Tag Archives: banned

Banned ASWJ ends protest as Islamabad police forms team to probe murders

By SHAKEEL QARAR

ISLAMABAD: The banned Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat (ASWJ) marched from Lal Masjid to the Parliament House on Friday in protest of “target killings and kidnappings” of its representatives.

The proscribed outfit marched today to protest against what it called a recent surge in acts of violence against its representatives. The march was led by ASWJ Islamabad President Ghulam Mustafa Baloch in light of which police cordoned off the street near the headquarters of the National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra) with containers.

Following a dialogue with the Islamabad police, the outfit agreed to end its protest after an assurance was given that the murders of its workers would be probed. The additional deputy commission Islamabad, the SSP and other police officials said that a special investigation team to be led by SP Captain (retd) Ilyas was being formed to investigate the killings.

ASWJ, a reincarnation of the banned Sunni militant group Sipah-i-Sahaba Pakistan (SSP), had been banned in Feb 2012.

Despite the ban, the ASWJ continues to operate in the country with religious conferences and demonstrations held in different cities from time to time and no apparent action from the authorities.

Read more: Banned outfit operates with impunity in Chakwal

Last month, lawyer and activist Jibran Nasir led a protest against ASWJ’s activities, bringing attention to the government’s negligence towards following due process of law.

ASWJ representatives have been targeted in three incidents of sectarian violence this year. Two days ago, senior ASWJ leader Dr Mohammad Fayyaz Khan was gunned down in Karachi.

According to data compiled by the South Asian Terrorism Portal, 112 people have been killed and 140 injured in incidents of sectarian violence in Pakistan since the beginning of 2015.

The Sunni Supreme Council had, at the end of February, announced the launch of a protest movement against sectarian killings and terrorism in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, but the province-wide protest has not picked up impetus outside of KP.

Courtesy: DAWN.COM
Read more » http://www.dawn.com/news/1167784/banned-aswj-ends-protest-as-islamabad-police-forms-team-to-probe-murders

Bangladesh: 10 jihadis to hang for assisting in a suicide bombing that killed 8 people

Ten Bangladesh militants are condemned to death

A court in Bangladesh has sentenced 10 Islamist militants to death for assisting a suicide bombing in 2005 which killed eight people near a courthouse in the town of Gazipur. Police at the time described it as the country’s first suicide bombing.

The condemned men, all members of the banned JMB militant group, showed no remorse after a judge sentenced them in a crowded Dhaka courtroom.

Read more » BBC
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-22983209

Pakistanis to be banned from travelling abroad if country fails to control polio by 2013

All Pakistanis would be banned from going abroad if the country fails to eradicate polio by 2013 as per a World Health Organisation resolution, according to a report.

The Senate Standing Committee on Inter Provincial Coordination (IPC) termed the move as an alarming situation and said that the government needed to take appropriate measures to meet the international requirement.

According to senior officials of the IPC, WHO was ready to present a resolution against Pakistan but it was delayed due to the efforts of the Pakistani ambassador in Geneva.

The official said the Pakistani ambassador informed the government to take measures in this regard, The Daily Times reports.

According to the paper, Senator Dr Karim Ahmed Khawaja also confirmed the WHO report and urged his fellow members that the matter required efforts on emergency bases. (ANI)

Courtesy: The Japan News

http://www.thejapannews.net/index.php?sid/207630476/scat/b8de8e630faf3631/ht/Pakistanis-to-be-banned-from-travelling-abroad-if-country-fails-to-control-polio-by-2013

LeJ-ASWJ’s attack on army camp in Gujrat is a message to Pakistan army generals

By: Sarah Khan

The Gujrat attack on Pakistan army, in which at least seven poor soldiers and a policeman lost their lives, is a reminder to Pakistan army generals to refrain from breaking their “understanding” and “undeclared truce” with the Jihadi-sectarian militants of the banned Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ, currently operating as Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat ASWJ).

Read more » Let Us Build Pakistan (LUBP)

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Via – Twitter

Thousands of hardline Fundamentalists stream to Pakistan’s capital to protest NATO supply line

Thousands of hardline Islamists stream to Pakistan’s capital to protest NATO supply line

By: Wichaar Desk

LAHORE, Pakistan — Thousands of hardline Islamists streamed toward Pakistan’s capital in a massive convoy of vehicles Sunday to protest the government’s decision to allow the U.S. and other NATO countries to resume shipping troop supplies through the country to Afghanistan.

The demonstration, which started in the eastern city of Lahore, was organized by the Difah-e-Pakistan Council — Defense of Pakistan Council — a group of politicians and religious leaders who have been the most vocal opponents of the supply line.

Pakistan closed the route in November in retaliation for American airstrikes that killed 24 Pakistani troops. Following months of negotiations, Islamabad finally agreed to reopen the route last week after U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton apologized for the deaths.

Clinton met with Pakistani Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar for the first time since the apology Sunday on the sidelines of an Afghan aid conference in Tokyo and expressed hope that resolution of the supply line conflict would lead to better relations between the troubled allies.

One of the reasons Pakistan waited so long to resolve the conflict is that the government was worried about domestic backlash in a country where anti-American sentiment is rampant despite billions of dollars in U.S. aid over the last decade.

The protest started Sunday in the center of Lahore, where several thousand people assembled with scores of buses, cars and motorbikes. They linked up with thousands more supporters waiting on the city’s edge and drove toward Islamabad in a so-called “long march” against the supply line. The convoy included about 200 vehicles carrying some 8,000 people when it left Lahore, said police official Babar Bakht.

After completing the 300 kilometer (185 mile) journey to Islamabad, they plan to hold a protest in front of the parliament building Monday.

“By coming out on the streets, the Pakistani nation has shown its hatred for America,” one of the Difah-e-Pakistan leaders, Maulana Samiul Haq, known as the father of the Taliban, said in a speech on the outskirts of Lahore.

