Bordered by Somalia, Ethiopia and Eritrea, tiny Djibouti has quietly been making headlines for its dreams to become as successful as the Emirate.
Read more » BBC
Bordered by Somalia, Ethiopia and Eritrea, tiny Djibouti has quietly been making headlines for its dreams to become as successful as the Emirate.
Read more » BBC
Today 13 April is birthday of Sant Kanwarram. Renu Gidoomal sings in her melodious voice with complete love,dedication and devotion Kean Rejhayan Tokhe … ڪيئن ريجهايان توکي Programme in Dubai Event organised by Asha Chand.
Courtesy: Sindhi Sangat
ISLAMABAD: On first day of its first visit to Pakistan, Arab National Construction (ANC) Holdings of Dubai was able to sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the government to set up two coal-based power projects at Gadani, a jetty for coal import and a transmission line to add 1,320 megawatts of electricity to national grid at an investment of $2.5 billion.
Read more » DAWN
DUBAI: The United Arab Emirates says it plans to use unmanned aerial drones to deliver official documents and packages to its citizens as part of efforts to upgrade government services.
Read more » DAWN
Free wireless internet along Mohammed Bin Rashid Boulevard for all is announced
Downtown Dubai’s visitors and residents will now receive free wireless internet connectivity across the 3.5 km long Mohammed Bin Rashid Boulevard. Emaar has announced that they have teamed up with Du to offer complimentary WiFi for all.
Read more » http://planethowto.blogspot.ca/2014/01/his-highness-sheikh-mohammed-announces.html
A rags-to-riches story
The India Club in Oud Metha on Sunday evening saw the launch of the second edition of his autobiography called Taking the High Road by Indian tycoon Dr Ram Buxani.
Buxani started working in Dubai some five decades ago. Back then he made Dh8 (125 Indian rupees) a month at ITL and today, he is a 50 per cent shareholder in the same group.
In his speech, besides thanking his well-wishers, the 72-year-old Sindhi-speaker talked about the difficulties he faced on his way up.
“Our (UAE) Rulers have a rare art of sailing through difficult times,” Buxani said.
“This decade has brought me on a unique pedestal which I had never dreamt of… Murij Manghnani and I have been associates for 54 years and I am thankful to God, friends and associates for this association,” he said.
“The company itself is completing 60 years this year. I am indeed grateful to Murij Manghnani for his constant guidance and pray that it remains with us for a long time.”
Indian Ambassador M. K. Lokesh was among the guests during the book launch. “The success and contribution of the Indian community in the region must be told as all such stories everywhere in the world,” Lokesh said.
Buxani is chairman of the India Club, Dubai. He was also chairman of Indian High School, Dubai, from 2000 to 2004.
He is also a board member of Al Noor Training Centre for Children with Special Needs in Dubai.
Buxani was generous in his acknowledgement of his family support. He made special mention of his wife Veena, and spoke of the empty-nest syndrome as well: “Living without children at home gives rare sad feelings and realisation as to how a house can be without kids.
When we marry, we often like to have a honeymoon period without anyone around. But after a couple of decades we start liking having everyone around us and that becomes the honeymoon. That’s what we have started missing”.
The proceeds from the sales of the book, priced at Dh90, will go towards Al Noor Training Centre for Children with Special Needs.
Courtesy: Khaleej Times
ISLAMABAD/LAHORE: Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari will not be leading the party’s election campaign as party officials confirmed his departure for Dubai on Tuesday, days before the party launches its official campaign on April 4.
Speaking to Dawn.com, PPP leader Sharmila Farooqi confirmed that Bilawal had departed for Dubai. She also confirmed that the young Bhutto would not be ‘physically’ taking part in the party’s election campaign; however, she cited “security concerns” as the reason behind the decision.
The news comes as the Press Trust of India reported that the PPP chairman had left after an argument with his father, President Asif Ali Zardari.
