Tuesday, April 23, 2013
A Foreign Ministry spokeswoman on Tuesday urged Japan to adhere to its commitments after a group of 168 Japanese lawmakers visited the Yasukuni Shrine, where convicted war criminals are honored alongside the country's World War II casualties. Spokeswoman Hua Chunying said at a daily press briefing that no matter in what form and identity, the intent of the Japanese leaders' visits to the Yasukuni Shrine is to deny the history of Japanese militarist aggression. Japan's neighbors in Asia and the international community should be highly alert to their behavior and intentions, according to Hua. She urged the Japanese side to take meaningful action to win the trust of the international community, in order to avoid harming itself and others or isolating itself. Only when Japan learns from history can it embrace the future, said the spokeswoman.
People across Russia have been celebrating the 143rd birthday of Soviet leader Vladimir Lenin and two revellers in a North Russia village went too far, and ended up beheading a statue of the leader of the Bolshevik revolution. The offenders then sheepishly took the severed statue's head to the local police station. The villagers are like many in modern day Russia who still consider Lenin's role in history as positive. The latest opinion poll shows 57% of Russians see Lenin in a good light. More than half consider him a good person, and getting on for two thirds think his birthday on April 22nd is worth remembering. More than 60% of Russians would like to see Lenin's body properly buried. It currently remains on view in the mausoleum on Red Square. However a quarter think he should not be moved. The poll shows a swing towards reburial from a year ago. Researchers also asked what was the people’s attitude to renaming Russia’s second largest city of St. Petersburg into Leningrad, how it was called from 1924 till 1991. Only 30 percent of those polled said they supported the move. The issue of Lenin’s burial is one of the oldest controversies in Russian politics and the discussion usually heats up around the time of Soviet holidays and anniversaries. The burial is usually supported by nationalists and religious groups close to the Russian Orthodox Church and Communists always brand such attempts as a provocation. However, it was President Putin who opposed the move in his speech before an assembly of his supporters in December 2012. “They are saying that the Mausoleum is against our traditions. Why so? We can see holy remains in the Kiev-Pechora Monastery and in other places,” Putin said, hinting that Lenin would remain on display in his glass coffin at least for some time.
To Russians,Lenins' Tomb is a great tribute to hero who overturned Feudal rule of Tzars. Which should be preserved for creator of modern Russian state. Without Lenins' Socialism, Russia may have collapsed in WW2. Which brings up the obvious; Anti-Lenin comments are made by Westerners who preferred Russia as a Feudal nation instead of Strong independant. Sure am positive NWO Bilderburgers for Western Hegemony Globally see it that way...Stan Dinsmore
Four months after a vicious gang rape left a 23-year-old physiotherapy student dead and triggered a national outcry over the treatment of women, more protests ignited in New Delhi after another brutal rape -- this time the victim was a five-year-old girl. Two men have been arrested in the case. Authorities say the girl was abducted, locked in a house and raped repeatedly. She was found semiconscious three days later and doctors removed foreign objects from her genitals, including candle pieces and a small bottle. "In a capital city, we cannot provide protection to a young girl," said Bhagyashri Dengle, the executive director of Plan India, an organization that works to help underprivileged children. The girl's family said that police officers had tried to bribe them to keep quiet about the case.Senior police officials have ordered a separate investigation into those allegations. Clapping, chanting and holding signs that read "Enough is enough," protesters re-emerged in the nation's capital. They waved money at the police officers alleging corruption and ineptitude. Then, there was another slap in the face, advocates said, when a Delhi police officer was taped pushing and swatting a female protester on Friday, fueling even more outrage. "Things have not improved," Dengle said of the police. "There is no fear, no sensitization, no awareness if a policeman, held responsible for law and order, is behaving this way to women." A New Delhi police spokesman said that the offending officer has been suspended. After a student was raped by seven men in a bus in Delhi in a case that brought international attention to India in December, authorities created stricter laws and vowed to increase the number of women working in the city's police stations. But the latest rape case begs the question -- has anything really changed in India since December? "There is anger, frustration and introspection," said Poonam Muttreja, executive director of the Population Foundation of India, a group that works on women's health and rights. "Tragically, the people's mindset hasn't changed. Police behavior hasn't changed. Political behavior hasn't changed." But there are other issues at play, women say. The gender issues facing India are "deep rooted," Dengle said. "It's the status of women. It's the male mindset. It's not going to change overnight." On a given week, sexual violence appears daily in the national newspapers -- a 16-year-old allegedly raped by her father, a landlord convicted of raping a tenant, a rickshaw-puller caught raping his 10-year-old daughter, a 19-year-old boy raping a 12-year-old mentally disabled girl, a 25-year-old raping his cousin, and a man throwing acid on his wife's private parts. While these cases haven't triggered demonstrations, they indicate regularly reported attacks on women and children.Earlier this month, India's president signed a law