This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
See page 25 >>
available from all newsagents
Deal or no deal, Iran may be bombed –Israeli minister
UK ‘sought legal advice on Iran attack’
US seen awarding Israel largest ever aid package
The enhanced security cooperation is in addition to regular military aid and money for Israel’s missile defense program.
UK government ministers have discussed the legal implications of varying levels of British involvement in military action against Iran, it has been reported. The possibility of British involvement was said to have been discussed at last week’s meeting of the National Security Council, according to BBC journalist Nick Robinson. Ministers were said to have been told that any Israeli military action against Iran was likely to lead to wider war in the Middle East and the closing of the Strait of Hormuz, a major oil supply route which the US and UK have pledged to keep open. The potential legality of a variety of levels of British involvement is said to be being investigated, with options ranging from “British diplomatic support for Israel through to the possible involvement of the Royal Navy in the region”, Robinson wrote. The government was reportedly drawing up contingency plans for a potential British role in any attack on Iran as far back as November last year. Continued on page 02 >>
Councillors in Bradford have taken their seats for the first time since the council’s Labour leader was ousted by Respect in the local elections. The elections saw Labour denied an overall majority when leader Ian Greenwood lost Little Horton to Alyas Karmani, one of five Respect candidates to be elected in Bradford on 4 May. Labour will continue to run Bradford Council with help from the Green party. Respect’s new councillors pledged to speak for everyone in their wards. The party won five of the 12 council seats its candidates fought in the local elections in Bradford. Its gains came just weeks after party co-founder George Galloway was elected MP for Bradford West with a majority of more than
Publisher Salah Bu Khamas (UAE) Sabha Khan (UK) UK Office 10 Courtenay Road, Wembley, Middlesex, HA9 7ND UK Phone: +44 20 8904 0619 Fax: +44 20 8181 7575 firstname.lastname@example.org India Office Satya Infomedia Pvt. Ltd. C/O Satya Group. 1st Floor, Avenue Appt., Near Sheth. R. J. J. High School, Tithal Road, Valsad - 396001 Gujarat, India United Arab Emirates Office S.K. Group of Companies P.O. Box 9021, Karama Dubai, United Arab Emirates Tel: +971 4 2659970, 3359929; Fax: +971 4 2659971, 3341609 www.sk-groupofcompanies.com Managing Editor & CEO Mohammad Shahid Khan Group Editorial Managers Gulzar Khan (India) Abdul Khalique (Pakistan) Editorial Board UK Frances Brunner FYI Tribune team Adrian Fellar Misbah Khan Reema Shah Rohma Khan Keziah-Ann Abakah Marketing & Sales Andrew Klugman (Manager) Art Department UK Ali Ansar (Art Director) Md. Reazul Islam
Respect:Bradford councillors meet for first time since leader ousted
South Asia Tribune I Thursday 24 May 2012
10,000. Labour saw the number of its councillors rise from 43 to 45, while the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats both lost three councillors each. Taking her seat on Bradford Council, Respect councillor Ruqayyah Collector said she hoped to be the “voice of the people” in her ward. Ms Collector said: “I feel really strongly about the state of the city
and that’s why I’ve come into this. “Bradford has a lot of talent, but we’re hiding it. We need to really showcase that talent and I hope I can help with that process.” Ms Collector said she hoped Respect would eventually have enough councillors to be able to sit on every Bradford Council committee. Ishtiaq Ahmed, Respect councillor for Manningham, said Bradford had suffered a “lack of leadership” for too long. “A real strong voice was lacking. Some of the mainstream parties had taken our votes for granted,” he said. Mr Ahmed said combating social problems such as low educational standards, crime and drugs in Bradford would be his priority. Mohammad Shabbir, Respect councillor for Heaton, said he wanted Bradford to be “as successful a city as it was in its heyday”. After his appointment as Bradford Council’s new Labour leader on 9
May, David Green admitted the party had “lessons to learn” from the election results. “We need to listen more to perhaps some of the groups we have not been in close contact with,” he said. Bolton teacher to stand for Manchester Central seat as Respect party candidate A geography teacher has become the second person to declare himself as a candidate in a byelection to choose Manchester’s next MP. Clive Searle, a teacher
at Turton High School, in Bolton, will stand for the Respect party in Manchester Central,taking on Labour’s Lucy Powell. It paves the way for a high-profile contest after the left-wing party won a landmark victory over Labour when George Galloway was elected as Respect MP in Bradford West at the end of March. He won more than 10,000 more votes than Labour and causing major embarrassment for the party leadership. A by-election for the Labour safe seat of Manchester Central is expected to take place in November after incumbent MP Tony Lloyd revealed he will step down from the Commons in order to stand for election as Greater Manchester’s first police and crime commissioner. Mr Searle, 45, a founder member of the Respect party, said Manchester had a chance to repeat what had happened in Bradford West. He said: “We’re saying if you vote for any of the three main parties, no one’s going to pay attention.
Continued from page 01 >>
UK ‘sought legal advice on Iran attack’
taken off the table,” referring to the use of force. He said the only way Israel could see Iran develop its civilian nuclear industry is if it shuts down all of its uranium enrichment sites and uses imported fuel. The talks are the second set this year following a meeting in Istanbul in mid-April, and the P5+1 are expected to ask Iran to forego its 20 per cent uranium enrichment activity and allow International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors into the country. Kate Hudson, chair of The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, said: “The consequences of a military attack on Iran would be disastrous not only for that country but for the region as a whole. The lessons of both Iraq and Afghanistan show that there cannot be a military solution to complex regional problems – death and destruction is not the answer. Genuine dialogue and diplomacy on the basis of equality and respect is the only way forward.” Shadow Foreign Secretary Douglas Alexander said the government should be “focussed on ensuring a successful outcome to the talks now underway” rather than “sabre rattling”.
The news comes as the first day of talks over Iran’s nuclear programme begin in Baghdad between the country’s nuclear negotiators and the P5+1 nations, the UK, Russia, China, the USA, France and Germany. ‘Iran, P5+1 to continue talks Thursday’The Iranian delegation is headed by Secretary of the Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) Saeed Jalili while the delegations of the six world powers are headed by EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton. Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi said on Wednesday that any efforts by Western powers to put pressure on Iran at talks in Baghdad over its nuclear programme would be futile. Meanwhile a military strike against Iranian facilities is not out of the question, even though Tehran has reached agreement on a probe with the UN’s nuclear watchdog, says Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak. ¬The official was referring to a deal announced on Tuesday by the International Atomic Energy Agency. Barak called it an Iranian ploy to fend off international pressure. The minister told Army Radio that “a nuclear Iran is intolerable and no options should be
“Now is the time both to be engaging directly with Iran and increasing the diplomatic pressure upon Iran to meet its obligations under the NPT (non-proliferation treaty).” The US Senate Foreign Relations Committee is currently discussing a bill to give Israel one of the most generous aid packages it has ever received: The United States-Israel Enhanced Security Cooperation Act of 2012. If the bill is passed, as it almost certainly will be, Israel will receive, among other things, refueling aircraft and “special” munitions; it will have access to pictures from US spy satellites; and the administration will open US air space for Israel Air Force exercises. The bill was introduced by Jewish Senator Barbara Boxer of California and aims to extend US governmentbacked loan guarantees to Israel through 2015. It also urges expanded technology sharing and joint military exercises. Washington will also extend the US loan guarantees to Israel until 2015, “Defense News” reports in its latest edition. The new bill is in addition to the $1 billion for the missile defense system Israel is developing with the US, the $3.1 billion in regular annual military aid (both amounts for the 2013 fiscal year), and $70 million for procurement of Iron Dome rocket
South Asia Tribune I Thursday 24 May 2012
IAEA, Iran reach agreement
Nuclear watchdog reach deal on inspections
research center, would be settled as part of the agreement. Iran and the IAEA welcomed their discussions Monday in Tehran. Discussions with Iranian nuclear negotiator, Saeed Jalili, were “very useful”, “intense” and took place in a “good atmosphere,” according to comments attributed to Mr. Amano by Iranian state television. “The progress in the discussions will have a positive effect on the negotiations between Iran and the 5 +1 group” in Baghdad, he added. Jalili, also secretary of Iran’s Supreme Council of National Yukiya Amano, Director-General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said Tuesday he expected the imminent signing of an agreement on the Iranian nuclear program. “We reached, Jalili [the Iranian official who negotiates with the superpowers] and I, an agreement based on a constructive approach” to remove uncertainty about the nature of Iran’s nuclear program, said Mr. Amano at Vienna airport on his return from a one-day visit to Tehran, adding that the agreement would be signed soon.
Mr. Amano, who held talks with senior Iranian officials in Tehran on Monday, said the issue of access
to the Parchin military complex that Westerners suspected of harboring nuclear weapons
Security, has reported “very good discussions”, promising an improvement in relations between Tehran and the IAEA. While Tehran says its activities are purely peaceful, the IAEA, which monitors the Iranian installations speaks for many years about a possible military dimension of the Iranian nuclear program. The United Nations agency has regularly criticized a lack of cooperation from Tehran to clarify the gray areas of this program. The Agency was slammed by Tehran as being manipulated by the West.
Nick Clegg warns that eurozone collapse will fuel ‘extremism’
A wave of “extremism and xenophobia” will sweep across Europe unless political leaders take urgent action to deal with the debt crisis, Nick Clegg has warned.
reluctant, understandably because Germany is the paymaster of the European Union, to entertain these ideas, I fear that they are unavoidable. “It is not sustainable to believe that the eurozone can thrive through fiscal discipline alone - it also has to, at some level, include an ability to either share debt or to deal with shocks in one part of the system or the other through fiscal transfers.” Mr Clegg denied that the coalition parties were “austerity fanatics”, but admitted: “Maybe our rhetoric has been too dogmatic in the early stages because we needed to
A collapse in the eurozone would create the “ideal recipe for an increase in extremism and xenophobia”, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has warned. As the Greek debt crisis continues, he told the German newspaper Der Spiegel the single currency could not survive through “fiscal discipline
parties were unable to form a coalition government following an inconclusive result earlier this month. There is widespread speculation that it will leave the eurozone, amid opposition to German-led demands that it cuts public spending, and default on its debts.
alone”. But he admitted the coalition had at times been too “dogmatic” in its own rhetoric on cutting spending. Labour warned it would be “incredibly dangerous” if Greece left the eurozone. The country is due to hold a second general election next month, after
Speaking to Der Spiegel, Mr Clegg called for greater integration by eurozone economies, saying: “You have to have something which creates a fiscal accompaniment to monetary union. “Whilst I have a huge amount of sympathy with German taxpayers and German politicians who are
persuade people it was necessary.” He added that, when the government was told the economic growth predictions had been lowered, it had done “something completely different” and decided “we’re going to take two more years to do this”. Mr Clegg said: “So we’ve actually enlarged the time, far from going too fast we’ve actually said ‘Okay we’re going to take this quietly and steadily’.”
TONY Blair could make a return to frontline politics, Ed Miliband revealed yesterday. The Labour leader said the ex-PM is an “employable statesman” and he would “of course” give him a job if he asked. He admitted that although the two men were “ideologically” different, they had enjoyed regular chats recently. . When Mr Miliband mentioned Mr Blair at last year’s party conference, some jeered. Tony Blair heckled during graduation address at Maine college Man charged with disorderly conduct after Blair’s speech interrupted by small group of demonstrators at Colby College Former British prime minister Tony Blair was heckled by protesters as he tried to issue a plea for world unity during a college commencement speech. Blair was interrupted by a small group of demonstrators as he attempted to deliver a speech in front of 400 graduates at Colby College in Maine. Police say the activists shouted “warmonger” and “war criminal” during the address. One person was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct. Waterville police said the trouble began after Blair took to the podium. Tony Blair could be set for a dramatic return to frontline British politics after it emerged today he recently advised President Obama on his re-election campaign. The former prime minister is preparing a new push to re-enter British politics alongside current Labour leader Ed Miliband, who recently suggested space could be found for Mr Blair on his team. Blair is an astonishingly divisive figure as well as a political giant. His return to the fray in a role of any prominence might eclipse altogether Miliband’s campaign to personify and promise
Blair ‘ready for comeback’
change. Mr Blair will appear on a joint platform with Labour leader Ed Miliband in July at an event to celebrate the Olympics. His wife Cherie is also due to attend, making it a rare public outing for the Blairs together. The former PM is still employed as a Middle East peace envoy, as well as running a faith foundation and earning millions of pounds in consultancy fees through a complicated web of companies. But for several months he has been privately meeting small groups of Labour MPs to discuss domestic politics. Mr Blair has targeted old allies and members of the 2010 intake, advising on how to target the Tories and the Liberal Democrats, who he believes made a historic error by joining the Coalition. Mr Miliband’s aides say the pair now talk “regularly” - code for chats every few weeks - about domestic politics and foreign affairs. Mr Blair’s aides think the time is right for him to speak out in the UK. They believe enough time has passed since he was driven from office in 2007 on a wave of disgust at the Iraq War.
INTEGRATE DON’T IMITATE
In Mathematics, integration is the operation of finding the integral of a function or equation, especially when solving a differential equation. Don’t worry, I do not intend on boring you with a lecture on how to solve mind-numbing mathematical integration problems. I do however, wish to address another more relevant integration problem that exists within the Muslim population living in the west. In order to address this problem, we must first define ‘integration’. Simple? Well, no actually. What does it mean to integrate within a society? What are the motives to integrate within the society we live? What is wrong with ‘sticking to ourselves’? Muslims that have either chosen to live in a non-Islamic country or have been born in one, need to understand the importance of integration and moreover how to integrate into their society. The reality is, there are some differences in different aspects of a Muslim’s life, compared to a non- Muslim’s life. Do these differences however give justification for not engaging with the society we live in? The simple answer is no. In fact, as Muslims we are obliged to integrate within our societiesas we are part of them. Our beloved Prophet (peace be upon him) did not segregate and seclude his ummah from the people of Madinah after Hijrah. On the contrary, he was the most active contributor in politics, economics, jurisprudence, civil matters and education. He did not have a ‘stick to ourselves’ attitude – how would the message of Islam have been portrayed if he had? As Muslims it is our duty to be involved in all aspects of society, just like the early Muslims were. We need to start contributing to the country we live in and abandon the attitude that integrating with a non-muslim society is unislamic. Integrating does not mean we begin imitating nonmuslims. To integrate within a society means to be an active contributor and member, whilst holding on to our own religious and moral ethics. The Prophet (peace be upon him) never once copied what the non-Muslims were doing. He never felt he had to be like them in order to be a part of them. When a community integrate with the society they have chosen to live with, they become part of that society’s identity. This is what we should be aiming to achieve and not losing our Islam in the process. Why should we integrate? Firstly, because this our home and society. We are all aware of the constant scrutiny Muslims are under by the media today. ‘Islamophobia’ has become a household term now, thanks to the great media and a minority of misguided individuals. If we do not engage and assimilate with our society how will we be able to counter the assassination of Islam by the media? If we are not active members of the community then how will people know what muslims are really like? How will people know that people with long dress type outfits and beards that put Tom Hanks in Castaway to shame, are actually very hospitable, highly moral people? How will people know that Muslim women who choose to wear the hijaab are not oppressed individuals, but rather liberated women? If we do not engage with our society, we leave ourselves at the mercy of right winged politicians, who are out to highlight and utilise the differences between Muslims and everybody else to isolate us from society. We leave ourselves at their mercy for them to paint whatever picture they like of Islam and Muslims. Integration counters this. It’s our tool to let the public know the truth about Muslims. If we ever needed to integrate, now is the time to do it. Above, I gave the mathematical definition of integration. The equation that Muslims in the west find themselves in, is a complex one. We are part of a society, that in some ways, culturally differs to what Islam teaches us. We find ourselves in a ‘differential equation’. Differences in religious beliefs there are, but as people we are very similar in many ways too. There are so many ways we can engage with our society without compromising our Islam; politically, in the education system, the legal system and charities, to name a few. Integration is the solution to a differential equation. And remember, to integrate you don’t have to imitate.
US guilty of arming terrorists
US and Syrian rebels in secret pact
proxy of US-Saudi-Israeli funding and support, is also directly arming and funding contingents of extremists committing acts of terror across Syria. Areas across Syria that have until now been portrayed as centers for “pro-democracy” protests, racked by violence depicted as “repression” by Syrian troops, are Since the beginning of the protests in Syria, the Damascus government said the unrest and insecurity generated in the Arab country are supported from the outside. Recently reported in “Brookings Announces Next Move in Syria: War,” it was stated that “by the US policy think-tank Brookings Institution’s own admission, the another attempt at violent foreignbacked regime change: “The effect of the new arms appeared evident in Monday’s clash between opposition and government forces over control of the rebel-held city of Rastan, near Homs. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said rebel forces who overran a government base had killed 23 Syrian soldiers.” -Washington Post, May 16, 2012 The Post also admitted that Washington, again, in the midst of a UN ceasefire, was attempting to trigger yet more violence, this time in areas controlled by Syria’s Kurds who have remained out of the predominately foreign-backed conflict. Paradoxically, the US and Gulf State military support being funneled into Syria to purposefully flare violence in the midst of a UN ceasefire, is continuing even after the Pentagon has admitted Al Qaeda is present and active in Syria, this after terrorist groups claimed responsibility for a series of bombings that have killed mostly civilians. And in the midst of this admitted attempt to increase violence and chaos, the Washington Post also declared that NATO-member Turkey would be pressured to invoke Article
South Asia Tribune I Thursday 24 May 2012
Kofi Annan six-point peace plan in Syria was merely a ploy to buy time to reorganize NATO’s ineffective terrorist proxies and provide them the pretext necessary for establishing NATO protected safe havens from which to carry out their terrorism from.” It was also examined in detail, how in 2007, US, Saudi, and Israeli officials admitted they were creating a militant front of extremists for the sole purpose of causing the destabilization of Syria we see today, and ultimately overthrowing the Syrian government. It was noted how these extremist militants had direct ties to Al Qaeda. Now it is fully admitted that weapons, cash, and logistical support is indeed being provided to terrorist forces in Syria by the United States, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and other Gulf States. This, despite a current UN ceasefire the West has continuously berated the Syrian government for violating, indicates that indeed reorganizing, rearming, and redeploying NATO’s terrorist proxies is complete, and another round of destructive violence has begun. In the Washington Post’s article, “Syrian rebels get influx of arms with gulf neighbors’ money, U.S. coordination,” not only is this admitted, but claims made by Syrian President Bashar alAssad have been confirmed that Syria’s historically violent Muslim Brotherhood, stated in 2007 by Seymour Hersh as being a direct
now admitted by the Washington Post to be areas where “material is being stockpiled.” This includes the flashpoint city of Idlib on the Turkish-Syrian border, in the suburbs of Damascus, and along Syria’s border with Lebanon. And again, in 2007, Seymour Hersh revealed that the US, Israel, and
Saudi Arabia had planned to array extremists along Syria’s border to commit the very violence now being admitted by the Post today. The Washington Post openly admits that these weapons, supplies, cash and support, provided by the US and Saudi Arabia are directly responsible for the increased violence in Syria, in the midst of a ceasefire the West has attempted to disingenuously use to defame the Syrian government, hamper its ability to restore order, and indeed, rearm, reorganize, and redeploy their terrorist proxies to begin
IV of the NATO Charter, allowing NATO to militarily intervene to “stop” violence they openly admit they are creating. Unlike previous conflicts - the US’ admission is not a hamhanded obfuscation of the their intentions, but an open declaration of intent to provoke a war of aggression - a Nuremberg offense for all involved. In fact, direct parallels between Adolf Hitler’s September 1938 campaign of destabilization in Czechoslovakia, and NATO’s current destabilization of Syria have been made by noted geopolitical analysts.
South Asia Tribune I Thursday 24 May 2012
Twin quakes rock Japan
January, the same area was struck by a 5.3-magnitude quake. In 2009, a 6.3-magnitude earthquake struck near the central Italian city of L’Aquila, killing more than 300 people and causing widespread destruction. Moderate 5.9 strikes coastal region of Chile: tension is rising along the Nazca tectonic plate A 5.9 magnitude earthquake struck off the coast of Antofagasta, Chile. The depth of the earthquake was 25 km (15.5 m) and was downgraded from a 6.2 magnitude quake by the USGS. The epicenter of the earthquake was 54 km (33 miles) SW of Taltal, Antofagasta, Chile and 849 km (527 miles) N of Santiago, Chile. This is the third moderate earthquake to strike along the Chilean coastline in five days. A 6.2 magnitude earthquake struck off the southern coastal region of Aisen, Chile on May 18. A 6.2 earthquake also struck near Tarapaca on May 14. Tension continues to mount on the very dangerous Nazca plate which is violently diving or undergoing subduction under the South American plate. The absolute motion of the Nazca Plate has been calibrated at 3.7 cm/yr east motion (88°), some of the fastest absolute motion of any tectonic plate. The subducting Nazca Plate, which exhibits unusual flat-slab subduction, is tearing as well as deforming as it is subducted under the land mass. No tsunami warnings were issued with today’s 5.9 earthquake and there have been no reports of damage or injuries. Today’s earthquake, however, is one more indication tension along the Nazca tectonic plate is building. This region should remain alert for the potential occurrence of a stressbreak or sizable release of seismic tension that could be manifested in a major earthquake.
