Scientist muzzling probed by information commissioner
Complaint was filed by Democracy Watch and University of Victoria on Feb. 20
By CBC News
Canada’s information commissioner has confirmed that her office will investigate allegations that the federal government is muzzling its scientists.
The office of Suzanne Legault has concluded that a complaint made by Democracy Watch and the University of Victoria’s Environmental Law Clinic in February falls within its mandate, wrote Emily McCarthy, assistant information commissioner, in a letter released Monday by Democracy Watch, an Ottawa-based non-profit organization that advocates for government accountability.
The letter, dated March 27, added that the office has notified and sent a summary of the complaint to the relevant government institutions:
- Environment Canada.
- Department of Fisheries and Oceans.
- Natural Resources Canada.
- National Research Council of Canada.
- Canadian Food Inspection Agency.
- Department of National Defence.
Treasury Board included
The letter added, “We have also determined that the Treasury Board Secretariat should be included in your complaint because of its role in relation to the development and implementation of government policies.”
Tyler Sommers, co-ordinator of Democracy Watch, said in a statement, that the group is “very pleased” about the investigation being called.
“And we will continue to push the information commissioner to get to the bottom of this situation, publicly release the results, and push the federal government to change these policies,” he added.
The complaint, filed on Feb. 20, suggested that federal government policy “forcing scientists to jump through hoops before speaking with the media” breaches the Access to Information Act.
The complaint included a 26-page report with 100 pages of appendices, containing details and examples, based on internal government documents previously released through freedom of information requests, along with conversations with current and former federal public servants, journalists, members of non-profit organizations, and professors at Canadian universities.
The federal Access to Information Act requires the Office of the Information Commissioner to investigate “any matter related to obtaining or requesting access to records” from federal institutions.
The killing of a young boy
New photographs of LTTE chief Velupillai Prabakaran’s son just before he was shot dead, obtained by Channel 4 TV, leave more questions for Sri Lanka to answer about war crimes
It is a war that has produced some truly terrible images, but this one is particularly disturbing. A young boy sits looking distressed, like a child who has been lost in a supermarket. He has been given a biscuit or some kind of snack. In the second photograph, he is looking anxiously up, as though hoping to see someone he recognises.
The boy is Balachandran Prabakaran, the 12-year-old son of Tamil Tiger leader Velupillai Prabakaran.
These photographs, which we are releasing today, form part of the new evidence in the forthcoming feature documentary “No Fire Zone: The Killing Fields of Sri Lanka,” the culmination of three years of research which will be shown for the first time next month in Geneva, to coincide with the U.N. Human Rights Council meeting. The new evidence in the film is certain to increase pressure on the Indian government not only to support a resolution on Sri Lanka and accountability, but also to ensure that it is robustly worded, and that it outlines an effective plan for international action to end impunity in Sri Lanka.
The new photographs tell a chilling story. This child is not been lost of course: he has been captured and is being held in a sandbag bunker, apparently guarded by a Sri Lankan Army soldier. In less than two hours he will be taken, executed in cold blood — and then photographed again.
LONDON: In an important development in MQM leader Dr. Imran Farooq’s murder case, the Scotland Yard conducted a raid at a business address on Edgware road and carried out a search of an office for 10 hours, Geo News reported Thursday.
According to sources, the UK police conducted a search of an office and also carried out interrogation but no arrests were made.
The Scotland Yard sources have claimed that the UK police got important evidences in Imran Farooq Murder Case.
The police official said that the raid was conducted by Counter Terrorism Command Unit of Scotland Yard under police and criminal evidence act.
The police officials said that they were committed to unearthing the murderers of Dr. Imran Farooq. A police team tasked with the arrest of the assassins of Dr. Farooq is steadily at work to solve the high-profile murder case, they added.
The MQM leader Dr. Imran Farooq was stabbed to death by an unknown assailant outside his house in central London on September 16, 2010.
A sigh of relief: Maulvi who fabricated ‘burning of Quranic pages’ in order to frame charges against Rimsha in blasphemy, has been arrested
Prayer leader arrested for fabricating evidence in Rimsha Masih case
By Web Desk
RAWALPINDI: Police have arrested prayer leader Khalid Jadoon on charges of fabricating evidence, which he had used to accuse Rimsha Masih of committing blasphemy by allegedly burning Quranic pages, Express News reported early on Sunday.
Express News correspondent Qamarul Munawar said that Hafiz Muhammad Zubair, who witnessed Jadoon adding pages of the Quran, recorded a statement with the Rawalpindi magistrate on Saturday.
According to Zubair’s account, he was sitting in Iteqaaf in the mosque when some people handed burnt pages to the prayer leader. After a little while, Jadoon added additional pages of the Quran to the pile.
Zubair, in his statement added that three other people present with him in the mosque asked Jadoon why he was adding documents to the pile of burnt paper, to which prayer leader said that such an act was necessary to strengthen their case.
Munawar reported that Islamabad police has now arrested Jadoon who are now questioning him.
Rimsha has been in custody since she was arrested more than two weeks ago accused of burning Quranic papers, in breach of Pakistan’s blasphemy laws. According to medical reports Rimsha is 14 year old minor, and has a mental age below her real age.
