Saturday, November 2, 2013

World rethinks opinion on Putin’s Russia

Russian President Vladimir Putin tops his US counterpart Barack Obama on the Forbes list for "world's most powerful person." The news has become one of the hottest topics in the world. Russian media are pleased with the ranking and public opinion in China also reacted positively. Proceeding from the nation's geopolitical interests, the Chinese public is willing to see a strong Russia, although Moscow is on a different road now. Most support the reversal of Putin and Obama in the Forbes list. Russia successfully challenged the US in the Edward Snowden affair and Syrian chemical weapons crisis. Mature diplomacy allows Moscow extraordinary clout beyond its national strength while, in contrast, Obama acted reluctantly and lacked decisiveness in making decision at the critical moment. The world now has to reflect on whether it underestimated Russia's strength and its resolution to use power. This year, Russia is having its heyday since the disintegration of the Soviet Union. Chinese society has rapidly increased their affection for Russia and Putin in recent years, which is good for cementing the China-Russia comprehensive strategic and cooperative partnership. The Chinese public needs to foster a thorough understanding of Russia and avoid any misinterpretation. It requires us to assess Russia and the bilateral relations objectively rather than building the evaluation upon our subjective preference. There is an expectation among the Chinese public that China and Russia should ally to counter the US. Some people even hope a formidable Russia could divert US pressure away from China. But we have to be clear that the comprehensive strategic and cooperative partnership between China and Russia is not a panacea for all difficulties facing China on the international stage. It forms a consolidated back-to-back strategic posture. But China has to count on itself to thrive on major strategic challenges. Russia won't engage in a confrontation with the US like the one in the Cold War era. The US has listed China as its top rival. It's unrealistic that some in China are anchoring their hope on Russia to assume a leading role in countering the US. Besides, Japan could directly ask for help from the US once a military clash between China and Japan breaks out, but China couldn't reckon on Russia. The rise of Russia will add its diplomatic ambition. China is likely to see new problems when dealing with a more assertive Russia. A rising Russian influence is worth applauding. It will speed up a multilateral world. The Chinese public congratulates Putin being anointed as the world's most influential person with sincerity. It shows the China-Russia comprehensive strategic and cooperative partnership has been deeply rooted in two societies.

Mehsud death: US says Pakistan-Taliban talks 'internal'

The US has responded to accusations from Pakistan that a drone strike that killed Pakistani Taliban leader Hakimullah Mehsud had destroyed the country's nascent peace process. A state department official said talks with the Taliban were an internal matter for Pakistan. The statement insisted Pakistan and the US had a "shared strategic interest in ending extremist violence". It also said it could still not confirm that Mehsud had been killed on Friday. Pakistan has summoned the US ambassador to protest over Friday's drone strike that killed Mehsud. The country's foreign minister, Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, said the strike on the local Taliban leader "is not just the killing of one person, it's the death of all peace efforts." It came a day before a Pakistani delegation had been due to fly to North Waziristan to meet Mehsud.
Taliban revenge
Mr Nisar accused the United States of "scuttling" efforts to begin peace talks, and said "every aspect" of Pakistan's co-operation with Washington would be reviewed. Information Minister Pervez Rashid said: "The US has tried to attack the peace talks with this drone but we will not let them fail." The US state department spokesman said: "The issue of whether to negotiate with TTP is an internal matter for Pakistan, and we refer you to the government of Pakistan for further details." The official added: "More broadly, the United States and Pakistan continue to have a vital, shared strategic interest in ending extremist violence so as to build a more prosperous, stable, and peaceful region. "We have an ongoing dialogue with Pakistan regarding all aspects of the relationship and our shared interests, including security and counterterrorism cooperation, and we work together to address each others' concerns." Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had pledged to talk with the Taliban to try to end its campaign of violence, which has left thousands dead in bombings and shootings across the country. Mehsud was killed along with four other people - including two of his bodyguards - when four missiles struck their vehicle in the north-western region of North Waziristan, a senior Taliban official told the BBC. Pakistani media say Mehsud's funeral has taken place at an unknown location in the tribal area of North Waziristan. A Pakistani Taliban spokesman, Azam Tariq, vowed revenge, as Pakistan's security forces were put on high alert. "Every drop of Hakimullah's blood will turn into a suicide bomber," he said. "America and their friends shouldn't be happy because we will take revenge for our martyr's blood." The Taliban's ruling council met on Saturday to choose a new leader. Unconfirmed reports say regional commander Khan Said Sajna has been elected to the top job. . The US said it had seen the reports but "cannot confirm one way or the other". The state department official also said: "We are not in a position to confirm reports that Hakimullah Mehsud may have been killed in Pakistan." As well as Mehsud, the previous Pakistan Taliban leader was killed in a drone strike, in 2009
Taliban setback
The US had a bounty of $5m on Mehsud's head. The state department described him as the head of the group which planned the failed bombing of Times Square in 2010 and said the Pakistani Taliban have a "symbiotic" relationship with al-Qaeda. Mehsud's death is seen as another setback for the militant group after the recent capture of a senior commander by US forces in Afghanistan. Mehsud led the insurgency from North Waziristan and was thought to be responsible for the deaths of thousands of people. He came to prominence in 2007 as a commander under the militant group's founder Baitullah Mehsud, with the capture of 300 Pakistani soldiers adding to his prestige among the militants. His second-in-command, Waliur Rehman, was killed in a similar drone strike in May. In a rare interview two weeks ago, Mehsud told the BBC he was open to "serious talks" with the government but said he had not yet been approached. Mehsud denied carrying out recent deadly attacks in public places, saying his targets were "America and its friends". He had loose control over more than 30 militant groups in Pakistan's tribal areas.

