Breaking the unspoken rule about sex in Pakistan: Talking about it

BY BINA SHAH

I’ll never forget being a repressed teenager in Karachi in the 80s. I used to drive by the late Agha Hussein Abidi’s house every day to and from school. One morning as I passed by the high walls of his mansion, I saw some graffiti that had appeared overnight: It’s very hard to find a virgin in Pakistan.

I nearly fainted (it was still Zia’s Pakistan) when I saw that. It’s stuck with me to this day, but now instead of fainting, it evokes in me a wry smile.

Read more » DAWN
See more » http://www.dawn.com/news/1255226/breaking-the-unspoken-rule-about-sex-in-pakistan-talking-about-it

 

Russia’s Vladimir Putin rejects invitation to visit Pakistan

putin
Putin accepts invitation to visit Pakistan

Russian President Vladimir Putin has turned down the invitation to visit Pakistan for inauguration of the North-South Pipeline Project with Moscow emphasising that there was not enough substance in this trip.

This comes as the recent bonhomie between both sides has not lasted long despite Pakistan’s plans to buy armament, including aircraft from Russia, and signing of a number of bilateral agreements and setting up of the high-level consultative mechanism between Islamabad and Moscow Strategic Dialogue between their respective Foreign Ministers, Joint Working Group on counter-terrorism.

Read more » DNA
See more » http://www.dnaindia.com/world/report-russia-s-vladimir-putin-rejects-invitation-to-visit-pakistan-2207359

US lawmakers question Pakistan’s policies

WASHINGTON: Several members of the US Congress launched on Wednesday a multi-pronged attack on Pakistan, questioning its policies and priorities.

Taliban

Pakistan had to bear this humiliation for the $742 million that the Obama administration has proposed for the country in the next fiscal year. The lawmakers suggested using this money somewhere else.

Two US officials, Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan Richard Olson and US Agency for International Development’s Donald Sampler, made feeble attempts to defend the proposed aid but they could not match the angry legislators.

Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, who chaired the hearing of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, set the tone, with a frontal attack on Pakistan.

“The Taliban operate freely because Pakistan refuses to take action against them inside its borders,” she said while calling Pakistan “a direct contributor to the Taliban success”.

“It makes little sense to continue giving Pakistan billions of dollars if it’s going to continue to work against our interests,” she said, urging the US administration to “leverage our aid” to make Pakistan “a better regional partner with Afghanistan”.

Read more » DAWN
See more » https://www.dawn.com/news/1255150

US congress blocking funds for F-16 purchase: report

Jf thunderBY DAWN.COM

WASHINGTON: The United States (US) administration is withholding funds earmarked for Pakistan’s purchase of eight F-16 fighter jets, BBC Urdu reported, citing an unnamed senior US State Department official.

The State Department official told BBC Urdu on condition of anonymity that the Obama administration is still willing to sell the fighter jets to Pakistan, but will not contribute US funds towards the deal.

The US administration took this step with directions from US Senate Committee on Foreign Relations Chairman Bob Corker because only Congress has the authority to dispense or withhold the funds, the official said.

As a result of this move, Pakistan may have to foot the bill of $700 million for the eight fighter jets.

As per the earlier arrangement, Pakistan would have paid $270 million while the US would grant the remaining $430 million for the purchase.

The $742 million earmarked for American military aid to Pakistan in the 2016-2017 budget has also been put on hold, but may be released if Congress changes its mind, the State Department official said, adding that the Obama administration is working with Congress in this regard.

Read more » DAWN
See more » https://www.dawn.com/news/1255209

 

Donald Trump hints at taking India’s help in dealing with `unstable` Pakistan

By Zee Media Bureau

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Washington: At a time when top US lawmakers have expressed concerns over the Obama Administration’s decision to sell eight F-16 fighter jets to Pakistan, Republican presidential front runner Donald Trump has hinted at seeking help from India to address the “problem” of a “semi-unstable” nuclear-armed Pakistan.

During a town-hall in Indianapolis on Wednesday, Trump was asked by an interviewer: “We’ve given them (Pakistan) money and they’ve double dealt us.”

To this, Trump replied: “Yes, but the problem with Pakistan, where they have nuclear weapons — which is a real problem.”

“The single biggest problem we have is nuclear weapons, you know, countries with them. And it’s not only a country, you have nine countries right now with nuclear weapons.”

