Tag Archives: North

Kidnapping of Rinkle Kumari & her forced conversion to Islam under coercive conditions

The Executive council of Sindhi Association of North America Canada Chapter has condemned in strongest terms the kidnapping of a Sindhi Hindu girl Rinkle Kumari and her forced conversion to Islam under coercive conditions in Mirpur Mathelo, Sindh, Pakistan.

Sana Canada chapter is of the view that it is well planned act of aggression and intimidation against peace loving Hindus of Sindh to scare them and make them feel un-secure in their own motherland and force them to leave the land of their birth by the religious extremist groups with the help of existing PPP government.

Sana Canada chapter believes that it is a well thought strategy of religious extremist groups on the behest of government in Pakistan to torn a part the fabric of tolerant Sindhi society and promote hatred and break the unity of Sindhis as a nation on religious grounds.

Sana Canada appeals the Prime Minister of Canada, Human rights commission of Canada to help stop these acts of aggressions against Hindus in Sindh and other religious minorities in Pakistan.

Sana Canada also appeals Chief Justice of Pakistan to take suo motto action in the case of Rinkle Kumari and provide her coercion free environment to decide her future and establish a mechanism where all such kind of kidnappings and forced conversions can be decided by courts in a coercion free environment in the presence and satisfaction of human rights commission of Pakistan.

President

Sana Canada, Chapter

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For more details » Save Daughter of Sindh → RINKAL KUMARI

Who stole our country? Major cities brace for ‘Occupy Canada’

– Canadian cities brace for Occupy Wall Street’s weekend shift across the border

By Steve Mertl, Daily Brew

Toronto and other major cities are bracing for the Canadian echo of the Occupy Wall Street protest this weekend.

Thousands of people have been camped out in New York’s financial district for a week, staging marches to protest the growing gap between America’s super rich and the harried middle and working classes. Hundreds have been arrested.

The movement, sparked by an idea in Vancouver-based Adbusters magazine last summer, has since spread to dozens of American cities and now is migrating north. Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal, Calgary, Regina and even sleepy Charlottetown are scheduled to see protests on Saturday.

Toronto will be the main focal point of the Canadian effort. Protesters are expected to converge at King and York Streets in the heart of Canada’s finance and investment centre Saturday morning.

The group OccupyTO’s website raises the spectre of a New York-style long-term action rather than a one-day protest. ….

Read more » Daily Brew » YahooNews

AQ Khan on Pakistan: Bastards first used us and now playing dirty games with us

–  Chidanand Rajghatta

WASHINGTON: In an angry, bitter, self-exculpatory letter he wrote to his wife, Pakistan’s nuclear architect A Q Khanhas seriously implicated the Pakistani military and the Chinese government in proliferation of nuclear technology and material, and instructed her to take a “tough stand” if Pakistani establishment “plays any mischief with me.””Tell them the bastards first used us and now playing dirty games with us,” Khan concludes in a letter to his Dutch wife Henny, asking her to contact the media, in particular British journalist Simon Henderson, his confidante for many years, in a December 2003 letter.

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

via → WICHAAR.COM

ISI has contacts with Haqqani group: ISPR

Several countries have contact with Haqqanis: ISPR

RAWALPINDI: The Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) has contacts with Haqqani network but it does not mean that Pakistan Army supports the network, said ISPR spokesman on Saturday night.

Major General Athar Abbas in a statement said that ISI has contacts with the Haqqani group but it does not mean that it supports the network. …

Read more: → Geo.tv

http://geo.tv/9-25-2011/86675.htm

via → Siasat.pk

The world is focused on Pak as a potential problem, some of India’s politician are trying to prove “we are stupid too, dear world” …

India deports radio broadcaster David Barsamian upon arrival at Delhi airport

by Shivam Vij

David Barsamian, founder director of Alternative Radio, and independent radio legend, was deported on arrival from New Delhi airport in the early hours of Sept 23. Details are awaited since David is probably still on the plane back. But between his arrival sometime after midnight, and his being “put back” on a flight at 3am, David was able to only make a quick call to his ‘home’ here in Delhi, to the family of his longtime sitar guru, Debu Chaudhuri.

At this point it can only be speculation, but since David has been visiting India almost every year since the early 1970s, one can guess that his attention to the Kashmir issue could well be the reason. On a recent trip to Kashmir he did a series of interviews and local events.

