Sunday, March 23, 2014

Mera Jeevan Kora kagaz korahi reh gaya

French satellites spot possible debris from MH370, more aircraft to join search

Malaysia received new satellite images from French authorities showing possible debris from missing jetliner MH370, the Malaysian Transport Ministry said Sunday. The French satellite imagery was released one day after China said its satellite spotted a 22-meter-long and 13-meter-wide floating object in southern Indian Ocean, about 120 km southwest of the objects Australia announced Thursday. All these objects remain to be located and confirmed whether they are related to Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, which mysteriously disappeared en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing in the early hours of March 8 with 239 people on board. Australian, New Zealand and U.S. military and civil aircraft have searched the relevant area approximately 2,500 km southwest of the Australian port city of Perth for four days, but failed to find any suspicious objects shown on the satellite imagery. On Sunday afternoon, two Japanese P3 Orion military aircraft, which departed from Subang airport in Malaysia, arrived in the Pearce airbase near Perth to assist the search for the missing plane. Two Indian aircraft also left Subang airport to join the search and rescue operation in the northern part of the southern corridor, a search area stretching from Indonesia deep into the southern Indian Ocean, the Malaysian Transport Ministry said in a statement. Due to bad weather caused by tropical cyclone Gillian, a number of other sorties from Subang airport to the southern corridor were canceled, said the statement. In Canberra, Australian Deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss and senior maritime rescue officials reiterated that they will keep searching the southern Indian Ocean as long as there is hope. "We're hopeful obviously for breakthroughs but these kinds of searches can take a very long time especially when they're in remote locations as is the case in this instance," Truss said in a televised press conference at the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA). "We hope that soon there'll be more information available that might help to provide some kind of closure or at least an understanding of what's happened," he added. "The search will continue as long as there's hope, and I hope that we'll find a time soon when we're able to conclusively say once and for all that we are close to finding where this plane may now be located," he said. John Young, AMSA general manager of emergency response, said searchers were hoping Sunday to find again the objects spotted by airborne observers the day before so they could be recovered and to find the objects identified in U.S. and Chinese satellite photos. "Today is really a visual search again and visual searches take some time. They can be difficult," Young said at the press conference. Also on Sunday, a Chinese military official said two Chinese Air Force Ilyushin IL-76 planes will head toward the search area early Monday and provide relevant information for Chinese naval search vessels. The two planes will fly from RAAF Base Pearce to Perth and, after refuelling, will leave for the sea area in the southern Indian Ocean where objects possibly related to MH370 were spotted by satellites, Commander Liu Dianjun said. Liu said the Chinese aircraft will make a roughly eight-hour round-trip flight during their first search mission, with the furthest point 2,700 km away from Perth. Wang Quansheng, captain of one of the two IL-76 planes, said his crew members are preparing the plane to take more fuel so that it can search a wider area for a longer time. Meanwhile, Chinese icebreaker Xuelong is expected to arrive Tuesday at the search area in the southern Indian Ocean. The long-serving Antarctic research vessel is still some 1,046 km away from the search area, and it will take the icebreaker another 40 hours to get there. Xu Ting, deputy director of the Xuelong's search operations, said all the crew members have been doing their best to look for any possible traces of the missing plane. "Though we are still hundreds of miles away from the targeted waters, we are combat-ready for an all-out search mission," he added. The helicopter-carrying Xuelong, or "Snow Dragon," left the Australian port of Fremantle for the southern Indian Ocean on Friday after it received an order to join the hunt.

India stuck between growth and the coal face

India needs to boost growth, but that depends on cheap coal supplies, which are proving harder to come by at home. How will it cope with rising energy demand?

Russia, Crimea and Afghanistan

The recent development in Eastern Europe and the role of Russia in Syria has once again sent a powerful message to the world that the US will no more be the sole driver of international politics. President Hamid Karzai has made it public that Kabul respects the decision of the people of Crimea to reunite with Russia. His comments made headlines after the March referendum where 96 percent of voters opted to join the Russian Federation. It’s a powerful message to the US and it allies that the world is no more their under their hegemony. Karzai made it clear that Kabul respects free will of the people of Crimea and Sevastopol to decide their own fate, their own future. Since Afghanistan has been bearing the brunt of decades long wars and violence and knows what free will means and how much hard it is to gain it therefore it supports free will across the world.
Afghanistan, unfortunately, has been a victim of international foreign policy games, strategic interests and military interventions from world major powers like then USSR and current day world United States. Since the fall of the Taliban in 2001, Russia has provided only token aid to the security and development efforts in this country. It has seen the US and NATO presence in Central Asia and a potential threat. However, it has found a good opportunity in post-withdrawal Afghanistan. Despite the resistance and claims by the West that it will never accept Crimea’s accession to Russia, Afghanistan and many other nations of the world backed the decision made by the people of Crimea. Besides that during the past 10 years Russia’s role in Afghanistan is something that cannot be called worth appreciation however during the past two years has upped its role and as US war ends, Moscow returns to Kabul with a series of investment projects.
The people of Afghanistan will ever remain in debts to Moscow for the construction of Salang tunnel and Microryan residential complex in Kabul. Though, the Cold War era has unleashed all of sudden and Kabul needs to tread carefully, but it doesn’t mean it shouldn’t support self-determination and free will. If once again the US leaves Afghanistan in shambles like it did in post USSR withdrawal in 1990s, it will be a greatest challenge for Russia to cope with as it will strengthen hardline Islamist groups and probably more use of facilities for training volunteer that will affect Russian and Central Asian security. Pakistan once again will cash the US cold war with Russia and will never hesitate to contain Pashtun irredentism inside Afghanistan and Pakistan. After its withdrawal from Afghanistan, Moscow shifted its focus towards Iran, Iraq, and the Gulf, but it cannot overlook Afghanistan and Pakistan altogether.
China also cannot stay irrelevant as it is concerned about the security situation the region—Afghanistan and Pakistan, including the issue of external support to Uyghur separatists and narcotics smuggling into Western China. China has been pursuing a policy of non-intervention but in the recent past it has provided Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) personnel a variety of non-lethal, China-based training to enhance Kabul’s security and stability. China’s role has been upped particularly since 2008. China also arranged training for the Afghan National Police (ANP) at People’s Armed Police municipal training facilities. The training included core policing skills, crowed and riot control, criminal investigations and internal security duties. China has also offered advanced military courses to ANSF officers at People’s Liberation Army military colleges and universities. If Moscow could support Assad’s regime against West-supported Syrian rebels, Egyptian army chief Abdel Fatah al-Sissi, whose relations with Washington has been at lowest ebbs since his military coup last summer, re-annexing Crimea and other development, it means it could play an effective role if the US prefers for zero option. The US has been continuously threatening Afghanistan that it will pull out all its troops, suspend its aid and leave Afghanistan all alone if Kabul fails in signing the bilateral security agreement—BSA. In such a case all eyes will turn to Moscow once again.

