Editor quits, columnists dropped: Pakistan Army ‘has choked all dissent’

militaryToday, the Marxist editor is at the centre of another controversy involving the establishment after resigning as editor of the Lahore-based English language newspaper Daily Times.

Written by Nirupama Subramanian

In the 1970s, when the Pakistan Army barrelled into Balochistan to bring the restive province under control, Rashed Rehman was among a handful of youngsters from a few elite families in Lahore who joined the rebel forces and fought against the military. Today, the Marxist editor is at the centre of another controversy involving the establishment after resigning as editor of the Lahore-based English language newspaper Daily Times.

Read more » The Indian Express
See more » http://indianexpress.com/article/world/world-news/editor-quits-columnists-dropped-pakistan-army-has-choked-all-dissent/#.VlpH66zVYLw.facebook

Russia adds yuan as currency reserve

The Central Bank of Russia has included the Chinese yuan in its reserve currency basket, TASS reports. The move is expected to boost the yuan’s presence in the Russian financial market.

As of December 31, 2014, the latest data available, the US dollar was still dominating Russia’s forex basket at 44 percent. The second most-used foreign currency was the euro with 42 percent. The British pound made up 9.5 percent.

According to Vesti.Finance, the Central Bank made the decision in November, but hasn’t bought the yuan yet.

Read more » RT
See more » https://www.rt.com/business/323639-russia-adds-yuan-reserve-currency/


Isis was quick to understand a truth the West must now confront: that the national borders imposed by colonial powers 100 years ago are becoming meaningless, says Robert Fisk


Isis-led Sunni rebels have seized large swathes of north-western Iraq

Isis: In a borderless world, the days when we could fight foreign wars and be safe at home may be long gone

By Robert Fisk@indyvoices

Early in 2014, Isis released one of its first videos. Largely unseen in Europe, it had neither the slick, cutting-edge professionalism of its later execution tapes nor the haunting “nasheed” music that accompanies most of its propaganda. Instead, a hand-held camera showed a bulldozer pushing down a rampart of sand that had marked the border between Iraq and Syria. As the machine destroyed the dirt revetment, the camera panned down to a handwritten poster lying in the sand. “End of Sykes-Picot”, it said.

Like many hundreds of thousands of Arabs in the Middle East, for whom Sykes-Picot was an almost cancerous expression, I watched this early Isis video in Beirut. The bloody repercussions of the borders that the British and French diplomats, Mark Sykes and François Georges-Picot, drew in secret during the First World War – originally giving Syria, Mount Lebanon and northern Iraq to the French, and Palestine, Transjordan and the rest of Iraq to the British – are known to every Arab, Christian and Muslim and, indeed, every Jew in the region. They eviscerated the governorates of the old dying Ottoman empire and created artificial nations in which borders, watchtowers and hills of sand separated tribes, families and peoples. They were an Anglo-French colonial production.

Read more » Independent
See more » http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/isis-in-a-borderless-world-the-days-when-we-could-fight-foreign-wars-and-be-safe-at-home-may-be-long-a6741146.html

Two Daily Times columnists told to stop contributing

two20daily20times20columnistsISLAMABAD: Two columnists writing for Daily Times have been asked their columns will not be published in future as they ‘come under scrutiny.’
Mir Mohammad Ali Talpur who wrote a weekly column on Balochistan-related issues and Mohammad Taqi have both been told to stop writing for the paper. Talpur said in a Facebook post: “Today I was informed that they will not carry my pieces any more as these ‘come under scrutiny’…. in other words are unacceptable to the authorities. ”
He said the struggle to present truth will continue.  “Truth will Prevail. The Forces of Darkness will be Defeated.”
He credited Daily Times editor Rashed Rehman for publishing without editing whatever he wrote.
Meanwhile  Rashed Rehman has reportedly submitted his resignation.

Courtesy: Journalism Pakistan
Read more » http://www.journalismpakistan.com/news-detail.php?newsid=2669

The Czar vs. the Sultan

Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) andPutin and Erdogan see themselves as heirs to proud empires. But fighter jets and tough talk can’t mask imperial decline.