Less than a year ago, American academic Richard Shapiro was similarly deported upon arrival from the Indira Gandhi International airport. His crime, presumably, was an article on two on the human rights situation in Kashmir. Earlier this month, the journalist David Devadas was assaulted by the Jammu and Kashmir police.

India’s intolerance to dissent on Kashmir is not limited to foreigners. In May this year, Delhi-based journalist and human rights activist Gautam Navlakha was sent back to Delhi from Srinagar airport. Academic and activist Angana Chatterji has been threatened to not visit Kashmir. The J&K police had assaulted the noted Kashmiri human right defender Parvez Imroz in 2008. The media in Kashmir is tightly controlled by the state and press freedom is a matter of daily negotiation with the state.

Nation-states who deny access to foreign journalists, writers and academics – such as North Korea, Myanmar, China and Iran – usually have things to hide. What is it that India has to hide in Kashmir? I thought ‘peace’ was ‘returning’. ….

Read more → KALIFA

via → crdp, September 23, 2011.

More details → BBC urdu

How China kept lid on Ramadan

In the aftermath of violent protests by Uighurs, a Muslim minority in China’s far northwest, authorities deepened their campaign against religious practices.

By Barbara Demick, Los Angeles Times

Reporting from Beijing — At a teachers college in far northwestern China, students were irritated to find that their professors were escorting them to lunch last month — an odd occurrence since they were more than capable of finding the cafeteria themselves.

There was an ulterior motive, students told travelers who recently visited the city of Kashgar: The college wanted to make sure that the students, most of them Muslims, were eating rather than fasting in daylight hours during the holy month of Ramadan.

Courtesy: → Los Angeles Times

We demand representatives in Sindh assembly and federal assembly of Pakistan to break their criminal silence and take all measures necessary in addressing this clear and present danger before a greater tragedy hit ill-fated and already weak Pakistan.

Press release: Sindhi Association of North America (SANA) is extremely concerned about deteriorating law and order situation in Sindh. We are also alarmed at recent public announcement made by ex-home minister Dr Zulfiqar Mirza.

The allegations made by ex-interior minister are very serious indeed and caused great discomfort among people of Sindh and Pakistan. There are two main issues:

1) MQM’s direct involvement in violent activities that include target killings, systematic destruction of public and private property, ethnic cleansing, amassing illegal arms and ammunition, persistent disruption of peace and economic activity of financial and industrial center of Pakistan that has resulted in billions of Rupees of loses.

Even though Chief Justice Supreme court of Pakistan has taken suo-moto action and asked government and other parties to present facts and figures before the court, we believe this is a step in right direction. However keeping in view the serious nature of crimes we demand a complete judicial enquiry to be headed by highly respected retired judge of supreme court of Pakistan.

We also demand to put MQM on the list of banned and terrorist organizations if the charges leveled against them are proved to be right.

2) Governing province of Sindh through federal interior minister and governor Sindh who belongs to same organization that is believed to be involved in crimes against humanity. This is against the democratic core values and aspirations of millions people of Sindh. We believe federal government is grossly undermining government and parliament of Sindh, therefore treating people of Sindh at sub-par level when compared to others provinces of Pakistan i.e., Punjab, Khyber Pakhtoonkhuwa and Baluchistan, where respective Chief ministers and provincial parliaments are working independently and rightly so. Therefore we demand President and Prime Minister of Pakistan to give due respect to people of Sindh and leave the governance to Chief Minister and parliament of Sindh.

We also demand representatives in Sindh assembly and national assembly of Pakistan to break their criminal silence and take all measures necessary in addressing this clear and present danger before a greater tragedy hit ill-fated and already weak Pakistan.

We believe upholding rule of law is a fundamental part of democratic process, failure to bring to justice the violators will only strengthen extremism and further weaken already fragile democracy in Pakistan.

To read more details in Sindhi → http://www.awamiawaz.com/2011/September/4th/news/20.htm

Pakistan targets cities in North India

by Wichaar

Karachi, July 25 (TruthDive): A report in the media states 25 more nuclear missiles are to be added by Pakistan with a range of 700 -1000 kms to keep parity with India. This means most of the cities and nuclear establishments in North India are vulnerable to attack.

Reproduced below is the media report: If the government successfully achieves its target, this would be the highest number of missiles Pakistan had ever produced in a year. These air-to-air and surface-to-air missiles would be able to hit a target at a distance between 700 to 1,000 kilometers, which would put nearly all major Indian cities within their range.

