Sunday, November 6, 2016

Syrian conflict is ‘between Cold War & WWIII’ – Assad to UK media

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has told the Sunday Times that the Syrian conflict can be described as something “between the Cold War and Third World War,” adding that Syria is struggling and has little international support.
“We call it a world war, but it’s a world war against Syria, tens of countries against us, sending those terrorists money and logistics, whereas our army is only Syrian, so we struggled,” he said in the interview released on Sunday.
Assad also noted that he sees no solution in sight, because the other side has powerful allies, and they are interfering in the situation in Syria.
“If you ask me what the topics would be for a political solution, I don’t know,” he said. “No one has proposed anything.”
To talk about a political solution while the other side is controlled by masters in Saudi, Turkey, the UK, the USA, and France is not realistic. The core of the problem is those countries are interfering. If they stop, then the terrorists will be weak and leave or be defeated, and then we can sit as Syrians and talk about solutions,” the Syrian president added.
Given the dire state of affairs, military support from Russia has been essential, Assad said.
“What made the difference, of course, was firepower. They have firepower we don’t have,” he said, noting that, while other allies in the region have provided help, it has been far from enough.
“We have some support from Hezbollah, but Lebanon is a country of only four million, so will be small. And some from the Iranians; but they didn’t send troops, they sent officers to help.”
“At the end we were fighting an unlimited reserve of terrorists coming to Syria and we struggled, so Russian firepower and Iranian support has compensated,” he explained.
For decades, Russia has proven to be a loyal and trustworthy ally to Syria that doesn’t put pressure on the country, Assad said. “Of course we make the decisions. The Russian military has been in Syria for six decades. Their policy rests on two things — morals and international law. Even if they have a point of view, they say: ‘This is your country, you know more.’ They never try to interfere because they don’t want anything from us. They don’t ask us to be a puppet president.”
“They know if Syria loses the war against terrorism, this terrorism will prevail in Europe, and that affects Russia and everyone in the world,” he concluded.
Meanwhile, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said in an interview with Israel’s Channel 2 TV released on Saturday that Russia’s primary aim is to enhance its own security by preventing the jihadists from former Soviet republics that are fighting in Syria from returning to Russia and carrying out attacks there.
At the same time, on Sunday, the US-backed forces, as well as the ‘rebels,’ announced that they are launching a major offensive on Raqqa, the ‘capital’ of Islamic State [IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL] in Syria. The Syrian Democratic Forces, or SDF, said some 30,000 fighters are to take part in the operation. Reports say that militants within the city have begun putting up fortifications in preparation for the SDF assault and have reportedly forbidden the residents from leaving. They have also mined the approaches to the city and set up a network of checkpoints along them.


Sam Stein

Nine days after upending the 2016 presidential campaign, FBI Director James Comey announced Sunday that Hillary Clinton would not face charges over newly discovered emails found on a separate computer.
In a letter to Congress, Comey said he would not revisit his initial conclusion, announced in July, that Clinton acted carelessly, but not criminally, when she used a private email account as secretary of state.
Since my letter, the FBI investigative team has been working around the clock to process and review a large volume of emails from a device obtained in connection with an unrelated criminal investigation. During that process we reviewed all of the communications that were to or from Hillary Clinton while she was Secretary of State. Based on our review, we have not changed our conclusions that we expressed in July with respect to Secretary Clinton. I am very grateful to the professionals at the FBI for doing an extraordinary amount of high-quality work in a short period of time.
Comey’s initial announcement came in the form of a vague letter to Congress on Oct. 28. It set off days of intense news coverage centered on the possibility that the Democratic presidential nominee could face indictment over emails discovered on a laptop belonging to former Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.), the estranged husband of longtime Clinton aide Huma Abedin.
Though Clinton’s lead in the polls had been shrinking prior to then, her aides and several pollsters said that the news dampened enthusiasm among Democratic voters and further hurt her standing.
The news certainly caused damage to the FBI’s reputation ― as well as Comey’s. Several Democrats accused the director and agents in the FBI of being partisan actors trying to interfere in the electoral process, while federal prosecutors were highly critical of Comey’s decision to make such a public pronouncement so close to the election.
Comey’s Oct. 28 announcement broke with tradition at the Justice Department, which has rules in place to prevent federal law enforcement from influencing the electoral process. While an aide to Comey blamed reporters for blowing Comey’s letter out of proportion, it was not difficult to imagine how the letter would be ― and was ― used by Clinton’s political opponents in the final days of the campaign.
President Barack Obama, who nominated Comey to head the bureau in 2013, took the unusual step of criticizing the FBI director, telling a reporter that the “norm” is not to “operate on innuendo” or “incomplete information.”
In his letter on Sunday, Comey gave scant explanation for what his bureau found in the newly discovered emails, which reportedly numbered roughly 650,000. But NBC’s Pete Williams, who has been one of the top reporters on the matter, said they found nothing particularly revelatory.
The effect of Sunday’s news on the election is hard to predict. Millions of people have already cast ballots during the days in which all that was known was that the FBI was re-investigating Clinton’s emails. Additionally, GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump and his surrogates have spent the past week arguing that an indictment against Clinton was in the offing. They even put out television advertisement highlighting the role played by Anthony Weiner in the saga.
The Clinton campaign was relatively muted in its initial response to the news.
But other Democrats had a harder time hiding their annoyance.
“Congrats to the FBI for working so hard to clear up the suspicion it needlessly created,” former Justice Department spokesman and Clinton supporter Matthew Miller wrote on Twitter. “Next time, maybe just stick to the rules though?”

