Tuesday, May 29, 2018

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Music Video - Mozhdah - Oba Derta Rowrom | #Ethnosessions (مژده جمالزاده اوبه درته راوړم ( به یاد بود احمد ظاهر

Afghanistan-Pakistan Action Plan For Peace And Solidarity (APAPPS): What’s In It For CPEC? – OpEd

China intends to extend the CPEC into Afghanistan which is a positive move towards regional economic integration. So, it has played a vital role in bringing the two countries on table.
Pakistan recently had its fourth meeting of Afghanistan-Pakistan Action Plan for Peace and Solidarity (APAPPS) on May 14, 2018, which can further pave the bilateral relations among the two neighbors – Pakistan and Afghanistan, thus eventually materializing the CPEC to extend towards Afghanistan. The two sides showed their interest to promote pace and solidarity among six different areas mutually beneficial for them.
These areas include commitments including: Pakistan’s support for Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace and reconciliation; to undertake effective actions against fugitives and the irreconcilable elements posing security threats to either of the two countries; deny use of their respective territory by any country, network, group or individuals for anti-state activities against either country, to put in place a joint supervision, coordination and confirmation mechanism; avoid territorial and aerial violations of each other’s territory; no public blame game, instead APAPPS cooperation mechanisms would be utilized to respond to mutual issues of contention and concerns and working groups and necessary cooperation mechanism would be set up as per APAPPS. Upon successful implementation of this joint action plan the two countries will meet the common objectives of eliminating terrorism and achieving peace, stability, prosperity and development of the people of the two countries.
Continuing to achieve the peace and solidarity will help improve the economic relation between Afghanistan and Pakistan. As the political constraints and terrorism, extremism, and separatism are the major contributing factors behind the poor economic and trade relation between Afghanistan and Pakistan. At present, for Pakistan, CPEC is the window for economic development. However this window of opportunity faces severe security challenges. In this regard, the APAPPS will be instrumental in improving the security situation in Pakistan specifically in terms of curbing terrorism. Once these security challenges will be addressed the possibility of extending CPEC to Afghanistan will be even more likely.
Moreover, China has been quite helpful in promoting these peace talks between Pakistan- and Afghanistan. This will provide not only a smooth regional connectivity to CPEC but a broader perspective for OBOR initiative. With the extension of CPEC into Afghanistan, the country can become a major beneficiary of this project because in near future the corridor will add to the economic development of this fragile country-Afghanistan, by enhancing economic activities in the area which can put the flimsy economy of Afghanistan on a sound footing, eventually securing and bringing peace to the westward borders of Pakistan.
There are several connectivity projects that Pakistan, China and Afghanistan can undertake if become partners under the CPEC. The significant road projects that may be incorporated in the economic connectivity to Afghanistan envisages 265 km Peshawar to Kabul motorway and the road link connecting western alignment of CPEC to Afghanistan by linking Chaman to Kandahar, Mazar-i-Sharif to Termez near the border of Central Asian countries. This passage will offer an effortless and short access to Afghanistan in order to connect to the sea port of Gwadar (which is almost 600 kilometres shorter than the presently existing transit route being used by the traders and people of Afghanistan). This connection will integrate Afghanistan with other regions and also allow it to start commercial activities through the Indian Ocean.
Consequently the Chinese efforts for APAPPS will bring Kabul and Islamabad much closer, which is the need of the hour. This will also address Chinese fears about the spread of Islamist militancy from Pakistan and Afghanistan to the unrest-prone far western Chinese region of Xinjiang. This is not the first time that China is paying a role of mediator in solving the conflict of interest and grievances between the parties involved in CPEC. Previously China has played a vital role in bringing the Baloch tribes on the table to discuss the matters related to CPEC. So, the APAPPS will provide a forum to enhance connectivity and cooperation through CPEC projects with neighboring countries, including Afghanistan, Iran and with Central and West Asian states.

#Pakistan - Sikh rights activist gunned down in Peshawar

A renowned Sikh religious leader and rights activist was gunned down on the outskirts of Peshawar on Tuesday.
52-year-old Charnjit Singh was gunned down inside his shop in Scheme Chowk area.
“An attacker shot Singh inside his shop and escaped afterwards,” superintendent police Saddar Shaukat Khan told The Express Tribune. “He died on the spot.” It was not clear whether it was a target killing incident or a result of personal enmity.
The deceased had been residing in Peshawar for decades but his family hailed from Kurram Agency. He owned a store in the metropolis for quite a long time.
The murder caused panic among the community as several Sikhs have been killed in different parts of the city in the past.
Most of the Sikhs residing in Peshawar are those whose families previously resided in different parts of Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) but shifted to Peshawar and started a business.
Most of the Sikh community resides in Mohalla Jogan Shah where the old temple is located.

