oto From ‘Napalm Girl’ Ph rns 40 Vietnam War Tu
See page 26 >>
Formal probe launched into Baroness Warsi’s expenses claims
A formal investigation has been launched into Baroness Warsi’s expenses claims. The House of Lords Standards Commissioner launched the probe after allegations surfaced that the Cabinet Minister claimed over £165-a-night for accommodation expenses while staying at a friend’s house rent-free. Scotland Yard said it had decided not to investigate Lady Warsi’s expenses and had passed the matter back to the House of Lords. Labour had called for a criminal inquiry into the Tory peer’s expenses. Lady Warsi, the Conservative Party co-chairman, has denied any wrongdoing, insisting that she had acted within the rules at all times and made an “appropriate payment” to her friend - Tory official Naweed Khan, who is now one of her aides - for the nights she stayed at a
property in Acton, west London. Cameron has been accused by Labour of being inconsistent for referring Warsi to the independent adviser on ministerial interest while refusing to take the same step with his culture secretary, Jeremy Hunt, who has also faced criticism over his conduct in office in relation to News Corp’s BSkyB bid. Cameron insisted on Tuesday that they were two “very different cases”. David Cameron has denied that he is deploying a “double standard” by subjecting the Conservative party’s cochairman to an independent inquiry into whether she broke the ministerial code while denying the need for a similar probe into the culture secretary’s dealings with News Corporation. The prime minister’s decision to investigate allegations Continued on page 31 >>
Were the Molenbeek riots Belgium: Burqa Bounty of £200 Offered orchestrated from the UK? by Far-Right Politician Filip Dewinter
According to the Flemish weekly Knack claim the Molenbeek riots in Brussels last week were possibly orchestrated from the UK. There are allegations that Sharia4UK, an organisation similar to Belgium’s Sharia4Belgium, was instrumental in fanning the flames of violence. Knack claims that the leader of Sharia4UK, Anjem Choudary, texted people in Belgium on Thursday asking them to give an appropriate response to the arrest of a woman wearing a full face veil. The garment that only leaves the eyes visible to Continued on page 31 >>
Belgian right-wingers have offered to pay a bounty to anyone who reports a veiled woman to police. The Vlaams Belang political party made the 250 euros (£200) offer today in the wake of face veil riots in Brussels. Filip Dewinter, a senior figure within the right-wing party, told Reuters the riots had made police apprehensive about enforcing the burqa ban. He claimed that the payment should put pressure on authorities to further enforce it. Mr Dewinter said: ‘It’s a textile prison for the women who have to live under it.’ The anti-immigration nationalist party’s stunt follows protesters hurling bins and metal barriers at
a Brussels police station last week. The riot broke out after a Muslim woman was arrested for refusing
But added that any officer who sees a woman wearing a niqab would issue a penalty.
to remove her face veil, or niqab. A Brussels police spokesman said he was unaware of the money being offered.
He said: ‘When someone is breaking the law we always have to intervene, demonstrations or no, the niqab is Continued on page 31 >>
South Asia Tribune I Thursday 07 June 2012
If US apologizes to Pakistan, we’ll apologize to Turkey: Israeli FM
Israel does not have to apologize for the killing of nine Turkish activists on a Gaza-bound flotilla in 2010 unless the United States apologizes for the killing of 24 Pakistani soldiers in a mistaken drone strike last November, Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor
Publisher Salah Bu Khamas (UAE) Sabha Khan (UK) UK Office 10 Courtenay Road, Wembley, Middlesex, HA9 7ND UK Phone: +44 20 8904 0619 Fax: +44 20 8181 7575 email@example.com India Office Satya Infomedia Pvt. Ltd. C/O Satya Group. 1st Floor, Avenue Appt., Near Sheth. R. J. J. High School, Tithal Road, Valsad - 396001 Gujarat, India United Arab Emirates Office S.K. Group of Companies P.O. Box 9021, Karama Dubai, United Arab Emirates Tel: +971 4 2659970, 3359929; Fax: +971 4 2659971, 3341609 www.sk-groupofcompanies.com Managing Editor & CEO Mohammad Shahid Khan Group Editorial Managers Gulzar Khan (India) Abdul Khalique (Pakistan) Editorial Board UK Frances Brunner FYI Tribune team Adrian Fellar Misbah Khan Reema Shah Rohma Khan Keziah-Ann Abakah Marketing & Sales Andrew Klugman (Manager) Art Department UK Ali Ansar (Art Director) Md. Reazul Islam
Liberman said during a recent speech. “The Pakistanis asked the U.S. to apologize, and the Americans said, ‘No way.’ So when [the U.S.] comes to us and pressures us to apologize over the Mavi Marmara, because of this or that constraint,
sometimes even to best friends you must say, ‘No,’” Lieberman was quoted as saying by the Jerusalem Post. “Otherwise, no one will respect you,” he added. The Israeli minister said his country’s stance on the Mavi
Marmara had not changed and defined the Israeli use of force as “a legitimate right for selfdefense.” “We were right,” Lieberman said. “And you don’t apologize over something right, regardless of the pressure.”
During a conference in Tel Aviv last week, a top U.S. official underlined the importance of fixing IsraeliTurkish ties and “hinted that Israel should apologize.” A NATO cross-border air raid accidentally killed 24 Pakistani soldiers on Nov. 26, 2011.
Businessman launched bigoted rant against Muslim airport worker ... after reading article in Daily Mail A high-flying businessman was hauled before the court for a tirade of religious abuse at a Muslim immigration official waiting to check his passport. Reported Manchester Evening News. Anthony Holt, 65, had become wound up after reading an article in the Daily Mail about the “victimisation of Christianity” on a flight into Manchester. When he landed, the retired consultant refused to go through a desk where Sayima Mohammed was on duty. He astonished witnesses by pointing at her and saying: “I don’t want to be seen by that. I don’t want to be seen by any Muslim in a position of authority. I want to be seen by someone who’s English. This is England. This is my country. I’m not into all this Islam.” As Ms Mohammed burst into tears, her colleagues refused to check Mr Holt’s documents and ordered him to calm down. When police arrived, Holt turned his attention to a cop, saying: “That’s Islam. I’m not going to that. This is my country.” The 15-minute row only ended when he was arrested. During a police interview Holt claimed the abuse was not “personal”. He said: “The
problem I have is with Islam as a whole. It’s threat to the British population and the British way of life. I wanted to take a stand.” Holt, of Railway Road, Urmston, pleaded guilty to using religiously aggravated threatening words or behaviour. He was ordered to pay £100 compensation and a £145 fine. Trafford magistrates heard he had
worked as a consultant advising lawyers about the purchase of railway stock until his retirement earlier this month. The court heard the outburst took place in front of a queue of witnesses, including children. In a statement to police, Ms Mohammed said: “I felt threatened, shocked and humiliated to be treated in
that manner for no apparent reason.” Praveen Sethi, defending, said Holt had been flying into Manchester at the end of “a stressful week”. He had been reading an article in the Mail in which the former Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Carey spoke of the “victimisation of Christians and Christianity”. Mr Sethi said: “He took his frustrations out on the first person he saw. Mr Holt is a man of previous good character. He’s not a racist nor against any religion what-so-ever, which makes it even more surprising he carried out this act.” The court heard Holt suffered from a neurological disorder which meant he could “explode” at any time. Holt told magistrates his comments were not directed to Ms Mohammed, but at the fact she was wearing a scarf. He said: “I have pleaded guilty because I am. It’s totally out of character for me. I deeply regret it and deeply regret any offence or distress I caused the lady. Nothing I said was directed to her personally.” Geoff Homer, chairman of the bench, told Holt: “You have said to this court this is a one off incident and we accept that.”
South Asia Tribune I Thursday 07 June 2012
Make An Alliance With Rum? The Romans have been defeated, In the land nearby, and they, after their defeat, will emerge victorious.
When Israel Wages Her Big Wars Will Muslims Make An Alliance With Rum? Sheikh Imran Hosein “Nabi Muhammad (SA) has prophesised that ‘You will make an alliance with Rum’. Indeed there is a... Surah of the Qur’an which is entitled Surah ArRum. And in that Surah, in the first Ayah, Allah speaks about Rum being defeated. If you believe that Allah (SWT) was referring to a city in Italy then you should buy a one way ticket to Disneyland. Rum in the Qur’an is easy to identify. It is the ‘Eastern Orthodox Christian Church’; which had established the Byzantine Empire with Constantinople as its capital... Prophet (SA) said ‘You will make an alliance with Rum’. The Byzantine Empire has disappeared today, but the ‘Eastern Orthodox Christian Church’ has not. If we want to find Rum, where is the ‘Eastern Orthodox Christian Church’ today?
Answer, the headquarters is now in Russia. And so when the Prophet (SA) said, ‘You will make an alliance with Rum’, answer is its going to be an alliance with Russia. ..” ,:Shiekh Imran Hosein Russian Church Is a Strong Voice Opposing Intervention in Syria Russian Christians have extracted a promise from Putin that is a boost to the embattled Syrian president THERE ARE many reasons for Russia to support Syria in the face of anger from Western nations outraged at the killings of civilians, including the two countries’ military relationship. But a promise made by President Vladimir Putin to the Russian Orthodox Church to protect
Christians in the Middle East could be another factor in Moscow’s support for President Bashar al-Assad.
Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari was invited to the NATO summit and then publicly humiliated. The alliance’s secretary general, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, and United States President Barack Obama refused to
support from two major regional powers - Russia and China. Putin’s visit to Pakistan, which is expected “soon”, will be the first by a Russian head of state in the six-decade long history of relations between the two countries. It will consolidate the remarkable makeover in the two countries’ relations in the past two to three years. Russia and Pakistan have been closely consulting on the Afghan situation, and they recognize each other’s legitimate interests. n
meet him. Obama further showed his displeasure by omitting Pakistan from the list of countries he thanked
geopolitical terms, the warming of the Russian-Pakistani ties meshes with the growing coordination
This scared Pakistan, because the US is our life-line. They provide us with much-needed money, and we remain at their beck and call due to this unfortunate reality. There is increasing pressure on Pakistan by the United States and several other countries towards combating terrorism, as well as in terms of the settlement of the Afghan crisis. Washington uses financial instruments, mainly financial aid, and military threats in the form of drone attacks, to keep us dancing to their tune. It has even launched a mass media campaign against Islamabad, accusing Pakistan of supporting terror. Pakistan’s possible membership in the SCO presents a lucrative opportunity for us to finally obtain freedom from this mounting pressure. Partnership with super-powers like China and Russia can reduce
for supporting the military effort in Afghanistan and by pointedly asking Pakistan to cooperate. Through media leaks, US officials have since publicized that in a closed-door session, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton subjected Zardari to an hour-long harangue. China and Russia closely
between Moscow and Beijing on regional and international issues. Pakistani relations with equanimity, since both Russia and China would only have a moderating influence on Pakistan. But these are extraordinary times, with the US at loggerheads with Moscow and Beijing. Why should we support this alliance, one might ask. To them, I would like to state simply, we need this to free ourselves from the stronghold of the US. We have numerous reasons to support this alliance. For instance, despite all cooperation and the consequent suffering, Pakistan continues to face immense pressure from America. The recent episode of this series of pressure came when Pakistan suspended the Nato supply lines as a backlash of the Salala checkpost attack on November
Pakistan’s dependence on the US and its Western allies. Furthermore, increased cooperation, with these aforementioned regional powers, can also help to lower our dependency on US financial aid - a tool used to keep Pakistan within the crutches of the US. The Eastern cooperation can pave way for opening numerous corridors of progress for Pakistan as well as other South Asian states - mainly India and Afghanistan. The alliance can open ways for exporting energy from energy-rich countries such as Russia- Turkmenistan and Iran, to energy-scarce states such as Pakistan and India. Energy-deficient countries can greatly benefit from this increased regional cooperation. One such example is the trans-Afghan pipeline, or TAPI
China and Russia can free Pakistan of the US
coordinate on regional and international issues. What stands out is that Beijing and Moscow have come forward to extend political support to Pakistan at a time when Washington is trying to isolate it and make Islamabad bend to its wishes. Pakistan is looking to the East for help. We are pinning our hopes on regional cooperation through blocs such as the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO). This bloc boasts
26, 2011. This suspension led to threats of slashing the civil military aid to the country from the US Congressmen and policy makers.
(Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India), which surely can help in overcoming some part of the energy shortfall in Pakistan and India. In order to achieve these goals and gain a dividend from the SCO, Pakistan needs to participate actively in the activities of the SCO in the areas of combating terrorism, drug trafficking and the Afghan settlement. Drug trafficking has been a major area of concern for Moscow. They claim that it is the ignorance of coalition forces in tackling the issue which has led to more drugs seeping into Russia. Thus, participation and cooperation will help to expedite the process of obtaining full membership in the organisation for Pakistan. Interaction with the SCO will create real preconditions for countries to large-scale regional development programmes, particularly in the energy, transport and information spheres. This will eventually lead to an improvement in the areas of economy and the country’s security, strengthening its impact in the region. Russia and the Central Asian
countries have supported Pakistan’s desire to become a full member of the organisation, while China has refrained from doing so. Sergei Lavrov, the acting Russian Foreign Minister, in a recent SCO meeting pushed for India and Pakistan’s membership in the SCO, coupled with more involvement in the Afghan security situation in a post Nato withdrawal scenario. Pakistan must convince Beijing that Islamabad’s full participation in the organisation will be useful in addressing major regional issues. Pakistan must seize the moment, and exploit regional energy resources by partnering with Russia, China and India for energy and commercial trade. Let’s free ourselves from the hold of the West by embracing our friends in the East.
Some “minority of Asian Tory Politicians think they can get away with sleaze If you don’t think Sayeeda Warsi is an ideal Tory Chairman you are a racist. The New Statesman is not the only place where you can read similar suggestions. Monday’s Independent, Ian Birrell in The Guardian and Statesman have all tip-toed through not dissimilar territory. The News from Pakistan went further even blamed all the UK newspapers who wrote anything critical about Saeeda Warsi as Racist. The news writes UK’s racist media goes after Sayeeda Warsi on witch-hunt. Lady Warsi admitted this week that when Abid Hussain joined her on an official visit to Pakistan in 2010, she did not inform officials that they were linked through a company in which they both held shares. Mr Cameron accepted Lady Warsi’s assurances that neither she nor Mr Hussain had gained from the arrangement and that no public money had been spent. Nevertheless, he ordered Sir Alex to investigate. Is it Racism.. Run a poll of Tory members and you’ll find that Priti Patel is one of their very favourite new MPs. They aren’t interested in her ethnicity but love her straight-talking Tory politics. Similarly there is much enthusiasm in the grassroots for the likes of Sajid Javid MP, Paul Uppal MP and Shaun Bailey as future stars. At the last election non-White Tories were selected in many heartland seats. Helen Grant, Sam Gyimah, Kwasi Kwarteng and Nadhim Zahawi being stand-out examples of candidates prospering among the bluest of blue selectorates. It’s true that there are still some racists inside the Tory Party. The influential “ConservativeHome” website ran a statement by the Margaret Thatcher Centre
for Freedom saying Warsi’s presence at the top of the party ranks sends “the wrong signal at a time when Britain is fighting a global war against Islamic terrorism and extremism. Critics of Sayeeda Warsi may be wrong. Baroness Warsi has great skills. She is very likeable. She’s a good speaker. Within Tories she gets high praise for her work in Pakistan. An investigation will of course take place in due course, however in the case of Warsi, a simple google search will yield a whole list of articles that have presumed she is guilty, offering many reasons as to why she has acted fraudulently. The main explanation for her behaviour appears to be her background, including: Pakistani, Muslim, of working class background and/or female. Whether or not she was ever worthy or capable of the job had also been questioned because of her ‘background’. Now, to us and those of sound reasoning, bringing her background in to the equation seems irrelevant. It’s like suggesting that those who are Muslim, Pakistani and/or of working class backgrounds are inherently fraudulent and are unfit to be members of the cabinet. Though ludicrous and baseless to the rest of us, Warsi however, shouldn’t have an issue with this reasoning. After all, only recently had she claimed that those of Pakistani heritage have a grooming problem. How she came to this utter nonsensical conclusion, which was obviously not only incorrect, deeply offensive and in support of Islamophobic rhetoric, is beyond us. However, she had no qualms with making such a statement, without having any evidence to support her claim and knowing full well what the consequences would be.
CJ Family gate
An accidental hero or by a clever plan he was made most trust worthy man with Justice of Pakistan . When Mushraff suspended him he was only protected by Chief Kyani . He was disliked by Shahbaz Sharif. He was not supported by Zardari . And now the same Chief justice took notice and Supreme Court called Arsalan Ifthikhar and Malik Riaz Hussain. Perhaps the most explosive revaltion about “Family Gate” is not what happened to the Chief Justice’s son, but who knew about it. It is alleged that Imran Khan, Ahtizaz Ahsan, Najam Sethi and Mr. Kahira etc. knew about the scandal. Amazingly they did not reveal it! But Why Najam Sethi has not been summoned yet. The repercussions from the scandal may spread far and wide. If the younger Chaudhry tells all and reveals the names of those who who had given him tons of money–this may lead to a wide scandal that may sweep away many politicians. Pakistan Peoples Party‘s leadership were also aware of this conspiracy but just could not ‘find courage to bring it up.’ Interestingly, according to Sehbai, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf‘s chief Imran Khan was among those few who knew about it. Question is why Shaheen Sehbai was pleading case for Chief Justice without knowing the real game? Why the establishment paid journalist are protecting CJ as he is a clean man? On the other hand the first journalist who gave hints about the story was Nusrat Javed, but he intentionally
never gave any names he wanted to see proofs first. Even when he gave first news regarding Shaheen Sehbai interview, but Nusrat declined to discuss without any proofs. Why Aitezaz Ehasan was trying to stop news to be published in UK ? as one of his friend who was going to publish the news but got delayed by Aitezaz’s intervention so was CJ asking him to get involve? Malik Riaz, who recently paid millions on the instructions of Zardari for the release of Pakistani sailors, Riaz malik who has been accused of land grabbing and encroachment, again accused of pay millions and to hatch a conspiracy plan to involve Chief justice Ch Iftikhar son Dr Arsalan Ifhtikhar . Arsalan’s credibility does not match that of his father. People do mention the son’s name in dubious matters. Now we know why CJ warned for Emergency early in May . The honest CJ never knew when his son was spending millions on his trips to Europe, he never knew that investment or being given special privileges by police or FIA for Arsalan were wrong, he never knew that up until now CJ is doing nothing but wasting Trust of the Nation and letting people to get killed even on 12th May. Why he suddenly became so strong Muslim to act according to Islam and Law when he himself dose not practice Islam by not drinking, not praying, not following Article 63 in proper way. The most honest CJ is nothing but another puppet of Kyani who is also lion of words and not stopping Drones.
South Asia Tribune I Thursday 07 June 2012
‘This is not about China’
Panetta: Majority of US warships moving to Asia The US is set to reposition its Navy fleet with the majority of its warships to be assigned to the AsiaPacific by 2020. But this military strategy has nothing to do with US-Chinese rivalry in the region, the defense secretary assures. ¬The US would reposition its Navy so that 60 per cent of its warships would be assigned to the AsiaPacificregion by 2020, compared to about 50 per cent now, US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta told senior civilian and military leaders from about 30 Asia-Pacific nations at an annual security forum in Singapore. “Some view the increased emphasis by the United States on the Asia-Pacific region as some kind of challenge to China. I reject that view entirely,” he said. “Our effort to renew and intensify our involvement in Asia is fully compatible… with the development and growth of China. Indeed, increased US involvement in this region will benefit China as it advances our shared security and prosperity for the future.” But in laying out core US principles in the region, Panetta made clear Washington opposed any attempt by Beijing to make unilateral moves in its push for territorial rights in the oil-rich South China Sea. Panetta’s comments came at the start of a seven-day visit to the region to prove to its Asian allies that it intends to remain a crucial military and economic power in the region to counterbalance China’s growing influence. The trip includes stops in Vietnam and India, and comes at a time of renewed tensions over competing sovereignty claims in the South China Sea, with the Philippines, a major US ally, and China in a standoff over the Scarborough Shoal near the Filipino coast. The US aims to reassure its allies that Washington would act to counterbalance China’s growing influence on the South China Sea as part of its foreign policy known as the “pivot to Asia”. Panetta said the US will be committed to alliances instead of new permanent bases and mentioned treaties with Japan, South Korea, Thailand, the Philippines and Australia as well as partnerships with India, Singapore, Indonesia and others. Panetta also said Washington also would work to increase the number and size of bilateral and multilateral military training exercises it conducts
in Asia-Pacific. Officials said last year the US carried out 172 such joint drills in the region. Panetta reiterated he was committed to a “healthy, stable, reliable and continuous” military-to-military relationship with China, but underscored the need for Beijing to support a system to clarify rights in the region and help to resolve disputes. “China has a critical role to play in advancing security and prosperity by respecting the rulesbased order that has served the region for six decades,” he said. President Obama unveiled the new US defense strategy at the start of the year. The US leader stressed that the shift in focus to Asia comes amid increasing concern at the Pentagon over China’s strategic goals. Beijing begins to field a new generation of weapons that American officials fear are designed to prevent US naval and air forces from projecting power into the Far East. In response, Beijing warned the US to be “careful in its words and actions and do more that is beneficial to the development of relations between the two countries and their militaries.” The Chinese Foreign Ministry stated the expanded US military presence in Asia was based on a miscalculation of Beijing’s intent to modernize its military defenses. “The accusation targeting China in the document has no basis, and is fundamentally unrealistic,” the Foreign Ministry proclaimed back in January, shortly after the release of Washington’s new strategy. “China adheres to the path of peaceful development, an independent and peaceful foreign policy and a defensive national defense policy.”
