Thursday, October 5, 2017

Music Video - Los del Rio Macarena

Music Video - AronChupa - I'm an Albatraoz (Remix) Cutting Shapes & Shuffle Dance

Music Video - Snap - The Power (HQ)

Music Video - Technotronic - Pump Up The Jam

Music Video - This Beat is Technotronic - original - 1990

Music Video - Believe The Hype

North Korean Nukes Could Kill 2.1 Million in Seoul, Tokyo - Report

If the standoff on the Korean Peninsula breaks out into war, a North Korean nuclear attack on Seoul and Tokyo could kill 2.1 million people, reports 38 North, a website dedicated to analyzing events involving North Korea.
The conclusion was based on North Korea's "current estimated weapon yields," author Michael J. Zugarek wrote in an October 4 post. The researcher says that a single 250-kiloton-yield warhead detonated over the two Asian cities would also result in approximately 7.7 million injuries.
The author assumes North Korea to have 25 nuclear weapons. The terminal high-altitude area defense (THAAD) system in South Korea would intercept some of them, the author seems to assume, while other missile defense features in Japan would also take down some of the incoming threats. Tokyo does not yet have an Aegis Ashore land-based missile defense system but is in the process of acquiring one, the report states.
The Lockheed Martin product is a version of the naval Aegis Combat System, "a sophisticated collection of phased-array radars, fire control directors, computers and missiles" according to the company's description, with elements typically mounted on guided missile cruisers.
Stanford University's Siegfried Hecker has estimated that North Korea's nuclear stockpile sits at about 25 warheads. Further, Hecker has projected that Pyongyang can add six or seven nukes to its cache per year, Sputnik reported.
All 25 million residents of North Korea, however, are easily reachable by America's roughly 6,800 nuclear weapons.

Between the Scenes - Las Vegas, Puerto Rico and How Trump Responds to Tragedy: The Daily Show

Video Report - Elizabeth Warren Demolishes Trump Swamp Monster

Video Report - #LasVegas: US police reveals 47-weapon arsenal of Stephen Paddock

Music Video - Ankhiyo ke jharokhon se

Injustices in Balochistan Need the World’s Attention


Balochistan is the cauldron of the worst human rights violations in Pakistan, which does not have a good track record of upholding human rights in general.

On September 22, 2017, Husain Haqqani, former Ambassador of Pakistan to the United States, addressed the Human Rights Commission Session at Geneva with the following words on Balochistan.
I come to this event as a Pakistani friend of Balochistan, in the belief that human rights are universal and their violation should not be ignored out of misplaced patriotism.
Europeans, Americans and Israelis who criticise the violation of human rights by their own governments show moral courage.
The world would be a better place if Indians spoke out when human rights are violated in Kashmir, Myanmar’s leaders speak up when their army deprives the Rohingya of their life and dignity, and Pakistanis recognise that injustices against the Baloch, Sindhis, Mohajirs and religious minorities must end.
I am a Pakistani and I want to see a civilian, democratic, politically stable and economically strong Pakistan that guarantees rights to all its component ethnicities and nationalities; a Pakistan that is at peace with itself and its neighbours.
It is tragic that those who advocate talks with globally recognised terrorists such as the Taliban, and speak out for the Muslims of Kashmir and Myanmar, have an intransigent position when it comes to engagement with the leaders and people of Balochistan. They choose to stay silent over the well documented atrocities against the Baloch people in Pakistan. I do not wish to be one of them.
I do not support foreign intervention nor am I an advocate of secession.
But I understand the sentiments of the Baloch, some of whom are now completely disillusioned with Pakistan and are asking for freedom. Instead of using force against the Baloch, it would be best to recognise the sentiments and aspirations of the Baloch people.
Last year, Pakistan’s federal minister for ports and shipping, Mir Hasil Bizenjo, acknowledged that “if a referendum were held in Balochistan today, the militants would win.” He added that there will be no referendum, implying that the status quo would prevail through force.
The transformation of erstwhile East Pakistan into Bangladesh should be a lesson in the limits of military power in building a nation or keeping a country together.
The Baloch and the East Pakistani Bengalis were among first to disagree with the West Pakistani security establishment. Starting from the 1970s, the Baloch have been fighting for more autonomy within Pakistan. Their struggle has been brutally suppressed by the Pakistani state.
Even now, Balochistan is geographically the largest of Pakistan’s four provinces, but it is the least developed.
According to the latest census, Pakistan’s population stands at 207,774,520 with Balochistan’s population at 12,344,408. Pakistan is urbanising quickly with 40% urbanisation, but 75% of Balochistan’s population remains rural. Pakistan’s overall literacy rate is 58% (69% for males, 45% for females), but Balochistan is 41% (24% female, 56% male). Literacy figures for ethnic Baloch are even worse.
According to a report on Pakistan’s Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI), compiled in 2016 with support from United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Pakistan and the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI), University of Oxford, nearly 39% of Pakistanis live in multi-dimensional poverty, with the highest rates of poverty in Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) and Balochistan.
The report found that over two-thirds of people in FATA (73%) and Balochistan (71%) live in multidimensional poverty. The report also found that the decrease in multi-dimensional poverty was slowest in Balochistan, while poverty levels had increased in several districts in Balochistan and Sindh during the past decade. Urban unemployment stands at 12.5% in Balochistan, compared to a country-wide average of 5.9% in 2015. Balochistan provides 40% of Pakistan’s energy needs and 36% of its gas production, along with minerals.
Yet, 46.6% of households in Balochistan have no electricity. Only 25% of villages have rural electrification.

