Friday, April 10, 2015

Music Video - Katy Perry - This Is How We Do

Holograms for Freedom: Thousands join virtual demo against new protest law in Spain

Protesters in Spain have come up with a novel way of taking on a new law that limits the rights of the public to take part in demonstrations. There was a large turnout, but nobody even came close to being arrested – because no one actually attended the protest. A number of holograms were projected outside Spanish parliament building, showing people across the globe, who are angry at the new so-called ‘safety’ law, which makes it illegal to protest outside government buildings, insult police officers or refuse to reveal identification documents.

Video - Over 100K Italians sign petition for Eurozone exit referendum

Video - President Obama Meets with SICA Presidents

A view from Turkey - Cover Your Eyes, Yemen Is Dying

Fehim Tastekin

Now that Saudi Arabia's attack on Yemen has the support of Turkey and a large part of the international community, feel free to be deaf and blind to what will actually happen to this country.
Turkish President Tayyip Recep Erdogan claimed that Iran has Yemen under its control and ordered their withdrawal. From this moment, Turkey will not bother with questions such as who are the rebelling Houthis in Yemen, who is fighting whom, what is really driving the Saudis or even the alleged "Iran factor" itself. And do not bother to ask about the civilian losses either. Nobody cares about the 40 people dead and 200 wounded at the al-Mizrak refugee camp on March 30. Who will ponder the numbers offered by Amnesty International either?
14 people, four of them minors, burned to death by the Saudi Attacks in three days 20 civilians, three of them minors, killed in Kitaf on March 27, The March 31 bombing of Sanaa killed 25, including six under the age of 10
This is a war and the list of causalities will increase. It is also meaningless to see these as attacks “against the Houthis.” At the end of the day, it is Yemen being hit, and the people pay the price. Furthermore, the operation does not seem to be pushing back the Houthis and the military groups acting alongside them. The area controlled by the Houthis has expanded since the bombardment began, and they have even reportedly captured a base at the Bab-el-Mandeb Strait which may allow them to threaten the oil tankers which transport 8% of the world's oil. The Saudis plan is to cripple the defense forces of Yemen and force the Houthis to retreat, but they may be forced into a ground operation — which would be a huge gamble for the alliance. The Saudis experienced war with the Houthis in 2004-2010 during six operations led by the dethroned Yemen leader Ali Abdullah Saleh. As a retaliation to the airstrikes of Riyad, Houthis crossed mountain terrain to penetrate 30 kilometers deep inside Saudi Arabia territory and terrorized their army. The resistance front may get even stronger since a ground operation would be observed as an invasion. Yemen may wind up as the Vietnam of the Arab alliance.
The trap is calling you
So, why are our leaders in Ankara so willing to enter such a game of traps? Three driving factors seem evident: the rage felt against Iran for spoiling Turkey's plans in Syria and Iraq; the need for investment from the Gulf countries; and ultimately the chance of fulfilling the dream of transporting the power of a joint Arab intervention into Syria.
However, as Turkey steps up to play the spokesperson of this war, it risks destroying relations with Iran — and failing to see its new place on the Arab map. Rather than listening to the compliments made on the red carpet for the sake of an alliance against Iran, Turkey must understand that many Arab countries today actually believe Turkey is playing a dangerous games. Indeed, it is a troubling reminder of Turkey's strategy with Syria, while the geopolitical game in the Middle East is now firmly in the hands of the new Saudi ruler, King Salman. Barbara Bodine, former US Ambassador to Yemen has said the Saudis are exaggerating Tehran's influence in the Yemen. “The idea that the Houthi are an Iranian creation is ahistorical," she said.
Of course, Iran supports the Houthis, but the Saudis are exploiting this situation to suppress the poor and powerless people of an entire country. In fact, the Saudis are the main reason Yemen now has such a strong Salafi presence, with their religious ideology injected to this country after the 1970s under the cover of financing Yemen's Ministry of Education. Sunni Shafi'is and Shia Zaidis were living together in harmony for centuries before the ideological intervention of the Saudis that encouraged radicalism.
The Sunnis and Shias of Yemen were as close as being able to pray at the same mosque; Sunnis could pray at mosques where the call to prayer is sung in the Shia way. The people of this country used to take pride in that. This oasis of tolerance is being destroyed step by step. In parallel to the radicalization of the Sunni side, the Shia Zaidis are experiencing an ideological change through the Houthis.
The Iranian influence can be traced in the Houthi leaders, many of whom were educated in Iran's holy city of Qom. But to conclude that "Iran is taking control of Yemen" only serves the needs of the Saudis. Ali Abdullah Saleh, who was also a Zaidi, used this tactic to obtain financial support from the Saudis. He also liked to accuse Iran of being behind the Houthis.
Today, the Saudis are doing everything they can to prevent a potential ally of Iran to have influence in their backyard. Yemen shifting under the influence of Iran is as worrisome as it is important that the dark shadow of Saudi Arabia (which intervened in Yemen for decades by bribing the tribes) be lifted from hanging over this country. One is a fear about the future while the other has been a fact for decades. It is noteworthy that the Yemen people who refuse both the Iranian influence and the Saudi intervention have started a campaign with the #Kefayawar hashtag. What they say is that Yemen had enough war because they want peace, food, water, education, health institutions and infrastructure.
The al-Qaeda militants sent by the Saudis, wars with the Houthis and unending social conflict since 2011 have taken almost everything from Yemen. Now, the Saudi operation is destroying what is left, with the aim of forcing Yemen to kneel.
Now, these questions should be asked:
Can Turkey be a friend to Yemen by supporting a policy of destruction?
Israel is the secret and happy partner of this coalition. Is the Ankara government happy being part of that?
This war increases the price of oil. The oil barons are happy. What about Turkey?
Playing to "Shia phobia" is the favored tactic to compete for the leadership of the Arab world. But what does Turkey actually hope to gain from this apart from hurting the fragile domestic situation of its own Sunni and Shia sects?
Read the full article: Cover Your Eyes, Yemen Is Dying Worldcrunch - top stories from the world's best news sources Follow us: @worldcrunch on Twitter | Worldcrunch on Facebook

