Tuesday, September 16, 2014
Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told Congress on Tuesday that he would recommend deploying United States combat forces against Islamic extremists in specific operations if the current strategy of airstrikes was not successful, raising the possibility of the kind of escalation that President Obama has flatly ruled out.
General Dempsey said that the ground forces would likely be Special Operations commands who could call in airstrikes from the ground.In testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee, he said that while he was confident in the ability of the coalition of American, European and Middle Eastern governments to stop the Islamic State, he could not completely close the door to eventually asking Mr. Obama to commit ground troops to fight the group, known as ISIS or ISIL.
“My view at this point is that this coalition is the appropriate way forward. I believe that will prove true,” he said. “But if it fails to be true, and if there are threats to the United States, then I of course would go back to the president and make a recommendation that may include the use of U.S. military ground forces.”Gen. Dempsey acknowledged the awkward position he was in. His remarks put him at odds with the president, who has repeatedly insisted that no American ground troops would engage in the fight to thwart ISIS. “His stated policy is that we will not have U.S. forces in ground combat,” General Dempsey said, adding, “He has told me as well to come back to him on a case-by-case basis.”
Karachi, Sept 16, 2014: State Secretary of Federal Foreign Office Germany Dr. Markus Ederer called on former President Asif Ali Zardari here at Bilawal House. PPP Chairperson Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and Sherry Rehman were also present in the meeting.
Haji Mohammad Barrech Two weeks ago, National Assembly has unanimously passed a resolution for strengthening the democratic process, on account of prevailing political turmoil in the country. The sit-in the heart of Islamabad by PTI Chairman Imran and PAT Chairman an eminent Islamic Clergyman Dr. Tahir-ul-Qadiri have disrupted official business in capital of Pakistan. In this ongoing political crisis Electronic and print Media are highlighting non-stop coverage and neglect the other serious issues such as the security crisis in Balochistan. In the same framework, it seems that, the great concern among the marginalized masses of restive Balochistan also enlarged the matter of great concern is that, media cannot catch up their grievances in front of the responsible stakeholders. In last, two days, at least three indigent people were indiscriminately killed, after the remote control bombs ripped through the Balochistan capital Quetta, no special coverage was given to the brutal, pernicious attack by the corporate media and merely covering the Central news rather than emanating heart touching news from peripheral areas. In the same way, killings of three journalists in Capital City of Balochistan were not given too much media coverage the way it was given to Islamabad, When Punjab and federal police wounded the media persons in front of federal Minster of railway Khawaja Saad Rafique. Why is Balochistan forgotten frontier of Pakistan? The answer is very concise and stunning; Balochistan is one of the provinces of Pakistan, which is replete with tapped and untapped natural resources, including (Gold, Silver, and Gas). While, Balochistan is supplying 37% gas total demand of country, more importantly its strategic significance attracts not only regional powers (Iran, Afghanistan, India) but also supers powers (America- China) influence also count in this regards. Ironically, countless mystery in this murky circumstance has not only grappled the situation more egregiously it is now well uncontrollable for the ruling government. In 21th century, the mountainous people of Balochistan simultaneously facing a numbers of issues either traditional or non-traditional threats. It is matter of great concern how to protect their precious life in-front of imminent implicit or explicit pitfalls? Surprisingly deprived people of Balochistan are seeing latest development in the name of emergence of Lashkar-e Khurasan (LK) an outlawed extremist organization which had not only burnt down the Girls English schools in Turbet, but also extended and wrote their ideological slogan on the wall boundary of streets and emphasized to study Islamic education rather than following the Western education approach. Is emerging extremist group undermining the liberal and civilized approach of Baloch Society? Indeed, the extremist groups pose a new set of challenges for the Baloch society to intimidate people through different tactics to proliferate, inject their ideological motto in the mind of liberal and tolerant people of Balochistan. Why can’t the alarming news from densely land of Makran division catch up the room in media’s discourse? Especially, when non-state actors are easily accomplishing their task for the willingness of Almighty Allah. Similarly, civil society and human rights organizations neither issued a comprehensive statement about the duress activities of Post colonial state nor did they make fully aware of excruciating situation of province, eventually it seems that no one is ready to highlight voice of depressed people. Coincidentally, as federal government passed the federal budget 2014-15 in June, Rs. 3.936 Trillion estimated in the budget for Development programme, Armed forces and cheap and rapid transportation project for the people of Punjab and Karachi. Unfortunately, no mega project for Balochistan includes in the federal budget, except the future proposal of controversial Gawadar Kashgar trade route which is named China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). This route was ray of hope for the people of Balochistan particularly; the route had to go through Northern part of Balochistan. But it has now diverted to Sindh and Punjab, hope of hapless people of the province has been dashed to the ground. Central Government shows less interest to the development of Balochistan in many social fields either education, Health, agricultural or fisheries sector. It is presumed, only 45 billion rupees is going to be spent on luxuries metro-mega project from Rawalpindi to Islamabad route. According to one statically estimate, instead of such a mega- project Federal Government could have established at least 200 primary schools and 100 elementary colleges in less developed province of Pakistan. Education department could easily enhance the capacity building and standard of Education in Balochistan. Ironically, the literacy rate of Pakistan is 57% whereas Balochistan literacy rate is 39% respectively. Central government and provincial government are deliberately not interested in decreasing the darkness of education for their own vested interest. Our political leaders either Baloch or Pasthuns can raise their voice for the promotion of democracy, then why don’t they bring a single Overseas Pakistan foundation college (OPF College) in their ignorant constituency? As article 38 says that, it is fundamental obligation of state to provide basic necessities such as food, education, shelter, and job opportunities etc. Last but not least, still 90% areas of Balochistan don’t have gas for their daily usage, approximately 75% areas lack the utility of electricity, and even more astonishing fact is that, they are not having access of sanitation drinking water. Then, how can we claim that, there would be a prosperous future for the people of Balochistan if they don’t have basic social needs in their life? The answer is very simply that; actions speak louder than words.
