Monday, October 6, 2014

Music Video - Pharrell Williams - Happy

Video Report - Battle rages on outskirts of Kobani

Video Report - Turkish police fire tear gas, water cannon at pro-Kurdish protesters

Bahrain spends $95mn yearly on protest crackdown, report shows

The Bahraini regime spends some 95 million dollars a year to crack down on the country’s pro-democracy protesters, a new report has revealed.
The newspaper al-Maidan said on Monday that the Al Khalifa regime has hired 21,000 security forces, including Pakistani expatriates, for the crackdown.
More than 2.5 billion dollars has also been spent on arms purchase since the protests began three years ago.
Since mid-February 2011, thousands of pro-democracy protesters have held numerous demonstrations in the streets of Bahrain, calling for the Al Khalifa royal family to relinquish power.
On March 14, 2011, troops from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates invaded the country to assist the Bahraini government in its crackdown on peaceful protesters.
According to local sources, scores of people have been killed and hundreds arrested.
On June 10, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) censured the Manama regime for human rights violations in the country. A total of 46 members of the international body expressed deep concern over the Al Khalifa regime’s crackdown on peaceful protesters.

President Obama Wages War on the Islamic State...

Sheldon Filger
A full-blooded war in its early stages is now underway, involving two antagonists, the Islamic State led by Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, known to his followers as Caliph Ibrahim, and the United States of America, led by President Barack Obama. The former, creator of the world's first Islamic caliphate in nearly a century, is strong-willed, determined, persistent and utterly ruthless. The latter, by contrast, is a reluctant warrior, tentative, incoherent in his understanding and articulation of the threat posed by his nemesis, and prone to missteps. It is the distinction in the capacities of these two leaders far more than the relative military potential of the two opposing actors that will determine the outcome of this potentially epochal struggle. The present trajectory revealed in the leadership style and substance of the President leads me to a pessimistic assessment of this evolving military conflict. The following comprises my diagnosis of why President Obama is leading the United States towards a potentially cataclysmic outcome for his nation:
1. President Obama has consistently underestimated--and misunderstood-- his opponent. Hubris is one of the most fatal afflictions that can undermine a national leader engaged in a great struggle. Unfortunately, Obama has time and again demonstrated an inability to accurately gauge his opponent's capacity. The intelligence failures and abject unwillingness to comprehend the emerging threat posed by al-Baghdadi and his Islamic State by the President are already well recognized, such as his reference in January 2014 to the Islamic State as a "JV team." Recent formulations by the President display continued misconceptions regarding the leader of the Islamic State.
In a nationally televised statement made by President Obama on September 10, 2014 he said, "ISIL is not Islamic. No religion condones the killing of innocents." Considering that neither the President nor his principal national security advisors are practicing Muslims, while Abu Bakr a-Baghdadi holds two advanced degrees in Islamic studies from the Islamic University of Baghdad, including a PhD, it is an astonishing display of naiveté for America's Commander-in-Chief to engage in a contest on the relative expertise of the two leaders in the field of Islamic jurisprudence and Koranic exegesis. The brutal truth is that the Caliph of the Islamic State has the credentials and expert knowledge to base all of his military decisions on Islamic principles, and that is a defining strength of al-Baghdadi that enables him to inspire his followers to a fanatical religious devotion. The President's ill-founded characterizations reveals a lack of ability to comprehend the glue that binds together the military prowess that defines the Islamic State. Furthermore, history repeatedly reveals that religion (and rigid secular ideologies)--not only Islam, but all three monotheistic faith traditions--have scriptures and theological precepts that can and have been used to justify the slaying of non-combatants.
By attempting to turn the conflict that has been initiated by the Islamic State into a contest in defining the true nature of Islam, President Obama arouses contempt and ridicule from the enemy while achieving nothing on the battlefield.
2. The Commander-in-Chief is attempting to wage war on the cheap. One gets the impression that President Obama believes he can determine the course of a military conflict by edict. For example, he can decide to withdraw troops from one operational theatre, and declare no ground forces will be deployed to another arena, as though politically-determined polices are a substitute for careful, long-term strategic and operational decision-making. Clearly, Obama hopes to contain the Islamic State through airpower and drones, primarily American but supposedly involving a large coalition of allies.
If massive aerial bombing and the deployment of hundreds of thousands of troops could not defeat the Vietcong during the Vietnam war, what historical parallels is the President turning towards to instill confidence that airpower alone will bring the forces of the caliphate to their knees? As for the military contribution by several NATO and Arab allies, the miniscule number of combat aircraft being offered by these nations is irrelevance in the broader context of the struggle. The farcical nature of this contribution was illustrated by the British Ministry of Defense highlighting the deployment of a mere two aircraft and their subsequent destruction of a single Islamic State Toyota pickup truck as a major "triumph" on the battlefield.
To date, America's leader and his key allies are thinking small and short-term, while the looming struggle will be massive and enduring. Conducting this warfare through minimalist means will only guarantee a far lengthier and costly struggle with the forces of the Islamic State.
3. President Obama lacks a grand strategic vision for confronting the Islamic State. The President's external priorities have been all over the map, diluting the ability of the U.S. to comprehensively and effectively confront the challenge being posed by the Islamic State. While al-Baghdadi was building up strength, training his cadres and formulating his strategy, America's foreign policy and national security agenda has been globally dispersed. Obama and his key advisors, in particular John Kerry, were simultaneously retreating from the Middle East while seeking to have the other anti-American Islamic theocracy in the region, Iran, serve as a substitute for protecting U.S. regional interest through concessions on the nuclear issue; devoting massive allocations of time and effort towards "resolving" the Palestinian-Israeli issue when all the known facts indicated that this was at present a fool's errand that was also a marginal factor in the continuing disarray in the region; pivoting towards the Asia-Pacific region in a manner that signaled that China, America's principal financial creditor, was being viewed as a future threat; and restarting the Cold War with Russia through miscalculations and ill-advised intervention in the political turmoil in Ukraine.
If the Islamic State was an insignificant threat, perhaps the United States would have the luxury of engaging in multilateral policy endeavors that would add to Washington's list of adversaries and estranged allies. However, in the kind of contest of wills that the Caliph has unleashed, I don't think a wise policymaker would characterize the threat being posed as insubstantial. That being the case, a more coherent presidency would be focused on defeating the threat, and building the alliances that would maximize the ability to crush the Islamic State. Russia and China are both viewed as enemies by the Islamic State, along with the United States. Obama should be reaching out to Moscow and Beijing as potential and powerful allies in the war against the Islamic State, rather than engaging in policies that create tension in the relationship with these two counties, while diverting attention and resources away from the confrontation with the Islamic State.
4. Thus far, the President does not appear to fully recognize the nature and scope of the threat being posed to America by al-Baghdadi and his army. In essence, everything that President Obama has said and every decision he has made in connection with the Islamic State reveals that Obama views it as a phenomenon in continuity with the general "War on Terror," which actually began prior to September 11, 2001. The very conceptualization labeled as the "War on Terror" betrays the strategic disconnect and intellectual vacuum within the decision-making apparatus in Washington. Terror, per se, is a tactical means employed by a hostile entity, and not the entity itself. Obama apparently sees the conflict as one involving a confrontation with "terrorists" as opposed to a structured entity, the Islamic State, with an army, battlefield commanders, an effective military staff and strong leadership. Furthermore, this structured entity is clearly at war with the United States, and there is no ambiguity or lack of clarity by Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and his leadership regarding their intentions towards the United States. This is made clear in a propaganda film released by the Islamic State, "Flames of War," which concludes with a message from the Caliph aimed directly at the American people:
"Finally, this is a message we direct to America. Know, O defender of the cross, that a proxy war won't help you in Sham [Syria] just as it didn't help you in Iraq. As for the near future, you will be forced into a direct confrontation, with Allah's permission, despite your reluctance. And the sons of Islam have prepared for this day, so wait and see, for we too are also going to wait and see." (
The Islamic State wants the United States to once again deploy a large field army in the heart of the Arab world, and will seek to provoke President Obama to undertake what his enemy knows he is reluctant to do. How will they achieve their objective? In all probability, by launching a massive attack on American soil, at the level of September 11, 2001, at a minimum. And why do they seek the return of large ground forces from the U.S. to the Middle East? In the short term, this will aid in their recruitment. Long term, the leadership of IS are convinced that they can wear down the U.S. Army in grinding battles of attrition in urban combat, in the process crippling America militarily and economically.
A President who truly understood the threat facing the nation would not be expending time on the golf course or fundraising expeditions; he would be devoting every waking moment he has available in defending the United States from perhaps its most dangerous enemy since the Second World War.

