Friday, October 13, 2017

Arabic Music - YALLA HABIBI

Op-Ed The U.S. is enabling civil war and a humanitarian crisis in Yemen. Isn't it time Congress had a say in our involvement?

The ongoing civil war in Yemen was instigated by the region’s major powers, with Iran on one side and a Saudi Arabia-led coalition of Persian Gulf states on the other. The fighting — especially airstrikes by Saudi and United Arab Emirates pilots — has devastated Yemen, one of the Arab world’s poorest nations. It has created what three U.N. agencies call “the world’s largest humanitarian crisis”: Sixty percent of the Yemeni population is “food insecure”; 700,000 have been infected with cholera, a deadly disease spread by a lack of clean water and sanitation.
There are plenty of man-made catastrophes around the world today, but the conflict in Yemen is unique because the United States is not a bystander or neutral arbiter. We have gone along for the ride, providing indirect military assistance on the Saudi side.

Without congressional authorization — and without a peep from the leaders of either party — the Obama and Trump administrations made the U.S. a participant. Now a bipartisan group of House members is invoking the War Powers Act of 1973 and demanding that Congress either support our involvement in Yemen or direct the president to end it.
Americans aren’t pulling triggers, but we are integral protagonists in the fight in Yemen. Since March 2015, when the Saudi coalition began bombing Houthi rebels in support of the internationally recognized Yemeni government, the U.S. Air Force has assisted — enabled — Riyadh and its allies in the air campaign. Americans aren’t pulling triggers, but we are integral protagonists in the fight.
Air Force intelligence identifies Houthi targets to hit and civilian facilities to avoid. At the U.N., in the Security Council and the Human Rights Council, Washington has protected Riyadh from censure, watering down resolutions and preventing war crimes inquiries. Most important, throughout the war, Saudi and Emirati jets have used U.S. midair refueling capabilities to keep up the pace of operations without having to return to a base. According to Pentagon statistics, the Air Force has refueled Saudi aircraft more than 9,000 times. American pilots don’t have to traverse Yemeni airspace to reach coalition planes, which keeps us technically out of the fighting, but without this U.S. help, it is unlikely the Saudi side could maintain its participation in what regional analysts already call a quagmire.
Congress has had no say in U.S. involvement in the war. Out of cowardice, political concerns, general disinterest in Yemen or (unjustified) allegiance to Saudi Arabia, lawmakers have not debated — let alone voted on — whether U.S. national security interests are served by picking winners and losers in a proxy contest between rival Mideast factions. U.S. participation has been left to the president to decide, as if Congress had no responsibility in scrutinizing American foreign policy. This is not what the Founders envisioned. The Constitution places no higher priority on the legislative branch than determining when the United States will send its servicemen and women into war. In this case, long before the military aid was offered, the American people, through their elected representatives, should have had a national debate about what, if any, U.S. objectives would be served by entering the Yemen conflict, what military support would be required, whether diplomatic conditions should be attached to military action and how aiding Riyadh’s bombing campaign could affect our other interests in the region. (In fact, the destruction of Yemen has strengthened Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula and worked against our counterterrorism operations there.)
On Sept. 27, Reps. Ro Khanna (D-Torrance), Mark Pocan (D-Wis.), Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) and Walter Jones (R-N.C.) stepped in to fill the void in congressional leadership. They introduced what’s called a concurrent resolution under the the War Powers Act, demanding an end to U.S. involvement in the Yemen civil war in 30 days unless Congress votes otherwise. Under provisions in the act, such a resolution supposedly cannot be stalled or buried in committee. If the House Foreign Affairs Committee does not move the resolution forward within 15 days, it can be brought to the full House for debate and a vote anyway.
Supporters and opponents of U.S. policy in Yemen should make their case to the American people through Congress, just as the founders intended and the Constitution requires. Lawmakers have the power to make that happen, but that power is meaningless if they refuse to use it.

Daniel DePetris is a fellow at Defense Priorities, a think tank launched in 2016 that advocates for foreign policy restraint.

