Sunday, November 24, 2013
By THOMAS ERDBRINK The smiling started early in Tehran on Sunday, when President Hassan Rouhani kissed a young schoolgirl in an Islamic head scarf before dozens of cameras, signaling that Iran’s future had taken a new turn.
The Chinese government on Saturday issued a statement on establishing the East China Sea Air Defense Identification Zone. The move, however, provoked anger in Japan, which accused China of "one-sidedly" setting up the zone that covers the disputed Diaoyu islands, and described the zone as "totally unacceptable." Having no intention to generate tensions, China's move is to uphold its own legitimate rights and safeguard what has always been its own. As pointed out by many military experts, the establishment of the air zone is a necessary, rightful and totally legitimate measure taken by China in protecting its sovereignty and providing air security. Actually, the establishment of the air zone is not only perfectly legitimate, but also in line with current international practice. An air defense identification zone is established by a maritime nation to guard against potential air threats. Since the 1950s, more than 20 countries, including the United States, Australia, Germany and Japan itself, have successively established such zones. China's Defense Ministry spokesman Yang Yujun has stressed that the zone "has no particular target and will not affect the freedom of flight in relevant airspace." Since the zone is both in line with the UN Charter and in respect of relevant international laws and customs, China has every right to decide on its own whether to set up such zones, without getting permission from any other countries. And Japan should know better than to continue its overreaction and learn to accept the "unacceptable." On Saturday, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry also voiced concerns over the zone, fearing it might "constitute an attempt to change the status quo in the East China Sea," and increase tensions and risks in the region. But is it China to blame for upsetting the status quo over the islands? The status quo of the Diaoyu islands, which had lasted for decades under the principle of shelving the dispute, has already been broken more than one year ago when the Japanese government launched a unilateral move to "purchase" and "nationalize" the islands. The farce of "buying" the Chinese territories is a sign of Japan's expanding nationalism and growing belligerence, which should be identified as the real danger in the region. Instead of "increasing tensions and creating risks," the setup of China's air zone could contribute much to regional peace and security by curbing the increasing rampancy of Japan's right-wing forces, as well as the continuous and dangerous provocations of Japanese politicians, which even Washington should be vigilant against. The White House has repeatedly said that the United States does not take a position on territorial disputes between China and Japan, a neutral stance the Chinese government has appreciated. But keeping a blind eye to the dangerous tendency in Japan could prove to be risky and might even jeopardize the U.S. national interests.
The nuclear deal reached between Iran and six world powers early Sunday morning was “a historic mistake,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday, excoriating the agreement and vowing to keep Tehran from getting a nuclear weapon. “What was accomplished last night in Geneva is not a historic agreement; it’s a historic mistake,” Netanyahu said at the start of Sunday morning’s weekly cabinet meeting. “Today the world has become much more dangerous, because the most dangerous regime in the world took a meaningful step toward acquiring the most dangerous weapon in the world.” Netanyahu’s remarks came just hours after Iranian delegates and world powers reached a first-step accord in Geneva aimed at easing Western concerns that Tehran could one day attain nuclear weapons. “For the first time the world’s leading powers agreed to the enrichment of uranium in Iran, while ignoring the Security Council resolutions that they themselves championed,” the prime minister said. “These sanctions have been removed for cosmetic Iranian concessions that can be canceled in weeks. This agreement and what it means threaten many countries, and including, of course, Israel. Israel is not bound by this agreement. The regime in Iran is committed to Israel’s destruction and Israel has the right and responsibility to defend itself, by itself, against any threat.” He added that Israel would not allow Iran to develop nuclear weapons. Netanyahu was expected to speak by phone with US