By Afshain Afzal
Yesterday was 26 November, I was watching patiently Indian media and official statements about attack on Indian Mumbai on 26 November. If we recall, the moment Indian authorities came to know through media that Mumbai has been attacked at different locations on 26 November, New Delhi did not waste any time in leveling allegations that all attackers were Pakistanis. Later all attacker were killed leaving lone attacker Ajmal Amir Kasab, whose parents were Indian national who migrated to Pakistan decades after partition, to dance on the tune of Indian Intelligence agencies. Without giving any regard to the country’s law and court procedure, those statements of Kasab which he reportedly furnished to unidentified Intelligence officers during interrogation sessions, even before his case was admitted in the court, were regarded as evidence against groups living in other countries, thousands of miles away. Isn’t it the height of stupidly on the part of world powers and the United Nations to over react on the Mumbai attacks by banning a Muslim organization namely Jamaat-ud-Daawa without even looking at on ground evidences against this unfortunate organization? Ironically, when the case of Ajmal Kasab was pending before Mumbai court and there were possibilities that he may come out as an innocent but India executed him only to justify its own Intelligence plot. One wonders that if this is the criteria of the world governments and organizations like United Nations, there is very dark future of this world.
It is on record that Ajmal Amir Kasab denied all charges before the Mumbai court as well as his alleged links with Lashkar-e-Tayyiaba or Pakistan. One cannot say with confidence if Kasab is guilty in Mumbai attacks or otherwise but who would undo the United Nations Security Council Resolutions which banned Lashkar-e-Tayyiaba and Jamaat-ud-Dawah. If we recall, Jonathan Evans, the Director General of British MI 5 said that his organization had investigated Mumbai attackers communications and uncovered connections between the Mumbai attackers and Britain. MI 5 analysts, who claim to be experts at picking clues from phrases and communications, feel that there could be connection of the militant group which carried out Mumbai attacks with Indian Hyderabad. It reminds that a similar incident which happened five years back in India when four Muslim terrorists linked with Lashkar-e-Tayyiaba as claimed by Indian agencies, who had planned to launch a massive terrorist attack on the Indian Military Academy (IMA), Dehradun were arrested in 2005. The terrorist included Maulana Dilawar Khan of Imdad-ul-Uloom Madrassa in Delhi's Welcome area and Imam Masood Ahmed, an Imam at the Baghwali Masjid in the same area, Haroon Rashid, a former mechanical engineer at Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) and Muhammad Iftikhar Ahsan Malik, a second year student of Biotechnology at Dehradun's Dolphin Institute of Biomedical & Natural Sciences. Police was quick enough to put recovery of a grenade and a Chinese pistol with 24 bullets on them. Ironically, all the four so called terrorists were acquitted and released in the light of Patiala House Court judgment of 8 January 2010, which set them free for want of evidence. So everyone despite Indian media’s hype would have not been surprised if the case of Ajmal Amir Kasab and his links with Laskar-e-Tayyiaba also turned out to be fake story.
If we recall, the Mumbai Police Crime Branch arrested 36 Indian nationals who were behind Mumbai attacks. In the same regard, a remand application was submitted by Joint Commissioner of Mumbai Police (Crime) Rakesh Maria before the MCOCA court on 15 December 2008 to allow investigate if the Indian Mujahideen (IM) militants had any links with those behind the Mumbai attacks. Assistant Commissioner of Police, Ashok Duraphe who had drafted the remand application confirmed that they filed an application to verify if the 20 alleged members of Indian Mujahideen in their custody had links with Mumbai attacks. Mumbai Police filed a second remand application for additional suspects before the same MCOCA court on 2 January 2009 but under the pressure of Indian Intelligence agencies they filed a corrigendum next day, requesting the court to delete that point from the application. Donald Van Duyn, Chief Intelligence Officer, Directorate of Intelligence, National Security Branch of FBI disclosed that his organization is conducting an independent probe of Mumbai attacks and has sought permission from New Delhi to interrogate more suspects locked up with Indian Police. The FBI interviewed suspects in Indian custody and collected critical information on attack planning and group leadership of militants involved in Mumbai attacks. The concluded western link as well as Indian home grown terrorism.
Our memories are still sharp to recall that Kavita, wife of slain ATS (Anti Terrorist Squad) Chief Hemant Karkare and their daughter had asked the Indian government pardon Ajmal Amir Kasab on humanitarian grounds. What made Kavita and her daughter to make such an unusual request indicate that Ajmal Amir Kasab had nothing to do with killing of Hemant Karkare. Kasab himself in a statement immediately after his arrest disclosed that he did not open fire on any Police officer as he was twice hit by Police bullets on his hand before he could do anything. Probably Hemant Karkare had discussed with his wife about his extinction plans by RAW and Mossad, before leaving for operation on 26 November. It is on record that Hemant Karkare, soon after receiving the word of warning from the RAW, personally called the managers of the Taj and Oberoi-Trident Hotels, which were later attacked and asked them to scale up the security at their hotels. He specifically told the managers that he had received a warning that the militants had been planning an attack on the hotels. Indian renowned industrialists Ratan Tata told reporters after Mumbai attacks that Karkare had asked hotel management two days before the attacks to scale up security at hotels. Hemant Karkare’s wife stance of letting off Ajmal Kasab is not shared by many Hindus on the plea that it would be insulting to their martyr Hemant Karkare, if he is let off on humanitarian grounds without any punishment. Whatever the case may be, any sane person can make out that Mumabi attacks were an attempt to cover up Indian Military Intelligence (MI) terrorists, who were caught red-handed in terrorist activities like Malegaon, Nanded and Samjhaota Express blasts, Pathankot attack.
By Afshain Afzal
WASHINGTON, 14 November 2020, (TON): Republican Party, also known as Grand Old Party (GOP) led by President Donald Trump has rightly announced that he would not leave White House and Oval Office till Election results are properly investigated for the frauds. It is, of course, not a big demand from the American tax payers to exactly know what happened to their votes casted in favour of Republican leader, President Trump. So far in some of the State election results have been challenged in courts, where some successes and some procedural set aside has been witnessed.
Usability laboratory study in the past for electronic voting systems and audit systems found differences among their evaluations and traces of relevance mistakes and casting vote which changes result of vote due to automatic advancing, mechanical navigation and a full-face ballot. Systems also differed in the automatic corrections. Although generally voters properly casted their votes and results were satisfactory but several types of errors were found, including automatic voting for an opposing candidate. More so, digital divide had an impact on their voting experiences and certain numbers of votes were not accepted or became invalid. COVID-19 was another factor that hindered the transparency of the voting and ultimately affecting the overall results.
As per an authentic report, there are five areas which are doubtful. Firstly, the Postal ballots which has quite a small percentage if compared to overall votes needs testing for the system to check genuinity of the signatures, has become important to detect fraud. There are reports certain organizations are involved in casting Postal ballots of the persons who never participated in the voting and have no knowledge of their vote casted. More so, machine created signatures for frauds are usually undetectable to a naked eye and even can defeat many checking systems.
The second area is double voting while third is voting against un-casted votes. Certain electronic voting machines were programmed to act as instructed in the software by the vendors or the hackers to cast automatically the non-casted votes during the last minutes of the election 2020.
Another dangerous area is that certain people are in possession of personal voting machines. Would someone believe that American voters used their personal voting machines which they purchased from commercial websites? This has seriously put security vulnerabilities to at high risk-level. It is open secret that hackers were successful in carrying out cyber interference in Election-2020 to make changes that resulted in someone win or lose.
What is now required that full investigation into US Election-2020 as internal and foreign hackers as well as institutions had access to election database which can be proved from the fact that media announcing the election results even before the votes counting was completed. Despite media and institutional propaganda, the fact cannot be denied that popular American leader like US President Donald Trump cannot lose and is still the US President.
By Afshain Afzal
The role and contribution of journalists in every society is immense and unprecedented with regard to overall awareness in making general public as well as the authorities realize their rights and obligations. The United Nations General Assembly has declared 2nd of November as the ‘International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists’ in General Assembly Resolution A/RES/68/163. The Resolution urged Member States to implement definite measures countering the present culture of impunity. The resolution condemns all attacks and violence against journalists and media workers. The date was commemorate with assassination of two French journalists in African Republic of Mali on 2 November 2013.
With these words of peace by the United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres, “If we do not protect journalists, our ability to remain informed and make evidence-based decisions is severely hampered. When journalists cannot do their jobs in safety; we lose an important defence against the pandemic of misinformation and disinformation that has spread online,” there is a hope in tomorrow. However, often it is seen that States and Nations in order to build upon their good international reputation and improve international rating with regarding to freedom of speech and expression, allow journalist and media persons violate other international law, moral ethics and value esteem to others. Our greatest challenge today is, as also pointed out by United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres, “Defence against the pandemic of misinformation and disinformation that has spread online.”
The day we are observing commemorates with assassination of two French journalists in African Republic of Mali on 2 November 2013. For a while we need to peep the truth to find out what Secretary-General António Guterres is looking for “informed and make evidence-based decisions” for decisions at United Nations. No dout, these journalists were killed when Mali was in the state of war where forces of France, United Kingdom, US and many African countries were occupying Mali and waging war against the Muslims of the North. If we recall, in March 2012, Western-backed National Committee for the Reinstatement of Democracy and the Restoration of the State (CNRDRE) carried out military coup to oust long-serving democratic leader, President Amadou Toumani Touré. The coup leader, Amadou Sanogo, made an announcement that coup was staged in retaliation for Amadou Toumani Touré's poor handling of a Tuareg rebellion in the north of the country. Afterwards there was mass massacre of Muslims in the North due to which millions of people crossed over into neighbouring Niger, Burkina Faso and Mauritania to save their lives.
Mali being former French colony, France had military presence here and made open announcement of military intervention by deploying additional forces on 11 January 2013. Muslims resisted to prevent the foreign forces occupying Mali and tried to reclaim lost territory. The attacks from US drone base in Niger and French Fighter Jets inside Mali as well as attacks from African ground forces were quite effective in killing thousands of Malian Muslims in the North of Mali. In the name of counter terrorism US launched war on Islam, claiming presence of National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (MNLA), Ansar Dine, Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa (MUJAO) and other Islamic groups. West wanted to bring Mahmoud Dicko in power in Mali, who soon after the coup against Amadou Toumani Touré visited Europe along with Chérif Ousmane Madani Haïdara, and the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Bamako, Jean Zerbo in July 2012, to discuss important matters and aid packages.
On the International day to end impunity for crimes against journalists, the United Nations need to seriously consider that if France can demand suspension of former Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad Twitter account on the social media platform only because they believe that tweet was controversial, glorifying violence, what about violence against Mulims killing millions of people in Mali alone. In fact, this is what Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said, “Muslims have a right to be angry and kill millions of French people for the massacres of the past.” but probably France failed to appreciate that Muslims did not take revenge and pardoned them. Should United Nations, allow nations sending journalist to self created war zones to get killed there, where already millions have been killed? Should a sovereign democratic country be ruled coercively by other countries and if they do not listen, foreign forces and air attacks are carried out to create chaos, hunger and poverty to be covered by journalist… should we expect that such journalist be treated as Red Cross volunteers? This is high time that Secretary-General António Guterres take notices of such self-created war zone which become a breeding ground for suppressing the rights of the journalist and endangers their lives.
By Afshain Afzal, The Orient News Research Section
Indian media has quoted proceedings of session of Pakistan’s Parliament, in which Pakistan Muslim League-N leader Ayaz Sadiq during speech in the National Assembly on 28 October 2020 said, "I remember Shah Mahmood Qureshi was in the meeting in which Imran Khan had refused to attend and Chief of Army Staff General Bajwa came into the room, his legs were shaking and he was perspiring. Foreign Minister said for God's sake let Abhinandan go, India's about to attack Pakistan at 9 pm."
Indian media channels and social media platforms have started a new wave of black propaganda against the Pakistan Armed Forces, especially Pakistan’s Chief of Army Staff. As per the details, Indian media including NDTV, Times of India have started a new campaign to malign Pakistan Army in which Pakistan compliance to the International law and Statues have been projected as Pakistan’s cowardice. If we recall, Pakistan shot down Indian fighter aircraft on 26 February 2019, and arrested an Indian pilot alive, identified as Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman of Indian Air Force. Under the Geneva Convention, Pakistan returned the pilot to India through Wagah border.
Armed Forces of Pakistan are one of the best in the world and Pakistan acted as a responsible member of United Nations Organization by complying with the United Nations Resolutions and other International Conventions and Statues. However, the Indian media is playing obnoxious role against Pakistan’s compliance with International obligations. There can be no doubt that Pakistan’s gesture in freeing an apprehended Indian pilot should have been admired and respected. If we peep into the reasons behind Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman’s release, everyone would appreciate that he was a serving officer of Indian Air Forces and was dealt according to the rules of Geneva Convention as well as in Additional Protocol I of 1977. The rules provide that POWs cannot be prosecuted for taking a direct part in hostilities and must be released and repatriated without delay after the end of hostilities. It is quite clear that the detaining power may prosecute them for possible war crimes, but not for acts of violence that are lawful under law.
Regarding the live telecast and coverage by Indian media, Pakistan Parliamentary rules for the National Assembly and Senate provide that it is the responsibility of the Speaker to stop the live broadcasting of the session, whenever there is an issue that may create embarrassment for the country watching MNAs agitating over an emergent issue. In India both the Houses of Parliament, broadcast and telecast is through Lok Sabha TV, owned by the Lok Sabha itself. All open sittings are telecast live from the House throughout the period of business. Live telecast is stopped whenever the House adjourns or when the presiding officer orders the cameras to be switched off in order to save the country from the embarrassment of watching unruly MPs agitating over an important issue.
There is no doubt, the Assemblies and Parliaments throughout the world discuss eminent issues and there are heated discussions take place rather at times there is tug of war between the government and opposition. However, such discussions are never leaked to the press or media. The code of ethics for attending the assembly sessions for live telecast as well as the journalists are quite clear and are spelled out to each and every attendee of the session. So how such confidential discussion reached the Indian media? If it was live telecast, then why Speaker did not interrupt and stopped the telecast. There should be an inquiry into the incident with focus on mere one point that how and why the substance of the discussion was leaked to the Indian media. In the past, the scope and objective of such inquiries were made general which could not reach to any conclusion. This time, the mandate of the inquiry should not be why Pakistan Muslim League-N leader Ayaz Sadiq discussed such a sensitive issue in the Parliament as these houses are meant for it but the focus should remain how it leaked to unauthorized Indian media and how same can be stopped in the future. In a nutshell, defaming Pakistan on international level has been an old tactic of Indian media and Indian government. However, the statement regarding the release of Wing Commander Abhinandan by representative of hundreds of Pakistani also require a review and beside tarnishing Pakistan’s image it has created a gulf between Army and Government of Pakistan.
By Afshain Afzal, The Orient News Research Section
On the arrival of Muharram this year, an order was issued by Deputy Commissioner Mohammad Hamza Shafqaat which said, “There are sufficient grounds for proceedings under section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) 1898, to prohibit the use of motorcycles for pillion riding to avoid any threats to public peace and tranquility within the jurisdiction of Islamabad on 8th, 9th and 10th of Muharram. This was done to facilitate Mattami Jaloos and Processions as the authorities apprehended terrorist attack on Shia during Muharram. Accordingly, all roads were closed through long vehicles and containers and traffic was totally paralyzed in Rawalpindi and Islamabad as well as other cities while heavy contingent of law enforcement and police was deployed to allow all rituals complete unhindered. For the successful execution, beside road closure by Traffic Police like Rawalpindi – Murree Hill station, all the internat / mobile service and transport was closed.
This year, on 12th Rabi-ul-Awal, Eid-e-Milad-un-Nabi, as the birthday as well as death anniversary of Prophet Muhammad Alhe Salam (Sal Allah Ho Alhe Wassalam) will be observed from 29 to 30 October 2020. The same Deputy Commissioner, Islamabad, Muhammed Hamza Shafqaat, has issued a confusing order communicated through tweet, which has also been covered by all national and international media. The official tweet emitting from Twitter of Deputy Commissioner (DC) Islamabad says, DC Islamabad notified the public regarding the enactment of Section U/S 144 CrPc 1898 on the compulsory use of facemasks in public places, adding that anyone not adhering to the directive can be apprehended by the ICT Police.”
Business Recorder reported in its issue 29 October 2020, “Section 144 was imposed in Islamabad on Wednesday for ensuring strict compliance of standard operating procedures (SOPs) related to the Covid-19 among the general public and to stop further spread of the virus in the community. Following imposition of Section 144 in the city, wearing mask in public places has been made mandatory and anyone who is seen without a face mask will be prosecuted under Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC). This order shall come into force with immediate effect and shall remain in force for a period of two months.”
