Sunday, August 18, 2019

Video Report - Full Interview: Anderson Cooper Talks To Stephen Colbert About Trump and His Policy

Video Report - Majority of House Democrats Total Attack Trump With Impeachment Vote

Video Report - What one Greenland town thinks of Trump's interest in buying the island

Video Report - #Buttigieg calls Trump's China tariffs 'a fool's errand'

Video Report - Is Donald Trump in a rush to withdraw from #Afghanistan?

Pashto Music - Ustad Awalimir - Afghanistan Da Zamong Zeba Watan

Pashto Music - اے زما وطنه د لالونو خزانى زما

Video Report - How the US should leave #Afghanistan

The Uncomfortable Truth about Afghanistan's Future

By Paul R. Pillar
Kabul must learn to grapple with its Taliban
Anyone looking in Afghanistan for an easily understood story of good versus evil, or moderation versus extremism, will be disappointed. That war-torn country is a congeries of conflicts with diverse ethnic, sectarian, and ideological overtones. Battles are fought between antagonists who hate each other but each exemplify values far different from anything that Americans would identify with or want to defend. And that’s just the internal Afghan conflicts, on top of which is the added complexity of external involvement by Pakistan, India, and others.
Such a place is unfavorable territory for prosecuting what has become America’s longest war, which has no military solution in sight. President Donald Trump is right to seek a negotiated agreement that would permit a U.S. military withdrawal, even though his diplomatic clumsiness, on display during a meeting with the Pakistani prime minister, needlessly offended Afghans with talk about how he could wipe Afghanistan off the face of the Earth if he chose to, and needlessly angered Indians with his false claim that New Delhi wanted him to mediate the Kashmir dispute.
Whatever agreement emerges from ongoing negotiations between the Afghan Taliban and U.S. envoy Zalmay Khalilzad is sure to face criticism from people in Washington quick to focus on what an undesirable lot the Taliban are. Indeed, there is much to loathe about the Taliban’s domestic policies, especially regarding their medieval views about the role of women. But the critics should keep in mind the complexities of Afghan conflict and which, if any, issues involving Afghanistan really are important enough to the United States to become make-or-break issues in negotiations.
International terrorism, which can affect U.S. interests, is probably the most often cited rationale for U.S. military involvement in Afghanistan. The rationale routinely overstates the supposed uniqueness of Afghanistan as a base for terrorists, an overstatement that projects into the future some irreproducible circumstances of the past. Nonetheless, there are real terrorists in Afghanistan, and on this issue it is worth reflecting on somereporting by Washington Post columnist David Ignatius during a recent visit there. Ignatius refers to fighting between the Taliban and the Afghan affiliate of the Islamic State or ISIS. In a couple of provinces in the north and west of the country, ISIS fighters faced a “double whammy: U.S. counterterrorism forces struck the top leadership, and mainstream Taliban fighters cleaned up the rest.” The fact that the Taliban and the United States share a common enemy in the form of ISIS leads Ignatius to wonder, “Could the United States and the Taliban quietly cooperate against a common enemy, after a peace deal?”
Setting aside details about what this might imply regarding any residual U.S. military presence, more fundamental observations follow from this line-up of conflict and cooperation. One is that the Afghan Taliban are not international terrorists. They never have been, even when, in a marriage of convenience, they hosted Osama bin Laden’s organization to get its help in the Afghan civil war than raging. The Taliban think negative and violent thoughts about the United States only insofar as the United States interferes with the Taliban’s objectives regarding the organization of politics and society inside Afghanistan.Another observation is that even loathsome actors can be counterterrorist partners. Indeed, the story of counterterrorism worldwide is filled with strange bedfellows, although most of the cooperation that matters takes place out of public view. What’s more, a loathsome but local partner may be even more effective in the counterterrorist tasks that matter most than the United States would be. When someone else can do the fighting and dying for their own local reasons, and to combat an international terrorist group in the process, so much the better for the United States.
Finally, doing business with a distasteful element such as the Taliban, only some of whose interests parallel those of the United States, is not a reason to tie the United States to everything else such an element does. Nor is it a reason similarly to tie any other outside actor that has specific reasons to do business with the Taliban. The Trump administration, as part of its misrepresentation-filled campaign of stoking hostility toward Iran, has gone so far as to blame Iran for car bombs in Afghanistan that Tehran probably had nothing to do with. On the eve of a possible U.S. agreement with the Taliban, which will be followed by the Taliban continuing to blow things up as it fights its enemies within Afghanistan, the administration needs to be more careful about such stone-throwing
Iran, by the way, has interests regarding Afghanistan, the Afghan civil war, and terrorism that closely parallel the interests of the United States—just as it did in the first few months of the U.S. intervention, when Iran provided critical help in midwifing a new Afghan government to replace the Taliban. Iranian interests have suffered in the past at the hands of the Taliban, and in more recent years from attacks by ISIS. There is no shortage of strange bedfellows in combating the likes of ISIS.Whenever Ambassador Khalilzad’s negotiations bear fruit, the result should be judged not by the company that the United States has been keeping in the negotiating room but instead by how well the result upholds genuine U.S. interests while extracting it from its longest war in history.

