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MCB, Sharia and Wonga
Why MCB or Muslim Players never objected to Riba based Nrth Rock or Virgin deals?
First Newcastle United’s proposed sponsorship deal with Wonga.com angers local MP and supporters
Now Newcastle United’s Muslim players told wearing Wonga-sponsored shirts infringes Sharia law Newcastle United have been warned that signing a proposed sponsorship with Wonga.com, the short-term loan company, would anger its supporters.
Newcastle United’s Muslim stars have been warned that wearing the club’s new sponsored shirts would infringe upon Sharia Law. Cisse and Ba could lead Muslim players’ boycott of wearing new Wonga sponsor on Newcastle shirt The club say cash from the deal will help Newcastle compete in the Premier League but critics contend they are undermining work to crack down on ‘legal loan sharking’
Earlier Newcastle United has ended its multimillion-pound sponsorship deal with Virgin Money a year early. The two-year deal, thought to be worth up to £10m, was signed in January after Virgin Money bought previous sponsor Northern Rock. But no Muslim player or Muslim Council ever objected, is there more than just Sharia Finance? Newcastle’s Muslim stars could refuse to wear the club’s new sponsor on their shirt. In the latest controversy surrounding the club’s deal with loan company Wonga, Newcastle now face a tricky situation with several of their senior players. Under Sharia law, Muslims must not benefit from either lending money or receiving money from another person - meaning that interest is prohibited. Interest is not paid on Islamic bank accounts or added to mortgages. The Muslim Council of Britain’s (MCB) intervention is the latest Continued on page 2 >>
Salafi Bibleburner assaults journalists who ‘provoked’ him during interview
Three reporters were arrested following an altercation with the Salafi , founder of Al-Umma Channel. The reporters claim they were assaulted by the channel owner, Abu Islam. The act was committed on 11 September amid angry demonstrations outside the US embassy in Cairo to protest the appearance online of a short film mocking Islam and the Prophet Mohamed.
The reporters were interviewing Abu Islam about a Bible burning lawsuit pending against him. According to an activist, Ahmed Douma, Abu Islam attacked one of the reporters, Sarah Ramdan, after she asked him questions about a female protester who was beaten and stripped by soldiers in December last year. Douma claimed that her two male colleagues were then assaulted by Abu Islam’s aides and all three were detained until the police arrived and arrested them. Abu Islam denied that he was filing a complaint against them, but called the police “to prove that they attacked my son.” He accused all three of intentionally provoking him and his two sons who also attended the meeting. “She set up the meeting to discuss my current case [burning the Bible], but kept asking other questions like what do I think of Morsy, Maspero and the girl who was stripped in Tahrir.” Abu Islam said he said, “I believe Continued on page 26 >>
David Cameron warns Britain not to be lulled into 'false sense of security' by Olympics success during Conservative Party Conference speech In his speech to the Conservative Party conference, Prime Minister David Cameron sets out the stark choices and economic challenges facing the country. David Cameron warned Britain not to be lulled into a “false sense of security” by the success of the Olympics today as he warned that the country faced hard decisions to survive as a major industrial country. In a sometimes downbeat speech, without any new policy announcements, Mr Cameron said many countries in Europe were now “on the slide” bogged down by what he described as “fat, sclerotic, welfare systems” and “unreformed”
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 email@example.com 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 www.sk-groupofcompanies.com 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
David Cameron: Britain will ‘do or decline’
public services”. In a speech that was more in tune with the downbeat tone of his Chancellor George Osborne than that of his political rival Boris Johnson, Mr Cameron warned that if the government dilutes its plan A to tackle the deficit, Britain may struggle to borrow on the international money markets. But he also emphasised the idea that despite such profound difficulties, Britain is a nation which can overcome the problems it is facing: "Unless we act, unless we take difficult, painful decisions, unless we show determination and imagination, Britain may not be in the future what it has been in the past. "Because the truth is this. We are in a global race today. And that means an hour of reckoning for countries like ours. "Unless we act, unless we take difficult, painful decisions, unless we show determination and
South Asia Tribune I Thursday 11 October 2012
imagination, Britain may not be in the future what it has been in the past," he said. "Because the truth is this: we are in a global race today and that means an hour of reckoning for countries like ours. Sink or swim. Do or decline. Though the challenge before us is daunting, I have confidence in our country. Why? Because Britain can
deliver. We can do big things." But he also pointed to the investment coming into the UK, highlighting moves by companies such as technology giants Google, Intel and Cisco. He defended his commitment to increase spending on international aid, while recognising the “scepticism” of many in his party about the pledge. And he insisted: “Be in no doubt: this
is the party of the NHS and that's the way it's going to stay.” Much of the speech was dedicated to the economy with Mr Cameron acknowledging that the Government's deficit reduction plan was “taking longer than we hoped”, which he blamed largely on the eurozone crisis. But he insisted that Britain was “on the right track”, saying: “Yes it's worse than we thought, yes it's taking longer, but we are making progress. “I can't tell you that all is well, but I can say this: Britain is on the right track,“ he said. He said that he wanted to set out a ”serious argument“ explaining ”how we compete and thrive in this world, how we can make sure in this century, like the ones before, Britain is on the rise.“ ”Nothing matters more,“ said Mr Cameron. ”Every battle we fight, every plan we make, every decision we take is to achieve that end Britain on the rise.“
Continued from page 01 >>
MCB, Sharia and Wonga
bank holding a lien on the item until the sale price is eventually paid to the bank. The bank therefore sold something that it never actually owned – and that is Haram! “ We have a stern warning to deliver to those scholars of Islam who persist in defending the so-called murabaha transactions of Islamic Banks today. They defend the transaction with Fatwas (fatawa) that are as invalid as the Fatwas (fatawa) which today blindly declare paper money of the modern world to be Halal, and would equally blindly declare tomorrow’s ‘electronic money’ to be Halal. If they obstinately persist in their defense of today’s socalled Murabaha transactions, and then learn in Allah’s court that it was not Murabaha but Riba, at that time they cannot plead for mercy from Allah for they will have misguided people, nor can they say “I did not know”. On the other hand back in 2009 in a Briefing Paper for the Mayor of London titled as“LONDON AND ISLAMIC FINANCE” the MCB wrote that Islamic finance is finance that is consistent with the principles of Shariah. Demba Ba, Papiss Cisse, Cheick Tiote and Hatem Ben Arfa are all practising Muslims. With its jokey name and knowing marketing, Wonga has become the most visible company making “payday” loans, whose use is growing exponentially in the recession. The interest on Wonga’s loans, one per cent a day, calculates over a year to an astonishing annual percentage rate (APR) of 4,214%. It seems the intervention from the Muslim Council of Britain is to heap further pressure on the club as it seeks to deflect widespread criticism after unveiling a four-year deal with the short-term loan company. At what Cost? Bringing Sharia into question among Non Muslims?
batch of criticism the club has received since signing a four-year £24 million sponsorship deal with the short-term loan company on Tuesday that will also see the club’s ground revert to its long-standing title of St James’ Park.
Shaykh Ibrahim Mogra, assistant secretary general of the MCB, told the Independent: “There are two aspects to this. We have the rulings of the religious law and we have the individual’s choice and decision on how they want to follow or not follow that rule. According to Shiekh Imran Hosein article “Islam and Money” he writes “In his masterpiece entitled ‘Merchant of Venice’, William Shakespeare likened Riba or usury to a ‘pound of flesh’. And in a dream Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) saw the moneylender exposed as a ‘bloodsucker’ since he was standing in a river of blood. We noted earlier that the Prophet cursed “all four”, and declared that “they were all equally guilty—the
ones who ‘took’ Riba, ‘gave’ Riba, ‘recorded the transaction’, and ‘the two witnesses’.” Whoever dies with the curse of a Prophet upon him can never escape the hellfire. Islam has declared war on the moneylender who demands interest. It did so in the very last divine revelation (alBaqarah, 2:279) to come down in the Holy Qur’an. The Qur’an itself declared that the moneylender would be punished with eternal hellfire. Islamic Banks and other Islamic financial institutions are today lending money on interest through the back-door by disguising a loan as a sale on credit. They call it murabaha! But it is most certainly not murabaha! It is Riba! What the bank does is to offer an item on sale in a credit transaction with a price substantially higher than the cash price. In fact the bank never actually purchases the item. Rather, it writes out a check to the client who then purchases the item in his name with the
South Asia Tribune I Thursday 11 October 2012
Ahmadinejad: If attacked, Iran’s response would be crushing
For first time, Iranian president diverts from official position of shrugging off West’s threats; warns targeting nuclear facilities would be ‘suicide mission for Israel’ Iranian president admits the “possibility of an attack against Iran cannot be ignored”; former Iranian president Rafsanjani says Israel would need US permission to go to war with Iran. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Tuesday admitted the possibility that his country could be attacked, but warned that an Iranian response would be crushing, according to Iran’s semi-official Fars news agency. “The possibility of (an) attack against Iran cannot be ignored,” Ahmadinejad said in a televised interview. “But it can be said that Iran’s response to any aggression will be crushing.” Ahmadinejad hails Chavez victory in Venezuela Iranian president congratulates re-elected “I wholeheartedly congratulate you and the great nation of Venezuela on holding a passionate election and your renewed election as president,” Ahmadinejad told Chavez in a message published by the news agency.
Rafsanjani: Israel needs US permission to hit Iran
Venezuelan counterpart; expresses hope for increased cooperation between two allies Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Tuesday extended congratulations to his “dear brother” Hugo Chavez on his being reelected as Venezuela’s president, the ISNA news agency reported.
On Monday, former Iranian president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani said Israel requires the
permission of the United States if it wants to carry out a strike on Iran, according to Iranian media reports. “Israel cannot attack Iran on its own,” Iran’s semi-official Mehr news agency quoted the former president as saying. “If it attacks (Iran), it must be sure that the United States will join it, either at the beginning (of the war) or during (the war). Therefore, it needs the United States’ permission.” Rafsanjani emphasized that “the enemies” have pinned their hopes against Iran on sanctions, which have slashed Iran’s oil export earnings and have caused the rial to lose two thirds of its value in just 10 days. He said that shows the West isn’t serious about a military threat, but added: “We should prepare ourselves for any eventuality.” The former Iranian president also said Tehran is not as isolated as the West believes. “The majority of countries want to work with Iran,” he said. “Our neighbors in the south and the north had been cooperating with us.”
IMF says global economy could get worse
Global growth forecast cut to 3.3 per cent amid continued eurozone crisis and slowdown in powerful emerging economies.
The International Monetary Fund has cut its global economic growth forecast and warned things could get much worse if the eurozone crisis continues. The IMF’s quarterly report released on Monday says world financial conditions are likely to remain “very fragile” because of continued problems in the eurozone. Growth forecast for 2012 has been put down to 3.3 per cent, from its July estimate of 3.5 per cent, with Asia still leading the pack of expanding regions while European economies contract an expected 0.4 per cent. The Fund said the global economic growth will only hit 3.6 per cent next year, lower than the 3.9 per cent predicted in July, as even powerful emerging economies like China, India and Brazil slow down. Overall, “[economic] output is expected to remain sluggish in advanced economies but still relatively solid in many emerging markets and developing economies,” the IMF said. Global efforts to ease credit and increase the amount of money European Stability Mechanism (ESM), the eurozone’s new permanent fund to bail out struggling economies and banks launched earlier on Monday. The fund added that greater integration of taxation and spending policies across the eurozone was needed, as well as measures to begin the process of banking union. “The ESM must intervene in banking systems and provide support to sovereigns, while national leaders must work toward true economic and monetary union,” the IMF said. Steve Keen, a Professor of Economics and Finance at the University of Western Sydney, told Al Jazeera: “The IMF is accurately providing the symptoms of the crisis.” “We have seen five years of the downturn, we could see another fifteen years, unless they deal with private debt and stop looking at austerity as measures,” he said. China cooling The IMF said the main forces pulling down growth in advanced economies are pressure to close budget deficits, by cutting spending and hiking taxes, as well as frail banking systems. “While this consolidation is needed, there is no question that it is weighing on demand,” it said.
available for lending are helping, but appear to be yielding diminishing returns, as are fiscal stimulus policies, the IMF said in its report released in the Japanese capital, Tokyo. It said much would depend on action taken by policymakers in Europe and the US. “In the United States, it is imperative to avoid excessive fiscal consolidation (the fiscal cliff) in 2013, to raise the debt ceiling promptly, and to agree on a credible medium-term fiscal consolidation plan,” the Fund said in its World Economic Outlook. The Fund warned the US economy is likely slow slightly next year from this year’s forecast 2.2 per cent expansion even if the cliff plan is avoided. “The most immediate downside risk, that delayed or insufficient policy action will further escalate the euro
area crisis, remains in place,” said the report. It highlighted the importance of the
Babar Ahmad, 38, and Syed Ahsan, 33, who were ordered extradited to the U.S. to face terrorism charges, made initial court appearances on Oct. 6 in federal court in New Haven, Connecticut. They pleaded not guilty to conspiracy and providing material support to terrorists. The ‘war on terror’ abuse of special administrative measures means that suspects held in the US are deprived of a fair trial. The extradition of two young British citizens, Babar Ahmad and Talha Ahsan, from Tooting in south London, marks a dark day for British justice and reminds some of us of those opaque days of the “war on terror” which brought us Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib. Baber and Talha unjust extradition, after eight years in detention without charge, As British citizens who lived in UK since birth, studied, worked full-time and paid taxes, They should have faced trial here. Important Question is what Abu Hamza suspected crimes have to do with those of Babar Ahmand and Syed Ahsan? Abu Hamza is known MI6 asset and involved in false flag operations was one of the highestprofile radical Islamic figures in Britain, where he was already sentenced to seven years for inciting racial hatred at his north London mosque and other terrorism-related charges. Amazingly case of another hate preacher Abu Qatda a judge reviewing the decision to deport Jordanian terror suspect Abu Qatada has said his links to an alleged bomb plot look to be “extremely thin”. The judge said the “only evidence” of a link was that Abu Qatada had paid $5,000 (£3,100) for a computer. According to the daily Herald sun like Abu Hamza, Abu Qatada also had been exposed as an asset of British intelligence-
Babar Ahmad and Talha Ahsan sent
Soldier’s mother killed herself after son’s Afghanistan death
A soldier’s mother from Manchester killed herself after suffering depression over the death of her son in Afghanistan, an inquest has decided. Gillian Atherton, 47, died from carbon monoxide poisoning in her flat in Stretford earlier this year. Her son, Guardsman David Atherton, 25, was shot during a battle with Taliban insurgents in July 2007. The Stockport inquest was told she had a history of depression related to the “tragic death”. Mrs Atherton’s body was found in the upstairs of Jaffs Cafe, which she reportedly named after her son who had the nickname Jaffa. She opened the business, on Moss Road, in 2009. In a statement, Mrs Atherton’s GP Dr Nicholas Singleton confirmed the depression in relation to her son and ruled his death was “a very important and tragic event”. However, she was not on medication prior to her death and there was nothing in her medical notes to give cause for concern. A post-mortem examination found it appeared she had died from carbon monoxide poisoning. Toxicology reports confirmed this as the cause of death and also found she had consumed alcohol and a small number of tablets. Notes in the living room area
South Asia Tribune I Thursday 11 October 2012
-MI5. According to The times story a leaked copy of a judgment by the Special Immigration Appeals Commission has revealed how British intelligence chiefs hid from their European allies how they were hoping to use the cleric as an informer against Islamic militants in Britain. Where as in Baber Ahmed and Talha Ahsan cases there is not conviction yet and they were extradited! Sadiq Khan MP, Member of Parliament for Tooting, had called on the media to report responsibly on the extradition case against his constituents Babar Ahmad and Syed Talha Ahsan. He said, “I am calling on all parts of the British media to report responsibly on the extradition case against my constituents, Babar Ahmad and Syed Talha Ahsan. ”It is important to remember that Babar Ahmad and Syed Talha Ahsan are very willing to stand trial in the UK. “There are clear differences
between the cases against Babar Ahmad and Syed Talha Ahsan and the one against Abu Hamza, and this should always be emphasised to the British public.” On October 5, 2012, our country finally caved in to an uneven extradition treaty with the US. It extradited Babar Ahmad and Talha Ahsan (though the media reported on the more controversial figure of Abu Hamza) to face charges in Connecticut, related to a website they are alleged to have run over a decade earlier. They had already been incarcerated here for eight years and six years respectively, without any charge in a British court. From its inception, the Extradition Act 2003 invited controversy. It allowed the US to extradite UK citizens for offences committed against US law, even though the alleged offence may have been committed in the UK, by someone living and working here in this country. There is no reciprocal right to extradition from the US to the UK; the levels of proof required are different (more stringent) in the US’ favour. Feelings are running high and some members of my community have even perceived the extradition of Babar and Talha as an extraordinary rendition. The Muslim community in Britain had tried every democratic campaigning method available. They even petitioned Downing Street and got nearly 150,000 British citizens to sign an e-petition (itself a government-created initiative) for Babar Ahmad to be tried in the UK. Even a Parliamentary debate was initially denied, despite receiving more than 100,000 signatures (the cut-off that which was supposed to automatically generate a debate in the House of Commons). The men’s legal teams took their cases to the highest courts in Britain and Europe, only to be trumped, apparently by political considerations. What else could be the reasons to deny this reasonable demand? Sadly, our tabloid press adopted a strategy of continuously describing Ahmad and Ahsan as “terrorism suspects” (despite the lack of charges). Even the BBC started using the same language, giving us a trial as much by media as the courts. With politicians and the media taking a hardline stand, justice has always been at risk. The police and the Crown Prosecution Service have had a lot to answer on this case, but who cares? These young British citizens were “guilty unless proven innocent”. The US aircraft to extradite the detainees arrived in the UK even before the High Courts had finished deliberating on the matter. A number of serious violations to Ahmad and Ahsan’s human rights, as defined by the UN Declaration on Human Rights, have been made throughout these extraditions. Article 10 of this declaration says, “Everyone is entitled in full equality to a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal, in the determination of his rights and obligations and of any criminal charge against him”. It is evident that these men have been denied the basic right to liberty for many years. Their extradition to the US is a travesty of justice.
of the property were also found addressed to her daughter and other son, Joe. Stockport Assistant Deputy Coroner Christopher Murray said: “I am satisfied beyond all reasonable doubt that it was Gillian’s decision to take her own life. “That is the verdict I am going to find in this tragic case. It is tragic that Gillian decided to take this course of action.” Her family were too upset to comment following the hearing. Guardman Atherton was serving in the Anti-Tank section in Number 3 Company, the 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards, at the time of his death in southern Afghanistan. He joined the Army in 2002
and had already completed operational tours in Bosnia and Iraq. Paying tribute at the time to the father-of-one, his Section Commander, Lance Sergeant Robert Pancott, said: “David was known to everyone as Jaffa. As his Section Commander I couldn’t have asked for a better soldier. “He was always first to volunteer and he never let anything get him down. He loved to be at the forefront of any banter and he would always be cracking jokes, usually at everyone else’s expense! “Jaffa was one of the characters that make Army life so enjoyable. He will be missed by everyone in the Battalion. I will never forget him.”
Shinya Yamanaka of Japan and John Gurdon of Britain won the Nobel Prize on Monday for work in cell programming, a frontier that has raised dreams of growing replacement tissue for people crippled by disease. The two scientists were lauded for determining that adult cells can be transformed back to an infant, versatile state called stem cells. “Their findings have revolutionised our understanding of how cells and organisms develop,” the Nobel jury declared. Gurdon told Swedish Radio he was surprised by the honour, since his award-winning research was done more than 40 years ago. “I’m amazed and immensely grateful and astonished that they should recognise work done such a long time ago,” he said. “Of course I’m extremely grateful to be recognised with Shinya Yamanaka who’s done this wonderful work.” By
British-Japanese duo win Nobel for stem cell research
reprogramming human cells, “scientists have created new opportunities to study diseases and develop methods for diagnosis and therapy,” the Nobel committee said. Stem cells are precursor cells which differentiate into the various organs of the body. They have stirred huge excitement, with hopes that they can be coaxed into growing into replacement tissue for victims of Alzheimer’s,
Parkinson’s and other diseases. Gurdon’s achievement in 1962 was to discover that the DNA code in the nucleus of an adult frog cell held all the information to develop into every kind of cell. This meant that an adult cell could in essence be reprogrammed. His landmark discovery was initially met with scepticism, as the journey from immature to specialised cell was previously deemed irreversible.
