Wednesday, October 8, 2014
#FreeGhonchehGhavami _ It will take more than a quiet word in Iran’s ear to put human rights on the table
Turkey’s active participation in the US-led coalition against the Islamic State (IS) is looking less and less likely, despite the parliament's Oct. 2 authorization to send troops to Iraq and Syria. That mandate was seen in the West as a prelude to Turkey’s decision to finally act against IS, but it is increasingly evident that Ankara’s priority remains taking out Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad. This priority, however, is at odds with the mission of the anti-IS coalition as defined in the Jeddah Communique signed Sept. 11 by the Gulf Cooperation Council states, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon and the United States. The communique only mentions a resolve to destroy IS. Turkey participated in the Jeddah conference but refused to sign the communique, arguing that IS was holding 49 Turks, including the Mosul consul general, hostage and it did not want to endanger their lives. After the hostages were freed, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan promised to contribute to the coalition against IS in every way possible, including militarily. Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu has nevertheless made it clear now that this support is contingent on the Syrian regime being the principal target. “We are ready to do everything if there is a clear strategy that after [IS] we can be sure that our border will be protected. We don't want the regime on our border pushing people toward Turkey. We don't want other terrorist organizations to be active there,” Davutoglu told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour Oct 6. When asked if degrading the Assad regime was one of Turkey’s conditions, Davutoglu also responded flatly, “Of course, because we believe that if Assad stays in Damascus with this brutal policy, if [IS] goes, another radical organization may come in.” Davutoglu is implying two things. The first is that if IS is defeated, the Syrian regime would regain control in areas bordering Turkey. The second is that the Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD), which is closely associated with the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), would regain control in parts of northern Syria. The second point ties in with Erdogan’s remarks Sept. 28, when he blasted the international community for moving against IS while refusing to do so against the PKK, which the United States, like Turkey, has designated a terrorist organization. Davutoglu’s remarks also lend credence to claims in Turkey by the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) and the pro-Kurdish People's Democracy Party (HDP). Both maintain that IS is seen as the lesser evil by the Erdogan and the Davutoglu government compared with Assad and the PKK — even though the government is engaged in a peace process that also involves indirect talks with the PKK. The CHP and the HDP voted against the government’s authorization motion, which allows the Turkish military to enter Iraq and Syria. They argued that its main target was not IS but the Syrian regime and Syrian Kurds. Tellingly, Turkey appears to be doing little, if anything, to help the Syrian Kurds while IS gains control of the predominantly Kurdish city of Kobani, only a stone's throw away from the Turkish border. This inaction belies Davutoglu's remarks that Ankara will do everything to ensure Kobani does not fall to IS. Erdogan and Davutoglu also want a no-fly zone and buffer zone on the Syrian side of the Turkish border for the estimated 1.5 million Syrian refugees in Turkey. Analysts, however, point out that IS has no aircraft and maintain that Ankara’s insistence on a no-fly zone has the Syrian regime in mind. Despite its efforts, Ankara has failed so far to get the United States to accept the Syrian regime as the priority target in Syria and to get Washington’s support for a no-fly zone and buffer zone. Asked about Davutoglu’s remarks to CNN during her daily press briefing, US State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said Oct. 6, “Our position hasn’t changed. Our focus is on [IS].” Turkey’s efforts appear doubly difficult since the Syrian regime has reportedly been mounting relatively successful airstrikes against IS. So why is Ankara maintaining a line that amounts to flogging a dead horse and could leave it isolated in the struggle against IS? Zaman foreign policy commentator Abdulhamid Bilici, also the general director of the Cihan News Agency, which is covering events in Iraq and Syria firsthand, pointed out that unlike other countries, Turkey has faced serious problems as a result of the Syrian crisis these past three years. Bilici told Al-Monitor that this is the reason why Ankara is trying to keep the focus on the Syrian regime even though the world’s attention has shifted to IS. “The Baathist regime continues to be the bigger problem for Ankara compared with IS. If this regime comes to be recognized by the world, this will pose even greater problems for Ankara,” Bilici said. Brutal dictators are nothing new for the Middle East, of course, and the world has learned to live with them in the past. Given his proven staying power, it is not inconceivable that Assad could also come to be accepted in the end, even as he is internationally vilified as a bloody dictator. The strong backing he still gets from Russia and Iran also has to be factored in. Soli Ozel, a lecturer on international politics at Istanbul’s Kadir Has University and a columnist for Haberturk who is frequently consulted by the Western media, also believes that Erdogan and Davutoglu fear that Assad, whom they continue to revile as a bloody dictator, may remain in power. “Davutoglu is saying