The deadliest attack of the year in Kabul bodes poorly for the US-Taliban deal

US-Taliban peace talks are nearing their conclusion, but a terror attack in Afghanistan’s capital that killed at least 63 people gives credence to critics who claim the deal will be a disaster for Afghans.
A suicide-bomb blast killed at least 63 people at a wedding party in Kabul on Saturday night, and injured 182 more.
It was the most lethal attack in Afghanistan’s capital this year, and it comes at a sensitive time: the US and the Taliban are in the final stages of negotiating a deal that would allow the US to withdraw its troops from the country provided that certain security goals are met.
The Taliban denied responsibility for the attack and condemned it, and the local affiliate of ISIS claimed that it was behind the bombing.
The president of Afghanistan, Ashraf Ghani, however, said that he believed Taliban insurgents were culpable on some level.
“Taliban cannot absolve themselves of blame, for they provide platform for terrorists,” he tweeted after the attack. He also called for a day of mourning.
More than a thousand guests had gathered for the wedding, and both the bride and groom lost dozens of family members and friends. The groom told a local television station: “My family, my bride are in shock, they cannot even speak. My bride keeps fainting.”
According to the New York Times, the wedding hall is in an area in West Kabul in which ethnic Hazaras, who are predominantly Shiite, live. ISIS has repeatedly attacked that neighborhood with suicide attacks in recent years.

Could this complicate the US-Taliban deal?

While ISIS has claimed responsibility for the attack and the Taliban have condemned it, not all Afghans are convinced that the Taliban’s hands are clean.
“They are responsible in the eyes of Afghans. They have turned a country of 30 million people into a slaughterhouse,” Tabish Forugh, an Afghan journalist, said of the Taliban after the attack, according to Reuters. “We should not surrender to Taliban terror.”
Sana Safi, an Afghan journalist with BBC, also cast doubt on the Taliban’s denial.
“Who else is capable of carrying out such brutality?” she tweeted after the attack. “So ‘peace agreement’ with the Taliban isn’t going to end the bloodshed for ordinary Afghans?”
Doubt about the honesty of the Taliban could potentially complicate the finalization of a US-Taliban deal intended to make the US’s withdrawal from Afghanistan as smooth as possible.
The premise for the deal is that the US will begin a phased withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan if the Taliban agrees to cut off all ties with extremist Islamist groups and prevent them from operating in territories that they control in Afghanistan. The deal is also meant to create a framework for a ceasefire and peace talks between the Taliban and the national government.
However, Afghanistan’s government has not been involved in negotiating the agreement, and the deal as currently drafted does not grant the Afghan people any protections from Taliban attacks. Critics, including military officials and congressional Republicans, have argued that in having failed to extract a commitment of protection from the Taliban, US negotiators are leaving innocent people to die.
And while the Taliban have claimed they are not responsible for Saturday’s wedding attack, they have claimed responsibility for a number of other recent, deadly attacks, many of which were carried out as the organization was negotiating with the US. In July, for instance, the group took responsibility for the bulk of 1,500 Afghan civilian casualties wounded or killed in terror attacks, and in early August, Taliban operatives killed 14 people and wounded 145 others in Kabul.
Despite this, President Trump has continued to push for a deal, hoping to withdraw all US troops from Afghanistan before the 2020 presidential election.
The US originally invaded Afghanistan 18 years ago because the Taliban gave safe haven to Osama bin Laden in the run-up to the 9/11 attacks. While the US was able to topple the Taliban government, it has never been able to fully quash the fundamentalist movement. Now the US is trying to find a compromise with them and find a way to withdraw while minimizing future security risks for US interests.
In order for the deal to work, the US needs to believe that the Taliban won’t covertly back or turn a blind eye to terrorists in Afghanistan. Critics of the deal say this is exactly what will happen once the US leaves the country, and attacks like the wedding blast will only serve to weaken the argument of those in the White House who say it will not.
For now, however, preparations to conclude the talks continue, and the deal is expected to be completed within the next week, ahead of an informal September deadline.