Supporters showered Haq with rose petals as he rode through Lahore in the back of a truck with other Difah-e-Pakistan leaders, including Hafiz Saeed, founder of the banned Lashkar-e-Taiba militant group; Hamid Gul, a retired Pakistani intelligence chief with a long history of militant support; and Syed Munawar Hasan, leader of Pakistan’s most powerful Islamist party, Jamaat-e-Islami.

Many demonstrators rode on the tops of buses, waving party flags and shouting slogans against the U.S. and NATO. “One solution for America, jihad, jihad!” they shouted.

The crowd was dominated by members of Jamaat-ud-Dawa, widely believed to be a front group for Lashkar-e-Taiba, which is blamed for the attacks in the Indian city of Mumbai in 2008 that killed more than 160 people. Jamaat-ud-Dawa is led by the group’s founder, Saeed.

“The movement that has been started to reverse the government’s decision to restore the NATO supply will go on until America leaves this region for good,” Saeed said in a speech on the outskirts of Lahore. “The mission is noble because it is to save the country and the nation from slavery.”

The U.S. announced a $10 million bounty earlier this year for information leading to the arrest or conviction of Saeed, but he operates freely in the country. Pakistan says it doesn’t have enough evidence to arrest Saeed, but many suspect the government is reluctant to move against him and other militant leaders because they have longstanding ties with the country’s military and intelligence service.

Rehman Malik, a government security adviser, said members of banned militant groups would not be allowed to enter Islamabad for the Difah-e-Pakistan protest Monday, but all others would be welcomed.

“They are patriots. They are not anti-state people,” Malik told reporters. “We will welcome them with open arms.”

It’s unclear if they will try to prevent Saeed from attending the protest.

Difah-e-Pakistan is widely believed to be supported by the Pakistani army as a way to put pressure on the U.S. Its leaders have vowed to stop NATO trucks from making the journey from the southern port city of Karachi to the Afghan border. But if the group has army backing, it could moderate its actions.

Continue reading Thousands of hardline Fundamentalists stream to Pakistan’s capital to protest NATO supply line

Pakistan – Jihadis all over

By Mujahid Hussain

After a lull, the al-Qaeda and the Taliban terrorists have re-launched attacks in Pakistan. These attacks falsify the myth that al-Qaeda and the Taliban sympathizers had been combed out in the wake of the security forces’ successful operation in the Tribal Areas.

As a matter of fact, the Taliban terrorists have pushed the security forces and the local Peace Lashkars out of the area. Now the Taliban are attacking the urban areas and the adjoining settlements at will. The recent example of the Taliban penetration is the release of hundreds of dangerous criminals from the prison of Bannu, situated on the periphery of the Tribal Belt.

Continue reading Pakistan – Jihadis all over

Pakistan has had so many “moments of reckoning” but here is another – By Najam Sethi

Matters are coming to a head in Pakistan. The deadlock in US-Pak relations over resumption of NATO supplies is veering towards confrontation. And the confrontation between parliament-government and supreme court-opposition is edging towards a clash. The net losers are fated to be Pakistan’s fledgling democracy and stumbling economy.

Pakistan’s Parliamentary Committee for National Security has failed to forge a consensus on terms and conditions for dealing with America. The PMLN-JUI opposition is in no mood to allow the Zardari government any significant space for negotiation. COAS General Ashfaq Kayani is also reluctant to weigh in unambiguously with his stance. As such, no one wants to take responsibility for any new dishonourable “deal” with the US in an election year overflowing with angry anti-Americanism. The danger is that in any lengthy default mode, the US might get desperate and take unilateral action regardless of Pakistan’ s concern. That would compel Pakistan to resist, plunging the two into certain diplomatic and possible military conflict. This would hurt Pakistan more than the US because Islamabad is friendless, dependent on the West for trade and aid, and already bleeding internally from multiple cuts inflicted by terrorism, sectarianism, separatism, inflation, devaluation, unemployment, etc. Indeed, the worst-case scenario for the US is a disorderly and swift retreat from Afghanistan while the worst-case scenario for Pakistan is an agonizing implosion as a sanctioned and failing state.

Continue reading Pakistan has had so many “moments of reckoning” but here is another – By Najam Sethi

US puts $10 million bounty on Lashkar-e-Taiba’s Hafiz Saeed Jamaat-ud-Dawa group

By AFP

ISLAMABAD — A man with a $10 million US government bounty on him might be expected to have gone into hiding, but Hafiz Mohammad Saeed is one of Pakistan’s most high-profile and outspoken Islamists. ….

Read more » google

The price of Baloch blood

By: Hashim bin Rashid

The ‘clink, clink’ reverberate

Who are these benevolent youth

The gold coins of their blood

Clink clink, clink clink –Faiz Ahmed Faiz

Salima Hashmi, Faiz sahib’s daughter, dug out this gem of a poem and dedicated it to the Baloch martyrs at the Faiz Aman Mela in Lahore last Sunday. The very next day, Monday, three bodies of Baloch missing persons, including former BSO-Azad Chairman Sangat Sana Baloch were found. The day after, Tuesday, Baloch-dominated areas in Balochistan observed a shutter down strike.

‘Chhan chhan, chhan chhan,’ Faiz’s words reverberated across the province.

The body of Sangat Sana was found only two weeks after the Domki murders, murders that had sent the entire Balochistan Assembly, generally the most complicit of the Baloch, up in a furore. Three Baloch ministers stood up to narrate a gruesome incident in which two Baloch youth were bound up and shot by FC troops on the Quetta-Turbat road.

The trouble was that the consequences of the murder of Brahamdagh Bugti’s sister were not fully contemplated by the most likely murderers, although they should have. The lesson of Balochistan always was: blood spilt is thicker than blood flowing. This was indeed why Nawab Akbar Bugti’s killing in an army operation bestowed the legacy of a martyr on him and spurred insurgency.

Balochistan has been under siege since 1947, with the current insurgency that started in 2005 being the fifth: the last four were brutally suppressed through similar military action. It is only this one which is spiralling out of control.

