Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Arab Music Video - Hiba Tawaji - Elli Ya Habibi Oul

Video Report - Beirut turmoil: 'Lebanon on brink of new Arab spring'


The United Nations has warned of the increasing number of children killed in the Yemeni conflict, saying those who survive will form “a lost generation” as a result of the traumatic experiences of the crisis.
“Children are paying an unacceptable price, and the ever mounting death toll tragically underscores the need for urgent action to protect them and other civilians,” said United Nations Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict Leila Zerrougui on Tuesday.
Yemen has become “another stark example of how conflict in the region risks creating a lost generation of children, who are physically and psychologically scarred by their experiences, deprived of educational opportunities, and who face an uncertain future,” she added.
The UN official also lashed out at the Saudi regime for targeting civilians in its 21 August airstrikes on the southwestern Yemeni province of Ta'izz, which claimed the lives of 65 civilians, including at least 17 children.
“Parties to conflict must abide by their international legal obligations to distinguish between civilian and military objects, and take precautions to avoid and minimize civilian casualties,” Zerrougui underscored.
She also voiced concern over the educational situation of children in the war-ravaged Arab state as the new school year is about to kick off.
“As the start of a new school year approaches, the conflict is severely curtailing children’s access to education,” Zerrougui warned.
According to the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), 114 schools have been completely destroyed and 315 others partially damaged in Yemen since the beginning of Riyadh’s military campaign in late March. This is while some 360 schools have turned into refuges for the families who have fled their homes as a result of the deadly conflict.
On March 26, Saudi Arabia began its military aggression against Yemen – without a UN mandate – in a bid to undermine the Houthi Ansarullah movement and restore power to the fugitive former president, Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, a staunch ally of Riyadh.
The conflict has so far left about 4,500 people, including 402 children, dead and thousands of others wounded, the UN says.

Russia, Egypt call for international anti-terror coalition

During his second visit to Moscow in the last two months, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi met with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin. They discussed a wide range of topics, including an international anti-terrorism coalition.
“We underline the fundamental importance of the formation of a broad anti-terrorist front involving key international players and regional countries, including Syria,” Putin said after the meeting with Sisi in Moscow on Wednesday. 
Putin added that both countries share “common views” on the importance of stepping up the war on terrorism, especially against the Daesh Takfiris.
“The Egyptian people hope to see improvements in the cooperation between us and Russia in different fields, including…the fight against terror in a region suffering from terrorism,” said Sisi. “It has an impact on our region’s stability and security. Not just in some countries, but in the entire region and possibly the whole world.”
Egyptian nuclear plant with Russian technology
The presidents also discussed the construction of a nuclear power plant in Egypt. Several agreements of which were signed in February by the two leaders. 
The two presidents also discussed the construction of a nuclear power plant in Egypt.
They had signed several agreements for the project back in February. 
“One of the largest bilateral projects is the construction of a nuclear power plant in Egypt using Russian technology. Experts of both countries are completing the development of practical aspects concerning the construction of this station,” said Putin.
Putin also talked about the delivery of Russian Sukhoi Superjet 100 aircraft Egypt. “The issue of deliveries of Sukhoi Superjet aircraft for the needs of the Egyptian national airline is being worked out.”

Russia - Communists call for 25-yr ban on changing street names, knocking down statues

The Communist Party in Moscow has proposed slapping a 25-year moratorium on the renaming of streets and squares, and the removal of monuments. Attempts to delete facts from people’s memories are harmful to Russian history, the party says.
The city committee of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation demands to stop the political sabotage targeting the victories and heroes of the Soviet Union and the whole millennium-long history of our motherland. We ask to introduce a 25-year moratorium on any topographical renaming and on removal of monuments,” Kommersant daily quoted the proposal as saying.
Controversial historical issues are often used by Russian political movements to get public attention and secure support. Among such topics are the suggestion to remove Vladimir Lenin’s body from the Mausoleum on Red Square, to reinstall the monument to KGB founder Felix Dzerzhinsky on a square in central Moscow and to rename the metro station and city district currently named for the Bolshevik who supervised the execution of the Romanov family in 1918.
The Communists also said they disagree with the very concept of a memorial to victims of political repressions currently being pondered by Moscow city authorities. They said that future monuments must commemorate not only of those who were unjustly prosecuted during the Soviet period, but also of victims of all other regimes.
The committee emphasized in its address that the Communist party was not against the idea of a monument to victims of repression, but that it should be erected to all those who have suffered from various arbitrary actions of the authorities.
The Communists’ appeal was released about a week after Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev approved the concept of state policies aimed at remembering the victims of political repression. The government said in an explanatory note that the main objective of the document was to improve the cooperation between state authorities and the institutions of civil society, and the creation of better conditions for the country’s development.
The proposal calls for citizens to have free access to various archives documenting repression, and to for the building of monuments and memorials to victims open to all members of the public for free.
Kommersant reported that the Communists made their proposal shortly after the administration of the Voikovsky District in Moscow held public consultations over the possible renaming of the district and the Voikovskaya metro station. Both the district and the metro station are named for Bolshevik official Pyotr Voikov, who worked in the Cheka, the first Soviet security service, and was in charge of detaining Tsar Nicholas II and his family, and then of their execution and the disposal of their bodies.
A joint commission dealing with renaming places in the city is due to make a decision on the possible renaming of the district and metro station by the end of September.