Pakistan's emboldened judiciary poses headache for ruling party ahead of polls

Asif Shahzad
Visibly annoyed, Pakistan’s Chief Justice Saqib Nisar picks up a dirty steel bowl, displays it to a barrage of TV cameras, slams it against a rack, and shouts: “You serve food in it?”
The outburst was captured during a recent visit to inspect patients and their living conditions at a hospital psychiatric ward in the northwestern city of Peshawar - one of a series of trips around the country in what Nisar has termed a crusade against corruption and bad governance.
With TV channels following his every move and lapping up his verbal barbs, Nisar has become a thorn in the side of the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and its founder Nawaz Sharif, whose third stint as prime minister was cut short in July when the Supreme Court disqualified him over a small undeclared source of income. Sharif and his family now face corruption charges that could see the veteran leader jailed, and there is a growing concern within PML-N ranks that the judiciary could dent the party’s electoral prospects in a general election on July 25.
“The present scenario, the way the judiciary is interfering in the executive’s work ... the governments can’t work like this,” said outgoing Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, speaking at a news conference on Monday after the election was called at the weekend.
Nisar has used Pakistan’s so-called “suo moto” provision - which allows him to take up cases on his own initiative - to launch inquiries ranging from the payment of sugar cane farmers by mills and increases in milk prices to allegations of corruption in the running of the country’s railways and national airline.
He says such cases, and his frequent public appearances to inspect development projects and public facilities such as schools and hospitals - rare for a sitting chief justice - are aimed at protecting the poor. “We have to fight for those people who unfortunately don’t have means to get their rights,” Nisar said, addressing lawyers early this year. Nisar is not the first activist chief justice. Indeed, his high media profile has drawn parallels with Iftikhar Chaudhry, who initially won plaudits for helping oust military dictator Pervez Musharraf in 2008, but was later criticized for overstepping his constitutional remit.
PML-N insiders and some analysts say Nisar’s assertiveness smacks of judicial overreach and hints at a return to Pakistan’s past, when they say the judiciary cut politicians down to size at the behest of the powerful military, which has ruled Pakistan for nearly half its history since independence in 1947.
PML-N insiders accuse shadowy military networks of working with the judiciary to weaken the party in the run-up to the election. Some analysts say the judges would be unable to take such an aggressive stance against the civilian government without at least tacit support from the generals. “With their specific targeting of PML-N, this would undermine fair play in election, and squeeze Nawaz Sharif,” Ayesha Siddiqa, an author and political analyst, told Reuters.
“The judicial decisions are a strong signal as to where the powerful establishment will lay their eggs this time.” The military did not reply to requests for a comment. The army has previously said it does not interfere in politics. Nisar’s office did not respond to requests for comment.
Nisar has previously denied being a military stooge and has shown no signs of pulling punches ahead of the general election, serving contempt of court notices to senior PML-N figures who have criticized the judiciary.
While he has also taken on the opposition, his principal target has been the PML-N and Sharif himself.
During several visits in recent months to the province of Punjab, Sharif’s longtime electoral heartland, Nisar has been demanding the provincial government - run by Sharif’s brother Shehbaz - improve public sector institutions. In April, he inspected a new train project that the PML-N wants to showcase before the polls, which he threatened to shut down in January if the government didn’t prioritize education and health.
“Punjab government did nothing in the last 10 years,” Nisar said from the bench in March.
He also removed PML-N Information Minister Maryam Aurangzeb, who has been critical of the judiciary, from a parliamentary committee that regulates the media. “The committee can’t be independent as long as she is a member,” he said.
Nisar’s actions have delighted the opposition.
“We’re happy that Supreme Court is upholding the supremacy of law in this country,” Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party leader Imran Khan told reporters after the court barred Sharif from holding party office for life in April.
But many within the legal profession are unnerved.
“A considerable number of lawyers, including myself, don’t see this activism as a positive step,” said Ali Ahmad Kurd, former president of the Supreme Court Bar Association.
Sharif, whose second stint as prime minister was ended by a military coup in 1999, has labeled his dismissal and the corruption charges against him as a “fraud” and a witch hunt.
Last month, he said he had “grave doubts” about whether the upcoming election would be “fair and free”.
The top court followed up Sharif’s July disqualification by removing him as PML-N party leader in February, and lately banned him for life from holding any public office. Last month the Islamabad High Court also disqualified from parliament Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif, one of Sharif’s closest allies.
In recent weeks, Pakistani TV channels have been muting the sound on Sharif when he talks about the judiciary and military, prompting him to complain of creeping censorship.
But Nisar has not been immune to criticism. The top judge’s growing profile has raised eyebrows, and drew ridicule after a news clip of his presidential-style motorcade, showing at least 34 vehicles, went viral.
Journalist Omar R. Quraishi shared on Twitter another video clip of Nisar flanked by several police and paramilitary commandos.
“That’s more security than for the Prime Minister or President,” tweeted Quraishi. “Oh wait... we are looking at the de facto PM.”

#Pakistan -ECP allots sword symbol to #PPP for 2018 polls

The Election Commission of Pakistan has allotted the sword symbol to Pakistan People’s Party for the 2018 general elections.
The election commission heard the case regarding the allotment of sword symbol for the next elections.
PPP lawyer Nayyar Hussain Bukhari, in his arguments, said that the party came into being in 1967 and they contested the 1970 elections on the sword symbol.
He said that sword was removed as an election symbol during the 1977 election and it was not mentioned in ECP’s list in 1985.
Estranged PPP leaders Safdar Abbasi and Naheed Khan had also filed applications for the allotment of sword symbol for the next election.
Abbasi said that PPP has contested four elections on the arrow symbol since 1988.
He said that Pakistan Peoples Party and Pakistan Peoples Party – Parliamentarians are the same party.
Safdar Abbasi told the PPP counsel that he should submit an affidavit which states that the party will contest elections on the sword symbol. To this the PPP lawyer asked who was Safdar Abbasi to demand these documents.
The estranged PPP leader said that he wanted to settle the issue, adding that a similar petition has been filed by his wife in the Supreme Court.
ECP reserved its judgment after hearing the arguments of all three parties and later allocated the symbol to PPP.