Saturday, April 14, 2018

Music Video - Arabic Music - Haifa Wehbe - Ana Haifa VERY HQ!!

From #China _ #US, allies risk #Russian retaliation in #Syrianattack

US President Donald Trump announced on Friday he ordered strikes on the Syrian regime in response to a chemical attack last weekend. He said the strikes were in coordination with France and the United Kingdom. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said his country is being "invaded" by the three countries. The Russian Embassy in the USA said in a statement that "insulting the President of Russia is unacceptable and inadmissible."

In a sensational statement, Trump asserted the Bashar Assad government used chemical weapons on civilians. He said "The evil and the despicable attack left mothers and fathers, infants and children thrashing in pain and gasping for air. These are not the actions of a man. They are crimes of a monster instead."Trump also warned "Russia must decide if it will continue down this dark path or if it will join with civilized nations as a force for stability and peace."

The facts cannot be distorted. This military strike was not authorized by the UN, and the strikes targeted a legal government of a UN member state. The US and its European allies launched strikes to punish President Bashar al-Assad for a suspected chemical attack in Duma last weekend. However, it has not been confirmed if the chemical weapons attack happened or if it did, whether government forces or opposition forces launched it. International organizations have not carried out any authoritative investigation.

The Syrian government has repeatedly stressed that there is no need for it to use chemical weapons to capture the opposition-controlled Duma city and the use of chemical weapons has provided an excuse for Western intervention. The Syrian government's argument or Trump's accusations against the "evil" Assad regime, which one is in line with basic logic? The answer is quite obvious.

The US has a record of launching wars on deceptive grounds. The Bush government asserted the Saddam regime held chemical weapons before the US-British coalition troops invaded Iraq in 2003. However, the coalition forces didn't find what they called weapons of mass destruction after overthrowing the Saddam regime. Both Washington and London admitted later that their intelligence was false. 

Washington's attack on Syria where Russian troops are stationed constitute serious contempt for Russia's military capabilities and political dignity. Trump, like scolding a pupil, called on Moscow, one of the world's leading nuclear powers, to abandon its "dark path." Disturbingly, Washington seems to have become addicted to mocking Russia in this way. Russia is capable of launching a destructive retaliatory attack on the West. Russia's weak economy is plagued by Western sanctions and squeezing of its strategic space. That the West provokes Russia in such a manner is irresponsible for world peace. 

The situation is still fomenting. The Trump administration said it will sustain the strikes. But how long will the military action continue and whether Russia will fight back as it claimed previously remain uncertain. Western countries continue bullying Russia but are seemingly not afraid of its possible counterattack. Their arrogance breeds risk and danger.

Video Report - #Russian Foreign Minister comments on #Syria strikes and #Skripal case

Video Report - #Syria air strikes: The mood in #Damascus - BBC News

Video Report - #Syria, Morning After "Horrible American Strikes" - Syrians Are Partying On Damascus Streets

