Sunday, September 16, 2012

Hina to leave for 5-day visit to US on Tuesday

Foreign Minister will pay an official five-day visit to United States from 18 September She will later proceed to New York to join delegation led by President Asif Ali Zardari to participate in the UN General Assembly session. In the Washington leg of visit‚ the Foreign Minister will hold bilateral meetings with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton‚ National Security Advisor Tom Donilon‚ US Trade Representative Ambassador Ron Krik and other senior officials. She will also interact with several important Representatives of the US Congress‚ academics and think tanks. She will speak at the Council on Foreign Relations‚ SAIS and Asia Society in New York.

Syria accuses Turkey anew of facilitating terrorism

The Syrian government on Sunday renewed accusations of Turkey for supporting armed groups, including al-Qaida fighters, and facilitating their inroads into Syria. "It's regrettable that the Turkish government has for long pretended to be fighting terrorism, while at the same time supporting the armed terrorist elements and open its borders and airports for those elements to carry out terrorist acts against the Syrian people," Syria's Foreign Ministry said Sunday in letters sent to UN officials and carried by the state-run SANA news agency. It said that the Turkish government has allowed thousands of " murderers" and "terrorists from al-Qaida and other Takfiri groups" to enter Syria to spread anarchy and destruction. The ministry said Turkey was not satisfied with only hosting the anti-Syria organizations but set up training camps for those " terrorists." In the letter, the ministry cited what it described as " international media reports" as exposing that Turkey has received tons of weaponries from Libya and elsewhere in order to deliver them to the al-Qaida fighters and other jihadists already operative in Syria. It said that such moves are "flagrant defiance" to the resolutions of the UN in that regard. The ministry called on the UN Security Council to immediately investigate the "dangerous" information which "are not secret anymore and published by many foreign and international media" in order to put an end to these violations and punish their perpetrators, funders and supporters.

Syrian troops "fully purge" district in Aleppo from terrorists

SANA.COM Syria's state media said the Syrian troops have fully "purged" the Midan district in the northern city of Aleppo on Sunday from armed militias. SANA news agency said the army eliminated all the insurgents in Midan, adding that scores of other armed men were killed in a qualitative operation by the army at the Fardous district. Also in Aleppo, the army troops have killed many "terrorists" and confiscated satellite phones while raiding a hideout of armed insurgents at al-Arqoub district in the crucial northern city. Meanwhile, SANA said the government troops have tracked down armed groups at al-Joura, Asali and al-Qadam neighborhoods in the capital Damascus, killing and injuring scores of them, while pro- government Sham FM that more than 100 armed insurgents were killed in those areas. The state agency also said many armed men had been killed in similar army operations at al-Rastan in the countryside of Homs province in central Syria. Separately, eight civilians were killed Sunday and 25 others injured when an explosive device struck a street in Syria's southern Daraa province, SANA said. The blast damaged nine cars and two buses, said SANA, adding that the injured were rushed to the hospitals. The blast is the latest in a series of other explosions that have become increasingly common in Syria's 18 months crisis. On the opposition side, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and other activists' groups said clashes between government troops and armed rebels took place in a number of areas nationwide, most notably in the Damascus suburbs and Aleppo province. It said the rebellious Damascus' suburbs of Mu'adamiya, Yabrud, Zabadani and Douma were bombarded by regime forces, adding that regime forces went on a series of raids and perpetrated random detentions at the town of Hfeir near Damascus. The Observatory also said that more than 10 civilians were killed by the regime's bombardment on the village of Kafru'eid in the northwestern province of Idlib. It said a total of 60 people have been killed so far Sunday, 50 of whom were unarmed civilians. The activists' account couldn't be checked independently. The recent incidents came as the new UN-Arab League Joint Special Envoy Lakhdar Brahimi left Syria on Sunday afternoon after a three-day visit, during which he met with Syrian President among other Syrian officials and opposition parties and figures. Brahimi has recently said that he will craft a plan after meeting with all concerned parties and countries. He said he is hopeful that he will help the Syrian people " however difficult" to get out of the prolonged, intractable crisis.

Do not attempt to seize half inch of Chinese territory

Recently, in spite of strong oppositions and serious protests from the Chinese side, the Japanese government still “nationalizes” the Diaoyu Islands, which arouses anger among the Chinese people. It is not only a futile and dangerous farce but an open challenge to China’s territorial sovereignty and national dignity. The Diaoyu Islands and the affiliated islets have been China's inherent territory since ancient times. The Japanese government's so-called “islands-buying” is ridiculous, illegal and invalid, which cannot change the fact that China claims territorial sovereignty over the Diaoyu Islands and the affiliated islets. The essence of the Japanese government's arbitrary “nationalization” of the Diaoyu Islands is Japan’s intention to nibble Chinese territory in a gradual way. This kind of trick underestimates Chinese people's wisdom, determination and capability to defend the territory and sovereignty. The Japanese government, which thinks “nationalization” is a brilliant move, is actually about to fall off the dangerous abyss.The Chinese nation loves peace; being mild and gentle does not mean being weak and cowardly. The Chinese government and people always hold a consistent and clear stance on sovereignty issues. The Chinese people have always marched forward bravely especially when the territorial sovereignty and national dignity are threatened, The comprehensive national strength of new China has greatly increased after more than 30 years of reform and opening up. The Chinese People's Liberation Army has greatly improved its battle effectiveness in the modernization drive. We have the determination and capability to fulfill the sacred mission that the country and people have entrusted. The Chinese government and armed force's resolution and will of defending the national territorial sovereignty are strong and unchangeable. If the Japanese government continues to act arbitrarily, it will have to swallow the bitter fruit. We advise the Japanese government not to misjudge the situation. The Chinese people will never allow any country to seize even half inch of Chinese territory.

