Archive | Asia

Pakistan Taliban: Peshawar school attack leaves 141 dead

NOVANEWS

Militants from the Pakistani Taliban have attacked a school in Peshawar, killing 141 people, 132 of them children, the military say.

Pakistani officials say the attack is now over, with all of the attackers killed. A total of seven militants took part, according to the army.

Scores of survivors are being treated in hospitals as frantic parents search for news of their children.

The attack is the deadliest ever by the Taliban in Pakistan.

There has been chaos outside hospital units to which casualties were taken, the BBC’s Shaimaa Khalil reports from Peshawar.

Bodies have been carried out of hospitals in coffins, escorted by crowds of mourners, some of them visibly distraught.

Mourners carry the coffin of a student from a hospital in Peshawar, 16 December
Coffins are being carried out of Peshawar hospitals
Empty coffins stacked at a hospital in Peshawar, 16 December
Empty coffins were delivered to a hospital in Peshawar in readiness for the removal of the dead
Relatives comfort injured student Mohammad Baqair in Peshawar, 16 December
School pupil Mohammad Baqair lost his mother, a teacher, in the attack

A Taliban spokesman told BBC Urdu that the school, which is run by the army, had been targeted in response to army operations.

Hundreds of Taliban fighters are thought to have died in a recent military offensive in North Waziristan and the nearby Khyber area.

US President Barack Obama condemned the “horrific attack (…) in the strongest possible terms”.

line

Analysis: Aamer Ahmed Khan, BBC News

This brutal attack may well be a watershed for a country long accused by the world of treating terrorists as strategic assets.

Pakistan’s policy-makers struggling to come to grips with various shades of militants have often cited a “lack of consensus” and “large pockets of sympathy” for religious militants as a major stumbling-block.

That is probably why, when army chief Gen Raheel Sharif launched what he called an indiscriminate operation earlier in the year against militant groups in Pakistan’s lawless tribal belt, the political response was lukewarm at best.

We will get them, was his message, be they Pakistani Taliban, Punjabi Taliban, al-Qaeda and affiliates, or most importantly, the dreaded Haqqani network. But the country’s political leadership chose to remain largely silent. This is very likely to change now.

line
BBC map, showing the army school in Peshawar
Relatives wait outside a hospital in Peshawar, 16 December
Anxious family members crowded around Peshawar hospitals
Soldiers help evacuate children
Troops helped evacuate children from the school
Injured student being evacuated
A total of 114 people were injured

Military spokesman Asim Bajwa told reporters in Peshawar that 132 children and nine members of staff had been killed.

All seven of the attackers wore suicide bomb vests, he said. Scores of people were also injured.

It appears the militants scaled walls to get into the school and set off a bomb at the start of the assault.

Children who escaped say the militants then went from one classroom to another, shooting indiscriminately.

One boy told reporters he had been with a group of 10 friends who tried to run away and hide. He was the only one to survive.

Others described seeing pupils lying dead in the corridors. One local woman said her friend’s daughter had escaped because her clothing was covered in blood from those around her and she had lain pretending to be dead.

Deadly attacks in Pakistan
Mourners after the Peshawar church attack, 22 September 2013

16 December 2014: Taliban attack on school in Peshawar leaves at least 141 people dead, 132 of them children

22 September 2013: Militants linked to the Taliban kill at least 80 peopleat a church in Peshawar, in one of the worst attacks on Christians

10 January 2013: Militant bombers target the Hazara Shia Muslim minority in the city of Quetta, killing 120 at a snooker hall and on a street

28 May 2010: Gunmen attack two mosques of the minority Ahmadi Islamic sect in Lahore, killing more than 80 people

18 October 2007: Twin bomb attack at a rally for Benazir Bhutto in Karachi leaves at least 130 dead. Unclear if Taliban behind attack

A hospital doctor treating injured children said many had head and chest injuries.

Irshadah Bibi, a woman who lost her 12-year-old son, was seen beating her face in grief, throwing herself against an ambulance.

“O God, why did you snatch away my son?” AFP news agency quoted her as saying.

An injured girl is carried to hospital in Peshawar, 16 December
Some of the injured were carried to hospital in people’s arms
Children fleeing the school
Both girls and boys went to the school
Pakistani troops at the scene
Troops sealed off the area around the school

The school is near a military complex in Peshawar. The city, close to the Afghan border, has seen some of the worst of the violence during the Taliban insurgency in recent years.

Many of the students were the children of military personnel. Most of them would have been aged 16 or under.

Hundreds of parents are outside the school waiting for news of their children, according to Wafis Jan from the Red Crescent

Malala Yousafzai, a Pakistani Nobel laureate who was shot by the Taliban for campaigning for the right to an education, condemned the attack.

“I, along with millions of others around the world, mourn these children, my brothers and sisters, but we will never be defeated,” she said.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, who has arrived in Peshawar, described the attack as a “national tragedy”. Pakistani opposition leader and former cricket captain Imran Khan condemned it as “utter barbarism”.

A Taliban spokesman was quoted by Reuters as saying the school had been attacked because the “government is targeting our families and females”.

Posted in Pakistan & KashmirComments Off

Why South Koreans are in love with Judaism

NOVANEWS

OCDG: Do I really have to say anything? This is too easy.

A child in Seoul studies a Jewish text sells his “seoul” to beelzebub

The JC

The South Korean ambassador to Israel, Ma Young-sam, raised eyebrows recently when he told reporters the Talmud was mandatory reading for Korean schoolchildren.

