Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Bollywood Best Songs Of 2013 Hindi Movies

Malang - Full Song with Lyrics - DHOOM:3

Egypt names Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organisation
The Muslim Brotherhood has been declared a terrorist organisation by Egypt's military-backed interim government, criminalising all its activities, its financing and even membership to the group.
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.

Four killed as drones fire two missiles at building in North Waziristan

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.

Pakistan: Imran should bring down inflation in KPK first
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.

''Asha'' -Tauseef Afridi

Naheed akhtar (tha yakeen keh aaein gi)

Turkey resignations: Corruption or power struggle with Islamic cleric in U.S.?

The government of key U.S. ally Turkey began to crack this week. There are rumblings that an Islamic cleric living in the United States may have something to do it.
But prosecutors in Istanbul have said corruption is the culprit. Three Cabinet ministers resigned their posts Wednesday, days after their sons were arrested or temporarily detained in an anti-graft sting, semiofficial news agency Anadolu reported.
One of them -- Urbanization and Environment Minister Erdogan Bayraktar -- went further than the other two, not just resigning his Cabinet position but also calling on Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan to step down. On live television in Turkey, Bayraktar said Erdogan asked him to resign and make a statement that would ease pressure on Erdogan. Upset at this, Bayraktar declined to make the statement but stepped down from his Parliament seat as well as his Cabinet post, and called on Erdogan to resign "to make the people more comfortable." "They sent us two papers today -- one for our resignation, the other a statement. Of course I want to make it easier for my party. However, I find this wrong," said Bayraktar, whose son was briefly detained in the roundup but later released. Economics Minister Zafer Caglayan and Interior Minister Muammer Guler, whose sons were also arrested in the probe, also resigned Wednesday. Erdogan accepted the resignations, Anadolu reported.
The sons were detained in a roundup that included the head of a public bank, several bureaucrats and high-profile businessmen. It came after a two-year probe by the Istanbul Prosecutor's Office into allegations of corruption including money laundering, gold smuggling and bribery.
The sweep comes in the runup to local elections in Turkey. Erdogan has been expected to reshuffle his cabinet, because some of his ministers will be running for office in March.
Political rivalry
One of Erdogan's old allies, now a rival, could be having an influence on the crackdown, which Erdogan has called a "dirty, dirty operation" aimed at toppling his government.
Erdogan appears to be in an open power struggle with former political backer Fethullah Gulen. Gulen is an Islamic cleric living in self-imposed exile in Pennsylvania, and his supporters are thought to be in key positions within the police force and the judiciary.
Top government officials accused Gulen recently of trying to establish a "parallel state" within the Turkish government.
The Hizmet Movement, the name preferred by Gulen's followers, has in the past thrown its support behind the ruling Justice and Development Party, or AKP, led by Erdogan. But the two have been publicly at odds over the last month.
"It was a forced marriage and now it's an ugly divorce," said Ahmet Sik, a journalist who wrote a book on Gulen and his influence within the judiciary and the police force.
In the wake of the arrests, Guler, who as interior minister controls the police force, dismissed scores of senior police officers. The government justified the purge by accusing them of carrying out the corruption arrests outside the chain of command.
Journalists were hindered from covering the mass firings.
Journalists accredited with the Turkish police were ordered to hand in their credentials as well as keys to the media briefing rooms in some police stations. "If there are any developments or press statements press members will be invited," read a statement from the police.
Reporters who had long worked the police beat said the ban was unprecedented.
According to press reports, Guler had no prior knowledge of the corruption probe that led to the detention of his son and the sons of the other ministers. He has denied any wrongdoing. Erdogan has repeatedly claimed, since the corruption arrests began on Tuesday, that international organizations with branches inside Turkey are trying to destabilize the country.
"This country has never been and never will be the operational space of international organizations. We will not allow the interest lobby, the war lobby, the blood lobby to carry out an operation under the guise of a corruption operation," he said during a speech on Sunday.

