Thursday, September 27, 2012

White paper of China's Diaoyu claim

The Chinese government's white paper on the Diaoyu Islands has presented ample historical facts to support China's sovereignty claim over the territory, scholars worldwide agree. The white paper, widely reported by leading newspapers across the world, was issued "at the right time and sent several important messages to the international community regarding the current crisis surrounding the islands," Peter J. Li, associate professor of East Asia Politics at University of Houston, told Xinhua. The white paper "shows with strong historical data that China, as the first to name the islands and exercise administration, has an unquestionable sovereignty over the Diaoyu Islands," Li said. Meanwhile, the white paper informed the international community that Japan's claim of sovereignty over the islands was unfounded, Li said. "The islands had been never part of Japan. Its acquisition of the administrative right over the islands in 1972 was not legal," he said. The white paper also indicated the United States was responsible for the recent flare-up of tension between China and Japan over the islands, Li said."Holding the Diaoyu Islands under American trusteeship was illegitimate, thus violating the Cairo and Potsdam Declarations requiring Japan to return all territories stolen from China. Transferring to Japan the administrative rights over the Diaoyu Islands was an act violating the interest of a WWII ally, i.e., China." Li said. "The white paper declares to the international community that China has every reason to defend the interest of the Chinese people. Allowing Japan to seize the Diaoyu Islands is sure to encourage adventurism on the part of the ultra-nationalistic elements and the extreme militaristic factions in Japan," said Li, adding the U.S. attitude over the issue added to the risks for peace and stability in East Asia. Munene Macharia, professor of international relations with the United States International University (USIU) in Nairobi, was another impressed with the arguments presented in the white paper. The scholar said the Chinese government had assembled solid historical facts to show the world the Diaoyu Islands had been part of the Chinese territory since ancient times and the country held undisputable sovereignty over the islands. "The white paper appears to coincide with objective world history as historical maps have always included the territory as belonging to China. The white paper has provided enough evidence to suggest that the territory has been acknowledged by the international community as belonging to China," Macharia said. Li Mingjiang, an associate professor with Rajaratnam School of International Studies in Singapore's Nanyang Technological University (NTU), said the white paper's significance was it presented a clear timeline for the islands' sovereignty. These historical facts would enable more people in different parts of the world to better understand what had truly happened in the lead-up to the current tension, Li said.The white paper, though not likely to change Japan's domestic public opinion over the issue, might help shed some light for those Japanese citizens who knew little about the whole story of the Diaoyu Islands, he said. The issuing of the white paper also sent a clear message to the outside world on China's sovereignty over the islands, Li said. Ukrainian international relations expert Denis Necheporuk told Xinhua that the white paper confirmed that the Diaoyu Islands are inherent territory of China. "Japan needs to understand that the truth is on the Chinese side. And it's obvious. This is indicated by the historical, geographical and legal facts," Necheporuk said.

Obama leads Romney 49-42 percent in latest Reuters/Ipsos survey

President Barack Obama maintains a lead over Republican challenger Mitt Romney with 40 days left until the November 6 election, the latest Reuters/Ipsos poll said on Thursday. The daily tracking poll said Obama had 49 percent support to 42 percent for Romney among likely voters. Ipsos interviewed 1,194 registered voters online for the survey. The result showed the race basically holding where it has been for days with Obama enjoying an advantage over the former Massachusetts governor. Obama got a bump in support from his Democratic National Convention earlier this month and Romney was hurt by the leak of a video from a private fundraiser he held in May in which he said 47 percent of Americans were dependent on government and unlikely to support him. The Romney campaign argues that its internal data shows that the race is much closer than most polls are showing. The precision of the Reuters/Ipsos online polls is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the poll had a credibility interval of plus or minus 3.6 percentage points for likely voters.

Light bulb moment for wireless internet

There are 15 billion light bulbs on the planet. Why not harness them for internet access? See how Li-Fi works. Li-Fi, a method of transmitting data wirelessly using LED, the answer to the world's problem of congested bandwidth?

