Presidential Polls 2012 e 6 See pag

Year 2  Issue 15  Thursday, 25.10.12


South Asia


Hajj Mubarak
(O God, here I am answering your call)

Labbaik Allahumma Labbaik

Malala’s attacker arrested, was freed in 2009

The alleged organiser of the Taliban shooting of 14-yearold Malala Yousafzai was captured during a 2009 military offensive against the hardline Islamist group but released after three months,

Arrests made in shooting of Pakistani schoolgirl Malala

More than three million pilgrims, including two million from abroad, including More than 25,000 British Hajj Pilgrims are taking part in the spiritual event Haj 1433

Groups of pilgrims have started the move from Madinah and other parts of the Kingdom to Makkah and Mina, chanting Labbaik Allahumma Labbaik (O God, here I am answering your call). Haj must be performed at

least once in their lifetime by all Muslims capable of making the expensive, difficult journey - a duty that applies equally to Sunni and Shi’ite Muslims at a time of tension between Islam’s Continued on page 11 >>

NYPD paid me to ‘bait’ Muslims, informant of Bangladeshi descent claims

The main suspect in the shooting of Malala Yousufzai, the teenage activist who spoke out against the Taliban, has been identified, Pakistani police say. And a group of men who allegedly facilitated the attack against the schoolgirl have been arrested, police said Wednesday. Atta Ullah, a 23-year-old from the

Swat district where Malala was attacked, was identified as the main suspect. Ullah was studying for a masters in chemistry, police say. The Taliban-heavy Swat Valley is in the northwestern part of Pakistan. The suspect’s fiancée, mother and brother have also been arrested. Continued on page 4 >>

The story does not end “ Hina will be next after Malala”

“Another school girl from Swat threatened by Taliban”
A red cross marked on Hina Khan’s residence.

A paid informant for the New York Police Department’s intelligence unit was under orders to “bait” Muslims into

saying inflammatory things as he lived a double life, snapping pictures inside mosques and collecting the names of innocent

people attending study groups on Islam Report. Shamiur Rahman, a 19-year-old Continued on page 5 >>

Following the deadly attack on activist Malala Yousafzai a few weeks ago, another schoolgirl from Swat, Hina Khan who was a pioneer in raising her voice publicly against Taliban atrocities in the Malakand Valley, is now also claiming to be

on the Taliban’s hit list. What has been further worrisome for her Continued on page 4 >>


Ex-secretary Aisha Ali-Khan says there was no spy plot against the Respect MP, adding she has ‘been thrown to the wolves’ reports Guardian. Galloway strongly denied hacking or authorising anyone else to hack emails on his behalf, and stands by his story, saying: “The police investigation will no doubt establish the truth.” Last Sunday George Galloway alleged that he had discovered his secretary was working as an “agent” for a Metropolitan police counterterrorism officer who was running a “dirty tricks” campaign against him. It was a serious allegation. “A direct attack on not just me but on democracy,” the MP said.
Publisher Salah Bu Khamas (UAE) Sabha Khan (UK) UK Office 10 Courtenay Road, Wembley, Middlesex, HA9 7ND UK Phone: +44 20 8904 0619 Fax: +44 20 8181 7575 India Office Satya Infomedia Pvt. Ltd. C/O Satya Group. 1st Floor, Avenue Appt., Near Sheth. R. J. J. High School, Tithal Road, Valsad - 396001 Gujarat, India United Arab Emirates Office S.K. Group of Companies P.O. Box 9021, Karama Dubai, United Arab Emirates Tel: +971 4 2659970, 3359929; Fax: +971 4 2659971, 3341609 Managing Editor & CEO Mohammad Shahid Khan Group Editorial Managers Gulzar Khan (India) Abdul Khalique (Pakistan) Editorial Board UK Frances Brunner FYI Tribune team Adrian Fellar Misbah Khan Reema Shah Rohma Khan Keziah-Ann Abakah Marketing & Sales Andrew Klugman (Manager) Art Department UK Ali Ansar (Art Director) Mohammad Reazul Islam

George Galloway’s PA, her police officer husband and claims of ‘dirty tricks’
that the duo had set up fake email addresses to spread “rumour, disinformation and downright lies”. Guardian reported. But Galloway’s now former secretary, Aisha Ali-Khan, is fighting back. She says she is married to Afiz Khan, whom Galloway correctly identified as a detective inspector in the Met’s counter-terrorism unit, SO15. She is furious that her relationship is being presented as somehow illicit. Suspended on full pay but not expecting her job back, AliKhan has filed a complaint with the Met, accusing Galloway of either hacking into her private emails or ordering someone else to do so. She believes there can be no other explanation for how


South Asia Tribune I Thursday 25 October 2012

He complained to the police, who promised an investigation, voluntarily referring the matter to the Independent Police Complaints

Commission. And he wrote to Theresa May, the home secretary, demanding an inquiry, saying he had “incontrovertible evidence”

he was able to quote verbatim, in his letter to May, from emails she and her husband had written to each other. Galloway says he was given the emails by his lawyer. Galloway has claimed that the couple “had been sleeping in my house, and without permission, while I was abroad”. He says he discovered this following a breakin, when Ali-Khan’s parliamentary laptop was stolen from Galloway’s home in Streatham, south London, where she lived for a few months while the constituency office was being set up in Bradford. Ali-Khan insists Khan never slept in the house, but simply “popped in to use the loo” one night before the break-in, Ali-Khan dismisses any talk of conspiracy.

GEORGE Galloway’s Respect party looks set to contest the Croydon North by-election, the Advertiser reported. Respect believes it could emulate the remarkable result which saw Mr Galloway overturn a Labour majority to win Bradford West. Malcolm Wicks, who passed away last month, held Croydon North as a similarly safe Labour seat. But Mr Galloway thinks Respect can appeal to the constituency’s Asian population by attacking Mr Wicks’ support of the Iraq War. The news comes as it emerged Lambeth Council leader Steve Reed has put himself forward to be Labour’s candidate. Respect has yet to choose its hopeful but a party official told the Advertiser it is “fairly definite” it will stand in the byelection, which could be held as early as next month. A source from Mr Galloway’s office told the Advertiser: “It’s true we are considering standing in Croydon North, though we don’t have a candidate as of yet. “The demographic of the area suits us and while there’s a massive Labour majority, Wicks towed the party line on things like tuition fees and the Iraq War so we think we can make inroads into it. Certainly we can wipe the Lib Dems out.” Croydon North has a Muslim population of more than 10,000, though Respect believes it can win support in other communities too. Respect’s 2010 candidate Mohammed Shaikh won only 275 votes in Croydon North, compared to Mr Wicks’ majority of 16,483, but the party’s profile has since increased significantly. It would not be drawn on potential candidates but said it had one or two

Croydon Spring? Galloway’s Respect party set to contest Croydon North by-election

Sikhs against the EDL

people in mind. “The next stage will to put the proposal to our national executive and council, which can be done pretty quickly,” a spokesman said. “We will know for certain whether we will stand or not within the next ten days, but it’s looking fairly definite. “We’re not a huge party but there are one or two people that are certainly interested. We won’t have any difficulty finding a candidate.” Val Shawcross, former Labour leader of Croydon Council, has applied to be Labour’s candidate. She will face competition from Selhurst’s Gerry Ryan and Lambeth’s Steve Reed, when the shortlisted candidates are interviewed by the party’s national executive committee tomorrow (Wednesday). Mr Reed is a vocal critic of Croydon Council’s handling of the Upper Norwood Library saga, It had been thought the election would be held on November 15 to coincide with the Corby by-election and the police crime commissioner by-elections. However, it has been pencilled in for November 29, three weeks after Labour Party members in Croydon North select their candidate.

Sikhs Against the EDL’ will be marching against the English Defence League (EDL) in Walthamstow, East London this Saturday 27th October. A counter demonstration is being organised by a multi-cultural, multi-racial and multi-faith organisation known as ‘We Are Walthamstow’. It is a broad-based network of local community groups, political organisations and trade unions. Their aim is to ‘celebrate diversity and oppose racism and fascism’ and to show the EDL that they are not welcome in Walthamstow. This is the second time the EDL is coming to Walthamstow within two months. Waltham Forest Council has issued a statement against the EDL march and has, “called on our whole community to come out”. The last time they came to Walthamstow was at the beginning of September, when they received a comprehensive show of disapproval. The 200 EDL supporters were blocked off by more than 4000 local people. Thus the police forced them to abandon their march after making several arrests. But now they want to cause deliberate provocation and offence to the Muslim community by returning during the holy Muslim festival of Eid. Since its formation three years ago, they have staged more than 90 provocative demonstrations in towns and cities around the country, attempting to stir up anti-Muslim racism and hatred. Their march in September in Walsall, like many others before, ended in violence when they pelted the police with bricks and sticks and resulted in 28 of their members being arrested. Over this weekend, it has been reported that 53 supporters of the EDL were arrested on the M1 motorway. They were hiding in a removal van heading towards London, apparently to be used as a trojan horse, to allegedly, target a Mosque while the police were occupied at the large TUC demonstration. It is also alleged that among those arrested were EDL leader Tommy Robinson aka Stephen Yaxley Lennon and deputy leader Kevin Carroll who is also running for the Police Commissioner’s position in Bedfordshire on behalf of the EDL’s political wing, the British Freedom Party. The British Freedom Party, is a breakaway group from the BNP, but with equally fascist policies who want to ‘scrap the Equalities Act and ban all manifestations of religious and cultural separatism’.

South Asia Tribune I Thursday 25 October 2012

Three accused of terror bomb plot could have been bigger than the July 7 London attacks



In dock: Artist’s impressions of, from left, Irfan Nasser, Rahim Ahmed, Irfan Khalid, Ashik Ali and on side right potential to kill more people than the bombings in 2005. Irfan Naseer, 31, Irfan Khalid, 27, both of Sparkbrook and Ashik Ali, 27, of Balsall Heath, all denied 12 charges between them under Section 5 of the Terrorism Act. The trio are accused of planning eight simultaneous suicide explosions in public places. They also face charges of collecting cash for terrorism, and recruiting others. Naseer and Khalid are also accused of travelling to Pakistan for terrorist training where they allegedly learned how to build IEDs and fire arms training. Prosecutor Brian Altman QC said: “The police successfully disrupted a plan to commit an act or acts of terrorism on a scale potentially greater than the London bombings in July 2005 had it been allowed to run its course. “The defendants cause mass deaths and casualties.” All the men are accused of engaging in conduct in preparation of terrorist acts, which they deny.

Three Birmingham-born ringleaders of a suicide bomb plot planned to set off eight blasts which could have been bigger than the July 7 London

attacks, a court has heard. Woolwich Crown Court was told the men described the plan as “their own 9/11” and that the plot had the

were proposing to detonate up to eight rucksack bombs in a suicide attack and/or to detonate bombs on timers in crowded areas in order to

Naseer is accused of five counts of the offence, Khalid four and Ali three, all between Christmas Day 2010 and September 19 2011.

Thousands protest against austerity measures
Tens of thousands of public sector workers and campaigners march in protest against the government’s spending cuts.
1,000 protesters marched in Belfast. Labour leader Ed Miliband was among dozens of speakers at a rally in Hyde Park, and joined union officials in spelling out the impact of spending cuts on public services. “They told us austerity would help our economy grow. But our economy has not grown. It has flatlined,” he told the demonstration, and was cheered when he said:. “Andrew Mitchell may finally have resigned. But the culture of two nations runs right across this government. They cut taxes for millionaires. And raise taxes for ordinary families.” However he was booed when he said that there would still be some cuts made under Labour. The Labour leader got a rough ride at last year’s TUC conference when he criticised strikes over pension reforms while negotiations were ongoing.

Protesters marched through central London on Saturday against public spending cuts and tax rises enacted by a government that is currently fighting accusations that it is run by an upper-class elite - such as former chief whip Andrew Mitchell. Blowing horns and whistles, protesters filed past the Houses of Parliament behind a banner

declaring “austerity is gailing”, calling on Prime Minister David Cameron to do more to revive Britain’s struggling economy. Police estimates for the London march have not been released, but the TUC says around 100,000 people took part across Britain. In Glasgow, an estimated 5,000 people took to the streets as part of the mass protest, while another estimated



South Asia Tribune NEWS Readers’ Choice Awards When the results of our first Readers’ Choice poll were published in 1986, the high score was 87.0—a score that still impresses, though it would not even qualify for this year’s Top 100, which reaches the heights of luxury. 1. Qualia, Hamilton Island, Great Barrier Reef Readers’ Choice Rating: 100.0

I Thursday 25 October 2012

The news stories, which quickly surface, long enough to cause scary headlines, then vanish before people can learn how often the cases are thrown out. Since September 11, media and popular culture have treated Arabs and Muslims as fanatics, terrorists, and suspects. “In the name of fighting terrorism, our government has targeted Muslims and Arabs using secret evidence, secret arrests, and detentions without due process of law. These departures from our constitutional norms are sending shock waves through Arab and Muslim communities in the United States and abroad, and they are placing all Americans at risk.” --Nancy Chang, senior litigation attorney, Center for Constitutional RightsFormer British Foreign Secretary Robin Cook, died mysteriously on August 6th, in a statement published in The Guardian, on Friday 8 July 2005,” Al-Qaida, literally “the database”, was originally the computer file of the thousands of mujahidin who were recruited and trained with help from the CIA to defeat the Russians.” Robin cook also told house of commons ‘ There Is No ‘Al Qaeda’ “The truth is, there is no Islamic army or terrorist group called Al Qaida. And any informed intelligence officer knows this”. Critics say FBI is running a sting operation across America, and MI6/5- in UK, other in Europe ,targeting to a large extent – the Muslim community by luring people into fake terror plots. According to Guardian report published on 14 July 2012, A Muslim university student was held for seven days without charge as a suspected terrorist after police “made up” evidence against him. The recent story is another alarming fact that The informant, a 19-year-old American citizen of Bangladeshi descent, was recruited by the NYPD recently as part of an expansive intelligencegathering program the department launched after the al Qaeda attacks of September 11, 2001. His assignment was to make contact with suspected Islamic extremists to try to determine if they had any inclinations to engage in violence, the source said. Intelligence agencies send informants to trawl through Muslim communities, hang out in mosques and community centres, and talk of radical Islam in order to identify possible targets sympathetic to such ideals. New York law enforcement sources have said that the NYPD has used foreign-born confidential informants to uncover several alleged plots by militants, including one involving a possible attack on a subway station at Herald Square and another involving alleged plans to kill US soldiers returning to New York from Afghanistan and Iraq. NYPD Deputy Commissioner Paul Browne said that candidates to join the force as sworn officers must be US citizens. But he said 20 percent of the department’s recruit classes were foreign-born. In 2005, a terrorism expert and a former prosecutor for the Justice Department, John Loftus, revealed that the so-called mastermind of the 7/7 London bombings, Haroon Rashid Aswat, was a British intelligence asset. Also their

Fake terror plots, paid informants: the tactics of Intelligence to lure Muslims?

Top 100 Hotels & Resorts in the World

many reports that 7/7 bombers ‘were innocent patsies ? Why authorities never investigate Haroon Aswat who is still in custody. In another report of CNN July 22, 2005 American questioned in London probe An American accused of conspiring to build a terror training camp in Oregon has been questioned as part of the probe into the London terrorist attacks, a government official has confirmed to CNN. The government official would not say if James Ujaama provided any useful information. It was with Haroon Rashid Aswat, the man British police are seeking in their terrorism investigation, that Ujaama conspired in the 1999 plot to establish a “jihad training camp” in Bly, Oregon, U.S. officials have told CNN. Aswat was an unindicted co-conspirator in the case, U.S. officials have told CNN. British police are seeking Pakistan’s help in locating Aswat.!!!!! Aswat associate Abu Hamza al-Masri, an influential cleric at the notorious Finsbury Park mosque in London, had a long and productive relationship with British intelligence. He worked with the Special Branch of the British Police and MI5. He told his aides that he was “beyond the reach of British law.” In the 1990s, British intelligence paid alQaeda the equivalent of $160,000 to help fund an unsuccessful assassination attempt on Mu’ammar al-Qadhafi. Anas al-Liby, a member of al-Muqatila, the group responsible for the failed assassination attempt, was given political asylum in Britain despite his connections to alQaeda. MI5 also worked with key al-Qaeda figure Abu Qatada. Due to the protection afforded by British intelligence, Qatada was able to escape arrest after the terror attacks of September 11, 2001. His relationship with MI5 is confirmed by numerous sources, including Bisher al-Rawi, another supposedly radical Muslim who served as a translator for MI5 in its dealings with Qatada. Following the attacks in New York and Washington, MI5 offered to spirit Qatada out of the country and help him reach Afghanistan. Another leading imam in Britain, Omar Bakri Mohammed, has also admitted to working closely with British intelligence. “I think now we have something called public immunity,” he bragged in 2001, following the 9/11 attacks. The would-be underwear bomber picked up by the US was an undercover agent working for a Saudi Arabian intelligence agency on behalf of the CIA, it has been revealed. he was smuggled out of Yemen and then handed the bomb over to CIA agents, . ABC News reported that the CIA had financed – at the tune of $3 billion – Osama and the Mujaheddin, but this uncomfortable historical fact was scrubbed from the servers of the prized Operation Mockingbird asset. In fact, al-Qaeda is not even a terrorist group, but is instead a propaganda campaign and carefully devised bogeyman, as Pierre-Henry Bunel, a former agent for French military intelligence, told Wayne Madsen in 2005. The country behind this propaganda is the US and the lobbyists for the US war on terrorism are only interested in making money,” Bunel explains.

2.Taj Exotica Resort and Spa, Maldives Readers’ Choice Rating: 99.6 Continued from page 01 >>

3. Lodge at Kauri Cliffs, Northland Readers’ Choice Rating: 99.2

family is that despite repeated requests for security, they claim no steps have been taken to provide protection to them after they fled from Swat and moved to Islamabad. The teenaged Hina Khan, a student of Class 11, had publicly denounced militants’ atrocities in 2009. “I had left Swat with my family because the militants had threatened girls’ education there but now I feel I would not be able to go to school in Islamabad as well after these renewed threats,” Khan told reporters. Hina held a press conference at the National Press Club in 2008 after her friends in Swat told her that the militants were becoming further intolerant towards girls seeking education and had started bombing schools as well. “I raised my voice publicly to save their future,” she stated. Khan, along with some other students had also taken out a peace rally at the Jinnah Supper Market in Islamabad to draw attention towards the Swati womens’ problems. “I am more worried now because after the attack on Malala, this red cross appearing on our door and subsequent threats to my family has made us more insecure,” Khan said. Khan claims that she fears not being able to attend school even in Islamabad, since she was receiving threats warning her that she would be targeted or kidnapped. Khan’s father Raitullah Khan told that he was very worried about his family after

“Another school girl from Swat threatened by Taliban”
his wife Farhat, a social worker, also started receiving threatening calls since August this year. He claimed that she had previously also received threats. About the renewed threats and the family worries, Raituallah said, “A few days ago when I came out of my house I saw a red cross on my gate but I removed it assuming it might have been drawn by some kids, but the very next day it appeared again which really terrified me.” The next day, he claimed, “we received a call that Hina will be next after Malala. We have already been fighting death since many years when my wife started speaking for women rights and girls’ education.” Khan’s mother, Farhat, who used to be a human rights and social activist, had worked for the women empowerment in Swat for more than a decade. “I received a call from a land line PTCL number with Peshawar’s area code and the callers threatened to target Hina and my family and said that we would not spared,” claimed Farhat. “Mullah Fazlullah led militants had even sent us death threats on their FM Radio after a huge handicraft exhibition of Swat women was arranged in 2006 to promote their work but now these threats are coming with more force after Malala’s incident.” Farhat said that her children remain at home now as she has not been letting them out of the house to attend school. “I had personally tried to contact

and speak to the Interior Minister Rehman Malik and had also forwarded an application to the Interior Ministry personally, as well as through minority Senator Amar Jeet Singh but nothing concrete happened.” Farhat said that they moved to Islamabad in 2006 after receiving the threats but were now being haunted by renewed ones. Farhat, who was then running a non-governmental organisation had arranged a handicraft expo in 2006 for the Swati women which was inaugurated by the than federal minister Sumera Malik. The family had been on the hit list ever since, she claimed. Raitullah said that the interior minister had just forwarded their application to a senior police officer, seeking a report on the incident on October 10 but nothing practical had come about. The police said that they needed clear cut orders for deployment and could not act much on reports. Raitullah argued that it was strange that when someone being threatened is requesting security, the authorities don’t bother to do anything but as soon as something big happens they start rushing. “We are almost being held as hostages inside our house. I want security for my three daughters, two sons and my wife so they can live freely,” he added. Raitullah said they had been changing residences in Islamabad frequently. “My family and kids need security, we need nothing else.”