Courtesy: The Express Tribune
‘Imam changed evidences against Rimsha’
ISLAMABAD: The Imam of a Mosque, Khalid Jadoon, manipulated the evidence against Rimsha Maseeh, said an eyewitness in a statement before the magistrate on Saturday.
According to the eyewitness Hafiz Muhammad Zubair, he was observing Aitekaf in the mosque when he got to know about the incident of alleged burning of Quranic verses.
He said that Ammad, the complainant in the case, handed over the ashes of Quranic verses to the Imam of the mosque Khalid Jadoon, who also added more verses to it.
The eyewitness further said in his statement that he himself along with two more Motakif protested against the manipulation of the evidences. He said that he and other eyewitnesses had asked Khalid Jadoon to present the real evidences against Rimsha.
Meanwhile, the religious scholar Tahir Ashrafi has asked the Ulema as to what kind of punishment Imams like Khalid Jadoon deserved.
Courtesy: Geo Tv
More details » The News
Suspended judge, 2 State MLAs face arrest in bail ‘sale’
Hyderabad, June 9, 2012, DHNS:
Anti-Corruption Bureau files FIRs
Suspended CBI special court judge Pattabhirama Rao and two Karnataka legislators Gali Somasekhara Reddy and T H Suresh Babu are facing arrest in the sensational cash-for-bail scam as the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) in Andhra Pradesh filed FIRs against them on Saturday.
FIRs were also filed against five accomplices of the suspended judge, including his son. The ACB found prima facie evidence against the suspended judge and the two legislators in the case. Around Rs 10 crore crossed borders from Karnataka to Andhra Pradesh to bribe the judge, who granted conditional bail to Janardhana Reddy, currently jailed in Bangalore.
The case was handed over to ACB by the Andhra Pradesh High Court on Friday.
Janardhana Reddy’s brother Somasekhara Reddy (Bellary City MLA) and Suresh Babu (Kampli MLA) face arrest as bribe givers – for striking the deal and making a payment of Rs 10 crore to the judge.
Recently, on June 2, the cash-for-bail scam broke out when the then Chief Justice of Andhra Pradesh High Court Madan B Lokur suspended Pattabhirama Rao on charges of accepting bribe last year in exchange for granting bail to former Karnataka minister Gali Janardhana Reddy and three others involved in illegal mining.
The five accomplices of the suspended judge booked on Saturday are: the judge’s son, Ravichandra, retired sessions court judges T Chalapathi Rao, his son Balaji, rowdy sheeter Yadagiri Rao of Nacharam in Hyderabad and a junior lawyer Dasaradharami Reddy.
All 8 people have been charged under provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act 13(1) and (2) besides 120(b), 420 and 417 of the Indian Penal Code. The arrests of the prime accused and their accomplices are likely to be made soon, said the police. ….
Read more » Decan Herald
- – - – - -
More details » BBC urdu
In India at least half a dozen chief justices in the past have been accused of corrupt practices or conduct unbecoming a judge of high stature. However, none has ever been dragged to the dock. But matters are very different in Pakistan where the chief justice and the Supreme Court are battling for their credibility and independence because of the misdemeanours of the son of the chief justice. There is bitter discord in state and society. The fear is that if the political fallout isn’t quickly contained, the military might be tempted to step into the fray.
Riaz Malik has presented credible evidence of footing the bills of Arsalan Chaudhry, the son of the CJP, for more than Rs 34 crore in the last three years for favours promised but not fulfilled in cases of property disputes relating to Mr Malik’s business empire pending before his father in the SC. He claims he was blackmailed by Arsalan Chaudhry to cough up or face hard times in the court before his father. Arsalan says he was entrapped in order to influence his father. In the event, Arsalan took favours from Mr Malik but his father didn’t return the compliment, which raises the question of who was blackmailing whom and who gained and who lost from this unholy transaction.
Jinnahpur conspiracy – Sindh had proved to be Waterloo for the past rulers & it may also become the same for the PPP-MQM led government
By: Ansar Abbasi
ISLAMABAD: If history has any relevance in our politics then the Pakistan Peoples’ Party (PPP) and the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) ñ so closely allied today — were daggers drawn over the Jinnahpur conspiracy in 1992 and the PPP was accusing the Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N) of cover-up while the then-Nawaz Sharif government was pleading complete innocence.
Reports carried by leading newspapers on the issue during 1992 show the Nawaz-led IJI government had completely denied the existence of Jinnahpur conspiracy but the PPP-led PDA (Pakistan Democratic Alliance) opposition charged the government of covering up the MQM’s conspiracy.
However, the Jamaat-e-Islami, a coalition partner in the government, once moved an adjournment motion in the National Assembly to discuss the Jinnahpur conspiracy. It was no less than opposition leader Benazir Bhutto, who had accused the Nawaz regime of trying to cover up the conspiracy of the MQM which, according to her, wanted to make a separate homeland with the support of India. The incumbent President, Asif Ali Zardari, had also demanded action against Jinnahpur planners.
Today though the MQM targets the PML-N for the Jinnahpur conspiracy, during those times MQM Chief Altaf Hussain was even found hailing the Nawaz government for exposing Jinnahpur. Altaf Hussain also demanded a probe into the matter by the Supreme Court.