in effect that IS is the product of rage and if the source of that rage, namely the Syrian regime, goes, then such groups will also go. I don’t know if he believes this himself, though,” Ozel told Al-Monitor. Ozel also wonders if there is an ulterior motive to Ankara’s insistence on a no-fly zone and buffer zone in Syria even though there is no international support for them. “If IS engages in a massacre in northern Syria this will provide an excuse for Ankara doing little to prevent it. It can say, 'I warned the international community, but it refused to act.'" Nihat Ali Ozcan, a security expert at the Ankara-based Economic Policy Research Foundation of Turkey and a columnist for Milliyet, believes the real problem for the Turkish military in Syria is that it cannot decide who the enemy is. “If the target is Assad, the answer to this question is simple,” Ozcan argued in his Oct. 7 column. “Otherwise it is not clear who and where the enemy is. It wears no uniform and is a part of the civilian population.” Meanwhile, Wolfango Piccoli, an expert on Turkey for the New York-based global advisory firm Teneo, pointed out that Ankara may be angry over accusations that it has been soft on IS, and there are factors that bolster this claim. “In a country in which access to tens of thousands of websites has been blocked, Turkish-language pro-[IS] websites such as Takva Haber continue to glorify the group and encourage young Turks to join it, without any restriction,” Piccoli pointed out in an assessment provided to Al-Monitor. The bottom line is that the situation in Syria keeps getting worse for Ankara as it tries to impose its own priorities on a coalition that appears to have very different ideas. Read more: http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2014/10/turkey-united-states-syria-isis-kurds-assad.html#ixzz3Fc0Lk2EO
President Obama took another stab at the media on Tuesday, blaming it for spreading negativity and focusing too much on "phony scandals" rather than on the progress of the United States.
But Obama's verbal attack on the media Tuesday does not come as any big surprise. Last year, the president said that the media wrongly "tries to divide them and splinter" the American people. He has been increasingly critical of much of the foreign policy coverage in recent months, particularly as it relates to reporting on the crisis in both Ukraine and Syria. The Obama administration has been called one of the most secretive and least transparent administrations in history, with journalists calling it "significantly worse than previous administrations."
Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, once aspired to lead the Muslim world. At this time of regional crisis, he has been anything but a leader. Turkish troops and tanks have been standing passively behind a chicken-wire border fence while a mile away in Syria, Islamic extremists are besieging the town of Kobani and its Kurdish population. This is an indictment of Mr. Erdogan and his cynical political calculations. By keeping his forces on the sidelines, and refusing to help in other ways — like allowing Kurdish fighters to pass through Turkey — he seeks not only to weaken the Kurds, but also, in a test of will with President Obama, to force the United States to help him oust President Bashar al-Assad of Syria, whom he detests. It is also evidence of the confusion and internal tensions that affect Mr. Obama’s work-in-progress strategy to degrade and defeat the Sunni Muslim extremist group Islamic State, also called ISIS or ISIL. Kurdish fighters in Kobani have been struggling for weeks to repel the Islamic State. To help, the Americans stepped up airstrikes that began to push the Islamic State fighters back, although gun battles and explosions continued on Wednesday. But all sides — the Americans, Mr. Erdogan and the Kurds — agree that ground forces are necessary to capitalize on the air power. No dice, says Mr. Erdogan, unless the United States provides more support to rebels trying to overthrow Mr. Assad and creates a no-fly zone to deter the Syrian Air Force as well as a buffer zone along the Turkish border to shelter thousands of Syrian refugees who have fled the fighting. No one can deny Mr. Assad’s brutality in the civil war, but Mr. Obama has rightly resisted involvement in that war and has insisted that the focus should be on degrading the Islamic State, not going after the Syrian leader. The biggest risk in his decision to attack the Islamic State in Syria from the air is that it could put America on a slippery slope to a war that he has otherwise sought to avoid. Mr. Erdogan’s behavior is hardly worthy of a NATO ally. He was so eager to oust Mr. Assad that he enabled the Islamic State and other militants by allowing fighters, weapons and revenues to flow through Turkey. If Mr. Erdogan refuses to defend Kobani and seriously join the fight against the Islamic State, he will further enable a savage terrorist group and ensure a poisonous long-term instability on his border. He has also complicated his standing at home. His hesitation in helping the Syrian Kurds has enraged Turkey’s Kurdish minority which staged protests against the Turkish government on Wednesday that reportedly led to the deaths of 21 people. Mr. Erdogan fears that defending Kobani will strengthen the Syrian Kurds, who have won de facto control of many border areas as they seek autonomy much like their Kurdish brethren in Iraq. But if Kobani falls, Kurdish fury will undoubtedly grow. The Americans have been trying hard to resolve differences with Mr. Erdogan in recent days, but these large gaps are deeply threatening to the 50-plus nation coalition the United States has assembled. One has to wonder why such a profound dispute was not worked out before Mr. Obama took action in Syria.