China: 80,000 march against Japan

A growing number of Chinese citizens participated in demonstrations against the Japanese government's illegal purchase of China's Diaoyu Islands at the weekend. However, a series of violent activities that erupted across Chinese cities on Saturday cast a shadow over proceedings. A total of 80,000 people were involved in Saturday's protest, which continued Sunday in at least 85 cities, such as Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen and Chengdu, according to the Kyodo News Agency. The Japanese government estimated that the demonstrations were the largest seen since the normalization of the Sino-Japanese relationship in 1972. "I hope the Japanese government will feel awed when seeing so many Chinese people united together, protesting against them," Liu Yan, a designer who joined the protests in front of the Japanese embassy in Beijing, told the Global Times. Hundreds of Beijing policemen, SWAT teams, and volunteers maintained order on both sides of the road. As police helicopters hovered overhead, below them thousands of protestors chanted "the Diaoyu Islands belong to China" and "Protect our territory," with some throwing bottles at the embassy. Dong Ya-sheng, a policeman dispatched from eastern Beijing's Tongzhou District to the embassy Sunday morning together with 250 colleagues, told the Global Times that nearly 10,000 people had joined in protests near the embassy Sunday but that "no very violent moves" had been seen so far. Thousands of people joined in the protests in Shanghai Sunday, which were kept under strict control by hundreds of the local policemen. Protesters were allowed to stay for no longer than 10 minutes in front of the Shanghai consulate. However, the protests did turn violent in some major Chinese cities such as Xi'an, Dongguan, Changsha and Qingdao, according to media reports. About 200 Japanese cars were overthrown or smashed in Xi'an Saturday, and nearly 80 percent of the local department stores were closed to avoid the protests. The glasses and the door of a local hotel were smashed Saturday because people heard a Japanese delegation was having a meeting inside the hotel. A wave of anger was evoked among the public in the wake of more violent protests revealed online, and many accused some protesters of being gangsters and mobs using the cover of patriotism. "Such radical behavior will only bring economic losses to China and harm its image," said Yang Bojiang, a researcher on Japanese studies with the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations. Yang called on the public to protest in a civilized and proper way, so that the protests could not only inform Japan of the Chinese people's firm determination to protect their territory, but also provide strong support to the Chinese government. The national taskforce cracking down on gangs warned the public Sunday through its Sina Weibo that people taking illegal actions, under the misapprehension that they were legal or that the government would sanction such moves, would be prosecuted. Liu Jiangyong, a professor of Japanese studies with Tsinghua University, said that the patriotic feelings of Chinese people may have been taken advantage of by those who aim to harm social order and damage China's economy. "It might also provide an opportunity for some Japanese politicians to attack and vilify China," he added. However, a few people's unreasonable and extreme violent behaviors do not represent the attitude of the majority of the Chinese people, Yang said. "Most are taking part in the protests out of their sincere patriotic feelings, which should not be downplayed or vilified." Yang said.

Obama crams for debates, works on being concise

On long flights to swing states in the West and late nights at the White House after his children have gone to bed, President Barack Obama is cramming like a student for a test that could determine his political future.
The subject? His opponent, Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney. The test? His face-off with the former Massachusetts governor at their first one-on-one debate next month. With the race still tight despite Obama's slight lead in the polls, the stakes are high for both men to perform well at the three debates this fall and gain momentum toward sealing the November 6 election. Forced to juggle his governing and campaigning responsibilities, Obama is squeezing in debate prep when he can. "We don't have the same luxury that Romney does in terms of time," Obama's chief campaign strategist David Axelrod said. That means Obama uses flights to Nevada, Colorado and other election swing states on Air Force One to read up on Romney's positions, or studies in the evenings at the White House when he's in town. "He's spent a lot of time reading material and most of it is familiarizing himself with what Governor Romney said in this campaign," Axelrod said. "I mean, he's pretty conversant with his own record but he wasn't very conversant with Romney's." Obama will sharpen his debating skills against Senator John Kerry, the 2004 Democratic presidential nominee, who will play Romney in mock sessions. Aides want him to work on being brief - a departure from his tendency to be long-winded, which can turn off TV viewers and make him look aloof. "He's got to speak shorter, that's all," Axelrod said. "He just hasn't had to do that for the last four years so that's a part of the discipline of preparing for these debates." Romney's sparring partner is Ohio Senator Rob Portman, who has played the president in several mock debates in recent weeks. Portman told reporters on Friday that Romney was "doing great." ROMNEY NEEDS TO STRIKE BLOWS Now that the two parties' conventions are over, the debates are the last high-profile, set-piece events left to shape the race for the White House. The first encounter at the University of Denver in Colorado on October 3 will focus on domestic policy while the second, at Hofstra University in New York state on October 16, will allow audience members to ask questions. Vice President Joe Biden and Representative Paul Ryan face off in Danville, Kentucky, on October 11 in the only vice presidential debate. The final match between Obama and Romney, in Boca Raton, Florida, on October 22, will focus on foreign policy, a strong point for Obama. If polls stay the same until the debates begin, Romney will need to strike a rhetorical blow strong enough to reverse Obama's momentum. He gained some experience in doing that while knocking out a series of Republican opponents in a series of debates held during his party's primary elections. "Romney is at a considerable advantage going into the debate because of the sheer amount of GOP debates he successfully navigated only months ago," said Republican strategist Ron Bonjean. "Although Obama is an incredible speaker, he doesn't often hold news conferences or allow himself to be challenged." A one-on-one debate with the president naturally elevates the challenger, and historical precedence shows the incumbent often loses the first debate. But Romney has disadvantages. Voters view him as less likeable than Obama, a quality that could be magnified on the debate stage, and the wealthy former private equity executive is more prone to gaffes than his Democratic opponent. Romney challenged Texas Governor Rick Perry to a $10,000 bet during one of the primary debates, reinforcing an image of being out of touch with average Americans. "Romney needs to ... show he's ready for prime time after multiple gaffes, connect with people in a genuine way and lay out actual plans for how he'd govern. So far, he's failed on all three counts," said Democratic strategist Doug Hattaway, a former adviser to Hillary Clinton's 2008 presidential campaign. "President Obama will need to win back independents who gave him a chance in 2008 and re-inspire the new voters who turned out in great numbers to put him into office," he said. "The debates offer a good platform to do both." Both campaigns are engaging in a familiar political strategy ahead of the debates: raising expectations for the other guy. "Mitt Romney had many, many debates and he was very good in them," Axelrod said. "By and large when he needed to bring it, he did. He memorizes his set pieces and he delivers them well. He obviously has no hesitance at all about going after someone." Romney already is predicting Obama will be less than truthful at the debates, sewing seeds of doubt in viewers' minds that Obama's words can be trusted. "I think he's going to say a lot of things that aren't accurate," Romney told ABC's George Stephanopoulos last week. "And you know, I'd be tempted to go back to that wonderful line by Ronald Reagan, 'There you go again.' But you can't use something that." Obama's team has raised doubts about Romney's truthfulness, too, and former President Bill Clinton already used a version of Reagan's famous line to describe Republicans during the Democratic convention.

