Saturday, June 10, 2017
Saudi Arabia’s national soccer team has come under criticism for its refusal to observe a minute’s silence for the London attack victims during a recent match with Australia.
Before the World Cup qualifier in Adelaide on Thursday, the Australian national soccer team lined up in the center of the field to keep silence over the killing of two Australian women in last week's terror attacks in London.
However, the Saudi team continued jogging, passing the ball and taking their positions on the field. Pictures show a Saudi player, Salman al-Faraj, facing the Australian team with his hands behind his back.
The Asian Football Confederation had reportedly approved the minute’s silence against the wishes of Saudi officials.
According to a tweet by Adam Peacock, a presenter with Fox Sports Australia, the Football Federation of Australia “tried to reason” with the Saudis, but they could not persuade them to participate in the minute’s silence.
Social media users have criticized the Saudi team’s behavior.
As in other regional clashes, external powers are being drawn into the Gulf quarrel, not all of them on Saudi Arabia's side.
Saudi Arabia dwarfs Qatar on almost any measure, yet there are plenty of ways the tussle between the Gulf neighbors could end up hurting the world's biggest oil exporter -- even if it wins.
All week the Saudis and their allies have ratcheted up pressure on Qatar, cutting diplomatic ties and imposing a blockade by land, sea and air. The stated goal is to force Qatar to stop cozying up to Saudi Arabia's rival Iran and bankrolling Islamist groups across the region. Qatar says it's being punished for things it didn't do.
The disagreement is longstanding. The scale of the current crisis is new, and it's erupted into a Middle East already polarized by war. Saudi Arabia has struggled to impose its will in Syria and Yemen. Now discord has spread to the inner circle of Gulf monarchies, at a time when the Saudis and their young Prince Mohammed bin Salman are urgently seeking foreign investment to modernize an oil-dependent economy.
"Most worrying is that Saudi Arabia and the U.A.E. may repeat the mistakes that were made when the Saudi leadership decided to launch a war in Yemen," said Yezid Sayigh, a Beirut-based senior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. "They had no clear political strategy, based their action on false assumptions, have incurred heavy financial costs and a growing human toll, and are probably now worse off in terms of their security."
As in other regional clashes, external powers are being drawn into the Gulf quarrel, not all of them on Saudi Arabia's side. U.S. President Donald Trump, who visited the kingdom last month, tweeted support for the Saudi-led campaign, but the Pentagon -- which has one of its biggest overseas bases in Qatar -- and the State Department have taken a more neutral position. Turkey has accelerated pre-existing plans to deploy some troops to Qatar, and Iran offered alternative transport routes and supplies of staple goods that can no longer be imported from Saudi Arabia. Their backing reduces the chance of a quick Saudi victory.
"Turkey has a powerful military," said Paul Sullivan, a Middle East specialist at Georgetown University in Washington. "Iran is sending water and food," he said. "So now we have two significant forces supporting Qatar."
From the Saudi viewpoint, Qatar has been stirring up trouble all over. That includes promoting the Muslim Brotherhood, whose advocacy of Islam through the ballot box is disliked by some Gulf monarchs. It includes cordial ties to Iran, with which Qatar shares a giant gas field. It includes sponsoring the Al-Jazeera television network, which has been critical of Saudi allies. Rounding up the charge-list: Support for Islamic State and al-Qaida -- something the Saudis have also been accused of and, like Qatar, deny.
"Qatar for many years has taken steps to support certain organizations and intervened in situations," Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir said Wednesday. "We view Qatar as a brother state," he said. "But you have to be able to tell your friend or your brother what is right or wrong."
The Saudis and U.A.E. have hinted they'll take further steps to make the point, including curbs on bank lending to Qatar and transactions in its riyal currency. Gas-rich Qatar has financial resources of its own, though, to withstand a siege. Its $335 billion sovereign wealth fund owns stakes in global companies from Volkswagen to Barclays.
Qatar will be motivated to resist by the perception that what the Saudis are really after is regime change, according to Sanam Vakil, associate fellow with the Middle East and North Africa Programme at Chatham House in London.