Sources said the plan was in line with Pakistan’s official policy of having what is rhetorically called ‘maintaining a minimum deterrence’ especially against India. They added that the Strategic Plans Division (SPD) — a high powered body that oversees Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal — was also supervising the production of new missiles.

The SPD works under the National Commands Authority (NCA) that is headed by the prime minister and has all services chiefs as its members. Sources said it was in one of the recent NCA meetings that SPD briefed the authority about the plan that envisaged the production of highest number of missiles ever in a year.

The disclosure comes on the heels of reports earlier in the year that Pakistan was rapidly adding to its nuclear arsenal and the number of its warheads might have surpassed France.

Officials in Islamabad have denied those reports but insiders said Pakistan has been ‘watching closely with concern’ India’s increasing nuclear cooperation with the United States and France.“That is the benchmark… if we see something happening in India on this front, naturally we react and we have to,” said another official.

Courtesy: → Wichaar

Dr. Manzur Ejaz at SANA on language, culture & politics

Dr. Manzoor Ejaz of Washington DC, a very well known journalist and economist speaking at Sindhi Association of North America 27th Annual SANA CONVENTION in speakers forum. Dr. Manzoor Ejaz flanked by Kamran Shafi on the left and Mohammad Taqi on the right is talking on language, culture and politics.

YouTube

 

The spirit of SANA

by Dr Manzur Ejaz

Sincere and honest lovers of a people’s Pakistan should learn something: teach the national languages in other provinces as soon as possible. Sindhi and Punjabi are sister languages and their teaching in both provinces will further the cause of unity.

In its annual convention in St Louis, Missouri, on July 2-3, the Sindhi Association of North America (SANA) proved that it is the only authentic community organisation of expatriate Pakistanis in the US and Canada. Though smaller in size than other dominant Pakistani ethnic groups living in North America, SANA delivers a genuine community gathering for all ages and genders to those whose roots are/were in the Sindhi homeland, culture and language. Being a rare secular Pakistani organisation, SANA is also unique in catering to Hindu Sindhis who live all across India as well. This way it provides a real platform for person-to-person contacts between two brothers, India and Pakistan, who have chosen to remain at odds for real or imaginary mutual fears.

In one of its main sessions on the current political conditions in Pakistan it was shown, maybe for the first time, that if people of different nationalities are encouraged and enabled to communicate in their own mother tongues, they come closer faster. On the contrary, if unity is sought through an enforced artificially created concept of a nation, based on religion and a national language spoken by a tiny minority, hostility, misunderstandings and mutual hatred develops. ….

Read more → WICHAAR.COM

New York Times – Pakistani Army Linked, in Letter, to Nuclear Sale

By DAVID E. SANGER

WASHINGTON — The emergence of a single-page letter supposedly written by a senior North Korean official 13 years ago has become the strongest evidence yet suggesting that Pakistan’s top military officials were involved in a secret sale of equipment to North Korea that enabled it, years later, to begin enriching uranium.

The letter is said to have been written to Abdul Qadeer Khan, the Pakistani who built the world’s largest black market in nuclear weapons technology, by Jon Byong Ho, a North Korean whom American intelligence has long put at the center of the North’s trade in missile and nuclear technologies. It reports that the chief of the Pakistani Army at the time, Gen. Jehangir Karamat, had been paid $3 million and asked that “the agreed documents, components, etc.” be placed on a North Korean plane that was returning to Pyongyang, the North’s capital, after delivering missile parts to Pakistan.

The publication of the letter comes at a particularly inopportune moment for the Pakistani military. Already discredited inside Pakistan for its failure to detect the American commando raid that killed Osama bin Laden in May, the military has veered from crisis to crisis since then.  ….

Read more → THE NEW YORK TIMES

27th Annual SANA Convention (2011) – Building Sindhi Community in North America and reaching out to others

By Khalid Hashmani

I have attended more than twenty SANA conventions out of total 27 SANA conventions held so far. The latest being the one that was held in St. Louis, Missouri. It started on Friday, July 1, 2011 (Canada Day) and concluded on Monday, July 4, 2011 (American Independence Day). Although in many aspects, all conventions are the same as they attract many attendees who come from several parts of the world, each convention leaves a unique mark on the history of SANA. Like conventions of previous years, this year’s convention too had marathon debates on various topics, issues, challenges and opportunities. The uniqueness about this year’s Convention was its focus on the building of Sindhi community in North America and reaching out to other communities.

