsibility. The panel, which interviewed 223 victims and witnesses including defectors, called on Syria to halt the “gross human rights violations”, release prisoners rounded up in mass arrests and allow media, aid workers and rights monitors access to the country. Syria is “responsible for wrongful acts, including crimes against humanity, committed by members of its military and security forces as documented in the present report,” the threemember panel said in a 39-page report to the U.N. Human Rights Council. It catalogues executions, torture, rapes including of children, arbitrary detentions and abductions carried out since March

by Syrian forces quashing prodemocracy demonstrations while enjoying “systemic impunity” for their crimes, it said. “The commission therefore believes that orders to shoot and otherwise mistreat civilians originated from policies and directives issued at the highest levels of the armed forces and the government,” said the team, led by

Brazilian expert Paulo Pinheiro. More than 3,500 people have been killed in the violence, according to the United Nations, while activists say that up to 30,000 have been arrested, many kept in open-air stadiums. The U.N. Security Council stopped short of taking action against Syria when China and Russia vetoed a resolution

in October. After continuing international criticism of Assad’s handling of the crisis, the Arab League approved sanctions against Syria on Sunday. On Monday, tens of thousands of Syrians protested in state-backed rallies against the sanctions, the toughest imposed by the Arab League against one of its own members.

Mirza, Lord Nazir attacked in Manchester on way to TV interview in Cheetham Hill

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ormer home minister Sindh Dr. Zulfiqar Mirza and Lord Nazir almost became victim of an attack when they had been to an event at the Rajam Banqueting Hall, and, in a group, drove to another venue on Cheetham Hill Road when three men approached them while they were getting out of the car. Some five unidentified men holding iron rods in their hand tried to attack Mirza and Lord Nazir when they were going to the car along with five supporters. Both the leaders remained unhurt in the incident, however, three supporters were injured in the attack. The attackers managed to escape from the scene. Mirza and Lord Nazir have moved a complaint with Manchester police and they were assured that the attackers would be identified through CCTV footage. Later talking to newsmen,

Mirza said such attacks could not affect his London mission which solely revolved around Altaf Hussain and his party. Former Sindh home minister Dr Zulfikar Mirza remained unhurt but his host was injured when a group of five people attacked him with iron rods when he was about to get into his car after attending a ceremony in the British city of Manchester. Dr Mirza`s media coordinator Habib Jan Baloch said on Saturday that the attackers managed to run away from the spot, but claimed that police were expected to arrest them soon because their footage had been obtained from CCTV. Mr Jan said the former minister ducked when the armed men of Asian origin attacked him. However, he said, unfortunately Mazhar Bukhari, an official and presenter of DM channel, received injuries because he was

standing behind Dr Mirza. Dr Mirza submitted a threepage statement to the UK police and nominated Muttahida Qaumi Movement chief Altaf Hussain, Sindh Governor Dr Ishratul Ibad and Federal Interior Minister Rehman Malik as masterminds of the attack. “The attack was a joint venture of all the three nominated persons who are British national and was aimed at stopping him from carrying out his mission to expose the killers of innocent Pakistanis,” Mr Jan said. He said that Dr Mirza had also told police that the three people should be held responsible, if he was harmed in any such attack in future. Moreover, he said, Dr Mirza had informed Scotland Yard that he was suspending his political and other activities for 10 days because of advent of Muharram. However, he said, Dr Mirza

would be available to assist police in connection with investigations into the murder of MQM leader Dr Imran Farooq, if required. It may be mentioned that National Assembly Speaker Dr Fehmida Mirza had joined her husband who had been lobbying against the MQM in the UK for the past one week. A police spokesman said the offenders were three Asian men. One of them was about 30, 6ft, of heavy build and wearing a light blue top and a hood pulled over his head. The second man was about 25, 5ft 6in, slim and wearing a light coloured top, which was pulled over his head.The third man also had a hood pulled over his head. Anyone with information can call police on 0161 856 3914 or the independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.


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Arab League approves unprecedented Syria sanctions The Arab League has approved unprecedented sanctions against Syria to pressure the regime to end its deadly eight-month crackdown on dissent. Damascus slammed the move as a betrayal of Arab solidarity.

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atari Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim al-Thani said 19 of the Arab League’s 22 members voted to ban prominent Syrian regime officials “from travelling to Arab countries and to freeze their accounts in Arab countries.” The bloc’s members will also stop dealing with the Syrian Central Bank and suspend economic trade with the Damascus government, with the exception of foodstuffs, he said.

Iraq had abstained from the vote, and refused to implement it, while Lebanon “disassociated itself” from the decision, he said. The decision also called on Arab central banks to monitor transfers to Syria, except remittances from Syrians abroad to their families. The Arab League had set a Friday deadline for Damascus to agree to an observers’ mission, part of a reform deal Syria had previously said it accepted.

Italy backs sanctions against Iran, Russia opposed New Italian FM supports US sanctions on Tehran’s financial systems with “full conviction”; Russia calls them “contradictory to international law”; Iran says sanctions futile Russia’s Foreign Ministry denounced the sanctions as “unacceptable and contradictory to international law,” Interfax news agency reported. US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner made an official announcement on Monday afternoon detailing the series of new sanctions against Tehran, focusing on Iran’s money-raising activities. Geithner declared the Central Bank of Iran to be a “primary money laundering concern,” a step short of official sanctions that would require the United States to cut off access to any foreign institution that does business with the bank.

Anders Behring Breivik 150,000 Iran missiles awaiting Israel declared insane

Man who confessed to murders of 77 people in Norway could face psychiatric care rather than prison Psychiatrists tasked with determining the mental state of Anders Behring Breivik when he carried out twin attacks in Norway have found he was insane at the time of the crime, the VG daily reported Tuesday on its website. If confirmed, this would mean that the rightwing extremist who killed 77 people four months ago cannot be sentenced to prison but must undergo psychiatric care in a closed mental institution. “The court-appointed psychiatrists have concluded that Anders Behring Breivik was sick when he killed 77 people,” VG writes, without revealing its sources. Parts of the psychiatrists’ evaluation of Anders Behring Breivik may be explained in court, according to attorney Svein Holden. Court Psychiatrist Torgeir Husby will personally show up in court in Oslo Tuesday to hand over the completed report to the court, defense attorneys

and police. So far it has been expected that only the report’s conclusion will be made public. Husby has worked together with court psychiatrist Synne Sørheim on the report after July 22, in an attempt to map out the man who is behind the mass killings at Utøya, and the bomb attack in Oslo. The goal has been to evaluate Breivik’s state of mind at the time of the offense, and wether or not he can claim an insanity defense. In a press conference on Tuesday, the attorneys in charge of Breivik’s trial

will announce the conclusion of the report. Holden says that they may also give a brief explanation of why the psychiatrists came to the conclusion that they did, as well as comment on aspects of their evaluation. Although the full content of the 230-page report will remain confidential, Holden’s comments indicate that at least some of its content may become known to the public. Sørheim and Husby have had 13 conversations with Breivik in total, as well as access to a significant amount of documentation and material from the investigation. Normally, psychatric reports for the court are between 50 and 100 pages, and Husby describes this one as extraordinary. ”It can’t be compared to other reports,” he says, ”it so different both in terms of quantity and quality. If the report concludes that Breivik can be held criminally accountable, he may be sentenced to 21 years in prison, with up to 21 years of detainment.

Defense Minister Brigadier General Ahmad Vahidi says Iran will teach Israel a good lesson if the entity tries to attack the Islamic Republic. Vahidi said on Sunday that Israel will not have a minimal chance of survival after venturing a military attack against Iran, as Iranian armed forces will pound all of Israel with thousands of missiles, Fars News Agency reported. “The enemy must answer this question, if it attacks Iran, for how long a battle and losing how many of its warships and vessels has it prepared itself?” “Why is the Zionist regime making threats (against Iran)? How many missiles have they prepared

themselves for? 10,000? 20,000? 50,000? 100,000? 150,000 or more?” the Iranian defense minister asked. He advised the US and its allies to realize Iran’s incredible might and know that in the event of a war the Islamic Republic will teach the Americans what war really is and what soldiers are supposed to be like. Vahidi said Iranian armed forces will not hesitate to defend the country’s sovereignty, adding that if the Zionist regime decides to carry out its threats against Iran, Basij forces will take out revenge [on the entity] for years of [the entity] bullying oppressed nations.” The United States and Israel have repeatedly threatened Tehran with the “option” of a military strike, based on the allegation that Iran’s nuclear work may consist of a covert military agenda. Iran has refuted the allegations, saying that as a signatory to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and a member of the IAEA, it has the right to develop and acquire nuclear technology for peaceful purposes.

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UK shuts Iran’s embassy Expels diplomats

compound in Tehran on Tuesday. Mr Hague said Tehran should be “ashamed” of the events that took place. He added: “If any country makes it impossible for us to operate on their soil they cannot expect to have a functioning embassy here. Britain has begun to withdraw some members of staff from its embassy in Tehran following the storming of the mission by protestors, the Foreign Office in London said Wednesday. Meanwhile, Norway announced on November 30 that it has temporarily shut its embassy in Tehran due to “security concerns,” but said it was not withdrawing its diplomatic staff from Iran. A British Foreign Office spokesman would not confirm how many people were involved in the staff withdrawal, or whether the embassy would remain open. Foreign Secretary William Hague was expected to make a statement in parliament

on the issue later Wednesday. He has warned Iran of “serious consequences” of its “failure” to protect diplomatic staff in accordance with international law. ‘Iran police secures release of UK embassy hostages’ 6 British embassy employees freed after being taken hostage by protesting students in northern Tehran, FARS reports; police fired tear gas to disperse crowds at central embassy compound. The Iranian protester have just taken 6 people as hostages in the British embassy compound in Tehran, Reuters reported. Iranian protesters had enetered the embassy earlier today and had removed the mission’s flag, replacing it with an Iranian one, an AFP journalist at the scene reported. The dozens of protesters were also shown live on Iranian state television throwing stones at embassy windows, breaking them, and one was seen climbing the wall with a looted portrait of

Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II. Riot police later moved in and mounted the embassy gates, helping protesters climb back on the street outside, television pictures showed, and began to slowly clear demonstrators. The incident followed Britain’s imposition of new sanctions on the Islamic state last week over its nuclear program. London banned all British financial institutions from doing business with their Iranian counterparts, including the Central Bank of Iran, as part of a new wave of sanctions by Western countries. In London, Foreign Secretary William Hague said Britain expected other countries to follow its lead in imposing financial sanctions on Iran and will take “robust” action if Tehran reduces their diplomatic relations. Hague was speaking in a parliamentary debate as news broke of


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South Asia Tribune I Thursday 01 December 2011

‘Iran would hit Israel’s nuclear facilities if attacked’

Iranian military official tells ISNA the Islamic Republic has the capability to strike back anywhere in Israel.

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senior military advisor to Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei warned Saturday that Tehran would retaliate against an Israeli military strike by hitting back at nuclear facilities in Israel. Former head of the Guards’ Political Bureau Brigadier Yadollah Javani said, “If Israel fires [a] rocket at one of our nuclear facilities or vital centers, it should know that any point of Israel, such as its nuclear facilities, would be a target for our rockets and we have [that] capability,” Iranian news agency ISNA reported. “Today, our enemies have reached a dead-end which they cannot escape from and this is why they say things without noticing [they are making] contradictory statements,” ISNA quoted Javani as saying. “They threaten with military attack which they are incapable of [launching it]… if an entity repeatedly threatens with attack but does not have the capability

to carry it out, its threats will be rendered inert,” he added. The United States and Israel

have repeatedly threatened Tehran with the “option” of a military strike, based on the

allegation that Iran’s nuclear work may consist of a covert military agenda.

On November 6, Israeli President Shimon Peres threatened that an attack against the Islamic Republic was becoming ‘more and more likely.’ Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Minister of Military Affairs Ehud Barak have also reportedly been lobbying the Israeli cabinet to approve of a military strike on Iran. Iranian officials have promised a crushing response to any military strike against the country, warning that any such measure could result in a war that would spread beyond the Middle East. Earlier in November, Brigadier General Yahya Rahim-Safavi, who is senior military adviser to the Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei, dismissed Israeli threats saying any act of aggression would receive a response from Iran, Lebanon and Hamas.

Italy’s borrowing rates skyrocket I

taly’s borrowing rates skyrocketed during bond auctions Friday, temporarily battering stock markets in Europe as the continent’s escalating debt crisis laid siege to the eurozone’s third-largest economy. Italy’s new government under economist Mario Monti faces a battle to convince investors it has a strategy to cut down the country’s €1.9 trillion ($2.6 trillion) debt. The auction results are also likely to fuel calls for the European Central Bank to use more firepower to cool down a rapidly escalating debt crisis. Driving market fears is the knowledge that Italy is too big for Europe to bail out, like it has done with smaller nations Greece, Portugal and Ireland. Italy must refinance $200 billion by next April alone, but toohigh borrowing rates can fuel a potentially devastating debt spiral that could bankrupt the country. Friday’s auctions showed that investors see Italian debt as increasingly risky. The country had to pay an average yield of 7.814 percent to raise €2 billion ($2.7 billion) in two-

year bills — sharply higher than the 4.628 percent it paid in the previous auction in October. And even raising €8 billion ($10.7 billion) for six months proved exorbitantly expensive, as the yield for that spiked to 6.504 percent, nearly double the 3.535 percent rate last month. Following the grim auction news, Italy’s borrowing rates in the markets shot higher, with the ten-year yield spiking 0.34 percentage point to 7.30 percent — above the 7 percent threshold

that forced other nations into bailouts. Markets so far appeared to be giving Monti no honeymoon since he took power a week ago. “Mario Monti has failed so far to impress bond markets he has the power and authority to do what is required,” said Louise Cooper, markets analyst at BGC Partners. Solid returns on Wall Street then helped European markets recover from earlier losses Friday. Italy was not the only member

of the 17-nation eurozone to have a disappointing auction this week. Even Germany — the region’s strongest economy and the main funder of eurozone bailouts — suffered a shock Wednesday when it failed to raise all the money it sought, its worst auction result in decades. Spain also saw its borrowing rates ratchet sharply higher even after a landslide victory for the conservative Popular Party, which has made getting Spain’s borrowing levels down its top priority.

Contagion over Europe’s debt crisis also hit Hungary and Belgium. Moody’s downgraded Hungary’s sovereign debt to junk status, a decision that government hotly criticized. Hungary is not a member of the eurozone, but trades with many eurozone members. And the Standard & Poor’s ratings agency downgraded long-term Belgian debt on Friday, citing a threat to its exports. Monti emphasized his intention to balance Italy’s budget by 2013 and to introduce “fair but incisive” structural reforms,” his office said following a Cabinet meeting Friday. Monti also has pledged to reform the pension system, reimpose a tax on homes annulled by Berlusconi’s government, reduce tax evasion, streamline civil court proceedings, get more women and youths into the work force and cut political costs. Olli Rehn, the EU’s monetary chief, told reporters Italy’s economic fundamentals were “solid” and praised Monti’s economic reforms as “going in the right direction” but said more action was needed.


South Asia Tribune I Thursday 01 December 2011

NEWS

7

MY TRAM EXPERIENCE – RACISM’S NOT GONE...YET Adrian Felaar

T

his has been an incredible year for YouTube and Facebook – they have established themselves as media catalysts for revolutions and the depositions of dictatorial leaders; they have transmuted the way in which we communicate and interact with one another. Some times these virtual giants have wrought much good and on other occasions not so much. Nonetheless, if by now you have not seen (or heard of) YouTube’s latest and highly-controversial offering you were either languishing in an exceptionally, languorous queue at UK Border Control or in a remote part of the world where the possibility of WiFi is still a heavily discussed after-dinner topic. The “My Tram Experience” video, which features a British woman as the prima donna, is in effect a torrent of abuse: aptly timed considering that the wintery showers are primed to make their blustery entrance in the space of the ensuing weeks. The topic of her eloquent soliloquy: immigration. For the topic alone she should get a seat around the Cabinet’s table – she and the Government have a commonality in an unhealthy obsession with immigration. (I suppose the reason for this obsession is due to the popularity of bandwagons). However, on listening to the video you may be mistaken for thinking the short recording is a lesson in profanation by no less than a PhD

Marisa Paulson [Previously: ...my body recovered from forceful blows of Worthall…shadow before me, would inflict an even worse amount of pain…Flicker. Flicker. Flicker…He barred his teeth and snapped…smudges of blood across his mouth…my wrist…the BONE! The blood… everything…flicker…I plummeted to the floor…the man only seeming as another one of my imaginations…] 2. Fright Eyes widened as I gawked upon a disordered figure, me, I looked quite strange from usual. My skin looked off, like I was sick, quite pale even, I looked really ill. I groaned, my hopes of go-

in that area. The video, only two brief minutes, shows a maniacal woman lashing out at the fact that her Britain is not what. As is always the quandary with controversial outbursts is that they manufacture dichotomies, from dining tables to common

Nonetheless this woman should be commended but not in relation to her abusive and actively-racist projections. Instead she should be commended for her bravery (no, I don’t mean because a man on the tram seemed poised to mobilise his arms towards her

are fully opposed to what she said. Yet it is not our duty to choose on which side’s battlements we are too stand. Instead the underlying problem exposed here is the continued existence of passive racism. Campaigns to tackle racism have been erected

understand “wagwarn”. The statement made on the video by this misguided woman is that “Britain is nothing” due to the presence of immigrants. How I disagree with that erroneous view! Since I moved to Britain, I had never before experienced

rooms of Sixth Forms. The question is whether this woman was justified in what she said? If anything, the viral fashion in which the knowledge of the post has spread amassing over 6.2 million views in three days, I would be embarrassed by such actions. That’s an unprecendented rate. I think Chemistry could do with courting Controversy: you wouldn’t need UV light to make free radicals. Notwithstanding the woman’s possible embarrassment, I feel strongly for the innocent child sat on her lap; throughout the numerous wars and conflicts of this world – it is always the innocent who suffer.

face) in having the courage to voice out her feelings. However, it is unfortunate that she said it in such an offensive manner. This off-the cuff, coarse delivery did no favours for this woman’s cause. All it served was to highlight the ignorance and lack of education which still exists in this country. This woman has gifted us with an opportunity to debate and have a civilised discussion on issue which has its rooted firmly embedded in society. There are some who support this woman’s evaluation that with immigrants “Britain is nothing”; there are those, as ever when it comes to bones of contention, who

time and again, in the hope of eradicating racial prejudices and discrimination. Does this wish go beyond the parameters of hope? Of course not! Hope is never limited by our circumstances. Daily in our interactions with our friends we make racism into something jocular. For the sake of caution, I will not go so far as to say whether that be right or wrong. What is wrong is the unjustified and racist paroxysm of a minority of people. To echo a previous sentiment, the root of this issue is a lack of education and ignorance. How to solve the problem? Such people should be put into an AS Economics class to make them

such a kaleidoscope of cultures and traditions. It is indeed aweinspiring to wander down a high street, purvey the international cuisine on offer and be able to choose whether I want to be Thai, Mexican or Lebanese. What makes Great Britain great is our diversity and multiculturalism. After yesterday’s Autumn Statement by the Chancellor, the economy has taken a turn for the worse. In times like these we need one another so that we can present a united front. We must push these issues aside, focusing our energy on weathering the economic hurricane NOT on fruitless disagreements.

