Iran, India, Afghanistan sign transit accord on Chabahar port

TEHRAN: Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani on Monday signed a three-way transit agreement on Iran’s southern port of Chabahar.

India said it will invest up to $500 million in a deal to develop a strategic port in Iran and both countries planned a number of projects they say are worth hundreds of millions of dollars.

“Today is an important and historical day of development of relations between the three countries,” Rouhani said in a televised speech, seated between the two other leaders.

“From Tehran, New Delhi and Kabul, this is a crucial message … that the path to progress for regional countries goes through joint cooperation and utilising regional opportunities.”

Modi said: “We want to link to the world, but connectivity among ourselves is also a priority.”

Read more » DAWN
See more » http://www.dawn.com/news/1260176

The Hit on the Taliban Leader Sent a Signal to Pakistan

Mullah Mansour was Pakistan’s man picked to lead the Afghan Taliban, and he was killed on Pakistani soil. Is this the beginning of a new U.S. strategy?

By Bruce Riedel

The death of Afghan Taliban leader Mullah Mansour in an American drone strike is a significant but not fatal blow to both the Taliban and their Pakistani Army patrons.  

The critical question Afghans and Pakistanis are asking is whether this is a one-off or the beginning of a more aggressive American approach to fighting the war in Afghanistan.

Mullah Mansour became the Taliban’s leader last year after it was revealed his predecessor, Mullah Omar, the founder of the Taliban, had been dead for two years from unknown causes.

Mullah Omar’s death in a Pakistani hospital in Karachi had been covered up for two years by the Pakistani Army’s intelligence service, the Inter Services Intelligence Directorate or ISI, and the cover-up allowed the ISI to manipulate the Taliban very effectively behind the scene.  Mullah Mansour was the ISI’s handpicked successor. 

 

 

House of Representatives votes to block $450 million US aid to Pakistan

USBy PTI

WASHINGTON: Ignoring objections of the White House, the Republican majority House of Representatives has approved the National Defense Authorisation Act which blocks $450 million aid to Pakistan for failing to take action against the dreaded Haqqani network.

The NDAA 2017 (H R 4909) was passed by the US House of Representative (277-147) on Wednesday night, which among others included approval of three major amendments reflecting the strong anti-Pak sentiment prevailing among the US lawmakers.

As a result, as per the House version of the Bill, the Obama administration must certify that Pakistan has met before releasing $450 million in aid.

Read more » The Times of India
See more » http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/us/House-of-Representatives-votes-to-block-450-million-US-aid-to-Pakistan/articleshow/52357890.cms

The Forgotten Story Of Allah Bux Soomro, India’s Hero Who Strongly Opposed The ‘2 Nation’ Theory

by Nishant Raj

The name Allah Bux has for long been mistreated on both sides of the border. Allah Bux Soomro, the man who stood for righteousness and advocated secularism, still remains an unsung hero. The prime minister of Sindh during the Quit India Movement of 1942 and the founder of the Ittehad Party, he was one of the first people to vehemently oppose the two-nation theory.

Read more » ScoopWhoop
See more » http://www.scoopwhoop.com/The-Story-Of-Allah-Bux-Soomro/

Time to Put the Squeeze on Pakistan

Nearly 15 years after 9/11, the war in Afghanistan is raging and Pakistandeserves much of the blame. It remains a duplicitous and dangerous partner for the United States and Afghanistan, despite $33 billion in American aid and repeated attempts to reset relations on a more constructive course.

In coming weeks, Gen. John Nicholson Jr., the new American commander in Afghanistan, will present his assessment of the war. It’s likely to be bleak and may question the wisdom of President Obama’s goal of cutting the American force of 10,000 troops to 5,500 by the end of the year. The truth is, regardless of troop levels, the only hope for long-term peace is negotiations with some factions of the Taliban. The key to that is Pakistan.

Pakistan’s powerful army and intelligence services have for years given support to the Taliban and the Haqqani terrorist network and relied on them to protect Pakistani interests in Afghanistan and prevent India from increasing its influence there. Under American pressure, the Pakistan Army recently waged a military campaign against the Taliban in the ungoverned border region. But the Haqqanis still operate in relative safety in Pakistan. Some experts say the army has helped engineer the integration of the Haqqanis into the Taliban leadership.

Pakistan’s double game has long frustrated American officials, and it has grown worse. There are now efforts in Washington to exert more pressure on the Pakistan Army. Senator Bob Corker, Republican of Tennessee, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, has wisely barred the use of American aid to underwrite Pakistan’s purchase of eight F-16 jet fighters. Pakistan will still be allowed to purchase the planes, but at a cost of $700 million instead of about $380 million.

