Thursday, August 2, 2012

Bacha Zarin Jan: A melody queen forgotten

The Express Tribune News Network.
After the tragic death of Pashto singer Ghazala Javed in June, music lovers of the region lost another velvety voice with the death of Bacha Zarin Jan – the melody queen of Khyber- Pakhtunkhwa – who passed away last week at the age of 70 due to a prolonged illness. Jan may have lived in a dingy two-room mud house, but she ruled over the hearts of millions of listeners for over six decades. It is unfortunate that only a handful of people showed up at her funeral procession, despite the singer having sung in six languages and having a large audience. “Jan was a versatile singer but her later years were too miserable,” popular folk singer Zarsanga tells The Express Tribune. “Us artists have no place in this hostile society. Unless an artist cries out for help like a baby, the government does not listen. Even if it does come to help, it only throws some money on an artist’s face to simply shut his mouth. We are destined to suffer. So did Jan.” In her later years, Jan was most often seen around Sufi Abdul Sattar Bacha’s Mehfil-e-Samaa, where she sang Sufi numbers as the late Sufi singer and noted composer Rafiq Shinwari had adopted her as his spiritual daughter. The life of a legend Born in 1942 to a family of musicians in Mardan, Jan had a flair for singing. In a land that fell prey to militancy and extremism, it is no surprise that a singer of her stature had such a miserable fall. In her heyday, however, Jan earned great fame. Her father Ustad Abdur Rahim Khan was a tabla nawaz who groomed his daughter and brought her to the Pakistan Broadcasting Corporation (PBC) Peshawar as a young child. After she passed the auditions, Shad Amritsari introduced her into the music scene, where she soon carved a niche for herself. From the early 50s to the late 70s, she was the only Pashtun artist who could do live performances in Urdu, Persian, Punjabi, Potohari, Seraiki and Hindko besides Pashto. Although she could sing classical ghazals, folk songs were her forte and the reason why many Pashtuns remember her today. At times, Jan would write her lyrics under the pen-name Bibi Gul, under which she has left behind an unpublished volume of Urdu and Pashto verses – a good legacy in addition to 200 memorable songs. Unfortunately, PBC Peshawar could preserve only about 60 of these songs in its grimy music library. During Pakistan’s war with India in 1965 and 1971, Jan sang inspirational songs in Urdu and Pashto to boost the morale of the Pakistani soldiers, for which she was gifted a sword and pistol from President Ayub Khan. Left to die “Jan did not get the respect and recognition she deserved, especially from the K-P government,” says the sitting Station Director at PBC, Peshawar Layaq Zada. “When I visited her last, she seemed quite disturbed and unhappy and even told me that the K-P government had been boasting of the charity they had given to her. She was in dire need of money but her cries fell on deaf ears.” “For many, Jan was dead a long time ago,” says prominent folk singer Mashooq Sultana. “She was not a woman to cry out for financial assistance. She lived the life of a reclusive Sufi. She gave a distinct course to a female singing a folk song. Her numerous Pashto folk songs have been remixed without knowing that it was Jan who had sung them first. Pashto music lovers really lost a melody queen.” She may have been the recipient of a Tamgha-e-Imtiaz and numerous other local awards for her folk songs, but Jan died and lived in poverty. While the singer is now buried in the graveyard of her spiritual guide, her melodies are still on the lips of every Pashtun.

Tax evasion charges against Imran Khan

After the charges laid by Khawaja Asif on Imran Khan of “gambling away” millions of rupees donated to Shaukat Khanum hospital, opposition leader Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan has also accused the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf Chairman of tax evasion during a press conference today in Islamabad. Nisar claimed Imran Khan had not paid his tax returns, not declared his foreign earnings, hidden his assets and had not been truthful about the purchase of his residence. Nisar challenged Imran Khan to take him to court over these allegations otherwise he would make details of Imran’s taxes public. The opposition leader added that Imran Khan was the only politician who criticized the opposition more than the government. “The target of Imran Khan’s criticism is Nawaz Sharif and the PML-N.” Nisar suggested that both the PML-N and PTI should approach the Chief Justice of Pakistan or the Chief Justices of provincial high courts and request them to form a commission or judicial tribunal where both parties could submit evidence against each other. He compared Imran Khan to Interior Minister Rehman Malik, challenging them both to approach British courts if they had any concerns regarding the business dealings of Nawaz Sharif’s son Hasan Nawaz

