Thursday, September 6, 2012
Saudi-backed Bahraini forces have attacked demonstrators protesting against the Al Khalifa regime across the Persian Gulf country. The regime forces on Wednesday used rubber bullets and tear gas to disperse the protesters in the capital, Manama, the northeastern island of Sitra, the northern village of Tubli and the western village of Sadad, Press TV reported. The demonstrators also expressed solidarity with leading opposition figures and condemned the recent verdicts against them. The protests came after a Bahraini civilian court on Tuesday upheld jail sentences against at least 13 opposition leaders. The jail terms, seven of them life sentences, were previously issued by a military court. Human rights activist Abdulhadi al-Khawaja and opposition leader Hassan Mushaimaa are among those sentenced to life in prison. On August 23, a Bahraini appeals court upheld a three-year prison term for prominent rights activist Nabeel Rajab over taking part in “unauthorized protests.” Since mid-February 2011, thousands of anti-government protesters have been staging regular demonstrations in the streets of Bahrain, calling for the Al Khalifa royal family to relinquish power. On March 14, 2011, troops from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates invaded the country to assist the Bahraini government in its crackdown on the peaceful protesters. According to local sources, scores of people have been killed and hundreds arrested in the crackdown. Physicians for Human Rights says doctors and nurses have been detained, tortured, or disappeared because they have "evidence of atrocities committed by the authorities, security forces, and riot police" in the crackdown on anti-government protesters.
Today, at about 10:30 am a home-made bomb blast took place at the house of Yousuf Aziz by the religious extremists with a result that a Christian girl by the name Ms. Sonia Yousuf aged 18 years and her brother Irfan After receiving this information the D. I. G. West and SHO Peerabad Police Station visited the house of Yousuf Aziz along with few policemen. In the meanwhile a bomb disposal team of two persons was also visited and examined the explosive and declared that it is a homemade bomb. Immediately the Chairperson of Global Human Rights Alliance Ms. Jacqueline Sultan along with her team also visited the house of Yousuf Aziz and consoled injured and inmates of the house. Mr. Saleem Khursheed Khokhar, Member Provincial Assembly Sindh, Chairman Standing Committee on Minority Affairs Sindh Assembly and President All Pakistan Minorities Alliance (APMA) Sindh also was present there and consoled and condemned this act of terrorism in the Christian Colony. Mr. Saleem Khursheed Khokhar Member of Parliament & Chairperson of Global Human Rights Alliance Ms. Jacqueline Sultan jointly condemned and assured the area Christians for their support. Ms. Jacqueline Sultan also assured their free legal aid for the victims as and when required. Mr. Saleem Khursheed Khokhar stressed that since last week young Christian by the name of Faisal Mughal was shot dead by indiscriminate firing at Christian Colony by the name of Essa Nagri and again on 4-9-2012 in Street No. 10, Azam Basti, Mehmoodabad indiscriminate firing took place in the Christian Area which is a matter of concern. In this respect, Mr. Saleem Khursheed Khokhar and the Chairperson of Global Human Rights Alliance appealed the Chief Minister Sindh for security and protection of Christian Colony / Dwellings in Karachi and arrest the culprits.
http://www.reuters.comPresident Vladimir Putin
At the Democratic national convention, the hugely popular former president gave an address aimed squarely at fixing Barack Obama's blind spot with middle AmericaSay what you want about Bill Clinton – and people do – but he gives good convention. And so he should. The last time he didn't address a convention was 1984. He knows which delegates' buttons to press because he sewed so many of them on himself. Last night, in a long, always spirited and occasionally rambling performance, he reminded the country not just who the good guy is but where the bad times came from. "In Tampa the Republican argument against Obama's re-election was pretty simple, pretty snappy: 'We left him a total mess, he hasn't finished cleaning it up fast enough, so fire him and put us back in.' I like the argument for President Obama's re-election a whole lot better. He inherited a deeply damaged economy, put a floor under the crash, began the long hard road to recovery and laid the foundation for a modern, more well-balanced economy." It was a full-throated, at times light-hearted, rousing endorsement of the man who beat his wife in a bitter primary four years ago. Bill Clinton sauntered on stage to his 1992 campaign song: "Don't stop thinking about tomorrow." But the convention hall – clinging to him like a cross-generational comfort blanket – were thinking about two decades ago, a reassuring reminder of what seems like a bygone era when jobs were many, you could get on a plane without first taking off your shoes and white southern Democrats weren't virtually extinct. His appearance in a primetime slot usually reserved for vice-presidents says more about Obama's vulnerabilities than it does about Clinton's strengths. And those weaknesses have been clear during this convention. While there is far more enthusiasm in Charlotte than there was among Republicans in Tampa last week, that exuberance among Democrats is far less focused. Republicans trained their sights on the economy, deceptively at times but relentlessly throughout. The Democratic rhetorical fire, however, is dispersed among many targets. Women's rights, union rights, equality of opportunity, healthcare reform, gay marriage, student debt – all get shout outs, all get cheers. There is a theme – fairness – but there isn't a coherent message beyond the threat that under Mitt Romney the country will be less fair. This is where Clinton comes in. For the problem is not that Barack Obama does not have a record. It's that the record he has does not include the single most important achievement he could hope for: improving the lot of the broad swathe of middle America. It's the one area where voters trust Romney more than him and by far the most important issue in the election. Clinton bears the imprimatur of economic success. Long after the Monica Lewinsky scandal, Don't Ask Don't Tell, the North American Free Trade Agreement, welfare reform, the repeal of the Glass-Steagall act and the defence of marriage act are forgotten, the memory of a strong economy and a budget surplus on his watch will remain. When the speech was over, Obama came on stage and hugged him as though he were a life raft.