Kate Middleton's dancing cousin bares it all

Katrina Darling, a distant cousin of Kate Middleton, performs her burlesque show at a New York City nightclub

Why is the Arab world so easily offended?

By Fouad Ajami
Modernity requires the willingness to be offended. And as anti-American violence across the Middle East and beyond shows, that willingness is something the Arab world, the heartland of Islam, still lacks. Time and again in recent years, as the outside world has battered the walls of Muslim lands and as Muslims have left their places of birth in search of greater opportunities in the Western world, modernity — with its sometimes distasteful but ultimately benign criticism of Islam — has sparked fatal protests. To understand why violence keeps erupting and to seek to prevent it, we must discern what fuels this sense of grievance. There is an Arab pain and a volatility in the face of judgment by outsiders that stem from a deep and enduring sense of humiliation. A vast chasm separates the poor standing of Arabs in the world today from their history of greatness. In this context, their injured pride is easy to understand. In the narrative of history transmitted to schoolchildren throughout the Arab world and reinforced by the media, religious scholars and laymen alike, Arabs were favored by divine providence. They had come out of the Arabian Peninsula in the 7th century, carrying Islam from Morocco to faraway Indonesia. In the process, they overran the Byzantine and Persian empires, then crossed the Strait of Gibraltar to Iberia, and there they fashioned a brilliant civilization that stood as a rebuke to the intolerance of the European states to the north. Cordoba and Granada were adorned and exalted in the Arab imagination. Andalusia brought together all that the Arabs favored — poetry, glamorous courts, philosophers who debated the great issues of the day. If Islam’s rise was spectacular, its fall was swift and unsparing. This is the world that the great historian Bernard Lewis explored in his 2002 book “What Went Wrong?” The blessing of God, seen at work in the ascent of the Muslims, now appeared to desert them. The ruling caliphate, with its base in Baghdad, was torn asunder by a Mongol invasion in the 13th century. Soldiers of fortune from the Turkic Steppes sacked cities and left a legacy of military seizures of power that is still the bane of the Arabs. Little remained of their philosophy and literature, and after the Ottoman Turks overran Arab countries to their south in the 16th century, the Arabs seemed to exit history; they were now subjects of others. The coming of the West to their world brought superior military, administrative and intellectual achievement into their midst — and the outsiders were unsparing in their judgments. They belittled the military prowess of the Arabs, and they were scandalized by the traditional treatment of women and the separation of the sexes that crippled Arab society. Even as Arabs insist that their defects were inflicted on them by outsiders, they know their weaknesses. Younger Arabs today can be brittle and proud about their culture, yet deeply ashamed of what they see around them. They know that more than 300 million Arabs have fallen to economic stagnation and cultural decline. They know that the standing of Arab states along the measures that matter — political freedom, status of women, economic growth — is low. In the privacy of their own language, in daily chatter on the street, on blogs and in the media, and in works of art and fiction, they probe endlessly what befell them. But woe to the outsider who ventures onto that explosive terrain. The assumption is that Westerners bear Arabs malice, that Western judgments are always slanted and cruel. In the past half-century, Arabs, as well as Muslims in non-Arab lands, have felt the threat of an encircling civilization they can neither master nor reject. Migrants have left the burning grounds of Karachi, Cairo and Casablanca but have taken the fire of their faith with them. “Dish cities” have sprouted in the Muslim diasporas of Western Europe and North America. You can live in Stockholm and be sustained by a diet of al-Jazeera television. We know the celebrated cases when modernity has agitated the pious. A little more than two decades ago, it was a writer of Muslim and Indian birth, Salman Rushdie, whose irreverent work of fiction, “The Satanic Verses,” offended believers with its portrayal of Islam. That crisis began with book-burnings in Britain, later saw protests in Pakistan and culminated in Iran’s ruling cleric, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, issuing a fatwa calling for Rushdie’s death in 1989. The protesters were not necessarily critics of fiction; all it took to offend was that Islam, the prophet Muhammad and his wives had become a writer’s material. The confrontation laid bare the unease of Islam in the modern world. The floodgates had opened. The clashes that followed defined the new terms of encounters between a politicized version of Islam — awakened to both power and vulnerability — and the West’s culture of protecting and nurturing free speech. In 2004, a Moroccan Dutchman in his mid-20s, Mohammed Bouyeri, murdered filmmaker Theo van Goghon a busy Amsterdam street after van Gogh and a Somali-born politician made a short film about the abuse of women in Islamic culture. Shortly afterward, trouble came to Denmark when a newspaper there published a dozencartoons depicting the prophet Muhammad; in one he wears a bomb-shaped turban, and another shows him as an assassin. The newspaper’s culture editor had thought the exercise would merely draw attention to the restrictions on cultural freedom in Europe — but perhaps that was naive. After all, Muslim activists are on the lookout for such material. And Arab governments are eager to defend Islam. The Egyptian ambassador to Denmark encouraged a radical preacher of Palestinian birth living in Denmark and a young Lebanese agitator to fan the flames of the controversy. But it was Syria that made the most of this opportunity. The regime asked the highest clerics to preach against the Danish government. The Danish embassies in Damascus and Beirut were sacked; there was a call to boycott Danish products. Denmark had been on the outer margins of Europe’s Muslim diaspora. Now its peace and relative seclusion were punctured. The storm that erupted this past week at the gates of American diplomatic outposts across the Muslim world is a piece of this history. As usual, it was easily ignited. The offending work, a 14-minute film trailer posted on YouTube in July, is offensive indeed. Billed as a trailer for “The Innocence of Muslims,” a longer movie to come, it is at once vulgar and laughable. Its primitiveness should have consigned it to oblivion. It was hard to track down the identities of those who made it. A Sam Bacile claimed authorship, said that he was an Israeli American and added that 100Jewish businessmen had backed the venture. This alone made it rankle even more — offending Muslims and implicating Jews at the same time. (In the meantime, no records could be found of Bacile, and the precise origins of the video remain murky.) It is never hard to assemble a crowd of young protesters in the teeming cities of the Muslim world. American embassies and consulates are magnets for the disgruntled. It is inside those fortresses, the gullible believe, that rulers are made and unmade. Yet these same diplomatic outposts dispense coveted visas and a way out to the possibilities of the Western world. The young men who turned up at the U.S. Embassies this week came out of this deadly mix of attraction to American power and resentment of it. The attack in Benghazi, Libya, that took the lives of four American diplomats, including Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens, appeared to be premeditated and unconnected to the film protests. The ambivalence toward modernity that torments Muslims is unlikely to abate. The temptations of the West have alienated a younger generation from its elders. Men and women insist that they revere the faith as they seek to break out of its restrictions. Freedom of speech, granting license and protection to the irreverent, is cherished, protected and canonical in the Western tradition. Now Muslims who quarrel with offensive art are using their newfound freedoms to lash out against it. These cultural contradictions do not lend themselves to the touch of outsiders. President George W. Bush believed that America’s proximity to Arab dictatorships had begotten us the jihadists’ enmity. His military campaign in Iraq became an attempt to reform that country and beyond. But Arabs rejected his interventionism and dismissed his “freedom agenda” as a cover for an unpopular war and for domination. President Obama has taken a different approach. He was sure that his biography — the years he spent in Indonesia and his sympathy for the aspirations of Muslim lands — would help repair relations between America and the Islamic world. But he’s been caught in the middle, conciliating the rulers while making grand promises to ordinary people. The revolt of the Iranian opposition in the summer of 2009 exposed the flaws of his approach. Then the Arab Spring played havoc with American policy. Since then, the Obama administration has not been able to decide whether it defends the status quo or the young people hell-bent on toppling the old order. Cultural freedom is never absolute, of course, and the Western tradition itself, from the Athenians to the present, struggles mightily with the line between freedom and order. In the Muslim world, that struggle is more fierce and lasting, and it will show itself in far more than burnt flags and overrun embassies.