Yemen: Cholera Outbreak Now Largest and Fastest on Record, 600,000 Children Infected by Christmas

Yemen’s cholera outbreak will reach more than a million cases by Christmas at current rates, including at least 600,000 children, Save the Children is warning.
The epidemic has already spread faster than any outbreak of cholera since modern records began – and is now the largest in recent history.
About 4,000 suspected cases are still being reported every day, more than half of them children under the age of 18. Of those infected, 25 percent of cases are children under the age of five.
As of October 10, the World Health Organization has reported 815,314 suspected cases and 2,156 deaths across Yemen since April 27. That means the outbreak has today surpassed the 815,000 cases reported over seven years in Haiti. In Yemen, it has reached that level in less than six months. At current rates, Save the Children estimates the total caseload is likely to break one million by December.
“Cholera has been around in Yemen for a long time, but we’ve never seen an outbreak of this scale or speed. It’s what you get when a country is brought to its knees by conflict, when a healthcare system is on the brink of collapse, when its children are starving, and when its people are blocked from getting the medical treatment they need,” said Tamer Kirolos, Save the Children’s Country Director for Yemen.
“There’s no doubt this is a man-made crisis. Cholera only rears its head when there’s a complete and total breakdown in sanitation. All parties to the conflict must take responsibility for the health emergency we find ourselves in.”
Recent research by Save the Children found that there are more than one million acutely malnourished children under the age of five living in areas where cholera infection levels are high. Children with acute malnutrition are at least three times more likely to die from diarrheal diseases like cholera.
Diarrheal diseases like cholera are also themselves a leading cause of malnutrition – raising fears that even if children survive the outbreak they could be pushed further toward starvation.
“It’s simply unacceptable that children are trapped in a brutal cycle of starvation and sickness. We are dealing with a horrific scenario of babies and young children who are not only malnourished but also infected with cholera,” Kirolos added.
“The tragedy is both malnutrition and cholera are easily treatable if you have access to basic healthcare. But hospitals have been destroyed, 30,000 public sector health workers haven't been paid for almost a year, and the delivery of vital aid is being obstructed. The world must act now to prevent more children from dying from an entirely preventable illness.”
Save the Children gives children in the United States and around the world a healthy start, the opportunity to learn and protection from harm. We invest in childhood — every day, in times of crisis and for our future. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

