Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Music Video - Madonna - Hung Up

Music Video - Madonna - Like A Virgin

Music Video - Charli XCX - Boom Clap

HRW Calls For Prosecution Of Afghan Officials, Commanders Guilty Of Rights Abuse

Human Rights Watch has that calls on new Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and his government to prosecute officials and commanders "whose serious human rights abuses have long gone unpunished."
The report, released March 3 and titled Today We Shall All Die: Afghanistan's Strongmen and the Legacy of Impunity, said the "previous Afghan government and the United States enabled powerful and abusive individuals and their forces to commit atrocities for too long with being held to account."
The report profiles eight "strongmen" linked to police, intelligence, and militia forces responsible for serious abuses in recent years.
The eight men named were Hazara leader Abdul Hakim Shojoyi, former Takhar police chief Khair Mohammad Timur, Commander Azizullah from the Urgun district in Paktika Province, Atta Mohammad Noor, a commander in northern Afghanistan, Najibullah Kapisa, the National Directorate of Security chief for Takhar Province, Mir Alam, a former senior commander with the Jamiat party, Asadullah Khalid, the former head of the National Security Directorate, and General Abdul Raziq, the Kandahar provincial police commander.
The report is based on 125 interviews HRW has carried out since August 2012.

Pakistan - ASWJ terrorists behead Shia doctor in Balochistan

Human butchers of Deobandi terrorists of banned Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (ASWJ/Sipah-e-Sahaba) slaughtered a Shia doctor in Hub City of Balochistan’s Lasbela District that is situated near Karachi on inter-provincial borders with Sindh province.
Shia medical doctor Qasim Ali Shah son of Mehboob Ali Shah was at his clinic to see the patients when Deobandi terrorists of outlawed LeJ or so-called ASWJ kidnapped him on gunpoint. They tortured him severely and finally slaughtered him. His slit body was thrown in Hub Industrial Area on Wednesday.
Hafiz Abdul Shakoor Mengal, Jamil Farooqi and Atiq ur Rehman of the proscribed ASWJ/banned LeJ are said to be involved in the targeted murder and abduction of Shia doctor who originally hailed from Allah Abad Town Kamal Dero area of Kandiaro in Naushehro Feroze District of Sindh province.
Shia parties and leaders have condemned the takfiri terrorists who assassinated Shia lawyer in Karachi and Shia doctor in Hub. They said that ASWJ’s Ludhianvi and his vice president Malik Ishaq who was co-founder of the LeJ and their henchmen in Karachi and Quetta such as Aurangzeb Farooqi and Ramzan Mengal and aforesaid takfiris should be hanged in public so that their remnants could be deterred from ongoing Genocide campaign.


LAHORE: Security around the University of Engineering and Technology on Wednesday was put on high alert by police after the university in Lahore received a threatening letter from the militant group Islamic State.
The letter threatened to attack the university with a suicide attack or a series of bombings, according to a police officer. And UET public relations officer Dr Tanvir Qasim confirmed the letter had been received via posted mail from an unidentified source. However, he said the contents of the letter were unknown to him.
UET sources claim the letter was received yesterday from unknown sources claiming to be from IS, threatening to attack hotels and the university campus after which security within the UET campus was put on high alert.
DIG Lahore Dr Haider Ashraf said security around the university has been increased with increased patrolling and checkpoints.

DIG Ashraf also said a search operation will be launched in the UET hostels later today to sweep-check the premises.
However, he added that the letter could be a hoax, but this can only be ascertained after an investigation. DIG Ashraf said till then, the threat would be taken seriously.
The Civil Lines Police Division has also been asked to remain alert.
Ashraf said that they will also launch a search operation in UET hostels later today to sweep check the premises.
On the other hand, a police official revealed that the threat letter was a hoax to spread panic in city.
In October 2014, a threat letter was handed over to guards of Kinnard College Lahore that later turned out to be a hoax.
It also not the first time that Lahore has come under the threat of IS presence. In November last year, Lahore police launched a manhunt to find men who either belonged to IS, or those who aspired to be in IS after pamphlets, posters and stickers of IS were distributed on the boundary wall in parts of the city. The Lahore police then claimed that Lahore was IS-free, however this letter has raised concerns.
Further, agencies have issued a list of various universities that are under threat, of which UET, according to sources, is not on that list.

