Saturday, November 30, 2013

President Xi stresses fight against HIV/AIDS

Chinese President Xi Jinping has called for legal and scientific prevention and control of HIV/AIDS as well as various social support for carriers and patients. Xi made the remarks in a recent written instruction on the country's anti-HIV/AIDS work before the World AIDS Day, which falls on Dec. 1. According to Xi, the prevention and control of HIV/AIDS concerns people's life and health and social harmony and stability and is the obligatory responsibility of the Party and the government. Xi urged Party and government organs at all levels to step up the fight against HIV/AIDS. Xi stressed legal and scientific prevention and control work as well as the smooth implementation of support policies, calling on the public to jointly eliminate discrimination and help provide timely and effective treatment and support for HIV carriers and AIDS patients. Commenting on a report submitted by the Communist Party of China (CPC) Beijing Municipal Committee on its anti-HIV/AIDS work, Xi praised progress in the work and urged the city to carefully summarize experience to strive for further achievements. The Chinese government has intensified its fight against HIV/AIDS, with special fund allocated for the field for this year increasing by 10.5 percent from 2012. Efforts have been made to expand the coverage of HIV/AIDS check and treatment while reducing patients' burdens.

Obama and daughters go big on books on Small Business Saturday

President Obama stocked up on more than 20 books Saturday in a rare stop at a local bookstore, part of an effort to support small businesses.
The president's visit the day after Black Friday to Politics & Prose, a Washington landmark, was timed to Small Business Saturday, but will likely pique more interest for sparking a regular political ritual -- picking apart the president's book choices.
As a window into what the leader of the free world is thinking, the chief executive's reading list has long been the subject of armchair analysis. President George W. Bush made headlines and sparked speculation, for example, when he told reporters he was reading Albert Camus’ existentialist novel “The Stranger” in 2006, a low point in his second term.
No reader aside from Oprah Winfrey can creates more buzz for a new book. When the White House announced several years ago that Obama was reading Jonathan Franzen’s “Freedom” on his vacation, even before its release, booksellers faced angry customers demanding the much-anticipated novel. (Obama had been given an early copy.)
This year the president did not play along with those ready to dissect his beach reads. With his two daughters away at summer camp for part of his summer vacation, the president and first lady did not swing by their favorite bookstore during their getaway to Martha’s Vineyard.
Obama made up for that missed visit on Saturday. The president bought 21 books in about 30 minutes, most of which was dedicated to chatting with other customers. His long and eclectic list makes it difficult to find a common theme, much less offer some insight into his state of mind at a particularly troubled moment in his second term. Nearly half the books are written for children or young adults, and are presumably for his daughters Malia, 15, and Sasha, 12. Or maybe not.
Among the notable reads is “Red Sparrow,” a spy novel by Jason Matthews that has been praised for its realism. Russian President Vladimir Putin, Obama’s occasional real-life rival, makes a cameo in the book. But most of Obama’s choices lean more toward pure escapism. “The Sports Gene: Inside the Science of Extraordinary Athletic Performance,” by Sports illustrated writer David Epstein, tries to dispel common myths about what makes athletes great. “Collision Low Crossers: A Year Inside the Turbulent World of NFL Football” is an unvarnished look at the National Football League from Nicholas Dawidoff. Obama’s list included little new, literary fiction. James Salter’s “All That Is,” Anthony Marra’s “A Constellation of Vital Phenomena,” and Jhumpa Lahiri’s “The Lowland” made the list. He’s following Winfrey to Cheryl Strayed’s “Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail.” The memoir of a woman’s emotional trek was Winfrey’s first selection when she rebooted her book club. Others are aimed at younger readers. Kenneth Oppel’s “Half Brother” chronicles how a teen adjusts to a new family dynamic when his parents take in a chimpanzee.
“Heart of a Samurai” is a highly acclaimed novel about a Japanese teenager living in America in the mid-19th century. Willa Cather’s “My Antonia” is a high school English staple. The bookstore visit was timed to a campaign to support mom-and-pop businesses. Earlier, Obama tweeted: "When our small businesses do well, our communities do well. Join me and visit a small business near you today to celebrate." At the store Obama didn't say which of the books he intended to read and which were gifts. He noted only that he has something for every age, “from 5 to 52,” he said, referring to himself. That said, Obama is known to be a devotee of his iPad.,0,3517091.story#ixzz2mC7zhvdu

Bahrain Fails to Release Human Rights Defender Nabeel Rajab

Human Rights First criticized Bahrain’s failure to release prominent Bahrain Human Rights Defender Nabeel Rajab, President of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights, from prison yesterday. Rajab was eligible for early release yesterday, but remains in jail. “It’s depressing but no big surprise that Nabeel Rajab was not released. Recent weeks have seen an increased targeting of human rights defenders by the authorities and freeing him would have gone against that trend,” said Human Rights First’s Brian Dooley. “It could have been a big day not only for Nabeel and his family, but also for Bahrain. It’s a wasted chance by the authorities not to release him. He shouldn’t have been jailed in the first place, and is only in prison for the peaceful expression of his views against the government.”
Rajab, a leading human rights defender, has been in prison since July 2012 for charges related to freedom of expression. He had served almost three months in prison for tweeting about Bahrain’s prime minister before his conviction was overturned in August 2012. Despite this, he remained in detention before being sentenced to another three years in prison for “participation in illegal gatherings.” Last December, that sentence was reduced to two years by an appellate court. According to usual procedures, Rajab qualified for conditional early release yesterday after having served three-quarters of his two-year sentence. Under article 349 of the Bahraini Criminal Procedure Code no. 46 of 2002, “[a]ny prisoner sentenced to a penalty depriving him of liberty may be conditionally released if he has spent in prison three-quarters of his sentence and has shown trustworthy behavior while in prison, unless his release would cause a threat to public security.” Yesterday, November 29, marked the three-quarter mark for Rajab’s sentence, and his lawyer applied for his conditional release. “Bahrain desperately needs the leadership of figures like Rajab if it is to get itself out of its current impasse, not have them silenced in prison. Yesterday could have a been a day when good sense prevailed and he was allowed home, but it’s just another wasted chance from a government that doesn’t seem to know how to help itself out of its crisis,” said Dooley. Human Rights First calls for the immediate release of the peaceful opposition figures and other political prisoners who have been wrongfully jailed in Bahrain. A new report from Human Rights First titled, “Plan B for Bahrain, What the United States Government Should Do Next,” details the steps the United States should take to support Bahrain’s transition to democracy and the rule of law.

Ban on Saudi women driving not legal: Commentator

Press TV has conducted an interview with Naseer al-Omari, writer and political commentator from New York, about the apprehension of women in Saudi Arabia by police for driving a motor vehicle, an act which is prohibited in the kingdom.
The following is an approximate transcript of the interview.
Press TV: According to the kingdom’s grand mufti he says that the ban on women’s driving protects the society from evil. How much is that so and what are the main reasons behind this ban in general?
Al-Omari: It’s really hard to find reason in these statements and responding to them is an insult to yours and my intelligence. The Saudi royal family cannot challenge the clerics and the Saudi people have to live with this reality, with this injustice. Mind you, there is no law against women driving in Saudi Arabia. However, there are fatwa’s … that prevent women from driving. So now when you try to figure out this situation, these women who defied the ban on driving are not breaking any law. They are breaking a tradition, they are breaking an edict. But that tells you the amount of work that the Saudi women have to do and the amount of challenge that the world has in dealing with these unreasonable governments and unreasonable religious scholars.
Press TV: If Saudi Arabia was another country or if this law or ban was set up in another country, how would the West particularly the United States respond to this and react?
Al-Omari: Well, to be honest with you it would react very differently. There are situations in Western countries where women are exposed to injustice, but they are exposed to less than what Saudi women are going through and you find upheaval and you find governments standing up for human rights.
When it comes to the Saudi people it is always the rule that strategic interests, oil and money and corporations benefitting from the Saudi people come before … human rights.
It’s a shame that these Western governments do not say a thing about what’s happening to Saudi women - not just when it comes to driving, when it comes to personal freedom; ability to travel; ability to choose.
It’s a shame that these Western democratic governments are dealing with such medieval regime in Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabia: Manal Al Sharif: a lesson in moral courage