On top of this, the Baloch are deprived of their political rights and are targeted with state violence and oppression. The latest US Department of State Human Rights Reports for 2015 and 2016 spoke of “politically motivated killings of Baloch nationalists in Balochistan.”
The State Department report quoted the testimony before the Senate of Pakistan Standing Committee on Human Rights by Balochistan’s Frontier Corps Deputy Inspector General for Investigations and Crime, who declared that 1,040 persons had been killed in Balochistan in 2015-16. Although he claimed there was “no evidence of security agency involvement in the killings”, most evidence pointed out otherwise.
The South Asia Terrorism Portal (SATP) recorded that journalists, teachers, students and human rights defenders also were targeted by state and non-state actors in Balochistan. As of November 20, at least 244 civilians were killed in Balochistan in 2016, compared with 247 during 2015.
State Department’s Country Report on Human Rights in Pakistan for 2015 and 2016 stated, “There were kidnappings and forced disappearances of persons from various backgrounds in nearly all areas of the country. Some police and security forces reportedly held prisoners incommunicado and refused to disclose their location.”
Human rights organisations reported many Baloch nationalists as among the missing.
The International Voice for Baloch Missing Persons listed 156 individuals in its online database of missing persons who had been abducted during the year 2015 alone.
The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) listed 107 individuals as victims of “enforced disappearances” in Balochistan in the first nine months of 2015.
The Voice of Baloch Missing Persons (VBMP) issued a report in August 2015, detailing the discovery of mutilated corpses in Noshki and Kalat districts of Balochistan and what VBMP termed the inadequate measures taken to preserve and identify the bodies, according to the State Department Report. It cited NGO statistics that the total number of persons who had disappeared could be greater than 19,000.
The report also noted that the Balochistan home ministry had officially acknowledged the detention of 8,326 “suspects” in the province between December 2014 and September 15, 2015.
According to the State Department report, “During the year, the VBMP claimed to have records of 157 mutilated bodies found in Balochistan and of 463 missing persons. Official home ministry of Balochistan figures indicated that authorities had recovered only 164 bodies in Balochistan during the year.”
According to a 2014 report by the Balochistan government’s home and tribal affairs department, over 800 bodies were found in the province over a period of three and a half years – 466 victims were identified as ethnic Baloch, 123 as Pashtuns and 107 from other ethnicities. Meanwhile, 107 bodies remained unidentified.
Of the 466 Baloch killed in the province, most were political workers while the remaining were killed in incidents of targeted killings and tribal disputes.
Human Rights Watch pointed out in 2015 that “security forces continued to unlawfully kill and forcibly disappear suspected Baloch militants and opposition activists.” Its report included the following observations:
“In January, 13 highly decomposed bodies of ethnic Baloch individuals were found in Khuzdar district.”
“The military muzzled dissenting and critical voices in nongovernmental organisations and media.”
“The military continued to exercise sway over the province of Balochistan, using torture and arbitrary detention as instruments of coercion.”
“The security forces engaged in extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances to counter political unrest in the province of Balochistan. Torture of suspects by the police remained rampant. Large numbers of journalists were killed or injured in attacks, most of which remain unresolved.”
