World remembers Mahatma Gandhi

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Year 2

Issue 12

South Asia
 

Thursday, 04.10.12


Miliband vows to rebuild UK as ‘one nation’ in bid to boost profile
The phrase has already been incorporated into the conference backdrop and John Denham, Ed Miliband’s parliamentary aide, told the World at One that frontbenchers would be using the phrase to describe the party “repeatedly over the months and years to come”. According to the BBC, it is being viewed as a rebranding exercise as significant as Tony Blair’s decision to christen the party “new Labour”. The leader of Britain’s main opposition Labour party Ed Miliband stated his intention on Tuesday to “rebuild Britain as one nation” as he sought to raise his own personal profile. Continued on page 02 >>

Labour has confirmed that it will in future describe itself as the one nation party.

Miliband: No promises on hospital closures

Jailed without trial Babar Ahmad and Syed Ahsan challenge DPP move
Babar Ahmad and Syed Ahsan are to challenge a decision of the top prosecutor in England and Wales not to consent to them facing private prosecutions in the UK Both are fighting extradition to the US where they are wanted on terrorism charges. Computer expert Ahmad has been held in a UK prison without trial for eight years after being accused of raising funds for terrorism. Continued on page 4 >>

Babar Ahmad seeks injunction to prevent extradition to US


‘’The NHS desperately needs a Labour win in 2015’’


South Asia Tribune I Thursday 04 October 2012

Call to halt NHS ‘privatisation’
Burnham pointed out that “nonemergency” ambulance services in the north-west would soon be run by the bus group Arriva and that Lancashire county council had awarded the contract to run “patient advocacy” groups to a private firm, Parkwood Healthcare. However the “biggest privatisation” so far was in “community services” – those areas of healthcare offered outside of hospitals. Labour used freedom of information requests to survey England’s NHS primary care trusts on the “range and value” of community services being offered to the private and voluntary sector under the government’s “any qualified provider” policy. In the first wave, 398 contracts were signed this week in eight NHS areas

Andy Burnham has vowed to reverse the “rapid” privatisation of NHS hospitals in England if Labour wins power. The shadow health secretary warned that some NHS hospitals were planning to double the number of private patients they treat under new freedoms. Now more than ever, the health service needs folk with the faith to fight for it and Labour is its best hope, indeed its only hope, the shadow health secretary Andy Burnham told the Labour party conference. Here is his speech “A year ago, I asked for your help. To join the fight to defend the NHS – the ultimate symbol of Ed’s One Nation Britain. Hundreds of private contracts signed in ‘biggest ever act of NHS privatisation’ Labour says contracts worth a quarter of a billion pounds have been
Publisher Salah Bu Khamas (UAE) Sabha Khan (UK) UK Office 10 Courtenay Road, Wembley, Middlesex, HA9 7ND UK Phone: +44 20 8904 0619 Fax: +44 20 8181 7575 India Office Satya Infomedia Pvt. Ltd. C/O Satya Group. 1st Floor, Avenue Appt., Near Sheth. R. J. J. High School, Tithal Road, Valsad - 396001 Gujarat, India United Arab Emirates Office S.K. Group of Companies P.O. Box 9021, Karama Dubai, United Arab Emirates Tel: +971 4 2659970, 3359929; Fax: +971 4 2659971, 3341609 Managing Editor & CEO Mohammad Shahid Khan Group Editorial Managers Gulzar Khan (India) Abdul Khalique (Pakistan) Editorial Board UK Frances Brunner FYI Tribune team Adrian Fellar Misbah Khan Reema Shah Rohma Khan Keziah-Ann Abakah Marketing & Sales Andrew Klugman (Manager) Art Department UK Ali Ansar (Art Director) Mohammad Reazul Islam

signed this week Contracts for almost 400 NHS services, worth a quarter of billion pounds, were signed this week resulting in the “biggest act of privatisation ever seen in the NHS”, Labour’s health spokesman Andy Burnham has said.

In a briefing before his speech to the Labour party conference, Burnham said he had new “evidence of accelerating privatisation” – citing a rash of examples across England which he said showed the government was committed to a “market in healthcare”.

– including musculoskeletal services for back pain, adult hearing services in the community, wheelchair services for children and primary care psychological therapies for adults. Labour says £262m of services have drawn bids from 37 private healthcare companies. In about a quarter of the cases – 110 times – the health trusts stated “they had no plans to tender before the government instruction”. Burnham said he was “against the market in the NHS, not private companies”. He said the use of markets had seen “care being fragmented and services becoming disjointed”. For example, in Lincolnshire six private providers compete to offer patients diagnostic tests as well as the NHS.

Miliband vows to rebuild UK as ‘one nation’ in bid to boost profile
The “one nation” slogan is traditionally used by Prime Minister David Cameron’s Conservative party but was employed in the speech to the centre-left party’s conference to show Labour would help Britain through hard times. The hour-long speech was light on policy but full of detail about the background of Miliband, who surprised many by winning the leadership contest against his brother, former foreign minister David Miliband, two years ago. Observers said it was a brazen attempt to take back the centre ground that Cameron has tried to occupy. Miliband, who walked around the stage and delivered the speech without notes, sought to court Conservative voters, saying he could understand why they had turned away from the then Labour government and voted for Cameron in 2010. But Miliband said the coalition government of the Conservatives and their junior partners, the Liberal Democrats, had let the country down and failed to stimulate economic growth and create jobs. “When David Cameron says to you ‘Let’s just carry on as we are and wait for something to turn up’, don’t believe him, don’t believe him. If the medicine isn’t working, change the medicine. “And I tell you what else to change, change the doctor too, and that is what this country needs to do,” Miliband said to loud applause. Miliband also teased Cameron for his closeness to a key former Rupert Murdoch aide Rebekah Brooks, who has been charged with phonehacking offences. He said Britain could not move forward if it remained “two nations, not one, the bankers and the rest of the country”. “We must have a one-nation banking system as part of a one-nation economy,” he said. In a lengthy personal passage of the speech, Miliband contrasted his own education at a state school in London with that of Cameron, who was educated at the elite fee-paying Eton College. Polls show that while Labour are ahead of the Conservatives with more than two years to go until the next general election in 2015, Miliband himself does not enjoy high personal popularity.

Labour would extend the Freedom of Information Act : Sadiq Khan

justice board similar to the existing youth justice board. He also unveiled a new proposal to make it obligatory for the courts consider the option of restorative justice as part of any sentence that is handed down. Labour, the one nation party of strong and safe communities. The party of neighbourhood and responsive policing. The party of open and fair justice and civil liberties. The party of constitutional reform in the interests of the nation, not ourselves. The one nation party that stands up for and protects the many, not the few.

Sadiq Khan, the shadow justice secretary, has announced that Labour would extend the Freedom of Information Act to cover private companies contracted to do public sector work. As the Press Association reports, he said in his speech FoI legislation would apply to private firms running prisons and delivering education and health services. They would all be subjected to the “disinfecting transparency” of the FoI regime, Khan said in his speech. The pledge to extend Freedom of Information legislation to private companies by Sadiq Khan, the shadow justice secretary, will cover contracts to deliver public services, such as prisons, hospitals and schools. They will be required to share with the public information on contracts which are funded with public money. Khan said it was time to “address this blind spot in our freedom of information laws” and in contrast to Tony Blair’s view in his memoirs that he had been an “idiot” to introduce FoI in 2000, the shadow justice secretary said he was proud of the achievement, however awkward it could prove to be. “Not only will the next Labour government protect FOI, we will seek to extend it,” Khan promised the conference. “For the first time, FoI will cover the delivery of public services by private companies. This includes our prisons, our schools, and our health service. Public, private or voluntary, subjected to the same disinfecting transparency of FoI.” On his justice brief, Khan also plans to create a dedicated minister for mental health within the Ministry of Justice and the creation of a women’s

Miliband: No promises on hospital closures
The day after the Labour Party leader wowed delegates with his confident “one nation” speech, Ed Miliband told Channel 4 News he could not guarantee that the NHS would be saved from public sector cuts under a Labour government. “Of course I can’t promise there won’t be hospital closures and then some services get changed,” he said. On the day that the future of the NHS is being debated by delegates at the conference, the Labour leader admitted that the public sector as a whole was not immune to cuts under a Labour government: “I couldn’t have been clearer that there will tough settlements in our public services, and it will make life harder for those who use them, and harder for those who work in them.” But Mr Miliband repeated the pledge that he would repeal the NHS bill if he became the next prime minister in two years’ time, even if changes were already under way under the coalition government. During his keynote speech at the Labour Party conference in Manchester, Mr Miliband paid tribute to former Conservative leader Benjamin Disraeli and his idea of’ “one nation”. The Labour leader did not commit to whether he would approve a referendum on Europe at any point in the future, but said it was not a priority “at the

South Asia Tribune I Thursday 04 October 2012

BBC 7/7 documentary
7/7 the London Bombings, Islam and the Iraq War
for a ‘disgusting’ documentary that investigates conspiracy theories BBC3, and hosted by Irish comedian Andrew Maxwell, claims that the co-



BBC documentary suggesting UK Government plotted 7/7 London bombings to boost Iraq war sparks fury A CONTROVERSIAL new BBC documentary which claims the 7/7 bombings were carried out by the Labour government to extend the war on terror was branded “ridiculous” on Saturday. Furious MPs and security experts criticised Conspiracy Road Trip, which is presented by a comedian , “The premise that these terrible attacks were carried out by the government is ridiculous,” said Patrick Mercer MP last night. One contributor, Jon, tells presenter Andrew Maxwell: “The British Establishment did it. We needed this excuse to continue this war – 7/7 was an excuse.” At the end of the programme, three of the conspiracy theorists change their views. Series producer Riete Oord said: “The claims are out there on the internet. There are people with these conspiracies, 9/11 is also obviously a huge one, 7/7 follows on from that. Families of victims of the 7/7 London bombings have slammed British television network, BBC,

surrounding the atrocity. The programme, ‘7/7 Bombings: Conspiracy Road Trip’, aired on

ordinated blasts were in fact part of a government plot to boost support for the Iraq War.

George Galloway sues NUS over ‘rape denier’ comments
the NUS description of Mr Galloway and its ban on him from speaking at events affiliated to the union. A spokesman for the Bradford West MP said today the union’s comments were “defamatory” and “offensive” and that Mr Galloway was “absolutely clear that No means No. Mr Assange, 40, is wanted in Sweden for questioning on sexual assault allegations made by two women. In August, Mr Galloway, who had also said the women’s claims were “totally unproven” and the Wikileaks founder had been “set up”, was criticised by anti-rape campaigners. Any damages recovered from his legal action “will be donated to the defence fund for Julian Assange and Bradley Manning”. US army soldier Private Manning is the alleged source of Wikileaks’ revelations. A spokesman for the NUS said it was yet receive a letter from Mr Galloway’s lawyers, and would not

comment until it had. Mr Galloway himself was unavailable for comment because he is in Venezuela ahead of the country’s presidential elections.

The 7/7 attacks in 2005 had killed 52 people, when four suicide bombers, who were British Muslims, detonated their home made devices on the London Tubes and a bus during the morning rush-hour commute. However, in the documentary show, producers blow up a double-decker London bus in a bid to recreate the explosion in Tavistock Square that killed 13 people. “The BBC can’t get any lower than this. They should have spoken to the families,” the Daily Mail quoted June Taylor, as saying, whose daughter Carrie, 24, died in the underground blast near Aldgate Station Branding the programme ‘disgusting’, she added: “They are trivialising the tragedy. People don’t want to be back in that dark place. It puts us through the pain all over again.” However, a BBC spokeswoman said the “the series takes conspiracy theorists on a journey to fully explore the facts and challenge their beliefs.” Though an original report, endorsed by a high-level Parliamentary inquiry and the government, insisted that the bombers carried out the attacks on their own, constructing explosives from chapatti flour and hair bleach mixed in the bath at a flat in Leeds, Yorkshire, there have since been a wave of conspiracy theories around the attacks, the paper said. Theorists have also accused

government agents of setting off pre-planted explosives under the three Tube trains and on the bus, it added. However the BBC documentary did not look into aspects as why four Muslims were involved? And who benefitted from Bombing? The supposed motive has never been formally established. No one who knew any of the alleged bombers suspected they would become mass murderers. None were known as being particularly political or religious. None had a serious criminal record. None of the alleged bombers were pronounced dead at the bomb sites. The process by which bodies were recovered and identified was ruled beyond the scope of the inquests by the coroner Lady Justice Heather Hallett. As such, we know very little about the way in which the alleged bombers’ remains were found, identified, and concluded to be those of suicide bombers. The documentary also failed to address issue of dead bodies of bombers. Another major issue was also overlooked by the maker of BBC documentary that an already imprisoned known MI6 asset Haroon Aswat link with the bombers. Why the US media and Intelligence was looking for him and who was protecting Haroon Aswat. There are a number of apparent inconsistencies in the official version of events surrounding the July bombings which have led to questions, rumours and conspiracy theories. Many of these can be found on the web. Some call themselves truth campaigners, other are the same people who believe 9/11 and the assassination of JFK were all ordered by the American government. To find out why this terrorist attack happened, and who was behind it, we should ask: “who benefits from this?”

Maverick Respect MP George Galloway is to sue the National Union of Students (NUS)after the union branded him a “rape denier”. Campaigners had earlier criticised his remarks on Julian Assange, who denies sexual assault claims. He was quoted as saying the Wikileaks founder was accused of nothing more than “bad sexual etiquette”. A spokesman said the NUS comments were “defamatory” and “offensive” and the MP was “absolutely clear that no means no” and “non consensual sex is rape”. The action has been prompted by


Currently, the Islamophobia Industry is engaged in a full-scale, coordinated, demonization campaign against Muslims. In just the past few months we have seen a series of inflammatory provocations: There was the Innocence of Muslims film, Charlie Hebdo, a French satire magazine published an issue with inflammatory cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad. Newsweek published their ‘Muslim Rage’ cover. Terry Jones held a “trial of Prophet Muhammad”. SION held a “global” gathering in NYC to plan propaganda strategy. A group in Toronto publicized a “walk your dog at the mosque” day. AFDI/SIOA has run a series of anti-Muslim ads on public transportation across the country. AFDI/ SIOA are planning to run 8 more anti-Muslim ads. There are three more films on Prophet Muhammad in the works by Ali Sina, Mosab Hassan Yousef and Imran Farasat. And now Titanic, a German satire magazine plans an “Islam” cover article to be published later this Friday. None of this is surprising as one of the Islamophobes laid out their strategy as “The Muslims themselves have shown us their most vulnerable spot, which is the Love of Prophet Mohammad. The Islamophobia Industry exists and is engaged in an anti-Muslim Crusade. They have a manifesto for spreading their propaganda, and which states their goal of “destroying Islam — as a culture, a political ideology, and a religion.” They produce anti-Muslim films. They are forming new organizations and coalitions of organizations at a dizzying speed, not only nationally, but also internationally. They have formed an International Leadership Team “which will function as a mobile, proactive, reactive on-the-ground team developing and executing confidential action plans that strike at the heart of the global antifreedom agenda.” We As Muslims need to understand Islam’s foundation, the way of life that enlightened this world. Islam stands for peace, humanity, love and compassion The clash of civilizations is now even clearer. Our values and emotions are not respected. Are they trying to test our patience? In the moment of emotional and psychological grief, I came across Iqbal’s verses:

The blasphemy will only increase


Ahmadinejad: Iran won’t relinquish nuclear program
Iranian president says demand for ‘red line’ insulting; blasts Netanyahu’s UN bomb sketch as ‘primitive.’ Islamic Republic will never yield to international pressure, he says Iran will not back down on its nuclear program despite economic pressures and Western sanctions, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Tuesday at a press conference in Tehran. “If some think they can make pressure on Iran, they are wrong and must correct their attitude. We are not a people who will fall on the nuclear issue,” he said. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad mocked Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s bomb diagram, saying that it was an insult to participants at the UN session. “He had drawn an infantile diagram which was more an insult to the audience and that showed how they look at others; they see themselves in a high position and (see) other nations as to be nothing,” Ahmadinejad told reporters in a press conference here in Tehran today. “That is a very hideous behavior,” Ahmadinejad added, and advised Netanyahu to “do more drawing homework to improve his drawing” skills.


South Asia Tribune I Thursday 04 October 2012

technology and education for the world? With such a low literacy rate, can we demand special privileges? Do we have Hazrat Ali’s pledge of poverty, or Hazrat Usman’s path of the pursuit of wealth? And can we call ourselves true Muslims? The west is fighting their self-generated Islamophobia by making fun of us. This will not end; it is on for decades. It will become a routine because our violent reaction is the real aim. For Charlie Hebdo the rating or sales inflation seems more important than offending more than one billion people. Provocations will increase because of the immense volatility of Muslim emotions. They are earning cheap popularity and we are giving them the bucks and making them an inspiration to wealth seeking people. So what should our course of action be? Should we keep burning our chattels to demonstrate our anger or be used by some opportunist to destroy our own properties? Should we take our children out on the street to raise slogans that they do not understand, or should we leave everything associated with us and become so-called atheists or liberals? Our solution lies neither in leaving our roots nor sticking to the doctrine of Islam as preached by many ‘semi-mullahs’. We need to understand Islam’s foundation, the way of life that enlightened this world. Islam stands for peace, humanity, love and compassion. It is a progressive religion that conforms to human requirements. After witnessing this façade of the so-called European champions of freedom and democracy, we should pledge that we will grow tall economically, politically and militarily so that no nation dares to humiliate what we hold dear. We need to stick to the message of the Holy Quran in which the Lord tells us to strive hard for this world and the hereafter. The western nations are systematically trying to degenerate our values and culture by passing laws against our way of living. France banned the wearing of Islâmic veils by claiming it ‘degrading and a security risk’. Belgium has passed a similar legislation, and Switzerland banned the building of minarets, the tall spires that often stand next to mosques. Is there anything left to prove open hostility? The sugartongued anchor, Joe Scarborough of MSNBC came with the most absurd reason. He said on Monday that Muslims hate us because of the

When Netanyahu held up a cartoon-like drawing of a bomb during his speech at the UN he set off an explosion of jokes and mockery. The Bibi Bomb, as it’s being called using Netanyahu’s nickname, is the latest in a series of props used by the Israeli leader as he tries to keep the global spotlight on Iran’s nuclear program. The image of Netanyahu and the diagram of a bomb with a lighted fuse was top news around the world. Headlines in Europe referred to his “bomb cartoon” and “comic strip.”

To annihilate Israel, we need just 24 hours and an excuse’

Ali Shirazi, representative of Ayatollah Khamenei to Iran’s Qods Force, claims Israel could not win “war of attrition” against Islamic Republic, says

Israel is desperate, “close to annihilation.” Hojjat al-Eslam Ali Shirazi , the representative of Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei to the Islamic Republic’s Qods Force, said this week that Iran needed just ‘24 hours and an excuse’ to destroy Israel. In his first public interview for a year, reported in the Persian-language Jahan News, which is close to the regime, Shirazi said if Israel attacked Iran the Islamic Republic would be able to turn the war in to a war of attrition which would lead to Israel’s destruction. “If such a war does happen, it would not be a long war, and it would benefit the entire Islamic Ummah [global community of Muslims]. We have expertise in fighting wars of attrition and Israel cannot fight a war of attrition,” he said, referring to Iran’s eight year war of attrition against Iraq.

Jailed without trial Babar Ahmad and Syed Ahsan challenge DPP move
Continued from page 01 >> He was expected to be sent to the United States within weeks after the European Court of Human Rights ruled on September 24 that extradition would not breach his human rights, or those of four other suspects, including radical Muslim preacher Abu Hamza. Keir Starmer, the Director of Public Prosecutions, said yesterday the documents provided by the wouldbe UK prosecutor - British businessman Karl Watkin - were “very short, lack any meaningful detail and do not provide any real support for a prosecution”. Today Phillippa Kaufmann QC, appearing for both men, announced at the High Court in London that they intended to seek a judicial review on the grounds that the DPP had reached “an unlawful decision”. Ms Kaufmann made the announcement as Ahmad and Ahsan joined other terror suspects, including radical cleric Abu Hamza, in a separate legal challenge to the Home Secretary’s decision to sanction their extradition. Mr Watkin, a campaigner against the UK’s extradition arrangements with the United States, made the attempt to bring legal proceedings against the pair in the UK to avoid “outsourcing the country’s criminal justice system” to the US. Refusing consent for the proceedings, Mr Starmer said: “The underlying evidence in support of these alleged offences is in the possession of the USA. “In the circumstances, I have refused to give my consent to Mr Watkin to bring a private prosecution against Mr Ahmad and Mr Ahsan for offences under the Terrorism Act 2000.” Mr Ahmad has been in jail without trial since 2004 while fighting extradition and has pleaded to be charged and tried in Britain. The pair are accused of being involved in a website which encouraged terrorism and which, while operated from London, was hosted in the US. Neither has been charged with an offence in the UK relating to the website, even though the investigation by US authorities includes evidence seized by the Metropolitan Police. The CPS has refused to prosecute the men. Labour’s justice spokesman, Sadiq Khan, has supported calls for Ahmad to be prosecuted in the UK for his alleged involvement in an extremist website.