Similarly, the PML-N, which today passes the buck on the Army and intelligence agencies to have created the Jinnahpur drama, during those days insisted that the plot was a figment of imagination of the PPP. The then-interior minister Chaudhry Shujaat was also reported to have said the Army used to operate as per the directive of the government.
In order to have a true sense of the political divide of those times and the position of different political parties on the issue of Jinnahpur, briefs of statements and reports of newspapers of different political leaders and analysts on the issue are reproduced here.
Jang Karachi quoted Benazir Bhutto on July 6, 1992 as saying if Beharis are settled in Sindh it would pave the way for Jinnahpur and Sindhudesh. She said Sindh had proved to be waterloo for the past rulers and it may also become the same for Nawaz Sharif.
July 18, 1992 Jang Karachi, Sindh reported Brigadier Haroon, the Army spokesman, as saying in a press briefing that the MQM had planned a separate homeland. The News of July 17 quoted him as saying there were confirmed intelligence reports, revealing the MQM plans. The map of the planned country was also discovered during the operation, he claimed.
On Oct 11, 1992 Jang Lahore ran a story filed by its reporter Azhar Sohail which talked of the Army high command providing documentary evidence to the government that the MQM was planning to create an independent state called Jinnahpur comprising Hyderabad, Thatta, Badin, Karachi and all those areas of upper Sindh that are oil rich.
By Khaled Ahmed
In the process of supporting a revisionist Army trying to survive, Pakistan as a state was damaged beyond repair
The Asghar Khan case was and is against ex-Army Chief General (Retd) Aslam Beg, not against late President Ghulam Ishaq Khan, even though the affidavits from Beg and General (Retd) Asad Durrani might imply that President Ghulam Ishaq, as the supreme commander, was at the root of the matter. As Younus Habib, the banker who carried out the ‘operation’ has made clear, it was Aslam Beg who was the mastermind; and the president was brought in later when a meeting was arranged at Balochistan House.
Mother of all cases?
A testimony of the slim, short, veteran businessman-cum-banker, Yunus Habib, may come in handy when the Supreme Court starts hearing the almost decade-old petition of Air Marshal Asghar Khan on Feb 29, 2012. Habib hit the headlines in the 1990s for his key role in the release of Rs14 million (or maybe more) from his own Mehran Bank to defeat the Benazir Bhutto’s PPP in the next elections.
The affidavit submitted by the then ISI chief, Lt. Gen. Asad Durrani, is the first ever confession by any official of Pakistan’s premier intelligence agency of the role it played in pre-poll rigging and its direct involvement in political matters. But there is much more to it and all facts must come to the surface.
Though there was an unusual delay in the case being taken up for hearing, one hopes it will proceed as fast as other petitions like the ones dealing with NRO, NICL, the infamous Memo Case or the Haj scam.
- 43 Years Ago, Pakistani Politicians Defended Treason, They Do It Again.
Submitted by Aurangzeb
We ignored Agartala conspiracy, released the traitors who broke up the country two years later. We are doing it again in The Memo case.
By Mahmood Adeel
Asma Jahangir’s resignation as Husain Haqqani’s lawyer in the memo case surprised quite a few people. She had originally taken the case as a matter of principle based in her experience as a respected human rights lawyer. She reviewed the facts of the case, looked at the way it was proceeding, and immediately became concerned about the precedent that was being set. From the beginning until the end, she said her concern was not specific to her client but to the greater principles of constitutional law. Ironically, what has not been discussed much in the endless analysis of the memo case are not the facts – who was involved, who knew what and when did they know it – but the principles of the case.
Please allow me to clear up one apparent misconception about this case: There has been no proven evidence of anyone’s involvement except for three people, all Americans: Mansoor Ijaz, Gen Jim Jones and Adm Mike Mullen. That is supposedly why the Supreme Court has set up a commission – to investigate for evidence. If the evidence was already proven, there would not be need for an inquiry commission, would there? But let us assume for the sake of this post that some genie will present to the court fool proof evidence that someone from the federal government was involved in the memo. Many people are suggesting that it constitutes treason under Article 6. Is this true?
According to Article 6 of the Constitution of Pakistan, “Any person who abrogates or subverts or suspends or holds in abeyance, or attempts or conspires to abrogate or subvert or suspend or hold in abeyance, the Constitution by use of force or show of force or by any other unconstitutional means shall be guilty of high treason.”
By Beena Sarwar
What is ‘Memogate’? The ‘memo’ in question is a letter allegedly written at the behest of Pakistan’s President by the Ambassador to Washington Husain Haqqani, asking USA to prevent a possible military coup in Pakistan after US Navy Seals killed Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad, Pakistan on May 2, 2011. Haqqani denied the allegations, sent in a letter offering to resign in order to facilitate an impartial inquiry, and returned to Pakistan to clear his name. Instead, he found his resignation letter accepted. The Supreme Court barred his exit from Pakistan. He has been forced for his own safety to confine himself first to the Presidency and then to the Prime Minister House. On Dec 30, 2011, The Supreme Court in response to a petition against the ‘memo’ formed a three-member judicial commission to look into the matter that the media has dubbed as ‘memogate’.