South Korea is a country with a deep Buddhist history, but one which has embraced with vigour the Christianity brought to its shores by missionaries in the late 1800s. Official statistics say some 30 per cent of South Koreans are church-going. In such a country, Jews are few and far between.

Yet, pop down to the local corner shop and along with a pot of instant rice or dried noodles, you can buy a copy of Stories from the Talmud. It is not rare, either, to come across book-vending machines stocked with classic works of Babylonian Judaism.

The Talmud is a bestseller in South Korea – even the government insists it is good for you, and has included it on the curriculum for primary school children.

Lee Chang-ro heads a literature research team at the Ministry for Education. He says: “The reasons why Korean children are taught Talmud are pretty obvious. Koreans and Jews both have a long history of oppression and surviving adversity with nothing but their own ingenuity to thank. There are no natural resources to speak of in Korea, so, like the Jews, all we can develop is our minds.”

The fascination with Judaism does not end there. Media outlets regularly run newspapers columns on “Jewish education”, weekly radio features, and television documentaries, all of them showing Jews in a glowing light.

The Talmud Guide to the Inferno on display in a Korean bookshop

Although average Koreans can boast that their bookshelves hold at least one or two copies of the Talmud, to think of Korea as a hotbed of latent Judaism would be wrong. The motivation is less to do with religion and more to do with aspiration. Korean parents value schooling above all else. Parents send their children to after-school crammers until midnight and will spend their last penny on tutors and extra lessons. And, shy of good role models on the quest to securing academic success for their offspring, mothers almost unerringly turn to the Jews for inspiration.

Mother-of-two Lee San-sook explains that the way that Jewish children are brought up is universally viewed as positive in Korea.

“The stereotype of Jews here is that they are ultra-intelligent people. Jews have come out of nowhere to become business chiefs, media bosses, Nobel Prize winners – we want our children to do the same. If that means studying Talmud, Torah, whatever, so be it,” she says.

Nonetheless, for a small number of Koreans, this love of Jewishness does translate into religious observance, even though, with no synagogues and no access to kosher food, they encounter almost insurmountable problems in leading a Jewish life.

One wannabe Jew, 38-year-old Park Yo-han, has handed in his notice at an investment bank to take the plunge into Judaism. He says he will go to New York, where he knows nobody, has no job prospects, just to follow his dream of Orthodox conversion.

“I’ve tried just about everything. Converting in Korea isn’t difficult – it’s impossible,” he says.

Jewish observance in Seoul is almost entirely centred on Friday night services in the back of a Christian chapel on a US Army base. Every week, the tiny congregation of ex-pats and locals flip pews containing hymns books and New Testaments to face a pokey little ark for prayers. At the end of the night, everything gets put back in place for Friday night Mass. If there was not a small Ner Tamid hanging above the ark, you really would mistake it for a cupboard.

Most of the regular and long-serving members of the congregation are non-Jewish Koreans – civil servants, doctors and a politician from the ruling party, who is currently squeezing in his attendance between bouts of campaigning for local elections. They have no wish to convert but they take their interest in Judaism seriously. Most boast impressive collections of Judaica and read Hebrew fluently.

Among their number is a living legend of Korean Jewry, Abraham Cha. One of the few Koreans who have actually converted, he is a regular fixture at the US Army base services.

An old man now, he still cuts a memorable figure. He has a wild beard, payot, tzitzit protruding proudly, and maintains an unrivalled personal library of Jewish books from around the world, which he has painstakingly collected.

Cha says he had to give up everything to become an observant Jew in Korea.

“My family don’t speak to me any more, I had to divorce my wife. I even had to stop working because they wouldn’t give me the day off on Shabbat or on Jewish holidays. My bosses couldn’t conceive what it meant to be Jewish.”

Although precisely what it involves to be a Jew eludes most Koreans, anti-Jewish feeling is almost unthinkable in this part of the world.

Says Seoul resident Naomi Zaslow, “If you refuse a plate of pork ribs here, people will be dumbfounded. If you tell them it’s because you’re Jewish, they’ll unfailingly look impressed and say: ‘Oh, you must be very clever’.”

Posted in South Korea0 Comments

India behind the Fall of Dhaka

NOVANEWS

BANGLADESH 1.52m x 0.91m (5ftx 3ft) Budget Display Flag

By Sajjad Shaukat

16th December is the day of tragic memory when Pakistan was dismembered and a new state of

Bangladesh was created in 1971 as part of Indian conspiracy which still continues against the

India has a long-gone history of many centuries, based upon religious prejudice against the

Muslims. In this respect, Indian intelligence agency, RAW which was founded in 1968, has

assumed a significant status as invisible actor in formulation of India’s domestic, regional and

global policies, particularly directed against Pakistan.

Hindus give credit to Indira Gandhi who in the late 1970s gave RAW a new role to suit her

‘Indira Doctrine’ specifically asking it to undertake covert operations in neighboring countries,

especially Pakistan which comprises majority of Muslims. RAW was given a green signal to

mobilize all its resources by exploiting political turmoil in East Pakistan in 1971 which this

agency had created through its agents who provided Bengalis with arms and ammunition for

conducting guerrilla acts against the Pakistani defense forces.

Regarding the separation of East Pakistan, Indian RAW had unleashed a well-organized plan of

psychological warfare, creation of polarization among the armed forces, propaganda by false

allegations against West Pakistan, creation of differences between the political parties and

religious sects of East and West Pakistan, control of media, manipulating linguistic, political and

economic disputes in order to malign the Bengalis against Islamabad.