China reiterated its opposition to foreign interference in Hong Kong affairs Wednesday. Vice Foreign Minister Li Baodong made the comment when asked if the upcoming Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) summit will touch upon Hong Kong and the Korean Peninsula situation. The policy of "One Country, Two Systems," implemented earnestly since Hong Kong's return to China in 1997, has contributed to Hong Kong's prosperity, stability and won international acclaim, Li told a news briefing ahead of Premier Li Keqiang's Europe visit. China has always opposed foreign interference in Hong Kong's internal affairs and China's domestic affairs as well. "Our stance remains unchanged," Li said, adding that Hong Kong's continuous prosperity and stability is in the interests of all sides. "We are confident that Hong Kong's future will be even brighter," the vice foreign minister said. Issues dealing with regional and international hotspots will be touched upon on the sidelines of the summit. Li said that the Korean Peninsula situation will be mentioned in important bilateral meetings. He reaffirmed China's commitment to Peninsular peace and stability. He hoped that all parties can use the summit as an opportunity to discuss practical cooperation and reach consensus, setting the direction for the future development of the ASEM. Premier Li will visit Germany, Russia, Italy and the UN Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) headquarters from Oct. 9 to 15. He will also attend the 10th ASEM summit in Milan from Oct. 16 to 17.
Kiev doesn’t have full control of its military and paramilitary forces, who continue to violate the principles of international humanitarian law, highlights the latest UN report on the human rights situation in Ukraine. The UN has stated that at least 3,660 people have been killed in eastern Ukraine since April – including 330 since the ceasefire brokered on Sept. 5. A total of 8,756 people have been wounded since April, the office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights said. The UN statement notes in particular that, despite the ceasefire, “in some areas artillery, tank and small arms exchanges have continued on an almost daily basis, such as in Donetsk airport, in the Debaltseve area in Donetsk region, and in the town of Shchastya in Luhansk region.” “While the ceasefire is a very welcome step towards ending the fighting in eastern Ukraine, I call on all parties to genuinely respect and uphold it, and to halt the attacks on civilians and civilian infrastructure once and for all,” Zeid said in the report. “For almost half a year, residents of the areas affected by the armed conflict have been deprived of their fundamental rights to education, to adequate healthcare, to housing and to opportunities to earn a living. Further prolongation of this crisis will make the situation untenable for the millions of people whose daily lives have been seriously disrupted,” he added. The 37-page report covers the period from August 18 to September 16 and contains testimonial evidence of cases of violation on behalf of Ukrainian military units. “During the reporting period, international humanitarian law, including the principles of military necessity, distinction, proportionality and precaution continued to be violated by armed groups and some units and volunteer battalions under the control of the Ukrainian armed forces,” the report reads. Specific evidence of “beatings, poor nutrition and lack of medical assistance” are also mentioned in the report, RIA reports. The UN expressed special concern over the “enforced disappearances, arbitrary detention and ill-treatment allegedly perpetrated by members of the volunteer battalions,” in particular Aydar, Dnepr-1, Kiev-1 and Kiev-2. “In spite of a fragile ceasefire over the past month in the east of Ukraine, the protracted conflict continues to kill and wound civilians, and deprive the more than 5 million residents in areas directly affected by the violence of their basic human rights,” Zeid said. The UN in its report urges the Ukrainian authorities to exercise greater control over their own army and groups of armed volunteers, as since the beginning of the so-called “anti-terrorist” operation on August 25 according to the Ukrainian Security Service, over 1,000 people have been detained on suspicion of being “militants and subversives.” The report also highlights that the civilian population is suffering, in particular, because of the bombing of densely populated neighborhoods with heavy artillery. “Some of the reported cases of disproportionate use of fire in residential areas are committed by Ukrainian armed forces,” stated the document. “After the announcement of the ceasefire on September 5, the scope and intensity of military operations decreased sharply, but not completely,” the document says, adding that civilians “continue to fall under the cross-fire and cross-bombing.” The UN also reported an increase of “foreign mercenaries” in the ranks of the armed forces of self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk People's republics, “including citizens of Russia.” Meanwhile the issue of mass graves recently found near Donetsk was not reflected in the document, TASS reports, as they were discovered outside the period under review and formally not subject to consideration by the rights monitoring mission of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).