It’s unclear whether Ullah was at the scene and tried to shoot Malala or if he was considered the leader behind the plan to kill her. Malala, who has become a global symbol of courage after being shot in the head by the Taliban for demanding education for girls,

Malala’s attacker arrested, was freed in 2009
is currently receiving treatment at a hospital in Birmingham, England. She stood with the aid of nurses Friday for the first time since the October 9 shooting and was “communicating very freely,” according to the director of the

hospital. Malala can’t speak because she has a tracheotomy tube inserted to protect her airway, which was swollen after her gunshot injury, but she is writing coherent sentences, said Dave Rosser, director of University Hospitals Birmingham.

South Asia Tribune I Thursday 25 October 2012

Continued from page 01 >> American of Bangladeshi descent who has now denounced his work as an informant, said police told him to embrace a strategy called “create and capture.” He said it involved creating a conversation about jihad or terrorism, then capturing the response to send to the NYPD. For his work, he earned as much as $1,000 a month and goodwill from the police after a string of minor marijuana arrests. “We need you to pretend to be one of them,” Rahman recalled the police telling him. “It’s street theater.” Rahman said he now believes his work as an informant against Muslims in New York was “detrimental to the Constitution.” After he disclosed to friends details about his work for the police -- and after he told the police that he had been contacted by the AP -- he stopped receiving text messages from his NYPD handler, “Steve,” and his handler’s NYPD phone number was disconnected. Rahman’s account shows how the NYPD unleashed informants on Muslim neighborhoods, often without specific targets or criminal leads. Much of what Rahman said represents a tactic the NYPD has denied using. The AP corroborated Rahman’s account through arrest records and weeks of text messages between Rahman and his police handler. The AP also reviewed the photos Rahman sent to police. Friends confirmed Rahman was at certain events when he said he was there, and former NYPD officials, while not personally familiar with Rahman, said the tactics he described were used by informants. Informants like Rahman are a central component of the NYPD’s wide-ranging programs to monitor life in Muslim neighborhoods since the 2001 terrorist attacks. Police officers have eavesdropped inside Muslim businesses, trained video cameras on mosques and collected license plates of worshippers. Informants who trawl the mosques -- known informally as “mosque crawlers” -- tell police what the imam says at sermons and provide police lists of attendees, even when there’s no evidence they committed a crime. The programs were built with unprecedented help from the CIA. Police recruited Rahman in late January, after

NYPD paid me to ‘bait’ Muslims, informant of Bangladeshi descent claims
his third arrest on misdemeanor drug charges, which Rahman believed would lead to serious legal consequences. An NYPD plainclothes officer approached him in a Queens jail and asked whether he wanted to turn his life around. The next month, Rahman said, he was on the NYPD’s payroll. NYPD spokesman Paul Browne did not immediately return a message seeking comment about Tuesday. He has denied widespread NYPD spying, saying police only follow leads. In an Oct. 15 interview with the AP, however, Rahman said he received little training and spied on “everything and anyone.” He took pictures inside the many mosques he visited and eavesdropped on imams. By his own measure, he said he was very good at his job and his handler never once told him he was collecting too much, no matter whom he was spying on. Rahman said he thought he was doing important work protecting New York City and considered himself a hero. One of his earliest assignments was to spy on a lecture at the Muslim Student Association at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in Manhattan. The speaker was Ali Abdul Karim, the head of security at the Masjid At-Taqwa mosque in Brooklyn. The NYPD had been concerned about Karim for years and already had infiltrated the mosque, according to NYPD documents obtained by the AP. Rahman also was instructed to monitor the student group itself, though he wasn’t told to target anyone specifically. His NYPD handler, Steve, told him to take pictures of people at the events, determine who belonged to the student association and identify its leadership. John Jay spokeswoman Doreen Vinas did not respond to messages asking whether the school was aware of or sanctioned the police infiltration. On Feb. 23, Rahman attended the event with Karim and listened, ready to catch what he called a “speaker’s gaffe.” The NYPD was interested in buzz words such as “jihad” and “revolution,” he said. Any radical rhetoric, the NYPD told him, needed to be reported. Talha Shahbaz, then the vice president of the student group, met Rahman at the event. As Karim was finishing his talk on Malcolm X’s legacy, Rahman told Shahbaz that he wanted to know more about the student group. They had briefly attended the same high school in Queens. Rahman said he wanted to turn his life around and stop using drugs, and said he believed Islam could provide a purpose in life. In the following days, Rahman friended him on Facebook and the two exchanged phone numbers. Shahbaz, a Pakistani who came to the U.S. more three years ago, introduced Rahman to other Muslims. “He was telling us how he loved Islam and it’s changing him,” said Asad Dandia, who also became friends with Rahman. Secretly, Rahman was mining his new friends for details about their lives, taking pictures of them when they ate at restaurants and writing down license plates on the orders of the NYPD. On the NYPD’s instructions, he went to more events at John Jay, including when Siraj Wahhaj spoke in May. Wahhaj, 62, is a prominent but controversial New York imam who has attracted the attention of authorities for years. Prosecutors included his name on a 3 1/2-page list of people they said “may be alleged as co-conspirators” in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, though he was never charged. In 2004, the NYPD placed Wahhaj on an internal terrorism watch list and noted: “Political ideology moderately radical and anti-American.” That evening at John Jay, a friend took a photograph of Wahhaj with a grinning Rahman. Rahman said he kept an eye on the MSA and used Shahbaz and his friends to facilitate traveling to events organized by the Islamic Circle of North America and Muslim American Society. The society’s annual convention in Hartford, Conn, draws a large number of Muslims and plenty of attention from the NYPD. According to NYPD documents obtained by the AP, the NYPD sent three informants there in 2008 and was keeping tabs on the group’s former president. Rahman was told to spy on the speakers and collect information. The conference was dubbed “Defending Religious Freedom.” Shahbaz paid Rahman’s travel expenses. Rahman, who was born in Queens, said he never witnessed any criminal activity or saw anybody do anything wrong.



He said he sometimes intentionally misinterpreted what people had said. For example, Rahman said he would ask people what they thought about the attack on the U.S. Consulate in Libya, knowing the subject was inflammatory. It was easy to take statements out of context, he said. He said wanted to please his NYPD handler, whom he trusted and liked. “I was trying to get money,” Rahman said. “I was playing the game.” Rahman said police never discussed the activities of the people he was assigned to target for spying. He said police told him once, “We don’t think they’re doing anything wrong. We just need to be sure.” On some days, Rahman’s spent hours and covered miles in his undercover role. On Sept. 16, for example, he made his way in the morning to the Al Farooq Mosque in Brooklyn, snapping photographs of an imam and the sign-up sheet for those attending a regular class on Islamic instruction. He also provided their cell phone numbers to the NYPD. That evening he spied on people at Masjid Al-Ansar, also in Brooklyn. Text messages on his phone showed that Rahman also took pictures last month of people attending the 27th annual Muslim Day Parade in Manhattan. The parade’s grand marshal was New York City Councilman Robert Jackson. Rahman said he eventually tired of spying on his friends, noting that at times they delivered food to needy Muslim families. He said he once identified another NYPD informant spying on him. He took $200 more from the NYPD and told them he was done as an informant. He said the NYPD offered him more money, which he declined. He told friends on Facebook in early October that he had been a police spy but had quit. He also traded Facebook messages with Shahbaz, admitting he had spied on students at John Jay. “I was an informant for the NYPD, for a little while, to investigate terrorism,” he wrote on Oct. 2. He said he no longer thought it was right. Perhaps he had been hunting terrorists, he said, “but I doubt it.” Shahbaz said he forgave Rahman. “I hated that I was using people to make money,” Rahman said. “I made a mistake.”

The breakthrough by British company Air Fuel Synthesis was yesterday hailed as the “Holy Grail” of green energy A British firm has produced the first “petrol from air’, it emerged yesterday, in a pioneering scientific breakthrough that could end mankind’s reliance on declining fossil fuels. Air Fuel Synthesis in Stockto n-on-Tees, Teesside, claims to have made five litres of petrol since August using a small refinery that synthesises the fuel from carbon dioxide and water vapour. Experts have hailed the incredible breakthrough as a potential ‘game-changer’ in the battle against climate change and solution to the globe’s escalating energy crisis. While the company is still developing their process and still need to take electricity from the national grid, it believes it will eventually be possible to power the synthesis entirely from renewable sources. Within two years it hopes to build a commercialscale plant capable of making a ton of petrol a day and expand into producing green aviation fuel to make airline travel more eco-friendly. The technology involves mixing air with sodium hydroxide, then electrolysing the resultant sodium

Running on fresh air: British firm makes petrol out of carbon dioxide and water vapour

carbonate to release pure carbon dioxide. This is then reacted with hydrogen electrolysed from water to make a hydrocarbon mixture, with the reaction conditions varied depending on the

type of fuel desired. The fuel that is produced can be made ready for use in any petrol tank with the addition of the same additives currently added to fuel.

Alternatively it can be blended directly with gasoline, diesel and aviation fuel. Peter Harrison, the company’s chief executive, revealed the breakthrough at a conference at the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in London this week. “We are converting renewable electricity into a more versatile, usable and storable form of energy, namely liquid transport fuels,” he told the Independent. “We think that by the end of 2014, provided we can get the funding going, we can be producing petrol using renewable energy and doing it on a commercial basis.” Extracting carbon dioxide from air - effectively removing the principal industrial greenhouse gas from the atmosphere - has been described as the “holy grail’ of the emerging green economy. However, recycling that extracted carbon dioxide into fuel usable in existing engines has the potential to transform the world’s environmental and economic landscape. Harrison said he planned to be producing petrol on a commercial basis using renewable energy by the end of 2014. Within the next 15 years the company is aiming for a refinery-scale operation, he said.


“It’s not time to divorce Pakistan”
Presidential Polls 2012: CBS Poll Shows that Obama Won the Third Debate by Big Margins
fighting terrorists. Mr Obama also avoided responding directly to questions about Pakistan and neither the moderator nor Mr Romney pressed him for an answer, reflecting an apparent understanding on not concerning the president on sensitive security issues. “I believe we should use any and all means necessary to take out people who pose a threat to us and our friends around the world. And it’s widely reported that drones are being used in drone strikes, and I support that and entirely,” Mr Romney said, while endorsing the current US policy on these unmanned aircraft. He said he felt that President Obama was “right to up the usage of that technology, and believe that we should continue to use it, to continue to go after the people that represent a threat to this nation and to our friends.” Pakistan was mentioned 25 times in the 90-minute debate but mostly by Mr Romney. US President Barack Obama mentioned Pakistan only four times, twice when talking about his decision to raid Osama bin Laden’s hideout in Abbottabad. “And you said we should ask Pakistan for permission. And if we had asked Pakistan permission, we would not have gotten him. And it was worth moving heaven and earth to get him,” said Mr Obama while quoting from Mr Romney’s earlier statement on this issue. “I can tell you at the same time, that we will make sure that we look at what’s happening in Pakistan, and recognize that what’s happening in Pakistan is going to have a major impact on the success in Afghanistan,” said Mr Romney when asked if he would still withdraw US troops from Afghanistan if he was told that Kabul was not yet ready to shoulder security responsibilities by 2014. “And I say that because I know a lot of people that feel like we should just brush our hands and walk away,” he said. “And I don’t mean you, Mr President, but some people in our nation feel that Pakistan is not being nice to us, and that we should walk away from them,” he explained. “But Pakistan is important to the region, to the world and to us, because Pakistan has 100 nuclear warheads and they’re rushing to build a lot more. They’ll have more than Great Britain sometime in the relatively near future.” Mr Romney noted that Pakistan also had the Haqqani Network and the Taliban within its borders. “And so a Pakistan that falls apart; becomes a failed state, would be of extraordinary danger to Afghanistan and to us,” he warned. That’s why, he said, he believed the United States will have to “remain helpful in encouraging Pakistan” to move towards a more stable Romney. “It’s a nation that’s not like others and it does not have a civilian leadership that is calling the shots there. You have the ISI, their intelligence organization, is probably the most powerful of three branches there. Then you have the military and then you have the civilian


South Asia Tribune I Thursday 25 October 2012

US Elections: Obama ridicules Romney foreign policy in last debate

Referencing the U.S.’ troubled relationship with Pakistan in the context of the Afghanistan strategy Mr. Romney admitted that it was “not time to divorce a nation on earth that has a hundred nuclear weapons and is on the way to double that at some point, a nation that has serious threats from terrorist groups within its nation — the Taliban, Haqqani network.” He added that while Pakistan was “technically an ally,” it was not acting very much like an ally, “but we have some work to do.” Especially because Pakistan did not have a civilian leadership calling the shots, Mr. Romney noted, if the nation fell apart and became a failed state, terrorists could get their hands on nuclear weapons. Early polls show Obama chalks up victory after Monday debate A feisty President Barack Obama ridiculed Mitt Romney as “all over the map” Monday on foreign policy, accusing him of telling untruths and backing “wrong” policies in their fiercely fought final debate. CBS News reported that its post-debate poll of 521 undecided voters showed that the president Obama had won the night by a 53% to 23% margin over Mitt Romney. 24% thought it was a tie. The margin of error in its poll was +/- 4 percentage points. The biggest critique that Mitt Romney has faced has been that he has no core; he is “multiple choice” as Ted Kennedy famously put it. By endorsing the president’s foreign policy, Romney showed that his stances are ephemeral. There is no such thing as a core belief. In fact, his beliefs never fail to mirror those of the target audience. “No, it’s not time to divorce a nation on Earth that has 100 nuclear weapons and is on the way to double that at some point,” said Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney when asked in the third and final presidential debate if it was time for the United States to divorce Pakistan. Mr Romney, however, endorsed the drone strikes, saying that he supports the Obama administration’s policy on this key issue. Mr Obama did not directly address this issue but when confronted by the moderator, CBS anchor Bob Schieffer, he said he was also engaging the countries where the United States was

government and rebuild its relationship with America. “And that means that our aid that we provide to Pakistan is going to have to be conditioned upon certain benchmarks being met,” said Mr Romney, defending a bilateral congressional demand that US aid to Pakistan should be made conditional to its performance in the war against terrorists. “So for me, I look at this as both a need to help move Pakistan in the right direction, and also to get Afghanistan to be ready, and they will be ready by the end of 2014,” said Mr Romney while defining his policy for the PakAfghan region. President Obama, when asked the same question, explained how he withdrew American troops from Iraq, refocused on Afghanistan and delivered a surge of troops to that country. His administration also had decimated al Qaeda’s core leadership in the border regions between Afghanistan and Pakistan. The moderator then recalled that Gen. Johan Allen, the US commander in Afghanistan, says Americans continued to die at the hands of groups who were supported by Pakistan. “We know that Pakistan has arrested the doctor who helped us catch Osama bin Laden. It still provides safe haven for terrorists, yet we continue to give Pakistan billions of dollars,” he said. “Is it time for us to divorce Pakistan?” the moderator asked. “No, it’s not time to divorce a nation on Earth that has 100 nuclear weapons and is on the way to double that at some point, a nation that has serious threats from terrorist groups within its nation, as I indicated before, the Taliban, Haqqani Network,” said Mr

government.” Mr Romney warned that this was a nation, which, “if it falls apart, if it becomes a failed state, there are nuclear weapons there and you’ve got terrorists there who could grab their – their hands onto those nuclear weapons.” Pakistan, he noted, was in a region which was important for the United States and technically it was an ally even if “they’re not acting very much like an ally right now.” That’s why, he said, he believed “we have some work to do there. The Republican presidential candidate said he was not blaming the Obama administration for a strained relationship with Pakistan. “We had to go into Pakistan. We had to go in there to get Osama bin Laden. That was the right thing to do. And that upset them, but obviously there was a great deal of anger even before that,” he said, “But we’re going to have to work with the people in Pakistan to try and help them move to a more responsible course than the one that they’re on.” For Pakistan to change its course was important for them and for their nuclear weapons. “It’s important for the success of Afghanistan because inside Pakistan, you have large group of Pashtun that are Taliban. They’re going to come rushing back in to Afghanistan when we go.” Obama and his Republican foe clashed on Iran’s nuclear program, the Arab Spring, Libya and Syria, diverting at times to the domestic economy, as they sought to break the deadlock in the White House race two weeks from election day. The president, playing on his poll

ratings as a strong leader, said that Romney had changed his positions on foreign policy over and over again and warned that he lacked the consistency needed of a commander-in-chief. “On a whole range of issues, whether it is in the Middle East, Afghanistan, whether it is in Iraq, whether it is in Iran, you have been all over the map,” Obama said in the foreign policythemed debate in Florida. And he openly mocked Romney’s claims that that he had run down the armed forces to levels not seen since early in the 20th Century. “You mentioned the navy, for example, and that we have fewer ships than we did in 1916. Well, governor, we also have fewer horses and bayonets because the nature of our military’s changed,” he said to laughter from the audience. “We have these things called aircraft carriers where planes land on them. We have these ships that go underwater, nuclear submarines. “So the question is not a game of Battleship where we’re counting ships. It’s, what are our capabilities?” Romney launched a sweeping critique of Obama’s policies on the Arab Spring, Syria and Iran, but was careful to come across as moderate, moving away from more conservative positions as he took a commander-in-chief test. Often, Romney appeared to differ with the president more on tone than substance, as the rivals vied for the votes of remaining undecided voters in crucial swing states. Romney, a former Massachusetts governor congratulated Obama for “taking out” Osama bin Laden, but warned Islamic extremism was rampant in post-Arab Spring societies, and cautioned “we can’t kill our way out of this mess.” Romney also called on Obama to do more to end violence in Syria and demanded tightened sanctions on Iran over its nuclear program. A memorable moment in the debate came when Mr. Obama, striking a note of sarcasm on Mr. Romney’s allegation that the President planned to cut military spending by one trillion dollars, said, “You mentioned the Navy, for example, and that we have fewer ships than we did in 1916. Well, Governor, we also have fewer horses and bayonets because the nature of our military’s changed. We have these things called aircraft carriers where planes land on them. We have these ships that go underwater, nuclear submarines.” “I thought they saw weakness where they had been expected to find Continued on page 12 >>

South Asia Tribune I Thursday 25 October 2012

Italy Finds Scientists Guilty Of Manslaughter For 2009 Earthquake Forecast
U.S. scientists criticise L’Aquila quake convictions 7 get 6 years in prison in Italy for inadequate warnings in ‘09 disaster
In a verdict that sent shock waves through the scientific community, an Italian court convicted seven experts of manslaughter on Monday for failing to adequately warn residents of the risk before an earthquake struck central Italy in 2009, killing more than 300 people. The BBC reports that prosecutors said the scientists, who work for the National Commission for the Forecast and Prevention of Major Risks, “gave a falsely reassuring statement before the quake, while the defense maintained there was no way to predict major quakes.” According to NBC News, what happened is that L’Aquila had been feeling tremors in late March. One local man, who was not a scientist, made the prediction that a big one was on its way. Responding to the man on March 31, the group of scientists concluded it was “improbable” that the area would experience a major earthquake, “although they stopped short of entirely excluding the possibility.” An influential body of US scientists on Tuesday criticised the Monday convictions of seven Italian scientists and officials to six years in prison for manslaughter over a 2009 earthquake in the central city of L’Aquila that killed over 300 people and left tens of thousands homeless. The Union of Concerned Scientists urged President Giorgio Napolitano to intervene in the case, repeating the scientific community’s view that it is “impossible” to predict earthquakes. The verdict also spurred concern in Japan where Shinichi Sakai of the Earthquake Research Institute in Tokyo said he would have taken the same defence line as the Italian NBC News reports that the prosecution acknowledged that saying the problem here is that the “the risk of a big temblor was not taken seriously enough.” The defendants, all prominent scientists or geological and disaster experts, were sentenced to six years in prison. Earthquake experts worldwide decried the trial as ridiculous, contending there was no way of knowing that a flurry of tremors would lead to a deadly quake. “It’s a sad day for science,” said seismologist Susan Hough, of the U.S. Geological Survey in Pasadena, Calif. “It’s unsettling.” In Italy, convictions aren’t definitive until after at least one appeal, so it was unlikely any of the defendants would face jail immediately. Among those convicted Monday were some of Italy’s best known and most internationally respected seismologists and geological experts, including Enzo Boschi, former head of the National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology. “I am dejected, desperate,” Boschi said. “I thought I would have been acquitted. I still don’t understand what I was convicted of,” he said. The trial began in September 2011 in this Apennine town, whose devastated historic center is still largely deserted. Relatives of some who perished in the 2009 quake said justice had been done. Ilaria Carosi, sister of one of the victims, told Italian state TV that public officials must be held responsible “for taking their job lightly.”