#Kashmir Vs #Pakistan - Promises broken and kept - #Pakistan must fulfil promises made to its own citizens.

By Pervez Hoodbhoy

NO Indian prime minister could have stated his promise to Kashmiris more clearly, eloquently and unequivocally: “We do not want to win people against their will and with the help of armed force; and, if the people of Jammu and Kashmir State wish to part company with us, they can go their way and we shall go ours. We want no forced marriages, no forced unions” (Jawaharlal Nehru, Aug 7, 1952).
This solemn commitment was soon broken but not all was lost. Articles 370 and 35-A of the Indian constitution granted India-held Kashmir an autonomous status within the Indian union. Howsoever unsatisfactory and diluted by subsequent governments, in principle, they provided some measure of self-rule. But last week, almost exactly 67 years later, the remaining bits were blasted away when the Modi government revoked these articles.In a world increasingly tolerant of majoritarian diktat, no global outcry followed. Awed by India’s economic might and growing political clout, the OIC limited itself to the “curtailment of religious freedoms of Kashmiri Muslims”. China took the opportunity to emphasise its own dispute over Aksai-Chin, stopping well short of condemning India. Most disappointingly, for all the red carpets, rose showers, and personal chauffeuring by Prime Minister Khan, MBS of Saudi Arabia kept his royal mouth tightly shut. The UAE went with India.
Pakistan has kept its commitments to Kashmiris; now it must fulfil promises made to its own citizens.
Friendless, and with the euphoric spurt from Trump’s off-the-cuff mediation offer gone in a puff of smoke, Pakistan says it will still continue to fight back. Our leaders say that to do nothing would violate our 70-year-old commitment to the people of Kashmir to whom we promised political, moral, and diplomatic (PMD) support. Indeed, for 70 years Pakistan has copiously supplied PMD support — followed by support that went well beyond PMD. The latter has come back to haunt; the sword of FATF hangs in full view. To let it fall invites economic catastrophe; to work around it risks perils and pitfalls.
Let’s examine the options available to Pakistan.
Building upon BBC reports and the harrowing news leaking out of Kashmir, Pakistan could focus upon the tribulations of an occupied population. More PMD stuff is easily doable — fly Pakistani and Kashmiri flags together on national days in Pakistan and its overseas embassies; instead of the annual Kashmir Day (Feb 5) make total national shutdowns biannual or perhaps even monthly; bring still more energetic speakers like Zaid Hamid on to TV screens; start morning school assemblies with pledges to liberate Kashmir; etc.
What then? Jacking up public fervour takes little. But as expectations rise, so will the clamour to do more. This shall challenge the Pakistani state, and appeal to discordant voices within the establishment. Public rumblings against the no-war line taken by Prime Minister Khan and Foreign Minister Qureshi — who presumably took it after GHQ nodded its approval — are already audible. There is talk of betrayal.
This is an open vulnerability awaiting exploitation by a desperate opposition that is being hounded to the ground by Khan. Unprincipled politicians could make passionate appeals to a charged public that thinks war with India just means downing a few more Bisons and capturing more Abhinandans. The establishment’s inaction will seem inexplicable. Just as Musharraf was pilloried after 9/11 for being an American stooge and then targeted by suicide attacks, Khan and company could be held as sellouts to the IMF for unduly harassing Hafiz Saeed and Masood Azhar.This challenge can only increase in severity in the months ahead. Kashmiris, whether aided or unaided by Pakistan, are bound to react against yet more brutalisation. More Pakistani flags will appear in protest demonstrations but Modi has taken the gamble of his life and doesn’t care. He will simply lay the blame for another Pulwama on Pakistan’s doorstep. How