Thursday, November 12, 2015

Kremlin: Special services to study IS video with threats directed against Russia

Russia’s special services will examine a video being distributed on behalf of the Islamic State terrorist group and containing threats directed against the Russian Federation, Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Thursday when asked to comment on the video posted on the web.
"I have read reports about that video, but I haven’t seen it, I don’t know the video’s authenticity, believability of these sources, but anyway, I don’t doubt that it is a material to be examined by our special services," Peskov said.
Russia’s Aerospace Forces started delivering pinpoint strikes in Syria at facilities of the Islamic State and Jabhat al-Nusra terrorist organizations, which are banned in Russia, on September 30, 2015, on a request from Syrian President Bashar Assad.
The air group comprises over 50 aircraft and helicopters, including Sukhoi Su-24M, Su-25SM and state-of-the-art Su-34 aircraft.
On October 7, four missile ships of the Russian Navy’s Caspian Flotilla fired 26 Kalibr cruise missiles (NATO codename Sizzler) at militants’ facilities in Syria. On October 8, the Syrian army passed to a large-scale offensive.
Over 2,000 terrorist facilities have been destroyed by Russian aircraft since the start of the air operation. The Russian Federation does not plan to take part in ground operations in Syria.
According to UN statistics, fighting between Syrian government troops and militants has killed more than 200,000 people and displaced millions since its start in 2011.

Video - "New Hitler rising in the east" Modi Not Welcome protest

Video - President Obama awards retired Army captain the military's highest distinction: the Medal of Honor

Poll Shows Hillary Clinton Is Seen as More Likely Than Bernie Sanders to Be Effective