Rights group raps Bahrain regime over youth arrests

A human rights group in Bahrain has denounced the ruling Al Khalifa regime for arresting and torturing the youth and keeping them in detention for long periods. The Bahrain Center for Human Rights said in a statement issued on Tuesday that the security forces recently arrested two teenagers named Tamim Majeed and Hashem Alawi. It said the police have held them in detention for nearly a week under the pretext of carrying out interrogation. The rights body also accused Manama of intentionally targeting the children and violently attacking them on the streets. It said that the regime forces have arrested more than 120 children over the past weeks.
Since mid-February 2011, thousands of pro-democracy protesters have staged numerous demonstrations in the streets of Bahrain, calling for the Al Khalifa ruling family to step down.
One month later, troops from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates invaded the country to assist the Bahraini government to crush the peaceful protests.
According to local sources, scores of people have been killed and hundreds arrested in the Saudi-backed crackdown.
In October 2013, Philip Luther, Amnesty International’s director for the Middle East and North Africa, said, “The [Bahraini] authorities simply slap the label 'terrorist' on defendants and then subject them to all manner of violations to end up with a 'confession'.”
Physicians for Human Rights says doctors and nurses have been detained, tortured, or disappeared because they have "evidence of atrocities committed by the authorities, security forces, and riot police" in the crackdown on anti-government protesters.
Protesters say they will continue to hold anti-regime demonstrations until their demands for the establishment of a democratically-elected government and an end to rights violations are met.

INDIA: Bahrain diplomat booked for allegedly molesting woman

Amid the row over Indian diplomat Devyani Khobragade's arrest in the US, a Bahrainian envoy has been booked in Mumbai for allegedly molesting the woman manager of his housing society but not arrested due to the diplomatic immunity he enjoys, police said today. A case has been registered against Consul General of Bahrain, Mohammed Abdulaziz Al Khaja, for molesting and verbally abusing on December 9 the manager of the south Mumbai society, police said. In her complaint, the 49-year-old victim alleged that Khaja had lost his cool after one of the elevators of the building was shut for repairs on December 9. He was slamming the doors of the elevator when she saw him and requested him to maintain his cool as the elevator was under repair. However, Khaja did not stop and even ransacked her office in a fit of rage, police said quoting the complainant. The victim also alleged that Khaja had touched her and used abusive language during the commotion, police said. She approached the Malabar Hill police which conducted a preliminary inquiry and registered a complaint. However, police the diplomat has not been arrested as he enjoys diplomatic immunity. Police said Khaja allegedly tried to create ruckus again on December 20 in the building. The woman said she has been working in the society for the last 10 years. The Bahranian diplomat has been living there for the last five years. Khaja has been booked under sections 354 (molestation), 509 (word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman) and 504 (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of peace) of the Indian Penal Code, Malabar Hill police station senior inspector Vinay Bagade said, declining to divulge further details.

President Obama and First Lady Offer Holiday Greetings

Obama lauds returning troops in holiday broadcast

President Barack Obama lauded the "service and sacrifice" of U.S. troops and military families in a holiday radio and Internet address on Wednesday, and he highlighted the service men and women who have returned home over the past year.
"For many of our troops and newest veterans, this might be the first time in years that they've been with their families on Christmas," Obama said.
"With the Iraq war over and the transition in Afghanistan, fewer of our men and women in uniform are deployed in harm's way than at any time in the last decade." Obama used the Christmas Day broadcast as a chance to call Americans to service in their communities. "For families like ours, that service is a chance to celebrate the birth of Christ and live out what He taught us - to love our neighbors as we would ourselves; to feed the hungry and look after the sick; to be our brother's keeper and our sister's keeper." The President and first lady Michelle Obama recorded the greeting at the White House before departing on Friday for a two-week vacation in Hawaii. Obama did not reveal the family's plans for the holiday but said watching basketball and eating Christmas cookies might be part of the celebration.