“But Pakistan is semi-unstable. We don’t want to see total instability. It’s not that much, relatively speaking. We have a little bit of a good relationship. I think I’d try and keep it,” said Trump.

“It is very much against my grain to say that, but a country — and that’s always the country, I think, you know, we give them money and we help them out, but if we don’t, I think that would go on the other side of the ledger and that could really be a disaster,” Trump said, without explaining what that disaster would be.

“At the same time, if you look at India and some of the others, maybe they’ll be helping us out, because we’re going to look at it. We have many, many countries that we give a lot of money to and we get absolutely nothing in return and that’s going to stop fast,” Trump said.

Read more » Zee News
See more » http://zeenews.india.com/news/india/us-to-take-indias-help-on-unstable-pakistans-nukes-donald-trump-hints-so_1880417.html

Govt. of Pakistan bans screening of Pakistani film ‘Maalik’ across Pakistan

Govt bans screening of film ‘Maalik’ across Pakistan

Maalik

KARACHI: The federal government on Wednesday declared ‘uncertified’ the recently released feature film “Maalik”, effectively placing a ban on screening of the movie anywhere in Pakistan.

“In exercise of the powers conferred by Section 9 of the motion Pictures Ordinance, 1979, the federal Government is pleased to declare Urdu feature “Maalik” in respect of which a Censor Certificate No.54/M-I/2016 has earlier been granted, as uncertified film in the whole of Pakistan with immediate effect,” said a notification from the Ministry of Information, Broadcasting and National Heritage.

The notification, issued by the Ministry’s Information and Broadcasting division and signed by Deputy Secretary Muhammad Rafiq, did not state any reason for the ban.

Read more » GEO
See more » https://www.geo.tv/latest/104733-Govt-bans-screening-of-film-Maalik-across-Pakistan

In fact: Why Pakistan Army is targeting the ‘Robin Hoods’ of Indus

Operations will allow the projection of military power in the countryside, creating an axis of patronage that, the generals believe, will slowly undermine the PML-N.

army

Written by Praveen Swami

Time has covered over the story with dust, but this fact is clear: one night in 1983, Pakistani police brought Muhammad Parial Chandio to the Shah Panjo railway station, an inconsequential stop along the line from Karachi to Quetta, in Sindh’s gritty Dado district. There, the police put a bullet through his head. His brothers, Ali Gaugar Chandio and Ali Gauhar Chandio, also died in shootouts with the police — just deserts, some newspaper reports from the time seemed to suggest, for the bandits who had killed hundreds.

But in the days after his death, thousands of mourners arrived at the grave of Paru Chandio — the affectionate name by which the bandit was known — bearing handwoven ajrak shawls to pay their respects. His life would be made into a Sindhi movie, starring top actor Mansoor Baloch, in which Paru Chandio appears as a benefactor of the poor, and a protector of their honour against the landlord.

Now, Pakistan’s army is chasing after Paru Chandio’s heirs: the bandits of the badlands along the Indus Valley, running from southern Punjab into northern Sindh — a bizarre operation involving helicopter gunships, that can only be likened to using a sledgehammer to swat mosquitoes.

What has happened to necessitate this extraordinary expedition — unprecedented since the days of Mughal expeditions against bandits preying on their supply lines? The answers lie in part in politics — but also go to the heart of the kind of order that Pakistan Army chief General Raheel Sharif is trying to bequeath to his nation.

Last week, the army got its man — Ghulam Rasool, known by the affectionate and improbable alias ‘Chhotu’ — but vowed to stay on until the dozens of other gangs operating in the Indus were eliminated. It is, Pakistan’s generals ought to know, a Sisyphean enterprise: they’ve been here before, and failed. In the late 1980s, the bandits of the Indus emerged stronger than ever before — a little-noticed early blowback of Pakistan’s state sponsorship of jihadists in Afghanistan and India.

***

In the sole photograph of his that survives, Paru Chandio, his face adorned with a pink cap and a ferocious moustache, carries only a simple bolt-action rifle. His successors, the scholar Imdad Husain Sahito has recorded, were empowered by the easy availability of the Kalashnikov, as well as rocket launchers, supplied in epic numbers to the Afghan jihadists by the ISI.

The bandits, Sahito has noted, got modern weapons long before the police, supplied by traffickers, Afghan refugees, and corrupt security forces personnel — particularly in Balochistan, where many of the gangs had ethnic links.

