Friday, March 3, 2017

Music Video - INNA - Yalla


4 dead as Saudi jets pound northern Yemen with cluster bombs
At least four civilians have lost their lives and several others sustained injuries when Saudi fighter jets carried out fresh aerial attacks against residential areas in northern Yemen, using internationally-banned cluster bombs.
Local sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, said three people were killed and four others injured when Saudi military aircraft struck the al-Barkah area of the northwestern Yemeni province of Sa'ada, located 240 kilometers north of the capital Sana'a, on Friday afternoon, Arabic-language al-Masirah television network reported.
Saudi jets also launched a morning raid in the Hayran district of the northwestern province of Hajjah, located approximately 130 kilometers northwest of Sana’a, killing at least one person and injuring seven others.
Cluster bombs are banned under the Convention on Cluster Munitions (CCM), an international treaty that addresses the humanitarian consequences and unacceptable harm caused to civilians by cluster munitions through a categorical prohibition and a framework for action.
Moreover, Saudi aircraft bombarded an area in the Mustaba district of the same Yemeni province, with no immediate reports of casualties and the extent of damage caused.

Beijing Doubles Down on South China Sea Defense Buildup

Given the sovereignty China asserts over disputed waters and islands in the South China Sea, construction of new infrastructure on artificial islands in the region is not unusual, a senior Chinese official said, according to the Singapore-based news outlet Today Online.
According to the South China Morning Post, a Hong Kong-based newspaper owned by Alibaba, Chinese construction in the South China Sea is "seen as a veiled attack on the United States."
In the wake of the US Navy’s Third Fleet Forward tour through the South China Sea, Wang Guoqing, spokesman for the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, said criticisms aimed at Beijing for building defense posts in the South China Sea are "much ado about nothing," without naming a particular country, the South China Morning Post reported.

"Building amenities on our land, including those for defense, is absolutely normal," the official said, noting that the "sovereign right" belonging to China is "recognized by international law."
US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, during his confirmation hearing, stated that American foreign policy has been inadequate in the South China Sea, allowing the Chinese to "keep pushing the envelope" with the placement of "military assets" on regional islets. He declared Chinese construction of defense infrastructure "illegal," prompting a backlash from Beijing threatening a "military clash" if the US blocks Chinese access to islands in the South China Sea.
"As the world’s largest trader and the country with the most coastline along the South China Sea, we care about the safety and freedom of navigation more than any other country,” Wang said, reiterating that China’s military assets are solely for basic and necessary defense purposes. The spokesman noted that China has already "established a cooperative mechanism with many countries on safety [in the South China Sea,]" according the the Today Online report.

Commentary: Why China won't accuse America of "stealing jobs"

While finger-pointing about job losses has been rife on Capitol Hillblame-thy-neighborrhetoric has been noticeably absent in the Great Hall of the People.
In his first address to CongressU.SPresident Donald Trump claimed the United Stateshas "lost 60,000 factoriessince China joined the World Trade Organization in 2001.
Yet China is also experiencing factory lossesThe so-called "world's factoryis sheddingmanufacturing jobsnot just to lower-cost regions such as Southeast Asiabut also tohigher-end economiesIndeedone of the hottest economic topics in China is the loss ofjobs to the United States.
Cao Dewangwho runs China's leading glass manufacturing businesswas recently thrustinto a media storm after he complained of high business costs in his homeland andannounced a billion-dollar investment in the United States.
A fierce debate ensuedwith various reports and opinions circulating about Cao andChina's business environmentStillalmost none blamed Uncle Sam for being attractiveand business-friendly and luring Cao's investment away.
To be suremany factories and jobs have been and will continue to be created in theUnited States through Chinese investmentAccording to a report by the U.S.-ChinaBusiness Council cited by a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokespersontrade and investmentbetween China and the United States created about 2.6 million jobs for the latter in 2015.
HoweverChina is not in the habit of finger-pointing for "stealing jobs."
Caoa senior political advisorwill no doubt face more questions about manufacturing jobsin China and America when he attends the annual session of the Chinese People's PoliticalConsultative Conference National Committee (CPPCC) -- China's top political advisorybody -- that will open in Beijing Friday.
But you won't hear slogans like "Buy ChineseHire Chineseat the CPPCC sessionnorthat of National People's Congresswhich will open Sunday.
Insteadthere will be remarks like those made by Chinese President Xi Jinping at theWorld Economic Forum in DavosSwitzerland in January.
"We are not jealous of otherssuccessand we will not complain about others who havebenefited so much from the great opportunities presented by China's development.
"We will open our arms to the people of other countries and welcome them aboard theexpress train of China's development."

