ISIS terrorists ambush and behead 10 Taliban fighters in Afghanistan as the bloody rivalry between the terror groups intensifies

ISIS jihadis intercepted and killed Taliban fighters as they fled a firefight
Taliban were trying to escape government troops at the time of the ambush
The attack took place in a remote area in eastern Nangarhar province
ISIS fighters killed at least 10 of the Taliban fighters in brutal beheadings

By JOHN HALL FOR MAILONLINE

Extremists fighting for the Islamic State’s fledgling outpost in Afghanistan have brutally beheaded at least 10 Taliban members, as the bloody rivalry between the two Islamic terror groups intensifies.

The attack took place in a remote area in the eastern province of Nangarhar after ISIS jihadis intercepted at least a dozen Taliban fighters who were fleeing a gun battle with government troops.

The rival terror groups declared war on one another in April after the Afghan Taliban branded ISIS’ self-declared caliphate illegitimate and refused to declare allegiance to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

ISIS responded by launching recruitment drives deep into Taliban territory, allowing them to expand rapidly – even reportedly replacing the Taliban as the dominant controlling force in one district.

Details of the mass beheadings were revealed by India.com, who said it came as Taliban fighters fled a remote outpost following a fierce firefight with Afghan security forces nearby.

The report suggested that as many as 12 Taliban fighters may have been beheaded by ISIS, although the official figure remains at 10.

Nangarhar province, which borders Pakistan, is a key target for ISIS as it looks to expand the territory under its control on its mission to build a worldwide caliphate.

Over the past year members of the Pakistani Taliban have displayed for more support for ISIS than their Afghan counterparts have done, with a number of prominent Pakistani jihadi groups going as far as declaring allegiance to ISIS leader al-Baghdadi while insisting they remain part of the Taliban.

The divide between the Afghan and Pakistani branches of the Taliban stems from the former’s desire to keep all non-Afghan influence out of the country, which the latter’s priority is to create a global caliphate, or Islamic state, under which harsh Sharia law would be enforced.

See more » DailyMail
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Taliban to the rescue: Iran reportedly arms Afghan militants against US, ISIS

Tehran is reportedly betting on the Taliban’s rise and is providing the militant movement with arms and training to secure leverage over it. Iran wants influence to counter the US and have fighters ready for a possible offensive by Islamic State.

According to a report in The Wall Street Journal, Iran has been providing the Taliban not only with money, but also hosted training camps in its territory since at least the fall of 2013. The US newspaper cites Western and Afghan officials and also a Taliban commander, who, the report says, was recruited by Iranian intelligence and is currently on Iran’s payroll.

“Iran is betting on the re-emergence of the Taliban,” a Western diplomat told WSJ. “They are uncertain about where Afghanistan is heading right now, so they are hedging their bets.”

Iran’s support of the Taliban is an alliance of convenience, according to the report. Iran is a Shiite country while the Taliban is Sunni, a difference that is difficult to bridge. In 2001, Tehran didn’t object to the ousting of the Taliban from power by a US-led invasion.

However, things have evolved, and with Taliban influence in Afghanistan growing, having a hand in it is becoming a useful asset. In 2013, the Iranians officially invited a Taliban delegation to an Islam conference.

WSJ interviewed Abdullah, a Taliban commander, who said he was an Afghan illegal immigrant in Iran, who was recruited by Iranian intelligence. He currently receives $580-a-month salary as well as necessary supplies from his sponsors, he said. Among the weapons he can order are 82mm mortars, light machine guns, rocket-propelled grenades and rifles, he added.

Abdullah and Afghan official said Iran operates four training camps for the Taliban in the Iranian cities of Tehran, Mashhad and Zahedan and in the province of Kerman.

The report points to Tayeb Agha, the head of the Taliban’s office in Qatar, as the main connection between the movement and Iran.

Read more » RT
See more » http://rt.com/news/266812-iran-arms-taliban-isis/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Eruption near supervolcano? Mount Sinabung could rain down hell

An Indonesian volcano near an ancient volcano that once nearly destroyed humankind is getting ready to erupt. At the moment, it’s throwing smoke high into the sky.