Madonna - La Isla Bonita

Video Report - Paris climate conference: Ban Ki-moon's speech ahead of COP21

Video Report - White House responds to Virginia shooting


Action News anchor Monica Malpass was on assignment Wednesday to interview President Barack Obama one-on-one at the White House. They discussed several topics, including the shooting of two TV news staffers during a live report in Virginia. A reporter, 24-year-old Alison Parker, and a photographer, 27-year-old Adam Ward, died in the shooting. The suspect, 41-year-old Vester Flanagan, who went by the name Bryce Williams when he was also an on-air reporter, died from a self-inflicted gunshot a few hours later. "It breaks my heart every time you read or hear about these kids of incidents," President Obama said. "What we know is that the number of people who die from gun-related incidents around this country dwarfs any deaths that happen through terrorism," the president continued. Monica also talked with President Obama about the recent agreement the U.S. and other countries made with Iran, to dismantle its nuclear program.

Clinton Says Biden Has 'Very Difficult' Decision About 2016 Run

Hillary Clinton said Vice President Joe Biden has a "very difficult decision" to make about a 2016 presidential run and pledged to continue her campaign as normal in spite of speculation about another potential Democratic opponent.
Clinton reiterated that she has "a great deal of admiration and affection" for Biden, but wants him to make the right choice for him and his family following son Beau Biden's death earlier this year. Clinton, who attended Beau Biden's funeral, said she couldn't begin to imagine the "grief and heartbreak" Biden has experienced.
"He has to do what he has to do but I'm just going to continue with my campaign," Clinton said in Ankeny, Iowa today.
"I always thought this would be a competitive campaign. I don't think anybody should have thought otherwise and I'm going to run as hard as I can, trying to convince as many people as possible to support me and earn all the votes that I can in the caucuses and primaries."
Secretary of agriculture and former governor of Iowa Tom Vilsack also emphasized his love and admiration for Biden, but said he will stand with Clinton "until the last dog dies." Vilsack endorsed Clinton in an op-ed yesterday and stressed that the timing of his endorsement had nothing to do with the possibility of a Biden run.
Whether Biden runs or not, Clinton said, "I'm going to be running for president regardless." 

