DISBAND THE ISI – a letter from Altaf Hussain to Tony Blair

AltafBBC digs deep into Altaf Hussain’s antics

By: Pakistan Today Report

…. Meanwhile, the British government confirmed the existence of a letter from Altaf to Tony Blair in which he had suggested disbanding the ISI.

The letter, sent in September 2001 and signed by Hussain, offered help against al Qaeda in return for “participation in governing the province of Sindh and in disbanding the ISI”.

Hussain pressed for help disbanding the ISI, warning that the agency would “continue to produce many Osama bin Ladens and Taliban in future”. He offered to provide “unlimited human resources throughout the towns and villages in the province of Sindh and the province of Punjab to some extent, to monitor the activities of fundamentalists and Taliban-led organisations, and also to monitor the activities of madrassas” in return.

“The Prime Minister’s Office received a letter from Mr Altaf Hussain which was passed to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) for a response,” the Cabinet Office confirmed to the BBC. The government said that Hussain’s letter was not replied to.

In May, police confirmed they were investigating remarks allegedly made by Hussain following the conclusion of the Pakistani general election, in which he allegedly threatened violence against protesters in Karachi.

Courtesy: Pakistan Today

http://www.pakistantoday.com.pk/2013/07/11/news/national/bbc-digs-deep-into-altaf-hussains-antics/

- See more at: http://www.pakistantoday.com.pk/2013/07/11/news/national/bbc-digs-deep-into-altaf-hussains-antics/#sthash.SjyKcLBQ.dpuf

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The Corporate Assault on Direct Democracy

Corporate profits

Corporate profits

By Ron Fein, Truthout | Op-Ed

The direct democracy of ballot initiatives – where voters get to vote yes or no, without any politicians in the way – is a treasured part of the fabric of 24 states and many more cities. But around the country, there’s been a disturbing trend this year: When initiatives threaten corporate interests, lawyers run to court to prevent voters from even getting the chance to vote.

Read more » Truth Out
Learn more » http://truth-out.org/opinion/item/26982-the-corporate-assault-on-direct-democracy

Iran hangs Reyhaneh Jabbari despite campaign

Iran has gone ahead with an execution of a woman despite an international campaign urging a reprieve.

Reyhaneh Jabbari, 26, was hanged in a Tehran prison on Saturday morning. She had been convicted of killing a man she said was trying to sexually abuse her.

Read more » BBC

Learn More » http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-29769468

Turkish Intelligence Chief welcomes its new neighbor ISIS

 Hakan Fidan, the head of Turkey`s National Intelligence Organization, known by the MİT acronym, has drawn a lot of attention and criticism lately for his controversial comments about ISIS.


Hakan Fidan, the head of Turkey`s National Intelligence Organization, known by the MİT acronym, has drawn a lot of attention and criticism lately for his controversial comments about ISIS.

Turkish intelligence chief: ISIS is a reality and we are optimistic about the future!

“ISIS is a reality and we have to accept that we cannot eradicate a well-organized and popular establishment such as the Islamic State; therefore I urge my western colleagues to revise their mindset about Islamic political currents and not be cynical at all,” said Mr. Hakan Fidan during a press conference in Istanbul on Wednesday.

Read more »
Learn more » http://www.mathaba.net/news/?x=634115

 

Conversation Between Noam Chomsky, Paul Craig Roberts and Rob Kall part 1– the future of capitalism

File photo - Photo credit - Social Media

File photo – Photo credit – Social Media

Conversation Between Noam Chomsky, Paul Craig Roberts and Rob Kall part 1– the future of capitalism

By

Excerpt;

NC: Well the first point to mention is that we’re very far from a capitalist economy and have never been one — it’s a state capitalist economy with substantial state intervention that, in many respects from basic research and development to manipulating interest rates to determining the laws that administer regulations that permit CEOs to pick their own boards and hence to enhance their salaries, and thousands of other ways. What’s the future of it? That depends on how the public will respond to the circumstances in which there are. I mean, there is an institutional logic which will perpetuate things in a certain direction, but it is not graven in stone. It has been in the past, and can be in the future, influenced, modified, even radically changed by public engagement and action. And there’s no way to predict that — those are matters for action not for speculation.

Rob: OK, Paul?

PCR: Well I think that’s a very insightful view of it. All I would add is that in more recent years, the private interest groups seem to have taken control of the government. Wall Street, Military Security Complex, Agribusiness, the extractive industries — their campaign donations elect the House, the Senate, the President, and they then write most of the bills that Congress passes and the President signs, so it’s a form of state capitalism in which the capitalists seem to have the upper hand.

