Wednesday, August 21, 2013
Malala Yousafzai: Violence will never triumph over human rights, vows brave Malala as she gets the Tipperary International Peace Award
THE Pakistani teenager who survived a Taliban assassination bid has accepted Ireland's most prestigious peace award -- and vowed that violence will never triumph over human rights.
Former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak could leave prison as early as Wednesday night, government officials and legal experts said, after a Cairo court ordered the release of the deposed autocrat. By doing so, there would be no legal ground for former ruler’s detention, though he is being retried on charges of complicity in the killing of protesters in 2011. Mubarak’s release was order by an Egyptian court on Wednesday, after the 85-year-old agreed to return or pay the value of gifts he received from state news organizations while in office, a spokesman for Egypt’s Foreign Ministry said. “The prosecution has no legal ground to appeal the decision of his release, as Mubarak paid the money he took, and has no legal ground for his detention,” said Yassir Mohammad Sayyid Ahmad, an attorney representing families of Egyptians killed by Mubarak’s security forces during the 18-day uprising in 2011, in which more than 800 people died. Egypt’s prosecutor said Mubarak would remain on the country’s no-fly list and that his assets would remain frozen. Anyway, Mubarak has no political future, but the release raises the question whether the country is heading to a new military government. No more than two month ago, freely elected president Mohamed Morsi was deposed by Egypt’s military, once commanded by Hosni Mubarak. And there are no doubts the country has entered into one of the bloodiest internal conflicts in its modern history. As The Guardian reports, Egypt's army-backed authorities on Tuesday arrested Mohamed Badie, the Brotherhood's leader and his arrest was part of a wave of detentions among the upper echelons of the organisation. Egyptian state media reported on Wednesday that Murad Ali, a media adviser to the Brotherhood's political party, and Safwat Hegazy, an incendiary preacher, were both arrested while trying to flee the country. The turmoil has alarmed the US and European Union, but Israel and some Gulf states led by Saudi Arabia have pressed the west not to punish Cairo's new rulers.A Cairo criminal court accepted on Wednesday an appeal by former president Hosni Mubarak against a recent detention order he received, setting him free. However, the court said Mubarak will be held for 48 hours to give the prosecution a chance to consider whether it will appeal the decision to release him or not. A judicial source told Ahram Online that the proscution will probably not appeal the release order. A team of judges from the Northern Cairo misdemeanour court arrived earlier on Wednesday to Tora Prison, where Mubarak is detained in hospital, to look into the appeal. Mubarak, who has been on trial since August 2011, has now received release orders in all the cases in which he is investigated, for spending the maximum time in jail for a defendant pending trial. However, all trials are still ongoing. On Wednesday, he was released pending investigations in a corruption case in which he is accused of illegally receiving millions of pounds worth of gifts from state-run publisher Al-Ahram. Mubarak has recently reimbursed money equivalent to the value of the gifts to the state, which raised the possibility of him being released. On Monday, he was released pending trial in one of the corruption charges he faces, drawing him closer to release as the number of charges decreases. Mubarak is currently retried in a case for charges of complicity in the killing of over 800 protesters in the January 2011 uprising, after his appeal on a