Tuesday, 24 May 2016

A Tactical Shift in the Terror War, Abdul Salam Khan

The death of Mullah Akhtar Mohammad Mansoor  in a U.S. drone strike was, first and foremost, an impressive achievement not only not the part of the U.S. Special Operations Command and the U.S. intelligence community, but also on the part of President Obama, who gave his personal approval for the elimination of the top Taliban leader. But while welcome, the operation’s import remains uncertain, and all sorts of intriguing mysteries surround it.
Mansour was killed in Pakistan’s Baluchistan province, making him the first Taliban leader killed in that region by U.S. forces. As Long War Journal noted, 390 of 391 previously reported U.S. drone strikes took place in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas, with North Waziristan being the top center of U.S. drone operations. U.S. commanders have long agitated for permission to go after Taliban commanders who are affiliated with the Quetta Shura based in Baluchistan, but permission has never been forthcoming in the past because Washington did not want to alienate Islamabad. The Pakistani Inter-Services Intelligence agency has a close relationship with the Taliban, and their leaders were previously seen to be out-of-bounds for U.S. attacks within Pakistan; the Pakistani government only allowed the U.S. to go after al-Qaeda leaders, Pakistani Taliban, and Haqqani Network leaders in the tribal areas.
A key question that remains to be answered is whether the operation against Mullah Mansour took place with or without Pakistani permission. If the Pakistanis did not sign off, it is a bit surprising that they are not loudly protesting an infringement of their sovereignty — and it is all the more to Obama’s credit that he risked a strike that would be sure to alienate our “allies” in Pakistan. If on the other hand, the Pakistanis were aware of this operation and approved it, that raises the intriguing question of why?
There are reports that Mullah Mansour was averse to peace talks with Afghanistan, and that in resisting talks he incurred Pakistani ire. It’s possible that the Pakistanis felt he was being too independent, and OK’d his elimination for that reason.
But there is no reason to think that with Mullah Mansour gone, the Taliban will suddenly renounce their armed struggle, which has been making so much headway recently, particularly in southern Afghanistan. Indeed, Mansour’s death could easily lead toe the ascension of his No. 2, Sirajuddin Haqqani, who is already the Taliban’s top military commander.
The son of Jalaluddin Haqqani, an extremist warlord who has been fighting nonstop against one government after another in Kabul since the 1980s, Sirajuddin is not exactly known as a moderate. Indeed, the Haqqanis have developed a reputation as the most skilled and depraved terrorists in the entire Taliban — and that is saying something. The Haqqanis are said to be responsible for most of the high-profile atrocities carried out in Kabul. They also are said to have close links to the ISI, which raises the intriguing possibility that the ISI helped to eliminate Mansour so as to make way for their fair-headed boy, in much the same way that mafia dons will finger rivals to the authorities so as to take over their turf.
Whether Sirajuddin Haqqani or someone else inherits Mullah Mansour’s post — and other rivals include Mullah Omar’s oldest son — the probability is that the new leader of the Taliban will need to show success on the battlefield in order to consolidate the various factions of the Taliban behind his leadership. That, certainly, is the strategy that Mansour followed after taking over for Mullah Omar, and it suggests that there will be no respite anytime soon from the Taliban offensive.
The irony of this situation is that, while the top Taliban leader has been killed in Pakistan, his brethren enjoy virtual immunity from American air strikes inside Afghanistan itself, where in theory the U.S. should be much freer to take action with the approval of the government in Kabul. Yet that’s not the case. As General David Petraeus and Michael O’Hanlon noted in the Wall Street Journal on Saturday, the U.S. retains considerable air power in Afghanistan but “existing U.S. and NATO policy generally allows them to strike targets on the ground only when hostile forces can be identified as al Qaeda or ISIS loyalists, when they pose an imminent threat to NATO personnel, or, reportedly, when a strategic collapse is imminent. The rules of engagement mean that the indigenous Afghan and Pakistani Taliban generally get a pass.”
That’s right: The U.S can attack a Taliban leader in Pakistan but not in Afghanistan under most circumstances. That’s a crazy situation which is entirely the result of the illogical rules promulgated by the Obama White House. If Obama is serious about beating back the Taliban offensive that has gathered momentum since his ill-advised troop drawdown, he will need to relax the rules on targeting Taliban forces wherever they may be found. That means not only in Baluchistan but also, critically, in Afghanistan itself.
If the Mullah Mansour is not a one-off operation, and if Obama approves a wider air campaign, Afghan forces, with U.S. help, can take advantage of a period of disorientation and confusion in the Taliban ranks to make real gains against the group. If Obama maintains the current, restrictive rules of engagement, then this will be a wasted opportunity and the Taliban will be back to business as usual as soon as a successor to Mansour is appointed.