I think that greed has run away with them to such an extent that they have let it undermine the domestic economy on which they themselves depend. For example, they greatly increased profits in managerial or executive performance bonuses by offshoring so many of the middle class jobs, not only the manufacturing jobs but the professional tradable service jobs, such as software engineering, research, design — these things have left, or a large percentage of them, and it erodes consumer purchasing power. The middle class is damaged, the kids who graduate from university expecting jobs find that jobs are offshored, they’ve got debts, increasingly the big retail box stores just offer part-time employment — you can’t form a household on one of those jobs. You can’t get married, buy a house. You have to work two of those jobs, some people three. There are no benefits, no pension. The years of zero interest rate, in order to save the big mega banks, have caused the retired element to have to draw down their savings because they don’t get any interest income, and so inheritance for children is disappearing. And so the whole system has become a house of cards.

Massive debt/money creation is not matched by the increase in real goods and services. As Chomsky said, interest rates are rigged, the gold price is rigged, the stock market is a bubble, the dollar is a bubble — in a way it’s a house of cards. And the power of the United States rests, to a substantial extent, on the dollar being the world reserve currency. And yet, when you create massive new dollars to support quantitative easing but the goods and services don’t increase, you worry the whole world about their dollar holdings. And then you step in and threaten other countries with sanctions? That gives them an incentive to leave the dollar payment system, which means the demand for dollars drops.

So, I think the whole thing is a house of cards and that change could come from a substantial collapse that simply totally discredits the elites from both parties; and some kind of collapse of that extent would give room for the sort of thing Noam mentioned — that people could get back in and be determining factors in the process and some kind of new leadership could arise.

Read more » OpEdNews
Learn More » http://www.opednews.com/articles/Transcript-Conversation-B-by-Rob-Kall-Capitalism_Climate_Greed_Predatory-Capitalism-140928-11.html

Without Lucrative Market Potential Ebola Vaccine was shelved for years

“There’s never been a big market for Ebola vaccines,” said Thomas W. Geisbert, a developer of one that is now being tried. Credit Michael Stravato for The New York Times

“There’s never been a big market for Ebola vaccines,” said Thomas W. Geisbert, a developer of one that is now being tried. Credit Michael Stravato for The New York Times

Ebola Vaccine, Ready for Test, Sat on the Shelf

By

GALVESTON, Tex. — Almost a decade ago, scientists from Canada and the United States reported that they had created a vaccine that was 100 percent effective in protecting monkeys against the Ebola virus. The results werepublished in a respected journal, and health officials called them exciting. The researchers said tests in people might start within two years, and a product could potentially be ready for licensing by 2010 or 2011.

It never happened. The vaccine sat on a shelf. Only now is it undergoing the most basic safety tests in humans — with nearly 5,000 people dead from Ebola and an epidemic raging out of control in West Africa.

Its development stalled in part because Ebola is rare, and until now, outbreaks had infected only a few hundred people at a time. But experts also acknowledge that the absence of follow-up on such a promising candidate reflects a broader failure to produce medicines and vaccines for diseases that afflict poor countries. Most drug companies have resisted spending the enormous sums needed to develop products useful mostly to countries with little ability to pay.

Read more » The New York Times
Lear more » http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/24/health/without-lucrative-market-potential-ebola-vaccine-was-shelved-for-years.html?smid=fb-nytimes&smtyp=cur&bicmp=AD&bicmlukp=WT.mc_id&bicmst=1409232722000&bicmet=1419773522000&_r=0

 

China launches new World Bank rival

Xinjiang has been plagued by violence for years, but rights activists and exile groups say the government's own heavy handed policies in the region have sowed the seeds of unrest.

Beijing has launched the $100 billion Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB). Australia, Indonesia and South Korea were absent following hidden pressure from Washington concerned about the new challenge to the World Bank and Asian Development Bank.

Read more »RT
Learn more » http://rt.com/business/198928-china-world-bank-rival/

Iranian border forces fire mortar shells inside Pakistan

shellQUETTA- The Iranian border forces fired six mortar shells at Pakistan’s bordering town of Mashkail today early morning.

Read more » The Nation
See more » http://nation.com.pk/national/24-Oct-2014/iranian-border-forces-fire-mortar-shells-inside-pakistan

Corporate Dictatorship

Corporate Greed

Corporate Greed

The Imperative of Revolt

TORONTO—I met with Sheldon S. Wolin in Salem, Ore., and John Ralston Saul in Toronto and asked the two political philosophers the same question. If, as Saul has written, we have undergone a corporate coup d’état and now live under a species of corporate dictatorship that Wolin calls “inverted totalitarianism,” if the internal mechanisms that once made piecemeal and incremental reform possible remain ineffective, if corporate power retains its chokehold on our economy and governance, including our legislative bodies, judiciary and systems of information, and if these corporate forces are able to use the security and surveillance apparatus and militarized police forces to criminalize dissent, how will change occur and what will it look like?