Afghanistan suspects ISI behind Kabul hotel attack

The Afghan government has suggested that the recent deadly attack on a luxury hotel in Kabul was pre-planned and masterminded by Pakistan's spy agency Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI).
The National Security Council (NSC), which is chaired by President Hamid Karzai, said the attack was in fact the work of “foreign intelligence services” -- a phrase normally meant to mean neighboring Pakistan.
“Witness testimony and preliminary information analysis shows that this terrorist attack was directly executed or carried out by foreign intelligence services outside the country,” the statement read.
“Another information of the NDS (National Directorate of Security) shows that earlier when one Pakistani diplomat entered the Kabul-Serena hotel to use its sport club, he filmed the corridors of the hotel which the hotel staff raised objections to,” the statement added.
The raid on Serena Hotel, a prestigious venue favored by foreign visitors to Kabul, took place during the late hours of Thursday. Six other people were wounded in the assault.
The relations between Kabul and Islamabad are also traditionally mired in distrust. Afghanistan and Pakistan blame each other for the Taliban violence plaguing both countries.
Tensions between the two neighbors have risen in recent weeks. Afghanistan blames elements within the Pakistani government for supporting Taliban militants, while Islamabad blames Kabul for giving refuge to militants on its side of the border.
The US invaded Afghanistan with the official objective of curbing militancy and bringing peace and stability to the region. However, after more than twelve years the region remains unstable and militancy has expanded into Pakistan.

Belarus De Facto Acknowledges Crimea as Part of Russia

Belarus has de facto acknowledged the Republic of Crimea as Russia's territory, President Alexander Lukashenko said Sunday.
"Crimea has de facto become part of Russia. This is a de facto situation and we will support Russia," Lukashenko said adding that the de jure recognition will come later. Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree Friday on the ratification of the treaty providing for the reunification of the Crimean Peninsula with Russia.
The treaty was signed with Crimean Prime Minister Sergei Aksyonov and other leaders of the region on Tuesday and ratified by both houses of the Russian parliament.
Leaders in the predominantly Russian-ethnic republic refused to recognize the legitimacy of the government in Kiev that came to power amid often violent protests last month, instead seeking reunification with Russia.

Putin instructs to approve plans to form federal authorities in Crimea before March 29

Russian President Vladimir Putin instructed chief executives of several ministries and agencies to approve plans of organisational events to form territorial federal executive authorities and other bodies and departments in the Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol before March 29 envisaging some changes in numerical strength of these authorities if necessary, the Kremlin press service reported on Sunday.
Putin instructed Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, Defence Minister Sergey Shoigu, Interior Minister Vladimir Kolokoltsev, Federal Security Service Director Alexander Bortnikov, Director of the State Courier Service Valery Tikhonov, Director of the Federal Penitentiary Service Gennady Kornienko, Director of the Federal Bailiff Service Artur Parfenchikov, Director of the Federal Service for Control over Drugs Circulation Viktor Ivanov, Minister of Emergency Situations Vladimir Puchkov, Director of the Federal Guard Service Yevgeny Murov, Head of the Chief Directorate of Special Presidential Programmes Vladislav Menshchikov, Head of the Federal Financial Monitoring Service Yuri Chikhanchin, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov “to approve according to specific procedure plans of organisational events to form territorial federal executive authorities and other bodies and departments in the Republic of Crimea and the Russian city of Sevastopol until March 29, 2014 envisaging some changes in numerical strength of specific bodies and departments and to form territorial bodies of federal executive authorities and other bodies and departments according to these plans,” the Kremlin press service reported.
“A report should be delivered in two weeks, then monthly,” the Kremlin press service stated.

Will Iran, Syria and Egypt Take Their Cues From Russia?

By Bob Dreyfuss
One of the ugly consequences of Vladimir Putin’s Crimean land grab and the subsequent reaction in the United States and Western Europe is that the chilled relations across the divide could have a dramatic impact on conflicts and controversies in Iran, Syria, Egypt, Afghanistan and elsewhere.
In the United States, it may seem that Russia’s actions will make Putin and Co. pariahs in the rest of the world, but among the strongmen and tough guys of the Middle East, that might not be the case. A Middle East diplomat told The Nation recently that during a visit last summer to Russia by the head of Saudi intelligence, Prince Bandar bin Sultan, the Saudi spy chief, told Putin that Saudi Arabia would consider financing arms purchases by Egypt from Russia.
Then, in February, Egypt’s ruler and all-but-assured next president, Abdul-Fattah el-Sisi, the defense chief who seized power in a coup d’etat last July, reportedly secured a $3 billion arms deal with Russia that could be the first step toward easing the United States out of Egypt’s military market.
In Syria, meanwhile, President Bashar al-Assad’s Russian-backed government is no doubt embolded by Russia’s muscle-flexing, and it’s likely that Russia will double down on supporting Assad’s military, which has already been making major gains in the civil war against a rag-tag, mostly Islamist opposition. Reported The Washington Post last week: Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is taking advantage of the rift between Russia and the United States over Ukraine to press ahead with plans to crush the rebellion against his rule and secure his reelection for another seven-year term, unencumbered by pressure to compromise with his opponents.
And now, Iran. The latest round of talks between Iran and the P5+1 world powers, including the United States and Russia, concluded this week. But the Russians are now hinting that they might hold the talks hostage if the United States reacts too strongly to Russia’s Ukraine policy. Listen to Sergei Ryabkov, Russia’s deputy foreign minister and delegate to the P5+1 talks with Iran:
We wouldn’t like to use these talks as an element of the game of raising the stakes, taking into account the sentiments in some European capitals, Brussels and Washington. But if they force us into that, we will take retaliatory measures here as well. The historic importance of what happened in the last weeks and days regarding the restoration of historical justice and reunification of Crimea with Russia is incomparable to what we are dealing with in the Iranian issue.
Some analysts say that Russia has its own national interest in trying to prevent Iran from getting the bomb, but the fact is that Iran is nowhere near getting a bomb. Still, the United States does need Russia to help diplomatically with Iran, and it needs both Iran and Russia vis-à-vis Syria. Among other things, Russia could easily shatter the sanctions consensus on Iran, reopening trade ties with its neighbor to the south. And, in the extreme, Russia could start delivering anti-missile and anti-aircraft defense systems to Iran, including an advanced type that would terrify Israel and perhaps lead hawkish Israelis to demand air strikes on Iran before the missiles could be put in place.