‘Like McCarthyism’: Lavrov slams US ‘witch hunt-like’ scrutiny of Russian ambassador’s contacts

With Russian Ambassador to the USA Sergey Kislyak’s contacts with members of the Trump administration under scrutiny, Moscow won’t apply a tit-for-tat approach to US Ambassador to Russia John Tefft, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov promised.
Lavrov said the whole situation resembled the days of McCarthyism.
Kislyak recently found himself under the US media spotlight with reports of his communications, first with former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn and then with Attorney-General Jeff Sessions.
After Wednesday reports saying Sessions had met Kislyak twice in 2016, but did not disclose the contacts during his Senate confirmation testimony, a CNN article said that “current and former US intelligence officials have described Kislyak as a top spy and recruiter of spies.” 
According to Lavrov, the situation developing around Kislyak and his contacts is reminiscent of “witch hunt.”
“I can refer to a quote spread in the media today: all of this looks very much like a witch hunt or the days of McCarthyism, which we long thought have passed in the US, a civilized country," Lavrov said.
On Thursday, President Donald Trump described the scandal around Sessions as “a total witch hunt.”
“Kislyak is accused of talking to American politicians who were in opposition to the administration of then-President Barack Obama,” Lavrov said. “That is the essence of these accusations, to be honest.”
“We don't want to and we won’t ape” the American approach towards Kislyak, Lavrov said.
“If such a principle has been applied to scrutinize activity of John Tefft and his contacts, we could see quite an ‘amusing’ picture,” Lavrov said.
The minister noted that ambassadors are appointed to maintain relations with the host country.
“Relationships are maintained in the form of meetings, talks, contacts with both executive officials [from the current administration] and with politicians, public figures, non-governmental organizations. This practice has never been disputed,” Lavrov said.
Lavrov’s statement comes in response to the uproar in the US over a report in the Washington Post claiming that Sessions spoke to Kislyak twice in 2016. The report prompted House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi to demand Sessions’ resignation for “lying under oath” during the hearings.
Sessions denied any wrongdoing in meeting with the Russian ambassador, saying the two brief encounters had nothing to do with the presidential campaign. He recused himself from any investigations into the campaign, however.
The attorney-general is not the first official in the Trump administration who faces allegations of having contacts with Russian officials. Earlier, Flynn stepped down as national security advisor after being accused by the media of discussing sanctions on Russia with Kislyak. Both he and the Russian Embassy denied the discussion ever took place.
On Thursday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said he is unaware of any such talks between Sessions and Kislyak, adding that establishing working contacts with host nation’s executive and legislative branches is an inherent part of an ambassador’s job.
“The more such meetings are being held by an ambassador, the more efficient he is. And this applies to every ambassador,” Peskov stressed, adding that Tefft “has plenty of contacts with Russian MPs and it is quite normal.”

#Sessionsscandal: ‘US heading to constitutional crisis’