Hillary Clinton's popularity in California has jumped, and she has a commanding lead, poll finds


Months after a fractious primary season, California Democratic and independent voters have come home to Hillary Clinton, sharply boosting her popularity and giving her a commanding lead in the nation’s most populous state, according to a new USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times poll.
In late May, just before the state’s primary, half of California voters had an unfavorable impression of Clinton, while 47% viewed her favorably. Today, thanks to consolidation of support among Democrats — and substantially improved standing with independents — Clinton is viewed favorably by 56% of California voters, while 42% hold an unfavorable view.
Clinton’s improved popularity is particularly notable among groups that heavily supported Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont in the primary — young voters and those who are not registered as party members.
In May, voters registered without a party preference were evenly split in their view of Clinton, 49% viewing her favorably and 49% holding unfavorable views. Now, 60% of unaffiliated likely voters hold favorable views of Clinton, while 38% say they see her unfavorably.
Among voters younger than 30, two-thirds now have a favorable view of Clinton, up from just four in 10 on the eve of the primary. 
“There’s a big improvement since May,” said Anna Greenberg, of the Democratic polling firm Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research, which conducted the survey for The Times and USC along with the Republican firm American Viewpoint.
The unified Democratic support and improved popularity among independent voters have positioned Clinton for a strong showing on Nov. 8. She is supported by 54% of likely voters, the poll found, compared with 30% backing Donald Trump.
Gary Johnson, the Libertarian party nominee, and Green Party candidate Jill Stein are backed by 4% and 3% of likely voters, respectively. 
Asked who they would support if they had to choose between the two major-party nominees, 58% of likely voters said Clinton and 32% said Trump. The figures among all registered voters were almost identical to the likely voters.
The numbers indicate Clinton is on track to roughly match the level of support President Obama received in the state in his reelection four years ago, when he took just over 60% of the vote.
Trump, by contrast, may fall below the level achieved by Mitt Romney, the GOP nominee in 2012, who took 37% of the state’s vote. The poll found notable weaknesses for Trump among some groups that typically vote Republican, especially married women.
The survey of 1,500 registered voters, including 1,365 considered likely to vote, was conducted by telephone, including landlines and cellphones, in English and Spanish from Oct. 22-30. The results for the likely voter sample have a margin of error of 2.4 percentage points in either direction.
Clinton has always been the prohibitive favorite in reliably blue California, but the grinding Democratic primary battle against Sanders had damaged her standing in the spring. 
Ivan Pineda, a 19 year-old student from Santa Ana, was among those who said they had warmed to Clinton since then.
In the spring, Pineda preferred Sanders and his campaign pledge for free tuition at public colleges and universities. Once Clinton clinched the Democratic nomination, however, Pineda had no doubt how he’d cast his vote.
“I've always been on board with the Democratic party,” Pineda said.
Heather Lewis, a 32 year-old from Alameda County, said she had briefly considered voting for a third-party candidate after the defeat of Sanders, her choice in the primary.
But, she concluded, “if I were to vote for a third party candidate in this election, I would be voting for Trump, basically. That wasn't really an option for me.”
In addition to her own higher popularity, Clinton was also buoyed by Californians’ high regard for President Obama, who notched a 64% approval rating among likely voters, the highest level that the poll has recorded since it started in 2010.
Clinton has positioned herself as an extension of Obama’s presidency, and Obama on the campaign trail has portrayed his former rival as crucial to upholding his legacy.