South Asia Tribune I Thursday 11 October 2012
Dissatisfied Tories want Cameron to stand down if he fails to win overall majority at next election : Survey of The Independent
Conservative Party members are dissatisfied with David Cameron and want him to stand down if he fails to win an overall majority at the next election, according to a survey for The Independent.
It suggests the Prime Minister will come under strong pressure to quit even if the Conservatives remain the largest party after the 2015 election and he tries to continue the Coalition with the Liberal Democrats. Tory MPs who want Boris Johnson to take over are already plotting a coup in the event of another hung parliament. They say they would force an immediate Tory leadership contest if Mr Cameron fails to secure an overall majority-even if he is It reveals that Mr Johnson is rated more highly by Tory members than any member of the Cabinet - and is their strong favourite to succeed Mr Cameron. The Mayor of London is favoured by 37 per cent of Tory members, who choose the leader in a ballot from a shortlist of two decided by Tory MPs. William Hague, the Foreign Secretary and former leader, is backed by 22 per cent and Michael Gove, the Education Secretary and a possible “stop Boris” candidate, by 16 per cent. George Osborne, the Chancellor and the man Mr Cameron would like to see succeed him, appears to have little hope of taking over. A tiny 0.5 per cent of Tory members back him as the next leader. The Cabinet satisfaction ratings show that only half of Tory members are happy with Mr Cameron’s performance, which puts him in the bottom half of the ministerial rankings. Two Liberal Democrat ministers, Danny Alexander and Michael Moore, score higher than the Prime Minister - a remarkable finding in a party whose members are normally loyal to their leader. Mr Osborne scores even worse than Mr Cameron: only 46 per cent of Tory members are happy with his performance, while 53 per cent are not. In contrast, some 95 per cent of Tory activists are satisfied with Mr Johnson’s performance, and only 4 per cent dissatisfied. Some Cameron allies fear the London Mayor will eclipse the Prime Minister at the party conference in Birmingham, where he will address a fringe meeting tonight and the main conference tomorrow.
still in Downing Street with the Lib Dems’ backing. The survey of 1,872 Tory members, conducted by the ConservativeHome
website, shows that 67 per cent want Mr Cameron to stand down if he fails to win an outright election victory for a second time, while only 23 per cent do not.
Waive rights in return for shares, Osborne tells workers Conservative conference 2012
Workers are to be encouraged to sacrifice their employment rights in return for free shares in their company, George Osborne announced today. In his speech to the Conservative Party conference the Chancellor said that employees could benefit from between £2,000 and £50,000 of shares in the business that they work for. Chancellor George Osborne targets the under-25s and parents in a new blitz on welfare claimants announced at the Conservative conference. Chancellor George Osborne targets the under-25s and parents in a new blitz on welfare claimants announced at the Conservative conference. George Osborne told delegates the coalition government had to “finish the job we have started” in eliminating Britain’s deficit. He added: “Where is the fairness, we ask, for the shift worker, leaving home in the dark hours of the early morning, who looks up at the closed blinds of their next door neighbour sleeping off a life on benefits? “We speak for that worker. We speak for all those who want to work hard and get on. This is the mission of the modern Conservative Party.” The extra £10bn of cuts are in addition to the £18bn worth of measures that are already being implemented. Speaking in Birmingham, the chancellor said that while the wealthy should contribute the most to the cost of reducing the deficit, it was not possible to balance the books “on the wallets of the rich” alone. Ruling out Liberal Democrat proposals for a “mansion tax” on expensive homes, he said the cost of cutting the deficit following the financial crash was “taking longer than we hoped, because the damage was greater than
Osborne unveils £10bn benefits cut package
the BBC: “Nothing has been agreed within government on the detail of further savings. These are the kind of things we will thrash out within government in the months ahead.” The prospect of a further £10bn of cuts by 2016-17 is thought to have been resisted initially by Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith, but the two ministers have now reached agreement.
People ‘should have say on EU’, says Hague
we feared”. Where is the fairness for the shift worker, leaving home in the dark hours of the early morning, who looks up at the closed blinds of their next door neighbour sleeping off a life on benefits? Chancellor George Osborne But he added: “The economy is healing... let the message from this conference be clear: we will finish the job we have started.” Those affected by the latest cuts include the under-25s, who could lose the right to claim housing benefit in a move saving the Treasury up to £1.8bn. The chancellor said parents on benefits should make a financial decision about whether to have more children. “How can we justify a system where people in work have to consider the full financial costs of having another child, whilst those who are out of work don’t?” Mr Osborne did not say what the government was likely to do, leading to speculation that it could be planning to target child benefit, income support or tax credits. But Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg told
The Conservatives are also relying on support from the Liberal Democrats, whose leader, Nick Clegg, told his party’s annual conference last month that he would not allow “wild suggestions” of a £10bn cut in welfare. His colleague, Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Danny Alexander, told delegates: “We simply will not allow the books to be balanced in a way that hits the poorest hardest.” But Mr Osborne said that a further £16bn of savings had to be found in 2015-16 to meet his target of balancing the books within five years. He added: “Just as we should never balance the budget on the backs of the poor, so it’s an economic delusion to think you can balance it only on the wallets of the rich. “Yes, we inherited a tax system where some in the City were paying lower tax rates than their cleaners. That was wrong and we were right to change it. But in the same way, it is wrong that it’s possible for someone to be better off on benefits than they would be in work.” Mr Osborne said that despite the government’s decision to cut the 50p rate of tax to 45p, the rich would pay a greater share of tax revenue in every year of this parliament than they did in any of the 13 years Labour were in power.
William Hague, the Foreign Secretary, tells the Conservative Party Conference that some Western nations will struggle for decades - and warns a nuclear Iran would be “a disaster”.
The British people should be given a say on any “fresh settlement” in the European Union in the wake of the eurozone crisis, Foreign Secretary William Hague said. Voters could be given a chance to express their views either in a referendum or at a general election. But speaking on the eve of the Conservative Party conference in Birmingham, he indicated that a straight in-or-out referendum demanded by many Tory MPs was unlikely. “There’s likely to come the time that a fresh settlement will require fresh consent either in a general election or a referendum,” he said. Asked whether the next general election would effectively serve as a referendum on Britain’s membership of the EU, he said: “On that you’ll obviously have to wait for our manifesto for the next election. “The Prime Minister has said that he will speak, that he will make a speech on that in the coming months. So I think there will be more answers to that at that time.”
German court refused to allow a Muslim student to skip co-ed swimming
the girl’s plea and ordered her to begin attending swimming lessons without further delay. The presiding judge, Hans Rothaug, declared: “The applicant should have attended swimming lessons. In this particular case, there are no grounds for exemptions.” In its ruling, the court said the girl could wear the full-body swimsuit (also known as the “burkini”), which is already being used by several other Rothaug said that while he had no doubt that the girl was sincere about her religious convictions, “a burkini is a swimsuit that meets the dress code of Islam” and wearing one would be an “acceptable solution” to her problem. He pointed out that four out of five students at her school, the HeleneLange Schule, have an immigrant background, and that more than onethird are Muslims. The court also noted that the family federal supreme courts in Germany) to review the case.
South Asia Tribune I Thursday 11 October 2012
A Muslim girl in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia cannot skip co-ed swimming lessons because of religious prohibitions against wearing formfitting clothing, a German court ruled on Wednesday. The case is an example of the growing number of conflicts between German school officials and Muslim parents who want to keep their children from participating in sports activities, biology classes and field trips out of
Not the first such case
In June 2012, an administrative court in the northern German city of Bremen ruled that Muslim primary school students are not eligible for exemption from co-ed swimming lessons and that even in grade-school special exemptions can be claimed only after the onset of puberty.
administrative court in Düsseldorf dismissed a complaint brought by two Muslim parents from Wuppertal who wanted to keep their 11-year-old son out of a co-ed school swimming class. The parents had argued that in the swimming pool, the young boy could not avoid seeing his female classmates in their bathing suits, and that this amounted to “a dangerous influence on the emotional world of young people.” But the court rejected their case,
religious reasons. The 12-year-old girl, originally from Morocco, but now attending a school in the German city of Frankfurt, had refused to take part in swimming lessons because she said she was uncomfortable being close to barechested boys. After the girl’s teachers gave her a lower grade for failing to attend the lessons, her family filed a lawsuit in which they argued that, according to Islam, the girl was not only forbidden from showing herself to boys, but also from seeing the topless boys. On September 28, the Hessian Administrative Court in Kassel rejected
Draft law ends months of legal uncertainty after local court banned religious practice, causing outrage among Muslims and Jews Germany’s cabinet approved a draft law on Wednesday protecting the right to circumcise infant boys, which it says will end months of legal uncertainty after a local court banned the practice, causing outrage among Muslims and Jews. Earlier this year, a regional court ruled that circumcision of newborn boys amounted to assault, prompting protests from Jewish and Muslim organisations. It also raised fears among some of a resurgence in anti-Semitism in Germany. The new law will make circumcision explicitly legal, as long as it is carried out by trained experts, and parents are informed of any medical risks.
German cabinet OKs bill allowing circumcision
Muslim girls at her school, and that this solution would be sufficient to guarantee her religious freedom. Citing an earlier ruling by Germany’s constitutional court, the court also stated that one of the objectives of the education system is to promote integration, and that the fundamental rights of the freedom of religion must be balanced with the rules established by the school. In this context, the court said that religious minorities are required to avoid segregating themselves from the society at large, and that the girl must find a way to reconcile her religious beliefs and her obligation to integrate.
had chosen to live in Germany, where mixed swimming classes are the norm. The girl’s lawyer, Klaus Meissner, said she does not want to wear a burkini because “it’s a plastic bag and makes her look ugly.” In addition, seeing other boys and girls violates her modesty. “I do not want to see boy in short clothes. I do not like this,” the girl said. In an earlier ruling, a lower court in Frankfurt had already rejected the girl’s case. Other administrative courts in Germany have ruled similarly in similar cases, but because of the fundamental importance of the question, the court in Kassel said it would ask the Federal Administrative Court (one of the five
In 2009, the Ministry of Education in the German state of North RhineWestphalia stated that Muslim students must attend swimming lessons and participate in school trips. In May 2008, a court in Düsseldorf ordered a 12-year-old Muslim girl to participate in co-ed swimming lessons. The court ruled that although the obligation to attend swimming lessons with boys does represent an infringement on the freedom of religion, the state’s educational mission is more important. In any case, the problem could be greatly reduced by wearing swimwear that does not hug the body. In a landmark case in June 2005, an
saying that religious beliefs are not a reason to prevent children from attending swimming classes and said that the boy must attend them in the future. In a precedent-setting ruling, Chief Judge Uwe Sievers stated: “Religious convictions stand, in this case, against the duty of the school. But it is not the task of this court to challenge the Koran. Instead, we have to try to reconcile both interests. Besides, we live in a Western society in which we do not live by the rules of the Koran. And as on the street, the youngster can close his eyes to the girls... or wear long swimming trunks.”
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said the country risked becoming a laughing stock if Jews were not allowed to practice their rituals. The bill states that the operation should take place with the most effective pain relief possible and only if parents have been fully informed about the nature of the procedure. It makes no mention
of religious motivations for circumcision. The June ruling by a Cologne district court that circumcision constitutes “bodily harm” sparked an emotional national debate about religious freedom and the procedure itself. The debate in Germany over male circumcision has seen radical views
pushed on both sides, with both the Jewish and Muslim communities arguing the move was an attempt to attack their faiths. Others, however argue that the new law banning male circumcision in fact protects children’s health. The verdict followed the circumcision of a four-year-old Muslim boy by a German doctor on
his parents’ wishes. The court argued that the fouryear-old boy was not old enough to consent to have part of his body removed permanently and his parents should have let him decide when he got older. The practice of cutting of a baby boy’s foreskin is part of both Jewish and Islamic tradition.
South Asia Tribune I Thursday 11 October 2012
David Blaine Completes ‘Last Endurance Stunt’
David Blaine successfully ends three-day stunt standing in one million volts of electricity
Magician David Blaine stands inside an apparatus surrounded by a million volts of electric currents streamed by tesla coils during his 72-hour ”Electrified: 1 Million Volts Always On” stunt on Pier 54 in New York. David Blaine has finished what could be called his most electrifying stunt. Blaine was unable to stand on his own and was wheeled into an ambulance to get his health checked.
volts of electric currents at New York’s Pier 54. A spokesman said Blaine was able to walk with assistance, speak and kiss fiancee Alizee Guinochet before being taken to a hospital to be examined. Blaine, 39, wore a chainmail bodysuit as a barrier between himself and the currents, emitted by Tesla coils. The stunt - called “Electrified: One Million Volts Always On” - was
He has about five hours to go to finish his three-days of standing on a platform in Hudson River Park in New York City surrounded by 1
control the direction and intensity of the light and sound emitted by the Tesla coils through Ultrabook devices in stations in New York,
His relieved wife Alizee Guinochet was by his side. The illusionist emerged after spending three days and three nights standing in the middle of a million
streamed on YouTube with help from Intel. Blaine’s past stunts include hanging upside down over Central Park and being encased in a block of ice.
million volts of electricity. He has had no food or sleep. He is wearing a chain-mail suit, chain-mail socks and a wire helmet as the volts sizzles around him. The voltage is being generated by the public, who can
London, Beijing, Sydney, and Tokyo. “It’s like having your whole body surrounded by static electricity, the kind that makes your hair stand up
on end,” Blaine told the New York Times last week during a trial run. “It doesn’t hurt, but it’s strange. He was dressed in a 20lb chain-mail suit for three days, shooting purplish arcs of lightning out of his hands all in unison with music. “I feel like taking a nice long nap, after my shower,” he said after being sleep deprived with an empty stomach for the whole time. Blaine wore noise-cancelling earphones because Tesla coils are loud, which allowed him to hear and communicate with people on the ground. And to keep him from dehydration, he was provided with water through a tube, relieving himself through a catheter and fasting to avoid the need to defecate. A ventilation system ensured Blaine had breathable air, accompanied by a special visor in his helmet, which protected his eyes from the ultraviolet radiation of the arcing electricity.
South Asia Tribune I Thursday 11 October 2012
Amitabh Bachchan to receive mobile diabetes clinic for Mumbai to mark 70th birthday
unit will help combat the spread of diabetes in his beloved city of Mumbai. Bollywood legend Amitabh Bachchan is set to receive a unique 70th birthday present from the charity Silver Star – a mobile diabetes testing unit for Mumbai. Mr Bachchan will receive the gift from the British Deputy High Commissioner on behalf of the British people at the SevenHills Hospital Mumbai tomorrow Thursday, 11 October. The gift will mean the city of Mumbai will have a Mobile Diabetes Unit alongside those in London and Leicester in the UK and Goa in India. The mobile clinic will be named ‘Amitabh’ in honour of Mr Bachchan who is the charity’s international patron and who has been instrumental in raising diabetes awareness in India. Over the last 5 years Silver Star units have tested over 30,000 people in schools, communities, businesses and villages in the UK and India, which have literally saved lives and limbs. The ceremony will be held at the Seven Hills Hospital in Mumbai, who will fund and manage the operations of the unit which will offer free diabetes testing to the city’s most disadvantaged. Among those attending are delegations from all around the world, including the United Kingdom, led by Britain’s most senior Asian MP Keith Vaz. The hospital will be represented by Dr Jitendra Das Maganti, Chairman, and Dr Bhujang Pai, a world class radiologist. Peter Beckingham, British Deputy High Commissioner in India said: “I was delighted to hear of Silver Star’s plans to give a mobile diabetes unit to a hospital here to mark their close links to India. Like many countries it still suffers from a lack of awareness of the causes of, and treatment for, Type 2 diabetes, and Silver Star’s gift, to
Keith Vaz MP, Founder Patron of Silver Star said: “We are privileged to honour Amitabh Bachchan on his 70th
birthday for the work he has done for so many worthwhile causes throughout the world. The people of Britain wanted to give him a gift that was unique yet useful. This
The UK Conservative Party leaders vowed to continue their support for Pakistan and to work for strengthening the ties between the two countries. They said this while speaking at a reception hosted by the Pakistan High Commission London at Birmingham in association with the Conservative Friends of Pakistan on 9th October, 2012, on the occasion of Conservative Party’s Annual Conference.
Conservative Party Leaders vow continued support for Pakistan
coincide with the birthday of one of India’s most celebrated actors, Amitabh Bachchan, should help in the campaign to counter the effects of this too common condition. Diabetes is a silent killer. There are an estimated 62 million Indians with type-2 diabetes and by 2025 there will be almost 100 million with the condition. As someone who suffers with diabetes I know that with greater awareness we can prevent 80% of cases.”
The city of Dubai is built on foundations that are steeped in history and tradition. From the evocative Dubai Museum to the spectacular Jumeirah Mosque, and from the breathtaking Bastakiya to the imperious Heritage Village. There are many mysteries waiting to be unravelled. Explore Dubai at your pace and relive great traditions from day gone by.
(From left top) Pakistan High Commissioner for UK Mr Wajid Shamsul Hasan, Deputy High Commissioner Syed Zulfiqar Gardezi, Rt Hon Francis Maude MP and Mr Michael J Wade Chairman of the Conservative Friends of Pakistan The event was attended by a large number of prominent Conservative Party leaders including Rt Hon Lord Strathclyde, Leader of the House of Lords and President of the Conservative Friends of Pakistan, Rt Hon Francis Maude MP, Minister for the Cabinet Office and Paymaster General, Rt Hon James Arbuthnot MP, Chairman of the Defence Select Committee and Mr. Michael J Wade, Chairman of the Conservative Friends of Pakistan besides dozen other parliamentarians and over hundred of Mayors, Councilors and party members. In his address Rt Hon Francis Maude appreciated and acknowledged the role of Pakistan Diaspora in UK’s political, social and economic life. He also lauded the excellent relations that have developed from strength to strength over the years especially during the Conservative Party government. He assured fullest support to Pakistan in its efforts for peace in the region, war on terror and socio-economic welfare of the people under a democratic government. While speaking on the occasion, Mr Michael J Wade noted that ties between the UK and Pakistan were rooted in shared history and were indissoluble. He further said that with the formation of the Conservative Friends of Pakistan group, these relations would go from strength to strength. In his welcome address, Pakistan High Commissioner Mr. Wajid Shamsul Hasan expressed complete satisfaction over the present level of Pakistan-UK bilateral relations, particularly after the initiation of Enhanced Strategic Dialogue (ESD) in April 2011. He expressed confidence that bilateral trade would reach the targeted figure of £2.5bn by 2015.
South Asia Tribune I Thursday 11 October 2012
Turkey’s Syrian dilemma takes a dangerous turn
because the regime can either kill or imprison its opponents. This is not easy to do in a democratic country such as Turkey, however, where any attempt to come down on opponents to war in an authoritarian manner will clearly be met with mass protests. As it is, thousands of Alevis were out over the weekend in Ankara protesting the government’s Syrian policy, which could not have gone down to well among the hardcore Sunni elements within the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP). What makes matters worse for Erdoğan and Davutoğlu is that they have failed thus far to activate the international community to act militarily against the al-Assad regime. It is even doubtful that parliament on the issue on Tuesday, saying that his country does not want war, but that Turkey needs to be prepared for anything. At least 25 additional F-16 fighter jets were deployed at Turkey’s Diyarbakir air base late on Monday. Meanwhile, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, the NATO secretarygeneral, said that Ankara can rely on the alliance, which has “all necessary plans in place to protect and defend Turkey if necessary”. Rasmussen warned against the dangers of the conflict in Syria escalating, saying alliance member Turkey had shown commendable restraint in response to the shelling of its border area.
Prior to his visit to Hatay, Özel visited the southern city of Adana to inspect the region patrolled by Turkey’s 2nd Army, which protects the border with Syria, the military said on its website on Monday. Commanders were briefed about the recent situation on the border during a meeting at the Sixth Army Command. After the briefing, Özel and the commanders-in-chief of the armed forces held a meeting in the Officer’s Club in İskenderun.
