Monday, October 15, 2012

Shahbaz Sharif's Daughter Ordered Beating of Bakery Worker for Not serving her in Off timings

Swat: Khuda Ke Liye - Song

Obama holds slim lead over Romney before next debate

President Barack Obama retained a slim lead over Republican challenger Mitt Romney in the Reuters/Ipsos daily tracking poll on Monday, as he appeared to have stemmed the bleeding from his poor first debate. Three weeks before the November 6 U.S. election, Obama leads Romney by 2 percentage points, with 47 percent support from likely voters in the national online poll, to 45 percent support for Romney. The margin was small enough to be a virtual tie, but Obama's slight edge broadened from Sunday, when he went ahead of Romney by 1 point after falling behind in the wake of Romney's decisive victory in their first presidential debate on October 3. "Romney received a bump from that first debate, but the very nature of a bump is it recedes again," Ipsos vice president Julia Clark said. "We're now seeing Obama regaining a little bit of a foothold as we go into the second debate. They go into the debate on equal footing." The two men meet again on Tuesday night at New York's Hofstra University in a debate that Obama needs to win to grab back the campaign momentum. The third debate is set for October 22 in Boca Raton, Florida. Obama's support in the new Reuters/Ipsos survey was particularly strong among the 10 percent of registered voters who have already cast their ballots. Fifty-five percent said they voted for the Democrat, compared to 43 percent for his Republican challenger. POLICY GAINS Romney and his fellow Republicans have been hitting Obama hard over his handling of diplomatic security, blaming his administration for attacks in Egypt and Libya on September 11. The U.S. ambassador and three other Americans were killed in Libya. But the poll did not find a groundswell of condemnation for the White House. Forty-five percent of registered voters approved of Obama's handling of the situation in Libya and Egypt and 40 percent disapproved. Thirty-eight percent backed Romney on the issue, compared with 36 percent who did not. The incumbent also regained ground in several policy areas since the first week after his bad debate. Forty-two percent of registered voters said they thought Obama had a better plan for healthcare, compared with 35 percent who said the same of Romney. Obama's rating was up 4 points from October 10. Obama's ratings on taxes also went up by four points, as did voters' view of his plans for Social Security and Medicare by 3 points each. Romney's scores each went up by 3 points on how he would handle the war on terrorism and gay marriage, although Obama was still ahead on both. Thirty-seven percent of registered voters picked Obama as having better policies for dealing with terrorism, compared with 32 percent for Romney. And 43 percent favored Obama on gay marriage, compared with Romney's 25 percent. Romney kept a big lead of 38 percent to 29 percent on who has a better plan for handling the deficit, and a small lead of 38-37 percent on who would better handle the U.S. economy. Obama was just ahead, at 39 percent to 38 percent, on jobs and employment. The precision of Reuters/Ipsos online polls is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the poll has a credibility interval of plus or minus 2.4 percentage points for registered voters and 2.6 for likely voters.

Balochistan to Buy Rs1.7 bn Jet Plane

The Baloch Hal
It appears that Arab princes are ruling Balochistan province instead of the people’s representatives as is proved by no other person than chief minister of the province, Nawab Aslam Raisani, who ordered the purchase of a modern and state-of-the-art jet plane for the whopping sum of Rs1.7 billion putting a huge burden on the already teetering economy of the province. According to reports, a team comprising two pilots as technical experts and two senior officials from Balochistan has recently returned home after a tour to America in this regard. It is learnt that the agreement for the purchase of the jet plane has been approved. The modern plane is being purchased from the Canadian company, Bombardier. A senior official of Balochistan revealed the details of this secret deal while talking to ‘The News’ the other day. He said that in the beginning the purchase of the jet plane was worked out at Rs1.4 billion but its cost had swelled to Rs1.7 billion. According to information, Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has been sent a letter from the Balochistan government in which the provincial government requested the tax collection body to waive duty on the purchase of the jet plane. According to sources, the request from Balochistan regarding the duty waiver was not being accorded. The high cost jet plane is being purchased at a time when Balochistan is in the grip of lawlessness and target killing. This move endorses the remarks of the Chief Justice of Pakistan that nothing good is going on in the province. The province despite having the budget of Rs182 billion, has no MRI or CT scan machines except in Bolan Medical College. The provincial government, instead of paying heed to the people’s problems, is purchasing the luxurious plane. It is more pity to learn that the province already has two jet planes — one for the governor and the other for the chief minister — and now the agreement to purchase the third one has been approved. (

Afghan Foreign Ministry Rejects Imran Khan’s Assertions
Foreign Ministry spokesperson Janan Musazai rejected and condemned the recent assertions of Emran Khan Leader of Hezbi Tehrik Insaf of Pakistan with strong words and said that his assertions indicted unawareness of the roots of terrorism, violent attacks in Afghanistan. He considered these assertions indicative of his intentions towards the people of Afghanistan and added that in the past ten years the people of Afghanistan for the reason of terrorist attacks the roots of which is outside the territory of Afghanistan have sustained vast sacrifices. He added that according to the afghan foreign ministry this irresponsible and shameless suggestion cannot justified for a person who alleges as leader of a political party. He stressed so far of the 83 Afghan prisoners in Tajikistan 15 of them have been delivered to Afghanistan on the basis of the bilateral agreement on extradition of prisoners in 1385 between Afghanistan and Tajikistan. He added that the remaining prisoners will also be delivered after accomplishing the procedures and they will pass their remaining prison terms in Afghanistan. According to Musazai three Tajikistani prisoners were delivered to Tajikistan government last months. He also touched on the strategic cooperation agreement between Afghanistan and Pakistan and once again described the conditions of Afghanistan and said that so far no officials have started in respect to the signing of the security agreement between Afghanistan and the US as well.