Monday, 23 May 2016

Shias have overtaken Christians and Hindus as targets, Fatima Bhutto (it means Jihad against Minorities will continue in Pakistan)

Shias have overtaken Christians and Hindus as targets, Fatima Bhutto (it means Jihad against Minorities will continue in Pakistan)
NEW DELHI: Saying Shias have overtaken Hindus and Christians as targets of sectarian killings, Fatima Bhutto has said that Pakistan has become a country of ghosts.

“They are everywhere, the victims and the perpetrators both,” she wrote in The Hindu on Friday.
Ismailis, she said, were a peaceful community of Muslims who shared a closeness with the country’s Shia minority and are thus victimised. “Seventy per cent of Pakistan’s Muslims are Sunni. And in this predominantly Muslim country, it is no longer Hindus or Christians who face the largest threat of violence from orthodox and radicalised groups but Shias,” Ms Bhutto said.

Also read: 'Goodbye, my son!' — After spate of attacks, Shias flee Pakistan
“We cannot look at the dead too long — only long enough to check that what ended their lives will not end our own. Fatal lists swing wildly from the specific to general. Are you Hazara? Are you Shia? Are you an Ahmadi? Any of the above will get you killed.”

Implicitly slamming the murder of bloggers in Bangladesh, she said: “Soon, are you a liberal? Supporters of Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf party, young Pakistanis living inside and outside the country, already troll the Internet attacking anyone vaguely critical of their values... Every journalist that criticises their party is a ‘lifafa journo’, implying the only reason to raise a bad word against them would be money, rather than common sense.

“Soon, like in Bangladesh, you will be asked: Are you a writer?
“There is violence everywhere here — in threats and in action. Everywhere.”

Every province that suffers the horrendous attacks suffers amnesia too. “Sindh’s phenomenally corrupt government mounted a defence against its sin of not protecting the 43 dead — terror happens all over the country, the chief minister said, it happens in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab too.”
Ms Bhutto noted that Pakistan had ended its moratorium on the death penalty in December. In the last six months, it has hanged over 100 people on death row. Of the 8,000 prisoners on death row in Pakistan, more than 1,000 have exhausted all their appeals.

“This was the response after the brutal Peshawar school attack: kill death row convicts and we will be safer. But since then, we have only had more blood.”
Published in Dawn, May 16th, 2015

Monday, 16 May 2016

Multi Party Conference urges to make amendments in AJK Interim Act 1974 for independent, fair & transparent elections