The revolution will not be televised because there is none. Instead, the people are witnessing on their television screens a man falling from grace; a symbol of change changing for the worse, promising true democracy while shredding his garb piece by piece, speech by speech, revealing the autocrat beneath. Is this a new Imran, a frustrated, disgruntled man shrinking in stature and mind as mischievous plans fall apart and opponents come together? Someone who openly orders his supporters – or “tigers” as he aptly describes them considering the job they must perform – to “attack” Police if confronted at checkposts or elsewhere. Someone who gets on top of a container and threatens senior Police officials by name, warning them of dire consequences for actions he deems unfavourable or unfair. Someone becoming his enemy, engaging in forcible ‘liberation’ of arrested party workers, transforming into everything he left home to crusade against. His opponents despise him. His well-wishers – they are many and most of them are not present at the sit-in – pity him. Imran is falling from grace, and no one from within or outside or himself, seems to be able to break this seemingly perpetual fall. The journey of an aspiring reformist is tough one, riddled with hardships and losses which threaten to stop and push back or worse, push off the track. Many a reformists become anarchists, and their fate, more often than not, is defined aptly as a bewildered run into the abyss, with their excellent and idealistic manifestos clenched in their fists, never to be reconciled with the persons holding on to them so dearly. If Imran wants to be Che Guevara, he must declare so. If he claims to be following Gandhi’s or Mandela’s path, his actions must demonstrate such. But what the last thirty days have shown everyone is that he’s neither Che nor Mandela, only Imran. He’s still something, which means he’s not nothing. If he self-destructs, the people will suffer. If he succeeds in what he’s attempting to accomplish by hook or by crook, the people will still ultimately suffer. Much responsibility rests on saner elements within the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) to rescue their leader and their party from the disastrous path it is on. The PTI has promise and potential, seeing which so many flocked towards it hoping for meaningful change. It would be extremely unfortunate if it all goes to waste owing to self-serving and shortsighted politics. More responsibility lies on the Government to engage with the PTI and to sincerely address its issues. It would be the height of naiveté and foolishness if it tries to anatgonise, obliterate or unreasonably reject what’s only fair. Both the Government and the PTI will have to find a way to co-exist and compete within the system. That is, after all, what the people’s mandate suggests.
nation.com.pkPakistan army prevented a cross-border militant attack from Afghanistan, killing 11 militants and eliminated 20 others in fresh airstrikes in North Waziristan Agency today. At least 11 terrorists and three Frontier Corps (FC) soldiers were killed as a militant attack from across the border was thwarted by Pakistani security forces in North Waziristan Agency (NWA) today. The Inter Service Public Relations (ISPR) confirmed that a group of terrorists from the Afghan side of the border attacked Dandi Kuch in the Spinwam area of NWA. Pakistani troops repulsed the attack, killing 11 terrorists while arresting one. Security forces also recovered bodies of three terrorists. During the gun-battle, at least three FC soldiers lost their lives. A militant was apprehended by army, officials said. During the military’s Zarb-e-Azb operation in North Waziristan region, ISPR said, at least 20 more terrorists were killed in today’s airstrikes that were carried out in Khyber Agency early morning. Three hideouts and two ammunition dumps were also destroyed in Tordara and Koki Khel areas of Khyber Agency bordering Afghanistan. Nearly 1100 terrorists have been killed since the operation begun on June 15.
In a case of extreme abuse, torture and injustice, a young girl has been silenced and forced to drop charges against the men who have stolen her dignity and violated her in the worst possible way. This young girl was gang raped in Faisalabad on Friday and her first reaction was to register a complaint with the police against her rapists. The named accused turned out to be the three sons of a PML-N Member of the National Assembly (MNA), Mian Farooq. The girl said that they were accompanied by five other accomplices in this act of extreme degradation. She even submitted herself to medical tests and it was proved that she had, indeed, been gang raped. In a sudden turn of events, the girl retracted her statement the very next day, refusing to give a blood sample and denying the need for a DNA sample from the accused. In effect, there is now no first information report (FIR) against the accused who would, no doubt, be gloating at this victory against a defenceless, tortured girl. MNA Mian Muhammad Farooq has said that his sons are innocent of this crime and this has been proved by the girl’s retraction of the allegation. This is a textbook example of how injustice is the staple diet of the weak, poor and marginalised in our society. If you are a woman on top of all this, you may never expect to see any kind of fair play. One does not need to look long and hard at this case to understand what is going on. This girl was raped; her medical examination says so. She was made to take back her statement to the police by the very men who demeaned her. The victim is usually abused and violated again and again in the land of the pure because the aggressor is almost always more powerful and influential. Mian Farooq and his sons have pulled their weight and exercised their brute strength in overpowering this woman physically and emotionally. No doubt they have threatened and intimidated her and her family with dire consequences if she goes ahead with her accusation. Her trauma has been compounded: she mustered the courage to go public with her ordeal by registering a case in a society that stigmatises rape victims and now she will never get justice because she has been silenced into submission. Where is the government of Punjab? How can it allow this blatant disregard for the law by a member of its own party and parliament? No civilised society can ever tolerate this kind of heinous crime but here we have the progeny of political leaders accused of not just rape but gang rape. Shame on us and shame on the PML-N for tolerating this kind of violation of human rights.