Turkey: Erdoğan is stealing people’s freedom

It was during and immediately after last year’s Gezi protests that Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his Justice and Development Party (AKP) realized the importance of social media, and decided to establish a powerful social media team in order to suppress government opponents. There were reports that the party recruited thousands of people for a massive attack against government critics through Twitter, Facebook and YouTube messages, which often contained threats and intimidation.
Having already declared Twitter and social media as “menaces,” Erdoğan’s policy was lacking intelligence, creativity and content, which led to a total failure of the project. Well, he then did what any ordinary authoritarian leader would do and banned them.
Erdoğan’s move to block access to Twitter can only be described as stealing people’s freedoms. Turkey has 12 million Twitter users and is one of the leading countries in the use of social media, especially in a media environment where the government is exerting all of its efforts to undermine the freedom of the press. A majority of the Turkish media is biased and effectively acts as “Erdoğan’s Pravda,” while the remaining outlets are under huge pressure not to report corruption and graft claims associated with Erdoğan, his family and Cabinet members. Erdoğan had signaled that he was considering shutting down YouTube and Twitter two weeks ago, in order to stop the leaks of his phone conversations with his family members and businessmen, which are considered to be powerful evidence of his corrupt relations. But there are also rumors that the worst has yet to come and that Erdoğan’s rush is to prevent the release of this very worst.
As of the afternoon of March 21, Turkish President Abdullah Gül, EU Commissioner Stefan Füle, the State Department of the U.S. and numerous national and international organizations, have voiced their opposition to the move, expressing grave concerns and calling on the government to lift the Twitter ban. Even Cabinet ministers Mehmet Şimşek and Ali Babacan expressed their belief that the ban would not last long, and underlined the importance of social media for an open society. But who wants an open society? Not Erdoğan, obviously.
Starting from the massive Gezi protests and escalations during the Dec. 17, 2013 corruption and graft operation process, we are observing the regression of Turkey’s democratic achievements under Erdoğan’s government. His uncontrolled anger that results in uncalculated moves is landing huge blows on people’s lives and their hopes for the future. With his recent steps, he stole the people’s belief in justice, the people’s notion of public conscious and of individual liberties. At this point, I recalled a book by American author Ron Paul Jones, titled “The Way to Steal Freedom,” as he introduced it as a guide for government.
“To steal freedom, do whatever this book says,” it reads, citing the following methods:
“Purge government officials and opposition leaders--Attack laws and the constitution--Take advantage of opportunities--Blame scapegoats, foreign and domestic--Use the military in domestic crises--Create domestic wars everywhere--Keep the people under close surveillance--Embrace tracking technologies--Pass hate crime laws--Maintain terrorist lists, immigrant lists, sexual offender lists, etc.--Take away people’s property--Control education--Expand military draft--Engage in aggressive interrogation and torture--Suspend habeas corpus (a key judicial act that nixes arbitrary arrest)-- Limit free speech and assembly--Control media through censorship--Require gun registration--Control guns through economic means--Manage the economy--Increase the income tax and inflation tax.”
Who would disagree that a good majority of these methods are now being used by the government? Erdoğan, especially on the eve of the elections, is doing everything he can just to cover up a probe into how millions of euros and dollars of this country have been stolen. Instead of weakening the democratic pillars of Turkey and of giving a major blow to the country’s reputation through his irresponsible and unwise moves, he should allow a total investigation on corruption allegations to clear his and his party’s record. Otherwise, history will cite him among the most corrupt politicians, who in particular stole the future and hope of his nation.

Turkey blocks Google service used to sidestep Twitter ban

Turkish authorities have blocked the Google DNS service used by the local Twitter community to get around the ban on the social network. The number of tweets, however, jumped 138 percent.
The measure has come as Erdogan starts a final electoral push to stifle rivals who he has described as an “alliance of evil.”
After the ban imposed on Twitter late on Thursday, with Erdogan’s vow to "wipe out" the messaging service, the Turks began using Google’s DNS service to access the social network. The users typed and into their network settings to bypass the ban. Also, these numbers appeared in graffiti on the walls of some houses. The Domain Name System (DNS) is a hierarchical distributed naming system for computers, services, or any resource connected to the internet or a private network. Apart from bypassing blocking, it can be used for faster internet surfing speeds.
The authorities said that Twitter had been banned for a reason, though, saying there are "hundreds of court rulings in Turkey" over Twitter content. “Twitter has been used as a means to carry out systematic character assassinations by circulating illegally acquired recordings, fake and fabricated records of wiretapping,” Erdogan’s office of public diplomacy said on Saturday.
Also, the social network was “biased,” they stressed. Twitter was blocked ahead of the March-30 local elections for the campaigning period.
However, President Abdullah Gul has said that the presidency is in talks with Twitter to reach a speedy resolution to the block on the website in Turkey, Hurriyet Daily News reported. "It is not legally possible to shut down the internet and platforms [like Twitter]" he told reporters in Ankara. "This is of course an unpleasant situation for such a developed country as Turkey, which has weight in the region and which is negotiating with the European Union. Therefore, it will be overcome soon.” The president said that he had instructed his staff to contact Twitter to put an end “to this bitter situation.”
Earlier, Twitter officials expressed hope that full access to the website will be restored shortly, after a lawyer representing the platform met with Turkish authorities in the capital Ankara on March 21, local media reported.

Michelle Obama urges Chinese students to explore the world

Hillary Clinton says education remains root out of poverty

President Obama to kick off European trip amid Russia's annexation of Crimea
During his four-country trip, the President will be gauging how hard the European Union is willing to push back against Russia, one of its largest trading partners. Obama will have to contend with European leaders who are still fuming over the NSA's surveillance of key allies. President Obama will face a high-stakes diplomatic test this week in Europe, where he will urge allies to remain united against Russia. The long-planned four-country trip begins Monday in the Netherlands, and is sure to be dominated by Russian President Vladimir Putin’s annexation of Crimea.
Obama will be gauging how far the economically shaky European Union is willing to go in punishing Russia, one of its largest trading partners.
The 28-country bloc’s commitment to sanctions is key for Obama’s pledge to pressure Putin. Administration officials acknowledge American sanctions simply do not have the same bite as ones from Europe, given its deep economic ties to Russia.
But Obama will have to contend with many European leaders who are still fuming over the National Security Agency’s surveillance of key allies. “There’s an anger there, there’s a frustration there,” said Heather Conley, a Europe expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

Bill Clinton urges students at CGIU: ‘We have to be on the field and playing’

By Philip Rucker
Former president Bill Clinton made no mention of his wife, but in his rallying cry to some 1,200 college students here Saturday one could hear a succinct rationale for her to run for president.
The country faces long-term debt problems that threaten its global competitiveness, Clinton said, and the solutions are not mind-numbingly difficult. But, he told the crowd, addressing them will require political will. “Who will stand up and say: ‘Send me. I’ll fight for that’?” Clinton said. “There’s no place for any of us in the peanut gallery. We have to be on the field and playing.”
Clinton’s remarks were about motivating young leaders to become more involved in politics and policy. “The Age of Participation” is the theme of this weekend’s Clinton Global Initiative University conference held on the Tempe campus of Arizona State University. But as with everything the Clintons say and do these days, the former president’s comments will be interpreted vis-a-vis Hillary Rodham Clinton’s deliberations about running for president in 2016.
For the past two days, Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton have held forth on a campus stage using their star power to motivate some 1,200 millennials to foster change in their communities and the world. In one session, Hillary Clinton looked out on a sea of young people and said they were “open-minded and tolerant.”
“We are going to make sure the millennial generation really is the participation generation,” she said Friday night.
Although the three-day conference centers on altruism — on Sunday morning, the Clintons will join former congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) and her husband, astronaut Mark Kelly, in a community service project to beautify a part of nearby downtown Phoenix — current events entered into the discussions. During a wide-ranging family interview Saturday night with late-night talk-show host Jimmy Kimmel, Hillary Clinton said she hoped the millennial generation commits to making climate change “a voting issue” as powerful as other issues.
“This is not just some ancillary issue,” Hillary Clinton said. “This will determine in large measure the quality of life in so many places around the world. I’m hoping that there will be this mass movement that demands political change.”
When Vrinda Agarwal, a student at the University of California at Berkeley, asked Clinton to represent women by running for president, Clinton said, “I’m obviously thinking about all kinds of decisions.” “Look,” she added, “I am very much concerned about the direction of our country — and it’s not just who runs for office but what they do when they get there, and how we bring people together and particularly empower young people so that we can tackle these hard decisions we’ve just been talking about.”
Earlier Saturday, Bill Clinton went on an extemporaneous riff about deficit issues. He blamed debt problems on Republicans, who he said have campaigned irresponsibly since the 1980s on promises never to raise taxes. He said they were “just like a child who likes to eat candy every day and never go to the dentist.”
Clinton also condemned the state of U.S. politics and the growing power of super PACs to negatively define candidates. “You couldn’t always depend on a billionaire spending a fortune to run television ads against you to tell everybody how un-American you are,” Clinton said. “This is a new thing in American history.” “On a bipartisan basis,” Clinton added, “we need to reject it.”