Syria appears to be a problem for the Erdoğan government rather than for Turkey, none of whose vital interests were initially at risk due to the crisis there. Prime Minister Erdoğan and Foreign Minister Davutoğlu banked on an early departure for Bashar al-Assad and his regime. Because this did not happen, both have now made this issue a matter of honor. In doing so they have also engineered a situation that compromises Turkey’s security interests. Staying true to their initial course, however, both now accuse anyone who has serious doubts and fears about the government’s Syrian policy of caring nothing for the Syrian people, and of being overt or covert supporters of the Baath Party. But al-Assad and the Baathist regime were just as cruel towards their people when Erdoğan and Davutoğlu were cultivating his friendship in defiance of the West only two years ago. Not only that, but the Hama massacre of 1982, in which somewhere between 10,000 and 30,000 Sunnis were killed by the al-Assad family and their regime, was already part of history. Put another way, the past brutality of the same regime did not appear to stir Erdoğan and Davutoğlu’s conscience much only two years ago. This is why the humanistic arguments they are utilizing against their critics now simply does not wash. It is clear that their simple calculation was that al-Assad would go the way of Mubarak or Ghadafi, and Syria, where the population is predominantly Sunni, would fall neatly into Turkey’s sphere of influence. Given what happened instead, however, the honor of being the first Turkish government
to take the country to war with a predominantly Islamic neighbor may fall on the Erdoğan administration. The authorization
NATO has plans to defend Turkey if need be, Rasmussen says
The head of NATO said on Tuesday that the 28-member
the government received from Parliament last week to engage militarily with Syria if necessary has also raised the stakes in this regard. The government has to retaliate, of course, and appear uncompromising, in the face of the lethal shell and mortar fire aimed at Turkish territory from Syria. Nothing short of this would be acceptable to the public. This should not, however, be taken as an indication that Turks endorse the idea of all-out war with Syria. People are also aware that the shells aimed at Turkey could be acts of willful provocation designed to get Ankara embroiled in a military misadventure. There is also the fact that justified and legal retaliation is different from all-out war. This situation points to one of the key problems for Erdoğan and Davutoğlu: The simple truth is that Turks do not want war with Syria, a fact that has been corroborated by a host of opinion polls. The worst thing for any government is to prosecute a war that does not have the full support of the people. In authoritarian countries and dictatorships this does not matter,
Turkey would receive the all-out military support of its NATO allies should it go to war with Syria. Bellicose towards the Damascus regime as these allies may be, none has thus far indicated an appetite for becoming militarily involved in that country. In short, the government’s Syrian policy is like a rudderless ship adrift in stormy seas. How Erdoğan and Davutoğlu can continue to insist that this policy was and is the correct one, given that most of the public does not agree, is, however, the greatest mystery of all. Turkey sends fighter jets to Syrian border Ankara deploys F-16 fighter jets to southeastern border, as Turkey and Syria exchange fire for seventh straight day. Turkey has confirmed it is deploying more fighter jets to an airbase close to the border with Syria, amid artillery exchanges along its tense southeastern border with Syria. Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey’s prime minister, addressed
chief inspects troops along Syrian border
Chief of General Staff Gen. Necdet Özel, accompanied by Land Forces Commander Gen. Hayri Kıvrıkoğlu and Lt. Gen. Galip Mendi, visited Şanlıurfa on Tuesday to inspect the region after a mortar shell from Syria struck the province last week, killing five civilians.
military alliance had plans in place to defend Turkey against attack from Syria if necessary, but that he hoped the two countries would find a way to stop tensions escalating. NATO ambassadors threw their support behind Turkey in an emergency meeting last week after Syrian shells struck a border town in Turkey killing five civilians. On Monday, Turkish President
Prior to the visit to Şanlıurfa, Özel, Kıvrıkoğlu and Mendi visited Turkey’s border province of Hatay and the southern province of Kilis to inspect military units on Tuesday.
Abdullah Gül said the “worst-case scenarios” were now playing out in Syria and that Turkey would do everything necessary to protect itself.
South Asia Tribune I Thursday 11 October 2012
A two-day US-Pakistan Business Opportunities Conference cohosted by the United States Trade Representative (USTR) , Embassy of Pakistan, Washington DC, Board of Investment, and Ministry of Commerce, Islamabad on 4-5 October 2012 in London concluded . Ambassador Susman, the US Ambassador to the United Kingdom and Wajid Shamsul Hasan, Pakistan’s Ambassador to the UK patronized this conference. The conference was significant as it was the first time a bilateral business initiative has been taken between the two governments under the Pakistan-USA Trade & Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA). This morning US Ambassador Susman, Ambassador Sherry Rehman, Pakistani High Commissioner Wajid Shamsul Hasan, Assistant US Trade Representative Michael Delany, Secretary Commerce Munir Qureshi and Chairman Board of Investment Salim Mandviwala spoke at the plenary session of the conference and made a strong pitch for Pakistan-US economic relations that were growing and consistent as the one constant that had not been undermined by stresses in other areas of the relationship. The resilience of the Pakistan-USA bilateral trade & investment relationship is evident from the fact the USA is Pakistan’s largest export market and also Pakistan’s largest inward investor. The US government is represented at this conference to demonstrate its support to this opportunity for businessmen from both sides to interact and actually conduct business transactions. Significantly Ambassador Dan Feldman, Deputy Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, OPIC Vice President Robert Drumheller, US Economic Counsellor, US Embassy Islamabad Robert Ewing attended the conference and spoke with the Pakistan Government officials expressing their hope that this conference would provide a tool for growth and prosperity in Pakistan. The Pakistan Private Investment Initiative (PPII) that would attract private investment for the Small & Medium Enterprises sector of Pakistan, was also launched here today. International Finance Corporation, World Bank Private Sector Development Group, U.S. Trade and Development Agency, U.S. Overseas Private Investment Corporation, USAID, Asian Development Bank also attended the conference to support growth
US-Pakistan Business Opportunities Conference concluded in London
Reception hosted by Pakistan High Commissioner for UK Mr Wajid Shamsul Hasan in honor of the participants of the “2012 US-Pakistan Business Opportunities Conference” held in London on 4-5 October 2012. High Commissioner Mr Wajid Shamsul Hasan and Pakistan’s Ambassador to US Ms Sherry Rehman addressed the guests. The Conference was co-hosted by the office of the United States Trade Representative, Ministry of Commerce and Board of Investment and was attended by the leading business companies of the US and Pakistan. of business between Pakistan and the USA. The whole afternoon of the conference was dedicated to sector specific breakout sessions on textiles, energy, access to finance, consumer goods and financial fired power plant in DHA Karachi in the afternoon. Leading Pakistani textile houses and the Chairman of Pakistan Readymade Garments Association ( PREGMEA) had detailed returns to the business companies and that the American companies could benefit from the liberal business and investment regime in Pakistan. She appreciated the idea of bringing the businesses
economic policies of Pakistan, the government had passed the Special Economic Zones Act due to which political changes of Pakistan would not affect the economic policies of the country. Mr Michael Delaney, Assistant USTR said that he was confident of the productive outcome of the initiative. He further said that USPakistan trade relationship never saw ups and downs and had always been mutually beneficial. Pakistan High Commissioner for UK Mr Wajid Shamsul Hasan said that Government of Pakistan, its leadership and its people greatly valued their ties with the US and would like to pursue a program to broaden and further strengthen bilateral relations. He welcomed American investors to the growing market of Pakistan. Ambassador Dan Feldman, Deputy Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan emphasized that to increase the US investment to Pakistan it was essential to conclude the Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT). He said that this bilateral conference was aimed at providing a vehicle of economic growth for Pakistan through trade, as increasingly the
A group photo of Chairman Board of Investment Salim H. Mandviwala, Secretary Commerce Munir Qureshi, Mr Michael Delaney Assistant USTR, Pakistan High Commissioner for UK Mr Wajid Shamsul Hasan, Peter J Dailey CEO IEP, Pakistan Ambassador to USA Ms Sherry Rehman, Naveed Khan CEO Faisal Bank of Pakistan on the conclusion of 2012 US-Pakistan Business Opportunities Conference held in London on 5-10-2012. services. The conferences’ first goal was to put many of the US and Pakistani companies together, and many of the 50 companies participating had already booked the full afternoon of scheduling for business to business meetings. The US company, Case New Holland termed its business in Pakistan as successful and that they were attending the conference to seek opportunities for growth of their business in Pakistan. Paul Daley President International Electric Power (IEP), signed an agreement with Faysal Bank Pakistan with the support of Overseas Private Investment Corporation ( OPIC) for revamping and restarting the 94 Megawatt gas meetings with GAP, JC Penny and Target from the USA to discuss exports of apparel from Pakistan to the USA. Addressing on the occasion, the US Ambassador Mr Susman said that the purpose of the Conference was to bring the business communities of the two countries together to build productive economic relationships. He further said that US was in favour of trade with Pakistan instead of aid. Mr Susman hoped that the USPakistan economic partnership would further strengthen. Pakistan’s Ambassador to the United States Ms Sherry Rehman in her address said that Pakistan offered one of the best rate of
Power Project being signed by Peter J Dailey CEO IEP and Naveed Khan CEO Faisal Bank of Pakistan; Robert Drumhelle VP OPIC and Salim H. Mandviwala Chairman Board of Investment are standing behind on the occasion of 2012 US-Pakistan Business Opportunities Conference held in London on 5-10-2012. of the two countries together and expressed hope that the PakistanUSA Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT) would be concluded to the satisfaction of both sides. Mr Salim H. Mandviwala Chairman of the Board of Investment, Pakistan said that in order to give consistency to the emphasis on aid as a tool of growth was diminishing. Secretary Commerce Mr Munir Qureshi termed Pakistan’s regulatory regime very conducive to the foreign business and investment companies and urged the US business persons to capitalize on this supporting environment.
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South Asia Tribune I Thursday 11 October 2012
The United Nations has admitted that its 2009 headline-grabbing announcement that one billion people in the world were hungry was off-target and that the number is actually more like 870 million.
The UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) blamed flawed methodology and poor data for the erroneous projection, and said it now uses a much more accurate set of parameters and statistics to calculate its annual estimate of the world’s hungry. FAO issued its 2012 state of food insecurity report on Tuesday, and its core point was to set the record straight about the number of the world’s undernourished people, applying the more accurate data retroactively back to 1990. And the good news, FAO said, is that the number of hungry people has actually been declining steadily - rather than increasing over the past two decades, although progress has slowed since the 2007-2008 food crises and the global economic downturn. FAO said that if the right action is taken now to boost economic growth and invest in agriculture, particularly in poor countries, the UN goal of reducing by half the number of the world’s hungry people by 2015 is very much within reach. In a foreword to the report, the heads of the three UN food agencies said that 870 million hungry people is still far too many: “In today’s world of unprecedented technical and economic opportunities, we find it entirely unacceptable that more than 100 million
UN revises 1.02 Billion world hunger figures
children under the age of five are underweight, and are therefore unable to realise their full socio-economic and human potential.” FAO made headlines in 2009 when it announced that one billion people - onesixth of the world’s population - were undernourished. A high-level summit was called at FAO headquarters in Rome and UN food chief Jacques Diouf went on a day-long hunger strike to show solidarity with the one billion. The Group of Eight devoted much of its summit that year to pledging 20 billion US dollars (£12.5 billion) for seeds, fertilisers and tools to help poor nations feed themselves. It turned out, though, that the projections were wrong. They were calculated using figures from non-UN sources which were fed into the UN’s number-crunching model, because FAO was under pressure from governments to quickly come up with an estimate of how many people might go hungry from the dual crises of high food prices and the global downturn, said Kostas Stamoulis, director of FAO’s agricultural development economics division. “There was considerable fear that that combination of lower incomes and higher prices was going to cause significant undernourishment,” said Jomo Kwame Sundaram, FAO’s assistant director-general for economic and social development. But now “no one really knows for sure if at any particular period whether that one billion figure was actually reached or not”, he said, explaining that the goal is to assess chronic hunger, rather than spikes caused by temporary food shortages and price hikes.
A man who posted a Facebook message that said “all soldiers should die and go to hell” after six British soldiers were killed in Afghanistan has been spared jail. Azhar Ahmed, 20, admitted posting
Azhar Ahmed’s posting was not tolerable and grossly offensive”
Facebook army rant man spared jail
Battalion The Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment, was killed alongside Corporal Jake Hartley, 20, Private Anthony Frampton, 20, Private Ahmed told a trial at Huddersfield Magistrates’ Court he did not think what he had written was offensive. But the remarks were described page and when some told him they had lost relatives in Afghanistan he realised how serious it was. But he denied the message was grossly
the message two days after the deaths of the servicemen in March. He was charged after the mother of one of the soldiers read the comments and was so upset she called the police.
as “derogatory, disrespectful and inflammatory” by a district judge who found him guilty of sending a grossly offensive communication. Sergeant Nigel Coupe, 33, of 1st
Christopher Kershaw, 19, Private Daniel Wade, 20, and Private Daniel Wilford, 21, all of 3rd Battalion the Yorkshire Regiment. Ahmed, of Fir Avenue, Ravensthorpe, Dewsbury, West Yorkshire, told the court at his trial last month that he deleted the post as soon as he realised what reaction it was having. He said he replied with apologies to many people who commented on his
offensive and said he thought it would just have been upsetting and caused distress. During sentencing at Huddersfield Magistrates’ Court, Nicholas Barker, defending Ahmed, said it was a “serious matter” but not one that warranted custody. He said Ahmed was initially voicing “legitimate concerns” about the victims of war but went on to overstep the
mark. When he realised his latter comments were causing distress, he removed them, Mr Barker added. District Judge Jane Goodwin said the law should not stop legitimate political opinions being strongly voiced. But she said the test was whether what was written was “beyond the pale of what’s tolerable in our society”. She ruled Ahmed’s posting was not tolerable and said “I’m satisfied that the message was grossly offensive”. He was given a two-year community order with 240 hours of community service and ordered to pay £300 in costs at the hearing. “There were some right-wing protesters at the back of the court. “They stood up and started shouting when that sentence was handed down and the district judge Jane Goodwin called one of them back in before her and made him apologise.
‘Controversial anti-Islam ads set for Washington DC’ ‘Washington Post’ reports inflammatory ad equating jihad with savagery to be posted in 4 DC subways beginning Monday.
Activists Deface ‘Savage’ Anti-Islam Ads
Times Square. However, despite the heightened security, several of the posters were vandalized almost immediately. Activists covered the ads with stickers that read “HATE SPEECH” and “RACIST.” Mona Eltahawy, an Egyptian-American
South Asia Tribune I Thursday 11 October 2012
The ads are framed as pro-Israel, but how does the Jewish community in the U.S. feel about them? Most seem to condemn the ads. Jewish New Yorker Rebecca Klinger tells the New York Post that the ads are “contrary to Jewish teachings
Yesterday, anti-racist activists vandalized 10 outrageously offensive pro-Israel ads scattered throughout the NYC subway system. The 46x30inch ads, which the Metropolitan Transportation Authority tried unsuccessfuly to refuse, read, “In any war between the civilized man and the savage, support the civilized man. Support Israel. Defeat Jihad.” A federal judge has ordered the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Agency to begin displaying anti-jihad advertisements beginning on Monday, the Washington Post reported on Saturday. US District Judge Rosemary Collyer issued the one-page ruling on Friday, granting an injunction to the American Freedom Defense Initiative that sought to force the Metropolitan Area Transit Agency to display the posters in four stations, the Washington Post reported, even though the agency said the ads might incite violence. The posters were scheduled to be displayed for a month starting on September 24, but were delayed until the court decision. “In any war between the civilized man and the savage, support the civilized man,” the ad reads. “Support Israel/Defeat Jihad.” Rabbi’s for Human Rights in North America plans to take out subway ads urging riders to “choose love” in what the group’s director calls a response to the anti-jihad
advertisements, The Jewish Week reported on Friday. The Rabbis for Human Rights’ ads say, “In the choice between love and hate, choose love. Help stop bigotry against our Muslim neighbors.” The anti-jihad ads initially appeared in San Fransisco, and have drawn
In July, a federal judge ruled the anti-jihad posters were protected speech and ordered the Metropolitan Transit Authority to place the posters in New York City subways. Judge Paul A. Engelmayer of Federal District Court in Manhattan ruled that the authority had violated the
writer and activist, sprayed pink paint on an ad at the Times Square subway station before being detained by police and charged with criminal mischief and graffiti-related crimes. The ads are sponsored by the antiMuslim group American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI). With continued rioting in the Middle East over the anti-Islamic film Innocence of Muslims, some fear the subway ads could agitate an already tense situation. But AFDI founder and executive director Pamela Geller (who also headed a campaign opposing an Islamic cultural center near Ground Zero) dismissed concerns that her ad could ignite protests, saying, “What
and Jewish philosophies… I find it appalling that anyone claim[ing] to be pro-Israel would suggest some human beings are savage and less than human. The Nazis tried to do the same thing to the Jews, to make them seem less than human.” Over at CNN, Rabbi Rachel KahnTroster called the ads “deeply misguided and disturbing,” particularly in the midst of the religion’s High Holidays. She adds: It is also unfortunate that Geller chooses to frame her message of hatred as one of support for Israel. The complicated struggle for peace in the Middle East and against terrorism must not be reduced to a simplistic message of a war between good and evil. Although there is considerable debate within
outrage from civil and human rights movements as well as legal advocates and activists. People have signed a petition demanding to take the ads down. The San Francisco Municipal Transit Authority posted full-sized disclaimer placards on buses that carry the ads. The disclaimer says that “SFMTA policy prohibits discrimination based on national origin, religion and other characteristics, and condemns any statements that describe any group as ‘savages.’”
First Amendment rights of the group that sought to place the ad. Pamela Geller, executive director of the American Freedom Defense Initiative, also rejected the Metropolitan Transit Authority’s assertion the posters were demeaning. “There’s nothing either hateful or false about my ad,” Geller said in an email. Police wordlessly increased their presence in the 10 stations where the ads were posted, including busy stops such as Grand Central and
are you going to do? Are you going to reward Islamic extremism? I will not sacrifice my freedom so as not to offend savages.” Monday, before the ads were posted, religious leaders from Jewish, Muslim and Christian communities rallied in New York to protest them. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority originally rejected the ads, but was forced to run them when federal judge Paul Engelmayer ruled last month that the posters were protected under the First Amendment.
the Jewish community about how to best support Israel and achieve peace with her neighbors, it is clear that part of our contribution as Americans is to show the world that religious pluralism is both possible and beneficial for a thriving democracy. Despite the flurry of disapproval, Geller and her organization are continuing their anti-Islam campaign. The AFDI already has similar ads posted in San Francisco and has filed suit to force the Washington, D.C., transit system to run them.
Saarc international I Thursday 11 October 2012
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov says India and Pakistan are capable of settling issues though bilateral discussions without outside help. The two countries have “established diplomatic traditions” and the ongoing contacts are a “good” development. India and Pakistan were in touch and talking to each other, Lavrov noted while speaking through an interpreter during a joint news conference with Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar. “We discussed this issue. We welcome steps Pakistan and India have taken on confidencebuilding measures. Both countries are capable of settling their issues on their own without any foreign assistance,” Lavrov said. The two countries have “established diplomatic traditions” and the ongoing contacts between India and Pakistan are a “good” development, he said. Russia and Pakistan seek to put their relationship back on track after the hiccups following the
Russia says India, Pakistan ‘capable’ of settling issues through talks
cancellation of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s much awaited visit to Islamabad this week. cancelling the Putin visit at the eleventh hour — Islamabad was informed just last week — Mr. on to underline that the bilateral relationship — which has evolved over the past one-and-a-half years — was by no means a onevisit association. And, to drive home her point that Russia was serious about the relationship, she disclosed: “Mr. Lavrov is with us on a two-day notice”. Both Ministers described their talks as part of an ongoing exercise to explore avenues for cooperation at all levels including military, besides coordinated action on regional and international issues on which there was a convergence of opinion. According to Ms. Khar, the two sides also explored the possibility of a presidential meeting but she did not specify the venue. Calling drone attacks a violation of Pakistan’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Russia backed Pakistan’s position on this matter. To a pointed question on what Russia would do to help solve the Kashmir issue, Mr. Lavrov was categorical: “I don’t think any of
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov flew into Islamabad on Wednesday on what his Pakistani counterpart Hina Rabbani Khar said was a “two-day notice” amid widespread disappointment in Pakistan’s policy circles over Mr. Putin’s last minute cancellation. Asked what message Russia was trying to send Pakistan by
Lavrov said that there was no reason other than the President’s packed schedule. This was seconded by Ms. Khar who maintained that Pakistan should accept what the Russians are saying, that it was a scheduling problem. Stating that Pakistan was keen to have Mr. Putin here, she went
the outstanding issues between India and Pakistan need external interference.” Describing the diplomacy of both countries as “mature”, he welcomed the improvement in Pakistan’s relations with India. Mr. Putin was scheduled to travel to Pakistan to attend the quadrilateral summit that includes Afghanistan and Tajikistan. Had the visit materialised, it would have been billed as a big feather in the cap of the Zardari dispensation, signalling a break from Pakistan’s earlier foreign policy which was completely aligned with the U.S — to the extent that many rightwing policy makers still take pride in having had a part in the breakdown of the former Soviet Union. It is not just the civilian dispensation that is trying to steer away from the bitter history. Even as Mr. Lavrov was flying into Islamabad, Chief of Army Staff Ashfaq Parvez Kayani headed off to Moscow on a scheduled visit that remained immune to Mr. Putin’s decision.