Before Crimea was Russian, or Ukrainian, or even Soviet, it was Turkish. Well, Ottoman. And Russia had already annexed Crimea once before 2014, long before — in 1783. This was after a six-year war with the Turks, in which the Russians essentially wiped out the Ottoman navy. The conflict ended with the Treaty of Kainardrji, signed in 1774, which has come to be seen by historians as the first partition of the Ottoman Empire, the beginning of its long, slow decline. In losing Crimea to Russia, the Ottoman Empire, for the first time ever, lost Muslim subjects to a Christian power. (The Crimean Tatars, who have been especially opposed to Moscow’s newest takeover of the peninsula, are the vestigial limb left behind by the Ottomans, bucking again at its new Russian owner — which has, in turn,cracked down on them.) That war and the treaty that ended it, Bernard Lewis wrote some 200 years later, was “the turning point in the relations between Europe and the Middle East.”

Read more » Foreign Policy
See more » http://foreignpolicy.com/2015/11/25/the-czar-vs-the-sultan-turkey-russia-putin-erdogan-syria-jet-shootdown/?utm_content=buffer210ac&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_campaign=buffer

Russia to halt visa-free status for visiting Turks


Putin accepts invitation to visit Pakistan

Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov’s announcement comes amid continuing tension over downing of Russian warplane by Turkey.

Moscow is to suspend its visa-free agreement with Turkey at the beginning of next year, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has said.

Friday’s announcement comes as tensions mount after the downing of a Russian fighter jet by Turkey earlier this week.

Russia has ruled out any military response against NATO member Turkey, but it has pledged broad retaliatory measures targeting entire sectors of the Turkish economy, including tourism, agriculture and investments.

On Thursday, two Turkish businessmen with investments in Russia told Al Jazeera that Russian police have been raiding Turkish companies in different regions of the country and, in some cases, have suspended their operations.

Moscow has also started sending back Turkish trucks loaded with exports at the border and stopped Turkish tourists – who normally do not need visas  – entering the country, at least two businessmen said.

“A decision has been made to halt the visa-free regime with Turkey,” Lavrov told reporters after talks with his Syrian counterpart Walid Muallem in Moscow.

Read more » Aljazeera
See more » http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2015/11/russia-halt-visa-free-agreement-visiting-turks-151127153708184.html

Turkey arrests editors over reports Ankara supplied weapons to Syrian fighters


Photo credits: AP

The journalists were arrested, accused of assisting a terrorist organisation because of footage published apparently showing the state intelligence agency sending weapons into Syria



Two journalists from an opposition Turkish newspaper have been arrested, accused of spying by an Istanbul court following reports that Turkey’s intelligence agency sent weapons to Islamist rebel groups in Syria.

In another case of journalists facing criminal charges and censorship, editor-in-chief Can Dundar and Erdem Gul, the newspaper’s Ankara bureau chief, were taken into custody on Thursday night, Turkish media reported.

The two men are accused of spying and “divulging state secrets”, according to reports, as well as being members of a terror organisation. Another charge included the violation of state security after the release of the footage.

Such charges could see the men face life imprisonment.

Read more » Telegraph
See more »  http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/turkey/12019905/Turkey-arrests-editors-over-reports-Ankara-supplied-weapons-to-Syrian-fighters.html

Turkey’s Erdogan warns Russia not to ‘play with fire’

ErdoganANKARA: Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan warned Russia not to “play with fire” on Friday, but added he did not want to harm relations with Moscow, comments that look more likely to inflame than quell the dispute over a downed Russian bomber this week.

Read more » Aaj Tv
See more » http://aaj.tv/2015/11/turkeys-erdogan-warns-russia-not-to-play-with-fire/


By Sattar Rind

In our local lingo there is a proverb or saying that ‘the axe is not cutting the tree, but the piece of wood, part of the tree itself, that is responsible for downing the tree’.Looking to this proverb, if we were to analyse the war of statements between the superpowers, we can conclude that it is not ISIS but our own countries that are responsible for all we are currently facing.
Read more » TuckMagazine
See more » http://tuckmagazine.com/2015/11/26/not-isis-but-the-superpowers-that-are-killing-us/


As climate impacts hit, Pakistan faces migration surge: experts


Photo credits: AP


THATTO: Fisherman Muhammad Yusuf’s family has been living on the island of Hajamaro, just over three miles off the coast of southern Pakistan, for generations. But the island that was once a happy home has now become a prison.