Obama: Days of U.S. 'meddling with impunity' in hemisphere are over

#YemenCrisis - UN calls for immediate 'humanitarian pause' in Yemen

By Jamal al-Jabiri

Red Cross, UN aid is first to be flown in to Yemen since fighting began - but is far from enough, says UN official.

The Red Cross and UN flew medical aid into Yemen's capital Friday after the southern city of Aden was battered by the heaviest night yet of Saudi-led air strikes targeting Houthis.
The UN also called for an immediate "humanitarian pause" of at least a few hours each day, saying aid was desperately needed in the conflict-ravaged country
The International Committee of the Red Cross said it dispatched an aircraft to Sanaa, its first aid shipment since the international campaign against the Houthis began last month.
"This is the first ICRC plane to have landed in Sanaa. It is loaded with 16 tonnes of medical aid," said Marie Claire Feghali, Red Cross spokeswoman in Yemen.
Residents and officials in Aden said the city was pounded overnight after Houthis and renegade army soldiers loyal to former president Ali Abdullah Saleh arrived at the city's northern entrance.
"The raids began at around 10:00 pm (1900 GMT) on Thursday and were the most violent since the start of 'Operation Decisive Storm'," a resident told AFP.
Residents also said coalition aircraft targeted other positions, including a stadium in the centre of the city and checkpoints manned by the rebel forces.
More than two weeks of heavy bombardment by the Saudi-led alliance against opponents of exiled Yemeni President Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi and fighting between rival militias prompted the UN call for a freeze in the violence.
UN humanitarian coordinator in Yemen, Johannes Van Der Klaauw, told reporters in Geneva on Friday that "immediate humanitarian pause in this conflict" was desperately needed.
He insisted that the aid that got through was far from enough.
The UN's children agency UNICEF said it had delivered 16 tonnes of aid by air to Sanaa, including medical supplies for 80,000 people as well as food supplements for 20,000 children.
"The supplies we have managed to bring in today can make the difference between life and death for children and their families," said UNICEF Yemen Representative Julien Harneis.
The Saudi-led coalition says it will continue its raids on Yemen until the Houthis, who seized control of Sanaa and central areas last year, retreat to their northern mountain stronghold.

