Tuesday, June 5, 2018

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Video Report - Schumer Blasts Trump Pardoning Himself: "You Are Not A King"

Video Report - Jake Tapper: Trump lied about the #Eagles

Video Report - #Philadelphia mayor slams #Trump’s #Eagles White House snub

Video Report - UN Warns President Donald Trump Administration About Violating Human Rights | Velshi & Ruhle | MSNBC

OP-ED - #Pakistan - The Wana tragedy

The only thing the Waziristan Peace Committee has ever done is subvert peace.

A horrifying incident took place in Wana, Waziristan yesterday. Members of the Waziristan Peace Committee killed four and injured 30 Pashtun Tahafuz Movement (PTM) workers. This took place when a peace committee member of the Waziristan area tried to seize PTM leader Ali Wazir’s petrol pump. Since he was a pro-people leader, the people came to Ali’s rescue and foiled the Taliban’s attempt to seize Ali’s property.
It is now necessary to question the legal standing of this peace committee. The only thing that it has done so far is to subvert peace in the area. This committee is abhorred by the locals for its numerous crimes. It robs people of their honour, properties and loved ones. It also gets a ‘commission’ from the local businessmen and shop keepers.
The state’s alliances with such entities has weakened its relationship with the tribal people, making them doubt their identity as Pakistanis. It also puts to question the shallow slogans of equality and unity under one flag. The more the tribal try to convince themselves that Pakistan keeps them safe, the more they realise that they are insecure.
The state’s alliances with such entities has weakened its relationship with the tribal people, making them doubt their identity as Pakistanis
The situation is made worse by the complicity of the mainstream media. Instead of referring to them directly, they were called ‘unknown individuals’. Times have changed now though, and even children know who these ‘unknown’ people are. Let alone how the committee was defended by the DG ISPR, which begs the question, is the state even serious about negotiating with the PTM?
In nutshell, the state should rein its armed non-state actors. Inflicting atrocities upon unarmed and peaceful protestors won’t do any good in terms of national integration and unity. Instead, it makes things more suspicious for the general public when it nurses such demons. The viable option for state is to disband these peace committees and start caring for the welfare of its people.

#Pakistan - #Baluchistan: 14,000 villages have no clean water, Seventy-five percent in food poverty

Alim Yarmohammadi, the representative of Zahedan, capital of Iranian occupied Balochistan, in the parliament, concluding with an implied statement given by the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB) journalist about the severe poverty and eating of cat’s meat in the villages of Zabul that 75 percent of the people in Sistan and Balochistan province are in food poverty.
According to the representative of the parliament, the people do not have bread to eat, healthy water to drink, and live in an unfavourable situation that you may think of from any points of view.
The debate over the livelihoods of the people in this province was followed after a few days ago in which, Hassan Shamshadi, a journalist of IRIB with a post on his Instagram page, published a photo mentioning: “What you see here is the food of a family. What do you think the food they are eating, contents? This family and many other families are eating cat’s meat”.
Based on the official statistics of state institutions, Sistan and Balochistan province is considered to be the most undeveloped region of Iran in terms of economic and social indicators. More than 60% of the urban population of Sistan and Balochistan is facing water stress, and close to 1,400 villages in this province are requesting to be supplied with water tankers.


http://balochwarna.com/2018/06/02/balochistan-14000-villages-have-no-clean-water-seventy-five-percent-in-food-poverty/

#Pakistan - Gulalai says Imran has ‘questionable’ character



Former Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) member Ayesha Gulalai has come out in support of Reham Khan over a controversy surrounding the former’s unpublished book that has sparked an altercation between various circles in mainstream and social media.
Gulalai, who parted ways from the PTI in August last year after levelling allegations of harassment and corruption against party chairman Imran Khan, called on Pakistani women to support Reham after the latter came under fire by the PTI and other prominent personalities over a leaked manuscript of her upcoming autobiography.
“Imran Khan is in moral decline, he has a [questionable] character,” said Gulalai, adding that the PTI chief was “scared” of getting unmasked by the upcoming book.
“[Imran Khan] is using a mafia against Reham, he does not fulfil the requirements of Articles 62 and 63,” the former PTI member claimed.
“He can’t run a government. He gets married, divorces, and then threatens [others] with help of a mafia.”

OP-ED - #Pakistanis deserve to know about #Pashtun Tahafuz Movement

That PTM has organised rallies all over Pakistan despite the enormous hurdles placed in its way, is a testament to the fact that their aims are not irredentist.