Christmas Day attacks show security challenges in Iraq and Afghanistan

Two car bombs targeting Christians killed at least 38 people in southern Baghdad on Christmas. In Afghanistan, two rounds of "indirect fire" hit the U.S. Embassy compound in Kabul, but no one was hurt.
The incidents highlight the security challenges with which both Iraq and Afghanistan are grappling. Both countries have had a heavy U.S. military presence until recently.
The departure of U.S. forces from Iraq has done little to curb the near-daily cycle of violence. In Afghanistan, U.S. and Afghan officials are working on an important security pact to outline the future of American troops in Afghanistan.
Iraq attacks In Iraq, a car bomb exploded outside a church in southern Baghdad just as worshippers were leaving a Christmas Day service, killing many. In an attack in the nearby al-Dora district Wednesday, another car bomb went off at an outdoor market where many Christians shop, police said.
Altogether, at least 38 people were killed and some 70 others were wounded, the Interior Ministry said. The bomb outside the church killed 27 and wounded 56. The market attack left 11 dead and 14 wounded. Iraq has experienced an uptick in sectarian violence this year as tensions simmer between the disaffected minority Sunni community and the Shiites, who dominate the government.
The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom notes that many people in small religious minority communities in Iraq, including Christians, have fled the country over the last decade and those that remain are "particularly vulnerable," facing "discrimination, marginalization, and neglect."
Sectarian warfare, especially between Sunnis and Shiites, raged during the Iraq War. Half or more of the pre-2003 Iraqi Christian community is thought to have left Iraq, the commission said in its 2013 annual report. In 2003, there were thought to be 800,000 to 1.4 million Chaldean Catholics, Assyrian Orthodox, Assyrian Church of the East members, Syriac Catholics and Orthodox, Armenian Catholics and Orthodox, Protestants and evangelicals in the country, the group said.
Now, according to community leaders, the estimated number of Christians stands at around 500,000, the report said. Afghanistan attack
Two rounds of "indirect fire" hit the U.S. Embassy compound in Kabul, the embassy said. No one was injured.
"At approximately 6:40 local time in Kabul, approximately two rounds of indirect fire impacted the U.S. Embassy compound. All Americans are accounted for and no injuries were sustained," the embassy said in a statement Wednesday.
"The Embassy continues to investigate the attack."
The embassy did not elaborate on what kind of rounds were fired, or where in the compound they landed. A claim of responsibility was posted on the Taliban's official website. The group said it fired missiles at the U.S. Embassy and the main base of NATO, which leads the military coalition known as the International Security Assistance Force. The incident comes at a pivotal time in U.S.-Afghan relations. The two countries are working on an important security pact. The deal will lay out the U.S. military presence in Afghanistan after 2014 when the NATO-led force of some 80,000 troops is scheduled to leave.
This month, U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel was in Afghanistan and said the security pact will be agreed upon despite a failure so far to forge a deal.

Bilawal Bhutto Zardari to take part in 
2018 election

Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) senator Farhatullah Babar has said that PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari will participate in the 2018 general elections.

Bilawal Bhutto: Funds raised for Peshawar Church

Pakistan Observer
Pakistan 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.
PPPP Patron-In-Chief attended the Christmas Cake-Cutting ceremony as the chief guest. A number of notables, Several PPPP leaders including from Minority Wing were present on the occasion. Party workers and clergy were invited to celebrate Christmas with Bilawal Bhutto Zardari. He said that the PPPP was the only party with declared pledge that all the Pakistanis were equal and enjoyed same rights of freedom of religion without any bar or restrictions. In PPP family, Muslims, Christians, Hindus, Dalits, Sikhs, Parsi or followers of any faith celebrated together on every religious festival, he added.

Women and reporters remain under threat in Afghanistan, Pakistan

T his week, as 2013 draws to a conclusion, we revisit two Takeaway columns from the past year that continue to have resonance and examine new developments.
Paul Muir
In February, we focused on concerns over the danger of advances made in women’s rights in Afghanistan being rolled back in the run-up to the majority of foreign troops withdrawing in 2014. While violence against women was dramatically rising, there had been significant gains for females since the fall of the Taliban regime in 2001: “The number of girls attending school has topped two million, and 25 per cent of government jobs and 27 per cent of the seats in parliament are now occupied by women,” we reported.
Since then conditions for women have become progressively worse: a “human rights commissioner”, an ex-member of the Taliban government who was handpicked by President Hamid Karzai, has called for the repeal of the Elimination of Violence Against Women law, which he said “violates Islam”; a draft law that would have reintroduced execution by stoning as punishment for adultery was seriously considered by Afghan government officials; and a recent UN report showed that reported cases of violence against women went up by 28 per cent in the last year – but prosecutions rose by only 2 per cent.
“Lots happened this year – mostly bad,” Heather Barr, a researcher for Human Rights Watch, told The Review.
In June, we examined the murder of the Pakistani journalist Syed Saleem Shahzad on the second anniversary of his disappearance. The May 2011 murder of Asia Times Online’s Pakistan bureau chief, one of about two dozen journalists who have been killed in the country over the past decade, remains unsolved, but many observers believe it was the work of members of the country’s intelligence community.
“While the facts are never likely to surface, it was clear at the time that Islamabad’s journalists blamed Inter Services Intelligence [ISI],” Tom Hussain, a regular contributor to The National based in Islamabad, told The Review.
The commission formed to investigate Shahzad’s murder found no evidence of the military or intelligence agencies being involved. However, Hussain described the commission’s verdict as “a predictable cover up”. Bob Dietz, the Asia programme coordinator for the Committee to Protect Journalists, told The Review this week: “Following the special investigation, testimony and recommendations nothing has changed in any significant way when it comes to investigating or prosecuting the deaths of journalists in Pakistan. There is still perfect impunity for anyone who murders a reporter.
“We’ve said that Pakistan’s leaders are not meeting their obligation to guarantee the rule of law and fundamental human rights, and that has not changed under the Nawaz Sharif government.”
The murder of the 40-year-old father of three, who went missing on May 29, 2011, while on his way to do a TV interview in Islamabad has, however, prompted action outside Pakistan.
“Maybe the best thing is that because of the string of murders, Pakistan has become the focus of the UN Plan of Action on the Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity and there is movement to draft legislation to address the killing of journalists,” Dietz told The Review.
Read more: Follow us: @TheNationalUAE on Twitter | on Facebook

India overtaking Pakistan in Iran ties

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.