life sentence was accepted. Former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak could be freed from prison on Thursday, his lawyer told Reuters, after a court ordered his release in a corruption case that was the last remaining legal grounds for his detention. Leaving the Cairo prison where the court convened, Fareed El-Deeb said: "The court decided to release him." Asked when, he said: "Maybe tomorrow". Mubarak, 85, is being retried on charges of ordering the killing of protesters during the 2011 uprising that led to his downfall. However, he has served out the maximum amount of pre-trial detention permitted in that case. Mubarak was sentenced to life in prison last year for failing to prevent the killing of demonstrators. But a court accepted his appeal earlier this year and ordered a retrial. An Egyptian court ordered the release of former President Hosni Mubarak on Wednesday, a judicial and a security source said, meaning he could leave prison later in the day as there is no longer any legal grounds for his detention. Mubarak, 85, is being retried on charges of ordering the killing of protesters during the 2011 uprising that led to his downfall. However, he has already served out the maximum amount of pretrial detention permitted in that case. Mubarak was sentenced to life in prison last year for failing to prevent the killing of demonstrators. But a court accepted his appeal earlier this year and ordered a retrial. Read more: http://voiceofrussia.com/news/2013_08_21/Is-pharaon-to-be-released-New-future-for-Egypt-5821/ Read more: http://voiceofrussia.com/news/2013_08_21/Is-pharaon-to-be-released-New-future-for-Egypt-5821/
بلاول ہاؤس کے ترجمان اعجاز درانی نے مسلم لیگ ن کے حکمرانوں کی جانب سے بجلی کی قیمتوں میں ہفتہ وار اور ماہانہ اضافے کو ملک و قوم کے لیے زہر قاتل قرار دیا ہے
بلاول ہاؤس کے ترجمان اعجاز درانی نے مسلم لیگ ن کے حکمرانوں کی جانب سے بجلی کی قیمتوں میں ہفتہ وار اور ماہانہ اضافے کو ملک و قوم کے لیے زہر قاتل قرار دیا ہے۔ ن لیگ کے قائدین اپنے کاروباری مفادات کے لیے پاکستان کو “نیلام گھر” بنانے کی سازشوں میں مصروف عمل ہیں۔ جس کی خاطر انہوں نے پاکستان کو منی بجٹوں کا جمعہ بازار بنادیا ہے۔ شریف برادران نے پہلے اپنے کاروباری مقاصد کے حصول کے لیے بدنام زمانہ سیف الرحمان کو فرنٹ مین بنایا اور اب وہ ایک اور بدنام زمانہ “ٹرپل ایم” (Triple M) کے ذریعے “پاکستان برائے فروخت” کے راستے پر گامزن ہیں۔ اعجاز درانی نے کہا کہ ن لیگ کی حکومت عوام کی توجہ اصل مسائل سے ہٹانے کے لیے بجلی کا بحران پیدا کر کے ملک کو اندھیروں میں غرق کرنے کی سازشوں میں مصروف ہے۔ جس کی حقیقت وزیر اعظم نواز شریف نے خود قوم سے اپنے پہلے خطاب میں واضح کردی جس میں انہوں نے سرکاری ٹی وی پر قوم سے نہیں بلکہ ہیلی کاپٹر میں بیٹھ کر سیلاب زدگان سے خطاب کر کے خود اپنی حقیقت عوام کے سامنے عیاں کردی۔ ترجمان نے کہا کہ تین ماہ کے دوران شریف برادران نے کبھی ڈیرہ غازی خان میں سینکڑوں قیدیوں کو بھگوا کر مگر مچھ کے آنسو بہائے اور کبھی شاہراہ دستور پر کبھی سکندر کو مقدر اور کبھی مقدر کو سکندر بنا کر پاکستان کے حساس اداروں کی تذلیل کی۔ اعجاز درانی نے واضح کیا کہ موجودہ حکومت کے قیام کے بعد در حقیقت تین مرتبہ بجلی نرخوں میں کمر توڑ اضافہ کیا گیا۔ پیپلز پارٹی کی جمہوری حکوت میں گھریلو صارفین کو بجلی کی مد میں 6 روپے فی یونٹ جبکہ نواز حکومت کے فیصلوں کے مطابق اب گھریلو صارفین کو 12 روپے فی یونٹ ادا کرہے ہیں۔ جمہوری حکومت میں تجارتی صارفین 11 روپے فی یونٹ ادا کررہے تھے لیکن اب وہ 20 روپے فی یونٹ ادا کررہے ہیں۔ دوسری جانب صنعتی صارفین پہلے 6 روپے فی یونٹ ادا کررہے تھے لیکن اب وہ 11 روپے فی یونٹ ادا کررہے ہیں۔ اعجاز درانی نے قوم اور بالخصوص تاجر برادری کو پیشگی آگاہ کیا کہ موجودہ حکومت کے عوام دشمن ایجنڈے کی روشنی میں اکتوبر کے مہینےسے گھریلو صارفین کو 14 روپے فی یونٹ، تجارتی صارفین کو 23 روپے فی یونٹ جبکہ صنعتی صارفین کو 14 روپے فی یونٹ ادا کرے پڑیں گے
By Fu ShuangqiHigh-level publicity officials from across China gathered at an important conference earlier this week in Beijing about publicity and ideological work.