Malala can recover, UK doctors say

A Pakistani schoolgirl shot in the head by the Taliban has every chance of making a "good recovery", British doctors said on Monday as 14-year-old Malala Yousufzai arrived at a hospital in central England for treatment of her severe wounds. Yousufzai, who was shot for advocating education for girls, was flown from Pakistan to receive specialist treatment at Birmingham's Queen Elizabeth Hospital at a unit expert in dealing with complex trauma cases that has treated hundreds of soldiers wounded in Afghanistan. "Doctors...believe she has a chance of making a good recovery on every level," said Dr Dave Rosser, the hospital's medical director, adding that her treatment and rehabilitation could take months. He told reporters Yousufzai, whose shooting has drawn widespread condemnation, had not yet been assessed by British medics but said she would not have been brought to Britain at all if her prognosis was not good. TV footage showed a patient, believed to be the schoolgirl, being rushed from an ambulance into the hospital surrounded by a large team of medical staff. She will now undergo scans to reveal the extent of her injuries, but Rosser said they could not provide any further details without her agreement. Pakistani surgeons removed a bullet from near her spinal cord during a three-hour operation the day after the attack last week, but she now needs intensive specialist follow-up care. The unit at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, a large blue and white glass-plated complex in the south of England's second city, has treated every British battle casualty for the last decade, Rossner said. Built at a cost of 545 million pounds ($877 million), the hospital has the world's largest single-floor critical care unit for patients with gunshot wounds, burns, spinal damage and major head injuries. Treatment for the schoolgirl is likely to include repairing damaged bones in her skull and complex follow-up neurological treatment. "Injuries to bones in the skull can be treated very successfully by the neurosurgeons and the plastic surgeons, but it is the damage to the blood supply to the brain that will determine long-term disability," said Duncan Bew, consultant trauma surgeon at Barts Health NHS Trust in London. Judging the best way forward in such difficult cases requires a wide range of experienced medics working as a team. "In trauma, it is really the coordinated impact of intensive care that is critical. It's not just about keeping the patient alive but also maximizing their rehabilitation potential. With neurological injuries that is paramount," Bew said. Doctors said youth was on her side since a young brain has more ability to recover from injury than a mature one. "On the positive side, Malala has passed two major hurdles - the removal of the bullet and the very critical 48-hour window after surgery," said Anders Cohen, head of neurosurgery at the Brooklyn Hospital Centre in New York. MALALA'S SECURITY A PRIORITY Compared with some of the nation's ageing hospitals, the new National Health Service (NHS) hospital offers a spectrum of services ranging from plastic surgery to neuroscience. They may all be needed in Malala's case. The hospital and government officials declined to give any details about the security measures that would be put in place to protect Malala but a spokesman for the interior ministry said her security was "a priority for both Pakistan and the UK". A hospital spokesman said no extra measures were in place but because the unit treated British military personnel it already had "fairly robust security". Care of soldiers on the battlefield has improved dramatically in recent years, so that many now survive injuries that would have been a death sentence in the past. As a result, Birmingham now handles extremely challenging injuries that were previously little known and has built up enormous experience in head and brain injuries, multiple fractures and amputations. In the last five years, the Birmingham centre has treated 481 service personnel seriously injured in Afghanistan, according to the Ministry of Defence. She did not come from Pakistan with any of her relatives but the Pakistani Consulate are proving support and her family may join her at a later date. Yousufzai, a cheerful schoolgirl who had wanted to become a doctor before agreeing to her father's wishes that she strive to be a politician, has become a potent symbol of resistance against the Taliban's efforts to deprive girls of an education. Pakistanis have held some protests and candlelight vigils but most government officials have refrained from publicly criticizing the Taliban by name over the attack, in what critics say is a lack of resolve against extremism.

Shame on you, Mr Khan (IMRAN Talib Fake Khan)

