The state withers away in Pakistan

by Omar Ali

3 days ago the Pakistani Taliban raided an outpost of the levies, a paramilitary force recruited primarily from the Afridi tribesmen of the Khyber agency. Poorly equipped, poorly paid and left to stand on the frontlines of the war against the Taliban with little or no backup from the army, the levies lost 3 men and another 23 were captured. The next day the “local administration” spent a busy day contacting “tribal elders” to negotiate with the Taliban for the release of those poor men. But the talks failed and the captives were executed and their bodies dumped a couple of miles outside the city. This is not the first time the local Taliban have captured levies or other paramilitary forces and it is not the first time they have executed them. ….

Read more » 3quarksdaily

To watch the video of brutal Taliban execution of Pakistani soldiers, please click this link »  http://www.3quarksdaily.com/3quarksdaily/2012/12/the-state-withers-away-in-pakistan-.html#more

Wreaking vengeance — Mir Mohammad Ali Talpur

The European colonists who took over Minnesota were cold-bloodedly ruthless and brutal in defence of their transgressions against the real masters of the land

Every year, since 2005, some motivated Dakota Indians make a 300-mile trek on horseback in frigid winter temperatures to revive the memory of the 1862 travesty of justice when 38 of their ancestors were executed at Mankato in the biggest mass hanging in US history. To mark the sesquicentennial anniversary, this year’s ride began on December 10 in Crow Creek, South Dakota, the reservation the Dakota were exiled to from Minnesota, and ended on December 26 in Mankato. These hangings had followed kangaroo-court convictions of 303 Sioux Indians. Some trials of the thousands who surrendered after the defeat in the Dakota War of 1862, aka the Sioux Uprising, or Little Crow’s War, lasted less than five minutes. This public mass execution was on a single scaffold platform and the dead were buried en masse in a trench that was reopened that night and bodies distributed among the doctors.

When Minnesota became a state on May 11, 1858, the Dakota Indian bands’ representatives led by Little Crow the Sioux chief travelled to Washington, DC to negotiate the implementation of treaties. Instead, the northern half of the reservation along the Minnesota River was also taken and Pipestone quarry rights abolished. The Indian land was divided into townships and plots for settlement. Logging and agriculture eliminated surrounding forests and prairies and interrupted the Dakotan’s annual cycle of farming, hunting, fishing and gathering wild rice. Uncontrolled settler hunting dramatically reduced bison, elk, whitetail deer and bear, decreasing Dakota meat supply and reducing their furs’ sale. The Dakota Indians became increasingly discontented over their loss of land, non-payment of annuities, past broken treaties, food shortages and famines following crop failures.

Continue reading Wreaking vengeance — Mir Mohammad Ali Talpur

Woman Is Charged With Murder as a Hate Crime in a Fatal Subway Push

By MARC SANTORA

A 31-year-old woman was arrested on Saturday and charged with second-degree murder as a hate crime in connection with the death of a man who was pushed onto the tracks of an elevated subway station in Queens and crushed by an oncoming train.

The woman, Erika Menendez, selected her victim because she believed him to be a Muslim or a Hindu, Richard A. Brown, the Queens district attorney, said.

“The defendant is accused of committing what is every subway commuter’s nightmare: Being suddenly and senselessly pushed into the path of an oncoming train,” Mr. Brown said in an interview.

In a statement, Mr. Brown quoted Ms. Menendez, “in sum and substance,” as having told the police: “I pushed a Muslim off the train tracks because I hate Hindus and Muslims ever since 2001 when they put down the twin towers I’ve been beating them up.” Ms. Menendez conflated the Muslim and Hindu faiths in her comments to the police and in her target for attack, officials said.

The victim, Sunando Sen, was born in India and, according to a roommate, was raised Hindu. …..

Read more » The New York Times
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/30/nyregion/woman-is-held-in-death-of-man-pushed-onto-subway-tracks-in-queens.html?_r=1&

A Letter by Akhtar Mengal, head of BNP to Sen. John Kerry to take notice of endless atrocities against Balochs

BALOCHISTAN NATIONAL PARTY

December 28, 2012

The Honorable John F. Kerry,

218 Russell, Senate Office Building United States Senate Washington, DC 20510

Honorable Senator Kerry, Season’s Greetings and a Happy New Year. At the outset of this letter please allow me to congratulate you on your nomination as the next U.S. Secretary of State. We are confident that your vast knowledge and experience in Asia, both in peace and conflicts will prove to be a gain for the people around the globe. I am writing to you concerning heightened Balochistan conflict in Pakistan, in your new capacity as secretary of state and as the co-author of the “Enhanced Partnership with Pakistan Act of 2009.”As you are very well aware about volatile situation and conflicts in Pakistan and particularly about strategically significant region of Balochistan where the Pakistani Security Forces on Christmas Day have launched a scorched earth policy, attacking the town of Mashkay and destroying the nearby tiny hamlet of Mehi in district Awaran.