Scientists convicted in quake deaths



seismologists, because, he said, “it is not possible to say when a strong tremor will occur”. In Italy Tuesday, scientists and opinion leaders like House Speaker Gianfranco Fini called

L’Aquila to examine rumblings that had frightened residents for months. In a memo, the experts concluded that it was “unlikely” that there would be a major quake, though it

Revkin said the scientists were forced to provide the assessment after Giampaolo Giuliani, the non-scientist who made the prediction, made the public panic.

for the sentence to be reviewed. In the run-up to Monday’s pronouncement by a L’Aquila judge, the case had received widespread international attention, with over 5,000 scientists from around the world signing a letter supporting those on trial. The trial focused on one event in particular, in which the Committee on Major Risks met on March 31, 2009 in

stressed that the possibility could not be ruled out. One week later On April 6the 6.3-magnitude tremor hit, toppling buildings, killing 309 people and displacing 65,000 more in and around the city. Andrew Revkin, over at The New York Times’ Dot Earth blog, wrote about the case last year. He called the trial “a medieval-style attack on science.”

Revkin explains that Giampaolo’s methods are considered “unreliable, at best.” But the commission of scientists was trapped in a yes or no debate. The bottom line, as 5,000 scientists wrote to Italy’s president in an open letter, is that “there is currently no scientifically accepted method for short-term earthquake prediction.”


Britons were half as likely as other nations to cover their hands and mouth more frequently when coughing or sneezing during the swine flu pandemic, a study has suggested.
Britons are among the most unhealthy people to be around in the midst of a major flu outbreak, research suggests. Of five populations studied, people from the UK were the least likely to pay more attention to basic rules of hygiene such as washing hands and sneezing into a tissue.Scientists carried out surveys in the UK, the US, Argentina, Japan and Mexico soon after the 2009 H1N1 swine flu pandemic. In each country, around 900 people were asked how they had modified their personal behaviour when there was a risk of catching the virus. Britons were consistently shown to have the most cavalier attitude towards infecting others. In particular, they were less likely to take extra care about coughs and sneezes, hand washing, travelling on public transport and keeping away from people with flu symptoms. Only 27% of British people questioned said that when swine flu was sweeping the country they covered their mouth or nose with a tissue more The results were published in The Lancet medical journal. Lead researcher Dr Gillian SteelFisher, from the Harvard School of Public Health in the US, said: “The wide variations between countries in our study shows that in the event of another serious outbreak of infectious disease, public perceptions have to be taken into account to best tailor and communicate policy approaches that need public support in each country. “Our findings suggest that promoting nonpharmaceutical interventions - such as handwashing and avoiding large public gatherings of people - do not jeopardise the adoption of vaccination, though the uptake of vaccines was low compared to other behaviours in all countries we surveyed. To maximise the effect of pandemic policies, future efforts might need to combine vaccination programmes with support for the most effective non-pharmaceutical interventions.”

Britons ‘most unhygenic nation’ in the face of major flu outbreak


South Asia Tribune I Thursday 25 October 2012

frequently when sneezing or coughing. This compared with 61% of Americans, 77% of Mexicans, 64% of Argentinians and 48% of people in Japan who said they made an increased effort to cover up. Just over half (53%) of Britons said they washed their hands more frequently, or used a hand sanitiser, compared with 72% of US citizens, 86% of Mexicans, 72% of Japanese and 89% of

Argentinians. People from the UK were also the least willing to avoid hugging or kissing members of their family or friends during the pandemic. Only 2% of Britons said they followed this strategy, which was adopted by 46% of Mexicans, 21% of Americans and 19% of Argentinians. The question was not asked in Japan, where hugging and kissing is not the cultural norm.

US aircraft were near Benghazi during Libya attack but unable to prevent deaths: report
US drones were in the skies over Benghazi during last month’s fatal attack on US ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans, a new report claims. Defense Department officials weighed sending troops to rescue Stevens and more than 30 other Americans whose compound was surrounded by an angry mob on Sept. 11, says the report by CBS News. But no US counterattack or rescue effort was carried out. The drone and other reconnaissance aircraft observed the final hours of the protracted, seven-hour battle at the US Consulate. A White House official told CBS News that, at the start of the attack, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Martin Dempsey and Defense Secretary Leon Panetta “looked at available options, and the ones we exercised had our military forces arrive in less than 24 hours, well ahead of timelines laid out in established policies.” A team of “special operators” was moved from central Europe to a US naval base in Sigonella, Italy, an hour’s flight from Libya, CBS said, citing Pentagon sources. Fighter jets and Specter AC-130 gunships were also available at nearby bases, military sources told CBS. Meanwhile, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton sought clearances from Libya to fly in their airspace, CBS reports. But the Obama administration won’t reveal further details on that front. Retired CIA officer Gary Berntsen tells CBS that help could have arrived sooner. “You find a way to make this happen,” Berntsen told the network. “There isn’t a plan for every single engagement. Sometimes you have to be able to make adjustments. They made zero adjustments in this. They stood and they watched and our people died.”

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.


AP: US Ambassador Chris Stevens

The State Department, White House and Pentagon declined to say what military options were available.

South Asia Tribune I Thursday 25 October 2012

Dubai property transactions cross Dh83bn
2010. Wadi Al Safa 5 topped the list of traded areas in term of land transactions with 403 deals during the first nine months of 2012, while Burj Khalifa took the number one spot on the list of most traded areas in units terms with 3,305 sale transactions. Sultan Butti Bin Mejrin, Director General, DLD, in a statement, revealed the price indication took an “upward” trend during the past few months due to the demand and purchase transactions of land, villas and apartments in certain projects in Dubai. “The market offers multiplechoices and Dubai property sector showed high flexibility in dealing with investors’ requirements, most exceeded transactions on buildings and villas by 86 per cent. The total number of land sale and mortgage reached 5,488 transactions at over Dh54 billion. There were 3,327 land sale transactions of various types worth over Dh 20.5 billion, while land mortgage transactions stood at 1,636 worth over Dh30.9 billion. In September, Cluttons said price of apartments in Dubai have risen by nearly five per cent since the beginning of 2012 and the trend is likely to continue. It said apartments have increased in value an average 4.9 per cent in 2012, while rental values increased 6.8 percent. Earlier this month, Knight Frank Prime Global Rental Index revealed that prime rents in Dubai rose by more than three per cent in the first half of 2012. Rental values jumped by 3.3 per cent between January and June and by the same amount over the past year. The index showed rents had gone up by two per cent in the second quarter of 2012, placing Dubai ninth in the index of 16 countries.



Burj Khalifa area dominates most traded areas in unit terms in first nine months
The total value of property transactions in Dubai crossed Dh 83 billion in the first nine months of the year with Burj Khalifa area topping the list of most traded areas in units terms, according to Dubai Land Department.
The total transactions from January to September stood at 27,452 with cash sales crossing Dh43 billion and mortgage sales touching Dh36.3 billion for all kinds of properties. In August, the department had reported property transactions reached Dh63 billion in the first half of 2012. In 2011, a total of 35,297 real estate transactions of Dh143 billion were reported as against Dh123 billion in

High oil prices accompanied with rise in oil output are keys for GCC economic growth and a means to avoid any effects of the Eurozone on their economies, experts told the Gulf News on Sunday. “The UAE’s oil economy represented by Abu Dhabi is growing and the nonoil economy represented by Dubai is also growing in parallel, leading to the growth in its GDP,” Philippe DaubaPantanacce, senior economist, Turkey Middle East and North Africa Global Markets, at Standard Chartered Bank, said.. “The UAE, particularly Dubai, has benefited from the instability in the region due to the so-called Arab Spring which helped the Dubai economy come back to the period before the 2008 financial crisis amidst indicators that its real estate sector is recovering and on the ramp-up,” said Dauba-Pantanacee who is taking part in the conference on Future of GCC’s Competitiveness organised by Insead. Dauba-Pantanacce said that 2012 is a very good year for the GCC countries, particularly the UAE. “Oil prices are so far resilient and there is also a growth in the output which means higher GDP growth for the GCC countries,” he added. The other factor that one can witness in last 18-24 months is the public spending which helped the markets.“Salaries increased in the GCC region, governments tried to react to the Arab Spring by stepping

UAE economy on growth path

notably first time investors who seek to benefit from investment opportunities that emerged due to price correction witnessed by the market over the past two years.” The lion’s share of total transactions was dominated by sale with 20,925 transactions at the value of over Dh43 billion. Cash sales over Dh43 billion accounted for 52 per cent of the total transactions, or 20,925 transactions, in the first nine months of the year. However, mortgage transaction

saw an increase over the last year, accounting for 44 per cent of the total transactions or 5,042 transactions, worth Dh36.3 billion. Mejrin revealed that 1,485 transactions were registered as usufruct rights (Musataha), donations and other types of property transactions at the value of Dh3.7 billion, representing four per cent of the total transactions. Almost 65 per cent of transactions were on land sales and mortgages, while apartment sale and mortgage

up their fiscal spending. Massive spending in the region to support people is positive on the short run,” remarked Dauba-Pantanacce. “Dubai has come back as a safe haven in a troubled region, reaping the benefits of building strong service and tourism sectors. More than 50 million passengers flew via Dubai International Airport last year and it is expected that more than 54 million passengers will fly via the airport by end of 2012,” said Mark Beer, chief executive and registrar at DIFC courts. “The UAE private and public sectors are playing complementary roles to build the country’s economy. The country is a model for others; yet, the private sector should be given a major role to play as it is the sole sector that creates job opportunities in the future,” said Beer. Jean Marie Pean, chairman of Bain and Company Middle East, UAE, told the Gulf News that the UAE has so far succeeded in restructuring its economy

and to avoid the bad consequences of the financial crisis in 2008 and the Euro Crisis. Before the financial crisis, the growth rate of UAE economy was 6 per cent, it went down to 4 per cent during the crisis and it is now recovering to its normal rates, conducive to sustaining

high growth rates Khalfan Saeed Al Ka’abi, Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ADCCI) vice-chairman, said that the UAE is a business hub in the world that is suitable for entrepreneurs and businessmen to launch their businesses and ventures.

“The UAE has uniqueness represented by its leadership which is committed to bring the country to be amongst the top 5 in the world. The UAE is the land of opportunities where more than 200 nationalities reside and work,” said Al Ka’abi. “In the UAE there are about 50,000 millionaires which is a sign that the country has distinctive business type and structure that is lucrative for foreign businessmen to invest in the UAE,” Al Ka’abi elaborated. “The UAE is a springboard towards regional countries’ markets and utilising the atmosphere of economic openness, the strategic geographical location, the sophisticated infrastructure and a competitive business environment,” he said.


Amid anger and grief, ex-PM Saad Hariri urges large turnout at funeral for slain intelligence official Wissam al-Hassan.
Iran denounces Beirut bombing, points finger at Israel
Protests erupted in several Lebanese cities the day after three people, including Hassan, a senior security official opposed to the Syrian regime, were killed in a car bombing in the Lebanese capital. The official death toll was initially eight, but the head of Lebanese intelligence told Al Jazeera in an interview late on Saturday that it was three. Mikati said the blast was linked to Hassan’s recent case in which he exposed an alleged plot by Syria to sow chaos in Lebanon. Hassan, intelligence chief of the Internal Security Forces (ISF), and took them to a hospital. Lebanese security officials said eight people were killed and 60 wounded, 20 of them critically. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to talk to the press. The state-run National News Agency put the number of wounded at 78. Health Minister Ali Hussein Khalil called on all hospitals to accept the wounded from this “terrorist bombing.” on Friday, killing a top security official and seven others, shearing the balconies off apartment Hassan, a top security official in Lebanon. Many Lebanese quickly raised politician and charges against a top Syrian regime figure. The blast ripped through a narrow street at Iranian Foreign Ministry says attack that killed top Lebanese intel official was aimed at aim of

Appeals for calm after Lebanon assassination


South Asia Tribune I Thursday 25 October 2012

headed an investigation over the summer that led to the arrest of Michel Samaha, a former information minister and ally of Assad, accused of trying to help smuggle explosives into Lebanon. Hassan had also led an investigation that implicated Syria and its principal Lebanese ally, the Hezbollah, in the assassination of former prime minister Rafik alHariri. Saturday was declared a day of mourning and Hassan is to be buried on Sunday alongside Hariri, murdered in a car bombing seven years ago. The funeral will be held after Muslim prayers at the al-Amine Mosque in central Beirut. A car bomb ripped through Beirut

buildings and sending bloodied residents staggering into the streets in the most serious blast

the possibility the violence was connected to the civil war in neighboring Syria, which has

mid-afternoon in Beirut’s mainly Christian Achrafieh neighborhood, an area packed with cafes and

‘sowing dissension,’ adding ‘Zionist regime Lebanon’s worst enemy.’ Jerusalem: Beyond pathetic A huge blast hit the Lebanese

the Lebanese capital has seen in four years. Dozens of people were wounded in the attack, which the state-run news agency said targeted the convoy of Brig. Gen. Wissam al-

sent destabilizing ripples through Lebanon for the past 19 months. Al-Hassan was in charge of an investigation that exposed a bomb plot over the summer, leading to the arrest of a pro-Syrian Lebanese

shops. Doors and windows were shattered for blocks, and several blackened cars appeared to have been catapulted through the air. Bloodied residents fled their homes while others tried to help the seriously wounded. One little girl, apparently unconscious and bleeding from her head, was carried to an ambulance in the arms of rescue workers, her white sneakers stained with blood. “I was standing nearby in Sassine Square and I heard a big explosion and I ran straight to it,” resident Elie Khalil said. He said he saw at least 15 bloodied people in a nearby parking lot before medics arrived

capital Friday afternoon killing three people including Lebanese Chief of the Information Branch General Wissam Al-Hasan and his bodyguard and wounding 78 others, according to the Lebanese Red Cross. The slain Lebanese official, Brigadier-General Wissam alHassan, was close to several Lebanese politicians who back the uprising in Syria and led several investigations into Syrian meddling in Lebanese affairs, including one that implicated Damascus and its Lebanese ally Hezbollah in the assassination of former prime minister Rafik al-Hariri in 2005.

South Asia Tribune I Thursday 25 October 2012 Continued from page 1 >>

Hajj Mubarak


southeast of Mina, the pilgrims will spend the day in prayer and reflection. They will listen to the Hajj sermon at historical Nimrah mosque and perform Wuquf, the most important ritual of Hajj. After sunset, they will move on to Muzdalifah, half way between Mount Arafat and Mina, where they spend the night. Next day, the pilgrims head back to Mina after dawn prayers. Then, they will perform the first stage of the symbolic “stoning of the devil” and make the ritual sacrifice of an animal and shave off their hair. On the remaining three days of

main sects. Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah, who is supervising Haj operation from Jeddah, instructed all related government departments to provide the necessary services to the guests of God. More than 1,400 Muslim leaders from around the world are performing Haj this year as guests of King Abdullah. They come from China, Russia, Cambodia, South Korea, Japan, Vietnam, Togo, Botswana, Burundi and Liberia. Khaled Mirghalani, Health Ministry spokesman, said: “The ministry has readied 25 hospitals with a capacity of 5,200 beds in addition to the 141 health clinics situated in the holy sites, to serve pilgrims.” More than 175 ambulances are on stand by,” he added. The Saudi Red Crescent Authority plays an important role during Haj, providing first-aid and transportation services to hospitals. It will deploy 1,060 volunteers in Makkah, Mina and other holy sites. The Civil Defense yesterday conducted a mock operation to control gas leakage near the Jamrat Bridge in Mina, where a large number of pilgrims assemble during the peak days of Haj for the stoning-the-Satan ritual. Lt. Col. Abdullah Al-Ghamdi, commander of the Civil Defense’s special intervention force, said: “The operation was aimed at keeping our forces at a high level of readiness to deal with possible leakage of poisonous gases.” the Haj Ministry called for the use of social media networks to enhance Haj awareness for pilgrims. Najah Al-Qublan of Princess Norah University said: “We have to make use of social media effectively for creating Haj awareness and spreading the message of Islam.” Facebook users in the Arab world increased from 29.8 million in 2011 to 45.2 million by June 2012, she said. Foreign pilgrims have expressed their joy over getting the opportunity to perform Haj, the fifth pillar of Islam. “It’s my first time in Makkah for pilgrimage. I can’t wait to pray in Arafat,” said 32-year-old Koara Abdulrahman, a businessman from Burkina Faso. Inside the Grand Mosque, scores of pilgrims circumambulated the Holy Kaaba with many pushing their way through the crowds to kiss Hajar AlAswad (the Black Stone) on a corner

Arabia for everything it does for British Pilgrims on Hajj. “Effective preparation by pilgrims – such as ensuring they have appropriate travel insurance and carry copies of their passports and other important documentation – is key to ensuring a safe and trouble-free Hajj. I hope that all those undertaking Hajj this year will have a peaceful, successful and rewarding pilgrimage.” The passage marks the official launch of the hajj 1433H on the eighth day of the Muslim calendar month of

of the cube-shaped structure. “Right now, I’ve got all the good feelings you can think of,” said an ecstatic Iranian pilgrim. More than 1,400 Muslim leaders from around the world are performing Haj this year as guests of King Abdullah. They come from China, Russia, Cambodia, South Korea, Japan, Vietnam, Togo, Botswana, Burundi and Liberia. Heavy rains hit Makkah and Mina on Sunday, and the Civil Defense said 13 people were slightly injured when a fire erupted in a building housing Indian and Myanmarese pilgrims. Despite being marred by deadly incidents in the past such as floods, stampedes and fires, Haj has become nearly incident-free in recent years, thanks to multibilliondollar projects implemented by the

2011 to 45.2 million by June 2012, she said. THE 14th Hajj Consular Delegation to accompany British pilgrims to Saudi Arabia has been launched by Foreign Office

Dhu’l Hijjah. The day is known as Tarwiah (Watering) as pilgrims in the past stopped at Mina to water their

government annually. This year, new development projects totaling SR 1.5 billion include an initiative to help pilgrims reach the Jamrat Bridge quickly from Makkah, Aziziya and Shaabain. The Ministry of Water and Electricity said it has started supplying 600,000 cubic meters of water daily to the holy sites. There are 36 water tanks in Makkah and 27 at the holy sites with a total capacity of 2.5 million cubic meters. In other news, participants of a seminar organized by the Haj Ministry called for the use of social media networks to enhance Haj awareness for pilgrims. Najah Al-Qublan of Princess Norah University said: “We have to make use of social media effectively for creating Haj awareness and spreading the message of Islam.” Facebook users in the Arab world increased from 29.8 million in

Minister Mark Simmonds. it was the 14th year for the Hajj Consular Delegation, which has now provided consular support to thousands of British Hajjis. Simmonds said: “We understand how deeply important the Hajj is to the Muslim community and I have been taking a keen interest in preparations for the Hajj Consular Delegation. We are absolutely committed to providing appropriate Consular services to British Pilgrims during Hajj through having consular officers on the ground in Makkah and Jeddah. Last year we provided a wide range of consular support, including replacing emergency travel documentation and supporting British pilgrims who required urgent medical assistance. “Saudi Arabia provides excellent facilities and services to all pilgrims and I would like to thank Saudi

animals and stock up for the next day’s trip to Mount Arafat. Mohammed Obeid Al Mazrouei,

the hajj, the pilgrims continue the ritual stoning before performing the circumambulation of the Ka’aba and then heading back home. Shahid Afridi, Aamir Khan meet Maulana Tariq Jamil in Mecca while on Hajj World indeed is a very small place. Pakistan cricketer Shahid Afridi met Bollywood superstar Aamir Khan in Mecca. Aamir, who was with his mother, met the all-rounder during a gathering. They also met Maulana Tariq Jamil, who enlightened them on the virtues of Hajj. Before leaving for Hajj Amir Khan said that his mother asked him to take her for Haj, adding that he decided to take her mother for Haj

Chairman of UAE Official Hajj Mission, said that preparations have been made to receive thousands of pilgrims at Mina and Mount Arafat. At Mount Arafat, some 9 miles

so that he could himself perform Haj. “My brother Faisal could have gone with my mother but Allah gives me this opportunity to perform Haj,” Khan added.


In the latest assault on Muslim worship places, a group of French far-rightists have stormed and occupied a mosque building site in France’s historic city of Poitiers, to the shock of the Muslim community. About 70 far-right activists occupied a building site in the central French city of Poitiers where a mosque is under construction for several hours Saturday, provoking angry criticism from political and religious leaders. The occupation started before dawn when demonstrators entered the site on the outskirts of the city where a large gray building with a minaret is being built. Climbing on to the roof they unfurled two banners, one identifying their organization, the other proclaiming “Charles Martel beat the Arabs at Poitiers in 732.” That battle is credited with having halted the advance of Islam into western Europe. Toward noon the activists agreed to leave and the evacuation was

Far-right extremists storm mosque in France
also condemned “hateful and inadmissible provocation” and the “questionable confusion” of the group, The police have opened an inquiry into “an unauthorized demonstration, incitement to racial hatred, participation in a gathering with a view to carrying out joint damage.” There could be charges of theft as about 10 carpets were removed from the mosque and taken to the roof where they were badly damaged by rain. “Poitiers is in shock,” Alain Claeys, the mayor of the town of 90,000 inhabitants said. Extreme rightwing activists had come from all over France and seemed well organized with banners and computers, he said. Yves Dassonville, the prefect of the Vienne region in which Poitiers is situated, told reporters that the 73 demonstrators were “seemingly people of good family who came from all over France.”