India has just inked a set of agreements with Vietnam. /blockquote>Earlier this month, Shinzo Abe of Japan became the first Japanese prime minister to visit Bangladesh, a tour that included a stop in Sri Lanka. He brought along with him an entourage of 22 Japanese businessmen looking to do business in both countries. And this weekend, China’s president Xi Jinping concluded a visit to the Maldives, where amongst other engagements, he contributed a written piece to a local newspaper that talked of a 21st-century “maritime silk road”, and said, “China welcomes Maldives to get actively involved” in building this trade corridor. He then headed for Sri Lanka, where the maritime silk road is already in substantial evidence, with a Chinese deep sea port as a key factor in a sea lane that connects Southeast Asia with the rest of the world. Meanwhile, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi was in Japan this past Saturday, meeting Shinzo Abe and giving him his own message of “come, build in India”. Both sides agreed to set up a dialogue process involving their foreign and defence ministers to create a long-term, sustained process of cooperation on strategic and economic concerns. Soon the Chinese president will sit down with Modi in discussions that will touch on the sources of tension between these two giant economies, as well as the wellsprings of opportunity that exist. A Sri Lankan diplomat, observing the whole round of meetings and summits and state visits taking place around Asia all month, described it as a “complex tapestry of relations” that is being woven in the region ever since India’s new prime minister was elected. Asia has been abuzz with activity throughout the month so far, weaving itself together, talking, building and positioning its assets and relationships in a complex multi-player game that is all but set to emerge as the dominant theatre of Great Power rivalry. There is much tension across the region. A festering border dispute and suspicion of each other’s motives animates much of India’s relationship with China. In the rest of Asia too, rising China inspires as much trepidation as it does awe. Now consider what Pakistan has been busy doing since last month: indulging in political bickering, listening to scathing speeches with little purpose, and making hardly any attempt at a solution. For decades now, we have remained mired in conspiring against each other as a globalising world has raced ahead. Now, as globalisation draws to a close and a new world dominated by regional trading blocs begins to take shape before our eyes, we still remain busy in scuffles and speeches and point-scoring. At some point this behaviour must end. At some point we must learn to respect the rules we have laid down for ourselves, learn to demarcate our interests into strategic, political and economic domains, and pursue each separately.
India on Monday hit out at Pakistan for its remarks that Hafiz Saeed had no case against him and he was free to roam, saying the designated terrorist was the "evil" mastermind behind the Mumbai attacks and it is Pakistan's responsibility to bring the chief of terror outfit JuD to book and deliver justice. "Our views on Hafiz Saeed are very clear. To us, he is the evil mastermind of the attacks on Mumbai and one of the accused in an Indian court for killings on streets of Mumbai. We have repeatedly asked Pakistan that he should be apprehended and taken through normal judicial process. "Alas! He has never been arrested on account of 26/11. Therefore.... he is only free because he is a Pakistani citizen," external affairs ministry spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin said here. The sharp reaction by India came within hours of Pakistan high commission Abdul Basit's remarks that "Hafiz Saeed is a Pakistani national so he is free to roam around. So what is the problem...he is a free citizen so there is no issue as far as Pakistan is concerned. Courts have already exonerated him. There is no case pending against him."
Asked about Pakistan's stand that there was not enough evidence to prove his involvement, the MEA spokesperson said, "99 per cent evidence in this case is in Pakistan. That is because the entire conspiracy was hatched in Pakistan. The planning for this dastardly act was done in Pakistan."The financing for this act was undertaken in Pakistan and people involved who were involved in this were from Pakistan. Therefore, it has always been our view that it devolves on Pakistan that it ensures that criminals like Hafiz Saeed were brought to book and justice was delivered in the instance of crime in Mumbai." 166 people were killed in the terror strike in Mumbai in 2008. New Delhi has also protested the delay in the on-going trial of the case in Pakistan. Recently, Saeed, known for his anti-India tirade and designated as a terrorist by the US, has also accused India of indulging in "water-terrorism".
Recent developments have raised questions about the ability of Abdullah Abdullah -- the one-time front-runner who has alleged a conspiracy to rig the results against him -- to pacify supporters if he, as expected, is declared the runner-up.The concerns have increased as he has clashed with rival Ashraf Ghani over the details of a power-sharing proposal, brokered by the Obama administration, in which the new president would cede some decision-making authority to a chief executive from the opposing camp.
Last week, at an event commemorating the slain Afghan resistance commander Ahmed Shah Massoud, Abdullah had to calm angry supporters heckling a 92-year-old former president who endorsed Ghani. At a busy Kabul intersection named for Massoud, a crowd of protesters chanted, “Death to Ghani!”Two days later, a group massed outside the United Nations offices carrying signs disparaging the chief U.N. diplomat in Afghanistan, who has overseen a controversial election recount. The protest has prompted outrage from the world body.
One of Abdullah’s running mates, Mohammed Mohaqeq, said over the weekend that if a power-sharing deal isn’t reached, or is seen as being too favorable to Ghani, the Abdullah campaign might not be able to restrain dissatisfied backers.“We will try our best to manage and control the people not to go the wrong way,” he said at his home in western Kabul. But he added: “What the people’s reaction will be is unpredictable at this point.”
The candidates met Monday with outgoing President Hamid Karzai for the latest round of talks, still reportedly at odds over the authority to be held by a chief executive. Abdullah envisions the holder of the newly created post as having the power to appoint cabinet ministers, including those responsible for security forces, while Ghani believes it should be an advisory position reporting to the president.As talks have dragged on since Secretary of State John F. Kerry announced the plan in July, many Afghans express fear that tensions could explode into the streets.
“Of course there will be violence,” said Solaiman, a 26-year-old tailor in Kabul, who goes by a single name.Abdullah said last week that he would not accept the results of the U.N.-supervised audit, which he contended has not eliminated fraudulent votes cast in favor of Ghani in a June runoff election between the finalists. U.N. officials said Sunday that the audit was completed, and Afghan election authorities are expected to announce the results within days.