Video: Michelle Obama visits the Great Wall

Cricket: Pakistan record thrilling 16-run win against Australia

Pakistan defeated Australia by 16 runs in a highly exciting match of the Super Ten Series Group-2 in the fifth World Twenty20 here at the Shere Bangla National Stadium Mirpur on Sunday. Chasing a stiff target of 192, Australia were all out for 175 in exact 20 overs.

Experts fault Karzai’s stance on Crimea
Some political analysts believe President Hamid Karzai’s overnight remarks on Crimea’s accession to the Russian Federation are aimed to assert his administration’s independence in framing its foreign policy.
Last week, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a treaty making Crimea part of Russia. On Friday, all 155 senators present in Moscow's upper house of parliament voted in favour of the accession treaty. Late on Saturday, President Hamid Karzai said he respected the outcome of the recent referendum on Crimea’s accession to the Russian Federation. He called the referendum the voice of Crimea’s people.
The president staked out his position at a meeting with a bipartisan US Congress and Senate delegation, led by Ms. Kelly Ayotte. The bilateral security agreement (BSA), release of prisoners from Bagram jail, regional issues including recent events in Ukraine and Crimea were discussed.
While denouncing the referendum, the United States and the European Union are preparing sanctions against Russia, whose forces effectively took control of Crimea in late February after President Viktor Yanukovych fled the country in the wake of violent protests.
Although Afghanistan has long been a US ally, President Karzai’s stance is in conflict with the positions of Washington and other major Western capitals. His statement comes as Kabul and Washington continue to differ on the BSA and release of prisoners from the Bagram jail.
Political commentators agree Afghanistan being a sovereign nation reserves the right to pursue good ties with all foreign countries in line with its foreign policy.
One analyst Ghulam Jilani Zwak opined Kabul was not bound to support the US and NATO states in maintaining its international relations. Iran was an arch enemy of the United States, but Afghanistan has close ties with the neighbour. Zwak said if the United States forces Afghanistan to toe its line on international relations, it would amount to the country’s occupation.
Another political commentator, Dr. Faiz Muhammad Zaland, claimed Karzai’s stance on Crimea and the situation in Ukraine was not in the national interest. The US and NATO provide civil and military assistance to the country. The presidential position would plunge the country into a deep crisis, he feared. Karzai has lately his foreign policy focus to China, Russia and India in an attempt to create problems for the US, he continued.
Mohammad Hasan Haqyar, a former journalist and political analyst, said Karzai was in the habit of issuing anti-US statements. Washington was using different options to pressurise him to sign the BSA.
His stance on Crimea is in response to the pressures. He explained Afghan leaders historically looked east when their relations with the West worsened.
Noman Dost, another analyst, said that Karzai was increasingly trying to prove himself an independent leader to the rising generations. The president asserted his independence on visits to Iran, China and Russia. Important agreements had been signed with the countries in defiance of US concerns, according to Dost, who if USA and NATO scaled down their assistance, Afghanistan would be hurt.

Afghanistan respects Crimea's right to self-determination – Karzai

Afghan President Hamid Karzai told a US congressional delegation that he respects the decision of the people of Crimea to reunite with Russia. His comment follows the March 16 referendum in which 96 percent of voters opted to join the Russian Federation.
The events in Crimea and Ukraine were among several issues discussed in a Kabul meeting between Karzai and the group of Democratic and Republican congressmen. The bipartisan delegation was led by Senator Kelly Ayotte.
Karzai made it clear that Afghanistan respects the free will of the people of Crimea and Sevastopol to decide their own future, the Afghan president’s office said on its website.
Despite Western claims that the accession of Crimea to Russia will never be recognized internationally, Afghanistan and many other nations have backed the decision made by the Crimean population.
On Friday, Ukraine recalled its ambassador to Armenia after the country’s president, Serzh Sargsyan, told Vladimir Putin in a phone conversation that the Crimean referendum was a “model for the realization of self-determination.” Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Syria, Venezuela, and North Korea have also supported the right to self-determination for the people of Crimea.
On Friday, Crimea and Sevastopol – which used to be part of Ukraine – officially joined Russia, with President Putin signing the finalizing decree. Previously, Russian lawmakers ratified an international treaty with Crimea and the city of Sevastopol, which the sides signed at the Kremlin on March 18. Crimea’s rejoining of Russia was triggered by an armed coup in Kiev, which saw democratically elected Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich ousted. The uprising of the predominantly Russian-speaking region of Crimea began after the new self-proclaimed authorities passed a law revoking the regional status of the Russian language.
It resulted in a referendum in which 83 percent of the Crimean population participated. An overwhelming majority of over 96 percent voted in favor of reunification with Russia.

Watchdog: 'We Don't Even Know What We Spend' On Afghanistan Reconstruction

Huffington Post
Eugene Mulero
The top watchdog in Afghanistan said Thursday that the U.S. is potentially paying the salaries of nonexistent Afghan police officers, due in part to poor anti-corruption policies in that country.
John Sopko, the special inspector general for Afghanistan reconstruction (SIGAR), said the U.S.' failure to implement a tracking system of its reconstruction projects has contributed to cases of corruption throughout the Afghan government.
"We don't even know what we spend and where we spend it 12 years into this," Sopko said in an address at the Atlantic Council. "That's the frustrating thing."
During his most recent stint in Afghanistan, Sopko said he learned of new schools that were in "danger of collapsing," hospitals low on supplies, roads that were "disintegrating faster than we can build them." He also has been investigating allegations of possible inaccuracies in the Afghan police payroll where "ghost workers" might have been receiving compensation.
Since 2002, the international community has contributed $3.17 billion to the Law and Order Trust Fund for Afghanistan, the source of funding for the salaries of Afghan national police personnel, according to Sopko. The U.S. has provided about $1.21 billion of that total. A 2011 investigation by SIGAR found there was limited assurance police personnel were the only ones to be compensated from the funds.
In a February letter released on Wednesday, Sopko said that paying for “ghost workers” in the Afghan national police would be a loss of a "very significant amount of U.S. taxpayer money."
"In response to a number of surveys, Afghan citizens have described the Afghan justice system and police force as particularly corrupt," Sopko said.
While concerns over reconstruction and the police's payroll are likely to persist after U.S. troops leave Afghanistan at the end of this year, Sopko stressed on Thursday his team will continue to investigate the allegations of corruption. Sopok also said next month's Afghan presidential elections could open the door for new leadership to tackle urgent concerns in the government.
"All the major candidates say they want to combat corruption," he said.
Responding to Sopok's concerns, Maj. Gen. Kevin R. Wendel, Afghanistan's head of transition command, said he has not found anyone "knowingly paid for non-existent workers."
"Our review of the payroll process is not complete," Wendel wrote in a memo this month responding to SIGAR's concerns. "and we are continuing to work diligently with both ministries to establish personnel and resource accountability as automated systems are fully deployed."

