Sunday, October 27, 2019

Video Report - Fareed Zakaria: Here's why I support the impeachment inquiry

Video Report - #Syrian refugees in #Turkey live in fear of deportation | Focus on Europe

Video Report - What will 'Anonymous' author reveal in book 'A Warning'?

Video Report - Democrats seek to erase student loan debt

#effigy #Erdogan #Milan Pro-Kurdish demonstrators burn effigy of Erdogan in Italy

Bilawal Bhutto celebrates Diwali at gurdwara

Pakistan People''s Party (PPP) chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari attended a Diwali event at a Gurdwara in Sindh''s Kashmor district, here on Sunday.

According to a report in Pakistani media, Bilawal reached the Gurdwara Saheb Singh Sabha, here, with Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah.
Gurdwara head Sardar Mahesh Singh welcomed the PPP chairman and presented him ''saropas'' and souvenirs.
In his address, Bilawal said he had come to present the Diwali greetings to the Hindu and Sikh communities of Pakistan. The PPP favoured equal rights for every citizen, he added.
"I thank the minority community for giving me the opportunity to celebrate Diwali at the Gurudwara", he remarked.

GDPR and the Pakistani context

Citizen’s fundamental rights of privacy of home and dignity require immediate action by the government to establish data protection.
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) adopted by the European Union (EU) in 2016 is the single most important piece of legislation governing privacy of data in the world today. This is designed to give the EU citizens (and in certain instances others too) more control over their personal data, recognising that an individual’s personal data is in fact their absolute ownership. Without informed consent the processing of personal data of an EU citizen becomes a legal impossibility and any breach of this can lead to fines as steep as 20 million euros. In addition to name, address, email address, passwords, photos and videos, this regulation classifies biometric data as well as genetic data as personal data. Personal data also includes confidential health records and places it in the exclusive ownership of the user.
Hardly anyone today bothers to read the fine print which comes with using websites and apps on one’s devices. After the enforcement of the GDPR and its official compliance deadline in 2018, many of these user contracts (specifically those from EU) have become void on grounds of public policy, if these are in contravention to lawful-purpose test established by this regulation.
The GDPR establishes a single data protection regime across Europe, including the United Kingdom, which will still implement the regulation despite Brexit. What this means is that organisations within or without Europe, which may be processors or controllers handling data, are under legal obligation to prevent misuse of all personal data. The regulation seems to apply to all data handlers based in Europe with data subjects anywhere in the world and to data handlers outside Europe who may be handling data of EU citizens. In other words, if data of Pakistani data subjects is being handled by a data handler in the EU, it is subject to this law. Similarly a Pakistani data handler controlling or processing the data of an EU citizen is also subject to this law.
According to the law there are two kinds of data handlers – data controllers and data processors. A data controller is any “person, public authority, agency or other body which, alone or jointly with others, determines the purposes and means of processing of personal data” while a data processor is any “person, public authority, agency or other body which processes personal data on behalf of the controller”.  What is data processing?  Data processing involves all classification of data received from the controller. Therefore, the GDPR places specific legal obligations on the processor as it is justifiably assumed that a processor is most likely to be responsible in the event of a breach. A positive legal duty on all organisations dealing with data is to immediately inform the subject that their data may have been breached.
There are other wide-ranging rights such as the right to know how one’s information is being processed and for what purpose. Significantly, there is also the right to data portability. Thus, Article 20 of the GDPR states: “Controllers must make the data available in a structured, commonly used, machine-readable and interoperable format that allows the individual to transfer the data to another controller”. For data storage itself, there is a positive requirement for the data controller to implement “pseudonymisation” which is different from “anonymisation” – the difference being that the former is traceable while the latter is not.  Nevertheless there are artificial identifiers which help protect personal data in storage from being directly identified with the subject.  Another requirement for the controllers is to inform all data subjects how and why their data is being stored, for what purpose and under what law.  There is a further requirement for the data handler to ensure that in the event of data being transferred to an organisation outside the EU, this information is made available to the data subject. The law also gives data subjects the power to request an erasure on grounds of fundamental rights. This is called the right to erasure. The purpose as a whole is to ensure that a person’s data is fully protected. The test is simple – fundamental rights and freedoms of the data subject should out-weigh any legitimate reason or cause for data handling of the controller. The controller itself is under obligation to ensure data protection by design and this obligation begins at the time of initiation of such data handling.
In Pakistan, there is a callous disregard for data protection which is evident in the number of breaches that have been reported in recent years even from the National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA).
The regulation thus acts as a check on overreach by major corporate entities like Facebook, Twitter, Apple and Samsung etc. In short, the GDPR ensures that these companies are held liable for any use of data without informed consent of the data subject.
In our context, it must be said that in Pakistan there is a callous disregard for data protection which is evident in the number of breaches that have been reported in recent years even from the National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA). To start with, Pakistan still does not have a data protection law. A number of bodies – public and private – control and process data of Pakistani citizens with little or no legal protection. Whatever safeguards are there in various laws are conspicuous by their lack of implementation. It is quite unfortunate though because the Pakistani constitution spells out the right of privacy and dignity explicitly. Our neighbour India’s landmark Supreme Court judgment in 2017 established that privacy was a constitutional fundamental right. This now has become the basis of a new data protection legislation which is under works. Pakistan’s fundamental rights of privacy of home and dignity require immediate action by the government to step in and establish data protection.
A significant problem is that the Asian behemoths surrounding us, China and India, are also massive surveillance states. The states of China, Russia and India actually mine more data of their citizens than any other country in the world. Thus, despite the fine Supreme Court judgment, India has a completely different understanding of privacy when it comes to national security. It is rumoured that one section of the proposed Indian data protection law describes the data of Indian citizens as a national asset. One should always be circumspect about such “nationalistic” interpretations because it inevitably means that the state has the right to mine the national asset. The Indian approach is more likely to mirror China than Europe. As a result Pakistan – on the one hand, motivated by fear of India and on the other, inspired by its taller-than-Himalayas friend China – is unlikely to take a vastly different view.  An Asian GDPR, therefore, is unlikely.
Having a GDPR-type data protection law is good for innovation. It can help Pakistan establish itself as a data destination. Yet, the powers that be in our country have not even begun thinking in those terms.  Ultimately, someone is going to cut, copy and paste the Indian and possibly the Chinese laws unimaginatively, and we shall be stuck with an unworkable data protection law that will work at cross-purposes to the objective of having a data secure environment.