Continue reading A Letter by Akhtar Mengal, head of BNP to Sen. John Kerry to take notice of endless atrocities against Balochs

‘US using spy agencies of other countries against Pakistan’

* Defence secretary says Islamabad has ‘complete’ list of CIA agents in Pakistan

* US, UK against Pakistan’s nuclear programme

ISLAMABAD: Defence Secretary Lt General (r) Asif Yaseen Malik on Friday said that the US is using the spy agencies of other countries against Pakistan.

Speaking to a select group of journalists at the Defence Ministry, the defence secretary said Pakistan had complete information about the CIA agents working in the country. He said Pakistan has been informed by the US regarding presence of the CIA agents.

He added that no country was allowed to work undercover in the country. “The CIA also uses the agencies of other countries.” He said the US and Britain are against the nuclear assets of Pakistan, adding that America is using agencies of other countries against the country.

General Asif said there is no formal agreement between CIA and the ISI for secret operation. He said 95 percent of the defence policy is made by the three defence services on the basis of mutual consultation. He added that negotiations were going on for the replacement of spy aircraft that were damaged in attacks on Mehran and Kamra bases.

Read more » Daily Times

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2012\12\29\story_29-12-2012_pg1_2

Canadians not as confident about Harper in 2013

Heading into 2013, Canadians are confident about the economy, less confident about Harper

By Andy Radia

Despite all the news about the Americans going over the ‘fiscal cliff‘ next week, Canadians are still confident about our economy heading into the new year.

Continue reading Canadians not as confident about Harper in 2013

Terrorism in Pakistan: A View from Moscow

By: Andrei Volodin, specially for RIR

Russia should make every effort to help recover the pattern of civil society in Pakistan by supporting the role of political parties, civil groups and any organisations that aim to fight terrorism.

Terrorism has grown into probably the most destructive phenomenon in today’s Pakistan. The sorrow list of victims of terrorist attacks is expanding rapidly, going up from 164 casualties in 2003 to 40,000 in 2011. According to official data, damage suffered by the country from 2000 to 2011 exceeded $70 billion.

The official government acknowledgement of terrorism as the main threat to the unity and integrity of Pakistan has proved unable to reverse the situation as terrorist efforts retain their momentum.

The sources of terrorism in Pakistan are usually linked to the policy of Islamisation of the country by General Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq (years in office: 1977 to 1988). An important element of the then emerging terrorist activity was Pakistan’s direct involvement in military actions in Afghanistan and the actual creation of the mujahideen units, who after the end of the military actions rose to prominence as a military and political force first in Afghanistan and then in Pakistan.

The government and society at large have no clear understanding of the strategy and tactics of fighting terrorism. The point of view of George Friedman, a U.S. analyst, is that Pakistan is losing its “trajectory into the future.” This opinion is underpinned by the increasingly chaotic social and political life in Pakistan, the army’s involvement in domestic processes, the poorly regulated government economy and the inability of political parties to set up adequate political life for more than five years. This “institutional vacuum” is inevitably filled up by other organisations, in case of Pakistan, terrorist structures.

Experts often describe Pakistan as a “pendulum state,” meaning the country’s typical alternation of military and civil government. However, following the resignation of Pervez Musharraf and with certain influence from the US, which disrupted the usual cyclicality, this constraint of political struggle was withdrawn from the political process. As a consequence, Pakistani parties were made even more fragile and unpredictable in their actions. There are basically personal problems that are substituting the existing controversies in the diverse social and political programmes of the Pakistan People’s Party, on the one hand, and the Pakistan Muslim League, on the other hand.

Continue reading Terrorism in Pakistan: A View from Moscow

India Teen Commits Suicide After Police Pressure Her To Drop Gang Rape Case, Marry Attacker

By: Agence France Presse

A 17-year-old Indian girl who was gang-raped committed suicide after police pressured her to drop the case and marry one of her attackers, police and a relative said on Thursday.