Afghanistan: CCTV shows Taliban gunmen at Serena hotel before attack

Malala Yousafzai's Dad At TED2014: 'I Am Known By My Daughter And Proud Of It'

He comes from a part of the world that keeps its women hidden and powerless, yet Ziauddin Yousafzai couldn’t be happier that his daughter is the reason he has become a household name.
Yousafzai’s daughter, Malala, was nearly killed in 2012 when the Taliban shot her in the head for being an outspoken advocate for education. She has since recovered, and father and daughter have become synonymous with the fight to enable every girl to get access to education -- a mission they hope to spread across the globe, Yousafzai said during his address at the 2014 TED conference in Vancouver.
"Malala used to be known as my daughter, but now I’m known as her father," he said to the crowd on Monday. "In patriarchal societies, fathers are known by their sons. I am known by my daughter and proud of it."
This year marks the 30th anniversary of TED, a forum that brings together thought-leaders to share ideas on how to change the world. This year’s theme, "The Next Chapter," focuses on the greatest developments of the past three decades, and how that knowledge informs what the future holds.
Malala, who is still a target of the Taliban, couldn’t make it to the conference, according to the Vancouver Sun. Yousafzai talked about his daughter’s determination to succeed despite the Taliban’s threats -- she is currently continuing her education in England -- and how Malala’s story could potentially rewrite the narrative for millions of subjugated women.
"This plight of millions of women could be changed if women and men think differently," Yousafzai said. "If they can break a few norms of family and society, if they can abolish the discriminatory laws of the systems in their states that go against basic human rights of the women."
Across the globe, 31 million girls are not enrolled in school. Depriving girls of learning, experts have found, can have fatal consequences. According to UNESCO, for example, a child born to a mother who can read is 50 percent more likely to survive past age 5.
But Malala’s story of triumph is proof of just how much potential girls everywhere hold.
In 2007, she started a campaign in Swat, Pakistan, for girls’ education and women’s rights, despite the fact that the Taliban had outlawed education for women and girls. Two years later, she put herself at further risk by blogging for CNN about her mission, her dad said in his speech. Malala’s crusade was hurled into the international spotlight when the Taliban shot her in 2012 while she was on her way home from school.
Today, Malala is pursuing her own studies while fighting for girls worldwide through the Malala Fund, an organization that partners with local groups to bring education to girls.
But, advocates say that the only way to successfully make education accessible to everyone is by joining together both female activists, like Malala, and progressive men, like her father, who are willing to stand up against those who oppress women.
"The question remains, how do we encourage more men to be advocates for the women in their lives? To be gentle, kind and supportive. To refuse to conform to stereotypes and to liberate themselves and their women from the shackles of patriarchy?" Shiza Shahid, CEO and co-founder of the Malala Fund, wrote in a blog for The Huffington Post. "While we have a long way to go, creating powerful spokespersons for the cause, like Ziauddin, is certainly the start."

Pakistan: Christian Inhabitants Of Islamabad Slums Declared Protest Against Demolition
Former Federal Minister, Convener World Minorities Alliance J Salik has announced “Jail Bharo Movement”
A convention was held in a slum of Islamabad, thousands of residents and other people were present there. At the event J Salik said that their homes are their ‘Pakistan’, and if their homes will be demolished, these poor inhabitants will start the Movement and will give themselves for arrest as protest. He added, this Movement will sprint on countrywide level.
He further said that Government has already occupied Christians properties illegally; School, Collages and have seized their rights, Ministry, Funds, political rights and even have given Sanitation department on Contract, in which more than 98% workers are Christians and now they are clutching their homes. He also said that with this step more than 3000 Christian families will affect in Capital of Pakistan.
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Pakistan: Christian Cemetery In Pasrur Under Muslim Land Mafia Menace

People in Pasrur, District Sialkot are facing constant threat as an influential Muslim community land mafia group trying to take possession of community cemetery by force to build a roadway to connect their housing project over the graves.
The British rule allotted that cemetery to Christian community in their regime. The Muslims are now arguing that the land belongs to them. The construction group has recently initiated a housing project contiguous to the cemetery and over the graves.
The community leaders are meeting with the representative of the local government to resolve the matter amicably. The Christians of the city are courageously safeguarding the cemetery 24/7 and are ready to surrender their lives if the group ever attempted to vandalize the graves of their ancestors.

Pakistani man gunned down despite being acquitted in blasphemy case
A Pakistani man, who was recently acquitted in a blasphemy case, was gunned down in Jehlum district of Punjab province.
Sharafat Gola told police that his brother - Ashraf Gola, a former chairman of a district council - was travelling along with a friend Iftikhar Ahmed in a car when unidentified men intercepted it near Pind Dadan Khan, some 250 kilometres from Lahore, and sprayed it with bullets leaving both dead.
Sharafat said his brother was recently acquitted in a blasphemy case but those pursuing it had threatened him of dire consequences.
The district and sessions judge had acquitted Ashraf as nothing was established against him. Police have registered a case against the unidentified killers. The incident highlights how blasphemy accused are not safe in Pakistan even after being acquitted. Earlier, another blasphemy accused had been shot dead after he secured bail in Punjab. Human rights groups have alleged that Pakistan's blasphemy law is often misused to settle personal scores and grudges.