bringing stiffer anti-rape laws, introducing the death penalty for repeat offenders, and imprisonment for acid attacks, human trafficking and stalking. It also punishes public servants, such as a police officer, who "knowingly disobeys" the laws required in an investigation. "Our government has moved with speed in strengthening the law to be able to deal more effectively with offences against women," said Manmohan Singh, India's prime minister on Sunday. "But, this is only a small part of what needs to be done. "The gruesome assault on a little girl a few days back reminds us once again of the need to work collectively to root out this sort of depravity from our society." Children are even more vulnerable, said Dengle. Many girls don't feel safe using public toilets, walking to and from school where they're teased by males, she said. They can't trust rickshaw drivers who take them to school. The Asian Centre for Human Rights reported that child rape cases jumped from 2,113 cases in 2001 to 7,112 in 2011 in India. Some families restrict women and girls' mobility because of the risks, said Aparajita Gogoi, the National Coordinator for the White Ribbon Alliance, which is a grassroots campaign for women's health, at a U.N. Foundation panel for journalists that took place earlier this month. The practice is long-standing, Dengle said. "Parents feel scared that girl can be abused on the way [to school]," she said. "The best thing [they think] is to keep her at home and this was happening even before all these rape cases. Girls didn't feel really safe." In a late, sunny afternoon in Delhi, the dusty streets are crowded with mostly men. The women appearing in public are in groups or accompanied by other men. A survey supported by UN Women found 95% of females in New Delhi said they felt unsafe in public places. Comprised of 2,001 females and 1,003 males, the survey was conducted before the December 16 rape case of the physiotherapy student. Three out of four men in the survey agreed with the statement, saying "Women provoke men by the way they dress" and two men out of five fully or partially agreed that "Women moving around at night deserve to be sexually harassed." Fifty-one percent of men reported that they had sexually harassed or committed violence against females in public spaces in Delhi, according to the survey from the Safer Cities Free of Violence against Women and Girls Initiative. For any substantial change, Indians have to address the way girls and women are treated overall, advocates say. Women are in danger even before they're born, said Ruchira Gupta, the founder of ApneAap, a women's organization. Sex-selective abortions, which are illegal in India, continue as the sex ratio, shown in the 2011 census, dwindled to 940 females to 1,000 males. Having a girl means the family would have to pay dowries, which are also illegal in India. "Should girls survive, often they get less food than their brothers, they're pulled out of school early to help at home or get married," Gupta said. "They may have babies before their bodies are fully formed and and consequently die of maternal mortality or become victims of dowry or sex-trafficking. All this may not happen to one single girl but at least one or more of these things could happen to an average girl in India." Half of girls are married before the age of 18, U.N. reports find. India accounts for 19% of the global maternal deaths, according to U.N. report from 1990-2010. Gogoi, a health advocate, laid a scathing critique during a panel discussion with journalists: "Our culture doesn't place much value on women's lives." The other problem is that women are seen as objects of desire, said Dengle. "We have to break gender stereotypes," she said, supporting new classes to teach gender equality. "All this education needs to happen at the school level. They need to be sensitized and educated on respecting women. Our education system lacks that."
The Bahraini government has postponed indefinitely a visit by Juan Mendez the UN special rapporteur on torture. According to the country's official news agency the trip has been called off "until further notice". This comes just days after the release of a US State Department report on human rights in Bahrain which spoke of "significant" violations including torture in detention. The Gulf kingdom has been wracked by civil unrest for two years. The violence has left at least 50 people dead. An independent enquiry established by King Hamad al-Khalifa in 2011 found that there had been numerous abuses. The king accepted the report and promised accountability and reform. But human rights organisations in Bahrain and outside the country say that the promised reforms are happening either too slowly or not at all. And they allege that human rights abuses are continuing. The US State Department Bahrain 2012 Human Rights Report spoke of "serious human rights problems," including "citizens' inability to change their government peacefully; arrest and detention of protesters on vague charges, in some cases leading to their torture in detention; and lack of due process in trials of political and human rights activists". Mr Mendez had originally intended to visit Bahrain in 2012 but that too was called off. Pointing to this second postponement Brian Dooley of US based Human Rights First called the decision "a huge blow to the credibility of Bahrain's reform process". "It seems like the Bahrain regime is frightened of what more international scrutiny might reveal. It's very telling that they've shut Mendez out again," said Mr Dooley. A spokesperson in the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) described the decision as "disappointing" and noted that Alistair Burt, the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State had raised the issue with the Bahraini government "stressing the importance we and the international community place on the visit". The FCO said: "We hope that a new date for this visit can be found soon."