Continue reading Bilawal leaves Pakistan, not to lead PPP election campaign: officials
Washington-USA, Toronto-Canada, Brussels-Belgium, London-U.K., Middle East+ Sharjah+ Abu Dhabi, UAE, *Sindh*-Pakistan.
13th October 2012 – We, the undersigned Sindh Diaspora Organizations, Sindh Civil Society Organizations and Sindh Nationalist Parties unequivocally and resoundingly reject the controversial and apartheid Bill passed by the Sindh Assembly, to give a legal facade to the SPLG ordinance 2012.
It may be remembered that this same forum had twice rejected this and a previous ordinance emanating from the Governor House, which had the same purpose: Administrative, Fiscal and eventual Political Division of Sindh.
This forum view these repeated onslaughts on the fundamental rights of the nation of Sindh on their own land as an act of aggression against humanity.
The Sindhi Nation is not only cognizant of the contents and intentions of this so called “Bill”, but has resolved to struggle for its reversal.
The obscure and back room circumstances and haste surrounding the promulgation of first, the SPLGO and second its passage into “law” by the Sindh Assembly on 1st October 2012, further and finally confirmed to the Sindhi Nation that the intentions of the current coalition partners in the ruling Sindh Government, the PPPP and MQM, are malafide. This coalition stands rejected by the nation of nation, and has lost their confidence.
The SPLGO has been designed to further dis-empower and disenfranchise the nation of Sindh in their own historic homeland.
It is aimed to divide Sindh administratively with a view to its eventual political division in the future.
Further, the SPLGO privileges urban areas dominated and controlled by the MQM and expands their writ into adjoining areas where their vote base is non existent. The SPLGO has given the MQM a license to eradicate or render marginal, the vast Sindhi speaking population that lives in Sindh’s urban areas particularly in and around Karachi and its historical districts and coastal areas. The cooperation and compliance of PPPP leaders in delivering to the demands of the MQM, shows that the PPPP is not in a position to safeguard the interests of Sindh.
Sindh’s entire civil society, Nationalist Political Parties and Sindhi Diaspora Organizations stand united in their opposition to the apartheid SPLG Bill. The SPLG Bill stands rejected.
Sindhi Association of North America, SANA, World Sindhi Institute, WSI, Canada, USA+Europe, World Sindhi Congress, WSC, USA+Eurooe, Sindhi Sangat Middle East, Dubai+Sharjah+Abu Dhabi, UAE, Sindh Bachayo Commitee, Awami Tehreek, Sindh, Sindh Taraqqi Pasand Party, Sindh United Party, Awami Jamhoori Party, Sindh National Movement, Sindh Univerity Teachers Association, Centre for Peace and Civil Society, Women’s Action Forum, Sindh.
Dubai based Sindhies organized a historical event of “WAHDAT E SINDH” MEHFIL in Spring Dubai last night where The well known Sindhi Singer Ustad Shafi Faqeer performed “The Best” of his Sindhi Songs.
Ustaad Shafi Faqeer performed several times in different occasions in Dubai but the event of last night was Special and unforgettable. 5 hours long Sindhi Songs, chanting and dancing audience has given such power to all Sindhies who Loves motherland Sindh. He sang the poetry of Shah Abdul Latif Bhittai, Shaikh Ayaz, Ustad Bukhari, Akash Ansari and Kabeera till midnight and Everyone enjoyed each and every Song… Jeay Sindh Wat’n and Long live the Unity and Integrity of Sindh.
Courtesy: Sindhi e-lists/e-groups, 16 Sept. 2012.
By Gulf News Report
Dubai: The Muslim Brotherhood, the main Islamist force that emerged after the Arab Spring, is plotting to take over Gulf states, Dubai’s police chief said in remarks reported on Sunday. ….