Video Report - President Obama Provides an Update on the Ebola Outbreak

Pakistan: Drone strike kills four, wounds eight in South Waziristan

An unmanned drone killed four persons and wounded eight others in Shawal, South Waziristan tribal region on Monday.
Intelligence sources say the drone targeted the residence of a Taliban commander, Habib, and left at least four suspected militants dead and about 8 others injured.
The strike destroyed the compound which is situated in Mangroti area near the Pak-Afghan border region and appeared to be a transit point for militants across the border.
The details and confirmation of Habib's death could not be independently verified since the media's access is severely restricted in the troubled region.
This is the second drone strike during the past 24 hours and the 9th attack this year.
Earlier on Sunday, a drone strike had killed five people in the Kand Ghar area of South Waziristan's Shawal district.
South Waziristan is among Pakistan’s seven tribal districts near the Afghan border which are rife with homegrown insurgents and are alleged to be strongholds of Taliban and Al Qaeda operatives, among others.
The tribal region was once the main stronghold for the Pakistani Taliban. The military launched a large offensive against militants there in 2009 and an operation launched this year is currently underway, but insurgents still operate in the area and periodically stage attacks.
Drone attacks are widely unpopular across Pakistan and according to survey conducted in June this year, 66 per cent of the country's citizens oppose these strikes.

Video Report - Ebola Virus: U.S. Prepared for Widespread Outbreak?

Video Report - What should be done in Dallas?