Amid the ongoing uproar over the gang-rape of a student on a bus in New Delhi earlier this month, the latest case has again shone the spotlight on the police’s handling of sex crimes.

One police officer has been sacked and another suspended over their conduct after the assault during the festival of Diwali on November 13 in the Patiala region in the Punjab, according to officials.

The teenager was found dead on Wednesday night after swallowing poison.

Inspector General Paramjit Singh Gill said that the teenager had been “running from pillar to post to get her case registered” but officers failed to open a formal inquiry.

Continue reading India Teen Commits Suicide After Police Pressure Her To Drop Gang Rape Case, Marry Attacker

Indian rape victim dies in hospital

By HEATHER TAN

SINGAPORE (AP) — A young Indian woman who was gang-raped and severely beaten on a bus in New Delhi died Saturday at a Singapore hospital, after her horrific ordeal galvanized Indians to demand greater protection from sexual violence that impacts thousands of women every day.

She “passed away peacefully” with her family and officials of the Indian embassy by her side,” said Dr. Kevin Loh, the chief executive of Mount Elizabeth hospital where she had been treated since Thursday. “The Mount Elizabeth Hospital team of doctors, nurses and staff join her family in mourning her loss,” he said in a statement.

He said the woman had remained in an extremely critical condition since Thursday when she was flown to Singapore from India. “Despite all efforts by a team of eight specialists in Mount Elizabeth Hospital to keep her stable, her condition continued to deteriorate over these two days. She had suffered from severe organ failure following serious injuries to her body and brain. She was courageous in fighting for her life for so long against the odds but the trauma to her body was too severe for her to overcome.”

The woman and a male friend, who have not been identified, were traveling in a public bus after watching a film on the evening of Dec. 16 when they were attacked by six men who took turns to rape her. They also beat the couple and inserted an iron rod into her body resulting in severe organ damage. Both of them were then stripped and thrown off the bus, according to police.

Indian police have arrested six people in connection with the attack, which left the victim with severe internal injuries, a lung infection and brain damage. She also suffered from a heart attack while in hospital in India.

Indian High Commissioner, or ambassador, T.C.A. Raghanvan told reporters that the scale of the injuries she suffered was “very grave” and in the end it “proved too much.

He said arrangements are being made to take her body back to India

The frightening nature of the crime shocked Indians, who have come out in their thousands for almost daily demonstrations, demanding stronger protection for women and death penalty for rape, which is now punishable by a maximum life imprisonment. Women face daily harassment across India, ranging from catcalls on the streets, groping and touching in public transport to rape.

But the tragedy has forced India to confront the reality that sexually assaulted women are often blamed for the crime, which forces them to keep quiet and not report it to authorities for fear of exposing their families to ridicule. Also, police often refuse to accept complaints from those who are courageous enough to report the rapes and the rare prosecutions that reach courts drag on for years.

Continue reading Indian rape victim dies in hospital

Is Pakistan going to become a “moderate Muslims” country?

Tahirul Qadri asks govt to bring ‘change’ by Jan 10

By Web Desk

LAHORE: Allama Tahirul Qadri, head of Minhajul Qur’an International (MQI), said the government should improve the current setup by January 10 or else he will lead a protest march to Islamabad on January 14.

Qadri was addressing a gathering named “Siyasat nahi, Riyasat bachao” at Minar-e-Pakistan, Lahore.

Criticising those in power, Qadri said in order to save the country, the people of Pakistan must decide if they will let corrupt people represent them.

Referring to the recent investigative report on country’s lawmakers who don’t pay taxes, Qadri said such people should not be allowed to become a part of the parliament.

“How can people who themselves break laws be allowed to sit in the parliament,” he said.

He also said that the parliament formulates laws that are in favour of the lawmakers rather than the people of Pakistan.

Speaking about his political plans, Qadri said his entire agenda is in accordance with the Constitution of Pakistan.

He further added that the much-anticipated election should take place but the concerned authorities should ensure it is conducted according to the Constitution.

Continue reading Is Pakistan going to become a “moderate Muslims” country?

Lemon Juice Eradicate my Chronic Hepatitis B

Comment by: Tee Seang Tan

Pure Lemon Juice Eradicate my Chronic Hepatitis B . Just Juice Nothing Else But In A Glass Cup.

I was detected in 1987 as a carrier of Hep.B after my first blood donation thru blood appeal request.

In the year 2000 I was enlisted to be monitored by NZ Hepatitis Foundation and I do need to go for every 6 month blood test .