In the age of social media, it is nearly impossible to suppress information. Thus, both my Whatsapp messages and Twitter timeline were flooded with stories and videos about the attack on Pashtun Tahafuz Movement (PTM) supporters in Wana yesterday. Yet, if one turns to Pakistani television channels, there is only chatter about the upcoming elections, the judiciary’s recent rulings, even Reham Khan’s still-to-be-published book. The attack in Wana seems completely forgotten. Not only will this blackout reinforce the tribal people’s view that their lives are less valuable than other Pakistanis, it will also strengthen the PTM.
What is the PTM? People who live in other parts of Pakistan deserve and need to know what this movement stands for. These are fellow Pakistanis who have lived in a war zone for nearly the last two decades. And while people suffered because of Talibanisation and the War on Terror all over Pakistan, the tribal people of FATA suffered more because it was their area that was affected the most. Thus they endured the atrocities of the Taliban first-hand. When that was over, they suffered at the hands of the security agencies.
There are numerous tragic stories in this area. Stories of displacement, missing loved ones, death and destruction. As their leader, Manzoor Pashteen, said in one of his speeches (translated from Pashto), ‘Come and let us vent together.’ It should not be difficult to understand that the people of this area are deeply traumatised. They need to heal from all the violence and death they have seen, from the loss of dignity that displacement brings, to being wrongly profiled as terrorists because of their ethno-linguistic background, even as they were the ones who faced the brunt of Taliban barbarity.
Despite living through this ordeal, there are many aspects of the PTM that are admirable. First, the insistence upon peaceful means. For anyone who believes in the National Action Plan or the idea that civilian initiatives must work in tandem with the military to rid ourselves of violence and radicalisation, this alone should be inspirational. Second, a belief in the Constitution and a call to asserting rights as citizens of Pakistan. This is a modern idea rooted in the rule of law, and one that would make Jinnah proud.
The tribal people endured the atrocities of the Taliban first-hand. When that was over, they suffered at the hands of the security agencies
Third, a respect for women and a display of active female participation in their rallies. Again, this is something that should make us proud and attests to the inclusive nature of this movement. Fourth, contrary to the propaganda against it, this is not a separatist movement. The PTM wishes to remain within the ambit of Pakistan’s laws and are demanding rights not just for Pashtuns but all Pakistanis. That PTM has organised rallies all over Pakistan despite the enormous hurdles placed in its way, is a testament to the fact that their aims are not irredentist.
What then is the problem? Well, it turns out, their version of how events transpired in the last decade and a half do not match the state’s official narrative. So what? We are a nation of 200 Million people, sixth largest in the world by population. Our strength lies in our diversity. We cannot and should not expect everyone to think the same, particularly when our experiences aren’t the same. How can we expect someone who lost 17 members of his family by living in a war zone or someone whose father is a missing person for the last five years to be as patriotic as us? Instead of painting them as anti-state, and asking them pointless questions like if they fly the national flag or sing the national anthem at their rallies, as patriotic Pakistanis, we should be giving them a patient hearing.
This does not mean we have to agree with everything they say. For it is true that many military families have suffered in this fight as well. Many military men have lost their lives, leaving behind young widows and children. Their sacrifices are enormous and one has great respect for them, but by the same token, the civilians who have perished in this ugly fight are no less precious.

#Pakistan - Female journalist #GulBukhari home after hours long ‘abduction' in #Lahore





Journalist and activist Gul Bukhari was abducted by unknown persons in Lahore on Tuesday night, police sources said. Early on Wednesday her family confirmed that she was home and “fine”.According to sources, Bukhari was on her way to the Waqt TV studio on Fatimah Jinnah Road (Queen's Road) for a show when she was intercepted and abducted on Sherpao Bridge in Lahore's Cantonment area. Her family had reported her missing to the police.
Punjab police said Bukhari had not been detained by police personnel.