The Express Tribune
By Feisal H Naqvi
Two days after Malala Yousufzai was attacked by the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), Imran Khan went to the hospital in which she was being treated to show his concern regarding her condition. And yet, when asked a day earlier why he didn’t directly condemn the TTP, Mr Khan had responded as follows: ‘We have local affiliates and supporters. Sure I can give big statements against the Taliban but that would make them [supporters] Taliban targets.” Shame on you, Mr Khan. Since you have chosen to present yourself as a potential leader of this country, let me make something clear to you: leaders can’t be cowards. And for you to make that statement while also purporting to sympathise with a girl injured precisely because she stood up for principles that you don’t have the courage to defend is not just cowardice but hypocrisy of the highest order. Let me break down my last statement. Malala Yousufzai was attacked by the TTP because she stood up for things like the right of girls to a fair education. You have condemned that attack. That means you think Malala was right and her attackers were wrong. At the same time, you refuse to display the same bravery as Malala by openly condemning her attackers. What does it say about you, Mr Khan, that a 14-year-old girl has more guts than you do? Had she been awake, what would you have said to her? Would you have told her not to be so stupid next time? Would you have told her to just accept the TTP’s belief that women are inferior? Would you have told her that Pakistan needs more cowards, not people like her? Shame on you, Mr Khan. Since Mr Khan dropped his clanger, the sentient part of the PTI has attempted to cloak his cowardice with a lot of doubletalk about drones, the war in Afghanistan and the root causes of evil. None of that suffices to excuse Mr Khan’s cowardice. Let’s begin with drones. So far as I understand it, his argument is that the root cause of the evil is the US war in Afghanistan and that militants like the TTP are driven into acts of hatred by the violence unleashed by the US and now perpetuated through drone attacks. This is bullshit of a high order. The fundamental fact that Mr Khan and his cohorts either fail or deliberately refuse to appreciate is that the TTP and the Afghan Talibs are two very different groups. The Afghan Talibs consist of groups indigenous to Afghanistan whose primary aim is to overthrow the US’s supported government of Afghanistan and to take over power in Afghanistan. Afghan Talibs have a beef with the state of Pakistan only to the extent that the state of Pakistan helps the US in fighting those Talibs. Many of the leaders of the Afghan Talibs have taken up residence in Fata and Balochistan, just across the Pak-Afghan border. It is these leaders in Fata who have been targeted by the US through drone attacks. If the US was to leave Afghanistan tomorrow and if the Afghan Talibs were to retake power in Afghanistan, the Afghan Talibs would have no fundamental dispute with Pakistan. The Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan consists of groups indigenous to Pakistan whose primary aim is to overthrow the elected government of Pakistan and to take over power in Pakistan. The TTP does not accept the legitimacy of the Pakistani state. The TTP attacks the citizens of Pakistan through suicide bombs and kills Pakistani soldiers. Even if the US leaves Afghanistan tomorrow and even if the Afghan Talibs take over Kabul, the TTP will continue to fight in Pakistan, continue to kill Pakistani soldiers and continue to attack people like Malala Yousufzai. Conflating the TTP with the Afghan Talibs into one giant amorphous mass is not just stupid, it’s criminally stupid. It is at the same order of analysis as “two legs good, four legs bad.” The distinction between the two groups is in fact made more evident by drone attacks. The state of Pakistan does not have drones and therefore does not use drones to fight the TTP. The US does have drones and it does use them to attack the Afghan Talibs but with a few very limited exceptions such as Baitullah Mehsud, there have been no drone attacks against the TTP. Trying to justify the TTP’s actions with reference to drones is therefore idiotic. One may as well justify the TTP with reference to poverty in Swaziland or Pakistan’s failure to win a World Cup match against India. Please note that distinguishing between the TTP and the Afghan Talibs is not the same as saying that drone attacks are justified: that is an entirely different debate. It probably does not behove the sovereign state of Pakistan to meekly accept the invasion of its airspace by the US. But even if Pakistan should be aggressively acting against drones, that has nothing to do with the challenge to Pakistan’s sovereignty by the TTP. And if you, Mr Khan, cannot understand that logic, then you are unfit to lead this country. Let me make another thing clear: Mr Khan says that it is a tragedy for Pakistan to be bombing its own people. Actually, no. States use violence against their own citizens their whole time. A citizen who steals is jailed for theft. A citizen who kills another person is executed for murder. And citizens who take up arms against their own country are guilty of treason and thereby liable to be shot. The same goes for the “root cause” argument. Frankly, I couldn’t care less what inspires or motivates the TTP. I know that the TTP doesn’t accept the legitimacy of my country or my elected government. I know that they kill my fellow citizens. I know that they kill the soldiers who fight for my security. I don’t need to know the “root cause” of the TTP’s beliefs any more than I need to know about the childhood traumas of a psychopath threatening my family. Pakistan doesn’t need cowards, Mr Khan. Shame on you for adding to their number.

FATA jirga condemns Malala attack

The Express Tribune
In a first for the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) since the attack on Malala Yousafzai, a grand tribal jirga condemned the murder attempt, offered prayers for the child activist, and announced support for the government in this regard on Sunday. The Haleemzai tribe’s grand tribal jirga held at Sangar Ghallanai was attended by thousands. The Taliban attack had not been condemned publicly by any prominent individual or group in Fata until now. Addressing the jirga, peace committee leader Muhammad Ali Haleemzai said that terrorists had destroyed schools and hospitals in the region and were working against their tribal customs, saying they wanted to push the people ‘back to the stone age’. Haleemzai announced an alliance under the name ‘Qaumi Aman Tarron’ (‘National Peace Alliance’) to safeguard the region against terrorists and terrorism. He said the alliance would be extended to other tribes of the Mohmand Agency and invited all peace committees to participate. Haleemzai said all those involved in anti-state activity and terrorism would be punishable by a hefty fine and expulsion from the area. Addressing the jirga, tribal leader Malik Hidayatullah emphasised that since the tribe has now announced support for the government, it is now the duty of the government to support the tribe as well. He demanded that the government work on development and provide compensation because of the troubles suffered by the militancy-hit region, including infrastructure damage and internally displaced persons (IDPs). Hidayatullah also lashed out against NGOs working in the area, alleging that vast amounts of foreign funding had been embezzled. He explained that by labelling certain regions ‘no go areas’, the NGOs could use the funds in any way without having to prove that any development has taken place in these regions with the allocated money. The tribal leader demanded an inquiry into where these funds had disappeared, and pointed out that while the government has relaxed the collective responsibility clause of the draconian Frontier Crime Regulation (FCR) law, it is yet to be implemented in spirit. Hidayatullah also called for the release of all those imprisoned in various jails without any solid evidence. At the end of the jirga, Haleemzai prayed for Malala, calling her a ‘brave Pakthun girl’. The jirga was attended by all four major sub-tribes of Haleemzai, including Wali Baig, Hamza Kheel, Kadi Kheel and Kamali Haleemzai.