President Obama endorses Muriel Bowser amid hard-fought D.C. mayor race

By Mike DeBonis
President Obama announced his endorsement Monday of D.C. mayoral candidate Muriel E. Bowser, lending the support of the nation’s most prominent Democrat to the party’s nominee amid a hard-fought campaign against two independent candidates.
In a statement released through the Bowser campaign, Obama said he was “proud” to support Bowser as “a champion for working and middle-class families, and a passionate proponent of Washington, D.C.”
“As we continue our efforts to move our country’s economy forward, I know I’ll be able to count on Muriel to expand opportunity for all,” Obama said in the statement. “That’s why I’m asking for you to vote for her in the general election this November.”
The possibility of an Obama endorsement has been the subject of much speculation since Bowser won the Democratic primary and embarked on an unusually heated general election race against fellow D.C. Council member David A. Catania (I-At Large) and former council member Carol Schwartz.
As Catania and Schwartz have waged attacks on her record and readiness for office, Bowser has sought to leverage her status as the Democratic nominee in a city where 8 in 10 registered voters identify as Democrats. Her campaign literature and stump speeches have tended to prominently feature her party identification.
A NBC4/Washington Post/Marist poll conducted last month showed Bowser with a 17 point lead over Catania among likely voters, with a 4 point margin of error. A more recent poll, sponsored by a pro-business advocacy group, found an 8 point margin using a different methodology focusing on frequent voters. That result has a 3 point margin of error.
Obama has only rarely dipped his toe personally into District politics, making a 2009 visit to Ben’s Chili Bowl with former mayor Adrian M. Fenty ahead of his inauguration, then later inviting successor Vincent C. Gray for a White House lunch. The president and his Cabinet have frequently used the city as a backdrop for announcements, but their involvement in city government affairs has otherwise been perfunctory.
Bowser and Obama do not have immediate plans for an appearance together, campaign spokesman Joaquin McPeek said.
In a statement, Bowser said she was “extremely honored” to have Obama’s endorsement.
“We share a progressive vision, believing that we only succeed when opportunity is available to everyone. If the residents of the District of Columbia elect me to be their next mayor on November 4th, I will emulate the President by bringing people together to find solutions to our toughest challenges.”
Obama’s full statement:
“I am proud to endorse Democratic Councilmember Muriel Bowser in her mayoral election bid. She is a champion for working and middle-class families, and a passionate proponent of Washington, D.C.
“Muriel knows that every hardworking D.C. resident deserves the opportunity to get ahead. That’s why she has partnered with local small businesses to create jobs and fought to give the children of D.C. a fair shot by investing in our schools. As mayor, I know she’ll continue to bring people together to fight for fair wages, build on the economic progress we’ve made and ensure teachers and students have the resources they need for success from early childhood education through high school.

Afghan Music Video - Saeed Sayad

U.S. Concerned About U.N's Handling Of Afghanistan Funds

The United States has expressed its concern with the United Nations Development Program over the administration of a trust fund to pay Afghan National Police.
In two letters released by the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, the U.S. showed irregularities in the fund.
These included a $23.8 million diverted as a result of a "pension deduction," other dubious deductions from ANP salaries, evidence of fraud and payments to "ghost employees" who may not be reporting to work.
The U.S. and other donors have contributed roughly $3.17 billion to the fund since 2002.
The UNDP responded in a letter stating that it had gone "beyond" its responsibility for the fund and brought the concerns to the government of Afghanistan, and created a working group to address payroll issues.

Hope for a new future in Afghanistan

Over just two days last week, two landmark political events took place in Afghanistan: On Monday, the country's first peaceful transfer of power, and on Tuesday, the signing of a U.S.-Afghan Bilateral Security Agreement. Both events signal a chance — but hardly a guarantee — of political and security stabilization that will be necessary to reverse gains made by the Taliban and other militant groups.
The transfer of power may have been the result of an election, but Afghanistan is far from a Jeffersonian democracy. Instead, allegations of widespread fraud in the June voting threatened new fault lines that could have spiraled Afghanistan into even more chaos and warfare. But largely due to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry's dogged diplomacy, a power-sharing agreement was hammered out between two rivals.
Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai, whose experience includes working for the World Bank, became president despite the disputed vote. Among those crying foul were Abdullah Abdullah, Afghanistan's former foreign minister, who contested a controversial 2009 election that was won by outgoing President Hamid Karzai. The power-sharing pact made Abdullah Afghanistan's chief executive, a position that will be similar to a prime minister.
Despite the distrust between the men and their supporters, both seem to recognize that the real enemy is the Taliban, which has made a remarkable comeback after being routed in the initial U.S. invasion in 2001. On Inauguration Day alone, for instance, the Taliban claimed credit for two bomb blasts in Kabul that killed 15.
One of the reasons for the resiliency is that the Taliban fed off allegations of Karzai's corrupt and incompetent rule. Yet Afghans aren't the only ones who won't miss Karzai. He was an unreliable, ungrateful "ally" whose public threat to join the Taliban was just one of many transgressions against the United States, which sacrificed more than 2,300 lives, and billions of dollars, propping up his government.
One unifying issue between Ahmadzai and Abdullah was their commitment to sign the BSA. On Tuesday, Ahmadzai lived up to that promise and signed a similar agreement regarding NATO forces.
The BSA will allow the United States to keep about 10,000 troops in Afghanistan after the international combat mission winds down at the end of the year. The remaining troops would have two main missions, according to the Obama administration: Targeting al-Qaida remnants, and advising, assisting and training the Afghan National Security Forces who will be called on to defend the national government.
It's perfectly understandable that many war-weary Americans hoped for a full withdrawal of U.S. forces. But they should consider what happened in Iraq when the Obama administration couldn't ink a status-of-forces agreement. While there are many reasons why Iraq has plunged back into the abyss of sectarian warfare with the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant and other extremists, the vacuum created by the U.S. pullout certainly didn't help matters. Keeping U.S. troops in Afghanistan to accomplish these key missions doesn't necessarily mean more war. In fact, it could mean less if their presence helps steel Afghans to fight for their country with as much valor as Americans have.