Since 2004 I have became to like drinking lemon juice and a friend commented that lemon juice can help detoxify the liver. So that encouraged me to keep on drinking and

I am drinking daily at one gulp of 200 ml. Each time I drank the lemon juice I can feel the sweetness after taste .

Since 2005 the test result starts showing the digital reading and it has a reading of 52+ . And Eversince the reading just drops and by 2009 the test reading shows 0.00 and

I did a final 2 test and it shows negative results . After that I request for a DNA test of Hep. B in my body and the results shows negative as well.

By early 2010 the NZ Hepatitis Foundation sent me a letter to says that Congratulations ……. NOW that your file is being closed . What a MIRACLE……….with the help of LEMON JUICE .

SO GO FOR IT . JUST LEMON JUICE – PURE – A BIG THANK YOU LEMON JUICE…………

Courtesy: Hoa-Slayer

http://www.hoax-slayer.com/lemon-cancer-cells.shtml

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Note: Please avoid taking high blood pressure medications with lemons, lemon juice or gape fruit. It may damage your kidneys.

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Disclaimer – Articles and links on health issues are not intended to treat, diagnose or prescribe a cure for any health problem. The information contained herein is in no way to be considered as a substitute for your own inner guidance or consultation with a duly licensed health- care professional.
IAOJ not an expert on this or any other issues. Indus Asia Online Journal is a citizen’s journalist blog. Views on this and other blogs are just personal views and they could be wrong.

Language in Sindh schools

By Zubeida Mustafa

THE language dilemma in education remains unresolved in Pakistan because educationists fail to understand how basic language is to the child’s learning process, as also to the psyche of the speakers.

Those who ignore this fundamental truth can undermine national integrity. If they are running schools they cannot maximise the learning advantage of their students. Language has a political dimension as well. When our leaders fail to understand that imposing a language on a people amounts to linguistic imperialism, the consequences can be grave. We know what happened in 1971.

In this context, Sindh should be the last province to pose a problem. It has speakers of mainly two languages — Sindhi and Urdu. Geographically they are broadly divided between the rural and urban areas. Public-sector education follows this demographic feature in the medium of instruction policy. Unsurprisingly, from ASER 2012 (the annual report on the status of education) to be released in January it emerges that 90 per cent of the parents in Sindh want their children to be taught in Sindhi (presuming that is the language of their choice when they said no to Urdu and English and opted for “other” in a survey conducted there).

Continue reading Language in Sindh schools

Tale of a thirsty town

Despite growing problem of drinking water in Gwadar, the administration is still not geared to manage the drought situation

By Naseer Memon

(The News-23rd Dec 2012)While Eastern parts of Balochistan are inundated under flood water, Southern belt of Makran coast of the same province is enduring a severe drought and people are desperately jostling for drinking water in long queues. Gwadar and adjoining areas with striking natural beauty of virgin beaches are without drinking water for several months.

Continue reading Tale of a thirsty town

No to TALIBANISATION – Candlelight Vigil by Sindhis to pay tribute to Bashir Bilour Shaheed at Hyderabad, Sindh

Candlelight vigil to pay tribute to Martyr BASHIR BILOUR

Please join us on 26.12.2012 at 3 pm at Hyderabad Press Club Road to remember and pay tribute to Bashir Bilour and other victims of the suicide bombing at Dhaki Nalbandi, Peshawar, Pakhtunkhwa. Please join us to resolve our firm commitment to defeat extremism and fundamentalism. Please join us to say no to TALIBANISATION of our progressive society, people and land. Please join us to demonstrate that the only way to defeat religious bigotry and fanaticism. We simply do have two options either we fight or confess defeat so let us unite to fight and win the war. Please join us having candles in your hands, tears in your eyes and optimism in your hearts.

Via – News adopted from facebook

GOVERNOR OF PUNJAB’S APPOINTMENT- A joint encounter of PML-F & PML-N

Nawab Ali RahooBy: Nawab Ali Rahoo, Hyderabad, Sindh

Recent move initiated by PPP led by President Zardari of appointing Makhdom Syed Ahmed Mehmood as Governor of Punjab Province is a multi purpose stroke jointly addressing the PML-F & PML-N both the parties. PML-F led by Pir Sahib Pagaro has recently conducted a mammoth public gathering in Hyderabad, Sindh which has lucidly placed PML-F as an emerging substitute to PPP in Sindh. The reputation & political strength of said party is increasing in leaps & bounds. People from all walks of life are joining PML-F. Since the day PPP- MQM coalition introduced SPLGO in Sindh Assembly, PML- F along with a few opposed it dynamically. This shift of PML-F from government batches to opposition was not only admired by the masses but was warmly welcomed also. Seeing this popular acceptance by the people of Sindh Pir Sahib gathered all nationalists & the parties who were against it instead of reviving previous alliance with PPP and vowed to fight with government till the withdrawal of Dual local Government Bill. PPP has tried a lot to settle the matters with PML-F but could not resolve.

