Friday, May 27, 2016

Pashto Music - Sardar Ali Takkar - Khudaya walay

Bilawal Bhutto - Electricity crises being created to divert attention from Panama Leaks

Bilawal Bhutto Zardari Chairman Pakistan Peoples Party has accused the Federal government of deliberately creating electricity crisis to victimize the people and divert their attention from the Panama Leaks and other misdeeds of the Sharif government in the whole country, special in Sindh and its capital city Karachi.
In a press statement issued Tuesday, the PPP Chairman said that electricity need of the country was 23,700 megawatt while the total power generation capacity was 23,600 thus practically there was a meager shortfall of just 100 megawatt.
“But the Federal government and its electric companies were inflicted an artificial shortfall of 7,000mw upon the people during the severe heatwave the country is undergoing nowadays,” he added.
He said that Nawaz Sharif government paid hundreds of billions rupees circular debt and, in some cases, the extra payments were made to the IPPs but still it was imposed artificial load-shedding on the consumers to burn them in the scorching heat.
Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said that providing electricity is a state function as per our constitution and the world over it remains the same but the PML-N government was targeting the people with unannounced load-shedding and mock power breakdowns, which should be vehemently condemned by every Pakistani. He further said that Sindh province was producing surplus electricity but its length and breadth have been subjected to unbearable load-shedding by PML-N government.
He condemned the attitude of K-Electric, which means only minting money and fleecing the people of Karachi without supplying electricity. “K-Electric has capacity 1,800mw and 1,000mw supply from other resources including IPPs and WAPDA. But it generates only 400mw through gas-fired power plants and has practically shut down its Furnance Oil power plants to save billions of rupees in profits while Karachittes burn under fire-spitting son,” he added.
Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said that old areas of Karachi including Lyari, Kharadar, Keamari and other poor localities are specially targeted with 8-12 hours of load-shedding. Residents of Lyari were even compelled to hold a Dharna outside K-Electric office yesterday against the discriminatory attitude of the concerned authorities.
PPP Chairman said he was informed that K-Electric has switching to use of silver cables instead of copper, which don’t pick much load thus multiplying the electricity crisis.
He also warned K-Electric, HESCO and SEPCO to stop issuing over-billing to the consumers and improve their performance without any delay. Otherwise, the people won’t tolerate this victimization and come out on roads against them.

What Does the US Killing Mullah Mansour Inside Pakistan Mean?

