Tuesday, November 17, 2015

French Music - Indila - S.O.S

Video - Paris Attacks: French and British fans sing La Marseillaise together at Wembley Stadium

Video - Clashes as Greece marks uprising anniversary

When terror strikes, Saudi Arabia evades responsibility

Laila Lalami

We cannot defeat IS without defeating Wahhabi theology. And that means spending as much effort in defending liberal ideas..

What happened in Paris on November 13 has happened before, in a shopping district of Beirut on November 12, in the skies over Egypt on October 31, at a cultural centre in Turkey on July 20, a beach resort in Tunisia on June 26 – and nearly every day in Syria for the last four years.

The scenario is by now familiar to all of us. News of the killings will appear on television and radio. There will be cries of horror and sorrow, a few hashtags on Twitter, perhaps even a change of avatars on Facebook. Our leaders will make staunch promises to bring the terrorists to justice, while also claiming greater power of surveillance over their citizens. And then life will resume exactly as before.

Except for the victims' families. For them, time will split into a Before and After. We owe these families, of every race, creed, and nationality, more than sorrow, more than anger. We owe them justice.

We must call to account Islamic State, a nihilistic cult of death that sees the world in black and white, with no shades of grey in between.

We must call to account Bashar al-Assad, whose response to peaceful protesters in the spring of 2011 was to send water cannons and military tanks to meet them.

We must call to account the governments of the United States, France, Britain, Russia, Iran, and many others, which lent support and succour to tyrant after tyrant in the Middle East and North Africa, and whose interventions appear to create 10 terrorists for every one they kill.

We must call to account George W. Bush and Dick Cheney, whose disastrous invasion of Iraq in 2003 and subsequent disbanding of the Iraqi army destabilised the entire region.

We must call to account the Saudi kings – Salman, Abdullah, and Fahd – whose funding of Wahhabi doctrine gave rise to the scourge of Islamic extremism.

When I was a child in Morocco, no clerics told me what to do, what to read or not read, what to believe, what to wear. And if they did, I was free not to listen. Faith was more than its conspicuous manifestations. But things began to change in the 1980s. It was the height of the Cold War and Arab tyrants saw an opportunity: they could hold on to power indefinitely by repressing the dissidents in their midst – most of them secular leftists – and by encouraging the religious right wing, with tacit or overt approval from the US and other Western allies.
Into the void created by the decimation of the Arab world's secular left, the Wahhabis stepped in, with almost unlimited financial resources. Wahhabi ideas spread throughout the region, not because they have any merit – they don't – but because they were and remain well funded. We cannot defeat IS without defeating the Wahhabi theology that birthed it. And to do so would require spending as much effort and money in defending liberal ideas.
I am a novelist. Every year, I spend a great deal of my time giving readings or lectures at which, almost unfailingly, I am asked about Islam and Muslims and the wars now consuming the Middle East. I try to explain and contextualise, remind people about history and politics, bring in some culture and art into the mix. But every few months, when another terrorist attack happens, the work I do seems to be for nothing. What chance does someone like me have when compared with the power of well-funded networks?

The beheadings, the crucifixions, the destruction of cultural heritage that IS practices – none of these are new. They all happened, and continue to happen, in Saudi Arabia too. The government of Saudi Arabia has beheaded more people this year than IS. It persecutes Shias and atheists. It has slowly destroyed sites of cultural and religious significance around Mecca and Medina.
Illustration: John Spooner
Illustration: John Spooner
To almost universal indifference, it has been bombing Yemen for seven months. Yet whenever terror strikes, it escapes notice and evades responsibility. In this, it is aided and abetted by Western governments, who buy oil from tyrants and sell them weapons, while paying lip service to human rights.

I have no patience any more for people who claim that Muslims do not speak out. They do, every day. Muslims are the primary victims of IS, and its primary resisters. It is an insult to every one of the hundreds of thousands of Muslim victims of terrorism to lump them with the lunatics who commit terror. The truth is that IS unleashes its nihilistic violence on anyone – Muslim, Christian or Jew; believer or unbeliever – who doesn't subscribe to their cult.