“In April 2015, Sabeen Mahmud, a prominent Pakistani social and human rights activist, was shot dead shortly after hosting an event on Balochistan’s “disappeared people” in Karachi.”
“In June, Baloch journalist Zafarullah Jatak was gunned down in his home in Balochistan’s capital, Quetta.”
Amnesty International’s report on Pakistan for 2016-2017 was no different. It pointed out “significant levels of armed conflict and political violence….in particular in Balochistan.”
The report noted, “State and non-state actors continue to harass, threaten, detain and kill human rights defenders, especially in Balochistan, FATA and Karachi.”
The US Department of State Country Report on Human Rights Practices for 2015 and 2016 pointed out, “Pakistani authorities did not allow international organisations access to detention centers most affected by violence in KP, FATA, and Balochistan.”
While perpetrating enforced disappearances and extra-judicial killings, the government of Pakistan also tried hard to suppress any information about its actions coming out. In the Freedom in the World Report for 2016, Freedom House said that the Pakistan government blocked more than 400,000 websites that year.
The provincial government in Balochistan blocked access to a Baloch human rights blog run by journalists. The government blocked several Baloch websites, including the English-language website The Baloch Hal and the website of Daily Tawar, a Balochistan-based newspaper.
In a report in 2014, the International Crisis Group had pointed out that Pakistan’s policy in Balochistan has been one of brutally suppressing the Baluch insurgency, instead of trying to understand and accommodate demands for political and economic autonomy.
According to the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, the last few years have seen a rise in civilian casualties in Balochistan because of operations by the security forces.
Balochistan comprises 43% of Pakistan’s land area and 6% of Pakistan’s population. But the representation of the Baluch in Pakistan’s institutions is not proportional to their number.
According to a report by Pakistan Institute for Peace Studies, as of 2005, there was not a single Baloch at the head of the top 200 businesses in Pakistan, not one Baloch Ambassador and only 502 Baloch were recruited in the army that year.
According to reports by Pakistani experts and by the International Crisis Group, as of 2006, there were only 15,000 Baloch in the 550,000-strong army (excluding paramilitary forces) or approximately 1.3%.
These injustices need the world’s attention.
Balochistan is the cauldron of the worst human rights violations in Pakistan, which does not have a good track record of upholding human rights in general. Its oppression of religious minorities – including Christians and Ahmadis – is widely recognised.
In recent years, Hazara Shias in Balochistan and Shias in Parachinar in the FATA have also come under attack and subjected to ethnic cleansing to facilitate militant operations in their traditional areas by Afghan Taliban and the notorious Haqqani network.
We should not let Balochistan become a battleground for rival external powers. The people of Balochistan deserve better than being oppressed by Rawalpindi and Islamabad or being used as pawns in international great games.
Instead of attacking and destroying the Baloch, Sindhis, Pashtun, or Muhajirs, the Pakistani military establishment should focus on eliminating safe havens for international terrorists like Al-Qaeda, ISIS and the Afghan and Pakistani Taliban.
I join all of you in recognising the sacrifice of the Baloch people. May the sacrifice of thousands of Baloch men and women – bear fruit and Balochistan get justice.