Pashto Music Video - Zra Me Dy Zra Me Day - Sara Sahar

Afghan Music Video - Zakhmoona

Afghan Music Video - Aryana Sayeed - Bia Ke Borem Ba Mazar

Afghan Music Video - Bala Bibin Qataghani

U.S. soldiers killed in Afghanistan, Taliban grab district

Taliban fighters seized a district headquarters in Afghanistan's Helmand province on Monday despite repeated U.S. air strikes to repel them, adding to the insurgents' recent advances in a heavily fought over region of opium farms and trade routes.
Elsewhere in Helmand, a man in Afghan uniform opened fire in the former British base of Camp Bastion, killing two U.S. service personnel, before being shot and wounded. Another man in Afghan uniform was wounded in the return fire.
It was the second incident this year involving Afghan troops, or people wearing Afghan uniforms, shooting at foreign soldiers. No group has claimed the attack.
Pentagon spokesman Captain Jeff Davis said the attacker opened fire on the vehicle in which the Americans were traveling. He gave no more details.
    An Afghan regional official said the incident involved Afghan special forces firing on allies at the former Camp Bastion, which was handed over to Afghan forces last year.
Helmand's Musa Qala district fell after the Taliban overran police and army posts to retake a district straddling smuggling routes that was wrenched from them by British and Afghan troops eight years ago.
U.S. warplanes have been bombarding Musa Qala since the weekend, killing up to 40 militants, with two new air strikes on Tuesday. But they regrouped, chasing the district government out of town and confiscating weapons in what a spokesman for Afghanistan's 215th Maiwand Corps called a "tactical retreat" to protect civilians.
Coalition military advisors have recently been working with the 215th Corps, which based in Helmand capital Lashkar Gah.
"Afghan special forces, police and commandos have been deployed to Helmand in order to retake Musa Qala district. Foreign air strikes are backing our forces," said Dawlat Waziri, a spokesman for the defense ministry.
In Afghanistan's first summer fighting season since foreign troops stepped back from combat roles, the Taliban have pushed into several districts in the North and South but have mostly struggled to keep hold of them.
Last week, Afghan forces pulled out of the town of Nawzad, the headquarters of a neighboring district that was also fiercely fought over when British and U.S. forces were stationed in Helmand, the country's main opium production center.
That means the Taliban currently control three districts in northern Helmand and have partial control of several others, including Kajaki, where they frequently disrupt supplies from a large U.S.-built hydroelectric dam powering the province.
"We left the district early in the morning because the Taliban were attacking from all sides," Musa Qala district Governor Mohammad Sharif told Reuters by telephone.
"We had asked for reinforcements for days but none arrived and this was what happened," he said.
In the years following the 2001 U.S. invasion that toppled the Taliban government, more than 400 British soldiers died in Helmand, several while defending Musa Qala. More than 350 U.S. Marines also lost their lives in the province.
Nearly 14 years later and after foreign forces formally ended their combat mission, the Taliban is still fighting a guerrilla war aimed at restoring their hardline regime.

Violence has increased sharply across Afghanistan since the coalition mostly withdrew in December, leaving a small contingent of about 12,000 NATO troops to train Afghan forces.

Music Video - Naheed Akhtar - Yeh Ranginiye Nau Bahar

Pakistan - ‘NAB fails to probe PM, Punjab CM corruption’

The Supreme Court (SC) on Tuesday said that the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has failed to complete investigation into corruption cases of billion of rupees against Prime Minister (PM) Nawaz Sharif, Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, former PM Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain and Pervez Elahi even after 15 years.

In a report filed by NAB in SC, it has been disclosed that an enquiry into financial irregularities of Rs 126 million against PM Sharif and Punjab CM in the construction of Raiwind Road was started in 2000.

Another enquiry against Sharif was launched in 1999 concerning his alleged involvement in illegal appointments in Federal Investigation Agency (FIA). So far, none of the enquiries have been concluded.

Previously, Maj Gen (r) MH Ansari had filed an application with NAB, stating that several officers who were appointed have now retired.

The report also reveals that investigations against Hussain and Elahi for corruption of Rs 2.5 billion and accumulation of illegal assets started in 2000 but are still incomplete.

A three-member SC commission is reviewing NAB’s report.

Pakistan - Pro-Saudi-wahabi Govt of Punjab arrests 22 SHIA LEADERS

Punjab government has once again proved its Shia enmity and arrested Shia leaders without any reason. According to reports, 22 Shia leaders have been arrested last night from different cities of Punjab including Bhakar, Sialkot, Gujrat, Wahari, Dera Ismail Khan and Nankana Sahab. They have been arrested by counter terrorism department and include leaders and members of Majlis e Wahdat e Muslimeen and Shia Ulema Council, Ulema and Zaakireen.
It should be clear that National Action Plan was formulated against terrorists but Punjab government has proved its Shia enmity by using it against Shia Muslims according to balance policy. However, they do not have any proofs against Shia Muslims. This action by Punjab government is in fact a way to provide relief to their Deoband and Wahhabi extremists and terrorists by painting the ongoing terrorism as a sectarian conflict, whereas everyone is aware of the fact that sectarian problems do not exist in Pakistan and it is engulfed in Deoband and Wahhabi terrorism.
On the other hand, the leader of Majlis e Wahdat e Muslimeen Allama Raja Nasir Abbas Jafri severely condemned the arrest of members of Shia organizations and demanded their immediate release, while talking to a news conference in Islamabad.