Pro-Taliban's Pakistan's Interior Minister, Chaudry Nisar's wife, children are US nationals

PUBLISHED September 11, 2011
Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N)’s leader of the opposition in National Assembly Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan assured the US in 2008 that he and his party were pro-American, according to a US embassy cable released by WikiLeaks. “Saying that his wife and children are in fact Americans, Nisar did admit that he went to the US Embassy in London to renew his daughter’s passport because he wanted to avoid being seen at the US Embassy in Islamabad.” More telling, however, is Khan’s stance on US military action within Pakistan, and how the PML-N would act to remain “publicly credible”. Nisar reportedly avoided saying that the PML-N opposed either air attacks or US ground action, contrary to its reaction over the May 2011 raid in Abbottabad by a US Navy SEALs team which killed al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden. “What he did say was that the PML-N would have to criticise the Government of Pakistan for allowing US action. Otherwise, said Nisar, the party would have no credibility with the people.” Nisar said that US policy needed to be more transparent as “confusion bred unhelpful conspiracy theories”. He also told US diplomats that former president Pervez Musharraf was seen as too pro-US and so was “tainted in Pakistani eyes”. The release of the US embassy and consulate cables in Pakistan has also highlighted how various politicians have lobbied American diplomats for support. From Maulana Fazlur Rehman, the leader of his own faction of the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI-F) to former foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, every major politician in Pakistan has looked to the diplomats for help.

Afghan belly dance

Rehle Rehle Na - Hindi Pop Indian Song by Hunterz

Music: Party Club Mix- 2013 Hip Hop R&B

Pakistan: In Defence of Drones

By Salman Zaidi
1st November, 2013 was about to pass as an ordinary day when I heard the news that the Tehreek e Taliban Pakistan (TTP) chief died in a drone strike, my happiness knew no bounds, but the news wasn’t confirmed yet and like many friends , I wanted the news to be true which later on did turn out to be true.
What followed afterwards was a mix reaction from the people as well as our leaders, Imran Khan, the chairman of PTI condemned the drone strike and blamed USA for sabotaging peace talks, Hafiz Saeed, the head of Jamaat ud Dawa (defunct Lashkar e Tayyaba) demanded from the government to shoot down drones as they violated our sovereignty, the foreign office as well the interior minister Chaudhary Nisar Ali Khan condemned the drone strike. Our Prime Minister returned from his visit to the US a week ago, drones were on his agenda as according to the popular opinion drones violate our sovereignty and kill innocent civilians, well before saying that I think our Prime Minister who also happens to be the Foreign Minister as well as the Defense Minister needs to understand what exactly the word “sovereignty” means, according to the dictionary, it means authority over a specific area, so going by that definition, can we say that we hold authority over those areas in which drone strikes occur ? Can an ordinary citizen like me go visit those areas without any hassle ? I guess even a 4th grader would say NO. So what is this fuss about sovereignty ? When the Government, Army and the political leaders want to talk peace with those who keep on killing us, they should be happy with the drones who are doing the dirty work for the Army. Hellfire Missiles fired from drones cause lesser damage than the missiles fired from F-16 or a JF-17 Thunder, we don’t have drone technology, we don’t want to go after these terrorists and when someone is eliminating them for us, we whine about it, no matter how hard we try, u can’t talk peace with savages, they were dislodged from Swat with a military action and not talks, same holds true for South Waziristan. Though we see news reports and researches telling that drones are lethal and kill innocents but there are people from the same tribal areas who call the same drones “Safeenay Farishtay” or white angels because they know they will eliminate terrorists. So I would believe those tribal people more than these reports and researches since no journalists are allowed to go there so these reports can never be accurate. From the past many days and particularly when Hakimullah Mehsud was killed, there were people telling me not to celebrate because drones kill innocent people as well, my question for them is, why would innocent people live with the Taliban, either those “innocent people” are Taliban themselves or their accomplices. Secondly, the government of Pakistan has released the data about the number of innocent people killed in drone strikes, which is 67, I can guarantee this toll would have been way higher, had we bombarded the same areas with our warplanes, we keep on ranting about violation of our sovereignty and killings of innocents in drone strikes, yet we do nothing to dislodge and eliminate those elements due to which drone strikes occur. Is it not the failure of the political as well as the armed leadership that they have not destroyed these terrorist safe havens, it is because of them the “innocents” are dying in drone strikes and our sovereignty too is being violated. We are still treating FATA in the same way British treated it more than a century ago, the world has changed, the tribals wish to be included in the mainstream Pakistani diaspora which is evident from the ANP tribal jirga held 4 years ago in which tribal elders were of the view that FATA should either be made a separate province with complete provincial status or it should be merged into Khyber Pakhtunkha. So I guess it would be wiser to put our house in order before complaining about drone strikes, I would call it a violation of our sovereignty the day state of Pakistan would be able to exercise authority over FATA and it will be free of terrorists. Until then, I am sorry, at least I won’t be the one complaining about drone strikes.
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President Obama's Weekly Address: Passing a Budget that Reflects our Priorities