The Democrat attack on the Attorney General is not accidental as he would be dealing with accusations against the administration of fraternizing with Russians - the latest US hysteria, says Gilbert Doctorow of the American Committee for East-West Accord.
The Trump administration is fighting off yet more allegations of improper contact with Moscow during the presidential race. Now it's the turn of Attorney General Jeff Sessions who met with Russia's ambassador to the US during Donald Trump's campaign, which was reported by the Washington Post.
Sessions was a senator at the time and didn't mention the meetings during his January confirmation hearing to become Attorney General. He denies allegations that he misled on purpose.
The Kremlin reacted to the allegations, saying it was not aware of any meetings between Jeff Sessions and the Russian ambassador, adding that the scandal was not “Moscow's headache.”
Meanwhile, both Republican and Democratic senators said meeting foreign diplomats is part of a senator's job.
"This is a political assassination under way,”Gilbert Doctorow of American Committee for East-West Accord, said commenting to RT.
“The point is the US is heading into a constitutional crisis. I think it is impossible for President Trump to avoid taking steps that otherwise he would hope to postpone, otherwise he would enjoy basking in his great success on Tuesday evening's address to the nation – the support that he had from the whole Republican side of the House, and from a good number of Democrats as well. All of that is vitiated by this latest round of a political assassination attempt on one of his close advisers. I think it is not accidental that precisely Jeff Sessions has come in the sights of those who want to neuter, to destroy the Trump presidency. He is as Attorney General in control of the FBI, he is the one, who would be acting, or not acting on all of the accusations being made against the administration and the entourage of Trump for collusion with Russians, or for simply fraternizing with Russians, which has become our present hysteria, our present McCarthyite atmosphere cause for bringing down the government.

'Hysterical nonsense'

There’s nothing sinister about Sessions talking to the Russian ambassador, says Lew Rockwell, political analyst and author.
RT: We just heard US senators saying there's nothing wrong with meeting with a Russian ambassador, so why the controversy here?
Lew Rockwell: It is the deep state. American mainstream media has been showing since the Church hearings and many other investigations, might as well juts be a part of the CIA. So this is just the more of the campaign against Trump, against having a friendly relationship with Russia. It is all the baloney about Russia having intervened in the American elections. By the way, the way the US intervenes in every single Russian election and elections all around the world, I don’t think the Russians intervened in the American elections. Certainly Sessions talking to the Russian ambassador at a Heritage Foundation party – there is nothing sinister about it. No ambassador is ever that country’s top spy. I mean in some sense every diplomat is a spy. This is just a hysterical nonsense that is being peddled.

Even if the Russians did intervene, what did they want? Did they want atomic secrets, or that kind of stuff? No. What they wanted was – peace with the US, no more US aggression against Russia, and trade. Get rid of the sanctions, let’s have friendly relationship, exactly the relationship by the way that the US should have with every single country in the world, whether it is China, or Venezuela, or Iran, whomever. This is the proper foreign policies laid out by George Washington so many years ago. This hostility, this Cold War-esque, baloney is not having an effect on the American people. This is an entirely DC hysteria. Yes there were Republicans as well as Democrats who hate the guts of the Trump administration and would love Hillary back in chart.
RT: During a news conference on Thursday, Sessions was pretty adamant and direct that he is not stepping down, as he claims he has done nothing wrong. He said he has examined the rules of ethics and they have not been broken. What are your thoughts on his statement?
LR: I think pretty much everything he said was good. I don’t like the recusal business. After all he is not a judge. So for him to do this, when we know that the deep state wants a special prosecutor, who would be loyal to them, and who could make up all kinds of stuff, that part is unfortunate. We just have to see what develops. But let’s remember the Democrats used to be very pro-Russia, when there was Stalin. When Stalin and Lenin were in charge, they liked Russia. They set up the export and import bank to fund trade with Russia. Of course they were Russia’s ally in WWII. Now that Russia is …no longer Communist, it has much freer market and no Gulag, they hate its guts. Seems to me there is something wrong about that.
RT: The House speaker Paul Ryan commented on the scandal saying there's no evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. Why is there such hysteria about this?
LR: There’s hysteria because again it’s the CIA, the NSA, the FBI, or at least the elements within those intelligence organizations and other unnamed intelligence organizations that seek to overthrow the President. They seek to toss him out and to install a Hillaryite or neocon in the White House instead. They want Cold War, some of them want “hot war” with Russia. They want much more military spending, they want many horrible things. So this is all a generated hysteria. This people are all puppets. They’re like “Pravda” and “Izvestia” in the old days. There has been a switch here, a very unfortunate switch, I must say.

Video Report - Inside Story - Is Donald Trump about to lose his Attorney General?

Video Report - Despite recusal, Rep. Pingree says AG Sessions should resign

Video Report - Did Jeff Sessions lie about meeting the Russians?