Zabihullah Jaffari, a painter, said Afghans have waited too long for the candidates to reach an equitable agreement, while unemployment and other economic problems have worsened. “If they don’t come to an agreement, the poor people who have been out of work for months will have no choice but to take to the streets,” said Jaffari, 46.The election has taken on an ethnic dimension because Ghani, like Karzai, is a member of the Pashtun community, Afghanistan’s largest, and his running mate, Abdul Rashid Dostum, is a former Uzbek militia leader. Abdullah is more closely identified with the Tajik minority and also enjoys support from the Hazara community.
Some analysts believe that even if ethnic divisions worsen, the rival camps will try to avert major violence –if only to protect their considerable economic interests.“The potential for a violent rupture between the rival camps poses an enormous risk, but it still seems unlikely to escalate out of control,” said Graeme Smith, Afghanistan analyst for the International Crisis Group. “The powerful men who are now negotiating their places in the next government are very wealthy. Many of them own large parts of Kabul, and I doubt they want to see the capital burn.” Earlier this month, Atta Mohammad Noor, a key Abdullah ally who is governor of the northern province of Balkh, warned of sweeping street protests if the talks failed to produce a satisfactory outcome. On Monday, Juma Khan Hamdard, governor of Paktia province in the east, who supports Ghani, warned against attempts at destabilizing the country. “We want to clarify that we are not pro-crisis but if some people intend not to accept the final results and attempt to push Afghanistan towards crisis, we are ready to defend our votes at any cost,” Hamdard said in a statement. Scattered violence attended last week’s events in memory of the 2001 death of Massoud. Abdullah, a former spokesman for the Tajik militia commander during the war against Soviet occupation, urged supporters to refrain from violence But a demonstration in Kabul’s Massoud Circle, near the U.S. Embassy, quickly turned angry. Officials announced later that gunfire in Kabul celebrating Massoud’s memory had killed a 21-year-old man and injured five others. Last Friday, after pro-Abdullah demonstrators chanted slogans against the head of the U.N. mission in Afghanistan, Jan Kubis, the mission tweeted that it had “grave concerns related to direct threats and verbal attacks against the U.N.” Mohaqeq, the Abdullah running mate, denied that the campaign was involved in the protest, saying he learned of it later from Facebook. “What people do,” Mohaqeq said, “is up to them.”
Monday, September 15, 2014
Chairman Pakistan People’s Party Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has announced to give Rs. 100 million for the flood victims of Azad Kashmir. He also announced to send 50 trucks of goods for the flood affected areas of Punjab. Chairman PPP Bilawal Bhutto said that he and his party are with the people of Pakistan in this crucial time and can not leave them alone. While addressing to a ceremony, PPP Punjab President Mian Manzoor Wattoo said that flood has affected 15 districts of Punjab. He said that we are thankful to party Chairman Bilawal Bhutto for sending fifty trucks of relief goods. Meanwhile, Faryal Talpur said that the basic infrastructure is destroyed in Punjab and Azad Kashmir due to floods. She claimed that workers of PPP are also presented to rescue the people and working in relief operation.
The Express Tribune
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) President Makhdoom Javed Hashmi on Sunday said Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was ‘politically dead’ due to his family’s ‘dynastic’ ideology.
“Whether he [Prime Minister Nawaz] resigns or not, it does not matter now,” Hashmi told reporters at a news conference held at his Multan residence. “He is politically dead.”“Nawaz has lost the war for Pakistan’s history… not because of political immaturity, but due to the Sharif family’s dynastic ideology,” he said. The PTI leader added that Nawaz and his family had manoeuvred themselves into a position where they can no longer appear in public without security. “People don’t want to try the Sharifs in courts. They want him tried in public.” Hashmi said he was still the president of PTI and claimed he had a major support base within the party. “This is the only reason the PTI leadership has sent me a show cause notice,” he told reporters, adding that he would reply to the notice ‘on merit’. “I will not step back … I will not let PTI become a dynasty like PML-N [Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz],” he said, adding, “If the PTI leadership is so brave, they should talk to me publicly and address my grievances.” According to Hashmi, “people’s patience has been tested beyond limit.” “They can no longer bear dynasties like PML-N and puppets like Imran and [Tahirul] Qadri,” he said. “They want leaders who bring progress, not pose for photo shoots during floods.” Talking about his strained ties with Imran Khan, Hashmi said he was ‘deeply grieved’ by the PTI chief’s statements against him. He claimed Imran was being exploited by PTI leaders Shah Mehmood Qureshi and Jahangir Tareen for their own vested interest. “Only Qureshi and Tareen want to see Imran become the prime minister, of Pakistan,” he said. “No one else wants Imran as a prime minister because of his emotional outbursts and U-turns.” The PTI president also hit out at Sheikh Rashid, accusing him of using Imran for vested interests as well. He said because of Sheikh Rashid, Imran had crossed a ‘point of no return’. Hashmi criticised Imran’s political approach, saying “he considers politics to be a game of cricket, where every ball will lead to a different decision.” He added that the PTI chief provided only ‘on-stage entertainment’ and was not a rational leader with political acumen.