Pakistan - #PMLN Pro-Punjabi Taliban Law Minister Rana Sanaullah’s sense of success

Rana Sanaullah’s sense of success

And political correctness
Strange that Rana Sanaullah brought up the threat to the Punjab Assembly and tried to play down the danger of terrorism in the province at the same time. His observations regarding seminaries are particularly interesting. Not a single madrassa in Punjab has any links with terrorists, he said, speaking no doubt after thorough investigation by relevant agencies. Why, then, should Punjab differ so seriously from other parts? The Sindh home department, for example, has just ordered action against 49 seminaries with alleged links with terrorist organisations. And just the day before Ch Nisar spoke of the centre’s concern about movement on suspect madrassas.
Why would Sanaullah want to give his province a clean chit on the madrassa question? Naturally his position will not be taken too seriously when many in the ruling party – including the late Col Shuja Khanzada – openly disagreed with it. By issuing such statements, the Punjab law minister not only weakens his party’s position, but also gives weight to accusations about his links with suspect organisations. If anything, militancy in Punjab is expected to provide one of the stiffest tests yet to Zarb-e-Azb as it becomes more complicated and intel-intensive. Many consider action here, where radical militants have long been housed, as the true litmus test for the operation.
As the Punjab government finds its feet after its home minister’s assassination, it must ensure NAP is, finally, properly implemented. Sidestepping crucial processes in the Plan – like madrassa funding, etc – will not only allow the enemy to strike more boldly, but also harm politically as people demand action. The ruling party is advised, therefore, to concentrate its energies on building on the momentum that is being generated. True, violence overall has come down since the operation began. Yet it is equally clear that much more needs to be done to eradicate terrorism and terrorists completely. Political correctness of the Rana Sanaullah mould will no longer successfully divert public opinion. The government will have to walk the talk, for itself and the people.

Pakistan - Madressah clean-up?

IT appears that the Punjab government has been busy cleaning up the seminaries — but away from public view. Rana Sanaullah, the provincial law minister, says the madressahs in Punjab have somehow been purged of militant elements. He did, as a prelude to his claim, ‘admit’ to the presence earlier of 20 such seminaries whose students or faculty had been involved in terrorism, even if ‘only’ as facilitators. What magic wand the administration waved to get such surprising results has yet to be disclosed. For the moment, those informed of the figures, intended to be reassuring no doubt, must deal with the mini-surprise of learning that, long identified as a hotbed of extremism, Punjab only had 20 seminaries that, presumably, required a little bit of fixing here and there. The minister did come up with figures: 532 seminaries raided; 1,100 suspects taken into custody from them; 13,787 madressahs geo-tagged. But then, according to his remarks, the record of each and every student on the roll of these 13,000-odd tagged seminaries was being looked into. So how is he so sure that the militant element has been uprooted?
There may be some credible evidence that shows the Shahbaz Sharif government’s commitment to targeting the nurseries of militancy, a commitment dictated by the National Action Plan. But unfortunately, the absence of substance in Mr Sanaullah’s claim does not make it part of the clinching evidence that would put Punjab ahead of the other provinces. On the same day the claim was made, in Sindh surfaced a list of 49 madressahs against which action had been ordered for their links to militancy. Just as it was unclear as to what the action in Sindh would be, it was difficult to assess whether Sindh had been sufficiently inspired by the big brother in the federation, or if both these bigger provinces were equally guilty of many airy-fairy boasts with little achieved on the ground. Sindh has repeatedly been criticised for lethargy and lack of purpose in recent years. In this case, it could justifiably look for some appreciation for having been able to identify 49 suspect madressahs whereas the much larger and, by many estimates, far more suspicious Punjab stopped at 20. Much more significantly, both these provinces — in fact, the whole country — need to come up with a transparent system where they are actually seen to be cleansing their respective territories of the dangers that are nurtured inside seminaries.