Asma Jahangir, counsel for Husain Haqqani and former Supreme Court Bar Association President, has refused to appear before the commission saying that she does not trust the judiciary. She has said that instead of forming a commission to create or produce new evidence the Supreme Court should have looked into the evidence placed before it to decide whether there was a prima facie case and whether the court could proceed to enforce any fundamental rights by making a binding order.
The entire affair appears to be geared towards undermining the democratic political process in Pakistan – specifically at targeting President Asif Ali Zardari, using Husain Haqqani as a vehicle. Asma Jahangir has unequivocally termed the Supreme Court’s judgment as a victory for the military that has run affairs in Pakistan for decades and is obviously still all-powerful behind the scenes.
Asma Jahangir has argued that the Supreme Court had no right to bar Haqqani’s travel abroad. Nor does Supreme Court or the judicial commission set up, have the right to demand Blackberry (RIM) data without due process of law. No server (BU or RIM) should share data with Commission, which is essentially pursuing a political dispute, not criminal charges. The judiciary seems to be ruling on the basis of national security ideology instead of constitution and law.
In spite of denials by the Pakistani military, evidence is emerging that elements within the Pakistani military harbored Osama bin Laden with the knowledge of former army chief General Pervez Musharraf and possibly current Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Ashfaq Pervez Kayani. Former Pakistani Army Chief General Ziauddin Butt (a.k.a. General Ziauddin Khawaja) revealed at a conference on Pakistani-U.S. relations in October 2011 that according to his knowledge the then former Director-General of Intelligence Bureau of Pakistan (2004 – 2008), Brigadier Ijaz Shah (Retd.), had kept Osama bin Laden in an Intelligence Bureau safe house in Abbottabad. In the same address, he revealed that the ISI had helped the CIA to track him down and kill on May 1. The revelation remained unreported for some time because some intelligence officers had asked journalists to refrain from publishing General Butt’s remarks.  No mention of the charges appeared until right-wing columnist Altaf Hassan Qureshi referred to them in an Urdu-language article that appeared on December 8. 
In a subsequent and revealing Urdu-language interview with TV channel Dawn News, General Butt repeated the allegation on December 11, saying he fully believed that “[Brigadier] Ijaz Shah had kept this man [Bin Laden in the Abbottabad compound] with the full knowledge of General Pervez Musharraf… Ijaz Shah was an all-powerful official in the government of General Musharraf.”  Asked whether General Kayani knew of this, he first said yes, but later reconsidered: “[Kayani] may have known – I do not know – he might not have known.”  The general’s remarks appeared to confirm investigations by this author in May 2011 that showed that the Abbottabad compound where bin Laden was captured and killed was being used by a Pakistani intelligence agency (see Terrorism Monitor, May 5). However, General Butt failed to explain why Bin Laden was not discovered even after Brigadier Shah and General Musharraf had left the government.
General Butt was the first head of the Strategic Plans Division of the Pakistan army and the Director General of Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) under Nawaz Sharif, Prime Minister of Pakistan from 1990 to 1993, and again from 1997 to 1999. Sharif promoted General Ziauddin Butt to COAS after forcibly retiring General Pervez Musharraf on October 12, 1999, but the army’s top brass revolted against the decision and arrested both Prime Minister Sharif and General Butt while installing Musharraf as the nation’s new chief executive, a post he kept as a chief U.S. ally until resigning in 2008 in the face of an impending impeachment procedure.
Brigadier Shah has been known or is alleged to have been involved in several high profile cases of terrorism. The Brigadier was heading the ISI bureau in Lahore when General Musharraf overthrew Prime Minister Sharif in October 1999. Later, General Musharraf appointed Shah as Home Secretary in Punjab. As an ISI officer he was also the handler for Omar Saeed Sheikh, who was involved in the kidnapping of Wall Street Journal journalist Daniel Pearl in 2002.  Omar Saeed Sheikh surrendered to Brigadier Shah who hid him for several weeks before turning him over to authorities. In February 2004, Musharraf appointed Shah as the new Director of the Intelligence Bureau, a post he kept until March 2008 (Daily Times [Lahore] February 26, 2004; Dawn [Karachi] March 18, 2008). The late Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto accused Brigadier Shah, among others, of hatching a conspiracy to assassinate her (The Friday Times [Lahore], February 18-24).
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and the Pakistani top military brass had serious differences on several issues. One of the most serious of these concerned Pakistan’s relations with Osama bin Laden. However, the disastrous1999 Kargil conflict in Kashmir overshadowed all of these. General Butt says that Prime Minister Sharif had decided to cooperate with the United States and track down Bin Laden in 1999.  According to a senior adviser to the Prime Minister, the general staff ousted Sharif to scuttle the “get-Osama” plan, among other reasons: “The evidence is that the military regime abandoned that plan.”  General Butt corroborates this. In his latest interview, he says that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had constituted a special task force of 90 American-trained commandos to track down Bin Laden in Afghanistan. If the Sharif government had continued on this course, this force would likely have caught Bin Laden by December 2001, but the plan was aborted by Ziauddin Butt’s successor as ISI general director, Lieutenant General Mahmud Ahmed. 
Arif Jamal is an independent security and terrorism expert and author of “Shadow War – The Untold Story of Jihad in Kashmir.”