clean and limited the subsequent Indian surgical strike will be — and similarly for the expected counterstrike by Pakistan — one cannot predict.On the diplomatic front, Pakistan could engage pricey PR firms, send swarms of diplomats abroad, and require its foreign minister to hop non-stop from one capital to the next. Prime Minister Khan, in his speech before the Azad Kashmir Assembly, promised to become Kashmir’s ambassador to the world. He is trying his best. One doesn’t know if Trump will pick up the phone, but so far Khan’s calls to Boris Johnson, Mohammad bin Sultan, and Tayyip Erdogan have produced plain vanilla stuff. It’s not his fault — Nawaz Sharif too had tried and then let his failure eventually dribble through ‘Dawn leaks’.
On the nuclear side, there’s not much to be done. Adding a few more warheads, SLBMs, TNWs, cruise missiles, or increasing ranges and accuracies will have zero effect upon Kashmir. Many years ago, Pakistan and India crossed the point where they could mutually obliterate each other. This, for better or worse, means that the LoC has been frozen. Apart from occasional fiery threats from second-tier political leaders, both countries carefully avoided mention of nuclear weapons after Pulwama. This is very different from the shrillness during India-Pakistan crises in 2002 (Parakaram), 1999 (Kargil), May 1990, and possibly 1987 (Brasstacks).
Pakistan has fulfilled its PMD commitments to the people of Kashmir and done every bit it could. Now it must repair the broken commitments made earlier to the people of Pakistan. The country is in bad shape. It is financially desperate; science and technology-wise it stands nowhere; the largely unskilled workforce is unequipped for a modern economy; population rise is out of control; education is of abysmal quality and access to it is small; work ethics are poor and the citizenry prone to violent behaviour. It has been outstripped by Bangladesh which now enjoys a higher GNP per capita, has much greater foreign exchange reserves, a tight lid on population growth, and offers a much wider net of social services.
The solemn commitments made to the people of Pakistan by every subsequent political leader since Mohammad Ali Jinnah must finally be taken seriously. Although the window is narrowing, it can still be done. The condition: prioritise social welfare and economic development. All else must perforce take care of itself — we come first, everyone else comes second.

To understand Modi’s new #Kashmir reality, these 5 liberal myths need to be broken

Kashmir has a new status quo & Pakistan can risk breaking it. A solution can be found only after accepting that the existing borders are permanent.

Before searching for a solution to the Kashmir problem, we should understand it better. There are deadly perils in jumping in with solutions without first understanding the facts and realities. Only quacks — or maybe faith-healers — prescribe medication for chronic ailments without arriving at a reasoned diagnosis.
There are three sets of solutions today from three categories of these “faith-healers”. First, in India, the establishment view, which finds wide popular support, is that the only problem in Kashmir is Pakistan, and the radical Islam it exports there along with rifles, rocket-launchers and RDX. Get the Pakistanis off our backs, and you shoot a sequel to Kashmir Ki Kali in Dal Lake.
The Pakistani establishment fantasy, again with wide public support, is the exact opposite: Get the Indians out by pushing, pinching, bleeding them. We defeated Soviets and Americans in Afghanistan. What is India? Then, you can integrate all of Kashmir as the fifth province of Pakistan.
The third category in our analysis today is the small but articulate and doughty group of Indian liberals. They accept that Kashmir’s accession to India isn’t final, that the will of the Kashmiris is paramount and it hasn’t yet been sought. To that extent, their basic demands for plebiscite, autonomy, even independence, are legitimate. You can’t keep them with India by using state and military power.