Sinabung volcano in Northern Sumatra, Indonesia, is only 35 kilometers from the Toba volcano whose super-eruption, according to scientists, put mankind on the brink of extinction almost 70,000 years ago by causing a “nuclear winter,” which could have lasted several years

Read more » RT
See more » http://rt.com/news/266341-sinabung-volcano-eruption-indonesia/

Pakistan Military vows befitting response against Indian aggression

RAWALPINDI – A Formation Commanders’ conference on Wednesday reiterated the armed forces resolve to defeat enemy’s designs, and defend the territorial integrity of Pakistan at any cost.

The conference was held here at the General Head Quarters (GHQ), which was presided over by Army Chief General Raheel Sharif and attended by Corps Commanders, Principal Staff Officers and all Formation Commanders.

It took serious notice of the recent Indian hostile rhetoric coupled with covert and overt actions to destabilise Pakistan. It was termed “highly regrettable” that Indian politicians not only indulged in actions which were in violation of the United Nations’ Charter, but also took pride in claiming their interference in the internal affairs of other states.

Read more » Daily Times
See more » http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/national/10-Jun-2015/military-vows-befitting-response-against-indian-aggression

India will carry out military strikes at any ‘place and time’, says minister

By DAWN.COM

Following a rare cross-border attack conducted by the Indian Army in Myanmar, Junior Minister for Information and Broadcasting Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore said that based on intelligence “we will carry out surgical strikes at the place and time of our own choosing”.

“Western disturbances will also be equally dealt with,” the information minister said during a press briefing on Wednesday when asked if attacks could be carried out on the western (Pakistan) border, according to a report published on IBNLive.

The statements came after the minister lauded the Indian Army and Air Force for their operation in Myanmar that killed 20 suspected militants on Tuesday.

“Our PM ordered hot pursuit in which two camps were completely annihilated. While the army carried out the strike, helicopters were on stand-by,” he said.

Read more » DAWN
See more » http://www.dawn.com/news/1187334

Mumbai residents donate Rs450,000 for Pakistani girl’s treatment

Residents of Mumbai have raised Rs450,000 for the treatment of a Pakistani teenage girl suffering from Wilson’s Disease.

Nazia Tarikh Ahmed travelled to Mumbai from Karachi with only R80,000 to treat her 15-year-old daughter Saba.

Following a report by Indian newspaper Mid Day, residents of Mumbai raised money for Saba’s treatment at Jaslok Hospital.

“Soon after the article was published, total strangers approached the hospital with donations,” Dr Abbha Nagral, Liver Specialist and Senior Gastroenterologist at Jaslok Hospital, who is treating Saba, said.

“We managed to raise R450,000 which enabled us to sustain the medical expense of her treatment,” he added.

Nagral further said Saba is responding well to medication.

“Though she has her frequent ups and downs, there is an overall improvement in her health,” her mother said.

Read more » The Express Tribune
See more » http://tribune.com.pk/story/895739/mumbai-residents-donate-rs450000-for-pakistani-girls-treatment/

No one dare cast an evil eye on Pakistan, army chief hits back at India

By Kamran Yousaf

Taking note of recent anti-Pakistan rhetoric by Indian politicians, Army chief General Raheel Sharif warned on Wednesday that Pakistan will defeat their designs and defend Pakistan’s territorial integrity at any cost.

“No one should dare cast an evil eye on Pakistan,” the army chief was quoted as saying by DG ISPR Asim Bajwa.

Read more » The Express Tribune
See more » http://tribune.com.pk/story/901161/army-chief-assures-china-of-cpecs-smooth-completion/

MSCI review: Pakistan may rejoin emerging markets in 2016

By Kazim Alam

KARACHI: MSCI, a leading provider of international investment decision support tools, said on Wednesday it may reclassify the MSCI Pakistan Index from ‘Frontier Markets’ to ‘Emerging Markets’ next year.