Pakistan - Christian and Hindu minors enmeshed in a blasphemy case

By  Madeeha Bakhsh

Two minors enmeshed in blasphemy case. Details emerged that two sweepers have been allegedly accused of committing blasphemy by burning sacred pages. A police case has been registered against them invoking the blasphemy law.
Social activist Shaan Taseer revealed that a blasphemy case has been registered against Vishal Tariq and Bhola Ram. Both of them have been accused of allegedly burning pages with Quranic verses on them. An FIR was registered on September 28, whereas the minors were charged under 295-B. Vishal and Bhola are emploed as cleaners at Civil Hospital, Dunga.
The case was registered at Dunga Police Station. The FIR states that the alleged blasphemy was committed at the Civil Hospital, Dunga, District Bahawalnagar. The complainant is a policeman who claims that he received a phone call from a local journalist who informed him that Vishal son of Tariq had burnt government record whilst some pages containing Quranic verses where also among them.
The complainant claims that the incident unfolded on September 27, 2017. After being informed, he arrived at the scene and witnessed a large crowd gathered who detailed the incident to him. He claims that the incident was also brought to the notice of a Doctor of the Civil Hospital who filed a complaint in the police station however, withheld the information about burning of Quranic verses.

Balochistan: Pakistani FC abduct three Baloch youth from Turbat, two killed in Dera Bugti

Pakistan Frontier Corps (FC) and secret agencies have abducted three Baloch youth from Gwak area of Mand in district Turbat and at least two people have been killed during military attacks in Dera Bugti Balochistan on Sunday.
According to details the FC and other security agencies have carried out a raid at the house of Shikari Murad Jan son of Gull Mohammad in Gwak are of Mand and violated the sanctity of his house during the unwarranted raid.
The Pakistani forces harassed and threaten women and children with dire consequences and looted valuables.
At least three Baloch youth named Attaullah son of Mayar, Haidar son of Shah Mir and Mando son of Saleem. All the abducted men have been shifted to an unknown location and their whereabouts remained unknown until the filing of this report.
Meanwhile, Sher Mohammad Bugti, the central spokesperson of the Baloch Republic Party, has said in a series of tweets that Pakistani army carried out offensives in Chabdar, Dera Bugti and different parts of Kohistan Marri.
He said the military was using gunship helicopters in civilian areas and at least two people named as Lal Mohammad Bugti and Taja Bugti were killed in shelling by Pakistani army gunship helicopters in Dera Bugti so far.

Pakistan: 'The War Within'

Pakistan army says plan in place to integrate militant-linked groups

By Asif Shahzad
The Pakistani army on Thursday confirmed that a plan was in place to try to integrate militant-linked groups into the mainstream of the country’s politics.
Milli Muslim League (MML), a new militant party controlled by Islamist Hafiz Saeed, backed a candidate in the September by-election for a seat vacated by ousted Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in the eastern city of Lahore. The United States has offered a $10 million bounty for Saeed’s capture.
Reuters reported last month that the foray into politics by MML and other Islamists groups followed the integration plan. Three of Sharif’s confidants and a retired army general said it had been presented by Inter Services Intelligence to Sharif last year, but the then premier had rejected it.
Army spokesman Major-General Asif Ghafoor told a news conference in Islamabad the plan was aimed at developing a constructive role for them.
Asked about the MML party loyal to Hafiz Saeed, whom the United States and India accuse of masterminding the 2008 Mumbai attacks that killed 166 people, the army spokesman said it was part of “a process that has started”.
“It is in my knowledge that the government has started some discussion over it, that, how do we mainstream them, so that they could do constructive contribution,” Ghafoor said.
A government spokesman did not respond to calls.
Pakistan’s interior ministry has asked the country’s electoral commission not to register Saeed’s party, but hasn’t taken any other steps to stop it. Another militant party is campaigning for a by-election later in October.
It remains unclear whether the army or the ISI went ahead with its plan despite Sharif’s rejection, or if the military and the civilian government have recently agreed on the idea.
Another Islamist designated a terrorist by the United States, Fazlur Rehman Khalil, told Reuters he too planned to form his own party soon.
Within two weeks of Sharif’s ouster, the MML party was announced. It later got the backing of Saeed and his lieutenants in the by-election to secure five per cent of the vote.
The other hardline party, Tehrik-e-Labaik Pakistan, gained over six per cent of votes by riding on the back of a blasphemy killer Mumtaz Qadri whom it called a hero and a martyr.
Saeed has been under house arrest since January in the eastern city of Lahore.
MML is the political wing of Saeed’s charity Jamaat-ud-Dawa, JuD. JuD and Khalil’s Ansar ul-Umma organization are both seen by the United States as fronts for militant groups the army has been accused of sponsoring against neighbors, arch-foe India and Afghanistan - a charge the army denies.
Reports of the plan to bring militant-linked groups into the political mainstream have stirred debate at home and abroad.
“Now, how to take it further - that, the time to come will tell,” Ghafoor, the army spokesman’ said, “For that, the government will take a decision.”