Courtesy » TheJamesTown.Org
‘Boy’ kills SSG commando
By Staff Report
LAHORE – A teenager killed Pakistan Army SSG commando Muhammad Arshad, 27, over reasons yet to be determined in the Nawankot Police precincts on Monday.
The deceased was a resident of Chunian district Kasur. Arshad joined the Pakistan Army two years ago and was trained for Special Services Group (SSG). Arshad was performing security duty at the Tarbela Dam. Late on Sunday night, Muhammad Arshad and an unidentified friend, estimated to be 18 years of age, checked into Lahori Hotel room number 6 in the Nawankot Police Station jurisdiction.
Around noon on Monday, the hotel administration knocked at the door but received no response. Upon suspicion, the administration opened the door with a duplicate key and found Muhammad Arshad dead. The hotel administration informed local police from mobile number 03324226761 about the mishap after which a heavy contingent of police reached and shifted the body to morgue for autopsy. Meanwhile, Army officers reached the site and collected circumstantial evidence from the crime scene. ….
Read more » Pakistan Today
PENTAGON: Pentagon Spokesman John Kirby has said that the memo sent by Pakistani origin US citizen Mansoor Ijaz was not credible and Mike Mullen was confident that it was not sent by President Zardari.
In a statement, Pentagon Spokesman Kirby said former US Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen neither knew Mansoor Ijaz and nor did he ever communicate with him.
Kirby said Admiral Mullen knew intermediary who brought secret memo to him, adding that the memo was not signed and was not credible.
There was nothing in the memo that indicated that it was from President Zardari, he added.
Courtesy » The News
Split in Sindh PPP Imminent; Nawaz-Mirza under Pressure for Alliance; Fahmida Mirza Offers to Resign
- Split in Sindh PPP Imminent; President Offers Aitzaz An Important Position, May Play Prominent Role in Future; Nawaz-Mirza under Pressure for Alliance; Fahmida Mirza Offers to Resign
Aitzaz May Play Prominent Role in Future; How Fasih Bokhari Was Nominated as Chairman NAB?
By Aijaz Ahmed
Islamabad: There seldom comes a cooling off interval in Pakistani politics – at least not these days. With every passing moment, the temperature gets higher and the hectic moves and counter moves by the stakeholders create more and more confusion. Amidst all that, the moves by one of the players, Zulfikar Mirza may soon result in split within his own party.
On his return from Malaysia, Zulfikar Mirza dropped another bombshell; he addressed a press conference along with the leaders of the Peoples Amn Committee and announced that following in the footsteps of Imran Khan, he would carry three suitcases to London, UK, filled with evidence against Altaf Hussain of MQM. The statement of Mirza created another storm in the troubled city of Karachi, Sindh and prompted MQM demands for his arrest. The rampant political crisis is destined to lead towards a final showdown within the PPP ranks as well as between the PPP and its love-hate partner the MQM.
A group of PPP dissidents from Sindh is getting united with a resolve to fight against any effort for passing the proposed Local Government Ordinance, which was first introduced by military dictator Musharraf and then reintroduced by Babar Awan known as Mr. Tughral in the political circles of Islamabad.
The move is not only to oppose the local government ordinance bill, but the built in opposition to the government-MQM alliance is also coming to the fore. The group emerging around Mirza in Sindh will ultimately gain strength, and the people in the province having sympathies with PPP will by and large go with Mirza team, says a PPP leader from the political team of the president, Zardari.
The central leadership of the party is trying its best to control the damage caused by Mirza, but for the first time in the history of the party, it appears that all the efforts by the leadership are going in vain as dissent in the party is visibly increasing.
The game does not end there; rather another innings of the long and tiring game of politics is being started again, and the umpires of the game have become, as always, the main players of the innings now. There are clear indications that the behind-the-scene players who ‘encouraged’ Mirza to go up in the arms to such an extent where he put his relationship with the president at stake are trying to bring Mirza and Nawaz Sharif closer on some point of mutual interests and that is the opposition of MQM and elimination of corruption, sources in the power circle of Islamabad have revealed. ….
Read more » Indus Herald
- Ruling out negotiations: ‘Taliban talks futile’
With no headway being made, Afghan President Hamid Karzai and his top aides have hinted that they may abandon efforts at peace talks with the Taliban after concluding that negotiating with the militant leadership was futile.
Instead, Karzai has said, negotiations should actually be held with Pakistan – an apparent dig at Islamabad, which is regularly accused of harbouring the Taliban’s senior leadership.
The comments come on the heels of fresh allegations that the assassination of Afghanistan’s top peace negotiator Burhanuddin Rabbani in Kabul was planned in Pakistan. Rabbani was killed in a bombing by a purported Taliban emissary who had come to visit the former Afghanistan president last month.
The frustration with stalled talks and the escalating violence come months before a key conference is to be held in Bonn, Germany – where it is expected that the Afghan end game will be charted. There had been reports that the Taliban leadership would be involved, in some manner, about the future of the war-torn nation.
“The peace process which we began is dead,” Rangin Dadfar Spanta, Karzai’s national security adviser, said in an interview on Saturday. “It’s a joke,” The Wall Street Journal reported.
Karzai and his aides have decided to shift their efforts on putting pressure on Pakistan, which has allegedly provided aid and sanctuary to Afghan insurgents.