The improved popularity has not wiped away all doubts about Clinton, of course. Asked to pick two items that were concerns about her, one in three voters in the state said they were worried she wasn’t honest and trustworthy. About three in 10 said they were concerned she had been involved in scandals, and about one in four worried that she was too close to Wall Street.
Predictably, a partisan split colored those views. Republicans were most likely to say that they were concerned about honesty and scandals related to Clinton. Democrats were more likely to cite Wall Street ties.
Asked what concerned them about Trump, about three in 10 voters cited his temperament, another three in 10 cited his lack of experience, one quarter mentioned his style of demeaning people and just under one quarter picked his comments about women and allegations that he had committed sexual assaults.
Clinton leads Trump among most demographic groups in the state, including among white men, a group he dominates in most other parts of the country. In California, white male likely voters sided with Clinton over Trump 48% to 35%, the poll found.
The only major group among whom Trump led was white Californians without a college degree, 44% of whom backed the GOP nominee compared with 39% for Clinton.
Trump remains broadly unpopular with key slices of the electorate, notably Latinos. Among Latino likely voters, 81%  viewed him unfavorably, and only 16% said they planned to vote for him.
Among married women,  just over half were backing Clinton, and only about one-third planned to vote for Trump. 
Mike Madrid, a GOP strategist who was a consultant on the poll, said national Republicans should heed the warnings of California’s gender and racial divisions. 
“California is a more pronounced example of what’s happening demographically in the country,” Madrid said.
Republicans are  trapping themselves in a “demographic death spiral” by alienating such large swaths of the electorate and relying solely on a shrinking number of white voters, he said.
Greenberg, however, said it remains unclear if the Republican disadvantage among married women was specific to Trump or indicative of a larger, longer-lasting political shift.
“It’s Trump’s views and behavior” that women voters have reacted to, she said. “I don’t know if that extends beyond this election cycle.”
The poll also found ominous cracks within the GOP, particularly between those who align with Trump and those who side with party leaders such as House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wisconsin.
Among those voters with a favorable opinion of Trump, only 46% viewed Ryan favorably, while 38% had an unfavorable view of him, the poll found. 
Of those who viewed Ryan favorably, only 47% planned to vote for Trump.
“This splintering of the Republican party isn’t doing either side any good,” said Randall Gutermuth of American Viewpoint.
Colleen Fitzpatrick, a registered Republican from Sacramento, predicted difficult times ahead for her party, regardless of the election outcome.
“The party is going to get split, there's a big divide,” she said. “I don't think the party is going to come back together. They may be coming back together to vote him in...but I think we'll end up with a third party.”
Fitzpatrick, a 62 year-old retired police officer, was leaning toward voting for Trump, but she still had doubts about his ability to work with Congress.
“I don't think he realizes he's not going to be able to run this country like a business,” she said. “He can't go in and say ‘you're fired.’”
Barbara Manos, 65, a cosmetics saleswoman and ballet teacher from Contra Costa county, also predicted a GOP split. She said she aligns more with Trump than with the traditional party establishment.
“Possibly if Trump were more politically involved, he might have been able to pull the party together...[but] there are too many career politicians still in there that are going to be contentious,” she said.
For all the operatic turns in this presidential race, most Californians developed opinions on the candidates long ago. Among the likely voters who oppose Trump, 77% said they had been against him from the beginning. An even higher share of voters opposed to Clinton, 86%, said they felt that way from the start.