Read more » The New York Times
See more » http://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/12/opinion/time-to-put-the-squeeze-on-pakistan.html?_r=0

How India changed the English language

For hundreds of years, words have flowed along the routes of trade and empire. Rahul Verma follows some of their remarkable journeys.

They are in there, often unnoticed. The words that have become part of everyday English. Loot, nirvana, pyjamas, shampoo and shawl; bungalow, jungle, pundit and thug.

What are the roots, and routes, of these Indian words? How and when did they travel and what do their journeys into British vernacular – and then the Oxford English Dictionary – tell us about the relationship between Britain and India?

Read more » BBC
See more » http://www.bbc.com/culture/story/20150619-how-india-changed-english?ocid=ww.social.link.facebook

Dalits’ dream of Pakistan

BY TAHIR MEHDI

A group of Pakistani Dalits in Mirpurkhas gathered at their town hall recently. They vowed to initiate a movement to assert their distinct political identity, and fight for their communities’ rights.

The word ‘dalit’ literally means ‘oppressed people’; it has been in use since the 19th century to describe communities that fall outside of the four-caste Hindu hierarchy. These ‘outcastes’ or ‘untouchables’ have been subject to horrendous discrimination, in all spheres of life, for at least the past 2,000 years.

Read more » DAWN
See more » http://www.dawn.com/news/1257165

Dalit
First Dalit Assembly held in Hydeabad, Sindh, Pakistan. Photo credits: Social media.

Hyderabad, Sindh: First ever Dalit Assembly in Sindh held at khanabadosh on 7th of May 2016. The representative of Kolhi, Meghawal, Bheel,SOLANGI, Gurgla, Bagri, Shikari Kabotra along with few Bàloch , Soomra, and Mahesar who count themselves as Dalit which stand for oppressed and broken. The participation was overwhelming and more thn 100 participants came from Nager Parker to Shikarpur and Rahimyaar khan were enthusiastic to stand for their Dalit identity to assert their political space.

Courtesy: adopted from Social media + Facebook.

SHAH ABDUL LATIF BHITAI – Poet of profound inspiration

shahlatif
شاھ عبدالطیف کی صوفی شاعری عشق، امن، انسانیت، بھائی چارے، حب الوطنی اور برداشت کا پیغام ھے
Shah Abdul Llatif Bhittai ki shairee na sirf Sindhi adab aur Sindhiyon bulkay puri duniya kay awam ka adab aur qeemati asasa hai -Photo credits- APP

By Sada Hayat Jalbani

Through out centuries and millennia, poets and prophets have preached love, as it is the strongest binding force in the universe. Shah Abdul Latif of Bhit Shah, Sindh, belongs to this galaxy of the great. His ancestors came to this beautiful part of the world from Herat, a city in the northern Afghanistan near the Iran border. His great grandfather Shah Abdul Karim of Bulri and his father Shah Habib, too, were poets of tremendous repute.
Shah Abdul Latif was born in 1689, about 73 years after the death of Shakespeare. The similarity between the two supreme poets of the world is that both had nothing behind them except their natural genius. It is rightly said that poets are born, not made.

Read more » TheDailyStar
See more » http://www.thedailystar.net/news/poet-of-profound-inspiration

On 14 May 2016, we have organised a seminar in the memory of Shaheed Allah Bux Soomro. Premier of Sindh during British era. A man of vision, messenger of Interfaith Harmony great patriotic of the Asian subcontinent and above all his love for his motherland Sindh and Humanity. He sacrificed his life but did not compromise with exploiters who exploited religion for their personal interests.
His speech in Delhi in 1940 is a proof of his moderate, liberal and visionary opinion.

Allahbux

You are cordially invited. Venue: Arts Council Karachi, Sindh. Date: Saturday 14 May, 2016; Time: 4.30 p.m

Friends of Sindhu Civilization

The Indus raga: From Bulleh Ki Jana Mein Kon to Tarrin Paunda

BY NADEEM F. PARACHA

The Indus is one of the oldest and longest rivers in Asia. Though it originated in the Tibetan Plateau in China, much of it flows across Pakistan.

Over the centuries, a wide variety of cultures, languages and religions have sprung up on both sides of the Indus.

Five thousand years from the moment the first major civilisation emerged along the Indus, till the creation of Pakistan in 1947, various religions and cultures have thrived here: Animism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism and Islam. Each of these religions were indigenised.

Even though Islam has become the major faith along the Indus in the last 500 years, the dynamic history of the region has kept cultures largely heterogeneous and varied. A commonality was not attempted on the basis of a homogenous or monolithic idea of faith and culture here.

Rather those preaching Islam in the region — especially from the 12th century onward — absorbed existing cultural traditions that had evolved for thousands of years along the river, and, in turn, expressed them through the more esoteric strands of Islam (Sufism).