Saudi Atrocities Go Unnoticed


In December 2011, the United States sold $30 billion worth of weapons to the monarchy of Saudi Arabia. Included in the sale were 84 F-15 fighter jets, which are now “at the core” of the Saudi war in Yemen.
This fact, and numerous others about the Kingdom have received scant attention from proponents of the Saudi attack on Yemen. 
Here’s a look at five things about Saudi Arabia that US officials and the establishment media are neglecting to talk about as Saudi bombs continue to drop on the people of Yemen with the support of the United States: 
  1. Sharia Law runs the country.
  2. Saudi Arabia is an authoritarian dictatorship: There are no national elections, no parties, and no rights.
  3. People are publicly beheaded in the Kingdom.
  4. Human rights for Saudi women are among the worst in the world.
  5. The monarchy is a cash machine for terrorists.
1. Sharia Law runs the country
The following quotes are directly from Saudi Arabia’s Basic Law of Governance:
  • “The King shall rule the nation according to the Sharia.”
  • “The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is a sovereign Arab Islamic State. Its religion is Islam. Its constitution is Almighty God’s Book, The Holy Qur’an…”
  • “Monarchy is the system of rule in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Rulers of the country shall be from amongst the sons of the founder King Abdulaziz bin Abdulrahman Al-Faisal Al-Saud, and their descendants.”
  • “The Courts shall apply rules of the Islamic Sharia in cases that are brought before them.”
  • “The aim of education is to implant the Islamic Creed in the hearts of all youths.”
“The Hanbali school, Islam’s most orthodox which spawned the Wahhabi and Salafi branches, is embraced in Saudi Arabia and by the Taliban,” according to the Council on Foreign Relations.
2. Saudi Arabia is an authoritarian dictatorship: There are no national elections, no parties, and no rights
On January 27, 2015, RT reported, “There are no national elections, no parties, and no parliament – only a symbolic advisory chamber, known as Majlis al-Shura. Criticism is strictly forbidden: only last year, prominent opposition activist Abd al-Kareem al-Khoder joined hundreds of the country’s political prisoners, when he was sentenced to eight years for demanding the changeover to a constitutional monarchy. Just days before King Abdullah’s death, blogger Raif Badawi was given the first 50 of his 1,000 lashes – for calling for free speech on his blog.”
“Saudi Arabia’s infamous religious police are employees of the Committee for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice. Their job includes ensuring that men and women do not mix socially, that people do not dress immodestly and that businesses close during prayer time,” wrote Adam Taylor of the Washington Post.
Saudi Arabia was rated as “not free” and was given the lowest possible score in a January 2015 report by Freedom House, a nongovernmental organization that tracks human rights.
Also in January, Human Rights Watch published a report stating that, “Saudi Arabia imprisoned … activists on broad, catch-all charges designed to criminalize peaceful dissent, such as breaking allegiance with the ruler and setting up an unlicensed organization.”
And last month, the Islamic Human Rights Commission reported that there are an estimated 30,000 political prisoners in Saudi Arabia.
3. People are publicly beheaded in the Kingdom
Saudi Arabian courts “continued to use corporal punishment as a judicial penalty, including floggings and amputation, as well as public execution by beheading,”according to a 2012 US State Department report.
In 2013, Amnesty International condemned the “disturbing” rise in Saudi executions, including public beheadings and the practice of crucifixion, which “refers to the court-ordered public display of the body after execution, along with the separated head if beheaded.”  There were at least 79 executions in 2013, according to Amnesty.
The Kingdom publicly beheaded 19 people in the first half of August 2014 for offenses that ranged from drug smuggling to sorcery.
Included was Mohammed bin Bakr al-Alawi who was beheaded for allegedly practicing black magic sorcery, the Saudi Gazette reported.  Another Saudi man wasbeheaded in 2012 for “sorcery and witchcraft.”
4. Human rights for Saudi women are among the worst in the world
Woman are not allowed “to leave the house, make a purchase, sign any legal document – in fact perform almost any official action, from agreeing to surgery, to signing up to a class – without the consent of a guardian, either the husband or the father.”
“Yet, even these suffocating measures give only scant impression of the status of Saudi women in a society where even their court testimony is worth half of that of a man,” RT reported.
There are many other things women in Saudi Arabia are not allowed to do, including:
  • Drive a car
  • Go for a swim
  • Compete freely in sports
  • Try on clothes when shopping
  • Enter a cemetery
  • Read an uncensored fashion magazine
According to the 2013 World Report by Human Rights Watch, “punishment for domestic violence remain[s] lax [in Saudi Arabia.] The government failed to enact a 2011 draft law to combat violence against women and children. In May, Jeddah’s Summary Court convicted a man for physically abusing his wife to the point of hospitalization, but sentenced him to learning by heart five parts of the Qur’an and 100 sayings of the Prophet Muhammad.”
In 2014, the World Economics Forum ranked Saudi Arabia 130 out of 142 countries in its annual report on gender equality.
5. The monarchy is a cash machine for terrorists
In a 2009 secret paper released by WikiLeaks, Hillary Clinton said, "Donors in Saudi Arabia constitute the most significant source of funding to Sunni terrorist groups worldwide…more needs to be done since Saudi Arabia remains a critical financial support base for al-Qaeda, the Taliban, LeT and other terrorist groups."
“Saudi Arabia, and the other Sunni countries in the Middle East, have been financially and morally supporting the growing and evolving Sunni insurgency against Shias in the region for years. They have intentionally bankrolled groups whose mission it is to wipe out the Shia minority in the region.  First they started with al-Qaeda, and then they bankrolled what became ISIS,” wrote Thom Hartmann, although the Saudis vehemently deny support of ISIS.
The Atlantic reported in June 2014, the success of ISIS “is in part due to the support they have received from two Persian Gulf countries: Qatar and Saudi Arabia,” though there remains much debate about whether or not the Kingdom is in fact supporting ISIS.
Why isn’t Washington being transparent?
If the United States chooses to support, and provide weapons to an un-elected Saudi government that is among the world’s worst human rights violators, it should at least do so transparently. 
Would the people of the United States go along with the Saudi attacks in Yemen if it knew how the Saudi monarchy operates?