“Their messengers are coming and killing … So with whom should we make peace?” Karzai said in the recorded address to the country’s senior religious leaders.
“I cannot find Mullah Muhammad Omar,” Karzai said, referring to the Taliban supreme leader. “Where is he? I cannot find the Taliban council. Where is it? “I don’t have any other answer except to say that the other side for this negotiation is Pakistan.”
Afghan officials have also unilaterally cancelled plans to host a trilateral meeting on Oct 8 with Pakistan and the United States. Instead, a special Afghan delegation will present Pakistani leaders with evidence about the killing of Rabbani, WSJ reported.
Courtesy: → The Express Tribune, October 2nd, 2011.
- By: AFP
KABUL: Afghanistan said on Sunday that the suicide bomber who assassinated Afghan peace negotiator Burhanuddin Rabbani was a Pakistani national.
Tensions between the neighbours have been rising amid allegations from Afghan officials that Pakistan and its powerful ISI intelligence agency masterminded Rabbani’s assassination and are seeking to destabilise Afghanistan.
An investigative delegation established by President Hamid Karzai said evidence and a confession provided by a man involved in Rabbani’s killing on Sept. 20 had revealed that the bomber was from Chaman and the assassination had been plotted in Quetta, both on the Pakistani side of the border.
“It proves that the assassination of Professor Rabbani was hatched in Quetta and the man who carried out the suicide bombing is a Pakistani national,” the delegation, led by Defence Minister Abdul Rahim Wardak, said in a statement issued by the presidential palace.
“The documents and evidence in hand, details of other accomplices and their phone numbers have been handed over to Pakistan to make arrests,” it said.
Rabbani’s killing derailed efforts to forge dialogue with the Taliban to end the 10-year war, and raised fears of a dangerous widening of Afghanistan’s ethnic rifts.
The High Peace Council, which Rabbani headed, reiterated earlier comments by Karzai that negotiations should continue, but with Pakistan, rather than the Taliban.
“For the groups that are tired of conflict and want to end the killings and destruction inside the country, peace efforts must continue,” the council said in a separate statement issued late on Sunday.
“But because of those who hide in Pakistan with no known address, who send killers (to Afghanistan), we must negotiate with Pakistan instead.”
Hundreds of Afghans took to the streets of Kabul on Sunday to condemn recent shelling of border towns by Pakistan’s army and accuse the ISI of involvement in Rabbani’s killing.
Courtesy: → DAWN.COM
More details → BBC urdu
- By Reuters
WASHINGTON: US officials say there is mounting evidence that Pakistan’s chief intelligence agency has been encouraging a Pakistan-based militant network to attack US targets.
The allegations, if fully confirmed, heighten a painful dilemma for President Barack Obama’s administration. Washington is under growing political pressure to take action against the Haqqani network after a spate of deadly attacks US officials have attributed to it. These include last week’s strike againstthe American Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan.
Some US intelligence reporting alleges that Pakistan’s Inter Services Intelligence directorate (ISI) specifically directed, or urged, the Haqqani network to carry out the September 13 attack on the embassy and a NATO headquarters in Kabul, according two US officials and a source familiar with recent US-Pakistan official contacts. However, officials cautioned that this information is uncorroborated.
Another US official familiar with internal government assessments said that at the very least, the available intelligence strongly suggests the ISI has been egging on elements of the Haqqani network to launch attacks at American targets in the region.
While American officials have aired allegations of ties between the ISI and the Haqqani network in recent days, they have not publicly cited evidence that the Pakistani agency, or elements of it, urged its proxy to attack US targets.
While the ISI’s motives in any such attacks are not clear, Pakistan has long wanted to play a major role in Afghanistan’s future after the departure of NATO troops, and to counter what it sees as the growing influence there of arch-rival India.
This week, top US officials, including Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman Admiral Mike Mullen, demanded that Pakistan’s leaders take action against the Haqqanis, ….
Read more → The Express Tribune
by Saibal Dasgupta
BEIJING: A jihadist group has released a video on the recent violence in western Xinjiang province while providing China new evidence that terrorists involved in the bloodbath were trained in Pakistan. The violence in two towns in Xinjiang bordering Pakistan left 40 dead.
But the Chinese foreign ministry refrained from naming Pakistan in its closely calibrated response to a question about the 10-minute video showing Turkestan Islamic Party leader Abdul Shakoor Damla claiming responsibility for the violence.
“I haven’t seen the video you mentioned. Our principled position is that at present, a small handful of terrorist forces..,out of motives of splitting China, are conducting rampant violent terrorist activities within China’s border [to] seriously undermine China’s national unity, and regional peace and stability,” Liu Weimin, the spokesperson, said. ….
Read more → TOI
-He was escaping to South Africa?
By Special Correspondent
London: The London Post has reported Altaf Hussain self exiled leader of MQM-A caught escaping to South Africa by the authorities. According to sources, ‘Altaf Hussain was hiding in the Wrexham area close to Slough in Berkshire for the past few days. He was stopped when was going to Heathrow Airport in a private taxi. Interestingly the taxi driver was a Pakistani whom Mr Hussain thought as an English man due to his appearance.