The official news agency, Associated Press of Pakistan reports, “The district administration on Wednesday imposed Section 144 in the Federal Capital for a period of two months, making wearing face mask at public places mandatory to contain the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). District Magistrate Hamza Shafqaat, in a notification, said the Section-144 had been enforced to ensure compliance of COVID-19 SOPs (Standard Operating Procedures) among the general public, following the advice of epidemiologists of DC COVID Nerve Center. Deputy Commissioner Islamabad Hamza Shafqaat said on his Twitter handle that anyone seen without a face mask would be arrested by the ICT Police. He also shared the notification along with his tweet.”
One wonders who is responsible for such orders for Muharram, Chelums, Eid Milad-un-Nabi, Shab-e-Baraat etc. Can Pakistani authorities in all cities and cantonments officially seal main and link roads with huge containers and trucks, jam mobile & internet services, cancel leaves of security forces and deploy them everywhere while prevent other religious occasions to take place? Why authorities ordered closer of Mosques and Madrassas and prevented congregational prayers in the name of COVID-19 this year but lifted all restrictions during Muharram and Chelums, however, ordered strict restrictions on all other occasions. It is high time that the authorities including Supreme Court of Pakistan take Suo Moto notice of the grave disparity and ensure that every Pakistani individually and collectively is treated equally with same yard stick.
By Afshain Afzal
When it is time to make Indian atrocities in occupied Jammu and Kashmir internationalize and make world’s focus on disappearances of civilians, fake encounters by Indian security forces, custodial deaths, extra judicial killings and instances of rape, kidnapping, torture and extortion, something new emerged as the headlines of international and national media. It is being claimed that Pakistan, in a foreign policy shift has placed Kashmiris on the negotiation table as “Principal Party”. The new development is linked with Dr. Moeed Yousuf, Special Advisor to Prime Minister of Pakistan for National Security and Strategic Policy disclosure in an interview with senior Indian journalist, Karan Thapar on 13 October 2020, that there are three parties to the Jammu and Kashmir dispute; Pakistan, India and there is a principal party, called Kashmiris and the only thing that matters is the wishes of the people of Kashmir.
Let us see what Dr Moeed Yousaf said during an interview with Karan Thapar, “The practical problem is there are three parties to the Kashmir dispute – there is Pakistan, there is India, and there is the principal party – the humans called Kashmiris. Now, if the Kashmiris can’t stand the sight of India, can’t bear to be in the same room as Indians“. Again he said, “Let’s take Kashmir, three parties to the conflict – India, Pakistan, and the Kashmiris – one party does not want to sit in the same room as another party. So, that…” In another place, he said, “There are two steps to this process, there’s a plebiscite where India and Pakistan – the two options that are given under the UN resolutions Then there’s a second step, which you are not aware of – let me just answer your question. There’s an Article 257 of the Pakistani Constitution that says that after the plebiscite, Pakistan and the Kashmiris will decide what kind of arrangement they want.”
It is matter of disappointment that Dr Moeed Yousaf is not clear about Kashmir issue as there are only two parties and not three, which he tried to preach India. The dispute is between two countries, i.e. Pakistan and India so there are two parties, same is authenticated in the United Nations Resolutions. Indeed, Kashmir is not a country! Dr Moeed Yousuf is even not clear about Article 257 of the Constitution, regarding provisions relating to the State of Jammu and Kashmir, which provides, “Provision relating to the State of Jammu and Kashmir. -When the people of the State of Jammu and Kashmir decide to accede to Pakistan, the relationship between Pakistan and that State shall be determined in accordance with the wishes of the people of that State.” One wonders how Dr Moeed Yousuf is able to conclude, “after the plebiscite, Pakistan and the Kashmiris will decide what kind of arrangement they want” when the Article 257, clearly means that when State of Jammu and Kashmir decide to accede to Pakistan, the wishes of the people of that State will be honored.
Some of the Kashmiri leaders attached to various think tanks abroad welcoming the statement of Dr. Moeed Yousuf is of the view that people of Kashmir want that as the dispute involves three parties –Government of India, Government of Pakistan, all of three stakeholders should be included in future negotiations. Many Kashmiris has taken the statement of Dr. Moeed Yousuf as Pakistan’s new policy to include the Kashmiri leadership as a principal party in the talks. They are fighting with each other over the issue that which genuine leadership of the people of Jammu and Kashmir should take part in future negotiations. There are a lot many articles being published in line with Dr. Moeed Yousuf’s new policy statement that allows unidentified Kashmiri leadership at par with India and Pakistan. They are voicing against the previous agreement between India and Pakistan, as Dr. Ghulam Nabi Fai also pointed out in his recent statement, “The agreements between India and Pakistan, like Tashkent Declaration and Shimla Agreement failed because they sought to bypass the Kashmiri leadership”.
India is definitely boxing clever as Pakistan is diverting from the main issue which was pending before 5 August 2019, Government’s abrogation of Article 370 and 35 A, which were pending for decision before the Supreme Court of India. The fact can also be not denied that on 1st January, 2018, the Indian Union Ministry of Defense received requests from the Indian occupied Jammu and Kashmir Government for sanction to prosecute defense personnel in the 50 cases that occurred in-between 2001-2016. While the requests were pending in three cases, the Government had denied sanction to prosecute the accused. The case was in the Supreme Court to be decided upon, when in a 180-degree shift, Indian Government on 5th August 2019, announced revocation Article 370 and 35 A of the constitution, scrapping the special status of Jammu and Kashmir, in clear violations of United Nations Security Council Resolutions.
Interestingly, the Kashmiris have always received unequal and discriminatory treatment. The Supreme Court’s observation made in July 2016 that indefinite deployment of armed forces in the name of restoring normalcy under AFSPA “would mock at our democratic process “the Armed Forces (Jammu and Kashmir) Special Powers Act (AFSPA) of 1990 and its predecessor, the Jammu & Kashmir Public Safety Act (PSA), 1978. If we recall, in ordering a probe against fake encounters in Manipur, the Supreme Court, in its landmark judgment delivered in July 2016, remarked that, “ordinarily our armed forces should not be used against our countrymen and women” and that “every person carrying a weapon in a disturbed area cannot be labeled as a terrorist or insurgent.” In another development, India, a comprehensive job plan has been worked out for the youth of Indian occupied Jammu and Kashmir involving a cost of Rs 2100 crore and separate pledges from a number of foreign countries, including the US, Britain, Canada, Italy, France, etc. It is hoped by New Delhi that it will shut the desire of Kashmiris to join Pakistan once for all.
KABUL, 19 October 2020, (TON): Taliban, in a new development has given warning to the US of dire consequences if violation of their signed agreement continued.
Taliban have accused Washington of violating their signed agreement by carrying out air strikes in support of Afghan security forces in the province of Helmand.
Taliban spokesman Qari Muhammad Yousuf Ahmadi said in a statement on Sunday, “American forces have violated the Doha agreement in various forms by carrying out excessive air strikes following the new developments in Helmand province and the responsibility and consequences from continuation of such actions shall fall fall on the shoulders of the American side.”
It was quite encouraging that some groups of Taliban made an agreement with the US, signed in Doha, that provides withdrawal of foreign forces from Afghanistan by May 2021 in exchange for security guarantees and a pledge waring faction would sit down with the Kabul administration to find a peaceful settlement to Afghan war.
Against the assurances from Washington, Colonel Sonny Leggett, spokesman for the US forces in Afghanistan tweeted that the strikes violated the agreement as “The entire world has witnessed the Taliban’s offensive operations in Helmand - attacks which injured and displaced thousands of innocent Afghan civilians.” He called all sides to reduce violence.
Earlier this month, the Taliban welcomed US President Donald Trump’s tweet that all American troops should be “home by Christmas” but the other stakeholders are not in favour of US withdrawal as they fear that it will allow the Taliban to come into power. Abdullah Abdullah is in Tehran since yesterday on his three days visit to work out formula against Taliban. It is a common observance that sine the talks appear to be successful, the incidents of terrorism and attacks on Afghan security forces have increased manifolds to put blame of attacks on Taliban.
By Afshain Afzal
9 October 2020
President Trump’s 7th October tweet saying all US troops in Afghanistan should be home by Christmas need not to be taken in letter and spirit. It seems more to be a political statement and does not appear to be US’ official policy. A welcome note by the Taliban, terming tweet as a positive step is but natural. If we go by the wordings of President Trump’s tweet, it read, “We should have the small remaining number of our BRAVE Men and Women serving in Afghanistan home by Christmas!” Trump tweeted at 7:28 p.m. Eastern time Wednesday. Interestingly, the policy of Robert O’Brien reflects United States would reduce troops to 2500 troops in Afghanistan early next year.
What are the ground realities and how the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan will be unfolded is early to comment but there are very less possibility that complete withdrawal can be planned by the Christmas this year. The fact, however, cannot be ignored that bulk of combatants have been withdrawn many years back and only handful of American combatants are there in Afghanistan, protecting American vital projects and investments in the country. There is no doubt that the Afghan forces have almost full control while Americans are only involved in neutralizing few Counter Terrorisms threats.
As the date of 18 October is approaching nearer, many changes are rapidly taking place on the world chess board. Exactly, five years from the JCPOA’s adoption day, Resolution 2231 allows lifting of UN restrictions on countries selling conventional arms to Iran or buying Iranian weaponry from 18 October 2020. In the backdrop, new frictions have already taken roots in Africa and Middle East ranging from Mali to Iraq and Syria to the shores of Caspian Sea, which is likely to challenge and endanger the existence of present leadership at Ankara and Tehran. In Afghanistan, where efforts are in hand to include Iran and India in the make and break as well as future negotiation of Afghanistan, anti Taliban groups have displayed show of force launching attacks in 24 province of Afghanistan in a single day. Instead of an atmosphere of peace and tranquility to rebuild lost trust in the region, the strings have been released to generate new hostilities.
Back at the White House and Pentagon there is much is cooking up for regime changes in Turkey and Iran as well as Saudi Arabia. Washington is not ready to engage its troops in these bloody operations, due to fear of back-fire from American taxpayers. In a preplanned lobbied move, the United Nations Security Council’s members rejected United States of America’s Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s attempt of 20 August to impose sanctions on Iran due to violations of JCPOA’s Agreement. France, Germany and the UK the U.S. notification was not “effective”.
In a new development, the US is repositioning its non-combats from Afghanistan to locations in Middle East and Central Asian Republics (CARs). We have witnessed in the past and will experience it again that in order to win Tehran as most favorite and permanent ally, Washington would attempt to given enough room to Iran to operate but at the same time look for a regime change in Iran, Turkey and Saudi Arabia. The strategy involves, making Iran more powerful despite sanctions and restrictions and finally support Shah of Iran era style government to establish top relationship between Washington and Tehran.
Washington is all due to help Tehran in war between Armenia and Azerbaijan over Nagorno-Karabakh to weaken Turkey and Saudi Arabia and to develop new rift between Arabs and non-Arabs and at the same time US will use its proxies against Turkey and Saudi Arbaia through open media war and stationing its troops to help anti Turkish forces in Armenia and Azerbaijan conflict and Syria where Russia has already established its military might in this area to help Iran against other stakeholders.
Last month, US President Donald Trump reaffirmed that he planned to pull all troops out of Iraq as soon as possible. Accordingly, General McKenzie issued a statement quoted in the media, "In recognition of the great progress the Iraqi forces have made and in consultation and co-ordination with the government of Iraq and our coalition partners, the United States has decided to reduce our troop presence in Iraq from about 5,200 to 3,000 troops during the month of September." He added he is quite certain that the Iraqi Security Forces has ability to operate independently and to deal with the continuing threat of IS, which once controlled huge portion of Iraq. These troops will be repositioned in Kuwait, United Arab Emirates, Central Asian Republic and Germany as well as at choke points.
Meanwhile, in the new development, there were reported of increased US drones targeting against Yazidis and other Kurds in northern Iraq including elements of Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK). The locals of the affected areas claims that it was sort of show of forces as they never saw drones flying at low flight, visible to the necked eye. Interesting, these are the same Kurds, which had protection of Washington since decades and US had been protecting and patronizing. Many a times, US also issued statements for the independence of Kurdish areas. Locals of Iraq in various localities said that US, all these years empowered Kurds and pro-Iran elements in Iraq to make it their second home so that there is balance of power between Arab Muslims and non-Arab centrifugal forces, who is establishing a different identity of nationalities from Iraq, Iran, Syria, Lebanon, Yemen and Pakistan. The US F-16 Fighter aircrafts and drones have become a constant feature to mix it with Turkish operations in Libya and Syria. In fact, an attempt is being made to malign Turkey for every attack in Northern Iraq.
If we recall, MQ-9 Reaper drone fired missile at Baghdad International Airport at the convey of General Qassim Soleimani, Iranian Revolutionary Guards commander when he was planning to meet Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi in Baghdad. However, despite the fact that neither his dead body nor any concrete confirmation was there, it is widely believed that General Qasem Soleimani along with members of his convey were all killed and turned into ashes. In reaction, the Iraqi parliament passed bill urging the government to cancel the request for help it presented to the international coalition. US claimed that Iran launched ballistic missile attack at two Iraqi military bases hosting US forces.
An Iraqi former military officer who retired last year said on the condition of atomicity, “It is a game plan knitted by apparent two enemies i.e. the US and Iran, whose military commanders collaborates against Turkey. American equipment is used to attack Kurds areas to create hatred against the Turkish forces in various countries of Middle East.” He added, Iran based Kurdistan elements, US-settled Iraqis, Iranians living here and other nationalities living in Iraq are destined to play a crucial role in regime change in Iran, in the near future. He said, “Threats to Iran and Turkey for regime change should not be taken lightly.” There is, no doubt, as the moves are being unfolded on world chess board, the Western players have this time planned to target Turkey and Iran for the Government (regime) changes to build strategic partners and allies in Istanbul and Tehran.
Abdullah Abdullah, the chairman of the High Council for National Reconciliation along with Mohammad UmerDaudzai, President Ghani’s Special Envoy for Pakistan’s capital reached Islamabad on 28 September 2020, a three-day official visit. The delegation met Prime Minister as well as other Pakistani military and non-military officials. The development surfaced as Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan in an op-ed published in the Washington Post said that “Peace is within reach in Afghanistan, and all those who have invested in the Afghan peace process should resist the temptation for setting unrealistic timelines. A hasty international withdrawal from Afghanistan would be unwise. We should also guard against regional spoilers who are not invested in peace and see instability in Afghanistan as advantageous for their own geopolitical ends.”The statement of Prime Minister Imran Khan witnessed some criticism from Afghan elements who were adamant that there should be no further delay in announcement of political solution of Afghanistan.
If we recall, Pakistan being an important stakeholder facilitated Afghan peace process that resulted in the US-Taliban Peace Agreement on 29 February 2020. Statement issued by Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan to the 75th Session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA) on 25 September 2020, reflect apparent shift in Pakistan foreign policy. There is, no doubt, as also identified by Pakistan to UNGA that conflicts are proliferating and intensifying military occupation and illegal annexations are suppressing the rights of human beings to self-determination. Pakistani Prime Minister said, “there is no military solution to the conflict in Afghanistan; the only way forward was and is a political settlement which involves the full spectrum of Afghanistan’s political actors”. Pakistan views that through the Intra-Afghan negotiations that commenced on 12 September, stakeholders must work out an inclusive, broad-based and comprehensive political settlement. The process must be Afghan-led and Afghan-owned, and without any interference or outside influence.
Early this month, talks held between Iranian Defense Minister Amir Hatami and his Indian counterpart, Rajnath Singh, in Tehran on 5 September 2020, on peace process among the Afghan government and the Taliban in Afghanistan. Both countries also discussed development of the port, which links India as gateway to Central Asia and Afghanistan. India and Iran are of the views that for a strong and prosperous Afghanistan, there should be no role of Taliban. India and Iran are, therefore, deeply concerned about US-Taliban negotiations, fearing the agreement reached on the drawdown of US forces and would leave its Afghan partners to lose prominent place in future Afghanistan.
In the present scenario. certain stakeholders, who pretended to be factions of Afghan Taliban engaged Afghan security forces and carried attacks in every province of Afghanistan. On the day Abdullah Abdullah planned to visit Pakistan mere twenty four hours, 24 provinces of Afghanistan were attacked as per the statement of Afghan Ministry of Defense. Representative of the Defence Ministry added, Nangarhar, Kunar, Laghman, Nuristan, Kapisa, MaidanWardak, Ghazni, Logar, Paktia, Paktika, Khost, Kandahar, Zabul, Herat, Farah, Badghis, Ghor, Faryab, Sar-e-Pul, Balkh, Helmand, Kunduz, Badakhshan and Baghlan are among the provinces which saw security incidents and attacks within 24 hours. The New York Times, published a story, “In Proud Corners of Afghanistan, New Calls for Autonomy”, 28 September 2020, Thomas Gibbons and Fatima Faizi which highlighted Keram, Shamsudin Hamid (57 years of age), a former fighter who fought under Ahmed Shah Massoud of Hizb-e-Wadhatin both the Soviet-Afghan war and the civil war against Taliban says “This peace process is an American project… The Americans want Taliban to come back to the country. But we are going to fight them. We won’t sacrifice the last 19 years of progress - that is nonnegotiable.”