Mrs. Clinton even undercuts Mr. Sanders on his core political message, with 62 percent of Democratic primary voters saying she could bring about real change in Washington, compared with 51 percent for Mr. Sanders.
The promise of change, always a popular lure in politics, is at the heart of a striking paradox in the Democratic race. Democratic primary voters say that the ability to deliver needed change is the most important quality they seek in a candidate, and Mr. Sanders’s popularity is highest with voters who want change. Yet 60 percent of Democrats also want their nominee to continue President Obama’s policies, and these voters support Mrs. Clinton over Mr. Sanders by about a 2-to-1 margin.
This advantage for Mrs. Clinton may reflect all-around skepticism that Mr. Sanders’s leftist candidacy can prevail: Her party’s primary voters expect Mrs. Clinton to be their eventual nominee by more than a 4-to-1 margin over Mr. Sanders.
His chief indictment against Mrs. Clinton, that she is an establishment politician who is captive to big-money special interests and inconsistent on liberal priorities, simply has not persuaded many Democrats to abandon her. While 84 percent of them see Mrs. Clinton as under the sway of special interests, she is still the heavy favorite among Democratic primary voters seeking a candidate who is a strong leader with the right experience to be president.
And while Mr. Sanders is running as an unwavering liberal, three-quarters of Democratic primary voters prefer a nominee who would compromise with Republicans in Congress to get things done.
After a month of sharpened attacks by Mr. Sanders against her, Mrs. Clinton has support from 52 percent of Democratic primary voters, while Mr. Sanders has backing from 33 percent, the poll found. The numbers are virtually unchanged from an early October CBS News poll, in which she led Mr. Sanders, 56 percent to 32 percent.
The nationwide telephone poll was conducted Nov. 6 to 10 on cellphones and landlines with 1,495 adults, including 418 Democratic primary voters, and has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus six percentage points for Democratic primary voters.
Mrs. Clinton inspires more confidence among party members on a range of issues than the lesser known Mr. Sanders, who is only now starting to run biographical advertisements on television. On a signature Sanders issue, regulating large banks and financial institutions, Mrs. Clinton inspired confidence in 70 percent of primary voters, compared with 65 percent for Mr. Sanders. On gun laws, 76 percent of Democratic primary voters think she would make the right decisions compared with 57 percent for Mr. Sanders, whose votes against some gun-control measures have been highlighted by Mrs. Clinton.
On foreign conflicts, too, Democrats overwhelmingly expressed more faith in the decision-making of Mrs. Clinton, a former secretary of state, than of Mr. Sanders, a longtime antiwar figure.
“She knows all the players, all the world leaders,” Jan Lyles, 52, a consultant in Reno, Nev., said in an interview after the poll was completed. She added, approvingly, “She has her husband behind her for advice.” Three-quarters of Democrats view Bill Clinton favorably.
But support for Mrs. Clinton lags in some groups of Democratic primary voters, particularly men and younger voters. Among the misgivings is one that has surfaced before in her political career: Fifty-two percent of Democratic primary voters think that Mrs. Clinton says what she actually believes, compared with 62 percent who think Mr. Sanders is genuine in his remarks.
“It’s not so much I don’t trust her, but she seems to me to say what she thinks people want to hear,” said Jack Bernblum, 68, a self-employed Democrat from East Haven, Conn., who is leaning toward Mr. Sanders. “She has recently said something about legalizing marijuana, which is a brand new position for her. I don’t think she means anything she says.”
For Mr. Sanders, who is attracting bigger crowds than Mrs. Clinton and is running notably close to her in fund-raising, the overarching challenge is to transform an insurgent primary campaign aimed at two must-win states, Iowa and New Hampshire, into a formidable movement with broad national appeal. He will face his greatest test yet on Saturday night at the second Democratic debate, which will be televised nationally from Des Moines. Nearly half of Democratic primary voters say they are very likely to watch the debate, and an additional three in 10 said they were somewhat likely.
Mrs. Clinton will take the stage after a run of positive developments since their Oct. 13 debate, including strong reviews of her performance there; Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s decision not to enter the race; and a steely, well-received face-off with congressional Republicans investigating the 2012 attack on the United States diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya.
Mr. Sanders has been trying to undercut her political momentum by drawing more contrasts on policy, noting that he has been more liberal for far longer than her on issues like free trade, the death penalty and a single-payer health care system. Yet his attacks have not been memorably potent. A third Democratic candidate, former Gov. Martin O’Malley of Maryland, will also take part in Saturday’s debate, but he is trailing far behind his rivals. He received 5 percent support in the Times/CBS News poll.
Mr. Sanders and Mr. O’Malley have room to grow if they can find a way: Half of Democratic primary voters say it is still too early to say for sure whom they will support. And while Mr. Sanders is running closest behind Mrs. Clinton, four in 10 voters still do not have an opinion of him — and many hold views that suggest they would be open to his platform.
While some Sanders allies worry that his decades-long identification as a democratic socialist will hurt him, 56 percent of Democratic primary voters say they hold a positive view of socialism. About nine in 10 think that the gap between rich and poor is an urgent problem, and most would support raising taxes on the wealthy to deal with it — one of Mr. Sanders’s major positions — and 78 percent oppose unlimited campaign contributions to fund-raising committees known as “super PACs,” as does Mr. Sanders. (Mrs. Clinton is supported by a such a fund-raising arm.)
Sue Moon, a Seattle Democrat and a retired teacher, said she did not like Mrs. Clinton’s ties to wealthy donors and Wall Street executives, some of whom Ms. Moon blames for the 2008 financial crisis.
“I am much more in favor of the wing of the party that thinks a lot of these people should have gone to jail,” said Ms. Moon, a Sanders supporter.
While the Republican presidential race is far more unsettled, with 15 candidates, Democrats think that Donald J. Trump, whose tough talk and outsize personality have energized many disaffected conservatives, would be the toughest to beat in a general election. Thirty-one percent of Democrats said Mr. Trump would be the most formidable opponent next November, while 15 percent named the retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson and 13 percent each picked former Gov. Jeb Bush of Florida and Senator Marco Rubio of Florida. Gov. John Kasich of Ohio and Senator Ted Cruz of Texas lagged far behind. Luke Cottrill, a junior high school teacher and a Democrat in San Francisco, said that Mr. Trump would be the most dangerous foe in a general election because he is not only a political outsider but also speaks pointedly in ways that resonate deeply with some people, while offending others. Mr. Trump is also famous in a nation that worships celebrity, Mr. Cottrill said.
“Donald Trump is a TV star, and Ronald Reagan was a movie star — people know who he is,” said Mr. Cottrill, 60. “He also is a demagogue, and sometimes we Americans are impressed by demagogues and forget about their power over people.”