Few individuals are willing to brave the disapproval of their countrymen and the wrath of their society. But Manal Al Sharif, a Saudi woman, has been courageous enough to stand up strongly for women's rights in the face of overwhelming hostility.
Manal Al Sharif is a Saudi woman
who was courageous enough to be a face for an underground women rights movement in Saudi. You see, in Saudi there are many women and men who oppose how women are treated in Saudi, but rarely do you find someone who’s willing to come out in public and state their opposition. You can’t blame them, though, since the consequences of such a stand touch upon every aspect of a person’s life. They could lose their livelihood and be harassed by co-workers, family, neighbours and even friends.
One example of this is what happened to Dr. Madeeha Al Ajroush. When Dr. Al Ajroush first drove a car in the 1990 Nov. 6th movement, her house was raided and her number, address and the numbers of her male relatives were passed out on flyers in every mosque with the request that the readers go and “advise” her and her family on what it means to be a good Saudi woman. However that trauma did not deter Dr. Al Ajroush from again taking the wheel last summer in support of the new generation of Saudi women who protest the driving ban. This time around, Dr. Madeeha Al Ajroush lost her job because of her brave stand. Ironically the job she lost was one in a charity supposedly dedicated to women's empowerment.
Things turned much worse when she took it a step further and decided to become the face of the movement by posting a video explaining what the campaign was about and what the people involved are calling for. She made it clear that it was not a political challenge to the government but a societal demand. She explained that June 17, 2011 would be the day that women would start to drive their own cars in order to get the average person on the street used to the sight of a woman behind the wheel. And to make her point clearer and show other women how easy it is, she went ahead before the date and posted a video of herself driving and reiterating that she is loyal to the king, but merely means to address the societal status of Saudi women.
All these assurances were to no avail. She was swiftly portrayed as a political and sectarian traitor who wants to sully the image of Saudi women on the world stage. Cleverly edited videos displaying unclear photos claiming to show Manal Al Sharif meeting with Shia clerics to plot sectarian protests went viral on the social media. Shiekhs took to their mosque podiums to condemn her, going so far as to call her promiscuous and immoral. The harassment got so intense for her and her family that some of her immediate family members moved to a neighbouring country. And of course we all know about her nine-day imprisonment for inciting women to drive among other outlandish accusations.
Fast forward to May 2012, and again Manal Al Sharif is Saudi public enemy number one. This time around it’s for accepting the Vaclav Havel Prize for Creative Dissent and giving a 17 minute speech at the Oslo Freedom Forum.
Even liberal Saudis opposed this. They claim that she is a social dissident, since what she calls for does not go so far as to challenge the validity of the government and since the women driving ban is not a codified law. Other factions of society mainly opposed her speech because they felt that it was detrimental to the image of Saudi and unrepresentative of their own experience and interpretation of historical events. It’s funny that it doesn’t occur to them that the fact that driving while female is punished in the courts with prison or lashes is much more detrimental to the image of the country than anything that Al Sharif could say. Nor does it occur to them that it does not show the country in the best light that it is perfectly legal for an eighty year-old man to marry an eleven year-old girl. Or that happily married couples can be forcefully divorced by the courts if the wife’s brothers claim that the husband comes from a lower status tribe than they do - this too might not be helpful in shaping views abroad about how the country’s judicial system is seen.
Those who oppose Manal Al Sharif and the women rights movement utilize the same rhetoric and strategies that freedom fighters do. Just in the past month, a thousand signatory petition was presented to the government entitled “We are fed up with advocates of darkness” in which they demand that the ban on women driving never be lifted, that governmental institutes implement policies that keep women at home, and that women such as Manal Al Sharif be held accountable for their westernizing ways. Not a single one of the signatories is a public figure and many come from the same family. The overwhelming majority claim to be junior high and high school students and housewives. Another campaign that was started last month called itself, “My fingerprint, My dignity” and demanded that the photo on women's ID cards be replaced with a fingerprint, so that there could be no public or governmental record of what a female citizen looks like.
Strangely enough the rights rhetoric only extends to their own demands and never to those of others. When they call for a complete ban on women driving and that non gender-segregated work-places should be made illegal,their Alice in Wonderland rationale fails to realize that the women's rights movement calls for the right for women to choose whether to drive and to choose whether to work outside the home, not that they should all be forced to.

Saudi women drivers: Leading female campaigner stopped

By Sebastian Usher
A leading Saudi campaigner for giving women the right to drive has been stopped by police as she was driving through the capital, Riyadh.
Photos of Aziza al Yousef were posted on Friday morning as she was seen at the wheel. Her fellow activist, Eman al Nafjan, took the pictures.
On her Twitter page, Ms Nafjan provided a running account of their drive, saying they bought a bunch of bananas without anyone batting an eyelid.
She posted a photo of them filling up at a petrol station and expressed her satisfaction that this all seemed to be treated as an everyday occurrence. But then they were spotted and reported to the police, who stopped them. Aziza al Yousef messaged the BBC to say that they had been taken to a police station.
Both were asked to sign a pledge that they would not drive again. Ms Nafjan refused to. On Twitter, while still with the police, she said that if she was asked to call her male guardian, she would simply say that she was her own guardian. But her guardian -- known as a mahram -- was called against her wishes. Fresh hope The two women were then released. Ms Nafjan described her companion as the bravest and most courageous of drivers. It was only two days ago that Aziza al Yousef -- with another activist, Hala al-Dosari -- had a meeting with the Interior Minister, Prince Mohammed bin Nayef. The prince has long been one of the most powerful men in the country and is seen as a possible future king -- representing a younger generation than the current leaders. Activists said the meeting was positive and the minister sympathetic. No-one expected this to herald any big change in the immediate future. Reform is a gradual process in Saudi Arabia and there remain powerful factions opposed to lifting the driving ban on women. But the meeting came after activists relaunched a campaign several months ago with the aim of making the idea of women driving in Saudi Arabia a normal part of life. They originally set 26 October as a day for women -- with the support of Saudi men -- to take to the wheel. Dozens did, but the authorities made clear they would not accept a mass flouting of the ban. Since then, activists have recast the campaign around the non-existent day of November 31 -- a sign that it would continue indefinitely. Several women have been driving and posting videos of themselves since. The meeting with Prince Mohammed bin Nayef had been seen as possibly offering fresh hope that the authorities might be taking a softer stance. The brief detention of Aziza al Yousef and Eman al Nafjan is an abrupt reminder that nothing can be taken for granted in Saudi Arabia -- and that a shift one way often only signals a shift in the exact opposite direction a few days later.

President Obama: ‘An AIDS-Free Generation Is Within Our Reach’

“Each year on World AIDS Day, we come together as a global community to fight a devastating pandemic,” the president said in a proclamation issued Wednesday by the White House. “We remember the friends and loved ones we have lost, stand with the estimated 35 million people living with HIV/AIDS, and renew our commitment to preventing the spread of this virus at home and abroad. If we channel our energy and compassion into science-based results, an AIDS-free generation is within our reach.”
To that end, he says the nation has made significant strides toward strengthening scientific investments, building effective HIV/AIDS education and prevention programs, and bringing together public and private stakeholders. Sunday, Dec. 1 marks the 25th year of World AIDS Day and the president also discussed plans to address disparities in care and prevention, especially among those with the greatest HIV burden, which in the U.S. is the African-American community. African-Americans account for a higher proportion of infections at all stages of disease—from new infections to deaths, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In 2010, the most recent figures available, African-Americans accounted for an estimated 44 percent of all new HIV infections among adults and adolescents (aged 13 years or older), despite representing only 12 percent to 14 percent of the population, the CDC says. Noting the importance of early detection and treatment, President Obama points to an Executive Order issues in July that establishes the HIV Continuum Initiative. The plan addresses the disparities in care and prevention, especially among communities with the greatest HIV burden. Additionally, in November, he signed the HIV Organ Policy Equity Act, removing the ban on research into the possibility of organ transplants between people with HIV.
“My administration remains committed to reducing the stigma and disparities that fuel this epidemic,” the president said in the proclamation. “Beginning in 2014, the Affordable Care Act will require health insurance plans to cover HIV testing without any additional out-of-pocket costs. It will also prohibit discrimination based on HIV status and eliminate annual benefit caps. Under this law, we have already expanded Medicaid for working class Americans and banned lifetime limits on insurance coverage.”
The president said that the job to end HIV extends beyond the nation’s borders, which is why World AIDS Day is so important.
“This is a global fight, and America continues to lead,” he says. “The United States has provided HIV prevention, treatment, and care to millions around the world, helping to dramatically reduce new infections and AIDS-related deaths. This year we celebrate the 10th anniversary of the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), a powerful bipartisan effort to turn the tide on this epidemic. Through PEPFAR, we are making strong global progress and are on track to achieve the ambitious HIV treatment and prevention targets I set on World AIDS Day in 2011.” The first World Health Organization established the first World AIDS Day on Dec. 1, 1988. The 2013 theme is: “Shared Responsibility: Strengthening Results for an AIDS-Free Generation.”
“When the World Health Organization established the first World AIDS Day on December 1, 1988, treatment options for people living with HIV were practically nonexistent, and AIDS was almost invariably fatal,” Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said in a statement released Friday. “Hope was in short supply, and there seemed to be little reason for optimism. I am grateful that the world is a very different place for the 25th annual World AIDS Day. “Thanks to tremendous advances in our understanding of the disease and how to treat it, millions of individuals, both in the U.S. and around the globe, are now truly living with HIV,” Sebelius said.

U.S. airlines comply with China's demand for notice of flights through zone

Three major U.S. airlines on Saturday confirmed that pilots were complying with Chinese government demands that it be notified of plans to traverse the newly declared air defense zone over the East China Sea. The demands from Beijing have resulted in tensions with Japan and the United States. On Saturday, United, American and Delta airlines told CNN that its pilots were following Washington's advice and complying with Beijing's "air defense identification zone." A senior official in U.S. President Barack Obama's administration said Friday that commercial airlines are being told to abide by Beijing's instruction, even if the U.S. government doesn't recognize it. "We ... are advising for safety reasons that they comply with notices to airmen, which FAA always advises," the official said.

