Monday, July 13, 2015

Salsa Music Video - Orquesta D'Soul

People's Daily: BRICS countries have closer partnership, broader prospects

In a commentary last FridayPeople's Daily said that the BRICS countries will makegreater contributions to world peace and development as long as the bloc continues todeepen cooperationA closer partnership between the BRICS nations will definitely createbroader prospects.
The leadersmeeting mechanism plays the most crucial political leading role in themultilevel and comprehensive cooperation framework between BRICS countriesThe 7thBRICS (BrazilRussiaIndiaChinaSouth Africasummit was held in the southwesternRussian city of Ufa on July 9, 2015. The summit is of great importance for the BRICSnations to join hands in building a closer partnership.
The theme of this year's summit is "BRICS partnershipA powerful factor for globaldevelopment". In his keynote speech on the summitChinese President Xi Jinping calledon BRICS countries to build a four-pronged partnership -- safeguarding world peace,boosting common developmentpromoting diversified civilization and strengtheningglobal economic governance.
The farsighted proposal will guide people to further understand the positioningmissionand influence of BRICS countriesthe commentary said.
The steady development of cooperation between BRICS countries has proved the bloc'seffectiveness and forceful actionThe BRICS bloc has increasingly become a driving forcein promoting world economic growth and international financial monetary system reform.
Furthermorethe BRICS bloc can further stimulate the rising momentum of the overallstrength in emerging market countries and the majority of developing countriesas well ashaving a profound influence in international affairs.
It is predicted that the BRICS countries will play an active and constructive role in thepost-2015 development agendaclimate change negotiationsIMF reformand otherglobal issues.
The world economy is in a deep adjustment stage after the global financial crisisUndersuch backgroundthe BRICS nations are facing many difficulties and challengesThus,they choose to join hands and strengthen cooperation.

Iran deal could lead to improved covert Arab-Israel cooperation

If a nuclear deal is reached between world powers and Shi’ite Iran, it could stimulate covert cooperation between Israel and Sunni Arab states.
However, such improved coordination would not come as a result of any real inherent change in relations between Israel and Arab countries, but because of realpolitik.

Moreover, any concrete coordination would be discreet so as not to create a backlash against cooperative Arab governments.

Mordechai Zaken, an Israeli expert of minorities in the Middle East and a former Arab affairs adviser to the Prime Minister’s Office, told The Jerusalem Post on Monday that when it comes to the Arab world and Israel, there is “no love, only interests.”

Even if a deal is reached, he said, the Arabs are not going to attack Iran, but would be happy if Israel does. 

“At the end of the day, most of these Arab countries would not have been happy to declare and expose their relations or cooperation with Israel,” continued Zaken, adding that “in the Middle East, it is not something to brag about.”
In recent years, Israeli officials have met counterparts from Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf at nuclear non-proliferation talks in Switzerland, gatherings the Israelis say have helped melt a certain amount of ice.

There have also been meetings between recently appointed director-general of Israel's foreign ministry Dore Gold, a senior adviser to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and retired Saudi general Anwar Eshki, an informal effort to see where the two countries' interests coincide, especially on Iran.

They appeared together at a Washington conference last month, but took no questions.

Referring to this public announcement, David Andrew Weinberg, a specialist on Gulf affairs and a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, told the Post on Monday that his understanding from news reports is that it was totally unofficial.

“It was woefully underreported in Saudi Arabia compared to the coverage in Israel and the US and appears to have had no measurable impact upon policy,” said Weinberg.

“Saudi Arabia’s state news wire still calls Israel an ‘enemy’ and hardline religious preachers embraced at the highest levels in places like Saudi Arabia and Qatar continue to preach absolutely vile hatred toward Jews and toward Israel and yet receive state perks,” he noted.

“Even Israel’s public interest sections in the Gulf are today a thing of the past. So in that regard, the relationship has taken a step backwards in the last two decades, not a step forwards.”

“Sure, there is security coordination and intel sharing behind the scenes, specifically on the issue of Iran and its regional proxies, but that’s been going on for at least a decade,” he continued. 

“And who knows, maybe the Saudis would let Israel use its airspace for strikes on Iran’s nuclear sites if it ever came to that, but there’s no secret broader alliance at play here,” said Weinberg.

The Gulf states simply aren’t ready to publicly normalize with Israel barring a peace deal with the Palestinians, he argued, and possibly not even then.

And within the context of the greater Sunni-Shi’ite regional power struggle, an Iranian rapprochement with the West would tip the balance of power in Iran’s favor as it gains an economic windfall from the loosening of sanctions and increased trade.