Sea level rise and frequent cyclones are eroding Yusuf’s property. Decreasing fish stocks are threatening his livelihood. And relentless health problems are killing his children.

Some 60 families like Yusuf’s live on a cluster of more than a dozen islands off Keti Bunder, a port on the Arabian Sea in Thatta district. With too little money to move to the mainland, they feel trapped.

“If we had sufficient resources to relocate, we would have moved to Thatta city some five years ago and quit fishing,” said Yusuf, 62.

Across Pakistan, families are struggling against rising sea level, droughts, floods and other climate-change related pressures. Many of them — those luckier or richer than Yusuf’s family — move to safer ground in new areas. Others are trapped where they are.

Read more » DAWN
See more » http://www.dawn.com/news/1222426/

Nato will be worried by strike on Russia

ErdoganTurkey shoots down Russian plane: Nato will be worried by strike on Russia

It is damaging for Turkey to have bad relations with Russia and Iran, two powerful neighbours close to its borders

By Patrick Cockburn@indyworld

Turkey must have been eager to shoot down a Russian aircraft. Even going by the Turkish account of what happened, as illustrated by a Turkish map of the route of the Russian plane, it would only briefly have been in Turkish airspace as it crossed a piece of Turkish territory that projects into Syria.

Why would Turkey do this? Probably because Ankara has become increasingly furious, since Russian air strikes started in Syria on 30 September, that Russian jets were routinely invading its airspace. The Turkish government also knows that its policy since 2011 of getting rid of President Bashar al-Assad has failed and that it has a diminishing influence in events in Syria as Russia, the US, France and possibly, in the near future, Britain increase their military involvement in Syria.

See more » http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/turkey-shoots-down-russian-plane-nato-will-be-worried-by-strike-on-russia-a6747521.html

Pakistan’s population bomb: 240 million in 2030


Faaqa kab khatam hoga!


Fifteen-year-old Nasreen Qutubuddin beams happily at her mother, Haseena Bibi, and says: “Now that she is well all I want is to get some good uninterrupted sleep.”

Belonging to Alipur village in Muzaffargarh, they made a 24-hour bus journey to reach Koohi Goth Women’s Hospital in Karachi to get the mother treated for a serious child-birth injury she suffered and which left her incontinent.

In Pakistan, six million married women say they don’t want more children or want to space births, but are unable to do so.

Termed obstetric fistula, in the world of medicine, it is caused by long and stressful labour. In its fight to come out and unable to, the baby’s head puts undue pressure on the lining of the woman’s birth canal causing the wall of the rectum or bladder to tear resulting in urinary or fecal incontinence.

Read more » DAWN
See more » http://www.dawn.com/news/1221289/


Canada – Maple Leaf Foods to cut more than 400 jobs, 3% of workforce

jobMaple Leaf Foods Inc. (MFI.TO 1.6%) said it would cut more than 400 jobs, or about 3 per cent of its work force, nearly a month after the Canadian meat packer pushed back its timeline for hitting a key profitability target.

Read more » BNN
See more » http://www.bnn.ca/News/2015/11/25/Maple-Leaf-Foods-to-cut-more-than-400-jobs-majority-to-come-before-year-end.aspx

Turkish intelligence chief: ISIS is a reality and we must stop Putin from crushing the Islamic revolution (Updated)

14451661031November 24, 2015

AWD News

Posted October 18, 2015

Turkish intelligence chief: Putin’s intervention in Syria is against Islam and international law, ISIS is a reality and we are optimistic about the future

Ankara— Hakan Fidan, the head of Turkey’s National Intelligence Organization, known by the MİT acronym, has drawn a lot of attention and criticism for his controversial comments about ISIS.

Mr. Hakan Fidan, Turkish President’s staunchest ally, condemned Russian military intervention in Syria, accusing Moscow of trying to ‘smother’ Syria’s Islamist revolution and serious breach of United Nations law.