There is no doubt that one can note political, economic and social disparities almost in every

Third World country. India, itself, contains these disparities on larger scale. In seven states of

India, separatist movements are at work. But, New Delhi which has not recognized the existence

of Pakistan since partition, left no stone unturned in planting and exploiting differences between

the people of East and West Pakistan.

RAW has a long history of sinister activities in the East Pakistan, backing secular areas of Hindu

minority who had played an important role in motivating Bengali Muslims against West

Pakistan. RAW’s well-paid agents had activated themselves in East Pakistan in the 1960’s so as

to dismember Pakistan. For this aim, it took the responsibility of funding Sheikh Mujibur

Rahmans’ general elections in 1970 and the members of his party, Awami League. It colluded

with the pro-Indian persons and had paid full attention in training and arming the Mukti Bahnis.

RAW, playing with the bloodshed of Muslims, succeeded in initiating a civil war in East

Pakistan. However, huge quantity of arms started entering East Pakistan along with the guideline

of Indian army and RAW. Meanwhile, India welcomed the refugees from East Pakistan,

providing them with every facility to provocate them against West Pakistan.

Majib was already in connivance with India for separation of East Pakistan. In this connection,

Asoka Raina in his book, ‘Inside RAW: The Story of India’s Secret Service’, discloses, “Indian

intelligence agencies were involved in erstwhile East Pakistan…its operatives were in touch with

Sheikh Mujib as the possible ‘Father’ of a new nation-Bangladesh, who went to Agartala in

1965. The famous Agartala case was unearthed in 1967. In fact, the main purpose of raising

RAW in 1968 was to organise covert operations in Bangladesh. Indian army officers and RAW

officials used Bengali refugees to set up Mukti Bahini. Using this outfit as a cover, Indian

military sneaked deep into East Pakistan…the story of Mukti Bahini and RAW’s role in its

creation and training is now well-known.”

Asoka further explained, “Indian sources including journalists have put on record how much

RAW had established the network of a separatist movement through ‘cells’ within East Pakistan

and military training camps in Indian territory adjoining East Pakistan…carrying out acts of

sabotage against communication lines so that Indian forces simply marched in at the ‘right’ time.

RAW agents provided valuable information as well as acting as an advance guard for conducting

unconventional guerrilla acts against the Pakistani defense forces.”

It is mentionable that before the 1971 war, Mujibur Rahman, had announced a separate national

flag for East Pakistan in his six points which also included that currency of East Pakistan should

be different along with a separate military.

His six points created prejudice among Bengali people especially against West Pakistan. The

famous slogan, during his addresses and rallies was, “Punjabi dogs go back.” It was due to

Mujib’s instigation that besides Punjabis, Bengalis had also tortured and killed Biharis,

Pashtoons and Balochis, while their women were raped.

In this respect, a well-known Bengali journalist Sarmila Bose authored a book, “Dead

Reckoning: Memories of the 1971 Bangladesh War” after thorough investigation. Her book was

published in 2011. While countering exaggeration of the Indian and Bengali Journalists, Bose

argues that the number of Bengalis killed in 1971 was not three million, but around 50,000,

while Bengalis were equally involved in the bloodshed of non-Bengalis.

As regards the fall of Dhaka, Majibur Rahman was already biased against West Pakistan, and

started misguiding the people of East Pakistan by preparing their minds for separation of

Bangladesh. In this respect, when in 1948, Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah addressed

Dhaka University; he declared that Urdu would be national language of the country. Majib stood

up and said emotionally that Bengali should also be national language.

It is notable that East Pakistan tragedy was not a military defeat, as it was a political defeat,

because politicians refused to accommodate each other in accordance with the election-results so

as to obtain their political interests.

Despite this, Indian preplanned plot and Sheikh Mujibur Rahman negative role cannot be

ignored. It could be judged from the fact that when East Pakistan was occupied by Indian Army

in 1971, Majib stated with pleasure that his 24 years old dream of an independent Bangladesh

Undoubtedly, India had played a key role in the fall of Dhaka, which culminated in

dismemberment of Pakistan. Even at present, Indian RAW has been implementing Indian hidden

agenda by supporting separatism in Balochistan, and insurgency in various regions in order to

further weaken or disintegrate the federation of Pakistan.

Sajjad Shaukat writes on international affairs and is author of the book: US vs Islamic Militants,

Invisible Balance of Power: Dangerous Shift in International Relations

Posted in India0 Comments

Convicted by UK courts, drug trafficker makes official jailbreak

NOVANEWS

ISLAMABAD: The job of law enforcement agencies is to ensure that sentences handed down to felons and convicted criminals are carried out. But a recent case, where a senior government official ‘rescued’ a narcotics smuggler, convicted by a British court, has raised many eyebrows among legal circles.

In 2004, a British court sentenced Asad Javed, a Pakistani national, to 25 years in prison for drug trafficking and, under a bilateral agreement on repatriation of condemned prisoners, he was brought to Pakistan in 2010 to complete his sentence.

But ‘corrupt’ elements within the Ministry of Interior and police force allegedly obtained his released on ‘forged’ documents.

Accused used connections in interior ministry to forge release papers, fool inspection team


In 2012, when the British government found out about the illegal release of their convict, they stopped the repatriation of criminals to Pakistan.

As per the FIR registered with the Federal Investigation Agency’s (FIA) Crimes Circle on March 28 of this year, Asad Javed was arrested under Section 4 (1) of the misuse of Drugs Act 1971.