#Pakistan - Why do the rulers consider increase in remittances praiseworthy? - False signals

THE prime minister has praised his economic team for an ‘economic turnaround’ that comprises declines in the current account and fiscal deficits and increases in FDI and remittances. All these are misleading indicators but one is especially egregious and contradictory.
Why is the increase in remittances considered part of the economic turnaround and something that governments consider worthy of praise? Consider an airport conversation with a Pakistani working in Italy and supporting a wife and two children in Pakistan. He used to send the equivalent of Rs50,000 per month in lira for family support; now the equivalent of Rs80,000 is needed to sustain the same expenditures. The increase in remittances is an outcome of greater economic distress in Pakistan. It is a false signal reflecting economic failure, not success.
Before patting themselves on the back for ever-increasing remittances, policymakers should think through this phenomenon with understanding and empathy. Remittances grow for two reasons: individual migrants send back more money and the stock of migrants increases as more Pakistanis emigrate. The explanation for the first component has been provided above; it reflects the economic distress inflicted on working-class families by rapid inflation in Pakistan. But what is the explanation for the increasing number of Pakistanis seeking work abroad? It is the inability of the domestic economy to generate a sufficient number of jobs paying enough to sustain families of individuals entering the labour market. It is again a reflection of economic failure, not success.
Why do the rulers consider increase in remittances praiseworthy?
Consider the miseries inflicted by this phenomenon celebrated as a success of economic policy. In human terms, it involves young men separated involuntarily from their families — parents, siblings, wives, children — for long stretches, often living abroad in poor, exploitative conditions.
Many low-income workers abroad have paid huge amounts to unscrupulous middlemen. A recent ILO estimate puts the amount paid in bribes by South Asian workers in the Gulf at $15 billion. This does not include payments by individuals who are duped and fail to emigrate, inflicting huge liabilities on their families.
Even more tragic is the fate of those who get smuggled abroad and are either abandoned in remote places to be incarcerated in camps or left to suffocate in airless containers or sink aboard flimsy ferries. The stories of those who make their way back to Pakistan are harrowing — a devastating indictment of an economy and society that consigns its young to such fates.
There is yet another contradictory and ironic aspect of this phenomenon. If labour is Pakistan’s biggest exportable commodity (in 2018, remittances were $21bn versus a $14bn contribution from textiles, the largest commodity export) and our measure of success is an increase in remittances, why don’t we export even more bodies than we are doing at present? Why then make such a hue and cry about overpopulation? Should we not produce even more children and export them to earn abroad and send back remittances?
This is a rhetorical question to highlight the fact that our policymakers talk through their hats but there is a serious aspect to it as well. If we are reduced to exporting human beings for our survival, wouldn’t it make sense to invest in them to increase their productivity and market value abroad? That would mean investing in their health, education, and training as a conscious policy to increase remittances. Shouldn’t governments work to upgrade vocational skills of individuals instead of being obsessed with their moral piety, especially when all the money spent on the latter has yielded little in return besides dogmatism?
Isn’t it a hugely puzzling occurrence that in a country with a population ex­­ceeding 200 million with serious problems of underemployment, it is impossible to find a reliably competent plumber or electrician or mason? Or that Pakistani doctors working abroad are sent back as improperly certified? A programme to upgrade the skills and certifications of those wishing to emigrate would have a beneficial spillover effect on deficiencies in the local market too.
The Pakistani economy is in intensive care and the indicators the prime minister has cited as evidence of an economic turnaround have behaved in exactly the same manner as they have after almost each of the previous 22 or so IMF hospitalisations. The real turnaround requires the creation of decent jobs which, in turn, calls for structural reforms and a framework for economic growth. While this may take time, progressively driving remittances down by providing jobs at home should be adopted by the government’s team as a leading measure of the success of a real economic turnaround. Involuntary migration forced by economic desperation is a blight on the face of the nation, not something to celebrate.