The new legitimacy that a deal would provide Iran would allow it to expand its influence in the region beyond the four Arab capitals that it already has decisive control: Damascus, Beirut, Saana, and Baghdad.

Therefore, any deal is likely to lead to an escalation of the regional sectarian wars.

Reflecting the increasing Arab anxiety over the Iran deal, an article by Sharif Nashashibi published on Al-Arabiya’s website on Monday titled “Preparing for the fallout from Iran’s nuclear deal,” argued that the outcome of the deal would affect Saudi Arabia even more than Israel.

Nashashibi says that “the biggest regional fallout will be felt with regard to relations between Tehran and Riyadh, which are currently facing off in proxy wars to a greater extent and on more fronts than is the case with the Israeli-Iranian rivalry.”

The “escalation and widening of Saudi-Iranian rivalry in recent years may pale in comparison with what will follow a nuclear deal and Tehran’s subsequent rehabilitation,” he added.

U.S. - Pentagon Moves to End Its Transgender Ban

Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter has taken an important step toward repealing the Pentagon’s ban on open service by transgender troops, a discriminatory policy that has cut short the careers of talented service members and forced thousands to serve in silence.
The Pentagon is making this move nearly four years after it began allowing gay and lesbian service members to serve openly. Critics had long warned that changing that policy would weaken the armed forces and hurt morale. In fact, it has strengthened the military, just as integrating openly transgender troops will expand the talent pool of those willing to serve.
Mr. Carter announced on Monday that he has asked a group of senior Pentagon officials, led by Brad Carson, the Defense Department’s acting under secretary for personnel and readiness, to study the type of guidelines and regulations needed to carry out the new policy. Once that work is completed over the next six months, officials expect that transgender people will no longer be barred from joining the military.
“We must ensure that everyone who’s able and willing to serve has the full and equal opportunity to do so,” Mr. Carter said in a statement. He instructed the team to “start with the presumption that transgender persons can serve openly without adverse impact on military effectiveness and readiness.” While the study is underway, it is highly unlikely that the Pentagon will discharge any service members for being transgender, because Mr. Carson’s office will have to approve any expulsion.
The working group will cover routine paperwork questions, like name and gender changes on personnel records, as well as more substantial issues, including medical coverage for transgender troops who transition. Officials will need to figure out how to handle cases involving transgender service members who are in occupations that are open only to men.
None of this should be hard to carry out. Several of America’s closest allies have seamlessly integrated openly transgender troops in their militaries. Any doubts about their ability to serve should have been put to rest by the exemplary records of those who have begun transitioning publicly in recent months. Their powerful stories commanded the attention of senior leaders at the Pentagon.
“For both the secretary and for Brad, the personal stories have been moving ones,” a senior defense official said. “They have helped shape what is otherwise an abstract concept.”
In recent months, several lawmakers have also begun to press the Pentagon to allow open transgender service. And so far, there has been no public opposition to integrating transgender troops.
“The brave men and women who serve in our military should not be excluded from the rights and freedoms that they risk their lives to protect,” Representative Adam Smith, of Washington, the ranking Democrat on the House Armed Services Committee, said in a statement on Monday. “It’s that simple.”
Mr. Carter is wise to end a policy that denigrates transgender Americans and damages national security by forcing out good troops the military needs.
“Young Americans today are more diverse, open and tolerant than past generations,” Mr. Carter said last month. “And if we’re going to attract the best and brightest among them to contribute to our mission of national defense, we have to ourselves be more open, diverse and tolerant, too.”

Video - Hillary Clinton addresses National Council of La Raza conference

Video - Hillary Clinton Economic Policy Address

Video - Republicans and Democrats denounce Trump after comments

Video - Hillary Clinton appalled by Trump comments on immigrants

Video Report - Latest updates on Iran nuclear talks

Video - President Obama Speaks at the White House Conference on Aging

Pakistan - Asia Bibi's husband asks for help in seeing his ailing wife

In a very frank interview with the Daily Mail, facilitated by the BPCA, Ashiq Masih described the plight of his family who have had to change their place of residence 15 times in the last 6 years. During this time the mother of five, Asia Bibi, has been incarcerated in a dingy cell in complete isolation for her own safety, and has had a very recent health scare after a period of intestinal pain and vomiting blood. Asia Bibi was jailed on 14th June 2010 after she drank from the same well as her Muslim co-workers and then offered the same water to them. The attack happened on an extremely hot day, and Asia had drunk from the same well before, however this time she made the grave error of unknowingly drinking from a 'Muslim' cup, which meant that she had contaminated a pseudo semi-sacred vessel. In defence of the insults to Jesus Christ, she responded by saying: 

"My Jesus died for me, what did Muhammed do for you?" 