SORRY FOR YOURSELF ing to school didn’t seem likely, seemed as if I caught another infection, from somewhere. I put my index and middle fingers into the sides of my mouth and started stretching. I barred my teeth, pungent morning breath odour that mystified the bathroom mirror – slightly – stank, I gritted my teeth like a mad beast: quite yellow-ish: xanthous, but quite lighter. My face shrivelled up into a horrible frown then I removed my fingers making fists inside the basin. I clenched them hard, glancing at myself again; my eyes were hazy, dreamlike, and numb, near dead, exactly how

I felt when Worthall beat me. I looked sick. My skin was a rotten-old piece of chicken, creamy and greeny and pale and yellow, looking just like hurl, baby’s hurl. I already knew I had a low immune system, the doctor said that more than enough times, but the way I looked right now was just...weird. I turned on the tap and drowned water into my face, gawking upon myself as I pushed the skin fat up. Eyes bothered me the most, they had black bags surrounding; I didn’t have a good sleep, more like a nightmare I’d say. Yeah, a nightmare of a crazy guy biting my stupid arm off and eating it

and the flesh, the blood...it felt real. Just then I stared at my left arm and touched it, nothing was there, nothing at all, like I really did imagine everything through mind’s eye. I grunted rubbing the side of my neck; I didn’t know whether it was real or I simply dreamt it, but, but the smudges of blood across his mouth – licking, licking it – and then that throb on the wrist of my right hand...and then the... I gagged and hung over the basin again. The bone and blood on my wrist...and that pain, was just too alive! I could see everything. I did see everything... I looked at my arm

once more. So why wasn’t there anything now? I could only question these things to myself. I remembered my mother and father rushing in to check on me, I...I imagined seeing red, red things, but I wasn’t sure. This time I filled up the basin and dunked my head in all out; it was cold, soothing but cold; I blew water bubbles, losing my breath, numb, near death, like those times before. I thought about that black guy and what he did, and my arm and my…... bone, and how there was nothing now. I murmured. Oh well, I......perhaps it was all a figment of my imagination after all, guessed it was yet another thing I made up. Still...


NEWS

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South Asia Tribune I Thursday 01 December 2011

DEBATE

ENTERTAINMENT

I Think I want to marry you Keziah-Ann Abakah

marry for money, people’s marriages are still arranged and a rare few still marry for love. However in ages that have passed marriage whatever the reason was not taken lightly and divorce was not something people did for the sake of doing . People would bend over backwards to make their marriage work, exhaust all types resources before they accepted that their marriage could not be put back together and divorce was the very last of all resorts. Looking into the present age people marry as frequently if not more so than those who married in ages before but the difference lies in the length and resources used when a marriage breaks down. Gone are the days when divorce was pushed to the furthest corners of

There are some who say that it is no longer a union in which one promises to love and cherish another. There are some who say that its value is no more or less than an accessory which can be purchased at a boutique and lastly there are those who say it is a business transaction. For those who do not know and for those who are yet to learn marriage is a commitment so to you I ask this question. Does the twenty first century know the true meaning of marriage? Looking into the past it cannot be said that the reasons for marriage have not changed. Some people married for money, some people’s marriages were arranged and a rare few married for love. People still

the mind. Gone are the days when the breakdown of your marriage was sworn to secrecy amongst your family members as opposed to being discussed over a cup of coffee and no longer do people feel like they have failed if their marriage does not succeed. The purpose of looking into the past and present is simply to inform the future of the true meaning of marriage. Marriage is a commitment and all commitments should not be taken lightly. To say in this day and age that the only reason to marry is out of love this I cannot do but if you are going into marriage without the intent of making it last then its best to not marry at all. So the next time you find yourself thinking of marriage asks yourself. Do I know the true meaning of marriage?

Full Video of ‘IMA 10’

Bring together an IndianAustralian singer with an Indian-British urban producer and a South African-American rapper and the result is a potent bass-heavy, club-ready, megahit called ‘IMA 10’ The brand new single ‘IMA 10’ is the collaborative effort of the amazingly talented Hindi/Punjabi/Urban singer HarLene, super-producer Shayal, and powerhouse artist Afika Nx. The three have not only crafted a bass-heavy, clubready, mega-hit, but have in fact manufactured an entirely new genre of music. Full Video of ‘IMA 10’ http://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=0sZpUvYMjxI

FASHION

ADVICE

Gold, the most stylish, graceful and extravagant colour known to man, this glorious colour is the key to elegance this season, but remember a little can go a long way, so don’t overdo it...

Dress- £25.00; www. dorothyperkins. com

Bangles £2.99; www.hm.com

Nail Polish £6.99; www.topshop.com

Dear Miss R, My sister has always been a lively and smart person and she’s been my role model from a very young age. Recently however, she’s been acting very strange and distance. She’s been having extreme mood swings, answering back to our parents and being snippy at me. My mum thinks it’s normal for a teenage girl to act out but it’s completely uncharacteristic of her and I’m not convinced it’s just a phase. Not only has she been moody but i’m also worried she has an eating disorder as she looks very skinny and unhealthy. I’ve seen her throw out her lunches at school and even at home she barely eats. Not only that but she cycles to school and it’s winter so that’s not normal. I’m really worried about her but I don’t know what to do. Natalie Dear Natalie You have a very reason to be worried as by the sounds of it, it seems as though you’re sister is facing anorexia. This is a serious disease and serious action needs to be taken immediately. First of all you should speak to your parents and convince them to take her to a doctor. She needs medical attention as soon as possible as a serious case of anorexia is severely dangerous. Try talking to your sister and explain to her what’s wrong but keep in mind anorexic people cannot see clearly and have set their mind to becoming skinny to extreme lengths and they still find themselves fat. It is crucial you support her through this and help her fight the disorder but keep in mind it may take some time and will be difficult. Hope it all works out!

Shoes £30.00; www.ofice.co.uk Blouse £32.00; www.topshop.com Trousers- £20.00; www.riverisland.com

Miss R


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Saarc international I Thursday 01 December 2011

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

aarc S

international

Thursday, 01.12.11

NATO attack on purpose: Pak Army

Six suspected Indian Mujahideen operatives held One was arrested by the Delhi Police from Pakistan Breakthrough in 2010 attacks raises fears of renewed jihadist campaign

NATO forces were alerted

RAWALPINDI: Pakistani Major-General Ishfaq Nadeem told the press on Wednesday that the NATO air attack Tuesday that killed 24 soldiers was deliberate, and that it was “impossible” that NATO did not know the targets were Pakistani posts. A senior Pakistani army official has said a NATO cross-border air attack that killed 24 soldiers was a deliberate, blatant act of aggression, hardening Pakistan’s stance on an incident which could hurt efforts to stabilise Afghanistan. In a briefing to editors on Wednesday, Major-

General Ishfaq Nadeem, director general of military operations, also said NATO forces were alerted they were attacking Pakistani posts, but helicopters kept firing. Nadeem concluded that the communication confirmed NATO knew the locations of the Pakistani posts before attacking, Earlier on Tuesday statements were made at a media briefing by Chief of General Staff Lieutenant General Waheed Arshad and Director General (DG) Military Operations General Ashfaq that Continued on page 10 >>

Six suspected Indian Mujahideen operatives, including a Pakistani national, were arrested from across the country today due to their alleged involvement in several blast cases, including in Delhi. Delhi Police investigators have announced the arrest of a terrorist cell that they claim was responsible for a string of nationwide attacks last year — raising fears that Pakistan-based jihadist groups may be preparing for a renewed escalation of operations against India. With these arrests, investigators claimed to have solved several blast cases, including the German Bakery case in Pune Chinnaswamy Stadium blast in Bangalore and the Jama Masjid shooting case. Sources said the arrests were made in the past couple of days following investigations in Chennai. Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram told reporters on Wednesday that the six arrested men were suspected of having been “involved in February 13, 2010 German Bakery blast in Pune.” Mohammad Siddiqui was arrested by the Delhi Police from Pakistan. A member, Gaffar Aziz, was held in Delhi. Two other operatives Jameel and Azmal were arrested from Madhubani. Abdul and Irshad Khan were arrested from Chennai. Police are still on the lookout for the leader, the India operation head of terror group - Imran. Police said the modus operandi of the group was that they always operated in groups of twos. The Jama Masjid blast was an exception, where there were three terrorists on the spot.

Pakistan boycotts Bonn conference on Afghanistan’s future Deadly Nato air strikes at frontier throw into disarray US-led attempts to draw Taliban into peace talks Pakistan has decided not to attend an international conference on Afghanistan’s future scheduled to be held next week in Bonn, Germany, in protest against the Nato raid on its military outposts that led to killing of over two dozen military men. The decision was taken during the meeting of federal cabinet presided over by Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani in Lahore on Tuesday. “We want

to live with honour and dignity,” Gilani said and urged the nation to stand by government. He urged the nation to stand beside the government so that it could coup with the challenges facing by the country. Gilani also announced to convene joint session of the Parliament to discuss the situation emerging after the Nato attack. Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar briefed the participants over the situation.


NEWS

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Saarc international I Thursday 01 December 2011

Shun Iran pipeline, open up to India: US to Pakistan The US asks Pakistan to quit from the Pak-Iran gas pipeline project, saying Tehran is not a “reliable partner”, as it advises Islamabad to “open up” to India. Urging Pakistan not to forge partnerships with Iran, US Ambassador Cameron Munter suggested it would be better if Pakistan focussed on another project (TAPI) to import gas from Turkmenistan via Afghanistan. Munter’s comments came as Obama Administration, stepped up efforts to internationally isolate Tehran for its alleged nuclear weapons programme. Munter made the remarks during an interaction with students of the Lahore University of Management Sciences. The Pakistan-Iran gas pipeline project is not a “good idea” while the project to import gas from Turkmenistan is a “better idea”, he said. “Iran isn’t a reliable partner. It’s your

choice but we think it is wise to open up with India,” Munter said replying to a question from a student. Reacting to the US envoy’s remarks, Information Minister Firdous Ashiq Awan said Pakistan would not accept any “dictation” on the pipeline project with Iran. Pakistan would make all decisions on the basis of its national interests, she told reporters in Islamabad.

Munter, however, made it clear that the US did not pressurise Pakistan on such issues. Pakistan and Iran have finalised most aspects of the multi-billion dollar bilateral gas pipeline project. The US has for long opposed the project. Several meetings have also been held in the past two years on the Turkmenistan-AfghanistanPakistan-India gas pipeline project.

Anger as NATO copters kill 24 Pakistani soldiers

Pakistan-U.S. relations were back on a collision course after 24 Pakistan Army soldiers were killed and 13 injured in a dead-ofthe-night attack by North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) helicopters on border posts in the Mohmand tribal agency. Pakistan-U.S. relations were back on a collision course after 24 Pakistan Army soldiers were killed and 13 injured in a dead-ofthe-night attack by North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) helicopters on border posts in the Mohmand tribal agency. Later on Saturday, Pakistan asked the U.S. to vacate the Shamsi Airbase within 15 days and closed all NATO supply lines running through the country as an immediate response to the attack. It also decided to revisit all cooperation arrangements with the coalition forces in Afghanistan. Trucks ferrying supplies and

oil to the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan were stopped on Saturday morning itself, protests were registered with NATO and the U.S. and an emergency meeting of the Defence Committee of the Cabinet was called to formulate a response to the “unprovoked” attack that “constituted a grave infringement of Pakistan’s sovereignty.” On the instructions of Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani, Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir “called in” U.S. Ambassador Cameron Munter to lodge a strong protest. According to the Foreign Office, Mr. Munter was informed that the attack had deeply incensed the people of Pakistan. Describing the attack as violative of international law, he warned that this serious transgression of the oft-conveyed red lines could have serious repercussions on Pakistan-

U.S./NATO/ISAF cooperation. Protest lodged A strong protest has also been lodged in Washington and the NATO headquarters in Brussels. Ironically, on Friday, ISAF Commander John Allen met Chief of the Army Staff Ashfaq Parvez Kayani to discuss matters concerning coordination, communication and procedures between the Pakistan Army, the ISAF and the Afghan Army with a view to enhancing border control. Condemning the attack, Gen. Kayani said in a statement that Pakistani troops responded to the “aggression” with available weapons and directed that necessary steps be undertaken for an effective response to this “irresponsible” act. The Army, however, did not elaborate what these steps were. U.S., NATO regret While the ISAF and the U.S. expressed regrets for the loss of life and said the matter would be “thoroughly investigated,” reports from Kabul suggested that the helicopters were called in to support troops during an incident near the Afghanistan-Pakistan border. PTI reports from London: NATO said on Saturday it was “highly likely” that its aircraft were responsible for the raid. Conveying his condolences, NATO spokesman BirgadierGeneral Carsten Jacobson told the BBC that the coalition force deployed in Afghanistan was investigating the incident.

This project has been held up due to concerns about Turkmenistan’s proven gas reserves and the security situation in Afghanistan. During his address in Lahore, Munter denied a media report that he had met cricketer-turnedpolitician Imran Khan and InterServices Intelligence agency chief Lt Gen Ahmed Shuja Pasha together. “Yes, I have met both of them but in

separate meetings,” he said. Munter said the US wanted to strengthen civil and military ties with Pakistan. The US had withdrawn some its officials from Pakistan after army chief Gen Ashfaq Kayani expressed reservations over their presence in the country. Referring to the issue of the secret memo sent to the former US military chief in the aftermath of the American raid that killed Osama bin Laden in May, Munter said it was Pakistan’s responsibility to investigate the matter. The envoy said the US wanted a strong Pakistan because it was in the interest of America. “Pakistan’s success is America’s success,” he told students, adding there was a “psychological problem” of “lack of trust” between the two sides. Americans and Pakistanis like each other but issues like the war on terror get in the way of their relationship, he said.

India to develop 10,000mw hydro power in Bhutan

Government of India has agreed to develop 10,000 MWs of hydropower in Bhutan for export of surplus power to India by 2020. Ongoing cooperation between India and Bhutan in the hydropower sector is covered under the 2006 agreement on

cooperation in Hydropower between the two countries and the Protocol to the 2006 agreement signed in March, 2009 thereof. Under the Protocol, Government of India has agreed to develop 10,000 MWs of hydropower in Bhutan for export of surplus power to India by 2020. All the existing hydropower schemes in Bhutan are run-of-the-river (RoR) types which has no impact on the quantum of flow downstream of the hydropower dam. The river water is primarily used for generation of hydro electricity which is non – consumptive in nature. The diversion structures in the hydropower projects have only a minimal storage capacity for diurnal peaking purpose.

NATO attack on purpose: Pak Army Continued from page 9 >> International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) and North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) carried out the cross-border attack on purpose and there are no expectations of any results coming from the inquiry. They said that currently the rethinking of military relations with the United States was underway and the final decision would be taken by Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani. They said the inquiries into the June 2008, September 2010 and July 2011 incidents had no results either. There are four Pakistan and Isaf Afghanistan joint coordination centres, and the attack took place despite

procedures being in place, they said. They said there had been no violation by Pakistan on the Mohmand Agency border. Nato and Isaf were aware of the border check posts in the area and had fired on them from 12:05am to 2:15am. The Pakistani officer at the Tactical Operation Centre in Afghanistan had been misinformed, they said, adding that an American sergeant had told him that a Pakistan check post had fired on Special Forces in the border area and had changed his statement after seven minutes saying the fire had come from a different check post. They said Volcano was the first check post that was attacked and communication had been cut off right after. Soldiers at the Boulder check post fired 26 air bursts but did not go after the helicopters as the situation could have gotten bad.


