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Ahmad al-Jaabri, deputy commanding general of Qassam Brigades, and his body guard have been assassinated during Israeli the assault, bringing the two sides to the brink of a possible new war. The Israeli army has entered the Gaza Strip as it escalated its offensive on the eighth day of operations. A column of tanks entered the besieged territory through the Beit Hanoun crossing shortly after nightfall on Saturday, as the Israeli cabinet said it had called up about 9,000 reservists as part of its preparations. Al Jazeera’s Alan Fisher on the Israeli-Gaza border said heavy artillery fire, tracer fire and rockets could be heard in the area as Israeli forces moved in, along with some gunfire. And Ayman Mohyeldin, Al Jazeera’s correspondent in Gaza City, said that the
begins Gaza ground offensive
scene in Gaza on Saturday was one of “fear and terror” as Israeli tanks moved into the territory. Israel’s army launched multiple airstrikes across the Gaza Strip after killing the head of Hamas’ military wing on Wednesday. Palestinian officials said six people were killed in the strikes, including 7-year-old Ranan Arafat in the Zeitun neighborhood of Gaza City. Earlier, an Israeli jet hit a vehicle in Gaza City, killing al-Qassam Brigades leader Ahmad al-Jaabari, and his aide Muhammad Al-Hums. The assassination was followed by strikes on Hamas’ police and security forces headquarters across the Gaza Strip. Palestinian officials said dozens were wounded. Continued on page 02 >>
Israel Air Strike over Gaza,
Year 2 Issue 18 Thursday, 15.11.12
Demoniser of Islam Abu Qatada released from prison
Demoniser of Islam Abu Qatada has been released from prison — after a top judge yesterday sparked outrage in the latest fiasco over his human rights. UK court ruled he might not get a fair trial if deported to Jordan to face terrorism charges. He was released from Long Lartin prison, in Worcestershire. He has spent most of the last 10 years in custody. When Abu Qatada arrived back at his home in London, around lunchtime on Tuesday, a small group of protesters - holding a “get rid of Abu Qatada placard” - gathered outside and chanted, “Out, out, out.” Nick Clegg, the Deputy Prime Minister, said the Government is “absolutely determined” to deport Abu Qatada as a legal watchdog warned it could take “years” to remove him.
The radical Islamist cleric Abu Qatada exposed as an MI5 double agent is to be released on bail on Tuesday, having won a last-minute reprieve from deportation from the UK on the grounds that he would not receive a fair trial if he was sent back to Jordan to face terror charges. The decision by a judge at the Special Immigration Appeals Commission to uphold the cleric’s appeal and allow his speedy release from Long Lartin prison in Worcestershire is a double blow to Theresa May, home secretary. A senior judge at a special London court said there was a risk that
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Abu Qatada bailed after deportation reprieve
evidence obtained using torture may be used against Abu Qatada and he may not receive a fair trial in Jordan. The case of Qatada, a Jordanian cleric of Palestinian origin described by a Spanish judge as “Osama bin Laden’s right-hand man in Europe”, has been a thorn in the side of successive British governments. Britain says videotapes of his sermons influenced Mohammed Atta, the ringleader of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on the United States. The court ruled there was a “real risk” that evidence obtained by torture from two other men by could be used against him in a Jordanian court. The ruling, delivered at a special court that deals with security cases, said British interior minister Theresa May had been wrong not to revoke an earlier deportation ruling against Qatada, and allowed his appeal. The decision is a setback for May and the Conservative-led
South Asia Tribune I Thursday 15 November 2012
administration, both keen to foster an image of competence and decisiveness on security issues. The court was considering whether to grant bail to Qatada, who has been in and out of jail in Britain since his arrest in 2002, spending seven years in detention without charge. Jordan has convicted him in his absence of sending encouragement to militants there who were
planning two bomb attacks in 1999 and 2000. May’s department said in a statement it strongly disagreed with the ruling and would seek leave to appeal. Robin Tam, a lawyer for the British government, told the court that Qatada “remains a man who poses an enormous risk to national security.” Britain had argued that a 2005
deal with Jordan and more recent diplomatic assurances would ensure that Qatada would obtain a fair trial there. It had maintained that the agreements with Jordan were sufficient to overcome a ruling by the European Court of Human Rights that Qatada could not be deported because of the possibility that a trial there could use torture evidence. According to some reports MI5 worked with 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.
Israel Air Strike over Gaza, begins Gaza ground offensive
Continued from page 01 >> The Israeli army said it was targeting long range rockets sites and said Gaza “has turned it into a frontal base for Iran firing rockets and carrying out terrorist attacks against Israeli citizens.” Israeli military sources said many of the munition depots are within civilian, residential buildings, but they blamed Hamas for using civilians as human shields. The attack came despite signs that Egypt had managed to broker a truce between Israel and Gaza militants after five days of violence which left seven Palestinians dead and at least 50 injured. “Israel has declared war on Gaza and they will bear the responsibility for the consequences,” Islamic Jihad said.
The spokesman of the Popular Resistance Committees said with alJaabari’s assassination, “Israel has opened the gates of hell.” Israel’s Shin Bet domestic intelligence service said it had killed Jaabri because of his “decade-long terrorist activity”. “The purpose of this operation was to severely impair the command and control chain of the Hamas leadership, as well as its terrorist infrastructure,” Israeli military sources said. “The days we face in the south will, in my estimation, prove protracted,” Brigadier-General Yoav Mordechai told Channel 2 TV. Israeli news site Ynet said Israeli troops were being moved to the south ahead of a possible ground offensive in Gaza.
Israel: Gaza Ground Offensive Raises Laws of War Concerns Both Sides Must Take ‘All Feasible Precautions’ to Protect Civilians As an Israeli ground offensive in Gaza gets underway, both Israeli and Palestinian forces must address heightened civilian protection concerns because of likely combat in densely populated urban areas, Human Rights Watch said today. Both sides must stringently abide by the laws of war, including taking all feasible measures to avoid harm to civilians and facilitating access for humanitarian workers and medical personnel. Human Rights Watch investigations of previous ground operations in Gaza and the West Bank by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) found evidence of unlawful killings by Israeli forces.
In addition, Hamas and other Palestinian armed groups fired rockets or conducted other military operations from densely populated areas, placing civilians at risk of serious harm. “An Israeli ground operation in Gaza will likely mean intense combat in densely populated areas, where the threat to civilians is substantial,” said Joe Stork, deputy director of Human Rights Watch’s Middle East and North Africa division. “The IDF and Hamas must take concrete steps to minimize the fighting’s impact on civilians or the results could be catastrophic.” The IDF’s last major ground operation in Gaza, from February 27 to March 3, 2008, killed 107 Palestinians, more than half of whom were civilians, and wounded more than 200. Two Israeli soldiers died.
South Asia Tribune I Thursday 15 November 2012
Scottish independence: ‘Rump’ UK would cease to be one of Europe’s ‘big three’
THE “rump” UK would cease to be one Europe’s `big three’ powers if Scotland votes for independence in 2014, senior foreign policy experts have warned. • UK would lose influence on world stage without Scotland, academics warn • EU status could affect relationship with US • Scotland could follow Nordic model London could also lose its vital influence with the US as its current position as a defence “agenda-setter” disappears and it falls behind the military clout of France. Scotland could wield international influence as part of the EU rather than pursue it’s own “global reach”, according to Dr Andrew Blick, a senior Research Fellow at the Centre for Political and Constitutional Studies, King’s College London and Professor Richard Whitman an Associate Fellow at Chatham House. They are part of a joint University
of Kent/Federal Trust project investigating EU foreign policy and say the UK would have a “significantly diminished role” in Europe after Scottish independence. “The UK would cease to be one of the EU’s ‘big three’ member states alongside France and Germany and may face a diminished capacity for influence within EU institutions,” they state in a submission to Westminster’s foreign affairs committee.
“One impact may be to experience diminished opportunities for leadership and coalition building within the EU on issues of UK national interest.” London’s claim on significant leadership positions on EU institutions, such as President of the European Council or the European Commission and the expectation of nominating influential Commissioners would also be damaged, according to the
academics. “Further, the UK may experience a loss of influence with the United States if its capacity to exercise influence on EU policy-making is diminished,” they add. “Of key concern would be the UK’s capacity to exercise its current level of influence on the direction of the European Union’s defence policy. A rump UK with a reduced military, and capabilities subordinate to those of France, would lose its position
as an EU defence policy agendasetter.” Scotland could follow the foreign policy of many Nordic countries, the submission adds. “Scotland, like some Nordic states, could well become a power which seeks to wield its international influence acting as a part of the EU, rather than attempting to achieve independent global reach,” they add. “The rump UK might do well to consider this stance also.”
Syrian authorities on Wednesday said a French decision to recognize and consider arming a newly formed Syrian rebel coalition was an “immoral” act “encouraging the destruction of Syria.” “I announce that France recognizes the Syrian National Coalition as the sole representative of the Syrian people and thus as the future provisional government of a democratic Syria, allowing an end to the Bashar al-Assad regime,” President Francois Hollande told a press conference. The Gulf Cooperation Council recognised the new coalition yesterday. The French move was depicted by analysts as an attempt to inject momentum into a broad Western and Arab effort to build a viable and effective opposition to hasten the end of a stalemated civil war which has further destabilized the Middle East. For its part, the United States on Wednesday signaled a reluctance to go
France Grants Its Recognition to Syria Rebels as U.S. Waits
beyond its characterization of the rebel alliance as a legitimate representative of the Syrian people, rather than as their sole representative. Speaking in Perth, Australia, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said Washington first wanted to see the coalition influencing events on the ground. “As the Syrian opposition takes these steps and demonstrates its effectiveness in advancing the cause of a unified, democratic, pluralistic Syria, we will be
prepared to work with them to deliver assistance to the Syrian people,” news reports quoted her saying. Political analysts called Mr. Hollande’s announcement an important moment in the Syrian conflict, Six Sunni Gulf Arab states have recognised the new opposition coalition as Syria’s legitimate representative. But Algeria, Iraq and Lebanon - the last two with significant Shiite populations - have refused to follow suit. On Tuesday Hague signalled that the UK had virtually
abandoned attempts to find a diplomatic solution to Syria, in the face of unwavering support for Assad from Russia and China. Earlier, National Coalition leader Ahmed Moaz al-Khatib called in Cairo for the rebels to be provided with “specialized weapons” as they desperately needed arms to “cut short the suffering of the Syrians and their bloodshed.” Britain, France, and Germany have hailed the creation of a new Syrian opposition coalition as a major step forward, though only France went as far as recognising
the new body as Syria’s legitimate authority. At an Arab League meeting in Cairo, the coalition’s new leader, Moaz al-Khatib, called on the EU to recognise the coalition and give it financial support. This would allow Syria’s opposition to act as a unified government and, most crucially, to acquire arms, he said. EU foreign ministers have warmly embraced the new USbacked group announced in Doha on Sunday. But both the EU and the Arab League have yet to give it formal recognition. Speaking in Cairo, the foreign secretary William Hague said the new body had to prove its democratic credentials and show it enjoyed support from all Syrians, including from the country’s ethnic and religious minorities. Russia and China, which have lent Assad diplomatic support since the uprising erupted in March last year, have shown no sign of warming towards his Westernand Arab-backed opponents.
Why can’t the BNP be UK: A clear demonstration of prosecuted for distributing hate double standards. Demonizing literature against Muslims?
South Asia Tribune I Thursday 15 November 2012
Muslims: To what end?
Prime Minister David Cameron says he is “completely fed up” about the release on bail of Abu Qatada, He said “I am completely fed up with the fact this man is still at large in our country, he has no right to be there, we believe he’s a threat to our country. Abu Qatada also working as an informant for British intelligence has lived in the UK for almost 20 years - and he might be here a few more yet because the legal roadblock on deportation is very difficult to remove.
Abu Qatada - whose real name is Omar Othman - arrived back at his home in London earlier after he was released from Long Lartin prison, in Worcestershire. He has spent most of the last 10 years in custody. According to BBC report Wikileaks files suggest a mosque in north London served as a “haven” for Islamic extremists. According to the files, 35 men held at Guantanamo Bay had gone to fight against Western forces in Afghanistan after being indoctrinated in Britain. The US documents identify two preachers at the Finsbury Park Mosque - Abu Hamza and Abu Qatada - as key recruiters. Some French officials alleged that Qatada an MI5 agent, and this is what allows him to avoid arrest after 9/11, Some French officials have gone so far as to brief newspapers that Qatada was allowed to escape internment because he was an ‘MI5 agent’. They also alleged that Britain was a ‘revolving door’ for Islamic militants because of lax asylum policies. Reported Jason Burke, chief reporter The
Observer, Sunday 24 February 2002. Last year, the WikiLeaks web site published information that 35 terrorists kept in the notorious US Guantanamo prison had been sent to fight against the West after being brain-washed by British extremist preachers. It is not unlikely that among them were Abu Qatada and Abu Hamza who had been granted the status of refugees in the UK and lived on state benefits, and later sent dozens of extremists from all over the world to Pakistan and Afghanistan. It is unlikely that British authorities and special services were unaware of the true nature of those ‘preachers’ activities. Apparently, they knew everything but took no steps to stop those activities. Moreover, a large sum of money was paid to Abu Qatada for ‘unfair detention’ in accordance with the Human Rights Law. The money was provided by British tax-payers who may eventually become victims of these Islamic extremists. Abu Qatada was considered to be the right-hand man of the late Osama bin Laden in Europe. Babar Ahmad and Syed Talha Ahsan have been held in British prisons, without charge, for 7 and 6 years respectfully. They are accused by the American authorities, who want to extradite them to America to stand trial, of participating in terrorist-related activities. Babar Ahmad and Syed Talha Ahsan still to be charged with any crime.The European Court of Human Rights rejected their latest appeal against the extradition . And Babar Ahmad and Syed Talha Ahsan, were extradited from UK to the United States to face charges of conspiracy to support terrorists, plead not guilty in a Connecticut courtroom. Babar Ahmad’s family reacted over extradition as “double standards” …. Why an informer or intelligent asset like Haroon Aswat and Abu Qatada are treated so leniently where as innocents were punished? Just to demonise Islam ! Muslims in Britain condemn any kind of extremism that is going to affect our diverse and peaceful community and will stand against it in any time. But Muslims request Stop demonising Muslims and Islam by hiring so called radicals or extremists. The Society has been at the forefront of discussions to evolve a British Muslim identity. That journey may not be complete, but at least we can now see a community that is largely comfortable with its presence in UK and appreciative of the freedoms, progressive culture and democratic norms that British citizens enjoy.
The Nottingham-based Building For The Future blog has drawn its readers’ attention to this leaflet, which has been distributed by the British National Party in Luton. As the BFTF writer notes, the flyer “appeared to have come straight out of 1930s Germany (and BFTF does not use that analogy lightly) – with the exception that instead of hate caricatures of Jews, it was Muslims that the BNP were now choosing to portray as the evil menace in our midst”.
The writer wants to know whether “this qualifies as an inciteful document and should not be allowed” and has “asked the local council and MP what (if anything) would happen if the BNP started distributing flyers like this in Nottingham”. The answer is – probably very little. In August this year a former Lib Dem parliamentary candidate named Linda Jack called for the BNP to be prosecuted for distributing the leaflet in Luton but
A former MP candidate has said that she is shocked that no action is being taken against a British National Party leaflet that she believes is “racist”. Linda Jack, of Furze Close, Luton, said she was disgusted when the leaflet came through the door early last Sunday morning, and branded its literature “nasty” and “offensive”. Under the title “Racist Muslim Paedophilia”, the content read: “The facts of the matter are that the “Pedostani” gangs could not have got away with their sick and evil crimes for so long had the establishment not turned a blind eye.” Ms Jack, who stood as the Liberal Democrat Parliamentary candidate for Luton North in 2005, said: “I felt that this leaflet was highly offensive, misleading and in my view constituted a hate crime as I believed it was racist. “I think that the leaflet as a whole was racist as I felt it attempted to conflate paedophilia with Islam and Pakistanis in particular. “I called Bedfordshire Police on Sunday and an officer came to see me on Tuesday to discuss my concerns. She took the leaflet away for it to be looked at, but to learn that no laws have been broken is shocking.
got nowhere. If the leaflet were directed against Jews rather than Muslims there would be a realistic prospect of the BNP being charged with inciting racial hatred. But Muslims are not covered by racial hatred legislation and have to rely on the religious hatred law, which is completely useless. On the one occasion that a BNP member has been prosecuted for inciting religious hatred he was inevitably acquitted. There is an urgent need to amend the law against incitement to religious hatred so that it does provide effective protection for the Muslim community. However, even in the current situation there is no excuse for the police refusing to take action over leaflets like this. There would appear to be good grounds for Muslims who have received the flyer to demand that the BNP should be prosecuted for religiously aggravated harassment. A Bedfordshire Police spokesman said: “The BNP is a properly constituted political group and while some people find their literature distasteful and/or offensive, it does not actually transgress the law. It should also be remembered that the Human Rights Act provides all with a right to express their views in a lawful manner.
South Asia Tribune I Thursday 15 November 2012
Yasser Arafat’s grave opened ahead of exhumation
Workers have sealed off the tomb of the former Palestinian leader, Yasser Arafat, in Ramallah in preparation for the possible exhumation of his body. Work to open the late Palestinian leader’s grave begins ahead of murder investigation, despite family’s objections Work began on Tuesday to open former Palestinian President Yasser Arafat’s grave ahead of
an exhumation of his body for a murder probe, report . A source close to Arafat’s family told reporters that work is expected to last 15 days, and that it began on Tuesday with removing concrete and stones from Arafat’s mausoleum. West Bank workers have blocked access to Yasser Arafat’s grave site before the exhumation of his body this month.
The location of the Palestinian leader’s remains has been circled with tarpaulin and roads leading to the mausoleum have been
closed. Officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the Palestinian Authority had insisted on privacy and did not want the exhumation of its former leader to be observed by the media and others. Officials plan to dig up his remains in the coming weeks to allow scientists to ascertain whether his death in Paris in 2004 was caused by poisoning.
France began a murder inquiry in August after Swiss experts found radioactive polonium-210 on his personal effects. Arafat’s medical records say he had a stroke resulting from a blood disorder. His widow, Suha, objected to a post-mortem at the time, but has appealed to the Palestinian Authority to permit the exhumation “to reveal the truth”.
Russia to Help Probe Arafat’s Death
Russia will join an international investigation to determine whether the first Palestinian president, Yasser Arafat, was murdered, said the current Palestinian leader, Mahmoud Abbas. French and Swiss experts will exhume Arafat’s body in Ramallah later this month in an attempt to discover how he died after an Al-Jazeera documentary in July suggested that he was killed by a rare radioactive poison. “There’s full cooperation these days between us and the French investigators and Swiss experts, and also from the Russian government,” Abbas told a raindrenched ceremony Sunday on the eighth anniversary of the death in France of the former guerrilla who
led Palestinians’ campaign to create a state through years of war and peace. Abbas asked Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov for Moscow’s help during talks in Jordan last week, Palestinian sources said. Allegations of foul play have long surrounded the demise of Arafat. The case returned to the headlines in July when a Swiss institute said it had discovered high levels of the radioactive element polonium-210 on Arafat’s clothing supplied by his widow, Suha, who called for the exhumation of her husband’s body. Polonium is the radioactive substance found to have killed former Federal Security Service officer Alexander Litvinenko in London in 2006. Three French forensic experts are expected to visit Arafat’s limestone sepulcher in the West Bank capital of Ramallah on Nov. 20, and investigating magistrates plan to visit four days later, a diplomatic source said.
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.