Pakistan agrees with objective of drones, but they are illegal: Khar

Pakistan does not disagree with what drones are trying to achieve by targeting terrorists but they remain unlawful and illegal, said Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar on Thursday.
She added that Pakistan is working with the US government on resolving this issue. While refusing to comment on the Wall Street Journal’s story on drones during a talk at the Asia Society in New York, Khar said that the drone strikes are a reason why the US is unpopular in Pakistan. “In the case of drones, it is like choosing to win a battle at the cost of the war. Because these are battles, you get one terrorist; you get two terrorists, fine. But are you winning the war?,” Khar questioned. In response to a question regarding the bounty announced by Railway Minister Ghulam Ahmed Bilour against the filmmaker of an anti-Islam film, the foreign minister said that the government and the Bilour’s Awami National Party (ANP) have disassociated themselves from the call. She added that ANP chief Asfandyar Wali too was surprised at minister’s statements. When asked about the violence that erupted in response to the anti-Islam movie, she said that the violence on the streets “embarrassed” her. “This is not what Islam teaches us,” said Khar, adding that there is a need to have a debate on how to handle issues like the blasphemous film rather than just condemning it. Talking about Afghanistan, Khar said that Pakistan had committed to spending $300 million on the future of Afghan children, adding that given the limited resources Pakistan has, this investment is a sign of Pakistan’s intent. The foreign minister pointed out that she had visited Kabul at least four times during her tenure – more than her predecessor. Elaborating on Pakistan’s foreign policy vis-à-vis India and Afghanistan, Khar said they were building confidence in the relationships. She said that Kashmir remains a core issue and that the Kashmiri people deserved same rights as everyone else. Acknowledging that she is a foreign minister who belongs to a privileged background, Khar said in future, she would like to see a Pakistan where any man or woman could become foreign minister regardless of their background.

Christian parliamentarian threaten to migrate from Pakistan if security not ensured

Parliamentarian Saleem Khursheed Khokhar has submitted an application to the Hon’ble Chief Minister Sindh,the Inspector General of Police, Karachi, D. I. G. South, Karachi and SSP, Security Zone, Karachi for foolproof security.
The Hon’ble Chief Minister, Government of Sindh, Karachi. Excellency,
I would like to reiterate that my entire family members including my sons and daughters have been extended death threats and subjected to criminal harassment by the unknown extremists / terrorists to the extent that one of my sons namely Kalson Aamir Khokhar was kidnapped and brutally beaten up and was extended death threats by the unknown terrorists and militants. In this respect an FIR was lodged of his kidnapping in Police Station Gulshan-e-Iqbal Karachi. Thereafter the unknown terrorists attack my residence situated in Essa Nagri (Christian Colony), Gulshan-e-Iqbal, Karachi of which I had already informed your Excellency and so far no arrest has been made. In this respect an FIR was lodged in Police Station PIB, Karachi. Soon after the aforesaid incident, the unknown militants / terrorists, once again attack the adjacent Church St. Luke’s, Church of Pakistan and my house was also attacked. In this incident, three young Christians Boys was brutally injured by gun shot of the unknown militants. In this respect an FIR was lodged in Police Station PIB, Karachi. As you are aware Sir, I have been extended death threats by the unknown extremists and terrorists of which an FIR has also been lodged in P. S. Clifton on the intervention of Law Minister, Government of Sindh. This is to inform you with heavy heart that one of my colleagues Mr. Atta Muhammad Malik, former MPA Sindh has been shot dead on 22-09-2012 in target killing by the unknown terrorist at Mehmoodabad. Since he was close associate of the undersigned and recently he participated in a Seminar and Press Conference along with me on forced conversions, forced marriages as well on problems of religious minorities in Sindh and Pakistan. It is also pertinent and mention here that four young Christians have also been shot dead by the terrorists at Essa Nagri, Gulshan-e-Iqbal, Karachi in the period of one month. In the recent past, Mr. Shahbaz Bhatti, Former Federal Minister on Minorities Affairs, Government of Pakistan was brutally murdered by the Militants at Islamabad who vocally voiced the grievances of religious minorities and similarly on 21-09-2012 my close colleague and former MPA Malik Muhammad Atta was shot dead as mentioned above, I and my family extremely feel in secure in the wake of death threats extended to me and my family. In this respect, I have been trying to meet with you personally to apprise you of this prevailing situation and i have also sent good numbers of letters to your good self, Federal Minister Interior, Government of Pakistan, Inspector General of Police Sindh, but so far fool proof security has not been provided to the undersigned as directed by the Hon’ble Chairman Pakistan Peoples Party Mr. Bilawal Bhutto Zardari. For the safety reasons, I am confined mostly within the four walls of my residence or I have to discretely leave the country for abroad so as to safe my and my family’s life and come back when required. It is humbly requested that the undersigned may please be given personal hearing and provide proper / fool proof security without further delay for which I shall be obliged. Looking forward to see you soon. With kind regards, Sincerely Yours, Saleem Khursheed Khokhar MPA Sindh President APMA Sindh Copy to: 1) The Inspector General of Police, I. I. Chundrigar Road, Karachi. 2) The D. I. G. South, Karachi. 3) The SSP, Security Zone, Karachi.

