This is quiet dangerous trend. Baloch tribal rivalry might not go to that extreme of taregeting opponent’s “women”. This sounds like the brainschild operation of some Einstein Jihadi official in Aabpara

Mir Bakhtiar Domki’s wife, daughter shot dead in Karachi

By Faraz Khan

KARACHI: In a new spate of violence in Karachi, the wife and daughter of Balochistan MPA Mir Bakhtiar Domki were shot dead near Gizri flyover early Tuesday morning. The deceased were also the sister and niece of Baloch Republican Party (BRP) leader Baramdagh Bugti.

“A black-coloured Toyota car, with the victims on board, was parked outside a house when two men riding on motorcycles opened fire on the car,” said Superintendent of Police Clifton Tariq Dharejo, while talking to The Express Tribune.

“The victims were on their way home after attending a family wedding,” he added. The driver was also killed in the incident.

Eyewitnesses said that the assailants had circled the area once or twice before attacking their target, and fled after the attack.

The bodies were shifted to the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Complex (JMPC) after the incident.

Domki, who is a grandson of Nawab Akbar Bugti, belongs to Sibi.

Read more » The Express Tribune

Via » Pakistani e-lists/ e-groups, January 31, 2012.

Video in Urdu/ Hindi – Tracing the Roots of Religious Extremism in Pakistan – Dr. Mubarak Ali

Intellectual and historian Dr Mubarak Ali is a prolific and versatile writer who has produced around fifty books on issues ranging from the Age of Reason in Europe to the women’s movement and the history of South Asia.

The objective of this seminar series is to understand the roots and dynamics of religious extremism within the context of Pakistani society, which could be referenced to evolve a strategy for de-radicalization of youth. Scholars will be invited to deliver talks in Urdu (Hindi). The talks will involve a small audience with the key purpose to record and disseminate the lecture widely among the youth.

For further details, visit the related link at IPSS website:
http://peaceandsecularstudies.org/?p=790

Pakistan’s rush for more bombs – why?

By Pervez Hoodbhoy

Excerpts;

….. In the military’s mind, the Americans are now a threat, equal to or larger than India. They are also considered more of an adversary than even the TTP jihadists who have killed thousands of Pakistani troops and civilians. While the Salala incident was allowed to inflame public opinion, the gory video-taped executions of Pakistani soldiers by the TTP were played down. A further indication is that the LeT/JuD is back in favor (with a mammoth anti-US and anti-India rally scheduled in Karachi next month). Pakistani animosity rises as it sees America tightly embracing India, and standing in the way of a Pakistan-friendly government in Kabul. Once again “strategic defiance” is gaining ground, albeit not through the regional compact suggested by General Mirza Aslam Beg in the early 1990s.

This attitudinal shift has created two strong non-India reasons that favour ramping up bomb production.

First, Pakistan’s nuclear weapons are seen to be threatened by America. This perception has been reinforced by the large amount of attention given to the issue in the US mainstream press, and by war-gaming exercises in US military institutes. Thus, redundancy is considered desirable — an American attempt to seize or destroy all warheads would have smaller chances of success if Pakistan had more.

But such an attack is improbable. It is difficult to imagine any circumstances — except possibly the most extreme — in which the US would risk going to war against another nuclear state. Even if Pakistan had just a handful of weapons, no outside power could accurately know the coordinates of the mobile units on which they are located. It is said that an extensive network of underground tunnels exists within which they can be freely moved. Additionally, overground ones are moved from place to place periodically in unmarked trucks. Mobile dummies and decoys can hugely compound difficulties. Moreover, even if a nuclear location was exactly known, it would surely be heavily guarded. This implies many casualties when intruding troops are engaged, thus making a secret bin-Laden type operation impossible.

The second – and perhaps more important — reason for the accelerated nuclear development is left unstated: nukes act as insurance against things going too far wrong. Like North Korea, Pakistan knows that, no matter what, international financial donors will feel compelled to keep pumping in funds. Else a collapsing system may be unable to prevent some of its hundred-plus Hiroshima-sized nukes from disappearing into the darkness.