Continue reading 27th Annual SANA Convention (2011) – Building Sindhi Community in North America and reaching out to others

Abdul Qadeer accuses Pakistani military figures of accepting bribes from North Korea

The nuclear scientist considered the father of Pakistan’s atomic bomb has claimed that North Korea gave millions of dollars in bribes to senior military figures in exchange for weapons secrets.

By Rob Crilly, Islamabad

Abdul Qadeer Khan signed a confession in 2004 admitting that he had handed classified information to Iran, Libya and North Korea but his supporters have long claimed he was made a scapegoat by a government which cast him as a rogue operator.

Now documents passed to a US nuclear weapons analyst by Dr Khan suggest that high-level Pakistani military officials knew about – and personally profited from – his sales of nuclear weapons technology.

In a written statement, Dr Khan describes helping transfer more than $3m to senior officers, delivering the cash in a canvas bag and cartons, including one in which it was hidden under fruit.

The revelations, which have been denied by Pakistani officials, will only heighten already difficult relations between Islamabad and Washington. …

Read more →  telegraph.co.uk

North Korea paid Pak generals for nuclear secrets

Pakistan’s nuclear-bomb maker says North Korea paid bribes for know-how

By R. Jeffrey Smith

The founder of Pakistan’s nuclear bomb program asserts that the government of North Korea bribed top military officials in Islamabad to obtain access to sensitive nuclear technology in the late 1990s.

Abdul Qadeer Khan has made available documents that he says support his claim that he personally transferred more than $3 million in payments by North Korea to senior officers in the Pakistani military, which he says subsequently approved his sharing of technical know-how and equipment with North Korean scientists.

Khan also has released what he says is a copy of a North Korean official’s 1998 letter to him, written in English, that spells out details of the clandestine deal.

Some Western intelligence officials and other experts have said that they think the letter is authentic and that it offers confirmation of a transaction they have long suspected but could never prove. Pakistani officials, including those named as recipients of the cash, have called the letter a fake. Khan, whom some in his country have hailed as a national hero, is at odds with many Pakistani officials, who have said he acted alone in selling nuclear secrets.

Nevertheless, if the letter is genuine, it would reveal a remarkable instance of corruption related to nuclear weapons. U.S. officials have worried for decades about the potential involvement of elements of Pakistan’s military in illicit nuclear proliferation, partly because terrorist groups in the region and governments of other countries are eager to acquire an atomic bomb or the capacity to build one.

Read more → THE WASHINGTON POST

[See → letter from North Korean official to A.Q. Khan]

SANA’s 27th annual convention begins in St. Louis, USA

St. Louis: Sindhi Association of North America (SANA) is a symbol of peace, brotherhood, love & unity. It is a platform where cultural ideas meet practice. SANA is holding its 27th Annual Convention in Saint Louis, Missouri from July 1-4. We will have two nights of Sindhi music at the Convention. We have invited best artists from Sindh.

The venue and the room reservation: The venue of the Convention is ST. LOUIS AIRPORT MARRIOTT, 10700 Pear Tree Lane · St. Louis, USA.

Christian Taliban – a doomed attempt to compete with Muslim Taliban

Fighting the Culture Wars With Hate, Violence and Even Bullets: Meet the Most Extreme of the Radical Christians

By Alex Henderson

From the Army of God to the Hutaree Militia to Gary North and his Christian reconstructionists, radical Christianity is alive and well in the United States.

If there is one name some residents of Amarillo, Texas wish they could forget, it’s Repent Amarillo. Based in that North Texas city, Repent Amarillo is a militant Christian fundamentalist group whose antics have ranged from staging a mock execution of Santa Claus by firing squad to posting a “spiritual warfare” map on its Web site that cited a Buddhist temple, an Islamic center, gay bars, strip clubs and sex shops as places of demonic activity.

Repent Amarillo is also infamous for mercilessly harassing a local swingers club called Route 66. Throughout 2009, members of Repent Amarillo made a point of showing up at Route 66’s events, where they would typically wear military fatigues, shout at Route 66 members through bullhorns and write down the license plate numbers of people attending the events. After finding out who the swingers were, Repent Amarillo’s members would find out where they worked and try to get them fired from their jobs (according to Route 66 coordinator Mac Mead, at least two members of the club lost their jobs because of Repent Amarillo). ….