Denmark convicts four over cartoon terrorist plot
A Danish court on Monday found four men guilty plotting to kill a large number of people at a newspaper in revenge for the paper’s 2005 publication of cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad(PBUH). Sahbi Ben Mohamed Zalouti, Munir Awad and Omar Abdalla Aboelazm -- Swedish citizens of Tunisian, Lebanese and Moroccan origin, respectively -- along with a Tunisian national living in Sweden, Mounir Ben Mohamed Dhahri, pleaded not guilty to charges of “attempted terrorism.”
Prosecutors said the four were plotting to “kill a large number of people” at the Jyllands-Posten daily’s offices in Copenhagen when they were arrested on Dec. 29, 2010. The newspaper published a dozen cartoons in 2005 of the Prophet Muhammad that triggered violent and sometimes deadly protests around the world. One of the accused has pleaded guilty to illegally possessing weapons, a charge the others have denied. A verdict had not been expected until June 15, but the proceedings have gone more quickly than planned.
South Asia Tribune I Thursday 07 June 2012
Assange and allies claim vast conspiracy as extradition fight hits home stretch Two women in Sweden allege they were sexually assaulted by Julian Assange, the Wikileaks founder. Assange and many supporters say they’re part of a vast conspiracy against him. Wikileaks founder Julian Assange and his supporters have claimed that the extradition of him to Sweden is a part of huge conspiracy, aimed at taking revenge from the former hacker. Two women had previously alleged that Assange, an Australian citizen and the founder of the Wikileaks website, had sexually assaulted them in Sweden, following which he now faces being extradited from the UK. Supreme Court could be challenged on Vienna Treaty point Assange’s allies claim that the plan is a combination of two women scorned seeking revenge and a Swedish state that is secretly conniving with Americans to extradite the former hacker to the US to face charges related to his release of hundreds of thousands of the US military and State Department documents two years ago. Now, Assange’s nearly two-year fight against extradition to Sweden for questioning over the allegations is nearing an end, with a final decision being made within two weeks. At a brief hearing in central London, Britain’s Supreme Court denied Assange’s appeal against extradition but in a new twist allowed his legal team the chance to contest its ruling. The court’s president, Nicholas Phillips, told the packed courtroom that in a 5 to 2 decision, the justices had dismissed Assange’s argument that a European arrest warrant issued
for his extradition was flawed. The judgment had been billed as the final leg in Assange’s marathon legal battle in British courts, but instead the court granted Assange’s attorney, Dinah Rose, 14 days to consider lodging an application to reopen the case after she argued that the justices’ decision was based on a point not discussed during the hearing. It was the first time the court has said it would accept a challenge to one of its rulings since it began work in 2009. Britain’s Crown Prosecution Service has agreed not to deport Assange
before June 13, and even then, he can still appeal to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, France, which would have two weeks to decide whether or not to take the case. Assange, 40, is wanted for questioning in Sweden about separate encounters he had with two WikiLeaks volunteers during a visit he made to Stockholm in August 2010. Although he admits to brief affairs with the women, he adamantly denies their accusations of rape, sexual assault and unlawful coercion. In February 2011, a lower court in Britain ruled that he should return to
Sweden to face questioning. Assange appealed that ruling and lost, but he won permission to appeal to the Supreme Court, which agreed to hear the case before seven judges — two more than normal — because, the court said, of the “great public importance of the issue raised.” The case before the court had nothing to do with the sex crime allegations
on the panel based their reasoning largely on their interpretation of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties — a point that lawyers did not have a chance to discuss during the appeal. Assange shot to international fame when his anti-secrecy Web site leaked official state secrets in the form of hundreds of thousands
but rather hinged on a technicality. Assange argued the European arrest warrant that triggered his arrest in December 2010 was invalid because it was made by a prosecutor rather than a court or a judge. Under the European extradition treaty, ushered in to help speed up transfers between European nations, a “judicial authority” must issue the warrant. In a 161-page judgment, the Supreme Court said that a judicial authority could mean a prosecutor, as indeed it does in many European countries. Assange’s team is now focusing on another narrow point. They contend that the majority of the seven justices
of Afghanistan and Iraq military reports and diplomatic cables. His supporters say the allegations lodged against him are politically motivated and that Swedish authorities might hand him over to the United States, where he could face charges over leaking national secrets. Over the next two weeks, Assange will remain in Britain under his current bail terms, which include wearing an electronic tag around his ankle and checking in daily with local police. Unusually for him, Assange was not at the court hearing Wednesday. His lawyers told reporters that he was stuck in traffic.
Israeli warplanes Iranian leader warns Israel hit Gaza, 7 injured
Israeli F-16 fighter jets have carried out airstrikes on three different areas in the besieged Gaza Strip, injuring seven Palestinians. The attacks, which occurred in the early hours of Sunday morning, targeted central and northern areas of the Gaza Strip. The Israeli military frequently bombs the Gaza Strip, saying the actions are being conducted for defensive purposes. However, disproportionate force is always used, in violation of international law, and civilians are
often killed or injured. Gaza has been blockaded since 2007, which is a situation that has caused a decline in the standard of living, unprecedented levels of unemployment, and unrelenting poverty.
Iran on Sunday launched a new warning against any attack on its nuclear sites, amid reports Israel and the U.S. mull the possibility of a military option to stop Iran’s nuclear program if diplomacy fails. The Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, warned Sunday that any attack by Israel against its nuclear sites “will fall like a thunderbolt” on the head of the Jewish state, accusing the West of “lying” about the Iranian nuclear threat. Israeli and American officials have begun to discuss the possibility of military strikes against Iran’s nuclear program since the collapse of negotiations in Baghdad between the major powers and Iran last month. “All options are on the table”, reiterated Wednesday the Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak in an allusion to a possible attack against Iran. “We must find the right time
before it is possible to act”. On his part, the U.S. ambassador to Israel, Dan Shapiro, said his country had “no intention to continue discussions indefinitely” and that “the window is beginning to close” in front of a diplomatic solution. “If the Zionist leaders talk of military action (against Iran), it is because they are (...) more vulnerable than ever. Any wrong decision (...) will fall on their head as the lightning, “stated Ayatollah Khamenei in
a speech to mark the 23rd death anniversary of Imam Khomeini, founder of the Islamic Republic. His chief military adviser, former commander of the Revolutionary Guards Yahya Rahim Safavi, warned on Saturday that Tehran would respond militarily to any attack. He reiterated that Israeli and U.S. bases in the Middle East as well as the U.S. Fifth Fleet in the Gulf were within range of the large arsenal of Iranian missiles.
South Asia Tribune I Thursday 07 June 2012
Small Minority Of British Pakistani politicians think breaking rules a ‘Fair Game’ For power ?
Lady Warsi apologises over Pakistan trip Warsi should stand down pending ministerial probe, says Tory MP
David Cameron has said he is “very happy” with assurances he has been given by Lady Warsi about her conduct following recent allegations.
Conservative Party ¬chairwoman Sayeeda Warsi issued a grovelling apology for embarrassing the Government. But the PM said he believed the probe was a matter of tying up “loose ends”. However, one Conservative MP has said Lady Warsi should stand down pending the investigation by Sir Alex Allan, No 10’s adviser on ministerial interests, into whether she broke the ministerial code. It came after David Cameron bowed to pressure and asked Sir Alex Allan, the independent adviser on the Ministerial Code, to examine whether she broke the rules by taking business associate Abid Hussain on an official trip to Pakistan. It is the latest in a series of damaging allegations which means she now faces THREE separate inquiries. The inquiry could lead to her dismissal. The Prime Minister asked for an inquiry into Lady Warsi’s conduct after she admitted not fully declaring the facts about her trip to Pakistan with Abid Hussain
Mr Cameron’s swift referral of Lady Warsi to Sir Alex is likely to raise allegations of double standards against the Prime Minister, who has repeatedly refused to refer Jeremy Hunt for investigation over his controversial dealings with the Murdoch media empire. Shadow Cabinet Minister Without Portfolio Michael Dugher said Mr Cameron’s decision to refer Baroness Warsi would only increase bafflement at his refusal to do the same in the Hunt case. He said: “Cameron is bending over backwards to defend Hunt because he knows that it is his own judgment, in appointing a man he knew to be biased to oversee the BSkyB bid, that is in question.” Shadow Cabinet Office minister Michael Dugher said: “It is right that David Cameron has finally called in the independent adviser on the Ministerial Code after a week of pressure from Labour and the media, as Baroness Warsi clearly has very serious questions to answer. “Did she break rules that peers should declare their business interests, particularly if they are the principal shareholders in a company? Why was it considered acceptable for a foreign government to pay for her visits to the Middle East? Did Baroness Warsi claim for expenses that she did not, in fact, incur? Note the contrast with just a few days ago, when Mr Cameron refused to refer Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt to Sir Alex, over the row about News Corp’s attempt to take full control of BSkyB. Labour claim this is because the story about News Corp poses awkward direct questions for the PM too, whereas Lady Warsi’s case does not. It would also appear the first Muslim woman to sit in the cabinet lacks friends among the Conservative high command, in a way Jeremy Hunt does not.
Baroness Warsi’s full letter to David Cameron
Here is the letter in full from Baroness Warsi to David Cameron: Dear Prime Minister, I am writing to you concerning allegations that arrangements for a visit I made to Pakistan shortly after I became a Minister may have resulted in the appearance of a conflict of interest and a breach of the Ministerial Code. This visit in question occurred within weeks of my appointment to the Cabinet, and after a visit to Pakistan by William Hague, after which he spoke of the appetite within Pakistan for me to visit at an early stage. You will be aware that both the Foreign Secretary and the British High Commission felt that a visit could capitalise on the interest and goodwill that my appointment had generated and would be advantageous for our countries’ relationship. The visit was indeed successful and had a positive impact on the perception of the United Kingdom within Pakistan. The British High Commission in Pakistan and my private office agreed to arrange two outreach events with communities in Mirpur and Bewal, towns from which many members of the British Pakistani community originate and the latter being the town nearest to the village from which my father migrated fifty years ago. Unlike most High Commission activity, the events were outside the main city regions and targeted at large numbers of ordinary resident communities. It was agreed that this format would have the most positive media and community impact in fulfilling the visit’s objectives. A number of members of the British Pakistani diaspora therefore assisted the British High Commission in the organisation and delivery of these events. All decisions about the two events lay ultimately with the High Commission and the members of the Pakistani diaspora merely provided advice and support. One of those who assisted the High Commission in this way was Mr Abid Hussain. Mr Hussain is a community activist who has worked with politicians of all parties both in Pakistan and in the UK, including David Miliband and Nick Clegg, and it was felt he would be able to help as he has extensive links to the local community in Mirpur. Abid Hussain is my husband’s second-cousin. This relationship is widely known and my private office and the British High Commission were aware of this. However, I did not recognise, at the point that this visit was arranged, a need to disclose to my officials and the High Commission that Abid Hussain and I have a common business interest as minority shareholders in a small food company. It is important to note that my own interest in the company has always been fully declared and disclosed to Cabinet Office. I sincerely regret that I did not consider the significance of
this relationship with Mr Hussain when the arrangements for the visit were being made. In retrospect, I accept that I should have made officials aware of the business relationship between Mr Hussain and myself, and for this I am sorry. I regret that this failure may have caused embarrassment to the Government. In mitigation, I would point out the following: • All decisions about the two events lay ultimately with the High Commission and the members of the Pakistani diaspora merely provided advice and support. • This was not a trade-related visit, and Mr Hussain did not gain any financial or business advantage from his involvement in voluntarily assisting the High Commission with the event. • Mr Hussain was not part of the official delegation; • No aspect of his visit or travel was funded by the British Government; • No arrangements were made by my office or the British High Commission for him to meet leading politicians; • There was no personal financial benefit to either myself or any company with which I was connected as a consequence of the visit to Pakistan or Mr Hussain’s involvement with it. •The company concerned has never had any suppliers, customers or any other financial interest in Pakistan; it does not trade in Pakistan. In the interests of transparency, I want to put in record that in February 2011, Abid Hussain was present at an event for the launch the Office for Overseas Pakistanis and British Nationals. This works with police forces across the UK and British consular services on issues such as forced marriage and kidnapping. The event was organised by the British High Commission and both I and the High Commissioner spoke at it. Mr Hussain was in Pakistan as part of a separate cross-party parliamentary delegation which included Richard Harrington MP, Andrew Griffiths MP, Lord Nazir Ahmed and others, and my office had no involvement in his attendance at the event. As a final point, the visit of July 2010 was organised within a few weeks of my appointment. It was at a time when my office accommodation and staffing were still being settled and I was finding my feet within Government. However, I have at all times disclosed my own personal financial interests in full on the register of Ministerial interests. On a personal note, David, I am sincerely sorry for these difficulties. If there are any further questions, I am of course happy to co-operate and assist in any way you feel appropriate. Best wishes, Sayeeda
Assad: Syria facing war from abroad
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has warned that Syria has become the target of a foreign conspiracy. In an address to the new parliament in Damascus on Sunday, Assad said Syria was facing a real war from outside. “We are not facing a political problem but a project to destroy the country,” Assad said. He added that the government has made every attempt to end the months-long unrest and implemented
the promised reforms. The Syrian president insisted that the reforms have managed to fend off part of the regional and international attacks on the country. Assad also criticized opposition parties for boycotting the May 7 parliamentary elections, saying they have in fact boycotted the people not the government. He called for a national dialog to end the violence and invited
all parties to put aside their differences for the interest of the country. Syria has been the scene of unrest since midMarch 2011. Many people, including security forces, have lost their lives in the violence. The West and the Syrian opposition accuse the government of killing the protesters. But Damascus blames ‘’outlaws, saboteurs and armed terrorist groups’’ for the unrest, stating that it is being orchestrated from
abroad. The Syrian president also described last week’s Houla massacre as an “ugly crime.” On May 25, deadly clashes broke out between Syrian forces and armed groups in Houla, leaving 108 people killed, including 49 children and 34 women. Meanwhile, a Syrian government investigation into the massacre states that anti-Damascus armed groups were responsible for the massacre.
South Asia Tribune I Thursday 07 June 2012
Now Tory chairman Baroness Warsi faces questions over Saudi trips funded by the nation’s government Baroness Warsi and her secret business :Report Baroness Warsi, the Conservative Party chairman, faces damaging new questions over her business dealings.
Baroness Warsi denies breaching House of of Lords rules
Conservative co-chairman Baroness Warsi who is from Dewsbury, has denied failing to register business interests as she faced fresh allegations of breaching House of Lords rules.
Baroness Warsi reported to police as PM admits questions remain LABOUR last night called for a criminal inquiry into the expenses of Conservative Party co-chairman Baroness Warsi, as the Prime Minister acknowledged she had questions to answer. Karl Turner, MP for Hull East, turns up heat on Conservative co-chairwoman in letter to police about accommodation claim. She issued a fresh denial of wrongdoing, insisting that she had acted within the rules at all times – but Mr Cameron said he accepted she needed to provide answers. “I am satisfied that there are questions that have been raised and there are questions which have to be answered,” the Tory leader said. Baroness Warsi, the Conservative chairwoman, has been referred to the police by a Labour MP over allegations that she had made claims for parliamentary expenses she had not incurred. Karl Turner, Labour MP for Kingston upon Hull East, said: “A criminal offence may therefore have been committed. There are serious questions to answer which is why I have written to the police to ask that an inquiry be undertaken.” In his letter to the City of London police, Turner said: “Baroness Warsi reportedly claimed parliamentary expenses of up to £165.50 per night for overnight accommodation while she was staying rent-free in a house belonging to Dr Wafik Moustafa in 2008, along with her political aide Naweed Khan. The peer, whose expenses claims are being examined by a watchdog, insisted she had stuck by the rules for declaring shareholdings and directorships.
She was responding to a Sunday Telegraph report that she failed to declare a controlling stake in a spice manufacturing firm with the House of Lords authorities. Britain’s first female Muslim Cabinet Minister is facing questions over trips to the Gulf funded by the government of Saudi Arabia. Tory party co-chairman Baroness Sayeeda Warsi visited Saudi Arabia twice for a total of 20 days after she became a member of David Cameron’s government. On one occasion she was accompanied by her husband, the UK’s Daily Mail reported. A Sunday Telegraph investigation has uncovered that she has never registered a controlling stake in a spice manufacturing firm with the House of Lords authorities. The disclosure appears to be in breach of rules that order peers to declare their business interests, particularly if they are the principal shareholders in a company. It follows Lady Warsi’s admission last week that she failed to declare rental income from a property she owned. The peer claimed the issue of the rent was “an oversight”. However, her stake in a company, Rupert’s Recipes, the existence of which has never been declared, raises significant questions over her judgment. Labour said she had urgent questions to answer. The Sunday Telegraph investigation also found that: * Lady Warsi’s business partner, Abid Hussain, accompanied her on a ministerial trip to Pakistan where he met leading politicians; * Mr Hussain has been a leading member of Hizb ut Tahrir, the radical Islamic group the Tories promised to ban while in
opposition; * It is unclear if Mr Hussain was subjected to security vetting before accompanying the peer to Pakistan; * Lady Warsi has been on 17 foreign trips while in office, even though her role as party chairman is to foster relations with grassroots members.
Lords attendance between October 2007 and March 2008, which equates to her receiving the maximum £165.50 on 74 occasions. But sources told The Sunday Times that during this period she stayed on a number of occasions at the Premier Inn in Wembley, London, paying about £75 a night.
According to reports Baroness Warsi could have profited from parliamentary expenses by billing the taxpayer up to £165 a night for accommodation despite staying at a Premier Inn for less than half the price. The cabinet minister claimed £12,247 in overnight subsistence costs related to her House of
Warsi, 41, did not break parliamentary rules by using a cheap hotel, but by claiming the maximum allowance - and pocketing the difference - she leaves herself open to accusations of profiting from expenses rather then using them to cover costs. Fellow peer Lord Hanningfield, jailed for falsely claiming
overnight House of Lords expenses, said: ‘I don’t want to say anything against Baroness Warsi but, as I said at my trial, 85 per cent of peers were claiming the full allowances.’ The news comes a week after allegations that Warsi had claimed up to £2,000 in House of Lords expenses while staying rent-free at the Acton home of GP and Tory party member Wafik Moustafa. Details also emerged of the extent of Lady Warsi’s travels. She has undertaken 17 trips since July 2010. Eight were paid for by the Government, two by Saudi Arabia and one by an Azerbaijani expatriate group. Six have taken place since January but funding details have yet to be published. Tory party co-chairman Sayeeda Warsi faced questions last night over trips to the Middle East funded by the Saudi Arabian government. It paid for two visits by Baroness Warsi to Saudi Arabia, covering a total of 20 days. On one trip, which took place after she became a member of David Cameron’s Government, she was joined by her husband. The row comes after Lady Warsi was accused of claiming accommodation expenses while staying rent-free with a friend. She has denied the claims but the House of Lords standards watchdog is investigating. A few months before the 2010 Election, the Tory peer travelled to Saudi Arabia for a ten-day trip involving official visits to Saudi government departments. Her travel and accommodation were paid for by the country’s embassy in London. In November 2010, Lady Warsi, by now a Minister, made another ten-day trip to the Gulf state, also at the expense of the Saudi government.
South Asia Tribune I Thursday 07 June 2012
Anuj Bidve murder accused pleads guilty
A man has admitted shooting an Indian student dead in Salford on Boxing Day, but has denied murder. A 21-year-old “psycho” Briton charged with the unprovoked Boxing Day shooting of Indian student Anuj Bidve in Salford today pleaded guilty to manslaughter, but not guilty to murder. Bidve’s family members travelled from India to attend the ‘plea and case management hearing’ at the Manchester Crown Court. It means he will go on trial for murder. The case will begin on June 25. Appearing in the dock in a grey tracksuit Stapleton spoke only to confirm his name and enter his pleas. The parents of Mr Bidve had travelled from India to be at the hearing. They have previously visited the scene where their son was killed, in Ordsall Lane, Salford. The 23-year-old victim, a
postgraduate electronics student at Lancaster University, was part of a group of nine male and female Indian students who were visiting Manchester for a short break over the Christmas holidays. As they walked from their hotel in Salford towards Manchester city centre in the early hours of Boxing Day Mr Bidve was shot. He was taken to hospital where he was later pronounced dead. Mr Bidve’s family issued a statement saying: “We have made
the journey from India to the United Kingdom because it was very important to us to hear, in person, Kiaran Stapleton’s plea. “This is the first time we have returned to the UK since Anuj was taken away from us on Boxing Day of last year, and the first time we have come face-to-face with the man charged with his murder, so clearly this is a very emotional and difficult time for us. “We have today heard in person that Kiaran Stapleton admitted
killing Anuj. “We know there is tremendous amount of interest from the media both at home in India and here in the United Kingdom. “As there will be a trial later this month, we cannot say anything further at this time and we would ask that the media respect both our privacy and the integrity of the court process.” Reacting to the guilty plea, senior Labour MP Keith Vaz said: “I welcome Mr Stapleton’s admission
of responsibility for this terrible crime. Nothing can lessen the pain of the Bidve family, but to see Anuj’s killer brought to justice will bring this tragic case to a close.” He added: “I hope that a swift and fair trial will demonstrate to international students across the world that Britain is a safe place to live and study in. Greater Manchester Police should be commended for their prompt and thorough investigation and support for the grieving family.”