#MillionStudentMarch - Million Student March: 100+ US campuses rally against tuition fees & student debt

Students from more than 100 American universities united in a Million Student March to protest over tuition fees, student debt and higher wages for campus workers.
“We are people of all colors, genders, and sexual orientation, and we are united to fight for education as a human right,” the movement’s statement reads.
Organized primarily through Facebook by students, numerous marches hit US campuses from Seattle and Florida to California and Vermont. A total of 106 universities and colleges were set to participate, resulting in thousands of students from across the country that joined in.
“Together, we can build an independent movement capable of winning tuition-free public college, a cancellation of all student debt, and a $15/hr minimum wage for all campus workers!” the Million Student March website says.
One of the larger demonstrations could be seen at the University of Texas. Students could be heard chanting "education is a right!" while they marched.
Protesters at University of Massachusetts Amherst demonstrated inside the Student Union building to keep dry. Beyond the demands for free education, they were making their voices heard on left-wing issues such as "rape culture" and fossil fuel divestment.
Many of those who participated in the Million Student March did so in solidarity with the University of Missouri, where students had already been protesting alleged racism for the last week.
The student behind the Million Student March is Keely Mullen, who herself expects to graduate from Northeastern University in Boston $150,000 in arrears.
The average college graduate from the Class of 2015 has over $35,000 in debt, according to an analysis of government statistics published in May.
“This is clearly an urgent crisis, but establishment politicians from both parties are failing to take action,” organizers said.
One of the movement’s supporters is presidential hopeful Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont), who has repeatedly been lobbying for reduced college fees. In May, Sanders introduced a proposal to the Senate calling on public colleges in the US to begin offering free tuition.
Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump had a much different take on the situation. He said that the controversial University of Missouri protests – whose concerns are shared by many Million Student March participants – are "disgusting," and characterized the two university leaders are "weak, ineffective."
"Trump should have been the chancellor of that university. Believe me, there would have been no resignation," he told Fox Business Network. "Their demands are crazy."