According to a journalist employed at Waqt TV, Bukhari was on her way to the studio to appear in a show when unknown persons stopped her vehicle and asked her to come out.
A vocal critic of the military, Bukhari is a journalist and activist who has worked in broadcast and print for several media groups in Pakistan. Bukhari is presently a contributing Op-Ed writer at The Nation and was set to appear as an analyst on Waqt TV show '2vs2'.
Concerns about freedom of expression and press censorship grow in the country in the run-up to election. In recent months, the Jang Group’s Geo TV was pushed off the airwaves across most of the country.
Last week, former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said days before Pakistan's caretaker government took over that his government did not believe in resorting to media censorship but urged the media to adopt a mechanism for self-regulation.
In April, a Reporters Without Borders report said the Pakistani media are regarded as among the most vibrant in Asia but due to pressure being exerted by extremist groups and intelligence agencies they are increasingly resorting to self-censorship, according to a report by a global watchdog.
As news of Bukhari's disappearance made the rounds, journalists took to Twitter to express concerns about her safety.

#Pakistani Generals are Afraid of Educated,Strong women. #GulBukhari - Female journalist Gul Bukhari 'abducted' in Lahore

Journalist and activist Gul Bukhari was abducted by unknown persons in Lahore on Tuesday night, police sources said.
According to sources, Bukhari was on her way to the Waqt TV studio on Fatimah Jinnah Road (Queen's Road) for a show when she was intercepted and abducted on Sherpao Bridge in Lahore's Cantonment area. Her family has reported her missing to the police.
Punjab police say Bukhari has not been detained by police personnel.
According to a journalist employed at Waqt TV, Bukhari was on her way to the studio to appear in a show when unknown persons stopped her vehicle and asked her to come out.
A vocal critic of the military, Bukhari is a journalist and activist who has worked in broadcast and print for several media groups in Pakistan. Bukhari is presently a contributing Op-Ed writer at The Nation and was set to appear as an analyst on Waqt TV show '2vs2'.
Concerns about freedom of expression and press censorship grow in the country in the run-up to election. In recent months, the Jang Group’s Geo TV was pushed off the airwaves across most of the country.
Last week, former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said days before Pakistan's caretaker government took over that his government did not believe in resorting to media censorship but urged the media to adopt a mechanism for self-regulation.
In April, a Reporters Without Borders report said the Pakistani media are regarded as among the most vibrant in Asia but due to pressure being exerted by extremist groups and intelligence agencies they are increasingly resorting to self-censorship, according to a report by a global watchdog.
As news of Bukhari's disappearance made the rounds, journalists took to Twitter to express concerns about her safety.
Journalist attacked in Lahore
In a separate incident, broadcast journalist Asad Kharal was beaten by masked men in Lahore on Tuesday, police said.
SP Bilal Zaffar Cantonment Division confirmed the attack on Bol YV anchor Kharal, whose car was intercepted by masked men who physically assaulted him. Kharal was then taken to Services Hospital to be treated for his injuries.