President Barack Obama later in the day, Reuters reported. Netanyahu has been vocal on the world stage in his criticism of a deal with Iran. In his UN General Assembly speech in September, Netanyahu blasted Iranian President Hassan Rouhani as a “wolf in sheep’s clothing” and warned the US against mistaking a change in Iran’s tone with an actual change in nuclear ambitions. The Israeli leader subsequently denounced the potential nuclear agreement as the “deal of the century” for Iran. President Shimon Peres released a less fiery statement Sunday saying that Israel prefers diplomacy but the deal “will be judged by results, not by words.” Addressing the Iranian people, Peres said, “You are not our enemies and we are not yours. There is a possibility to solve this issue diplomatically. It is in your hands. Reject terrorism. Stop the nuclear program. Stop the development of long-range missiles. Israel like others in the international community prefers a diplomatic solution.” “The international community will not tolerate a nuclear Iran,” Peres concluded. “And if the diplomatic path fails, the nuclear option will be prevented by other means. The alternative is far worse.” The deal limits continued Iranian enrichment of uranium to 5 percent in exchange for eased sanctions. A White House official said the deal included an agreement that Iran would halt progress on its nuclear program, including a plutonium reactor at the Arak facility. The deal also calls on Iran to neutralize its 20-percent-enriched uranium stockpiles. Tehran has also agreed to intrusive inspections under the terms of the deal. US Secretary of State John Kerry, who joined the final negotiations along with the foreign ministers of Russia, China, France, Britain and Germany, said the pact will make US allies in the Middle East, including Israel, safer by reducing the threat of war. Netanyahu’s words came after a morning which saw a bevy of Israeli ministers criticize the deal, with only a handful of lawmakers backing it. Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman said the agreement had created a ”new reality in the whole Middle East, including the Saudis.” When asked if this would lead to an Israeli military strike on Iran, Liberman said Israel “would need to make different decisions.” Home Front Command Minister Gilad Erdan told Army Radio that it would now be more difficult for Israel to act for the duration of the six-month agreement. Intelligence Minister Yuval Steinitz, who is responsible for monitoring Iran’s nuclear program, said there was no reason for the world to be celebrating. He said the deal, reached in Geneva early Sunday, is based on “Iranian deception and [Western] self-delusion.” “Just like the failed deal with North Korea, the current deal can actually bring Iran closer to the bomb,” Steinitz said. “Israel cannot take part in the international celebrations based on Iranian deception and self-delusion.” MK Reuven Rivlin (Likud) wrote on Facebook that American attempts to calm Israel would only worry him more. “There is no doubt that the agreement exposes differences, not just tactical but also strategic, between us and between the West and the US.” Economics Minister Naftali Bennett called the deal “bad, very bad.” “If a nuclear suitcase blows up five years from now in New York or Madrid, it will be because of the deal that was signed this morning,” he said on Facebook. “There is still a long campaign ahead of us. We will continue to act in every possible way.” Finance Minister Yair Lapid panned the interim agreement and said Israel would have to work to make sure a final deal had better terms. “This is a bad deal that does not bring even one centrifuge to a halt. I am worried not only over the deal, but that we have lost the world’s attention.” “Those that support this agreement only say one good thing about it, and that’s that we win time en route to a final agreement,” Deputy Foreign Minister Zeev Elkin told Channel 2 TV. “Our main activity is now directed at a very clear destination — what will be in the final agreement.” Labor MK Omer Bar-Lev was one of the few Israeli voices to back the deal, saying it entails significant impediments to Tehran’s race to nuclear weapons and is far preferable to a military confrontation. “Considering the achievements such as the dismantling of [Iran’s] stockpile of uranium enriched to 20 percent, reducing the number of centrifuges, halting construction of the heavy water facility [in Arak], all the while sanctions of Iranian oil and banking industries continue, compared to the alternative of a military strike at this point it is clear that the agreement reached is far superior,” he said.