The United Kingdom intends to initiate talks with armed gangs who are fighting to overthrow the Syrian President, Bashar al-Asad, and provide advice. David Cameron, in what is a clear intervention in the Syrian crisis, gave the green light to British officials to advise the commanders of armed gangs. The British Prime Minister, David Cameron, in what is a clear intervention in the Syrian crisis, gave the green light to British officials to advise the commanders of armed gangs who are fighting against the forces of the government of Damascus this fall. The authorities indicate that the talks are designed to help the armed Syrian opposition to bring together an army in order to forcibly change the government. However, Cameron, in a clear signal that he would like to go further, said in an interview with the Daily Mail newspaper, that he is frustrated by the embargo of
United Kingdom openly supports terrorism in Syria
South Asia Tribune I Thursday 15 November 2012
the European Union (EU) on the shipment of arms to Syria, as the United Kingdom participated as an onlooker. “We must ask ourselves what more can we do to help the opposition”, he declared, and also added that currently they do not supply weapons to Syrian insurgents. The British Prime Minister, who is touring countries in the Middle East, is scheduled to visit a refugee camp on the border of Jordan with Syria, where the announcement that
the United Kingdom will deliver 14.5 million pounds (18 million euros) of humanitarian aid to the agencies of the United Nations (UN) is expected Wednesday. The talks with the heads of the armed gangs that put the United Kingdom one step from military intervention in the Arab country, will be announced this Wednesday to the British Parliament by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, William Hague. John Wilks, of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Special
FSA syrian rebels killing Syrian army
Envoy of Cameron in his contacts with the Syrian opposition, will be in charge. So far, British government contacts have been limited to dialogues with the civilian factions of the Syrian opposition forces, the very selfstyled Free Syrian Army (FSA). Already, it has been 20 months in which Syria has been living in the lawlessness and anarchy that
they provoke and promote, with their offenses and attacks. Armed gangs and terrorists, sponsored from abroad: the results are a huge number of dead civilians and members of government forces. Interference by some western and regional countries that openly provide financial, arms and logistical support to opponents, have aggravated the situation in the Arab country.
Baroness Warsi urges Muslims to celebrate Christmas
‘Win minorities, win majorities’
The Tories have a “brand problem” with ethnic minorities and will not win future elections until they solve it, Baroness Warsi declares . • Minister for Faith and Communities calls for Britons of all religions to join in festivities • Baroness Warsi wants to scrap classroom assistants helping children who cannot speak English • She said multilingual forms at hospitals and authorities encourages people not to bother to learn English Baroness Warsi, Britain’s first
Muslim Cabinet minister, will urge all minorities to “join in” with traditional British festivals. In an interview with ‘The Mail’ on Sunday, ahead of her speech on integration, the peer added that hospitals and other public services should phase out the use of multilingual forms to help ethnic minorities integrate fully and that school should not employ classroom assistants who cannot speak English. “Being brought up – before the politically correct brigade got going – on harvest festivals, maypoles, Nativity plays, Christmas carols and the Lord’s Prayer, made me much
more sure about my own identity,” said Lady Warsi. “I didn’t feel it was all watered down to the lowest common denominator.” Warsi had just arrived back from a whirlwind trip to Pakistan in her role as Foreign Office Minister for the region. Lady Warsi, tells the Sun that the Tories have a “brand problem” with ethnic minorities. The Conservative peer also discussed how she celebrated Christmas with her family and enjoyed carols. She insisted on sending out “proper,
traditional” Christmas cards rather than “bland” multi-faith greetings. “Why not? White people celebrate Diwali and Eid,” she said. “And we all enjoy Bonfire Night.” Warsi said: “A small minority of Pakistani, Afghani and Bangladeshi men think Asian women are secondclass citizens and white girls are third-class citizens.” ‘The Mail’ on Sunday commended her stance on integration of ethnic minorities as “brave, creditable and straightforwardly good”. The Foreign Office minister believes
her party must learn from President Barack Obama’s recent triumph. And in a warning to David Cameron, she ups his call for an Aspiration Nation with the need for “an Integration Nation”. She will insist our prosperity is being damaged by barriers preventing nonwhite groups from succeeding. The 41-year-old of Pakistani origin will claim Britain would be £8.6billion a year richer if minorities were empowered. By 2050, minorities will make up a fifth of all voters but only one in six of them voted Tory at the last general election. And she will cite Obama’s success in attracting 70 per cent of Latino and Asian voters, and 90 per cent of the black vote. Paul Goodman at ConservativeHome says Warsi is right.
South Asia Tribune I Thursday 15 November 2012
Amanda Lowe Walks Free After Viciously Attacking A Male, caught on CCTV. Fourth Conviction in Six Years. Shocking moment pram-pushing mother, 26, repeatedly stamps on innocent man’s head in racist attack in front of her two children.
In an Interview with daily Mirror victim Khuram Nisar talks for the first time about how he thought he was going to be killed during the attack, which he says has left him so psychologically scarred he had to quit his job. Daily Mirror reported. “She is an irresponsible ¬mother. She should have gone to prison to teach her a lesson,” he said in an exclusive interview.“She stamped on my head and kicked me in the head. She could have killed me. It was a vicious racist and unprovoked attack. “She is not a teenager. She has a daughter and a baby. “To leave her baby in the pram to come and stamp on my head and kick me is unbelievable. You don’t expect that kind of ¬behaviour in a civilised society.” Khuram, 32, was walking through Manchester city centre on his way home from work when Lowe shouted racist abuse at him. He said: “The sun was out and it was packed with people, young and old. “I was minding my own business when I saw this ¬woman. “I walked past her and she started shouting racist abuse at me. She was calling “She was just like an animal,” he said. “I was shocked seeing the people standing around and no one came forward to help.” Khuram said he has had to quit his job as a claims handler because he can’t face going to the city centre. “I was very lucky not to have serious damage but the damage done to me has been more psychological,” he said. “I had lumps on my head and a bust lip and blood coming out of my mouth and a gash on my nose. I had bruises all over me and bruised ribs. “It has affected me very badly. I am paranoid and hardly go out. I hardly ever go out in the city centre and don’t live there ¬any more. I still fear for my ¬safety and feel vulnerable.” Lowe, who is pregnant again, admitted racially aggravated assault occasioning bodily harm. Earls and Wray admitted a charge of actual bodily harm. All three were given 12-month jail terms suspended for two years, which Khuram now hopes to appeal against, saying the sentences are “ridiculous”.
Victim was also given 12-month jail terms suspended for two years!!!
Amanda was calling victim a ‘Paki b******d’
me a ‘P*** b******d’. I ignored her but she ran up right behind me.” Lowe’s boyfriend Wesley Earls, 26, and cousin ¬Daniel Wray, 21, grabbed Khuram and threw him to the ground before Lowe, 26, launched her attack. Footage of the shocking assault, captured on CCTV, was released last week when Lowe, Earls and Wray were sentenced.
Khuram added: “I was really, ¬really frightened. People were videoing it on their phones but no one came forward to help.” Eventually a man stepped in and Lowe walked off with her ¬children, miming a punch and a kick to show what she had done. Khuram, born in Burnley, Lancs, to Pakistani parents, said the first time he saw the CCTV footage was when it was posted online.
Pentagon announces proposed sale of 20 C-130J military transport planes, 5 KC-130J refueling aircraft.
Saudi Arabia plans to buy 20 C-130J military transport planes, five KC-130J refueling aircraft (Hercules) and related equipment from Lockheed Martin Corp. valued at about $6.7 billion, the Pentagon said Friday in a statement. “The proposed sale of these aircraft and support will not alter the basic military balance in the region,” the Pentagon’s Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) stated. The agency, which oversees foreign arms sales, added that Saudi Arabia needs the airplanes to December 2011, after announcing a sale of fighter jets to the Gulf country worth around $29.4 billion, US officials expressed confidence that the sale would benefit Israeli security by “bolstering moderate allies in the Gulf.” The proposed “sale to Saudi Arabia represents the largest foreign military sale of C-130s in the program’s history,” Peter Simmons, a Lockheed spokesman said in an e-mail. The possible sale also includes 120 engines, including 20 spares made by London-based Rolls Royce Holdings Plc, and 25 Link-16 Multifunctional Information Distribution Systems made by Rockwell Collins Inc. based in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Saudi Arabia received its first C-130 in 1965, according to Lockheed Martin’s website. The Middle East kingdom now operates 50 older models of the transports, Simmons said. The proposed sale of the transport planes follows the Pentagon’s announcement this week that Qatar and United Arab Emirates are seeking US missile defense systems valued at as much as $16.4 billion.
Saudis set to buy 25 US army planes in $6.7b. deal
“sustain its aging fleet, which faces increasing obsolescence. The US has historically tried to reassure Israel over past military deals with Saudi Arabia. In
UN political chief warns violence will ‘explode’ into Israel, Turkey
South Asia Tribune I Thursday 15 November 2012
The UN political chief is warning that the escalating violence in Syria is showing signs of exploding outward into Lebanon, Turkey and Israel and will lead the country “to its destruction.” Jeffrey Feltman, speaking after briefing the Security Council, said that the solution must be through a Syrian-led political process and “must bring real change and a clean break from the past.” Mr Feltman said this is the focus of UNArab League envoy Lakhdar Brahimi who wants the deeply divided council to approve guidelines for a Syrianled transition agreed on in Geneva in June.
brigades have taken up the fight against Assad, but they share little common vision for the future and are divided by acute ideological differences,
36,000 people Israel fires warning shots at Syrian forces in response to mortar shell in Golan for first
the firing of a 120mm mortar shell that landed in the eastern Golan Heights on Sunday. This is the first time that the army has fired at Syria since 1973. No
recovery, and saying that the army would not abide continued attacks from the Gaza Strip. The mortar shell exploded in Tel Hazeka in the eastern Golan Heights after being fired from the direction of the village of Beer Ajam. IDF sources estimated the shell was not aimed at Israel and was fired as part of clashes between the Syrian army and rebels forces. No desire to get between Assad and rebels Mordechai chose not to comment on whether the forces had intended not to hit the target. He did however say that every piece of artillery that threatens
The Syrian conflict’s already increasing sectarian overtones suggest any power vacuum could usher in a direct fight among the communities. Dozens of opposition groups and rebel
particularly among secularists and Islamists. Diplomacy has failed miserably in ending the conflict in Syria, which activists say has killed more than
time since 1973 For first time since the Yom Kippur War, the IDF has fired into Syrian territory. The IDF’s Artillery Corps fired a missile at a post in Syria in response to
injuries or damage were reported. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday responded to ongoing rocket fire, wishing wounded Israeli soldiers and civilians a speedy
Israel is a potential target, and added that the IDF has no desire to get in between Assad and the rebel forces, but only to protect Israeli citizens from wandering shells.
Report: US Deploys Large Number of Troops in Yemen
The US has deployed a large number of troops in Al-Anad air base in Yemen’s Southern province of Lahj, local media reports revealed on Saturday.
Ansarullah news website quoted Yemeni military sources as revealing that Anad air base has become the US operational headquarters in Yemen. The report added that in addition to troops, the US army has also deployed its Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) in the base. A similar report by Yemeni Tagheer news website said that a US military cargo plane, carrying special military equipments and food supplies for the US marine forces landed in Sana’a international airports. The deployment of the US marine forces in Yemen and US air strikes by pilotless drones in the country have sparked massive popular protests in the Muslim country. Washington claims the attacks are targeted at militants but a majority of victims are civilians casualties, local media said.
US Drone Strike Kills 3 in Yemen
A strike staged by a US unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), commonly known as a drone, killed three men in an area on the outskirts of this capital. The frequent US drone strikes have been criticized by local sectors, including the notable Houthi clan, following an incident in northern Yemen in which three people identified as Al Qaeda
militants were killed. A spokesman for that tribe, made up of Shia Muslims, denied the dead were members of the armed group, whose bases are in southern Yemen. According to an official report Thursday, a top official from the Ministry of Interior was seriously injured in an attack in this capital. Scores of Yemeni Army and security forces’ top ranking officials have been target of similar
attacks in the last few weeks. Yemeni security forces foiled a plan by militants linked to al Qaeda to bomb an air base jointly used with the United States to carry out attacks against the group, a security official said on Saturday. A car packed with explosives was discovered by authorities near the gate of Al Anad air base in Yemen’s southern province of Lahj, the official told Reuters.”
South Asia Tribune I Thursday 15 November 2012
Gay Saudi prince ‘strangled his manservant to death at top London hotel in sexuallymotivated killing’ ‘to be allowed home’
A Saudi prince sentenced to life for killing his manservant is reportedly set to be allowed home as part of prisoner swap between Britain and the Kingdom. Prince Saud bin Abdulaziz bin Nasir Al Saud is likely to be flown back to Saudi Arabia by the end of the year as part of a deal being cut by British officials, The Times has reported. He is one of 11 Saudi citizens in British jails that can now seek transfers home. Under the prisoner transfer agreement, which came into operation in August, five Britons currently languishing in Saudi prisons can ask to serve the
remainder of their sentences in the UK. Mr Al Saud, 36, was found guilty at the Old Bailey two years ago of murdering his manservant Bandar Abdulaziz, 32, in a “sadistic” assault in their five-star London hotel suite. The prince, fuelled by champagne and ‘sex on the beach’ cocktails, had brutally attacked Mr Abdulaziz, beating him 37 times and biting the 32-year-old on both cheeks. The attack was the culmination of weeks of physical and sexual abuse, in which witnesses reported that the prince had treated his travelling companion as his “slave”. The judge had sentenced Mr Al Saud
to 20 years at Wakefield top security prison, declaring that he had used Mr Abdulaziz, originally from Sudan, as a “human punch bag”. The prince had tried to cover up the murder. Following the attack he had ordered two glasses of milk and some water, dragged the corpse into the bed, and tried to clean up the blood. He told police that the victim had gained his injuries in an attack on a London street “weeks before”, but the hotel’s CCTV footage recorded the attack. After the killing, the prince spent hours on the phone to an unidentified contact in Saudi Arabia before finally calling his chauffeur to the room, at which point the body was discovered
on a bloodstained hotel bed. Police said he had dragged the body from the bathroom to the hallway and then the bedroom “in an attempt to cover his tracks”. A post-mortem found that Mr Abdulaziz had suffered chipped teeth, heavy blows to the head, injuries to the brain and ears and severe neck injuries consistent with strangulation by hand, the trial heard. The prince’s father, a nephew of King Abdullah, was in court for the verdict. The gay royal Prince Saud bin Abdulaziz bin Nasir al-Saud was getting special treatment in the jail known as Monster Mansion so he is
not offended, which could spark a diplomatic incident. Staff have been ordered to knock on his cell door before unlocking it and entering. They also have to deliver his post by hand and “address him politely at all times”. Al-Saud, whose family is worth £12billion, is being protected from other inmates at Wakefield jail in West Yorkshire so they cannot threaten or blackmail him. He is on notorious D-wing, which is full of child sex offenders. His cell, D339, is next to the one where serial killer Harold Shipman hanged himself in 2004.
Attempts to find Arab-Israeli common ground on banning weapons of mass destruction from the Mideast have failed, and high-profile talks on the issue have been called off, diplomats said Saturday. The two diplomats said the United States, one of the organizers, would likely make a formal announcement soon saying that with tensions in the region remaining high, “time is not opportune” for such a gathering. The diplomats spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to divulge the cancellation ahead of the formal announcement. The meeting — to be held in Helsinki, Finland, by year’s end — was on shaky ground since it was agreed to in 2010 by the 189 member nations of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty. Its key sponsors were the U.S., Russia and Britain, but they said such as meeting was only possible if all countries — especially Israel —agreed to attend. The decision to postpone, if not to scrap it, will cast doubt on the significance of the NPT and its attempts every five years to advance nonproliferation. Any new attempt is unlikely
US to make official announcement on cancellation of Helsinki meeting in coming days
until the NPT conference meets again in 2015. Hopes for such a meeting were alive as recently as Tuesday, when Iran joined Arab nations in saying that it planned to attend, leaving Israel as the only undecided country. Tehran’s announcement came at a Brussels seminar on a Mideast nuclearfree zone also attended by Israel and the Arab countries, and described as largely free of regional tensions. But the two diplomats said the decision to call off the Helsinki meeting had already been made by the time Iran declared Tuesday that it would attend. But a decision to give up on staging such a gathering after it was approved by the NPT is more than a reflection of Mideast realities. It also is bound to weaken efforts at future NPT conferences to reconcile clashing visions of disarmament and nonproliferation efforts. Daryl Kimball, head of the Washington-based Arms Control Association, warned that “an indefinite cancellation of the long-awaited conference on a Middle Eastern WMD-free zone will only worsen the proliferation risks in the future and undermine the nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty.” Iran, the Arab nations and most other developing countries say the emphasis should on the U.S. and other nuclear-armed states that are NPT members to disarm. Such nations also castigate the West for supporting Israel and its widely suspected nuclear weapons program. Washington and its allies say Iran, North Korea and Syria are the greatest proliferation threats, even though Tehran and Damascus deny allegations of secret nuclear activities linked to weapons. The Arab proposal to create a weapons-of-massdestruction-free zone in the Mideast and to pressure Israel to give up its undeclared arsenal of perhaps 80 nuclear warheads, was endorsed by the 1995 Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty conference but never acted on. The conference meets every five years. The two diplomats who spoke Saturday are from nations that were invited to the Helsinki meeting, which was to be open to all NPT-member nations. The diplomats also are from member nations of the Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency. While Syria’s civil war, nuclear tensions with
Mideast nuke talks called off after Israel declines to attend, says diplomat
Iran and other Mideast frictions will be cited as the official reason for the cancellation, one of the diplomats acknowledged that the decision is mainly being taken because Israel has decided not to attend. The diplomat — from a Western nation sympathetic to Israel— said Arabs countries have refused to budge from positions that made it impossible for the Jewish state to participate. Israel has long said that a full Arab-Israeli peace plan must precede any creation of a Mideast zone free of weapons of mass destruction. The region’s Muslim neighbors in turn have asserted that Israel’s undeclared nuclear arsenal presents the greatest threat to peace in the region. They insist that Israel declare its arsenal and join the NPT as part of any peace talks. The diplomat said that while the announcement that the Helsinki meeting has been canceled might be made in the name of all three co-sponsors — the U.S, Russia and Britain — it would likely be delivered only by the United States, reflecting tensions between Moscow and Washington on the issue. He said the Russians have opposed declaring the meeting dead at this point.
‘I know what you did, so back off,’ General David Petraeus’s lover told rival
3rd Women Named. Paula Broadwell allegedly sent threatening emails to female military official in Florida, Jill Kelley 37
THE FBI investigation into General David Petraeus’s affair was reportedly triggered by a string of harassing emails sent by his mistress to a perceived love rival, warning her to “stay away from my guy”. Paula Broadwell, the former CIA director’s biographer and reported lover, allegedly sent a number of threatening messages to Jill Kelley, 37, from Tampa, Florida, the State Department’s liaison to the military’s Joint Special Operations Command. She reportedly became frightened and turned to the FBI for help. As federal agents began to review the emails they quickly realised that the head of America’s top intelligence agency was involved in a sexual affair with a married woman and launched an urgent investigation to see if there had been any breach of national security. Although the emails, believed to have been sent anonymously by 40year-old Mrs Broadwell, reportedly contained hints of classified information, the FBI concluded that there was no security threat and that they were instead looking at a bizarre case of lover’s jealousy. “It didn’t start with Petraeus, but in the course of the investigation they stumbled across him,” one congressional official told the ‘New York Times’. “We were stunned.” According to the ‘New York Post’, the married mother-of- two had told Ms Kelley: “I know what you did” and warned her to “back off” from the former four-star general. It is not clear whether Ms Kelley was actually involved in a relationship with Gen Petraeus. It remains unclear how Ms Kelley’s claims of harassment were brought before the FBI rather than local police and what made federal agents believe there was a possibility 60year-old Gen Petraeus’s personal email address might have been compromised. Mrs Broadwell did not respond to attempts to contact her at her home in Charlotte, North Carolina, nor to messages sent through her publishing agents. US senators announced yesterday they would launch an investigation into the failure of the FBI to report Gen David Petraeus’s affair with his biographer to the country’s leaders until after the American presidential election.