Turkey is gradually moving from a reluctant NATO ally toward an embarrassing or embarrassed partner in the fight against the Islamic State (IS, also known as ISIS). As The Daily Beast reported, “With [IS] on its doorstep, the Turkish government balks at support for Obama’s strategy."A diplomatic crisis looms. Turkey, a key US ally and the only NATO member that borders areas controlled by [IS] jihadists in Syria and Iraq, is in a prime location to hit the extremists next door. But it prefers not to. “Instead, Ankara is seeking a low-profile role — so low as to be almost invisible — in the international alliance that Washington is building up against the so-called caliphate, and that fact is undermining the American strategy to strike back against the terrorists President Barack Obama deems ‘unique in their brutality.’” Turkey's stance in the joint struggle against IS is indeed low-profile, but perhaps this is an understatement. If the recent discourse of its decision-makers is scrutinized closely, one may reach the conclusion that the ruling Islamist government of Turkey is more distanced from its NATO allies than from IS. The 49 Turkish hostages taken by IS when it stormed the Turkish Consulate in Mosul, including the consul general, serves as a good excuse not only for Turkey’s reluctance to take part in joint action against IS, but also as a cover for the inherently and increasingly anti-Western Turkish government not to follow the lead of the “new crusaders” in their actions in the Muslim lands, targeting mainly Sunnis. It is not easy to substantiate such an argument, yet it deserves to be considered. It is not by chance that some keen observers and political personalities reacted along these lines when Turkey refrained from signing the Jeddah Declaration on Sept. 11 along with Kerry and 10 Arab countries. Turkey’s foreign minister was the only official present who did not sign the document. Parliamentarian Aysel Tugluk, the former co-chair of the pro-Kurdish party in Turkey, tweeted, ”Turkey did not sign the [IS] communiqué because [IS] is the name of the proxy force fielded by Sunni actors led by Turkey.” Actually, it was already clear in an article in Yeni Safak, a publication known to be very close to the government, before Obama explained his new IS strategy that the AKP government would not contribute substantially to Obama’s strategy and saw it as a trap. The news report, headlined “Turkey will not be trapped” and attributed to government sources, bluntly stated that Turkey would not take any operational role against IS. The most critical passage of this report read, “Prime Minister Davutoglu, who gathered top commanders of the Turkish Armed Forces at his office a day before, yesterday held a security summit with larger participation. … The topic was the IS operations and the status of 49 Turkish hostages. “The meeting did not consider favorably the 'core coalition' issue that foresees Turkey’s support for a ground operation against IS but emphasized the complications that have arisen in Iraq and Syria. That IS was an outcome of the [Syrian President Bashar al-] Assad regime was heavily underlined in the meeting, which adopted the policy of a passive role in the coalition. The summit decided that at this phase, Turkey could not participate in any military operation. It was stressed that active support by Ankara for the operation could risk the lives of the hostages.” Even more interesting, Ibrahim Karagul, the editor-in-chief of Yeni Safak and a Davutoglu disciple, penned a column, “ISIS Trap to Turkey,” in which he crafted an outlandish conspiracy theory and claimed that the real target of the new anti-IS joint action is actually Turkey. His argument is significant and interesting in that it more or less reflects the mindset of Turkey’s decision-makers. He wrote, “There is a plot being hatched, but all its elements are in the open. Turkey is aware of the plot and no matter what others say it will follow its own course. They did not take note of any of Turkey’s warnings about the key issues of the region. Now with the pretext of IS, they are trying to throw Turkey into the fire. “The mentality that punished Sunnis during the invasion of Iraq and in the status quo that evolved is the key creator of the [IS] issue today. Even more bizarre, the countries that are preparing for a new operation don’t have any projects for the future of Sunnis. “Turkey is, of course, a NATO member and partner of international institutions. Of course, it will do its part in global operations. But for some reason, the priorities of these international institutions always work against us. “We are truly fed up with paying the costs of the destruction these countries have caused in our region, and of their mistakes. “To take action for US and European interests and priorities, to play a central role in that operation and to send soldiers are issues that Turkey has to assess carefully and avoid. Let them go and solve their own problems. Before [IS] there was the Syrian issue. They did nothing there. They didn’t keep any of their promises. “The [IS] problem cannot be solved before the Syria problem is solved. Shouldn’t they know at least this much? Their problem is not [IS] but Turkey. … Everyone knows this now.” It is not surprising that Turkey did not sign the Jeddah communique, while the Arab nations vowed to “do their share” to confront and ultimately destroy IS. Their promise came after the nations’ foreign ministers met in Saudi Arabia behind closed doors with Kerry. The New York Times reported on the dramatic development, “Turkey also took part in the meetings here, but it did not sign the communique. A senior State Department official sought to minimize the significance of that development, saying the United States would continue to consult with Turkish officials on how to respond to the threat posed by [IS], which has captured 49 Turkish diplomats in Iraq and held them hostage. 'We understand the challenging situation Turkey is in given their detained diplomats, and they will make the decision on what role they can play moving forward,' the official said.” On the day Kerry reached Ankara, The New York Times reported an unnamed Turkish official’s statement. “Speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations, an official advised not to expect public support for the American effort.” An Agence France-Presse dispatch from Ankara confirmed, “Turkey will refuse to allow a US-led coalition to attack jihadists in neighboring Iraq and Syria from its air bases, nor will it take part in combat operations against militants.” The two main Turkish dailies, Hurriyet and Milliyet, came out with similar headlines on the day Kerry came to Ankara. Hurriyet’s was “Difficult guest” while Milliyet's read “Ankara draws the line.” Milliyet wrote that Turkey’s contribution to Obama’s plan to destroy IS will have a "humanitarian focus," meaning Turkey will not participate any armed action against IS and will not assist those taking part in such an activity. In his strategy speech, Obama said that “America will be joined by a broad coalition of partners." Kerry added during his joint statement with the Saudi foreign minister, “We believe we will beat back the evil” of IS. Kerry also asserted that the international coalition against IS was growing. Turkey is the only NATO country bordering IS' areas of control. But when it comes to the fight against it, a reluctant ally is gradually transforming itself into an embarrassing partner for the Western nations and an embarrassed regional actor in front of IS. We have yet to see how such Turkey's stance will bear on Obama’s strategy and how it might affect its success. Nonetheless, this start does not bode well for the coming fight. Read more: http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2014/09/turkey-usa-western-ally-nato-isis-syria-iraq.html#ixzz3DPfBnxVC
The Obama administration is expressing confidence in the formation of an international coalition to combat Islamic State radicals who control swaths of territory in Iraq and Syria. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington, where congressional action in support of the effort is a matter of growing debate.
