Wednesday, October 18, 2017

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#China - Xi’s report offers blueprint for future decades

Xi Jinping delivered an informative report at the opening of the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Wednesday. Key information including "new era," "Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era," "the principal contradiction facing Chinese society has evolved into one between unbalanced and inadequate development and the people's ever-growing needs for a better life" and a two-stage development plan from 2020 to 2050 to develop China into a "great modern socialist country" immediately spread across Chinese society.

The new statements, ideas and goals were introduced for the first time, but reflect previous practices and experiences, and thus can immediately inspire Chinese with their own dreams. With these visions, Chinese are hopeful about the next five years and have been presented with a blueprint for the next 30 years.

Xi's report suggests that the CPC is an idealistic party, adheres to the principle of wholeheartedly serving the people and takes on the responsibility of leading China to become a great modern socialist country. The past five years have seen major achievements in the anti-corruption campaign and strict Party governance continues to be a focus of Xi's report.

An era with a material basis, developmental capability, clear guiding ideology, explicit strategic aims and firm leadership is definitely a promising era. Certainties of national strategy will be transformed into optimism and initiative in all fields. They are the source of comprehensive progress by society. 

It's fortunate that the historic reforms in the past five years have accumulated strength for Chinese society to open a new era and make us confident to face future challenges. China will for sure withstand tough tests under the leadership of the CPC with Xi as the core. 

The 19th CPC National Congress on its first day has inspired Chinese society, with the public discussing Xi's report with an unprecedented enthusiasm. The reforms of the past five years have brought the CPC closer to the people, enhancing the authority of the CPC Central Committee with General Secretary Xi regarded as a trusted leader by the CPC and the people. Xi's report communicates with the CPC and the people.

As Chinese people live in a rising country, they have witnessed turbulence and chaos in many other countries through the media. The booming life in China is hard earned. The 19th CPC National Congress paves the way for a stable life for Chinese in the future.

Xi's report offers guidance for the future work of the CPC and the country. It gives a strong impression that key issues concerning the leadership of the CPC, democracy, the rule of law and openness will be emphasized more in the future. As China marches toward becoming a great modern socialist country, every person will also have the chance to realize their life's full potential. China has suffered too much misery since modern times. The CPC has changed the fate of the country with great success. At the door of a new era, we sincerely wish the CPC and China accomplish more successes in the future, which concerns everyone of us.