South Asia Tribune I Thursday 15 November 2012
Pictured with Petraeus and his wife: Glamorous liaison officer who complained to FBI about emails from CIA boss’s ‘jealous’ mistress
Senator Dianne Feinstein, the Democrat chairman of the senate’s intelligence committee, said that she was informed of Gen Petraeus’s resignation only a few hours before it was made public on Friday, even though the FBI investigation had opened months before. The White House said it was only informed of the affair on Wednesday, the day after the presidential election, and President Barack Obama was only briefed on Thursday, the day Gen Petraeus offered his resignation. Mrs Feinstein, a close ally of President Barack Obama, joined with Republicans in expressing concern that the explosive news of the affair had been kept secret and that the FBI had failed to keep congress informed. Gen Petraeus has made no public statement since his abrupt resignation on Friday, when he announced that he was stepping down because he had shown “extremely poor judgment by engaging in an extramarital affair”. Steve Boylan, a former Army officer and close confidante of the decorated commander, said that Gen Petraeus had told him over the weekend he felt he needed to “come clean with the American people”. However, that narrative seemed to contradict the account given by government officials to US media outlets, where Gen Petraeus only resigned after being confronted by FBI agents two weeks ago and was then urged to step down on Tuesday by James Clapper, the Director of National Intelligence. Gen Petraeus met his future wife in the mid-1970s while studying at the US Military Academy at West Point, where her father was the school’s superintendent. He has often publicly praised her devotion as she stayed at home to raise their two children while he spent long postings abroad. According to the ‘Wall Street Journal’, the affair began in August 2011, just as Gen Petraeus was preparing to leave the military and continued until a few months ago. Despite the political fallout, senior figures in the CIA are reportedly satisfied that Gen Petraeus’s infidelity did not lead to an intelligence leak. Washington remained stunned over the weekend as more details emerged about the tawdry end to the career of one of America’s most celebrated soldiers.
At least 13 people were killed and 40 taken to hospital after a powerful earthquake struck central Myanmar on Sunday, Save the Children said. The death toll from the 6.8magnitude quake included four labourers on a bridge and two people killed in a monastery collapse in an area north of Mandalay, Myanmar’s second biggest city, the aid group said in a report. It said a further six people were killed in Sint Ku township in Sagaing region, while one died in Mandalay.
Strong 6.8 magnitude earthquake strikes central region of Myanmar: 13 feared dead
A 6.8 magnitude earthquake struck a mountainous region near Mandalay, Myanmar early Sunday morning.
The earthquake had a depth of 9.8 km (6.1 miles) and struck just 116 miles from Mandalay, Myanmar. The earthquake was downgraded
by the USGS from a 7.0 event. A strong earthquake struck northern Myanmar on Sunday, with local media reporting that five people were
killed. Scattered damage and injuries also were reported in areas close to the quake’s epicenter.. Residents from Mandalay, the second biggest commercial city in central Myanmar, told Reuters that they felt a very strong tremor. “I’ve never felt such a strong tremor. I also heard some loud noises and the light went out. No idea about the damage,” a resident said. The earthquake was followed by a strong series of aftershocks and low-level tsunami warnings went out for the Indian Ocean.
South Asia Tribune I Thursday 15 November 2012
Top US commander in Afghanistan, Gen. Allen, implicated in Petraeus scandal
IT’S A FULL-BLOWN CIRCUS: FBI agent in Petraeus probe yanked for sending shirtless pics to whistleblower, as SHE is accused of ‘groping Petraeus under a table’
Panetta praised Allen’s work in Afghanistan and said that “he is entitled to due process in the matter.” Meanwhile US President Barack Obama has given his support for the commander of US forces in Afghanistan. White House spokesman Jay Carney says the President “has faith in General Allen.” “I can tell you the president thinks very highly of General Allen and of his service to his country, as well as the job he has done in Afghanistan,” Carney told reporters on Tuesday. Panetta praised Allen’s work in Afghanistan and said “he was entitled to due process in the matter.” A senior lawmaker said on Tuesday the Senate Intelligence Committee The unnamed agent was a friend of Kelley, the raven-haired knockout whom Petraeus biographer Paula Broadwell jealously suspected of having the hots for the former CIA director, The Wall Street Journal reported. David Petraeus’stunning downfall took another salacious turn Monday as it was revealed the FBI agent who began investigating the disgraced spy chief allegedly sent shirtless photos of himself to the woman who sparked the probe. The unnamed agent was a friend of Jill Kelley, the raven-haired knockout whom Petraeus biographer Paula Broadwell jealously suspected of having the hots for the former CIA director, The Wall Street Journal Philadelphia, said her brother, David Khawam, a lawyer who practices in Westmont, New Jersey. The Lebanese-born parents owned three restaurants, all called Sahara, when their children were growing up, according to Reuters. Kelley has a twin sister, Natalie Khawam, who works as a lawyer in Tampa representing fraud and whistleblowers cases, according to her Linkedin website. The family comes from a Maronite Christian background and fled Lebanon in the 1970s due to “political disputes,” according to some Lebanese media reports. Lebanese bombshell In the Middle East, Kelly’s Lebanese
The US head of NATO forces in Afghanistan is under investigation in connection with the sex scandal that saw CIA director David Petraeus resign. Gen. Allen exchanged “inappropriate” emails with a woman linked to Petraeus. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said Allen, a four-star Marine Corps general, would stay in his job for the time being, and the White House said Obama was still had confidence in Allen’s ability to command the 68,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan. ¬The FBI has found 20,000 to 30,000 pages of potentially inappropriate emails and documents between General John Allen and Jill Kelley, says the Pentagon. Investigators are now searching through the documents for any compromising information. Mrs. Kelley was implicated in the Petraeus affair after telling the FBI she received threatening emails from the former CIA chief’s mistress, Paula Broadwell. Jill Kelley is a long-term friend of the Petraeus family and works as a “social liaison” at an air force base in Tampa, Florida. US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta ordered an investigation be opened into the matter on Sunday. He also called for Allen’s nomination to be made Commander of US European Command and Supreme Allied Commander Europe to be frozen for the time being. He was due to face a Senate hearing to assess his nomination on Thursday. General Allen has denied any
wrongdoing and will remain at his post until further notice. The actual volume of communications is likely much smaller, an official said, as the printouts include messages involving other people and email threads including prior communications. A senior defense official told Reuters the messages were seen as
inappropriate because they were “flirtatious” in nature, not because they dealt with sensitive information. But “flirtatious” may be an understatement. Another U.S. official said the Pentagon only decided to refer it for investigation after an initial look found the communications to be of “a sufficient character” to warrant further review. Allen has denied that the two had a sexual relationship, officials said on condition of anonymity. Adultery can lead to a dishonorable discharge under U.S. military law.
still wanted to talk to Petraeus about the CIA’s role in events surrounding the September attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, that killed U.S. ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans. “The committee will talk to him, the committee thinks it’s important,” said Senator Dianne Feinstein, the panel’s Democratic chairwoman. “The actual time of it is undecided at this point.” David Petraeus sex scandal: FBI agent who began probing disgraced spy chief allegedly sent shirtless photos of himself to whistleblower Jill Kelley
reported. The woman connected to Petraeus downfall is of Lebanese origin Jill Kelley, who has been linked to the downfall of the CIA Director David Petraeus, is a descendent of a Lebanese family that moved to the United States in the 1970s due to “political disputes,” according to media reports. Kelley is the daughter of Marcelle and John Khawam, now of Washington Crossing, Pennsylvania, but with roots in the Northeast section of
origins gave the Petraeus scandal a more exciting twist. The al-Bawaba News portal described Kelly as a “Lebanese bombshell” and wrote: “Although the General insists his relationship with Kelley was only ever platonic, his mistress clearly felt her Levantine sex appeal was too much to handle.” “Apparently, this second official had less success resisting the Lebanese lady’s charms and was caught with a slew of “inappropriate communications,” according to the al-Bawaba article.
Unemployment falls to its lowest total for over a year, although there is an increase in the number of people claiming jobseeker’s allowance. The jobless total dropped by 49,000 in the quarter to September to 2.51 million, the lowest figure since last summer. But the so-called claimant count jumped by 10,100 last month to 1.58 million, the highest since July, and
UK unemployment falls to 2.51 million, ONS says
the biggest monthly rise since last September. The number of people in work increased by 100,000 in the latest quarter to just under 30 million, a rise of over half a million over the past year. Other figures from the Office for National Statistics showed that longterm unemployment - those out of work for over a year - increased by 12,000 in the quarter to September to
894,000, while 443,000 people have been jobless for over two years, up by 21,000.
Part-time employment increased by 49,000 to 8.1 million, close to a record high, while there were 51,000 more people in full-time jobs, at 21.4 million. Unemployment among women fell by 10,000 to 1.09 million, and by 39,000 among men to 1.43 million.
Unemployment among 16 to 24-yearolds fell by 49,000, which accounts for the total fall in today’s jobless figures. More young people are classed as economically inactive, most of whom were in full-time education. Average earnings increased by 1.8 per cent in the year to August, up by 0.1 per cent on the previous month, giving average weekly pay of £471, including bonuses.
Israel may invade Gaza over recent cross-border attacks – reports
Airstrikes target tunnels near city of Rafah as Palestinian fighters retaliate with rocket fire into southern Israel.
Israel has not ruled out invading Gaza following cross-border attacks between the IDF and militants. The violence drew comparisons to the 2009 invasion of Gaza, and some accuse PM Benjamin Netanyahu of orchestrating the unrest as an election ploy. Following a Cabinet meeting on Sunday morning to discuss the rising violence over the weekend, an Israeli official speaking on condition of anonymity told the Telegraph “a ground incursion [into Gaza] is certainly not out of the question,” if the violence continues. Israel carried out several airstrikes in Gaza overnight targeting a smuggling tunnel and a rocket launch site in northern Gaza. The Israeli Defense Force (IDF) confirmed it would intensify its airstrike campaign on Hamas targets. Israel has stepped up its attacks on southern Gaza, targeting tunnels near the city of Rafah, and killing at least six Palestinians and injuring eight Israelis. The Israeli military carried out a series of air strikes, targeting “a terror
South Asia Tribune I Thursday 15 November 2012
tunnel and a weapons facility” in the north and a rocket-launching site in the south, the army said on Monday. Palestinian medics said the death toll stood at six, after an Islamic Jihad member named as Mohammed Shwikani, 20, was killed in an air strike near the northern Gaza town of Jabaliya. Medics also reported finding the body of a second Jihad member, Mohammed Abed, 20, who was killed in another air raid east of Jabaliya. Medics said 35 people were wounded,
with Ashraf al-Qudra, spokesman for the health ministry, adding that 10 had undergone amputations. He named the four civilians killed as 20-year-old Matar Abul Ata, 17-yearold Mohammed Harara, 15-yearold Ahmed Harara and 18-year-old Ahmed Dardasawy. Gaza fighter retaliated by firing rockets and mortars into soutern Israel, causing no injuries or deaths. Israel fires at two Syrian mortar batteries, reports ‘direct hit’ The Israeli military has fired tanks
shells into Syria for the second consecutive day after a stray mortar round landed in the Israelicontrolled Golan Heights. The IDF fired “towards the source of the fire” and confirmed “direct hits.” The Israel Defense Force (IDF) tanks fired on two Syrian mortar shell batteries in response to the errant mortar shell that landed near an IDF outpost in Hazeka on Monday. The retaliatory strike comes a day after a similar incident compelled the Israeli military to fire a single Tamuz anti-
tank missile into Syria. An Israeli security source told Haaretz daily the IDF had once again fired a Tamuz anti-tank missile with a range of 25 kilometers in the direction of the Syrian army mortar crew that had launched a shell which overshot the Golan disengagement fence. The IDF reported “direct hits,” though no causalities have been reported. Israel says Monday’s shelling was the sixth incident in a week’s time that the Syrian conflict had spilled over into Israeli territory.
Israeli army kills 4 in Gaza
Israeli tank shells wound at least 25 in Gaza Strip
Palestinian militants fired an antitank missile at an Israeli jeep patrolling the border with Gaza and the Israelis fired back into the Palestinian territory, killing four civilians, officials and witnesses said. Israel’s military said four of its soldiers were wounded in the missile attack, including one seriously. Ashraf al-Kidra, a Gaza health ministry spokesman, said all four Palestinians killed were civilians between the ages of 16 and 18 and that among the 25 wounded were children.
Witnesses said that following the large explosion that started the incident, Israel retaliated with tank and machine gun fire toward
residential areas at the al-Muntar hill in the central part of the territory, hitting people who were returning from a funeral east of
Gaza City. Rami Harra said his 17year-old brother Muhammad Harra was killed in the strike. “He was at home when the explosion took place. He went out to see what happened and when he started to help evacuating wounded people who were on the ground another shell hit the place and killed him,” he said outside the morgue. “Why did they kill him? I can’t believe
my eyes that I am seeing his dead body.” In a first response to Saturday’s incident, Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak said the military had responded aggressively to the attack and will “consider further reaction in the coming days.” “We will not allow the escalation on the fence to go unanswered,” he said.
Saarc international I Thursday 15 November 2012
On Malala Day, teen activist’s friends still haunted by attack Global day of action for education-rights schoolgirl Malala
Former British prime minister Gordon Brown meets two friends of activist schoolgirl Malala Yousafzi as a part of a global day of action promoting education for girls.
Mr Crone, a UN and Plan UK youth representative, said: “This is a really important cause - all young people are entitled to the same level of education and no young person should be excluded because of threats or their gender. “If girls are to receive a good level of education they also need the solidarity of men and boys around the world to achieve it.” Recovering Malala was attacked after promoting the education of girls and criticising Taliban militants. Doctors at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham have said the bullet which struck the teenager just above her left eye had grazed the edge of her brain. She has since received thousands of goodwill messages and the public are being encouraged to show their support for this day of action by using social networking sites to post messages. Yesterday, Malala issued a statement thanking well-wishers worldwide for their support following the shooting (see video, below) Mr Brown said there was now a real momentum for change in the country. “I believe that in Pakistan, the silent majority is speaking and that there is now a national consensus that the country can delay no longer in ensuring girls and boys have schools to go to and teachers to teach them,” he said. “This has been a breakthrough moment for Pakistan and now we must turn Pakistan’s new ambitions and popular determination into delivery on the ground.” Karzai pledges to ‘hunt’ for Malala’s attackers Afghan President Hamid Karzai on Saturday promised to hunt for the Taliban attackers who shot Pakistani teenage activist Malala Yousafzai for speaking up for girls’ rights to education. The Pakistani Taliban has admitted shooting Malala in the head on a school bus a month ago to punish her for the “crime” of campaigning for girls’ rights to go to school in the militants’ former Pakistani stronghold of Swat. “Afghanistan will hunt for Malala’s attackers,” Karzai said in an interview with India’s CNN-IBN television network, aired as he began a four-day visit to the South Asian nation and as the world marked “Malala Day”.
The two schoolgirls wounded in a Taliban murder attempt on teenage Pakistani activist Malala Yousafzai said Saturday they were still haunted by the memory of the bloody attack. Kainaat Riaz and Shazia Ramzan were injured when Islamist gunmen attacked their school bus in a bid to kill Malala for the “crime” of promoting girls’ education. Speaking to reporters on the UN-declared “Malala Day” of global action to support the young campaigner and call for better schooling for girls, 16year-old Kainaat Riaz said the October 9 attack still made her afraid. “I am still terrified. I still get tears in my eyes whenever I think of that incident. I saw Malala in the pool of blood in front of me with my eyes,” she told reporters at her home in Mingora, the town in northwestern Swat Valley where the attack took place. Malala’s courage and determination has made her an inspiration for millions and Kainaat Riaz said she was pleased that despite the Taliban’s bid to silence the 15-year-old, Malala’s message was being heard around the world. “She always said that we should do something for girls’ education and she did not care about her own life when she was doing this,” she said. Shazia Ramzan, 13, said the friends had been chatting and joking as usual on the bus when the militants opened fire and she still feels “terrorized” when she remembers it. “I am proud that I am her close friend and the whole world is commemorating international day for her, but I would be much happier if she was here with us today,” she told reporters. She said the Taliban attack had made her even more determined to go to school. “The shooting tried to stop us from getting an education – it was our test and we must pass it,” she said UN education special envoy Gordon Brown, in Pakistan to launch efforts to help the government boost education, phoned Riaz and Ramzan on Saturday. In Mingora, security concerns meant Malala’s schoolmates could not hold a public demonstration for her, but they marked the UN day with a special assembly and prayers. “My message on this day for Malala is that the whole nation is praying for her and she will be among us very soon,” Riaz said. Mr Brown was in Pakistan to meet
the two girls who were also injured in the attack on the 15-year-old education campaigner (pictured, left). Mr Brown, the UN special envoy for global education, has handed a petition to Pakistan’s president,
Mr Brown said: “The president of Pakistan has agreed to work with the United Nations to ensure urgent delivery of education for all and to get Pakistan’s five million out-of-school children into education for the first
Asif Ali Zardari, demanding free and compulsory education for all children. The petition has one million signatures from people in Pakistan.
time. “No bombs, bullets, threats or intimidation can deter the international community, working in
partnership with Pakistan, to ensure we build the schools, train teachers, provide learning materials, and ensure that there is no discrimination against girls.” Mr Brown has also set the president the target of providing all children with quality education, with teachers, books and classrooms, by 2015. He announced that three million children in poor families in Pakistan will receive cash transfers in return for going to school. 32 million girls The action comes on a global day labelled as “Malala and the 32 million girls day”, which marks a month since Malala was shot in the head by Taliban gunemen as she walked home from school. She is currently recovering at a hospital in Birmingham. The latest Unesco figures show that 61 million children worldwide are not in school - 32 million of whom are girls - and that Pakistan has the second largest number of girls out of school in the world. As a part of the day, youth representatives worldwide have been handing the “I am Malala” petition to political representatives from Pakistan. In the UK, Davd Crone, a 17-year-old from Tyne and Wear, has handed the petition in to the Pakistan High Commission in London.
Iran confirms its planes fired on U.S. drone
US drone in Iran’s airspace, act of provocation: Expert
Iran says the Predator drone was over Iranian territorial waters; the Pentagon says the spy plane was in international airspace. It was not damaged. Iran’s government confirmed Friday that two of its warplanes fired at a U.S. surveillance drone flying over the Persian Gulf, but contradicted Pentagon claims that the unarmed aircraft, which was not damaged, was in international airspace when attacked. Iran’s defense minister, Ahmad Vahidi, said an unidentified aircraft was detected Nov. 1 over Iranian territorial waters, and it was forced to flee “due to the timely, quick and decisive action of the Iranian armed forces,” according to the official Press TV news agency. Iranian commanders said they are ready for “any threat” to Iran’s borders, just days after Iranian military jets shot at an unmanned American drone conducting talks later this month. Senior US and Iranian officials are reported to have met secretly in Qatar in October. After President Obama’s reelection, Iranian officials sent mixed messages, castigating US sanctions policies toward Iran while also saying direct talks were “not taboo.” Washington sent its own message on Thursday by imposing further sanctions on individuals and entities in Iran. One target was Iran’s censorship apparatus and Minister of Communications Reza Taghipour, for ordering the jamming of foreign satellite broadcasts. The American measures aimed to “draw the world’s attention to the scope of the regime’s insidious actions, which oppress its own people and violate Iran’s own laws” and have sought to create “an ‘electronic curtain’ to cut Iranian citizens off from the rest of the world,” the US State Department said in a statement.