Sergey Lavrov - 'No good terrorists': Lavrov urges anti-ISIS coalition not to put political interests first
There is no such thing as a ‘good’ terrorist, and we call on other nations not to show their political ambitions while fighting with terrorism, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said during a Paris conference on Iraq. The participants have agreed to offer Iraq “appropriate military aid,” according to the final conference statement. Participants have agreed to offer Iraq “appropriate military aid,” according to the final conference statement. It wasn’t immediately clear what kind of military aid was meant. The statement added that dealing with the IS is “a matter of urgency." Around 30 countries took part in the event. Lavrov has criticized the move not to invite Syria and Iran to the meeting. “Syria and Iran are our natural allies in the fight against IS, and their participation in today’s meeting could significantly enrich our work. Moral standards on which the anti-terrorism battle is based shouldn’t become vague,” he stated. Lavrov also stated that the IS is evidently planning to “edge the whole region of the Middle East into the abyss of religious wars,” enlisting their crimes. He spoke out harshly against all the activities of IS which “threaten the future of Iraq,” with “death and destruction” spilling into Syria as well. Aggressive actions by the terrorist organization which calls itself ‘Islamic State’ threaten the future of Iraq. Extremists bring death and destruction to the neighboring Syria as well. Lavrov also stated that the IS is evidently planning to “edge the whole region of the Middle East into the abyss of religious wars,” by listing their crimes. “They murdered and humiliate Christians, stage horrific executions of journalists. They try to impose on Muslims an unacceptable attitude to other confessions and to the entire world,” Lavrov said. The minister expressed a strong point of view regarding the IS ambitions for independence. “The IS commanders should have no illusions: they do not represent Islam and they would never be allowed to create their state,” he said. He also expressed the Russian position in favor of “the continued independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Iraq,” as well as “the advancement of inclusive political process.” Finally, Lavrov expressed Russia’s readiness to participate in the development of additional measures for fighting terrorism. “We already provide significant military and other necessary help to strengthen the anti-terrorism potential of Iraq, Syria and other states in the region which are on the frontline in their fight against the IS,” he said.
A local court in the federal capital on Monday accepted Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) petition and ordered police to register case against killings of PAT workers, Dunya News reported. PAT had submitted a petition in in District and Session Judge Raja Jawad Abbas s court under section 22-A, seeking case registration against high government officials including Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif over killings of protesting workers in Islamabad’s Red Zone on August 31. During case proceedings, Secretariat Police submitted a report before court, stating that PAT protestors intended to occupy sensitive buildings in the Red Zone. Names of those injured or killed were not mentioned in the complaint submitted by the PAT. The case was already registered on behalf of the state authorities and Pakistan Awami Tehreek’s complaint was received after four days of the incident. Police further stated that SSP operations Asmatullah Junejo was badly injured in protestors attack. Defence lawyer Chaudhry Abdul Aziz stated that administration did not issue NOC for entrance in the Red Zone. No objection certificate was only issued for Aabpara location, however, PTI and PAT violated it. He further stated that protestors pelted stones at police and broke parliament’s gate and fences. Petitioner Umar Riaz Abbasi’s lawyer Ibrar Raza told court that defence lawyer is trying to divert everyone’s attention with his ‘filmi stories.’ He said protestors were peaceful but police opened fire, killing two PAT workers and injuring dozens on the orders of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar. “We submitted a request in the Secretariat Police Station for registration of case, however, police did not take any action” he added. After hearing arguments, the court ordered police to register case. PAT has nominated Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Chief Minister of Punjab Shahbaz Sharif, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar, Railway Minister Saad Rafique, Defence Minister Khwaja Asif, IG Islamabad, IG Railway, Commissioner Islamabad and other high officials.