I consider Iqbal’s poetry to be based on the interpretation of some Quranic verses. I wonder why the superpower of the 12th and 13th century, the leaders of science and technology at the time when Europe was immersed in the dark ages, is now being humiliated in such a demeaning manner. Or are we at fault? We are to ask ourselves as a Muslim community how many Nobel Laureates we produce every year. How many of our universities are the centre of

religion itself. He further commented, “If you gave every street vendor, from street vendor to prime minister in that region, a chance to throw a rock at the US Embassy, they would.” These are hard times. But there will be worse. Set your orientation right. If you want to win the war, you will need weapons, and the greatest weapon is a well-educated Muslim that contributes to society, not a tramp in the street hurling stones on the American embassy.

South Asia Tribune I Thursday 04 October 2012

Israeli Mossad Involved in 2010 Ethiopian Plane Crash
Today, WikiLeaks releases email threads from the global intelligence firm Stratfor dating back to the time of the Ethiopian Airlines crash. While investigations were taking place in Beirut and Paris, Stratfor was prying for answers from different high level sources. The sources included a hospital director in Beirut, a Lebanese military source, and a Hezbollah media source. They said that the plane have been the victim of sabotage by Israeli intelligence because it mistakenly suspected that senior Hizbullah official Hashem Safieddine may have been on the flight. It also suspected that Hizbullah chief Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah’s nephew may have also been on board, along with 20 other the pilot had committed an error that caused the crash. They also highlighted Lebanese intelligence suspicions that the Mossad was involved in the incident due to the Israeli conflict with Hizbullah. Furthermore, they said that the Israeli intelligence had received “mistaken or misleading” signs that Safieddine was in fact on the plane. The emails added that analysts determined that the plane “could not have exploded in the air due to a pilot’s error.” Moreover, the WikiLeaks report said that Lebanese authorities do not want to “acknowledge the real reason why the plane crashed because it would expose poor security and the fact that explosives



On 25 January, 2010, 5 minutes after taking off from Beirut, Ethiopian Airlines flight 409 crashed into the

of the crash was pilot error and suggesting that Ethiopian airlines change its pairing policy to not

has dormant cells that may be planning to attack American and Israeli targets should a military strike be carried out against Iran, said the report. A preliminary report on the Ethiopian plane which crashed off the Lebanese coast killing 90 people on board, including more than 50 Lebanese nationals, blamed “a series of errors on the part of the pilots who failed to take into account the signals emitted by the plane’s instruments.” The Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737800 went down minutes after taking off from Beirut in bad weather on January 25, killing 83 passengers and seven crew. Lebanese officials have previously said that data recovered from the plane’s black box showed all instruments were

Mediterranean Sea. On board were 82 passengers and 8 crew members en route to the capitol city of Ethiopia Addis Ababa; no survivors were found. Shortly afterwards, Lebanese Civil Aviations opened an investigation in to the crash. While the investigation was taking place, Lebanese President Michel Suleiman said, “sabotage is ruled out as of now.” Other Lebanese officials blamed bad weather and the pilot. In Beirut, witnesses claimed seeing the plane on fire while still in the air. It wasn’t until two years later that the final report from the Lebanese investigation came out concluding that the cause

allow two inexperienced pilots to fly together. The Ethiopian Civil

members of the party. The leaks reveal a series of emails

were placed on a plane at Beirut international airport.”

Aviation Authority rejected the report’s conclusion, saying the probable cause of the crash was either a shoot down, sabotage, or a lightening strike.

between members of the Stratfor global intelligence organization that indicate that initial recordings obtained from the plane’s black box do not include evidence that

The Mossad was led to believe that some 20 Hizbullah members were on board the Ethiopian plane where they were heading to Uganda and Kenya where the party

working well until it plunged into the Mediterranean in a fierce storm.

REHMAN AFZAL contacted his own family to report the accident after knocking down Dan Roberts on Paisley Road West in 2011. A DRIVER refused to call an ambulance for the pedestrian he killed because he didn’t want to use up his mobile phone credit. Rehman Afzal, 28, called his family while the man he had knocked down – chef Dan Roberts – lay dying in the street. Afzal was yesterday given 300 hours’

Driver didn’t call 999 to help man he killed because he ‘didn’t want to use phone credit’
community service after being found guilty of causing death by inconsiderate driving. Jurors deleted a charge of careless driving. Dan, 40, was killed as he crossed Paisley Road West in Glasgow at about 10pm on January 15, 2011. Afzal, who had passed his test three months earlier, was driving home to the city’s southside from his shop in Paisley. He was turning right across the dual carriageway in the rain when he hit Dan.

Afzal later claimed he didn’t see the six-footer because he was wearing dark clothing. Dan hit his head on the road, fracturing his skull. He died from bleeding on the brain. Sheriff John Beckett QC described Dan’s wife as having “lost her life partner”. He said: “As a result of the way you drove your vehicle in the conditions prevailing that night, Daniel Roberts lost his life. “Without warning, he was lost to his family and friends.


Operation Bluestar hero, Lt Gen (Retd) K S Brar stabbed by four men in London


South Asia Tribune I Thursday 04 October 2012

Twenty eight years after he led Operation Bluestar to flush out militants from the Golden Temple at Amritsar, 78-year old Lt Gen KS Brar (Retd) was yesterday attacked with a knife in London but is stated to be out of danger. According to some Sources in the central intelligence agencies said that Gen Brar who had gone to the UK to visit his daughter who lives in London and relatives along with his second wife was staying in a hotel in Mayfair in Central London. He was returning on foot to the hotel with his wife when four unidentified turbaned persons suspected to be militants attacked him with a knife near the hotel. He sustained injuries in his neck and as his wife raised an alarm, they ran away from the spot. His wife too was pushed to the ground but is reportedly not injured. When contacted over phone a spokesman of the London Metropolitan Police confirmed that Gen Brar was attacked. “At 10.11 PM at Qubeck Street this 70 year

old man was attacked. He is stated to be in serious condition, but not life threatening.

also confirmed the incident. Sources said that Gen Brar was under threat since 1984

The police still investigating the matter.’’ The Union Ministry of External Affairs has

and had Z-plus security with him at his residence in an army area in Mumbai after

his retirement. His only son is living in USA. Khalistani militants have been tracking Brar since long. The last time he was in United Kingdom, he was reportedly tracked but the attempt on his life was foiled. At the time of Operation Bluestar Gen Brar was commanding 9 Division based in Meerut as a Major General and he led the army in the Golden temple. After his retirement, Brar had to reside in the heavily guarded cantonment area of South Mumbai. There have been some attempts on his life, according to intelligence agencies. Gen Brar in the recent past has criticised the move and proposal to set up a memorial in the Golden temple which was reportedly dedicated to militants. On the night of June 5, 1984, Gen Brar’s troops stormed the golden temple premises. Gen Brar had six infantry battalions and a detachment of commandos under his command. Brar repeatedly asked his soldiers not to fire in the direction of the Golden temple, even if the militants fired from that side.

‘Innocence of Muslims’ Declared Extremist

‘Blasphemy’ backlash spreads to Dublin as Muslims march on Google headquarters
The global backlash against an anti-Islam video spread to the streets of Dublin as hundreds of protesters marched to Google’s European headquarters and demanded the offensive material be taken offline. The Dublin protests, which passed off quietly to chants of “Islam is peace” and “We love Mohammed”, came days after a lawsuit was filed in Los Angeles calling on Google to take the video down from Googleowned YouTube. Speaking outside Google’s Barrow Street HQ, Muslim cleric Alam Ghulam Rabbini of the Irish Sufi Foundation insisted that the protesters were not against freedom of speech but said the video should still be taken down. “You should not allow these (filmmakers) to use freedom of expression to hurt the feelings of 1.5 billion Muslims around the world,” he said. His words were met with cheers from the crowd of about 200, while Google staff recorded the protest on their smartphones. The crowd, almost all young men, began their protest on O’Connell Street, accompanied by about 15 uniformed gardai and several of their own stewards in hi-vis jackets. Hundreds of placards were distributed, along with homemade T-shirts which most wore. “I’ve come to take action against this (video), to ban this, it insults Muslims,” said Assam Mohammed, a translator who has been in Ireland for seven years. Zarif Khan, a 28-year-old international politics student, said he had come to push for a law that protects “every religion” from being insulted in the name of freedom of speech. After the Google protest, the group moved to the American Embassy in Ballsbridge to protest at US President Barack Obama’s statement that while the film was “crude and disgusting” it cannot be banned because of freedom of speech rules.

A Grozny court ruled that the film “Innocence of Muslims” could destabilize Chechnya, which is majority Muslim. Above, a mosque in Grozny. A court in the Chechen capital Grozny has declared extremist an anti-Muslim video that has sparked violent protests in North Africa and the Middle East. The court ruling means that the film is now banned nationwide. Leninsky District Court in Grozny has declared the film extremist, Chechen press minister Murat Tagiyev told RIA-Novosti on Friday. Under Russian law, a work is banned across the country after being declared extremist by a single court. At the request of prosecutors, Internet providers in multiple regions including Omsk, Volgograd and the

republic of Chechnya had in recent weeks blocked access to YouTube and other websites on which the “Innocence of Muslims” film was available. The video clip, a crude film trailer made in the U.S. that portrays the Muslim prophet Mohammed as lecherous and selfish, has triggered violent demonstrations at U.S. embassies in countries including Egypt and Libya. Tagiyev, the Chechen press minister, said the Leninsky District Court ruling echoed concerns expressed by many senior Russian officials about the potential for violence over the film in Russia, which has millions of Muslim citizens. “A failure to take necessary measures to prevent the uncontrolled spread of a socially dangerous, provocative video that insults religious beliefs could cause serious negative consequences,” Tagiyev said, summarizing the court’s ruling. The court noted that the film could destabilize Chechnya, the vast majority of whose citizens are Muslim, Tagiyev said. A number of Internet providers in Chechnya on Thursday blocked access to YouTube and several other websites on which the video was available. It was unclear what specific measures would be required of Internet providers to block access to the film. Earlier this month Communications and Press Minister Nikolai Nikiforov said that there would be no countrywide blackout of YouTube because of the film and that only the video itself would be blocked on the video-sharing site if declared extremist.

South Asia Tribune I Thursday 04 October 2012

Former British prime minister Tony Blair was the only person capable of turning George Bush against the 2003 Iraq invasion, ex-United Nations chief Kofi Annan claimed in an interview published Saturday. Annan argued in an interview published in the Times newspaper that Blair could have changed Bush’s mind because of the special relationship between the two nations and the two leaders. Annan said he often had contemplated what might have happened if “Blair had said ‘George, this is where we part company. You’re on your own’,” following the failure to secure a second UN resolution. “I really think it could have stopped the war,” added the Nobel peace laureate. Annan was UN secretary general at the time of the crisis. A first Security Council resolution, which offered Iraq a final oppor-

Blair could have prevented Iraq war: Annan



tunity to comply with its disarmament obligations passed unanimously in November 2002. But a second resolution proposed by the US, Britain, and Spain in 2003 that called for action to be

taken against Saddam Hussain’s regime was withdrawn when it became clear it would be vetoed. The US decided that the resolution was not needed before military action could lawfully take place,

and the invasion commenced on March 20. The invasion triggered eight years of sectarian conflict in Iraq, resulting in more than 100,000 civilian deaths.

Annan rejected suggestions that his resignation, or that of then US secretary of state Colin Powell, would have altered the course of history. And he dismissed Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s call for Bush and Blair to be put on trial at the the International Criminal Court. Both had been democratically elected, he said, and were only acting in their national interests. Annan was the UN Arab League envoy to Syria from February until August, but resigned after his peace plan failed to prevent further fighting between rebels and forces loyal to President Bashar Al-Assad. The diplomat told the Times that Assad had to go, arguing that the leader had lost all legitimacy. Annan gave the interview to mark the launch of his memoirs: “Interventions - a Life in War and Peace.”

Britain’s economy is finally rebalancing in the wake of the global financial crash, David Cameron has said. On the final day of his two-day visit to Brazil, the British prime minister said there were “good signs” that growth was strengthening. Following the success of the London Olympics, Mr Cameron said the “British brand” had never been stronger overseas. During a round of television interviews yesterday, Mr Cameron struck a determinedly upbeat note about the UK’s economic prospects, with exports to countries like Brazil picking up again. “In the last two years we’ve seen a million net new jobs in the private sector. That shows our economy is rebalancing,” he said. “For too many years, the state was too big and the private sector was too small. We were too reliant on financial services; we

UK economy growing stronger, says Cameron
in Britain at a record rate.” Asked if he thought the economy had now turned the corner, Mr Cameron said, “. . . the rebalancing we need -- a stronger private sector, stronger growth -- there are good signs that that’s happening.” Mr Cameron said the London Olympics provided a showcase of what the country was capable of achieving. “The British brand has never been stronger. We put on an incredible show in London, that was a fantastic advertisement for modern Britain.” Referendum Meanwhile, Mr Cameron hinted that there would be an opportunity after the general election for the British people to give “fresh consent” to UK membership of the EU. It is the strongest indication yet that he may be ready to call a referendum on EU mem-

weren’t making enough, we weren’t exporting enough, we weren’t selling enough. “That is changing. Businesses are starting up

bership, if returned to power. Mr Cameron said he believes that remaining in the EU is in Britain’s interests. “I don’t think it is in Britain’s interests to leave the EU but I do think what it is increasingly becoming the time for is a new settlement between Britain and Europe, and I think that new settlement will require fresh consent. “There is a reason why. The euro is a currency with 17 different countries. I think, increasingly, one currency will mean one economic policy. “They are going to change and that will give us opportunities for changing our relationship with Europe. “I argue for Britain’s membership because I want to be able to say to countries like Brazil ‘Come to Britain and you can sell to the 320 million consumers across Europe’.”


Attackers of Lt Gen KS Brar had ‘long beards’: Scotland Yard
They came to assassinate me, slash my neck, says Lt General KS Brar
in procession with banners and make pledges to kill me. So it was a pure assassination attempt,” he said. Lt. Gen. Brar said it was “obvious” that the assailants were Khalistan sympathisers, who, he added, wanted to kill him since “Operation Blue Star”. Describing the incident, the 78-yearold Lt. Gen. Brar said he fought with the assailants, with “abnormal strength”, and added: “Now when I think back I can’t imagine how I fought with those three big guys. But I suppose being a soldier and having been in the Army for so many years, one learns to defend oneself.” One of the four assailants, he said, separated his wife from him, while the other three “went for me”. His wife fell down when one of the assailants pushed her against the wall, he said. Everything happened within a couple of minutes, “maybe one minute”, he said. The police, Lt. Gen. Brar said, had told him that a mobile phone had been


South Asia Tribune I Thursday 04 October 2012

Scotland Yard has appealed for information from members of the public on the Sunday night assault on Lt Gen KS Brar, and described the four assailants as wearing dark clothing, long black jackets and having “long beards”. Stating that detectives were keeping an open mind on the motivation behind the attack, the police said in a statement on Monday that they were particularly keen to speak to people who assisted Mr Brar and his wife after the attack on Old Quebec Street in central London. No arrests had been made until Monday night, the police said. “The four men are described as wearing dark clothing and long black jackets. They all had long beards. One of the men is described as younger and slimmer than the other three. They all fled in the direction of Oxford Street,” the statement said. “Detectives are keen to speak to anyone who was in the area at the time or who may have information about the incident. In particular they want to speak to those people who assisted the wife and the victim at the scene following the attack,” it added. According to Mr Brar, a mobile phone had been recovered from the scene, which may help lead the police to the assailants. The police were also expected to go through CCTV footage

from the area that has several cameras. Lt. Gen. K.S. Brar, who was assaulted by four people in central London on Sunday night, is convinced that it was an attempt to assassinate him by “proKhalistan elements” for his role in the 1984 “Operation Blue Star”. Lt. Gen. Brar, who kicked and fought three of the four assailants, suffered a knife wound in the neck and is recovering after receiving medical treatment at a London hospital soon after the attack near the busy Marble Arch area. He is due to return to India on Tuesday. “This was a pure assassination attempt on me. Even on Internet there are so

many threats being sent to me to say that there have been many attempts on your life but they haven’t succeeded, but the next one will succeed. They’ve been after me.” Lt. Gen. Brar told a television channel on Monday night. “On 6th of June, which is the anniversary of Blue Star every year, particularly in London, the radical Sikhs come out

recovered from the site of assault, which may lead them to the assailants. He praised the police and hospital authorities who treated him after the assault. Although this is not the first bid on Brar’s life – he admitted to several assassination attempts in a 2004 interview – it was clearly a brazen attack. Old Quebec Street is a stone’s throw from the plush shopping districts of Bond Street and Oxford Street in the heart of London, where weekend nights tend to be busy. Former Indian army official Lieutenant General (Retd.) P.N. Hoon on Tuesday downplayed reports of a Khalistani attack on Lieutenant General (Retd.) K.S. Brar in London, saying the attackers would have achieved their target if it had been a well-planned attempt. Lieutenant General (Retd.) Hoon pointed out that even the Scotland Yard and the London Police have not given a report on the unpleasing incident yet.

Anti-Islam filmmaker reveals a new name in court

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The man accused of producing the 14minute anti-Islam video responsible for sparking violence around the Middle East told a judge he had actually been using another name since 2002. The Los Angeles Times reported Friday that the man known to federal authorities as Nakoula Basseley Nakoula had legally changed his name to Mark Basseley Youssef 10 years ago, but did not reveal this, even while being convicted of bank fraud in 2010. Youssef was arrested Thursday for allegedly violating the terms of his parole by uploading the short film, which depicts the Islamic holy figure Muhammad as a pedophile and a womanizer, onto the Internet. Youssef’s parole barred him from even using the Internet without his parole officer’s permission. He faces up to

three years in jail if he is found to have violated those guidelines. According to CBS News, the video went online in July but did not gain much attention until anti-Islam activist Morris Sedak, like Youssef a Copt Christian, had it translated into Arabic and sent it to Egyptian journalists in early September. After it aired on Egyptian television days later, demonstrations against the film began to spread around the Muslim world. Youssef, who actors associated with the film said duped them under the alias “Sam Bacile,” went into hiding shortly thereafter before being taken into custody Thursday. Judge Suzanne H. Segal denied Youssef’s lawyer’s request that he be released, saying he “cannot be trusted” and poses some risk to the community.

South Asia Tribune I Thursday 04 October 2012

Now German publication Titanic will hurt again Muslims on Friday
Merkel: stop worrying about Muslims
Seldom has satire been so much in the public spotlight. It’s just a pity that today, of all times, it’s never been so bad. Whether it’s Charlie Hebdo in France or Titanic in Germany, the religious taunting in place of political satire is adding fuel to the fire.
Adding to outrage against the antiIslam film, On Friday the German satirical magazine Titanic will hit the stands with a new anti Islamic cover. The cover in question will depict Germany’s former “First Lady” Bettina Wulff, either being threatened by an armed Muslim fighter or being defended by him, depending on your perspective. German Chancellor Angela Merkel has said Islam is part of Germany, calling for more tolerance toward the Muslim community in the European country, Der Spiegel reported Thursday, September 27. “We should be very open about this and say: Yes, this is part of us,” Merkel said during a teleconference with 7,000 members of her Christian Democratic Union (CDU). The country is Europe’s secondbiggest Muslim population after France, and Islam comes third in Germany after Protestant and Catholic Christianity. Germans have grown hostile to the Muslim presence recently, with a heated debate on the Muslim immigration into the country. A recent poll by the Munster University Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle is warning against adding fuel to the fire. Christine Boutin, the French politician, plans to sue Charlie Hebdo magazine because she believes that the Muhammad cartoons it published amount to hate speech. And Green MEP Daniel Cohn-Bendit, losing his temper on TV, called the publishers at Charlie Hebdo idiots and masochists who wallowed in their own fear. Well, well. A satirist today can only really make the big time by attacking religious sensitivities. It will be a guaranteed success – the Pope will sue, the Association of Muslims whine that the religious feelings of its members have been hurt, and the reply of the satirist will be the usual fall-back – a free country cannot forbid satire. Titanic’s chief editor Leo Fischer says: “Muslims have to put up with jokes about them.” Yes, sure. That’s as true as it is dull, and the way things look, they do put up with them, in the same way that we’ll have to put up with the fact that German political satire will give us no food for thought in the coming years. That’s something we’ve grown used to.