South Asia Tribune I Thursday 15 November 2012
clandestine surveillance off Iran’s southwest coast. The Pentagon announced Thursday that an unarmed MQ-1 Predator drone engaged in a routine but “classified surveillance mission” was shot at by two Iranian Su-25 jet fighters over international waters, 16 miles off the Iranian shore. Pentagon spokesman George Little said it was the fist time the Iranian military had fired on an American drone. The incident initially went undisclosed because the US military does not discuss classified surveillance
missions, he explained. The attack was officially confirmed only after it was reported in US media. Two Iranian Sukhoi Su-25 jets intercepted the unarmed drone as it was performing a routine – but classified – patrol over Persian Gulf waters. The aircraft shot “multiple rounds” at the Predator, and after it moved away from the Iranian border they shadowed it “for some period of time before letting it return to base,” Little said. The American military claimed the
Iranian pilots intended to shoot down the drone. “We have communicated to the Iranians that we will continue to conduct surveillance flights over international waters over the Arabian Gulf consistent with longstanding practice,” said Little, using a term for the Persian Gulf at odds with most maps and frequently contested by Iran. The Predator incident was made public as both sides jockeyed before an expected resumption of nuclear
Defense experts and analysts of the western countries believe that Iran’s nuclear sites are highly safe from conventional airstrikes and have forced Israel to change its war tactics towards the country, a British daily said.
Iran’s Fordow nuclear site is hidden deeper underground than previously estimated and therefore immune from conventional airstrikes, the Sunday Times reported quoting western defense experts as saying. The high level of safety and security in Iran’s nuclear establishments has made Israel disappointed at damaging Iranian nuclear sites through military operations. Israel and its close ally the United States accuse Iran of seeking a nuclear weapon, while they have never presented any corroborative document to substantiate their allegations. Both Washington and Tel Aviv possess advanced weapons of mass destruction, including nuclear warheads. Iran vehemently denies the charges, insisting that its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes only. Tehran stresses that the country has always pursued a civilian path to provide power to the growing number of Iranian population, whose fossil fuel would eventually run dry. Iran, an NPT-signatory, has also called for the removal of all weapons of mass destruction from across the globe. In pursuit of global nuclear disarmament, Tehran held a conference on nuclear disarmament on April 18-19, 2010 with officials from different world countries in
Sunday Times Stresses High Safety of Iran’s N. Facilities
attendance. During the two-day conference, world officials and politicians put their heads together to address issues and concerns in connection with nuclear disarmament. Despite Iran’s compliance with the NPT, Washington and its Western allies accuse the country of trying to develop nuclear weapons under the cover of a civilian nuclear program, while they have never presented any corroborative evidence to substantiate their allegations. Iran denies the charges and insists that its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes only. Political observers believe that the United States has remained at loggerheads with Iran mainly over the independent and home-grown nature of Tehran’s nuclear technology, which gives the Islamic
Republic the potential to turn into a world power and a role model for the other thirdworld countries. Washington has laid much pressure on Iran to make it give up the
most sensitive and advanced part of the technology, which is uranium enrichment, a process used for producing nuclear fuel for power plant.
South Asia Tribune I Thursday 15 November 2012
A U.S. president’s powers are greatest outside the United States. President Barack Obama was awarded, much in advance, the Nobel Peace Prize in 2009. His second term should become the vindication of that high award. There are several things he needs to do to fully deserve the Nobel apart from withdrawing from Iraq and Afghanistan. He should craft a very careful course on Iran, be wise on China and become strategic on Russia. Being careful on Iran means, above all, not jumping the gun. Iran’s nuclear program is probably aimed at gaining nuclear weapons capability, but an attack against Iran would make Iranian nuclear weapons a certainty. The only way to prevent an Iranian bomb is by reaching a hard bargain with Tehran and making sure it sticks. Accusations, sanctions and military exercises are not enough. Obama’s first outreach to the Iranian leaders in 2009 was scuffled amid the election-related unrest within Iran. In his second term, Obama needs to try harder. This would mean making sure that Israel does not strike Iran on its own, which would lead to a wider war in the region and, most likely, global calamity. Obama also needs to consolidate the international community behind a nonproliferation agenda, and this means offering Iran security guarantees, a path toward reintegration into the international
Obama’s Chance to Earn His Nobel Prize
support on territorial, security and other military-related issues. As a result, many Chinese are becoming more nationalist. This creates pressure on China’s leaders, who might use nationalist mobilization to shore up their power. China will never supplant the U.S. as a world leader. It does not present a viable alternative to the U.S. in economic, ideological or governance terms. Nor can Beijing challenge Washington militarily. There are serious issues between China and the U.S., and they are being handled by negotiations. Obama will need to continue working toward accommodation with China, even as several vested interests may call for getting tough on Beijing. He should resist populist pressures to take a tougher line on China’s economic and foreign policies — something Republican candidate Mitt Romney tried to exploit during the presidential campaign — and instead intensify contacts with the Chinese with a view to preventing conflicts between them and U.S. allies in the region. With regard to Russia, Obama needs to upgrade the relationship from its current tactical level to a more strategic one. There are a number of useful steps his administration could undertake to develop the relationship, such as granting Russia permanent normal trade relations with the United States and helping
community and, ultimately, a normalized relationship with the U.S. Opening up to Iran and establishing diplomatic relations with the country, like opening up the Soviet Union in the last century, would do more to strengthen security and stability in the region than all of the U.S. efforts to contain Iran. China has just begun its transition to the fifth generation of Communist
Party leaders. The new crop — the first not to have been personally designated by former Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping — will face serious issues both at home and internationally. Beijing is at the same time more assertive in defending and promoting its own interests. Worried about Washington’s “pivot” toward Asia, China is also nervous about its neighbors seeking stronger U.S.
Russia along the road to joining the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, which consists of the world’s top 34 economic powers. Russian needs to join this club. The most important strategic goals on the U.S.-Russian agenda include reaching an agreement with Moscow on missile defense installations — for example, developing a framework for joint operations — to change a key component of U.S.-¬Russian relations from being adversarial to becoming more collaborative. Second, Washington should factor Moscow into the U.S. pivot in the Asia-Pacific region to take account of Russia’s geopolitical and energy ties with China. Third, the two countries need to cooperate more closely on the Arctic, where Russia has the longest shoreline. U.S. foreign policy cannot afford to ignore Russian domestic politics, which has a strong U.S. component that is often exploited by both Kremlin spin doctors and their opponents. But if Russia is to change, it will be done by Russians themselves. While the global environment has a clear impact on that change, Western foreign policy initiatives that try to influence those changes are likely to backfire. Making sure that U.S. values are in harmony with U.S. national interests will be a major task for the Obama administration during his second term.
Poverty, the word is something few of us can identify with. We have seen it on TV, we hear about it in the news, we may have even seen it if we have travelled to third world countries. When I think of poverty I am reminded of the words of Christ when he said, ‘the poor you will always have with you....’. 2,000 years later these words ring ever true. Poverty can be likened to the effects of acute illness. Just as one’s health would deteriorate in the long run without proper medication, so would the poor only get poorer without any aid. There are all sorts of statistics about povery, and those statistics are important because at some point, someone pays attention to them and does something about them. And though it’s never enough to eliminate poverty altogether, it puts food into someone’s mouths. Poverty is always hungry, even hungrier than the people it lives with. And unless it’s fought off with an intensity that is
its equal, it will be around forever. Someone once said that every man is about nine meals away from committing a crime that’s not really statistics, but it is the one quote about poverty that’s always stuck with me. Poverty forces human beings to do things they would probably never do otherwise. I have to say many people don’t realize that being poor and in poverty goes so much deeper that with or without money. Why do rich
people strive their best to get richer and the poor ends envying them more and more? Our government just doesn’t care, that’s the biggest sin. As it’s heard there are no beggars on the streets of Latvia, Poland and Russia too, because they are all in the UK and here. Poverty is too largely stereotyped. Sure, there are a few who choose to live in the poor condition of poverty. There are those who don’t have time
to drive in life and don’t want to work. But most who are in poverty are not there by choice, and would have a better life if they had an inkling as to how to do so. Hard times introduce people to poverty. Times are tough for many these days, but there are ways for society to help. We need better programs, but we can help individuals too, for everything we give it frees their money for other purposes. Do all your giving humbly.
It gives one the inner satisfaction. The fight against poverty is also a psychological battle. The people must eradicate the thinking that any poor person is useless and dim-witted. The poor may have more strength, endurance, gratefulness, and hope, than the one doing the judging could ever think of having. Poverty gives real character. Poverty is living out the true meaning of “the best things in life are free”.
The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) reported that more than one billion people, worldwide, do not have enough food for their daily supply. This represent 1 out of 6 of the world population. The report also referred to poverty in the Arab world where forty million people are experiencing shortage of food on a daily basis, i.e. 13% of the Arab world total population. Furthermore, 100 million people in the Arab countries are living below the poverty line. This is equal to one third of the total population of the Arab world. The number of Arab citizens who live below the poverty line is between 65 and 73 million, and ten million Arabs are suffering from malnutrition.
Kuwait firework show enters Guinnness World Records
When 70 million Arabs in poverty Kuwait marks golden jubilee of its constitution with spectacular $15-million fireworks display.
Saarc international I Thursday 15 November 2012
but their GDP is only 5 per cent of the world GDP. Muslim countries miserably lag behind in education and technology. They produce only 500 PhDs each year
Gulf Road where the one-hour fireworks and laser display was staged to mark the 50th anniversary of the constitution. The constitution was proclaimed on
1980s. In the 1990s the country was invaded by Iraq, which led to the first Gulf War. The country’s opposition marked
ratification of the Constitution that they accuse it of violating repeatedly. “The Constitution they are celebrating was deliberately violated and suspended multiple times by those whose interests it actually threatens,” former MP Salem Al-Namlan said in statements to Al-Rai. Former MP Abdurrahman Al-Anjari described the ceremony which marked the golden jubilee of Kuwait’s Constitution as “a celebration of the constitution’s assassination,” while member of the scrapped 2012 parliament Nayef Al-Merdas indicated that the event was “hardly appropriate when the constitution was not being enforced.” Former MP Abdullatif Al-Omairi weighed in from a different angle, saying
According to statistics, the unemployment rate in Arab lands is at 20 percent and that the Arabs will need 51 million new jobs for young people by 2020. The Arab population is expected to increase to 645 million by 2050. The number of illiterates of people 15 or older has grown to reach nearly 5.99 million people, according to UNESCO, and the illiteracy rate in the the Arab world is at 9.27 percent. OIC members represent 22 per cent of the world population, have 2 per cent of the world`s GDP, 1.3 per cent of the world trade and only 1.5 per cent of the investments. Twenty five per cent of OIC population does not have access to medical facilities or safe drinking water. Half of the population lives below the poverty line classified as the most poor. No Muslim country is in the top list of the Human Development Index or in any other global economic indicators. This depressing picture of the Islamic countries is not limited to the economic and social spheres, in the realm of education and technology the facts are equally disappointing. The OIC member countries possess 70 per cent of the world`s energy resources and 40 per cent of available raw material
as compared to 3,000 in India and 5,000 in the United Kingdom. None of their educational or research institutions or centers of excellence find place in the top 100 in the world. But Some have no consideration for
November 11 1962 by the late emir Sheikh Abdullah al-Salem al-Sabah, making Kuwait the first Arab country in the Persian Gulf to get a constitution and have a parliament. The current ruler opened the display
the anniversary with a massive antigovernmental rally in the city center. The protest was stages after the Emir ordered an amendment to the electoral law, which the opposition claims is against the constitution and allows
that the KD4.16 million ($15 million) spent on the massive fireworks show was ‘a violation of the Constitution as it amounted to wastage of public funds.’ “The Constitution guarantees public funds, so should it be celebrated by
Muslims sufferings , and Kuwait has proved that by letting off $15 million worth of fireworks to mark the country’s 50th Anniversary. The display has now entered the record books. “I am happy to verify that with 77,282 fireworks, a new Guinness world record has been set tonight”, a Guinness World Records representative announced in Kuwait at the end of the show. Tens of thousands of Kuwaitis and expatriates filled the seaside Arabian
calling for national unity during a time of tough political crisis in the country. In his televised speech he reminded the people of the government’s determined commitment to democracy. Even though the constitution was introduced in 1962 the Gulf state has gone through troubling times. The parliament has been dissolved nine times, and the freezing of several articles of the constitution stopped the work of parliament for 11 years in the 1970s and
the manipulation of December’s parliamentary elections. Opposition hits hard at Constitution anniversary – Fireworks display ‘big violation’ The opposition ‘boycotted’ Saturday night’s celebration in which tens of thousands watched Kuwait’s $15 million spectacular record-breaking fireworks display. They also questioned the government’s golden jubilee celebration of the
wasting public funds on a ceremony or by respecting its articles?” he remarked sarcastically. In the meantime, reactions continued to pour in from the oppositionists who are boycotting the upcoming elections claiming the government was plotting to produce a rigged parliament with a progovernment majority through an emergency decree that reduced the number of candidates a voter can elect from four to one.
Saarc international I Thursday 15 November 2012
Happy New Islamic Year
Hijri year 1434 :1st Muharam Thursday, November 15 will mark the new Islamic Year Muslims around the world are celebrating the Islamic New Hijri Year 1434 on Islamic New Year: November 15, 2012 . Today itself, as we usher in the new year, many of us take the time to at least briefly reflect on the major lessons in the past year and anticipate new experiences in the fresh year of 1434 Hijrah. This is also the day that we should be reminded of the Prophet ‘s last pilgrimage and the message that he wants us to carry in our hearts. The Prophet offered the noon and afternoon prayers in Arafah along with 100,000 worshippers, and the victory of Islaam over blasphemy became decisive and final. Thereafter, the Prophet mounted his camel, and delivered the historical sermon. In it, he had said: “... All mankind is from Adam and Eve, an Arab has no superiority over a non-Arab nor a non-Arab has any superiority over an Arab, also a white has no superiority over black nor a black has any superiority over white except by piety and good action. Learn that every Muslim is a brother to every Muslim and that the Muslims constitute one brotherhood. Nothing shall be legitimate to a Muslim which belongs to a fellow Muslim unless it was given freely and willingly. Do not, therefore, do injustice to yourselves...”. Thank you for your understanding and happy new year! Muharram‐ul‐Haram 1st – Start of new Islamic year
2nd – Arrival of Imam Hussain(a.s.) in Karbala – (61 A.H.) 7th – Access to water was blocked from the camp of Imam Hussain(a.s.) – the 3rd Holy Imam ‐ (61 A.H.) 10th – Ashoora ‐ Martyrdom of Imam Hussain(a.s.) and his companions ‐ (61 A.H.) 11th – Prophet Mohammad(sawaw)’s family was shackled and taken away as prisoners 12th – Soyem of the martyrs of Karbala 16th – Change of direction of qibla from Bait‐al‐maqdas to Kaaba ‐ (2 A.H.) 17th – Attack of Abraha’s army on Khana‐e‐Kaaba (1 Aamul Feel) 25th – Martyrdom of Imam Ali Zain‐al‐Abideen(a.s.) – the 4th Holy Imam ‐ (95 A.H.)
Syria’s Assad warns of Apocalyptic war
In a rare interview with Russia Today TV, President Bashar Assad vigorously clarified his stance on the current Syrian crisis created by the West and some regional states including Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Qatar and warned them of the apocalyptic consequences of any foreign intervention in Syria. “I do not think the West is going [to intervene], but if they do so, nobody can tell what is next. I think the price of this [foreign] invasion if it happened is going to be more than the whole world can afford,” Assad said in a Thursday interview with Russia Today TV network. Assad warned that the domino effect of any military attack on the country “will affect the world from the Atlantic to the Pacific and you know the implication on the rest of the world.” Assad is well aware of what the West and their Arab allies are up to and what kind of scenario they are planning to follow in his country. Syrian crisis has been dragging on for months now and a large number of people including civilians have been killed. The sabotaging efforts of the West and the financial funding of the insurgents by the regional states have not yet yielded any fruits whatsoever in helping these antagonistic forces to achieve their goals in Syria. There was an initial assumption that President Assad would soon realize that a propitious escape would be the wisest choice. However, the speculation never transcended a merely idle notion. Thanks to Iran, China and Russia, Syria stood firm and a Westprescribed recipe for the so-called peaceful transition of power never materialized in the country. Quite unexpectedly, the plans of Syrian opposition fell apart on the eve of Doha conference. The initiative so vehemently backed by the West to form a united Syrian opposition practically went to waste on Wednesday night as the key yet another danger which gravely threatens the country to an inconceivable degree: the influx of the Salafi-Jihadists into the country. Last February, al-Qaeda’s leader Ayman al-Zawahiri, who is reportedly in Jordan, urged his followers in Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey to rise up and support what he called ‘their brothers in Syria’. Also, Abu Muhammad al-Tahawi, a leading figure in Jordan’s Salafi-Jihadist movement, told the BBC that “jihad in Syria is obligatory for any able Muslim in order to help his brothers there.” The fact is that the al-Qaeda-affiliated Salafi-Jihadists have already swarmed into the country and are already fighting against Bashar Assad’s government; among the killed, some have been identified to belong to the Salafi cult. The grand plan is to turn Syria into a safe haven for the Salafis who are responsible for beheading Syrian troops and civilians. Ghastly videos have recently circulated on the internet, showing the Salafi-Jihadists beheading Syrian troops and civilians in cold blood. Parenthetically, beheading is a ritual act rather than a way of killing in war. The act of beheading contains a symbolic meaning: the victim is relegated to the degree of a beast and he should be treated likewise. Further to that, this act of brutality inspires an atmosphere of horror and commotion in the viewer and quenches the bestial thirst within the decapitator. From an anthropological point of view, many societies used to revere the head as the seat of wisdom and consciousness and believed it must be connected to the body in order for the soul to travel into the hereafter. Without it, the spirit would keep wandering restlessly. Based on this perception, the act of beheading is to be taken to imply that the victim would never regain peace as his/ her spirit would wander for all the time to
opposition movements from inside the country pulled out. Opposition groups were scheduled to meet in Doha, the capital of Qatar on Thursday in order to appoint a new and strong leadership. However, three dissident bodies suddenly decided not to attend the meeting. “There are too many people against this initiative for it to work now,” said a western diplomatic source in Doha. Needless to say, the failure of the plan dealt a humiliating blow to US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton who was the one to announce it so unexpectedly as well as to Britain which had strongly supported the initiative. It seems that the West and its regional allies are incapable of building a united front against the government of Bashar Assad. In addition to the efforts of the West and its allies to take control of Syria, there is
come. After all, a display of atrocities has manifested itself in grisly different forms on the part of the insurgents in Syria. On Saturday, humanitarian organizations condemned video images of rebels executing captured Syrian soldiers after insurgents overran army checkpoints near the town of Saraqeb on the strategic highway linking Damascus and the port city of Latakia to Aleppo. “This shocking footage depicts a potential war crime in progress, and demonstrates an utter disregard for international humanitarian law by the armed group in question,” Amnesty International said. Rupert Colville, spokesman for UN human rights chief Navi Pillay, said this could amount to a “war crime” and that the video footage, showing soldiers pushed to the ground and kicked before being shot, can be presented as evidence. In any event, a Syria without Assad would mean a country in the hands of the SalafiJihadists who will undoubtedly turn the country into a graveyard for the Alawites and the moderate Sunnis and a breeding ground for terrorism and extremism in the region. It goes without saying that the Middle East region is being systematically and consciously devoured by an act of extremism funded and promoted by Washington and some Arab regimes. Even without envisaging any foreign intervention and the domino effect it will have on the region and on the world as President Bashar Assad predicts, Syria is being eroded from within and without by different forces which have mobilized despite the rift in their ideologies but each with a unique agenda. The tug of war in Syria has long started and there is an immediate danger of engaging the entire region in this bloody broil. Ismail Salami
‘Jab Tak Hai Jaan’ or ‘Son Of Ali Zafar’s next rom-com Sardaar’: The box office battle begins titled Aman ki Asha
YRF used its dominant position in the industry to ask exhibitors to dedicate more screens to JTHJ instead of SOS. It would be interesting to see how the films fare at the box office. YRF has claimed to book less than 1,500 single screens out of the 10,500-plus single screens available on an all-India basis for JTHJ, and it will reportedly release the movie on 600 to 650 screens overseas. Produced by Aditya Chopra, JTHJ has reportedly been made at a budget of Rs 50 crore. The trailers of the movie have the Yash Chopra trademark of scenic foreign locations, candyfloss romance, heart-warming emotions, some thoughtprovoking lyrics and poetry and, last but not the least, glamorous wardrobe. There was already a strong buzz around the movie as it marked
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After a debacle like ‘Ra.One’, Shah Rukh Khan has high hopes with his Diwali release ‘Jab Tak Hai Jaan’. The biggest USP of the film is that it is Yash Chopra’s last directorial venture. Reluctant to shift the release date of his comedy film ‘Son Of Sardaar’, Ajay Devgn is all set to give a tough fight to Shah Rukh Khan.