Balochistan situation worse than Kashmir

Sardar Akhtar Mengal has said Balochistan situation is worse than that in Kashmir and Palestine. During a Supreme Court hearing Sardar Mengal alleged that the agencies were responsible for the situation in Balochistan. He further said that he had appeared in the court only to discuss the missing persons issue adding that without the resolution of the missing persons issue the 65-year-old political issue cannot be resolved. The nationalist leader said that the province had undergone five military operations and no one was answerable so as to what was the fault of the innocent victims. He also claimed that during the military rule every attempt was made to suppress the political voice of the Baloch people. Mengal said that attempts are being made to eliminate the genuine leadership of the Baloch people replacing them with artificial leadership who were manufactured in factories and that federal and provincial lawmakers never visited the rural areas of the province and remained confined to the ministerial secretariat. The former chief minister further said that the nationalist leadership was being specifically targeted adding that the heirs of the late Nawab Akbar Khan Bugti were not even allowed to attend his funeral. Sardar Akhtar Mengal told the Supreme Court that if an order was issued to rehabilitate the Baloch, displaced since 10 years, then that would be a step forward. Giving his remarks Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry said that the ‘Death squads’ of ISI and MI agencies should be abolished. The Supreme Court of Pakistan (SC) has sought the response from the civil and military leaderships in the Balochistan law and order and missing persons case. The Supreme Court on Thursday resumed the hearing on the law and order situation in Balochistan, which was attended by Baloch nationalist leader Sardar Akhtar Mengal,who is a former chief minister of the province. A three-member bench of the SC comprising Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, Justice Jawad S Khawaja and Justice Khilji Arif Hussain resumed the hearing of petition regarding worst law and order situation in the province filed by Balochistan High Court Bar Association. Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry said that the court had issued 60 orders during the 68 hearings on the case but no practical steps were taken. The court also told the chief secretary of the Balochistan to deliver Sardar Akhtar Mengal’s message to federal and provincial leadership and sought from him a written reply on the issue on the next hearing. The chief justice further told the chief secretary to discuss the issue with the president, Director General (DG) of the Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) and DG Military Intelligence (MI) and to inform the court in writing as to what steps are being taken to resolve the issue. Furthermore, the chief justice said in his remarks that the missing persons would be recovered and that the court would go to any extent, if needed, to achieve the purpose. All overt and covert operations must be put to an end and the displaced Baloch should be rehabilitated, added the chief justice in his remarks. Chaudhry also said that FIRs would be lodged against those held responsible and the cases would heard in the high courts rather than the lower courts. The former chief minister told the court that the issue of missing persons is very critical in the province and the roots to the problem can be found in the 65-year political history of the province adding that every government deceived the people of Balochistan and the issue has gone beyond the control of agencies reaching foreign elements.

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.