After more than one year of the PML-N government there appears to be hardly any improvement in investment climate of the country. There is hardly any doubt about the fact that investment is key to bringing the economy out of the doldrums, but options are profoundly limited while a plethora of issues still remains unresolved. The superior judiciary; regulators (Nepra and Ogra); National Accountability Bureau (NAB) and the Executive Branch are cumulatively responsible for this dismal state of affairs. The country's economy is adrift as the decision makers are distracted by the sit-ins in the capital city (Islamabad). And, the allegations of rampant corruption in the shape of commissions and kickbacks are being repeated ad nausum every evening by the leadership of both the Tehrik-e-Insaf and Pakistan Awami Tehrik. The mud-slinging is sticking since the leadership of PML-N, ie, the Sharif family, has miserably failed in correctly answering about the assets they hold abroad specially their luxurious Park Lane apartments in London. The question that needs to be answered is why do the politicians in this country have the need to hold wealth abroad? Is it due to lack of faith in this country's stability or for providing the need to have insurance cover? Prior to nationalisation of business, black wealth was invested back into this country. Pakistan's foremost economist Dr Mehboobul Haq realising his folly about the 22 families holding majority of wealth of the country reversed himself and came up with whitener bonds as well as national bearer bonds to encourage this wealth to be ploughed back into the economy. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in 1992 liberalised foreign exchange regulation and General Musharraf in 2000 perforce had to continue with foreign exchange regulations Act 1992, provided the money was remitted through banking channel and converted into Pak rupee. This is the cost that the nation is paying for the wrong policy of nationalisation of businesses. Now the investors want a higher return to cover the country-risk which has further deteriorated due to cancellation of signed contracts en masse by the courts as well as the fear of NAB investigation reopening of signed and concluded agreements. Not all rental power agreements had an element of kickbacks. But all these contracts were cancelled by the Supreme Court which further exacerbated the supply-demand gap for electricity. Now the present government is being accused of raising the tariff for coal powered plants as well as for conversion of existing furnace oil-based generation converting to coal. The question that needs to be answered is why the investors have the need to convert when fuel is a pass-through item. The answer appears to be to lower their financial cost because the government managed distribution companies (Discos) do not pay on time and also the sovereign has reneged on its rupee guarantees. The new investor - probably the Chinese - see this dismal state of affairs. They will definitely raise the country risk. Even in joint ventures with big Pak businesses the foreigners are now requiring guarantees from parent companies of the Pakistani partners in addition to sovereign guarantees. Chinese enthusiasm to invest in Gadani will wane if we do not have the capacity to transmit electricity from the South to load centres in the North ie Punjab through the national grid which also needs to be revamped. The real problem in Pakistan is the dependency of the politicians on bureaucrats. Politicians want things to be done but lack knowledge. The civil servants know how to do it on fast track bypassing the rules and regulations. Only does not lead to accusations of misuse of authority when challenged in the courts but it also catches those in authority with their pants down; because the process laid down in rules and regulation has not been followed. This has happened repeatedly. The latest example being the Gas Infrastructure Development Cess (GIDC). It was challenged when it was levied under the PPP regime. Despite High Courts adverse ruling being in the field; GIDC collection of Rs 148 billion was included in the budget and committed to the IMF. Now that Supreme Court has declared null and void as this is not a tax but a 'fee' and cannot be part of the Money Bill; it has left the government panting between a rock and a hard place. The government is said to be contemplating filing a review petition. Politicians in this country are people who do not have knowledge to run the system. They greatly depend on civil servants to do it. Unfortunately, however, our civil servants have still not learnt to live under the 18th Amendment and operate in a truly federal set-up and are more conversant with a unitary form under a colonial rule or a military regime. Until the civil servants are re-trained on how to work in a federation, the country will move from one crisis to another. Last but not least, Imran Khan's sit-in effort is not aimed at creating a 'New Pakistan', nor is Qadri the spectre of a struggle for delivering a 'Green Revolution' in the country. These two identical developments, as they play out in Islamabad's Red Zone, are flowering of Pakistan's past.
The girl sexually assaulted by the three sons of a PMLN MNA and five other suspects in Faisalabad has decided to drop the case. The victim changed her original statement on Friday from being raped, to exchanging ‘harsh words’ with the accused. The sudden retraction blatantly points to manipulation on part of the sons of Mian Farooq; Muazzam, Saad and Qasim Farooq got to her before justice could run its course. The police have dropped investigations after refusal on part of the victim to give her blood sample and sanction DNA tests.
Approaching the one month mark, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) and Pakistan Awami Tehreek’s (PAT’s) sit-in in the capital seems to have taken a turn for the worse as far as resolving the crisis is concerned. Having reached this month long milestone, where participant fatigue and general freezing of the workings of the capital city are now making their presence felt, the PTI and PAT should have taken note of the fact that any avenue open for dialogue or a civilised way out of this imbroglio was to be welcomed. On Saturday, the government directed law enforcement agencies to arrest PTI and PAT workers after Chairman PTI Imran Khan announced a One Nation Day, basically a clarion call to gather more numbers and pressurise the government of the PML-N to give in to its undemocratic demands. The police arrested as many as 300 workers belonging to both parties on Saturday, identified as being the ones who had stormed into and attacked the office of Pakistan Television (PTV), and also those hooligans who were caught trying to break into waterlines and indulging in electricity theft. This has resulted in the PTI and PAT breaking off all dialogue with the government. Almost all of those arrested have now been granted bail and released in accordance with due process. While the leaders of the PTI and PAT, Imran Khan and Dr Tahirul Qadri respectively, can be seen hollering out loud to their waning supporters in the crowds about the injustice of these arrests, one must pause and take stock. It has been a whole month since these dharnas (sit-ins) commenced and it has not all been singing and dancing on the streets of the capital. The everyday working of the government and the economic activity on which we so depend have come to a grinding halt, resulting in the loss of billions of rupees, money we can ill afford to just flush down the gutter. The sit-ins have resulted in the cancelling of the Chinese president’s visit to Islamabad and all sorts of business activity has shut down because of the unpredictable and possibly volatile nature of the events in the capital. With this kind of havoc being played with the very heart of our economy and international standing, the fact that the government of the PML-N has not done more to stem the situation is what should boggle the mind. Imran Khan’s and Tahirul Qadri’s allegations have yet to be proved. There may very well have been some form of electoral rigging at the local constituency level, but the charge of a wholesale systematic plan remains without foundation or convincing evidence. On that unproved and dubious basis to descend upon the capital with a few thousand supporters and demand that a sitting prime minister who enjoys a clear majority in parliament and the support of all other parties except one to simply step down would be setting a dangerous precedent if this nonsense is allowed to continue for much longer. There are rules that must be followed in the political system and all such grievances must be brought to parliament. All the gripes and issues that Khan and Qadri have are not new to the game of politics as electoral reforms have been an issue before. However, a correct course must be followed or anarchy will set in. The government’s incredible (and not without criticism) restraint can be attributed to the disastrous handling of the Model Town Lahore incident in which 14 innocent people lost their lives due to excessive police brutality. The government knows that if anything like that happens again, it would be political suicide. This is a psychological apprehension and the government must overcome its fears and handle the issue and the Punjab police properly. In the interest of clearing Constitution Avenue, a step ordered by no less than the Supreme Court, the government imposed Section 144, which prohibits a gathering of more than five people. Despite that the crowds did not disperse. The PTI and PAT workers should count themselves lucky that the government is fighting its own demons at the moment. It is simply not okay to hold the government and country hostage at gunpoint. While peaceful protest is a democratic right, violent and never ending agitation that challenges the writ of the state is not. The government must now firmly and wisely crack down on all law breakers and violators of the principle of peaceful protest in the interests of getting the business of the state and government back on track. Being elected also imposes the responsibility of safeguarding state and society (the millions) against the conspiratorial intrigues of the few and their suspected backers in the establishment.
