New corruption scandal deals blow to India’s image

By Paul de Bendern and Jui Chakravorty

NEW DELHI/ MUMBAI (Reuters) – India’s reputation as a place to do business took another hit after the scandal-tainted government charged top public sector bankers with accepting bribes initially estimated at hundreds of millions of dollars.

The scandal is one of the biggest to taint India, potentially harming the image of Asia’s third-largest economy as destination for foreign investors, especially as it comes a few days after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has had to defend his government in another graft scandal involving telecoms licences sold at rock-bottom prices. …

Read more : Reuters

Could GHQ tell us what happened to the inquiry into the alleged firing squad and beating videos which are even now doing the rounds in emails and on the Internet and bringing our country a bad name?

A matter of shame – By Kamran Shafi

I WAS much ashamed as a former soldier to read what ensued when a sessions court in Karachi cancelled the pre-arrest bail applications of certain serving and retired officials of the National Highway Authority (NHA) in the case of the collapse of Karachi`s Sher Shah Bridge.

The former chairman, Major General Raja Farrukh Javed, during whose tenure the bridge was built and which collapsed within weeks of its opening by none other than the Commando himself, ran away from the City Courts premises!

In the words of Paul Drake, the fictional private detective who helps Perry Mason solve his cases in Erle Stanley Gardner`s thrillers of yesteryear, the great general variously “took to his heels; vamoosed; went on the lam; broke his bond” etcetera, and made his escape from the court. It is pertinent to note that the news report also said that the major general “managed to escape from the court premises very easily”. I ask you! What absolutely disgraceful behaviour. patwaris havaldars

One should have thought that and police and others of their ilk did this sort of dishonourable and cowardly thing and not full-blown generals of our great army that has lorded it over us for more years than I care to remember and which is even now baring its fangs at the `bloody civilians`. If he had done nothing wrong, Maj-Gen Javed should have stood his ground and argued his case in court.

Although the Sindh High Court did a couple of days later grant Maj-Gen Javed and another person named on the FIR pre-arrest interim bail, some immediate questions nevertheless present themselves: Was his getaway facilitated? Where is he now? And, most fundamentally, why did he do what he did?

Be which as it may, and because these questions are now being asked by citizens of this poor country who cannot escape from the law “very easily” themselves as evidenced by letters to the editor, even of this newspaper of record, it falls upon the army administration to make its position clear in terms of bad conduct by retired officers. The army has been abused enough by fortune-seekers and carpet-baggers and petty Napoleons; it is time that the high command sent the message that it will not tolerate un-soldier-like behaviour, even by retired personnel, any longer.

And while it is at it, could GHQ tell us what happened to the inquiry into the alleged firing squad and beating videos which are even now doing the rounds in emails and on the Internet and bringing our country a bad name? As one has said before, those alleged happenings could well be the handiwork of Pakistan`s enemies, but it would help if we knew the truth. ….

Read more : DAWN

Canada calls BSF anti-human, violent unit

CNN-IBN

New Delhi: The Canadian High Commission has rejected an immigration application of an Indian for working in the Border Security Force which the Canadian authority says, is a notorious force that is engaged in systematic attacks on civilians.

Fateh Singh Pandher, a retired jawan from the BSF, had applied to travel to Canada along with his family. But the Canada High Commission here refused to give permission to travel to Canada.

Continue reading Canada calls BSF anti-human, violent unit

Trade pact will give $12 bn boost to Indian economy: Canadian minister

New Delhi – The proposed Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) between India and Canada is estimated to give an annual boost of $12 billion to the Indian economy, says Canadian Minister of International Trade Peter Van Loan.

“We are quite excited about the agreement. It will be offering an annual benefit of $6-15 billion to our economy. The Indian economy will benefit $12 billion a year,” the minister told IANS in an interview. ….