Read more » Gulf News
England slump to humiliating 71-run defeat as Pakistan complete 3-0 series whitewash
By Sportsmail Reporter
England’s miserable Test tour of the Middle East reached an appropriately sorry conclusion today with a 71-run defeat, and resulting 3-0 whitewash, against Pakistan.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/cricket/article-2097152/England-lose-Test-Pakistan-slump-3-0-whitewash.html#ixzz1lc5NmQwZ
– – – – – –
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s former ambassador to the US Husain Haqqani will be traveling to Abu Dhabi then to the US via a private airline. According to sources, Haqqani will be taken to the airport with a security escort provided by the Islamabad police.
On Monday, the Supreme Court lifted travel restrictions on Haqqani under the condition that he appear before the memo commission whenever summoned and should do so within four days of the notice.
Courtesy: The News
Via – News adopted from Facebook.
Dubai: Pakistani actress Veena Malik has said that if she was in Hollywood, she would have to work according to the ‘culture’ there, even if it means going nude.
The dark haired beauty, famous for her Lollywood and Bollywood roles and outspoken views on fighting Pakistani Muslim traditions, is caught up in a scandalous affair posing naked on the front cover of India’s FHM magazine.
“… In Pakistan I work within the culture and in India or Bollywood I do the same,” Gulf News quoted her as saying.
“When I’m in Hollywood I would do what is expected of me within their industry. I’m an entertainer after all,” she said.
The controversial actress, who has been engaged twice in the past, called herself a romantic and said that some day, she would like to be a wife too.
“I really believe in love and marriage. I’m a real romantic and I want to be a wife some day but it has to be with the right person,” she said.
“I know someone will come along eventually. I believe that if you look for something you will eventually find it,” she added. ANI
– Pakistan’s chief justice keeps up pressure on beleaguered Zardari
By Simon Denyer
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan – Pakistan’s chief justice kept the pressure on President Asif Ali Zardari on Monday, demanding he respond to charges of undermining national security, in a Supreme Court inquiry into the “Memogate” controversy.
Zardari returned to Pakistan early Monday from Dubai, United Arab Emirates, where he had been receiving medical treatment for a heart condition.
His sudden departure nearly two weeks ago had sparked rumors he was fleeing the country, being ousted by the nation’s powerful military or trying to wait out the inquiry. However, his return has neither silenced the rumor mill nor ended the sense of mounting crisis surrounding his presidency.
“He will continue to face pressure from the Supreme Court and the military,” said Imtiaz Gul, executive director of the Center for Research and Security Studies in Islamabad. “The suspense will continue for quite some time.”
Zardari’s immediate troubles revolve around a secret, unsigned memo that surfaced last month, which solicited Washington’s help to rein in the Pakistani military and prevent a possible coup after the U.S. raid to kill Osama bin Laden in May.
The memo was sent by Pakistani American businessman Mansoor Ijaz, who alleged that he was following the instructions of the Pakistani ambassador to Washington to convey a message from Zardari.
The government has denied having anything to do with the memo, but the ambassador, Husain Haqqani, has resigned and is trying to clear his name.
The opposition alleged that treason had been committed, and the Supreme Court took on the inquiry, collecting depositions from government and military officials last week.
During the opening hearing Monday, Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry, a longtime foe of Zardari’s, was clearly unhappy that the president had failed to respond to a request that he submit a sworn statement about the affair, saying it could be taken as acceptance of the charges.
“This is what happens in civil cases,” Chaudhry said. “When you don’t reply, then charges are deemed as accepted by you.”
Although the president can be impeached only by a two-thirds majority of parliament on the grounds of violating the constitution or gross misconduct, a Supreme Court verdict of wrongdoing in the Memogate affair would put significant pressure on Zardari.
Last week, the military appeared to be at loggerheads with the government, arguing in its depositions that evidence showed the memo did lead back to Haqqani and demanding a full investigation.
Read more » The Washington Post
Pakistan’s “Memogate”: Was there ever going to be a coup?
By Omar Waraich
For all the fevered discussion about Memogate, one of the most arresting claims to emerge seems to have evaded even the faintest scrutiny. In the very evidence Mansoor Ijaz marshaled before the Pakistani public, he says there was a second, rival plot, set in train during the very same days in early May. It, too, involves a senior Pakistani official reaching out to foreign allies in a similarly abortive bid to take on a powerful institution back home.