SAFMA, SAMC outraged at Pakistani journalist’s killing
Tuesday, 13th November, 2012 Cultural Activities Centre (C.A.C), International Islamic University Malaysia
South Asian Free Media Association (SAFMA) and South Asia Media Commission (SAMC) have strongly condemned the killing of a television reporter in Pakistan’s Balochistan province and called for an investigation into his murder. Police said Abdul Haq, who worked for a private TV channel ARY, was shot while driving home around 100 yards from the local press club in the town of Khuzdar, 230 kilometres south of the provincial capital Quetta. “Journalists have been continuously targeted over the last few years. Authorities must act swiftly to end this cycle of violence and impunity,” SAFMA Secretary General Imtiaz Alam and SAMC President Kumar Ketkar said in a joint statement. “SAFMA and SAMC support calls for an immediate inquiry into the death of Abdul Haq Baloch, 37, who was
also the general secretary of Khuzdar Press Club, and all other journalists abducted, tortured and killed in Balochistan. It has become virtually impossible to report independently,” the heads of the media rights bodies said. “Threats to the safety of journalists, especially those working in the conflict areas are mounting. The authorities should work towards ensuring that the journalists work in a safe environment and do not become victims of anti-media attacks,” they said. “Balochistan is a dangerous place for journalists to work in. Haq is the 22nd journalist to have lost his life in the line of duty in the restive province. But none of the cases has been seriously investigated and no one has been arrested or punished for these heinous crimes,” Mr Alam and Mr Ketkar said.
Law is with judiciary, not with Khaps: Sonia Gandhi
The men behind the gang-rape of a Dalit girl who committed suicide in a village near this Haryana town should get the severest punishment, Congress president Sonia Gandhi said here Tuesday after meeting the victim’s family. “Main is tarah ki ghatna ki bharpoor ninda karti hoon. Doshi ko sakht se sakht saza milni chahiye (I criticise in the strongest terms these kind of incidents. The guilty should get the severest punishment),” Gandhi told journalists. “We have democratic systems here. We have a judiciary. The law is in the hands of the judiciary and nobody else,” the Congress chief said in Sachhakhera village in Jind district after meeting the family of the minor gang-rape victim who committed suicide last week. She added that these kind of incidents should stop not just in Haryana but all over the country. The victim, aged 16, who belonged to a poor, Dalit family, was allegedly gang-raped by two youths from her neighbourhood Saturday. She doused herself with kerosene and set herself on fire soon after the incident. Haryana horror? All India Democratic Women’s Association (AIDWA) has said low are a result of low sex ratio - 830 girls for 1000 boys as per 2011 census. Also, there is a huge gender added Sangwan. A teenaged Dalit girl in Jind died on Saturday after she set herself on fire. The teenager was allegedly gangraped. Reports said that the 16-year-old girl was forcibly taken to the house of one of the suspects where the crime occurred. She was rushed to the civil hospital in Jind district, and was later referred to PGIMS at Rohtak in serious condition. The girl breathed her last on Saturday evening in the Rohtak hospital. Earlier on Saturday, the victim in her statement to the police said that one of her neighbours Pradeep allegedly dragged her into his house while the sisterin-law of the accused kept guard standing on the terrace of the house so that nobody could come inside. Pradeep and another youth Naveen raped the teenager. This is the ninth rape case to come to light in Haryana in the past 28 days and a majority of these rapes took place in Jind district alone. Haryana government has formed a three-member committee to look into these incidents.
Sonia Gandhi blasts Khap
South Asia Tribune I Thursday 11 October 2012
Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda, who has so far been maintaining that “no accused would be spared”, was present at the village along with state ministers and top civil and police officers during the visit of the Congress president to the village in Jind district. Gandhi was also accompanied by union minister Kumari Selja. 9 rapes in less than a month, low sex-ratio responsible for
sex ratio is partly responsible for the spate of rapes in Haryana as the ninth case was reported from the state in less than a month. The association also accused the police of apathy towards rape victims and their families. AIDWA Vice President Jagmati Sangwan said, “The sex ratio in Haryana is so dismal that boys are not finding girls for marriage. Such factors create an environment which is unsafe for women.” The rising rape cases, experts say,
bias in the state and high incidences of foeticide contributing to the low sex ratio. More unmarried men are of marriageable age, however, most of them are unemployed. Another factor is rising use of alcohol among the young. “The apathy of the police protects the criminals. The police doesn’t act in the manner it should to give a lesson to others. Parents also don’t come ahead to get the rape cases registered because they don’t have any hope of getting justice,”
Pakistani Taliban accepts responsibility of attacking National Peace Award winner and young Pakistani rights activist Malala Yousufzai, who with another girl was injured in the attack on their school van on Tuesday, DawnNews reported.
Pakistani Taliban accepts attacking Malala in Swat
Malala Yusafzai 14, among two girls shot and injured in Swat
Speaking to Dawn.com’s correspondent Zahir Shah Sherazi from an undisclosed destination, Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) spokesman Ahsanullah Ahsan said that the TTP accepts responsibility of the attack as Malala was propagating anti-Taliban and ‘secular’ thoughts among the youth of the area. Sources said Malala was hit by couple of bullets to her neck and head. 14-year-old rights activist who has campaigned for girls’ education has been shot and injured in the Swat Valley in north-west Pakistan. Malala Yousafzai was attacked on her way home from school in Mingora, the region’s main town. Nominated for an international peace award, she came to public attention in 2009 by writing a diary for BBC Urdu about life under the Taliban. Taliban militants overran Swat before being ejected by the army that year.
It is unclear if the girl was the target of the attack, but she has been threatened in the past. She was travelling with at least one
Yousafzai by name, before opening fire. But a police official also told BBC Urdu that unidentified gunmen
Malala at the time was also injured. ‘Courage’ Malala Yousafzai was just 11 when she was writing her diary, two years
other girl when she was shot but there are differing accounts of how events unfolded. One report, citing local sources, says a bearded gunman stopped a car full of schoolgirls, and asked for Malala
opened fire on the schoolgirls as they were about to board a van or bus. Initial reports say she was hit in the head or neck area but is now in hospital and is reportedly out of danger. Another girl who was with
after the Taliban took over the Swat Valley, and ordered girls’ schools to close. In the diary, which she kept for the BBC’s Urdu service under a pen name, she exposed the suffering caused by
the militants as they ruled. She used the pen-name Gul Makai when writing the diary. Her identity only emerged after the Taliban were driven out of Swat and she later won a national award for bravery and was also nominated for an international children’s peace award. Correspondents say she earned the admiration of many across Pakistan for her courage in speaking out about life under the brutal rule of Taliban militants. One poignant entry reflects on the Taliban decree banning girls’ education: “Since today was the last day of our school, we decided to play in the playground a bit longer. I am of the view that the school will one day reopen but while leaving I looked at the building as if I would not come here again.” Malala Yusafzai was a public figure who didn’t shy away from risks and had strong support from her parents for her activism. Indeed, her father, who is a school teacher, expressed his pride in her campaigning. In a statement about the attack, Pakistani Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf said: “We have to fight the mindset that is involved in this. We have to condemn it... Malala is like my daughter, and yours too. If that mindset prevails, then whose daughter would be safe? “
South Asia Tribune I Thursday 11 October 2012
MQM peace Rally and Violence in Karachi
Two cops among 17 killed
At least 17 people, including two policemen, were killed in sporadic acts of violence during rallies taken out by different religious organisations in protest against the anti-Islam film on Friday. Over 100 people, 12 policemen among them, were injured. Initially police fired teargas shells at the protesters, but when the situation worsened they resorted to firing. The mob wanted to march towards the US consulate from Jinnah Bridge to register their protest. The Tower showdown between police and protesters left a policeman dead and five others wounded. Four protesters suffered fatal gunshot wounds. “Six bodies, including that of a policeman, and 40 wounded have been brought to Civil Hospital. A wounded policeman died during treatment,” a medico legal officer at the hospital said. The crowd turned hostile at the emergency ward when a power failure hit the hospital. They ransacked the ward and took away an AC and a computer. “Six men were brought dead in Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre and one died during treatment,” Dr Seemi Jamali, in-charge of the hospital’s emergency ward, said, adding: “We have treated 83 gunshot victims brought from different areas of the city.” Ten injured were taken to Abbasi Shaheed Hospital. The protesters resorted to violence at emergency wards of both the hospitals.
Four cinema houses — Nishat, Prince, Capri and Bambino — were set on fire when protest rallies were passing through M.A. Jinnah Road on their way to the US consulate. Gulistan Cinema was torched in Quaidabad. The DC Office, Malir, was also set on fire. “Two of our fire tenders were attacked by the protesters. Five firemen were wounded at Tibet Centre when we tried to reach the cinema houses,” said an officer at the central fire station. “We received complaints about fire in cinema houses, cars and banks, but our vehicles were not able to reach the place because of the volatile situation”. The protesters acted with impunity at the PIDC intersection for a few hours, setting fire to a bank and ransacking almost all banks located on the stretch of the road described by police as the ‘red zone’. The shops located adjacent to PIDC building were also damaged and looted by the protesters. The NIB Bank was set on fire at PICD, while UBL, MCB Bank and National Bank were ransacked and looted by the protesters. They ransacked ATM machines of the banks at PIDC and tried to snatch cash out of them. Another bank was ransacked in Tower area. A traffic police post at PIDC was set on fire. The protesters also ransacked front shops at Sheraton Hotel and an international fast food chain outlet in the PIDC House, taking away their furniture. At least three police mobiles were set on fire near
the Chief Minister House. “We don’t have ammunition to use against the
Muttahida Quami Movement (MQM) in collaboration with Defence Clifton Residence Committee on Sunday staged a peace rally in Karachi. Participated by a large number of people including women holding Pakistani flags, the
MQM stages peace rally in Karachi
protesters”, said a policeman who was hiding behind a container. Although the SSP and DC South were seen patrolling the areas around the Karachi Press Club, along with their big escorts, but none of them reached the PIDC when the loot and arson attacks were taking place. A number of policemen were injured when the protesters attacked two police stations near Keamari and Manghopir. There were reports that the protesters snatched some arms from the policemen. One of the wounded policemen, identified as sub-inspector Illyas, later died in hospital. According to sources, an ammunition shop and an FC post were set on fire in Kharadar.
rally marched on streets, raising slogans for bringing peace in Karachi, the largest city of Pakistan. The rally started from Bin Qasim Park and ended at Teen Talwar Roundabout.
Speaking to the rally, MQM leader Dr Farooq Sattar said Karachiites by participating in the peace rally have rejected criminals and extortionists. He said Karachi needs a lasting peace, which is also imperative for the propensity and progress of the whole country. He expressed concerns on Talibanisation in the city and demanded stern action against the extremist elements. Sattar said the citizens of the metropolis have to show the spirit of owing this city and safeguarding its interests. He said Muttahida Quami Movement in the leadership of Altaf Hussain would continue to strive for the peace and prosperity of Karachi and its citizens. Other MQM leaders also spoke on the occasion. Later, the rally participants dispersed peacefully.
Iran on Tuesday warned the United Arab Emirates it could cut diplomatic relations between the two countries if the Arab nation keeps repeating claims to three Gulf islands that are controlled by Tehran. Later, Iranian officials appeared to be trying to walk back the threat. The news website of Iran’s parliament, ICANA.ir, quoted Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast as saying that Iran will either cut or reduce ties with the UAE if it repeats its charges “If baseless anti-Iranian claims become too much, and downgrading or cutting diplomatic ties becomes the only option to secure national interests, this will be done,” Mehmanparast was quoted as saying. “The continuous and repeated Emirati claims will have a
Iran warns UAE it could cut relations over disputed Gulf islands controlled by Tehran
negative impact on various parts of the relationship” with Iran. The comments marked the first time that Iran has threatened to cut ties with the UAE. In the past, Tehran has said it was willing to discuss the case on the bilateral level — though it never said relinquishing the islands was an option. Iran is a top trading partner of Dubai, with the Islamic Republic importing
annually $10 billion worth of goods on average in recent years. Visiting Dubai, deputy Iranian Foreign Minister Hasan Qashqavi added reassurance, saying, “Iran’s relations with the Emirates are expanding,” adding “warm greetings” to the Emirates, the semiofficial Mehr news agency reported. Mehmanparast also said Iran will have an “immediate reaction against any
country that violates Iran’s territory” and stressed how the Emirati claims about the islands have been “very provocative for Iranians.” The remarks are part of Iran’s harsher stance after the UAE’s statement at the General Assembly in September. In April, a visit by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to the islands inflamed the dispute over the territories and
prompted an outcry by UAE and its Arab allies. Tehran later vowed to develop the islands through tourism and other industries, though nothing has been reported on that since the visit. Tehran says the islands have been part of states that existed on the Iranian mainland from antiquity until the British occupied them in early 20th century. Tehran also maintains that an agreement signed eight years before its 1979 Islamic Revolution between Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi and the ruler of one of the UAE’s seven emirates, Sharjah, gives it the right to administer Abu Musa and station troops there. There was no agreement on the other two islands. The UAE insists they belonged to the emirate of Ras al-Khaimah until Iran captured them by force days before the UAE statehood in 1971.
‘Send my son home’ – Baber Ahmed’s father
British record for the longest time spent behind bars without trial. The decision to extradite Babar Ahmad to the US to face terror charges has been condemned as “shameful” and “disappointing” by family and friends as justice campaigners renewed their calls for extradition arrangements with America to be reviewed. The father of Babar Ahmad, one of five terror suspects extradited to America on Friday night, made an impassioned plea for his son to be brought back to UK, saying the injustice of his case would harm Britain’s reputation abroad and shatter community relations. Ashfaq Ahmad told The Independent on Sunday that the Government had “disgraced themselves” by handing over his son when there was not enough evidence to try him in the UK. Babar Ahmad, 37, appeared in a Connecticut court yesterday with Syed Talha Ahsan, charged with running websites that were allegedly connected to funding terrorism. Both pleaded not guilty and were remanded in custody. They were flown out of the country at the same time as the so called radical cleric Abu Hamza also known MI6 asset, who faced terror charges at a New York court yesterday alongside Khaled al-Fawwaz and Adel Abdul Bary. On Friday, all five had their grounds for appeal denied in the High Court. But unlike Hamza, who has already been convicted in UK of soliciting to murder and stirring up racial hatred, there was insufficient evidence to bring any charges against and Ahsan or Ahmad in the UK. Speaking near his home in Tooting, south London, Ashfaq Ahmad, 77, said: “The Government have disgraced themselves by sending him there. They should stand up for British citizens. They can redeem themselves by sending him back here. “The cases of Babar and Hamza are poles apart and should never have been put together. It’s like someone taking a wallet and someone killing someone. It has done a lot of damage to Babar’s cause and reputation. Everyone just says ‘Hamza and four others’, but they’re very different cases. I believe he’s innocent. Let him go to court here and prove his innocence.” Babar Ahmad was alleged to have been involved in Azzam. com, a website that supported Osama bin Laden and promoted found at the south Londoner’s home. The data set, including the disks, forms part of a dossier of evidence that was sent across the Atlantic but was never seen by the Crown Prosecution Service which dropped the initial charges against Ahmad paving the way for is long battle against extradition to the United States. Critics of Ahmad’s extradition say not enough was done to make sure that the 58-year-old was tried in a British court and that his prosecution has been effectively outsourced to the United States. Both the Metropolitan Police and the Government have refused to be drawn on the exact nature of the cooperation between British and American detectives following Ahmad’s arrest in December 2003. But documents filed in a Connecticut court reveal how multiple requests were made by an FBI agent under mutual legal assistance laws which allow foreign governments to ask British police to conduct investigations on their behalf. The papers come from a trial four years ago in the city of New Haven in which Hassan Abu-Jihaad, a US navy sailor, was convicted of espionage charges. Abu-Jihaad, a convert to Islam, was found guilty of leaking classified ship movements to Azzam Publications – a series of pro-jihadi websites that American prosecutors allege was run by Babar Ahmad and another British man facing imminent extradition Syed Talha Ahsan. The alleged offences took place from late 2000 to late 2001. At the trial Detective Sergeant Ian Vickers and Detective Sergeant Ian Elgeti, two Met Police officers involved in the original British investigation into Babar Ahmad, gave evidence. During his testimony DS Vickers stated that he was first alerted to the FBI’s interest in Ahmad in late December 2003, a few weeks after his arrest on 2 December. His first point of contact was special agent Craig Bowling, who spoke to him via teleconference and later made a trip to the UK around February 2004. Asked to describe how the mutual legal assistance treaty system worked he explained that the United States needed to contact to Home Office and request help. “As a result of that,” he added, “If everything is correct and it’s Continued on page 17 >>
Justice is at risk
Saarc international I Thursday 11 October 2012
the fighting of a jihad against the West. The US believes Azzam and other connected websites were also used as a recruitment hub for Islamist extremists. It emerged last week that Metropolitan Police detectives sent information to FBI agents on Ahmad at a time when the case against the long-imprisoned terror suspect was collapsing because of a lack of evidence. He was first arrested at his home in Tooting in 2003 in connection with an anti-terrorism investigation and
all his life here. He has every right to be tried in this country.” Mr Ahmad, who worked in the civil service for 21 years, said the family were denied the chance to say goodbye to their son after a scheduled prison visit on Friday afternoon was cancelled at the last minute. “This is yet another example of the dangers of our flawed extradition arrangements. Isn’t British justice - so admired around the world capable of dealing with crimes committed in the UK by its own
should they lose a trial. “If those are the stakes which pleading not guilty involve, then it is no wonder that over 97% of defendants accept a plea bargain - regardless of how confident or determined they are to stand trial.” Mr Khan went on: “Family, friends and campaigners of Babar Ahmad and Syed Talha Ahsan are devastated by the judgment at the High Court today. “The families of my constituents, Babar Ahmad and Syed Talha Ahsan, have worked tirelessly to have them tried in a British court and it would appear that their extradition to American is now imminent. “It is important to remember that at no stage have my constituents ever fought against standing trial. “They understand that they face very serious charges, but they have always believed that it should be in a British court - and not an American one - where they should stand trial.” Police secretly handed the FBI evidence on Babar Ahmad while claiming their own case against him was collapsing due to lack of evidence: Independent Critics claim papers prove Britain didn’t do enough to try suspect in UK Metropolitan Police detectives agreed to nine separate requests from FBI agents to provide information on Babar Ahmad at a time when the case against the long-imprisoned terror suspect was collapsing because of a lack of evidence, The Independent revealed. Court documents unearthed in the United States reveal how senior detectives involved in the initial investigation of Mr. Ahmad regularly carried out searches and enquiries on behalf of the FBI and even sent American agents two encrypted floppy disks that were
Babar Ahmad faces trial in the US over website, despite insufficient evidence to try him in UK by the time he arrived at the police station he had sustained 73 injuries. He was released after three days without charge and was later paid £60,000 in compensation by the Met. In 2004 he was arrested again, pending extradition to the US. He has been in prison ever since, setting a British record for the longest time spent behind bars without trial . His father said: “I would like to say to Mr Cameron and his Government that they have done a lot of damage. I now have my doubts about the legal system. You have the last say and it’s your duty to bring your citizen back. He’s a British-born boy who lived citizens?” Shadow justice secretary and Tooting MP Sadiq Khan said he expected both Ahmad and Ahsan to accept a plea deal when faced with the US justice system. “The way criminal cases work in America means that defendants facing a trial are advised to pleabargain,” he said. “I predict that both my constituents will do the same as all the other British men extradited to the USA have done and plead guilty. “It is a big risk pleading not guilty. “My understanding is that the consequences of this include the threat of life in solitary confinement without parole,
Saarc international I Thursday 11 October 2012 Continued on page 17 >> being applied and asked for in the correct manner, then a letter of request goes through to a case officer, normally a detective, to make inquiries, seize exhibits on behalf of the United States.” Asked how many times such requests were made he replied: “I think there were a total of nine”. He added: “I coordinated that and organized that myself.” In the same testimony DS Vickers also confirmed that he personally oversaw the transfer of multiple exhibits to the United States including the floppy disks found on Babar Ahmad’s desk. The decision by the Met Police to send evidence to detectives in the States has been both controversial and shrouded in secrecy. The Attorney General has refused to “confirm or deny” whether dossiers were passed abroad whilst the Metropolitan Police have declined to comment while Mr Ahmad is continuing to fight his extradition to the United States in the UK courts. Neither the Met Police nor the CPS were
court documents when contacted by The Independent UK. Mr Ahmad’s legal team had long client before deciding to drop the case. That decision not to press charges against Mr Ahmad was further complicated by the fact that he was viciously beaten by his arresting officers – an incident which the Metropolitan Police later admitted during civil proceedings. It was only in November 2011 that the CPS admitted to Mr Ahmad’s legal team that they were never shown the entirely of all the evidence seized in the raid on their client’s house. After sending a team to the United States, Mr Ahmad’s lawyers forwarded a new dossier of evidence to the CPS in the spring of this year in the hopes that they might initiate a new prosecution that would keep him in Britain. At the same time a businessman from Newcastle who campaigns against Britain’s extradition laws tried to launch his own private prosecution of Mr Ahmad and Mr Ahsan. However the Director of Public Prosecutions has rejected both attempts citing a lack of
evidence as the reason for his decision. Green MP Caroline Lucas, who has campaigned for Babar Ahmad, called on the CPS and Met Police to provide a full account of the cooperation between American and British law enforcement following his arrest. “Last year I exposed the fact that the CPS hadn’t even seen, let alone investigated properly, evidence against Babar Ahmad,” she said. “Now we have this extraordinary confirmation that, at a time when the CPS was arguing he couldn’t face trial in the UK because of an “absence of evidence”, British police were in thrall to the FBI and handing over that very evidence without even looking at it themselves. We urgently need to know who directed and authorised this scandalous circumvention of the CPS - and I reiterate my call for a full public inquiry into what has occurred.”