Multi Party Conference urges to make amendments in AJK Interim Act 1974 for independent, fair & transparent elections
Posted By: Sabah Newson: May 15, 2016In: Kashmir
ISLAMABAD, May 15 (SABAH): Multi-Party Conference organized by United Kashmir Peoples National Party and Awami Workers party urged to make amendments in AJK Interim Act 1974 for independent, fair and transparent elections
The present AJK Interim Constitution Act 1974 is unjust law which is giving all authorities to the Kashmir Affairs Ministry, Kashmir Council and to the direct appointed lent officers from Pakistan instead to appoint from AJK Government. However the fact is that this Interim Act was imposed by the government of Pakistan without AJK people consent. AJK is governed through the Ministry of Kashmir Affairs and Kashmir Council headed by Prime Minister of Pakistan. Pakistan officials dominate the Kashmir Council and that the Chief Secretary, the Inspector-General of Police, the Accountant-General and the Finance Secretary are all from Pakistan. 1974 Interim Constitutional act forbids any political activity that is not in accordance with the doctrine of Jammu and Kashmir accession with Pakistan.
However the People of Kashmir have right to elect their representatives democratically but theses representatives cannot exercise the powers getting from masses. All powers are consolidated with Kashmir Council which is governed from Pakistan. Even the united nations have declared the Kashmir as a disputed territory between India and Pakistan. According to the UN resolution, the people of Kashmir have special status. Pakistan is also openly supporting their right of self determination which is unlimited right to express freely.
The situation is very much contradictory with all pledges, commitments made by the Pakistan on different international forums.
The Nationalists political parties and progressive individuals, who believe the restoration of complete independent state of Jammu and Kashmir, are not allowed to take part in election process under this Act. The section 4(7-(2)) of this Intrim Act is restricting any person to participate in political activity who does not believe accession with Pakistan. This section is completely violates the right of self determination and fundamental human rights of AJK people. Without getting changes in this Act, people of Kashmir cannot get their political, social and economical rights.
On the topic “The Incoming Election of AJK Assembly Under Act 1974 And The Rights of Peoples of Azad Jammu Kashmir” United Kashmir Peoples National Party and Awami Worker Party by organizing jointly a Multiparty Conference on 15 May 2016 , urged to amendments in Interim Constitution Act 1974. Leading prominent lawyer and President AWP Abid Hassan Minto said that present laws implemented in AJK and Gilgit Baltistan, are not representing the right of people of Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan. The people of both regions are still facing colonial system and are not entertaining their democratic rights, he added.
Central spokesperson of AWP and organizer of the Conference, Nisar Shah Advocate said that present Act 1974 covers only AJK while there is need to restore the historical unification of both territories of AJK and Gilgit Baltistan by forming new constitutional assembly along with democratic constitution which represent and guarantee the basic rights of the people of Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan in real sense. By presiding the conference Vice chairperson of UKPNP Naila Khanin said that government of Pakistan should fulfill its commitments towards the issue of AJK and restore the rights of the people of AJK and Gilgit Baltistan.
Justice Abdul Majeed Malik, Sardar Khalid Ibrahim, Professor MRK Khaliq, Professor Saeed Asad, Sabir Kashmiri, Tahir Shah, Yaseen Anjum, Abdul Majeed Kanjoo, Dr. Yahya Ahmed spoke at the occasion. JK Liberation League, JK National AWami Party, JK Liberation Front, JK National Party, Blawaristan National Front, Gilgit Baltistan Action Committee, JK Peoples Party, PPP Jammu Kashmir, All Parties National Allience Blawaristan National Movement and other human rights organizations represented in the conference.
At the end all participants unanimously passed a resolution:
* Immediately Eliminate section 4(7(2)) of Interim Act 1974 to allow all nationalist political parties and individuals to contest incoming elections,
* By removing Kashmir Affairs ministry and Kshmir Council, call back all appointed officers from Pakistan,
* Establish market on local level for trading between Indian and Pakistani Kashmir and trade must be through local traders,
* Consider reservations and get representation of people of Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan on Pak-China CPEC before its implementation.
* Free AWP leader Baba Jaan, Iftikhar Hussain alog with other political leaders and end all false cases on them.