South Asia Tribune I Thursday 25 October 2012

completed by 1 p.m. (1100 GMT). “We were planning to stay longer but as we had no intention whatsoever of a physical confrontation we are leaving with the police in a good mood without an unhappy ending,” a spokesman for the demonstrators, Damien Rieu, said as the occupation ended. Four of the occupiers who said they

were the organizers were held for questioning, the prosecutor’s office said. The rest underwent identity checks. French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault, who is in the Philippines, “firmly” condemned a “provocation that reveals an unacceptable religious hatred.” Interior Minister Manuel Valls

The Muslim national umbrella organization, the French Muslim Council (CFCM), spoke of its “strong indignation” and “its deep concern in the face of this new form of antiMuslim violence.” The occupation, it said, had been “serious, savage and illegal, accompanied by slogans hostile to Islam and without precedent in the history” of France, which has the largest Muslim population in Europe, of between four and six million. Local Muslim leader and imam Boubaker El Hadj Amor said his local community of between 7,000 and 8,000 people was deeply hurt. He praised its members for staying calm and refusing to rise to the provocation. Leftwing groups called for the group responsible for the occupation to be dissolved. The International League against Racism and Anti-Semitism ((Licra) called the occupation a “demonstration of hate.”

Catholic church in France may become Mosque
Tensions flare over proposed sale of church to Muslim group
With about six per cent of EU citizens today identifying as Muslim, and that number set to grow, more and more churches are set to become mosques. Nearly 150 new mosques are currently under construction to house France’s nearly five million Muslims, who make up about 7.5 per cent of the country’s population. France is home to the EU’s largest national Muslim community. Attempts by European governments to unite the diverse cultures and religious groups living side by side in the continent’s cities have not always been successful, with tensions remaining between the Muslim and Christian populations in many countries. With a nave of 26 meters, it can accommodate 200 people and is up for sale for €170,000. Roman Catholic authorities decided they could no longer afford Saint-Eloi’s. It must be sold, Krauth lamented, and if one of the prospective buyers is a peaceful Muslim association looking for a new mosque, then so be it. Rev. Alain Krauth preached to his dwindling flock at Mass last Sunday, the Continued from page 6 >> American strength,” Romney said of leaders in Tehran, accusing the president of making “apology tours” abroad. The president hit back, complaining “nothing Governor Romney said is true,” calling his Iran charge the “biggest whopper” of the campaign. Obama also launched a scathing attack on Romney’s foreign tour as a candidate earlier this year, saying when he had been running for the White House he visited US troops and Israel to reflect on the Holocaust. “I didn’t take donors,” Obama charged, noting the fact

subject was real estate. But it was also Christian charity, tolerance and, indirectly, the gnawing malaise in France over an increasingly visible Muslim minority. Krauth’s open-mindedness was not shared by all. After an item in the local newspaper, Le Berry Republicain, the murmurs began. Cafe conversations proliferated. Krauth said he got a dozen calls. Some were polite, others not. His office received about 20 e-mails.

Some commended him; others asked how he could betray a place of Christian worship to the Muslims. Comments popped up on the Internet, meanwhile, some of them raw. One suggested throwing a pig into the church to discourage Muslims from making the purchase. Alerted, reporters and cameramen from Paris showed up to ask questions about the rise of Islam. Before The president, who withdrew troops from Iraq, pointed to Romney’s past statements in support of keeping a US military presence in the country that was invaded in 2003 under former Republican president George W. Bush. “Governor, when it comes to our foreign policy, you seem to want to import the foreign policies of the 1980s, just like the social policies of the 1950s and the economic policies of the 1920s,” Obama said. Romney offered a dismal assessment of the president’s strategy, pointing to bloodshed in Syria and in Libya – where four Americans including the US ambassador were killed last month – and twice mentioning Al-

long the proposed sale of Saint-Eloi’s escalated into the latest example of France’s difficulty in dealing with a growing minority of people born into families of Muslim tradition. The Interior Ministry and most academic specialists have estimated the community in France numbers at least 5 million, the largest in Europe. While less than 10 percent of the population. Qaeda gains in Mali. Obama called the violence in Syria “heartbreaking.” The rivals are neck-and-neck in national polls after Romney surged following his first debate win in early October and started chipping away at Obama’s foundation in the swing states that will decide the election. Foreign policy is unlikely to decide who wins on 6 November, with the sluggish economy driving the election, but Romney is under pressure to show basic competence following a string of blunders. New polls released Monday had the race a cliffhanger with two weeks to go.

that Romney carried out a political fundraisers with wealthy Jewish donors in Israel. The president looked puzzled, bemused and sometimes incredulous with Romney’s savage critique of his diplomacy, as seen on a split screen carried by television networks screening the debate. “I know you haven’t been in a position to actually execute foreign policy, but every time you’ve offered an opinion, you’ve been wrong,” Obama told his opponent, a former Massachusetts governor.

Presidential Polls 2012:

Saarc international I Thursday 25 October 2012



Al-Qaeda’s fury as the teenage girl Taliban tried to murder in show of power becomes a worldwide heroine from British hospital bed
• Malala Yousafzai is being treated in Birmingham after being shot in Pakistan • She was shot after demanding womens’ rights in Pakistan region previously controlled by the Taliban
Terror group Al-Qaeda are furious that Malala Yousafzai - who was shot in the head in a botched Taliban assassination - is being hailed a heroine around the world, it was reported last night. Would-be killers were sent to shoot the girl, 15, because she has campaigned for womens’ rights and educating girls in the Swat Valley area of Pakistan, which was under complete Taliban control from 2007 to 2009. But their attempt to re-assert power backfired: First by failing to kill brave Malala, and then by sparking protests across Pakistan in support of the schoolgirl. AlQaeda member Ustad Ahmad Farooq compared the attack on Western military operations, saying in a letter: ‘Nobody spoke up for thousands of such Malalas who became victims of military operations, and nobody protested for them on the roads,’ reported Fox News. ‘I may ask why? Why is Malala’s blood more important than those killed by the army?’ While the TTP’s argument for the attempted assassination is essentially that she was a legitimate target because she violated sharia, or Islamic law, al Qaeda has approached the controversy from a different angle. Farooq contends that the media has galvanized behind Malala but ignored supposed atrocities against Muslim women. Al Qaeda’s Pakistani spokesman, Ustad Ahmad Farooq, has issued a statement on the assassination why the media and the public are silent about women who die due to poverty and women killed during military operations in Swat and Waziristan. “Nobody spoke up for thousands of such Malalas who became victims of military operations, and nobody protested for them on the roads,” Farooq wrote. “But these circles made so much noise when we targeted this girl who made fun of jihad, the veil and other Islamic values on behest of the British Broadcasting Corporation. This attack created shockwaves in the ruling circles around the world. They issued a number of statements condemning the attack on Malala. I may ask why? Why is Malala’s blood more important than those killed by the army?”

attempt, wondering why people in Pakistan and around the world have made the girl a heroine. “Why is Malala’s blood more important than those killed by the army?” - Ustad Ahmad Farooq, Al Qaeda’s Pakistani spokesman

An excerpt from the letter , titled “Why Mourn Malala so Much?” and addressed to”[my] beloved Pakistani brothers and sisters,” was translated by the SITE Intelligence Group. The letter claims that the West has done far worse to Muslim women. Specifically, Farooq asks

A Day of action in November for support of Malala Yousafzai

Tuesday, 13th November, 2012 Cultural Activities Centre (C.A.C), International Islamic University Malaysia

Saturday November 10 will mark exactly one month since the 15-yearold was shot in the head by a Taliban gunman as she travelled home from school with two classmates in northwest Pakistan. The day of action has been declared “Malala and the 32 million girls day” and aims to boost international support for girls’ education. The latest Unesco figures show that 61 million children are not in school, and 32 million of them are girls. Former prime minister Gordon Brown is set to visit Pakistan on November 10 with a group of education experts at the invitation of President Asif Alie Zardari to discuss how the country can get its three million girls who are not currently in school - and five million children in total - back into the classroom. Mr Brown, who is a UN special envoy

for global education, will present petitions to President Zardari and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon showing support for Malala and calling on the Pakistani government to draw up an education plan. Nearly one million people have already signed the petitions. Mr Brown said: “The world - and young people in particular - has shown its revulsion at both the actions of the Taliban and the scandal that leaves 32 million girls globally out of school. “The time is now to take action to deliver on our promise of universal education. I call on all global citizens to make their voice heard from now until the day of my visit to Pakistan on November 10th.” The public are being encouraged to show their support for the day of action by using social networking sites to post messages.


Not only is the Emir of Qatar about the first Arab leader to visit the Strip since Hamas’ takeover in June 2007. but Qatar is one of the most powerful principality’s in the Middle East.
Friday marks the start of this year’s Eid al-Adha holiday, but for Hamas, the festivities began on Tuesday in the Gaza Strip. The Emir of Qatar Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani has hailed the steadfastness of the people of Gaza against Israeli aggression, stressing that it was a pride for all Arabs, Qatar News Agency (QNA) reported. The emir, Sheik Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, pledged $400 million to build two housing complexes, rehabilitate three main roads and create a prosthetic center, among other projects, a transformational infusion of cash at a time when foreign aid to the Palestinian territories has been in free fall. The sheik, his wife and the Qatari prime minister led a large delegation that entered Gaza from Egypt and sped in a convoy of black Mercedes-Benzes and armored Toyotas through streets lined with people waving Qatari and Palestinian flags. Israel said it was “astounding” that Qatar, a U.S.-allied Gulf state whose oil and gas permit it to punch way above its diplomatic weight, would take sides in the Palestinian dispute and endorse Hamas, branded as terrorists in the West. Meanwhile Israel Blocks Qatar Gas from Gaza Israel is not transferring gas sent from Qatar to Gaza on Wednesday due to the security situation in the area. The visit by the emir of Qatar, Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, is an historic turning point. Not only are we talking about the first Arab leader to visit the Strip since the organization’s violent takeover in June 2007 - we’re talking about no less than the ruler of Qatar. Addressing a ceremony at the Islamic University of Gaza (IUG) on the UN-approved binding decisions. “The double standards policy that deprives the Palestinians of their right to return and establish their independent state on their soil has also caused the ongoing violations by the Israel,” he added. Sheikh Hamad called on Palestinians to end the division between the West Bank and Gaza, noting that it is the source of evil for the Palestinian cause. He demanded a new phase of reconciliation and agreement in line with the foundations reached in Doha and Cairo. The Emir of Qatar noted that Arab support for Gaza is a duty rather than a favour, stressing that Qatar will always be at the forefront of the people of Gaza and Palestine supporters, as it is a “national and umanitarian duty.” Meanwhile, the Board of Trustees of the Islamic University of Gaza granted the and law, and Arts faculties. Speaking at the university, he called on Palestinian leaders to repair their rift, which he said “was more painful than the Israeli aggression” and left them “without peace negotiations or a resistance and liberation strategy.” Analysts in Gaza also saw the visit as an attempt by the emir to use his leverage with Western capitals to help Hamas out of isolation and move them into mainstream politics, using their falling out with Shiite Iran over the conflict in Syria as a stepping stone to break Tehran’s influence on them for good. Many Gazans say Hamad’s project of rebuilding Gaza is not solving the rooted problems of the Israeli siege leaving them with a question, what has he done to break the siege and what has been his stance on the siege of Gaza? Israel killed two Hamas gunmen in a Gaza Strip air strike on Tuesday which the military said targeted a squad preparing to launch rockets into the Jewish state. The air force operation followed other Palestinian attacks, including a bomb blast that wounded an Israeli army officer patrolling the Gaza border, on a day that saw the isolated, Hamasgoverned enclave receive its first foreign head of state, the emir of Qatar. Hamas claimed that the escalation was Israel’s way of getting back at Gaza’s residents who managed to “break the siege” with the Qatari emir’s Gaza visit on Tuesday. The Popular Front’s military wings and the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine claimed responsibility for the firing of some of the rockets that hit Israel on Wednesday.

Qatari ruler’s visit to Gaza signals turning point for Palestine

Emir Of Qatar Lauds Gaza Steadfastness, Pledging $400 Million Hamas: Israel getting back at us over Qatar ruler’s visit


South Asia Tribune I Thursday 25 October 2012

Tuesday evening, Sheikh Hamad praised the Gazan people’s courage as they face “the enemy’s aircraft and internationallyprohibited weapons,” stressing that the Palestinian cause with its ramifications and concerns remains a “bleeding wound in the Arab body.” Qatar allied with the West in helping oust Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi in Libya, while financing Islamists on the ground. In Egypt, it has close ties to the Muslim Brotherhood. In Syria, it provides cash and weapons to Islamists battling President Bashar al-Assad, and at the same time it hosts a large United States military base that affords it protection in a volatile neighborhood. What appears to be a tiny principality, in Arab terms, has transformed into one of the most powerful in the Middle East. This is in part due to its status in the Arab League as one the two countries leading the Sunni camp against the Shi’ite axis; its great wealth; and, of course, its ownership of the most important media outlet in the Middle East, Al Jazeera. While Abbas and the Fayyad government are embroiled in an economic crisis and

can hardly pay their workers’ wages in time, Hamas has won a donation of a quarter of a billion dollars, an enormous sum in Palestinian terms. The Qatari ruler has opted to visit Gaza - and not Ramallah. He said that Israel violates the

Palestinian land every day through practices of settlement and Judaisation, particularly in the occupied West Bank and Jerusalem, because Arabs lack the capability to face it due to their division and dispersed stances and the international community’s inability to protect international legitimacy through

Emir and his wife, Sheikha Moza bint Nasser the Honorary Doctorate degree in recognition of their support for the Palestinian people and their just cause. The Islamic University in the Gaza Strip is one of the largest Palestinian universities and consists of eleven faculties including medicine, engineering, science, Syaria

Banned terror-outfit Lashkar-e-Taiba has claimed responsibility for the attack on Hotel Silver Star in Nowgam, Srinagar, a day after a group of four militants opened fired on hotel staff, killing one and leaving two injured. According to media reports, the militants chalked out an attack plan targeting Army convoy at Lasjan in Srinagar but were unable to execute it, after which they stormed the hotel on Friday and shot the employees. While claiming responsibility for the Friday’s attack, LeT also blamed Army’s “retaliatory firing for bell

Lashkar-e-Taiba Claims Responsibility for Hotel Silver Star Attack

boy Farooq Ahmad Bhat’s killing,” reported the Times of India. The daily also reported that LeT spokesperson Abdullah Ghaznavi called the newspaper to claim that “two dozen soldiers had been wounded in the attack”.

Meanwhile, officials have also reportedly confirmed that the Hotel Silver Star attack was a result of an unsuccessful bid by terrorist to attack the Army vehicles. “The militants had planned an attack on the Army vehicles which were passing by. (But)

they did not succeed and thus entered a nearby hotel,” a police statement said, according to TOI. The security forces have reportedly laid siege the area and search operation for the militants involved in the attack is on. It’s said to be the first

such attack in Srinagar in six months, in the backdrop of decreasing terrorrelated activities across Jammu and Kashmir for the past one year. The employee, who was killed in the firing, has been identified as Farooq Ahmad and two other, who sustained gunshot injuries, are undergoing treatment in hospital. Media reports suggested that the terrorists first fired at an Army vehicle and while escaping fearing a counterattack from the army, entered nearby Hotel Silver Star and opened fire indiscriminately at staff.

South Asia Tribune I Thursday 25 October 2012

Five years on after Karsaz tragedy, no progress in blasts case
Instead of punishing the culprits of the Oct 18 tragedy, the government had formed an alliance with them in the name of reconciliation, Dr Qadir Magsi claimed.

Karsaz blasts tragedy was a big conspiracy!



“I am returning to Pakistan on Oct. 18 to bring change to my country. Pakistan’s future viability, stability and security lie in empowering its people and building political institutions.” – Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto

“The PPP has forgotten them,” but history and people of Sindh will never forget them,”
Five years ago, the extremists attacked the welcoming caravan of Benazir Bhutto, returning to Pakistan from exile, near Karsaz in Karachi. At least 200 people embraced martyrdom while over 500 sustained injures in the twin blasts of Karsaz. Some of the injured of the Karsaz incident are still under treatment. “On this day let us vow that we will not let the extremists succeed in imposing their agenda on our people. We must fight the bigoted and the extremist to the finish; we will,” he said . The Chairman Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has paid homage to all those valiant workers of the party who lost their lives and suffered grievous wounds on occasion of arrival of Benazir Bhutto in Karachi on October 18, 2007. He said the party’s workers laid down their lives protecting the life of their leader and my mother who had just returned to Pakistan to lead the fight against dictatorship and extremism, adding “I salute them.” Billawal said Benazir Bhutto was fully aware of threats to her life but she refused to be deterred. When she came, she saw and she wept with joy. When the state stood still, stunned and staggered before the Panorama of ‘Khalq e Khuda’. When streets of Karachi saw the zeal personified in ‘Ahl e Safa’ and ‘Mardood e Haram’ who had come out with hope in their democracy icon. When exactly five years ago in the midnight of 18 and 19 October, 175 PPP workers, who had gathered to welcome and greet their leader Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto, were killed by proxies of Pakistani state in twin bombings in Karachi. Karsaz tragedy was nothing but the continuation of the state’s herself embodied in Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto were the ones who had actually posed the real threat to the state. As always, the pro-democracy masses stood in stark contrast to upper middle class urban elites who masked their anti-democracy sentiments in their blind support of corrupt, compromised, dictator-facilitating bureaucrats with a God complex!

Remembering Shuhda e Karsaz
and nurtured by the state of Pakistan. That was an expression of denouncing clueless state policies that had resulted in deaths of thousands of Pakistanis in previous years. That was the voice of people that had refused to be cowed down. The voice had been raised and the corridors of power were trembling with the echoes. The tricolor, dreaded by dictators, had come out in open to redeem the traditions of people of Pakistan. The flags of PPP were flying all over in Karachi. People from every nook and cranny had come in order to support the cause for which Benazir Bhutto had come back to her country i.e. to get her country free from extremism. The tyrants in higher echelon of the state could not brook the sight and proxies were dispatched to ruin the enthusiasm and rejoice of the people. Hundreds were martyred without knowing what supposedly their crime was. The explosions -- a grenade followed by a suicide blast -- came hours after Bhutto had flown home, sobbing

eyes. When the fateful day started as ‘Eid’ and the night brought ‘Shaam e GhareebaN’ upon us. When the tyrants rose to retaliate while their elite offspring mocked and jeered a national heroine and

tradition of suppressing and in most gory aspects killing the voices that raised the flag of a progressive, democratic and a secular Pakistan. Myriads of ‘untouchables’ who had gathered to cheer the hope

What we saw on 18th October 2007 was actually an expression of disapproval by the people of Pakistan who had refused to bow down to tyranny, dictatorship and fundamentalism grown



Saarc international I Thursday 25 October 2012

seen before in the Mexican category; and the Asiya range of quality Halal meat and poultry products from World Foods Frozen & Chilled, created specifically for the Muslim market, where customer insight, credibility and trust have been the main drivers in the development of the packaging. Taywell Feng Sushi’s Desserts, which include exotic flavours from Kaffir Lime Leaf & Coconut ice cream to Dark Chocolate & Wasabi sorbet.