Syed Abu Ahsan, the father of Talha Ahsan (right) and his son Hamja speak to the media outside the Royal Courts of Justice, in central London willing to comment on the new details uncovered in the American argued that the CPS should have seen all the evidence against their
Sikhs Celebrate Guru’s Birth
On Tuesday, Sikhs celebrate the birthday of their fourth guru, the man credited with founding the city of Amritsar and starting construction of the Golden Temple complex, which houses the religion’s most holy shrine. Guru Ramdas was born in Lahore as Bhai Jetha, on – according to the Gregorian calendar – Oct. 9, 1534. He went on to establish Ramdaspur, now known as Amritsar, which has become the holiest city for Sikhs. He is said to have overseen the excavation of the sacred pool that today surrounds the city’s glistening temple and whose waters are believed to have healing properties. The building appears to float above the water – the Amrit-sar, meaning pool of nectar. Sardar Dalmegh Singh, secretary of the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee, the highest Sikh authority, says the anniversary of Guru Ramdas’s birth is one of the most important days in the Sikh calendar. “We expect 150,000 people will come to the Golden Temple [to celebrate]”, Mr. Singh said.
Guru Ramdas was succeeded by his third son Arjan Dev, who became the fifth Guru in 1581 and oversaw the construction of the golden shrine in the middle of the temple complex. Amarjit Singh, chairman of the Gurudwara
deadly riots. A shrine to commemorate the people who died during Operation Blue Star is being erected at the Golden Temple site. But there is a dispute over whether the memorial should honor those killed on both sides of
Sis Ganj Sahib in Chandni Chowk in Old Delhi, said the temple at the heart of Amritsar “is like the Mecca of the Sikh people.” The Golden Temple was the site of Operation Blue Star in 1984, when Indian security forces fought with armed Sikh militants. Hundreds of people died in the event, which led to the assassination of then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi by her Sikh bodyguards, which in turn prompted
the encounter. Just over a week ago, the leader of the security forces in the operation, Lieutenant General Kuldeep Singh Brar, was attacked by a group of men in central London. On Monday, Barjinder Singh Sangha and Mandeep Singh Sandhu were charged with wounding with intent to do grievous bodily harm to the retired officer. It’s been a difficult few months for the Sikh community worldwide. In August, a
man shot dead six people at the Oak Creek gurudwara (temple) in the U.S. state of Wisconsin. The gunman, Wade Michael Page, a former soldier in the U.S. Army, also died. Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, himself a Sikh, condemned the attack as a “senseless act of violence” and conveyed condolences to the victims’ families. Tuesday, Sikhs will be concentrating on celebrating the birth of the man who gave their religion a spiritual home. In Delhi celebrations began at 2am and will continue throughout the day, with religious songs, prayers and free food, Amarjit Singh said. The Golden Temple complex is renowned for its large Langar hall, where free food is served throughout the day to pilgrims and tourists. “There are many lessons of Guru Ramdas,” Mr. Singh said. “He gave the message of work for the poor and needy people.” A religious procession to mark the fourth Guru’s birthday will take place today in Amritsar and there will be a firework display this evening.
First Michael Jackson Now Janet Converted To Islam?
his brother Jermaine. Other news sources claimed that Muslim artists Dawud Wharnsby and Idris Phillips were also involved in his acceptance and that they were present when he took the shahadah (testimony of faith), and even that he was also meeting with singer Yusuf Islam, the former Cat Stevens. But since then, not much else had been said about his acceptance of Islam. What’s more confusing is taking into account recent statements both Dawud Wharnsby and Yusuf Islam that not only were they not involved in the reported shahadah, neither of them has ever met the pop star. Grace Rwaramba, the woman he employed to look after his children for more than a decade, is known to have ties to Louis Farrakhan, the charismatic leader of the group. Minister Louis Farrakhan revealed, for the first time, that the entertainer donated $100,000 to the historic Million Man March. Now Michael is gone. Hopefully, he had found peace in Islam. Hopefully, the tears he cried in the privacy of Jermaine Jackson reached out to the Muslim world in a long, controversial interview with the Dubai-based panArab news channel Al-Arabiya .When asked by his interviewer whether Michael Jackson ever suggested that he would convert, Jackson implied his brother may have been a Muslim in his heart. “I wished he would have made that announcement. Maybe he made it in his soul … but at the same time we want to hear it,” he said. He added that the amount of time Michael spent in the Middle East and the number of friends he had there also indicated he had embraced
Saarc international I Thursday 11 October 2012
Pop star Michael Jackson was converted to Islam and changed his name to Mikaeel reportedly became a Muslim in a ceremony at a friend’s house in Los Angeles. Then in November 2008, various news sources reported that Michael Jackson had officially accepted Islam, as he had been interested in it since 2005 with the help of his brother Jermaine. Other news sources claimed that Muslim artists Dawud Wharnsby and Idris Phillips were also involved in his acceptance and that they were present when he took the shahadah (testimony of faith), and even that he was also meeting with singer Yusuf Islam, the former Cat Stevens. He is said to have been encouraged by Canadian songwriter David Wharnsby and Phillip Bubal, a producer, who both approached him after he appeared ‘a bit down’. A ccording to some reports ‘They began talking to him about their beliefs, and how they thought they had become better people after they converted. Michael soon began warming to the idea. ‘An imam was summoned from the mosque and Michael went through the shahada, which is the Muslim declaration of belief.’ A good friend who is a reliable source of information called and said that Michael had become Muslim. Allah knows best if he did or did not. However, Michael was no stranger to the religion, having been exposed to it by his brother Jermaine, who had converted to the faith in 1989.* Did Michael Jackson Die As A Muslim? Michael Jackson was influenced by the Nation of Islam?
past few years she has been very secretive about her religion and it is
Sunni Muslim, which added another ingredient into the mix. Michael’s Jackson’s brother
claim that the 46-year-old Janet Jackson has converted to Islam — as did her brother, Michael Jackson
unlikely that she will share the news with the public because of obvious reasons.
Janet Jackson set to marry Doha billionaire in a $20m Qatari wedding
Controversial Muslim who strongly believes that he is the MAHDI , Adnan Oktar (aka Harun Yahya), — and is choosing to keep her new religion a secret from her fans. Controversial Harun Yahya has no religious education (Islamic) and background. The evidence can be found at his own website @ http:// www.harunyahya.com/theauthor2. php , according to some reports Adnan Oktar strongly believes that he is the MAHDI (the Sunni and Shiite imitation of Messiah) and he has a powerful charisma, the pool of unlimited gullible rich people and a market of more than a billion individuals easily impressed by the work of his followers. Then in November 2008, various news sources reported that Michael Jackson had officially accepted Islam, as he had been interested in it since 2005 with the help of his oftentimes lonely world, tears described by Smokey Robinson as those of a clown, shed when no one’s around, had dried. So the question is this: With no real answer (yet) as to whether Michael Jackson truly was a Muslim or not, what should be our position in regards to his death? The answer is simple. Regardless of what the real answer is, we should hope he died Muslim. And that’s not just because he’s a celebrity or because we may have grown up listening to his hits, but because we as Muslims want the salvation of all mankind.
Jermaine Jackson Praying The biggest news all over the world was the death of one of the most famous musical artists in recent history, Michael Jackson. As the hour long television specials, radio playlist tributes, and music video marathons already began on the same day, many Muslims are left wondering, “was Michael Jackson a Muslim?” The short answer? It’s hard to say. The long answer? Initially it began with rumors years back that he had joined the Nation of Islam. On top of that, Jermaine Jackson, his brother, is a known and confirmed Islam. He only wishes his brother had followed his example and become a Muslim too. Islam, says Jackson, would have saved the King of Pop from many hardships. “I believe that Islam would have helped him a lot. Had he converted, he would have been spared all the problems he had been subjected to throughout his life,” he said. Janet and Wissam will be wedded in a Muslim ceremony. A renown Turkish author, Adnan Oktar (aka Harun Yahya), is also making the
Singer reported to have converted to Islam and the wedding is likely to take place in Doha next year Janet Jackson and her fiancé Wissam Al Mana are reportedly planning to get married in Doha, Qatar in 2013. The couple hope to tie the knot in Doha where the billionaire was born and are making arrangements for the ceremony to take place in 2013. Janet Jackson set to marry: According to an insider the wedding will be “one of the biggest, most memorable extravaganzas in recent history”. The source added to National Enquirer magazine: “They have tentatively set a late 2013 wedding Continued on page 29 >>
According to the Western media the people who are close to Janet Jackson have reported that for the
Now Janet Jackson a Muslim?
Saarc international I Thursday 11 October 2012
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Army Chief Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani visited the CMH on Wednesday to inquire on Malala’s condition. The country’s top military officer also issued a strongly-worded statement condemning the attack. “In attacking Malala, the terrorist have failed to grasp that she is not only an individual, but an icon of courage and hope, who vindicates the great sacrifices
Malala “out of danger”, not to be shifted abroad
Pakistan vowed to bring to justice the Taliban attackers behind the shooting of 14-year-old child activist Malala Yousafzai . “No matter where the terrorists may escape, we will bring them to justice,” said Rehman Malik, speaking to reporters at a press conference in Peshawar. “We have identified the gang which carried out the attack (on Malala Yousafzai) … and we also know when the terrorists arrived in Swat.” Pakistani doctors had successfully operated on Malala Yousafzai and removed the bullet lodged in her neck after being shot by the Taliban. Doctors were to decide whether to fly abroad Malala abroad for further medical treatment, however, the interior minister confirmed that, according to her doctors, the girl was “out of danger” and the decision to send her abroad had been temporarily postponed. “The girl is out of critical condition … and she will be sent abroad if the medical board thinks there is a need for further treatment there,” he said, also confirming that the central part of Malala’s brain had not been affected. Malala Yousafzai was shot on her school bus with two friends in the former Taliban stronghold of Swat on Tuesday, then flown to the main northwestern city of Peshawar to be admitted to a military hospital. Malala had spent Tuesday night in intensive
care, where doctors at the Combined Military Hospital (CMH) described her condition as critical. Last night, a doctor at CMH told AFP that the bullet had travelled from her head and then lodged in the back shoulder, near the neck. “She is in the intensive care unit and semiconscious, although not on the ventilator,”
he told AFP on condition of anonymity because he was not authorised to speak to the media. The next three to four days would be crucial, he added. Army chief issues statement
that the people of Swat and the nation gave, for wresting the valley from the scourge of terrorism,” Kayani said. He vowed the military would not bow to terrorists like those who shot the young activist. “We will fight, regardless of the
cost we will prevail,” he said. Tuesday’s shooting in broad daylight raises serious questions about security more than three years after the army claimed to have crushed a Taliban insurgency in the valley. The Pakistani Taliban claimed the attack in a series of telephone calls to reporters and then issued a strongly-worded statement justifying the attack on a child on the grounds that Malala had preached secularism “and so-called enlightened moderation”. The Taliban controlled much of Swat from 2007-2009 but were supposedly driven out by an army offensive in July 2009. “It’s a clear command of sharia that any female, that by any means plays a role in war against the mujahedeen, should be killed,” said spokesman Ehsanullah Ehsan. He accused the media of pouring out “smelly propaganda” against the Taliban, saying that women had also been killed in Pakistan military operations and were detained by the intelligence services. Widespread condemnation The assassination attempt on the life of National Peace Award winner Malala Yousafzai drew widespread condemnation from the government, political parties and civil society groups, terming it a bid to silent voice for peace and education. Malala had won international recognition for highlighting Taliban atrocities in Swat with a blog for the BBC three years ago, Continued on page 20 >>
Differences between Asif Ali Zardari, Yousuf Raza Gilani come to the fore
Kaira, Malik tasked with wooing back party’s disgruntled vice chairman
Saarc international I Thursday 11 October 2012
Former prime minister and the ruling Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Vice Chairman Yousaf Raza Gilani has not only decided to quit the party but also resolved to join Pir Pagara’s Pakistan Muslim League-Functional (PML-F) after developing serious differences with the Presidency. Sources close to the former premier informed Daily Times on Monday that though the PPP leadership has made some contacts with Gilani to remove his reservations against the Presidency but the former PM has decided in principle to quit the party. The sources said that the situation had reached the point of no return because the former premier had come to
the conclusion that the person responsible for the disgrace of his family and himself was in the power corridors. Former prime minister and the ruling Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Vice Chairman Yousaf Raza Gilani has not only decided to
quit the party but also resolved to join Pir Pagara’s Pakistan Muslim League-Functional (PML-F) after developing serious differences with the Presidency. Sources close to the former premier
informed Daily Times on Monday that though the PPP leadership has made some contacts with Gilani to remove his reservations against the Presidency but the former PM has decided in principle to quit the party. The sources said
that the situation had reached the point of no return because the former premier had come to the conclusion that the person responsible for the disgrace of his family and himself was in the power corridors.
NRO implementation case: SC approves amended draft of letter
The Supreme Court on Wednesday approved the amended draft of the letter to be written to Swiss authorities seeking to reopen a graft case against President Asif Ali Zardari, report . A five-judge bench of the apex court, headed by Justice Asif Saeed Khosa, okayed the draft during a hearing of the NRO implementation case. The approved draft states that in the light of the Supreme Court’s order, the letter sent by former attorney general Malik Qayyum should be considered void, adding that, it should be assumed that Qayyum’s letter had not been written and sent. The draft moreover stated that all cases be reopened, adding that, President Zardari had the right of defence in the light of laws and the Constitution. Earlier during the hearing, Law Minister Farooq H. Naek had presented the amended draft of the letter. The law minister had said he was answerable to the judiciary, to the government and to God Almighty, adding that, he had not arrived in the court to violate the country’s laws. Subsequently, the judges had retreated to their chamber with the
Malala “out of danger”, not to be shifted abroad
amended draft. Justice Khosa had stated the letter’s draft was satisfactory, even praiseworthy, adding that, it was the first time that an honest attempt had been made to write the letter. To which, Naek had stated that the judges knew best how to dispense justice, adding that, the judges should allow the course of justice to come full circle. The judge had then again retreated to their chamber for consultation and had subsequently approved the amended draft of the letter.
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The case’s hearing was adjourned to Nov 14. Earlier on Oct 5, the Supreme Court had given the government until Oct 10 to prepare a conclusive draft of the letter to be sent to Swiss authorities for the reopening of a graft case against President Asif Ali Zardari. However, on Oct 9, the hitherto perceived face-off between the judiciary and the executive over the language of the letter’s draft turned into a reality. On Tuesday, the government moved a petition seeking a review of the Sept 18 order in which the court had spelt out four-pronged measures that also suggested monitoring by the court of the matter’s final disposition. The steps included vetting of the letter’s draft by the court before approval.
Continued from page 19 >> when the Islamist militants led by radical cleric Maulana Fazlullah burned girls’ schools and terrorised the valley. Her struggle resonated with tens of thousands of girls who were being denied an education by Islamist militants across northwest Pakistan, where the government has been fighting local Taliban since 2007. She received the first-ever national peace award from the Pakistani government last year, and was nominated for the International Children’s Peace Prize by advocacy group KidsRights Foundation in 2011. Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf telephoned Malala’s father to condemn the attack and promise that the government would pay for all medical treatment. President Asif Ali Zardari said the shooting would not shake Pakistan’s resolve to fight Islamist militants or the government’s determination to support women’s education. The United States denounced the “barbaric” and “cowardly” attack. Amnesty International condemned the “shocking act of violence” against a girl bravely fighting for an education, saying that female
activists in northwest Pakistan “live under constant threats from the Taliban and other militant groups”. Malala was 11 when she wrote the blog on the BBC Urdu website, which at the time was anonymous. She also featured in two New York Times documentaries. English-language Pakistani newspapers also reacted with horror to the shooting, which it said once again spotlighted the Islamist militancy scourge in Pakistan. “Malala Yousafzai is in a critical condition today and so is Pakistan. We are infected with the cancer of extremism and unless it is cut out we will slide ever further into the bestiality that this latest atrocity exemplifies,”wrote The News. Despite sporadic outbreaks of violence, the government is trying to encourage tourists to return to Swat, which had been popular with holiday makers for its stunning mountains, balmy summer weather and winter skiing. On Wednesday, state carrier took journalists on a test flight to Saidu Sharif, Mingora’s twin town, for the first time since flights were suspended due to the insurgency. Members of civil society have also condemned the attack and many have raised their voices against the
Saarc international I Thursday 11 October 2012
WEEKLY REVIEW OF AFGHANISTAN NEWS
UN envoy: Afghanistan not headed for collapse
Hope for Afghanistan ‘declining’
The Afghan conflict is getting worse for civilians and the country is facing a humanitarian crisis, the outgoing head of the International Committee of the Red Cross in Afghanistan has warned. Reto Stocker said he was “filled with concern” as he prepared to leave after seven years and hope for the future among Afghans had been “steadily declining”. The assessment of one of the severe weather or natural disaster, has become more widespread, and hope for the future has been steadily declining.” With the Taliban undefeated and the government weak and corrupt, many Afghans are acutely concerned that the country could again plunge into civil war as thousands of NATO troops leave. Mr Stocker spoke on the same day that an International Crisis Group of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, predicted that, after 2014, foreign support would be so slight that “after a new phase in the civil war, a Taliban victory will likely follow”. Mr Karzai’s spokesman dismissed the ICG report as “baseless”. The President has faced so many predictions of chaos that last week he accused the international media of waging “psychological warfare”
The international community will continue supporting Afghanistan after U.S. and NATO combat forces leave the war-wracked nation by the end of 2014, a top U.N. envoy said Tuesday. Jan Kubis said he heard strong commitment for Afghanistan at a recent U.N. Security Council meeting and dismissed predictions that the nation was headed for collapse after the foreign troops withdraw. “That commitment is based not on the expectation of seeing Afghanistan collapsing after 2014,” Kubis told reporters at a news conference in Kabul. “On the contrary, there is an expectation that Afghanistan will work, will develop with problems, with challenges, with difficulties — maybe more than now — but still will develop.” Fears have been looming that Afghanistan, which remains bitterly divided and where ethnic tensions still simmer, could again fracture along ethnic lines once the foreigners leave — as it did after the Soviet exit from Afghanistan in the 1990s. “The international community is ready to do everything possible to support Afghanistan and frankly, to help Afghanistan not lapse into these kind of doom-and-gloom scenarios
that are coming from different places,” said Kubis, the U.N. envoy to Afghanistan. His remarks contrast those of other experts and envoys, such as Reto Stocker, the outgoing head of the International Red Cross mission in the country, who said Monday that civilians remain in greater danger and with less hope for peace than when he arrived seven years ago. Also on Monday, the Brussels-based International Crisis Group’s senior Afghan analyst Candace Rondeaux warned of a “real risk that the regime in Kabul could collapse” after the NATO pullout. She said the Afghan army and police are overwhelmed and underprepared for the transition and that if the upcoming presidential election is tainted by corruption, the unrest that could follow would push Afghanistan to a “breaking point.’ However, Kubis said he was encouraged by the work being done by the Afghan government, the election commission, civil society institutions and political forces to ensure the 2014 presidential election is free and fair. The constitution bars Afghan President Hamid Karzai from running for a third term.
largest humanitarian charities in Afghanistan sharply contradicts claims by the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation of progress in the 11year campaign to defeat the Taliban and rebuild the country. His remarks follow a rash of similarly bleak forecasts for Afghanistan’s future as NATO troops withdraw and prepare to hand over security duties to Kabul by the end of 2014. Mr Stocker said that since he had arrived in 2005, “local armed groups have proliferated, civilians have been caught between not just one but multiple front lines, and it has become increasingly difficult for ordinary Afghans to obtain healthcare”. He added: “Hardship arising from the economic situation, or from
report warned that the Afghan government might fall apart as early as 2014. Candace Rondeaux, the group’s senior Afghanistan analyst, said: “There is a real risk that the regime in Kabul could collapse upon NATO’s withdrawal in 2014. The window for remedial action is closing fast.” If the 2014 presidential election is mired in the same fraud as occurred in the poll won by Hamid Karzai in 2009, the resulting constitutional crisis could fracture the country and the security forces. “The Afghan army and police are overwhelmed and under-prepared for the transition,” she said. “Another botched election and resultant unrest would push them to breaking point.” In September, Gilles Dorronsoro,
against his government. The doommongering was intended to put pressure on him to accept permanent US military bases, he said. The international community hopes that, by continuing to fund the Afghan forces and administration and by keeping a scaled-down deployment of 10,000 to 20,000 NATO troops after 2014, it can still prop up the country. Donors in Tokyo this year promised civilian aid worth $US16 billion (£10 billion) over the next four years and NATO is trying to find another $US4 billion a year for the police and army. But diplomats worry that donors are wearying of Mr Karzai’s unwillingness, or inability, to deliver reform and could refuse to pay.
