Monday, December 19, 2016

Putin: Russian ambassador's murder provocation aimed at undermining Syria peace process

The fatal attack on Russia's ambassador to Turkey, who was killed by a gunman on Monday, is "clearly a provocation" aimed at undermining both Russian-Turkish relations and the settling of the Syrian crisis, Russian President Vladimir Putin said.

This murder is clearly a provocation aimed at undermining the improvement and normalization of Russian-Turkish relations, as well as undermining the peace process in Syria promoted by Russia, Turkey, Iran and other countries interested in settling the conflict in Syria," Putin said in a statement on Monday evening.
The "only response" to the attack that Moscow "should offer" is "stepping up the fight against terrorism," the president added.
"The killers will feel it," Putin said.
Saying that ambassador Andrey Karlov "was a brilliant diplomat, widely respected in the country where he was posted," the president added the Russian diplomat "was in good standing with both the government of Turkey and other political groups in that country."
Russia's Investigative Committee has already launched an investigation into the murder, Putin said in his statement, adding that he had held a phone conversation with his Turkish counterpart, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, on the matter. Russian and Turkish officials will cooperate, Putin added.
"We have to know who organized this killing and gave orders to the assassin," the Russian leader said.
Putin also ordered security to be strengthened at Russia's diplomatic missions abroad, as well as Turkish missions in Russia.
Saying that he knew Karlov personally, and calling him a "kind man," the president tasked officials with awarding the assassinated ambassador posthumously and initiating a memorial for him.
"He was killed while performing his duties," Putin said.
Meanwhile, Erdogan called the shooting of Russia’s ambassador in Ankara a provocation, aimed at destroying bilateral ties. The Turkish leader "strongly" and "vehemently" condemned the assassination of Andrey Karlov.
"I believe this is an attack on Turkey, the Turkish state and the Turkish people, and also a clear provocation ... [in terms of] Turkish-Russian relations. I am sure our Russian friends also see this fact," Erdogan said. ”Both Turkey and Russia have the will not to be deceived by this provocation.”
The Turkish leader also confirmed the identity of the attacker as 22-year-old Turkish riot police officer Mevlut Mert Altintas. 
Erdogan also added that a joint commission with Russia would be established to investigate the murder. 
"All the security measures around the Russian embassy and consulate general have been tightened as we agreed with Mr. Putin," Erdogan noted. "Our relations with Russia are significant … I am calling on those who aim to destroy our relations: You are waiting in vain. You will never reach your goals,” Anadolu reported.

Video Report - PUTIN - ‘We need to know who gave the orders’ -Russian ambassador assassination in Ankara

Video Report - LATEST IMAGES from Ankara after Russian ambassador to Turkey shot and killed