Bachchan’ raked in the moolah at the box office, and on the other is the deadly combination of Chopra, Shah Rukh Khan, Katrina Kaif, Anushka Sharma, AR Rahman and Gulzar. The films are different in genre - if SOS is a comedy, JTHJ promises oodles of romance and emotions. Trade pundits have
Pakistani singer-actor Ali Zafar is all set to star in romantic-comedy Aman Ki Asha opposite actress Yami Gautam. The 32-year-old actor, who was last seen in romantic film London, Paris, New York, will also compose the music for director E Nivas’s film. “My next feature, a rom com is tentatively named Aman ki Asha opposite Yami Gautam written and produced by Neeraj Panday and directed by E Nivas,” said the actor. “I have also been asked to write and compose the music for the same. First song for which is being recorded in the studio,” he posted on Twitter. Zafar, who started his Bollywood journey with Tere Bin Laden, is also gearing up for Chashme Buddoor remake, which will hit theatres on Februray 22 next year.
ALI Zafar is one the most talented stars from Pakistan whose success stories are not limited to one sphere. May it be art, acting or music Ali’s work has never failed to win fame
Ali Zafar 3rd most Googled singer
released on February 22nd, 2013, Ali has given his fans much to look forward to during the coming year, the year of ‘four’ for him. After giving two hit pop albums Huqa Pani and
While SRK and Katrina Kaif will be seen together for the first time in ‘Jab Tak Hai Jaan’, Ajay Devgn will be seen romancing Sonakshi Sinha in ‘Son Of Sardaar’. It’s not a Friday but two mega films are coming out on November 13, 2012 because it is Diwali, a much-awaited date on the Bollywood calendar. To choose between these two films will be a tough task for the audiences too. On one hand, there is Ajay, whose last films ‘Singham’ and ‘Bol
predicted that the two films will join Bollywood’s growing club of Rs 100 crore grossers. The movies have been in the news for a while. Along with their extensive promotions across the country, they have grabbed headlines for a legal issue regarding the screen space allotted to them. Ajay Devgn Films (ADF) filed a legal complaint against Yash Raj Films (YRF) alleging malpractice in connection with the clash of both the releases. ADF claimed
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Yash Chopra’s comeback as a director after eight years. But his sudden death Oct 21, following dengue, has spread even a stronger buzz. It is, after all, his last film. But SOS doesn’t seem to be giving it an easy fight. Directed by Ashwni Dhir, the film is a remake of Telugu movie ‘Maryada Ramanna’, which in itself is a remake of the 1923 American silent movie ‘Our Hospitality’. The cast of the film boasts of names like Sanjay Dutt, Juhi Chawla and Sonakshi Sinha. In terms of cost, it is reportedly costlier with Rs 80 crore budget and will hit 350 screens in the overseas market. So, expect fireworks at the box office this festive season.
among his fans. So it should be no surprise that he has recently been declared as the 3rd Most Googled musician in India. In a power list printed by Variety magazine, which shows how Google Zeitgeist has declared who are the most coveted celebrities in the country, Ali has followed the lead of Jagjit Singh and Bhimsen Joshi, getting the third place with many a decorated musicians following him. Recently it was disclosed that the renowned Pakistani singer is now working on his 4th music album which will be released during the coming year. No wonder his fans have been searching the web for a sneak peak at the new melodies by their favorite singer. Interestingly enough, his 4th movie Chashme Baddoor is also set to be
Masty, Ali had experimented with Sufi music in the 3rd album titled JHOOM, which was released by YRF music and topped the charts in both Pakistan and India for several weeks. Jhoom also won the best album award at Pakistani fashion and entertainment industry’s oscars, LSA, this year. –PR Ali’s fans who had been waiting and asking the star about when he would release a new music album will be pleased to know that he is working on the 4th compilation of heart rendering melodies. On being asked what fans should expect from this compilation, Ali Zafar replied ‘Right now I am just in the process of unlearning and breaking away from the norm, I am rediscovering, experimenting.’
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A committee has been appointed to probe one of the deadliest prison riots in the history of Sri Lanka’s main Welikada Prison in Colombo after a shootout between the inmates and the police officers on Friday killed at least 27 inmates and left 43 people injured. Minister of Rehabilitation and Prison Reforms Chandrasiri Gajadeera has said that he has appointed a threemember committee to investigate the incident. Military spokesman Brigadier
Committee appointed to probe Sri Lanka prison riot
Pakistan released several Afghan Taliban captives
Salahuddin Rabbani, Head Afghan High Peace would lend the peace drive a major boost. Council called on General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, Meanwhile, an Afghan official told Reuters: “We Chief of Army Staff at General Headquarters aren’t too certain whether they can play an important Pakistan on Wednesday released several Afghan role in peace negotiations but it is a positive gesture Taliban captives, a gesture meant to nudge along on- from Pakistan in helping peace efforts,” He was again, off-again reconciliation talks aimed at ending unclear when the release would occur. the war in Afghanistan, Pakistani officials said. A senior Pakistani army official said it had not yet Islamabad held out the promise on the second day of been decided if the former Afghan Taliban second in High Peace Council Chairman Salahuddin Rabbani’s command, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, would be three-day visit to Islamabad, an influential Pakistani released.
27 inmates killed in Sri Lanka prison shootout
military commando unit to regain control in the main prison complex after the elite Special Task Force police came under fire from the prisoners. The authorities say the situation has been completely brought under control at present, and they are now trying to recover the weapons the inmates have taken during the clash. Police said they have recovered 72 weapons grabbed from the armory by prisoners to battle with STF personnel and are investigating to
newspaper reported. “It’s unclear if the detainees, who are said to be numbering close to 10, have been set free or will be released at the conclusion of Rabbani’s visit,” Dawn said, adding the insurgent leaders did not include Mullah Baradar, the Taliban’s second in command who was captured by in Karachi in 2010. An unnamed Pakistani official, privy to the talks between the two sides, told the newspaper that “significant progress has already been made”. He hoped the release, a longstanding Afghan demand,
The High Peace Council says a number of Afghan insurgent leaders, including then justice minister Nooruddin Turabi, Mullah Jahangirwal, former secretary to Mullah Omar, and Allahdat Tayeb, an ex-deputy minister, are being held in Pakistan. Reuters quoted Habibullah Fawzi, a senior member of the HPC delegation, as saying: “We have asked Pakistan to release them because they were the policy makers of the Taliban and close aides to Mullah Omar.” Continued on page 20 >>
Ruwan Wanigasooriya said an Army commando unit is assisting the authorities to bring the situation at the country’s largest and crowded prison under control. The government deployed the
recover 6 more weapons removed during the clash. Meanwhile, operations are underway to arrest prisoners who have escaped with weapons during the clash, Continued on page 20 >>
Continued on page 20 >>
Afghan massacre: Guards testify
One says he saw a U.S. soldier returning to camp after midnight on the night 16 Afghans were massacred in their homes. Another saw a soldier leaving again later.
along with alcohol and drug charges. The Article 32 hearing will determine whether there is sufficient evidence to hold him for a court-martial. The testimony of the Afghan soldiers, headlamp strapped around his forehead as he moved over a wall from the compound next door. “I didn’t recognize him. He was an American. I just saw the light on his didn’t say anything to me. When he came, he stood right here, and he just started shooting at me.” He forgot most of what happened after that, Naim said, except for one thing:
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An Afghan guard testified Friday night that he was “shocked” to see a U.S. soldier returning to the remote Army camp he was guarding around 1:30 a.m., the same night 16 Afghan civilians
fled from next door, Rafiullah, was shot in the thigh. Rafiullah’s sister Zardana suffered a serious gunshot wound to the head. All of the witnesses called Friday night
were shot to death in their homes. The guard, identified only as Nematullah, said he attempted to confront the soldier, who “seemed nervous,” and several times told him to stop. But the soldier merely said, “How are you?” in the local Afghan language, and then said something in English that Nematullah didn’t understand before proceeding into the camp. “I was shocked and also I was nervous. I can’t believe that the guy was coming this way,” Nematullah, testifying from Afghanistan on a video feed, said through an interpreter. He told the guard who relieved him at 2 a.m., Tosh Ali, to be “on the lookout” because of the unusual incident. Tosh Ali testified that he saw an American soldier leaving the base at 2:30 a.m. “He was laughing,” Tosh Ali said. Like the previous guard, Tosh Ali ordered him to stop, but only got the reply, “How are you?” in his own language. He said the soldier, dressed in a standard Army camouflage uniform, walked toward an alley and past a tree, and he could not see where he went from there. Bales, a father of two from Lake Tapps, Wash., faces charges on 16 counts of premeditated murder, which could make him eligible for the death penalty; and six counts of attempted murder,
taken Friday night because of the 12 1/2hour time difference with Afghanistan, is crucial in helping to establish a timeline for the incidents and also to determine whether any other soldiers were seen leaving the base. One U.S. soldier previously testified that an Afghan guard had told him he saw two Americans returning to the base; Nematullah said he saw only one. Farmer says U.S. gunman ‘just
head,” Naim testified early Saturday at a military hearing for Staff Sgt. Robert Bales, accused of murder in a five-hour shooting spree in two Afghan villages in March. The Article 32 hearing in a courtroom south of Seattle, under way since Monday, will determine whether Bales is held for a general court martial. Bales’ lawyers have said the sergeant was suffering from crippling stress from his many deployments but have
“He shot the children.” The testimony by live video link from Afghanistan marked the first opportunity for victims of the shootings, which left 16 people dead and six injured, to publicly tell their stories in a military courtroom as Bales, sitting in a courtroom on the other side of the world, watched intently. The elders dressed in traditional Afghan robes and turbans; Naim’s 15-year-old son, Quadratullah, wore an embroidered
started shooting me’ First, there were dogs barking in the middle of the night. Then, two or three gunshots from the housing compound next door. Haji Mohammed Naim, a farmer from the southern Afghanistan village of Alkozai, awoke with a start. Then came knocks on the door from terrified neighbors, fleeing what they said was a gunman wearing U.S. military gear. The gunman wasn’t far behind. All Naim could see was the blinding
not asserted an affirmative defense. “I was standing here, and he was standing there,” Naim said, indicating a space as close as the water bottle on the table in front of him. “And he just started shooting me.” “Did he say anything before he shot you?” a military prosecutor asked. “I don’t remember, but my son told me that he … heard me talking with him, [saying] ‘What are you doing? What are you doing?’” Naim said. “He
cap as he calmly related through an interpreter the events of the night that has come to be called the Kandahar massacre. “We were all in one room, and then he came to that room. … All the children were running,” Quadratullah said. I placed most of the kids [aside] and said, ‘We are children! We are children!’ And he shot one of the kids.” One of Naim’s other sons, Sadiquallah, was shot in the ear, and Naim’s daughter, Parmena, also was shot. A boy who had
and Saturday morning — in an unusual late-night hearing to accommodate the 12 1/2-hour time difference with Afghanistan — testified that there was only one gunman. “How many Americans did you see?” the military prosecutor asked. “I saw one,” said Quadratullah, holding a single finger up. “One,” said Sadiquallah. Earlier, Kandahar resident Khamal Adin told of being called early on the morning of the shootings to the home of his cousin, Haji Mohammed Wazir, where 11 people, including most of Wazir’s family, had been shot to death. He described a grisly scene of bodies, many of them naked, burned in a pile; of women and children who had been shot directly in the head; of Nabiyah, less than 2, who it appeared was not shot. “It seems like she was just brought alive from her bed and put on fire,” Adin testified. Two of the children, 4-year-old Fareeda, and 3-year-old Palwasha, had boot marks on their faces. “It appears she was kicked, because I saw some shoe mark on her face,” Adin said of Fareeda. The other child, he said, had such marks on both her head and the rest of her body. The hearing officer thanked him at the conclusion of his testimony, and Adin nodded gravely. “My request is to get justice,” he said.
Minister of Rehabilitation and Prison Reforms Chandrasiri Gajadeera has told media. Five prisoners were believed to have escaped during the clash and three escapees have been apprehended by the Borella Police, Commissioner General of Prisons, P.W. Kodippili said. The deadly shootout erupted after the inmates broke into the prison’s armory and grabbed weapons. Inmates then climbed to the roof top and started firing at the elite police commandos of the Special Task Force (STF) who had been deployed to quell a tense situation resulted from a raid by prison officials earlier.
27 inmates killed in Sri Lanka prison shootout Pakistan released several Afghan Taliban captives
Military spokesman Brigadier Wanigasooriya told media that soldiers recovered six bodies of inmates from the prison on Saturday morning. The Director of the Colombo National Hospital Dr. Anil Jasinghe confirmed yesterday that 16 bodies were brought to the hospital. The bodies are currently lying at the hospital morgue. Out of the 43 injured, four are receiving treatment at the intensive care units, Dr. Jasinghe said. Commanding Officer of the STF, Deputy Inspector General C.Ranawana is among the four in the ICU after undergoing surgery last night. “Pakistan has sent us a very strong message and Pakistan has agreed in principle to start releasing prisoners from today,” Abdul Hamid Mubarez, a member of Afghanistan’s High Peace Council, which is visiting Islamabad, told Reuters. He did not say how many prisoners would be released but predicted the action would help advance the peace process. Pakistan, with its historical ties to Afghan militant groups, is seen as critical to US efforts to pacify Afghanistan, perhaps President Barack Obama’s biggest foreign policy challenge as he starts a second term. It is not clear why Pakistan made the gesture at this time but it has come under mounting pressure to support U.S. efforts to stabilise Afghanistan as the endgame nears. A senior Pakistani army official said it had not yet been decided if the former Afghan Taliban second in command, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, would be released. Afghan
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officials have identified him as a figure who may still command enough respect to persuade the Taliban to pursue peace after more than a decade of fighting U.S.led NATO and Afghan forces. The Pakistani army official declined to give any information about who was going to be released saying details had yet to be worked out. The decision to release the prisoners was a major achievement for the Afghan High Peace Council, which has been struggling to ease mistrust between the Taliban and the Kabul government. President Asif Ali Zardari in his meeting with the Afghan peace delegation reiterated the government’s position that Pakistan would continue to extend every possible support to Afghanistan in its journey to peace and socioeconomic development.
Saarc international I Thursday 15 November 2012
WEEKLY REVIEW OF AFGHANISTAN NEWS
India and Afghanistan on Monday decided to intensify their cooperation, especially in the economic sector as they inked four pacts, including one on cooperation in development of coal and mineral resources and Indian aid for implementation of small development projects. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh held discussions with Afghan President Hamid Karzai, who is in India to seek investments in his war-torn country, on the entire gamut of bilateral ties as well as challenges confronting the region. “We also discussed changes in the security and political situation in and around Afghanistan. I expressed to President Karzai our belief that sustained international support and cooperation in all respects, including in combating terrorism emanating from the neighbourhood, will help Afghanistan meet these challenges,” Singh said at a joint media event. Reaffirming the “shared vision of a stable, strong, united, sovereign and prosperous Afghanistan”, he said India remains committed to supporting Afghanistan in its development efforts and noted the country’s development assistance to Afghanistan currently stands at approximately $2 billion. “We discussed the need to develop a strategic economic partnership, which will build on our economic synergies for mutual benefit. I also reiterated to President Karzai our belief that Afghanistan s regional economic integration will contribute to overall prosperity and stability in the region,” Singh said.
India, Afghanistan ink 4 pacts, to intensify cooperation in economic sector
porous mountainous frontier which militants can easily penetrate, has raised tensions and in early October a senior Afghan general visited Islamabad to discuss the issue.
Pakistan urges all Afghan insurgents to go for peace
Thanking India “for the generosity they have shown to us in the past many years”, Karzai said, “In particular India has been a very generous frontline partner and supporter to Afghanistan’s reconstruction and development. India has strived with us for the hard-earned income of its people and the difficult walk that we had
and MoUs in this regard.” The four pacts inked were Indian Grant Assistance for Implementation of Small Development Projects through local government bodies, community organisations, cooperation in the field of fertiliser sector, cooperation in youth affairs and cooperation in the field
had told India Inc not to be “shy” when it comes to investing in his mineral-rich country and pointed out to them of the gains reaped by the Chinese who invested early in the war-ravaged country. “Indian businesses need not be shy when thinking of Afghanistan,” he said in Mumbai.
Pakistan and Afghanistan to hold talks on Security
Afghan peace delegation arrives Monday for talks
for development and reconstruction.” He also made it clear that this time he was here to woo investors. “My visit here this time is focused in talking to and asking and requesting Indian business to come to Afghanistan. “Investment opportunities in Afghanistan today are better. A country that is more confident of its future and is willing to receive investments from its friends, specially from India. And I was happy to see today the signing of certain agreements
of development of coal and mineral resources. The two sides also decided to intensify the cooperation with a special focus on deepening their economic engagement in areas ranging from agriculture and small businesses to mining and infrastructure. The Prime Minister also noted that India has expanded its programmes for capacity-building, institution-building and human resource development. Karzai, who landed in Mumbai on Friday,
Pakistan lodges protest with Afghan envoy over cross border shelling
Islamabad and Kabul will hold three days of talks on achieving peace in Afghanistan this week. A 10-member delegation of Afghanistan’s High Peace Council, led by its chairman Salahuddin Rabbani, arrived Monday in the capital to demand tangible steps for talks with the Taliban with Pakistan’s help. 10-member delegation will meet President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf, and to hold talks with the foreign minister and Pakistan’s
military. Talking to reporters, Afghan embassy spokesman Zardasht Shams said no doubt the Afghans were interested in tangible and solid action for kicking off talks with the warring Taliban in the country. “They need timeframe or date for starting the process through negotiations now.” The Afghan delegation is arriving on a three-day visit to Pakistan on the invitation of Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar. Sources said Salahuddin recently held discussions with officials in Afghanistan, and this time he needs a definite date for starting talks with Taliban representatives to achieve the goal of ending a long era of conflict within his country. During his visit, Rabbani will call on the president and PM, hold formal talks with the foreign minister and meet the military leadership of the country. Meanwhile, in Afghanistan the foreign ministry said crucial negotiations on the status of US forces remaining in Afghanistan after the NATO withdrawal in 2014 will begin in Kabul this week. A key element of any agreement will be the question of immunity for US troops from prosecution in local courts.