Afghan war widows build own homes

For the past decade, hundreds of Afghan war widows have gathered together on what has become known as ’Widow’s Hill." These women are living in severe poverty on a slope above a cemetery in an eastern neighborhood of Kabul and most of them have built their mud homes by hand. Three pots, 8 children, and that is about all she has. Except she has something many women in Afghanistan, who are widowed like her, do not have. Her own home. It’s called Zindabad- the women’s hill. Shaima came here over 2 years ago. Her husband, an Afghan soldier, was killed in combat and she had nowhere to go. No one to help her feed her children. Someone told her about this place where women lived, and for about 60 dollars, she bought a small piece of the rocky hillside above Kabul. An Afghan war widow said, "I built this house by myself. I would wake up from my dreams late at night and work. I had no one so I made the bricks by my hands, and it broke my nails." Shaima is very poor and there are few government services to help her and women like her. Her only income comes from trying to sell the bread she bakes, made with garbage and plastic as fuel. She sends her eldest child, who she says is 12 but looks half that, out every day to collect anything he can find. None of her kids go to school. They have no real shoes, no pens, no paper. They can’t go. But she is not your average Afghan woman. Women do not live on their own here. They cannot just go out and rent a house, or they will face discrimination, or threats. Shaima’s brother in law calls her a prostitute for being here. Yet she had nowhere else to go. Courtney Body said, "In Afghanistan when a woman becomes a widow, she usually has no option but to stay with her in-laws, doing their chores with no hope for their own future. These women literally took their lives into their own hands and a built a home for their kids, brick by brick." And Hasina is still doing that. She mixes the straw and mud that will hopefully help keep just a little bit of the heat in, and the cold out. But as they basically are squatting on this land, municipal services are almost non-existent. An Afghan war widow said, "In winter we have nothing to warm ourselves, no electricity, no water. We have nothing." Her work is hard but she does it for her four children. Her husband was killed many years ago when the Taliban were in power. Now she is in control. An Afghan war widow said, "The men were all killed and we alone made this place by ourselves. We made the women’s hill." It is still a difficult life, kids-if they are lucky enough to go to school, walk past open sewers and garbage. In bad weather, they all must climb up here in the mud and snow. The mud homes will fair better than the brick ones in earthquake prone Afghanistan. The picturesque view they have is of a city where many have made fortunes off of the foreigners war. But for the 20 women living here on this hill, they have a home, and they have made that achievement with all the odds set against them.

Topless Photos of Kate Middleton & Prince Harry

French magazine Closer just published some photos of Kate Middleton sunbathing topless while "staying at the French chateau of the Queen's nephew, Lord Linley — making it now two royal nudie picture scandals in three weeks.
There was another scandal of so called royal family of Brits,when Prince Harry exposed himself naked.

Talal seeks UN intervention in Balochistan

JWP chief Talal Bugti has urges United Nations to send its peace force to Balochistan. Dismemberment of Pakistan would not be in the interest of the world, he said. Talal Bugti said this while talking to media after his meeting with the United Nations Working Group in Quetta. He said he had informed the UN group about the missing persons and recovery of mutilated bodies in Blaochistan. Talal said law and order situation in Balochistan was deteriorating day by day and there was uncertainty everywhere. Peace in Balochistan cannot be restored without United Nations intervention, he said adding he had handed over a list of 550 missing persons to the UN group.

Turkish Airline flying Takfiri militants of Al-Qaeda from Pakistan to Syrian borders