In 1987, a former officer in Pakistan’s élite Special Services Group, Tahir ‘Dino’ Naqash, set up a gang supplying modern military training to bandits. Several other former military personnel who followed him even ran factories to repair weapons and store ordnance, contemporary accounts suggest.

From 1984 to 1994, Sindh alone saw 11,436 officially-recorded kidnappings for ransom, as well as 1,337 killings. The gangs also operated the equivalent of a rural protection racket, demanding payoffs from the region’s notorious Wadera landlords, and cutting down their mango and lemon orchards should they not cooperate.

Like all entrepreneurs of violence, the bandits established their authority through terror. In one infamous case, the bandit gang of Qabil Chacher raided the village of Yoonis Kosh and shot dead 18 members of a family, including six children, to avenge his brother’s murder.

Read more » The Indian Express
See more » http://indianexpress.com/article/explained/ghulam-rasool-why-pakistan-army-is-targeting-the-robin-hoods-of-indus-2770203/

 

Sanders Fever Sweeps The Green

Berniemania Sweeps The Green

by

The largest political crowd in decades filled the Green Sunday night as Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders brought his income-inequality message to New Haven with an Elm City twist: contrasting Yale’s $25.57 billion endowment with the struggles of young people in the city’s most impoverished neighborhoods.

“Many of our people are not working one job or two jobs, they’re working three jobs,” said the Vermont U.S. senator,  who has waged a vigorous challenge to frontrunner for the Democratic presidential nomination Hillary Clinton. The two square off in Connecticut’s primary on Tuesday.

Estimates of Sunday night’s crowd ran as high as 14,000 — apparently the largest crowd for a political event on the Green since the 1970 Mayday protests on behalf of the Black Panthers on trial for murder in New Haven.

“This is a lot of people. Thank you New Haven!” Sanders said in taking the stage.

He spoke of his candidacy as “a revolution that will not just elect a president” but will “transform the United States.”

Read more » New Haven Independent
See more »  http://www.newhavenindependent.org/index.php/archives/entry/bernie_sanders_new_haven_rally/

US asks Pakistan to take concrete action against Haqqanis

WASHINGTON: The US State Depart­ment has publicly acknowledged that after last week’s massive car bombing in Kabul it asked Pakistan to take concrete action against the Haqqani network.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack outside a building of the National Directorate for Security in Kabul on Tuesday that killed 64 people and injured more than 300 others.

Read more » DAWN
See more » http://www.dawn.com/news/1254051/us-asks-pakistan-to-take-concrete-action-against-haqqanis

Pakistan’s former army chief Musharraf got Rs20m on retirement, bought Rs400m flats in London, UAE

Musharraf got Rs20m on retirement, bought Rs400m flats in London, UAE

musharraf2
Former Pakistan Army chief, Musharraf

By Ahmad Noorani

Islamabad Election Tribunal disqualified Musharraf for  discrepancy in assets

ISLAMABAD: Official land registry documents of the UK government show that Pervez Musharraf had made a payment of 1.35 million British pound (Approx 20 Caror Pak rupees) for purchase a flat in London on May 13, 2009. Another flat in UAE approximately with same monetary value was purchased by him in the same duration, whereas total financial benefits given to him following his retirement as army chief were less than Rs20 million (2 carore rupees).

Official documents submitted by Musharraf before Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) before contesting 2013 general elections, available with The News, show that he has not sold out any of residential or commercial plots or a farm house he obtained during his army service. The two squares (50 acres) agriculture land in Bahawalpur allotted to him because of his army service was sold out by him in 2002.

General Musharraf had left Pakistan in April 2009 after restoration of judiciary and had not started his international lectures by that time when on May 13, 2009 he purchased Hyde Park Crescent, London flat by paying 1.35 million pounds. His statement of assets submitted to ECP shows his following two foreign immoveable properties; 1- 28, Castle Acre, Hyde Park Crescent, London, 2- 3902, South Ridge Tower 6 Downtown, Dubai, UAE. UAE flat was also purchased by the general in the same duration and the according to property experts, its value was more than 20 caror Pak rupees at time of purchase.

Land registry documents of London flat show that Flat 28, Castle Acre, Hyde Park Crescent, London (Postcode: W2 2PT) has Land Registry Number: NGL906437, owned by Sehba Musharraf and payment of £1,350,000 was made on 13 May 2009 to acquire this flat.

