Monday, May 8, 2017

Music - Lata & Rafi - Mujhe Teri Mohabbat Ka Sahara

Music - Noor Jehan - Jaddun holi jeyi laina mera naa.flv

Pakistan Faces Foreign Policy Challenges in Tensions With Neighbors

Recent cross-border attacks and disputes have strained Pakistan's ties with three of its four neighbors, which analysts say are challenging Islamabad's foreign policy strategy.

Tehran on Monday warned Islamabad that it would hit bases inside Pakistan if the government does not confront Sunni militants who carry out cross-border attacks. Ten Iranian border guards were killed and one abducted by militants last month in the southeastern province of Sistan-Balouchestan, which borders Pakistan.

“We expect the Pakistani officials to control the borders, arrest the terrorists and shut down their bases.” said Major Gen. Mohammad Baqeri. The head of the Iranian armed forces was quoted by state news agency IRNA.
Iran, which shares nearly 1,000-kilometer (over 600 miles) border with Pakistan, alleges that anti-state militants use Pakistani soil for plotting terrorist attacks against Iran. Pakistan's western and eastern neighbors, Afghanistan and India, have long accused Islamabad of harboring and supporting militant groups that carry out attacks across shared borders.
Border clashes between Pakistan and Afghanistan killed at least 13 people and wounded more than 80 others Friday when Pakistani authorities attempted to conduct a census in disputed villages.
Skirmishes lead to strained relations
Frequent skirmishes with Indian forces and militant infiltration across the Line of Control with India have kept ties strained between the two countries. New Delhi has accused Pakistan-based religious groups of supporting militancy in Indian Kashmir.

The United States has pressed Islamabad to do more to crack down on militant groups that operate from its soil. U.S. President Donald Trump's national security adviser, H.R. McMaster called on Pakistani leaders during a trip to Kabul last month to go after militant groups on their soil “less selectively than they have in the past.”
Pakistan rejects the allegations of employing proxies from its soil, saying “Pakistan itself is a victim of state sponsored terrorism.”
Pakistan's foreign office would not officially comment Monday on the Iranian warning to launch attacks against terrorist's hideouts in Pakistan, but Pakistani officials say Islamabad has good ties with Iran.

“Our relationships with Iran are improving; not only economic ties but we are also moving toward a close cooperation on security issues,” Awais Ahmad Leghari, chairman of the Senate committee foreign affairs, told VOA.
Political and economic impact
But analysts say the failure of Pakistan's government to stop Pakistan-based militant groups from launching attacks against its neighbors is straining political and economic ties.

“Whatever is happening on the border between Pakistan and Afghanistan, as well as on the borders with India and Iran, is in fact a major challenge for Pakistan's foreign policy,” said Rashid Ahmad, a professor of international studies at Punjab University.
“The situation is delicate and dangerous,” he said, adding that Islamabad's relations with its neighbors have worsened in the last four years.
“Pakistan is in an unenviable position now in that it faces major security challenges on three of its borders,” Michael Kugelman, a Pakistani affairs specialist at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington, told VOA.
A common theme
Though “the roots of these challenges are all very complex, there's one single theme that animates all of these border disputes: allegations of Pakistani support for militants on its soil that stage cross-border attacks," he said.
Analysts say the growing tensions not only strain political harmony but also hinder economic and commercial prospects in the region.
"If Pakistan's relations with its neighbors remain tense then its focus will be on security not the economy,” Talat Masood, a defense analyst told VOA.

Pakistani authorities in mid-February closed all border crossings with Afghanistan for over a month after a string of suicide bombings in Pakistan. The protracted border closure cost businesses on both sides tens of millions of dollars and fueled bilateral tensions.

Pakistan exporting terror, claim three neighbours

With Iran's top military official warning Pakistan of reprisals for sheltering Sunni militias attacking targets in Iran, three of Islamabad's neighbours have accused it of cross-border terrorism. Iran's warning that it might be considering its version of"surgical strikes"+ comes after 10 of its border guards were killed by a group identified as Jaish-al-Adl which Tehran believes is sheltered in Pakistan.

Sunni groups operating from Pakistan believe Shia-majority Iran does not conform to Islam and is a fair target for violence.

Iran has echoed the charge frequently levelled by Afghanistan and India. Successive Afghan regimes have held Pakistan responsible for the resurgence of Talibanwhich has attacked development projects, kidnapped foreign nationals and sought to impose hardline Islam in its territory.