Video Report - #Syria and its allies respond to strikes

Video Report - USA vs Russia Total War! Detailed Military Comparison 2018

Video Report - The challenge for US with Russia in Syria

Video Report - 🇸🇾 What will US attacks against Assad achieve? - UpFront

#syriaattack #Syriawar - The West’s Moral Hypocrisy on Yemen

By Jonathan Marshall
Global Research, February 22, 2017
The West’s “humanitarian interventionists” howl over bloody conflicts when an adversary can be blamed but go silent when an ally is doing the killing, such as Saudi Arabia in Yemen, reports Jonathan Marshall.
Only a few months ago, interventionists were demanding a militant response by Washington to what George Soros branded “a humanitarian catastrophe of historic proportions” — the killing of “hundreds of people” by Russian and Syrian government bombing of rebel-held neighborhoods in the city of Aleppo.
Leon Wieseltier, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and former New Republic editor, was denouncing the Obama administration as “a bystander to the greatest atrocity of our time,” asserting that its failure to “act against evil in Aleppo” was like tolerating “the evil in Auschwitz.”
How strange, then, that so many of the same “humanitarian” voices have been so quiet of late about the continued killing of many more innocent people in Yemen, where tens of thousands of civilians have died and 12 million people face famine. More than a thousand children die each week from preventable diseases related to malnutrition and systematic attacks on the country’s food infrastructure by a Saudi-led military coalition, which aims to impose a regime friendly to Riyadh over the whole country. “The U.S. silence has been deafening,” said Philippe Bolopion, deputy director for global advocacy at Human Rights Watch, last summer. “This blatant double standard deeply undermines U.S. efforts to address human rights violations whether in Syria or elsewhere in the world.”
Official acquiescence — or worse — from Washington and other major capitals is encouraging the relentless killing of Yemen’s civilians by warplanes from Saudi Arabia and its allies. Last week, their bombs struck a funeral gathering north of Sanaa, Yemen’s capital, killing nine women and a child and injuring several dozen more people.
A day earlier, officials reported a deadly “double-tap” airstrike, first targeting women at a funeral in Sanaa, then aimed at medical responders who rushed in to save the wounded. A United Nations panel of experts condemned a similar double-tap attack by Saudi coalition forces in October, which killed or wounded hundreds of civilians, as a violation of international law.
The Tragedy of Mokha
On Feb. 12, an air strike on the Red Sea port city of Mokha killed all six members of a family headed by the director of a maternal and childhood center. Coalition ground forces had launched an attack on Mokha two weeks earlier.
Xinhua news agency reported, “the battles have since intensified and trapped thousands of civilian residents in the city, as well as hampered the humanitarian operation to import vital food and fuel supplies . . . The Geneva-based UN human rights office said that it received extremely worrying reports suggesting civilians and civilian objects have been targeted over the past two weeks in the southwestern port city . . . Reports received by UN also show that more than 200 houses have been either partially damaged or completely destroyed by air strikes in the past two weeks.”
The U.N.’s humanitarian coordinator further reported that “scores of civilians” had been killed or wounded by the bombing and shelling of Mokha, and that residents were stranded without water or other basic life-supporting services.
That could be Aleppo, minus only the tear-jerking photos of dead and wounded children on American television. However, unlike Syria, Yemen’s rebels don’t have well-financed public relations offices in Western capitals. They pay no lip service to the United States, democracy, or international human rights. Their foe Saudi Arabia is a friend of Washington, not a long-time adversary. In consequence, few American pundits summon any moral outrage at the Saudi-led coalition, despite findings by a United National Panel of Experts that many of its airstrikes violate international law and, in some cases, represent “war crimes.”
Aiding and Abetting
The United States hasn’t simply turned a blind eye to such crimes; it has aided them by selling Saudi Arabia the warplanes it flies and the munitions it drops on Yemeni civilians. It has also siphoned 54 million pounds of jet fuel from U.S. tanker planes to refuel coalition aircraft on bombing runs. The pace of U.S. refueling operations has reportedly increased sharply in the last year.

The Obama administration initially supported the Saudi coalition in order to buy Riyadh’s reluctant support for the Iran nuclear deal. Over time, Saudi Arabia joined with anti-Iran hawks to portray Yemen’s rebels as pawns of Tehran to justify continued support for the war. Most experts — including U.S. intelligence officials — insist to the contrary that the rebels are a genuinely indigenous force that enjoys limited Iranian support at best.
As I have documented previously, all of the fighting in Yemen has damaged U.S. interests by creating anarchy conducive to the growth of Al Qaeda extremists. They have planned or inspired major acts of terrorism against the West, including an attempt to blow up a U.S. passenger plane in 2009 and a deadly attack on the Parisian newspaper Charlie Hebdo in January 2015. The Saudis tolerate them as Sunni allies against the rebels, in the name of curbing Iran.
Though the Obama administration is gone, the Trump administration is flush with ideologues who are eager to take a stand against Tehran through Yemen and look tough on “terrorism.” Within days of taking office, President Trump approved a commando raid targeting an alleged Al Qaeda compound in central Yemen that went awry, killing an estimated 10 women and children. The administration has also diverted a U.S. destroyer to patrol Yemen’s coast.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, to his credit, has cited “the urgent need for the unfettered delivery of humanitarian assistance throughout Yemen,” according to a department spokesman. But no amount of humanitarian aid will save Yemen’s tormented people from the bombs made in America and dropped from U.S.-made warplanes, with little protest from Washington’s so-called “humanitarian interventionists.”