The almost abandon with which intelligence agencies operate in the Baloch province is matchless. Barely anyone is left in doubt as to who picked up whom for allegedly ‘anti-nationalistic’ sentiment and the message is delivered forcefully with every punctured, dumped body of a Baloch missing person.

While the same matters went unnoticed in the last four operations, what changed on the ground was that the Baloch intellectuals and leadership, fearing for their lives, began to take up outposts in exile and developed lobbies to relay the situation in Balochistan to international organisations. In Balochistan, the BLA, the BLF and the BRA continued to fight from the mountains while Baloch political parties and the various factions of the BSO continue to develop the space on the ground to unite the Baloch community and speak to the few in the Pakistani media that still want to hear a Baloch speak about Balochistan.

Coverage has been selective. When the BLA killed 15 FC troops in the army-operated Chamalang coal mines area in response the Domki killings, media splashed the event. But when a counter-military operation was launched in Chamalang, there was complete silence by the media on it.

The reason: journalists based in Balochistan were instructed not to – at the risk of their lives. 20 journalists had been killed in the last decade. However, Baloch resistance websites, forced to operate from outside Pakistan, and still banned in Pakistani cyberspace, began to carry gruesome accounts of unchecked brutalities. However, Pakistani airwaves and cyberspace remained clear of any such ‘anti-state’ accounts.

Baloch blood was being spilled with no one brave enough to speak of it. Amidst this re-launched operation, exiled Baloch leaders were able to play the card they had wished to play much earlier: the US Congress took up a debate on Balochistan and tabled a bill to acknowledge the Baloch ‘right to self-determination’. The same ‘right to self determination’ was, of course, something Pakistan itself had been campaigning foreign powers for in the similarly gruesome 64-year old Indian-occupation of Kashmir. The US is telling Pakistan: what about the suppression in Balochistan?

Balochistan is the thaw no one in Pakistan wishes to admit as much as discuss – or solve. The late politics over it by Nawaz Sharif and Imran Khan has come to naught, so clear is Baloch nationalist sentiment. Imran Khan’s pseudo-rally in Quetta, announced for 23 March, seemed to be an attempt to engineer and announce a new Pakistan resolution from the Baloch capital amidst a flailing nationalist project. Nawaz Sharif’s All-Parties Conference on Balochistan fell apart because Baloch parties refused to join in, making the attempt look silly.

No Baloch takes the more than 270 ‘killed-and-dumped’ bodies as a joke. No Baloch believes the army high command when it says, “No military operations are being carried out in Balochistan and no security forces have been involved in human rights abuses.”

And this is the worst part: all political actors and intellectuals in Pakistan, including this writer, are speaking about the Baloch but not to the Baloch. Journalists from Balochistan are able to relay how the army views the mere act of putting up a Pakistani flag as a victory. To the Baloch, the rising flag means being conquered. And it is being conquered that the Baloch resist when they are whisked away and they return as tortured, bullet-ridden bodies.

The price of Baloch blood is not that Pakistan might split again – it is that we will fool ourselves again, as we do now, when the Foreign Office issues condemnations of the US Congress debate on Balochistan, on why we split. To condemn the military operation, to condemn the killing-and-dumping and to return the missing Baloch, that is what should have been the government’s response. In its absence, it will be sure to learn the price of Baloch blood the hard way.

Continue reading The price of Baloch blood

Pakistan : Gathering of Jihadis linked to al-Qaeda in Islamabad demands holy war against US – chanting “death to America”

Gathering demands holy war against US

Excerpts;

Islamabad – Pakistanis poured onto Islamabad’s streets on Monday, chanting “death to America” and demanding holy war at a rally whipped up by right-wing, religious and banned organisations linked to al-Qaeda.

It was the latest show of support for Defence of Pakistan, a coalition of around 40 parties chaired by a cleric dubbed the father of the Taliban that include organisations blacklisted at home and abroad as terror groups. ….

…. “Today, we have gathered here to raise a voice of protest against US intervention in Pakistan,” chairperson Maulana Sami ul-Haq, who runs an extremist madrassa that educated several Taliban leaders, said.

Also present was member Hamid Gul, who headed Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence agency during the 1980s US and Pakistani-sponsored war against Soviet troops in Afghanistan.

His membership has helped fuel suspicions that Pakistan’s security establishment is backing the coalition as a means of exerting pressure on the weak government and whipping up rhetoric against the unpopular US alliance. ….

….. “Death to America” and “America deserves one treatment: Jihad, jihad” shouted the crowd in a bustling commercial area, an AFP reporter said. ….

To read complete report » news 24

http://www.news24.com/World/News/Gathering-demands-holy-war-against-US-20120220

Bound by hatred of the US, Pakistan extremists and politicians join hands to shake government – Chicago Tribune

By: ASHRAF KHAN

Associated Press – KARACHI, Pakistan (AP) — Bound together by hatred of the United States and support for insurgents fighting in Afghanistan, a revived coalition of supposedly banned Islamist extremists and rightwing political parties is drawing large crowds across Pakistan.

The emergence of the “Defend Pakistan Council” movement has raised suspicions that the group has approval from elements in the powerful military and security establishment, aiming to bolster public support for a hardline position. The group’s rise comes as the military is trying to assert its position in renegotiating its troubled relationship with the United States and as Pakistan prepares for elections likely to take place later this year.

Some of the leading lights in the Defend Pakistan Council have traditionally been seen as close to the security establishment, which has a long history of propping up radicals to defend its domestic interests or fight in India and Afghanistan.

On Sunday, the group’s bandwagon rolled into Karachi, the country’s commercial heart.

Between 20,000 and 30,000 men gathered close to a monument to Pakistan’s founder, Mohammed Ali Jinnah, whose vision of a liberal, secular Pakistan is often contrasted to the rise of hardline, often violent groups in the country.