Germany playing dangerous game with Muslims



found that Germans view Muslims more negatively than their European neighbors. Germany’s daily Der Spiegel had warned last August that the country is becoming intolerant towards its Muslim minority. Germany, the most populous country in the EU, is rapidly becoming a hotbed for Islamophobic and xenophobic tendencies, some apparently sanctioned by the pervasive German security apparatus. As some 3 million Turks live in Germany, the Turkish government is understandably upset with what many described as coordinated racist attacks on minorities in the country. Turkish intelligence has collected convincing evidence revealing that behind the German police’s recent crackdown on Salafi Muslims in Germany there were

concerted attempts to associate the Salafi threat with German Turks. CBS reported “Titanic” announced on Thursday that it plans “to publish a cover depicting an angry Muslim about to stab former German First Lady Bettina Wulff.” Whether or not the angry Muslim is meant to depict the Prophet Mohammed has not yet been revealed. When Der Spiegel asked Titanic’s editor-in-chief Leo Fischer if the cartoon depicts Mohammed, Fischer replied “I don’t know for sure. It is a scene from a film.” He did however say “everybody is talking about Muhammad and we are reacting.” It’s a silly photo-montage, which demonstrates the magazine’s wavering and chicken-hearted stance. Is it all about Mrs Wulff and her desire,

ridiculed throughout Germany, to get some media attention? This has been a non-subject for a long time, and this is also the problem Titanic has: it’s always serving up old chestnuts. Unless it isn’t some new attempt on the part of a handful of journalists to see how short the Muslim fuse is, to see whether they’ll actually do what you’d imagine: storm editorial offices of satirical magazines in France and Germany with suicide belts and so prove to the jolly japesters that their Student Union humour is more devastating than anything else going. Because a few thousand people in Egypt, Syria and Iran are venting their rage against the Innocence of Muslims video, German politicians have expressed concern about Titanic’s upcoming “Islam issue”, and

Poll: 70% of Americans view Israel favorably
Respondents to Foreign Policy Initiative survey list Israel as United State’s second best ally in the world, second only to UK. Seventy percent of Americans view Israel favorably, according to a survey conducted by the Foreign Policy Initiative. Moreover, when asked their view of Israel, nearly 81 percent of political conservatives share that view while the number is at 68.5 percent for moderates and roughly 63 percent of liberals. The survey, called Foreign Policy Matters in 2012, was conducted from Sept. 15-17 by Basswood Research for the Foreign Policy

Americans Say Iran Poses “Most Danger” and Support Preventing a Nuclear-Armed Iran, If Necessary, By Force
Initiative. It’s margin of error is 3.1 percent. Roughly 40 percent of respondents identified as Republicans, 40 percent as Democrats and 20 percent as either Independents or with no party affiliation. The national survey on Foreign Policy Matters in 2012 was conducted by Basswood Research from September 15-17, 2012, on behalf of the Foreign Policy Initiative. The survey’s margin of error is 3.1 percent on a sample of 1000 likely voters. When asked the open-ended question who was “America’s best ally in the world?” Israel came in at 15.9 percent, second only to the United Kingdom, which had 54 percent. FPI took a different approach, asking participants an open-ended question: “If you had to single out one country, which country do you think presents the most danger to American national security interests today?” The results are unequivocal. Forty-five percent of respondents selected Iran. China, the distant runner-up, clocked in at 8 percent, with Afghanistan right behind at 6 percent (Russia, which Mitt Romney once called “America’s number one geopolitical foe,” mustered a mere 1 percent). More than 60 percent of respondents supported preventing Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons even if that meant using U.S. military force -- a finding

that tracks with previous surveys. When it comes to America’s geopolitical enemies, Iran and its nuclear program are clearly top of mind. The survey contains lots of other interesting findings. In another open-ended question about “America’s best ally,” 54 percent of respondents mentioned Great Britain and 16 percent cited Israel. Those who feel the country is headed in the wrong direction tended to have an unfavorable view of China, suggesting, in part, that concern about American decline goes hand-in-hand with wariness about China (it may also simply mean that those who are worried about China also oppose Obama).


Foreign Ministers of Islamic countries Saturday called for joining hands to resolve important issues such as Jammu and Kashmir, and also to improve the image of Islam. At their annual coordination meeting, the foreign ministers of 57 member states of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) also strongly deplored the blasphemous video that denigrates Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), and called for steps to prevent such despicable acts. The meeting adopted an 85-point joint communique reaffirming its principled support to the people of Jammu and Kashmir for the realisation of their legitimate right to self-determination, in accordance with the relevant UN resolutions and aspiration of the Kashmiri people. The communique emphasised the need for full respect of human rights as well as the importance of taking all requisite steps to provide relief and comfort to the Kashmiris. It further called upon India to allow international human rights groups and humanitarian organisations to visit Jammu and Kashmir. The meeting expressed concern at the indiscriminate use of force and gross violations of human rights committed against the innocent Kashmiris and regretting that India had not allowed

OIC FMs call for resolving Kashmir, Palestine issues
the OIC Fact Finding Mission to visit Indianoccupied Jammu & Kashmir or responded favourably to the offer made by the OIC. Noting the discovery of massgraves with India to resolve all outstanding issues including Jammu and Kashmir dispute and urged the international community to play its due role to settle this long-standing dispute


South Asia Tribune I Thursday 04 October 2012

2,156 unidentified bodies in Indianoccupied Kashmir has been confirmed by international human rights organisations, the meeting urged India to undertake independent investigations into the discovery of massgraves and ensure free and fair trial of those responsible for these heinous crimes. The meeting commended the efforts of Pakistan and its readiness to engage with

on UN agenda for the overall improvement of the relations between Pakistan and India as well as to promote regional peace and stability. The meeting reaffirmed the collective commitment of all OIC member states to a long-term engagement in Afghanistan in order to bring peace, stability and socioeconomic development to the country and to tackle challenges of illicit drug

trafficking and extremism. It expressed strong condemnation of the production and projection of the reprehensible film insulting the noble Prophet (PBUH) by an irresponsible group in the US, resulting in unfortunate violent incidents. The meeting denounced the aggressions perpetrated against many diplomatic missions around the world and the irresponsible violations, which claimed the lives of some workers of these missions, and insisted on the need to guard against those who promote or are planning to produce such films in order to provoke Muslims. The meeting called on all member states and the international community to counter the production and promotion of media materials which insult the revealed religions and their symbols, through international institutions and mechanisms, and stressed the need to respect religious and cultural diversity in the world. The meeting called upon the international community to exert efforts to prevent incitement to hatred and discrimination against Muslims and to take effective measures to combat the defamation of religions and negative stereotyping against persons based on their religions, faith or race.

Ikea drops women from Arab brochure
Person is holding the Monday, Oct 1, 2012 issue of daily Metro fronted with two images from Swedish and Saudi Arabian version of its catalogue, a move the company says it regrets. Comparing the Swedish and Saudi versions of the Ikea company’s home furnishings. The report raised questions in Sweden about Ikea’s commitment to gender equality. The country’s trade minister Ewa Bjorling did not criticise Ikea directly but told Metro that it was not possible to delete women from society. Ikea said: “We should have reacted and realised that One of the pictures showed a mother in front of a bathroom mirror alongside her family, but the Saudi edition removed the mother. In another picture, a barefoot woman with earrings was replaced by a man in black socks. Sweden’s Minister of Trade Ewa Björling argued that the women in Saudi Arabia.” “Women cannot be retouched away in reality. If Saudi Arabia does not allow women to appear [in public] or work, they lose about half their intellectual capital,” she told Swedish newspaper Metro. IKEA spokesperson Ylva Magnusson told German press

IKEA catalogue for next year. Furniture store giant Ikea has been criticised for deleting images of women from the Saudi

catalogue, Swedish newspaper Metro showed that women had been airbrushed out of otherwise identical pictures showcasing the

excluding women from the Saudi Arabian version of the catalogue is in conflict with the Ikea group values.”

retouched images are a “sad example that shows that there is a long way to go in terms of equality between men and

agency dpa that the catalogue was designed by an external franchise owner that operates IKEA stores in Saudi Arabia.

South Asia Tribune I Thursday 04 October 2012

• Scotland Yard documents suggest Keith Vaz received ‘significant amounts of cash’ of a ‘suspicious nature’ between 1997 and 2001 • Tory MP Andrew Bridgen writes to Parliamentary Standards Commissioner to demand an inquiry and says Mr Vaz should to stand down as chairman of the Home Affairs Select Committee • Mr Vaz denies any wrongdoing and says the money is from property deals Mr Vaz denies any wrongdoing and today insisted the sums related property deals. Senior Labour MP Keith Vaz was today referred to the parliamentary watchdog over reports that a secret police investigation uncovered mystery payments of hundreds of thousands of pounds into his bank accounts. Tory MP Andrew Bridgen calls for a probe into the source of £500,000 in bank deposits linked to MP Keith Vaz in a letter to the parliamentary standards commissioner obtained by Channel 4 News. In a letter to the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards obtained by Channel 4 News the Tory MP requests an investigation into whether Mr Vaz lied or broke any parliamentary rules by failing to declare outside interests “given that the reported police investigation found that outside payments were indeed made”. Mr Bridgen, citing a report in today’s Telegraph newspaper, also asked for the commissioner to re-open a decade-old investigation to determine whether Mr Vaz received improper payments from the billionaire Hinduja brothers, who pushed the then-Blair government to give Mr Vaz a ministerial role and lobbied for UK passports in the late 1990s. The scandal eventually led to the sacking of Peter Mandelson. Mr Vaz was cleared of the earlier allegations of receiving illicit funds, but was forced to resign and was suspended from parliament for refusing to provide financial information

Keith Vaz denied there was anything suspicious
to the parliamentary commissioner. Finally, Mr Bridgen asked for an explanation as to what the commissioner knew about the to Labour MP Keith Vaz in addition to his salary between 1997 and 2001, The money was paid into a series of accounts

Investigate Keith Vaz:Tory MP



“These matters relate to two parliamentary inquires which began in 1999 and concluded in 2003. My finances were discussed by every newspaper in the country for a period of three years and were the subject of extensive examination. I have had no outside interests,” Mr Vaz said. “When you sell a house and you buy a new house it is normal practice for the money to be paid into your account and the money then paid out,” Mr Vaz added.

Parliamentary standards

police findings at the time of the earlier probe and whether it was now appropriate for Mr Vaz to resign given the sensitive nature of his current role in government. Mr Vaz chairs the home affairs select committee which holds the police to account.

over a period of time. The newspaper also reported that in an internal briefing document circulated within Scotland yard, detectives expressed their belief that “the level of funds received ... are of a suspicious nature.”

Position untenable

‘Nothing suspicious’

Should the commissioner agree to investigate, Mr Bridgen said Mr Vaz’s position as head of the committee is untenable. “I feel that he cannot continue to hold his role with the Home Affairs Select Committee during an investigation and call on him to stand down,” Mr Bridgen told reporters. Scotland Yard declined to comment. According to the Telegraph, police detectives allegedly found almost £500,000 in “suspicious” funds were deposited into multiple accounts linked

Mr Vaz denied there was anything suspicious about his banking transactions, noting the money in question related to buying and selling a family home in London and a drawdown of equity from his bank. In a statement posted on his web site today, the Labour MP said: “The Telegraph contacted me on Sunday about an investigation which may or may not have occurred 10 years ago. I asked them to supply me with a copy of the report but they did not have one.

A spokesman for Mr Vaz, contacted by Channel 4 News , declined to comment on Mr Bridgen’s intention to contact the commissioner for information. The Telegraph report alleged that police evidence may contradict assurances Mr Vaz gave during an investigation into his finances between 2000 and 2001, which was carried out by parliament. Scotland Yard were facing calls to hand evidence to the parliamentary commissioner for standards, which can reopen an inquiry into allegations first made a decade ago, the Telegraph said. Furthermore, the Telegraph claimed it has seen a police document in which detectives claim to have established that £28,959 in cash was paid into an HSBC account held by Mr Vaz during a single year. The MP and his wife also held a series of other accounts at different banks that were also examined by police. In an internal briefing document circulated within Scotland Yard, detectives expressed their belief that “the level of funds received ... are of a suspicious nature”, the Telegraph reported. According to Daily Telegraph Mr Bridgen, who represents North West Leicestershire, was held in connection with an alleged assault on a 29– year-old woman near the House of Commons Last year June . Mr Bridgen was arrested at about 2am and taken to a London police station. He strenuously denied any wrongdoing, but was finger–printed, asked to provide a DNA sample and pose for a police mugshot.

A woman has admitted killing five of her own babies – in order to preserve her family’s standard of living, a German prosecutor said on Thursday. The 28-year-old woman is said to have given birth to the babies in secret – and then killed them, all without the knowledge of her husband. The police in Flensburg, near the border with Denmark, said the woman was married with two children aged eight and ten. The family lived at a “certain level of prosperity” and she was scared of being unable to maintain their standard of living if she had more children, the prosecutor said. Her husband did not want more children, yet contraception was “never a topic” for the couple, she

Mum ‘killed five babies’ over several years to keep standard of living

said. He is said to be deeply shocked and receiving counselling. “The accused has made a complete confession to the police,” said prosecutor Ulrike Stahlmann-Liebelt. Two children were killed in 2006 and 2007

– and three more after that. She gave birth to two of the babies at home – and three in the woods, alone. The police said no-one had known of her pregnancies, not even her husband. They said the discovery and her confession were likely to have prevent-

ed further cases. The body of one child was found in the recycled paper facility in 2006 in Ahrenshöft near the family’s home in the Husum area of northern Germany. A post mortem examination showed the baby had lived for a short time

after it was born, while a report from NDR public broadcaster suggested the placenta was also found, from which a DNA sample of the mother was retrieved. The second baby was found by a driver a year later, wrapped in a plastic bag and dumped in a parking space near a major rural road. The police have been carrying out DNA testing of women in the region since then, and got a match with this woman, who then confessed to killing not only the first two babies but three more. The three other bodies were stashed in cardboard boxes in the family cellar. They were so badly decomposed that no time of death or cause of death could be determined.


Digital Age overload: ‘Internet addiction’ to be classified as mental illness
used 24/7 for reading, gaming, and social interactions.


South Asia Tribune I Thursday 04 October 2012

When addiction borders on insanity

Think twice the next time you play a videogame or surf the Net: ‘Internetuse disorder’ is set to be added to the list of mental illnesses in the worldwide psychiatric manual. Kids are identified as being especially at risk. The international mental health encyclopedia known as the ‘Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders’ (DSM-IV) will include Internet-use disorder as a condition “recommended for further study” in its forthcoming May 2013 edition. Psychologists believe that Internet addiction should be categorized

like other addiction disorders as it has similar symptoms, including emotional shutdown, lack of concentration and withdrawal. Parents have noted their children becoming angry and violent when their electronic gadgets are taken away from them, the Sydney Morning Herald reported. In other instances, kids preferred to play a videogame over eating or social interaction.

One step closer to mental illness
The listing is another step towards classifying Internet addiction as a mental illness: The DSM-IV’s

new inclusion demonstrates that there are risks posed by overusing technology and that more research is required, which could lead to formal diagnoses of the disorder in the future. Psychologists are pushing to broaden the diagnoses of Internetuse disorder to include more than just gaming addictions, which could expand the age group of those affected by the illness. ‘’With kids, gaming is an obvious issue. But overall, technology use

could be a potential problem,’’ Director of the Brain and Psychological Sciences Research Centre Mike Kyrios told the Sydney Morning Herald. Australia was one of the first countries to recognize the problem and offer public treatment, and established clinics to treat video game addiction. That such widely used technologies can cause deep harm to children has lead to further examinations of adults habits surrounding devices

Addiction to online games is not a new phenomenon, with some cases grabbing international headlines over the past few years. In a 2009 incident, 17-year-old Daniel Petric of Ohio shot his mother and injured his father after they confiscated his Halo 3 videogame because they feared he was playing it too much. Chris Staniforth, 20, suffered a blockage to his lungs and died while playing his Xbox for up to 12 hours in 2011. A year later, another gaming addict died after playing an online videogame for 40 hours straight at an Internet café in Taiwan. Similar behavior has also been exhibited by adults: A Korean couple was arrested in 2010 after their infant daughter starved to death while the pair played an online game for hours. The videogame the two were playing involved raising a virtual baby.

More action needed on Pak sanctuaries
“Name them Al-Qaeda, name them Haqqani, name them Taliban. They’re still there,
lot for this campaign, but we’re not willing to be murdered for it.” Gen Allen said that just as homemade bombs had become the signature weapon of the Iraq war, he believed that in Afghanistan, “the signature attack that we’re beginning to see is going to be the insider attack”. At least 51 coalition troops have been killed in such assaults this year - about 15 per cent of all NATO deaths - and the top ISAF general has described them as ‘the signature attack’ of the Afghan war. The scale of the insider assaults is unprecedented in modern warfare, and has seriously undermined trust between NATO coalition forces and their Afghan allies in the joint effort against Taliban insurgents. Asked if he could explain the increase in such treacherous attacks, the general replied “Well, I’m mad as hell about them, to be honest with you. We’re going to go after this. It reverberates everywhere across the United States.” The murder will continue, predicted Allen. “The enemy the army.” “There are many groups that have Al-Qaeda members. We can’t do this without them,” the Taliban commander said. Besides teaching The top US commander in Afghanistan has said that the situation in Afghanistan is better than it was, but more needed to be done about the sanctuaries in Pakistan. In an interview with CBS Television on Sunday, General John Allen maintained that the sanctuaries are a policy issue between the US and Pakistani governments to work out. “I’m not going to be able to wage war in Pakistan,” the general added. Responding to a question, Gen Allen said he is ‘mad as hell’ about insider attacks in Afghanistan following a firefight between NATO troops and their Afghan allies that killed five people in the latest incident. ISAF commander General John Allen told CBS that insider attacks were unacceptable. “I’m mad as hell about them, to be honest with you,” he said. “We’re willing to sacrifice a responsibility to correct them. But he was disappointed with the fact that Pakistan is still a sanctuary for foreign fighters 11 years after 9/11. He further said Arabs and Chechens are present on the Afghan battlefield, still able to kill US and Afghan soldiers. “Name them Al-Qaeda, name them Haqqani, name them Taliban. They’re still there,” he added. “I know that a lot of innocent people die every day. The question is what have we done wrong that they are still able to hurt and damage people?... That is the question that I have engaged with the United States almost daily.” Gen Allen said the situation in Afghanistan is better than it was, but more needs to be done about the sanctuaries in Pakistan. “The relationship that we have between ISAF forces and the Pakistani military has improved dramatically.”

recognises this as a vulnerability,” he said. The Taliban claim to be behind the attacks. One of its commanders told CBS “These are Taliban attacks. This is part of our new military strategy; we have people in the Afghan police and

them to make IEDs, he said they are weapons experts. “When our weapons break, they are the ones who repair them.” Talking to the CBS, Afghan President Hamid Karzai said that he is saddened by these attacks and takes

Saarc international I Thursday 04 October 2012

PPP stands by dual national voters’
Judiciary has a double standard, Bilawal
the people of Pakistan have sacrificed for a shining democratic future, adding that legislation was in progress for the rights of minorities. The PPP chairman also talked about the welfare projects in the country including the Benazir Income Support Programme. is strong, growing, and laying the groundwork for a very different nation than the country has ever known, he added. “We have restored the supremacy of parliament, stripped our constitution of the illegal powers usurped by loses hope in Pakistan.” He said, “Where (ex-president Pervez) Musharraf treated the people of Balochistan as enemies of the state, we see them as an integral part of our state of Pakistan.” The share of the Balochistan in the new NFC, he right of vote and to contest the general elections. Appreciating the contribution of the Pakistanis living abroad, he said, he knew their feelings as he had been forced to live in exile himself along with his mother Benazir Bhutto. Most



Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has said that Pakistani judiciary has adopted double standard for provision of justice. According to a BBC on Sunday, Bilawal while addressing a party convention in New York accused Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry of dealing the case of his son with a different method. He warned that if judiciary will not reform itself then people of Pakistan will bring reforms in the judiciary. “We believe in free and independent judiciary,” he said. Talking about war against terrorism he said that government of Pakistan People’s Party was fighting this war own its terms. Commenting on Balochistan, Billawal said that situation is grim there as people are missing and mothers are receiving dead bodies of their sons. But he expressed the hope that this bloodshed will not last long. Bilawal said that an army dictator is responsible for the insurgency in Balochistan and extradition of people during dictator’s regime was unlawful. “Pakistan People’s Party freed Pakistan from the unconstitutional acts of Musharraf regime and restored the constitution to its actual form of 1973,” he said. He said establishment of an independent Chief Election Commissioner was a great achievement of the PPP and their government has succeeded in establishing the democratic norms in a period of less than five years. He said

Our Special Correspondent from New York: Two groups of PPP activists fought bitterly and some were injured in the brawl as Bilawal, clad in traditional Pakistani dress – shalwar Kameez, was waiting in an adjoining room for the event to start. The young PPP chairman called in the heads of those groups who then helped in restoring order. Accompanied by his sister Bakhtawar Bhutto Zardari, he spoke in English to the gathering of PPP supporters in the spacious hall of Soundview Broadcating, a modern Pakistani-owned facility for launching international ethnic television channels in US and Canada. Bilawal said Pakistan has been transformed from a dictatorship into a democracy. Democracy in Pakistan

military dictators and nourished a thriving civil society, (with) one of the freest presses in the world,” he told the International Convention of PPP, organised by PPP-USA in Queens, a borough of New York City. Pledging to address the genuine grievances of smaller provinces, the PPP chairman said that the present government was doing its best to resolve the problems of Baloch people democratically “as we see them as an integral part of our state of Pakistan”. “We have stopped living in denial, and we cannot let the province bleed the way it has and taken historic measures to address the underlying causes of the challenges in Balochistan... With every missing person and with every dead body, we realise, a Baloch family

added, has been more than 95 billion rupees as opposed to less than 40 billion rupees before our government took power. Bilawal said the PPP has always, and will always, stand by oversees Pakistanis and committed to insuring right to vote to them in elections. “We are committed to the idea that dual-nationals should be able to participate in all our country’s civic matters, and that includes the right to contest elections,” he told his party supporters. In a thinly veiled reference to the Supreme Court judges, he said no unelected people have the right to question the loyalty of anyone elected by the people of Pakistan; therefore the expatriates should be given the

Pakistanis, he said, were first forced into exile during country’s darkest dictatorship in the 1980s. Under the PPP government, overseas remittances had increased from $6 billion, from when it replaced Musharraf’s dictatorship, to almost $13 billion under the democratic government. He said the PPP was transforming Pakistan and building its future. President Azad Jammu and Kashmir Sardar Muhammad Yaqoob, President PPP USA Shafqat Tanveer and a PPP activist Sarwar Chaudhry were among those who spoke on the occasion. Bilawal was also given “Voice of Democracy” award by the PPP-USA for his efforts in promoting democracy.