Music Video - Log Kehte Hain Main Sharabi

Urdu Music Video - Teri Manzil Hoon Mein - Nadeem Babra Sharif


Music Video - Sanu Neher Wale

Pashto Music Video - RAZA - RAZA - NAZIA IQBAL

Music Video - Afshan Zebi - Changa Sada Yaar

Music Video - Afshan Zebi - Lokan Do Do Yaar Banaye

Video : Bilawal Bhutto Speech after Eid Namaz

Bilawal Bhutto Speech after Eid Namaz by abbtakktv

Afghanistan still ruled by bickering warlords while Taliban eludes defeat

With the eyes of the world focused on the brutal violence of ISIS in Syria and Iraq, and the power play of international brinkmanship in eastern Ukraine, the recent dramatic developments in Afghanistan have been given rather short shrift in the western media.
Last Monday, a ceremony in Kabul inaugurated new Afghan President Ashraf Ghani at the same time they hailed Abdullah Abdullah for becoming that nation’s first-ever chief executive officer. Putting a bold spin on this, American Secretary of State John Kerry described this occasion as a “triumph of statesmanship and compromise … marking the first democratic transfer of power in Afghanistan history and the first peaceful leadership transition in more than 40 years.”
If any of what Kerry had claimed were actually true, it may indeed be something to celebrate. However, despite the brave-sounding words, Kerry’s statement is an admission that after 13 years of international occupation, Afghanistan never accepted democracy.
The initial round of presidential elections happened last April. There was a record voter turnout, and a commensurate record number of electoral fraud allegations. When the dust settled, neither of the two leading candidates, Ghani nor Abdullah, had the necessary majority. Thus, a run-off vote between these two was conducted on June 14.
Since those ballots were cast, there has never been an official tally released to the public. Instead, there has been months-long backroom negotiations presided over by the United States.
As it seemed clear that Abdullah had finished second at the polls, the Tajik warlord threatened to denounce the results and proclaim himself president. Such a move would certainly spark hostilities anew between those Afghan factions now in a loose alliance against the Taliban.
To placate Abdullah, the U.S. dreamt up the position of CEO for him to fill. When this idea was first floated a few weeks ago, Abdullah noted that under the newly drafted job description, the president could terminate the CEO position at any time. Being a wily survivor, Abdullah said “no dice” to the Americans and threatened again to pull out of the process and plunge Afghanistan into civil war.
After more backroom wheeling and dealing — called “statesmanship and compromise” by Kerry — Abdullah now feels that the CEO post will grant him enough security and authority to assuage his ego. The decision was also taken not to release the actual election results.
Just to recap then: What Kerry described as a “democratic transfer of power” and a “peaceful leadership transition” was, in fact, a process in which the actual votes didn’t matter and the constitution was altered to create a CEO post under threat that a candidate would start a war. That is one hell of a spin, even for an American secretary of state.
Another result of this democratic process is that infamous Uzbek warlord Abdul Rashid Dostum is now the first vice-president. As a Pashtun leader, Ghani needed a running mate who could win him votes among the northern Afghans. That is the reality of Afghanistan’s ethnic and tribal divisions.
I have interviewed Dostum on three separate occasions — twice at his northern stronghold in the city of Sheberghan and once at this palatial mansion in Kabul. Although he had been granted the nominal post as army chief of staff, Dostum always maintained his own well-equipped militia. He has been a prominent warlord since the Soviet occupation in 1979 and has a reputation for switching his loyalty, but also mercilessly killing his enemies.
After my first visit with Dostum in May 2007, I had returned to Kabul to meet with various international observers. Most were astonished to learn that I had actually interviewed Dostum in his private lair and were keen to learn of any details I may have garnered, such as his health and the size of his militia. I had a different response from former Canadian ambassador, Chris Alexander, who was at that juncture the deputy head of the United Nations mission in Kabul.
Since being named Canada’s youngest and first-ever ambassador to Afghanistan, Alexander had been an energetic, overly optimistic cheerleader for the international intervention. Upon learning that I had made the trek to see Dostum, Alexander was perturbed that I would be perpetuating the myth that the old warlords still had power in the “new” Afghanistan that he and his colleagues were creating.
Self-delusion is a dangerous reality, and while Alexander saw progress and Kerry sees democracy, all I see is an Afghanistan still ruled by bickering warlords while the Taliban continue to elude defeat. Some triumph.