Op-Ed: #China - The CPC at its 19th National Congress

By Robert Lawrence Kuhn 

Foreign analysts and media look to the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China for clues about China’s future. It is no secret that President Xi Jinping, during his almost five years as China’s senior-most leader, has strengthened the Party’s role in governing China — and foreigners have questions. I’m asked these questions by foreign media and I think it useful to state and examine them.
What is it about the Party, the CPC, and its governing philosophy, that makes Xi so committed to enhancing the Party’s governing power? What are the Party’s positions and policies, organization and governance, vision and challenges? Why has China opted for perpetual CPC leadership? What innovations has Xi brought to the Party’s leadership role in the economy and society? Why has Xi elevated “strict discipline of the Party” to the highest level of national importance, the fourth of his “Four Comprehensives” for governing China? Why is his anti-corruption campaign so relentless?
Answers to these questions lead to a more basic question: How has the Party led China to its remarkable development and modernization? How has the Party adapted to changing conditions, kept up with the times? What can we learn from the Party’s history, its triumphs and tragedies? What is it about the Party’s recent past that it must now be rejuvenated?
But can a system with a perpetually ruling party discipline itself, itself establish credible checks-and-balances? What challenges does the Party face? What does the Party consider its greatest dangers? And what are its enduring ideals, its visions for the future? Under Xi’s core leadership, how might the Party’s role in governing China develop over the next five or ten years?
China requires strong leadership to maintain stability given China’s unique, complex challenges: domestically (slower growth, industrial overcapacity, endemic pollution, imbalanced development, income disparity, social injustice, social service demands) and internationally (regional conflicts, sluggish economies, volatile markets, trade protectionism, ethnic clashes, terrorism, geopolitical rivalries, territorial disputes).
Xi’s unprecedented anti-corruption campaign has won strong public support. His determination to root-out corruption and cut the wasteful and detested perks of officialdom is altering how officials in government, and executives in state-owned enterprises, work and even think.
But some foreign analysts see Xi’s anti-corruption campaign as a weapon of political power, thus reflecting their superficial and one-dimensional understanding of China. Befitting the size and complexity of the country, for almost every decision of importance, China’s leaders have multiple motivations or reasons.
For the anti-corruption campaign, I can see ten motivations or reasons.
First, to state the obvious, officials who are manifestly corrupt are brought to justice. To manage China’s huge society, there must be respect for law and judicial impartiality.
Second, by combatting corruption the Party increases public trust, building confidence in the Party’s leadership.
Third, by combatting corruption the Party functions more effectively and efficiently, making decisions for the general good, not biased by personal benefits.
Fourth, corruption distorts markets, so that by reducing corruption, resources are allocated more efficiently.
Fifth, corrupt officials impede economic reform because change threatens their private interests. The removal of corrupt officials facilitates reform.
Sixth, corrupt officials thwart rule of law for personal interests and prosecuting them strengthens rule of law for the national interest. Rule of law is exceedingly important, the third of Xi’s “Four Comprehensives.”
Seventh, some corrupt officials, in addition to enriching themselves, have non-standard political ambitions that could destabilize the system; their removal helps maintain national unity and political stability, which is essential for China.
Eighth, for China to become a world business center, China must have world-class business ethics and standards.
Ninth, combatting corruption benefits China’s entire society, elevating morality and restoring Chinese civilization as a paragon of ethics and integrity.
Tenth, for China to become a global role model, China must exemplify morality and rectitude.
The CPC is a work in process. For the world to understand the China, it must understand why the Party asserts that its continuing political leadership is optimum for China’s development. One key is the Party’s adaptability, stressing experimentation and testing of new policies.
The benefits of a system with a single leading party include implementing critical policies rapidly and assuring that strategies which require long-term commitment, have long-term commitment - for example, China's “Belt and Road Initiative”.
The Party’s leadership is deemed essential for China to continue its current development. Yet to continue to earn its leadership, the Party has a higher obligation to enhance rectitude of governance, standards of living and personal well-being — which includes rule of law, transparency in government, public oversight, institutionalized checks and balances, increasing democracy, various freedoms, and human rights.
Going forward in the ‘new era’, the Party faces challenges - furthering economic reform and transformation, and guiding social development and transition - while at the same time, improving transparency and building institutions that are self-regulating. The Party claims a historic mission. The Party will continue to be judged by the results.

Full video: Opening session of 19th CPC National Congress

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Video - #HyderabadBhuttoKa - Bilawal Bhutto Speech At Hyderabad 18 October 2017

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Video - #HyderabadBhuttoKa - Maula Bakhsh Chandio Speech At Hyderabad 18 October 2017

Video - #HyderabadBhuttoKa - Qaim Ali Shah Speech At Hyderabad 18 October 2017 @MediaCellPPP

Video - #HyderabadBhuttoKa - Khursheed Shah Speech At Hyderabad 18 October 2017

Video - #HyderabadBhuttoKa - Dila Teer Bija

Pakistan, Afghanistan in Angry Tangle Over Chicken-Wire Border Fence to Keep Out Militants