Drone blitz on Pakistan enters third straight day. More than 27 killed A US drone strike targeting a militant compound in Pakistan’s northwestern tribal area killed 15 insurgents in a pre-dawn attack on Monday, security officials said. Two missiles were fired on the compound in Mir Ali, 25 kilometres (15 miles) east of Miramshah, the capital of North Waziristan, near the Afghan border, in an area considered a hive of Taliban and al Qaeda activity. The attack was the eighth drone strike in Pakistan since a Nato conference on Afghanistan in Chicago last month. Up to 27 people have died in strikes that began on Saturday as US shows no signs of bowing to Pakistani objections
Rockets fired from a US drone killed between eight and 15 people in northwest Pakistan on Monday, officials have said in varying accounts. It is the third strike in as many days after attacks on Saturday and Sunday killed a total of 12 people. The latest strike targeted a militant hideout in the Hesokhel village of the North Waziristan tribal region, officials said. US drones hit targets in the South Waziristan tribal region on Saturday and Sunday. There have been a total of seven strikes in less than two weeks. The US and Pakistan are deadlocked in difficult negotiations for the reopening of overland supply routes
to Nato forces in Afghanistan. No breakthrough is in sight. According to an news reports , 45 US missile strikes were reported in Pakistan’s tribal belt in 2009, the year US President Barack Obama took office, 101 in 2010 and 64 in 2011. The New America Foundation thinktank in Washington says drone strikes have killed between 1,715 and 2,680 people in Pakistan in the past eight years.
Saarc international I Thursday 07 June 2012
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Pak, China sign agreement, 3 MoUs as Zardari visits Beijing
Pakistan and China Wednesday signed three memorandums of understanding (MoUs) covering supply of water from Tarbela to Islamabad, establishment of
Special Economic Zone in the proposed new city Zulfikarabad in Sindh and the building of 6,000 flats in I-15 sector on private public partnership basis,
and an agreement for the desilting of canals and barrages in Sindh province. The MoUs were signed by respective officials from the two sides and witnessed by President Asif Ali Zardari and members of his entourage here. The agreement on de-silting canals in Sindh was signed by Saleem Mandviwala, Chairman Board of Investment, with the President of China Harbour Engineering Company Limited. The presidents of Pakistan and Iran, Asif Ali Zardari and Continued on page 27 >>
Jehangir Claims Top State Agencies Plotting to Kill Her One of Pakistan’s leading human rights activists has said she fears for her life after receiving information from a “credible source” that she is being targeted for assassination.
Asma Jahangir believes Pakistan’s security bureau - the Inter Services Intelligence Agency (ISI) - is behind the plot. The respected and well known lawyer, who works to prevent the persecution of women and religious minorities, said: “I received an information leak that an assassination was sanctioned and planned. “I was made aware that my travel plans had been under surveillance for some time. It is very obvious to me that it would be the ISI pulling the strings.”
Ms Jahangir’s work as a human rights activist - which has included defending people from Pakistan’s strict blasphemy laws -
Continued on page 10 >>
Leon Panetta in Delhi, says India ‘lynchpin’ for American strategy in Asia Pentagon chief Leon Panetta vowed on Wednesday to expand defence ties between India and the United States, saying New Delhi was a “lynchpin” in a new US military strategy focused on Asia. At a think-tank in the Indian capital, Panetta said that military ties had dramatically improved over the past decade. But he said more work was needed to ensure the two countries could safeguard the “crossroads” of the global economy
spanning the Indian Ocean and the western Pacific. “For this relationship to truly provide security for this region and for the world, we will need to deepen our defence and security cooperation. “This is why I have come to India,” Panetta told an audience at the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses. Having overcome suspicions from the Cold War-era, “Our two nations I believe have Continued on page 10 >>
Saarc international I Thursday 07 June 2012
EU-Pakistan Strategic Dialogue Launched
The first EU-Pakistan Strategic Dialogue was held in Islamabad on Tuesday. The Pakistan side was led by Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar and the European Union delegation was led by Foreign Policy chief Catherine Ashton. The two sides expressed their deep satisfaction at the launching of the Strategic Dialogue, reflecting the comprehensive and forward looking nature of EU-Pakistan relations. Both sides also welcomed the new Five-Year Engagement Plan that demonstrates the strength and diversity of this long term and broad based partnership. The two sides engaged in constructive and detailed discussions on enhancing bilateral cooperation and shared views on regional and international issues of mutual concern. Khar expressed appreciation for the package of Autonomous Trade Preferences (ATPs) for Pakistan offered by the EU in the aftermath of the devastating 2010 floods. Ashton conveyed that the process was nearing completion in Brussels, and that the
package would be implemented as soon as possible. They also discussed the GSP+ scheme and Khar hoped that Pakistan could be considered for this favorable trading scheme in 2014. The Dialogue provided an opportunity to review EU development cooperation including the broad parameters of the second EU Multiannual Indicative Program (MIP) for 2007-2013, which included projects for rural development and natural
resource management, education and human resource management, governance and human rights, and trade development. The European Union also reiterated its commitment for areabased community development, particularly in the Malakand Division. Ashton welcomed the steps Pakistan had taken in implementing its international human rights commitments in national laws in
many important areas, including the rights of women, and the establishment of an independent Human Rights Commission. Both sides agreed to work closely in this regard. Khar reiterated that the Pakistan Government was committed to holding free and fair elections in accordance with the Constitution. Ashton confirmed that the European Union was willing to send an Election Observation Mission (EOM) to Pakistan for the forthcoming elections. Pakistan and the EU reaffirmed their shared commitment to work together to combat terrorism. Ashton expressed appreciation for the enormous sacrifices made by the people of Pakistan in fighting terrorism and extremism. In order to enhance the existing close cooperation on counter-terrorism, the two sides agreed to the establishment of a Pakistan-EU Steering Committee on Counterterrorism. Khar and Ashton held in-depth
discussions on regional and international issues. They underlined the importance of peace, stability and security in Afghanistan and reaffirmed their support for an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned reconciliation process. They also underscored the need for the sustained commitment of the international community during the transformation phase in Afghanistan, and agreed to continue working closely in this regard. Khar also briefed Ashton on the ongoing Pakistan-India peace process and the efforts made by Pakistan to normalize relations with India. The EU High Representative also expressed support for the ongoing and result-oriented dialogue between Pakistan and India, including the significant progress on liberalizing trade. The two sides agreed that the second round of the Pakistan-EU Strategic Dialogue would be held in Brussels at mutually convenient dates next year.
Continued from page 9 >>
Leon Panetta in Delhi, says India ‘lynchpin’ for American strategy in Asia finally and irreversibly started a new chapter of our history”. Panetta, who met with Indian leaders on Tuesday and Wednesday, said he believed the relationship “can and should become more strategic, more practical, and more collaborative.” He said a new US strategy sought to “expand our military partnerships and our presence in the arc extending from the Western Pacific and East Asia into the Indian Ocean region and South Asia.” Panetta called for more joint research and production, expanding military exercises and for both countries to tackle legal dilemmas posed by space weapons and cyber warfare. Security ties with India have steadily improved but US officials have yet to realize the goal of a game-changing partnership that could check China’s role, analysts say. India favours improving military ties and buying weapons from the United States but does not want to become a full-fledged American ally, preferring a degree of breathing space, analysts say. Panetta’s visit has focused in part on the planned withdrawal of US-led forces from Afghanistan by the end of 2014, with India concerned about a dangerous vacuum after foreign troops exit. The United States favoured a more active role for India in Afghanistan, Panetta said in his speech. “I urged India’s leaders to continue with additional support to Afghanistan through trade and investment, reconstruction, and help for Afghanistan’s security forces,” he said. A day after al-Qaida’s number two leader was killed in a drone strike in Pakistan,
Panetta acknowledged that both India and the United States faced difficulties with Islamabad. “Pakistan is a complicated relationship for both of our countries, but one that we must work to improve,” he said. The US tilt towards Asia -- including closer ties to New Delhi -- is widely seen as a response to China’s growing military and economic might, particularly in the South China Sea. But Panetta said both the United States and India wanted to see Beijing play a prominent role in the region. Chinese experts say India will not ally with US against Beijing Chinese analysts say that US efforts to make India part of its alliance against China will not succeed India pursued independent foreign policy focusing on its national interests. US defence secretary Leon Panetta’s visit to New Delhi is as part of Washington’s efforts to make it part of alliance against Beijing but India’s interest lie with Beijing, Wang Dehua, a specialist on South Asia studies at the Shanghai Institute for International Studies said. “It seems that the US is sparing no efforts in forging a semi-circle of alliance against China from the South” as Panetta has attended the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore and afterward visited Vietnam and India, Wang, a specialist on South Asia told state-run Global Times which carried an article highlighting Panetta’s visit to New Delhi. “But India has its own agenda in the region,” Wang said noting that India wants to be independent in making its own foreign policies while maximising its national interests.
Jehangir Claims Top State Agencies Plotting to Kill Her has frequently seen her targeted by religious extremists. But she says this latest alleged plot, which she believes has been hatched at the “highest level of state agencies”, may be as a result of her work in one of Pakistan’s unruly provinces. It is possible intelligence chiefs have been angered by her mission to highlight human rights violations by security forces in restive Baluchistan. Ms Jahangir also recently defended Pakistan’s controversial former ambassador to the United States, Husain Haqqani. He was accused of being behind a mysterious memo, sent to the Obama administration, asking for help to prevent a military coup after the killing of Osama Bin Laden in May last year. Human rights activists, lawyers and journalists are frequently murdered in Pakistan - especially when their investigations or work impinges on the interests of powerful groups. Asma Jahangir did consider leaving the country when she heard about the alleged plans for the “murderous attack” but has decided it is not an option. “I have seen more frightening times than this. Unfortunately we get numb to the signs of danger in Pakistan because we see so much of it around us,” she said. International human rights groups have condemned the alleged assassination plot. Human Rights Watch has demanded a full investigation. Its director in Pakistan, Ali Dayan Hasan, said: “Pakistani authorities should urgently and thoroughly investigate the alleged plot … and hold all those responsible to account. “A threat against Jahangir is a threat to all those in Pakistan who struggle for human rights and the rule of law.” Concerned over Pakistani human rights activist Asma Jahangir’s revelations that her country’s
security establishment was planning to get her killed, Indian human rights groups Wednesday appealed to the Pakistani government for a probe and to provide her security. The Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI) in a statement said: “We are gravely concerned about threats to the human rights defender Asma Jahangir. We call upon the government of Pakistan to ensure the safety of Jahangir.” The ISI and figures within Pakistan’s powerful military have been accused before of being involved in high profile killings. In April 2010, a UN report into the 2007 assassination of prime minister Benazir Bhutto, concluded that the Pakistani authorities failed to provide her with adequate security and went on to say that elements within the military may have played a role in her murder. The report was also critical of the “pervasive role” played by the ISI in the events leading up to her killing. According to The New York in July 2011, Obama administration officials believe that Pakistan’s powerful spy agency ordered the killing of a Pakistani journalist . The disappearance of the Pakistani journalist, Saleem Shahzad, 40, from the capital, Islamabad, and after the discovery of his mortally wounded body, showed that senior officials of the spy agency, the Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence, directed the attack on him in an effort to silence criticism, two senior administration officials said. The intelligence, which several administration officials said they believed was reliable and conclusive, showed that the actions of the ISI, A third senior American official said there was enough other intelligence and indicators immediately after Mr. Shahzad’s death for the Americans to conclude that the ISI had ordered him killed.
Saarc international I Thursday 07 June 2012
WEEKLY REVIEW OF AFGHANISTAN NEWS
New ‘strategic’ plan for Afghan-China ties: Kabul
Afghanistan and China will this week announce the elevation of their relationship “to a new strategic level”, Kabul’s foreign ministry said Monday, as NATO forces prepare to pull out of the country. The announcement would be made by presidents Hamid Karzai and Hu Jintao on the sidelines of a meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) in Beijing, foreign ministry spokesman Janan Mosazai told AFP. The SCO is a Central Asian grouping headed by Beijing and Moscow, and intended as a counterweight to US influence in the region. “This new step is a solid reaffirmation of the ever growing importance and significance of the friendship and economic, political, cultural and other fields of cooperation and partnership between Afghanistan and China,” Mosazai said. The two countries share views and commitment over the security and stability of Afghanistan and the wider region and the necessity of joint efforts “to tackle the menaces of
Blasts kill 4 Afghan police, 1 civilian
Afghanistan: Afghan authorities say two separate roadside bomb blasts have killed five people including four policemen in the east of the country. Gen. Abdul Qayuem Baqizai, who is the provincial police chief in Wardak province, says four policemen were killed and another wounded Tuesday when their vehicle hit a bomb in Jelrez district. In neighboring Ghazni province, deputy police chief Maj. Mohammad Hussian deputy says one Afghan civilian was killed and two others were wounded in a second explosion. They were traveling Tuesday from Khogyani district to Ghazni city when their vehicle hit the bomb placed along the route.
terrorism and extremism”, he said. Mosazai gave no details of any security role China might play
Afghanistan last month signed a strategic agreement with the United States, covering relations between the two countries after US-led NATO forces withdraw in 2014, and with several other nations including France and India.
in Kabul’s fight against hardline Islamist Taliban insurgents, saying the announcement “will be fleshed out by both sides as we move forward in our friendship and cooperation”.
No pact would be signed in Beijing but it was likely that a joint declaration would be developed into a future agreement, a government source told AFP on condition of anonymity.
China, which shares a small border with Afghanistan’s far northeast, has already secured major oil and copper mining concessions in Afghanistan, which is believed to be sitting on more than $1 trillion worth of minerals. The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation groups China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, plus a handful of observer states including Iran, and focuses on regional issues including anti-terrorism. Afghanistan will attend the Beijing summit as a guest member. Russia, whose President Vladimir Putin will be at the meeting, has criticised NATO’s timeline for withdrawal from Afghanistan. “As long as Afghanistan is not able to ensure by itself the security in the country, the artificial timelines of withdrawal are not correct and they should not be set this way,” Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said in April. “By the way, our Central Asian partners are also concerned about that. China and many other states
ask the same questions,” he said, adding that several countries have an interest in what happens in Afghanistan. The scramble for influence in Afghanistan is likely to intensify as 2014 draws nearer, with its central position in a volatile region having shaped its history for centuries. India, Iran and Pakistan have moved to secure what they see as their interests in the country, with Tehran strongly opposing Kabul’s pact with the United States. India last week called for greater coordination with the United States over Afghanistan, voicing fear that Islamist radicals would gain strength once Western forces pull out. India’s involvement in Afghanistan has in turn enraged Pakistan, which helped create the Taliban regime and fears being encircled by its arch rival. The Afghan president was due to hold talks in Beijing with Putin, Pakistan’s President Asif Ali Zardari and Iran’s President President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, his spokesman said.
Aid workers saved after death threat
NATO and Afghan forces launched a daring operation to rescue two female foreign aid workers and their two Afghan colleagues after learning the Taliban planned to kill one of the hostages, an intelligence official said. The troops carried out the successful mission before dawn Saturday, swooping in on helicopters to pluck the aid workers from a cave in a mountainous area of northern Badakhshan province. They killed the eight militants holding them captive as well, Afghan intelligence spokesman Shafiqullah Tahiri said Sunday. The militants hoped killing one of the hostages would pressure negotiators to accept their demands of a $1 million ransom and the release of five of their colleagues imprisoned in Kabul, said Tahiri. The insurgents initially asked for at least $4 million before reducing their demand, he said. Helen Johnston, 28, from Britain, and Moragwa Oirere, 26, from Kenya, and their two Afghan
colleagues were kidnapped on May 22 while traveling on horseback in Badakhshan. The four work for Medair, a humanitarian nongovernmental organization based near Lausanne, Switzerland. British Prime Minister David Cameron said Saturday that he approved the operation after becoming increasingly concerned about the safety of the hostages. He said militants should know that Britain does not pay ransoms or trade prisoners, and anyone who kidnaps British citizens “can
expect a swift and brutal end.” Troops were able to launch the rescue operation after receiving precise information from Afghan intelligence agents about the hostages’ location in Shahri Buzurg district, said Tahiri. The kidnappers were planning to move the hostages to another remote, mountainous location in neighboring Tajikistan, he said. The militants were armed with heavy machine guns, rocketpropelled grenades and AK47 assault rifles, but were
overwhelmed by British troops operating alongside other NATO and Afghan forces. The hostages were safely rescued, and none of the NATO or Afghan forces were harmed, said the coalition. Past rescue attempts in Afghanistan have not always gone so well. In 2009, Sultan Munadi, an Afghan translator kidnapped alongside New York Times reporter Stephen Farrell, was killed in a hail of bullets during a rescue attempt by British commandos. In 2010, the U.S. Navy’s SEAL Team 6 tried to rescue Linda Norgrove, a Scottish aid worker, from her Taliban captors in Afghanistan. She was killed by a grenade thrown in haste by one of the American commandos. In southern Afghanistan on Sunday, a NATO service member was killed in an insurgent attack, the coalition said, without providing further details. The death raised the number of coalition troops who have died in Afghanistan this year to 179.
Saarc international I Thursday 07 June 2012
WEEKLY REVIEW OF BANGLADESH NEWS
Syed Ashraf asks media not to hype up BNP’s ‘ultimatum’
The Awami League gen secty, Syed Ashraful Islam, also LGRD and cooperatives minister, on Sunday asked newsmen not to ‘provoke’ the people by hyping up the opposition’s ‘ultimatum’ to the government to accept the caretaker administration system. ‘Organising a “grand rally” is their [opposition] political right. This cannot be an ultimatum in fact. We hope you [newsmen] would refrain from provoking the people by highlighting it repeatedly,’ Syed Ashraf said in reply to a query how the ruling party assessed the political developments in the run-up to the opposition’s planned ‘grand’ rally on June 11 if the government did not accept the caretaker system by the time. Syed Ashraful Islam was talking to newsmen after launching a donorsupported government project ‘Upazila governance project’ at the
LGED auditorium in the city. When his attention was drawn to the opposition’s call for the AL to initiate the proposed caretaker dialogue by June 10, Syed Ashraf said they had no information about the opposition’s proposal for talks. He, however, said talks were the only way and hoped a consensus
would be reached through dialogues over a participatory election in line with the constitution. ‘Dialogue is a continuous process in politics. It is continuing and would be continuing and at one point an acceptable solution would be found.... These are the accepted norms in democracy,’ said Ashraful.
He said that the government was working on dialogues in which the constitution would be the guiding factor. ‘The talks would be held in line with the constitution and a decision would be made in line with the constitution,’ the AL leader said. Syed Ashraf said that the next general election would be held in accordance with the constitution and every political party would contest it. ‘A solution may not often be found at the beginning of any talks. But a consensus is reached finally. We are hopeful of reaching a consensus over holding the next polls peacefully.’ The main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party-led ‘18-party’ alliance has threatened to announce ‘tougher’ political programmes at its June 11 ‘grand rally’ if the AL did not accept by June 10 the caretaker administration system to supervise the next polls.
Khaleda blasts govt for economic woes
BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia blasted the government on Tuesday for all economic woes in the country as she unveiled her party’s views on the upcoming national budget. The opposition leader in her third shadow budget outside the parliament said they would bring down the birth rate to zero percent by 2030 if her party is voted to power. She came up with her proposals at a press conference at Hotel Sonargaon in the capital
two days before the finance minister’s budget speech in the parliament. Diplomats, leaders of different political
The first Bangladeshi woman to conquer the Mount Everest Nishat arrives home
Nishat Majumder (L) and MA Mohit (R). Nishat Majumder, the first Bangladeshi at the lounge, Nishat said “By conquering woman to conquer the Mount Everest, Everest I have proved that Bangladeshi returned home Sunday afternoon after women can take any challenge similar to the expedition. men”. A plane BG 702 carrying Nishat and MA “We, the women are no longer feeble Mohit touched the runway of Hazrat and incapable,” Nishat added. Shahjalal International Airport in Dhaka Wearing a T-shirt of national flag colours, around 5:25pm. Nishat came out through the VIP lounge Family members, relatives, colleagues, amid flashing lights of cameras and members of Bangla Mountaineering and visitors shouting Nishat! Nishat! Trekking Club and journalists welcomed On May 19, she became the first the duo at the airport. Bangladeshi woman to scale the Mt Speaking at a crowded press conference Everest.
parties, eminent citizens and civil society personalities attended the press conference in the afternoon. Finance minister AMA Muhith will place the national budget for the fiscal 2012-13 in the Parliament on Thursday. It will be the fourth national budget under the present Awami League-led grand alliance government. Opposition lawmakers, however, are unlikely to join the budget session of the parliament.