Pakistan - Rampant Corruption In Bureaucratic Structure Of Balochistan

Adnan Aamir
PM visited Quetta last week and announced a development package of Rs. 35 billion for the province. From the package, Rs. 5 billion would be spent on development of roads and sewage system in Quetta and Rs. 30 Billion on construction of dams in the rest of the province.
Chief Minister Dr. Malik Baloch had earlier demanded a special development package of Rs. 500 billion from the federal government. The package announced by Prime Minister is much less than what was expected, but even this amount will not benefit the people of the province in any way due to rampant corruption in the bureaucratic structure of Balochistan.
Corruption is prevalent all over Pakistan due to a lack of proper accountability mechanisms. However, in Balochistan there is more corruption than the rest of Pakistan. Involvement of politicians in corruption is well known but the extent to which the bureaucracy of Balochistan is marred is least known. This is why the common people have not benefitted in any way from increase in share of funds of Balochistan after the 7th NFC award.
In 2002, Jam Yousaf became the CM of Balochistan and with his government started a new chapter of corruption. Bureaucrats helped the ministers in earning money through different means and also pocketed their share. During the same period, the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) was used to persecute the opponents of Musharraf but the corrupt officials were not bothered as long as they blindly served the regime. With the passage of time the disease of corruption spread like wildfire and most of the government servants in the province began feeling as though it’s their right to earn money through corruption.
The construction on a flyover, now named after Benazir, started in 2001. It was supposed to be completed in 2003 but it was eventually completed in 2008. The estimated cost of the project was revised several times and at least four times more money was spent on the flyover than the original budget. There were several reasons for the delay but the major one was the greed of government officers, who wanted to maximize their earnings from that project. Not a single officer was ever convicted in connection with embezzling funds of that project. The case of Benazir flyover is just one of many such projects where bureaucrats have made billions of rupees from taxpayers’ money using their power and influence.
The budget of the Balochistan government for the fiscal year 2014-15 was Rs. 215 billion. 77% of this budget is spent on non-development expenditures. These include the salaries and benefits of the bureaucrats among other things. Bureaucrats twist government rules and increase their monetary benefits in every budget without any improvement in their performance. Apart from that, bureaucrats also receive their share from the remaining 23% of budget which is spent on development expenditure.
Development funds are only released when bureaucrats in Planning and Development (P&D) department authorize the release. Not a single penny is released until the minister and bureaucrats in charge have not got their share. Not a single file is moved ahead in Accountant General Office of Balochistan until the palms of the government servants are not greased with bribery. Even the accountants of Communication and Works (C&W) department have become millionaires because no cheque can be cashed without their signature.
NAB also exists in Balochistan but its actions against corrupt official are restricted to paper work only. Every now and then a few government servants are apprehended on charges of corruption. These arrests are made by the NAB just to show that they are doing something and justify their purpose of existence. If NAB starts arresting all the corrupt officers then there will be a shortage of officers to run the province.
Why doesn’t the NAB take action against the corrupt officials? Some of the bureaucrats have political backings while others don’t leave any traces of corruption. According to some sources, officers in NAB also receive their share from the corrupt official and after that, all is well.
Coming back to the package announced by PM, it will be another source of income for the bureaucrats and politicians. All the funds that Balochistan will receive from the federal government will be systematically misappropriated by the corrupt officers. The estimated costs of the projects will be revised several times, cheap quality material will be used and many people will make millions during the process. The only losers will be the people of Balochistan on whose name these funds are received from the federal government.
Politicians come to power for five years provided that assemblies are not dissolved earlier. They require the bureaucrats to run the government and therefore don’t interfere in their corrupt practices. When one government leaves and another comes to power, the same bureaucrats switch their loyalty. In this way they have become invincible and there is no one to stop them from plundering the resources of Balochistan. Until and unless corruption in provincial bureaucracy is not treated with an iron fist, even a development package of Rs. 5,000 billion cannot do any good to people of Balochistan.