Major Differences Persist for Pakistan, US

The commander of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan, General John Allen, met Thursday with Pakistan's top military commander General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani. The two countries continue to disagree about how to deal with militants based along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border. The meeting was aimed at building cooperation between the two countries about how to best fight militants who operate in the porous border region between northwest Pakistan and Afghanistan. NATO spokeswoman Major Lori Hodge said from Kabul that improved collaboration is essential. “The future security and stability in the region rests in large part on the strength of the partnership these discussions are forging,” said Hodge. International combat forces are due to leave Afghanistan by the end of 2014. But many fear that militant action by groups such as the Taliban or Haqqani network could quickly destabilize the region.While relations between the United States and Pakistan have improved since Islamabad recently re-opened NATO supply routes into Afghanistan, the two countries remain at odds about how to fight extremist groups. The United States feels Pakistan is not doing enough to combat the militant networks. Pakistan, for its part, says most of the fighters are based in Afghanistan and that international forces have failed to neutralize them. Retired Pakistani Lieutenant General Talat Masood said the military has consistently pushed against the militants in the tribal northwest region. He said the feeling in Pakistan, however, is that a major operation against them now could galvanize all the various militant groups to join forces. "... [it] will create hell for Pakistan, including not only giving resistance in these areas in the tribal belt, but also creating a wave of terrorist attacks in the country," said Masood. "So there is this genuine fear in Pakistan, that is why they don’t want to touch the hornets’ nest.” The talks between Allen and Kayani are aimed at trying to resolve these major differences. Allen’s meeting in Islamabad Thursday coincided with talks in Washington between the head of Pakistan’s intelligence services, Lieutenant General Zahirul Islam, and CIA chief David Petraeus. Masood said the Afghan Taliban, the Pakistani Taliban and the Haqqani network have taken full advantage of the rocky relationship between the allies. “It is a complete failure of all the three countries, the U.S., Pakistan and Afghanistan. Because of their lack of cooperation, their lack of confidence has given rise to the strength of the militants and they have exploited it very intelligently,” said Masood. He said the latest talks signal an improvement, but until the countries agree on how to deal with the militant groups, it is difficult to see how they will move forward.

VIDEO:NRO & Nawaz Sharif corruption BBC's Shocking Report

Bahrain authorities 'weaponising' tear ga

A US-based human rights group has accused the authorities in Bahrain of indiscriminately using tear gas
as a weapon against protesters. Physicians for Human Rights said it was resulting in the maiming, blinding and even killing of civilians. The Bahraini government rejected the criticism, saying its security forces conformed to international standards. Activists say at least 30 people have died as a result of tear gas use in Bahrain since protests began last year. Tear gas is a generic term for a group of at least 15 toxic chemical agents that disable people by exposing their lungs, skin and eyes to irritants. CS gas is the most commonly used by for crowd control. 'Unprecedented' The report published by PHR on Wednesday, entitled Weaponising Tear Gas, was based on interviews with more than 100 Bahrainis and evidence gathered by PHR's investigators in April. Its authors said the extensive and persistent use of tear gas against civilians by Bahrain's security forces during the past 18 months was unprecedented in the 100-year history of its use throughout the world. "Law enforcement officials have deployed this toxic agent to punish protesters, inflict suffering, and suppress dissent. Usually perceived by the public and security forces as a benign tool for crowd control, tear gas, especially when used in large quantities and in enclosed spaces, poses serious health risks and even causes death," they wrote."Since February 2011, the Bahraini government has unleashed a torrent of these toxic chemical agents against men, women, and children, including the elderly and infirm." The report said Bahrain's majority Shia community, which has led the protests demanding reforms by the Sunni royal family, had suffered abnormally prolonged exposure. This had led to significant increases in miscarriages and respiratory problems in areas where tear gas was used frequently, it added. The report described instances in which non-protesters had tear gas fired into their cars or homes. In at least two cases, people died from complications related to exposure to tear gas because they were trapped in enclosed spaces, it said. Civilians had also suffered serious wounds when their heads and limbs were hit by metal canisters fired at close range, the authors found. 'Routine violations' The report concluded that the authorities had "routinely violated every UN principle governing police use of force". It also said the methodical use of tear gas as a weapon to attack civilians inside their homes and cars flouted international human rights law, and constituted torture, cruel and inhuman treatment.PHR called on Bahrain's government to immediately end all attacks on civilians and suspend its use of tear gas while it conducted an impartial investigation into its misuse and held accountable those who had used the gas in excessive or improper ways. The group also urged the government to disclose information about which toxic chemicals its tear gas canisters contained and permit scientists and health professionals to study the effects of prolonged tear gas exposure in the Gulf state. The government rejected the report's findings, saying it "denies and condemns the use of lethal force or unlawful means in controlling demonstrations". "Any means that have been exercised by security forces adhere to international standards of riot control," a statement said. "Suggestions that the use of tear gas in Bahrain is severely injurious or even lethal is simply not backed up by any research or proof." The government promised improvements after an independent commission of inquiry found that security forces had used excessive force, torture and forced confessions when suppressing pro-democracy protests in February and March 2011. In a separate development on Wednesday, police chief Tariq al-Hassan said three of the six men wanted in connection with a "bomb factory" discovered in June had been arrested.

