Thursday, September 19, 2019

Video - Mike Pence’s Horse Bite & Lou Dobbs's Ass-Kissing Trump Tribute | The Daily Show - Trevor Noah

Video - Activist shuns obligatory abaya in Saudi Arabia

Video Report - #IsraelElections #BlueAndWhiteParty Gantz party says no to Netanyahu-led unity government

Video Report - Netanyahu Urges Unity Government with Gantz - TV7 Israel News 19.09.19

Trump Says ‘It’s Crazy’ to Spend $13 Million Per Inmate at Guantánamo

By Peter Baker
President Trump said on Wednesday night that “it’s crazy” that the United States spends about $13 million a year for each terrorism suspect held at the detention center at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, and added that he would search for alternatives.
“I know about that,” Mr. Trump told reporters aboard Air Force One as he flew back to Washington after a three-day campaign trip to New Mexico and California. “I think it’s crazy. It costs a fortune to operate, and I think it’s crazy.”
But he would not say whether he would consider closing the prison at Guantánamo. “We’re looking at a lot of things,” he said without elaborating. Instead, he pointed out that his predecessor tried and failed to shutter the prison. “Look, President Obama said that Guantánamo Bay would be closed, and he never got it done.”
The president’s comments came in reaction to a report in The New York Times tabulating the expense of housing the 40 prisoners remaining at Guantánamo, who include the men accused of plotting the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. According to the report, the government spent more than $540 million last year to hold the prisoners, including pay for the military guards, the cost of the war court and related construction expenses.
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The cost of $13 million per prisoner almost certainly makes the detention facility at Guantánamo, which was set up by President George W. Bush’s administration in the months after 9/11 and became a public relations liability, the world’s most expensive prison.
By comparison, it cost American taxpayers in 2012 just $78,000 per inmate at the “supermax” federal prison in Colorado, where some of the nation’s most dangerous prisoners are kept and where some officials in the past have suggested transferring the Guantánamo detainees.
Mr. Bush sought to reduce the population before leaving office and released about 540 detainees, mostly transferring them to home countries like Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and Afghanistan. Mr. Obama vowed during his 2008 presidential campaign to close Guantánamo, and his administration released another 200 through a similar approach.
But Mr. Obama was blocked by Congress from transferring the remaining detainees to any federal prison in the United States amid resistance to the idea of bringing terrorists to American soil. And when Mr. Trump ran for president in 2016, he vowed to keep Guantánamo open and even to send more terrorists there, although none have actually been added to the prison since he took office.
In his comments to reporters on Wednesday night, Mr. Trump focused more on what to do with prisoners captured during the war with the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq and still held by the United States in the Middle East. The president has demanded that European allies take those prisoners who originally came from their countries. He repeated his threat to release them at the borders of those nations if they do not.
“The big decision we have now is we have thousands of people,” Mr. Trump said. “They came from other countries. We want those countries to take them back. We did them a big favor by stopping them. If they came from France, we want France to take them and to try and do whatever they have to do with them. But that’s a very expensive situation.”

Pashto Music - Sardar Ali Takkar - Umar Me Bass Dagha Wa

Indian Muslim politician tells Pakistanis to save Ahmadis first

Since August 5th, when the Indian government revoked the special status of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K), tensions among Indians and Pakistanis have spilled over to Twitter.
Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan has since accused the Indian government of “ethnic cleansing” of the Muslim-majority region. Khan claimed that revocation of Article 370 was an attempt to “change demography of Kashmir”.
However Indian Muslim politicians have been quick to shut down the religious approach being applied to the conflict. Salman Nizami, a Muslim politician affiliated with Indian National Congress said:
He further questioned why were Pakistanis not concerned about the persecution of Uighur Muslims by China.

U.S. to withdraw and withhold funds from Afghanistan, blames corruption

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Thursday the United States would withdraw about $100 million earmarked for an energy infrastructure project in Afghanistan and withhold a further $60 million in planned assistance, blaming corruption and a lack of transparency in the country.
Pompeo said in a statement the United States would complete the infrastructure project, but would do so using an “‘off-budget’ mechanism”, faulting Afghanistan for an “inability to transparently manage U.S. government resources”.
“Due to identified Afghan government corruption and financial mismanagement, the U.S. Government is returning approximately $100 million to the U.S. Treasury that was intended for a large energy infrastructure project,” he added.
The decision comes a day after the U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan, John Bass, in a tweet called out the country’s National Procurement Authority (NPA) for not approving the purchase of fuel for thermal electricity. Residents of Kabul have accused the NPA of ignoring people’s need for energy, as large parts of the city have been without power for more than seven hours every day this month.
Electricity outages have also inflicted losses for manufacturing companies and emergency health services.
“Hearing reports the National Procurement Authority won’t authorize fuel purchases for the power plant providing the only electricity in Kabul – even while the U.S. & Resolute Support help Afghan security forces enable repairs to power transmission lines. Could this be true?” Bass said in a tweet on Wednesday.
The power crisis intensified further this week after insurgents attack pylons in northern provinces. About a third of the country has been hit by blackouts.

