Italy to reopen trade office in Karachi, Pakistan.

BY MUBARAK ZEB KHAN

ISLAMABAD: Italy has assured to support Pakistan’s case for continuation of GSP-plus scheme during the first review expected next month.

Answering a question, Italian Trade Commissioner and Chairman of the Italian Trade Promotion Agency Riccardo Monti said his government will press for continuation of the Generalised System of Preferences Scheme for Pakistan.

Speaking at a press conference, he said that his government intends to deepen business relations with Pakistan. Italy has also decided to reopen its trade commission in Pakistan, he added.

The commission is scheduled to start work in early January 2016, it was announced.

It will be reopened in Karachi, while the Italian government will reinforce its trade office in the embassy at Islamabad.

The Italian trade commissioner is visiting Islamabad for meetings with Pakistani top officials and businessmen to explore business avenues.

Read more » DAWN
See more » http://www.dawn.com/news/1227076/

A genuine alternative to capitalism is needed.

The pink tide

BY AASIM SAJJAD AKHTAR

MUCH has been made, and rightly so, of the Latin American left’s resurrection since the turn of the century. Which is why the resounding electoral defeat suffered last week in Venezuela by arguably the most well-known leftist current in the continent — what is known as Chavism — demands serious interrogation.

An opposition united only by its desire to overturn the ‘Bolivarian Revolution’ originally spearheaded by late president Hugo Chavez won two-thirds of the seats in parliament in the polls held on Dec 6, the first defeat for the ruling United Socialist Party since Chavez came to power in 1999. The setback is significant, but it is important to bear in mind that Venezuela’s is a presidential form of government so executive authority continues to lie with the ‘Chavistas’, and specifically the man who took power after Chavez died in 2013, Nicolas Maduro.

It might not be the best analogy but Venezuela’s politics will now be characterised by a dichotomy similar to that which exists in the US where a Democratic president regularly squares off against a Republican-controlled Congress. That having been said, political conflict in Washington pales in comparison to what has persisted in Venezuela in recent times — the electoral reverse will intensify what is already a heavily polarised political climate.

The first explanation for the setback is the most obvious one – Maduro is not Chavez. While I think it is misleading to exaggerate the roles that individuals play in fomenting political transformation, the successes of the Latin American left, both of the current variety and in previous eras, have always featured charismatic leadership. Think Arbenz, Castro, Guevara and Allende. Chavez was of the same mould. After his death, some of the lustre of the Bolivarian Revolution was inevitably bound to wear off.

Read more » DAWN
See more » http://www.dawn.com/news/1227059/the-pink-tide

Hold the applause for Saudi Arabia

BY , TORONTO SUN

However, some of the countries forming this new alliance are among the greatest exporters of the ideology that promotes terrorism, including Saudi Arabia itself.

Fifteen of the 19 9/11 hijackers were Saudi.

Tashfeen Malik, one of the San Bernardino shooters, was born and raised in Pakistan — a member of the Saudi coalition — and also lived in Saudi Arabia before emigrating to the U.S.

The Saudi alliance also includes NATO member Turkey, and countries like Chad, Yemen, Somalia, Nigeria and Egypt.

Nigeria is home to the terrorist group Boko Haram, Somalia to al-Shabaab.

Egypt is the birthplace of the Muslim Brotherhood that has spread its puritanical, militaristic brand of Islam across the Muslim world.

The Saudi alliance also includes Palestinians, many of whom have carried out terrorist attacks against Israel.

Read more » Toronto Sun
See more » http://www.torontosun.com/2015/12/17/hold-the-applause-for-saudi-arabia?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=recommend-button&utm_campaign=Hold+the+applause+for+Saudi+Arabia

Isis: Former German militant claims group is planning co-ordinated terror attacks in Europe

‘They want something that happens everywhere at the same time,’ Harry S said.

A German jihadist who fled Isis after witnessing beheadings and executions in Syria has claimed the group is trying to plan a Europe-wide terror attack.

The 27-year-old former militant, named as Harry S, said he and other foreign fighters had been asked if they would “bring jihad to their homeland”.

“They want something that happens everywhere at the same time,” he said.

Harry S was speaking to Der Spiegel from prison, where he is still being questioned by police and the intelligence services after being arrested at Bremen airport on his return in July.

He claimed he fled Isis because he could not stand its brutality after three months with the group in Syria and is now telling German authorities all he knows.

Read more » INDEPENDENT
See more » http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/isis-former-german-militant-claims-group-is-planning-co-ordinated-terror-attacks-in-europe-a6778151.html

Military Strategist Explains Why Donald Trump Leads—And How He Will Fail

Air Force fighter pilot John Boyd’s theory about confounding opponents with a constantly shifting battlefield applies to Donald Trump and all GOP aspirants.

By

No matter how much you dislike Donald Trump and his effect on the Republican presidential primary race—and there are many, many good reasons to do so—you have to spare a little grudging admiration for the sheer madcap genius of Trump’s ability to disrupt, unsettle, and exploit the primary system.

We can better understand what Trump has done successfully, as well as his ultimate limitations as a candidate and why he would be such a terrible president, using the ideas of military strategic theorist John Boyd. Trump has been, thus far, the true Boyd candidate in this race, yet he is already exhibiting symptoms of precisely the flaws that Boyd saw as fatal in combatants.

Read more » The Federalist
See more » http://thefederalist.com/2015/12/16/military-strategist-explains-why-donald-trump-leads-and-how-he-will-fail/

I Worry About Muslims

By

KARACHI, Pakistan — I worry about Muslims. Islam teaches me to care about all human beings, and animals too, but life is short and I can’t even find enough time to worry about all the Muslims.

I don’t worry too much about the Muslims who face racial slurs in Europe and America, the ones who are suspected of harboring murderous thoughts at their workplaces or those who are picked out of immigration queues and asked awkward questions about their luggage and their ancestors. I tell myself that at the end of their humiliating journeys they can expect privileges like running water, electricity and tainted promises of equality.

I do worry about the Muslims who face extinction at the hands of other Muslims in their own homelands, usually in places where they are in a huge majority. My friend Sabeen Mahmud was murdered earlier this year, probably for not being a good enough Muslim, and it happened in this country, a country so Muslim that you can live your entire life here without shaking hands with a non-Muslim.

Read more » THE NEW YORK TIMES
See more » http://www.nytimes.com/2015/12/18/opinion/i-worry-about-muslims.html?_r=0

Rent-a-country !?

Pakistan confirms participation in Saudi-led anti-terror alliance

BY BAQIR SAJJAD SYED

ISLAMABAD: After initial ambiguity, the Pakistan government confirmed on Wednesday its participation in a Saudi-led military alliance for ‘fighting terrorism’, but said the scope of its participation would be defined after Riyadh shared the details of the coalition it was assembling.

Read more » DAWN
See more » http://www.dawn.com/news/1226894