Afshan Zebi - Lokan Do Do Yaar Banaye kisi uff na

Terror In Pakistan’s Balochistan: New Lessons To Learn – Analysis

By Anish Mishra

Balochistan in Pakistan has once again been the hit by a terrorist attack. On 24 October 2016, 3 gunmen struck at the Quetta Police Training College causing at least 61 deaths and leaving 117 others injured. Following the bomb blast at the Quetta Civil Hospital on 8 August 2016, it appeared that terrorists were beginning to shift focus from hard to soft targets and also moving towards specific targeted killings1.The latest attack seems to indicate a continuation of such a trend, although the rationale behind the choice of targets still remains unknown. This paper seeks to analyse the recent attack and its implications for Pakistan.
Quetta, the capital city of Balochistan, is also its largest city with a population of over one million and has a geographical area of 2,656 square kilometres, 3.5 times the size of Singapore, reflective of the sparse demographics of Balochistan. The City is home to the Mazar (mausoleum) of Shaal Pir Baba also known as Khwaja Naqruddin who established the Chisti order of Sufism in the Baloch region. The Chisti order founded by Khwaja Moinuddin Chisti based its religious practice on the expression of love for the almighty and the spiritual master, tolerance and inclusiveness towards other faiths. It also advocated non-interference in the affairs of the state.
Today the city is known for playing host to the Quetta Shura (Quetta Council) of the Afghan Taliban. Its proximity with the Durand Line facilitates shuttling between Afghanistan and Pakistan. This was also the province where the former Emir of the Afghan Taliban Mullah Akhtar Mansour was killed by a United States drone operation3. On 8 August 2016, the Quetta Civil Hospital was attacked by a suicide bomber; at least 70 were killed and dozens of others were injured4. The responsibility for the hospital bomb blast was claimed by Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS)-linked faction of the Pakistan Threek-e- Taliban (PTT) known as Jamaat-Ul-Arhar.5
The Balochistan separatist movement spearheaded by the Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA) uses armed resistance to achieve its objective of an independent Balochistan; the organisation is secular in character. Besides the Baloch nationalist insurgent groups, there are also radical Islamist sectarian groups in Balochistan. These include the PTT, Afghan Taliban, Lashkar-e- Jhangvi, Al-Qaeda, and the Ahle Sunnat wal jammat as well as ISIS-backed factions of these groups such as the Jamaat-Ul-Arhar of the PTT.
An example of a sectarian attack was the Hazara Town bomb blast in Quetta in 2013. On 17 February, the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi claimed responsibility for that bomb blast that killed at least 79 and injured over 180, most of whom were members of the Hazara community.6 The Hazaras are a Shia Muslim ethnic group spread across Pakistan and Afghanistan.
The various militant groups operating in Balochistan may differ in ideologies and goals; however, they share two common features. One, they employ the means of violence to attain their ambitions. Two, they share a common enemy which is the Pakistan State. Therefore, this creates an environment for terrorist activities to flourish in Balochistan. The recent terrorist patterns in Balochistan show a commonality between the terrorist groups. This can be inferred as a nexus between the separatist and sectarian groups operating in Balochistan. In the analysis of terrorism in Balochistan, one can draw a triangle connecting the antagonist, target and the objective of every terrorist attack, as these three variables are intertwined.
In just three months after the Quetta Civil Hospital bomb blast, targeted at Balochistan’s legal fraternity, the city has once again fall prey to militancy7. This time round, directed at the Balochistan police force. On the night of the 24 October 2016, 3 heavily armed gunmen wearing vests, intruded into the compound of the Police Training College (PTC), Quetta, after an intense gun battle with the sentry guards8. The police trainee cadets were sleeping in their barracks.9 The first information report on this incident was received by the Balochistan Frontier Corps (FC) at 23.10hrs10.