By Mohammad Taqi

It is one thing for the US officials to describe Pakistan as the ‘ally from hell’ and its policies as ‘duplicitous’ and quite another to actually remove any doubt about it bytaking out Mullah Akhtar Mansour right on Pakistani soil.
Mullah Mansour was the Afghan Taliban’s current emir, a graduate of the Haqqaniah seminary located about an hour’s drive from the Pakistan army’s General Headquarters and Pakistan’s handpicked successor to their previous leader Mullah Muhammad Omar. Pakistan’s military leaders, who have a chokehold on the country’s foreign and national security policies, were caught yet again with their hand in the cookie jar.
This past weekend a US drone strike killed Mullah Mansour near Nushki in Pakistan’s Balochistan province where he was likely en route to his usual abode near the provincial capital Quetta.
Five years earlier the US had eliminated the al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden in a raid right next to Pakistan’s premier military academy in Abbottabad. The key difference between the two attacks is that Pakistan’s current army chief General Raheel Sharif has been reassuring both his countrymen and the world that his outfit has changed tack and is fighting terrorism of all shades.
The fact is that Pakistan’s army under General Raheel Sharif has continued to harbor transnational jihadist terrorists like Mullah Mansour and his even more lethal lieutenant Sirajuddin Haqqani, without a pause. Mullah Mansour was chosen as the emir of the Taliban in Kuchlak, which is about half an hour drive from Quetta, in an open assembly under the auspices of the Pakistani intelligence apparatus. Like Abbottabad, Quetta is also a major garrison city and is home to the Pakistaniarmy’s Command Staff College, its XII Corps, military selection and recruitment center and the regional office of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) Directorate.
A highly active Pakistan Air Force flying base is located at Samungli right outside Quetta. More importantly, the Balochistan province has been under a complete control of the army and the Frontier Corps (FC), which have been conducting a particular brutal and dirty war against the secular Baloch separatists for years. The province, especially Quetta, has been a no-go area for foreign media and journalists for over a decade now. The veteran New York Times correspondent and author of the book The Wrong Enemy: America in Afghanistan, 2001-2014, Carlotta Gall was physically beaten up by the intelligence goons when she was reporting on the Taliban activities there. Even the US diplomats are not at liberty to visit Balochistan at will.
It is simply inconceivable that Mullah Mansour could have lived large in Balochistan and was appointed the Taliban leader without the Pakistani army’s knowledge, approval and patronage. It is necessary to remember that the Pakistani army is a highly-disciplined organization and the ISI is part and parcel with the ISI chief showing up at domestic and foreign engagements with General Raheel Sharif. The buck for harboring Mullah Mansour stops at General Raheel Sharif’s desk not at any lowly intelligence thug. And the question of any rogue elements within the army or its ISI Directorate does not arise because insubordination has never been tolerated in the military’s 69-year history. Pakistan’s army has dealt with rouge orrebellious elements within its ranks swiftly and sternly.
While some in Pakistan are trying to spin the Mullah Mansour assassination as some sort of cooperation between the US and Pakistan, where the latter tipped off the Americans because the Taliban leader was averse to peace talks, it actually smacks of distrust the size of the Grand Canyon. Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has already conceded that the US officials informed him and General Raheel Sharif of the attack after the fact. The complete radio silence for 3 days from the Pakistani army’s otherwise hyperactive spokesman General Asim Bajwa also indicates that they were stumped and stunned by the strike in an area not too far from where Pakistan had tested its nuclear weapons in 1998. The US had not informed Pakistan of the bin Laden raid either, and rightly so.
While over half a dozen key members of the Haqqani Network (HQN) have been killed in over 90 drone attacks directed against the group, its leader Sirajuddin has managed to escape several times thanks to his Pakistani patrons tipping him off.
Pakistan managed to keep secret not only Mullah Omar’s life there but also his 2013 death for a good two years while its blue-eyed boy Mullah Mansour ran the deadly show. It is extremely unlikely that after striving so hard to install, consolidate and project Mullah Mansour’s power over the fractious Taliban, Pakistan would simply hand him on a platter to the US.
Mullah Mansour’s assassination is a great setback for Pakistan’s army and a major vindication for the Afghan government, which has claimed all along that Pakistan, through its Taliban and HQN proxies, is waging an undeclared war against Afghanistan. The Pentagon issuing a formal statement declaring the attack andPresident Barrack Obama himself confirming Mullah Mansour’s death, underscores the fact that it was not a clandestine CIA hit but an act of war for which the US is willing to take responsibility under the international law.
Both the US and the Afghan President Dr. Ashraf Ghani had shown tremendous patience with the Pakistani leadership and have gone through the tedious and fruitless talks, which turned out only a ruse by Pakistan to buy time for the Taliban and consolidate the jihadist group’s battlefield position. Unlike what some Pakistani analysts are saying, this US drone strike didn’t kill the peace talks; it merely buried a dead process. The Quadrilateral Coordination Group (QCG) comprising the US, China, Pakistan and Afghanistan, which had met in Pakistan earlier this month, had made no headway at all. Pakistan had promised to deliver the “reconcilable” Taliban to the negotiations table and to take action against the “irreconcilable” ones. But as expected the pledge was a hogwash. In all likelihood Mullah Mansour’s replacement will be as much a Pakistani proxy as he was and as averse to the talks.
In the short run the level of Taliban and HQN-perpetrated violence in Afghanistan will go up but the decapitation will have far-reaching benefits in the long run. It will demoralize and divide an already bickering Taliban and stymie the momentum that Mullah Mansour had started to gain. The drone strike may have killed Mullah Mansour but what it has really done is to deal a deathblow to Pakistan’s perennial game of plausible deniability after harboring terrorists and unleashing them on its neighbors. From General Pervez Musharraf to General Raheel Sharif, the Pakistani army has claimed that it fights terrorists only for the world to discover them inside Pakistan.
While Pakistan has been promising the QCG that it will bring the Taliban to the negotiations table the country’s Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan has claimed yet again that Pakistan cannot force the Taliban into the parleys. The problem with that excuse is that the Taliban cannot conduct a relentless urgency in a landlocked Afghanistan without outside sanctuaries, which they continue to enjoy as Mullah Mansour’s death inside Pakistan shows.
The Taliban might be able to raise cash through drug trade but rely heavily on Pakistan for logistics, weapons, fuels and healthcare. Sartaj Aziz, a senior advisor to the Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, had recently admitted that the Taliban leaders are in Pakistan as are their families. Pakistan cannot have its jihadist cake and eat it too; it either controls or the Taliban and is responsible for their deadly actions or should act against them. Letting its soil serve as a bridgehead against Afghanistan and then crying foul when it is called out for it cannot go on forever. Whatever the so-called redlines may be for Pakistan, the US seems to have drawn a line in sand. It would be crucial to see whether the US eliminates the next Taliban chief as swiftly as it did in case of Mullah Mansour or waits as had happened with Mullah Omar.