Celebrity power is in its full element at this year World Food Awards, as the shortlist for the 4th annual Award’s ceremony was announced today. The shortlist for the ten Award categories include music sensation Rihanna, celebrity chef and TV presenter Anjum Anand and Levi Roots, the entrepreneur who shot to fame through Dragon’s Den. The Awards, now in their fourth year were created by the World Foods Association and recognise not only the incredible growth within the ethnic and world food sector, but also the diversity of cultures and communities that the industry is inspired by. The Awards are open exclusively to companies specialising, promoting or stocking products from the following countries: Asian, Oriental, African, Afro-Caribbean, European, EastEuropean, Middle Eastern, South American and Mediterranean and winners will be announced at a glittering gala ceremony on Friday 2nd November at London’s prestigious Lancaster London Hotel. The shortlist of finalists this year include: The Marketing Campaign of the Year category sees Madonna and Demi Moore-backed, coconut water company, Vita Coco with their summer Viva Vita campaign. Viva Vita which features brand

ambassador Rihanna goes up against three other worthy contenders including: High Street giant Tesco with their Ramadan campaign; the launch campaign for Shui Jing Fang, an exclusive brand of Baijiu produced by the oldest distiller on record in China, dating back 600 years; and Dragon’s Den star Levi Roots’ Reggae Reggae Sauce Campaign, which included an ad creative by the awardwinning animation studio Aardman

sauces last year. Hailed as one of the most significant product innovations in the world foods category of the last decade, the unique range of authentic Indian sauces, features in both the Best New Product and Best Product categories. Anand faces competition from the likes of major rice manufacturer Tilda with its new childrens range,

The Restaurant of the Year category promises to be a hotly fought contest, with the Covent Garden branch of Jamie Oliver’s ‘Italian’ chain back in the running for a second year. The increasing popularity of Spanish tapas seesPizarro, which is unquestionably the Spanish restaurant of the moment featured for the first time, with the

Tilda Kids - a new ready-to-heat ‘rice and veggie’ range catering specifically for children’s palates;

age-old favourite Indian sector being celebrated with Vineet Bhatia’s Michelin starred Rasoi also a strong contender.

The Entrepreneur of the Year Award is again set to be a tough challenge for the judging panel, with three individuals who have not only made a mark within their own chosen industry but are the epitome of the word entrepreneur in every sense. 38year-old Kabir Rayman is the curry prince of the North, having launched his stylish, high quality restaurant brand EastzEast in 2005 and over the past seven years has built the business into a thriving and successful chain;

Animations. The quality of entries within both Best New Product and Best Product categories clearly reflect the increasing creativity, diversity and commitment to the world food sector, with both traditional and new companies emerging to glean more market share. Working in conjunction with The Spice Tailor and in close partnership with Waitrose and Ocado, TV chef and cookery writer Anjum Anand launched a brand new range of authentic Indian

Tesco returns again with another customer inspired brand – the Aasani Range – developed for Asians by Asians, with bright and vibrant packaging that unifies the entire range. Aasani products include traditional breads, exotic real fruit juices, snacks and creamy fragrant desserts, all at competitively low prices. Also giving Tesco and Anjum a run for their money is artisan ice cream and sorbet maker Taywell, who joined forces with Japanese restaurant chain Feng Sushi to create a range of deliciously distinctive dessert concepts guaranteed to get diners’ taste buds tingling.

The art of packaging is a fine balance between branding, visibility, shelf space, customer appeal and convenience all of which are clearly demonstrated this year with the three finalists in the Best Packaging category: Tilda Kids, which featuresTilli the Elephant a playful character who together with friends including Charlie the Crocodile and Jasmine the Tiger, is the main feature of the beautifully designed Tilda Kids packs; The Perfect Fajita Kit by Discovery Foods which features a highly innovative and original packaging design that has never been

Fukhera Khalid started his career at the age of 16 with a small warehouse in Mitcham. Over the past 25 years Elbrook Cash & Carry has become one of the Top 30 wholesalers in the country with an annual turnover of over £100 million. In 2005, Khalid also launched Chak 89 - a restaurant that has become a favoured destination of many of the Bollywood celebrities. The success and popularity of Chak 89 has also resulted in Asda partnering with the brand to launch in-store takeaway outlets for their customers. Continued on page 17 >>

Saarc international I Thursday 25 October 2012 Continued from page 16 >> the final winners selection. KPMG’s Sheel Gill will again audit the judge’s results to ensure complete confidence in the judging process. The full list of finalists for the 4th Annual Food Awards are: ASDA Best New Product of the Year



Pudliszki Best Packaging of the Year • The Perfect Fajita Kit – Discovery Foods • Tilda Kids Rice • Asiya’s Range, World Foods Frozen & Chilled

The winner of the Jaguar Lifetime Achievement Award will be announced at the glittering gala ceremony on 2nd November 2012. Comedy legend Lenny Henry is set to host the Awards for the third year running, and says of the finalists and the industry that has inspired the Awards: “World food is more popular now than ever before and the range and quality of products entered for this year’s awards shows how far the industry has come in the past few years. “With a big name line up of finalists like Vita Coco, Tesco, Asda, Reggae Reggae and Tilda as well as Jamie Oliver and Anjum Anand, the World Food Awards hope to drive world food further into the mainstream and celebrate the people who have worked so hard to help it evolve into a thriving and compelling industry.” The World Food Awards 2012 will be broadcast on Star Plus to over 1 million viewers in the UK alone. Sponsors include ASDA, Jaguar, Patak’s and Rajah.

62 year old Moni Varma, is the third of the nominees, with his multimillion pound rice business VeeTee Rice. Varma came to the UK from his native Malawi planning a completely different career, but was effectively forced into the rice business through family pressure. 45 years later he has much to be thankful for, as the core rice milling business continues to boom and with the launch of his hugely successful Dine In range of microwaveable rice products seems to have taken the market by storm. As the Awards enter the home stretch, the high-profile panel of judges, that includes respected industry experts, Adam Leyland, Editor of The Grocer, Simon Numphud, Head of AA inspectors and Mintel’s Director of Innovation & Insight David Jago, start

• Taywell Feng Sushi’s Desserts • The Spice Tailor - Anjum Anand Sauces • Tilda Kids Rice

Terre di San Vito National Retailer of the Year • Asda • Tesco

Pataks Wholesaler/Catering Supplier of the Year • Euro Foods • JJ Food Services • Seamark

Chak 89 Best Product of the Year • Tesco Aasani Range • The Spice Tailor - Anjum Anand Sauces • Tilda Kids Rice

MEMS Marketing Campaign of the Year • Reggae Reggae Sauces • Tesco Ramadan Campaign • Vita Coco – Vita Vita with Rihanna • Launch of Chinese Baijiu, Shui Jing Fang

Rajah Restaurant of the Year • Jamie’s Italian • Rasoi Vineet Bhatia • Jose Pizarro Star Network Entrepreneur of the Year • Fukhera Khalid • Kabir Rayman • Moni Verma

In 2010 Two South African Hajj pilgrims undertook the Hajj trip by bicycles

Nathim Cairncross, 28 years old, and Imtiyaz Ahmad Haron, 25, two young South Africans who decided to travel on their bicycles to the holy sites to perform Hajj in 2010 arrived in Saudi Arabia after nine months . They left Cape on February 7th and pedaled through different countries until reaching the Saudi borders in November. Cairncross and Haron pedaled through a number of African countries; Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Malawi, Tanzania, to name but a few and equally Arab countries as Syria and Jordan before reaching Saudi Arabia where they will perform Islam’s fifth pillar. Cairncross said that they are in the Kingdom to perform Hajj for the first time and that they could have travelled by plane, and that they chose to travel by bicycle for it was their desire. The adventurers pedaled from 80 to 100 km daily and used to relax in mosques or tents to resume their trip after dawn. Telling their story they said that they received assistance and were welcomed at every place that passed through and that they encountered problems related to language. The two students of the Islamic sacred law (Sharia) were welcomed by Saudi security officials and greeted for undertaking this nine-month trip.



Saarc international I Thursday 25 October 2012

forget. LIFE OF PI stars newcomer Suraj Sharma as Pi, Gerard Depardieu (Cyrano de Bergerac), Rafe Spall (Prometheus), Irrfan Khan (Slumdog Millionaire) and Tabu (The Namesake). Yann Martel’s novel has been adapted into a screen play by David Magee (Finding Neverland), produced by Ang Lee, Gil Netter (Water for Elephants), David Womark (Stardust), co-produced by David Lee. Cinematography by Claudio Miranda (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button), editing by Tim Squyres (Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon). Production

Twentieth Century Fox are delighted to announce the theatrical release of LIFE OF PI in 3D and 2D on December 20th in UK and Ireland. Academy Award-winning director Ang Lee (Brokeback Mountain, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon) directs LIFE OF PI, based upon Yann Martel’s beloved book, which went on to become one of the biggest publishing events of the past decade. An epic adventure of magical realism, LIFE OF PI follows the story of a young man’s incredible survival at sea against almost impossible odds. A remarkable breakthrough in

the use of 3D technology, PI will take audiences on an emotionally

captivating journey that will inspire, touch and transport them to a place of discovery they will be unable to

Design by David Gropman (Date Night), music by Mychael Danna (Little Miss Sunshine).

Newly weds Saif Ali Khan and Kareena Kapoor. Kareena is wearing Sharmila Tagore’s joda recreated by Ritu Kumar. A rare occasion where a century-old garment has been restored for a wedding of the erstwhile royalty

Luv Asia Radio was founded by renowned radio presenter Missy D and 24 hour live streaming was officially launched on August 1st 2012. Initially starting on Spreaker as an experiment in November 2011, radio buff Missy D quickly discovered the listenership was huge and was fetching a popular worldwide interest, so she took the brave step and quit her daytime job to set up full time. Today Missy has a fast-growing Luv Asia team behind her, who range from entrepreneurs to those with long standing media careers, who all believe in one thing – taking over the world with LUV! Natasha Khan formerly known as Rabia Khan (Sunrise, Kismet, Punjab & Hum Tum Houston) is the latest addition to the team. Luv Asia’s central aim is to ‘Connect Desi’s Globally’. It’s barely been a few months and it’s already created quite a mark. The team have mailed and hand-posted ‘Luv Asia Radio’ quality T-shirts from fans in the UK and overseas including West Indies, Canada, India, Australia and the USA upon request. They are currently in

Brit-Asian Woman Goes Global with ‘LUV’

the process of donating 100 T-shirts to under-privileged children who attend Anand Nagar Municipal School in East Dahisar, Mumbai. Missy D who is also a trained primary school teacher plans to visit Mumbai in November to meet and educate the children and is also donating a projector and laptop that aims to play a vital part in their study and their goal is to create an ongoing relationship with them. “To date we have gained a listenership of 33,000 globally, but we do not see

this as our true listenership, we have access to analytics to one or two platforms, yet we can be heard on several platforms which has created a wider global listenership. So as they say what is a number? I know people listen right across the globe with USA, India, Canada, Australia, Pakistan being our biggest listeners outside of the UK”, said Missy D. Luv Asia soon plans to launch a show called ‘Luv 2 Talk’, which is a platform for all those people who just want to

voice their opinions about their life and experiences. As Luv Asia aims to connect all Desi’s there is even a chance for the older generation to get interactive with the Kitty Party. com show, where a load of ‘modern mothers’ will get the chance to speak openly and candidly. Luv Asia also has a fitness show called Luv Workout with fitness Guru Eileen McCotter. As well as being Missy D’s very own personal trainer, Eileen has set Missy the challenge to walk

a mountain! So together Missy D and Eileen will now invite fans and listeners to ‘Walk Mountains For Luv’ “We will start walking 5 miles that will then increase to 10 miles and then eventually the Luv Team will be walking Snowdonia mountain next June for the Charity CRY. Everyone is invited to join; we even have a team training in London. Every year we will pick a charity and a challenge and do it for LUV!”

Saarc international I Thursday 25 October 2012

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Buddhists have waged a new wave of attacks on Muslims in Western Myanmar, the government said Wednesday, adding that violence has now spread to two new districts where authorities are struggling to douse flames from burning homes. Rakhine state spokesman Myo Thant said clashes between Rohingya Muslims and ethnic Rakhine Buddhists - reported in other parts of the coastal region Sunday engulfed the townships of Kyaukphyu and Myebon late Tuesday, AP reported.


Thursday, 25.10.12


New Wave of Violence against Muslims in Myanmar

The unrest is some of the worst reported in the region since violence swept the area in June. The Buddhists’ attacks this week began Sunday in Minbyar and Mrauk-U districts, both located North of the regional capital, Sittwe. The government says up to three

people were killed and more than 1,000 homes burned down. Myo Thant said fighting began Tuesday in Kyaukphyu and Myebon and continued Wednesday. Continued on page 12 >>

Pakistan to sue The Peshawar High Court issues Daily Telegraph notice to Musharraf for Pakistan Judicial commission submitted its allowing drone campaign report to the government last week: Telegraph
Justice Iqbal denies submitting final report
ON 21ST The Telegraph reported that an independent commission has spent the past year and a half questioning military officers, bin Laden’s wives and residents of Abbottabad. But Pakistani officials said Abbottabad Commission Chairman Justice (retd) Javed Iqbal has outright rejected claims of submitting to the government a report over the circumstances that led to the death of al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden . UK newspaper The Daily Telegraph reported on Monday that the fivemember commission had cleared the government and the military establishment of allegations of having protected the al Qaeda kingpin. Continued on page 12 >> While hearing a petition filed against drone attacks, the Peshawar High Court (PHC) on Wednesday issued a notice to former President General (retd) Pervez Musharraf for allowing campaign of drone strikes in Pakistan. The CIA-operated drone campaign began in the former president’s government. The drone attacks in northwest Pakistan, where militants linked to Taliban and al Qaeda have strongholds, have killed thousands of people since they began in June 2004, according to Continued on page 12 >>


Pakistan to sue The Daily Telegraph


Saarc international I Thursday 25 October 2012

The retired Supreme Court judge, however, denied on Tuesday that the commission had submitted any report on the Abbottabad incident to the government, according to a junior officer associated with the office of the commission’s chairman. “Justice Sahib wants to sue The Daily Telegraph,” another senior official told reporters. The Daily Telegraph claimed it has learnt from a senior government official that no one else in the town knew the world’s most wanted man had taken up residence there. It clears Pakistan’s government and military establishment of involvement, a verdict that will prompt accusations of a cover-up and infuriate Western diplomats. The investigation describes how the daughter of one of bin Laden’s two couriers, who lived with their families in separate buildings inside the high-walled compound, saw the al-Qaeda leader as she climbed the Continued from page 19 >>

stairs in his private area for a Koran lesson with one of his wives. The Daily Telegraph also claimed that according to its Pakistani source, she was oblivious to his identity until she saw his picture on television some days later. This prompted a hurried security conference inside the compound, which ended with bin Laden

“At the end of the day it really doesn’t tell us much more than we already knew,” he said. “It’s a disappointment for those who thought this episode might represent a turning point for Pakistan’s relationship with extremist groups.” Last month, the commission stated that the report had been compiled

Former Punjab police chief Abbas Khan is facing heart problems and could, therefore, not attend meetings of the commission, while Ashraf Jehangir Qazi was unable to attend the meetings due to the death of his brother in Balochistan. Therefore, the commission’s secretary has yet to take their signatures on the report.

giving up his exercise routine in a covered part of the courtyard. The Telegraph report also claimed a senior government source, speaking on condition of anonymity, said they would find few answers in the commission’s report.

and would be submitted to the government soon. Another official, while giving reasons for the delay, told reporters that two members of the commission have not been available in order for the report to be finalised.

Last month, the law ministry directed the commission to prepare its report by the end of October. Meetings with top brass Justice Iqbal is likely to meet the top civilian leadership and military brass before submitting his report. Continued from page 32 >>

“Justice Sahib wants to hold separate meetings with the top civilian and military leaderships next month,” a member of the commission said on Tuesday. The over 120-page report is likely to be submitted to the government in November, he added. Justice Iqbal will take the president and prime minister and the InterServices Intelligence chief and the army chief into confidence over some important revelations of the report, said officials privy to the development. Furthermore, they added that after the meetings, the commission’s chairman would take a final decision on whether or not to make the report public. Meanwhile, the junior officer associated with the office of the commission’s chairman shared some interesting details of the report with reporters, saying, “All four members of the commission have written separate notes on the report.” Former diplomat Ashraf Jahangir Qazi, a key member of the commission, in his separate note, has strongly recommended the government to take action against the military officials who failed to find Bin Laden’s hideouts, he added. Lt Gen (retd) Nadeem Ahmed, in his note, recommended the report not be made public due to the sensitivity of the matter, said the official.

“Houses are burning and clashes between the two communities are ongoing,” Myo Thant said. “ Kyaukphyu and Myebon are located about 95 kilometers (60 miles) and 50 kilometers (30 miles) South and East of Sittwe, respectively. There was no immediate word on whether there were any casualties in the two townships, and Myo Thant had no details on the extent of arson attacks there. Myanmar army forces reportedly provided the Buddhists with big containers of petrol to set ablaze the houses of Muslim villagers and force them to flee their houses, according to a Monday report by Radio Banga. The silence of the human rights organizations towards abuses against the Rohingya Muslims has emboldened the extremist Buddhists and Myanmar’s government forces. The Buddhist-majority government of Myanmar refuses to recognize Rohingyas and has classified them as illegal migrants, even though the Rohingyas are said to be Muslim descendants of Persian, Turkish, Bengali, and Pathan origin who migrated to Myanmar as early as the 8th century. According to reports, thousands of Myanmarese Rohingya Muslims are living in dire conditions in refugee camps ever since government forces and Buddhist extremists started burning down their villages on August 10. Reports say some 650 Rohingyas have been killed in the Rakhine State in the West of the country in recent months. This is while 1,200 others are missing and 80,000 more have been displaced.

New Wave of Violence against Muslims in Myanmar

Peshawar High Court issues notice to Musharraf for allowing drone campaign
the report by experts from Stanford Law School and the New York University School of Law. Aside from casualties, the “Living Under Drones” report said, the missile strikes are affecting daily life in the tribal areas, making people unwilling to gather in groups – even for weddings and funerals – for fear of being targeted. Despite Islamabad’s repeated protests, the Obama Administration is not willing to halt the CIA drone campaign in the tribal areas — notwithstanding Islamabad’s offer of a new mechanism suggesting use of drones only for surveillance.

Lankan captain filled nearly ten suitcases as he went on a shopping spree, the word is that he loves to shop in Pakistan and on the last day of a hectic four day tour he decided to indulge in one of his biggest passions, second only to hitting big sixes. Whilst he prepared to leave the hotel and make his way to the airport, a security officer deployed there stated that Jayasuriya is a real shopaholic. “When Sri Lanka traveled to Pakistan four years ago he was a real pain for us, every day he wanted to shop and we had to escort him to various malls across the city,” the officer joked.

Jayasuriya goes on Karachi shopping spree

Bangladesh likely to tour Pakistan in December
Chairman Zaka Ashraf announced on Wednesday that the Bangladesh cricket team will visit Pakistan in December. Speaking to the media, Ashraf said that Bangladesh team will play three One-Day Internationals and two Twenty-20 matches during the tour. “We are in contact with the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB), however the details of the tour have not been finalised,” said the PCB chairman. BCB president Nazmul Hasan is chairing a meeting after which the tour will be announced. The tour is expected to take place in December before Pakistan’s proposed series with India. Bangladesh was scheduled to tour Pakistan in April for a short series, but it was cancelled after its high court ordered the visit be suspended due to security concerns. No Test team has toured Pakistan for since the attack on the Sri Lanka team convoy in Lahore in 2009. Last weekend an International World XI comprising of retired players from West Indies, South Africa and Sri Lanka played two exhibition Twenty20s in Karachi.

Saarc international I Thursday 25 October 2012




UK to double number of drones in Afghanistan
RAF makes urgent purchase of five more Reaper drones, which will be the first to be controlled from a UK base
“No decisions have been made about the longer-term future of Reaper as a core capability, nor have any decisions been made on the basing of Reaper aircraft once the UOR is complete,” said a spokesman. “The UK has a need for a persistent intelligence-gathering capability. Our investment and experiences with Reaper will be considered in developing the programme ... at this stage, the MoD is still developing this strategy.” The MoD said the relocation of RAF personnel from 39 Squadron at Creech air force base would begin in the new year, and that RAF Waddington would eventually be home to two squadrons of drones. “The intention is to phase the relocation of 39 Squadron to ensure there is no disruption to Reaper support to current operations,” the spokesman added. In the first three-and-a-half years of using the Reapers in Afghanistan, the aircraft flew 23,400 hours and fired 176 missiles. But those figures have almost doubled in the past 15 months as Nato seeks to weaken the Taliban ahead of withdrawal. The UK will double the number of unmanned RAF drones in Afghanistan to ten with the new aircraft to be operated remotely from Britain. The aircrafts, which are capable of firing missiles and carrying out surveillance, have been the subject of criticism due to civilian deaths during attacks. A Ministry of Defence spokesman confirmed that pilots based at RAF Waddington in Lincolnshire would fly the five recently-bought vehicles. In the new squadron of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), five Reaper drones will be sent to Afghanistan, the Guardian can reveal. It is expected they will begin operations within six weeks. Pilots based at RAF Waddington in Lincolnshire will fly the recently bought American-made UAVs at a hi-tech hub built on the site in the past 18 months. The UK’s existing five Reaper drones, which are used to target suspected insurgents in Helmand, have been operated from Creech air force base in Nevada because Britain has not had the capability to fly them from A high court hearing on Tuesday may shed light on any support the UK is giving to the CIA’s campaign of drone strikes in Pakistan. The case has been brought by Noor Khan, whose father was killed in an attack on a local council meeting in 2011. He is asking the foreign secretary, William Hague, to clarify the government’s position on sharing intelligence for use in CIA strikes, and is challenging the lawfulness of such activities. His lawyer, Rosa Curling, said: “This case is about the legality of the UK government providing ‘locational intelligence’ to the US for use in drone strikes in Pakistan. An off-the-record GCHQ source stated to a number of media outlets that GCHQ assistance was being provided to the US for use in drone attacks and this assistance was ‘in accordance with the law.’ “We have advised our client that this is incorrect. The secretary of state has misunderstood the law on this extremely important issue and a declaration from the court confirming the correct legal position is required as a matter of priority.”

here. After “standing up” the new XIII squadron in a ceremony this Friday, the UK will soon have 10 Reapers in Afghanistan. The government has yet to decide whether the aircraft will remain there after 2014, when all Nato combat operations are due to end. “The new squadron will have three control terminals at RAF Waddington, and the five aircraft will be based in Afghanistan,” a spokesman confirmed. “We will continue to operate the other Reapers from Creech though, in time, we will wind down operations there and bring people back to the UK.” The use of drones has become one

of the most controversial features of military strategy in Afghanistan. The UK has been flying them almost nonstop since 2008. The RAF bought the drones as an urgent operational requirement (UOR) specifically for Afghanistan, and the MoD confirmed that their purpose after 2014 was unclear. Under rules imposed by the EU and the Civil Aviation Authority, UAVs can be flown only in certain places in the UK, including around the Aberporth airfield in mid-Wales. If the air-exclusion zone restrictions are not lifted by the end of 2014, the UK may have to relocate the drones to the US, or perhaps even to Kenya, sources said.