For Christians in Peshawar, Christmas this year will be dominated by absent faces.
Eighty-two people were killed when a devastating double suicide attack targeted their place of worship three months ago. The All Saints Church still bears the physical scars of the Sept. 22 bombing, believed to be the deadliest ever against Muslim-majority Pakistan’s small Christian community. Two bombers blew themselves up in the courtyard of the church as worshippers exchanged greetings after a service in an attack that horrified the entire country.
The courtyard walls are still peppered with holes gouged by the hundreds of ragged metal ball bearings that were packed into the explosive vests to cause maximum carnage. Inside the church, a clock is stopped at 11:43—the time the bombers struck and for some worshippers the pain of that day is still fresh.
Anwar Khokhar, 53, lost six members of his family in the attack, including three of his brothers. For him, the season that for most Christians represents hope and happiness brings no joy but only a keener sense of the bitterness of his loss. “As Christmas gets nearer I miss them more and more. I miss them as much as it is possible to miss anyone,” he said after attending the last Sunday service before Christmas. “I miss our relatives so sadly, one of my brothers especially. It’s so hard that he’s not with us this Sunday and especially at Christmas.”
In his sermon the vicar, Reverend Ejaz Gill, tried to offer comfort, saying the victims are at peace and will join with their loved ones spiritually to celebrate Christmas. But for some the wounds are still too fresh and after the service a group of women gathered to weep in the courtyard, which is adorned with posters of the dead, stifling tears in their brightly colored “Sunday best” headscarves. One woman in particular was inconsolable, burying her face in one of the posters showing a bright-eyed teenage girl, sobbing uncontrollably.
The seemingly senseless slaughter of so many innocent civilians shocked Pakistan and it is still not clear who carried out the attack. After an initial claim by a militant outfit allied to the Pakistani Taliban, the group’s main spokesman denied any link.
Christians, who make up just two percent of Pakistan’s overwhelmingly Muslim population of 180 million, have suffered attacks and riots in recent years over allegations of blasphemy, often spurious, but bombings such as the All Saints blast are very rare. Being a small community they are close-knit and as housewife Nasreen Anwar explained, almost no Christian in Peshawar was untouched by September’s carnage.
“In every family, one or two people were killed, so how can we celebrate Christmas? There will be no happiness,” she said. Anwar, 35, lost her 14-year-old daughter in the blast while her nine-year-old daughter was so badly wounded she now uses a colostomy bag and faces further surgery in the new year. “But everyone shared our sorrow—Christian, Muslim came to our homes and shared our sorrows,” she said. Gill agreed the tragedy had brought the community closer together.
“We are not fractured. After the blasts it united us, not only the Christians of Peshawar but Christians all over Pakistan and the world came and showed their support for us,” he said.
Security at the church has been stepped up since the attacks, with extra guards manning the gateway through the thick blast walls and barbed wire and a fingerprint-scan entry system installed but not yet operational. Gill is still waiting for the Rs. 1 million the government promised to repair the damage to the church, built in the 1880s. But even when the walls are pristine again, it will take rather longer to heal the emotional scars of his traumatized congregation.