Pakistan - The State Of Education

The Pakistan District Education Ranking 2016, a report compiled by education campaign Alif Ailaan, gives us nothing to rejoice about.
The district-based reports, which focus on education score-keeping in light of different parameters such as retention, learning and gender parity in educational institutes across the country, give a clear insight into the dismal state of education in the country.
Although this report gives us many reasons to be very concerned for the future of Pakistan’s children, the most salient issue is that 81% of all government schools are primary schools, which has major implications for the state of higher education in the country.
If the aim was just basic literacy, then the government should perhaps be satisfied with the result of this report.
Considering that Pakistan has the most out-of-school children in the world, around 24 million, and is second only to Nigeria in this regard, even basic literacy is a far-reaching dream the way the situation is progressing ever so slowly.
The aim must slowly shift from primary education to secondary and higher education and access must be improved to allow children to continue their education provided they do not drop out first.
The report states that all provinces have generally declined in retention of students and gender parity except for Punjab, which has shown a consistent improvement.
Worryingly so, the district Lahore has gone down to the 22nd rank as compared to its third position in 2015, reflecting that the growing number of private schools mushrooming across the city and the standard of education provided by them need to be regulated so that the number of disillusioned parents encouraging drop out decrease in number.
Amongst reports of improvements in other districts, Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), Balochistan and Sindh are performing consistently poorly, even though a large chunk of the budget of Sindh has gone towards the improvement of education.
In light of these dismal rankings the recent news of the Sindh Government taking over the DFID education project is probably not in the best interests of the people.
While the dismal situation in FATA and Balochistan can be attributed to the conflict and violence in these provinces, the Sindh Government has no excuse for this bleak situation and must be held accountable.
The report points out that the country’s overall education score has declined by four points after consecutive years of slow improvement and retention is the biggest factor to blame.
Drastic changes must be made in the way we hope to educate if we are to improve the situation in the country.

US will target terrorists in Pakistan to safeguard its interests: State Dept

Spokesperson for the Department of State, Mark Toner has reiterated that drone attacks would not stop in Pakistan’s territory and terrorists would be targeted, reported Friday.
The department has stated that Pakistan should take action against all extremist groups.
On the other hand, the United States has offered Afghanistan Taliban for the second time to hold talks. The spokesperson said that the banned outfit does not have any option but to reconcile and work towards peace.
Mullah Akhtar Mansoor was targeted for not taking the reconciliation process seriously and attacks on US and Afganistan forces, Toner said. He asserted that United States favours reconciliation process to re-establish peace in Afghanistan.
The new leader of Taliban, Mullah Haibatullah Akhundzada has an opportunity to choose talks and end disturbance in the region, he added.
He cleared United States stance after Pakistan’s strong reaction following drone strike in Balochistan that it would target militants wherever need be to safeguard its interests.
A drone attack on Saturday killed Mullah Akhtar Mansoor, Afghanistan Taliban chief who entered Pakistan after allegedly visiting his family in Iran. He was to enter Afghanistan after passing through Balochistan and was using a white corolla.
United States intelligence agency locked the target and kept a vigil until he was away from populated vicinities before handing over the operation to the military.
An unmanned aircraft took off from a base in Afghanistan and attacked the vehicle in Nushki area of the province.
Secretary of State John Kerry said that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was informed about the attack beforehand however Foreign Office (FO) denied the report and stated that the premier was informed after the strike.
Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Raheel Sharif held a meeting with US Ambassador David Hale earlier this week and termed the strike an act that was detrimental to Pak-US relations.
Nawaz Sharif and Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar in separate statements declared the attack a violation of Pakistan’s sovereignty.
However, Obama administration is not budging and has announced to continue drone attacks in Pakistan for the second time.