Japan was hit by two shallow earthquakes in the space of just eight minutes on Sunday, one of them measuring a strong 6.0magnitude, but there were no reports of damage and no tsunami alert. The 6.2-magnitude quake struck at 4:20pm (0720 GMT) off Japan’s northeast Pacific coast, the national meteorological agency said, followed by a tremor with a reading of 5.7 at 4:28pm. The U.S. Geological Survey estimated the magnitude of the first quake at 6.0. The depth of both quakes was about 10 kilometers, the agency said. “Sea levels may change slightly due to the (first) earthquake but there is no fear of damage resulting from it,” the agency said in a statement. A 9.0magnitude undersea earthquake off the same coast triggered a monster tsunami on March 11 last year, leaving about 19,000 people dead or missing and crippling the Fukushima nuclear power plant. Strong 6.0 magnitude earthquake strikes northern Italy killing 7 A strong earthquake struck northern Italy early Sunday, leaving at least seven people dead, authorities said. Two people were killed in a ceramic factory in Sant’Agostino di Ferrara, and one person died when a work shed collapsed in Ponte Rodoni di Bondeno, said Elisabetta Maffani, spokeswoman for Italy’s civil protection agency. In addition, a woman in Bologna died of a heart attack during an evacuation; a Moroccan national died when the factory he was working in collapsed; and a sixth victim was found dead under rubble in Sant’Agostino, Maffani said. The seventh was located under a collapsed house, according to Alessio Bellodi of the civil protection branch in Bologna. At least 50 people were injured. Workers were searching
through rubble for survivors in Sant’Agostino. The 6.0-magnitude
northwest of Bologna, the U.S. Geological Survey said. In
region, the civil protection office said. The agency said it anticipates
quake occurred just after 4 a.m. (10 p.m. ET Saturday), 4 kilometers (2.4 miles) outside Camposanto,
Sant’Agostino, the quake knocked down a church bell. Authorities were still assessing damage in the
reports of more injuries as rescue workers make their way to remote villages in the mountainous area. In
UK troops may stay in Afghanistan beyond 2014 - official
Plans for a compete Western pullout from Afghanistan seem to be drifting with Britain saying a small number of its soldiers may remain in the country beyond the 2014 NATO withdrawal deadline. ¬A senior UK government official has said ahead of the NATO summit in Chicago that the soldiers will stay in the country to fight terrorism, Reuters reports. This is the first time has Britain indicated that troops, other than a training contingent, could remain. The official spoke on the condition that his anonymity was preserved. This comes as the US President Barack Obama and Afghan leader Hamid Karzai signed a partnership deal cementing US support for Afghanistan and allowing Washington to keep troops there after 2014. The British official stressed that the UK will not remain in a combat role in Afghanistan beyond the deadline but did not rule out possibility that some troops may stay. “The majority of forces that remain in Afghanistan will be in a training and mentoring role,” he said on Saturday. “But I wouldn’t rule out a small number of forces playing a counterterrorism role if needed. This would be in keeping with how Afghanistan after the US, has not yet set out plans for how many troops it will withdraw in 2013 and 2014. It earlier said that some 120 British troops will remain to help train Afghan officers. The NATO summit kicks off in Chicago on Sunday and is expected to be dominated by Afghanistan. US officials had earlier said that as many as 20,000 American troops may remain after the combat mission ends, but that is still to be negotiated. The United States has about 88,000 troops in the war-torn country. An additional 40,000 coalition forces remain from other nations.
we are working to protect ourselves from the terrorism threat emanating from other parts of the world, such
as the Arabian Peninsula.” Britain, which currently has the second largest foreign contingent in
Pope Orders Investigation Into “Vati-Leaks”
Vatican slams new book of leaked documents as ‘criminal’
Pope Benedict XVI, the 265th leader of the Roman Catholic Church, has commissioned three retired cardinals to investigate how a string of sensitive Vatican documents managed to the leak to the media this year – in an embarrassing scandal dubbed as “Vati-Leaks.” The Vatican is threatening to take legal action against those responsible for publishing a new book of leaked internal documents. The book sheds light on power struggles and corruption inside the Holy See and the thinking of its embattled top banker. Pope Benedict XVI has already appointed a commission of cardinals to investigate the “Vatileaks” scandal. It erupted earlier this year with the publication of leaked memos alleging corruption and mismanagement in Holy See affairs and internal squabbles over its efforts to comply with international anti-money-laundering norms. The publication Saturday of “His Holiness” by Italian journalist Gianluigi Nuzzi, added fuel to the fire, reproducing confidential letters and memos to and from Pope Benedict and his personal secretary which, according to the Vatican, violated the pope’s right to privacy. Vatican spokesman Rev. Federico Lombardi said in a statement Saturday the book was an “objectively defamatory” work that “clearly assumes characters of a criminal act.” He warned the Holy See would get to the bottom of who “stole” the documents, who received them and who published them. He warned the Holy See would seek international cooperation in its quest for justice, presumably with Italian magistrates. The Vatican had already warned of legal action against Nuzzi after he published letters in January from the former second-highest Vatican administrator to the pope. In those letters the administrator begged not to be transferred for State, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, in a negative light. Much of the documentation is fairly Italy-centric: about a 2009 scandal over the ex-editor of the newspaper of the Italian bishops’ conference, a previously-unknown dinner between Benedict and Italy’s president, and even a 2011 letter from Italy’s pre-eminent talk show host Bruno Vespa to the pope enclosing a check for 10,000 euro for his charity work and asking for the Institute for Religious Works, otherwise known as the Vatican Bank, gets significant ink. His private memos to the pope with his take on the Vatican’s response to the global financial crisis and how to handle the church’s tax exempt status amid Italian government efforts to crack down on tax evasion have also been published. managing director as part of a new transparency campaign. The tour came on the same day Holy See representatives were in Strasbourg discussing the first
South Asia Tribune I Thursday 24 May 2012
having exposed alleged corruption that cost the Holy See millions of euro in higher contract prices. The prelate, Monsignor Carlo Maria Vigano, is now the Vatican’s US ambassador. Nuzzi, author of Vatican SpA, a 2009 volume laying out shady dealings of the Vatican Bank based on leaked documents, said he was approached by sources inside the Vatican with the trove of new documents. Most of them are of fairly recent vintage and many of them painting the Secretary of
a private audience in exchange. But there are international leaks as well, including diplomatic cables from Vatican embassies from Jerusalem to Cameroon. Some concern the conclusions of the pope’s delegate to the disgraced Legion of Christ religious order. In a memo sent to the pope last autumn he warned that the financial situation of the order, beset by a scandal over its pedophile founder, “while not grave, is serious and pressing.” Ettore Gotti Tedeschi, the head of
The bank has been trying for some two years to remedy its reputation as a shady tax haven beset by scandals. One of them is the collapse of Italy’s Banco Ambrosiano and the death of its head, Roberto Calvi, who also helped manage Vatican investments and was found hanging from London’s Blackfriars Bridge in 1982. In a bid to show it has mended its ways, the Institute for Religious Works this week invited ambassadors from 35 countries in for a tour and a chat with its
draft of a report from a Council of Europe committee on the Vatican’s compliance with international norms to fight money laundering and terrorism financing. British Ambassador Nigel Baker, who went on the Institute for Religious Works tour, later blogged that the Vatican’s reputation depends on showing that its institutions are transparent. “Plenty still needs to be done. But the Holy See needs to stick to its guns. It is in their interest, and ours,” Baker wrote.
Government troops killed 11 al-Qaida fighters in southern Yemen on Friday, as the army battled its way into the outskirts of a key town under the militants’ control, military officials said. AlQaida-linked fighters have taken over a swath of territory and several towns in the south over the past year, pushing out government forces and establishing their own rule. In recent weeks, the army has launched a concerted effort to uproot the militants from their strongholds — and is closely coordinating with a small contingent of U.S. troops who are helping guide the operations from inside Yemen. On Friday, Yemeni troops moved in on Jaar in Abyan province, killing eight al-Qaida fighters in clashes about 10 kilometers (six miles) north of the town. Recapturing Jaar would better position the military to take back Zinjibar, the provincial capital
U.S. troops on the ground in Yemen as war expands: has World War III already started in the Middle East?
‘A forced marriage is a form of slavery...
it’s time to say no’
Says Baroness Warsi
that has been under al-Qaida control for more than a year. Also in Abyan, a Yemeni warplane struck an al-Qaida checkpoint some 70 kilometers (45 miles) east of Zinjibar in an area known as Shoqra, killing three militants and wounding six, officials said. The fighting in the south, particularly around Jaar, has displaced tens of thousands of civilians. Town residents said that hundreds of families from the surrounding area flooded into the city on Friday to escape the clashes. One civilian who fled to Jaar, AlMuqbala Yasin, said by telephone that the military had bombed his hometown just outside of Jaar. He said that he saw al-Qaida militants burying their dead in what he called “mass graves” there. Yemen’s new president, Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, who has vowed to tackle the threat from alQaida in the country.
Baroness Warsi has convinced the Government to make the practice of forced marriage illegal in the UK. The Home Office lawyers have been instructed to create the new offence within weeks. Speaking to The Sun, Baroness Warsi said: “Forced marriage is akin to slavery and it is going on in Britain today. But it is time to draw a line in the sand and say enough. This is not acceptable.” The Tory Chairman said it can eventuate in extreme cases where the children are drugged and taken overseas. “Lots of intimidation and violence is used” she said. However, Lady Warsi accepts that the decision will not be popular in Asian
communities. “This isn’t going to be an easy ride for me, especially as somebody deeply connected to Asian communities. I can’t see everybody in Somali, Kurdish or Iranian communities patting me on the back. But this isn’t about keeping everybody happy. It’s about doing the right thing.”
South Asia Tribune I Thursday 24 May 2012
China fake parts ‘used in US military equipment’
Vast numbers of counterfeit Chinese electronic parts are being used in US military equipment, a key Senate committee has reported. A year-long probe found 1,800 cases of fake parts in US military aircraft, the Senate Armed Services Committee found. More than 70% of an estimated one million suspect parts were traced back to China, the report said. It blamed weaknesses in the US supply chain, and China’s failure to curb the counterfeit market. The failure of a key part could pose safety and national security risks and lead to higher costs for the Pentagon, the committee said. US servicemen rely on a variety of “small, incredibly sophisticated electronic components” found in night vision systems, radios and GPS devices and the failure of a single part could put a soldier at risk, the report said. It highlighted suspect counterfeit parts in SH-60B helicopters used by the Navy, in C-130J and C-27J cargo planes and in the Navy’s P-8A Poseidon plane. After China, the UK and Canada were found to be the next-largest source countries for fake parts. ‘Avoiding scrutiny’ The committee criticised China for to shut down counterfeiters, the Chinese government has tried to avoid scrutiny,” it added. But the report said that use of Department of Defense programmes such as the Government-Industry government agencies. The report also said that in some cases the US defence department had reimbursed contractors for the costs they incurred as a result of their failure to spot fake components
sourcing components from unknown suppliers. The report’s focus on China comes as the US is beginning the task of “pivoting” its defence strategy towards the Asia-Pacific region.
failing to shut down counterfeit manufacturers and said that committee staff wanting to travel to China for the investigation had not been granted visas. “Counterfeit electronic parts are sold openly in public markets in China,” the report said. “Rather than acknowledging the problem and moving aggressively
Data Exchange Program (GIDEP), designed to log suspected fake parts, were “woefully lacking”. Between 2009 and 2010 the GIDEP only received 217 reports relating to suspected fake counterfeit components, the majority of which were filed by just six companies, it said. Only 13 reports came from
in their own supply chain - giving companies no incentive to weed out counterfeits themselves. But it praised the National Defense Authorization Act, signed into law on 31 December 2011 by President Barack Obama, which aims to stop counterfeit parts from entering the country and would cut down on
The Pentagon is also preparing to absorb about $450bn (£285bn) of cuts over the next decade. But it could face cutbacks of a further $500bn if mandatory across-theboard spending cuts come into effect at the end of 2012, after Congress failed to reach a deficit reduction plan last year.
Ankara investigating possibility that bee-eater was ‘implanted with Mossad surveillance device’.
Turkey suspects dead bird is Israeli spy
services. The bird was found dead by a Turkish farmer, who became suspicious after
Israeli wildlife officials say accusation ridiculous Turkish media this week reported that local authorities have been inspecting the carcass of a dead bird as a suspected Israeli spy. The birdbeak in question reportedly sported “unusually large nostrils,” which – combined with the identification ring – raised suspicions that the bird was “implanted with a surveillance device” and that it arrived in Turkey as part of an espionage mission. The bird’s remains were originally handed over to the Turkish Agriculture Ministry, which then turned them over to Ankara’s security
discovering it was wearing a leg band inscribed with the word “Israel.” Of course, ornithologists regularly attach leg bands to migrating birds. And with Israel sitting right in the middle of the main Europe-Africa migration paths, such research is commonplace in the Jewish state. According to Turkish media, the bird carcass was taken by Turkish security services, who paid special attention to the fact that one of the nostrils was larger than the other. They apparently believed the enlarged nostril was potential evidence of Mossad tampering.
Amidst renewed calls to the David Cameron government to review recent curbs on student visas, the British universities have reported a significant fall in applications for courses from India for the forthcoming academic year starting September-October. The actual scale of fall in students from India and other non-EU countries will be clear by September, when students arrive to start their courses, but lesser number of applications received by April-May suggests that international students may be looking elsewhere. Britain faces stiff competition mainly from Canada and Australia to attract high feepaying international students. The challenge has increased as changes to the student visa regime in the UK - particularly the closure of the post study work visa- have been reported widely in countries such as India and Nigeria. According to the Sunday Times, universities are seeing falls of more than 30 per cent in applications from India “in the first signs that foreign students are being put off coming to Britain by the government’s crackdown on migration”. Universities UK (UUK), the
UK visa curbs putting off Indian students?
umbrella body representing 134 higher education institutions, has warned the prime minister that universities could lose between 5 to 8 billion pounds every year due to the restrictions put in place as part of plans to curb visa abuse and net immigration. Prof Eric Thomas, chairman of UUK, says in a letter to Cameron that in China and India, Britain is seen as “putting up barriers to entry”, and added: “The UK seems to be telling the world that it doesn’t welcome international students”. Julia King, vice-chancellor of Aston University in Birmingham, told The Sunday Times that the university had experienced a “dramatic” slump in applications from India, which were usually about 1,000 a year but have fallen to 650 for 2012. “They believe the situation is much friendlier in Australia, the US and Canada - other places where they can learn in English,” Ms King said. However, Damian Green, the Immigration minister, said: “There is no limit on the number of genuine students who can come to the UK and our reforms are not stopping them.” The newspaper also reported that
Middlesex and Sunderland were among other universities seeing falls in applications from India. “The declines are greatest in countries with strong English language media that pick up quickly on Britain’s immigration rows. Numbers from Nigeria are also down at many universities,” the report said. Several institutions such as the British Council and the Institute for Public Policy Research have urged the government to review the restrictions on international students. The Sunday Times quoted Kushan Banerjee, 26, from Calcutta, who completed a Master’s course in marketing at Birmingham University, and is now working as a data analyst in the city to pay off his debts. He said: “As of April the post-study work visa has gone. I was lucky, I applied in 2010. If I would have been in India and had heard they had stopped the post-study visa then I would not have applied and come here. Any student taking a bank loan can only pay it back if they have a proper job, not a job at a chippy. It’s never going to attract students now.”
South Asia Tribune I Thursday 24 May 2012
Malik Riaz donates Rs130m to free seven Pakistani sailors
Malik Riaz says that he is pursuing the “Sultana Daaku” strategy. He earns from the rich and facilitates the middle income group.
• He is the 9th richest man of Pakistan • His assets worth more than $ 800 million. • He is the first one to drive Bentley car on Pakistani soil Malik Riaz is a name who has come up really well. Entrepreneurship has itself found new meanings in the personality of Malik Riaz Hussain. He attributes his success to his hard work and faith in Allah. He recalls his friend who gave him money for investment and advised him to set aside 2.5% from the profit and to disburse the amount as charity. He adhered to that and believes that one cannot imagine how much he gets in return by giving in Allah’s name. Malik Riaz is a well-known personality who heard a heartfelt and humanitarian appeal on TV made by Hira Bakhtawar — whom he described as a “daughter of the nation” — for the release of her father from the clutches of Somali pirates. Malik Riaz asserted that it was the little girl’s appeal that moved him to contribute to the ransom from his own pocket to free the sailors who have now been in captivity for one-and-a-half years. The deadline for the release of the crew of MV Albedo taken hostage by Somali pirates ended on last Tuesday 17th May. Somali pirates took hostage 23 crew members aboard the MV Albedo on November 26 2010 while it was travelling from Dubai’s Jabal-e-Ali port to Mumbasa in Kenya. The 23 included seven Pakistani nationals including Captain Javed Saleem, Chief Officer Mujtaba (Mansehra), Third Officer Raheel Anwar (Faisalabad), Fourth Engineer Zulfiqar Ali (Gujrat), seamen Ahsan Malik Riaz asserted that he was helping Pakistani hostages out of sympathy and sincerity, as their distraught families had been waiting for their loved ones for far too long. The chairman further held that his Pakistani brothers were in danger and that all resources should be made available to rescue them. According to details, President Asif silverware just to buy medicine for his sick 2-year-old daughter. “I’ve never forgotten being poor,” His Bahria Town is the largest private sector development company of Asia. Bahria Town is constructing houses from Rs. 3.5 millions to Rupees 220 millions. Malik Riaz’s humanitarian nature along with his philanthropic free Healthcare to 80 thousand individuals, everyday. They are also providing them relief goods including tents, utensils, daily items etc. He said “And I am ready to spend my each every penny for this purpose, because if my people are out of food, out of houses, I cannot sleep.” Furthermore, Malik Riaz has made arrangements for the education of countless boys and girls both at home and abroad, as well as provisions for the free treatment of individuals undergoing bonemarrow transplants and other expensive and costly procedures in Bahria Town Rawalpindi/ Islamabad and Lahore. Malik Riaz Hussain said that 10 thousands homes should be built which not only accommodate 80,000 people but will also provide them facilities of education, healthcare & entertainment. He said if approached Bahria Town will construct these houses on no profit basis. In fact he is ready to donate more from his pocket for this cause. He suggested a special team should be established to monitor funds utilization & quality of the houses being constructed. Bahria Town launched family entertainment destination, ‘Bahria Country Club’ located in Sector C, Bahria Town Lahore. At the occasion the CEO expressed said that Bahria Country Club has been built on the vision of Chairman Bahria Town Malik Riaz Hussain, which is not only aims to provide quality housing but also complete lifestyle amenities and facilities to the residents as well as all Pakistanis.
Naveed and Faqeer Mohammaed (Jhelum) and Kashif-ul-Islam (Dir).The pirates have anchored the ship 60 nautical miles away from the Somalian coast. In a bid to seek the release of seven Pakistani crew members aboard the MV Albedo, hijacked by Somali pirates, Chairman Bahria Town Malik Riaz Hussain on Tuesday announced his intention to pay Rs130 million to buy their freedom. His philosophy is that if you spend one rupee in the name of Allah Almighty, He will give you 70 rupees in return. However Allah has blessed him with 7,000 rupees for every rupee that he has spent, and Malik Riaz asserts that this is all the Almighty’s money which he spends religiously on alleviating the suffering of the masses, and maintains that he is not doing anyone any favours.
Ali Zardari had also been moved by the TV appeal, and had contacted Malik Riaz in this regard. Malik Riaz Hussain - CEO Bahria Town 59 years old Malik Riaz Hussain is the 9th Richest Man of Pakistan. Bahria Town is a brain child of Malik Riaz Hussain. “When I see America, when I see Britain, when I see Turkey, when I see Malaysia,” Malik Riaz says, “the only thing I think is, ‘Why not Pakistan?’ “ This is Malik Riaz’s key notion— that Bahria Town”This is the real Pakistan,” he believes. Although born into a wealthy family, his father’s contracting business collapsed, and he was forced at the age of 19 to start his career as a lowly clerk in Islamabad. He remembers vividly, three years later, having to sell some family
engagements for the relief of the poor and destitute in Pakistan has set a benchmark for the work of relief agencies and organisations throughout the country. For several years now, the Bahria Town chairman has been actively involved in providing three meals a day to underprivileged patients and their families in hospitals in Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Lahore, Multan, Karachi, Faislabad, Quetta, Larkana and Sukkur, and an estimated 75,000 Pakistanis are receiving free food on a daily basis without compromising their honour or dignity. Lahore General Hospital, PIMS Hospital Islamabad and Liaquat Bagh are just some of the sites where clean table sheets or “dastarkhans” are laid out and healthy and hygienic food is provided to the people. Bahria Town is presently providing 150 thousand free daily meals;
The former Libyan Intelligence officer convicted over the Lockerbie bombing has died, apparently of cancer, Reuters reports Sunday, citing his brother. Scotland convicted Abdelbaset Al Megrahi of 270 counts of murder for the bombing of Pan American flight 103 over Lockerbie in 1988. He was given a life sentence, but in 2009 was released due to severe health problems. Al Megrahi had been diagnosed with terminal
Lockerbie convict Abdelbaset Al Megrahi dies
cancer. After his release he returned to Libya. After his release, he kept a strict
silence, living in the family villa surrounded by high walls in a posh Tripoli neighborhood, mostly
bedridden or taking a few steps with a cane. Libyan authorities sealed him off from public access. When the
one-year anniversary of his release passed, some who visited him said Megrah bitterly mused that the world was rooting for him to die. His son, Khaled Megrahi, confirmed that he died in Tripoli in a telephone interview but hung up before giving more details. To the end, Megrahi insisted he had nothing to do with the bombing, which killed 270 people, most of them Americans.
Work displayed in saarc int. are a review of southasianmedia.net. The information on this page is for information purposes only. The South Asia Tribune and SAARC International Ltd. assume no liability for any inaccurate, delayed, or incomplete information, nor for any actions taken in reliance thereon. The full story can be viewed at www.southasianmedia.net
taking a highly public gamble. Would sharing the spotlight with to reach alliance troops fighting in Afghanistan? Nato urges Pakistan to reopen supply route soon as possible” after talks with Islamabad on the border crossing faltered. Zardari’s refusal to reopen the supply routes left a diplomatic blot on a summit that NATO sought to cast as the beginning of the end of the conflict in Afghanistan. The Chicago gathering did produce a formal agreement by the alliance to hand over lead responsibility for security to Afghan forces by mid-2013, and pull out nearly all
Saarc international I Thursday 24 May 2012
NATO summit: Obama’s Pakistan gamble falls flat
The White House fails to reach a deal on supply routes to Afghanistan. The summit does produce a formal agreement on the withdrawal from Afghanistan.
“The Taliban is still a robust enemy, and the gains are still fragile,” Mr. Obama conceded. Nato sets ‘irreversible’ roadmap to withdrawing troops from Afghanistan Barack Obama and Nato have set an “irreversible” roadmap to “gradually and responsibly” withdraw 130,000 combat troops from Afghanistan by the end of 2014. When the White House sent a
last-minute invitation for Asif Ali Zardari to attend the twoday NATO summit, they were
President Obama and other global leaders induce the Pakistani president to allow vital supplies
But long before the summit ended Monday, the answer was clear: No deal.
Nato leaders on Monday called on Pakistan to reopen a key supply route into Afghanistan “as
U.S. and other NATO troops by the end of 2014 even if the Taliban-led Continued on page 10 >>
Rally killings: Strike observed in Sindh, parts of Karachi
On the call of Awami Tehreek, Jeay Sindh Qaumi Mahaz (JSQM) and different nationalist parties, a complete strike is being observed acro ss interior Sindh. A bus was set alight by unknown men in Sukkur near Old Bus Stand area while a truck was set on fire in Dadu, carrying grocery items. Sindh Progressive Nationalist Alliance and Awami Tehreek took Noshero Feroz and other cities in the interior Sindh, while petrol pumps were also closed down. Unknown assailants resorted to aerial firing and hurled grenades in different areas of Qambar Shahdatkot, however, no injuries or casualties were reported. Riots broke out during rallies taken out in Noshero Feroz, where Continued on page 10 >>
Death marches on Karachi streets
out protest rallies in Sukkur and staged demonstrations.