Malala Yousafzai: Schoolgirl To Receive Specialist Treatment At Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham

Malala Yousafzai, the 14-year-old girl who was ruthlessly shot in the head by a Taliban assassin, has arrived in the UK to be treated.
But some may be wondering just why she was flown to a hospital 4,700 miles away from where she's being cared for in Rawalpindi, Pakistan. The answer is that the hospital she’ll be admitted to is one of the world’s best at dealing with gunshot wounds.
Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham is a dedicated Major Trauma Centre and is where every British soldier severely injured overseas is treated. Doctors at the hospital are among the world’s best at treating major head injuries, severe knife or gunshot wounds and spinal injuries. Opened in June 2010, the £545million facility boasts state-of-art equipment, 1,213 inpatient beds, 32 operating theatres and the largest single-floor critical care unit in the world, with 100 beds. Doctors at Queen Elizabeth will assess Malala's condition and plan how to help her recover. It's thought that some reconstruction work may need to be carried out. Foreign Secretary William Hague said the UK was standing “shoulder to shoulder” with Pakistan after the attack. “Last week’s barbaric attack on Malala Yousafzai and her school friends shocked Pakistan and the world. Malala’s bravery in standing up for the right of all young girls in Pakistan to an education is an example to us all. “Malala will now receive specialist medical care in an NHS hospital. Our thoughts remain with Malala and her family at this difficult time. “The public revulsion and condemnation of this cowardly attack shows that the people of Pakistan will not be beaten by terrorists. The UK stands shoulder to shoulder with Pakistan in its fight against terrorism.”

Pakistani film to show its “Josh” in Mumbai

Pakistani director Iram Parveen Bilal was thrilled to learn that her feature film Josh (English Title:Against the Grain), will be showcased at the prestigious MAMI (Mumbai Film Festival) in the world cinema category. (Click here to see stills from Josh) “I was taking my car to the mechanic and just as I was about to head out the door, I got this news. I was constantly mouthing “Oh my God, oh my God. Alhamdulillah. I was delighted for two reasons, World Premier and Bombay. Bombay has a big part in my becoming a filmmaker. That city is a city of dreams to me; I guess I am still in a honeymoon phase with Bombay,” said Bilal who has been working on this film since four years. Having directed internationally recognised, award-winning short films, Josh is Bilal’s debut feature. It is the only fiction film from Pakistan to be screened at MAMI in the last five years and the only Pakistani film entered in this year’s MAMI. Bilal will be sharing the screen with Academy Award-winning filmmaker Michel Gondry, Palme D’Or Winner Michael Haneke, Ken Loach and Walter Salles, also being showcased in the same category. The World Cinema category focuses on screening the best films from all over the world, produced within one calendar year before the festival dates. few days after MAMI’s announcement, on a social media website, Bilal also announced that Josh has been mentioned in Hollywood Variety and is one of only two narrative feature films picked for this year’s prestigious Women in Film Finishing Fund. “Women in Film is a very prestigious foundation that encourages women working in media and communications and we received one of their 10 fellowships this year, but what is very special is that we are one of the only two fiction features selected. The rest are all documentaries. Variety and IndieWire just released the press releases. It is very honourable as these are Hollywood’s most widely read trade magazines,” Bilal told Dawn.comJosh is the story of a privileged woman whose life is shattered in a single moment. It is the story of a woman in search for a dangerous truth. It is the story of the biggest challenge to Pakistan’s still reigning feudalism: the country’s youth. The film explores the internal debates the young are struggling with, and how solutions can be attainable if and when they stand united. The film has an interesting ensemble of some of the finest actors from the Pakistani entertainment industry, who include Aamina Sheikh, Mohib Mirza, Khalid Malik, Navin Waqar, Adnan Shah Tipu, Salim Mairaj, Kaiser Khan Nizamani, Nyla Jafri, Parveen Akbar, Ali Rizvi and Faizan Haqquee. The music of Josh is by Indus World Music that comprises veteran musician and composer, Shahi Hasan and his partner Noor Lodhi. In addition to that, the award winning British composer Andrew T. Mackay has been the soul of the score. Bilal added further on the music for the film, “To top it all, I have respected and been completely star struck with Ali Azmat’s voice, poetry and musical talents. I gave it a shot to ask him for Na Re Na, and he agreed. It was pretty amazing. Na Re Na to me is a song that defines longing and our lead character longs for answers and clarity. It is a very universal song that can pull at ones heart’s strings in many situations.” “I am very hopeful and I want the film to be watched by thousands of people and in the process, we want the film to inspire people by at least one element or thought in the film. My ultimate dream is that the entire team of Josh gets really good work and recommendations out of the film and that we can all grow in our careers and continue to contribute to Pakistani cinema, media, and activism,” Bilal said. The 14th Mumbai Film Festival organised by MAMI will take place from October 18-25, 2012. Josh will be screened on the Monday, October 22 at 5:45 pm India Standard Time. The festival venue , INOX, Screen 4, Nariman Point and on Thursday, October 24 at 10:oo am at cineMAX:SION.