Thousands of Iraqi Shia Sunni and Kurd killed by Saudi funded Al Qaeda groups

The silence of the western press at over a thousand Iraqi’s dead in the last month alone is absolutely condemnable. This is giving the space to the the continued Massive funding of Al Qaeda type groups in Syria and their spillover into Iraq. This is while the United Nations figures suggest that July has been the bloodiest month in the country since 2008, with a total of 1,057 Iraqis, including 928 civilians, killed and another 2,326 wounded in terrorist attacks. On Thursday, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki called for a global effort to battle the “virus” of al-Qaeda and similar terrorist groups.
“If we have had two world wars, we want a third world war against those who are killing people, killing populations, who are calling for bloodshed, for ignorance and do not want logic to govern our daily lives,” said Maliki.
The Iraqi prime minister dismissed the idea that Iraq is grappling with sectarian violence, stressing that all, including Shia and Sunni Muslims as well as the Kurds, “are targeted.”
Nuri kamal al-Maliki, Prime Minister of Iraq is arriving in Washington D.C., to seek U.S. assistance in enhancing the capabilities of his armed forces to tackle the home grown acts of terror and bloodshed in his country. Al-Qaida ( Islamic state of Iraq in Syria), Nakshbandi branch of Sufi order, and a few other Islamist Jehadi groups are attempting, for the past several years, to topple Mr. Maleki and his legitimately elected government in Iraq. The number in killings of both Shia & Sunni Muslims continue to spiral, as the foreign fighters from Syrian war are joining the Iraqi insurgents in droves. Tarek al-Hashemi, the fugitive vice-president of Iraq, who has been masterminding and acting as the chief implementer of non-stop acts of terrorism in Iraq is shuttling between Doha, Qatar and istanbul to fund and arm the Salafi Cannibals of Iraq. You do not have to be a high fluting Phd in the fields of either Political Science or International Relations to guess that the evil empire of satanic Saudis are behind all this most devastating debacle. After utilizing Afghanistan and Pakistan as their initial laboratories for exporting Salafi doctrine and then failing miserably in both of those countries, Saudi Arabia moved into Iraq, immediately after the ouster of Saddam in 2003. According to the U.S. intelligence reports Saudi Arabia was a major culprit in terms of number of Jehadis and treasure, it invested in creating chaos, bloodshed and destruction just to ensure that Iraqi Shia do not get an upper hand in the future of that liberated land. The most powerful U.S. forces assisted by a nascent Iraqi army, decapitated the countless Saudi sponsored terrorist gangs. Once these satanic Saudi schemes failed as well, they began baiting and bribing individuals such as Tarek al-Hashemi in the tunes of millions of dollars to dislodge Nuri kamal al-Maleki. Now this enclosed news item that appeared in yesterday’s New York Times about a group of U.S. senators from both sides of the isle, attempting to turn the table on Iraqi government calling it sectarian, inept to govern and the cause for disenchantment of Iraqi Sunnis who are joining Al-Qaida. This sort of rhetoric will neither resonate with a majority in the Muslim world, nor the U.S administration and its policy makers will pay any heed to these senseless sermons from a bunch of Senators who are being harassed by the Saudi interest groups that are quite depressed with respect to their recent setbacks in Syria and Islamic republic of Iran. Saudi global lobby, however, particularly here in the U.S is busy working around the clock and it has millions if not billions of dollars at its disposal to influence whomever it wishes to. They are quite savvy and they know how to work our system !
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Kerry says in some cases US spying 'reached too far'