How the U.S. Quietly Lost the IED War in Afghanistan
Although the surge of “insider attacks” on U.S.-NATO forces has dominated coverage of the war in Afghanistan in 2012, an even more important story has been quietly unfolding: the U.S. loss of the pivotal war of improvised explosive devices (IEDs) to the Taliban. Some news outlets have published stories this year suggesting that the U.S. military was making “progress” against the Taliban IED war, but those stories failed to provide the broader context for seasonal trends or had a narrow focus on U.S. fatalities. The bigger reality is that the U.S. troop surge could not reverse the very steep increase in IED attacks and attendant casualties that the Taliban began in 2009 and casualties from published sources. Of that total, 8,680, or 59 percent, were from IED explosions, based on data provided by the Pentagon’s Joint IED Defeat Organisation (JIEDDO). And the proportion of all U.S. casualties caused by IEDs continued to increase from 56 percent in 2009 to 63 percent in 2011. The Taliban IED war was the central element of its counter-strategy against the U.S. escalation of the war. It absorbed an enormous amount of the time and energy of U.S. troops, and demonstrated that the counterinsurgency campaign was not effective in reducing the size or power of the insurgency. It also provided constant evidence to the Afghan population that Taliban had a continued presence even where U.S. troops had occupied former Taliban districts. U.S. Pentagon and military leaders sought to gain control over the Taliban’s IED campaign with two contradictory approaches, both of which failed because they did not reflect the social and political realities in Afghanistan. JIEDDO spent more than 18 billion dollars on high-tech solutions aimed at detecting IEDs before they went off, including robots, and blimps with spy cameras. But as the technology helped the U.S.-NATO command discover more IEDs, the Taliban simply produced and planted even larger numbers of bombs to continue to Continued on page 30 >>
which continued through 2011. Over the 2009-11 period, the U.S. military suffered a total of 14,627 casualties, according to
the Pentagon’s Defense Casualty Analysis System and iCasualties, a non-governmental organisation tracking Iraq and Afghanistan war
Saarc international I Thursday 11 October 2012
WEEKLY REVIEW OF BANGLADESH NEWS
Suspension is temporary and is not a ban, official confirms
The United Arab Emirates have temporarily stopped issuing all kinds of entry permits for Bangladeshi passport holders because of security concerns over identification and fake documents. But the Bangladesh authorities do not know about the UAE action. ‘The suspension of issuing visas is not permanent and is not a ban,’ Major General Nasser Al Awadi Al Menhali, Assistant Undersecretary for Naturalisation and Residency and Ports Affairs at the UAE Ministry of Interior was quoted by Dubai-based Gulf News as having said. Al Menhali said the situation will return to normal once a number of issues are resolved by the Bangladesh government. matter being the minister in charge of the expatriate welfare ministry, Mosharraf said, ‘I’ll definitely take up the matter with the UAE authorities to meet their concerns as soon as I will officially be informed of it.’ Gulf News said they learnt that there were cases of Bangladeshi people caught trying to enter the country with forged passports. Over 700,000 Bangladeshi expatriates are now staying in the oil rich gulf state. The number of workers coming from Bangladesh to the UAE has witnessed a jump. The statistics show that 2,03,308 traveled to the UAE from Bangladesh in 2010 for different job purposes while the number grew up to 2,52,734 in 2011.
No new UAE visas for Bangladeshis
For the time being, he said there will be no new visit visas, resident visas, tourist visas or any other kind of visa for Bangladeshi nationals. Current Bangladeshi visa holders in the UAE will not face any difficulties in extending their visa or renewing residency permits.
‘We are not issuing any new visas to Bangladeshis but we are renewing for those who already have residence visas,’ Al Menhali said. He said the step was taken recently, but did not specify when the restrictions would be lifted. He said the UAE is concerned over the
validity of the passports. When contacted, expatriate welfare minister Eng. Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain told New Age on Thursday evening that he was not aware of the information. ‘I’ve just heard about it from you.’ Asked whether he will take up the
Ghulam Azam’s ‘7 Sagar-Runi suspected killers held’ witnesses limited to 12
The first war crimes tribunal has limited the number of Jamaat-eIslami guru Ghulam Azam’s defence witnesses to 12 for countering war crimes charges. defence witness. This application had been in relation to Sayedee’s defence producing copies of, what the defence counsels claimed, all the witness home
Home Minister Mohiuddin Khan Alamgir has revealed the identity of eight suspected killers of journalist couple Sagar Sarowar and Meherun Runi. “Seven of the suspects have already been arrested,” Alamgir told a press briefing at his office on Tuesday evening. Those arrested are family friend of
the couple Tanvir, a security guard of the building where they lived and were murdered, and five accused in the killing of Dr Narayan Chandra Datta Nitai, the Bangladesh Medical Association (BMA) leader. Another suspect, Humayun Kabir, a guard of the building, was on the run, Alamgir said.
The three-judge International Crimes Tribunal – 1, set up to try crimes against humanity during the 1971 Liberation War, said on Tuesday that it would allow the former Jamaat chief a dozen witnesses. The order came in response to a prosecution petition for rejecting Ghulam Azam’s proposed list of 2,939 witnesses. The defence has been directed to furnish those 12 names within Oct 14, said the conducting prosecutor, Zead-AlMalum. In the war crimes case against Jamaat leader Delwar Hossain Sayedee, the tribunal disposed of another application seeking to produce head of the investigation agency Abdul Hannan Khan as a
records where the prosecution kept its witnesses. The prosecution claimed that no such documents existed and the ones that the defence had produced were cooked up. The tribunal, after questioning witness home staff in chambers, told the defence to prove the authenticity of those documents. On Tuesday, the tribunal said that the defence would have to prove the authenticity of its documents through its own witnesses making sure that the tribunal’s stipulated number of 20 witnesses did not exceeded. Tuesday also saw two more defence witnesses of Sayedee being deposed. Cross-examination of the second defence witness is set to begin after lunch.
The International Monetary Fund has projected Bangladesh’s growth at 6.1 per cent for 2012 and 2013 fiscal, and predicted it to reach 7.3 per cent in 2017. In its latest World Economic Outlook, unveiled in Tokyo Tuesday ahead of the IMF-World Bank 2012 Annual Meetings, the IMF made the projections, according to the Fund’s website. The IMF presented a gloomier picture of the global economy than a few months ago, saying prospects had deteriorated further and risks increased. According to the report, the global growth was marked down to 3.3 per cent this year and forecast a sluggish 3.6 per cent for 2013. Bangladesh in the last fiscal achieved 6.3 per cent growth against its target of 7.0 per cent, while it fixed 7.2 per cent growth target for the 2012-13 fiscal. Pressure from external sector and lacklustre performance in the agriculture sector slowed down the growth rate in the last fiscal.
IMF pegs Bangladesh’s growth at 6.1%
Sixty per cent of the country’s economy is linked with external sector and much of domestic demand depends on the performance of rural economy, which is mostly based on agriculture sector. Finance minister AMA Muhith has left Dhaka to attend the Annual Meetings while Bangladesh Bank Governor Atiur Rahman left for Tokyo Sunday.
Saarc international I Thursday 11 October 2012
WEEKLY REVIEW OF BHUTAN NEWS
The Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan, famed for seeking “happiness” for its citizens, is aiming to become the first nation in the world to turn its homegrown food and farmers 100-percent organic. The tiny Buddhist-majority nation wedged between China and India has an unusual and some say enviable approach to economic development, centered on protecting the environment and focusing on mental well-being. Its development model measuring “Gross National Happiness” instead of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) has been discussed at the United Nations and has been publicly backed by leaders from Britain and France, among others. It banned television until 1999, keeps out mass tourism to shield its culture from foreign influence, and most recently set up a weekly “pedestrians’ day” on Tuesdays that sees cars banned from town centers. Its determination to chart a different path can be seen in its new policy to phase out artificial chemicals in farming in the next 10 years, making its staple foods of wheat and potatoes, as well as its fruits, 100 percent organic. “Bhutan has decided to go for a green economy in light of the tremendous pressure we are exerting on the planet,” Agriculture Minister Pema
Bhutan Aims to Be First 100% Organic Nation
Gyamtsho told Agence France Presse in an interview by telephone from the capital Thimphu. “If you go for very intensive agriculture it would imply the use of so many chemicals, which is not in keeping with our belief in Buddhism, accessible by roads or have easy transport have access to chemicals,” he explained, saying chemical use was already “very low” by international standards. In the large valleys, such as the one cradling the sleepy capital, chemicals certain crops for which we will have to phase out the use of chemicals, for rice in certain valleys for example.” -- Others eye organic prize -Bhutan’s only competitor for the first “100-percent organic” title is the tiny self-governing island of Niue in the South Pacific, which has a population of only 1,300. It aims to reach its objective by 2015-2020. Nadia Scialabba, a global specialist on organic farming at the U.N.’s Food and Agriculture Organisation, says the organic food market and its premium prices are attractive for small countries and territories. “This is happening in very small countries who are not competitive on quantity, but they would like to be competitive in quality,” she told AFP. The global organics market was estimated to be worth 44.5 billion euros ($57 billion) in 2010, according to figures from the Research Institute of Organic Agriculture and the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements. Bhutan sends rare mushrooms to Japan, vegetables to upmarket hotels in Thailand, its highly prized apples to India and elsewhere, as well as red rice to the United States. By shunning fertilizers and other chemicals, the country also stands to gain by reducing its import bill -- a particular concern for a country short on foreign currency.
which calls for us to live in harmony with nature.” Bhutan has a population of just over 700,000, two-thirds of whom depend on farming in villages dotted around fertile southern plains and the soaring Himalayan peaks and deep valleys to the north. Overwhelmingly forested, no more than three percent of the country’s land area is used for growing crops, says Gyamtsho, with the majority of farmers already organic and reliant on rotting leaves or compost as natural fertilizers. “Only farmers in areas that are
are used to kill a local weed that is difficult to take out by hand -- a challenge compounded by a lack of farm labor. Elsewhere, the fertilizer urea is sometimes added to soil, while a fungicide to control leaf rust on wheat is also available. “We have developed a strategy that is step-by-step. We cannot go organic overnight,” Gyamtsho said, describing a policy and roadmap which were formally adopted by the government last year. “We have identified crops for which we can go organic immediately and
Peter Melchett, policy director at Britain’s organic Soil Association, says the main benefit of becoming 100-percent organic is an assurance of quality to consumers. “Because there won’t be pesticides or other chemicals on sale in the kingdom, they would be able to offer a high level of guarantees that products are organic,” Melchett explained. In countries like Spain, for example, there is a problem of contamination when organic farms are next to highly industrialized producers using large quantities of artificial chemicals, Melchett said. “It’s difficult for organic farmers in those circumstances to keep their crops and supply-chain free of contamination.” Bhutan’s organic policy would “start to give the country a reputation of high-quality organic food, which in the long-run would give them a market advantage and the possibility of price premiums,” he added. Jurmi Dorji, a member of the 103strong Daga Shingdrey Pshogpa farmers’ association in southern Bhutan, says his fellow members are in favor of the policy. “More than a decade ago, people realized that the chemicals were not good for farming,” he told AFP. “I cannot say everyone has stopped using chemicals but almost 90 percent have.
As usual during peak season, hotels are booked to capacity
With hotels in Thimphu booked full, a few furnished private apartments in the city have come to the rescue of tour operators to accommodate their guests. Records with the tourism council of Bhutan secretariat (TCBS) show that about 26,440 international tourists visited the country as of September 24, of which about 5,000 alone were in the country this month. More than 4,000 of them were here, particularly for the Thimphu tshechu. The 41 hotels at Paro, categorised from one to five star, have 964 rooms, while there are 756 rooms in Thimphu’s 26 hotels, according to the secretariat that accredits and monitors all hotels. As of now, hotels in Thimphu, Paro, Punakha, and Wangduephodrang are packed with guests from all over. During the same period last year, over 4,000 international tourists visited the country. Tour operators said every year, the increasing number of tourists visiting Thimphu and Paro tshechu resulted in a shortage of guides, vehicles, and
Private apartments roped Few Bhutan hotels upgrade to three-star rating in to lodge tourists
there are enough hotels in the country, though they aren’t distributed equally in all regions. There are a total of 128 hotels with 2,508 rooms with a capacity of 5,572 beds. The average stay of tourists, as per the tourism monitor, is about a week. A shortage of guides and vehicles is also characteristic of the peak season. Although there were about 1,800 registered guides, only about half of them were operational. The general secretary of guides association of Bhutan, Sangay Phurba, however, said this year they didn’t get as many requests for guides as they did last year. To accommodate the increase in passengers during the festive season, the national airline, Drukair deployed 14 additional flights a week to Bangkok, Thailand, from mid September to mid November.
especially accommodation. An owner of a recently completed fully furnished apartment said the apartments were designed for consultants and expatriates. “Since it was suitable for tourists, even before its completion, I was approached by some tour operators to rent it out to them,” she said. Such apartments booked for a couple of days are as expensive as the hotels, although there’s nothing else provided, but just accommodation. According to the 2011 tourism monitor,
The Bhutan government had mandated that all one- and two-star hotels in the country be upgraded to three-star by the end of 2012 but only a handful have complied till now, says a media report. Based on a proposal by McKinsey & Co, in 2010 it was made mandatory for all one- and two-star hotels to upgrade to three-star by the 2012 end, the Kuensel daily reported Monday. The objective was to bring in $100,000 dollar-paying and high-end regional tourists. The policy also mandates all tourists be lodged in three-star hotels and above. “To achieve a three-star status, a hotel has to gain certain minimum basic points, based on the hotel’s standard and services,” an official was quoted as saying. At present, 54 two-star hotels and 19 one-star hotels have to upgrade to three-star by year-end. The hotel association of Bhutan has written to the authorities concerned seeking an extension in the time period.
Saarc international I Thursday 11 October 2012
WEEKLY REVIEW OF INDIA NEWS
Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) supremo and former Uttar Pradesh chief minister Mayawati on Tuesday hinted at snap polls and asked party workers and supporters to gear up for the Lok Sabha polls and ensure victory for the party. Addressing a mammoth rally at the Ramabai grounds on the outskirts of the state capital, Mayawati said her party was bitterly opposed to allowing FDI in retail and would
Maya may snap ties with UPA, early polls ahead
continue to oppose it. Accusing the Congress-led UPA-II of being behind the pathetic condition of farmers, the poor and the middle class, Mayawati also slammed Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for his ‘Paise Ped Par Nahin Lagte’ (Money does not grow on trees) statement. She blamed the union government’s economic policies as the reason for Indians’ travails. The BSP’s 21 MPs in the Lok Sabha
Sonia’s son-in-law implicated in real estate scam, In five years, Vadra’s wealth grew 600 times: Team Kejriwal
Sonia son-in-law now the target
Continuing with their attack on the ruling establishment, anti-graft campaigners Arvind Kejriwal and Prashant Bhushan on Friday accused Robert Vadra, son-in-law of UPA chairman Sonia Gandhi, of increasing his wealth from a scanty Rs 50 lakh to Rs 300 crore with the help of real estate giant DLF. “The DLF in return, received favours from the Congress ruled states of Haryana, Delhi and Rajasthan,” the anti-graft activists alleged at a
ethics”. And breaking his silence on the controversy, Robert Vadra, owner of Artex which specialises in jewellery and handicraft exports, yesterday appeared to dismiss the allegations. “Thank you so much for your concern. I am fine and can handle all the negativity. I have lost people I loved, what can be worse,” Vadra said in his post on a social networking site. Furious Congress dubbed the charge as “baseless and utterly irresponsible”, our New Delhi correspondent reports. “There can be no case of corruption against Vadra,” Manish Tewari, a spokesman for the ruling Congress party, said. “Members of the new party are indulging in petty politics
are crucial for the Manmohan Singh government after the withdrawal of support by the Trinamool Congress’s 19 MPs. Mayawati also announced that she would deliberate with party leaders on whether to continue support to the UPA or not and would announce the course of her future relationship with the union government Wednesday. She, however, told the gathering more than thrice that elections for the Lok Sabha ‘appear to be in the offing sooner than later’ and asked party cadres to be ready for the polls. “You all have to ensure that BSP
candidates are elected to parliament in large numbers not only from Uttar Pradesh but also from Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Maharashtra,” she told the gathering. She also cautioned voters not to be swayed by sops and schemes likely to be announced by the Congress in the run-up to the general elections. “Congress will try to tempt you with schemes and projects as elections come near but do not be carried away,” she said adding that they should realize that their pathetic living condition was because of
Congress policies. Referring to the scams, the four-time Uttar Pradesh chief minister said the country was fed up of scams that seem to be popping up every day. “First it was CWG, then 2G, then Coalgate and the issue of black money stashed in foreign bank accounts,” she said adding that the country had enough of corruption. She also accused the union government of siding with the ‘dhanna seth’ (corporate houses and the rich) at the cost of the people of the country. She also accused the Congress of humiliating Dalit icons. BSP chief also attacked the Akhilesh govt for its decision to revoke the holiday she had instituted for the death anniversary of her mentor and Dalit leader, Kanshi Ram. “We have gathered here in lakhs to pay our tribute to Kanshi Ram - I thank you all. I strongly condemn the Congress government at the Centre for not declaring a day of mourning in the country when Kanshi Ram died. October 9 was declared as a state govt holiday by us but that was rescinded by the SP government three days ago,” she said.
crowded press conference. An agitated Congress leadership sprang into action and leaders after leaders dismissed it as a “political conspiracy”, while the BJP demanded probe. Social activist Arvind Kejriwal, who launched his as yet unnamed new party earlier in the week, accused Gandhi’s businessman son-in-law Robert Vadra of benefiting from murky deals in real estate linked to property group DLF. “We want to know how his wealth grew from five million rupees ($90,000) to three billion in a span of three years?” he told the news conference in which he handed out papers he claimed were sourced from the registrar general’s office. However, a spokesman for real estate firm DLF said the business relationship with Vadra was “completely transparent and was conducted to highest standards of
and we are not interested in this kind of tactics.” However, the main opposition BJP demanded a probe. Kejriwal and Bhushan provided details of the business relationship between the property giant and Vadra. They alleged that the seed money for Vadra’s property acquisitions came from “unsecured, interest-free” loans to the tune of Rs 65 crore given by DLF which, in turn, sold a bulk of these properties to Vadra at a price far below the market price. Kejriwal and Bhushan alleged that the government of Haryana state, ruled by Congress, had given DLF 350 acres of land to build a housing project in which Vadra has seven flats. Vadra is married to Sonia’s daughter Priyanka. Italian-born Sonia’s 42-year-old son Rahul is widely seen as being the future prime minister of India.