Pakistan on Monday registered a protest with Afghanistan’s ambassador over what it called unprovoked cross border shelling, report . The Afghan ambassador was summoned to the Foreign Office on Monday and a démarche was handed to him after an incident of cross border shelling from Afghanistan was reported. Four civilians in a border village in Pakistan’s northwestern tribal belt were reported killed in the incident late Sunday. The foreign office condemned the shelling as “unhelpful and unproductive” and urged Kabul to take steps to prevent any repetition. Foreign Secretary Jalil Abbas Jilani said such incidents could affect the environment of peace and stability in Afghanistan. Earlier today, speaking to media representatives on the occasion of inauguration of a two day regional antinarcotics ministerial level conference in Islamabad, the foreign secretary had said that that Pakistan had serious reservations with cross border shelling and militant infiltration from Afghanistan. He said “Afghan council Chief Salahuddin Rabbani’s visit to Pakistan is of great significance for the success of reconciliation process in Afghanistan.” In recent months, shelling across the
* Islamabad worried resistance from political factions opposed to Taliban could undermine reconciliation efforts * Afghan council to present road map to Islamabad Pakistan hopes to persuade Afghan insurgent groups, including the Haqqani network, to pursue peace but worries resistance from political factions opposed to the Taliban could undermine reconciliation efforts, Islamabad’s ambassador said. Pakistan’s ambassador to Kabul, Mohammad Sadiq, said Pakistan hopes to persuade Afghan insurgent groups, including the Haqqani network, to pursue peace but worries resistance from political factions opposed to the Taliban could undermine reconciliation efforts Speaking in an interview, Mohammad Sadiq also suggested US efforts would be better directed at engaging insurgent groups, rather than attempting to defeat them by launching military strikes against their leaders. Sadiq was speaking just ahead of an expected visit to Pakistan by an Afghan peace council due to give Islamabad a road map of how it wants its influential neighbour to help end the war with the Afghan Taliban, now in its 11th year. “Afghans are much more united in wanting to join the reconciliation process than they were two years ago,” he said. “But still there are very important people who fought against the Taliban and are not still ready to talk and negotiate with the Taliban. And we are working with them.” Sadiq was referring to former members of the Northern Alliance, which toppled the Afghan Taliban in 2001 with US backing. Some now occupy government positions or are in the opposition. “The prime minister of Pakistan had appealed to all insurgent groups to engage in negotiations,” said Sadiq. Sadiq said Afghanistan should strive to make sure any government that runs the country should include all ethnic groups and parties to preclude any repeat of past turmoil. “A representative government will automatically help in reducing the insurgency, reducing the tension among ethnicities, it will go a long way in preventing a civil war.”
Saarc international I Thursday 15 November 2012
WEEKLY REVIEW OF BANGLADESH NEWS
21 got presidential mercy in 3yrs
Khaleda sits with 18-party leaders
The meeting will begin at about 8:30pm at the BNP chief’s Gulshan office. Party insiders said Khaleda, also the leader of the opposition in parliament, is likely to discuss various crucial issues, including the country’s latest political situation, caretaker government issue and anti-government campaign strategies, with her alliance partners, to press home their demand for restoration of the caretaker government. Issues like Khaleda’s tours abroad, Jamaat’s recent agitation and the alliance’s November 28 grand rally also come up for discussion at the meeting. Earlier on Tuesday night, Khaleda had a one-hour-and-forty-five minute meeting with the BNP
President Zillur Rahman in three years since 2009 granted mercy to 21 convicted persons who were awarded death sentences in different cases, Home Minister Mohiuddin Khan Alamgir told the parliament on Wednesday. The other successive presidents since 1972 to 2008 had granted mercy to four convicted persons who were also awarded death sentences, the home minister replied to lawmakers’ queries. The highest 18 convicted persons were given clemency in 2010, two in 2011, and one in 2009, Alamgir said in a scripted answer.
A day after a meeting with her party’s policymakers, BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia will sit with the top leaders of the 18Party Alliance Wednesday night to discuss the country’s latest political situation and finalise the next course of action.
national standing committee members at her Gulshan office and decided to stage the opposition’s grand rally, which was earlier scheduled to be held in the city on November 22 and 28. Khaleda Zia will address the rally and announce the next course of action programmes. The BNP policymakers also chalked out an elaborate programme to observe the Martyred Intellectuals’ Day and the Victory Day. The Awami League-led grand alliance government scrapped the provision of holding general election under a non-party, neutral caretaker government through the 15th Amendment to the Constitution in June last year. BNP has been on a movement since then.
Judge, cops told to Jamaat hartal in Khulna Wednesday explain anti-terror law
was shown arrested in a case filed in connection with a clash between supporters of Jamaat and its student front Islami Chhatra Sibir and the police and vandalism on Nov 5 in Motijheel. A Dhaka court on Tuesday granted the police five days to grill the Jamaat leader in their custody. Over 100 people, including police personnel, were injured when the activists of Jamaat and Shibir had fought a pitched battle with the police in the city’s Motijheel area on Oct 5 afternoon. The unruly Jamaat supporters also torched eight vehicles and motorcycles during the clash. They were demanding release of the detained top Jamaat leaders facing trial for allegedly committing crimes against humanity during the Liberation War in 1971. Apparently in their desperation for the release of their top leaders, the Jamaat and Shibir activists also ran riot last week and this week clashing with law enforcers in the capital and elsewhere across the country. Police have arrested over 100 leaders and activists of Jamaat and its student wing Islami Chhatra Shibir from different parts of the country in the last few days on charges of attacking police and on suspicion of carrying out subversive activities. The High Court on Monday ordered a Metropolitan Sessions Judge and two policemen to appear before it on Nov 26 to explain the Anti-Terrorism Act. The bench of justices Enayetur Rahim and Md Akram Hossain Chowdhury passed the order after hearing a bail prayer filed by four accused in two cases filed under the Act. The order came as the lawyers for the accused said the judge took the cases into his cognizance without following the Act properly. They also alleged that two police officers also investigated the cases ignoring the law. The judge in question is Md Johurul Hoque, while the police officers are Mohammadpur Police Station’s Sub-Inspector Kamruzzaman Biswas and Sher-e Banglanagar Police Station’s SubInspector Md Nazrul Islam. “Law was not followed in investigating the cases and taking those into cognizance (of the court),” argued lawyers for the accused as the High Court bench heard bail petition of their clients filed on Oct 18. The Section 40(1) of the Anti-Terrorism Act makes permission from District Magistrate mandatory for investigators before launching a probe under the law. The Section 40 (2) says no court could take
Jamaat-e-Islami on Tuesday called a dawnto-dusk general strike for Wednesday in Khulna district in protest against the arrest of district Jamaat chief Miah Golam Parwar and other Jamaat leaders and activists across the country. The district and metropolitan units of the Islamist party at an emergency meeting in the afternoon decided to enforce the hartal. Khulna city Jamaat chief Abul Kalam Azad told bdnews24.com that the ongoing Junior School Certificate (JSC) and Junior Dakhil Certificate (JDC) examinations had been left out of the shutdown’s purview. After the meeting, the party took out processions in different wards of the city. The Detective Branch of police on Monday night arrested the Jamaat Assistant Secretary General Parwar in the capital’s Gulshan. The former MP from Khulna-5 constituency
into cognizance any offence under the law for trial unless there was a prior approval from the government. According to Kumar Debun Dey, one of the lawyers of the accused, Nur Md Khoka and Shafayat Jamil Shohag, suspected of being members of Hizb ut-Tahrir, were accused in a case on Jun 25 at the Mohammadpur Police Station. Md Ariful Islam and Md Arif Karim were accused in another case at the Sher-e Banglanagar Police Station on Jun 11 under the Anti-Terrorism act. “But the law was not followed in probing the cases,” he asserted. Judge Md Jahurul Hoque also did not follow the law in taking charges brought against them under the law into cognizance on Oct 4 and Sep 20. Attorney General Mahbubey Alam was present at the High Court during the hearing.
Saarc international I Thursday 15 November 2012
WEEKLY REVIEW OF BHUTAN NEWS
Two Bhutanese win competition Opposition Leader on energy efficient designs returns from Laya
A Civil Engineer from Bhutan Power Corporation, Kinley Yangdon, won in the energy efficient design of a single-family home category. The Chief Associate Architect at Gandara Designs, Tshering Wangchuk, won the community centre category. The competition was held in July this year. The Managing Director of the Austrian Development Agency, Brigitte Oeppinger-Walchshofer, awarded the
Tshering Wangchuk The Opposition Leader, Tshering Tobgay, returned to the capital today after a sixday trip to Laya. The Opposition Leader said he visited Laya as a chief guest on the invitation of a private sponsor who sponsored the celebration of fourth Druk Gyalpo’s 57 birth anniversary. He accompanied MP Damchoe Dorji of Goen Khatoe-Laya constituency, who informed his constituents about the resolutions of parliament and on development issues. The Opposition Leader also visited the neighbouring villages.
certificates to the winners. They will also participate in the summer academy on Green Building Solutions that begins in July next year in Vienna, Austria. The competition was initiated by the Austrian Development Cooperation in collaboration with the Department of Renewable Energy of the Ministry of Economic Affairs.
Air travel to Bhutan from city still a distant dream
Those planning to travel to Bhutan from Mumbai will have to wait a bit longer before their planmaterialises. Bhutan’s national carrier Druk Air, which is the only airline that operates in India, has postponed the operation of its flights till March, 2013. Although it is possible to fly to Bhutan via Kolkata, Delhi, Bagdogra and other airports in east India, there have been no flights from Mumbai despite a high demand for them. Travellign via other cities is not only time consuming but also expensive.
Pm visits Bongo
Their plan had been delayed at least twice earlier and sources say the reason behind these delays is that the Mumbai airport is uncomfortable with the erratic schedule of the airline. They also said that Druk Air has not been able to come up with a fixed schedule based on which, an allotment is made by the operator and Directorate General of Civil Aviation. “If they come up with a schedule, the airport has no issues with offering them an allotment,” said aMumbai airport spokesperson.
Sources from Druk Air said that they had sought for permission to start their flight in September, but the plan was later postponed to October. “Now, we are hopeful of starting by March next year,” the official said. Indians do not need a passport to travel to Bhutan, but need the required permits from local authorities. According to the records available with the Bhutan government, as many as 64,000 tourists visited the country in 2011, a good portion of which were from western India.
Lyonchhen Jigmi Y Thinley visited Ketokha village in Bongo Gewog in Chukha yesterday. He was accompanied by the Cabinet Secretary, Secretaries of Ministry of Works and Human Settlement, and Gross National Happiness Commission, Members of Parliament of Chukha Dzongkhag, officials from the Cabinet Secretariat and various government officials. In Ketokha Lyonchhen met people of around 90 households from Damji, Junglay, and Ketokha villages. Lyonchhen said that access to villages by l road is important for basic necessities to reach every home in Bongo Gewog. “I have come here to see that the construction of these roads go well, because the basis for equality depends entirely on these roads,” Lyonchhen. Speaking to the public in Ketokha,
Chukha Dzongrab submitted 80 out of the 84 feeder and farm roads constructions have been completed in the 10th Five Year Plan and the progress of remaining four is very well. Bongo Gewog has achieved 100 percent mobile connectivity. However, in certain areas where B-Mobile lacks services, T-cell is available. The Dzongkhang Education Officer reported 98 percent of school going children are enrolled in various primary and community schools around Bongo Gewog.
On his way to Ketokha village, Lyonchhen also met and briefly interacted with the people of Pakshikha and Meritsemo. During these interactions, Lyonchhen reminded the people that family values should always be respected and preserved no matter what happens in the upcoming elections. Requesting the people to attend every campaign meetings called by which so ever party or candidate, Lyonchhen said that people should give every candidate the equal opportunity to be heard before one makes their personal choices.
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Saarc international I Thursday 15 November 2012
WEEKLY REVIEW OF INDIA NEWS
26/11 case: India hails Pakistan’s decision to expedite trial
Union Home Secretary RK Singh on Monday said that India welcomes Pakistan’s effort to expedite the trial of the perpetrators of the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks. “Pakistan is trying to expedite the 26/11 trial. It is a good thing. They have petitioned the court that the trail of 26/11 accused should be conducted on day-to-day basis. This is very good development,” he told media persons in Delhi. According to reports, the Pakistani government has petitioned the court in Rawalpindi to conduct hearing of 2008 Mumbai attacks accused such as Lashkar-e-Taiba commander Zaki ur Rehman Lakhvi, Hafiz Saeed and others on a day-to-day basis.
Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray, who is ailing for sometime, is on continuous oxygen and not eating anything. “Bal Thackeray is not on ventilator, but is on continuous oxygen,” his close source said today. He said the 86-year old Sena patriarch, who has been suffering from breathing problems, continues to be under medical supervision. “His health is not so good. He is not eating anything,” he said. A number of leaders including former President Pratibha Patil have visited Thackeray’s residence ‘Matoshree’ over the past few days to enquire about his health.
Bal Thackeray on Oxygen, Not Eating Anything
Thackeray has been unwell for some time. Last month, he could not attend his party’s annual
Dussehra rally here, but addressed it through a video recorded message.
Medical report says athlete Pinki Pramanik is male, police file rape case
Pinki was initially taken to a private nursing home in Barasat under police custody after being arrested and later to the Barasat General Hospital for gender tests but the reports were inconclusive as the athlete was subsequently referred the SSKM Hospital. But the gender of the athlete could not be determined at the state-run hospital as the facility for the chromosome pattern test was unavailable. A video clipping purportedly of Pinki showing the athlete in the nude was circulated as a PIL was moved in the Calcutta High Court on July 6. The court directed the West Bengal government to file an affidavit within two weeks on the progress of the investigation. The West Bengal Human Rights Commission had also stepped in, directing the home, health and police departments to inquire into the alleged “inhuman torture” on the athlete in police and jail custody. The Eastern Railway middle-distance runner had won a 4x400m relay gold in the 2006 Doha Asiad and a silver in the same event at the 2006 Melbourne Commonwealth Games. Pinki bagged three gold medals in the 2006 SAF Games in Colombo when the athlete won the 400m, 800m and 4x400m relay events.
The medical report of Pinki Pramanik suggests that the athlete is male. The police have submitted a chargesheet against Pinki Pramanik at Barasat Court alongside the medical report, charging the athlete with rape and cheating. Pinki’s medical tests were performed by a board of doctors at the SSKM hospital in Kolkata. Pinki was arrested and jailed after the athlete’s former live-in partner accused that she had been raped by the athlete. The athlete was freed from the jail on bail on July 11, 2012. Pinki was arrested on June 14 following allegations of rape. The former middledistance runner, who had won the 4x400m relay gold in the 2006 Doha Asian Games, has been accused of being a male and of allegedly raping her live-in partner. Her 30-year-old linein partner, an estranged woman, had alleged that Pinki was in fact a male following which the athlete was made to undergo gender determination tests.
After the medical report from CFSL, Hyderabad confirmed that she was a male, Pinki contended that”higher male hormones does not make one a male.” “More tests are required. I was forced to undergo four physical tests which did not give any confirmation. I wonder at the conclusion of the medical report after blood tests were done on me,” the athlete said. “I think that a conspiracy has been hatched against me. I have been subjected to mental torture by the police which wants me to commit suicide,” Pinki said. She alleged that police harassment intensified after she was charged with rape, cheating and intimidation. “Do the police have no other job but to harass me?” With police identifying Pinki Pramanik as a male in its charge sheet, the athlete has argued that higher male hormones does not make one a male and decided to approach chief minister Mamata Banerjee alleging a
Higher male hormones does not make me a male: Pinki Pramanik
police conspiracy to compel her to commit suicide. “I will write an application to the chief minister that I am being systematically harassed by the police, especially that of Baguihati police station,” 26-year-old Asian Games gold medallist told PTI over telephone. Contacted, the Baguihati police denied harassing Pinki.
Saarc international I Thursday 15 November 2012
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar today undertook a whirlwind tour of interior Sindh, visiting a temple and addressing a Hindu panchayat, where he said that India and Pakistan need to co-exist peacefully and work for good governance in the region. “I have brought a message of peace, love and brotherhood from India,” Mr Kumar said while addressing a Hindu panchayat in interior Sindh, adding that the frequency and number of exchange of delegations should be enhanced for furthering relationship between the two countries. Mr Kumar, on his maiden tour of Pakistan, visited the ancient Mohenjodaro site and stressed on more cooperation and coordination between Pakistan and India. Mr Kumar and his delegation visited the historical Sadho Belo temple near Sukkur, the Indus valley civilization ruins of Mohenjodaro near Larkana and Garhi Khuda Baksh which is the ancestral home of the Bhutto family in Larkana. Kumar was overwhelmed while
Nitish Kumar visits temple, addresses Hindu panchayat in Pakistan
visiting the Mohanjodaro site that dates back to 5000 years and said it had reinforced his belief that Pakistan and India share so many common values and culture that two countries are abiding and central to our history. We need to co-exist peacefully and work for good governance in the region,” Mr Kumar said. Pakistan shared many common values and if exchange of dialogue is constant, it might improve relationship between the two countries.
WEEKLY REVIEW OF PAKISTAN NEWS
of Diwali, Zardari decided to host a special dinner for the Indian delegation at the presidency, officials of the Indian High Commission told PTI.
they need to work closely together in the region. “The cultural links between the
Addressing a gathering of Hindu Panchayat during his visit to Sadhu Bela temple he said that India and
Parvez Musharraf tells Pak to move on from ‘messy’ ISI political cell case
Khan supported the formation of the Islami Jamhoori Ittehad (IJI) to stop a victory of the Benazir Bhutto’s PPP. The ruling said Ghulam Ishaq Khan, Beg and Durrani violated the Constitution, and ordered the government to take legal action against them. Musharraf said the Asghar Khan case was 15-years-old, and at that time, a ‘different political culture’ existed and there was ‘a totally different environment’ in which these decisions were taken. He said it was ‘very sad’ that the Asghar Khan verdict has led to a blame game. Musharraf, who now lives in selfexile, said that if the court decides to put Gen Beg and Durrani on trial, it should be so - but should not give the perception that the action is against the army as an institution. Weakening the army would mean weakening Pakistan, he said.
Former Pakistan president Pervez Musharraf, while commenting on the Asghar Khan 1990 poll rigging case, said that Pakistan should shift attention to other issues plaguing the country instead of “getting bogged down in the past”. “We should look at the present situation and plan for the future. The country is confronted with a host of
crises; nobody is talking about these, everybody has started digging up graves and looking for skeletons in the closest - for heaven’s sake, think of Pakistan,” The Express Tribune quoted Musharraf, as saying. The Supreme Court had ruled that the 1990 election was rigged and that a political cell maintained by the then president Ghulam Ishaq
He stressed the need to promote atmosphere of mutual understanding, brotherhood and peace among India and Pakistan which is need of hour aimed at progress, prosperity and development in the area. Mr Kumar also prayed at the historical Sadho Bela temple. The visiting Chief Minister noted that the Sadho Bela temple was a sacred place for Hindus of Pakistan and India and represented hope for everyone. “It is held in high esteem by Hindus in both countries that is why I cherish this visit today,” Mr Kumar said. Zardari to host Diwali dinner for Bihar CM Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari decided to host a special Diwali dinner for Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on learning that his meeting with the visiting Indian leader coincided with the Hindu festival of lights, officials said today. Kumar and his delegation were earlier scheduled to call on Zardari at the presidency this evening and the meeting was to be followed by a formal dinner hosted by the Foreign Ministry. On finding out that he would be meeting Kumar on the occasion
The President’s decision reflected the importance being attached to Kumar’s visit by the Pakistan People’s Party-led government at the centre. Zardari has taken a personal interest in pushing for better ties with India, especially in trade and commerce, said Fawad Chaudhry, a special assistant to Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf. In a special message on the occasion of Diwali, Zardari greeted Hindus and called for strengthening interfaith harmony and protecting the rights of minorities. The festival of lights is a time for celebration and reflection, he said. “We partake in Diwali celebrations for promoting interfaith harmony as a means to fight religious apartheid and those who seek to impose their ideological agenda on the people,” Zardari said. Hindus and all minorities of Pakistan are “equal citizens of the state and entitled to equal rights”, he said. “Let it be made clear yet again today that no one will be allowed to victimise and hound members of minority communities in the name of religion and faith,” he said. The Bihar Chief Minister began a week-long visit to Pakistan on Friday.
