Monday, August 28, 2017
Saudi regime forces have reportedly razed a Shia mosque in the kingdom's oil-rich Eastern Province as Riyadh presses ahead with its heavy-handed clampdown on members of the religious community.
Local sources, requesting anonymity, said Saudi troops leveled Ayn Imam Hussain mosque to the ground in the town of al-Awamiyah, located some 390 kilometers northeast of the capital Riyadh, on Friday.
Video footage published on Twitter social media network showed dozens of concrete blocks and pieces of iron scattered around.
Since May, Saudi regime forces have imposed a deadly crackdown on Awamiyah – the hometown of late prominent Shia cleric Sheikh Nimr Baqir al-Nimr, whose execution by the Al Saud regime drew firm international condemnation and sparked mass protests across the Middle East.
Saudi authorities call the clampdown a “security campaign” against the gunmen there, and have used the measure as a pretext to launch almost daily attacks against the town, destroying residential areas, setting fire to buildings, and reportedly threatening the residents to either leave or face potentially deadly swoops.
Earlier this month, foreign journalists paid a visit to Awamiyah after they were permitted entry for the first time, and witnessed the substantial level of destruction that Saudi forces had wrought on the town.
The residents said Saudi authorities had prevented emergency services from reaching wounded locals since July 26, and failed to provide humanitarian assistance to the trapped citizens of the town.
They noted that the only chance for people to leave Awamiyah had been short periods coordinated with local volunteers and pro-democracy activists.
Earlier this month, Stephane Dujarric, the spokesman for UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, said that the world body could not independently verify the reports coming out of Awamiyah, but stressed all Riyadh’s actions should be in line with its commitments to human rights.
This is while multiple human rights groups have voiced concerns over the situation in Awamiyah, and criticized Western countries for keeping mum on Saudi Arabia’s atrocities there.
Last month, Ottawa expressed “deep concerns” over Saudi Arabia’s apparent use of Canadian military equipment in their crackdown against the minority Shia citizens in the restive Eastern Province.
Prominent human rights groups have on numerous occasions called on Saudi Arabia’s major arms suppliers, including the US and the UK, to stop selling military equipment to Riyadh.
Salem Rabah al-Zafiri, a Saudi commander of ISIL terrorist group, was killed in people's attack on his car in Southeastern Deir Ezzur, local sources reported on Monday.
The sources reported that a number of residents of the town of Albu Kamal attacked an ISIL vehicle near al-Mesriyeh square and set fire at the car, killing al-Zafiri nom de guerre Abu Rabah al-Hejazi, head of ISIL's propaganda office in Albu Kamal, and several more terrorists.
ISIL terrorists' weapons were seized by people after the attack, the sources said.
They went on to say that a new group of terrorists, including Abu al-Aziz al-Halabi, one of the ISIL's commanders in the town of Mouhassan in Eastern Deir Ezzur, escaped the region along with his family members amid rapid advances of the Syrian Army troops towards Deir Ezzur in several flanks.
Relevant reports said on Sunday that the army troops, backed up by the country's Air Force, repelled ISIL's heavy attack on pro-government forces' strongholds in the Eastern city of Deir Ezzur on Sunday, killing and wounding a number of terrorists.
The army soldiers, supported by the warplanes, engaged in fierce clashes with the ISIL and warded off their attack in al-Roshdiyeh neighborhood.
ISIL left behind a number of dead and wounded members and retreated from the battlefield.
In the meantime, the army units shot down a bomb-laden drone of the ISIL flying over the village of al-Jafrah in Eastern outskirts of Deir Ezzur city.
Also, the fighter jets pounded ISIL's positions in al-Roshdiyeh, around Tamin Brigade base, and in the two towns of al-Mayadeen and Mouhassa, in the villages of al-Shamitiyeh, al-Tabni, al-Masrab and al-Khariteh, destroying several positions and killing a number of terrorists.
By Yasser Latif Hamdani
It has been 20 days since the Chief Justice of Pakistan made those remarks about the Two Nation Theory and despite widespread criticism the CJP has refused to clarify what he meant by his comments. A statement, any statement, would have been better than the deafening silence by the chief judge of the country.
In a way this is to be expected. What more can one expect from a majoritarian state and society which has almost since inception failed to respect its minorities despite repeated pronouncements and promises by its founding father. It is instructive to read, in this regard, the resignation letter of Mr Jogindranath Mandal, Pakistan’s first law minister, who had seen the way the cookie was crumbling as early as 1950. In my article in this newspaper dated June 16, 2016, I had outlined the career of this extraordinary scheduled caste Hindu lawyer and politician who had not only represented Muslims of India in the interim government before partition but had also had the honour of presiding over the inaugural session of the Pakistan Constituent Assembly in 1947. Three years later he resigned citing discrimination against Hindus and the state’s propensity to ignore Jinnah’s promises to the minorities as his reasons for doing so.
Article 51 of the Constitution makes it clear that the non-Muslim reserved seats are to be gifted to the mainstream political parties in proportion to their general seats. How does this give Non-Muslims any representation?
