Sunday, July 9, 2017

Video Report - Russian frigate Admiral Essen departs for Syrian coast

Video Report - Putin speaks at The International Industrial Trade Fair INNOPROM

Video Report - Brian Stelter Schools Trump And His Stooges: The Solution To Poor Journalism Is More Journalism

David Gergen: First Time I’ve Seen US President Come to G20 and No Longer Be Regarded as the Leader

Video Report - Australian journalist Chris Uhlmann demolishes Trump after G20: 'biggest threat to the west'

Pakistan - Media and anti-Pakhtun racism

We stand with the Pakhtun community. We stand with them in solidarity against the now infamous television segment that aired during Eid transmission. We find it appalling that a national state broadcaster would find it cricket to mock the Pakhtun community.
Poet Jawad Hasan Jawad used his lyrical verses to mock bomb blasts striking Pashtun areas. Not content with this, he also resorted to the ill-founded stereotype that anyone from this community automatically has links to “illegal trade”. It was only when the citizenry of this country protested — only then, did the government respond, with the state minister for Information banning the poet for life.
Yet this is only one incident. The extent of racism is still alive and kicking and runs deep as ever in Pakistan. At the beginning of the year a Punjab government notification surfaced, ordering the racial profiling of Pakhtuns. This prompted protests from civil society activists as well as members of the Pakhtun community itself. Sadly, however, certain quarters refused to back down, insisting that this racial profiling was necessary in the name of national security.
It is ironic that Pakistan criticises US President Donald Trump for his racist statements and policies, including the notorious travel ban — yet sees nothing wrong in treating its own citizenry far worse.
People who respond to the anti-Muslim rhetoric by saying that Muslims are themselves the victims of extremist groups everywhere should empathise with the Pakhtun ethnic community that is unfairly blamed for terrorism. There have been multiple cases of hate speech against this community on a number of private TV channels, but never once has PEMRA taken action. The media watchdog is too busy issuing notices to children’s entertainment channels for airing “obscene content”, including policing the bodies of female cartoon characters.
We urge the government to take action against hate speech directed towards ethnic communities, which is currently on the rise. In the current situation — when the country is effectively at war with militants — such accepted racism simply undermines national harmony and creates divisions. This is the very last thing that the country can afford right now.

Pakistan's ISI in Action ? ''The Nation'' reporter taken away by unidentified men in Karachi

Abdullah Zafar, a journalist associated with The Nation, was allegedly taken away from his residence in Karachi, his father said on Sunday.
Zafar’s father said at least 10 to 15 men, two of them in police uniforms, came to their residence at 3:30am and took away his son after blindfolding him.
Zamir Shaikh, resident editor of The Nation in Karachi, said that Abdullah has been covering political beat in the newspaper for the last three years.

Pakistan - PPP denounces threats of rejecting the JIT

Pakistan People’s Party has denounced the threat by the PML-N ministers to reject the JIT report if it failed to record the evidence of the Qatari prince in the Panama Leaks case.

“From the very start the ruling family sought to run away from the JIT. The latest outbursts in unison by some federal ministers rejecting JIT even before it has finalized its report strengthens the perception the PML-N is hell bent to reject JIT report regardless of whether the Qatari prince appeared before the JIT or not”.

This has been stated by Senator Farhatullah Babar Spokesperson of the Pakistan People Party in a statement today responding to the press talk by four federal ministers on the subject on Saturday.

He said that as defence witness it was the responsibility of the respondents, in this case the ruling family, to produce the Qatari prince before the JIT and the Court.

The burden of not producing its witness before the investigation team or court will have to be borne by the ruling family and no one else, he said. The same principle was applied when the former Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gillani appeared before the Supreme Court in the case of writing letter to Swiss authorities against the President of the country.

The fuming and fulminating ministers of PML-N have made much of the JIT quizzing former military dictator General Pervez Musharaf at his residence in the treason case and that of Mark Seigal in Washington through video conferencing in the Shaheed Benazir murder case.

This comparison however misses a fundamental point; Technically Musharraf was quizzed in jail as his residence was declared sub jail.
Mark Seigal, on the other hand, recorded his statement through video conferences from the Pakistan Embassy in Washington and not from his home, the Spokesperson said.

If the Qatari prince wishes to record statement through video conference he has to do so from Pakistan embassy in Doha and it is the responsibility of the respondents to ensure that he does so, the Spokesperson said.

Once a US Ally, Pakistan Now Looks to China, Russia

Once a key ally in the U.S. war on terrorism, Pakistan finds itself increasingly isolated from Washington amid allegations that it harbors more than a dozen terrorist groups. Instead, it has been steadily cozying up to China and Russia.

Both of America’s primary rivals have been taking advantage of Pakistan’s paranoia about India, and gaps in Washington’s global influence as President Donald Trump continues to form his foreign policy in the strategic region.

Pakistan’s relations with three of its four neighbors — Afghanistan, India and Iran — are at a low point. And instead of trying to rein in extremism, the government appears to be feeding the growing conservative movement with no sign of backing off a controversial blasphemy law that has led to repeated mob violence.

Experts say 13 of the approximately 60 U.S.-designated global terrorist organizations are based in Pakistan, mostly in the tribal region that borders Afghanistan.

Major militant groups include the Pakistani Taliban and the Haqqani Network, along with Laskar-e-Jhangvi, Jaish-e-Muhammad and Jundullah. And despite denials that Islamic State has a presence in the country, the terror group has claimed responsibility for recent attacks there.