Shia Muslims staged a rally outside Imam Bargah Shohda-e-Karbala Incholi in Karachi to protest against the enforced disappearance of many Shia notables, youths on Wednesday night.

Carrying banners, placards and portraits of the illegally detained Shia Muslims, the protesters including their heirs and relatives, condemned the unlawful action of self-claimed law enforcement agencies cops. They said it was against constitutional and legal right of citizens of Pakistan that he is taken into custody without any case against them. 

The protesters demanded that innocent Shia Muslims be released forthwith or they must be produced in courts and their heirs must be apprised of their whereabouts.

Khalid Rao, the rights activists and a close-aide of martyr Khurram Zaki, spoke to the protesters. He expressed support to the Fill the Jails Movement for the release of the missing Shias.

Suicide bomber strikes Shiite shrine in Pakistan, killing 20

A suicide bomber struck a Shiite shrine packed with worshippers in a remote village in southwestern Pakistan on Thursday, killing 20 people and leaving at least 25 wounded in an apparent sectarian attack, a provincial government spokesman and the police said.
The attacker detonated his explosives vest when he was stopped for a routine search by a police officer guarding the shrine in the village of Jhal Masgi, about 400 kilometers (240 miles) east of Quetta, the capital of Baluchistan province.
No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attack. Anwarul Haq Kakar, spokesman for the provincial government, said the death toll could rise as some of the wounded were in critical condition.
Mohammad Iqbal, a district police chief, said five children, a woman and one police officer were among those 20 people killed in the bombing.
He said they found body parts of the attacker and investigators were trying to determine who was behind the bombing. Sarfraz Bugto, the provincial home minister, said "terrorists have shown their inhumaneness by attacking innocent civilians" at the shrine.
Hundreds of devotees were present at the shrine for a monthly gathering when the bomber hit. Local TV footage showed people crying for help in the immediate aftermath of the attack.
Just hours earlier, Pakistani army spokesman Maj. Gen. Asif Ghafoor said the military had received credible reports of upcoming terror attacks. Ghafoor told a news conference in the garrison city of Rawalpindi that the government has been alerted about possible attacks.
Though no one claimed responsibility for Thursday's bombing, Sunni extremists have carried out many such attacks in the past, targeting minority Shiite Muslims in Baluchistan and elsewhere in the country. Sunni extremists perceive Shiites as apostates who should be killed.
Pakistani Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi condemned the attack.
In a statement, he said that "terrorists have no religion" and that his government will act against militants with full might.
In June, at least 75 Shiite Muslims were killed in twin bombings at a market in Parachinar in the country's northwest. At the time, Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, a sectarian Sunni extremist group, claimed the bombings in Parachinar, which is a majority Shiite town.
In February, an Islamic State suicide bomber struck inside a famed Sufi shrine in southern Sindh province, killing 88 worshippers as they performed a devotional dance known as "dhamal."
Baluchistan, which shares a border with Sindh province, has also been the scene of a low-level insurgency by Baluch nationalists and separatists demanding more autonomy and a greater share in the region's natural resources such as gas and oil. However, Islamic militants have also carried out scores of attacks in the province.