Growing Up 'America' In Pakistan's Tribal Areas
By Rabia Akram
In 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 65-year-old Pashtun grandmother says her name honors the unfulfilled American dream of her father, Akhtar Munir.
Shortly after World War II, Munir left his village in pursuit of a better life in the United States. The journey, however, didn't go as planned.
"My father was a young man, eager to go to America," Bibi explains. "He went to India and boarded a ship there to sail to America. He was a handsome man with blue eyes, but he was illiterate. While sitting inside the ship, he was holding a newspaper upside-down and this led to his arrest. He was sent to Mumbai, and spent three years in prison there."
After serving his jail term, Munir returned to his village and married. A year later, the couple's firstborn child was named "America" after Munir's failed dream. While growing up, Bibi was proud to have been named after her father's favorite country, although her name sometimes raised eyebrows. Tedi Bazaar and the rest of Khyber Agency are a world apart from the quiet, stable, and peaceful mountainous area where Bibi grew up in the relatively affluent household of a local tribal chief. Islamic militants today have a strong presence in Khyber Agency, part of Pakistan's Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), and frequently stage attacks on security forces, schools, and polio workers.
Locals' perceptions of the United States have changed dramatically over the years, too.
Some villagers express outrage about apparent U.S. drone strikes that take place in the agency, although they say such attacks are not as frequent as in neighboring tribal regions. Bibi says sometimes her grandchildren come home from school and argue with her about her name. "Sometimes they ask me why I was given this name of all names, and sometimes they tease me about it," she says. Bibi doesn't know much about the country she was named after. For her, "America is a very powerful country" -- somewhere far away. "People tell me, 'You are as strong as America,' because I always strive to do something for my community," Bibi says, adding her favorite pastime is listening to the radio. Like her father, Bibi is illiterate. But she doesn't let that keep her down.
Outspoken, energetic, and vocal, Bibi is "one of the most influential local activists in her village," according to Khyber-based journalist Fazl Rabi. "She was among organizers of several strikes by villagers, over development issues, such as roads and electricity."
"She also takes part in villagers' meeting with officials when they discuss rural development," Rabi adds.
Bibi says one of the greatest regrets of her life is that she wasn't able to receive an education because there were no girls' schools in the area when she grew up.
"Now I want to see all the girls in my village and all over Pakistan go to school and get an education, something I was deprived of myself" she says.
"I got my knowledge from my father, who was a very wise man. He would take part in councils to resolve disputes in the community. He was a source of wisdom and information for me. My brother also helped a lot in shaping my personality."
Bibi says she has achieved everything any woman her age in Tedi Bazaar could dream of. She has three grown sons, three daughters, and a houseful of grandchildren. She has a house of her own, where she lives with her husband and the family of her eldest son, schoolteacher Yar Muhammad.
"I would like to go to America one day to see the place where my father dreamed of living," Bibi says. "But I don't think I would be able to travel there because I'm poor and illiterate."
The grandmother hopes one of her grandchildren might be able to see America "someday in the future."

Christmas and music

The Express Tribune
Music 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.

Militants kidnap eight coal miners in Balochistan’s Harnai

Armed men kidnapped eight coal miners from Balochistan's resource-rich Harnai district on Wednesday, a security official said. A security official who requested anonymity told that dozens of armed militants picked up eight coal miners in Harnai’s Shahrag area. The official said militants whisked away the miners in their vehicles towards nearby mountains. He added that the miners hailed from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. "They were working in coal mines for over 10 years", he added. The official said a search operation was launched by security forces to recover the kidnapped workers. However, the official stated that the forces were clueless about the whereabouts of the kidnapped coal miners. Shahrag has rich coal reservoirs where thousands of miners have been extracting from deep coal mines. Most of the miners come from KP and Afghanistan's volatile southern region. There has been no claim of responsibility for the kidnapping. Militants had kidnapped seven coal miners on July 7 last year from Quetta district’s Degari area and later on their bodies were found in the area.

