Wednesday, December 25, 2013
The decision to denounce the group as terrorists dramatically escalates the conflict between the government and the group backed by former President Mohammed Morsi, who was ousted on 3 July. The Muslim Brotherhood had already been outlawed in September by the Cairo Court for Urgent Matters. Hossam Eissa, the Minister of Higher Education said the decision was made in response to a bombing of police headquarters in the Nile Delta, north of Cairo on Tuesday that left 16 people dead and more than 100 wounded. Eissa read out the Cabinet statement after a long meeting, saying: "The Cabinet has declared the Muslim Brotherhood group and its organization as a terrorist organization. "Egypt was horrified from north to south by the hideous crime committed by the Muslim Brotherhood group. "This was in context of dangerous escalation to violence against Egypt and Egyptians and a clear declaration by the Muslim Brotherhood group that it still knows nothing but violence." The Brotherhood has denied being responsible for Mansoura attack and an al-Qa'ida inspired group has claimed responsibility for the suicide bombing. The announcement comes after Egypt's prosecutors last week referred ousted Morsi to a third trial, on charges of organising prison breaks during the 2011 uprising and abducting policemen in collaboration with foreign militants. These charges are separate from two other trials that Morsi already faces - over inciting the killings of his opponents and for conspiring with foreign groups to destabilize Egypt. Some of the charges against Morsi carry the death penalty.
An unmanned aerial combat vehicle (UCAV) has fired two missiles at a building near Miranshah in North Waziristan, early on Thursday, killing at least four people Express News reported. The drones targeted a complex near Qutub Khel. The dead bodies have not been identified yet. Reports from the area suggest that the drones are still hovering above the targeted area in Miranshah. This is the first drone strike in Pakistani territory in almost three weeks.
http://dunyanews.tv/Opposition leader in the National Assembly Khurshid Shah on Wednesday said that Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf chairman Imran Khan should bring down inflation in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa first where his party is currently ruling. Talking to media during a visit to a private hospital in Sukkur, the opposition leader said that inflation has gripped every part of the country but the government should be given some time to resolve the problems. He said that opposition will give another three months time to the government to tackle inflation, electricity load shedding and tumbling economy. If they failed, a strategy would be devised, he added.
Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) senator Farhatullah Babar has said that PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari will participate in the 2018 general elections.
Pakistan ObserverPakistan People’s Party Parliamentarian (PPPP) Patrol-In-Chief Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said some funds had been raised to rehabilitate and repair Peshawar Church while more funds will be collected for other churches. He stated this while extending Christmas greetings to Christians living across Pakistan and the world over at a Christmas cake-cutting occasion held at Sindh Museum in Karachi Monday.
India has become a closer partner to the Islamic Republic than New Delhi’s archrival Pakistan, as Islamabad has failed to take cognizance of new regional opportunities, an analyst says, Press TV reports. “Despite being a Muslim-majority country, Pakistan’s illogical foreign policy has been preventing a rapprochement with Iran,” Yusuf Fernandez wrote in an article on Press TV on Wednesday. He went on to enumerate the reasons why Pakistan has fallen behind its traditional ally, India, in forging a closer relationship with Iran. Pointing to the multi-billion-dollar Iran-Pakistan (IP) gas pipeline project, Fernandez said, “Islamabad has so far failed to look for the required funding for the project, due to the threat of sanctions from the US, even though the pipeline agreement stipulates that Pakistan must finish its side of the facility by December 2014.” As a result, the journalist added, “On December 14, Iran announced that it had suspended a 250-million-dollar loan to Pakistan to build” its part of the IP project. “To make matters worse, Pakistan was reported last month to have built nuclear weapons for Saudi Arabia, which would be a threat for Iran, and to be ready to ship them,” Fernandez said. He added, however, that while it will be difficult for both Pakistan and Saudi Arabia to avoid the repercussions of the act, “the publication of this news has highlighted the close links between the Pakistani government and the Saudi monarchy.” The journalist also pointed to a November attack in Iran’s Sistan-and-Baluchestan Province, which killed at least 14 Iranian border guards, and cited “French sources, well-informed about the dossier of the terrorist Salafi groups that are supported by Saudi Arabia” as having “told Lebanese channel Al-Manar that Saudi Arabia had ordered the attack.” “The French sources told Al-Manar that the Saudi intelligence had recently spent huge amounts of money to fund the Jaishul al Adl group, but the weak human Saudi resources do not allow the Saudi intelligence to take direct care of this group. This might have led the Saudis to employ the Pakistani intelligence to do so,” Fernandez added. In addition to the fatalities, three others were wounded in the attack on the border region near the city of Saravan in Iran’s southeastern province of Sistan and Baluchestan on October 25. “Due to all these factors,” Fernandez said, “Pakistan is now not in a good position to take advantage of the new position of Iran in the region after the signature of the nuclear deal. The Pakistani government’s doubts about the pipeline contract and its submission to the US and Saudi Arabia are damaging its links with its neighbor and prevent it from collecting the accompanying benefits of Iran’s future development,” Fernandez concluded. Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council - Russia, China, France, Britain and the US - plus Germany sealed a nuclear deal in the Swiss city of Geneva on November 24. “For its part, India, Pakistan’s rival, has welcomed the nuclear deal struck by Iran and the world’s six major powers,” the analyst said, adding that the removal of the sanctions on Iran would provide India, Iran’s second largest oil purchaser, with better opportunities to meet its energy needs. “Strategically, it is important for India to maintain a close relationship with Teheran. India and Iran oppose a Taliban government in Kabul and could coordinate their political positions to prevent it. Iran is India’s only corridor for land access to Afghanistan through which most of Indian assistance to Afghanistan could be transported,” Fernandez said.