Intel captured in Kabul raid points to Haqqanis

Afghan security forces killed five insurgents and wounded one during a pre-dawn raid in Kabul on Thursday, with authorities saying they had thwarted a mass attack and captured intelligence pointing to the militant Haqqani network. Soldiers from Afghanistan’s spy agency, the National Directorate of Security (NDS), launched the raid just after midnight, entering a single-story house compound on the fringes of Kabul which the insurgents were using as a base. “They planned mass attacks in different parts of Kabul disguised in burqas,” the NDS said in a statement. Police said two insurgents escaped during a gun battle that raged for five hours around the isolated compound, where the insurgents had been amassing weapons in a newly built brick house. The militants had three vehicles loaded with explosives and suicide-bomb vests, as well as large stores of rocket-propelled grenades and automatic weapons, and planned to occupy a high-rise building to attack the city’s business heart. The Taliban issued a statement denying that Thursday’s operation had targeted their fighters, although the insurgents often play down their defeats and inflate successes. The NDS said target maps and telephone numbers recovered from the compound had numbers of phone lines outside Afghanistan and said to be leading to members of the Haqqani network. Haqqani network militants, allied with the Taliban and alleged by Nato-led forces in Afghanistan to be based in northwest Pakistan’s lawless border lands, have been blamed for several high profile attacks in recent months. Dozens of militants launched a coordinated assault in central Kabul on April 15, occupying a high-rise construction site and pounding the city’s diplomatic and government centre with rocket-propelled grenades and small-arms fire in an attack that took 18 hours to quell. On June 22, Afghan security forces fought a day-long battle with insurgents after a Taliban attack on a lakeside hotel on Kabul’s outskirts. But security forces and Nato-led foreign troops say the sporadic attacks do not point to weaknesses in Afghan forces and intelligence ahead of a withdrawal by most foreign combat troops to be completed by 2014.

Pakistan refuses to own its 'heretic' scientist
SALUTE TO Prof:Abdus Salam
Pakistan remains silent about its only Nobel Laureate Abdus Salam and his contribution to the recent discovery of the
'God particle' because the late scientist belonged to the 'heretic' Ahmadiyya sect. Internationally, Professor Abdus Salam is known for his outstanding contribution to Physics and his groundbreaking work that led to the discovery of the so-called God Particle, but in Pakistan, where the late Nobel Laureate was born, Dr. Salam is a heretic, whose name has been removed from all text books. Salam's crime was that despite being a genius in the field of science, he was a member of the Ahmadiyya minority. The sect was declared non-Muslims by the Pakistani legislators in the 1973 constitution as part of its Islamization process. Thus, Pakistan disowned its only Nobel laureate."The Pakistani right wing is silent about Salam and the Higgs boson connection because it believes the discovery would support the scientist and the Ahmadiyyas," Amin Mughal, a London-based scholar, told DW.
Constitutional discrimination
The Islamization of Pakistan, which began during former Prime Minister Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto's government in the 1970s, culminated in the 1980s under the former military dictator General Zia-ul-Haq's Islamist regime. It was during Haq's oppressive rule when Ahmadiyyas (also known as Qadianis in Pakistan) were banned from calling themselves Muslim and building their mosques in the Islamic Republic. Their places of worship were shut down or desecrated by hard-line Islamists with the support of the state. Ahmadiyyas, who believe the messiah Ghulam Ahmed lived after the Prophet Muhammad, insist they are Muslim and demand as much right to practice their faith in Pakistan as other people.Baseer Naveed, senior researcher at the Asian Human Rights Commission in Hong Kong, told DW that the Pakistani state did not want to upset the fundamentalist sections of society by associating itself with an Ahmadiyya scientist. "It is to appease Muslim fundamentalists and right wing parties. More so, it is to appease Saudi Arabia. The Pakistani state is more interested in carrying on with its policy of hatred rather than taking pride in Abdus Salam's contributions," said Naveed. However, Mughal believes the issue is more political than religious. "Until recently, Ahmadis were a relatively strong group within the Pakistani establishment. The dominant Sunni groups felt threatened by them and axed them out of the state affairs," said Mughal. 'The Islamic bomb' Naveed pointed out that it seemed impossible for academics, scientists, writers and researchers to be declared national heroes in Pakistan. "Only warriors and usurpers are glorified," said Naveed. Pakistan's "science hero" happens to be the infamous Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan, the father of Pakistan's atomic bomb - referred to by Pakistani right-wing groups as the "Islamic bomb." In 2004, Khan publicly confessed that he transferred the nuclear technology to countries like Iran and North Korea. Though the notorious scientist was put under house arrest by former military dictator Pervez Musharraf, Khan is still hailed by the many in Pakistan as country's 'savior.' Pakistan's liberal scholars say that the state takes more pride in and invests more money in developing missiles and nuclear warheads than in promoting actual scientific research. "Research in scientific development has almost stopped in the country," said Naveed, adding that only jihadist ideas and teachings are flourishing in Pakistan. "Most researchers from minority religious sects have already left the country, and those who are still in Pakistan are worried about their lives," he said.