Pakistan's corporate massacres - Lahore’s Sunder Industrial Estate

By Lal Khan

[This article was written on Friday 6 of November] Today, three days after the collapse of a factory in Lahore’s Sunder Industrial Estate, dozens of people remain buried under the rubble and the authorities have failed to remove the debris and rescue the injured or retrieve the dead bodies of the workers
The official death toll in this gruesome tragedy stood at 31 on Friday, and at least 102 survivors have already been pulled from the debris of the four-story Rajput Polyester polythene bag factory. The building came crashing down on Wednesday evening, trapping dozens of people inside. A spokesman for Rescue 1122 told the press that of the 167 people trapped in the building, 109 have been rescued, and most of them have minor injuries. But hopes are fading for anyone left alive as rescuers scrambled through the debris.
“There are less chances of finding more injured under the rubble but we are looking for dead bodies. We expect to find at least 25 more dead bodies in that part of the factory,” Arshad Zia, head of rescue services in Punjab, told AFP. According to this report, “It was unclear how many people were in the building when it collapsed or how many — dead or alive — may still be trapped, but officials have said at least 150 people were in the factory when it came down. Over 30 people are feared to still be trapped under the rubble, rescue sources said. But most workers that survived dispute official figures and told PTUDC activists who reached the site that 500 workers used to work in two shifts and those trapped under the rubble cannot be less than four hundred. These included children as young as seven years old. Most workers were immigrants from the primitive rural south Punjab, notorious for its poverty and deprivation. The site of the collapse is cordoned off by heavy contingents of the police, and even the media has only very limited access to it. Most workers and their relatives believe that the real casualties are much higher.
The Dawn report says that investigators are said to be looking for evidence of negligence on the part of the owner of the factory or the government department responsible for regulating industrial activities. Multiple sources have confirmed that the accident could have been avoided had the owner heeded warnings.  Workers had warned the owner a few days ago about severe vibrations in the building when newly installed machines were switched on. On Wednesday, a witness said that workers again expressed their fears to the factory owner, but he took them inside the building to show that their apprehensions were unfounded.
This appalling incident is not an exception. Such disasters are common and occurring with an increasing frequency in the so called ‘emerging’ emerging economies of the developing or the undeveloped, ex-colonial world. Factory building collapses, fires that gut the factories and burn the workers to death or permanent disablement, assassinations by the owners’ goons or the reactionary bourgeois state are common. In Pakistan many such ‘accidents’ in which kill or mutilate workers go unreported. The elite and their stooges shed crocodile tears. Such events get minute and distorted coverage in the corporate media and then disappear from the screens soon after, with other non-issues conjured up to diffuse any possibility mass revolt or a spontaneous outburst of the workers against such heinous crimes of the greedy and callous capitalist class.
Most media analyses portray superficial causes for such disasters, and none dare to touch the system that is the fundamental cause of such bestial accidents that are the outcome of the lust for the corporate profits. Administrative lapses and lack of checks and controls by the state officials are cited as the basic causes of these corporate massacres. The rulers along with the filthily rich ‘philanthropists’ announce compensation for the families of the dead and wounded, and the media televises them exuding the sorrow they have for the victims, whose lives were agonising due to the blatant exploitation and coercion of their labour. In this Sunder industrial estate there are 435 factories, and not in one do the workers have any right to organize or form unions.
One of the verbal ‘concessions’ to the investors was that practically no ‘labour inspector’ would have access to the wages, conditions, and infrastructure of the industries in which this drudgery takes place. There are hardly any permanent employees in these factories and almost all the labour comprises of contract workers with no rights whatsoever. The maximum wages of the victims of this tragedy were Rs. 9000, when the official minimum wage announced by the democratic regime is Rs. 15000.  The vast number of children and women that work in these industries get between 3000 and 6000 in wages per month. No provisions for medical insurance, health facilities, accident compensation, pensions, provident funds, living quarters, or other basic human safety needs are present in this setup.
It’s not just the small industrial units where workers toil under coercion in such harrowing conditions, but now, increasingly, the huge multinational corporations like Nestle or Lever Brothers are resorting to contract labour and other anti-worker practises. With the crumbling economy, rapidly falling investment, and increasing deprivation, the labour market is glutted and unemployment is surging with catastrophic consequences for the workers. Even with interest rates almost zero the bourgeoisie is reluctant to invest. They have lost any trust in their own system. With the undocumented and criminal black economy burgeoning to thrice the size of the formal economy, it’s nearly impossible to genuinely assess and analyse Pakistan’s actual economic condition. This black economy of crime, drug trading, and other sinister businesses manifests itself in form of terrorism; a corrupt state, politicians, and criminals dominate among Pakistan’s elite.
Whatever industrialisation has taken place is of an extremely uneven and combined character. The lack of basic infrastructure, dilapidated buildings, and nonexistent safety provisions of these industrial units have led Pakistan’s main newspaper to dub these facilities ‘factories of death’. In the sixty -eight years of its existence, Pakistan has been a combination of extreme primitiveness featuring islands of the most advanced technology and machinery. The weak economic and financial basis of the bourgeois has ruled over such patterns of socioeconomic development, where the infrastructure is based on the imperialist patterns of earning maximum profits with minimal investments. The capitalists have neglected the social conditions and structures - they are totally inadequate to develop and modernise society. This factory collapse above all shows the weak investment in the structures of fixed and constant capital. Electricity supplies, power generation, water resources, canals, transportation, and other sectors of the physical infrastructure are in decay. The social infrastructures of health and education are even worse and declining rapidly. The bourgeois, on one hand doesn’t invest the necessary amounts to develop modern industry, while at the same time this capitalism is so sick and sclerotic that they can’t garner suitable rates of profits by running their enterprises. Hence they plunder the state, evade taxes, steal power and gas, and get their bank loans written off through the various regimes, military or civilian, where they really invest for their existence.
Their exploitation and robbery knows no bounds. They have plundered the state and society for generations and yet their lust for ‘more’ seems to be insatiable. They have completed none of the demands of the national democratic revolution. In fact, this primitiveness has been only more vulgarised by modernisation under the rotten Pakistani capitalism. This has created a cultural, moral, ethical, and social disaster in the country. The artificial rise of Islamic fundamentalism is the product of this sick modernisation and the vacuum created by the collapse of the left. The betrayal of the PPP and trade union leadership has further aggravated the plight of the working classes. However there have been innumerable struggles of the workers after the democratic counter-revolution of the PPP leaders in the wake of Benazir’s assassination and the withering of the mass uprising of 2007. There is no political party that represents the workers, peasants and the oppressed even in name.