By Rabia AkramIn the remote village of Tedi Bazaar, in Pakistan's volatile northwestern tribal areas, one woman's unusual name makes her stand out from the crowd: America Bibi.
The Express TribuneMusic is a universal language. It creates a certain atmosphere and inspires us to get in touch with our emotions in a unique way. Music and Christmas have a symbiotic relationship and go hand in hand with the tradition of the season. Christmas music is enjoyed the world over as it brings cheer to many over the holiday season, exudes a spirit of warmth, generosity and goodwill. The golden age of English carols was between 1350 to 1550 although we are not sure when the first carol was written. Amongst the vast collection of Christmas carols, the most popular and most loved of all time are “Jingle Bells”, “Silent Night”, “Joy to the world”, “Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer”, “Mary’s Boy Child”, “Santa Clause is Comin’ to Town”, “Frosty the Snow man”, “O Come All Ye Faithful”, “We three kings”, “Feliz Navidad prospero ano y felicidad”, a Spanish carol, and “We wish you a merry Christmas and a happy new year”. The singing and music skills are embedded in children through Sunday school at a very early age. Sunday school for children plays a crucial role in the growth and development of new leadership, allowing the word of God to take root among them. Sunday school teachers are usually lay people selected for their job by the church board. The teaching is based on Biblical stories and scriptural passages. Although there are different methods of teaching within Sunday school, the principle method of teaching traditions and beliefs is through music. It is important for children to learn church music. The songs range from spiritual to contemporary gospel music. Music is the most powerful teaching tool. It becomes easier for children to memorise the biblical stories when words are sung and combined with memorable melody. Sunday school lays the foundation and through it, the Christian faith is taught and lived. Congregations enjoy singing psalms and hymns with the group of musicians playing piano, guitars, trumpets, tambourines and drums. Besides celebrating a caroling Sunday, it is over for 30 years now that the churches in Karachi have organised Christmas carol competitions to express and share this religious joy. This year, Central Brooks Memorial Church, St Andrews Church, Holy Trinity Church, Citizens of Heaven Church, ARP Church, All Saints Church, Christ Church Mission Road have held this programme. Christians from all over Karachi take part in these competitions. The Church choirs, bands and solo performances are observed by the judges and then the winners are awarded. Many beautiful carols are heard and enjoyed by the audience. Participants await and prepare for these competitions all through the year. The winners and well-known choirs are from All Saints Church, Assemblies of God and The Messenger band. As we celebrate Christmas, we intend to spread happiness, holiday cheer, words of faith, hope and inspiration door to door with our beautiful Christmas songs and carols.
A man from the minority Ahmadi community was barred from burying his two-year-old daughter in a graveyard in Pakistan's Punjab province by a group of a Muslims.
The uphill struggle we are facing in our battle against polio has entered a new dimension of savagery and hopelessness. On Friday yet another anti-polio healthcare worker was gunned down by those elements that think protecting ourselves against this vicious disease is an act against Islam or is a ploy of western countries to eliminate Muslims. The target was an anti-polio vaccination centre in the tribal areas, the victim a mere statistic in the ever rising frequency of fatal attacks against all those humane souls working for the good of the country and its people. The murder has had the desired effect: anti-polio groups have pulled out of the troubled tribal region, leaving hundreds of thousands of children without having been administered the necessary anti-polio vaccination. This will have a disastrous effect on our efforts to wipe out this debilitating illness, one that has the potential to spread the polio catastrophe to the rest of the country. Focus on polio has gotten extremely intense these last few weeks. The international community is raising its guard — the World Health Organisation (WHO) has announced 2015 as the cut-off date for Pakistan to get its polio problem under control or face international travel bans. This has led to a somewhat quickening of pace by the authorities on trying to curb this disease. Imran Khan has launched the latest anti-polio campaign in the province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, urging all children to be vaccinated. This has earned him the ire of militant forces who have threatened the PTI chief. It is worth remembering that Imran Khan’s policies have been extremely gentle towards the Taliban. He should now realise that these people are no friends of men, women, children, education, enlightenment or healthcare. By sabotaging the polio campaign, the militant monsters are just proving their cold-heartedness towards the people of this country. The lives of anti-polio workers hang by a thread in their presence. It is up to the government to pre-empt such attacks on these decent men and women. Such murders have happened before and will happen again. The governments at the Centre and in the provinces must understand that Pakistan is on its way to becoming a pariah country, isolated from the rest of the world. We need to ensure that our children are protected from the scourge of polio and for that to happen, we must ensure the lives of those willing to inoculate them.