Aussie sheep ‘buried alive’ in Pakistan

Livestock exporter Wellard says it was unable to stop the cruel slaughter of Australian sheep in Pakistan amid claims some were buried alive. Pakistani newspapers say some sheep from a shipment of 21,000 that was recently rejected from Bahrain on health concerns had been inhumanely slaughtered en masse in Pakistan, where they were forwarded on to. More health concerns were raised there, sparking a cull, despite Perth-based livestock exporter Wellard and Sheepmeat Council of Australia insisting the animals had a clean bill of health. ABC radio on Thursday reported about 7000 of the sheep had been stabbed and clubbed to death - and some had been buried alive - and a further 3000 were not accounted for. Various reports said an employee of Pakistani importer PK Livestock had videoed the slaughter on a mobile phone. The Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry said it was looking into the reports. Wellard said Sindh Livestock Department officials undertook the culling after local police forced employees and stockmen from PK Livestock to leave an abattoir. "Because they had been removed from the site by police, Wellard and PK Livestock staff were unable to prevent the cull from occurring," Wellard said in a statement. "We are concerned by the Sindh Livestock Department slaughter method because it is inconsistent with Wellard's animal welfare ethos and our multi-million dollar annual investment in improving animal welfare." Wellard said it was concerned by "the fabricated health concerns" used as a reason to kill the livestock. The company said the culling stopped on Saturday when it was granted a court injunction. Animals Australia said the reports were disturbing. Its campaign director Lyn White said the events in the Middle East in the past month had proved that exported animals faced unacceptable risks. "What Australian sheep have endured in Pakistan is unforgivable but the reality is that the only way to ensure such a terrible situation is never repeated is to end our participation in this cruel and unnecessary trade," White told AAP.

Pak not to exclude Prez immunity from Swiss letter

Pakistan appears headed for another political crisis as the ruling PPP has decided not to exclude the clause of Presidential immunity from a letter to be sent to Swiss government on reopening graft cases against President Asif Ali Zardari despite the Supreme Court's objection to it.The apex court on Wednesday set October 5 deadline for law minister Farooq Naek to finalise the letter to be sent to Swiss authorities to revoke an earlier communication of 2007 that had closed the graft cases against Zardari. The court reportedly wants the draft letter to make no mention of the President's immunity from criminal proceedings under Article 248 of Pakistan's Constitution. However, the government has no intention of following this instruction, sources told PTI. Former premier Yousuf Raza Gilani has hinted that the Pakistan People's Party-led government is not going to remove a reference to the President's immunity from the new draft of the letter to be sent to Swiss authorities. "I will oppose it if the President's immunity is ignored in the (revised draft of the) letter. The President has immunity under the Constitution. I followed the Constitution and refused to write the letter," said Gilani, who was convicted of contempt and disqualified by the apex court in June for refusing to revive the cases against Zardari. The Supreme Court has been pressuring the government to reopen the cases against the President since December 2009, when it struck down a graft amnesty that benefited Zardari and over 8,000 others. Identifying "Presidential immunity" as the basic issue in writing the letter to the Swiss authorities, Gilani said the PPP-led government should not compromise on the President's immunity in the draft letter to be submitted to the apex court on October 5. "I will support the government in writing the letter if the President's immunity is not compromised," he said. Information minister Qamar Zaman Kaira too made it clear the PPP is sticking to its principled position, saying there would be no compromise on the immunity of the President in the revised draft. The Supreme Court has made it clear that if the revised draft is not submitted on October 5, contempt proceedings will be initiated against Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf. "In such a scenario, I think we are heading towards a political crisis and a second Prime Minister may lose his office if the court does not give the government a middle path (to resolve the problem)," a senior PPP leader, who did not wish to be named, said.

