Thursday, July 20, 2017

Video Report - Was That Tweet From Trump Or Shakespeare?

Toying with Russia: The Daily Show

Video Report - The best of the summer's exhibitions in Paris

Video Report - 9/11 survivors call on May to publish ‘suppressed’ Saudi terrorist funding report

Video Report - Trump reportedly to end CIA support for ‘moderate’ rebels in Syria


By Eye Ali 

Terrorists continued their attacks across Balochistan. This unabated terrorism need concrete practical measures to be adopted by the government and security establishment. Being the CPEC destination in Pakistan, pace in Balochistan is dire need of the hours; otherwise Pakistan will lose the benefits of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, as well.
The security establishment needs to ponder upon the reasons behind the unabated terrorist attacks in all over Balochistan. District Police Officer of Killa Abdullah was shot dead in the district near Pakistan borders with Afghanistan. SP Quaidabad (Quetta) was gunned down. Four Shia Hazara Muslims including a woman were ambushed near Mastung and brutally killed while they were travelling from Quetta to Karachi for medical treatment. Chinese were kidnapped earlier. Police, other security officials such as FC cops and political bigwigs have also been targeted.

No matter if the government and security officials accused Indian RAW behind these attacks, may be it is true. But, the question needs to be answered is: who is proxy for RAW or NDS in Balochistan? These terrorists belong to a particular sectarian group and their ideology is based on takfirism. They are called Taliban, ASWJ, Sipah-e-Sahaba, Jamaatul Ahrar, Jundullah, Lashkar-e-Jhangvi or Daesh. If their masters are RAW or NDS, then there must be a link between the separatists and these religious fanatics. 

But, the most important thing is the fact that JUIF that is a mainstream Deobandi party led by Fazalur Rehman has soft attitude towards the proscribed terrorist outfit ASWJ. Deputy Chairman Senate Abdul Ghafoor Haideri was pictured with ASWJ’s ringleaders Ramzan Mengal and Rafiq Mengal. What message he wanted to convey to the terrorism-hit people of Pakistan, let alone Balochistan. Fazalur Rehman has embraced the ASWJ’s Masroor Jhangvi in his JUIF. It seems that JUIF is like a Ganga river (India) where ablution of terrorists is being held. It is below the dignity of these clerics and their party that they hug terrorists. It is also a question mark on the policy of the government and security establishment what message they want to convey to nation and the world by inaction against proscribed ASWJ, the mother of all terrorism and mother wing of banned Lashkar-e-Jhangvi.
People of Balochistan are dismayed to see this nexus and inaction on part of the mainstream party and the state authorities. This callousness poses threat to Balochistan which is the backbone of CPEC projects. Peace in Balochistan cannot be established without incessant operation against said terrorists. Heirs of martyrs and injured victims of terrorist attacks implore the powers that be that decisive operation by military is the only mean to eliminate the terrorists in Balochistan and rest of Pakistan.