Sunday, 15 May 2016

The Charlatan saviour, by Gul Bukhari

The Charlatan saviour, by Gul Bukhari
What a sorry tale the Panama Leaks make: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s government and party tries to land the Supreme Court with an impossibly open ended mandate to investigate cases of corruption that may include thousands of people; the opposition parties want to make the investigations Sharif specific. The clear picture emerging is that everyone denies corruption, alleges it on everyone else, wants everyone else to be investigated, but not themselves. Clearly, it appears too many people have too many things to hide.
The Prime Minister has so far been unwilling or unable to answer some of the simplest questions arising from the Panama Leaks fiasco, and he and his family, party and cabinet have remained busy in pointing at others’ offshore companies and/ or bank loan defaults and/or other instances of shady financial dealings, insisting that all others also be investigated by any commission that is formed. The attempt to form a commission with an unbelievably wide mandate, under a law that renders such commissions as toothless, is not currying any favours with PMLN voters.
Conversely, businessmen, opposition leaders from the PPP, PTI, judges and generals have not escaped Panama, but none is giving transparent answers or explanations of their own dealings that they expect of the Prime Minister – taking refuge in the fact that they are not in as high a public office as their target. This too is disingenuous at best.
What has become clear, however, is that very few stakeholders are untainted, and therefore it is very unlikely that anything positive or constructive, like the beginning of honest accountability, will emerge anytime soon from this scandal.
Having said the above, there is one player who needs special focus at this time: Mr. Imran Khan. His, once again, was the loudest and holiest than thou voice, that led the current charge against the ruling family in an attempt to de-seat the government. This is not the first time Mr. Khan has attempted taking the moral high ground and establishing himself as the only ‘honest’ politician on the face of Pakistan. It must be mentioned here, by the way, that the gent has never spoken of the instances of massive corruption within the armed forces. For twenty years he has focused on establishing himself as the anti-Christ to the ‘politicians’ of Pakistan. And his credulous supporters have largely bought his narrative, and accepted the idea of his being the alternative to all other politicians and political parties, because of the moral, financial and intellectual probity Mr. Khan has convinced them he is the sole paragon of.
Unfortunately, however, yet again Mr. Khan has been discovered to be no different to those he paints as evil, corrupt, thieves, morally and intellectually bankrupt. The instances substantiating this are far too many – but I shall attempt to outline a few: I remember in the 1990s Mr. Khan began his political career with his slogan against ‘VIP culture’. The Aitchison and Oxford educated resident of a palatial Zaman Park property was railing against politicians of being guilty of living in luxury, indulging in VIP culture and being too distant from the masses – from the VIP lounge of Lahore airport. When a journalist reminded him of where he was conducting his presser from, Mr. Khan became speechless for what seemed an interminable time, before sheepishly uttering, ‘aainda nahi karoon ga’ (I will not do this again). This, from the wannabe leader who reviled elitism, but was too elitist to be even registered as a voter when he contested elections for the very first time, and had to face the embarrassment of not even being able to vote for himself. The desire to project himself as very different from who he really is was manifest from his first ever book, in which he declared he would marry a good, Pakistani, Muslim Pathan woman of his mother’s choosing, and then went on to wed Jemima Goldsmith.
Mr. Khan has recently made the laughable claim in one of his innumerable jalsa’s that he was the only politician jailed by former military dictator General Pervez Musharraf, taking the falsifying of recent history to previously unconquered heights. The gentleman remained a sitting member of Pervez Musharraf’s ‘democratic regime’ till the two fell out over the number of seats Musharraf was willing to allow him (according to the general) – nor was Imran Khan ever jailed by the dictator. But he is wont to portray himself as the true and only champion of truth and democracy – no matter how many little porkies he needs to tell to do so.
The one man no one can dispute as being controversial or untruthful, the iconic social worker Mr. Abul Sattar Edhi, is on record as having disclosed to DAWN newsgroup, ‘Once, I was approached by General Hamid Gul, Imran Khan and few intelligence officials, who were conspiring to overthrow Benazir Bhutto’s second government and wanted me to get involved….. eventually, I was made to feel threatened enough to temporarily leave the country.’’ His interviews to different news groups also have him on record as having been threatened with kidnapping by this same group of people. But Mr. Khan continues to projected himself as the true democrat, after having been a part of the deep state’s plot to overthrow Bhutto’s democratically elected government.
