The Express Tribune News Network.
Thursday, August 2, 2012
VOA.COMThe 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.
SALUTE TO Prof:Abdus SalamPakistan remains silent about its only Nobel Laureate Abdus Salam and his contribution to the recent discovery of the
Constitutional discriminationThe 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.
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.”
DAILY TIMESResponding 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.
General John R. Allen,