America's Pakistan Policy Could Make or Break Trump's Legacy

Trump administration is on the cusp of making three crucial decisions about the sixteen-year war in Afghanistan and the related matter of how to manage the tempestuous relationship with Pakistan, thought by many to hold the key to peace in Afghanistan. These decisions will go far in determining whether America can successfully conclude its military adventure in Afghanistan and lay the groundwork for a more stable and peaceful South Asia.
The administration will unveil its new strategy for Afghanistan within days. In a separate but closely related matter, Washington must decide whether it can continue to partner with Pakistan, Afghanistan’s neighbor to the east, or whether it should more openly confront nuclear-armed Pakistan for its long-running support for the Taliban and other allied groups, such as the Haqqani network.
Finally, the State Department must decide whether to keep the stand-alone Office of the Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, which it inherited from the Obama administration, or fold it into the normal bureaucratic structure of the department. This is not simply a routine organizational shake-up. The outcome will heavily influence how the administration thinks about the related Afghanistan and Pakistan crises.
By virtually any reckoning, Pakistan offers the key challenge. It will soon have the fifth-largest population in the world. It fields the world’s sixth-largest army. In a decade or less, it may surpass China and France and possess the world’s third-largest nuclear arsenal. The country’s geographic location, its standing in the Muslim world, and its ties to major countries, such as China, Iran and Saudi Arabia, give it substantial diplomatic and strategic heft.
As central as Afghanistan has been to the American experience since 9/11, the decisions on Pakistan will ultimately be of far greater importance in shaping the policies and legacy of the Trump administration.
The United States and Pakistan have had a tumultuous relationship for more than fifty years. At the height of the Cold War, again during the Soviet war in Afghanistan in the 1980s, and more recently after 9/11, the two have been close strategic partners. But each of these periods of collaboration has degenerated into a cycle of unmet expectations, angry recriminations, and accusations of betrayal—and, from the U.S. side, sanctions.
Washington is rife with opposing prescriptions for managing the Pakistan relationship. Many, including prominent lawmakers, call for a tougher U.S. approach toward Islamabad. In recent years, Congress has imposed counterterrorism conditions on U.S. military payments to Pakistan that Islamabad has been unable (or unwilling) to meet. U.S. economic assistance is less than a quarter of what it was a few years ago.
Others argue that unless Pakistan can be induced to bring the Taliban to the bargaining table, there is no chance for peace in Afghanistan. Washington, so this line of reasoning goes, should work with Pakistan rather than harangue it. This means, among other things, giving greater weight to Pakistani strategic anxieties—especially about its large neighbor and long-time adversary India—as the United States fashions its policy.
As it considers how to manage its Pakistan portfolio, the Trump team cannot afford to ignore the tortured history of U.S.-Pakistan relations. A careful review of that history would lead to the following conclusions:
Washington should not overestimate the value of its favor or the attraction of its carrots.
Over the years, Americans have marveled at how little their support—including what they viewed as generous financial aid—has gained them in Pakistan. U.S. administrations going back to the 1950s have assumed, without sufficient reflection or analysis, that Washington’s favor would give the United States considerable clout in and political leverage over Pakistan.
Yet, relative to Pakistan’s need and its own commitment of resources, U.S. economic and development assistance has been modest. True, Islamabad has valued U.S. aid and other support, but only if the cost was not too high. When the price for American backing was deemed too steep, as when Washington demanded that Pakistan abandon the nuclear program it believed essential for protection from India, Islamabad did not hesitate to forego U.S. aid.
Similarly, the recent congressional actions to condition U.S. military payments to Pakistan have not persuaded Islamabad to move against the Haqqanis, a step thought contrary to Pakistan’s need to retain influence in Afghanistan. As Gen. David Petraeus remarked a few years ago, “You get what you pay for. We have not paid much for much of anything in Pakistan.”
U.S. leverage is inversely related to Pakistani commitment.
U.S. power over the years has frequently failed to provide the leverage Washington expected because Pakistan cared more about an issue than Washington did. This, of course, was the case with Islamabad’s determination to develop nuclear weaponry. Similarly, Pakistani generals have placed a higher value on retaining political power—even under the threat of U.S. sanctions—than the United States gave to its insistence that Pakistan abide by democratic norms and practices.
At key points in the partnership, the stakes were higher for Pakistan than for the United States. The bilateral relationship never raised life-or-death issues for Americans. For many Pakistanis, it did. As a senior Pakistani legislator recently told me, “You have the capacity to kill, we have the willingness to die.” Commitment of that magnitude can negate power and nullify leverage.
Pakistan’s strategic geographic location in a volatile and much-contested part of the globe is a huge asset for Islamabad and, indeed, provides Pakistan with leverage against even the powerful United States.
Because of its location on the map, a cooperative Pakistan holds considerable value for the United States, while a Pakistan at odds with Washington can greatly complicate the pursuit of U.S. objectives. The United States has needed Pakistani ground lines and air space to ferry the immense quantities of materiel used to supply U.S. and NATO troops in landlocked Afghanistan. At periods of crisis in U.S.-Pakistan relations, Islamabad has slowed the transit of these vital supplies, and in 2011–12, shut down the land routes altogether. Squeezing Pakistan is harder when Pakistan is able to squeeze back.
Pakistani leaders—even when Pakistan is run by the generals—cannot afford to ignore public opinion. And unfortunately, the United States has extremely low favorability ratings in Pakistan.
U.S. politicians are not the only ones answerable to domestic opinion. Pakistani leaders must also continually tailor their policies so as to avoid alienating important constituencies, including political allies, business leaders, religious groups, influential media voices, senior military officials and an amorphous public opinion.
Even if Pakistani decisionmakers concur with American desires, they may find it politically impossible to be seen as aligning with Washington. U.S. policymakers should never lose sight of the domestic constraints facing their Pakistani counterparts because of America’s unpopularity in Pakistan.
Style and tone matter—a lot—in U.S. dealings with Pakistan.
Threats, bluster and public ultimatums can make for good political theater at home, but not necessarily for good diplomacy. Pakistanis, whatever their political and ideological sympathies, view the United States through a prism of American hectoring and bullying. They believe that Washington fails to appreciate Pakistan’s sacrifices in the battle against extremism, is never satisfied and always demands more of Pakistan than is reasonable, or fair, to expect.
One does not have to accept this Pakistani narrative of a shrill and ungrateful America to show a sensitivity to Pakistani honor and pride. A willingness to listen and an ability to speak respectfully to those with whom one strongly disagrees won’t necessarily produce a more accommodating Pakistan. But a failure to display these qualities will almost certainly lead to a more recalcitrant Pakistan.
One might think that these cautions would be self-evident. Yet, one U.S. administration after another has not adequately taken them into account as it sought to work with Pakistan. The Trump administration may or may not fare any better in fashioning a successful Pakistan policy. But if it chooses to ignore the record of the past, it will almost certainly fail.