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Saarc international I Thursday 01 December 2011

WEEKLY REVIEW OF AFGHANISTAN NEWS

British CDS: We’re en route to deliver Afghan strategy The British Chief of the Defence Staff (CDS), General Sir David Richards, has said in an interview that in ten years time we will all agree the war in Afghanistan was necessary. General Richards gave an interview about UK operations in Afghanistan to The Times newspaper, published today. In the piece, CDS spoke about the reasons for the mission, the current strategy and plans for the UK’s military withdrawal. General Richards said that we won’t really know how successful the mission in Afghanistan has been for a few years yet, but justified the mission saying: “You have to be prepared to fight for one’s freedom and one’s security. And if you go back to the situation in 2001 - and I think people tend not to do this sufficiently often - and think of those twin towers, think again of what happened here in London a few years later, and just pause as to whether or not, if we had not gone into Afghanistan, we wouldn’t have had a lot more of that. General Richards added that, regarding Helmand, there is now a consensus that things have gone much better and that we are launched on a strategy that he believes will deliver a successful outcome by the end of 2014. He added: “The strategy is all about growing the numbers and the capabilities of the Afghan National Security Forces. I think everything we’re seeing is that we’re on track for them assuming more and more responsibility, which is the strategy, culminating sometime in 2014 with them having the lead throughout Helmand, with us there still in support. And I’m confident

that the broad strategy will deliver the sort of success we need. “Now, there will be tactical upsets on the way. That’s why we can’t just hand it over to them now and leave. They do need another three years of mentoring and partnering to make sure that we deliver the right outcome and can then hand over to them in good order, a job well done. “But I’m confident that all the indicators now… and just look at the huge reduction of what we call kinetic acts, they’ve dropped by 86 per cent this summer from what was the case last year. “What the military’s been able to do much better latterly is buy time and create conditions for those much more fundamental things to be properly addressed. And I think everything I’m seeing, the Bonn Conference coming up shortly, the Chicago Conference next year, everything suggests that the international community does understand the importance of getting that right into the long term, even though we, the military, will

Afghanistan seeks enduring support Afghan officials are bringing a simple message to Western powers at an international conference on Afghanistan’s future that begins this weekend in Bonn, Germany: Don’t abandon us like the Russians did. Three years after Moscow withdrew its forces from Afghanistan in 1989, a crisis-struck Russia cut off its funding for the Kabul regime. Once the Russian money ran out, the Afghan army fractured, the mujahedeen seized Kabul, and an ensuing civil war eventually brought the Taliban into power. As the U.S.-led military coalition prepares to withdraw most combat troops by the end of 2014, Afghan officials fear that, amid world-wide economic troubles, history will repeat itself. Afghan officials say the Bonn conference, which will be attended by nearly a hundred nations, must reaffirm the world’s long-term financial commitment to their country to ensure that the fragile Afghan institutions that have been built over the past decade don’t collapse. “There is a need within Afghanistan, within the region and beyond to send a message of continuity and enduring engagement,” said

Deputy Foreign Minister Jawed Ludin, who is playing a key role in negotiations with the U.S. and allies. “2014 should not become 1989. That would be the strongest political message we expect to come out of Bonn.” The Afghan government, he added, is pushing the idea of a “transition dividend,” under which coalition countries would reinvest into Afghanistan part of the savings that result from withdrawing their own troops. In the years after 2014, the Afghan government would still need at least $10 billion annually from foreign donors, Mr. Ludin calculated, with some $6 billion of that going to pay for the Afghan army and police,

Afghan opium to explode as foreign troops withdraw

Russia threatens to cut off NATO Afghanistan transit Russia has threatened to cut off NATO supply routes to Afghanistan if the alliance doesn’t compromise on its missile defense plans, Moscow’s NATO envoy, Dmitry Rogozin, has said. From the Wall Street Journal. If NATO doesn’t give a serious response, “we have to address matters in relations in other areas,” Russian news services reported Dmitri Rogozin, ambassador to NATO, as saying. He added that Russia’s cooperation on Afghanistan may be an area for review, the news services reported. This is just the latest in several headaches that the U.S. has had to deal with over the last couple of weeks regarding its supply lines to Afghanistan. First, there was an explosion in Uzbekistan on a line used by the U.S. and NATO, then Pakistan cut off its supply lines in response to a NATO

attack that killed 28 Pakistani soldiers. And the flamboyantly nationalist Rogozin rarely misses a chance to kick the U.S. when it’s down. (He also gloated, via twitter, that a somewhat threatening statement by Russian President Dmitry Medvedev on missile defense last week forced U.S. officers at NATO to go into work on Thanksgiving.) An expert quoted by the Journal suggests that this new Russian threat isn’t too serious: Ivan Safranchuk, deputy director of the Moscow-based Institute of Contemporary International Studies, said Russia is unlikely to cut off the flow of NATO supplies to Afghanistan as an immediate response to missile-defense decisions. But Russia does want its objections to the missile shield to be taken more seriously, he said.

slated to number 352,000 men by next November. Afghanistan gets $15.7 billion in foreign aid a year, roughly equal to its nominal gross domestic product. Only a small share of this money is spent through the Afghan government. A World Bank study released this month warned that Afghanistan will face an “unmanageable” fiscal gap over the next decade if it has to finance its own security forces. The study predicted that, by 2022, the country would still require $7.2 billion in foreign aid a year—and that assumes an upsurge of so-far inexistent mining-industry revenue and no dramatic deterioration of security.

Opium and heroin production will spiral out of control in Afghanistan as foreign troops withdraw towards 2014, the country’s former antidrugs chief has warned. Taliban insurgents and farmers will take advantage of the withdrawal to increase poppy production, said General Khodaidad. Afghanistan already produces more than 90 per cent of the world’s opium and more than 95 per cent of the heroin on Britain’s streets, but he predicted the trade would soon be “completely out of control”.

Britain has spent tens of millions of pounds on counter narcotics schemes in the past six years in Helmand. The province remains the world centre of opium production. Gen Khodaidad, who was minister for counter narcotics for four years, said the industry was thriving on Afghan insecurity, corruption and weak government. He said: “The Taliban is stronger than this present government and that directly affects poppy cultivation.”

“The Taliban explains to the farmer that the foreign troops are leaving and if you grow poppy, I am still here.” The Taliban are estimated to raise annually between £60 and £250 million a year through the trade. High opium prices meant production rose nearly seven percent this year according to the latest United Nations estimates. Gen Khodaidad said: “With the coming exit strategy for 2014, the whole thing will be completely out of control. All the provinces will go more and more back to poppy.” Opium growers and traffickers thrive in areas where the government has little control and anti-drugs officials fear the trade with flourish as troops withdraw. America is expected to cut its troop numbers from current levels of 100,000 to as few as 10,000 by the end of 2014. Gen Khodaidad said: “When there is no security there is poppy. When there is no law and order there is poppy. When there is corruption there is poppy.”


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Saarc international I Thursday 01 December 2011

WEEKLY REVIEW OF BANGLADESH NEWS

PM for legally binding accord on greenhouse emission cuts

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has called for formulating a legally binding agreement on specific greenhouse gas emission cuts in the Durban summit on climate change. The prime minister made the appeal when the visiting Chair of the standing committee on environmental affairs of Danish parliament Steen Gade paid a courtesy call on her at her official residence Gono Bhaban Monday. The premier’s Press Secretary Abul Kalam Azad briefed newsmen after the meeting. Voicing her concern over the impacts of global warming on

Bangladesh, Hasina further stressed expeditious activation of the Green Climate Fund in the 17th Conference of the Parties (COP17) in Durban. “We want to have clarity on financial commitments for the period 2013 to 2020,” she said while appreciating Denmark’s support in facing the adverse impacts of climate change. She said the least developed countries should have access to affordable and eco-friendly technologies. Gade praised Hasina’s role in establishing the right of the countries most vulnerable to the climate change.

Citizens’ Movement launched Citizens’ Movement for Democracy and Human Rights was launched on Monday with the aim of forging a collective, organised and active campaign against violation of fundamental rights of the people, including their right to life and livelihood. The CDHR called on the two major political parties to change their respective rigid stances on the issue of caretaker government and initiate a dialogue to look for a third option for holding a credible national election. Eminent jurist Rafique-ul Huq was made convener of the new organisation named at a crowded news conference at the National Press Club in Dhaka. He said CDHR ‘is not a political party. But it is a political organisation which will work for promoting democracy and upholding human rights.’ Awami League leader Mahmudur Rahman Manna, also former vicepresident of the Dhaka University Central Students Union, was made

Khaleda leads Khulna road march today

BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia will lead a road march towards Khulna Friday to drum up support for her party’s demand that the government reinstate the caretaker government system to oversee the next parliament elections. The march, the third of its kind, starts from the capital’s Uttara at 10:00am, with some 3,000 motor vehicles being expected to join, party sources said. Senior leaders of the four-party alliance and other like minded parties will accompany the road march that will pass through Pabna, Kushtia, Jhenidah and Jessore before reaching Khulna. The BNP chief will stay at Jessore Circuit House tonight and resume the march towards Khulna tomorrow. On the way, Khaleda is scheduled to address three roadside rallies at

Dasuria in Pabna, and in Jhenidah and Jessore district towns and address a public meeting in Kushtia today. The two-day programme will end with a public meeting on Khulna Circuit House premises at 3:00pm tomorrow. Party standing committee member Tariqul Islam, who is coordinating the programme, told The Daily Star that people will join the programme in their hundreds. Meanwhile, Ruhul Kabir Rizvi, joint secretary general of the main opposition party, at a press briefing yesterday alleged the ruling Awami League men under police shelter had been obstructing distribution of their leaflets for the road march in Khulna. However, local BNP and its allies including Jamaat-e-Islami have set up hundreds of arches on

roads to welcome the leader of the opposition in different areas, report our district correspondents. Earlier on October 10, Khaleda led her first road march towards Sylhet and the second towards Chapainawabganj on October 18 and 19 in efforts to mobilise public support for restoring the caretaker government system. The system was scrapped through the Fifteenth Amendment to the constitution in June this year, providing for the incumbent administration to oversee general elections. The BNP chief on many occasions has said her party would not participate in the upcoming parliament elections if it is not held under a caretaker government. AL leaders including its President Sheikh Hasina, who is also the prime minister, maintains the next national polls will be held under the current government. As part of the protest, Khaleda in September announced three road marches towards Sylhet, Chittagong and Rajshahi. The Chittagong march was later postponed while the one towards Rajshahi was redirected to Chapainawabganj. Party’s acting Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir, however, said they would organise road marches towards Chittagong and Barisal as well.

CDHR’s member- secretary. In a written statement, Manna said successive governments, including the present rulers, had failed to ensure the people’s five basic needs – food, clothes, shelter, education and healthcare. ‘It has become essential to forge a collective, organised and active protest against violation of fundamental human rights, including the right to life and

livelihood,’ Manna said. Soaring prices of essentials, extrajudicial killings, corruption, impunity for the ruling party men, repression on dissenting voices, failure in creating jobs, energy crisis, indifference to people’s sufferings and signing agreements contrary to national interests through an unclear process together created a perilous situation for the people, he said.

London School of Economics honours Yunus

Nobel laureate Muhammad Yunus on Thursday received an honorary doctoral degree in economics from the London School of Economics (LSE). LSE Director Dr Judith Rees presented the honorary degree to Prof Yunus in a ceremony at the Old Theatre of the LSE after an oration by Prof Stuart Corbridge, pro-director of the school. More than 500 faculty members and students attended the ceremony. In the oration, Prof Corbridge said through the creation of Grameen Bank, Prof Yunus has changed the way people see the world. He invited Prof Yunus to the LSE to teach students whenever he gets the opportunity, said a Yunus Centre press release yesterday. In his acceptance speech, Prof Yunus said the current global economic crisis is a wake up call to create a new human

civilisation in the world, where no one has to suffer the indignity of unemployment and poverty. “The young people, the most powerful generation in human history, have to take the lead to create the new civilisation,” he said. In the long history of LSE, only 19 distinguished persons before Prof Yunus had been given the honorary degree. Earlier, Prof Yunus addressed a conference with social entrepreneurs and social investors. He also delivered a lecture at Chatham House on social business as a way to solve society’s pressing needs. During his two-day stay in London, Prof Yunus attended a meeting of Glasgow Caledonian University to discuss setting up of a Grameen-styled microcredit bank in Scotland.


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WEEKLY REVIEW OF BHUTAN NEWS

GNH is the answer to youth problems: PM The rapidly rising youth crime and violence in the Bhutanese towns has caused public concern in recent times. People say it is one of the biggest challenges of Bhutan as a GNH nation. Asked how the government would reconcile the increasing youth crimes and GNH at the 18th Meet the Press yesterday, Prime Minister Jigmi Y Thinley said the answer lies in GNH. He said that it is when there is no compassion in the society, when the communities break down and family structures collapse that all maladies of society occur. In the past few weeks, reports of murder, rape, theft and suicides have been in the media regularly. This, the prime minister said, in

itself is a clear signal to the society of the importance Bhutan should give to the pursuit of GNH. Lyonchhen said it is when development and changes in the society is not inclusive and they fail to fulfill the hopes and aspirations of the people that all kinds of crimes plague a society. He said the government must do

Limit to be raised to INR 14B

Meet The Press The Bhutanese economy should be able to borrow up to INR (Indian rupee) 14B from India, if negotiations for an additional INR 3B from the government of India (GoI) line of credit goes through. Bhutan already has access to INR 8B from the State Bank of India (SBI) at an interest rate of 10 percent, and INR 3B as of now from the GoI credit line at an interest rate of five percent. This week, the finance ministers of the two governments met in New Delhi, India, to discuss the possibility of enhancing the limit. At the meet the press forum yesterday, the finance minister, Wangdi Norbu, informed the local media that the Indian government had provided assurances on enhancing the rupee borrowing limit for Bhutan. The interest rates will remain the same at five percent. “We’ll have to give them assessments of how we have utilised the earlier INR

3B borrowings,” the finance minister said. The details will be negotiated during the next financial year for India, which starts 1 April next year. “In the meantime, we’ll have to tie up our requirements through other means,” he added. Few months ago, the central bank successfully negotiated an additional increase of INR 1B borrowing from SBI bringing the ceiling to INR 8B. This helped to ease the crunch a bit and replenish the rupee holdings with banks. Three years ago in 2008, total rupee borrowings from India from both the lines stood at INR 5B. This year it has hovered around INR 10B. Despite serious concerns facing the rupee crunch, immediate solutions are scarce. The government recently increased taxes on vehicle imports as a measure to address the crunch, Lyonpo Wangdi Norbu said.

more to promote GNH and the understanding of it, both in terms of public policies, revitalizing the communities and strengthening the diverse culture in order that people can understand the importance and purpose of life. Introduction of educating for GNH programme in the education system, Lyonchhen said, is aimed at that. However, some people BO talked to said Bhutan’s GNH as a development philosophy has failed to curb youth problems on the ground. A private sector employee in Thimphu said unless something big is done on the ground, GNH will continue to miss the ground realities. Lyonchhen said youth problems are faced increasingly by all societies in the world, more so in other societies. That is why, leaders the world over are inspired by Bhutan’s GNH, which aspires for holistic development.

Bhutanese refugee on hunger Strike unto-death

The Bhutanese refugees at Beldangibased Bhutanese refugee Camp are under fast-unto-death from the past 7 days. The hunger strike started from November 15 which is organized by the Relief Deprived Bhutanese Refugees Women’s Group. The women group started the strike demanding the different donor’s identity cards be given the cards and the provision of ration distributed accordingly. According to Rastriya Samachar Samiti (RSS), “ Acting Chief District Officer of Jhapa district, Yogendra Dulal, coordinator of the Human Rights Organization of Nepal, East

Region chapter, Dr. K.P. Subedi, among others had held talks with the representatives of the Women’s Group on Sunday in an effort to break the hunger strike. But the talks failed as the people staging the hunger strike were adamant they would not break their fast until all their demands were met. The Group claims that 3,649 Bhutanese refugees living in six camps in Jhapa and Morang districts have missed the verification carried out by the UN High Commission on Refugees and therefore have not got the identity cards with them which has resulted in they being deprived of various relief assistance given to the refugees.”


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Bhutan asked 3,000 Indians to quit country The Ministry of Labour and Human Resources has directed people of Indian origin working in the country to leave by Tuesday, November 29. However, no Bhutanese media from inside have reported the ministry’s order. The actual reason behind this matter has remained yet unclear. According to reports, convenor of overseas affairs of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Vijay Jolly, has sent a letter to the King and Prime Minister Jigmi Y Thinley, lodging a complaint against the move. He said that the order violated the India-Bhutan friendship treaty clause 5, which envisages a closer co-relation between the people of the two nations. “About 3,000 businessmen, workers and their dependents – all of Indian origin – working in Bhutan and contributing towards its growth and development for over 40-50 years, have been

directed to get out of the Buddhist nation by Tuesday, November 29, 2011,” reports quoted Jolly as saying.

The BJP further said that Bhutan has always been a home away from home. “Indians have lived and worked

hard and productively in Bhutan. This category of people would never be an impediment to the indigenous Bhutanese workforce,”

Jolly wrote in his letter. Although it is a verbal order, but the signatures of the said affected people have been taken by the authorities, added reports. He further added that most of these people are small-time businessmen/traders and workers. “They have nowhere else to go and nothing to fall back upon as they have already spent the prime of their lives in Bhutan working for the country.” The BJP also warned the Government of Bhutan that those Indian nationals have never been a threat to the integrity, unity, independence, sovereignty, socioeconomic and cultural growth of Bhutan. On behalf of BJP, Jolly demanded ‘The People of Indian Origin’ in Bhutan be treated with honour and respect. BJP has requested the king to intervene in the matter urgently and rescinded the order.