Philosophically, it is difficult to argue with this: India is a voluntary federation of states, so how can you force people to stay with you if they don’t want it? No surprise that this view also finds sympathy among a lot of fundamentally liberal and young elites. I understand the perils in picking an argument with them because this very position gives them the higher moral ground. But we live dangerously.
et’s break it down to five fundamental pillars on which this current liberal position rests:
1. India made a commitment to a plebiscite in the United Nations Security Council Resolutions of 1947-48. Why did it violate these?
The fact is, both India and Pakistan made this commitment. Both broke it as well. If you read the text of the resolution (47), however, you will see a three-step ladder. The first was Pakistan withdrawing all its forces from Kashmir and then making “best endeavours” to ensure all others (we will call them jihadis today) leave as well. It never happened.
The next two steps were India thinning its troops to the minimum needed, setting up an all-party government, and then for a plebiscite to be held under a UN-appointed governor. Pakistan didn’t take the first step. India wasn’t jumping to take the next two.
2. Most Kashmiris want neither India nor Pakistan. They want freedom, or azaadi. How can you deny it to them? Think referendum, think Quebec, Scotland, or Brexit.
Once again, read the resolutions. It will take you three minutes. They do not provide independence or azaadi as an option. The choice is India or Pakistan.
Pakistan’s supposed support for Kashmiri “azaadi” is fraudulent, but it has also had some Goebbelsian success with this great deception that Pakistanis back freedom for Kashmiris. Pakistan has built this masterfully over 70 years, calling the part of Kashmir occupied by it ‘Azad Kashmir’.
Since Pakistanis claim all of Kashmir, shouldn’t they be calling it their state of Jammu and Kashmir as well? No. Because that will expose their hypocrisy in using azaadi as a cover for territorial capture. Google if there are any statements from any Pakistani leaders of consequence offering azaadi as an option. I find none. If you buy into that azaadi fantasy, please do. You can’t sell it to the rest of India.
3. Can you hold for ever a territory and people by military power?
The answer is a counter-question: Can you take away a territory and people from another country through military power? Pakistan tried this. Twice, in 1947-48 and 1965 through direct military invasion, and 1989 onwards with proxy war. There was also the little madness of Kargil 1999. These are facts. You need to understand Nehru’s shift on the UN resolutions from mid-1953 onwards. The Cold War was then ratcheting up, and Kashmir’s geography trapped it into a unique pincer where the Great Game hadn’t ended. Foreseeing trouble, he moved to integrate Kashmir in 1953 with Sheikh Abdullah’s arrest. In the next two years, Pakistan had joined the US-led Baghdad Pact, SEATO etc. It began tilting the military balance in its favour over the next decade. Ultimately it was Nehru’s pre-emptive action that saved Kashmir from military (not plebiscite-led) capture.
The Pakistanis waited until they felt they had built sufficient military advantage, caught India in a period of weakness — military recovering from the 1962 debacle, Nehru’s death, food shortages — and used its full US-armed and trained military might (read up on Op Gibraltar and Op Grand Slam) to take Kashmir, but failed.
This was the last time Pakistan could have taken Kashmir by direct military force. And it hadn’t sent its troops and tanks to win Kashmiris azaadi.
These three pretty much account for the twists and turns in the Kashmir story in its first UN-to-Simla epoch (1947-72), though at a kind of digital pace in fast-forward. That brings us to the fourth:
4. Why is the Modi government not settling Kashmir according to the Simla Agreement as even Imran Khan is now saying?
The answer again: Do read the short Simla Agreement. The literal sense is all India-Pakistan problems are now bilateral. Which means, no UN resolutions. The spirit was, both realise that none can take any territory by force. So, rename the Cease Fire Line (CFL) as the Line of Control (LoC) and work on persuading your people to accept it as the border. Why this wasn’t stated more explicitly is a brilliant subject for some genuine scholar, for a book called “The Guilty Indians (not just men) of Simla”.
But the spirit was betrayed as soon as the prisoners of war returned. Zulfikar Ali Bhutto began Islamising his country (yes, he did, not Zia), hosted the Organisation of Islamic Conference summit in Lahore, even named its cricket stadium after Muammar Gaddafi as he launched a fund-raiser for his “Islamic Bomb”.
The cool breeze of Simla lasted only until the bomb was ready. By 1989, Pakistan was back in “action”, trying to take Kashmir with force again, avoiding direct confrontation which it knew it would lose.
The Simla Agreement was indeed violated. Only by Pakistan.
5. But the Kashmiris don’t want to be with you, what can you do?
Again, a counter-question: Who are the Kashmiris? The Right-Nationalists are missing nuance when they say just 10 districts of the Valley can’t speak for all of the state. Because these represent the state’s majority. The liberal argument is more flawed. If the majority view of Valley Muslims then subsumes the sizeable minorities of the state, what do we do for the view of the rest, about 99.5 per cent of India? Can you have the democratic logic of majority work in one place and not in the other?
Whether you like Narendra Modi or not, he has now broken the post-Simla status quo. Pakistan’s space for sub-military manoeuvre is gone. No political party of consequence is questioning the abrogation of Article 370, only the method.
There is a new status quo now. Pakistan can risk breaking it. There is a problem in Kashmir, with anger, alienation, violence, human rights abuses, and it needs addressing. It must begin with accepting that the borders today are the permanent borders of India and Pakistan. We shouldn’t need Bill Clinton to come here and tell us that maps of the region can no longer be redrawn with blood. Once you accept this reality, you can argue about the future.