The United States has said in some cases its surveillance program has gone too far, an unprecedented admission in its tense row with Europe over US spying against allies. After 10 days of scandal with key European allies, a statement Thursday by Secretary of State John Kerry was the first to explicitly acknowledge overstepping by US intelligence. Kerry justified the surveillance in broad terms, citing the September 11, 2001 terror attacks in the United States, as well as attacks in London, Madrid and elsewhere to argue that the US and other countries have had to come together to fight "extremism in the world that is hell-bent and determined to try to kill people and blow people up and attack governments." He said US intelligence has since 2001 averted attacks with intercepts of communications. But he acknowledged, without going into specifics, that at times it has been too much. Kerry also sought to give assurances that such steps, which have roiled close allies like Germany, would not be repeated."I assure you, innocent people are not being abused in this process, but there's an effort to try to gather information," Kerry told a London conference via video link. "And yes, in some cases, it has reached too far inappropriately." "And the president, our president, is determined to try to clarify and make clear for people, and is now doing a thorough review in order that nobody will have the sense of abuse," he said. Kerry added that what Washington was trying to do was, in a "random way," find ways of determining if there were threats that needed responding to. "And in some cases, I acknowledge to you, as has the president, that some of these actions have reached too far, and we are going to make sure that does not happen in the future," he said. Recent allegations and reports of widespread spying by the US National Security Agency have sparked a major rift in trans-Atlantic ties.This week German Chancellor Angela Merkel angrily confronted President Barack Obama with allegations that the NSA was snooping on her phone, saying it would amount to a "breach of trust." A German intelligence delegation and a separate group of EU lawmakers were in the US capital Wednesday to confront their American allies about the alleged bugging. Kerry's remarks -- released in a State Department transcript -- came in response to a question addressed to both him and British Foreign Secretary William Hague about government surveillance. Kerry spent a good portion of his answer justifying the collection of data as necessary due to the threat of terrorism and suggested Washington was not alone in doing so. "Many, many, many parts of the world have been subject to these terrorist attacks," he said."And in response to them, the United States and others came together -- others, I emphasize to you -- and realized that we're dealing in a new world where people are willing to blow themselves up." He added: "We have actually prevented airplanes from going down, buildings from being blown up, and people from being assassinated because we’ve been able to learn ahead of time of the plans." Kerry also lashed out at some of the reporting about alleged spying, sparked by leaks from fugitive former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, wanted by Washington on espionage charges. "Just the other day... there was news in the papers of 70 million people being listened to. No, they weren't. It didn't happen," Kerry said. "There's an enormous amount of exaggeration in this reporting from some reporters out there."US intelligence chiefs have said these reports are based on a misinterpretation of an NSA slide leaked to the media by Snowden. Rather than siphoning off the records of tens of millions of calls in Europe, as the slide seems to suggest, they argue that the data was in many cases gathered and shared by European agencies. Still, fresh US spy allegations keep cropping around the world on a near daily basis. Indonesia summoned the Australian ambassador in Jakarta Friday over a "totally unacceptable" report that his embassy was among diplomatic posts in Asia being used in a vast American surveillance operation. The Sydney Morning Herald newspaper, amplifying an earlier report by the German magazine Der Spiegel, said earlier this week that a top-secret map leaked by Snowden showed 90 US surveillance facilities at diplomatic missions worldwide. The paper also reported that Australian embassies in Asia were being used as part of the US-led spying network. On Wednesday, meanwhile, a report in the Washington Post alleged that NSA technicians had tapped into Yahoo and Google data centers around the world, winning access to vast amounts of private data. The report said a program dubbed MUSCULAR, operated with the NSA's British counterpart GCHQ, can intercept data directly from the fiber-optic cables used by the US Internet giants.

U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan links aid to BSA: local media

The ambassador of United States to Afghanistan, James Cunningham, has linked his country's assistance to inking security pact known as Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA) between Kabul and Washington, local newspapers reported on Saturday. "Ambassador Cunningham on Wednesday said the United States has many beneficial programs for Afghanistan's future, but none will be implemented if the BSA is not signed," citing the ambassador, local newspaper Hasht-e-Subh wrote in its Saturday edition. According to the newspaper, the ambassador, in talks with journalists on Wednesday, categorically stated that "granting immunity to American soldiers is essential in BSA," noting U.S. soldiers enjoy the right in any country of the world they stationed. Furthermore, he pointed out that the U.S. Constitution mandates soldiers stationed abroad be under U.S. jurisdiction. Quoting the U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan, the paper also said "the United States would halt aid to Afghanistan security forces if BSA was not finalized." Allaying the concerns of Afghan government, the ambassador noted that the United States does not want any of its soldiers to go unpunished for wrongdoing. Another newspaper, the Daily Mandegar, also reported in its Saturday edition that Cunningham categorically stated on Wednesday that the U.S. economic and security programs in Afghanistan are inter-linked and their implementation is conditioned to inking the BSA between Kabul and Washington, noting if the agreement is not finalized and inked, the U.S. aid to Afghanistan will not be continued in the future.

Afghanistan: Presidential Candidate Naeem Talks Pakistan, Corruption and BSA

In exclusive interview with TOLOnews, Presidential candidate Sardar Muhammad Nadir Naeem said that it was imperative for Afghanistan's future to develop closer relations with Pakistan and curtail systemic corruption. He also expressed hope that the Kabul-Washington Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA) would be finalized soon.
Naeem was one of the 10 Presidential candidates who made the Independent Election Commission's (IEC) preliminary list last Tuesday. He is the nephew of former Afghan President Mohammad Daoud Khan. In the interview, Naeem acknowledged that improving relations between Kabul and Islamabad faced numerous obstacles, but was optimistic about their future. "We haven't reached a consensus with Pakistan over the issue of the Durand Line and water rights, but I believe that Pakistan is willing to forge friendly relations with Afghanistan in the long term," said Naeem. "We also need to settle the issue of refugees and pave the ground for their return." His comments come as President Hamid Karzai meets with Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and British Prime Minister David Cameron in London for trilateral talks. Although the focus of the meeting will be the Taliban peace process, the leaders are also expected to discuss relations between the South Asian neighbors more broadly. Naeem spoke about Afghanistan's struggle against pervasive corruption. Earlier this year, Transparency International ranked the Afghan judiciary as the most corrupt judicial system in the world. Responding to a question about administrative corruption, Naeem said that the country's fight against graft needed to be led first and foremost at the upper echelons of leadership. "We can't eliminate corruption in general, water should be clean from the source," said Naeem. "Honest and patriotic individuals should be placed in higher offices." Naeem also said that the signing of the BSA was important for Afghanistan and that he strongly felt that the people would endorse the agreement so long as it was in line with the national interests of the country. TOLOnews will be conducting interviews with each one of the 10 Presidential candidates approved by the Independent Election Commission (IEC) in the coming weeks.