#Balochistan: #Pakistani army sexually assaulted two #Baloch girls

Baloch social media activists and news portals reporting on Balochistan issue have reported two cases of sexual assault on Baloch girls by the Pakistani army. One of the victims has, for the first time, spoken publically.
According to details, Pakistan army personnel abducted a teenage Baloch girl from her school in Maashi area of district Awaran Balochistan about a month ago.
Her school was occupied by Pakistan army after the earthquake in Awaran in 2013 and the military remains at the school to date. Pakistani forces have taken over several educational institutions across Balochistan and continue to use them as their base and torture centres.
The Pakistan army have threatened the girl’s family with dire consequences in case of reporting the issue or speaking about it publically.
In the second report a Baloch resident of Gwadar, currently studying in Karachi, has come forward with more graphic details of the Pakistani intelligence agencies assault against her and her fiancé.
Hani Gull daughter of Mohammad Arif spoke of her ordeal publically at the protest camp of Voice for Baloch Missing Persons (VBMP).
She said she was abducted along with her fiancé Mohammad Naseem from Karachi about four months ago by Pakistan ISI and other security forces. Hani Gul said she was released after three months her fiancé is still in the custody of Pakistani forces.
Sources reported that Mohammad Naseem son of Mohammad Karim is an ex-central committee member of Baloch Republican Student Organisation (BRSO) and he was abducted on 14 May 2019 from Defence area near Iqra University in Karachi.
The BRSO’s General Secretary Aftab Ahmad son of Khair Mohammad was also abducted along with Naseem. However, Aftab Ahamd has been released two months ago.
During the press conference, Hani Gull revealed that she was also abducted that night with her fiancé and his friend.
She said, “At the time of my release I tried to get my fiancé released as well but they refused to let him go. They forcibly released me alone.”
She went on to say, “We are tortured, brutalised and assaulted. The abductors were officials of ISI and intelligence agencies, I recognise their face and if I see them I can recognise and identify them.”
She said in the detention the Pakistani officials attempted to forces them to confess that they affiliated with an armed resistance group but ‘we are not affiliated with any such groups,’ she reiterated.
“Why we Baloch cannot be students or study like any other students in peace. On one hand Pakistanis say Baloch should pick up pen and study instead of picking up arms and fight, but on the other hand, they snatch our pen and books from us and put us behind bars. Why are they brutalising the Baloch people? Are Baloch also a human being?’ She added.
She said before Pakistani forces have been abducting Baloch men but they started abducting Baloch women and girls. ‘I am a female and you have abducted me. What is my crime, why have I been arrested and illegally detained? she asked.
During her press conference, she said that they [Pakistan state] are talking about Kashmir and ‘human rights violations in Kashmir’ but they cannot see what is happening in Balochistan.
Previously, there have been similar reports about the Pakistani army, FC, ISI and other forces mistreatment and misbehaviour against Baloch women during offensives on the houses of Baloch people.

EDITORIAL: #Pakistan #PPP - Khursheed Shah’s arrest and beyond

The way he was criticising the government, especially Prime Minister Imran Khan, the arrest Pakistan Peoples’ Party (PPP) MNA Syed Khursheed Shah was just a matter of time. This is the perception that the method of accountability has developed among people.