7 ways Saudi Arabia is silencing people online

By Ben Beaumont

Raif Badawi is serving a 10-year prison sentence in Saudi Arabia, mainly for setting up a website. We talk to another local blogger – who has to remain anonymous for their own safety – about different tactics the authorities use to silence people online.

1. Gagging anyone with an independent opinion

“Overall, the situation in Saudi Arabia is very bad, particularly from the point of view of people with independent opinions who go against the grain. Recently, there have been investigations, arrests and short-term detentions of journalists, athletes, poets, bloggers, activists and tweeters.”

2. Blaming everything on terrorism

“The authorities are fragile. They seek to gag and stifle dissent using various means, including the shameful Terrorism Law that has become a sword waved in the faces of people with opinions. Courts issue prison sentences of 10 years or more as a result of a single tweet. Atheists and people who contact human rights organizations are attacked as ‘terrorists’.”
The authorities approached the internet providers hosting my personal website and asked them to block it and delete all the content.
Anonymous blogger, Saudi Arabia

3. Personal attacks on bloggers

“I have been harassed in many ways. The authorities approached the internet providers hosting my personal website and asked them to block it and delete all the content. They also dispatched security officers to tell me to stop what I was doing in my own and my family’s best interests. I was later officially banned from blogging and threatened with arrest if I continued. I succumbed and stopped in order to protect my family.”

4. Bans, false accusations and being fired from your job

“There are many cases of bloggers being restricted or banned. Some of them – whom I know – are still being investigated about blogs they wrote in 2008, even though they aren’t involved in blogging anymore. Saudi bloggers can also be fired from their jobs and prevented from making a living. Many face false allegations that they are ‘atheists’ or ‘demented’. Restrictions are imposed on almost every aspect of the blogger’s life.”