PPP leaders vow not to allow Sindh division

The ruling Pakistan People's Party (PPP) held a huge public gathering in support of much criticized Sindh Peoples Local Government Ordinance (SPLGO), saying that it would not let Sindh division. The gathering was addressed by former PM Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani, Syed Qaim Ali Shah, Qamar Zaman Kaira, Moula Bakhsh Chandio, Sharjeel Memon, Agha Siraj Durrani, Nisar Khoro and other PPP leaders. Former Prime Minister and PPP Senior Vice-Chairman‚ Yousuf Raza Gilani appealed to nationalist leaders to come to the negotiating table and assemblies to express their views. “You cannot change people’s opinions at gunpoint.” He said philosophy of Shaheed Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto and Shaheed Benazir Bhutto cannot be eliminated and it is remained alive in the hearts of the people. He was addressing a public meeting of Pakistan Peoples Party in Hyderabad on Monday. The gathering has been organized in support of the new local government system in Sindh. Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani said those who think of division of Sindh in presence of PPP are living in fool's paradise. He said the PPP is a party of federation and have roots in all the province‚ Azad Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan. He said, “We gave jobs to lakhs of people and reinstated a number of employees terminated by previous governments.” He said PPP under the leadership of President Asif Ali Zardari strengthened the federation by giving provincial autonomy. He said the government has restored the 1973 constitution in its original shape. He said the PPP government has given a big Benazir Income Support Programme for financial help of the poor segment of the society. He said, “We are democracy loving people and want no other system.” Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah in his speech said Sindh Peoples Local Government Ordinance will help to resolve the problems of the people. He said PPP served the poor and Haris. He said nationalists have no programme for the welfare of the poor. He said Nawaz Sharif returned from Sindh disappointed as he failed to gather support in the province. Minister for Information and Broadcasting Qamar Zamar Kaira said winning of by-elections and winning elections in Azad Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan is demonstrative that the PPP has adopted right policies which have the support of the people. He said no power can separate PPP from public. He said we are running the government successfully with one hundred and twenty-seven members in the National Assembly. He highlighted achievements of the government during the last four and a half years. He said we gave provincial autonomy. He said it will strengthen Pakistan. He said we gave NFC Award and restore 1973 constitution in its original shape. He said when we took over‚ there was shortage of wheat and due to government's prudent policies‚ now the country has surplus thirty lakh tons of wheat. He said the government is committed to root out terrorism from the country. He said the terrorists are now squeezing. Commerce Minister Makhdoom Amin Fahim paid tribute to the brave and courageous leadership of President Asif Ali Zardari. Speaker Sindh Assembly Nisar Ahmad Khuhro said Nationalists are jealous of PPP popularity. He said Shaheed Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto and Shaheed Benazir Bhutto sacrificed their lives for the country and rights of the people. He we are not afraid of giving sacrifices. He said we are committed for the development of the province. PPP leader Agha Siraj Durrani said those who are opposing the Sindh Peoples Local Government Ordinance‚ have not studied it. He said Sindh province was empowered to formulate its own local government system. He said Nawaz Sharif is misleading the Sindh people. He described Syed Ghaus Ali Shah as money changer of Nawaz Sharif. Sindh Information Minister Sharjeel Memon said political orphans have gathered to achieve their objectives. He said political orphans always propagated against PPP. He said Sindh will not be handed over to extortionists. He said we are followers of Shaheed Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto and Shaheed Benazir Bhutto. PPP leader Maula Bux Chandio said today's big gathering is demonstrative of popularity of PPP. He said PPP is the party of Shaheeds and Shaheeds never die. He said no one can divide the Sindh province. Other PPP leaders also addressed the public meeting. At the outset of the meeting‚ dua was offered for Shaheed leaders of PPP Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto‚ Shaheed Benazir Bhutto and Shaheed PPP workers. The public meeting through a resolution completely supported the Sindh Peoples Local Government Ordinance. The resolution paid tribute to the sagacity and political wisdom of the President Asif Ali Zardari. It said the PPP is guarantor of the rights of the people. Through another resolution‚ the public meeting reposed full confidence in the leadership of President Asif Ali Zardari and Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah and steps taken by them for the development of the province. The resolution condemns attacks on residences of Ministers and PPP Parliamentarians in Sindh‚ terming them acts of terrorism. In yet another resolution‚ the public meeting strongly condemned the attack on Malala Yousafzai

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U.S : Presidential contest tight nationally ahead of second debate