Wolin, who wrote the books “Politics and Vision” and “Democracy Incorporated,” and Saul, who wrote “Voltaire’s Bastards” and “The Unconscious Civilization,” see democratic rituals and institutions, especially in the United States, as largely a facade for unchecked global corporate power. Wolin and Saul excoriate academics, intellectuals and journalists, charging they have abrogated their calling to expose abuses of power and give voice to social criticism; they instead function as echo chambers for elites, courtiers and corporate systems managers. Neither believes the current economic system is sustainable. And each calls for mass movements willing to carry out repeated acts of civil disobedience to disrupt and delegitimize corporate power.

“If you continue to go down the wrong road, at a certain point something happens,” Saul said during our meeting Wednesday in Toronto, where he lives. “At a certain point when the financial system is wrong it falls apart. And it did. And it will fall apart again.”

Read more » Common Dreams
Learn more » http://www.commondreams.org/views/2014/10/20/imperative-revolt

 

Sindh government announces to officially celebrate Diwali

DiwaliCM Sindh announces to officially celebrate Diwali

KARACHI (Web Desk) – Chief Minister of Sindh, Qaim Ali Shah of Pakistan People s Party (PPP) has announced to officially celebrate the Hindu festival of Diwali on October 23. All government employees from the Hindu community would be given an official holiday on Diwali, said Shah.

CM also promised to pay Diwali bonus to the government officials before the festival commences on October 23. Orders have been issued to the Sindh Finance Department regarding the advance salary payment to the Hindu government officials.

Read more » Dunya News

http://dunyanews.tv/index.php/en/Pakistan/241641-CM-Sindh-announces-to-officially-celebrate-Diwali

Political Islam: An evolutionary history

asafeBy Nadeem F. Paracha

The term ‘Political Islam’ is an academic concoction. It works as an analytical umbrella under which political analysts club together various political tendencies that claim to be using Muslim scriptures and historical traditions to achieve modern political goals.

The term most probably emerged in the 1940s in Europe, to define anti-colonial movements that described themselves as Islamic in orientation. It is a 20th century construct and its first prominent expression is believed to be Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, formed in 1927.

Even though as a political tendency, Political Islam covers a wide range of movements involving various Muslim sects, sub-sects, nationalities, leftist as well as rightist rhetoric and narratives; it is the commonalities in these varied movements that make analysts study them as a single ideological entity.

There is a rightist and a leftist side of Political Islam.

Till about the late 1960s, movements associated with rightest aspects of Political Islam were largely intellectual pursuits with limited political influence.

12th century Islamic thinker, Imam Ghazali, who advocated an end to ‘ijtihad’ (independent reasoning) with the view that Islamic thought had reached completion.

They were seen with suspicion, even by those movements and groups that adopted the main aspects of Political Islam and fused them with varied leftist ideologies.

Thus one can also suggest that during the Cold War era (1949-90), the central theological and political tussle in most Muslim countries was not exactly between ‘Islamists’ and secularists, or between religious political groups and communists; the main conflict was between the rightest expressions of Political Islam and its leftist versions.

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Ayaz Latif Palijo’s Press Conference

Shutter-down and wheel-jam Strike will be observed in Sindh on Oct 23 against MQM’s demand of division of Sindh.
We wont allow division of Sindh till death of 6 crore Sindhis.
Ayaz Latif Palijo
President Qomi Awami Tahreek -QAT
Press Conference on 22rd Oct 2014 Palijo House Hyderabad.

Soldier dies after Parliament Hill attack, gunman also shot dead

flagCaOttawa shooting: Cpl. Nathan Cirillo dies of wounds, gunman also shot dead

Downtown Ottawa remains in lockdown as police conduct searches around parliamentary precinct

Parliament Hill came under attack today after a man with a rifle shot and fatally wounded a soldier standing guard at the National War Memorial in downtown Ottawa, before seizing a car and driving to the doors of Parliament Hill’s Centre Block nearby.

The slain soldier is Cpl. Nathan Cirillo, 24, a reservist from Hamilton.

Moments later, MPs and other witnesses reported 30 to 50 shots fired inside the main Parliament building.

Read more » CBC News

http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/ottawa-shooting-cpl-nathan-cirillo-dies-of-wounds-gunman-also-shot-dead-1.2808710

Exciting times…country on the move

Peace

Islamabad diary

By Ayaz Amir

Wordsworth would be a bit of an exaggeration: “Bliss was it in that dawn to be alive”…. But short of that, it’s an exciting time to be a Pakistani. Six months ago this seemed a dead country, beyond hope or redemption, the Sharifs in power, with little to offer beyond bizarre schemes of Margalla Hill tunnels and fast trains to Murree and Muzaffarabad. The opposition too seemed dead and politics looked no better than a doormat.