For this Asia was beaten and raped and her children were reportedly molested (though the actual attack may have been worse). Yet only Asia Bibi has been jailed in the cruel society that exists in Pakistan. The Daily Mail's Taniya Dutta and Helen Roberts uncovered some very important home truths about the event that may well shock you. Here is a link to the article: (click here) 

Ashiq Masih directly asked if donors would help pay for further trips for he and his children to meet with Asia more frequently than they do currently, which is only once every fifteen days. Unfortunately prison authorities have denied their request for her transfer to Lahore Prison which is nearer to them. Ashiq has also asked for assistance with the costs of the solicitor fees and help towards their current residence. The BPCA continues to act as a conduit for donations and we encourage those of you who want to help this family to give what you can and enable us to do more for them. 

Wilson Chowdhry, Chairman of the BPCA, said: "Asia Bibi has suffered enough for her love for Christ, yet still her persecution continues. The world is ominously silent over her imprisonment and the family continues to pray for freedom. We pray that Christians across the globe are moved by the revealed plight of the family and that they offer donations to allow this family more free time to visit the ailing mother."

We are working tirelessly to help end injustice for Christians like Asia Bibi in Pakistan, but we can't do it without your help.

Pakistan - Ahmedi muslims in a Chakwal village fear for their lives

On a first visit, one only notices the calm which engulfs the sleepy village of Pichnand, located some 90 kilometres from the district capital, in Talagang tehsil. Most of its 24,000 residents earn their livelihood from agriculture and cattle farming.
And walking through the quiet winding streets of the village, it is hard to tell that underneath the calm, simmer religious tensions with extremism on the rise in the Talagang tehsil, 45 kilometres from Chakwal. New blasphemy cases are routinely registered in the area, in most of which a man named Mohammad Saeed is the complainant and an advocate named Tariq Mehmood is the counsel.
The growing number of such cases has left 80 members of the Ahmedi community, who occupy 15 houses in the Pichnand village, in perpetual state of fear. Religious conferences are regularly organised in the village where hate speech is delivered against the marginalised Ahmedi community. These events have also put the village under the spotlight of the local press.
The latest blow came on May 4, when on the orders of a District and Sessions court, the minarets and dome of the sole worship place of Ahmedis in the village were demolished.

Pakistan: Half of Karachi’s police stations working under dirty cops | Report

The Station House Officer (SHO) is the most powerful post in the police hierarchy. One thing that sets him apart from all his peers and seniors is that he alone has the authority to register First Information Reports, commonly known as the FIRs.

But what happens when these all-powerful police station chiefs get involved in criminal activities themselves? It sets in motion a recipe for disaster – one that is all too apparent in Karachi’s police force today.

An internal inquiry conducted by the Sindh police department has identified more than 50 SHOs involved in cases of crime. The report prepared by the then deputy inspector general (DIG) of the Sindh Police’s Rapid Response Force (RRF), Dr Aftab Ahmed Pathan, declared the 55 police station chiefs unfit for the post because of their patchy service record.

The inquiry, which was conducted on the directives of the Sindh IG, revealed that 24 of the corrupt SHOs are currently posted in Zone East of Karachi, followed by 11 in Zone South and 20 in Zone West and Central. The inquiry report seems to be based on the scrutiny of the service book. In most cases, it appears that the service book has been tampered with, since although the report quotes the punishment, it fails to give the crime for which the punishment was enforced.

Interestingly, most of these officers have earlier been suspended, demoted and even dismissed from service due to their criminal activities. They are, however, still enjoying the posts of the SHOs. Nearly a dozen of them also have links with political parties and members of the Lyari-based gangs and have also been accused of sheltering criminals affiliated with the political parties and being involved in crimes such as target killings, extortion, robberies and land grabbing.

The report names one SHO in particular – Naveed Nasir, who is an active supporter of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement. While he was posted as the Gulistan-e-Jauhar SHO, he took part in a bank robbery committed by Fahim alias Buddha and Ubaid alias K-2, both suspected target killers affiliated with the party’s Liaquatabad Sector.

Nasir was also accused of smuggling prohibited and illegal materials while he was posted as the Saeedabad police post incharge.