On the eve of their second debate, President Obama and challenger Mitt Romney remain locked in a virtual dead heat nationally, with Republicans showing increased enthusiasm for their nominee after his big win in the first debate, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.
Likely voters in the new poll split 49 percent for Obama to 46 percent for Romney, basically unmoved from the poll two weeks ago, just before the two candidates met in Denver for their first debate. On topic after topic, the survey portrays an electorate that remains deeply divided along partisan lines and locked in its views. Nearly two-thirds say they do not need any more information before Election Day, and barely one in eight is undecided or says there is a chance he could change his vote. Even as voters overwhelmingly perceive that Romney won the first debate, the vast majority say their opinion of the president did not shift as a result. But more people changed their views of Romney, largely in a positive direction. Overall, more than twice as many say their opinions of the former Massachusetts governor improved than say they worsened as a result of the debate. The strongest reaction is among Romney backers, 70 percent of whom say Denver made them think more highly of the GOP nominee. The improvement in views of Romney carries directly into the underpinnings of his support: Fewer of his supporters now express anxiety about a Romney administration, and the number of his backers saying they support him “very enthusiastically” jumped by double digits. Among the likely voters supporting Romney, 62 percent now do so intensely, exactly double the number who were eagerly lined up behind Republican nominee John McCain at this stage in the campaign four years ago. Meanwhile, enthusiasm for the president has also ticked higher, but it remains below where it was four years ago. Of course, at this time in October 2008, Obama held a 10-percentage-point lead over the Republican senator from Arizona. In the new poll, a three-point edge does not represent a statistically significant advantage. Beyond enthusiasm, Obama lags behind 2008 in assembling a winning coalition because groups of voters highly likely to back his candidacy — including Democrats, non-whites and younger voters — are far less interested in the campaign this time around. But the president is buoyed in the final stretch by improving attitudes about the direction of the country, although his fellow Democrats are the ones becoming more sanguine. Among all voters, 42 percent now say the country is headed in the right direction, yet another tick upward, and 13 percentage points higher than before the party conventions. Still, most — 56 percent — see things as pretty seriously on the wrong track. Obama gets some credit — but little from Republicans — for one recent sign of improvement in the economy: the drop in the unemployment rate to 7.8 percent in September, breaking a record 43-month stretch above 8 percent. A slim majority of voters give him at least some credit for the decline, but less than one in four says he should get “a lot” of credit for it. Most Republicans, however, give him no credit at all for this, reflecting the big partisan divide on all matters. The slip in the unemployment rate had no meaningful effect on voters’ views of Obama’s stewardship of the economy: 47 percent of all voters continue to approve of the job he is doing on the issue, and 51 percent disapprove. Majorities have consistently given the president negative reviews on the economy, going back more than two years. A challenge for Obama and Romney is that voters remain unconvinced that either candidate, if elected, will be able to quickly turn around the economy. Head-to-head on the matter, 48 percent of all voters say they trust Obama to deal with the economy, and 44 percent side with Romney. Among likely voters, it’s an even narrower divide: 48 to 47 percent. Voters’ preferences on the economy are little changed from two surveys last month, and there has been only isolated movement across other issues tested in the new poll. Obama continues to hold the edge when it comes to being in touch with the economic problems people are having in the country and when it comes to being seen as the more friendly and likable of the two candidates. As before, Romney does not have statistically significant advantages in any of the tested areas — including taxes, international affairs and Medicare. But his eight-percentage-point edge among likely voters when it comes to dealing with the federal budget deficit comes close. (This question was asked of a half-sample of all respondents, with a higher margin of sampling error.) Nor has anything shifted since the debate in perceptions about whether, as president, Romney would favor the wealthy or the middle class: 58 percent of all voters say his policies would probably favor the wealthy. Most say Obama’s policies favor the middle class, not the wealthy. The long string of marginal shifts over previous surveys illuminates the high degree of lock-in that characterizes the campaign. After all, 48 percent of likely voters are either definitely supporting Obama or unlikely to change their minds, and 44 percent are as committed to voting for Romney. The parity — neither Obama nor Romney has had a significant lead in any of the five times The Post and ABC have asked about likely voting — underscores the importance of voter turnout, which party will be more successful at getting out the vote. The closeness of the contest has also persisted even as the partisan makeup of the random polling samples has varied. Partisan identification fluctuates from poll to poll as basic orientations shift and with the sampling variability that accompanies each randomly selected sample of voters. In the current poll, Democrats outnumber Republicans by nine percentage points among likely voters; the previous three Post-ABC polls had three-, six- and five-percentage-point edges for Democrats. The presidential contest would now be neck and neck nationally with any of these margins. Overall, 25 percent of all voters say they have been personally contacted by the Obama campaign; 21 percent say this of the Romney campaign. Obama’s side may have the edge in swing states, at least in terms of contacts. About 37 percent of voters in the eight key states — the seven Post “tossup” states plus Ohio — say they’ve heard from an Obama campaign representative in the past month; 27 percent in those states say they have been contacted by one of Romney’s. State polling across the critical states where both campaigns are focusing their efforts has not changed dramatically since the debate, with Romney picking up mainly a percentage point or so. Those small shifts — statistically insignificant but potentially substantively significant — are also reflected in this new national poll, with the contest tightening on the margin among likely voters across these eight states. The telephone poll was conducted Oct. 10-13 among a random national sample of 1,252 adults. Results for the full sample of 1,063 registered voters are plus or minus 3.5 percentage points; they are also 3.5 points for the 923 likely voters.

Arab rights group slams Bahraini regime’s repression

The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI) has censured the Bahraini regime’s use of “excessive force” against peaceful protests in the Persian Gulf country. “[The] ANHRI condemns the use of the excessive force, by the Bahraini authorities, to suppress the peaceful demonstrations that took place in several regions in Bahrain,” the Arab rights organization said in a statement on Saturday. The Cairo-based rights group said that “the continuation of clear hostility against the peaceful demonstrations and the use of force and violence against demonstrations who call for reform, are an attempt to infanticide the Bahraini uprising.” The rights group also added that Bahraini authorities should release all political prisoners and stop arresting rights activists. Suppressing anti-regime protesters “proves that there is no indication that Bahrain intends to change its suppressive policy again[st] freedom of expression, opinion and people’s right of peaceful demonstrations,” it said. It also called on the international community to pressure Bahrain to respect human rights conventions. “The international society has to interfere to press the Bahraini regime to make sure it applies the obligations binding to it in accordance with the international covenants and human rights’ charters, in addition, to execute the recommendations stipulated in the report of the universal periodic review in Geneva,” the ANHRI said. Bahrain’s revolution started in mid-February 2011, when demonstrators, inspired by the revolutions of Tunisia and Egypt, started holding massive anti-regime protests. Dozens of people have been killed in the regime’s crackdown and the security forces have arrested hundreds, including doctors and nurses accused of treating injured protesters. A report published by the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry in November 2011 found that the Al Khalifa regime had used 'excessive force' in the campaign of suppression and accused Manama of torturing political activists, politicians, and protesters.