All this being done to impress the United Nations (UN), European Union (UC), NATO and other foreign elements engaged in Afghanistan, to present a gloomy picture of Afghanistan and to pressurize delay in decision of withdrawal of foreign forces from Afghanistan. The dirty politics being played in Afghanistan from the last two decades has cost over 1.6 million death of innocent men, women and children, and many more will always remain unaccounted. Proud Afghans are living in miserable condition all around the world as refugees and illegal immigrants. Our conscience should not allow Afghanistan to bleed further. Taliban or no Taliban, there should be an immediate withdrawal of all foreign forces from Afghanistan, followed by elections in the country on democratic lines. The notorious concept of broad-based government or puppet regimes are against the principles of democracy. It is high time that we all must contribute for peace in Afghanistan.
LADAKH, 27 September, 2020, (TON): India Army claims that intends to combat China in the low temperatures, snow warfare at Line of Actual Control (LAC). Although, armour does not operate on snow but commanders at Indian Army Headquarters at New Delhi are adamant that they have moved T-90 and T-72 Tanks along with BMP infantry vehicles in the Chumar-Demchok area of Eastern Ladakh.
In the past, it was a routine affair that after the first snow fall, which has already taken place on 26 September at Ladakh, the troops are withdrawn, leaving symbolic representation. These winter vacated posts are again redeployed next year at the start of summer. The Indian commanders’ claims that they have military type vehicles which can easily operate at temperatures up to minus 40 degree Celsius.
In a statement to media, Major General Arvind Kapoor, Chief of Staff,14 Corps said, “The Fire and Fury Corps is the only formation of the Indian Army and also in the world to have actually deployed mechanized forces in such harsh terrain”.
The elements of 6 Mountain Division and 9 Mountain Brigade, when approached had no idea of any such deployment or move in the near future.
Coverage of target killing of Advocate Babar Qadri by Indian State agencies has been headlines of media including, “The Orient News”. The shocking cold blooded target killing by Indian agencies has taken another turn as Jammu and Kashmir Police has claimed that “c had been cautioned about threat to his life.”
Inspector General of Police Kashmir, Vijay Kumar disclosed. “Advocate Babar Qadri’s brother-in-law, a Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) in the Jammu and Kashmir Police, had advised the lawyer to leave his residence for a few days but he refused.”
Inspector General of Police Kashmir, Vijay Kumar, on Friday said that Advocate Babar Qadri had been cautioned about threat to his life. Qadri was shot dead by gunmen at his residence on Thursday.
CCTV footage from a camera installed in the vicinity reflects that four persons were seen but later two persons went to the residence of Advocate Babar Qadri where they had some discussion after which they shot Advocate Babar at his head, killing him on spot. Without any fear they moved away holding pistol in open.
It is strange that a game of fire and blood is going on in Indian occupied Jammu and Kashmir State by Indian authorities, which has intensified since 5 August last but the United Nations Organization (UNO) and human Rights Organizations, European Union (EU) and other peace organization are silent spectators. Every day two or three Kashmiri youth are either killed in fake encounters and extra judicial killings, target killings or they simply disappear for good. How long this will go unchecked.
SUDAN, 22 September, 2020, (TON): Blackmailed over the continuous sanctions on Sudan, Khartoum seems ready to negotiate over peace deal with Israel over lifting of sanctions.
A high-level delegation led by the head of Sudan's ruling council has travelled to the United Arab Emirates for separate talks with Emirati and US officials, including discussions on its removal from the US's list of countries that sponsor terrorism.
The Sudanese state news agency SUNA said yesterday, General Abdel-Fattah al-Burhan, head of the sovereign council has been in charge, following the overthrow of President Omar al-Bashir last year, will hold talks with the UAE's leadership on various regional issues related to Sudan.
Meanwhile, Sudanese Justice Minister Naser-Eddin Abdelbari met US officials in Abu Dhabi to discuss the removal of name of Sudan from the list of states sponsoring terrorism as well as writing off American debts on Sudan. For these favours, sign normalization agreement between Sudan and Israel.
Media report suggests Washington is prepared to allow $3bn in humanitarian assistance and direct budgetary aid in return for a deal with Israel. In addition, US and the UAE will be providing Sudan with economic aid over the next three years.
It is to be realized that as a plot Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir was deposed by the army and they decided to hand over him to the International Criminal Court (ICC) to face genocide and war crimes. However, the present Sudanese government of Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok does not possess a mandate of bringing 180 degree change in Sudan’s Foreign Policy and the new government will decide after the end of the transitional period and the elections, planned in 2022.
Today also Kashmiris took to the streets to protest. This time it was against extra judicial killing of Irfan Ahmed Dar in a fake encounter. Their demand is simple, “handing over of the dead body of Irfan Ahmad Dar”. As usual puppets of Indian fed Jammu and Kashmir Police proudly read out statement from the script written by Indian agencies, “the dead youth was an over-ground worker (OGW) for militants and had was trying to escape taking advantage of darkness and terrain so he was killed and some recovery from the site of encounter has also been made.”
As per the details, on 15 September 2020, Jammu and Kashmir Police’s Special Operation Group (SOG) raided the house of Irfan Ahmad Dar, a 23-year-old shopkeeper, at Sidiq Colony in Sopore, district Baramulla and arrested some of his family members including his brother Javed. Irfan Ahmed Dar was arrested from his shop near his house was dragged to unidentified location by Indian Military Intelligence (MI) and Police personnel. Javid was released on 16 September 2020 but Irfan Ahmad Dar was claimed to be killed in an encounter while making an attempt to escape.
The deteriorating security situation in Kashmir has turned from bad to worse but Indian occupying security apparatus, the Indian Army and the puppet administration in disputed Indian occupied Jammu and Kashmir State are not pushed. For them Muslim and Hindu Kashmiris are just kile undesirable insects or weeds to be eliminated. The Indian Army and security apparatus have killed hundreds and thousands of Kashmiri Muslim youth so killing of 23-year-old Irfan Ahmed Dar in Tujjar area of Sopore is nothing new or extra ordinary that Indian should feel ashamed of. Indian Army and the security apparatus in occupied Jammu and Kashmir State are deployed in bulk for same purpose; to kill all those who raise their voices for their right of sef determination on the basis of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) Resolutions.
According to the statement by Jammu and Kashmir Police, “Irfan Ahmed Dar was arrested for his involvement in terrorist activities and two Chinese Hand Grenades were also recovered from his possession”. An FIR (257/2020) was registered at the Sopore Police Station under Section 18 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, which read, “During the course of investigation, a police team visited Chairdaji area of Tujjar Sharief along with OGW for affecting some more recovery on the disclosure of the OGW. The OGW while taking advantage of darkness and terrain managed to escape regarding which a separate Case FIR No. 71/2020 U/S 224 IPC was registered in Police Station Bomai and during search the body of OGW was found near Stone Quarry of Tujjar Sharief.”
Interestingly, the only demand of the Kashmirs is that they should be handed over the dead body Irfan Ahmad Dar but Indian authorities are not prepared to do that. Since the outbreak of so called COVID-19, the Indian puppet administration, the Indian Army and Para military Forces in disputed Jammu and Kashmir State secretly burry the bodies of those who are tagged as militants or killed in so called encounters. When TON asked one of the members of Jammu and Kashmir Police, he said, “This is being done to prevent large gathering at Muslims’ funerals for killed militants.” He added, “We have instruction from the Crops Commander and the Governor not to hand over the body of Irfan Ahmed Dar to his family and secretly burry the militant.”
Addressing the virtual ministerial meeting of 27th ASEAN Association of Southeast Asian Nations Regional Forum last week, Bangladesh Foreign Minister AK Momen has issued a warning to Myanmar that the failure to resolve Rohingyas repatriation process would cause humanitarian problem which would lead to radicalism and terrorism that would hamper peace and stability in the region.
Foreign Minister AK Momen said, Myanmar should immediately engage non-military civilian observers from friendly countries to make the Rohingyas repatriation process effective, Bangladesh Foreign Minister AK Momen has said, warning that the failure in resolving the humanitarian problem would lead to radicalism and terrorism that would hamper peace and stability in the region.
Bangladesh signed 3 instruments with Myanmar for repatriation. Myanmar agreed to take back them after verification. However, Rohingyas are not returning to their Myanmar primarily because they do not trust their government over safety and security issues. According to the United Nations, more than 9,00,000 Rohingya Muslims fled Myanmar's restive Rakhine State since 2017 after large-scale violence following a military crackdown. The exodus of refugees in large numbers has resulted in a major crisis in neighbouring Bangladesh.
As per the sources inside the Cox Bazar Rohingya camps, the trouble started with the coming of a large number of Christian, running into several hundred, as well as Hindus. They have started establishing Churches and Temples there which is being resented by locals. A local Rohingyas said, there are foreign organizations which are not letting the Rohingyas ato return to Myanmar
An Indian court at New Delhi on Friday convicted nine person associated with banned terror outfit ISIS in a case of conspiracy hatched to establish its ISIS base in India
by recruiting Muslim youth through social media platforms. The convicts were identified as Nafees Khan, Abu Anas, Najmul Huda, Afzal, Suhail Ahmed, Obedullah Khan, Mohammed Aleem, Mufti Abdul Sami Qasmi and Amjad Khan, had voluntarily pleaded guilty before the court on 6 August 2020.
As per the details, Special Judge Parveen Singh of Patiala House Court convicted them for criminal conspiracy under the Indian Penal Code and various sections of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and Explosive Substances Act. The court will now hear arguments on the quantum of sentence on 22 September. The case was registered on 9 December 2015. During the course of investigation, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) conducted searches and arrested 19 people while charge sheet was filed against 16 persons in 2016-2017.
It has been confirmed that Indian Military Intelligence (MI), Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA) and Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) launched a joint operation in which social media publicity was given to formation of an organization, namely “Junood-ul-Khilafa-Fil-Hind”, struggling to establish a Caliphate in India and pledging allegiance to ISIS, to recruit Muslim youth to wage Jihad for ISIS and commit acts of terrorism in India at the behest of Syrian-Yusuf-Al-Hindi.
To ascertain, who is behind the new threat of Indian Islamic State / Daesh we have to peep in the past. If we recall, an Indian engineer, Mehdi Masroor Biswas was arrested from his apartment by Bangalore Police on the charges of violent tweets about the activities of Indian Islamic State militants. Mehdi kept posting pro-Jihadi tweets from his Twitter account @ShamiWitness since 2009, attracting lacs of innocent Muslims to convert them as potential Jehadi around the world through psychological operations. Interestingly, Indian agencies came into action only when British intelligence started their probe against Mehdi and the international media also exposed state-sponsored Islamic State sympathizer. ShamiWitness acted as a leading conduit of information between Jihadis, supporters and recruits.
According to a foreign agency report, ShamiWitness was active since July 2009, posted over 1.3 lac tweets and had over 1,78,00 followers. The tweets by Mehdi were seen 2 million times each month. There is no doubt that ISIS is a brainchild of Indian agencies, which started operating from India soil in 2009. In this game of blood and fire against Muslims, Indian agencies including Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA) and Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) are involved in terrorism through its European nationality holders. In one of the cases, Niaz Abdur Rashid, an Indian national, received military type terrorist training from India and had links with Al Qaida in Subcontinent (AQIS). After acquiring French nationality, he trained French and other foreign nationals on terrorist lines. As secular minded person, Niaz Abdur Rashid founded FPF with a military branch to help Muslims as well as non-Muslims in distress. He also funded and dispatched two French nationals to Pakistan to meet Al Qaida facilitator, Huzeyfa (Tahir Shahzad), who was arrested near the alleged compound of Osama Bin Laden in Abbottabad, Pakistan. After the arrest of these two terrorists from Pakistan in January 2011, seven other members of the network, led by Niaz Abdur Rashid were arrested in France, from whom French translation of books on terrorism including explosives were recovered. Niaz Abdur Rashid, who regularly visited India, was convicted by the French court for recruitment of European and others for terrorism inside Afghanistan and Pakistan.
The fact cannot be denied that Indian MI, DIA and RAW controls Islamic State / Daesh as well as other terrorist organizations to create terror in Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Syria and elsewhere. There is no doubt that in majority of cases, Indian agencies have joined hands with Western countries, after misleading them about Muslims, to malign them by dubbing them as members of terrorist groups. It is so sad to observe that these Indian sponsored outfits are carrying out attacks on Mosques, Churches, Madrassas and schools but blame is leveled on innocent Muslims, who are only reacting against foreign interference in their countries or protecting their legitimate territories against foreign occupation. It is sad to observe that Kashmiris who are peace loving people are being propagated as terrorist and members of Islamic State / Daesh. India is carrying out staged killings of its own security personnel only to prove that peaceful freedom struggle in Indian occupied Jammu and Kashmir is linked with Islamic State / Daesh.
Another suicide case was reported at Indian Army 92 Base Hospital, Srinagar. The Duty Medical Officer (DMO) says, “nothing unusual has happened as it is a routine matter”. He claimed that it is a normal practice that every day two to three cases of attempted-suicide are reported since decades, even before his posting at Base Hospital. He explained that the suicide cases pertaining to specifically Indian Army are usually one to two per month while with regard to Para Military Forces it is four times.
Yesterday too, in an unbelievable incident, Assistant Sub Inspector Amrit Bhardwaj, resident of Bharlipur village of Assam, serving at 33 Battalion CRPF was found dead if he has committed suicide at Battalion headquarters at Kotli. Witnesses informed that he returned from night duty and was fine but they were told next day morning that he committed suicide. One witness said that he saw Amrit Bhardwaj which bore four bullet marks.
Suicidal tendencies among the Indian Army and Para Military Force (PMF) personnel deployed in disputed State of Indian occupied Jammu and Kashmir is on the rise. Every year, the number is gradually increasing. In the last ten years, between 2010 and 2020, over one thousand cases were reported due to many reasons but generally speaking most of them committed suicide or made an unsuccessful attempt after having ordered by their command and seniors to open indiscriminate firing of Kashmiri civilians in occupied Jammu and Kashmir.
Subedar Kumar, who survived a suicide attempt informed TON correspondent in August 2020, “Hindu Dharam does not allow killing of even animals but I was ordered to open fire on Hindu traders and their dead bodies pricks my conscience. I could not resist the dead bodies”. One of the major reasons is, of course, extrajudicial killings and fake encounters. There are at least three cases last year where stoppage of routine casual leave forced them to shoot themselves. One such last year’s suicide attempt case said, “I did not avail leave since over six months and I had pressure from my house to leave the job if leave is not granted”.
Focusing on suicide cases of Central Reserve Police Force (CRFP) this year, on 12 August 2020, Inspector Damodar from 141 battalion, who was posted at the Shergadi area of Srinagar shot himself with his service rifle but survived.
Another incident took place on 26 July this year when a CRPF personnel posted in Srinagar shot himself dead.
On 19 July, a CRPF personnel committed suicide by shooting himself dead inside the unit lines at Pantha Chowk area of Srinagar.
On 6 July, two Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) personnel were killed in in district courts in Kulgam. It was alleged that they killed themselves by their service rifles after engaging in an argument. However, witnesses present at that claimed that facts are quite different but they cannot disclose as intelligence agencies would eliminate them and their families.
Similarly, on 12 May, under mysterious condition in two different cases in Anantnag district, two CRPF personnel committed suicide by shooting themselves with their service rifles. m Kashmir’s Anantnag district. In the first incident, Assistant Sub Inspector CRPF Fateh Singh committed suicide by shooting himself with service rifle at Akrun Mattan, Islamabad district Interestingly, it is being claimed that Fatah Singh left behind a suicide note which read, “I am afraid, I may have contracted Corona.” However, there was no evidence for the same as reported by his colleagues. In the second incident Assistant Sub-Inspector CRPF, Bengali Babu resident of Madhya Pradesh committed suicide by shooting himself with his service rifle at his 49th battalion camp in Srinagar.
On 21 March, another CRPF personnel posted outside Civil Secretariat Srinagar had committed suicide by shooting himself with his service rifle.
The increasing suicidal tendencies in disputed Indian occupied Jammu & Kashmir State cannot be ignored. These are just few months cases and that too confined to CRPF. Someone should ask the next to kin of these personnel how they are feeling. These personnel who joined the forces to serve their country returned their home wrapped in coffins. One wonders how long these personnel would be ordered against their conscience to kill innocent people in fake encounters and extra judicial killings. Did their love ones send them to the forces to come back in coffins and get compensation for their lives? It is high time that the United Nations Organizations, European Union UNHCR, and other international 0rganizations including International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch.