Official documents show that National Accountability Bureau has all these details but it still has to move to start proper investigation against the ex-dictator. The payments made by Musharraf in a few months after leaving Pakistan in 2009 are around Rs400 million to purchase properties in London and UAE before starting his international lectures and without selling any of his residential plots, houses, commercial properties and a farm house. This is an issue pending with NAB along with all documentary evidence for long. According to reported fact, Musharraf started receiving income from his international lectures in 2010.

Read more » The News
See more » http://www.thenews.com.pk/print/114757-Musharraf-got-Rs20m-on-retirement-bought-Rs400m-flats-in-London-UAE

 

Pakistan – ‘Retired generals sold ETPB land illegally’

corruptionLAHORE: Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB) Chairman Siddiqul Farooq says that board owns no commercial property in Balochistan, as its all land in the province had been sold by its two former heads, who also were retired military generals, during the Musharraf rule.

He told Dawn the two retired military generals had declared the land as “unmanageable” during their tenures.

“In Balochistan, the ETPB had the commercial property worth billions on Jinnah Road in Quetta which was sold during the regimes of two retired generals,” he said.

“Their act caused a huge financial loss to the ETPB.”

He said it was shocking to know that trust’s commercial property had been sold illegally by declaring it “unmanageable”.

“You know the rates of commercial property in Quetta: Rs250,000 per squre feet.”

Read more » DAWN
See more  » http://www.dawn.com/news/1253863

What Egypt’s Handover of the Red Sea Islands to Saudi Arabia Means for Israel

Egypt made an excellent deal: It receives an outstanding economic lifeline in exchange for territories that it does not even own. However, this rescue line is also a knotted rope that turns Egypt into a Saudi satellite state.

By Zvi Bar’el

The maritime border demarcation agreement signed two days ago between Egypt and Saudi Arabia, authorizing the return of Tiran and Sanafir islands to the kingdom, aroused — as expected — a political storm in Egypt and concern in Israel.
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sissi’s rivals, among them the Muslim Brotherhood, the April 6 protest movement and leftist representatives, assert that he lacks constitutional authority to cede any Egyptian territory, and if he does want to do so, he has to submit a request for parliamentary approval. Sissi and his government reject this claim, explaining that the two islands are sovereign Saudi territory and that they were leased to Egypt in 1950 to “strengthen the defense of Egypt and Saudi Arabia from Zionist aggression.”
Officially, Egypt and Saudi Arabia are correct. According to the correspondence between the late Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal and Egyptian Prime Minister Atef Sedki in the 1980s, President Hosni Mubarak asked Saudi Arabia not to raise the issue of the islands’ ownership until Israel completed its withdrawal from Egyptian territory as per the Camp David Accords. The fear was that bringing up the issue of sovereignty would cause Israel to refrain from discussing withdrawal from Taba by arguing that Israel’s earlier withdrawal from Tiran and Sanafir didn’t need to be part of the Camp David Accords, since they were Saudi territory.

Learn more » Haaretz
See more » http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-1.713919

Read more: http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-1.713919

Taliban claims assassination of Pakistani minority MPA Sardar Soran Singh in Buner

TTP claims assassination of PTI minority MPA in Buner

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Sardar Soran Singh

SWAT: Sardar Soran Singh, special assistant to chief minister KP on minorities’ affairs and an MPA, was gunned down in a targeted attack near Pir Baba in Buner district on Friday.

“Gunmen riding on two motorbikes came in front of the car and started indiscriminate firing which killed the minister on the spot,” Khalid Hamadani, district police chief told AFP.

He was shifted to the hospital immediately after the incident, where he succumbed to his wounds.

“Soran Singh was shot in the head and eye,” Pir Baba SHO Mir Ghazab confirmed.

Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) has claimed responsibility for the assassination.

Soran Singh belonged to the Sikh community

Read more » DAWN
See more » http://www.dawn.com/news/1253730

The Fourth Industrial Revolution: what it means, how to respond

Written by Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman, World Economic Forum

We stand on the brink of a technological revolution that will fundamentally alter the way we live, work, and relate to one another. In its scale, scope, and complexity, the transformation will be unlike anything humankind has experienced before. We do not yet know just how it will unfold, but one thing is clear: the response to it must be integrated and comprehensive, involving all stakeholders of the global polity, from the public and private sectors to academia and civil society.