Pakistan Has Worst Year Ever For Polio

Health authorities in Pakistan said on October 3 that they have registered 15 new cases of polio, raising the total number of new cases this year to a record high of 202.
Previously, the worst year for the crippling disease in Pakistan was 2001, when 199 new cases were registered.
All of the most recent new cases were from the North Waziristan tribal region bordering Afghanistan.
Rana Mohammad Safdar, from Pakistan’s National Institute of Health, says it has been impossible to launch a polio eradication campaign in the region because of threats from Islamic militants.
Pakistan is one of only three countries where polio is endemic. The highly contagious virus is transmitted in unsanitary conditions but is easily fended off with a vaccine.
But Taliban militants have banned immunizations and attacked polio vaccination teams, accusing them of acting as spies for the United States.

Pakistan : Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Exodus

It is not surprising that minorities live in a state of fear in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa. Lawmakers representing minorities in the Senate have demanded army protection for the security of non-Muslims in KP. Their concerns are not unwarranted. The IG police has warned of targeted attacks on minorities, however names have not yet been disclosed. According to police, at least eight Sikhs have been killed in the past year and a half – the first ever recorded sectarian killings of Sikhs in Pakistani history. Senator Amar Jeet of Awami National Party lamented the lack of writ of the KP government, as did Hamman Das of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazal on Friday.
The situation in Islamabad has left everything else on hold. Only 210 of total 540 platoons of the Frontier Corps are guarding the border while the rest are called by the ministry of interior to Islamabad for security duties. This is not just the fault of the government but also of the protesters who need to now come to an agreement or compromise. The Pak-Afghan border is also unwatched at various places due to the scarcity of FC personnel.
This province is in deep cultural neglect. Myopic revisions of education, lack of security, religiously motivated violence, exodus of minorities, and political carelessness have turned it into a breeding ground for hate. Last month, Harjeet Singh, another Sikh shopkeeper, was shot dead at his herbal medicine shop in Peshawar while pamphlets praising ISIS are spreading through the province. A multi-story shopping mall in Peshawar, Orakzai Plaza, where Sikhs owned a range of shops, now stands abandoned after Sikhs closed their businesses for security reasons. They are not even sending their boys to school due to their headdress. The migration of Hindus and Sikhs from KP has gone almost unnoticed. One is almost glad that they are putting themselves out of danger rather than anyone raising a voice, much less a finger, about the protection of minority groups. For many of the Sikh community, Pakistan is their spiritual home, a home that is becoming more and more dangerous.

Pakistan : Senate body slams govt over inflated power bills

The Senate Standing Committee on Water and Power on Wednesday lambasted the government for sending inflated electricity bills to the consumers during last couple of months despite the country is facing worst power shortage.
Members of the Senate Standing Committee on Water and Power came down hard on the officials of Ministry, Wapda and NTDC for sending inflated electricity bills to the masses during last two months. Committee chairman Senator Zahid Khan remarked that the country is facing severe power shortage but the government has fetched Rs70 billion from the power consumers without noting the reading of meters. He asked to provide name of the authority concerned who asked to send inflated bills. He said no one could send inflated bills without approval of high officers of the DISCOs. He added that the government had changed the slabs, which resulted into higher power bills. The Ministry of Water and Power should inform the committee about the punishment of the responsible for sending inflated electricity bills, he added.
Zahid Khan said that the prime minister has taken notice after the people registered their protest. However, the government did not provide any relief to the masses despite taking notice. He proposed the government should disconnect the electricity connections of the political leaders who are not paying their bills. Similarly, he demanded the government to give one month period to the masses to pay their due bills. The Senate’s body recommended for reforming the transmission and distribution lines of Wapda. Speaking on the occasion, Senator Nisar Mohammad said that Nepra is responsible for the inflated bills issue. He demanded to constitute a sub-committee to probe the issue.
However, the Nepra officials did not agree with the committee regarding overbilling, as they said the government has sent bills of the electricity consumed. Therefore, the committee agreed to hold the audit of the Nepra in next 30 days to review the inflated bills issue.
The Senate Standing on Water and Power also discussed the award tendering of Neelum Jhelum transmission lines. The committee was informed that the government has cancelled the tender on the recommendation of the Standing Committee. The committee was informed that earlier cost of the project was Rs23 billion, which was against the rules. However, now the project would be completed with Rs16 billion.
The Wapda chairman informed the committee that the government would complete Neelum Jhelum project within due date, as the work on the project is under process. Senator Nisar Khan showed serious concerns over the delay in Munda Dam, and said that the project was vital for agriculture, water and electricity. He added that the government has not allocated sufficient funds for the important projects.
The committee should summon Secretaries of Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Planning and Development to explain the delay in Munda Dam project, he remarked.
In her remarks, Senator Khalida Perveen said that the government is spending billions of rupees on Metro Bus project, which should be diverted to the power generation. The country is facing severe electricity shortage, which affected the lives of every segment of the society, she added. The Pesco chief executive informed the committee that students of Peshawar University had completed a project, which could control the electricity theft by 80 percent.

Pakistan: PTI-PAT - Taking detours?