Insisting "that Qatar capitulate on these demands is a challenge to its sovereignty," and therefore the legitimacy of the ruling family, Vakil said. "I find it hard to believe they will just roll over."
So far, they haven't. Week one of the standoff ended with Qatar defiant. Food imports that usually come across the Saudi border have been sourced elsewhere, Foreign Minister Mohammed Al Thani told reporters in Doha. "We can live forever like this," he said. "We aren't ready to discuss an intervention into our sovereignty."
That doesn't mean the pressure won't tell eventually. The Saudi economy is four times bigger than Qatar's. Its population is more than 10 times larger, and that internal market helps insulate the Saudis from any fallout, said James Reeve, the London-based senior economist at Samba Financial Group.
Stock markets share that view of who's more at risk. The main Saudi index was little changed on the week; Qatar's fell more than 7 percent.
Still, "any dispute of this type is likely to mar the investment climate for all countries," Reeve said. "Investors will be reminded that this is a region where political issues can flare up unexpectedly."
Saudi Arabia can ill afford instability in the Middle East, particularly of its own creation, at a time it's seeking to raise billions of dollars from foreign investors by selling shares of its oil giant, Saudi Aramco.
U.A.E. Foreign Minister Anwar Gargash, in an interview on Wednesday, acknowledged that the Gulf's reputation as a stable destination for capital could take a hit. "I can't deny that this rift has its toll," he said. But he said there was no alternative to confronting Qatar, because the other five members of the Gulf Cooperation Council can't trust a partner that's "going to be duplicitous in his policies."
If Qatar wants to fight back, it could threaten to pull out of the GCC, according to Theodore Karasik, a senior adviser at Gulf State Analytics. That would strike at Saudi efforts toward closer union.
"Qatar could begin the process of exiting from the group," said Karasik. "This would be a powerful message to all interested parties," and would likely win behind-the-scenes backing from Turkey, Iran and even Russia, he said.
Another GCC member, Kuwait, is leading the effort to ensure things don't reach that point. Its ruler traveled to Saudi Arabia and Qatar this week, for discussions that haven't yet been made public. Trump on Thursday offered his secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, as a mediator.
The president himself is widely seen as having emboldened the Saudi camp. Trump has vowed to take a tougher line on Iran, and hailed King Salman as a key partner.
That's one reason why, when Islamic State struck at the heart of Tehran for the first time this week, Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps promptly blamed Saudi Arabia and the U.S., and promised revenge -- another example of how battle-lines across the Middle East are hardening.
The Gulf monarchies now at loggerheads were among "the last somewhat peaceful places in the region," Sullivan said. "I'm getting worried."
By Ben Anderson
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani had just finished receiving his morning briefing last Wednesday when the windows at the presidential palace shattered. The cause: a massive truck bomb, detonated less than 1,000 meters away, during rush hour in the capital Kabul.
At least 150 people were killed and nearly 500 more injured, most of them civilians.
The blast, which left a crater more than 65 feet wide, took place inside the Diplomatic Zone, supposedly the most secure area in Afghanistan. Two days later, when thousands of Afghans took to the streets to demonstrate against both the Taliban and the government, four people, including an 8-year-old boy, were shot dead by police. The following day, at least seven people were killed when suicide bombers targeted a funeral for one of the protestors.
Such attacks have become common over the last few years, and Kabul, once considered a safe haven, is now a battlefield where civilians are regularly slaughtered at random, recalling the darkest days of the civil war.
The recent carnage is the latest sign that the already dire situation in the country can get even worse. Since the U.S. military handed security over to Afghan forces in December 2014, the government has rapidly lost territory to the Taliban, who now control or contest 40 percent of the country — more land than they have had since being overthrown in 2001.
Nowhere is secure, no one is safe, and there is no end in sight.