UN warns of looming worldwide food crisis in 2013

World grain reserves are so dangerously low that severe weather in the United States or other food-exporting countries could trigger a major hunger crisis next year, the United Nations has warned. Failing harvests in the US, Ukraine and other countries this year have eroded reserves to their lowest level since 1974. The US, which has experienced record heatwaves and droughts in 2012, now holds in reserve a historically low 6.5% of the maize that it expects to consume in the next year, says the UN. "We've not been producing as much as we are consuming. That is why stocks are being run down. Supplies are now very tight across the world and reserves are at a very low level, leaving no room for unexpected events next year," said Abdolreza Abbassian, a senior economist with the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO). With food consumption exceeding the amount grown for six of the past 11 years, countries have run down reserves from an average of 107 days of consumption 10 years ago to under 74 days recently. Prices of main food crops such as wheat and maize are now close to those that sparked riots in 25 countries in 2008. FAO figures released this week suggest that 870 million people are malnourished and the food crisis is growing in the Middle East and Africa. Wheat production this year is expected to be 5.2% below 2011, with yields of most other crops, except rice, also falling, says the UN. The figures come as one of the world's leading environmentalists issued a warning that the global food supply system could collapse at any point, leaving hundreds of millions more people hungry, sparking widespread riots and bringing down governments. In a shocking new assessment of the prospects of meeting food needs, Lester Brown, president of the Earth policy research centre in Washington, says that the climate is no longer reliable and the demands for food are growing so fast that a breakdown is inevitable, unless urgent action is taken. "Food shortages undermined earlier civilisations. We are on the same path. Each country is now fending for itself. The world is living one year to the next," he writes in a new book. According to Brown, we are seeing the start of a food supply breakdown with a dash by speculators to "grab" millions of square miles of cheap farmland, the doubling of international food prices in a decade.

Darra Adam Khel Tragedy:Attack against peace

In a macabre reminder that the terror threat is alive and well in Pakistan, a car bomb attack in Darra Adam Khel killed 18 people and injured scores more on Saturday. The site of the attack was the headquarters of a local lashkar (pro-government, pro-peace body), which was opposed to all militancy related to the Taliban. No doubt, their beliefs and ideology had attracted the Taliban’s ire as they saw it fit to cause wreckage and bloodshed to hurt the lashkar’s cause. The authorities are still trying to establish whether the blast was remote-controlled or carried out by a suicide bomber, but the death and destruction that has followed in its wake is indisputably the sign of violent fanatics who use bombs and guns to impose their narrow and misconceived ideology. Darra Adam Khel is the traditional epicentre of the gun trade in Pakistan, manufacturing and selling guns of all kinds. It has always been off the beaten track just off Khyber, and is home to some of the fiercest opposition to the Taliban and their brutality. This particular attack has once again brought into focus the army and state’s limitations. It has highlighted the need for a far more proactive approach to dealing with the militants. We have relied for far too long on the Pakistan Army — which has managed to clear certain areas of militant elements, but their approach has just allowed them to run and regroup elsewhere — and on our intelligence and law enforcement agencies. All these bodies have been tackling the Taliban threat but, even at the best of their abilities, they are proving to be no match for the bloodlust of the militants. It is time anti-Taliban lashkars, such as the one targeted on Saturday, are backed by the state. They need to be armed and provided with intelligence and security as they are obvious targets. Some of these lashkars have spontaneously sprouted up in response to the militant threat, taking up their own arms to protect their lives, their families and their communities. Some have been formed with the tacit approval of the state in areas where the army does not venture too far. However, these lashkars, while being enough of a threat to the Taliban to be attacked by them, are not organised and armed enough to fight the real fight. For that they need to be equipped as miniiarmies, defending the state alongside the efforts of the Pakistan Army and law enforcement agencies. It is evident now that the militants have spread out throughout the country, present in our cities and our northern areas, our urban centres and far flung towns. Such a force requires more than the army and the state, which have been stretched too far in trying to defeat it from one area only to have it recoup in another. And while a valid argument remains that arming private militias can have its own downside — with them turning on the hand that feeds them at any stage — desperate times call for desperate measures. Adequate programmes can be arranged so that there is a method to training and equipping the lashkars. The tribal areas are rife with people willing to sacrifice life and limb to be rid of the Taliban menace. It is time to use them. With attacks in Afghanistan reaching an all time high, the Pakistani Taliban claiming refuge across the border and with attacks increasing in our own territory, it is time no stone be left unturned. Young girls are attacked for wanting education, civilians are bombed in their shrines and market places, pro-peace rallies and bodies are attacked and Taliban cells operate in each city. Our armed forces and law enforcement agencies cannot shoulder this burden alone.

Pakistan: But where is strategy?