Afghanistan not just about war, tells ‘Kabul Cards’

Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan to hold joint meeting on campaign against drugs

Three young girls from Afghanistan have teamed up to show the fun side of the warravaged country through a 17minute film Kabul Cards. The trio wants to send a message to the world that their homeland is not just about war. Sahar, 16, who currently attends high school, 19-year-old Sadaf, a music student, and Nargis, 18, who works in an information agency, have filmed their daily lives in Kabul for the movie. Despite the ongoing war and widespread discrimination against women, the three girls took the challenge of filming themselves and

showing the world how they have fun together and how actively they are working to change the society in Kabul Cards, which was showcased at the ongoing 14th Mumbai Film Festival. “We want to change people’s mind and their thinking about Afghanistan with the video. All they know about us is wars and explosions, but we want the world to know about the civilians living there, the people and the activists who are living to reform things,” Nargis told IANS. “There is a lot more that is happening their like environmental campaigns and cultural programmes, but all the world knows and the international media writes about are the war,” she

added. Talking about the attitude of people in their country, Sahar said: “We don’t feel safe when we walk on the streets. They think if we are going out, so we are bad girls. And it is not just the men who think like this, there are some women who also have that kind of thinking. This is what we want to change.” The first seed of the idea to make the film was sown last year when two Norwegians - Christoffer Naess and Anders Smme Hammer - thought of making a movie about civilian life in Afgahnistan. While Hamner has been working as a journalist in Afghanistan since June 2007, Naess works with Global Video Letters, an organization that focuses on international participatory media projects. The two, who have produced the film, got in touch with these girls and organised a camerahandling workshop for them before they started shooting the film. Hammer says he got tired of reporting about war.

Iran, Afghanistan, and Pakistan are scheduled to hold a trilateral meeting in Tehran on November 6 to explore ways to promote cooperation between the three neighboring countries in the campaign against illicit drugs. The trilateral meeting, which will be the sixth of its kind, will continue for two days. The initiative to hold such a meeting, which is supported by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, is aimed at coordinating campaigns against drug production in Afghanistan.

According to the United Nations, Iran ranks first among all countries in the world in shutting down drug routes into its territory. With a 900-kilometer (560-mile) border with Afghanistan, Iran has been used as the main conduit for smuggling illicit drugs from its neighbor to drug kingpins in Europe. In response, the Iranian government has spent over $700 million to seal its borders and prevent the transit of illicit drugs destined for European, Middle Eastern, and Central Asian countries.



Saarc international I Thursday 25 October 2012


Bangladesh GDP to grow at 6pc: WB
in Bangladesh. However, according to Zahid Hasan, World Bank’s senior economist, the projected 6 percent growth for the 2012-13 fiscal was relatively ‘healthy’ for Bangladesh compared to forecasts for other south and south-east Asian countries. “Bangladesh is 35th out of 150 countries in terms of growth forecast in the IMF World Economic Outlook,” he said at a press conference at the bank’s Dhaka office. Zahid Hasan said, according to the list, Pakistan was likely to achieve 3.3 percent growth, Nepal 3.6 percent, Malaysia 4.7 percent, Vietnam, 5.9 percent, India 6 percent, Sri Lanka 6.7 percent and China 8.2 percent. “Bangladesh has the ability to achieve more than 6 percent growth. But it cannot achieve the expected 7.2 percent growth forecast in the budget due to a

The World Bank, like the Asian Development Bank and the International Monetary Fund, has forecast Bangladesh’s economy to grow by 6 percent in the current fiscal

despite ‘higher potentials’. It said the government’s targeted 7.2 percent growth, forecast in the budget, would not be fulfilled due to Euro Zone financial crisis and low investment

decline in export caused by the Euro Zone financial crisis and problems with domestic investment, ,” the World Bank official said. Earlier, the ADB had forecast 6 percent and IMF 6.1 percent GDP growth for Bangladesh. Bangladesh had achieved 6.32 percent growth in the 2011-12 fiscal. World Bank’s local representative Ellen Goldstein gave the inaugural speech.

Government empowered to appoint Relations will take new administrator to registered company height: Chinese VP
40,000. Musharraf informed that the Awami League-led grand alliance government has implemented 92 percent of its decisions which were taken in the cabinet meetings during its nearly four-year tenure. Meanwhile, the implementation rate was 76 percent for the BNP-led fourparty alliance government during its four-year tenure, he said. The incumbent government, during its regime, held 168 cabinet meetings and took 1,121 decisions, of which 1,029 were implemented. Of the total implementation, around 196 laws have been passed in parliament. During the BNP-led alliance tenure, a total of 162 cabinet meetings were held and 578 decisions were taken, of which 438 were implemented. Musharraf said that the cabinet expressed its satisfaction over implementation of its decisions and focused on implementing more in future. Chinese Vice President Xi Jingpin on Thursday told BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia the relations between China and Bangladesh would take a new dimension in the near future. The Chinese Vice President said this during a meeting with Khaleda at Beijing’s historic Great Hall of the People, according to a media statement sent by

Vice President Jingpin said his country would actively consider participating in the construction of a deep-sea port in Sonadia in the Bay of Bengal. Both leaders agreed that this project would play a vital role in the economy of Bangladesh and other neighbouring countries. The Chinese leader said China was ready to work together with Bangladesh in

The cabinet on Monday approved in principle the draft of Company Act (Amendment) Ordinance 2012, keeping a provision to appoint administrator in any company registered under the act. Against the backdrop of fraudulence by Destiny 2000 Ltd, the cabinet made the decision and the government would appoint an administrator to run the controversial MLM company, Cabinet Secretary M Musharraf Hossain Bhuiyan told reporters after the meeting. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina presided over the meeting held at the

cabinet division of the Bangladesh Secretariat. With the passing of the act, the government was empowered to appoint administrator to any registered company if any allegation of fraudulence came to light against it, Musharraf said. The cabinet also approved a proposal of signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Malaysia on exporting manpower, he said. According to the MoU, about 5 lakh people would be sent to Malaysia for job in the last five years. The cost for each worker will be Tk

Jamaat-e-Islami leader Delwar Hossain Sayedee’s war crimes trial will move to the next phase on Nov 5 when the prosecution begins to sum up its case. The first war crimes tribunal set the date for argument on Monday and said further defence witnesses would be allowed to testify until Tuesday despite its order of Thursday (Oct 18) barring Sayedee’s defence from bringing further witnesses after Sunday. The three-judge Itnernational Crimes Tribunal – 1, set up to deal with crimes against humanity during the 1971 Liberation War, had directed the defence on Oct 18 that it should have all its remaining witnesses ready on Sunday. But there was just one witness with another four defence witnesses still to take the stand.

Sayedee trial enters Khaleda goes to India Oct 28 BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia will next phase Nov 5 pay a week-long visit to Indian from
October 28 at the invitation of the Indian government. This formal announcement came hours after her return from China on Saturday. BNP chairperson’s Press Secretary Maruf Kamal Khan made the announcement at a press briefing. During her visit, the former prime minister will call on Indian President Pranab Mukherjee and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. The opposition leader is expected to meet Indian Congress Party President and UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi and other top ranking politicians. She will also pay a visit to Ajmer Sharif.

the BNP chief’s Press Secretary Maruf Kamal Khan. On her arrival at the Great Hall, Khaleda and her entourage were formally received by the Vice President and other senior leaders. The bilateral relations between the Asian countries were discussed in detail with special emphasis on ways to strengthen it further. BNP Standing Committee Members Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain and Mahbubur Rahman, Vice-Chairmen Shamsher Mobin Chowdhury and Selima Rahman, Chairperson’s Advisor Sabihuddin Ahmed accompanied the BNP chief. The Leader of the Opposition in Parliament is in China on a weeklong visit. Jingpin assured Khaleda of China’s continued economic, financial and technical support to Bangladesh in the days ahead. The Chinese leader praised the contributions of Khaleda towards promoting socioeconomic development in Bangladesh. Deep Seaport

establishing road and rail links between Chittagong and Kunming for growing connectivity in the region. He said that there would be massive development in the communications sector of the region once the road and railway links were in place. Success of 18th Congress Khaleda wished the upcoming 18th Congress of the Communist Party of China scheduled to be held in Beijing on Nov 8 would be a success and expressed confidence that China would attain greater success under the leadership of the party. Jingpin said, “Strengthening party-toparty relations between the CPC and the BNP will contribute towards giving our bilateral relations a further boost.” In response, the former Prime Minister said the people of Bangladesh always considered China as a ‘special friend’. She also reiterated BNP’s support to China’s ‘One China Policy’. Maruf Kamal said the Chinese media covered the meeting with importance. Khaleda is scheduled to leave Beijing on Friday for home via Bangkok.

Saarc international I Thursday 25 October 2012




Singapore and Bhutan sign first infocomm technology MOU
Singapore and Bhutan strengthened their collaboration in infocomm technology (ICT). For the first time, both countries inked a Memorandum of Understanding in ICT on Monday, October 22. Mr Ronnie Tay, Chief Executive Officer of the Infocomm Development Authority (IDA) of Singapore and Dasho Kinley Dorji, Secretary of the Ministry of Information and Communications (MoIC) signed the MOU in Thimphu, the Bhutan capital. The MOU will pave the way for developing ICT manpower and expertise in Bhutan through a series of projects and build on existing ICT collaborations. As a start, representatives from IDA International will train key officials from Bhutan in e-Government

policies. Temasek Foundation has committed a grant of about S$500,000 towards a 18-month programme for about 400 government leaders and officials from Bhutan to develop and implement a National ICT Master Plan. “Singapore’s computerisation efforts have contributed to the country’s economic development

and Temasek Foundation is pleased to enable the sharing of Singapore’s ICT knowledge and experience with Bhutan. Through this training programme, we hope a network of leaders who will be formed to help bring about positive

changes to Bhutan’s e-Government Masterplan. We are confident that this cross-country exchange will be a valuable experience for both Singapore and Bhutan,” said Mr. Benedict Cheong, Chief Executive Officer of Temasek Foundation.

Hindus laud Bhutan Government for supporting Durga-Puja

Opposition calls government’s foreign policy irresponsible
As UN General Assembly voted to elect non-permanent members to the UN Security Council, along with Cambodia and South Korea, competed for a single vacancy for the Asia Pacific Group of countries. Bhutan secured only 20 of the 192 votes cast and was eliminated in the first round of elections itself. South Korea beats Cambodia in the second round of voting, and was elected to the Security Council. The government has expended considerable time and resources trying to secure a non-permanent seat in the United Nations Security Council. Our Mission to the United Nations at New York has been enlarged; Special Envoys of Prime Minister have travelled far and wide; Ministers have travelled extensively and held bilateral meetings at the sidelines of the many multilateral conferences that they attended; and the Prime Minister himself has spent a disproportionate amount of time outside the country, campaigning for a berth in the UN Security Council. It also appears that Bhutan may have established diplomatic relations with several countries solely for the purpose of securing their vote for a Security Council candidature. The Opposition Party has always believed that the Government’s bid for Security Council membership was ill-conceived and misguided. Moreover, we believed that even if we were somehow elected to the Security Council, we would have exposed our country to more harm than to good. As a young democracy, our focus should be at home, within the country, addressing issues of national importance, rather than craving for the international limelight. The Opposition Party, however, chose to remain silent until now as we believe that in important foreign policy matters we must present a united front to the international community, and Bhutan’s bid to join the Security Council was this government’s most significant foreign policy initiative. With the elections having concluded, however, we should be failing in our duty, as the Opposition Party, if we did not express our concern over the current government’s misguided attempts to secure a UN Security Council seat. Our concerns do not stem from the fact that

Hindus have commended Bhutan Government for supporting annual nine-day Durga Puja celebrations in capital and largest city Thimpu, currently underway till October 24. Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, thanking the Bhutan Department of Cultural Affairs for reportedly providing support to the organizer Durga Puja Organizing Committee, called it a “step in the right direction”. According to reports, a team of seven Brahmins lead by Dr. Puspala Nirola is reciting from various Hindu scriptures; including Durga Saptasati, Bhagwat Mahapuran, Vedas, etc.; during this festival. Last October, ground-breaking ceremony was conducted for the government supported first permanent Hindu temple of Thimpu by Chief Abbot His Holiness the Je Khenpo; and was attended among others by national assembly speaker, opposition leader, cabinet ministers, national council chairperson, parliament members, business community and pundits. Construction work for this temple on 2.53-acre government

land, already approved by the Cabinet, will take two years, reports suggested. Thanking His Makesty the King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck, Prime Minister Lyonchhen Jigmi Yoezer Thinley and Cultural Affairs Minister Minjur Dorji for patronizing the Hindu community in this Buddhist dominated country, Zed, who is the President of Universal Society of Hinduism, stressed that all religions should work together for a just and peaceful world. Dialogue would bring us mutual enrichment, Zed added. Rajan Zed pointed out that it was important to pass on Hindu spirituality, concepts and traditions to coming generations amidst so many distractions in the consumerist society and hoped that events like Durga-Puja and the upcoming Temple would help in this direction. Hindu Goddess Durga is honored during Durga-Puja festival as the savior of the world from evil. Hinduism, oldest and third largest religion of the world, has about one billion adherents and moksh (liberation) is its ultimate goal.

we lost the election, but from having contested for the seat in the first place. We also feel compelled to voice our deep concern over the overall direction of Bhutan’s foreign policy under the current government. Bhutan has always followed a prudent and farsighted foreign policy befitting a small country located in a geopolitically sensitive region. The current government’s international priorities can be described as irresponsible at best, and undermine a foreign policy that has served Bhutan well over the last century. As such, the Opposition Party calls on the Government to reconsider its foreign policy priorities, and devote its attention and scarce resources to pressing issues within the country. The Opposition Party also calls on the Government to provide a complete and public account of the expenses incurred to campaign for the UN Security Council seat, and to explain why so much resources were allocated to an undertaking that we had no chance of winning in the first place.



Saarc international I Thursday 25 October 2012


Fasih Mohammed deported from Saudi Arabia, arrested in Delhi
Fasih Mohammed, a suspected Indian Mujahideen operator and a key accused in the Delhi and Bangalore blasts, was today arrested after he was deported from Saudi Arabia. 28-year-old Fasih, after being in detention for five months in Saudi Arabia, was taken into custody from Delhi airport on his arrival from the Gulf, official sources said. India had sought deportation of Fasih from Saudi Arabia and also got an Interpol Red Corner notice issued against him. Sources said that Saudi Arabia officials arrested Mohammed following an Interpol alert and had later informed the the interrogation of suspected IM terrorists arrested during the last nine months. While the Saudi authorities confirmed his detention there, they conveyed that they were closely examining his role and stay in that country. Fasih’s wife Nikhat Parveen had approached the Supreme Court claiming that her husband was in the custody of central security agencies, a charge denied by the Government. Chidambaram told reporters on Friday that Sayeed Zabiuddin Ansari alias Abu Jundal has admitted the existence of the “control room” and said that the investigation has the state’s support.

War on Terror: Fasih Mohammed Is Saudi Arabia’s Next Gift to India

Indian federal agency about his arrest. The Interpol agency issued a Red Corner Notice against the suspected terrorists based on the CBI’s request. An engineer and believed to be a member of the banned outfit Indian Mujahideen, Bihar-born

Fasih is alleged to have been involved in the Chinnaswamy Stadium blast in Bangalore and the shooting near Jama Masjid

(Delhi), both in 2010, and is wanted by Delhi and Karnataka police. His name cropped up during

UK ends boycott of Modi, envoy meets Chief Minister

Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit on Monday warned of initiating civil and criminal proceedings against India Against Corruption (IAC) leader Arvind Kejriwal for allegedly defaming her. “The notice regarding legal action comes in the light of derogatory remarks by Shri Kejriwal, meant to maliciously defame the chief minister and thus all those working in close proximity with her,” Pawan Khera, political secretary to the chief minister, said. Dikshit has given Kejriwal two days to respond to the legal notice. Kejriwal, who is protesting outside the BSES office here, responded: “You can send me as many notices as possible. We are not scared of notices.”

Sheila Dikshit issues legal notice to Kejriwal

Ending a ten-year boycott of Gujarat after the 2002 riots, Britain today made its first engagement with the state when High Commissioner James Bevan met Chief Minister Narendra Modi. Bevan drove in to the state Secretariat complex here at about 11 AM to meet Modi with a small delegation. “The meeting continued for about 50 minutes,” official sources said. After the meeting, Bevan drove away to meet Governor Kamla Beniwal. It was immediately not known what transpired in the meeting. On October 11, the UK had announced ending a 10-year boycott of Narendra Modi

government imposed after the 2002 riots. The British government had asked its envoy to India, James Bevan, to visit Gujarat and meet Modi and other senior officials in the state to discuss a wide range of issues of mutual interest and explore opportunities for closer cooperation. The Chief Minister had welcomed the move as “better late than never”. “Der Aaye Durust Aaye (better late than never)! I welcome UK government’s step for active engagement and strengthening relations with Gujarat. God is Great,” Modi had tweeted, reacting to Britain’s decision.