Pakistan's sponsorship of Taliban is intended to ensure its control on territory in Afghanistan and is also a measure to pressure the incumbent government. It is also part of its 'strategic depth' doctrine, based on a calculation that Afghanistan must remain a subservient backyard.

The doctrine is linked to Pakistan's India strategy where its army and ISI arm and despatch terrorists for terrorist strikes in J&K and the rest of India. A dense network of "friendly" jihadi organisations operate in Pakistan and Afghanistan and train fighters for assignments in India. India has accused Pakistan of encouraging and sponsoring terrorist organisations like Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammad as well as Hizbul Mujahideen who are responsible for terror attacks on Indian civilian and military targets.

Iran warns will hit militant 'safe havens' inside Pakistan

The head of the Iranian armed forces warned Islamabad on Monday that Tehran would hit bases inside Pakistan if the government does not confront Sunni militants who carry out cross-border attacks.
Ten Iranian border guards were killed by militants last month. Iran said Jaish al Adl, a Sunni militant group, had shot the guards with long-range guns, fired from inside Pakistan.
The border area has long been plagued by unrest from both drug smuggling gangs and separatist militants.
"We cannot accept the continuation of this situation," Major General Mohammad Baqeri, the head of the Iranian armed forces was quoted as saying by state news agency IRNA.
"We expect the Pakistani officials to control the borders, arrest the terrorists and shut down their bases."
"If the terrorist attacks continue, we will hit their safe havens and cells, wherever they are," he said.
Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif visited Pakistan last week and asked Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to improve the border security. Pakistan assured Iran it would deploy additional troops along its border.
In 2014 Iran warned it would send troops to Pakistan to retrieve five Iranian border guards kidnapped by Jaish al Adl. Pakistan said at the time that such action would be violation of the international law and warned Iranian forces not to cross the border. Iran refrained from sending the troops when a local Sunni cleric stepped in and resolved the situation.
Four of the guards were released a few months later, but one was killed by the militants.
Jaish al Adl is a Sunni militant group that has carried out several attacks against Iranian security forces with the aim of highlighting what they say is discrimination against minority Sunni Muslims in Iran, where the majority are Shi'ites.
The group claimed responsibility for attacks that killed eight border guards in April 2015 and 14 border guards in October 2013.

Video Report - Malala Yousafzai's POWERFUL Speech To The Canadian Parliament | Apr 13, 2017

Video Report - Source: Obama warned Trump not to hire Flynn

Video Report - Al Franken CRUSHES Trump During Sally Yates And James Clapper Testimony

Video - Putin visits his former KGB boss on his 90th birthday

Video Report - ‘Say No to repression’: Protesters scuffle with police in central Paris

Tensions are rising in the post-vote protest in Paris against President-elect Emmanuel Macron, as well as against new labor reforms. Police have briefly engaged in scuffles with protesters.

Video - Bol News Program Pakistan Khappay With President Asif Ali Zardari 7th May 2017

Pakistani Christians demand action legal against murderers of Mashal Khan

As Pakistan still mourns the heinous killing of Abdul Wali Khan University’s student Mashal Khan, Pakistani Christians have demanded befitting action against the killers of the young student. In this regard, Reverend Shahid P. Mairaj has urged the government to take necessary action in this regard.
On April 13, a vigilante mob lynched Mashal Khan inside the university premises. Mashal was accused of committing blasphemy, and so faced extra judicial punishment by his fellow students. Mashal and another student Abdullah, were attacked because there were rumors that they were “promoting the Ahmadi faith on Facebook.” After being informed about the commotion, police reached the scene and were able to rescue Abdullah from the mob.
Soon after the incident, a video footage emerged showing Mashal lying on the floor surrounded by men. He can be seen motionless and wounded, while men around him could be seen kicking his lifeless body and beating it with wooden planks.“The charged students then wanted to burn his body,” DIG Shinwari revealed.
Reverend Shahid P. Mairaj stated: “The government must reject any expediency and do what is good for the nation.” Further paying homage to the courageous student he said: “We want to honor the sacrifice of Mashal Khan,” as he continued saying, “we demand clear punishment for his assassins.”
Reverend Mairaj urged the government to nurture tolerance in the country. Remarking about the religious extremism he said: “What we ask for is an impartial country that unfortunately is disappearing! For years we have been victims of these extremists. Politicians should go beyond power games and begin to save people’s lives.”
Cecil S. Chaudhry, who heads the Commission for Justice and Peace of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Pakistan, called upon the government to wake up to the alarming situation. “Only the state can stop these elements; civil society is helpless. Law enforcement should take note of this kind of talk: they are an open challenge to the state itself. Looking at social media after this tragedy shows how the level of radicalization has become extremely alarming.”
He said that is this mindset is not controlled it will proliferate and spread in the society. Cecil Chaudhry said that if the extremists are not hooked, they will continue to operate with such ease and liberty. “If the perpetrators of Mashal Khan’s assassination and of all assassinations perpetrated in the name of religion are not put in jail, they will continue and multiply.”
“Taking justice in one’s own hands is indicative of an absent government, the failure of the civil administration to enforce the law, and the ambiguity of the judicial system. The latter continues to allow such crimes against humanity to go unpunished. Impunity linked to violence in the name of religion must end,” he continued.