Associated PressA spokesman for Save the Children in Pakistan says the government has ordered its foreign staff members to leave the country. Ghulam Qadri said on Thursday that the order from the Ministry of Interior for the organization's six expatriate staffers to leave came earlier this week. He said the ministry gave no reason for the expulsion. The group has come under Pakistani government scrutiny recently because of reports that it helped facilitate meetings between the U.S. and a doctor who helped hunt down Osama bin Laden. The group has vehemently denied any such role. Qadri says Save the Children has about 2,000 Pakistani employees across the country, and that the expulsion will not hinder its work. The expulsion was first reported by the British newspaper The Guardian.
Veena Malik has always been a 'drama queen', but her singing debut, an album by the same name is all set to flutter quite a few juke boxes! Yes, Pakistani import Veena Malik has just turned singer, courtesy her collaboration with renowned British Asian music producer Bups Saggu. The video of her debut single called 'Drama Queen' showcases Veena in a rather sexy cat woman avatar and has her setting the dance floor on fire. It also has Veena doing what she does the best- wooing men. The album, which is set to release in early 2013, is said to have music producers from all across the world and first look at it really makes us think that Veena might just be able to churn out a chart-buster with this one!
Editorial:Daily TimesThe interior ministry has finally decided to move against the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ), according to reports of a meeting to review law and order and security chaired by Interior Minister Rehman Malik. The federal government has asked the Punjab government to crack down on the LeJ without further delay, as most cases of sectarian violence have been claimed by the banned organisation. This news would normally be cause for satisfaction, but there are certain troubling questions that linger. For one thing, why the focus on Punjab alone? Most of the atrocities the LeJ has proudly boasted of recently occurred in Balochistan, principally Quetta. Granted, Punjab has been and perhaps remains the headquarters and main base of the LeJ. Reports say one of two former Harkat-ul-Ansar terrorists supervising the killings of Shias, Asmat Muawia, is operating from upper and central Punjab. But this still does not answer the question why the Balochistan government has been ignored in the request to crack down on the LeJ. It is bad enough that it took so long for the authorities to arrest Malik Ishaq, the LeJ chief, but to now focus exclusively on Punjab defies logic and leads to the suspicion that this issue too, like so much else, has become a victim of politicking. Also, those familiar with Balochistan and its political cross-currents would no doubt be surprised at the interior minister’s lumping together of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), LeJ and the Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA). Whereas the TTP and LeJ pride themselves on their militant extremist credentials, especially butchery of helpless, unarmed minorities, the BLA is a secular nationalist movement, a very different variety from the other two, to say the least. No doubt Islamabad is well aware of what is really at play in the sectarian killing fields of Balochistan and beyond. For it to put out a misleading narrative implies either confusion or more troubling times ahead because of the lack of nuanced focus. It bears noting though that the government had little option but to finally overcome its paralysis on the LeJ issue. For far too long the LeJ’s fanatics have been targeting the Shia minority with reckless abandon, especially Balochistan’s quiet Hazara community. Even though most times the LeJ blatantly boasted of carrying out what has arguably grown into genocide, the government remained silent as Malik Ishaq played to the far-right gallery, adorning the Difa-e-Pakistan Council stage on occasion. Now, when this belated official pronouncement has come, it does not inspire the confidence it should because of the layers of confusion about the scope of actions against the LeJ being confined to Punjab alone and the failure to distinguish between the TTP and LeJ on the one hand, and the BLA on the other. Reading between the lines, it remains to be seen whether the LeJ will continue to receive behind-the-scenes patronage from sections of the security establishment, while the official machinery will continue to be brought to weigh heavily on the BLA. That we might end up as a result with a province brimming with sectarian mercenaries while the secular-nationalist lobby is driven into the ground, seems to disturb few in government. It is clear that Pakistan’s frightening pace of disintegration has failed to register in popular political circles. If the government has remained confined to ritual denunciations of Shia killings, the opposition parties are not much better. It seems everybody is simply afraid of associating with targeted minorities, especially the Shia, for fear of swift and violent blowback from groups like the LeJ. No government can be excused for turning a blind eye to sectarian ‘cleansing’. The media too stands accused of inadequately putting the sectarian menace in proper perspective. Its coverage of the issue betrays how little it understands the political and sectarian abyss Pakistan has fallen into. Somewhere amidst the noise, the notion that all citizens of the land must be protected is drowned in oblivion.