The U.S., which is still advising, assisting, and funding the Afghan government and its security forces, has called for a greater troop presence to “break the stalemate,” but leaders for the past several years have failed to articulate a desirable or realistic goal. In the past, there was hope that the Taliban would be persuaded through force to negotiate, but today they clearly have the momentum and little reason to come to the table. With no political solution and no prospect of military victory in sight, current policy appears geared toward simply preventing absolute catastrophe.
Yet even that grim goal appears increasingly unlikely. Although craven attacks like the latest bombing generate grizzly headlines, the war in the countryside is considerably worse. Nowhere is the complete collapse of Afghanistan felt more than in provinces like Helmand, Paktia, Kandahar, Kunduz, and Khost, where the Taliban are able to not just launch spectacular attacks, but take and hold ground, often seizing large amounts of American-supplied military hardware in the process. Last November, I travelled to several provinces where the Taliban had made significant gains to witness firsthand how bad things had become.
Zia Bardar crouched in an irrigation ditch as he dragged a long bamboo stick with a hook taped to the end across the road, looking for one of six IEDs he knew had been placed there. He was wearing a loose-fitting police uniform — but no protective gear.
This was Lashkar Gah, the provincial capital of Helmand province, and the Taliban were nearby, shooting at Bardar and his colleagues. Just up the road, a mangled rickshaw burned; it had driven over another IED earlier that morning, killing the family of six who were on board. Police said the family had fled their home and were within half a mile of making it into government-held territory. The police were trying to get to an army base that had been surrounded for four days, where they hoped to collect the body of a soldier and give him a proper burial. The mission offered no tactical gains, but it would make an awful situation a bit less difficult to bear.
Soon Bardar was laying flat on his stomach, sifting through rubble with his bare hands. I stood next to an armored Humvee that inched along behind while he attempted to locate the explosives. It was the only such vehicle the police had and at least three bullets struck it as I watched Bardar work. He found two of the IEDs immediately, and gently separated the detonating caps from the large yellow water jugs that had been filled with explosive powder. I asked his commander if he had been trained in EOD (Explosive Ordnance Disposal). “Not too much,” he said. “He is the real hero.” Bardar eventually found and disarmed five IEDs, and the police made it to the base, where the dead soldier was loaded onto the back of the Humvee. Like many of his fellow police, tragedy had touched Bardar’s life. Two weeks before I watched him disable an IED with his bare hands, his wife had been shot dead by her own uncle for marrying a policeman, someone who “worked for the infidels.” “My family is finished,” Bardar told me. “It is only me left.” Two days after Bardar cleared the IEDs, the area near the road fell to the Taliban. Squabbling between different units resulted in no one being willing to take up positions to defend the territory. Two days earlier, and just nine miles away, a stolen — or quite possibly sold — government Humvee laden with explosives was driven into a police base; the blast killed the chief along with at least 14 of his men. It was all beautifully filmed by a Taliban drone. Such brazenness is now routine. The Taliban currently control most of Helmand, including districts like Marjah, Sangin, Gereshk, and Garmsir, which U.S. Marines fought for years to win. Thousands of young American men lost their lives or limbs here, and Helmand was the beneficiary of more U.S. dollars and resources than anywhere else in Afghanistan. Today, there is little to show for it all apart from a few tarmac roads. The Afghan National Army and police are currently carrying out nothing more scrambled and often desperate attempts at damage limitation. Only the city of Lashkar Gah, the capital of Helmand province, remains under government control, and while I was there it was regularly attacked from all sides.
NO END IN SIGHT
This year the grim pattern has continued. On April 19, ten men wearing army uniforms and driving army vehicles stormed the main military base in Mazar-i-Sharif and killed 144 mostly unarmed soldiers as they ate lunch or prayed; the Taliban said four of the attackers were former soldiers familiar with the base.
