WASHINGTON: The United States (US) on Wednesday designated two Pakistan-based groups ‘with links to the Taliban’ as global terrorist threats.
As “Specially Designated Global Terrorists”, US citizens are forbidden from associating with the Tariq Gidar Group (TGG) and the Jamaat ul Dawa al-Qu’ran (JDQ), said a statement released by US State Department.
“Any assets owned by the groups in places under US jurisdiction will be frozen, and US law enforcement will be authorised to investigate their activity.”
According to the statement, the TGG is linked to the Tehreek-i-Taliban — the Pakistani Taliban — and is based in Darra Adam Khel.
India successfully launched a prototype space shuttle on May 23; a mini, unmanned space vehicle called the Reusable Launch Vehicle-Technology Demonstrator. The shuttle traveled to an altitude of about 40 miles above Earth’s surface, short of the 62-mile barrier between Earth’s atmosphere and outer space, before returning to Earth and into the Bay of Bengal.
LONDON (Web Desk) – Queen Elizabeth-II of United Kingdom, the world’s oldest living monarch who marked her 90th birthday last month, has had a number of myths spring around her in the past.
However, most astounding among these myths is the claim that she is the great granddaughter of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), from his 43rd generation.
Although disputed, genealogical records of early-medieval Spain also support the claim.
According to available information, Queen Elizabeth belongs to the family Abu al-Qasim Muhammad ibn Abbad, who was a descendant of Muhammad (PBUH) through his daughter Fatima (RA) and grandson Hasan ibn Ali (RA).
Al-Qasim was originally a judge appointed by Caliph of Cordoba but he seized power and formed his own dynasty, the Abbadids. He became the ruler of Seville in al-Andalus in 1023.
Six decades later, in 1091, the Almoravids of Morocco attacked their kingdom which was then being ruled by al-Qasim’s grandson Al-Mu’tamid ibn Abbad. Ibn Abbad was defeated and deprived of his throne.
Mullah Omar’s death in a Pakistani hospital in Karachi had been covered up for two years by the Pakistani Army’s intelligence service, the Inter Services Intelligence Directorate or ISI, and the cover-up allowed the ISI to manipulate the Taliban very effectively behind the scene. Mullah Mansour was the ISI’s handpicked successor.
WASHINGTON: Ignoring objections of the White House, the Republican majority House of Representatives has approved the National Defense Authorisation Act which blocks $450 million aid to Pakistan for failing to take action against the dreaded Haqqani network.
The NDAA 2017 (H R 4909) was passed by the US House of Representative (277-147) on Wednesday night, which among others included approval of three major amendments reflecting the strong anti-Pak sentiment prevailing among the US lawmakers.
As a result, as per the House version of the Bill, the Obama administration must certify that Pakistan has met before releasing $450 million in aid.
Hyderabad, Sindh: First ever Dalit Assembly in Sindh held at khanabadosh on 7th of May 2016. The representative of Kolhi, Meghawal, Bheel,SOLANGI, Gurgla, Bagri, Shikari Kabotra along with few Bàloch , Soomra, and Mahesar who count themselves as Dalit which stand for oppressed and broken. The participation was overwhelming and more thn 100 participants came from Nager Parker to Shikarpur and Rahimyaar khan were enthusiastic to stand for their Dalit identity to assert their political space.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has turned down the invitation to visit Pakistan for inauguration of the North-South Pipeline Project with Moscow emphasising that there was not enough substance in this trip.
This comes as the recent bonhomie between both sides has not lasted long despite Pakistan’s plans to buy armament, including aircraft from Russia, and signing of a number of bilateral agreements and setting up of the high-level consultative mechanism between Islamabad and Moscow Strategic Dialogue between their respective Foreign Ministers, Joint Working Group on counter-terrorism.
Read more » DNA
See more » http://www.dnaindia.com/world/report-russia-s-vladimir-putin-rejects-invitation-to-visit-pakistan-2207359
WASHINGTON: The United States (US) administration is withholding funds earmarked for Pakistan’s purchase of eight F-16 fighter jets, BBC Urdu reported, citing an unnamed senior US State Department official.
The State Department official told BBC Urdu on condition of anonymity that the Obama administration is still willing to sell the fighter jets to Pakistan, but will not contribute US funds towards the deal.
The US administration took this step with directions from US Senate Committee on Foreign Relations Chairman Bob Corker because only Congress has the authority to dispense or withhold the funds, the official said.
As a result of this move, Pakistan may have to foot the bill of $700 million for the eight fighter jets.
As per the earlier arrangement, Pakistan would have paid $270 million while the US would grant the remaining $430 million for the purchase.
The $742 million earmarked for American military aid to Pakistan in the 2016-2017 budget has also been put on hold, but may be released if Congress changes its mind, the State Department official said, adding that the Obama administration is working with Congress in this regard.
