Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Music Video - Googoosh - Man Amadeam گوگوش - من آمدم

Video Report - Forced & Enforced conversion. Situation of religious minorities in Pakistan.

PM Imran Khan has had more failures than successes: Aseefa

Aseefa Bhutto Zardari, the daughter of former president Asif Ali Zardari, sees a lot of similarities between Prime Minister Imran Khan’s government and the dictatorship of Gen (r) Pervez Musharraf.
While evaluating the one-year performance of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) in an interview with the BBC Urdu Service, she noted that PM Khan “has the same cabinet ministers as Musharraf had”. “Imran Khan has had more failures than successes. 

There has been a crackdown on freedom of speech, freedom of association, human rights – these are all happening under his term,” she said. The daughter of the PPP chief also targeted the prime minister over his past promises. She said, “He [Imran Khan] had promised the Pakistani people that he would create 10 million jobs. However, he has yet to create a single job. He has actually created more instability and many millions of people have been laid off due to this economic instability.“He promised he would make five million homes. He is yet to make one house and has [instead] destroyed millions [of homes].“He promised that he would rather commit suicide than go asking other nations for aid; however, he is seen in every single country with the same begging bowl in his hand,” she said. Talking about inflation, she said, “If you ask the ordinary person, the common man of the streets, they will tell you that inflation is at an all-time high; unemployment is at an all-time high. They will tell you that the electricity is expensive, bread is expensive and gas is expensive, the cost of living is expensive, and even death is expensive in Pakistan.” “This is what is happening today in Imran Khan’s Pakistan – U-turn after U-turn,” she said. 

 She also compared the incumbent regime with the former government of the PPP, describing the Zardari-led party’s tenure as “better” than the current government. “If you compare this with the PPP government – despite a world recession, despite the war on terrorism, despite two natural disasters – the PPP was able to create six million jobs. It created the first social net for millions of Pakistanis from across Pakistan, the Benazir Income Support Programme. “Former president Zardari strengthened ties with China by creating the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, which is going to create economic opportunity for Pakistan and will benefit the region also. We restored the 1973 Constitution; we gave provinces greater power. This and many other things are the reason why the PPP government was centered on people’s rights and opportunities for everyone. Imran Khan’s government is none of these things,” she claimed. 

 Talking about her motivation to join politics despite hardships, she said that she had lost her grandfather, her mother and said her family “had made a lot of sacrifices”. “One only needs to go to Ghari Khuda Baksh to see how many of my family members have been sacrificed for Pakistan. The options [for me] are to either remain silent or speak up. My grandfather chose to speak up for the people’s rights. My mother chose to speak up for the people’s rights, and my brother also speaks up for the people’s rights on the basis of my grandfather’s mission and my mother’s vision.” “My brother speaks for the entire Pakistan, and we will therefore continue to speak up and stand by our chairman, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari.”
Kashmir issue
Aseefa criticised the PTI-led government for its Kashmir policy as well. “Personally, I think that Imran Khan’s delayed speech in the parliament lacked direction. It was a failure. The foreign minister went to Azad Jammu and Kashmir and said that we should not expect much from the international community, which is ridiculous.” “It is outrageous what is happening in Kashmir, and there needs to be international as well as national outrage. I would like to reiterate what my father said on the parliamentary floor, that had this happened under his term, the first flight he would have taken would be to the United Arab Emirates, then to China, then to Russia, then to Iran to call upon our Muslims brothers and sisters and our allies to stand by us and denounce the fascist and humanitarian crisis that is happening in Kashmir.”
She said that the in this regard. “I think the international community needs to condemn the situation in Kashmir and much more. There is not enough condemnation for the situation in Kashmir.”“The state-backed atrocities in Jammu and Kashmir include women being raped, children being murdered, protesters being shot at. If anyone holds a Pakistan flag, soldiers think that they have a right to shot at them. These are grave human rights violations and the international world is silent and their silence is deafening,” she said.
Zardari’s health
She also reiterated her concerns over the health of her father, Asif Ali Zardari, who is currently incarcerated for his alleged role in a massive money laundering case. She demanded that the government shift the former president to a hospital for proper medical treatment.
“I first heard about the severity of the situation when a BBC article came out saying my father needed to go to a hospital and the government was reluctant to move him.”“I managed to come to Islamabad to meet my father, I had a court order in hand that gave me permission to meet him. However, once I arrived at the hospital, the authorities had locked all the doors. The patients were not allowed to come in or come out; citizens were not allowed to enter. I managed to enter and was waiting for my father to complete some tests.“While I was waiting for him and he was returning, some 30 policemen surrounded him. The women manhandled me, the men were pushing us back as well. I tried to catch a glimpse of my father but the police were determined not let my father see my face.
“I pushed through, I held his hand. I tried to walk into his room; however, the women police were still pulling me back and physically trying to restrain me from letting me bring my father to his hospital room.”
She said that she had spoken to Zardari’s doctors and they stated that they were very concerned as three of his arteries are blocked.
“He is not only a sugar patient, but due to his last 11-and-a-half-year incarceration and due to the torture he suffered, he developed severe back problems. His spinal issues have returned in his present condition.”
She said that her father’s doctors were under the impression that further tests needed to be conducted and further treatment needed to be continued in a hospital.
“Later on that day, I found out through the media that they shifted my father back to jail clearly without the doctors’ permission. The doctors were being pressurised before and the government clearly succeeded in pressurising them to send my father back to jail.”
“I am absolutely not satisfied with the treatment. My father needs to be in hospital under doctors’ observation until they say he is fit enough to go back to jail.”
Talking about the much-talked NRO – a plea bargain between her father and the government – she said, “The current government keeps saying that they are not interested in giving NRO, they won’t give an NRO: our response is who is asking for an NRO? My father spent 11-and-a-half years in jail, being tortured, and he never asked for an NRO.
“He does not have a single conviction against him and he will not make a deal. So I do not think my father will cut a deal anytime soon.”