Transport remained suspended in Sukkur, Larkana, Shikarpur,
Khairpur, Deherki, Shahdadkot, Kandhkot, Ghotki, Kashmore,
UAE affirms support to Afghan peace move
Barack Obama and Nato leaders, to those men and women who assisted in reaching this strategic decision, and to achieve security in Afghanistan. The UAE foreign minister also participated in the Nato’s 25th summit meeting, which brought together leaders from more than 50 nations, including 28 Nato countries, in addition to European Union (EU) leaders and Nato Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen. On his part, Obama said: “Now, the presence of so many leaders and nations illustrates once again that this is a truly international mission. And that’s authorities. The UAE’s delegation to the summit included Yousef Al Otaiba, UAE Ambassador to the US; Major-General Faris Al Mazrouei, Assistant Foreign Minister for Security and Military Affairs; and Mohammad Ali Mohammed Al Naqbi, UAE Ambassador to the Nato. — Wam Shaikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UK Prime Minister David Cameron and Barack Obama with other leaders and top military officers at the Heads of Sate and Government meeting on Afghanistan in Chicago, Illinois, during the Nato 2012 Summit on Monday.
Saarc international I Thursday 24 May 2012
Foreign Minister Shaikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan has stressed that the UAE is seeking to promote peace through direct negotiations between the Afghanistan government and the Taleban. Addressing a meeting of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (Nato) leaders and leaders of 19 countries participating in the International Security Assistant Force (ISAF), he reiterated the UAE’s commitment to back transferring of security responsibility to the Afghan security forces. Shaikh Abdullah expressed his thanks during the meeting, which was also attended by US President
because the region and the world have a profound interest in an Afghanistan that is stable, that is secure, and that is not a source of attacks on other nations.” He welcomed Afghanistan
President Hamid Karzai’s participation in the meeting and stressed that all have agreed upon the transitional phase in Afghanistan and handing over the whole responsibility to Afghan
Shakil Afridi sentenced to 33 years in treason case
A Pakistani physician accused of assisting the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in obtaining DNA samples of Osama Bin Laden through a fake vaccination campaign was, on Wednesday, convicted for involvement in anti-state activities by a tribal court, a senior government official said. “Dr Shakil Afridi was produced before a four-member tribal court Wednesday morning and was sentenced to 33 years in prison and also given a 3,20,000rupee fine,” Political Agent, Khyber tribal region, Mutahir Zeb Khan told Dawn. Soon after his conviction, Afridi was sent to the Central Prison in Peshawar. The court was headed by a deputy administrator responsible for Bara region. Afridi was charged under the Britishtime Frontier Crimes Regulation (FCR) that unlike the Pakistan
Criminal Code (CPRC), does not carry death penalty for high treason. A judicial commission investigating the circumstances leading to the death of Al Qaeda chief, Osama bin Laden in a US navy seal raid in the northern city of Abbottabad in May, 2011, had recommended in October last that Afridi be charged with high treason. Had Afridi been charged under Pakistani penal law, he was almost
certain to have been awarded the death penalty, a lawyer said. The court also ordered confiscation of Afridi’s assets and seizure of his bank accounts. Afridi was picked up by Pakistan’s Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) from near Peshawar, two weeks after Osama’s death. The official said that Afridi had accepted helping the CIA by running a fake vaccination campaign in Abbottabad a month before the raid on OBL’s compound.
Continued from page 9 >> attackers hurled stones at the rally participants. Over a dozen participants of the rally were killed and several others injured in firing in old city area, including Pan Mandi, Napier Road, Lea Market and Dhobi Ghat. The workers and supporters of AT, Sindh National Movement (SNM), Sindh National Party (SNP) and Karachi City Alliance (KCA) started gathering at Cheel Chowk, Lea Market and Tower for participation in the rally after which the incident occurred. Addressing an urgent press conference at the Karachi Press Club, AT chief Ayaz Latif Paleejo held the Sindh government and its major coalition party responsible for the attack and killings. He said once again May 12, 2007 episode had been repeated in the metropolis. Chairman SNP Ali Hassan Chandio, chief SNP Ameer Bhanbhro and representatives of KCA were also present at the press conference.
Death marches on Karachi streets
“Masked armed men appeared from the streets of Lea Market and its adjoining areas, and opened straight fire on the participants of the rally, injuring several ladies, children and young men and some of them were killed,” Paleejo claimed. He further said, “The media men are witnessing that the participants of the rally were empty handed and even no one had stone or wood stick”. He said, “Our rally was completely peaceful, and it was our democratic, legal and constitutional right.” Replying to a query, Paleejo said the red zone area, streets and roads were closed for stopping their peaceful rally, but the same were opened for the rally taken for Muhajir province some days back. He further said, “We believe that entire Urdu-speaking community does not support Muhajir province demand, as they believe that they are the part of Sindhi nation.” About two dozens of people, including children and women, are missing after firing, Paleejo claimed.
Continued from page 9 >> insurgency remains undiminished.President Obama and the leaders of America’s NATO allies on Monday agreed to end their guiding role in the decade-long war in Afghanistan next summer, saying it is time for the Afghan people to take responsibility for their own security and for the United States-led international troops to go home. Declaring that “our forces broke the Taliban’s momentum,” Mr. Obama used the summit meeting of NATO leaders here in his adopted hometown to begin an exit from a conflict he embraced during his first campaign for president as America’s good war. “We’re now unified behind a plan to responsibly wind down the war in Afghanistan,” Mr. Obama said during a news conference after the meeting. He called the decision a “major step” toward the end of the war. But Mr. Obama acknowledged that “real challenges” remained in dealing with the problems across the border in Pakistan, and that the conference had not resolved the impasse over reopening supply lines or the
NATO summit: Obama’s Pakistan gamble falls flat
other tensions about the fight against insurgents operating from safe havens there. “We think that Pakistan has to be part of the solution in Afghanistan,” he said. “Neither country is going to have the kind of security, stability and prosperity that it needs unless they can resolve some of these outstanding issues.” Pakistan closed supply lines to Afghanistan after an American airstrike in November that killed 24 Pakistani solders. Mr. Obama has refused to apologize for the strike, as Pakistan has demanded in negotiations with the Americans, and he pointedly exchanged only a few words with the country’s president, Asif Ali Zardari, during the two-day summit meeting — “very brief, as we were walking into the summit,” he said. The two men also stood and spoke briefly with the Afghan president, Hamid Karzai, before all three joined the other leaders for a group photograph. Obama’s irritation at the impasse was clear Monday when he addressed more than 50 world leaders and publicly thanked Russia and Central Asian nations “that continue to provide critical transit” of war supplies into Afghanistan. Zardari sat only a few feet away, but Obama pointedly did not mention Pakistan. Later at a news conference that closed the twoday summit, Obama did not try to downplay the strains in a relationship that has spiraled from crisis to crisis since U.S. Navy SEALs secretly flew into Pakistan to kill Osama bin Laden last May. Nor did Obama suggest, as his aides had done earlier, that a quick resolution was likely. “I don’t want to paper over real challenges there,” Obama said. “There’s no doubt that there have been tensions between [the NATO military coalition] and Pakistan, the United States and Pakistan over the last several months.” NATO’s top official says he was optimistic that Pakistan will re-open key transit routes to Afghanistan in the “very near future.” U.S. Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta has said that some progress has been made in negotiations with Pakistan on reopening transport routes. Panetta told a news conference in Chicago on Monday that it was a positive sign that Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari
attended the NATO summit. “We still have a way to go, but it is extremely important that ultimately we’re able to open up those lines of communication and transport so that we can expedite the assistance that needs to go to our men and women in uniform who are fighting the battle,” Panetta said. Some U.S. officials said the Obama administration’s approach could backfire by humiliating Zardari, leaving him politically weaker and even less able to overcome the intense anti-U.S. feeling in Pakistan over the attack on the border posts, years of lethal CIA drone attacks on Pakistani territory and other divisive issues. Without access to Pakistan, equipment leaving Afghanistan would have to go by cargo plane and by the northern routes, which stretch thousands of miles through Russia and Central Asia to ports on the Baltic Sea or through Georgia to the Black Sea. Many of the countries refuse to allow the U.S. to ship ammunition and other lethal equipment through their territory, forcing those supplies to go by air.
Saarc international I Thursday 24 May 2012
WEEKLY REVIEW OF AFGHANISTAN NEWS
The Nato summit’s plan to “responsibly wind down” the Afghan war is not entirely in the hands of President Barack Obama and his fellow world leaders. The carefully orchestrated exit strategy could come unhinged if the resilient Taliban stage a major comeback or Afghanistan’s neighbors interfere with the process to bolster their position in a weak country soon to be without thousands of international combat troops. In short, the Taliban, Pakistan and Iran still get a vote. The Taliban, who continue to carry out attacks across the country and have shown little interest in negotiating peace with the Afghan government, described the Nato summit as a “show” with “no result.” “Nobody can trust their statements and lies,” Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid said in an e-mail to the media on Tuesday, a day after the two-day summit closed in Chicago. “They are claiming that everything is fine in Afghanistan, which is far from the reality.” At the summit, the US-led Nato coalition finalized its plan for Afghan forces to take the lead in providing security in the middle of next year. Foreign troops will move into backup support and training roles, then completely end their combat mission at the close of 2014. The goal is to pull back gradually to avoid a repeat of the civil war that followed the Soviet exit two decades ago – chaos that paved the way for the rise of al Qaeda and the Taliban. Ivo Daalder, the US permanent
Taliban, Afghan neighbors could hamper Nato’s exit
role until last year as the major supply route to landlocked Nato forces there. Pakistan closed those routes after a US attack on the Pakistani side of the border killed 24 Pakistani soldiers in November. The routes remain closed because of a dispute over how much the US will pay Pakistan to allow each truck to drive across its territory. Iran also has the ability to complicate Nato’s plans. Iran does not like the US military footprint on its eastern border and will be closely watching negotiations on a US-Afghan security agreement that will define the size and parameters of an American military presence in Afghanistan in the years to come. Although the Iranians are cozier with Afghanistan’s ethnic Hazara than with the majority Pashtuns who fill the ranks of the Taliban, Nato has accused Iran of providing the Taliban with weapons used against coalition forces. Last year, Nato forces seized 48 Iranian-made rockets that officials said were intended to aid the Taliban. Nato officials said the shipment was evidence of a serious escalation in Iran’s state support of the Taliban – an allegation Tehran denied. Western officials accuse Iran of conducting a proxy war against the US, which is in a standoff with Tehran over its nuclear program. For now, Afghans are taking a wait-andsee approach to the summit’s upbeat assessment of their future. “We have witnessed a lot of international conferences on Afghanistan – conference after conference after conference,” said Mohammad Qassim Zazai, a businessman from Paktia province who is living in Kabul. “The people say ‘Let’s see what’s going to happen on the ground.’” Abdul Khaliq Bala Karzai, a parliament member, said he was pleased that world leaders expressed their commitment to Afghanistan even as they are pulling out their troops. “I was watching on TV and they said they are going to protect Afghanistan and the Afghan people. Security is like water – very vital,” said the lawmaker from Kandahar province, the birthplace of the insurgency. The world leaders now need to pressure Iran and Pakistan to cooperate, not interfere, in Afghanistan, he said. “For the time being, the Taliban are not able to fight on the ground against the Afghan and foreign troops. They are able only to launch guerrilla attacks, plant mines and carry out suicide attacks,” he said. “When the foreign troops leave, the Taliban will get stronger, especially if these two countries support them – give them weapons and sanctuary, which is going on now.” Mawlana Farid, a political analyst in Kabul, said he also was heartened to hear the international community’s strong support going forward. “The world leaders in Chicago announced their unity in protecting Afghanistan, but we still have concerns about our neighbors – Pakistan and Iran,” he said. Even in front of 60 world leaders, Pakistan was not willing to open up its borders to allow Nato convoys to move through its territory, he lamented.
representative to Nato, said Tuesday on a conference call with reporters that the US has been paying close attention to the role of Iran and particularly Pakistan in the transition strategy for Afghanistan. “We are in a very active and in-depth set of dialogues with Pakistan to find ways in which we can cooperate to deal with the problems that exist in order to make sure that our strategy in Afghanistan will succeed,” Daalder said. “That’s why we have and will continue to find ways to cooperate on dealing with the terrorists.” Pakistan has said repeatedly that it wants a stable Afghanistan, and the US has given that country billions of dollars in aid over the past decade to enlist its support in fighting Islamist militants. But US officials also have accused Pakistan of being a fickle ally and even supporting Taliban insurgents fighting the American troops in Afghanistan. Pakistan has denied this allegation. Last year, then-Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Adm. Mike Mullen said the Haqqani network, which is affiliated with the Taliban and al Qaeda, “acts as a
veritable arm” of Pakistan’s intelligence agency. Mullen accused the network last year of staging an attack against the US Embassy and Nato headquarters in Kabul and being behind a truck bombing that wounded 77 American soldiers. He claimed Pakistan’s spy agency helped the group. Still, both Afghanistan and the US need Pakistan’s help to negotiate a peace agreement with the Taliban. “It is in Pakistan’s interest to work with us and the world community to ensure that they themselves are not consumed by extremism that is in their midst,” Obama said in Chicago. Afghan President Hamid Karzai met with Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari on the sidelines of the summit. The main subject was Pakistan’s role in the peace process. Karzai’s office said in a statement that Zardari invited the head of the Afghan peace process to Pakistan to discuss the issue. Pakistan is not a Nato member but was invited to the summit because of its influence in Afghanistan and its
At least 1,851 US military deaths French president vows early in Afghanistan since 2001 troops pullout from Afghanistan
French President Francois Hollande reminded United States President Barack Obama on Friday of a promised withdrawal of French troops from Afghanistan by the end of year, but said France would provide support in other ways. “We will continue to support Afghanistan in a different way ,” Hollande said. “I’m pretty sure I will find the right means so that our allies can continue with their mission and at the same time I can comply to the promise I made to the French people.” In a joint press availability at the Oval Office of the White House, Hollande said he reminded Obama that he made a promise to the French people that their combat troops would be withdrawn from Afghanistan by the end of 2012. Hollande later told reporters that some “residual” number of France’s
As of Tuesday, May 22, 2012, at least 1,851 members of the U.S. military had died in Afghanistan as a result of the U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan in late 2001, according to an Associated Press count. At least 1,539 military service members have died in Afghanistan as a result of hostile action, according to the military’s numbers. Outside of Afghanistan, the department reports at least 111 more members of the U.S. military died
in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. Of those, 12 were the result of hostile action. The AP count of total OEF casualties outside of Afghanistan is two more than the department’s tally. The Defense Department also counts three military civilian deaths. Since the start of U.S. military operations in Afghanistan, 15,950 U.S. service members have been wounded in hostile action, according to the Defense Department.
current 3,300 troops will remain in Afghanistan after this year to provide training and to bring home equipment. Hollande’s remarks, while not a surprise, underscore the challenge Obama faces in keeping Nato allies on board as he tries to chart a gradual course out of Afghanistan. The alliance agreed two years ago
to a 2014 deadline for removing most of its combat troops. The Afghan war will be the central topic when Nato leaders meet in Chicago, Obama’s home town, on Sunday and Monday. The United States may seek at the Nato summit to nudge France to rethink its Afghanistan troop withdrawal timetable.
Saarc international I Thursday 24 May 2012
WEEKLY REVIEW OF BANGLADESH NEWS
Remain alert to propaganda by BNP, Jamaat: PM
The prime minister, Sheikh Hasina, has urged the Bangladeshi expatriates to supplement the government efforts in strengthening democracy in Bangladesh and remain alert to the propaganda being carried out by the BNP and the Jamaat against the country. ‘You (expatriates) should remain alert to the propaganda of the BNP and the Jamaat against the country,’ she said. The prime minister said this while speaking through a videoconferencing from her official residence Ganabhaban with the expatriates living in New York City on Sunday night (US time), marking the celebrations of Bangladesh’s win in maritime boundary case. About the country’s image, she said, ‘The present government has been able to restore Bangladesh’s image as a democratic, progressive and secular state erasing the bad name.’ PM’s press secretary Abul Kalam Azad said Awami League’s New York City unit arranged the programme at acts and political vengeance. The prime minister expressed her gratitude to expatriates for their wholehearted support to her and the Awami League at the time of any crisis, particularly after August 15, 1975, and during the crucial time after January 11, 2007. She also recalled the contributions of the expatriates to the movement for the restoration of democracy in Bangladesh, and extended her thanks to the expatriate citizens and exchanged greetings with them. The prime minister said Bangladesh was a very potential country, and whenever the Awami League came to power it made relentless efforts to take the country forward utilising its all potentials. She urged them to work for brightening the country’s image abroad and highlighting its achievements in various sectors over the years. About the country’s present political situation, she said the present government had taken initiatives to try the war criminals and corrupts to make the country’s development and democracy sustainable. She said the BNP, in the name of a democratic movement, is out to foil the trial of war criminals and corrupts. But, she reiterated that their trial will surely be held even after their repeated attempts to foil it. In this context, she referred to the deterioration of law and order and torture by BNP-Jamaat activists during their 2001-2006 rule and said they made the country a land of terrorists and militants. Awami League’s New York City unit president commander Nurunnabi and general secretary Emdad Chowdhury, among others, spoke on the occasion. PM’s special assistant Abdus Sobhan Golap and military secretary Major General Mia Mohammad Joynul Abedin were present. Meanwhile, the mayor of New Jersey invited the prime minister to visit his state at her convenient time.
Queens Palace where the mayor of New Jersey was present as the chief guest. She also called upon the Bangladeshi expatriates living in the USA to project the positive image and the successes that the country achieved during the last three years of the present Awami League government. ‘Every sector of the country is making
quick progress and our successes have brought qualitative changes in society and economy apart from improving the standard of living of people,’ she added. Mentioning the intimidation of political opponents and minorities by the previous BNP government, Hasina said the world community should be aware of their repressive
Court accepts charges against Increase in Bangladeshi journalists hazards 45 leaders of BNP, allies
continue as he had obtained ad interim anticipatory bail from the High Court, furnished bail bond to the speedy trial court and had not misused the bail. Since Khokon is a lawmaker and the president has already summoned the budget session of parliament, he should not be denied bail, Moudud said. The detective branch of police on May 10 submitted the charge sheet against the 45 opposition leaders and activists to the Dhaka Chief Metropolitan Magistrate’s Court in the case filed with Tejgaon police for the arson near the Prime Minister’s Office. The speedy trial court on May 16 sent to jail 33 of the accused leaders and activists, including Fakhrul Islam Alamgir, BNP standing committee members MK Anwar, Hannan Shah, Khandkar Mosharraf Hossain, Mirza Abbas and Gayeshwar Chanra Roy, Liberal Democratic Party president Oli Ahmed, Bangladesh Jatiya Party chairman Andaleeve Rahman, BNP vice-chairman Sadeque Hossain Khoka, joint secretary general Amanullah Aman, organising secretary Fazlul Huq Milan, international affairs secretary Nazimuddin Alam and self-reliance affairs secretary Ruhul Quddus Talukder Dulu, after they surrendered to the court.
A Dhaka court accepted the charge sheet submitted against 45 senior leaders of the BNP-led opposition alliance, including acting BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir, for setting a bus on fire during the general strike on April 29. The Dhaka speedy trial court magistrate Mohammad Erfan Ullah, sent to jail BNP lawmaker AM Mahbubuddin Khokon, after rejecting his application for extension bail in the same case. He was earlier granted bail till Monday in the arson case. The court also issued warrants for the arrest of Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami acting amir Maqbul Ahmed, assistant secretary general Nurul Islam Bulbul, pro-Jamaat student organisation Islami Chhatra Shibir leader Delwar Hossain Sayedee and pro-BNP
student organisation Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal Dhaka University unit joint secretary Obaidul Haque Nasir, as they had not surrendered to the court. The court posted for June 6 the hearing in the framing of charges. The order prompted lawyers loyal to the opposition alliance to register protests. They took out a procession on the court premises and chanted slogans demanding withdrawal of the case. Jatiyatabadi Ainjibi Forum, a platform of pro-BNP lawyers, decided to boycott all the judges’ and magistrates’ courts in Dhaka today as its general secretary Mahbubuddin Khokon was sent to jail. Moving the application for Khokon, former law minister Moudud Ahmed argued that the former’s bail should
The International Federation of Journalists has expressed its concern over the increasing hazards being faced by journalists in Bangladesh as political strife intensifies. ‘On May 14, the nephew of a leading politician and minister in the Bangladesh government assaulted a journalist in the locality of Pabna district, allegedly in retaliation for stories published on his involvement in possible corruption,’ said the Brussels-based media rights watchdog in a web article on Friday. Abdullah Al Mamun, the local correspondent for the Bangla daily Kaler Kontho, was admitted to Pabna Medical College Hospital with serious injuries. The attack came without warning at 10:00am while Mamun was at a roadside tea stall. It involved an estimated ten assailants, armed with sticks and iron rods, the media watchdog alleged. A case has been registered against all
those believed responsible. Local journalists have demonstrated outside the offices of the district administration and the police, demanding their immediate arrest. ‘Injury to journalists, either in direct retribution for perceived negative reporting or as a consequence of disregard for their safety, is a clear violation of media rights. The press should be able to report freely on events in the public interest without fear for their personal safety’, said the IFJ AsiaPacific. In the article titled ‘Journalists Attacked, Injured in Bangladesh’s Intensifying Political Conflict’, the journalists’ organisation said, ‘On May 16, the police baton-charged a protest organised by the opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party in the capital city of Dhaka, injuring several participants and at least five journalists.’