Pakistan is betting that a pair of nine-foot chicken wire fences topped with barbed wire will stop incursions by Islamist militants from Afghanistan, which opposes Islamabad's plans for a barrier along the disputed frontier.
Pakistan plans to fence up most of the 2,500 km (1,500 mile) frontier despite Kabul's protests that the barrier would divide families and friends along the Pashtun tribal belt straddling the colonial-era Durand line drawn up by the British in 1893.
Pakistan's military estimates that it will need about 56 billion rupees ($532 million) for the project, while there are also plans to build 750 border forts and employ high-tech surveillance systems to prevent militants crossing.
In the rolling hills of the Angoor Adda village in South Waziristan, part of Pakistan's restive Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), three rolls of barbed wire are sandwiched in the six-foot gap between the chicken wire fences.
"(The fence) is a paradigm change. It is an epoch shift in the border control management," said a Pakistani army officer in command of South Waziristan during a presentation to foreign media on Wednesday.
"There will not be an inch of international border (in South Waziristan) which shall not remain under our observation."
Pakistan's military has so far fenced off about 43 km of the frontier, starting with the most violence-prone areas in FATA, and is expected to recruit tens of thousands of new troops to man the border. It is not clear how long it will take to fence the entire boundary.
But Pakistan's plans have also drawn criticism from across the border.
Gulab Mangal, governor of the eastern Afghan province of Nangarhar, told Reuters the wall will create "more hatred and resentment" between two neighbors and will do neither country any good.
"The fence will definitely create a lot of trouble for the people along the border on both sides but no wall or fence can separate these tribes," he said.
"I urge the tribes to stand against this action."
Pakistan has blamed Pakistani Taliban militants it says are based on Afghan soil for a spate of attacks at home over the past year, urging Kabul to eradicate "sanctuaries" for militants.
Afghanistan, in turn, accuses Islamabad of sheltering the leadership of the Afghan Taliban militants who are battling the Western-backed government in Kabul.
Both countries deny aiding militants, but relations between the two have soured in recent years. In May, the tension rose when 10 people were killed in two border villages in Baluchistan region.
The clashes occurred in so-called "divided villages", where the Durand Line goes through the heart of the community, and where residents are now bracing for the fence to split their villages in two. [nL8N1MK146]
Pakistan's previous attempts to build a fence failed about a decade ago and many doubt whether its possible to secure such a lengthy border.
But Pakistani army officials are undeterred by the scepticism and insist they will finish the job as the country's security rests on this fence.
"By the time we are done, inshallah, we will be very sure of one thing: that nobody can cross this place," said the Pakistani officer in charge of South Waziristan.