The Crown Court at Southwark, United Kingdom (UK) convicted him and awarded him 25 years imprisonment.

Since Pakistan and UK have domestic laws for repatriation of convicted prisoners to their respective countries and both are signatories to the bilateral agreement of August 24, 2007, Javed was handed over to Pakistani authorities on August 8, 2010 to serve out his remaining sentence.

But Javed was released from the Karachi Central Jail on September 9, 2010 after the home department granted him a remission, as per documents produced by FIA in court.

According to the documents, a section officer at the Interior Ministry, Ali Mohammad Malik, orchestrated Javed’s release by forwarding forged letters to the Central Jail authorities, helping the walk free and eventually flee to Dubai.

However when the British government learned that Javed had been released, they formally approached the interior ministry and demanded that they be allowed to verify the prisoner’s presence in jail.

According to FIA investigators, section officer Malik then asked Javed to return to Pakistan for a few days.

Once back, he was booked for the minor charge of possession of alcohol and sent back to the ajil where officials of the British High Commission and a representative of the interior ministry verified his presence through biometric verification.

After the visit, however, Javed walked free after posting bail for the minor offence he was charged with.

But when the British High Commission pursued the matter further, the FIA began its own investigation and found that the section officer of had unlawfully granted a remission to Javed, which led to his early release.

An FIR was registered the case against both – Javed and section officer Malik – for fraud, breach of trust and abetment and produced them before an FIA special judge.

The judge then sent them to jail on judicial remand. Subsequently, both applied for post arrest bail before the Islamabad High Court (IHC).

In court, the accused contended that the British government had introduced the ‘Prisoners Early Release Scheme’ in 2007 to reduce the burden on overcrowded prisons.

The lawyer for the accused duo argued that if Javed was in UK, he would have been released by November 2010, therefore his release in the same year was legal.

Barrister Jahangir Khan Jadoon, standing counsel for the federal government, stated that the convict was brought back to Pakistan to serve out the remainder of his sentence, but obtained his release on the basis of forged documents.

IHC Justice Noorul Haq N. Qureshi, announcing the judgment observed that the conduct of the convict petitioner was “astonishing”.

The judge ruled, “I am not inclined to grant bail to the petitioner. Hence bail petition is dismissed.”

The court then remanded the case back to the FIA for proceedings against both the accused.

Posted in Pakistan & Kashmir, UK0 Comments

Indonesian editor accused of blasphemy for cartoon

NOVANEWS

online quran

 

JAKARTA: Indonesian police accused the top editor of a leading English-language newspaper of blasphemy after the paper published a cartoon depicting the flag of the militant Islamic State group that allegedly insulted Islam.

Meidyatama Suryo­diningrat, editor-in-chief of the Jakarta Post, would be summoned for questioning next week, Jakarta police spokesman Col. Rikwanto said on Thursday.

Police typically prepare the dossiers to be handed over to prosecutors, who will file the charges.

If found guilty, he could face five years in prison, added Rikwanto, who like many Indonesians, uses a single name.

The cartoon published July 3 put a skull and crossbones in the black-and-white flag of the militant Islamic State group and left sacred phrases in Arabic, including “Allah,” that appear on the flag inside the skull.

The paper has apologised and retracted the cartoon, but an Islamic group, Jakarta Mubalig Corps, filed a complaint to the police, arguing that the case should be brought to the court.

Meidyatama defended the publication as a “journalistic piece” criticising the Islamic State group, an extremist militant movement that has seized control of chunks of Iraq and Syria and has beheaded scores of people.

“We are amazed because the fact is we did not commit a criminal act as accused,” he said in a statement published by the paper on Friday.

Posted in South Asia0 Comments

Terrorism is Mother of Evils and Sufferings

NOVANEWS

By Sajjad Shaukat

Terrorism is the mother of all evils and root cause of Muslims’ sufferings in general and Pakistan

Terrorists have maligned the name of Islam to have acceptability to their inhuman actions with a

view to generating semblance of legitimacy.

Suicide bombers are mostly juveniles, oblivious of the fact that suicide is ‘HARAM’

(Illegitimate) in Islam. Allah (God) says, kill not yourselves. Surely Allah is merciful…and cast

not yourselves into ruin with your own hands. Suicide bombers are not only killing themselves,

but are also killing innocent human beings.

While taking note of terrorists’ suicide attacks in Middle East and Pakistan, Saudi Arabia’s grand

mufti (Mufti-e-Azam),Sheikh Abdul Aziz bin Abdullah al-Sheikh issued a Fatwa (Religious

verdict), asserting that suicide attacks are illegal and illegitimate (HARAM).” He explained,

“Such acts fall under the category of crime and suicide bombers or terrorists represent an

adversary of Islam and enemy of Muslims…they commit crimes against humanity, while

misguiding other Muslims.” Denouncing terrorism as un-Islamic, he pointed out that terrorists’

activities are part of a conspiracy to defame Islam and destroy Muslims.

However, in the recent years, Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and its affiliated banned outfits

conducted many terror-activities in Pakistan like suicide attacks, ruthless beheadings of

tribesmen, assaults on security personnel and prominent figures including Shias, Ahmadis, Sufis,

Christians and Sikhs. Contrary to the teachings on the importance of gaining education and

knowledge in Islam, these terrorists have destroyed and torched more than 1,000 schools and

mosques in Pakistan. They also attacked the female teachers in order to deny education to girls.