“We will add the MSCI Pakistan Index to the review list for its potential reclassification to Emerging Markets as part of the 2016 Annual Market Classification Review,” MSCI said.

Global institutional investors use different MSCI indices — such as frontier, emerging, China and US markets – to create balanced portfolios aimed at generating maximum returns while keeping in view their overall risk appetite.

Read: Confidence boost: MSCI includes two Pakistani companies in frontier index

The decision may appear to be a routine reclassification of economies by MSCI, but it has the potential to dramatically change dynamics of the Pakistan equity market: MSCI Emerging Market Index is tracked by global funds worth about $1.7 trillion, according to Bloomberg data.

“Not only the size of passive fund flows will increase, many large Emerging Markets funds may return to Pakistan,” says Topline Securities investment analyst Muhammad Tahir Saeed about the possibility of the elevation of the MSCI Pakistan Index to Emerging Markets next year.

In its brief commentary on the decision, MSCI said most accessibility criteria of the Pakistani equity market meet the MSCI Emerging Markets standards, except for some potential issues with the stability of the institutional framework.

Read more » The Express Tribune
See more » http://tribune.com.pk/story/901134/msci-review-pakistan-may-rejoin-emerging-markets-in-2016/

Pakistan population growth rate is explosive

For the past few decades, the population growth rate is decreasing in both developed and underdeveloped countries. But when we analyze Pakistan in this regard, the situation is entirely different as rest of the world. According to preliminary results of the 2011 Pakistani census, population growth is higher than had been projected.

In 2011, Pakistan’s population figure was 197.4 million as compare to 134.7 million of census held in 1998. That mean there is increase of 62.7 million in twelve years. Pakistan’s population is increasing beyond the estimated population. Population has been increased by 20 million that is much more than had been forecasted in UN documents.

Read more » The News Letter
See more » http://www.thenewsteller.com/pakistan/pakistan-population-growth-rate-is-explosive/16347/

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani slams Pakistan for waging ‘undeclared war’ 

The Taliban have also declined to participate in any electoral process, calling instead for a new Constitution to be put in place.

by Praveen Swami | Doha

Afghan President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani launched a sharply-worded attack on Pakistan at an international conference on Monday, saying the country had been waging “an undeclared state of war with us for the past 14 years”. President Ghani’s comments were made in a videotaped address delivered to a meeting of scholars and diplomats organised in Doha — home to negotiators seeking a peace deal with the Taliban.

The Afghan President’s words came just days after he wrote a letter to the Pakistan government, demanding harsh action against the Taliban leadership based in that country. Facing intense criticism at home for signing intelligence and military cooperation pacts with Islamabad in hopes of securing a peace deal with the Taliban, pressure has further intensified on Ghani as the Islamist terror group’s most intense spring offensive in years has claimed scores of lives.

“Regardless of his firm commitment to peace, President Ghani has no choice but to become a war president to ensure the survival of his country and the safety of Afghan women and children,” the letter, released to the media, states. In the letter, the Afghan government asks Pakistan to prove its commitment to peace by taking eight steps, including placing the Taliban leadership in Peshawar and Quetta under house arrest, and an offensive against the Taliban-affiliated Haqqani network,

“The Taliban have declared their spring offensive, massive terrorist attacks have been carried out,” the letter states. “The public is asking whether there has been any return from President Ghani’s efforts to secure enduring peace and cooperation with Pakistan?”

In his address to the conference, President Ghani made no reference to the dialogue process with Pakistan or the Taliban, arguing instead for action to address what he called the “ecological system” of terrorism.

Ghani pointed to the breaking apart of sovereign states, the use of non-state actors as proxies by states, the use of force without regional consensus, failures of governance, and the lack of consensus on “the rules of game” inside Afghanistan. Little progress has been made in talks with the Taliban, in the form of a recent dialogue conducted in Doha.

Sources here said, Ghani’s speech was unlikely to bring an end to efforts to reach out to the Taliban’s leadership — represented in Doha by a group of negotiators led by Tayyab Agha, a close associate of Mullah Muhammad Omar. The negotiators also include Sher Abbas Stanekzai, a graduate of the Indian Military Academy in Dehradun, who defected from Afghan forces in the mid-1970s to fight the Soviet Union.