United Arab Emirates backs India on Article 370, says Kashmir its internal matter

Dr Al Banna commented that from his understanding the reorganisation of states is not a unique incident in the history of independent India and that it was mainly aimed at reducing regional disparity and improving efficiency.

United Arab Emirates (UAE) Ambassador to India Dr Ahmad Al Banna reacted to Article 370 Jammu and Kashmir decision on Tuesday.
United Arab Emirates Ambassador to India Dr Ahmad Al Banna expressed hope that Article 370 Jammu and Kashmir decision would help improve the social and economic conditions in Jammu and Kashmir.
The UAE has taken note of the Indian government's decision of non-operationalisation of some sections of Article 370 of the Indian Constitution related to the state of Jammu and Kashmir, Dr Ahmad Al Banna, the UAE ambassador to India, said.
Dr Al Banna sauid, "We also took note of the introduction of Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Bill in the Indian Parliament aimed at replacing Article 370 with the creation of Ladakh region and the state of Jammu and Kashmir as India's two new Union Territories."
Dr Al Banna commented that from his understanding the reorganisation of states is not a unique incident in the history of independent India and that it was mainly aimed at reducing regional disparity and improving efficiency.
Dr Al Banna viewed this latest decision related to the state of Jammu and Kashmir as an internal matter as stipulated by the Indian Constitution.

After Kashmir backing, PM Modi to visit UAE, Bahrain from August 23

Days after the UAE openly backed India over its Kashmir move, PM Modi is set to pay a two-day state visit to Abu Dhabi from August 23.