According to sources Altaf Hussain told the authorities that, ‘he is leaving UK and going to South Africa for security reasons and personal protection’. According to sources he was told that, ‘security can be provided to him in the UK’. It is not yet clear if Mr Hussain detained or taken in protective custody. Mr Altaf Hussain is a British Citizen and living in self imposed exile since 1992. He is never been to Pakistan since 1992, not a registered voter now and never voted in any elections ever since.
Earlier yesterday it was reported that British police raided two addresses including an office of MQM-A in London in connection with the on going murder investigation of Dr Imran Farooq. It is reported that police took the crucial evidence in custody including the carpets for forensic investigation. According to reports 35 well trained officers of the Scotland Yard took part in the operation on Thursday 24th August 2011”.
It is reported that those MQM-A terrorists arrested in Karachi were actually coming from Colombo Sri Lanka and had connections with the murder of Dr Imran Farooq. The arrests took place as result of tip off from British authorities.
According to reports both Khalid Shamim and another MQM-A terrorists who were arrested in Karachi while arriving from Colombo actually called in to be eliminated in Karachi by their own party MQM-A. They had crucial information related to Dr Imran Farooq’s murder as well as target killing cells in various countries including South Africa. They knew too much about the MQM-A illegal and terrorist activities and needed to be eliminated that is why they were called in Karachi. They are lucky to be alive in the custody of Pakistani authorities than killed by their own death squad.
- Brigadier F.B. Ali (Retd.), who fought in the ’71 war, gives his account of the events that resulted in the dismemberment of Pakistan and left behind a legacy of shame. The Supplementary Report of the 1971 War Inquiry Commission (headed by Chief Justice Hamoodur Rahman) has recently been published in the magazine India Today. There is little doubt that this is a genuine document. It is unfortunate that, even though 30 years have passed, the Commission’s report has not been made public in Pakistan, and we are forced to depend on foreign sources to learn of its contents in dribs and drabs.
After the Pakistani journalist Syed Saleem Shahzad was murdered in May, suspicion fell on Inter-Services Intelligence, the country’s powerful spy agency. Mr. Shahzad reported aggressively on the infiltration of militants into Pakistan’s military and had received repeated threats from ISI. Other journalists said they, too, have been threatened, even tortured, by security forces.
Now the Obama administration has evidence implicating the ISI in this brutal killing. According to The Times’s Jane Perlez and Eric Schmitt, American officials say new intelligence indicates that senior ISI officials ordered the attack on Mr. Shahzad to silence him. Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, confirmed on Thursday that Pakistan’s government “sanctioned” the killing, but he did not tie it directly to ISI. The murder will make journalists and other critics of the regime even more reluctant to expose politically sensitive news. The ISI is also proving to be an increasingly dangerous counterterrorism partner for the United States.
After Mr. Shahzad’s killing, ISI insisted it had no role, contending the death would be “used to target and malign” its reputation. The ISI and the army, which oversees the intelligence agency, were once considered Pakistan’s most respected institutions. Now they are sharply criticized at home for malfeasance and incompetence.
There is evidence that they were complicit in hiding Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad and that the ISI helped plan the Mumbai attack in 2008. They failed to prevent the recent attack on a naval base in Karachi. Mr. Shahzad disappeared two days after publishing an article suggesting the attack was retaliation for the navy’s attempt to crack down on Al Qaeda militants in the armed forces.
It’s not clear how high up the culpability for Mr. Shahzad’s murder goes — or whether there are any officials left in the ISI or the army who have the power and desire to reform the spy agency. President Asif Ali Zardari and his government, while not implicated in these heinous acts, have been a disappointment, largely letting the military go its own way. They need to find Mr. Shahzad’s murderers and hold them accountable. And they must find the courage to assert civilian control over security services that have too much power and are running amok.
Mr. Zardari needs to speak out firmly against abuses, insist on adherence to the rule of law and join his political rival, Nawaz Sharif, in pressing the security services to change. That can start by insisting on the retirement of Lt. Gen. Ahmed Shuja Pasha, the ISI chief, and the appointment of a more credible successor.
The United States needs to use its influence to hasten Mr. Pasha’s departure. It should tell Pakistan’s security leadership that if Washington identifies anyone in ISI or the army as abetting terrorists, those individuals will face sanctions like travel bans or other measures. The ISI has become inimical to Pakistani and American interests.
Courtesy: → The New York Times
- – - – - – - -
I read the news while exploring the internet on my iPad, sitting at the airport on my way back home from our annual APPNA conference. The news said, “Shadab Qadri, the leader of Sunni Tehreek, said the politician’s daughter, Shehrbano Taseer, 21, must stop speaking out against blasphemy laws.” He said,
”We read the statement of the slain governor’s daughter in a newspaper. She should refrain from issuing such statements and must remember her father’s fate,”
I had just met Sherherbano Taseer a day before I read the news. She was invited to the APPNA conference to speak about the radicalization of Pakistani society. One thing I noticed about her was that she really does not say a word against blasphemy laws. All she keeps on saying is that these laws are being misused to settle personal scores against each other in Pakistan. Many intellectuals living in USA have seen and experienced the freedom of speech, and criticize the law itself. And of course, then we have our real religious scholars who tell you to not kill anyone using our Prophet (pbuh)’s name since it gives the Prophet pbuh a bad name.