An assembly of Afghan elders endorsed a crucial security deal on Sunday to enable U.S. troops to operate in the country beyond next year, but President Hamid Karzai left the matter up in the air by refusing to say whether he would sign it into law. The gathering, known as the Loya Jirga, had been convened by the president to debate the pact which outlines the legal terms of continued U.S. military presence in Afghanistan. It voted in favor and advised Karzai sign it promptly. But Karzai, in his final remarks to the four-day meeting, said he would not sign it until after a presidential election due next April. "If there is no peace, then this agreement will bring misfortune to Afghanistan," he said. "Peace is our precondition. America should bring us peace and then we will sign it." The president did not elaborate, but has previously said a free and fair vote is needed to guarantee peace in the country and his spokesman later said Karzai had not changed his mind. As the meeting ended, assembly chairman Sibghatullah Mojeddedi told Karzai: "If you don't sign it, we will be disappointed." Karzai responded "Fine!" and left the stage. Failure to clinch the deal could mean a full U.S. pullout, leaving Afghanistan to fight the Taliban insurgency on its own. U.S. troops have been in Afghanistan since leading a drive to remove the Taliban in late 2001. U.S. officials, including Secretary of State John Kerry and Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, said the deal must be signed by year-end to begin preparations for a post-2014 presence. In his remarks, Karzai acknowledged there was little trust between him and U.S. leaders while saying signing the pact was broadly in Afghanistan's interests. Backing from the Jirga, handpicked by his administration, had been widely expected. Most speakers were muted in their criticism of the thorniest issues in the document, including a U.S. request for immunity for its troops from Afghan law. Critics say Karzai's recalcitrance on the date might reflect his desire to distance himself from any deal with the United States and avoid speculation that he has sold out to the West. A former U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan, Ronald Neumann, said Karzai is known to use 11th hour demands to press for concessions from the United States during negotiations. "He has to be the one ... to sign off on this loss of Afghan sovereignty. He knows intellectually that this is in Afghanistan's interest, but at the same time it's distasteful to him," Neumann said. HE'S DONE IT AGAIN The deal took a year to bash out and Karzai's volte-face threw the entire process into doubt just hours after both sides announced they had agreed on its terms. Even in Afghanistan, where some view the security agreement with the United States with contempt, many officials were unsettled. Some believe Karzai is simply concerned that the United States and other Western countries may attempt to interfere in next year's presidential election. Having served two terms, he is ineligible to run again. By withholding his signature until after the vote, Karzai could also use ratification as leverage to ensure the United States does not try to back a candidate not to his liking. Opposition leader Abdullah Abdullah, who dropped out of a run-off against Karzai in the 2009 elections, citing concerns about fraud, was among those who shared this suspicion. "What he is asking for is a guarantee about the elections and most probably his favorite candidate," Abdullah told Reuters. Karzai accused the international community of meddling during the 2009 election that he won, saying they had tried to encourage Afghans to vote for an opposition candidate. Others were concerned that Karzai's reluctance to sign the agreement could jeopardize Afghanistan's relations with its international allies and its economic future. "If we keep talking about signing the agreement after the election, we will lose our biggest ally," said Freshta Amini, an MP from southwestern Nimroz province. But some Loya Jirga members supported Karzai's comment about delaying ratification. "If the Americans want to sign this pact with Afghanistan, then they should also respect our demands for a transparent election, and peace and security in the country," said Farid Alokozai, provincial council chief in Wardak, outside Kabul. One cabinet minister close to Karzai said many members of the president's team were unhappy with his decision. "There are people who want this pact to be signed immediately after the Loya Jirga. But there are spoilers too, who have a lot of influence over the president."
Legendary Pakistani film actor, producer and script writer Waheed Murad was remembered on his 30th death anniversary on Saturday. Waheed Murad was born on October 2, 1938 in Sialkot. He was the only child of well-off film distributor Nisar Murad. He got early education from Karachi Grammar School, did graduation from S.M. Arts College Karachi and then masters in English literature from University of Karachi. He is well-known for his charming expressions, attractive personality, tender voice and unusual talent for acting in films. His style of acting made him popular amongst the young cinema viewers of South Asia. Waheed Murad started his film career by joining his father's established 'Film Art' in 1961 as producer of the film Insaan Badalta Hai. He appeared in a supporting role in 1962's in the film Aulad. Heera aur Pathar was his first movie as a leading actor and considered to be his major breakthrough. He acted in a total of 124 films of which 38 were black and white and 86 were in color. He acted in films 115 Urdu, 8 Punjabi movies and one Pashto film. He received on 32 prestigious film awards. He was awarded Nigar award for best actor in Heera aur pathar in 1964, Armaan in1966, Andaleeb in1969, Mastana Mahi in1971and Legend Award for life time in 2002. In November 2010, 27 years after his death, he was awarded the Sitara-e-Imtiaz for distinguished contributions in the fields of literature and arts. He died on November 23, 1983 in Karachi.
Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, Patron-In-Chief, Pakistan Peoples Party said violence against women is the worst form of human rights violations and its complete elimination remains the core dream of any progressive human society.
http://www.sada-e-azadi.net/A vast majority of the consultative Loya Jirga on Saturday accorded approval to the controversial clause of the Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA) concerning judicial jurisdiction over US troops staying in Afghanistan beyond 2014. With 20 articles of the deal debated on Friday, the 50 jirga committees are to thrash out the remaining six today. The article on legal jurisdiction over foreign soldiers -- being an emotive issue for the Afghans -- was to be decided by the tribal assembly. Jirga Chairman Sibghatullah Mujaddedi said the text contained no major controversial point. The US soldiers committing crimes in Afghanistan would be tried under the American military law, he added, explaining there was no question of immunity. “We have suggested the best way is to prosecute US soldiers under the US law in the presence of Afghans,” said Mujaddedi, a former president and reconciliation commission chairman. One participant Asadullah Jamali, also the Faryab peace committee head, told Pajhwok Afghan News all contents of the accord were debated in detail and members floated a string of suggestions. “There were differences over Article 13 (that concerns judicial jurisdiction over international troops). All of us believe the US soldiers involved in criminal offences in Afghanistan should be prosecuted here,” he said. If their proposals were not accepted, the delegates would not oppose the troops’ trial in the US, he explained, confirming the long-running issue between the two sides had been settled. Haji Mohammad Omar Ahmadzai, another participant from central Logar province, proposed that victims should be given a chance to watch criminal proceedings against the US soldiers, who were prosecuted for crimes committed in Afghanistan.
Afghan elders at a grand assembly in Kabul have called for a security deal with the US to be signed this year. The pact allows thousands of US troops to remain in Afghanistan once combat operations end in 2014. But President Hamid Karzai, who wants to delay the deal, told delegates he would only sign it once the US had brought peace to his country.
http://www.firstpost.com/To stop infiltration and continuous ceasefire violations from the Pakistani side, India is now all set to raise a 10-metre high embankment running along the 197-Km stretch of the International Border in the Jammu sector. The serpentine wall will pass through 118 villages in Jammu district. Seen from the Pakistani side, the border will be demarcated clearly by first a fence, a trench and then the 10-metre high wall. A strip of land as wide as 135 feet is being acquired for the purpose, to accommodate several bunkers and outposts for the border security forces. Earth excavators are set to be used to dig the parallel trench, which will make infiltration virtually impossible, said sources. The International Border in Jammu and the Line of Control (LoC) in Kashmir have both remained tense throughout this year. The inspiration for this wall seems to have been drawn from a similar wall in the West Bank, erected by Israeli authorities who say the wall has served as a deterrent for violence perpetuated by the Palestinian militants. The wall constructed by India is supposed to be higher than the Berlin Wall which separated Europe during the Cold War. It will be the first of its kind between the two neighboring countries. More than 200 ceasefire violations were reported through 2013 in different places across Jammu and Kashmir, most of them in the area along which the Government of India is now planning to build the embankment. On Oct 23, early this year, Pakistani rangers fired at more than 50 locations in Samba sector which was described by security forces as the most extensive ceasefire violation in one night in the past two decades. Director General of Border Security Forces (BSF) Subash Joshi said in New Delhi that the BSF was waiting for the government of Jammu and Kashmir to acquire land along the stretch. “We have identified the land. The embankment will be followed by the fence,” he said. Under the Land Acquisition Act of the Jammu and Kashmir government, the project also has to be given a green signal by 24 MLAs, who will have to give a no-objection certificate to the state government. “For the wall to come we have already identified and acquired land in 29 villages,” said Divisional Commissioner (Samba) R K Verma, said. A similar exercise has been initiated in Kathua too. Sources say the decision has been taken by the authorities with much persistence by the BSF in view of the 2014 withdrawal of NATO troops from Afghanistan. The violence in the troubled state of Jammu and Kashmir has seen an unexpected spurt this year. “It is only possible to construct a wall of this size in certain places in the state. It cant be done throughout the state. Jammu being the easiest one, it will help to stop the infiltration and drug smuggling also, a home Ministry official told Firstpost. Read more at: http://www.firstpost.com/india/cross-border-terror-india-all-set-to-build-a-berlin-wall-in-jammu-1245321.html?utm_source=ref_article
For much of the past decade, the residents of this village near Pakistan’s border with India have lived in relative peace, tending their water buffalo and goats, despite a history of tensions between the countries. But this fall, mortar shells from India killed a 40-year-old rickshaw driver and several animals, residents say. “I have sent my family to relatives and keep my door locked,” said Mohammad Iqbal, 55. “When I am sure peace is restored, I will bring them back.” Recent attacks involving Indian and Pakistani troops have been the worst border violence since a 2003 cease-fire. Now, with snow falling on the mountainous border, fighting has subsided and displaced residents are trickling home. But analysts fear the calm will be relatively short-lived. While few expect another war, the flare-ups illustrate the simmering tensions that may only increase as the two countries jostle for influence in Afghanistan while U.S. troops withdraw. “This is the new normal,” said Stephen P. Cohen, a senior fellow and South Asia analyst at the Brookings Institution. “This is going to be just like the Middle East, but only with two countries with nuclear weapons.” The fighting this fall, which included artillery and mortar fire, claimed civilian and military lives on both sides of the border. Ominously, it took place not only in Kashmir, which has been a source of tension for decades, but also farther south on the outskirts of Sialkot, an industrial area known for producing quality soccer balls. Since predominantly Muslim Pakistan was separated from mostly Hindu India in 1947, the countries have fought two wars over Kashmir, which is divided between them but has a majority Muslim population. Each side has blamed the other for the recent fighting. Pakistanis speculate that the Indian government is becoming more aggressive toward its neighbor, in part to gain support ahead of national elections. Meanwhile, Indians accuse Pakistan of failing to rein in Islamist militants seeking an independent Kashmir. Some of the militant groups are widely suspected of having ties to the Pakistani military and intelligence services. The conflict started in January, when Pakistan accused Indian forces of killing a Pakistani soldier on the disputed border in Kashmir, known as the Line of Control. India then claimed Pakistani soldiers or militants crossed the border and killed three of its soldiers. In August, the feud took a dangerous turn when five Indian soldiers were slain in Kashmir. Pakistan denied responsibility but shelling between the two sides escalated. Last month, Pakistan’s military accused India of firing 4,000 mortar shells and 59,000 machine-gun rounds during a two-day period that coincided with Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s meeting with President Obama in Washington. One of those shells killed the rickshaw driver in Tahir Joian. “We were forced to retaliate,” said Brig. Mateem Ahmed Khan, a senior commander for Pakistan’s border force near Sialkot. He accused India of stoking the tension to undermine Sharif’s visit to Washington. “It was a rain of fire coming down on our villages and posts,” he said. With Pakistan restricting Western reporters’ access to the border, it is difficult to verify the claims of its military. In Tahir Joian, chunks of concrete were missing from walls and a hole was visible in a thatched roof, but there did not appear to be widespread damage. Efforts to avoid crisis When a reporter visited a Pakistani ranger outpost recently, soldiers were looking out over a tranquil border, listening to music from an Indian Border Security Force bunker about a quarter-mile away. The sound of music across the border underscores a crucial point: Unlike previous conflicts in the 1990s and early 2000s, which led to fears of another major war, India and Pakistan are working to keeping their skirmishes from turning into an international crisis. The