This was six months ago. It’s all so different now, the country shaken out of its somnolence and rocking to a new beat, rallies drawing record crowds and the Sharifs looking more dazed and clueless than ever, confined to their palaces and haunted by that cry which has caught on so much, “Go Nawaz Go”.

The important thing, however, is that something is happening in Pakistan. Things are not dead; the water is not stagnant. Old skin is being shed, a new light, even if flickering, can be espied on the mountains…this in a country where nothing good was ever expected to happen.

All this has happened without the least bit of violence or mayhem. For the most part, except for the stampede in the Multan stadium, the rallies and marches have been disciplined and orderly affairs, great enthusiasm on display but no disorder. The number of women attending these rallies has been amazing…young and old, housewives and school and college girls and no badtameezi, none whatsoever. If for nothing else, the rallies would be worth it for this reason alone, the way they have drawn women into the political arena and pulled the middle classes from their drawing rooms.

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More threats from India over cross-border crisis

Minister of Finance and Defence Arun Jaitley talks at a press conference in New Delhi on August 30, 2014. – AFP

Minister of Finance and Defence Arun Jaitley talks at a press conference in New Delhi on August 30, 2014. – AFP

By Dawn.com | Reuters

NEW DELHI: India warned Pakistan on Tuesday of more “pain” if it continued to violate a ceasefire on their disputed border in Kashmir and said it was up to Islamabad to create the conditions for a resumption of peace talks.

The two sides exchanged mortars and intense gunfire this month, killing at least 20 civilians and wounding dozens in the worst violation to date of a 2003 ceasefire. While the firing has abated, tension remains high along a 200-km (125-mile) stretch of the border dividing the nuclear-armed rivals.

“Our conventional strength is far more than theirs. So if they persist with this, they’ll feel the pain of this adventurism,” Indian Defence Minister Arun Jaitley told NDTV in an interview.

Read more » DAWN

http://www.dawn.com/news/1139420

Pakistan politics: The mythical feudal and the real elite

It is nothing more than a power grab for one group of elite from another. —Illustration by Khuda Bux Abro

It is nothing more than a power grab for one group of elite from another. —Illustration by Khuda Bux Abro

By Adnan Rasool

Reality is always hard to stomach. In the age of inflated self-worth and significance, societies start having delusions of grandeur. But when the delusions are questioned, the society either goes into denial or starts spinning a new narrative.

For the last two years, our people have been going through a process where there was initially a denial of the harsh realities of Pakistan, and then the passionate spinning of a false narrative. This narrative initially blamed the system, then blamed the government and now blames everyone for everything.

Too much time has been spent criticising this false narrative that many believe to be the truth. What has been ignored are the basic set of realities that Pakistan continues to face.

To start with, as much as I hate saying this, politics in Pakistan is not for the voter to decide.

Pakistan is a case of elite adjustment. It has never been a case where the voter will decide anything; the voters are simply not a significant enough part of the equation to leverage the situation.

Also read: ‘The real struggle in Pakistan is between the elite and the poor’

The form of governance does not matter either; be it a dictatorship or autocratic democracy, the political situation is a result of elite adjustment.

Read more » DAWN

http://www.dawn.com/news/1139412

Meet Dr Adib Rizvi – The man who brought free healthcare to Sindh’s poor

Dr Adib Rizvi says he and his team still has "a long way to go" to improve healthcare in Pakistan

Dr Adib Rizvi says he and his team still has “a long way to go” to improve healthcare in Pakistan

Pakistan’s ‘miracle’ doctor inspired by NHS

Pakistan’s shambolic public health system suffers from corruption, mismanagement and lack of resources. But one public sector hospital in Karachi provides free specialised healthcare to millions, led by a man whose dream was inspired by the UK’s National Health Service.

Dr Adib Rizvi’s most distinguishing feature is not just his grey hair. You can spot him in a crowd of people in a cramped hospital corridor by the respect he commands among patients and staff.

It doesn’t only come from being the founder and the head of one of Pakistan’s largest public health organisations.

Quite the opposite, for a man who’s spearheaded a life-long mission of providing “free public health care with dignity,” Dr Rizvi is unassuming as he walks around the hospital wards checking on his patients.

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Bilawal Re-Energizes PPP, Stuns Critics At Karachi Rally

pparow1PTI may be famous for it’s political rallies, but it was PPP that stunned the nation with its rally on Saturday. No matter whose numbers you want to believe, it is undeniable that the turnout was massive enough to put to bed silly questions about whether the party is ‘finished’. In fact, the question being asked today is whether or not Saturday’s rally – and more specifically Bilawal’s speech –  marks a turning point in a national politics that has grown stale and disheartening for so many.