This insurance could become increasingly important as Pakistan moves deeper into political isolation and economic difficulties mount. Even today, load-shedding and fuel shortages routinely shut down industries and transport for long stretches, imports far exceed exports, inflation is at the double-digit level, foreign direct investment is negligible because of concerns over physical security, tax collection remains minimal, and corruption remains unchecked. An African country like Somalia or Congo would have sunk under this weight long ago.

To conclude: throwing a spanner in the works at the CD (Geneva) may well be popular as an act of defiance. Indeed, many in Pakistan — like Hamid Gul and Imran Khan — derive delicious satisfaction from spiting the world in such ways. But this is not wise for a state that perpetually hovers at the edge of bankruptcy, and which derives most of its worker remittances and export earnings from the very countries it delights in mocking.

To read complete article »  The Express Tribune, January 30th, 2012.

http://tribune.com.pk/story/328922/pakistans-rush-for-more-bombs–why/

Let’s Talk Civil-Military, NOW!

By Marvi Sirmed

Atiqa Odho needs to change her name. Not only her name but also the prefix if she wants to avoid further humiliation that she possibly could not and would not want, just because she is a woman and does not bear the right prefix before her name. Brigadier Zafar Iqbal had both — the right name and the right prefix.

The good brigadier embarked on a PIA flight from Karachi to Lahore on Saturday night, intoxicated with the ‘sherbet’. The captain of the plane handed him over to the Airport Security Force (ASF) after the brigadier publicly harassed one of the female crew members. The ASF, obviously, could not hold him for more than a few minutes when they discovered the full name of the detainee. No wonder the news item merited just a few lines in Sunday newspapers. I am still waiting for the ‘suo motu’ and media-panic that we saw in Atiqa Odho’s case. Pertinent to remind here, Ms Odho was neither drunk nor did she harass anyone on the flight.

This points to two serious maladies of this society: one, a strong gender bias that women of this country have to endure everywhere, including the courts; and two, unjust and unfair partiality that society confers on the military. It is not only about an overly powerful military but also about an extremely weak civil society. It would be naïve to believe that civil society in Pakistan is powerful enough to foil any attempt to usurp power from the civilian entities. This is mainly because the military here never departed from power. Irrespective of who occupied the buildings of the Prime Minister Secretariat and the Presidency, the military always ruled in the country through its incontrovertible influence over political decision-making and social phenomena.

The way things happen in the court, and outside of it, memo scandal is a case in point. In the memo scandal, Husain Haqqani was treated as an accused by the media and society at large because the military thought so. Everything else had to be in sync with what the military wanted or at least, was perceived to be wanting. The same ‘evidence’ (the BBM conversations claimed by Mansoor Ijaz that took place between him and Husain Haqqani) implicated the head of the ISI who was accused in the same BBM conversations to have spoken to the leaders of some Arab states and gotten their consent to sack the present government. But no one from the media, politicians (even the ones who portray themselves as most committed to civilian supremacy) and the judiciary could ever point a finger towards General Pasha, the accused. Husain Haqqani was an easy target because he was not a general. Or even a brigadier.

Later, the chief of army staff and the head of ISI submitted their affidavits in clear departure of the government’s point of view — the same government that both of them are accountable to. The prime minister was openly criticised by everyone for calling this action of the two generals as unconstitutional. So much so that the media wing of the Pakistan Army, the ISPR, attacked the prime minister — their boss — by issuing a strongly worded statement warning the government of grave consequences and serious ramifications. So there were two statements, one by the chief executive of a country castigating his subordinate generals for unconstitutional actions, and the other from the subordinate generals threatening their boss with grave consequences. Guess who had to retract the statement? You got it right, it was the boss. The Islamic Republic is unique in its construction.