Pakistan's blasphemy allegations - Our darkest moments

By Umair Javed

SEVENTY-ONE deaths in 27 years. According to data collected by Al Jazeera, that is the estimated number of people killed in violence connected to blasphemy allegations. It includes the 12-year-old who lost his life in the town of Hub on Thursday, after a mob resorted to aerial firing in their hunt for a citizen, from a minority community, accused of blasphemy. It includes Mashal Khan, beaten, stomped, and shot to death by some of his own peers at Abdul Wali Khan University in Mardan last month.
These are just some of the recent events where lives were lost and the media’s gaze stuck around for more than a few days at a stretch. Between them lie many other incidents from which those accused still languish in prison, or where injuries were caused, people were forced to relocate, and only their homes, and not their bodies, were burnt down. The increasing frequency of such acts can be gauged by the fact that literally days after Mashal Khan’s lynching, a mob assembled in Chitral baying for the blood of another accused.
There are facets common to these incidents: Greed for property, money, or social status trigger accusations, while the deeply held religious beliefs of ordinary people take centre stage to deliver ‘justice’.
The state does not have a solution to vigilantism related to blasphemy accusations.
Material motivations are often couched in the language of purity, and status-seeking mullahs seek to further their own credentials by taking up these causes with great public fanfare. In the recent incident in Hub, reports say members of two religious groups travelled all the way from Karachi to participate in the organisation of a lynch mob.
This shameful, endless tryst with blasphemy-related allegations is happening under the nurturing shadow of the state and the political elite. A short while ago, member of the prime minister’s family and PML-N MNA Capt Safdar paid homage to Mumtaz Qadri’s ‘bravery’ as he went about extolling the virtues of vigilantism against alleged blasphemers. When a group of five bloggers were abducted by the state apparatus, the only charge that emerged against them was of anti-religious and anti-establishment provocation. As researcher Ammar Rashid points out, the architecture of blasphemy laws has clearly helped fan these disastrous flames. In the 59 years before 1986 — when Article 295-C introduced the mandatory death penalty for blasphemy — there were a mere seven accusations of blasphemy and two examples of vigilante killings; in the 28 years after the introduction of 295-C, blasphemy accusations increased to 1,335 and direct vigilante murders to 65 (a further six are indirectly related).
It is clear that the state and large swathes of the political elite is complicit in bringing us to a point where the easiest way to settle a score with an individual is to accuse them of blasphemy. This, however, is not the darkest aspect of our present moment.
Over the past few years, an emerging narrative tells us that the country has turned a corner in its fight against terrorism. Constituent of this narrative is the idea that the military has taken a clear position on militancy, and is now seeking to re-establish its monopoly over violence.
There is some truth buried amid all the hyperbole of success and consolidation. The state is clear about aspects of organised militancy, and the falling frequency of attacks suggests its proposed solution has worked to some extent.
However, the state does not have a solution to blasphemy-related vigilantism. This is because it has both legally — through the constitution and the penal code — and rhetorically — through frequent speeches against blasphemous content - elevated blasphemy as one of the highest offences in the land. Unlike anti-state terrorism, which is an identifiable political project, blasphemy violence is now a social project. It does not seek to alter the state any more, it seeks to alter or set societal limits. It seeks to tell you, me, and everyone around us what it means to be a good Muslim and what it entails to be a good, pliant member of a minority community. It is a unifying agenda that allows political leaders and religious clerics of all stripes to get together and cash in on the easily provoked sentiments of a majority Muslim population.
With each subsequent case, it becomes clear that unlike the TTP (that we can at least partially identify geographically and organizationally) we have no ways of identifying participants of the next lynch mob. There is enough ‘latent radicalism’ in all corners of our country — from Chitral to Hub via Lahore, Karachi, and Islamabad — that a simple accusation, a little door-to-door work, and a loudspeaker is enough to gather a bloodthirsty crowd.
The absence of a clear or straightforward solution to this violent epidemic is what constitutes our darkest moment. The most banal answers — strengthen local policing, strengthen the court system — ignores the embedded nature of the problem. The same law enforcement institutions are working under a penal code that promises death for blasphemy.
There is very little that a small coterie of earnest citizens can do, other than express their outrage over frequent acts of savagery. And there are few allies even in this task: Most diluted, half-baked condemnations of vigilante murders are swiftly accompanied with a ‘but he/she shouldn’t have blasphemed either’. Any discussion over the problematic laws is now taken as blasphemy itself. Any attempt to add nuance is rejected by a perpetually hurt and sensitive majority. For a country that frequently gives reasons for pessimism, I find blasphemy-related violence to be the most crippling of them all.