Historically, the strand of Sufism which emerged on the banks of Indus (especially in Punjab and all the way across Sindh), consciously eschewed religious orthodoxy and, at times, even rebelled against it.

The poetry and music that emerged from Sufi circles along the river is therefore largely a result of the theological, political and social tensions between Sufis and the orthodox ulema and clerics.

This is still the case, as we shall see while reviewing a series of songs related to the historical Sufi tradition along the Indus.

Read more » DAWN
See more » http://www.dawn.com/news/1253300/the-indus-raga-from-bulleh-ki-jana-mein-kon-to-tarrin-paunda

What I Learned Having Sex as a Young Woman in Pakistan

By Zahra Haider

Pakistan is an Islamic Republic with the highest porn-watching population in the world. That statement in and of itself signifies a particular aspect about Pakistani culture: we are horny and desperate for sex, but God forbid we actually engage in it. Sex in Pakistan is considered a taboo topic. Men generally aren’t judged for it in our patriarchal society but if a woman from a middle-class family or underprivileged background is caught having premarital sex, serious shit goes down.

Women from poorer backgrounds could be victims of various forms of premarital punishment. Punishing women for premarital sex started with former President Zia-ul-Haq’s dictatorship or “Islamization,” which incorporated Zina (stoning to death), andHudood (punishments such as whipping, amputation, honor killing) into Pakistani law. His government dismissed women’s rape accusations, instead labelling them as fornicators and sending them to jail. These draconian forms of punishment are slowly dying out, but still linger in the mentalities of fundamentalists, imams, and police officers. Shariah Law can also be blamed for many gender discriminatory policies in Muslim societies, such as the lack of support for freedom of speech, women’s rights, and, ultimately, human rights.

Even though I had engaged in sexual relations with almost a dozen people before coming to Canada for college in 2012, it wasn’t something I was open about, and looking back I realize my sexuality was still pretty deeply repressed. Due to all these restrictions on us during the horniest years of our lives, in statistically the horniest country (see the above porn stats) in the world, we were forced to get creative during post-pubescent adolescence.

Read more » Vice
See more » http://www.vice.com/read/what-i-learned-having-sex-as-a-young-woman-in-pakistan

What is the original script of the Sindhi language: Devanagari or Arabic?

Today we write Sindhi in Arabic script, but is it true that the original script of Sindhi is Devanagari?

Alphabet Sindhi

Answer:

By Arvind Iyengar, Professional Student in Linguistics

The short answer is: There is no clear answer to this question.

The answer to your question also depends on when you think the Sindhī language came into being, since languages change at a rapid rate.

The language of Shāh ʿAbdul Latīf Bhiṭṭāī (1689 – 1752 AD), the ‘national poet’ of Sindh, might be quite difficult to understand for a speaker of modern Sindhī. Therefore, can Shāh Latīf’s language be considered Sindhī?

That said, those driven by linguistic pride often claim (usually without proof) that the yet unknown language of the Indus Valley Civilisation was actually Sindhī, and therefore, the script used on the Indus Valley seals must be the original Sindhī script (even though no one knows what the symbols mean).

On similar lines, there might be those who claim that (depending on their ideology) either Arabic or Devanāgarī is the original script of Sindhī, again usually without proof.

A Sindhī translation of the Qurʾān and of the Mahābhārata are believed to have existed as far back as the 11th century (assuming of course that one can safely call this language Sindhī). Whether these were written in a Brāhmī-based script or an Arabic-based script is not clearly known (Brāhmī is the ancestor of the modern Devanāgarī script).

By the early 1800s, it has been attested by several authors, both Indian and European, that there were several different scripts in use for Sindhī, including Haṭavāṇikā (or Kẖudābādī), Gurmukhī and of course Devanāgarī and Arabic.

Continue reading What is the original script of the Sindhi language: Devanagari or Arabic?

In-depth: Sindh destroyed, one calamity at a time

BY SHAMEEN KHAN

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This documentary was shot in four districts of Sindh including Thatta, Badin, Dadu and Tharparkar. It aims to fill the knowledge gap between climate change and its gruesome effects on men, women and children.


The people of Sindh face an onslaught of natural calamities each year, and each year the story is the same. Countless homes are lost, children die or go missing, livestock is decimated.

But alongside natural disasters, manmade hazards have brought about a whole new host of problems that have destroyed the entire ecosystem.

“Most days when my kids ask me for water, I ask them to go to sleep instead.”

Read more » DAWN
See more » https://www.dawn.com/news/1200258

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

483160-donald-trump

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

 

‘Retired generals sold ETPB land illegally’

LAHORE: 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.

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