wa speeney komtarey

Pashto Music Kishwar Sultan - Yao qisa darta kaoom da

Pashto Music - kishwar sultan -

Pashto Music - Mashooq Sultan -

Pashto Music's Legend Mashooq Sultan - marriage of music

By Yusra Salim

You may have not listened to any of her songs but if you have heard Ali Haider’s music, you would know where the famous ‘Zalim Nazron Se’ was taken from. It was actually an Urdu version of Mashooq Sultan’s ‘Da Spogmayy Khorey’. Before Sultan became the sensation who ruled the Pashto music industry for four decades, she was just a young girl with sparkling eyes whose real name was Mehjabeen. The journey from Mehjabeen to being the ‘Sultana’ of the music industry is humbling, awe-inspiring and free of clichés.
She started dreaming to become a singer when she was six-years-old by listening to Kishwar Sultana’s melodious songs. “Kishwar apa inspired me to be a singer and pursue this as a profession,” Sultan told The Express Tribune, adding she would listen to Radio Pakistan Peshawar, the only medium available at her parents’ house back then.
Hailing from Shah Dherai area of Swat, her family shifted to Mardan when she was a kid. “I pursued my dream after I got married in Peshawar at the age of 12 in the late 50s,” she said, mentioning how her husband and her in-laws supported her singing career. “I was lucky I got married in a music-loving family,” she added, getting her veil fixed. Mashooq’s ‘Da Spogmayy Khorey’Belonging to a small, impoverished family, her parents never allowed her to sing and perform. It was her husband, Wilayat Hussain who took care of their four sons and two daughters while she was busy establishing her musical career. Wearing a simple shalwar kameez and covering her grey tresses with henna, Sultan reveals her father-in-law, Raadat Hussain and his brother Ummat Hussain aka ‘Tablay walay’, would give music lessons. “My husband’s family fulfilled my wish to sing in front of everyone. At the age of 16, I started singing at local weddings in the neighbourhood and practiced daily at my home,” she said. Mashooq’s ‘Da Spogmayy Khorey’
In 1962, a radio producer, Nawab Ali Khan Yousafzai, introduced her to the Radio Pakistan Peshawar. “Since then, I am associated with Radio Pakistan,” she recalled. Sultan can’t put to words the thrilling experience of singing on radio in the 60s, “While recording, we used to sing live and in just one take. But now the scenario is really different and there are many adaptations.”
“The feel of live singing is irreplaceable,” she said, humming one of her songs in Pashto.
“Many of my songs were translated in Urdu by the renowned singers including Ali Haider and Saleem Javed,” she proudly said. ‘Zalim Nazron Se’ was originally in Pashto, which Sultan sang early in her career.
“In 1974, Jamiluddin Aali invited me to Karachi and I performed there with well-known Indian lyricist, Javed Akhtar,” she added.
Sultan has more than 600 national and international awards from the US, France, the UK, Belgium, Afghanistan and UAE, where she represented Pakistan at several occasions. Apart from being a proud winner of Sitara-e-Imtiaz, she has “1,600 music albums” to her credit.
Although she has also acted in classic movies like Jawargar and Janaan, she prefers singing over acting. “Movies are not my thing, I am a singer and that is what I should do,” She said.
Today, the legendary singer lives in a two-room rented house in Chughalpura, in the outskirts of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa with her son and daughter. “I still perform whenever Radio Pakistan or any other channel approaches me,” she said. Her husband passed away two decades ago. “Being the only artist in the family and a single parent makes life more difficult,” she says.
The singer also spoke about the on-going law and order situation in Peshawar, saying that the growing militancy had badly affected the Pashto music industry, especially in K-P. “The situation is getting worse in our province. Singers are migrating and regional music is diminishing very fast,” she said.

Pashto Music - Hamayoon Khan Feat Mashoq Sultan 2015 Jenakay Obbolo Zeena

وتلې سندرغاړې معشوق سلطان مړه شوه

 د پښتو ژبې وتلې هنرمندې معشوق سلطانې د ۶۴ کلونو په عمر د ګل ورځې سپېدو مهال له دې نړۍ سترګې پټې کړې. د هغې زوی زوارخان مشال راډيو ته وویل چې مور یې د تور زېړي رنځوره وه.

معشوق سلطانې نه یوازې د پښتو فلمونو کې اداکاري کړې بلکې د فلمونو لپاره یې په زرګونه سندرې هم ویلې وې خو له څه مودې راهسې يې د ناروغۍ له کبله سندرو ته شا کړې وه.
له پښتو موسیقۍ سره تړلي خلک د معشوق سلطان مړینه د پښتو ژبې او موسیقۍ لپاره یو لوی زیان بولي.
معشوق سلطان چې کورنۍ نوم یې مه جبین وو، په ۱۹۵۲ کال د سوات په شاه ډېرۍ کې زېږېدلې وه چې وروستو یې پېښور ته کډه کړې وه. هغې په ۱۲ کلنۍ کې په سندرو پیل کړی وو چې د خپل دغه هنري عمر په اوږدو کې یې د ټي وي راډیو او فلمونو لپاره په زرګونه سندرې ویلې وې.
هغې د پښتو په دوو فلمونو جوارګر او جانان کې هم اداکاري کړې وه.
د پښتو فلمونو موسیقار ګلسیارپردېسي وايي چې هغه د خپل لومړني فلم لپاره د معشوق سلطان سره سندره ریکارډ کړې وه. هغه وخت دې اوګلنار بېګمې لوی نوم او یو ځانګړې حیثیت لرلو.
دی وايي، ''پښتانه فنکاران اکثره ډېر د بېوسۍ ژوند تېروي خو موږ موسیقاران هم د خپلو فنکارانو خیال نه ساتو حالانکې دا زموږ سرمایه ده باید چې موږ له دوی څخه ګټه پورته کړو. موږ باید د نویو هنرمندانو له راوړاندېکولو سره سره پخواني هغه هېر نه کړو.''
د پښتو ژبې هنر مند احمدګل استاد وايي، معشوق سلطان یوه ډېره غټه فنکاره وه د هغې په رنګ به بله پیدا نه شي خو [زموږ]حکومت د فنکارانو خیر ښېګړې لپاره هېڅ هم نه کوي. دوی خپل ټول عمر دې وطن، د دې ولس د خوشاله کولو لپاره سپارلي وي خو چې ناروغه شي بیا یې هېڅوک پوښتنه هم نه کوي.