The two parties protesting in the capital — Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) and Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) — who joined hands to achieve similar ends regardless of being triggered by different motivations, it seems are parting ways. The former under the leadership of Imran Khan initially chose the electoral democratic process to come into power, but later on resorted to undemocratic means to uproot an elected government and forced its own party lawmakers to tender their resignations, whereas the latter, under the leadership of a demagogue — Tahirul Qadri — who initially wanted to bring down the incumbent government through agitation, after spending some time at the Constitution Avenue, has finally come to respect the Constitution itself. The announcement of Tahirul Qadri to take part in the next general elections is a positive indication. It is a welcome sign that the party has come to understand that resorting to violence and agitation is not going to help their ‘revolutionary march’ and their demands of getting justice. Qadri has also decided to move his ‘revolution’ (following the footsteps of Imran Khan) across the country by holding rallies in different cities, as his protestors were getting weary of sitting at D-Chowk and wanted to spend their Eid at home with their families. PAT probably wishes to replicate the phenomenon of the PTI rallies held in Karachi and Lahore.
Meanwhile, the grandiose Imran Khan, who after the inevitable waning of the Islamabad sit-in, shifted to countrywide rallies, in his Mianwali gathering once again showed his determination to not back off until the prime minister resigns. On the issue of the anti-government ‘go Nawaz go’ campaign, a slogan that has gone viral and has caused many scuffles between PTI and PML-N supporters, Khan believes it is everyone’s democratic right to chant this slogan. However, he does not seem to understand the implications of such provocations, which are directly leading to violent clashes now. If the same concerted effort of the anti-government campaign keeps on going, the chances of such violent clashes are high and as former PTI president Javed Hasmhi has rightly put it, this might push the country towards a civil war. To camouflage such incitement under the umbrella of democratic rights is not going to help the political system or the country. If anything it is damaging the political culture and setting a wrong precedent. It is an entirely different thing to have differences of opinion or the right to protest but pursuing differences in such a provocative manner is a dangerous thing to go for. The party leaders from both sides should discourage such acts and instead work while remaining within the framework of democracy.

Pakistan : Multiple terrorist threats

Already reeling from a spate of attacks that left 16 people dead over the last three days, citizens in Khyber Pahtunkhwa (KP) have become easy targets for terrorists because of the inability of the provincial government to prepare for terrorism. Incidents over the course of 24 hours indicate that the terrorist campaign in KP is intensifying, while in Balochistan the sectarian nature of terrorism is proving the limits of law enforcement. A roadside bomb in Kohat left six people dead and 18 injured when it exploded near a passenger van. Police say that three kilograms of explosives were packed into an empty metal container wrapped with ball bearings. Explosive devices such as these have little purpose other than to inflict injury or death on passersby, using pieces of metal to rend flesh. Attacks have become increasingly bloodthirsty and the low cost of such rudimentary explosive devices makes the deaths all the more tragic; at minimal cost to themselves terrorists are able reap a harvest in corpses that will demoralise the public completely.
In Quetta on Saturday, a suicide bomber detonated himself outside a busy shopping centre in the Hazara Town area, killing five people and injuring dozens more. Police say a seven kilogram explosive device was used and while no group has claimed responsibility for the attack, the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ) has previously claimed a number of attacks on Hazaras including a mammoth explosion in January 2013 that killed 130 people. It publicly celebrated a ‘century’ of Hazara murders in Quetta earlier this year and its stated goal is ‘purging’ Pakistan of Shias. Despite this the group’s leaders, Malik Ishaq and Ahmed Ludhianvi, remain free of charges for these atrocities. Ludhianvi was even offered a seat in the National Assembly several months ago though his nomination was struck down by the Supreme Court. Ishaq was recently taken back into police custody, but his detention is largely viewed as symbolic rather than effective as he is believed to have masterminded the attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team from prison in 2009. Irrespective of their operational roles, Ishaq and Ludhianvi remain the ideological progenitors of the LEJ and it is difficult to imagine that their role in planning attacks on Shias is limited to a symbolic one only.
The striking thing about these attacks is that political considerations seem to be driving security arrangements meant to prevent them. In KP the provincial government has become virtually moribund since the entire leadership is absent and busy organising rallies. Police in the province have complained that the government has not given them any guidelines or support and it seems the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) simply does not believe that terrorism is a problem, a consequence of Imran Khan’s soft spot for the Taliban, evidenced in his stance towards them. Imran does not view the Taliban for what they are, i.e. part of a terrorist movement that is bound by ideology and shares arms, money and men through a network that is now spread from Syria to North Waziristan. It is possible that even the Taliban’s recent outpouring of support for the Islamic State (IS) in Iraq will not change his mind, if indeed he does not agree with their vision of a brutal theocratic state in the first place. The ease with which the bomb in Kohat was placed speaks not only to a lack of security, but also mismanagement that allows terrorists to leave explosive devices virtually anywhere. Rather than taking responsibility for securing urban areas and moving a security cordon progressively outwards, the provincial government has passed the buck to the army, though we have seen that neither the army nor paramilitary forces can be everywhere at once. The LeJ on the other hand is a onetime ‘asset’ that was used in Pakistan’s disastrous proxy adventures in Kashmir. Similar to how the PTI view the Taliban, security agencies are failing to see that the LEJ and other sectarian organizations are far more loyal to global jihadism than they are to Pakistan. In both cases, the failure to view religious extremists as existential threats is allowing terrorists to target Pakistani civilians with impunity.