About a quarter of the way down the purported BBM exchange between Ijaz and Husain Haqqani, the American businessman proffers an eyebrow-elevating tip. Some hours after the memo was delivered, Ijaz tells his alleged co-conspirator that he has learned of a clandestine effort to evict Asif Ali Zardari from Islamabad’s presidential palace.
“I was just informed by senior US intel,” Ijaz writes in a message on May 10, “that GD-SII Mr P asked for, and received permission, from senior Arab leaders a few days ago to sack Z. For what its worth.” It’s worth a great deal, if only because it carries the same weight as what else appears in the apparently incriminating exchange. In his hasty typing, where he manages to turn “DG-ISI” into an anagram, Ijaz was saying that top American spooks have told him that Lieut. Gen. Ahmed Shuja Pasha secured a green light from Gulf potentates to overthrow the government.
Intrigued, I asked Ijaz to furnish some context. When the memo was being crafted, he told me in a telephone interview some days ago, he wanted to independently verify whether the Zardari government was truly imperiled. “One of the things I had done,” he explained over his London cell phone, “was to make sure that a senior person that I know in US intelligence would have had the opportunity to review what was about to sent over.” This, he added, was why Leon Panetta came to know of the memo, hinting at a CIA link.
Ijaz said he felt the measure was necessary “to make sure that there was nothing we were doing that was against US interests.” The well-placed source got back to him about a day later. “And the person told me,” Ijaz said, “that their information was that Pasha had traveled to a few of the Arab countries to talk about what would be necessary to do in the event they had to remove Zardari from power and so forth.”
Did he find the information credible? “Of course I thought it was credible,” Ijaz replied, slightly exasperated by the question. “I wouldn’t have repeated it if I didn’t. When I say, ‘a senior intel source,’ I mean senior,” he said, laying stress on the last word. Based on what his source told him, Ijaz said he had “confirmation that there was a real threat there at some point.”
The question of whether the shadow of a coup ever fell on the early days of May lies at the very root of Memogate and remains unresolved. Ijaz has claimed that coup jitters spurred Haqqani into action. Indeed, all claims in this regard emanate from Ijaz. They appeared in his column on the pink pages of the FT and in the memo that he dispatched. Haqqani, by contrast, denies there was ever talk of a fourth phase of Pakistani military rule. The army and the ISI, at least on this occasion, won’t disagree with the former ambassador.
And judging by the government’s reaction at the time, the need never arose. Before the memo even reached Admiral Mullen’s inbox, Yousaf Raza Gilani had already bellowed his support of Pakistan’s military-led spies. “Indeed, the ISI is a national asset and has the full support of the government,” the prime minister told parliament on May 10. “We are proud of its considerable achievements…” Gilani also failed to call for the “independent inquiry” floated in the memo, handing the responsibility instead to the army’s adjutant general. And a day later, the prime minister told me that the government, the army and the ISI were “all on the same page.”
So, the only one claiming that Gen Pasha was busily touring Arab capitals enlisting support for a coup is his London host. Like other allegations made in the Memogate affair, it rests on Ijaz’s credibility. If he is telling the truth, and his entire account is to be accepted, then both Haqqani and Gen Pasha were involved in shadowy schemes that merit further inquiry. And in each case, questions will inevitably arise about how much their respective bosses knew.
We already know that Ijaz has at least been right about Haqqani’s travel itinerary. The former envoy concedes that he was in London on the dates his accuser mentions. Gen Pasha’s movements are more opaque. According to news reports of May 7 – two days before Ijaz alleges Haqqani contacted him – the spy chief slipped out of Pakistan that day for “a sudden foreign visit”. The Nation newspaper, among others, reported that its sources said the “ISI chief’s visit could be to China, Saudi Arabia and UAE where he is expected to meet senior defence and military officials of these countries to brief Pakistan’s stance.”