Such attacks have only accelerated Afghan defections and desertions that had already reached crippling levels. Last year, 6,800 soldiers and policemen were killed, a 35 percent rise over 2015. It’s a trend that already appears certain to continue this year, and the so-called fighting season has just begun. The Afghan National Security Forces have no chance of winning, and they are only holding on to major cities like Lashkar Gah because of an increase in U.S. airstrikes and special forces operations. But this strategy of military triage has not yet led to increased chances for peace. The countryside is falling and key population centers are being propped up in a series of bloody stalemates that promise to last for years and take thousands of lives. Displaced Persons (IDPs), who fled their homes after the Taliban took Kunduz for the second time in 13 months, set up Camp. With the government unable to help, this makeshift camp was set up with donations from affluent friends of the local governor. Takhar, Afghanistan.
د پاکستان سياسي ګوندونه وايي که د مشال خان په وژنه کې د دوي د ګوند غړي شامل وي نو دوي يې له خپلو ګودونو لرې کوي او عدالت چې هره سزا ورکړي نو دوي ته به هغه د منلو وړ وي.
د عوامي نشنشل ګوند مرکزي جنرل سیکریټري ميا افتخار حسين هم دا خبره کوي خو وايي چې د مشال خان د وژنې په اړه د ګډې پلټنيزې ډلې رپورټ نيمګړی دی.
د میا افتخار حسېن په وینا ، دا ځکه چې د مشال خانه په وژنه کې د ډيرو سياسي ګوندونو غړي شامل دي خو په ياد رپورټ کې يوازې د دوي د ګوند نوم اخستل شوی دی.
نوموړي وویل ، د اسلامي جميعت طلبا يو غړی چې مشال خان يې په ډزو ويشتی وو او د پاکستان تحريک انصاف د زده کونکو د سازمان [ځايي] مشر چې د مشال خان د مړي بې حرمتي يې کړې وه په ویډیو کې څرګند دي خو په ګډ تحقيقاتي رپورټ کې دانه دي ويل شوي چې د دې کسانو تعلق له جماعت اسلامي او پاکستان تحريک انصاف سره دی.
میا افتخار حسېن وویل ، دوی دا رپوټ په دې دلیل نیمګړی بولي چې یوازې پکې د پښتون سټوډنتس فېډريشن نوم اخیستل شوی دی.
خو د حکومتي ګوند پاکستان تحريک انصاف يو مشر غړی علي محمد خان بيا وايي چي د مشال خان د وژنې په اړه د ګډې پلټنيزې ډلې رپورټ غير جانبداره او له سياسي مداخلته پاک دی.
نوموړی وايي د دوي د ګوند چې څوک هم د مشال خان په وژنه کې ککړ وي نو له ګوندهبه يې وباسي.
علي محمد خان وویل ، زموږ تګلاره خو د ظالم او اداري فساد ضد ده نو که زموږ يو سياسي کارکن پر دې تګلاره ځي خو سمه ده او که داسې نه کوي نو هغه موږ بيا له خپله ګونده وباسو.
د جماعت اسلامي مشر سراج الحق وايي د مشال خان په وژنه کې د دوي د ګوند غړي ندي ککړ.
سراج الحقله مشال راډیو سره په خبرو کې وویل ، مشال خان هجوم وژلی دی کومه چې ډيره د فکر وړ خبره ده.
نوموړی وايي د دې پيښې په اړه ګډ تحقيقاتي رپورټ دوي مني او د پاکستان عدالتونه ازاد دی او چې څه پريکړه وکړي دوي ته به د منلو وړ وي.
مشال خان د خیبر پښتونخوا په مردان کې په عبدالولي خان پوهنتون کې د ژورنالزم د څانګې زده کوونکی وو.
نوموړی د ۲۰۱۷م کال د اپريل پر ۱۳مه نېټه بلواګرو زده کونکو مذهب ته د سپکاوي په تور وواژی.
د پاکستان تر ټولو لوی عدالت یا سپریم کورټ د هغه د وژنې لامل مالومولو لپاره د پلټنو په موخه د کارپوهانو او چارواکو یو ځانګړې ډله جوړه کړه.
دې ډلې په خپل رپوټ کې وویل چې مشال خان د مذهب سپکاوی نه وو کړی او د هغه د وژنې پلان یوه میاشت مخکې جوړ شوی وو.