Editorial: The Frontier Post
Not even had our tears dried over the holocaust the vile terrorists had wreaked just the other day in Sibi, Dera Bugti and Orakzai bazaar, the thugs struck fatally a market in Darra Adamkhel with suicide car bombing on Saturday. At least 18 innocent people lay dead on the spot while over 40 others were gored, many critically. But for how long are we to keep receiving death and destruction with abandon at the thuggish hands? How many bleeding Malalas are we to cry over? How many wounded Shazias are we to grieve over? How many injured Kaainats are we to weep for? For how many times are we to mourn the tragic demise of our toddlers, children, women and men in terrorist strikes? After every thuggish assault, the top state functionaries are all tall talk. Crush they would terrorists with an iron hand, they fume and thunder. But where is the strategy? After all, it is doing, not vowing, that really matters and makes all the difference. The one Yousuf Raza Gilani had hammered out at a high-level inter-provincial jamboree is a long forgotten counter-terrorism strategy, apparently consigned to archives to gather dust. Seemingly, none has been chalked out thereafter. Then how would these functionaries do the feat of crushing terrorists? That should be their closely-guarded official secret. There indeed is a strange hiatus to the state act to counter terrorism on their watch. They have clearly not even understood that a triumphant fight against terrorism indispensably entails combining up of the state’s military power and civil power to take on dark merchants of death and destruction in concert. The military fights them on mountains, in caves, in jungles and in deserts. The civil power confronts them on city streets and lanes and in markets and public places. But, visibly, they have shifted the entire burden of combating terrorism on the military’s shoulders, leaving the civilian security apparatus to hibernate. Why indeed are the provincial governments sitting so pretty while their domains are unexceptionably in the throes of an urban terrorism? Why have they not taken out their CID networks from barracks and put in the field to track down terrorists and their sleeper cells, lairs and hideouts? Why have they not formed up exclusive anti-terrorism squads to confront terrorism thugs? Why have they not pulled the battalions of police deployed on VIP protection duties and put them on beat patrolling that would detect any suspicious stranger’s presence in an urban neighbourhood at once? Why has it only to be ISI or MI to look for terrorists? Why not IB too? Is political monitoring more important than security monitoring even at this point in time? Is the job of civilian security apparatus only to weigh the explosives used in a terrorist attack after its perpetration and not to prevent that thuggish assault? Or, is this apparatus meant only to cordon off the struck area and go in search of perpetrators? Who is that sage that has told this apparatus after their strike the thugs keep loitering in the area for window shopping? Who has told it that once a suicide attack has occurred, the attacker’s masterminds and handlers stay put on the scene to count the casualties? The time indeed has come for all and sundry to imbibe fully the enormity of the vicious multifaceted terrorism that we are caught up in so irretrievably and act wisely, rationally and realistically to face up to this monstrosity. Even the self-styled liberals and puritanical clerical orders must get out of their conceits. One knows not wherefrom have these ‘liberals” got their bogey of good Taliban and bad Taliban to beat the military with. But has the military got its over 5,000 officers and soldiers killed and many more injured in fighting militants for this distinction? And how do these so-called liberals square up their pretentious opposition to a supposed military’s employment in quelling insurgency in Balochistan but want this very military to launch into an operation in North Waziristan? And if the liberals are being so hypocritical in their take on the military, aren’t the holy clans of clerical orders being so likewise? Don’t they contrive appalling justifications for the wickedness the vile terrorists are indulging in so horribly? If those wicked characters are angry at drone attacks and America’s Afghanistan adventurism, do they have to take out their anger by slaughtering our own children, women and men? There have to be some limits to conceits and hypocrisies; those can’t be unlimited. If, all must know, some harm comes to this country all will be hurt unsparingly. Hence, all must pull together to unitedly confront this terrorism monstrosity, irrefutably posing the biggest internal existential threat to the country.

Malala : VIDEO: Afghans, Indians rally

Zardari, Karzai meet on margins of ECO summit today

President Asif Ali Zardari would meet his Afghan contemporary, Hamid Karzai, on the sidelines of the two-day ECO conference beginning in Baku, Azerbaijan, on Monday (today), to seek clarification about his reported comments that conditions would be attached to negotiations on a ‘strategic partnership agreement’ with Pakistan. Well-placed diplomatic sources told The Nation that the president would meet take up the issue with Karzai in order to do away with the confusion the reported assertions had created. The sources said that Zardari would impress upon his Afghan counterpart that Pakistan desired to promote good neighbourly relation with Afghanistan on the basis of mutual respect and interest. President Zardari would also underscore that Pakistan would like to have a mature and responsible dialogue with the Afghan side and that Pakistan had invested heavily in terms of human and economic losses to promote stability in Afghanistan. The sources further said that Zardari would also request Karzai to refrain from making such media messaging and instead present his proposals, whatsoever, directly to Pakistan when he would visit Islamabad later this year. The two leaders would also discuss the various issues of mutual interest, including reconciliation process, cross-border infiltrations from Afghanistan, they added. In a press release issued from New York on September 29, the Afghan president underscored a strategic partnership agreement during a trilateral summit in the US financial hub. According to the sources, the two-day ECO conference would discuss economic development, trade and investment issues to strengthen the vital regional forum by promoting further cooperation among the member countries.

Peshawar: SSP, among four cops killed

At least four policemen including a Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) laid down their lives in the line of duty after militants attacked a check post in Matanai area here on Sunday night, Geo News reported. According to sources, a number of heavily armed men opened fire at the police and upon drawing a retaliatory fire hurled an incendiary at the check post setting it on fire. SSP Rural, Khurshid Khan and three other junior police officers were martyred in the attack. At least 12 cops were reported to have been injured, who were shifted to the hospital. A heavy backup was on its way to the check post under attack, police authorities told Geo News.

Malala taken to UK for further treatment

An air ambulance left Benazir Bhutto International Airport Islamabad on Monday morning Malala Yousufzai has been sent to the UK for further treatment. According to the ISPR‚ the decision has been taken in consultation with her parents. A statement issued by the ISPR says Malala needs prolonged medical care. In order to provide continuity of care‚ an Army intensive care specialist will accompany Malala on her flight. However‚ military spokesman said her condition is stable and she is making steady and satisfactory progress. The medical team treating Malala has been reviewing her progress at regular intervals and consulting with international experts. The medical team is pleased with her present condition which has been described as optimal‚ read the statement. It said the neurosurgery performed in Peshawar was exactly right and indeed saved her life. The medical team says Malala will require prolonged care to fully recover from the physical and psychological effects of trauma she suffered. "It is expected that in due course of time she will need repair/replace of damaged bones of the skull and long term rehabilitation including intensive neuro rehabilitation‚" reads the statement. The government of Pakistan is bearing all the expenses of Malala's treatment. Special prayers were also held across the country and in abroad for her speedy recovery.