Saudi War Crimes - Yemen War Brings Saudi Policies under International Scrutiny

By Emad Mekay

As the then 29-year old young prince Mohammed bin Salman started to prepare himself for the eventual ascension to the throne of Saudi Arabia, his retainers advised him to give TV interviews to win public support. When he did, many Saudis were disappointed. Instead of reigniting pride, the young prince came out bland and unimpressive. His retainers had to find a way to re-catapult him. The Yemen war was hatched.
The young Salman's self-styled “liberal” marketers came up with the idea of a war that the young prince would win quickly. They tried to sell the young royal as a gallant fighter who does not flinch on using Saudi military muscle, buttressed by decades of costly Western arms purchases that former senile rulers balked at using. So, with much fanfare at the time, they chose to introduce a war on – of all countries – Yemen, the region's weakest and poorest nation.
Operations started in March 2015. The public justification for the war was that Saudi Arabia needed to remove Yemeni Houthis, who are aligned with Riyadh's arch-foe, Iran.
Military operations were sold to the Saudi public as a would-be two-week springtime road picnic for their well-funded and technology-equipped military. Mohammed bin Salman, who is also defence minister, would soon be greeted by thousands in an arch of triumph parade in Riyadh after the quick war.
The United States and the United Kingdom, both with large arms sales to the rich kingdom, gave their full backing to Saudi Arabia's massive bombing campaign against Yemen, a country of 27 million people.
But more than two years down the line, Saudi Arabia is suffering an international PR debacle for the humanitarian catastrophe its operations have brought to its neighbours to the south. The war itself is nowhere near over. Saudis are left with the bitter taste of an incompetent military and the hefty treasure and blood cost while a smaller oil-rich country like the United Arab Emirates seem to be outmanoeuvring the Saudis for influence, especially in Southern Yemen.
The international community now more than ever notices what a humanitarian crisis Yemen has become. On Oct. 5, the United Nations blacklisted the Saudi Arabia-led coalition for killing and injuring hundreds of children. The United Nations found in a new report that more than 1,340 children were killed or maimed.
Earlier the UN Human Rights Council adopted a resolution to send an international independent inquiry commission to investigate war crimes in Yemen.
Even in the United States, Saudi Arabia's traditional protector, momentum is gathering to oppose U.S. aid for the Saudi war in Yemen. Anti-war pressure groups are urging members of the House of Representatives to support a bi-partisan resolution to end all U.S. aid in the war which has caused famine, spread of cholera and lack of services.
U.S. Representative Ro Khanna tweeted on October 5 as he introduced the bill that “it is time to end the United States military involvement in Yemen.”
War crimes expert Federica D’Alessandra said atrocities in Yemen make it urgent for many countries to restudy the sale of weapons that are used in the war in Yemen.
"All governments currently selling weapons to Said Arabia, including the U.S., should launch independent inquiries of how their weapons are being used, whether at all in Yemen, and under what rules of engagement," said D'Alessandra, who is a Harvard Fellow and a Visiting Scholar with the Harvard Law School. "In December of last year, in fact, the U.S. called off the export of some precision guided-munitions to Saudi Arabia because of concerns about their targeting practices."
D'Alessandra referred to the 2013 UN Arms Trade Treaty, which entered into force in 2014, as the basis for such investigations. She explained that the treaty prohibits the transfer of all weapons, in all forms and through all means, which are at substantial risk of being used in causing violations of international human rights or humanitarian law, crimes against humanity or acts of genocide.
The rise in international condemnation of Saudi atrocities in Yemen may not have been part of the calculations the young Salman had made. Riyadh has assumed that arms purchases from Washington would tame any U.S., and by extension international, opposition to the war in Yemen.
In July, U.S. President Donald Trump signed a 110 billion dollar arms deal with Saudi Arabia. The proposed arms deal alone would benefit U.S. defence companies such as Boeing, Lockheed Martin, General Dynamics, Raytheon and Northrop Grumman. The sales to the world's largest oil exporter include Terminal High Altitude Air Defense system (THAAD) Patriot missiles, 150 Black Hawk helicopters, four frigates (called multi-mission surface combatant vessels) and billion-dollar sales of more munitions the Saudis say they need in their two-year old war in Yemen.
Moreover, through a media blitz, Saudi Arabia counters that it had to side with the government forces in Yemen facing the rebel Houthi group to prevent the rise of a religious theocracy backed by its arch-foe Iran. Saudi officials claim that the Houthi forces are nothing more than Hezbollah-type militias that could bring terrorism to the region and to the world. According to the Saudis, the Houthis believe that power in Yemen should be in the hand of Iran's supreme leader.
But despite Saudi justifications, the unfolding humanitarian tragedy is starting to cost the Saudis internationally.
In his pursuit to appear as the next strong man of the Arabian peninsula, Mohammed bin Salman in his role as defence minister may have approved tactics that could be war crimes. For example, according to several international human rights organisations, the Saudi-led coalition blocks imports to Yemen such fuel, live-saving goods, medicine and even aid including food supplies.
According to Human Rights Watch, as a result of the war some 1.8 million children are acutely malnourished. 
Half the country’s hospitals are closed, 15.7 million people lack access to clean water, and the country has over 700,000 suspected cholera infections, increasing by about 5,000 cases daily.
Internally, the Yemen war is not faring any better for Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman. Quietly or on social media, some Saudis have questioned Mohammed bin Salman's policies in Yemen. His response was an unprecedented wave of mass arrests that saw dozens of public figures, intellectuals, scholars and even poets sent to unknown locations in Saudi prisons. 

#CheGuevara– Viva! Hasta la Victoria Siempre! “Che

By Peter Koenig

Among the Greatest Revolutionaries of the 20th Century”.