Read more » Indian Express
Learn more » http://indianexpress.com/article/world/asia/ashraf-ghani-slams-pakistan-for-waging-undeclared-war/

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Do not mistake Pakistan for Myanmar, Nisar warns India

ISLAMABAD: Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar said on Wednesday that India should not mistake Pakistan for Myanmar.

The minister’s statement was in response to Indian Minister of State for Information Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore who hours after his country had carried out an operation against militants in Myanmar had said India will strike at a place and at a time of their choosing against all countries, including Pakistan, and groups harbouring “terror intent”.

Nisar emphasised that those who harboured bad intentions towards Pakistan should open their eyes and ears.

“Pakistan Army is fully capable of responding to any adventurism,” said Nisar.

Earlier on Wednesday, Prime Minister’s Advisor on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz demanded the international community and United Nations take notice of Modi’s statement.

Aziz addressing the Senate said such statements raised doubts over India’s sincerity to establish good relations with Pakistan.

News courtesy: The News
Read more » http://www.thenews.com.pk/article-187569-Do-not-mistake-Pakistan-for-Myanmar,-Nisar-warns-India-

Parachute commandos use helicopters in cross-border raid to retaliate against deadly ambush that killed Indian soldiers.

By Subir Bhaumik

Indian parachute commandos in helicopters have crossed over the border into Myanmar to strike separatist bases in retaliation against an ambush in Manipur state last week that left 18 Indian soldiers dead, officials said.

Military officials said between 30 to 50 rebels were killed in Tuesday’s surprise raids, but a rebel group led by Burmese Naga leader S S Khaplang said the Indian claims were “exaggerated” and that there were few casualties.

India’s junior information minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore told TV channels that the “hot pursuit strikes” on separatist bases in Myanmar had been authorised by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

“Be it Yemen or Iraq, attacks on Indians are not acceptable. This is also a message to our neighbours who shelter terrorists,” Rathore said.

Read more » Aljazeera
See more » http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2015/06/india-crosses-myanmar-attack-rebel-bases-150610091416863.html

Afghanistan’s Karzai Blasts Pakistan

By Rahim Sarwan

Former Afghan President Hamid Karzai sat down Thursday with VOA Afghan service reporter Rahim Gul Sarwan in Kabul to talk about incursions of the Islamic State, as well as relations with the U.S., China and, most vociferously, Pakistan.

The current Afghan government and Pakistan are trying to move past the animosity that characterized Karzai’s time in office, and have signed a controversial memorandum of understanding between their intelligence services.

The move comes as the U.S. winds down its military mission in the country and China has shown increasing interest in boosting trade and other relations in the region, despite small but apparently growing support for the Islamic State there.

Rahim Gul Sarwan: How big a security concern does Daesh [the Islamic State group] present to Afghanistan? Are you concerned that Daesh is taking root in Afghanistan? Is Afghanistan prepared for the challenge.

Hamid Karzai: Daesh is not an Afghan-born body … it is not indigenous to Afghanistan. It was created out of the circumstances and because of foreign interference on a very massive scale in Iraq and Syria.

If there is any Daesh element or elements in Afghanistan, if they are making progress in Afghanistan, it means they have clear foreign backing behind them. It means it’s a foreign intelligence agency providing support to Daesh for purposes beyond Afghanistan.

If Daesh ever grows in Afghanistan this means somebody from outside of Afghanistan is trying to create these forces in order to harm China, Russia and Central Asia.

RGS: Both Pakistan and India say they don’t want to engage in a proxy war in Afghanistan. Who is to be believed?

HK: We should not believe anybody as a nation, as a people. We should take matters into our own hands on this and not allow a proxy war in Afghanistan. And not allow it.

And we must not give an excuse to any of these countries to point the finger at the other country in Afghanistan. Pakistan has been doing this. We must tell Pakistan that they cannot blame India’s work in Afghanistan or India’s work against Pakistan from Afghanistan.