What can be more worrying for a people whose representative is humiliated by an agency that should be subordinate to the people. The agency, it is more perturbing, does so with popular consent. The absence of popular outrage amounts to consent if one could decrypt public reactions. We can go on endlessly criticising hungry-for-power generals, selfish politicians, corporate media and an ambitious judiciary, but what remains a fact is Pakistani society’s utter failure — rather refusal — to grow from a Praetorian state to even a half decent egalitarian democracy.

Continue reading Let’s Talk Civil-Military, NOW!

Cleric sentenced to death in blasphemy case

By Nabeel Anwar Dhakku

CHAKWAL: A ‘blasphemy’ accused was sentenced to death and also to 10 years’ imprisonment on Monday, sources told Dawn.

Soofi Mohammad Ishaq of Talagang town had been facing the charge since 2009.

On Monday, an Additional Sessions Judge of Jhelum sentenced him to death and 10 years’ imprisonment and fined him Rs200,000.

Soofi Mohammad Ishaq was settled in United States where he worked as a cleric. He returned to Talagang in 2009 and was given a warm welcome by hundreds of his disciples. His followers also kissed his feet, but some people objected to the act of “bowing down before Ishaq” and later accused his followers of branding him a prophet.

Later, Ishaq’s rivals launched a campaign against him and a young man named Asadullah, allegedly at the behest of his Deobandi mentors, lodged a complaint at the Talagang police station. He accused Ishaq of committing blasphemy.

Police booked Ishaq under sections 295A and 295C of the Pakistan Penal Code and his case was heard by Chakwal’s Additional Sessions Judge Sajid Awan.

After completion of hearing, the judge set a date for announcing the judgment, but later he wrote a letter to the Lahore High Court’s Rawalpindi bench, informing it that he could not announce the verdict because of security risks. “Judge Sajid Awan pleaded to the LHC that as he is deputed in Chakwal, he cannot announce the verdict because of security risks and, therefore, the case should be referred to another district,” said Advocate Chaudhry Mehmood Akhtar, the counsel of the accused.

The LHC referred the case to Jhelum’s district and sessions judge, who marked the case to his subordinate Additional Sessions Judge Chaudhry Mumtaz Hussain, who announced the verdict on Friday.

Informed sources told Dawn that Soofi Ishaq had been appointed Gaddi Nasheen of the shrine of Pir Fazal Shah. This, according to sources, infuriated complainant Asadullah, who belonged to Pir Fazal Shah’s family, and he used the opportunity to register the blasphemy case against Ishaq.

“My client pleaded to the court that he cannot even think of committing blasphemy.” He told the court that he believed that the holy prophet (peace be upon him) was the last Messnger of Allah,” Advocate Chaudhry Akhtar Mehmood said.

When contacted by Dawn, Asadullah claimed to have seen followers of Ishaq bowing their heads before him and heard them chanting slogans of “Yaa Rasool Allah”. When asked why other religious leaders did not move against Ishaq, he said: “I was the first to see the way Ishaq’s followers behaved and I recorded it on my camera. And Allah has given me the courage to move against the blasphemer.”

Terror and Death at Home Are Caught in F.B.I. Tape

Hoping to hear evidence of terrorist activities, the Federal Bureau of Investigation planted listening devices in the tiny apartment of a Palestinian-American more than two years ago. What the F.B.I. taped were the screams of a teen-age girl being stabbed to death.

Now, a jury that heard the tape-recorded voice of the 16-year-old pleading in vain for her life has convicted her parents of murder and recommended that they be put to death.

The jury deliberated more than four hours Saturday before asking for the death penalty against Zein Isa and his wife, Maria. On Friday, the jurors had convicted them in the death of their daughter Tina, the father for stabbing her and the mother for holding her down.

The girl’s screams and moans as she begged her parents not to kill her were captured by devices secretly planted in the apartment by Federal agents who were looking into possible illegal activities by Mr. Isa on behalf of the Palestine Liberation Organization. Cultures and Generations Clash Instead of international intrigue, the tapes captured a sometimes chilling, sometimes heartbreaking family drama involving clashes of cultures — Mr. Isa was born in Palestine and his wife in Brazil — and the parents’ attempts to control their daughter who, it seems, wanted to be an American teen-ager. …

Read more » The New York Times

Husain Haqqani to leave Pakistan tonight

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s former ambassador to the US Husain Haqqani will be traveling to Abu Dhabi then to the US via a private airline. According to sources, Haqqani will be taken to the airport with a security escort provided by the Islamabad police.

