Pakistani cleric: catalyst for change or military stooge?

By Matthew Green and Mubasher Bukhari

LAHORE, Pakistan (Reuters): A month ago, Muhammad Tahirul Qadri was living quietly in Canada, immersed in the affairs of his Islamic charity and seemingly far removed from the pre-election power games shaping the fate of politicians in his native Pakistan.

In the past three weeks, he has returned home to lead a call for electoral reforms that has earned him instant celebrity, sent a stab of anxiety through the ruling class and raised fears of trouble at a planned rally in Islamabad on Monday.

“Our agenda is just democratic electoral reforms,” Qadri told Reuters in the eastern city of Lahore, the headquarters of his Minhaj-ul-Quran religious foundation. “We don’t want the law-breakers to become our lawmakers.”

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Nation refusing to defend itself — Tausif Kamal

No amount of good governance can usher in prosperity and progress without first dealing with and defeating the internal enemy in our midst

So our army brass has now come to the brilliant conclusion that the Taliban/jihadis’ internal threat constitutes the biggest security risk to the country. Indeed! This belated acknowledgment comes after a period of no less than a decade when this internal enemy first launched its attacks against the state and people of Pakistan, after the killing of no less than 40,000 of our citizens and forces, wounding of thousands more, and after the horrific destruction wrought by this enemy from within.

But even this Eureka moment of the army in recognising the Taliban as the country’s biggest enemy does not mean that it is ready to take action to confront and defeat this enemy. The army wants the civilian government to devise a ‘comprehensive strategy’ to fight this enemy. And the civilian government in turn wants the army to further tweak and ‘redefine’ its reading of this grave security threat.

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SANA deplores threats to the integrity of Sindh

SANA protestSindhi Association of North America (SANA) being largest and democratic organization of Sindhi Diaspora has strongly condemned the threats to the integrity of Sindh by MQM chief Altaf Hussain. SANA termed the threats by MQM chief as very dangerous and divisive and warned that such biased, parochial and antagonistic politics may result in bloodshed in Sindh. Sindh is a historic entity and the people will never allow it to be partitioned or divided.

MQM supported by various power brokers has caused reign of unabated violence, destruction and irreversible damage to economic activity in Sindh, and continued anti Sindh policies with the unconditional support of current government.

The large majority of the people in Sindh have rejected the new local government system in Sindh introduced at the behest of MQM. Sindh Peoples Local Government Act, SPLGA, is discriminatory and divisive in nature and will create permanent acrimony among various sections of the population in Sindh.

We stand in solidarity with people of Sindh who have rejected Sindh People Local Government Act 2012.

SANA called upon the MQM to desist from destructive and divisive politics and try to reach a consensus on a workable local government system in the province acceptable to all the sections of the society. That will bring all the people of the province together and will be beneficial for the progress, development and peace.

SANA draws attention of people of Sindh, especially Sindh-Loving Urdus peaking Sindhis to reject once for all the narrow minded and myopic views of MQM and standby the philosophy of love, peace and nonviolence which is deeply embedded in consciousness of Sindhi people.

SANA also demands representatives sitting in legislature of Sindh Assembly to work toward undoing of SPLGA and bring forward a bill that is representative of demands and needs of people of Sindh. The subject bill should be equitable across the board and should aim at making civic life better for all people

SANA urged the world community not to support any moves by MQM to divide Sindh, the heir to the great Indus Valley Civilization as such attempts would destabilize the already volatile region.

Going nuclear-free: Germany smashes solar power world record

Germany’s solar power plants produced a record 22 gigawatts of energy on Friday, equivalent to the output of 20 nuclear plants. The country is already a world-leader in solar power and hopes to be free of nuclear energy by 2022.

The director of the Institute of the Renewable Energy Industry (IWR) in Muenster, northeast Germany, said the solar power delivered to the national grid on Saturday met 50 per cent of the nation’s energy quota.

“Never before anywhere has a country produced as much photovoltaic electricity. Germany came close to the 20 gigawatt (GW) mark a few times in recent weeks. But this was the first time we made it over,” Norbert Allnoch told Reuters news agency.

The German government decided to turn its back on nuclear energy last year after the Fukushima disaster and plans to be nuclear-free by 2022. Critics have rounded on the initiative, skeptical that renewable sources can meet the nation’s growing energy needs.

“This shows Germany is capable of meeting a large share of its electricity needs with solar power. It also shows Germany can do with fewer coal-burning power plants, gas-burning plants and nuclear plants,” stressed Allmoch. ….

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