Zia ul Haq’s Afghan Jihad and Nawaz Sharif’s Syrian Jihad

Nawaz Sharif is leading Pakistan into oblivion and total destruction. His spiritual father Zia took a few dollars and sold the future of Pakistan to Takfiri Deobandi terrorist and their Madrassa empires. The fruits of Zia’s Afghan Jihad are well known, Pakistan has paid in billions and the growing extremism has retarded the country resulting in widespread terrorism, lawlessness, lack of economic prosperity and development of human capital.
Saudi Salafis are not giving us 1.5 billion dollars (this is only the first installment) for nothing or as Sartaj Aziz put it ” a gift” , but they have long term plans behind their strategy , they have bought us once when we fought on their and America’s behalf against soviet union in Dollar Riyal Jihad aka Afghan Jihad. This time around the Battle field is not Afghanistan but Syria , players are still same , America and its allies want to punish Syria for being the major part of the axis of resistance against imperialism in Middle east and for being Russia and Iran’s close ally , Syria have already paid a huge cost but Bashar ul Assad is still there , and he is not going anywhere , Saudis have understood this fact quite well and now they want Pakistani weapons and jihadist to fight against Syrian Arab army so they can gain the momentum back they lost after Hezbollah’s involvement in Syria’s war. A Saudi shoeshine boy: Nawaz Sharif has been hailed by Saudi prince Talal as “our man in Pakistan”.
Pakistan to Saudis once again but this could be a deadly mistake as we are still facing the consequences of Afghan Jihad , Getting involved in Syrian Conflict will have disasterous consequences for Pakistan. Shias , Sufi Sunni Brelvi , Christians, Ahmadis and minorities will be in the line of fire as they are already been targeted by state backed takfiri deobandi militants of Deobandi Sipah e Sahaba Taliban (ASWJ TTP LEJ).
One can only imagine the new depths, Nawaz Sharif’s Syrian Jihad will sink Pakistan into. A few billions that will benefit by the Sharif family, the Army and the select urban elite, while future generations of Pakistan will pay for it. Just as Pakistanis today are paying for the misadventures of the Afghan Jihad. Yesterday it was the Soviet Union, and today it is Russia, its incarnation. Nothing has changed: it is the same players on both sides. The only added dimension is Iran. Thus Pakistan is creating new enemies. The Deobandi Zia’s legacy goes on. The Deobandi mindset has turned Pakistan into a mercenary state.
In the past the “enemy” was on Pakistan’s border. Now it is Pakistan who has gone to Syrian in search of an enemy. Certainly the enemy will deal with Pakistan in a manner of its choice.
In his quest for money, Nawaz Sharif cannot be convinced that siding with the House of Saud is a bad idea. The very recent 1.5 dollars put into Nawaz’s account are significant. This money is not aid to Pakistani. It should have gone to the State Bank if it were aid. This money is basically for Pakistani mercenaries and their families who have been killing Shias in Bahrain and Syria.
Pakistan Army needs wars and diversions to expand its size and reach. There is no doubt they will be happy and shortsighted participants in Pakistan’s newest Syrian misadventure. Wars are profitable for the Army, they will sell their weapons and continue to export takfiri deobandis to murder Shia Sunni Christian and others in Syria, Bahrain, Iraq or the highest bidder.
The Generals at the top make the money, soldiers die and the ordinary people in Pakistan suffer the blow back. History repeats itself from the Afghan Jihad. Zia the father sunk Pakistan into the quick sands of religious extremism. There is no way Nawaz or the Army can be convinced not to be become mercenaries for the Saudis because the lure of dollars is too strong. Who knows what will be unintended consequences in the future? Could weapons of mass destruction that fall into the wrong hands?
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"هزاره صوبه د تحريک انصاف سياسي سازش"
— دپاکستان بيلابيلو سياسي گوندونو د جمعې په ورځ د خيبرپښتونخوا اسمبلۍ څخه د هزارې په نوم د نوې صوبې جوړؤلو اؤ د خيبرپښتونخوا صوبې د نوم بدلؤلو په اړه منظور شوي قراردادونه غندلي اؤ دايې د پاکستان تحريک انصاف لخوا په هزاره کې د خپلو ووټونو پيداکولو يو ناکامه کوشش گرځولى دى . دخيبرپښتونخوا اسمبلۍ دجمعې په ورځ دهزاره صوبې جوړولو لپاره درايې په اکثريت سره دوه فرادادونه منظور کړي ؤ چې په دغو قراردادونو کې د خيبرپښتونخوا سيمې د هزارې سيمې څخه ديوې بئيلې صوبې جوړولو اؤ د خيبر پښتونخوا صوبې دنوم پڅايې په صوبه د هزار پښتونخو د نوم ايښودلو غوښتنه شوې وه. دغه دواړه قراردادونه په صوبه کې د واکمن سياسي گوند پاکستان تحريک انصاف د غړو لخوا اسمبلۍ ته وړاندې کړل شوي وؤ چې نۀ يواځې په صوبه کې د واکمن ائتلاف دپارلمان غړو ورسره اختلاف کړى ؤ بلکې مخالفو سياسي گوندونو ورسره هم د اختلاف څرگندونه کړې وه خو بياهم دغه قراردادونه د اسمبلۍ څخه منظور کړل شوي وؤ د خالي په ورځ پيښور پريس کلب کې څيړنيزې ادارې وطن ويلفئير سوسائټي په غږ د "په پښتونخوا وطن کې د امن،تعليم،ترقۍ اؤ په وسائيلو د اختيار دپاره د وسيع اتحاد".په نوم راجوړ شوي سيمينار ته پخپله وينا کې په خيبرپښتونخوا اسمبلۍ کې د مسلم ليگ (ن) غړې ميرمن صوبيه خان وويل " په صوبه کې حکمران جماعت پاکستان تحريک انصاف د خپلو ووټونو سيوا کولو دپاره زمونږ صوبه ويشل غواړ خو اوس وخت راغلى چې بايد مونږ ټول د صوبې د گټو دپاره د سياسي ډلې پرې سوچ پريږدو اؤ خپلو کې يو موټى شو " صوبيه خان زياته کړه صوبايي اسمبلۍ څخه دغه قراردادونه په داسې حال کې منظورکړل شوي چې داسمبلۍ کورم هم پوره نۀ ؤ اؤ په دومره چټکتيا کې په يوه اهمه موضوع د اسمبلۍ څخه قراردادونه منظورؤل څرگندوي چې دلته يو لويې سياسي سازش روان دى. دنيشنل پارټۍ صوبايي صدر مختار باچا دغه سيمينار ته پخپله وينا کې وويل "بايد مونږ دې قراردادونو ته هيڅ اهميت ورنۀ کړو ځکه چې ددې يواځينى مقصد دسياسي ملاتړ د يو گوند لخوا په پخپلو ووټونو کې د زياتوالي راوستو اؤ سياسي ملاتړ ترلاسه کولو دى" هغه وويل "دا کوم دوه قراردادونه چې دوئ پاس کړي دي دا پخپله ديوبل مخالف دي ، ځکه چې يو خوا د هزارې صوبې غوښتنه کوي اؤ بلخوا په خيبر پښتونخوا د هزاره پښتونخوا نوم ايښودو تجويز مخې ته راوړي چې ددې نه واضحه کيږي ، دوئ هسې ټوقي کوي" مختار باچا وويل کله چې د پښتونخوا قرارداد اسمبلۍ ته راوړل کيدو نو دهغې دپاره ډيره اوږده سياسي مبارزه شوې وه اؤ بيا چې څوڅو ځله اسمبلۍ دغه قراردادمنظور هم کړو نو عمل پرې ترهغې نۀ کيدو ترڅو چې په ائين کې ترميم نۀ ؤ شوى نو بيا ولې مونږ ځانله زړۀ وخورو چې گنې تحريک انصاف به په يو قرارداد د پښتنو صوبه وويشي؟ په دغه سيمينار کې شريک د خيبرپښتونخوا په حکومت د شامل سياسي گوند عوامي جمهوري اتحاد صوبايي نائب صدر ى بلند خان ترکۍ هم د اسمبلۍ څخه ددغو قراردادونو منظوريدل د پښتنو د صوبې په ضد يو سازش وگرځولو اؤ وئ وئيل"په داسې حال کې چې د پښتنو په خاوره د ترهگرۍ اور بل دى اؤ د امن پځايې کولو دپاره مذاکرات روان دي يوه غير ضروري موضوع اسمبلۍ ته راوړل د پښتنو په ضد د سازش پرته بله هيڅ معني نۀ لري" د نوموړي په وينا عوامي جمهوري اتحاد کۀ هرڅو د حکومت سره په ائتلاف کې شامل دى خو دصوبې اؤ اولس په گټه چې هره خبره وي د هغې دپاره به غږ پورته کوي. د وطن ويلٍيفئر سوسائټي مشر ډاکټر سيد عالم محسود پخپله وينا کې وويل "هرڅو کۀ پښتانۀ دپاکستان دابادۍ 17فيصده جوړيږو خو جي ټي پي ته يې زمونږ صوبه 23 فيصده ورکوي " نوموړي وويل نن دې څوک شمير شميره راواخلي اؤ معلومه دې کړي چې زمونږ صوبه څومره غني ده اؤ ټول هيواد ته څومره حاصلات ورکوي. دهغه په وينا د خيبرپښتونخوا څخه ټول هيواد ته د ځنگلونو اؤ ماربلو به برخه کې 70 فيصده ،د تماکو په مد کې 85فيصده،اؤ داوبو له لارې 75 فيصده گټه رسيږي اؤ ضروريات يې پوره کولى شي خو بيا هم نن زمونږ د صوبې اولس تر ټولو زيات غريب، خوار اؤ پسمانده ساتل شوى دى. ډاکټر محسود وويل " مونږ چې خوار ساتل شوي يو نو امريکه، چين، روس يا بل کوم بهرني هيواد نۀ يو خوار کړي بلکې د لاهور اؤ اسلام اباد واکمنې طبقې مو په حقونو گيډه اچولې ده اؤ پخپلو وسيلو اختيار نه راکوي" په دغه سيمينارکې د خيبر پښتونخوا د واکمن گوند په نمائندگۍ يونس ظهير،د عوامي نيشنل پارټۍ ولي په نمائندگۍ ارشاد تندر،د مزدور کسان پارټۍ په استازيتوب ارشاد تندر اؤ د گڼو نورو سياسي گوندونو استازو، ليکوالو، صحافيانو اؤ شاعرانو هم برخه لرله. دپاکستان دخيبرپښتونخوا صوبې په هزاره سيمه کې که چرته د هندکو ژبې وئيونکو په سيمو کې ددغه منظور شوؤ قراردادونو په منظوريدو د خوشحالۍ څرگندونه کيږي نو هلته د پښتونخوا د پښتنو په سيمو کې ددغو قراردادونو په ضد د صوبې د حکمران گوند په ضد سخته غصه خوره شوې ده اؤ د جمعې اؤ خالي په ورځ په سوشل نيټ ورک فيس بک هم گڼو خلکو داسې تصويران خپاره کړي چې پرې ليک دي"هزاره صوبه نۀ منو"