The Daily Show with Trevor Noah - Jeff Sessions Recuses Himself from Russian Investigations

US drone kills two militants in Pakistan

Two suspected Afghan Taliban fighters were killed in a drone strike near the Pak-Afghan border on Thursday.
According to officials, a US drone targeted a motorcycle in the Ahmadi Shama area of Lower Kurram at about 1.30pm, killing the two militants. They were identified as Afghan Taliban commander Qari Abdullah and Shakir. Abdullah belonged to the Subari area in Afghanistan’s Khost province.
The drone strike occurred in the area where the funeral of TTP Kurram chapter head Fazal Saeed Haqqani was held in December last year. He was killed by his own bodyguard.
This is the first drone strike inside Pakistan’s tribal region this year. The previous such attack had killed Afghan Taliban leader Mullah Akhtar Mansour in Noshki district of Balochistan on May 21 last year.
Foreign Office spokesperson Nafees Zakaria told Dawn in Islamabad that the government was ascertaining the situation on the ground.
The very first of the more than 420 attacks occurred in 2004 under the government of President George W. Bush, but it was under President Barack Obama that their use increased substantially, before tapering off in his second term, according to AFP. Last year there were only three.

Pakistan Is Literally Sitting on a (Nuclear) Powder Keg

On February 16 a suicide bomber blew himself up in the main hall of the shrine of Pakistan’s most popular sufi saint, Lal Shahbaz Qalandar, killing at least 88 people, including 21 children. The shrine is located in Sehwan in Pakistan’s Sindh province, which has a strong tradition of sufism going back several centuries.It was obvious that the bombing was the work of one or more salafi (puritanical) groups that have been regularly targeting sufi shrines in Pakistan for the past couple of years. For what it’s worth, ISIS—itself a product of salafi ideology—has claimed responsibility for the deadly attack. It’s more likely, however, that it was the handiwork of one of the many salafi terrorist groups active in Pakistan, like Jamaat-ul-Ahrar, which also claimed responsibility.
The attack has once again exposed two major tensions in Pakistan’s polity. The first tension is the struggle in Pakistan between an inclusive version of Islam, a product of the syncretic culture of the Indian subcontinent, and the rigid salafi interpretation of the religion that has become increasingly popular in South Asia thanks to the funding of madrasas (religious schools) and mosques by Wahabbi-ruled Saudi Arabia. To the salafis—literally those who follow the path of the “righteous ancestors”—the sufi tradition, with its syncretic features, is anathema as they consider it a major deviation from the pristine form of Islam and its followers heretics if not unbelievers. Unfortunately, inclusive Islam, represented by the Sufi shrine in Sehwan, is on the defensive in Pakistan and has been so for the past three decades since the rule of General Zia-ul-Haq who had allied himself with Saudi Arabia in the context of the anti-Soviet insurgency in Afghanistan which both supported.
The second and equally important tension exposed by the attack in Sehwan is the inability of the Pakistan Army and government to keep in check ultra-fundamentalist terrorist groups operating in the country. The Pakistan army, especially its intelligence arm, initially sponsored these groups as surrogates in its struggle both to wrest Kashmir from India and to protect Pakistan’s strategic interests in neighboring Afghanistan torn by civil strife. However, several of them now operate largely outside the control of the armed forces and have become major agents for chaos and anarchy in the country as demonstrated by the Sehwan massacre.
Additionally, Islamabad has been able to amass a respectable nuclear arsenal and delivery systems, both missile and aircraft, that can cause havoc if they fall into the hands of terrorist elements that seem to be running wild in the country. Moreover, even in “responsible” hands—namely, those of the military high command—these nuclear weapons are a major cause for concern.
One can’t rule out the possibility that escalating tensions with India over Kashmir (and they seem to be escalating by the day) and Pakistan-based terrorist attacks that are becoming increasingly frequent, especially against Indian military targets, can lead to a full-fledged shooting war across the LOC in Kashmir and the international border.
The Modi government has become increasingly bellicose in its statements following recent attacks by Paksitani terrorists on Indian military targets. Those attacks have caused sizable Indian casualties and led to several pinpoint strikes by Indian forces against “terrorist targets” in Pakistan and Pakistan-occupied Kashmir. India’s Hindu nationalist government is under considerable pressure from its hardline domestic constituency to escalate counter-attacks. Afraid of losing its credibility with its political base, New Delhi may not be able to resist such pressure for too long and a major retaliatory attack could lead to all-out war between the two neighbors. The Pakistani military could be tempted to use tactical nuclear weapons against Indian military targets in such a contingency, which could quickly turn into a fully-fledged nuclear exchange devastating the subcontinent and contaminating much of Asia for decades.
Even a sub-nuclear confrontation between India and Pakistan is likely to throw the region into turmoil with major consequences particularly for the US and its allies engaged in containing the Taliban threat in Afghanistan. The Taliban, although some of its factions may have turned against Pakistan lately, were Pakistani creations and even now the Pakistani military is in a position to use them for its strategic purposes in Afghanistan. Since Pakistan’s goals in Afghanistan—containing Indian influence in the country, keeping its surrogate forces functioning, and keeping the Afghan government off-balance—diverge from those of the US and its allies, it mightn’t be averse to stoking the fires of civil war in that country at the expense of American and allied interests.
Pakistan is literally sitting on a powder keg. The increasing ascendancy of militant salafi Islam, the military’s patronage of terrorist groups that it’s now unable to fully control, plus its nuclear arsenal and continuing confrontation with India over Kashmir, have created an explosive mixture that make it a classic case of impending state failure. If that happens it could mark the beginning of major chaos and mayhem in South Asia thus making the region increasingly resemble the Middle East next door.