The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) arrested Shah in Islamabad in a case regarding assets beyond means. The most pressing charge against him is about an amenity plot in a housing society in Sukkur, which, as per NAB sources, the MNA converted into a residential plot, besides stashing some benami properties in the name of his front men or servants. Had the accountability watchdog been dead sure about of the authenticity of the allegation, it would have instituted a reference against the vocal MNA months ago.
Now,in days to come, we will see if Shah stands trial in Sukkur. No one knows when the ongoing inquiry against him will be converted into an investigation before a reference is filed. Just like other leaders, he will undergo of physical and judicial remand.
Shah is just an addition to the list of opposition leaders facing NAB trials, such as former prime ministers Nawaz Sharif and Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Maryam Nawaz, former president and PPP co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari, his sister Faryal Talpur, former finance minister Miftah Ismail, Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Shahbaz Sharif and his son Hamza Shahbaz. Of the long list of NAB suspects, only Shahbaz Sharif has secured bail.
The fate of others seems uncertain too because the trial goes on at a snail’s pace. NAB authorities justify the arrests of suspects to accumulate tangible and intangible evidences against them, and to grill them. At the end of the day, the exercise turns out to be burden on NAB authorities. Several people picked by NAB for interrogation have later secured bail after courts see no meat in evidence in their cases. PPP leaders Sharjeel Memon and Dr Asim Husain, and PTI leaders and former provincial ministers Aleem Khan and Sibtain Khan, stand out as glaring example of NAB’s incompetence.
The arrest of Shah, a sitting MNA, at a time when the house is in session, points to the government’s disregard for the law of the land. The assembly rules state that the speaker’s permission is mandatory to arrest a parliamentarian during a session. The speaker himself has undermined the sanctity of his office by refusing to issue production orders of detained parliamentarians. History is watching the actions of all actors.

قصور میں بچوں کے اغوا، زیادتی، اور قتل کے کیس: سیربین 19 ستمبر Video Report - 2019

Govt of idiots and morons? - School kids in Pakistan are raped, killed. So Imran Khan govt and clerics recommend abayas


Police in Pakistan confirmed this week that three boys – aged eight and nine – who were missing for nearly three months were raped and killed.

In yet another absurd chain of events in Prime Minister Imran Khan’s ‘Naya Pakistan’, the ruling party’s government in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa made it mandatory for girls in public schools to ‘cover themselves up’ with a gown, abaya, veil, or chadar. The reason behind the decision gave a lot away: the government, which had already circulated its order in a district a couple of days ago, believed its measure would protect the girls from “unethical incidents”.
The Imran Khan government, which is responsible for the safety of young girls and boys, hides under tradition, religious and cultural values to pass its responsibility onto the children themselves. It seriously believes that enforcing a regressive practice on schoolgirls is the best way to protect them from harassment or abuse.But then, what is the Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf government if not a bag of surprise? A day after the mandatory order, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Mahmood Khan did what the Imran Khan government does best: take a U-turn. And why not – after all, Imran Khan is “glad” that he is called “a prime minister of U-turns”. “Only an idiot doesn’t do any U-turns; only a moron… when he comes across a wall… only that stupid idiot keeps banging his head against the brick wall,” he proudly declares. Also read: Pakistanis happily convert girls to Islam but love marriage faces honour killing axe Govt of idiots and morons? So, should we consider PM Imran Khan’s colleagues in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa stupid for possibly seeing the wall (the protests and criticisms that the decision was sure to invite) and still choosing to bang their heads and issue the circular on what schoolgirls should wear?