Let Us Build Pakistan
By acting as a willing accomplice in global Saudi Salafi Jihadist project, Turkey is digging its own grave. Turkey in 2012 is playing the same role against Assad regime in Syria as Pakistan played in 1980s against Communist regime in Afghanistan. Not unlike the so called Afghan Jihad, USA and Saudi Arabia are jointly sponsoring a radical Takfiri Salafist Jihad to install an Islamist regime in Damascus. Not unlike Pakistan, Turkey too has a bleak future ahead. The days are not far when Takfiri Salafists will start spreading hatred and perpetrating violence against moderate Sunni Muslims, Sufis, Shiites and other minority groups. In particular, Shia Alavites of Trukey (25% of Turkey’s population) will face the same fate which Twelver Shiite are currently facing in Pakistan, i.e., a gradual genocide. It is high time that the people of Turkey should hold their elected government responsible for sponsoring a Takfiri Salafist Jihad project in Syria which involves war crimes and violence against innocent civilians and government employees. Pakistan government, Pakistan Army in particular, must act urgently to stop the export of Takfiri Salafists and Takfiri Deobandis to Syria via Turkey.
Turkey’s national air carrier, Turkish Air, has been transiting Al-Qaeda and Taliban militants from North Waziristan in Pakistan to the Turkish borders with Syria, sources revealed on Saturday, mentioning that the last group were flown to Hatay on a Turkish Air Airbus flight No. 709 on September 10, 2012. “The Turkish intelligence agency sent 93 Al-Qaeda and Taliban terrorists from Waziristan to Hatay province near the border with Syria on a Turkish Air Airbus flight No. 709 on September 10, 2012 and via the Karachi-Istanbul flight route,” the source told FNA on Saturday, adding that the flight had a short stop in Istanbul. The 93 terrorists transited to the Turkish border with Syria included Al-Qaeda militants from Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Yemen, Pakistan, Afghanistan and a group of Arabs residing in Waziristan, he added. The source, who asked to remain anonymous due to the sensitivity of his information, further revealed that the Turkish intelligence agency is coordinating its measures with the CIA and the Saudi and Qatari secret services. FNA dispatches from Pakistan said new al-Qaeda members were trained in North Waziristan until a few days ago and then sent to Syria, but now they are transferring their command center to the borders between Turkey and Syria as a first step to be followed by a last move directly into the restive parts of Syria on the other side of the border. The al-Qaeda, backed by Turkey, the US and its regional Arab allies, had set up a new camp in Northern Waziristan in Pakistan to train Salafi and Jihadi terrorists and dispatched them to Syria via Turkish borders. “A new Al-Qaeda has been created in the region through the financial and logistical backup of Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and a number of western states, specially the US,” a source told FNA earlier this month. Ali Mahdian told FNA that the US and the British governments have been playing with the al-Qaeda through their Arab proxy regimes in the region in a bid to materialize their goals, specially in Syria. He said the Saudi and Qatari regimes serve as interlocutors to facilitate the CIA and MI6 plans in Syria through instigating terrorist operations by Salafi and Arab Jihadi groups, adding that the terrorists do not know that they actually exercise the US plans. “Turkey has also been misusing extremist Salafis and Al-Qaeda terrorists to intensify the crisis in Syria and it has recently augmented its efforts in this regard by helping the new Al-Qaeda branch set up a camp in Northern Waziristan in Pakistan to train Al-Qaeda and Taliban members as well as Turkish Salafis and Arab Jihadis who are later sent to Syria for terrorist operations,” said the source. He said the camp in Waziristan is not just a training center, but a command center for terrorist operations against Syria. Yet, the source said the US and Britain are looking at the new Al-Qaeda force as an instrument to attain their goals and do not intend to support them to ascend to power, “because if Salafi elements in Syria ascend to power, they will create many problems for the US, the Western states and Turkey in future”. “Thus, the US, Britain and Turkey are looking at the Al-Qaeda as a tactical instrument,” he said, and warned of the regional and global repercussions of the US and Turkish aid to the Al-Qaeda and Salafi groups. “Unfortunately, these group of countries have just focused on the short-term benefits that the Salafis and the Al-Qaeda can provide for them and ignore the perils of this support in the long run,” he said. “At present, the western countries, specially Britain which hosts and controls the Jihadi Salafi groups throughout the world are paving the ground for these extremists to leave their homes – mostly in Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the Untied Arab Emirates (UAE) as well as those who live in Europe and the US – for Waziristan,” the source added. In relevant remarks, Syrian Prime Minister Wael al-Halqi last week blamed certain states, the Salafis and the Al-Qaeda for terrorist operations which have claimed the lives of thousands of people in his country, and said terrorist groups supported by certain foreign actors are misusing differences in his country to bring Syria into turmoil. Addressing the 16th heads-of-state summit of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) here in Tehran on Thursday, the Syrian premier noted terrorist attacks on his nation, and said the “terrorists are backed up by certain foreign states”. “Many countries allege to be supporting peaceful solutions in Syria, but they oppose Annan’s plan in practice,” he said, and cautioned, “The responsibility for the failure of this plan lies on their shoulder as they strove to keep the Syrian crisis going and falsified events.” “The world should know that the Syrian crisis, in fact, rises from foreign meddling. Certain well-known countries from inside and outside the region are seeking instability of Syria,” the Syrian prime minister complained. Elaborating on the recent developments in Syria, al-Halqi said, “It has been proved that foreign-backed terrorist groups have been misusing events and killing the innocent people.” “These terrorists include Salafis and Al-Qaeda Takfiri groups,” he reiterated, and added, “Those states that support terrorism and oppose talks should be given moral and economic punishments as they are part of the problem in Syria.” Syria has been experiencing unrest since March 2011 with organized attacks by well-armed gangs against Syrian police forces and border guards being reported across the country. In October, calm was eventually restored in the Arab state after President Assad started a reform initiative in the country, but Israel, the US and its Arab allies are seeking hard to bring the country into chaos through any possible means. Tel Aviv, Washington and some Arab capitals have been staging various plots in the hope of stirring unrests in Syria once again. The US and its western and regional allies have long sought to topple Bashar al-Assad and his ruling system. Media reports said that the Syrian rebels and terrorist groups have received significantly more and better weapons in recent weeks, a crime paid for by the Persian Gulf Arab states and coordinated by the United States. The US daily, Washington Post, reported in May that the Syrian rebels and terrorist groups battling the President Bashar al-Assad’s government have received significantly more and better weapons in recent weeks, a crime paid for by the Persian Gulf Arab states and coordinated by the United States. The newspaper, quoting opposition activists and US and foreign officials, reported that Obama administration officials emphasized the administration has expanded contacts with opposition military forces to provide the Persian Gulf nations with assessments of rebel credibility and command-and-control infrastructure. Opposition activists who several months ago said the rebels were running out of ammunition said in May that the flow of weapons – most bought on the black market in neighboring countries or from elements of the Syrian military in the past – has significantly increased after a decision by Saudi Arabia, Qatar and other Persian Gulf states to provide millions of dollars in funding each month. Special Thanks to: FNA Bureau in Islamabad, FNA Bureau in Kabul, FNA Bureau in Damascus

Afghan officials: 8 women killed in NATO airstrike

Associated Press
Afghan officials say a NATO airstrike killed eight women and girls who were out gathering firewood before dawn Sunday in a remote region on the east of the country. The coalition says it believes only insurgents were hit. Villagers from Laghman province's Alingar district brought the bodies to the governor's office in the provincial capital, said Sarhadi Zewak, a spokesman for the provincial government. "They were shouting 'Death to America!' They were condemning the attack," Zewak said. Seven injured females were brought to area hospitals for treatment, some of them as young as 10 years old, said provincial health director Latif Qayumi. NATO forces at first said that about 45 insurgents and no civilians were killed in the attack but spokesman Jamie Graybeal stressed later that they took the charge of civilian deaths seriously and were investigating the allegations. He said, however, that initial reports showed only insurgents were killed in the airstrike. Airstrikes have been a particularly sensitive issue between the Afghan people — who say civilians often end up killed along with or instead of insurgents — and NATO forces who maintain that they are a key tactic for going after insurgent leaders.