Besides, terror-attacks in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, FATA, Balochistan and Karachi are part of the

scheme to create chaotic situation in the country. Indian Consulates in Afghanistan are also

playing a very negative role in supporting TTP and Baloch separatists.

In this respect, choosing Pakistani venue for targeting innocent public by a suicide attack at

Wagha border in Lahore, on November 2, 2014, while flag ceremony was being conducted on

both sides of the border is testament to TTP’s terrorists’ hidden agenda and allegiance to the

enemies of Pakistan. Besides, India is also encouraging TTP factions showing allegiance for

DAISH ISIS (Islamic State in Iraq and Syria), to get united.

Terrorism has caused massive damage to the prosperity of Pakistan during last 14 years. In this

context, the Parliamentary Secretary for Interior, Maryam Aurangzeb informed the National

Assembly on December 19, 2014, “Extremist groups have been active throughout the country

with their own ideology…Pakistan which has been major victim of terrorism has suffered a loss

of almost 80 billion dollars including loss of 50,000 precious lives of civilians and security

agencies…huge collateral damage during the decade long war against terrorism.”

Undoubtedly, in our country, the victims of terror attacks and suicide bombings have been

innocent men, women and children. Regrettably, those militant entities like TTP, which try to

justify terrorism and suicide bombings in the name of Islam, are misguiding the people, while

these brutal acts are clearly against the teachings of Islam.

From time to time, while condemning the militants’ inhuman activities as undemocratic and un-

Islamic practices, Pakistan’s various Ulema (Islamic scholars) have clarified in their joint fatwa,

and separate statements that “killing of innocent people, target killings and suicide bombings

including sectarianism are against the spirit of Islam…the terrorists’ self-adopted interpretation

of Islam was nothing, but ignorance and digression from the actual teachings of the religion.”

They explained, “Islam does not forbid women’s education.”

While, Islam is a religion of universal application, as it emphasizes peace, democracy,

moderation and human rights including tolerance of political groups, religious communities and

sects which are in minority in a country. It also permits periodic reinterpretation of Islamic

teachings which is called Ijtihad.

The Constitution of 1973 which was unanimously adopted, clearly states that Pakistan is

basically a democracy guided by the Islamic principles and values—no law would be made

contrary to Quran and Sunnah.

Notably, the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) in his sermon at Hajjatul Wida issued directions for

protection of life, property and dignity of the whole mankind. The sermon became a charter of

democracy which was included in the constitutions of the western elected governments in one

In fact, Islam and democracy have co-relationship with each other. Diversified people and Ulema

participate in the system of representatives, which does not exclude or discriminate any one on

basis of caste, creed and sect. It does not confine religion to mosque.

Islam considers killing one innocent person equal to murdering the entire humanity, while Jihad

is a sacred obligation, but its real spirit needs to be understood clearly, as killing innocent women

and children is not Jihad. By playing in the hands of anti-Pakistan foreign countries, especially

Indian secret agency RAW, the TTP and its banned affiliated groups are defaming Islam.

Every one knows that terrorism caused political instability, economic crisis, social strife and

sectarian divide in Pakistan. And, terrorists are foreign-paid killers, having foreign agenda,

while, Islam condemns terrorism in any form.

it is mentionable that Pakistan’s Armed Forces have almost defeated the ferocious terrorists,

particularly of the TTP by clearing the areas of North Waziristan Agency by military operation

Zarb-e-Azb which has broken the backbone of the insurgents, and is rapidly been achieving its

objectives. The operation has full support of the civil government, opposition parties and Ulema

including all other segments of society and general masses who are united against terrorism. In

this regard, DG, ISPR Directorate, Major-Gen. Asim Saleem Bajwa had stated, “Armed forces of

Pakistan have launched the operation against terrorists…who had been waging a war against the

state of Pakistan by disrupting our national life in all its dimensions…with the support of the

entire nation, these enemies will be denied space across the country.”

Optimistically speaking, Pakistan can soon be on the road to prosperity, a secure country to

invest, a peaceful place for tourists to visit, provided the terrorism which is mother of evils and

sufferings is eliminated from its roots.

Sajjad Shaukat writes on international affairs and is author of the book: US vs Islamic Militants,

Invisible Balance of Power: Dangerous Shift in International Relations

Posted in Pakistan & Kashmir0 Comments

NATO Symbolically Lowers Flag in Afghanistan, But US War To March On

NOVANEWS

Public declaration that combat is ending belies Obama administration’s quiet expansion of war

The ISAF color guard marches during the ISAF Joint Command (IJC) and XVIII Airborne Corps colors casing ceremony, Dec 8, 2014 at North Kabul Afghanistan International Airport, Afghanistan. (Photo: ISAF/Public Domain)

At a flag-lowering ceremony in Kabul on Monday, U.S. and NATO military commanders publicly declared that combat operations in Afghanistan are coming to a close.

While major media outlets quickly picked up and parroted this message, one problem remains: the U.S.-led war is not, in fact, ending.

Announcing the formal closure of joint U.S. and NATO headquarters for the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), General John Campbell, U.S. Army General and commander of ISAF, claimed on Monday that the joint command “will be subsumed into a coalition that is soon downsizing to about 3,000 personnel.” Campbell added, “You’ve done your job well so well that you’ve worked yourself out of a job.”