Pakistan - 147 foreign-funded madrassas operating in Punjab

IGP Sukhera says action being taken against madrassas spreading hate speech
In contradiction to a previous statement, Punjab Inspector General of Police (IGP) Mushtaq Sukhera on Wednesday said that 147 madrassas in the province are receiving foreign funds.
Sukhera informed the Senate Standing Committee on Rules of Procedure and Privileges (SSCRPP) that there were in fact nearly 150 madrassas that were receiving funds from foreign countries. He also told members of the committee that law enforcement agencies, including the Punjab Police, are taking action against all those involved in spreading hate speech, following the directives of the federal government under the National Action Plan (NAP).
The committee meeting was chaired by Senator Tahir Hussain Mashhadi.
In response to a question by PPP Senator Syeda Sughra Imam, IGP Sukhera had told the Senate through a written reply on January 30 that not a single madrassa is receiving foreign funding in Punjab. These revelations were startling in their own right and many senators were astonished to learn that no seminaries in Punjab were receiving funding from foreign sources.
The IG was quoted saying, “The requisite report may be treated as nil. No madrassa involved in receiving financial and training assistance from Islamic countries has come to our notice during surveillance carried out by field formations.”
However, during proceedings Minister for the Interior Balighur Rehman failed to convince the opposition benches due to the contradiction of the federal government and provincial government regarding foreign funding of Punjab seminaries.
Later, Senate Deputy Chairman Sabir Baloch referred the matter to the SSCRPP as the IGP Punjab had breached the privilege of the Senate. The Senate then summoned IGP Sukhera to furnish a detailed report on funding of Punjab seminaries.
The IGP on Wednesday informed the Senate Standing Committee that the home department is registering all unregistered seminaries in the province with the support of the main leadership of the concerned seminaries.
“The law enforcement agencies also sealed a seminary affiliated with the Lal Masjid in the Rojhan Jamali area of district Dera Ghazi Khan as the management of the seminary was involved in spreading hate material,” the IGP added.
Sukhera told the committee members that that the police are carrying out surveillance of the seminaries across the province due to the ongoing situation of the law and order in the country.
Members of the committee asked the IGP Punjab to implement the directives of the federal government by following the NAP recommendations regarding the registration and funding of the seminaries in the province.

Pakistan must give up its obsession with Kashmir

Former ambassador to the United States Hussain Haqqani said on Wednesday that Pakistan no longer enjoys the support of the international community over the Kashmir issue and must give up its “ideological obsession”, The Economic Times reported. 
“Pakistan needs to have the kind of approach China has over Taiwan. It doesn’t need to give up its claim but it needs to move on other issues first,” Haqqani said, speaking at the Royal Institute of International Affairs at Chatham House in London.
He added that Pakistan no longer has the support of the international community on the Kashmir issue.
“We need to take a more pragmatic approach rather than making it an ideological obsession,” he said.
Haqqani pressed for a “decisive shift” in Pakistan’s approach towards Kashmir. He said that issues around 26/11 Mumbai terror attack, its alleged mastermind Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, and Jamaatud Dawa chief Hafiz Saeed could be stumbling blocks to lasting peace between the neighbouring countries.
The former ambassador described Pakistan and India’s relationship as a “bad marriage”.
Commenting on India’s Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar’s visit to Pakistan, Haqqani said, “It’s a good thing that India and Pakistan are resuming talks but unfortunately the fundamentals of the relationship are yet to be addressed.”
“After initial bonhomie, the Indians will want to know what is happening with the Lakhvi trial; what is happening with Hafiz Saeed; why is Lashkar-e-Taiba still openly operating as Jamaatud Dawa,” he added.
When asked how the impasse between India and Pakistan could be broken, Haqqani said: “Pakistan is part of the international community that has agreed that terrorism is not acceptable; so there are several aspects where responsibility can be fixed.”
Osama Bin Laden’s assasination
Haqqani was Pakistan’s ambassador to the US when al Qaeda chief Osama Bin Laden was assassinated in Abbottabad. He believes the event had a lasting impact on the Pakistan’s image.
“I was ambassador in the US when Bin Laden was shot in Pakistan. I think we owe an explanation to the world as to why he was there,” he said.
On India-Afghanistan relations
Haqqani said that Indian presence in Afghanistan is based on trade, aid and education ties and does not necessarily pose an inimical threat to Pakistan’s interests.
Calling India “an imaginary threat,” Haqqani said, “Parity with India is not an attainable objective, as quite simply size matters. India’s economy is 10 times larger. It is a kind of psychological and political insecurity that has held Pakistan back. The best strategy would be to focus inward.”