China urges India not to complicate border issue

China urged India on Saturday to refrain from moves that complicates boundary issues and work with China to create conditions for talks. Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang made the comment when asked about Indian President Pranab Mukherjee's visit to the so-called "Arunachal Pradesh" from Nov. 29 to 30.
China's stance on the disputed area on the eastern part of the China-India border is consistent and clear, Qin said. Bilateral ties have maintained a sound momentum for growth and both sides are trying to settle the border issue through the special representative mechanism and friendly consultations, Qin said.
"We hope India can work with China to protect the overall relationship, preserve peace and tranquility on the border," the spokesman said. The so-called "Arunachal Pradesh" was established largely on the three areas of China's Tibet -- Monyul, Loyul and Lower Tsayul currently under Indian illegal occupation. These three areas, located between the illegal "Mcmahon Line" and the traditional customary boundary between China and India, have always been Chinese territory.
In 1914, the colonialists secretly contrived the illegal "Mcmahon Line" in an attempt to incorporate into India the above-mentioned three areas of Chinese territory. None of the successive Chinese governments have ever recognized this line. In February 1987, Indian authorities declared the founding of the so-called "Arunachal Pradesh."
China and India established a special representative mechanism in 2003 as an important platform for solving border disputes. They held their 16th round of talks in June. A border defense cooperation agreement was signed during Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's official visit to China in October, reflecting the will and resolution of both sides for a friendly and cooperative relationship.
The agreement is built on previous agreements signed in 1993, 1996 and 2005 that recognize the principle of mutual and equal security.


Text of PPP Patron-in-Chief Bilawal Bhutto’s address to the public gathering at foundation day of PPP
46 (ChiyaaaLis)saal pehlay aik wadaY ki zanjeer nay is mulk kay har shaks ko aapas main baandh dia tha. Us wadaY ka naam tha Pakistan People’s Party. Aur wo aawaz thi Shaheed Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto ki… Wohi aawaaz, jo sunaY-ii di Benazir Bhutto Shaheed kay naroo main… Wohi Benazir jinhon nay is mulk k liyae, Is qaum kay liyay, Awaam kay liyay, Jamhooriat kay liyay… Aik tabeer k liyae, Apni jaan tak day di , PPP nay hamaisha status quo ko challenge kiya hai. jab SZAB nay roti, kapray aor makan ka naara lagaya, to unhoo nay sarmaya daron kay zulm o jabr ko challenge kiya tha, aor un ki aawaz awaam ki aawaz thi. Jab unhon nay uss waqt kay liyay land reforms ka nifaaz kiya, to unhon nay unn jageerdaron kay us tabqay ko challenge kiya, jis kay saath un ka apna talluq tha. Jab unhon nay mulki sanaton ko nationalize karnay ka faisla kiya, to unhon nay uss waqt kay unn 23 (Taeess) khandaanon ko challenge kiya tha, jin ka is mulk kay wasael aor khazanon par qabza tha. Jab wo Pakistan ki hari hoi zameen, aur jangi qaidi wapas lie, to qoum kay liye yeh aik azeem kaArnama tha, magar chand taqatton ko yeh HazZam na huwa..shaid issiliyay kaha gaya hai kay jis par ehsaan karo uss kay sharr say daro. Jab unhon nay nuclear programme shuroo kiya, aor islami bomb banaya to yeh dunya kay liye aik challenge tha. Aor phir status quo kay chahnay walon nay usay takhta-e-dar par latkaya, us ka jurm sirf yeh tha keh wo ghareeb ki baat karta tha. Jab smbb nay insaaf ka mutalba kiya, to us nay insaaf kay peh-ray-daron ko lalkara tha. Jab unho nay jamhooriyat kay liye pukara, to us nay Amrika kay paltoo ghaddaron ko lalkara tha. Jab wo muslim dunya ki pehli khatoon wazeer e azam bani, to us nay mardo ki patriarchal society ko lalkara tha. Jab unho nay missile technology mutaarif karayi, to us nay dunya ko challenge kiya. Jab unho nay Hindustan say Aman ki baat ki, tu uss nay jang kay sood-A-garo kay karoobar ko khatraYYY mien daal diya, phir hamari SMBB ko ‘security risk’ karaar day diya gaya. Jab unho nay mazhab kay bio pari aor islam kay thakaidaron kay khilaf, jamhoori jihad shuroo kiya, aor dunya kay samnay islam ko amn ka safeer bana kar paish kiya to usay kafir kaha giya. Aik bar phir, apnay azeem baap ki tarah us nay status quo ki taqton ko challenge kiya, aor ghareebon ki aawaz ban gai. Aor tareekh nay aik baar phir apnay aap ko dohraaya, munsaf kay qalam us kay khilaaf likhnay lagay, us kay asif ko aghwa kar liya giya, aor yarghamaal bana kar us ka hosla passt karnay ki koshish ki gai, us kay naam par dunya bhar ka key-char uchala giya. Jab un ki har chaal naakam ho gai, aor awaam kay dilon say Bhutto ki baiti ki mohabbat na nikal saki to usay shaheed kar diya giya. Sadr zardari nay aik baar phir BISP ka aghaz kar kay MoAAshray kay pasmaanda logon kay liye aawaz buland ki. Sadr Zardari nay takhte-Islamabad ki amriyat ko lalkara, aur 18th amendment ki soorat mein hamaray soobon ko unn ka haq wapis diya. Sadr Zardari nay Swat mein woh kar dekhaya jo aik fauji aamir apni poori taaqat kay saath na kar saka, Pakistan ka parcham aik baar phir SWAT ki vaadiyon mien buland kar diya gaya. Sadr zardari nay agriculture sector main inqilab barpa kartay hooy , Pakistan ko aik gandum aur cheeni import karnay walay mulk say, gandum aur cheeni export karnay waala mulk bana kar, yeh sabit kar diya keh watan ki taraqqi main baray shehron kay saath saath hamaray mulk kay Gaaon bhi Ahem kirdar ada kar saktay hain. Sadr zardari aal-ami taqton kay samnay seena taan kar kharaYY ho gaey. Nato supply roak di, shamsi air base band kar diya aor aal-ami taqton ki marzi kay khilaaf Pakistan ko gawadar port aor iran-Pak gas pipeline ka tohfa diya. Sadr zardari nay Pakistan ko jamhooriyat ka tohfa day kar aamriyat kay status quo ko hamaisha kay liye khatam kar diya. Jhoot hai keh ppp badal gai, jhoot hai keh ppp ab wo naheen rahi jo pehlay thi, ppp kisi jageerdar ki,kisi sarmayadar ki,kisi khilari ki,kisi mulla ki meeras naheen, ppp kay saath koi Fay, Noon, Qaaf naheen laga hua keh jis kay hatnay say yeh party khatm ho jay, yeh awam ki party hai, yeh aapki party hai, yeh aik jazba hai, aik janoon hai, aik riwayat hai aor riwaytain badla naheen karteen, jazbay mara naheen kartay , ppp bhi wohi hai, Bhutto bhi wohi hai, janoon bhi wohi hai aor app bhi wohi ho, to aao aik baar phir usi manzil ki taraf chalain jis ka rasta ZA Bhutto nay dikhaya tha. Aao hum dunya ko bata dain keh sooraj maghrab say nikal sakta hai laikin Pakistanio kay dilo say Bhutto ki mohabbat kabhi khatam nahi ho sakti. Jiyala, kabhi mayoos naheen hota, kabhi naheen haarta, kabhi naheen haarta. Hum 2018 (do hazaar athara)say pehlay dunya ko dikha dain gay keh ppp zinda bhi hai aor pehlay say bhi behtar hai. Meray Jiyaloo, Hum social mobility aur economic equality kay liyay larain gay. Ham aik khush haal aor pur aman Pakistan kay liye larain gay. App ameer ho ya ghareeb, muslim ho ya ghair muslim, Punjabi ho ya baloch, qanoon ki nazar main, app sab barabar ho gay. Hum wo Pakistan banayien gay, jahan taraqqi ki bunyad sirf mehnat par ho gi,koi rishta, koi ilaqa, koi safarash, kisi ki mehnat ka muqabla naheen kar sakay gi. Agar app ameer ho, to yaad rakho keh yeh dolat mairay watan ka tohfa hai, yeh mairi mitti ka inaam hai, yeh mairay logon ki mehnat hai, yeh mairi dharti , mairi hawaoon, mairi fizaoon, ki kamayiii hai, yeh mairay ghareeb awaam kay khoon ka , un kay paseenay ka, un kay aansoon, aor gham ka badla hai, is liye apni dolat par gharoor karnay say pehlay, yeh bhi sochna keh yeh dharti, jitni tumhari hai, utni hi in ghareebon ki bhi hai. Agar app un ki mehnat say ameer ho-WaYYYY, to un ka hissa unhain day do, Ajj Hamara mulq maeshi badhaali ka shikaar hai, mehngai asmaan par phoonch gayi hai, gareeb say uss kay moun ka nawalA cheen liya gaya hai, tamatar tak ki qeemat RS 200 tak phoonh gayi thi, subsidies khatam kar di gayein hein, bijli kay bill double kar diyay gayey hein, mulq mien gas khatam honay wali hai, ghareebo ka choooohla jalna band honay walAA hai, Sindh ka hissa Sindh say cheen liya gaya hai, awaam gharo bay ghar honay walay hein, BISP programme ko khatam karnay kay mansoobay banayien ja rahay hein… Qaumi idaro ko privatize kiya ja raha hein, hum 100 feesad privatization kay khilaaf hein, yeh tu privatization kay naam par hamaray idaray apnay dosto ko dilwa rahien hein, yeh privatization nahi, yeh personalization hai, yeh hum nahi honay dein gay… ajj hamara mulq mushkil mein hai, iss mushkil waqt mein, hum chahtay hein kay app maeeshi badhaali ka wazan meray ghareeb awaam par maat dalien balkay yeh wazn meray jaisay logo par daalien jo iss ko baradasht karnay ki taqaat rakhtay hein. Haan yeh hamaara mutalba hai, yeh kal bhi hamaara mutalba tha, aor aaj bhi hum ghareeb kay haq kay liye aawaz buland kartay hain. Isi-liyay to woh hum say nafrat kartay hain. Isi-liyay to woh hamaray dushman hain. Isi-liyay to wo hamari jaan lainay par tulay rehtay hain. Isi-liyay tu woh hum par choor honay ka jhoota ilzaam lagatay hein, corruption ka naara aik bahana hai. Hum Pakistan kay ghareebon ka CH-eenna hua haq unhain wapas dilaana chahtay hain, hum ameer say lay kar ghareeb ko daina chahtay hein, aor woh dartay hain keh ham kaheen kamyaab na ho jayien. Unhon nay SZAB kay voters ko nangay paoAon walay keh kar un ka mazaq uraya, SMBB kay deewanon ko aourat kay ghulaam kaha, mairay jiyyalon ko jahil kaha. To phir aao, aaj ham bhi aik wada karain, Aao aik baar phir ussi rastay par loat jain, jo hamain SZAB nay dikhaya tha, aao unhain dikha dain keh nangay pairon walon mien, meray Pakistan kay Haariyoon mien, meray kissan mien, meray mazdoor mien, meray mulq kay jawaan mien, meray tulba mien, meri unions mien, meray mulq ki minorities mien, meray mulq ki aurtoon mien, meray party kay jayyalon main, kis tarah Hussain ki fauj aur samundar ki mauj jaisi taqat hoti hai. Aao unhain dikha dain keh ham ppp kay jayyaly hain, hum Bhutto kay deewanay hein, hum BB kay parwanay hein aur aakhri jeet hamari ho gi Yeh baazi ishq ki baazi hai, jo chaho lagado dar kaisa Gar jeet gayaaaay to kiya kehna, haray bhi to baazi maat Naheen Meray Jiyalo, Hamaray mukhalif kehtay hein kay Bilawal Bhutto Zardari app ki zabaan nahi bol saktaa… woh kehtay hein kay mein app ki baat nahi samajh sakta….. unn ko yeh samajh nahi hai kay hamaara rishta zubaan kay rishtay say ziada hai. hamara rishta dilo ka rishtaa hai…khoon ka rishta hai. Mein app say poochta hun… kya app tak meray dil ki awaaz nahi phoonch rahi? Kya mien app kay dil ki awaaz nahi bol saktaa? Kya meray Punjab walo ko Bilawal ki awaaz nahi arahi? Kya meray Baluchistan kay Bhai meri baat nahi samajh rahay? Kya meray Pakhtoonkhawa walo ko meri awaaz ki pechan nahi hai. kya meray Sindh walay meri baat samajh nahi paa rahay? Agar arahi hai tu. AOO ajj hum sab mill kar SZAB kay liyay aur Hamari BB, Meri mama kay liyay Naara lagayein… Naaara Naaara Naarayyyyyy Bhuttooo Jiyay Jiyay Jiyay Bhuttoo Jiyay Bhutto Benazir Naaara Naaara Naarayyyyyy Bhuttooo Jiyay Jiyay Jiyay Bhuttoo Jiyay Bhutto Benazir Ya Allah ya Rasool Benazir BayQasoorrr.. Jiyay Bhutto!! ********************************