JEDDAH, 21 August 2020, TON: The Pakistani Ministry of Foreign Affairs denied an impression of tension in relations between Pakistan and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, stating that the two countries have always enjoyed unique relations deep rooted in historic, religious, cultural and social ties.
Spokesperson of Ministry of Foreign Affairs Zahid Hafeez Choudhry said in a statement that Pakistan and Saudi Arabia have not only closely cooperated with each other at international fora but have always stood by each other at times of need.
Pakistan values Saudi Arabia’s important role in the OIC Contact Group on Jammu and Kashmir. Pakistan has an abiding commitment to defending the sanctity of Harmain Sharifain. And Pakistan remains firmly committed to the sovereignty and the territorial integrity of Saudi Arabia. The statement added that the people of Pakistan have special reverence and affection for the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques. Frequent high-level visits and close leadership level contacts have been the longstanding tradition of the brotherly relations between the two countries.
It is highlighted that Riyadh is irked by criticism from Islamabad that Saudi Arabia has been lukewarm on the Kashmir territorial dispute. The fact remains that Saudi Arabia has contributed a lot for the cause of Muslim countries, especially Pakistan and people of Jammu and Kashmir. The Royal leadership is always committed to raise the voice of Muslim brethren countries in all the regional and international forums.
The recent visit of COAS General Qamar Javed Bajwa in which he was accompanied by Inter Services Intelligence Director General Lieutenant General Faiz Hameed, was termed as fruitful, according to Pakistani military officials. General Qamar Javed Bajwa held meeting with His Excellency Prince Khalid Bin Salman, Deputy Defense Minister, His Excellency General (Staff) Fayiadh bin Ha’med Al-Rowaily, Chief of General Staff and His Royal Highness Lieutenant General (Staff) Fahad bin Turki Al Saud Commander Joint Forces, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
In the latest development, Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan’s remarks on the subject in his recent media engagement and COAS Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa’s just concluded visit to Saudi Arabia testify to the unchanged fraternal relations and close contact between the two countries.
Saudi Arabia's Foreign Minister His Excellency Prince Faisal bin Farhan ruled out any relation with Israel until the Palestinian issue is resolved, “Peace must be achieved with the Palestinians on the basis of international agreements as a precondition for any normalization of relations. The announcement has shut the mouth of many critics and adversaries of Saudi Arabia who doesn’t leave any stone un-turned to defame Arab leadership.
Pakistan is and Islamic Republic and its constitution provides in Article 40, “Strengthening bonds with Muslim World and Promoting International peace. The State shall endeavour to preserve and strengthen fraternal relations among Muslim countries based on Islamic unity, support the common interests of the peoples of Asia, Africa and Latin America, promote international peace and security, foster goodwill and friendly relations among all nations and encourage the settlement of international disputes by peaceful means.
A strange announcement has been made by Air Marshal B Suresh, Air Officer Commanding in Chief (AOC-in-C) Western Air Command of the Indian Air Force that the personnel of the Indian Air Force including the pilots, ground crew and the fighter will be operationally ready at various Indian Air Force (IAF) Stations as Rafale fighter jets from France reach India on 29 July 2020. These aircrafts, having ability to carry nuclear warheads and are going to be deployed in three IAF bases including IAF Station, Chandigarh, IAF Station Leh, IAF Station Hindon and IAF Station Ambala while IAF Station Thoise would be alternative base in case of hostilities. The practice exercise on Fighter aircrafts took place in which a shoot down an enemy aircraft from a distance more than 100 kilometers, without even crossing the Indian air space. Without naming any country, the Air Marshal said these preparations are amidst the ongoing tension India and Pakistan and India and China. The announcement said that four newly acquired aircrafts are deployed at IAF Station Ambala while whereabouts of other Rafale fighter jets were not shared. Earlier Air Commodore Hilal Ahmad Rather, India’s Air Attaché in France confirmed the Fighter aircrafts having taken off from France.
Meanwhile, Air Commodore DS Joshi, Air Officer Commanding (AOC) IAF Station Ambala made a quick comparison of Pakistan Air Force (PAF) counter-attack ability on 27 February 2019, when Islamabad claimed to have shot down two Indian fighter jets and capturing alive of Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman and compared it with Indian prevailing abilities. He claimed that after acquisition and deployment of new Rafale fighter jets IAF is all prepared to strike any target inside Pakistan without even crossing the border. He hinted to carryout surgical strikes on targets inside Pakistan in August or September 2020. He added that the morale of Indian Armed Forces was low after the 27 February episode but after acquisition of Rafale fighter jets the morale of Indian Armed Forces is all time high.
Pakistan has JF-17 Fighter aircrafts falls into the category of Light Combat Aircraft (LCA). The aircraft is capable of carrying short range beyond visual range (SRBVR), anti-ship as well as anti-radiation missiles. The Indian Rafale fighters are armed with Scalp cruise Air to Surface missiles, which have a range of over 300 kilometers. It can also be fitted with Missile d'Interception, de Combat et d'Autodéfense (MICA) missile, which has two interoperable seekers (active radar and imaging infrared) to cover the spectrum from close-in dogfight to long beyond visual range. It was in 2001 that the IAF floated proposal to buy Medium Multi Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA), however, this could not be materialized in 2012, when India agreed to buy 36 Rafale jets.
There recent decision by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to honour the decision of Supreme Court of Turkey for conversion of portion of Hagia Sophia Museum into a Mosque was criticized by many world leaders and nations. The case was pending before Turkey’s highest court for one and a half decade to ascertain future of the Hagia Sophia museum in Istanbul; if the site was personal property of Ottoman Sultan Mehmet II, who conquered the city in 1453 and built Mosque, and that a 1934 decision to turn the building into a secular museum should be annulled. The evidences placed before the court revealed that the site was personal property of Ottoman Sultan Mehmet II, who conquered the city in 1453, and decision to turn the building into a secular museum should be left up to the government if it allows it to be turned back into a Mosque. President Erdogan converted a portion of museum into mosque and rest remained as museum. Christians consider it cathedral of Hagia Sophia and a symbol of interfaith and intercultural dialogue. It is being discussed that with the Turkish presidential decision, Turkey's relations with the EU, US, Greece, Russia and UNESCO would suffer badly.
Before we finally comment reconversion of Hagia Sophia Museum in Istanbul or the UNESCO listed Hagia Sophia (Divine Wisdom), known in Turkey as “Ayasofya-i Kebir Camii Serifi” into a Mosque, we have to understand that the Coptic Christians of Turkey, Middle East and Africa are different from rest of Christians. They believe in monotheism, pray five times a day, women usually wear headscarves as a sign of honor and purity, and both men and women remove their shoes before entering the sanctuary of the Church. Coptic considers same sex activities and relations outside the marriage as unpardonable great sin. In fact, since the times of Last Prophet of Islam Muhammad Alhe Salam (Sal Allah Ho Alhe Wasalam) Coptic were following the true path and were never converted or asked not to follow their religion. There are numerous verses in holy Al Quran which allow Muslims to inter-dine and inter-marry with followers of Judaism and Christianity (Coptic), who believe in monotheism and last day of Judgment.
The Christian community in Turkey is led by the Coptic. Ecumenical Patriarch Dimitri Bartholomew claims to be 270th Patriarch of Constantinople and direct successor of the Christian’s Apostle Andrew and the spiritual head of Christians worldwide. The Turkish government does not recognize the title Ecumenical Patriarch, or Bartholomew's role as an international religious leader as he is officially viewed as a local bishop who leads around 3,000 Greek citizens in Turkey. Even if the Turkish government recognize him successor of the Christian’s Apostle Andrew, Bartholomew seems to be the last Patriarch of Constantinople as he is the only Turkish national Patriarch while others are not Turkish nationals and law require patriarch to be a Turkish citizen. So with a hope that Turkish government will allow Turkish citizenship to Orthodox archbishops overseas a few archbishops have applied but their cases are pending. Regarding the conversion of Sofia Museum into Mosque, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew said in a statement, “The conversion of Hagia Sophia into a Mosque will disappoint millions of Christians around the world.” Other Christian leaders were more or less holder of similar opinion.
Coptic are very particular about the character of their archbishops. If we recall, a week ago, Pope Tawadros II of Alexandria and Patriarch of St. Mark Diocese announced defrockment of priest Rewiess Aziz Khalil on 18 July 2020, following allegations of sexual abuse of children. A resident of North America, Rewiess Aziz Khalil was a priest of the Diocese of Minya and Abu Qurqas. He was stripped of his title in February 2014 and returned him to his pre-ordination name Yousef Aziz Khalil. In the present letter Pope Tawadros II directed Egypt and in the United States of America to revoke any recognition of Yousef Aziz Khalil as a priest of the Coptic Orthodox Church. In other words this clarifies that Christians of Turkey (Coptic) and Muslims coexist and the recent decision of Supreme Court of Turkey will not cause too much impact of the Turkish minorities.
The relationship between the Ottomans and the Christians did not evolve hostility and conflict, as is generally assumed. History is witness that there was very cordial relation between the Christian and Ottoman Muslims even before Muslims took over of Constantinople in 1453. Ottoman Emperor Murad II married a Byzantine Princess while Hass Murad Pasha (died 1468) and his younger brother Mesih Pasha (died 1501) were nephews of the last Byzantine Emperor Constantine XI Paleologos (1404–1453). If we recall, John VII Palaeogus died childless in 1448, a dispute erupted between Constantine XI Palaeologus (1404 - 1453) and his brother Demetrios Palaiologos over the throne. Demetrios drew support for his opposition to the union between the Orthodox and Catholic churches. The Empress Helena, acting as regent, supported Constantine. They appealed to the Ottoman Sultan Murad II to arbitrate the disagreement. Murad decided in favor of Constantine and on 6 January 1449 Constantine was crowned in the cathedral at Mistra by the local bishop.
Similarly, Sultan Mehmed II (1432 – 1481) in order to repopulate the Istanbul, deported Muslim and Christian groups in Anatolia and the Balkans and forced them to settle in Constantinople. He restored the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate in 1454 and established a Jewish Grand Rabbi and an Armenian Patriarch in the city. There were many Christian princesses from Royal family who married Ottomans. Anna Hatun, the daughter of Trabzon Greek Emperor David Komnenos and Helena Kantakuzenos was married to Zognush Pasha Ottoman military commander in 1461.
The Halki seminary, located in Forest land, educated future Greek Orthodox bishops, theologians and patriarchs for more than a century but the Turkish Supreme Court ordered its closure in 1971. Since then, it's remained unoccupied. Theological School of Halki was founded outside Istanbul in 1844. In March 2012, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s announced decision to open Halki Seminary for which evenUS President Barck Obama appreciated Turkish President for his efforts to protect religious minorities. In the same regard, Turkey’s Council of Foundations returned 190 hectares of forestland to the Theological School of Halki through Greek Orthodox foundation in January 2013. Government of Turkey also allowed the liturgical celebration by the Ecumenical Patriarch at the historic Sumela Monastery and the return of the former Greek Orphanage on Buyukada Island to the Ecumenical Patriarchate. In addition, Coptic Monastery of Mor Augin, also known as the Monastery of St. Augin was reopened in 2010.
In the recent past, Turkey reopened the iconic Bulgarian St Stephen's Church in Balat, Istanbul in January 2018 after seven years of restoration as its original wooden structure was destroyed in a fire. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım attended the opening ceremony of the Church built in 1898. Erdogan said reopening of the Iron Church was an important message for the international community. He said, "I believe it is the responsibility of the state to ensure everyone can worship freely," adding that Turkey has supported the restoration of more than 5,000 artifacts in the past 15 years.
In the latest development, after Turkish President Erdogan Sofia Museum as Mosque and held Jumma prayers on Friday, around 350,000 Muslims offered their Friday's prayer in the Mosque. The President also announced appointment of Mehmet Boynukalin, a professor of Islamic law at Istanbul's Marmara University, and Ferruh Mustuer and Bunjamin Topcuoglu, the Imams of two other Istanbul mosques. There is no doubt, the Turkish President Erdogan has done for the minorities in Turkey, especially the Christians is worth appreciation. One wonders should we forget good things about the Ottoman Empire as well as present Turkish Muslims what they did for the Christian and Jews or we should follow the band wagon of media in a critical mode. If Christians really consider cathedral of Hagia Sophia as a symbol of interfaith and intercultural dialogue so this is the high time to respect Turkish highest court’s verdict. It is high time that Christians must unite under Ecumenical Patriarch Dimitri Bartholomew for the union between the Orthodox, Catholic and Protestants churches. This would allow the Muslims and the Coptic to clear their apprehensions and joint work for the development of Turkey.
ISLAMABAD, 27 June 2020, TON: In one of the most shocking incident in the history of commercial aviation there are reports that Government of Pakistan admitted to have grounded 262 airline pilots; 109 commercial and 153 airline transport pilots with 'dubious' credentials, suspected of dodging their exams following inquiries into their qualifications. They included 141 from PIA, nine from Air Blue, 10 from Serene Airline, and 17 from nonexistent Shaheen Airlines, which has closed down. The authorities in PIA and Air Blue complaint that although they would comply but had so far not received the list of pilots to be grounded, which appeared in the international and national media. Reports from Minister’s office claims that lists had been sent to airlines and same would also be available on the Civil Aviation’s website.
It is on record that that in May 2020, the Pakistan Airlines Pilots Association (PALPA) gave a statement, “The aircraft’s landing gear has always been a grave cause for concern. Numerous ‘technical logs’ concerning this particular aircraft will validate PALPA’s contentions… The CAA has also failed in its duty as the regulator. Airworthiness of an aircraft is a concern that falls exclusively within the regulatory domain of the CAA. The crash has occurred due to the unfitness of the aircraft itself… negligence of the PIA management in entirety in ensuring maintenance of its aircraft is a dominant factor in plane crash.” PALPA had demanded a thorough investigation into the PIA aircraft crash by involving the association and international bodies to probe beside technical aspects, into the aircraft’s health prior to the flight, investigators must consider the working conditions of the ground staff and flight crew as well as internationally acknowledged air safety rules. They also expressed serious reservations over the abilities and capabilities of the Special Investigation Board (SIB).
In a joint statement, The International Federation of Airline Pilots’ Associations and the International Federation of Air Traffic Controllers’ Associations called for the crash probe to be conducted on international standards, urging against “premature conclusions” based on incomplete or speculative information. There was collusion between pilots and Civil Aviation officials since late 2018 over appointment officers from Pakistan Air Force in PIA including present Chief Executive Officer Air Marshal Arshad Mahmood Malik. In another development, the International Air Transport Association and the European Union Aviation Safety Agency have expressed concerns over such a large number of pilots having dubious credentials.
As per the details, Aviation Minister Ghulam Sarwar Khan told media that authorities had been investigating pilots were accused of having someone sit one or more papers for them, and sometimes even all the eight papers required for an airline pilot's licence. It has come to light that at least 28 of the pilots had already been found to have obtained academic degrees are suspected to be illegitimate and if confirmed would face criminal charges and termination from would service.
Meanwhile the US Embassy in Islamabad reported having received a letter signed by PIA Chief Executive Arshad Malik saying, “It is also ensured that all pilots flying PIA flights are having genuine licences endorsed by the government of Pakistan.” Earlier, PIA’s spokesman said the letter had been sent to all heads of foreign missions in Pakistan as well as international aviation regulators and safety monitoring agencies.
In the latest development, Captain Chaudhry Salman, head of the Pakistan Airline Pilots' Association, said in a news conference in Karachi that here is no truth in these allegations and claims by aviation Minister Ghulam Sarwar Khan were false as their licences are not fake. He added 39 pilots out of the 262 accused of obtaining fake pilot licenses had either died or retired years ago.
In the past decades, countries professing ideology of “Free World” remained unsuccessful implementing the concept of and “Global Village” amongst the world-nations. Despite cooperation and alliances of over fifty countries in real time operations and wars, there was limited or no success everywhere in the world including Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia, Sudan, Palestine, Saudi Arabia, Turkey etc. Mosques, Churches, Synagogue, Seminaries, Madrassas and similar institution were seen as breeding grounds to challenge “Free World”. The Western war against Islam after dubbing its followers as “Fundamentalists” and “Terrorists”, could not bring desired results, resulting in recession in world economies. When wars failed, hybrid war or 5th Generation warfare was adopted on asymmetric models but that too could not bring desired results due to limited access to modern technology and digital bottlenecks.