5. Far-reaching online surveillance and censorship

“Censorship is at its maximum, especially after passing the Terrorism Law. A poet was arrested as a result of a single tweet which indirectly criticized King Abdullah using symbolic language. With millions of web users in Saudi Arabia, this means the authorities are keeping an eye on everything that’s being written. We have also received reports through international newspapers that Saudi Arabia uses surveillance to hack and monitor activists’ accounts.”

6. Deploying an electronic army

“The authorities have powerful cyber armies which give a false impression of the situation in Saudi Arabia to deceive people overseas. They launch websites, YouTube channels and blogs to target activists and opponents, and depict them as atheists, infidels and agents who promote disobedience of the Ruler. By contrast, these websites, channels and blogs often praise the state and its efforts. I have personally been the victim of such state orchestrated campaigns that harmed my reputation.”

7. Brutal punishments

Raif Badawi’s case further demonstrates the brutality of a state that still rules through punishments from the Middle Ages, like flogging, hefty fines and exaggerated prison terms. The Saudi government needs to know that it doesn’t own the world and that it can’t silence the world’s voice with its money.”

Video Report - Thousands rally in Yemeni capital, blast Saudi-led airstrikes

What Hillary Clinton Faces in Congress

Hillary Clinton, who seems to have been running for president one way or another for many years now, is reported to be planning to announce her candidacy formally on Sunday for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination.

The anti-Clinton machine is going to go berserk. It’s been operating at high speed for a long time now, financed by a lot of dark money. There is hardly a day in which I do not get at least two or three emails trying to raise money to oppose Mrs. Clinton, or attacking her every move and utterance.
Today, the Republicans released an ad called “Stop Hillary.” Among other things, it attacked her for using her personal email account while she was Secretary of State. That was a huge blunder. But it’s also gigantically hypocritical for the Republicans to single her out. Where are Colin Powell’s emails? Or Condoleezza Rice’s emails? Or those of any congressman you care to name?
It’s one thing for the Republican Party to attack Mrs. Clinton. And, as anti-democratic and distasteful as they are, other “independent” ads fueled by dark money have become part of the political scene. I’m not sure how much voters know about them, but polls show they don’t like the idea.
But would it be O.K. for Republicans in Congress to use the power of their majority in both houses to campaign against Mrs. Clinton in the coming 18 or so months? I’m sure that will happen.
Expect more pointless hearings on Benghazi, for which Republicans have been trying to blame Mrs. Clinton since it happened. There will also be more investigations and hearings into Mrs. Clinton’s inexplicable behavior with her emails. That’s a legitimate area of inquiry, but I’m sure House and Senate Republicans will take the inquiry way beyond any reasonable limit or time frame. Once their questions are answered, as they have been on Benghazi, they will just go on having hearings anyway.
Politicians are free to support any candidate they choose, just like any other American. But I don’t think Congress should be used as an institution to interfere in presidential politics. I fear it will be, and I hope I’m wrong.

John Kerry Meets Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez in Panama City
The U.S. and Cuban foreign ministers sat down for talks Thursday night in the highest-level meeting between the two sides since the early days of the Cuban revolution more than half a century ago. Secretary of State John Kerry met Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez in a Panama City hotel, the latest step toward better ties since President Barack Obama announced a historic shift in Cuba policy on Dec. 17. The two men talked for at least two hours, sitting across from each other in a restaurant-bar in the hotel fronted by large glass windows. The U.S. government said the meeting went well.
The encounter took place on the eve of the Summit of the Americas in Panama, where Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro are expected to cross paths along with other leaders in the region. Obama appears to be close to removing Cuba from the list of countries that the U.S. government says sponsor terrorism.