Bilawal Bhutto 'پیپلز پارٹی کسی کھلاڑی یا کسی ملا کی میراث نہیں'
'پیپلز پارٹی کسی کھلاڑی یا کسی ملا کی میراث نہیں' پیپلز پارٹی کے چیئرمین بلاول بھٹو زرداری نے کہا ہے کہ پیپلز پارٹی کسی کھلاڑی یا کسی ملا کی میراث نہیں، پارٹی کے ساتھ (ن) یا (ق) نہیں لگا کہ ختم ہو جائے۔ اداروں کی نجکاری نہیں، دوستوں کو نوازا جا رہا ہے۔ کراچی: (دنیا نیوز) کراچی میں پیپلز پارٹی کے یوم تاسیس کی تقریب سے خطاب کرتے ہوئے بلاول بھٹو زرداری نے کہا کہ پیپلز پارٹی کے ساتھ کوئی (ن) یا (ق) نہیں لگا جو ختم ہو جائے۔ نہ ہی یہ کسی کھلاڑی یا ملا کی میراث ہے۔ پیپلز پارٹی ایک جنون ایک جذبے کا نام ہے، جذبے کبھی نہیں مرتے۔ اگلے الیکشن میں دنیا کو ثابت کر دیں گے کہ پیپلز پارٹی پہلے سے زیادہ مضبوط ہے۔ بلاول بھٹو زرداری نے کہا کہ شہید بھٹو نے ایٹمی اور بی بی شہید نے میزائل پروگرام دیا۔ بے نظیر بھٹو نے اسلام کے ٹھیکے داروں اور سٹیٹس کو کے علم برداروں کو چیلنج کیا اور آصف زرداری نے جمہوریت کا تحفہ دے کرآمریت کو شکست دی۔ بلاول بھٹو زرداری کا کہنا تھا کہ بے نظیر انکم سپورٹ پروگرام کو ختم کرنے کے منصوبے بنائے جا رہے ہیں۔ پرائیویٹائزیشن کے نام پر پرسنلائزیشن ہو رہی ہے۔ دوستوں کو نوازا جا رہا ہے اسے ناکام بنا دیں گے۔ بلاول بھٹو زرداری نے کہا کہ غریبوں کے منہ سے نوالا چھینا جا رہا ہے۔ انہوں نے حکومت کو مخاطب کرتے ہوئے کہا کہ غریبوں کے بجائے ان جیسوں پر بوجھ ڈالا جائے۔ بلاول بھٹو زرداری نے کہا کہ پاکستان کو ترقی یافتہ ملک بنائیں گے۔ تقریر کے اختتام پر انہوں نے جئے بھٹو اور جئے بھٹو بے نظیر کے نعرے بھی لگوائے۔ کراچی میں پیپلز پارٹی کے یوم تاسیس کی تقریب میں پارٹی رہنماؤں اور کارکنوں نے بھرپور جوش و خروش کا مظاہرہ کیا۔ شرمیلا فاروقی بھی نعرے لگوانے والوں میں شامل رہیں۔ یوم تاسیس کی تقریب میں شرکت کے لیے کارکن بھرپور تیاری کے ساتھ پہنچے۔ اکثر کارکنوں نے پارٹی پرچم والی ٹوپیاں پہن رکھی تھیں۔ پارٹی رہنماؤں کی آمد پر کارکنوں نے خوب نعرہ بازی کی۔ بلاول بھٹو زرداری اپنی بہنوں آصفہ اور بختاور کے ساتھ سٹیج پر پہنچے تو ان کا والہانہ انداز میں استقبال کیا گیا۔ تقریب میں پیپلز پارٹی کے ترانے بھی بجائے گئے۔ خواتین کارکن بھی جلسے میں شرکت کے لیے خوب بن ٹھن کر پہنچی تھیں۔ رکن سندھ اسمبلی شرمیلا فاروقی بڑھ چڑھ کر نعرے لگاتی رہیں۔ جلسے میں ایک معمر خاتون بھی شریک تھیں جنہوں نے پارٹی پرچم کا ڈوپٹہ سر پر لے رکھا تھا۔ تقریب میں بلاول اور بختاور بھٹو زرداری نے کیک کاٹا۔ پیپلز پارٹی کے یوم تاسیس پر جلسے کراچی میں جلسے سے خطاب کرتے ہوئے وزیر اعلیٰ سندھ قائم علی شاہ نے کہا کہ لوگ کہتے تھے کہ پیپلز پارٹی ختم ہو رہی ہے۔ جلسے میں کارکنوں کی بڑی تعداد نے ان کی باتیں غلط ثابت کر دیں۔ رضا ربانی کا کہنا تھا کہ پیپلز پارٹی نے پہلے بھی غریب کا ساتھ دیا آج بھی دے گی۔ قومی اداروں کی نجکاری نہیں ہونے دیں گے۔ ان کا کہنا تھا کہ حکومت طالبان سے مذاکرات پر گومگو کا شکار ہے۔ پیپلز پارٹی وفاق کے تحفظ کے لیے ساتھ ہو گی۔ شیری رحمان نے جلسے سے خطاب کرتے ہوئے کہا کہ بے نظیر بھٹو نے آمریت کا سامنا کیا، ان کا پیغام آج بھی جاری ہے۔ ان کا کہنا تھا کہ نیٹو سپلائی روکنے کے لیے عالمی طاقتوں کی آنکھوں میں آنکھیں ڈال کر بات کرنا ہو گی۔

Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto's Historical Speeches

PPP's 46th foundation day: Bilawal sets party's sights on 2018 elections

The Express Tribune
We will show to the world by 2018 that the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) is still very much alive, said PPP patron in chief Bilawal Bhutto Zardari in a rare public appearance at the party’s 46th Foundation Day, which was held on Saturday at Bilawal House. In his speech, Bilawal highlighted the sacrifices and achievements of Benazir Bhutto and Asif Ali Zardari, stating that the PPP has always challenged the status quo. He also spoke about the rising cost of living in Pakistan and said the PPP will raise their voices on behalf of the poor. ‘Personalisation’ is taking place in the guise of privatisation, he said, adding that the PPP is opposed to 100 per cent privatisation. “Our detractors say that Bilawal Bhutto Zardari does not speak the same language as common people,” the young chairman said in his Urdu-language speech. “They do not realise that the relationship between me and [the party workers] transcends language.” At the end of his speech, Bilawal chanted party slogans along with the party workers in and afterwards joined his sister Bakhtawar Bhutto and aunt Faryal Talpur to cut a cake in celebration of 46 years of the party’s existence. Several leading members of the PPP were in attendance including former ambassador to the US Sherry Rehman, Senior Senator Mian Raza Rabbani and Sindh Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah.