President Zardari & Karzai desire to a Long Term Strategic Partnership

This was agreed at a trilateral conference held in New York attended by the leaders of Pakistan‚ Afghanistan and Britain President Asif Ali Zardari and Afghan President Hamid Karzai have affirmed their desire to conclude a long term strategic partnership agreement by next year to cover all areas of bilateral relationship including Pakistan's support for the Afghan peace process. This was agreed at a trilateral conference held in New York attended by the leaders of Pakistan‚ Afghanistan and Britain. Ambassador Masood Khan told media that it has also been decided that Chairman Afghan High Peace Council Salahuddin Rabbani will visit Pakistan before Eid-ul-Azha to further promote interaction with all the stakeholders to ensure peace‚ progress and prosperity in the region. He said it is an important development in way forward towards Afghan peace process. Masood Khan said Foreign Ministers of Pakistan and Afghanistan will meet very soon for the follow up and detailed discussion on Pak-Afghan relations. The two foreign ministers will also finalize roadmap for the promotion of strategic dialogue and success of the Afghan-led and Afghan-owned reconciliation process. He said all other issues including cross border infiltration would be discussed at the meetings of core groups and by the two foreign ministers in detail.

Afghan Activists honored in 'alternative Nobels'

Afghan doctor Sima Samar has been awarded the Rights Livelihood Award for her dedication to human rights. Other recipients of the "alternative Nobel" include scholar Gene Sharp and Britain's Campaign Against Arms Trade. Four activists were awarded Sweden's prestigious 2012 Right Livelihood Award on Thursday their work promoting human rights, conservation and combating the global arms trade. Sima Samar, 55, was honored by the jury "for her longstanding and courageous dedication to human rights, especially the rights of women, in one of the most complex and dangerous regions in the world." A medical doctor by training, Samar (pictured above) became Afghanistan's first minister of women's affairs in 2001. She was forced to resign six months later after criticizing Shariah law in an interview in Canada, but went on to become the head of the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission. She also served as UN special rapporteur on human rights in Sudan from 2005 to 2009. Her Shuhada Organization currently runs 71 schools and 15 clinics and hospitals in Afghanistan. Samar shares the 150,000 euro ($195,000) cash prize in part with American political theorist Gene Sharp, 84, who was described as the "the world's foremost expert on non-violent revolution." He was celebrated for "developing and articulating the core principles and strategies of non-violent resistance and supporting their practical implementation in conflict areas around the world." In the past Samar and Sharp have both been touted as potential winners of the Nobel Peace Prize. Honorary prize awarded The third award went to the British-based Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT), which also won a 50,000 euro share of the prize. The organization was credited for its "innovative and effective campaigning against the global trade in arms." An honorary prize was also awarded to Turkish businessman and environmentalist Hayrettin Karaca, who co-founded an international movement that combats soil erosion and protects natural habitats. The 90-year-old was described by the jury as "the grandfather of the Turkish environmental movement. The Right Livelihood Award was created by Swedish-German philanthropist Jakob von Uexkull in 1980 after the Nobel Foundation behind the Nobel Prizes refused to create awards honoring efforts in environmental and international development. The donor-funded prize is designed to "to honor and support those offering practical and exemplary answers to the most urgent challenges facing us today." Thursday's winners were chosen from 122 nominations from 52 countries. Their awards are due to be presented at a ceremony in the Swedish parliament on December 7.

WFP Pakistan Begins Food Distributions To Flood-Affected In Sindh; Funds Urgently Needed To Gear Up

The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has begun food distributions to tens of thousands of people affected by monsoon floods in Sindh province, with plans to gear up operations to reach the most severely affected areas of Balochistan. A one-month food ration is being distributed to some 10,000 families in Jacobabad district of Sindh, where some areas are under 2.5 metres (8 feet) of water, drawing upon limited available stocks of food. WFP plans to reach a further 10,000 families in Balochistan later this week. With road access limited due to the flood waters, WFP has deployed 16 motorboats to reach some of the worst affected communities. However, any assistance beyond this first phase will require additional funding from donors and WFP is seeking urgent donations of US$15 million. “We could scale up our response to reach up to 250,000 families – that’s 1.7 million people,” said WFP Pakistan Country director Jean-Luc Siblot. “But that would mean using food stocks earmarked for relief to the displaced population in the northwest of the country and these would have to be replenished by December – that means funding is needed now.” The WFP food basket consists of dietary staples of fortified wheat flour, pulses, vegetable oil and iodized salt, as well as High Energy Biscuits and specialized ready-to-use supplementary food for small children. Pakistan’s National Disaster Management Authority has estimated that up to 4.5 million people have been affected by severe flooding in Sindh, Balochistan and Punjab, following heavy rains earlier this month. However, not all of these may require food assistance. A Multi-sector Initial Rapid Assessment has been carried out in the affected areas and the results, expected shortly, will give a clearer indication of the needs of those affected. The disaster has already caused the deaths of up to 400 people, destroyed houses and hundreds of thousands of acres of crops. Many of the districts affected, particularly in Sindh and Balochistan, were already struggling to recover from the floods of 2010 and 2011, with communities particularly vulnerable to the effects of this latest shock. ___________________________