Bangladeshi court issues arrest warrant over A Bangladeshi court has issued an arrest warrant for the writer of a 2003 novel that allegedly contains insulting remarks against the Prophet Mohammed, a lawyer said Tuesday. The court in Dhaka issued the order in response to a petition from a Muslim activist accusing author Salam Azad of hurting religious sentiment in his banned book “We told the court that the book contained slanderous remarks against the Prophet Mohammed and Islam. The judge accepted the petition and issued a warrant of arrest,” the petitioner’s lawyer Ekhlas Uddin told reporters. Dhaka police confirmed the warrant. Azad told reporters that the case was part of a smear campaign against him launched by a senior official from the ruling Awami League party. “I became his target after I protested his grabbing of Hindu property. He has already filed a case against me,” he said. Azad, 48, said the book, published in the eastern Indian city of Kolkata, was banned for blasphemy by the Bangladeshi government in 2004. The book is alleged to contain insulting remarks about the Prophet Mohammed and the Quran. In May Bangladesh banned a novel by popular writer Humayun Ahmed for allegedly distorting how the nation’s first president and his family were murdered in 1975.
US plans naval base in Ctg: Indian TV “There is no plan, no discussion, no idea of having a base in Bangladesh. Mozena US Ambassador in Bangladesh Dan W Mozena on Sunday refuted straightaway an Indian TV report that said the US wants to park its Seventh Fleet in Chittagong. “There is no plan, no discussion, no idea of having a base in Bangladesh. I was here with Secretary Clinton as you know, I was with her, I was at her side the whole time she was here,” he said. “And in her meetings with the honourable prime minister, the honourable foreign minister, the honourable Leader of the Opposition, there was no discussion, no discussion, no discussion whatsoever about the seventh fleet, the word was never even mentioned about any base or anything like that,” the US envoy said. The direct speech, which Mozena delivered at a certificate awarding
ceremony for women journalists jointly organised by News Network and American Center, was collected from a private television channel. Earlier on Thursday, Times Now, a Mumbai-based 24-hour English news channel, aired a news item that said the United Sates wanted to park its Seventh Fleet in Bangladesh in its strategic interests. The Times of India website carried a written version of the TV report.
Bangladesh and the United States have already termed the Indian media report baseless, unfounded and fabricated. Addressing as chief guest, the US diplomat also praised the role of the Bangladeshi media in building democracy and addressing problematic issues. “The best way to build a strong democracy is to strengthen the pillars of democracy, specially the media,” he said.
Saarc international I Thursday 07 June 2012
WEEKLY REVIEW OF BHUTAN NEWS
Alcohol liver disease is the deadliest
More than half the cases seen in hospital were youth under 24 The most abused legal , alcohol, continues to remain the top killer in Bhutan, and is consumed more by youth below 24 years, the annual health bulletin 2011 stated. Out of 2,050 alcohol liver disease (ALD) cases reported in hospitals across the country last year, more than half or 1,202 cases were among those between 15-49 years. There were 579 ALD cases among 50-64 years. About 40 percent of alcohol consumers are females. “More than half of Bhutan’s active alcohol drinkers are youth,” the bulletin stated. “54 percent of the 56 percent of youth population below 24 years are the main alcohol consumers.” It’s ironical that the health bulletin highlights youth as Bhutan’s main alcohol consumers at a time when boarding school students are being diagnosed with nutrient deficiency. Last year, ALD caused 169 deaths out of the total 1,102 deaths recorded in health facilities across the country. The bulletin stated that, “of late, alcohol consumption has become (more of) a substance abuse than a social drinking for many youth, because of its cheap availability and
lesser social stigma.” According to the task force report, Bhutan imported beer alone worth 314.75M in 2010. “The unhealthy and rampant use of alcohol by
below one year to those above 65 years, are injuries and trauma, the bulletin stated. Last year, hospitals and basic health units across the country saw 71,781 cases of injuries
excluding snake bites. Intentional self-harm (suicides and attempt to suicides) cases numbered 546, while there were 41 cases of drowning and submersion.
the major population, especially youth, would add up to prevailing challenges of alcohol-related issues in the country, specifically to public health aspects.” After alcohol, the next health condition that’s causing deaths in Bhutan is cancer, which killed 92 last year. There were 980 cases of cancer seen in all health facilities across the country in 2011. But what is sending more people to health centres, right from those
and trauma. Work-related injuries at 27,929 topped the list of injuries and trauma cases in Bhutan. There were 8,140 accidental falls, 1,942 transport accidents, 5,913 dog bites and 3,698 other bites and stings. There were also 3,041 patients admitted for contact with heat, hot substances, and exposure to smoke, fire and flames; 206 snake bite cases; and 175 patients, who had contact with venomous animals,
A total of 19,794 surgeries were done last year across the country. Almost 53 percent of the total patients admitted in all health centres across the country last year were those between 15-49 years. There were a total of 1,352,243 sick cases seen in health facilities in the country last year, which could mean that, all 700,000 people in the country visited a health centre at least twice last year. This would however change if some 75,000
foreign workers, who also avail these free health care services, were included. The health facilities also treated 4,820 injuries and trauma cases, and 56,217 for common cold in children below five years last year. Diarrhoea cases last year for children below five years almost tripled from the previous year, and saw a jump from 6,167 to 18,492. The bulletin stated that 58.4 percent of the population was using improved sanitation last year. A total of 169,876 children between 1-4 years were treated in health centres last year. Among the 235,275 children, who were brought to clinics last year to check their nutritional status, 10,243 were found under weight, 5,584 were over weight and the rest normal. While cases for many health conditions saw an increase from the previous year, there were also some cases that saw a decrease in mortality. For example, deaths from tuberculosis reduced to 17 last year from 38 in 2010; malnutrition deaths dropped from 11 to five, and deaths from pneumonia from 102 to 55.
House-owners make hay
Their Majesties attended Namgay Tongchey and Neten Chudru prayers in the Thimphu Tashichhodzong yesterday on the occasion of the auspicious Duechhen Nga Zom. The prayers were conducted by the Central Monk Body and presided over by His Holiness the Je Khenpo. Their Majesties were joined by cabinet ministers and senior government ofﬁcials at the Kuenray.
Farmers in Trashigang Pam turn to their last resort of carrying scriptures from the dzong to appease deities for rain
Sonam, a civil servant, who was transferred to Wangduephodrang, was surprised when a house owner in Bajo town called to inform that the two-bedroom flat he’d booked was given to another person. Demand for flats will outstrip supply till the hydropower housing colonies are ready. “I was shocked to hear that the other person had agreed to pay Nu 12,000 for the apartment, which I’d booked for a monthly rent of Nu 6,500,” Sonam, 26, said. “I was also disappointed, because it took me nearly two months to find a place to live,” he said. Bajothang residents, who talked to Kuensel, said such hikes were initially imposed by hydropower project employees, construction companies and newly opened regional offices, who, in the process of reserving the entire building, paid advance for several months, and agreed to pay higher rent. The rent in the core town starts from Nu 6,500 to Nu 15,000 for a standard two-three bedroom flat. Buildings located on the periphery charge Nu 5,800 to Nu 12,000 for a standard two-three bedroom flat.
A tenant and a restaurant owner Yangzom, 34, who paid Nu 3,500 earlier for a two-room flat, now pays Nu 4,500. “We’re unwillingly made to pay higher rent,” she said. “If not, we’d be driven out of the apartment, so those willing to pay more can be taken in.” Another tenant said there was no control, when it came to rent, and government was not doing anything to control it. “The Tenancy Act isn’t valued,” the tenant said. The demand for housing has also pushed rents of traditional houses, in the outskirts of town, which were earlier much cheaper. A three-room traditional house, without proper drinking water and toilet facility,
earned about Nu 1,500 a couple of years back. “But now they demand a minimum of Nu 5,000,” a resident said. “The housing demand has increased tremendously that a group of low income family had rushed into my temporary shack, which was otherwise used for sheltering timber,” said resident, Ap Sangay, 52. Inquiring about the rent hike, a house owner, who asked for anonymity, said, “It’s the tenants, who lead to swift hike in house rents, because they’re the ones, who reserve apartments even before construction is complete, and they promise to pay more,” the house owner said. “Everyday, people come looking for house.”
Saarc international I Thursday 07 June 2012
WEEKLY REVIEW OF INDIA NEWS US Defence Secretary Panetta meets Prime Minister Manmohan Singh
US wants India to play more active role in Afghanistan US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta Tuesday met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and National Security Advisor Shivshankar Menon. They discussed ways to strengthen the military relations between the two countries. Mr Panetta, will hold detailed talks with the Defence Minister AK Antony at a delegation-level meeting to be held tomorrow. “During the meeting, the ongoing defence cooperation and regional security situation will figure prominently,” the Defence Ministry said in a release. The officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, acknowledged the longstanding rivalry between India and Pakistan for influence in Afghanistan but insisted that both countries had an interest in working with the international community to ensure stability in their northern neighbour. “There is a risk that the tensions and
historical mistrust between India and Pakistan could lead them to view their respective roles in Afghanistan as being in conflict,” one official said. “This is not predestined. This does not have to be the case.” Pakistan wields considerable influence over neighbouring Afghanistan, while India is already one of its biggest bilateral donors, having pledged about $2 billion
Charges against PM baseless, regrettable: Sonia
PM Singh, who has been targeted by Team Anna for ‘Coalgate’, on Monday got solid backing from Sonia Gandhi, with the Congress chief terming the charges against him as baseless and regrettable and called upon the party to stand by him. “We have to strongly counter them,” she said of the allegations against the PM and members of the Union Cabinet, setting the stage for another round of faceoff with civil society. The reference to opposition and anti-Congress elements was aimed at BJP and Team Anna who have moved from targeting the Centre to directly accusing the prime minister of corruption. The allegations over ‘Coalgate’ recently provoked an otherwise reticent PM to challenge civil society to prove the charges. He said he would quit public life if proved on the wrong. The staunch support for the prime minister came at a time when
many see him as disengaged, and is reminded of the strong defence Sonia put up for him in the 2009 Lok Sabha election campaign. Sonia’s tough riposte to BJP leader L K Advani’s “weakest-PM-ever” jibes against Singh emboldened him to strike back and set the stage for a presidential-type contest. Sonia also backed the government on its new bugbear - the economic crisis. “There are some challenges which concern the common man, the economic problems. The entire world is passing through a difficult phase and we too have to face it, which we are doing,” she said. The clean chit to the government on slipping economic scenario, which led to an unpopular hike in fuel prices and triggered concern among partymen, conveyed that she backed Singh to rein in the situation. The opening remarks at the CWC may have gone some way in softening the anger among partymen. “UPA has just completed three years. Our report card to the people is a document of success in difficult times,” she said. On the contrary, Sonia criticized the opposition for motivated resistance to central initiatives. She said while the Centre was formulating policies, states played a big role in implementing them. “The nonCongress governments do not
since the 2001 US led-invasion for projects from the construction of highways to the building of the Afghan parliament. In October, India and Afghanistan signed a wide-ranging agreement to deepen ties, including to help train
Afghan security forces, a deal that angered Pakistan. “India and Pakistan share an interest, the same interest that we have, of peace and stability in Afghanistan,” the official said. “That makes Pakistan more peaceful and
stable and it makes India a lot more stable.” Their remarks came as Panetta flew to India as part of his week-long Asia tour to explain a new U.S. military strategy to allies and partners in the region. The strategy calls for a shift in U.S. focus to the Asia-Pacific region. Panetta announced on Saturday during a speech at the Shangri-La Dialogue, a security conference in Singapore, that the U.S. military would rebalance its military assets so that by the year 2020 60 percent of U.S. warships would be in the region, versus 50 percent now. The officials said the United States views India as a logical partner to work with on security and stability issues in the Indian Ocean region and that India was singled out for its importance in the new strategy.
Saarc international I Thursday 07 June 2012
At least 740 killed in Karachi in five months: HRCP Ethnic, sectarian and politically-linked violence in Pakistan’s financial capital Karachi has killed at least 740 people so far this year, a human rights organisation said Tuesday. Parts of the port city have become battlegrounds, with authorities unable to prevent violence blamed on activists from political parties representing rival ethnic groups. “About 740 people have been the victims of violent shootings in the last five months,” Zohra Yusuf, chair of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP), told reporters. The HRCP said last year a total of 1,715 people
were killed in violent flare-ups in the city, which is Pakistan’s biggest with an estimated population of 17 million. The attacks often lead to punishing financial losses for Pakistan’s economy as swathes of Karachi go into lockdown, with residents fleeing the violence and shops and markets closing. “People are being killed with impunity by various ethnic groups while the government, it seems, has little control to put an end to it,” Yusuf said. The figures include the assassination of 107 political activists, while the rest of the victims were people with no political affiliations, HRCP said.
Armies of India, Pakistan biggest hurdle in solving Siachen: Ahmed Mukhtar Ahead of its key talks with India on the Siachen issue, Pakistan has claimed that the biggest hurdle in resolving the military standoff on the world’s highest battlefield are the armies of the two countries. Chaudhry Ahmed Mukhtar, who was the defence minister and has now been given the water and power portfolio in a minor Cabinet reshuffle, said India and Pakistan both stand to benefit from resolving the Siachen issue. Both countries stood to gain
June 11 against the backdrop of renewed calls from the Pakistani civil and military leadership for the demilitarisation of the world’s highest battlefield. In response to a question, Mukhtar claimed Siachen was Pakistani territory and Pakistan had “responded” when India claimed the glacier. “We think we can come to an agreement. India wants to talk on the Sir Creek issue first, we want to talk about Siachen first - the same
move of unilaterally withdrawing its troops to resolve the Siachen issue, Mukhtar contended that India was a big country and Pakistan expects it to demonstrate magnanimity by making the first move. In response to another question, he said Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani and his Indian counterpart Manmohan Singh want to resolve the Siachen issue through dialogue. Indian and Pakistani troops have
nothing from the standoff on Siachen and the matter only served to satiate egos, he claimed during an interview with BBC Urdu. He said the only way for India and Pakistan to coexist was to sit at the table and discuss the Siachen issue. The Pakistani minister claimed that the biggest hurdle in resolving the military standoff on the Siachen glacier are the armies of Pakistan and India. Senior Indian and Pakistani officials are set to hold talks on the Siachen issue in Islamabad on
issue of egos,” he claimed. “I think (Pakistan army chief Gen) Ashfaq Parvez Kayani understands this issue better than all of us and will help reach a decision when the time comes.” Asked how the Defence Minister, who is placed higher than the army chief, would allow a subordinate to take a decision, Mukhtar said that “Kayani would offer guidance (and) support, just as the government cooperates and supports the army.” Responding to a question why Pakistan is not making the first
been engaged in a standoff on Siachen since 1984. The guns have largely been silent since late 2003, when the two countries put in place a ceasefire along the frontiers in Jammu and Kashmir, and more troops have died on the glacier due to adverse weather than combat. Since an avalanche killed 139 people at a high-altitude Pakistan Army camp in the Siachen sector in April, security analysts and civil society groups have questioned the deployment of troops in the hazardous terrain
Muslim girl can marry at 15 if she attains puberty: Delhi Court Ruling that a Muslim girl can marry as per her choice at the age of 15 if she has attained puberty, the Delhi High Court has held the marriage of a minor girl valid and allowed her to stay in her matrimonial house. “This Court notes that according to Mohammedan Law a girl can marry without the consent of her parents once she attains the age of puberty and she has the right to reside with her husband even if she is below the age of 18....,” a bench of justices S Ravindra Bhat and SP Garg said. Citing various Supreme Court judgements on the issue of minor Muslim girls’ marriage, the bench said “In view of the above judgments, it is clear that a Muslim girl who has attained puberty i.e. 15 years can marry and such a marriage would not be a void marriage. However, she has the option of treating the marriage as voidable, at the time of her attaining the age of majority, which is 18 years.” Accepting the 16-year-old girl’s plea for allowing her to stay in her matrimonial home, the bench has disposed of a habeas corpus petition filed by the girl’s mother alleging that her daughter was kidnapped by a man and forced into marriage in April last year. The bench accepted the girl’s statement that she had left at her parental home. According to the statement she had willingly married the man of her choice and her husband cannot be booked on the charge of kidnapping. Meanwhile, to ascertain the girl’s well-being, the Court has directed the couple and in-laws to appear before the Child Welfare Committee once in every six months till the girl turns 18. “The Committee shall take necessary steps, including obtaining the necessary undertaking from the man (husband) in this regard. Subject to completion of these steps, the girl be
allowed to live in her matrimonial home,” the bench said. According to the habeas corpus petition filed by the girl’s mother, after abducting the girl who had Rs. 1.5 lakh on March 13, 2011, the man had telephoned her, threatening to kidnap her other daughter if any legal action was taken against him. The petitioner claimed that on March 19, 2011 she had also approached the Deputy Commissioner of Police and requested him to rescue her minor daughter from illegal detention. As per the petition, on April 14, 2011 an FIR was registered with Gokalpuri police station in north-east Delhi alleging that the man had kidnapped her daughter. The mother said that the police had not taken any action, forcing her to approach the High Court. During the hearing of her plea, the Court had issued notice to the police. Subsequently, the police produced her in the Court saying that she had voluntarily gone with the man and married him. Since then they have been staying as husband and wife, the police told the Court. On April 18, 2012 the girl had also told the Court that she did not wish to go back to her parents and wanted to stay with her husband. Meanwhile, she was kept in Nirmal Chhaya after her production before the Child Welfare Committee, which has stated that the girl was 15 years, 10 months and 23 days.
South Asia Tribune I Thursday 07 June 2012
South Asia Tribune I Thursday 07 June 2012
ONE MILLION SPECTATORS JOIN THE QUEEN FOR HER GLORIOUS DIAMOND JUBILEE RIVER PAGEANT Queen thanks nation for ‘humbling’ jubilee
THOUSANDS of revellers deﬁed the wet weather and lined the banks of the River Thames today as the Queen celebrated her Diamond Jubilee. Huge Thames Flotilla Salutes Diamond Jubilee for Queen Elizabeth II Royal record breaker: Diamond Jubilee river pageant
sets new world record for largest parade of boats She was accompanied by senior royals, including the Duke of Edinburgh and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, on the barge, which was decorated with 10,000 ﬂowers from the royal estates. Some 20,000 people were thought to have been in the boats of the ﬂotilla, which travelled at 4 knots (4.6 miles) an hour, with the Thames barrier closed to slow the river’s ﬂow. The Spirit of Chartwell left Cadogan Pier once the rowing boats in the ﬂotilla had safely passed. Leading the rowing boats was the million-pound row barge Gloriana, with Olympic gold medallists Sir Matthew Pinsent and Sir Steve Redgrave among the 18 rowers. The Queen received an outpouring of good wishes from those who had braved cold and wet conditions
to see her and the water-borne celebration of her 60year reign. After travelling for around seven miles though the capital the royal barge moored just past Tower Bridge just as predicted heavy showers began to fall. Growing numbers of people have ﬂocked to London to watch the water borne extravaganza that will accompany the Queen as she sails through London. An estimated one million people have lined the river banks to watch the ﬂeet that will stretch over seven miles in length. The Guinness World Records said the pageant had set a new world record for the largest parade of boats, surpassing the previous record of 327 in Bremerhaven, Germany, last year.
On the ﬁnal day of the Diamond Jubilee holiday, the Queen thanks the nation for a "humbling experience" and says she has been "deeply touched" by the celebrations. n a televised address, her majesty said: "It has touched me deeply to see so many thousands of families, neighbours and friends celebrating together in such a happy atmosphere." She added: "I hope that memories of all this year's happy events will brighten our lives for many years to come. "I will continue to treasure and draw inspiration from the countless kindnesses shown to me in this country and throughout the Commonwealth.
Thank you all." This afternoon, the Queen watched a ﬂypast by Second World War aircraft and the Red Arrows from the balcony of Buckingham Palace. She had travelled to the palace from Westminster, hailed by large crowds. Recovering in hospital Earlier on Tuesday, the Queen attended a thanksgiving service at St Paul's - one of the few grand state occasions in her life which she has attended without her husband of 64 years. The Duke of Edinburgh remains in hospital recovering from a bladder infection. The monarch last night attended a star-studded Diamond Jubilee
Despite the cold and wet conditions the organisers remain upbeat about the day ahead, as have members of the public who have been ﬂocking to the Thames armed with umbrellas and raincoats. Hundreds of vessels of all sizes have mustered at
concert without the Duke of Edinburgh by her side. This morning, Buckingham Palace said that Prince Philip continued to recover in hospital, and that the Queen would continue with her scheduled events today with other members of the royal family, including the Prince of Wales, the Duchess of Cornwall, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry. This morning, hundreds of well-wishers gathered outside St Paul's Cathedral ahead of a service of thanksgiving for the Diamond Jubilee. Prime Minister David Cameron said that the they had shown "the best of Britain". The prime minister described the monarchy as "an incredible institution" which brought people together, alongside "a fully democratic system where you elect governments, you throw governments out". The prime minister described the monarchy as "an incredible institution" which brought people together, alongside "a fully democratic system where you elect governments, you throw governments out". "We've modernised, if you like, this institution of the monarchy, but it's still got this incredible institutional history and nostalgia for people, which people like me feel very, very deeply." US President Barack Obama sent the Queen the "heartfelt congratulations of the American people".