Barely hours before CM Mahmood Khan ordered to withdraw the government notification following severe backlash from child rights activists and others on social and mainstream media, education adviser Ziaullah Bangash was defending the orders.
The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government had to clarify that the order was “neither necessary nor was there logic behind it”.
Citizens should be free to decide what they want to wear and young girls should not be shamed into taking responsibility for what perverted men do. Pakistani schoolgirls all across the country have a dress code in place already, a uniform that covers every part of the body. Whether or not they wear an abaya or a hijab is not a decision for the government to make – let alone its excuse of taking the decision to prevent “unethical incidents”.
If the government thought it was addressing the issue of harassment or abuse by asking young girls to cover their bodies “properly”, then what does it suggest the young boys do because they are even more vulnerable? In 2018, Pakistan had a total of 3,832 cases of child abuse – an increase of 11 per cent from the previous year – reported in the country, according to a report by child rights advocacy group, Sahil. Of the total children abused, 2,094 were boys and 1,738 were girls, the report added. Address the real problem
Pakistani society has to first accept and then speak up what many inadvertently end up denying: child abuse is a real problem and it will not go away by making children wear a certain piece of clothing. Instead of taking concrete steps that deal with the larger issue of male perversion, the government turns to measures that only give fodder to the religious Right, which then brushes the uncomfortable truth about child abuse under the carpet.
Take for instance cleric Mufti Taqi Usmani. He first criticised the government’s recall of the abaya order, which he said was “in accordance with the teachings of Holy Quran and worthy of praise”. And then, he asked Imran Khan to intervene since the First Lady wears a ‘naqab’ and the PM himself advocates for the ‘State of Medina’.
It should be clear to anyone that dress is irrelevant. There are women wearing burqa getting harassed, those covering their head with dupattas catcalled, hijab-wearing girls being offered lifts by strangers, or those in chadars being molested in public places. The blame doesn’t rest on women, and until policymakers realise this, there won’t be much progress.
Moreover, by putting the blame on the victims, society stops the child – boy or girl – from coming forward and reporting the incident of sexual abuse. Children need to be given the confidence to talk to a trusted adult, who should be bound to report any sign of actual or potential abuse.
Laws alone not the solution
Pakistan is a signatory to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, having signed and ratified it in 1990. So, Pakistan is bound to have tough legislation on these issues. But having laws alone won’t help. They need to be implemented as well. Along with strengthening the implementation of existing laws in the country, the government must also focus on how to prevent these incidents of crime. At the same time, it should ensure child rights activists and experts educate parents, school teachers and members of local communities on how best to address such issues.
When six-year-old Zainab Ansari was raped and killed in Punjab’s Kasur district, it had shaken Pakistani society’s conscience. Or at least that’s what it felt like when the case became a watershed moment in Pakistan’s civilian activism, finding global support, and resulting in the rapist-killer getting hanged. But what did the outrage and justice do for the safety of other children?
Since then, thousands of such cases have been reported, with and without media or civil society registering their outrage. On Wednesday, police in Kasur confirmed that the three boys – aged eight and nine – who were missing for nearly three months were found to have been raped and killed. Their bodies were found Tuesday. The aggrieved families protest, people demand punishment for the culprits – and the cycle continues. Nothing actually gets done that would ensure the safety of children in Pakistan.