In the first instance of an Indian agency getting access to Swiss bank accounts in its black money probe, the Enforcement Directorate has frozen about Rs6 crore of stashed funds of a Mumbai-based businessman in an alleged money laundering case. The agency, which approached Swiss authorities some time back in connection with the probe, received a shot in the arm when the banking and enforcement authorities there agreed
Black money: Swiss bank accounts of Mumbai businessman frozen
that the money stashed in the accounts was prima facie “proceeds of crime” and it was important for India to get access and control of these accounts. The case pertains to an alleged contravention of money laundering
laws by Sayed Mohammed Masood, Chairman of ‘City Limousine’, whom the agency is probing for floating illegal ponzi (fraud investment plans) schemes by promising extraordinary returns which were not honoured.
Saarc international I Thursday 11 October 2012
Imran seeks UN help to stop drone attacks in Pakistan
Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan on Tuesday said that the United Nations (UN) will be requested to intervene for stopping US drone attacks in tribal areas of Pakistan bordering with Afghanistan. Speaking at a press conference, Khan vowed to take the matter to the UN as it was in violation of its own charter. Criticizing the government’s role on the issue, the PTI chief sarcastically advised the rulers to hold back their offer of engaging Taliban in a dialogue as their tenure in the government will be over in mere three months time. Khan claimed that the PTI will establish peace across the country
WEEKLY REVIEW OF PAKISTAN NEWS
including in the troubled area of Waziristan. He said that his party will bring the innocent people affected by the drone attacks to the Supreme Court to get them justice. The PTI chief also vowed to initiate a signature movement against the attacks at global level. Commenting on dual national parliamentarians’ issue, Khan
said contesting elections with dual nationality was in violation of the constitution. His party will provide
electoral tickets to those who only possess Pakistani nationality, he added.
A waterborne parasite commonly known as “brain-eating amoeba” has killed 10 people in Pakistan’s largest city, a Pakistani official with the World Health Organization said today. The amoeba — Naegleria fowleri — lives in warm, unclean water. It can infect the human nervous system, though this occurs rarely. In those
‘Brain-eating amoeba’ 13-year-old Kashif, 4 others handed kills 10 in Pakistan over to Pakistani authorities at Wagah
deadly disease.” He said people don’t usually get the brain-affecting form of the disease by drinking water, but by swimming in dirty water or cleaning their nostrils with contaminated water. From the nostrils, the parasite travels to the brain where it destroys tissue. Symptoms include fever, nausea, vomiting, stiff neck and headaches.
Five Pakistani citizens including a 13-year-old boy, who went missing from Kasur last year, were handed over to Pakistani authorities by India at Wagah border on Tuesday. Kashif was traveling to Lahore with his mother when he got off the bus near Kasur and crossed
the border to see India. He entered Hussainiwala, a village in Indian Punjab. He was arrested by the Indian security forces and was sent to the Child Observation Centre of Fareedkot jail. Kashif is a resident of Okara and
went missing on September 18, 2011. Four other Pakistani citizens named Nadeem Server, Mohammad Asif Khan, Sikandar-e-Azam and Zulfiqar Ali have also been released by Indian authorities after completion of jail term.
cases it is difficult to treat and can lead to death in about a week. Musa Khan, in charge of WHO’s Disease Early Warning System in Pakistan, said the deaths were reported in the city of Karachi from March to September. He said municipal authorities launched a campaign in the area to ensure the supply of clean water to residents. Health officials are carrying out a public awareness campaign to educate and guide people and doctors across Karachi about the disease, he said. Other parts of Pakistan have also been alerted but so far no cases have been reported elsewhere, Khan said. “There is no need to panic over these deaths,” he stressed. “There is a remote chance for the spread of this
The disease has killed people in other countries as well. A US man who was teaching his daughter to swim in a southwestern Indiana lake died in September, within weeks after getting the infection, according to his family. Waylon Abel, 30, went to a hospital with headache, nausea, vomiting and fever. He was given antibiotics and returned 12 hours later, when he was diagnosed with bacterial meningitis. In July, a South Carolina boy also died from this rare brain infection, according to US health officials. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 32 infections were reported in the U.S from 2002 to 2011. Only one person has survived out of 123 known US cases from 1962 to 2011.
US issues terror alert for its citizens in Islamabad
Islamabad Terror threat: Security beefed up
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The United States on Sunday urged its nationals in Islamabad to avoid going to parts of the city because of possible terror attacks, its embassy said. The message posted on the US embassy website identified “key government installations in the downtown area of Islamabad known as the Red Zone” and a
number of local hotels. “The US embassy in Islamabad alerts US citizens that the ministry of interior of the government of Pakistan issued a general threat alert on possible terrorist attacks in Islamabad today, Sunday”. It advised “all US citizens to avoid these areas, remain vigilant, keep a low profile, and continue to exercise caution while in Pakistan”.
Security in the federal capital was put on high alert in the backdrop of terror threats on special directives of Interior Ministry on Sunday. It should be mentioned that Interior Minister Rahman Malik had directed the concerned officials to further beef up the security at the entry and exit points on the roads in the city. Following the security high alert, the security of the five-star hotels and diplomatic enclave was further strengthened, while the roads leading to the diplomatic enclave were blocked by placing containers. Additional security forces were deployed at the sensitive localities of the city. Meanwhile, the citizens had to face problems in movement within the city due to closure of various roads and strict checking at pickets installed at various locations.
Saarc international I Thursday 11 October 2012
WEEKLY REVIEW OF MALDIVE NEWS
Maldives ex-president Nasheed due in court: police
Nasheed arrested, taken to Male
Party (MDP) and its opponents. “Mr. Nasheed will be released from custody after producing him in court for the hearing scheduled for Tuesday afternoon,” police said in a statement. Nasheed, who won the first free elections in the Maldives in 2008, was forced out eight months ago after prolonged public demonstrations against him and a mutiny by police who took over the state television broadcaster. After his arrest on Monday, he was held overnight at Dhoonidhoo, a small prison island near Male. Human rights watchdog Amnesty International accused police of using excessive force while detaining Nasheed on an island in the south of the archipelago nation. “We are deeply concerned about the reports of some police using violence around Nasheed’s arrest, despite neither him nor his supporters offering any resistance,” Amnesty researcher Abbas Faiz said. The United States, a strong backer of the Maldives, urged all sides in the fledgling democracy to avoid violence and denied accusations that it had played any part in the arrest. Nasheed faces charges centred on allegations that while in office he ordered the military to arrest a senior judge. If convicted, he could be jailed or banished to a remote island for three years, a punishment that could bar him from future elections. The next polls are scheduled to take place by July next year. The Maldives is famous for its idyllic resorts. But many in the nation of 330,000 Sunni Muslims live in poverty.
The former president of the Maldives will appear in court later Tuesday on charges of abusing power while in office, police said, in a case likely to fuel political tensions in the Indian Ocean nation. Former Maldivian president Mohamed Nasheed, who defied an island-confining arrest issued by a magistrate, was arrested on Monday morning from a southern island, where he was conducting a mass contact programme. Life has come a full circle for the Amnesty International Prisoner of Conscience in hardly half a decade: he was among the longest-serving political prisoners released ahead of the 2008 elections. He won the first-ever democratically held presidential elections with the help of a combined opposition. Less than four years hence, he was out of office, and back under the custody
of the Maldivian National Defence Forces (MNDF), to stand trial for the “unlawful” arrest of a judge during his last days in power. Mohamed Nasheed, 45, who resigned in February in what he considers a coup, was arrested by riot police after he had ignored two
court summonses and violated an order to remain in the capital island Male. The Maldives, better known as a luxury holiday destination, has been rocked by violent protests over the past year in a stand-off between Nasheed’s Maldivian Democratic
Maldives declares no smoking zones from 2013
A regulation has been publicized today that limits smoking in public areas in the Maldives from January 1, 2013. The regulation on declaring smoke free areas under the Tobacco Control Act has been publicized in the government gazette more than a year after it was forwarded to the President’s Office. The regulation was held up by both the current and previous governments citing that it had conflicts. However, the Tobacco Control Board that drafted the regulation insisted that no amendments had been proposed. According to the regulation smoking in cafes, restaurants, government and public companies buildings including major public areas is prohibited. In addition smoking has also been banned in the grounds of the elderly, special needs and rehabilitation centres.
Salafi Bible-burner assaults journalists who ‘provoked’ him during interview
Continued from page 01 >> [the girl in Tahrir] has to bear the responsibility of her being there” to which Ramdan rolled her eyes. One of Abu Islam’s sons then told her to “behave,” to which she took issue. Both sides claimed the other was the first to resort to physical violence. Abu Islam confirmed he detained the reporters, “until the police got there to prove that they attacked us in my office.” Assault charges may be laid from both sides if a reconciliation is not reached. Trial of Egyptian Bible-burning preacher postponed to midOctober Trial proceedings in the case of Egyptian Islamist preacher Abu Islam Ahmed Abdullah, who faces charges of defaming the Christian faith by burning copies of the New Testament in front of the US embassy in mid-September, have been adjourned to 14 October. On Sunday, supporters of Abu Islam – a well-known Salafist figure in Egypt – accompanied him to a Cairo criminal court in the capital’s Heliopolis district. “This is the first time that charges filed for denigrating Christianity have been investigated,” Naguib Gebrail, head of the Egyptian Union for Human Rights, said of the case. “I personally have filed three complaints in the past against Abu Islam Abdullah, and none of them were ever looked into.” “We strongly condemn the double standards regarding lawsuits related to contempt for religion,” Gebrail told Ahram Online. He went on to note that four Coptic-Christians charged with defaming Islam still remain in police custody in different governorates of Egypt pending investigation. “All four Copts were brought to court immediately following their arrest, while Abdullah was not immediately detained following his act,” Gebrail asserted. Hani Gadallah, editor of Egyptian independent daily Tahrir, also faces charges for publishing an interview with Abdullah in which the latter disparaged the Christian religion.
While the regulation has limited smoking in public areas, smoking while in queue to obtain transportation services such as ferry service has also been prohibited. A special permission is needed to allow smoking in cafes and restaurants, which would be assessed by the Tobacco
Control Board. The regulation also states that the request for such a permit must be made during the next month or so. The regulation also includes a first time offence fine of MVR500 if a café or restaurant fails to put up a sign indicating a no smoking zone. Repetition of the offence carries a fine of MVR5,000.
A no confidence motion against Home Minister Dr Mohamed Jameel Ahmed has been submitted to the Parliament today. It is yet to be confirmed whether the motion submitted with signatures of 26 lawmakers had been accepted by the Parliament Secretariat. Explaining the reasons behind the motion signed by all the opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP)
MDP MPs submit no confidence motion against Home Minister
MPs, Maafannu-north constituency MP Imthiyaz ‘Inthi’ Fahmy said that there has been unprecedented increase in murders
and assault in the Maldives while the Home Minister had also failed to probe the human rights abuses committed by the Police on February 8. According to Article 101(c) of the constitution a motion of want of confidence concerning a member of the Cabinet shall be passed by a majority of the total membership of the Parliament which would be 39.
Saarc international I Thursday 11 October 2012
WEEKLY REVIEW OF NEPAL NEWS
Apprehend Nepal war perpetrators - UN
The UN’s human rights agency issued a report on Monday criticising Nepalese authorities for failing to bring to justice perpetrators of thousands of serious rights violations during the country’s decade-long civil war. “Perpetrators of serious violations on both sides have not been held accountable, in some cases have been promoted, and may now even be offered an amnesty,” United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay said in a statement introducing the 233-page report. The report, which details crimes committed by all parties during the drawn-out civil war that ended in 2006, was published along with a database of some 33 000 documents from the UN agency’s archives - most of which were already in the public domain. Based on the documents, “it is reasonable violations may have been committed during the decade-long conflict”, the report’s authors said. 13 000+ dead But “at the time of writing this report, no one in Nepal has been prosecuted in a civilian court for a serious conflict-related crime”, they added. At least 13 000 people died during the 10 years of fighting between Maoist rebels and government forces, and more than 1 300 are still missing, according to the UN. The Nepalese government puts the death toll at 17 000. Most of the violations detailed in the report are linked to forced disappearances, executions and arbitrary detentions, as well as torture and sexual violence. In the peace accord signed by the government and the Communist Party of Nepal in November 2006, both parties committed to creating mechanisms aimed at ensuring accountability for the perpetrators and justice and reparations for the victims, the UN rights agency pointed out. Lacking mechanisms Yet “six years later, the transitional justice mechanisms promised in the peace accords have still not been established, and successive governments have withdrawn cases that were before the courts”, Pillay pointed out. The report does not name the perpetrators and victims, except in cases where they had already been named in publicly available documents. It also does not make a “scorecard” of how many violations each side committed, but instead simply presents each crime and calls for the perpetrators to be brought to justice.
to suspect that up to 9 000 serious human rights or international humanitarian law
Police arrest human rights activists at Baluwatar
Nepali workers suffer SSB high-handedness
Nepali workers returning home from India for Dashain festival are reportedly compelled to pay unnecessary charge to the Indian border security personnel. It is learnt Nepali workers arriving home via Gaurifanta and Gaddachauki points in Kailali are forced to pay Rs. 300 and Rs. 500 each to the Seema Suraksha Bal (SSB) personnel. The SSB have been accused of raising arbitrary charges from Nepali workers. “I have brought some clothes and utensils for personal use from India, but SSB charged me Rs. 300 for bringing goods”, complained Logi Saha of Doti. When enquired, Deputy Superintendent of Police Rana Bahadur Rayamajhi has said that no one has informed him about SSB
JAILED FOR JUSTICE: 19 human rights activists, lawyers, and family members of war victims were arrested by the police shortly after they had gathered infront of the PM’s residence in Baluwatar. Police have arrested over a dozen of human rights activists who were staging a sit-on protest in front of Prime Minister’s official residence in Baluwatar on Sunday morning, against the recent promotion of Col Raju Basnet as brigadier general of the Nepal Army(NA). According to those rights activists who witnessed their colleagues being arrested said,” police intervened on our peaceful demonstration.”
Government on October 4 had promoted Basnet--a controversial army officer facing allegations of dozens of cases of human rights violations including enforced disappearances and torture during the time of Maoist insurgency— despite immense pressure from National Human Rights Commission and international rights bodies not to promote the controversial NA Col Basent. The Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International and the International Commission of Jurists have also expressed their serious concern on government’s decision to promote Basnet.
high-handedness on Nepali workers. However, the Nepal Police could not look into the cases reported on Indian Territory, he added. Saha is just an example of SSB
exploitation. Many Nepali workers arriving home for the upcoming festivals are forced to pay unnecessary charges to Indian border security forces.
A boy plays with a sacriﬁced goat, in front of the idol of “Swet Bhairab” during the Indra Jatra Festival in Kathmandu in Nepal.
Nepal continued their impressive performance at the Asian Cricket Council Elite Trophy tournament with a thumping 125-run victory over Hong Kong at the ICC Global Cricket Academy on Tuesday. The victory ensured Nepal qualified for the knockout round from Group B along with table-toppers UAE. In Group A, Malaysia hammered Bhutan by eight wickets to also qualify for the semi-finals. Afghanistan have already secured their berth in the lastfour stage. In Wednesday’s semi-finals, the UAE meet Afghanistan at the ICC Global Cricket Academy while Malaysia play Nepal in Abu Dhabi. Hong Kong’s hopes of reaching the last-
Nepal and Malaysia enter semi-finals
four stage were dashed when they were bundled out for a modest 100, chasing 226 for a win. None of the top and middle order batsmen could handle the Nepalese bowlers with the exception of Waqas
Barkat, who top-scored with 18. Hong Kong were left tottering at 43 for six at one stage before late cameos by Babar Hayat (27 not out) and Tanwir Afzal (22) ensured they reach the threefigure mark.
Saarc international I Thursday 11 September 2012
WEEKLY REVIEW OF SRILANKA NEWS
Sri Lanka’s Budget Appropriation Bill for 2013 forecasts increased spending
The Leader of the House Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva today presented the US$ 19.5 billion budget appropriation bill for 2013 to the Sri Lankan parliament for debate. The Bill moved today to authorize the expenditure required during the 2013 financial year forecasts a 13.5 percent increase in spending from this year’s estimate of 2.22 trillion rupees to 2.52 trillion rupees for next year. A major chunk of the budget is allocated for the Defence and Urban Development Ministry with 289.5 billion rupees. The amount is an increase of nearly Rs. 60 billion from last year’s allocations of 229.9 billion rupees. The government has considerably increased spending on urban development which comes under the Defense Ministry. Allocations to the Education Ministry have been increased by 3.43 billion rupees from last year to 37.9 billion rupees while the Higher Education Ministry has been allocated 27.9 billion rupees, which is an increase of 4.1 billion rupees from 2012. The total maximum borrowing for 2013 has been increased by 12.6 percent from 2012 to 1.3 trillion rupees. The first reading of the Appropriation Bill will take place on October 09 while the Budget proposal (second reading) will be presented in November 08, after publishing it in the government gazette.
Sri Lanka recruits 2000 former LTTE combatants to Civil Security Department
Can’t ban training of Lankan army men: SC
The Indian Supreme Court refused to order a ban on training personnel of the Sri Lankan Armed Forces. Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalitha earlier asked Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to halt an ongoing training programme for two Sri Lankan defence personnel at the Defence Services Staff College in Wellington near Ooty. In a strongly-worded letter, she demanded the immediate sending back of the two defence personnel, alleging that the training “has been mischievously concealed from my government, showing scant regard for the views of my government as well as for the sentiments of the people of Tamil Nadu.” The Chief Minister in August opposed a similar training programme for nine Sri Lankan Air Force personnel at the Tambaram
The Sri Lankan government has recruited another 2,000 former LTTE combatants from the Mullaitivu and Kilinochchi districts to the country’s Civil Security Department (CSD). Director-General of the Civil Defense Department Rear Admiral Ananda Peiris has said that responding to a recruitment call 2,000 rehabilitated former LTTE cadres have come to the Kilinochchi and Mullaitivu joint command headquarters of CSD. Rear Admiral Peiris has presented appointments letters and uniforms to the 2,000 new recruits at a ceremony. The recruitment drive has been organized by the Director-General of the Civil Defense Department, under the direction of Defense and Urban Development Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa. The government aims to utilize the service of the former LTTE members who have received vocational training in development
activities. The Sri Lankan government has said that it will recruit 5,000 former LTTE combatants to the country’s Civil Defense Force.
Air Force Station in Chennai. In view of her stiff opposition and protests from other parties in the state including ally DMK, the
Centre had been forced to move them to the Yelahanka Airforce Station in Bengaluru to enable them to complete their training.
OPEC Fund extends US$ 40 million First Lankan youth delegates to the UN were selected first youth to Sri Lanka for road development Two youthsfrom Sri Lankaastothethe United delegates
Nations General Assembly to represent the country. Jayathma Wikramanayake and Aruthra Rajasingham, backed by academic and extracurricular talents, are now in New York participating in the programme. Commenting on the achievement, National Youth Services Council (NYSC) chairman and Director General Lalith Pium Perera said this is a significant accomplishment for Sri Lankan youths to expand their exposure to international affairs and to contribute Sri Lankan youths’ point of view to the UN which will help shape the country’s image. “We are especially focusing on youth participation in international programmes since it would open a novel path to youths through which they can contribute much to the country’s development agenda and
Treasury Secretary, Dr. P.B. Jayasundera signed the agreement on behalf of the government.
The OPEC Fund for International Development signed a US$ 40 million loan agreement with the government of Sri Lanka to help the development of roads in the country. Director-General of the OPEC Fund
for International Development (OFID) Suleiman Jasir Al-Herbish signed the agreement on behalf of the Fund during his meeting with President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday at Temple Trees.
move with the highly developing world. “As a country, we possess a demographic advantage since 26 percent of the country’s population is youths. We should make use of it in the process of development,” he said. Rajasingham is a social worker who has worked extensively with youths. She has done her first degree in Social Work and is following her Masters in Development Practices at the Peradeniya University.
Saarc international I Thursday 11 October 2012
A thousands-strong motorcade rally against US drone strikes in Pakistan led by cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan has been stopped from entering restive tribal regions.After negotiations near the frontier, Mr Khan turned back and decided to hold a rally in the nearby town of Tank.But he said he still intended to reached his intended final destination, in South Waziristan.