Read more » DAWN
See more » https://www.dawn.com/news/1255209
Washington: At a time when top US lawmakers have expressed concerns over the Obama Administration’s decision to sell eight F-16 fighter jets to Pakistan, Republican presidential front runner Donald Trump has hinted at seeking help from India to address the “problem” of a “semi-unstable” nuclear-armed Pakistan.
During a town-hall in Indianapolis on Wednesday, Trump was asked by an interviewer: “We’ve given them (Pakistan) money and they’ve double dealt us.”
To this, Trump replied: “Yes, but the problem with Pakistan, where they have nuclear weapons — which is a real problem.”
“The single biggest problem we have is nuclear weapons, you know, countries with them. And it’s not only a country, you have nine countries right now with nuclear weapons.”
“But Pakistan is semi-unstable. We don’t want to see total instability. It’s not that much, relatively speaking. We have a little bit of a good relationship. I think I’d try and keep it,” said Trump.
“It is very much against my grain to say that, but a country — and that’s always the country, I think, you know, we give them money and we help them out, but if we don’t, I think that would go on the other side of the ledger and that could really be a disaster,” Trump said, without explaining what that disaster would be.
“At the same time, if you look at India and some of the others, maybe they’ll be helping us out, because we’re going to look at it. We have many, many countries that we give a lot of money to and we get absolutely nothing in return and that’s going to stop fast,” Trump said.
Read more » Zee News
See more » http://zeenews.india.com/news/india/us-to-take-indias-help-on-unstable-pakistans-nukes-donald-trump-hints-so_1880417.html
Govt bans screening of film ‘Maalik’ across Pakistan
KARACHI: The federal government on Wednesday declared ‘uncertified’ the recently released feature film “Maalik”, effectively placing a ban on screening of the movie anywhere in Pakistan.
“In exercise of the powers conferred by Section 9 of the motion Pictures Ordinance, 1979, the federal Government is pleased to declare Urdu feature “Maalik” in respect of which a Censor Certificate No.54/M-I/2016 has earlier been granted, as uncertified film in the whole of Pakistan with immediate effect,” said a notification from the Ministry of Information, Broadcasting and National Heritage.
The notification, issued by the Ministry’s Information and Broadcasting division and signed by Deputy Secretary Muhammad Rafiq, did not state any reason for the ban.
Read more » GEO
See more » https://www.geo.tv/latest/104733-Govt-bans-screening-of-film-Maalik-across-Pakistan
Islamabad Election Tribunal disqualified Musharraf for discrepancy in assets
ISLAMABAD: Official land registry documents of the UK government show that Pervez Musharraf had made a payment of 1.35 million British pound (Approx 20 Caror Pak rupees) for purchase a flat in London on May 13, 2009. Another flat in UAE approximately with same monetary value was purchased by him in the same duration, whereas total financial benefits given to him following his retirement as army chief were less than Rs20 million (2 carore rupees).
Official documents submitted by Musharraf before Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) before contesting 2013 general elections, available with The News, show that he has not sold out any of residential or commercial plots or a farm house he obtained during his army service. The two squares (50 acres) agriculture land in Bahawalpur allotted to him because of his army service was sold out by him in 2002.
General Musharraf had left Pakistan in April 2009 after restoration of judiciary and had not started his international lectures by that time when on May 13, 2009 he purchased Hyde Park Crescent, London flat by paying 1.35 million pounds. His statement of assets submitted to ECP shows his following two foreign immoveable properties; 1- 28, Castle Acre, Hyde Park Crescent, London, 2- 3902, South Ridge Tower 6 Downtown, Dubai, UAE. UAE flat was also purchased by the general in the same duration and the according to property experts, its value was more than 20 caror Pak rupees at time of purchase.
Land registry documents of London flat show that Flat 28, Castle Acre, Hyde Park Crescent, London (Postcode: W2 2PT) has Land Registry Number: NGL906437, owned by Sehba Musharraf and payment of £1,350,000 was made on 13 May 2009 to acquire this flat.
Official documents show that National Accountability Bureau has all these details but it still has to move to start proper investigation against the ex-dictator. The payments made by Musharraf in a few months after leaving Pakistan in 2009 are around Rs400 million to purchase properties in London and UAE before starting his international lectures and without selling any of his residential plots, houses, commercial properties and a farm house. This is an issue pending with NAB along with all documentary evidence for long. According to reported fact, Musharraf started receiving income from his international lectures in 2010.
Read more » The News
See more » http://www.thenews.com.pk/print/114757-Musharraf-got-Rs20m-on-retirement-bought-Rs400m-flats-in-London-UAE
LAHORE: Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB) Chairman Siddiqul Farooq says that board owns no commercial property in Balochistan, as its all land in the province had been sold by its two former heads, who also were retired military generals, during the Musharraf rule.
He told Dawn the two retired military generals had declared the land as “unmanageable” during their tenures.
“In Balochistan, the ETPB had the commercial property worth billions on Jinnah Road in Quetta which was sold during the regimes of two retired generals,” he said.
“Their act caused a huge financial loss to the ETPB.”
He said it was shocking to know that trust’s commercial property had been sold illegally by declaring it “unmanageable”.
