Thursday, November 22, 2018

Video Report - #Brexit withdrawal deal “agreed in principle”

Video Report - Erin Burnett: Trump thinks judges are either with him or against him

Video - Why Chief Justice Roberts’ response to Trump matters

Video - ##SandraParks - Brooke Baldwin reads powerful essay written by victim of gun violence

Video Report - 'It’s a Disgrace.!!!’ Trump Treats Troops to Rambling Thanksgiving Diatribe Against Court

Turkish Music Video - Simge - Öpücem

Evidence: Who's behind the murder of Jamal Khashoggi?

Mission accomplished? Number of Sunni terrorists worldwide quadrupled from Sept 11, 2001 – study

Despite Washington’s extremely costly worldwide ‘War on Terror’, nearly four times as many Sunni Islamic militants are operating around the world today as on September 11, 2001, a new study has found.
As many as 230,000 jihadists are spread across 70 countries, with the largest concentrations of terrorists located in Syria, Afghanistan, and Pakistan, according to the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a Washington DC think tank.
The shocking reported spike in the number of Sunni jihadists worldwide raises serious questions about the effectiveness of the US-led Global War on Terrorism, which was launched in the wake of the deadly attacks on the Twin Towers and the Pentagon on September 11, 2001.

US taxpayers have already forked over a mind-melting $5.9 trillion to fund the massive and increasingly secretive war – but the noble pursuit of eradicating terrorism has apparently had the opposite effect. Ironically, the think tank has called for the US to double-down, arguing that withdrawing forces from Africa and the Middle East would only embolden terrorist groups.

Video Report - Turkish media: CIA has recording of MBS ordering Khashoggi murder

The famine facing #Yemen is a war crime – it must be investigated

The Saudi-led coalition has deliberately targeted civilians. The UK must press for answers – not be complicit in a cover-up.

Today the UN security council will debate a UK-drafted resolution containing a rather gentle entreaty to the warring parties in Yemen. It will ask them to take “constant care to spare civilian objects, including those necessary for food production, distribution, processing and storage”.
If that sounds like the safety instructions for a new vacuum cleaner, then welcome to the world of UN resolutions. But what it actually reveals is a far darker, more shameful truth. The truth of a Saudi-led coalition, armed by Britain and the United States, which from the very start of the conflict in 2015 has sought to use starvation as a weapon of war.
Most obviously, their on-off blockades of any ports and airports controlled by the Houthi rebels have drastically cut supplies of food to a Yemeni population that relies on imports to eat. But far more insidiously, and in the absence of imports, the Saudi air force has systematically and deliberately destroyed the domestic means of producing and distributing food inside Yemen. Their bombs have constantly targeted agricultural land, dairy farms, food processing factories, and the markets where food is sold.
And when I’ve asked even the most craven apologists for the Saudi regime what possible reason there would be for targeting these sites – fields of crops and village wells – they just shrug their shoulders and say: “Sometimes mistakes are made.”
But these are no mistakes. These are medieval tactics with modern weapons deliberately employed by the architect of the Yemen war – Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman – in an attempt to bring the rebel-held areas of the country to their knees. He could not care less about the impact on Yemen’s civilian population, any more than he cared about what happened to Jamal Khashoggi.
But we have a responsibility to care, not least because Britain is one of the leading exporters of the planes and weapons with which Saudi Arabia has enforced its blockades, and destroyed Yemen’s food infrastructure.
So now is the time to act. It may be too late for the minimum of 85,000 children who are estimated to have died from malnutrition and disease since the war in Yemen began, in addition to the several hundred killed by Saudi air strikes. But it is not too late for the five million Yemeni children whom the United Nations has warned are on the brink of starvation, thanks to the man-made, and Saudi-induced famine that is currently gripping the country.
We must secure an immediate cessation of hostilities in Yemen, particularly around the key port and battleground of Hodeidah, and the full, unhindered opening of access for humanitarian relief for the Yemeni civilians who desperately need it.
That must be the priority, but I also believe we need accountability for the states and individuals that have caused this crisis, brought us to the brink of a famine that the UN says would be the worst in the past 100 years, and – by using starvation as a weapon of war – are in clear breach of international humanitarian law.
There is one man above all who bears that responsibility, and one man who must be held to account: the crown prince of Saudi Arabia. And yet, when I asked Jeremy Hunt yesterday in parliament why the resolution that will go before the security council today did not mention the need for an investigation of all alleged war crimes, and full accountability for those responsible, and whether the crown prince had insisted on the removal of that demand, he did not answer.
If that is what happened, it should be a national disgrace, because it does not just make our country complicit in protecting the reputation of the crown prince, but in covering up the terrible toll of starvation that he has inflicted on the children of Yemen.

Music Video - Lokan do do yaar banaye - Afshan Zebi

Ghazal - Cupke Chupke Raat Din

Urdu Music - Mehdi Hassan ...Rafta Rafta Vo


#Quetta: Protest continues for safe release of #Baloch missing persons

Human rights activists and family members of Baloch missing persons have been protesting for the safe release of their loved ones outside the press club Quetta.