Bilawal says #PPP will continue doing family politics.

“PPP does family politics and will continue to do so. I am not here to deliver a traditional message of sacrifice,” he said while addressing workers in Karachi on occasion of Karachi.
He said Nawaz Sharif did not even sacrifice a ‘kitten’ to save democracy, but he bragged about the democracy, Bilawal taunted.
“Had I not been the son of Shaheed Benazir Bhutto, no one could have stopped me from avenging death of BB Shaheed,” he said in a charged tone.
He said some elements were advising me to address rally in Karachi through video conference over security reasons. Why there are law and order issues only for the PPP, he asked.
Bilawal said he was going to address public meeting at Mazar-e-Quaid on October 18, 2014 to spread message of Bhuttos. He said governor Sindh should also direct the Rangers authorities to provide security to the PPP rally.
“You should rein in your ‘Namaloon Afraad’. If any of the PPP activists was hurt, I will not let you sit comfortably,” he said while referring to the governor Sindh.
Our predecessor – Zulfikar Ali Bhutto – taught that PPP is the name of family. He referred Imran Khan to learn politics from Bhuttos’. If we need to learn cricket, we will definitely come to you, he said with a smile brimming over his face.
‘I am Bhutto, You are Bhutt0 and everybody is Bhutto,” chanted Bilawal to his supporters.
He said the PPP was the only party that could nominated any of its activist as the prime minister of Pakistan.
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Pakistan : Flood assistance farce

THE government has made a sudden appeal for cash assistance from donor agencies to deal with the destruction caused by the latest floods.
The appeal comes a week after the donors had been assured that no assistance would be required. It has been delivered to them through a bureaucrat in the finance ministry, instead of by the minister himself, who, it seems, is too busy in a roadshow to raise funds for the Diamer Bhasha dam project.
The donors want a detailed damage assessment, as well as an action plan for rehabilitating the victims, before the request can be entertained. The authorities say that a variety of flood relief funds have been set up by the federal government as well as the Punjab government, and the donors should simply deposit cash assistance into these.
This is the fifth consecutive year of floods in Pakistan, and each episode has seen an appeal for international assistance.
Meanwhile, the donor agencies and their respective governments are entitled to wonder what steps Pakistan has taken to increase its preparedness for what is clearly becoming an annual trend.
Have forecasting capabilities been improved? Have SOPs been created for the myriad government departments involved in managing the consequences of flooding while the disaster unfolds? Are rapid assessments drawn up in the aftermath of each episode? If so, why is there a sudden about-turn in asking for assistance this year?
The World Bank has offered Pakistan the services of state-of-the-art flood forecasting technology that successfully predicted the previous two flooding episodes with a 10-day lead time. But the offer has been greeted with complete disinterest by the government.
Currently, forecasts are issued with 48-hour lead time at best, which is grossly insufficient. Technology exists which can increase this lead time to 10 days and this technology has been offered to Pakistan.
Not only that, there is no single government department that is tasked with coordinating the response once a flood alert has been issued. Instead, the same game is played out every year, with a muddled and uncoordinated response once the flood peak actually arrives, followed by the same finger-pointing and blame game in the aftermath of the deluge.
Once the waters subside, the same appeals emerge to build more hydrological infrastructure as a flood-control mechanism. Donors might want to think twice about entertaining the request for cash assistance without a detailed plan of action.
They should insist that a proper disaster preparedness plan be drawn up first, which must include measures to upgrade forecasting capabilities as well as an action plan for coordinating the response once the flood alert has been issued. Muddling through the same disaster year after year, and following this up with requests for cash assistance and hydrological infrastructure, is turning into a farce. And nobody is laughing.