Pashto Songs - Pekhawar Kho Pekhawar De Kana - By Irfan Khan

#Pakistan - #PashtunTahafuzMovement - #Peshawar rally and beyond

By Afrasiab Khattak

By Ajmal Khattak

8th of April was yet another watershed moment for the hardly three months old Pashtun Tahafuz Movement ( PTM). In fact it was a milestone on the path of redefining Pashtun political discourse in Pakistan. But it is also pertinent to note that this development has significant implications for political discourse all over Pakistan. After squandering the last few years in the creeping coup, the scripted sit-ins, weaponizing religion and judicialization of power games, the country can ignore deep alienation and simmering unrest in FATA, Balochistan and Gilgit-Baltistan at its own peril. By holding a huge gathering of tens of thousands of enthusiastic Pashtuns in Peshawar, the administrative capital of Pakhtunkhwa and political capital of 45 million plus Pashtuns in Pakistan, the newly born PTM has made its mark in popular politics. Earlier the young leaders of this new movement demonstrated their popularity by marching in the southern belt of Pashtuns and by addressing a series of huge gatherings in Zhob, Qilla Saifullah and Quetta. PTM has originated in Waziristan which is located in the south of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. But even a cursory glance at the map reveals that it is in middle of Pashtun lands on the eastern side of the Durand Line. By linking up to historical centers of Quetta in the south and to Peshawar in the north through mass mobilisation, PTM has already become a political force to be reckoned with.
The impressive aspect of this successful mass mobilisation is that Manzoor Pashteen and his young team could achieve it without any formal organisational structure and despite being totally blacked out by most of the so called mainstream media. It is for the first time that a nascent sociopolitical movement has successfully beaten back the monopoly of state controlled and corporate electronic and print media on access to information by the effective use of social media for spreading its message. This achievement is remarkable for the youth of a marginalised people living in an ‘ excluded area’ under the yet to be reformed colonial structures. But it is also important to remember that a strong wave of solidarity across the ethnic and regional boundaries attracted by the movement made this achievement possible.
As we know the deep pain, agonies and humiliation of war and displacement generate narratives and stories which aren’t reflected in the official press releases about the situation and become mere statistics. But PTM has provided a platform where these narratives and personal stories can be shared and recorded. This is the first step towards getting out of the trauma of war and displacement. The massive turn up of the families of the victims of enforced disappearances is yet another characteristic of this nascent movement. Manzoor Pashteen has made it clear that he is not demanding the release of persons accused of committing crimes. He only wants their production in courts for due process. But enforced disappearance of thousands of people is a very grave challenge on human rights front and cannot be ignored.
The Pashto songs sung by thousands in chorus express the deep desire of Pashtuns to reclaim their land, their culture and their dignity destroyed by terrorism and state oppression. The growing participation of women in the rallies gives strength to the movement. Interestingly far from being passive spectators women activists can be seen delivering passionate speeches, raising slogans and singing revolutionary songs. Hearing the speeches of PTM leaders it isn’t difficult to understand that they belong to a generation which has come to know the Pakistani state through its military. Manzoor Pashteen is 26 years old now. In 2002 when military was inducted in FATA on a large scale he was 8 years old. In the last eighteen years he has seen a decade when FATA was left at the mercy of terrorists. They killed the local people with impunity as the state did not act against terrorism with an eye on Taliban’s war in Afghanistan. Ali Wazir, the second most prominent leader of PTM, has lost more than a dozen members of his immediate and extended family to terrorism. Then there were military operations in which common people suffered more because of the double games played by the state. Prolonged curfews were particularly disturbing for a population that had lived without proper state control for centuries. Displacement brought new kinds of suffering and humiliation on the one hand but on the other hand exposed them to urban experiences and influences generating a higher level of sociopolitical consciousness. On their return the IDPs could not put up with the total disempowerment that waited for them back home. The lava accumulated through all these troubles and tribulations was waiting for eruption.
The insinuations coming from the GHQ about the “engineered” nature of PTM are simply shocking. Those who have raised no objection over Afghan Taliban Amir accepting oath of allegiance of Pakistani Taliban are perturbed over popularity of Pashteen cap across the Durand Line as an act of solidarity for peace in both countries ! PTM has repeatedly stated that it stands for the rights of oppressed people within the limits of Pakistani Constitution but the intelligence agencies are orchestrating artificial and so called demonstrations against PTM to give the impression as if the the youth movement is a threat for the country. It is particularly weird in a country where 139 UN designated terrorist entities don’t face the type of hounding and maligning that is faced by a grass roots non violent human rights movement.
Last but not the least is the question of relationship of PTM with established political parties in general and nationalist political parties in particular. Political parties have been generally cautious in responding to a new grass roots movement but they have also shown restraint in view of the popular support demonstrated by PTM. It is my considered opinion that nationalist parties shouldn’t be worried because of two factors. One, it is after all the seeding of Pashtun nationalist movement which has sprouted in the form of the new movement. The leaders of PTM commit themselves to the political legacy of Bacha Khan and Khan Shaheed, the founding fathers of the nationalist movement in 20th century. Two the epicentre of the new movement is FATA Pashtuns where the old parties didn’t have sufficient presence. If handled deftly the new movement is complimentary and not contrarian to broad Pashtun national movement. In fact PTM is warming up to the idea of broader democratic movement by addressing the concerns of oppressed people all over Pakistan.