Al-Qaeda recruits entering Syria from Turkey safehouses
By Ruth Sherlock
Foreign jihadists - including Britons - are flooding into Syria to join al-Qaeda from safe houses in Turkey
Hundreds of al-Qaeda recruits are being kept in safe houses in southern Turkey, before being smuggled over the border to wage “jihad” in Syria, The Daily Telegraph has learned. The network of hideouts is enabling a steady flow of foreign fighters - including Britons - to join the country’s civil war, according to some of the volunteers involved. These foreign jihadists have now largely eclipsed the “moderate” wing of the rebel Free Syrian Army, which is supported by the West. Al-Qaeda’s ability to use Turkish territory will raise questions about the role the Nato member is playing in Syria’s civil war. Turkey has backed the rebels from the beginning - and its government has been assumed to share the West’s concerns about al-Qaeda. But experts say there are growing fears over whether the Turkish authorities may have lost control of the movement of new al-Qaeda recruits - or may even be turning a blind eye. ”Every day there are Mujahideen coming here from all different nationalities,” said Abu Abdulrahman, a Jordanian volunteer managing the flow of foreign fighters. He handles a network of receiving centres in southern Turkey for volunteers wishing to join al-Qaeda’s branch in Syria, known as “the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant” (ISIL).He spoke from inside an al-Qaeda safe house, using the Skype account of an intermediary and with volunteers from several countries, including Britain, listening in. Once the volunteer reaches Turkey, there are “procedures” before he can join al-Qaeda, explained Abu Abdulrahman: “If you want to enter, you have to be a proper Muslim. We have to research you to make sure you are not a spy. If you are foreign, someone in our network needs to recommend you,” he said. These hideouts are generally apartments rented under false names in villages along Turkey’s frontier with Syria. The recruits sometimes wait for weeks until they are cleared to cross the border. The homes are also used as “rest houses” for al-Qaeda fighters from the frontline in Syria. Perhaps 10,000 foreign fighters may now be in Syria, according to analysts. Some are hardened veterans of the Iraq war; others are young “first-time jihadists” - with a significant proportion from Western countries. Abu Abdullah, an Australian volunteer, said that he left to fight in Syria because a “Western lifestyle stands against Islam”. He was also repelled by the atrocities of President Bashar al-Assad’s regime. “When you see the women and children - any human being - being shot or raped or killed in front of their fathers and families, just because they pray to Allah, you have to be moved by the humanity of it. Prophet Mohammed said if one part of the body is wounded, then the whole body is sleepless. If just one person is injured and something goes against Islam, we must react.” But Abu Abdullah faltered as he tried to recall a passage from the Koran: “I am sorry, I am not the most knowledgeable of Muslims. Allah forgive me for that,” he said. Charles Lister, from IHS Jane’s, a defence consultancy, said: “There are strong suggestions that the number of foreign jihadists in Syria is increasing. Definitely taking a look at the nature of ISIL presence, the geographical spread of foreigners is expanding. This is likely to do with the ease with which recruits can cross the border.” Another analyst said that Turkey was “turning a blind eye” to the number of foreign fighters entering Syria across its territory, including through Antakya, the capital of the border province of Hatay. The result, he added, was that jihadists had become a “thorn” in Turkey’s side, seizing de facto control of towns and villages near the border. Turkish officials vehemently deny this, blaming the influx on the failure of the international community to settle the Syrian war. “We have never been soft on this issue. We do not tolerate the presence of extremists and terrorist elements on our soil,” said one Turkish official. “If jihadists have crossed, it has been without our knowledge and out of our control. The presence of extremists in Syria is a common concern for Turkey and other countries - and the reason why the numbers of jihadists continues to grow in Syria is because of the failure of the international community to solve the crises at hand.” The official appealed to foreign countries not to "just point the blame" at Turkey, and to work to tighten surveillance on citizens that might want to travel to Syria: "Unless we are given information that these people are al-Qaeda members, people from a terrorist organisation, what legal basis do we have to stop them if they travel on a valid passport?" Turkish police are seeking to close down the al-Qaeda safe houses, running raids on the apartments when intelligence about an al-Qaeda presence is gleaned. And the Turkish authorities have started improving the quality of border controls. But with more than 560 miles of shared frontier between Turkey and Syria, and with the sheer number of foreign jihadists arriving in the country, they have, so far, been unable to stem the pipeline. If the police detain someone, they are unable to imprison them or send deport them back to a home country because it is difficult to prove that they are an ISIL member, one jihadi gloated. In the border town of Kilis, three hours drive from Antakya, jihadists feel comfortable enough to sip coffee in the lobbies of hotels murmuring quietly to their colleagues. This week the Telegraph spoke to one a member of ISIL in one of these hotels. Whether Turkey wants to or not, "she has been very good to us," the jihadi, who wouldn't be named, said, with a wink.