US Strategic Over-Evaluation Of Pakistan – Analysis

By Dr Subhash Kapila
The United States has taken sixteen years down the line and numerous speed-breakers in US-Pakistan relations to realise that Pakistan was not only not delivering on US security interests but also undermining them. Sadly, this Paper of mine (Reproduced as Annexure) was coincidently published on the very morning of the Pakistan facilitated, financed and ISI trained Islamic Jihadi assaults in New York.
Pakistan’s direct involvement in the planning, facilitation, financing and training of Islamic Jihadis in Taliban Occupied Afghanistan involved in the 9/11 assaults on the citadels of power in the United States Homeland was unprecedented. It resulted in the United States second military intervention in Afghanistan to displace the Pakistan-propped Taliban regime in Kabul.
But the United States establishment again post 9/11 fell back into the Pakistani trap when after its military intervention in December 2001, after riding on the shoulders of the Northern Alliance the United States displaced the Taliban regime in Kabul.
Despite the foregoing, the United States facilitated the airlift of thousands of Taliban militiamen and their Pakistan Army minders from Kunduz in Northern Afghanistan to Pakistan. This was strategically regrettable when it is viewed that the Northern Alliance had entrapped these thousands of Taliban and Pakistan Army/ISI personnel in Kunduz and would have liquidated or captured them. It would have resulted in the Taliban menace to Afghanistan effectively liquidated by the Northern Alliance assisting the US military effort..
Afghanistan would have been a different story today. The mystery of the United States facilitating retrieval of Pakistan Army/ISI assets needs to be unravelled. The post-9/11 Afghanistan in terms of security and stability would have been so much in favour of the United States in 2017.
United States strategic over-evaluation of Pakistan has persisted right from 1954 onwards. It was a myopic and flawed American policy which spawned severe limitations for the United States in its wake.
These can be enumerated as follows (1) American South Asia policy formulations were seriously distorted violating the strategic realities on the ground and the natural balance of power (2) United States tilted towards Pakistan and gave precedence to Pakistan Army’s sensitivities at the expense of India (3) Pakistan took advantage of US strategic over-evaluation & used that as a cover for forging Islamic Jihad as an instrument of State (4) Finally, it kept United States and India apart for decades as “Estranged Democracies”
In August 2017, President Trump rightly reviewed the American strategy on Afghanistan and solemnly promising to get Afghanistan rid of Islamic Jihadi terrorist groups operating from safe sanctuaries within Pakistan, not only against Afghanistan regime but also targeting US Forces in Afghanistan. Pakistan was precisely and rightly pinpointed as the ‘Core Destabiliser’ of Afghanistan.
From August 2017 till early October 2017, President Trump and his Defence Secretary have been issuing dire warnings to Pakistan to desist from destabilisation of Afghanistan. Rattled by US warnings, Pakistan went into overdrive to offset the same by reachout to China and Russia.
Suitably coerced by the Americans, Pakistan in a belated damage control exercise arranged the release after five years of the American-Canadian couple and their children, held captive by the Haqqani brothers within Pakistan.
Publicly at least, the Pakistanis have gone into a media hype as to how the Pakistan Army successfully forced the release by effective military action in cooperation with US efforts. Had Pakistan Army been in genuine cooperation with the United States this hostage release could have taken years earlier?
On the United States side too, President Trump and the Defense Secretary made appropriate appreciatory statements. But then, have we not seen this pattern earlier undertaken by the Pakistan Army?
One swallow does not make a summer and the event under discussion seems to be a temporising transaction by the Pakistan Army to take off the searing heat that the Pakistan Army has been subjected to lately by the Trump Administration.
Pakistan has moved out of the United States strategic orbit for sure and now proudly wears the mantle of China’s ‘Frontline State’ and flaunts its Chinese armour.
Reproduction of my 2001 Paper was considered as a topical review in October 2017as a reminder for President Trump and the US Administration not to go in reverse gears from the game-changing new strategy enunciated for Afghanistan and exorcising the Pakistan Army ghosts from destabilisation of Afghanistan.
Pakistan in its long history has never made any positive investments in Afghanistan’s future and its security and stability. On the contrary, unable to win over Afghanistan by positive friendly policies, Pakistan in the last three decades had initially unleashed the Taliban and then facilitated sanctuaries for the Al Qaeda. In the last decade or so, Taliban, Let, and JeM have inflicted suicide bombings and terror mayhem in Kabul and other Afghan towns. US Forces also were targets by affiliates of United States’ “Major Non NATO Ally”
For President Trump and his new US Administration, the challenge in the next three years would be as to how to downsize Pakistan and the Pakistan Army in relation to United States long-term embedment in Afghanistan—- crucial determinant for United States continued embedment in the Indo Pacific Region but also for United States stature as the sole Superpower.
If for nothing else, my 2001 SAAG Paper should set the United States policy establishment thinking in reviewing their strategic templates of Pakistan’s utility to the United States. This Paper would also presumably prompt the US policy establishment to “Revisit Pakistan’s Demonstrated Double Timing of the United States”.
Regrettably, it was a US General, as then US Secretary of State, General Colin Powell, who myopically anointed Pakistan Army as an “Ally of Long Standing ‘meriting designation of ‘Major Non-NATO Ally’ and the “Beatification of General Musharraf.
How did General Musharraf as Pakistan’s military ruler repay the United States for its strategic over-evaluation of Pakistan? Pakistan Army harboured Osama bin Laden. The author of 9/11, in Pakistan Army’s major garrison town of Abbottabad from 2001 to 2011 till finally liquidated by US Special Forces in a daring intrusive operation within Pakistan territory.
The years 2001-17 reflect a sordid history of the worlds mighty and only Superpower being severely mauled by the United States in Afghanistan, politically and militarily, by the Islamic Jihadi affiliates of the Pakistan Army/ISI, operating from safe sanctuaries within Pakistan.
The Trump Administration would be well advised not to let history be repeated again in Afghanistan of Pakistan Army/ISI perfidies. United States deterrence needs to be strongly and effectively imposed on Pakistan.