Che! – You are one of the greatest revolutionaries of the 20th Century. You inspired tens of millions of people throughout the world to fight for justice, for their freedom and civil rights. You have left a vision of hope, of never giving up – a legacy of solidarity and of Venceremos! – we shall overcome. You have been murdered by the most criminal organization of the most evil empire, the CIA of the United States of America – but your spirit lives on in Latin America, Africa, Asia and even in vassal Europe, inspiring generation after generation for class struggle, that there is universal justice that must be fought for and will be won. Che – you are a true Hero – an icon for the poor and powerless!
Ernesto “Che” Guevara was born in Rosario, Argentina, on 14 June 1928 and was assassinated in Higuera, Bolivia, by CIA-led Bolivian forces on 9 October 1967. It was a summary execution – no trial, no questions asked – 50 years ago. What has changed in 5 decades? – At the surface, one might say – not much. The world is still divided between the capitalist, neocolonialist west and the much more visionary and peaceful east.
However, moral consciousness is rising everywhere. There is slow progression; the vessel is slowly veering towards a more peaceful multi-polar world. Not just the ascent of Russia and China are bringing a new wind of consciousness to millions of people, but the sensation of change is noticeable everywhere – from South to North and from East to West. It is still brittle and weak – but it is growing and gaining strength. And Che – his unquestioned determination to fight for a better world – was instrumental in this awakening.
Che left Argentina in the early 1950s as a medical student, accompanied by his pal, Alberto Granado, a young doctor, on a single-cylinder sputtering 1939 Norton motor cycle – they called it “La Poderosa” (“the Mighty”), exploring the Latin American Subcontinent which they knew only from books. Granado was probably the first one to give Ernesto the famous nickname “Che” – an Argentinian equivalent to ‘buddy’ or ‘pal’. They travelled through South America and discovered misery, poverty and disease. Combining Che’s “The Motor Cycle Diaries” and Granado’s “With Che Through Latin America”, Robert Redford turned the diaries in 2004 into an epic movie that has since become as symbolic for young revolutionary rebellion as has Alberto Korda’s famous photography of Che’s.
The film portrays the two friends exposed to utmost destitution throughout South America, turning Che gradually into the revolutionary, who eventually was instrumental in freeing Cuba, at the side of Fidel and Raul Castro, from the deadly oppression of US-supported dictator, Fulgencio Batista.
During their trip, the two friends served as doctors in San Pablo, an isolated leprosy colony near Iquitos, in Peru’s Amazon region. They went their separate ways at the end of their trip in 1953 in Venezuela. Granado stayed on in Venezuela, where he felt his raison d’être was to be a medical doctor, working as a leprosy specialist in a Venezuelan hospital. It took 8 years until they met again in Havana, when Che, who by then was second-in-command to Fidel, invited Alberto Granado to Cuba, where he was to teach biology at Havana University and in 1962 created the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Santiago in Cuba.
As a medical doctor, Che saw often hopelessness and misery. When he treated once a woman dying from tuberculosis, he was horrified by the public health system: 
“How long this present order, based on the absurd idea of caste, will last is not within my means to answer, but it’s time that those who govern spent less time publicizing their own virtues and more money, much more money, funding socially useful works.”
And he continued,
“It is at times like this, when a doctor is conscious of his complete powerlessness, that he longs for change: a change to prevent the injustice of a system in which only a month ago this poor woman was still earning her living as a waitress, wheezing and panting but facing life with dignity. In circumstances like this, individuals in poor families who can’t pay their way become surrounded by an atmosphere of barely disguised acrimony; they stop being father, mother, sister or brother and become a purely negative factor in the struggle for life and, consequently, a source of bitterness for the healthy members of the community who resent their illness as if it were a personal insult to those who have to support them.”
Ernesto Che Guevara moved on from Venezuela on a cargo boat to Miami and from there through Central America to Mexico. He later learned about Guatemala’s President Arbenz’s assassination by a CIA-led coup d’état in 1954 on behalf of United Fruit – which Arbenz wanted to nationalize. Che became increasingly a revolutionary, whose goal it was to fight for justice and equality, for a better world and to free oppressed people throughout the globe from nefarious capitalism – starting with Latin America.
In Mexico, Che met with Fidel and Raul Castro. Together with a small revolutionary armada, they sailed on the now famed yacht Granma, participating in the historic 26th of July 1953 Movement (M-26-7) against the Moncada army Barracks in Santiago de Cuba. The assault failed. Che was injured, Castro was captured and sentenced to 15 years in prison but freed after two years in an armistice. They then returned to Mexico, where they organized and planned another, better prepared attack on the Batista regime.
In 1955, together with others by now renowned Cuban revolutionaries, like Camilo Cienfuegos and Juan Almeida Bosque, Fidel, Raul and Che formed a disciplined 82 men-strong guerilla force, aiming at overthrowing Batista. They left Veracruz, Mexico in late November 1956 and targeted the small town of Niquero, Oriente Province of Cuba. However, they were discovered by Cuban air force helicopters and had to land on 2 December 1956 on a beach called Los Colorados, about 25 km south of the designated spot where Celia Sánchez, a comrade revolutionary in Cuba, waited for them with jeeps, petrol, weapons and food. Due to the emergency landing, they could not benefit from this essential guerilla war materiel.