Report: Al-Qaeda Militia enter Syria from Safe Houses in Turkey

Hundreds of al-Qaeda recruits have found safe houses in Southern Turkey before entering Syria, the Daily Telegraph reported, citing volunteers who help smuggle the new recruits. “Every day there are mujahedeen [jidahists] coming here from all different nationalities,” Abu Abdulrahman, a Jordanian volunteer, told the newspaper. Abu Abdulrahman manages a network of receiving centers in Southern Turkey for volunteers wishing to join al-Qaeda’s branch in Syria, known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). Speaking from an al-Qaeda safe house, Abu Abdulrahman used a Skype account of an intermediary and with volunteers from several countries - including Britain - listening in, the newspaper said. Abu Abdulrahman gave further details on the “procedures” that are undertaken when a volunteer reaches Turkey and joins the al-Qaeda. “If you want to enter, you have to be a proper Muslim. We have to research you to make sure you are not a spy. If you are foreign, someone in our network needs to recommend you,” he said. Many of the hideouts are apartments rented under false names in Turkish villages bordering Syria. According to the newspaper, “the recruits sometimes wait for weeks until they are cleared to cross the border.”

Two Pakistani Christians Brothers Booked in Blaspheme Case

Third Case of Blasphemy in One month ,Tariq Yousaf and Arif Yousaf have been falsely accused under blasphemy at Thatha Faqir Ullah, a Christian Colony, Wazirabad city, District Gujranwala, near Lahore, bearing FIR Number 533/13 in Sadar Police station Wazirabad. We [WVIP] were informed by one of our Friends and a Human Rights Activist, Khalid Shahzad, that there is a tensed situation in Wazirabad. The team of WVIP led by Advocate Salvance Jacob immediately left for Wazirabad along with Mr. Khalid Shahzad, where the relatives of Tariq and Arif requested us to provide legal assistance to both the accused. There was a fear and tension amongst the Christians of the village Fariq Ullah but our team of lawyers and Mr. Khaild Shahzed assured them that they will not let this village be like a Gojra or Joseph colony.
Fr. Tanveer john (Greek Orthodox Church) and brother Rehmat also encouraged the local people. The role of the Church was Extremely Positive. Police arrested Arif, however Tariq escaped. Later on Police arrested Waris Masih, another brother of Tariq yousaf. Arif and Waris both are working in Pakistan Railways, Whereas Tariq worked at Cutlery factory and in part time he used to make Firecrackers. Few days ago there was wedding in the village. Khurram Shahzed (Complainant of the FIR) bought some firecrackers from Tariq. According to Khurram “ the crackers didn’t crack and when i opened them I saw that the crackers were made with the Koranic Pages Which was also witnessed by Tajjamul Butt and Muhammad Waris “. Within no time they caught Tariq and beat him at the main road but some of the Muslims and Christians intervened and solved the issue through dialogues. Even the Complainant and other Muslims stated that they have forgiven him and further stated that if Tariq has done something wrong God will punish him. It is strange that even after settling the issue what made Khurram to register an FIR against Tariq and Arif after 4 days of the incident. There was a Rumor that after the Friday prayers there will be a strong reaction by the Muslim neighborhood. However with the wise step taken by the WVIP –Legal team and our Friend Khalid Shahzad we were able to submit the protection application for the Christian community of Thatha Fariq Uallah . Today, Since Morning our team was in action to safeguard and protect the tensed Christian Community. Station House Officer Sami-Ullah Khan and ASP Fazal-e-Haq played a Positive role in safe-guarding the Christian community. Our Legal Head Advocate Salvance Jacob, who was leading the WVIP team in Fariq-Uallah informed us that the Station House Office and the Imam of the Mosque showed a very commendable response. Even the Imam of the Mosque announced from the Loud-Speaker that anyone who harms any Christian property or person shall be strictly treated according to the law. The police remained there till 4 P.M and thanks to God that No critical Situation occurred. We have observed that some of the NGOs and people were creating frustration in the Community that the Mosques are announcing to attack Christians which is absolutely Incorrect. Some of them even started sending Text messages that Fariq –uallah is under threat. We would request our Christian brothers that please do not exaggerate the Situation, yes there was a tension but not like Gojra and Joseph Colony.
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Balochistan: Sectarian violence: Six Hazaras slain in Mach