On Thursday along with family members of Baloch missing persons, a huge number of human rights activists, members of the civil society and lawyers carried out a protest outside the Press Club demanding safe release of forcefully abducted Baloch political activists, students’ leaders and people from different walks of life.
The campaigners, mainly, women, and children have been on hunger strike for almost a week. The Voice for Baloch Missing Persons (VBMP) is leading the campaign for more than ten years, under the leadership of chairman of VBMP Nasrullah Baloch and Vice Chairman Mama Qadeer Baloch.   
Currently, family members of Shabir Baloch, a Baloch student activist, have been protesting for the safe release of their family member. Shabir Baloch was whisked away by unidentified armed men from Gwarkup area on October 4, 2016 and is still missing. Sister of Shabir Baloch pleads Pakistani judiciary to help them recover Shabir Baloch.
Lashkari Raisani, a Baloch nationalist and leader of Balochistan National Party, in his recent visit to the camp questioned higher authorities and seconded the campaigners for their legal rights for demanding fair trial for the enforced disappeared Baloch under Pakistan’s constitution.

Free Balochistan Movement to organise protests, campaigns on International Human Rights Day

The Free Balochistan Movement has announced to hold protests and awareness campaigns on 10 December ‘International Human Rights Day’ in Europe and other countries across the globe.
The aim of the protests and awareness campaign, according to the FBM press statement, is to expose Pakistan’s war crimes in Balochistan including enforced-disappearances, the discovery of mutilated dead bodies and other human rights violations.
The FBM said that the issue of enforced-disappearances ‘missing persons’ is of grave concern and a serious issue. ‘At present Baloch mothers, sisters along with children are sitting on …

Video - Asia Bibi's daughter thanks mother's supporters from safe house in Pakistan

Asia Bibi's daughter, Eisham Ashiq, has thanked her mother's supporters after she was acquitted of blasphemy by a Pakistani court. Eisham was speaking from a safe house in the country for the first time since her mother's acquittal.

Bilawal Bhutto calls PM Imran Khan ‘weak and insecure’

Criticizing Prime Minister Imran Khan for allegedly ‘insulting his political opponents on foreign visits’, Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto has said that the premier is ‘weak and insecure’.
Addressing the media on Thursday in Gilgit, the PPP leader said that PM Khan’s behavior is unprofessional as instead of representing the government, he criticizes his political opponents. He further said that PM Khan was weak and insecure. Bhutto also alleged that the premier formed his government by stealing votes.
He contended that the prime minister wanted to pressurize his opponents by taking revenge so that they do not oppose him. He further said that the government should implement the same law for everyone and hold people accountable without discrimination, local media reported.
The PPP chairman added that his party had countered dictators generals Ziaul Haq and Pervez Musharraf. He added that his party will counter this ‘puppet government’ as well.
Addressing a rally during his visit in Gilgit, Bhutto said that PPP had a relationship with Gilgit for three generations. He said PPP will continue to struggle for the rights, development and welfare of Gilgit-Baltistan.
He said that the ruling government’s slogan of change started with a Rs41 billion cut in G-B development budget. “Roti is being sold for Rs10 and naan for Rs15. This is Naya Pakistan.” He said in Naya Pakistan nobody’s life and property were safe.

Chairman PPP Bilawal Bhutto appreciates the decision to open Kartarpur border corridor by Pakistani and Indian governments for Sikh pilgrims

Chairman Pakistan Peoples Party appreciated the decision to open Kartarpur border corridor by Pakistani and Indian governments for Sikh pilgrims, and welcomed the Sikh pilgrims who had travelled to Pakistan to visit the Gurdwara Darbar Sahib.

Recognising the decision as the fulfillment of the dream of former Prime Minister Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto after a quarter century, he recalled that Prime Minister Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto had first proposed to grant a visa-less free corridor to Kartarpur shrine from the Indian border. Since then Sikh devotees had been impressing upon the Government of India to accept Pakistan’s proposal and facilitate Sikh pilgrims visiting their holy shrine.
Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said that PPP always stood for people to people contact between the two neighbouring countries and every government led by PPP had taken significant steps to facilitate the Sikh, Hindu and Buddhist pilgrims from India and the world over, to visit their sacred places.
He pledged that PPP would continue to initiate and support more facilities for non-Muslim pilgrims to visit their holy places in Pakistan.

Money, honour, hope – Why Donald Trump’s US & Imran Khan’s #Pakistan are having an open spat

New Twitter spat between Donald Trump and Imran Khan is actually an old argument.