“ISIS is a reality and we have to accept that we cannot eradicate a well-organized and popular establishment such as the Islamic State; therefore I urge my western colleagues to revise their mindset about Islamic political currents, put aside their cynical mentalité and thwart Vladimir Putin’s plans to crush Syrian Islamist revolutionaries,” – Anadolu News Agency quoted Mr. Fidan as saying on Sunday.

Fidan further added that in order to deal with the vast number of foreign Jihadists craving to travel to Syria, it is imperative that ISIS must set up a consulate or at least a political office in Istanbul. He underlined that it is Turkey’s firm belief to provide medical care for all injured people fleeing Russian ruthless airstrikes regardless of their political or religious affiliation.

Read more » FortRuss
See more » http://fortruss.blogspot.ca/2015/11/turkish-intelligence-chief-isis-is.html

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Russia to deploy S-400 missile defense systems to Syria: Defense minister


Photo credits: AFP

Russia will be deploying S-400 missile defense systems to Syria, the Russian defense minister says.

“The S-400 anti-aircraft missile system will be deployed to the Hmeimim airbase,” Sergei Shoigu said on Wednesday, referring to the Russian airbase outside the port city of Latakia in western Syria.

The system is the most advanced one owned by Russia in the field of air defense. The missile system, an upgrade of the S-300 family, is capable of intercepting and destroying airborne targets such as aircraft and ballistic and cruise missiles at distances of up to 400 kilometers (250 miles).

The official’s remarks came a day after the Turkish Air Force shot down a Sukhoi Su-24M Fencer, which they had accused of having violated Turkish airspace. Russia denies the allegation.

Read more » Press Tv
See more » http://www.presstv.com/Detail/2015/11/25/439085/Russia-Syria-air-base-S400


Portrait of Poet Fatimah Asghar in her homeby Amy Lam

Fatimah Asghar’s poetry is brutally beautiful. Her stanzas are heavy with pain yet buoyant with light. Born in Cambridge, Massachusetts to Pakistani and Kashmiri immigrants, Asghar now resides in Chicago and is a poet and performer whose work leaves you reeling and repeating lines to yourself the same way you memorize lyrics to a favorite song. Is it possible to read her poem “Pluto Shits on the Universe” and not utter to yourself, “I chaos like a motherfucker”? That singular line can also describe the energy of Asghar’s work, as she tries to make sense of the chaos in our own histories of diaspora, place, belonging, and language.

Asghar talked to us about her first chapbook released earlier this month. After, published by Yes Yes Books, is a collection of poetry that explores the aftermath of violence in a relationship. The book is unforgiving in its honesty in examining desire, anger, and power.

Read more » Bitch Media
See more » https://bitchmedia.org/article/fatimah-asghar-poetry-collection-after

International bomb plotter jailed for 40 years in US


Photo credits: BBC website.

A Pakistani man extradited from the UK to the US has been sentenced to 40 years in jail for plotting attacks in several countries.

Abid Naseer, 29, was sentenced by a federal judge in New York.

US authorities said he had been part of a plot to attack Manchester, New York City and Copenhagen.

In March, a jury found him guilty of providing material support to al-Qaeda and conspiracy to use a destructive device.

FBI assistant director-in-charge Diego Rodriguez said that Naseer, who moved to the UK to study, failed to use the British education visa system to make the best of his life.

Instead, he exploited it “to take away the lives of many others in large numbers”, said Mr Rodriguez.

Naseer was first arrested in the UK in 2009, along with 11 other men, suspected of planning a bomb attack on the Arndale shopping centre in Manchester over the Easter weekend.

Read more » BBC
See more » http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-34912242

State Bank of Pakistan denies giving go-ahead for $75m investment


Photo credits: St. James’s Hotel website.

By Shahbaz Rana

ISLAMABAD: A lawmaker has raised fears of money laundering after the central bank declared that it had not initiated any process for granting permission to a billionaire for remitting $75 million for the purchase of Saint James’s Hotel in London as the deal has already been sealed.

“The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) neither gave any permission nor initiated a case for approval of the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC),” Irfan Ali, Director Banking of the SBP, told the Senate Standing Committee on Finance and Revenue on Tuesday.