The Express Tribune
Gunmen mowed down six coal miners on Friday in a sectarian motivated attack in Mach town, about 90 kilometres from Quetta. Another miner was seriously wounded in the assault. The coal miners were members of the Hazara community. Waheed Shah, deputy commissioner in Kach district, said that the seven men were on their way back from Mach bazaar when they were attacked by unidentified assailants on a motorcycle. “The victims were Hazara labourers and Shia Muslims,” confirmed Shah. “It is clearly a targeted killing on sectarian basis.” Shah explained that every Friday the miners would go to the bazaar for grocery shopping. The crime scene was seven kilometres off the main highway. “The armed men opened fire at their vehicle just as they crossed a huge nulla,” Shah said, adding that the killers managed to flee. The Balochistan Levies and other security forces reached the spot shortly after the incident, and immediately cordoned off the area. The deceased were later identified as Ali Nigar, Zaamen, Hakeem, Bolan Misteri and Ibrahim. “Their bodies have been sent to Quetta for burial while the injured miner, Juma Khan, is admitted at Combined Military Hospital Quetta,” a Levies official said. Khan is currently in a critical condition. In the past, the banned militant outfit Lashkar-e-Jhangvi has claimed responsibility for similar attacks on Shias but, so far, no group has come forward to own this particular incident. Last week, an attempt was made to blow up a convoy of buses carrying Shia pilgrims on the National Highway in Dringar, Mastung. Although the pilgrims remained unhurt, two Frontier Corps personnel died when an explosive device placed in a car went off. Just a few days ago, police and other security forces held a meeting to form a security plan for the month of Muharram.

Nawaz Sharif’s foreign trips and his need at home

THIS weekend Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif completes 150 days in his office. In these five months, the chief executive of the country spent one month abroad on one private and five official visits. Only June, his first month in office, saw him at home - as if the enormity of problems facing the nation had left him thunderstruck and immobilised. But come July his foreign visits started - as if the solutions lay there. That contrasted sharply with his PML-N teammates’ tall claims that the party had come to power the third time well prepared with homemade remedies. In the first week of July, he undertook a five-day visit to China, the time-tested friend of Pakistan, indeed a friend in need. The next month PM Nawaz Sharif went on a six-day private visit to Saudi Arabia for Umra, the lesser pilgrimage that brings more blessings if undertaken during Ramazan as he did. The pilgrimage also provided him the opportunity to put his nation’s economic woes to the Saudi monarchy, which had played host when he was in political exile in the holy land. For sure, the pilgrimage brought him political gains as in his absence a PML-N leader petitioned the Supreme Court to put off the date of presidential election and the court upheld the request. That made the PPP, PML-N’s main rival, boycott the rescheduled election. PM Nawaz Sharif travelled to Turkey in September to seek help in overcoming his economic woes. The number of commercial agreements that the visit produced in the energy and transport sectors made Turkey look a new partner and hope in economic revival of Pakistan. However, the talk on the grapevine is that the warming up of economic relations reflects the Sharif family’s business interests more than economic sense. PM Nawaz Sharif’s next two trips to the US, spanning September and October, were seriously important as both entailed consequences for the nation. But his first important meeting there in September, with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly’s annual session, ended in a faux pas over “village hags”. His all-important meeting with President Barack Obama in October brought US aid and support to Pakistan, but also shame. A cartoon in the New York Times summed up the result by showing Obama, with a remote control in his hand, releasing a sackful of dollars from a drone to the Pakistani prime minister waiting on the ground. At home, the refrain was that PM Nawaz Sharif was going to demand a stop to drone attacks on Pakistani territory. In November, the prime minister is scheduled to visit Sri Lanka and Thailand. Foreign visits have become more important for heads of governments in the globalised world, but not at the cost of less attention to, or ignoring, problems at home. If PM Sharif keeps his current pace, he may surpass the 40 plus foreign visits his PPP predecessor Yousuf Raza Gilani undertook in his four years in the office. Critics of the PML-N government link its perceived inattention to the pressing domestic issues to the prime minister’s frequent absence abroad. Last Tuesday, PML-Q Senator Kamil Ali Agha particularly noted Mr Sharif’s oft visits to London. “Prime Minister has gone to London six times. Has our capital shifted to London?” he asked in the Senate. Leader of the opposition, Syed Khurshid Shah, also has repeatedly accused the PM of spending too little time in Islamabad. He has a point because even when in the country the prime minister’s preferred place is Lahore. What disturbs the opposition most is that non-selection of chairpersons of the National Assembly standing committees has virtually held the parliament hostage for long. State minister of parliamentary affairs Sheikh Aftab assures every time the issue is raised that the proposed names for the committees’ heads are lying with the prime minister and he would finalise them “on his return from abroad”. However, the situation remains that no legislation can be undertaken because the standing committees are dysfunctional without their heads. For instance, the important Public Accounts Committee of the National Assembly is unable to scrutinise the questionable expenditures made by the previous governments because the PM has not approved its chairperson. Scores of national entities are awaiting appointment of their chief executives. For example, Pakistan International Airline (PIA), Pakistan Steel Mills and Pakistan Television are being run on ad hoc basis. Likewise other national issues are not receiving due attention of the government. While, the hydra-headed monster of terrorism has become existential threat to the country for many, the government is yet to implement visibly the all parties-mandated talks with the Taliban. PTI’s Imran Khan said last week that he had asked the prime minister to stay in the country and play his leading role, instead of going on foreign tours. Although government members defend the PM’s visits by asking how could he avoid meeting President Obama and other world leaders when a complex situation would be emerging for Pakistan after Nato and US forces leave Afghanistan next year? But the critics ask: “Shouldn’t he appoint a foreign minister to deal with the other mundane issues and other countries?” The country needs his presence more than foreign capitals, they say.