Pakistan: No justice for Aminas of the country

THE Mir Hazar Khan police aren’t inhospitable, at least not in normal circumstances. But Wednesday wasn’t a routine day at the police station in Muzaffargarh’s Jatoi tehsil. Punjab’s top spy was trying to determine the circumstances that had forced Amina Mai to burn herself to death just outside the police station a week earlier. He was also focusing on the police’s role in the release, without a proper probe, of the man Amina accused of raping her on Jan 5. Another team headed by the top provincial investigator was due to arrive the next morning to probe the rape case on the apex court’s orders.
That wasn’t all. Three of the policemen’s colleagues facing arrest — a DSP, an inspector and a sub-inspector — are fugitives from the law. Another DSP is on temporary bail and ASI Rana Zulfiqar Ali, who was investigating the 18-year-old’s complaint but had evidently freed the suspect without a proper probe, is in jail. Against this backdrop, it was but natural for the police to view a journalist in their midst as an unwanted intrusion. “Not now,” said an uncommunicative sentry, pushing us out of the building and bolting the gate behind us.
Outside the police station — 40km from Muzaffargarh — the spot where the Class XI student had set herself on fire after the release of the key suspect doesn’t bear any sign of her tragic death. Eyewitnesses are hard to find. “I saw the girl sprinkling petrol on her scarf from a can handed by her mother and lighting herself,” Tanveer Ahmed, whose father owns a dhaba a few metres away, told Dawn. He was the only person in the area who claimed to have witnessed the incident.
“A couple of TV cameramen were recording the event and continuously encouraging her to burn her scarf if she wanted justice. She was in flames within a fraction of a minute.” Tanveer wasn’t sure if the cameramen, who apparently rode away on their motorbike(s) once things got uglier, had come there on their own or had accompanied the girl.
Amina had alleged that the rape took place in the jungle when she was walking home from the doctor’s with her younger brother. The place isn’t far from the narrow broken and dusty road that takes you to her village, Lundi Pitafi, in 30-35 minutes through fields, villages and small bazaars on both sides.
Murders are easy in Pakistan to wash away. Rapes are even easier to cover up. Every year, thousands of cases of gang rape and rape are registered and the culprits ‘traced’, but only a few perpetrators are convicted because of the investigators’ prejudice against women, corruption, lack or destruction of evidence, police failure to have the victims medically tested or undergo DNA tests, untrained prosecutors and numerous investigation and legal shortcomings.
In Amina’s case, one or a combination of these factors could have played out in favour of her alleged tormentors. “It’s yet to be determined if the investigation officer mismanaged the case intentionally or was too incompetent to handle it,” a police official said privately.
At her home, her elder brother Ghulam Shabbir said his sister was an honourable woman. “[The main suspect’s] release was too much for her. In the court, my sister was jeered at by him and his brothers. They thrust sweets into her mouth. She couldn’t cope with her humiliation,” he said, pointing in the direction of her alleged tormentor’s house nearby. The house has been locked ever since he was rearrested and his brothers went into hiding.
Inside the house, Amina’s mother repeatedly demanded justice for her dead daughter. “If they don’t give us justice I’ll burn myself like her.” She denies she knew her daughter wanted to set herself ablaze. “She went to the police station to collect her clothes. I went along. When the SHO refused to see her, she asked me to bring back her clothes. I was only halfway inside when I heard her screams and looked back to see the flames burning her,” she recalled. She said she was not aware of the presence of cameramen at the spot.
On our way back, we chanced upon local politician Mohammad Sharif Kamboh. “There’s little doubt in my mind that something had happened between the suspect and the girl [on the day she said she was raped]. It is for the police to investigate the girl’s complaint and determine the nature and extent of the crime.” But the police failed her just as they have failed countless other women.

Bilawal Bhutto: Ideology of Pakistan is under attack from the forces of darkness who want to defame our religion and the country
Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, Patron-In-Chief, Pakistan Peoples Party has warned the nation that country is drifting from pledges of its founders made in Pakistan Resolution 75 years ago in Lahore and stressed the need of unity among all Pakistanis to defeat the elements out to drag the country into quagmire.
“Pakistan Resolution was passed on March 23, 1940 to unify the Muslims of undivided India and carve out a model Muslim nation with the commitment that adequate, effective and mandatory safeguards shall be specifically provided in the constitution for minorities in the units and in the regions for the protection of their religious, cultural, economic, political, administrative and other rights of the minorities,” he pointed out.
Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said that irony is that neither Muslims nor minorities are feeling protected and the forces who want to shatter this nation are out to convert our country into killing fields under the scourge of terrorism, extremism, and exploitation.
He said Pakistan Peoples Party will remain committed to the pledges made in the Pakistan Resolution as it has sacrificed its two generation of leadership in unrelented struggle for making Pakistan as an egalitarian society as envisaged by its founding fathers. Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said ideology of Pakistan is under attack from the forces of darkness who want impose pre-Islamic Arabian tribal rule to defame our religion and the country.
“It is time to wake-up and Pakistan Day provides chance each year to revisit our history and put it back on the track,” he added.