He wrote: “After a few months, the British Government made their June 3 Statement (1947) embodying certain proposals for the partition of India. The whole country, especially the entire non-Muslim India, was startled. For the sake of truth I must admit that I had always considered the demand of Pakistan by the Muslim League as a bargaining counter.” This has been the contention of many who have studied the events leading upto partition. Indeed even Ayub Khuhro, one of the leading Muslim Leaguers from Sindh, admitted as much in a candid conversation with Sri Prikasa, the first Indian High Commissioner to Pakistan. The idea was to get the maximum share of power for the Muslims in the post independence India. Mandal had supported the Muslim League in Bengal through thick and thin because he believed that the Muslim League was actually aiming for a solution less than partition. Nevertheless Pakistan came and now that it was created, Jinnah was asked a straightforward question by Kiran Shankar Roy in the first session of the constituent assembly “Can you make clear your policy as to whether Pakistan will be a secular state?” Responding to this question Jinnah made his most famous and greatest speech on 11 August 1947. No one who reads this speech in entirety can dispute what Jinnah’s answer was.
Mandal continues: “I presumed that it would be set up in all essentials after the pattern contemplated in the Muslim League resolution adopted at Lahore on March 23, 1940... I was fortified in my faith in this resolution and the professions of the League Leadership by the statement Qaid-e-Azam Mohammed Ali Jinnah was pleased to make on the 11th August 1947 as the President of the Constituent Assembly giving solemn assurance of equal treatment for Hindus & Muslims alike and calling upon them to remember that they were all Pakistanis. Every one of these pledges is being flagrantly violated apparently to your knowledge and with your approval in complete disregard of the Qaid-e-Azam’s wishes and sentiments and to the detriment and humiliation of the minorities.”
This was in 1950. Mandal’s letter goes on to list the mass scale conversions and oppression against Hindus in East Pakistan. Remember this was before Pakistan became an Islamic Republic, before Pakistan began constitutionally discriminating against Non-Muslims. Mandal points out that unrepresentative Non-Muslims were being presented as representatives of minorities. His letter is scathing ending with “But I can no longer afford to carry this load of false pretensions and untruth on my conscience and I have decided to offer my resignation as your Minister, which I am hereby placing in your hands and which, I hope, you will accept without delay. You are of course at liberty to dispense with that office or dispose of it in such a manner as may suit adequately and effectively the objectives of your Islamic State.”
The first Prime Minister of Pakistan, Liaquat Ali Khan, lived more than a year after this letter but I cannot find a single statement from him on record about this letter or the resignation of Pakistan’s first law minister. How different things might have been had Liaquat Ali Khan refused to accept Mandal’s resignation and instead worked to ameliorate the conditions of minorities in Pakistan.
67 years later the total population of Non-Muslims has dwindled to less than 5 percent. Our Muslim politicians and political parties are deathly afraid of even this small number. The present constitutional scheme originally envisaged 5 percent of the seats in the National Assembly as reserved seats for Non-Muslims to allow them to have a voice. Through the Legal Framework Order 2002 that number has now been capped at 10 seats i.e. 10 seats against 330 other seats in the house. Article 51 of the Constitution makes it clear that the Non-Muslim reserved seats are to be gifted to the mainstream political parties in proportion to their general seats. How does this give Non-Muslims any representation?
CJP, therefore, is on sure footing. He has 69 years of precedent supporting his position i.e. make a statement prima facie prejudicial to a minority community and then simply ignore calls for clarification. If Liaquat Ali Khan could do it to a person of the stature of Jogindranath Mandal at a time when such attitudes were frowned upon, why would the feelings of the tiny Hindu community matter in 2017’s hyper-Islamic Pakistan? CJP is perhaps is the Chief Justice of Muslims exclusively. Who cares about the white part of our flag? It is as rudimentary as an appendix is to the human body. Indeed why not remove the white part altogether and be done with it? What right does any Non-Muslim have in this country anyway? Better they migrate somewhere else.
Pakistan Peoples Party Senator Rubina Khalid in response to the hue and cry by PTI leader Imran Khan on Courts verdict of acquitting Asif Ali Zardari in assets’ reference case said that Asif Ali Zardari fought legal battle for 19 years to get justice and spent over 11 years in prison without any conviction and in the end came out victorious and proven innocent. She said that it is ironic that a man (Imran Khan) whose father was dismissed from government service on corruption charges is showing discontent on this acquittal. On one hand Asif Ali Zardari faced false charges against him in courts and on the other Imran Khan is running away from courts. Charges of corruption, immoral behavior and embezzlement in government funds are being leveled against Imran Khan by no other than his own party members. People of KP know Imran Khan very well and are also aware of his corruption and corrupt and immoral practices, Senator Rubina Khalid said. Senator Rubina Khalid said that Imran Khan’s show has flopped and he is on downhill track of his political career. Imran Khan is irritated because his umpires have ditched him, she concluded. https://mediacellppp.wordpress.com/2017/08/28/imran-khans-corruption-is-evident-in-kp/