Tweets, tantrums, half-truths – Pakistan minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi’s strategy for Kashmir

Pakistan foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi has long been seen as a Kashmir hawk, but the latest crisis has exposed his inadequacies only too well.

Pakistan’s foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi has been at the centre of several crises that have altered India-Pakistan relationship in the recent years.
He was the foreign minister during the Mumbai 26/11 terror attacks in 2008. His second stint, this time in the Imran Khan government, has been rocked by the Pulwama attack, the Balakot airstrikes and now the Modi government’s decision to abrogate Article 370 for Jammu and Kashmir.
But these moments of tensions appear to have done nothing to sharpen his diplomacy in the times of crisis.
Shah Mahmood Qureshi seems to have no concrete policy to deal with the situation arising out of revocation of Article 370. He appears to be more preoccupied with bombastic and vituperative tweets and press conference limelight. His Kashmir statements are in contrast to those of seasoned Indian diplomats, such as S. Jaishankar, Vijay Gokhale and Syed Akbaruddin, who have managed the Kashmir fallout internationally with backroom finesse and deft.
No longer on the back foot
Qureshi has, in recent months, followed Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan’s doctrine of throwing loud tantrums to draw attention. This includes exaggerated claims of genocide in Kashmir, painting a Palestine-like scenario, and even playing the victim card allegingimpending Indian aggression.
His incendiary rage in the last few weeks is in sharp contrast to the mild demeanour he displayed in the aftermath of the 26/11 attacks. What has not changed in all these years is his ability to peddle half-truths in impeccable anglicised English. Except Qureshi is no longer on the back foot this time as the crisis around Article 370 shows.
Qureshi has even acknowledged that the world isn’t paying attention to Kashmir like it used to. He lamented that despite repeatedly mentioning Kashmir to the global community and the publicity stunts (such as getting Pakistani citizens to stand and observe Kashmir Hour) to rake up the Kashmir cause, Islamabad hasn’t been able to move the needle.
The global community hasn’t really bought Islamabad’s championing of the human rights cause in its geopolitical quest for Kashmir. Qureshi said that Pakistan pledges to “guarantee the rights” of minorities and protect temples, churches and gurdwaras. Given that Islamabad has long abdicated the same rights for its minorities – Balochis, Pakthuns, Shias, Ahmadis, Parsis, Christians, Hindus and Sikhs – there are no takers for his pitch.