http://www.reuters.com/Afghan President Hamid Karzai will travel to Brussels on Tuesday to met U.S. Secretary of State of State John Kerry and senior Pakistani officials to discuss the flagging Afghan peace process, an Afghan presidential spokesman said on Monday. The meeting had been arranged by Kerry in order to repair relations between Pakistan and Afghanistan, following weeks of tension relating to border disputes and the peace process, Karzai's chief spokesman, Aimal Faizi, said in Kabul.
ReutersPakistan must play a positive role in bringing stability to Afghanistan as foreign troops prepare to leave in 2014, the head of NATO said on Tuesday, before a U.S.-chaired meeting that will try to ease friction between often feuding neighbors. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will host talks between Afghan President Hamid Karzai and senior Pakistan officials in Brussels on Wednesday, with the aim of calming tension over border disputes and the stalled peace process. "If we are to ensure long-term peace and stability in Afghanistan we also need a positive engagement of Afghanistan's neighbors, including Pakistan," NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen told reporters as alliance foreign ministers met in Brussels to discuss NATO's mission in Afghanistan. Wednesday's U.S.-chaired meeting is part of a series of on-off discussions between Afghanistan and Pakistan at the behest of the United States. Rasmussen said he would meet Karzai later on Tuesday. Afghanistan has grown increasingly frustrated with Pakistan over efforts to pursue a peace process involving the Taliban, suggesting that Islamabad is intent on keep Afghanistan unstable until after foreign combat forces have left at the end of 2014. U.S. officials hope that Kerry, who has a good relationship with Karzai, can bring the parties back to the negotiating table and make constructive progress on an issue that has long-term security implications for Washington. Kerry said on Monday the aim of the meeting would be to "try to talk about how we can advance this process in the simplest, most cooperative and most cogent way, so that we wind up with both Pakistan's and Afghanistan's interests being satisfied, but, most importantly, with a stable and peaceful Afghanistan." TENSION The talks follow weeks of tension with Pakistan over their 2,600 km (1,600 mile) border and stalled peace efforts. Although there have been several meetings in Western capitals over the past few months in which representatives of the Taliban have met Afghan peace negotiators, there have been no signs of a breakthrough. Kabul accuses Pakistan of harboring the Taliban leadership in the city of Quetta and using militants as proxies to counter the influence of India in Afghanistan. As well as Karzai and Kerry, Wednesday's meeting will include Afghanistan's defense minister, Bismillah Khan Mohammadi, Pakistan's army chief, General Ashfaq Kayani, and Pakistan's foreign secretary, Jalil Jilani, the U.S. official said. NATO-led forces are expected to cede the lead role for security in Afghanistan this spring to Afghan soldiers, 12 years after the United States invaded Afghanistan to oust the Taliban government harboring Osama bin Laden, the al Qaeda leader who masterminded the September 11, 2001 attacks on U.S. cities. Most foreign combat forces are due to pull out by the end of 2014, leaving a smaller NATO-led training mission behind and a U.S. force to fight militants. The White House has yet to decide how many U.S. troops will remain in Afghanistan after 2014 and this could be a factor influencing both Taliban and Pakistani strategy. Much depends on progress in negotiations with Karzai on a Bilateral Security Agreement to define the future legal status of U.S. forces. NATO defense ministers meeting in Brussels on February 22 discussed keeping a combined NATO force of between 8,000 and 12,000 troops. That compares to combined NATO forces of about 100,000 troops in Afghanistan now. General James Mattis, the head of the U.S. military's Central Command, said in March he had recommended keeping 13,600 American troops in Afghanistan after 2014.