On Monday, the Supreme Court lifted travel restrictions on Haqqani under the condition that he appear before the memo commission whenever summoned and should do so within four days of the notice.

Courtesy: The News

Via – News adopted from Facebook.

ISI, MI admit to deaths of four Adiala prisoners

ISLAMABAD – The counsel for the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and Military Intelligence (MI) directors general conceded before the Supreme Court on Monday that four out of 11 prisoners of Adiala Jail, Rawalpindi, picked up by intelligence personnel for investigation into their alleged role in the October 2009 attacks on General Headquarters (GHQ) in Rawalpindi, had died.

He said some of the remaining seven prisoners were in Lady Reading Hospital Peshawar and Internment Centre, Parachinar, thus he was unable to produce them in court. “No one is above the law and the prime minister also appeared in court when he was summoned,” the chief justice remarked. A three-member bench comprising Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, Justice Khilji Arif Hussain and Justice Tariq Parvez, directed the spy agencies’ counsel Raja Muhammad Irshad to file a reply explaining the circumstances under which the four prisoners died and produce the remaining seven prisoners in court on February 9. ….

Read more » Pakistan Today

Israel: High Court Rulings Undermine Human Rights

Recent Decisions Uphold Discrimination, Exploitation of Occupied Territory

(Jerusalem) – Recent decisions by Israel’s high court aim to legitimize clear violations of Israel’s international legal obligations, Human Rights Watch said today. In one decision, the court disregarded international law prohibiting discrimination, and in another, it ignored international law on the use of resources in an occupied territory. Israel should annul a law preventing Israeli citizens from living with their Palestinian spouses and end policies that permit private Israeli companies to strip rocks and other construction materials from quarries in the occupied West Bank for their own economic gain.

“With these rulings, Israel’s highest court has veered seriously off course in serving as a final bastion for upholding human rights,” said Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. “For the system of legal checks against rights abuses to break down like this is one more indication of the unraveling of protections for rights and freedom in Israel.” ….

Read more » Human Rights Watch (HRW)

On Bhagat Singh, his vision and Jinnah’s support for his struggle

A few days ago, Irfan Habib, a noted researcher and author of TO MAKE THE DEAF HEAR – Ideology and Programme of Bhagat Singh and His Comradessent his thoughtful piece on the legendary Bhagat Singh.

Incidentally, Bhagat Singh was hanged on Pakistan’s Republic Day – March 23 though nine years prior to that – in Lahore – thereby adding another dimension to the symbolism of March 23 for Pakistanis. Bhagat Singh for his principles, struggle for just causes and valour is a shared hero.

I am quoting some of the passages from Habib’s article below. Citing a Tamil newspaper editorial of 1931, Habib writes:

Continue reading On Bhagat Singh, his vision and Jinnah’s support for his struggle

BEYOND THE SACRED

I gave a talk called ‘Beyond the sacred’, on the changing character of ideas of the sacred and of blasphemy, at a conference on blasphemy organised this weekend by the Centre for Inquiry at London’s Conway Hall on Saturday. Here is a transcript. To talk about blasphemy is also to talk about the idea of the sacred. To see something as blasphemous is to see it in some way as violating a sacred space. In recent years, both the notion of blasphemy and that of the sacred have transformed. What I want to explore here is the nature of that transformation, and what it means for free speech.

For believers, the idea of the sacred is key to moral life. ….

Read more » Kenan Malik

The Wild and Terrifying Inside Story of America’s War Machine

Robert Greenwald and Reporter Michael Hastings Take on the Wild and Terrifying Inside Story of America’s War Machine

Hastings, in his hard-hitting new book, discusses “politically correct imperialism,” why the military is obsessed with its legacy, and why we’re stuck in post-9/11 thinking.