Read more: Indiavision

Murdered Teenage Christian housemaid Shazia Masih Cries for Justice in Pakistan

By Nazir S. Bhatti

Lahore: November 23, 2010. (PCP) Her father was crying, her Mother was crying and her Siblings were crying on her tortured dead body in Jinnah Hospital Lahore, it was January 2010. But soul of Shazia Masih was smiling as confident victim that Justice will be ensured, her rapist will be punished and her murderer will be hanged to death also because many human right activists, media camera men, line of reporters and doctors were witnessing 27 wounds on her dead body.

Again on walking to her final eternal journey lying in coffin in Cathedral Church Lahore, her soul was satisfied because her Christian brother Federal Minister for Minorities Shahbaz Bhatti was there, Provincial Minister for Minorities Kamran Michael was present, members of various political and religious parties and a large number of people from the Christian community were in her funeral ….

Read more : All voices

Crime without a name —Mohammad Akhtar Mengal

Islamabad and its powerful establishment are committing Balochcide, a systematic act committed with institutional intent to destroy Baloch society. Islamabad’s brutalities and Hitler-like policies against the Baloch people will not deter us from continuing our struggle nor will these terror tactics result in suppressing our feelings …

Read more : Daily Times

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BBC urdu video

The profit of misery: what they know and we do not

– Dr Manzur Ejaz

The ruling elites induce various crises to make money for themselves and their allies. From the power crisis to sugar shortages, every occasion is used to siphon off billions of dollars to private accounts. The misery of the Pakistani people has become a profitable commodity for the rich and powerful …

Read more : Wichaar

President pardons Nawaz Sharif

President pardons Nawaz; entire Sharif family exiled

– Nasir Malick and Faraz Hashmi

ISLAMABAD, Dec 9: President Rafiq Tarar has pardoned former prime minister Nawaz Sharif’s 25-year jail sentence but exiled the former prime minister and his family, a government announcement said in the wee hours of Sunday.

“On the advice of the chief executive, the president of Pakistan, according to law has pardoned Nawaz Sharif’s remaining jail sentence while the rest of the punishment awarded by the honourable courts, which includes fine, forfeiture of property and disqualification from public office would remain in place,” the announcement said.

“Nawaz Sharif and family have been exiled to Saudi Arabia. This decision has been taken in the best interest of the country and the people of Pakistan,” it said.

The former prime minister was awarded 14 years’ imprisonment on corruption charges, fined Rs20 million and disqualified from contesting election for 21 years. Mr Sharif, who was removed by the army in a bloodless coup, was sentenced to life imprisonment on charges of hijacking the plane in which General Pervez Musharraf was travelling. He had appealed in the high court, which had rejected the plea. He was fined Rs500,000 and forfeiture of property worth Rs500 million. ….

Read more : DAWN

Baba Guru Nanak’s 541st birthday anniversary celebrates in Sindh

The festivities of 541 birthday of ”Baba Guru Nanak Devji”, the first Sikh Guru who spread the message of peace, equality, brotherhood and communal harmony has celebrated by tens of hundreds Sindhi male and female devotees at Swaminarayan Mandir, Karachi, Sindh by offering prayers. The participants were served with drinks, juices and sweets.

The procession of Baba Guru Nanak Dev Ji was remained within the premises of Swaminarayan Mandir. The Holy book of Guru Granth Sahib was beautifully decorated with flowers. Sindhi devotees danced on the beats of drums & they were chanting slogans Jo Boley So Nehal & Wahay Guru Gi Ki, Fateh. They recite the holy book Guru Granth Sahib in Gurmukhi but they recite bajans and threw light on the teachings of Baba Guru Nanak ji in Sindhi language and asked devotees to follow the teachings of Baba Guru Nanak Devji which are very relevant in these days. The  strict security measures were taken by Sindh police to avoid any untoward incident.

For video and more details :- BBC urdu

BBC video about Sikh culture and Nanakana Sahib

Welldone Naseem Zehra to discuss on blasphemy law, it is not easy to speak truth in Pakistani (Junooni) soceity

Nice talk show by Naseem Zehra .. it was a pleasant surprise to have such discussion on TV… its not easy to speak truth in a ”junooni” (Pakistani) society. Blasphemy (Toheen) Law should be castoff because it is too easy in Pakistan to accuse anyone of Blasphemy to settle a score.