In July this year, the Senate committee had directed the SBP to furnish details whether the Nishat Group remitted $75 million for acquisition of the five-star hotel through proper channels. Billionaire Mian Muhammad Mansha had purchased the hotel in 2012 for $75 million.

Read more » The Express Tribune
See more » http://tribune.com.pk/story/997730/london-hotel-sbp-denies-giving-go-ahead-for-75m-investment/

Turkey has spent years allowing jihadist groups to flourish – so beware its real reasons for shooting down a Russian plane

turkey-plane-2-getty_0Turkey has no interest in the peaceful settlement to the conflict in Syria that world powers are negotiating. As Erdogan gets desperate, he will attempt to bring focus back to Assad

By Ranj Alaaldin@RanjAlaaldin

Turkey is getting desperate. Under President Recep Tayip Erdogan and his party, the Justice and Development Party (AKP), its policies toward the conflict in Syria over the past four years have been misguided and costly. When conflict broke out in 2011, Ankara mistakenly under-estimated the strength of the Assad regime and supported hardline Islamist groups seeking its downfall. In the process, Turkey also marginalised the Kurds and alienated regional powers like Iran.

See more » http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/turkey-has-spent-years-allowing-jihadist-groups-to-flourish-so-beware-its-real-reasons-for-shooting-a6747161.html

The Turkish provocation: Will it lead to War?

Written by Alan Woods

This morning the Turkish military shot down a Russian military aircraft on the border with Syria. It is unclear so far whether it was ground fire or Turkish jets that brought down the Russian plane. But that is a mere detail. What is quite clear is that this was a blatant provocation by the Turkish ruling clique.

Turkish military officials claimed that Turkish F-16s had shot down the plane after “repeatedly warning” its pilots that they were “violating Turkish airspace”. Russia’s defence ministry said an Su-24 had crashed on Syrian territory after being hit by fire from the ground, and that its pilots had managed to eject. Russia insists that its warplane did not violate Turkish airspace. The ministry stressed that “throughout its flight, the aircraft remained exclusively above Syrian territory”, adding: “Objective monitoring data shows it.” The fact is that video footage showed the plane crashing into mountains in Latakia province – that is, inside Syria. The pilots also landed inside Syrian territory. Even the Turkish radar imagery seems to confirm that the plane was shot down over Syrian airspace.

Was it an accident?

Was this a case of a mistake on the part of the Russian pilot? Was the navigation system defective? Such explanations are of course possible. But the first question must be asked is about the readiness of the Turks to open fire. The skies over Syria have got rather crowded lately, with the risk of collisions or other accidents ever present. This is exactly the kind of incident that many have feared since Russia launched its air operations in Syria.

The dangers of operating near to the Turkish border have been all too apparent. It is well known that arrangements to avoid incidents between warplanes over Syria have been made. Why were they ineffective? The bringing down of a Russian plane was a very serious step that could not be taken without express permission from the highest level – that is, from the Turkish President himself. We should point out that Turkish planes have already shot down at least one Syrian air force jet and possibly a helicopter as well earlier on in the civil war.

The Turkish authorities may claim that the arrangements to avoid clashes in the air do not cover the approaches to their “own airspace”. But what exactly constitutes their “own airspace”? The Turkish government claims that the Turkmens who inhabit an area of Syria adjacent to the Turkish border have always been under their “protection”. This assertion gives the game away straight away.

Erdogan’s regional ambitions are well known. He wishes to re-establish something resembling the old Ottoman Empire, bringing large parts of Central Asia and the Middle East under Turkish control. In order to further this ambition he attempts to use the Turkic-speaking peoples like the Turkmens for his own cynical purposes, just as Russian tsarism used the South Slavs in the past as the pawns of an expansionist foreign policy.

It is also an open secret that Erdogan has been supporting ISIS and other Islamist gangs in an attempt to overthrow President Assad and grab slices of Syrian territory. That is why he has allowed a large number of Islamist fighters to cross the Turkish border and join ISIS in Syria, while blocking the supply of arms and volunteers to the anti-ISIS forces in Syria and brutally crushing the Kurds who are fighting ISIS.