By Robert Greenwald

Not many journalists can say they had a hand in getting a commanding general relieved of duty in the middle of a war. But Rolling Stone reporter Michael Hastings did just that when his 2010 story on Stanley McChrystal, then the commander of NATO troops in Afghanistan, sent shockwaves through Washington and resulted in McChrystal being recalled to DC and uneremoniously fired by Barack Obama. ….

Read more » AlterNet

Prime Minister dispels impression of giving extension to DG ISI

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani Sunday dispelled the impression of anything being said as regards giving extension in service to DG ISI with an aim to ‘improve matters’ with the army, Geo News reported.

“All these references (about granting of extension to DG ISI) are nothing but disinformation,” the Prime Minister said while talking to media men upon his return from Davos after attending World Economic Forum there. …

Read more » The News

Negligent dereliction of duty – By: Mir Mohammad Ali Talpur.

Excerpt;

….. All the misdeeds and misdemeanours of the army here have gone unchallenged and mostly misreported or under-reported. One cannot expect bumbling civilian prime ministers who regularly eat crow after blurting out against the army to hold them to account. The judiciary dilly-dallies on missing persons and kill and dump issues because it has never been people-friendly. Atrocities and injustices are possible because people have become too docile and too obedient and have abdicated their right to protest.

Howard Zinn rightly said, “Civil disobedience is not our problem. Our problem is civil obedience. Our problem is that people are obedient all over the world in the face of poverty and starvation and stupidity, and war, and cruelty. Our problem is that people are obedient while the jails are full of petty thieves…(and) the grand thieves are running the country. That is our problem.”

As long as the people continue to accept injustices and atrocities being perpetrated against them or others, the ‘grand thieves’ will remain in power everywhere and atrocities will not cease. The plea of ‘negligent dereliction of duty’ will always come in handy to the perpetrators if those judging them are of their ilk. Only when people will give up their docility and obsequiousness will justice be done and be seen to be done. And therein lies the solution to the injustices and atrocities anywhere in the world.

To read compete article » Daily Times

Military-Owned Businesses Pose Unique Corruption Risks

By Samuel Rubenfeld

Businesses owned by militaries around the world pose unique corruption risks to the sectors in which they operate, a new report found.

The report, released Thursday by Transparency International’s U.K. Defence and Security Programme, looks at how military-owned businesses are structured, what the inherent corruption risks are for these firms, and why and how the countries have made reforms to their military-owned companies.

“Once the military begins to engage in economic activities, it is often difficult to end such practices. In most situations, corruption becomes rampant and a major problem which (sic) harms the state and the national economy as well,” the report said.

Introducing a profit motive into the military increases the chance for distraction, the report said. Looking at case studies in China, Indonesia, Turkey and Pakistan, the report found that distraction often leads to outright graft, and in the more extreme cases that manifests itself in the form of embezzlement of state funds, tax fraud and even brutal coercive practices on workers. …..

Read more : The Wall Street Journal

The current Political crises in Pakistan – CPP’s analysis

By CPP

The Pakistan’s current political crises, is the most horrific tussle among its top institutions, has morphed grievous consequent deadlocks for the running of the affairs of the state. In order to understand its fundamental reasons, here, we would need to analyze its background circumstances.

1). The Pakistani military is no more a mere security agency , but an industrial and business corporation, in real terms. The economic and business positions of the army Generals, has over taken in many folds, the volume of the civilian business enterprises  on the basis of these economic interests, being a class in stalk ,the political privileges, advantages and access to power or supremacy over the political dispensation is for now realized to be an oxygen for them . Therefore , military, as a class no way can afford any civilian government to deliver things  independently without their prior approval .

2). Among ,the many businesses of the army, apart from industries and import -exports , “JEHAD” is adapted to be the most credible business corporation ,which has been for long greatly flourishing in leaps and bounds , under US imperialist’s patronage for the last 40 or so many years ,as a result almost all 5 stars Generals and Major Generals have turned billionaires and down to the rank of Majors ,have become Millionaires ,in quite short span of life.