Even if Gen Pasha did travel to these countries, two of which clearly qualify as homes to “Arab rulers,” perhaps nothing unseemly took place. Perhaps all that was discussed, quite appropriately, was Pakistan’s reaction to the bin Laden raid. But if Ijaz is wrong about the nature of Gen Pasha’s trip, then his other claims begin to crumble. It becomes very difficult to sustain the argument that he was telling the truth about Haqqani but lying about Gen Pasha.
Courtesy » The Independent
By Msnbc.com staff and wire services
ISLAMABAD — Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari has traveled to Dubai after falling ill, fuelling rumors Wednesday of his possible resignation.
Close associates of the president told the Associated Press he is currently “unwell,” but did not provide specifics. His condition did not appear to be life-threatening, they said, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue.
Zardari’s office said he was undergoing routine medical tests and a check-up “as planned.” ….
Read more » MSNBC
Pakistani president’s Dubai hospitalisation fuels rumours of a military coup, but aides say he will ‘never ever’ resign
By Saeed Shah in Islamabad
Pakistan’s embattled president, Asif Ali Zardari, is determined to resist pressure to quit, say his close aides, after speculation about his resignation was ignited by his sudden hospitalisation in Dubai. …
Read more » guardian.co.uk
The President House on Wednesday dismissed as “speculative” and “untrue” reports about President Asif Ali Zardari’s health in media and said he was in Dubai for regular medical checks. Spokesperson Farhatullah Babar told APP that President Zardari was is in a Dubai hospital for medical tests and check-up as planned. He said “reports in some sections of the media speculating on President’s activities and engagements are speculative, imaginary and untrue.” …
Read more » The Nation
By Josh Rogin
Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari left Pakistan suddenly on Tuesday, complaining of heart pains, and is now in Dubai. His planned testimony before a joint session of Pakistan’s parliament on the Memogate scandal is now postponed indefinitely.
On Dec. 4, Zardari announced that he would address Pakistan’s parliament about the Memogate issue, in which his former ambassador to Washington Husain Haqqani stands accused of orchestrating a scheme to take power away from Pakistan’s senior military and intelligence leadership and asking for U.S. help in preventing a military coup. Haqqani has denied that he wrote the memo at the heart of the scheme, which also asked for U.S. support for the Zardari government and promised to realign Pakistani foreign policy to match U.S. interests.
Continue reading President Zardari suddenly leaves Pakistan – is he on the way out?
By Shaheen Sehbai & Mohammad Malick
ISLAMABAD/DUBAI: From a smoking gun to a smouldering fuse, the mysterious memo earned many sobriquets even before its precise contents were known to anyone but a handful of highly secretive power players involved in its drafting and communication. The (in)famous, rather possibly game-changing, Mike Mullen memo, ironically contains six mutinous articles and is now being revealed after Admiral Mike Mullen also confirmed its existence and ‘remembered’ having received it at the height of the OBL crisis.
After days of huddles between the troika and other major power players of the country resulted in a resignation offer by President Zardari’s closest foreign and domestic policy adviser and Ambassador to the US, Husain Haqqani, the memo has acquired the importance of a political nuclear bomb. …
Read more » The News
A beautiful Sindhi folk song “Chhallro” by Kaajal Chandiramani, Kaajal’s melodious voice makes one feel like dancing…. Dance by, Bhavna Taurani, Karishma Ganglani, Kritika Ramchandani, Poonam Kateja, Sapna Bhambhani in Sindhyat ji Mauj, A Grand Evening of Dance, Mauj & Masti at Shaikh Rashid Auditorium – Dubai Event Organized by Asha Chand.
Courtesy » Sindhi Sangat » YouTube
– Chidanand Rajghatta
Henderson, custodian of many of Khan’s secrets revealed to him as an “insurance” against harassment or worse by the Pakistani establishment, has periodically leaked them to the western media each time Islamabad has turned the screws on Khan, who has been under house detention and close watch ever since Pakistan’s proliferation activities were exposed early last decade.