The First Industrial Revolution used water and steam power to mechanize production. The Second used electric power to create mass production. The Third used electronics and information technology to automate production. Now a Fourth Industrial Revolution is building on the Third, the digital revolution that has been occurring since the middle of the last century. It is characterized by a fusion of technologies that is blurring the lines between the physical, digital, and biological spheres.

There are three reasons why today’s transformations represent not merely a prolongation of the Third Industrial Revolution but rather the arrival of a Fourth and distinct one: velocity, scope, and systems impact. The speed of current breakthroughs has no historical precedent. When compared with previous industrial revolutions, the Fourth is evolving at an exponential rather than a linear pace. Moreover, it is disrupting almost every industry in every country. And the breadth and depth of these changes herald the transformation of entire systems of production, management, and governance.

The possibilities of billions of people connected by mobile devices, with unprecedented processing power, storage capacity, and access to knowledge, are unlimited. And these possibilities will be multiplied by emerging technology breakthroughs in fields such as artificial intelligence, robotics, the Internet of Things, autonomous vehicles, 3-D printing, nanotechnology, biotechnology, materials science, energy storage, and quantum computing.

Read more » World Economic Forum
See more » https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2016/01/the-fourth-industrial-revolution-what-it-means-and-how-to-respond

2 generals among 11 Pak-Army officers terminated over corruption

Raheel SharifRAWALPINDI:  In one of rarest incident in the history of Pakistan, Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif has terminated the service of 11 high ranking officers over corruption charges.

The most prominent among the terminated officers is former Inspector General Frontier Constabulary Lt Gen Ubaidaullah Khattak.

Others include Major General Ijaz Shahid, five brigadiers, three colonels and one major.

The sacked officers are asked to deposit the embezzled money. All perks and privileges are withdrawn.

The development comes a day after the army chief said “across the board accountability is necessary for the solidarity, integrity and prosperity of Pakistan”.

On Tuesday, the army chief had said that the war against terror cannot be won unless “the menace of corruption is uprooted.”

News courtesy: Online Indus
Read more » http://www.onlineindus.com/2-generals-among-11-pak-army-officers-terminated-over-corruption/

12 high ranking Army officers sacked over corruption charges

raheelRAWALPINDI: At least 12 high ranking senior Pakistan Army officers have been dismissed from their services after internal inquiry found them involved in corruption.

The officers included Lieutenant General Obaidullah Khattak, Major General Ejaz. Others include five Brigadiers, one Colonel, three Lt-Colonels and a Major.

According to sources in the military, the internal inquiry was being conducted within the Army for more than one year.

The officers served in the Frontier Corps (FC) in Balochistan.

Also Read: General Raheel calls for across the board accountability

Other names in the list of sacked officers include Brigadier Haider, Brigadier Asad, Brigadier Amir, Colonel Haider, and Major Najeeb.

According to sources in the military, the internal inquiry was being conducted within the Army for more than one year.

Sources, the senior officers have been stripped of their ranks, and perks and privileges they were entitled to. The officers will only continue receive their pensions and medical facilities.

There has been no official announcement as yet from the military in this regard.

News courtesy: The News
See more » http://www.thenews.com.pk/latest/114324-11-high-rank-Army-officers-sacked-over-corruption-charges
– – – – –

Read more » BBC urdu
Learn more »  http://www.bbc.com/urdu/pakistan/2016/04/160421_army_corruption_dismissed_sh

Karnataka, India: 14 Lakh Farmers Are Selling Their Products Online And Thus No Middle Men

Farmers in Karnataka have adopted the digital platform in selling their produce. They go online, check out the quotes of the traders and seal the deal that suits them best and also receive the payments online. This facility has gained quite popularity now and other states like Andhra Pradesh has also come forward to adopt it.

farmer-online-selling-750x500

Unified Marketing platform (UMP), a state government initiative launched in 2014 by the Rashtriya e-Market Services (ReMS), provide the farmers an opportunity to interact with the traders online. Thus, they can directly deal with the traders and have the right to reject if the quoted prices are not satisfactory for them.

This facility completely rules out the middlemen, who take away a big share from the farmers’ profit by buying their produce at minimum cost.

Through UMP, farmers now receive SMS alerts from their banks when transactions with traders have been confirmed.