Saarc international I Thursday 24 May 2012
WEEKLY REVIEW OF BHUTAN NEWS
He looks up at the clear sky. He laughs. He shrugs and warns people around him of the uncertainties of the world. Again he begins to laugh. He is fairly healthy but his hair is disheveled and his clothes are grimy. Passersby cover their noses with disdain. He roams the streets of Thimphu city as a free man. Nobody knows his name but refers to him as a chhoelo or a deranged man. Scientifically, he is mentally ill. He is one of the many mentally ill people in Bhutan who roam the towns but there are hundreds of others who suffer such an illness of lesser degree within the confines of their homes According to hospital sources, Bhutan is today seeing an alarming increase in mental health problems. A number of Bhutanese suffer from a wide range of mental problems identified as depression, anxiety, psychosis, alcohol dependent syndrome, bipolar affective disorder, or mental retardation. Jigme Dorji Wangchuk National Referral Hospital (JDWNRH) in Thimphu receives 30 to 40 outpatient mental health cases every day. According to Dr Chencho Dorji, one of the only two psychiatrists in Bhutan, the trend is increasing in Bhutan. He says the biggest cause
More Bhutanese losing their mind
updated the 2003 memorandum of understanding to strengthen the relationship and cooperation between the two countries to tackle mental health problems in Bhutan. This collaboration is going to tackle mental health problems through research based on Buddhist philosophy. According to the annual health report of 2011, in 2010, Bhutan saw 2,878 cases of mental illness – 1,509 cases among women and 1,369 among men. Bhutan recorded 751 cases of depression and 553 cases of anxiety. Mental disorder due to alcohol was 276 and mental behavioral disorder due to multiple drug use and use of other psychoactive substances, 74. Seventy four people suffered from psychosis and 1,104 from other mental disorders. According to the health report, male are more inclined to mental and behavioural disorders due to alcohol, which means females are more likely to be teetotalers than
of mental disorders in Bhutan is alcohol followed by depression and anxiety. Health experts say long-term dependence on alcohol leads to depression. But statistics show alcohol production and consumption in the country increasing by the year. According to the director of Department of Public Health, Dr Dorji Wangchuk, mental health is a growing concern in Bhutan. In the past, mental health did not receive enough attention in
health planning due to lack of awareness, shortage of trained psychiatric medical staff and negative attitudes towards mental disorders among the people. On Monday, Bhutanese and Thai health ministries revised and
males. However, women are more prone to depression than men. In 2010, 472 women and 279 men suffered from depression. Depression is found to be one of the causes of suicide in Bhutan. Over the years, the country has seen the suicide rate increase with the increase in depression cases. Records show the country, in recent times, saw the highest number of suicides in 2001 when 58 people killed themselves. In 2008, 53 Bhutanese committed suicide while in 2009, 49 cases were reported. WHO has projected that, by 2020, depression alone will be the second largest cause of disability next to cardiovascular causes. WHO says psychiatric disorders are frequently a considerable drain on health resources as a result of being misunderstood, misdiagnosed or inadequately treated. Day two of Literary Festival discusses the spirit of writing.
Physicians in pain
The office of the attorney general charging three senior doctors for corruption, based on the Anti Corruption Commission’s investigation in health procurement in 2009, has seriously demoralised medical professionals across the country. The already overworked medical professionals, who work day in and day out to save lives, are under so much more stress, because they feel, for obvious reasons, their profession has been tarnished by charges of corruption. Some doctors are finding it difficult to carry out and focus on their day-to-day duties, and have asked for back up. The health ministry appealing to the ACC that they should not be suspended, because there is a shortage of such specialised doctors, has not made it any better. By appealing on the grounds of shortage, the charges of corruption stand out as legitimate. Most doctors in general believe the three in question are innocent, at least going by the process of how they ended up on the junket to Germany, which was paid for by one of the medical suppliers, and is at the heart of the corruption charges. They also believe that it is the health ministry that should be charged, and not individual doctors, because the ministry’s human resource (HR) committee had approved the trip. In
Many Bhutanese writers and artistes spoke at the day 2 of the Literary Festival in Thimphu Monday.
other words, there are so many others, who were part of the procurement process, but are not in the picture today. The official note-sheet approving the trip specifically reads that it will come at “no financial implications to the government”. The supplier, instead of the government, paid even the official per diem payable to the health officials on the 10-day trip. All this was known to the approving HR committee. Doctors themselves do not deny that there is a lot that needs to be straightened out with the health procurement process, and are also aware of procurements that defy logic, and suppliers making subtle offers of help.
The health procurement process begins with the requisitions for medicine and equipment the concerned doctor puts in. After the tenders come in, they are consulted again to check specifications and costs. Another consultation is done when the supplies arrive. Yet the ACC must have stumbled on to something, for it to press charges; after all, the investigations have taken several years since it first surfaced. Once big problem has been the linkages with the same suppliers for decades, which probably is at the root of everything. While it is important that the corrupted should be brought to book, those that are not should not get trapped.
Saarc international I Thursday 24 May 2012
WEEKLY REVIEW OF INDIA NEWS
Italian PM talks to Manmohan
India to step up oil imports from UAE
India and the United Arab Emirates on Friday discussed the prospects of closer energy ties including more import of oil, which could partly offset declining purchases from Iran, and investment in the downstream sector such as refineries. While visiting External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna and his visiting UAE counterpart Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan discussed investments in India, officials met on a parallel track to build on last year’s 16 per cent increase in import of crude from UAE principalities. Joint task force set up The main outcome of the Ministerial meeting was the setting up of a joint task force headed by Commerce Minister Anand Sharma and highranking UAE official Sheikh Hamad. India is looking for half out of investment potential of $one trillion in India over the next five years. “We would very much like to see a strong UAE presence
Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti has talked to his counterpart Manmohan Singh to express concern over the situation involving two Italian marines held in Kerala for allegedly killing two fishermen in February. Mr. Monti, who has been pressing for transfer of the marines to Italy, is believed to have conveyed concern over the conditions in which the two are in, sources said on Sunday. The telephonic conversation took place a few days back, prior to the hearing in Kollam court on Saturday which rejected the bail plea of the marines Massimiliano Lattore and
Salvatore Girone, the sources said. The marines were arrested on February 19, four days after they allegedly opened fire while travelling by ship Enrica Lexie and killed two fishermen off the coast of Kerala, apparently suspecting them to be pirates. The telephonic call from Mr. Monti was followed up with Italian Foreign Ministry summoning Indian Ambassador Debabrata Saha in Rome to convey concerns over the murder charges being framed against the marines. Italy has also recalled its Ambassador to India Giacomo
Sanfelice to express its unhappiness over the charge sheet being filed against the marines. The Italian Prime Minister had earlier called up Dr. Singh in March, warning him against setting a “dangerous precedent” with the prosecution of two Italian marines in India. “Any attitude from the Indian side that is not fully in line with international law...risks creating a dangerous precedent for international peacekeeping and anti-piracy missions,” Mr. Monti was quoted as saying to Dr. Singh during the March 7 conversation. “The alleged incident, the circumstances of which still have to be clarified, occurred in international waters and jurisdiction is therefore only Italian,” Mr. Monti had told Dr. Singh, according to a government statement.
in that,” said Mr. Krishna. In a separate meeting, officials looked at the possibility of stepping up oil imports. Last year, India imported 14 million tonnes of oil which was an increase from the 12 million tonnes in the previous year. ‘Trend may not continue’ “In the UAE, we have a dependable supplier of oil which India needs so badly. It is likely that this trend of the UAE continuing to meet our needs of energy security will be maintained,” said Mr. Krishna. On the investment front, Indian officials will clarify doubts related to the investment climate during meetings next week in Abu Dhabi and Dubai.
Work on Operation Bluestar memorial begins
Twenty-eight years after Operation Bluestar, the work on the ‘1984 memorial’ to be devoted to “Sikh martyrs” has begun. Hundreds of Sikh devotees and representatives of various Sikh religious organizations converged at the Golden Temple on Sunday to participate in the kar sewa (voluntary service) for the memorial. The Dal Khalsa, a radical Sikh organization, has been given the responsibility of constructing the memorial. Also among them was Ishwar Singh, son of Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale, who called upon the Sikh sangat to “overwhelmingly participate in the kar sewa”. The ceremonial construction of the memorial was inaugurated by Baba Harnam Singh Khalsa, chief of Damdami Taksal, a Sikh seminary,
Giani Gurbachan Singh, jathedar of the Akal Takht, the highest temporal seat of Sikhs, Giani Balwant Singh Nandgarh, jathedar of Takht Damdama Sahib, and Avtar Singh Makkar, president of the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC), the body which looks after the religious affairs of the Sikhs. To be built inside the temple complex and adjoining the Akal Takht, the memorial, according to the Sikh religious leaders, would “reflect the valour and fighting spirit of those who sacrificed their lives during the Army operation in 1984”. Harnam Singh Khalsa said the structure of memorial wouldn’t pose any obstruction to the ambience of Golden Temple and the edifice would be in perfect harmony with the religious atmosphere of Sikhs’ holiest of holy shrine.
Saarc international I Thursday 24 May 2012
Pakistan allowed four containers of office supplies for the US embassy in Kabul to cross into Afghanistan for the first time following a sixmonth blockade, officials said on Friday. The trucks were permitted to cross as President Asif Ali Zardari prepares to meet Nato leaders at a key summit in Chicago, accepting a last-minute invitation after his foreign minister indicated Pakistan was willing to call time on the blockade. Islamabad closed its Afghan border crossings to Nato supplies on November 26 when US air strikes killed 24 Pakistani soldiers, leaving hundreds of containers of international supplies stranded at the port in Karachi and plunging relations with Washington to a new low. The four trucks of US embassy supplies crossed Pakistan’s northwest Torkham border into
US supply trucks cross AfghanPakistan border: officials
Afghanistan, the officials told AFP on condition of anonymity because they were not allowed to release the information to the media. “I can’t give you the exact could not confirm the shipment. There were conflicting accounts of when the trucks crossed, with one source saying they began moving earlier in the week and another been stranded in Pakistan by the blockade. A customs official at the border in Torkham told AFP that they had received a list of 300 containers which would cross into Afghanistan in the coming days. “I can confirm that three trucks have gone to Afghanistan and there are also reports about the crossing of the fourth one on Friday,” said the official who declined to be named. “The rest of the containers are also likely to pass in the coming days,” he said. Pakistan earlier this week said it had ordered officials to finalise an agreement as quickly as possible on lifting the blockade on overland Nato supplies to Afghanistan. Pakistan and US officials are still negotiating rules, fees and logistics for resuming the Nato transit lines, and Islamabad has not said when Nato supplies will resume.
number but a lot more will go to Afghanistan in coming days. These all are diplomatic shipments, I mean non-Nato supplies,” one of the officials said. In Kabul, the US embassy said it
saying they passed through on Friday. Almost 300 containers of US embassy supplies, including stationery, computers and printers, are understood to have
The United States has guaranteed payment of at least $1.1 billion should the borders reopen as compensation for fighting militants, although Pakistan believes it is owed far more, one source said. Pakistan is seeking to ease its international isolation and boost its leverage over the future of Afghanistan, as Western countries pull out their combat forces by 2014. But Islamabad has essentially been forced to climb down on demands for an American apology for the air strikes and an end to drone strikes targeting Taliban and al Qaeda on its soil. Analysts say Pakistan had no choice but to capitulate to international pressure to reopen the border, with US cash needed to help boost its meagre state coffers as the government prepares to seek reelection.
After blocking for many hours, Pakistani authorities have lifted a ban on twitter, the social networking website. Earlier Pakistan had blocked Twitter on Sunday because it refused to remove material considered offensive to Islam, said one of the country’s top telecommunications officials. The chairman of Pakistan’s telecommunications authority says the government has blocked the social networking website Twitter because of material considered offensive to Islam. Mohammad Yaseen says the website was blocked on Sunday because Twitter refused to remove material related to a competition on Facebook to post images of Islam’s Prophet Muhammad. Many Muslims regard depictions of the prophet, even favorable ones, as blasphemous. Yaseen said Facebook agreed to address Pakistan’s concerns but officials have not been able to get Twitter to do the same. Officials from Facebook and Twitter could not immediately be reached for comment. Pakistan blocked Facebook for about two weeks in 2010 because of a similar competition. Dubai Police shut 15 Twitter, Facebook accounts in 3 months Police says pages closed were involved in offences Dubai police shut 15 Facebook and Twitter accounts found to be involved
Twitter ban lifted in Pakistan
India, Bangladesh pledge border peace
in offences in the first quarter of this year and again denied that social networks are being monitored by authorities. Police said the 15 sites were shut permanently after their users were found to be involved in defamation and abuse cases against others while a number of other pages were temporarily suspended for involvement in offences. “Our electronic police patrols are surfing various websites round the clock to protect the people in the UAE against electronic crimes, which have largely increased worldwide in the recent period,” said Major Saeed Al Hajri, director of the department for fighting electronic crime at Dubai police. He said Facebook and Twitter managements had agreed to Dubai police’s request to shut those accounts, three of which were blocked last week. He said letters sent to those managements included evidence that the account holders committed acts which violate UAE laws, including personal insults and defamation. Other crimes involve child molestation, blackmail and fraud by individuals and companies, he added.
A border conference between Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) and Indian Border Security Force (BSF) concludes with a call for maintaining peace along the borders. Held at Shiliguri in India, the fourday border conference discussed different border-related problems between the two countries in a cordial and amicable atmosphere, says a PID handout. BGB Deputy Director General Brigadier General Abu Sayeed Khan led a 14-member Bangladesh delegation to the conference. The delegation included BGB sector commanders of Dinajpur,
Khulna, Rangpur, Kushtia and Rajshahi, staff officers of BGB headquarters and officials of home and foreign ministries. The Indian delegation included BSF inspector generals of South Bengal, Malda and North Bengal frontiers, officials of Home Ministry and Narcotics Control Bureau. The BGB delegation raised Bangladesh’s concern over the indiscriminate shooting, killing and injuring of unarmed Bangladeshis along the borders, calling upon BSF to take effective steps to check recurrence of such incidents. BSF was urged not to create panic
along the border areas by throwing and blasting explosives. They were also requested to stop the arrest and detention of Bangladeshi nationals by Indian nationals and not to start any construction work within 150 yards of the border. The BSF delegation assured to exercise utmost restraint and take necessary and cautious measures to check recurrence of any untoward incident. Both sides agreed to take effective steps to check smuggling and human trafficking and initiatives to strengthen cooperation, mutual trust and amity.
10 killed, 30 injured as gunmen open fire on rally in Karachi, Awami Tehreek calls strike on Wednesday; vows to avenge killings Karachi killings highly deplorable: President Zardari
Karachi once again witnessed deteriorating law and order situation as the series of targeted killings continued and seven people lost their lives whereas many others were injured on Tuesday, The Awami Tehreek President Ayaz Latif Palijo has called for a strike in Sindh on Wednesday (tomorrow) and vowed to avenge ‘every single drop of blood’ shed during rally on Tuesday. Unidentified gunmen opened fire on a rally taken out from Lyari against Muhajir province, leaving seven people dead, including a woman and injuring at least 20 besides a reporter on Tuesday. The rally was organised by Awami Tehrik led by Ayaz Palijo while intense firing erupted in parts of Lyari and adjacent areas, including Cheel Chowk, Sarafa Bazar, Juna Market Bolten Market, Denso Hall and Old City Area. the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) “stood there, watching Sindhis being killed”. He thanked to PML-N, Jamaat-eIslami and Urdu speaking people for supporting the protest rally. Medico legal officer at Civil Hospital said that seven bodies and 20 injured including a woman were brought to the medical facility. He added that the women sustained a bullet wound in her neck and succumbed to her injury during treatment. The woman, who was identified as Ghazala, was attacked near Pan Chowk. Aslam Khan, a senior reporter of a private television channel Dunya News and a cameraman also sustained bullet wounds when armed men opened fire. Participants of the rally staged a sitin at the M A Jiannah Road against the firing incident. A spokesman for the Awami Tehrik gave strike call against the incident and claimed several. The Awami Tehreek and PAC jointly organised the rally which began from Lyari to end at the Karachi Press Club. According to sources, containers were set up to stop the rally at Shaheen Complex. Authorities said the rally would not be allowed entry into the red zone. Earlier, Awami Tehreek’s Anwar Soomro invited ANP’s provincial chief to participate in the rally. He said that his party had also invited Jamaat-e-Islami, Tehreek-e-Insaf, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, Sindh United Party, Sindh Taraqi Pasand Party, Jeay Sindh Qaumi Mahaz, Sindh National Party, Sindh National Movement to join them. Interior Minister Rehman Malik while taking notice of the incident sought a detailed report within 24 hours.
More than 90 people have died in Karachi so far this month
Saarc international I Thursday 24 May 2012
While talking to media Palijo said that those who were involved in killing of innocent people would not be held accountable. He said that his party would take revenge of all the killing from the terrorist, not from innocent Urdu speaking people. “We have received text messages from a certain political party last night, threatening a repeat of the
May 12,” he said. “During our rally, containers were placed to block our entry into certain areas. But when those supporting the Mohajir province were rallying, they were even allowed to enter the red zones, and were also given juices,” he added. He added that the police left the areas as soon as firing began and
Turkmenistan signs deal for gas pipeline to Pakistan, India
India and Pakistan on Wednesday signed a landmark natural gas agreement with Turkmenistan, which transported through the pipeline from Turkmenistan’s massive Galkynysh field, the world’s second-largest gas
Missing Persons case in Balochistan: Deputy AG resigns SC warns of emergency in country
The Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry on Wednesday ordered to register case against Balochistan Home Minister Mir Nasirullah Zehri and also remarked that if Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani does not want to implement the apex court orders then other options including imposition of emergency were available in the constitution. Defence Secretary Nargis Sethi and Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister Khushnood Lashari on Wednesday appeared before the Supreme Court bench hearing the Balochistan law and order case:report . A three-judge bench of the apex court comprising Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry, Justice Khilji Arif Hussain and Justice Jawad S. Khwaja was hearing a petition on the law and order situation and human rights violations in Balochistan at its Quetta registry. Earlier Unable to satisfy the apex court’s bench hearing the missing persons case in Quetta, the deputy Attorney General of Balochistan, Malik Sikander, has resigned from his position. Commenting on his decision to first walkout of the court and later on submitting his resignation, the deputy AG said, “I have the right to live my life with respect. This is why I am resigning and appearing in court as a common lawyer.” During the hearing on Wednesday, the chief justice again termed the province’s
Time for Martial Law?
is expected to bolster the development of a $7.6bn pipeline that cuts across Afghanistan. Under the agreement, Turkmenistan will provide 33bn cubic metres of gas a year to India and Pakistan for a 30-year period, a move that will significantly help the countries meet their growing energy demands. The signing of the gas sales and purchase agreements by state-run GAIL
(India) Ltd. and Pakistan’s Inter State Gas System (Pvt) Ltd. in Turkmenistan comes after nearly two decades of negotiations and backing from the U.S. to build the pipeline, commonly referred to as the TAPI pipeline. Under the agreement, up to 90 million cubic meters a day of natural gas will be
reserve. It will pass through Afghanistan, then Pakistan and end in India. But security concerns in areas through which the pipeline will pass persist, given that the Taliban controls large areas of southern Afghanistan and parts of the Afghanistan-Pakistan border. A separatist rebellion also continues in Pakistan’s southwestern Baluchistan province. As a result, the timeframe for the pipeline’s construction is unclear. Turkmenistan views the over 1,100mile-long pipeline as a way to reduce dependence on Russia and China as export markets. The gas will help India and Pakistan meet surging domestic demand for energy while also reducing chronic power shortages in Afghanistan. Wednesday, Afghanistan also signed an initial pact with Turkmenistan on longterm gas cooperation. The Indian government said in a statement on May 17 that the pipeline would be operational in 2018. India and Pakistan would each get 38 million cubic metres per day (mcmd) of gas, while the remaining 14 mcmd would be supplied to Afghanistan, it said.
security situation as alarming. He said the provincial capital of Quetta had nogo areas and that police officers were not willing to work in Balochistan. The defence secretary told the bench that the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and the Military Intelligence (MI) had prepared a report pertaining to the situation in Balochistan. Sethi moreover said that she had spoken to officials from the ISI and the MI over the situation in the southwestern province. The chief justice inquired of Principal Secretary Lashari as to what measures the federal government had taken to address the state of the province. Justice Iftikhar said that the province’s security situation had become so alarming that it was time the prime minister summoned the province’s governor and chief minister. He moreover said that if the prime minister would not act to improve the situation, the Constitution would take its course and that might even entail the
option of imposition of emergency. Also during the hearing, Justice Khwaja said that Chief Minister Balochistan Aslam Raisani had been in Quetta for a mere seven days in the past six months. The court moreover issued summons for Balochistan’s home minister to appear before it. The case’s hearing was subsequently adjourned to June 1. Earlier during Tuesday’s hearing, the bench had expressed dismay over nonappearance of the secretaries of defence and interior and principal secretary to the prime minister before it and had observed that it appeared the government, police and law enforcement agencies had no interest in recovering the missing persons. The court had on Monday summoned these officials, along with principal secretaries to the governor and the chief minister of Balochistan, to explain why the court’s orders had not been complied with so far.