It is indefensibly a fraught venture that the political class is embarked upon, which could potentially explode and end up into unforeseen unpleasant consequences. After the PTI had launched into its campaign of street protest against uncontrolled price hike, its archrival in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa JUI (F) has announced to follow suit. And while the PTI, after staging the Lahore show, has declared to carry the campaign on to Karachi and Rawalpindi, the JUI (F) wants to confront the PTI on the issue of law and order in the latter's KP fort. Then is the nation going to be a hapless spectator of a risk-fraught competition of dharnas in the days ahead? For, predictably, sooner than later, other political players in the field would also hop on to this venture. This is the way the things have been going on in this country. And no change is going to be there this time round too. Are the issues, then, now on to be settled on the streets, and the people's problems are to be sorted out in sit-ins and street marches, not the legislative halls and official corridors? A political class wedded to trite clichés can chant as cheekily that protests are democracy's integral part, as it does that no problem has a military solution. And just as it overlooks too many realities that cannot be ignored at all for that phenomenon's rational understanding, so does it in the instant case. Yes, a war has ultimately to end up in a political solution. But the solution is in reality the victor's-dictated surrender document for the defeated to sign up to. And peace between the state and warring militants comes about only when the state has pulverised them with a robust security action into such emasculation that they find it more expedient to talk peace than continuing fighting. And so goes with the political class's shallow pretence about street protest. Yes, protests, marches and sit-ins are very much part of a democratic order, practised no lesser in entrenched democracies. But while street urchins could take to this "democratic" option blithely, the political class has to distinguish itself from that riff-raff by taking to this course after considering all the pros and cons thoroughly. The critical question for street campaigners is to consider if the problem in question can be wiped out simply with a street show. If the present street campaigners are any true to their professions and intents, they indeed would conclude that the issues they are raising so much of hue and cry about are no soluble so easily. Price control is dependent on a host of administrative, economic and multifarious other factors, which until tackled effectively would retard and obstruct any reduction in prices. And no street slogans, no matter how volubly and voluminously raised, can inflict even a slight slowdown in lawlessness nor can it impart even a marginal uplift in governance. Fighting crime is a serious matter that requires hardboiled thinking, meticulous planning, robust strategies and extremely toned-up security apparatus. None of that can be done on the street. It is the official precincts and security quarters from where all the requisites could come forth. And that holds good for refurbishing the governance as well. It is not the street but the brains and the wills that produce the means for propping up the governance to the shape to deliver to the masses to their greater gratification. Indeed, it could only be the height of political adventurism, arrogance and opportunism that instead of employing the governmental and legislative forums the street is being resorted to when most of the street campaigners have their exalted presences in the governments and also in the legislatures. It is those forums that they should use, and would indeed profitably if they do. The political class, as a whole, needs to know, which it certainly knows not, notwithstanding its pretences of keeping its hand on the people's pulse, that it is well on its way of losing the public's all trust, which already it has lost irreversibly considerably. And what is all the more alarming is that the people are losing worrisomely fast the trust in the very democratic order. A public feeling is getting currency in a whirlwind that this system has failed to deliver and deliver it would not at all so long as the entrenched political class holds the ground and calls the shots. Of course, this should alarm not just the current campaigners on the street, though. The entire political class must shudder at it. But the street campaigners must tell if it is now the street protest, not the ballot box, that henceforth has to decide who will rule in the land and how. If that is it, they have only look to some South East Asian nations to know the horror of this phenomenon. The street protests oust one government and install a new one to be in turn toppled by the street agitators of the ousted regime and make for it to stage a comeback. Just a short glimpse at present-day Thailand should suffice for the street agitators to know of this phenomenon's vagaries. Certainly, this country cannot afford such upheavals and would do well without them.
Police have arrested two commanders of Darra Adamkhel Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) on Wednesday morning here, Geo News reported. Police said that an operation was launched on a tip-off at Fazil Korona here and arrested two key-commanders of TTP Darra Adamkhel, namely, Saleem and Tariq during the operation. Three hand grenades and two pistols were recovered from the accused, police said. The accused during initial investigation have confessed their involvement in destroying public property and target-killing incidents. They have been shifted to some unknown place for further grilling, police said.