Very recently, in the Islamabad jalsa on the 24th of April, Mr. Khan remained at pains to establish to his audience as to why he had entered politics despite having been given more than enough by Allah – and spent the better part of an hour establishing his ‘eeman’ (faith & piety), his accountability to God, and his mission to do good for poor Pakistanis being plundered and looted by ‘crocodiles’ (read: the likes of ex-President Zardari and PM Nawaz Sharif whose families had been found to have offshore companies, whom he has alleged to be corrupt and tax thieves for years).Like a preacher, he exhorted his audience to answerability to God – he was yet again claiming loftiness and nobility of purpose as reasons for entering politics, the dirtiest game in town, without so much as a nod to the actual origins of his entry into politics: General Hamid Gul and the intelligence agencies’ plan to overthrow Benazir Bhutto. He went on to allude to different prophets who battled ‘zulm’ (terror/cruelty/subjugation), in order to paint himself and his followers as those who are following in the path of the prophets fighting against the injustices and subjugation of Kafirs, Romans and Jews (present day Zardaris and Sharifs).Unfortunately, within two weeks of said jalsa broke the story of Mr. Khan’s own offshore company in which he had held his London property (and possibly other incomes and assets) up to the point of sale in 2003 to evade taxes. Unfortunate too, was his less than a month old commandment: ‘Only reason ppl open offshore accts through Panama is to either hide wealth, esp ill-gotten wealth, or to evade tax or both.
’The gent landed in London only the day before yesterday and had to face the press. And his ‘explanation’ was that it was his ‘right’ (haq) to evade British taxes, not being a British citizen – not withstanding the fact that his income was of British origin as was his property located in the same country. But being a non citizen of a country of which he enjoyed all facilities paid for by other peoples’ taxes, he felt quite justified in not paying his own fair share. Similar is the story of his Banigala property on the outskirsts of Islamabad, which was transferred to him from a ‘benami’ account, once again a tax evasion and hidden wealth indicator. Hilariously, Mr. Khan did not even disclose his offshore company in his filing to the ECP in 2002, before selling off the assets contained within it.
The only conclusion that can be drawn is that by comparison, Mr. Khan defrauded public ex-chequers (of at least two different countries) to the extent his own circumstances and reach allowed. Others may have done so to the tune of millions or billions. But the difference in scale and his lack of opportunities does not make him more moral, ethical or upright of character than those he accuses. The others may have committed corruption on a grand scale, but poor Mr. Khan has had to be content with doing singers and tent providers out of their due; whilst others travel in their own planes and helicopters, Mr. Khan has had to make do with travelling in planes and helicopters of those accused of defaulting on loans and massive land grabbing – the very same type of tainted characters he once swore never to allow in his party.
Of courage and intellectual honesty, would it be suffice to mention that Mr. Khan is on record as having stated in an interview in India that he cannot name the Taliban as perpetrators of senseless violence in Pakistan, for that would imperil his physical existence in Pakistan? The self evident leadership, vision and courage laid bare by this statement beg the question as to how he claims superiority of conviction, honesty and messianic zeal over his adversaries.
His claims of fraudulent elections and stolen mandate of 2013 and 2014 also lie in tatters, exposed not only by various election tribunals, the Election Commission of Pakistan, and Supreme Court judges, but also by results of repeated by-elections across the length and breadth of Pakistan (under His Umpire’s supervision). Mr. Khan’s dishonest allegations of rigging by opponents lay exposed with the center stage unfolding, in slow motion, of his conspiracy to find a short-cut to become Prime Minister, by hook or by crook, with the aid of a certain Pasha and his cohort of four generals. Here lay exposed once again, Mr. Khan’s claims to moral, ethical and democratic superiority; here lay the tatters of his ‘Islamic’ credentials: of not lying, cheating, or catching the nearest way; of earning one’s due with hard work.
In short, this is no apology for the PML-N or any other political party, or character; this is simply an illustrated assertion of why Mr. Khan is not who he claims to be; of why he is no reasonable alternative to the status quo; of why he is perhaps the worst alternative the people could choose (or have chosen for them). Alters and pedestals he has chosen to place himself on are mere straws that cannot even stand up to scrutiny, leave aside serious blows. Mr. Khan is the least qualified to propose himself as the saviour he purports to be.