And all the while the West has been turning a blind eye to the fact that the Turks – along with the Saudi and Qatari gangsters – have been supporting, arming and financing the Jihadis in Syria – including ISIS. But lately all that has changed.

Read more » http://www.marxist.com/the-turkish-provocation-will-it-lead-to-war.htm

Pakistan – Govt Soon to Invite PayPal, Amazon and Ebay for Operations in Pakistan: Anusha

Pakistan has finally made all prerequisite regulatory arrangements needed for global tech companies to start their operations in Pakistan, said Anusha Rehman, Minister for State for IT and Telecom, here at a conference organized by GSMA in Islamabad.

Anusha said that Pakistan is now ranked in FATF’s white-list, meaning that Pakistan has now internationally accepted anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing standards in place which were previously not available.

Read more » ProPakistani
See more » http://propakistani.pk/2015/11/24/govt-soon-to-invite-paypal-amazon-and-ebay-for-operations-in-pakistan-anusha/

Downing of Russian plane is a ‘stab in the back’ from Turkey, says Putin



MOSCOW: President Vladimir Putin called Turkey’s downing of a Russian fighter jet a stab in the back administered by “the accomplices of terrorists,” saying the incident would have serious consequences for Moscow’s relations with Ankara.

Speaking in the Russian Black Sea resort of Sochi on Tuesday before a meeting with Jordan’s King Abdullah, Putin said the downed plane had been attacked inside Syria when it was one kilometre from the Turkish border and had come down four kilometres inside Syria.

That contradicted Turkey’s assertion that the aircraft had been warned multiple times that it was straying into Turkish airspace before it was shot down.

“Today’s loss is a stab in the back delivered to us by accomplices of terrorists. I cannot qualify what happened today as anything else,” said a visibly furious Putin.

Read more » DAWN
See more » http://www.dawn.com/news/1221963/


Girls at dhabas

‘Girls at Dhabas’ was set up by Sadia Khatri, Natasha Ansari, Rabeea Arif and Najia Khan. PHOTO COURTESY: GIRLS AT DHABAS

Storm in a teacup

The photo and the accompanying hashtag sparked a conversation within her social circle about how women at dhabas are seen as an anomaly. Soon, Khatri and her friends were receiving invites for doodh patti from others eager to visit dhabas. As interest in the photo grew, a friend suggested that the photo be made public online so other girls could share their photos from dhaba outings. Thus, the site ‘Girls at Dhabas’ was created and two months later, the girls have a presence on Tumblr, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and over 3,000 followers. That’s a lot of people curious to see photos of girls and their beloved doodh patti.
Read more » The Express Tribune
See more » http://tribune.com.pk/story/953782/storm-in-a-teacup/

Dhaka summons Pakistani envoy, lodges protest over FO statement


ISLAMABAD: Bilateral relations between Pakistan and Bangladesh received another blow when Bangladeshi government summoned Pakistan’s High Commissioner Shuja Alam and lodged strong protest over the statement made by Foreign Office, terming it an interference into internal matters of Bangladesh.

Alam was summoned at the Bangladeshi foreign ministry in Dhaka on Monday to register protest against the statement issued by Islamabad over the executions of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party leader and Jamaat-e-Islami secretary general — who were both charged with 1971 war crimes.

“Yes, High Commissioner Shuja Alam was called at the foreign ministry,” an official at Pakistan High Commission in Dhaka told Dawn.com via phone.

Read: Pakistan deeply disturbed by Bangladesh executions: FO

The official further said that Alam was conveyed displeasure of the Bangladeshi government by acting foreign secretary Meezan-ur-Rehman who said executions in connection with 1971 is the internal matter of Bangladesh.

Read more » DAWN
See more » http://www.dawn.com/news/1221715

Dark days are coming to India, as non-performing government will impose fascist rule

By Justice Markandey Katju

Orthodox sociological theory states that the substructure ( the method of economic production in society ) determines the superstructure ( the culture, customs, ideas, laws,state institutions, etc ), and when the substructure changes, so does the superstructure.

But in India after independence in 1947 in almost every state zamindari abolition acts were made, which meant that the feudal sub structure was largely abolished. Yet casteism and communalism, which are feudal forces, have remained, and even increased in recent times, as can be seen by the increase of intolerance lately. How does one explain this phenomenon ?.

