Saturday, February 9, 2013
Radio PakistanChairman PPP Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has called upon the office bearers of the Party to gear up their efforts to reach out to the public and highlight the achievements of the Party during the current tenure and also to mobilize people for maximum participation in the forthcoming elections. He was talking to a delegation of office bearers of Pakistan Peoples Party from Kasur‚ Nankana and Sheikhupura districts at Bilawal House Lahore on Saturday. The meeting discussed current political situation in the country with special reference to preparations of the Party for the upcoming general elections. The Chairman recounted various achievements of the PPP-led coalition government. Bilawal said we will not allow anyone to create hurdles in the way of holding free‚ fair and transparent elections in the country. He said that the completion of the tenure of the PPP-led coalition government is a great achievement. He asked the elected representatives to ensure early completion of the ongoing developmental schemes in their respective areas. The participants on the occasion spoke‚ about host of issues faced by the people in their respective areas and the preparations for the upcoming elections. They assured the Chairman that they are in touch with the people of their respective areas and are undertaking every effort to provide relief to the common man.
http://rt.comWhile Western media are focusing intensely on the Syrian unrest, injustices and human rights violations committed in Bahrain have been left out of sight, its opposition claims. “The media have been silent about the crisis in Bahrain. There is a political reason to it and is immoral and unprofessional. Those who make a fuss about the events in Syria and Libya have forgotten that the Bahraini people are suffering from political repressions,” Fazil Iskander Abbas, general secretary of National-Democratic movement, said at a press-conference in Moscow. On Friday, Bahrain opposition leaders met with Russian Foreign Ministry officials in Moscow to seek support in their struggle against the ‘dictatorship’. Bahrain has experienced a military intervention from Saudi Arabian forces, who were invited to suppress “of its own people and popular movements and peaceful rallies” who demand a real legislative power and a government elected by the people, Fazil Abbas said. The ‘dictatorship’ is supported by the Arab League, who does not interfere in the situation in the country, and the US, which pursues its own economic and military interests, the opposition leader explained. Bahrain hosts US crucial naval military base. The opposition believes this is one of the reasons Washington closes eyes to people’s demands for democracy. “It’s the US administration who blocks the launch of international criminal proceedings over the Bahraini regime. They have used double standards – on the one hand, they demand regime change in Syria, and on the other they support a dictatorship regime in Bahrain,” said Abbas. The delegation expressed hope that the Bahraini people would accept and welcome Russian support. “We urge the Russian leadership to support a serious dialogue in Bahrain and, in case this dialogue doesn’t take place, we urge Russia to take up a tough stance in international organizations that would prevent the US from ignoring the Bahraini crisis on the international level,” Abbas said. Meanwhile, Bahraini authorities claim the country has no problems with freedom of speech or democracy. “There is a democratic regime with high level of freedoms established in Bahrain,” said Information Minister Samira Rajab Bahraini told RT. The minister denounced the opposition visit to Moscow, saying that use of international forces to interfere with sovereign issues of the state is not civilized or politically healthy. Recent months have seen massive anti-government protests in Bahrain where people demand greater democracy and calling for an end to the Al-Khalifa family's nearly four-decade rule. They accuse the ruling Sunni family of a crackdown on the country`s Shiite majority. Some of the peaceful rallies turned violent as police tried to disperse demonstrations using teargas and grenades. In January one protester died after inhaling poisonous teargas.
indiatimes.comThe religious head of Ajmer Dargah has welcomed the hanging of 2001 Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru, terming it as a 'very good decision'. "This is a very good decision but should have been taken earlier. It was necessary to send a message across the world that India is tough against terrorism," Zainul Abedin Ali Khan, Diwan of Khawaja Moinuddin Chisti's shrine, said. The government should take such bold and legal steps well in time to give a message that the country has zero tolerance for terrorism, he said. Khan also demanded from the Pakistan government to release Sarabjit Singh, an Indian national who is languishing in a jail in that country for several years.