Read more: → AlterNet

Baluchs present their Case To US Policy Advisors

By: Khalid Hashmani

The Balochistan Society of North America (BSO-NA) organized a conference titled Balochistan Conference 2011 at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace on Saturday, August 30, 2011. The conference focused on key issues faced Baluch including “Balochistan’s Case and Prospects”, “Human Rights Violations in Balochistan”, “Baloch Target Killings and Genocide”, and “Geo-strategic Importance of Balochistan for Peace and Security in South Asia”.

Continue reading Baluchs present their Case To US Policy Advisors

NATO Missile Strike Kills Gadhafi’s Son

Gadhafi Survives NATO Missile Strike That Killed Son

By RICHARD BOUDREAUX and CHARLES LEVINSON

TRIPOLI, Libya – A missile fired by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization struck a house where Col. Moammar Gadhafi was staying Saturday, missing the Libyan leader but killing his youngest son and three young grandchildren, a government spokesman said.

Col. Gadhafi and his wife were in the home of their 29-year-old son, Saif al-Arab Gadhafi, when the missile crashed through the one-story house in a Tripoli residential neighborhood, according to the spokesman, Moussa Ibrahim.

The young Mr. Gadhafi, who was reported killed, was the seventh son of the Libyan leader.

“The leader himself is in good health; he wasn’t harmed,” Mr. Ibrahim told a news conference early Sunday. “His wife is also in good health; she wasn’t harmed, [but] other people were injured.”

“This was a direct operation to assassinate the leader of this country,” the spokesman added. “It seems intelligence was leaked. They knew about him being there, or they expected him. But the target was very clear.”

The attack could mark a volatile turning point in Col. Gadhafi’s 10-week-old battle against an armed popular uprising based in eastern Libya and the NATO bombing campaign that began in March. His regime is expected to use his son’s death to rally Libyans against foreign intervention in the conflict. His Libyan foes, based mainly in eastern Libya, hope the threat of similar NATO strikes will erode support for the leader within his inner circle.

NATO officials made no immediate comment on the fatal airstrike. …

Read more : THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

Imran Khan says, General Ghayur Mehmud, GOC, 7th Div. North Waziristan is a liar.

Peshawar : Imran Khan the chief of the Tehrik-e-Insaf party said in TV program “Policy Matter with Nasim Zehra” at Hayatabad, Peshawar during sit-in-protest (Dharna) to block NATO supply line route against the drone strikes, that Maj. Gen. Ghayur Mehmud, GOC, 7th Div. North Waziristan is a liar when he (Maj. Gen. Ghayur Mehmud) says, “majority of those killed by drone strikes are hardcore Taliban or al-Qaeda elements, especially foreigners, while civilian casualties are few”.

Courtesy: Duniya TV ( program “Policy Matters with Nasim Zehra”  23rd April 2011 – Imran Khan & Saleem Safi and others at the Dharna, Hayatabad)

via Siasat.pk, You Tube

Mercenaries for the Middle East – Dr Mohammad Taqi

The Saudis know that it is nearly impossible for any political uprising there to physically coalesce, due to the population centres being geographically far apart, to cause direct threat to Riyadh.

Foreign policy is everywhere and always a continuation of domestic policy, for it is conducted by the same ruling class and pursues the same historic goals”. — The Revolution Betrayed, Leon Trotsky

In his 1983 masterpiece, Can Pakistan survive? The death of a state, Tariq Ali opens the section on Pakistan’s foreign policy during the Z A Bhutto days with the above quote from Trotsky. After duly recognising the limitations of generalising this aphorism, Tariq Ali had noted that many third-world capitals pursue a foreign policy closely mirroring their domestic economic and political policies but perhaps none has done so more grotesquely than Islamabad. Tariq Ali had written:

One of the commodities exported was labour, and the remittances sent back by migrant workers provided nearly 20 percent of the country’s foreign exchange earnings. It was also reported that 10,000 Pakistani prostitutes had been dispatched to the Gulf states by the United Bank Limited (UBL), to strengthen its reserves of foreign currency. Soldiers and officers were also leased out as mercenaries to a number of states in that region. In some ways it was telling indictment of the Pakistani state that it can only survive by selling itself to the oil-rich sheikhs.”