Secretary-General of Syria’s ruling Baath party Fayez Ezzeddin blasted Qatari Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani for implementing US plots in the region, and disclosed that certain Arab regimes plot to disintegrate Syria into 6 tiny emirates. Addressing the recent UN General Assembly meeting in New York, the Qatari Emir called on Arab nations to form a political and military coalition to intervene in Syria, posing a direct challenge to UN efforts to resolve the conflict through negotiations. “Such proposals and plots cannot be assumed as insistence but they should be seen as orders given by the US to Qatar,” Ezzeddin told FNA on Tuesday. Noting that the US and other enemies of Syria have told the Arab regimes to do whatever they can to prevent Damascus victory against foreign intervention and unrests in the country, he said, “They are making every effort to annihilate

Dadabhai Naoroji Awards Arab Regimes Plotting to Disintegrate Syria into 6 Emirates Leicester Political Trailblazers
Leicester City Liberal Democrats have received the prestigious Dadabhai Naoroji Award at the National Party Conference in Brighton last week. It is the first time the award has been presented in commemoration of Naoroji’s historic achievements of which there were many. In India he laid the foundations of the Indian National Congress and was elected its President in 1886. If that was not enough, he then made political history by becoming the first British Asian Member of Parliament at the grand old age of 67, serving until 1895. Naoroji was helped by Mahatma Gandhi and Muhammad Ali Jinnah who both played an active role in his election campaign. Later he advised and guided them, as they went on to become the founders of modern India and Pakistan. The momentous achievements of Naoroji were used as the inspiration behind setting up this award. Originated by the Ethnic Minority Liberal Democrats, it was open to several hundred local party groups across England, Scotland and Wales. It was presented to the local party that best demonstrated a record of achievement in promoting diversity through ethnic minority representation across its ranks. Chair of Leicester City Liberal Democrats, Parmjit Singh Gill, a former city councillor and MP, said in receiving the award: Naoroji was elected as a Liberal in Finsbury Central in 1892 and it’s a great honour to be receiving this prestigious award in his memory. It’s a fantastic achievement not just for Leicester Liberal Democrats but also for the city, reflecting the strength of diversity that exists in its many quarters.

Syria to disintegrate it into 6 tiny countries or emirates.” “This is the Greater Middle-East that the US and the Zionist regime wanted to create in the region, and certain Arab regimes have been tasked with exercising this plot and have turned into a tool in the hands of the US,” Ezzeddin said. Qatari and Saudi rulers want an overthrow of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, a staunch ally of Iran, and they have taken every measure to this end.

EMLD Vice Chair and the initiator of the award Councillor Rabi Martins of Watford said: Liberal Democrats should be the first choice Party for people from Britain’s Black and Asian Communities, but too often we do not do enough to reach them. This award is designed to encourage local Liberal Democrat Parties across the country to do more to engage with these groups in their constituencies. I hope to see even more competition for this unique award. Naoroji’s election victory was a significant political statement that only in Britain, with its profound sense of fairness, could there be an opportunity in the nineteenth century for an Indian to be elected to the British Parliament. However, as BME political under-representation remains a perennial problem within the Party, let’s hope that this award will help not only the Liberal Democrats, but all political parties to address the woeful under-representation of BME MPs. Francine Fernandes


International Republican Institute Not “Promoting Democracy”
Mark Weisbrot
The Guardian Unlimited, January 31, 2012 I have to laugh when I see the International Republican Institute (IRI) described by the international media as an organization that “promote[s] democracy” (NPR). The IRI is in the news lately because Egypt’s military government has put some of its members on a “no-fly” list and thereby trapped them in the country, facing investigation and possible trial. I am wondering just how credulous these journalists and editors are. If I were to describe the Center for Economic and Policy Research as “a magical organization that transforms scrap metal into gold,” would that become CEPR’s standard description in the news? The IRI is an international arm of the U.S. Republican Party, so anyone with the stomach to watch the Republican presidential debates might doubt whether this is a “democracy-promotion” organization. But a look at some of their recent adventures is enough to set the record straight: in 2004, the IRI played a major role in overthrowing the democratically elected government of Haiti. In 2002, the head of the IRI publicly celebrated the short-lived military coup that overthrew the democratically elected government of Venezuela. The IRI was also working with organizations and individuals that were involved in the coup. In 2005, the IRI was involved in an effort to promote changes in Brazil’s electoral laws that would weaken the governing Workers’ Party of then President Lula da Silva. Most recently, in 2009 there was a military coup against the democratically elected government of Honduras. The Obama administration did everything it could to help the coup succeed, and supported “elections” in November of 2009 to legitimize the coup government. The rest of the world, including even the Organization of American States (OAS) – with pressure from South American democracies – refused to send observers. This was because of the political repression during the campaign period: police violence, raiding of independent media, and the forced exile of political opponents – including the country’s democratically elected president. But the IRI and the National Democratic Institute (NDI) – its Democratic Party-linked counterpart – went there to legitimize the “election.” But don’t take my word for why they chose to participate. Here is what the USAID, part of the U.S. State Department and the major funder of IRI and NDI activities, had to say about their role [PDF] in Honduras: “The absence of the OAS and other recognized international observation groups made NDI and IRI’s assessment/observation processes more meaningful in the eyes of the international community. The recognition of a free, fair and transparent electoral process provided a strong argument to support the new government. . . . The international “assessment” conducted by NDI and the “observation” conducted by IRI, even if they did not fulfill accepted standards, partially achieved the sought-after impact.” Who knows what the IRI is doing in Egypt? But we know what the U.S. government has done there: supported a brutal dictatorship for decades right up to the point where mass protests made it clear that Washington could not stop Mubarak’s ouster by a real, popular, democratic movement last year. The IRI and NDI are core grantees of the National Endowment for Democracy, an organization that conducts activities “much of [which]” the “CIA used to fund covertly,” as the Washington Post reported when the Endowment was being created in the early ‘80s. These organizations will sometimes support democracy but often do not, or are even against it. This is not because they are inherently evil, but because of the position of the United States in the world. The United States government, more than any other in the world, is running an empire. By their nature, empires are about power and control over other people in distant lands. These goals will generally conflict with many people’s aspirations for democracy and national self-determination. Nowhere is this more obvious than in the Middle East, where the U.S. government’s policy of collaboration with Israel’s denial of Palestinian national rights has put it at odds with populations throughout the region. As a result, Washington fears democracy in many countries because it will inevitably lead to more governments taking the side of the Palestinians, and opposing other U.S. ambitions in the region, such as its desire for military bases and alliances. Even in Iraq, where Washington brags about toppling a dictatorship, the people had to fight the occupying authorities for


South Asia Tribune I Thursday 04 October 2012

A New Offense to Prophet (pbuh): Spanish Magazine Publishes Provocative Cartoon
Local Editor In a new insult to our holy prophet Mohammad (pbuh), a Spanish magazine published a cartoon of the messenger on its cover. Political satire magazine, El Jueves’s edition, which hit Spanish newsstands on Wednesday, shows several Muslims in a police lineup under the title “But...does anyone know what Mohammad looks like?” In comments to the Huffington Post, editor Mayte Quilez said it was a decision to take a “humorous position on a contentious issue.” “If you can’t depict Mohammad, how do you know it is him in the cartoons?” the editor asked provocatively. Last week, French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo published cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad soon after protests against an offensive film made in the United. The Spanish Embassy on Wednesday sent a message to its citizens in Egypt asking for caution in the event of any backlash from the El Jueves cartoon but has

not said whether it will step up security in other Arab countries. “We’re still analysing what steps to take,” a foreign ministry source said.

the right to hold national elections, and then to kick U.S. troops out of the country. This creates a vicious cycle in which hated and often repressive governments are supportive of U.S. foreign policy, and these governments receive U.S. support, increasing regional animosity toward the United States. In some cases it also leads to terrorist attacks against U.S. institutions or citizens, which is then used by our leaders to justify long or endless wars (e.g. Iraq, Afghanistan). A poll of Arab public opinion by the University of Maryland and Zogby International, which included Egypt, asked respondents to “name two countries that are the biggest threat to you.” Eighty-eight percent named the United States, and 77 percent named Israel. Only nine percent chose Iran. Another ugly side effect of U .S .- g o ve rnme nt - s p o ns o re d “democracy-promotion” is that it helps governments that want to repress authentic, national, pro-democracy movements. Most of the repressive governments in the Middle East and North Africa have tried to de-legitimize their opponents with the taint of association with Washington, in most cases falsely. In Egypt before the raids on foreign organizations, the government arrested youth activists associated with the April 6th movement, and other activists. Here in Washington, there seems to be little awareness that “prodemocracy” groups funded by the U.S. government might have a credibility problem in most of the world. But this is true even when these groups aren’t actively opposing democracy. Their funding would be a good target for budget cuts. Mark Weisbrot is co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, in Washington, D.C. He is also president of Just Foreign Policy.

The World Bank that agreed anew to fund Padma bridge construction is not joining the meeting of the co-financiers on Monday. The local office of the World Bank said about the postponement but did not cite any reason. They said they would inform about the visit later on. The mission was scheduled to hold a series of discussions with the government officials including officials of the ministry of finance and Anti-Corruption Commission. The fate of the Padma Bridge depends on the WB mission’s visit to Dhaka.

WB mission postpones Dhaka visit
two other missions of co-financers---the Asian Development Bank and Japan International Cooperation Agency. The World Bank on Wednesday said the government must meet the agreed conditions to get $1.2 billion loan for the project that has been mired in alleged corruption. It wanted the government to ‘appoint a special inquiry and prosecution team within the Anti-Corruption Commission’ to handle the investigation. The World Bank insisted on the government’s allowing ‘access to all investigative information

The Bank, earlier, decided to revive its $1.2 billion loan which had been cancelled in late June on allegation of corruption. The WB mission was scheduled to be joined by

of an external panel of internationally recognised experts who will advise the World Bank and the co-financiers on the credibility of the government’s investigations.’ Meanwhile, officials of the ADB and the JICA met with finance minister AMA Muhith on Sunday at his residence. The prim e minister’s international affairs adviser Gowher Rizvi and economic relations division officials were present in the meeting. Officials said the meeting mainly discussed the matters relating to the scheduled visit of the WB mission.

South Asia Tribune I Thursday 04 October 2012

Fata Secretariat for ban on PTI rally
American rights group arrives in Pakistan to participate in PTI peace rally
The political administration informed the authorities concerned of its concerns regarding the rally and law and order situation. It said that the rally would bring bad name to Pakistan if any untoward incident occurred in the restive tribal region. The administration said that law and order situation was not favorable for the PTI rally. Earlier, the PTI complained that the government was trying to create hurdles and the government would be responsible in case of any unpleasant situation. Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan on Sunday said that three tribes of Waziristan had shown their willingness to welcome his party’s peace rally in the region and a 30-member delegation from the US had reached Islamabad to participate in the rally. Ignoring a travel warning issued by the U.S. State Department for Pakistan, a 30-member U.S. civil society delegation has reached Islamabad to participate in the rally organised by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) on October 7 to protest against drone strikes. PTI chief Imran Khan said the delegation, which includes civil society members and parents of U.S. Army soldiers, would march with the PTI to South Waziristan, report . Anne Wright, a former U.S. Army colonel and former U.S. ambassador, will lead the delegation. Wright had resigned from the Army when U.S. started its war against Iraq in 2003. She is now an anti-war activist and a member of the U.S. civil society organisation working for peace in the world. “We came from U.S. for this historic march against drone attacks. We also went the places in U.S. from where the drones are operated and we registered our protest. We are also protesting U.S. war policies and we are telling you that American people are also against these attacks,” she said. Wright said U.S. is violating the sovereignty of Pakistan by carrying out drone strikes. “We believe that travel warning is issued because the U.S. government does not want us to see what they are doing. We believe the President of the US is killing innocent people in Pakistan, that is wrong,” Wright said. She said the U.S. Federal court has recently asked CIA to inform about drone programme in Pakistan but they simply refused to tell anything.

Three tribes ready to welcome PTI rally in Waziristan: Imran



The Hakim-ullah Mahsud-led Tehrike Taliban Pakistan (TTP) has reportedly conveyed to the central leadership of the Pakistan Tehreeke Insaf (PTI) it would not make any attempt to disrupt their scheduled peace march to Kotkai town in South Waziristan and was even ready to provide it security if need be. However, senior officials in Peshawar said that the government was still reluctant to allow the PTI rally in the volatile South Waziristan tribal region. The TTP commanders felt that since Imran Khan and his supporters were coming to their area to highlight the hardships and miseries of the tribe’s people in general and the

Mahsuds in particular, therefore, it was their responsibility to welcome and protect them. “What Imran Khan and his party are doing today should have been done by the Pakhtun politicians and religious leaders hailing from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and tribal areas,” a senior TTP leader argued. The Fata Secretariat has recommended imposing a ban on the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) peace march in Waziristan. The recommendations, made over security situation, have been forwarded to the federal government. The political administration has conveyed its reservations over the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) proposed

Waziristan rally to the FATA secretariat, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Governor Masud Kausar and Interior Minister Rehman Malik.

Protest against Karachi Target Killings Friends of Liyari UK

Organised by Friends of Lyari International, Karachi City Alliance and Pakistan Democratic Alliance Habib Jan and Tariq Mehmood, Mohammad Khan,Mirza Aftab, Nasir Ali, Mustafa

Baloch, Ali Khan, demonstration held at 10 Downing Street London on 30th,September. v Later Habib Jan and representatives submitted a petition to the Prime

Minister office . Asked the British Prime minister to order investigation into MQM activities from UK and alleged that MQM leader Altaf Hussain is behind these Killings and should be prosecuted in UK,

Protestors also demanded and alleged that the involvement MQM leader Altaf Hussain and others British citizens in partisan politics is a gross interference in the internal affairs of Pakistan.


Celeb Spotting: GQ Men Of The Year Awards 2012


Saarc international I Thursday 04 October 2012

The event was ‘GQ Men Of The Year Awards’. A galaxy of stars from different walks of life graced the GQ Men of The Year Awards 2012 held over the weekend in Mumbai. We bring you the best and worst dressed celebrities from the fashionable event. At the red carpet were present many Bollywood celebs like Kalki Koechlin with husband Anurag Kashyap, Ajay Devgn with wife Kajol, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Dia Mirza, cricketer Rahul Dravid, Shazahn Padamsee, Mandira Bedi, Rahul Khanna, Jiah Khan, Anil Kapoor, Nargis Fakhri, Amitabh Bachchan, Vidya Balan, Deepika Padukone, Siddharth Mallya, John Abraham with Priya Runchal. Several other hot names from the film industry were spotted at the GQ Men of the Year Awards 2012, held at Hotel Grand Hyatt, in Mumbai! Though all the celebs looked starry, it was Deepika Padukone who stole the show in her red lace gown! When she was asked what her style statement is, the hot actress replied: “It’s about feeling special and wearing what you are comfortable in, and knowing what is in fashion!”

Amitabh Bachchan is the ultimate style icon of Bollywood. He looks smashing at the do.

Interesting colour selection...Neil Nitin Mukesh gets a thumb up for taking the risk. Though Vidya Balan is looking nice as usual in this Sabyasachi saree, but we are bored of seeing her in a saree at every event.

Kajol completely failed to impress with her flared silk dress and chunky heels.

Rahul Dravid in a simple black suit looks awesome.

Shahid Kapoor looks smashing in this formal suit. He also bagged the The Ultimate GQ Man award.

Dressed in a lacy, bold red gown by Gaurav Gupta, Deepika Padukone gets a thumbs up from us.

John Abraham with his lady love Priya Runchal at the do.

Simple yet elegant, Konkona Sen Sharma looks stunning in a saree.

Anil Kapoor arrives at the GQ Men of The Year Aawards 2012.

Saarc international I Thursday 04 October 2012

World remembers Mahatma Gandhi
selling of his books is, of course, his autobiography which has sold 38.54 lakh copies in various languages including English, Malayalam, Tamil, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannad, Marathi, Telugu,” said Raval. In the small book, Hind Swaraj, Gandhi talks about the condition of Indian society and expresses his views on subjects as varied as the railways, doctors, Hindu-Muslim relations, education and machinery. More than a century after its first publication, it is still read, studied and discussed. Yet the Gujarati version of Hind Swaraj, which is currently priced at Rs10, sold only 2700 copies in the



Strains of his favourite ‘bhajans’ played and an all-religion prayer service was conducted as the nation’s

prayer conducted in memory of the father of the nation. The birth anniversary of Mahatma

the sales figures of even books on Mahatma Gandhi haven’t been able to match those of the autobiography

The Mind of Mahatma Gandhi by RK Prabhu and UR Rao gives an interesting insight into Gandhi’s thinking. But Navajivan Trust sold only 475 copies of the book in 201112 while the English translation of the autobiography sold 93,000 copies in the same period. Raval said that Gandhi’s books were sold largely through the sales counters at Sabarmati Ashram in Ahmedabad, Rajghat, Nehru Memorial and Gandhi Museum at New Delhi and other Gandhian institutions. “Most visitors buy the autobiography first. It has also been observed that books by Gandhiji such as Nature

President Pranab Mukherjee paying homage to Father of the Nation Mahatma Gandhi on the occasion of his 143rd birth anniversary at his memorial at Rajghat in New Delhi. leadership gathered Tuesday to remember the apostle of peace Mahatma Gandhi on his 143rd birth anniversary. While ceremonies were held across the country, President Pranab Mukherjee, Vice President Hamid Ansari, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Congress president Sonia Gandhi and senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader L.K. Advani were amongst those who gathered at Mahatma Gandhi’s memorial Raj Ghat to pay tribute. Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde and Defence Minister A.K. Antony also paid floral tribute to the man who was instrumental in India’s peaceful freedom struggle. Mahatma Gandhi’s favourite ‘bhajans’ like “Raghupati Raghav Raja Ram” and “Vaishnav Jana To” were played and an all-religion Gandhi is celebrated as Gandhi Jayanti across the country. It is also marked as the International Day of Non-Violence. Gandhi, born this day in 1869 at Porbandar in Gujarat, was assassinated Jan 30, 1948. Gandhi’s birthday is also marked as the International Day of Non-Violence. which continues to be something of a bestseller. The sales figures of some key works of the Mahatma such as Hind Swaraj and India of My Dream as also for books on him like The Mind of Mahatma Gandhi, pale in comparison with those of the autobiography. Even Satyagraha in South Africa, considered by many to be the first part of his autobiography, has not done well in the market. Kapil Raval, trustee of Navajivan Trust which has the copyright on all the writings of Mahatma Gandhi, said that the autobiography had registered the highest sales among his books. “Gandhiji wrote prolifically and on a large number of subjects, from spirituality to naturopathy. But his books on these subjects attract only those who want to go deeper into his thought and philosophy. The highest year 2011-12 while the autobiography sold 29,000 copies in the same year in the Gujarati language alone. Cure, Key to Health and India of My Dreams, which deal with specific subjects, also sell well,” Raval said.