#AzadiMarch #AzadiMarchAgainstPTIMafia #AzadiMarch4CivilSupremacy - Opp sets out on march towards Islamabad

Fazl says Opp has denied all govt demands, will hold a sit-in as per decisions made by the judiciary 

–PPP, ANP, and PML-N leaders join Azadi marchers, say no option but to send Imran home
–Protesters express solidarity with Kashmiri people, denounce India for rights violations
KARACHI: The anti-government march led by Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI-F) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman on Sunday kicked off its journey from Karachi towards Islamabad, where it will stage a sit-in to protest the alleged rigging in last year general elections that saw the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) rise to power.
The protest, dubbed as Azadi March, has been joined by the major opposition parties, including the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), seminaries students and others.
Besides JUI-F leadership, PPP leaders Raza Rabbani, Saeed Ghani, PML-N leaders Mohammad Zubair, Nihal Hashmi, Awami National Party (ANP) leader Shahi Syed and others, are on board the leading container.
The next stopover of the march will be Jamshoro. The march is scheduled to reach Islamabad via Sukkur and various districts of Punjab.
Fazl was initially to march on Islamabad on Oct 27, but the protest date was later changed to Oct 31 owing to the Kashmir black day.
Addressing the participants of the march, Fazl said, “We had promised to our Kashmiri brethren that we will observe a day to express solidarity with them.”
“The entire nation is on the same page on the issue of Kashmir,” he said, adding that there has been a curfew in Kashmir for the past three months. He demanded the international community take notice of human rights violations in occupied Kashmir.
Addressing the participants, he stuck to the demand of PM Imran Khan’s resignation, saying: “Hundreds of thousands have gathered in Karachi; what will the government do when people from across the country reach Islamabad?”
Imran will have to go home, he asserted.
He also commented on the dialogue held between a government-led delegation on Saturday, saying the opposition had denied all demands of the negotiation team sent by the government and will hold their sit-in as per the decisions made by the judiciary.
He also took the powers that be to the task for cancellation of the national identity card of JUI-F leader Hafiz Hamdullah, saying they installed a green card holder as the caretaker prime minister in 1993. “But, now they question our citizenship and declare us Pashtun and Afghans,” he added.
He said the opposition parties oppose such “flawed laws” as it believes in “democracy and the constitution and wants the sovereignty of the country”.
“I will announce the future course of action in Islamabad,” he said, referring to the sit-in on Oct 31 in the federal capital.
“We support positive politics. We have spent our entire life in loyalty to the country’s Constitution and we have faced extremism (in return),” he said, adding that the government will have to answer for the tactics it has been employing against the opposition.
He thanked the political leaders for participating in the march.
Addressing the crowd, ANP’s Shahi Syed said the “incompetent [PTI] government” must be thrown out to save Pakistan.
Zubair, the former governor of Sindh, said that the entire country is united against the Indian atrocities in Kashmir.
“Nawaz Sharif has instructed his workers and supporters to welcome Maulana Fazlur Rehman in every city and town of the country and become part of his Azadi March,” he said, adding that every PML-N worker will support Fazl.
PPP leader Raza Rabbani said that Kashmir’s jails are full and youngsters are being tortured but remember that movements for the right to self determination couldn’t be suppressed anywhere in the world.
The sad thing is that the Muslim community is silent on the atrocities being committed in Kashmir, he said, demanding that the community raise its voice for the Kashmiri people and support them.
“We speak about freedom in Kashmir but when I look at my own country, my heart weeps tears of blood, said Rabbani, adding that this is because he sees innocent children and women on the roads whose fathers or husbands or brothers or children have been missing for years.”
Meanwhile, thousands of supporters of opposition parties left Quetta to participate in the march. JUI-F Balochistan chief Maulana Abdul Wasey led the caravan.
“We will continue our struggle till removal of present rulers,” Maulana Wasey told reporters before leaving for Islamabad.

