Tag Archives: prevent

New York Times – Pakistan Builds Web Wall Out in the Open

By ERIC PFANNER

PARIS — Many countries censor the Internet, but few spell out their intentions as explicitly as Pakistan.

In an effort to tighten its control over the Internet, the government recently published a public tender for the “development, deployment and operation of a national-level URL filtering and blocking system.”

Technology companies, academic institutions and other interested parties have until March 16 to submit proposals for the $10 million project, but anger about it has been growing both inside and outside Pakistan.

Censorship of the Web is nothing new in Pakistan, which, like other countries in the region, says it wants to uphold public morality, protect national security or prevent blasphemy. The government has blocked access to pornographic sites, as well as, from time to time, mainstream services like Facebook and YouTube.

Until now, however, Pakistan has done so in a makeshift way, demanding that Internet service providers cut off access to specific sites upon request. With Internet use growing rapidly, the censors are struggling to keep up, so the government wants to build an automatic blocking and filtering system, like the so-called Great Firewall of China.

While China and other governments that sanitize the Internet generally do so with little public disclosure, Pakistan is being surprisingly forthcoming about its censorship needs. It published its request for proposals on the Web site of the Information and Communications Technology Ministry’s Research and Development Fund and even took out newspaper advertisements to publicize the project.

“The system would have a central database of undesirable URL’s that would be loaded on the distributed hardware boxes at each POP and updated on daily basis,” the request for proposals says, referring to uniform resource locators, the unique addresses for specific Web pages, and points of presence, or access points.

“The database would be regularly updated through subscription to an international reputed company maintaining and updating such databases,” according to the request, which was published last month.

The tender details a number of technical specifications, including the fact that the technology “should be able to handle a block list of up to 50 million URL’s (concurrent unidirectional filtering capacity) with processing delay of not more than 1 milliseconds.”

Following the Arab Spring, which demonstrated the power of the Internet to help spread political and social change, Pakistan’s move to clamp down has set off a storm of protest among free-speech groups in the country and beyond.

Opponents of censorship say they are doubly appalled because they associated this kind of heavy-handed approach more with the previous regime of Gen. Pervez Musharraf than with the current government of President Asif Ali Zardari.

“The authorities here are big fans of China and how it filters the Internet,” said Sana Saleem, chief executive of Bolo Bhi, a group that campaigns against restrictions on the Internet. “They overlook the fact that China is an autocratic regime and we are a democracy.”

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Sindhis can Prevent Deletion of Sindh

– Sindhis can Prevent Deletion of Sindh From Jana Gana Mana

by Ashok T. Jaisinghani

Some persons are again trying to get “Sindh” deleted from Jana Gana Mana, the National Anthem of India written by the great poet Rabindranath Tagore. The Sindhi leaders can easily prevent the deletion of “Sindh” from Jana Gana Mana if they take one step, which I have explained below.

The main objection to the mention of Sindh in the National Anthem is the fact that Sindh is a part of Pakistan. At present, no part of Sindh is in India, though there are millions of Sindhis living in India.

This objection can be removed if all the Sindhi leaders, living in India and other countries, jointly petition the Government of Gujarat to create a small district with the name of Sindh from the District of Kutch. I am sure that the large-hearted Kutchis will accept this proposal, just as they had welcomed the Sindhi refugees from Pakistan to settle in Kutch after the Partition of India in 1947. [After partition in 1947, Kutchis are cut-off from their fellow Sindhis in Sindh but they are trying to hang on to their dialect of Sindhi, culture and traditions. Watch this  that how Kuchi language and dialect is a part of mainland Sindh.]

Should the Sindhi leaders not send a petition to the Government of Gujarat requesting it to make the region of Adipur-Gandhidham in Kutch into a separate District of Sindh? The Sindhi leaders from all over the world must send such a petition as soon as possible. The majority of the people in the Adipur-Gandhidham region of Kutch are Sindhis, whose parents and grandparents had migrated to India from Sindh after the Partition of the country.