According to the Inspector General (IG) of the FC Major General Sher Afghan in an interview with the media “the troops of the FC took 20 minutes to arrive at the scene and it was believed that the recruits have been held hostage.”11The quick response showed a sense of preparedness in reacting to such incidents. Out of the 3 militants, one was shot dead by the troops from the FC before he could detonate his vest12. Another suicide bomber was cornered by two soldiers of the Pakistan Army, which allowed many police recruits to escape, before he too detonated his vest13. During this anti-terror operation, Captain Rooh Ullah and Naib Subedar Muhammad Ali lost their lives. Both soldiers were accorded gallantry awards by General Raheel Sharif.14 The Pakistan Army also directed security at the Quetta Civil Hospital to be enhanced, even as the injured were transported there for treatment.15 This precautionary measure was taken in view of the lessons from the previous attack that took place at the hospital.
The identity of the assailants responsible for this latest attack is yet to be determined. The media wing of ISIS, the Amaq News Agency, announced in a press release that its Khorasan province branch was responsible for the attack.16 It also published a photograph of the 3 gunmen on its website.17 This claim is believed to have been by far the most credible one among those made by various terrorist groups. However, Major General Sher Afghan also told news channels within a couple of hours after the attack that the Afghan-based Al-Alimi faction of the Lashkar- e Jhangvi was responsible for the attack18. He said that calls were intercepted which showed the terrorists were communicating with their handlers in Afghanistan.19Pakistan Tehreek-e- Insaf (PTI) leader Imran Khan said during his visit to Quetta that “All political parties had agreed upon and signed the National Action Plan (NAP), so why it’s so that it has still not been properly acted upon?” 20
The Pakistan People’s Party Chairman Bilawal Bhutto said that the “Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Khan had not taken adequate measures to root out terrorism.21 The month of November 2016 is set to be a politically sensitive month for Pakistan. At first, the PTI together with its allies began preparing to cause a lockdown of Pakistan’s capital Islamabad to campaign for the resignation or accountability of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on allegations of corruption figuring in the Panama Papers.22 In a similar fashion in 2014 Azadi March (freedom march) had disrupted life in the capital for four months.
On 1 November, PTI Chairman Imran Khan decided to call off the planned lockdown and hold a “thanksgiving” rally23 in celebration of the Supreme Court’s decision ordering the formation of a committee to probe the Panama Papers findings concerning the elected members of the Sharif family. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is also tasked with appointing a new Chief of Army Staff (COAS); General Raheel Sharif is set to retire on 29 November 2016. The association of terrorism and corruption is a threat to any civilian government in Pakistan as the Army believes these two elements to be inextricably linked.24
The Quetta attack is a reflection of the continuation of the shift from random untargeted killings in public places as seen in the Lahore, Gulshan-e-Iqbal park bomb blast to selective targeted strikes like the Quetta Civil Hospital & Police Training College attacks. The 24 October incident raises the question of how can just 3 gunmen overwhelm armed sentry guards and cause so many deaths in such a sensitive site. Although the response from the various security agencies is noticeable, the casualties could have been prevented if the sentry guards had superior weapons to put up a stronger resistance against the militants.
Due to Quetta’s overwhelming dependence on the Quetta Civil Hospital for its medical needs, the hospital gets exposed as the likely location for a second strike after the initial attempt of whatever magnitude. The Balochistan Ministry of Health should therefore recognise this threat and collaborate with the various security agencies to take possible preventive measures. The Army should also consider opening up the Combined Military Hospital (CMH) which is located 3.5 kilometres away, for civilian use in cases of terrorist incidents.
Pakistan’s troubled province of Balochistan is of strategic importance to the China-Pakistan Economic corridor (CPEC) project. In September 2016, Pakistan’s Minister for Planning, Development and Reforms Ahsan Iqbal announced that the CPEC was now worth US$ 51.5 billion after the Asian Development Bank agreed to lend to Pakistan US$ 2.5 billion and China pledged to provide concessionary credit of US$ 5.5 billion.25 This increase in investment towards the CPEC shows confidence and faith in the project despite the security threats that it faces. This creates a strong incentive for Pakistan to try to eliminate all forms of terrorism in Balochistan. The CPEC is a gateway for foreign direct investment into Pakistan and will create jobs for the people. This exposes this province to greater danger. Hence, the security of Balochistan is essential to Pakistan.