Today, there is no house in the world where Corona or COVID-19 is not being discussed. What is COVID-19 is quite simple that is self explanatory. COVID has been derived from two English words, coined together meaning receiving and sending video images to general masses. In English language; “Co” is used to form a verbs or nouns that refer to people sharing things or doing things together while “Vid” means relating to or employed in the transmission or reception of a televised image or operating of video frequencies. There are two other explanations that seem necessary to be mentioned here about suffixing of “19” with “COVID” and about video frequency. In COVID-19, “19” refers to last year (2019) when the drama in real life was launched while video frequency is future digital communication that would be based on a flexible Radio Access Network (RAN) and 5th Generation (5G network), which are the cornerstone of next-generation network infrastructure. We will not get into the technical details and focus on certain very important revelations. In a nutshell it starts with digitalization and ends at enforcement of digitalization.
The story of COVID-19 starts from April 2003, when Jack Ma faced a difficult situation during 93rd Canton Fair but Guangzhou was classified as a SARS epidemic zone, the disease spread due to disease pig population in China. Despite assurances from Guangzhou government that everything was fine, most exhibitors were reluctant to take the risk by participating in the Fair. In 2002, the 92nd Canton Fair witnessed 135,000 exhibitors trading $19.7 billion in goods. But in 2003, it dropped to 22,000 exhibitors and only $3.8 billion in goods was traded. The economic giants like Jack Ma and Bill Gates have worked out new strategies to achieve objective through digital remote operations as e-education, e-trade and commerce, e-health and other Es. Massive alarms of “COVID-19” was publicized through media to ensure everyone adopt online digital practices.
Thus, the dream of “Global Village” gave birth to the concept of digital community, minimizing distancing due to geographical boundaries, ethno-religious or racial isolation and barriers due to varied educational systems. Thus in the decades to come digital transformation is to lead future. It is being worked out that just like social media platforms, mainly Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube etc. changed the way we socialize, interact, shop and perceive things, the new Digitalization would change the world. This will also bring new channels to digital marketing through digital technology and its applications. Social media is the term we use to describe platforms that bring people together for the exchange of information rather than physical interactions. Before 2019, the world could only reach social media for promoting both online or offline products and services but now it is claimed to be the whole world would operate on digital techniques.
It should not surprise anyone that despite claimed estimates by European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control that there 3623803 COVID-19 positives cases and 256880 deaths as on 6 May 2020, military operation are continuing everywhere in the world and are likely to gain momentum. Reportedly, despite the whole world has been apparently shaken by claimed spread of Coronavirus, NATO and other military organizations have diverted all attentions and energies from pandemic disease to military operations, especially in Africa and Middle East. Although, Jens Stoltenberg, NATO’s Secretary-General has dubbed these allegations about NATO’s organization’s role in Coronavirus pandemic as disinformation but it is being projected that some ground realities cannot be denied and ignored that NATO allies were absent in providing airlifts, medical support, and transportation to the patients.
We cannot ignore to investigate that there is also a general perception that Coronavirus is a biological weapon created to achieve some objectives. Although real, the Coronavirus has been exaggerated manifolds and its spread is intentional against the human rights and other international laws to implement the new strategies of the bankers and businessmen. The package for world governments to introduce smart and strategic technologies based applications and national plans to build future of education, health, economy, services etc. on digital lines, using Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Robotics solutions with focus on operating from home. In the first step old systems, applications, softwares as well as hardwares will be no more compactable and new versions of 5G would be prerequisite to enter into the future. This is aimed to achieve objectives ranging from new businesses to control over the day to day affairs of the whole world (To be continued).
BRUSSELS, 28 April 2020, TON: NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg clarification hardly impressed anyone regarding the organization’s response to elderly people about coronavirus pandemic as disinformation, “try to portray NATO allies as if we are unable to, for instance, protect our elderly people or that we are not able to work together. We are working together. That's exactly what we do.” Till to-date, the ground facts remains that NATO allies were absent in providing airlifts, medical support, and transportation to the patients.
It has been noted that NATO’s military alliance’s working together as member countries disappeared and more regional collaborations are emerging and that too in combat operations during the so called Coronavirus pandemic.
There is a perception that Coronavirus is a biological weapon created in the United States to bring down opponents and that China, Iran, and Russia “are doing much better than the West” in fighting the epidemic.
In Fall, There's s a time of leaves drops from the trees and before the snow hidden that I call to as "Autwin" Now,The Period After The Snow has unfreeze and before the forest grows I Prefer it as "Winsprin"
RUNDU, 31 March 2020, TON: The Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Tourism spokesperson, Romeo Muyunda, says national parks are open for business despite the Covid-19, which prompted President Hage Geingob to issue a directive to all government workers and the private sector to operate from home for the next 14 days, except those providing essential services such as food retail shops.
“Our staff are also taking measures to stay safe; park rangers are also listed under critical services, so they are on duty in our parks to look into issues of security when it comes to poaching,” he said.
“So, those people or poachers that are thinking we are going to overlook security should be warned our parks will be patrolled as we always do. So, poaching and related dealings are still a risky business for those perpetrators involved, as our park rangers are busy at work,” he continued. Muyunda stated that all office staff are attending to work from home but highlighted that park rangers are on duty and are still monitoring the situation as well as seeing who is visiting the parks.
“If there’s any risk at all, then we will make a decision but for now, our parks are fully operational; the same measures that are being implemented anywhere else around our country, like when entering the shop or facility you get sanitised at the entrance, we are doing that,” he said.
“We have staff members who are explaining the importance of using or spraying hands with sanitisers to visitors and also just to share important information to visitors whenever they are visiting our parks; we encourage them to alert the authorities whenever they feel the symptoms of Covid-19,” he added.
The parks are still open for business for people who still want to visit, noting that perhaps some tourists are still in the country. “We are following all the measures that were put in place by the state – no gatherings of more than 10 people – in addition to all the other activities that were discouraged and other preventative measures. But in most cases, it is business as usual at the parks,” he said.
Namibia has 20 national parks from Bwabwata National Park in Kavango East, Etosha National Park in Kunene region, Khaudum National Park in Kavango East, Mangetti National Park in Kavango West and Mudumu National Park in Zambezi, along with Nkasa Rupara National Park, to name a few.
TOKYO, 30 March 2020: The Tokyo Olympics will open next year in the same time slot scheduled for this year's games.
Tokyo organizers said Monday the opening ceremony will take place on 23 July 2021, almost exactly one year after the games were due to start.
"The schedule for the games is key to preparing for the games," Tokyo organizing committee president Yoshiro Mori said. "This will only accelerate our progress."
Last week, the IOC and Japanese organizers postponed the Olympics until 2021 because of the coronavirus pandemic.
This year's games were scheduled to open on 24 July and close on 9 August. But the near exact one-year delay will see the rescheduled closing ceremony on 8 August.
There had been talk of switching the Olympics to spring, a move that would coincide with the blooming of Japan's famous cherry blossoms. But it would also clash with European soccer and North American sports leagues.
Mori said a spring Olympics was considered but holding the games later gives more space to complete the many qualifying events that have been postponed by the virus outbreak.
"We wanted to have more room for the athletes to qualify," Mori said.
After holding out for weeks, local organizers and the IOC last week postponed the Tokyo Games under pressure from athletes, national Olympic bodies and sports federations. It's the first postponement in Olympic history, though there were several cancellations during wartime.
The Paralympics were rescheduled to 24 August to 5 September.
The new Olympic dates would conflict with the scheduled world championships in track and swimming, but those events are now expected to also be pushed back.
"The IOC has had close discussions with the relevant international federations," organizing committee CEO Toshiro Muto said. "I believe the IFs have accepted the games being held in the summer."
Muto said the decision was made Monday and the IOC said it was supported by all the international sports federations and was based on three main considerations: to protect the health of athletes, to safeguard the interests of the athletes and Olympic sport, and the international sports calendar.
"These new dates give the health authorities and all involved in the organisation of the Games the maximum time to deal with the constantly changing landscape and the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic," the IOC said. "The new dates ... also have the added benefit that any disruption that the postponement will cause to the international sports calendar can be kept to a minimum, in the interests of the athletes and the IFs."
Both Mori and Muto have said the cost of rescheduling the Olympics will be "massive" — local reports estimate billions of dollars — with most of the expenses borne by Japanese taxpayers.
Muto promised transparency in calculating the costs, and testing times deciding how they are divided up.
"Since it (the Olympics) were scheduled for this summer, all the venues had given up hosting any other events during this time, so how do we approach that?" Muto asked. "In addition, there will need to be guarantees when we book the new dates, and there is a possibility this will incur rent payments. So there will be costs incurred and we will need to consider them one by one. I think that will be the tougher process."
Katsuhiro Miyamoto, an emeritus professor of sports economics at Kansai University, puts the costs as high as $4 billion. That would cover the price of maintaining stadiums, refitting them, paying rentals, penalties and other expenses.
Japan is officially spending $12.6 billion to organize the Olympics. However, an audit bureau of the Japanese government says the costs are twice that much. All of the spending is public money except $5.6 billion from a privately funded operating budget.
The Switzerland-based International Olympic Committee is contributing $1.3 billion, according to organizing committee documents. The IOC's contribution goes into the operating budget.
IOC President Thomas Bach has repeatedly called the Tokyo Olympics the best prepared in history. However, Deputy Prime Minister Taro Aso also termed them "cursed." Aso competed in shooting in the 1976 Olympics, and was born in 1940.
The Olympics planned for 1940 in Tokyo were canceled because of Japan's war with China.
The run-up to the Olympics also saw IOC member Tsunekazu Takeda, who also headed the Japanese Olympic Committee, forced to resign last year amid a bribery scandal.
Strange but true, the US President Donald Trump in his latest tweet on Saturday, 28 March, said quarantine for New York area will not be necessary. Despite official figures of 2000 deaths in US, over 1000 in United Kingdom and 7503 in Italy, the leaders of these countries and many other do not believe in quarantine. In his latest tweet, President Trump said on Saturday night that he has asked the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDCP) to issue a strong Travel Advisory but quarantine on the New York region will not be necessary. It is interesting to note that President Trump took this decision knowing well that New York City alone has seen 200 plus deaths in a single day on 28 March.
US Health Department confirmed that Coronavirus related deaths in US have doubled in two days, hitting 2000 on Saturday. The department also confirmed 20,000 officially announced new cases in one single day on Saturday for the first time. It would be interesting to note that an official of Department of Health and Human Services’ Civil Rights office disclosed that COVID-19 are usually contracted by very old people who rarely survive due to chronic history of many diseases including bronchitis and asthma. Accordingly, as per WP, the Civil Rights office of Department of Health and Human Services urged health care providers “to not ration care for covid-19 patients based on disability or age”.
It is interesting to note that the Prime Minister of United Kingdom, Boris Johnson in his address to the nation on 23 March, rather than asking masses to quarantine said, “From this evening I must give the British people a very simple instruction - you must stay at home. Because the critical thing we must do is stop the disease spreading between households.” In his address, he said that people will only be allowed to leave their home for very limited purposes including shopping, one form of exercise a day e.g. a run, walk, or cycle alone or with members of your household, medical need and travelling to and from work. It would be interesting to note that with the exception of few odd, all Churches in United Kingdom remained open on Sunday 29 March.
Italy, which has officially reported 7503 deaths and 74386 infections due to Coronaviris also announced restricted suspension of some activities. The Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte on 11 March 2020, executed a decree imposing the temporary lockdown of any retailing activities, with the exceptions of those relating to the sale of essential goods. On 22 March 2020, another decree was issued which is to remain in force from 25 March to 3 April 2020. The government imposed the shutdown and restriction on non-strategic activities including non-strategic production activities and additional restrictions on the individuals’ movement from one municipality to another with the exception of well-grounded work, absolute urgency or health-related reasons. The shutdown was also not to apply on professional activities, strategic activities and other essential public services including defense and aerospace industries.
It is a media war, who knows how many died or infected but Pakistan and some other countries have done a great blunder by taking anti-human rights and anti-individual’s freedom measures including closing all the Mosques for congregational prayers. This could have been enforced on voluntarily basis, in case some specific area is epicenter of epidemic. It is the time to reopen the country and rethink about the cause of Coronavirus, which includes spread of virus from pigs or swine? As proved from the case studies of US, UK and Italy, civil protection is important but closing and imposing restrictions on strategic production houses and services has no precedent anywhere. It is strange that even the hospitals are closed for prescriptions and medicines for the sick as only COVID-19 cases are dealt, which in Pakistan has so far rarely reported, other that precautionary quarantine of those returning from abroad. Where there is imposed restriction on movement for even essential work, some countries have been forced to come to a standstill that would be counterproductive. One sees people begging for food in the middle-class and poor-class communities. Where we must ensure restrict our activities it is the responsibility of Government and masses to ensure the survival of all.
Government of Pakistan has ordered suspension of all congregational prayers including Jumma (Friday prayers) in all mosques till further order. To this effect, the Government including Armed Forces issued has enforced compliance. In some institution written orders said, “With immediate effect Congregational and Jumma prayers have been suspended and all mosques will remain closed till further orders”. The closure of Mosques has been ordered including the grand Shah Faysal Mosque in federal capital Islamabad. On 27 March like many other mosques Shah Faysal Mosque remained closed for general public for Friday prayer. In local mosques authorities prevented Muslims from offering Jumma prayers in the mosques and asked them to pray at their homes.
If we recall, the Islamic Ideological Council on 17 March 2020, called for keeping the Friday prayers short by reciting a brief Khutba and urged the elderly and children not to visit mosques. As per the details, a meeting of academics chaired by Maulana Hafiz Tahir Ashrafi was held on 17 March 2020, in which a joint Fatwa on the Coronavirus was issued, saying that everyone is at risk for coronavirus, must follow Islamic law of the deadly virus, “All political and religious meetings should be postponed immediately, the congregation meetings should be reduced to Arabic sermons (Khutba), and the distance between the ranks of the mosques should be reduced. Prayers should be arranged in the mosques and the floor or Chatties of the mosques should be cleaned with soap before each prayers and that Al-Qa’im-ul-Akhram-ul-Allah should be called to promoting the Corona virus”. According to the fatwa, patients, elderly persons should pray at home instead of mosques”.
The Media and Government sources claim that the Supreme Ulema Council (SUC) of Egypt’s Al-Azhar University has issued a special Fatwa on the request of Pakistani leadership, banning all congregational prayers at mosques to stem the spread of coronavirus outbreak. The western media reported that in Pakistan, people partially followed a ban on Friday prayers across the country, as people in remote areas did not heed to the call for staying away from typical Friday congregations. Accordingly, in major cities attendance at mosques was much lesser than regular times, according to local media.
It is interesting to note that despite UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson address to the nation on 23 March asking, “From this evening I must give the British people a very simple instruction - you must stay at home.Because the critical thing we must do is stop the disease spreading between households. ” In his address, he said people will only be allowed to leave their home for very limited purposes including shopping, one form of exercise a day e.g. a run, walk, or cycle - alone or with members of your household, medical need and travelling to and from work. It would be interesting to note that with the exception of few odd all Churches in United Kingdom will remain open on Sunday 29 March.
In Bangladesh, a Muslim country with over 165 million people, there was no official ban for Friday prayers. The highest religious body, the Islamic Foundation, did not interfere but call on people not to attend the congregational prayers in areas with a high risk of COVID-19. All mosques in Bangladesh remained open rather attendance of during congregational prayers has increased. In African countries including Nigeria and Sudan people continued their prayers as usual with zeal and enthusiasm. In Maldives too Muslims were stanch believers that Almighty Allah would help them out of the crisis. In USA discarded to suspend services due to financial issues. However, people like Sydney’s Catholic archbishop, Anthony Fisher, said masses would continue across Sydney, however they would be limited to no more than 100 people, in accordance with the government’s new ban on gatherings.
The Coronavirus is reality but not so serious as being projected on our digital screens or on media. Not even fraction will ever be infected whatever the case may be. The statistics reflected that anywhere around the world even less than one percent dies who were pronounced COVID-19 positive. The scene and the events are dramatized purposely and fake videos like Italian soldiers burning mass dead bodies of those affected by coronavirus are, in fact, test our belief. It has become a fashion for world leaders to claim Coronavirus (COVID-19) positive to ensure people remains afraid of Virus rather the Almighty God, the Allah.
A number of synagogues, churches, mosques and temples have already shifted to online platforms for online sermons and prayers. They call it “spiritual Communion”. They intend to close all physical places of worship and satisfy religious obligations watching them on television or computer screens or on their Smartphones. One wonders countries are successfully going digital in all walks of their lives within days and weeks. Those who have planned it do not want to miss the golden opportunity to completely defeat our beliefs as Davidians, Jews, Christians and Muslims. Who else can save us but the Almighty God, it is high time to awake our conscience and neither let viruses like Coronavirus to be successful by taking all precautions nor allow our Divine Faith to be shaken.