Courtesy: DunyaTV (Rana Sanaullah, Javed Akram Raja, Tahira Abdullah & Javed Ahmed Ghamdi join Naseem Zehra in Policy Maters 20 November 2010 program to discuss Aasiya Bibi’s death sentence under blasphemy law)

via- Siasat -> YouTube Link 1, 2

Six missing persons found dead in Balochistan

By Muhammad Zafar

QUETTA: Six bullet-riddled bodies were found from different parts of Balochistan during the three days of Eidul Azha.

According to sources, two bullet-riddled bodies were found from Kech Kaur near Hiruk area of Turbat on Thursday. They have been identified as Lala Hameed Baloch, president of the Baloch National Movement (BNM) and another Hamid Ismail. Hameed Baloch was a journalist and a member of the Gwadar Press Club. The bodies were taken to nearby hospital for autopsy.

A complete strike was observed on Friday in Gwadar, Pasni, Jiwani, Turbat and Hoshap condemning the killing of political opponents.

Another two bullet-riddled bodies were found in Kad Kocha area of Mastung, some 120 kilometers off the provincial capital. The bodies were identified as of Bashir Ahmed Lehri and Inayathullah who had been missing for more than two months.

Bashir was kidnapped along with Zahoor Baloch, a member of the Balochistan Students Organisation-Azad (BSO-Azad) in Ramazan. “The government functionaries are involved in the killings,” relatives alleged.

A bullet-riddled body of a student, Samiullah Mengal, was found near Ferozabad area of Khuzdar, some 300-kilometre from Quetta on Wednesday. Samiullah was BSO-Azad activist and had been missing for the last 45 days when he was returning to Khuzdar from Sasol.

Another body was discovered on Friday from Kapotu area of Kalat district and had been identified as Nasurrallah Baloch. ….

Read more : Daily Times

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BBC urdu report –  BBC Video

For more details : Reporters without Borders

A new report of Matt Waldman accusing Pakistan’s Spy agency of funding and training Taliban

Matt Waldman, a fellow at Harvard University, is the author of a new report accusing Pakistan’s Spy agency of funding and training Taliban. In an interview with Al Jazeera, Waldman discusses his methodology and the reasons why Pakistan might view the Taliban as an ally.

Courtesy: Al Jazeera – YouTube Link

Animal Sacrifice or Blood Orgy? – By Syed Rizvi

Once again, Muslims around the world have “sacrificed” millions of animals in a three day period during the month of Eid-ul-Adha to please God.

Sacrifice inherently means that you part with something that is very close to your heart and experience a certain degree of pain during the process.

Abraham proceeded to sacrifice his son who was very close to his heart and with whom had great attachment.

This act of Abraham can be seen as a spirit of true sacrifice.

Today, if I say that I sacrificed an old sofa for a greater cause, I will be laughed at, since the sofa doesn’t mean much to me. However, this hypothetical act of mine is not much different from someone slitting the throat of a goat to please God and call it a sacrifice, since the person has had no attachment to the goat except a few bucks that he would soon forget.

I am just wondering if that is what God had in his mind when he asked us to follow a path in remembrance of Abraham’s devotion to God. Today what we do on the streets of Karachi during the Eid-ul Adha is a mockery of Abraham’s devotion to God.

It is beyond my comprehension that our God, whom we regard as compassionate and merciful finds pleasure watching a helpless camel with one of his front legs tied off the ground and two of his hind legs so closely tied together that he becomes incapable of using those legs independently. And apart from that, his jaws are tied with a rope that he cannot even brawl. And then, a pious looking person sticks a knife into the camel’s throat. The camel bleeds for tens of minutes and suffers excruciating pain until he dies.