They fought hard against Batista’s troops and lost 70 of the 82 men that sailed aboard Granma. But they did not give up. They regrouped in the Sierra Maestra mountains, where they attracted hundreds of young Cuban volunteers. They won many battles against Batista’s army. These battles became the Cuban Revolution and eventually ended on New Year’s Eve of 1958, when they marched victoriously into Havana. In January 1959 Batista fled to the Dominican Republic.
Following the triumphant Cuban Revolution, Che Guevara gained prominence and was soon promoted to second-in-charge to Fidel. He occupied several key roles in the new government, like instituting the agrarian land reform, leading a successful countrywide literacy campaign; he was Minister of Industry, Director of Cuba’s Central Bank, instructed Cuba’s armed forces. As such, he also trained the militia forces who repelled the Bay of Pigs Invasion and was instrumental in bringing the Soviet nuclear missiles to Cuba which prompted the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis. Che also toured the world as Cuba’s chief diplomat, representing Cuba’s socialism at the United Nations in both New York and Geneva, as well as everywhere he traveled.
In 1965, Che decided to leave Cuba. His major contribution to the Cuban Revolution, though ongoing to this day – was done. He was heavily influenced by Marxism-Leninism and saw the so-called Third World’s underdevelopment – poverty, destitution, disease – as a dependence on the abusive exploitation by the west – that which, in turn, is the inherent result of imperialism and monopoly capitalism. The only remedy to fight it was socialist internationalism, a world revolution.
Che left Cuba for Congo-Kinshasa, now Zaïre, where he was unsuccessful in fomenting a revolution against Joseph Mobutu, one of the most corrupt and murderous dictators Africa has known until this day. Che Guevara was particularly inspired to help the people of then Congo (a former Belgian colony, today neocolony), because his comrade Patrice Lumumba, the first democratically elected President of the Congo in 1960, was overturned in a coup d’état by Colonel Mobutu, helped by Belgian forces. Mobutu ordered Lumumba’s murder by firing squad in January 1961.
After a second coup, the brutal authoritarian Mobutu assumed power in 1965. With the help of the neocolonial US and the UK, he stayed in power more than three decades, until 1997, putting the extraordinary riches of minerals and petrol basically at western disposal (against a hefty fee, of course, for his own (Swiss) bank accounts, not for his country), to the detriment of the Congolese people. Che Guevara was powerless against these boundless and ruthless military forces – forces that continue to protect also the Kabila dynasty that followed Mobutu in 1997, first by Laurent Kabila, and after his assassination in 2001, by his son Joseph – who to this day is ruling mineral-rich Zaïre, while sustaining bloody civil war-like conditions that has killed millions of people, including women and children, all for the benefit of western – mostly US – mineral giants feeding mainly the US military industrial complex.
Back to Che. After his unfortunate experience at revolution in Africa, he went back to his roots – Latin America, a culture which he was familiar with and where he believed a true and lasting revolution was possible – to bring dignity and sovereignty back to the peoples who were miserably oppressed by Washington backed military regimes for decades. On November 4, 1966, Che crossed the border into Bolivia under false identity. He thought Bolivia, the center of South America, was ideal to start and spread a revolution throughout Latin America.
Che formed a small army of 47 fighters from Bolivia, Cuba, Peru and Argentina, the ‘Ejército de Liberación Nacional de Bolivia’ – ELN (The Bolivian National Liberation Army). Che and his people fought on several occasions the army of the cruel military dictator, René Barrientos, (1964-1969), who came to power in 1964 by a coup helped – by whom else – Washington. Che and his troops had also a non-fighting network that kept them informed and supplied them with food and water as their hardship and information inaccessibility made them vulnerable in the jungle of Bolivia.
Two members of Che’s support team, Regis Debray (French) and Ciro Bustos (Argentinian), were captured and tortured. It is said, but has been often contested, that they revealed Che’s whereabouts, which allowed Barrientos’ army to intensify its battle and eventually by the end of September 1967 have a clear advantage over Che’s guerilla army. Che and his men fought their last battle on 8 October in the Churro gorge, when they were captured and taken to an area called La Higuera, in the Department of Santa Cruz in Bolivia. Che was executed on 9 October and his body hidden by the military, though his diary made the way into Fidel’s hands. Fidel eventually published it.
In 1995, Fidel Castro initiated with the President Gonzalo Sánchez de Lozado, also called Goni the “Gringo”, a search for Che’s remains. They were found in Vallegrande near La Higuera and sent to Cuba, where they were laid to rest in Santa Clara in a Mausoleum especially built for Che.
On 17 October 1997 CNN reports “Cuba paid tribute to revolutionary hero Ernest “Che” Guevara … with a pomp-filled state burial and a ringing tribute from Fidel Castro, the man he helped propel to power nearly four decades ago. He said:
 “His inerasable mark is now in history, and his luminous gaze of a prophet has become a symbol for all the poor of this world.””
Fidel’s words still keep ringing through the ether of the universe. Undoubtedly, Che, Fidel and Hugo Chavez were among the most influential revolutionaries of the Western Hemisphere in the 20th Century. Their legacy keeps emitting signals of peace and justice throughout the world.