Afghan inside attack kills 4 US troops

Associated Press
An Afghan police officer turned his gun on NATO troops at a remote checkpoint in southern Afghanistan before dawn Sunday, killing four American service members, according to Afghan and international officials. It was the third attack by Afghan forces or insurgents disguised in military uniforms against international forces in as many days, killing eight troops in all. Recent months have seen a string of such insider attacks by Afghan forces against their international counterparts. The killings have imperiled the military partnership between Kabul and NATO, a working relationship that is key to the handover of security responsibilities to Afghan forces as international troops draw down. Meanwhile, according to Afghan officials, airstrikes by NATO planes killed eight women and girls in a remote part of the country, fueling a long-standing grievance against a tactic used by international forces that Afghans say causes excessive civilian casualties. Villagers from a remote part of Laghman province's Alingar district drove the bodies to the provincial capital, claiming they were killed by NATO aircraft while they were out gathering firewood before dawn. "They were shouting 'Death to America!' They were condemning the attack," said Laghman provincial government spokesman Sarhadi Zewak. Seven injured females were also brought to area hospitals for treatment, some of them as young as 10 years old, said provincial health director Latif Qayumi. NATO forces at first said that about 45 insurgents and no civilians were killed in the attack but spokesman Jamie Graybeal stressed later that they took the charge of civilian deaths seriously and were investigating the allegations. "Protecting Afghan lives is the cornerstone of our mission and it saddens us when we learn that our action might have unintentionally harmed civilians," Graybeal said. Afghan President Hamid Karzai condemned the airstrike and said a government investigation had been opened. The recent violence also comes amid an international uproar about an Internet video mocking the Prophet Muhammad that many fear could further aggravate Afghan-U.S. relations. The video has sparked protests throughout the Muslim world and the Afghan government blocked the YouTube site that hosts the video and its parent company, Google Inc., over the weekend in a move to prevent violent protests. So far, protests in Afghanistan have remained peaceful. Details of Sunday's attack were slow to come out because it took place in a remote area, said Graybeal, the NATO forces spokesman. "The attack took place in the vicinity of an outpost in southern Afghanistan. It is my understanding that it was a checkpoint," Graybeal said. International forces often work with Afghan police to man checkpoints as part of the effort to train and mentor the Afghan forces so that they can eventually operate on their own. The goal is to turn over all security responsibility for the country to the Afghans by the end of 2014, though numbers of NATO forces have already been reduced in many areas. Graybeal said one police officer was killed in the clash with NATO troops but that the other officers at the site fled and it was unclear if they were involved in the attack or not. Two international troops were wounded and were receiving treatment, Graybeal said. He did not say how serious the injuries were. Afghan officials said the checkpoint in Zabul province's Mizan district came under attack first from insurgents sometime around midnight. American forces came to help the Afghan police respond to the attack, said Ghulam Gilani, the deputy police chief of the province. It was not clear if some of the Afghan police turned on their American helpers in the middle of the battle with the insurgents, or afterward, or were somehow forced into attacking the American troops by the insurgents, Gilani said. "The checkpoint was attacked last night. Then the police started fighting with the Americans. Whether they attacked the Americans willingly we don't know," Gilani said. He said all four of the dead were American. A U.S. official speaking on anonymity because the information had not been officially released confirmed that the four killed were American. Taliban spokesman Qari Yousef Ahmadi said the police who attacked were not affiliated with the Taliban insurgency. "But they are Afghans and they know that Americans are our enemy," Ahmadi told The Associated Press. In an emailed statement, he said the police who fled have joined up with the insurgency. The coalition said in a statement that they were investigating what happened. So far this year, 51 international service members have died at the hands of Afghan soldiers or policemen or insurgents wearing their uniforms. At least 12 such attacks came in August alone, leaving 15 dead. On Saturday, a gunman in the uniform of a government-backed militia force shot dead two British soldiers in Helmand district in the southwest. Britain's defense minister said the two soldiers, from 3rd Battalion the Yorkshire Regiment, were killed at a checkpoint shooting in Nahri Sarraj district of Helmand province in southern Afghanistan, where the Taliban have their strongest roots. NATO said earlier that the gunman was wearing a uniform used by the Afghan Local Police, a village-level fighting force overseen by the central government. That strike came a day after insurgents wearing U.S. Army uniforms attacked a military base, killing two American Marines, wounding nine other people and destroying six Harrier fighter jets, military officials said. Fourteen insurgents were killed. The Taliban claimed responsibility for that attack and said that it was revenge for the video insulting Prophet Muhammad. In the capital on Sunday, several hundred university students chanted "Death to America!" and "Long life to Islam!" over several hours to protest the video. Riot police cordoned off the area and the protest ended without incident in the early afternoon. A smaller protest went forward in the western city of Herat.

NATO releases details of brazen raid in Afghanistan

Afghan insurgents who staged a daring, well-planned raid on the military camp where Britain's Prince Harry is based were wearing U.S. Army uniforms, NATO said. Six jets were destroyed and two U.S. Marines were killed in the brazen weekend attack. The use of U.S. military uniforms may be a new insurgent tactic. ISAF could not immediately provide CNN with previous examples. Well-trained, well-rehearsed fighters carried out the sustained assault at Camp Bastion in Helmand province, NATO's International Security Assistance Force said. About 15 insurgents organized into three teams penetrated the base's perimeter fence and did considerable damage, destroying six refueling stations and damaging six aircraft hangars. The attackers toted automatic rifles, rocket-propelled grenade launchers and suicide vests. They destroyed six AV-8B Harrier jets and damaged two others before the attack ended, the coalition said. Fourteen of the fighters were killed and one was wounded and captured, ISAF said. Eight coalition military personnel and one civilian contractor were also wounded. It is too soon to say whether the attackers had "inside knowledge," ISAF spokesman James Graybeal said. ISAF would not say how the attackers got the uniforms, but CNN staff who have spent time in Afghanistan say they are for sale in markets there. Prince Harry is an Apache helicopter pilot based at Camp Bastion, but the British Ministry of Defence categorically rejected reports in Sunday's British press that he was just a few hundred yards away from the gun battle. Harry, a grandson of Queen Elizabeth II and third in line to the British throne, "was in no way in any danger" during the latest attack, ISAF spokesman Maj. Martin Crighton said earlier. On Saturday, ISAF said the camp is secure and the strike would not "impact" air and ground operations. Camp Leatherneck, the U.S. side of the base, was not affected by the attack, Maj. Adam N. Wojack, an ISAF spokesman, told CNN. The joint base is located in a remote desert region of Helmand, the southern province in the Taliban heartland. The Taliban said it carried out the strike, calling it a response to the anti-Islam film stoking anger across Muslim-majority countries. Yet Crighton said there had no organized demonstrations outside its gates before the assault. Afghanistan has seen only relatively small and peaceful demonstrations against in the film during a week in which there were protests in more than a dozen countries. Separately, attackers dressed as Afghan police killed four coalition troops early Sunday in southern Afghanistan, ISAF spokesman Graybeal said. He didn't offer more details, beyond saying that the troops died "following an insider attack involving Afghan police." He would not say where the troops were from or where they were killed. The assault is the latest in a series of incidents in which members of Afghan security forces have been suspected of turning their weapons on coalition or Afghan soldiers, known as green-on-blue attacks. More than 50 coalition troops have been killed in such attacks this year.Sunday's killings came only a day after the British Ministry of Defence announced that two troops had been killed in Helmand province's Nahr-e Saraj district. In that attack, a man wearing an Afghan police uniform fatally shot two members of the 3rd Battalion at a checkpoint, according to Maj. Laurence Roche, a spokesman for Task Force Helmand, said in a statement released by the ministry. The killing occurred the same day that another British soldier died in in a separate incident in Nahr-e Saraj, according to the ministry. He was killed when his vehicle struck a bomb.