PPP didn’t trot out aging rock stars and sports celebrities to draw a crowd. What drew cheers from both jiyalas and critics alike was the substance of Bilawal’s speech.

Read more » newPakistan

http://new-pakistan.com/2014/10/20/bilawal-re-energizes-ppp-stuns-critics-at-karachi-rally/

When Jews found refuge in an unlikely place: Pakistan

religionInstead of fleeing 1930s Europe to British-controlled Palestine like many other Jews, the Kahan family moved to Lahore on a whim.

By and Gabe Friedman

When Hazel Kahan went back to Lahore, Pakistan, in 2011 for the first time in 40 years, her childhood homes were completely different. Her first home, formerly a tan stone mansion covered in flowery vines, was now completely painted in white and inhabited by the Rokhri family, one of Pakistan’s most powerful political clans. Her second home, where her parents had run a medical clinic, had become the Sanjan Nagar Institute of Philosophy and Arts.

Pakistan is still close to Kahan’s heart. She explained that she has been graciously welcomed back into the Pakistani community every time she has visited. “I feel because I was born there that in a very profound way it’s my home,” she said. “Even though I’m not of it, I’m from there.”

After living in England, Australia and Israel, and having worked in market research in Manhattan for years, Kahan, 75, now lives in Mattituck, on the North Fork of Long Island. She produces interviews for WPKN radio in Bridgeport, Connecticut, and has recently begun discussing her family history in public presentations, telling a story that illustrates how complicated citizenship and allegiances were for Jews during and after World War II in Pakistan and beyond. She has presented her piece “The Other Pakistan” in Woodstock and Greenport, New York and twice in Berlin. She plans to bring her performance to Montreal in November.

Kahan said that her parents wanted to spend their entire life in Pakistan, and dreamt of dispensing free medical care to people throughout the Middle East after they retired.

“I never really cared about it, I never bothered, until [my father] died [in 2007],” Kahan said of the project. “Then I realized there’s no one left to tell this story. He did his best to pass it on to us. And we’re responsible, you know?”

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Japan approves plans for world’s fastest train line

Photo credits: IMAGINECHINA/CORBIS

Photo Credit: IMAGINECHINA/CORBIS

The Japanese government has approved plans for a train that will carry passengers from Tokyo to Nogoya at a speed of 310 miles per hour (500 kph). The train, which will be the fastest in the world, will use magnetic levitation technology.

Read more » RT

http://rt.com/news/196976-japan-approves-maglev-train/

Cold Fusion – Another Clean Energy Breakthrough That Could Change Our World

wapdaCold fusion is a certain type of nuclear reaction that occurs at or near room temperature. In years past, it was studied as theoretical and hypothetical, but scientists all over the world have attested to the possibility, and possible reality of cold fusion and the tremendous implications it can have for  clean energy generation. It is a form of energy generated when hydrogen interacts with various metals like nickel and palladium. It has been subject to a large amount of criticism and opposition.

Many scientists have confirmed its reality, and many remain very skeptical.

Cold fusion, like free energy  would eliminate the entire energy industry. No more oil, no more anything. To be honest, in my opinion free energy is real. This alone would eliminate the need for cold fusion. Either way, both are extremely important.

Cold fusion is not a conspiracy, hundreds of people in over 12 countries have been investigating the process with success. Thousands of papers have been published and are available for review at http://lenr-canr.org/

Read more » Earth We Are One

http://earthweareone.com/cold-fusion-another-clean-energy-breakthrough-that-could-change-our-world/

‘Even animals don’t do it’: Kobani siege survivors on ISIS brutality

Photo credits: BNO News

Photo credits: BNO News

A Kurdish activist and his wife, who have witnessed ISIS atrocities in Kobani for several months and documented some on photo and video, met RT’s Murad Gazdiev to speak about what they’ve seen.

Bazran Halil, a Kurdish rights activist and freelance journalist briefly crossed into Turkey with his wife from Kobani for an interview. His laptop is full of graphic videos, lending credence to rumors of the Islamic State’s (IS, or ISIS, or ISIL) trademark brutality.

There was a man with Down Syndrome,” he says. “He couldn’t understand the situation, to flee, or to run away from the frontline. When ISIS arrived they beheaded him and took photos, shared them on social media and said ‘we killed an atheist, a Kaffir’.”

Read more » RT

http://rt.com/news/197232-rt-survivors-isis-kobani/

Pakistan: Bilawal Bhutto Zardari leads first PPP rally

BilawalTens of thousands of Pakistanis have attended the first mass rally held by the son of murdered Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto.