Pakistan's Ahmadiyya Muslims Under Attack : The mysterious murder of an NGO worker in Pakistan

Ali Nobil Ahmad
The truth behind Zafar Lund’s assassination may never be known, but he tried to protect the poor and downtrodden against the powerful – which earned him enemies among landowners, politicians and sectarian extremists.
They came asking for help. “We’re extremely poor. We need work,” implored the two strangers. Rawal Lund told them his father, Zafar, was not currently in charge of any major projects and unlikely to be hiring. They had experience in the relevant sector, they pleaded, insisting on an audience with the 55-year-old political activist and NGO worker. Zafar Lund was admired for his campaigning work with the disenfranchised and downtrodden people of southern Punjab, and had a reputation for generosity. Rawal agreed to their request, rousing his father from an afternoon nap.

Zafar Lund with two of his four children, Rawal (left), now 24, and Shahik. Photograph
Then the 24-year-old returned to his desk to continue studying for the civil service entrance exams.
A crudely crafted silencer muffled a single shot. Hearing cries, Rawal went back outside to be confronted with a scene that he sees vividly but hesitates to describe. The two assailants had shot his father in the face before fleeing on their motorcycle. Images of his father’s lifeless body, circulated on social media in the days after his murder last July, indicate an entry wound below the right eye.
To the Ahmadiyya minority into which Lund was born, the message of intimidation conveyed by his brazen execution is familiar. Declared non-Muslims by the Pakistani government in 1974 and prohibited from publicly professing their beliefs, Ahmadis in Pakistan are shunned within the mainstream and hounded by extremists. Hate crimes are rarely prosecuted. In August 2015, unidentified gunmen on motorcycles shot dead another Ahmadi, a 37-year-old pharmacy owner, in Taunsa, a town not far from Lund’s residence in the city of Kot Addu.
Lund’s murder is being investigated by Punjab police’s counter-terrorism department. He was probably targeted because he was an Ahmadi, although no militant group has claimed responsibility. A pragmatic eco-socialist who embraced the pluralism of pan-religious folk tradition, Lund was careful to avoid antagonising clerics and rarely discussed his private life. As a mobiliser of the poor, he ruffled feathers in the districts of Dera Ghazi Khan and Muzaffargarh. The range of reactionaries who might welcome his elimination include a wide array of landowner-politicians, venal politicians and ministers, corrupt bureaucrats and avaricious subcontractors.
Then there are elements of the state that, for decades, have exported jihadism against perceived enemies abroad. Within Pakistan itself, militant wings of religious organisations have been granted intermittent protection from police scrutiny given their useful role in deterring internal “subversion” by ethno-nationalists. Haunted by the loss of East Pakistan in 1971 (when it gained independence as Bangladesh), the military is particularly sensitive to the situation in Balochistan, viewing Islamist terrorism as a lesser evil than separatism. The abduction of outspoken critics of the religious and military establishment in recent weeks has traumatised the country’s beleaguered community of liberals and leftwing dissidents.
The truth behind Lund’s assassination – like so many others that have defined Pakistan’s troubled history, from that of its first prime minister Liaquat Ali Khan to Benazir Bhutto and a slew of journalists and activists since – may never be known. A good deal, nonetheless, can be gleaned from the details of his remarkable life.
Lund cut his political teeth as a student organiser under General Zia-ul-Haq’s martial law. A workshop by Bengali theatre director Badal Sarkar in Lahore during the mid-80s inspired him to develop street theatre as a tool of resistance. Guerrilla performances of plays critical of Zia’s tyrannical regime drew crowds that gathered and dispersed before the authorities could intervene.
Following the restoration of democracy in the 90s, Lund adapted to a post-ideological world. Like many progressives of his generation absorbed by civil society, he viewed development from the perspective of local “stakeholders”, empowering populations displaced by the state. The green revolution, Lund felt, was a continuation of the flawed colonial project that famously introduced perennial irrigation to the Punjab. If the British liked to brag of having “turned a desert into a bread basket”, they also disenfranchised the region’s farmers, awarding vast plots of land to tribal leaders whose kin still dominate southern Punjab’s dynastic politics. Continued transformation of the Indus basin through the building of infrastructure, mechanisation and commercialisation of agriculture after independence, Lund complained, had done little to change the political system or address inequality in land distribution.
His NGO, Hirrak, funded by Action Aid and other donors, was named after the sound made by descending hill torrents that irrigate lands adjacent to the Sulaiman range. Hirrak did much to protect the livelihoods of communities along the Indus.