Battersea Bridge. Channel 4 News’ Katie Hunter is aboard the My Harmony. The pageant began with the Queen sailing up on the Royal Barge. The barge bedecked with ﬂowers and will carry the
Queen and Duke of Edinburgh, Charles and Camilla, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry. The Prince of Wales was patron of the pageant and will launch it later this afternoon following two years of trials, rehearsals and planning. Charles and his wife Camilla ventured out into the rain earlier to join a Big Jubilee Lunch street party in London’s Piccadilly, where they sang with the crowd to a rather shaky version of the national anthem. London Mayor Boris Johnson was upbeat from Putney Pier, declaring the rain had passed as he geed-up the crowds around him.
Crowds lined the bridges of London including Tower Bridge as they eagerly awaited the arrival of the Queen’s river pageant. Umbrellas and waterproof clothing were the essential
items on display for most of the crowd, along with bunting and Union ﬂags to wave, ahead of the Royal Family’s arrival. Many hundreds of people attended the party in Piccadilly. People were taking lunch at the long tables, or foraging at the many stalls which were spewing smoke as they cook their food. A band struck up next to the fairground, adding to the party atmosphere. There was real excitement as Charles and Camilla arrived earlier, their visit being shown on the big screen put up for the occasion. The national anthem was well observed, and accompanied by some furious ﬂag-waving. There were many hundreds of people there, and among them are council workers busily grabbing litter almost before it hit the ﬂoor. Union jacks were everywhere - on hats, ﬂags, umbrellas, even some jackets. If Her Majesty would like to see some of her most loyal subjects, she need only look down Piccadilly.
Saarc international I Thursday 07 June 2012
India, Pakistan nuclear arsenal growing, evolving: SIPRI
India and Pakistan are continuing to work towards developing new systems for delivering nuclear weapons and are expanding their capacities to produce fissile material for military purposes, according to an international think tank report. The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) said that Pakistan was developing a number of new short-range ballistic missiles which suggests that it may use ‘battlefield nuclear weapons’ resulting in these warheads being deployed on a “launch-ready posture”. “India and Pakistan are increasing the size and sophistication of their nuclear arsenals. Both countries are developing and deploying new types of nuclear-capable ballistic and cruise missiles and both are increasing their military fissile material production capabilities,” the SIPRI yearbook said.
The report also claimed that in May last year, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh convened a meeting of the Nuclear Command Authority to assess progress towards the goal of achieving an operational triad including weapon delivery systems based in air, land and sea.
SIPRI claimed that the number of nuclear warheads with India and Pakistan have continued to be the same in comparison with last year with New Delhi having 80-100 such nukes in its arsenal while Islamabad has 90-110 of them. The battlefield nuclear warheads, also known as tactical nuclear
India, Pakistan talk Siachen June 11-12 troops withdrawal tops agenda
India and Pakistan will discuss the Siachen issue, which has been hanging fire for over two decades, on June 11-12 in Islamabad with an aim of demilitarising the world’s highest battle-field. Defence Secretaries of the two sides will hold talks for two days there in an attempt to find a solution to the vexed problem which is costing immensely to both countries in terms of monetary and human resources, officials said today. The talks will be followed by a discussion on the Sir Creek issue on June 28. These talks were earlier supposed to precede the Siachen issue but the schedule was reversed reportedly at the behest of Pakistan. India and Pakistan have held several rounds of talks to resolve the Siachen issue.
The two countries were close to an agreement a few years back on demilitarising the region but it failed to fructify as Pakistan refused to authenticate the current military positions of the two sides despite India pressing for it. During a visit to Siachen in 2005, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had said that the two countries should work to convert the highest battlefield into a mountain of peace. Recently Pakistan Army chief Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani had contended that India had hardened its position on the Siachen issue as compared to the 1989 stance it had adopted, saying that it “takes two hands to clap”. Reacting on Kayani’s suggestion, former Army Chief Gen VK Singh had rejected Pakistani counterpart’s proposal to demilitarise Siachen,
dubbing it as a “gimmick”. The armies of the two countries have lost more soldiers to hostile weather than in actual combat since April 1984 when Indian Army occupied the icy heights for the nation’s strategic defence. Defence Minister A K Antony had recently said in Parliament that no one should expect any “dramatic” results from the Defence Secretaries’ talks. The Siachen troop withdrawal issue gained prominence in Pakistan following a massive avalanche burying a Pakistan army camp there on April 7, resulting in the death of 129 soldiers and 11 civilians. Just after the incident, Pakistan president Asif Ali Zardari advocated troop withdrawal from Siachen during his informal meeting with Prime Minister Singh in April.
weapons (TNWs), were first reported to be with Pakistan during the Operation Parakram in 200102 . Traditionally it is believed that TNWs are not to be used against strategic targets and can be used to smoke out an armoured regiment or column advancing into a country. The report also said Pakistan’s
doctrine is based on the principle of minimum deterrence but does not specifically rule out the first use of nuclear weapons to offset India’s superiority in conventional arms and manpower. It said eight of the world’s nuclear powers together possessed nearly 19,000 atomic weapons.
Operation Bluestar’s 28th anniversary: Dal Khalsa releases directory of persons killed
Sikh radical organization Dal Khalsa released a third update edition of the directory of persons who were killed during Operation Bluestar. The release of the directory, this time significantly coincides with the commencement of the Kar Sewa by the Damdami Taksal to raise the memorial
Singh who has chronicled the history of this period. Geelani in his message has said that the Sikhs had a history of chivalry, bravery and sacrifices. Dal Khalsa founder Gajinder Singh has also penned down a note in the directory. Gajinder’s name had figured in the list of 20 fugitives demanded by India from Pakistan post December 13 terror attack on Parliament House. The directory lists includes two women Paramjit Kaur Sandhu and Upkar Kaur president women wing of Sikh students Federation.The directory also recalls the role and contribution
to Operation Bluestar. The directory was released by Damdami Taksal chief and head of Sant Samaj Baba Harnam Singh Khalsa. Resounding slogans of Bole So Nihal, Sat Sri Akal etc. rent the air the moment Baba Harnam Singh Khalsa,and other Sikh representatives of different radical groups presented the copies of the directory to Ishar Singh, son of Jarnail Singh Bhinderanwala. This updated third edition carries the messages of Hurriyat Conference chairman Syed Ali Geelani, Damdami Taksal chief Baba Harnam Singh Khalsa and senior journalist Jagtar
of more than 30 kar sewaks who came from Nanded, which reached Darbar Sahib a few months before June, 1984. Among others who were present on the occasion included Baba Baljit Singh Daduwal, Baba Ajit Singh Lohgar, SAD (Panch Pardani) leader Daljeet Singh, Harpal Singh Cheema and KAC chairman Mohkam Singh. Activists of Sikh community hold a demonstration in support of their demands, at Faisal Chowk As many as 1,000 Indian Sikh Yatrees arrived in Pakistan through Wahga Border to participate in the festivities of Jhor Mela on June 8.
Saarc international I Thursday 07 June 2012
CJ Family gate
Arsalan Chaudhry, who allegedly received over Rs 400 million from Bahria Town CEO Malik Riaz, n Stern action if son found guilty: Chief Justice n CJ says SC reputation will be protected at all costs n
Taking note of reports of financial impropriety circulating on various social media platforms and media channels, Chief Justice of Pakistan Mohammed Iftikhar Chaudhry sent notices to Dr Arsalan Iftikhar and Malik Riaz, Pakistan’s Chief Justice, Iftikhar Chaudhry, is presiding over a three-judge hearing at the Supreme Court to address allegations of corruption against his own son, Arsalan. The chief justice apparently initiated the case as a response to widespread accusations in the media that his son accepted millions of dollars in bribes. The money allegedly came from a property tycoon who hoped to influence a Supreme Court ruling. Arsalan Chaudhry denies any wrongdoing. Meanwhile, Arsalan Iftikhar Chaudhry said that he had full faith in the court and would respect its decision. The case is expected to resume on Thursday. According to sources, the reports on which the suo motu was taken suggest that Dr Iftikhar had taken between Rs300-400 million from Malik Riaz. Sources said that the impression given by some of these reports was that the sum was
being exchanged on behalf of the Chief Justice for disposing off cases pending before the Supreme Court. Source clarified that the case at this point in time is not against any one and once hearings start on Wednesday, would seek to establish the authenticity of the reports. As soon as the hearing begun, Attorney General Irfan Qadir objected to the bench, adding that law asks chief justice not to hear the case against his son. Chief justice replied that he is the chief justice of Pakistan and has the discretion to summon anyone, adding that strict action under the law will be taken if his son found guilty. One of the members of the bench, Justice S.Khawaja said we have registered your objection, adding that it is not a trivial case and a reply will be given on Thursday. Princiap staff officer of Malik Riaz told the court that he is undergoing a medical checkup aboard. He said 10 key officials deal with all the matters in his absence. Meanwhile, vice chief executive of Bahria Town, Maryam Rehman said that Ali Riaz Malik is also out of country, adding that he has resigned from chairmanship. Statement of Journalist Hamid Mir was also recorded by the bench. Hamid Mir stated that Malik Riaz claimed that he had written proof in this case though he didn’t share. Directing Hamid Mir to submit a written reply
in the case, Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry said that programmes that ridicule the institutions should not be on-aired without proof. Adjourning the hearing till Thursday, the bench directed Malik Riaz and Ali Riaz to appear before the court. Earlier, Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry took suo motu notice on media reports regarding his son, Arsalan Chaudhry, who allegedly received over Rs 400 million from Bahria Town CEO Malik Riaz, against whom several cases were pending in the apex court. Mr Chaudhry has played a key role more recently in contempt proceedings against Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, who was found guilty in April. In December the chief justice was accused by President Asif Ali Zardari of failing to investigate the murder of his wife, former Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, in December 2007. Now Mr Chaudhry and the Supreme Court are locked in a bitter confrontation with the current PPP-led government over the Gilani case and other issues. His determination to bring his son’s accusers to court - and his promise to deliver justice if his son is found guilty of corruption - may be seen as an attempt to protect his reputation, our correspondent says. Perhaps the most explosive revaltion about “Family Gate” is not what happened to the Chief Justice’s son, but who knew about it. It is alleged that Imran Khan, Ahtizaz Ahsan, Najam Sethi and Mr. Kahira etc. knew about the scandal. Amazingly they did not reveal it! The reprecussions from the scandal may spread far and wide. If the younger Chaudhry tells all and reveals the names of those who who had given him tons of money–this may lead to a wide scandal that may sweep away many pliticians. A scam so called to trap Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry: Story Disclosed By Shaheen Sehbai in a video named Washington Beat: A hard hitting talk show focusing on the latest news from Pakistan. This week host Dr Manzur Ejaz talks to Shaheen Sehbai, Group Editor The News International • “Few years back Musharraf levelled charges against Iftikhar Chaudhry that he had
misused his authority to provide his son a job. So how can a job seeker become such a brilliant businessman in a matter of few years that people gave him millions? Therefore, it was a planned conspiracy,” Sehbai added. He also said that CJ Iftikhar Chaudhry is very angry on this matter. “CJ said to his close friends that he will sideline his family,” Sehbai continued. He also said that some noted journalists were also aware of the whole matter. • He also said that Aitzaz Ahsan, Qamar-uz-Zaman Kaira and other Pakistan Peoples Party‘s leadership were also aware of this conspiracy but just could not ‘find
courage to bring it up.’ Interestingly, according to Sehbai, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf‘s chief Imran Khan was among those few who knew about it. Chief Justice of Pakistan, Justice Iftikhar
Muhammad Chudhry was, “Suspended” on 9th of March, 2007 on the charges of abusing his powers. Former president Pervez Musharraf had accused Justice Iftikhar of misusing his authority to provide his son a job. Earlier in May when the Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry remarked that if Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani does not want implementation of the Supreme Court’s orders, other options including ‘emergency’ were available in the constitution. CJ said that “We respect the prime minister. (But) If the prime minister says restoring law and order and implementation of constitution is not his responsibility then constitution will take its course.” The court could take steps including imposition of emergency, he added. The chief justice observed they had no enmity with anybody rather they were trying to do something good for the country. Was that remark or warning related to this new CJ gate involving his son, also CJ good friend Chaudhry Aitzaz Ahsan was playing his role to stop the big story to be published in UK newspaper. According to some sources the story will be publish in UK by coming Sunday. Some ask when Pakistan CJ failed to know what is happening in his own home what can he do for the Country and Justice.
Drone attack killed al-Qaeda’s second in command, says US Al-Qaeda’s second in command, Abu Yahya al-Libi, was among 15 militants killed in a US drone strike in Pakistan, US officials have said. Al-libi is believed to have functioned as a “gatekeeper” between al-Qaeda’s leader, Ayman al-Zawahri, and operatives in the field,. Experts said his death would be seen as the biggest blow to al-Qaeda since American special forces killed Osama bin Laden in a secret raid in Pakistan in May last year. White House spokesman Jay Carney said the intelligence community had information which led them to conclude al-Libi had been
killed. “We have confirmation of his death,” insisted Mr Carney, adding: “There is now no clear successor to take on the breadth of his responsibilities.” However, there has been no confirmation of his death from sources in Pakistan. US officials revealed yesterday they had targeted al-Libi in Monday’s strike in Khassu Khel village in the North Waziristan tribal area. It is believed US intelligence officers are hoping Pakistani intelligence sources who know al-Libi will be able to view his body in the wreckage of the house where he was seen before the strike, or at his funeral, to confirm he was hit.
Saarc international I Thursday 07 June 2012
WEEKLY REVIEW OF PAKISTAN NEWS
Pakistan: Concern over life threat to Pakistan summons U.S. leading lawyer and human rights activist envoy over drone strikes
Civil society outraged over death threat to Pak human rights activist Asma Jahangir Personalities belonging to various civil society organisations and bar associations have expressed serious concern and alarm at the information leak from a highly credible source that there is serious threat to the life of Asma Jahangir, who is Pakistan’s leading human rights activist and one of the most influential leaders of the bar. “What makes the reported conspiracy to liquidate Asma Jahangir especially serious is, firstly, the environment of target killings in which dissident persons’ dead bodies are being dumped all over, and, secondly, the fact that the finger of accusation has been pointed at the extraordinarily privileged state actors,” the Daily Times quoted the civil society members, as saying. Jehangir had earlier said that the country’s powerful security establishment was planning to get her killed using one of the many jihadi outfits operating in the country, stated The News. She said the establishment, particularly a sensitive agency, “was upset with her” for picking up cudgels for the Baloch people and speaking out against the role of the security establishment in the restive province of Balochistan. Jehangir went public with her fears after an informationleak from a responsible and highly credible source. In a statement issued through the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, civil society activists said this is not a conspiracy against one individual alone but a plot against Pakistan’s future as a democratic state. “We wish to make it clear to all and sundry, especially those who preside over the security apparatus, that they must not under-estimate the consequences of any harm
being caused to the life of Asma Jehangir,” they said. Her security has apparently been beefed up following the threat but this would come as little consolation; given how former Punjab Governor Salman Taseer was assassinated by someone from his own security detail. The people who spoke out included members from the judiciary, journalists and former army officials.
Pakistan on Tuesday summoned U.S. envoy to the Foreign Ministry to lodge formal protest with him over series of drone strikes in the country’s tribal region, officials said. The protest came a day after two U.S. spy aircraft fired missiles in North Waziristan tribal region and killed at least 16 people. The Monday’s strike was the third in Waziristan tribal area over the past three days. “US Charge d’Affaires Ambassador Richard Hoagland was called to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs today. He was officially conveyed the Government’s serious concern regarding drone strikes in Pakistani territory,” the Foreign Ministry said. “He was informed that the drone strikes were unlawful, against international law and a violation of Pakistan’s sovereignty,” a statement said. The statement recalled that the Parliament had, in April, emphatically stated that the drone strikes, were unacceptable. “Drone strikes represented a clear red-line for Pakistan,” the US diplomat was told. The Foreign Ministry said that a second and separate demarche was lodged with Ambassador Hoagland on the seizure of unauthorized weapons that were in
possession of US diplomats in the northwestern city of Peshawar. “He was informed that the carrying of unauthorized weapons by diplomats was un-acceptable and contrary to both Pakistani law and accepted norms of diplomatic conduct,” the statement said. The U.S. has stepped up drone strikes in recent days and also on Sunday U.S. drones fired four missiles on a house in South Waziristan area, leaving ten people dead including two suspected militants. Also on Saturday, four people were killed when U.S. drones attacked a house in Ghowa Khowa area of South Waziristan. AntiU.S. sentiment runs high in the Pakistani nation basically stemming from suspected U.S. drone strikes in Pakistan’s border region which are regarded as a violation of the country’s sovereignty and have killed hundreds of innocent civilians. Pakistani authorities repeatedly condemned U.S. drone strikes in its territory but the United States has never stopped such attacks in Pakistan’s tribal area. At least 151 people have been killed in 20 drone strikes launched in northwest tribal area of Pakistan since the beginning of this year.
US apology needed to open NATO supply routes: Khar
The United States should apologize for an air raid that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers if it wants Pakistan to reopen key supply routes into Afghanistan, Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar said in an interview published Monday. Angered over the lethal November attack, Islamabad shut the supply routes vital for US and allied troops, forcing the alliance to rely on longer, more expensive northern routes through Russia and Central Asia. “A representative parliament of 180 million people has spoken on one subject,” Khar told Foreign Policy, referring to new guidelines for US-Pakistan ties approved by Pakistani lawmakers which call for an apology. A US apology is “something which should have been forthcoming the day this incident happened, and what a partnership not only demands, but requires,” she said. The on-again, off-again relationship between Islamabad and Washington is at a new low, and with US elections looming in November,
President Barack Obama is unlikely to say sorry to Pakistan and make himself vulnerable to attacks from his Republican challenger, Mitt Romney. A Nato summit in Chicago ended two weeks ago without a deal on the Nato supply lines. Khar however said that despite the political challenges, the United States should live up to its principles of doing “what we consider to be right rather than what is more
popular.” She noted that Pakistan also has political obstacles of its own. “For us in Pakistan… the most popular thing to do right now is to not move on Nato supply routes at all. It is to close them forever,” she said. “If I were a political advisor to the prime minister, this is what I would advise him to do. But I’m not advising him to do that… becavuse what is at stake is much more
important for Pakistan than just winning an election.” The roads through Pakistan, now shuttered for over six months, are a crucial logistical link for Nato as it plans a large-scale withdrawal of combat troops and hardware by the end of 2014. Yet US officials have so far rejected Pakistani proposals to charge steep fees of several thousand dollars for each alliance truck crossing the border.
Khar also criticized Washington’s use of unmanned drones to target militants in Pakistan’s lawless tribal area, a program Obama has accelerated. “If you are creating 10 more targets for every target you take, are you doing a service or a disservice to your eventual goal of winning the war?” she asked. Another thorn in the side of the contentious US-Pakistani relationship has been Shakeel Afridi, the Pakistani doctor who helped the CIA find late al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden by running a fake vaccination program, and who was sentenced to 33 years in prison for treason. “Clearly, my advice at this point is that we don’t need to blow this out of proportion at all,” Khar said. “But I would certainly not want this particular issue to cast a shadow over the relationship.” The interview was conducted in Doha during the May 29-31 USIslamic World Forum organized by The Brookings Institution.
Saarc international I Thursday 07 June 2012
WEEKLY REVIEW OF MALDIVE NEWS
Maldives’ National Commission of Inquiry set to begin work The National Commission of Inquiry set by the Maldivian government to probe the events leading to the regime change that took place early this year will start its work soon after differences over its formation was resolved. The name proposed by former President Mohamed Nasheed to the Commission has been approved by both the Maldivian Government and the Commonwealth’s Special Envoy Sir Donald MacKinnon. The name proposed by Nasheed is believed to be the former Principal of a Male’ Secondary School Ahmed Saeed. “I am happy that we finally have a resolution on the issue of Nasheed’s nominee, and I commend both sides for their patience and perseverance in this regard,” Donald said.
In keeping with the commitment signed by the Maldives Government on May 15, the Commission will be co-chaired by a Commonwealth-funded senior retired judge from Singapore. The Commonwealth and the
Dr. Didi, Alhan and Shah join Jumhooree Party
Opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP)’s recently deposed President Dr. Ibrahim Didi, MDP Vice President Alhan Fahmy and MDP Secretary General Hassan Shah have joined Jumhooree Party. In a ceremony held at the Traders Hotel yesterday morning, the three addressed the media after signing their membership for the Jumhooree Party. Dr. Didi said that he is among those who have been actively involved in the struggle to establish democracy in the Maldives. He said that he has been also among those who sacrificed a lot even from his own wealth to form MDP. Dr. Didi said that he joined Jumhooree Party because it is the only party which has the potential
of doing something for the welfare and benefit of the people. He said that he left MDP because MDP is now hijacked by some people and now there is no democracy within MDP. Dr. Didi also stressed that it was saddening what has happened to MDP and that he do not want to suffer the bitterness of his experience in MDP ever again. “I looked for the most democratic and responsible party. Which party is following its set guidelines? And I joined Jumhooree Party because it is the only party that haves these qualities,” he said. The former President of MDP said that he hopes to make Jumhooree Party the most powerful and strongest political party in the Maldives.