“ISAF is transitioning to the NATO-led Resolute Support (RS) mission which will focus on training, advising and assisting Afghan Security Institutions and ANSF at the ministerial, institutional, and operational levels,” reads a statement from ISAF about Monday’s ceremony. “The RS mission begins January 1st, 2015.”

The public display, however, comes as the Obama administration quietly moves to continue, and in some aspects expand, the war.

In November, President Obama signed a secret order authorizing a more expansive military mission in Afghanistan through 2015, the New York Times revealed late last month. The measure green-lights U.S. deployment of ground troops for military operations targeting the Taliban and other armed groups, as well as use of jets, bombers, and drones.

Furthermore, outgoing U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel announced Saturday that, into 2015, the United States will keep up to 1,000 more U.S. soldiers than the numbers previously outline in Obama’s May pledge to cut troop levels. This would bring the total number of U.S. troops to as many as 10,800 into next year, and the total number of foreign troops to 13,000, when the thousands of remaining NATO soldiers are taken into account. Troops that remain will engage in “combat enabler” roles, Hagel stated.

And then there is the Bilateral Security Agreement between the U.S. and Afghan governments, which was signed in September and locks in at least another decade of U.S. troops in the country, as well as training, funding, and arming of the Afghan military. The agreement also secures immunity for U.S. service members under Afghan law—a measure that is highly controversial in a country that has suffered massacres of civilians.

Furthermore, in late November, U.S.-backed Afghan president Ashraf Ghani removed the ban on unpopular night raids by special forces. Special Forces units from the Afghan Army are already preparing to resume the raids, in some cases with the participation of U.S. Special Operations.

People in Afghanistan, who live with the impacts of these policies, may shudder at the claim that ISAF “did its job well.”

report released in July by the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan notes that Afghan civilian deaths and wounds as a result of the fighting have steadily risen since 2012 and are overall higher than they were in 2009. Furthermore, a report released in November by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs finds that 7,965 civilians were killed and wounded by conflict between January and September 2014—22 percent of them children. During this time period, approximately 105,800 people were forced to flee their homes.

As recently as Saturday, ISAF troops killed two civilians in Southern Kandahar when they opened fire into their car, according to journalist Bashir Ahmad Naadem.

Critics charge that the real outcome of the U.S.-led war is death, social destabilization, poverty, and political dependency and corruption.

“In the past thirteen years, the U.S. and its allies have wasted tens of billions of dollars and turned this country into the center of global surveillance and mafia gangs and left it poor, corrupt, insecure, hungry, and crippled with tribal, linguistic, and sectarian divisions,” declared the Revolutionary Association of Women in Afghanistan in a statement released on the 13th anniversary of the U.S.-led invasion.

“Our people, tired of war, have been burning in the fire of oppression and plunder set by the occupiers and their stooges.”

Posted in Afghanistan, USA0 Comments

India’s Fake Encounter Drama in Kashmir

NOVANEWS

By Sajjad Shaukat

On the one side, India claims to be world’s largest democracy, but, on the other, these claims

have often been proved by international media including its own opinion makers as fake.

India is presently holding State Assembly Elections in the Indian occupied Kashmir. These sham

elections in no way are substitute to the UN approved resolutions to hold plebiscite as per

aspirations of the people of the valley.  The ongoing elections have been portrayed as a historic

success as far as the turn over is concerned. But, this self-generated perception lacks any

substantial evidence, especially, when no foreign media and election observers have been

allowed to cover the polling process.  In this regard, the vicious dream of the BJP government in

the shape of “Mission 44” has already been criticized by Indian politicians as well as the

international think tanks.  However, BJP’s overconfidence to achieve the mission itself pollutes

the transparency and legality of fake elections.

Like its past record, India is once again staging a fake encounter drama across the Line of

Control (LoC) to implicate Pakistan for infiltration. Sources suggest that for the purpose, the

fundamentalist government of the BJP asked Indian secret agency RAW to arrange some terror

attacks in the State of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K). It did so when on December 5, this year,

militants sneaked into an Indian military camp in the Indian held Kashmir, killing 11 soldiers and

policemen. The arranged attack was followed by a gun battle between the Indian security forces

and the militants, in the state capital, Srinagar—and a grenade blast in south Kashmir. Two

militants were killed later in the clash in Srinagar where BJP-led hardliner Prime Minister

Narendra Modi’s visit is due next week on election campaign.

However, the fake encounter drama on the camp took place in the Uri sector, near the heavily

militarized border with Pakistan where there is no chance of infiltration. But following previous

blame game, Indian Home Minister Rajnath Singh said, “These terrorists keep coming from

Pakistan”, and “Pakistan should make an effort to stop them.” Besides, Indian high officials and

media also accused that Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) is behind these terror attacks in

the Indian controlled Kashmir. They forgot they Kashmiri people are fighting a war of liberation

and for their legitimate rights, as recognized by the UN resolutions.

Nevertheless, the drama is still on and Indian venomous media which has openly started

implicating Pakistan and LeT for the attacks. Such orchestrated dramas have many a times been

exposed in the past as well. Besides, previous episodes, in the recent months of 2014, reportedly,

Indian military had killed two militants in August, three militants in Keran Sector in September,

and seven terrorists in October, three in November, while in Tut Mari Gali sector, three were

killed. These are Indian LoC encounter dramas; however, Indian forces have also been violating

ceasefire on the Line of Control and Working Boundary. The problem is that there is no dearth of

hate and war mongers in Indian Army, and it is always their agenda to keep the LoC in the line

of fire. Now, Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the helm, the incidence of ceasefire violations has

increased. Army has also been given free hand to indulge in fake encounters to implicate

Pakistan.