directors of military operations for both countries hold weekly conference calls to try to keep hostilities in check. Khan recently met his Indian counterpart at the border to discuss matters such as how Indian forces can clear brush around their outposts without fear of being targeted. Sharif, who campaigned on improved relations with India before taking office in June, is pressing for security and trade negotiations with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. Though the two met in late September, Singh has appeared hesitant to engage in substantive talks, expressing concern that Pakistan is not doing enough to control Islamist militant groups including Lashkar-e-Taiba, responsible for the 2008 Mumbai terrorist attacks. But many Pakistani analysts doubt that this country’s military is to blame for the tension, since it is focused on battling domestic militants. A bloody insurgency by the Pakistani Taliban has claimed more than 45,000 lives. “Pakistan is preoccupied with domestic issues at the moment, so the military would have no interest in heating up the Line of Control, none whatsoever,” said Maleeha Lodhi, a former Pakistani ambassador to Washington. “In fact, it has an interest in assuring all is peaceful on the eastern front so it can focus on the western front” with Afghanistan, an area where many militants are based. Lodhi said Singh may be adopting a tougher approach to Pakistan because of Indian elections in the spring. Singh is stepping aside, but his Congress Party faces a stiff challenge from the BJP party, led by Narendra Modi, an ardent Hindu nationalist who wants to take a harder line with Pakistan. The Afghanistan factor Even after the elections, analysts fear, the India-Pakistan border could turn volatile as the two countries struggle for influence in Afghanistan. In recent months, Afghan President Hamid Karzai has been reaching out to India for military aid, a potential alliance that unnerves Pakistani leaders, who fear their country could become further isolated in the region. To Pakistanis, their nation’s regional importance was highlighted this summer when U.S. officials turned to the country for help in trying to arrange peace talks between the Taliban and Karzai’s government. The talks ultimately didn’t happen. In Pakistan, some officials believe India escalated tension at the border to draw attention away from Pakistan’s diplomatic efforts. “India was anxious it was getting left out and that Pakistan was not taking it seriously,” said Riaz Khokhar, Pakistan’s foreign secretary from 2002 to 2005. Sushant Sareen, a researcher at the Institute for Defense Studies and Analyses in New Delhi, called Khokhar’s comments “utter rubbish.” The real cause of the skirmishing on the border, he said, was Pakistan’s unwillingness to stop Islamist militant groups from crossing the border. In recent weeks, before snows in the Himalayan mountains made passage difficult, as many as 100 Pakistani insurgents sneaked into Indian territory, according to Indian intelligence and security officials. They say the insurgents plan to carry out attacks before the elections and stoke separatist fervor in Indian-controlled Kashmir. “Before, there was this looming American presence in the region that kept things from happening,” Sareen said. “But now, with that focus shifting from the area, it’s going back to business as usual.”
At least three people, including two students, were killed and one other injured Sunday in two separate explosions that took place in Upper Kurram Agency, DawnNews reported. According to the political administration of the area, a roadside bomb was detonated near a car in the Shablan area of Upper Kurram Agency. Subsequently, two people were killed whereas one person sustained injuries. The second explosion occurred in the Dal area of Upper Kurram Agency due to which one person was killed. Following the explosions, the political administration cordoned off the area and a probe into the incident went underway. Kurram Agency, which is close to the Pakistan-Afghanistan border, is one of the seven regions in Pakistan’s Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), governed by tribal laws. An extremist insurgency led by Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) plagues the region while the area is known to be infested with militants, including the Al-Qaeda, Taliban and several other armed extremist organisations. Separately, a police official was killed when unknown motorcylists opened fire on him within the remit of the Bannu Township police station. Meanwhile, a roadside-bomb was defused near Karam Kot on the Miramshah-Mirali road.