The star of the gathering was Hafiz Saeed, the head of Jamaat-ud-Dawa, a front group for Lashkar-e-Taiba, the militant group accused by India and the West of sending Pakistani militants by boat to Mumbai in 2008 where they killed 166 people in attacks on a hotel and other sites.

“We demand Pakistani rulers quit the alliance with America,” said Saeed, who was placed under house arrest after the Mumbai attacks but has slowly re-emerged in public, without a response from authorities. “There can be no compromise on the freedom and sovereignty of the country.”

Members of Dawa patrolled the rally, some armed with automatic weapons, others on horseback.

Also represented on stage and in the crowd were Sipah-e-Sahaba, a feared Sunni extremist group that has carried out scores of attacks on minority Shiites in recent years. Its members have reportedly formed alliances with al-Qaida operatives in Pakistan.

A large banner that hung over the stage read “Wake up, countrymen, break the shackles of American slavery.”

That anti-American message has been amplified by the Pakistani army since U.S. airstrikes along the Afghan border in late November killed 24 Pakistani soldiers. The Pakistani army accused the U.S. of deliberately targeting the outposts, rejecting American assertions it was mistake.

Pakistan retaliated by closing its western border to NATO and U.S military supplies into Afghanistan, a key supply line for the war. Saeed and other speakers threatened civil disobedience if Pakistan reopens it. Their stance could hamper American hopes that Islamabad will quietly reopen the route in the coming weeks.

“We vow that the NATO supply will never be restored,” he said.

The alliance groups many of the same parties and clerics that banded together after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, capitalizing on anti-American sentiment. It formed a political alliance that won 50 seats in elections that took place in 2002.

The current government, which is broadly pro-American and doesn’t espouse political Islam, is under pressure from the courts and opposition parties. Elections are now seen as likely later this year, and the revival of the “Defend Pakistan” group appears to be a push by politicians grouped within it to win votes among the legions of Pakistanis who subscribe to Islamist views.

It could also be attempt by the army to put pressure on the ruling Pakistan People’s Party, which has repeatedly clashed with the generals since taking power in 2008 and has tried to get closer ties with India. The group has organized large rallies in several Pakistan cities; next week it plans a gathering in the capital, Islamabad.

Many of the speakers in Karachi rallied the crowds with warnings that Pakistan was under threat, and Islam its only defense.

Do you swear to fight back with Islamic spirit, honor and dignity if anyone, whether American, NATO, Israel or India attack Pakistan?” asked Maulana Sami-ul-Haq, head of a hardline school that has sent thousands of people to fight in Afghanistan over the last 10 years.

Jihad! Jihad!” the crowd roared.

Speaker after speaker also touted the army line on India, saying the neighboring country represents an existential threat to Pakistan. This stance justifies the security state that has been established since the two nations broke apart from the British-ruled subcontinent in 1947.

Liberals, democrats and peace activists have been trying for years to bring India and Pakistan closer together. But in the past, the army has funded and trained Islamic militant groups and their umbrella organizations to battle Indian forces in Kashmir, the disputed territory at the heart of the rivalry between the two countries.

The security establishment of this country desires that ultra-radical parties should be brought into politics so that their doctrine against India, America or Israel could be infused to the masses,” said Tauseef Ahmed, the head of the Mass Communication department at the Federal Urdu University.

Also at the Karachi rally was Hamid Gul, a former general who headed the country’s spy agency in the late 1980s when Pakistan and the U.S. were supporting militants in their fight against the Soviets in Afghanistan. He has since become a leading voice in the media against America and in support of the Taliban. Documents released by the whistleblower site Wikileaks alleged he retained ties to the insurgency there, a charge he has denied.

Ejaz Haider, a security analyst, said the security establishment should be “checked for serious dementia if it was using the council for its own purposes, given that many of its members have been linked to terrorism that is taking a deadly toll inside Pakistan.

Continue reading Bound by hatred of the US, Pakistan extremists and politicians join hands to shake government – Chicago Tribune

Lahore High Court shows true colors of strategic depth of Pakistan

Review board orders Malik Ishaq’s release

By Asad Kharal

LAHORE: A review board of the Lahore High Court (LHC), on Friday, denied an extension for the detention of Malik Ishaq, former leader of the banned Lashkar-i-Jhangvi, for one more month and issued orders for his release. ….

Read more » The Express Tribune

via – Twitter

JamaatuDawa (JuD) chief Hafiz Saeed feels safe in Pakistan

JuD chief appreciates freedom in Pakistan

By Rana Tanveer

LAHORE: Jamaatud Dawa chief Hafiz Saeed has appreciated the freedom in Pakistan to spread the message of Islam.

“No other territory in the world can match Pakistan. The country is a blessing from Allah Almighty and we should understand conspiracies [against it] by non-Muslims,” Saeed said in a statement issued on Sunday.

He said that the JuD did not believe in modern nationalism. “Pakistan’s security is based on the Kalma Tayyaba only,” he asserted. “The internal and external threats that Pakistan is facing can only be tackled through the methodology of the State of Madina.”

Reiterating the JuD’s stringent anti-India and anti-America stance, he said that the people of Pakistan were not ready to accept the Most Favoured Nation trading status for India and the terrorist attacks of Nato. “It is a matter of great regret that our rulers are afraid of severing their relationships with Europe and America.”

Saeed said that American forces are facing a humiliating defeat in Afghanistan. “Islam will emerge as a great power in the near future,” he said.

Criticising the government, he said that the rulers are trying to avert the war instead of taking counter-measures on conspiracies against Pakistan. “They must take national solidarity and sovereignty seriously and bravely defend Pakistan.”