Once we are able to get a very small District of Sindh anywhere in India, there will be no need for the Government of India to delete the name of Sindh from Jana Gana Mana. Even if it is very small, the new District of Sindh will be known as a part of India. Jana Gana Mana will then require no correction, as far as the mention of Sindh in the National Anthem is concerned.

Courtesy: Desi e-lists/ e-groups, 5 October, 2011

Hopelessness to doom: Pakistan’s journey

Pakistan

by Malik A. Rashid

BBC reported, “The US is so concerned about security in Pakistan that it is considering plans to enter the country to prevent extremists getting hold of nuclear material”. According to Senator McCain, Pakistan’s ISI has connections with the Haqqani network. In his confirmation hearing Lt. Gen. John Allen said he is aware that explosive devises used against American forces in Afghanistancome from Pakistan. Adm. McRaven thinks Pakistanis know where Mulla Omar is. So, the US-NATO has enemies in Pakistan in their cross-hair.

But the war is not the root cause of the predicament Pakistan finds itself in. Declared #12 on the list of failed nations, Pakistan is the 3rd most dangerous country for women. Out of 70 million between 5 to 19 year old Pakistanis, only 30 million go to school. On education and health care together, government spends about 1% of the GDP. Pakistan’s rulers prescribed a low quality education for their public school system to keep commoners from joining the ranks of army officers and bureaucrats.

US have cut aid to Pakistan. Installment of IMF’s loan was declined because the government could not raise taxes. Pakistan’s economy grew by 2.4% in 2010-11, slower than Somalia’s economy which grew 2.6%. Population of the cities continues to rise; so does joblessness.

Since 75% of supplies to US and NATO troops in Afghanistan will be re-routed through North of Afghanistan by the end of this year, not only the war has turned unrewarding for Pakistan’s rulers, it challenges their power and state’s existence.

Army relied heavily on proxy-warriors to influence other countries in the region and manipulated international aid through terrorism, while the generals indulged in enriching themselves. The business empire of the Military Inc. continued to grow at the expense of dwindling electricity supplies while millions of citizens fell below the poverty line. A conflict with the world-powers has shaken the brazen and brutal power structure of Pakistan. …

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Abuses by India’s Border Security Force (BSF) against both Bangladeshi and Indian nationals

“Trigger Happy” – Excessive Use of Force by Indian Troops at the Bangladesh Border

81-page report documents the situation on the border region, where both Bangladesh and India have deployed border guards to prevent infiltration, trafficking, and smuggling. Human Rights Watch found numerous cases of indiscriminate use of force, arbitrary detention, torture, and killings by the security force, without adequate investigation or punishment. The report is based on over 100 interviews with victims, witnesses, human rights defenders, journalists, and Border Security Force and Bangladesh Rifles’ (BDR) members.

Read more : Human Rights Watch

Garlic helps prevent Heart disease

Garlic has been used for both food and medicine for thousands of years to help prevent heart disease. Garlic supports the cardiovascular system and helps to lower high cholesterol. It helps decrease the risk factors for developing atherosclerosis, a disease that leads to high blood pressure and other serious heart problems. It may help decrease the fatty deposits on blood vessels and has a mild blood thinning effect.

Time running out for stable Pakistan

– Ali Gharib and Jim Lobe

Wichaar.com
WASHINGTON (IPS/GIN) – The United States and its allies must act urgently to prevent Pakistan from descending into a spiral of economic, security, and political crises, according to a new report released here by an influential think tank.

The 27-page report, “Needed: A Comprehensive U.S. Policy Towards Pakistan,” called for at least $4 billion to $5 billion in new aid for Islamabad of which $1 billion should be earmarked for the military and the police, to help ward off the growing threat posed to the central government by Islamic militants based in the frontier regions with Afghanistan and linked to Al-Qaeda.

“Simply put, time is running out for stabilizing Pakistan’s economy and security,” the task force warned. “We cannot stress the magnitude of the dangerous enough nor the need for greater action now,” it stressed, adding that failure to provide needed assistance could well result in “state failure.”

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