I wish I could do something for the victims of terrorist violence. But I am a writer; words are all I have. And all I know is that I want, with all my heart, to preserve and celebrate what IS wishes to destroy: a multi-ethnic, multi-religious, multi-cultural life.

We Just Sold Another Billion Dollars Worth of Weapons to Our Frenemies in Saudi Arabia

As part of its ongoing effort to promote "stability within the region," the United States inked another giant arms deal with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on Monday. This one was for more than 10,000 advanced air-to-surface munitions like laser-guided bombs, "bunker buster" bombs, and MK84 general purpose bombs—which the Saudis have been raining down on Yemen since March. The deal, reached a week after members of the Gulf Cooperation Council raised concerns over its dwindling arms stockpiles and a few days after the end of the Dubai Airshow, is worth $1.29 billion.
That's a small fraction of the more than $100 billion in arms sales that Washington and Riyadh have conducted in the past five years. And it comes just over a month after a Senate panel voted to delay weapons sales to Saudi Arabia after growing concerns over its reportedly indiscriminate bombing campaign in Yemen. The conflict between the US-backed, Saudi-led coalition against antigovernment rebels has caused more than 2,300 civilian deaths, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.
The latest deal, which comes just days after the ISIS terrorist attack in Paris, highlights the Saudis' balancing act: On one hand, the ruling House of Saud is part of the coalition conducting air strikes against ISIS in Syria and Iraq, but it has also been accused of harboring funders who have given aid to ISIS as recently as the summer of 2014. And the kingdom's history of exporting its Wahhabist strain of Sunni Islam has had worldwide implications. Writing in Foreign Policy, Daniel Benjamin, a former State Department coordinator for counterterrorism, has called Wahhabism "a devastating invasive species in Islam's enormous ecosystem—it's the zebra mussel, the Asian Tiger mosquito, and the emerald ash borer wrapped into one." He continues: "The consequences have been fateful: A solid line of causation from the slaughter in Islamic State-controlled Iraq and the tragedy of 9/11 traces back directly to Saudi evangelization and the many radical mosques and extremist NGOs it spawned."
The Saudis problematic relationship with extremism isn't news. In US embassy cables leaked by Wikileaks, then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton wrote in 2009, "Donors in Saudi Arabia constitute the most significant source of funding to Sunni terrorist groups worldwide." She said that the United States needed to keep encouraging the Saudi government to do more to stop "the flow of funds from Saudi Arabia-based sources to terrorists and extremists worldwide." The cables also list Qatar, Kuwait, and the United Arab Emirates as major sources of money for militants. These three nations are part of the Saudi Arabia-led coalition in  Yemen, and each has bought weapons from the United States, including guided missiles andApache helicopters (to Qatar), Sniper Advanced Targeting Pods for their F/A-18s (to Kuwait), and guided bombsa lot of them (to the UAE).
In the aftermath of the Paris attacks, Charlie Pierce of Esquire called for the United States to change its stance on its "Middle Eastern 'allies'—the states and bankers and political elites—who persist in funding mass murder." He argues that this means cutting off not just the money trail, but also arms. "It goes without saying, but we'll say it anyway—not another bullet will be sold to you, let alone advanced warplanes, until this act gets cleaned up to our satisfaction. If that endangers your political position back home, that's your problem, not ours. You are no longer trusted allies."
The Saudis have been staunch US allies since World War II. Should the renewed push to defeat ISIS force a reassessment of that relationship?

Video - Secretary Kerry: We're going to eliminate ISIS

Video - John Kerry on Paris Attacks praises the "extraordinary response and courage of the French people"