Saarc international I Thursday 15 November 2012
WEEKLY REVIEW OF MALDIVE NEWS
Pro-government Jumhoory Party (JP) has revealed that it has requested President Mohamed Waheed Hassan Manik to reinstate Dr Ahmed Shamheed as the Transport Minister. During a press conference JP said President Waheed has been asked to reinstate Shamheed before this Sunday. Transport Minister Dr Shamheed had been sacked hours after he revealed to the media that the lease of Maamigili Airport has been extended for 99 years to Jumhoory Party (JP) leader Gasim Ibrahim. Media secretary of the President’s Office Masood Imad said various issues involving the sacked Minister had surfaced, the latest of which being the Maamigili Airport issue. Haveeru had learned that Shamheed had announced the extension of the airport’s lease, before the ministerial cabinet had sanctioned it. JP’s
JP asks President to reinstate sacked Transport Minister
Parliament member Alhan Fahmy during the pres conference today said President Waheed had told Gasim that he was unaware of the
exact reasons behind Shamheed’s dismissal. When asked whether JP would nominate another candidate if President does not heed
JP’s request, Alhan said if the Minister had been sacked without determining the issue, there was no reason why Shamheed cannot be reinstated. Shamheed following his sudden dismissal had told Haveeru that he had been axed as he had criticized some of the decisions made by the government. “I continued to criticize President Mohamed Waheed Hassan Manik over the Nexbis [Malaysian company assigned to the controversial border control system] issue. Attorney General insists that the project cannot go on. Home Minister has to be responsible for the Immigration Department. Home Minister had ordered to stop the project. But the project went on. I have voiced my discontent over several such issues. We have all seen the result of that,” Jumhoory Party’s (JP) council member Shamheed detailed.
Maldives has apologised to India over its government spokesperson accusing the Indian envoy in Male Dnyaneshwar Mulay of receiving a “bribe” from GMR Infrastructure, an Indian company which is operating the island nation’s international airport. The apology, issued on Saturday evening, followed a strong protest lodged by India with Maldivian President Mohammed Waheed. The Maldivian President’s office also dissociated the government from the spokesperson’s comments, made at a rally against GMR on Friday night. Speaking at the protest organised by the ‘Civil Coalition’ against GMR, which operates Ibrahim Nasir International Airport, Maldivian government spokesperson Abbas Adil Riza alleged that Indian High Commissioner D M Mulay has been “bribed” by the company and that the envoy will have to leave the country the day GMR is ousted. Riza — who is a political appointee — also accused Mulay of interfering in the internal affairs of Maldives. “Mulay is acting in every way as a diplomatic head must not. He is continuing to speak out on local politics and internal affairs,” he
Maldives President apologises for his aide’s anti-India rant
charged. The Indian High Commission in Male immediately swung into action after the rally, informing South Block about the incident. New Delhi, in turn, took up the matter with the Maldivian President. Apologising for Riza’s remarks, Waheed’s office said: “The government of Maldives disassociates itself from the remarks made by the spokesperson of the President’s Office, Mr Abbas Adil Riza, and some other government officials.” It added that the rally was political and the views expressed by Riza were personal. However, Waheed’s office said, these were “regrettable” and “do not reflect the views of the government of Maldives”. Riza belongs to the small Jamhoorie Party headed by a businessman called Gasim Ibrahim, who incidentally had also bid for the Male airport project and lost to GMR Infrastructure. The rally was organised by the “23rd December alliance” on Friday night to protest against the leasing of Ibrahim Nasir International Airport to Indian infrastructure major GMR by the government of former President Mohamed Nasheed. The alliance was born out of opposition by some parties to Nasheed. “A diplomat’s job is to work for his country and people and not to protect the interests of one private company...He is a traitor and enemy of Maldives and Maldivian people. We don’t want these kind of diplomats on our soil,” Riza said at the rally. in Maldives has raised some issues particularly in respect of GMR, the High Commission said they can be addressed through negotiations and if talks fail this country could go ahead with arbitration. “The whole thing is in arbitration
In a statement, the Indian High Commission in Male said High Commissioner Mulay has condemned the remarks of the spokesperson to President Waheed, asserting it was “against diplomatic protocol”. Mulay also said that the government of Maldives has been told that settling issues of huge mutual interest cannot be done in public space or on stage. Noting that the new Government
stage. If arbitration fails they (GMR and the government of Maldives) could find mutually accepted recourse either by going to the court of law or may be finding other mechanism available. “We have told the government of Maldives that settling issues of huge mutual interest cannot be done on public space or on stage. This has to be done through discussion.” the
statement said. The statement said it was also notable in this regard that President of Maldives, on assumption of charge early this year, gave an assurance to India and subsequently during his visit to New Delhi he assured Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh that all the Indian investments, including the GMR, which happened to be the largest foreign investor in the country, will be protected and safeguarded. “Similarly, all the agreements signed by the previous governments would also be safeguarded. As such, we have expressed our concern in very strong words to the government of Maldives. And we have also conveyed that India would safeguard the country’s interest, including these related to our investment,” it added. The statement said the Indian government has on a regular basis engaged the Maldivian government on all issues of mutual interest. “Our relations have been very strong and a lot of goodwill has been invested in it. India is the largest investment partner, India is the largest technical and capacity-building partner. India’s trade, aid and development partnership is also the biggest one,” it added.
Saarc international I Thursday 15 November 2012
WEEKLY REVIEW OF NEPAL NEWS
Nepali Congress today turned down the Unified CPNMaoist’s latest proposal of holding fresh Constituent Assembly polls by forming a consensus government led by incumbent Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai.
NC turns down UCPN-M proposal for consensus
organised, peaceful and effective. NC Vice president Ramchandra Paudel said the party might call CWC meeting immediately after Tihar to delegate the work of central leaders to make the protest programmes effective. CWC members Gopal Man Shrestha, Bal Bahadur KC and Prakash Sharan Mahat including
Oppn gives cold shoulder to Dahal
KATHMANDU: Major opposition parties including the Nepali Congress and CPN-UML today rejected to take part in the meeting called by the Unified CPN-M Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal this evening as an attempt to forge consensus for budget. “Making
“The Maoist Chairman had recently proposed the Congress to form a consensus government under Bhattarai’s leadership and had offered to NC to take the responsibility of important ministries. We, however, rejected it saying that the NC’s priority is not the government, but holding fresh polls in free and fair manner. We also told them that only the NC is the credible force to hold the fresh polls,” said sources quoting party President Sushil Koirala. Koirala was briefing party leaders during the informal meeting of the party’s Central Working Committee at his residence in Maharajgunj this morning. Maoist Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal had also proposed to form a fourmember committee comprised of the chiefs of the four major political
forces to oversee the government’s activities and make corrections if necessary, an NC CWC member said as Koirala telling in today’s meeting. Concluding that the UCPN-M was not ready to quit power easily, today’s meeting decided to make the protest programmes, announced by the opposition parties yesterday, a success. The meeting also decided for making maximum efforts not to let the government to bring budget until there is a package deal among the parties. “We discussed about how to make the protest effective and reiterated
the party’s firm stance of not letting the government bring budget until there is consensus,” said NC spokesperson Dilendra Prasad Badu. Stating that the consensus among the parties to hold fresh CA polls by May is the matter of prime concern, the Congress, according to Badu, concluded that the budget issue could be dealt in the package while deciding about the consensus government and the fresh CA polls. Koirala also instructed the party leaders to leave no stone unturned to make the month-long antigovernment protest programmes
others had drawn Koirala’s attention for the party’s failure to take up the issue of ruling party’s leaders’ recent unparliamentary speeches publicly against the President.#
attempts to reach consensus only on budget by leaving other key national issues is meaningless. We are ready to talk on all issues in a package,” said NS spokesperson Badu.
New Year 1133 of Nepal Sambat
Various programmes are being organised in the Kathmandu Valley to mark the New Year 1133 of indigenous Nepal Sambat on Wednesday. On the occasion, rallies were taken out from different parts of the Capital, prior to an official function organised at Khullamanch. Prime Minister Dr Baburam Bhattarai inaugurated the funciton litting the traditional Panas lamp at Khullamanch. Earlier, the Prime Minister extended his best wishes to all Nepalis on the
occasion of Nepal Sambat 1133. He said Nepal Sambat is an indigenous calendar year of Nepal and has helped maintain religious tolerance and social goodwill in the country. Speaking on the occasion, the Prime Minister said the Nepal Sambat has been successful in maintaining social goodwill and religious tolerance in the country as an original calendar of Nepal and the Nepalis. The function was organised by the Nepal Sambat Nhuda National Function
Committee- 1133. Everyone should take inspiration from Shankhadhar Sakhwa who started the era to absolve the poor of their debts, and assured to give public holiday on the New Year day as well as implement the report prepared by the Sambat Study Task Force, the RSS reported. On the occasion, he also urged the political parties not to make the budget a political weapon which directly affects the economic development of the country. He further pointed out the need of package deal among the parties to institutionalise the achievements of the people’s movement and people’s war and said per capita income of Nepal would be made 3,000 US dollars within the next five years by maintaining political stability. Nepal Bhasa Manka Khala Chairman Padma Ratna Tuladhar said Nepal Sambat is the identity of Nepal and demanded implementation of the task force report.
Kathmandu sees rainfall prior lights
Kathmandu is all set to illuminate itself in this Deepawali, but the unexpected rainfall on Monday seems to influence the first day of Tihar, the festival of lights. Valley witnessed the sudden change in weather this afternoon resulting into unpredicted rainfall. People who have thronged markets during the festivals are cursing the unforeseen rainfall for ruining the Tihal festival, which officially kicked off from today. Meteorological Forecasting Division (MFD)’s weather forecast says, “partly
cloudy in the hilly region and mainly fair in the rest.” Tonight’s weather forecast for Kathmandu, according to MFD is “mainly fair.” Tomorrow’s weather forecast for Kathmandu is, “ mainly fair however partly cloudy towards late afternoon.” Today’s relative humidity at 5:45 A.M was 98 % while at 2:45 P.M, it was 55 %, says MFD. Expected minimum temperature tonight at Kathmandu is 6-8 ºC, while expected maximum temperature tomorrow at Kathmandu is 22-24 ºC.
Saarc international I Thursday 11 September 2012
Sri Lanka and Uganda today agreed to enhance the bilateral relations between the two countries in many sectors, especially in trade and signed five agreements to expand bilateral cooperation. Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa today welcomed the Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, who arrived in Sri Lanka on Monday for a two-day official visit on an invitation extended by the President. During bilateral discussions held at the Presidential Secretariat in Colombo this morning the two leaders discussed mutual trade and investment between the two countries. Pointing out the need to significantly enhance trade between the two countries, President Rajapaksa said Sri Lanka appreciates the support extended by Uganda in the international fora, particularly at the UN Human Rights Council and preCHOGM Foreign Minister’s meeting in Perth last year. The Ugandan President
Sri Lanka, Uganda to enhance bilateral cooperation in trade, investment
WEEKLY REVIEW OF SRILANKA NEWS
congratulating President Rajapaksa for bringing peace to Sri Lanka assured Uganda’s continued support for Sri Lanka at international fora. Commenting that Lanka has a vibrant private sector President Museveni invited Sri Lanka to invest in Uganda, which is rich in mineral and other natural resources. President Museveni has sought more Sri Lankan investment and expertise to set up more hydropower projects in addition to the three mini hydropower projects operated in his country by Sri Lankan investors.
He has also expressed willingness to share Sri Lanka’s knowledge and experience in the apparel sector, and was looking forward to seeing the development in this sector. President Rajapaksa has said that Sri Lanka can assist Uganda in developing human resources through establishing a Vocational Training and Technical training institute in Uganda. The two leaders have also discussed to establish air links between the two countries and the President has accepted a proposal made by the
Ugandan President to open a Sri Lankan mission in Kampala. President Museveni has said that he is looking forward to visit Sri Lanka at the next CHOGM in 2013. Following bilateral discussions, the two countries signed five agreements covering technical training, economic, commercial and technical cooperation, tourism cooperation, bilateral political consultation and culture. Senior Minister for International Monetary Co-operation and the Deputy Minister of Finance and
Planning Dr. Sarath Amunugama and the First Lady and Minister of Karamoja Affairs Janet Kataha Museveni signed the agreements to establish a vocational training center in Uganda. Minister of External Affairs Prof. G. L. Peiris and First Lady of Uganda signed three agreements on economic, commercial and technical cooperation, tourism cooperation and political consultation while Minister of Culture and Arts T. B. Ekanayake signed the agreement on cultural cooperation.
Representatives from all political parties have been nominated to the parliamentary select committee (PSC) appointed to probe the impeachment charges against Sri
Appointments to parliamentary select committee probing Sri Lanka Chief Justice complete
Australia warns Sri Lankan asylum seekers and people smugglers
Australia today issued a stern warning to the people smugglers, especially to the Sri Lankans for selling lies to asylum seekers about visa opportunities in Australia. Australia’s warning comes following the return of another 36 Sri Lankan men from Christmas Island late Saturday. Since 13 August, Australia has returned 255 Sri Lankans home, both voluntarily and involuntarily. Australia’s Regional Director of immigration Jose Alvarez speaking to the media during a news briefing in Colombo said his office had noticed a rise in illegal immigrants from Sri Lanka and was taking a hard line. “Australia was firm in its dedication to sending back as many illegal migrants as possible,” he said at the briefing. Mr. Alvarez said Australia will not take people who do not engage its international obligations. Australia has especially transmitted a videotaped message, featuring the Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, Chris Bowen, to the Sri Lankan media for broadcast in English, Sinhala and Tamil. “You will be sent back on the first
The Marxist party Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) parliamentarian Vijitha Herath has been appointed as the Democratic National Alliance (DNA) representative while the
Lanka’s Chief Justice Dr. Shirani Bandaranayake. The major Tamil party, Tamil National Alliance (TNA) was the last to appoint its representative to the PSC. The party Monday appointed its leader R. Sampanthan as its representative. The Speaker of the parliament assigned 11 members, seven for the ruling party and four for opposition, to the proposed committee. The opposition parties requested the Speaker to grant more slots to the opposition. However, the request was denied.
main opposition United National Party appointed two representatives, Lakshman Kiriella and Chief Opposition Whip John Amaratunga to the PSC. Ministers Nimal Siripala de Silva, Anura Priyadarshana Yapa, Susil Premajayantha, Rajitha Senaratne, Dilan Perera, Wimal Weerawansa and Deputy Minister Neomal Perera have been appointed as the government representatives. The PSC will inquire into the 14 charges contained in the impeachment motion presented against the Chief Justice.
available flight home so don’t waste your money and don’t risk your life. If you do not engage Australia’s international obligations, you will be returned very quickly,” the Australian official said. “There is no money and no assistance for people sent home involuntarily. Lies and false promises are being told about what awaits people in Australia,” Mr. Alvarez stressed. The Australian Government says it is committed to preventing people from taking dangerous boat journeys. Part of that commitment includes the
reinstatement of offshore processing. “People now arriving in Australian waters on boats can be transferred to either Nauru or Manus Island in Papua New Guinea where they could spend a significant amount of time,” Mr. Alvarez said. According to the official, the immigrants without a valid visa and no claim that engages Australia’s international obligations will be quickly returned to Sri Lanka and people returned involuntarily do not have access to reintegration assistance.