Zardari turns down UAE ‘Pakistan willing to request to review decision offer more visas’

President Asif Ali Zardari has turned down a request by the United Arab Emirates to review Pakistan’s decision to ask the US to vacate the remote Shamsi Airbase in Balochistan, which is said to be under UAE control. Pakistan, it seems, is not yet ready to let go and is still seething over the pre-dawn Nato air raid that killed 24 of its soldiers on Saturday. The Emirati Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah Bin Zaid al Nahyan, who arrived in Islamabad on Monday night, made the request in a meeting with the president and asked that Pakistan allow the US to use the base until investigation into the incident is complete. Zardari told al Nahyan that the decision had been made by the defence committee of the cabinet, which met hours after the attack and decided that the US must vacate the

airbase within 15 days, and must be followed as the nation felt strongly about the issue. The controversial airbase, located about 300 kilometres from Quetta, has been used as a key launch pad for drone strikes in Afghanistan and allegedly also for those carried out in Pakistan’s own tribal areas. This is the third time Pakistan has demanded the US to vacate the base. Similar demands were made after CIA operative Raymond Davis killed two Pakistanis in Lahore and in the aftermath of the unilateral US raid that killed Osama bin Laden. New anti-terror cooperation In the wake of Saturday’s raid, Pakistan is pushing for a new antiterror cooperation agreement with the US, The Express Tribune has learnt. A list of demands that Islamabad is preparing includes a written accord

with the US to provide explicit guarantees that such attacks will not recur and halt the CIA-led drone campaign in the country’s tribal belt, officials said requesting anonymity. The existing cooperation is based on ‘unwritten agreements and understanding’ reached between Islamabad and Washington during former military ruler General Pervez Musharraf’s regime and past efforts by Pakistan to renegotiate terms of engagement with the US have been unsuccessful. Islamabad made a similar demand earlier this year when its relations were severely strained with Washington over the arrest of Raymond Davis. However, the authorities are now adamant that normal cooperation with the US can only go back on track if Pakistan’s concerns are addressed. The demands, if not accepted, may compel Pakistan to not only withdraw its support to the war on terror but also pull out troops along the border with Afghanistan, said a security official. “This message has already been conveyed to the US,” he said. However, another official said it was premature to contemplate such an ‘extreme step’ at this stage, though the option was very much on the table and might be used as a last resort.

Indirectly holding Indian government responsible for just 3,000 visas given to its citizens for travelling to Pakistan, a founder member of ruling Pakistan People’s Party said that “there is no restriction from our side”. Addressing members of Sikh community at Gujarkhan Guru Nanak Khalsa college for Women , Syed Asif Hashmi, chairman of Evacuee Trust Property Board, which maintains gurdwaras in Pakistan, said, “The number of visas is fixed because of a pact signed by the then Indian Prime Minister Jawahar Lal Nehru and his counterpart Liaqat Ali Khan. The Pakistan government is willing to offer more visas to Indians”. Hashmi told the gathering, “Our government has no problem is giving more visas to Indians. Perhaps it is the pact which stops us in doing so. We are willing to give more visas to you.”

Hashmi, 57, who landed here with a six-member delegation from Pakistan, also tried to ward off apprehensions among Sikhs in India about their property allegedly being sold off in Pakistan, saying “I assure you that not an inch of your property has been sold off or encroached. This is just a vicious campaign launched by some vested interests.” Disclosing that Baba Guru Nanak International University in Pakistan will soon be inaugurated by prime minister of Pakistan, Hashmi said, “I am trying to get a date from prime minister for inauguration of the prestigious university. We are also planning to invite journalists from India to attend the function”. He added that he is also planning to start Baba Guru Nanak Hospital in Shahdara, an orphan house and hostels for special children in the name of the great Guru.


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WEEKLY REVIEW OF INDIA NEWS

Cleanse political system of corruption: Rahul The political system must be cleansed and changed as corruption is most rampant there, Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi said here on Monday, giving a clarion call to young people to join politics and participate in that transformation. “Corruption is most rampant in political parties…This political system must be cleansed and changed. And only the youth of the country can do that,” he said. Mr. Gandhi was addressing the firstever convention of 8,000 elected Youth Congress (YC) office-bearers at

Rohini, on the north western edge of the national capital. Evocatively named Buniyaad or “foundation,” the object of the two-day convention is to showcase the “transformation” in the 11 millionstrong YC, in the wake of internal elections in that organisation in 20 States from the block to the State level. “Neither Rahul Gandhi nor any other senior leader has selected you; you are here because of your own merit, strength and capacity,” Mr. Gandhi stressed. The party’s seniors lined up to speak at the convention, lifting the profile

of the occasion. In a nod to his seniors, Mr. Gandhi said, “We need to combine the experience, wisdom

Mayawati warns of some ‘hard decision’

Foreign companies and multinational corporations will not be allowed to do business in Uttar Pradesh “as long

as she is the Chief Minister,” Mayawati has said. She has also warned that if the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government fails to immediately withdraw the decision to allow 51 per cent foreign direct investment in multi-brand retail, she will be forced to take some “hard decision.” Her Bahujan Samaj Party would oppose the move in Parliament and on the streets. Launching a frontal attack on Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi, she said the decision was taken to please the “Congress yuvraj” and enable “his foreign friends” and “foreign companies” to “reap economic benefits” at the cost of crores of small and petty traders, farmers, labourers and small and medium entrepreneurs.” “With the Vidhan Sabha elections just months ahead, the ‘yuvraj’ is campaigning to bring the Congress back to power in Uttar Pradesh with the aim of enabling his ‘foreign friends’ and MNCs to set up shop,” she said.

and depth of our senior leaders with that of youth power.” Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram gave an inspirational speech at the session that was open to the media on Monday on the need for the YC to ensure that the Congress held firmly to the “middle ground,” eschewing extremism of all sorts — religious, caste-based, of political ideology or even those related

to economic ideology. “There are those who believe that the benefits of economic reforms will trickle down gradually to the poor — I reject that belief,” he said. The Home Minister also stressed that it was time older leaders stepped back to make way for younger leaders. Later, during the closed-door session, when the political, economic and organisational resolutions were discussed, several other leaders spoke: they included Defence Minister A.K. Antony; Women and Child Development Minister Krishna Tirath; Ministers of State Sachin Pilot and Jyotiraditya Scindia; senior party office-bearers Janaradan Dwivedi and Oscar Fernandes; and MP Sanjay Nirupam. In the morning, general secretary Birendra Singh and Delhi Pradesh Congress chief J.P. Aggarwal spoke.

NCP workers storm Ralegan over Anna’s remark

India, Pakistan agree on easy business visa India has reached a broad agreement with Pakistan on liberalising visa regime for their business persons and a Cabinet note in this regard will be ready in 7-8 days, a senior Commerce Ministry official says. “On our side, it has to go to the Cabinet through the Ministry of External Affairs,” Joint Secretary in the Commerce Ministry Arvind Mehta said at a FICCI event here. Under the proposal, India and Pakistan should grant multiple entry visas to businessmen of the two sides. He said the ‘police reporting’ would also be done away with under the proposal. The note by MEA “will be ready in 7-8 days for consideration of the Cabinet,” Mehta said addressing the meeting attended by a business delegation from Pakistan. A broad agreement on the issue has been reached between India’s Home Ministry and Interior Ministry of Pakistan, he said. He said a proposal to allow prominent Pakistani businessmen a one-year multiple-entry visa which will allow them to visit up to 10 Indian cities is soon expected to be taken up by the Union Cabinet. “The Government on both sides has been responsive on the (visa) matter. At the official level, a broad understanding has been reached. I spoke to my colleague in the Ministry of External Affairs about three days ago, and he has assured me that the (visa) proposal (is) ready for Cabinet in the next five-eight days,” the Joint Secretary, Ministry of Commerce, Arvind Mehta, said. The proposal could also do away with the current rule of Pakistan citizens arriving and leaving from the same Indian city. They will also be exempted from the currently mandatory police reporting. Mehta was speaking at a luncheon meeting organised by the Federation of Indian

Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India in honour of a visiting Pakistani business delegation. Mehta also sought to allay concerns among Pakistan’s businessmen that normalisation of bilateral trade would result in swarming of Pakistani market with Indian goods. “Do not be fearful of the future because things are changing,” he said, adding there are several safeguards under South Asian Free Trade Agreement for domestic industry. Present on the occasion, Pakistan High Commissioner Shahid Malik said that non-tariff barriers (NTBs) exist in India on Pakistani goods. “These barriers do exist and there is no point in brushing this aside,” Malik said. Confirming that a broad agreement (on visas) had been reached between the two sides, the Pakistan High Commissioner, Mr Shahid Malik, said the concerns and views of the business community had been duly reflected in the new regime.

Angry over Anna Hazare’s comment over the attack on Nationalist Congress Party Chief Sharad Pawar on Thursday, party workers stormed the crusader’s village on Friday morning and launched a protest. Several party workers burnt Mr Hazare’s effigy and demanded his apology. This sparked fury among the villagers who in turn launched an attack on the protesters. Reacting to the attack on Mr Pawar, Mr Hazare had said on Thursday, “He (Sharad Pawar) got slapped? Only one slap?” He had clarified later and had said that violence is not the solution in a democracy. “This is not just a slap on Mr Pawar’s face, but it is a slap on democracy,” Mr Hazare had said. After signs of the protests taking a violent turn started surfacing, Mr Hazare addressed a Gram Sabha and appealed to the villagers not to resort to violence. “We have a long way to go. There is no place for violence in a democracy he said.” Criticising NCP workers Mr Hazare said, “When

farmers are killed in Maval, aren’t these people angry? Why is the dissent shown only when a leader is attacked?” NCP party workers were driven out of Ralegan Siddhi by the villagers, and several were detained by the Ahmednagar police, and released later in the day. NCP leader and Ahmednagar Guardian Minister Babanrao Pachpute said, “The people of Ralegan got angry and attacked party workers. I request Anna Hazare to end the protests.” He also demanded that Mr Hazare’s PA Suresh Pathare be arrested as had allegedly instigated the villagers to attack workers. However, Ahmednagar SP Krishna Prakash stated that no crime has been registered. “Both the parties are unwilling to register any case. We have provided adequate police protection in Ralegan Siddhi since Friday morning,” Mr Prakash told The Hindu over telephone on Friday evening. The situation in Ralegan Siddhi was under control, he stated.


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South Asia Tribune I Thursday 01 December 2011

Simon Hughes MP with Salah Khammas

“Human Rights To Human Wrongs”

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South Asia Tribune I Thursday 01 December 2011

support real “Social Cohesion”. Lord Nazir Ahmed with Editor Shahid Khan

Arab Spring; European Summer; Wall Street Fall

Chaired by famous broadcaster Rageh Omaar from left Tony Benn, Nirj Deva MEP, Mandy Sanghera, Kieth Best

“Social Responsibility in Media”

Chaired by famous broadcaster Rageh Omaar with Darcus Howe, Alan Yentob, Lord Nazir Ahmed, Wayne Garvie

“Broken Society To Social Cohesion”

On Monday, 28th November 2011, Location: The Brunei Gallery, School of Oriental and African Studies (University of London), Started At 10. AM and concluded around 7.30 PM the whole day Conference’s First Session with the topic “Human Rights To Human Wrongs” Chaired by famous broadcaster Rageh Omaar among the Panelist were Ex-Labour Party Govt Minister Tony Benn, Mandy Snghera, Kieth Best CEO of Freedom from Torture, Lord Herman Ousley, Nirj Deva MEP, (Standing for President/Speaker of The European Parliament election in 2012), and Peter Oborne, Chief Political Commentator, The Daily Telegraph. Second Session of the Conference with the topic was “Social Responsibility in Media” again Chaired by famous broadcaster Rageh Omaar and among the Panelist were Darcus Howe, Channel Four Presenter/ Broadcaster, Alan Yentob, BBC Creative Director , Lord Nazir Ahmed, First Muslim Life Peer in 1998, Founder of The World Forum and Wayne Garvie, former Head

of the BBC Entertainment Group and MD of BBC Worldwide. Third Session of the Conference with the topic “Broken Society To Social Cohesion” was Chaired by syed Ayub, among the Panelist: Professor Paul Rogers, Environmental Conflict, Bradford University, Simon Hughes MP, Deputy Leader, Liberal Democratic Party, Felix Dexter, award winning comedian, writer and Lord Michael Hastings, KPMG’s Director of Citizenship and Diversity, Jeff Mirza, comedian . Fourth Session of the Conference with the topic was “London 2012 Olympic Security To Legacy” among the Panelist were Lord Paul Boateng, Ex-British High Commissioner to South Africa & Finance Minister , Keith Vaz, Chairman of the Home Affairs Select Committee , Henry Bonsu, Journalist since 1990’s & ExBBC Radio Presenter/Producer and Professor Paul Rogers, Environmental Conflict, Bradford University. Despite a working day Monday all the sessions were well attended with great response and participation from the audience.

Pictures by Waqar.Zaidi Lord Michael Hastings, Simon Hughes MP, Chaired by Syed Ayub, Jeff Mirza, Professor Paul Rogers

“London 2012 Olympic Security To Legacy”

Keith Vaz, Henry Bonsu, Professor Paul Rogers, Jeff Mirza, Chaired by Syed Ayub


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UK doesn’t want Pakistan to attack Haqqanis: Mark Sedwill We understand the challenges it faces on that front, all we want from Pakistan is to do its utmost to minimise the threat.” Urging Pakistan to use its influence to get the Haqqani network to come to the negotiation table with Nato and enter a reconciliation process, British Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan Mark Sedwill said, “We don’t want Pakistan to take military action against the Haqqani group. Afghan President Hamid Karzai has already made that offer to the Haqqani network and it is in Pakistan’s strategic interest to play its role, Sedwill said while speaking to The Express Tribune, adding that Pakistan is absolutely clear that a stable Afghanistan is in the country’s strategic interest. Sedwill, who has held discussions on security issues with Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani, Chief of Army Staff Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani and Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) chief Ahmed Shuja Pasha, said the outcome of the discussions with his Pakistani counterparts was “encouraging”. Appreciating Pakistan’s role as the frontline state in terms of loss of human lives, and with Islamabad’s already debilitating economy on one hand and drone attacks on the other, Sedwill said it is in Pakistan’s interest to realise that insurgency in the country would end only once there is enduring stability in Afghanistan. Regarding Pakistan’s apprehensions about the political vacuum that might

leave Afghanistan prone to another takeover by radical and criminal groups, he said, “We don’t want to

economic support, Sedwill said, adding that was why Nato forces wouldn’t withdraw abruptly and

“cease combat role by 2014” and the drawdown process will be completed by the mid-20s. During this period

see that part of history repeated.” Najibullah’s regime survived three years after the Soviet withdrawal because of Moscow’s continued

would ensure continued funding to maintain economic and military sustainability. Foreign forces in Afghanistan will

the dialogue process with neighbours will continue. Nato, US and Britain will sign longterm partnerships with the Afghans

and Afghanistan’s neighbours to demonstrate their willingness to underwrite enduring stability in the region, he said. Training of Afghan officer corps and funding of the Afghan national army is one of those partnerships. Bringing about political reforms in Afghanistan as it approaches elections in 2014 is another example of the partnership for peace effort, Sedwill said. Political reforms will make the state more capable of absorbing the insurgency through a reconciliation effort by offering insurgents political motivation to enter politics within the constitution through a reconciliation process. Nato wants to achieve a situation where Afghanistan is on a stabilising path and will underwrite that with a commitment at the Bonn Summit and then in Nato’s Chicago Summit in May.

Mumbai salutes the ‘never-say-die’ spirit Heavy police presence across landmarks in the city marked the third anniversary of the 26/11 terror attack. Some citizens offered candles at the Gateway of India to salute the spirit of the city and the courage of the security forces which saved lives, some signed petitions in anger and disappointment over the government’s apathetic approach towards the security of the common man. The flow of foreign tourists was usual, many of them unaware of the devastating attack that shook the city then and still continues to haunt many. The Governor, the Chief Minister, the Home Minister along with the Ministers of the cabinet and police officials paid tribute to the victims of the terror attack by laying a wreath at the memorial built at Police Gymkhana here. At Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, where Kasab and his accomplice had sprayed bullets

killing many unsuspecting passengers three years ago, armed police guarded the luggage scanners and metal detectors at the main entrance. The metal detectors were being repaired, as many stood dysfunctional. Railway Police personnel were seen standing amid the crowd with body scanners, but hardly anyone was being scanned. “So many people are continuously passing through this place. Who all do we check? Look how fast everyone is moving,” a policeman

said. A place where blood was lost, there was an appeal to donate blood to save the lives of people. The city which is known to run non-stop, did not even seem to pause for a second to respond to the appeal. Most of the donors were college students who came forth to pay tribute. “In memory of the victims of 26/11 attack and to pay tribute to them, please donate your blood. Please save someone’s life,” the announcement

went on at the blood donation camp organised by the J J Hospital and the Red Cross organisation. Amid the hustle and bustle, the announcement was among the many which the passers-by seemed to have decided to ignore. The organisers of the camp described the response as “OK.” “We organise this camp every year. Last year, more than 200 people donated blood. This year, only 80 have donated till now,” Neeta Landge, Public Relations Officer

of J J Hospital toldThe Hindu. The Central Railway has built a small memorial at the station in the memory of the 26/11 victims. A passenger sitting right across it said the attack is a thing of the past now. “I think the place is quite secure now. I feel safe. The security is tight. What can I say about the attack? It is a thing of the past. Why should we keep remembering it?” Pramod Ghuge, who was travelling back to Aurangabad with his family, asked.