Read more about : jamaatuddawa

Courtesy: The Express Tribune

Pakistan Defence Pvt Ltd – By Gulmina Bilal Ahmad

The very fact that these banned organisations are still working so openly in our society, without any fear or even a slight concern for the rule of law and state authority, makes evident the will of the authorities to tackle extremism

Generally throughout the entire history of Pakistan, the defence budget has been continuously increasing. Particularly in the last decade the budget allocated to defence expenditures has witnessed enormous growth, from $ 2.5 billion in 1999 to around $ 5 billion in 2011. The reason cited by defence experts is the various external and internal threats, especially evolving after 9/11 and the initiation of the war on terror. The finance for this growing expenditure is supported through the earnings of the citizens of Pakistan. Let me make it clear to everyone that here I am not making a case against the budget allocated to the security of the country, as security is the foremost issue for Pakistan nowadays. My concern is that if the people of Pakistan are contributing for the defence budget and are willing to sacrifice the financial requirements of other sectors for safeguarding the country, then they also have the right to know what policies are being employed by the security apparatus for this purpose.

Pakistan has been outsourcing its defence activities to civilians or non-military groups since the outset. Starting from the war in Kashmir immediately after independence, during the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, the Kashmir movement and finally in the current war on terror where tribal lashkars (militias) are being formed to battle militancy. Numerous platforms have been invented in various eras according to requirements, whether it is the Pak-Afghan Council, Muttahida Jihad Council or the latest talk of the town, the Pakistan Defence Council (PDC). This last mentioned amalgamation of right-wing mainstream political parties and banned militant outfits has received colossal limelight in the aftermath of the NATO attack. The recent rally held in Lahore on December 18 by the PDC was attended by thousands and was under the very symbol synonymous with the sovereignty of the country. The rally was not only attended by mainstream political figures but also the leaders of banned terrorist organisations. Ijazul Haq, Sheikh Rashid Ahmed, General Hamid Gul and Syed Munawar Hasan shared the stage with Hafiz Saeed, head of Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD). The reason for the sudden rise of these organisations is very simple. As I mentioned in my previous article, these militant outfits are pouncing on the opportunity to exploit the sentiments of the already enraged citizens for their own vested agenda to regain their foothold. ….

Read more » Daily Times

In Israel, women’s rights come under siege

By Ruth Marcus

Women are forced to board public buses from the back and stay there. Billboards with images of women are defaced. Public streets are cordoned off during religious holidays so that women cannot enter.

Continue reading In Israel, women’s rights come under siege

The United States of Prisons

21st-Century Slaves: How Corporations Exploit Prison Labor

In the eyes of the corporation, inmate labor is a brilliant strategy in the eternal quest to maximize profit.

By Rania Khalek

There is one group of American workers so disenfranchised that corporations are able to get away with paying them wages that rival those of third-world sweatshops. These laborers have been legally stripped of their political, economic and social rights and ultimately relegated to second-class citizens. They are banned from unionizing, violently silenced from speaking out and forced to work for little to no wages. This marginalization renders them practically invisible, as they are kept hidden from society with no available recourse to improve their circumstances or change their plight.

They are the 2.3 million American prisoners locked behind bars where we cannot see or hear them. And they are modern-day slaves of the 21st century.

Incarceration Nation

It’s no secret that America imprisons more of its citizens than any other nation in history. With just 5 percent of the world’s population, the US currently holds 25 percent of the world’s prisoners. “In 2008, over 2.3 million Americans were in prison or jail, with one of every 48 working-age men behind bars,” according to a study by the Center for Economic and Policy Research(CEPR). That doesn’t include the tens of thousands of detained undocumented immigrants facing deportation, prisoners awaiting sentencing, or juveniles caught up in the school-to-prison pipeline. Perhaps it’s reassuring to some that the US still holds the number one title in at least one arena, but needless to say the hyper-incarceration plaguing America has had a damaging effect on society at large.

The CEPR study observes that US prison rates are not just excessive in comparison to the rest of the world, they are also “substantially higher than our own longstanding history.” The study finds that incarceration rates between 1880 and 1970 ranged from about “100 to 200 prisoners per 100,000 people.” After 1980, the inmate population “began to grow much more rapidly than the overall population and the rate climbed from “about 220 in 1980 to 458 in 1990, 683 in 2000, and 753 in 2008.”

The costs of this incarceration industry are far from evenly distributed, with the impact of excessive incarceration falling predominantly on African-American communities. Although black people make up just 13 percent of the overall population, they account for 40 percent of US prisoners. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS), black males are incarcerated at a rate “more than 6.5 times that of white males and 2.5 that of Hispanic males and “black females are incarcerated at approximately three times the rate of white females and twice that of Hispanic females.”

Michelle Alexander points out in her book The New Jim Crow that more black men “are in prison or jail, on probation or on parole than were enslaved in 1850.” Higher rates of black drug arrests do not reflect higher rates of black drug offenses. In fact, whites and blacks engage in drug offenses, possession and sales at roughly comparable rates. ….

Read more » AlterNet

The true victims of religious extremism

– By Dr. Manzur Ejaz, DAWN.COM

He is a polygamist religious leader who married many women, including underage girls, and raped a minor. He banned parades, dances and magazines like the Sports Illustrated and Car and Driver and yet revelled in the company of multiple wives.

If this description brings to mind an Arab sheikh or a Taliban leader, you are way off the mark. The man is neither an Asian Muslim of Arab or Afghan descent nor is he from a primitive society. Rather, he is Warren Jeffs, 55, a Caucasian who was heading the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (FLDS) in America. The Christian sect, with a membership of 10,000, preaches that “polygamy brings exaltation in heaven.” But Mr Jeffs’ idea of reaching to the heaven was pretty botched up, with him marrying and raping underage girls. …

Read more → WICHAAR.COM → DAWN.COM

Bangladesh captures leader of banned Islamic group, Harkatul Jihad al-Islami (HuJI)

Bangladesh nabs leader of banned Islamic group

Yahiya returned to Bangladesh in 1992 after the Mujahidin war in Afghanistan. In December of 2005, he was arrested for alleged involvement in a series of bombings. Later he jumped bail and was absconding.

The leader of a banned jihadist group was arrested by Bangladesh’s elite anti-terror unit while he was traveling on a passenger bus Thursday.