A Wake Up Call For Pakistan’s Ruling Junta – OpEd

Shabbir H. Kazmi 

Pakistan has an agro-based economy and the country is heavily dependent on imported energy products. As the country’s trade deficit is mounting there is a need to revisit government policies.
Some of the alarming factors are: 1) extensive borrowing to meet the budget deficit and 2) deceleration in remittances. The added problem is that with the commencement of winter industrial units, particularly textiles units are likely to be a major sufferer and exports of textiles and clothing destined to plunge.
As stated earlier, Pakistan is heavily dependent on imported energy products; any hike in crude oil prices does not bode well for the country, though capital market analysts term the hike good for E&P and downstream companies listed at Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX). A stronger dollar is likely to keep commodity prices in check, but also it is expected to make imported commodities more expensive.
Pakistan Steel is closed for months and there are no signs of its commencing production in the near future. Its price has posted 16.4%MoM increase in November, as Chinese producers re-align supply and the government implements a policy of curtailing supply. This is likely to cause further hikes in steel price, which does not bode well for Pakistan.
Pakistan is a major user of coal. Coal prices dropped on Chinese relaxation on mining controls: After reaching a 5-year high, coal prices have fallen to US$83.5/ton as the government asked the coal miners to lift up output till the end of end of winter heating season to counter the surging price. The coal price decline has remained slower as the Chinese coal producers were unable to ramp up production quickly due to medium-to-long term supply contracts and time to bring back coal mines into production. Nonetheless, normalizing of seasonal demand post-winters, will likely witness further fall in coal price as China will continue its policy to do away with coal based energy.
Fertilizer is one of the major industries of Pakistan and currently suffers from poor capacity utilization. Added to this is, extremely low international prices of urea, affecting the earnings of local manufacturers. In November its price rose to US$224/tons as compared to US$201/tons a month ago.  While continuing to recover from lows of US$172/ton seen in July 2015, urea prices remain down 8%YoY as oversupply and weak demand continue. On the domestic front, recovery in international prices is likely to enhance pricing power of local manufacturers, who are already plagued by lower off-take. However, further recovery in off-take remains more likely to be a product of price reduction.
Global cotton prices during November remained higher as compared to last year (up 14%YoY) on the back of continued price recovery. The monthly USDA report featured an increase in global annual production up to 103.3 million bales and virtually no change to world mill-use, resulting in additions to global stocks. Following the global trend, prices in the domestic market remained on the higher side in November. Despite higher-than-expected phutti arrivals, prices of quality cotton move higher because of sustained buying by mills and spinners. Moreover, temporary ban on cotton import from India kept demand of local cotton robust.
This year Pakistan is likely get another bumper crop of wheat, but of no benefit. While the surplus can’t be exported, post harvest losses are feared to increase due to inadequate storage facilities. Lack of supporting policies has failed in attracting investors to construct modern warehouses and collateral management companies. Absence of modern silos results in up to 20 percent post harvest losses. Saving this could boost income of farmers and also bringing down price of staple grain n the country.

The Tangled History of the Afghanistan-India-Pakistan Triangle

Elimination of extremism in Pakistan must for peace

Christian leader of Diocese of Hyderabad Church of Pakistan, Bishop Kaleem John has said eradication of extremism from Pakistan was necessary for restoration of peace. 

Addressing various programs of Christmas 2016 here he said peace, freedom of expression and tolerance were need of humanity all over world but he said the extremism has destroyed peace around world including Pakistan end of which was must to remove disappointment and unrest. 

He asked Christian community to pray for solidarity, peace, fraternity and integrity of Pakistan. He said such situation was prevalent before Christ as at that time world was entangled with sins. The birth of Christ was deliverance of humanity. Christ gave message of peace, love and forgiveness. He said this year’s Christmas will bring real happiness. He made appeal to Hesco to avoid load shedding during week long celebrations of Christmas staring from 18 to 25 December. 