Pakistan Is Inviting Its Favorite Jihadis Into Parliament

It might seem like the Pakistani military is trying to defang its ostensible adversaries. It's really trying to empower them.
The notorious jihadi Hafiz Saeed has apparently had a change of heart. Like many extremists in Pakistan, the 67-year-old firebrand used to rage against democracy. But earlier this month a new political party, controlled in all but name by Saeed — the leader of the militant organization Lashkar-e-Taiba, and the alleged mastermind of a string of horrific massacres in India, including the killing of 166 people in Mumbai nine years ago — peacefully contested its first by-election for national parliament.
Bearded party workers from the Milli Muslim League wandered the streets of Lahore in hi-visibility jackets. Posters of Saeed were plastered across the city, in direct contravention of a ruling by the Election Commission, which does not recognize the MML as a party. The candidate backed by the MML, Yaqoob Sheikh, himself designated a terrorist by the U.S. Treasury in 2012, notched up an unexpectedly high 5 percent of the vote for the former National Assembly seat of recently ousted prime minister, Nawaz Sharif. (A further 6 percent went to another new Islamist party, the Tehreek-e-Labaik Pakistan, founded to cherish the legacy of a man who was hanged for the murder of a senator campaigning for reform of the country’s strict blasphemy laws.)
Why have bloodthirsty, anti-democratic groups suddenly chosen to enter the world of politics — and how have they been allowed to operate so openly? For the answer, look to Pakistan’s army. Earlier this year, according to Muhammad Amir Rana of the Pakistan Institute for Peace Studies, the military held successful talks with several “banned organizations” over a deradicalization strategy that would, in theory, see them drop their AK-47s and pick up clipboards.
Well-meaning supporters of the strategy argue that not all extremists can be killed or locked up. Some point to the IRA in Ireland or Islamist radicals in Indonesia as proof that political engagement can defang terrorist groups. Others ask why the political transition now seen as the inevitable path of the Afghan Taliban should not also apply to Pakistan’s own jihadis.
But deradicalization is tricky at the best of times, and the conditions that made it work elsewhere in the past simply don’t apply to Pakistan today. Most of all, it needs a state willing to threaten nonstate actors with something they would rather avoid (a military offensive) while proffering the reward of something they want (political influence). In Pakistan, neither condition is fulfilled. In fact, the “mainstreaming” project appears just as likely to strengthen jihadi militants as quell them — and you don’t have to be a conspiracy theorist to wonder whether that isn’t really the point.
By global standards, the Pakistani army is large, well equipped, and well disciplined. But it’s next door to India, a foe three times its size, which has beaten it soundly in every conflict the two have ever had. That leaves the military willing to resort to the darkest methods to even the score.
The army has been chasing the possibility of a “good Taliban” for decades — starting with the Afghan Taliban itself, sponsored and supported by Pakistan’s intelligence agency, the Inter-Services Intelligence. The main reason that Lashkar-e-Taiba and its charitable front, Jamaat-ud-Dawa, survive under Hafiz Saeed’s leadership is that as far as the military is concerned, they’re the good jihadis.
Lashkar-e-Taiba has never carried out an attack within Pakistan — at least one that’s made the press. Rather, it has served as a proxy for the military in its asymmetric war with India, particularly in the disputed territory of Kashmir. According to David Headley, one of the Lashkar-e-Taiba members involved in the 2008 attack on Mumbai, the ISI provided “financial, military, and moral” support for the operation. The army proved how effective it can be in a recent sustained assault on the jihadis it doesn’t like — those who carry out attacks within the nation. A crackdown in the northeastern tribal areas came as a furious reply to the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan’s 2014 massacre at a school in Peshawar. Deaths from terrorism have since fallen by two-thirds.
But none of the circumstances that have historically shielded Lashkar-e-Taiba from a similar military crackdown have changed — in fact, some of them have become more entrenched. The belligerent tone of Narendra Modi, India’s prime minister, has fuelled the military’s hard-wired belief that it must retain all its assets in the 70-year-old conflict.
Meanwhile, the ever-expanding charitable works of Jamaat-ud-Dawa, which the armed forces have supported by granting it permission to work in parts of the country that international nongovernmental organizations and other local organizations cannot reach, have softened public opinion. A popular actor congratulated Hafiz Saeed after the Lahore by-election, praising him as a “righteous man.” While much of Pakistan’s civilian elite share the condemnatory line of its English-language newspapers, read by 2 percent of the population, the broader public tends to a less harsh view. Just 36 percent of the population holds an unfavorable opinion of Lashkar-e-Taiba, compared to 60 percent for the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan, according to a 2015 Pew survey.
