Saturday, September 27, 2014
Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov: Western bloc headed by Washington rejects UN principle that all states are equal
Political power couple Bill and Hillary Clinton can add a new title to their resumes: grandparent. The former U.S. president and former secretary of state celebrated the birth of their first grandchild on Friday night. Their daughter, Chelsea, announced the news on Twitter and Facebook Saturday, saying she and husband Marc Mezvinsky "are full of love, awe and gratitude" as they celebrate the birth of their daughter, Charlotte Clinton Mezvinsky. In their own statement Saturday, the senior Clintons said they are "blessed, grateful and so happy" to be grandparents. They said "Chelsea is well and glowing. Marc is bursting with pride. Charlotte's life is off to a good start." The news comes as Hillary Clinton considers a run for the White House in 2016. She is the leading Democratic contender to succeed President Barack Obama, her campaign rival in the 2008 race for the Democratic nomination.
Chelsea Clinton and her husband Marc Mezvinsky announced the birth of their baby girl, Charlotte Clinton Mezvinsky, on Twitter Friday night.
Once again there is news of bullet riddled bodies found across Balochistan. From political rivalries to tribal enmities to sectarian genocide, the province has an unending list of problems. The politics of Islamabad is understandably more important for political parties right now. But not attending to Balochistan’s problems has made it snowball into the crisis that it is today, and the more time is wasted in turning to it, the worse it will get. As argued repeatedly in this space, the biggest reason for lawlessness in the province is the presence of numerous security and secret organisations at work simultaneously. When those mandated with providing security have their powers curbed, it is little surprise that law and order breaks down in the long term. With the military calling the shots, the FC running its own network, and the ISI also always present, there is not much space the police and relevant civilian agencies are left with. It was hoped that the present provincial dispensation would be more sympathetic to the province’s problems than its predecessors, but going by statistics alone, it has also been a letdown, with little hope for the future. There is a tendency among certain political and media circles to blame most things wrong with the country on outside elements. Balochistan’s fate is no exception. It is always foreign agencies stirring up trouble or bribing disgruntled elements. But they forget that policies coming from the highest offices in the country are responsible for creating a situation that is easily exploited by enemies. Nationalists, too, find it easier to operate when there is predominant deprivation of rights, extra judicial killings, and a general feeling of apathy towards such a large and significant part of the country. Those finding their way across Islamabad’s complicated political labyrinth must realise that Balochistan requires urgent action. If it is not attended to immediately, it will present a far more complex mix of problems. And if the government cannot control what is happening now, it will have a slim chance of getting a handle on the problem when it gets much worse.
VOA NEWSIndia's Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Saturday that he wants to hold bilateral talks with neighboring Pakistan “without a shadow of terrorism,” a day after Pakistan's prime minister expressed frustration over stalled talks over Kashmir. Last month, India announced it was withdrawing from the planned peace talks about the disputed Himalayan region between the two nuclear-armed neighbors because of plans by Pakistan to consult Kashmiri separatists ahead of the meeting. “I want to hold bilateral talks to improve friendship and cooperation in all seriousness and in an atmosphere of peace, without a shadow of terrorism,” Modi, speaking in Hindi, told the United Nations General Assembly in his first address to the world body. “But this is also the duty of Pakistan to come forward and create an appropriate atmosphere and with all seriousness come forward for a bilateral dialog,” he said. India says Pakistan supports separatist militants that cross the Line of Control, which divides Kashmir between India and Pakistan-controlled regions, from the Pakistan side to attack Indian forces. Modi appeared to chastise Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, who had used his own General Assembly address on Friday to blame India for the collapse of the latest talks over Kashmir. “By raising this issue in this forum,” Modi said, “I don't know how serious our efforts will be, and some people are doubtful about it.” Modi is due to have private meetings with the prime ministers of Nepal and Bangladesh and the president of Sri Lanka on Saturday in New York, but no meetings are planned with Sharif or other Pakistani officials, according to the Indian delegation.
The Express Tribune
A Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) aircraft was fired upon during landing at Bacha Khan International Airport in Peshawar on Saturday evening, Express News reported. According to details, some unknown miscreants opened fire at PIA flight PK-376 arriving from Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, near Mashokhel area of Badhber, Peshawar. However, no casualty was reported as a result of firing. It was the third such attack in Peshawar in last few months. On September a Russian cargo plane came under fire in the Sheikh Muhammadi area of Badhaber, while in June this year, a PIA flight PK-756 was fired upon in a similar fashion in the same area. One woman was killed and two persons were injured in the attack.
http://mediacellppp.wordpress.com/Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, Chairperson, Pakistan Peoples Party has congratulated the Pakistani women cricket team on winning Asian Games Women’s Twenty20 Cricket gold medal after beating determined Bangladesh. In a press statement issued here, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said growing participation of women in sports and their best performance in national and international events was a very encouraging sign for the country. He congratulated every single player of Pakistani women cricket team including the Captain Sana Mir, Manager Ayesha Asher and PCB women’s wing chairperson Bushra Aitzaz on retaining gold medal in the 2014 Asian Games.