Pakistan's beer to add fizz to Indian market
Pakistan's known liquor company Murree Brewery has given a franchise to a Bangalore-based entrepreneur to bottle and sell its Murree brand beer in the Indian market. CEO of Murree Brewery, Isphanyar Bhandara, told TOI on Friday, "It was not permissible to export beer to India through Wagah-Attari border so we decided to offer our company's franchise to an entrepreneur in Bangalore to brew, bottle and market Murree beer in India. This will also strengthen trading ties between India and Pakistan. The product will hit the market soon."
Bhandara said Murree Brewery produces beer, single malt whisky, scotch whisky, vodka and brandy. He said under the Pakistani law, Muslims are prohibited from consuming alcoholic drinks whereas non-Muslims and foreigners required consumption permits. "We sell our alcoholic products in five-star hotels only. Pakistan also prohibits export of alcoholic products. For now we are interested in finding distributors for our beer in India," said Bhandara about the company's business plans.
Bhandara, a Parsi, said Murree beer will be made in India in the brewery of an Indian actor under their brand (Murree) and formulation.

Police guarding polio team in Pakistan shot dead
Police say gunmen have fired on police officers protecting a team of polio workers in northwest Pakistan, killing one and wounding another.
Peshawar police official Naeem Khan Khattak says the two officers came under attack Saturday as they were returning to a police station after doing duty with the polio workers on the outskirts of the city, the capital of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.
No group claimed responsibility, but militants have killed more than a dozen polio workers and police protecting them over the last year in Pakistan. They accuse health workers of acting as spies for Washington and claim the vaccine is intended to make Muslim children sterile. Pakistan is one of only three countries where the virus is still endemic.
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Zardari’s tongue-cutting case: Names of officers removed from ECL

The Express Tribune
The federal government has removed the names of former inspector general police of Sindh Rana Maqbool and DIG Karachi Farooq Amin Qureshi from the exit control list (ECL). Both the former police officers are wanted in the case of wounding the tongue of Asif Ali Zardari during torturous interrogation when he was imprisoned in the second tenure of Nawaz Sharif. Rana Maqbool had filed a case against Zardari for causing injury to himself in jail. When the table turned in 1999 and Nawaz government was wound up by Pervez Musharraf, the then IG Rana Maqbool was also implicated in the airplane hijacking case along with Nawaz Sharif and his compatriots. In 2008, when Asif Ali Zardari became the president, the tongue cutting case became active, but Rana Maqbool and Farooq Qureshi stayed in Punjab under the wings of PML-N and refused to appear for any court hearing claiming threats to their lives. The PPP government’s interior minister Rehman Malik had put the names of these two ex-police officers on ECL. Now, under PML-N government, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar has directed removing names of Rana Maqbool and Farooq Amin Qureshi from ECL.

Mixed Legacy for Departing Pakistani Army Chief

When he leaves his post on Friday, Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, the inscrutable Pakistani Army chief and former spymaster, will end a nearly decade-long chapter as the focus of American fears and frustrations in Pakistan, the reluctant partner in a contentious and often ill-tempered strategic dance. Suspicious American officials frequently accused him, and the 600,000-member army he led, of double-dealing and bad faith: supporting the Afghan Taliban, allying with militant groups who bombed embassies and bases, and sheltering Osama bin Laden. Those accusations were made in private, usually, but exploded into the open in late 2011 when Adm. Mike Mullen, the American military chief who sought to befriend General Kayani over golf and dinners, issued an angry tirade to Congress about Pakistani duplicity. The taciturn General Kayani weathered those accusations with a sang-froid that left both allies and enemies guessing about what, or whom, he knew. But few doubted that he nursed grievances, too — about C.I.A. covert operations, the humiliating raid that killed Bin Laden, and perceived American arrogance and inconstancy. General Kayani, 61, steps down with those arguments still lingering. And reckoning with his legacy exposes a cold truth at the heart of the turbulent American-Pakistani relationship: that after years of diplomatic effort, and billions of dollars in aid, the countries’ aims and methods remain fundamentally opposed — particularly when it comes to the endgame next door in Afghanistan. “We have almost no strategic convergences with Pakistan, at any level,” admitted a senior American defense official. “You’ll never change that, and it’s naïve to think we can do it with an appeal to the war on terror.” Seen through Pakistani eyes, however, General Kayani was a more tangible, even positive, force. Despite his personal antipathy for the country’s civilian leadership, he restrained army meddling in politics and tolerated increased criticism in the news media. After the country’s first successful completion of a democratic election cycle, Pakistanis can dare to imagine that a long era of military coups might be over. Further, he was at least partly successful in refocusing the army’s monomaniacal attention on India, the old enemy, toward a new threat posed by the militants lurking in the country’s remote areas. Still, in other respects, Pakistan’s bullying military class has remained unchanged, particularly in its dismal record on rights abuses. General Kayani’s soldiers and spies have prosecuted a dirty war against separatists in Baluchistan Province, cultivated contacts with sectarian militias, and intimidated and bloodied rights campaigners and journalists. For all that, his authority was never seriously challenged. “He’s one of the most powerful generals Pakistan has ever had,” said Vali R. Nasr, the dean of the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. Now, as he hands off to his successor, at a time of diminishing American engagement in the region, the largest question about the enigmatic general is how much of that legacy will endure. In many ways, General Kayani was the antithesis of the swaggering general and junta leader he succeeded, Gen. Pervez Musharraf, and his mandate after taking the top army post in 2007 was to repair the prestige that was tarnished under General Musharraf’s watch. He has been quiet and philosophical where General Musharraf was loquacious and boastful. Foreigners complained that his reserve could be unnerving, and that he mumbled. In meetings, he sat like a perched eagle, occasionally darting out for a cigarette. Those who knew him well said his public reserve was simply a tactic: In private, with small groups he trusted or needed, he could be blunt and forceful. “He was the anti-Musharraf,” said Shuja Nawaz, the author of “Crossed Swords,” a history of the Pakistani Army. But the rise of the Pakistani Taliban posed an immediate challenge. The Taliban’s drive to destroy the security forces and central government shook the Pakistani military’s jihadist sympathies, through unprecedented violence: the beheading of soldiers, the assassination of senior generals, and even suicide bombings against the feared military spy agency, the Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence, or ISI. An audacious assault on the army’s headquarters in Rawalpindi in 2010 was particularly worrisome: The attackers came within a few hundred feet of the general’s personal office, and were aided by army conspirators. General Kayani’s response to the Taliban included a successful military offensive in the Swat Valley in 2009, and orders to dust off the army’s creaky, India-centric military doctrine, which he infused with modern counterinsurgency doctrine. And he publicly acknowledged the country’s Frankenstein problem: Jihadist groups that the army had once nurtured to fight Indian interests in Kashmir and elsewhere had become a menace to Pakistan’s stability. “We as a nation must stand united against this threat,” he said in a widely acclaimed speech in August 2012. But the army only partly embraced this conversion, to the immense frustration of American officials, especially Admiral Mullen. No other American worked so hard to cultivate General Kayani, whom he visited 26 times in Pakistan — more than any other foreign military leader, including those in Afghanistan and Iraq. The two generals played golf in America and held long working dinners in Rawalpindi. Some American officials joked about a “bromance.” But in September 2011, just before he left office, Admiral Mullen exploded with anger in testimony to Congress that suggested a personal betrayal. Despite years of cajoling General Kayani to cut the military’s ties with the Haqqani network, the Afghan Taliban’s most virulent allies, Admiral Mullen charged that the group was a “veritable arm” of General Kayani’s ISI. “He believed he had failed,” said an American official familiar with Admiral Mullen’s efforts, adding that the two men have not spoken since. But Admiral Mullen’s outburst reflected a broader American frustration with both Pakistan and Afghanistan after 2001: that despite warm handshakes and billions in aid, local leaders stubbornly refused to comply with American demands. With General Kayani, it came down to a confidence vote on the future of Afghanistan. He and his staff did not believe American assurances of a stable Afghanistan in which India, Pakistan’s main preoccupation, would be excluded, so he hedged his bets by refusing to turn the army’s guns on the Haqqanis, American and Pakistani officials said. “The problem with our Afghanistan strategy is that everything about it was anathema to Pakistan,” said Mr. Nasr, who previously served in the Obama administration. “You can’t have a partner who sees everything you do as a threat to his own interests.” Those contradictions unraveled most spectacularly in 2011, a year of serial crisis that plunged relations with Pakistan to their nadir: a C.I.A. contractor gunned down two men in Lahore, a Navy SEAL raid killed Bin Laden a few miles from the military’s main training academy just days after General Kayani had spoken there, and American aircraft mistakenly killed 24 Pakistani soldiers on the border. General Kayani, under pressure from other generals, closed a C.I.A. drone base within Pakistan, froze military cooperation and temporarily closed NATO supply lines into Afghanistan. But through it all, American and Pakistani officials said, he kept the relationship going — even though it cost him politically within the angry Pakistani officer corps. General Kayani himself was furious with American leaks, like the diplomatic cables published by WikiLeaks, undermining his standing in Pakistan. In one meeting with the American envoy Richard C. Holbrooke, he produced an annotated copy of Bob Woodward’s book “Obama’s Wars” and demanded to know who had leaked the information about him that appeared inside. Incongruously for a country where generals have ruled for half of its 66-year history, General Kayani had greater success with Pakistani civilians. He closed the ISI’s infamous political cell, the traditional dirty-tricks unit for political interference, and oversaw largely successful elections in 2008 and last May. Douglas E. Lute, a former security adviser to President Obama, said General Kayani told him with pride about his participation in elections. “He described putting on his best business suit, going down to the station and voting,” he said. Still, General Kayani was hardly softhearted. He steadfastly wielded his unofficial veto power over the country’s foreign and security policy, often operating through pliable civilian ministers. He continued to expand the country’s nuclear arsenal — still in the direction of India — and his troops and intelligence operatives faced accusations of gross human rights abuses. Inside the military, his reputation was hurt by stories that corrupt relatives had grown rich on military supply contracts. “Did Gen. Kayani’s brothers make billions?” read one newspaper headline this week. Now, after an extended term as army chief, he is retiring at a time of institutional flux in Pakistan. President Asif Ali Zardari stepped down in September; the country’s mercurial chief justice, Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, leaves next month. Whether General Kayani’s policy of militant restraint endures will depend partly on his successor — a choice that reflected a rare defeat for him, when Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif ignored his recommendation in favor of the new army chief, Lt. Gen. Raheel Sharif. But for all General Kayani’s impenetrable airs, one thing seems clear. Pakistan’s core strategic doctrine — distrust of India, and an accompanying insistence on exerting control through proxies in Afghanistan — is likely to remain unchanged. It predated his rise to power. And in the end, his legacy may come to be seen as the general who protected that doctrine, for better and worse, through the stormy years of American involvement in the region. “He can say, ‘I survived the Americans,’ ” Mr. Nasr said.