In the latest such expose, Henderson last week provided Fox News with Khan’s letter to his wife in which the nuclear engineer reveals a stunning degree of proliferation between Islamabad and Beijing, evidently with government compliance. Pakistan has insisted that the proliferation was a rogue operation by Khan and the government or the military had nothing to do with it.
But in the letter Khans says “You know we had cooperation with China for 15 years. We put up a centrifuge plant at Hanzhong (km250 south-west of Xian). We sent 135 C-130 plane loads of machines, inverters, valves, flow meters, pressure gauges. Our teams stayed there for weeks to help and their teams stayed here for weeks at a time. Late minister Liu We, V. M. [vice minister] Li Chew, Vice Minister Jiang Shengjie used to visit us.”
The C-130 military transport planes were given to Pakistan by the United States under a military aid program; Washington has continued to lavish Islamabad with such aid even after reports of its misuse. In fact, documents relating to Pakistan’s proliferation through much of the 1990s suggest Washington was asleep on the watch through much of the nuclear exchanges involving Pakistan, China, North Korea, Iran, and Libya, or simply chose to close its eyes.
Khan also reveals that “the Chinese gave us drawings of the nuclear weapon, gave us kg50 enriched uranium, gave us 10 tons of UF6 (natural) and 5 tons of UF6 (3%). Chinese helped PAEC [Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission, the rival organisation to the Khan Research Laboratories] in setting up UF6 plant, production reactor for plutonium and reprocessing plant.”
Further, Khan discloses that Gen Jehangir Karamat [chief of army staff 1996-8, sent by Musharraf as ambassador to US 2004-2006] “took $3 million through me from the N Koreans and asked me to give them some drawings and machines.” In a separate letter to Fox News, Karamat has denied the allegation.
Many of these disclosures are elaborated in detail during Khan’s “questioning,” under pressure from Washington, by the ISI, which put out a separate 17-page report to mollify the US and its allies when the extent of Pakistan’s proliferation was revealed through Libya in 2003.
Khan’s letter to his wife was evidently meant to warn the Pakistani establishment that no harm should come to him and his family even though the nuclear engineer had by then agreed to be the fall guy and agreed, under orders from them military ruler, Pervez Musharraf, to take the blame for government and military-initiated nuclear proliferation in order to save Pakistan from embarrassment and sanctions.
“They might try to get rid of me to cover up all the things (dirty) they got done by me in connection with Iran, Libya & N. Korea,” Khan writes to his wife. “This is just to forewarn you.”
He then instructs her to “Get out quickly to Dubai with Tanya [grand-daughter who lives with them] for a while or leave Tanya with Ayesha [daughter who lives in Islamabad],” signing off the letter with “Love you, Khantje” (diminutive name used between Khan and his wife).
Courtesy: → TOI
Courtesy: Waqat News Tv → YouTube
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– MQM chief may shift to Dubai
by Mumtaz Alvi
ISLAMABAD: The hitherto mysterious assassination of Dr Imran Farooq and the chain of unfolding events afterwards in England and back home have compelled MQM supremo Altaf Hussain to consider shifting his party’s international secretariat to Dubai, The News learnt here on Wednesday.
Party insiders said their leader now feels he must move out of England as soon as possible and the best and safer place could be Dubai, though some other Muslim countries are also an option.
However, the party sources almost ruled out his homecoming. Altaf has spent almost two decades in London. They pointed out that MQM was facing grave challenges to its leader and its own existence from many sides locally and internationally and with the passage of time, the situation could become complicated.
“Circumstances are such that the sooner he shifts to any other place, most probably Dubai, the better it would be for him and indeed the party, as signals from Pakistan also are not positive in recent weeks,” they pointed out. ….
Read more: → The News
via → Siasat.pk
Pleading innocent: Arbab equates Karachi killings with May 12 carnage
By Hafeez Tunio
SINDH – KARACHI: In a surprise move, former Sindh chief minister Arbab Ghulam Rahim apologised for events which unfolded four years ago on May 12, saying he had nothing to do with the bloodshed because, at that time, he wielded no real power as the province’s chief executive.