On Oct. 7, 2001, nearly a month after the Sept. 11 attacks, the State Department sent a cable to Pakistan asking Islamabad to pass a message to the Taliban warning that “it is in your interest and in the interest of your survival to hand over all al-Qaeda leaders.” The message also included a warning to Taliban leader Mullah Omar that “every pillar of the Taliban regime will be destroyed.”
Now that newly elected Afghan President Ashraf Ghani has signed the bilateral security agreement (BSA) that allows U.S. troops to stay past the end of the war, Campbell has begun the transition from 13 years of combat to a post-war “train, advise and assist” mission.
‘Transition, Transition, Transition’There are currently just under 40,000 International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) troops in Afghanistan, including approximately 23,000 U.S. forces. That number will drop to about 12,500 NATO forces—of which 9,800 will be American—by the end of the year, according to a timeline set out by President Barack Obama in May. By the end of 2015, that number will be cut again, by about half, and by Jan. 1, 2017, all U.S. troops will be out of Afghanistan except for a small number assigned to the U.S. embassy in Kabul. Despite a protracted political process that delayed the seating of the new Afghan president and put a security agreement between the U.S. and Afghanistan in limbo for months, Campbell said the drawdown is on track so far. At the height of the war, ISAF had about 300 combat outposts and forward operating bases. There are now just 30. “If I had one word to tell you what I’ve seen so far in the six weeks, it’s transition, transition, transition. And that is transition from ISAF to the mission of resolute support. It’s the political transition with a new president, the BSA signing, the SOFA [Status of Forces Agreement] signing, and this really complete political transition,” Campbell said. Still, the Taliban aren’t exactly packing up and going home and many say they’re just waiting out the clock for the day when all foreign troops leave Afghanistan.
“For all of the political rhetoric that has followed, however, Afghanistan is still the forgotten war at a time when the Taliban is making steady gains, civilian casualties are rising, the Afghan economy is in crisis, and there still are no clear plans for any post-2014 aspect of transition,” Anthony Cordesman, a national security expert with the Center for Strategic and International Studies, said in a recent report about U.S. strategy in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Central Asia.Campbell said that in ”the last couple of weeks, there has been an uptick with the Taliban trying to make a statement as they close out the fighting season.” He said the Afghans have been fighting well, especially in Helmand province, but that the Taliban is unable to hold any territory they gain. He admits, though, that they’re not doing enough to counter the Taliban’s message.