Two U.S. lawmakers introduced legislation last September to designate Pakistan a terror state over its inability to curb homegrown militancy and the threat it poses to its neighbors. Republicans Ted Poe and Dana Rohrabacher accused Pakistan of harboring global terrorist leaders and supporting terror groups, including the Haqqani Network, which targets Afghan and U.S.-led NATO forces in Afghanistan.

“If they [Pakistanis] do not change their behavior, maybe we should change our behavior toward Pakistan as a nation,” Sen. John McCain said during a recent visit to Pakistan and Afghanistan.
FILE - Women chant slogans condemning Islamist terrorism during an anti-terror rally in Lahore, Pakistan, Jan. 16, 2015. Experts say 13 of the approximately 60 U.S.-designated global terrorist organizations are based in Pakistan.
FILE - Women chant slogans condemning Islamist terrorism during an anti-terror rally in Lahore, Pakistan, Jan. 16, 2015. Experts say 13 of the approximately 60 U.S.-designated global terrorist organizations are based in Pakistan.
State sponsor of terrorism?
Former U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan and Iraq, Zalmay Khalilzad, said Pakistan should be designated as a state that is sponsoring terrorism.

"The Haqqani Network, which is an ally of al-Qaida and Taliban extremists, has operated as Pakistan's proxy," Khalilzad told VOA recently. "If Pakistan refuses to move against the Haqqani Network sanctuaries, the U.S. should consider actions against the sanctuaries, including striking them."

Husain Haqqani, Pakistan’s ambassador to the United States in 2008-11 and now director for South and Central Asia at the Hudson Institute in Washington, has advice for Trump.

"... for Pakistan, the alliance has been more about securing weapons, economic aid and diplomatic support in its confrontation with India,” Haqqani wrote recently in an op-ed column in The New York Times.

“The Bush administration gave Pakistan $12.4 billion in aid, and the Obama administration forked over $21 billion. These incentives did not make Pakistan more amenable to cutting off support for the Afghan Taliban. … Mr. Trump must now consider alternatives,” Haqqani wrote.

Pakistan also has done little about the thousands of unregistered Islamic schools known as madrassas, which are linked to an increase in militancy in the Afghan-Pakistan region. The schools nurture militant ideology and are known to provide foot soldiers for the Taliban.
FILE - Pakistani religious students attend a lesson at Darul Uloom Haqqania, an Islamic seminary and alma mater of several Taliban leaders, in Akora Khattak, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, Sept. 14, 2013. Many Pakistani religious schools, so-called madrassas, are widely seen as breeding grounds of violent extremism.
FILE - Pakistani religious students attend a lesson at Darul Uloom Haqqania, an Islamic seminary and alma mater of several Taliban leaders, in Akora Khattak, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, Sept. 14, 2013. Many Pakistani religious schools, so-called madrassas, are widely seen as breeding grounds of violent extremism.
Sense of victimhood

Instead, Pakistan has portrayed itself as a victim of terrorism and a staunch ally in the U.S. campaign.

A statement issued after a National Security Committee meeting on Friday in Islamabad said, "No other country in the world has done as much for global safety and security as Pakistan at a huge cost of both men and material."

Pakistan's Foreign Office spokesperson Nafees Zakariya said the allegations about the Haqqani network’s presence in tribal areas are mere rhetoric.

"This is only aimed at putting the blame of their own failures on Pakistan,” he said.

The reality on the ground is different. Just three weeks ago, the most recent drone attack in Hangu, a Pakistani district in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, eliminated a Haqqani Network commander. Officials confirmed his identity to local media.

Pakistan has repeatedly accused Afghanistan and India of allowing terrorists to use their territory to plot and carry out cross-border attacks. Both countries make nearly identical claims against Pakistan.

India blames the Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Tayyiba group for attacks in 2008 in Mumbai that killed more than 150 people, including six Americans. Afghanistan blames the Haqqani Network for a bombing in Kabul's diplomatic area that killed at least 150 and injured more than 450.
Paranoia about India

At the center of Pakistan’s actions and policies are its fears about India. The two countries have fought three wars, and another is always a threat. Both sides have nuclear arsenals capable of destroying the subcontinent several times over.

Last month, the U.S. State Department imposed sanctions on Syed Salahuddin, the Pakistan-based chief of Hizbul Mujahideen, one of the major anti-Indian militant groups fighting in Kashmir, saying he poses "a significant risk of committing, acts of terrorism that threaten the security of U.S. nationals or the national security, foreign policy, or economy of the United States."

Islamabad criticized the move and said militants fighting New Delhi’s rule in Kashmir are involved in a “legitimate" struggle for freedom.

Relations with Kabul have taken a downturn this year after terror attacks in Pakistan that it claims were at least planned by extremist groups in Afghanistan.

Pakistan has closed border crossings for lengthy periods and has begun construction of a border fence with Afghanistan.

In May, Tehran 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.

While President Trump has yet to come up with a policy to deal with Pakistan’s worsening quagmire, China has stepped in as part of what appears to be a concerted effort to expand its sphere of influence. It currently is involved in a major mutually beneficial project to build a network of roads and other infrastructure from its territory to Pakistan’s Gwadar port in order to provide a shorter route to the Persian Gulf.

Russia, too, has been making diplomatic overtures and recently participated in joint naval exercises off Pakistan.

Pakistan - Imran allocates millions to Maddrassahs that teach 'violence and terror': Bakhtawar

Bakhtawar Bhutto said that Imran Khan was allocating millions to madrassas that educate violence and terror instead of Khyber Pakhtunkhawa’s Education system.

Imran Khan destroying KP education. We already knew that though. He rather allocate millions to Madrassas that educate violence + terror. 
In her latest tweet that was in response to a tweet that stated no student from government schools have get top position in KP examinations, she said.