3). The Obama’s administration ( democrats ), seems interested to work out some settlement for the Afghan issue, in order to cut down its colossal expenditures , there . They earnestly aspire for to have been successful in installing a US amicable government in Kabul, which would mean for the Pakistani Generals to wash off hands from the Jihad dividends . Consequently, the Generals have to resort, applying every means to keep up the past madcap policy on Afghanistan intact, so as to let the Jihad business go on . The present elected government, has opted, greatly, a US harmonious policy on this issue.

4). There is also, exists a profound contradiction between the army and the civilian government over the establishment of relations viz a vis, India concerned . The Pakistani government desires to normalize relations with India, which is a total opposite perspective to the basic policy stand of the Generals. Keeping the Kashmir issue alive at all costs to legitimate the false security apprehension from India, so as to justify the persistent un-auditable increase in military budget and its personnel strength . This is subject to keep intact the security state, status of Pakistan, through enhanced empowerment and role granted to play by the military institution.

Continue reading The current Political crises in Pakistan – CPP’s analysis

We salute our sisters of Sindhyani Tehreek. – By: Kalavanti Raja

A successful shutter down strike observed by Sindh Nationalists Parties, the call was given by an alliance of Sindh nationalist parties, ‘Sindh Bachayo Committee (SBC), against the 20th Constitutional Amendment draft bill which was tabled in the National (Federal) Assembly by the Muttahida Qaumi Movement.

In Hyderabad, the workers of Sindh Bachayo Committee took out a rally from Hyder Chowk to SP Chowk, during that the protesters clashed with the police and the same situation was occurred in Karachi when a crowd of  ethnic elements (gundas) on Motor cycles  tried to stop the marching Sindhiyani Tahreek activists on M.A. Jinnah road but the brave Sindhiyani Tahreek workers handled the situation … Two women activists injured.  In other parts of Sindh nearly 117 workers were detained in the crackdown operation against Sindh nationalist parties by the police.

Received via email.

Unfortunately, “The Nation” forgot to mention that this drunk man who was caught harassing the air hostess, is a serving Brigadier of Pak army

Man held for ‘misbehaving with airhostess

By: Israr Ahmad

RAWALPINDI – A passenger was arrested by Airport Security Forces (ASF) for misbehaving with an airhostess, as she stopped him from smoking in the plane here on Saturday.

The arrested passenger, a resident of Kotli Satian, was being interrogated by the ASF while police have also been called by Benazir Bhutto Islamabad International Airport (BBIIA) management. As per details, the flight of Pakistan International Airline (PIA) PK-308 was coming from Karachi to Islamabad when a passenger lit a cigarette in the plane. The airhostess, Sanan Arbaz, barred him from smoking in the flight which made the passenger angry and he started misbehaving with the airhostess.

The flight staffers also tried to stop the passenger from misbehaving with airhostess but in vain. On this the pilot of the flight informed ASF, which took the passenger into custody after landing the flight.

Courtesy: The Nation

http://www.nation.com.pk/pakistan-news-newspaper-daily-english-online/national/17-Apr-2011/Man-held-for-misbehaving-with-airhostess

– – – – – – – – –

For more details » Marvi Sirmad » Baaghi

Via – Twitter

International scrutiny of the Supreme Court – Pakistani Spreme Court may have overstepped its constitutional authority

International scrutiny of the Supreme Court

By Asad Jamal

In a press release issued on January 25, 2012, the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) expressed its concern over the convening of the inquiry commission for the so-called memo affair. The ICJ, while calling for respecting the rights of former ambassador to the US, Husain Haqqani, said there are legitimate concerns that in doing so the “SC may have overstepped its constitutional authority and that this action could undermine the ongoing Parliamentary inquiry”. Can the honourable judges of our apex court ignore the views of the ICJ?