Pakistan - Shahbaz Bhatti - The futile sacrifice

Let’s play with fire today.

Asghar Khan in a narrative under the heading of ‘Our Finest hour’ in his book ‘My Political Struggle’ urges the reader that the response to the earthquake of 2005 is an indication that Pakistanis are still human—human at heart.
I do not agree with him.
One of the finest and most articulate Pakistani columnist ever to voice his frustrations in the form of written prose, Ardeshir Cowasjee, bade farewell to his readers in the following words: “Now, old at 85, tired, and disillusioned with a country that just cannot pull itself together in any way and get on with life in this day and age, I have decided to call it a day.”
Him, I agree with.
In the Pakistani setting, pessimism and realism are but two sides of the same coin. The biggest problem for this country is its fetish to sweep its woes and ills under the carpet while adamantly believing in ludicrous mirages that numb its hurt. We as a nation have defined our strengths as surviving the turmoil that is a Pakistani life. Every day survived becomes an emblem. Every person lost becomes a statistic.
Let me quote another statistic: Almost 4 years ago, 2nd March 2011, a man was killed, sprayed with bullets that did more than simply pierce his skin; the ammunition intimidated and eventually silenced the voice of reason. The man was Shahbaz Bhatti, Minorities Minister of Pakistan. He had foretold his death many times. Like his stance against the draconian laws that plague the Pakistani constitution, he was right. The assassins almost certainly did not see fear in his eyes at his last moments. They probably saw equanimity; maybe even a contented capitulation. Shabaz Bhatti must have spoken to his lord in his last moments for after all, between his driver who did not steer away and evade the attacks, and the assassins, Jesus was definitely the most ‘human’ presence there with him.
His is a tale of history, swept under the carpet and forgotten by everyone. Let’s be realistic: he was less ‘Pakistani’ than you and I, after all, the country was founded for our faith not his, right? The most we do is melt candles and dedicate our social profiles to their tributes for a day or two. That’s about it. Minorities might not be aliens but for the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, they are as alien as it gets.
In Cowasjee’s interpretation of ‘Jinnah’s Pakistan’, Shahbaz Bhatti would have been alive today. He would have been a hero for challenging laws that undermined the true essence of not only the religious foundations of the belief system of the majority but also the reason d’être of the country’s existence. He would have been praised for cleansing the hoi poloi of their biases and recognizing the importance of simply being human at heart. In this Pakistan, the majority would have risen up to support him, advocating his belief of religious freedom and social equality. The grounds would have rattled at the march of protestors, men and women alike, who’d shun the powers that protected the Blasphemy law, engendered bigotry and spread intolerance within the society. A saner and safer society would have existed in such a Pakistan. Jinnah’s Pakistan hence, would have been, if nothing else, more human.
But all this is fictitious so let’s not waste time on dreams that seem laughable to realize. Jinnah’s Pakistan is long gone and in its place stands a country that is hollow, scared, and very selfish. It’s a country where emotions justify murder. It’s a country that relates the protection of the Blasphemy law with the protection of a religion literally meaning peace. Such are the times we live in, such is this country.
Shabaz Bhatti’s arguments were simple: The Blasphemy laws had to be amended not because of what they sought to target but because of the ambiguity in their implementation. These laws, he argued, gave way to vigilantism and accusations derived out of vengeance. They restricted the freedom to speak one’s mind, to converse and to debate. They allowed the ‘faithful’ to use the holier than thou narrative as justification for the exploitation of the ‘unfaithful’. They made the accused, almost always non-muslims, vulnerable to emotion driven retaliations. They made the minorities of Pakistan feel exposed and unprotected. The laws had to be altered to ensure that they weren’t manipulated for one’s selfish pursuits. The laws had to do more than simply control defiling and defamation of the religious entities, they had to protect the minorities from those of the majority who were bent upon eliminating them from the precinct of the great Pakistani nation.
His arguments ofcourse stand on sound ground. Lawyers such as Babar Sattar and Saroop Ijaz have written endlessly about the need for these amendments in a wide array of publications. They’ve pointed out that the accused in such cases are at the behest of the accusers and the whole trial is based on the strength of the accusations. All that really matters hence is the quantity and confidence of the ‘witnesses’ against the accused, a simple case of one’s word against another. The accused can protest denial but then again, who really knows the workings of the mind? In such murky circumstances, the benefit of the doubt, in all absurdity, is given to the witnesses and the accused is promised a trip to the gallows.
Four years down the road, the laws remain as they were, making Shabaz Bhatti’s sacrifice futile. The liberals too have mellowed down their insistence of the said amendments and who can blame them? The religious right that nurtures itself on dogmas seems to have won this bout and has reminded those who listen, to recognize its influence.
This is the real Pakistan: A country where it is justified to kill out of sheer discontentment, to accuse others out of vengeance and to destroy the lives of generations. The fact that laws complement the said chaos shows how deep we are in the quicksand of our destruction.