Imran Khan’s Pakistan drone march stops at tribal belt
mission,” he told the crowd. “Your voice has reached the world over.” Medea Benjamin, leader of a delegation from the US peace group CodePink, apologised for the drone attacks, saying: “We are so grateful that you understand there are Americans in solidarity with you and against our government policy.” However, the US peace campaigners left the convoy before it reached Tank with their spokeswoman saying they felt they had achieved their goals. There were some 15,000 people in the streets of Tank to greet Khan. Clive Stafford Smith, the British head of the legal lobby group Reprieve, said that whether or not the group reached its intended destination was irrelevant. “It’s already a wonderful success,” he told reporters. “It doesn’t matter what happens from here on. We’ve generated a huge amount of publicity not just in Pakistan but across the world.” Militants have killed thousands of people in Pakistan since 2007, and US officials say the drone strikes are a key weapon in the war on terror.
Pakistani Taliban warn Imran Khan over ‘peace march’ into Waziristan The Pakistani Taliban warned yesterday that it will oppose a planned “peace march” led by Imran Khan, and accused the cricketer-turned-politician of being “a slave of the West” who is using the issue of US drone strike for his own political gain. The US embassy also told Americans planning to attend the march into the north-western region of Waziristan that it had received information that the protest could be targeted by a suicide bomb attack.
the tribal areas and would allocate budgets for education, health care and transform this place.”
the convoy near the Mehram Sultan area as well but then later allowed the convoy to march ahead.
The PTI chairman earlier on Sunday urged activists to remain peaceful and to eschew confrontation with the
Imran Khan hails commitment of youth at Tank rally
Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf’s Chief Imran Khan addressed crowds gathered in Tank on Sunday after being disallowed by authorities from entering South Waziristan. The PTI leadership decided to hold a public meeting in “Jahaz Ground” in Tank instead of KotKai, reports . Critcising the US policy to carry drone attacks in different areas of Pakistan, Khan said that the US administration “tells American people one thing and Pakistanis the other.” Adding that, he asked “Are these people (civilian drone victims) not humans?” “Who are these ‘nameless’ people who are killed in the name of collateral damage,” he further inquired. He said that the present government and President Asif Ali Zardari had shown no resistance to the US pertaining to the drone attacks. He said “America is not God, Allah is God.” Imran Khan said that he could see the commitment of the youngsters of this country. They came all the way to Tank and were ready to go to Waziristan, he added. The PTI chief said that people, including Sindhis, Punjabis, Muslims, Hindus and also foreigners, had gathered here together. He said that his party was a national party. “When these youngsters can go to Waziristan, wait until they march to Islamabad,” Khan stated. Speaking over the development of the tribal areas, Khan said “if PTI comes to power it would abolish the Frontier Crimes Regulation (FCR) system from
He said that he wanted to end the speech here but a ‘Maulana’ (Maulana Fazlur Rehman) was stuck in his head. Some people in the crowd shouted ‘diesel… diesel”. Referring to Fazlur Rehman’s constituency in D.I. Khan, the PTI Chairman said “when we were young there were some people who neither played nor let anyone else played… If you don’t want to serve the people at least let us serve them.” The PTI’s convoy left D.I.Khan Sunday morning and was expected to reach Kotkai area of South Waziristan after travelling through Tank. Thousands of supporters had turned out along the route to cheer on the convoy, which stretches about 15 kilometers including accompanying media. Some of those packed into the vehicles waved flags for Khan’s political group and chanted: “We want peace.” A large number of local and international media persons were accompanying the convoy. Musician and PTI member Salman Ahmed was also present in the convoy. President of the PTI youth wing, philanthropist and pop singer Abrarul-Haq was also present at the occasion and while talking to the media, said that the people of Waziristan had suffered a lot at the hands of the drone attacks and that his party was showing solidarity with the victims. The convoy entered Tank and was en route but was stopped near Manjhikhel checkpost on Tank Road. The participants of the march removed the containers on their own as the convoy proceeded ahead towards its destination. Earlier, the administration had stopped
The administration had taken stringent security measures and imposed curfew deploying a large number of policemen and Frontier Corps (FC) personnel in the area. Earlier on Saturday, Tank district’s PTI chief Ayoub Bittini told Dawn that the administration was pressing his party
authorities. “We are already successful in our
First Michael Jackson Now Janet Converted To Islam?
to terminate the march at Manjhikhel. The government had decided to provide security to the march until its stay in Tank. The administration has already placed containers there to block the marchers from proceeding ahead on the pretext of inability to provide security any further. But PTI Chief Imran Khan was adamant that the march would reach its destination at for Kotkai, South Waziristan. The political administration of South Waziristan banned all political activity in the agency whereas the PTI chief had also said that confrontation would be avoided. Earlier on Saturday, when the convoy reached D.I. Khan, for an overnight stay, which lies on the border of the province with the tribal region of South Waziristan, several hundred locals gathered to cheer on the cricketerturned-politician.
Continued from page 18 >> date. But they are still working out the details and the exact day.” They will reportedly spend $3 million to fly in their 500 wedding guests from all over the world, while Wissam wants to give all attendees a $10,000 Rolex watch each as a thank you for attending. The insider added: “Wissam is going to splash big when he marries Janet. It’s going to be the wedding of the century.” Janet and Wissam allegedly got engaged last year after Wissam, a billionaire whose family has extensive reaches in the real estate and media spheres, proposed to her with a stunning 15 carat diamond ring. The couple met in December of 2009 after Janet gave a special performance in the Middle East
and the rest, so it seems, is history. The couple was supposedly shooting for a 2011 wedding, but they ultimately tempered their excitement and chose to hold off for a couple of years so they could have time to plan the festivities. Janet has been dating Wissam - who is almost a decade younger than her since summer 2010. The 46-year-old singer - the sister of the late Michael Jackson - has previously insisted there is nothing wrong with dating younger men as long as the couple is happy. Janet - who was in a seven-year relationship with music producer Jermaine Dupri - said: “My mother always raised us to believe that age was just a number. All of us - my sisters, my brothers - we’ll just tell you our ages because it’s all about where you are mentally and how you feel about yourself. It doesn’t matter.”
Sri Lanka has invited Pakistani pharma investors to explore possibilities of establishing joint ventures in Pharmaceutical industry in Sri Lanka. “Sri Lanka is planning to set up an Industrial Park for pharmaceutical industry and Pakistani pharma investors should explore possibilities of establishing joint ventures in that facility in Sri Lanka”, Rohita Thilakaratne, President, Pak-Sri Lanka Business Council said during his visit to Islamabad Chamber of Commerce here on Wednesday. Rohita Thilakaratne who was accompanied by Air Chief Marshal (Rtd.) Jayalath Weerakkody, High Commissioner of Sri Lanka exchanged views with business community of the capital on prospects of further improving trade and economic relations between the two countries.
Sri Lanka invites Pakistani investors for joint ventures
export their products to huge Indian market and earn substantial profit as Sri Lanka and India were exchanging 110 flights in a week. Jayalath Weerakkody informed that presently there were only 7 flights from Karachi to Colombo every week and Sri Lanka was planning to start 3 flights every week from Lahore to Colombo to facilitate trade promotion. Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Zafar Bakhtawari, President, ICCI said that bilateral trade between Pakistan and Sri Lanka was still below half a billion US dollars, which was quite low than the available potential. He said that both countries should accelerate efforts to take bilateral trade to at least US$ 1 billion. He said the two countries have the ability to complement each other’s
Saarc international I Thursday 11 October 2012
He said that textiles and tourism were also potential areas of cooperation between the two countries as tourism was one of the fastest growing sectors in Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka also offers cheap and well
trained manpower, which could be an additional advantage for Pakistani investors. Thilakaratne said that by making investment in Sri Lanka, Pakistani entrepreneurs would be able to
economy and stressed that frequent exchange of trade delegation should be encouraged to connect private sectors for exploring new areas of mutual cooperation. Zafar Bakhtawari suggested that Pakistan and Sri Lanka should enhance the frequency of air flights and proposed that there should be at least one flight from Islamabad to Colombo per week to establish direct air links between the two capitals. He stressed that the trade promotion agencies of both countries should facilitate businessmen in holding single country exhibitions in each other country to improve trade. He also announced sending a business delegation led by Sheikh Amir Waheed, Executive Member of ICCI to Sri Lanka in February 2013 to explore new business opportunities between the two countries.
How the U.S. Quietly Lost the IED War in Afghanistan
Continued from page 21 >> increase the pressure of the IED war. The counterinsurgency strategy devised by Gen. David Petraeus and implemented by Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, on the other hand, held that the IED networks could be destroyed once the people turned away from the Taliban. They pushed thousands of U.S. troops out of their armoured vehicles into patrols on foot in order to establish relationships with the local population. The main effect of the strategy, however, was a major jump in the number of “catastrophic” injuries to U.S. troops from IEDs. In his Aug. 30, 2009 “initial assessment”, McChrystal said the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) “cannot succeed if it is unwilling to share risk at least equally with the people.” In an interview with USA Today in July 2009, he argued that “the best way to defeat IEDs will be to defeat the Taliban’s hold on the people.” Once the people’s trust had been gained, he suggested, they would inform ISAF of the location of IEDs. McChrystal argued that the Taliban were using “the psychological effects of IEDs and the coalition force’s preoccupation with force protection” to get the U.S.-NATO command to reinforce a “garrison posture and mentality”. McChrystal ordered much more emphasis on more dismounted patrols by U.S. forces in fall 2009. The Taliban responded by increasing the number of IEDs targeting dismounted patrols from 71 in September 2009 to 228 by January 2010, according data compiled by JIEDDO. That meant that the population had more knowledge of the location of IEDs, which should have resulted in a major increase in IEDs turned in by the population, according to the that period, 2.5 times more than the average for the previous 10-month period. The Taliban success in targeting troops on foot was the main reason U.S. casualties from IEDs increased from 1,211 wounded and 159 dead and the first three months of 2011 showed that most were suffered by Marine Corps troops, who were concentrated in Helmand province, and that 88 percent were the result of IED attacks on dismounted patrols, according to the report. In January
Petraeus counterinsurgency theory. But the data on IEDs shows that the opposite happened. In the first eight months of 2009, the average rate of turn-ins had been three percent, but from September 2009 to June 2010, the rate averaged 2.7 percent. After Petraeus replaced McChrystal as ISAF commander in June 2010, he issued a directive calling for more dismounted patrols, especially in Helmand and Kandahar, where U.S. troops were trying to hold territory that the Taliban had controlled in previous years. In the next five months, the turn-in rate fell to less than one percent. Meanwhile, the number of IED attacks on foot patrols causing casualties increased from 21 in October 2009 to an average of 40 in the March-December 2010 period, according to JIEDDO records. U.S. troops wounded by IEDs spiked to an average of 316 per month during
in 2009 to 3,366 wounded and 259 dead in 2010. The damage from IEDs was far more serious, however, than even those figures suggest, because the injuries to dismounted patrols included far more “traumatic amputation” of limbs – arms and legs blown off by bombs – and other more severe wounds than had been seen in attacks on armoured vehicles. A June 2011 Army task force report described a new type of battle injury – “Dismount Complex Blast Injury”– defined as a combination of “traumatic amputation of at least one leg, a minimum of severe injury to another extremity, and pelvic, abdominal, or urogenital wounding.” The report confirmed that the number of triple limb amputations in 2010 alone had been twice the total in the previous eight years of war. A study of 194 amputations in 2010
2011, the director of JIEDDO, Gen. John L. Oates, acknowledged that U.S. troops in Helmand and Kandahar had seen “an alarming increase in the number of troops losing one or two legs to IEDs.” Much larger numbers of U.S. troops have suffered moderate to severe traumatic brain injuries from IED blasts – mostly against armoured vehicles. Statistics on the total number of limb amputations and traumatic brain injuries in Afghanistan were excised from the task force report. In 2011, U.S. fatalities from IEDs fell to 204 from 259 in 2010, and overall fatalities fell from 499 to 418. But the number of IED injuries actually increased by 10 percent from 3,339 to 3,530, and the overall total of wounded in action was almost the same as in 2010, according to data from iCasualties. The total for wounded in the first
eight months of 2012 are 10 percent less than the same period in 2011, whereas the number of dead is 29 percent below the previous year’s pace. The reduction in wounded appears to reflect in part the transfer of thousands of U.S. troops from Kandahar and Helmand provinces, where a large proportion of the casualties have occurred, to eastern Afghanistan. The number of IED attacks on dismounted patrols in the mid-July 2011 to mid-July 2012 period was 25 percent less than the number in the same period a year earlier, according to JIEDDO. The Pentagon was well aware by early 2011 that it wasn’t going to be able to accomplish what it had planned before and during the troop surge. In a telling comment to the Washington Post in January 2011, JIEDDO head Gen. Oates insisted that the idea that “we’re losing the IED fight in Afghanistan” was “not accurate”, because, “The whole idea isn’t to destroy the network. That’s maybe impossible.” The aim, he explained, was now to “disrupt them” – a move of the goalposts that avoided having to admit defeat in the IED war. And in an implicit admission that Petraeus’s push for even more dismounted patrols is no longer treated with reverence in the ISAF command, the August 2010 directive has been taken down from its website. *Gareth Porter, an investigative historian and journalist specialising in U.S. national security policy, received the UK-based Gellhorn Prize for journalism for 2011 for articles on the U.S. war in Afghanistan.
Saarc international I Thursday 11 October 2012
The South Asian Games scheduled to be held in India next February has been postponed for the third time. General Secretary of the Maldives Olympic Committee Ahmed ‘Marey’ Marzooq revealed that the Indian Olympic Association had informed that it is unable to host the games in February and hence has been postponed to next September. “We had a teleconference meeting with the Indian Olympic Association and the Pakistan Olympic Committee. During the meeting India had told us that the games cannot be hosted next February. Now it has been scheduled for next September,” Marzooq explained. It is believed that the reason behind the continued delay in hosting the games is the strife between the Indian government and the Olympic Association. The games which had been originally scheduled for this June had first been put off until October.
India postpones South Asian Games again
The member countries had earlier agreed to give the chance to Nepal if India is unable to host the games. However, India has refused to defer the opportunity to Nepal, even though it is ready to take up lead in hosting the games. “India can’t host the games in February, but doesn’t want to give it to another nation either. That’s
why it has been postponed. If India had officially expressed the inability to host the games, Nepal was ready and willing to hold the games in February,” Marzooq detailed. He further said that the matter would be up for serious discussion during the General Assembly of the Olympic Council of Asia scheduled to be held in November.
Marzooq stressed that the prolonged delay in holding the games was a major blow and pointed out that the failure by India to host the scheduled games as the leading nation of the region was a serious issue. “It truly is a major blow that the games has been delayed. This has seriously hindered the preparations
of the athletes. Even our teams had commenced preparations before it was postponed. All the athletes participating in the games will be adversely affected because of this,” he said. “India is a founding member of the South Asian Federation. It’s really disappointing that India hasn’t hosted the games on the scheduled date. Many people will now lose confidence in both the South Asian Federation and the games itself.” Some nations had begun preparations to the games before the dates changed for the third time. The last games was held in Bangladesh capital Dhaka back in 2010. If India does indeed host the games, it is scheduled to be held in its capital New Delhi. According to the Indian media, as India had hosted the Commonwealth Games in 2010, the country had few preparations to make in order to host the South Asian games this year.
Amir Khan and Haroon KOs six yobs trying to steal his £100,000 car
Khan, with a professional record of 26-3, including 18 knockouts, returns to action against Molina, whose record stands at 17-0-1; 7. Molina fights out of Norwalk, California. It’s been almost three months since Danny Garcia’s thrilling upset over Amir Khan. Inside of the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Garcia overcome a slow start by dropping Khan with a wicked left hook in the third round while finishing off one frame and two knockdowns later. as the Garcia setback came on the heels of his controversial split-decision loss to Lamont Peterson this past December. Sensing that a change in his team was in order, the 25-year old British star parted ways with renowned trainer Freddie Roach in mid-September and would later announce that Oakland’s Virgil Hunter will be serving as his new coach.
WB probe panel due Sunday
Luis Moreno Ocampo
Amir’s Car Keys in Home Los Angeles on December 15. Continued from page 32 >> fought back before fleeing from the scene in Birmignham. An onlooker is quoted in The Sun as saying: ‘These guys tried to jump Amir and his brother but they picked On the same night, Bradley will defend his WBO welterweight belt against on the wrong blokes. ‘They parked their car in front of the Robert Guerrero in Miami. Bradley Range Rover. At least one had a cosh. One slapped Amir and clipped him on the lip but Amir pulled back and knocked him out cold. ‘Then five of them went for Amir and Haroon - but they stood their ground and these guys got dropped one by one. They left these men with cuts and bruises but all they were doing was defending their property.’ A police spokesman confirmed they had been called to the scene after reports of a fight but said nobody came forward about the incident. Amir Khan, a former WBA and WBO junior welterweight champion, is scheduled to fight Carlos Molina in
beat Manny Pacquiao on points in June in one of the most controversial
Amir Khan targets areas in need of ‘improvement’ after splitting from Freddie Roachvv
fights of the year. Magee has signed to take on Mikkel Kessler in Herning, Denmark, on December 8.
Amir Khan and Co to fight in December
The former world light-welterweight champ has suffered back-to-back defeats to Lamont Peterson and Danny Garcia in the past year. And he knows a third defeat against Molina on December 15 in Los Angeles would not only bring down the curtain on his controversial career but also kill off all hopes of facing Ricky Hatton in a domestic blockbuster.
AMIR KHAN insists it is make or break when he bids to get his career back on track against Carlos Molina.
The World Bank’s high profile external panel assigned to investigate into the alleged corruption of the Padma bridge project will arrive in Dhaka on Sunday. The team will work with the AntiCorruption Commission. “This will be an initial introductory visit, and the first in a series of regular visits aimed at assessing adequacy of the investigation into alleged corruption under the Padma bridge project,” the Dhaka office of the global lender said in a statement on Wednesday. It said the panel will submit reports to the WB and also share its findings with the Bangladesh government and other co-financiers of the project. The WB announced the appointment of the three-member panel on October 5. The panel is chaired by Luis Moreno Ocampo, former chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court. The other members of the panel are Timothy Tong, former commissioner of the Independent Commission Against Corruption of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, Peoples Republic of China; and Richard Alderman, former director of the UK Serious Fraud Office.
South Asia Tribune I Thursday 11 October 2012
Amir Khan was forced to call upon the skills that make him a former world champion after an armed gang ambushed the British boxer. It’s been reported that the 25-year old and his brother Haroon, 20, were caught up in a street brawl in the
Amir Khan and Haroon KOs six yobs trying to steal his £100,000 car
early hours of Monday morning as up to six armed gang members attempted to steal Khan’s £100,000 Range Rover. And despite trying to block the duo’s path by using a 4x4, Khan and his brother Continued on page 31 >>
ICC suspends tainted umpires pending inquiry
Sri Lanka Cricket chief executive Ajith Jayasekara said that they are studying the tapes of the sting operation and the local anticorruption unit will work with the ICC in the investigations. The channel showed video clips, purportedly taken by their undercover reporters in which the umpires were shown to be allegedly willing to give certain decisions in exchange for money. The six umpires, who are purportedly shown in the TV sting willing to fix matches, were Nadeem Ghauri and Anees Siddiqui of Pakistan, Nadir Shah of Bangladesh, and Gamini Dissanayake, Maurice Winston and Sagara Gallage of Sri Lanka.
All of them have denied the allegations, insisting that they were trapped by the channel. Rajat Sharma, Chairman and Editor-in Chief of India TV, stood by the channel’s expose and said it was open to any inquiry or public scrutiny of their journalistic work if the authenticity of the tapes is in question.
The International Cricket Council (ICC) on Wednesday suspended the six umpires caught in a TV sting, which alleged that they were willing to fix Twenty20 matches, pending the completion
going investigations into the allegations made,” the governing body said in a statement. “The officials named are not contracted by the ICC and those Boards who employ and
Nadeem Ghauri and Anees Siddiqui of Pakistan, Nadir Shah of Bangladesh, and of an inquiry against them. “The International Cricket Council (ICC) and its relevant Full Member Boards have agreed not to appoint any of the umpires named in a sting nominate the umpires directly will conduct the investigations as a matter of urgency,” it added. The channel had shown video clips purportedly taken by their undercover reporters in
Gamini Dissanayake, Maurice Winston and Sagara Gallage of Sri Lanka. operation recently conducted by India TV to any domestic or international cricket matches pending the outcome of the onwhich the umpires were shown to be allegedly willing to give certain decisions in exchange for money.
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