Saturday, June 19, 2010

She was burnt alive

Here is a letter,published in the frontier post of ISLAMIC REPUBLIC OF PAKISTAN...........COUNTRY OF CHAMPIONS OF ISLAM,FORT OF ISLAM. The Frontier Post bY Muhammad Ashraf Khan 0345-8912524 It is sad and gloomy story of my younger daughter Saeqa. She was 20. She met a fatal incident about 10 days back when she was burnt alive by an influential family of my village Munasa, Tehsil Dheer Kot, Azad Kashmir. My village is situated at a distance of 160 kilometres from Islamabad and 35 kilometres from Muzaffarabad, Capital of Azad Kashmir on way to Bagh and Rawalakot. You may have listened about Kohala Bridge. My village is just six kilometres from Kohala. My daughter Saeqa was misbehaved in a dark night 10 days back. I being a paralyzed person kept listening her cries while she was facing cruelty of an influential person namely Kazim Khan and his two sons. They played with her for an hour and before leaving my house they set her ablaze. They even locked her in a room and there was no person to rescue her from that late night operation. However, her cries forced some villagers to come to her rescue. She was severely wounded. They shifted her to the Combined Military Hospital, Muzaffarabad where she was kept under treatment for next one week but she lost her life. She was laid to rest at Munasa. I could not see her off personally because I was unable to move. Local people demanded arrest of theculprits but again their influence helped them to save their skins from police chains. They are still free and threatening me as well as my other family members. They are being backed by the white collar criminal elite of Azad Kashmir headed by the present ruling party. My family members approached the Prime Minister of Azad Kashmir Raja Farooq Haider to make sure arrest of culprits but till date he was unable to do so. They are still at large. They are addressing press conferences while I am unable to move from my death bed. I take this opportunity to just ask all justice loving people to come forward not only for allowing law of the land to take its course of action but to save my remaining family as well. Saved from: Dated: Saturday, June 19, 2010, Rajab 06, 1431 A.H

Get tough with Pakistan’s army

THE UNITED States and NATO cannot endure an open-ended military commitment in Afghanistan. But they know — or should know — that there can be no hope of ending the war unless Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence agency stops arming, funding, and training Afghan insurgent groups.President Obama must recognize the necessity of persuading Pakistan’s military leaders, who control the ISI, to stop playing a double game with America. This can be done. Washington has valuable carrots to offer and credible threats to make. To succeed, however, Obama must be willing to play hardball. There is no point applying pressure on Pakistan’s civilian government. Whatever its flaws, the government of President Asif Ali Zardari is aligned with the United States on fighting Islamist extremists. Zardari’s wife, former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, was assassinated by Pakistani extremists. Rather, it is the army chief of staff, Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, himself a former head of the ISI, who has the power to end the agency’s backing for the Taliban. Pakistan originally sponsored the Taliban in the mid-90s as a proxy force that could ensure Afghanistan would be friendly to Pakistan and not be absorbed into an Indian sphere of influence. Anxiety about India’s role in Afghanistan remains the driving force behind the ISI’s support for the Taliban. Recent attacks on India’s embassy and Indian nationals in Afghanistan point to the Pakistani military’s continuing obsession with Indian designs on Afghanistan. And when Kayani held high-level meetings in Washington this March, he reportedly objected to a plan for India to train Afghan soldiers under NATO auspices, offering instead to have Pakistan train them. Obama’s leverage over Kayani is this same fixation on India. Obama should make a few things clear to the general: that America knows the extent of the ISI’s backing for the Taliban; that Pakistan’s army will not keep getting money and weapons from Washington if it goes on backing groups that kill American soldiers; and that if Pakistan does not end all support for its Taliban proxies, the US will seek India’s assistance in stabilizing Afghanistan. Then, if Kayani makes the right choice, Obama can use America’s growing influence with India to help reduce tensions with Pakistan. This is the key to a stable future for that part of Asia. To extract American troops from Afghanistan without leaving behind a crucible for new calamities, Obama will have to master the craft of balancing power.

Obama Blasts Republicans For Blocking Vote On Jobless Bill

President Barack Obama on Saturday used his weekly radio address to blast Republicans for blocking attempts to allow votes on legislation that would extend jobless benefits and raise the liability for oil companies that harm the environment. Obama, in a twist to his frequent business-as-usual criticism of Washington, said he is disappointed to see a "dreary and familiar politics get in the way of our ability to move forward on a series of critical issues that have a direct impact on people's lives." Republicans, along with some Democrats, on Thursday voted to defeat ending debate on a bill that would extend jobless benefits and renew a series of tax credits implemented in 2009. Attempts to vote on a bill that would raise a liability cap for oil companies from $75 million, a figure considered outdated and low, have also been blocked. Obama said Americans deserve a simple up-and-down vote. He said more than 100 of his nominees to work in a host of federal positions are also awaiting Senate approval. Obama's call for a spirit of greater cooperation comes as he is set to meet with a group of bipartisan senators at the White House next week to discuss energy and climate legislation. He realizes there will be differences, but said the public deserves to see that Republicans and Democrats can at least sit down together and discuss important issues. Obama said passage of the jobless bill is necessary to help Americans who lost jobs through "no fault of their own." He added, "It would provide relief to struggling states that would help save the jobs of thousands of teachers and cops and firefighters." Republicans used their weekly radio address to criticize Obama's response to the Gulf oil catastrophe. Sen. Roger Wicker (R., Miss.) said the country needs to continue to learn "more and more disturbing information about gross negligence on the part of BP--and about some proposals from the Obama administration that will do more harm than good." Wicker pointed to Obama's Oval Office address to the nation on the Gulf oil disaster earlier in the week as a basis for criticism. He said Obama used a third of the speech to address advocating a new national energy strategy. He added, "Now is not the time to push a controversial, job-killing, partisan agenda through Congress." Wicker also criticized Obama's decision to put a six-month moratorium on deepwater drilling in the Gulf, saying it's a third wave of the disaster. "If left in place, the moratorium will permanently eliminate thousands of jobs and drive up the cost of energy for all Americans," he said. Obama has said he wants a presidential commission to look quickly into whether deepwater drilling can continue safely. Wicker also blasted Democratic proposals to increase oil clean-up fees. He said the proposals would take the country in the "wrong direction." Democrats plan to "raid those funds to pay for unrelated programs," he added. Wicker's comments come as the Republican Party encountered intense pressure for comments Rep. Joe Barton (R., Texas) made at a House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing with BP PLC (BP, BP.LN) Chief Executive Tony Hayward. Barton apologized to the chief executive for the way the White House was treating the company. He said he found it shameful that the White House asked the company to set aside $20 billion to compensate Gulf residents whose economic livelihoods were affected by the disaster. Barton later apologized for the comments after heavy pressure from Republican leadership.