Tag Archives: cards

Afghan gunfight: Kabul police battle insurgents

– Afghan and international security forces have been battling a multi-pronged attack by insurgents targeting the US embassy, Nato headquarters and police buildings in Kabul.

Police are still exchanging fire with at least one gunman holed up in an unfinished high-rise building overlooking the diplomatic quarter. Six people have been killed and 16 injured, Kabul’s police chief said.

The Taliban said they were behind the violence.

At least one attacker remains on one of the upper floors of the building, says the BBC’s Quentin Sommerville, in Kabul.

Afghan intelligence officials are already going through the lower floors, gathering evidence about the way the attack was planned and carried out.

Two of them told the BBC they found rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs), heavy machine guns and hand grenades, as well as biscuits and energy drinks.

“They had planned a long battle,” one official said.

Counter-terrorism officials said they recovered three mobile phone Sim cards from the bodies of attackers killed earlier in the day. The records showed the numbers had been used for calls to and from Pakistan, they told the BBC.

Read more → BBC

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The arrest of Dr Fai, may appear as isolated legal action of the US government but the scratch below the surface is just the beginning of the US retribution against Pakistani actions

On the course of retributions

By Dr. Manzur Ejaz | DAWN.COM

The arrest of Dr Ghulam Nabi Fai, and arrest warrant of a Pakistani national, Zaheer Ahmad, may appear as isolated legal actions of the US government against its citizens for unauthorised lobbying for Pakistan. However, scratch below the surface and it becomes clear that this is just the beginning of the US retribution against Pakistani actions.

The matter has been brewing and coming to the boiling point since Raymond Davis’ arrest and then jailing of those who helped the US in nabbing Osama bin Laden. In recent days, the US media has been reporting that the US is pressuring Pakistan for the releasing of Dr Shakil Afridi who was reported to be arrested for undertaking a fake vaccination campaign to get blood samples of bin Laden’s kids for DNA match.

Every Washington circle that had anything to do with Pak-American-Kashmir affairs was well aware of Dr Fai’s activities in the community, think tanks and on lobbying with Congress and Senate members. Most activists among the Pakistani-American community have been speculating about Dr Fai’s connection with Pakistani government and/or Inter Services Agency (ISI). Therefore, the allegation of having received about four million dollars from Pakistan and making over four thousand phone calls to his alleged handlers from ISI will not be totally perceived as concocted charges even among Pakistani expatriates. Pakistan embassy’s claim that Dr Fai is not a Pakistani citizen—he came from India and sought amnesty in the US—is not going to lessen the impact of such a damaging development.

Dr Fai’s activities on the Capital Hill and his arrangements of large and expensive conferences involving key people from Pakistan and India were quite open. It can be safely assumed that he was giving heart burns to Indian diplomats and lobbyists and they must have been pressurising the US government to rein him in. However, the US had chosen to look the other way for a decade and never bothered with his activities. But, now the parameters have changed. Probably because the US wants to send the message that it has some options to retaliate in Pakistani style as well.

It is well known that Pakistan has its own human intelligence assets in the US. Of course such assets must be a fraction of what a sole world superpower, the US, would have in Pakistan. The US financial power to buy human assets in Pakistan, Europe and from the rest of the world cannot be matched by a poor developing country. Nonetheless, the party with meager resources gets hurt more when mutual retributions occur.

Before Dr Fai’s arrest Washington’s diplomatic circles were subtly pointing out for such retribution. According to very reliable sources, the US side was arguing with Pakistani diplomats that millions of Pakistani-Americans live in America—some of them are Green Card Holders and technically, Pakistani nationals—and the US issues hundreds of thousands of student, visiting, business and work visas to Pakistanis while Pakistan is raising questions about a few hundred visas.

A thinly veiled threat is that if Pakistan continues restricting movements of its diplomats and citizens, the US can do the same putting Pakistani diplomats’ work in jeopardy and creating problems for visitors. Technically, the US can cancel Green Cards on very flimsy grounds, through finding any trivial fault with application process, and send thousands of Pakistanis back home. It is not very likely to happen but if things get too far it is not out of question either.

If the US expands the scope of retributions the diplomatic make-up of staff at Pakistani embassy may change as well. Pakistan may not be able to appoint ranking officials from intelligence agencies as ‘head of community affairs’ or under other such covers. The set of military mission in the embassy may be realigned as well. Most of all, the US agencies, particularly tax authorities, can be used to scare prosperous Pakistanis, mostly physicians, who hold fund raisers for the US lawmakers and arrange their meeting with Pakistani diplomats and incoming Pakistani officials. Such moves will certainly hamper little efforts Pakistani-Americans make to provide bridge between the two countries.

If the negative perception of Pakistan further deepens, the US may not be able to use drones in Pak-Afghan border areas but it will hit Pakistan’s financial system with stealth bombers. Besides stopping the financial aid, the US can harm Pakistan’s foreign currency earnings by creating difficulties for transmitting the remittances of Pakistani expatriates. Presently, Pakistani expatriates contribute a significant portion of foreign remittances of Pakistan. Furthermore, it can issue guidance to donor agencies, European partners and other private financial institution to hold back on financial transfers to Pakistan.