Pakistan - Education, extremism and the elite

Why shouldn’t young minds turn towards extremist ideologies — I’m not talking of terrorism — if they are marginalised, their basic rights grossly violated, or if they are under-paid or unemployed? What role are many private educational institutions playing in promoting extremist tendencies among young academics? Is the state attentive to this? Is education a market economy product determined by the demand and supply principle, or is it a government responsibility (as promised underArticle 25-A of the Constitution)? The state is the guarantor of the right to education, bound to provide decent livelihoods as well as protect the youth from exploitation. These are some of the questions that must be posed to the Sharifs, the Zardaris, the Shahs, the Khans and all those political luminaries who tirelessly speak of turning Pakistan around. Not to forget those members of mainstream political parties who are running educational institutions. These include the Kasuris, the Chaudhrys, the Syeds and the Niazis.
Under-paying highly educated young people employed by high-flying institutions affiliated with Oxbridge and other leading systems, is a perennial issue. Exploitation of the educated youth — both as teachers and students — is prevalent even in Islamabad, the capital, but this curse is omnipresent in its most oppressive forms in under-developed regions and those where the ruling elite control education boards or sit in parliaments. Although Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) has seen a proliferation of private universities and colleges, there has been little check on their fee and salary structures. The Abbottabad, Peshawar and Mardan boards seem to be hubs of corruption that are under the control of the political elite and their henchmen. Many of them are involved in issuing fake degrees and under-paying teachers, often invoking the demand-and-supply principle as if teaching were a commodity obtainable at a negotiable price.
Some of Imran Khan’s colleagues in K-P are among those running private education institutions, a practice that has turned into an unchecked money-minting enterprise in the absence of a regulatory framework. The PTI has made a strong point about the accountability of the electoral system. Now, it must also embark on an accountability of those running educational institutions, especially its own members appointed to important positions in the K-P government. Of course they are not the only ones. Scores of private educators are exploiting students, often in collusion with officials of education boards and higher education departments. Why shouldn’t the highly educated young slip into confusion and extremist thought streams if, after a 17-year education, they either remain unemployed or extremely under-paid — earning paltry sums between $40-150 a month? This way, many private institutions are disincentivising education among those who come from poor families.
Another alarming issue is of fake degrees being issued by many private institutions and government education boards. Ironically, the business of fake degrees in Pakistan is nothing new, but really came to the fore only recently because of the activities of Axact. Many universities running under the charter of some London-based institutions have been doing the same thing. Even official education boards have been involved in this as illustrated through the disqualification of a PML-N legislator, Chaudhry Arif Hussain, for holding a fake degree issued by the Lahore Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education. Before Hussain, several other legislators also lost their seats for possessing fake degrees.
It is correctly believed that the government should not interfere in private education; however, it carries the responsibility to prevent fraudulent practices and preempt exploitation of students and teachers. Private educators have the right to determine fee structures, but they are also bound to pay teachers fairly and ensure quality education. They cannot, must not, be allowed to equate market economy principles with exploitation of young academics. Shouldn’t the government ask private institutions if there is a balance between the fees they charge and the salaries they pay to their teachers who hold master’s degrees?
The Sharifs and Imran Khan can turn Pakistan around only if they handle education on a war-footing and start meaningful reform of the sector. When will they crack down on the moth that is eating away the vitals of the education sector, stunting real intellectual development?

Pakistan’s poor handling brings UAE, India closer

A recent defence agreement between the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and India has arisen many questions regarding foreign policy of Pakistan as the proximity of the two is result of a ‘poor handling’ of affairs by the Foreign Office if not a complete failure vis-a-viz Arab world.

Looking at the history of Pakistan-UAE relations, it come to light that the Middle Eastern nation is a major investor in Pakistan's key sectors like oil and gas, telecommunications, real estate, aviation, banking and energy. A report by UAE's Ministry of Foreign Trade tells that its public and private sectors invested about $3.74 billion in Pakistan from in the early years of this century and the Dirham – UAE currency – continued pouring in Pakistan’s economy till now.

The main investments were made in different sector by the Emirates National Oil Company (ENOC), the International Petroleum Investment Company (IPIC), the Emirates Telecommunications Corporation (Etisalat), Dana Gas; Al Ghurai; Emaar, DP World, Abraaj Capital, Thani, Danata, Atharihra Agricultural Company; Gulf Pharmaceutical Industries (Julfar), the Emirates Investment Group, the Arab Company for Packaging and Al Nasser Holdings.

– Pakistan’s contributions –

The love is not one sided as Pakistan has significantly cooperated with the UAE in the establishment of its major institutions like armed force, police, health and education. Besides 1.25-1.50 million skilled and semi-skilled Pakistani expatriates are living in the UAE, contributing significantly to the progress of both the countries. According to an estimate, 20 percent of the Pakistani expatriates are working white-collar jobs, whereas 80 per cent are working blue-collar jobs.