As the momentum of criticizing PPP govt: in general & the Dual local Govt: Bill in particular is high. In this context a recent massive public gathering was organized by PML-F at Hyderabad on 14th of instant .Surprisingly to know that there a personality appeared as vehement & stiff critic of PPP that was nothing else but upcoming Governor Syed Ahmed Mehmood, who informed the audience that he, was coming directly from London chiefly to attend this public gathering. The said public gathering of PML-F caused PPP leadership restless. As Makhdom A. Mehmood was President of Punjab PML-F and is said to be relative of the former Prime Minister Yousif Raza Gilani as well as of Pir Sahib Pagara.

With in seven days (decision /consent of the incumbent reported on 21st of instant) of time the cards of game got quietly changed. The breeze of lust & power swept all affiliations and promises shortly made. The sources disclosed that despite refusal of Pir Pagaro for not attaining the post offered, Makhdom Mehmood was inclined to be the Governor calling it the wish of his father thus Pir Sahib demanded resignation which was tendered by him instantly.

Continue reading GOVERNOR OF PUNJAB’S APPOINTMENT- A joint encounter of PML-F & PML-N

Pakistan: A country created & being destroyed in the name of religion – by Aziz Narejo

It was not long ago when some Indian Muslim leaders had gathered in Lahore and had adopted a resolution at their meeting to demand a brand new country in the name of religion. They systematically created a mass frenzy in the support of their demand and finally achieved what they wanted – ‘a brand new country in the name of religion’. It was born in a pool of blood and was accompanied by the misery and the mass migration on a scale never seen before in the Sub-Continent.

But creating hysteria and dividing population in the name of religion was very easy compared to running and managing a new country. The leadership failed at all levels – and in all sections of the society. The rot started early. They couldn’t bring the country to the people. Couldn’t keep it together. Couldn’t agree on a Constitution or a form of government. First it was Mullahs, feudals and bureaucrats. They were soon joined by the military, which lost no time to enslave everybody else. It became the ‘praetorian masters’, the ‘powers that be’ and the ‘establishment’. The military became the ultimate master of the destiny of the country.

To stop the people from getting their due rights, the establishment created a fake ‘ideology of Pakistan’. When pressed to accept demands of the people, especially from the eastern wing and the smaller provinces, it first created One Unit and then encouraged the rightists to fight the progressive elements and the people of various nationalities demanding their rights. The religious right and the establishment would readily dub them unpatriotic, anti-state, anti-Islam and enemies of the country.

What was the result? They lost half of the country in just 24 years. They still didn’t learn. Created some more monsters in the name of religion and ethnicity. Today everything seems out of control. The rightist groups, which were supported in the name of religion to fight the nationalist and progressive elements in the country and to wage proxy wars on the borders and in India and Afghanistan, have started working on their own agenda. They now think they are in a position to claim the whole pie – ‘why settle for less’?

Continue reading Pakistan: A country created & being destroyed in the name of religion – by Aziz Narejo

Female Taliban Suicide Bomber Hates The Idea Of Virgins In Heaven

ISLAMABAD (The Global Edition) – Khalida Akhtar, a 20-year-old Taliban suicide bomber, decided at the last minute not to blow herself up at the main train station in the capitol of Pakistan because she remembered that she would have to deal with a bunch of virgin guys in heaven, local authorities say.

Ms. Akhtar, who was dressed in a head-to-toe burqa and strapped with explosives, was seen just hours ago running and screaming through the Islamabad Railway Station before she was apprehended by local law enforcement.

“The young woman realized that she would have 72 virgins on her hands if she sacrificed her earthly life, and apparently the thought made her so sick to her stomach that she decided on the spot to pull the plug on the whole operation and give herself up to the authorities,” police officer Malik Rashid told reporters.