“They have, quite frankly, won the information war,” he said.Afghan security forces have been loathe to counter with their own public relations strategy, Campbell noted, in part because of the political problems in Kabul and a lack of confidence. But he said he expects Ghani, and the Afghan National Security Forces, will be more inclined to demonstrate their successes more publicly. “The problem we’ve had in the past is we’ve encouraged the Afghans to go ahead and report this to show the success that they have. And quite candidly, they’ve been afraid to do that. And they’ve been inhibited in some places to—to tell some of the good news stories,” Campbell said As those forces step up on the battlefield and in that information war, Taliban morale will fall apart. “What you’ll see in Helmand is that the Taliban do not own any of the ground that they’ve tried to get, and that they’ll end the fighting season ‘14 here very discouraged, and that their leadership continues not even to be in Afghanistan and that the morale of the Taliban continues to be low,” Campbell said. Lessons Learned Just days after the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, then-Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Colin Powell told Tim Russert on NBC’s Meet the Press that the United States would not get mired in Afghanistan’s so-called graveyard of empires. “I can assure you that our military will have plans that will go against their weaknesses, and not get trapped in ways that previous armies have gotten trapped in Afghanistan,” he said. The United States has been fighting in Afghanistan longer than the Soviets did after they invaded in 1979. That war lasted a decade before the Soviet Union was defeated, leading to the civil war that brought about the rise of the Taliban. And while the Obama administration may designate the end of 2014 as the end of the war in Afghanistan, it’s somewhat arbitrary, since the U.S. mission will likely continue to 2017, at the least. With the lessons of the end of the Iraq war being played out in the Middle East, the next president may decide that the U.S. military mission should continue—or even expand—to prevent Afghanistan’s security from falling in the same way as it has in Iraq. Indeed, there have been many comparisons to the current mess in Iraq and the inability to get a deal to leave troops behind there, something that’s clearly on Campbell’s mind. Campbell, who led troops in Iraq in 2005, said he supports the timeline of the drawdown, but said if conditions on the ground worsen, he wouldn’t hesitate to urge the president to slow it down. “I feel very confident that we have a good plan, but as any commander on the ground, you know, I reserve the right to be able to take a look at the risk to the force, risk to the mission, and then provide my assessments to my chain of command as we move forward,” Campbell said. Earlier this month, Ret. Gen. John Allen, who commanded U.S. and NATO troops in Afghanistan and Iraq, questioned the speed of the drawdown. “I think [that timeline is] too short,” Allen said. “These young Afghan troops, the whole concept of an Afghan army is new. And they need time to transition properly,” Allen told the Marine Corps Times. A New Chapter Begins As Secretary of State John Kerry said when the BSA was signed last week: “This is a beginning, not an ending, and with all beginnings the toughest decisions are still ahead.” Kerry said Afghanistan is entering a “new chapter in its history” and vowed not to abandon the nation as it continues to grow its security forces and its economy. The Afghan government has said it is “nearly broke” and needs $537 million to keep operating. Even if it gets through this latest financial crisis, the government will need international funding for years, if not decades, to come. Afghanistan has an annual operating budget of $7.6 billion—and more than two-thirds of that comes from foreign aid. But many fear that as crises like those in Iraq and Syria dominate the White House’s foreign policy agenda, Obama and his national security team will lose sight of Afghanistan. House Armed Services Committee Chairman Rep. Buck McKeon, R-Calif., warned the Obama administration not to take its eye off the ball there. “Only U.S. leadership and commitment, along with that of our allies, can give the Afghan people the time to allow their institutions to mature to the point that gains can be sustained and our national security interests assured,” he said in a statement last week. “The administration should reconsider its plans to drawdown U.S. forces, leaving just a normal embassy presence within a year and a half. We are witnessing now in Iraq what happens when the U.S. falters on that commitment and adopts a posture inconsistent with our security interests.”
Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari on Tuesday warned Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi over India’s ongoing aggression on Charwa sector Sialkot near Line of Control (LoC), saying that Pakistan can retaliate unlike Modi’s “victims from Gujrat”, Dunya News reported. In his recent tweet, Bilawal criticized India by comparing Indian attacks to Israeli aggression on Palestinian territories. At least five persons were killed while several others injured as result of Indian firing on Charwa Sector in Sialkot and LoC. Citizens have started relocating from the areas with at least twenty villages deserted as of now.