Read more » Janta ka Reporter
See more » http://www.jantakareporter.com/india/29080/29080

Aamir Khan alarmed by growing intolerance in India


NEW DELHI: Indian Actor Aamir Khan on Monday said that he has been “alarmed and shaken” by the number of incidents related to extremism in India, Indian news agency PTI reported.

Addressing an audience at the Ramnath Goenka journalism awards, the actor known for his unique and outstanding on-screen work said that the growing insecurity in the country has alarmed him and he and wife Kiran Rao do not feel the country safe for their children.

“My wife Kiran Rao even suggested we should probably leave India,” Aamir told the audience.

Aamir Khan claimed that his sense of insecurity has increased in the past few months and laid stress upon the people in power to strongly condemn such incidents.

Read more » DAWN
See more » http://www.dawn.com/news/1221733

Man jailed for 13 years for Facebook ‘hate speech’



Photo credits: Social media.


LAHORE: An anti-terrorism court (ATC) has jailed a man for 13 years after he posted what it deemed sectarian hate speech on Facebook, officials said on Monday, with rights activists condemning the ruling as “extremely concerning”.

Saqlain, 32, who ran a small hotel in Chiniot district south of Islamabad, was also fined Rs250,000 rupees for “posting hateful material”, an official of the Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) told AFP, requesting anonymity.

Hate speech: Former ASWJ Pindi president sentenced to jail for 6 months

“The accused has been convicted and fined Rs250,000 for his offense,” added SSP Attaur Rahman of CTD.

Abdul Majeed, a senior local counter-terrorism official, confirmed the incident.

“The convict was arrested on October 27 after locals complained about him and he was charged for spreading sectarian hatred under various clauses of the anti-terrorism act,” he told AFP.

Majeed said the accused was released on bail a day later, then arrested and imprisoned on November 21 after the court convicted him.

Read more » DAWN
See more » http://www.dawn.com/news/1221725/


Is the bubble bursting for India’s online start-ups?


MUMBAI: Hundreds of layoffs at several Indian start-ups have sparked fears the bubble is starting to burst for the country’s e-commerce companies, amid claims by analysts that many of them are overvalued.

Restaurant search website Zomato, food delivery app TinyOwl and property portal Housing.com are all letting staff go, and experts are warning of echoes of the dot-com boom which crashed spectacularly in 2000.

“The valuation bubble is bursting. The valuations had reached levels where they were ridiculous and could not be justified at any level,” said Arvind Singhal, chairman of management consulting firm Technopak.

Read more » DAWN
See more » http://www.dawn.com/news/1221509/

Does ISIS really have nothing to do with Islam? Islamic apologetics carry serious risks.

By Shadi Hamid

Every time the Islamic State commits yet another attack or atrocity, Muslims, particularly Western Muslims, shudder. Attacks like the ones in Paris mean another round of demands that Muslims condemn the acts, as if we should presume guilt, or perhaps some indirect taint.

The impulse to separate Islam from the sins and crimes of the Islamic State, also known as ISIS, is understandable, and it often includes statements such as ISIS has “nothing to do with Islam” or that ISIS is merely “using Islam” as a pretext. The sentiment is usually well-intentioned. We live in an age of growing anti-Muslim bigotry, where mainstream politicians now feel licenseto say things that might have once been unimaginable.

To protect Islam – and, by extension, Muslims – from any association with extremists and extremism is a worthy cause.

But saying something for the right reasons doesn’t necessarily make it right. An overwhelming majority of Muslims oppose ISIS and its ideology. But that’s not quite the same as saying that ISIS has nothing to do with Islam, when it very clearly has something to do with it.

If you actually look at ISIS’s approach to governance, it would be difficult – impossible, really – to conclude that it is just making things up as it goes along and then giving it an Islamic luster only after the fact.

Read more » The Washington Post
See more » https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/acts-of-faith/wp/2015/11/18/does-isis-really-have-nothing-to-do-with-islam-islamic-apologetics-carry-serious-risks/?postshare=7791448093596833&tid=ss_fb-bottom