Can U.S., Pakistan move forward in building a 'reality-based relationship'?

Salman Taseer Honoured With Martin Luther King Jr. Peace Award

The Human Rights Champion honoured with the Martin Luther King Jr. Peace Award as an act of paying homage to his efforts for promotion of peace and human rights.
The assassinated Former Punjab Governor Salmaan Taseer has been acknowledged as a Human Rights champion thus honoured with the Martin Luther King Jr Peace Award seeing his daring efforts for the sake of Human Rights promotion.
On behalf of the late Salmaan Taseer, the prestigious award was received by his widow Mrs Amna Taseer, their daughter Shehrbano Taseer, daughter-in-law Maheen Taseer, and Mian Ehsaan ul Haq-CEO First Capital Equities Ltd. at a ceremony on Friday November 29. The award was presented by Dr. Zia Mehmood Chairman Muslim-Christian Fellowship International and Anwar Ullah Khan.
What is noticeable is, that Salmaan Taseer is the first ever non-American to receive the Martin Luther King Jr Award. Ever since 1979, the annual award has been bestowed to those who make a momentous input to the continuance of Martin Luther King’s peaceful approach for the make over of ethnic, monetary and communal wrong. Salmaan Taseer, earnestly supported minorities in Pakistan throughout his life, toiling for human rights and humanity in Pakistan. As a consequence, he was gun down in 2011 for supporting a Christian woman who was fallaciously implicated in a blasphemy case, and faced Capital punishment. Salmaan Taseer, who was the Governor of Punjab at that time, raised her issue with the President of Pakistan for relaxation in her punishment.
Dr Zia Mahmood, while addressing the assemblage at the award ceremony said that, “Salmaan was a man of courage who had always helped the depressed and the poor. The sacrifices rendered by the late Governor for the sake of peace, tolerance, social justice and human rights could not be forgotten. Salmaan Taseer’s mission and legacy would remain alive because of his sacrifice. It was a matter of honour for him to present the award to the family of Salmaan, who had devoted his life to the people.” Anwarullah Khan added,” God had provided him a chance to do something for those who had sacrificed their lives for others, and the award was just a way to honour them. “We are here to pay tribute to Salmaan Taseer through this award, for he has [through sacrificing his life] kept alive love, peace, justice and humanity.”
Mian Ehsanul Haq maintained,” Salmaan was a generous, selfless, simple and happy man who cared not about money, but humanity. Salmaan’s vision was that Pakistan should be a country where justice prevailed and everyone – regardless of race, ethnicity or religious beliefs – be treated equally. We will continue Salmaan’s legacy.
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Pakistan: Same flawed methods: Business package

STAYING true to past form, the PML-N has dipped into its old bag of economic tricks and unveiled its latest incentives for taxpayers and investors. The thinking is the same as before: tax dodgers and people who have earned millions in the black, grey or undocumented economy do not want to enter the formal economy; in order to encourage them to submit to documentation and participation in the formal economy, a no-questions-asked policy about the provenance of the investment or tax payments needs to be implemented; and this, somehow, will help address Pakistan’s investment and taxpaying problems. At least this time, the PML-N has tweaked the investment part of the programme: no questions will be asked if an investment of over a certain stipulated limit creates jobs in sectors that are not already mature and saturated. The simple question then: how much of an impact will these measures have? On the investment climate, at the margins perhaps there may be some positive effect, but surely no more. The reasons for that are straightforward, and by now long-standing: where energy is scarce, where the currency is always on a downslope and where monetary policy is tight, where existing businesses are struggling to stay afloat, how are new investors to be convinced to invest in new projects? In addition, the PML-N government seems afflicted by the same drift and indecision of previous dispensations, dashing hopes that governance or security would quickly improve. In that climate of fear and uncertainty, no meaningful economic turnaround can be engineered, and certainly not if tried- and-failed methods are attempted once again. On the taxation front, the government appears to have virtually surrendered to special interests. After caving in to traders earlier, now the government has further diluted the senior tax authorities’ powers to access banking details. Whether the proposition itself was a good one to begin with is a separate question; what matters now is that the government has backtracked on the centrepiece of its anyway paltry tax-system reforms. This in addition to the usual promises to extend the no-audit promises to various tiers and categories of taxpayers. Why not, instead, unveil reforms to make the audit process more transparent and fair to lower the possibility of abuse and extortion? Perhaps the most telltale sign of the government’s wrong approach to taxation is the introduction of special VIP privileges for top-tier taxpayers. Paying taxes is a duty and the more the income, the greater that duty. Taxation should never be about giving the already privileged even more privileges.

Message of Former President Asif Ali Zardari on 46th foundation day of PPP – Nov 30, 2013
The Pakistan Peoples Party is celebrating the 46th foundation day of the Party this 30th November by reiterating its commitment to the founding principles and the framework for the emancipation of the people which lay at the basis when the Party was founded by Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, the former President Mr. Asif Ali Zardari said in a message today. “The founding principles of the Party ‘Democracy is our politics’ and ‘All power to the people’ are ingrained in the consciousness of the people which will never be erased. Today we reiterate yet again that political change can only be brought about by the people through ballot and no one will be permitted to impose their political or ideological agenda through the bullet and the gun” Born during the struggle against dictatorship the Pakistan Peoples Party is proud of its record of continuous struggle against civil and military dictatorship, he said. Dictatorship rears its ugly head from time to time in different forms and appears in different manifestations he said warning also that militants and militancy seeking to impose their religious and sectarian ideology through force was a new form of dictatorship. Our leader Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto laid down her life leading from the front, the fight against this new threat to democracy. Let us on this founding day vow to continue fight against militants and militancy- an enforcement agencies and civilians have laid down their lives. Our Mission is the great mission of emancipation, of hope, of honour and respect, of a society free of poverty and of holding high the banner of human dignity for which the great Quaid e Awam gave his life. It was the PPP which led the resistance against dictatorships and gave the country a unanimous Constitution, technological defense capability and a democratic culture. When the constitution was disfigured by dictatorships it was the PPP which three years ago led the political parties in forging a rare political consensus to restore the constitution. “The Party’s momentous achievements were made possible by the enormous sacrifices made by the workers of the Party for which they deserved the gratitude of all patriotic people.” Just as no amount of terrorism by the state actors in the past could stop our workers from pursuit of their democratic beliefs, no amount of terrorism perpetrated now by non state actors and militants will shake the belief in democratic values an culture of the workers of PPP and democratic political parties. History bears witness to the fact that when the democratic and progressive elements of civil society were tortured, jailed and hanged there were also those who colluded with the dictators, took oath of allegiance and abetted in their crime of stifling the democratic voice. This makes the sacrifices of our workers even more glorious. The Party salutes all these valiant workers for their dedication, commitment and sacrifices made for the cause. “I ask the workers to go out to spread the message of hope and deliverance, which is the message of the PPP, I urge you to tell the silent, demoralized and suffering majority of people that a bright morning awaits at the end of a long and hard flight against the militants and the enemies of democracy.”

Friday, November 29, 2013

Pakistan: Militant involved in GHQ attack injured in drone attack

Two militants, including an accused linked with attack on Pakistan Army headquarters in Rawalpindi, were also injured in the US drone attack that targeted a compound in Miranshah town of North Waziristan. According to sources, Aslam alias Yaseen is linked with attacks on General Headquarters (GHQ) and another attack on the naval base in Karachi. The sources further said that three militants were killed in the drone strike. Two militants were from Punjab. They said that the injured militants have been taken to hospital. The militants were fighting in Afghanistan, the sources claimed. The militants were living in the attacked compound for four months, the sources added.