Lund’s advocacy fed into cultural movements calling for his native tongue, Saraiki, to be recognised as an official language and demands for a Saraiki province to offset the dominance of Punjab within Pakistan’s volatile federation. His primary constituency consisted of Saraiki-speaking populations marginalised by the steady colonisation of their region by ethnic Punjabi and Urdu-speaking settlers who have been allotted land since independence.
Adapting folk tales about the mutual dependency of humans, animals and ecosystems into plays performed alongside politically conscious poetry by local bards, Lund and his comrades fused tradition and aesthetics in support of environmental justice. Working closely with a trusted circle of academics and activists in Pakistan and overseas, he contributed to an important innovation in legal resistance to the onslaught of capitalism. Lok Saths – people’s law tribunals – were adapted from traditional south-Asian village gatherings as a means of mobilising communities against a plethora of wasteful and damaging engineering initiatives. Communities across the Saraiki belt gathering to document rights abuses and indict the authorities in their own language, was not merely symbolic: numerous ill-conceived megaprojects to remodel barrages and construct power plants have been delayed, scrapped, relocated or modified to include compensation packages for those affected.
Among those he worked with closely, Lund is remembered with reverence. “My father died that day [of his murder],” says Khadim Hussein of Sindhu Bachao Tarla [Save the Indus], an organisation modeled on India’s famous movement to protect the Narmada valley river. Khadim credits Lund with imparting his community with knowledge about their rights and well-honed techniques of organised resistance, together with the mental strength to deploy these against land-grabbing eviction drives led by the police.
His knack for imbuing the vulnerable with courage and political wisdom is recalled with particular admiration by women, whose empowerment within staunchly patriarchal communities was accorded priority status. Raising awareness about the ills of child marriage and domestic violence, Lund set up adult literacy initiatives and helped many women get their first identity cards. Their transformation into active citizens within a misogynist conservative social order was an end in itself, but also a central pillar of his mobilisation strategy. “Women often outnumbered men in protests, hunger strikes and demonstrations,” says Kalsoom Bibi, current president of Sindhu Bachao’s women’s wing. “We used to run from the police,” she adds, before proudly recounting how she and a band of other women, emboldened by Lund’s interventions, punctured the tyres of a police vehicle sent to evict them from their homes.
Lund’s death went unreported in the international press and received little national coverage, a measure of southern Punjab’s marginal position within Pakistani politics. “If a man of his calibre from central or northern Punjab were assassinated, the story would have run for at least two weeks,” claims Nadeem Shah, a journalist in the ancient city of Multan. With the media dominated by elements of the Pakistani state whose distaste for the Saraiki movement and its sister struggles in Sindh and Baluchistan is well known, the circumstances of Lund’s murder have not been seriously investigated.
A couple of days before it took place, a local man with known connections to a Deobandi madrasa warned several of Lund’s friends to avoid socialising with him, maligning him in terms that suggest a combination of factors, some unrelated to religion, could have been at play in his murder. A source close to the police investigating team confirmed that the man had been released after questioning, playing down his warnings as random and coincidental. “We’re close to catching the culprits,” he said, engrossed in my business card. In exchange for this and other glib reassurances about leads not being followed, I was quizzed about my own movements; the whereabouts of my family; my Facebook user ID and more. A contact in Kot Addu was later asked if I was an Ahmadi.
I once confessed to Lund my squeamishness about the risks he and other Pakistani activists were subjected to during a visit to Muzaffargarh. “You’re wrong to think that way,” he admonished, brushing death aside as an irrelevance: “We live on in our children.”
Rawal ponders the future of a household without his father. His burden is heavy, but the young man’s poise gives strength to Lund’s bewildered father and brother, visibly still deep in grief. The shirt Rawal wore that day, drenched in his father’s blood as he frantically checked for a pulse, has been returned to the belly of the river that Lund spent so much of his life defending against modernist incursions.
An 11-year-old with dimples enters the room smiling. Two days before the strangers on a motorcycle arrived, Lund was coaxed into taking Shamir, his youngest son, for a swimming lesson. Rawal and his elder brother Shahik, currently studying abroad, had taught Shamir to float using a plastic tub in a nearby canal. The last hurdle remained. Much to the delight of friends who learned of this final act on Facebook, Lund was successful. Within minutes, he instilled the boy with the courage to let go.