#PashtunTahaffuzMovement - #Pakistan - OP-ED When Pekhawar roared

By Talimand Khan

The PTM movement is not only shredding the stereotypical, engineered image of the Pakhtun seem by seem, but also washing away the arbitrary division among them.

The Peshawar rally organised by the Pashtun Tahafuz Movement (PTM) on April 8, was unique in many ways.  The most remarkable was the surprisingly huge response they received from the city. Apparently, it was far beyond the expectations of the organisers. By 3 o’clock the earmarked portion for the rally swelled beyond capacity, forcing the removal of partitions to accommodate the expanding bulge.
Even when it began to rain during Ali Wazir’s speech, the crowd remain unperturbed, and stayed for Manzoor Pakhtun’s 32 minute long speech. Furthermore, if the participation of women in a rally in Peshawar was not noteworthy enough, victims of enforced disappearances were also finally given the opportunity to share their heart wrenching ordeals. But the most salient feature was the attendance of Pakhtuns holding a myriad of different opinions and political points of view.
It was amazing seeing Pakhtun intelligentsia, writers, poets, professionals, teachers, professors, social activists and political workers congregating in one place under the PTM banner. Their faces were visibly beaming with new hope, exhibiting a sort of relief from the long mental agony they had suffered. There was finally some optimism that a new beginning could be around the corner, and that Pakistan’s long suffering Pakhtun community could finally find a way out of the existing political suffocation and decay.
For most of the participants; this was the first time they had seen such a spectacle. A rally that had convergence of views and determination for a cause. The majority of them defied their pre-held political affiliation and loyalties, notwithstanding the forewarnings of their respective parties. As we surveyed the crowd, one of our friends pointed out that the rally could be termed a gathering of opinion makers rather than a mere show of reluctant and passive participants.
Right now, it’s just the beginning. Nobody can predict the political future of this movement at the moment with much precision
Coming back to the role played by women; they were not only active in the rally but had a leading role in mobilisation, organisation and management. This is not just unique in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), but all of Pakistan.
At least in my knowledge there is no precedent in KP for a woman, particularly a young woman like Sana Ijaz, as a steward performing as stage secretary of a huge public rally attracting crowds from FATA and other areas with a predominantly Pakhtun population.
The PTM movement is not only shredding the stereotypical, engineered image of the Pakhtun seem by seem, but also washing away the arbitrary division among them. If the Zhob, Qaila Saifullah and Quetta rallies destroyed the artificial geographical division between Pakhtuns, the Peshawar rally further substantiated that, but also unified the various strains of political opinion found among them. These rallies have further reinforced the Pakhtuns’ confidence. It convinced them that despite being an oppressed community, they can stand up to unaccountable powers through force of character and moral courage.
The Peshawar rally also sifted grain from the chaff. Those, although through meek voices were raising the issues earlier or at least preferred to be silent during the storm rather than acquiesce or become abettors, proved to be natural allies of the movement.
However, the rally proved to be a nightmare for those who had shed Pakhtun blood. When these people distanced themselves from the movement, they exposed themselves, and landed right on the dock of the people’s court. The PTM has proved that these political elements do not represent the Pakhtuns’ voices or sentiments. The Peshawar rally showed that today, the masses are ready to face injustice, but not those who are supposed to be their leaders.
Their narrative regarding the ‘War on Terror’ is not much different than its Western architects, as both present the people’s suffering and miseries as sacrifices to gain leverage for their own agenda. Both shed their own people’s blood as sacrifice to cover public scrutiny, create a smokescreen and claim eligibility for power.
The electronic media’s blackout of the rally, like the previous rallies, substantiates that the powers to be are afraid of the truth which the movement exposes in its rallies in the form of eye witness accounts and undeniable proof. However, such blackouts prove that the media is neither free nor reliable. It also substantiates that the narratives woven through this media are fabricated and misleading.
This has made clear that for most Pakhtuns, particularly those from rural areas, the first priority is to subscribe and relay through social media or refer to the international media. To my surprise, last night after the rally, my brother was watching the VOA Pakhto on TV. When I inquired as to why he was watching that channel, he replied that no Pakistani channel telecast the Peshawar rally, but VOA was covering it.
26 year old Manzoor Pakhtun, who hails from a modest background, led the PTM youth, and succeeded in galvanising and pulling massive crowds against all odds and in the most oppressive environment. A remarkable feat. Manzoor epitomises the common cause shared and owned by everyone. This is not his only achievement, as the PTM’s success has united the Pakhtun diaspora, particularly in the Western world. Rallies were organised in the US, England, Germany, Australia and Ukraine.
Right now, it’s just the beginning. Nobody can predict the political future of this movement at the moment with much precision. But what it did in terms of political mobilisation and awareness regarding human, constitutional rights and challenging the powerful and unaccountable usurpers in a span of about two and half months is unprecedented. The political environment and discourse in the Pakhtun region is not the same as it was two and a half months ago.
Perhaps, the Peshawar rally can trigger the process of Ibn-Khaldun’s theory of Asabiyya, explaining how (political) dynasties come into being, and fall if the successors fail to read the writing on the wall.