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Pakistan - Ethnic cleansing of Ahmadis

By Yasser Latif Hamdani

Pakistan is a member state of the United Nations and a signatory to several international conventions and covenants. The world will sooner or later become alive to the plight of Ahmadis in Pakistan, and the consequences will be severe.
What happened in Chakwal on 12 December, while the nation celebrated Eid Milad-un-Nabi, is yet another reminder that Pakistan’s systematic exclusion of Ahmadis, which started in 1974, is taking a disturbing and frightening turn.
After having attacked the Ahmadi place of worship (they are not allowed to refer to it as a mosque under law), the perpetrators then gave a nationwide call to protest against the “oppression by the administration and Qadianis against Muslims.” It is unclear as to what the end game is, but I have been warning through my articles in this newspaper that the world ought to monitor this situation carefully. Numbering between 300,000 to one million, Ahmadi community in Pakistan stands at the brink of genocide and ethnic cleansing. The state’s attitude so far has been extremely callous. Punjab’s Law Minister Rana Sanaullah, instead of siding with the community that faces a threat to its members’ life liberty and property, thought it wise to castigate the Ahmadis for taking to social media.
To recap the issue, since 1974 the state has insisted that Ahmadis are not Muslims. Ahmadis insist they are. Since 1984, the state has made it unlawful for them to claim that they are Muslims or to call their places of worship mosques, or to even give Azan from these places of worship. In 1993 the Supreme Court of Pakistan held this law to be constitutional by a majority of 2 to 1. The anti-Ahmadi laws of Pakistan, which are a stain on the Constitution and the legal system of the country, have emboldened sectarian extremists into taking the law into their own hands. Ahmadi places of worship are routinely attacked, ransacked, sealed, destroyed and desecrated. In 2014 three Ahmadis were burnt alive in Gujranwala. Even the dead are not spared. The community’s Model Town cemetery was attacked and graves were desecrated. To date, no action has been undertaken against the perpetrators of any of these outrages, encouraging others to do the same.
The objective of the anti-Ahmadi organisations is clear and has often been stated times from their platforms. They want to drive every Ahmadi either to the grave or out of Pakistan. It has also caused a crisis of the internally displaced persons as more and more Ahmadis are taking refuge in the city of Rabwah where a sizeable population of Ahmadis lives. Even this is not acceptable. The city lives in a virtual siege with a large number of sectarian organisations setting up camp in and around the city. At the very entrance of the city is a mosque called Majlis-e-Ahrar Masjid, named interestingly after the Indian National Congress backed religious organisation Majlis-e-Ahrar that had historically persecuted the Ahmadis and led the movements against them. The same Majlis-e-Ahrar had also attacked the founder of Pakistan as Kafir-e-Azam and called Pakistan Kafiristan. In Pakistan, you are free to abuse and attack the state so long as you also beat down on the Ahmadis. There is no law against doing that at all. Every Friday the sectarian Imams of the officially Muslim mosques freely abuse and curse the Ahmadis in their sermons on loudspeakers. Obviously, the Ahmadis are not allowed to respond. They are not allowed to use loudspeakers.
The best and the brightest of the Ahmadi community have been steadily migrating out of the country. That is not their loss but the country’s. An educated and enterprising community, the Ahmadis had been at the forefront of national progress before they were ostracised, marginalised, excommunicated and finally de-humanized. Those who have managed to leave have done extremely well for themselves abroad and have been contributing fully to their new homes. However, it is just not possible for every Ahmadi to emigrate abroad. Pakistan has to find a way to accommodate them in the country and protect them from the outrages of the kind we saw in Chakwal and elsewhere. It is amazing that this country of 190 million, an overwhelming majority of whom are officially sanctioned Muslims, cannot tolerate or protect a community that numbers less than a million. Indeed these few hundred thousand terrify the state to the extent that every Pakistani Muslim has to sign off on a statement declaring them Non-Muslims in order to get a passport. Historically the kind of persecution Ahmadis face in Pakistan is very similar to Jews in Nazi Germany of the 1930s. We all know how that ended and the trauma it inflicted not just on Jews but Germans themselves. 70 years later Germans have not really recovered from the overwhelming sense of guilt. It has consumed their politics, culture and intellectual endeavours. I shudder to think what this would do to Pakistan’s future generations. Do we want them to carry this awful burden?
Pakistan does not live in isolation. It is a member state of the United Nations and a signatory to several international conventions and covenants. The world will sooner or later become alive to the plight of Ahmadis in Pakistan, and the consequences will be severe. Our salvation, I repeat, lies in following the inclusive vision of the founder of Pakistan who wanted the state to protect the life, liberty religious beliefs of every citizen whether from the majority or minority. When pressed to turn Ahmadis out of the Muslim League in the 1940s, Jinnah refused. He said then that he was no one to declare someone Non-Muslim who professed to be a Muslim. How one wishes Pakistan had followed that noble principle. Instead, we drew new margins around citizenship as well as the idea of who may call himself a Muslim. This clearly has not served us well.