Think carefully before you challenge brute force of ISI, Dr Shabir Choudhry

Think carefully before you challenge brute force of ISI
Dr Shabir Choudhry     15 May 2016
I read Junaid Qureshi’s new article in Daily Kashmir Images which is published from Srinagar, after my morning prayer at 5am. The title was eye catching, 'The ISI is always right’. I went to sleep at 1am, and was really tired as I didn’t get sufficient sleep, but had to wake up for my obligatory prayer.

After the morning prayer and recitation of Quran, I habitually check my iphone for message and news. Junaid Qureshi’s message with a link to his article was there. I read his new article with great interest.

In my humble opinion, 'The ISI is always right...' is a wonderful and daring written contribution by Junaid Qureshi to pay tribute to Arif Shahid. Some may even say it is more valuable than a small one hour protest outside the Pakistan High Commission.

After reading the article I could sleep. I analysed the article from various perspectives; and got alarmed for safety and security of the writer. The Pakistani establishment and secret agencies, particularly the ISI is not very tolerant organisation. Human life, dignity and honour of people have no value to them.

They have mastered the art of defaming and eliminating those they perceive as enemies or opponents. Their victims include their fellow Pakistanis too. Their victims also include writers, journalists, and political activists. They can do anything and everything; and no one in Pakistan can even question them. They only show respect and demonstrate subservient attitude to officials of CIA, MI6, Saudi Arabia, China and some other big countries.

They can kill, torture, imprison and defame any Pakistani without any remorse. If they can do that to their fellow citizens, one can imagine what they can do to those who are not Pakistani citizens. Suffering and blood of people of the former Princely State of Jammu and Kashmir helps to promote their agenda in many ways; and they masterfully create situations which spill Kashmiri blood and multiply their suffering.

It is because of that they ensure the Kashmir dispute remains unresolved and keeps on boiling at acceptable temperature. Of course for that Kashmiri blood is needed as a fuel. People of State of Jammu and Kashmir have to suffer; and I cannot see an end to their suffering.

People of Jammu and Kashmir know they are occupied by China, Pakistan and India. They know it was Pakistan which violated the Standstill Agreement and attacked Jammu and Kashmir on 22 October 1947. They know this unprovoked attack resulted in death, destruction and rapes; and forced division of our motherland. They know it was Pakistan which refused to withdraw her troops from Jammu and Kashmir as demanded by the UNCIP Resolution of 13 August 1948. They know it was Pakistan which proposed to limit Kashmiri people’s right to independence and substituted it with a right to accession to either India or Pakistan. They know Pakistan illegally gave away around 2000 square miles of Jammu and Kashmiri territory to China in 1963 to win their friendship. They know Pakistan agreed on division of Jammu and Kashmir in 1963. They know Pakistan made the Kashmir dispute bilateral. They know citizens of Jammu and Kashmir are also victims of Pakistani policies; and yet they have to endure all the wrong doings, and still praise Pakistan. In order to be a patriotic Kashmiri they have to condemn only India for their wrong doings; and remain quiet what Pakistan does. If they don’t, they won’t celebrate their next birthday.

Plight of Arif Shahid, Ali Murtaza, Mirwaiz Molana Farooq, Dr Ghulam Qadir Wani, Abdul Ahad Guru, Abdul Ghani Lone, Shahban Wakeel and many others flashed to my mind.

I wish Junaid Qureshi all the best in his ‘jihad’ to expose those who led us to this blind valley of death. While commending him for what he is doing I wish he doesn’t land in hot water like I did while criticising the ISI and the Pakistani role in the Kashmir dispute.

Junaid Qureshi should remember that we live in a global village; and Europe is also part of this village. They can ‘sort out’ anyone anywhere in the world; as they said to my late father when I wrote against upraising of the Mangla Dam.

My father was 82 at that time, and the officer who went to my house (in Pakistani Occupied Kashmir) to warn the old soldier who served in the British army in the Second World War and the Pakistan army afterwards:
‘Tell Shabir to behave like human being or else we can sort him out over there (in London) as well (In Urdu he said: Shabir ko bolo Bandey ka puter baney, warna hum uss ko wahn be theek kar saktey hain, as if I was not a son of human being).

This is not to suggest that only Pakistan is culprit in Jammu and Kashmir. Pakistan has its faults and wrong policy. India has its faults and wrong policy. The Indian policy has also resulted in deaths, rapes, imprisonment and custodial deaths and we condemn it. Responsibility of every government is to protect life, honour and property of the citizens. India has failed to honour their pledges to the world and to the people of Jammu and Kashmir. If Pakistan is stirring up problems in Kashmir and sending militants than take these issues with Pakistan; and not punish people of Kashmir.