Karachi was rocked by another terrorist attack targeting a senior police official on Thursday, when a vehicle-borne Improvised Explosive Device (IED) was used to target the convoy of Senior Superintendent Police (SSP) Farooq Awan, head of the Special Investigation Unit (SIU). Three people were killed and eight were injured, while SSP Awan managed to escape with minor injuries. The blast occurred near Gizri, which was also where Inspector Shafiq Tanoli was attacked and killed in April. Police say that a 50 kilogram device was placed in the vehicle, and CCTV footage shows the car being left in the area by a man just a few minutes before the explosion occurred at 9.04 pm. Police believe the device was detonated via remote control. The Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) associated Jundullah group claimed responsibility. In the same way that former SSP Chaudhry Aslam was targeted earlier this year, the attackers chose a point along SSP Awan’s route home. This is not the first time he has been targeted by terrorists. An official described him as “a marked man” because of the blows he has dealt to terrorists in Karachi. SSP Awan was involved in the arrests of several high-profile militants, including Omar Saeed Sheikh, who was convicted in the 2002 killing of Daniel Pearl, and he is an expert in kidnapping-for-ransom investigations, directly affecting one of the Taliban’s leading sources of income in Karachi. This will probably not be the last attempt on his life either. Inspector Tanoli was targeted by terrorists seven times prior to his assassination while SSP Aslam was targeted in a mammoth blast that destroyed half his home in 2011, before being killed in 2014. Coupled with the attack on a senior official of the Frontier Corps in Peshawar two days ago, this and previous incidents suggest a pattern of terrorists targeting critical individuals in the law enforcement and paramilitary agencies who are spearheading investigations against terrorists in urban areas. As has been argued in this space before, the blowback from operation Zarb-e-Azb that many people thought had been defused appears to be beginning. Attacks are coming thick and fast after the lull since the operation began. At least two attacks targeted critical airbase facilities, while one targeted the navy dockyards in Karachi. The latter was believed to have had inside help, but terrorists have found it far easier to infiltrate the police than it is to infiltrate the military. As the assassination of former Punjab Governor Salmaan Taseer showed, it is also possible for them to turn police officers with radical inclinations to their cause. The police were never known for their efficiency in the first place, but distracted by multiple law enforcement problems at a time, including providing security for sit-ins and protests, operational resources and readiness are under severe strain. These are just some of the problems police in Karachi and other parts of the country face. Others include a lack of funding and proper equipment, and not the least, political interference that keeps criminals on the streets because of their connections to officials. The link between terrorism and organised crime has been exposed on more than one occasion, and with the Taliban this connection goes deeper because much of their funding comes from extortion, kidnapping, drug running and smuggling. According to a 2012 UN report, the Taliban has an estimated annual budget of over $ 400 million, half of which comes from smuggling. Terrorists view the police and paramilitary groups as the weak link in the security chain, and have made efforts to target effective officers and individuals because of their rarity in these organisations. Their focus on urban areas suggests that rather than attacking the military directly, their aim will be to target major cities making it impossible for the army to fight them because it is not built for urban policing. In the cities the police and paramilitary units that support them will be in the frontlines against terrorists, leading to the disturbing conclusion that by targeting critical individuals within the police structure, they can bring the edifice of urban anti-terrorism operations to a grinding halt.
The Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf government in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has decided in principle to remove ‘objectionable material’ from the textbooks of local primary schools to please the key partner of the ruling coalition, Jamaat-i-Islami. A senior official of the education department told Dawn on Friday that JI leaders had voiced reservations about the printing of pictures of minor girls without dupatta, Christmas cake and a Cross emblem on an ambulance instead of Crescent, the mention of good morning instead of Assalamu Aliakum, and presence of some other ‘objectionable’ content in textbooks for primary schools. “JI leaders have complained about minor things in textbooks, whose removal has been decided in principle,” the official said requesting anonymity as he is not authorised to speak to the media. He said JI had demanded replacement of the expression ‘good morning’ with Assalamu Aliakum and the government was quick to accept it. When contacted, JI provincial spokesman Israrullah said his party had serious reservations about certain contents of textbooks but ‘objectionable’ content had been removed after elementary and secondary education minister Atif Khan met party leaders on Wednesday. “Officials of the department concerned and textbook board have formally agreed to remove objectionable contents from textbooks and will induct material to be proposed by Jamaat,” he said. The meeting held in Peshawar on Wednesday was attended by education minister Atif Khan, additional secretary education Qaisar Alam, chairman of the textbook board Jamal Nasir and other senior officers. Jamaat-i-Islami was represented by local government minister Inayatullah Khan, head of the JI education committee Mirajuddin and other members of the party. “Jamaat is now satisfied with the government’s assurances and hopes minutes of the meeting with the minister will be implemented in letter and spirit,” Israrullah said, adding that the revised syllabus would conform to Islamic teachings and the ideology of Pakistan. JI had recently protested the presence of objectionable material in textbooks and even threatened to quit the PTI-led government over it. JI provincial chief Professor Mohammad Ibrahim had stated early this month that his party had not been taken into confidence before preparation of syllabus for primary schools. He had complained that the provincial government has removed lessons on the life of Holy Prophet Mohammad (Peace Be upon Him), His wives and four caliphs of Muslims from textbooks and inducted contents about Ranjit Singh, Raja Dahir, and Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan. JI claimed that it had signed an agreement with its senior coalition partner in which it was decided that the controversial contents of textbooks by the previous government would be removed and that the new syllabus would be designed with the JI consultation. Israrullah said the meeting of JI was held in Peshawar on Thursday night which discussed the recent agreement with the government regarding preparation of new syllabus for schools. Professor Ibrahim chaired the meeting. The spokesman said the material related with teaching of Islam, Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) and important Muslim personalities, including Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinah, would again be included in textbooks. He said the India-occupied Kashmir was not shown as part of Pakistan in the map printed in textbooks, while lessons about Quaid-i-Azam were also removed from textbooks designed for children. He said induction of lesson about Khan Abdul Ghaffar was not a big issue. The government official said the objection over Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan was turned down and JI leaders were convinced that like Abdul Ghaffar Khan, every politician was controversial. He said the map incorporated in the Survey of Pakistan had been reproduced in the textbooks.