The Rapid Action Battalion captured Hafez Maulana Yahiya and two of his bodyguards on the Dhaka-Sylhet highway northeast of the capital Dhaka. Yahiya has been identified as acting chief of the banned militant outfit Harkatul Jihad al-Islami (HuJI), confirmed M Sohail, director of the legal and media wing of the battalion.

The United States lists HuJI as an international terror organization, as have the international police (Interpol). The jihadist network is active in the South Asia nations of Bangladesh, India and Pakistan. The terror network moved its headquarters from Pakistan to Bangladesh after allied countries invaded Afghanistan in 2001.

In a daring bid to assassinate opposition leader Sheikh Hasina in 2004, HuJI militants attacked her rally in the capital with hand grenades and sniper rifles. The attack was allegedly masterminded by Yahiya. Hasina is presently the prime minister of Bangladesh.

The RAB said Yahiya, 60, had served as the acting chief of HuJI since its former chief, Maulana Sheikh Farid, was detained on July 26. HuJI’s sole mentor Maulana Fazlur Rahman is the most wanted person and his whereabouts are unknown, said retired General Moniruzzaman, chief of a global security think-tank.

Read more: http://www.allheadlinenews.com/articles/90057620?Bangladesh+nabs+leader+of+banned+Islamic+group#ixzz1VxQPC9h8

 

Islamists break Pakistan’s military ranks – By Amir Mir

ISLAMABAD – The arrest of Brigadier Ali Khan, a senior officer of the Pakistan army, for his alleged ties to Hizbul Tehrir (HuT), a banned Islamic militant group believed to be working in tandem with al-Qaeda under the garb of pan-Islamism, has brought into the open conflicting Islamists and reformists ideologies that have split the military’s rank and file for a decade.

Pakistani armed forces spokesman Major General Athar Abbas confirmed Khan has been arrested due to his links to the HuT and was being interrogated by the Special Investigation Branch of the Military Intelligence. The brigadier, who had been posted at the General Headquarters (GHQ) of the army in the garrison town of Rawalpindi, was taken into custody on May 6, hardly three days after the May 2 killing of al-Qaeda founder Osama bin Laden in a US military raid in Abbottabad. …

Read more:→ ASIA TIMES ONLINE

Extra! Extra! Mullah Omar arrested in Pakistan

by Nadeem F. Paracha

ISLAMABAD: In a daring raid, Saudi Special Forces arrested renegade Afghan leader, Mullah Omar, from a famous five-star hotel located in one of Pakistan’s most popular vacation spots – Bhurban.

The news spread like wildfire and people were seen cursing the Pakistani government for allowing the Americans to undermine Pakistan’s sovereignty – again.

However, when it became clear that the raid was not conducted by the Americans but the Saudis, the frowns turned into smiles and many were heard saying, ‘Jazzakallah!’

Only minutes after the raid, Pakistan’s prime minister and Army Chief appeared on state-owned television and congratulated the nation and thanked the Saudi regime for helping Pakistan in its war against terror.

Interestingly, religious parties like Jamaat-i-Islami, (JI) Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam (JUI) and some banned sectarian organisations, along with Imran Khan’s Pakistan Thereek-i-Insaf (PTI) which had originally called a joint press conference to condemn the raid, changed their stance half-way through the conference when told that the raid was by Saudi forces and not the Americans.

Munawar Hussain, JI, chief, was first heard lambasting Pakistan’s PPP-led civilian government for letting the country’s sovereignty be violated by the Americans, but after a reporter confirmed that the raid was executed by Saudi forces, Munawar turned to Imran Khan and embraced him.

‘Mahshallah!’ he exclaimed. “Today is a glorious day for our Islamic republic!”

Imran Khan and JUI chief Fazalur Rehman had earlier questioned the real identity of the man arrested from the five-star hotel, saying that even if it was Mullah Omar, we should be ashamed because Omar was a freedom fighter, conducting a liberation war against the Americans.

However, after it became clear that the arrest was made by Saudi forces, both Imran and Fazal then claimed that Mullah Omar was no friend of Pakistan and that he was not even a Muslim.

In a joint statement, JI, JUI and PTI, congratulated the nation and said that they had been saying all along that the Taliban were Pakistan’s greatest enemies and should be exterminated.

The statement also said that the PTI and JI will continue to hold sit-ins against American drones which were parachuting evil men like Mullah Omar into Pakistan and violating the sovereignty of the country. For this, the statement suggested, that Ahmad Shah Abdali should be invited to invade Pakistan and defeat the Americans.

When told that Abdali died almost two hundred years ago, PTI and JI termed this to be nothing more than western propaganda.

Imran Khan added, that from now on he should be addressed as Imran of Ghaznavi and that one of Pakistan’s most prominent revolutionary and youngest nuclear physicists, Zohair Toru, was building anti-drone missiles.

Toru, who was also present at the conference, confirmed this while licking a lemon flavoured popsicle. He said it was a very hot day and popsicles helped him concentrate.

Meanwhile, a military spokesman also held a press conference to give the media a briefing on the details of the raid.

He said the raid was executed by Saudi Special Forces who came from Saudi military bases in Riyadh.

The helicopters then landed on Margala Hills in Islamabad. On the lush hills, Saudi soldiers disembarked from the copters, got on camels and rode all the way to Bhurban in broad daylight.

They were twice stopped at checkpoints by Pakistani Rangers but were allowed to cross when some Saudi soldiers said something to the rangers in Arabic. It is believed that the Saudis promised the Rangers jobs in Saudi Arabia.

An eyewitness claims the Rangers smiled and waved to the departing camels, cheering ‘marhaba, marhaba.’

The camel army reached the five-star hotel in Bhurban at 11:00 am and right away rode their way into the sprawling premises.

The camels were also carrying rocket launchers, sub-machineguns, pistols, grenades and popcorn, all concealed in large ‘Dubai Duty Free’ shopping bags.

The military spokesman added that although the Pakistan Army had no clue about the raid, there were a dozen or so Pakistani military personnel present at the hotel.