Here are some examples:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7oIbT6Plio8&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a3R6qhjplHM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ws8ub3wo_hM&feature=related

To read more : newageislam

Afghanistan: NATO’s mission impossible – by Shiraz Paracha

…. But in 1991, all that ended abruptly with the smooth and peaceful split of the Soviet Union. The West painted the Soviet demise as its victory. But in fact, it was the biggest shock for the huge Western military and propaganda machine.

The Cold War mindset was not ready to accept the new change. The mysterious attacks in the United States on September 11, 2001 and the subsequent ‘war on terror’ filled the enemy vacuum for the Cold War warriors, but it did not help an organization like NATO that was created on the concept of traditional warfare.

In the post-1945 era, despite their technological superiority and military and economic power, Western countries did not fight directly against powerful states. Proxy wars were the West’s preferred method throughout the Cold War period.

Nevertheless, in the 1990s, the West opted for military interventions and regime changes. Western countries acted as a pack of wolves and attacked small and weak states. The strategy provided an opportunity to lightweights such as Bush and Blair to imitate Churchill and Roosevelt and appear strong and victorious.

But the US defeat in Iraq and the NATO’s failed mission in Afghanistan have proven that military occupations and interventions are counterproductive and expose weaknesses of occupiers and aggressors.

Today, NATO is disillusioned and disoriented. It is demanding from its member states to allocate at least two percent of their GDPs to defense budgets. In a desperate effort to keep its large and bureaucratic structures and huge budget, NATO has been adding vague, unrealistic and ambiguous aims and objectives to its mission. It has committed blunders like Afghanistan but its commanders did not seem to have learned any lessons.

Regardless of the Lisbon rhetoric, not all NATO member states can afford ever increasing military budgets to counter open-ended threats and fight unspecified enemies. Weakening European economies need trade and investment rather than wars. They rely on energy but the energy sources are out of Europe. Skilled labor and markets are beyond the geographical sphere of the most NATO states. And most NATO countries certainly do not have the will and capacity for missions impossible, like the one in Afghanistan.

To read full article : Criticalppp

ISLAMABAD: Population by mother tongue

According to the statistics of Population and Census Organization, Government of Pakistan the percentage of people living in Islamabad based on mother tongue is: (Urdu  10.11), (Punjabi 71.66), (Sindhi o.56), (Pashto 9.52), (Balochi 0.06), (Saraiki 1.11), (others 6.98)
From these figures it is clear who gets high benefits from Islamabad? Wouldn’t it be fair that provinces give their share to federal institutes located at Islamabad based on their population? Are the people of Islamabad more poor to have highest number of public institutes and services as compared to rest of the populace of the country?

For more details : statpak.gov.pk

Panel of journalists discussing conversation about buying Lahore High Court’s judges against Asif Zardari in programme Sawal Yeh Hai with Dr. Danish. Its not even easy to imagine that how much the Pakistani judiciary is corrupt!?

Panel of journalists discussing Conversation Saif-ur-Rehman Justice Qayum, Shehbaz Shareef and others about buying Lahore Hight Court’s judges against Asif Zardari in programme Sawal Yeh Hai with Dr. Danish. How much the Pakistani judiciary is corrupt, its not even easy to imagine!?

Courtesy: ARY News (Sawal Yeh Hai with Dr. Danish, Novermber 21, 2010)

via – Siasat -> YouTube Link 1, 2

Shahbaz Sharif’s Conversation with the Judge of Lahore High Court (LHC) to buy Justice!

Shahbaz Sharif’s Conversation with the Judge of Lahore High Court (LHC) to buy Justice.

Shabaz Sharif (SS) is saying that Nawaz Sharif (NS) ( Mian Saheb) asking MEHARBANI for Chaudhry Serwar. Qauum Said…..Mian Saheb ( Nawaz Shareef ) Nay Kaha Hay To Gul Qatum Ho Gaee Aae.

