Rest in Peace – President Hugo Chavez, hero to World’s poor, is dead

Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez dies from cancer

By Andrew Cawthorne and Daniel Wallis

CARACAS: (Reuters) – Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has died after a two-year battle with cancer, ending the socialist leader’s 14-year rule of the South American country, Vice President Nicolas Maduro said in a televised speech on Tuesday.

The flamboyant 58-year-old leader had undergone four operations in Cuba for a cancer that was first detected in his pelvic region in mid-2011. His last surgery was on December 11 and he had not been seen in public since.

“It’s a moment of deep pain,” Maduro, accompanied by senior ministers, said, his voice choking.

Chavez easily won a new six-year term at an election in October and his death will devastate millions of supporters who adored his charismatic style, anti-U.S. rhetoric and oil-financed policies that brought subsidized food and free health clinics to long-neglected slums.

Continue reading Rest in Peace – President Hugo Chavez, hero to World’s poor, is dead

Is religious extremism really gaining ground in Sindh?

Extremism gains ground in Sindh

By Zia Ur Rehman

Banned militant groups and new madrassas linked to them are changing the traditionally tolerant and progressive landscape of Sindh

On October 13, unidentified men fired at an Afghanistan-bound convoy of NATO fuel supply trucks in the Shikarpur district of Southern Sindh and burned six of them. Before that, on October 1, a group of 30 armed men attacked NATO trucks at the National Highway near Khairpur district, wounding four people and destroying 10 vehicles. NATO supply trucks had been attacked in Peshawar, Khyber Agency, Islamabad and Balochistan for years, but recently such attacks are also being carried out in Sindh.

Some believe that the motive of such attacks might be insurance claims and not terrorism, but a leader of Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) claimed that the men who attacked the NATO supply vehicles in Sindh were in fact militants and belonged to the TTP-linked mobile ‘Siyara Group’.

Sindh’s civil society and nationalist parties fear that militancy and religious intolerance are gaining grounds in the province. New madrassas (seminaries) and increased activities of banned jihadi organisations are affecting the traditional Sufi and progressive landscape of the province. ….

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