Punjab Police Brutality - Shameful Tactics

The Punjab police have a knack of acquitting their duties gloriously; once again they find themselves scuffling with the blind. To their credit they resisted the urge to baton charge the disabled protestors this time around. Instead, they physically restrained them from entering the Punjab Assembly, exchanging a few blows both ways. The fact that the police had to be lauded for not violently beating disabled individuals shows the general standard by which their activities are judged. Were it not for severe criticism doled out at the government after the ugly incident three months ago, it was highly likely the police would have utilised their favourite tactic once more. At the end of the day, the police is just a tool utilised by the government to implement its policies, and it is their conduct that is the most disturbing.
The scuffle today happened after a prolonged sit-in held by the visually impaired and their representatives, to hold the government accountable to the promises it made to them three months ago. After viciously beating them on December 3rd 2014, Shahbaz Sharif agreed to the demands of the protestors: ensuring their quota in government jobs and regularisation of their service. These are basic and reasonable demands, not controversial, or even administratively difficult to meet. Yet the Punjab government continues to handle things in its own defined method; delay action, hope the protestors tire, and threaten them with violence or institutional punitive measures if they don’t. Even now it has advertised 24 vacancies by terminating the contracts of those who attended the protest.
If the Sharif brothers continue with this shameful display of power, can we begrudge the complainants for taking the streets? It is this kind of behaviour which forced Imran Khan to march on Islamabad, and PAT to take to the streets of Lahore. The Sharif brothers’ policy banks on stonewalling requests; forcing people to take to the streets, where the government can use the police to win. Despite coming to the brink of collapse in Islamabad, the PML-N has still not learned its lesson.

Chairman of Pakistan Peoples Party Bilawal Butto Zardari felicitates Hindus on the eve of Holi

Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, Chairman Pakistan Peoples Party has felicitated the Hindu community in Pakistan and the world on their happy occasion of Holi, a festival of color, joy and happiness.
PPP Chairman wished the Hindus and all those celebrating the festival of colors and joy a very Happy and Joyous Holi.
Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said that PPP has always been together with masses through thick and thin and prayed for peace, prosperity and harmony in Pakistan.

Pakistan Only Country Still Spreading Polio, WHO Says

Pakistan is the only country that's still exporting polio cases and should continue making sure all travelers are vaccinated, the World Health Organization saidWednesday.
The three other countries that risk spreading the virus — Cameroon, Syria and Equatorial Guinea — have all gone just about a year without any international spread but still need to be vigilant, WHO said.
Pakistan is a big problem, with vaccination teams regularly attacked. Some religious leaders fear vaccination. Militants mistrust the teams doing the work. A team was attacked last month and the driver was killed.
"The international spread of wild poliovirus has continued with one new exportation from Pakistan into neighboring Afghanistan documented after 13 November 2014," WHO said. "Although there is seasonal decline in the number of reported cases in Pakistan, transmission is ongoing in each of the four provinces and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas."
Pakistan should continue to stop travelers who cannot show they have been vaccinated from leaving the country, WHO says.