Saarc international I Thursday 24 May 2012
Hafez Aladdeen is an Israeli Patriot
actually the Jewish state that so often engages in systematic mass murder and war crimes on the delegations, Aladeen draws a pretty profound list of unintended parallels between the USA and dictatorship. Delivering a sharp political criticism by means of comedy deserves respect. Another provocative insight is delivered through the character of Zoey (Anna Farris), a devout feminist and a human right invades the street demonstrating against Aladeen’s brutality, Aladeen’s Chief of Staff Tamir (Ben Kingsley) plots against his ruler inside the UN building. He sells out his country’s assets to oil tycoons and world leaders. The cinematic meaning of it all is clearthe bond between the so-called Left and the imperial powers has been established. Zoey, the lefty progressive seems to work towards the exact same goal as the leading corrupted capitalist expansionist forces. They all want to bring the Aladeen regime to an end. I guess that many of those who monitor solidarity activism and discourse would agree with Cohen’s readings. After all, it was feminists and women’s rights groups that, in the 1990s, prepared the ground for the War against Terror and the invasion of Afghanistan. The Left was also very reluctant to support the democratically elected Hamas. I guess that a Leftist, thrown into a room together with Dershowitz and Bin Laden, would probably attempt to bond first with
Gilad Atzmon The Dictator-A Film Review by Gilad Atzmon On the face of it, Baron Cohen’s The Dictator is a horrid film. It is vulgar, it isn’t funny and if it has five good jokes in it, they appear in the two minute official trailer. In short, save your time and money – unless of course, you are interested in Jewish identity politics and neurosis. Similar to Cohen’s previous work, The Dictator is, once again, a glimpse into Cohen’s own tribal morbidity. After all, the person and the spirit behind this embarrassing comedy is a proud self-loving character who never misses an opportunity to express his intimate affinity to his people, their unique comic talent and their beloved Jewish state. But let’s face it, Cohen isn’t alone, after all, he has created The Dictator together with a Hollywood studio. So, it’s reasonable to say that what we see here is just one more Hollywoodorchestrated effort to vilify the Arab, the Muslim and the Orient. I guess that Arab rulers, regimes and politics are an ideal subject for a satirical take, still, one may wonder what exactly does Sacha Baron Cohen know about the Arab World? As far as the film can tell, not much. Instead, Cohen projects his own Zionist and tribal symptoms onto the people of Arabia and their leaders. In the film, Cohen plays General Hafez Aladeen, the Arab ruler of the oil-rich North African rogue state Wadiya. On the face of it, he is the satirical version of Saddam Hussein and Muammar Gaddafi, but in reality, Aladeen’s actions are no less than a vast amplification of the crimes committed by Israel and its war criminals such as Shimon Peres, Ehud Olmert and Tzipi Livni. When Baron Cohen ridicules the Arab Dictators who obsessively seek WMD and nuclear weapons he should bear in mind that it is actually his beloved Jewish state that has, since the 1950s, been pushing the entire region into a nuclear race. It is his Israeli brothers and sisters who express every too often their lethal enthusiasm to destroy Iran and other regional entities. When Baron Cohen mocks the Arab rulers who murder their opponents and kill kids, women and elders, he once again projects Israeli symptoms because it is
a colossal scale. Someone should remind Cohen that the pictures of white phosphorus pouring
activist. Zoey runs a multi-ethnic eco-friendly grocery store in
Zoey fall for each other. Towards the end of the film ‘solidarity activist’ Zoey and Dictator Aladeen get married. This is when Dictator Aladeen and the rest of us find out that Zoey is actually a Jew. From a cinematic perspective, the Jew, the human right campaigner and the solidarity activist leader are all one. This amusing reading is unfortunately consistent with the reality of the solidarity movement. Those who monitor Jewish Left activism detect a relentless effort among some Jewish campaigners to tribally hijack and even Zionize the discourse of solidarity, human rights and marginal politics. However, from a Judaic perspective, Zoey, the new wife of Dictator Aladeen is nothing short of an incarnation of Biblical Queen Esther. Like Esther, Zoey has managed to infiltrate into the corridors of a lucrative foreign power. I guess that with AIPAC controlling American foreign policy and 80% of Tory MPs being CFI (Conservative Friends of Israel) members, a Jewish queen of a fictional Wadiya
over UN shelters were taken in Gaza, not in Saddam’s Baghdad, Homs (Sirya) or imaginary Wadiya. When Sacha Baron Cohen presents the Arab leader as a savage rapist he may want to remind himself that Moshe Katzav, who was, until recently, the President of the Jewish State is now locked behind bars after being sentenced for rape. It is therefore far from coincidence that when Cohen attempts to bond with his protagonist Dictator Aladeen, he actually speaks in his mother tongue, Hebrew. Cohen speaks Hebrew because Aladeen is not an Arab dictator, he is actually an Israeli patriot like Cohen himself. But let’s try to transcend ourselves beyond Baron Cohen’s projections and confess: as much as Cohen’s new film is lame, Cohen, himself is far from being a fool. In fact, he has managed to bring to light a few interesting and astute political insights. For example, towards the end of the film Dictator Aladeen produces a remarkable speech at the UN in favour of dictatorship. In front of
Brooklyn. She is the ultimate solidarity campaigner and this time she rallies against Aladeen and his regime. While Zoey
Dershowitz. But Zoey isn’t just a progressive solidarity and human right activists. As the plot progresses, Aladeen and
is almost exotic Gilad Atzmon is an Israeli-born British jazz saxophonist, novelist, political activist and writer.
‘May Is For Mothers’ Promotion
Show your Mum how much you care by sending her a special gift of money this Mothers’ Day. Xendpay. com, the UK’s fastest-growing specialist provider of international money transfers, has devised its latest promotion, ‘May Is For Mothers’, to enable mums and children around the world to celebrate this festival and stay in touch during the month of May. The promotion is open to all Xendpay.com clients, both existing and new, and is a fantastic opportunity to show your lovely mother how much you care by sending her a money gift to help her with any financial obligations or just so that she can pamper herself. In addition, all the Xendpay.com clients who use the service during the month of May will be entered into a draw, with one lucky person winning a bunch of flowers, which Xendpay.com will send to his/her mother. In order to qualify for the prize draw, clients need to make an online transfer with Xendpay.com and send their feedback, quoting ‘Money for Mother’ in
Xendpay.com, The UK’s Fastest Growing Online Money Remittance Service Helps You Stay Connected With Your Mother With Its
the message. RationalFX, owners of Xendpay.com, has over six years of expertise within the field of international payments and over $2 billion worth of safe, secure and successful money transfers have now been completed. RationalFX is one of the world’s leading and fastest growing independent foreign exchange companies, and is also the principal sponsor for Birmingham City Football Club for Season 2011-2012.
India’s dam plans anger Pakistan, symbolise global water woes
blow up India’s dams, and violent condemnation of India’s water policies is cheered on by a growing hard line. Last year, Pakistani newspaper Nawa-i-Waqt urged the government: ‘’Pakistan should convey to India that a war is possible on the issue of water and this time war will be a nuclear one.’’ Most experts argue a declared war between nations in the near future is unlikely, but as pressure grows, smaller conflicts will flare across the region. The Strategic Foresight Group has postulated the idea of an ‘’arc of hydro insecurity’’, stretching from Vietnam through China, South Asia, to Iran, Iraq and other Middle East countries, through to Egypt and Kenya in East Africa. Scarce water will drive up food prices, destabilise governments and spark mass migrations. A Dutch study found that by the middle of this century, shrinking glaciers will reduce the flow of water to the Indus by 8 per cent. A Princeton study published in Science magazine last year found
Saarc international I Thursday 24 May 2012
ITS three great basins - the Indus, the Ganges and the Brahmaputra - are the most densely populated area in the world. The Ganges alone supports half a billion people. ITS three great basins - the Indus, the Ganges and the Brahmaputra - are the most densely populated area in the world. The Ganges alone supports half a billion people. Seventy per cent of South Asia’s 1.5 billion people live in farming families, and depend on the water of those basins for their survival. That number grows by 25 million every year. For generations the rivers have watered the bread basket of the Punjab, the cotton plants and fruit trees of the Sindh, and the rice paddies of Bangladesh, and grown this region faster than anywhere else. But South Asia’s water supply is unpredictable, and increasingly unmanageable. Lashed annually by monsoons, and regularly by devastating floods, between, there are severe and prolonged droughts across the region. Even when the rain falls in
a new point of dispute. And South Asia’s geography, demography and climate portend a global problem. A security report from the US Director of National Intelligence released this year says that over the next decade ‘’many countries … will experience water problems - shortages, poor water quality, or
as a weapon or to further terrorist objectives also will become more likely.’’ US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told her department: ‘’These threats are real.’’ Already, water has become part of the terrorist call-to-arms. Alleged mastermind of the 2008 Mumbai
moderation, there is little infrastructure to preserve it for leaner times. Across all three basins, there is less water, and ever more people. The issue of water in this part of the world is back in the spotlight with a case before the Permanent Court of Arbitration this week between Pakistan and India. Pakistan claims a new hydroelectric plant India is building on the Kishanganga River (known as the Neelum River in Pakistan) in Kashmir will rob it of water that rightfully belongs to it. This is the political reality of this water-short century. Water is becoming a powerful weapon of diplomacy, even of coercion, and
floods - that will risk instability and state failure’’. ‘’As a result of demographic and economic development pressures, North Africa, the Middle East and South Asia will face major challenges coping with water problems.’’ Disputes are likely between countries, between states within countries, and even between cities and communities. Water shortages will probably drive nation states towards diplomatic solutions and to sharing agreements, the report says, but extremists will ‘’almost certainly’’ target vulnerable water infrastructure. ‘’Beyond the next 10 years, water in shared basins will increasingly be used as leverage, the use of water
attacks Hafiz Saeed has railed often against India for it’s so-called ‘’water terrorism’’, threatening ‘’water flows or blood’’. Lashkar-e-Taiba, an outlawed terror group, regularly threatens to
‘’the observed precipitation decrease can be attributed mainly to humaninfluenced aerosols emissions’’. Demographics are changing too. As India develops, a wealthier population will eat more meat,
requiring more energy and waterintensive agriculture. Environmental author B. G. Verghese told The Age : ‘’Water, and the energy that comes from water, affects every household. If you have a 12-hour blackout, children cannot do their homework, factories cannot operate. If the well is empty and the women have to walk to the next village for water, mini water-wars break out between villages, fighting over the last bucket. ‘’More people will be killed by insanitary water than by all the sum total of all the wars and all the insurgencies that might be fought.’’ Mr Verghese said while water will lead to disagreements between countries, and could spur a deterioration in diplomatic relationships, ‘’I don’t think it will lead to war’’. ‘’The only country that could go to war on this question is Pakistan, and Pakistan simply has no case.’’ The current Pakistan-India water dispute is the sharp relief of a still-hazy problem. And it is a test of a decades-old water-sharing agreement that has withstood three wars, constant territorial disputes, nuclear tests and terrorist attacks. The Indus Water Treaty, signed in 1960, gives Pakistan rights over the Indus Valley’s three western rivers. India controls the three rivers to the east. The treaty is important, in particular to Pakistan, which is downstream from India, and relies on its neighbour’s adherence to it for survival. But the treaty is beginning to crack under new pressures, and Pakistan’s increasing anxiety about its neighbour’s activities on its watercourses. India has no fewer than 45 dams or power stations completed, planned or proposed on Pakistan’s western rivers, which Islamabad believes will give Delhi control over how much water flows over the border, and the ability to destroy Pakistan’s agriculture, starve its people and ruin its economy. India dismisses Pakistan’s fears as paranoid and without scientific basis. It says it has adhered to the treaty and dams do not affect its neighbour. But after 15 rounds of bilateral talks the parties are back in the Permanent Court of Arbitration next week. But India, too, feels vulnerable. There are rumours China might attempt to change the course of the Tsangpo/Brahmaputra River in Tibet. China has denied such a plan, but the idea worries India.
Saarc international I Thursday 24 May 2012
US President Barack Obama refuses to meet Zardari: Reports
US President Barack Obama is at loggerheads with his Pakistani counterpart Asif Ali Zardari, refusing to meet him apparently over blockage of NATO supply lines into Afghanistan, an issue which continues to strain ties between two nations, American media reports said on Monday. The New York Times said a deal to reopen the supply lines fell apart as Obama began talks on ending the NATO alliance’s combat role in Afghanistan in 2013. As a two-day NATO summit meeting opened in Chicago, Obama remained at loggerheads with Zardari, refusing even to meet him without a deal on the supply meet Zardari as he had a ‘full slate of summit meetings to attend’. “But we don’t anticipate any other bilateral meetings so we didn’t draw that linkage. We’re going to continue to work through the issue with the Pakistanis,” he said. Zardari did, however, meet with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to discuss the supply routes. A State Department official later said that Clinton and Zardari discussed the importance of reopening NATO supply lines and of taking joint action against the terror groups, in Af-Pak region including al-Qaeda and Haqqani. “This whole breakdown in the relationship between the US and really uncomfortable” for Zardari at the summit, which runs through Monday, the official told The New York Times. The Washington Post said that hopes that the deal on reopening of the supply routes would be concluded before the summit were not realised as the two sides continue to haggle over new tariff rates Pakistan wants to impose. After weeks of closed-door negotiations with Zardari’s government, US officials did not deny that they are seeking to send the Pakistanis a public message, The Los Angeles Times said. “If they’re feeling a little bit of pressure this weekend, they should,” a US official was quoted as saying. “The US and NATO are ready to move beyond this issue,” the Los Angeles Times said, according to which US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta is planning to meet with officials from five Central Asian countries that have provided an alternative, but considerably more expensive, northern land route for NATO supplies since Pakistan closed its roads after a cross border air raid killed 24 of its soldiers in November. The Wall Street Journal said Zardari was invited to attend the summit at the last minute in hopes that would lead to a deal, but the two sides remain at odds over how much the US and its allies should pay Pakistan per container. According to US officials, Pakistan has proposed raising transit fees per container by as much as 3,000 per cent, or 30-fold, a demand that Washington and its allies have rejected as excessive, the daily reported. A senior US official said the pressure was meant to make Zardari ‘feel uncomfortable,’ The Journal said.
Karzai. (NYT) Zardari, who flew to Chicago
American air strike last November, for which the US President has
routes, which officials in both sides acknowledged would not be coming soon, it said. Obama, however, met Afghanistan President Hamid
with hopes of lifting his stature with a meeting with Obama, was preparing to leave empty-handed as the two countries continued to feel the repercussions of a fatal
offered condolences but no apology, the paper said. But White House Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes said that President Obama could not
Nepal police detain protesters enforcing strike
Protesters clashed with residents of the Imdol neighborhood in southeastern Katmandu and several people on both sides were injured. The Nepal Federation of Indigenous Nationalities called the three-day strike to demand that states proposed in the new constitution be determined on the basis of ethnic groups.
Pakistan has come down to a fixation of this apology issue,” Vali Nasr, a former State Department adviser on Pakistan, was quoted as saying by the daily. The combination of no apology and no meeting, Nasr said, ‘will send a powerfully humiliating message back to Pakistan’. According to the daily, the failure to strike a deal on the supply routes ahead of the summit injects new tension into the relationship. “When NATO extended the invitation, we thought it would move the Pakistanis off the dime,” a senior American official was quoted as saying. Without the deal, “it’s going to be
Officials say protesters enforcing a general strike for a second day have clashed with local residents in parts of the Nepalese capital. Police spokesman Binod Singh says police detained at least seven protesters
in Katmandu on Monday and there are reports of protesters attacking at least a half dozen vehicles defying the strike. At least two dozen vehicles were burned Sunday, when more than 50 protesters were detained.
Saarc international I Thursday 24 May 2012
WEEKLY REVIEW OF PAKISTAN NEWS
Turkey backs Pakistan over NATO supplies
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday supported Pakistan on resumption of NATO supplies, saying it is “an internal matter” of Pakistan. While jointly addressing a press conference with Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani after the inking of nine agreements for cooperation in diverse fields, Erdogan said the opening of the NATO supply routes was the prerogative of Pakistan. “However, as a member of NATO, Turkey believes that such issues should be resolved through mutual dialogue,” he said. The Turkish premier also endorsed Pakistan’s demand for an apology from the US for the Salala border post attack that left 24 Pakistani troops dead. Responding to a question, he said NATO has decided to withdraw from Afghanistan by 2014, but the date is not absolute and the pull back might
be delayed. As for Turkey, he said it will withdraw from Afghanistan after all troops had left the country. He vowed Turkey is not going abandon its Afghan brothers. Speaking about the government-opposition confrontation in Pakistan, Erdogan advised the opposition to be constructive and serve
the country and people. He warned if the two sides kept fighting among themselves, the people of the country would suffer profoundly. “We should put the people first. The state is secondary. The purpose of the state is only to serve the people, and not anything else,” the Turkish premier
Balochistan case: Deputy Attorney General resigns during hearing
Deputy Attorney General Malik Sikander on Tuesday resigned from his position before a bench of the Supreme Court hearing the Balochistan law and order and missing persons’ case, DawnNews reported.
summoned during Monday’s hearing failed to arrived at the Quetta registry. The chief justice expressed his displeasure over the absence of the federal interior and defence secretaries. The deputy attorney general told the bench that he had delivered the court’s summons to the relevant The chief minister should have appeared before the bench himself, the chief justice said, adding that by this time, Raisani should have sacked six ministers from the Balochistan cabinet. “We want to save Balochistan… the law and order situation in the province is alarming and kidnappings and targeted killings are still going on,” Justice Iftikhar said. The police have “failed to apprehend a single suspect” in these incidents, he said, adding that allegations were continually being made against the Frontier Corps (FC) and the InterServices Intelligence (ISI). The court moreover ordered authorities to produce two men who had gone missing from Quetta’s Sariab road before it by tomorrow. DIG FC Brigadier Farrukh Shahzad also appeared before the bench and said all efforts were underway to recover the missing persons.
observed. He also said Pakistan would be able to take the place it deserves in the world if the political parties in the country demonstrated shoulderto-shoulder politics. Erdogan said the two countries have moved forward on the Preferential Trade Agreement and hope to sign it at the earliest. “Let us continue with our bilateral investment and encourage entrepreneurship, not only to invest in each others country, but also to jointly invest in a third country,” he said. He noted that with the inking of the latest nine agreements, the total had reached 100, which was reflective of the “unique friendship and the close relationship” between the two countries. The Turk premier said nine years back bilateral trade between the two countries was
$175 million and has now risen to $1 billion. “It is our goal to raise it to $2 billion at the earliest.” Speaking at the conference, Prime Minister Gilani said the final decision to open the NATO supplies, and its timing, would be made in line with the recommendations of the parliamentary committee. However, he made it clear that “Pakistan wishes to move along with the world”. “We wish to make it clear that Pakistan is the part of solution, and not the problem for Afghanistan.” The prime minister reiterated Pakistan’s stance that it supported a “stable, sovereign, prosperous and independent Afghanistan”, and added that it desired a political solution that was Afghan-led and Afghan-owned.
Speaker NA seeks Gilani’s reply in contempt case: Report
A three-judge bench comprising Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry, Justice Khilji Arif Hussian and Justice Jawad S. Khwaja was hearing a petition on the law and order situation and human rights violations in Balochistan at the Quetta registry of Supreme Court. Chief Secretary to Balochistan Chief Minister Aslam Raisani, Hafiz Abdul Basit, appeared before the bench. However, the federal secretaries
authorities. Addressing Sikander, Justice Khilji said: “You think that the problems of 17 crore people would be solved by 17 judges…why are others not fulfilling their responsibilities?” Sikander did not respond to the court’s questions and tendered his resignation before the bench. Chief Justice Iftikhar said “we do not want lip service…we want the orders to be implemented.”
Speaker of National Assembly Dr Fehmida Mirza has directed Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani to file a response regarding his conviction in the contempt of court case, DawnNews reported on Tuesday. According to the report, Dr Mirza is due to announce her decision regarding Gilani’s disqualification this week. Sources told DawnNews that Gilani will respond to the speaker
with an official written reply by Wednesday. Under the Constitution, the speaker is required to send a reference to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) within 30 days if she thinks the prime minister stands disqualified in light of the Supreme Court verdict in the contempt case. Dr Mirza, had earlier said it was not clear when the period of 30 days would end.
Saarc international I Thursday 24 May 2012
WEEKLY REVIEW OF MALDIVE NEWS
Breakthrough in India-brokered Maldives political talks
The India-facilitated all-party talks in Maldives finally yielded a breakthrough, with the groups agreeing to focus on a six-point agenda, including the prospect of an early election, to find a resolution to the political crisis. The agenda agreement was made after nine hectic meetings and several rounds of sparring, and among its priorities the demand of ousted president Mohamed Nasheed’s party to hold early election. The All Party Talks coordinator, Ahmed Mujuthaba, said on Monday that the nine parties represented at the meeting held last evening agreed on the agenda arrangement, and will now meet again at the end of the month to take the matter forward. The next round of meetings will be held from May 31 to June 2, plus the details of the meetings would be kept confidential. The points of arrangement included an agreement to ‘discuss and find a way to solve the political unrest’ in Maldives currently, and also work upon the current financial budget and its difficulties. The all-party talks would also discuss over the coming days the steps that need to be taken to reform the country’s independent institutions, and the changes to be made to existing laws and the need to pass new laws. Discussions on how the Constitution can be changed to suit the present situation, as well as deciding the election dates is also part of the agenda. The allparty talks were part of an Indiasponsored mechanism to broker a deal between all Maldivian parties after the February unrest that saw Nasheed being ousted from office and his deputy Mohamed Waheed taking over the president’s job. Furthermore, the nine parties also agreed to proceed with the meetings among themselves without the involvement of other parties. Maldives at present has 15 political parties. “The deadlock has now been broken. We informed that we had no reservations over the way the items of the agenda is set,” said Maldivian Democratic party spokesperson, Hamid Abdul Ghafoor, who represented the party at yesterday’s meeting. The All Party Talks had been initiated in February, but had been stalled after the pro-government political parties had failed to come to a consensus with MDP over the ordering of the agenda.
The Government of India has approved the quota for supply of essential commodities for Maldives for the years 2012-13 & 2012-14, based of the requests projected by the Maldivian Government. India has been supplying various essential commodities for Maldives as per Maldivian requirement under a bilateral trade agreement signed in 1981. Under the agreement, these commodities are exported to Maldives even when there is a scarcity or export restriction in India. The Government of India had modified its policy last year to for fixation of quota for supply of essential commodities for a period of three years, instead of one year at a time, in order to alleviate the problem of uncertainty of supply due to scarcity.
Indian authorizes supplies of essential commodities for Maldives
Trash in an Island Paradise
GMR to deduct USD25 pending Majlis result
Ibrahim Nasir Int’l Airport operator GMR, India has said that the USD25 to be charged from every departing passenger would continue to be deducted from concession fee payable to the government, until the Parliament passes a law in relation to the matter. A hand book released by the company stated that following the court order against charging USD25 from each departing passenger as Airport Development Charge (ADC), it would respect the points entailed within the agreement made with the Maldives Airport Company Limited (MACL). To that end, GMR said that it had been agreed to deduct the amount from the concession fee payable to the government. The company further noted that charging ADC was a custom of many airports around the world while stressing that the designated amount being charged from INIA was quite reasonable. GMR revealed that the government along with MACL had decided to submit a bill to the Parliament with regard to charging ADC. The company added that till the bill is passed by the Parliament, it would continue to charge the amount from international passengers. GMR has also claimed that in order
In 2009, Mohamed Nasheed, former president of the Maldives, made headlines when he held an underwater cabinet meeting to dramatize the vulnerability of his country to rising seas due to global warming. With an average elevation 1.5 metres (4 ft 11 in) above sea level, most of the 1,200 islands that make up Maldives may well be gone by 2100. But between now and then, this country known as a tropical island paradise has a more immediate problem. Trash. Lots and lots of poorly managed trash. What 20 years ago was an unspoiled coral island now accepts up to 300 tons of trash daily. Some if it cascades to the water’s edge. Local conservationist Marie Saleem took BBC’s Simon Reeve on a tour of an uninhabited island where Maldivian trash is dumped, and it’s an environmental disaster in the making. Along with the crystal clear waters that attract well-pocketed tourists, Maldives is home to some of the richest coral reefs on Earth. Marine
life includes well over 1,000 species of fish, almost 200 species of coral, 400 species of molluscs and 48 shrimp species. Yet, the geology of the islands is prime for toxic leaching. Beneath a 6 inch layer of topsoil lies about 2 feet of sandstone, and under that, permeable sand and water. Worse, perhaps, is the fact that sea levels have risen about 20 cm (8 in.) over the last century — and more than 80% of the country’s land is less than 1 meter above sea level. In 1987, high tides swept over the Maldives, inundating the capital city of Male and nearby islands. In 2004, the Maldives were devastated by the tsunami that followed the December 26 Indian Ocean earthquake. Six islands were destroyed, 14 had to be evacuated and 57 suffered serious infrastructure damage. In the words of Simon Reeve, ”This is a poisoned environment. It shouldn’t be happening anywhere, least of all here.” One would be hard-pressed to find a worse location for unmanaged waste.
to bring INIA up to international standards, many passengers had no objection or were willing to pay the ADC. The company further said that a lot had been done to fulfill the promises made to the people of the Maldives. “We have been the highest revenue generators to GoM in the first two years, contributed more than USD111 million,” GMR said. GMR highlighted that during the 25 year period of INIA operation, the government would receive USD2 billion as concession fee. Meanwhile, MACL had ordered GMR to pay the USD8.2 million immediately which had been deducted by GMR from the concession fee payable to the
government for the last three months. MACL Managing Director Mohamed Ibrahim revealed that GMR had been earlier informed that the letter from the former Chairman approving the airport operator to omit the USD25 from every departing passenger had been declared null and void. However, GMR had informed MACL that the letter was valid and would continue to follow it accordingly. Mohamed Ibrahim further said that the agreement made between MACL and GMR would clearly state that the MVR126 million deducted by GMR was a compulsory amount payable to the government.