One almost want to blame the religion for turning people in to crazy killers. This is what I did initially. But then the Sialkot incident happened in which the whole village got together and tortured two young boys to death. They were shown on TV. Over and over again. Villagers had iron rods. They pushed iron rods in to young boys’ eyes. They removed Mugheez’s pants to hit on his sensitive parts, so it would hurt more. They literally crushed those boys and they made their faces unrecognizable pieces of minced meat.
Then the incident happened in which almost six Pakistani rangers got together and shot a young unarmed boy, and then let him bleed to death. Ah, the site of fresh flowing blood! Nothing better and exciting! And then of course the incident in Multan happened, in which a group of students beat a journalist to death while “protesting” for their rights of some sort.
Religion really was not involved in all these incidents mentioned above. I know what has happened to Pakistan. You would know too if you watched a movie called “The Crazies”.
If you have not seen the movie, please rent it tonight and watch it. In the movie, a virus was dropped over a town as a biochemical weapon. Whoever got infected with that virus became a crazy killer for no reason. People started killing their own families after getting infected with that virus. They loved the sight of fresh flowing red blood. They enjoyed stabbing iron rods through the living humans, just like the village people did to Mugheez and Muneeb.
Seems to me that a virus has infected people of Pakistan too in to being “The Crazies”.
And government and judiciary is incompetent. It’s the lack of rule of law. There is absolute anarchy in Pakistan and no one gets punished for their crimes. Law is unable to punish the killers. Rulers are unable to punish the killers. Shazia Masih’s killer, who tortured her to death, was found “not guilty”.
Muslims who burnt the Christians alive in Gojra were released due to the lack of evidence and witnesses. So, really, there is no reason for people to stop their behavior. I am surprised that killings are limited to only a few a week and people are not looting and killing each other constantly like they did during partition. And like they showed in the movie “The Crazies”
Once Crazies get infected with a virus like that, there is no way to stop them. They have to kill and be killed. It has to happen. Roads have to be red with blood. I would advise my younger Pakistani sister Shehrbano to stay away from the crazies though. Once Taseers and Asias are not there, Qadris would go after each other, and there would be nothing left but fresh flowing blood and shattered pieces of fresh human meat.
Shazia Nawaz MBBS, MD. (Allama Iqbal medical college , Lahore, Session 1998). Practicing medicine in USA now. A blogger, a columnist, a You Tube talk show host. Wants justice and equality for all.
Shahid Javed Burki, in an article titled “The urban-rural divide”, published in the June 20 issue of this paper, has made an alarming assertion that Pakistan’s existence as a unified state will be defined by the way the urban-rural divide finally gets resolved. This shocking prognosis could have been taken seriously only if it was backed up by convincing empirical and historical evidence. What we have instead are sweeping generalisations, usage of concepts without adequately defining them, and, above all, a portrayal of the country’s past and present rid with contradictions. ….
Read more: → The Express Tribune
By ERIC SCHMITT and MARK MAZZETTI
WASHINGTON — Pakistan’s top military spy agency has arrested some of the Pakistani informants who fed information to the Central Intelligence Agency in the months leading up to the raid that led to the death of Osama bin Laden, according to American officials.
Pakistan’s detention of five C.I.A. informants, including a Pakistani Army major who officials said copied the license plates of cars visiting Bin Laden’s compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, in the weeks before the raid, is the latest evidence of the fractured relationship between the United States and Pakistan. It comes at a time when the Obama administration is seeking Pakistan’s support in brokering an endgame in the war in neighboring Afghanistan.
Read more: The New York Times
This torture confirms the worst fears that torture and massacres in Pakistan are encouraged by superiors, and they are not isolated incidents
QUETTA: Dr Baqir Shah, the police surgeon who conducted autopsy on the victims of Kharotabad shooting incident has been attacked in Quetta.
According to the Express 24/7 correspondent in Quetta, Muhammad Kazim said that Dr Shah was visiting a restaurant on prince road when up to 10 people pulled up outside and dragged the surgeon out. As the men tried to drag the doctor away to their vehicles, he put up resistance, upon which the men beat him up. His wounds were so severe that he had to be rushed to the civil hospital.
Earlier in the day, Dr Shah had recorded his statement in the ongoing tribunal on the Kharotabad killing incident in which five foreigners were gunned down at a check post by police and FC personnel on suspicion that they were armed suicide bombers.
In his testimony, Dr Shah confirmed that all the victims had died of gunshot wounds from the police and FC weapons fired from a distance of 50 – 60 feet, instead of a hand grenade as claimed by the police. This is one of the incriminating evidences pointing towards gross negligence of the police and FC personnel.
The victims, a five member party of men and women of Russian and Tajik nationality, were unarmed. An inquiry report presented to the Parliamentary committee on the killings also said that none of the victims had fired a shot, and that FC personnel injured in the incident had been struck by bullets fired by other FC personnel and police.
The inspector general of police has taken notice of the incident and has suspended the SHO of Gawalmandi.
Correction: The above story carried an error that up to ten police mobiles had pulled up. The correct version reads that up to ten people had attacked the surgeon. The mistake is regretted.
Courtesy: The Express Tribune