Courtesy: ARY News (Sawal yeh Hai with Dr. Danish, November 19, 2010)

Via – Siasat -> YouTube Link

A sitting Judge i.e. Malik Muhammad Qayyum [Govt. of Nawaz Sharif] discussing the “Sentence and Punishment” against Zardari and Benazir Bhutto with Senator Saif ur Rehman [video and transcript]

A sitting Judge i.e. Malik Muhammad Qayyum [2nd Government of Nawaz Sharif]discussing the “Sentence and Punishment” against Zardari and Benazir Bhutto with Senator Saif ur Rehman. Faisal Raza Abdi presents in Sawal Yeh Hai with Dr. Danish. November 19, 2010 programme.

Courtesy: ARY News (Sawal Yeh Hai with Dr. Danish, guest Faisal Raza Abdi and  Saif ur Rehman)

YouTube Link

The Man Who Knew The Future Of Pakistan Before Its Creation – Abul Kalam Azad’s predictions about Pakistan – all correct

THE MAN WHO KNEW THE FUTURE

by Shorish Kashmiri, Matbooat Chattan, Lahore

Congress president Maulana Abul Kalam Azad gave the following interview to journalist Shorish Kashmiri for a Lahore based Urdu magazine, Chattan, in April 1946. It was a time when the Cabinet Mission was holding its proceedings in Delhi and Simla. Azad made some startling predictions during the course of the interview, saying that religious conflict would tear apart Pakistan and its eastern half would carve out its own future. He even said that Pakistan’s incompetent rulers might pave the way for military rule. According to Shorish Kashmiri, Azad had earmarked the early hours of the morning for him and the interview was conducted over a period of two weeks. This interview had published Kashmiri’s own book Abul Kalam Azad, which was printed only once by Matbooat Chattan Lahore, a now-defunct publishing house. Former Union Cabinet Minister Arif Mohammed Khan discovered the book after searching for many years and translated the interview in English.

Excerpt :

Maulana Abul Kalam Azad: The Man Who Knew The Future Of Pakistan Before Its Creation

Muslims must realise that they are bearers of a universal message. They are not a racial or regional grouping in whose territory others cannot enter. … But today the situation is worse than ever. Muslims have become firm in their communalism; they prefer politics to religion …

The factors that laid the foundation of Islam in Indian society and created a powerful following have become victim of the politics of partition….

Read more : Scribd

Morocco : Jews and Muslims pray together at pilgrimage site

YouTube Link

Nostagia at its zenith: A Trip to Sindh – A Journey to My Roots. Desh pehenjo visaaran dukhyo aa!

Courtesy: Following article has appeared in the ‘Femina’, ‘Bharat Ratna’, ‘Amil Samchar’ and in the Hindvasi (Translated into Sindhi)

A TRIP TO SINDH-A JOURNEY TO MY ROOTS

By Shakun Narain Kimatrai

Mid– 1986 – The Kimatrai Building still majestically stands in Hyderabad Sindh

We finally made it! To Hyderabad Sindh that is! My husband Narain and myself finally left on a trip that would make us set foot on the very soil that we had left 39 years ago.

When I told my Sindhi friends in Bombay that I was leaving for Pakistan, they showed a lot of interest-in fact more interest than had I told them that I was going to London, New York or to Timbuktu for that matter. But why was I surprised at their reaction? After all I was going back to the land of our birth, to the land and houses which we had left reluctantly with tears in our eyes and to which we had been denied access for so many seasons.

Those friends to whom I told about my trip to Pakistan, not only showed interest but a variety of emotions.

I sensed in them envy, apprehension and fear for my safety—as a matter of fact a friend of mine asked: “Going to Hyderabad Sindh, Shakun, are you sure you will be back?

Though I was a little apprehensive myself I was not really afraid. After all of whatever kind may have been the frenzy during partition-I had the confidence on the fact that we Sindhis having drank from the same Indus Sindhu water for centuries prior to the sad separating event, they would welcome us with the age-old ‘Sikka’ (affection) of the Sindhis.

From Bombay, we first landed at Lahore where the hotels are comparable to any other good 5-star hotel elsewhere in the world.

Whenever one goes out of India, one is midst strangers from a different land, so to speak-one looks different and talks a different tongue. While in Lahore, what struck me was that no-one could tell that I was a foreigner there-we looked alike and spoke the same language. Then why? Why did one have to go through customs and immigration at the airport like an outsider? I felt sad.