Continue reading International scrutiny of the Supreme Court – Pakistani Spreme Court may have overstepped its constitutional authority

Nationalists shut Sindh to protest 20th Amendment

* Say parliament not authorised to form new provinces

By Asghar Azad

KARACHI: A complete shutter-down and wheel-jamed strike was observed in Sindh, excluding a few localities of Karachi, on Saturday.

The strike call was given by an alliance of Sindhi nationalist parties, ‘Sindh Bachayo Committee (SBC), against the 20th Constitutional Amendment bill which was tabled in the National Assembly by the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) and was approved for discussion. The nationalists feared the bill was aimed at dividing Sindh.

The nationalist parties, including Jeay Sindh Qaumi Mahaz, Jeay Sindh Tahreek, Sindh United Party, Sindh National Front, Sindh Taraqqi Pasand Party, Awami Tehreek and National People’s Party condemned the proposed amendment. Professional bodies, human rights activists and writers’ organisations had announced their full support for the shutter-down strike as no public transport was available, causing severe difficulties for commuters to carry out their day-to-day work.

A protest demonstration was held in Hyderabad while roads were also blocked at various places.

All business activities came to a grinding halt in big and small cities of the province, including Sukkur, Nawabshah, Larkana, Khairpur, Dadu, Naushahro Feroze, Moro, Faiz Ganj, Gambat, Ranipur, Rohiri, Ghotki, Pir Jo Goth, Wada Machoon, Babarlo, Therrhi, Kumb, Padedan, Thatta, Golarrchi, Choohar Jamali, Badin, Fazil Rahou, Talhar, Tando Muhammad Khan, Tando Allahyar, Mirpurkhas, Mithi, Islam Kot, Sakrand, Dolat Pur and Umer Kot.

The strike was also observed in various localities of Karachi, including Gulshan-e-Iqbal, Gulistan-e-Jauhar, Gadop Town, Gulshan-e-Hadeed, Bhens Colony, Abdullah Goth, Pipri, Sindhi Goth, Gaghar Phattak, Chakra Goth, Bilal Colony, Gulshan-e-Mehran, Mehran Town, Bhittai Colony Korangi, Sachal Goth, Safora Goth, Mosmyat, Memon Goth, Liyari, Baloch Goth and Baloch Colony of Orangi, Malir, Maripur, Bhitiabad, Dhani Bux Khaskhekli Goth, Rashidi Goth, Razaq Abad, Peer Goth and Bin Qasim Colony.

Workers and supporters of the nationalist parties staged rallies and sit-ins at several places, including Indus and national highways, Sehwan Bypass, Khairpur Bypass, Rohiri Bypass, Larkana-Khairpur Bridge Bypass, Faiz Ganj and Hyderabad.

Meanwhile, SBC convener Syed Jalal Mehmood Shah said that the people had given their verdict against the amendment and it was not acceptable to them in any shape. He appreciated business and traders’ communities for cooperating and participating in the strike.

Talking to Daily Times, Shah said that “the makers of the 1973 constitution, though complied with the first provision of the Lahore Resolution that there would be four provinces in the new federation and did not confer any power on parliament to create new provinces, but they violated the second provision of the Lahore Resolution, which says the federal government could only be given four subjects including, defence, foreign affairs, currency and customs”.

“We can safely say that though the constitutions of 1956 and 1962 were based on total violation of the two provisions of the Lahore Resolution, the 1973 constitution fulfills the first part of the Lahore Resolution of giving protection to the unity and integrity of provinces,” he said, adding that it gave the federal government more subjects than envisaged in 1940 resolution. Shah said, “Again an attempt is being made by centralists to violate the Lahore Resolution by giving parliament the power to create more provinces.” It may be mentioned that the MQM has submitted a proposal in the National Assembly for the formation of new provinces in the country.

Courtesy: Daily Times

Stop the ongoing anti-Ahmadi hate campaign in Rawalpindi

A hate campaign against the Ahmadiyya community in Rawalpindi has been brewing for the last many months. A massive protest rally against the community has been planned by extremist elements for Sunday, January 29th, 2012 in Satellite Town area of Rawalpindi city.