Saarc international I Thursday 15 November 2012
At least six people lost their lives and four were wounded in violent incidents in the city on Monday Two people, identified as Shakoor and Hanif, were shot dead in the area of ‘Memon Goth.’ A doctor was killed when unidentified assailants opened fire on his clinic at Lee market’s Gadani stop. Another incident of firing in Baldia town’s Yousuf Goth claimed the life of a man Zain-ul-Abideen. A woman, named Yasmin, got injured in the same incident. Bakht Zaman became victim of bullets in the area of Manghopir. He succumbed to his injuries and passed away. The body of a man, who was kidnapped earlier, was found from Orangi town’s Iqbal market. Meanwhile, Police arrested eight suspects from the areas of ‘Baloch para’ and ‘Patel para’. DIG Shahid Hayat said that Karachi East zone police have arrested at least 10 suspected miscreants. Moreover, some unknown people opened firing when participants of Sunni Tehreek long march held in Rawalpindi were near Water Pump Chorangi while the funeral of a father and a son, who were shot dead last day, were also being taken for burial at the same time. Sunday:10 killed in Karachi violence * Victims include five Shias, prayer leader, man injured in Saturday’s violence Unabated wave of sectarian violence claimed lives of 10 more people, including five Shias, in separate incidents in the metropolis on Sunday. Most parts of the city remained closed during armed clashes between rival sectarian groups. Even mosques no longer appear safe after two armed men gunned down a prayer leader as he was delivering a sermon. Saturday : 18 more die The upsurge in target killings in Karachi with the latest number jumping to 30 on Saturday, — 27 of them shot dead in 24 . In Gulshan-i-Iqbal block-II, unidentified gunmen opened fie at a local tea restaurant killing five and injuring two people. Four of the deceased were identified as Abdul Khailq, Imran, Shamsur Rehman and Abdullah. The incident spread panic among the local residents. Meanwhile a heavy contingent of police cordoned off the site immediately after the attack. At least 31 persons, including members of the minority Shia community, have been killed in various incidents of target killings in Pakistan’s commercial city of Karachi and Baluchistan’s capital Quetta. As many as 10 persons died Sunday, including two journalists, in Karachi while 21 others lost their lives yesterday, including three from the Shia Hazara community who were shot dead in Quetta, local media reported. A father and son were gunned down by unidentified men in Orangi Town area of Karachi, while the body of another person was found beneath the Banaras Bridge in the city, the police said. One more person was gunned down in
Karachi killings continue
Metroville area while another body with bullet marks was found from Sarrafa Bazaar at Mithadar in Karachi, Geo News reported. Earlier in a firing incident in Liaquatabad, two persons, including son of a slain Intelligence Bureau officer, were killed. Another person died in violence elsewhere in Karachi today. Sindh police chief Fayyaz Legahri said the sectarian strife has witnessed an increase 2011 and 248 so far in 2012. However, independent organisations, including the Human Rights commission of Pakistan, put the figure of those killed this year at a much higher level. In the first 10 days of November itself around 100 people have been killed in the city, they said. The killing fields of Karachi The fears that the approach of Muharram other day. In neither city can the efforts of the law enforcing agencies be seen to be having much effect. The troubles in Karachi are of course of longer standing, but Quetta has now joined the killing fields of Karachi as a slaughterhouse frequented by sectarian killers. The Saturday events ironically took place when the prime minister and key members of the federal cabinet were in the Sindh capital, an occasion where the expectation
in the city in recent times. Firing and other violent incidents in the city yesterday claimed 20 lives, including that of a police officer and some madrassa students. The killings come at a time when an International Defence Exhibition is being held at the Expo Centre in the city, where Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar is also present with a high- level delegation as
may trigger sectarian killings in Pakistan have come true with a vengeance in Karachi, and peripherally in Quetta so far. In Karachi on Saturday, 20 people were killed, including six students of a Deobandi madrassa. These killings came after the authorities had imposed a ban on pillion riding, which does not seem to have deterred all kinds of gunmen on motorcycles from going about their deadly
part of his week-long Pakistan tour. Most of the killings yesterday were carried out by motorcycle-borne gunmen, notwithstanding the Sindh provincial government’s ban on pillion riding. Interior Minister Rehman Malik said at the National Assembly, lower house of Parliament, yesterday that a total of 1,363 people had lost their lives in Karachi at the hands of target killers during the past five years. He said 104 people were killed in year 2008, 160 in 2009, 373 in 2010, 478 in
business. As though Saturday’s Karachi toll were not enough, Sunday saw a clash between two groups in Sohrab Goth, which soon reduced the area to a battlefield, with police and rangers attempting to restore calm at the time of writing these lines. While the killings in Karachi can be traced to a range of reasons and perpetrators, including tit-for-tat sectarian killings, targeted political assassinations and plain criminal gangs fighting each other, the Hazara community in Quetta continues to be targeted with impunity almost every
of enhanced security and control was viciously shredded by the fanatics. Terrorism, sectarian conflict, crime and violence have become a way of life in the country, particularly in the big cities. The writ of the state is thereby exposed in all its weakness and ineffectuality. Arguably, these are the fruits of past (and continuing) flirtation with jihadi extremism for foreign policy goals, a venture that has not only affected Pakistan by the blowback from terrorist groups that have fallen out with the state and are challenging it to come to power and impose their narrow brand of religion, but also given space and deadly effectiveness to sectarian groups aligned with the Wahabi/Salafi school of thought. Crime, and violent crime in particular, is owed to the precarious state of the economy, with unemployment and inflation soaring and weapons being easily and relatively cheaply available. If the pattern of sectarian murders in Karachi are any guide, the motorcycle riding killers have graduated from the spread of the Kalashnikov culture in our past because of our interference in Afghanistan to now the automatic pistol, or TT culture. This is the weapon of choice for these latter day assassins because it is easily concealable and deadly at close range. In contrast, the police and law enforcing agencies are fighting violent groups and crime with one hand tied behind their backs because the killers and criminals enjoy the political protection and patronage of the parties in power in the province. Even if an
accused is presented before the courts, the inadequacies of our prosecution regime, legal lacunae that fail to address the crisis emanating from terrorists and fanatics running loose, witnesses and judges’ intimidation, all combine to make the chances of conviction slim. The courts blame the police’s inefficient prosecution, the police blame the politicians, the latter blame each other, and so on, the bloody merry-go-round continues. Hopes that better sense would eventually prevail and the coalition partners in the Sindh government would come together in their own interests to tackle these problems and arrive at a modus vivendi to return the city of lights to its former glory have all been belied. If the Supreme Court (controversially, it must be admitted) has declared that the provincial government in Balochistan has lost its right to rule since it is unable to protect the lives of citizens, some may be tempted to draw a parallel with the situation in Karachi in particular and Sindh in general, which is now witnessing the conflict spilling over to the interior and cities within it such as Hyderabad. It is not enough for the government/s to keep reminding us that elections are around the corner. In and of themselves, the elections will not change the situation a jot. Only the authorities, armed with the requisite political will, can make a difference. Having said that, optimism withers. Nawaz wants all-out action in Karachi says govt has failed in Karachi, as killings continue PML-N President Nawaz Sharif expressing concern over the incidents of target killings in Karachi demanded the federal government utilise its full force and resources to crush those playing with the lives of innocent people in Karachi and restore a peaceful and safe environment in the city. Nawaz said the federal and provincial governments had failed in bringing the situation under control. He said the entire nation was shocked and perturbed over the increasing bloodshed, adding it is everyone’s responsibility to save the city of lights from lawlessness. He also appealed to all political parties, religious groups, clerics, intellectuals, media and civil society to play their role for restoring peace in Karachi. PML-N threatens long march PML-N spokesperson Senator Mushahidullah Khan threatened that the party’s supporters would march on Islamabad if the government does not announce a schedule for the next parliamentary elections and puts in place an interim set-up. “People demand elections now … the situation is serious and, the common man does not believe it will improve,” Khan told a press conference in Karachi on Sunday. He expressed his party’s concerns over the deteriorating security situation in Sindh, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan.
Happy Diwali! Sikh, Hindus And Jains Celebrate The Festival Of Lights
Saarc international I Thursday 15 November 2012
Diwali, also known as the “festival of lights”, is being celebrated across the world by Sikhs, Hindus and Jains. Lamps are lit to symbolise the triumph of good over evil and light over darkness, fireworks are let off, and families share sweets as part of the celebrations. Diwali was Tuesday celebrated with joy and gaiety across India as millions lit candles and ‘diyas’, exploded crackers and shared sweets and gifts with friends and neighbours. By late evening, hundreds of thousands of traditional earthen lamps and electric festoon lights brightened homes, shops and work places in what is undoubtedly India’s most celebrated festival. The picture was the same in city after city, town after town. The festival of lights marks the triumph of good over evil, and is widely believed to mark the return of Lord Ram to Ayodhya after vanquishing the demon king Ravana. The first report of Diwali celebrations came from Tamil Nadu where, in keeping with tradition, people exploded firecrackers just before dawn and, after a traditional oil bath, offered prayers and burst more crackers. Across the country, people prayed to Lord Ganesha and Goddess Lakshmi at home and in temples. Diwali prayers were also offered in innumerable offices and business establishments. “We visited the temple in the morning and then the market to buy lots of crackers,” said an excited Karan Gupta, a 14-year-old from Vasant Kunj in south Delhi. Almost everywhere, there was plenty of last minute shopping -- for gifts, plenty of sweets and dry fruits, and other goodies ranging from Hindu idols to precious jewellery. With traditional greeting cards losing out to e-cards and SMS greetings, mobile telephone companies made a huge kill. “I made a rangoli with coloured stones, flowers and candles depicting Ganesha,” said Bipin Sharma, a 34year-old in Lucknow. Many opted for exquisite rangolis
outside their houses, decking them up with floral garlands. Satish Reddy, a software engineer in Hyderabad, said: “We prepare special sweets like ‘payasam’. Our non-Hindu
Thousands of people in the Midlands will take to the streets tonight to celebrate Diwali. Leicester’s Golden Mile is hosting the biggest Diwali celebrations outside India.
on was a huge success and I hope the Diwali Day events prove to be equally as popular.” London, Neasden, Shri Swaminarayan Mandir Temple Illuminated for Hindu
friends visit to celebrate with us in the evenings.” Diwali festival every year sees mass migration of working people
There will be a fireworks display to celebrate the festival of light. A crowd of about 35,000 revellers is expected to attend the event, in the
Festival of Diwali,
Hindus across Pakistan celebrate Diwali
protect the rights of minorities. “I wish to extend on my behalf and on behalf of the people of Pakistan heartiest greetings to members of the Hindu community on the occasion of Diwali,” the president said in his message. The Associated Press of Pakistan quoted him as saying that the festival of lights marks the triumph of good over evil. “We partake in Diwali celebrations also for promoting interfaith harmony as a means to fight religious apartheid and those who seek to impose their ideological agenda on the people,” the president said. Zardari reiterated that Hindus, indeed all minorities, of Pakistan were equal citizens of the state and entitled to equal rights.
from major urban centres to their hometowns and villages. “I am celebrating with my parents in Gujarat,” said Arpana Singh, a journalist based in Mumbai. “In the
city’s Golden Mile area, from 18:45 GMT. The city council said the two-and-ahalf hour party was one of the biggest Diwali celebrations outside India.
process, I am giving rest to my mother from kitchen chores too.” In Delhi, which sees a high number of fire accidents every Diwali, police said they were on high alert. Also on Diwali, which falls on Amavasya (no moon day), people offer prayers to the departed.
Biggest Diwali celebration outside India Leicester Diwali Day celebrations
Highlights include food stalls and entertainment at the Cossington Street Recreation Ground and fireworks. Extra buses will run to and from Birstall’s park and ride site for the event, which is organised by Leicester City Council and the Leicester Hindu Festival Council. Belgrave Road and Belgrave Flyover will be closed to traffic from 18:00 to 21:30 GMT. Assistant city mayor, Piara Singh Clair, said: “The Diwali lights switch-
The Hindu community across Pakistan is celebrating their religious festival, Diwali yesterday (Tuesday) with enthusiasm, report . Members of the Hindu community lit up oil lamps outside temples, their homes and shops after which pooja ceremonies were held at the temples. Diwali celebrations were held at Daharki and Raherki Sahib in interior Sindh, where special worships will be held. The Hindus celebrate Diwali, also known as the “festival of lights” and perform traditional activities and is celebrated for five days. In Multan, many Hindus are also celebrating Diwali. The triumph of good over evil, colorful rangolis and firecrackers are the highlights of the Hindu festival. Zardari, Bilawal greet Hindus on Diwali Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari has greeted Hindus on the occasion of Diwali with a call to strengthen interfaith harmony and a pledge to
In Karachi, Pakistan Peoples Party chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari Monday extended greetings to the Hindu community on the occasion of Diwali. In a statement, he assured them that his party stood for their equal rights. He said all the minorities, including the Hindus, were equal citizens of Pakistan and were free to celebrate their religious and cultural festivals without any fear. Indian, Pakistani guards exchange Diwali sweets Border Security Force (BSF) officials Tuesday exchanged sweets with Pakistan Rangers at the IndiaPakistan land border check post to mark Diwali. BSF officials went up to the zero line and offered sweets to their counterparts in Pakistan Rangers. The border check post lies around 30 km from Amritsar. The Pakistani side also offered sweets to the BSF. Officials from both sides shook hands and greeted each other.
Saarc international I Thursday 15 November 2012
More than 500,000 residents from at least 40 states have petitioned the White House asking President Barack Obama to allow their states to “withdraw from the United States of America”. In other words, it means they asked the Obama administration for secession. The electronic petitions cited the Declaration of Independence, the growth of the federal government and the economy in their bids to secede, Utah, US-based Deseret News said. Petitions to strip citizenship of individuals signing onto petitions to secede and exile them have also been submitted, reported Huffington Post. The White House website was deluged with secession petitions after invited citizens to petition the administration to “take action on a range of important issues” facing the US.” If 25,000 people sign the petition within 30 days of posting, it will “require a response” from the Obama administration, according to published rules of the White House’s online “We the People” program. The White House staff “will review it, ensure it’s sent to the appropriate policy experts and issue an official response”. Deseret News reported Louisiana and Texas have passed the 25,000 signature threshold, with Louisiana gaining more than 29,000 signatures since the petition was posted on Nov 7, and Texas collecting more than 76,000 since Nov 9. Utah has two petitions seeking a withdrawal from the US which have attracted more than 5,000 signatures in total. The majority of the petitions quote a section
Why Hundreds of Thousands of Americans Want and move... of the time of this writing. Out signatures at the Union presidential election: pack up
your state out of the union. At least, that’s what it seems like a lot of Americans are considering today. Residents in 40 states have filed secession petitions on the White House web site, and some of them have an alarming number of signatures. But what’s really motivating all of you folks who want to opt-out of America? We have all the answers below in our helpful pie chart. Take a look, then weigh in on our poll. In the wake of the presidential elections, petitions have been circulated on the Whitehouse.gov website advocating for the peaceful secession of numerous states. Texas seems to have the most signers at the moment, with nearly 80,000
Residents In More Than 40 US states want to secede
of the Declaration of Independence, saying, “Governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed — that whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it, and institute new government.” What began as a pair of parallel stunts appears to have gathered steam. Other than Louisiana and Texas, states with secessionrelated petitions pending on the White House website now include Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oregon, South Carolina and Tennessee. Three states – Georgia, Missouri and South Carolina – are each represented by two competing petitions. Petitions from Alaska, Oregon, Ohio, Wisconsin and Texas give specific reasons on behalf of their states. The Alaska petition said the state should be allowed to hold a vote on secession because many Alaskans believe the US Constitution has been set aside and that, “other than
ourselves, there are no protections to the liberty and freedoms we are to have as our continued inheritance.” Oregon would like to leave the U.S. because the federal government has grown too large, is abusing the rights of state constitutions and is forcing unconstitutional laws over its citizens, the petition said. The new Wisconsin petition similarly said that the administration is infringing on the rights granted to citizens in the Constitution. One of the two Ohio petitions said that the state has a population and economy larger than that of Switzerland and can stand on its own “as a free and independent nation” while remaining on friendly terms with the U.S. The Texas petition also cited economic terms, saying that the state’s balanced budget and status as the fifteenth largest economy in the world makes it practically feasible for Texas to be independent, according to Deseret News.
Given that secession is making headlines again, I suppose it is worth going over the philosophy of secession in order to head off some misconceptions about it. Whenever a secessionist movement reaches the media headlines, it is virtually always associated with the U.S. Civil War. In the minds of most people, advocating for secession is akin to advocating for slavery. Nothing could be further from the truth. A case in point being the Declaration of Independence. The Declaration of Independence is a document of secession, whereby the U.S. states decided that they did not want to live under rule of the British Crown. Without secession, the U.S. federal state wouldn’t even be around today.
Why Americans REALLY Want To Secede From The United States (CHART)
There’s only one thing to do when American candidate doesn’t win the
‘This is a Catholic country’: Woman dies of septicaemia after being refused an abortion in Irish hospital
A PREGNANT woman died in hospital following a miscarriage after her family requested an abortion to try to save her life. Three separate investigations are under way into the death which happened in Galway University Hospital. The 31-year-old married woman, Savita Halappanavar, is understood to have died from blood poisoning. Mrs Halappanavar, who was 17 weeks’ pregnant, lived in Roscam in Galway city with her husband, 34-year-old Praveen, an engineer with Boston Scientific. The case immediately re-opened the debate over the right to an abortion where the life of the mother is in danger. Local Labour TD Derek Nolan said he was “very concerned” by reports the family was told an abortion would not be allowed because Ireland was a “Catholic country”. “We are going to have to have answers very quickly,” he said. “That the religious ethos of the State should interfere is seriously damaging,” he added. A protest has been planned for the front of the Dail parliament this evening after left-wing TDs Clare Daly and Joan Collins described the Mrs Halappanavar showed up at Galway University Hospital last month complaining of back pain. She was found to be miscarrying. But her husband said she asked hospital officials several times over three days for a medical termination but the hospital refused because there was a foetal heartbeat still present and sources say he was told “this is a Catholic country”. After lying in repose in Galway and being removed in Monaghan, her body was returned to her native country and her cremation will take place at her hometown of Belgaum, India. A spokesman for the hospital said: ”Firstly, the Galway Roscommon University Hospitals Group wishes to extend its sympathy to the husband, family and friends of Ms Halappanavar.“ ”It is standard practice to review unexpected deaths in line with the HSE’s national incident management policy,“ he added. The spokesman went on to say that the hospital was waiting to consult Mrs Halappanavar’s family on the terms of reference before beginning the review. It is expected the hospital’s investigation will be complete within three months.
woman’s death as an outrage. They criticised the Government for failing to adopt their X Case Bill earlier this year, which would have introduced new laws to allow an abortion in specific life-threatening circumstances. Mrs Halappanavar was admitted to the hospital suffering foetal distress three weeks ago. Her family pleaded for a termination to be carried out, saying the foetus was not viable. The operation was denied but she later underwent surgery to remove the remains of the foetus.
The woman subsequently developed septicaemia, where bacteria gets into the blood stream. The infection proved to be fatal. Mrs Halappanavar died suddenly at 1.10am on October 28 – a week after being admitted to hospital with back pain. Her distraught family is understood to be taking legal action against the hospital, claiming the foetus should have been removed earlier. The three investigations are being carried out by the coroner in Galway, the local hospital’s risk review group and the HSE’s National Incident Management Team.
South Asia Tribune I Thursday 15 November 2012
Ban on India cricketer Azharuddin overturned
playing in Bengal. My first century was at Eden. I have always been successful at the Eden. Recently I went to Bengal to campaign for Pranabda’s son. People there still love me so much. I was really touched. I don’t remember the name of the pitch-maker at Eden, but I had given my man of the match money to him. I did it because I felt like doing something for him.
Struggling Bangladesh face the prospect of following on after Shivnarine Chanderpaul hit a brilliant double century to help the West Indies post a huge total in the first Test on Wednesday. The hosts were 164-3 at stumps on the second day, still needing another 164 to avoid the follow-on, after West Indies declared on a mammoth 527-4 at tea, with Chanderpaul equalling his best Test score of 203 not out.
Patience pays for Chanderpaul
Chanderpaul and Denesh Ramdin, who remained unbeaten on 126, piled on the pressure for a clueless home team as they put on 296 in an unbroken fifth wicket stand -- a new record in Bangladesh-West Indies Tests. His 203 took more than seven-and-a-half hours, the fifth longest innings in terms of minutes. He used the example of the first two days of this Test to explain how he changes the pace of his innings according to the situation.
LINKUPS DON’T BOTHER ME
There are certain aspects of my life I have never spoken about, neither will I do it now. I have never reacted to the negative things that have been said about my personal life. Even
when I was linked to a sportsperson I chose not to be bothered by it. Ye sab chalta rehta hai. THE FAMOUS WRIST FLICK IS ALL BUT GONE There are plenty of promising kids in the game. Now that I have got the chance to pass on my legacy, I will do the best for the next generation.
A court in India has overturned a life ban imposed on former India cricket captain Mohammad Azharuddin by the country’s cricket authorities. Azharuddin, 49, had been banned from playing all forms of cricket in 2000 following allegations of match fixing. The high court in Andhra Pradesh ruled that the ban on the cricketer was “illegal and unsustainable”. Azharuddin, now an MP, was one of India’s most successful captains, and finished his career with 99 Tests. “I’m relieved,” he told a news conference after the ban was lifted. Continue reading the main story
future plans after the Andhra high court revoked the match-fixing ban on him. Excerpts:
I was destined to play 99 Tests and I don’t think I will add to this” Mohammad Azharuddin Former India cricket captain “I have no desire to play cricket again. I’ve not played cricket for a long time, so playing is no longer on the cards. “But I’m interested in doing something in cricket. I want to help young cricketers with my experience. “I was destined to play 99 Tests and I don’t think I will add to this.” There is a lot of cricket in me: Mohammad Azharuddin He made his first century at the Eden and shares a special bond with Bengal. Former Indian captain and Congress MP Mohammad Azharuddin talks to CT about his
It is difficult for me to express in words how relieved I am after the court verdict. For a cricketer, taking away his game is the end of the road. Par mujhe kisise gila shikwa nahi hai. Mujhe ladai jhagra nahi karna. I’m in a very positive frame of mind right now. Agey nayi zindagi hai, mujhe desh ke liye bahut kuch karna hai. BCCI had given me cricket... it made me what I am. I have no grudges against them. There is a lot of cricket in me. If they consider me for a coach or mentor’s role, I’ll be more than happy to take it up.
LAST 12 YEARS WERE A TEST
My parents and sons have stood by me for the last 12 years. Thousands of people were praying for me. Even when I took up politics, I came across people who loved me for the cricketer I was. It was a bitter fight, but I never gave up. Allah wanted me to see this day. But losing Ayaz was the biggest blow. Losing a young son is something I hope and pray no person has to go through. Apna jawan beta ko khona kya hota hai, yeh shayad hi kisiko malum hoga. But I have coped with it.
EDEN AND BENGAL ARE SPECIAL TO ME
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