Video - Remarks by the President and Prime Minister Turnbull in Manila

Video - President Obama Delivers Remarks in Manila Harbor

The Middle East after the Arab Spring, more divided than ever

Experts at the Institute of Oriental Studies at the Russian Academy of Sciences presented an analysis of conflicts in the Middle East and North Africa. The main causes of these conflicts appear to be deeply divided local societies rather than external factors.
The article is first published in Russian by the Russian International Affairs Council.
In a collective monograph entitled "Conflicts and Wars of the 21st Century", the Institute of Oriental Studies at the Russian Academy of Sciences examined the development of conflict situations in the Middle East and North Africa.
The authors looked at the age-old conflicts (the situation in Lebanon and Iraq, the situation around the Western Sahara, the Islamic factor in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict), as well as the issues behind the formation and evolution of new hotbeds of new tensions, born as a result of the Arab Spring. These latter conflicts include Libya, Syria, Egypt, Yemen, Algeria, and two sub-regional situations – in the Persian Gulf and the Maghreb countries.
The monograph presents a multi-faceted picture of the Middle East situation after the Arab Spring. This is evidenced by the very logic of the layout of this book, which is composed of three sections – “Regional and Global Picture,” “A New Dimension to Long-Standing Armed Confrontations,” and “Birth of the Arab Spring.”
The study also raises issues related to the economic impact of the Arab Spring and the “archaization” of Middle Eastern and North African societies.
Middle East and North Africa: What is the essence of the conflict?
In comparison with earlier works by the Institute of Oriental Studies at the Russian Academy of Sciences, this edition not only looks at materials across a longer period of time, but also includes new themes and twists.
The first section analyzes the economic implications of the transformations that have taken place in the Middle East. According to Alexander Filonik, author of the chapter “The Arab Economy: External Threats and Internal Challenges,” the detonator of the current Middle East conflict was economic imbalances, the economic vulnerability of “capital-deficient countries” (the most striking example is Syria), and only in the last instance – “the provoking of conflicts by outside forces.”
Another idea that seems indisputable is that of Irina Zvyagelskaya (“Archaization and Conflicts in the Middle East”) about the imposing of “rules, which are able to deprive a state of its raison d’être... replacing real goal setting by myths and pseudo-historical nonsense, to fragment any society and lead it to disaster.”
The quality of this monograph rests, in particular, on the analysis of two sub-regional situations, which previously have not been studied in depth. At the same time, demonstrated is both the stability of the monarchical regimes in the Persian Gulf region and the instability generated by the Arab Spring (Elena Melkumyan). There is also consideration of the reasons for the fundamentally different responses to regional and international challenges in the Maghreb countries – Libya, Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco (Vasily Kuznetsov).
The first section also includes chapters by Vitaly Naumkin (“Islamic Radicalism and External Interference in Deeply Divided Societies of the Middle East”) and Dina Malysheva (“Conflict in the Middle East, in the Context of the Changing International Political Environment”).
The main thing that should be emphasized is the unity of the group of authors in their efforts to show the internal causes of conflicts and wars. Of course, this does not mean that in the book they ignore external influences as factors that have promoted socio-political conflagrations in the Middle East and North Africa.
Nevertheless, most authors believe that these factors were not the root cause of the Arab Spring, but were only superimposed on the more significant internal circumstances – the deeply divided local societies.
According to Naumkin, “The level of violence during internal conflicts, the extent of radicalization and the potential of the Islamist movement is higher in the Middle East... in those societies that can be considered as deeply divided and had become the objects of... outside interference.” This view is also expressed by Malysheva.

Also read: Russia Direct Report: 'Russia's New Strategy in the Middle East'