"Pashto and Urdu" Song By Ismail Junaid

Chinese jets shadowed US and Japanese planes in new air defense zone

Chinese fighter jets were scrambled and followed US and Japanese planes that had entered the newly-proclaimed Chinese air defense zone in the disputed area of the East China Sea, Xinhua reports. Two US surveillance aircraft and 10 Japanese F-15 jets were ‘tailed’ by Chinese pilots on Friday. China ordered an urgent dispatch of its Su-30 and J-10 fighter jets to an area in the East China Sea after the foreign aircraft “invaded” the air defense zone, they said. The reported intrusions came in defiance of the East China Sea Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ), established by Beijing last week. China’s move has triggered outrage from several states in the region and critical rhetoric from the US, as the vast zone covers disputed areas, including the islets claimed by both China and Japan. Earlier on Thursday, the Chinese Air Force conducted its first air patrol flights over the zone, as Japan and South Korea sent their own military aircraft into the zone's airspace in an act of defiance. China has stressed its decision to enforce the airspace identification zone - which requires all aircraft flying over or near it to identify themselves - follows common international practices and “is a necessary measure in China’s exercise of self-defense rights.” No international flights will be affected by the setup of the zone, Chinese Air Force spokesman, Shen Jinke, told Xinhua. Japan and its US ally blasted the decision as “unacceptable” and rejected the “unilateral” declaration, saying it would create dangerous tension. However, Chinese officials gave a reminder that both countries have long had their own ADIZ, and that the Japanese never discussed theirs with their neighbor. “If they want it revoked, then we would ask that Japan first revoke its own air defense identification zone and China will reconsider it after 44 years,” China’s Defense Ministry spokesman, Yang Yujun, said in a statement posted on the ministry’s website on Thursday. While possible action against the zone’s infiltrators has been vaguely defined as “defensive emergency measures,” The Global Times, a Chinese state media newspaper, on Friday called for “timely countermeasures without hesitation,” should Tokyo violate the new ADIZ. At the same time, the paper suggested China could ignore violations by some other states, including the US. Two US military B-52 bombers flew over the area on Monday without prior notice, with a Pentagon spokesman telling Reuters we “have continued to follow our normal procedures.”

Karzai: No pact signing until arbitrary acts end

President Hamid Karzai has said "for as long as arbitrary acts and oppression of foreign forces continue, the security agreement with the United States will not be signed. The president expressed these views in the wake of a coalition forces’ airstrike that killed an eight-year-old child in southern Helmand province.
The drone strike on Thursday also killed a Taliban commander and injured two women in Garmsir district. The drone targeted a residential house in Faqiran village. The US-led international coalition in a statement said an investigation into the airstrike had been launched, saying it regrets any civilian casualties as a result of its airstrike. President Hamid Karzai in a statement said if such incidents continue he will not sign the security deal with Washington. He has already deferred signing the deal until his second and last term expires in April, but has not completely excluded the possibility of doing so. While vehemently condemning the incident, Karzai telephoned Helmand Governor Naeem Baloch and directed him to extend all possible assistance to the victims’ families. The Helmand governor said a Taliban commander and a child had been killed in the drone strike that also left two women injured in Faqirano village of Garmsir district. “I extend my heart-felt sympathies to the families and loved ones of those killed or wounded. I pray that the Almighty grants courage to the bereaved families to bear the irreparable losses and early recovery to those injured,” the president added. Meanwhile, The New York Times quoted an unnamed coalition official as saying NATO top commander in Afghanistan, Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr., made a late-night phone call to President Karzai on Thursday to apologize for the drone strike “He talked to President Karzai directly, expressed deep regrets for the incident and any civilian casualties, and promised to convene an immediate joint investigation to determine all the facts of what happened,” the coalition spokesman said, speaking on condition of anonymity in line with official policy. Karzai vowed this week, at the conclusion of a loya jirga, or grand council, that he would cancel the security agreement completely if there was even one more raid that killed civilians. On Thursday, he said that in effect that moment had come. The coalition spokesman confirmed that two drone incidents had taken place in Helmand on Thursday. The first, in Garmsir District, targeted an insurgent commander traveling on a motorcycle, but missed him and apparently hit civilians; one child was reported killed and two women were severely wounded. The targeted man fled on foot and was killed by a later drone strike. In the second incident, in Nawa Barak Sai District nearby, another drone strike killed a single insurgent target and caused no civilian casualties, the spokesman said. “Neither of the strikes were directed at a house or hit a house,” he said. The civilian victims were apparently nearby on the road where the first attack took place. The drones were military, but in keeping with its standard practice, the coalition did not identify which country they belonged to. Both the United States and Britain are believed to have drones operating in Helmand Province. Karzai, in a statement posted on the president’s website on Thursday night, said that a NATO drone strike on a house in Faqiran had killed at least one child and wounded two women on Thursday morning. “This attack shows that American forces do not respect the lives and security of the people of Afghanistan and the loya jirga decision,” Karzai said. “For years, our people are being killed and their houses are being destroyed under the pretext of the war on terror.” In a text message on Friday morning, Aimal Faizi, the president’s spokesman, said, “It makes very difficult for the president to authorize the signing of BSA.” “Zero is not an option for us,” the American ambassador, James B. Cunningham, told a public meeting in the city of Herat on Wednesday. “It could be a consequence of decisions that your government takes or doesn’t take.”

Pakistan: Day of appointments

This past Wednesday, November 27, will be remembered as a 'day of key appointments' made by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif whose skills in performing tasks such as selections to the country's top-notch military positions had been subject to warranted dispute and doubt. Though, objectively speaking, times have changed and his extra caution was perhaps not warranted given not to be easily circumvented traditions and precedents set in stone by the outgoing Chief of Army Staff, General Ashfaq Pervaz Kayani. That appointment of Lieutenant-General Rashad Mahmood as Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee could have been made earlier but was held up till this day is the only plausible reason; the same thinking. Maybe also, having won a heavy electoral mandate and his experience-based perceptions Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif would like to present himself as a 'master of the show' of all things big happening in Pakistan. Not only this, he appointed a new defence minister by offloading this charge apparently more as a move to avoid his appearance before the Supreme Court and account for the missing persons. The post of the CJSC has been kept with the Army and not rotated in accordance with the widely held perception that it stands for collective leadership of all three services. The argument in support of Prime Minister's decision is that with nuclear capability that has acquired a central role in national defence, being part of the army, the said position has gone to the GHQ. Is it a profound argument? With all this happening on the day of appointments no wonder the notification of Justice Tassaduq Hussain Jilani as the next Chief Justice of Pakistan was also issued. Until the passage of the 18th Constitutional Amendment the appointment of army chief was the exclusive right of the President, who would only 'consult' the Prime Minister, but make his independent decision. Now it is to be done on the 'advice' of the Prime Minister, who, in turn, receives a list of four or five three-star generals eligible to be appointed to lead the 600,000-strong Army. If the army chief were to be appointed on the basis of seniority alone then Article 243, under which this appointment is made, would have said so. But that's not the case; the new army chief had to be the Prime Minister's choice, though he is to be from the list provided by the GHQ. All the men who make to the position of Lieutenants-General are equally eligible to occupy the top slot, leaving the choice to be made by the Prime Minister as the deciding factor. Given General Kayani's path-breaking role in weaning the army high command off the smell of taking over civilian governance there should not be such secretiveness as exercised by Nawaz Sharif. Possessed with identical secretiveness President Ghulam Ishaq Khan had gone to the other extreme - he announced appointment of General Mirza Aslam Beg's replacement months ahead of the due date, thus neutralising the apprehension of the COAS extending his own tenure. But given the fact of humongous challenges - both, internal and external and the reality that over the last decade or so a variety of new power centres have emerged, the military is no longer biting the bait of taking over civilian control. The generals are profoundly conscious of the imperative to have the people at their back as they confront security-related challenges, a thinking largely inspired by Kayani and his colleagues. Then there are these vibrant media, proactive judiciary and highly motivated civil society who are no more willing to acquiesce military interventions in civilian affairs. A kind of balance of power and perspectives has been obtained between the military and the civilian stakeholders, indeed a positive development that must persevere in the larger national interest. That said, a word of caution is due; the ball is now in the civilians' court to show maturity by rising above petty political considerations. The armed forces, judiciary, media and civil society can only provide an effective, work-oriented ambience. To deliver is the civilian rulers' responsibility. Unfortunately, however, they haven't so far. Coming to the point, Nawaz Sharif should feel fully safe and secure after these appointments have been made. If he felt handicapped thus far that is no more the case. His government must deliver now.