That Pakistan has created enough mischief! And when I say Pakistan, I mean the Pakistani military and intelligence, not the people. They ‘re as much victims as we are — the Pakistani people — in the hands of the same agencies in Pakistan. So not the Pakistani people. The Pakistani military and intelligence must stop creating excuses for the promotion of terrorism.

You must have heard  Admiral [Mike] Mullen of the United States, the retired admiral [and former Joint Chiefs Chairman], who a few years ago said that the Haqqani network is a veritable arm of the ISI [Pakistan’s intelligence service]. It’s proven.

ISI’s work in creating radicalism, in promoting radicalism, in using radicalism as a tool of terrorism, as a tool of foreign policy vis-a-vis Afghanistan and also vis-a-vis India and other countries. It should stop it. It should engage in a civilized relationship with Afghanistan. Then we will respond.

Continue reading Afghanistan’s Karzai Blasts Pakistan

Turkey’s Ruling Party Loses Parliamentary Majority

ISTANBUL — Turkish voters delivered a rebuke on Sunday to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan as his party lost its majority in Parliament in a historic election that dealt a blow to his ambition to rewrite Turkey’s Constitution and increase his power.

The election results represented a significant setback to Mr. Erdogan, an Islamist who has steadily increased his power as president, a partly but not solely ceremonial post. After more than a decade as prime minister, Mr. Erdogan has pushed for more control of the judiciary and cracked down on any form of criticism, including prosecutions of those who insult him on social media, but his efforts appeared to have run aground on Sunday.

The election was also a significant victory to the cadre of Kurds, liberals and secular Turks who found their voice of opposition to Mr. Erdogan during sweeping antigovernment protests two years ago.

Mr. Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party, or A.K.P., still won by far the most seats in Parliament, but not a majority, according to preliminary results released Sunday night. The outcome suggested contentious days of jockeying ahead as the party moves to form a coalition government. Already, analysts were raising the possibility Sunday of new elections if a government cannot be formed swiftly. Many Turks were happy to see Mr. Erdogan’s powers curtailed, even though the prospect of a coalition government evokes dark memories of political instability and economic malaise during the 1990s.

Read more » The New York Times
See more » http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/08/world/europe/turkey-election-recep-tayyip-erdogan-kurds-hdp.html?smid=tw-nytimes&_r=0

The fake pictures of the Rohingya crisis

The plight of Rohingya Muslims fleeing Myanmar was thrust into the spotlight last month after thousands of migrants were left stranded at sea – but not all the images being shared online are what they seem to be.

The Rohingyas are a distinct Muslim ethnic group mainly living in Myanmar, also known as Burma. They are not recognised as citizens of Myanmar and face persecution in the majority Buddhist country, where many live in crowded camps. Powerful and seemingly genuine pictures and videos emerged of what Rohingyas must endure in Myanmar after thousands of migrants were left adrift with low supplies of food and water last month. But BBC Trending found some of the images being shared online don’t show Rohingyas at all – but instead come from other disasters and news events.

Many of these images are graphic and disturbing. One of the photos, for instance, that shows up in search results shows Buddhist monks standing among piles of body parts. On Facebook and Twitter, the photograph has been cited as an example of Buddhist violence against Rohingyas. But the picture is not from Burma at all – it was actually taken in the aftermath of an earthquake in China in April 2010.

Another picture shows a man on fire running across the road. One group that shared the photo on Facebook suggesting the man suffered horrific abuse – that he was chopped up and burnt alive. But the real story is much different. In fact, the photo is of Jamphel Yeshi, a Tibetan activist who set himself on fire in Delhi in 2012 to protest against the Chinese president’s visit to India.

There are many disturbing pictures of children circulating as well. One shows a boy tied to a wooden pole, with the marks of beatings visible across his back. While online posts call him a Rohingya boy, he’s actually a seven-year-old Thai child who was beaten up by a relative for stealing sweets earlier this year.