Days after the UAE openly backed India over its Kashmir move, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is set to pay a two-day state visit to Abu Dhabi from August 23, and also to Bahrain, where the administration cracked down on Pakistanis holding an anti-India demonstration last week.
The UAE, which shares close bonds with India, had on August 6 said that the Indian government's decision to abrogate Article 370 that gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir was an internal matter of India aimed at improving efficiency.
During his visit, Modi would meet the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, to discuss bilateral, regional and international matters of mutual interest.
The Prime Minister would receive the Order of Zayed, the highest civil decoration of the UAE, which was conferred earlier in April 2019 in recognition of the distinguished leadership of Modi for giving a big boost to bilateral relations between the two countries, an MEA statement said.
The award in the name of Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the founding father of the UAE, acquires special significance as it was awarded to Modi in the year of the birth centenary of Sheikh Zayed.
India-UAE ties were elevated in 2015 to a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership. In February 2018, Modi visited the UAE as Chief Guest at the World Government Summit. The Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi was the Chief Guest at the Republic Day celebrations in 2017.
India-UAE bilateral trade stands at $60 billion, and the UAE is India's third-largest trade partner. The UAE is also the fourth-largest exporter of crude oil for India and is home to a 3.3 million-strong Indian community.
The Prime Minister would pay a state visit to the Kingdom of Bahrain from August 24-25 in the first ever Prime Ministerial visit from India to Bahrain.
Last week, the Bahrain government had cracked down on a protest carried out by Pakistanis and some Bangladeshis over the Indian government's decision to revoke Jammu and Kashmir's special status.
The rally was conducted after Eid prayers in Bahrain. Tweeting about the action taken, Bahrain's interior ministry had said that the local police had initiated legal proceedings against the protestors.
Last week, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan was given a cold shoulder when he called up Bahraini King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa to complain about India's moves on Kashmir. King Hamad had told Imran that Bahrain was closely analysing the situation in Kashmir and that all issues should be resolved through negotiations.
During his visit, Modi would meet and hold talks with Prince Shaikh Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa, Prime Minister of Bahrain, to discuss the entire spectrum of bilateral relations and also regional and international issues of mutual interest. The Bahraini King would host a banquet dinner in honour of Modi.
Modi would also launch the renovation of Shreenathji (Shree Krishna) temple in Manama.
India enjoys close and friendly relations with Bahrain, rooted in ancient trade and cultural links and people-to-people contacts and underpinned by regular exchange of high-level visits.
India-Bahrain bilateral trade has been on the rise for the last few years, reaching about $1.3 billion in 2018-19.
About 3,50,000 Indian nationals, the largest expatriate community in Bahrain, has been contributing to the development of Bahrain. The presence of over 3,000 Indian-owned/joint ventures in Bahrain indicates the intense economic engagement between the two countries.
The visit will provide an opportunity to further cement the mutually beneficial bilateral ties with Bahrain, an MEA statement said.

#Pakistan - #PTI failed to deliver in first year of office

Sindh Minister for Information & Archives Saeed Ghani has said that the one year rule of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) had so far been full of blunders and despair. He said that incompetence, inexperience, ineptitude, incapability, and self-righteousness are the hallmark of the PTI government.
In a statement issued here on Sunday, Saeed Ghani said that the promise of good governance seemed far from being fulfilled. Instead, bedlam, dysfunctioning of administration, chaos, and mayhem remained the buzzword during the last one year, he added.
He said that leaders of the PTI should not have made overstatements before coming to power. Ghani said that the people of the country went through the most difficult times of their lives during the first year of the PTI regime.
The provincial minister said that Prime Minister Imran Khan was doing everything that he had censured the previous governments for. He said that the prime minister failed to deliver on every promise he made before coming to power and the performance of his cabinet during last year was quite reprehensible. Every scheme that had been once labeled by Imran Khan as ‘legalized corruption’ had now been adopted by him, he added.
He said that people had been only given a pack of lies during last year. He said that for Imran Khan taking U-turns was the quality of good leadership. He said that economic turmoil was another feature of the PTI government during its first year. His so-called austerity drive was also just nominal as the order of 70 luxury vehicles for his Punjab cabinet ministers was no more a secret, he maintained.
Saeed Ghani further stated that the cost of these vehicles was much higher than the money fetched by selling the luxury vehicles of the Prime Minister House. The performance of the PTI for the last one year was neither striking nor impressive but it was full of lies and U-turns, he added.
He said that instead of creating 10 million jobs and building five million homes the PTI regime’s policies had resulted in unemployment and homelessness. People today were unable to acquire and maintain regular, safe, secure and adequate housing due to unsteady income which was a result of the unplanned economic policies of Niazi’s regime, he stated.
He said that owing to constant partial accountability and use of National Accountability Bureau (NAB) for personal vendetta the bureaucracy was not willing to take responsibility for any decision. Even after the premature change of financial authorities, the tax reforms of the present regime had also failed miserably, he added.