If the army has no clear incentive to wholly “deradicalize” Lashkar-e-Taiba at this point in time, it has more than enough to present its old strategic asset as newly defanged in order to ward off international pressure. America has reduced its aid to Pakistan for housing, in the words of U.S. President Donald Trump, “the very terrorists who we are fighting.” Allies closer to home have recently shown signs of losing patience with its tolerance of favored jihadi groups.
At last month’s BRICS summit among five of the world’s most rapidly developing nations, a statement was issued condemning — for the first time — Lashkar-e-Taiba and its affiliates by name as a threat to regional stability. Pakistan’s civilian government daringly echoed the criticism. It cannot lift a finger against Saeed, given the military’s stranglehold over counterterrorism and foreign policy. But the sum effect of such glancing blows, and the potential diplomatic isolation that would result from maintaining the status quo, may have convinced elements of the military to make a show of “politically deradicalizing” its historic playmates.
The transformation might, moreover, yield strategic fruit. The army is known to loathe the recently ousted Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, who favored peace with India.
And the reduced margin of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz’s victory in Lahore last week, compared to the general election in 2013, owed much to the rise of the MML and its fellow religious party, which split the right-wing vote. The new parties’ street power alone might sway the future course of the country’s politics.
At large MML rallies, supporters chanted “Long live the Pakistan Army!” and — by coincidence or not — the party’s main goal is said to be opposing repeal of the broad, Islam-based articles of the constitution that the Supreme Court used to justify Sharif’s removal. It would take a brave politician to speak out in favor of reform when Jamaat-ud-Dawa and the MML control huge and boisterous vote banks.
Pakistan’s Ministry of Interior has so far resisted granting the Milli Muslim League the status of a political party — hence the need for MML to support its nominally independent candidate at arm’s length. But it may not be able to hold out much longer. One challenge the civilian government faces in dealing with Saeed’s organizations is the smoothness with which they adapt to rules. Jamaat-ud-Dawa, his charity, works zealously across the country. Its members carry out disaster relief, run around 200 schools, and have deliberately offered support to minorities — such as Hindus and Shiites — to win more public sympathy. The country’s former military dictator, Pervez Musharraf, referred to Jamaat-ud-Dawa as a “very fine NGO” in an interview earlier this year. Military officials point out that if the MML submits to the requirements of Pakistan’s Constitution, whether they “wear beards or not, they would not be stopped [from forming a party] anywhere in the world.”
That runs a little wide of the truth, and, of course, operating a political party with one hand doesn’t prevent fostering jihad, covertly, with the other. Consider Hezbollah, for example. To date, Saeed’s outfits have played a similar double game as the Lebanese organization, which grew its militant wing alongside a burgeoning political front.
Jamaat-ud-Dawa, funded by charitable donations, operates from a sprawling base outside Lahore. Yet it was on the large lake inside those headquarters that Lashkar-e-Taiba militants reportedly prepared for their amphibious assault on Mumbai. If Saeed slips into the political mainstream, such practices suggest he will merely funnel some of the financial rewards to terrorist activities, while instructing his henchmen to smile for election officials.
The Pakistan army may find that its strategy backfires in another way. The whole point of using militants against India is to maintain a facade of plausible deniability. But bringing Saeed into the system puts all that at risk. After Lashkar-e-Taiba militants shot up the Indian parliament in 2001, 800,000 troops massed the border as India and Pakistan — two nuclear-armed nations — nearly went to war. The Pakistani state denied it had anything to do with the attack. That excuse was thin at the time. Repeating it now would wear it to vanishing point.

Pakistan - #PPP to challenge section 203 of Election Reforms Act in Supreme Court

The Pakistan Peoples Party has decided to challenge in the Supreme Court section 203 of the Election Reforms Act 2017 under which a person disqualified by a competent court is also allowed to become an office bearer and even head a political party.
The decision was taken at a high level meeting of the Party held in Zardari House Islamabad Wednesday evening.

The meeting presided over by former President Asif Ali Zardari was attended by opposition Leader Syed Khursheed Shah, former Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf, Latif Khosa, Nayyer Bukhari, Rehman Malik, Naveed Qamar, Sherry Rehman, Saleem Mandviwalla, Manzoor Chaudhry, Tanvir Kaira and Farhatulah Babar.

Spokesperson Farhatullah Babar said that the meeting also decided that Sardar Latif Khosa will be the lead counsel of the Party in the case.