United States political involvement in South Asia for over half a century stands singularly marked by a strategic over-evaluation of Pakistan. This has led not only to distortion in America’s South Asian policies but also facilitated the intrusive presence of China in South Asia.
United States today alarmingly views South Asia as a nuclear flash-point after nuclear weaponisation by India and Pakistan. Such American perceptions arise more from a reading of Pakistan as a politically unstable state, its unpredictability and Pakistan’s irresponsible political and nuclear stances. But then, the moot question is as to who created the Pakistani nuclear monster? The blame rests squarely on China for providing nuclear weapon designs, nuclear components for making the bomb and supplying nuclear-capable missiles to Pakistan. The blame also rests more squarely on the United States, for its permissive attitudes to the Chinese nuclear weapons and missile supplies to Pakistan. The United States strategic over-evaluation of Pakistan led to such permissive American policies.
South Asia analysts have heard ‘ad-nauseam’, statements in every American presidential administration by political leaders, politicians, officials and spokesmen speaking of Pakistan in glowing terms as “an enduring ally of long standing” and a strategic contributor to United States’ national interests in the region.
Today, when United States finds itself at strategic cross-roads in virtually all the strategic regions of the world, it becomes relevant to analyse Pakistan’s record as “an enduring ally of long standing” and its strategic contribution to United States national interests in the region.
Cold War’s Early Years: The United States more out of pique, resulting from India’s lack of response to join the Western security alliances, drew Pakistan into a military embrace. Pakistan, soon after its emergence from the partition of India, had signaled its readiness and solicited United States military aid from the United States.
Pakistan’s ‘quid-pro-quo’ was to join every conceivable military alliance system sponsored by the United States and the West. Pakistan thus became a member of the Baghdad Pact, later CENTO and then SEATO. Pakistan’s only contribution to the United States during this period was to permit operation of US spy flights (U-2 planes) from Peshawar. These too were stopped in 1962 after Soviet warnings.
During the early Cold War years, Pakistan as an “enduring ally” of the United States did not contribute anything to furtherance of American interests in the Islamic World (one of US strategic expectations) or the Middle East. As a SEATO ally of the United States, Pakistan did not contribute directly or indirectly, to assist the United States in Vietnam. This was in sharp contrast to other SEATO members like Thailand and Philippines.
Cold War’s Later Years: Pakistan had shied away from the United States from 1962 onwards. Events of the mid 1960s and early 1970s drove Pakistan into violent anti-US outrages including the burning of the US Embassy in Islamabad in the late 1970’s. These were hardly the responses expected from an “enduring ally” of the United States “of long standing”.
The United States did not undertake any initiatives to enliven or reinforce its relationship with Pakistan during this period.
The Afghanistan War: The Soviet intervention in Afghanistan in 1979 helped jump-start the United States-Pakistan strategic relationship, for different motives though. The United States wanted to do a “Vietnam” on the Soviet Union and there was no better way than to “Islamise” the resistance against the Russians. Pakistan was ready to exploit the situation and offered itself as a spring-board for the United States proxy war in Afghanistan.
The United States “enduring ally of long standing” did not contribute any military resources (men or materiel) to the US effort in Afghanistan. On the contrary, it extracted from the United States $4 billion military aid against a non-existent military threat; it siphoned off more than 60% of US arms and ammunition for the Islamic Jehad to Pakistan armouries and it put into operation a vast network of narco-terrorism apparatus for provision of funds to its intelligence agencies like the ISI.
If Pakistan had strategically contributed to US national interests during these years, United States today would not have been faced with the scourge of the Talibanised Afghanistan and Islamic Jehad against homeland USA itself.
The Gulf War: Following the end of Cold War in 1989, the United States had to resort to a massive military operation in 1990-1991 against Iraq’s military intervention in Kuwait. United States used the UN flag to draw in traditional allies from Europe and Islamic allies from the Middle East, namely, Saudi Arabia, the Gulf States, Egypt and even an anti-US state like Syria.
Where was United States “enduring ally of long standing”? Pakistan did not join the United States during the Gulf War. It made a token contribution of a battalion each to go and defend “the holy places of Islam” (Mecca and Medina). A preposterous proposition as if President Saddam Hussein would have attacked Mecca and Medina. The Pakistan Chief of Army Staff, then, General Mirza Aslam Beg openly criticised and opposed the United States for initiating the Gulf War. Pakistan’s record in the Gulf War was hardly the one expected of a United States ally.
United States Current Strategic Expectations from Pakistan: United States, currently as the global uni-polar power, realistically, should not have much strategic expectations from a country the size and potential of Pakistan. The United States has far many more options available to further its national interests.
Pakistan’s well-wishers in the United States comprising Cold War warriors of earlier era, however keep advancing the following strategic factors promotive of Pakistan: (1) Pakistan provides a link and outlet for the United States in Central Asia (2) Pakistan as a ‘moderate’ Islamic state could promote US interests in the Islamic World (3) Pakistan could keep Afghanistan under control (4) US does not want a Talibanised Pakistan (5) Pakistan could help US oil companies to build their pipelines from Turkmenistan, through Afghanistan to Gwadur port on the Makran coast in Pakistan (6) Some US analysts also argue that a military strong Pakistan with nuclear weapons could rein-in India’s long-term strategic ambitions.
Can Pakistan Deliver?: Pakistan in its current state has been dubbed by many US analysts as a ‘failed state’ or ‘failing state’. It also has been dubbed by them as a “rogue nuclear state” or modified into “states of concern”. Talibanisation, today, stares Pakistan in its face and the economy is at breaking point.
Pakistan is in no state to deliver to the United States, the strategic expectations American Cold War warriors would like to cite in its favour. On the contrary Pakistan itself needs to be delivered from the paralytic attack of Islamic fundamentalism and Talibanisation engulfing it.
Analytically, Pakistan has no foothold in Central Asia to advance US interests. Pakistan is perceived in that region as the factory of Islamic Jehad threatening them. In the Islamic World, the United States has better and stable allies to advance its interests, like Turkey and Egypt. Pakistan has lost control over the Taliban in Afghanistan; their tentacles are now spreading to take over Pakistan. Much to US dislike, better oil pipeline routes are available through Iran. Turkey is a still better option.
Lastly, any long term strategic evaluation by US policy makers of building Pakistan as a counter-weight to India is grossly faulty. India as a good learner, could follow the United States model during the Cold War of beating USSR out of existence by imposition of an unaffordable arms race. India could similarly impose an unbeatable conventional arms-race on Pakistan to off-set such designs. Pakistan cannot, therefore, deliver in this field.
Conclusion: Pakistan stands strategically over-evaluated by United States foreign policy planners and strategists. Pakistan even in earlier years, when it was relatively more stable and moderate, made insignificant strategic contributions to US national interests.
Pakistan’s military hierarchy which would continue to call the shots in any political dispensation are a totally different breed from what United States officials dealt with during earlier military regimes. Pak military hierarchy and the bulk of Pakistan Army today is highly Islamised (fundamentalist attitudes). They are not US-friendly today and hence unlikely to serve US interests.
United States national interests in Central Asia, Middle East, South Asia and South-West Asia face strategic challenges from Islamic fundamentalists and terrorists. Pakistan can hardly emerge as United States’ strategic ally to confront such challenges. In fact, it may emerge as a challenge itself.
The United States needs to re-valuate its strategic evaluation of Pakistan and of its relationship. What is increasingly becoming apparent, on analysis, is that Pakistan is likely to emerge as a “black-mailing state” on the North Korean model, preying on United States fears of Pakistan’s nuclear unpredictability and irresponsibility.


The Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) on Wednesday confirmed that militant commander Umar Mansoor, the mastermind of the Army Public School attack, had been killed.
Usman Mansoor Hafizullah will replace Umar Mansoor as the faction's commander in Darra Adam Khel and Peshawar, TTP Spokesperson Muhammad Khorasani said in an email sent to journalists.
The statement comes a day after six suspected TTP militants were killed in a US drone strike targeting alleged militant hideouts in the Pak-Afghan border region close to Kurram Agency.Sources told Dawn that Umar Khalid Khorasani aka Abdul Wali, the chief of the outlawed Jamaat-ul-Ahrar (JuA), was wounded in the drone strike that took place in Afghanistan’s Paktia province.
Umar Mansoor, who had claimed responsibility for the deadly attack on Bacha Khan University in 2016, was said to be the mastermind of 2014's massacre at the Army Public School in Peshawar which left at least 144 people, mostly children, dead.

Mashal Khan case key witness withdraws from earlier claim Listen

The key witness in Mashal Khan's murder case withdrew from his earlier claim during the hearing here at Haripur Central Prison on Wednesday.
During the hearing, prosecutor Fazal Khan said spectator Sayab Khan was the prime witness in the Mashal Khan murder case and he backtracked on the statement he had made earlier.
Mashal’s father Iqbal Khan and counsel Fazal Khan, while talking to Geo News, confirmed that Sayab turned away from his statement. They alleged that the witness was being pressurised by the accused party, saying they would take the matter to Peshawar High Court.
The witness had earlier said he was present in the crowd at Abdul Wali Khan University Mardan on the day Mashal was killed and that he had seen Imran Ali, the main suspect, open fire on Mashal.
Four witnesses were to give statement during the hearing on Wednesday, which was held under the supervision of Anti-Terrorism Court in Haripur Judge Fazal Subhan. However, after the first witness backtracked the hearing was adjourned until October 25.