When asked whether these men questioned the camel riders, the spokesman said that they did see the armed camels enter the hotel but the military men were at the time more interested in interrogating a 77-year-old Caucasian male whom they had arrested for smoking in a non-smoking area.

“After the Abbottabad incident, we are keeping a firm eye on Europeans and Americans,” the spokesman said.

Even though the white man turned out to be an old Polish tourist, the spokesman praised the military men’s vigilance. “Our country’s sovereignty is sacred,” he added.

According to the Pakistan military, the Saudis then rode their camels into one of the hotel’s kitchens and fired teargas shells.

This way they smoked out the chefs and their staff out into the open. From these, a Saudi commander got hold of a one-eyed chef with an untidy beard.

The Saudi commander looked at the chef and compared his face to a photograph he was carrying. He asked: ‘Al-Mullah-ul-Omar?’ To which the chef was reported to have said: “No, al-chicken jalfrezi. Also make very tasty mutton kebabs.”

The commander then asked, ‘Al-Afghani?’ to which the chef said, “Yes make Afghani tikka too. You want?”

A reporter asked the military spokesman whether the Pakistani military men present at the hotel witnessed the operation. The spokesman answered in affirmative but said they didn’t take any action after confirming that Pakistan’s sovereignty was not being violated.

The reporter then asked how the military men determined that Pakistan’s sovereignty was not being violated. Answering this, the spokesman said that since the camel riders were speaking Arabic there was thus no reason for the military to charge them with violating Pakistan’s sovereignty.

This statement made the media men at the press conference very happy and they consequently began applauding and raising emotional slogans praising Islam, ISI and palm trees.

Soon after the announcement that Mullah Omar was arrested by Saudi forces, the country’s private TV channels became animated. One famous TV talk-show host actually decided to host his show in a Bedouin tent. Instead of a chair, he sat on a camel wearing a Pakistan Army uniform.

Though most of his guests — that included prominent ex-generals, clergymen and strategic analysts — praised the operation and heaped scorn at Mullah Omar, there was one guest, a small-time journalist, who disagreed with the panelists.

He asked how a wanted man like Mullah Omar was able to live in Pakistan undetected and that too while working as a chef in a famous five-star hotel. He also said that Mullah Omar had also been appearing on various cooking shows as a chef on various food channels.

To this, the host snubbed the journalist telling him that he was asking irrelevant questions.

‘But before this operation, everyone was supporting the Taliban and telling us they were fighting a liberation war against the Americans,’ the journalist protested.

‘No,’ said the host, ‘it was the civilian government that was in cahoots with the Taliban. It should resign.’

‘No,’ the journalist replied, ‘it was our agencies!’

This made the host angry and he slapped the journalist. He threatened the journalist by saying that he would lodge a case against him in accordance with the Islamic hudood ordinance.

The journalist responded by saying that the Saudis had violated Pakistan’s sovereignty. Hearing this, the host slapped the journalist again, saying he will get him booked for blasphemy.

At the end of the show the host and the panelists burned an American flag and sang the Pakistani national anthem in Arabic. Then, after handing over the treacherous journalist to the authorities, they proceeded to Saudi Arabia to perform hajj.

However, they were soon deported by the Saudi regime for violating Saudi sovereignty.

Nadeem F. Paracha is a cultural critic and senior columnist for Dawn Newspaper and Dawn.com.

Courtesy: http://www.dawn.com/2011/05/13/extra-extra-mullah-omar-arrested-in-pakistan.html

Looks like noose is being tighten around the establishment

US brands Haqqani network commander as terrorist

By Arun Kumar, IANS

Washington, May 11 (IANS) In a crackdown on terrorists operating in Afghanistan and Pakistan, the US has designated the commander of a Pakistan-based insurgent group as a terrorist and banned Americans from doing business with him.

The State and Treasury departments said Wednesday that they had added Badruddin Haqqani to their list of ‘specially designated global terrorists’, a step that will freeze any assets he may have in US jurisdictions.

Badruddin Haqqani is the senior military commander of the Haqqani group and a son of the group’s founder, Jalaluddin Haqqani, who had previously been designated as a terrorist by the US.

The Taliban-affiliated group operates from North Waziristan, a tribal area in Pakistan, and conducts attacks on US troops in Afghanistan, the State Department said.

The step will help stem the flow of financial assistance to a dangerous individual, it said.

The United Nations has also added Badruddin Haqqani to its list of Al Qaeda and Taliban terrorists, a step that requires all UN member states to implement an assets freeze, a travel ban, and an arms embargo against him.

Badruddin Haqqani took responsibility in November 2008 for the kidnapping of New York Times reporter David Rohde. The reporter escaped in June 2009.

Courtesy: Yahoo News

Pakistan : Not revolution but anarchy

– Not revolution but anarchy

by Waseem Altaf

Revolution refers to drastic change in thinking and behaving in the cultural, economic and socio-political context.

Socio-economic deprivation or gross disparity or conflict of interest among competing groups causes frustration which leads to aggression. The aggression so caused is channelized by leaders who symbolize an ideology. A critical mass of the population is necessary who are supportive of this ideology.

Today people in Pakistan are frustrated. This has caused aggression. The manifestations of this aggression are visible everywhere. The irritability of the common men, show of force and inflammatory speeches in public rallies, ever increasing crime rate, intolerance and impatience are all indicative of this aggression. However there is no such leader who has an ideology and who enjoys the support of a critical mass of the population which can bring about a revolution in this country. Hence the thought of revolution becomes even more irrelevant in a country where there are so many ethnic, social, political and religious divides with no leader enjoying mass support at the national level.