Riyadh to press Pakistan for more troops

By Farhan Bokhari

'‘Saudi Arabia is both a friend and a source of a continuing problem,’ says senior Pakistani official.''
Saudi Arabia is to press Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to boost the number of Pakistani troops in the kingdom to help bolster Riyadh’s defences against Islamist militants, including Daesh.Nawaz Sharif, Pakistan’s prime minister, lands in Riyadh on Wednesday to meet King Salman Bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud.
While diplomats stress the close ties between the countries, Sharif’s trip — his third this year — comes amid profound challenges facing the bilateral relationship, not least the continued flow of funds from rich patrons in Saudi Arabia to Islamist hardliners within Pakistan. The countries’ close relationship has been built on common security interests going back to the 1970s, when the Saudi oil boom created employment for a large number of Pakistanis. Islamabad deepened the relationship in the ensuing years by assuming responsibility for some of Saudi Arabia’s internal security needs. “Saudi Arabia is both a friend and a source of a continuing problem,” said a senior Pakistani official ahead of Sharif’s departure. “This relationship provides opportunities and challenges.”
It is not clear how many Pakistani troops there are currently in Saudi Arabia, though it is understood the numbers deployed are modest. And analysts say Islamabad is cautious about broadening its security relationship with Riyadh. “There is uncertainty in the Middle East as Saudi Arabia deals with the wider [Daesh]-related challenge,” says Mahmoud Durrani, a former national security adviser to Sharif. “Pakistan has to be careful to avoid getting embroiled in a relationship with the Saudis which only exposes us to new controversies.”
Riyadh has grown more anxious about security after the takeover of Yemen by Al Houthi rebels, say Western diplomats who have followed the Saudi-Pakistan discussions over the past year. “The Saudis are very keen to boost their security apparatus, and Pakistan as a friend with a history of services to the kingdom is of great interest,” said one. Saudi Arabia — like Pakistan — faces a rising Islamist militant threat, while many accuse the government of having turned a blind eye to domestic preachers whose ideology underpins such groups. Private Saudi donations to Islamist extremist groups continue despite government attempts to stem the flow of cash.
Riyadh, which confronted a domestic Al Qaida insurgency in 2003-2006, is concerned about Daesh militants in Syria and Iraq seeking to target the kingdom. Saudi Arabia has built a defensive security fence along its border with Iraq, but Daesh militants managed to breach the border in January.
The Saudi-Pakistan defence relationship goes back to the 1970s, when Pakistan’s military dictator General Zia Ul Haq sent thousands of troops for security duties in the kingdom after Iran’s 1979 Islamic revolution. “In the 1980s the Saudis were keen to keep Pakistani troops as this helped counter the Iranian threat,” says one former Pakistani army general who served in the kingdom. “For the Saudis, the relationship with Pakistan guarantees both against internal dissent and external threats”. Domestic security challenge
The relationship strengthened in 1998 when Saudi Arabia began giving oil to Pakistan to help the country overcome the effect of international financial sanctions following its maiden nuclear tests. The arrangement lasted almost three years. More recently in early 2014, Saudi Arabia lent $1.5 billion (Dh5.5 billion) to Pakistan to shore up the country’s foreign reserves after a visit to Islamabad by then crown prince Salman. The full terms of the loan were not revealed, although Pakistani finance ministry officials said at the time the loan was interest-free.
Analysts warn that it would be overly optimistic of Saudi Arabia to expect large-scale new deployments of troops from its neighbour amid a heightened domestic security challenge highlighted by the Taliban massacre of 150 people, mostly schoolchildren, in the northern Pakistani city of Peshawar. “Right now, we need our manpower at home as Pakistan deals with its own security challenges,” says Ikram Sehgal, a defence analyst. But Sehgal says Pakistan may seek to meet the Saudi request halfway, for example by sending fewer troops but for a longer-term deployment, with possible pledges of a quick reaction force if needed.
“Given the way this relationship has evolved, Pakistan is in no shape to go for an outright refusal to the Saudis,” he says. “A via media of some kind will have to be found which satisfies the Saudis without compromising Pakistan’s own interests.”

Pashto Music - Sardar Ali Takkar - AY SAQI - بیدل اشنغرے