How the Pashtun Tahafuz Movement can save Pakistan from its own worst impulses




SHANTANU MUKHARJI
Islamabad should heed anti-discriminatory protests like the PTM. By doing so, it will correct the course of its own flawed history.
Pakistan is raring to go for its parliamentary elections to be held on July 25 – hectic political activities are gaining centre-stage in the country. But, alongside, it is also getting more and more saddled with multiple problems of different kinds – and practically no solutions in sight.
Pakistan’s military and civil establishments are on a path of confrontation, with no parties agreeing to blink first.
Former PM Nawaz Sharif’s recent outburst against his detractors, coming down heavily on their reported endorsement on allowing Pakistan’s security agencies dispatching home-grown terrorists to go across to Mumbai and carry out the dreaded 26/11 terror attacks, causing at least 166 deaths, has wreaked havoc in the country. Pakistanis, by and large, are surprised over Nawaz Sharif’s statements as never before has an ex-Prime Minister criticised one’s own government so boldly and so vehemently, directly insinuating military generals in charges of having fomented terror in India and failing abjectly at reining in Pakistan-based terrorists Meanwhile, as the international community frowns upon such revelations and Pakistan gets more visibly isolated in the international community, the Pashtun Movement (PTM) looks like a new rallying force in the embattled country.
The PTM espouses the cause of the neglected Pashtuns. This mint-fresh protest now adds to the already existing protest movements led by the Balochs and the Mohajirs, seeking their share of fresh air, and thus threatening the sovereignty of the tightly controlled nation. The seed of the current movement started when a Pashtun, Naqeebullah Mehsud, and some of his brethren were killed by unprovoked police firing in Karachi on April 8.
The incident was apparently caused by a discriminatory and insensitive police force, led by an allegedly brutal police officer called Rao Anwar. This incident led to Pashtun leadership being taken on by a 26-year-old Pashtun named Manzoor Ahmad Pashteen, who has galvanised thousands of disgruntled Pashtuns, organising protest marches drawing attention of the government to their demands to be fair to the community, which is otherwise heavily discriminated against, principally by the brute domination of Punjabis. The latter in Pakistan have always been more muscular, using strong-arm tactics to suppress the Pashtuns and other minorities.
The PTM espouses the cause of the neglected Pashtuns. This mint-fresh protest now adds to the already existing protest movements led by the Balochs and the Mohajirs, seeking their share of fresh air, and thus threatening the sovereignty of the tightly controlled nation.
The seed of the current movement started when a Pashtun, Naqeebullah Mehsud, and some of his brethren were killed by unprovoked police firing in Karachi on April 8.
The incident was apparently caused by a discriminatory and insensitive police force, led by an allegedly brutal police officer called Rao Anwar. This incident led to Pashtun leadership being taken on by a 26-year-old Pashtun named Manzoor Ahmad Pashteen, who has galvanised thousands of disgruntled Pashtuns, organising protest marches drawing attention of the government to their demands to be fair to the community, which is otherwise heavily discriminated against, principally by the brute domination of Punjabis. The latter in Pakistan have always been more muscular, using strong-arm tactics to suppress the Pashtuns and other minorities.
This young Pashtun’s meteoric rise and organising ability pose immense threat to the Pakistani establishment.
This has conveniently labelled Indian intelligence agencies as masterminding operations to arouse passions amongst the Pashtuns to rebel against the government. These allegations don’t hold much water though as for the Baluch uprising too was blamed on Indian outfits for apparently fomenting dissent. Earlier, Pakistan shifted the blame to external quarters for its internal discontent over the Mohajir Quami Movement (MQM), which continues to haunt the Pakistani establishment. It is worth recalling that Pakistan’s step-motherly treatment towards the Bengalis cost Pakistan so dearly that it led to the birth of Bangladesh as a new nation in 1971.
This proved the “two nation” theory of Mohammad Ali Jinnah as being totally wrong, various forces in Pakistan aspiring for more freedom. Like the Bengalis, the Baluchis and the Sindhis are no exception to this aspiration. More importantly, now the present Pashtun Tahafuz Movement is a force to reckon with – and it has definitely the promise to carry forward a robust movement.
The leader of this Pashtun movement, Manzoor Ahmad Pashteen, is a known human rights activist with a clear goal. He has a dedicated cadre with serious ground experience of clearing land mines, helping the Federally Administered Tribal Administration (FATA). Having been involved in such militarised tasks, it is assumed the agitating Pashtuns must be armed with some degree of discipline and training, which will be handy for a large-scale movement.
The ongoing Pashtun movement is in fact reminiscent of the great Pashtun leader Abdul Ghaffar Khan or Badshah Khan, who led a movement earning him the title of “Frontier Gandhi”. Such giants surface in history after many, many years, but given the organising prowess and the strategic vision of Manzoor, any Pashtun movement now is expected to have and navigate a clear road map. "Frontier Gandhi" remains a great inspiration.
Pakistan has been meddling, rather violently, in the internal affairs of its neighbours, particularly India (specifically within Kashmir ) and Afghanistan, though without much success. Yet, it continues to indulge in these misadventures – without realising its own backyard is burning today with internal problems of immense multitudes threatening the unity of the country. 

It must also be borne in mind that history is always a testimony to the fact that those who do not learn from its lessons are the ones who suffer from eventual disintegration. 

 Now that Jinnah’s "two nation" theory stands repudiated by history itself, religious extremism and fanaticism should be expected to take a backseat in the years to come, with mass leaders like Manzoor Pashteen instead emerging as torch bearers to lead the country into a state bereft of any religious bias. As it is, Pakistan’s Shias, Ahmediyas, Baluchis, Pashtuns and such like continue to face the brunt of religious discrimination due to state parochialism and a distinctly prejudiced approach; they are often even targeted in a systematic manner.
Its military leadership and the Pakistani polity must jointly do serious brainstorming to address the growing dissent lest it is too late and a Bangladesh kind of situation is allowed to come to the fore – with disastrous consequences for Pakistan again.
Therefore, Pakistan needs to watch the ongoing just and anti-establishment movements and take corrective measures with a non-discriminatory approach. It can thus keep its own house in order – and stop blaming India for every bit of the fallout of its own flawed policies and actions.