Similarly, Ismail Lashari, the former Sohrab Goth SHO, has been punished at least 16 times for his criminal activities. The punishments have included being discharged from service, demotion, suspension and forfeiture of approved service for five years.

Not far behind is Ishaq Lashari, who has been punished 11 times by senior officials. The report is, however, vague on what crimes he was involved in. Then there is Rana Haseeb, the SHO of SITE Police Station. The inquiry report suspects someone has tampered with his official record as three pages of the service book are missing. Another interesting case is that of Azam Khan, who is the SHO of Napier Police Station. This police officer was punished for performing his duties in plain clothes. Khan was also found to have links with notorious gangsters such as Rehman Dacoit and Arshad Pappu.

The SHOs, however, seemed unhappy with the report. “All these things will happen when we (SHOs) are appointed after the payment of hefty bribes,” said one of the SHOs whose name is mentioned in the report.

“Every time, it is the SHOs who are punished, but no one even questions those senior officers who took the money for their postings. Who forced us to get involved in these criminal activities?” he questioned rhetorically. The SHO believed that the senior officers were more to blame for the corruption and criminal activities.

The SHO claimed that such reports were merely a way for the senior officials to make more money. “I was recently interviewed for an SHO posting but was rejected on the basis of my links with narcotics sellers,” he said. “I know I will now have to pay double the money to get posted anywhere.”

Published in The Express Tribune, July 13th, 2015.


Read original post here: Pakistan: Half of Karachi’s police stations working under dirty cops

Pakistan - ‘No Entry’ for DJ Butt in Bani Gala

DJ Butt who who boost the Pakistan Tehreek-e Insaf’s Dharana with loud music but now he is not allowed to meet Imran Khan in Bani Gala.
DJ Butt on Monday said that he want to meet Imran Khan once but he was not allowed to meet him. He told that he kept standing whole day out side the residence of Imran Khan at Bani Gala but he was not allowed to enter.
Earlier, DJ Butt, the man behind the music and sound system at Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) rallies and Azadi March last year, claimed that PTI have not paid his dues yet.
While talking to media in Lahore, Dj Butt said that he was facing financial crisis and he would use legal option against PTI if he was not given the due amount of money.
DJ butt claimed that PTI paid him only Rs.60 million so far while the total payable amount was Rs.140 million.
DJ butt said that people of his team were facing severe financial crisis and he had to pay them. He said that he put every possible effort to make PTI rallies successful, so PTI should give him due money on time.
DJ Butt added that he sent several e-mail to PTI chief, Imran Khan but got no response from him.

Karachi - More than 40 Wahabi seminaries in Sindh have contacts with terrorists

More than 40 seminaries in Sindh have contacts with the terrorists while more than 150 unregistered ones have been sealed, reported The Shia Post on Sunday.
Sindh Apex Committee meeting, headed by Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah, examined the ongoing targeted operation in Sindh and the law and order situation. Scrutiny report of the seminaries was also presented during the meeting.
The report revealed that more than 40 Wahabi / Deobandi seminaries in Sindh have contacts with the terrorists. 24 seminaries in Karachi and 20 from other cities of the province have been feared to be used in terror activities.
According to the report, 160 unregistered seminaries have been sealed so far. Out of these sealed seminaries, 139 were from Hyderabad while 28 from Nawabshah.
The total number of seminaries in Sindh is more than 9500. 6503 seminaries are registered while 3087 are yet to be registered.
6 suspicious Wahabi – Deobandi seminaries in the province were searched and they are still under surveillance.

Pakistan - Guns vs books - Taking up Malala's Challenge

THE challenge that Nobel laureate Malala Yousafzai has thrown down for us deserves to be taken seriously. The young and courageous campaigner for education said at a UN-sponsored education summit in Oslo that $39bn is all that is required to give 12 years of free education to every child in the world.
To put the number in context, she placed it next to global military expenditures, showing only eight days of military spending could pay for the education of every child in the world. This is a staggering comparison, and becomes even more important when one considers the growing role of child soldiers in conflicts in Africa and many other parts of the world.
Global military expenditures have been showing very slight declines in the past three years, coming in at $1.776tr last year according to the Stockholm Peace Research Institute. But these declines hide a fundamental reality: the centre of gravity of military expenditure is moving away from the Americas towards the Middle East and Asia.
Countries in our neighbourhood are arming themselves at an alarming rate. The US remains the world’s leading arms spender, but the list of the top 15 countries with the highest military expenditures today includes India, China, Saudi Arabia and the UAE.
It is heartening that Pakistan does not feature on this list — we can hardly afford to. But each of these countries has a special responsibility to ensure their growing military expenditures are matched by equally robust increases in their education spending.
Pakistan too, as a rival of one of these countries and a strategic partner of the remaining three, shares a special responsibility to ensure that the competition it chooses to pursue does not come at the cost of educating our future generations.
The young Malala took enormous risks to underline some very obvious facts: that education is necessary, that girls are as entitled to it as boys. Now she is once again reminding us of our tragically misplaced priorities in which our hatred and thirst for power today trumps our investment in our children’s future.
If even eight days of military spending sounds too much of a sacrifice for the sake of educating every child in the world for 12 years, then our grip on humanity has withered to a great extent. The least we owe our children is to think about how we got to this point, and more importantly, how we might extricate ourselves from the situation.