The 2008 crisis

Many in India remember Qureshi from another point of crisis – the Mumbai terror attacks. Back in November 2008, then foreign minister Qureshi was getting ready to address a press conference in India even as the security forces were fighting the terrorists in Mumbai.
Before Qureshi’s presser could start, he received a phone call from his Indian counterpart at that time – Pranab Mukherjee – who insisted that he must leave the country. Qureshi reportedly insisted that he could continue, but Mukherjee was firm.
Over the next few weeks, Qureshi went on the defensive, battling India’s dossier-for-dossier avalanche with the usual clichéd Rawalpindi/Islamabad ripostes along the lines of ‘India hasn’t given us enough proof’ or ‘it takes time to process the evidence in a legal setting such as this’.
Qureshi has long been dubbed as a prime minister-in-waiting. He was overlooked for the coveted post when his former party, the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), won the elections of 2008. But then the 26/11 attacks happened. And in the aftermath of the Raymond Davis incident, Qureshi was sacked.

‘A parody of diplomacy’

A recent Op-ed in the Pakistani daily Dawn excoriated Imran Khan and Qureshi by saying that “the latest crisis has badly exposed the amateurishness of our leadership in dealing with critical issues”. The article rebuked Qureshi’s penchant for soundbites and said he had “made a parody of diplomacy”. His need to say something on everything at every moment through every medium he can find has turned “serious matters into political gimmickry”.
Qureshi’s bombastic announcement in the National Assembly that Islamabad would suspend bilateral ties with New Delhi accentuates his ‘style over substance’ approach. This, given that trade between the two countries is negligible and Pakistan has never given India an MFN status, despite the latter having previously done so. The same speech saw him asking his fellow Assembly members to cheer ‘Kashmir Banega Pakistan’, after parroting lines on Kashmir’s right to self-determination.
He recently attended the wedding of controversial filmmaker/newscaster Hamza Ali Abbasi, a known India-baiter who has interviewed and praised Hafiz Saeed.  It’s no wonder that one foreign policy commentator remarked that “Pakistan army wishes it had picked someone smarter”.
Shortly after the Balakot airstrike, Qureshi committed a faux pas in an interview by saying that his government was in touch with Jaish-e-Mohammed, the UN-proscribed terror group. His incessant habit of making truculent remarks was on display even when the Indian team wore military caps in honour of the security personnel killed in Pulwama. Had this been against Pakistan, on Pakistani soil, perhaps, there could have been a case. However, this was at a home game in Ranchi against Australia, but Pakistan and Qureshi’s churlishness were there for all to see.

Achilles’ heel exposed

But it is not just Qureshi. Even Pakistan finds itself in a bind today, with none of its Gulf and Islamic allies regurgitating the old lines on Kashmir. First, the United Arab Emirates statedthat the abrogation of Article 370 was India’s internal matter. Adding more salt to Islamabad’s inflamed Kashmir wound, Abu Dhabi’s crown prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan honoured Prime Minister Modi with the UAE’s highest civilian award. All this as Khan and the entire establishment continues its Twitter backlash. Pakistan’s flawed policy of homogenising Islamic nations to kowtow to Islamabad’s position has exposed its Achilles’ heel, a position that Qureshi conceded to.
Qureshi isn’t like his predecessors. He doesn’t exhibit statesman-like qualities the way Khurshid Kasuri or Sartaz Aziz did. Neither does he seem as amiable as Hina Rabbani Khar, who succeeded him as the foreign minister in 2011. In fact, he has long been seen as a Kashmir hawk. But the latest crisis has exposed his inadequacies only too well. Since Modi and Amit Shah’s 5 August decision, his talons have been out; will his wings be clipped too like last time?

James Mattis is very worried about Pakistan

In a wide-ranging interview at The Council on Foreign Relations, former Defense Secretary Gen. James Mattis reaffirmed his stance that Pakistan is the "most dangerous" country in terms of United States foreign policy.
Mattis said what he describes as the "radicalization" of Pakistani society is the impetus for his reasoning — a viewpoint, he said, that is shared by members of Pakistan's military. "They realize what they've got going on there," Mattis said.
The general described U.S.-Pakistan relations as "twisted," adding that Pakistan's fast-growing nuclear arsenal means Washington needs to focus on "arms control and non-proliferation efforts" when working with Islamabad. "This is a much worse problem, I think, than anyone's writing about today," he said during the CFR event.