#StopUsingTalibanAgainstPT - #Pakistan - Pashtun Tahaffuz Movement Comes Under Militant Attack

The Cost of Extreme Media Censorship – a View From Pakistan




By Adnan Rehmat
The latest round of coercive censorship is an attempt to ensure that media narratives conform to the goals and objectives of the intended outcomes of the elections scheduled for the summer.
There is a price to pay for professional broadcast journalism in Pakistan. That was the sobering message for the media from the blatant, but unofficial, blackout in large swathes of the country in April 2018 of Geo News, the market leader among 37 current affairs 24/7 channels. The blackout seemed arbitrary but not without method — transmission was disrupted intermittently, thereby delaying public awareness about the odd phenomenon.
Puzzlingly, for the public at least, there did not seem to be any explanation. The reason: neither did Jang Media Group, which owns Geo, publicise the matter at first or protest nor did the remainder of the media industry report it even when it understood what was happening. Social media leaks were the primary source of information about the blackout.
Analysts and commentators soon started connecting the dots with allied developments — popular commentators, analysts and writers across several newspapers, including The News, The Express Tribune and Jang complained that their regular write-ups were being declined. Clearly, overt censorship was at play and it was spreading across mediums and media groups. Some current affairs analysts, like Babar Sattar, Gul Bukhari and Mosharraf Zaidi, retaliated by sharing their declined write-ups on social media.
It was only after international media, including BBC, Al Jazeera, Reuters, The Economist, The New York Times and The Hindu picked up the story and reported extensively on it that the public discovered what was happening. And what they discovered from these reports is deeply troubling.
The security establishment, it appears, is enacting a wider enforcement of undeclared censorship on both the quantum and tone of ongoing current affairs news threads. Geo has refused to publicly acknowledge any discussions on the matter with the establishment even though in private its functionaries are not shy about mentioning their inevitable capitulation. The broadcast media’s regulator, the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA), has denied ordering any of its licensed cable distributors to censor Geo while the superior judiciary seems uninterested in investigating the matter beyond PEMRA’s explanation.
Pakistan’s history is replete with state-enforced censorship. But what explains the severely coercive nature of undeclared censorship now? Media managers privately say that the angry but spirited resistance put up by Nawaz Sharif and Maryam Nawaz to the restrictions on their political ambitions and careers, the media caricaturisation of rising judicial activism against the political classes, the spontaneous civil society-driven rights movement piloted by Manzoor Pashteen capturing popular imagination, and the scathing media blowback and social media commentary about the reported ‘Bajwa Doctrine’ appear to have hit a nerve. Any freewheeling discussion and sound bite on the mainstream media on these topics seem to have become unacceptable to quarters that seek – and to a large degree have achieved – a national current affairs narrative mostly articulated through a security perspective.
Even a cursory examination of the 147 daily current affairs talk shows on 37 TV channels reveal a telling trend: caricaturisation of politics, parliament and politicians; promotion of security doctrines, overt criticism of Nawaz Sharif by mostly censoring out his perspectives in favour of near-unbridled coverage of his opponents; mostly uncritical coverage of political statements and other activism by the judges; total blackout of the otherwise phenomenal Pashteen-led rights movement; and an army of retired military officials populating most of the talk shows to ensure that the discussions remain generally subservient to manipulated narratives and interests.
The recent actions against the likes of the Jang and Dawn groups, which now remain about the only sections of the mainstream media that make an effort to accommodate pluralist perspectives, came precisely because of this. The latest round of coercive censorship is an attempt to ensure that media narratives conform to the goals and objectives of the intended outcomes of the elections scheduled for the summer. Media professionalism is apparently not part of the plan.

#Pakistan - Bilawal Bhutto Zardari expresses deep concern over the reports of clashes in Wana

Chairman Pakistan Peoples Party Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has expressed deep concern over the reports of clashes in Wana and called for handling the situation very carefully.

In a press statement, the PPP Chairman said that reports emanating from various media sources were worrying and called for a probe into the circumstances surrounding the reported clashes resulting also in casualties.


The PPP Chairman also expressed sympathies with the families of those who lost their lives in clashes or suffered injuries.


https://mediacellppp.wordpress.com/2018/06/05/bilawal-bhutto-zardari-expresses-deep-concern-over-the-reports-of-clashes-in-wana/