U.S. Officials Say Iran Has Agreed to Nuclear Talks
By HELENE COOPER and MARK LANDLER
WASHINGTON — The United States and Iran have agreed for the first time to one-on-one negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program, according to Obama administration officials, setting the stage for what could be a last-ditch diplomatic effort to avert a military strike on Iran. …
Read more » The New York Times
– Mining Company Abandons $19 Billion Pact; Move Is Setback to Islamabad’s Effort to Establish Beijing as Foil to U.S.
By TOM WRIGHT in New Delhi and JEREMY PAGE in Beijing
A Chinese mining company pulled out of what was to be Pakistan’s largest foreign-investment deal because of security concerns, complicating Islamabad’s effort to position its giant neighbor as an alternative to the U.S. as its main ally.
An official at China Kingho Group, one of China’s largest private coal miners, said on Thursday it had backed out in August from a $19 billion deal in southern Sindh province because of concerns for its personnel after recent bombings in Pakistan’s major cities. …
Read more » The Wall Street Journal
– Desperately needed shelter and relief items are not reaching hundreds of thousands of Dalits who are left homeless after the severe flooding in Pakistan’s Sindh province. Dalits are being discriminated against because their caste relegates them to the bottom of the social order in Pakistan and ‘untouchability practices’ exclude them from sharing the same shelters as other members of society.
The President of Pakistan, Asif Ali Zardai, has spoken out against this discrimination against Dalits saying that any discrimination in extending rescue, relief and rehabilitation operations to anyone on the basis of caste, creed or religion is “Unacceptable” and has called for a report from the provincial government on the situation. ….
Read more → IDSN
By Simon Denyer and Rama Lakshmi
NEW DELHI — As he waited in the rain for India’s veteran anti-corruption crusader to emerge from jail, call-center employee Amit Bhardwaj was still troubled by the bribe he was forced to pay three months ago to get a birth certificate for his firstborn son.
“I hated it,” he said, miming how the official had greedily counted the notes, worth about $20, in full public view. “I had hatred for myself and for him. This was the first thing I did for my newborn son.”
Like millions of other Indians, Bhardwaj has found a degree of personal redemption by joining a national movement against corruption led by the unlikely figure of 74-year-old Anna Hazare. The peaceful movement has drawn in Indians of all ages and from all walks of life, but it marks the first time India’s new, urban middle class has put aside creature comforts and personal ambition and taken to the streets for a political cause.
Read more → Washingtonpost → SINDH DEVELOPMENT INSTITUTE
by Ron Moreau
Pakistani officials tell The Daily Beast that the head of Pakistan’s notorious intelligence service may step down, as the government looks for a fall guy for the bin Laden debacle.
To allay both domestic and international anger and dismay over the presence of Osama bin Laden in a military cantonment town close to the capital, senior Pakistani officials have told The Daily Beast they recognize that an important head has to roll and soon. They say the most likely candidate to be the fall guy is Lt. Gen. Ahmad Shuja Pasha, the director general of the country’s spy agency, the Inter-Services Intelligence directorate. In a last ditch effort to control the damage and to assure the US that the ISI was not harboring him and was unaware of his presence in Pakistan, Pasha reportedly flew to Washington today. But these high-level sources who refused to be quoted or named say his resignation is only a matter of time. ….
Read more : Wichaar
by Selig S. Harrison
China’s expanding reach is a natural and acceptable accompaniment of its growing power—but only up to a point.
Beijing is understandably challenging a century of U.S. dominance in the Pacific and the South China Sea immediately adjacent to its shores. But the aggressive effort to block Indian hegemony in South Asia, reflected in its growing ties with Pakistan and its territorial claim to the adjacent northeast state of Arunachal Pradesh (for which there is no historical basis) is more ominous.
In contrast to its studied neutrality on the Kashmir issue in past decades, Beijing is now openly supportive of Pakistan and is establishing its economic and political influence both in Pakistan-occupied Azad (Free) Kashmir and in the Himalayan state of Gilgit-Baltistan. …
Read more : The National Interest
We want to be rich to be happy, but if we are not happy after being rich then the effort is useless. Most of the time we think that rich people are very happy and the poor are unhappy but that’s not true. The real joy in life comes from the friends, family, the environment and atmosphere, in other words from the society we live in; not the riches. If we knew the truth behind happiness we would like to work more for the betterment of the society than our own self.
Richness either comes from luck/inheritance, hard work or injustices. If we work too hard to be rich then that is useless if it makes us sick and tired. If we get rich by hurting people and by doing injustices then we are causing lawlessness and disorder in the society which will make everybody unhappy eventually. If we are rich because we are lucky then it is a gift from God and we should be thankful; and to be really thankful is to share the bounty among the poor.
More over when we are rich we have normally bad life style which hurts our own self and our health than anybody else. Rich people have responsibility to take care of the downtrodden otherwise there will be rage and revolt which will bring discomfort and destruction to all. Not only that, the rich people are in the laundry list of the criminals who want to rob them of their riches. The wealth which we think will make us happy in fact makes us worrisome.
We don’t live in seclusion, we live in a society. We like to socialize as we are social animals. Our life would come to an end and we will be very unhappy if we are cut off from the society. We know this but we don’t realize that much. If society is corrupt, immoral, full of criminals and with the most corrupt people as our custodians then unhappiness, anger and sadness is our destiny. Therefore we should always strive to build a great society and culture rather than deceiving ourselves with the riches.