The HinduPolitical parties on Saturday said justice has been done with the execution of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru even as BJP questioned the delay in carrying out the death sentence. Both Congress and the BJP said the hanging of Guru, a Jaish-e-Mohammed militant, would send a message to terror outfits that India would not tolerate terrorism. “The law has taken its course. The Parliament attack convict has been hanged,” Congress spokesman Rashid Alvi said reacting to the execution of Guru in Tihar Jail in New Delhi. “Justice has been done,” another Congress spokesman Sandeep Dikshit said. Questioning the delay in Guru’s hanging, BJP said it should have happened much earlier after the confirmation of the capital punishment by the Supreme Court in 2005. “The capital punishment awarded to Afzal Guru today is a part of legal and judicial process which ought to have taken place much earlier. The attack on the Indian Parliament happened in 2001, that is 12 years ago, which was an attack on India. “Why this sort of delay inspite of overpowering desire of the people of the country that those who are accused of such a heinous offence ought to be given the capital punishment as affirmed by the highest court of the land. This question would remain important and an answer would have to be found out,” BJP Chief Spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad told reporters in New Delhi. In Chennai, Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari said the decision to hang Guru was not based on political considerations. “The process of Article 72 unfolded and once the mercy petition was rejected by the president (Pranab Mukherjee) the law took its own course,” Mr. Tewari told reporters. He was referring to the article of the constitution under which a President can grant pardon or commute the sentence of any convict. Mr. Alvi said the capital punishment to Afzal Guru would send a message to all terror outfits that India will not tolerate terror. “We have sent a message to the world that we cannot tolerate terrorism at any cost. Anybody committing any acts of terror will be punished. People of our country and government have zero tolerance for terrorism”, he said. Taking a swipe at the BJP, Mr. Alvi said terrorists released by the NDA government during the Kandahar plane hijack episode were those who planned attack on Parliament. BJP spokesman Rajiv Pratap Rudy said: “Though delayed, we still feel that the hanging of Afzal Guru was a right action. This action is delayed. But undoubtedly it is a welcome action.” CPI(M) said the law of the land has taken its course as far as attack on the Indian Parliament is concerned. “I think, the law of the land with all its provisions has finally been completed as far as the Afzal Guru case and the attack on the Indian Parliament is concerned. The issue which had been lingering for the past 11 years has finally completed its due course,” CPI(M) Polit Bureau member Sitaram Yechury said. In Srinagar, People’s Democratic Party expressed disappointment over Guru’s hanging, saying the “sensitivities” of the people of Jammu and Kashmir should have been taken into account before taking the decision. PDP spokesman Naeem Akhtar also criticised Guru’s burial inside the prison complex in New Delhi, saying the body should have been given to his family in Kashmir. The All Party Hurriyat Conference announced a four-day mourning on the death of Guru. “We call on people to observe four-day mourning on the hanging of Guru. A complete shutdown will be observed over the mourning period,” Hurriyat Conference spokesman Shahidul Islam said in Srinagar. Shiv Sena, another party strident in its demand for Guru’s execution, welcomed his hanging, saying the government showed “courage” in taking this decision. “The government showed courage in hanging Guru,” Shiv Sena spokesperson Sanjay Raut said in Mumbai but rued the delay in the process. Mr. Raut said when Pranab Mukherjee had met Shiv Sena chief late Bal Thackeray during his campaign for the Presidential elections, the Sena supremo had urged him not to grant clemency to Guru. Our Staff Reporter from Patna adds: Reacting to the hanging of Afzal Guru, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar said on Saturday that act was inevitable, although delayed. “It is a question of a criminal act. The matter was kept pending for long. With the apex court’s sentence, justice eventually prevailed. There is a feeling among the common people that this should have happened earlier,” Mr. Kumar said. Mr. Kumar runs a coalition government in Bihar with the Bharatiya Janata Party, which has been demanding Afzal Guru's hanging.
EDITORIAL: DAILY TIMESA typical day in Karachi begins with kidnapping and tortured or bullet-riddled bodies strewn across the city. Most days Karachi is on strike, mourning the death of its citizens and rising criminality. Why does Karachi have to rise each morning to a bloodstained day? And why is the government so helpless in restoring law and order in the city? Unfortunately there are still no answers to these questions. There appears to be absolutely no writ of the state in Karachi. The provincial government is busy passing laws to give legal cover to its controversial steps. That the plight of a commoner is of no value is reflected in the statement issued by the Supreme Court (SC) while hearing a case on the Karachi law and order situation at the apex court’s Karachi Registry, wherein it observed that the government is not serious about resolving the law and order crisis in Karachi, and that the court is carrying out a meaningless task. As usual, the hearing revealed the poor performance of the Sindh Police. According to one report, nearly 400 police officers are running crime rings in Karachi. It is a typical case of who will guard the guardians. Every day 15-20 people from all walks of life are killed. On Thursday, a doctor, a policeman, a mason, two real brothers and one uncle and his nephew were shot dead among others. Almost all of these people had no personal enmity with anyone or any criminal background. Their only fault appears to be living in Karachi where the power game has been reduced to turf wars, money extortion and now Talibanisation. In coming days, the real issue confronting the authorities would be holding transparent and peaceful elections in Karachi amidst the violence. As noticed by the SC, the people of Karachi are terror-stricken and polling under duress will result in distorted voting and violence. From the trend of killing in Karachi, where ethnicity, religious affiliations and extortion are the common causes of taking lives, peaceful elections look an increasingly unachievable task. When campaigning starts, how will peace be maintained in such a volatile climate? What about election day? Will one army soldier deployed at each polling station be sufficient? With an inadequate and thoroughly politicised police force, lacking modern policing gadgets and mechanisms, elections may mean a bloodbath of extraordinary proportions in the metropolis. Unless the government wakes up from its slumber, elections will become a problem to conduct peacefully. Interior Minister Rehman Malik is on record as saying that target killing and massacres will rise during election days. MQM and ANP are the government’s coalition allies in Sindh. They should sit down together, just like they sit in the assemblies, to find a way out of this predicament. If they can share power, they should also share the burden of Karachi’s law and order situation, and gear themselves up to get it resolved. But the substance to any such move resides in depoliticising the police force, making it autonomous and accountable for its actions to the people of the country. Out-of-turn promotions have rendered the police stooges of the power brokers. If police is not doing its job, the intelligence agencies have been equally unimpressive. It is as if the security apparatus of the country has collapsed under the weight of its own inefficiencies. The coming elections are very crucial for the country. If Karachi remains unpredictable regarding timely elections, the entire country will suffer the consequences. It is time for the government and its allies to come out of their illogical power politics and play politics for the people to achieve real democracy.