New Food Fortification Partnership to Reach 15 Million Afghans with More Nutritious Foods
A partnership between WFP, GAIN and the Afghan Ministry of Public Health will see essential vitamins and minerals added to staple foods including wheat flour and vegetable oil. Afghanistan’s Ministry of Public Health, the Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Foundation (KBZF), the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) and the World Food Programme (WFP) have launched a partnership that will reach approximately 15 million Afghans with nutritionally fortified wheat flour, vegetable oil and ghee. The partnership aims to reduce the prevalence of vitamin and mineral deficiencies among the general population and vulnerable groups such as children under five and women of reproductive age, through a project supporting the Government’s Nutrition Action Framework to address malnutrition. The project will bring on board the largest vegetable oil producers and wheat flour millers exporting to or producing in Afghanistan while equipment and nutrient blends will be provided to industry along with training in quality assurance. “The contributions of KBZF, GAIN and WFP are much appreciated - in these difficult times of recovery, the project will strengthen the health of our people and our economy,” said Dr. Suraya Dalil, the Minister of Public Health in Afghanistan. “As the main donor to the project, we are excited to see local ownership across sectors and look forward to achieving the results and milestones we have set,” said Mr. Mohammed Haji Al Khoori, Executive Director of KBZF, an independent entity based in Abu Dhabi with the mission of delivering humanitarian aid and services to poor populations. “Access to good nutrition is a human right that no individual should be denied. We are pleased to support this national initiative that will make a real difference in the everyday lives of millions by engaging multiple partners across different sectors,” said Marc Van Ameringen, Executive Director of GAIN. GAIN is providing financial support and technical expertise to produce the fortified foods, monitor their quality, create demand and develop technical guidelines for fortification. Louis Imbleau, WFP Afghanistan Country Director and Representative added, “Chronic malnutrition, especially among women and children, is a terrible burden for the people of Afghanistan, both in terms of health and economic productivity. Micronutrient fortification is a cost-efficient intervention that can really help tackle this problem.” WFP, the world’s largest humanitarian organization fighting hunger worldwide, is the key agency supporting overall program implementation in Afghanistan.

‘Zardari forcefully projected Pak in UNGA’