Flood and Disaster Victims Organization (FDVO) led by Bakhtawar Bhutto Zardari has unveiled a well-coordinated relief operation across the districts of Sindh province threatened by the floods to provide timely relief to those possibly hit by the floods. Co-chairing a meeting of FDVO with MNA Faryal Talpur, Bakhtawar Bhutto Zardari took cognizance of media reports and weathermen predictions that some of the districts of Sindh will be facing the flooding in the wake of upcountry flood-water gushing toward the ocean through Indus from tomorrow. Bakhtawar Bhutto Zardari told the meeting that FDVO will establish Tent Cities and provide free ration directly from Utility Stores to the people affected by unruly waters. Medical Camps shall also be arranged at different places. FDVO will provide the relief to them from its own resources and contributions from philanthropists. The meeting was attended by Senator Saeed Ghani, Shagufta Jumani, Senator Aajiz Dhamrah, Zia Lanjhar and Maqbool Memon.It was decided at the meeting that Shagufta Jumani and Senator Aajiz Dhamrah will visit the districts possibly facing the danger of floods so that advance arrangement could be made for adequate relief operations to mitigate the people sufferings.
The government of Afghanistan reacted towards declaration of war by Punjabi Taliban militants, saying that the government of Afghanistan would not be surprised by such announcements as Afghanistan has been victim of terrorist groups supported by Pakistani intelligence agencies. The national security council of Afghanistan (NSC) following a statement said the government is aware that Punjabi Taliban have announced for the second time to boost their insurgency activities in Afghanistan while continuing to peaceful campaign in Pakistan. The statement further added that the latest stance by Punjabi Taliban does not express any new approach in the policies of Punjabi Taliban and Pakistani intelligence agencies. The national security council (NSC) said Afghanistan has long been suffering from terrorist groups funded, trained and equipped by the intelligence agencies of Pakistan. Several Pakistani Taliban militants were killed or arrested following coordinated attacks in various parts of Afghanistan, the statement, said adding that the latest declarations by Punjabi Taliban shows a clear interference of Pakistani intelligence agencies in Afghanistan and to kill innocent civilians. The statement also added that the government of Afghanistan and national security council will precisely follow the declaration by Pubjabi Taliban and insist that use of terrorism as a destructive tool is not favor of any nation. NSC warned of crisis and worsening situation both in Afghanistan and Pakistan with persistence of such imaginations to have dominance on specific targets by arming terrorist groups. The statement by NSC also added that the government of Afghanistan is expecting that the decision makers in Pakistan review the calls by Afghan government to prevent use of terrorism and jointly work to improve stability in both nations.
In certain national security circles, the renunciation of violence inside Pakistan by the leader of the TTP Punjab aka the Punjabi Taliban, Asmatullah Muawiya, will be greeted with satisfaction, even glee.Luring the Punjabi Taliban back towards the mainstream of society and politics has been a long-term goal of a section of the Pakistani security establishment; the thinking being that the former allies of the security establishment are merely misguided and can be persuaded to lay down their arms and lead peaceful existences again.
From here, it would hardly be a surprise to see Muawiya being propped up for a political role, the route of former jihadis into politics being a well-trodden one now, including the likes of Fazlur Rehman Khalil, Hafiz Saeed, Malik Ishaq and Masood Azhar.At the very least, the next Difa-i-Pakistan Council agglomeration can look forward to recruiting Muawiya to whatever cause is deemed worthy of agitation next.
Whether or not Muawiya and his companions do end up making the journey from violent militants to respectable citizens, it is really the thinking of the Pakistani security establishment that needs to be scrutinised.The Punjabi Taliban are essentially Kashmir-centric and sectarian militants who turned their ire on Pakistan itself after then-Gen Pervez Musharraf put the security establishment’s jihad policy into cold storage and even banned many of the groups that the Pakistani state had long patronised.
Some of the worst attacks against sectarian targets and the security apparatus have been carried out by the Punjabi Taliban over the years.The Punjabi Taliban are a very different breed of militants as compared to, say, the Fata TTP, whose origins and, arguably, even present motivations are largely tied to the army’s presence in the tribal areas. The Punjabi Taliban are ideologically committed militants who believe in a global jihad complex, which is why their announcement of ending their so-called armed struggle inside Pakistan has left the door open to armed struggle being waged outside Pakistan. Satisfaction then at the latest development in the world of militancy here can only mean one thing: the policy of good militant/bad militant continues and the security establishment continues to see some kind of a significant role for the religious right and good militants in the national discourse. That is deeply troubling because it suggests that no lessons have been learned, and it sets the stage for even greater problems down the road. By seeking to mainstream rabid ideologues wedded to violence and the overthrow of the Pakistani state, the security establishment is creating a pincer in which the state and society will eventually be caught: on the one side the armed militants who refuse to give up violence; on the other the political militant handed a ticket to mainstream society and politics. Surely, that is a pincer that no state or society can survive for very long. Everything that Muawiya and his ilk stand for is in direct opposition to what Pakistan ought to be. It is a ruinous strategy that seeks to empower them further.