With 1.2 billion people, India takes pride in being the world's largest democracy. But 66 years after independence from Britain, various elements threaten the unity of the nation. In March 2013, several high-ranking politicians from the ruling Congress Party in the central state of Chhattisgarh were ambushed by a group of Maoist rebels while returning from a campaign event. Despite police protection, 27 politicians were killed and many others seriously injured in the ensuing gunfight. The incident evoked memories of a massacre that had taken place three years earlier in that same state, when Maoists killed more than 70 police officers in a meticulously planned commando operation. Internal security threatened India's Prime Minister Manmohan Singh regards the Maoist rebels, who conduct operations in nine states, as the biggest threat to internal security. The insurgents have established strongholds in Chhattisgarh, in the eastern states of Jharkhand and West Bengal and in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh. According to government figures, the Maoists have some 20,000 armed fighters at their disposal as well as around 50,000 followers willing to resort to violence.Non-governmental organizations estimate that more than 10,000 people have been killed in attacks launched by the group over the past 40 years. The rebels claim they have been fighting for justice for the poor and disenfranchised, in particular for the so-called untouchables and the country's indigenous inhabitants. The Maoist militants are especially active in India's economically less-developed regions where a large part of the population seems to sympathize with their cause. New Delhi-based sociologist Yogendra Yadav says he is concerned that people in India feel they are not being taken seriously by politicians. He argues that many decisions taken at the highest level don't make any sense to the common people because they are not related to their everyday lives."They feel that nobody understands their hardship," Yadav said. Despite the appeal of its megacities, more than two-thirds of India's population still lives in the countryside. Terrorism and separatism Experts such as Yadav are of the opinion that Indian politics are partly to blame for the frequent attacks and riots. With its 1.2 billion people the South Asian nation is a melting pot of cultures, ethnicities and religions. And most of the large parties use this diversity, especially ahead of elections, to mobilize certain groups. For instance, Shakeel Ahmad, general secretary of the Congress Party, caused a stir in July when he basically blamed Hindu violence against Muslims in riots in Gujarat over a decade ago for the growth in strength of the militant Indian Mujahideen. In 2002, 58 Hindu pilgrims burned to death after their train was attacked by Muslim extremists. The incident triggered a violent backlash that led to the deaths of an estimated 2000 people, most of whom were Muslims. The Indian Mujahideen made their first appearance in 2007 and have since been blamed for launching 10 attacks on touristic and religious sites. The Congress Party reprimanded Ahmad and made clear that it doesn't accept any kind of sympathy towards terrorist groups regardless of whether they are motivated by religious or ethnic differences.Corruption and bureaucracy Corruption and bureaucracy are considered further evils that have rocked the public's trust in Indian democracy. In the 1980's, former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi said that for every rupee spent by the central government on development, only 10 percent actually reaches the poor. Recent corruption scandals such as the ones surrounding the Commonwealth Games in 2010 and scams involving mobile phone operating licenses - the so-called 2G scam - along with illegal coal mining contracts have even involved ministers. "The problem is that corruption has become deeply entrenched in the people's psyche. They believe that they can't achieve anything without having to bribe people," former Home Secretary Madhukar Gupta told DW. The high level of corruption in India led to a large number of people supporting Anna Hazare, a civil rights activist who in 2011 organized mass rallies demanding more transparency from the government.Gupta criticized the slackness of the political system which, in his view, hampers the introduction of badly needed reforms. Furthermore, the expert adds the two major national parties, the ruling Congress Party and the main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), depend on the support of regional coalition partners. Still, Gupta is optimistic: "Today, in Indian politics, everyone looks to maintain his or her position. Even with such a system in place, I still believe good ideas and decisions can be implemented. Calling for reforms According to Yadav, India must create more transparency. The expert calls for reform from within the political system. "In order to introduce alternative policies and change the rules of politics, one has to play the game and win elections." But Gupta has a different suggestion: to improve people's living conditions and thus strengthen the political system. He says what's important is that more people have access to education and technological development, especially in places where there is still no power or running water.