http://www.dw.de/Pakistan's liberal Awami National Party says it cannot run its election campaign in northwestern areas because of the attacks on its leaders by the Taliban. The right wing appears set to benefit. The Pakistani Taliban has killed hundreds of secular Awami National Party (ANP) officials in the northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province in the last five years. But of late, the banned militant group has increased its attacks on the ANP leaders. This puts the ANP in a difficult situation as it cannot campaign freely for the May 11 parliamentary elections. Former railway minister and senior leader of the ANP, Ghulam Ahmed Bilour, was injured in a suicide bomb attack last week while campaigning in Peshawar. Around 18 ANP workers were killed in the attack claimed by the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP). It is not the first time that the Taliban have targeted an ANP leader. The ANP - the former ruling party of the strategically important Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province bordering Afghanistan - has lost hundreds of its workers and a number of its senior officials over the last few years. The Taliban have named the ANP, the former ruling party of President Zardari, the Pakistan People's Party (PPP), and the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) as its prime targets because of their secular credentials and their opposition to Islamic extremism in the country.In December, Bashir Ahmad Bilour, a 69-year-old former provincial minister and senior leader of the ANP, was assassinated by the Pakistani Taliban in Peshawar. Bilour was an outspoken critic of the Taliban and Islamic extremism. No campaign for the ANP The ANP complains it cannot run the election campaign smoothly in the present situation where its leaders are targeted and its public gatherings are attacked by the militants. "The ANP is unable to campaign properly in this situation. It is true that their campaign has been badly affected," Shahid Ullah Jan, a human rights activist in Peshawar, told DW, adding that the ANP leaders were justified in demanding additional security. But the caretaker government, which was instated after the PPP finished its tenure in March to conduct "free and fair" polls, hasn’t done much to address the ANP’s concerns. The ANP criticizes the interim government, the election commission, and other political parties for not standing up in support of it. It claims that by not unequivocally condemning the extremists, the government and mainstream political parties are strengthening the Taliban and giving their sympathizers undue advantage in elections.Experts are of the view that conservative parties like Imran Khan's Tehreek-e-Insaf and former PM Nawaz Sharif's Muslim League, and Islamic groups like Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam and Jamaat-e-Islami are benefiting from the ANP's quandary. These parties are believed to be "sympathetic" towards the Taliban and other Islamist groups. Khan - who has emerged as one of the forerunners in upcoming elections, particularly in northwestern areas - wants to negotiate with the Taliban and stop Pakistan's support to the US in the fight against terrorism in Afghanistan. Unlike the ANP, the Khan's party is able to hold huge rallies and public gatherings even in towns which are considered the Taliban strongholds. 'Unpopular war' The ANP, the PPP, and the MQM are the only mainstream political parties in Pakistan which openly criticize the Taliban and support the fight against extremism. But the ANP's stakes in Pakistan's fight against terror are higher than those of any other political party in Pakistan. The ANP is a pre-dominantly Pashtun organization, as is the Taliban. Losing the battle against the Taliban means losing political power in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The ANP, whose long history of secular politics goes back to the time of its founder Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan (also known as the Frontier's Gandhi), has ruled the province for many decades. Due to growing extremism in its own constituency, nonetheless, it has seen a plunge in popularity over the years. The ANP’s supporters, analysts believe, are already unhappy with the governance of their party during the last five years. According to DW's Peshawar correspondent Faridullah Khan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has been badly affected by the "war on terror" and many people are against US drone strikes in the semi-governed northwestern tribal areas. In his opinion, many people held the ANP responsible for this situation. It was something that right-wing groups were benefiting from, he said.Political experts like Malik Siraj Akbar, who is based in the US, are critical of Pakistan's response to the Taliban and the menace of terrorism. Akbar told DW in an interview that the main reason why liberal Pakistani parties faced a dilemma was that Pakistan had not officially owned the war on terror. "Pakistan is not ideologically convinced that it is its war." For this reason, counter-extremism and counter-terrorism experts in Pakistan say liberal parties have not been able to get the masses behind them in the fight against terror. Peace talks The ANP - like the PPP and the MQM - appear to be in an ideological dilemma. Not only the Pakistani state, but now the US, too, wants to talk to the Taliban and make its peace with the militants. "So what is the future of the parties like the ANP and the PPP who have been supporting the onslaught on the Islamists?" asked Dr. Riaz Ahmed, a political activist in Karachi, who described why he believed the attacks on the ANP leaders had increased. "Politicians who want an offensive against the extremists are now a hindrance in the negotiations with Taliban. They are being removed from the scene," Ahmed told DW. Islamic parties have always been demanding that the government must make peace with the Taliban. Muhammad Shah Afridi, a conservative member of parliament from Khyber Agency - one of the semi-governed tribal agencies bordering Afghanistan - told DW that if the US and NATO could negotiate with the Taliban then Pakistan should do the same."War is not the solution to this conflict. We will have to talk (to the Taliban)," Afridi said. The ANP leadership, too, has welcomed the US' initiative of "peace talks" with the Taliban, but experts believe it is not enough to convince the Taliban that the ANP is a "friend." There are many in the ranks of the ANP who still oppose the Taliban and want the party to run its election campaign on an anti-Taliban slogan. And there is the dilemma: If the ANP goes all out against the Taliban, it is likely that the militants are going to bomb its rallies and kill its leaders, hence sabotaging its election campaign; and if it tries to appease the Taliban, it is going to lose its traditional support.