Arbab Rahim, who belongs to Thar and elected to the Sindh Assembly, has been living in Dubai since the PPP government came to power. …
Read more → The Express Tribune
India’s most prominent painter, M.F. Hussain, dies in self-imposed exile at age 95
By Associated Press
NEW DELHI — M.F. Hussain, a former movie billboard artist who rose to become India’s most sought-after painter before going into self-imposed exile during an uproar over nude images of Hindu icons, died Thursday. He was 95.
CNN-IBN TV channel quoted a friend, Arun Vadehra, as saying that Hussain, often described as India’s Picasso, died at the Royal Brompton hospital in London. His lawyer, Akhil Sibal, confirmed the death to The Associated Press.
Hussain had lived in Dubai since 2006 after receiving death threats from Hindu hard-liners in India for a nude painting of a woman shaped like India’s map, often depicted as “Mother India” in popular arts, folklore and literature. A nude of Hindu goddess Saraswati also angered the hard-liners. ….
Read more: Washington Post
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.
Laada with a twist. An energetic performance by Sindhi youngsters of Dubai. Performed at Sindhyat Jee Mauj, a grand evening of Sindhi music, dance and comedy. Singer: Koshi Lalwani, Album: Nach Nach, Event Organized by: Asha Chand, Choreographer: Poonam Kateja.
– You Tube
By A. A. Gill
…. You look at this place and you realize not a single thing is indigenous, not one of this culture’s goods and chattels originated here. Even the goats have gone. This was a civilization that was bought wholesale. The Gulf is the proof of Carnegie’s warning about wealth: “There is no class so pitiably wretched as that which possesses money and nothing else.” Emiratis are born retired. They waft through this city in their white dishdashas and headscarves and their obsessively tapered humorless faces. They’re out of place in their own country. They have imported and built a city, a fortress of extravagance, that excludes themselves. They have become duplicitous, schizophrenic. They don’t allow their own national dress in the clubs and bars that serve alcohol, the restaurants with the hungry girls sipping champagne. So they slip into Western clothes to go out.
The Gulf Arabs have become the minority in this country they wished out of the desert. They are now less than 20 percent of the total population. Among the other 80-plus percent are the white mercenary workers who come here for tax-free salaries to do managerial and entrepreneurial jobs, parasites and sycophants for cash. For them money is a driving principle and validation. They came to be young, single, greedy, and insincere. None of them are very clever. So they live lives that revolve around drink and porn sex and pool parties and barbecues with a lot of hysterical laughing and theme nights, karaoke, and slobbery, regretful coupling. In fact, as in all cases of embarrassing arrested development, these expats on the short-term make don’t expect to put down roots here, have children here, or grow old here. Everyone’s on a visa dependent on a job.
Then there is a third category of people: the drones. The workers. The Asians: Indians, Pakistanis, Sri Lankans, and Filipinos. Early in the morning, before the white mercenaries have negotiated their hangovers, long before the Emiratis have shouted at the maid, buses full of hard-hatted Asians pull into building sites. They have the tough, downtrodden look of Communist posters from the 30s—they are both the slaves of capital and the heroes of labor. Asians man the hotels; they run the civil service and the utilities and commercial businesses; they are the clerks and the secretaries, the lawyers, the doctors, the accountants; there isn’t a single facet of this state that would function if they didn’t maintain it. No one with an Emirati passport could change a fuse. Yet, the workers, who make up roughly 71 percent of the population, have precious few rights here. They can’t become citizens, though some are the third generation of their family to be born here. They can be deported at any time. They have no redress. Many of the Asian laborers are owed back pay they aren’t likely to get. There are reams of anecdotal stories about the abuse of guest workers. I’m told about the Pakistani shop assistant who, picking up an Arab woman’s shopping bags, accidentally passed gas, got arrested, and was jailed.