Saarc international I Thursday 25 October 2012



At South Asian Free Media Association’s 5th National Conference, Pakistan’s President Asif Ali Zardari reiterates the resolve to continue fighting militancy and stresses the need to have greater unity to confront militancy head on. “There is need to have consensus following the policy of reconciliation to achieve the desired results in the war against terror and ensure peace and security,” said the president while addressing the concluding session of 5th National Conference of South Asian Free Media Association (SAFMA) at the Presidency. He complimented SAFMA and its Secretary General Imtiaz Alam for their role in promoting freedom of media and peace in the region. He said that SAFMA deserves to be commended by all those who wish to promote peace and cooperation in the region. The president said that the basis proposed two decades ago by Benazir Bhutto for fruitful cooperation among the SAARC countries was still valid. He said that he was pleased to learn that SAFMA has addressed some of the most important issues –ranging from attack on Malala Yousufzai to the threats to democratic values, to media accountability, gender issues and holding of free and fair elections. Zardari drew attention of the participants towards polarisation in society and emphasised upon the need for greater unity in wake of the threats by the

Pakistan urges joint Afghan efforts to eliminate terrorists, hideouts


militants to the peace, including attack on children. He urged all the segments of society, including the media, to sit together and help evolve consensus of society to defeat the mindset that attack innocent girls like Malala. “The attack on Malala Yousufzai was an attack on our values and on the future of our new generation,” he said. President’s spokesperson Senator Farhatullah Babar added that the president, while referring to attack on Malala, said it was not an ordinary terrorist act. He said that Malala was attacked because she raised the flag of peace and education for children. The president said the government had provided best possible treatment to Malala and other girls injured in the incident. He said the government also

offered security to the teenage activist but her father refused it. Zardari said that the terrorists seek to impose their agenda by force which, he said, cannot be allowed under any circumstance. He underscored that the fight against extremism was going to be a long one and on all fronts. He said that it was wrong to link attack on Malala to the reaction against the war in Afghanistan or drone attacks. Those doing so are in fact justifying terrorism, he added. He said the government has taken a firm stand against terrorism. “We have consistently opposed drone attacks and we will continue to oppose them. Drone attacks were a violation of our sovereignty and are counterproductive,” he added. He expressed government’s firm resolve to protect the people from extremists and militants. “We will also not permit the militants use our territory to launch attack outside our borders.” The president said that terrorist on both

sides of the border kill the people of Pakistan and Afghanistan. He said that both people and the governments of Pakistan and Afghanistan should join hands in eliminating the terrorists and their hideouts. Blame game will be counterproductive to the cause and will only strengthen the militants, he said. Referring to sacrifices rendered by Pakistan in the war against terrorism, he said, the government has taken a firm stand against terrorism and developed consensus before undertaking operations in Swat. He said there is need for creating the same consensus in order to confront the terrorists head on. Pointing to polarisation in society on the issue of dealing with militancy, the president regretted that when former Punjab governor Salmaan Taseer was assassinated in broad daylight there were very few people who came up in the open to condemn the extremist mindset. While recounting Pakistan’s huge sacrifices in the war against terror

and the resulting economic challenges, Zardari appreciated Chinese assistance and said that China helped Pakistan in coping with the daunting economic problems. Earlier, Safma Secretary General Imtiaz Alam strongly condemned the attack on Malala Yousafzai, describing the incident as a defining moment in the country’s history to wage an all-out war against terrorists. He said Malala represents a new face of Pakistan which should be portrayed at the international level. Safma President Nusrat Javed also spoke on the occasion. Later, the president hosted a luncheon reception for the participants of the conference which was also attended by Minister for Information and Broadcasting Qamar Zaman Kaira and journalists representing different cities. The president also visited every table during the luncheon to see the delegates and listen to them

Dual nationality: ECP decides Pakistan asks Afghanistan to not to disqualify Rehman Malik extradite Malala’s attacker
Pakistan’s Election Commission on Tuesday decided not to disqualify Interior Minister Rehman Malik as a legislator, report. Secretary Election Commisison Afzal Khan said that no further proceedings will be conducted against Malik. Khan said the decision was taken during a meeting of the ECP, chaired by Chief Election Commissioner Fakhruddin G Ebrahim, following a reference sent by Deputy Chairman Senate Sabir Baloch regarding Malik’s disqualification. The reference states that there was no question of Malik’s disqualification. Last month, the Supreme Court ball in the the Senate chairman’s court to file a reference against him to the Election Commission within 30 days deciding on his disqualification. The only sentence the minister received was a court observation that he could not be considered sagacious, righteous, honest and ameen. Earlier today, Malik also filed a review petition against the SC’s sentence. Malik said that the case was taken up against him on the request of an absconder and proclaimed offender Syed Mahmood Akhtar Naqvi. Malik also said that neither was he issued a notice, nor was he given the chance to be heard in court. Pakistan has sought the extradition of Mullah Fazlullah, a militant commander who planned the attack on teenager Malala Yousafzai and is believed to be hiding in Afghanistan. Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar has demanded Fazlullah’s extradition during her meeting with US special envoy to Pakistan and Afghanistan Mark Grossman. Mr Grossman was told that Fazlullah was involved in the attack and that the US should use its influence for his extradition, reported on Monday. Fazlullah and his associates have been hiding in Afghanistan’s Kunar province, and have carried out 15 cross-border attacks over the past one year, according to officials. They also said that the gunman involved in Malala’s attack has fled

had disqualified 11 members of parliament and provincial assemblies, for holding dual nationalities — forbidden for lawmakers by Pakistani law — but had spared Mr Malik, leaving the

to Afghanistan. Fourteen-year-old Malala Yousafzai was shot in the head by a Taliban gunman in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province October 9. She was on her way home from school when an attacker wearing police uniform stopped the school bus and opened fire at her. She was seriously injured. The Taliban said they attacked Malala, Pakistan’s first National Peace Award winner, for “promoting secularism”.



Saarc international I Thursday 25 October 2012


UK police to re-submit information in Maldives over death of British couple in quad bike accident
UK police are to resubmit requests from relatives of a British couple killed in a quad bike accident last year at Kuredu Island Resort, regarding their preferred method of sentencing in a Maldives court. Swedish national, Filip Eugen Petre, a son of a shareholder in the resort, is facing trial for his alleged role in driving a quad bike at Kuredu on August 6, which crashed into a tree while carrying British nationals Emma and Jonathan Gray. Court officials in the Maldives confirmed that the trial has been awaiting a response from relatives of the deceased couple on their preferred punishment for the accused, information one relative has said was passed on by UK police to their Maldivian counterparts a number of months previously. However, further hearings into the trial have not been held for several months. Director of the Department of Judicial Administration Ahmed Maajid said the trial had not progressed as court authorities were awaiting the word of the deceased couple’s families on their preferred mode of sentencing for the accused, should he be convicted. “A Criminal Court media officer tells me that what remains in the case is to obtain the word of the family of one of the victims, as to whether they want a sentence of execution, or blood money declared in court during earlier hearings that Petre’s lawyer had himself confessed during the trial that his client had driven the quad bike carrying Emma and Jonathan Gray as it crashed on the tourist property. As a result of this confession, the judge said the state did not have to produce any evidence to prove Petre was the driver of the vehicle during the collision. Representing the prosecution, State Attorney Aishath Fazna also contended that because Petre had “confessed” to driving the quad bike, she did not believe the state had to produce evidence to support this assumption. However, Petre’s lawyer Areef Ahmed responded at the time that his client had not directly confessed to driving the quad bike and argued that his client continued to deny the charges against him. Areef additionally claimed that the judge could not declare a verdict regarding the alleged confession said to have been during the previous hearing. Areef contended that his confession could be withdrawn before the case reached to a conclusion, but the state attorney argued that after confessing in the trial, there was no way it can be withdrawn. Petre’s lawyer has also contended that his client could not be charged under Islamic Sharia because his client is non-Muslim.

or to forgive,” Ahmed said. “These are the options given to the family of a murder victim in Islamic law, subsequently in our penal laws too. The court has sent the necessary documents to the concerned parties, but that there has been no response,” he claimed. A relation of the Grays confirmed that neither victim’s family had received any official notification from the Maldivian courts themselves. However UK police, through a family liaison officer, confirmed that their Maldivian counterparts were informed “months ago” of the families’ preferred sentence. “The police have said that they are going to re-submit the issue to the Maldives police today,” claimed the relation. “That’s what is holding up the case right now, [the police] do not seem to have forwarded this information to the courts.”

The relative added that while they did wish to see some form of punitive sentence for the driver if he was convicted, they did not want any severe or long-term action to be taken against the defendant. “He’s just a young guy. We don’t want to see his life ruined,” the relative said. Jonathan Grey’s mother Cath Davies told UK-based newspaper the Halifax Courier in March that the prospect of Petre facing the death penalty was “shocking. It’s absolutely horrendous.” Minivan News was awaiting confirmation from the Maldives Police Service at the time of press as to whether they had so far received the word of the families of the deceased couple and had in turn passed on the information to judicial authorities. Previous hearings In previous hearings, the prosecution

claimed that the charge of ‘disobedience to order’ Petre stands accused of resulted from his decision to carry people on a vehicle which was not intended for passengers. The prosecution contended that his criminal action began from the moment he allowed the couple to ride with him on the vehicle. According to Article 88 of the Penal Code, disobedience to order is a crime and according to Article 88(c), if the result of violating the article is linked to a death, the case shall be dealt accordingly to Islamic Sharia. The prosecution has previously contended that under Islamic Sharia, if an offender’s action is found to caused the death of a person, the offender shall be punished. Under the Maldivian constitution, courts resort to Sharia in areas established law does not cover. Presiding Judge Abdul Baary Yousuf

Taj Maldives voted Maldives to Begin $138 Million world’s second best hotel Renewable Energy Project
The Maldives, perhaps one of the most beautiful, and yet equally most endangered nations on the planet, has announced that it plans to begin development of a $138 million renewable energy project which will provide 26 MW of clean electricity to the archipelago. Abdul Matheen, the State Minister for Energy, said that they “are making preparations to commence the project during next month. Under the project, ten islands would run solely on renewable energy. In addition, 30 percent of electricity in 30 islands will be converted to renewable energy.” He added that the project should be completed within five years, and that of the 26MW capacity to be installed, 16 MW will generate energy for the Male region which is home to 30% of

The Taj Exotica Resort and Spa in the Maldives has been rated the second best among 100 hotels in the world by a US survey, an official said here Tuesday. The Taj Exotica is one of six hotels across the globe run by the Mumbai-based Taj Group that have bagged honours in various categories of the Conde Nast Traveller (CNT) USA Readers Choice Awards. The Taj Exotica also bagged the top honour in the best 15 resorts in Asia. A world-renowned resort and spa, the Taj Exotica is situated along a pristine beach and serene lagoon, mirroring the

Maldives’ natural beauty and offers the finest in contemporary luxuries and services. Considered among the world’s finest luxury hotels, The Pierre, another Taj Hotel, ranked 12 in the Top 25 hotels in New York City. On the domestic front, Jaipur’s landmarks - the Taj Lake Palace Hotel and Rambagh Palace Hotel - stood third and fourth, respectively, while New Delhi’s Taj Palace Hotel and Mumbai’s iconic Taj Mahal Palace bagged the eighth and ninth positions, respectively, among the top 10 hotels in India.

the population. In total the project will provide electricity to 50 islands. The project was developed under the Sustainable Renewable Energy Project (SREP) and will be funded by the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank, and other German and Japanese banks. The Maldives is one of the island chains that is set to lose everything as a result of global warming. 80% of the 1,200 islands are less than 1.2 metres above sea level, so any rise in seal level could bury the entire

nation beneath the waves. Set to lose all to climate change, the nation has been a firm supporter of renewable energies and clean technologies. They have plans to achieve carbon neutrality by 2020, and will impose a tax on tourism which they hope will raise significant funds to be spent on adaptation technologies, and other mitigating plans. Preparing for a worst case scenario the Maldivian government has already bought a floating island off the coast of Dubai.

Saarc international I Thursday 25 October 2012




* Congress leader says consensus govt should be formed before holding polls * Nepalese minister resigns over bribery charges
Nepal Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai has underlined the need to forge national consensus among the political parties to resolve the current political crisis in the country. “There is a need to forge consensus among the political parties and to opt for fresh polls to resolve the current political crisis,” Bhattarai said. He said that if the political parties agree on contentious issues of the Constitution then new election for Parliament will be held by promulgating the Constitution through reinstatement of the Constituent Assembly. If no agreement is possible on the key issues among the parties than election to the Constituent Assembly is the only way out from the current political crisis, he said. Meanwhile, Nepali Congress leader Ramsharan Mahat said that a national consensus government should be formed before holding fresh elections. “As per the earlier agreement the Nepali Congress led government should be formed before going for fresh polls,” he pointed out. “There is a need to go for fresh election at the earliest and a consensus government must be formed before that,” he pointed out. He said Nepali Congress will open all options, including political struggle, agitation and dialogue to topple the caretaker government led by Bhattarai. President Ram Baran Yadav on Friday met top leaders of the major

Nepalese PM asks political parties to forge consensus

political parties and asked them to seek a way out from the current political stalemate at the earliest. The president has asked the top leaders of major political parties “through what procedure and when the people will

get the new constitution for good?” Nepal plunged into political crisis after the Constituent Assembly was dissolve in May 27 without drafting the new Constitution. Meanwhile, an official says Nepal’s

labour minister has stepped down after being asked by the prime minister to resign for allegedly seeking bribes for registering private companies offering jobs abroad. Such companies are mushrooming in Nepal with thousands of younger Nepalese seeking jobs in the oilrich Gulf and other countries. Prashant Lamichhane, a media officer in the prime minister’s office, said Sunday that Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai asked for Labor and Employment Minister Kumar Belbase’s resignation after television news channels showed clips of one of his aides asking job agencies’ representatives for more than 250,000 rupees ($3,000) each to register their business. The minister sent his resignation on Saturday to the prime minister and it has been accepted, Lamichhane said agencies.

Natural disasters cause over 1000 deaths in Nepal annually
The Mercy Corps report shows that 26‚656 people the past 37 years. Similarly, 4.7 million people have been directly affected, around 841,000 hectares of land has been damaged and 236,000 livestock have died. Following the massive losses of lives and property by natural disasters every year in Nepal, the

Baidhya criticises UCPN-M‚ proposes Badal as new PM

h a v e lost their lives in the incidents of natural disasters in the past 37 years. Over one thousand people face untimely death annually in Nepal because of natural disasters with almost 300 deaths due to floods and landslides alone, statistics show. Similarly, the loss of property from the natural hazards in a year in Nepal stands at Rs. 1.2 billion. According to a study conducted by the INGO Mercy Corps, the possible loss of

organizations is working for the expansion of natural disasters pre-information system with a view to preventing possible damages from natural hazards. Banke, Baridya, Kailali, Rupandehi, Nawalparasi, Chitwan, Saptari and Sunsari are

CPN-Maoist Chairman Mohan Baiddya has proposed party General Secretary Ram Bahadur Thapa ‘Badal’ as the candidate of new prime minister. Taking part in a face-to-face programme organised by the Reporters’ Club at his residence at Gongabu on Monday, Baidhya stressed that leadership of the new government should be given to republic, federalist and nationalist forces and his party should get such opportunity. He said that leadership of the Nepali Congress or other parties would not be acceptable for his party. “Problems in the country could not be resolved as the UCPN-Maoist is not ready to quit the government and the Nepali Congress and CPN-UML want the new leadership at any cost”, he said, adding that Dr Baburam Bhattarailed government should step down to seek a way out to the

nation from the present crisis. Both proposals-reinstatement of the Constituent Assembly or going for fresh election- are agreeable to the party, said Baiddya. But, a consensus should be forged on the gist of the constitution before reinstating the CA and the government leadership be changed before going for fresh election, he added. He warned of hitting the street if a consensus among the political parties would not be possible in time and added that party should support the Congress and UML if they launch a protest for the government change. The CPN-Maoist Chairman claimed that the party was not in line of jeopardizing the relations with India. “But, our demand is for revising the unequal treaties signed between the two countries”, he said. RSS

disasters could be reduced by Rs. 400 if one Euro is invested in pre-information system. The Mercy Corps report shows that 26,656 people have lost their lives in the incidents of natural disasters in

considered as high-risk zones in view of natural disasters and the organisation is launching a public awareness campaign aimed at mitigating the damages by natural disasters with the cooperation of other 200 organisations.

Nepali Congress Vice-president Ram Chandra Poudel called on the party cadres to gear up for a protest movement against the ‘authoritarian rule’ of the present government. Speaking in separate programmes organized by the Nepali Congress’ Radha VDC committee of Lamjung and the Rishti VDC committee of Tanhun on

‘Get up‚ stand up to topple govt’
Tuesday, he said although the parties differ on how to amend the constitution, ultimately they will have to opt for

election as the Constituent Assembly was not able to produce a new constitution. He alleged the UCPN-Maoist chairman of proposing several alternatives but actually not showing willingness to reach to a consensus. On the occasion,Paudel said the present political crisis has deepened due to the ‘double-standard strategy’ of the UCPN-Maoist leadership.



Saarc international I Thursday 11 September 2012


High court reprieve for Tamils on deportation flights from UK after appeals that they risk being tortured on return to Sri Lanka Dozens of failed Sri Lankan asylum seekers were removed at the last minute from a controversial deportation flight today after a senior judge accepted there was a risk that they could be tortured on their return. Three solicitors’ firms have confirmed to the Guardian that a number of their clients had been given last-minute reprieves and would no longer be flown out of the country on a specially chartered UK Border Agency (UKBA) flight that was expected to be leave on Tuesday afternoon. It is understood that a further 10 to 12 firms have also lodged last-minute appeals on

Sri Lankan asylum seekers’ deportation halted at last minute
said. Kulasegaram Geetharthanan from Jein solicitors said one of his clients was awarded interim relief on Monday night on the same grounds. A House of Commons foreign affairs committee report published

behalf of their clients. Toufique Hossain from Duncan Lewis solicitors said he had received orders from the court on Monday night for three of his clients, two of whom had appealed against the deportation on grounds that they would face torture on their return

to Colombo. “We have at least two examples of clients who have independent evidence of torture and have significant mental health problems. We have successfully obtained injunctions in relation to at least three clients stopping their removal on the charter flight scheduled for the 23 October,” he said. “It is extremely concerning that clients who remain in immigration detention, who have a history of torture and/or mental illness and can also show a history of perceived or actual membership to the LTTE [Tamil Tigers] seem to be routinely put on charter flights,” Hossain

last week condemned the Home Office’s lack of urgency and transparency on the issue. “We find it unsatisfactory that the government has not been more forthcoming to parliament about its efforts – in general and in specific cases – to assess the level of risk to the safety of those who

are removed from the UK,” the committee said. The report published on Thursday added that “the routine air of the [Foreign Office’s] initial responses … has not given us particular confidence that the FCO is being as energetic as it might in impressing upon the UK Border Agency the degree of risk.” On Monday, Keith Best, chief of Freedom from Torture, which has been campaigning against the removal flights, said: “It is not surprising that ministers squirm when asked to attest to the safety of the UK’s removals policy for Sri Lanka because evidence of a major risk miscalculation is stacking up. “We are highly concerned that Tamils returning even voluntarily from the UK with any real or perceived LTTE [Tamil Tiger] links are at real risk because more than 20 have been referred to us after escaping back with obvious signs of torture.” Campaigners say the latest injunctions are a clear indication that Britain’s immigration stance towards Sri Lanka needs a radical rethink.

Sri Lankan President advises against using food crops for fuel at World Energy Forum
Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa today advised the world leaders to avoid using food crops for fuel production to prevent the threat to Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum opened the World Energy Forum Describing Sri Lanka’s future plans to reduce dependency on imported fossil fuels, the President said Sri Lanka has added wind, solar and dendro power

Sri Lanka court sentences Tamil man for 35 years for aiding to kill Sarath Fonseka

food security and not use agricultural land in search for alternative energy sources. “We must not let the hunger of alternative energy lead to an increase in hunger for food.... The food energy for peoples’ lives should not be made the driving energy for cars,” the President said addressing the World Energy Forum in Dubai Monday.

2012 opened on Monday at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre. The high-level international conference is held in Dubai from October 22-24 under the theme of “A Forum for World Leaders” with the participation of world leaders, national energy ministers and industry top leaders.

as alternative energy resources. Sri Lanka seeks to increase the share of renewable energy in power generation to 10 percent in 2015 and to 20 by percent by the end of 2020, the President said adding that conventional energy resources such as hydro-power have enabled Sri Lanka to produce nearly half of its energy requirement through Green means.

A Sri Lankan court today sentenced an ethnic Tamil man for aiding and abetting the attempted assassination of former Army Commander Sarath Fonseka. Menaka Wijesundara, the judge of Kegalle Provincial High Court sentenced the suspect S. Suriyakumar, a resident of Rambukkana for 35 years on four counts. He is accused of accompanying the female suicide bomber from Jaffna, providing her shelter, arranging her to rent a house from Weliweriya and hiding the fact that she was a member of the

Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) to police. A pregnant female LTTE suicide bomber attempted to assassinate the former Army Commander at Army headquarters on April 25, 2006. However Fonseka’s security blocked the path of the bomber from reaching the commander but nine people including the bomber were killed when she detonated the suicide jacket. Fonseka received serious injuries in the attack but recovered to assume duties three months later and went on to vanquish the terrorist organization in May 2009.