In a statement recorded by arresting officers, Ms. Akhtar explained her decision. “I’d actually never stopped before to think about the reward I would receive for my sacrifice,” Ms. Khalida said. “Unlike my brother and his friends, I’m actually not a fan of virgins. To be fair, I don’t think any woman in the world is. I’m supposed to give my life for a bunch of guys that don’t know anything about the female body or how to please a woman? I don’t think so!” Khalida added.

Continue reading Female Taliban Suicide Bomber Hates The Idea Of Virgins In Heaven

Senior ANP leader Bashir Bilour martyred

PESHAWAR: Senior Minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Bashir Ahmed Bilour passed away in Peshawar’s Lady Reading Hospital after doctors failed to resuscitate him. He was critically injured in a suicide attack in Peshawar, Geo News reported.

The blast also left 9 others dead and 17 injured, sources said.

The attack took place when the Awami National Party’s President for KPK Bashir Ahmed Bilour was exiting the residence of the party’s local leader following a meeting, along with his personal secretary and SHO Kabuli Police Station.

Both the personal secretary Noor Mohammed as well as the SHO, Sattar Khan were killed on the spot while 18 others were injured. According to hospital sources, Bashir Bilour was brought to the hospital in critical condition and was unconscious.

According to eyewitnesses, the suicide bomber detonated the explosives strapped to his body at a close distance from Bashir Bilour, inflicting critical wounds to his chest and stomach that later proved fatal. Bilour had repeatedly termed the fight against terrorism as ‘our own battle’. The Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan have claimed responsibility for the attack.

Continue reading Senior ANP leader Bashir Bilour martyred

Idle No More rallies held across Canada as movement grows

By: CTVNews.ca Staff

The national Idle No More movement showed no signs of slowing Friday as activists and protesters across Canada brought their call for protection of First Nations rights to the streets.

Peaceful gatherings took place in Winnipeg, Edmonton, Ottawa, Saskatoon,Toronto and Nova Scotia.

Manitoba First Nations groups rallied Friday morning at the Winnipeg International Airport, circling in cars, honking their horns and hoisting placards, one reading “Shame on you Canada.”

The group planned to join an Idle No More rally at the legislative building. A demonstration along Highway 102 in Truro, N.S. caused delays for about eight kilometres but was otherwise peaceful.

Hundreds also braved a snowstorm to march through the streets of Ottawa to denounce what they say is the systematic destruction of indigenous rights.

First Nations leaders say Ottawa’s policies toward First Nations are oppressive and they are concerned that federal government is preparing to siphon power from band councils.

Particularly concerning, activists say, is the recently passed Bill C-45, the omnibus budget bill that according to movement organizers will fasttrack the process for aboriginals to surrender their reserve lands. Organizers also protest the new law because it includes clauses they say will slash the number of federally protected waterways and jeopardize lands they rely on. First Nations groups say they were not sufficiently consulted on the legislation.

At a panel discussion Friday, Nova Scotia aboriginal activist Shelley Young said the government is ignoring the plight of the First Nations. She said the Idle No More movement has “spread like wildfire.”

“We’re not just speaking up for ourselves, we’re speaking up for the rest of Canada,” she said. “We know that our treaty rights protect the waters and waterways. We want to do something about it.”

Read more: http://www.ctvnews.ca/canada/idle-no-more-rallies-held-across-canada-as-movement-grows-1.1088765#ixzz2Fn5koC5O

 

Why Pakistan is not a failed state – By Michael Kugelman

It’s been about a week since the Connecticut school massacre, and Americans are still grieving.

Yet we’re comforted by the thought that, with time, the bereaved community of Newtown will bounce back. Students will return to school, and victims’ families will somehow get on with their lives. This is because America, as politicians and the US media have intoned repeatedly in recent days, is a strong and resilient society.

For me, such words bring to mind another strong and resilient society — one that endures constant afflictions, tragedies, and privation. I can think of few nations that suffer more misery than Pakistan.

Continue reading Why Pakistan is not a failed state – By Michael Kugelman

Canada gets human rights failing grade from Amnesty International

By: Olivia Ward, Foreign Affairs Reporter

Excerpt;

…. An Amnesty report released Wednesday says that committees on racial discrimination, prevention of torture and children’s rights found “a range” of “ongoing and serious human rights challenges,” especially for indigenous peoples.

“By every measure, be it respect for treaty and land rights, levels of poverty, average life spans, violence against women and girls, dramatically disproportionate levels of arrest and incarceration or access to government services such as housing, health care, education, water and child protection, indigenous peoples across Canada continue to face a grave human rights crisis,” it said. ….