Video - President Obama Begins Caribbean Outreach

President Obama Spoke To Raul Castro By Phone

President Obama, Cuban Leader Raul Castro Expected to Meet on Saturday


President Obama and Cuban leader Raul Castro are expected to have a "discussion" at the Summit of the Americas on Saturday, the White House said Friday.
In a press briefing in Panama City, Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes said they "anticipate they will have a discussion tomorrow.” There is currently no bilateral meeting on the schedule, but the White House did not rule out a formal meeting between the two leaders.
A historic meeting between U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Cuban foreign minister Bruno Rodriguez in Panama Thursday night brought the highest level talks between the two estranged countries since the Cuban revolution.
Castro and Obama arrived within minutes of each other at the same military air field in Panama Thursday night for the Summit of the Americas. Shortly after arrival, the two presidents spoke by phone, according to a Facebook post by Jorge Leganoa, the deputy director of Cuba's state-run National Information Agency. According to the post, the call came “minutes before” the meeting between Kerry and Rodriguez.
But it may be soon surpassed by the highly anticipated, face-to-face, bilateral meeting between U.S. President Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro expected to take place Saturday.
Castro and Obama arrived within minutes of each other at the same military air field in Panama Thursday night for the Summit of the Americas. Shortly after arrival, the two presidents spoke by phone, according to a Facebook post by Jorge Leganoa, the deputy director of Cuba's state-run National Information Agency. According to the post, the call came “minutes before” the meeting between Kerry and Rodriguez.
A White House Official confirmed to ABC News that a call occurred, but said it actually happened earlier.
"I can confirm that President Obama spoke with President Castro on Wednesday, before President Obama departed Washington," the official said.
The call marks the second time the two leaders spoke by phone. The first lasted approximately 45 minutes and occurred shortly before a Dec. 17 announcement that began the restoration of diplomatic ties between and the U.S. and Cuba.
The summit is the seventh chief-of-state-level gathering among North, Central and South American countries, but the first to include Cuba, which had been previously blocked from attendance by the United States.
The talks come as the U.S. State Department delivered its review of Cuba's status on the states-who-support-terrorism list to the White House.
The review was delivered to the White House Wednesday, according to sources, and is in the president's hands. It recommends Cuba be removed from the list, as President Obama hinted in Jamaica Thursday.
"Throughout this process, our emphasis has been on the facts," Obama said in Jamaica. "We want to make sure that, given this is a powerful tool to isolate those countries that genuinely do support terrorism, that when we make those designations we've got strong evidence that's the case, and as circumstances change that list will change, as well."
President Obama could announce his decision while at the summit and is only awaiting sign-off from cabinet members who oversee national security, according to White House sources.
The terror list has been a major hurdle for the Cuban government, which wanted it lifted before full diplomatic ties are restored. Both countries are expected to announce the opening of embassies and an easing of travel restrictions for their diplomats soon.

At least 16 killed in 2 explosions in Afghanistan

Pakistan - PPP begins finalizing recommendations for election reforms

The first meeting of the Election Reforms Committee of the ppp was held in the Party’s secretariat in Islamabad to formulate recommendations for electoral reforms.
The meeting presided over by the Convener of the Committee former Chairman Senate Nayyer Bokhari was attended by Senators Farooq Naek, Farhatullah Babar, Rubina Khalid, Nafeesa Shah MNA, ex MNA Ch Manzoor and former MPA Aamir Fida Piracha .
Spokesperson Senator Farhatullah Babar said that the Committee has been tasked review various reports prepared recently by various bodies including civil organizations and NGOs on electoral reforms and lessons drawn from the party’s experience of last general elections in 2013 and formulate recommendations for election reforms. The Committee’s recommendations will then be forwarded to the Central Executive Committee of the party for adoption of Party’s position on electoral reforms.
The meeting also discussed the strategy about raising election issues before the just established Judicial Commission on 2013 general elections.