Through this petition, we urge the Federal Government and the Government of Punjab to immediately take notice of, intervene and put an end to this ongoing hate campaign against its fellow citizens.

The least the government can do is protect its citizens. We urge the government to provide adequate security to the vulnerable Ahmadis under attack on Sunday.

News: http://alufaq.com/pakistan-hate-campaign-ahmadis-satellite-town-rawalpindi

Read more » http://www.change.org/petitions/stop-the-ongoing-anti-ahmadi-hate-campaign-in-rawalpindi

Panetta says he ‘felt’ Pakistan knew of bin Laden’s hideout

By Al Arabiya with Agencies

U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta still believes someone in authority in Pakistan knew where Osama bin Laden was hiding before U.S. forces went in to find him, he said in a TV interview to air Sunday.

Intelligence reports found Pakistani military helicopters had passed over the compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan where U.S. Navy SEALs discovered and killed bin Laden last year, according to excerpts of an interview Panetta gave to CBS News.

“I personally have always felt that somebody must have had some sense of what was happening at this compound. Don’t forget, this compound had 18-foot walls… It was the largest compound in the area.

“So you would have thought that somebody would have asked the question, ‘What the hell’s going on there?’“ Panetta told CBS.

The Pentagon chief said that concern played a significant factor in Washington not warning Pakistan officials of the impending raid: “it concerned us that, if we, in fact, brought (Pakistan) into it, that– they might…give bin Laden a heads up,” he said. ….

Read more » alArabiya

We’re killing education

By Dr Javaid R Laghari

Excerpt;

…. Pakistan must invest foremost in education with renewed vigour. The lower education must focus on improving quality, while the HEC must be supported to raise Pakistan’s knowledge workers’ level to world standards. Any other direction will be suicidal for Pakistan’s education.

The writer is chairman of Pakistan’s Higher Education Commission. Email: jlaghari@hec. gov.pk

To read complete article » The News

U.S falls to 47th in press freedom rankings after Occupy crackdown

By Ellen Connolly

Sweeping protests around the world made it an extremely difficult year for the media, and tested journalists as never before, the annual report into press freedom reveals.

The annual report by Reporters Without Borders has been released, showing the United States fell 27 points on the list due to the many arrests of journalists covering Occupy Wall Street protests.

The slide in the United States places it just behind Comoros and Taiwan in a group with Argentina and Romania.

Reporters Without Borders said the heightened unrest around the world resulted in a significant shake-up of the group’s annual Press Freedom Index, which assesses governments’ commitment to protecting media freedoms.

The Paris-based non-governmental Reporters Without Borders has named “crackdown” the word of 2011 in an assessment of global media freedom during a year in which journalists covering sweeping protests were tested as never before.

The non-governmental organisation seeks to defend journalists’ freedom to work and combat censorship internationally. ….

Read more » daily Mail. co. uk

Christian jihad against Christians in the 11th century – Christians perpetrating genocide on Christians

Cathars and Cathar Beliefs in the Languedoc

Afrikaans Kathaar, Catalan càtar, Czech Albigenstí, German Katharer, Eesti Katarid, Spanish Catarismo, Esperanto Katarismo, French Cathares, Italian Catari, Dutch Katharen, Norwegian Katarer, Polish Katarzy, Portuguese Catarismo, Slovenian Albigénstvo, Finnish Kataarit, Swedish Katarer.

The Cathars were a religious group who appeared in Europe in the eleventh century, their origins something of a mystery though there is reason to believe their ideas came from Persia by way of the Byzantine Empire, the Balkans and Northern Italy. Records from the Roman Catholic Church mention them under various names and in various places. Catholic theologians debated with themselves for centuries whether Cathars were Christian heretics or whether they were not Christians at all. The question is apparently still open. Roman Catholics still refer to Cathar belief as “the Great Heresy” though the official Catholic position is that Catharism is not Christian at all. ….

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