Then there’s this photo which has been widely shared, particularly in India and Pakistan, showing a motorcycle riding across the hands of school students who are lying on the ground with outstretched arms. The incident was actually a stunt by a martial arts trainer in south India:

Read more » BBC
See more » http://www.bbc.com/news/blogs-trending-32979147

The General Mindset: A Satire

Army2A Corps commander meeting was held in Rawalpindi under the chairmanship of most senior General of Pakistan Army to discuss the prevailing political and security situation in the country. The invitation was also extended to the high ranking official from SPD as a special guest, since it is the fourth branch of Pakistani military. During the meeting all the issues pertaining to common man were discussed in detail. While going through the agenda of the meeting, one general raised the point that we are not supposed to discuss the issues that are in the civilian domain and our focus should be only on the implementation of operational aspects of the security policy articulated by the political government. The participants of the meeting quickly noted that this general has just recently attended year long war course in USA and he is forgetting his duties as an officer of Pakistan army. He was reminded about the lack of professional expertise of the civilian principals, chronic corruption by political eliteand most importantly their dangerous tendencies to seek the peaceful relations with enemy of the state i.e., India.

Read more » PAK TEA HOUSE
See more » http://pakteahouse.net/2015/06/05/pakistani-generals-mindset-a-satire/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+teahouse+%28Pak+Tea+House%29

Canada to deport Pakistani accused of plotting to bomb US consulate

flagCaBy AFP

OTTAWA: Canadian immigration authorities on Friday ordered the deportation of a Pakistani man accused of plotting to bomb the US consulate and financial buildings in Toronto.

Jahanzeb Malik is the second Pakistani national in recent months to be ordered out of Canada on national security grounds.

Read: Pakistani accused in US consulate plot held in Canada

According to the immigration board’s written decision, Malik “planned to conduct a violent attack against a United States government building and other targets in the financial district of Toronto, which could have resulted in the death and/or serious injury of persons as well as the destruction of property”.

Read more » DAWN
See more » http://www.dawn.com/news/1186565/

China warns India about taking up Vietnam’s offer for oil exploration in disputed South China Sea

india chinaBy 

BEIJING: China on Tuesday warned India against meddling in its dispute with Vietnam over islands in the South China Sea. It also opposed the latest move by the Vietnamese government inviting India to carry out oil exploration in South China Sea.

“With regard to the Vietnamese prime minister’s call for India to support the peaceful resolution of the South China Sea, I want to point out that the dispute should be resolved through dialogue and consultations by countries directly involved on the basis of respecting historical facts and international law,” Hong Lei, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman said.

He was reacting to an offer by Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung asking India to launch exploration in two oil fields for exploration in the South China Sea.

News courtesy: THE TIMES OF INDIA
Read more » http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/China-warns-India-about-taking-up-Vietnams-offer-for-oil-exploration-in-disputed-South-China-Sea/articleshow/44960780.cms

Isis militant takes selfie, shows US where command centre is

PafBy TheJournal.ieCatherine Healy

US intelligence forces were able to identity the location of the Islamic State’s Syrian headquarters after a member of the group posted an online selfie.

Florida-based specialists were able to pinpoint the militant’s exact location and carry out an air strike less than 24 hours after the photo was spotted, according to an Air Force Times report quoting remarks made by US Air Force General Hawk Carlisle at a military event.

Read more » Yahoo News
See more » https://www.yahoo.com/tech/s/isis-militant-takes-selfie-shows-us-where-command-105536898.html

20 Army personnel killed in militant attack in Manipur, India

NEW DELHI: At least 20 Army personnel were killed and 12 injured in a militant attack in Manipur’s Chandel district on Thursday, TV reports said.

The 6 Dogra convoy came under attack while it was coming from Motul towards Imphal. The incident took place at 8.45am. The injured soldiers have been airlifted to Nagaland.

An Army spokesman said that the militants first fired rocket-propelled grenades at the four-vehicle convoy which was on its way to Imphal from Chandel. The ambush took place when the convoy reached between Paralong and Charong villages.

Most of the bodies were charred.