PPP rejects Dr A Q Khan’s allegation against Benazir

PPP has rebutted Dr A Q Khan’s assertion that he transferred nuclear technology on BB’s orders. Spokesperson PPP Senator Farhatullah Babar has strongly rebutted Dr A.Q Khan’s assertion that he transferred nuclear materials and technology to two countries on the orders of former Prime Minister Shaheed Mohtamra Benazir Bhutto. The assertion of A Q Khan is a belated and desperate attempt to wash the guilt of proliferating nuclear weapons by associating the name of Shaheed Benazir Bhutto to lend a semblance of respectability to a crime that brought huge embarrassment and inflicted incalculable damage on Pakistan, Senator Farhatullah Babar said in a statement. Farhatullah Babar said that public memory was not so short as to forget the public apology tendered by A.Q Khan on national television in February 2004 in which acknowledging nuclear proliferation and also admitted his guilt thus, “I have much to answer for it”. Dr. Khan would do well to re-read his February 2004 public statement on national television and remember that the words and sentences he uttered on that fateful day can never be recalled. Senator Farhatullah Babar said that Dr Khan now owed another public apology; this time to the soul of Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto and to her innumerable followers and admirers for hurling baseless and unfounded allegations against her.

Pakistan: 751 commit suicide in six months

The trend of suicides is on a sharp rise in Pakistan, as 751 suicide cases were recorded from January to June 2012, says Madadgaar National Helpline here Saturday. Suicide, a criminal offence and a major mental health problem has destructive effects on individuals, families and communities. Madadgaar National helpline, sharing its report on the data of on the eve of the World Suicide Prevention Day, said 751 cases of suicide were reported from January to June, 2012 across Pakistan. In these six months 136 children, 303 women and 312 male committed suicide. Then report said as many as 32762 people committed suicides in the country during the last 12 years (2001-12). The victims include 4031 children, 11752 women and 16975 males. The report is compiled from the data published in national, local newspapers. However, a number of cases are also unreported, as families are reluctant to register cases of suicide or attempted suicide because they consider it a social stigma. Men are more likely to commit suicide as the data shows. It seems strong association between poor socio-economic conditions and suicide in Pakistan. Domestic violence, poverty, insecurity, and hopelessness are the most common reasons of suicide. Whereas, poisoning, firearms, hanging, excess use of medicines or sleeping pills, use of insecticides and jumping from height are most common methods of committing and attempting suicide. Zia Ahmed Awan, President Lawyers for Human Rights and Legal Aid (LHRLA) regretted the rising incidents of suicide and attempted suicide. He said the lack of basic civic facilities, dearth of resources, poorly established healthcare services and political instability make suicide prevention an alarming challenge in Pakistan. Awan said, under Section 325Pakistan Penal Code (PPC), attempt to commit suicide is punishable with simple imprisonment for a term of one year or with fine or both. Suicide is condemned act in Islam, as well. Traditionally, suicide cases in Islamic societies remained very low but recently we see a sharp rise in suicide cases, which has become a major problem in Pakistan. He said collective efforts of families, civil society, government, media, law enforcement agencies, healthcare and other related department are needed in reducing the incidence of suicide. There is a dire need to develop and implement community-based suicide prevention program. A National Suicide Statistics should be compiled at government level. Government needs to develop policy frameworks for chalking out suicide prevention strategies. He said media can play a vital role in preventing suicide. There is dire need to convey people who want to commit suicide to choose something other than ending their life to solve their problems.

Flooding Maroons 500,000 in Balochistan; 2,000 Houses Destroyed
Flooding in the province of Balochistan has left at least half a million people marooned, besides destroying over 2,000 house, Chief Secretary of Balochistan Babar Yaqoob Fateh said on Saturday. Torrential rains and flash floods in Naseerabad and Jaffarabad districts have caused damage, destroyed standing crops on thousands of acres completely washed away road network. “Dera Allah Yar, Dera Murad Jamali, Sohbat pur, Manjopur, Manjoshori areas are still under two to six feet of water, increasing the plight of the thousands of families living in these areas,” he said while talking to reporters at the Provincial Disaster Management Auhtority’s office in Quetta. Yaqoob said that he had contacted his counterpart in Sindh and asked him not to divert water from Jacobabad towards Balochistan as it would worsen the situation in the country’s largest province. “We are in contact with the Sindh government to avoid more losses in Balochistan,” he said. The provincial official said that losses caused by the flash floods and hill torrents in northern and southern Balochistan were so huge that the provincial government alone could not cope with the calamity. “International humanitarian organisations, federal government and philanthropists should come forward and assist us in the relief and rehabilitation process,” Babar said. Expressing concern over the spread of water-borne diseases and scarcity of food and potable water, he said that provincial government was fighting the challenge by utilising all its available resources. He said that PDMA, provincial government, Army and FC were engaged in the rescue and relief operation as six Army helicopters and 18 boats were shifting the flood-affected families to relief camps set up in the Naseerabad and Jaffarabd districts.