Mardan admin denies activists permission to stage rally for Mashal Khan

The district administration in Mardan on Sunday denied a group of activists permission to stage a peaceful rally for Mashal Khan.
The protest had been arranged by some women activists of the province and was due to be joined by activists from other provinces at the Bacha Khan Square in Mardan on Sunday morning. But after the no-objection certificate (NOC) was turned down, the event was postponed.
Enraged at the denial by the district administration, the activists had requested the district police officer to provide security to their rally.
But lacking an NOC, District Police Officer (DPO) Dr Mian Saeed urged the women activists not to hold their rally as it could lead to a confrontation.
“We are law-abiding citizens and we have accepted the DPO’s request as he was of the view that this peaceful protest would result in a confrontation with the district [administration] and may endanger the security situation in the district,” activist and leading social worker Sana Ejaz said while talking to The Express Tribune.
Meanwhile, Awami National Party Central Vice President Bushra Gohar condemned the Mardan police and district administration for refusing to provide security and permission for the rally.
“The district administration can provide security and protection to those who demand that all those who took part in lynching Mashal but turn down an NOC for those who support justice and give strength to the voice for justice,” she said while expressing her shock at the move. Meanwhile, Mardan District Commissioner and other officers of the district administration declined to comment on the matter.
However, a senior officer at the Mardan DC office told The Express Tribune that the activists had applied for the NOC but the police, who has to clear such events, did not find the rally suitable
“Under the circumstances, things would have deteriorated,” the official said.

Pakistan - An independent woman buying herself ice cream is Siraj-ul-Haq’s biggest concern

By Wishal Raheel

JI chief’s comments reflect the deeply rooted insecurities that Pakistani men have, the biggest of them being a woman’s economic independence
A fellow party leader’s recent trip to the US apparently left JI chief Sirajul Haq in shock as the former saw a couple split an ice cream bill equally amongst themselves. The JI chief, at a clerics’ conference in Peshawar, stated that he did not want a similar culture in Pakistan. He then went on to add that he didn’t want the promotion of a culture where a man didn’t even send ‘5 rupees’ on an ice cream for his wife. Clearly the JI chief hasn’t taken his wife out for ice cream in a long, long time otherwise he’d have known that you don’t get an ice cream stick, let alone a full ice cream, for that amount. All jokes apart though, it saddens me to see that the leader of a political party has the audacity to pass such ridiculous comments. This shows the underlying mentality that happens to be the root cause of most problems in Pakistan’s patriarchal society.
It’s a shame that no matter what the situation, we expect a woman to be dependent on the man who is accompanying her. We expect women to never be equal to a man, no matter what. The JI chief’s comments reflect the deeply rooted insecurities that Pakistani men have, the biggest of them being a woman’s economic independence. His comments reveal how threatened gender equality makes an average Pakistani man feel.
Just in 2016, the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) Global Gender Gap Report ranked Pakistan 143 out of a total of 144 countries on its gender inequality index. Pakistan happens to be the second worst country in the world for equal rights for women. It is worth noting that even a war torn country like Syria managed to perform better than Pakistan on the index. Sadly, comments such as the JI chief’s simply prove these findings accurate.
We live in a country where every day is a struggle for women to attain an equal status in society. Be it at work, or at home, managing to stay at the same level as their male counterparts is a routine struggle for all women. Women’s career choices remain limited to this day owing to the presence of gender discrimination. In a situation like this, the least that political party leaders can do is refrain from encouraging gender discrimination.
There are far more important and pressing issues that religious men need to be addressing at this moment. Our country has become hell for minorities, mobs kill people every other day in the name of religion and women are denied their basic rights. It would perhaps be a good idea for our clergymen to address these instead of talking about irrelevant and highly nonsensical ‘issues’.