Pakistan - England players refuse bonus, will not travel to Lahore for PSL final

Leading T20 specialists from England, including former skipper Kevin Pietersen and newest IPL big buy Tymal Mills, have refused lucrative bonuses to play the Pakistan Super League final in Lahore citing security concerns.
The PCB's efforts to hold the PSL final in Lahore to convince the cricket world that it was safe to play international cricket in the country received a setback after the English T20 specialists refused additional bonus payments between USD 10,000 and USD 50,000.
All three English players are in the Quetta Gladiators franchise, which qualified for the final. Pietersen has in fact already returned to London and has tweeted about it.
Well-informed sources told PTI that chances of other leading foreign players in the three franchises which remain in contention to join Quetta in the final are also unlikely to agree to travel to Lahore.
"Chris Gayle, Kieron Pollard, Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardena who are representing Karachi Kings, David Malan and Chris Jordan who are with Peshawar Zalmi and Dwayne Smith, Samuel Badree, Brad Haddin, Shane Watson, Ben Duckett who are with Islamabad United have indicated to their franchises they are not interested in taking the risk of going to Lahore," one source said.
The source said the owner of Peshawar Zalmi, Javed Afridi was doing his best to convince West Indian, Darren Sammy who is the franchise captain to play in Lahore if their team qualifies for the final.
PSL chairman Najam Sethi has prepared a secondary list of foreign players many of them retired or not well known for an emergency players draft to be held for the two finalists if their main overseas players don't travel to Lahore.
Even the foreign commentators have backed out from travelling to Lahore for the final.
As a result, the PCB has been forced to sign an emergency deal with a Dubai based TV production company to produce the final in Lahore. The ones who were contracted during the Dubai leg – Sunset and Vine television have also pulled out.