TTP’s support for IS disturbing for Pakistan

Amir Mir
The TTP Ameer, Mullah Fazlullah’s, announcement to send fighters to help the Islamic State (IS) militants in Iraq and Syria is a disturbing development for Pakistan as the move shows that after extending its area of influence in the Middle East, the radical militant group is expanding its ideological boundaries to South Asia, mainly Pakistan.
The pledge by the Pakistani Taliban follow the Islamic State’s taking control of large parts of Iraq and Syria. The rapid advance of the Islamic State — which was formerly known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) or Daish — has already prompted the United States and its allies to carry out air strikes in Iraq to stop it from moving ahead. But the most worrying development from Islamabad’s point of view is that the fanatic ideology of the Islamic State has found resonance in Pakistan where a number of Jihadi groups have already announced their support for the group.
In the most recent development, the Pakistani Taliban have vowed to send fighters to help the IS militants in Iraq and Syria, adding that the group should set aside its differences with other militant organisations in that (South Asian) region.
Shahidullah Shahid, the spokesman for al-Qaeda-linked Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan, has urged [on behalf of his Ameer Mullah Fazlullah] all militant organisations fighting in the Middle East to unite for the greater good. “From the very beginning, when the IS did not exist, we are helping and supporting the Mujahideen of Iraq and Syria. Our group (TTP) had sent between 1,000 and 1,500 fighters to the (Middle Eastern) region so far. We are with you in this hard times and will help you as much as possible. We advise you to be patient and determined at such a hard time and stay united, as your enemies stand united against you.”
The subject of sending Pakistani fighters to Syria and Iraq is touchy for Islamabad as the Pakistani authorities have repeatedly denied that any such movements have ever taken place. In reality, however, in a clear bid to broaden its influence in Pakistan, the IS had even distributed pamphlets in Peshawar last month, declaring that the caliphate led by Abu Bakar Al Baghdadi, was planning to expand its boundaries from Iraq and Syria, to Khorasan [which includes Pakistan, Afghanistan and parts of India]. Distributed in the first week of September in Peshawar and in the Afghan refugee camps on the outskirts of Peshawar, the booklet titled Fatah (victory) was published by the IS in Pashto and Dari languages. The logo of the pamphlet carried the Kalma, the historical stamp of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and a Kalashnikov assault rifle. Introducing itself as Daulat-e-Islamia (Islamic State) in the pamphlet, the IS made an appeal to the local people to support its struggle to establish an Islamic caliphate.
Besides distributing its literature and pamphlets, some of the ISIS supporters also made wall chalking in Peshawar, asking the local population to join and support the group. The distribution of the IS pamphlets in Pakistan as well as on the Afghan border shows that the ultra-radical Islamist group is trying to inspire militants even in the strongholds of Taliban and al-Qaeda. Following the rise of the IS in the Middle East and its proclamation of a caliphate, the al-Qaeda leadership has clearly distanced itself from the group, chiding it for its violent and brutal expansion. As things stand, it appears both al-Qaeda and the IS are competing for support from Islamist militants. While al-Qaeda is being led by Dr Ayman Al Zawahiri, a firebrand Sunni cleric Abu Bakar Al Baghdadi leads the IS and wants to topple the Shia-run Iraqi government.
In fact, the TTP is not the first Pakistani militant group to have extended support to the Islamic State. A previously little known Jihadi outfit — Tehrik-e-Khilafat — considered to be a part of the Pakistani Taliban and having claimed responsibility for several terrorist attacks in Karachi, was the first one to pledge allegiance to Abu Bakar Baghdadi on July 12, 2014 while vowing to raise the Islamic State’s flag in South Asia. The group became the first Jihadi outfit in South Asia to break ranks from al-Qaeda and declare allegiance to the Islamic State. “Sheikh Abu Bakar al-Baghdadi shall consider Tehrik-e-Khilafat as one of the arrows among his arrows which he has kept for his bow. We are praying to Almighty Allah to give us chance to see in our lives the expansion of the Islamic State’s boundaries toward the Subcontinent and Khorasan region in order to hoist the flag of Islamic State here,” a group spokesman said.
Khorasan is the historic name used by Islamic militants for an area covering, Pakistan, Afghanistan and some parts of India. Another interesting thing is that the IS map shows Afghanistan and Pakistan as part of the Islamic State’s Khorasan province. Al-Qaeda and Taliban linked militants believe that the movement for the establishment of the Islamic state of Khorasan will emerge from the region comprising the Kunar and Nuristan provinces of Afghanistan and the Malakand region of Pakistan. They consider Khorasan as the base camp of international Jihad from where they will be expanding the Islamic state boundaries into other non-Muslim lands.
After the Tehrik-e-Khilafat, it was the turn of the Jamaatul Ahraar, a splinter group of the TTP, to declare its support to the Islamic State on September 4. “IS is an Islamic Jihadi group working for the implementation of Islamic system and creation of the caliphate,” Jamaatul Ahraar leader and a former Taliban spokesman, Ehsanullah Ehsan, had stated. “We respect them. They are our Mujahideen brothers. If they ask us for help, we will look into it and decide.”
Under these circumstances, it seems that the Islamic State, headed by a fairly young leader, is already drawing a measure of support among younger Jihadi fighters, mostly Sunnis, in South Asia including Pakistan because al-Qaeda’s ageing leaders, most of whom are holed up in Pak-Afghan tribal belt to save themselves from drones, are more and more seen as tired, ineffective and uninspiring.
It was probably the diminishing influence and appeal of al-Qaeda in this region that prompted the fugitive al-Qaeda Ameer Ayman Zawahiri to announce on September 4 the establishment of an Indian franchise headed by a Pakistani commander Asim Umar to raise the flag of Jihad across South Asia.
More than two years since the beginning of the uprising against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, thousands of holy warriors from various Muslim countries, including Pakistan, have reportedly traveled to Syria to fight with the al-Qaeda-linked ISIS. And going by some latest media reports, hundreds more holy warriors belonging to the TTP and LeJ have reached Iraq to join hands with the forces of the Islamic State of Syria and Iraq. An Iraq-based Jihadi group — the Ansarul Islam — has already released a video showing training activity at a Jihadi camp dedicated to the memory of Maulana Abdul Rasheed Ghazi, one of the two cleric brothers who took centre-stage during the Lal Masjid standoff in July 2007.
Therefore, terrorism experts believe that the rise and success of the IS could play an inspirational role in Pakistan where 100-plus al-Qaeda and Taliban-linked Jihadi groups are currently operating.