Read more » The Times of India
See more » http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/20-Army-personnel-killed-in-militant-attack-in-Manipur/articleshow/47539776.cms

Ghani’s Leaked Letter to Nawaz Exposes Af-Pak Strains

By Rana Banerji

President Ashraf Ghani’s May 29 missive to Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, deliberately leaked to international media, warned that Afghan patience was wearing thin.

This, even as the Afghan Taliban spring offensive intensified and Pakistan was seemingly unable to exert adequate pressure on them to hold off.

The ultimatum to otherwise reverse Afghanistan’s diplomatic outreach to Pakistan within three weeks is a sequel to the furore which broke out in sections of Afghan civil society.

Read more » TheQuint
See more » http://www.thequint.com/2015/jun/02/ghanis-leaked-letter-to-nawaz-exposes-pak-afghan-strains

We are “cruel & dishonest. The rest of the world sees it.” – Julian Burnside

Rohingia
Rohingya

Julian Burnside: Now is the time to stand up for justice

We need to face the fact that we are being cruel, selfish and dishonest, and the rest of the world sees it.

Our treatment of asylum seekers is unjust. Like many people, I am profoundly concerned about Justice. Campaigning for the just treatment of boat people has had strange consequences, including death threats and hate mail. I am liked by some people, and loathed by others because I stand up for decent treatment of refugees. It is an uncomfortable thing to be publicly vilified.

At a glamorous social function, the wife of a very senior and respected colleague sidled up to me and asked:

“Do you think it appropriate that a member of the bar speaks publicly about these matters?”

I answered, with more wit than preparation:

“Do you think it appropriate to know about these matters and remain silent?”

There the conversation ended.

Australians don’t usually get noticed by overseas media, unless it concerns sport.

But a recent exception to that was a favourable piece by Katie Hopkins, in an article published in the London Sun. Her admiration of Australia’s refugee policies looked less flattering when she described boat people as “vermin” and “cockroaches”. Presumably someone forgot to remind her that they are human beings.

The British Medical Journal recently published an article titled “Refugees: time for moral leadership from the Western democracies”. Its subheading was “Australia sets a disgraceful example in its treatment of refugees”.

It is a striking thing for Australia’s refugee policy to attract such sharp commentary in an international journal of such high standing.

Continue reading We are “cruel & dishonest. The rest of the world sees it.” – Julian Burnside

Ancient Religions, Modern Politics: The Islamic Case in Comparative Perspective

religionby Michael Cook

Why does Islam play a larger role in contemporary politics than other religions? Is there something about the Islamic heritage that makes Muslims more likely than adherents of other faiths to invoke it in their political life? If so, what is it? “Ancient Religions, Modern Politics” seeks to answer these questions by examining the roles of Islam, Hinduism, and Christianity in modern political life, placing special emphasis on the relevance–or irrelevance–of their heritages to today’s social and political concerns.
Michael Cook takes an in-depth, comparative look at political identity, social values, attitudes to warfare, views about the role of religion in various cultural domains, and conceptions of the polity. In all these fields he finds that the Islamic heritage offers richer resources for those engaged in current politics than either the Hindu or the Christian heritages. He uses this finding to explain the fact that, despite the existence of Hindu and Christian counterparts to some aspects of Islamism, the phenomenon as a whole is unique in the world today. The book also shows that fundamentalism–in the sense of a determination to return to the original sources of the religion–is politically more adaptive for Muslims than it is for Hindus or Christians.
A sweeping comparative analysis by one of the world’s leading scholars of premodern Islam, “Ancient Religions, Modern Politics” sheds important light on the relationship between the foundational texts of these three great religious traditions and the politics of their followers today.

Read more » GoodReads
Learn more » http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18730593-ancient-religions-modern-politics?fb_action_ids=10153459368624954&fb_action_types=good_reads%3Amake_progress_with

Silenced – the day my daughter was shot in front of me

Sabeen01Sabeen Mahmud was a passionate supporter of free speech. She ran a space in a Karachi cafe for people to talk freely about politics, society and human rights – but six weeks ago, in the latest of a string of attacks on liberal activists in Pakistan, a gunman killed her as she drove home. Her mother, Mahenaz, who was next to her, talks about her remarkable daughter.