Pakistan: North Waziristan cauldron

IT was not the first time a Pakistani military post was attacked and our soldiers were killed by militants in North Waziristan. But the retaliation by the troops to last week’s ambush in Mirali that reportedly killed five soldiers was indeed swift and fierce. Heavy fighting involving artillery fire and helicopter gunships left dozens of alleged militants killed.
That was not entirely unexpected from an army constantly under insurgent attack and with an escalating number of casualties. The incident reflected the growing frustration in the military command over the prolonged indecision of the national leadership on how to deal with militant sanctuaries in the region presenting the biggest threat to internal security.
There has been a marked increase in the frequency of IED attacks in recent days as the government begs the militants for peace. The new army chief’s tough warning that terrorist attacks would not be tolerated anymore indicates that patience is running out. But such punitive action in the absence of a clear counterinsurgency strategy has its downside too. The relentless artillery pounding of terrorist hideouts located amidst civilian population centres carries the risk of collateral damage. It is therefore not surprising that the offensive may have cost some civilian deaths as alleged by some political parties. The fierce fighting also forced many to flee their homes evoking angry protests feeding into the militants’ narrative against military action.
What is more worrisome, however, is the intriguing silence of the political leadership on the brazen militant attacks and the military reaction. This ambivalence virtually de-legitimises the army’s action against the attackers. Instead, there is ever-stronger rhetoric about talks with the Taliban and the army’s withdrawal from the tribal areas. This apologetic stance adds to the militant propaganda campaign. In fact some political parties such as the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf and other right-wing groups echo the militant version of events in North Waziristan adding to the prevalent confusion over the gravity of the terrorist threat. The latest surge in attacks on Pakistani forces in North Waziristan appears to be a calculated move by the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan to bring a weak-kneed national leadership under further pressure. Reports emanating from the region suggest that the TTP is preparing to launch a new wave of terrorist strikes against security forces in North Waziristan. The group has warned the tribesmen to leave their homes. Mullah Fazlullah, the new TTP chief, who is now believed to have shifted his base from across the border in Afghanistan’s Kunar province to North Waziristan, has vowed to escalate attacks on the Pakistan Army.
While the TTP plans to engage security forces in new guerilla warfare, the national leadership does not seem to have a clear strategy to respond to this threat. Last week, the top civil and military leadership approved a much-delayed draft of a new national security policy. But there’s a long way to go before it is implemented.
Although its contours are not clear, officials claim the proposed policy provides a comprehensive strategy to deal with militancy and terrorism. The policy awaits cabinet approval. It is still to be seen how effective this will prove. Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan said the new policy assigns top priority to dialogue with the TTP and the use of force would be the last option. There is certainly no disagreement on peace talks with the TTP or any other group. But the main issue is whether the militants are interested in constructive dialogue and will give up violence.
It is not the first time that peace offers have been made by the government. In fact, more than half a dozen peace deals were signed with militants in the past. None of them have worked — the peace accords were used by militants to regroup and expand their activities.
One such deal which is not effective anymore was reached in North Waziristan with local tribesmen in 2006. Thus the arguments by the PML-N government and political leaders like Imran Khan that peace has never been given a chance are flawed. It is also not true that the peace deals were broken because of US drone strikes.
The government seems to be stuck on the dialogue mantra despite its repeated rejection by Mullah Fazlullah and leaders of other TTP factions. Dismissing the concept of peace talks immediately after the government’s announcement of using force as a last resort, Shahidullah Shahid, a spokesman for the TTP, warned that the insurgents were ready for battle. How long will the government keep begging for talks while the TTP keeps blowing up our soldiers with IEDs and killing innocent people? What is most dangerous is the narrative adopted by some political leaders that talks were the only option. It does not only breed inaction, it also legitimises militant violence.
There is a total consensus among security officials that North Waziristan has become the epicentre of militancy threatening national as well as regional security. Almost all major terrorist attacks in Pakistan in recent times have roots in the region. There is no way Pakistan can effectively fight terrorism without eliminating the militant training camps based there.
The rapidly deteriorating security situation in North Waziristan presents a defining challenge for the country’s new civilian and military leadership. Failing to confront this effectively will have serious consequences not just for Pakistan’s national security, but for regional peace as well.