Read more  » THE LOGICAL INDIAN
See more » http://thelogicalindian.com/news/karnataka-14-lakh-farmers-are-selling-their-products-online-and-thus-no-middle-men/

Can Pakistan’s F-16s fight terror?

Pervez Hoodbhoy
The author teaches physics in Lahore and Islamabad.

Religiously motivated terrorism threatens Pakis­tan’s existence. We have entered a state of permanent conflict where victory may not be possible even in 100 years. Drones or F-16s are not a solution.

By PERVEZ HOODBHOY

Pakistan says it desperately wants Lockheed-Martin Block-V F-16 fighter-bombers at $87 million apiece for fighting terrorists in tribal badlands such as North Waziristan. An order for eight jets has already been placed. The US Senate is sympathetic; a move to ban the sale was massively rejected by majority vote. Lockheed-Martin, which peddles its deadly wares to all who can pay, has already sold 4,500 F-16s to 25 countries. It must be pleased at this small, but tidy, deal of $700m.

But thoughtful Pakistanis should be worried. Wag­ing an aerial war against your own population is not a good idea. Even if you have to, shouldn’t much cheaper weaponised drones be preferred over advanced fighter aircraft whose real job is to shoot down other planes? A drone, technically known as UAV, is far more precise than any fighter because it can loiter undetected over a target, capture and collect information better, and reduce — though never eliminate — damage to innocents. India is currently negotiating with the US for buying 40 Predator drones.

Read more » DAWN
See more » http://www.dawn.com/news/1252330/

Gabriel García Márquez Quotes: 20 Sayings From Late Nobel Laureate To Celebrate His Legacy

By

Excerpt:

Here are 10 quotes from his work to remember Gabriel García Márquez by:

1. “There is always something left to love.” — “One Hundred Years of Solitude”

2. “He was still too young to know that the heart’s memory eliminates the bad and magnifies the good, and that thanks to this artifice we manage to endure the burden of the past.” —  “Love in the Time of Cholera”

3. “The adolescents of my generation, greedy for life, forgot in body and soul about their hopes for the future until reality taught them that tomorrow was not what they had dreamed, and they discovered nostalgia.” — “Memories of My Melancholy Whores”

4. “You can’t eat hope,’ the woman said. You can’t eat it, but it sustains you,’ the colonel replied.” —  “El Coronel no tiene quien le escriba”

5. “He allowed himself to be swayed by his conviction that human beings are not born once and for all on the day their mothers give birth to them, but that life obliges them over and over again to give birth to themselves.” —  “Love in the Time of Cholera”

6. “It’s enough for me to be sure that you and I exist at this moment.” — “One Hundred Years of Solitude”

7. “They were so close to each other that they preferred death to separation.” — “One Hundred Years of Solitude”

8. “Be calm. God awaits you at the door.” —  “Love in the Time of Cholera”

9. “Disbelief is more resistant than faith because it is sustained by the senses.” — “Of Love and Other Demons”

10. “Humanity, like armies in the field, advances at the speed of the slowest.” —  “Love in the Time of Cholera”

Continue reading Gabriel García Márquez Quotes: 20 Sayings From Late Nobel Laureate To Celebrate His Legacy

A Message to Humanity: Charlie Chaplin’s Iconic Speech, Remixed

“We want to live by each other’s happiness, not by each other’s misery.”

BY MARIA POPOVA

From the same remix artist who brought us yesterday’s Alan Watts meditation on the meaningful life comes “A Message for all of Humanity” — a stirring mashup of Charlie Chaplin’s famous speech from The Great Dictator and scenes of humanity’s most tragic and most hopeful moments in recent history, spanning everything from space exploration to the Occupy protests, with an appropriately epic score by Hans Zimmer.

Read more » BrainPickings
See more » https://www.brainpickings.org/2012/10/11/a-message-for-mankind-charlie-chaplin-great-dictator/

Three-day Hyderabad literature festival begins

amarjalil
Amar Jalil

HYDERABAD: Prominent intellectual and writer Amar Jalil has blamed Sindhis for the deterioration of education in the province and said nobody has compelled them to close down their schools but they themselves have snatched the right to education from their children and youths.

The scholar was among a bevy of writers, poets and intellectuals who spoke at the inauguration ceremony for the three-day Hyderabad Literature Festival organised by the Academy for the Promotion of Art, Literature and Literacy at the Hyderabad Club on Friday.