The masses have lost all faith in this political superstructure and the workers and the youth in general despise politics. Yet there is a seething anger and revolt in the womb of society below the surface. Sooner rather than later this is bound to erupt with volcanic explosions. Events such as this gruesome murder of the workers in this polythene factory by these mean and callous capitalists can trigger a mass revolt. Such events are bound to occur. The question is not whether the youth and workers will rise in revolt or not. The issue is whether there will be a revolutionary force strong enough to provide a leadership and direction to such an upsurge. The lack of any illusions in any political party will make the character of such a movement much more militant and furious. No leadership will be in a position to deviate or betray the movement. But what is needed is to build a Marxist leadership and party, hardened and tempered in this arduous period and stark objective conditions, that can lead the revolutionary masses when they enter the arena of history to transform their destiny.

Allama Iqbal (علامہ اقبال) - Iqbal’s affiliation with the Ahmadiyya ideology

Perspective: The Ahmadiyya betrayal | Kunwar Khuldune Shahid
Left: M.A. Jinnah, Sir Zafrulla;(AHMADI MUSLIM) Right: Sir Zafrulla, Allama Iqbal

Anyone remotely familiar with the poetry of Dr Muhammad Iqbal would know of his multi-pronged flirtations with numerous – often paradoxical – ideologies, at the same time. From fluctuating between a poet and a preacher to being the torchbearer of theocracies and personal faith at the same time – from presenting a anti-capitalist case for theism through Vladimir Lenin in Lenin Khuda Ke Huzoor Mein to his appraisal for sultani, while ostensibly challenging the British Raj – from promoting a Pan-Islamist caliphate-lusting monolithic Muslim world spearheaded by the mard-e-momin (inspired by Friedrich Nietzsche’s übermenschen or superman) to propagating individualism through khudi (inspired by Nietzsche’s der Wille zur Macht or Will to Power) – Iqbal’s writing is brimming with beautifully phrased contradictions. Little wonder that one can find Islamists, secularists, democrats, autocrats, everyone quoting an Iqbal verse to forward – and substantiate – their viewpoint.

Iqbal’s staunch followers argue that these paradoxes are actually exhibits of philosophical evolution that the ‘Poet of the East’ manifested during various stages of his writing career. This assertion, however, doesn’t factor in inconsistencies found during the same epoch of Iqbal’s poetry, and quite often in the same book if not the same poem.

Just like his political and social ideological ‘pluralism’, Iqbal’s religious understanding was an amalgamation of a wide array of centrifugal – and centripetal – interpretations of Islam. A perfect implementation of ideas set in Iqbal’s The Reconstruction of Religious Thought in Islam touted as the ‘Bible of Modern Islam’ would be Tahirul Qadri’s recently launched “anti-ISIS, counterterrorism curriculum” in the UK, which relies on selective readings – and understanding – of Islamic scriptures. It could also be called the ‘Bible of Islam apologia’.