Saarc international I Thursday 24 May 2012
WEEKLY REVIEW OF NEPAL NEWS
Friday is an important day for Muslims from religious point of view. For Nepali Muslims, Sunday too became equally important day from political perspective as they won an important
Muslims win battle for identity
As per the agreement, constitutional Muslim Commission will be formed to address concerns and problems of the Muslim community and the government will form madrasa
identity. Likewise, the government has agreed to ensure special rights to Muslims in the new constitution and implement the agreements reached between the
Parties decide to extend CA terms by 3 months
Constitution Amendment Bill registered at House‚ efforts for consensus to continue The four major political forces on Tuesday agreed upon extending the term of Constituent Assembly, which was expiring on May 27, by three more months. The top leaders of UCPN-Maoist, Nepali Congress, CPN-UML and United Democratic Madhesi Front held a meeting at Singha Durbar this evening to discuss how to promulgate the new constitution amid existing differences among the parties over crucial issues including federalism. Following the understanding, the Cabinet decided to bring in the 13th Constitution Amendment Bill. Deputy Prime Minister Krishna Prasad Sitaula registered the Bill at the House on behalf of the government. Prime Minister Dr. Baburam Bhattarai had proposed to extend the CA term by three months in the fourside meeting. Nepali Congress and CPN-UML expressed their reservation over the three-month extension proposal, suggesting that the extension should be done for a month only, Nepali Congress leader Bimalendra Nidhi
battle for identity. The government and the agitating National Muslim Struggle Alliance (NMSA) on Sunday signed an 11-point agreement that promised the Muslims will be enlisted in the new constitution to ensure their distinct identity. Until now, the Mulisms who made up 4.2 percent of the total population as per the last census of 2001, were recognized as others. Talking to Republica, Spokesperson for the alliance Junaid Ansari said they called off all their struggle programs on Sunday following the agreement that promised to address the concerns of Muslim community.
education board to recognize madrasa education and form permanent Hajj committee immediately to oversee the issues related to the annual Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia. The government has also agreed to ensure their presence at all levels of state mechanism based on the principles of inclusion and proportional representation and to ensure legal provisions allowing the Muslim community to follow their family law. Similarly, separate rights of Muslims will be mentioned under the fundamental rights in the new constitution while provincial states in Tarai will be named reflecting Muslim
government and Muslim community in the past. According to Ansari, who was present during the talks, the government´s talk team expressed commitment to forward the process to implement the agreement. “They assured us to forge consensus among major political parties regarding the issues to be incorporated in the new constitution while the government will take necessary measures to address them,” Ansari added. Zakir Hussein of the NMSA warned of launching stern protests if the government did not implement the agreement as in the past.
told the media after the meeting. According to him, the parties had to come to terms with the purported extension as the Madhesi parties did not agree to promulgate the constitution even with an understanding to resolve of some of the disputed issues later through the transitional parliament. Nidhi said the parties, however, will continue their efforts to build consensus and try to meet the deadline for new constitution. After the Cabinet meeting, Deputy Prime Minister Narayan Kaji Shrestha informed that the parties will try to resolve the issues through consensus and prepare the new constitution by May 27. If that happens, the 13th Amendment Bill of Interim Constitution registered at the Legislature-Parliament will be
NC, UML reject single identity provinces
The efforts of three major political partiesand United Democratic Madhesi Front to arrive at a consensus on number and names of provinces in new state restructuring failed to make any headway. The efforts of three major political partiesand United Democratic Madhesi Front (UDMF) to arrive at a consensus on number and names of provinces in new state restructuring failed to make any headway as parties continue to remain sharply divided over “single ethnic identity” based provinces in the new state restructuring. A day long meeting held on Monday to settle the issue ended inconclusively after Nepali Congress and CPN-UML rejected a joint proposal of the Maoist and UDMF for 10 provinces with single ethnic identity. Both NC and UML are opposed to the idea of provinces with ´single ethnic identity´. The Maoists and the UDMF have threatened to go for voting in the Constituent Assembly starting Tuesday if there was no agreement on the issue of federalism in view of the fast approaching constitutional deadline of May 27 to promulgate a new statute. “There is no alternative but to go for voting from tomorrow During the meeting, both NC and the UML leaders accused the Maoists of backtracking from the previous agreement on 11-province federal model and inciting ethnic groups to take to people,” said UML Vice Chairman Bam Dev Gautam. Gautam accused the Maoists of repeatedly changing its stance on federalism over the past two weeks. Though there was agreement among parties to go for 11-province federal model with a provision to give provincial assembly the authority to choose their names, the Maoist later said that it was not acceptable to them,” he said. As the differences continued to persist among parties on number and names of provinces, NC and UML had proposed to bring a draft constitution within May 27 with a provision to settle the issue of federalism by the transformed parliament on the recommendation of federal commission. “We proposed to go ahead with the promulgation of new constitution with a provision to settle the issues of boundary and names by transformed parliament after May 27. But the Maoists did not accept to the proposal,” said NC Vice President Ram Chandra Paudel. The Maoist and UDMF, however, alleged the NC and UML´s proposal was aimed at bringing new constitution without federalism. “Arguing there wasn´t adequate time to settle issues, both the NC and UML have been conspiring to bring a new constitution without federalism,” alleged Madheshi People´s Rights Forum-Republican Acting Chairman Raj Kishor Yadav. Yadav said the proposal was not acceptable to the UDMF and Maoists. “We will go for voting starting Tuesday. The CA members from other parties will vote in favor of the people by breaching their party whips to bring the new constitution,” he said. Paudel said that they won´t be able to bring the new constitution if they chose to vote on contentious issues in the CA as they are just left with six days. “If we choose to go for voting process the CA is likely to be dissolved. Neither there will be federalism, nor democracy and republican set up once the CA term expires without promulgating a new constitution. This has put us in a difficult situation,” he said.
[Tuesday]. But we will continue negotiations to arrive at consensus on the contentious issue”,” said Maoist Vice Chairman Narayan Kaji Shrestha after the meeting. Three major parties and the UDMF are scheduled to sit again for talks Tuesday before the parliament begins at 3 pm.
the streets to bring a constitution of their ´interests´. “The Maoists have attempted to put pressure on the parties by inciting lawmakers to breach the party whip. We are worried that the Maoists are conspiring to bring a constitution that is against the interests of majority of
Saarc international I Thursday 24 May 2012
WEEKLY REVIEW OF SRILANKA NEWS
Qatar ready to help Lanka’s development programmes
The Qatar Prime Minister during his recent visit to Sri Lanka , said the cordial friendship between the two countries should be strengthened in the future. The main objective of the State of Qatar is to see Sri Lanka achieving rapid development. President Mahinda Rajapaksa visited the Qatar Sports Academy on an inspection tour on Sunday. The academy situated on a 800 acre land consists of 15 football fields, a fully equipped stadium and a training centre, a press release by the President’s Media Division said. The Academy, completed within two years, is considered to be the only Academy in the world where all types of games can be played at one and the same time. The Academy director told the President the Academy is equipped with facilities to help improve the talents and skills of sportsmen and women from childhood. He said they hope to use the Faculty to produce world renowned sports men and women in the near in the development sphere in every possible way without any pre - conditions or agreements, President Rajapaksa’s visit to Qatar as a great honour bestowed on Qatar, added that he made a point to stay over and meet President Rajapaksa by cancelling a scheduled state visit abroad. A communique issued by the President’s Media Division said the Qatar Emir who stated that the development assistance extended to Sri Lanka by his country is far from satisfactory, added that he was prepared to extend any type of assistance to Sri Lanka in the future as a mark of respect for President Rajapaksa. The Emir said Sri Lanka had been able to make significant strides in the development field and achieve a top growth rate in the region within a very short time after the setback suffered from terrorism due to President Rajapaksa’s able leadership. The discussions between Qatar Prime Minister Hamad bin Jasim bin Jabar Althani and President Rajapaksa were also held in a very cordial atmosphere. The Qatar Prime Minister who thanked President Rajapaksa for the hospitality accorded to him during his recent visit to Sri Lanka , said the cordial friendship between the two countries should be strengthened in the future. He said Qatar is anxiously watching the progress achieved by Sri Lanka in the field of development. President Rajapaksa said he wished to warmly thank Qatar for the unstinted cooperation and support extended to Sri Lanka at the recent UNHRC sessions. Ministers Prof G L Peiris, A H M Fowzie, Rishad Bathiudeen and Rauf Hakeem, Deputy Ministers Faizer Musthapha, Parliamentarian A H M Azwer, Secretary to the President Lalith Weeratunga and Sri Lankan ambassador in Qatar Jayantha Palipana were also present at the discussions.
future. The Academy director also presented President Rajapaksa a special memento to mark his visit. The main objective of the State of Qatar is to see Sri Lanka achieving rapid development. It is prepared to assist Sri Lanka
Qatar Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Ali Thani and Qatar Prime Minister Hamad bin Jasim bin Jahar Althani said when they met President Mahinda Rajapaksa for discussions on Sunday. The Qatar Emir who described
LONDON’S GUARDIAN NEWSPAPER SAYS FONSEKA RELEASE LINKED WITH US DEMAND
Sri Lanka set to free jailed general
Police said that that they had taken into custody 258 warrant holders who had been absconding from court, in raids conducted last Sunday covering all the police stations in the Eastern Province. This raid was conducted encompassing four Police Divisions in the Eastern Province with the instructions of Eastern Province Senior DIG Jagath Abeysiriwardane. Thereby 44 warrant holders from Trincomalee Police Division, 22 from Kantale, 122 from Batticaloa and 70 from Ampara were taken into custody on this day.
Major operation undertaken in East Province
The police said that the task to take into custody all those warrant holders covering all the police stations in Eastern Division within a day had been an extremely demanding and that it had been done to perfection. The Divisional Police Superintendents conducted these raids on the instructions of Eastern Province Senior DIG Jagath Abeysiriwardane under the supervision of Trincomalee Division DIG D.W.R.B.Seneviratne, Batticaloa Division DIG Ravindra Vaidyalankara and Ampara Division DIG Keerthi Silva.
Laws to be strengthened to arrest situation
President Mahinda Rajapaksa has approved the early release of Sri Lanka’s jailed former army chief in a move designed to quieten criticism of his nation’s human rights record. General Sarath Fonseka, 61, led Sri Lanka’s armed forces towards the end of his nation’s civil war, but was sentenced to 30 months in prison in 2010 on charges of corruption, and subsequently to three further years in 2011. Guardian newspaper indicated that the release of the former Army Commander Sarath Fonseka had a link with the demand of the United States from Sri Lanka to have a better record of human rights and release Fonseka. In a news item on the issue the Guardian said, “The United States regards Fonseka as a political prisoner and has repeatedly said he should be freed. At a meeting in Washington on Friday,(May 18 )the secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, called on Sri Lanka’s foreign minister to address human rights issues. The newspaper said, “The move, confirmed by government spokesmen, is an apparent attempt to quell international criticism of the government’s human rights record before a series of key visits by foreign officials and trips by the president over the summer, including to the London Olympics. The government acting on President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s directives has decided to take immediate action to arrest the stealing of artefacts which has proliferated on a massive scale countrywide as reported in recent times. The government has taken steps to tighten laws relating to the destruction and stealing of artefacts by giving more teeth to the existing laws and regulations governing artefacts and archaeological sites. A communique issued by the Government Information Department said the penalty for the robbery of artifacts according to existing regulations is two years improvement or a Rs 50,000 fine or both.
Under the amended legislation this will be increased to five years imprisonment or Rs two million fine or both several factors which had contributed towards the escalation of these artifact destruction and robberies have already been
identified. They are certain myths circulating among the people and unnecessary media publicity which exaggerated the value of artifacts which led to curiosity among the people, the communique added.
Saarc international I Thursday 24 May 2012
Bangladesh and Bhutan will hold talks next month in pursuance a proposal from Thimpu on bilateral trade and possible signing of transit protocol between the two countries. Officials said Bhutan has shown keen interest to improve bilateral trade and use Bangladesh’s seaports, airports and five new land customs stations (LC) along the border with Indian state of Meghalaya and Assam. Thimpu recently sent the proposal to the foreign ministry to use the ports and LC facilities under a protocol on transit. Bhutan has been enjoying a favourable trade balance. Bangladesh’s imports from Bhutan in 2009-10 stood at US$ 25 million as against exports only US$ 3 million. According to a recent report published in a Bhutanese daily, Thimpu is finally set to sign the
BD, Bhutan to discuss on bilateral trade issue next month
transit facilities to Bhutan, but discussions are on about bilateral cooperation. “I will go Bhutan with a delegation to discuss the transit issue. But there is no such bilateral transit agreement between the two countries. Rather, we are considering a regional transit framework,” said Mr Hussain. Bangladesh and Bhutan earlier signed a transit agreement in 1980, but it did not come into effect fully in the absence of India giving all the corridors for transshipment of goods and commodities. While drawing attention on this point he said, “Definitely Bhutan is a friendly neighbour of Bangladesh which is landlocked too. Bangladesh will provide all concessions to the nation in transit matter. “But that does not mean we are at any final point to strike the transit deal,” Mr Hussain said, adding,
long term transit agreement with Bangladesh in the forthcoming meeting between the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MoEA) and the Bangladesh Ministry of Commerce (MoC). It said Bangladesh Commerce Secretary Ghulam Hussian will lead a six-member delegation for the talks to be held in Thimpu.
The secretary level talks will be followed by ministerial meeting. The secretary-level meeting earlier scheduled for May 9 will now be held sometime in the second week of June. Commerce secretary Ghulam Hussain, however, told the FE that there is no such final decision taken yet about any deal extending
“India is an issue and all the issues must be sort out gradually. Everything cannot be resolved at one go,” added the commerce secretary. According to a FE report, Bhutan has recently sent a draft protocol on transit to the Foreign Ministry ahead of the meeting between the two countries proposing to use seaports and airports in Bangladesh along with five additional land customs (LC) stations under the proposed protocol on transit. Bhutan and Bangladesh’s export/import currently takes place through two LC stations – Burimari which is approximately 400kms away from its southeastern town of Samdrup Jongkhar, and Tamabil, a route which passes through the Indian states of Meghalaya and Assam. Bhutan now uses Calcutta port of India for its external trade.
Sri Lanka is among the member nations of SAARC who will benefit from the RBI’s $ 2 billion swap arrangement aimed at strengthening regional financial and economic cooperation, the Indian High Commission said today. Governor of Reserve Bank of India (RBI) D Subbarao on May 16 had announced that the RBI will offer swap arrangement of $ 2 billion both in foreign currency and Indian rupee. The facility will be available to all South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) member countries, viz, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. With launching of this facility, member countries can now approach Reserve Bank of India for availing of the facility. The central bank of Sri Lanka will need to enter bilateral swap agreements, which need final approval from the Government of India, the Indian High Commission said in a statement. The swap will be offered in US dollar, Euro or Indian Rupee against the domestic currency or domestic currency denominated government securities of the requesting country. India will contribute the entire fund. The swap amount available to various member central banks has
Sri Lanka to benefit from RBI’s $2bn swap arrangement
India ‘offers’ Bangladesh $400m swap loan
The Bangladesh Bank governor, Atiur Rahman, said at a programme of Economic Reporters’ Forum on Sunday that Bangladesh would be able to take loans worth above $400 million through swap arrangement. be given loans in three installments according to their demand. The interest rates for the first two installments would be two per cent more than London Interbank Offered Rate. The third installment would cost two and a half per cent more. The initiative for loan within South Asian countries came up for discussion in January this year due to the hike in dollar prices and liquidity crisis. Following the fifth conference of SAARC finance ministers in Dhaka, the finance minister, Abul Maal Abdul Muhith, said that India suggested a swap arrangement between SAARC countries and that it would soon be implemented. India will offer swap arrangement of $2 billion both in foreign currency and Indian rupee. RBI said the swap arrangement would be entirely funded by India and it would be offered in US dollar, euro and Indian rupee against the domestic currency or domestic currency denominated government securities of the requesting country. The swap arrangement is intended to provide a back stop line of funding for the SAARC member countries to meet any balance of payments and liquidity crises, till longer term arrangements are made, RBI said. It would also help if there is a need for short-term liquidity due to market turbulence, the Indian central bank added. With the launch of this facility, member countries can now approach Reserve Bank of India for availing of the facility. The swap amount available to various member central banks has been arrived based on two months import cover subject to a floor of $100 million and a maximum of $400 million per country, RBI said. The requesting member countries will be able to make draws of US dollar, euro or Indian rupee in multiple tranches. Each withdrawal of three months tenor and can be rolled over twice.
been arrived at broadly based on two months import cover subject to a floor of $ 100 million and a maximum of $ 400 million per country. Under the facility, the requesting member countries can make drawals of US dollar, Euro or Indian Rupee in multiple tranches. Each drawal is of three months tenor and can be rolled over twice. The first rollover will be at the normal rate of interest, while the second one attracts 50 basis points interest more than the normal interest rate. For this purpose, the normal interest rate agreed upon is the London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) for three months plus 200 basis points. The normal interest rate for Indian rupee swap is RBI Repo Rate minus 200 basis points. The SAARC swap facility is being offered by the Reserve Bank of India in light of the decision of SAARC Finance Ministers at the SAARC Ministerial Meeting on Global Financial Crisis, held on February 28, 2009, which noted that “A major cause of current concern in the region is the drying up of credit and the contraction of financial markets.” “Mechanisms must, therefore, be developed aimed at creating bilateral arrangements in the region to address short-term liquidity difficulties and to supplement international financing arrangements,” it had noted.
The Indian government has formed a $2 billion fund to assist member countries of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation to tackle balance of payments crisis. The Bangladesh Bank governor, Atiur Rahman, said at a programme of Economic Reporters’ Forum on Sunday that Bangladesh would be able to take loans worth above $400 million through swap arrangement. India recently finalised the initiative at a meeting of SAARC Finance Governors’ in Nepal. The Reserve Bank of India will fund the initiative. Under the swap arrangement, each country will
Saarc international I Thursday 24 May 2012
Shoot at sight. Point blank. In different ways that’s exactly what Ram Gopal Varma (RGV) and his characters do in Department.
Department Film on Benazir Bhutto
gets US award
A documentary on the life of Benazir Bhutto has received a prestigious George Foster Peabody Award for
While his cop heroes Sanjay Dutt, Rana Daggubati and their hazily sketched compatriots (one of whom looks like Deepak Tijori) go on a cleansing rampage against sociopaths, RGV goes on his own trip, shooting characters at angles you’ve never seen them being shot. They don’t always look fetching with their stained teeth and dirty nails showing up in embarrassing closeups. So, who said life in cinema is about postcard pictures? Welcome to RGV’s world of muck and mayhem. The one definite thing that must be said about RGV is that his exploration of the nexus between the law and the underworld is ceaselessly seeking new modes of storytelling. Department is one breathless surge of aggression and violence. Shot with cameras that capture the actors at their quirkiest and most candid, the film is not for those who think cinema is all about style. RGV left his stylish days behind in Rangeela and Company. Repeatedly and mercilessly RGV dismantles all conventions of pretty storytelling and aims for the jugular. The camera angles are often much too casual to be considered ‘cinematic’. But breaking rules is a given in RGV’s cinema. He breaks them in Department in a noisy rush of agitated images that go well with the edgy fidgety characters. Not all the characters work. Vijay Raaz as a whiny dhoti-clad gangster and debutant Madhu Malini as a tartish sharp-shooter are a scream. The talented Abhimanyu Singh has a tough time trying to maintain an equilibrium between the two unintentionally comical evil doers. The dialogues these gangsters exchange try so hard to be real they end up being howlers. It’s like eavesdropping on a conversation between two pathologists. The camera, manned by no official Director Of Photography (and it shows), goes through the character’s legs, into their nostrils, over their armpits…in this film about cops who do their own thing. Department is a brutal film. There’s no room here for emotions. Even when Sanjay Dutt playing a senior cop goes home his wife, played by Laxmi Manchu, speaking in a strangely loud tone, he talks to her in unsentimental tones. There’s
more feeling in the two cops, Sanjay and Rana’s buddy-buddy talk, in the line of duty. There’s a long history in cinema of cops striking a rapport on the beat. Sanjay and Rana are no Danny Glover and Mel Gibson. But then this is no Lethal Weapon. The action here is a strange mix of street aggression and stylized stunts. While scenes of Rana chasing goons through claustrophobic crowded areas of Mumbai are vintage Varma, the climactic fist-to-fist between Rana and Sanjay proves a battle of
rock-bottom, and no way out for these restless law-enforcers than to take the law in their own hands. The world of Department is anarchic, destructive and apocalyptic. The narrative format imposed on the world of gangsterism is freewheeling almost chaotic. Violence and death are written into the DNA of the characters. Department tells a virile story with no patience for sappy humbug. It’s not meant for those who think lovers laughing their way into death, as
electronic media the US. “Bhutto” is a 111-minute documentary about the two-time Pakistani Prime Minister who was assassinated in Rawalpindi while campaigning in 2007, report . The documentary received the award at a glittering ceremony held in New
awards. Among prizes for electronic media radio, television, interactive and new media - the George Foster Peabody Awards are considered the most prestigious. Founded in 1940, the Peabody is the also the oldest electronic media award
unequal titans. One of the two actors being just too agile for the other. What grabs your attention in this oft-told tale of the cops resorting to extra-constitutional means to ‘cleanse’ the city is the frenetic pacing. The characters are constantly on the move. Even Amitabh Bachchan, while taking sardonic jibes at a ‘system’ that is corroded, is seen restlessly circling Sanjay or Rana, depending on which of the two the wily wizened politicians is provoked into action. Not surprisingly Amitabh’s netagiri provides the liveliest interludes in the proceedings. He seems to be having the most fun even when saddled with dialogues that must have sounded far funnier on paper than they do in their delivery. Among the rest of the cast, Rana with his restrained ruggedness stands tall. What Department delivers is yet another RGV product that takes Hindi cinema’s crime genre away from conventional storytelling. There are no punctuations except exclamation marks, no speedbreakers except songs, which are terribly screechy and grating with Nathalia Kaur’s item number hitting
they did in Ishaqzaade, are the last words in ruinous relationships. In Department, the characters share
York.Bhutto’s son Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, who is the Chairman of the ruling Pakistan People’s Party, attended the award ceremony with his aunt Sanam Bhutto. Hollywood actor Patrick Stewart of “X-Men” fame presented the
in the world, recognising excellence, distinguished achievement, and meritorious public service. The first radio awards were presented in 1941, the first TV awards in 1948, the first cable TV awards in 1981, and the first website awards in 2003.