I end my submission with a quote from Junaid Qureshi’s article:
Major-General Sahib was the first one to react. “Sir, with all due respect, but this could backfire. It could create problems for us here and especially in the Valley”.
DG Sahib was not impressed. “He is not being killed by the Indians. A Pakistani bullet is different from an Indian bullet. It always has been. Only Indian bullets produce Shaheeds. Our bullets don’t. Nobody will bother in the Valley.
Did they bother when we killed others like him in the Valley itself? Why would they suddenly bother about someone being killed here? They will assume that he was an Indian agent. They will find justifications for his death. They always do.’
Below is a link to Junaid Qureshi’s article.
Writer is a political analyst, TV anchor and author of many books and booklets. Also he is Director Institute of Kashmir Affairs. Email:drshabirchoudhry@gmail.com

Wednesday, 11 May 2016

Another ‘RAW agent’ released for lack of evidence, court told

Another ‘RAW agent’ released for lack of evidence, court told
ISHAQ TANOLI (Court should use Imran Khan logic - prove that U R not an agent)
KARACHI: The police informed the administrative judge of the antiterrorism courts on Tuesday that they had also released a fourth suspect out of the five allegedly detained for spying for India because of lack of evidence.

The counterterrorism department of police claimed to have arrested five fishermen — Saddam Hussain, Bachal, Nadeem, Zeeshan and Ghulam Sarwar — on April 18.

The CTD detained them under Section 11-EEEE of the Anti-Terrorism Act, 1997 for an inquiry for allegedly having ties with and spying for Indian spying agency Research and Analysis Wing (RAW).

However, an official through a report informed the court that they had also released Bachal as no evidence was found against him during the investigation.

It added that Saddam had formally been booked in a case and his remand was obtained from an area magistrate.

Earlier, the CTD had informed the administrative judge that they had released the other three suspects for want of evidence.

Facebook kidnapper sent to prison for life

An antiterrorism court sentenced on Tuesday a man to life in prison for kidnapping his Facebook friend for ransom.

Taimur Alvi was found guilty of abducting 13-year-old Facebook friend Mustafa Dossal in May 2013 outside his school in the Defence Housing Authority and handing him over to his accomplices, who demanded a ransom of Rs50 million from the captive’s family.

ATC-III judge Syed Shakeel Haider also ordered the confiscation of moveable and immoveable property of the convict.

According to the prosecution, Mustafa was studying in a noted private school in Defence Phase-II and he had a 12-year-old Facebook friend, Saad Alvi. But Saad Alvi’s elder brother, Taimur, took over the friendship. On May 24, the suspect picked up the victim outside his school, took him to Lyari to hand him over to four kidnappers and then drove him to a Hub area.

It further said that the police tracked down Taimur a couple of days after the kidnapping and he led a joint team of the Anti-Violent Crime Cell and the Citizens-Police Liaison Committee to a hideout in Hub.

Four suspected kidnappers were killed in an exchange of fire and the captive was recovered.

Published in Dawn, May 11th, 2016

New NRO has to take place to save Pakistan, Dr Shabir Choudhry

New NRO has to take place to save Pakistan
Dr Shabir Choudhry

It is debatable if Pakistan was created to advance the cause of Islam; but the past history proves that certain groups of people are always above the law and it looks Pakistan was created for them.
Pakistan has not only advanced in fields of nuclear technology and missile system; they have also excelled in art of committing and hiding tracks in fields of corruption, nepotism, extremism, terrorism and so on.

Their misdeeds, rampant corruption, regionalism, sectarianism and export of terrorism have, once again, led the country to the verge of collapse. Neighbours of Pakistan, including America, Saudi Arabia, Russia, and other friends want Pakistan to survive as a nation state.
However, Pakistani politicians, religious groups and the ruling elite are more interested in saving and advancing their interests at the cost of the interests of Pakistan.

The Panama leaks have made Pakistan more vulnerable and exposed corruption of nearly all sections of the Pakistani society. Some politicians and media have hyped the Panama gate so much that people want some answers.

Recent revelations prove that in the pool of corruption nearly all are naked. Then question arises, who would carry out strict accountability which will surely result in drowning together. That is something the ruling elite cannot afford.

In view of the above scenario, it is most probable that to save the system and to save each other a new NRO is worked out. Under the new NRO, across the board accountability will take place in such a scientific way that no one will be found guilty.

This will lead to new elections and the system will continue functioning.