A sketch of broad possible scenarios of US retribution–been started with Dr Fai’s arrest–is not to scare the new found patriotism in Islamabad. Patriotic feelings are very noble, worthy and respectable but one should know the cost as well. Before throwing stones at others while sitting in the glass houses, one should have thick tall walls to protect oneself. Are Islamabad and GHQ ready to build such walls if the US process of retributions expands? Does not seem like it.

Courtesy: → DAWN.COM

President Zardari’s Moves to Take On Opposition, SC: Final Showdown?

Tables are Turned in Islamabad: Shujaat Officially Meets Zardari. Final Showdown Between PPP, SC & PML-N Imminent?

By: Aijaz Ahmed

Excerpt:

Islamabad: It was a day of President Asif Ali Zardari in the Federal Capital of Pakistan today as he threw surprise after a surprise at his opponents, indicating that the PPP has finally decided to play its cards and a final battle between PPP, Supreme Court and PML-N is now imminent. The indication was given by a surprise meeting, which was officially admitted by Aiwan-e-Saddr (presidency) itself between the President and Co-Chairperson PPP Asif Ali Zardari and a delegation of PML (Q) headed by Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain Friday night. …

…. ‘The party is ready to take on the judicial activism, and the political strategy of PML-N’, he said. ‘The meeting of PML (Q) and PPP leadership will open venues for future cooperation and joint political strategy against Mian brothers and the judiciary, he added. …

…. Chess Board is laid, and field is open for all political and allied forces. Every player is playing its moves, but the clever player will win in the end. And who will be the cleverest of all, only time holds the answer, just wait for few weeks.

Read more : Indus Herald

Pakistan: Over 37 million ‘dubious’ voters found in electoral lists !

Mubashir Luqman is exposing bogus voting in electoral system of Pakistan. That’s why the same ruling elite is re-elected every time. Actually these are Bogus votes but they call it “Sola/ Satra Crore Awaam ka Mandate”.

Courtesy: Dunya TV News (Kharri Baat with Luqman ke Saath – 9th March 2011 – guests Shaikh Rasheed & Imran Khan)

via – ZemTVYou Tube

We hypocritical Muslims – by Dr Manzur Ejaz

Muslims have convinced themselves that they are super-humans. They believe that the world should be very attentive to the Muslims’ religious and cultural sensitivities while they can persecute any minority

On an international level, people from every religion exchange greeting cards to commemorate different occasions. We all know that most of these cards are meant for the wastebasket. What if a Christian or Jew saw a Muslim salesperson throwing his card with Jesus or Moses’ name on it and called the police to register a case of blasphemy against him/her and the police arrested the violator? Most western readers would laugh out loud at this unlikely scenario but it is not a laughing matter for a physician from Hyderabad, Pakistan, who, unwittingly, threw a Muslim’s visiting card in the trash basket. He apologised to the offended party and yet the police arrested him under pressure from religious fanatics.

The manner in which the religious parties are campaigning for Aasia Bibi’s hanging has given me many nightmares while living in the US capital. What if the Bible belt of the southern states in the US became as influential as the religious parties in Pakistan? The US Congress and Senate would add a constitutional amendment on blasphemy laws according to which anyone who believes in any prophet after Jesus would be sentenced to death. Under pressure from Washington, most European and South American countries and those with majority Christian populations would follow suit in making the Christian blasphemy law. Hindus, Buddhists and people of other religions would also be forced to pass such laws. What kind of world would we live in if all that should take place?

Whatever happens, the Blasphemy Law will be fully operational against Muslims because they were the ones who set the precedent. This means that the millions of Muslims living in non-Islamic countries would face persecution and may even be led to the gallows. Fundamentalists and extremists of every religion will justify Muslim persecution on the basis of their belief in a prophet who came after Jesus and other prophets and the way the people believing in this religion have been targeting Christians and other minorities in their own countries.

Lucky for the Muslims living in the US and other non-Islamic countries that no nation has blasphemy laws and Muslims can throw any greeting card in the wastebasket or even openly put down other religions without fear of reprisal. Of course, after 9/11, Muslims may be screened more at airports. Even the Indian ambassador to Washington, Ms Meera Shankar, was put through a body search for which India has lodged a strong protest with the US. One can see regular white Americans also being humbled at airports. Therefore, discrimination is there but Muslims never realise that they have worse practices in their own countries. They do not see a connection between the liberties they enjoy abroad in contrast to the persecution of minorities in their homelands.

Furthermore, Muslims in the US and other European countries are not taking discrimination lying down; they are fighting for their equal rights. Nowadays, US-based Muslim organisations are campaigning for the US government to allow them to send zakat money to other countries. The US put many restrictions on such charities under the pretext that such money is being used to fund Muslim terrorist organisations. The point is that Muslim organisations can challenge such laws publicly despite American sensitivity about the role of charitable organisations in funding jihad.