Mr Jalil said that hundreds of thousands of schools were closed in Sindh and their buildings were handed over to feudal lords to appease them.

He said that school-going children were being destroyed under the heavy burden of bags. He had seen three generations of Sindh who were not educated the way today’s children were getting education, he said.

Read more » DAWN
See more » http://www.dawn.com/news/1252408

Saudi Arabia Warns of Economic Fallout if Congress Passes 9/11 Bill

senatorobamaBy

WASHINGTON — Saudi Arabia has told the Obama administration and members of Congress that it will sell off hundreds of billions of dollars’ worth of American assets held by the kingdom if Congress passes a bill that would allow the Saudi government to be held responsible in American courts for any role in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

The Obama administration has lobbied Congress to block the bill’s passage, according to administration officials and congressional aides from both parties, and the Saudi threats have been the subject of intense discussions in recent weeks between lawmakers and officials from the State Department and the Pentagon. The officials have warned senators of diplomatic and economic fallout from the legislation.

Adel al-Jubeir, the Saudi foreign minister, delivered the kingdom’s message personally last month during a trip to Washington, telling lawmakers that Saudi Arabia would be forced to sell up to $750 billion in treasury securities and other assets in the United States before they could be in danger of being frozen by American courts.

Several outside economists are skeptical that the Saudis will follow through, saying that such a sell-off would be difficult to execute and would end up crippling the kingdom’s economy. But the threat is another sign of the escalating tensions between Saudi Arabia and the United States.

Read more » The New York Times
See more » http://www.nytimes.com/2016/04/16/world/middleeast/saudi-arabia-warns-ofeconomic-fallout-if-congress-passes-9-11-bill.html?smid=fb-share&_r=0

‘No, Mr. Obama, We Are Not the Free Riders’

saudiPresident Obama’s use of the term “free riders” in Jeffrey Goldberg’s cover storyto describe some U.S. allies has prompted a sharp response from Turki al-Faisal, a senior Saudi prince who previously served as his country’s ambassador to Washington.

In an open letter to the president in the Arab News newspaper, Turki lists what he says are Saudi Arabia’s contributions to its relationship with the U.S. They include, among other things, intelligence sharing, the creation of the Arab anti-ISIS coalition, his country’s role in Syria and its military intervention in Yemen, the thousands of Saudi students at U.S. universities, and the purchase of U.S. treasury bonds.

Turki does not hold an official position in the Saudi leadership, and his remarks, published only in English, suggest his intended audience was Western, specifically American. But Turki is a longtime insider and his views are likely to be shared by many in the Saudi foreign-policy establishment, as well as his fellow princes.

The reaction is the strongest yet to be delivered publicly by the Saudis following publication of Goldberg’s article, “The Obama Doctrine.”

Read more » The Atlantic
See more » http://www.theatlantic.com/notes/2016/03/saudi-obama-free-riders/473643/

A poem by Hafiz, the Sufi Poet:

Sofi

Light will someday split you open
Even if your life is now a cage.

Little by little, You will turn into stars.
Little by little, You will turn into
The Whole sweet amorous universe.

Love will surely burst you wide open
Into an unfettered, booming new galaxy.

You will become so free
In a wonderful, secret
And pure love that flows
From a conscious, one-pointed, Infinite light.

Even then, my dear, the Beloved will have fulfilled
Just a fraction, Just a fraction!!!
Of a promise He wrote upon your heart.

For a Divine seed, the crown of Destiny,
Is hidden and sown on an ancient, fertile plain
You hold the title to!!!

O look again within yourself,
For I know you were once the elegant host
To all the marvels in creation.

When your soul begins
To ever bloom and laugh
And spin in Eternal Ecstasy –

O little by little, You will turn into God…

Courtesy: Social media

Pakistani gang kills six policemen, takes 24 hostages

By REUTER

By Mubasher Bukhari

LAHORE, April 14 (Reuters) – Pakistani gangsters on Thursday killed six policemen and took hostage 24 people, including police, during a raid to clear an island hideout in the south of prosperous Punjab province, authorities said.

The operation to flush out the gangsters entered its ninth day as 1,600 security officials, including police officials and paramilitary Rangers, battled for control of the island in Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s power base of Punjab.

Read more » DailyMail.Co.UK
See more » http://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/reuters/article-3539607/Pakistani-gang-kills-six-policemen-takes-24-hostages.html

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