However this country is fast drifting towards a change. Let us see what the present state of the nation is:

Today it is not the government, the parliament, the media, the judiciary or even the army which calls the shots but the firebrand mullah in the streets who determines the tone and tenor of the statements and initiatives emanating from all the so called pillars of the State. Sherry Rahman has withdrawn the blasphemy bill, informed the Prime Minister on Wednesday 2nd of Feb. Sitting ministers either support the stance taken by the mullah or remain silent. While it is Mumtaz Qadri versus the State, the case has been shifted to Adiala jail for proceedings as the State does not feel secure in an open court in Islamabad. Last time the public prosecutor could not attend the court as the jail premises was thronged by Sunni Tehrik supporters of Mumtaz Qadri.Today the conduct of the Parliament is determined by the mullah as in the Senate, it was not allowed to say fateha for Salman Taseer in response to a resolution moved by Senator Nilofar Bakhtiar. Even the liberal MQM members refused and not a single member of PPP rose to support the resolution. …

Read more : View Point

Amnesty International, has called for criminal investigation of torture by George W. Bush

Swiss Miss Bush – GWB Ducks Geneva Criminal Torture Charges

by Bill Quigley

Justice for George W’s torture violations jumped much closer this weekend. Ex-President George W Bush was supposed to fly to Switzerland to speak in Geneva February 15. But his speech was cancelled over the weekend because of concerns about protests and efforts by human rights organizations asking Swiss prosecutors to charge Bush with torture and serve him with an arrest warrant.

Two things made this possible. Switzerland allows the prosecution of human rights violators from other countries if the violator is on Swiss soil and George W admitted he authorized water boarding detainees in his recent memoir. Torture is internationally banned by the Convention Against Torture.

The European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights, the International Federation for Human Rights, and the US-based Center for Constitutional Rights prepared criminal complaints with more than 2500 pages of supporting material to submit to the Swiss prosecutor. These criminal complaints were signed by more than 60 human rights organizations world wide and by the former UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, the former UN Special Rapporteur on Independence of Judges and Lawyers, and Nobel Peace Prize recipients Shirin Ebadi and Perez Esquivel.

Amnesty International, which has repeatedly called for criminal investigation of torture by GWB, sent Swiss prosecutors a detailed legal and factual analysis of President Bush’s criminal responsibility for torture.

Read more : DissidentVoice

Pakistan radicals rule the streets

by Amanda Hodge

TENS of thousands of people crowded the streets of Lahore late on Sunday demanding freedom for the assassin of Punjab governor Salman Taseer.

The protestors are also demanding death for the US consular official who killed two suspected armed robbers in self-defence.

Demonstrators from religious parties Jamaat-e-Islami, Jamiat Ulema-e-Pakistan and the banned terrorist-linked charity Jamaat-ud-Dawa held banners in support of Mumtaz Qadri — the police guard who killed Taseer last month because the governor had supported changes to Pakistan’s draconian blasphemy laws.

Opposition party leaders from more mainstream parties also lined up to assure the protesters they would never support changes to the blasphemy law and would quit the National Assembly should the government attempt to amend them.

Protesters chanted slogans such as “Free Mumtaz Qadri” while demanding the harshest penalty for Raymond Davis, a US consular official who was arrested for double murder on Friday after shooting two armed motorcyclists he feared were about to rob him.

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“We warn the government and administration that . . . if they help the arrested American illegally, then this crowd will surround the US embassy and presidential palace in Islamabad,” one official from the Jamiat Ulema Islam party said.

The US has demanded Mr Davis’s release, claiming he has diplomatic immunity, but the Pakistani government says the courts should decide his fate.

In another corner of the Punjab’s once feted cultural capital, 500 people attended a peace rally and remembrance vigil for the slain governor.

Among them was liberal commentator Raza Rumi, who conceded yesterday: “It’s not a good time to be a liberal in Pakistan.

“Forget liberal — it’s not a good time to be a moderate.”

Analysts say the fact that among the speakers at the larger rally was JUD founder Hafiz Saeed, believed to have also founded terrorist group Lashkar-e-Taiba, says much about the complicity of state forces in Pakistan’s extremist groundswell.

But just as telling was who was sharing the podium.

Members of Imran Khan’s so-called moderate Tehreek-e-Insaaf (Movement for Justice) party also spoke in support of the blasphemy laws.

“All the major political parties from the Right and the centre were there, which shows the Right is capturing more and more political space,” says Rumi. …

Read more : The Australian

PAKISTAN : PUNJAB GOVT GAVE 82 MILLION TO JAMATUD DAWA

Punjab govt gave Rs82m to JD: papers

Rana Sanaullah said the purpose of giving this grant was to continue the welfare services provided by the organisation’s sc hools, dispensaries and hospitals.

LAHORE: The Punjab government gave more than Rs82 million to the Jamatud Dawa (JD) during the outgoing financial year, according to the budget documents for 2010-11.

The supplementary budget for the outgoing fiscal presented before the provincial assembly for its approval reveals that the provincial government gave a grant of Rs79 million to the Markaz-i-Tayyaba, the JD headquarters in Muridke.

Another sum of Rs3 million was given as grants to the schools run by the JD in the different districts of Punjab, according to the supplementary budget 2009-10.

Continue reading PAKISTAN : PUNJAB GOVT GAVE 82 MILLION TO JAMATUD DAWA

Hafiz Saeed rubs shoulders with party chiefs in Lahore

Religious leaders sit on the Israel, US and Indian flags placed by supporters of banned religious party Jamat-ud-Dawa during an anti Israeli and its allies rally in Lahore on Sunday, June 13, 2010.

DAWN

LAHORE: Hafiz Saeed stood alongside several top leaders of the mainstream religious parties on Sunday as his Jamaatud Dawa held a march from Nasser Bagh to Charing Cross, on The Mall, to express solidarity with Palestinians and condemn Israeli atrocities.

Syed Munawar Hasan, the Amir of Jamaat-i-Islami, Senator Sajid Mir of Jamiat Ahl-i-Hadith, Hafiz Husain Ahmed of Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam and Hameed Gul, a former chief of the Inter-Services Intelligence, were also present.

Continue reading Hafiz Saeed rubs shoulders with party chiefs in Lahore