While Muslims enjoy such liberties in the western world, they are intolerant towards minorities in their own countries. Religious parties take the most hypocritical positions at home and abroad. They agitate for equal rights in the west and demonstrate to maintain the Blasphemy Law and hang a poor rural Christian like Aasia Bibi in Pakistan. Religious parties want democratic freedom when it comes to their own interests but become fascists when it is someone else’s right. For example, the Jamaat-e-Islami wants pure democracy and transparency in the country but in institutions under their control, like the Punjab University, they become a corrupt, tyrannical force. A similar pattern is repeated wherever religious parties gain control, be it in FATA or an educational institution.

Aasia Bibi’s case does not make much sense. Having lived with many rural Christians — who are mostly very poor and are considered untouchables — I know that these poor souls are incapable of committing the crimes they are accused of. Most of the time, the grudging ‘Muslim masters’ register such cases to punish them for disobeying or refusing to do free work. Muslim organisations are up in arms to free Aafia Siddiqui for violating US laws but show no compassion for Aasia Bibi. Obviously, this is a crude example of double standards. …

Read more : WICHAAR

From the lens of a Baloch, Sindhi or Pashtun, Zardari is being punished for trying empowering the opperesed Nations of the federation by 18th constitutional amendment

 

President Asif Zardari

Political deterrence – by Ayesha Siddiqa

 

The main stakeholders in Pakistan on both sides — the government and the establishment — may seem suicidal, but their behaviour may look pretty logical if one were to use the nuclear deterrence lens. Once there is a conflict, the competitors aim to up the ante and push the enemy up the escalation spiral to a point when the weaker party has no option but to consider the use of nuclear weapons. In such an eventuality, it is hoped that the weaker party might actually not push the button due to the bigger fear of total annihilation.

So, what we are watching at the moment is both sides trying to squeeze the other up the escalation spiral. The establishment’s advantage is that it is the most powerful actor, it controls and commands the national narrative, it has built an image for itself as the only alternative institution and looks much more efficient than all other players.

Naturally, a political government that suffers from serious inefficiency and doesn’t know the tricks of creating a counter narrative is a weaker party. For instance, the government’s media team plays a poor defensive game and does not even know how to get on the offensive (this does not mean shouting at people rudely on television programmes). The ruling party’s information team is constantly trailing behind and lacks a plan to protect itself.

If this is to be considered as a game between two players that is Asif Zardari and the establishment then, it is obvious that in his own estimation he has not lost the game as yet. The biggest deterrence he has deployed is the ethnicity card and putting his weight behind the empowerment of the smaller provinces. Some fellow writers believe that the ‘Sindh’ card might work for him if he gives in now. But the fact of the matter is that the Sindh card or the other smaller ethnic card is already operative.

From the lens of a common Baloch, Sindhi or Pashtun, Zardari is being punished for bringing about the 18th amendment. While all attention in Islamabad is focused on the articles pertaining to the judges, the said amendment will also bring about the much-awaited empowerment of the smaller provinces. Interestingly, the bulk of the ‘free and vibrant’ media in Pakistan does not care to flag that aspect of the 18th amendment.

For the very ordinary man in Sindh, in particular, there isn’t much of an option besides the PPP. ….
Read more : The Express Tribune

Sindhi be made national language of Pakistan besides Punjabi, Siraiki, Pushto & Balochi

by Manzoor Chandio, Karachi, Sindh

1-Sindhi along with Seraiki, Punjabi, Balochi and Pushto should be declared a national language of Pakistan. (The present national language of Pakistan is the Mother tongue of only 7% population of the Pakistanis)

2-All national identity cards and passports in Sindh should be issued in Sindhi.

3-Coins and banknotes of various denominations should be published in Sindhi along with other  national languages.

4-All signboards and milestones of Pakistan Railways and National Highway Authority in Sindh should be written in Sindhi. (The Civil Aviation Authority should display welcoming banners in Sindhi at all airports in Sindh. The PIA should make arrival and departure announcements in Sindhi as thousands of Sindhis are using the airline daily.

5-All federal bodies in Sindh and all departments of the Sindh government should use Sindhi for official communication. (Ministers should display their name plates in Sindhi)

6-Sindhi members of the Sindh Assembly should make speeches and table bills in Sindhi. The finance minister should make his budget speech in Sindhi. (It seems Sindhi lawmakers are the worst victims of the linguistic chauvinism. One visit to the Sindh Assembly shows how Sindhi legislators are talking in as they were members of Utter Pradesh Assembly.

7-All closed Sindhi-medium schools and colleges in Karachi, Sindh should be reopened.

8-All court proceedings right from civil to high courts should be held in Sindhi. Records should also be maintained in Sindhi.

9-All national and multinational companies, including those of pharmaceutical manufactures, should be asked to produce literature in Sindhi. Otherwise, their products should be boycotted.

10-Elite Sindhis should be asked to talk to their children in Sindhi.

http://manzoorchandio.blogspot.com/

19 Feb. 2009.