Read more » The Toronto Star

http://www.thestar.com/news/world/article/1304353–canada-gets-human-rights-failing-grade-from-amnesty-international

Rift in leadership of Balochistan nationalist movement. Bothers Mehran & Hyrbyar Marri split over Freedom Charter

By: Murtaza Ali Shah

LONDON: A year after Baloch leader Hyrbyair Marri presented the ‘Freedom Charter’ for consultations to unite the Baloch nationalists on a single platform, key Baloch stakeholders have either opposed the document or expressed reservations about it.

Exiled leaders Mehran Baloch, Hyrbyar’s younger brother and Balochistan’s representative in the United Nations, Brahumdagh Bugti, self-exiled leader of the Balochistan Republican Party, Khan of Kalat Mir Suleman Dawood and Balochistan National Party (BNP) leader Akhtar Mengal have publicly distanced themselves from the ‘Freedom Charter’ and have alleged that the points in the charter are unrealistic and don’t correspond to the ground realities of the Baloch struggle.

Continue reading Rift in leadership of Balochistan nationalist movement. Bothers Mehran & Hyrbyar Marri split over Freedom Charter

Kalabagh: the other view – By Hassan Abbas

THE consensus at the national, or shall we say political, level to build the Kalabagh dam for water and power does not exist.

Perhaps some areas of Pakistan will benefit from the dam while some others will not, but the question is whether Pakistan as a whole would earn any net benefits from its construction.

Those in favour of the dam almost religiously believe that without it we are doomed to a dry future. Why do they think so? Perhaps because a number of reports by foreign ‘experts’ say so. Who are these ‘experts’? Where do they come from? Why do they care? We shall revisit these questions, but first a couple of others.

Do we produce enough electric power in Pakistan? No. Do we have enough water storage capacity? Well, it depends on 1) how we define ‘enough’; and 2) ‘where’ we want to store. Of all the available water in the Indus basin of Pakistan, approximately 95 per cent is directed to agriculture of which over 70 per cent goes waste; less than 30 per cent of it is the actual requirement for the crops we grow.

The fact is, besides wasting water, we also spend billions in managing wastage of water in the name of SCARP (Salinity Control and Reclamation Project). Rather than planning for more water — at the rate of 70 per cent wastage — we need to invest in increasing irrigation efficiency.

We can build a new dam to store water, or we can use an available storage space in the form of natural ‘aquifers’. Current knowledge of hydrogeology tells us that water storage is carried out better in aquifers than in dams.

If only we refill the depleted aquifers under the city of Lahore, we can store more water than the Tarbela reservoir — that too with the least social and environmental impact.

Rachna, Thal and Bari Doabs all offer excellent aquifers which could be exploited for storage, offering a potential storage capacity hundreds of times more than that of Tarbela, Mangla and Kalabagh combined. Although refilling an aquifer would be expensive, it would be much cheaper than building a large dam.

What about power? Do we need a dam for it? Let’s do some simple math here: the dam building might cost $10 billion with an estimated generation capacity of 5GW. This power, however, enters the grid only after completion of the dam which might take, say, 15 years.

With the prevailing technology of solar power, it costs approximately 90 cents to produce one watt. Given $10bn, we produce 10GW and production can start within the first few months of the project, progressively reaching 10GW in, say, two years.

So what is better — $10bn for 10GW in two years or $10bn for 5GW after 15 years plus the huge social and environmental impact?

Despite all this, why are there ‘experts’ who insist that we build the dam — a solution which we, as a poor country, neither have the financial muscle to embark on nor the technical expertise to undertake. Consequently, this ‘solution’ makes us dependent on foreign ‘help’, financially and technically. And we have to pay for this ‘help’ with interest.

When a mega project (like a large dam) is undertaken in a poor country with the ‘help’ of some global financiers, the latter are actually ‘investing’ in the poor country on behalf of a few (rich) ‘donors’.

The donor countries also share part of the project proportionate to their share of ‘donation’, thus creating jobs and businesses for their own citizens involved in that project. With this, their ‘donated’ capital comes back to re-circulate within their own economies, while the economy of the country being ‘helped’ hardly benefits.

Till the project is complete, the host country accumulates a huge debt, plus interest, without having earned anything. As soon as the project starts delivering, the host country is obliged to meet the loan repayment schedule.