Saarc international I Thursday 25 October 2012

Terming again the trial process of war criminals as transparent and fair, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Saturday said it would open the path of national reconciliation by closing an unpleasant chapter of history. “We are confident that the process would help us to close an unpleasant chapter in our history and allow us to proceed with greater clarity on our respective roles and responsibilities. This would certainly help all of us reconcile,” she said. The prime minister said this while handing over “Muktijuddho Moitri Sammanana” to 61 more foreign friends for their outstanding support and contribution to the emergence of Bangladesh as an independent nation 41 years back. President M Zillur Rahman and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina ceremonially handed over crests and citations to 61 ‘foreign friends’ or their representatives at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre (BICC) in the capital this morning. The Cabinet Division, the Ministry of Liberation War Affairs and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs jointly arranged the colourfulfunction. President Zillur Rahman, Foreign Minister Dr Dipu Moni and State Minister for Liberation War Affairs Capt (retd) AB Tajul Islam addressed the function, while Joan A Dine, a social worker of the USA, spoke on behalf of the award-recipients. Of the honourees, two persons -- former Indian prime minister IK Gujral and ex-Nepalese prime minister late Girija Prasad Koirala -- received Bangladesh Liberation War Honour, while 57 persons and two institutions got Friends

War crimes trial to open national reconciliation path: Hasina
of Liberation War Honour. Indian High Commissioner in Dhaka Pankaj Saran and Sujata Koirala, daughter of Girija Prasad Koirala, received the awards on behalf of Gujral and Koirala respectively. Cabinet Secretary M Musharraf Hussain Bhuiyan conducted the function and and principles - equity, democracy and democratic practice, inclusive development, social justice and the rule of law,” she added. The prime minister said: “We anchored ourselves in these ideals, as we drafted our Constitution, and are endeavouring to build our institutions and chart our The prime minister said the Awami League-led coalition is working towards transforming Bangladesh into a middleincome country within a decade. “We are determined to achieve what our Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman envisioned for our people.” Sheikh Hasina said today is also a day of celebration of the power of the appeal of human values and human dignity; the unmatchable strength of friendship and amity; and the inevitable success of a struggle for just cause. “All these were demonstrated 41 years back, when you stood beside the Bangalee nation, standing face to face with a genocidal army,” she said. The prime minister said: “Your support reconfirmed that our cause was right and our struggle could not be trampled. You heard our yearning for justice, honour and dignity. You added to our voice and magnified it for the global community.” She said this helped the outside world to understand our suffering, feel our pain and loss, and appreciate our cause. “In sum, you helped us safeguard the spirit of self- determination that was ignited by our legendary Leader Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, who led us to become a sovereign nation.” “We owe you all sincerest gratitude for our hard-earned freedom. This is why I consider this occasion of honouring our truest friends a singularly important event and I am deeply honoured to be in your midst,” she said. She added: “We remember your invaluable contributions and today Bangladesh as a nation pays homage to the unsung heroes of our War of Liberation- the foreign friends.”



read out citation of the persons and institutions who got the awards. Ministers, parliament members, sector commanders, freedom fighters, diplomats, judges, educationists, politicians, students of different schools as well as high civil and military officials were present at the gala function. Earlier, Dipu Moni and Capt AB Tajul Islam introduced the ‘foreign friends’ and their representatives to the prime minister, who later exchanged greetings with them and enquired about their well-being. Expressing sincere gratitude to the ‘foreign friends’ for their unequivocal support to Bangladesh’s independence, Sheikh Hasina said: “As we honour our heroes today, we reaffirm our faith in the principles we stood for.” “We recommit ourselves to noble ideas

path. We have put an end to the culture of impunity of the past and bringing all wrongdoing to accountability.” Today, Sheikh Hasina said, the government rededicates itself to a development process which is inclusive and equitable and seeks to address marginalisation of some disadvantaged communities. “We endeavour to ensure equity among men and women, among generations, among religious and ethnic groups, and among territorially defined regions,” she said. She added: “This is a difficult task, but we are fully committed to such challenges so as to ensure our approach to development is truly inclusive and does not inflict damage to others. This is what we stood for in 1971, and this is what we pursue after four decades”.

Sheikh Hasina reiterated her steadfast commitment to build a peaceful nation in South Asia where the people irrespective caste, creed and religion would enjoy equal rights. She said her government has been working tirelessly to build Bangladesh a dignified nation on the world stage. “We have firm belief that we could achieve the goal,” she said. According to the Foreign Ministry, a list of 500 plus foreign friends was prepared to be gradually conferred with the honour and the list included 40 Pakistanis who defied the then Pak junta in supporting Bangladesh’s cause. The then Indian PM Indira Gandhi was the first ‘foreign friend’ to be conferred with the honour while her daughter-inlaw and ruling Congress President Sonia Gandhi received the honour on her behalf last year at a special ceremony. Bangladesh subsequently conferred the honour on 83 other “1971 foreign friends” in March this year with most of them being Indians at a ceremony in Dhaka in March this year coinciding with the 40th independence. One of the recipients of the honour this time is Col Ashok Tara, a well- known veteran who took part in and survived several crucial and deadly battles with Pakistani troops and decorated subsequently with Indian army’s gallantry award. Tara, an Army major at that time, however, is more known for his role in rescuing incumbent Bangladesh PM Sheikh Hasina, her mother and Bangabandhu’s wife Begum Fajilatunnesa Mujib, sister Sheikh Rehana and brother Sheikh Russell from the captivity of Pakistani troops at the fag end of the liberation war.

Eight million with no education at all?
Something is going wrong somewhere
young not going to school, chief among which is poverty. And poverty not only has a telling effect on the health of the young but is also a big reason why these unhealthy young are nevertheless looked upon as tentative economic wage earners, albeit at a meager level, for their families. If now these eight million are without primary education, it is quite clear that the message has not gone down to them that education is one surefire method that can help push poverty aside. It is for the authorities to emphasise, on a nationwide basis, the lesson that primary education is a guarantee of a future of self-reliance because it A society where as many as eight million young people between the ages of fifteen and twenty-five have never completed primary education is clearly an ailing one. And it is so because these people, a sizeable part of the national population, do not have the skills necessary that can enable them to shape their lives in accordance with their needs. The Unesco report which makes note of this anomaly in Bangladesh society is thus one with which we not only agree but are also disturbed by. The report should be a wake-up call for the authorities. There are obviously some fundamental reasons behind the more teacher training methods and insistent, regular classroom teaching as well as attendance. In recent years, Bangladesh has certainly made qualitative improvements in education. Even so, the reality of 44 million of its people, out of a total population of nearly 120 million, remaining beyond the pale of primary education is a crying shame. In our times, countries which have gone through revolution before the revolutionaries eventually took charge have seen the numbers of their educated grow by leaps and bounds. Why should we, having won our own revolution four decades ago, lag behind?

will enable the young to understand and master those skills which will help them as they grow into adulthood. That said, there now comes up the question of a lack of interest in the

young about primary education. It is here that institutional measures, initiated by the government across the board, must be undertaken toward making primary education a compulsory affair. That calls for


The Value of a Pakistani Worker Discounter Offers $1,930 Per Victim in Factory Fire
“at least 90 percent” of the products produced there were intended for Kik. According to Arretz, the money Kik is making available is intended to benefit families that still haven’t received any support from the state. The Pakastani government, along with the government of the Sindh province which includes Karachi, has promised family members 700,000 rupies per victim, or about €5,535. Most families complain that so far they’ve only received checks that bounce. Others say that they don’t have bank accounts and have no means of redeeming the checks in the first place. Worker Representatives Accuse


Saarc international I Thursday 25 October 2012

German discount textile retailer Kik plans to pay damages totalling $500,000 to the families of more then 250 workers who died in a fire at a Pakistan factory used to produce its clothing. The families say that is too little and are threatening to sue.
Six weeks ago, at least 259 workers died in a fire in the Pakistani port city of Karachi at a factory that produced jeans for German discount textile and clothing retailer Kik. The disaster created unfavorable headlines for the Western company because it highlighted the poor working conditions of many who create the inexpensive products sold by discounter firms. This week, the company said it is planning to pay out a combined $500,000 (€383,700) to the families of the dead, a figure that works out to about $1,930 per victim. “That’s not that much at all,” says Nasir Mansoor of Pakistan’s National Trade Union Federation (NTUF). “Furthermore, we don’t know when and how the payment is supposed to come through.” If the payout remains

this low, then the worker’s families want to file suit against Kik. Their goal, according to Mansoor, is for every victim’s family to “receive acceptable

based in the town of Bönen in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia, only admitted a connection to the factory after a non-governmental organization

flames alive. “Our livelihoods were destroyed in the fire. Now I don’t have any more work, and I hope that I can find something in some other textile factory.” According to officials at Kik, it has been difficult to organize the payment. Until recently there wasn’t anyone on the ground locally in Pakistan who could manage the matter, the company said, confirming a report by the aid organization Medico International. Back in Germany, it is a burden for Kik, a company that has established a reputation in its 18 years of existence for selling some of the cheapest

compensation.” The factory, operated by Ali Enterprises, produced jeans that were sold for €15.99 in Kik stores under the “Okay” brand. The German retailer,

confronted the company. Kik executive Michael Arretz admitted that Kik was responsible for 75 percent of the factory’s orders. But employees with Ali Enterprises say that, without a doubt,

Kik of Dragging Feet “Kik promised restitution weeks ago, but it still hasn’t been paid out,” says one man who worked sewing clothing in the factory and made it out of the

clothing to be found in the country. In the past, the company has sold t-shirts for as little as €1.99. The company has become highly successful, with annual revenues of more than a billion euros and some 3,000 stores in eight countries. But critics have noted that the cheap prices on Kik’s products come at the expense of poorly paid factory workers in countries like Bangladesh and Pakistan. In 2009, the company came under fire following allegations that children under 14 had been working in a plant that produced for Kik in Bangladesh.

Where are the Pakistan politicians with the courage of Malala?
education,” she said recently from her bedroom in the town of Mingora, where she is recovering from bullet wounds. “All of us are determined to go back once the school is open and I am well enough. The courage of Malala and her friends has been saluted throughout Pakistan. The outcry is unusual in a country where dozens die in violence every day. The wave of revulsion has carried with it hope that the attempt on Malala’s life may turn out to be a watershed moment that forces Pakistan to re-evaluate its complex relationship with extremist clerics and the militants that it continues to harbour along the Afghan border. “The time for appeasement is long gone,” wrote Farahnaz Ispahani, a former member of Pakistan’s parliament, last week. “This is an internal struggle for Pakistan and its soul.” Generals began briefing that they might finally launch a long-awaited offensive against militant havens in North Waziristan, home to the Haqqani network as well as Pakistan’s homegrown Taleban movement, the Tehreek-e-Taleban Pakistan (TTP). Even they appear to have realised something has changed. can be protected from Taleban gunmen. And, with her out of the country, it seems as if the issue is already fading from view. Last Tuesday, Pakistan’s parliamentarians even failed to agree on a resolution in North Waziristan. Any action inside Pakistan would also bring a high risk of blowback in the form of terrorist attacks. Instead, ministers have begun briefing that the culprits are from the remnants of the Swat Valley TTP, now holed up across the border in Afghanistan. It is a convenient way to avoid dealing with the Haqqani network, a group entwined with the TTP in North Waziristan. None of that would be easy. Pakistan has already suffered tens of thousands of deaths for its part in an alliance with the US fighting al-Qaeda and the Taleban. A fresh offensive would bring thousands more and the risk of government collapse. The truth is that a final reckoning with the forces of extremism would take a bold leader, one brave enough to carry his country with him whatever the risks. And there is not a leader in the country with the courage of Malala and her friends.
• Rob Crilly reports from Islamabad for The Scotsman

Rob Crilly
The Pakistan Taliban reckoned without the bravery of Malala Yousafzai’s schoolfriends. One by one they have promised to defy the threats and face down the thuggish ideology that put a bullet in the head of a 14-year-old girl. Kainat Riaz was sitting alongside Malala when assassins stopped their school van and began shooting. “Attacks like this will not stop any of us from going to school or from getting

The TTP’s mysterious spokesman has been spinning furiously ever since, trying to find a form of words that can make an attack on a teenage girl seem anything other than a criminal act of inhuman brutality. Malala is now in the safety of a hospital ward in Birmingham, where she

calling for a military operation in North Waziristan. Hasan Askari Rizvi, a political and military analyst, said there remained far from unanimous support for action. That leaves a government and military that knows it would still face strong opposition for a widespread offensive

Saarc international I Thursday 25 October 2012



Navratri—Nine days of celebration dedicated to Goddess Durga
devotees perform ‘Saraswati Puja’ for blessings of knowledge and mental peace. During Navratri, thousands of devotees visit Dakshineswar Kali Temple in Kolkata, West Bengal. Women dressed in bright ,red-bordered cream saris spend entire nights in the Puja pandals. There is a stiff competition of different themes in the Puja pandals, depicting Durga in different styles. Gujarat In Gujarat, Navratri is a community event, where people perform devotional songs and dances that are popular by the names of ‘Dandiya Raas’ and ‘Garba Raas’, and observe Jaagran (waking through the night), to please the Goddess. Amba Mata Temple at Junagarh, Gujarat, is a favorite pilgrim for devotees, during Navratri. Here, painted earthen pots are used to represent the Goddess and Garba dances are performed by the Gujarati women around those pots, in circles. The pots are valued as the abode of the Goddess. The Rasa has its origin in the life

Thousands of Indian devotees hold earthen lamps as they take part in the Maha Aarti ritual. It’s the eighth night of Navratri or nine nights festival in Surat, Gujarat state, India.

Navratri is observed in the Hindu calendar month of Ashwin. In 2012, Navratri is observed from Oct. 16 until Oct. 24. Durga Puja celebrations began on Oct. 20, 2012. Navratri is the Hindu festival of nine nights dedicated to the glorification of Shakti, the feminine form of the Divine. During these nine nights, the mother goddess is worshipped in nine different forms. Navratri culminates on the 10th day with the festivities of Vijayadashami. A common greeting during this festival is Shubh Navratri (Happy Navratri). Navratri is celebrated all over India and among the Hindu diaspora with great fanfare. Prior to the festival, skilled artisans prepare clay models of the goddess in her various manifestations. Many Hindus take part in special ceremonies, rituals, fasts and festivities. People buy new clothes, prepare delicious sweets and buy gifts for family and friends. During Navratri, many Hindus in Gujarat and elsewhere wear colorful costumes and perform a special type of vigorous dance known as garba. Traditionally, garbas are performed around an earthen lamp or images / statues of the mother goddess. The longest dance festival on the globe is fast becoming global. The increased popularity has ensured that the days for Navratri celebrations are stretched from two to six days in the US and UK. Other destinations like the UAE and Australia have also stretched garba events from one to three nights. Though India boasts of many Hindu festivals throughout the year, the real joyous season begins in October with Lord Ganesh Chaturthi in October, followed by Navratri and then in November, Diwali-the festival of lights. But for sheer variety and rich color and vibrancy nothing beats Navratri that ends on Oct 24 celebrated as Vijayadasami.

Head of Vishwa Gujarati Samaj Krishnakant Vakharia says, “The new

different forms of Goddess Durga are worshipped. In the September-October celebrations, the main ritual consists of placing images of the Goddess in homes

trend abroad is to celebrate Navratri in a bigger way at a better venue. The events are spread across five to six nights to

and temples. On the tenth day, the idol is immersed in rivers or sea. Numerous other celebrations are also associated with Navratri festival. Bengal During Navratri, Bengalis in India worship huge idols of the Goddess, perform devotional songs and dances and finally take out grand processions on the tenth day, when the idols are immersed

scenes of Lord Krishna and is associated with the agricultural rites, while Garba is performed only by men and is related with the agricultural fertility. Maharashtra In Maharashtra, Goddess Durga is worshipped continuously for nine days of Navratri. This day is also considered auspicious to begin any new thing or to buy new ornaments. Puja is performed

accommodate the rising number of people interested, especially in the US and UK.” The nine days and nights of Navratri are dedicated to Mother Goddess. The celebrations of the festival include fasts, strictly vegetarian diet, japa (chanting mantras in honor of the Goddess Shakti) and recitation of religious hymns, prayer, meditation and sacred texts related to Goddess Durga. Navratri is celebrated twice a year - once in the month of Chaitra (April-May) and again in the month of Ashwin (SeptemberOctober). On both the occasions, nine

in water. The last four days of the festival are most important for them. People worship pre-pubescent young girls, known as ‘kanyas’, as the embodiments of Goddess Durga. ‘Ayudha Puja’ is performed on the ninth day, where one worships the tools, implements of their livelihood and places it on the altar of the Goddess for her blessings of success and prosperity. Even children place their study books and writing tools on the altar and the families spend whole day in contemplation of the Goddess. On the tenth day of Dussehra,

on each day of Navratri and devotees offer the flower garland to the idol or image of the goddess Durga. In Mumbai, people visit various temples including the Ayyappa Temple at Goregaon. Kashmir In Kashmir, Hindu minorities of Kashmiri Pandits celebrate Navratri. People generally observe fast for nine days and stay on water and fruits or eat the food specifically made for the fast, only in the evening. They usually visit the temple of their guardian goddess Kheer Bhawani, on all nine days of Navratri. Aarti is held

on the last day of Navratri at the temple and it is only after which, people break their fast. Many devotees also go to the mountain cave of the Vaishno Devi Temple, during Navratri. Kerala In Kerala, there is a tradition of beginning of formal education for every child aged 3-5 years on the auspicious occasion of Durga Puja. On Ashtami, according to the custom, tools are not used and are worshiped on this day. Goddess Saraswati is honored by worshiping the books and records at home, on Navami. Thousands of devotees visit Saraswati temple at Kottayam, during Navratri, to take a dip in the mysterious holy pond. People also visit the famous temples at Thekkegram (Palghat). Mysore, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka & Andhra Pradesh In Mysore, Chamundi, the royal deity of the Mysore royalty is worshiped during Navratri, with pomp and pageantry. There is a magnificent procession of elephants, horses, chariots and costumed attendants on the tenth day, when Maharaja goes to worship the hilltop temple of the goddess. In Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh, women arrange ‘Bommai Kolu’, arranging a rich variety of idols of Gods and Goddesses decorated with flowers and ornaments on specially prepared wooden steps. Nine young ‘kanyas’ or virgins are offered new clothes and sweets. The married women share flowers, kumkum (vermilion) and snacks . Devotional songs are also sung by women Thus, Navratri is celebrated in almost every region of India, with little difference. North India In the North, Dussehra is celebrated as symbolic of the victory of good over evil. Ramlila, which narrates the story of Ramayana in nine days, is held in many towns. Attired in colourful costumes complete with cardboard armoury of bows, arrows and swords, mythological characters on stage enthrall the audience at night with dialogues and folk music. The actors playing key characters like Lord Ram, Lakshman, Sita, Hanuman, Ravan etc observe strict discipline by having only vegetarian food and staying off smoking and liquor. On Vijayadasami, marking the end of Dussehra , huge images of demons Ravan, son Inderjit and brother Kumbakaran, made with bamboos and stuffed with crackers, are set alight by Ram and brother Lakshman to mark the end of evil, watched by VVIPs including the Prime Minister at different venues in Delhi.

On his last day in Karachi Sanath Jayasuriya was a happy man. The cricketing icon from Sri Lanka was smiling again after wearing a grumpy look following the horrendous lbw decision against him by umpire Saleem Badar in the final exhibition T20 match on Sunday night.

South Asia Tribune I Thursday 25 October 2012

Jayasuriya goes on Karachi shopping spree

Jayasuriya spent nearly two hours shopping in one of the new malls built on the Clifton beach and was truly amazed at what he saw. “I was stunned to see the mall. It is huge and is comparable to ones around the world.” The former Sri Continued on page 20 >>



Pakistan Premier League scheduled for March, 2013: Zaka Ashraf
According to sources, the PPL will take place during March, 2013 and the event will take place over 15 days. 30 matches between five teams will be played during the tournament and each team will be allowed to acquire three international players. Sources add that several international players have shown interest in playing in the league including those from the World T20 winning West Indies squad. Pakistan’s plans for a domestic Twenty20 competition along the lines of the Indian Premier League hit a snag Tuesday as South Africa refused to reschedule their series to accommodate the tournament. After the huge success of the IPL and Tests, five one-day internationals and two T20s between February 1 and March 24 and wanted the tour to be pushed forward to accommodate the PPL. “We requested Cricket South Africa to change the itinerary so that we could expand the window for our Premier league, but they said that the tickets for the series are already sold out and it’s not possible now,” PCB spokesman Nadeem Sarwar told AFP. “We understand their position and are comfortable with that,” said the spokesman. The dates of the South African tour leave only a tiny window before the lucrative IPL, which attracts most of the game’s biggest stars, begins on April 3. Reports in local media claim the PCB has offered substantial sums of money to players from Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Australia and the West Indies to appear in the PPL, but security fears will be a huge hurdle to convincing them to come. Pakistan successfully hosted two Twenty20 exhibition matches with an International World XI involving players from Sri Lanka, South Africa, the West Indies and Afghanistan in Karachi on Saturday and Sunday.

International cricket has been suspended in Pakistan over security worries since deadly militant attacks on the Sri Lankan team bus during the second Test in Lahore in March 2009.

similar leagues around the world, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) is planning to launch their own version, partly as an effort to lure overseas cricketers back to the troubled country.

The PCB wanted to stage the Pakistan Premier League (PPL) in March next year but the plan was set back after South Africa refused to rearrange the Pakistan national team’s tour. Pakistan are scheduled to play three

Bangladesh likely to tour Pakistan in December

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The Bangladesh Cricket Board is and two Twenty20s, DawnNews likely to send its team to Pakistan reported on Wednesday. | Quest Qualitas is Atlas Copco and Dynapac Authorized Distributor in South Sudan for three one-day internationals akistan Cricket page 20 >> Continued on Board (PCB) Published by Saarc International Ltd, Suite 101, 10 Courtenay Road, London HA9 7ND. UK Telephone:020 8904 0619 Fax: 020 8181 7575 E-mail:, Printed at Mirror.

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