Iran president unveils Qaher-313 indigenous fighter jet

Iran has unveiled a new indigenous fighter jet, which is said to be similar to a US-made warplane.

Qaher-313 (Conqueror-313) advanced military aircraft was put on display during a ceremony on Saturday in the presence of Commander of Iran’s Army Major General Ataollah Salehi, Defense Minister Brigadier General Ahmad Vahidi and Commander of the Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force (IRIAF) Brigadier General Hassan Shah-Safi on the occasion of the Ten-Day Dawn celebrations commemorating the victory of 1979 Islamic Revolution.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who addressed the unveiling ceremony, reiterated that Iran’s defense might did not serve purposes of “expansionism and aggression against other countries” and that it was “deterrent” by nature.

Ahmadinejad also stated that the fighter jet had been completely designed and manufactured by Iranian experts.

Qaher-313 is said to be similar to the US-built F/A-18, although its appearance is similar to F-5E/F Tiger II.

Read more » Press TV
http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2013/02/02/286841/iran-unveils-new-indigenous-fighter-jet/

Top Pak scientist warns of extremist threat to n-weapons

By Hasan Suroor

Pakistani nuclear scientist Pervez Hoodbhoy has spoken of growing fears in Pakistan that its nuclear arsenal could be “hijacked” by extremists as a result of “increasing radicalisation” of the Army.

He said such fears were initially expressed mostly in the west but were now widely shared within Pakistan after “repeated” extremist attacks on Army installations, including the ISI headquarters in Lahore. These could not have taken place without “some sort of inside information”.

“There’s a fair degree of concern that because of increasing radicalisation of Pakistani Army, the country’s nuclear weapons could be hijacked by extremists,” he said speaking to a group of Indian journalists at the launch of his book, Confronting the Bomb: Pakistani & Indian Scientists Speak Out, a collection of essays by Indian and Pakistani scientists who believe that the acquisition of nuclear weapons by the two countries was “undesirable” and had put the entire subcontinent in danger.

Mr. Hoodbhoy, who has often been a target of the Pakistani establishment, said Pakistan’s nuclear capability had given a new dimension to its campaign against India. Islamabad saw it as a “counter-force” to overcome India’s military superiority and was providing a “nuclear umbrella” to jihadis engaged in anti-India activities.

Pervez Hoodbhoy interview: The Mumbai massacres and Pakistan’s new nightmares

“If Pakistan did not have nuclear weapons, Kargil would not have happened. My contention is that it was the first instance that nuclear weapons actually caused a war, ‘’ he said.

Warning of continued jihadi threat to India, he said: “Today India is faced with a very difficult situation because jihadis are still operating in Pakistan with the sanction of the state and they are provided cover by the fact that Pakistan has nuclear weapons.”

Continue reading Top Pak scientist warns of extremist threat to n-weapons

A four-day week for the good of the country?

Should people be off on Fridays?

By Vanessa Barford

The Gambia has shortened the work week, making Friday a day of rest. Is this the perfect pattern for a working week?

In the tiny African nation of The Gambia, public sector workers will now clock in at 8am and clock out at 6pm, Monday to Thursday. They’ll still do a 40-hour week but have the luxury of Friday off.

President Jammeh wants the extra rest day to “allow Gambians to devote more time to prayers, social activities and agriculture”.

In the dark days of the 19th Century, many workers in industrialised nations considered themselves lucky if they got Sunday off. The achievement of a 40-hour week with Saturday and Sunday off for many was a major landmark for the labour movement.

But some have tried to go further. In 2008, about 17,000 government officials in the US state of Utah started working four 10-hour days in a bid to cut costs. ….

Read more » BBC
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-21242782

Renowned Sindhi writer and scholar Siraj Memon passed away!

My Humble Homage, My Tearful Tribute to Siraj Memon

By Dr. Ahmed H. Makhdoom

Extremely saddened and shocked to learn about the tragic passing-away of our venerable elder Saaeen Sirajul Haque Memon.

Sirajul Haque was few years younger from my late father’s generation. However, he knew my late father as a friends and colleague for as long as I remember along with the greats of Sindh like the late Shaikh Ayaz, late Tanveer Abbasi and many other respected and revered scholars, writers and intellectuals of Sindh.

Sirajul Haque was a versatile and veritable writer, intellectual, scholar, literary figure, journalist, philosopher and a wise, sagacious and saintly being of the glorious Land of Sindh! He was, perhaps, the last of the greats and brilliant luminaries of Sindh who, through their extraordinary writings, compositions, texts, poetry and books par excellence enlightened the hearts and illuminated the minds of many of the ordinary beings like my own self throughout Sindh, who were always thirsty for knowledge and sagacity, scholarship and prudence.

Born at Tando Jam, Sindh, in 1933 he breathed his last at the age of 79 years old on 2nd Feabruary, 2013. Author of about a dozen scholarly works on History, Culture, Language and Literature of Sindh, he was also a journalist and a former Editor of Hilal-e-Pakistan, a Sindhi Newspaper which was published from Karachi, Sindh. His book “Parraaddo So Saddu” (in Sindhi پَڙاڏو سو سَڏُ) was amongst his masterpieces. He also wrote short stories and novels, which were treasured and like all over the Sindhi-speaking world in Sindh, Hind and the Diaspora.

Sirajul Haque’s innumerable books, novels, articles and newspaper and magazine columns were truly, enriching, entertaining, pleasing, amusing, engaging and highly heart-warming and enamouring.

Continue reading Renowned Sindhi writer and scholar Siraj Memon passed away!