Pakistan - Sectarian Shootings

The relentless onslaught on the people of Karachi continues with more sectarian killings and murder mysteries. There has been a surge of sectarian attacks in the city and for once a high profile arrest has been carried out as a consequence, a feat that would have been impossible without the Rangers presence. Former Pakistan Peoples’ Party (PPP) Senator Faisal Raza Abidi was arrested during an early morning raid at his Karachi residence on Saturday, in connection with the killing of two men who belonged to the Tableeghi Jamaat in Patel Para area of the metropolis a day earlier.

The double murder was followed by another disturbing incident where as many as five members of Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat (ASWJ), including two prayer leaders, were shot and killed while another was critically wounded in three separate shooting incidents that took place within the span of an hour. Even though members of the ASWJ hinted that a rival sectarian group carried out the attacks, the police choose to remain mum till ‘further investigation’ takes place. The last thing that Karachi needs is to be on a precipice of a sectarian gang war and all law enforcement agencies need to nip this in the bud before the situation spirals out of control.
When an attack on the Shia congregation took place on October 29, that claimed five precious lives, much was said about taking stricter action and sparing no mercy for the perpetrators. Yet all the arrests made so far in connection with aiding, abetting or sponsoring terrorism have not resulted in convictions, instead the accused have been granted bail and are walking free. These arrests have to reach a logical conclusion if the Rangers operation is truly to bear fruit.

Why is the gender gap widening in Pakistan?

Kishwar Mustafa.

The World Economic Forum's Global Gender Gap Report has ranked Pakistan at 143 out of 144 countries surveyed. The disparity represents a systemic and historical disadvantage for women in Pakistani society.
Demonstration für Frauenrechte in Pakistan 2007 Frauentag (AP)
According to the report released last week by the World Economic Forum (WEF), Pakistan is ranked even lower than it was 10 years ago. The reasoning behind this is based on Pakistani women being systematically denied access to important social facilities that determine the gender gap ranking. These include education, health, economic opportunities and political empowerment.
In the past, Pakistan was put under pressure by the international community to address gender inequality. In 1979, Pakistan established the Ministry for Women's Development in response to recommendations from the UN Commission on the Status of Women. This ministry facilitated women's access to education, health, legal services and ensured their placement in provincial and national legislatures. It also set up services like credit facilities for women, study and computer centers, child care and hostels for working women.
Nothing but good intentions
These steps indeed helped women, but because of the patriarchal nature of the society and religious backlash, they never became a normal part of Pakistan's social structure and political system.
Even when Pakistan had a female chief executive, Pakistan's women never felt that they had a representative in the prime minister's house. And after the dissolution of the Ministry for Women's Development in 2010, these initiatives were left at the mercy of provincial governments.
According to former federal secretary Rukhsana Shah, the initiatives were lacking political will. "They did not appear to have the capacity to develop an alternative narrative to the rampant obscurantism proliferating throughout the country," she said.
Taking the gender gap seriously
Shahida Jameel was the first woman to be appointed as the Federal Minister of Law, Justice, and Parliamentary Affairs of Pakistan. She said that nobody in Pakistan has ever taken the issue of gender disparity seriously, including the former prime minister, and first female leader of Pakistan, Benazir Bhutto.
"You will be amazed to know that no women besides the late Nusrat Bhutto and the late Benazir Bhutto were allowed to be mainstream members of their party," said Jameel. "All the other women were limited to the women's wing and were not allowed to occupy mainstream membership," she said.
Jameel added that this was a well kept secret for 30 years and that even when a step was taken to improve integrating women into the system, it was not to elevate the status of women, but rather to appease the international community.
"Since our government was going to attend an international forum, they hastily decided to introduce a women's protection bill just for the sake of international approval," said Jameel. "What they did was nothing new, they did the same in 2010 also when they introduced a bill in which would define honor killings as murder."
Jameel said that the government regularly comes up with dramatic gestures like this to show the world how "democratic and legitimate" they are. "They do nothing for women," she added.
Großbritannien Syrien Geberkonferenz in London Malala (Getty Images/M. Dunham)
Given the opportunity, the women of Pakistan have done remarkably well in almost every field from the Oscars to the Nobel Prize
Legal restrictions on women
Even women who are elected in Pakistan are hindered by the 18th Amendment, which stipulates that cannot work or vote without the instructions of the party leaders, and if they fail to comply, they shall be expelled from the assemblies.
"Our women are very strong and can do everything, but in order to achieve anything, you have to remove the reins from the hands of their own political parties," said Jameel.
Given the opportunity, the women of Pakistan have done remarkably well in almost every field from the Oscars to the Nobel Prize. These positive examples that come under the limelight can multiply if the state feels a genuine desire to utilize the talents of women.
As stated by former federal secretary Rukhsana Shah, "The state needs to emerge from its stupor to stop this shameful slide of half of its population into the dark ages, considering not only global requirements, but also its own economic imperatives."