Huge rallies kick off in Pakistan to oust PM Imran Khan

Pakistani PM Khan faces a tough political challenge as an anti-government march to topple his government set off on Sunday. Khan's woes have been aggravated by a deteriorating economy and accusations of bad governance.
Thousands of supporters of a major religious political party gathered Sunday in Pakistan's southern city of Karachi to start an anti-government march on the capital, Islamabad.
The rally was led by Maulana Fazlur Rehman, a powerful religious figure and head of the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI-F) party, who claims that Prime Minister Imran Khan came to power last year through rigged elections.
"Prime Minister Imran Khan will have to resign. Hundreds of thousands have gathered in Karachi; what will the government do when people from across the country reach Islamabad?" he told rally participants in Karachi.
Rehman is backed by Pakistan's major opposition parties, including the Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N) of three-time former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, and the Pakistan People's Party headed by former president Asif Ali Zardari and his son Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari.
The rally participants — expected to be in hundreds of thousands by the time they reach Islamabad — plan to stage a sit-in protest outside the capital, with a possibility of further rallying toward the prime minister house.
"I will announce the future course of action in Islamabad," Rehman said in Karachi.
Such "long marches" have become a common occurrence in Pakistan, with some religious organizations previously attempting to put the capital under siege and resorting to violence.
Although a religious leader, Rehman is a supporter of parliamentary democracy and has served under previous governments.
Khan's 'closeness' to military generals
Mufti Abrar Ahmed, a spokesman for the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam party, said Sunday that Rehman would lead the protesters' caravan. He lashed out against Khan, saying that the "illegitimate" government came to power through the army's support.
Although the major political parties denounced last year's general election as "rigged," they chose not to immediately launch protests. But Khan's heavy-handedness against opposition politicians and the country's deteriorating economy have given them the impetus to finally attempt to dislodge his government.
Khan has been accused of receiving indirect support from the country's powerful military — a claim denied by both Khan and the army. Sharif's supporters say their party was not given a level playing field in the run-up to the July 2018 elections, with the judiciary exclusively targeting PML-N officials and the caretaker government unleashing a massive crackdown on PML-N activists.
Talking to local journalists earlier this week, Khan said the army fully backs him against the opposition's attempts to oust him.
Economic woes
Khan came to power after winning a simple majority in the 2018 parliamentary polls on promises to improve the country's economy and provide jobs. But his critics say he has so far not been able to honor his commitment to the masses.
Although Khan launched an austerity drive to reduce government expenses, critics say the move has been largely superficial, as the PM's team has no real economic plan to fix Pakistan's serious structural issues.
With inflation climbing to 8%, the rupee losing a third of its value over the past year, and foreign exchange reserves barely enough to cover two months of imports, Khan's government was forced to turn to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in May for a bailout package.
The IMF's tough bailout conditions have been unpopular, and analysts say the opposition is now ready to use the "public anger" to remove Khan from power.
Maulana Rashid Mehmood Soomro, a JUI-F official, recently said that a World Economic Forum report found a 3% increase in corruption since Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party came to power.
"The economy has nosedived, prices of essential commodities are touching new heights and people are living in abject poverty. So it is necessary to send him [Prime Minister Khan] packing," Soomro told local media.