United Nations will each provide an expert advisor for support. Nasheed had resigned on February 7 this year in what he termed was a “coup” and was replaced by his then Vice President Mohamed Waheed.
Maldives President Congratulates H.M. Queen Elizabeth II on Diamond Jubilee
President Waheed today congratulated Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II on the occasion of her Diamond Jubilee. President Waheed, who is in London to attend the celebrations, said: “On behalf of the people of the Maldives, I extend my sincere congratulations to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II on the magnificent occasion of her Diamond Jubilee and with it, sixty years as the head of the
Commonwealth. I am honoured to attend the celebrations taking place in London.” In addition to attending a number of events to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee, President Waheed will use the trip to the UK as an opportunity to brief Heads of State and senior officials of the UK and other Commonwealth countries on the current political and economic situation in Maldives.
Maldives eyes more Malaysian tourists
Having Malaysia in its sights as a great potential partner for sustainable tourism, the Maldives hopes to lure 10,000 Malaysian visitors annually to the island nation by 2014. The Indian Ocean archipelago located southwest of India and Sri Lanka, also expects to generate US$250 million in tourism revenue in the next two years. Maldives Tourism, Arts and Culture Deputy Minister Mohamed Maleeh Jamal said 6,555 Malaysian holidaymakers visited the country last year, and in the first four months of this year, it attracted 1,700 Malaysian tourists. Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the World Islamic Tourism Mart 2012 here Friday, he noted that Malaysia and the
Maldives shared similarities in terms of culture, tradition and beliefs. “All our food items are imported and halal. This resort island, which only takes a four-hour flight from here, offers affordable holiday prices from US$1,500, ranging from budget to luxury holiday,” he said. Mohamed Maleeh said the island nation now received 400,000 tourist arrivals a year, 24 per cent of whom were Chinese. “The number of Chinese tourists, including Malaysian Chinese, to the Maldives is expected to set a new high in 2012. We see them as an important market,” he said. With the recent shift towards catering to more Asian guests, many Maldivians working in the tourism industry had taken to
familiarising themselves with Chinese, Japanese and Korean languages, as well as cultural practices, he noted. Underscoring the importance of tourism to the Maldives, Mohamed Maleeh said about 40 per cent of the government’s budget was financed through tourism which also contributed significantly to the country’s foreign exchange earnings. With climate change concerns hovering over the island nation, the deputy minister said that efforts were being made to address them, including in the field of renewable energy. He added that resorts on the island had begun to use environment-friendly approaches to counter climate change issues. – Bernama
Saarc international I Thursday 07 June 2012
WEEKLY REVIEW OF NEPAL NEWS
Nepal’s opposition plans massive rally for removing PM
Despite mounting pressure from opposition parties for his removal, Nepal Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai has refused to make any such move—at least for now. In an interview to ‘Republica’, Bhattarai stated that he needs to stay in his position to prevent a political and constitution crisis and safeguard democracy in Nepal. “Constitutionally speaking, there is no alternative to this government. Will ‘loktantra’ (democracy) be strengthened by inviting political and constitutional crisis?” he questioned. “Isn’t it my responsibility to safeguard ‘loktantra’ and constitution at this critical juncture? Will it be an appropriate move to run away from the responsibility?” Terming Bhattarai’s move to announce fresh elections as unconstitutional, 19 opposition parties including Nepali Congress and Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist Leninist) are demanding his removal and have expressed unwillingness to take part
in the next elections. Nepal’s 22 opposition parties are gearing for a massive antigovernment protest here on Friday demanding the ouster of Prime Minister Bhattarai for his “unilateral” and “unconstitutional” decision to hold fresh elections in the country without consulting them. Forming an alliance, 22 parties, including Nepali Congress and CPN-UML, have been campaigning for a gathering of more than 150,000 people to exert pressure for the removal of Maoist-led government and form a national unity government. The opposition has alleged the Maoist Prime Minister of making efforts to capture state power by unilaterally and unconstitutionally dissolving the 601-member Constituent Assembly on the pretext of holding elections on November 22. “What the Maoist led government did on May 27 was no less than the coup staged by former Kings Mahendra, in 1960, and Gyanendra in 2005,” Nepali Congress central member Gopal Man Shrestha said. Meanwhile,
the dissident faction of the Maoist party led by Mohan Vaidya “Kiran” has also indicated that they may support the opposition campaign. On the other hand, Maoist chief Prachanda has alleged that the two main parties - Nepali Congress and CPN-UML - were responsible for the dissolution of the Constituent Assembly. Speaking at an interaction here today, he claimed that the NC and CPN-UML were against incorporating federal structure in the new constitution and that led to the failure to draft the constitution within the deadline of May 27. Caretaker Prime Minister Bhattarai, speaking at the interaction, said that there was no other way than to go for fresh elections through dissolution of the Constitution after the parties failed to give the constitution within the stipulated time frame. Meanwhile, President Ram Baran Yadav is busy holding political and legal consultations before making any decision whether to endorse Prime Minister Bhattarai’s call for fresh election or not.
EC wants laws, constitution amended for polls The EC officials informed their position through a letter to the Office of the Prime Minister and Council of Ministers. They also met President Ram Baran Yadav. A week after the government announced an election to the Constituent Assembly, the Election Commission (EC) Sunday officially made it clear that it would not be able to hold the election scheduled for November 22 until the Interim Constitution and other related laws are not amended immediately. “We clearly told the president if the interim constitution was not amended and other election related acts are not reformed, the EC cannot hold the election on the date set by the government,” Election Commissioner Dolakh Bahadur Gurung said after meeting the president. According to Gurung, the EC on Sunday sent formal letter to the prime minister´s office regarding ´necessary´ amendments to election related laws and acts. The election commissioners had already informed its position to Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai on Friday . Gurung also said understanding among political parties was a must for a new election . “We told the president that the political parties must reach an understanding for the new CA election to create favorable environment to hold the election on schedule,” he added. According to the EC officials, acts on the CA election, Election Commission and election to the members of the constituent assembly should be
amended in order to hold the new election. The Article 63 (7) of the interim constitution states ´´for the purpose of the election of the Constituent Assembly, every citizen of Nepal who has attained the age of eighteen years on or before the last day of the month of Mangsir of the year 2063 (15 December 2007) shall be entitled to vote, as provided in law´´. “So, if this is not amended, hundred of thousands eligible voters will be barred from voting,” said an EC official who wanted to stay anonymous. Similarly, Article 142 (5) states ´´ a petition with the support and signature of at least ten thousand voters shall be required for the purpose of registration of a party for election. Provided that this provision shall not apply to the parties represented in the Interim Legislature Parliament´´. The article also needs to be amended as there is no longer the Interim Legislature Parliament. “We have recently carried out new census. So, if we want to make it basis for the new election, we must amend this article,” said the official.
Nepal’s Gurkhas battle to stay in British military
Deo Man Limbu sat in a veterans hall lined with pictures of old soldiers and reflected on his years of service, his battles and his dreams. The retired major with Britain’s legendary Gurkhas faced the Argentines in the 1982 Falklands War, when being a member of one of the world’s most-feared fighting forces had its advantages. “We fought many enemies,” said Limbu, 60, who has the air of a dapper gentleman in a blue blazer, checked dress shirt and wellpressed brown pants. “But our politicians in Nepal are the worst.” Today, the Gurkhas’ proud twocentury tradition with the British army is under siege. Some in the communist-led Nepalese government object to the Gurkhas being hired guns for a former colonial power and are proposing to ban the practice, just as the British government makes deep
cuts in its defence spending. Britain’s connection with the Gurkhas dates to 1815 when, having barely defeated them in battle, the British decided that if you can’t beat them, have them join you. Since then, hundreds of thousands of Gurkhas have served under the Union Jack in peacetime and in war. For much of that history, Gurkhas did a lot of heavy lifting but earned less than British soldiers. After a headline-grabbing campaign in 2009, new rules gave Gurkhas serving after 1997 the same benefits, pay and pension as their British counterparts and the right to live in Britain. But those who served previously continue to receive a fraction of that, creating a two-tier system that has led to squabbling among Gurkhas. Gurkhas derive their name from the Nepali hill town of Gorkha. They’re blessed, according to legend, by
the eighth-century Hindu warriorsaint Guru Gorakhnath, who gave them their famous knife, the kukri. Gurkha loyalty, fighting skills and determination in the face of nearimpossible odds are legendary. Former Indian Army Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw once famously said: “If a man says he is not afraid
of dying, he is either lying or he is a Gurkha.” Gurkhas are frequently called on to guard VIPs, given their reputation for loyalty after siding with Britain during the 1857 Indian Mutiny. During a year spent in Buckingham Palace protecting Queen Elizabeth II, Gurung attended 150 cocktail
parties. Although the pull is still strong, some military analysts are questioning the Gurkhas’ future. Britain will take just 126 this year and has seen 400 Gurkhas lose their jobs, reducing to 3,200 the number in active service, a tiny fraction of the 200,000 during the Second World War. Recently, British officers and Gurkha veterans groups have emphasized the extent to which Britain and India contribute to Nepal’s economy — up to 25 per cent, by some accounts — through pensions and funding for Gurkha hospitals, schools in Gurkha communities and other welfare programs. (India employs more Gurkhas than Britain, although they’re not as well paid.) “The government would have to think pretty long about turning that down,” Mills said.
Saarc international I Thursday 07 June 2012
WEEKLY REVIEW OF SRILANKA NEWS
‘Sri Lanka ideal for investment’
Sri Lanka has a very conducive environment for international investments and is one of the safest countries to invest in, President Mahinda Rajapaksa told a group of Thai business leaders in Bangkok on Saturday. He said there was a pro-business policy environment in the country with a number of measures in line with the laws of the land to guarantee the safety of investments and ensure a conducive environment to carry out business activities without hindrance. The President pointed out Sri Lanka has a peaceful domestic environment and a strong and resilient economy which has shown sustained growth. He said this was a most opportune time for both countries to strengthen economic ties adding that this could benefit both countries. President Rajapaksa speaking
on Sri Lanka’s recent economic performances said the country’s economy grew by eight percent in 2010 and 8.3 percent in 2011, the first time it has exceeded a growth of over eight percent in two consecutive years. This impressive growth was achieved despite most countries facing an economic recession due to macro economic issues in the west, he said. President Rajapaksa said these achievements were possible due to the government’s efforts in defeating terrorism which plagued the country for three decades and creating an environment suitable for development. “The strong economic performances lifted the country’s per capita income, reduced unemployment, sustained inflation at low levels, spurred infrastructure development and lifted the people’s quality of life substantially,” he added.
He said Sri Lanka has an efficient framework in all financial sectors including agriculture, industries and services and the government has launched a programme to develop physical infrastructure . The Board of Investment of Sri Lanka too was ready to help international investors, he said. The President said these policies and measures have been appreciated by many international investors who have now become partners of development in Sri Lanka. He invited Thai business leaders to explore possibilities in Sri Lanka. The event was also addressed by Central Bank Governor Ajith Nivaard Cabraal and BoI chairman M M C Ferdinando. Secretary to the President Lalith Weeratunge, Foreign Secretary Karunatilake Amunugama and Sri Lankan Ambassodor to Thailand General Shantha Kottegoda were also present.
Sri Lankan Ministers Meet Indian Defence Minister and US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
On the occasion of the Shangri-La Dialogue, Sri Lanka’s delegation to the meetings led by the Minister of External Affairs Prof GL Peiris and Secretary Defence Mr Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, met with General Martin Dempsey, US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and A K Anthony, the Defence Minister of India. Prof GL Peiris gave an in depth account of implementing a locally chartered course of action for national reconciliation which also included elements of rehabilitation, reconstruction and the socioeconomic development of the conflict affected Northern and Eastern parts of the country. Both USA and India commended the incremental and steady progress being made in these areas and were keen to assist Sri Lanka in all aspects of their multifaceted bilateral partnership for attaining
sustainable peace. As a coastal nation, the meetings recognized the pivotal role that Sri Lanka Navy could play in strengthening the security of sea lanes in the Indian Ocean and resolved to co-operate closely in drawing on their synergies in combating international terrorism. As two key strategic partners of Sri Lanka, both the USA and India responded positively to a request made by Secretary Defence Mr Gotabhaya Rajapaksa for enhanced training opportunities for capacity building of defence personnel in their institutes of repute. Prof GL Peiris addressed a thematic Session on “South Asia’s Growing Security Threats” in the Asian Security Summit, in Singapore. Among his fellow panelists was Dr Dipu Moni, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Bangladesh.
Tamils protest against Rajapaksa’s London visit
Accompanied by First Lady Shiranthi Rajapaksa, Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa arrived in London on a four-day visit to attend the Diamond Jubilee Celebrations of Queen Elizabeth II. The government media said that President Rajapaksa and the First Lady, while in London, will attend a reception at Buckingham Palace and the concert, Service of Thanksgiving at St Paul’s Cathedral, a reception at Guildhall and a lunch hosted by the Commonwealth Secretary General Kamlesh Sharma in honour of the Queen. The Sri Lankan President is also scheduled to deliver a special address at the Commonwealth
Economic Forum organized by the Commonwealth Business Council and the City of London. The President and the First Lady will have a meeting with the Pope at Vatican; the President will have a private meeting with the Pope at the Papal Library, following his London visit.
Mahinda Rajapaksa would also take part in Vesak celebrations arranged by the Sri Lankan Embassy in Rome at the FAO headquarters and would be meeting with Pope Benedict on 8th June in the Holy See. Tamils in the UK protest against Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s arrival to London,
for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations. Hundreds of Tamils flooded into the Arrivals lounge at London Heathrow Airport Terminal 4 on Sunday night, as reports of flight UL503, said to be carrying Mahinda Rajapaksa, emerged. Carrying placards and banners denouncing him as a war criminal
and shouting chants urging the British government and the British monarch not to invite him into the country, protesters filled the arrivals lounge. Rajapaksa’s arrival remains unconfirmed however. One source said that Scotland Yard’s Community Liaison team were stating that he had not arrived, whilst protesters informed reporters that police officers on the ground had announced he was not on flight UL503. All three Tamil language television channels and Tamil radio stations have been urging British Tamils to come together and demonstrate. Since the Mullaivaikal remembrance weekend the diaspora has been solely focused on the Rajapaksa visit.
Saarc international I Thursday 07 June 2012
China keen to fund 2nd Padma Bridge
China, an important development partner of Bangladesh, has expressed its interest to finance the second Padma Bridge. An eight-member Chinese delegation, led by Chinese Ambassador to Bangladesh Le Jun, showed the interest during a meeting with Communications Minister Obaidul Quader at Rail Bhaban yesterday. In response, Quader, also in charge of railway ministry, asked the Chinese delegation to come
up with a formal proposal in this regard. On October 27 last year, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs decided in principle to build a second bridge over the mighty river Padma under PublicPrivate Partnership. Construction of the 6.10-km second Padma bridge with a railway track between PaturiaGoalanda was estimated at $1.9 billion. During the meeting, the delegation
also voiced its willingness to provide 200 meter-gauge passenger bogies to Bangladesh Railway. A memorandum of understanding (MoU) to this end will be signed soon. The Chinese delegation also agreed to conduct a feasibility study on constructing Dhaka-Chittagong Elevated Expressway train line. Senior officials of the communications ministry and Bangladesh Railway were present.
Reduced Iranian Difficult times for economy, crude oil imports Prime Minister raise hopes
The government is hopeful that the US will grant Sri Lanka a concession to import crude oil from Iran as the country has succeeded in slashing Iranian oil imports by 24 percent this year. Sri Lanka has reduced the number of crude oil despatches to be delivered this year from Iran to 10 from 13 by switching to fuel from Oman and Saudi Arabia. The government will purchase one cargo despatch of crude oil weighing 135,000Mt from Oman and another two from Saudi Arabia slashing Iranian oil imports by 24 percent. Petroleum Ministry sources said the United States has granted this concession to Japan and the European Union for slashing their oil imports from Iran by 15 percent and the government expects that Sri Lanka would receive this facility from the US. Ministry sources said the country’s only refinery at Sapugaskanda can process light crude oil similar to Iran. The oil refinery has also processed light crude oil from Saudi Arabia and Malaysia too. The refinery can process only 13 cargos this year as it is closed for a month in two years for maintenance. The ministry official said the refinery will be closed from July to
August for maintenance. “The ministry has made arrangements to purchase the country’s oil requirement for next year too. We hope that the country would require 16 cargos of crude oil next year as the refinery is not closed for maintenance next year,” he said. He said the country would be able to fulfil its fuel requirements, if the US offer a waiver of sanctions to purchase oil from Iran. The US imposes sanctions on countries failing to stop oil related transaction with Iran’s Central Bank from June this year.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Monday warned that the Indian economy was passing through “difficult times due to influences beyond (our) control”. Addressing the Congress Working Committee (CWC) here, he urged Congress activists to educate the public about the “canards and falsehoods” spread against the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government. “These are difficult times for our country and the economy caused to a large extent by circumstances over which we have little or no control,” he said. “It is very important for all the leaders and workers of the Congress to educate the public about the canards and falsehoods being spread by those who are opposed to
us,” said Singh. Without naming Team Anna and Baba Ramdev, the prime minister refuted allegations that the government was corrupt and not
serious about bringing back the black money stashed by Indians abroad. “It is alleged that in every area of its activity, our government has swindled unbelievable amounts of money... Every day one hears of astronomical sums of black money that can be brought back in one stroke... Nothing can be farther from truth,” said Singh. Stating that his government was committed to tackling corruption and had taken legislative and administrative action, he stressed the need to fight the opposition. “The misinformation being spread by disparate, desperate elements unified by their opposition to our government needs to be tackled effectively,” said the prime minister.
Bangladesh lifts ban on salt, India looks at the US to egg imports temporarily check fake currency notes The Bangladesh government yesterday removed all restrictions on the import of eggs and salt until June 30 in preparation for the Ramadan, the ninth month on Islamic calendar when Muslims fast, and to rest the soaring prices of the items, said a commerce ministry official. The price of eggs increased by 51.06 per cent to 36 taka (US$0.44) for four pieces from 24 taka ($0.29) a year ago, according to data from Trading Corporation of Bangladesh. Salt production this year of 1.16 million tons, against the production target at 1.45 million tons, was way short of the 1.43 million tons the country consumes, sector leaders said. Under current import policies,
the commerce ministry permitted imports of eggs on a case-by-case basis, while there was a strict embargo on salt import. “Between now and June 30, businessmen can import any quantity of eggs without permission from the commerce ministry,” the official said. “They have to certify, though, that the eggs originated from avian influenza-free countries.” “The industries ministry recommended we allow imports of 200,000 tons of salt,” the official added. Daily demand for eggs across the country is 20 million while the production of all kinds of eggs in the country is 10 million a day, according to data from Bangladesh Poultry Industries Association.
India is planning to seek technological cooperation of the US to check the flow of fake Indian currency notes the way Washington does to put a stop of circulation of counterfeit USD. Impressed by the American technology, which has a database of each counterfeit US dollar - photograph, from where it originated, its route of travel and people behind its circulation - India is all set to ask the US to help it curb the menace, mostly originating from Pakistan. A formal request is expected to be placed during the Indo-US Strategic Dialogue to be held in Washington later in June. Union Home Secretary RK Singh, besides others, will also attend the crucial meeting. New Delhi will seek American technology to check the smuggling and circulation of fake Indian currency notes and build its own database of such counterfeit notes. The move came after Home Minister P Chidambaram vowed to stamp down heavily on those who carry fake Indian currency note and indulge in smuggling of drugs from across the border. “As far as FICN is concerned, we are worried about it and we will spare nobody who carries FICN. We will stamp down heavily on those who circulate FICN and we will punish the traffickers very severely,” he had said last month.
Saarc international I Thursday 07 June 2012
Topmost ‘Bollywood’ director to be honoured at the BFI South Asian Cinema Foundation (SACF) in association with British Film Institute (BFI) Southbank and The Nehru Centre will honour and showcase the work of Shyam Benegal, India’s most significant and
internationally reputed filmmaker from ‘Bollywood’ at BFI Southbank and The Nehru Centre between Saturday 9 June and Monday 11 June 2012. As the father of ‘New Wave’ Indian Cinema, Shyam Benegal is as significant as India’s most internationally acclaimed filmmaker, Satyajit Ray. His films Nishant (Night’s End, 1976), Bhumika (The Role, 1977), Trikal (Past Present Future, 1985), Junoon (Obsession, 1978) and Zubeidaa (2000) not only cut across audiences, but have also documented social change in India after the end of the British Raj. His latest films: Welcome to Sajjanpur (2008) and Well Done Abba (2009) have a ring of truth and are also full of humour. Benegal’s Cinema has impacted on ‘Bollywood’ by introducing new content and raising standards. An undeniable part of his legacy is the extraordinary pool of fresh talent he has consistently introduced to Indian cinema.Besides cinematographers and technicians working quietly behind the scenes, he has given Indian cinema powerful actors and actresses like Shabana Azmi, Om Puri, Kulbhushan Kharbanda, Naseeruddin Shah, Smita Patil, Amrish Puri, and Anant Nag, to name just a few. With a career spanning 50 years, both his documentaries and his features are the work of a highly accomplished and deeply humanitarian filmmaker. He has been unflinching in his critique of sexism and social inequality in India. Almost each of his films has won coveted National Awards. Shyam Benegal was also given the Government of India’s highest cinema honour – the Dada Saheb Phalke Award. He recently completed his tenure as an MP in India’s Rajya Sabha, the rough equivalent of UK’s House of Lords. All the Benegal events offer a rare and the first ever opportunity to British,
South Asian and other communities to see some of his key works and to meet and personally interact with him. They are being organised by SACF in collaboration with the BFI Southbank and The Nehru Centre.