Pakistan’s verbose foreign minister ruined Kashmir case. Imran Khan at UN now the only hope


One doesn’t expect the UN to deliver justice on the horrifying human rights situation in Kashmir. Still, international opinion matters.

Imran Khan will head to New York next week to argue the case of India-administered Kashmir before world leaders at the annual UN General Assembly. It will be his first interaction with the most powerful international forum that will provide him an opportunity to highlight the plight of a subjugated people.
Most important, however, is how effectively the prime minister conveys the message, even though one doesn’t expect the UN to deliver justice. Nevertheless, international opinion matters. It is true that the recent, unprecedented international media reports have exposed the horrifying human rights situation and use of brute force by the Indian forces in the occupied territory. Yet it requires effective diplomacy to push the international community into action.
Unfortunately, we are miserably lacking in skills that require maturity and clarity of purpose. What we have witnessed so far is sheer verbosity that our foreign minister is so fond of indulging in — mainly for domestic consumption. Commenting on everything and hurling war threats is not a sign of maturity that one expects from the country’s foreign policy czar.
Should the foreign minister be declaring the Indian chief justice’s ruling on relaxing the lockdown in the occupied state as Pakistan’s victory? Such pronouncements make light of an extremely serious problem. He should have been spending more time travelling to other countries to apprise them of the situation in Kashmir, rather than making frivolous statements every five minutes just to stay in the political limelight at home. There have been hardly any outings apart from a visit to Geneva for a UN Human Rights Council session. Surely members of the council did express concern over the appalling human rights situation in occupied Kashmir, but the outcome appears to have been exaggerated.
We were never told, for instance, which 58 countries signed the joint resolution and if there was any public statement issued by the council condemning the Indian action as being inferred by the government. It needed the support of only 16 members to call a special session of the council on Kashmir. That never happened.
Talking of the nuclear war threat is highly irresponsible. We cannot scare the international community into intervening in the matter. The chaotic state the government is in is also reflected in the bombast of some other cabinet ministers.
The most prominent jewel in the crown is our railways minister who appears very keen to start a nuclear war. Instead of taking care of his own department that is in a shambles given the increasing number of train accidents, he is now preoccupied with national security and foreign policy issues.
He recently predicted a nuclear war between Pakistan and India before the end of the year. He has also claimed that Pakistan has tiny nuclear devices that could be used against the enemy forces. Such utterly nonsensical remarks on sensitive issues come in handy for those who look for any opportunity to prove us an irresponsible state. It also greatly harms our cause of fighting Kashmir’s case at international forums.
More importantly, the government must not reduce the Kashmir situation to a Pakistan-India one. The very slogan ‘Kashmir will become Pakistan’ could limit our options. It is also against the UN resolution that had called for plebiscite to allow Kashmiris to decide their own future.
While fighting Kashmir’s case, we must entirely focus on the right of self-determination for Kashmiris and their human rights. The issue should not be made into a dispute that alienates the people of Kashmir. Leave it to the Kashmiri people to decide what they want.
More than anything else, the Indian action of annexing the occupied territory and the use of brute military force to silence eight million people has brought the Kashmir issue onto the international stage. It has alienated the entire Kashmiri population. Even strict censorship and a complete lockdown have failed to stop the flow of news regarding Indian state terrorism in occupied Kashmir.
That has certainly moved the public conscience, but not necessarily helped change the policy of states dictated by their economic and geopolitical considerations. It’s also a fact that over the years, our international clout has diminished largely because of our political and economic instability. An unimaginative foreign policy has also added to our predicament. In fact, it’s a policy adrift. Nothing would please the Indian leadership more than our state of disarray.
The domination of security agencies in determining the policy direction has also been responsible for limiting our options. Even the cell formed by the government to formulate strategy on Kashmir may find a diplomatic and political approach constricted by the presence of members of the security establishment. A bipartisan parliamentary committee would have been more effective in fighting this battle on both the diplomatic and political fronts. Domestic public mobilisation is, indeed, important, but it is active international diplomacy that matters more.
It is a great opportunity for the prime minister to reach out to world leaders during the UN session and fight the case of the Kashmiri people. Imran Khan calls himself the ambassador of the Kashmir cause and that is what he needs to prove in New York. His speech at the General Assembly should be focused and powerful in substance. For the limited time allocated to the speakers one needs to be structured and precise.
The world leaders gathered at the UNGA have little patience for rambling discourses. Given his penchant for speaking extempore (at which the prime minister is not very good) even at international forums, one has doubts about the impact he would make. The prime minister will be speaking after Narendra Modi and one hopes that he doesn’t resort to polemics. Pakistan has a strong case to fight and the UNGA provides a great forum to make Kashmir’s case forcefully.
Imran Khan is also planning to speak at a public rally in New York meant to draw international attention to Indian atrocities in administered Kashmir. But one hopes that he does not bring Pakistan’s internal political matters into his address as he did during his official visit to Washington earlier this year.