Corruption in parts of Pakistani community is growing problem that politicians have underestimated, Government’s chief legal adviser saysCorruption in parts of the Pakistani community is “endemic” and a growing problem that politicians have underestimated, the Government’s chief legal adviser has said. Dominic Grieve QC, the Attorney General, said ministers should “wake up” to the threat of corruption in public life, which he attributed to “minority communities” that operate a “favour culture”. In an interview with The Daily Telegraph, Mr Grieve praised the integration of minorities into British life, and pointed out that corruption can also be found in the “white Anglo-Saxon” community. But he said that the growth of corruption was “because we have minority communities in this country which come from backgrounds where corruption is endemic. It is something we as politicians have to wake to up to”. Mr Grieve said he was referring to “mainly the Pakistani community” but added that other minority communities had similar problems. His remarks could affect Britain’s relations with Pakistan. In 2010 David Cameron refused to apologise after he accused the country of “exporting terror”. Ministers are aware that high-profile stories involving child abuse, Islamist extremism, slavery and corruption in the Pakistani community are being used by far-Right agitators such as the English Defence League to stir sectarianism. Mr Grieve, the MP for Beaconsfield in Buckinghamshire, has a sizeable South Asian community in his constituency. “I can see many of them have come because of the opportunities that they get. But they also come from societies where they have been brought up to believe you can only get certain things through a favour culture,” he said. “One of the things you have to make absolutely clear is that that is not the case and it’s not acceptable.” He said electoral corruption in particular had increased. He identified Slough, Berks, as an example of where abuses had occurred. In 2008 a Tory councillor, Eshaq Khan, was found guilty of fraud involving postal ballots. Earlier this year the Electoral Commission announced it was considering introducing ballot box identity checks in Tower Hamlets, east London, in an effort to stamp out electoral fraud in areas with large South Asian communities. Asked if he was referring to the Pakistani community, Mr Grieve said: “Yes, it’s mainly the Pakistani community, not the Indian community. I wouldn’t draw it down to one. I’d be wary of saying it’s just a Pakistani problem.” He added: “I happen to be very optimistic about the future of the UK. We have managed integration of minority communities better than most countries in Europe.” Tory ministers have avoided singling out particular communities over political corruption. However, in 2010, Baroness Warsi claimed the Tories lost three seats at the general election as a result of voter fraud within the Asian community. Mr Grieve also said the Government was considering how to deal with the expected influx of Bulgarian and Romanian migrants when movement controls are lifted in January. He acknowledged that “the volume if immigrants may pose serious infrastructure issues”.
Dubbed as the 'most powerful man' in Pakistan, army chief Kayani is stepping down soon, leaving behind a violence-marred country. Experts believe it is a result of his half-hearted attempts at fighting the Taliban.
www.dailytimes.comPakistan’s nuclear procurement was exposed as early as 1987 with the arrest of a Pakistani national, resulting in sharp divisions in the US government, but then Regan administration decided to ignore it in lieu of Islamabad’s contribution in Afghanistan against the Russians, American media quoted the latest set of US declassified documents as saying, on Saturday. The arrest of a Pakistani national Arshed Pervez in July 1987 on charges of illegal nuclear procurement roiled US-Pakistan relations and sharpened divisions within the Reagan administration, according to recently declassified documents published by the National Security Archive and the Nuclear Proliferation International History Project. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency (ACDA) director Kenneth Adelman wanted to crack down on the Pakistani nuclear programme by cutting military and economic aid. Adelman argued that failure to do so “would be seen as ‘business as usual,’” taking the pressure off Pakistan “at the very time we should be trying to increase pressure on them to stop … illegal procurement activities in the US”. By contrast, the State Department took a contrary view because US aid to Pakistan supported the mujahideen in Afghanistan. “We are particularly concerned about weakening the president’s hand in discussions with the Soviets on Afghanistan, which (are) at a critical stage.” Pervez, who had tried to bribe a Customs official to get an export licence, sought to purchase high strength maraging steel, uniquely suited for gas centrifuge enrichment technology, and quantities of beryllium for his country’s covert nuclear programme. This arrest and then an indictment in California on another case made headlines in the United States. The revealed document say Adelman wanted president Reagan to invoke the Solarz amendment (after then-Rep. Stephen Solarz, D-NY), which required