Media is filled with various types of news but coronavirus is one of the most destructive news that concerns everyone. Like others country, Bangladesh has been affected by this virus. coronavirus has proved to be most terrible virus of the world. Now we will analyze on ground reality of spread of coronavirus from the perspective of Bangladesh.
On 8 March 2020, in a press conference Director Prof. Meerjady Sabrina Flora of the Bangladesh announced the first coronavirus cases in the country after three people were tested positive for COVID-19 on 7 March 2020. They were two male and a female patients, aged between 20 and 35 years. Two of these patients had returned from Italy.
On 16 March, the Director of Institute of Epidemiology Disease Control And Research announced that additional three cases of COVID-19 patients had been detected in Bangladesh including two children. On 17 March, two more patients were affected with coronavirus, one of them an expatriate Bangladeshi. Bangladesh reported its first coronavirus death on 18 March. The patient was 70 years old and had long medical history. On the same day, three infected patients recovered from COVID-19. There were three new coronavirus cases confirmed on 19 March. They were all family members and one of the members had returned from Italy. Among them, the two men were 32 and 65 years old whereas the woman was 22 years.
The cases are increasing day by day. On 20 March, a female and two males were confirmed coronavirus positive. One of them was Bangladeshi who returned from Italy and another patient was in the ICU who is 70 years old. On 22 March, three new cases were defected. Among them, two patients were returnees from abroad and one other person got infected due to them. In the meanwhile, two previous patients recovered. There were confirmed six new cases on 23 March; three males and three females including a doctor and two nurses while a new death was reported. On 24 March, again six patients got infected with coronavirus. One of them is old patient who is 70 years old also died from COVID-19. After that day, in last 24 hours, no one got affected with coronavirus, however, a COVID-19 patient died. According to WHO and others health institutions, Bangladesh need to take care of its people. We have to wash our hands again and again. We should have use mask on face. Today, on 26 March, IEDCR confirmed five new cases of coronavirus. And now, total COVID-19 patients now stood 44.
In the preparation stage of the crisis, Bangladesh responded slow but now the Government, different non-state actors and local volunteer groups are working together to manage the situation and secure the psychological and emotional hygiene of Bangladeshi people. Government is also trying hard to control the socio-economic loses of the country as almost 12 lakh people engaged in garments industry have to face unemployment and overall economy has to face a faced recession. Bangladesh is also trying its best to create awareness to make people understand not to be afraid but to be sincere to their health. Stay Safe - Keep safe.
ADDIS ABABA, 20 March 2020, TON: United States Embassy cautioned the world in its statement about rising anti-foreigner sentiments in Ethiopia and highlighted that foreigners were being targeted with the accusation that they were infected with Covid-19, the respiratory illness caused by coronavirus.
In a 18th March alert issued by US Embassy in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia said: “continues to receive reports regarding a rise in anti-foreigner sentiment.” The statement said, “Reports indicate that foreigners have been attacked with stones, denied transportation services… being spat on, chased on foot, and been accused of being infected with Covid-19,”
The alert said, “The Embassy continues to receive reports regarding a rise in anti-foreigner sentiment revolving around the announcement of COVID-19 in Ethiopia. Typical derogatory comments directed at foreigners, the terms…“Ferengi” (foreigner), have been reportedly coupled with the label “Corona,” indicating a disparaging view on the link between the outbreak of COVID-19 and foreigners in Ethiopia”.
U.S. president Donald Trump has been under fire on Twitter for referring to the coronavirus as “The Chinese Virus.” Most people have called the reference racist especially with the WHO cautioning against tagging a global malady with a certain category of people.
The Africans countries also resented move by the media of US and other Western countries for targeting Africa for the spread of coronavirus whereas on ground there are not more than one or two cases in some of the countries and all these cases were from those who returned from either Europe or America.
BEIJING, 20 March 2020, TON: China has overcome respiratory illness that has infected tens of thousands of people and killed 3,245 people in China. No data were collected regarding any new local coronavirus case nor any death was reported. Those coming from abroad and have coronavirus positive are properly quarantined to prevent any chances of spread.
Governments in Italy, USA and other western countries are in the grip of coronavirus disease. Chinese Government has offered their services to these countries to overcome this disease.
The scientist throughout the world have appreciated the Communist Party of China how they handled the plague.
The fact cannot be denied that cause of coronavirus is infected pigs. If we recall, from August 2018, China increased meat imports from the United States, Europe and Brazil as half of its pigs died of Swine flu. China also eased restrictions on US beef imports and in November 2018 lifted a ban on US poultry and other meat shipments. China stared receiving meat shipments in refrigerated containers from US and other above countries. Officials of USA Poultry and Egg Export Council disclosed on the condition of anonymity that US had fair idea of Swine fever in most of the pig population in American farms but these pigs were culled and exported to China in refrigerated containers.
The announcement, “Europe the center of the pandemic” by World Health Organization, which is authority on health matters, is being overlooked and despite large number of thousands of coronavirus cases in US, Europe and China, media is only focusing of cases surfaced in Muslim countries in Asia and Africa, especially Middle East. One wonders the the world armies and organization eliminated millions of humans around the world in Iraq, Syria, Libya, Afghanistan, Sudan, Mali, Burkina Faso, Somalia, Palestine, Lebanon, Kashmir and elsewhere only because they held fundamentalist views but the pig or swine flesh or pork which is root case of Coronavirus disease is being patronized.
Sheikh Mujibur Rahman son of Sheikh Lutfar Rahman was born at village Tungipara, Gopalganj, Bengal (presently District Faridpur, Bangladesh) on 17 March 1920. He graduated from Islamia College, Calcutta in 1947. He was also elected as General Secretary of the Islamia College Students Union. He active worker of Bengal Provincial Muslim League from his college-hood and later in 1943 became member of the All-India Muslim League Council. Later in after the creation of Pakistan, he was top Muslim League leader and close aid of Quiad-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah. He was so much inspired by Mohammad Ali Jinnah, the Quaid-e-Azam that during pre-partition he used to sell pro-Pakistan weekly newspaper Millat on the streets of Dhaka along with other workers. In 1948, he was one of the leading founding member of East Pakistan Muslim Students League.
After the tragic death of Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah, in 1949 Awami Muslim League was formed and Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was one of the founding Joint Secretaries. On the ground that the ideology of Pakistan was being sidelined and a secular vision was being applied on the instigation of India and the West. In early January 1950, under the leadership of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, Muslim League took out an anti-famine procession in Dhaka on the occasion of the visit of Pakistan's Prime Minister Liaqaut Ali Khan to East Pakistan. Sheikh Mujib was arrested and he was expelled from Muslim League for two years. In January 1952, he joined Maulana Bhashani in the formation of Awami Muslim League. Maulana Bhashani was great friend of Quaid-e-Azam Assam branch Muslim League Party in 1934 and ever since he devoted his whole life for Pakistan movement.
Sheikh Mujibur Rahman remained General Secretary of the Awami Muslim League from 1953 to 1966 and its President from 1966 to 1974. As an activist he had been a supporter of the Suhrawardhy-Hashim faction of the Muslim League. Sheikh Mujibur Rahman entered parliamentary politics first in 1954 through his election as a member of the East Bengal Legislative Assembly. He was also a member of the Pakistan Second Constituent Assembly (1955-1958). During the elections of 1965, he joined hands with Fatima Jinnah and opposed dictatorial rule of General Ayub Khan. He and his party launched the campaign of Fatima Jinnah in East Bengal during her elections and because of him and other Bengali leaders Fatima gained more votes from East Bengal as compared to West Pakistan. He himself was elected as the Member of the National Assembly and always opposed the activities of the Pakistani establishment in the house.
During the War of 1965, he being a loyal Pakistan did everything which could be done for Pakistani forces against India; from campaigning to collection of devotions and supporting Pakistan cause through speeches. Many amongst the Pakistani politicians were anti Quaid-e-Azam and anti-Fatima and did not allow her to win the elections, however, Mujibur Rahman stood side by side with Fatima Jinnah as solid rock. Fatima Jinnah died in July 1967 and afterwards there was no one to protect the rights of the people of West Pakistan.
In the 1970 national elections, despite leading his party to a major victory in the elections, Mujibur Rahman was not invited to form the government. On 25 March 1971, he was arrested by the Pakistan Army in an Operation Searchlight. During his nine-month detention, insurgency erupted and an attempt was made by Pakistan Army to crush Bengali nationalists and bring peace. An all-out civi-war between the Pakistan Army and East Pakistani nationalists started in which USA played a major role in the disintegration of Pakistan. In the meantime, India forces intervened and it led to the liberation of East Pakistan as an independent nation and emergence of Bangladesh in 1971.
President of Bangladesh Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was killed in a military coup d'état on 15 August 1975. His body was transported to his native village and orders were issued to bury him along with the wooden coffin but being a staunch Muslim and a Momin, no one allwed to do that burial was done according to Islamic rituals. Sheikh Mujibur Rahman's funeral was held on August 16, 1975 in Tungipara and he was laid to rest beside the graves of his father, Sheikh Lutfor Rahman and mother, Sheikh Sayera Khatun. Keeping aside the conspiracy theories, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was a great leader of Pakistan movement; when was being buried his body was bleeding and it will bleed for ever as he is a true Shaheed who sacrificed his life for his country.
In March 2020, US President Trump tweeted that the Corona-virus was not as perilous as the flu. He calculated the confirmed cases and deaths from Corona-virus. He said, “Last year 37,000 Americans died from the common Flu. It averages between 27,000 and 70,000 per year and asked people to think about that. Animal rights groups fear that that if the actual causes of Corona-virus disease made public, the people around the world might kill whole of the pig population in the world. On 15th March, President Trump extended travel ban on UK and Ireland as World Health Organization declared Europe the center of the pandemic beside China. In Judaism, Christianity and Islam, eating of pig’s flesh has been forbidden. Deuteronomy 14:8 says about pig, “It is unclean for you. You shall not eat any of their flesh nor touch their carcasses”.
From August 2018, China increased meat imports from the United States, Europe and Brazil as half of its pigs died of swine flu. China also eased restrictions on US beef imports and in November 2018 lifted a ban on US poultry and other meat shipments. China stared receiving meat shipments in refrigerated containers from US and other above countries. Officials of USA Poultry and Egg Export Council disclosed on the condition of anonymity that US had fair idea of Swine fever in most of the pig population in American farms but these pigs were culled and exported to China in refrigerated containers.
On 26 September 2018, the European Parliament (PE624.115v01-00 B8-0398/2018) passed resolution that African swine fever only affects pigs and wild boar and it not possible to treat or vaccinate against this disease. The parliament recognized that European Union is the world’s second largest exporter of pork, after China and number of cases of African swine fever came to light in Europe in mid-September 2018. The European Parliament thus calls on the Member States to apply the precautionary principle.
The World Health Organization (WHO) report regarding assessment of risk associated with influenza A(H5N8) virus dated 17 November 2016 revealed that human infection with the A(H5N8) virus cannot be excluded, although the likelihood is low, based on the limited information obtained to date. It should be noted that human infection with A(H5N6) of related clad 188.8.131.52 has already occurred. In its report dated 13 November 2018, WHO reveled that humans can be infected with avian, swine and other Zoonotic influenza viruses, such as avian influenza virus subtypes A(H5N1), A(H7N9), and A(H9N2) and swine influenza virus subtypes A(H1N1), A(H1N2) and A(H3N2).
It is important to recall that a decade back, extensive Media coverage of H1N1 contributed to creating deep public fears in Egypt and other countries. Egyptian parliament discussed a law to prohibit raising pigs and argued rising of pigs in Islamic country. Egypt's lower house of parliament on 28 April 2009 called for the pigs to be slaughtered to resolve the issue of viruses once for all. Accordingly, after the approval from parliament, President Hosni Mubarak ordered the immediate culling of the country's 250,000 to 300,000 pigs while each farmer was to be given compensation of about 600 pounds (105 dollars) per animal. Mass protests by Christians and international NGOs in Egypt put a lot of international pressure that later led to toppling of President Hosni Mubarak’s government. Hosni Mubarak resigned and formally handed over power to the Army's supreme command.
In 2018: 259 million pigs were slaughtered in the European Union. Pork exports represented 59% European Union’s total meat exports, and were valued at EUR 7.2 billion EUR. African Swine Fever (ASF) was declared in China in August 2018. The European Commission implemented Decision (EU) 2020/281 of 27 February 2020 amending the Annex to Implementing Decision (EU) 2020/47 on took protective measures in relation to highly pathogenic avian influenza of subtype H5N8 in certain Member States (notified under document C(2020) 1248). In January 2020, Italian Police in Padua destroyed some 10 tons of pork infected with Swine fever. Italy has banned the import of Chinese pork in hopes of stopping the spread of the disease. In February 2020, Taiwan imposed a ban on alive pigs and pork product imports from Italy in response to the corona-virus outbreak and Taiwan's Bureau of Animal and Plant Health Inspection and Quarantine deleted Italy from the list of Swine Fever free country.
Despite the fact that Judaism, Christianity and Islam orders followers that pigs and its flesh are unclean and forbidden to eat or touch but people are still hiding that the “pigs” are root cause of corona-virus as also proved above. The announcement, “Europe the center of the pandemic” by World Health Organization, which is authority on health matters, is being overlooked and despite large number of Corona-virus positive cases in US, Europe and China, media is only focusing of cases surfaced in Muslim countries in Asia and Africa, especially Middle East. One wonders the world organization and world powers eliminated millions of humans around the world in Iraq, Syria, Libya, Afghanistan, Sudan, Mali, Burkina Faso, Somalia, Palestine, Lebanon, Kashmir and elsewhere only because they held fundamentalist views but the epicenter and root case of Corona-virus disease is being patronized.
General Kenneth McKenzie ex US Central Command, in a recent statement said, “There are indicators that the deal with Taliban ultimately may be doomed”. A day earlier on 12 March, in a statement General Kenneth McKenzie said that despite a pledge to reduce violence, the frequency of Taliban attacks across Afghanistan remained troubling. The ground facts cannot be denied that attacks continued against Afghan security forces at the border outposts, security checkpoints and, military and Police units. A local Afghan resistance commander was doubtful about US Defense Secretary Mark Esper
President Ashraf Ghani, at a ceremony held at the Presidential Palace in Kabul, was sworn in as president for a second term. Those present on the occasion were US Special Envoy Zalmay Khalilzad, US Chargé d’Affaires Ross Wilson, Commander of NATO and US forces General Scott Miller, as well as ambassadors from different countries including Pakistan, Canada, Australia, Denmark, Germany, Norway and EU.
In a 9th March statement, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said, “US strongly supports a unified and sovereign Afghanistan, opposes any effort to establish a parallel government or any use of force to resolve political differences.” Meanwhile, US influencers including Peace Envoy for Afghanistan Khalilzad carried out extensive negotiations with President Ashraf Ghani and Abdullah Abdullah to reach to an agreement on broad based Government.
In another development, Abdullah Abdullah has refused to accept Ashraf Ghani as President of Afghanistan claiming that the National Unity Government ended and it is time for new Chief Executive to be announced. On the other hand President Ashraf Ghani had issued a decree abolishing office of the Chief Executive. If we recall, Chief Executive Office was established through a power-sharing agreement in 2014 in which despite Asharaf Ghani winning the election, power was divided Ashraf Ghani as President and Abdullah Chief Executive.
It is interesting to note that Afghan Independent Election Commission has declared President Ashraf Ghani as winner on 18 February but the US and allies are adamant that President Ashraf Ghani should forgo the decision of Independent Election Commission and should not announce his victory as it may hamper US-Taliban Peace Agreement. Where President Ashraf Ghani has expressed his desire that political power should not be someone’s inheritance and the next government should demonstrate the will of the entire people of Afghanistan, Western intruders are going for another political experiment to resolve the deadlock.
Reportedly, President Ashraf Ghani is being persuaded to offer 40 percent share in the Government to Abdullah Abdullah but Abdullah Abdullah is projected if he is not ready to agree and wants a bigger share. Tadamichi Yamamoto, UN Secretary-General's Special Representative for Afghanistan and head of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) is holding meetings with Abdullah Abdullah despite 18 February’s Independent Election Commission declaration that Ashraf Ghani has won the elections.
The statement issued by US State Department said, “US is engaged in intensive efforts for peace in Afghanistan” and “We welcome President Ghani’s statement at his inauguration 9 March that discussions and negotiations will continue for the next two weeks to come to an agreement on an inclusive government which unifies the country and prioritizes peace”.
Ground realities cannot be denied that US and UN are derailing democratic process and are not ready to honour the decision of Independent Election Commission, which declared Ashraf Ghani as winner. In fact, negotiation by the representatives of US and UN with Abdullah Abdullah, Dostum and other parties to reach a power sharing agreement is violation of democratic system. One wonders if countries and organizations do not believe in the democratic process why some much money has been spent on elections.