Conflicts in countries, conflicts around countries
It would seem that this subject of long-standing conflicts in the regional areas of ​​the Middle East and North Africa by now could be considered as exhausted. The contribution made to the description of these conflicts is actually reduced to the introduction into circulation of new facts confirming their continued state of stagnation.
However, this is at first glance. In reading the monograph by the Institute of Oriental Studies, one learns that some of these conflicts are still insufficiently described by historians. A realistic analysis of the situation in the region is offered by the authors of chapters included in the second section of the book: Alexey Sarabyev (“The Situation in Lebanon”), Ildar Minyazhetdinov (“Balkanization of Iraq”), Sergei Serebrov (“Revolution and Conflict in Yemen”), and Maria Volodina (“Western Sahara”).
Moreover, in the chapter “The Islamic Factor in the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict,” Alexander Demchenko offers his take on a key element in the Arab-Israeli conflict, which is often not analyzed in detail by other researchers.
The third section of the monograph is devoted to the countries where the Arab Spring took place. These include chapters by Irina Mokhova (on the change in the position of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt), Alexey Podtserob (on the intra-Libyan conflict after the overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi), Boris Dolgov (on the Syrian conflict) and Vladimir Akhmedov (on the armed Islamist opposition in the Syrian uprising). This section also includes a chapter, written by Mr. Dolgov, on the conflict between the government and the Islamist opposition in Algeria in the 1990s.
The absence in this section of a chapter on Tunisia is fully compensated for by the “Tunisian” conclusions, which can be found in the chapter by Kuznetsov. The presence of two Syrian articles is justified by the fact that they deal with different aspects of the crisis, but then again, the inclusion of an Algerian chapter seems rather artificial. We believe that this would have been more appropriate in the first section of the monograph, but only if it were presented in a theoretical context. Moreover, some articles of the third section, like in the preceding one, raise some questions.
Reflections and objections
Formed under the influence of many factors, Russia’s view on the situation in Iraq comes from the fact that the only reason for the continuing violence in the country was the American-led military intervention in March 2003. This view, on the whole, is shared by Minyazhetdinov. Undoubtedly, the entrance of U.S. Armed Forces, and their subsequent actions as the “occupying power,” subsequently destroyed the balance of power that existed in Iraq, opening the possibility for new competition arising between ethnic and religious groups, and their representative parties and movements.
Nevertheless, the author of the article also stresses that at the time of the American invasion (and much earlier), Iraqi society was composed of a diverse ethno-confessional clan and tribal structure, and government bodies were imposed over the traditional clan and tribal system and tribal institutions. In other words, during the existence of the Iraqi state, a unified “national” social bond was never formed in society, and an external force took advantage of this to solve its own problems.
If numerous warring Iraqi elite had been unable to reach consensus on the future of their country, if their actions (even after the withdrawal of U.S. troops) had Balkanized Iraq, if during the period of external control, each of these groups fought for favors of the “occupation administration,” what should be viewed as the root causes of the continuing anarchy and instability? In any case, the cause was not the U.S. invasion, even if the “occupation administration” had really made countless mistakes.
It is worth noting that all of the authors of the third section (except Podtserob and Dolgov) were only interested in certain aspects of the Arab Spring events, although, of course, these were important. Analysis of their development in various country-specific versions makes no sense. This approach is justified – and works have already been written on Egypt, as well as on Syria, concerning the emergence of local revolutions. However, the question that immediately arises: Do the authors really believe that these events can be considered as revolutions?
Mokhova (who wrote about the evolution of the Muslim Brotherhood in “post-revolutionary” Egypt) has a positive answer to this question, and the roll back of the revolution to its original point becomes obvious. She writes about the political transformation of Egypt, which, even if it did not return back to the era of the Republic of Egypt under Hosni Mubarak, still put an end to the expectations and hopes of 2011.
Moreover, the most important conclusion of the author is this: “The actions of the Brotherhood and of the military showed there was an absence of ‘political pluralism’ in Egypt, a country that, in comparison with other countries of the Arab world, took almost the longest time to complete the path to modernization.”
Mokhova posed an even more important question: To what extent can the Western model of democracy be applied to non-Western societies with different political cultures, traditions, and worldviews? From this, it follows that the time after 1952, when in Egypt, also as a result of a military coup, Gamal Abdel Nasser to power, was an era of archaism, which radically changed society, its behavior and political leanings.
Neither Podtserob nor Dolgov (in his “Syrian” chapter) lean towards a positive answer to the question: Can we consider the events in Libya and Syria as revolutions? Podtserob notes that these “Arab Troubles” destroyed “the once prosperous Jamahiriya”. Again, according to Dolgov, even though there are internal problems present in Syria, the main reasons for the continuing crisis are external factors – namely, the “support provided to armed anti-government groups by outside forces that are trying to use the Syrian internal conflict for the realization of their own strategic goals.”
This view is derived from the current Russian position on the situation in Libya and Syria. However, does it correspond to the idea of a deeply divided society? If we consider the interference of external forces as being the main factor in internal conflicts and wars, then why in this connection, for example, we do not consider the role of other external actors in Syria, including Iran and pro-Iranian forces? Why not analyze the Syrian direction of Russia’s foreign policy? However, the bias towards “external forces” is successfully compensated for by the thoughtful analysis of the situation in Syria made in the chapter written by Akhmedov.
We have to admit that the authors of this study were not fully able to convey the principle of internal factors as being primary in causing the wars and conflicts in the Middle East and North Africa. Now, is the reason behind the actual conflicts themselves? Probably not, because the authors have shown their own, not always coinciding, preferences that determine their views on the issues that they have analyzed.
However, this does not mean that the quality of that monograph is placed into question, especially since unanimity in any scientific work is impossible and even dangerous. On the contrary, the absence of this unanimity makes this new edition, put out by the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences, worthy for a wide range of readers.
Today, it not only gives the most complete picture of the situation in North Africa and the Middle East, but also makes one think, and challenges the views of its authors on the issues that are of fundamental importance for the whole world.