Amongst the elite, the ladies do not practice purdah as a rule. They wear salwar kameezes made in the latest style. The people of Pakistan enjoy good food, though alcoholic beverages are at least visibly absent.

My charming Pakistani hostess took me around sight-seeing and shopping and she proudly presented me everywhere around as her Indian friend from Bombay. Her friends and the sales people generally welcomed me warmly and even courteously gave me discounts on their goods.

Amongst the common citizens of Pakistan whom I met, I felt that there was competition with India as far as Economical progress or a game of cricket was concerned-which according to me is healthy and natural of any set of neighbors.

At a couple of parties that I attended and where my host learned that I enjoyed singing, they requested me, not to sing a ghazal or a film song, but a ‘Bhajan’! Is it possible that they subconsciously miss the Hindus and their culture in their midst?

I myself having lived in Bombay in cosmopolitan surroundings almost all my life, did feel rather restricted being surrounded by only Muslims in their country.

From Lahore we flew to Karachi from where it was a mere 2 hours drive to my birth-place Hyderabad in Sindh.

It was unfamiliar seeing the Arabic Sindhi script strewn all over on hoardings and advertisements and the milestones on the road ; though odd, the feeling was pleasant.

Once we approached Hyderabad I found my husband’s voice getting more emotional. He remembered the roads, as he was 9 years old when he had to leave his home-town. He instructed our friend who was driving to take us to a certain spot, to stop; after which he wanted to find the way up to his old house himself.

Continue reading Nostagia at its zenith: A Trip to Sindh – A Journey to My Roots. Desh pehenjo visaaran dukhyo aa!

Siraj Haqqani moved to ‘secure safe house’ outside FATA

By Ali K. Chishti

Daily Times can confirm that Siraj Haqqani, the operational commander of the Haqqani Network, who had earlier been moved from Miranshah, North Waziristan to Kurram Agency, has been moved to a secure “safe house” outside FATA. The decision was taken after the September 27 NATO incursion near the village of Mata Sanger, which left two Pakistani FC guards dead.

“Apparently, Siraj Haqqani was pretty close at a safe-house when the NATO incursion at Kurram took place,” confirmed a top Western diplomat. It should be noted that Siraj Haqqani was earlier moved to Kurram Agency from Miranshah in North Waziristan after his brother, Mohammed, was killed in a US predator strike and another military commander, Saifullah Haqqani, was killed earlier this year.

The Haqqani network, which is considered as a ‘strategic asset’ by the Pakistani security establishment due to their considerable influence in Afghanistan, had first been moved to Kurram Agency where a new operation centre had been set up to intensify attacks in Afghanistan in co-ordination with a break away section of the Lakhkar-e-Tayyaba and other groups. It is now reported that the Shia tribes that make up most of the base for the Frontier Corps, who had earlier given most of the resistance to Gubuddin Hekmatyar’s Hizb-e-Islami in Spina Shaga, have turned against the Haqqani network, who they see as an ideological threat to their existence. While most of the Pakistani mainstream media reported the recent clashes in Kurram Agency as ‘water wars’ between various tribal groups where more than 70 militants had been killed in strikes, it was in reality a section of the security establishment’s supporting pro-government tribal killings to pave a way for the Haqqanis. Daily Times can now confirm that it was a story to cover and allow the military to intervene on behalf of the Haqqanis, who are viewed as ‘strategic assets’ and ‘good Talibans’. ….

Read more : Daily Times

The world according to Imran Khan

By Michelle Shephard

The former cricket star has the support of Pakistan’s youth, yet is largely discounted as future political leader. Khan tells the Star, “Watch me.” …

…. Future for Pakistan?

We are on the brink now. We are completely destabilized, we’re basically just surviving on American dollars but the country is bankrupt and this war has done it.