Our other partners include: Asian Foundation for Philanthropy, Brunel University, OXFAM and the University of Westminster. PROGRAMME OF EVENTS Sat 9 June, 13:30, NFT 1 Bhumika (The Role), 1977. [143 mins. Hindi /Urdu with EST. PG. Dir: Shyam Benegal. With Smita Patil and Amol Palekar]. This powerful film explores the life of a Bombay film actress and was a remarkable breakthrough for character actress Smita Patil. Screen roles of virtue and selfsacrifice conflict with the reality of domestic violence, adultery and despair as the actress in the film tries to break free of family, gender and
will chat before a live audience to unravel Benegal’s rich and eventful career with the help of clips and stills from Benegal films. It will end with an opportunity for the audience to interact with Benegal and ask him questions. Sun 10 June 13:00, NFT3 Bhumika Masterclass with Shyam Benegal conducted by Rosie Thomas Attendees will be able to share the director’s view on the making of this masterpiece. As a counterpoint to critical or academic perspectives, join this masterclass and share a film director’s own insight into the making of this major work. Taking a shot-byshot look at fragments of Bhumika, director Shyam Benegal will reflect on some of the key creative and practical challenges in the production process of his remarkable film. Masterclass attendees are strongly advised to make themselves familiar with Bhumika (screening on Sat 9 June) so as to be able to fully appreciate this session. Sun 10 June 17.45, NFT3 Junoon (Obsession), 1978. [134mins. Hindi & Urdu with EST. Dir: Shyam Benegal with Shashi Kapoor, Jennifer Kendal, Shabana Azmi, Naseeruddin Shah, Ismat Chugtai, Nafisa Ali]. Junoon means ‘obsession’ and it underlies this passionate, sensual and violent story set against the turbulent period of the so-called ‘Sepoy mutiny’ of 1857. Often considered as the First War of Independence, it still resonates in India and Pakistan today. Casting
Bollywood’s Original Action Hero Akshay Kumar Gets ‘Rowdy’ In Bollywood’s Latest Action Drama ‘Rowdy Rathore’
Bollywood’s original hero Akshay Kumar makes his long-awaited return after seven years to the action movie arena with this summer’s big release Rowdy Rathore releasing on the 1st of June 2012. Rowdy Rathore is a modern re-working of the Telugu film Vikramarkudu, and features an all-star Bollywood cast comprising of Akshay Kumar and Bollywood starlett Sonakshi Sinha who returns to screens after Dabangg. The film is directed by renowned Tamil choreographer and actor Prabhu Deva (Wanted, Shakti – The Power) and also features the considerable talents of producer Sanjay Leela Bhansali, famed for his directing credits on cutting-edge films Black, Devdas and Saawariya. The film marks Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s first foray into the action genre. Akshay Kumar returns to dazzling form in this all-action blockbuster, as he expertly plays two very different and intriguing characters. The film is enhanced by lighthearted moments of comedy, thrilling action sequences and a little sprinkling of romance to set things off. Rowdy Rathore showcases Akshay Kumar’s acting talents and versatility as an actor, and guarantees an exciting summer film for the whole family. In a gripping tale of mystery, deception and revenge, the thrilling story is told through the eyes of lead character Shiva (Akshay Kumar), who is a smalltime thief addicted to acts of daredevilry. Shiva’s life is turned upside down when one day a young girl turns up and claims to be his daughter. Stunned by the revelation, he soon uncovers a dark and disturbing story behind her claim. It turns out that the girl is the daughter of IPS Police Officer Vikram Singh Rathore, who happens to be Shiva’s twin brother. When the two meet, and Vikram is murdered in front of Shiva, the latter must assume his identity and work undercover to bring his killers to justice. Rowdy Rathore releases on 1st June 2012
Aamir Khan refuses to apologise to doctors class constraints. Shot on authentic locations and using montage as well as colour tinting and contrasting film stock, this is emotionally intense visual storytelling at its best. It also provides an insight into the history of Indian cinema itself. Sat 9 June, 16:15, NFT 1 Excellence in Cinema Award to Shyam Benegal/ In-Conversation/ Q &A The South Asian Cinema Foundation, in partnership with the Nehru Centre, will present Benegal with an SACF Excellence in Cinema Award. Benegal and film historian, filmmaker and SACF director Lalit Mohan Joshi
star names include Shashi and his real life English wife Jennifer Kapoor (née Kendal). Benegal adapted Ruskin Bond’s A Flight of Pigeons and developed a tale where an infatuated Afghan soldier , interacts with the women of an assimilated colonial family, thereby dividing loyalties and challenging connections between coloniser and the colonised. Mon 11 June 18:30, Nehru Centre, 8 South Audley Street, London W1K Phalke Memorial Lecture: “New Indian Cinema Circa 2012” by Shyam Benegal. Later, Benegal will open SACF’s Shyam Benegal Exhibition curated by Dr Kusum Pant Joshi with Uttara S. Joshi. [FREE].
Aamir Khan, who seldom believes in giving clarifications for his actions, has spoken about his stand against the Indian medical fraternity’s demand seeking an apology from the actor for allegedly defaming them and their profession. Talking to a popular news channel, Aamir firmly said, “I will not apologise to the doctors, I have not insulted the medical profession. Those doctors who indulge in unethical practices
have defamed the profession, not me.” The actor had spoken about the malpractices in the medical fraternity in the country in the fourth episode of his social awareness based TV show ‘Satyamev Jayate’. A number of medical institutions had accused Aamir of sensationalising medical malpractices and had also threatened to boycott the actor’s films. They also sought an apology from the actor.
South Asia Tribune I Thursday 07 June 2012
‘Napalm Girl’ Photo From Vietnam War Turns 40
transferred to the American-run Barsky unit. It was the only facility in Saigon equipped to deal with her severe injuries. This is one of the most divisive wars in American history, in which the 40 years ago an iconic black-and-white snap that have been captured by an Associated Photographer Huynh Cong Ut.
She will always be naked after blobs of sticky napalm melted through her clothes and layers of skin like jellied lava. It only took a second for Associated Press photographer Huynh Cong “Nick” Ut to snap the iconic blackand-white image 40 years ago. It communicated the horrors of the Vietnam War in a way words could
never describe, helping to end one of America’s darkest eras. The Kim Phuc, 49, says, “I really wanted to escape from that little girl,’ says Kim Phuc, now 49. ‘But it seems
to me that the picture didn’t let me go.” n June 8, 1972, when this scene was captured of her memorable incident that she faced. When Phuc
heard the soldier’s scream, “We have to run out of this place! They will bomb here, and we will be dead!” After a few seconds she saw a smoky sky around the Cao Dai temple where her family member were sheltered for three day, as north and south Vietnamese were want to control of their village. When the 9-year-old Kim Phuc saw back her, there is a South Vietnamese
Skyraider plane grew fatter and louder, it swooped down towards her, dropping canisters like tumbling eggs flipping end over end. She told that, at that time the sky was not seem and everywhere heat of furnaces exploded as orange flames were rising from the earth. Fire danced up at the arm of little
not normal anymore,“ she thought, as her right hand brushed furiously across her blistering arm. “People will see me in a different way.” A couple of days after the image shocked the world, another journalist found out the little girl had somehow survived the attack. Christopher Wain, a correspondent for the British The photo shows a lie about a lesser-known story. It is the tale of a dying child brought together by chance with a young photographer. A view captured in the chaos of war that would serve as both her savior and her curse on a journey during journey after war to understand life’s plans for her.
girl. The treads of her cotton clothes evaporated on contact. She felt searing pain bit through skin and muscle. Phuc told “I will be ugly, and I’m
Independent Television Network who had given. Phuc water from his canteen and drizzled it down her burning back at the scene, fought to have her
Iron pills may boost energy in women with fatigue Prescribing supplemental iron may help women suffering from unexplained fatigue to boost their level of energy even in the absence of anemia, according to a new study by Swiss researchers. Severe iron deficiency is the most common reason of anemia that can cause weakness, tiredness and feeling faint. A recent study by Swiss researchers, issued in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, revealed that iron pills can also be effective for those women who have moderately low iron levels, too. The researchers studied 198 women at reproductive age between 18 and 53 years with persistent fatigue. Half of the women were assigned to receive 80mg oral iron tablets every day, while the other half received sugar pills. The women’s medical fatigue scores were measured before treatment and after 12 weeks after taking the medicine. Dr Bernard Favrat, one of the researchers from the University of Lausanne in Switzerland, said that after 12 weeks of iron supplementation, the fatigue scores decreased by 50 per cent. “Iron deficiency may be an under-recognized cause of fatigue in women of child-bearing age,” Favrat said.
“For women with unexplained, prolonged fatigue, iron deficiency should be considered,” he added. While it was revealed that taking iron supplements will significantly increase energy levels, taking too much iron can also be dangerous. Rick Miller, a spokesman for the British Dietetic Association, said that using too much iron could cause organ failure. He also stressed that fatigue is multifactorial, exercise, diet and sleep patterns also play a role. Iron deficiency , There are many reasons Iron deficiency is one of the most common deficiency disease worldwide. Tiredness, fatigue and concentration problems may be the first symptoms of a lack of iron supply. But how is it really that?
Increased need To meet the need for iron, about ten milligrams, men and women about 15 milligrams daily record of the trace element in the diet. But there are also groups of people who have an increased need: Pregnant and breastfeeding women, endurance and competitive athletes, children and adolescents in the growth phase. Increased loss The body loses blood, he also loses iron. To an increased loss and thus to an increasing risk of iron deficiency can occur by a strong menstruation, frequent nosebleeds or even regular blood donations. Even pathological causes such as open wounds or internal bleeding (eg during surgery, inflammation
of the stomach or small intestine) can result in iron deficiency. Improper nutrition / diet The body itself can not form an iron. Therefore, iron may be supplied through the diet. Although herbal products also contain the trace element. However, the absorption of iron from plant products for the body is difficult: Unlike the iron from meat, the body of the plant iron recycling only a very small part, the rest is simply excreted. Therefore vegetarians should just checked their iron status regularly. Impaired iron uptake Is eaten too quickly or not chewed enough, the body has a hard time to absorb iron from food. Pathological changes in the gastrointestinal tract may interfere with iron absorption. These problems are also common in old age and thus belong to the elderly at risk for iron deficiency. Basically, anyone who notices the typical symptoms of iron deficiency such as paleness, persistent fatigue, lethargy or lack of concentration on themselves should be checked at the doctor’s iron status. This represents a lack proof, he may by demonstrating iron deficiency anemia (anemia) is a well tolerated and available iron supplement (such as ferro sanol duodenal, pharmacy) prescribe.
South Asia Tribune I Thursday 07 June 2012
The Syria deadly blame game The United Nations has reported 49 children and 34 women were among the dead in what is now known as the “Houla Massacre.” The U.N. Security Council initially attempted
as people loyal to the authorities... Unfortunately, the western presstitutes try to obtain their information from only one source: the naturally reliable “opposition” terrorists. Blaming the Assad government
repulsive lawlessness and arrogance on the part of the NATO / FUKUS and Zionist axis to go around financing, arming and instigating murderers and terrorists and then raising an indignant voice against these, their
We all know that the intention of the NATO / FUKUS and the Zionists is to kill absolutely everyone that opposes their plan for world domination, and I mean everyone. Just ask anybody who has been their target victims: Iraqis,
Syria is the line in the sand. Syria must remain free at all cost. Syria finds itself in the same position, with the same enemies as Libya had. Indeed, a vast number of the terrorists in Syria came directly from Libya.
to obediently blame Syrian forces for artillery and tank shelling of residential areas. This became impossible, as it could not clearly state who was responsible for what was instead discovered as closerange shooting deaths and “severe physical abuse” of civilians who had bullet holes in their heads. The U.N.’s human rights office said that most of the 108 victims of a massacre in Syria last week were shot at close range, some of them women, children and entire families gunned down in their own homes, and that most of the dead were killed execution-style, with fewer than 20 people cut down by regime shelling. This incident is exactly according to the modus operandi of NATO / FUKUS sponsored terrorists, operating around the globe, and most recently in Libya and Syria. What a coincidence! Every time the UNSC holds a session or Mr. Annan is supposed to make an appearance, an incident happens. Rather, it is no coincidence at all. One would think after this scenario was repeated hundreds of times in Libya and now dozens upon dozens of times in Syria, some thinking person in the west would buy a clue that it’s certainly no coincidence. It is also quite reminiscent of the socalled “Racak Massacre” when Serbian forces were blamed for killings and then later it was proven to be yet another giant hoax to give NATO an excuse to attack Yugoslavia. The fact the the opposition has more than one story of the Houla Massacre shows you that they’re hopelessly trying to demonize the Syrian army. This provocation also contained serious inconsistencies - the names of many of those killed were identified
immediately for these massacres allows the true killers to get away with their crimes, and opens the door for more of the same. Only the selectively blind and the perpetrators and instigators can deny that Syria is facing dangerous, murderous, lawless organized terrorist groups. Speaking of perpetrators and instigators, the US Ambassador to the UN, Susan Rice, warned of the FUKUS / NATO axis intentions. “Members of the international community are left with the option only of having to consider whether they are prepared to take actions outside of the Annan plan and the authority of this council,” Rice said after the 15-member council met in a closed door session to discuss last week’s massacre. Yes man, Ban Ki-Moon, ignoring reality, demanded that the Syrian government “stop its attacks” -how special of him to only make that demand of one side, and not the offending side. Meanwhile, the lockstep western countries decided to expel Syrian diplomats in a display much like peacocks spreading their feathers in an effort to further express their fallacious insinuations. An honest individual has to ask, “Cui bono” ??? Who benefits from the exact timing of this so-called massacre? Is it to Syria’s benefit to destroy the Annan peace plan? Certainly not. The Syrian government had no motive for this act...especially at a time when UN observers are in the country...and by the way, Syria invited them. Is it to the benefit of the NATO / FUKUS, Zionist and terrorist element? It most certainly is. It is not only hypocritical and criminal, but the absolute height of moral turpitude, demonic evil, heinous,
own crimes, trying to place the blame on the victims of these crimes. The victims are dealt a double blow, of being the object or murder and violence and then being blamed for these actions as though they were responsible. And the bottom line is that there is no lower form of life than that which murders innocent children for their own benefit and profit. Can you say “casus belli,” creating a pretense for a military attack? Like Racak, like the make believe Serbian concentration and “rape” camps, like the babies being thrown out of incubators, like the weapons of mass destruction, like the nonsense false claims of Gaddafi attacking his own people. The United Nations is conducting its own investigation of who exactly is responsible for the bloodshed in the town of Houla. The US and its allies have already assigned responsibility, saying that the Assad government is solely responsible for the violence. A big pile of raspberries to them with their incessant lies. In other pieces, we have placed documentation and testimony from people on the ground. The UN knows exactly who is responsible for this massacre. Whether or not they will give a truthful, factual account is another matter. The only way we can stop the vicious cycle of terrorism and murderous violence put into motion by the NATO / FUKUS Zionist axis is to educate ourselves and others, and speak the truth. I would suggest that if the NATO / FUKUS axis attacks Syria, then Syria would have every right to defend itself and strike out against those instigating the violence within its own frontiers or elsewhere.
Libyans...etc. etc. They view Syria as a vital stepping stone in their eventual war against Iran. Freedom is just another word for nothing left to lose...The fascist neo-liberal capitalist war profiteers have handed to the people the rope to hang them with by removing nearly everything that the people have gained with their sweat, tears, blood and labour.
Under no circumstances should the NATO / FUKUS axis and Israel be allowed to cross this line. Any such move should be made totally suicidal for them. May God bless and protect the people of Syria from the horror of terrorism and military intervention, and may He rot and damn the filthy, evil souls of the NATO / FUKUS and Israel axis.
Continued from page 09 >> Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Tuesday arrived in Beijing to attend the Beijing summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO). Invited by Chinese President Hu Jintao, both leaders will attend the 12th meeting of the Council of Heads of Member States of the SCO, scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday. They will also meet other Chinese leaders and hold talks on bilateral issues. The SCO is an inter-governmental international organisation established in June 2001 by Kazakhstan, China, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. Observer states include India, Iran, Mongolia and Pakistan, while dialogue partners include Belarus and Sri Lanka. Two-day security summit on Afghanistan begins in Beijing Afghanistan’s future will feature prominently in this week’s two-day summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) which begins Wednesday in Beijing (Reuters, AJE). The summit will underscore the dynamics of the security situation in Afghanistan as NATO prepares to pull out of the country by the end of 2014. In an interview published Wednesday, Chinese President Hu Jintao indicated that a bloc that would include China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan would like to increase their role in Afghanistan. Afghan President Hamid Karzai will attend the conference as an observer, non-voting member in the proceedings and meet with President Hu for bilateral meetings. Coming after news Sunday that China was planning on increasing its role in Afghanistan after the withdrawal of Western troops in 2014, a further announcement of the signing of a preliminary strategic partnership between China and Afghanistan is expected on Friday (BBC, ET). Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari, who is also in Beijing, is expected to seek full membership for his country -- which currently holds observer status -- in the SCO and will meet on the sidelines of the summit with Chinese President Hu and Vice-President Xi Jinping (President Hu’s presumed successor) to discuss the future of bilateral relations between the two countries. Zardari will also take separate meetings with Karzai and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (Dawn).
South Asia Tribune I Thursday 07 June 2012
HRW urges UK to suspend deportation of Sri Lanka Tamils
Human Rights Watch (HRW) has called on the British government to suspend deportation of Sri Lanka Tamil asylum seeker, warning that some returnees have been arrested and tortured after landing in Sri Lanka over the past two years. “The United Kingdom should immediately suspend deportations of ethnic Tamil asylum seekers to Sri Lanka and review its policies in assessing these claims,” the HRW release said. Dozens of Tamil refugees will be forcibly removed from an undisclosed London airport and fly direct to Colombo today on May 31, 2012, despite evidence showing they face arrest and retribution on their return and the UK Foreign Office’s latest report on human rights describing Sri Lanka as an area of “serious concern” when it comes to abuses. Human rights organizations have called on the UK Border Agency to halt the flight, after investigations by the HRW found 13 credible cases over the past two years in which failed Tamil asylum seekers from Europe have been tortured upon their return to Sri Lanka, warning that those cases are likely to be “just the tip of the iceberg.”
“There are likely to be many more cases, because these are the people who have managed to find their way from Sri Lanka to the UK, and that we have managed to interview,” said David Mepham, director of HRW UK. “Until the government can fairly
forcefully sent 555 people to Sri Lanka last year including 235 failed asylum-seekers. Meanwhile, earlier in March, Campaign against Arms Trade (CAAT) urged the coalition government to explain why it continues to license weapons for
and thoroughly assess asylum claims based on up-to-date human rights information on Sri Lanka, it should suspend returns.” There have been at least four chartered planes in the last six months dispatching hundreds of Tamils to Sri Lanka where they may have been persecuted due to their ethnicity. The UK Border Agency also
export to Sri Lanka irrespective of evidence of war crimes committed by the Asian country’s military. According to the CAAT’s report, Britain has licensed over £3 million worth of military and “dual use” equipment for export to Sri Lanka since the country’s army defeated the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in May 2009.
UK faces £5bn bill if Woman murdered in Bolton in a ‘targeted attack’ Greece leaves euro Queen’s Street has been cordoned off while officers carry out the investigation
A murder inquiry has begun after a woman was killed in a “targeted attack” in Bolton, Greater Manchester. Police were called to Queen Street in the Farnworth area of Bolton just before 1pm yesterday after receiving a call from the ambulance service. Officers attended and found a woman dead at the scene. Formal identification of the 31-
year-old victim has yet to be carried out. A spokesman for Greater
Manchester Police (GMP) said a Home Office post-mortem examination would be carried out to establish the exact cause of death, but it was being treated as suspicious. Police in Bolton, together with detectives from GMP’s major incident team, have launched an investigation. “Clearly there will be very understandable anxiety in this
community at the death of this young woman. “First and foremost, our thoughts are with this woman’s family following her tragic death. “I want to try and reassure people who may be concerned that at this stage we do not believe this was a random attack. “We know people will be shocked and upset and even worried, but I would like to stress that there is no reason for them to be fearful. “However, there will be an increased police presence in the area in the coming days so I would urge anyone with concerns to approach an officer and speak to them, in confidence if needed. “Our inquiry is now focused on trying to locate the person or persons responsible and I would also appeal to anyone who has information to come forward.” – Superintendent Steve Nibloe, Greater Manchester Police • Anyone with information should call police on 101 or the independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.