Flash floods and landslides kill 21 in Sikkim At least 21 bodies, including those of blocking the main road between
the ITBP and the BRO personnel, have so far been found while eight persons are still missing due to flash flood and landslides in remote areas of North Sikkim, official sources said on Sunday. The dead include four from the ITBP, two of their family members, and 12 junior officers from the BRO. Other victims were casual labourers, officials said. Most of the casualties are reported from Rangma range. Landslides were caused by heavy rains since September 19, deputy commissioner north district T W Khangsherpa said. There were about nine landslides

Gandhi the man still attracts, few takers for his ideas
The world’s fascination with the life of Mahatma Gandhi has continued to grow even as interest in his ideas has declined. This is the only explanation for the fact that while his autobiography, The Story of My Experiments with Truth,’ has sold over 38 lakh copies in various languages, his other books have not sold very well. In fact,

Chungthang and Mangan in the district, he said. Army and IAF personnel have started rescue operations in full swing. Several landslides blocked the main roads between Chungthang and Pegong. Houses along Lachen river between Rangma and Chungthang were washed away in flash floods along Lachen river. The state government has declared a state of alert along the establishments on the river banks right from Lachen, Lachung, Chungthang, Mangan, Dikchu, Singtam and Rangpo, a government press release said.


‘Monsters don’t get near “Thou shall not be found out.” Alleged victim ITV News of children. Nice men do’. alleged attack bytells Jimmy Savile Sir
Jimmy Savile rape claim prompts Met to consider investigation


Saarc international I Thursday 04 October 2012


Dee Coles with Jimmy Savile, right, when Coles was 14. Photograph: ITV News
BBC ‘horrified’ by Jimmy Savile abuse allegations Women give details of alleged abuse by Jim’ll Fix It star as ITV prepares to broadcast allegations Newsnight dropped. Two women have come forward with further allegations of sexual abuse by the late Sir Jimmy Savile, as the BBC said it was horrified by the claims and would assist any police investigation. Dee Coles who police officers. The police are understood to have advised that the best way forward was for the BBC to co-operate with their investigations, rather than launch its own inquiry.

I saw Jimmy Savile and Gary Glitter abuse under-age girls at BBC, says woman

‘Predator’ ... Jimmy Savile

Surrey police refer allegation to Scotland Yard after woman tells officers she was attacked by presenter in London in the 1970s Deborah Cogger, 52, broke a 38-year silence to declare: “Savile was a pervert, a dangerous sexual predator.” Reports the Sun. Another woman said Savile was present when a girl was raped in his dressing room. Sickened Deborah revealed how TV icon Savile groped and kissed her — after meeting her at a children’s home. Deborah was just 14 when the cigarsmoking BBC star visited the residential school for vulnerable teenage girls. Other pupils had already warned her not

Jim fooled us all into thinking

Scotland Yard said a formal investigation had not yet been opened, but “as with all allegations as serious as this, it will be reviewed and assessed”. The Daily Mail reported on Monday that three women had come forward to claim they were raped by Savile when they were teenagers. Surrey police confirmed publicly for the first time on Monday that Savile was interviewed under caution about allegations of sexual abuse in 2007, but no charges were ever brought. The BBC said in a statement: “These are serious and disturbing new allegations about which we understand the police have been informed. We will, of course, assist the police in every way we can.”

to get too close to the Top of the Pops and Jim’ll Fix It presenter. The Metropolitan police are looking into an allegation of rape against Sir Jimmy Savile, after a woman told detectives she was attacked by the TV presenter in London in the 1970s. The woman reported the allegation to police on Monday as fresh sexual assault claims against Savile were reported in the media ahead of an ITV1 documentary about the subject. The BBC is also facing mounting pressure to launch an internal inquiry into why executives decided to halt a Newsnight investigation into Savile after the death of the former Top of the Pops and Jim’ll Fix It presenter last year. Surrey police confirmed it had referred a historic allegation of rape against Savile to the Met because it was said to have taken place in London. A spokeswoman for Surrey police said: “A woman yesterday reported a historic allegation of rape. The alleged offence occurred in London, therefore the matter has been referred to the Metropolitan police.”

he was a saint. When I saw the truth, I wept : Esther raNtzen

Seventies Girl: “Saint Jimmy Savile Fixed it For Me to Meet Gary Glitter”

Sir Jimmy Savile once defended Gary Glitter saying he did “nothing wrong” when he downloaded thousands of child pornography

Glitter was jailed for four months in 1999 for downloading 4,000 images of children and then deported from Vietnam for assaulting two girls aged 10 and 11 in 2008. Pauline D , who was 12 in 1974 was ecstatic to be on the Jim’ll Fix It show where Savile would grant a wish to the participants of the children’s show. “First Jim Fixed me, then Gary Fixed me, all the while the BBC turned a blind eye to what they were doing,” a distraught Ms Dimmock, told the Daily Mail. “The next day I saw the Queen giving him an O.B.E and all the other medals,” Ms. Dimmock added. Sir Jimmy Savile, who died in 2011 was buried as a hero of the British people for his work in charity, and yet many who were touched by the monster know very well of the horror he doled out to thousands of children. “He was laughing all the way to his grave, protected by the BBC and funded by the TV License, his evil lascivious exploits swept under the carpet of time, as the victims have to live the rest of their lives broken and tortured by the memories of his abuse. Rest in peace Jimmy Savile, or as the BBC calls him, Saint Jimmy. The cowards only dared bring to light the full horror of Savile’s crimes until after his death,” an ex TV license payer told BBC’s Newsnight last night. ChildLine founder Esther Rantzen, who worked for the BBC during the 1970s, told the programme that she now believes Sir Jimmy sexually abused under-age girls, after seeing the fresh evidence from their interviews. ”We all blocked our ears to the gossip…We made him into the Jimmy Savile who was untouchable, who nobody could criticise. Jim’ll Fix It was for children. He was a

Corporation under pressure after

alleges that the Jim’ll Fix It host sexually abused her and another girl 40 years ago in his camper van when she was on holiday in Jersey. One alleged victim waived her anonymity to describe how she and a friend were allegedly molested by the Jim’ll Fix It star in the 1970s when they were 14. Dee Coles told ITV News that she and her friend were made to

victim says she first told her story to Newsnight team A woman has claimed she saw Sir Jimmy Savile and the glam rocker Gary Glitter both sexually abusing under-age girls at the same time in Savile’s dressing room at the BBC Television Centre. Karin Ward, who also says she was abused by another television star in the same room when she was 14,

images, it has been claimed. Sir Jimmy said the convicted paedophile just watched a few “dodgy films” and was only vilified because he was a celebrity.

sort of God-like figure. Everybody knew of the good that Jimmy did and what he did for children. And these children were powerless“, she said.

perform sex acts on Savile in a campervan when they were on holiday in Jersey. “He didn’t seem like a stranger. He was on our telly every Saturday night. It was exciting – with someone on TV,” said Coles. “How it made me feel at the time? Immense panic as soon as the door locked. Afterwards, it was shame.” Coles told ITV News she was ordered by Savile not to tell anyone what happened and that she stayed silent for 40 years fearing no one would believe her. At least six woman have now alleged that the late TV presenter Sir Jimmy Savile attacked them when they were young girls. Some of the allegations will be aired in a new ITV1 Documentary, Exposure: The Other Side of Jimmy Savile, which will be broadcast on Wednesday evening. George Entwistle, the new BBC director-general, is understood to have taken the decision to involve the internal investigations unit following discussions with senior

waived her anonymity yesterday to make the allegations. She first told her story to a BBC Newsnight team but the report was never broadcast. Ms Ward has now been interviewed for an ITV documentary that will be screened tonight. In it, she says: “I told Newsnight that I saw Gary Glitter have sex with a girl in Jimmy Savile’s dressing room ? in that little alcove bit. I didn’t see it completely but that’s what was going on and nobody batted an eyelid. I also told them that I was horribly, horribly humiliated.” JIMMY Savile left behind a coded warning about his alleged child abuse, He was among celebs asked to contribute to a 1991 charity book called Over 500 Trouble-Saving Ideas From The Famous, The Efficient and The Wise. His weird entry suggested that if you sinned, the important thing was not to get caught. Entitled ‘The Eleventh Commandment’ his idea said only: “Thou shall not be found out.”

Saarc international I Thursday 04 October 2012

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President Asif Ali Zardari and MQM chief Altaf Hussain met in London and discussed the possibility of an alliance between the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) for the next general election. Zardari met Hussain during a stopover to London on way home after attending the UN General Assembly session in New York. Accompanied by Interior Minister Rehman Malik, Hussain said the two parties would constitute committees to explore ways of forging the alliance. He said if the central leadership of the two parties accepted each other’s points they could contest the next elections together. He said he had discussed with the president the local government system, development projects for rural and urban areas of Sindh, mass transit projects, devastation caused by floods and the electricity crisis. The MQM recently threatened to quit the ruling coalition if its ‘legitimate demands’ mainly relating to the local government were not met. But it withdrew its ultimatum after receiving an assurance from Zardari that its concerns would be addressed. After the main demand of the MQM was met — adoption by the provincial


Thursday, 04.10.12

Zardari, Altaf in talks to seal electoral alliance

Attack on Lt Gen Brar was planned in Germany:Report

Lt General Brar, who returned to India on Wednesday, was attacked by four men with a knife in London.

In the latest development in connection with the attack on Operation Blue Star hero Lt General KS Brar in London, sources have said that it was planned on June 6 in Germany. According to sources, the attack was planned at a meeting of radical Sikh outfits in Germany on the anniversary of Operation Blue Star. Sources further said that the plan was to attack the former army man in India itself. The prime suspect of the attack is Babbar Khalsa International member Wadhwa Singh. This came after the Union Home Ministry said that it was not informed about the travel plans of Lt General Brar to London. The explanation from

the Home Ministry came after allegations that the security of the Operation Blue Star hero was downgraded. Lt General Brar gets Z-category security at home, as he led Operation Blue Star in 1984. The Home Ministry and External Affairs Ministry are monitoring investigations and are awaiting a report from RAW. The MHA has been in constant touch with the Indian High Commission and other officials in London. Lt General Brar, who returned to India on Wednesday, was attacked by four men with a knife in London. He recieved minor injuries and claimed it was an assassination bid. “There were lot of hate messages on

net, there were online threats against me. There were pledges to kill me,” Brar had said. Lieutenant General Kuldeep Singh Brar, 78, was set upon by four men and slashed in the neck as he walked with his wife near Oxford Street on Sunday. He was treated in a London hospital and released. London’s Metropolitan Police force said it was treating the attack as attempted murder and appealed for witnesses. Police said they had not established a motive for the stabbing. S.M. Krishna – India’s external minister, who is in New York – told reporters that the Indian government would work with British authorities to investigate the attack.

assembly of the local government bill — Hussain said that the two parties might forge an electoral alliance. Hussian said Zardari would soon give some positive news to the nation about resolving the energy crisis. He said the president had assured him that he would soon hold a meeting with security officials on the law and order situation in Karachi to work out a plan to restore peace in the city. He said he had told the president that the issue could not be resolved by artificial measures; effective steps would have to be taken for the purpose. He said the issue of missing persons could be resolved only with improvement in the situation in Balochistan. The two leaders greeted each other on the passing of the local government ordinance and said it was an important step towards transferring power to the grassroots level. Zardari and Hussain agreed that their parties would continue to cooperate and work together for strengthening democracy in the country. They agreed that confrontation among state institutions was not in the interest of the country and democratic system. The institutions must work within their framework and show consideration for each other.



Saarc international I Thursday 04 October 2012

Photo deemed offensive to Islam sparks riots, temple burning in Bangladesh Tens of thousands of rioters left a trail of destruction in southeastern Bangladesh as they torched Buddhist temples and homes near the town of Ramu. The violence was sparked by a photo posted on Facebook that allegedly insulted Islam. The rioters claimed the photo allegedly defaming the Quran was uploaded on Facebook by a young Buddhist man from the area, district administrator Joinul Bari said. ¬A 25,000-strong mob set fire to at least five temples and dozens of homes throughout the town and surrounding villages after seeing the picture, which they claimed was posted by Uttam Barua, a local Buddhist man, report . The group chanted “God is Great” while setting fire to the centuriesold temples. “I have seen 11 wooden temples, two of them 300 years old, torched by the mob. They looted precious items and Buddha statues from the temples. Shops owned by Buddhists were also looted,” local journalist Sunil Barua said. Security forces were deployed to contain the uprising: “At least 100 houses were damaged. We called in army and border guards to quell the violence,” district administrator Joinul Bari said. No casualties were reported, and authorities did not confirm whether a human chain in the country’s capital of Dhaka. Bangladeshi Home Minister Mohiuddin Khan Alamgir said

25,000 radical Muslim rioters torch Buddhist temples, homes in Bangladesh
“The attack was conducted in a coordinated manner. Temples and houses were set on fire using patrol and gun powder. It would have The government will provide financial assistance for reconstruction of the damaged houses and temple, Alamgir said. Before launching their attacks, Muslims publicly rallied against the picture and called for Barua’s arrest. However, several Facebook users said that Barua did not post the photo, and that he was linked to the photo after group called ‘Insult Allah’ tagged his name on the image. Religious tensions on the rise Buddhists make up less than one percent of Bangladesh’s population, and sectarian clashes between they and the country’s Muslim majority are rare. Tensions between the communities have risen since June, when deadly clashes erupted between Buddhists and Muslim Rohingya in nearby Myanmar. Thousands of Muslims also took to the streets across Bangladesh over the past few weeks in protest against a US-made video and French cartoons that mock the Prophet Muhammad. On Saturday, tens of thousands of activists from the Islamist group Jamiyat-e-Hizbullah protested the video and cartoons near the national mosque in Dhaka.

police arrested any of the rioters. Buddhist monks protested against the attacks on Sunday, forming

the attacks were preplanned, and vowed to bring the perpetrators to justice.

been impossible if the attacks were not planned,” he told Bangladesh’s Bdnews24.

Flood woes unabated
Pakistan floods kill more than 400 affect 4.47 million
Floods resulting from monsoon rains have killed more than 400 people and affected another 4.5 million across Pakistan. For the third year in a row, Pakistan has been wracked by floods, leaving thousands displaced. This year, the death toll has reached some 400 people and more than 15,000 villages have been affected. The brunt of the devastation has hit Sindh and Balochistan, with some 2.8 million people displaced in Sindh alone and more than 700,000 left without shelter, food and relief in Balochistan. Considering that monsoon flooding is nothing new for Pakistan, a country that has experienced some of the worst floods in its history from 2010 onwards and that the monsoon season hit the nation relatively late this year, one is left wondering if there is anyone is suffering from donor fatigue, unable to pledge much money and aid for relief. So far, the EU has offered 15 million Euros extra funding to help rehabilitate the flood victims. Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf has promised Rs 2 billion for Sindh and Rs 2.6 billion to overcome the challenges faced by flood victims in Balochistan. The government is expected to do more than just pledge its support to flood victims by actually using all its available resources to prevent such large-scale human disasters. Crops have been badly affected, with rice fields inundated in Sindh. There will likely be a huge increase in food prices in the coming months, thus further increasing the plight of those hit hard by the floods. It is time the NDMA does its job instead of remaining an empty vessel with even emptier promises.

at the helm of affairs actually doing their job where disaster management is concerned. While this year’s floods are in no way as catastrophic as those that hit the country in 2010, killing more than 1,800 people, what makes the recent deluge decidedly worse is the fact that the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) had plenty of time to

take precautionary measures and failed to do its job. The NDMA could have made the necessary arrangements for timely evacuations, water diversion and relief assistance for the many hapless people who have now been left without a roof over their heads, food, medicine or any other form of help. To add to the many woes of the flood

affected, the government still has to live up to its promise of providing adequate relief to the many victims of the floods of two years ago. The NDMA has proved to be a disaster when it comes to planning ahead and dealing with this anticipated natural disaster. The international community is not rushing to our aid as, in these recessionary dark days, the whole world

Saarc international I Thursday 04 October 2012



With surge of US troops over & Taliban still a potent threat, American generals and civilian officials acknowledge that they have all but written off what was once one of cornerstones of their strategy to end war here: battering Taliban into a peace deal. The once ambitious American plans for ending the war are now being replaced by the far more modest goal of setting the stage for the Afghans to work out a deal among themselves in the years after most Western forces depart, and to ensure Pakistan is on board with any eventual settlement. Military and diplomatic officials here and in Washington said that despite attempts to engage directly with Taliban leaders this year, they now expect that any significant progress will come only after 2014, once the bulk of NATO troops have left. “I don’t see it happening in the next couple years,” said a senior coalition officer. He and a number of other officials spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the delicacy of the effort to open talks. “It’s a very resilient enemy, and I’m not going to tell you it’s not,” the officer said. “It will be a constant battle, and it will be for years.” The failure to broker meaningful talks with the Taliban underscores the fragility of the gains claimed during the surge of American troops ordered by President Obama in 2009. The 30,000 extra troops won back territory held by the Taliban, but by nearly all estimates failed to deal a crippling blow. Critics of the Obama administration say the United States also weakened its own hand by agreeing to the 2014

US abandoning hopes for Taliban peace deal
deadline for its own involvement in combat operations, voluntarily ceding the prize the Taliban has been seeking for over a decade. The The United States has not given up on talks before that time. It agreed last month to set up a committee with Pakistan that would vet said. “We never know whether they will see it through.” The American shift toward a more peripheral role in peace efforts

the presidential election, most likely leaving too little time to reach a deal before 2014, some current and former American officials said. In Washington, “the tone of the whole discussion has shifted to a less U.S.-led approach and toward a more Afghan-led approach, but one that will be over a longer term,” said Shamila N. Chaudhary, a South Asia analyst at the Eurasia Group who served as the director for Pakistan and Afghanistan at the National Security Council. The Americans still hope to play a behind-the-scenes role, she said, but what shape that would take is “not clear.” “It’s too far in the future,” Ms. Chaudhary added. Divisions between the Taliban’s political wing and its military commanders represent another obstacle to serious talks. When the discussions first became public, “the military wing of the Taliban was very critical,” said Syed Muhammad Akbar Agha, a former Taliban military commander who lives in Kabul. They were angry to have learned of the talks through President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan, who was the first official to speak of them publicly. The Taliban have long derided Mr. Karzai as an American puppet, and they have steadfastly refused to talk with his government. Then the Americans failed to make good on the prisoner swap, leaving the negotiators feeling betrayed, said Mr. Agha, who has played a tangential role in separate Afghan government efforts to open talks.