Two major incidents of kidnapping for ransom were reported from RCD Highway, mainly from Mastung to Surab, the area which had been handed over to criminals for minting quick millions. Three Hindu businessmen were whisked away from Jiwa Intersection of Surab region. They intercepted the passenger wagon along with passengers, including females, and taken to some desolate place near Surab where three Hindu businessmen were taken hostage and rest were freed along with the passenger van. However, they busted the tyres of the passenger van and taken the hostage to an unknown destination. No one had claimed the responsibility for the kidnapping of the weakest section of our population. This forced the Chief of Jhalawan, Nawab Sanaullah Zehri to condemn the kidnapping the Hindu businessmen from his home constituency. He implicitly blamed the state actors for being behind the acts of violence in his constituency and he condemned the incident and demanded their immediate release. There was a major protest in Kalat and its surrounding where most of the political parties, businessmen, traders and common people joined a shutter down strike and blockade of the RCD High for several hours to condemn kidnapping the three Kalat businessmen. They demanded their immediate and safe release. It indicated the level of anger of the people and disapproval of such acts of kidnapping for ransom, particularly targeting the weakest community in our society. It is confirmed that intelligence gathering was done and some people informed the culprits that they are traveling from Khuzdar to Kalat in a passenger van. It means an organized gang with reasonable communication links is operating in the area and committing crime against the humanity and the state. Ordinary criminal will never dare to commit such heinous crimes. It is not possible without support of highly powerful and influential people. It is strange that the government and the entire administration are unmoved on such crimes against humanity. Earlier, Dr Din Mohammad Bangulzai was waylaid and kidnapped by another gang in Lak Pass area the other day. It was another case of kidnapping for ransom. The criminals left his car and whisked him away to an unknown destination. Hostage taking of the Surgeon had forced the doctors to go on a lightning strike suspending healthcare system in all the Hospitals in Quetta. Even the District Headquarters Hospitals at Mastung and Naushki also observed the strike suspending work at OPDs for the second consecutive day. It seems that a section of the Government is patronizing the incidents of kidnapping for ransom encouraging the influential people to form such gangs so that they should become billionaires overnight. The entire area from Kalat to Khuzdar is unsafe and there were hundreds of incidents of hostage taking, robbing vehicles, trucks and passengers with police and levies on the sidelines presumably knowing the culprits and their patrons committing such crimes against the humanity. The gangsters were given proper shelter and assured that no one will dare to arrest him, detain him for questioning as they got full protection from the administration in this peculiar political climate. Senior journalist Shahzada Zulfiqar and his other colleagues were waylaid, taken hostage and robbed on the RCD Highway. Surprisingly, the Chief of Jhalawan and Provincial Minister was unaware about the incident and he condemned it. It means some other powerful people are operating such gangs in his area and he is also helpless as patrons of gangsters are more powerful. It is not out of context to mention here that there are zero crime rates in the tribal territories of Magsis and Mengals as the tribal chiefs had zero tolerance on such criminal activities. The black spot is between Kalat and Khuzdar where most of the armed gangs are operating with complete impunity and beyond Khuzdar the highway is safe for travel up to Karachi. The Government should show courage and demonstrate its will to crush the criminal gangs along with their patrons before the local people react and smash those gangs.