Question arises as to why India is staging encounter drama?  The plausible reasons are obvious.

Firstly, it may be an attempt to create hype prior to the election campaign visit of Modi in the

alleged area, falling in the sector where terrorist attack drama is being played. Secondly, the

failure of BJP to win in the Muslim majority area seems imminent and it is trying to accuse

Islamabad for sabotaging the elections through LoC attacks. Thirdly, the alleged attacks are part

of campaign to malice Pakistan internationally and tarnish its image worldwide before the

forthcoming visit of the US President Barack Obama who will travel to India in January 2015 to

hold talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and also to attend its Republic Day celebrations.

It is of particular attention that in November 2013, the then Indian Prime Minister Manmohan

Singh and Union Defence Minister had expressed concern over the ‘fakes intrusion’ claims of

the Indian Army in Keran sector, making it clear that the troops enacted a drama “as there was

no evidence on ground to suggest any infiltration bid by the militants.”

While, Indian government is accusing Pakistan government of giving legitimacy to Jamaat-ud-

Dawa (JuD) chief Hafiz Saeed, claiming that a recent rally being held in Lahore by the group

which masterminded the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks was being viewed with concern in India.

New Delhi has since long been demanding the deportation of Saeed from Pakistan so that he can

be tried for his involvement in the Mumbai attacks. Islamabad has refused to do so stating that

there is no credible evidence relating his involvement in the attacks. And, Lahore High had

released Hafiz Saeed on the ground that there is no evidence about his involvement in the

Mumbai mayhem.

It is notable that on July 19, 2013 the Indian former home ministry official and ex-investigating

officer Satish Verma disclosed that terror-attacks in Mumbai in November 26, 2008 and assault

on Indian Parliament in January 12, 2001 were carried out by the Indian government to

strengthen anti-terrorism laws.

In fact, Hafiz Saeed is a die-hard patriot and continues to raise the banner of ideology of

Pakistan. Recently, a two-day national conference organized at Minar-e-Pakistan in Lahore by

JuD called for a countrywide movement to protect the ideology of Pakistan. Hafiz Saeed inspires

the great majority of the people of Pakistan and has the capacity to mobilize them and unite them

against the foreign conspiracy against the country. Therefore, especially, New Delhi considers

him as an obstacle in its plan to weaken and destabilize Pakistan.

As regards cross-border terrorism, former Indian Army Chief Gen. VK Singh openly confessed

in September 2013 that special intelligence unit like Technical Services Division were raised by

him to operate inside Pakistan, particularly in Balochistan and Azad Kashmir to conduct

terrorism and to bribe the politicians in the Indian-occupied Kashmir.

Nonetheless, there is a need to expose India’s fake LoC encounter drama to implicate Pakistan to

hide its own failure to set its own house to order. Pakistan’s high officials and media must

highlight that such fake encounters have become second nature of India to appease Indian radical

and extremist groups like BJP, RSS VHP, Shiv Sena and other similar groups, and thus malign

Pakistan.

Posted in India, Pakistan & Kashmir0 Comments

Top Al Qaeda leader killed in South Waziristan

Al Qaeda leader Adnan el Shukrijuma. -
Photo courtesy: Wikipedia

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan army on Saturday said a top Al Qaeda leader Adnan el Shukrijuma was killed early morning in the Sheen Warsak region of South Waziristan Agency.

A statement issued by the Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) said Shukrijuma had moved in this area to hide in a compound from North Waziristan Agency due to the ongoing Zarb-i-Azb operation.

“His accomplice and local facilitator were also killed in the raid,” the statement added. Shukrijuma is the most senior Al Qaeda member ever killed by the Pakistani military.

The statement says Adnan el Shukrijuma was a member of the core Al Qaeda leadership and was in charge of all external operations of Al Qaeda. During the raid, a soldier was also killed and another injured.

 

 

The Pakistan Army had launched Operation Zarb-i-Azb in June against foreign and local terrorists who were hiding in sanctuaries in North Waziristan.

The comprehensive operation was launched a week after militants made a brazen insurgent attack on the country’s busiest airport in Karachi.

: appreciated raiding team for successful op&said,will chase&eliminate all terrorists from own soil, none will be spared-2/2

Adnan el Shukrijuma

According to a Reuters report from 2010, 39-year-old Shukrijuma was among the five men charged with plotting to bomb New York City’s subway system and attack an unidentified target in Britain under orders from Al Qaeda leaders in Pakistan.

Adnan El Shukrijumah, Adis Medunjanin, Abid Naseer, Tariq Ur Rehman, and a fifth man known as “Ahmad,” were charged in July 2010 with 10 counts, including conspiracy to use weapons of mass destruction and to commit murder in a foreign country.

The indictment said Shukrijumah, who is accused of being an Al Qaeda operations leader, and Ahmad “recruited and directed … Adis Medunjanin, Najibullah Zazi and Zarein Ahmedzay to conduct a terrorist attack in the United States.”

The New York plot was linked to the British plot by Ahmad, prosecutors said. Ahmad, an accused Al Qaeda facilitator in Peshawar, communicated with Zazi about the New York plot and with Naseer about a British plot, they said.

The FBI has long said that Saudi Arabian native Shukrijumah, who has a Guyanese passport, was a threat to the United States and there is a $5 million reward for his capture.