By Shahzeb Jillani, BBC News, Karachi, Sindh

Karachi has not seen such a huge PPP rally for years. The party is trying to show that it still has mass appeal, and can compete with other opposition politicians such as Imran Khan. It is, after all, a party that has fought military dictatorships in Pakistan time and again over the last four decades.

Read more » BBC

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-29673493

The Gulf Today – PTI leader receives Rs. 40 m US fund

ImranBy Tariq Butt

ISLAMABAD: Senior Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Jehangir Tareen has received American funding of over Rs40 million through the US Agency for International Development (USAID) for his private business firm and family NGO working in Lodhran from where he is poised to contest the upcoming general elections instead of Rahim Yar Khan.

When contacted, the PTI leader, who heads the party’s policy wing and think tank, confirmed that his Tareen Education Foundation (TEF) and Ali Tareen Farm got the money from the USAID, but said he received the funding before he joined Imran Khan’s squad.

The TEF got approximately Rs20.75 million grant from the USAID’s Small Grants and Ambassador’s Fund Programme (SGAFP). The Ali Tareen Farm (ATF) received Rs20 million from another USAID project called FIRMS.

Documents show that the TEF is a society, set up by Tareen in 2010, to work for improvement of education in Lodhran. In the same year of 2010, the two-time member of the National Assembly, Tareen, fell out with his close relative, Makhdoom Ahmad Mahmood, a powerful political figure of Rahim Yar Khan, and decided to contest elections from Lodhran where he also has the ATF.

Tareen started working through the TEF for improvement of schools in six union councils of Lodhran in order to improve his visibility in NA-154 constituency.

While the SGAFP provided the grant of about Rs20.75 million to the TEF, the NGO’s contribution to project is proposed to be Rs14 million, which will be spared by Tareen’s business concerns. Tareen launched himself in this constituency in a gathering of TEF in 2011, using the US funds to further his political prospects, according to the available record. The board of management of the TEF, registered in Lahore under 1860 Societies Act in April 2010, comprises Tareen’s daughter Mareem, and some friends and employees.

The SGAFP are two grant programmes launched by the USAID to help Pakistani communities implement their initiatives. Grants under the US Ambassador’s Fund for projects of up to one year time duration support broad impact community level initiatives. Grants under the USAID’s Small Grants Programme for projects of one to three-years time duration support promising proposals and pilot initiatives, which are consistent with USAID’s strategic priorities.

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The PPP jiyala: An existentialist history

PPPBy Nadeem F. Paracha

The word ‘jiyala‘ has come down to become an iconic term in the realm of Pakistan’s populist politics. Almost entirely associated (in this context) with diehard supporters and members of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP).

So, who or what is a PPP jiyala and where did he or she appear from; and why can such people only be found among the PPP’s supporters, in spite of the fact that in the last two decades, almost all mainstream political parties have successfully adopted the antics of the country’s first ever purveyor of populist politics, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto (the founder of the PPP).

But as a former PSF comrade of mine who quit politics altogether in 1990 recently told me, ‘No matter how much of a distance a jiyala would like to put between himself and the party, a jiyala will always remain a jiyala. It’s a spiritual state, as well as an existentialist dilemma.’

A jiyala is a PPP supporter who is bound to stick with the party or with the Bhutto family’s overriding claim over the leadership of the PPP no matter what state the party is in. He or she would defend it passionately, even fight on the streets and campuses for it, and there have also been cases in which jiyalas have died for the party.

Also read: Stage set to launch Bhutto scion into practical politics

Contrary to belief, especially among the party’s opponents, that jiyalas are ‘blind followers of the PPP ‘ who unquestionably nod at everything that is dished out to them by the party, the fact is that jiyalas have also been some of the harshest critics of the party that they so intensely love.

There have been a number of reported cases in which jiyalas have publicly confronted the party’s leadership over various issues. According to political economist and researcher, Haris Gazdar, the party’s traditional voters remain passive and almost impersonal to the fate of the party when it is in power, but become highly active when it is in the opposition or facing a challenge from the establishment or the opposition.

Of course, the traditional voters of the PPP that Gazdar was talking about – mainly the rural peasants, small farmers and folks from the urban working classes – are not all jiyalas, but this shift from going passive to active in the context of Gazdar’s initial findings is also reflective of the general jiyala mindset.

Jiyalas are at their most active and passionate when their party is in a political or existentialist crises.

My own experience as an active member of the PPP’s student-wing, the Peoples Students Federation (PSF), between 1984 and 1989, facilitated my understanding of the above-mentioned mindset associated with jiyalas.