Sindh is Pakistan’s fastest growing province, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa third growing province: Dr Pasha

By Khurshid Ahmed
 Sindh is the fastest growing province of Pakistan followed by Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, said renowned economist and former assistant secretary general of and director of of Regional Bureau of United Nations for Asia & Pacific Dr Hafiz A Pasha.Addressing a ceremony, which was held to launch his book Growth & Inequality in Pakistan on Thursday, Dr Hafiz A Pasha said that the Human Development Index which was compiled with the data collected from 120 districts of Pakistan put Sindh ahead of Punjab in terms of economic growth.
He lamented that the deprivation and alienation of Balochistan continues and for the last 15 years, provincial growth remained below 3 percent.
Karachi economically progressed during former president Pervez Musharaff’s era to 6 percent but due to law and order, the growth declined to 2 percent until 2013-14 but now has again picked up to 4 percent, he noted adding that estimates show Karachi attracts 20 percent investment. He claimed that the population census was faulty because migration factor from other provinces of Pakistan was not considered. “The population of Sindh is 2.5 to 3 million less shown in the census,” Dr Pasha claimed.
He said that in the war on terror, Pakistan’s actual cost was around $250 billion but Pakistan could not present its case in a proper manner by adopting the wrong methodology. “Overall, the total cumulative of the war on terror up to 2016-17 is $135 billion. This includes direct cost of $74 billion and indirect cost of $61 billion. This is more than four times the security and economic assitances provided by the US of $33 billion,” he added.
He called for investing in water, electricity and China Pakistan Economic Corridor on priority bases and termed these sectors the lifeline of Pakistan’s future. “Pakistan must invest up to 60-70 percent of resources for the development of these sectors,” he suggested. Saying the official unemployment rate based on manipulation, he said that in fact the unployment rate stands at 9-10 percent. “A large number of people are tired of searching for jobs and now they are unemployed. The actual number of such youth is around 8-9 million which remains unaccounted,” he claimed.
Pakistan’s 45 percent of youth between the ages of 15 and 24 are jobless or idle including 1.2 million youths in the Sindh. “The dangerous situation may arise if these young people are directed somewhere else,” he noted.

Fate of politicians should be decided by people of Pakistan: Bilawal Bhutto

Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari on Friday said the fate of politicians should be decided by the people of Pakistan.

“I am of the belief that it’s the people of Pakistan who should make such decisions about the fate of politicians,” Bilawal tweeted after a historic Supreme Court verdict ruled that lawmakers disqualified under Article 62(1)(f) of the Constitution would be unable to contest elections for the rest of their life.

Stating that the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) “forced the judicialisation of our politics”, Bilawal added, “Naehal (disqualified) Nawaz and Tareen must now face the consequences of their actions.”