Pakistan misses deadline to file resolution on Kashmir in UNHRC

Pakistan's Foreign Affairs Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi had promised his nation a resolution on Kashmir before leaving for Geneva to attend the session.

Pakistan has missed the deadline to file a resolution on Kashmir at the ongoing United Nations Human Rights Commission. The last day to file a request for a resolution during the 42nd UNHRC session was on September 19. The session which started on September 9 concludes on September 27.
Pakistan did not file the petition as it failed to garner the minimum support of 16 nations for admission of the request. Further adoption of the resolution would have required a minimum of 24 votes.
Pakistan's Foreign Affairs Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi had promised his nation a resolution on Kashmir before leaving for Geneva to attend the session.
Before leaving for Geneva, the Pakistani minister had claimed that he will use the UNHRC sessions to raise "Indian state-monitored genocide in Jammu and Kashmir".
Shah Mahmood Qureshi had said that he will not only raise the Kashmir issue but will also move a Kashmir "resolution", seeking support for Pakistan's case. However, he failed to deliver.

Gulalai Ismail, Feminist Hunted by Pakistan’s Authorities, Escapes to U.S.

By Jeffrey Gettleman

Her face was everywhere — on the news, at police stations and at the airports where the Pakistani government had put her on a list of the nation’s most wanted.

She has been accused of treason, though human rights defenders said that the allegations were bogus and that she was being targeted for highlighting abuses committed by Pakistan’s military. Security services were searching for her in every corner of the country, raiding her friends’ houses and closing in on her family.
But somehow Gulalai Ismail, a 32-year-old Pakistani women’s rights activist on the run, managed to slip through the dragnet last month and escape to America. She is now staying with her sister in Brooklyn and has applied for political asylum in the United States.
She is still worried about her parents back home and the underground network that secretly protected her as she moved from house to house, city to city, through countless police checkpoints, always wearing a veil over her face, her eyes barely visible.
She did not reveal how she got out, except to say, “I didn’t fly out of any airport.”
“I can’t tell you any more,” she said in an interview this week. “My exit story will put many lives at risk.”
Her ordeal sheds light on the state of human rights in Pakistan, a troubled nation with a history of brutal repression. Ms. Ismail has campaigned aggressively for women’s rights, bringing attention to rapes, disappearances and other abuses that she and many others say have been committed by Pakistan’s security forces against their own people.
The military is all-powerful in Pakistan and the country is approaching an inflection point. Pakistani officials do not like talking about Ms. Ismail — none would comment publicly for this article.
Her account of being chased out of the country does not help the government’s efforts to win diplomatic support at a time when the economy is tanking and Pakistan is begging the world to censure India for its recent moves on Kashmir, a disputed territory claimed by both Pakistan and India.It has taken Ms. Ismail some time to feel safe even in New York, she said, but she has begun to meet with prominent human rights defenders and the staffs of congressional leaders. “I will do everything I can to support Gulalai’s asylum request,” said Senator Charles Schumer, Democrat of New York. “It is clear that her life would be in danger if she were to return to Pakistan.”
Pakistani security officials said they had suspected for some time that Ms. Ismail had slipped through their fingers.
“Our guys have been after her, by all means, but she is not traceable,” said a Pakistani intelligence agent who spoke on the condition of anonymity, citing intelligence protocols. “She has gone to a place beyond our reach.”
How she did that — whether it was crossing overland into Iran or Afghanistan and then onward to Europe or America, or perhaps getting smuggled out by sea — remains a tantalizing mystery. The Pakistani government had barred her from leaving the country and tried to seal all the exits.
Ever since she was 16, Ms. Ismail has been speaking out about human rights abuses, focusing on the plight of Pakistani women and girls who suffer all kinds of horrors including forced marriages and honor killings.
In January, she aired accusations, on Facebook and Twitter, that government soldiers had raped or sexually abused many Pakistani women. She has also joined protests led by an ethnic Pashtun movement that Pakistan’s military has tried to crush. Pakistani officials have accused Ms. Ismail of sedition, inciting treason and defaming state institutions.
In late May, she became a fugitive.
It started with a phone call from a friend to her house in Islamabad, Pakistan’s capital, where she lived with her elderly parents.
“It’s all over the media, a raid team is coming, you have to leave — now!” the friend said.
Ms. Ismail scrambled out the door with no spare clothes or even a phone. “They can trace you, even when it’s off,” she said.
Was she scared?
“It was one of those moments you don’t have time to feel,” she said. “You don’t have time to be frightened, you don’t have time to be brave, you just have to act.”
She spent the next three months moving from place to place, across many different Pakistani cities, never using a phone or touching a computer, she said. She turned to a small, trusted group of friends and their contacts, staying indoors, covering her face for the few moments when she did step outside, incredibly careful each time she changed locations.
Pakistan is a heavily watched place. Roadside security checkpoints are everywhere. Ms. Ismail said she crossed hundreds of them. She recalled one incident when she showed up at the house of a friend of her father’s and when the friend answered the door and saw her standing there, he froze.
“He was so scared that he would be arrested for supporting a terrorist and his children would be arrested,” she said.
The next day the friend called a taxi and Ms. Ismail left.
“Hiding is not pleasant,” she said.
She already had a visa to the United States, where she has visited regularly, meeting prominent women including Michelle Obama. After she arrived in New York in August, she immediately holed up in her family’s house in Brooklyn, where two brothers and two sisters live.
Still, she did not want to go outside. She felt depressed and anxious. She said she didn’t feel any huge gush of relief.
She was worried about her parents, who face charges of financing terrorism and remain under heavy surveillance in Islamabad. She was also worried that a Pakistani agent or someone on the government’s side might see her on a New York street and take a picture of her — or worse.
In recent days, she said, she has been feeling much better. She still spends most of her time inside the family home, cooking mutton achaari and other Pakistani dishes.She is waiting on her asylum application. Lawyers said there was little chance that the United States would send her back to Pakistan.“In Gulalai’s case, I understand that she is charged with anti-state activities, which obviously carry a death penalty,” said Masroor Shah, a lawyer in Islamabad who has dealt with many human rights cases. “There is no likelihood based on past policies and local laws that U.S. authorities would even consider an extradition request.”
Ms. Ismail has started a new research and advocacy group, Voices for Peace and Democracy, to protect women in conflict zones. She is also thinking of law school.
But it makes her sad, a constant shadow on her life ahead, that she might never see her parents again — or Pakistan.
“When I left, I knew this was a one-way trip,” she said. “And as I was leaving, I bent down and touched the soil, and told myself, ‘This is where I belong, this is my country.”’