It was a surprise when Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok claimed through Tweet on Monday, 9 March 2020 that his motorcade was attacked. There were no eye witnesses, no deaths, no injuries or even a scratch to anyone. A low intensity explosion took place near north-eastern entrance to Kober bridge, leading to Sudanese Prime Minister's office, which was claimed to be attack on Prime Minister motorcade. Abdalla Hamdok Tweeted, “"I would like to assure the people of Sudan that I am safe and in good shape, "Rest assures what happened today will not stand in the way of transition, instead it is an additional push to the wheel of change in Sudan.” Later, minor dame to some vehicle was show to media as evidence that attack actually took place.
The terrorist attack coincided with visit of US Assistant Secretary for Terrorist Marshall Billingslea along with delegation of US Department of the Treasury Monday, 9 March visit to Sudanese Capital Khartoum. The American delegation discussed with the Sudanese Prime Minister and Foreign Minister financial reforms to combat money laundering and terrorist financing. US government has already lifted the economic sanctions imposed on Sudan, but the country’s designation as a State Sponsor of terrorism prevents Sudan from being able to make financial transfers with international financial institutions. Washington has linked all the privileges and benefits with recognition of Israel as legitimate state with capital at Jerusalem.
Abdalla Hamdok, PhD degrees holder from the University of Manchester, remained at senior positions at Deloitte & Touche, the UN and other positions. Abdalla Hamdok, popular in the Western world and international organizations was appointed as head Sudan's transitional government in August 2019, a few months after the overthrow of Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir. Immediately, Abdalla Hamdok demanded that country needs US $8 billion to run the government. The question arises was this a real attack or an attempt to attract the sympathies of Western countries? There are also reports that Tel Aviv staged this drama for obvious reasons of recognition. The fact cannot be denied that Sudan was officially at war with Israel till the times ousted Prime Minister Omar al-Bashir. The new chance brought leadership who were trusted in the eyes of US and Israel. Presently, the Sudanese Army is in favour of relations with Israel claiming it is in the interest of Sudan's national security. Sudan’s transitional military-civilian council leader, General Abdel-Fattah Burhan met Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Entebbe on 2 February 2020.
With regard to General Burhan meeting with Israel premier, Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok told media that he was not consulted and only learned of the meeting through the media, when Israeli premier made an announcement. He tweeted, “The road to meaningful change in Sudan is riddled with challenges and obstacles, however, we must understand that abiding to legal institutional roles and responsibilities is key to building a truly democratic state." He added, “The transitional government as a whole must ensure accountability, responsibility and transparency in all decisions made.” However, analysts established his links with Israelis since he was at senior position at Deloitte & Touche and the UN.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo thanked General Burhan for his leadership in normalizing ties with Israel and invited Burhan to talks in Washington that would focus on creating a "stronger, healthier US-Sudan bilateral relationship". However, Palestine Liberation Organization called General Burhan and Netanyahu's meeting "a stab in the back of the Palestinian people". In a statement carried on official news agency WAFA, Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erekat accused Netanyahu and his US allies of "trying to liquidate the Palestinian cause".
It is important to highlight that the immediate reaction of the attack was that US Embassy in Sudan tweeted: “We continue to support Sudan's civilian led transitional government and stand in solidarity with the Sudanese people.” The popular media channel reminded that attack is a reminder of the volatile situation that still prevails in Sudan less than a year on from the coup. In other words, the foreign agencies are planning to conduct all-Africa operations to eliminate orthodox Muslims and Coptic and all those who oppose foreign occupation, interference in the internal affairs by Western and Europeans and recognition of illegitimate state of Israel. It is worth appreciation that Sudan’s agencies has the power to detain individuals without a warrant for up to 45 days, granting it impunity to act without judicial oversight or accountability, in violation of international laws on arbitrary arrest and detention. It is expected in weeks to come there would be game of blood and fire to silent all those who oppose.
I am a human, and this is my primary identity in this world. What about you? But it is regretful that some people feel ashamed to express them as ‘humans’. Many among these ashamed people are, no doubt, strong supporters of Aristotle. According to Aristotle they are not specifically humans but political animals but what about those who are not political animals? They are just humans who love each other without imposing any condition; they are the true patriots, whose religion never becomes the resistance in the path of patriotism.
Yes, I am a Muslim also. My Islam gives me the lessons to be a die-heart lover of own country and our people. It never advises me to hate people of other religions. Instead, Islam is practical that never separate us from rest of the world. Each country comprises of different segments of the society on the basis of their religions, races, classes and the very aspect is even recognized by Islam. We never want to separate ourselves from our neighbors, our fellow people as they are our siblings. Like Islam other divine religions also teaches us the same. Even Hinduism spread the message to maintain peace. I know a large number of Hindus living in our country who are very generous, love others irrespective of their religions and posses patriotism. So should we hate such people? No! we can never do that.
The world is familiar with patriotism of people of India. Although, Hindus are the majority but Indian Muslim nation is very patriotic and are equally contributing in the development of today’s India. So why they are kept oppressed and deprived? The political animals have its answer. Some Indians are of the view and have tweet like this, “Sometimes A King Has To Remind Fools Why He’s King.” In India, many Muslims are beaten to death or seriously injured; their homes and shops are burned only because they are living within Hindustan which should be only for Hindus.
Nevertheless, majority of Indians want peaceful environment and desire their expelled brothers back. Yes, they are humans rather than political animals as regard to their patriotism. If we recall, some Muslim brothers were killed were singing their national anthem despite inhumane torture. One wonders, how meaningless was their patriotism and entire service for the country.
Now I want to talk about my country, Bangladesh, where people are happy and peaceful. Here people believe in The Creator but our religion lives inside us. Segregation from each other and making trouble for others can never be way or mean to secure a religion or a nation. Rather, it can destroy our religion and the nation. Recently, issue of oppression of Indian Muslim in India is instigating our local people and some groups who are trying to mislead Bangladeshis. We need to hate political animals but not the innocent humans, specially the Hindu minority in our country. As some groups are spreading feelings of hatred towards Hinduism inside local Bangladeshi people, we should not forget our religion does not permit us to hate them. So in order to save our own-self, we need to first protect them, which in sour national and religious obligation.
ANKARA, 29 February 2020, TON: In the backdrop of attack on Turkish positions in Syria in which 34 Turkish soldier were killed, Turkey summoned emergency meeting of NATO. Turkey’s 28 allies expressed their condolences over the deaths and urged de-escalation, but no additional NATO support was offered in open. Since NATO is already engaged in Syria there is an apprehension from Russia that NATO would take appropriate action to aid to its ally in Syria. Apart from providing some aerial surveillance over Syria, NATO had been covertly active in operations. Presently, NATO has refused to play any direct role in the conflict. However, NATO members are divided over Turkey’s actions there, and European allies are concerned about any new wave of refugees.
The principle of collective defence is at the very heart of NATO’s founding treaty. It is laid down in the NATO Charter that an attack against one Ally is considered as an attack against all Allies. NATO invoked Article 5 for the first time in its history after the 9/11 terrorist attacks against the USs. NATO has taken collective defence measures on several occasions, for instance in response to the situation in Syria and in the wake of the Russia-Ukraine crisis. However, NATO members are silent over attack on Turkish soldiers.
Meanwhile, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in a statement said, “We stand by our NATO ally Turkey in the aftermath of the despicable and brazen February 27 attack on Turkish forces in Idlib, which resulted in the death of dozens of Turkish soldiers”, He added, “The Assad Regime, Russia, Iran and Hizballah must cease their ongoing attacks in Idlib.”
Earlier, at Friday’s emergency Security Council meeting, 13 of its 15 members supported U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’ call for an immediate cease-fire.
DECCA, 27 February 2020, TON: Bangladesh is going to celebrate the 100th birthday of the father of the nation Sheikh Mujibur Rahman from 17th March this year till 17th March next year. Not only the people of Bangladesh but many foreign nations would celebrate the day abroad. This will be the international projection of the significance of Sheikh Mujibur Rehman towards Bangali nation. The day will be celebrated in order to let the world know who is Sheikh Mujib? why He is? and how He is? The countdown of ‘Mujib Year’ started on the 10thJanuary 2020 as the commemoration of returning back of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib to the new born Bangladesh in 1972. The countdown will be end on 17th March when Bangladesh and the world will celebrate the day. 294 programs have been chalked out with regard to ‘Mujib Year’ celebration. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has forbidden the excessive expense and illegal projection without approval of the authority in our country on this day.
Bangladesh has already received a long list of global guests who will attend a series of programs during the ‘Mujib Year’ celebrations. Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohammad, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, former Indian President Pranab Mukherjee, Indian National Congress Party’s President Sonia Gandhi, Organization of Islamic Cooperation’s Secretary General Dr. Yousef A Al-Othaimeen, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Sheikh Mohammad bin Zayed Al Nahyam, former UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, Bhutanese King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck, and former UNESCO Director- General Irina Bokova are some of the global leaders who will attend the programs. Chinese President Xi Jinping expressed intense interest in the ‘Mujib Year’ celebration and wished a complete success to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. In Pakistan too, which remained as the Western Part and Bangladesh as Eastern part, there will be celebrations throughout the country. The Bangladesh High Commission located at Sector F-6/3, Islamabad will organize special programme while special features will be published in Pakistani media.
One Year Passed to Pulwama Attack, 14 February marks anniversary of terror attack in Indian occupied Jammu and Kashmir State. There are many questions which Indian public and the international community is asking from the Indian leadership about the attacks but still unanswered. Here is the fact which was published in Pulse soon after the attack. May be this answers the riddle, which India is hiding.
Top Pakistani-Kashmiri leader Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, Muhammad Yasin Mailk and other leaders had given a call for a complete shutdown in Indian occupied Jammu & Kashmir State for 13 and 14 February 2019 against the highhanded attitude of India’s highest court. They threatened to launch a mass agitation if Indian state engineered adverse announcement and ambiguity over the dates of hearing of 35-A and 370 by Supreme Court prevails. It is worth noting that a petition seeking abrogation of constitutional amendment 35-A is being heard at Supreme Court of India. The Article gives power to Jammu and Kashmir Assembly to define the State Citizens or permanent residents of the State and their rights & privileges. It prohibits non-permanent residents from permanent settlement in the state, acquiring immovable property, government jobs, scholarships and aid. In another judgment in October 2002, the Jammu and Kashmir High Court held that women married to non-permanent residents will not lose their rights; however, the children of such women will lose succession rights.
To avoid another Burhan Wani type mass agitation against Indian occupying forces and Intelligence agencies, on 13 February 2019, engineered a blast at Falah-i-Millat school in Narbal village, Kakapora Town of Jammu and Kashmir's Pulwama district which left at least 23 students seriously injured. Interestingly, all educational institutions are closed in the Kashmir Valley these days due to winter vacations. The incident attracted protests by the Kashmiris on the ground that grenade attack was planted by the Indian security forces. Jammu and Kashmir's Governor Satya Pal Malik reacted swiftly to control the situation by approving Rs 50,000 to each injured student. As the security situation in Kashmir Valley was already tense, the incident naturally resulted in clashes between protester and Indian security forces, which went out of control. Indian security forces requested for additional troops to control the situation. Accordingly, additional Para Military Forces and hardcore military troops were approved and move orders issued for their deployment.
Next day, on 14 February 2019, a very large convey of 2,602 personnel, comprising of some undercover Special Police Officers (SPOs), Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel, Indian Army personnel attached with Commando Training Centre at Lethpora and elements from Divisional Headquarters were on their way at Jammu Highway at Latoomode in Awantipora, for deployment on security as well as election duties, when a explosion took place. Resultantly, a bus carrying around 49 personnel of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) exploded, killing all the personnel and scores of others injured. Indian authorities’ version is that the ill-fated bus–HR 49 F 0637 was hit by a private vehicle coming from opposite direction that was loaded with around 100 kilograms of explosives. However, certain CRPF personnel claimed that RDX was planted under the bus and there is no truth about collusion with private car. On ground evidence reflects that the February 14th Pulwama attack was handiwork of Indian Intelligence agencies.
Ironically, immediately after the incident, the Indian authorities announced that Adil Ahmad Dar alias Waqas Commando from Kakapora in Pulwama of Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM) accepted the responsibility of 14 February 2019 attack. Media referred a video on YouTube and photos of an armed man who claimed that all the major Mujahideen actions and other terrorist attacks taking place in India including IC 814 aircraft, Indian Parliament attack, Badami Bagh attacks, Thangdar and Nagrotta attacks, Pathankot Air Base, Pulwama Police Lines, BSF Camp near Srinagar Airport, attacks on Caspers were carried out by JeM. In the end of the video the armed man declared that he is scarifying his life and there are thousands other who are prepared for the same. One wonders what can be the authenticity of this video and what are the evidences that that armed man on YouTube was referring to 14th February Pulwama attack.
In reaction of the attack, the Indian Prime Minister Mr Narendra Modi, in a statement said, "I want to tell the terrorist groups and their masters that they have committed a big mistake. They have to pay a heavy price”. He added, “Security forces have been given a free hand to deal with terrorists." Indian Foreign Ministry has claimed that US National Security Adviser John Bolton has spoken to Ajit Doval and ensured Indian authorities Washington’s support to bring those responsible for a deadly car bombing in disputed Kashmir to justice. To pressurize neighbouring Pakistan, Indian Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) has decided in principle to withdrawn Most Favoured Nation (MFN) status accorded to Pakistan and launch a state sponsored extensive campaign to malign Pakistan in order internationally isolate her.
India has also directed its High Commissioner to Pakistan, Ajay Bisaria to report back at New Delhi while Pakistan High Commissioner Sohail Mahmood was summoned at Foreign Office to lodge protest over the Pulwama attack. Interesting, Indian agencies claim that they have already handed over the list of individuals and groups working against India and those operations are being planned against them in Pakistan. No doubt, Jammu & Kashmir is a disputed State which requires an immediate solution. The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) Resolutions for a plebiscite in Jammu & Kashmir to allow Kashmiris their right of self-determination serves as a yardstick for the resolution of Kashmir issue. This is high time that UNO, European Union, Amnesty International and other human right organizations decide once for all to declare year 2019 as year to resolve Kashmir issue so that India, Pakistan and the Kashmiris could live peacefully in the years to come.
An Iranian rocket failed to put a satellite into orbit on Sunday, state television and radio reported.
The launch took place at Imam Khomeini Spaceport in Iran’s Semnan province, some 230 kilometers southeast of capital, Tehran.
The launch had been planned amid celebrations ahead of the February anniversary of Iran's 1979 Islamic Revolution. Iran routinely unveils technological achievements for its armed forces, its space program and its nuclear efforts during this time.
The US alleges such satellite launches defy a UN Security Council resolution calling on Iran to undertake no activity related to ballistic missiles capable of delivering nuclear weapons.
Iran claims that it does not seek nuclear weapons, maintains its satellite launches and rocket tests are not military component and therefore not in violation of the UN resolution. Over the past decade, Iran has sent several short-lived satellites into orbit and in 2013 launched a monkey into space.
The Economist published a detailed article by Dexter Filkins who visited India a few months ago. The article highlighted, “Even before independence, the Hindu nationalist (Hindutva) movement posed an alternative vision. This held that India was for people of Indic faiths - meaning principally Hindus, but also Buddhists, Jains, and Sikhs. After centuries of rule by invading Muslims and then Christians, it was time for ‘authentic’ Indians to reclaim their heritage.” He concluded that in other words, India was for those of Hindu and related faiths, certainly not for Muslims. Shahid Javed Burki writes in his article titled “Pakistan, the lone survivor,” published in The Express Tribune dated 3 February 2020, Enormous demographic upheaval that accompanied independence brought 8 million Muslim refugees from India into Pakistan. This mass movement of people disrupted Pakistan politically, socially and economically. In 1951, when the country took it first population census, 25 per cent of the population was foreign-born.
If we combine the given thoughts of Dexter Filkins and Shahid Javed Burki, we could come to the conclusion that both the writers are suggesting if Pakistan was for the whole Muslims of India while rest of India was for Hindu and related faiths, "certainly not for Muslims" as claimed by Economist. Even if we agree that Dexter Filkins is inspired by Western populations settled in USA, Australia, South Africa and elsewhere, where ingenious populations were either completely eliminated or forced to migrate elsewhere, the case of India is quite different. Here in India despite Muslims being minority and Hindu majority, Muslims were rulers in this part of the world while Hindus were subject of Muslims since several centuries, except very small some pockets. Interestingly, demographic statistics even does not support mass conversion of faiths and elimination of population to dominate Hindus as we see in the earlier case.