Islam’s journey from Sunni Islamism to Sufi Islam, also made a pit-stop at the Ahmadiyya ideology, something that has been heavily debated in the secret chambers of Two Nation Theory enthusiasts. “…in 1897, Sir Muhammad Iqbal took the (Ahmadiyya) pledge,” according to the Daily Nawa-i Waqt, Lahore, 15 November 1953. Ex-General Secretary of the Anjuman Himayat-i Islam, Lahore, Maulvi Ghulam Muhiy-ud-Din Qasoori, confirmed this during the Munir Enquiry. The Munir Report was crucial in sidelining the popular call for excommunication of Ahmadis in Pakistan following the 1953 anti-Ahmadiyya riots. The Munir Report confirmed that “neither Shias nor Sunnis nor Deobandis nor Ahl-i-Hadith nor Barelvis are Muslims, and any change from one view to the other must be accompanied in an Islamic State with the penalty of death, if the Government of the State is in the hands of the party which considers the other party to be kafirs.”

While Maulvi Ghulam Muhiy-ud-Din Qasoori’s assertion of Iqbal’s allegiance to the Ahmadiyya ideology proved to be pivotal in overcoming calls for judicial takfir, it was the same Iqbal whose essay The Muslim attitude towards the Ahmadiyya movement (1935) that presented the case for declaring ‘Qadianis’ a separate community, which was cited in the lead-up to the Second Amendment in 1974 ‘officially’ excommunicating the Ahmadis.

Iqbal had written: “The best course for the rulers of India is, in my opinion, to declare the Qadianis a separate community. This will be perfectly consistent with the policy of the Qadianis themselves, and the Indian Muslim will tolerate them just as he tolerates other religions.”

Whether Iqbal’s regression from labelling Ahmadiyya community “a true model of Islamic life” – as he had asserted in an Aligarh session – to their identification as a separate community altogether, was a corollary of Islamist pressure, or a result of theological self-reflection only he would’ve known best. For, only in 1931 Iqbal had played an instrumental role in the selection of Ahmadi leader Basheer-ud-Din Mahmood Ahmad as president of the All India Kashmir Committee.

The 1930s saw an upsurge in anti-Ahmadiyya protests among the Muslim community, with Jinnah being condemned as an infidel for his visits to the ‘Fazl Mosque’ in London, which was affiliated with the Ahmadiyya community. It was Maulana Abdur Rahmin Dard, the Ahmadiyya Imam who persuaded Jinnah to return to India and it was inside the ‘Fazl Mosque’ that he announced his decision to return. Jinnah staunchly defended the Ahmadis’ right to self-identify as Muslims, and stood by Sir Zafarullah Khan – Pakistan’s first foreign minister – whenever his religious identity was attacked to discredit his political acumen.

According to multiple literary sources, Iqbal regularly visited Qadian following his conversion to the Ahmadiyya ideology in 1897. When the founder of the ideology – who Iqbal had praised as “probably the profoundest theologian among modern Indian Muslims” in a paper written in 1900 – visited Sialkot in 1904 Iqbal, along with his friend Sir Fazli Husain, was in audience with him. While many believe that Iqbal formally left the Ahmadiyya ideology in 1908, his correspondence with the Ahmadi khalifas continued in the coming years. Before 1935 Iqbal had never exhibited any condemnation of, nay disagreement with, the Ahmadi ideology.

Iqbal’s parents are believed to have converted to the Ahmadiyya ideology, along with his elder brother Shaikh Ata Muhammad, which might have influenced his early affiliation with the ideology. Even though narrators suggest that Iqbal himself was inspired by the ‘reformist movement’ as he exhibited in his writings and recorded exchanges with many Ahmadi leaders during his lifetime.

Iqbal’s affiliation with the Ahmadiyya ideology is used by Islamists to discredit his work; and by his staunch followers as an exhibit of his ‘spiritual pluralism’. The actual remnants of the affiliation unfortunately self-manifests in the anti-Ahmadiyya bigotry that prevails in Pakistan – the country whose ideological founding father – and his blood relatives – were once affiliated with the Ahmadiyya ideology.

Iqbal’s critics have long debated over self-defeatism in his writings. With the same man being cited to maintain the faithfulness and infidelity of the same community, in 1953 and 1974 respectively, Pakistani Ahmadis are the most unfortunate emblem of Iqbal’s paradoxes.