The Baloch HalIf the primary goal of an interim government is to organize free and fair elections, Balochistan’s caretaker government headed by Chief Minister Nawab Ghaus Bakhsh Barozai seems to be failing to perform the job. Almost a month after his appointment as the caretaker, Mr. Barozai has not formed his cabinet. He has been running the affairs of the provincial government all alone with the help of provincial secretaries. As the date for the general election approaches, Mr. Barozai’s challenges also keep increasing. The state of law and order is going from bad to worse. The Baloch armed groups have increased their attacks on election offices, rallies, candidates and official installations. They have also called upon the voters to stay at home on the election day. Mr. Barozai has done too little to ensure transparency in the elections. A recent report published in Akhbar-e-Jahan, a respected Karachi-based Urdu language weekly, is deeply alarming. The report says that most ministers of the previous government are still using government transportation and residences. These ministers are contesting elections this year as well and they are using the official machinery for their own benefits. The caretaker government should take immediate notice of this malpractice and ask all politicians to vacate official residence and return the vehicles. Mr. Barozai should also fulfill the standard requirements of a caretaker government by appointing caretaker ministers for different departments. It is not easy for one man to run the whole show, particularly in a troubled place like Balochistan. Mr. Barozai should share the burden of his responsibilities with other ministers as all critical issues, such as the rehabilitation of the earthquake victims and establishing peace during the election season, require sufficient attention. People with a good reputation and commitment to public service should be given preference in forming the interim cabinet.
The Express TribuneVoter lists finalised by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) have shown a 236% increase in the number of female registered voters in Khyber Agency. According to the ECP’s 2008 voters list, the total number of people registered from Khyber Agency was 194,256, with 156,973 male and 37,283 female voters. This time, there have been 142,507 new registrations. The spike may be attributed to the increase in the number of women getting Computerised National Identity Cards (CNIC). The total number of registered voters in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) is 1,616,601. Out of this, 1,063,807 are men and 552,794 are women. Interestingly, this time round the highest number of female voters is in Bajaur Agency — 132,366. The lowest number was recorded in North Waziristan with 11,704 female voters. From Khyber Agency a total of 336,763 registered voters comprise 211,495 males and 125,268 females. The total number of voters in Khyber Agency has increased by 73.4% since 2008. The highest increase in the ratio of female voters per 100 male voters had also been recorded in Khyber Agency. An ECP official told The Express Tribune, “One of the main reasons for the increase in registered voters is the fact that those who get their Computerised National Identity Cards (CNIC) made, automatically get registered with the ECP and then we verify them with the address they provide.” He added the former government’s Benazir Income Support Programme required a valid CNIC, thus more women got their cards made and as a result the number of registered voters increased. The ongoing military operation in Khyber Agency has left many families displaced. They are forced to live in camps and register for ration cards which also requires them to get CNICs made. This has also impacted voter registration, said an aid worker, who will be observing the electoral process. He added law and order in Landikotal and Jamrud subdivisions of the agency is better than other areas of Fata. In these areas, women do not fear registering themselves for CNICs and casting vote.
