Three-day Hyderabad literature festival begins

HYDERABAD: Prominent intellectual and writer Amar Jalil has blamed Sindhis for the deterioration of education in the province and said nobody has compelled them to close down their schools but they themselves have snatched the right to education from their children and youths.

The scholar was among a bevy of writers, poets and intellectuals who spoke at the inauguration ceremony for the three-day Hyderabad Literature Festival organised by the Academy for the Promotion of Art, Literature and Literacy at the Hyderabad Club on Friday.

Mr Jalil said that hundreds of thousands of schools were closed in Sindh and their buildings were handed over to feudal lords to appease them.

He said that school-going children were being destroyed under the heavy burden of bags. He had seen three generations of Sindh who were not educated the way today’s children were getting education, he said.

Read more » DAWN
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Saudi Arabia Warns of Economic Fallout if Congress Passes 9/11 Bill

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WASHINGTON — Saudi Arabia has told the Obama administration and members of Congress that it will sell off hundreds of billions of dollars’ worth of American assets held by the kingdom if Congress passes a bill that would allow the Saudi government to be held responsible in American courts for any role in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

The Obama administration has lobbied Congress to block the bill’s passage, according to administration officials and congressional aides from both parties, and the Saudi threats have been the subject of intense discussions in recent weeks between lawmakers and officials from the State Department and the Pentagon. The officials have warned senators of diplomatic and economic fallout from the legislation.

Adel al-Jubeir, the Saudi foreign minister, delivered the kingdom’s message personally last month during a trip to Washington, telling lawmakers that Saudi Arabia would be forced to sell up to $750 billion in treasury securities and other assets in the United States before they could be in danger of being frozen by American courts.

Several outside economists are skeptical that the Saudis will follow through, saying that such a sell-off would be difficult to execute and would end up crippling the kingdom’s economy. But the threat is another sign of the escalating tensions between Saudi Arabia and the United States.

Read more » The New York Times
See more » http://www.nytimes.com/2016/04/16/world/middleeast/saudi-arabia-warns-ofeconomic-fallout-if-congress-passes-9-11-bill.html?smid=fb-share&_r=0

‘No, Mr. Obama, We Are Not the Free Riders’

President Obama’s use of the term “free riders” in Jeffrey Goldberg’s cover storyto describe some U.S. allies has prompted a sharp response from Turki al-Faisal, a senior Saudi prince who previously served as his country’s ambassador to Washington.

In an open letter to the president in the Arab News newspaper, Turki lists what he says are Saudi Arabia’s contributions to its relationship with the U.S. They include, among other things, intelligence sharing, the creation of the Arab anti-ISIS coalition, his country’s role in Syria and its military intervention in Yemen, the thousands of Saudi students at U.S. universities, and the purchase of U.S. treasury bonds.

Turki does not hold an official position in the Saudi leadership, and his remarks, published only in English, suggest his intended audience was Western, specifically American. But Turki is a longtime insider and his views are likely to be shared by many in the Saudi foreign-policy establishment, as well as his fellow princes.

The reaction is the strongest yet to be delivered publicly by the Saudis following publication of Goldberg’s article, “The Obama Doctrine.”

Read more » The Atlantic
See more » http://www.theatlantic.com/notes/2016/03/saudi-obama-free-riders/473643/