an aid cut-off in the event that governments receiving US aid or their agents illegally tried to procure material that could be used for a nuclear weapons programme. Reagan, however, refused to invoke the Solarz amendment. Although Pervez would be found guilty, the White House kept US aid flowing to Islamabad for reasons of “national security.” For the Reagan administration, aiding the anti-Soviet war in Afghanistan trumped non-proliferation policy interests. The report says the high priority given to a close US-Pakistan relationship may have encouraged, as some journalists have alleged, State Department officials to warn the Pakistanis of the imminent arrest of their agents. The declassified documents say a key figure in the AQ Khan nuclear procurement network, Inamul Haq, who was working closely with Pervez, evaded arrest by slipping out of the United States at the last minute. The declassified documents show the “illegal network” had Islamabad’s “approval, protection, and funding”. A few weeks later, under secretary of state for political affairs Michael Armacost explained to Pakistani ruler General Ziaul Haq that State had unsuccessfully tried to get information about the Customs Bureau’s investigation of Pervez, but “we did alert the GoP (Government of Pakistan) through letters, Ambassador Hinton, and our talks with the foreign minister that there was an issue here that needed to be addressed urgently.” “I understand the idea of warning, Zia replied.” The Pervez case demonstrates how the US government agencies, including the Customs Bureau and ACDA, sought to monitor and disrupt Pakistan’s nuclear procurement activities. For its part, the Reagan White House used loopholes in US non-proliferation laws to avoid the enforcement of sanctions on Pakistan. The documents released in Saturday’s publication illustrate these and related developments. They include: Records compiled by the US government lawyers for prosecuting Pervez, including correspondence between Pervez and the Khan front company, Multinational, Inc., Pervez’s correspondence with Carpenter Technology Corporation, the supplier of maraging steel, and Pervez’s personal notes, which include references to “atom” and “military” which his lawyers could not explain. A memorandum by Kenneth Adelman shortly after Pervez’s arrest said: “If we now ‘lawyer our way around’ the Solarz amendment”, and seek to avoid its enforcement, “Zia will conclude once again that he need do nothing about his bomb programme.” An ACDA memo on the applicability of the Solarz amendment which concluded that “there is no plausible end-use for 25 tonnes of grade 350 maraging steel other than in the manufacture of centrifuges” for producing highly-enriched uranium and “for which Pakistan has no use except in nuclear explosives”.
http://mediacellppp.wordpress.com/Ambassador for Polio Eradication in Pakistan, Aseefa Bhutto Zardari has strongly condemned the kidnapping of eleven innocent teachers who were preparing to set out for the polio vaccination drive in Bara.Militants kidnapped 11 teachers involved in a polio vaccination campaign for school children in the Bara district of the Khyber tribal agency on Saturday morning.In a statement, Aseefa Bhutto Zardari said that we needed to stand with our brave teachers, our lady workers who were risking their lives for the future of our nation. “We have to stand with the brave people of Bara who have suffered so much at the hands of the terrorists”, she added. Aseefa Bhutto called on the government to do everything in its power to locate and free the kidnap victims and create a democratic environment that is peaceful, safe and secure for everyone in the country. “I have been repeatedly urging the respective governments to own the immunization program”, she further said. “It’s a big tragedy and my thoughts and prayers are with the kidnapped teachers and their families”, she said. Aseefa Bhutto Zardari also prayed for their speedy recovery.
In an interview with Prince Talal of Saudi Arabia, the Wall Street Journal has observed, “If Iran does go nuclear, Saudi Arabia may not be far behind. It has options. Riyadh underwrote Pakistan’s atomic-bomb program and keeps the country’s economy afloat with its largess.” To a question about how Saudi Arabia can go nuclear, Prince Talal said, “the arrangement with Pakistan is too strong. . . . Nawaz Sharif, specifically, is very much Saudi Arabia’s man in Pakistan”. (Read: http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304337404579211742820387758) These are not words of the LUBP editors. These are the words of Prince Talal, which show how dangerous Nawaz Sharif to world peace is. Of course, he is not the only one. It is the Pakistan Army which is a mercenary organization and has sold nuclear secrets in the past for money. But it is through Nawaz Sharif, the “very much Saudi Arabia’s man in Pakistan” that the world might see a nuclear holocaust. Neither Nawaz Sharif nor any of his myriads of spokesmen has condemned Prince Talal’s reductive, in fact insulting, description of him. Because this is the true description of the man who is more loyal to the Saudis than to his own country. The world must take note of the dangers he and his Saudi masters pose. - See more at: http://lubpak.com/archives/292845#sthash.cZDDWcId.dpuf