I hadn’t visited the space for quite a while but that day I just wanted to be around her – it was just a feeling, “I have to go today, and I have to be around, just to show her my support.”

This image keeps going round all the time in my head – these eyes looking, and this gun coming out. I said to Sabeen, “Just look, I mean these guys, what do they want?” I thought it was a mugging actually, I thought they wanted a handbag or phone, because that’s pretty common in Karachi. But then I heard the gun shots, the glass shattered and Sabeen was gone and they disappeared.

I took two bullets. One bullet actually is one of the bullets that Sabeen took, because they fired at such close range – we were stationary because we were at a traffic signal which was red. There were people all around us, and this motorcycle rode up a bit too close for comfort at Sabeen’s side and they fired from there and one of the bullets went through her, out and into my arm and out of my arm. That is one. She took five.

The other one, the police believe it came in and ricocheted somewhere in the car and it went into my back. I must have moved forward to look at her. I was saying to her, “Sabeen, can you hear me? Say something, we’ll just get you to the hospital.”

Continue reading Silenced – the day my daughter was shot in front of me

Renewable Energy, Fresh Water Resources of Jammu Kashmir and Dynamics of Conflict

Nayyar N Khan is a US based political analyst, peace activist and a freelance journalist. His area of expertise is International Peace and Conflict Resolution.
Nayyar N Khan is a US based political analyst, peace activist and a freelance journalist. His area of expertise is International Peace and Conflict Resolution.

By Nayyar N Khan

It has been claimed for decades that a convergence of dynamics, including water scarcity, societal unrest, and strategic choreography, will unescapably drive states and other actors to act belligerently, perhaps even sadistically, to secure exquisite water resources. So are we as a final step witnessing the first twinkles of the new era of water wars? Water as a resource is very equivalent to oil; it is indispensable to all circadian human activities. Water is becoming a much cherished commodity, yet freshwater resources are asymmetrically distributed among developing countries. This scarcity in water has prompted anxiety in countries that already have little access to water, let alone steadfast water supplies. This desperation customarily cannot be determined by negotiations. Peter Gerick in his research paper, Water Conflict Chronology published in May 2013 noted that “If governments or claimants want water badly enough, they resort to force to obtain it. Water has very rarely been the main ingredient in international conflicts, but it is often factored into the problem due to its economic importance.” War and conflict have been tied directly or indirectly to the protection of resources throughout the known history of conflicts. Water, being one of the most important natural resources always been the primary need ranging from individual to the industrial level.  With the risk of water shortages around the world becoming more and more of an issue, water has become the fuel of certain conflicts in many regions around the world. “Water Wars” are becoming unescapable in the future of our world as the exploitation of water resources continues among countries and nation states that share the same water source. International law has proven itself inadequate in shielding the fair use of shared water supplies in some parts of the world. Professor Zoltan Grossman of the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, USA, noted in 2004 that the rapid population increase and commercial usage of water for energy production has greatly affected the amount of water readily available to many people.

Continue reading Renewable Energy, Fresh Water Resources of Jammu Kashmir and Dynamics of Conflict

Isis could obtain nuclear weapon from Pakistan, warns India

BY ALEXANDER SEHMER

India’s defence minister has voiced concern that the radical Islamist group Isis could obtain a nuclear weapon from “states like Pakistan”.

Rao Inderjit Singh made the comments on the sidelines of the Shangri-La regional security conference in Singapore,Bloomberg has reported.

“With the rise of Isis in West Asia, one is afraid to an extent that perhaps they might get access to a nuclear arsenal from states like Pakistan,” Bloomberg quoted him as saying.

Earlier in the month Isis suggested it could attempt to buy its first nuclear weapon within a year and that it might come from Pakistan.

Read more » The Independent
See more » http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/asia/india-warns-isis-could-obtain-nuclear-weapon-from-pakistan-10287276.html