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Video - CrossTalk: Terror over Sinai

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US intentionally spare ISIS in Syria, want terrorists to weaken Assad – Russian FM

The US and its allies are playing a dangerous game in Syria as they count on Islamic State to weaken President Bashar Assad, but at the same time don’t want the terror group to seize power in the country, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said.
Despite announcing ambitious plans for its coalition against Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL), “the analysis of those [US-led] airstrikes during over a year lead to conclusion that they were hitting selectively, I would say, sparingly and on most occasions didn’t touch those IS units, which were capable of seriously challenging the Syrian army,” Lavrov told the Rossiya 1 channel.
The Russian FM called Washington’s actions in Syria a “dangerous game,” making it hard to determine America’s true aims in Syria.
“Apparently, it’s a kind of a ‘honey is sweet, but the bee stings’ situation: they want IS to weaken Assad as soon as possible to make him leave somehow, but at the same time they don’t want to overly strengthen IS, which may then seize power,” he explained.
The US stance “seriously weakens the prospects of Syria to remain a secular state, where the rights of all ethnic and religious groups will be provided and guaranteed,” Lavrov added.
According to the minister, Russia’s assessment of the US-led anti-terror operation in Syria “is based on observations of specific results and there are little results, not to say there are none – except the fact that during this period [since August 2014] the Islamic State has grown on the territories they control.”
He also said that Western claims that Russia’s air forces have been hitting peaceful civilians in Syria are “groundless.”
“We… are doing this (conducting air-strikes) in a step-by-step manner and don’t divide terrorists into those that could help us solve some tactical problems in the hope that they would be dealt with later, but hit everybody, who profess and preach the terrorist ideology,” Lavrov stressed. 

Also on Tuesday, the Russian foreign minister visited the French embassy in Moscow to express condolences over the Islamic State attacks in Paris last week, in which at least 129 lives were lost and over 350 people were wounded.

“The barbaric Islamic State plots must be prevented. Our sorrow, our anger should help put aside all secondary issues and unite the efforts of Russia, France and all other countries in the merciless fight against terrorism, forming a truly global military coalition,” Lavrov wrote in the Book of Condolence. 
Earlier in the day, Russia’s security services confirmed that the crash of the Russian A321 jet over Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula in late October was caused by a terror attack, as traces of explosives have been found in the wreckage of the plane.Islamic State has claimed responsibility for downing the aircraft, in which 224 passengers and crew were killed.
Moscow announced that it is now going to use its fleet of 25 long-range bombers to double the number of airstrikes against IS and other terror groups.

Video - Zulfikar Ali Bhutto's Speech

Bilawal tells 'Uncle' Imran that politics and wisdom are not dependent on age

Video - Bilawal Bhutto Speech in Badin - 17th November 2015

Bilawal Bhutto Speech in Badin - 17th November... by Aman_Asif

#TeerChalayGa #ppp - Dila Teer Bija - LONG LIVE BHUTTOISM !!!