Special Assistant to the prime minister and PML-Q secretary-finance Imtiaz Ranjha on Wednesday lauded the bold and strong message sent to the world community by President Asif Ali Zardari reflecting sentiments of the nation over the anti-Islam movie. Talking to the APP, Ranjha said that the president’s address to the UNGA would help the western nations understand the feelings of the Muslims over the sacrilegious video and the demand of bringing the culprits involved in production of the film to justice was a brave move. “The people on streets are happy that the President strongly condemned the acts of incitement of hate against the faith of billions of Muslims and Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) and urged the international community to punish the elements involved in desecration on the basis of religion,” he said. He said that the international community now must not become silent spectators and should criminalize such acts that destroy the peace of the world and endangered world security by misusing `freedom of expression’. Ranjha said it was heartening to note that the president urged the international community to join hands to end poverty, to ensure equal rights to all peoples, to protect the weak who pursue justice and fairness for all people to ensure peaceful settlement of international disputes. Ranjha said that the president also asked the world to give an end to the “do more” mantra against Pakistan vis-a-vis war against terror and rather told the world leaders how much Pakistan had paid for the war against terrorism during past ten years. He said the bold and frank speech by the president reflected that Pakistan wanted to cooperate with the world community for resolving all regional and global problems and rather it was leading the onslaught against extremists and terrorists. He hoped that the address by the president would help the world leaders understand how much democratic order had been strengthened in Pakistan and the democratic government was successful in resolving major issues regionally and globally. Meanwhile Khyber Pakthunkhwa Senior Minister, Rahimadad Khan said on Wednesday that President Asif Ali Zardari address to the United Nation General Assembly (UNGA) has reflected the wishes and aspirations of billions of muslims and Pakistani nation and termed it historic in the prevailing situation. Paying rich tributes to President Asif Ali Zardari for his historic and foresighted address before the comity of nations in the UNGA, the Senior Minister told APP that the President has won the hearts and minds of people by strongly condemning the acts of incitement of hate against the faith of billions of muslims and Holy Prophet Muhammad (SWA) and urged the international community to punish the elements involved in desecration on the basis of religion. The President has asked the international community not to be become silent observers and should criminalize such acts that destroy world peace and endangered world security by misusing ‘freedom of expression.” Rahimad Khan said the anger of Muslims against anti-Islam movie is very natural and the President has boldly conveyed their feelings and concerns to the world community. The Minister said the third world countries were confronted with problems of poverty, delay in justice and illiteracy that need to be tackled. He said the President has urged the international community to join hands to end poverty, ensure equal rights to all people, and protect the weak and vulnerable and pursue justice and fairness for all people to ensure peaceful settlement of international disputes. The President has called upon the United Nations and especially those nations represented at UN who are actively engaged in the region, for international collective action to combat the menace of drug trade. He said the President address was appreciated by all and sundry and a guideline for ensuring peace, stability and progress of the world

'Kashmir is symbol of UN's failure'

Addressing the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York, Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari once again brought up the Kashmir issue saying that the ongoing territorial dispute of Kashmir was a result of failure of the UN system. Zardari further condemned the anti-Islam film that has sparked protests around the world and called on world leaders to criminalise such acts. He also said that Pakistan had paid its fair dues in the fight against terrorism, rebuking claims by the U.S. that the South-Asian country could do more.

Australian sheep issue: Iran voices concern over meat import from Pakistan
The much debated and unresolved issue of importing infected sheep from Australia has started falling heavily on the country’s economy as Iran has shown its concerns over meat import from Pakistan. Iran which is the major importer of meat from Pakistan, is much concerned about the fresh development about the health of animals imported from Australia, sources told Business Recorder. Through letters and emails, the concerned authorities and importers from the neighboring country have started asking exporters and government agencies here about the quality of meat being imported to Tehran. A ban or restriction on imports may be imposed if the issue was not resolved immediately, sources feared. The reactions were as a result of reports suggesting the recently imported Australian sheep were infected with contagious bacteria. This was the first reaction made by international buyers of Pakistani meat. Pakistan, sources feared, may also face same reaction from other Middle Eastern countries affecting the over all live stock and meat industry. Pakistan was exporting meat (beef, mutton and camel meat) worth over $ 125 million during the last couple of years. The meat industry was facing currently major crisis since a growth in exports of the value added products were recorded previously. According to sources at Ministry of National Food Security and Research over 9,500 exotic animals, 318,768 semen doses and 4,300 embryos of high yielding animals have been imported last year. According to sources, over $ 60 million worth of frozen meat was being exported to Gulf countries after processing from eight slaughterhouses. Five of these are in Lahore and three in Karachi. The country had exported about 23,855 tonnes of meat worth $ 74.4 million during 2008-09. It had also exported around 94,000 animals to Afghanistan, amounting to $ 12.35 million. In 2008-09, meat production stood at 2.242 million tonnes. Though India was the leading meat exporter of the region, but it was not exporting beef, leaving a large potential market to Pakistan that should be exploited by country’s exporters. Pakistan Meat Processor Exporter Association had earlier estimated that annual beef production of the country was 1.549 million tonnes, mutton 0.587 million tonnes and poultry production was 0.106 million tonnes. Beef contributes almost 50 percent of total meat exports of the country, while mutton’s share was around 23 percent and poultry was 17 percent.