#HyderabadBhuttoKa - Bilawal Bhutto speech at Jalsa in Hyderabad | 18 October 2017

Remembering the October 18 attack on Benazir Bhutto

October 18, 2007 will be remembered as one of the bloodiest days in Pakistan’s history under a military dictator—General Pervez Musharraf. The occasion was the triumphant return home of Pakistan’s only hope for democracy, peace, progress and prosperity — Benazir Bhutto — after eight long years of exile.
It was a bloody attempt engineered by the dictator to eliminate his main political challenger and instil fear in her brave followers to force them to desert her. She barely escaped the suicide bombing as she had gone down to the lower portion of the container. Had she been on the upper deck she would have been killed then and there.
I was contacted by Al Jazeera to give my views on the tragedy. Al Jazeera’s contact person told me that hundreds of the party's jiyalas cordoning her vehicle were blown to pieces. Her diehard workers on seeing the suicide bombers pounced on them to save their leader — all got blown up into pieces. Over 150 died instantly with several hundred injured, some maimed for life.
It was a welcoming cavalcade of millions in a very happy and emotionally charged atmosphere. Few minutes before the blasts the jiyalas were ecstatic in their welcome, dancing, waving, raising slogans in full-throated ease. And the next moment the whole area was rendered into a Karbala by the suicide bombers, littered with human body parts in pools of blood. When I saw the clips of the horrendous tragedy in the Al Jazeera studio at the time of my interview, I could not sleep for days. Later when my friend Kelvin O’Shea of Sky TV returned from Pakistan and what he had to show — I can never forget. The very thought of it gives me goosebumps even now.
General Musharraf had given an assurance and his word to his foreign mentors in London and United States that he would provide fool-proof security to Pakistan’s only internationally recognised leader. There was no trace of his fool-proof security that day. His security people had left it as an open field for the killers to strike as per the wishes of their pay-master. Had it not been the sacrifice in life and blood of her party workers, the dream of General Musharraf would have been fulfilled that day only and not on December 27, 2007.
I did several interviews that night and as soon I returned home I contacted Bibi. When I heard her voice I could not hold back tears of my joy that she was alive and not at all shaken. “Wajid Bhai, I am OK. He tried to kill me as he had threatened.” She was referring to General Musharraf’s warning to her. “He thinks he has scared me and my supporters. Inshallah, I will show him neither his attempt on my life has scared me nor my jiyalas. It is a battle cry. We shall do and die for the cause we have struggled for with our blood and untold sacrifices. We shall not allow Bhutto Shaheed’s blood to go in vain, come what may”.
Next day she called me to let me know that General Musharraf had put her under heavy siege of hundreds of Rangers and police, barbed-wired Bilawal House and virtually put her under house arrest. “He thinks that after last night’s bloodbath he can stop me from going out to meet my people. He is in for the disappointment of his life.” I tried to cool her down and told her that discretion is the better part of valour and she should take the next step with extra caution.
Later, she visited the hospitals where scores of her jiylas were receiving treatment. Each one of them in utmost pain and agony told her ‘Bibi, we are with you even if we die’. Much more deeper were the words of the bereaved families that had lost their beloved ones. An elderly lady catching her hand, tears rolling down her cheeks—pointed at her other badly bruised son—‘he will die for you too. We all will, if need be’.
Who was behind the dastardly attack? One does not need Scotland Yard detectives to find or United Nation’s investigators to probe. Even an ordinary constable will tell you: catch the person who ordered washing up of the scene of the crime scene and you will have the mastermind. Not only that, people were suspiciously intrigued to see fire tenders reach the scene of the crime to hose the area clean as if nothing had happened.
Someone rightly remarked fire tenders must have been waiting nearby to rush in just minutes to wash away evidence much before ambulances could make their way to pick up the injured, littered limbs and bodies. According to eyewitnesses, there was no security, not even ordinary police constables, around Bibi’s container or in the area. Anybody could take a pot shot at her from the unguarded under construction buildings.
Do you still need to know who the killer is!
He may have got away now, he may have been facilitated by his juniors to escape Benazir’s murder trial, to avoid prosecution but remember he must that there sits the Lord above whose justice is not tainted and who no general can bribe or pressurise.