Pakistan - Bilawal Bhutto’s historical reception a candid manifest of everlasting Bhuttoism

Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Sindh chapter Secretary Information Waqar Mehdi and Karachi Division Secretary Information Syed Manzoor Abbas said that the historical reception of PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari at Badin, Thatta, Sujawal and Mithi has foiled all conspiracies that were hatched against the PPP. This historical reception by the masses is an undeniable proof of peoples’ trust in PPP leadership.
In a statement issued from the PPP Media Cell Sindh, they said it was not just a historical reception of Bilawal Bhutto Zardari but was also a candid manifest that they need no time-serving so-called leaders except the PPP. No other so-called leader could ever produce such a gigantic political canvass in Sindh except the PPP.
They said that the anti-PPP forces should better translate that historical reception as election sweeping gesture for the second phase of local government polls because the people of Sindh have following the first phase of local government polls manifested their aspirations that they are with the PPP.
They said that anti-PPP forces that never ceased to claim the PPP and Bhuttoism had disappeared from Sindh should now realise that the PPP and Bhuttoism do exist in the province with full force. The floods of the masses to see a glimpse of their beloved leader Bilawal Bhutto Zardari is a concrete testament that “Bhutto has lived in hearts of the people yesterday and would live forever”.

Bilawal Bhutto - Arrow has become a symbol of victory of weak over powerful, justice over injustice and right over wrong

Bilawal Bhutto Zardari Chairman Pakistan Peoples Party has said that electoral symbol Arrow has become a symbol of victory of weak over powerful, justice over injustice and right over wrong and invincibility of PPP is a writings on the wall in the second and third phases of local government elections.

PPP Chairman was talking to former Interior Minister and President PPP Overseas Senator Rehman Malik who called on him at Bilawal House today.

Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said that PPP has never entered into seat adjustment or electoral alliance with any banned organizations or their off-shoots in the local bodies election or any other electoral exercise. “Any one from the Party found in any such adjustment, even in his individual capacity will not be spared,” he added.
Chairman Bilawal Bhutto further stated that all the PPP candidates were contesting elections on Party symbol arrow and they should be voted to serve the people while others contesting on different electoral symbols are opponents, hence must be defeated.

Senator Rehman Malik discussed political situation, especially the local government elections and also apprised him about PPP Overseas organizational matters.


#BadinSirfBhuttoKa - Kal Bhi Bhutto Zinda Tha Aaj Bhi Bhutto Zinda Hai..

I am born politician: Bilawal Bhutto

The Chairperson Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has termed the PPP as nursery for politicians adding that those who advising him to learn politics should realize the fact that he is a born politician.

He maintained that transformation in the country could be brought with the sacrifices instead of false slogans and people fully aware of the sacrifices which were rendered by PPP forrestoration of democracy and standing steadfast against dictatorship.
He expressed these views while addressing a big gathering after leading electioneering rally of party leaders, workers and supporters from Golarchi to Badin here on Tuesday
Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said he is the son of Benazir Bhutto and will continue his struggle for the rights of the common people of the country.
He claimed that the opponent will face historic defeat in the local government elections on November 19 as the people will elect the PPP candidates with thumping majority.
Badin is the stronghold of PPP and the people of this district always expressed confidence in the party leadership, he said and added that it was his first visit of Badin, the district where the people always given love and respects to Bhuttos.
Earlier, on arrival at Golarchi, some 30 kilometers from here, the PPP Chairperson was accorded warm welcome and brought to Allahwal Chowk of Badin town in a big motorcade rally.
The PPP Chairperson Bilawal Bhutto Zardari addressed the gathering on the same truck which was in use of former Prime Minister Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto at the time of Karsaz blasts.
Special security arrangements were made for the security of the PPP Chairperson during his visit to Badin.