“You know the rates of commercial property in Quetta: Rs250,000 per squre feet.”
Read more » DAWN
See more » http://www.dawn.com/news/1253863
Egypt made an excellent deal: It receives an outstanding economic lifeline in exchange for territories that it does not even own. However, this rescue line is also a knotted rope that turns Egypt into a Saudi satellite state.
The maritime border demarcation agreement signed two days ago between Egypt and Saudi Arabia, authorizing the return of Tiran and Sanafir islands to the kingdom, aroused — as expected — a political storm in Egypt and concern in Israel.
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sissi’s rivals, among them the Muslim Brotherhood, the April 6 protest movement and leftist representatives, assert that he lacks constitutional authority to cede any Egyptian territory, and if he does want to do so, he has to submit a request for parliamentary approval. Sissi and his government reject this claim, explaining that the two islands are sovereign Saudi territory and that they were leased to Egypt in 1950 to “strengthen the defense of Egypt and Saudi Arabia from Zionist aggression.”
Officially, Egypt and Saudi Arabia are correct. According to the correspondence between the late Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal and Egyptian Prime Minister Atef Sedki in the 1980s, President Hosni Mubarak asked Saudi Arabia not to raise the issue of the islands’ ownership until Israel completed its withdrawal from Egyptian territory as per the Camp David Accords. The fear was that bringing up the issue of sovereignty would cause Israel to refrain from discussing withdrawal from Taba by arguing that Israel’s earlier withdrawal from Tiran and Sanafir didn’t need to be part of the Camp David Accords, since they were Saudi territory.
Learn more » Haaretz
See more » http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-1.713919
Farmers in Karnataka have adopted the digital platform in selling their produce. They go online, check out the quotes of the traders and seal the deal that suits them best and also receive the payments online. This facility has gained quite popularity now and other states like Andhra Pradesh has also come forward to adopt it.
Unified Marketing platform (UMP), a state government initiative launched in 2014 by the Rashtriya e-Market Services (ReMS), provide the farmers an opportunity to interact with the traders online. Thus, they can directly deal with the traders and have the right to reject if the quoted prices are not satisfactory for them.
This facility completely rules out the middlemen, who take away a big share from the farmers’ profit by buying their produce at minimum cost.
Through UMP, farmers now receive SMS alerts from their banks when transactions with traders have been confirmed.
Read more » THE LOGICAL INDIAN
See more » http://thelogicalindian.com/news/karnataka-14-lakh-farmers-are-selling-their-products-online-and-thus-no-middle-men/
If India can successfully transform its human resources into productive workers, you can expect it to quickly replace China as the economy that both inspires fear and respect among American economy watchers.
Read more » Fortune
See more » http://fortune.com/2016/04/08/india-economy/?xid=for_fb_sh
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
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/
LAHORE, April 14 (Reuters) – Pakistani gangsters on Thursday killed six policemen and took hostage 24 people, including police, during a raid to clear an island hideout in the south of prosperous Punjab province, authorities said.
The operation to flush out the gangsters entered its ninth day as 1,600 security officials, including police officials and paramilitary Rangers, battled for control of the island in Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s power base of Punjab.
Read more » DailyMail.Co.UK
See more » http://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/reuters/article-3539607/Pakistani-gang-kills-six-policemen-takes-24-hostages.html
Curfew has been imposed in north Kashmir’s Handwara town after four people were killed during clashes between security forces and civilians over the alleged molestation of a girl by an Army man. Over a dozen villagers were injured in the clashes.
One of the youths, killed in the clashes, was buried in Kupwara amid anti-India protests. Locals said curfew was imposed in Handwara and its neighbouring areas as authorities fear fresh protests in the town.
One of the youths killed was Jahangir Wani, a 25-year-old from Dragmulla, who was hit by tear gas shells.
Read more » The Indian Express
See more » http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-news-india/kashmir-firing-handwara-curfew-mehbooba-mufti-army/
SpaceX has finally landed its Falcon 9 rocket on a drone ship at sea, after launching the vehicle into space this afternoon. It’s the first time the company has been able to pull off an ocean landing, after four previous attempts ended in failure. Today’s success is a crucial milestone for SpaceX, as it shows the company can land its rockets both on solid ground and ocean.
Read more » THE VERGE
See more » http://www.theverge.com/2016/4/8/11392138/spacex-landing-success-falcon-9-rocket-barge-at-sea
It’s always interesting when information like this leaks because it reminds people who are up to no good how fragile and how vulnerable they make themselves by indulging in this kind of activity.
We’ve got an anti-corruption summit here in May. This is a key agenda for the prime minister. We’re working with many countries around the world including Panama – I had a meeting with the Panamanian vice-president just a few weeks ago on this issue. We are making significant progress.
Read more » TheGuardian
See more » http://www.theguardian.com/news/live/2016/apr/04/panama-papers-global-reaction-to-huge-leak-of-offshore-tax-files-live?page=with%3Ablock-570246b8e4b0fde262ff62d9#liveblog-navigation
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