Pakistan - (ISPR) Press Release - Not your place sir

Ali Malik 

Nawaz Sharif has tendencies to turn into an authoritarian ruler. We all know this. His past record has been indicative of this. And with the misfired rocket of the PTI now crashing in the Arabian Sea, he seems stronger and more confident to return to his old antics.
The Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) issued a press release following the corps commander’s meeting calling for improvement in governance. Barring indifference, one could take two approaches to this statement, one to hail it as a much needed wakeup call by a powerful institution of the country and the other to highlight that the statement was unwarranted and bordered on irrationality.
I, for one, believe that the Nawaz government has failed miserably on the governance front and that includes financial governance as well. The performance of provincial governments is not up to the mark either. But then, a few rational questions are needed for perspective. For one, when has governance been devoid of any complaints? Have we forgetten the era of the most recent czar, Musharraf, when two of the four provinces and federally held tribal areas were in a state of civil war and the country’s largest city was brewing for a three way civil war like conflict between Islamists, elements linked to the MQM and the state as per many local and international security assessments? Or was governance exemplary during the time of the mard-e-momin when bribery in the public sector became the norm, corruption was introduced to the political process through the doling out of grants and buying and selling of loyalties, drugs and guns permeated the streets, drug and arms money led to mass-scale money laundering and black economy, most sacred institutions of the nation were turned into land barons and the state sponsored a policy of stoking divisions on ethnic and sectarian lines. Khaki or civilian, Pakistan faces a governance crisis and the roots of it lie in the size of the economy and crisis of value in society. Both of these will take decades to correct and will require institutional building and the credibility of institutions. Statements such as the one issued only undermine the credibility of institutions and leads to conflict between institutions, which ultimately robs all of them of their credibility and legitimacy. It is about time institutions shun the power grab and focus on building institutional frameworks to increase the pie.
What makes this statement even more unwarranted is the fact that, based on media perception, the army is calling the shots in three of the four provinces of the country in the realm of not only security but also accountability and other areas of governance. Key officials related to corruption allegations in Sindh have not been nabbed by investigation agencies or the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) but by Rangers. Military courts and special courts give the army authority in the realm of judiciary even. And then the army has a dominant say in security and foreign affairs, which is directly linked to economic inflows, aid and key investments from the US and China. In this atmosphere, such statements not only undermine the civilian government but also undermine the state and ultimately army in the longer run. Also, the accusation and counter-accusation that will flow from here will damage all.
Then there is the issue of the ISPR’s selective activism. It remains very active in issuing public statements on Kerry Lugar, on governance and on the statements of political leaders but remains silent when media men make assertions that border on sympathising with terrorists while claiming to be insiders or when ex-generals publically implicate the army and the state as sympathiser or supporter of terrorism.
Above all, Nawaz Sharif has tendencies to turn into an authoritarian ruler. We all know this. His past record has been indicative of this. And with the misfired rocket of the PTI now crashing in the Arabian Sea, he seems stronger and more confident to return to his old antics. Preventing this will require a focused, unhindered effort on the part of society at large. The additional dimension of civil-military conflict will only dilute and discredit such an effort, strengthening Mr Sharif on his road to authoritarianism and will leave Pakistan with only two options: an authoritarian Sharif or a messiah in boots. These outcomes may sooth some Machiavellian ambitions but are disastrous for the nation, for the state, for society and for the army itself.
Men in uniform are patriots at heart and have the best interest of the nation. One cannot doubt that. But one can raise doubts on their judgment for it has proven to be disastrous many a time in the past. It will be good if they leave matters of governance and civilians to politicians and focus on what they do the best, which is strengthening the country’s defence and external security. Generals have every right to have an opinion on governance in the country and on the performance of governments as citizens of Pakistan. But this opinion should not transpire into an institutional opinion. And, above all, such communication between various organs of the state should take place in private. A sign of the mighty and powerful is subtlety and there is no bigger proof of invincibility than invisibility. You are the custodians of this country’s defence and represent a force of unity in this country. This, sirs, is not your place.