#Pakistan - #PPP has struggled against injustice and dictatorship: Bilawal

Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari on Wednesday lashed at his main political opponents, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf  and Pakistan Muslim League (PM-N) saying that both parties have no concern for the welfare of the people.
Addressing a political gathering in Hyderabad to honour the victims of the Karsaz attack, the PPP chairman said that incident was major turning point in their struggle against dictatorship and injustice.
“PPP has gone through a lot of testing periods, but has always stood up against injustice of dictatorship,” he said. “The jiyalas of PPP remained steadfast against the bloody dictatorship of Zia-ul-Haq.”
He said the Zulfikar Ali Bhutto struggled and sacrificed himseld in the fight against injustice, which was carried forward by Benazir Bhutto. “The conspiracies against democracy did not end. On one side was PPP and another side was parties who were nurtured in the laps of dictators.”
However, he said that Benazir remained steadfast and determined despite the horrific attack on October 18, 2007 in Karachi until she was martyred a few months later in Rawalpindi.
“Terrorists and dictators like Musharraf could not suppress Benazir,” he said paying goring tributes to the victims of the Karsaz attacks. “A brutal attack took place a peaceful caravan and over 200 lives were sacrificed.”
Speaking about the upcoming golden jubilee anniversary of the PPP, Bilawal said that today is not the era of General Zia-ul-Haq or General Ayub, but Benazir is still alive among us and the mantle of leadership is carried by Asif Ali Zardari.
He said PPP wants to set up a democratic society, but PML-N and PTI are concerned about the personal vested interests rather than the welfare of the people. “PML-N, PTI have nothing for the people, both are sacrificing the nation for themselves.”
Bilawal lashed at the leadership of both political opponents calling PTI chairman Imran Khan an ‘inept player’ who has not come out of the cricket grounds. “Politics is not cricket or abuse. I believe in politics of principles.”
He also decried the development by the PML-N saying that Karachi-Hyderabad motorway was incomplete resulting in frequent accidents, while a two billion rupees package announced for the city was not even provided.
“The development in Sindh also only took place during era of PPP,” he said adding that Nawaz Sharif complained of Sindh being in ruins. “It’s not the land of Sindh but the politics of Nawaz which is in ruins,” he said.
He said the reality was that development projects were ongoing in Sindh, to improve road networks with special focus on health and education. “The truth is that Sindh is not provided the share of water which is allocated for it,” he said adding a shortage is created due to the discriminate distribution of water resources.
“The people have understood the lies and propaganda of our opponents,” he said adding that will not succeed to sway the people. He said the PPP will form an egalitarian and democratic society, and vowed to make Pakistan an independent and strong state.
Several prominent leaders including Leader of Opposition in National Assembly Khursheed Shah, Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah, Nisar Khuro, Maulabux Chandio, Nadeem Afzal Chan, and former chief minister Qaim Ali Shah also addressed the congregation.

Pakistan - Bakhtawar, Aseefa pay tribute to Karsaz martyrs

Daughters of Shaheed Muhtarma Benazir Bhutto Bakhtawar Bhutto and Aseefa Bhutto are laying floral wreath to pay tribute to Karsaz Martyrs at Karsaz Monument.

Bilawal pays rich tribute to martyrs of Karsaz attack

Pakistan Peoples Party Chairperson Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari paid tribute to those martyred in the blast in Karachi’s Karsaz area in a party rally on October 18 in 2007.
While addressing a rally in Hyderabad, the PPP chairperson lauded the courage of those who “did not run away after the first attack but instead rushed towards their leader, Benazir Bhutto, and embraced martyrdom in the second blast”.
Other leaders of the party were also present on the stage with Bilawal.
Earlier in the evening PPP leader Naveed Qamar addressed the rally, saying martyrdom takes PPP higher in rank. But, he added, those behind the Karsaz attack are still alive.
Qamar said they do not fear conspiracies, therefore, would never back out.
“Conspirators say elections will not take place,” he added. “But such statements are made by those who get nothing out of elections.”