Jailed British Ahmadi Masood Ahmad in Pakistan blasphemy appeal

A British man of the minority Ahmadi sect is appealing to the UK for help after being jailed in Pakistan on blasphemy charges. Human rights activists say laws in Pakistan, where Ahmadis are considered heretics, are being increasingly used to persecute the community, as the BBC's Saba Eitizaz reports.
It was a home video that turned a man viewed as the old neighbourhood doctor into a prisoner without bail. Masood Ahmad shuffles through the dank prison corridor, smiling when he greets me. He looks weak and speaks little. And he worries - but not for his freedom.
"I just want you to tell my children that I am fine. It grieves me more that they must be so worried."
He asks me to convey this message to his seven children living in Britain and Australia. Last month Mr Ahmad, 72, was arrested at his homeopathic clinic in Lahore on blasphemy charges. Two people posing as patients came to him for treatment and had a conversation about religion instead. They used mobile phones to secretly film him reciting a verse from the Koran, and then called the police to have him arrested. The homeopathy practitioner belongs to the Ahmadi minority sect that a large number of Pakistanis view with suspicion because of a law declaring them to be non-Muslims.
Ahmadis, whose holy book is also the Koran, believe their own founder, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, was a prophet, which most Muslims say contradicts mainstream Islamic teaching.
Ahmadis can be jailed for up to three years in Pakistan for "behaving like Muslims", having Muslim names or using Islamic terms for their places of worship or religious rituals.
Human rights activists say the law is now being used to push the Ahmadi community into a legal corner by right-wing religious groups in Pakistan. They are also open targets for sectarian violence by extremists.
"When you formalise persecution of minorities, you should expect extremist elements to take advantage of that, because that is what they thrive on," says human rights lawyer Asma Jehangir, who has raised the issue at several international forums.
Masood Ahmad says he felt "marked" even before he was picked up.
"Somebody had painted a black mark on my car and outside my house a few weeks before I was arrested, so I knew I was being watched."
He still did not see his arrest coming. After all, he had lived in the old neighbourhood of Anarkali since the late 1980s and had close ties with the community. He is a Pakistani-British dual national who says he returned with a desire to raise his children with Pakistani values and to help people through his medicine. According to police sources, almost 10 of his neighbours gave eyewitness testimony against him for preaching his faith. He tells me that many of them also came to see him in jail, concerned for his wellbeing. "I do not partake in religious debate. I am a doctor, a professional," he says. The official complaint registered is in the name of a local cleric who refused to speak to the BBC - but the phone number on it was traced to an activist called Mohammad Hasan Moawwiya, whose name appears in several similar cases against Ahmadis. He is associated with an emerging group called The Khattam-e-Nabuwwat Lawyer's Forum - an extended legal wing of Khattam-e-Nabuwwat - a right-wing religious group that has also been associated with distributing hate literature and actively campaigning against the Ahmadiyya community in the past. Mr Moawwiya says it is his legal and constitutional right to do so. "After the law of 1984 was made, it doesn't mean that it should be neglected, it should be implemented actively," he says. "They [Ahmadis] should name their religion and names as separate to us Muslims, otherwise it's a violation and we are allowed by the law of the country to carry on our work." However, huge mobs were reported outside the police station when Mr Ahmad was arrested, chanting "Be Qadri! Be Qadri!" This was a reference to Mumtaz Qadri, the bodyguard of former Punjab Governor Salman Taseer who he killed for speaking out against the blasphemy laws in 2011. He is currently in jail but revered by many. "The danger is not inside jail, the danger to me is outside," says Mr Ahmad, who is being kept under tight security in Lahore's District Jail. The same angry crowds are seen at every court hearing and Mr Ahmad fears the judges may feel pressurised while reaching a verdict. His lawyers have applied for bail twice, due to his old age and illness - but their attempts have failed. The court has cited "insufficient grounds for bail". Mr Ahmed is now appealing to the British High Commission. "Have I killed or robbed anyone? I request the British government to help me ensure a fair trial. That is all I ask."
His daughter in Australia, Sophia Ahmad, says she is corresponding with the British High Commission and international legal charities to help her father.
"He is recovering from cancer, he is sick and needs medication. We are very worried for him," she told the BBC in Skype conversation.
According to Ahmadi groups, more than 20 cases have been registered against Ahmadis this year alone. Many others remain in jail. Another member of the community, Faisal, is still waiting for his 60-year-old father's release after he was jailed earlier this year for reading an Ahmadi newspaper. The complaint was filed by Mohammad Hasan Moawwiya.
Faisal prays for his father at the Ahmadi mosque in Lahore that was violently attacked by militants with grenades and guns in 2010, killing more than 80 people.
Two of the gunmen arrested at the scene have still not been convicted. The mosque now resembles an army barracks, with concrete blockades and volunteers from the community patrolling the area at Friday prayer time, shotguns and walkie-talkies at their sides, in order to protect worshippers. Close by is the Ahmadi graveyard, but you cannot tell from the outside. High walls and barbed wire are all you can see, as well as a sniper on the rooftop. Earlier this year, the entire western portion of the graveyard was destroyed by gunmen who broke through the walls, demolishing many gravestones. Now a fortress has been built to protect the Ahmadi dead. Meanwhile, Masood Ahmad waits for his verdict.
"I used to read about minorities being targeted in the newspapers," he says. "Now I'm in the news."

Pakistan: Ahmadi man barred from burying child in public graveyard

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 daughter of Waheed Ahmad, a resident of Toba Tek Singh district, died yesterday. When Ahmad, his relatives and members of the Ahmadi community took the body for burial, a group of extremists stopped them from entering the graveyard in Kathowali, saying "only Muslims" could be interred there. A police contingent reached the area and held negotiation with both groups, leaders of the minority community said. As the group of extremists refused to show any laxity, senior police officers requested the Ahmadis to bury the child at some other place. Finally, the Ahmadis agreed to bury the girl in a piece of land located some distance away from the graveyard. It was also decided that Ahmadis would bury their dead at this place in future, the community leaders said. Pakistan's Ahmadis consider themselves Muslim but were declared non-Muslims through a constitutional amendment in 1974. A decade later, they were barred from proselytising or identifying themselves as Muslims. Some 1.5 million Ahmadis live across the country.