The Pakistani military establishment’s cooperation with Arab dictators obviously dates back to the Ayub Khan era and the UK and US-sponsored Central Treaty Organisation (CENTO) or Baghdad Pact of 1955. However, the surge in the export of mercenaries that Tariq Ali was alluding to was not because of the western sponsorship of such legions but because Pakistan, in 1971, had declared a moratorium on repayment of its foreign debt and had to look for financial aid elsewhere while the IMF would again agree to a loan (which it eventually did). While one cannot confirm the veracity of the claim about the UBL’s venture, the events of the last several months show that somehow the grotesque mediocrity of the Pakistani establishment keeps repeating its antics, as far as the export of the mercenaries goes.

The Arab spring has created unique geopolitical scenarios where old alliances are falling apart — or at least are no longer trustworthy — while new realities are taking shape much to the discontent of regional autocrats. I have repeatedly stated that Barack Obama’s instinct is to side with the democratic movements in the Middle East and North Africa, without intervening directly, even though cliques within his administration have been able to drag him into the Libyan morass. Obama’s handling of Hosni Mubarak’s fall did not go well with Saudi king Abdullah and the bitter exchange between the two, during a phone conversation, is rather well known. The wily Saudi monarch subsequently concluded that if there were to be an uprising in his courtyard, the Americans would not come to his rescue. And unless a smoking gun can be traced to Tehran, Abdullah is right. With Obama getting re-elected — yes I said it — in 2012, the Saudis have chosen to exercise other options that they have heavily invested in, for decades, to protect their courtyard and backyard.

The Saudis know that it is nearly impossible for any political uprising there to physically coalesce, due to the population centres being geographically far apart, to cause direct threat to Riyadh. But they also know that the democratic contagion can spread at the periphery of the Kingdom, with the oil-rich Eastern province slipping out of control quickly or the disquiet at the Yemeni border keeping Riyadh distracted (the latter was tested by both Gamal Nasser and Iran). The Saudi plan, just as in the 1969 bombing of Yemen by Pakistani pilots flying Saudi planes, is to use the trusted Pakistani troops to bolster the defence of not only the Saudi regime but of its client states like Bahrain.

It is not a surprise then that before Saudi Arabia invaded Bahrain on March 13, 2011, the chief of Saudi Land Forces, General Abdul Rahman Murshid visited Pakistan and before that, on March 9, met General Ashfaq Pervez Kayani. Bahrain had already requested and received assurance for military help from Pakistan in late February 2011. In fact, a leading Urdu paper carried an advertisement from the Fauji Foundation Pakistan on February 25 and March 1, seeking men for recruitment to the Bahrain National Guard. The qualifications sought were the following: age 20-25, height of six-feet or taller and military/security service background especially in riot control, which suggest that enrolment was not exactly for the Manama Red Crescent Society.

After the Saudi army brutally crushed the uprising in Bahrain, the Foreign Minister of Bahrain, Sheikh Khalid bin Ahmed al-Khalifa, met with Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani and the State Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar. While the Bahraini media splashed pictures of the handshake between Ms Khar and Sheikh Khalid, announcing Pakistani support to Bahrain, the actual backing had been pledged by the Chief of General Staff, General Khalid Shamim Wayne, whom the Bahraini minster met on March 29.

In her article titled ‘Bahrain or bust?’, Miranda Husain writes: “Chomsky believes Pakistani presence in Bahrain can be seen as part of a US-backed alliance to safeguard western access to the region’s oil …The US has counted on Pakistan to help control the Arab world and safeguard Arab rulers from their own populations… Pakistan was one of the ‘cops on the beat’ that the Nixon administration had in mind when outlining their doctrine for controlling the Arab world.” Ms Husain and the American Baba-e-Socialism (Father of Socialism), Chomsky, conclude with the hope that Pakistan should not meddle in the Middle East.

I believe that Chomsky’s reading of the situation in the Persian Gulf is dead wrong. It is the divergence — not confluence — of US-Saudi-Pakistani interests that is the trigger for potential Pakistani involvement there. The Pakistani brass’ handling of the Raymond Davis affair and now its insistence — through bravado, not subtlety — on redefining the redlines with the US indicates that just like the 1971 situation, an alternative funding source to the IMF has been secured. The Pasha-Panetta meeting has raised more issues than it has solved. Pakistani-Saudi interests are at odds with the US and are confluent with each other.