Imran Talib's Pti: ''Undemocratic way to protest''

On Tuesday the PTI and JI workersm for the third consecutive daym checked the documents of trucks near Hayatabad Tool Plaza in Peshawar to make sure that vehicles carrying Nato supplies did not continue their journey onward to Afghanistan. It boggles the mind that the political parties and their provincial government professing belief in the concepts of democratically elected government, strict observance of law and remaining within the parameters set by the Constitution in their activities have chosen the path of physically defying the federal government; especially, when there are chances that terrorists and criminals may join the workers and create violent situations which could get totally out of hand.
It is beside the point whether there is wisdom in stopping Nato supplies through Pakistan. The point of reference for the PTI and JI policymakers in this matter should have been whether it is within the bonds of the Constitution for private citizens or a provincial government to obstruct vehicles travelling under an international agreement signed by the Federal government of the country. The above mentioned action by the workers of the two parties is unconstitutional. It infringes upon the authority of the federal government and touches the fringes of rebellion against the Federation of Pakistan. No matter what one thinks or says regarding what is good or bad for the federation, one cannot act in defiance of the expressed will of the federal government: such actions challenges the sovereign rights of the state which the state exercises only though the central government. In very plan words when the Taliban carry out acts of terror against Pakistan's armed forces or civilians, they are in open rebellion against the state and defying its sovereignty; when the US drones strike in Pak territory or when Nato trucks are stopped by PTI and JI workers, both the US government and the parties' workers stand in defiance of the sovereign state of Pakistan; the difference is not qualitative, rather of degrees. Besides, getting crowds of civilians involved in such acts as whom to allow the right of way is vigilantism and can lead to further deterioration in the already worse law and order situation in the country. Vigilantism was okay in the Wild West of America of the eighteenth century. It was then correct for citizens to form hunting parties and go after criminals. The residents of these far and flung towns and cities of the New World had to decide who could enter and reside their towns and who was to be banished because there were no lawmen for hundreds of miles around. After the writ of government was established all over the United States of America, vigilantism became a crime there. Civilians accept the authority of the state by surrendering some of their inalienable rights; the citizens have the right to disagree with the policies of their governments, object to some actions and laws as not beneficial and they also have the right to change the situation through peaceful and democratic means, but they, citizens, have no right to stop, physically, the implementation of any policy or the enforcement of any law.
There are reasons why even government departments are not allowed to overstep their jurisdictions: for example a cop, whose job description is to go after criminals, is prohibited from enforcing law in the jurisdiction of a police station where he or she is not posted. If such prohibitions are not in place, the country will fall into utter confusion. The reason for which civilians are prohibited doing tasks assigned to government servants or its agents is also to avoid anarchy and confusion in the country. The PTI and JI workers, most of them young men, have come out and are stopping Nato trucks because they don't know better.
But are the senior leaders of the party so unsophisticated that they don't understand the long-term consequences of promoting such vigilantism among its workers which ultimately can greatly harm the nation or, is it that the prospects of personal and party gains have so overwhelmed these leaders that they have lost sight of national interests? The workers are not to be blamed. They are doing, out of a deep sense of patriotism, what they are told to do by the party leaders. While their emotions have to be appreciated, their methods cannot be condoned. The Most people have made up their minds about JI but this streak of extremism in the PTI leaders of doing what is right in their mind; regardless; of the illegality of their actions or of the consequences is frightening and unfortunate. The PTI had captured the hearts and minds of millions of Pakistanis as a party which was very much for providing social, economic and legal justice to the people and against corruption and other illegalities. However, it was also the perception that the party also stood for achieving these goals within the limits of the law. By such actions as allowing its workers to stop Nato vehicles in violation of the international agreement signed by the Federal Government of Pakistan, this perception regarding PTI as a moderate party is changing. It is hoped the PTI leadership will revisit the decision regarding its methods.

Pakistan's Blasphemy case: ‘Mentally-ill’ accused may face attempted suicide charge

Additional District and Sessions Judge Safdar Ali Bhatti has sought comments from the Kot Lakhpat SHO for December 3 on a petition seeking an attempted suicide case against a woman already being tried for blasphemy. The petitioner, Advocate Tahira Shaheen Mughal, submitted that at the last hearing of the blasphemy case against Waleeha Irfat in Central Jail, warders had told the court that they had foiled a suicide attempt by the accused. She asked the court to direct the SHO concerned to register a case against Irfat for attempted suicide under Section 325 of the Pakistan Penal Code, which carries a term of up to a year in prison. A witness told The Express Tribune that when the judge directed jail officials to produce the accused before the court, the warders responded that she did not wish to come out as she was not appropriately dressed. She was eventually brought to court covered in a long shawl.
Blasphemy trial
Meanwhile, M Amanullah, who claims to be Irfat’s fiancé, has filed a petition asking that she be sent to a private hospital for treatment and for him to be allowed to stay with her as an attendant. He said that Irfat had been behind bars for a year and a half and her confinement had caused psychological issues. The Punjab Institute of Mental Health, in a report dated August 29, 2013, declared that Irfat was suffering from a mood disorder which caused impulsivity issues and she required pharmacological treatment as well as counselling. Advocate Ghulam Mustafa Chaudhry filed an objection petition in response, alleging that the medical report issued by the Mental Health Institute was invalid and an attempt to evade criminal prosecution. He said that no notice had been issued to the complainant when the constitution of a medical board to examine the accused was ordered, which was illegal. A board of certification had not been assembled to examine the accused, he said. The judge directed the jail superintendent to get the accused medically examined by a medical officer. If this facility was not available in the jail, the judge said, the accused should be examined elsewhere. The judge fixed December 3 for recording the statements of prosecution witnesses.
At the last hearing, Irfat had complained to the judge that women prisoners in the judicial lock-up had told her she deserved to be killed as a blasphemer. Irfat’s request for post-arrest bail was dismissed in July 2012 and an acquittal application was dismissed on April 8, 2013.
An FIR was registered against Irfat at the Factory Area police station under Section 295-B (defiling the Holy Quran) of the Pakistan Penal Code on the complaint of Abdul Monam Shah, a security guard at Punjab Society near DHA. He said that at 5a on March 3, 2012, while he had been on patrol, a woman named Saima Bibi had made a hue and cry stating that she had seen Irfat tearing up two copies of the Holy Quran and then sitting and spitting on them. He said that he and a society resident named Boota had entered Irfat’s residence and seen her sitting on pages of the Holy Quran and using derogatory language.

World Watch Monitor Discloses An Increase In Blasphemy Allegations After The Peshawar Church Bombings

According to statistics presented by the World Watch Monitor: four blasphemy cases against Christians were registered in not more than a month’s time; this ratio is four times higher than the monthly average recorded from 2011 till date. Notwithstanding the fact that no direct or substantial proof was available against those accused in all of these cases. The incident of All Saint’s Church bombings was a marker in the history of Pakistani Christians.
Reactions from the Muslim majority to Christians protesting against the deadliest bombings were mixed. Few days back UK Foreign Office Minister Baroness Warsi also expressed concerns for Christians in Pakistan urging for international reaction to minorities being persecuted in WashingtonDC. World Watch Monitor has examined the time period since the Peshawar Church bombings; noticing a general environment of much commiseration and kindness towards Christians however few blasphemy charges have tainted the set-up of mutual harmony. In a recent write-up, the World Watch Monitor claims that as a reaction to the twin suicide bombings targeting Christians, the Pakistani Christians erupted in nationwide protests showing annoyance with the government to provide security to the minorities. The WWM presented a case from Hyderabad, as Christians held protest rallies in almost every corner of the city. However, some anti-rally protesters got in amongst the Christians and started attacking passers-by and buildings such as gas stations, said Catholic priest Father Samson Shukardin.”The situation got tense but it still remained calm because the Muslims were equally saddened by the attacks,” he said.
Another incident was reported in this write-up from Rawalpindi involving a clash between the Malik and Pashtoon tribes and the Christians of Iqbal Town. When the Christians there held a protest rally on September 23, about two dozen men pelted them with stones. Saleem Masih, a resident of Iqbal Town, said that three days after the protest, a Muslim desecrated a copy of the Qur’an, but Christians were blamed. For the following few nights, he said more than 100 armed Christians guarded the Christian area in Iqbal Town. On October 29, at about 7pm, worship was taking place in the Pentecostal Saints Church of Pakistan in IqbalTown when about five young Pashtoon men thumped the main gate shouting to close the Church. When the congregants came out, the young men fled from the scene. A similar episode extended on November 2 in IqbalTown, where a Christian convention was taking place. A group of young men again tried to disrupt the gathering. “One of them said that they are the ‘lords’ of this area and nothing can take place without their permission,” said Riaz Masih.
The WWM further writes about another incident in Lahore, when Christians from the Christian colony of Yahounabad were holding a rally, a Muslim vegetable vendor, Muhammad Akbar, known as Billa, jeered at them. He shouted at protesters that it didn’t matter that a “few Christians had died in the [Peshawar] blast”. He said these same Christians had also come out to protest when Joseph Colony was set on fire. “He even went on to ridicule the poor Christian community by saying that Christian women were willing to do anything for the sake of two kilograms of potatoes, so what right did they have to protest,” Pakistan People’s Party minority wing leader Napoleon Qayyum told World Watch Monitor. Violence then broke out between the Christians and Billa, during which his shop was damaged. Since then, local Christians have boycotted Billa’s vegetable stall.
The report goes on with another incident in Karachi, when the Christians of Michael Town had to flee from their homes following a rally on September 23, after they were accused of committing blasphemy by pelting the sign of a mosque with stones. A journalist working for a local news channel, who reached the site when the attack was taking place, told World Watch Monitor that “a large number of attackers wearing dark brown and green turbans” told him that a text message had been circulated saying that the Christians had demolished a mosque, so they had come to avenge the “blasphemous act”.Although the Pakistani police initially tried to strike a compromise between the Christians and Muslims in Karachi, in the end they registered two criminal cases against the Christians. The first case was registered against three men (Yasir, Harry and Waqas Masih) for allegedly murdering a man who was part of the Muslim mob and who died in the stampede.The second case was lodged against Ubert, Ilyas and Babar Masih under Pakistan’s blasphemy laws. No criminal case for the rampage and arson carried out by the Muslim mob was registered, primarily because the Christians feared a backlash.About 300 Christian families had to flee from their homes in the wake of the blasphemy accusation. They returned after two weeks following mediation by the Sindh government.
However, the legal cases are still pending and these Christians will face trial.
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