President Zardari's address to UN

Daily Times
President Asif Ali Zardari’s expectantly awaited address to the UN General Assembly (UNGA) presented Pakistan’s case to the world community articulately, clearly, and without pulling any punches. He started by calling on the UN and world community to act against blasphemy and incitement of hatred, a reference to the recent furore over the film insulting to Prophet Mohammad (PBUH). He urged the international community not to remain silent observers and move to criminalise acts that destroy the peace of the world and endanger world security by misusing the right of freedom of expression. The president then went on to underline his oft-repeated desire for Pakistan to become the recipient of trade access and concessions, not aid. In this context, the president thanked the EU for its recognising the value of trade for Pakistan. He then went on to spell out the vision of a South Asia that becomes interconnected and the vehicle for a new regional narrative that helps bind and bring closer all the countries of the region and beyond through trade ties and economic cooperation. He mentioned the outreach to Afghanistan (the Transit Trade Agreement) and India (trade and economic cooperation) to emphasise the point. He appealed to the world to stop the refrain of ‘do more’ directed at Pakistan, arguing that this was an insult to the 7,000 soldiers and policeman and over 37,000 civilians killed in the struggle against terrorism, besides denigrating the suffering of the living. He also made a poignant reference to slain federal minister Shahbaz Bhatti and the president's friend Salmaan Taseer, Governor of Punjab, at the hands of extremists and terrorists. But he reserved his profoundest comments for Benazir Bhutto, his wife, mother of his children, and a visionary leader who had warned against the danger posed by the extremist mindset. President Zardari delineated the global challenges of poverty, injustice and climate change, amongst others, challenges that Pakistan will tackle in consonance with the global community. He supported the right of the Palestinian people to their own state and argued the case for their recognition by the UN. Pakistan’s prominent role in UN peacekeeping and its engagement with needed reform in a democratic direction for the world body found mention in the president’s address. The Kashmiri people’s inalienable right of self-determination through peaceful means was underlined. Terrorism and its nexus with the burgeoning drugs trade, which has gone up 300 percent in the last decade and funds most of the terrorist groups operating in Pakistan, Afghanistan and elsewhere was highlighted in the president’s remarks, calling on the global community for a concerted struggle against these twin menaces. While President Zardari eloquently and succinctly summed up Pakistan’s positions on the burning issues of the day, it may be politic to ask why it is that we are unable to escape the incessant drone demanding ‘do more’. The basic reason is that both in fact and in international perception, Pakistan is seen as the ‘mother’ of the Taliban against whom the ISAF forces are engaged in battle in Afghanistan. Pakistani soil continues to be used for safe havens for the Taliban and affiliated groups for their insurgency inside Afghanistan. Pakistan is therefore essentially pressed to deny these extremists and terrorists the luxury of a safe rear area to which they retreat, recuperate and relaunch their attacks inside Afghanistan. Pakistan has prevaricated for long on fulfilling this demand. Although the chorus of ‘do more’ has become more muted over time, the suspicions harboured against Pakistan as the main backer of the Taliban continue to linger. So long as Pakistan does not reconsider, if not abandon, its ‘unholy’ alliance with the Taliban extremists, it will find it heavy going in the world community and perhaps not to be able to get rid of the dreary repetition of the ‘do more’ mantra.

Russian president postpones Pakistan visit

The Express Tribune
Russian President Vladimir Putin has postponed his visit to Pakistan, saying that he has other engagements scheduled on the same dates, the Pakistani foreign office said on Thursday. However, Express News reported that he postponed his trip due to security concerns. According to a press release issued by the Pakistani foreign office, the quadrilateral summit between Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan and Afghanistan which was scheduled for October 2 and 3 has also been postponed. In a letter to President Asif Ali Zardari, Putin expressed his eagerness to “jointly enhance efforts to further develop Russian-Pakistani ties” and “advance mutually beneficial trade and economic projects.” The Russian president wrote, “I am confident that in future we shall be able to find opportunities for arranging our personal meeting. We shall always be happy to receive you in Russia”. The new dates for the summit will be sorted out after seeking availability of the participating leaders through diplomatic channels.