From the Kerry-Lugar Bill to the Raymond Davis saga, the mullahs have been deployed swiftly to create an impression of public support for the establishment’s designs. Last Friday’s mobilisation of the religious parties in favour of the Saudis is the establishment’s standard drill and will be repeated as needed. The Pakistani deep state apparently has decided to keep selling itself to the oil-rich sheikhs. The domestic policy of coercion and chaos will be continued in foreign lands too.

Courtesy: Daily Times

A place to call home: Canada helps me explore my true identity

A place to call home

Pakistani-born immigrant credits Canada for helping him explore his identity

by Tayyab Rashid

When I came to North America some 15 years ago, I thought that most of us are migratory beings, or some part of our constitution is. Living in Canada has changed or perhaps expanded my thinking — we are also sedentary souls. …

Read more : via – Siasat.pk –  Canadianimmigrant.ca

‘Flood-hit women abandoned by govt, relief agencies

SINDH: KARACHI – The worst victims of the last year’s flood have been the women of the province as the government and other relief agencies did not give them priority while their issues still remain largely unaddressed.

This was pointed out by speakers at a dialogue held on women rights hosted by women wing of Sindhi Association of North America. SANA vice-president Noor Nisa Ghanghro presided over the session, which was attended by a large number of political and women rights’ activists.

The speakers emphasised that all poverty-alleviation programmes must address the gender poverty issue while particularly focusing on rural women

Expressing grave concern over a recent report from the flood-hit areas of Sindh that over a million rural women were suffering from blood anaemia, they demanded that the authorities concerned should take the issue seriously and immediately help the womenfolk of the province. …

Read more : Pakistan Today

Obama’s White House: on-the-fly zone – Dr Mohammad Taqi

The US and the allies may call the military campaign what they want but the no-fly zone, for all practical purposes, is an act of war and the fact of the matter is that Qaddafi himself is the endpoint in this war that cannot be circumvented

Geostrategic planning and global leadership has been likened by the old grandmasters of US foreign policy to a grand chessboard, where the strategy is contemplated several moves in advance, with an eye on the endgame. But the knee-jerk responses of Barack Obama’s administration to the rapidly unravelling situation in the Middle East and North Africa give an impression that he and his team are playing chequers, albeit in a manner as erratic as Colonel Muammar Qaddafi, if not more. From dithering on the US role in Egypt to weeks of waffling about Libya before actually jumping on the no-fly zone bandwagon, it seems like the White House is literally an on-the-fly zone, making up policy as it goes along.

As the western intervention in Libya entered its fourth day, it appears that President Obama may have allowed himself and the US to get sucked into a very messy situation in yet another Muslim country. Mr Obama had stated a couple of weeks ago that Qaddafi must “step down from power and leave”. Just when the Tomahawk missiles were being unleashed on Libya, Vice Admiral William E Gortney said at the Pentagon that Qaddafi himself is not a target, but his safety could not be guaranteed. Speaking on Sunday morning talk shows, Admiral Mike Mullen took the line that the Libyan dictator must “make decisions regarding his future in the country” but reiterated that the goal of the attacks was not to oust him. Taken at face value, these comments appear somewhat innocuous and are designed to placate the war-weary American public but they also reflect the confusion and bickering within the various factions of the Obama administration. …

Read more : Daily Times

He is giving statement like a human rights activist. What about the violation of sovereignty? Isn’t it his duty to protect the people of Pakistan.

Gen Kayani condemns US drone strike in NW

ISLAMABAD: Chief of Army Staff, General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, on Thursday strongly condemned a US drone attack in North Waziristan that killed more than three dozen people, saying the missiles struck a peaceful meeting of tribal elders.

Gen Kayani called Thursday’s strike ”unjustified and intolerable” and said it was a violation of human rights. …

Read more : DAWN

Tsunami hits Japan after massive quake

The most powerful earthquake to hit Japan since records began has struck the country’s north-east and triggered a devastating tsunami.

Japanese TV showed cars, ships and buildings swept away by a vast wall of water after the 8.9-magnitude quake.

A state of emergency has been declared at a nuclear power plant but officials said there were no radiation leaks. …

Read more : BBC

Professional Beggars at their best … but .. Beggars are not choosers!