Imran should hold his horses

No media organisation has the right to dictate what strategies or policies a political party ought to adopt to advance its ideology or gain popularity. If any criticism has to be offered in this regard, it should be within the parameters of national interests and constitutional requirement. With this understanding the following lines are offered regarding the stances taken by PTI chief Imran Khan regarding peace talks with the Tehrik Taliban Pakistan (TTP). Recently, the PTI chief has threatened that if the federal government did not talk with the Taliban, his party\'s government in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) would begin the dialogue; secondly, that if drone attacks did not stop, his party would prevent Nato trucks from passing through KP. His well-publicised and as much well- criticised outrageous demand for office for the terrorists in Islamabad is also not to be forgotten. Imran should consider the scenario if and when a district or tehsil or a village government in KP forcibly, instead of legally, stops work on a project approved by the province or obstruct the provincial government officials from carrying out their duties. Would it not be chaotic if that happens in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and would not the provincial government consider the act of the local government\'s elected officials as mutiny; even, though the action would be against the authorities of a unit of the federation and not against the federal authorities. It was legally allowed and politically correct to organise demonstrations and sit-ins against Nato supplies when the PTI was not in government. But if the party\'s government in KP tries to stop trucks allowed by Islamabad or if it tries to make peace with the enemies of Pakistan on the provincial level without the consent and participation of the federal government, it will be interfering in the legal functions of the centre and exceeding its mandate which is limited only to provincial matters. While The Frontier Post has time and against expressed extreme opposition and revulsion to drone attacks, it also opposes illegal obstruction to carrying out the orders or any activity generally allowed by any legitimate and relevant authority in Pakistan. This paper holds the view that if a law has been incorrectly implemented, the proper forum to correct the situation is court and if the law itself seems unjust to anybody, the proper forum to amend or completely change or erase it is the relevant assembly. As such if the PTI government either interrupts the Nato supplies against the will of the central government or starts talks with Taliban without the centre\'s consent, it will tantamount to pitting the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa against the federation; it will be usurping the constitutional mandate of the federal government and at this stage this country cannot afford constitutional crises. This paper has been a severe critic of the Nawaz Sharif government because if its anti-poor economic policies but what Imran Khan is proposing goes beyond opposing the PML-N setup in the centre; rather, his threats if acted upon will negatively effect the state of Pakistan and this is unbearable. The PTI chief\'s stance on the issue of office for TTP in Pakistan is well-known and so is the criticism of it. Suffice to say that what Imran Khan was asking by demanding an office for the militants amounted to legitimizing the status of the miscreants. Without doubt PTI has become political force to reckon with and the credit for creating such a popular party out of nothing goes solely to Imran Khan. His tactics and strategies of the past have resulted in winning enough seats in the KP assembly to form a government in the province. Having said that, Khan and his party has to come out of the election mode. The PTI government should be concentrating more on the issues facing the unfortunate people of KP who have given the party enough votes to rule the province. The law and order situation, minus the acts of terrorism, has not improved and by some accounts has deteriorated in KP. There has been no purging of the corrupt officials in the provincial government; rather, there have been accusations and in fact undeniable instances of nepotism and favouritism in the province. It is true that most of the raise in prices has been because of the policies of Islamabad, the PTI provincial government, however, has not been able to control the unjustified upward surge in prices in the retail market. The education service in the government and private schools and colleges, health service in government and private hospitals; traffic in almost all parts of the province; supply of clean drinking water, irrigation, and sanitations in cities, towns and villages are as bad, if not worse, as when the PTI government took over. PTI setup should have improved the situation in KP so markedly and showcased it for the people in other provinces to see. However, instead of proving to the people of KP that PTI\'s win in polls is well-deserved, the PTI leader and the PTI administration are meddling in matters that are under the jurisdiction of Islamabad. This attitude does not augur well either for the province or the country.

TTP terrorist Hakeemullah Mehsud Deobandi killed! Imran Khan, Nawaz Sharif, Ansar Abbasi, Najam Sethi declare 40-day mourning period. Congrats to Pakistani nation!
It has now been confirmed by a Taliban Spokesman that the chief of banned Deobandi Taliban outfit Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), Hakimullah Mehsood has been killed in a US drone attack. One can expect a pall of gloom on Imran Khan and his followers in Pakistani Tehreek e Insaf and right winged media personalities like Ansar Abbasi, Orya Maqbool Jan, Kamran Khan etc who have been the biggest proponents stopping drone attacks as they cause civilian casualties and it is in reaction of this that we see suicide bombers in Pakistan and terrorism in the country. One can expect a lot of contradictory statements from Imran Khan. Commiserations are also due to pro-establishment fake liberals including Ejaz Haider, Najam Sethi and other such species of TFT Blog and Jinnah Institute. Coming to the PML-N, their politics is also expected to be affected. What will their foreign policy be all about as drone attacks continue to eliminate the enemies and high value targets.Again, apologies to all the right wingers whose rants and politics all revolves around drone attacks and appeasing the Taliban!
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