My close interaction with the party’s leadership and support (in Karachi and the interior of Sindh), in the mid- and late 1980s, saw me being left rather baffled by the way many jiyalasswitched from being daring, impassioned and uncritical activists and street fighters during the reactionary Ziaul Haq dictatorship to becoming either disinterested or severely critical of the PPP leadership once the party was voted back into power in November 1988.

Read more » DAWN

http://www.dawn.com/news/1138808/the-ppp-jiyala-an-existentialist-history

Sending Pakistan to Mars

By Pervez Hoodsputnikbhoy

When spacecraft Mangalyaan successfully entered the Martian orbit in late September after a 10-month journey, India erupted in joy. Costing more than an F-16 but less than a Rafale, Mangalyaan’s meticulous planning and execution established India as a space-faring country. Although Indians had falsely celebrated their five nuclear tests of 1998 — which were based upon well-known physics of the 1940s — the Mars mission is a true accomplishment.

Pakistanis may well ask: can we do it too? What will it take? Seen in the proper spirit, India’s foray into the solar system could be Pakistan’s sputnik moment — an opportunity to reflect upon what’s important. Let’s see how India did it: First, space travel is all about science and India’s young ones are a huge reservoir of enthusiasm for science. Surveys show that 12-16 year olds practically worship Albert Einstein and Stephen Hawking, are fascinated by black holes and Schrödinger cats, and most want a career in science. They see more prestige in this than becoming doctors, lawyers, financial managers, or army officers. Although most eventually settle for more conventional professions, this eagerness leads India’s very best students towards science.

Read more » DAWN

http://www.dawn.com/news/1138678/sending-pakistan-to-mars

 

Pakistan – Punjab Assembly approves resolution to make Guru Nanak’s birthday a public holiday

GuruNanakJiBy Abdul Manan

LAHORE: Sardar Ramesh Singh, the first Sikh member of the Punjab Assembly, tabled a resolution requesting that the birthday of Guru Nanak, founder of Sikhism, be made a public holiday.

Ramesh Singh is a member of Pakistan Muslim League — Nawaz (PML-N) and the resolution was approved in the Punjab Assembly on Wednesday.

The passing of the resolution comes just a few days after members of the Sikh community stormed through the gates of Parliament House to protest …

Read more » The Express Tribune

http://tribune.com.pk/story/714317/punjab-assembly-approves-resolution-to-make-guru-nanaks-birthday-a-public-holiday/

Bullet Train Could Connect Moscow and Beijing

If approved, the new train line could be up and running in five years. IMAGINECHINA/CORBIS

If approved, the new train line could be up and running in five years.
IMAGINECHINA/CORBIS

China and Russia are considering building a high-speed rail line thousands of kilometers from Moscow to Beijing that would cut the journey time from six days on the celebrated Trans-Siberian to two, Chinese media reported Friday.

The project would cost more than $230 billion and be over 7,000 kilometers (4,350 miles) long, the Beijing Times reported — more than three times the world’s current longest high-speed line, from the Chinese capital to the southern city of Guangzhou.

Read more » Discovery

http://news.discovery.com/autos/transportation-infrastructure/bullet-train-could-connect-moscow-and-beijing-141017.htm

India prepares to launch its third navigation satellite

The Mangalyaan orbital probe on its mission to Mars.  Indian Space Research Organisation

Chennai: The 67-hour countdown for the Thursday launch of India’s third navigation satellite is progressing smoothly though a thunder storm on Wednesday delayed some operations, a senior space agency official said.

“Today (Wednesday) morning we moved the mobile service tower (MST) backwards. The operation was delayed by around two hours owing to thunderstorm in the morning. There is sufficient time cushion built in for such unforeseen delays in the countdown period,” MYS Prasad, director, Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Sriharikota, told IANS.

Read more » IBNLive

http://ibnlive.in.com/news/india-prepares-to-launch-its-third-navigation-satellite/506292-3.html

Why India is planning a new road near the China border

India has unveiled plans to build a mountain road along the disputed border with China in the country’s remote north-east.

The $6.5bn (£4.06bn), 1,800km (1,118 miles) all-weather road will stretch from Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh state to where the borders of India and China meet with Myanmar.

The road will connect sparsely populated and poorly-connected hill communities living in four large frontier districts of Arunachal Pradesh.

It will also help farmers in the mountainous region to transport their organic crops and medicinal herbs to low-lying and busy markets in neighbouring Assam state.

“This road will not boost our defences but help connect far flung communities for economic development denied to them for so long,” says India’s junior home minister Khiren Rijiju, himself a resident of Arunachal Pradesh.

But Indian military officials say the road will help consolidate Indian defences.

This represents a change in Indian military thinking that has so far opposed developing roads near the border, in case it is used by the Chinese during a conflict for speedy movement inside Indian territory.