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Pakistan orders US to leave airbase in row over deadly Nato assault Islamabad says US must leave Shamsi base in 15 days after deaths of at least 24 Pakistani soldiers in mistaken attack Pakistan has given the US 15 days to vacate an airbase used as a key launchpad for drone strikes in Afghanistan in retaliation for a mistaken attack on a Pakistani border outpost that killed at least 24 soldiers and injured 13. American forces were told to leave the remote Shamsi airbase, secretly given over to the US after 9/11, following an emergency meeting of Pakistan’s top civilian and military leadership late on Saturday. Pakistan has also blocked supply routes for US-led troops in Afghanistan. Shamsi was used heavily for launching the war in Afghanistan in late 2001, and later served as the base for the US drone programme.

Shamsi is highly controversial within Pakistan for its association

The decision of the country’s defence committee of the cabinet is

announced that the government would “revisit and undertake a

arrangements” with the US, and US-led forces in Afghanistan, “including diplomatic, political, military and intelligence”. The defence committee confirmed that the supply routes for the coalition through Pakistan had been stopped. Around half the supplies for international troops in Afghanistan pass by road through Pakistan. Pakistani television showed lines of trucks carrying containers lined up at border. “These attacks, which constituted breach of sovereignty, were violative of international law and had gravely dented the fundamental basis of Pakistan’s co-operation with Nato/ Isaf against militancy and terror,” said a statement issued by the committee, which is chaired by the prime minister and includes the army chief. “Nato/Isaf attacks were

Set in sparsely populated desert in the western Baluchistan province,

with drones, which Islamabad officially condemns.

an admission that Shamsi remains in American hands. The committee

complete review of all programmes, activities and co-operative

also violative of their mandate, which was confined to Afghanistan.”

U.S. vows full probe into Pak border incident Cameron Munter also met with Pakistani government officials in Islamabad. “In their contacts, these US diplomatic and military leaders each stressed -- in addition to their sympathies and a commitment to review the circumstances of the incident -- the importance of the U.S.-Pakistani partnership, which serves the mutual interests of our

The Obama administration on Saturday pledged a full investigation into a NATO attack that allegedly killed 24 Pakistani troops. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Defense Secretary Leon Panetta in a joint statement offered their “deepest condolences” for the loss of life in the cross-border incident in Pakistan. Clinton and Panetta

also said they “support fully NATO’s intention to investigate immediately.” Secretary Clinton, Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Gen. John Allen, commander of the NATO-led coalition forces in Afghanistan, each called their Pakistani counterparts as well, the statement said. U.S. Ambassador to Pakistan

people,” the statement said. “All these leaders pledged to remain in close contact with their Pakistani counterparts going forward as we work through this challenging time,” the statement concluded. Islamabad called the bloodshed in one of its tribal areas a “grave infringement” of the country’s sovereignty.

If confirmed, it would be the deadliest friendly fire incident by NATO against Pakistani troops since the Afghan war began a decade ago. A NATO spokesman said it was likely that coalition airstrikes caused Pakistani casualties, but an investigation was being conducted to determine the details.


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Saarc international I Thursday 01 December 2011

WEEKLY REVIEW OF PAKISTAN NEWS

No more business as usual Parliamentary panel to probe memogate between Pakistan, US: Gilani Following the ‘unprovoked’ attack by NATO forces on Pakistani border checkposts, Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani warned the United States, that their relations had gone south and that ‘business as usual will not be there’ now. Talking to CNN on Monday, Gilani dodged the question of whether relations with US had gone past a point of return, said that the only scenario in which the two countries could continue their relation was if they worked on the principles of mutual respect and mutual interest, which he was not getting from the Americans at the moment. “If I cannot protect the sovereignty of my country how can I say it is on mutual respect.” Asked about a solution to continue the stumbling, yet vital alliance, Gilani said that there needs to be bigger assurance from the US, though he did not specify the nature of that concession from the Americans. “We need to have something bigger to satisfy my nation,” he said, pointing out that the war could only

be won by winning the fast souring hearts and minds of the Pakistani people, “for that I have referred to the leadership of my government, members of the parliamentary committee to advise.” The Prime Minister also said Pakistan is yet to decide, whether to boycott next month’s Bonn conference.

Pak military rules out joint probe into Nato raid no outcome of such joint probe into the past attacks. He reiterated that the Nato deliberately attacked Pakistani checkposts and continued targeting them for hours. “It was an open aggression and unprovoked attack,” he added. The DG MO said it would premature to say anything about motives behind the attack. Director General Military Operations Major General Ashfaq Nadeem has rejected Nato’s offers of carrying out joint investigation into the Nato raid on Pakistan’s military checkposts in Mohmand Agency. During a media briefing on Tuesday, he said that there was

Arrest warrants in Bugti killing case sent to federal govt Moreover, on November 1, Chief Justice of the Balochistan High Court (BHC), Justice Qazi Faez Essa, had directed the authorities to repatriate the accused residing outside Pakistan. The Balochistan government has sent the arrest warrants for former president Pervez Musharraf, former premier Shaukat Aziz and of former chief minister Jam Yosuf in the Akbar Bugti killing case to the federal government, sources in the provincial home ministry told media. A copy of the FIR was also sent along with the arrest warrants, sources said. Earlier, a court in Quetta had issued the arrest warrants of the three. The provincial government forwarded the arrest orders to the federal government on the BHC’s directives.

Talking to journalists after the meeting, Rabbani said the committee would investigate the matter despite investigations by other institutions. Regardless of whether or not the Supreme Court will take up the petition calling for a judicial probe into the memogate, and when and if the prime minister comes around to forming his ‘high-level’ committee to look into the matter, the parliamentary panel on national security will be conducting its own investigation. The bi-partisan and bi-cameral parliamentary committee on national security, chaired by Senator Raza Rabbani, has started by summoning the foreign and defence secretaries to explain the controversy. In its meeting on Friday, held in-camera, the panel said it would also call top officials of security agencies for a briefing. The move came a day after Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani promised a ‘fair and transparent’ probe into the memo at the highest level. Opposition Pakistan Muslim LeagueNawaz has already filed a petition in the Supreme Court, asking that all players involved in the scandal be summoned. The senator from the

Pakistan Peoples Party also praised Ambassador Hussain Haqqani for travelling back to Pakistan to make himself available for investigations. According to participants, opposition members were not satisfied with the government handling of the issue and called for more transparency. The committee also decided to seek an explanation from the defence secretary on a statement by the air chief that more than 10,000 strikes against alleged militants’ hideouts in tribal areas had achieved only 15 to 20 per cent results despite huge collateral damage. Rabbani said that if the defence secretary could not satisfy the committee on the statement, it would summon Air Chief Rao Qamar Suleman to explain it himself.

SC dismisses NRO review petition

The Supreme Court on Tuesday dismissed the review petition filed by the federation against its December 16, 2009, judgement on the National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO). Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, heading a 17member larger bench, announced the short order, saying the court was of the considered view that no case was made out for a review. The bench directed the authorities concerned to comply with its earlier detailed order on the issue in letter and spirit without any delay. The short order said: “The court from November 21 to November 24 heard the federation counsel Dr Babar Awan at length and considering all the aspects of the review petitions filed under Article 188 of the constitution of Pakistan to revisit the judgement. The counsel failed to make out a case, as a result, the review petition is dismissed.” Earlier, the bench resumed the hearing, seeking review of certain aspects of the Supreme Court’s December 16, 2009, verdict. The court had declared the NRO void ab initio, unconstitutional and null and void. Babar Awan filed an application in the Supreme Court on November 19, and

sought permission to represent the federation in the review petition. He told the court on November 24 that he wanted to submit some documents. It is a settled and recognised principle that additional documents are not allowed at the stage of a review petition. Therefore, initially the court declined the request but after a second thought allowed the counsel to produce and read the documents in the court. The court during the proceeding on Thursday directed Attorney General of Pakistan Maulvi Anwarul Haq to convey the message to Babar Awan to appear before the court. Despite the Supreme Court direction he did

not turn up. Advocate-on-Record Mehmood A Sheikh asked the bench to adjourn the case but the court declined his request. The court, therefore, asked Law Secretary Masood Chishti who was present in the court, that as he had filed the petition on behalf of the federation, therefore, he should read the document. The law secretary requested the court to allow Babar Awan to come on Monday in the court and he would read the documents, but the court rejected his plea. He read one page of the document but refused to read further. The court, therefore, ordered the AGP to read

the document through-and-through pertaining to cases of Asif Ali Zardari, Benazir Bhutto and others. The court asked that how were the documents from 1997 to 1999 relevant to the case as the NRO was promulgated in 2007. Justice Asif Saeed Khan Khosa asked the attorney general how these documents were relevant to the case. He said that the court did not like to block the way of justice therefore Babar Awan was allowed to read the documents in the court. Justice Jawwad S Khawaja said the only reason they did not want the documents to be read in the court was that there were names of dignitaries of Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), including the PPP founder, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, in them. He further said that they did not want people to know those names. The court, later, pardoned former solicitor general Syed Nasir Shah. He was issued notice for not cooperating with the court during the NRO proceedings. Appearing before the bench, Nasir sought an unconditional apology, and said: “I throw myself at the mercy of the court.” The court accepted his plea and discharged the case against him.


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Saarc international I Thursday 01 December 2011

WEEKLY REVIEW OF MALDIVE NEWS

Islamic minister can do nothing We shouldn’t follow for the sake of people- Imraan others blindly: President T

not accepting any advice from Islamic minister up to today. Also he said that the government is taking the advantage of Dr. Abdul Majeed Abdul Baari by keeping him as a Islamic minister. Also he said that the government is using him as a shield to do the things that the government. Imran said that regarding the monuments’ also Dr Majeed has given his statement in a short period, but the government does not accept his advice.

he president of Adhaalath party said that there is nothing that the Islamic minister can do for the sake of the people under the current government. Imran said that whoever who is handling the responsibility of the Islamic ministry is not able to do anything for the people of the Maldives. Inviting all the Medias while speaking on a DHI TV show he said that they have confirmed that the government is

UNHCR pays a courtesy call on Foreign Minister UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navanethem Pillay paid a courtesy call on the Minister of Foreign Affairs Ahmed Naseem at the Ministry yesterday. At the meeting, Minister Naseem highlighted increasingly active role the Maldives was playing in the Human Rights Council and noted that the first historic visit by the Human Rights High Commissioner to the Maldives was symbolic of the important strides Maldives had made in advancing and protecting human rights in the Maldives. The meeting was also attended

by the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs His Excellency Aslam Shakir, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Hawla Ahmed Didi, Permanent Representative

of Maldives to UN Offices in Geneva, Iruthisham Adam and senior officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. During her visit (22-24 November 2011), the High Commissioner met with President Mohamed Nasheed and other senior government representatives, with members of the Opposition, with judges and lawyers and with NGOs. She also delivered a keynote address to the People’s Majlis on the challenge of promoting human rights in the context of a democratic transition, and visited the drug rehabilitation center.

National Award of Honour to 2 recipients, National Award of Recognition to 14 recipients National Awards Committee has said that two individuals will be conferred the National Award of Honour, and that thirteen individuals and one corporation will be conferred the National Award of Recognition. The recipients of National Award of Honour and National Award of Recognition will be conferred the awards, at a special function

held on the evening of 27 November at Dharubaaruge. President Mohamed Nasheed will present the awards to all the recipients. Recipients of National Award of Honour will receive a shield of honour and a badge, while the recipients of National Award of Recognition receive a commemorative plaque and a certificate.

President Visits Feeali and Magoodhoo

President Mohamed Nasheed has visited Feeali and Magoodhoo of Faafu Atoll, and met with the

Island Councils. The President met with Feeali Island Council yesterday and Magoodhoo Island Council yesterday morning. President Nasheed exchanged views with council members of both the island councils, on the government’s developmental plans for the islands. Particularly, discussions were held on the further advancement of educational system and public healthcare in the islands. Following his meeting with the Feeali Island Council, President Nasheed laid the foundation for Faafu Feeali Development Society’s new pre-school.

A

t a function held to confer National Awards on occasion of the Republic Day, President Mohamed Nasheed has that none of us should succumb to blindly following others or simply listening to any opinion voiced out. In this regard he said we must have a broad mind, keep faith and have courage in appraising the value of, and appropriating a response for the sights and sounds experienced during our lifetime. Reflecting on the achievements of tonight’s National Awards winners, President Nasheed said the achievements of our nation’s progeny must be colourfully celebrated. Additionally, the President

expressed happiness over the levels of contributive and participatory efforts of those who rendered their services to the nation this year, and commended their exemplary efforts to be a building pillar of our national identity.He added this year’s winners achieved recognition due to their strong and unshakable beliefs. He also emphasised that the government has sought to realize the special reasons in developing a nationality. He added that development could not be brought without specific contributions, and it is important that those who put the nation on the path towards development, are recognised and given the credit they deserve.


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Saarc international I Thursday 01 December 2011

WEEKLY REVIEW OF NEPAL NEWS

Baidya men take back land returned to owner UCPN (Maoist) activists close to hardline faction led by party Vice-chairman Mohan Baidya recaptured around 30 hectares of land belonging to Binod Dhwoj Chand and his family members within 24 hours of the formal handover of seized property in Bardiya. A group of Maoist activists led by Ajaya Chaudhary, the local leader of the Maoist-affiliated All Nepal Peasants’ AssociationRevolutionary, stormed into the plot in Rajapur VDC-7 and announced the land seizure by fixing the party’s flags there on Friday night. Policemen reached the site the next morning and

removed the flags. The area remained tense following the recapture of the land. In Manau VDC, landowners who were impatiently waiting to get their property back were dejected with the incident in Rajapur. The seized property was scheduled to be handed over to the rightful owners in Manau on Saturday. Tharuhat State Committee member of the Maoists, Drabya Sah, who is considered close to Baidya, said the land in Rajapur was recaptured as no alternative was in place for the tillers. “We won’t let anyone return the seized property unless an

alternative for the landless people is in place.” The land belonging to Chand and his family members had been handed over to the owner on Friday in the presence

of members of a taskforce representing the three big parties, a team of facilitators and representatives of the local administration. A meeting of the taskforce was

held in Rajapur in the presence of Chief District Officer Ram Krishna Subedi on Saturday. In the meeting, Maoist representatives, including district in-charge Tilak Sharma, demanded that the landowner must not sell the land unless the tillers have an alternative. He, however, reiterated that the party will return the property as per the seven-point agreement. Chand, an NC leader and the former VDC chairman, lashed out at the Maoists “double dealings”. “They orchestrated the drama of returning the land in the afternoon and captured it again in the night,” he said.

Appointment of NTB chief Shape up or ship out‚ apex court tells CA A day after the government verdicts related to eighth, ninth the constitution and people’s mired in controversy tabled a bill seeking 11th and tenth amendments to the aspirations and added that

Controversy has engulfed appointment of a new chief executive officer (CEO) for the Nepal Tourism Board (NTB) with short-listed candidates seeking political patronage. Moreover, selection is likely to be delayed as term of NTB’s board expires on Nov 30. The appointment process has been marked by high drama with the Supreme Court making see-saw decisions and one of the selection committee members being replaced. On Wednesday, Tourism Minister Lokendra Bista Magar cancelled the scheduled presentations by short-listed candidates of their vision for the NTB. Although the appointment of the CEO is supposed to be based on free

competition with competency and experience being the major criteria, the present selection is turning into a purely political appointment. With political manoeuvring in full swing, the selection committee has not been able to recommend three names out of the short-listed 12 candidates. Sources said that influence of the Tourism Ministry and Maoist-affiliated players was clearly visible, and they charged that the seat would go to a candidate loyal to the Maoists. They based their claim on the replacement on Tuesday of selection committee member Dhurba Narayan Shrestha by Agni Kadel who is considered to be loyal to the Maoists.

Erratic power supply shuts papers

Erratic power supply has hit life hard here. With the Achham-based Kailashkhola micro hydro project unable to ensure a smooth supply of power for a week, publishers have halted the publication of two dailies and four weeklies in the district. Publisher of Khaptad News Daily Pusparaj Bhatta said erratic power supply has disrupted the publication of the daily, lamenting that

publishers’ plea to the hydel project chief to ensure smooth power supply had fallen on deaf ears. The disruption in power supply has also affected the works of both government and non-government offices. A power project staffer said technical glitches are to blame. He did not elaborate. Project chief Birendradutta Pandey could not be contacted for comments.

amendment to the Interim Constitution for extending the term of the Constituent Assembly by six months, the Supreme Court Saturday granted a ‘final opportunity’. A day after the government tabled a bill seeking 11th amendment to the Interim Constitution for extending the term of the Constituent Assembly by six months, the Supreme Court today granted a ‘final opportunity’ to CA to conclude its mandated task of writing a new constitution. The apex court said if the CA, which was originally elected for two years and has not been able to deliver a new constitution in the last three-and-a-half years, fails to promulgate the statute by the end of extended period, it will be automatically dissolved. A five-member special bench of Chief Justice Khil Raj Regmi and Justices Damodar Prasad Sharma, Ram Kumar Prasad Shah, Kalyan Shrestha and Prem Sharma today gave a ‘final chance’, notwithstanding the restrictive proviso of Article 64 and earlier

Interim Constitution. The bench observed that the government had undermined the apex court verdicts and provisions of the constitution. “This (the final chance) is required for completing the remaining tasks related to drafting of the constitution, even though the CA has failed to conclude the assignment within its original deadline,” the order stated. SC suggested three alternatives should the CA fail to achieve the goal even after the 11th amendment and has issued guidelines to the government and Parliament that either they go for a referendum or fresh elections or find another suitable option. “The court gives a final chance to extend the CA term even though the writ petitioners have challenged the previous amendments to the constitution, for it would be inappropriate to undermined the efforts made by the CA to date and call them null and void,” it noted. SC also lashed out at the CA for disrespecting the spirit of

failure on the part of the CA had led to confusions and uncertainty, which has also made the mockery of the doctrine of necessity. The bench said the doctrine of necessity cannot be activated just to cover up authorities’ failure and that (CA) term cannot be extended for an indefinite period. Stating that Article 64 is a special provision, the apex court said, “The Article is unamendable but mandatory.” Parties to discuss Sunday. KATHMANDU: Constituent Assembly Chairman Subas Nembang said on Friday that the CA and the parties need to go through the Supreme Court verdict regarding the constitution-drafting body’s term extension and need to find an appropriate solution. He urged the political parties to go through the verdict seriously. Meanwhile, a meeting of the three major parties and United Democratic Madhesi Front decided that they would discuss ‘what the SC meant’ by its verdict on Sunday.