Chairman Pakistan Peoples Party Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has said that protection of wildlife was a collective human responsibility to the nature and called for more effective efforts to save the flora and fauna in Pakistan.

On the occasion of World Wildlife Day celebrated internationally today, the PPP Chairman said that every nation of any standing safeguards its wildlife to thrive to retain the natural beauty and pass on to the next generation.

He said creating more wildlife sanctuaries by Sindh government was continuity of the policies of Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto who declared Khirthar National Park in Sindh, Khunjerab National Park and Naltar Wildlife Sanctuary in Gilgit-Baltistan among several small and big sanctuaries across the country.

It may be recalled that Sindh government has declared 940 square kilometers area in Thar desert as Chinkara sanctuary area last month.

Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said that his Party supports international, national and provincial measures to raise awareness for protecting the flora and fauna with special attention to those under threats of extinction.

Music - Noor Jehan - Sayyo Ni Mera Mahi Mere Bhaag Jagawan Aa Geya

Afshan Zebi - Lokan do do yaar banaye


Pankaj Udhas " - Sabko Maloom Hai Main Sharabi Nahin

Pashto Music - Nashenas - Za Kho Sharabi yem

Kal Bhi Bhutto Zinda Tha,Ajj Bhi Bhutto Zinda Hai

kal b bhuto zinda tha pppp song Benazeer bilawal by wasebsaraiki

Bilawal Bhutto - ‘Pakistan’s power lies in its cultural diversity’

On account of Baloch Culture Day being celebrated across the country, Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Chairperson Bilawal Bhutto Zardari congratulated the people of Balochistan and said that commemorating such events paves the way for a diversified country. 
In a message issued on Thursday, he said that his party regards Baloch culture very highly as the province has centuries’ old traditions and values that should be celebrated by all Pakistanis.
"All cultures and traditions followed in Pakistan deserve equal respect from every Pakistani and we must accord them the reverence they deserve," he said.
He also added that all traditions should be respected equally and asserted that the PPP would continue to promote all cultures to integrate the nation firmly.

Bilawal directs chief minister to complete projects at the earliest

Chairman of the Pakistan People's Party, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, has directed the Sindh Chief Minister, Syed Murad Ali Shah, to complete all on-going projects in the province at the earliest.
Bilawal was holding a meeting with the Sindh Chief Minister at Bilawal House in Karachi on Thursday. The Chief Minister briefed the PPP chairman on the possibility of a change of portfolios in the Sindh cabinet and discussed various administrative issues of the province.
In this regard, Bilawal wished to ensure the early completion of development work in several on-going projects.
He also asked the chief minister to increase the pace of work so that development projects meet their timeline or are completeed as early as possible.
Bilawal gives congratulations on Baloch Culture Day: Chairman of the Pakistan People's Party, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, has congratulated the Balochi people on their Culture Day being observed in Balochistan and across the country today.
In his message on the occasion, the PPP Chairman said that Pakistan was blessed with diversified cultures and tradition, which makes it a distinct and beautiful country on the world map. He added that the rich culture of the Baloch people has a glorified history which runs into several periods and is celebrated by Balochis and all Pakistanis.
PPP has high regard for all the beautiful cultures cherished and treasured by diverse people. "Each culture and tradition, which is practiced and followed in Pakistan, is equally respectable by every Pakistani and we share every amount of reverence for them," he affirmed. PPP will continue to promote each and every culture and tradition for strong integration of the nation, he asserted.

آصف زرداری کی پنجاب میں سیکیورٹی واپس لینےکی بھرپورمذمت

پیپلزپارٹی کے رہنما فرحت اللہ بابر نے سابق صدر آصف علی زرداری سے پنجاب میں سکیورٹی و اپس لینے کی تصدیق کی ہے انہوں نے کہا کہ تعجب ہے حکومت پنجاب کے پاس سابق صدر کیلئے سکیورٹی نہیں حیرت ہے حکومت پنجاب کے پاس وزیراعلیٰ، وزیر داخلہ کے پروٹوکول کیلئے سکیورٹی ہے آصف علی زرداری کی سکیورٹی واپس لینے کی بھرپور مذمت کرتے ہیں۔

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