Lakhvi release proves Pakistan not serious about fighting terror

 BJP on Friday slammed Pakistan for the release of Mumbai terror attacks mastermind Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi, saying it has not fought the war against terror "seriously" and that the development has made it clear it is not very keen on establishing its credentials on fighting terror.
"In the release of Lakhvi, Pakistan has not fought the war on terror sincerely. The handlers of Mumbai terror attacks were never tried in court and thus they have been released," Union Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said.
Asked whether Lakhvi's release is a setback to Indian government, she said, "Much more than being a setback to the government, I would think that Pakistan's intention on proving that it is very clear on tackling terror has now come out clearly that they are not very keen on establishing their credentials on fighting terror."
She said however much Pakistan would claim on the speed, duration and progress of the trial are all matters on which the Indian government has repeatedly reminded Pakistan that they have to "walk the talk".
"And they haven't done (so). And today they have gone to this extreme...," she said.
Asked if the government would take up the issue with Pakistan, she said, "I am sure something of the kind will happen, I will certainly seek information from the Home Minister and Defence Minister."
BJP spokesperson G V L Narasimha Rao said it was only due to the efforts of the government that Lakhvi was forced to be put behind bars after several attempts by Pakistan to get him a reprieve from court.
"Such decisions affect mutual relations between the two countries," he said, adding that "India wants talks with Pakistan but the present development (release of Lakhvi) is unfortunate and disappointing".
He said India is watching Pakistan's lack of sincerity in bringing to justice the mastermind of 26/11 attacks and it has repeatedly failed to create a conducive environment for bilateral talks. "India will only look for results and we would expose Pakistan's soft approach towards terrorists and also people who are exporting terror to India," he said.
The Lahore High Court ordered suspending the detention of 55-year-old Lakhvi under the Maintenance of Public Order after the Pakistan government failed to present sensitive records against him in the court.

U.S. Slams Pakistan's Freeing of Mumbai Attacks 'Mastermind'

The United States on Friday denounced the decision by Pakistani authorities to free the alleged mastermind of the 2008 Mumbai attacks, Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi, on bail.
State Department spokesman Jeff Rathke said Washington was "gravely concerned" and had "communicated that concern to senior Pakistani officials over the course of many months and as recently as yesterday."
"Terrorist attacks are an insult on the collective safety and security of all countries," Rathke added.
Earlier, a Pakistani prison official confirmed that Lakhvi -- wanted by India for his alleged leading role in a three-day onslaught on civilian targets in Mumbai that left 166 dead -- had been released.
A judge first granted him bail in December. Pakistan's government responded with a series of detention orders, but judges repeatedly canceled them.
Then, on Thursday, the Lahore High Court ordered his release, conditional on a two million rupee ($20,000) bond.

Pakistan - Terrorist Lakhvi's release: ''State’s Hypocrisy''

The Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi trial saga has come full circle, as it was inevitable supposed to.
Four months after the Islamabad High Court granted bail to Lakhvi in the Mumbai terror attack case – which caused massive uproar all over the country, forcing the government t hastily detain him under the Protection of Public Ordinance – Lakhvi’s detention has been declared illegal, and he is free to leave the Adiala jail on bail if he deposits 20 lakh rupees as surety bonds; a mere formality.
The government has once more miserably failed at prosecuting Lakhvi’s case, not only has it failed, it seems like it didn’t even try hard this time around.
Lakhvi’s conviction could have been the watershed moment this country needed in the struggle against extremism, yet the government’s failure undercuts the progress made since the commencement of the military operation.
It makes those stirring parliamentary speeches seem hollow, the symbolic monuments towards the APS victims, duplicitous, and makes the state’s stance on terrorism, hypocritical.

The hypocrisy is so blatant that it insults the public’s intelligence.
The original trial was stalled for years, with either the accused, or the judge, or the witness not present at the court premises due to ‘security concerns’.
It is an astonishing fact that the state can manage a traditional military parade in the middle of a full-blown war against militants without a hitch, but cannot provide enough security for the proper functioning of a court trial.
One only has to compare Lakhvi with the other high-profile resident of Adiala jail to see the government’s intentions –the resident being Ayyan, the supermodel.
She is detained in B-class cells and her case is being investigated with an unmatched zeal; the investigators are pulling evidence from all sorts of places, such as CCTV footage and phone records.
On the other hand the state does not have enough evidence to convict Lakhvi, who was arrested at a militant training facility, is being detained based on ‘sensitive information’ provided by intelligence agencies and is the self-declared commander of a banned group.
One only has to look at his lodgings – a collection of rooms with open visiting hours and access to television and internet – to determine where the government’s loyalties lie.

If the death of 132 children cannot force the government to mend its way; it hard to see what will.

Pakistan - Terrorist Lakhvi's release: India lodges strong protest

 India on Friday lodged a strong protest with Pakistan over the release of 26/11 mastermind Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi from jail even as Islamabad tried to put the blame on New Delhi.

Indian envoy in Islamabad met Pakistan foreign secretary to protest Lakhvi's release.