Obama administration defends the deadline as crucial to persuading the Afghan government and military to assume full responsibility for the country, and politically necessary for Americans weary of what has already become the country’s longest war. Among America’s commanding generals here, from Stanley A. McChrystal and David H. Petraeus to today’s John R. Allen, it has been an oft-repeated mantra that the United States is not going to kill its way out of Afghanistan. They said that the Afghanistan war, like most insurgencies, could only end with a negotiation. Now American officials say they have reduced their goals further — to patiently laying the groundwork for eventual peace talks after they leave. American officials say they hope that the Taliban will find the Afghan Army a more formidable adversary than they expect and be compelled, in the years after NATO withdraws, to come to terms with what they now dismiss as a “puppet” government.

potential new Taliban interlocutors, and the Obama administration is considering whether to revive a proposed prisoner swap with the insurgents that would, officials hope, reopen preliminary discussions that collapsed in March, current and former American officials said. Those are both seen as long-term efforts, however. With the end of this year’s fighting season, the Taliban have weathered the biggest push the American-led coalition is going to make against them. A third of all American forces left by this month, and more of the 68,000 remaining may leave next year, with the goal that only a residual force of trainers and special operations troops will remain by the end of 2014. Bringing Pakistan into the search for Taliban contacts is also an uncertain strategy, American officials said. The details of the new vetting committee have yet to be worked out, and “if we are depending on Pakistan, it comes with an asterisk,” one of the officials

represents another retreat from Washington’s once broad designs for Afghanistan, where the surge, along with a sharp escalation of nighttime raids by Special Operations Forces against Taliban field commanders, were partly aimed at forcing the Taliban into negotiations, making a Western withdrawal more feasible. For a brief moment, the strategy appeared to be working: preliminary talks, painstakingly set up throughout 2011, opened early this year in Qatar, in the Persian Gulf. The effort fell apart when the Obama administration, faced with bipartisan opposition in Washington, could not make good on a proposed prisoner swap, in which five Taliban leaders held at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, would have been exchanged for the sole American soldier held by the insurgents, Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl. The trade was to be an initial confidence-building measure that would lead to more serious talks. If it is revived by the Obama administration, it would come after

Suicide blast kill 3 NATO troops in eastern Afghanistan
At least three NATO service members were killed following a suicide bomb blast in eastern Afghanistan on Monday. NATO-led International Security Assistance Force following a statement announced, “Three International Security Assistance Force service members and an ISAF-contracted interpreter died following a suicide improvised explosive device attack in eastern Afghanistan today.” The source did not disclose further information regarding the exact location of the incident and nationalities of the deceased soldiers. Over 70 killed or injured following suicide blast in Khost More than 70 people were killed or injured following a deadly suicide bomb blast in eastern Khost province of Afghanistan early Monday morning. The incident took place around 9:00 am local time after a suicide bomber detonated explosives in a busy area at eastern Khost city

Heavy clashes among Afghan, NATO troops in Wardak

According to local authorities in Maidan Wardak province of Afghanistan, Afghan and coalition security forces clashes with each other at Syedabad district on Saturday evening. Provincial governor spokesman Shahidullah Shahid confirming the report said the incident took place took place later Saturday evening at Sesi arae in Syedabad district. Mr. Shahid did not disclose further information regarding the casualties as a result of the clashes however Gen. Dawlat Waziri deputy Afghan defense ministry spokesman said they are unaware

of the clashes. In the meantime a local official speaking on the condition of anonymity said at least 3 Afghan national army soldiers were killed. Coalition officials yet to comment regarding the report. US military deaths in the Afghan war have reached 2,000, a cold reminder of the human cost of an 11year-old conflict that garners little public interest at home as the United States prepares to withdraw most of its combat forces by the end of 2014. The toll has climbed steadily in recent months

with a spate of attacks by Afghan army and police against American and NATO troops, and questions about whether allied countries will achieve their aim of helping the Afghan government and its forces stand on their own after most foreign troops depart in little more than two years. A US official confirmed the latest death on Sunday, saying that an international service member killed in an apparent insider attack by Afghan forces in the east of the country late on Saturday was American. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the nationality of those killed had not been formally released. A civilian contractor with NATO and at least two Afghan soldiers also died in the attack, according to a coalition statement and Afghan provincial officials. The nationality of the civilian was not disclosed. At least 1,190 more coalition troops have also died in the Afghanistan war, according to iCasualties. org, an independent organization.



Saarc international I Thursday 04 October 2012


The next general election in Bangladesh would be inclusive with participation of all the political parties including opposition BNP, prime minister Sheikh Hasina said in New York on Sunday. Before leaving for home wrapping up a nine-day visit to New York to attend UN General Assembly session, she dismissed the possibility of holding another ‘February 15’ style election in Bangladesh. ‘People are the owners of their votes and the next government will be constituted according to their wishes, ‘she told the representatives of Bangla newspapers in the USA at a ‘Meet the Press’ hosted by Bangladesh mission in the UN at its office. The prime minister said Begum Zia’s demand for the restoration of the caretaker system for holding elections was totally contradictory with the position she had taken in

Next polls to be inclusive: PM
2007. ‘Our experience with the caretaker government system is not pleasant. ….Have you forgotten the activities of the caretaker government? Do you other parliamentary democracies of the world, said Hasina. The common people don’t want the caretaker system as they still remember its intimidation and Present among others were foreign minister Dipu Moni, ambassador atlarge M Ziauddin and Bangladesh’s permanent representative to UN Abul Momen. ‘We have proved that free, fair and neutral elections are possible in Bangladesh under an elected political government,’ said the prime minister. So far, she said, each of 5,185 elections held at different tiers under her government was conducted peacefully and fairly with huge participation of candidates and voters. Sheikh Hasina said, ‘We believe in people’s empowerment. That’s why we have amended the constitution prohibiting any undemocratic or military interference with democratic process.’ The prime minister said that the successes of her government

want to return to that situation?’ she asked. The next election in Bangladesh would be just like the elections in

torture, she said. She described the caretaker issue as a conspiracy to foil the country’s hard-earned democracy.

enormously outweighed a few failures. Hsina said her government achieved progress in basic areas of food production, macro economic stability, law and order maintenance and combating terrorism and militancy. Reiterating her government’s stance against corruption, Hasina claimed that corruption declined remarkably since her government took office which made it possible to achieve progress in various sectors of national economy. About journalist couple Sagar-Runi murder case, the prime minister said the delay in investigation was caused due to changing the investigating agency. She said that Rapid Action Battalion was now probing into the murders following a High Court directive.

Bangladesh studies Beijing seeks Dhaka’s support over island issue shipping service with India

Amid tension over maritime territorial disputes and sovereignty issues among East Asian countries, Beijing has sought Dhaka’s support in favour of its claim on Diaoyu Islands located to the northeast of China’s Taiwan Islands. Both Beijing and Tokyo have been claiming the ownership of the Diaoyu Islands and its affiliated islands having a landmass of about 5.69 square kilometres. Of them, Diaoyu Islands alone covers a landmass of about 3.91 sq kms. Japanese call it Senkaku Islands. Beijing’s call was made at a press briefing in Dhaka yesterday. Yang Zhaohui, political counsellor in the Chinese Embassy in Dhaka, said the Japanese government, disregarding the repeated and stern representations made by the Chinese side, openly took an illegal action of nationalising Diaoyu Islands on September 10, 2012. “This is an outright denial of the outcomes of the victory of the World Anti-Fascist War and poses a grave challenge to the post-war international order and the purposes and principles of the UN Charter,” he told the newsmen

at the embassy. Yang said Diaoyu Islands and its affiliated islands are legally and historically an inseparable part of the Chinese territories in the early years of Ming Dynasty (1368-1644 AD). But Japan occupied the territories following the China-Japan War in 1895, he added. Yang alleged that the US was encouraging Japan to openly take illegal actions of ‘nationalising’ Diaoyu Islands. If there is a war between China and Japan over the islands, USA would support Japan, he said. However, Shiro Sadoshima, Japanese ambassador to Bangladesh, in a press statement yesterday claimed that the Senkaku islands are an inherent part of the territory of Japan in light of historical facts and based upon international laws. The Senkaku Islands are under the valid control of the government of Japan, he added. Diplomatic sources said the recent spate of disputes in the South China Sea, the East China Sea, and the Sea of Japan is sending reverberations throughout

the region, apparently threatening to reignite instabilities. The Chinese embassy official said Japan in recent years had repeatedly taken unilateral measures concerning Diaoyu Islands. “The moves taken by Japan are totally illegal and invalid, which can in no way change the historical fact that Japan ‘stole’ the Diaoyu Islands from China and the fact that China has territorial sovereignty over them,” he said. China strongly urges Japan to immediately stop all activities that violate China’s territorial sovereignty, take concrete actions to correct its mistakes, and return to the track of resolving the dispute through negotiation, Yang told the press briefing. In reply to a question, Yang said the Chinese ambassador met Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina recently and sent a letter to the Bangladesh foreign ministry seeking Dhaka’s support to China. Zhang Lei, chief of political section of the Chinese Embassy in Dhaka, and another official We Wei were present.

A Bangladesh’s ministry of shipping (MoS) team has visited three ports in eastern coast of India to see whether implementation of a proposed coastal shipping service between the ports of the two countries is feasible. A similar team of the Indian shipping ministry is also scheduled to visit Chittagong and Mongla ports in Bangladesh with an identical purpose of weighing the impact of the proposal to hasten bilateral trade between the two neighbouring countries. “If the proposed coastal shipping service is implemented, the cost of freight and time of shipment of cargo between the two countries will come down significantly, giving a positive impact to bilateral trade,” Director General, Department of Shipping, Commodore Jobair Ahmad told the FE. In absence of the direct coastal service the cargo shipment between the two countries is carried via a third port like Singapore or Colombo, he said. Bangladesh mooted the proposal of introducing coastal shipping service between the countries in July this year during talks held in

Dhaka to renew an existing river protocol under the Inland Water Transit and Trade (PIWTT) until March 2014. India agreed to accept the proposal in principle and invited Bangladesh to conduct a feasibility study. Accordingly, a team of ministry of shipping has undertaken a study in the three Indian ports along the country’s eastern coast. The ports are Paradip in Orissa, Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh and Haldia in Paschimbanga state. The team led by Commodore Jubair Ahmed concluded a five-day tour to the three ports Thursday when it visited the Paradip port, the third leg of the visit. The team examined all the technical aspects including the number of ships to be operated on the routes, movement of small and medium-sized costal ships to be operated between Chittagong, Mongla ports in Bangladesh and the aforesaid ports in India. The relevant authorities in Bangladesh said that they had mooted the proposal as requested by Bangladeshi vessel owners and operators.

Saarc international I Thursday 04 October 2012




In his address to the United Nations General Assembly, the Prime Minister of Bhutan, Jigmi Y. Thinley, highlighted a range of challenges and areas of progress before the international community. He also affirmed his country’s intent to seek a seat on the United Nations Security Council. “As with most sessions of the General Assembly, we are sharing, yet again our common fears and frustrations in a world that is going wrong. We have no stories except fleeting moments, to fill our sinking hearts with hope in our near or distant future. Ours is a narrative of mounting challenges and doubts,” the Prime Minister told the 67th Assembly’s General Debate at UN Headquarters in New York. “Deep in our hearts, we know that our very survival on this fragile planet is under threat. Yet, we share no common vision and fail to think and act in concert and with faith. And so, we find ourselves being overwhelmed by the forces that our irresponsible and discordant actions have unleashed,”

At UN, Bhutan’s premier highlights world’s challenges and aims for Security Council seat
he added. “All that we have achieved individually, as nations, as regions and as a species, face the threat of loss and reversal. As we argue and falter, the world we have built is falling apart.” The Bhutanese leader cited climate change and its impact on ecosystems, the depletion of natural resources due to the growth in extractive industries, growing costs in food and energy, a rise in the number of conflicts as well as looming conflicts, economic insecurity, and a lack of respect for human rights as among the ills affecting the world. However, he noted, despite the slew of challenges on the international agenda, the realization that the world’s problems – be they economic, social, ecological or political – are interconnected has helped. “Although the United Nations has been a house of gloom in recent years, it does have its shining moments, projecting rays of hope,” he said, noting the Assembly’s past acceptance of well-being and happiness as a developmental goal “binding all of humanity with a common vision and

pursuit – that it should bring about a holistic, sustainable and inclusive approach to development.” The small Himalayan kingdom has introduced a new measurement of national prosperity, focussing on people’s well-being rather than economic productivity – in recent years, there has been growing interest in this concept, known as ‘gross national happiness.’ In 2011, the General Assembly adopted a resolution, sometimes referred to as the ‘happiness resolution,’ which noted, inter alia, that the traditional gross domestic product indicator “does not adequately reflect

the happiness and well-being of people in a country.” That Assembly resolution led to Bhutan hosting a high-level meeting on the new economic paradigm at UN Headquarters in April, with hundreds of participants from governments, academia, civil society and religious bodies. The outcome of the conference also informed negotiations related to the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20), held in Brazil in June. Rio+20 was attended by some 100 world leaders, along with more than 40,000 representatives from non-

governmental organizations, the private sector and civil society, all seeking to help shape new policies to promote global prosperity, reduce poverty and advance social equity and environmental protection. At the end of the gathering, participants agreed on an outcome document which called for a wide range of actions, such as beginning the process to establish sustainable development goals (SDGs). Referring to the outcome document, Prime Minister Thinley noted that it “fell far short of what we ought to have achieved” with many people seeing it as a missed opportunity. “Not so my country and people who, with minimum expectations, came away with reason for hope. The agreement to develop universal sustainable development goals that would integrate the economic, environmental and social dimensions of development was a substantive outcome, consistent with the (General Assembly) resolution and the efforts that my own country is taking,” Prime Minister Thinley said.

Rising cases of Hepatitis B infection in Bhutan has become a major health concern. Last year alone, 744 Hepatitis B cases were reported, Jigme Dorji Wangchuk, a doctor at the National Referral Hospital here, said. The higher rate of detection was due to the increasing number of testing centres. But Bhutan also has Hepatitis A and C, The Bhutanese daily quoted Wangchuk as saying. Hepatitis B infection could lead to liver cirrhosis and cancer. The virus is spread through blood transfusion, unsafe sex or sharing of needles

Hepatitis B threat stalks Bhutan

contaminated by the virus. Tucked in the eastern Himalayas, Bhutan is bordered to the west, south and east by India and in the north by China. There is currently no government awareness campaign, but patients are provided free medical

treatment, the health ministry’s chief programme officer Tandin said last week. There is however less emphasis on testing Hepatitis C, which is more serious. About 95 percent of patients lead a normal life with treatment but the virus remains in the body. Bhutan, with a population of just over 650,000, launched Hepatitis B vaccine in 1997 after high prevalence of the disease came to light. Diseases like malaria, dengue and cholera are also widespread in the country.

Nearly a decade after they were flushed out from their wellentrenched camps in southern Bhutan, the Paresh Barua-led faction of the United Liberation Front of Asom (Ulfa) is making attempts to re-build its base in the densely-forested region, says an

Assam insurgents trying to ‘recreate’ base in south Bhutan
southern Bhutan with provisions to house about 3,500 insurgents. At present, there are two faction of the ULFA with Arabinda Rajkhowa leading one of the factions that is participating in negotiations with the government. Barua leads the faction that remains

The Prime Minister, Jigmi Y.Thinley began his official engagements in New York by meeting several heads of States and Governments and Foreign Ministers. Lyonchheon met with the President of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Gjorge Ivanov, the Prime Minister of Somalia, Abdiweli Mohamed Ali and President of the Republic of Albania, Bujar Nishani. He also met the Foreign Minister of Algeria, Mourad Medelci, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade of the Republic of Korea, Kim Sung-Hwan. Lyonchhoen discussed strengthening bilateral relations and potential

PM discusses potential areas of cooperation with foreign leaders in New York

areas of cooperation with them. Cooperation at the UN was among the topics that were discussed. The Prime Minister is currently in New York, leading the Bhutanese delegation, for the 67th Session of United Nations General Assembly.

The high-level segment of the General Debate opened today under the Presidency of Vuk Jeremic of Serbia. Lyonchhoen is scheduled to address the UN General Assembly on September 28.

assessment made by the intelligence agencies. The operation code-named ‘All Clear’ in 2003 had boosted India’s efforts to rein in insurgency in Assam. Royal Bhutanese Army (RBA) had conducted the operation with the ‘active’ help from the Indian Army. The RBA is relatively weak in this part of the Himalayan kingdom resulting in the Ulfa trying to reenter an area it is familiar with, besides the obvious advantages of geographical contiguity of the jungles and proximity to Assam. Till 2003, Ulfa, along with a few other insurgent groups from the northeast, had as many as 30 camps in the Samdrup Jhonkar area of

steadfastly opposed to any talks with the government unless sovereignty for Assam is also on the agenda. After Bhutan, the outfit’s next stronghold was in Bangladesh under the patronage of the Khaleda Zia government that ended in 2006. The pro-India Sheikh Hasina government arrested most top ULFA leaders and handed them over to Indian authorities in 2008 with Rajhowa being one of them. Barua controls hundreds of heavily armed fighters and shuttles between his camps in the China Myanmar border and in Myanmar’s Sagaing Division. Intelligence reports speak of his close connection with the Chinese spy agencies.



Saarc international I Thursday 04 October 2012

With ally-turned-rival Mamata Banerjee raising her anti-FDI pitch, PM Singh and Sonia Gandhi will address a rally at the Ramlila Ground on October 28 as part of campaign to explain the benefits of FDI in retail and other reform measures of UPA govt. The strident Congress pitch was evident when AICC spokesman Manish Tewari made light of Banerjee’s threat to bring a noconfidence motion against the government. “There comes a time in the life of every political party and politician when you have to evolve from an agitator to an administrator...from a street fighter to a statesman,” Tewari said. The new-found Congress aggression has been roundly backed by the Congress Working Committee (CWC), which unanimously

PM, Sonia to bat for FDI at Oct 28 rally
endorsed the government’s bid to roll out a slew of reforms to offset its image of policy paralysis. Tewari’s comment came in may discomfit the ruling party since even DMK in Chennai suggested it could vote against a resolution on FDI. after the exit of its largest partner recently. Even Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav, who rescued the government, refused to rule out backing a resolution against FDI. “Government is not in minority. If some of our partners have concerns, we will continue to provide them the empirical evidence to allay their apprehensions. Same cycle was witnessed during the IndoUS nuclear deal,” the Congress spokesperson said. In fact, he attributed the anger against FDI to inability of political leaders to adjust to the changing times. “At times when you break from the past, it is wrenching for some people,” Tewari said. Congress leaders said winter session of Parliament was still three months away and there was little evidence that allies would join

retaliation to Trinamool Congress’s dharna here where it attacked the Centre for allowing multinational companies in retail which, it said, would risk livelihood of small retailers. Trinamool’s no-confidence threat

The collective protest against FDI continued to show the ruling party as isolated on the critical reform measure though government has ruled out a rollback. Congress dismissed any threat to the government from allies

hands with opposition to embarrass the government. They expressed confidence that SP and DMK would not be swayed by the TMC. In fact, Tewari said Mamata’s antifuel hike stance was doublespeak. “She is opposing FDI and diesel hike in New Delhi but in West Bengal, her government has increased the power tariff,” he said. The biting comments at Banerjee, especially the suggestion that she make transition from an opposition activist to CM, tallied with the mood in Congress that Bengal ally should be challenged. The Congress state unit held a rally in Kolkata to protest Trinamool’s governance and even accused her of being in collusion with BJP. The bid to paint her saffron was evident in the way Congress paraded minority leaders to make the point in state capital.

Politics full of dirt, says Anna
Maintaining strong opposition to entering politics as it is “full of dirt”, Anna Hazare on Sunday claimed that he did not get answers from the Arvind Kejriwal-led group on questions raised by him on how to I was told that an alternative has to be given, I said it is a good idea but I asked them to answer my five-six questions (on how to provide an alternative). But I did not get those answers,” he told reporters. Mr. Hazare was referring to the questions he raised on how will members of a new party be selected, where the money will come from and how will candidates for elections be selected among others. The activist’s fresh salvo against Mr. Kejriwal came two days after he wrote in a blog that the anti-corruption group split due to “politics” within and not because of any attempts by government. “If I had to enter elections I would have done it when I would have done it much earlier. I have not even fought Panchayat elections. When I talk about alternative, I am not talking about political alternative,” he said. He said he will be talking to activists, retired bureaucrats and others in the next couple of days about the next course of action. “Politics is not the right direction. If politics would given us a bright future, then why India once called a golden bird had to mortgage gold. This country will not get the right future from politics,” he said. Mr. Hazare will return to Ralegan Siddhi on Monday.