Vice President Joe Biden is the latest high level U.S dignitary to visit Pakistan. As the series of such high profile visits continues, one wonders what actually transpires in such meetings and what kind of assurances are given from both sides to each other. In this episode of Reporter, Arshad Sharif tries to find out what PM Gilani meant when he said that he has given assurances to Joe Biden that practical steps will be taken to resolve all the difficult problems.

Courtesy: Dawn News (program Reporter with Arshad Sharif)

Source- You Tube Link

China: ‘Pakistan is our Israel’

The world’s most populous country is showing more international assertiveness, which bothers the US.
Thalif Deen

When a US delegate once confronted a Chinese diplomat about Beijing’s uncompromising support for Pakistan, the Chinese reportedly responded with a heavily-loaded sarcastic remark: “Pakistan is our Israel”.

But judging by China’s unrelenting support for some of its allies, including North Korea, Burma, Zimbabwe and Sudan, its protective arm around these countries is no different from the US and Western political embrace of Israel – right or wrong. …

Read more : Aljazeera

International Sindhi Cultural & solidarity Day- Houston

International Sindhi cultural, Heritage and solidarity day celebrated in Toronto, Houston Texas, Washington, New York, London and Saint Louis by Sindhi Association of North America (SANA) and World Sindhi Congress (WSC).

Around one hundred Sindhi living in Houston gathered and enjoyed a colorful and cold evening. Majority was dressed in Sindhi cultural Ajrak and Topi and enjoyed Sindhi music.

Continue reading International Sindhi Cultural & solidarity Day- Houston

Calgary elects a Muslim Mayor – Those who make the claim of Islamophobia being rampant in Canada should hang their heads in shame

Election remakes Calgargy’s image – By Valerie Fortney, Calgary Herald

For his Tuesday morning interview on CBC Radio’s The Current, Tarek Fatah was prepared to once again insist that “Islamophobia” in Canada simply doesn’t exist.

But when host Anna Maria Tremonti posed it to him on this particular day of all days, the founder of the Muslim Canadian Congress answered with a whole new twist.

“I said, ‘If there is indeed Islamophobia, then we wouldn’t have elected Naheed Nenshi as the mayor of Calgary

Read more: CalgaryHerald

Pakistan’s ugly secret – Pervez Hoodbhoy

There is a complete blackout on the effects of uranium mining in Dera Ismail Khan in south Punjab. Researchers too were defeated by the powerful nuclear establishment that keeps even health information as a national secret.

Sadly, absolutely nothing is known about disposal of nuclear waste in Pakistan. Are the authorities dumping low-level wastes in the sea or river? Where and how do they plan to bury the high-level wastes that will be lethal for thousands of years to come? Also, there is a complete blackout on the effects of uranium mining in Dera Ismail Khan in south Punjab. About 10 years ago, mine workers and other affected villagers had banded together after large numbers fell sick from lung disease and cancer. To the dismay of the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission, they managed to produce a petition for the Lahore High Court. But,as invariably happens, the powers that be forced them to withdraw their case and some token compensation was given. Researchers too were defeated by the powerful nuclear establishment that keeps even health information as a national secret.

There are, however, other aspects of Pakistan’s nuclear programme that I have focused upon earlier and bring up yet again:

Pakistan got nothing from The Bomb

About twelve years ago a million Pakistanis danced in the streets after six nuclear weapons had been successfully tested. They had been told that making nuclear bombs was the biggest thing a country could do. Burma is said to be trying to make a bomb and may succeed too, but surely the North Korean nuclear test gave rock-solid proof that we Pakistanis have been fed a diet of lies.

North Korea is a country that no one admires. It is unknown for scientific achievement, has little electricity or fuel, food and medicine are scarce, corruption is ubiquitous, and its people live in terribly humiliating conditions under a vicious, dynastic dictatorship. In a famine some years ago, North Korea lost nearly 800,000 people. And it has an enormous prison population of 200,000 that is subjected to systematic torture and abuse.

Why does a miserable, starving country continue spending its last penny on the Bomb? On developing and testing a fleet of missiles whose range increases from time to time? The answer is clear: North Korea’s nuclear weapons and missiles are instruments of blackmail rather than means of defence. Brandished threateningly, and manipulated from time to time, these bombs are designed to keep the flow of international aid going.

Surely the people of North Korea gained nothing from their country’s nuclearisation. But they cannot challenge their oppressors. But, Pakistanis — who are far freer — must ask: what have we gained from the bomb? …

Read more >> ViewPoint