To read full article : The Star

Ex-MI chief, commanders Quetta, Pindi involved

By Ansar Abbasi

ISLAMABAD: While Musharraf continues to embarrass Pakistan and its authorities, including the Pakistan Army, an important source has revealed that the General Headquarters (GHQ) and its most vital arm, the Military Operations Directorate, was bypassed by the former dictator, both in the Lal Masjid operation and Bugti killing.

The source said that none of these extremely controversial operations, which sowed the seeds of terrorism in Balochistan and the rest of the country, were the brainchild of the MO Directorate.

The source said that in both these military operations, the GHQ and concerned field command were not directly involved. “In both the cases, General Musharraf bypassed the GHQ and its MO Directorate, and gave direct orders to the relevant field commanders,” said the well-placed and well- informed source.

Ideally and as per the military’s established rules, no such operation could take place without being conceptualised and cleared by the MO Directorate. However, Musharraf, the all powerful dictator that he was, did not engage the MO Directorate.

In the case of Nawab Akbar Khan Bugti’s killing, the source said, General Musharraf involved the then Military Intelligence chief Major General Nadeem Ejaz and the top command of 12 Corps.

In a briefing on Balochistan issue by the then DGMO and much before the killing of the Baloch Nawab, General Musharraf once talked about the idea of killing Bugti but the idea was not agreed to by the DGMO, who warned that it would lead to unrest. Later, Musharraf never engaged the GHQ and executed his plot to kill Bugti through the MI and the Commander of the 12 Corps.

After the Bugti killing, some key generals in the GHQ in their in-house interactions expressed their dismay over the Kohlu military operation. The Lal Masjid operation, which killed over a hundred persons and led to the escalation of terrorism cases manifold, was no different from that of the military operation aimed at killing Bugti.

The source said that the planning of the Lal Masjid operation was done by Commander 10 Corps Tariq Majid on the direct instructions of the ousted dictator.

“The GHQ and its MO Directorate were not involved in any such planning,” the source said, adding that a day after Lieutenant Colonel Haroon became the first casualty of the pre-Lal Masjid operation, Musharraf convened a meeting of top political and military authorities and given his mind that a full-fledged operation had to be carried out. …

Read more : The News

Nawabzada Balaach Marri’s 3rd Martyrdom Anniversary in London

Baloch Human Rights Council (UK) and World Sindhi Congress will organise the third martyrdom anniversary on 28 November 2009 to remember and pay tribute to the great Baloch leader and hero Mir Balaach Marri, murdered by Security Forces on 20 Nov, 2007.

Pope Benedict weighs in : The Pakistani power corridors will act only when important foreign leaders weigh in. Otherwise, every person will be slaughtered like goats and chickens!

LAHORE: Minister for Minority Affairs Shahbaz Bhatti on Thursday called for a thorough re-investigation and fair appeal for Aasia Bibi, who was sentenced to death for blasphemy, after the pope called for her release.

On November 8, Aasia Bibi was sentenced to hang in after being accused of insulting the Prophet Muhammed (PBUH) in 2009.

Bhatti told AFP that Aasia had filed an appeal at the Lahore High Court (LHC).

“We have requested the Punjab government that the trial should be fair in the high court. She must also be provided security in jail,” he said.

Aasia’s supporters say the case is baseless and that her first trial “was not heard properly,” Bhatti said.

“We have, therefore, asked the Punjab government that the case be reinvestigated properly.”

Governor Punjab Salman Taseer also expressed his support for a fair trial for Aasia Bibi on Thursday when he tweeted:

Aasia bibi’s appeal has been filed in the High Court. I am personally supervising the case.inshallah I will ensure she is not victimised.

Pope Benedict XVI this week called for her release and said Christians in Pakistan were “often victims of violence and discrimination.”

“I feel close to Aasia Bibi and her family and I ask that she be released as soon as possible,” he said on Wednesday.

Italy’s Foreign Minister Franco Frattini has said he was told during a visit to Islamabad last week that Pakistan was committed to changing the blasphemy law and promised to join the fight to save Aasia. …

Read more : THE EXPRESS TRIBUNE