Veena Malik ties the knot

Actress Veena Malik and businessman Asad Bashir Khan Khattak tied the knot on Wednesday. The couple had their nikkah ceremony in Dubai.
Asad Bashir Khan Khattak, who runs businesses in Dubai and US, is the son of Veena Malik’s father's friend. “ I’m more than happy today, I think I’m the happiest girl in the world,” Veena Malik briefly spoke to Geo News outside the court, claiming that this is an arranged marriage. “Destiny just plays its part, we were destined to be there on this particular day,” she said. Veena Malik avoided sharing further details, but said “you will just get to know the details very soon.” The actress further said that Asad had promised her a white wedding in the US. Asad said their parents wanted them to get married as soon as possible. He added that wedding functions would be held in Dubai, US and Pakistan.

Pakistan: Our struggle against polio

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.

Pakistan: Fraught venture

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.

Pakistan: TTP Darra Adamkhel 2 commanders arrested in Nowshera

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.

Pakistan: Chehlum procession Rawalpindi

by Asif Zaidi
In a blood-soaked Ashura this year, the mourners in Rawalpindi reacted worthily to make sure that blaring Yazid’s eulogies in the ears of Imam Hussain’s mourning processions does not become an acceptable practice in Pakistan. Our hats are off to them.
Following that, Takfiri Deobandis gave vociferous calls to their cohorts to rally and thwart the Chehlum Procession in Rawalpindi. In this backdrop, Ralwapindi’s Chehlum procession this year epitomized all that is inspiring, touching, and motivating about “Azaa e Hussain”.
When several hundred thousand gathered in a congregation that usually numbers less than ten thousand, it was not an act of defiance. It was way beyond that. It was an act of HONOUR. An act to honour the martyrs of Karbala and an act of honour for a beleaguered minority in a country which it, more than anyone in proportion, helped shape and create. It was a determined act to show that we can sacrifice everything but will not give up the right to commemorate the martyrdom of Imam in a manner any lesser than we did in the same towns and neighbourhoods before we helped make this country. Chehlum of the martyrs of Karbala marks an extremely important occasion for us.
Chehlum has profound philosophy and history. While Ashura is the day for mourning for Imam Hussain, Chehlum is the day for reaffirming our pledge to our only leader Imam Hussain. Chehlum marks the culmination of the greatest episode in the history. Chehlum marks the end of a journey of Hussainiyat that began in the twilight of the day of Ashura. When the family of the Prophet were released from the prison in Damascus and they left for Karbala, Lady Zainab decided that litters on camel backs should be covered in black so that people would know the travelers were in mourning. This was the first Chehlum procession taken out by the mourners of Imam Hussain. That’s why we, when we can, walk hundreds of kilometers to pay homage to our Imam on the day of chehlum.
It must be acknowledged that the law enforcement agencies and the Government of Punjab did a good job on this occasion.
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137th birth anniversary of the Quaid: Former President Zardari calls for banishing militancy
Former President Asif Ali Zardari has called upon the people to adhere to the principles of the Quaid namely democracy, constitutionalism and egalitarianism and that any political change must be brought through ballot and not the bullet.
He said this in his message of the eve of the 137th birth anniversary of father of nation, Quaid-e-Azam Mohammed Ali Jinnah on Wednesday December 25.
Father of nation Mohammed Ali Jinnah had envisioned a democratic, progressive and egalitarian Pakistan where every citizen will have equal opportunities to advance without any prejudice of religion, cast and creed. The need to follow this philosophy was never as essential as it is now.
Adherence to the principles of democracy demands that we defeat the militant mindset that is seeking to impose a political agenda on the people through bullets instead of ballot, he said.
The greatest threat to Pakistan today is from the enemies within who seek to destroy the very fabric of the state by force to super impose their obscurantist agenda on the people in the name of religion. From Khyber to Karachi and from Gwadur to Gilgit Baltistan the militants have targeted our valiant members of armed forces, the police and law enforcing agencies. They have killed tens of thousands of innocent men, women and children and attacked our schools, hospitals and polio workers. They have not spared even our graveyards.
On this occasion I urge the people forge unity in their ranks to defeat these enemies of the country and to protect and preserve the values for Pakistan was created by its founding fathers under the leadership of the Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah. We reiterate today our resolve to carry on the struggle for strengthening the democratic polity and social justice and banish militancy, he said. The Pakistan Peoples Party reiterates its resolve to fight extremism to the finish and assures Pakistani nation that every worker of the Party will continue to fight for making Pakistan a truly democratic, just and pluralistic society free of the scourge of extremism and militancy.
Mr. Asif Ali Zardari also paid homage to those who laid down their lives and rendered huge sacrifices for the achievement of Pakistan as well for preserving democracy and constitutionalism and in fighting the militancy.