According to MEA, Islamabad has been told that this is the most negative development in so far as bilateral ties are concerned.
Indian envoy told Pak foreign secretary that Lakhvi's release has reinforced the perception that Pakistan has a dual policy on dealing with terrorists.

"Our high commissioner has registered our strong concerns with the foreign secretary of Pakistan at the release of a principal accused in the Mumbai terrorist attack of 2008," the external affairs ministry spokesperson said.

India has found strong backing from France on the issue with President Francois Hollande calling Lakhvi's release 'shocking'.

Pakistan, meanwhile, has reacted strongly to India's charges and has instead blamed New Delhi for Lakhvi's release.

"Inordinate delay on part of India in extending cooperation complicated Lakhvi's case and weakened the prosecution," Pak foreign office said.

"We respect the judicial process and are confident that it would serve the interest of justice," it said.

Lakhvi, who guided 10 LeT gunmen from a control room during the 26/11 Mumbai attack, walked free earlier on Friday after being under detention for six years.
55-year-old Lakhvi, mastermind of the nearly 60-hour siege, was released from Adiala Jail in Rawalpindi after authorities received the order from the Lahore High Court, setting free the LeT operations commander.

On Thursday, a Pakistani court had ordered his release.

5 Reasons Malala Yousafzai Documentary 'He Named Me Malala' Will Be An Important Film


The documentary He Named Me Malala about the young Pakistanti activist and modern sociopolitical icon Malala Yousafzai is one step closer to release. Fox Searchlight has officially acquired the worldwide rights to the film, which was directed by acclaimed filmmaker Davis Guggenheim (Waiting for Superman, An Inconvenient Truth). Just last year, Malala Yousafzai became the youngest Nobel Laureate. Since being wounded by Taliban gunmen  for standing up for the rights of children and young women, she has become an international advocate for education accessibility. According to Fox Searchlight executives Steve Gilula and Nancy Utley, “Malala’s incredible journey is both heartbreaking and inspiring. Her bravery in the face of adversity brought us to tears. The chance to bring her story to a global audience will be an honor for all of us here at Searchlight.”tion
When the film is going to be released has yet to be announced, however this acquisition is a huge step in the documentary’s distribution. It will hit the theaters at some point later this year and I have no doubt it will be a major awards contender. He Named Me Malalatakes a look into Yousafzai’s personal journey as well as the importance of her work in the context of global issues and movements. Here’s why He Named Me Malala is going to be one of the most, if not the absolute most important film of the year.

It’s Her Story, In Her Words

When the Taliban attempted to assassinate the young activist, rather than hiding, Malala spoke up and used her terrifying experience to raise awareness about education worldwide. When speaking to the UN she pronounced, “They thought that the bullet would silence us. But they failed.” The more people hear her story in her own words, the more power they hold. 

It Will Shine Light on Important Issues

Since Malala Yousafzai has become an international role model, she has used her many platforms to speak about the social ills that are breaking our world apart. He Named Me Malala will help Yousafzai tell even more people about how the rights to education for children, and especially young women are being threatened worldwide as well as the grim reality of living within a Taliban occupation.

She is a Uniting Force

Malala Yousafzai has spoken in front and worked with the entire United Nations, Barack Obama, Queen Elizabeth II and Archbishop Desmond Tutu among many others. She is respected by so many leaders across the globe that she has the power to truly bring people together to have a conversation about what needs to change to make our world safer for the young people growing up in it. With the release of this film, her message will go even further.

It Will Scare, Threaten, and Upset Plenty of People

Just like all important works of art often do. As inspiring as this film will be, it will also be a difficult one to stomach. Her survival is harrowing and the threats to her life are deeply unnerving. Some might be scared by the truth of her story and there are plenty of people out there who feel threatened by her voice. But I hold on to the belief that there are more people who will feel empowered by it.

There’s No Such Thing as “Too Many Young Female Leaders”

It’s not often there are two whole hours in cinema dedicated to telling the story of young women who are changing the world and the course of history as we know it. We can all learn something from He Named Me Malala and I have no doubt it will become required viewing in schools around the world.