By JACK HEALY One by one, the Afghan men and boys took the witness stand inside a military courtroom on Tuesday to tell of a night of gunfire, bloodshed and horror a world away. They had been flown here on tourist visas by the American military, the first witnesses to testify at a sentencing hearing for Staff Sgt. Robert Bales, who has pleaded guilty to killing 16 Afghan civilians — most of them women and children — as he stalked through their mud-walled compounds in Kandahar Province in March 2012. It was a striking sight: for the first time, seven men and boys from homes with no electricity or running water, wearing traditional, flowing shalwar kameez, turbans and skullcaps and speaking through interpreters, came face to face with the crew-cut sergeant in dress blues who has admitted to storming his victims’ homes and opening fire as they screamed for mercy. “That bastard stood right in front of me,” said Haji Mohammed Naim, 60, his voice rising as he gestured toward Sergeant Bales. “I wanted to ask him: ‘What did I do? What have I done to you?’ ” Pressed by military prosecutors to delve further into that night, Mr. Naim, who was shot in the attack and lost several family members, began to weep and stood up. “I’m leaving,” he said. “For God’s sake, do not ask me any more questions.” Over the next several days, a six-person military jury will decide whether Sergeant Bales, 39, deserves to spend the rest of his life behind bars for carrying out one of the worst American atrocities in years, or whether he could one day be eligible for parole. By pleading guilty in June, he avoided any possibility of the death penalty. The hearings are expected to offer sharply contrasting portraits of Sergeant Bales, a man who still remains mysterious despite months of hearings and testimony that have illuminated each gunshot, blood spatter and tearful plea in wrenching detail. Prosecutors have painted Sergeant Bales as someone who felt “inadequate as a soldier and a man”: drowning in debt, behind on his home payments, bitterly unhappy with his family and frustrated with a stalled military career. He had been taking steroids in the weeks before the rampage, and the night of the shooting he drank whiskey with other soldiers and snorted Valium before slipping away from his combat post. His lawyers have said he suffered from post-traumatic stress and a brain injury, and had been strained by four deployments in a decade — three to Iraq, and the last to Afghanistan. But even now, there is little to fully explain his mind-set on the night of the killings. When Sergeant Bales pleaded guilty in June, he took responsibility for his crimes. But when questioned about those bloody hours, he said he had no memory of lighting fire to a pile of his victims’ bodies, and struggled to explain why he had done what he did. “I’ve asked that question a million times since then,” he said. “There’s not a good reason in this world for why I did the horrible things I did.” On Tuesday, Lt. Col. Jay Morse, a member of the prosecution team, read jurors a narrative of Sergeant Bales’s life and his crimes. In grisly detail, accompanied by photographs of dead and wounded women and children, it described how Sergeant Bales armed himself and walked out of Camp Belambay after midnight on March 11, 2012. The account — which the defense does not dispute — said the sergeant walked to one village, gunned down several families and returned to the American base when he ran low on ammunition. He woke a fellow soldier, admitted what he had done, and then gathered more ammunition and headed off toward a second village. Sergeant Bales sat impassively through the hearing, sometimes looking away when images of dead children were projected onto the wall. He listened quietly as his victims described houses “full of blood and bodies” and how they had to load their trucks with their wounded brothers, sons, daughters and wives. One of the youngest to testify was Khan Hekmatullah, a skinny 12-year-old who concluded his testimony with an unanswered question: “What did I do wrong against Sergeant Bales that he shot my father?”
Afghan victims of a shooting spree by a U.S. soldier have spoken at the start of the sentencing trial for the man behind the attack. Robert Bales has already pleaded guilty to slaying 16 civilians -- many of them women and children -- during raids on two villages in Kandahar Province in March 2012. The military court in the state of Washington is now deciding whether to sentence him to life in prison or with the possibility of parole after 20 years. Mohammad Haji Naeem, a 60-year-old Afghan farmer shot during the rampage, cursed Bales before breaking down and asking prosecutors not to ask him any more questions. Another shooting victim, Rafiulla, talked about the pain of losing his grandmother. Seven Afghans testified to the court at a U.S. military base in Washington on August 20. Four were hurt in the attacks. Three others were relatives of the dead or wounded. Defense attorneys for Bales said on August that they would argue during the sentencing hearing that posttraumatic stress disorder and a brain injury were factors in the killings.