Why was an Ahmadiyya mosque attacked in Pakistan?

The religious group identifies itself as Muslim but has been targeted for years because of beliefs which conflict with the more orthodox sects. Earlier this week, a mob attacked an Ahmadiyya place of worship in the populous province of Punjab.

Who are the Ahmadiyyas?
Ahmadiyyas, or Ahmadis, are followers of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, founder of the 19th century religious movement in what is now India and Pakistan.
While they consider themselves a sect of Islam, most clerics from the larger schools of thought in Pakistan believe Ahmadiyyas are not Muslim.
Ahmadiyyas say Mirza Ahmad was a messiah. This directly contradicts one of Islam’s main principles – Muhammad is the last prophet to be associated with the religion. He died in the 7th century. 
As a result, followers of Mirza Ahmed are routinely persecuted in Muslim majority countries. However, the situation in Pakistan is particularly dire.
More than 260 Ahmadiyyas have been killed in Pakistan in the last 30 years, a spokesperson for Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya, their representative organisation in Pakistan, told TRT World. Their houses are routinely burnt down, property looted, and mosques razed to the ground. 
Distrust against the group runs so deep that it took Islamabad decades to name a physics department after Pakistan’s sole Nobel Laureate, the late Professor Abdus Salam, who was an Ahmadiyya
Are they allowed to freely practice their faith?
Ahmadiyyas have run into trouble in several countries for identifying themselves as Muslims, including Saudi Arabia, Indonesia and Bangladesh. However, in Pakistan, Ahmadiyyas by law are not free to practice their faith and are often persecuted with impunity.
They were constitutionally declared non-Muslims by the Pakistani parliament in September 1974, after violent riots and concentrated efforts by orthodox clerics and religious parties swayed the otherwise secular Prime Minister Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto. 
Ten years later, the government of military dictator General Ziaul Haq introduced harsh laws which made it a criminal offence for Ahmadiyyas to call themselves Muslims or their religion Islam. They are not allowed to use the word “mosque” for their place of worship or preach their faith.
"We can't refer to our book as the Quran, we can’t use (our) mosque to give a call to prayer, we can't use Islamic inscriptions on wedding cards," said a spokesman for Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya, Amir Mehmood.
"There is so much that we cannot do in our daily life."
Why was the Ahmadiyya place of worship attacked?
Between 1984 and 2016, about 97 Ahmadiyya mosques were demolished and sealed by authorities. Some of these were forcibly occupied by followers of other Muslim sects. Vigilante justice is common.
On December 12, when Muslims around the world were celebrating the birthday of Prophet Muhammad, a one-thousand-strong mob barged into an Ahmadiyya mosque in Dulmial, a village in Punjab.
"There are 500 Ahmadiyya people who have been living in this village for decades without any issues with their neighbours," said Mehmood.
He said things have changed in the past few months after fiery hate speech by clerics incited people from other villages to forcibly take over the mosque. 

Some of the village clerics filed a case with the police to force Ahmadiyyas to vacate the premises.The attack occurred after authorities refused to give in to the demands of the clerics.
The violent crowd forced its way into the mosque and vandalised it.
While no one died as a direct result of mob violence, 65-year-old Khalid Javed, who was among 40 Ahmadiyya men seeking shelter inside the mosque, died of a heart attack.
Is the Pakistani government doing anything to stop Ahmadiyya victimisation?
Just days before the attack on the mosque, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif renamed the physics department of a large public university after Abdus Salam, the Nobel Laureate.
Many welcomed the long overdue decision but a top religious body was quick to condemn it. There has not been any actionable effort to change the constitution or criminal law to accommodate Ahmadiyyas.
Continuous violation of minority rights has pushed the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom to recommend that Pakistan be declared a "country of particular concern" under the US International Religious Freedom Act.
This could lead to possible foreign sanctions against Islamabad.