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Saarc international I Thursday 01 December 2011

WEEKLY REVIEW OF SRILANKA NEWS

President emphasizes need to attract investors Addressing a meeting with office bearers of Brokers Association of the Colombo Stock Exchange held at Temple Trees this morning, the President pointed out that the present atmosphere with an economic growth of 8 percent is most suitable opportunity. Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa today emphasized the need for the country’s stock market to attract local as well as foreign investors. During the meeting, the representatives of the Brokers

Association acknowledged that the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) immensely benefited after defeat of terrorism, two years ago. The brokers have met with the President, who as the Finance Minister has the authority to regulate the share market, to suggest measures to boost the slumping market and express their concerns over the tightening of regulations by the Securities and Exchanges Commission (SEC) which they say contribute to the declining bourse this year.

A broker who attended the meeting with the President has told Reuters that the meeting progressed well and it was positive.

Death toll reaches 17 in Lanka storm, 33 missing Heavy rains along with gusting winds that lashed the southern coastal areas of Sri Lanka Friday killed 17 people and left 33 fishermen missing, the National Disaster Management Centre (DMC) said today. The DMC officials said 17 people have been confirmed dead and 30 fishermen who ventured out to sea are missing. Another three people are missing in Monaragala and Anuradhapura districts after heavy rains overflowed reservoirs and streams. The DMC figures as of this morning reported 33,957 people belonging to 8,359 families have been affected due to the adverse weather condition prevailing in the country. Matara District of Southern coast has sustained the most damage from the gale force winds, the Assistant Director

of DMC, Pradeep Kodipilli said. According to the DMC, 8,980 people belonging to 1,796 families were affected in Matara district while 282 houses have been fully damaged and another 1,483 houses were partially damaged. Electricity to the area is interrupted many roads are blocked due to fallen

trees and other debris. Road cleaning and power line restorations are in progress, the DMC said. In the hill country Badulla district roads were blocked due to landslides brought about by heavy rains. The National Building Research Organization (NBRO) are clearing the roads, the DMC reported.

The President has agreed to look into extending credit limits, removing price bands set in place to prevent manipulation, increasing bank

lending limit to 7.5 percent from 5 percent, the brokers have said. The Colombo bourse climbed over 4 percent from a 14-month low today following the President’s meeting with the stock brokers, Reuters reported. Minister of Economic Development, Basil Rajapaksa, Deputy Minister of Finance and Planning Gethanjana Gunawardena, Secretary to the President Lalith Weeratunga and the Secretary to the Ministry of Finance and Planning Dr. P.B Jayasundara participated in the discussions.

Lanka, UAE to enhance trade relations The Foreign Trade Minister of United Arab Emirates (UAE) Sheikha Lubna bint Khalid Al Qasimi ended her fourday visit to Sri Lanka today with a pledge to enhance bilateral trade cooperation between the two countries. The UAE minister who led a 17-member business delegation to Colombo at the invitation of Sri Lanka’s Minister of Industry & Commerce Rishad Bathiyutheen participated in a first ever high powered UAE-Sri Lanka Business Forum. Addressing the forum on Thursday Minister Sheikha Lubna said UAE is interested in Sri Lanka’s tourism, education and health sectors “We are interested in Sri Lanka’s tourism, education and health sectors. We also want to open doors to SMEs of both countries and take part in more and more business forums and exchange

trade and business delegations,” the Minister has said. The UAE is the largest Foreign Direct Investor in Sri Lanka among the Gulf economies. The trade exchange reached US$ 364 million last year. Currently, UAE-Sri Lanka trade turnover stands at 548.4 million U.S. dollars, of which Sri Lankan exports to the UAE amounted to 246.2 million U.S. dollars, making the UAE one of the key trading partners in the Middle East.

Lanka CID official to visit President orders urgent relief MP Silva in Singapore to disaster-stricken people

An official of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of Sri Lanka Police is to leave for Singapore soon to evaluate the condition of ruling party legislator Duminda Silva who is being treated in a hospital there. The official is expected to visit the MP, speak to him, meet his doctors and submit a report to the Department.

Sri Lanka judiciary has ordered Duminda Silva to be arrested and produced in court in suspicion of assassinating Presidential advisor and former MP Bharatha Lakshman Premachandra. Silva sustained serious injuries to his head during the shooting incident that took place in Mulleriyawa on October 8th. Premachandra and four others were killed in the incident allegedly by Silva’s supporters. He had been taken away in a charter flight by his family for further treatment in Singapore when the court order was issued. President Mahinda Rajapaksa visited him in hospital before he left the country. The government has said that Duminda Silva will be brought back to the country according to the due legal process.

Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapaksa has directed state officials to assess the situation in the areas hit by heavy rains and winds today and provide urgent relief to the people affected by the disaster immediately. The President has met with relevant authorities this morning at the Temple Trees to discuss the immediate measures need to be taken to provide relief to the people affected by the heavy rains and winds in southern coastal areas. He has ordered to deploy trained personnel from the security forces to provide urgent assistance to the local officials to restore normalcy in the affected areas. Heavy winds and rains that lashed the southern coastal districts of Galle and Matara Friday have been blamed for 8 deaths. A group of fishermen who ventured in to the sea is reportedly

missing while four bodies of fishermen have so far been recovered. The President has emphasized the importance of securing the public from natural disasters and also discussed the need of a proper insurance scheme to compensate the damaged houses, the government media unit reported.

Meanwhile torrential rains experienced in many districts have caused flooding and earth slips. Overflowing water reservoirs in the Eastern Province have flooded roads and the transportation has been hampered in many areas in the Province.


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SPECIAL FEATURE

Saarc international I Thursday 01 December 2011

Forty-day celebration for UAE’s birthday Forty days of events have been planned in the build-up to the country’s national day on December 2, which will mark 40 years of the United Arab Emirates. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, approved the programme during a ratifying ceremony on Monday. Sheikh Mohammed highlighted the importance of the National Day and its significance in today’s era when the country is going to be of 40 years, overcoming many challenges and touching pinnacles of growth. He said that various

events to be held in the coming days would reflect rich heritage and multicultural society of the UAE. He added, “It is a celebration of the achievements of this great nation but also an opportunity for the whole community to truly unite and reflect on what it means to be Emirati, or call the UAE our home.” The events, scheduled to begin on October 24, will be themed Spirit of the Union leading up to National Day. The official website, www. uaenationalday.ae, was launched at the ceremony where Sheikh Mohammed unveiled the brand identity and the events lined up for the celebration. The website will include a breakdown of events throughout the country, registration details for key activities, partnership application details, background and historical information as well as news and real-time updates.

Sheikh Mohammed said celebrations would reflect on the history of the UAE’s birth and its evolvement as a nation over the past four decades. The 40th National Day logo was also unveiled during the ceremony - an image of unity from December 2 1971, the first congregation of the founding fathers, was used as the basis of its creative design. It carries a silhouette of the iconic image between the founding fathers of the UAE, led by the late Sheikh Zayed. The programme will recognise the country’s achievements and allow

Sheikh Mohammed added the celebrations would commemorate the rich heritage and multicultural society. In only 40 years United Arab Emirates had registered an impressive economic growth, a huge development in infrastructure and is now among the most developed country in the world. But the impressive development is not only contained to economic development or standard of living but also is based on a concerted effort in building a civil society and a strong

and treatment between men’s and woman’s and an inclusive political project that offers a strong voice to Federal National Council- the UAE Parliament in all country affairs. When 40 years ago Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan announced this visionary experiment uniting 7 emirates along a geopolitical destiny who would believe in such a glorious destiny. What was the secret of this astonishing experience? One of the secrets of United Arab Emirates astonishing development is a shared vision that unifies along

the community to reflect on the meaning of being Emirati or calling

democracy. Among news successes of UAE we

time the leaders and the peoples. Never in these 40 years was this

cooperation that allows leaders of UAE to build in full confidence of the people approval is one of the secrets of this solid construction of United Arab Emirates. The vision of Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan was an enduring one and based on this popular consensus and a geopolitical destiny. United Arab Emirates succeeded thanks to this vision to exploit in the benefit of the people the large reserves of gas and oil building a modern country and not spend it on military adventure as other states has done. Also the Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan vision enabled UAE to build a modern education and health system , one of the best in the region from a country with virtually no hospital and school only 40 years ago. The importance of education in UAE construction must not be overlooked, if today we have a successful experience of democracy building and open society this is based on sustained educational investment that offered to UAE citizens a vision of the world. Finally the vision of late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan is brilliantly continued by the President of UAE H.H. Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan efforts in constructing Abu Dhabi and UAE as a success story. The new vision includes the solar energy exploitation, the green energy revolution, constructing the first ever green city: Masdar and building UAE as a society of XXI century. In Dubai H.H. Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President of UAE also constructed a visionary project of attracting tourism and financial markets in an economic construction based on efficiency and rapid development. one of the

contact and shared vision between leaders and peoples severed. This bond, this mutual trust and

secrets of UAE success story is a continuous visionary and people connected leadership .

PM Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani, UAE Minister for Trade Shiekha Lubna Qasim AlQasmi, Governor Sindh Dr. Ishratul Ebad Khan and other dignitaries standing in respect of national anthem during opening ceremony of Magnificent UAE Expo 2011. the UAE home. Individuals who positively contributed to the nation will also be commended.

must count: involvement of women’s in all political and governmental sectors, the equality of payment


Saarc international I Thursday 01 December 2011

ENTERTAINMENT

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Bollywood actress Genelia D’Souza:

‘I am an excited bride’ Newly engaged Genelia D’Souza talks about marriage and playing the unsmiling princess She’s chirpy and cheery on the big screen, but Bollywood actress Genelia D’Souza has got the deadpan act down to an art when it comes to interviews. But don’t be fooled — the Jaane Tu... Ya Jaane Na star has a lot to be happy about in her life. On the personal front, she is gearing up to marry her longtime actor boyfriend Riteish Deshmukh early next year and on the professional front she won the Best Actress Asianvision Malayalam Award last weekend in Sharjah for her debut Malayalam action epic Urumi, in which she plays 16th century warrior princess act. “I am an excited bride, but that’s all I am comfortable saying. I am a woman of few words,” said D’Souza in an interview with

tabloid! after her win. The couple went public with their relationship on Twitter this month after announcing their engagement. “It’s been a journey for both of us. But I cannot tell you about how he proposed or anything. I am very excited — it’s going to be new phase in my life but I don’t want to go into details. I want everybody to give it the dignity that it has always got,” said D’Souza. On her latest professional achievement, the 24-year-old- actress said: “My award for Urumi is an answer to all those who thought that I can only do chirpy roles. With this I proved that I can do a role without cracking a smile.” With films such as Jaane Tu... Ya Jaane Na

and Mere Baap Pehle Aap, her onscreen chirpiness has been hailed and scrutinised at great length. Though it was refreshing to watch her in the beginning, her roles got a tad monotonous. “Such opinions are subjective and I don’t dwell on it too much. When people think you are perfect for chirpy roles, then it’s an

With charity in his mind- Anil Kapoor Anil Kapoor cancelled two important engagements in Mumbai to fly to Los Angeles

Anil Kapoor cancelled two important engagements in Mumbai to fly to Los Angeles to attend a charity event for Pratham, child literacy organisation. “I had to leave suddenly because I was called for a charity event in LA for Pratham, the child literacy organisation that I’m closely associated with. I thought that was more important than anything else,” said Kapoor. NGO Pratham USA recently organized a gala event in Los Angeles at the historical Westin Bonaventure. Bollywood actor Anil Kapoor replaced Sonam Kapoor as the Honorary Chair as she was ill, and actor Parvesh Cheena (Outsourced, The Other End

of the Line) was awarded with the Pratham Pioneer award in addition to Raju Reddy of Sierra Atlantic, Dan Gupta of UST Global, and Henrik Fisker who were also honored at the gala. South Asians present at the event were delighted to meet Kapoor who patiently posted for photos with everyone. The emcee of the gala was Sonia Bhalla (Outsourced, Up All Night, The Sixth Sense, Up in the Air). Local artists including singer Charenjeet and Bollywood Step performed at the event, entertaining audiences. “It’s fantastic the kind of work Pratham is doing,” said Anil Kapoor. “Pratham has been an organization

which has been doing this kind of noble work for many years. Prathamites, they are all kinds of people and I am proud of them— they are outside of India bust still so connected to India. Pratham has been going on for almost seventeen years which is huge and it’s a transparent and honest organization.” Kapoor is all set to be seen in Mission: Impossible-Ghost Protocol. “I landed in LA and saw banners and posters all over and it’s phenomenal. I’m looking forward to it.” “It’s a humbling experience to be honored by Pratham,” said Cheena. “It’s a great organization, dealing with literacy for children, and to be honored by an award for doing my job making people laugh… it’s a great thing. It’s humbling.” Cheena has been actively involved in supporting social causes in the South Asian community, including Chetna, an organization committed to eradicating domestic violence. Created in 1994, Pratham has expanded to most states in India, their mission primarily being to educate underprivileged children in reading, writing and math through initiatives including the “Lead to Read” program. Pratham has educated over 35 million underprivileged children in India and has created vocational training programs in conjunction with industry partners. Pratham has chapters in Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Phoenix, Tuscon, Denver, Chicago, Dallas, Austin, Houston, Raleigh, Charlotte, DC, Boston and New York.

advantage. But in Urumi, I didn’t crack a smile — even once — but it still worked. So there you go.” Meanwhile, producer Kumar Taurani confirmed his Tere Naal Love Ho Gaya, a romantic comedy bringing D’Souza and Deshmukh together onscreen after seven years, will release in 2012.

Desi Boyz earns Rs 25 crores in opening weekend

Akshay Kumar and John Abraham’s ‘Desi Boyz’ had a decent opening but audiences aren’t going gaga over them like girls in the film did. With the presence of two big stars Akshay Kumar and John Abraham in lead roles, the opening for Desi Boyz was expected to be huge. While the film has taken a decent initial, collecting around Rs 25 crores over the opening weekend, trade circles were expecting bigger business for a film of this magnitude. With no big jump in the business over Saturday and Sunday, the figures aren’t expected to get any better. The coming days will decide its fate at the box-office. Boys bonding is a great subject for comedies. Tarun Mansukhani tried it in Dostana. Debutant director Rohit Dhawan gives a far more blithe and effervescent spin to that thing called friendship that makes us do all kinds of weird and wonderful things. Sometimes in tandem.

Desi Boyz is a very entertaining yarn about two guys in Britain taking on recession with a bit of naughty moonlighting as, ahem ahem, gigolos. Or, as brothel-chief Sanjay Dutt (who comes to the strains of Nayak nahin khalnayak hoon main, a la Ra.One) describes it, Jerry (Akshay Kumar) and Nick (John Abraham) are in the business of making women smile. Desi Boyz goes beyond the fair sex. It makes everyone smile most of the while. The editing (Nitin Rokade) is seamless, bringing together the four principal actors’ individual charms into a collective space without crowding the canvas. To their credit every principal actor, and that includes Anupam Kher (playing Deepika Padukone’s zany dad) and Omi Vaidya (as her wimpy fiance) seems to get into the film’s vivacious frothy mood without letting the dark underbelly of the film be squandered in frivolity.


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South Asia Tribune I Thursday 01 December 2011

WE will never know if Dominique Strauss-Kahn was set up

Who set up Dominique Strauss-Kahn? Dominique Strauss-Kahn and his wife celebrate their anniversary as sex case ‘setup’ conspiracy rages Months after former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn was accused of sexually assaulting a hotel maid, an investigative report shedding fresh light on the incident implies that the one time French presidential hopeful may have been set up in a conspiracy to discredit him ahead of the country’s 2012 polls. The report titled ‘What Really Happened to Strauss-Kahn?’ published in the New York Review of Books states that Strauss-Kahn’s Blackberry, which the IMF chief referred to as his “IMF BlackBerry” had been “hacked” and later went missing. He said Strauss-Kahn was the victim of a conspiracy to “destroy him as a political force” by having him convicted of the rape of a 32year-old chambermaid in his suite. A leading figure in French President Nicolas Sarkozy’s party, the UMP, has dismissed any suggestion that ex-International Monetary Fund chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn was set up when he was arrested on charges of sexual assault in New York in May. “To imagine that what would have happened to Mr. Strauss-Kahn would be the object of some sort of complicity from the UMP, it seems too hard to believe,” said JeanFrancois Cope, secretary-general of the UMP party. Charges against Strauss-Kahn were dropped in August after questions were raised over the credibility of his accuser, hotel maid Nafissatou Diallo. However, the scandal ended both his career at the IMF and any hope of the leading Socialist politician challenging Sarkozy in next year’s presidential election. Now an article in the New York Review of Books says StraussKahn suspected a cellphone that

disappeared just before his arrest had earlier been hacked. It also describes CCTV footage showing employees of the Sofitel hotel appearing to celebrate after the maid reported the alleged attack. A female friend of Strauss-Kahn allegedly warned him that an email

he had sent had been read at UMP offices in Paris. If this was the case it meant, according to the New York Review of Books, “he had reason to suspect he might be under electronic surveillance in New York. He had already been warned by a friend in the French diplomatic corps that an effort would be made to embarrass him with a scandal. The warning that his BlackBerry might have been hacked was therefore all the more alarming.”