Senior BJP leader L K Advani has said that political untouchability should not be practised. “Social untouchability is unacceptable and is a crime but in politics those who practise political untouchability are not considered culprits. This latter form of untouchability should also not be part of our political system and should go from our practice,” Advani said while addressing a function of Shaheed Parivar Fund organized by Hind Samachar Group in which leaders from all the political parties were present. While Advani did not make any other political comment in his speech he refused to entertain questions from mediapersons even as he said that he started his career as a journalist. Asked about PM Manmohan Singh’s

Political untouchability should not be practised: Advani

statement that India was not taking any decisions due to pressure from US, following Advani’s allegation that UPA government was pushing FDI in retail under pressure from US, the top BJP leader said “no comments”. Advani made the remarks against political untouchability after information and broadcasting minister Ambika Soni said from the same stage that political parties should come together at least on a few issues to enact bills which could

help the country especially to take care of the unemployment as that was the main reason for terrorism. “At least one such bill which can help to the people ofthe country should be passed after building consensus,” she said. BJP MP Navjot Sidhu while taking dig at the recent scams said that economic terrorism was the biggest terrorism as it was keeping people poor and unemployed. CLP leader Sunil Jakhar said that in Punjab definition of martyrs was being changed and the terrorists were being bracketed as martyrs. Without naming SAD and BJP he said that silence of the national party on the issue was problematic. He expressed hope that Advani would take care of the issue and would not let it happen.

organise a political alternative. Mr. Hazare, who arrived in New Delhi on Sunday morning and met activists to chalk out the next course of action on an apolitical anti-corruption movement, said the path of “politics is not sacred and it is full of dirt” but the route of agitation is “sacred”. Contending that a big movement and not politics will give the country its future, the activist said he had told the pro-party group that the route of politics was “not the right direction”. “I did not give an alternative. When

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Saarc international I Thursday 04 October 2012



Pakistan favours uninterrupted US drone strike kills three talks with India militants in North Waziristan
Pakistan wants a ‘result-oriented, uninterrupted dialogue’ with India that will help find a permanent solution to the Kashmir dispute, President Asif Ali Zardari has told Kashmiri leader Mirwaiz Mohammad Umar Farooq. Mr Zardari reiterated Pakistan’s stance of continuing to support the Kashmiri cause at a meeting with the Mirwaiz, who heads the moderate faction of the All Parties Hurriyat Conference, on the sidelines of the resolutions. “Pakistan believes that resultoriented, uninterrupted dialogue process with India will greatly help create a conducive environment to find permanent solution of the Kashmir dispute in accordance with the aspirations of the people of Kashmir,” he said. The president reiterated his call to the global community to focus attention on the plight of the Kashmiri people, who have been A US drone strike targeting a vehicle killed at least three suspected militants Monday in North Waziristan near the Afghan Another security official confirmed the attack and casualties and said the identities of the suspected militants killed in the strike were


UN General Assembly session in New York, the Associated Press of Pakistan reported on Sunday. He said Pakistan would continue extending political, moral and diplomatic support to the Kashmiri people, who had rendered countless sacrifices for upholding their dignity and freedom, and the fulfillment of the promise for effective exercise of their right to self-determination, as envisaged in the relevant UN

waging a legitimate struggle for their right of self-determination for over six decades, despite suffering huge losses and human rights violations. Mirwaiz Umar Farooq thanked Mr Zardari for the support extended to the people of Kashmir. Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar, Ambassador Sherry Rehman and Ambassador Masood Khan were present at the meeting.

border, security officials said. The strike took place in the Khaider Khel area of Mir Ali district, 30 kilometres (18 miles) east of Miranshah, the capital of North Waziristan, known as a stronghold of Taliban and al Qaeda militants. “US drones fired four missiles on a militant vehicle, killing three suspected rebels,” a security official told AFP, adding that several drones were flying in the area at the time of the attack.

not immediately clear. The al Qaeda-linked Haqqani network in North Waziristan, blamed for some of the deadliest attacks in Afghanistan, is one of the thorniest issues between Islamabad and Washington. Washington has long demanded that Pakistan take action against the Haqqanis, whom the United States accused of attacking the US embassy in Kabul in September last year and acting like the “veritable

arm” of Pakistani intelligence. Pakistan has in turn demanded that Afghan and US forces do more to stop Pakistani Taliban crossing the border from Afghanistan to launch attacks on its forces. There has been a dramatic increase in US drone strikes in Pakistan since May, when a NATO summit in Chicago failed to strike a deal to end a six-month blockade on convoys transporting supplies to coalition forces in Afghanistan. Islamabad and Washington have been seeking to patch up their fractious relationship in recent months, with the supply route has reopening, after a series of crises in 2011 saw ties between the “war on terror” allies plunge. But attacks by unmanned US aircraft remain contentious — they are deeply unpopular in Pakistan, which says they violate its sovereignty and fan anti-US sentiment, but American officials are said to believe they are too important to give up. Washington considers Pakistan’s semi-autonomous northwestern tribal belt as the main hub of Taliban and al Qaeda militants plotting attacks on the West and in Afghanistan.

Pakistan proposes India trade in all items via Wagah border
Secretaries in Islamabad, both sides had decided that the customs liaison committee would meet every month instead of once every two months. They said it was also agreed that customs authorities of both countries would clear goods seven days a week. It was further agreed that the list of trade items would be the same for land and sea routes. India will reduce the list by 30 per cent but only after Pakistan notifies the removal of all restrictions on trade by the Wagah land route, the report said. During recent bilateral talks, Pakistan and India made progress on key issues like trade through land routes, connecting the capitals of both countries by air, removing nontariff barriers and cooperation in the telecommunications sector. The two sides agreed that the next round of talks will be held in New Delhi by April next year. India has maintained a sensitive list of 614 items under the South Asia Free Trade Agreement and it will bring down the figure to 100 items by April.

Rimsha case: Witnesses who testified against Khalid Jadoon backtrack
Three witnesses who had testified against prayer leader Khalid Jadoon for leveling blasphemy allegations against Christian girl Rimsha Masih backtracked from their statements, In the statement, the witnesses maintained that the police had tortured them and made them give statement against Jadoon. Police officials investigating the blasphemy case against Rimsha had earlier submitted an interim chargesheet declaring cleric Khalid Jadoon Chishti guilty before the trial court.

Pakistan has proposed that trade of all items with India — except those included in the negative list — should be allowed through the Wagah land border, Commerce Secretary Munir Qureshi has said. Qureshi said his Ministry has forwarded a proposal in this regard to the Economic Coordination Committee of the Cabinet (ECC), the main decision—making body on economic matters. At present, only 137 items can be traded through the Wagah land border, though the total number of items for bilateral trade runs into thousands. After the proposal is approved by ECC and a formal notification is issued, trade through the Wagah border will

be allowed for all items except 1,209 goods that are in the negative list, official sources were quoted as saying by daily The News. The Pakistan government in March had switched over to a negative list regime for trade with India, under which the import of only 1,209 Indian products are barred. According to Qureshi, the negative list is expected to be phased out by December. He said trade between the two countries would increase manifold after the removal of barriers but it would take some time to understand the dynamics of markets on each side. Official sources said that during recent talks between the Commerce

saying that the police “forced” them to do it, report. The witnesses, including the mosque’s muezzin Hafiz Zubair and Hafiz Awais and Khurram Shahzad, who endorsed Zubair’s statement, submitted a sworn statement before a District and Sessions court in Islamabad.

The cleric was accused of adding pages from the Quran to ashes seized from 14-year-old Rimsha to implicate her and was sent to jail on a 14-day judicial remand by the judicial magistrate hearing the case on September 2, 2012.



Saarc international I Thursday 04 October 2012


Vice President Mohamed Waheed Deen has said that every change in a democratic environment can be attained through education in the field and that a sound democracy can be built by knowledge of the constitution and political science. Speaking at the inaugurating ceremony of the first ever International Teachers Conference in the Maldives at The Maldives National University, Waheed Deen said that education in the field is important to create a democratic environment and that this can only be achieved by the teachers. He said that well mannered and skillful teachers are the first step

Can’t build democracy without knowledge: VP
in the development of a nation. Waheed Deen said that a change in Presidency or in constitution cannot make a country democratic and that it can only be changed through the way people think. “One’s thought, refusal to dialogue, especially not reflecting to the thoughts of the community, these are being taught in previous years… Hence, a nation can achieve democracy by the teachers imparting the relevant information,” Waheed Deen who had taught in many of the schools in Male added. VP further detailed that political leaders would now be aware that

democracy starts from the bottom and not the top. He added that a nation cannot be reformed unless

this is understood. He said that even if the Maldives is a small nation, it will be subject to

every change in the world. He said that the reaction to such changes needs to be taught. “This can only be attained by the teachers. Such preparations can be made by delivering high-quality education… Good quality teachers can produce fine students for the community,” he said. Teachers from this region and Europe are among the participants of the three day conference that was inaugurated today. Each participating country would submit a paper proposing ways to strengthen the capacity of educators and teaching methods.

Former President M. Nasheed’s legal team today insisted that Nasheed will respect the decision made by opposition MDP to shun any verdicts made by the court pending the reforms recommended by int’l partners are made to the country’s judicial system. One of Nasheed’s lawyers and former Youth Minister Hassan Latheef, however revealed that the decision to be present in court would be made after the former President is served. He had also failed to confirm whether Nasheed would have attended the

“Nasheed will obey China should be taken as an example decision to shun Courts” in developing democracy- VP
Riyaz had filed the case against Nasheed under the Compensation for Defamation Regulation, claiming that Nasheed had called him a “traitor” while speaking at the Usfasgandu after the release of the final report by the Commission of National Inquiry (CNI) which had ruled that the change in government on February 7 had been constitutional. Defence Minister Mohamed Nazim had also filed a case against the former President for the same charges, the trial of which has been scheduled for Tuesday and Nasheed Vice President Mohamed Waheeddeen has said that China should be taken as an example in developing democracy. The Vice President made this statement speaking at the at the reception held at Traders Hotel to Celebrate the 63rd Anniversary of the Founding of the People’s Republic of China. Vice President Waheeddeen said that China is going in the right direction and leading the world. “Even if you look at the political changes in china they have proved that they are taking patient, calculative, constructive and very objective directions and I believe that is how the democracy must be developed, not very hastily,” he said. The Vice President noted that the Maldives and China share a long history of close relations and this October we will mark the 40th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries. He said that China continues to be a close partner of the Maldives in diverse spheres. “The contributions from China to the social, cultural and economic development of our country are immense. I would especially like to note the contributions China has made to housing development in the Maldives, along with other infrastructure projects and I am glad that the housing, and the people who build the houses and flats are here today, thank you very much for coming today. The Foreign Ministry building stands as a testament to the close relations between our two countries. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Government and the people of

first hearing of the trial scheduled for today to face defamation charges filed by the present Police Commissioner Abdulla Riyaz which had been postponed on request by the plaintiff. “All we know is that we will accompany President Nasheed if he decides to attend court,” Latheef said in response to a question by a reporter whether Nasheed would have attended the hearing if it had not been postponed. Speaking during the press conference held at the Male City Hall, another member of the legal team Hisaan Hussain detailed that word of the cancellation of today’s hearing had been received through the media while the Civil Court had failed to forward the case papers or inform of the postponement of the trial.

has been asked to present himself at the Civil Court for the trial. Nasheed’s trial over the unconstitutional arrest of the Chief Judge of the Criminal Court Abdulla Mohamed is also set to begin this Monday. Despite claims that Nasheed would respect the decision to shun any verdicts made by the courts, Nasheed’s lawyers had failed to confirm if the former President would attend the hearings of the cases against him. “MDP had decided not to accept any orders made through the judicial system. So as Nasheed is MDP’s presidential candidate, he would also wish to comply with such decisions made by an arm such as the National Steering Committee of MDP,” Latheef added.

China for their generosity towards the Maldives and I would also like to take this opportunity to thank the government and the people of china recent development assistance extended through economic and technical cooperation between the two countries and concessional financing,” he said. Vice President Waheeddeen said that the opening of the Embassy of China in the Maldives last year demonstrates the importance the Chinese Government attaches to its relations between the Maldives although Maldives is one of the smallest nations. “As a gesture to further strengthen the relationship between our two countries, the Government has decided to provide land for the establishment of the Chinese Embassy in the Maldives. The constructive engagement and support that His Excellency and the Embassy Staff offer to us, greatly contributes to consolidating the close and friendly relations that exist between the Maldives and

China,” he said. The Vice President said that he is pleased to note that China is currently the number one tourist market for the Maldives and he expressed hope that the number of Chinese tourists travelling to the Maldives will continue to increase. In addition, he noted that the trade between the Maldives and China has increased significantly in the past few years and China remains one of the largest trading partners of the Maldives. Furthermore, Vice President Waheeddeen expressed confidence that the traditional bonds of friendship and cooperation that we have enjoyed over the past four decades will continue to grow and expand in the years to come. He said that he is positive that these existing ties of friendship and cooperation between the two countries will continue to expand and develop in the years ahead and he said that he looks forward to working with the Government of China in this regard.

Saarc international I Thursday 04 October 2012




Pilot error may have caused Nepal crash
A Dangerous Gateway to Mount Everest

Pilot error is likely to have caused a plane crash that killed all 19 on board, including seven British trekkers bound for Mount Everest, Nepal’s aviation ministry says. An aircraft full of trekkers headed to Mount Everest crashed in Nepal’s capital, Katmandu, on Friday morning, killing all the 19 people on board. This accident is just the latest in a string of recent fatal airline accidents in Nepal, and has once-again raised questions about the safety of air travel to one of the most iconic tourist destinations in Asia. Recent aircraft accidents in Nepal include: • Date: May 14, 2012 “An Agni Air plane carrying Indian and Danish tourists crashed into a hill near a mountain airport in Nepal on Monday, killing 15 people, including the two pilots, ” a New York Times report said. People gathered around the wreckage of a plane that crashed while trying to land near Jomsom airport in Nepal in this May 14, 2012 file photo. o Sept. 25, 2011 “Nineteen people, including three Americans, died in a plane crash in Nepal on Sunday as they headed back to the capital, Katmandu, after a sightseeing tour of the mountains, including Mount Everest, officials said, ” The New York Times reported. “The 3-member crew died in the crash

PM resolute, not to allow acts Nepal, India agree to hold Joint which damage ties with India

of the Buddha Air flight, as did 10 Indian citizens, 2 Nepalis and a Japanese citizen, according to the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal at the Tribhuvan International Airport, which is not far from the crash site.” o 15, Dec. 2010 A Twin Otter flying with 19 pilgrims “crashed in a forest in eastern Nepal, killing all on board, including the three crew members as well,” The Times of India reported. o Aug. 24, 2010 “Fourteen people, including four

Americans, died Tuesday in Nepal when their plane crashed in inclement weather, after a failed attempt to reach a popular destination for touring hikers near Mount Everest, according to Nepali officials,” The New York Times reported. A police officer at the crash site of a Yeti Airlines plane in Lukla, Nepal in this Oct,. 8, 2008 file photo. o Oct. 8, 2008 “A small airplane crashed and caught fire Wednesday as it tried to land in foggy weather at a tiny mountain

airport near Mount Everest, killing 18 people, including 16 tourists from Germany, Australia and Nepal, officials said,” The Associated Press reported. “Only the pilot survived.” o March 3, 2008 “A United Nations helicopter has crashed in stormy weather in Nepal, killing all 10 people on board, ” The Associated Press reported. o Sept. 23, 2006 “Nepal ordered an investigation Tues-

day into a helicopter crash that killed 24 people, including a cabinet minister and several top international conservationists,” a New York Times report said. o Aug. 22, 2002 “A small plane carrying foreign tourists slammed into a mountain about 90 miles northwest of the capital, Kathmandu, killing all 18 people on board including 15 foreign tourists,” The New York Times reported.

Nepal and India have agreed to hold crucial Joint Commission (JC) meeting, the highest level bilateral mechanism between the two countries, at the earliest. During a meeting held on the sideline of the 67th session of United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on Saturday, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Narayankaji Shrestha and Indian Foreign Minister SM Krishna concluded that the meeting was important to take forward the bilateral relations between the two countries. The JC meeting is expected to review various facets of bilateral relations, including issues of economic cooperation, trade and transit and water resources. Among other, it is also likely to finalize the terms of reference of the proposed Eminent Person´s Group and pave the way for the visit of Indian prime minister to Nepal. “Both sides felt the importance of organizing Nepal-India Joint

Commission meeting soon
Commission meeting at an early date. They instructed the respective foreign secretaries to carry out necessary groundwork to that end,” said a press statement issued by Nepal´s Permanent Mission in New York. On the occasion, Indian Foreign Minister Krishna had inquired about the status of peace and constitutional drafting process in Nepal. Shrestha briefed him on the overall situation of Nepal, according to the statement. Minister Krishna also wished success of entire process and hoped that it would be in the best interests of the people of Nepal. “Both the leaders discussed matters of mutual interests and exchanged views on issues related to strengthening of bilateral relations between the two countries,” the statement further said. Minister Shrestha also held meeting with Foreign Minister of Cuba Bruno Rodriguez Parrilla and Under Secretary General of the Department of Political Affairs of the United

Nations Jeffrey Feltman. “During the meeting with Under Secretary Feltman, talks were held on the current political situation of Nepal, the technical aspects of completion of the peace process comprising integration of the ex-Maoist combatants into the national army, and the issues related to establishment of Truth and Reconciliation Commission. The under secretary-general showed interest to visit Nepal at an early convenient date,” the statement added. Meanwhile, Deputy Prime Minister Shrestha also participated in an interaction on “Nepal towards Transformation: The Future of Federalism and National Sovereignty,” organized jointly by the Permanent Mission of Nepal to the United Nations and a number of Nepalese community organizations in New York. Views were expressed on the issues of Non-resident Nepalis and the political situation of Nepal.

Prime Minister Baburam has served orders to his men to take to task the cadres of Nepal Communist PartyMaoists trying to disrupt Indian vehicles from plying in the streets of Nepal. A press note issued by Prime Minister’s secretariat reads, ‘any activities intended at maligning state of bilateral relations with any of the neighbors cannot be tolerated’. He adds, breaking laws under the political cover will be harshly dealt with. He has ordered security personnel to quickly take the law and order situation under control. Jayant must be happy man now! Baburam was by all means a good choice and it is time that Bhattarai exhibited his JNU talent.He has already initiated the process. In the mean time, ruling Unified Maoists and Madhesi alliance have separately demanded strong actions against the NCP-Maoist for carrying out anti-India activities in the country. Both the parties have said that the fresh NCP-Maoist overture is intended at maligning Nepal’s cordial bilateral

ties with India. The Unified Maoists and the Madhesi alliance had held a meeting, September 28, 2012, where apart from Madhesi leaders, Prime Minister Baburam and Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal were also present. Reports quote Chairman Dahal as saying in the meeting, “Mitra Rastra Bharat Sangako Sambandha Bigarne Kam thik Bhayena ra hunu bhayena.” (Activities that are intended at maligning friendly relations with India are not good. It should not take place.) Hilarious! He also said, “In the name of so-called nationalism, those people and forces trying to push the country into difficult situation should be taken to task.” This was Prachanda- the so-called ferocious of the NOIDA era speaking.



Saarc international I Thursday 20 September 2012

The government is committed and dedicated to take forward the free education system in the country to make its beneficiaries the leaders in various fields in the international sphere, President Mahinda Rajapaksa said yesterday. He made this observation at Temple Trees to hand over scholarships to 2,500 children of migrant workers in recognition of the contribution of the latter to the country’s economic well – being. President Rajapaksa said students and youths should not remain like frogs in a well. The government is ready to create an environment to impart knowledge to youths to play leading roles in various professional fields around the world, the President said.

Free education will be taken forward - President
Government has testified to this by taking measures to uplift the education of children of migrant workers who bring a massive amount of foreign exchange to The President said when he mooted the concept of awarding scholarships to migrant workers’ children in 1996 as the Labour Minister, there were hardly any highest position in society. President Rajapaksa said the education of migrant workers’ children was in a state of neglect when he initiated this scheme and the success of these children is also a success of the country. He said when he was appointed Labour Minister in 1994 only 3,000 migrant workers had been registered in the Foreign Employment Bureau out of the hundreds of thousands who left for foreign employment. He said there was no mechanism to find out where those people were employed. The President said the situation has changed today. He said when he took initiatives at the time to make changes, most people in the field protested.

the country by increasing the number of the eligible scholarship recipients to 2,500 this year.

eligible recipients above 100. He said all are aware that migrant workers’ children today are in the

“Those who could not protest against me protested against its chairman. “I still can remember people who came in Pajero jeeps holding placards,” President Rajapaksa said. “But we could guarantee the Rights of the migrant workers” .President Rajapaksa said measures have been taken to further strengthen the laws to guarantee the Rights, well - being and the protection of migrant workers. Foreign Employment Promotion and Welfare Minister Dilan Perera, UPFA Parliamentarian Namal Rajapaksa, Central Bank Governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal, a scholarship recipient and Moratuwa University second year student SGA Biyanga Subasinghe also spoke.

India to help create a platform TDA to hold World Spice Food Festival 2012 in Colombo for talks between Sri Lankan government and Tamil party
The Indian government has said that it would help create a platform A delegation of TNA representatives led by its leader R. Sampanthan is meet to discuss the party’s stance and approach on the issues. During the meeting with Indian Premier, Sri Lankan President has insisted on TNA participating in the parliamentary select committee to formulate a national solution since all parties should be involved to discuss critical issues that require changes in the constitution. President Rajapaksa has earlier said that he will accept any decision of the parliament on the ethnic issue and a solution should not be confined to discussions with one party. Indian media meanwhile reported that New Delhi will ask the TNA to somewhat relax their stance, while

to restart stalled talks between the Sri Lankan government and the major Tamil party The Indian officials have expressed concern over the delay in the two sides arriving at a mutually agreeable position towards a political solution to the ethnic issue. India hopes to get both sides to initiate meaningful talks through a Parliamentary Select Committee process. However, according to highly placed Indian sources India would not play the role of mediator. Following a request made by President Mahinda Rajapaksa from Indian Premier Manmohan Singh during his visit to New Delhi last month to put pressure on the TNA to make the party participate in the reconciliation process, the Indian government extended an invitation to the TNA to visit New Delhi for a discussion.

to travel to India on the 10th of this month following the invitation extended by New Delhi. Meanwhile, TNA parliamentarian

M.A. Sumanthiran said the agenda for discussions with the Indian government is likely to be received this week and the talks are likely to center around the political solution to the ethnic issue. Once the agenda is received, the TNA’s parliamentary group is to

agreeing that there should be some input from the discussions the two sides held so far on the issue. India had reportedly also pledged its support to Sri Lanka at the upcoming Universal Periodic Review (UPR) on human rights to take place in Geneva on November 1.