Pakistan - Whenever state and mosque converge, women suffer the consequences

By Mustafa Qureshi

The Islamization period of Zia's regime portrayed women as weak and unequal and with every step forward Pakistan took two steps backwards

Pakistan - #PPP will get Rangers additional powers bill passed

Sindh Information Minister, Sharjeel Inam Memon Sunday said efforts will be made to get the bill passed with majority for enhancing the powers of Rangers.
Addressing a press briefing following the meeting of Sindh Apex Committee, the Sindh Minister said Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) is in majority in the assembly and it will get the bill for stepping up Rangers’ powers passed with majority.
He said all the actions being carried out as part of the Karachi operations have Sindh Chief Minister’s approval.
Sharjeel Memon said the PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has also assured his full support to the Karachi targeted operation on behalf of his party.
He said a task force has been constituted for getting technical support in the ongoing operation against criminals. It will comprise one member each from Sindh police and Rangers besides a secretary, he added.
He said now action will also be taken against the abettors and financers of the terrorists. “Anyone who extends financial support from Fitra or Zakat money to the terrorists, he will be prevented,” he added.

Sharjeel Memon said Bilawal Bhutto's visit to the Chief Minister House was pre-scheduled. Coincidentally Corps Commander was also present there and Bilawal’s meeting with him should be seen as an interaction of goodwill, he said.

China, Russia to Promote Friendly India-Pakistan Relations

Russia and China, members to Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), have a long history of warm relations with India and Pakistan respectively, and will play an important role in promoting friendly relations between the two countries once they were accepted to the trade bloc, a source told Sputnik Monday.

On Friday, SCO countries comprising China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, launched the process of acceptance to SCO of India and Pakistan, currently holding observer status in the organization.
“The presence of China, a traditional friend of Pakistan, and Russia, a traditional friend of India, will play role in influencing both the countries to promote friendly relations,” the source said, adding that by including India and Pakistan as members, the SCO “will promote peace and stability in the region.”

The source added that during a Friday meeting between the prime ministers of India and Pakistan in Ufa, India had raised an issue of terrorism and in particular the Mumbai terrorist attacks.
It was decided that the national security advisers of the two countries will meet soon.
“All issues, including Kashmir, were discussed: both [sides] agreed on roadmap to improve relations,” the source said.
The Jammu and Kashmir region is a subject of territorial dispute between India and Pakistan, marring relations between the two countries following the end of British rule in 1947. After four wars and a number of military conflicts, India and Pakistan agreed to a ceasefire in 2003. The sides have repeatedly accused each other of violating the truce.

Read more:

Economy, International Pressure Prompt Indian, Pakistan PM Meeting

By Ayesha Tanzeem

After months of tension, the Indian and Pakistani prime ministers met on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit last week in Russia. Pakistan’s national security adviser said the meeting was a result of several internal and external factors.
The meeting of Indian and Pakistani prime ministers last Friday was considered an ice-breaker after a long period of tensions.

One impetus for the meeting in Moscow was the inclusion of the two South Asian countries into the regional group SCO, according to Pakistan National Security Adviser Sartaj Aziz.

“And as you know the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, one of the requirements is that all members of SCO should have good relations among each other. So that itself is an indirect stimulus for better relations,” said Aziz.

The United States and several other countries have consistently asked both India and Pakistan to reduce tensions and indulge in a meaningful dialogue.

Both prime ministers were elected on an agenda to kickstart their respective economies. Regional tensions can be a roadblock to their agendas.

Aziz acknowledged those factors also played a role in the meeting in Russia.

The Indian prime minister has accepted an invitation to attend a summit of the South Asian Association of Regional Cooperation next year in Pakistan.  

Pakistan’s national security adviser will soon travel to New Delhi to meet the Indian National Security Adviser Ajit Doval.