Why DSK might have been targeted Epstein’s account is based on information provided by Mr StraussKahn’s defence lawyers. It includes court and other legal documents,

electronic keycard records, timestamped security camera videotapes and records for a cell phone used by a security expert employed by the firm that owns Sofitel. When he arrived at the hotel, Mr Strauss-Kahn, a former Socialist finance minister, was the frontrunner to win France’s presidential elections next April. He was by far the most popular potential Socialist candidate and the only man who could unseat

Only Twenty20: Spinners carve out 50-run win Continued from page 32 >> ensure the hosts batted out their stipulated 20 overs. The poor display by the batsmen undid the good work done by the bowlers who kept the Pakistani batting in check after Misbah won the toss and elected to take first strike. Spinner Alok Kapali picked up two for 12 and former captain Shakibal Hasan finished with two for 24. Hafeez top-scored for Pakistan with 25 and was named man-of-the-match for his all-

round performance. ‘Pakistan are among the best’ Bangladesh captain Mushfiqur Rahim conceded that beating Pakistan was going to be a tough task for his team.

“It was a difficult pitch to bat on,” he said. “Pakistan are playing consistent cricket and it’ll be tough to beat them. They’re one of the best sides at the moment.” Misbah also agreed with his counterpart, admitting that the pitch was tough to bat on. “It wasn’t an easy wicket,” he said. “When the tracks are good, we can really make out what the other team is like. I thought 150 might be a good score but as it turned out, 130-plus was a good score.”

Sarkozy, whose popularity was at an all-time low. A poll in a Parisian newspaper gave Mr Strauss-Kahn 41 per cent of votes among cardcarrying members of his party. Even before he reached the hotel he claimed he had been the victim of a smear campaign by Sarkozy after details emerged of his luxury lifestyle. WE will never know if Dominique Strauss-Kahn was set up. There was no doubt of that over our French Sunday lunch as our friends reviewed the latest episode in l’affaire DSK. In the New York Review of Books, investigative journalist Edward Jay Epstein has unveiled circumstantial detail that could suggest the former boss of the International Monetary Fund fell into a trap. DSK’s uncontested nine minutes of oral

French circles in the US. In the Latin, Slavic and Arab worlds, conspiracy is the first explanation for most events, no matter how seemingly straightforward. That reaction is assured because everyone knows that the facts will be buried if an event is embarrassing to those in power. It is possible that further investigation by those literalminded Americans could nail down the DSK story, but it is far more likely that the tale will join so many others in the limbo to which the scandals of the French governing class are consigned. We are not talking about the era of Louis XIV or World War II. People are still ready to believe the worst because so few affairs reach court or any other conclusion. October last year, Sarkozy told me some reporters off the record that he expected DSK to fall victim to his private life during

sex with a maid at the Sofitel may have been masterminded from Paris to destroy his chances of taking the presidency from Nicolas Sarkozy next May. The Elysee Palace has laughed this off as fantasy. So what is new? Back in May, polls found that a majority of the French believed Strauss-Kahn, then favourite for the Socialist candidacy, was the victim of a plot. There was disagreement only over whether the culprits were les Sarko boys or anti-

the campaign. A few weeks before the Sofitel incident, Strauss-Kahn told French journalists his enemies were trying to lure him into a sex trap. (If he knew he was likely being set up, why did he fall into the trap?) Subsequent revelations on DSK’s alleged risk-taking with a ring of Lille-based prostitutes would seem to provide a clue. The prosecutors are on to that, so an answer may come in a few years . . . or never.

Six top Indian players pull out of World Series Hockey Continued from page 32 >> In a letter addressed to Hockey India Secretary General Narinder Batra, goalkeepers Bharat Chetri and PR Sreejesh, star dragflicker Sandeep Singh, defender Sardar Singh, and forwards Tushar Khandker and Yuvraj Walmiki have preferred country over the unsanctioned league, the dates of which clash with the national camp for the Olympic qualifiers. “We are not playing in the World Series Hockey event, and we will be attending

the national camp in Delhi for the Olympic qualifiers on December 11, 2011 until February 2012. We will be available for selection in the national team for the Olympic qualifiers,” said a letter issued by HI, which bears the signature of all the six players. The players, however, did not completely rule out their participation in the league and have requested the WSH organisers to postpone the event. Several national bodies, including HI and Pakistan Hockey Federation have also warned its players against participating in the $2 million event.


South Asia Tribune I Thursday 01 December 2011

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NATO conceals preparations for military action against Syria T

he United States has decided to disengage itself from certain obligations on the Conventional Forces in Europe Treaty (CFE). In particular, the USA will no longer inform Russia about the plans connected with the redeployment of its forces. Those restrictions are not touching upon any other country. “Today the United States announced in Vienna, Austria, that it would cease carrying out certain obligations under the Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE) Treaty with regard to Russia. This announcement in the CFE Treaty’s implementation group comes after the United States and NATO Allies have tried over the past 4 years to find a diplomatic solution following Russia’s decision in 2007 to cease implementation with respect to all other 29 CFE States. Since then, Russia has refused to accept inspections and ceased to provide information to other CFE Treaty parties on its military forces as required by the Treaty,” State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said on Tuesday. According to her, the USA does not refuse from the dialogue with Russia within the scope of the Treaty. However, Russia must get back to the institution of the CFE, the US diplomat added. Nuland also said that the United States did not intend to tie the CFE with the missile defense talks. The remarks from the US diplomat look like another attempt to turn everything up side down again. It is worth mentioning here that the first edition of the CFE Treaty was signed in 1990, during the existence of both NATO and the Warsaw Pact. The document stipulated a reduction of the number of tanks, armored vehicles, artillery (larger than 100 mm in caliber), combat planes and helicopters, as well as information exchange. A renewed variant of the treaty was signed in

1999. The new edition reflected such changes in Europe as the dissolution of the Warsaw Pact and the expansion of NATO. However, only Russia, Belarus, Ukraine and Kazakhstan ratified the new treaty. Russia moved a big part of its arms behind the Ural mountains, but the Western countries did not even want to execute

it. The expansion of the North Atlantic Alliance continued, and NATO neared Russian borders. At the end of 2007, Vladimir Putin decided to suspend Russia’s participation in the CFE until the USA and its European allies ratified the renewed variant of the treaty. The Americans did not want to make any moves in that direction. Now they have decided not to inform Russia about the redeployment of its forces. This is obviously another violation of the treaty which the United States committed. What consequences may Russia face as a

result of the US decision? Pravda.Ru asked expert opinion from the director of the Center for Military Forecasts, Anatoly Tsyganok. “The USA will stop informing Russia about military redeployments. The Americans can technically send their troops to Latvia, Lithuania or Estonia, which did not sign the treaty. Will the Baltic states turn into an uncontrollable military center near Russia’s borders?” “When Russia suspended its participation in the CFE Treaty, she had the right to say that some NATO’s newcomers, such as the Baltic states and Slovenia, had never signed the treaty. Now NATO eyes Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Lithuania and all other former members of the Warsaw Pact. “When they were deciding on the unification of Germany in 1990, Germany and France said in the appendix to the adequate agreement that NATO would not move beyond the Oder River (the river separates Germany and Poland - ed.). However, the West does not take this appendix into consideration. They only follow the agreement itself, which does not say a word about the non-expansion of the North Atlantic Alliance. It just so happens that the USA and its allies played a trick on Russia. “Why did it take the United States four years to decide not to inform Russia about military redeployments?” “Apparently, it is connected with the situation in the Mediterranean Sea. One may assume that NATO will create a military group near Russia’s southern borders to strike Syria. They will most likely raise this issue at the NATO summit in December. They will try to analyze Syria’s actions in case NATO conducts a military operation against the country, like it already happened in Libya.” “Is Russia a big obstacle for conducting NATO’s operation against Syria? Does the USA have anything to conceal from us at this

point?” “Russia is an obstacle, yes. We have a naval base in Syria’s Tartus. The base is protected with air defense complexes, so the chances for aggression from NATO or Israel from the sea are slim. If they decide to attack, it will most likely happen from the side of Saudi Arabia. So

the USA has something to conceal. “There is another aspect to this. There are approximately 120,000 Russian citizens living in Syria. Presumably, it goes about Russian women, who married local men. Russia can use this detail to interfere into the events in Syria. In addition, 20 percent of the Russian defense complex will simply tip off the perch in case Russia loses the Syrian market. It is not ruled out that they are regrouping NATO forces to get ready for the war against Syria, and they don’t want to notify Russia of that.”

April 4, 1979 Zulfikar Ali Bhutto as judicial murder.

Larger bench to hear ZAB case on Dec 12

Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry on Monday decided to take up the reference filed by the federation under Article 186 of the Constitution for revisiting Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto case on December 12. President Asif Ali Zardari two days ago had written a letter to the Chief Justice, requesting him for early hearing of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto reference, which is pending in the apex court since June last. The federal government, in April this year, had filed the reference to reopen case of former prime minister and founder of Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Zulfikar Ali Bhutto who was hanged on April 4, 1979, in Rawalpindi. The Pakistan People Party

has always termed the hanging of former prime minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto as judicial murder. The government had filed the reference, reported as PLD 1979 SC pages 38-53, through Federal Law Secretary Masood Chishti. President Asif Ali Zardari had forwarded the reference to the SC under clause 1 and 2 of Article 186 of the Constitution for revisiting the case of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto. Clause 1 of the Article 186 states: “If, at any time, the President considers that it is desirable to obtain the opinion of the Supreme Court on any question of law which he considers of public importance, he may refer the question to the Supreme Court for

consideration,” while clause 2 says; “The Supreme Court shall consider a question so referred and report its opinion on the question to the President”. Like the review petition on NRO, Babar Awan, who has represented the federation, failed to satisfy the court on the question of law in reference. The court has so far inquired from Babar Awan whether all the questions mentioned in the reference were the questions of law? Whether the bias and violation of fundamental rights were the questions of law? The court has noted that conclusion drawn from the facts is not the questions of law. On June 29, 2011, the hearing was adjourned till

July, after the retirement of Justice Javed Iqbal on 1st August, Justice MA Shahid Siddique on 13th October, and adhoc judge Ghulam Rabbani on 20th October the reference could not be taken up. But after the appointment of four judges, 17-member bench has been completed. This case was earlier fixed before the Court on various dates during April to June 2011. On April 21, the learned bench of three judges presided over by the Chief Justice directed to constitute a larger bench and accordingly a larger bench was constituted. In view of the importance of the presidential reference, senior advocates/jurists, M/s Ali Ahmed Kurd, Tariq Mehmood, Abdul Hafeez Pirzada, Fakhruddin G Ebrahim, Khalid Anwar, Makhdoom Ali Khan, SM Zafar, Aitzaz Ahsan, Zahoorul Haq, Qazi Muhammad Ashraf, and Abdul Latif Afridi were appointed as amicus curiae.” The 17-member bench, headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, now comprise Justice Mian Shakirullah Jan, Justice Tassaduq Hussain Jillani, Justice Nasir-ul-Mulk, Justice Jawwad S Khawaja, Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali, Justice Khilji Arif Hussain, Justice Tariq Parvez, Justice Mian Saqib Nisar, Justice Sarmad Jalal Osmany and Justice Amir Hani Muslim.


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South Asia Tribune I Thursday 01 December 2011

Ashurah in The Qur’an T

he Qur’an has described the event when Moses (‘alaihi al-Salam) was ordered to flee by night from the eastern delta of Egypt where the Israelites had all assembled, towards the sea, and beyond that to the Holy Land “which Allah had given to them”. Pharaoh pursued and caught up with them as they approached the sea. They were now trapped, and he was certain that he would succeed, once and for all, in destroying those who resisted his imperial rule, and who bowed to a God other than himself. Allah Most High ordered Moses (‘alaihi al-Salam) to strike the water with his staff, and behold, the waters miraculously parted to make a way for the believers to cross the sea to safety. The same sea drowned Pharaoh - the mighty, arrogant godless oppressor, and his power drunkarmy when they attempted to cross. Muslims around the world will fast for two days this week to commemorate that event of Ashurah.

That epic encounter is today being reenacted on the stage of the world. Falsehood is waging war on Truth. And believers in the Holy Land and elsewhere in

Shiekh Imran Hossein

Tribune Comment the world, who are armed with nothing more than the equivalent of stones, adamantly refuse to bow to an arrogant power-drunk European oppressor and all his house slaves. The utter contempt with which the US army totally destroyed the Iraqi city of Fallujah that had so heroically resisted Yankee occupation and oppression, is but a taste of the replay of that epic encounter. The message of hope

for the beleaguered Muslims of this age, which is implicit in this event, comes as a ray of sunshine and illumination in this world of darkness filled with injustice and oppression. Tomorrow holds the threat of even more monstrous lies, oppression and deception. One black mask on the white face of the oppressor has been replaced with another black mask, but

Ashurah, engenders conviction that Truth will again triumph over falsehood, and the believers would be delivered to safety while their oppressors would die the way Pharaoh died. How did he die? The Qur’an has informed us of a very significant event that occurred under the water as Pharaoh was drowning, i.e., he declared his belief in the God of Moses

In other words, at the moment when Allah Most High destroys them at the hands of the true Messiah, Jesus the Son of Mary, they would realize the falsehood to which they had clung all their lives, and would affirm the Truth that came in the Qur’an and with Prophet Muhammad (sallalahu ‘alaihi wa sallam). mankind is not fooled. Oppression continually escalates. The message of hope that Allah Most High will intervene one more time in the historical process, as He did on the day of

(‘alaihi al-Salam). Allah Most High responded to this with the declaration that He would preserve Pharaoh’s body so that it might function (when it is discovered) as a sign for a people

to come (at a later time). The ominous divine warning for them is that since they would live the way Pharaoh lived, they would die the way he died. In other words, at the moment when Allah Most High destroys them at the hands of the true Messiah, Jesus the Son of Mary, they would realize the falsehood to which they had clung all their lives, and would affirm the Truth that came in the Qur’an and with Prophet Muhammad (sallalahu ‘alaihi wa sallam). What a way to die! Pharaoh went to hell, and so would they! Pharaoh’s body was discovered in Egypt at the end of the 19th century and with that discovery the countdown to Armageddon commenced. The body is still on display in the Cairo Museum. This re-enactment of the epic encounter between Pharaoh and Moses (‘alaihi al-Salam) will conclude when, as prophesied by Prophet Muhammad (sallalahu ‘alaihi wa sallam), the son of Mary returns and a Muslim army liberates the Holy Land.

The Tragedy of Karbala and Its Implications for the Self

One of the primary objectives of commemorating the tragedy of Karbala and mourning the martyrs and victims has been to educate and inspire movements of self-reform and societal reform. This is noted in many works. For example, according to Shaykh Muhammed Mehdi Shams al-Din in his work The Rising of Al-Husayn: Its Impact on the Consciousness of Muslim Society, the Imams (peace be upon him) promoted visitation (ziyara) and lamentation of the tragedy of Karbala for the purpose of putting man into “living and direct contact with the sources of Islam in thought and ideology, in application and practice,” and further, that

when a Shia undertakes these tasks, he or she makes a commitment to “remain faithful to their [Ahlul Bayt’s (as)] covenant, their faith and their practice.” It is not enough for the Shia to honor, venerate, and mourn and neglect the educational and reformational objectives of Muharram commemoration. In light of this, we have generally achieved high awareness and consistent education within our communities and selves about the pure, upright aims of Imam Hussain and those with him, juxtaposed against the horrific cruelty and debauchery of the Umayyad regime. The message to reform ourselves and our communities to be

aligned against the likes of Yazid is heard loud and clear so that this message is even somewhat in the consciousness of the larger world population aside from the Shias. Further, we see efforts increasing to make that consciousness spread as our communities expand into traditionally nonMuslim lands. And this is not an unnecessary task. The danger of falling into the path of utter misguidance or even obstinate opposition to the path put forward by the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him and his progeny) at the command of Allah is an ever-present threat and reality. However, in the interest of reform, this is not

sufficient. If we look at the tragedy of Karbala, there were not just two sides of the event, but more. It was not merely the likes of Yazid versus the likes of Imam Husain and his camp. There is another body of people I feel we should think about very deeply, for their actions and their fates carry potentially urgent and directly applicable lessons for us if we are to improve ourselves. There were many people who claimed to be the lovers of Ahlul Bayt and the followers of their Imam, with their allegiance to him fully. But after the tragedy took place, they were left with a great burden of their own action or inaction. Consider the Kufans who invited Imam Husain and were eager for him and claimed to be ready to support him, follow him, and have him as their guide and leader. In truth, many of them were not prepared for their Imam, and when threatened they responded in a way to seek their safety, essentially abandoning their invited leader and his close followers to the tragedy. Many of these lived the rest of their lives in intense regret. One example is the poet ‘Ubayd Allah ibn alHurr al-Ju’fi. He was a leader in Kufa who had refused to help Imam Hussain. When the tragedy occurred, he realized the gravity of his mistake, but then it was too late. He spent the rest of his life trying to recover from his error; he proclaimed rebellion against the Umayyads, he went to Karbala and mourned the victims, and he wrote poetry blaming himself for his failure to support Hussain, and he struggled with life-long regret for his failure. Another example is ‘Awf ibn ‘Abd Allah ibn alContinued on page 29 >>


South Asia Tribune I Thursday 01 December 2011

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The Saudis No Longer Wait for US, Are Developing Own Nuclear Strike Capability order to rule the world and monopolize its wealth, one needs overpowering strength and clear superiority. We in the Middle East are supposed to be content with reading history and reveling in the glories of the past, but this is only good for students in literacy classes… “Anyone who wants to survive in the Middle East today, therefore, must possess nuclear weapons.”