Continue reading Kalabagh: the other view – By Hassan Abbas

JALSO of PML-F – A rejection to SPLGA – An emerging Alternative to get off forty years prison of PPP

Nawab Ali RahooBy: Nawab Ali Rahoo, Hyderabad,Sindh

Misfortune of one yields fortune for another. The prevailing leadership of PPP has provided an opportunity to PML-F to launch itself in a manner that deprived & betrayed masses by PPP-P Government may find rescue & comfort in the folds of PML-F. Since the day PPP- MQM coalition government tabled SPLGO in Sindh Assembly & got it passed hurriedly. The very moment PML-F on Assembly ground & the Nationalists on the roads opposed it with tooth & nail. The arrogant PPP neither paid attention towards public resentment nor responded to any political party opposing this barbaric bill.

On the one hand they started joking on opponents then criticized severely & finally conducted public meeting (jalso) in Hyderabad on 10th October 2012 which proved a flop show. On the other hand Sindh Bachayo Committee (SBC) under the convener ship of Syed Jalal Shah along with Jatoi Bros & Shahryar Mahar gathered at Pir Sahib Pagaro to accelerate the struggle against controversial Dual Local Government System. Due to Government’s tough & unfavorable stand on this controversial black bill there was a growing frustration among masses of Sindh.

In the mean time Pir Sahib Paggaro appeared as the gigantic voice of Sindh & Sindhis which raised a new hope among downtrodden masses of Sindh. His patriotic stand, vision, attitude & dealing with recently erupted political affairs earned for him a “leadership” role. Thus genial Pir Sahib Pagaro got consensus to lead all parties who are struggling against dual bill in particular and are willing to form a grand alliance against PPP in Sindh in coming elections in general.

Continue reading JALSO of PML-F – A rejection to SPLGA – An emerging Alternative to get off forty years prison of PPP

Enter PML-F: A turning point in Sindh’s politics

In Punjab, the PML-N is set to face competition from the emerging PTI, PML-Q and PPP. However, one never thought that the political scenario in Sindh would be similarly fraught with stiff competition. This is because PPP has historically enjoyed a monopoly over Sindh.

But nobody knew what December 14, 2012 would bring forth.

December 14, was the day when the unprecedented monopoly of PPP was finally challenged. It was not PML-N nor the PTI, but the Pakistan Muslim League – Functional (PML-F) led by Syed Sibghatullah Shah Rashdi, popularly known as Pir Pagaro, that did so.

Continue reading Enter PML-F: A turning point in Sindh’s politics

Rocket attack on peshawar airport.

Peshawar struck by rocket attacks

PESHAWAR: At least two rockets have landed in the urban Pehsawar near Bacha Khan International Airport, Geo News reported. Earlier three loud explosions were reported from different areas Khyber PakhtunKhwa’s capital, but later they turned out to be rocket fire. According to sources, two rockets fired from unknown location, landed in the University Town near airport.

Reportedly one of the rockets struck a residential block,while the other fell near a the airport’s boundary wall with loud bangs which shattered the windowpanes of buildings close-by. Rescue workers as well as law enforcers are on their way. More details are awaited.

Courtesy: The News

 

http://www.thenews.com.pk/article-79791-Peshawar-struck-by-rocket-attacks

 

Violence and strikes sending businesses in Karachi down the drain

By: Ismail Dilawar

KARACHI – Frequent incidents of violence and the consequent sense of paranoia in the country’s financial hub have seriously jeopardized businesses, and put a majority of the traders and businessmen under heavy debts during recent years.

The traders claim to have become insolvent due to violence, such as politically-motivated targeted killings, and frequent strikes that partially or completely cease the businesses activity in the port city. “Almost 80 percent of the traders in the city are breathing hard under heavy debts which they owe to the goods’ suppliers,” said Muhammad Atiq Mir, chairman of the All Karachi Tajir Ittehad (AKTI), a body representing around 400 city markets. This, he said, was because of the politically and religiously motivated violence, which is now the order of the day.

Mir said most of the traders’ shops were filled with suppliers’ goods. “Due to consistently increasing inflation and violence, the traders’ income has been going down,” he said. “Irrespective of the reasons, each day of suspended businesses activity costs the city traders at least Rs 2.5 to Rs 3 billion,” he said, adding that this amount reflected the revenues only. “Daily trading activity can roughly be estimated at over a trillion rupees,” said Mir, who also chairs the Federation of Pakistan Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s (FPCCI) standing committee on small traders and cottage industries.

Continue reading Violence and strikes sending businesses in Karachi down the drain