Shahid Javed Burki quoted figures that 25 per cent of the Pakistani population was foreign-born in Pakistan's first census in 1951. In other words after four years of birth of Pakistan, 25 percent of the Pakistani population had come from India and were not indigenous. In fact, Sahhid Javed Burki is wrong as he failed to visualize that Quaid-e-Azam had demanded Pakistan as independent sovereign State comprising of six provinces; four in West Pakistan and two in East Pakistan, with neither division of provinces nor migration of population. Same is the reason that in Sind and East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) still there is sizable Hindu population. However, the partition of Punjab and Bengal did take place with adjustment of Punjabi and Bengali populations with the district. Hence, there is no sense in the claim of Mr Shahid that 25 percent of Pakistan population was foreign born.
THAILAND, 9 February 2020, TON: A Thailand Defence Ministry spokesman confirmed on Saturday that Jakraphanth Thomma, an officer, attacked his Commanding Officer of the unit and flee from the scene. Using official gun and ammunition from he opened fire at a Buddhist temple and a shopping centre. Later he fled away from the scene.
CCTV footage on local media showed the alleged suspect getting out of a car in front of the Terminal 21 shopping centre in the Muang district and firing shots as people flee. Police claimed that as the result of firing 21 people were killed and many injured. Media claimed that Jakraphanth Thomma was active on his facebook and had posted an image of a pistol with bullets, along with the words “It is time to get excited.” Later media claimed that the suspect posted on his social media accounts during the attack, “whether he should surrender?”
ALULA, 4 February 2020, TON: His Highness Sheikh Hamdan wore the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s flag on his shirt and a Saudi Arabia-UAE motif on his helmet. This is his second consecutive title during the running of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Endurance Cup in AlUla.
The 120-kilometer race is commissioned by the Royal Commission for AlUla and the organizers of the Winter at Tantora festival in association with the Saudi Arabian Equestrian Federation, and offers SAR15 million ($4 million) in prize money for the winning riders.
The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Endurance Cup is regarded as one of the most important endurance events in the region.
TRIPOLI, 30 January 2020, TON: Turkey has warned France to stop supporting Libya's eastern-based illegitimate militia forces and their leader, General Khalifa Haftar. The Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs said, “It is no secret that France has supported warlord Khalifa Haftar since 2011 to have the upper hand over the natural resources of Libya.” The statement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs was issued in response to French President Emmanuel Macron’s remarks claiming that Turkey is breaching an agreement to halt foreign interference in the conflict-ravaged Libya.
US, Russia, France, Spain, Italy, Egypt, UAE and others are supporting US nationality holder General Haftar by finances and arms despite the fact that UN has recognizes Prime Minister Faiz al-Siraj’s Government of National Accord (GNA). Turkey has deployed its troops in Libya to bring peace in war ravaged Libya which is burning since almost a decade, after US-France-UK supported ouster of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi.
Russia said on Thursday it was closing its border with China to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus.
Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin told a government meeting that the order had been issued to take measures to close the border in the Far East.
So far, there have been no reported cases of the virus in Russia; however, the decision has been taken as precautionary measure.
The foreign ministry also advised Russians to refrain from travelling to China and for those in China to get in touch with the Russian embassy.
Russian state news agency reported that Prime Minister said, “A corresponding instruction was signed today. Work on it is already in progress. We will inform all those concerned properly about the measures to close the border in the Far Eastern region and other steps the government has taken.”
SRINAGAR, 29 January 2020, TON: Indian Deputy Superintendent of Police, Davinder Singh was arrested along with two most wanted terrorist being dubbed as Hizbul Mujahideen militants from a car on the Jammu-Srinagar national highway in the first week of January 2020.
The investigation officer of Jammu and Kashmir Police who interrogated Davinder Singh disclosed on the condition of anonymity that Police officials are working for intelligence agencies in carrying out genocide of Kashmiris on the pretext of their links with outlawed organizations including Hizbul Mujahideen. He further disclosed that Indian Military Intelligence have issued communication equipment to undercover former Kashmiri Mujahideen, who surrendered sometime back but not shown as “Surrendered Mujahideen”.
Accordingly, the case was transferred to Indian National Investigation Agency (NIA). The initial findings about Indian security forces and Intelligence agencies fake and sel-engineered operations were personally shared by Director-General NIA, Yogesh Chander Modi to Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor Girish Chandra Murmu at the Raj Bhavan on 28th January 2020 (Part – I of the Inside Story).
RIYADH, 29 January 2020: Saudi Arabia has appreciated Israel and the Palestinians to start peace negotiations after United States President Donald Trump announced his Middle East peace plan.
King Salman talked to Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas on telephone and highlighted Kingdom's commitment to the Palestinian cause.
The statement issued by Saudi Foreign Ministry said it reiterates support for all efforts aimed at reaching a just and comprehensive resolution to the Palestinian cause, “The kingdom appreciates the efforts of President Trump's Administration to develop a comprehensive peace plan between the Palestinian and the Israeli sides.” The ministry encouraged negotiations, in order to move forward the peace process to reach an agreement that achieves legitimate rights of the Palestinian people.
26 January 2020, TON: The 154 members European Union lawmakers proposed a resolution that terms controversial law contradictory unconstitutional “discriminatory” and “dangerously divisive” and may lead to the “largest statelessness crisis in the world and cause widespread human suffering”. In a scathing denouncement of the Citizen Amendment Act, a powerful group of 154 European Union lawmakers proposed a resolution that terms contentious law “discriminatory” and “dangerously divisive” and may lead to the “largest statelessness crisis in the world and cause widespread human suffering”.
The lawmakers belong to the Socialists & Democrats Group in the European Parliament from 26 countries submitted the drafted resolution which is slated to be debated on 29th January and a voting is likely on 30th January.
The drafted resolution states that CAA not only contradicts Article 14 of the Indian Constitution but also India’s international obligations.
It has been noted that the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act “sets a dangerous precedent and represents an intensification of the Government’s Hindu nationalist agenda”. The resolution highlights that “the indivisibility of human rights, including civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights, is one of the main objectives of the European Union in its relations with India.”
The resolution also notes that the CAA is “explicitly discriminatory in nature as it specifically excludes Muslims from access to the same provisions as other religious groups.”
The European lawmakers also condemned the use of “Excessive Force in the crackdown” on the protests against the amended citizenship law instead of addressing the concerns, and have also called on Indian authorities to stop the “criminalization of protests.”
The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) was welcoming peace initiative between Iran and Permanents Five in 2015. It is a detailed, 159-page agreement with five annexes reached by Iran and the P5+1 (China France, Germany, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States) on 14 July 2015. The nuclear deal was endorsed by UN Security Council Resolution 2231, adopted on 20 July 2015. Iran’s compliance with the nuclear-related provisions of the JCPOA is regularly verified by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). Keeping aside this month’s media statements that do not constitute official version of Iran’s declaration of rolling back from the agreement, no breach from Tehran has been witnessed. There is no doubt that Iran still observes 2015-nuclear deal with world powers.
In a 20th January statement by Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Musavi it is clear that Iran has no intention of violating the deal. "Tehran still remains in the deal.... The European powers' claims about Iran violating the deal are unfounded and Tehran still maintais the P5 + 1 deal". If we recall earlier this month Iran had said that it no longer considered itself bound by the agreement, from which the United States has withdrawn.
Under the deal, Iran agreed to curb its nuclear activities in exchange for relief from international sanctions. However,
President Donald Trump in 2018 withdrew the United States from the deal, arguing that the terms were not tough enough to prevent Tehran from developing nuclear weapons and intends to renegotiate the agreement. To pressurize Tehran, Washington has also re-imposed some sanctions on the Iranian economy. It is strange that when Tehran has not violated the agreement and there is no official complaint from International Atomic Energy Agency why signatories to the deal are talking about dispute mechanism in the nuclear deal?
The Summit will be hosted by the Prime Minister on 20 January 2020, and will bring together businesses, governments and international institutions to promote and find opportunities of investment across Africa. It is interesting to note that UK wants to boost business trade with Africa but at the same time UK plans to leave the European Union at the end of January 2021. Hence trade relations between the UK and Africa will remain effective for only 2020, like other deals conducted under the EU's with the continent. The African politicians and businessmen who gather in London for the UK-Africa Investment Summit were hung in uncertainty. However, UK’s International Trade Secretary, Liz Truss sid in a recent statement that the agreement "will allow businesses to keep trading after Brexit without any additional barriers". In September 2019, the UK initiated an Economic Partnership Agreement with the Southern African Customs Union (SACU) - which is made up of South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Lesotho and eSwatini - and Mozambique.
UK forwarded invitations to over 21 African countries and many have shown their presence. However, the African countries have to bring changes in their policy, rules and regulations to allow former colonial power to get so close to the African economies. If we recall, Russia–Africa Summit and Economic Forum took place on 23–24 October in Sochi, where deals worth US$12.5 billion were signed in the form of Memoranda of Understanding (MOU). All 54 African states were represented officially, 45 of which were represented by their head of states including Algeria, Angola, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Côte d'Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Eswatini, Ethiopia, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Kenya, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania, the Gambia, Togo, Tunisia, Uganda and Zimbabwe.
TON 13 January 2020: Authorities in Philippine have urged a "total evacuation" of nearly half a million people near the capital Manila, after a volcano spewed ash up to 14 kilometers into the air Sunday prompting warnings of a possible "explosive eruption."
The Tall Volcano, about 60 kilometers south of the capital Manila on the island of Luzon, is one of the country's most active. Satellite images showed streams of lava beginning to surge out the volcanic vent, the sky above still thick and dark with ash and steam.
CNN reported that as on Monday, more than 16,400 people had sought shelter in temporary evacuation centers set up by the authorities. The total number of evacuees is likely to be higher, however, with many people choosing to stay with family members and relatives in other parts of the country.
Federal authorities are helping the response and evacuation operation. The army sent 20 military vehicles and 120 personnel to help affected residents, and the secretary of national defense said helicopters were on standby to evacuate people.
The defense secretary also urged residents near the eruption to evacuate, and not to hesitate in leaving their homes. Aid organizations like the Red Cross are assisting on the ground by sending rescue vehicles and supplies.
Other threats include deadly toxic gases emitted from the eruption, and mud flows caused by ash mixing with water vapor in the atmosphere.
Indeed, in the war no one is right or wrong but victorious are always pronounced as heroes and defeated as villains. One wonders the tension in region was already there when Saudi Arabia oil fields were attacked but Riyadh acted with wisdom and grace. Now it is time to follow the precedents of the Arabs and deescalate the tense security situation. There is no doubt that Iran has right to live as sovereign nation so is the case with all other nations. Foreign troops need to be withdraw from foreign lands to allow these countries to flourish and developed in a peaceful environment.
In line with series of new developments, re-positioning of US Naval fleets is rapidly taking place; a show of military force. UK, France and India are planning their presence in the Strait of Hormuz. US Carrier Strike Group and
The two military bases Ain-al-Asad and Erbil, housing US troops and other foreign troops in Iraq have come under missiles attack today, allegedly from Iranian territories. Iranian medium range ballistic missile can easily target
A man called Trump, wanted the people of America to feel proud of being Americans. He planned honourable pullout from all foreign lands leaving behind mere security apparatus to protect American business interests. This strong charismatic man faced defeat everywhere because of rival Pentagon and US Intelligence apparatus
There was a terrorist attack that killed around 60 people on 28 December followed by mass protests organized by local government in Somalia's capital, Mogadishu.
Days before the New Year celebrations 2020, Hash’d al Shaabi, also known as Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) protested in front of the American Embassy in Baghdad to pressurize President Trump to fulfill its promises. Muqtada al-Sadr, who two month back campaigned compelling other Iraqi politicians to support him in removing Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdul Mahdi, called for holding early elections amid ongoing anti-government protests. Meanwhile, Washington angered over Iranian, Russian and Chinese four-day joint Naval exercise at the mouth of Arabian Gulf and Strait of Hormuz from 27 December, planned a new strategy. President Trump reacted with a caution that Iran would be held fully responsible for the December 27 attack and tweeted, “They will pay a very big price. This is not a warning; it is a threat, Happy New Year!” It is important to mention here that PMF was created in 2003 but authenticated after Fatwa by Shia Muslim leader, Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani in 2014 that helped American forces, which ousted Iraqi President Sadam Hussain in 2003, to consolidate invasion in Iraq against groups loyal to Sadam Hussain. The Fatwa was to wipe out those resisting US presence in Iraq and were referred with different names including Islamic State in Iraq and Sham (ISIS), Al Qaida, Taliban etc, “whoever of you sacrifices himself to defend his country and his family and their honor will be a martyr.” On the instructions of Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, the Iraqi government was compelled to treat PMF fighters against Sadam Hussain loyalists as heroes who participated in a movement of national liberation and Jihad (crusade) against evil.
On 26 November, the Iraqi government passed legislation making the PMF an official component of Iraq’s security forces, subject to military law, with equal status to the Army. However, Faleh al-Fayad, Iraq’s National Security adviser, who commands PMF (undeclared) took too much time in the implementation to address the clause, “subject to military law”. PMF is also in contact with US and exerting too much pressure on US to ensure Hash’d al Shaabi is given equal status to Iraqi Army. It is a matter of concern that beside Abbas Division, various US backed Peace Brigades, Badr Force Haider al-Abadi Force, Ali Akbar Brigade, Lions of Babylon Brigade, Chaldean Christian force, the forces of PMF composed of all ethnic and religious cults including Christian, Jews and Hindus. If we recall the statement of US State Department spokesperson who said, “I think it’s important also to emphasize that the PMU is an umbrella term for an assortment of militias that includes, of course, Shia, Turkmen, Christian and Sunnis and it is worth noting that not all Shia militias are Iranian-supported or funded.”
Pentagon initiated an air attack to eliminate PMF leader, Abu Mahdi Al Mohandes which happened to be successful. However, a controversial story was run that in the attack also killed Iranian General Qassem Soleimani. In reaction, streets of Tehran echoed "Revenge, revenge, revenge", "Death to America". This was followed by burring of US and Israeli flags. Iranian top leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has vowed for "harsh revenge" Iran's Foreign Minister, Javad Zarif, termed US strike as an "act of international terrorism." Muqtada al-Sadr has threaten to have ordered the revival of the "Mahdi Army," which fought against Sadam Hussain during US invasion of Iraq. The US Department of State has urged Americans in Iraq to leave immediately after Tehran vowed to retaliate over a US airstrike in Baghdad that targeted the leader of Iran's Quds Force, General Qassem Soleimani. Tehran has appointed Major General Ismail Qaani as General Soleimani's replacement and vowed that Quds Force's agenda would remain unchanged. One wonders the dirty game of horrifying terrorism Washington has played in Iraq and elsewhere, in which its declared enemies are its allies, in war crimes and genocide still goes unchecked. Now the Washington’s eye is also on Africa to create Civil war and chaos on the line of Iraq. It is time that United Nations Organization, Amnesty International, Human Right Watch and organizations which claim to be champion of peace must act and stop supporting the dirty game world actors are playing.
King Salman of Saudi Arabia has been awarded Abu Bakr Al-Siddiq Medal by the Arab Red Crescent (and Red Cross) Organization (ARCO), which is the highest honor from ARCO and is granted to kings and heads of states in recognition of their work.
Kingdom topped the list of donor countries. Saudi aid exceeded $40 billion during the last 15 years and it had been distributed among 124 countries across all continents. Meanwhile, Saudi aid agency KS Relief launched International Journal of Humanitarian Studies website. The journal’s target audience includes academic researchers, humanitarian staff and volunteers working in the field, as well as others interested in global aid work.
King Salman of Saudi Arabia has been awarded Abu Bakr Al-Siddiq Medal by the Arab Red Crescent (and Red Cross) Organization (ARCO), which is the highest honor from ARCO and is granted to kings and heads of states in recognition of their work.
Kingdom topped the list of donor countries. Saudi aid exceeded $40 billion during the last 15 years and it had been distributed among 124 countries across all continents. Meanwhile, Saudi aid agency KS Relief launched International Journal of Humanitarian Studies website. The journal’s target audience includes academic researchers, humanitarian staff and volunteers working in the field, as well as others interested in global aid work.
By Afshain Afzal
The new US Defense Secretary, General (Retired) James Mattis issued a policy statement few days back, reflecting mind-set of President-elect Donald Trump,
By Afshain Afzal
Can NATO or US, even think for a while losing an important strategically located ally like Turkey?
By Afshain Afzal
A Russian military TU-154 Tupolev aircraft on its way from Sochi Airbase in southern Russia to Syria crashed in the Black Sea about 1.5 km off the coast near the Sochi on 25 December 2016.
By Afshain Afzal
The Indian Border Security Force and Pakistan Rangers Commandant level flag meeting was held in Suchetgarh sector on 14 December 2016, in order to maintain peace and tranquility along International Border.