Opposition Leader and senior member of Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), Syed Khursheed Shah has said that whatever Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said in his speech, was under the current context, however PPP will remain committed to its reconciliation policy, ARY News reported. Khursheed Shah on Tuesday said that whatever the PPP patron in-chief, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said in his speech that was under the current context. He added that there is no shift in PPP’s policy and it will remain committed to the reconciliation theory. Shah questioned why the political opponents understand that what they speak is all right and what others speak is wrong, adding, “We believe in reconciliation policy and taking along everyone”. Commenting about the Islamabad sit-ins, the PPP leader said the demonstrations affected the national economy and served as a reason for the cancellation of Chinese President’s visit to Pakistan. - See more at: http://arynews.tv/en/shah-says-bilawals-speech-was-under-current-context/#sthash.pqM7YVTJ.dpuf
Two recent explosions triggered by IEDs smuggled into India from Pakistan may have provided the backdrop for the present escalation of tension along the borders. One could add to it a host of local and international factors — from UN general assembly session to J&K elections and coming winter. The ceasefire violations usually coincide with the festival season with tension mounting through the Dussehra-Eid-Diwali period. In an IED blast on October 4, a soldier was killed and five others were injured in Balnoi sector of Mendhar in Poonch district. The IED was planted several meters inside the Line of Control, and the only way for it to get to the spot was for it to have been smuggled into the Indian side by Pakistani regulars or someone authorized by them. The soldier killed in the blast was from 1 Mahar Regiment. The other IED blast had taken place on September 15 in Sunea Gali in Mendhar, in which a porter was killed and two BSF jawans were injured. In both the instances, Indian security forces were convinced that the IEDs were smuggled into the Indian side. The two blasts significantly contributed to the mistrust and heightened tension in the area. The situation has now deteriorated into the worst ceasefire violation in over a decade. However, a series of other developments may also have contributed to the ongoing violation. In what began as stray firing around September 15 when the first IED blast took place, it intensified when Prime Minister Narendra Modi landed at New York to address the UN General Assembly session. Some security experts suspect that Islamabad wanted the Indian PM to rake up the issue of ceasefire violation in his UN address, but Modi did not make any specific reference to it. On the ground, Pakistani side seemed to have been preparing for a round of aggressive ceasefire violations. In the first couple of days of this month, people in many Pakistani villages close to the border were asked to vacate, and their religious prayers and festivities stopped. Pakistan on Monday complained that four of their villagers had been killed in cross-border firing. Beyond all those reasons, there is another crucial factor which may have contributed to the escalation. This year, the Pakistani side has been very ineffective in pushing in their "bare minimum" number of militants into India. Usually, in a year about a 100 of them come into India before the heavy winter snow sets up. But this time just about 40 may have managed to enter. In fact, even as the present round of ceasefire violations were under way, in Tangdhar sector army killed three suspected militants while they were trying to cross over to India. As J&K prepares for assembly elections, militants are desperate to get active. It's under the cover of cross-border fire that militants are pushed in. Heightened tension with India would also serve a very important purpose for the Pakistani establishment at home with the Nawaz Sharif government facing opposition fire. There isn't any other factor that could unite Pakistan more like Kashmir and tension with India.
At least two people were killed and one was injured in an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) blast in the Alemgar area of Safi tehsil in Mohmand Agency. Official sources said that suspected militants had planted the device in front of the house of a local named Taj Gul, killing one of his sons Sakhi Gul and his nephew Maskeen on the spot while his other son Muhammad Agul, who is a Union Council polio worker, was left injured. No one has claimed responsibility for the attack. The injured polio worker was shifted to the Camp Hospital in Muhammad Gat. Polio team members have been frequently attacked by militants in the Federally administered Tribal Areas (Fata). Militants allege that polio vaccination is a cover for espionage or a Western-conspiracy to sterilise Muslims. Mohmand is one of Pakistan’s seven tribal agencies near the Afghan border which are rife with militancy and are said to be strongholds of Taliban and Al Qaeda operatives.
Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari on Tuesday said that none becomes a great leader by establishing a hospital, ARY News reported. Zardari said that our ancestors built Sindh Madressatul Islam which trained an individual like Pakistan’s founder Muhammad Ali Jinnah but we never took political advantage out of the fact. Speaking to party workers in Bilawal House Lahore, Zardari emphasized on the need to focus on the organization of party while claiming that the party and country benefited greatly from the patience shown by PPP workers. The former president in an apparent jab at PTI chief Imran Khan and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif advised his party men to benefit from the situation while two of the leading politicians are wrestling each other. He claimed that those who used foul language against him in the past are facing the same situation. About his party’s performance in the 5 year government, he opined that Pakistan was about to turn into another Syria or Iraq but it was PPP who saved Pakistan from such situation. A determined looking Zardari said that all political parties should take the current political situation seriously. - See more at: http://arynews.tv/en/ppp-saved-pakistan-from-political-turmoil-zardari/#sthash.nacvKuiI.dpuf