India set to launch Mars mission in 2013

India plans to launch a mission to Mars next year, putting an orbital probe around the red planet to study its climate and geology, top space department officials said on Thursday. The mission would mark another step in India's ambitious space programme, which envisages the Asian giant's first manned mission in 2016. "We will embark on the Mars mission after the Department of Science gives the green signal and decides the schedule early next year," Deviprasad Karnik, director of the state-run Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) told AFP. A 320-tonne Indian Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle rocket will be used to carry the orbiter spaceship, blasting off from the ISRO launch site at Sriharikota in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh. Another senior official at ISRO, requesting anonymity, estimated the cost of the mission at 4.0-5.0 billion rupees ($70-90 million dollars). The central government earmarked 1.25 billion rupees for the project in the last federal budget. India began its space programme in 1963 and has developed its own satellites and launch vehicles to cut dependence on overseas agencies. In September, 2009, India's Chandrayaan-1 satellite discovered water on the moon, boosting the country's credibility among established space-faring nations. But the space programme suffered a major setback in December 2010 when a satellite launch vehicle blew up and fell into the Bay of Bengal after veering from its intended flight path.

Bangladesh tells international charities to stop aiding Rohingyas

Bangladesh told three international aid agencies on Thursday not to help thousands of Rohingyas Muslims who have been fleeing into Bangladesh to escape violence in neighboring Myanmar. France's Médecins Sans Frontières, British-based Muslim Aid and Action Against Hunger were told about the ban by Joynul Bari, commissioner of the southeastern border district of Cox's Bazar, which he said was meant to discourage illegal migration from strife-torn Myanmar. Bari said the directive came from Bangladesh's NGO (non-governmental organization) Affairs Bureau which regulates aid groups. The charities were not immediately available for comment, but have already faced pressure not to aid a new influx of Rohingyas. Longstanding tensions between ethnic Rakhine Buddhists and Muslim Rohingyas boiled over in Myanmar's Rakhine state in early June, resulting in a series of arson and machete attacks in which authorities say 77 people were killed and more than 100 wounded. Myanmar security forces killed, raped or carried out mass arrests of Rohingyas after the violence started, New York-based Human Rights Watch said, raising questions about the government's ability to manage an ethnically diverse nation emerging from decades strict military rule. There are at least 800,000 Rohingyas in Myanmar but they are not recognized as one of its ethnic groups. Majority-Muslim Bangladesh has sought to turn back Rohingyas from entering the country, fearing an exodus from Myanmar, and police on Thursday arrested nine Rohingyas from a hotel in the Bangladesh capital Dhaka. Nearly 30,000 Rohingyas who fled to Bangladesh in the early 1990s to escape alleged persecution by Myanmar's military junta now live in two refugee camps in Cox's Bazar run by the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees. Bangladesh officials said there is a floating population of hundreds of thousands Rohingyas living illegally in Cox's Bazar. A Cox's Bazar resident told Reuters on Thursday that Rohingyas are still trickling in to Bangladesh by sea and forests along the border, ignoring a warning by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina that new refugees will be turned away. "We can take no more refugees" she told parliament last month.

'Lashkar-e-Jhangvi responsible for Balochistan law and order situation'

The Express Tribune News Network.
Rehman Malik, while briefing the Senate said that banned outfit Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ) was responsible for the deteriorating law and order situation in Balochistan, Express News reported on Thursday. He said that powers destabilising Pakistan have made a road map, adding that Taliban presence in Balochistan could not be denied. “LeJ and Baloch Liberation Army (BLA) have connections with each other,” said Malik, adding that BLA takes responsibility for most incidents of murder. “Baramdagh Bugti is involved in the abduction and killing of many people,” he said. Asks chairman to summon ISI, FO Senator Rehman Malik requested the Senate chairman to decide a date for summoning the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), Foreign Office, Interior Ministry and himself before him. Malik said he would not play the “blame game” but would bring facts and would do so with full responsibility and transparency. “There are many things I will tell you on record and there are many that I will not be able to divulge in open house,” said Malik while briefing the chairman. “The political situation of this region, the security situation of the region, the game of this world power” were some of the things Malik hinted at talking about in his briefing, adding that “we cannot separate Balochistan.” “So when I give that briefing on camera, you will understand what is happening with us and to what extent it can be compared with East Pakistan,” he said. “I will give you some details,” said Malik, adding that if it was not enough for the chairman, he would come tomorrow again to brief them. “I want to give briefing on camera so we can answer questions, tell you what is happening with us in Balochistan.”