The exchange of tough messages over the last few days on Twitter between American president Donald Trump and Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan created news but was nothing new. Trump accused Pakistan of not doing “a damn thing for us” and Khan replied with a list of costs incurred by Pakistan on behalf of the United States.
Leaders of the two countries have been having similar arguments since 1965, when the US suspended military supplies to Pakistan during its war with India.
Three American presidents — Dwight D. Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy, and Lyndon B. Johnson — have asked the question: What do we get from aiding Pakistan? Five — Jimmy Carter, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama — have wondered aloud about whether Pakistan’s leaders can be trusted to keep their word.
Pakistan had retorted then that the ungrateful Americans had hurt Pakistan in the middle of a war even though Pakistan took risks in helping the Americans spy on the Soviet Union. Americans argued that they had paid Pakistan for its services with good money and Pakistan had violated the terms under which it acquired US weapons by initiating war with India.
The argument about who wronged whom has taken many twists and turns but its nature has changed little. The bottom line is that the US-Pakistan relationship has been transactional and both sides periodically disagree on the terms of their transaction.
Over the last two decades, US-Pakistan relations have often been described as America’s most difficult external relationship. Although the two countries have been nominal allies dating back to Pakistan’s independence in 1947, their relationship has never been free of friction.
Even in its heyday in the 1950s and 1960s – when Pakistan was described as America’s “most allied ally in Asia”– the US-Pakistan partnership was far from an alliance based on shared values and interests; instead, each of the two partners was always preoccupied with confronting different enemies and pinning different expectations to their association.
Pakistan’s motive in pursuing an alliance with the United States was its quest for security against its much larger neighbour, India. Pakistan has repeatedly turned to the United States as its most significant source of expensive weapons and economic aid.
Although, in the hope of winning US support for Pakistan’s regional aims, Pakistani leaders have assured US officials that they share the United States’ global security concerns. Pakistan has been repeatedly disappointed because the United States does not share Pakistan’s fears of Indian hegemony in South Asia.
For its part, the United States has also chased a mirage when it has assumed that, over time, its assistance to Pakistan would engender a sense of security among Pakistanis, thereby leading to a change in Pakistan’s priorities and objectives.
The United States initially poured money and arms into Pakistan in the hope of building a major fighting force, which could assist in defending Asia against Communism. Pakistan repeatedly failed to live up to its promises to provide troops for any of the wars the United States fought against Communist forces, instead using American weapons in its conflict with India.
Furthermore, the US hopes of persuading Pakistan to give up or curtail its nuclear weapons programme or to stop using Jihadi militants as proxies in regional conflicts have similarly proved futile.
Meanwhile, in Pakistan, successive governments have spent a lot of time trying to figure out how to maintain Pakistan’s freedom of action while depending on American aid. But neither country has changed its core policies nor have they given up the hope that the other will change.
Both sides have their own narrative, making it a tale of exaggerated expectations, broken promises, and disastrous misunderstandings.
President Trump might be incorrect in saying that Pakistan has not done anything for the US because over the decades, Pakistan has helped the United States with some of its policy objectives. He is right in noting that Pakistan has offered tactical cooperation in return for aid, while at the same time undermining strategic objectives of the US.
As I have already told PTI, Pakistani leaders, too, are being disingenuous in describing the US as ‘ungrateful’. Americans have provided over $43 billion in military and economic assistance since 1954, helped build Pakistan’s conventional military capability, and bailed Pakistan out of several economic and political crises.
The U.S. has also ignored or treaded lightly with Pakistan over actions that have resulted in strenuous sanctions for other countries. Pakistan’s open support for Jihadi terrorist groups has not resulted in it being labelled a “state sponsor of terrorism” and its pursuit and acquisition of nuclear weapons has been treated differently than, say, Iran or North Korea.
In the process of seeking transactional advantages, both countries have incurred strategic costs. The Americans have been mired in the long-drawn conflict in Afghanistan because of the unrealistic assumption that economic and military assistance would somehow help Pakistan root out its proxies in Afghanistan – the Afghan Taliban.
Pakistan, on the other hand, has had to pretend to be a US ally even in Afghanistan even though its self-defined national interest there did not coincide with the American objectives. This led to the “deceit and lies” that Trump complains about as well as the “costs to Pakistan” that are at the heart of Imran Khan’s grievance.
Trump and many Americans now recognise that an alliance cannot endure amidst a fundamental divergence of interests. Khan’s assertion that “Pak[istan] has suffered enough fighting US’s war. Now we will do what is best for our people and our interests,” reflects Pakistani sentiment. Although it begs the question why successive Pakistani governments have agreed to be an American ally if the alliance did not serve Pakistan’s interests?
It is difficult to recall another country that says that it acted against its own interests for the sake of an ally like Pakistan does or one that demands recompense for losses it incurred. In any case, few outside Pakistan buy into the mantra of “We did it for the US even though it resulted in the killing of our own people and huge losses to our economy”.
Pakistan’s narrative is said to be about national honour, which gets hurt by any negative remark by an American leader, but Pakistan’s policy has always been pragmatic.
Pakistan’s perennial need for aid and loans, as well as military material, was the basis of its elite’s pursuit of an alliance relationship with the United States. As long as that need persists, Islamabad would continue to be tempted to go back to old transactional patterns.
It is the Americans who are less likely to return to what I describe in my book as ‘magnificent delusions’. Not only do Pakistan’s ambitions in Afghanistan conflict with US plans, but the two countries strongly disagree about China’s expanding influence in Asia.
Only a strategic rethink on the part of Pakistan can lead to a reset in US-Pakistan ties. Until then, occasional Twitter spats and “we paid a heavy price for being your ally” statements will continue to characterise this unusual relationship.