Shukrijumah has also been linked by US authorities to other terrorism suspects, including a group of men accused of planning to bomb fuel pipelines at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport.

report in the Washington Post from 2003 quotes a senior law enforcement official describing him as a possible terrorism organiser in the style of Mohamed Atta, the suspected ringleader of the Sept 11, 2001, attacks. But authorities said they have no details on what kind of plot he might be involved in.

The report also said El Shukrijumah may have traveled on passports from Guyana, Trinidad, Canada or Saudi Arabia, the FBI said. He last entered the United States before the terrorist attacks in New York and on the Pentagon and left later that year, a law enforcement official said.

The El Shukrijumah family moved to Miramar, a suburb north of Miami, in 1995, according to Neville and Una Khan, who live in the same neighborhood and have known the family since the 1960s.

The Khans said that El Shukrijumah’s father is a prominent Muslim leader in this suburb north of Miami and is the head of a prayer center, Masjid al Hijrah, next door to the family home.

Una Khan described Adnan El Shukrijumah as a devout student of the Holy Quran who worked with children at the prayer center. He tended to be modern in his thinking, she said. “He never indicated in any way that he was extremist. This is such a shock; this is something I don’t understand. I can’t believe it.”

The Khans in 2003 said they have not seen El Shukrijumah for several years. They believe he is doing Islamic missionary work, though they don’t know where. He was also earning money by selling Islamic books, they said.

Security man killed, 7 injured in gunbattle in Wana

A security man was killed and seven others were injured Saturday in a clash with militants near the town of Wana in South Waziristan.

Official sources said that after receiving reports about the presence of militants in Amaz Warsak and Sheen Warsak areas, forces launched an operation.

During the operation, security forces came under fire. Subsequently, one security man was killed and seven others were injured in the gunbattle.

There were also reports of militant casualties but the exact number could not be ascertained.

The information, however, could not be independently verified as journalists have limited access to the tribal agency.

South Waziristan is among Pakistan’s seven tribal districts near the Afghan border which are rife with insurgents and are alleged to be strongholds of Taliban and Al Qaeda operatives, among others.

The tribal region was once the main stronghold for the Pakistani Taliban. The military launched a large offensive against militants there in 2009 but insurgents still operate in the area and periodically stage attacks.

Posted in Pakistan & Kashmir0 Comments

Press Conference: A Call for the U.S. Government to Safeguard The Human Rights of Dr. Aafia Siddiqui

NOVANEWS

THE PEACE THRU JUSTICE FOUNDATION

For Immediate

Release

 

When: December 10, 2014 @ 9 AM

Where: The National Press Club

529 14th Street NW, 13th Floor

Washington, DC. 20004

A press conference is scheduled for Wednesday, December 10, 2014 –“International Human Rights Day” – in the Bloomberg Room of the National Press Club in downtown Washington, DC. The conference will focus on a Pakistani national, Dr. Aafia Siddiqui, imprisoned in the United States for the past six years (after five years of secret imprisonment and torture overseas). The starting time for the press conference will be 9 AM.

On or about November 19, 2014, a Pakistani consular official, Ms. Saadia Qazi, traveled from Houston to the Carswell Airbase in Fort Worth, Texas (home of FMC Carswell), to facilitate a telephone visit for the Siddiqui family in Karachi, Pakistan, with Dr. Aafia Sidiqui. Despite repeated efforts, the Siddiqui family had not been able to communicate with their loved one in months, and didn’t know if she was still alive or dead.

The November 19th effort was not successful. The prisoner, said to be Dr. Aafia Siddiqui, was uncooperative and the consular official never saw her face. Needless to say, the incident raised even more questions about the status of Dr. Siddiqui’s physical and psychological well-being. Consequently, Wednesday’s press conference will call upon the U.S. Government, and the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP), to do the following:

1.      To allow an independent medical team into FMC Carswell to conduct a full examination of Dr. Aafia Siddiqui. The evaluation team should include her sister, Dr. Fowzia Siddiqui, a practicing physician in Karachi, Pakistan.

2.      To engage in serious discussions on the repatriation of Dr. Aafia Siddiqui to her home country (Pakistan), to allow her to serve out the remainder of her sentence there, under the appropriate international law.

3.      Until such time as repatriation takes place, to insure that Dr. Siddiqui’s human rights are respected by all agents of the U.S. government with oversight responsibility over the conditions of her confinement in the United States of America.

A diverse array of speakers is expected to address Wednesday’s press conference at the NPC. An invitation has also been extended to Pakistan Ambassador Jalil Abbas Jilani to address the forum on efforts underway by the Pakistani government to secure the repatriation of its citizen. (The full roster of speakers is expected to be confirmed by Tuesday, December 9.)

At a time when: (a) the international community has become increasingly concerned about human rights abuses in the United States of America; (b) militant groups abroad have used the imprisonment of Aafia Siddiqui for propaganda and recruitment purposes; (c) and close to 110,000 people (during a one month period) signed a White House Petition calling for the release and repatriation of Dr. Siddiqui – we believe it is in America’s national interest to give serious consideration to this political prisoner’s repatriation. And until such time, to insure that she is accorded her full human rights, as ostensibly guaranteed in both U.S. and international law.

 

For additional information: (202) 246-9608

E-mail: peacethrujustice@aol.com  

Posted in Pakistan & Kashmir, USA0 Comments

KEEP SHOAH UP AND RUNNING

Shoah’s pages

Join our mailing list

* = required field
December 2014
M T W T F S S
« Nov    
1234567
891011121314
15161718192021
22232425262728
293031