Terrorist Islamic State in Pakistan - The Ease Of Denial

In the wake of the horrific Paris attacks the world has been once again forced to confront the Daesh question – how dangerous are they, how wide is their influence, and how do we stop them. In that vein the Foreign Office has ruled out the presence of Islamic State (IS) in the country, saying no one could be allowed to maintain link with the terrorist organization from Pakistani soil. As a statement of resolve, the Foreign Secretary Aizaz Ahmed Chaudhry’s views – given in an interview on Sunday – are acceptable and carry the tone that the situation demands. Yet, as a statement of fact, the interview is not only incorrect but misleading and ultimately harmful.
The Islamic State is present in Pakistan; there can be no doubt about this. The Safoora Goth attack, in which 35 people lost their lives, is believed by investigating authorities to be carried out by local operatives of IS. The link between the attack and the group has been acknowledged by both government and military personal; how can Aizaz Ahmed claim that it doesn’t exist. Much more tangible evidence of the group’s presence has been found too. Wall chalking bearing the group’s name have appeared in Peshawar and nearby cities, propaganda pamphlets – in Pashto and Dari - with the group’s logo have been found in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and recruiters for the group have been arrested in Lahore. The group may not be as influential as it is in other countries like Iraq, Syria, Turkey and Libya, and it may be way down in the pecking order of militants group in Pakistan, but it is present – denial will only lead to a false sense of security.
Creating a false sense of security seems to be the government’s policy regarding the group. Downplaying the IS threat has been the default response of the government to any news about the group’s activities in Pakistan, whatever the merit or veracity of the report. Trying to avoid panic and maintaining investor confidence are important goals, but they must not come at the price of security loophole. By denying IS’ presence in Pakistan the government is compromising vigilance. The law enforcement, the government, the secure agencies and even the common man will keep a lookout for other threats, believing the Islamic State is a distant menace, allowing the group to extend even further.
The hierarchy of terrorist organizations in the region – headed by the Taliban and the Al-Qaeda – is crumbling. Factions and splinter groups are appearing faster than they can be tackled. The only symbol of constancy is the Islamic State, whose stock has only gone higher with such a high-profile attack. Now is the time to be vigilant.

#SayNoToTerrorism: PPP Social Media Punjab Holds vigil for peace

Pakistan peoples Party Social Media Punjab on Today (Tuesday) held a protest demonstration and a candle vigil outside Lahore Press Club to condemn international terrorism and to show its solidarity with the victims of the terrorist attacks in Paris, in which 129 people were killed.

Head Social Media Ms Jahanara M Wattoo led the protest while other representatives of Social Media Punjab, Peoples Youth Organization (PYO), Peoples Students Federation (PSF), Peoples Labour Wing, Human Rights Wing and civil society were also present there. Prominent among the participants were Sohail Malik, Mian Waheed, Mian Ayub, Junaid Qaiser, Ahsan Abbas Shah, Zeeshan Baig Shami, Imran Shah, Noveen Bukhari, Musarat Sidiqqui, Musa Khokhar, Nayer Hussain Jutt, Hafiz Ashraf, Mani PehlwaN, Giffson Sabir and others.
Addressing the protest, Ms Jahanara M Wattoo said that there was no option except to battle terrorism in the country, and the only party standing against terrorism was the PPP with clear-cut stance.

Sh has said that the PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari was the first leader who raised slogan “Taliban Ka Jo Yaar hai, Ghaddar hai”. And Our leaders sacrificed their lives for Pakistan, we lost Shaheed Benazir Bhutto because of terrorism. The PPP and its leadership was very clear right from the outset to defeat the scourge of terrorism. Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari’s unequivocal stance against terrorism and extremism right from the beginning was marked with clarity and the recent swinging of the public opinion and the rest of the political forces to his stand vindicated his vision that the evil could only be tackled by taking on the militants on their turf, she added.

She maintained that it was time to get united against terrorism and defeat this evil, otherwise they will continue killing our defenseless children while they learn.
Other who addressed the rally were Sohail Malik, Mian Abdul Wahid,  Naseer Ahmed and others.
The candle vigil participants were carrying banners and placards bearing inscriptions “Say No to Terrorism”, “Stay United Against Terrorism”, “Raise Your Voice Against Terrorism”, and “Dehshat Gardo Ka Jo Yar Hai Ghdar Hai Ghdar Hai”.

The participants also chanted slogans against terrorists.