The road, however, could could ignite fresh tensions between India and China.

The world’s two most populous countries disagree over the demarcation of several Himalayan border areas and fought a brief war in 1962.

Read more » BBC

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-29639950

Iran issues fresh warning to Pakistan: Deal with terrorists within your borders or we will.

irnIran again warns of crossing into Pakistan if border is not secured

Iran issued a veiled threat to Pakistan on Thursday that it might cross the border to contain terrorists if Pakistan fails protect its border and stop terrorists from entering into Iran, Iranian state media reported.

Second-in-command of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC), Brigadier General Hossein Salami on Thursday said that border security is a common and pressing need for neighbouring countries. He warned that if any neighbouring country fails to fulfill their obligation to protect their border than Iran will have no choice but to act on its own.

We are, in principle, against intervening in the affairs of any country, but if they fail to abide by their obligations we will have [no choice but] to act,” said Salami, adding that “Terrorists, wherever they may be, even on the soil of neighbouring countries, we will find them, and if they do not give up acts of terrorism, we will deal with them without reservation.”

In May this year, Iranian border guards trespassed three kilometres into Pakistani territory and shot dead a Pakistani citizen while injuring another in the Prom tehsil of Panjgur district in Balochistan.

Iran, on many counts, has threatened to send forces into Pakistani territories.

Read more » The Express Tribune

http://tribune.com.pk/story/776867/iran-again-warns-of-crossing-into-pakistan-if-border-is-not-secured/

Why Ebola is so dangerous

The Ebola outbreak in West Africa is the world’s deadliest to date and the World Health Organization has declared an international health emergency as more than 3,850 people have died of the virus in Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria this year.

What is Ebola?

Ebola is a viral illness of which the initial symptoms can include a sudden fever, intense weakness, muscle pain and a sore throat, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). And that is just the beginning: subsequent stages are vomiting, diarrhoea and – in some cases – both internal and external bleeding.

The disease infects humans through close contact with infected animals, including chimpanzees, fruit bats and forest antelope.

It then spreads between humans by direct contact with infected blood, bodily fluids or organs, or indirectly through contact with contaminated environments. Even funerals of Ebola victims can be a risk, if mourners have direct contact with the body of the deceased.

Read more » BBC

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-26835233

The best way to help your body protect itself against Ebola

The best way to help your body protect itself against Ebola (or any virus or bacteria)

(NaturalNews) With the threat of the Ebola virus spreading, there is a need to understand what natural options are readily available to you in case you don’t want to be subjected to conventional medical treatments and infected patients in hospitals. The only proven system to help eradicate the Ebola virus is your body’s immune system, and it is of primary importance to start strengthening its response now to give yourself the best chance of successfully fighting off an infection.

Work with your body’s natural defenses

The only way to work with your body’s natural defenses is to give it what it requires in order to function at optimal performance. Conventional medical wisdom claims that man-made remedies such as vaccines are superior to those provided by nature, but it doesn’t take a scientist to understand that the toxic chemicals and preservatives injected into the body along with antigens is not a legitimate way to improve immunity.

To improve your immunity, you must improve your relationship with nature and the medicine it provides, which has been proven to keep people healthy for thousands of years. In this case, a focus on healing foods and herbs that have strong antibacterial and antiviral properties is of primary importance, along with improving immune system function and eliminating foods that suppress it.

Antibacterial foods, herbs, and solutions to begin consuming regularly

Even though Ebola is a virus, it only makes sense to start clearing out any harmful bacteria in your digestive system in order for your immune system to function properly. This will allow it to do its job more efficiently, which is a must have when dealing with more deadly infections such as Ebola.

Antibacterial foods and herbs to consider, include: Garlic, Onion, Turmeric (curcumin), Ginger, Lemon, Cayenne, Peppermint, Cinnamon, Clove, Cranberry, Calendula, Echinacea, Oregon grape root ….

Read more » Natural News

What Pakistan can learn from the economics Nobel laureate

By Murtaza Haider

From food items to consumer products, Pakistanis pay significantly higher prices than others in the region.

Being left at the mercy of oligopolies, which have controlled markets since Pakistan’s creation in 1947, the consumers have been forced to pay higher prices for, at times, inferior quality goods.

Another newly minted Nobel laureate’s efforts may help Pakistanis break free of the tyrannical control of State monopolies and private oligopolies.

Professor Jean Tirole of France has received the 2014 Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel for his work on market power and regulation. His research has shown how firms gain market power and set prices at the detriment of consumers. His work is as relevant to privatisation-happy Pakistan as it is to developed economies.

Read more » DAWN

http://www.dawn.com/news/1138136