Facebook was where Pakistan could debate religion. Now it's a tool to punish 'blasphemers'


Taimoor Raza, a 30-year-old Shia Muslim from a “poor but literate” family, was sentenced to death in June by an anti-terrorist court in Pakistan. His crime? Allegedly insulting the prophet Muhammad on Facebook.
It occurred during an online debate with a man who turned out to be an undercover counter-terrorism agent. His death sentence, the first to result from a social media posting, is an extreme example of the Pakistani government’s escalating battle to enforce its blasphemy laws, which criminalize insulting Islam.
Established under British colonial rule, the laws have been criticized by both religious and secular reformers, who argue that they are used to persecute minorities, settle personal scores and stifle debate.
In recent months, Pakistan’s interior minister, Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, has increased pressure on Facebook and Twitter to identify individuals suspected of blasphemy. On 7 July, Facebook’s vice-president of public policy, Joel Kaplan, met with Khan to discuss the government’s demand that Facebook either remove blasphemous content or be blocked in the country.
On Monday, Facebook confirmed that it had rejected Pakistan’s demand that new accounts be linked to a mobile phone number – a provision that would make it easier for the government to identify account holders. Currently, opening a Facebook account in Pakistan requires only an email address, while mobile phone users must provide fingerprints to a national database.
That social media would become the means for a government crackdown on free speech is a bitter twist for platforms that claim to want to increase openness and the free flow of ideas.

The advent of social media once heralded an opening for religious debate in Pakistan. Platforms such as Facebook, WhatsApp and Viber allowed individuals in conservative, rural areas to engage in discussions that were once possible only for students and urban intellectuals, unconstrained by the conservative norms of their communities.
“Until recently, social media afforded a measure of privacy where you could discuss the hypocrisy of people whose behavior was loathsome but who wore the thick garb of piety,” said Pervez Hoodbhoy, a prominent academic and activist.
“Now the state is saying that we will track you down wherever you are and however you might want to hide,” Hoodbhoy added. “Pakistan is fast becoming a Saudi-style fascist religious state.”
The problem with engaging in potentially illegal speech on social media, of course, is that online speech leaves evidence.
In 2013, the Pakistan government requested data on 210 users, according to Facebook’s government request report. By 2016, government requests had risen to 2,460 accounts, with Facebook complying with about two-thirds. Facebook declined to comment on how many of these requests involved allegations of blasphemy.
Parents are now telling their children to self-censor on Facebook, Hoodbhoy said, especially in light of the lynching in April of Mashal Khan – a university student who was accused of offending Islam.
Ahmad Waqas Goraya, an activist and blogger, said that the standards for blasphemy had been lowered as the government used anti-blasphemy laws to crack down on dissent.
“What they now call blasphemy was everywhere before,” he said. “They use religion as a political tool. Almost all people detained have been critical of the state and the military.”
Goraya was one of five bloggers abducted for four weeks in January for being critical of the military establishment.
“You see what the problem [for authorities] is with social media. They cannot stop information. It levels the playing field for us,” Goraya said, adding that religious debate on Facebook had “been almost silenced”.
Pakistan is not the only country where Facebook is being asked to either censor content or be blocked. In May, Thailand threatened to block Facebookover pages that violate its lèse-majesté laws, which outlaw any criticism of the royal family.
Vietnam has pushed multinational corporations that do business in the country to stop advertising on Facebook and YouTube unless they remove “toxic” content, according to the Financial Times. A high-level Facebook official, Monika Bickert, met with the Vietnamese government about its concerns in April.
Facebook’s CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, has defended the company’s willingness to comply with government censorship requests by advancing “a single guiding principle: we want to give the most voice to the most people”.
In a 2015 Facebook post, Zuckerberg wrote: “Some people say we should ignore government orders requiring us to restrict people’s voice, even if that means the whole service would be blocked in those countries. I don’t think that’s right … If we ignored a lawful government order and then we were blocked, all of these people’s voices would be muted, and whatever content the government believed was illegal would be blocked anyway.”
Goraya, for his part, suspects that Facebook’s motives have more to do with its financial interests than in the “voice” of Pakistanis.
“At the end of the day, all they care about is their business,” he said.
By next year, whether Facebook cooperates might not matter: Pakistan is in the process of rerouting its internet traffic through China, laying a 500-mile fiber optic cable from the China-Pakistan border to Rawalpindi. Some fear the project will lead to a block of Facebook in Pakistan, similar to the one in China. The project is expected to be finished next year.

#PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto asked Party leaders to mobilize people for next elections

Chairman Pakistan Peoples Party Bilawal Bhutto  has instructed Party leaders and workers to mobilize masses for the next election and work hard to strengthen the Party.
He was speaking to a delegation of Party leaders from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Former Speaker KP Assembly Karamat Chagharmati, former members KP assembly Zamin Khan, Bacha Saleh, Anwer Ali Khan and Misbahuddin called on Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari at Zardari House Islamabad. Speaking to them Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said that he is happy to know that Party is getting stronger in Dir area and several people are joining Party every day. He said that this is the Party of martyrs and our leaders and workers were martyred during elections 2013 as well thus elections were stolen from the Party,
Others who called on to the Chairman PPP today include former Speaker AJK assembly Sardar Ghulam Sadiq, Syed Dilawar Shah, PPP Minority Wing Islamabad leader Ms. Nida Nazir and a delegation of Peoples Youth Organization. Syed Nayyar Hussain Bukhari and President PPP KP Himayun Khan were also present on the occasion.

نواز شریف کا اقتدار کرپشن کی وجہ سے ڈوب رہا ہے۔ بلاول بھٹو زرداری

پاکستان پیپلزپارٹی کے چیئرمین بلاول بھٹو ز رداری نے پارٹی رہنماﺅں اور عہدیداروں کو ہدایت کی ہے کہ وہ سرگرم ہو جائیں۔
شہر شہر اور قریہ قریہ تک پارٹی کو مضبوط اور منظم بنائیں۔ نواز شریف کے اقتدار کے دن گنے جا چکے ہیں۔ ان کا اقتدار کرپشن کی وجہ سے ڈوب رہا ہے۔ گزشتہ روز زرداری ہاﺅس اسلام آباد میں پارٹی کے کے پی کے رہنماﺅں سابق اسپیکر کے پی کرامت چگرمٹی، سابق اراکین کے پی اسمبلی زمین خان، باچا صالح، انور علی خان، مصباح الدین سے گفتگو کرتے ہوئے بلاول بھٹو زرداری نے کہا کہ مجھے خوشی ہے کہ دیر میں پارٹی مضبوط ہو رہی ہے، دیگر پارٹیوں کے لوگ جوق در جوق پاکستان پیپلزپارٹی میں شمولیت اختیار کر رہے ہیں۔ چیئرمین بلاول بھٹو زرداری نے کہا کہ یہ پارٹی کے شہیدوں کی قربانیوں کی وجہ سے ہو رہا ہے اور ان کا خون رنگ لا رہا ہے۔ بلاول بھٹو زرداری نے کہا کہ 2013ءکے انتخابات ہم سے چرائے گئے تھے اور خصوصاًکے پی میں ہماری پارٹی کے رہنماﺅں اور امیدواروں کو شہید کیا گیا تھا۔ درایں اثناءبلاول بھٹو زرداری سے سابق اسپیکر آزاد جموں و کشمیر سردار غلام صادق، سابق ایم پی اے سید دلاور شاہ، پیپلزپارٹی اقلیتی ونگ کی رہنما ندا نذیر، پیپلزیوتھ کے وفد نے بھی ملاقات کی۔ اس موقع پر پاکستان پیپلزپارٹی کے سیکریٹری جنرل سید نیر حسین بخاری اور پیپلزپارٹی کے پی کے صدر ہمایوں خان بھی موجود تھے۔