IN its recently released report on the 2007 showdown between the state and militants holed up inside an Islamabad mosque, the Lal Masjid commission has absolved the army of responsibility for the debacle. Instead, blame has been placed on the shoulders of Gen Musharraf, Shaukat Aziz and members of the cabinet at the time. But before the state files murder charges — as recommended by the one-judge commission — we must ask whether these recommendations are in consonance with some aspects of the affair that need greater critical appraisal. In other words, the sensitive nature of such an investigation should have entailed far broader terms of reference for the commission than merely affixing blame and focusing on compensation issues. There are three crucial aspects of the Lal Masjid operation that can be considered independently of the report: a) the military operation that resulted in clearing the mosque of militants and the death of many civilians was an institutional decision, not solely that of Gen Musharraf, who was then army chief; b) the situation in the capital had been allowed to come to such a pass that a military operation became necessary; c) the operation was badly mishandled, resulting in the death of all those who were inside the complex, not just the militants. True, there was justification for the operation. The Lal Masjid militants had challenged the writ of the state in the heart of Islamabad. Aside from the seminary students’ moral policing in the capital, Sharia ‘courts’ were set up inside the mosque and there were a number of fire-fights with the police, paramilitary and army even before the military launched its operation. Heavy weaponry was stashed inside the place of worship — and later used by militants during the siege. While the details of the siege itself were covered extensively by the media, very little is known about the identity of the armed militants who were in control of the mosque complex and their agenda. Here is where a bigger probe is needed; and also to answer what went on inside the complex during the operation and what prompted the military to act in a way that there was no survivor to give an alternative version of events. It can only be hoped that a wider probe will also summon army officials. Fact and fiction must be separated before blame is affixed on those responsible for carrying out a flawed operation and those whose terrorising tactics were getting out of hand.
The Supreme Court of Pakistan made public on Monday a list of eminent intellectuals, journalists, writers, anchorperson and news-agencies that were paid by the previous PPP Information Ministry through its secret fund. The Supreme Court list contains itemized particulars of those expenditures for which the information ministry now does not claim privilege or secrecy. The list of disbursements, totaling up to 1.7 billion rupees, was uploaded on the apex court's website in accordance to its directive issued earlier during the day. The official document given to the Supreme Court of Pakistan exposes more lies of the PPP Information Ministry. In days to come, more lies, betrayals and follies of the PPP government and its minister will continue to surface. No matter how far the lies of the PPP are buried under the secret bribes that the previous regime used to hire some of the media 'gurus'. The then media darling the Federal Information Minister Qamaruzzaman Kiara often used to the 'hired media dons' to befool, belittle and ridicule his opponents on the TV channels' screens. There is no provision of secret funds in the Constitution of Pakistan or in any other law around the world. Yet the practice of misusing the state funds collected from the cruelly taxed money pops up more often than not--especially in states notorious for bad governance. Of course, the Pakistan Peoples' Party government, unfortunately, is one of them. No the time has come to fix looting and plundering or misuse of the states resources. Every single beneficiary of the secret funds should be exposed without any exception and relaxation. Mostly the PPP government misused the funds for pro-government news agencies, newspapers and TV channels for its publicity and hiding the facts. The payments had been made under the head of advertisement and direct cash payments, however, are very rare that may provide a window for the former rulers to get off the hook. The aspect, hopefully, will be guarded against and looked after properly. Regardless of the response of journalists named in the list, the Supreme Court of Pakistan should go one step ahead in exposing all black sheep amongst the severing or the retired judges, generals and journalists. For ages, the allegation of corruption against these three communities are making headlines but being the sacred cows they have never been questioned in the past. Now the Supreme Court of Pakistan has initiated the process of accountability starting from the journalists. These bribed media-owners, editors, reporters, anchorpersons, politicians and bureaucrats should be taken to the task. Rightly, the court had frozen the funds of the information ministry. The last day heroic of former Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf of sanctioning a summary for the payment of Rs 1.32 billion for media campaigns--should also be thoroughly probed and a detailed audit of the accounts of the ministries concerned be carried out. The media is one of the pillars of the state and media practitioners are the non-governmental ameens of the state and the rights of the countrymen to the extent that the people with clear conscience including the former US president Thomas Jefferson preferred to live in a country where no government but the free press is firmly in place. Solution to all problems of Pakistan too lies in having free, fair and independent press. Thus much desired and long-standing demand of the nation of cleansing the media industry too should be taken far more seriously. The corruption, abuse of powers and misuse of the state funds for personal gains or in the name of the 'national interests' can only be stopped forth with provided the abusers and the beneficiaries are thrown out of the fray. Just political rhetoric has neither born fruit in the past nor will it do any good for the future of the country. The Supreme Court of Pakistan has taken cognizance on number of issues ranging from corruption to law and order situation in the country. The cases are either pending or yet to produce desired results to the nation for one reason or other. The apex court should come down hard on the latest revelations of the PPP government 's bid of corrupting media houses and the workers there in. All those involved in the process should be brought to book immediately. The real across the board accountability--not mere the political rhetoric--the country needs the most. Otherwise, the opportunists, one way or the other, would continue to tarnish the image of the country at home and abroad.