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Pakistan's Human Rights Commission slams Capt Safdar’s hate speech against Ahmadi Muslims

This is an extremely disappointing trend in a country where one does not have to look far for methods of intimidation and discriminatory behavior against religious minority groups.

The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) has expressed outrage at the statement made by a parliamentarian from the ruling party in the National Assembly, targeting and calling for discriminatory actions to be taken against a religious minority group.

A statement issued by the Commission on Thursday said, “HRCP condemns in the strongest possible terms the targeting of any Pakistani religious minority group and any call for discriminatory behavior against any such group at a public forum. The parliamentarian’s tirade in the National Assembly on 10th October 2017 targeted Ahmadis. The Ahmadiyya community is already the most persecuted religious minority group in Pakistan. Furthermore, the use of the National Assembly floor to advocate discrimination, hatred and exclusion for citizens in this manner is deplorable.

MNA Captain (R) Safdar accused the faith group of acting against Pakistan’s interests and labeling them a threat to the country, its Constitution and ideology.

He made demands, among others, that there should be a prohibition on the recruitment of Ahmadis into the armed forces and national institutions such as the Atomic Energy Commission of Pakistan.

He also said that they would not stand for the Physics department at the Quaid-e-Azam Universityt o be named after Nobel Laureate Dr Abdus Salam, because he was an Ahmadi.

This is an extremely disappointing trend in a country where one does not have to look far for methods of intimidation and discriminatory behavior against religious minority groups.

It is also a bad omen for Pakistan’s beleaguered democracy if members of political parties are able to express such intolerant and politically incorrect views at a public forum with such impunity. It is regrettable that no political party or attending parliamentarian condemned this parliamentarian as he made his speech.

Pakistan’s national and international human rights obligations do not support such vehement and uncalled for disregard of the human rights of any of its citizens, irrespective of their religion, caste or creed.

The government must ensure that such hate speech does not go uninvestigated and uncondemned at the highest level. This is vital in order to send a clear message that it will not allow such things to go unpunished.”

Pakistan's #PMLN Captain MOHD Safdar Awan - Moron’s defense against the charges of corruption