http://www.tolonews.com/The Afghan Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs, Martyrs and Disabled (MoLSAMD) said on Tuesday that a lack of employment opportunities and increasing rates of domestic violence are both compelling growing numbers of Afghans to leave the country in search of a better life abroad. And many of the emigrants are resettling in countries illegally. "Domestic violence, social and economic problems have forced many Afghans to emigrate. They have to live in harsh conditions as illegal immigrants, and many of them turn into drug addicts," said Wasel Noor Mohmand, Deputy Minister of MoLSAMD. Mr. Mohmand cited high unemployment amongst young Afghans as one of the key issues driving many to seek opportunities abroad, even without proper documentation or set plans for their future in destination countries. Afghanistan has one of the largest youngest demographics in the world, with 60% of its overall population under the age of 20. According to MoLSAMD officials, the other major cause of the flight of Afghans abroad is the rise in violence against women. Fleeing abuse at home, many Afghan women seek safety and a new life abroad. Last month the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) reported a rise in violence against women in 2013, saying that it registered over 2,500 cases in the first four months of the year alone. Yet because many of the young Afghan men and women who are migrating to other countries in search of a better life are doing so illegally, they are unable to live well when they reach their destinations. MoLSAMD officials said that many of the Afghan emigrants have to live in harsh conditions, often resulting in homelessness, panhandling and drug addiction. Officials from the Ministry of Emigration and Repatriation (MoER) also expressed their concerns over the sudden increase in emigration, saying that currently one out of four Afghans chooses to emigrate. "Three million Afghan women and children have migrated to 75 countries, and 70 percent of Afghans who live in Pakistan are below 18 years of age," said Abdul Samad Hami, Deputy Minister of MoER. In an effort to reduce the number of emigrants, several non-profit organizations dealing with emigration and the dangers of illegal immigration have started conducting awareness programmes in several provinces across the country. During the 1980s and 1990s, roughly six million Afghans fled the country for Pakistan and Iran. However, estimates put around five million returning to Afghanistan since the fall of the Taliban government.
A Pakistani army officer was killed and a soldier wounded after an exchange of fire across the de facto border with India, the Pakistani military said. According to the military sources, a captain was killed and another soldier was seriously injured when Indian forces opened “unprovoked fire” at Shakma sector near the town of Skardu on Tuesday night at 11:15pm local time. Pakistani troops responded to the firing and exchange of fire continued for several hours after midnight, said the sources. Recent weeks have seen an escalation in tensions between the two South Asian neighbours, with several soldiers killed on both sides of the border, which either side declares to be unilateral violations of a 2003 ceasefire by the other country.
A rare soccer game between neighboring arch-rivals Afghanistan and Pakistan on Tuesday may have been dubbed the “Friendship Match” but there was no love lost between the countries both on and off the field. Afghanistan may be ranked only 139th in the world by FIFA with Pakistan even lower on the list at 167th, but the game was still the hottest ticket in Kabul.
The recent ban on the screening of five Pashto films in the provincial capital has caused a controversy due to the government’s failure to legislate on matters related to motion pictures in the province.
The US Treasury on Tuesday set economic sanctions on a Pakistani madrassa (Islamic school) it branded a “terrorist training center” supporting Al Qaeda and the Taliban. The Treasury said the Ganj madrassa in Peshawar was being used as a training and recruiting base by the two militant groups, as well as the Lashkar-e-Taiba blamed for the November 2008 Mumbai attacks that killed 166 people. The head of the madrassa, Fazeel-A-Tul Shaykh Abu Mohammed Ameen Al-Peshawari, known as Shaykh Aminullah, has been a US and UN-designated terrorist since 2009, for his support for Al Qaeda and the Taliban. But it was the first time a madrassa – generally, schools managed under Islamic principles – has been the target of sanctions, which forbid any Americans from having any business interaction with it, and freeze any of its assets that come under US jurisdiction. “Today’s action is the first designation of a madrassa that is being abused by terrorist organisations,” the Treasury said in a statement. “This action does not generally target madrassas, which often play an essential role in improving literacy and providing humanitarian and developmental aid in many areas of the world, including Pakistan.” It said the Ganj school is a place “where students, under the guise of religious studies, have been radicalised to conduct terrorist and insurgent activities.” In addition, the Treasury set sanctions on Umar Siddique Kathio Azmarai, who it said has served as a facilitator and courier in the Al Qaeda organisation since the late 1990s, including providing support for the family of the now-dead Osama bin Laden.