BRITISH taxpayers may have to contribute towards a colossal new £210billion international bailout fund should Greece quit the euro, a report warned last night. A Greek exit from the euro could see British taxpayers forced to offer up to £4.8bn in loans, despite the Prime Minister’s claims he has won assurances to the contrary. The think tank Open Europe predicted yesterday that a new Greek government could eventually conclude that leaving the single currency was an attractive option, and that Britain would have no option but to help to bail out the country through the International Monetary Fund.
Greece votes in a second general election later this month, with polls suggesting big gains for parties that reject the terms of the country’s current international support package. Raoul Ruparel, Open Europe’s head of economic research, said he expected a new government in Greece to be able to remain in the euro temporarily by negotiating a deal with creditors. “However, as Greece approaches a balanced budget and a more stable banking sector, though still messy, an exit will look increasingly attractive,” he added. The cost of supporting Greece if it left the single currency could be anything between £54bn and £210bn, he said, split between the IMF, the eurozone and noneuro countries, “with the UK possibly underwriting between £3.2bn and £4.8bn of the entire rescue package.”
South Asia Tribune I Thursday 07 June 2012
Dual citizenship and dual standards
The bench thus assumed erroneously that by taking the US /UK oath of allegiance, a Pakistani citizen automatically abjures his/her Pakistani nationality “Dual citizenship has been normalised as an incident of globalisation. Nonetheless, some states will continue to obstruct individuals from holding the status.” In the past it has been pejoratively said that dual nationality is like polygamy with citizenship. When the 1973 Constitution was amended by General Ziaul Haq under the 8th amendment, Article 63(1)(c) was incorporated asserting that a person shall be disqualified from being elected or chosen and from being an MP if he ceases to be the citizen of Pakistan or acquires the citizenship of a foreign state. As the world is becoming a global village, the concept of dual citizenship is becoming increasingly irrelevant, and may in fact become a basic human right over time. Why do our parliamentary members and judiciary do not want to progress with time? Why do we want to remain in the past? If the United Kingdom, US and other countries have no objection to Pakistanis keeping a dual citizenship, why is the judiciary not suggesting the federal government to remove such extreme clauses from the constitution which are affecting the interest of the Pakistani public? PTI and PPP are assuring the expatriate Pakistanis that they would be given the right to vote in the upcoming elections. However, they have no right to stand as a candidate in the election. Why are sate institutions’ heads so actively confusing people? If a person is able to obey the laws of both countries, why is he deprived from his freedom of choice? It would be interesting to know what bearing
the Supreme Court verdict will have upon hundreds of thousands of Pakistanis who have dual citizenship and are sending more than US $10 billion foreign exchange earning to Pakistan. The Supreme Court of Pakistan on Monday suspended Senate membership of Federal Interior
in the Supreme Court of Pakistan. The list included names of Finance Minister Abdul Hafeez Sheikh Deputy Chairman Senate, Sabir Baloch and other lawmakers. List of the names was submitted to the apex court on a new petition filed against 14 parliamentarians suspected for possessing dual nationality. Malik
become members of the parliament. Nowhere in the constitution was it written that Pakistanis cannot hold dual citizenship and cannot become legislators and bureaucrats, he said. He added that law and constitution were not made for individuals and one had to look at the situation in the country and the world. Present and
It is tragic that when major democracies like the United States, Canada, Britain and developing countries like the Philippines and Mexico allow dual citizens to hold public office, the Pakistani Supreme Court has seized itself with yet another political question in which its initial comments appear quite reactionary
Minister Rehman Malik in dual nationality case. The apex court took the decision under Article 63-A of the Constitution after the minister failed to provide testimonials in favor of his claim regarding abandonment of British nationality. “The court orders are being ridiculed… Why required documents were not submitted to the court,” Chief Justice of Pakistan, Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry observed in an interim order. The SC adjourned the case hearing till June 13. The court has also terminated National Assembly membership of Farahnaz Isfahhani – the wife of Pakistan’s former ambassador in US, Hussain Haqqani in the same case. On Monday, a list of 14 more parliamentarians having dual nationality was filed
Waheed Anjum filed the list before a three-member bench when it resumed hearing of the case. Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani Sunday said there was no restriction on dual citizenship in the country’s constitution.Speaking in a private television programme, he said he was in favour of expatriates getting right to vote and becoming members of the parliament. There should be a debate on the issue of dual citizenship and the parliament should decide the issue and bring in new legislation as the world has changed.Mentioning that over 300 councillors, mayors and members of House of Commons and House of Lords in Britain were Pakistanis, he said the expatriates should not be deprived of the right to vote and
former senior officials of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) say Prime Minister, Gilani’s assertion about MPs keeping dual nationality is not only an absolute negation of the Constitution, but also a clear defiance of a unanimous decision, taken by the ECP. “The PM has given out a wrong statement, that the MPs could acquire a nationality other than Pakistan, as such a person is liable to be deseated under the 1973 Constitution,” say ECP officials. The senior ECP officials say the PM is misleading the people as well as the elected representatives, and committing a breach of the Constitution on the crystal clear subject of the dual nationality of parliamentarians.
and out of sync with the community of nations. It is however a welcome sign that Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani has not only elevated the level of discourse above partisan politics but by acknowledging the right of all dual citizen Pakistanis to run for public office has set the stage for revisiting Article 63(1) (c), parts of which should have been done away with in the 18th Amendment to the Constitution. OR otherwise dual Nationals of NA, PA and SENATE Along with Political Leaders, All must CANCEL their Dual Nationalities before Participating in Pakistan politics and Political Leader like ALTAF HUSSAIN and Others who are Living Abroad From decades should be BANNED.
Transit of Venus the last for 105 years Venus as a Black Dot on SUN
On Wednesday morning a dark dot crossing the disc of the sun will mark the passing of an astronomical wonder that will not be repeated for more than a century: the transit of Venus. But catching it - in the UK at least - will be a true test of astronomical commitment. The journey of the planet across the sun will only be visible at sunrise - at 4.45 in the south, 4.30 am in Scotland, and the weather means the prospects for viewing in the south of Britain are poor. The phenomenon occurs when Venus, our immediate neighbour in the solar system, passes
directly between the earth and the sun. Its silhouette is seen as a black dot about 1/32nd the diameter of the sun. The full transit takes about six hours, but only the last half hour or so will be visible from the UK. Transits of Venus happens in pairs eight years apart. The last transit in this pair was in June 2004 but the next won’t roll around again until December 2117. Once in a lifetime But as a once-in-a-lifetime astronomical experience, watching the Venus still draws a crowd. Events are planned
across east Asia and Australasia where the entire transit will be visible. Most of the US will see the event at sunset this evening. A range of public viewing events have been organised by local astronomy groups across the UK Because looking at the sun directly can cause permanent blindness, experts advise those planning to watch the transit try projecting the image of the sun onto a wall or sheet through binoculars or a telescope. Eclipse viewing glasses or goggles can be used, but only for brief glimpses.
South Asia Tribune I Thursday 07 June 2012
Afridi stars as Pakistan beat Sri Lanka to level series
Mohammad Hafeez, the Pakistan Twenty20 captain, said he was always confident his bowlers would be able to defend any target on a Hambantota pitch that tested batsmen for the second time in three days. Pakistan had managed only 122 after winning the toss but squared the twomatch series by keeping Sri Lanka to 99. Mahela Jayawardene, who rested himself, said the defeat gave his batsmen a taste of what to expect in similar conditions when the World Twenty20 gets underway in Sri Lanka. Shahid Afridi’s superb all-round performance helped Pakistan post an easy 23-run victory over Sri Lanka in the second and final Twenty20 international and level the series 1-1. Sri Lanka were shot out for 99 as they collapsed, their lowest T20 total against Pakistan, after restricting the tourists to 122-6 in Hambantota. Man-of-the-match Afridi was the star in a low-scoring match,
hammering a 33-ball 52 not out and then grabbing two wickets for 17 runs in his four disciplined overs. Afridi, who becomes the first player to appear in 50 T20 internationals, hit one six and five fours in his fourth half-century. “It was a great team effort and everybody played his role. The partnership between Shoaib Malik and Afridi was crucial for us,” said Pakistan skipper Mohammad Hafeez. Pacemen Mohammad Sami and Yasir Arafat also impressed as they took three wickets apiece to keep pressure on Sri Lanka, who rested skipper Mahela Jayawardene and fast bowler Lasith Malinga. Middle-order batsman Chamara Kapugedera top-scored with 19 in a dismal Sri Lankan batting display. Sri Lanka, who won the opening match by 37 runs on Friday, were 76-4 at one stage before losing their last six wickets for 23 runs.
“We were brilliant in the field but then lost our way in the middle,” said stand-in Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews. Pakistan were earlier struggling at 41-4 before Afridi steadied the innings with a 68-run stand for the fifth wicket with Malik, who hit three successive fours off legspinner Kaushal Lokuarachchi in his 26-ball 27. Lokuarachchi bagged two of the first four wickets as Pakistan struggled, removing Hafeez (24) and Umar Akmal (five) in his four-over spell. Paceman Nuwan Kulasekera was the most impressive bowler, finishing with 2-13 off four tight overs. Sri Lanka brought in Isuru Udana and Kapugedera in place of Jayawardene and Malinga. Pakistan made one change, replacing Umar Gul with Arafat. Sri Lanka and Pakistan will now play a five-match one-day series, starting in Pallekele on Thursday.
Hockey India proposes Indo-Pak series between domestic teams The growing thaw in Indo-Pak bilateral ties is spilling over to the sporting field with Hockey India proposing an annual eight-team tournament featuring the top four domestic sides of both the countries, starting this year. HI is all set to invite its Pakistani counterparts for a meeting later this month to fix the modalities of the event, to be called the Indo-Pak Champions Cup. According to HI Secretary General Narinder Batra, the resumption of bilateral Test series between the two countries will also be a topic of discussion during the meeting. “We will send an invitation to PHF President Qasim Zia and Secretary General Asif Bajwa next week to visit India for a detailed discussion on the
name is Indo-Pak Champions Cup,” he informed. Batra also said that India might host the proposed Cup and the Test series between the two countries this year before Pakistan takes over the next year. Both the events would be hosted by the two countries on an alternate basis. Asked if it is feasible to host both the events in Pakistan due to the fragile security scenario there, Batra said in such a case Pakistan can organise the series at a neutral venue. “It would be too early to comment on this thing. Precisely, for these reasons we will be inviting PHF officials for discussions. All these issues will feature in the talks,” the HI Secretary General said.
bilateral calendar for the next three years,” Batra said. “The bilateral hockey series between India and Pakistan may resume this year but everything will depend on how the talks progress. “We also plan to organise a bilateral tournament between the top four domestic teams of India and Pakistan. The tournament will be an annual affair and the proposed
The last Indo-Pak hockey Test series, with three matches in each country, was held in early 2006. Pakistan had won three matches, India had clinched one while two were drawn. Massive changes in Pak hockey team expected following Azlan Shah Cup debacle: Pakistan finish rock bottom With the Olympics less than two months away, Pakistan hockey sunk
to a new low, the team recording its fifth successive loss to end the seventeam Azlan Shah Cup at the bottom. The three-time champions lost five successive matches including defeats to lower-ranked teams to finish last in the seven-nation event. Penaltycorner specialist Sohail Abbas, leading the team for the first time, is likely to pay the most for the team’s poor show, reports The Express
Tribune. According to a Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) official, the results have forced the federation to mull over changes including captaincy. “We never expected such a finish. All the players are responsible especially the captain. He (Abbas) was unimpressive on his first assignment and we don’t have much time to test him any further,” the official was
quoted, as saying. “The PHF will ask the team management for a report after which a decision on the changes will be made,” he added. However, the official said that the PHF was likely to retain Abbas as captain for the upcoming Europe tour, adding that the body will also probe reports of grouping in the team during the Azlan Shah Cup.
South Asia Tribune I Thursday 07 June 2012
Sachin Tendulkar sworn in as Indian MP
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Formal probe launched into Baroness Warsi’s expenses claims
that Lady Warsi allowed a business partner to accompany her on an official trip to Pakistan has been seized on by those concerned that Mr Cameron is protecting his close ally Jeremy Hunt from a formal inquiry. Downing Street confirmed last week that Mr Hunt’s role adjudicating News Corporation’s bid for control of BSkyB would not be referred to the independent adviser on ministerial rules. Defending his actions on Tuesday, Mr Cameron said they were “two very different cases”.
Were the Molenbeek riots orchestrated from the UK?
Legendary cricketer Sachin Tendulkar on Monday became India’s first active sportsperson to be sworn in as a member of parliament. In a surprising move, the world’s highest Test run scorer was nominated to the upper house, the Rajya Sabha, along with film personality Rekha and industrialist Anu Aga in April this year. “In the last 22 years of my international career, cricket has given me so much,” said the 39-yearold batsman after taking oath in vice president Hamid Ansari’s office. “Today with the nomination, I am in a better position not only to help cricket but also other sports,” he added.
In March, Tendulkar, who contines to play test and one day matches for his country, became the first cricketer to score 100 international centuries. Congress party chief Sonia Gandhi invited Tendulkar to her residence to congratulate him on the historic feat. Of the 250 members in the Rajya Sabha, 12 are nominated by the president for “special knowledge or practical experience in respect of such matters as literature, science, art and social service.” The soft-spoken cricketer has previously been considered for the Bharat Ratna, the nation’s highest civilian honour.
public scrutiny is banned in Belgium. Speaking in an interview with VRT’s current affairs programme Terzake the Sharia4UK leader denies that he encouraged the riots in Brussels. He told the programme that he had spoken with his brothers in Belgium, but had not organised the protest demonstration: “Not at all, it was initiated in Belgium; I communicate with the brothers there to find out the information. And I
made awareness about it suddenly, but I did not organise the demonstration.” Belgium’s anti terrorism unit has confirmed that there were contacts between Sharia4Belgium and fellow supporters in the UK, France, the Netherlands and Spain. In recent days several Muslim extremists have been arrested in the Netherlands and Spain.
Belgium: Burqa Bounty of £200 Offered by Far-Right Politician Filip Dewinter
prohibited.’ Women in Belgium risk a maximum fine of 150 euros (£120) if they wear a full face veil in public. Mr Dewinter said he was not aware how many people had already responded to the offer of a bounty. The statement received a mixed reaction outside the central mosque in the Belgian capital. Schoolteacher Mrs El Talb told reporters that religious freedom needed to be respected. “Everyone can do whatever they want when it comes to religious freedom and freedom of speech. Everyone can say whatever they want. This is freedom of speech. He (Dewinter) is allowed to say whatever he wants. And these
women can wear it, I don’t mind. Everyone can do whatever they want. Freedom of speech, freedom of religion, I think both need to be respected.” Ramzi Zergane, jokingly, put forward a counter-proposal. “I find this proposal stupid, but Filip Dewinter is known for making only stupid proposals. The only way I can react is by giving 2,000 euros to the one who puts a burqa on Filip Dewinter because we just don’t need people like him.” Belgian authorities say it is perfectly acceptable for women to sport a head scarf (hijab) in public, and that if someone felt insulted by the law they could file a complaint with the police.
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India-Pakistan bilateral Test series may restart soon disbanded over four-and-ahalf years ago following the Mumbai attacks in 2008. Ashraf had met board president N Srinivasan in Chennai, and later, in Delhi, he met ICC chief Sharad Pawar and IPL commissioner Rajiv Shukla. “The two cricket boards are discussing the possibility of restarting the cricket ties and series,” Malik said. He also said Pakistan’s T20 tournament winners have been invited to participate in the Champions League tournament in India later this year. “That is a sort of breaking of the ice,” Malik said.
Sri Lanka hope to rectify record Sohail Tanvir will lead Pakistan’s pace attack, with the spin trio of Saeed Ajmal, Shahid Afridi and Mohammad Hafeez also providing options. Afridi shone with bat and ball as Pakistan beat Sri Lanka by 23 runs in Hambantota on Sunday to tie the two-match Twenty20 series. Eight Pakistan players who took part in the T20 games will return home, with a number of familiar faces arriving for the ODIs - including captain Misbah-ul-Haq and batsman Younus Khan. Tanvir has been retained for the ODIs after impressing in the T20s in Hambantota. He replaces Nasir Jamshed in the tourists’ squad, the opening batsman having been ruled out by a broken finger before the team departed for Sri Lanka. Chief selector Iqbal Qasim said in a Pakistan Cricket Board statement: “In view of the request from the team management and keeping in consideration the current form of Sohail Tanvir, the selection committee has decided that he may be retained for the ODIs in Sri Lanka.” Despite his side’s good recent one-day record - not only against Sri Lanka, but Pakistan have won 16 of the last 22 overall - skipper Misbah is wary of the hosts and has called on his whole squad to perform. “It’s not about one or two players,” he said. “The whole team have to contribute, because Sri Lanka are tough opponents anywhere, especially at home.”
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South Asia Tribune I Thursday 07 June 2012
Waqar could be Australia’s bowling coach Former Pakistan captain Waqar Younis has been interviewed for the position of Australia’s bowling coach as the country’s cricket board looks to find Craig McDermott’s replacement,
according to ESPNcricinfo. The former Pakistan fastbowler, who is based in Sydney and coached Pakistan’s national team for two years, is understood to have spoken to Cricket
Australia’s team performance manager Pat Howard about the position that was unexpectedly left vacant by McDermott at the conclusion of the West Indies series.
ICC says no to Pak T20 proposal
The ICC has initially rejected Pakistan Cricket Board’s request to allow it to host more than three Twenty20 matches against Australia in August-September. The ICC has advised the PCB to take up the issue for discussion at the ICC Chief Executive’s meeting to be held in Kuala Lumpur at the end of June. “We had
requested the ICC to allow us organise a series of more than three T20 matches against Australia in the coming series but the ICC instead has advised us that this matter should be discussed at the ICC’s Chief Executive meeting,” PCB chief operating officer Subhan Ahmed said. The idea to convert the ODI series into a full-fledged T20 series came after the Emirates Board offered to host the series for Pakistan but suggested that due to the weather conditions and holy month of Ramadan, Pakistan and Australia should just play a series of six to seven T20 internationals. The PCB is yet to decide on the neutral venue for the series after the Australians refused to play in Pakistan due to security concerns. Ahmed said the PCB’s head of international cricket operations Intikhab Alam was in Malaysia to inspect the two
grounds in Kuala Lumpur and would also visit the UAE from Thursday. “Once Intikhab submits his report on the ground conditions in both countries we will decide where to hold the Australia series. But one problem we face in organising the series in Kuala Lumpur is that in August the forecast is for 17 days
of rain and that could spoil our series,” Ahmed said. The PCB official hinted UAE appeared to be the best bet to hold the series which would be begin after Ramadan ends around August 20th. “We have to hold the series in a period from August 20 to September 11 as the team has to reach Sri Lanka for the ICC T20 World Cup by the 13th,” he said. The ICC has advised all cricket boards to submit their preliminary list of 30 players for the World Cup by end of June. No Test playing nation has visited Pakistan since militants attacked the Sri Lankan team in Lahore in March, 2009 killing six Pakistani policemen and a van driver apart from wounding some of the visiting players. Pakistan since then have played most of their home series in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah.
India-Pakistan bilateral Sri Lanka hope Test series may restart soon to rectify record
In what will be music for the ears of thousands of sub-continental cricket lovers, Pakistani High Commissioner Shahid Malik on Tuesday expressed the hope that bilateral cricketing ties between India and Pakistan will soon resume. Talking to reporters at Indian Women Press Corps, he said that Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani talked to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh during World Cup semifinal at Mohali last year on restarting bilateral cricket matches.
“I hope that the cricket bilateral series between India and Pakistan resume soon,” Malik said. “There is a desire on the part of the leadership of both countries that this start,” he said adding that Manmohan Singh had said he would take up the issue with the Indian cricket board. Malik also pointed out that PakistanCricket Board chairman Zaka Ashraf was in India at the invitation of Indian cricket board to witness last month’s Indian Premier League final at Chennai. After a one-hour meeting with his
Indian counterpart on Sunday, Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Zaka Ashraf has this to say to the subcontinent cricket fans: brace up for some “breaking news” on the bilateral series between the neighbouring countries. Ashraf, in Chennai to watch the IPL final on a ‘rare’ BCCI invitation, said he was happy with his first meeting with BCCI president N. Srinivasan, whom he called his ‘elder brother’, and said that both Boards made “a lot of pledges” on resumption of the bilateral Test series that were
Sri Lanka will look to put their dismal recent one-day record against Pakistan behind them when their five-match series gets under way at the Pallekele International Cricket Stadium. The Sri Lankans have lost five of the last six one-day internationals against Pakistan, but head into this month’s fixtures knowing a whitewash would move them above England into fourth spot in the ICC ODI table - irrespective of
how Alastair Cook’s side fare in their three-match series against West Indies. Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene is well aware of the task ahead of his side, though. He said: “Pakistan will be a challenge and what makes them competitive is the sort of bowling options available, apart from the specialists.” Umar Gul, Mohammad Sami and Continued on page 31 >>
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The South Asia Tribune weekly is independent of political parties, private interests and government. Our policy is to provide readers with a...
Published on Jun 5, 2012
The South Asia Tribune weekly is independent of political parties, private interests and government. Our policy is to provide readers with a...