Jobless Chitral youths joining Afghan army

A large number of jobless youths from Chitral and other remote areas of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s Malakand Division have reportedly joined Afghan National Army, a statement from provincial home ministry said. It said Commissioner Malakand Division and other authorities concerned had been directed to collect data of the youths for a possible legal action against them. According to media reports, the KP home ministry is alarmed at the news and higher authorities have ordered an immediate report in this regard.

Imran Khan gambled with Shaukat Khanum donations

Responding to Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI) frequent attacks, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) on Wednesday hit back by accusing PTI chief Imran Khan of using and losing the donations for the Shaukat Khanum Memorial Hospital (SKMH) in speculative real estate business abroad. PML-N stalwart Khawaja Asif, flanked by Pervez Rasheed, Mushahidullah Khan and Asim Khan, all three from the information wing of the party, at a press conference issued a fact sheet of the SKMH and hurled serious allegations at Khan, challenging him to prove the facts wrong in a court of the law. Asif alleged that Khan had transferred Rs 4.5 billion out of the country from SKMH accounts, which were donated by people in charity to the hospital, to invest in speculative real estate business in Masqat and Dubai and incurred huge losses on those investments. He pointed out that the company through which Shaukat Khanum Trust and Khan invested their money, had declared 64 losses. Asif accused Khan of money laundering and said that not only he put the donations in gambling but also lost the money. He claimed that he had documents to establish the facts and said that money collected from zakat and fitrana was invested in separate businesses. He told the media that the PTI chief had invested the money in unnamed offshore companies and that his front man, Imtiaz Haideri, had transferred the amount.

Isaf Commander departs Pakistan after productive meetings: ISPR

General John R. Allen,
Commander of International Security Assistance Force Thursday visited GHQ in Rawalpindi and called on General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, Chief of Army Staff. This meeting was another in a series of opportunities for the Commanders to continue building upon growing operational cooperation between the Afghanistan National Security Force, Pakistan military and Isaf, ISPR press release said. All three parties have many shared interests - including their respective commitments to expanding opportunities for coordinated action against terrorists on respective sides of the border who threaten Afghanistan, Pakistan, and the region and supporting Afghanistan's security, stability, and efforts towards reconciliation. They also share a responsibility for protecting the brave Afghan and Pakistani soldiers working in the border region. The future security and stability of the region rests in large part on the strength of partnership these discussions are forging. The talks also recognized the importance of future opportunities for key ANSF, Pakistani military and Isaf senior leaders to meet, explore means to expand the partnership, and continue this vital work. General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani during meeting said that Pak-US relationship should be based on mutual trust, respect and transparency. He said current meeting has helped towards improving strategic and operational understanding between Pakistan Military and Nato Forces, press release said. General John R. Allen during the meeting said "I look forward to these visits and am pleased with the upward spiral in our relationship they represent. We are making significant progress toward building a partnership that is enduring, strategic, carefully defined, and that enhances the security and prosperity of the region."

ISAF Commander meets General Kayani

Both generals are discussing border coordination and war on terror.ISAF commander General John Allen Thursday called on Pakistan Army Chief General Ashfaq Pervaiz Kayani during his one-day visit. Both will focus on improving security along the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan. Allen s visit comes after Pakistan and the United States signed a deal Tuesday governing NATO convoys travelling to Afghanistan until the end of 2015, well beyond the scheduled withdrawal of the bulk of NATO troops in 2014. Allen s visit is a further sign of efforts to repair the fractious war on terror alliance with Pakistan, which plunged to its worst crisis over the November strikes and the US killing of Osama bin Laden in Pakistan in 2011. Lieutenant General Zaheer ul-Islam, the chief of Pakistan s spy agency is also currently in the United States, the first head of the Inter-Services Intelligence agency to visit Washington in a year.