Friday, May 18, 2018

Video Report - Putin & Merkel speak to press in Sochi

Video Report - New Twitter algorithms raise concerns among users

Video Report - CrossTalk on North Korea: Summit or no summit?

Video Report - 10 dead in Santa Fe, Texas, school shooting

Video Report - #Texas school shooting suspect identified

UK: Oxford’s Pakistan Society criticised for not screening Dr. Abdus Salam documentary

The leaders of Oxford’s Pakistan Society have been accused of “intolerance and bigotry” against the Ahmadi religious minority after they allegedly neglected to screen a documentary about Dr Abdus Salam.

The documentary, which was screened on 12th May by the Oxford University Ahmadiyya Muslim Students Association (OUAMSA), described the life and achievements of Salam, who won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1979.

Salam, who identified as an Ahmadi (or Ahmadiyya) Muslim, was the first Pakistani to win a Nobel Prize.

Ahmadis face constant discrimination and ostracisation in Pakistan, where they were declared “non-Muslims” under Pakistani law in 1974 – a stance which has been repeatedly criticised by the international community.

Accordingly, very little is known about Salam’s achievements in his home country. Though the inscription on Salam’s headstone in Pakistan originally read “The First Muslim Nobel Laureate”, the word “Muslim” has since been chipped away by vandals.

PakSoc and the Oxford University Islamic Society were allegedly contacted by OUAMSA President and Oxford PhD student, Noman Chaudhry, in January about co-hosting the documentary screening. The PakSoc committee at the time allegedly expressed willingness to co-host the event.

In the months that followed, Cherwell understands that the PakSoc committee debated whether or not to co-host the event, making the eventual decision to co-host the screening.

However, the society failed to make their support for the event public until the day of the screening when they shared the event on their Facebook page. In the end, PakSoc did not co-host the event.

Chaudhry declined Cherwell‘s requests for comment. In an earlier statement, he said: “I contacted Pakistani Society two months ago about the screening. I had numerous chats with the committee members, including the President, at various events.

“I was told that they were still discussing the matter and that they had other events to focus on, and that there were reservations within the society.”

The Oxford University Pakistan Society told Cherwell: “There was never any objection to the Society fully supporting the screening and encouraging our Members to attend.

“Subsequent to this, there was a failure and significant lack of urgency on the part of the Committee to formally communicate this to AMSA Oxford in due time.

“Due to a lengthy decision-making process, and ample back-and-forth debates within committee, we failed within this time to carry out even the promotional support that everybody on Committee had by unanimous consensus agreed to extend to this event.

The society added: “Any suggestion that the Oxford University Pakistan Society is in any way opposed to the rights of the Ahmadiyya Community or to the recognition of Abdus Salam’s incommensurate achievements are inaccurate and we sincerely regret that our actions have implied otherwise.

Wanted terrorist Hafiz Saeed's Security Restored By Pakistan's Punjab Government

The Punjab government last month had withdrawn policemen deployed for the security of Hafiz Saeed after the Supreme Court directed inspector-generals of Islamabad and all four provinces to take back security escorts from people who are not entitled to it.
The government of Pakistan's Punjab province has restored the security of Mumbai attack mastermind and Jamaat-ud Dawa chief Hafiz Saeed citing threats to his life, almost a month after it was withdrawn on the order of the Pakistan Supreme Court. "The policemen have been deployed again for the security of Hafiz Saeed on the order of (chief minister) Shahbaz Sharif's Punjab government," a senior official of the provincial government told PTI today. He said the decision was taken in the light of threats to Hafiz Saeed's life.
As the government restored Saeed's security, he has withdrawn a petition he had filed in the Lahore High Court to challenge the Punjab government's earlier decision to withdraw his security.
The Punjab government last month had withdrawn policemen deployed for Hafiz Saeed's security after the Supreme Court directed inspector-generals of Islamabad and all four provinces to take back security escorts from people who are not entitled to it.
The chief justice, however, later directed the top provincial police officials to ensure the provision of security to all those who face genuine security threats.
In the light of the Supreme Court order, the Punjab police have withdrawn as many as 4,610 personnel deployed for the security of influential persons not entitled to official security in the province.
In a petition filed through his counsel Advocate AK Dogar, Saeed said the Punjab government on the pretext of the top court order has withdrawn his security. He said the Supreme Court had ordered that the security of those facing life threats should not be withdrawn.
"But the government made a wrong interpretation of the Supreme Court order in my case and has withdrawn my security despite threats to my life," Saeed said.
The founder of Lashkar-e-Taiba, who carries a USD 10 million American bounty for his role in terror activities, accused the government of discrimination in his case.
The JuD usually makes elaborate arrangements for the security of Saeed wherever he goes. Even at home, the JuD special squad has been given the task of his security.
Saeed is accused of masterminding the 2008 Mumbai terror attack in which 166 people were killed. JuD was declared as a foreign terrorist organisation by the US in June, 2014.

#Pakistan has decisions to make: #Pentagon

Pentagon Chief Spokesperson Dana W. White, while briefing the media on Thursday, said that Pakistan can do more about regional security.
White was answering a question regarding Afghan allegations that Pakistan is behind the strikes in their country.
"We believe that Pakistan can certainly do more with respect to regional security," she said.
White added: "It can certainly do more with respect to security within Afghanistan, and we would look to them and hope that they would both [Pakistan and Afghanistan] help, because they are both victims of terrorism and they've also sponsored terrorism."
"So we look to Pakistan to create more opportunities to secure the region."
When asked about the recent remarks by former prime minister Nawaz Sharif about non-state actors' alleged involvement in Mumbai attacks, the Pentagon spokesperson said: "Again, this is an inflection point for Pakistan. Pakistan has decisions to make, and we hope that they will be a partner in safeguarding the region."
Diplomatic relations between Pakistan and the US hit a new low recently when the latter imposed travel restrictions on Pakistani diplomats which were reciprocated by the former.

Bilawal Bhutto strongly condemns Indian aggression on Working Boundary near Sialkot

Chairman Pakistan Peoples Party Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has strongly condemned Indian aggression on Working Boundary (WB) near Sialkot in which four civilians, including three children were martyred in Indian firing.
In a statement, the PPP Chairman said that provocative firing on LoC and WB by Indian forces has become a deliberate routine matter, which won’t be tolerated by entire Pakistani nation.
Bilawal Bhutto Zardari expressed deep grief over the martyrdom of innocent citizen and children and warned the butcher of Gujarat Modi to desist from such aggression.
He called upon the international community to take notice of the nefarious designs of Modi whose hands are also stained with the blood of innocent Muslims, Dalits and Adivasis of his own country.

Pakistan Still Struggles To Eradicate Polio

Health workers have made some large strides against polio but getting to zero is elusive. There's violence against workers and anti-vaccination advocates use social media to frighten parents.