Two days earlier, on Nov. 19, the Washington Post enthusiastically described Saudi Arabian plans for a military buildup to halt Iran. It drew on Saudi sources to disclose that the army will augment its 150,000-strong forces with an extra 125,000 men and that the National Guard will add the same number of troops to its estimated 100,000. The Saudi Navy will spend more than $30 billion buying new ships and sea-skimming missiles; the Air Force will procure 450 to 500 It was the linkage that caught Tehran’s attention. On Tuesday, Nov. 22, President Barack Obama‘s National Security Adviser Tom Donilon said that the toppling of Syrian President Bashar Assad‘s regime would serve Iran a serious blow and further isolate the Islamic Republic. Change in Damascus was inevitable, said Obama’s national security adviser. It would constitute Iran’s greatest setback in the region yet – “a strategic blow that will further shift the balance of power in the region against Iran.” Donilon spoke in the wake of a new round of tough US energy and financial sanctions against Iran. He made the first admission by a highranking Obama administration official that Washington’s interest in ousting Assad was not just a matter of his nine-month long brutal crackdown of a popular uprising, but even more, as the most momentous strategic defeat confronting Iran in the Middle East. The statement capped two weeks during which the US was reported to be mustering resources for exercising its military option against Iran’s nuclear program. In the second week of November, the US Air Force was said to have commissioned the new Massive Ordinance Penetrator, known as the MOP, in September. This bomb can explode 200 feet underground; it is designed to destroy deeply buried and fortified targets such as the depots Iran is believed to have sunk deep underground to house its nuclear facilities.

US lavishes bunker busters, F-16 warplanes on Arab allies

additional planes, and the Ministry of Interior was expanding its police and special forces units by about 60,000. The Saudi shopping list is a rare bonanza for US and European arms producers and merchants. The WP article did not indicate the length of time that would elapse between Iran’s attainment of nuclear arms and the doubling of the Saudi armed forces, or how long it would take to train Saudi pilots to fly the 72 new Eurofighters from EADS and 84 new F-15s from Boeing on that list. DEBKA-Net-Weekly‘s Gulf sources stress that this stream of US disclosures aimed at more than demonstrating the eagerness of Persian Gulf emirates to spend their way into projects for halting Iran – or even US willingness to support this effort with a lavish supply of sophisticated fighter planes and weapons. It was meant to address a pointed Saudi grievance.

“Anyone who wants to survive in the Middle East needs a nuclear weapon”

On Nov. 15, the Saudi London-based paper Asharq Alawsat ran an unusual article penned

Then, Monday, Nov. 21, the Pentagon was disclosed preparing for a formal congressional review of an arms sale to the United Arab Emirates, including about 600 satelliteguided bunker-buster bombs. Each weighting 2,000 pounds, they are part of a munitions package for the US ally whose fighter pilots fly the world’s most technologically advanced Lockheed Martin Corp. F-16s.

Saudi Arabia joins the Middle East nuclear race by Saudi Arabia’s most prominent Muslim preacher, Dr. Aaidh al-Qarni, under the headline: “The West wages jihad but forbids us from doing so.” The message conveyed between the lines was that Saudi Arabia had finally given up on the Obama administration’s Iran and Middle East policies. Having decided to wait no longer for American military or diplomatic initiatives, the oil kingdom had resolved to develop or acquire its own nuclear option to counter a nucleararmed Iran. This article would not have seen print without the endorsement of the royal house in Riyadh. Here are some excerpts: “… How can the West wage jihad but prohibit us Muslims from doing so… (rhetorical question) Here I am talking about the fact that the West has produced nuclear missiles yet prevents us from doing so… Its factories produce rockets, bombs, missiles, and frigates, rocket-launchers and aircraft carriers, whilst our factories only produce bubble-gum and Pepsi… “…Look at the five major nuclear states; how they advise others to abandon their nuclear weapons and oppose the atomic bomb, whilst the United States itself originally gained its respect and political weight because of its nuclear arsenal. They preach to other states and advise all nations to be peaceful, transparent and hospitable, urging them not to manufacture nuclear weapons because this constitutes a global threat. “In fact, the five major nuclear states do not want other nations to manufacture nuclear weapons so that they can maintain their hegemony, authority and tyranny. “The West was wise to develop the intercontinental ballistic missile and the atomic bomb, yet it prevents us in the Middle East from doing so because it knows that in

Continued from page 28 >> Ahmar al-Azdi, who revolted against the Umayyads under the leadership of Sulayman ibn Surad al-Khuiza’i. His surviving writings are said to indicate he reviled himself and others like him who sent for Husain with false promises but were not with him at the battle to defend him. He spent the rest of his life wishing he had been there, and all his actions after tried to make amends for his not being there with his Imam. These are just two examples of a large number of people. The lessons we must take from the tragedy of Karbala should include careful reflection about these people, what led them to make the decisions they made before Karbala, and how they struggled with it after. For, if the danger of Yazid-like traits existing in ourselves and our communities is real, then the danger of being like this regretful number is less a danger than a common unfortunate reality. In the modern era, instead of calling for Imam Hussain, we are calling for his pure descendant, Imam Mahdi (may Allah hasten his reappearance). But to await for him properly, we have to reform ourselves not just to the extent of removing all Yazid-like traits, but to go further, God willing, and achieve a state as individuals and as a community that were we to be the modern counterparts

According to a report the same grievance prompted Prince Turki al-Faisal, a former Saudi intelligence chief and adviser to King Abdullah, to voice opposition to an American or Israel attack on Iranian nuclear facilities. At a Washington press appearance on Nov. 15, he declared, “Such an act, I think, would be foolish, and to undertake it I think would be tragic.” Both comments reflect the policy currently espoused in Riyadh: Saudi has in fact given up on anyone else taking military action against Iran’s nuclear program after waiting in vain for America or Israel to pursue such action. Acting on this conclusion, our military sources report the Saudis have plunged into creating their own multibillion program for building nuclear weapons and acquiring the missiles to deliver them. They hope to end up with a counterweight to a nuclear-armed Iran across the Persian Gulf. This program is proceeding in great secrecy at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), at the Red Sea town of Thuwal. This site, spread over more than 36 square kilometers (14 sq. miles), also comprises a marine sanctuary and research facility. Every American intelligence effort to gain admittance to the campus’s military and nuclear labs have so far been thwarted.

of the Kufans and other Shia in the time of Imam Hussain, that we would behave and make decisions in such a way that we would not end up being regretful for not doing more to stand with our Imam. Were our Imam to return today, once again we would be likely to see not a pure juxtaposition of good versus evil, but also a number of people who claim to love the Imam and to be ready to serve him, but when put to the test they may fail to stand on either side, preferring to wait things out and to let others sacrifice. If we do not want ourselves counted among their number, then we should take steps now to learn from the Kufans in the events surrounding the martyrdom of Imam Hussain (peace be upon him). True progress and reform requires not only desire and hope, but commitment and sacrifice. If we want to move forward we have to make deliberate and continual steps, starting from the very basics of our deen, and couple this with regular, intense self-examination and passion for the goal. Reform is an exercise in which you get out what you put in. If we expend little of ourselves and reflect little, then we can expect little in return. We should not be content with that outcome. We should not be satisfied to say we are not like Yazid, but we should continue to push ourselves so that, God willing, we will never face the heartbreaking remorse and regret like ‘Ubayd Allah ibn al-Hurr al-Ju’fi.


Ashura Special

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South Asia Tribune I Thursday 01 December 2011

The Day of Great Signs of Allah’s Power and Glory By Allama Muhammad Shahid Raza (M.A) Head Imam, The Islamic Centre, Leicester Ashura day is the 10th day or Muharram (the first month of the Islamic calendar). Since the beginning of this world, Ashura day has been a very important day. On this day great signs of Allah’s power and glory have appeared in the world. On this day many Prophets were born and they were instituted to the office of prophecy. On this day, Prophets, Saints and Sincere servants of Allah were blessed with miracles and spiritual powers. On Ashura Day the following have taken place: 1. Repentance of Prophet Adam (Allah’s blessing be upon him) was accepted by Allah 2. The ship of Prophet Nuh (Noah) (Allah’s blessing be upon him) came to rest on a mountain called Al-Judi. 3. Prophet Ibrahim (Abraham)

(Allah’s blessings be upon him) was born on this day. 4. He got the title Khalil-ullah (friend of Allah) on this day. 5. The fire in which Prophet Ibrahim (Allah’s blessings be upon him) was thrown by the king Namrud become cool and means of safety for Prophet Ibrahim, by the order of Allah. 6. Allah delivered Prophet Ayub (Job) (Allah’s blessings be upon him) from distress and he was restored to prosperity. 7. By the Grace of Allah, Prophet Yunas (Jonah) (Allah’s blessings be upon him), after being swallowed by a huge fish (whale) for forty days, was casted out on the shore. 8. Prophet Mussa (Moses) (Allah’s blessings be upon him) got victory over Pharaoh.

Prophet Suleman (Solomon) (Allah’s blessings be upon him) was made a king to rule over mankind, Jins, Animals and the air. 10. Prophet Idris (Enoch) (Allah’s blessings be upon him) and Prophet Issa (Jesus) (Allah’s blessings be upon him) were lifted up alive. 11. Imam Hussain (Allah be pleased with him), the grandson of our beloved Prophet, got martyred at

Shah Ast Hussain… 9. 10th Moharram is a day of mourning for all Muslims. The tragic incident at Kerbala where the righteous Hussain refused to submit to the autocracy of Yazid is an event laden with deep symbolism. Hazrat Imam Husain and his faithful companions preferred to die on the banks of river Euphrates and upheld the struggle of good against the evil. Khawaja Muinuddin Chisty’s powerful verses epitomise the reverence and devotion of Muslims towards Imam Hussain: Shah ast Hussain, Badshah ast Hussain Deen ast Hussain, Deen Panah ast Hussain Sardad na dad dast, dar dast-e-yazeed, Haqaa key binaey La ila ast Hussain Loosely translated Ruler is Hussain, Emperor is Hussain, Faith is Hussain , guardian of faith is Hussain . Offered his head and not the hand to Yazid. Truly, the mirror of faith is Hussain

Karbala in Iraq. 12. The day of resurrection and judgement will take place on this day (Ashura) (Ghunia-Al-Talibeen & Tafseer-eSawi) Things to do on Ashura Day It is Mustahab (desirable) to practice the following on Ashura day: 1. To give to charity 2. To offer Naf’l (optional) prayers 3. To read Surah Iklas 1000 times 4. To visit rightful Ullamas (Islamic Scholars) 5. To take a bath 6. To be kind to orphans 7. To provide food generously to family members 8. To apply Surmah (Collyrium) to the eyes 9. To cut nails 10. To visit the sick 11. To Invoke blessings (Dua) 12. To commemorate the martyrdom of Imam Hussain (Allah be pleased with him) (Fazial Al-Shahoor Wal Ayyam) Prayers for Ashura Day 1. Perform 2 rakaats Naf’l prayer, after having a bath. In each rakaat recite Surah Fatiha once, Surah Iklas 10 times. On completion of the prayer recite Ayaat-ul-kursi once and Darood Ibrahim 9 times followed by the Ashura Day dua. 2. Perform 6 rakaats Naf’l prayer. In each rakaat recite the following once: 1. Surah Fatiha 2. Surah Wa-Shams 3. Surah Qadr 4. Surah Zulzilah 5. Surah Iklas 6. Surah Falaq 7. Surah Na’as On completion of this prayer read surah Al-Kafiroon once in Sajdah and then invoke the blessings of Allah. It has been written in Ghuniya-AlTalibeen that after performing this prayer whatever good is asked for Allah is granted. 3. Perform four rekaats Naf’l

prayer In each rekaat recite Surah Fatiha once and Surah Iklas 50 times. Allah will forgive 50 years of sins and a palace will be prepared in paradise. (Rahatul Kulub) To Hold Meetings on Ashura Day Holding of religious meetings during the first 10 days of Muharram, specially on Ashura day, is lawful (Ja’iz) and it caries a lot of reward.In these meetings, speeches are made about the heroic deeds and virtues of the martyrs of Karbala. These meetings crease a sense of stability, peace and endurance in the hearts and minds of Muslims. On such occasions speeches should also include stories form the lives of Khulfa-e-rashedean (Rightful Caliphs) and other Ashaabs (companions). Fatiha and Isal-e-Sawaab Fatiha and Isal-e-Sawaab is a way of sending rewards of good deeds to the souls of our beloved Muslim realtives, friends, scholars, Saints and Prophets who are no longer with us. Fatiha and Isal-e-Sawaab is lawful (Ja’iz) and strictly in accordance with the tenets of Islam. Some people, due to their ignorance, consider Fatiha and Isal-e-Sawaab as Haraam and Bida’at, but they are not right.On Ashura day, Muslims make Fatiha and Isal-e-Sawaab for the souls of Imam Hussain (Allah be pleased with him) and other martyrs of Karbala. For this purpose Muslims prepare sweet dishes, cold drinks (sharbat), fruit etc, and distribute these among relatives, friends and the poor. Fasting on Ashura Day Fasting on Ashura day carries a great reward. It is better to fast both 9th and 10th of Muharram. Our beloved Prophet Muhammad (Peace and blessing of Allah be upon him) has said that this is the most rewarding fast next to Ramadhan. Our beloved Prophet has also said that fasting on Ashura day will compensate for one year’s sin. (Tirmidhi Sharif)


South Asia Tribune I Thursday 01 December 2011

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South Asia Tribune I Thursday 01 December 2011

SAT

Tyson to attend BBS International Boxing Tournament, claims PBF

Sports

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Boxing Federation (PBF) president Duda Khan Bhutto on Monday claimed that former world heavyweight champion Mike Tyson would attend the opening ceremony of the 2nd Benazir Bhutto Shaheed (BBS) International

Boxing Tournament starting from December 20 here at Laiquat Gymnasium, Pakistan Sports Complex. Addressing a press conference at a local hotel yesterday, he said the PBF had sent a request to Tyson to visit Islamabad during

the tournament. “However, he has asked the federation to send the dates to finalise his schedule and he will join us at the opening ceremony of the event,” he hoped.

India win thriller to take 1-0 lead Cuttack: India wriggled out of a precarious position to clinch a nervewrecking one-wicket victory over the West Indies in the first cricket onedayer which turned out to be a lowscoring thriller Darren Bravo hit 60 as the West Indies set India 212 to win. Led by man of the match Rohit Sharma, who hit 72 India

recovered from 59 for five to win by one wicket. India defeated West India by 1 wicket with the help of Rohit Sharma’s half century in a nerve wrecking ODI match at the Barabati stadium in Cuttack. First ODI of the, India vs West Indies series at Cuttack, was a low scoring match. India has taken the lead of 1-0

in India vs West Indies 2011 One day series after this thrilling victory. West Indies batted first and gave target of 212 runs to victory to team India. At one point, India was struggling with 59 for five. When all india’s leading batsmen didn’t give any hope of achieving the target, Rohit Sharma single handedly worked out the

impressive 72 out of 99 balls. When India was cruising towards the victory, Rohit Sharma got out and it was again assumed that India will loose. It was 11 runs needed by then. But Varun Aaron and Umesh Yadav kept the dreams alive and led India to victory. Umesh Yadav finished the match with amazing boundary.

Six top Indian players pull Only Twenty20: Spinners out of World Series Hockey carve out 50-run win

DHAKA: A resurgent Pakistan continued their winning run to defeat Bangladesh by 50 runs in the only Twenty20 international in Dhaka after having been bowled out for their lowest total against

Bangladesh. The win also put Pakistan up to fifth in the Twenty20 rankings, up two places from when the rankings were released by the ICC as Misbahul Haq’s men, buoyant

after a successful series against Sri Lanka in the UAE, proved their mettle once again. The tourists, playing their 50th Twenty20, fought back after being restricted to 135 for seven to keep Bangladesh down to 85 for nine on a slow pitch. Mohammad Hafeez claimed two for 11 in four overs while Shoaib Malik also chipped in with two wickets in three balls as Pakistan recorded their fifth Twenty20 win over Bangladesh in as many matches. The hosts were left to rue a lethargic batting display in which nine batsmen failed to reach double figures. The match was as good as over when Bangladesh lost half their side by the ninth over with the total on 23. But Nasir Hossain hit a defiant unbeaten 35 with two boundaries and a six to Continued on page 26 >>

The multi—million dollar World Series Hockey received a big jolt just days before its start with six top Indian players withdrawing from the league to be held across different cities of the country from December 17. Goalkeepers Bharat Chettri, Sreejesh, ace drag-flicker Sandeep Singh, Tushar Khandekar, Sardar Singh and rising star Yuvraj Walmiki assured their parent body Hockey India (HI) that they would not participate in the WSH, which is promoted by Nimbus Communications and the Indian

Hockey Federation (IHF). The WSH is also not sanctioned by the International Hockey Federation (FIH). Continued on page 26 >>

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