It is a fact that the road of relationship to the ‘Trucial States’ passes through Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) that was in difficult situation due to Yemen-based Houthi tribes. The Saudis were facing difficult time because of the attacks by the insurgents from Yemen. They were advancing inside Saudi Arabia. The Saudis expected the Pakistan Army to reach there and defend their soil. It was perhaps the first time when Pakistan authorities refused to send its troops to the kingdom. Pakistan received a ‘message of displeasure’ from the UAE at that time too. It is obvious that the nearness between the two countries – UAE and India – is not without the blessings of Saudi Arabia.

What gets India from its Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s two-day visit to the UAE is narrated by Poonam Mahajan, India’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) lawmaker from Mumbai: “For the first time, UAE and India are on the same wavelength with respect to terrorism. The prime minister in his speech has categorically mentioned that both countries will not tolerate the terror wreaked in the name of religion. Those who were responsible for horrendous terror attacks in the country like the 1993 Mumbai blasts and the 26/11 attacks and are still being ‘harboured’ by Pakistan ought to be punished.”

She also narrated that in order to combat terrorism, a joint statement has been made by India and UAE wherein both the countries condemn efforts, including by states, to use religion to justify, support and sponsor terrorism against other countries. “They have called for international cooperation and intelligence sharing in counter-terrorism operations. They have also proposed to work together for the adoption of India's proposed Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism in the United Nations.”

The biggest achievement for prime Minister Modi is that the UAE announced support for India’s permanent berth in the UN Security Council. Indian investment in UAE and defence pact between the two is an added advantage. Former Foreign Affairs minister Khurshid Mahmud Kasuri is of the view that Pakistan had failed in dealing with the Saudi-Yemen issue in a proper way. “Saudi Arabia is a tried and tested friend of Pakistan and always supported it at all level and all forums,” he said.

He said that Iran was also a good neighbour. In Pakistan, both Saudi Arabia and Iran have following as Sunni people have soft corner for the Saudi kingdom while the Islamic Republic of Iran was dear to Shia people, he pointed out. “When there is an issue between the Saudi kingdom and Iran, it is needed to be dealt with care and wisely as we must know that these two countries are important to us,” he said. He commented that the Yemen issue should be dealt carefully and the two should be taken into confidence on it.

But the Foreign Office dealt the matter in a poor manner, Kasuri said. He was of the view that Pakistan is lacking a full time foreign affairs minister as the office is being held with the worthy prime minister himself who always has other engagements. At present, he said that the Foreign Office has two bosses which is also creating hurdle in smooth sailing of the affairs. The former minister is of the view that Pakistan should have talked to the Saudi kingdom and also go to Iran on the issue that could help keep the two nations near to Pakistan.

Another point of view is that the recent emergence of new alliance of four nations – Pakistan, China, Iran and Russia – has rang alarm bells for the United States and its allies. Israel and India always enjoy good relations and in these days Israel and Saudi Arabia are near to each other and the recent kind of ties between the UAE and India is to send some signals to quarters concerned. It is time for Pakistan to take a more conciliatory stance with the UAE in an attempt to counter India’s new found status.

Pakistan - #PTI - Flogging A Dead Horse

Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaaf (PTI) is considering filing a reference in the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC) for the removal of four members of Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) for the ‘irregularities’ revealed by the Judicial Commission report and the recent annulment of the NA-122 election. The proposal claims that “lapses (by the ECP) made the entire election 2013 non-transparent and unlawful”, furthermore, Imran Khan promises that if the ECP does not respond to his call for resignation, he will stage a sit-in outside its premises. Unlawful elections, sit-ins, judicial commissions – it feels like we have been here before.
Imran Khan needs to stop clinging to the 2013 election results, plain and simple. If PTI ever wants to be a party that seriously contends for the leadership of this nation then it must address nationwide issues. The Chairman must confront a harsh truth; he tried every trick in the book to topple the government, and he failed. Now he must get back up, and try to achieve political power like the rest of us mortals; by actually working towards solving Pakistan’s myriad of problems. He has a vast following, and if he utilises it to become an effective opposition in the parliament, he can bring change. People will applaud him if he proposes police reforms in the parliament. They will salute him if he hounds the government on holding Local Body elections. Energy, tax collection, seminary reform, water management – there are so many issues that he could lend his voice to, yet he chooses to drag the dead issue of the 2013 election out of its grave once more. The demand for resignation only serves to nurse the pride of the PTI and its chairman, whose “ironclad” evidence of rigging was found wanting.
Of course, Imran khan is well within his rights to demand the resignations of ECP members for not properly managing the elections; in fact he is well within his rights to demand the resignation of a errant traffic warden for a mismanaged road junction, but that does not entitle him to a response – nor does allow him paralyse the system until his demands are met. Even if they were met, it would change nothing; it won’t make the ECP more accountable, it won’t make it more competent, nor would it change its structure in the slightest way. Khan just wants to see heads roll. If he wanted real reform, he would be in the Parliament canvassing support, not planning the logistics of another sit-in.
The PTI must prove it is not a one trick pony, it must prove that it cares for other issues, it must show that it has the magnanimity to move beyond a personal defeat to help serve the nation. Imran Khan must remember, determination is an important quality, but it is a few thin strokes away from foolish stubbornness.