Karachi Fire: Resignation not enough

Sindh Minister for Commerce and Industries Abdur Rauf Siddiqui tendered his resignation on Friday accepting the responsibility of the inferno at the garments factory at Karachi's Hub River Road that claimed 259 lives in what has been termed as the worst industrial tragedy in the country's history. His resignation, obviously dictated by his parent party in the coalition government, the Muttahida Qaumi Movement, followed when investigators combed through closed circuit television footage from inside the ill-fated factory.Mr Siddiqui sent his resignation to the governor, who also happens to from the same party, instead of a normal legal procedure of sending them to the chief minister who is the province's chief executive. However, the resignation is a rare gesture of conceding obligation on the minister's part, yet this is not enough because this would hardly make the difference on the prevent apathy of the provincial officialdom which failed in discharging the legal duty of periodic inspection that used to be the hallmark of regulating the industrial wheel in the past. And what the minister remarked in his parting talk with media is enough to understand that political bosses of Pakistan are not free to act as they are within the discipline of age-old and hackneyed laws and consequently the officialdom. For example, he has no powers to proceed against a defaulting industry except to cancel the allotment of the land on which the factory was established. Revealing that the garments factory had no fire fighting system, which is a responsibility of civil defence which comes under the control of the home department. Besides, the labour department is to implement the Factory Act 1934, forcing employers to adopt precautionary measures to deal with any emergency. But the department failed to inspect the lacking facilities inside the ill-fated factory. What is necessary to avoid future such catastrophes is that all the departments concerned should discharge their duty within their legal framework. For example, the labour department should make sure that its inspectors visit industrial units within the prescribed law to ensure that all units are observing measures set for them in addition to the safety of industrial workers. But what is anomalous in that provincial labour departments have been working under the 1934 enactment although Pakistan should have followed the example of other countries of South Asia which inherited the same colonial law and legislated anew under their objective conditions. Another anomaly, rather illegality, is that the system of periodic labour inspection stands abandoned and labour inspectors are getting their palms greased by factory owners instead of really carrying out the inspection of the facilities and safety equipment provided to the workforce and if the factory's other installations are properly fitted and working. Provinces also need to enact new laws for the proper working of industrial units. At least the 1934 Factory Act needs to be replaced by a law that holds labour inspectors under the obligation of filing periodic safety reports of all industries in the province.

PPP sets off on election campaign

President Asif Ali Zardari has given another assurance on the victory of Pakistan People’s Party in the upcoming general elections, especially in Punjab. The election campaign of the party will start off in Punjab from Mandi Bahauddin. Sounding spirited and upbeat, the president does not see any reason why would PPP not win in Punjab with the cooperation of its allies and in return become a major party to lead the Centre. Since the beginning of this year, the president has been trying to close ranks with the politically influential families in Punjab and in his bid to prove PPP’s seriousness, he whipped up the campaign of Seraiki Province and restoring Bahawalpur’s provincial status. President Zardari was in Lahore on September 14 and during his stay he met party workers in the Governor’s House and emphasised the need to reorganize the party in Punjab, to start general elections preparations and to address development issues in the relevant constituencies. He assured holding free and fair elections on time. He made it absolutely clear that PPP will not allow any unconstitutional move to cut short the journey of democracy the country has started after prolonged efforts. On new provinces in Punjab, he held out a promise to get the job done before the general elections. There is little doubt that the PPP is not comfortably placed in Punjab and out of many reasons one that stands out is the diminishing morale of the party workers who have felt left out since the demise of Benazir Bhutto. PPP’s leadership has been accused of missing out on its workers many times in the past. Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto’s political troubles in the 1970s originated because of the alienation of party workers. Though Abdul Qadir Gilani’s victory in the by-election in Multan in NA 151 is hailed as a success by the PPP, the thin margin by which Qadir won, 3,000 votes, against Boson rang alarm bells, showing that things were not that simple even in southern Punjab. The party could not bring out a majority of PPP’s voters, hence the close shave victory. The creation of ‘South Punjab’ is an effort to win back the vote bank lost because of the negligence of the party in the area. In central Punjab the PPP is relying on PML-Q. Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf as a spoiler for the PML-N vote bank in central Punjab is another consolation for the PPP. Though the PPP has laid its cards bare on the election game in Punjab, how would it perform eventually can be ascertained by the results. The claim of the president that he could achieve new provinces in Punjab before the general elections does not conform with the ground realities, especially the constitutional requirements. Article 239 (4) of the constitution that deals with the creation of provinces reads, “A Bill to amend the constitution which would have the effect of altering the limits of a province shall not be presented to the president for assent unless it has been passed by the provincial assembly of that province by the votes of not less than two-thirds of its total membership.” PPP has 105 seats in the Punjab Assembly against the two-thirds constitutional requirement of 248 votes. On the other hand PML-N is already fuming over the Parliamentary Commission. It has boycotted all the sessions of the commission so far. Under such circumstances, how does the President arrive at the conclusion of being able to create the new provinces nevertheless is beyond comprehension. The PPP emerged relatively successful in Punjab in 2008. However, the disconnect between the party’s leadership and its workers and the party’s performance on national issues has led to a waning in its popularity in the province. How will the party manage all this successfully is a big question mark.

‘Khadim-e-Aala Sahab we are humans too!’

Punjab Teachers Unions and Punjab Schools Staff Association declined to work on Sundays. Per details, the representatives of the unions said that teachers would not go to schools on Sundays to campaign against dengue. They added that if government were to take action against any educationalist, teachers would boycott from schools throughout the province. They said that barring from a holiday on Sunday was against all laws and the provincial government was behaving like a college gang. “We cannot work seven days a week. It is inhuman. We need rest too. It is the Health Department’s job to fight dengue, not the teachers. We are forced to go for walks and to distribute pamphlets in houses. Nations which do not respect their teachers cannot make any progress,” said Afia Majeed, a college professor. “For the past 2 weeks we have not been getting our holiday on Sunday. The government does not pay us for working these extra days. Why should we show up?” said Farhanda Dogar, a lecturer. “There are many female professors who are made to come on Sundays. How are they supposed to look after their homes if they will spend their entire week in their schools and colleges? This decision is ridiculous and we refuse to abide by it now,” Iqbal Ahmed, a school teacher, said. “There is a limit to our patience and things have crossed it now. The government cannot force us to work on Sundays against our will. The humidity is so high and just to achieve political leverage, Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif is using us for his fake show of strength,” said Gul-e-Rana Asghar, a political science professor, adding “Sharif brothers always destroy the Education and Health departments when they come to power. We are never voting for them again.”