Amitabh shaken up as ‘Paa’ costar dies in Nepal air crash
Child artiste Taruni Sachdev and her mother died in the air crash
Amitabh Bachchan shared his grief over micro blogging site Twitter late night as he learned that child artiste and his “Paa” co-star Taruni Sachdev was one of the few who perished in the Nepal air crash earlier this week. A Bachchan follower broke the news to the veteran Bollywood actor over Twitter, which prompted the actor to reply: “Please do not say that this is true. I am so shaken. She was the most bright and beautiful little girl [sic].” He later tweeted: “Just reading that Taruni Sachdev, the girl child artist in ‘Paa’, has perished in Nepal plane crash. Please God may this not be true. “Jomsom where the plane crash in Nepal took place is where we shot ‘Khuda Gawah’, a
raw airfield and most difficult to land on.” Taruni has featured in at least 50 ads in India including the popular Rasna ad. Also perishing in the crash alongside her was Taruni’s mother, Geeta. The 14-year-old Taruni is survived by her father, Harish Sachdev.
Of the 13 Indians, who died in Monday’s crash, seven were from Mumbai. The small plane crashed, killing 15 people while six others miraculously survived, officials said. The aircraft belonging to local carrier Agni Air crashed near Jomsom airport, a gateway to the nearby Annapurna mountain range, shortly after the pilot reported a
Floods 2012 : an imminent reality?
was a large storm with cyclonic circulations at the centre of the storm. The wave had gust fronts and moved away on May 2, it was a feeble western disturbance and did not cause much significant towatds a neutral phase. Indian Monsoon 2012 – What could happen? Ocean Dipole. Unlike last year when there was a slim chance of +IOD, this year there is a chance of a -IOD that means that the pattern of monsoon would be disturbed. This will decide the fate of the monsoon this year. India’s 2012 monsoon rains are likely to hit the Kerala coast on time on June 1, the weather department said on Tuesday, brightening farm output prospects as farmers can plant crops like cotton and paddy on time and reap good yields. The four-month long rainy season starts over Kerala’s coast and covers the rest of India and neighbouring countries by midJuly. Last month, the weather office forecast normal rains for the third straight year. It had said the country was likely to avoid a drought in 2012 as monsoon rains were likely to be average. “Arrival of rains on time is good news. Sowing will happen on time, which is good for yields,”
South Asia Tribune I Thursday 24 May 2012
In response to Chairman National Disaster Management Authority, Dr Zafar Iqbal Qadri, on Thursday describing the floods that might take place again this year because of the calamitous monsoons are expected in the coming few months. Monsoon 2012 – What will happen in Pakistan? The Indus river basin is home to the largest contiguous surface irrigation system in the world. In the summer of 2010, a combination of severe rainfall and unanticipated river flow resulted in a devastating flood, which was compounded by multiple institutional failures in managing the response. The experience highlighted the challenge posed by poor governance, as well as the threat of global environmental change. Although the July 2010 rains were unprecedented, emerging results suggest that the flooding was caused by a combination of factors. Unplanned and uncontrolled development, particularly of irrigation and drainage structures in the flood zone, and the consequent lack of space for water flows, were among the prime reasons. Irrigation management and flood control is defined by power relationships: in order to save cities and villages with strong political connections, canals and embankments were deliberately breached by powerful landowners and irrigation authorities, thus causing inundation downstream. Pakistan Weather Update & Monsoon Alert (May 7 – May 17) A fresh western disturbance is expected to affect the parts of country that is likely to break the hot spells that started during last week of April. No Pre-monsoon activity is expected in the country neither in the southern parts nor the northern parts till the end of May. Summer season – Western Disturbance in Pakistan A total of four western disturbance has affected the country since the beginning of summer season (April). Only three waves occurred in the month of April while the forth had started affecting the country on May 5 night. • Western Disturbance 01, the first Western Disturbance of summer season, which PWP named as ”01″ reached the country on April 9 and remained so till April 14. Rainfall occurred in Islamabad on April 8, heavy rainfall in Murree on April 14. While unusual light hailstorm occurred in the southern city of Hyderabad on April 12. Drizzle occurred in Lahore on April 13. • Western Disturbance 02
as well. WD 02 entered westcentral Balochistan including Quetta on April 17. It caused a coastal thunderstorm to form near southern Pakistan that killed 6 people in Oman, it caused rainfall (5 mm) on April 19 in Karachi with strong winds (60
rainfall. Monsoon 2012 – What will happen in Pakistan? Factors affecting this year’s monsoon season Indian Monsoon 2012, map by American weather conference
It may mean that monsoon 2012 would be near normal to below normal as a whole over the subcontinent but having said that there are always some isolated places that experiences above normal rainfall and this year it seems as if it would be West
km/h) and Makran coast. WD 02 caused countrywide rainfall with varying intensity. It caused a Microburst on April 20 near Islamabad that caused Bhoja airline to crash, same day sharp showers (8 mm) occurred in Islamabad with fast winds (68 km/h). On April 20, it caused isolated shower in the upper parts of Sindh. It caused showers with gale-force winds in Gujranwala on April 22 night. On April 23, it was over northern Pakistan and adjoining however it caused some more showers in upper Sindh on April 23 evening. On April 24, it moved into India and started its affect over adjoining Nepal as well. Size wise, Length wise, effect wise and duration wise, Western disturbance 02 has been the most strongest western wave since 2011-2012 winter season. • Western Disturbance 03, entered Pakistan on April 27
The La-Nina which occur in Pacific Ocean have impact on monsoon. In 2010, La Nina was one of the positive factors to have caused good monsoon across the Indian Subcontinent . La-Nina (late 2011 -2012) re-emerged late in November after one of the strongest La-Nina (2010- early 2011) in the weather history. Following are the conditions which could affect monsoon 2012; Before the strong La-Nina pattern, El-Nino (2009 – 2010) was dominating the world that transitional period between ElNino and La-Nina was on the fastest in recent years in 2010. It was actually because of La-Nina that I ndia and Pakistan saw a good monsoon in 2010 and 2011. It is official now that the La-Nina that re-emerged in November has finally fizzled out after decaying rapidly and conditions are moving
Bengal, Jharkhand, Assam, Utter Pradesh, Madya Pradesh and parts of Bangladesh. It is likely that monsoon rainfalls may develop rapidly during the onset of the season but as summer progresses further a decrease in the overall coverage of rainfall could occur. In August and September, are the two months in which decrease in the rainfall activity is expected. The setback for the monsoon season of 2012 is that El-Nino might form during late July that has been observed to cause drought-like conditions across India and Pakistan. While the monsoon also faces another emerging threat that is the Indian
said Nalini Rao, an analyst at Angel Commodities. More than half of India’s arable land is rainfed and most farmers start cultivation after the first shower. The weather department last year forecast monsoon rains would hit the southern coast of Kerala on May 31, but they arrived two days before that. REGION WISE FORECAST1) SOUTHERN INDIA The IOD which is expected to be more towards weakly negative will lead to dry phase development which may reduce the rainfall amount in this area. A Slow Continued on page 28 >>
South Asia Tribune I Thursday 24 May 2012
Shafilea Ahmed trial: ‘Just finish it here,’ Shafilea Ahmed’s mother told her husband as they suffocated her with a plastic bag, daughter tells court The sister of Shafilea Ahmed broke down in tears as she described the moment she witnessed her parents allegedly murdering her sister. Alesha Ahmed told Chester Crown Court that she heard her mother, Farzana Ahmed, say “just finish it here” as she and her husband Iftikhar forced a plastic bag into Shafilea’s mouth and suffocated her to death in front of their other children. A court has heard that on the night Shafilea Ahmed was killed her mother picked her up from work and was unhappy that she was dressed in western clothing. Shafilea’s younger sister Alesha Ahmed, now 23, said that on 11 September 2003, she was in the car with her mother and other siblings when they picked her up from a part-time job in Warrington, Cheshire, at 9pm. Alesha told Chester crown court that her mother “was not happy” with how her sister was dressed, in a V-neck lilac T-shirt with writing on it and white stretchy trousers, carrying a hooded cardigan. “There was a car next to us and there were Asian people in it,” she said. “She was not happy that someone had seen her like that, that she was in just a T-shirt.”
Shafilea Ahmed murder: parents ‘killed daughter for dating boys’
Alesha Ahmed told the murder trial that her brother and two sisters ran from the room after witnessing the fatal attack at the family home in Warrington, Cheshire in September 2003. Pausing repeatedly to compose herself behind a curtain from where she was giving evidence, she said her sister, who dreamed of becoming a lawyer, wet herself as she fought for her life. She told Chester Crown Court that her parents Iftikhar and Farzana Ahmed, who both deny murder, pushed 17-year-old Shafilea on to the settee and then grabbed her. She alleged that Mrs Ahmed reached for a plastic bag from a nearby stool and told her husband: “Just finish it here.” “First of all, they put it in her mouth, then they put their hands over her,” she said As the struggle subsided she realised her sister was dead, she claimed. “That was it, she was gone,” she said. But despite that she alleged the Ahmeds continued to hold their hands over Shafilea’s mouth for a further 30 seconds. Alesha, who was 15 at the time, described how the other children fled. “The others ran out of the room because they were so upset. I was just frozen in shock,” she said. Shafilea’s decomposed body was not found until the following February 100 miles away in Cumbria.
A Pakistani teenager was murdered by her parents because she resisted their plans for an arranged marriage, a court heard yesterday. Younger sister Alesha told police she saw parents force bag into Shafilea’s mouth and suffocate her • She was arrested in 2010 for her involvement in a robbery at her parents’ home during which her mother, two sisters and brother were tied up • Six days later she alleged to police that her parents killed Shafilea • Shafilea decomposed remains were found in February 2004 • Parents Iftikhar and Farzana Ahmed are accused of killing her in September 2003 but deny murder • Police placed listening device in the family’s home in November 2003 and heard them telling their children ‘not to say anything’ at school • Victim ‘drank bleach after being forced to visit Pakistan for to meet future husband in arranged marriage’ The decomposed remains 17-year-old Shafilea Ahmed were discovered in Cumbria in February 2004. Shafilea Ahmed, 17, was killed for bringing “shame” on her Pakistani-born parents by leading a Western way of life and trying to go on dates with boys. The case came before Chester Crown Court yesterday after her sister broke her eight-year silence and told police she saw her parents kill Miss Ahmed. The court was told that Iftikhar Ahmed, 52, and his wife Farzana, 49, had spent a year trying to force their daughter to adopt a stricter way of life. They allegedly murdered her at the family home in Warrington, Cheshire, on Sept 11, 2003, after deciding they would never succeed. Andrew Edis, QC, prosecuting, told the jury: “They finally killed her because she had dishonoured the family and brought shame on them. They had despaired of her ever becoming a daughter they could ever be proud of.” Mr and Mrs Ahmed both deny murder. The court heard that police placed a covert
listening device in the home of the Ahmeds in November 2003 when Shafilea was still believed to be missing. Mr Edis said: “They are discussing what sort of surveillance tactics the police could be using in order to investigate them and they are talking in very cautious terms.” Mr Edis said they were “rather odd conversations” for people to be having if they are completely innocent. The court heard how Shafilea was taken to Pakistan by her family in 2003 in an attempt to “force” her into an arranged marriage. Mr Edis said she drank bleach on this trip. The defendants later claimed Shafilea drank the bleach
trouble. You will not find your mum or dad. ‘Remember that – they take people away.’ Searches also found song lyrics written by Shafilea about her predicament. In one, entitled Happy Families, she wrote: ‘All they think about is honour ... I jus’ wanted to fit in, but my culture was different.’ The jury heard that Mr Ahmed had been married in Denmark and had a son, but had been instructed by an uncle to marry Farzana. Mr Edis said his acceptance that he had to do his ‘duty’ in this case could suggest that he would expect his daughter ‘would likewise do as she was told’ when a husband was found for her. The trial continues. Excerpts from writings by Shafiela: I wish my parents would be proud of wot I done Instead it’s ‘you’ve have bought shame’ Or something else lame I don’t wanna hear this no more No no no.” “I feel trapped. All they think about is honour, I was like a normal teenage kid, didn’t ask 2 much, I just wanted to fit in, but my culture was different. Now I’m sitting here playing happy families still crying tears”. –Shafilea Iftikhar Ahmed, 17, UK Poems by Shafiela Ahmed Happy Families I don’t pretend like we’re the perfect family no more Desire to live is burning My stomach is turning But all they think about is honour I was like a normal teenage kid Didn’t ask 2 much I jus wanted to fit in But my culture was different But my family ignored Now I’m sitting here Playing happy families Still crying tears But no we’re a happy family I have these fears I wish, I wish, I wish For a happy family I lay in bed hoping the next day would be better It was just a thought Because it never happened no But I still dream of this today yeah hey I wish my parents would be proud of wot I done Instead it’s you’ve have bought shame
Or something else lame I don’t wanna hear this no more No no no. I Feel Trapped I feel trapped, so stuck I don’t wot 2 do the feeling is mutual, I don’t know how to explain Im a trapped so trapped (so trapped ) Now u know where I stand, when I fall back I got no where else to land I don’t know how to say I’m trapped so trapped I’m trapped wit u. It was my last year in school, so happy with my friends I got lots to do — But came this day when everything changed I came home it seemed like a normal day But sumthing wasn’t right —I wish I coulda changed the event I shoulda killed myself instead I’d rather have been dead Coz now I have a burden on my chest And no it won’t go away, the guilt, the pain When I look back on things I coulda changed coulda stop, prevented, exchanged But i had to turn out this way (so trapped) Now I’m sitting on my window bay Looking at the rain —Drowning sorrow and pain Will this ever go away —I feel trapped so trapped, I’m trapped I’m trapped, so trapped I’m trapped
(I don’t know wot do) I feel trapped. But my family ignored
by mistake, thinking it was mouthwash. When she was brought back to the UK she was treated at Warrington Hospital where she spoke to a fellow patient named Foisa Aslam. Miss Aslam later told police that she asked Shafilea why she drank the bleach. Shafilea replied: “You don’t know what they did to me there.” At one point Mrs Ahmed was taped warning 13year-old Junyade to keep quiet and not talk about events to anyone, he added. She said: ‘If the slightest thing comes out of your mouth, for all of our lives we will be stuck in real
The sister of killed teenager Shafilea Ahmed has described in court how her parents physically abused Shafilea “nearly every day”. On the second day of the trial at Chester Crown court, Alesha Ahmed spoke from behind a curtain so she could not see her mother and father. Asked what triggered the physical abuse from their parents, Alesha said it was the friends Shafilea had, the use of her phone and the clothes she was wearing. She said the abuse was at its worst when Shafilea’s parents found out about her male friends. Alesha described one occasion in the kitchen at the family home. “I can actually picture it,” she said. Iftikhar and Farzana Ahmed “There were knives used to scare her or threaten her.” She said both of her parents had knives and Shafilea had been sitting on the floor.
South Asia Tribune I Thursday 24 May 2012
IMF warns of ‘substantial’ setbacks to UK economic recovery
IMF says Bank of England must stimulate growth IMF tells UK to consider rate cut to boost growth
were close to “a severe recession”, with knock-on effects for the rest of the world. Ms Lagarde acknowledged “substantial progress” in balancing Britain’s books thanks to the Government’s deficit-reduction programme, and complimented the Bank of England’s “nimble” use of quantitative easing and interest rate cuts. This had given Britain a “hardwon credibility” with international markets which now allows ministers the scope to take measures to support growth, she said. She added: “When I think back to May 2010, when the UK deficit was at 11 per cent, and I try to imagine what the situation would be like today if no fiscal consolidation programme had been decided, I shiver”. But Ms Lagarde warned that although recovery is expected to gather pace towards the end of 2012, the UK economy had underperformed, with unemployment remaining “much too high” and the UK’s productive capacity potentially remaining “idle for an extended period.”
China tests its second 5th-generation stolen stealth fighter
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has said the UK’s continuing economic weakness means authorities should consider more quantitative easing (QE) and even cutting interest rates. The body also stressed the risks to the UK of the eurozone crisis. The Government should consider cutting VAT or National Insurance and increasing state investment in infrastructure to boost growth if the economic situation worsens, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said In its annual report on the state of the UK economy, the IMF said the Government should prepare an economic Plan B, featuring
temporary tax cuts and increased infrastructure spending to support the UK economy should the Eurozone collapse or recovery fail to take off. Christine Lagarde, the IMF’s managing director, said: “If the economy turns out to be significantly weaker than forecast, fiscal easing should be considered... measures should be focused on supporting growth and employment.” And as the IMF warned of the “large” risk of an escalation in the Eurozone crisis delivering a “substantial contractionary shock” to the UK economy, the OECD forecast Eurozone contractions
China has recently tested its second fifth-generation stealth fighter J-20. The tests were conducted in the middle of May in the city of Chengdu - an administrative center of China’s Sichuan province in the south-west. The photos of the prototype of the aircraft in the air inundated Chinese blogs and soon appeared in Western blogs, The Daily Mail wrote. For the first time, the J-20 Mighty Dragon was tested in January 2011. The news about the tests leaked on the Chinese internet. The authorities confirmed the information only several days afterwards. Specialists say that the J-20 will make competition to the US-made F-22 Raptor. This aircraft is the world’s only fifth-generation stealth fighter that has been passed into service. Moreover, Western specialists say that the Chinese fighter bears a striking resemblance to the American jet.
It is generally believed that the Chinese obtained certain state-of-theart aviation technologies, including stealth, by stealing them from the USA or Russia. It also seems suspicious that China built the aircraft and started its tests too quickly. Chinese officials originally said that the new jet would appear as early as in 2017. US specialists thought that the Chinese stealth fighter would appear some time in 2020 or even later. The Chinese may have copied the stealth technology from the US-made F-117 aircraft that crashed in Serbia in 1999. They probably bought the fragments of the plane from local farmers. Also Pakistan gave China access to the previously unknown U.S. “stealth” helicopter that crashed during the commando raid that killed Osama bin Laden in May despite explicit requests from the CIA not to, the Financial Times reported last year.
Continued from page 26 >> Monsoon phase shall be likely in June due to no MJO activity. The rainfall amounts shall increase from July. Region will witness “ DEFICIENT” Rainfall with around 75% NORMAL RAIN and 25% DEFICIENT 2) Western India The same conditions shall apply for Western India also as if the MJO activity remains less, monsoon winds shall be weak in this region. The rainfall pattern is expected to be slow in June month with monsoon making a slow entry. The rainfall amounts shall revive at the mid monsoon stage onwards when a Positive IOD consistency will develop The region will witness “DEFICIENT” rainfall around 65% to 70% NORMAL and 3540% DEFICIENT 3) Northern India The region can expect good rainfall unlike the other areas. The primary reason seems to be the wind patterns expected. The region will receive some rains
Floods 2012 : an imminent reality?