What Pakistan knew about Bin Laden
Shortly after the September 11 attacks, I went to live and report for The New York Times in Afghanistan. I would spend most of the next 12 years there. In December 2006, I flew to Quetta. After our first day, we noticed that an intelligence agent on a motorbike was following us, and everyone we interviewed was visited afterward by ISI agents. We visited a neighbourhood called Pashtunabad, home to several members of the Taliban, who live in houses behind high walls, often next to mosques and madrasas they run. One of the madrasas, the Jamiya Islamiya, is a brick-and-concrete building three storeys high, with classrooms that can accommodate 280 students. At least three of the suicide bombers we were tracing had been students here. Senior figures from Pakistani religious parties and provincial-government officials were frequent visitors, and Taliban members would often visit in the dark, in fleets of SUVs.
A female journalist would not be permitted inside, so I passed some questions to the Pakistani reporter with me, and he and the photographer went in. After returning, they told me that words of praise were painted across the wall of the inner courtyard for the madrasa’s political patron, a Pakistani religious-party leader, and the Taliban leader Mullah Muhammad Omar.
“The madrasas are a cover, a camouflage,” a Pashtun legislator from the area told me. Behind the curtain, hidden in the shadows, lurked the ISI.
On our fifth and last day in Quetta, four plainclothes agents broke through the door of my hotel room. They snatched my laptop from my hands, went through my clothes and seized my notebooks and a cellphone. When one of the men grabbed my handbag, I protested. He punched me twice, hard, in the face and temple.
The officer told me that I was not permitted to visit Pashtunabad and that it was forbidden to interview members of the Taliban. As they were leaving, I said my photographer colleague, whom they had detained at his hotel earlier, had to stay with me. “He is Pakistani,” the officer said. “We can do with him whatever we want.”
Benazir Bhutto had long warned that a conglomeration of opponents wanted her dead and were all linked in some way. They were the same forces behind the insurgency in Afghanistan: Taliban and Pakistani militant groups and al-Qaeda, as well as the Pak military establishment, which included top generals Pervez Musharraf and Ashfaq Parvez Kayani. The chief state prosecutor in Bhutto’s murder trial, Chaudhry Zulfiqar Ali, told me there was “overwhelming circumstantial evidence” that Musharraf did not provide her with adequate security because he wanted to ensure her death in an inevitable assassination attempt. Ali succeeded in having Musharraf arrested and was pushing to speed up the trial when he was shot to death on his way to work in May 2013.
Ali had no doubts that the mastermind of the plot to kill Bhutto was al-Qaeda. “It was because she was pro-American, because she was a strong leader and a nationalist,” he told me. A Pakistani security official who interviewed some of the suspects in the Bhutto case and other militants told me the decision to assassinate Bhutto was made at a meeting of the top council of al-Qaeda. It took more than three years before the depth of Pakistan’s relationship with al-Qaeda was thrust into the open and the world learned where Osama bin Laden had been hiding, just a few hundred yards from Pakistan’s top military academy. In May 2011, some 30 hours after Navy SEALs shot him dead, I was fascinated to see where and how he hid.
People knew that the house was strange, and one local rumour had it that it was a place where wounded Taliban from Waziristan recuperated. I was told this by Musharraf’s former civilian intelligence chief, who had himself been accused of having a hand in hiding Bin Laden in Abbottabad. He denied any involvement, but he did not absolve local intelligence agents, who would have checked the house.
Soon after the Navy SEAL raid, a Pakistani official told me that the United States had direct evidence that the ISI chief, Lt Gen Ahmed Shuja Pasha, knew of Bin Laden’s presence in Abbottabad. The information came from a senior US official, and I guessed that the Americans had intercepted a phone call of Pasha’s or one about him in the days after the raid. “He knew of Osama’s whereabouts, yes,” the Pakistani official told me. The official was surprised to learn this and said the Americans were even more so. Pasha had been an energetic opponent of the Taliban and an open and cooperative counterpart for the Americans at the ISI. “Pasha was always their blue-eyed boy,” the official said.
The haul of handwritten notes, letters, computer files and other information collected from Bin Laden’s house during the raid revealed regular correspondence between Bin Laden and a string of militant leaders who must have known he was living in Pakistan, including Hafiz Muhammad Saeed, the founder of Lashkar-e-Toiba, and Mullah Omar of the Taliban. Saeed and Omar are two of the ISI’s most important and loyal militant leaders. Both are protected by the agency. Both cooperate closely with it, restraining their followers from attacking the Pakistani state and coordinating with Pakistan’s greater strategic plans. Any correspondence the two men had with Bin Laden would probably have been known to their ISI handlers.
In trying to prove that the ISI knew of Bin Laden’s whereabouts and protected him, I struggled for more than two years to piece together something other than circumstantial evidence and suppositions from sources with no direct knowledge. Only one man, a former ISI chief and retired general, Ziauddin Butt, told me that he thought Musharraf had arranged to hide Bin Laden in Abbottabad. But he had no proof and, under pressure, claimed in the Pakistani press that he’d been misunderstood. Finally, on a winter evening in 2012, I got the confirmation I was looking for. According to one inside source, the ISI actually ran a special desk assigned to handle Bin Laden. It was operated independently, led by an officer who made his own decisions and did not report to a superior. He handled only one person: Bin Laden. I was sitting at an outdoor cafe when I learned this, and I remember gasping, though quietly so as not to draw attention. (Two former senior American officials later told me that the information was consistent with their own conclusions.) This was what Afghans knew, and Taliban fighters had told me, but finally someone on the inside was admitting it. The desk was wholly deniable by virtually everyone at the ISI — such is how supersecret intelligence units operate — but the top military bosses knew about it, I was told.
America’s failure to fully understand and actively confront Pakistan on its support and export of terrorism is one of the primary reasons President Hamid Karzai has become so disillusioned with the United States. As American and NATO troops prepare to withdraw from Afghanistan by the end of this year, the Pakistani military and its Taliban proxy forces lie in wait, as much a threat as any that existed in 2001.
In January 2013, a spokesperson for the notorious Haqqania madrasa in the northwestern town of Akora Khattak told me, “It is a political fact that one day the Taliban will take power. The white flag of the Taliban will fly again over Kabul, inshallah.” Pakistani security officials, political analysts, journalists and legislators warned of the same thing. The Pakistani military was still set on dominating Afghanistan and was still determined to use the Taliban to exert influence now that the United States was pulling out.
Kathy Gannon of The Associated Press reported in September that militants from Punjab were massing in the tribal areas to join the Taliban and train for an anticipated offensive into Afghanistan this year. In Punjab, mainstream religious parties and banned militant groups were openly recruiting hundreds of students for jihad, and groups of young men were being dispatched to Syria to wage jihad there. “They are the same jihadi groups; they are not 100 percent under control,” a former Pakistani legislator told me. “But still the military protects them.”
The US was neither speaking out against Pakistan nor changing its policy toward a government that was exporting terrorism, the legislator lamented. “How many people have to die before they get it? They are standing by a military that protects, aids and abets people who are going against the US and Western mission in Afghanistan, in Syria, everywhere.

New York Times Report on Al Qaeda Is Censored in Pakistan
Today's edition of The International New York Times was stripped of its cover story in Pakistan. Instead of seeing a lengthy report on "What Pakistan knew about bin Laden," readers were greeted with an enormous section of white space that dominates the paper's front page.
Elsewhere in the world, the International New York Times published a story by Carlotta Gall that closely examines links between Pakistan and Osama bin Laden. Gall's report traces the common accusation that the ISI, Pakistan's intelligence unit, may have knowingly provided shelter for the al Qaeda leader before he was killed during a United States raid in 2011. Apparently Pakistan's government doesn't want its citizens reading that content, and instead we're left with one of the most visually arresting examples of censorship in years.