Pakistan Is Not Stopping Terrorists Who Threaten the U.S.

The U.S. is reportedly set to block a military aid tranche to Pakistan because of its failure to crack down on the Haqqani network, a designated terrorist organization with ties to the Taliban that attacks U.S. and Afghan forces on a regular basis.
It’s about time.
According to Pakistani media, U.S. officials have told their Pakistani counterparts that they will not certify to the U.S. Congress that Pakistani counterterrorism operations in the tribal areas bordering Afghanistan have damaged the Haqqani network.
Pakistan launched an offensive against the bases of Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP or Pakistani Taliban is an organization that has ties to Al-Qaeda and the Afghan Taliban, but which focuses mainly on attacking Pakistani targets) in North Waziristan over a year ago after they attacked Karachi airport. Pakistani efforts against the TTP intensified following the group’s a horrific massacre at a military school in Peshawar last December that killed over 130 children.
But the decision not to certify a new tranche of Coalition Support Funds (CSF) aimed at reimbursing Pakistan for its counterterrorism operations in the region signals U.S. patience with escalating violence in Afghanistan is wearing thin.
The U.S. has provided around $13 billion in CSF funding to Pakistan since 2001, in addition to the nearly $14 billion in other economic and security aid the U.S. has transferred to the country. The U.S. has long conditioned its aid to Pakistan on the country meeting certain benchmarks, including “demonstrating a sustained commitment to combating terrorist groups on Pakistani soil.”
However, over the last few years, the U.S. secretary of state has waived these conditions on grounds that it was in the U.S. national security interest to transfer the funding even though the legislative conditions had not been met.
Last year Congress added a new requirement to the CSF program that the U.S. defense secretary certify that military operations in North Waziristan have significantly disrupted the safe haven and freedom of movement of the Haqqani network. If the defense secretary is unable to make this certification, funds in the amount of $300 million will not be available for Pakistan, even if the administration chooses to exercise its waiver authority.
Despite Pakistani proclamations that they no longer distinguished between “good” and “bad” Taliban, most observers assessed that Haqqani camps were spared during the military operation dubbed “Zarb-e-Azb” (sharp strike).
In a Heritage backgrounder published last month, I argued that the U.S. must stop using national security waiver authority to provide security-related assistance to Pakistan, given its failure to crack down on the Haqqani network and Lashkar-e-Tayyiba, another terrorist group.
I argued that unless the U.S. follows through on withholding military aid to Pakistan on the basis of its support to terrorist groups, Pakistan will continue to serve as a base of operations for groups that both threaten regional stability and are responsible for attacks against the U.S.

While Pakistan has suffered massively from terrorist attacks over the last eight years and the U.S. should partner with Pakistan in its fight against terrorism, Washington can no longer skirt around the fact that Pakistan has failed to crack down on certain terrorist groups that continue to conduct attacks and undermine critical U.S. national security interests in the region.

PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto calls for streamlining and strengthening the social media wing

Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has called for streamlining and strengthening the social media wing of the party to package the party’s message and spread it far and wide.
He said this while hosting a dinner for the over 100 PPP social media team members from throughout the country in Zardari House in Islamabad Wednesday.
Social media has revolutionized communication strategies and a revolutionary party like PPP has to play lead role. The meeting also attended by Bakhtwar Bhutto Zardari, Faryal Talpur and raja Pervez Ashraf, Sherry Rehman and Qamar Kaira.