‘World Spice Food Festival’, an annual culinary event organized by Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority with the participation of local and foreign signature chefs in Colombo five star hotels and designated restaurants will be held in Colombo this week. The event will be launched with a press briefing on October 04 at the Mount Lavinia Hotel and the main public event to follow from October 05 - 07 at “The Boardwalk” in Battaramulla. Signature chefs from 15 countries such as India, Australia, Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, Pakistan, Latin American, China, Middle East, Mongolia and Mexico etc., are expected to take part in the mega culinary event this year. The event will showcase some of

the unique culinary expertise of participating master chefs side by side with their Sri Lankan counterparts in the reputed hotels and restaurants in Colombo. Among the hotels and restaurants participating in the event are, Water’s Edge, Mount Lavinia Hotel, Galadari Colombo, Taj Samudra, Ramada, Hilton Colombo Residence, Galle Face Hotel, Cinnamon Lakeside, and Cinnamon Grand. Organizers say the festival will be an ideal opportunity for tourists who are in transit or holidaying in Sri Lanka to enjoy variety of delectable cuisine from Australia, Malaysia, Vietnam, Pakistan, China, Japan, Singapore, Middle eastern and Latin American not forgetting the Sri Lankan specialties.

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Saarc international I Thursday 04 October 2012

Women Empowered Entrepreneurship Event



The Panellists, Sally Overhead of Mojomums, Kiran Sharma, Managing Director of KIKIT Ltd and Manager to singer Prince, Anjali Pathak, Brand Ambassador Culinary Development Patak’s Foods, Chef & Food Writer and Rupinder Virdee Director of Revolution Creative Agency shared their journeys on how they started and grew successful businesses. Alpesh Patel Co-author, ‘Our Turn: The ultimate start-up guide for female entrepreneurs’ and founder of Praefinium Partners spoke passionately about the need for more women entrepreneurs . Reena Ranger, chairwoman and cofounder of WE, said that the organization

thought that the traditional definition of entrepreneur had evolved and now with the boom entrepreneurial landscape had changed. Women are turning their hobbies into income streams or are taking their formal job training one step further and starting up their own businesses. Mona Remtulla, co-founder of WE, introduced the panel as diverse and was sure that those present

who had wanted to find their special something would, with the words and wisdom of the panelists, be encouraged and empowered to take that next step. Women empowered had collaborated with TiE UK, a forum for entrepreneurs, as their mentoring partners and Deepali Nangia the mumpreneur of Empower who

provided career and business support to working mums. The evening ended with those who attended browsing through the stalls that were being championed by WE all of which were started up by women entrepreneurs.

PFUJ condemns Khuzdar journalist’s killing
The murdered journalist, Abdul Haq, had been working for a private TV channel for the last seven years and was also the general secretary of Khuzdar Press Club. Haq had just come out of the press club poignantly by those working in the conflict zones. The toll is still unacceptably high and reflective of the pervasive violence journalists confront across the country, said Asim Qadeer Rana, former Secretary General of the National Islamabad Press

Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ), a supreme body working for betterment of journalist in Pakistan, has condemned killing of a journalist in Khuzdar the other day and demanded an inquiry of the incident. In a statement, PFUJ, strongly denouncing the killing, demanded an inquiry of the incident. The statement said that the situation in Balochistan, especially in Khuzdar, was deplorable and unarmed journalists were being targeted with impunity.

when some unknown gunmen opened fire on him. He died on the spot. It merits mentioning here that at least five journalists have been killed in Khuzdar during the last few years. These murders create a sense of fear that affects all media professionals in Pakistan and is felt most

Club Islamabad. Pakistan’s journalists and media have been working under increasing pressure for the past few years. The threats and dangers related to journalistic work in conflict zones were especially blatant in insurgency hit areas.


Anti-Corruption Views - Padma bridge: No more brinkmanship
By Iftekhar Zaman,
transparency and accountability in its implementation process. Vindicated as our stance was then on both counts as it is today in the the ostrich-like denial syndrome of rejecting allegations of corruption and take these seriously to ensure due investigation free from any bias trust of the people of the country about the government’s respect to its own electoral pledge against corruption in general, and for that matter in the implementation of the Padma Bridge project. To achieve that trust, the government must ensure strong and faultless measures to prevent all forms of illicit act and conflict of interest, particularly high profile cases of collusive corruption involving people in positions of power. Stern actions must be taken not only with respect to allegations of corruption in Padma Bridge and its new phase, but also in case of other big corruption scandals like the stock market, Destiny Group, Hall Mark and Sonali Bank and the vast range of other allegations of abuse of power. The government cannot ignore the fact that frustration due to a deepening culture of impunity is not limited to people outside the government but also to those within. It was clearly demonstrated by the desperate appeal to the prime minister placed a week before the breakthrough by the high command of Bangladesh Awami League, the largest partner in the grand alliance government. The brinkmanship that the government indulged in in the whole process was epitomised by the way that the last remaining roadblock, for example the fourth condition of World Bank, was handled. This may have unfortunately widened the space in which conditionalities typical of the likes of the World Bank could go beyond ensuring


Saarc international I Thursday 04 October 2012

Executive Director Transparency International Bangladesh

In the wake of World Bank’s cancellation of its contract with the government of Bangladesh on June 29, 2012, for $1.2 billion for the Padma Bridge, I commented that the government faced an acid-test, which like any other challenge in life, could be converted into a new opportunity. This in our view then and now could happen only if the government shunned its typical denial syndrome and generated the courage and commitment to ensure a fully independent, credible investigation into allegations of corruption and deliver exemplary punishment, if found guilty. I also commented then that the World Bank’s decision to cancel the contract was not only debatable but also an example of chopping off the head because of a headache. It was our view that the World Bank, a newcomer to the world of openness and accountability, could be more strategic and could continue to engage with the government. We had called upon the World Bank to review its decision. As a stakeholder in the business of low-interest credit for development projects in countries like Bangladesh which is indeed the lifeline of the World Bank itself, we were convinced that the Bank should not only come back to Padma but also take the responsibility as a key fiduciary agent of the project to ensure integrity,

In this 2007 file photo, Bangladeshi Muslims sit onboard a boat on the river Padma on their way to ‘Zaker Manzil’ for an annual Islamic congregation . context of the World Bank’s decision to revive its loan agreement, our basic premise remains that neither the World Bank, nor the government has any right to deprive the people of Bangladesh of the development opportunity for alleged corruption of a handful of people. After almost a year of brinkmanship since allegations of corruption in the project was first raised, the government today has to take the correct lesson out of the experience so that it doesn’t face any recurrence of such self-embarrassment in the days to come before the eyes of the people of this country as well as international community. The return of the World Bank may be viewed at the moment as a diplomatic gain for the government. However, taking the proper lesson out of the whole episode, it must now firmly abandon or influence so that exemplary action is taken against those found guilty without any fear or favour. Failing this, the sense of satisfaction in the corridors of the government and beyond can be short-lived. The government’s failure to act promptly as soon as allegations of corruption were brought has not only undermined its own credibility but also led to the possibility of depriving the people of the country of the multi-purpose dream-bridge -a high profile electoral commitment of the government, the return from which has been estimated to be 1.52.0 percent higher GDP. There is no reason to believe that resumption of World Bank funding to be evidently joined by other donors like JICA and Asia Development Bank for the bridge will by itself help regain the eroded

transparency and accountability and safeguards against corruption that Bank is preaching today. The negotiating team headed by the external affairs adviser to the prime minister supported by a desperate finance minister must be commended for the breakthrough. But there is no doubt that the “getting to yes” was far from a position of strength as far as the government is concerned. The bargaining position of the government may weaken further and affect the degree of flexibility and independence in the decision-making process unless the government demonstrates and sustains unqualified political commitment against corruption. Agreeably enough, it needs a rather unlikely optimist to believe that such delivery is going to come about in any significant way at a time when the policy structures appear to be increasingly entering the grips of those who are part or protectors of the collusive forces involved in the alleged instances of grand corruption rather than those who would be supportive of effectively challenging impunity. The silver lining can be found, ironically though, in the fact that time is running out for delivery against its commitment consistent with the government’s electoral pledge at the core of which was corruption control. (This column first was published in the Bangladesh newspaper The Daily Star)

Representatives of Pakistan and India had a verbal duel in the UN General Assembly on Monday night over the decades-old Jammu and Kashmir dispute between the two South Asian countries. Reacting to Indian External Affairs Minister SM Krishna’s assertion earlier in the day that last week’s remarks by President Asif Ali Zardari remarks on Kashmir were “unwarranted”, Pakistan’s Deputy Permanent Representative Raza Bashir Tarar defended the Pakistani leader’s statement as the dispute, he said, remained unresolved. “Let me begin by emphasizing that the reference to the Jammu and Kashmir dispute in the President of Pakistan’s statement was not ‘unwarranted’,” Ambassador Tarar said, while exercising his right of reply to the Indian minister’s statement, in which Krishna had also claimed that the Himalayan state was an “integral part” of India. “Let me also make it absolutely clear that Jammu and Kashmir is neither an integral part of India nor has it ever been,” the Pakistani envoy told the 193-member Assembly. Zardari had reaffirmed in his speech that Pakistan “will continue to support the right of the people of Jammu & Kashmir to peacefully choose their destiny in accordance with the UN Security Council’s long-standing resolutions on this matter”. Kashmir, he said, remained a symbol of the failures of

India, Pakistan tiff over Kashmir at UN

the United Nations system rather than its strengths. The president went on to say that a solution could only be reached in an environment of cooperation. Indian delegate Vinay Kumar, responding to references by Ambassador Tarar of Pakistan, insisted that Jammu and Kashmir states were an integral part of India, adding that Pakistan’s “illegal occupation” of parts of the region was in violation of India’s territorial integrity and international law. India, he added, rejected Pakistan’s claim in its entirety. Exercising his right of reply for a second time, Ambassador Tarar said the disputed status of Jammu and Kashmir had been set out in Security Council resolutions and agreed upon by both Pakistan and India. As such, characterizing the region as an integral part of India was untenable, he said, adding that the people of Jammu and Kashmir had not exercised their right to self-determination.

District authorities stepped up security along the Indo-Nepal border following tension in Sonauli area of Maharajganj district on Saturday after traders staged a bandh against Nepal’s Maoist Party obstructing entry of traders and tourists from India. Traders said Maoists on the other side of the border were constantly attacking and looting Indian traders and not allowing trucks and tourists buses to enter Nepal for the last few days. “There is business worth Rs 5 crore per day between India and Nepal through Sonauli. Maoist activities in the last 10 days have caused a huge loss,” Ranjeet Chopra, president of a local trader association, told TOI. “Hundreds of trucks carrying goods and essential commodities get stranded on the border. We have requested Uttar Pradesh government to take up our cause with the Centre and resolve the issue by talking to the government of Nepal as early as possible,” he said.

Anti-Maoist stir on Indo-Nepal border, security beefed up

Traders say the dissident faction of Nepal’s Maoist Party is creating trouble after parting ways with the party led by Prachand in June. Leader of the faction Mohan Vaidya Kiran has accused Prachand of deviating from the revolutionary ideals. Kiran has floated the Nepal Communist Party Maoist and has demanded scrapping of all treaties signed with India, including the Nepal-India Peace and Friendship Treaty of 1950. The new party has launched a movement against plying of vehicles bearing Indian registration number, screening of Hindi movies and broadcast of Hindi songs by FM radios in Nepal.

Saarc international I Thursday 04 October 2012

Sindh Assembly passes SPLGO amid protest



The Sindh Assembly on Monday approved Sindh People’s Local Government Ordinance (SPLGO) 2012 amid protest by a handful member of opposition parties in the house. The bill was tabled by provincial law minister Ayaz Sumro and the lawmakers approved it clause by clause by raising their hands. The majority of 149 Sindh Assembly MPAs supported the bill while 18 members belonging to Pakistan Muslim League-Functional-(PML-F),

National People’s Party (NPP), Pakistan Muslim League-Q and Awami National Party (ANP) opposed it and tore apart copies of the bill. They staged sit-in against nonallotment of seats on the opposition benches and Sindh People’s Local Government ordinance (SPLGO). Members from PML-F, ANP and PML-Q sat down in front of Speaker Nisar Khohro’s rostrum. They chanted slogans against the ordinance and demanded that opposition benches be issued to them as they have tendered

resignations. Jam Madad Ali, PML-F’s leader of the opposition, said resignations of the opposition members were sent to the chief minister ten days back, but they had not so far been sent to governor Sindh for approval. To which Sindh Information Minister Sharjeel Memon said the opposition members should have directly send the resignations to governor Sindh. PPP leader and Sindh Education Minister, Pir Mazhar Ul-Haq, said copies of the resignations had been

sent to governor Sindh for approval. The speaker kept shouting “order, order” during the chaos as opposition members continued interrupting him during the assembly proceeding. They chanted slogans against the new local government ordinance and criticized the speaker for not allotting them seats on opposition benches. Sindhi nationalists observed strike against the SPLGO. They termed the SPLGO a conspiracy to divide Sindh. Meanwhile a strike was observed in most part of Sindh on Monday over a

call given by nationalist parties’ alliance, Sindh Bachao Committee, against new local body system which they describe as division of the province. Owing to the wheel-jam and shutter down strike, vehicular traffic remained sparse on the roads in Sindh interior, with markets, shops and most educational institutes closed. The strike call did not affect Karachi. The nationalists parties have also hold rallies, sit-ins and observing token hunger strike during the strike today.

Hasina orders stern action as 50 homes torched in Ramu
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, now in New York, has warned against acts that damage “social harmony” in Bangladesh in the Abhoy Buddhist Viahar at around noon and set it on fire. They also attacked the Kolagaon Nobarun Sangha Durga Mandir

‘Jamaat fanned communal riot’
Those who launched the attack chanted, “Naraye Takbir,” the slogan Jamaat-e-Islami use in its political programmes.

who ordered bringing attackers into book. Buddhists and other ethnic and religious minorities were living

houses in the area and vandalised boundary walls made of corrugated iron sheets. “Around four to five hundred

wake of overnight mayhem in the southeastern hilly town of Ramu. In a statement communicated to reporter by Bangladesh’s Permanent Representative to the UN, she said she was shocked at the developments, being updated and would do anything at her disposal to stop acts of violence against religious minorities. Ambassador Dr Abdul Momen said she had been talking to relevant senior officials an Agitating Muslims torched 30 homes of the Buddhist community and vandalised six pagodas as a sectarian violence broke out at Merunloa village in Ramu subdistrict in south-eastern tourist district of Cox’s Bazar Saturday night. The strife later spread to nearby Patiya where Buddhist and Hindu temples were attacked. According to the accounts of local journalists, several hundred fanatics took out a procession and launched attacks on the Lakhara

(temple) and the Moitri Mandir at Jele Para, they said. The attackers reportedly smashed an ancient Buddhist statue at the Rotnangkur Buddhist Vihara and set fire to a statue of Goddess Durga at the Nobarun Sangha Mandir. The OC said the situation was calm. “Additional police forces and members of the RAB have been deployed at the scene to avert further tension,” he added. Local MP Shamsul Hoque Chowdhury visited the place of occurrence. The communal violence that ravaged a pre-dominantly Buddhist village in Cox’s Bazar’s Ramu Upazila was instigated by a religion-based political party, residents of the locality alleged. They said the party played with local Rohingya refugees’ rage against people of the Buddhist community after the recent sectarian violence between Muslims and Buddhists in northern Rakhine province in Myanmar.

According to locals, leaders of an Islamist party held a rally at 10pm on Saturday night alleging defamation of the Quran by posting a photograph on social networking website Facebook. Those who addressed the rally claimed a Buddhist youth named Uttam Barua of Bouddha Parha posted the photograph on his Facebook account. The rally touched off a mayhem that lasted for five hours starting around 11:30pm. Seven Buddhist Viharas or monasteries, around 30 houses and shops were torched, and more than a hundred other houses and shops were also attacked, vandalised and looted. District administration had to impose section 144, which bans public gathering, for an indefinite period on Sunday morning to rein in the unrest, followed by the commissioning of an inquiry into the incident. The incident shocked Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, who is currently visiting New York,

in fear in Ramu and areas close by even though huge contingents of Police, Rapid Action Battalion, Border Guard Bangladesh and Army were deployed to contain the unrest. Locals alleged the unrest turned catastrophic just because of ‘negligence’ by police and RAB officials in ensuring security to distressed people. Home Minister Mohiuddin Khan Alamgir, while visiting the area on Sunday, said the attacks were “planned.” “The attack was conducted in a coordinated manner. Temples and houses were set on fire using petrol and gun powder. It would have been impossible if the attacks were not planned,” he said. Resident Director of Sheema Rajban Vihara at Merongloa Parha in the Ramu, Progyananda Bhikkhu, shared his firsthand experience with He said at first a procession came and hurled brickbats at the

people chanting ‘Naraye Takbir’ entered our Parha (locality) as the night got darker. They set the temples on fire first,” said Progyananda. According to him, two donation boxes and a gold idol of Buddha were looted during the attack and at least 10 houses were set ablaze. The Buddhist religious leader said it was the first time he encountered such violence and did not know how to respond. “The violence spread due to a reluctant administration. Had police and RAB members taken the early initiative, the whole incident would have been averted,” he said. General Secretary of a temple in the Vihara, Tarun Barua reported seeing people whom he had never before seen in his locality. “We have been living long alongside the Muslims. We did not even imagine that they could attack us. Such a big attack in reprisal of such a trivial incident was unbelievable,” said Barua.


South Asia Tribune I Thursday 04 October 2012

Pakistan beat Australia in World T20
Pakistan stepped closer to a semi-final berth in the World Twenty20 with a 32-run victory Tuesday over Australia, who reached the last four anyway on their net run-rate. Pakistan made 149-6 after being sent in to bat and then restricted Australia to 117-7 at the Premadasa stadium. Both teams ended the Super Eights on four points each, which knocked winless South Africa out of the tournament. Australia advanced to the semi-finals, despite the defeat, due to their having the best net run-rate in the group. India need a big win over South Africa later on Tuesday to stop Pakistan’s progress into the semi-finals.



Spin kings set for battle royal
Pakistan meet Sri Lanka in the first semi-final in Colombo on Thursday, and Australia face West Indies the following day.
will not matter to Pakistan. “We have been playing our cricket away from home, so we are quite used to of it and I think the Sri Lankan crowd is sensible enough to support good cricket from both the teams,” said Hafeez. “It will surely be a good contest.” International cricket has been suspended in Pakistan since terrorists’ attacks on the Sri Lankan team bus in Lahore three years ago.

Former champions Pakistan and hosts Sri Lanka clash in the first semi-final of the World Twenty20 in Colombo on Thursday, banking on the quality spinners in the two camps. The pre-match focus revolved around Pakistan’s prolific Saeed Ajmal, and Sri Lanka’s unorthodox spinner Ajantha Mendis both of whom have been the highest wickettakers for their respective teams in the competition. While Mendis has taken nine wickets, Ajmal has eight. Mendis achieved the best figures in Twenty20 internationals with six wickets for eight against Zimbabwe in

the preliminary league and remains the trumpcard for the hosts despite conceding 40 runs in four overs against England in Super Eights. Sri Lankan captain Mahela Jayawardene said he was confident about his team reacting well to Pakistan’s challenge. “We have played each other quite frequently and it’s been a good contest,” Jayawardene told reporters on Wednesday. “They’ve got some

quality spinners but we just need to make sure that we execute our things well against them. “Both Ajmal and Mendis have shown how good they are in this competition. It’s going to be a big game for everybody, not just for those two guys. It’s a huge game for both sides.” The semi-final is a repeat of the 2009 final in England when Pakistan beat Sri Lanka at Lord’s to win the title. Ajantha Mendis is yet to fully recover from his side strain. The other spinner they used in the previous game, Akila Dananjaya, is also in doubt after suffering a fracture on his left cheek bone. A decision on whether he will play is to be taken on Saturday. They might also need to look at whether they need an extra specialist batsman ahead of one of three allrounders, or even one of the specialist bowlers. Sri Lanka and Pakistan are very familiar with each other, and neither expect to be surprised. Pakistan captain Hafeez played down the hype around spinners. “We are blessed with world-class spinners but I think we have to play good all-round cricket to win the semi-final and we will look for that once we enter the field,” said Hafeez, who regarded Sri Lanka as tough opponent. “Sri Lanka is playing good cricket and I am happy the way we have played so far and hope that we keep the intentions positive,” said Hafeez, who said crowd support for Sri Lanka

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