On Oct. 10, Pakistan played witness to a curious theater of the absurd. Former military captain Muhammad Safdar Awan of the ruling PMLN attacked Pakistan’s persecuted Ahmadi community in Parliament, ostensibly to further the debate over a Khatm-e-Nabuwwat reference in the Election Bill 2017. The son-in-law of ousted premier Nawaz Sharif, who has faced the wrath of the clergy for his pro-minority statements, Safdar’s rhetoric stunned the House, with observers interpreting the outburst as a sign of a growing rift within the Sharif clan. Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal’s condemnation—two days later—on Twitter appeared to bolster this view.
Safdar’s charges were extravagant, some appearing to directly target his father-in-law and leader of the PMLN. During his tirade, he slammed a decision to rename the Quaid-e-Azam University’s Physics Center after “Ahmadi” Nobel Prizewinner Dr. Abdus Salam—despite his father-in-law approving it last year against the Council of Islamic Ideology’s objections. He also railed against the presumed appointment of Ahmadis in civil and military jobs, accusing the entire community of being disloyal Pakistanis. Not satisfied with merely attacking the marginalized, Safdar exited Parliament shouting slogans in favor of Mumtaz Qadri, the police commando who was hanged in 2016 for assassinating then-Punjab governor Salmaan Taseer.
Was it a moron’s defense against the charges of corruption he faces before NAB? Or was it a dumb attempt to separate himself from a “criminal” family he believes will soon be behind bars? Perhaps even he doesn’t know.
Safdar has long been a liability for the PMLN due to his—increasingly apparent—low IQ and tendency to deviate from party policy and fly off the handle. His party membership was even briefly suspended in 2012 after he caused rifts in the party’s Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa leadership.
How will Nawaz Sharif react to his latest outburst? And how will Safdar’s wife, Maryam Nawaz, accept this act of stabbing her father in the back if she doesn’t already despise her husband for being such an ass? For troubled Maryam, it might finally be time to make one of the most important decisions of her life.

Afghanistan - International Day Of The Girl: 121 Districts Have No Intermediate Pass Girl

Attaullah Wesa, an office bearer of Pen Path Civil Society (PPCS) has said at least 121 districts in the country have zero intermediate pass girl which is a national tragedy, needs war-footed efforts.
According to him, in the past 16 years, the government with the close support and collaboration of international community has been gained a number of achievements in educational sector which are not enough to meet the public demands.

He said educational is the fundamental right of every male and female and it is the key to peace and development in Afghanistan. He added many districts and villages have been deprived of education where no government schools are available for male and female children.

“80 districts have no female teacher and the government must overcome this human tragedy.”
He urged the National Unity Government to appoint female staff in all girls’ schools in the country, as male teachers for girls are contradicting to the norms and traditions which creates hurdles for educating them. He slammed the role of education ministry for not chasing its goals to provide educational facilities to our sisters in remote areas.

On the occasion of international day of girls, he called on the government, international community and donor organizations to help Afghanistan in education sector to provide it to all male and female children in the country.

He said establishing proper schools buildings and caring local customs and norms are the foundations to reach our goal.

“Less care for education and cold-shouldered response to public demands questions the legitimacy of the government, he furthered.

Video - #PPP President Asif Ali Zardari is addressing a press conference in #Peshawar.

#Pakistan - Zardari demands financial emergency in country

Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari on Thursday called for an ‘economic emergency’ in the country, saying that the Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N) government had brought the country to the brink of bankruptcy.
“Whenever the PML-N comes to power, it destroys the economy. The PPP strengthens the economy,” he said, while addressing a press conference in Peshawar.
“Who is behind the current economic crisis? An economic emergency should immediately be declared in the country,” he said.
Zardari said that the debts incurred by the PML-N would eventually have to be repaid.
“The PPP always encouraged economic activities and avoided taking foreign loans,” he said.
He also criticized former prime minister Nawaz Sharif. “He is still unsure why he has been disqualified. Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan is living in a world of his own,” he said.
Zardari also visited the ancestral village of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Pervez Khattak. “I have seen no change here, but damaged roads and garbage,” he said.
He said that the upcoming NA-4 by-election in Peshawar would give a new direction to the people. “The PPP is making all efforts to participate in the by-polls,” he said.
He also said the PPP had given a new identity to the Pakthuns, fought to drive off militants from Swat, and would continue for the work for the rights of the people.
He also vowed to merge FATA with KP and declare it a single province. “We will restore the writ of the state and will eliminate the strife in the area. We will announce a package with assistance of the world to provide employment and development to the region,” he said.
“Today is the time to merge Fata,” he said, adding that the PPP would move forward despite objections from Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI-F) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman.
When asked about the current clash between the government and other state institutions, Zardari said it was the responsibility of the parliament to resolve the crisis.
He said that the judiciary had also dismissed former prime minister Yusuf Raza Gillani. “However, we did not take to the streets or issued threats against anyone,” he said.