from the Western Disturbances which may have a southernly dip than normal. This factor was observed in April month also when greater than normal thunderstorm activity was reported across North-East India as the trough dug more southward and brought rains. A periodic rainfall shall be there with 85% NORMAL and 15% DEFICIENT CONDITIONS 4) North East India NE India will witness “Slightly Weak” Monsoon with the primary reason expected to be the less effective Bay of Bengal current. Due to lesser MJO events the current may not be that strong to produce much rains in the region Expected 80% NORMAL RAINS AND 20% DEFICIENT 5) East India Region shall witness SLIGHTLY WEAK MONSOON CONDITION. Expected 85% NORMAL and 15% DEFICIENT 6) Central India Lesser Bay systems shall reach this area resulting in lesser precipitation as compared to 2010,2011. The southward dip of Jet stream shall assist is some rainfall. For South Central India ( Maharashtra parts) rainfall shall be 85% NORMAL and 15% DEFICIENT and for North Central India, rainfall will be 90% NORMAL and 10% DEFICIENT. 7) Andaman and Nicobar Is. Normal rainfall is expected in this region around 95% i.e 5% deficient 8) Lakshadweep and surrounding Considering the expected strength of Monsoon current and Ekman Drift this region will witness deficient rainfall 70% NORMAL i.e 30% DEFICIENT --------------------------------------SINDH REGION CONSIDERING THE CONDITIONS ACROSS ARABIAN SEA AND LESSER LOW PRESSURE SYSTEMS, SLIGHTLY DEFICIENT MONSOON RAINS ARE BEING EXPECTED IN THIS REGION AROUND 85-90% NORMAL RAINFALL EXPECTED THIS YEAR This year, the first estimate of the coming monsoon by the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) provided cause for cheer for an economy that cannot afford lower food production. A closer look at the predictions provides reason for more caution. The forecast also points out that there exists a 39 per cent probability for El Nino conditions — which usually lead to scarce rainfall — to emerge during the latter part of the season. The department can’t be entirely blamed for this uncertainty. Even with the best of technology, predicting the Indian monsoon is not easy. Indian Government is aware of deficit monsoon seasonal rainfall forecast, for June-September, 2012. As per the seasonal forecasts issued by the Frontier Research Institute, Japan in February 2012, India is expected to experience below normal rainfall during the coming monsoon season of 2012. However, forecasts from the United States National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP) and United Kingdom Meteorological Office (UKMO) suggest above normal rainfall during the monsoon season of 2012. The present skill of these dynamical models predicting Indian monsoon seasonal rainfall has not yet reached satisfactory levels. The present level of operational acceptability of error margin is of 5% for the forecasts of all-India seasonal monsoon rainfall. The forecast verification of last 3-years suggests that only during 2009 the error margin was higher than 5% due to persistence of warmer sea surface temperature anomaly over equatorial Pacific Ocean (El Nino) beyond the expected duration as envisaged at the time (April 2009) of finalizing Monsoon-2009 seasonal rainfall forecast. Research for Nusrat Javed By Shahid Khan South Asia Tribune UK
South Asia Tribune I Thursday 24 May 2012
Two senior journalists now working for The Sunday Times arranged for an MP investigating the hacking scandal to be put under surveillance, The Independent can reveal today. While working for the News of the World in 2009 Mazher Mahmood, a reporter known as the “Fake Sheikh” for his undercover stings, and news editor James Mellor agreed that Tom Watson be tailed for days in the mistaken belief he was having an affair with a female politician. News International later described the surveillance as “inappropriate”. However, it kept the men on when the News of the World closed and they are now employed at The Sunday Times, Mr Mahmood as investigative reporter and Mr Mellor as deputy news editor. News International, which says it has “zero tolerance” of wrongdoing, declined to say if either had been disciplined. Continued from page 30 Human rights groups in Pakistan challenge the legality of US drone strikes there and assert that Pakistan can prosecute military and civilians involved for murder. While stopping short of direct condemnation, international law expert Notre Dame Professor Mary Ellen O’Connell seriously questions the legality of drone attacks in Pakistan. In powerful testimony before Congress and in an article in America magazine she points out that under the charter of the United Nations, international law authorizes nations to kill people in other countries only in self-defense to an armed attack, if authorized by the UN, or is assisting another country in their lawful use of force. Outside of war, she writes, the full body of human rights applies, including the prohibition on killing without warning. Because the US is not at war with Pakistan, using the justification of war to authorize the killings is “to violate fundamental human rights principles.” Four. Military law of war does not authorize widespread drone killing of civilians According to the current US Military Law of War Deskbook, the law of war allows killing only when consistent with four key principles: military necessity, distinction, proportionality, and humanity. These principles preclude both direct targeting of civilians and medical personnel but also set out how much “incidental” loss of civilian life is allowed. Some argue precision-guided weapons like drones can be used only when there is no probable cause of civilian deaths. But the US military disputes that burden and instead directs “all practicable precautions” be taken to weigh the anticipated loss of civilian life against the advantages expected to be gained by the strike. Even using the more lenient standard, there is little legal justification of deliberately allowing the killing of civilians who are “incidental” to the killings of
Journalists who stalked hacking MP still employed by Rupert Murdoch
The email pinged into the inbox of news editor James Mellor at 10.05am on a Saturday. One of the News of the World’s fiercest critics, the Labour MP Tom Watson, was having an extramarital affair – or so claimed the paper’s star investigative reporter, Mazher Mahmood. Mr Mahmood himself put it less delicately in the message on 26 September 2009: Mr Watson was “shagging” a female politician, he claimed. According to an informant of the “Fake Sheikh”, Mr Watson and the woman were staying at separate hotels at the Labour Party conference in Brighton and he was “creeping into her hotel”. He described the MP as a “close lackey” of the then Prime Minister Gordon Brown and noted he was “anti-Blair”. Within minutes of being copied into the email, Assistant Editor Ian Edmondson acknowledged it was a “great story”. The The Sun had been forced to admit it had falsely claimed that he had been privy to a plot to smear leading Conservatives. And in July, he had elicited the information that Mr Murdoch’s son, James, had authorised a secret payment to a hacking victim, Gordon Taylor, head of the Professional Footballers’ Association. Behind the scenes, there was another spicy element: News International’s papers were about to switch their endorsement from Mr Brown’s Labour Party to David Cameron’s Conservatives. Within 10 minutes of receiving the email, Mr Mellor and Mr Edmondson (who was subsequently arrested on suspicion of phone hacking) discussed putting Mr Watson under surveillance. With their agreement, Mr Mahmood commissioned a former policeman, Derek Webb, to tail him. Everything was in place for a frontpage scoop, except one thing – the story was not true. Mr Watson was not and
News of the World had long exposed “secret affairs”, but this target was particularly juicy because Mr Watson was an enemy of News International. He excitedly told Mr Mahmood: “You might want to check his recent cutts [cuttings], v interesting!” That summer Mr Watson – who had been investigating phone hacking at the News of the World – had been vexing Rupert Murdoch’s newspaper group. On 30 June,
never had been having an affair with the politician. Had News International paid Mr Webb a loyalty payment after the closure of the News of the World last summer, the incident would have remained one of its many secrets. But they did not, and Mr Webb spilled the beans at the end of last year, disclosing that he had tailed Mr Watson and dozens of celebrities, sports people and politicians up to Cabinet level for the paper for years. Until now, it was not known who ordered the surveillance on Mr Watson. Lawyers for Lord Justice Leveson indicated to The Independent that the surveillance, which was legal, would not be a line of questioning when Mr Watson appears before his inquiry today. News International, which has apologised to Mr Watson for the surveillance, said: “It would be inappropriate for us to comment on this issue.
people whose identities are unknown. Five. Retired high-ranking military and CIA veterans challenge the legality and efficacy of drone killings Retired US Army Colonel Ann Wright squarely denies the legality of drone warfare, telling Democracy Now: “These drones, you might as well just call them assassination machines. That is what these drones are used for: targeted assassination, extrajudicial ultimate death for people who have not been convicted of anything.” Drone strikes are also counterproductive. Robert Grenier, recently retired Director of the CIA Counter-Terrorism Center, wrote, “One wonders how many
Five Reasons Drone Assassinations are Illegal; Remote-Control Killers
and are carried out in self-defense even when not in Afghanistan or Iraq. This argument is based on the highly criticized claim of anticipatory self-defense which justifies killings in a global war on terror when traditional self-defense would clearly not. The government refuses to provide copies of the legal opinions relied upon by the government. Growing Resistance to Drone Assassinations In signs of hope, people in the US are resisting the increasing use of drones. CODEPINK, the Center for Constitutional Rights and the Londonbased human rights group Reprieve
conflict (what is the battlefield upon which deadly force of drone killing is authorized); who may be targeted; and the legal implications of who conducts the targeting (since it is often not military but clandestine CIA agents who decide who dies). Concluding that the US may soon find itself “on the other end of the drone” as this technology expands, they criticize official US silence on these key legal questions. Others are taking direct action. Select examples include: fourteen people arrested in April 2009 outside Creech Air Force base in Nevada in connection with a protest against drones by the
Yemenis may be moved in the future to violent extremism in reaction to carelessly targeted missile strikes, and how many Yemeni militants with strictly local agendas will become dedicated enemies of the West in response to US military actions against them.” Recent polls of the Pakistan people show high levels of anger in Pakistan at US military attacks there. This anger in turn leads to high support for suicide attacks against US military targets. US Defense of Drone Assassinations US officials claim these drone killings are not assassinations because the US has the legal right to kill anyone considered a terrorist, anywhere, if they can argue it is in self-defense. Attorney General Holder and White House counterterrorism advisor John Brennan recently defended the legality of drone strikes and argued they are not assassinations because the killings are in response to the 9/11 attacks
co-sponsored an International Drone Summit in Washington DC to challenge drone assassinations. Investigative journalist Jeremy Scahill noted that Congress only managed to scrape up six votes to oppose the assassination of US citizens abroad. “What is happening to this country? We have become a nation of assassins. We have become a nation that is somehow silent in the face of the idea that assassination should be one of the centerpieces of US policy.” The American Society of International Law issued a report “Targeting Operations with Drone Technology: Humanitarian Law Implications” in March 2011. Concerned that drones may be the future of warfare, scholars examined three questions in the US use of drone technology: the scope of armed
Nevada Desert Experience; in January 2010 people protested drones outside the CIA headquarters in Langley Virginia; in April 2011, thirty-seven were arrested at Hancock Air Force base in upstate New York as part of a four hundred person protest against the use of drones; in October 2011, as part of the International Week of Protest to Stop the Militarization of Space there were protests outside of Raytheon Missile Systems plant in Tucson; in April 2012, twenty-eight people were pre-emptively arrested on their way to protest drones at Hancock Air Force Base. There is a brilliant new book, DRONE WARFARE authored by global activist Medea Benjamin which documents the nuts and bolts of the drone industry and the money involved in their production
and operation. She collects many global media reports of innocent civilian deaths, investigations into these deaths, and gives voice to international opposition groups like her own CODEPINK, Voices for Creative Nonviolence, Fellowship of Reconciliation, War Resisters International, Human Rights Watch, the Catholic Worker movement, Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, and others working against the drones. As National Public Radio and The New Republic jointly editorialized, there is good reason to doubt the veracity of US claims that drone killings are even effective. Drone use has escalated and expanded the US global war on terror and thus should be subject to higher levels of scrutiny than it is now. As the use of drones escalates so too does the risk of killing innocents which produces “legitimate anti-American anger that terrorist recruiters can exploit….Such a steady escalation of the drone war, and the inevitable increase in civilian casualties that will accompany it, could easily tip the delicate balance that assures we kill more terrorists than we produce.” There is incredible danger in allowing US military and civilians to murder people anywhere in the world with no public or Congressional or judicial oversight. This authorizes the President and the executive branch, according to the ACLU and the Center for Constitutional Rights, to be prosecutor, judge, jury and executioner. The use of drones to assassinate people violates US and international law in multiple ways. US military and civilian employees, who plan, target and execute people in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia are violating the law and, ultimately, risk prosecution. As the technology for drone attacks spreads, protests by the US that drone attacks by others are illegal will sound quite hollow. Continuation of flagrantly illegal drone attacks by the US also risks justifying the exact same actions, taken by others, against us. Source: Sri Lanka Guardian
Five Reasons Drone Assassinations are Illegal; Remote-Control Killers
assassination.” Section 2.12 further says “Indirect participation. No agency of the Intelligence Community shall participate in or request any person to undertake activities forbidden by this Order.” This ban on assassination still stands. The reason for the ban on assassinations was that the CIA was involved in attempts to assassinate national leaders opposed by the US. Among others, US forces sought to kill Fidel Castro of Cuba, Patrice Lumumba of the Congo, Rafael Trujillo of the Dominican Republic, and Ngo Dinh Diem of South Vietnam. Two. United Nations report directly questions the legality of US drone killings The UN directly questioned the
South Asia Tribune I Thursday 24 May 2012
US civilian and military employees regularly target and fire lethal unmanned drone guided missiles at people across the world. Thousands of people have been assassinated. Hundreds of those killed were civilians. Some of those killed were rescuers and mourners. These killings would be criminal acts if they occurred inside the US. Does it make legal sense that these killings would be legal outside the US? Some Facts About Drone Assassinations: The US has used drones to kill thousands of people in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia. But the government routinely refuses to provide any official information on local reports of civilian deaths or the identities of most of those killed. In Pakistan alone, the New America Foundation reports US forces have
drone strikes. Personality strikes target known terrorist leaders. Signature strikes target groups of men believed to be militants but are people whose identities are not known. Most of the drone strikes are signature strikes. In Yemen, there have been at least 34 drone assassination attacks so far in 2012 alone, according to the London based Bureau of Investigative Journalism. Using drones against people in Yemen, who are thought to be militants but whose names are not even known, was authorized by the Obama administration in April 2012, according to the Washington Post. Somalia has been the site of ten drone attacks with a growing number in recent months. Civilian deaths in drone strikes are regularly reported but more chilling is the practice of firing a second set of drone strikes at the scene once people have come to find out what happened or to give aid. Glen Greenwald of Salon,
In 1976 U.S. President Gerald Ford issued Executive Order 11905, Section 5(g), which states “No employee of the United States Government shall engage in, or conspire to engage in,
political assassination.” President Reagan followed up to make the ban clearer in Executive Order 12333.
legality of US drone killings in a May 2010 report by NYU law professor Philip Alston. Alston, the UN special
Afghanistan where the US sought and received international approval to invade and wage war on another country). However, the use of drones “far from the battle zone” is highly questionable legally. “Outside the context of armed conflict, the use of drones for targeted killing is almost never likely to be legal.” Can drone killings be justified as anticipatory selfdefense? “Applying such a scenario to targeted killings threatens to eviscerate the human rights law prohibition against arbitrary deprivation of life.” Likewise, countries which engage in such killings must provide transparency and accountability, which no country has done. “The refusal by States who conduct targeted killings to provide transparency about their policies violates the international law framework that limits the unlawful use of lethal force against individuals.” Three. International law experts condemn US drone killings Richard Falk, professor emeritus of international affairs and politics at Princeton University thinks the widespread killing of civilians in drone strikes may well constitute war crimes. “There are two fundamental concerns. One is embarking on this sort of automated warfare in ways that further dehumanize the process of armed conflict in ways that I think have disturbing implications for the future,” Falk said. “Related to that are the concerns I’ve had recently with my preoccupation with the occupation of Gaza of a one-sided warfare where the
launched 297 drone strikes killing at least 1800 people, three to four hundred of whom were not even combatants. Other investigative journalists report four to eight hundred civilians killed by US drone strikes in Pakistan. Very few of these drone strikes kill high level leaders of terror groups. A recent article in FOREIGN AFFAIRS estimated “only one out of every seven drone attacks in Pakistan kills a militant leader. The majority of those killed in such strikes are not important insurgent commanders but rather low level fighters, together with a small number of civilians.” An investigation by the Wall Street Journal in November 2011 revealed that most of the time the US did not even know the identities of the people being killed by drones in Pakistan. The WSJ reported there are two types of
a leading critic of the increasing use of drones, recently pointed out that drones routinely kill civilians who are in the vicinity of people thought to be “militants” and are thus “incidental” killings. But also the US also frequently fires drones again at people who show up at the scene of an attack, thus deliberately targeting rescuers and mourners. Here are five reasons why these drone assassinations are illegal. One. Assassination by the US government has been illegal since 1976 Drone killings are acts of premeditated murder. Premeditated murder is a crime in all fifty states and under federal criminal law. These murders are also the textbook definition of assassination, which is murder by sudden or secret attack for political reasons.
Section 2.11 of that Order states “No person employed by or acting on behalf of the United States Government shall engage in, or conspire to engage in,
rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary, or arbitrary executions, said drone killings may be lawful in the context of authorized armed conflict (eg
high-tech side decides how to inflict pain and suffering on the other side that is, essentially, helpless.” Continued on page 29 >>
South Asia Tribune I Thursday 24 May 2012
Shah Rukh Khan vs the World
Five-year ban for Shah Rukh Khan at Wankhede
Cricket Association and Board of Control for Cricket in India officials, the police have hinted that they may not investigate the case further. his excellent connections with New Delhi. Renowned lyricist and writer Javed Akhtar says that the Mumbai Cricket Here is the transcript of actor Shah Rukh Khan and Mumbai cricket stadium authorities, as revealed by an exclusive Indian Express report.. Indian Express transcript: SRK: …****… Do you want to arrest me? Arrest me and take me now. Other side: Use your language properly. SRK: You use your language properly. Other side: Ok? SRK: You use your language properly. Noise. Someone shouts SRK’s name, tries to pacify him. Someone shouts: Le ke chal isse (Let’s take him away). Someone says: Police ko bulao (Call the police) SRK: Kaun tha woh jo dubara… hai ***** ka **** (Who was that...?). Someone shouts: Everybody out, everybody out. Other side: Inko baat karne ki tameej nahi hai (He doesn’t have the manners to talk properly). Noise... SRK: Who’s saying to take me away, I will stay here. Bollywood actor and Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) owner Shah Rukh Khan was banned on Friday from entering Mumbais Wankhede Stadium for the next five years but the decision may not be cast in stone yet. Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) president Vilasrao Deshmukh said Khans unapologetic behaviour after an altercation with MCA officials at the stadium on Wednesday had left the association with no other option but to ban him. However, Shah Rukh Khan insists he is not to blame for the incident. Shah Rukh Khan said: “I think it’s unpardonable that you physically manhandle children in the name of security, what are the kids going to do. We were not on the pitch, we were on the side. “Actually, the videos and photographs are there, they can check it. We were on the side, the kids were throwing ball and catching, and they caught this little girl and started pushing. And that’s when I got really angry. I was on top actually and I saw it from there. I think they should apologise to me for behaving the way they behaved.” Iqbal Sheikh, Assistant Commissioner of Police in Mumbai, said: “The honorary secretary of MCA (Mr. Nithin Dalal of Mumbai Cricket Association), he has lodged a written complaint, by way of application, to this police station late last night, against Shahrukh Khan, Murari brothers, and his associates, for misbehaving with them, abusing them, threatening them and manhandling the security guard and using filthy language against some female.” A day after a non-cognisable offence was registered against actor and Kolkata Knight Riders owner Shah Rukh Khan under Sections 323 and 504 of the Indian Penal Code for abusing and threatening Mumbai Noise Someone whispers to SRK. SRK: Which officer? Noise SRK: Tell your official, wherever he’s from... BCCI to tell him to shut the **** up, don’t talk to me like that... wherever you are from, sir. Tell the ****** not to talk to me like that... see it is his fault… nobody will speak (shouting). Noise. Someone says: Nobody will speak. C’mon take it easy. SRK: Kya bole aap? Haath lagayenge aap? (What did you say, You will beat me?). Noise. Someone: Laga ke batayun? (Shall I beat you up first?). Someone: Jyada baat mat kar ae (Don’t talk too much). Noise. SRK: Arre tu beech main se hath naa. Door se ghar mein bolna, paas aake bol. (You, get out of here. Talk from afar at home. Come near me and say what you have to). P)
“Since this is an NC [non-cognisable offence], the police can’t investigate the matter without court permission,” Deputy Commissioner of Police Nisar Tamboli told reporters. West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday urged the Mumbai Cricket Association to reconsider its “undemocratic” decision of slapping a 5-year ban on actor and Kolkata Knight Riders co-owner Shah Rukh Khan from entering the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai. “Barring entry to a person to a place is not right. It is undemocratic,” said Ms. Banerjee, who nominated Mr. Khan as the brand ambassador of the State earlier this year. Shiv Sena supremo Bal Thackeray Saturday criticised Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan for what he termed his “misdemeanour” at the Wankhede Stadium on Wednesday night and backed the Mumbai Cricket Association’s (MCA) decision to ban him from the stadium for five years. Shiv Sena CEO Uddhav Thackeray on Saturday said he believes the five-year ban on the star will be revoked due to
Association (MCA)’s decision to ban Shah Rukh Khan from the Wankhede Stadium for five years is a “little harsh”. Revealed: Exact words Shah Rukh Khan said to protect his daughter The post-match incident involving actor Shah Rukh Khan at the Wankhede stadium have been caught on tape.
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.
England v West Indies
England later named the same 13man squad for the second Test at Trent Bridge, which starts on Friday. England were 10 for two and 57 for four in their pursuit of a target of 191 before Cook (79) and Bell (63 not out) shared a stand of 132 that took their side to the brink of victory on the fifth day. Cook was out with England two runs short before Bell struck the winning four. “I think the wicket was pretty slow and flat and we had a pretty good chance of chasing it down,” he told Sky Sports. “But you never know with cricket, one of the beauties of the game is the unexpected can sometimes happen and we put ourselves in a bit of a tricky position by losing a couple (of wickets) last night. “I thought Alastair Cook and Ian Bell went about in a very civilised and professional manner and thankfully got us over the line. “It was very sensible batting.” West Indies may now have won just two of their last 31 Tests and be without a victory in their last 15 Tests in England but the way in which they took the match into the fifth day suggests they will not give up on the three-match series without a determined fight. Shivnarine Chanderpaul frustrated England with innings of 87 not out and 91, spending over 10 hours at the crease at Lord’s, and shared a second innings stand of 157 with Marlon Samuels on Sunday. “It’s been a tough Test match, we’ve had to work very hard for this,” said Strauss. “West Indies have played some really good cricket. “The way Chanderpaul and Samuels batted yesterday made life very difficult for us and we had to dig pretty deep.
South Asia Tribune I Thursday 24 May 2012
ENGLAND captain Andrew Strauss saluted the “sensible batting” of Alastair Cook and Ian Bell after the duo steered the hosts to a five-wicket win over the West Indies in the first Test at Lord’s. Captain Andrew Strauss admitted England were forced to “dig deep” before sealing a five-wicket
England v West Indies: Andrew Strauss relieved with Lord’s win
win over West Indies in the first Test at Lord’s. They recovered from 59-4 early on the fifth day to reach their target of 191 by mid-afternoon. “We had to dig deep but it makes it even more satisfying when you get over the line,” said Strauss.
London 2012 to be ‘biggest in history’
London 2012 will be the biggest Paralympics in history, with 19 more nations taking part than four years ago, organisers said yesterday as they began counting down the last 100 days until the Games. Some 4,200 competitors will take part – up from 3,951 in Beijing in 2008 – and 16 nations will be making their Paralympic debut including isolated North Korea and conflict-torn Democratic Republic of Congo. “London could be the Paralympic Movement’s first soldout Games in terms of spectators too. A record number of TV viewers are also set to tune in,” International Paralympic Committee president Philip Craven said in a statement. “It’s hard to believe that the forerunner for the Paralympics took place just 64 years ago at Stoke Mandeville Hospital with 16 injured war veterans, when you consider that 4,200 elite athletes will now compete in London.” Athletes from 23 nations held the first Paralympics in Rome 12 years after the Stoke Mandeville event in Britain, which involved veterans who had been injured during World War II. One million tickets for this year’s Paralympics, from August 29 to September 9, were sold in September 2011 and another million went on general sale yesterday, organisers said. Broadcast deals totalling £10 million (€12 million) are set to bring the Games to a total of about four billion television viewers, while Grammy-winning British band Coldplay are to headline the closing ceremony. A challenge remains in educating people who are unaware of the Paralympics or dismiss disability sport, Britain’s nine-time Paralympic swimming gold medallist Chris Holmes said. “It is a real challenge that we have had right from the start of this project... No previous Games has really nailed it but there are lots of reasons to be confident,” said Holmes, who is working on the organising committee to integrate the Olympics, which start on July 27, and the Paralympics.
Amir Khan announces July 14 fight against Danny Garcia
Amir Khan says he will fight WBC light-welterweight champion Danny Garcia in Las Vegas on July 14 Several world title eventualities could present themselves on July 14th as former world champion Amir Khan (26-2) meets current WBC title holder Danny Garcia (23-0) at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, Nevada. Khan, 25, is currently in the process of appealing to the IBF and WBA for a no-contest in his last defeat to Lamont Peterson in December and hopes to regain his titles before his showdown with Garcia in the summer. Another ruling could be that one or both or the bodies decide to strip Peterson, therefore putting one or both of the titles up for Khan to fight for after the Briton previously held the unified championship for the second half of 2011. That means if Khan can present one or two of his old titles for the 140lb clash, then 24 year-old Garcia would be able to bypass his mandatory challenger Ajose Olusegun for a unification with the former Olympic silver medallist. If Khan fails to reclaim his titles or Peterson is not stripped, Garcia faces the possibility of also being relieved of his coveted green belt for not facing Olusegun, who has been patiently waiting for almost a year after beating Ali Chebah in a WBC eliminator.
Published by Saarc International Ltd, Suite 101, 10 Courtenay Road, London HA9 7ND. UK Telephone:020 8904 0619 Fax: 020 8181 7575 E-mail: email@example.com www.satribune.co.uk, www.saarc.co.uk. Printed at Webprint UK Ltd, Unit B1 Eastern Approach, Alfred Way, Barking, IG11 0AG
This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
We've moved you to where you read on your other device.
Get the full title to continue listening from where you left off, or restart the preview.