- #DiwaliWithBilawal: Chairman PPP Bilawal Bhutto ’s speech in Mithi

یپلز پارٹی کے چیئرمین بلاول بھٹو زرداری کا کہنا ہے کہ پنجاب میں ایک دوسرے کے دشمن سندھ میں پیپلز پارٹی کیخلاف دوست بن جاتے ہیں ، نیا نعرہ دیتے ہوئے کہاکہ ’نہ پیر جو نہ میر، ووٹ صرف تیر جو‘ ’نہ پیر جو نہ میر، ووٹ بے نظیر جو‘ ۔انہوں نے کہا کہ ایک طرف تو میاں صاحب ان کے راون ہیں،دوسری طرف بلے والے ہیں جو تبدیلی کا نعرہ لگاتے ہیں یہ سب یہاں محض دیدار کرنے آتے ہیں ۔مٹھی میں دیوالی کی تقریب سے خطاب کرتے ہوئے بلاول بھٹو نے کہا کہ یہاں وزیراعظم آئے تھے ،کچھ وعدے اور اعلانات کیئے اور پھر چلے گئے لیکن افسوس وہ وعدے وعدے ہی رہے ۔آج مٹھی کی عوام کی طرف سے پوچھتا ہوں میاں صاحب کیا ہوا ان اعلانات اور وعدوں کا ؟کچھ تو پیچھے چھوڑ کے جاتے ؟۔انہوں نے کہا کہ ایک طرف میاں صاحب آئے اور دوسری طرف راون ، میاں صاحب تھر کے لوگ آپ سے اپیل کرتے ہیں کہ آپ اس راون کو بھی آپ اپنے ساتھ لے جائیں ۔لیکن ہم جانتے ہیں آپ نہیں لے جا سکتے ،ہم اچھی طرح جانتے ہیں کہ یہ اچھا کام بھی پیپلز پارٹی تھر کے لوگوں کی معاونت سے کرے گی اور ایک بار پھر سے دیوالی منائیں گے ۔پنجاب میں ایک دوسرے کے دشمن سندھ میں پیپلز پارٹی کیخلاف دوست ہیں ۔الیکشن میں ایک ہی پوسٹر پر شیر اور بلے کی تصویر ہوتی ہے ۔یہ پیپلز پارٹی کیخلاف بدین ،ٹھٹھہ بے نظیر آباد ،ٹنڈو اللہ آباد اور عمر کوٹ میں اکٹھے ہو جاتے ہیں۔یہ سب اس لیئے آپس میں مل جاتے ہیں کیونکہ پیپلز پارٹی غریبوں اور ہاریوں کی بات کرتی ہے ، نوجوانوں ، طلبہ ،پسے ہوئے طبقات،عورتوں اور اقلیتوں کے حقوق کی بات کرتی ہے۔پیپلز پارٹی عوام کی بات کرتی ہے اور یہ سب عوام اور غریب کے دشمن ہیں ۔انہوں نے کہا کہ یہ عورتوں اور اقلیتوں کو غلام بنا کر رکھنا چاہتے ہیں ،یہ اندھیروں کے پجاری اور ہم روشنیوں کے امین ہیں۔بلاول بھٹو کا مزید کہنا تھا کہ پچھلی بار لاڑکانہ میں ہندو دوستوں کے ساتھ دیوالی منائی اس دفعہ یہاں منا رہا ہوں ،کچھ سیاستدان سندھ کے علاقوں کراچی اور عمر کوٹ میں دیوالی منانے آئے ہیں انہیں خوش آمدید کہتے ہیں لیکن انہیں ووٹ نہیں ملیں گے۔علاوہ ازیں بلاول بھٹو

Bilawal Bhutto attended a Diwali function in Mithi

Chief of Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Bilawal Bhutto Zardari attended a Diwali function in Mithi, where Hindu worshippers also performed ‘aarti’ on him.
In his appearance at a public meeting in Mithi, Bilawal referred to PML-N and PTI, saying ‘lion’ and ‘bat’, were enemies in Punjab but they become friends in Sindh.
Bilawal Bhutto chanted slogan in favour of PPP and Benazir Bhutto (late).
He appealed masses to vote for ‘arrow’ – electoral symbol of the PPP – assuring that  doing so will bring freedom to the people,