Thursday, February 16, 2017

Country isolated due to flawed policies

Country isolated due to flawed policies

KARACHI: Two leading former Pakistani diplomats had an interesting interaction during a session on foreign policy and economy at the Karachi Literary Festival, disagreeing on a host of issues, including the nuclear policy and role of the security establishment, but agreed, along with the third panellist, that the country today stood isolated because of flawed policies.
From the very start of the discussion it was quite clear that there would be some serious disagreement, if not fireworks, on the way the country has been run by the ruling elite, particularly the military establishment.
Ambassadors Ashraf Jehangir Qazi and Zafar Hilali took very different positions on what ailed Pakistan, and its foreign and security policies. And to add a new dimension to the debate, scholar Dr Zia Mian added the nuclear factor, stating that the policy was not only dangerous, but was also one of the main reasons for slow progress in the country.
As was expected, Mr Hilali was quick to respond and strongly advocated that Pakistan should maintain its nuclear deterrence to offset India’s superiority in conventional weapons.
Mr Hilali sounded emotional when he said: “With [Narendra Damodardas] Modi [at the helm], look at the situation the Muslims in India are living in. They are creating another Pakistan within India. Only I’m not saying this, Christians are saying this; human rights people are saying this. I would rather be dead than live as a Muslim in Modi’s India. If you did not have nuclear weapons, India would have gobbled you up by now. India can wipe the floor within two weeks because of the strength they have.”
Giving the example of India, where after the Mumbai attacks and consequent talk of a looming nuclear war between the two neighbours, billions of dollars were withdrawn from the stock exchange there, the former diplomat acknowledged that no foreigner would invest in a country that could potentially be turned into a nuclear holocaust.
“But when India keeps pressure on us through terrorism financing in Balochistan, through the TTP; if they keep us destabilised, you have to strike back in some way. Operationalise your tactical weapons. Move them up if necessary. If you see their troops massing on border for an attack, don’t you honestly think you should not use your tactical weapons? Why not? What are they for? You use it, or you lose it.”
Nuclear physicist Dr Pervez Hoodbhoy, a bitter opponent of nuclearisation who was sitting among the audience, took umbrage at the suggestion and when given the mike to speak, he argued against Pakistan having nuclear weapons. Disagreeing with the speaker over the situation in India, he said: “More Muslims are being killed in Pakistan than in India.”
Mr Qazi, a columnist and former ambassador to the United States and India, said he agreed with Mr Hilali that Pakistan should have at least the minimum nuclear deterrence, but what he disagreed with was the suggestion to use tactical weapons. Once such weapons were used, they would inevitably lead to a nuclear war. “India has already threatened that in response to the use of tactical weapons, it will use the weapon of its own choice.”
He also said: “We have to look at our challenges in much deeper and broader context rather than choose efficient bombs.”
He explained how Pakistan’s foreign policy, being part of national policy, was formulated in which besides the security and intelligence agencies, the bureaucracy also played a role.
He said there was no doubt that Pakistan had been a security state since its inception because of its geographical location and its policies had been driven by security concerns. He suggested that Pakistan should take measures to strengthen both its security and economy.
He said the government should invest enough in the health, education and social sectors.
Mr Hilali said that while keeping India at bay through nuclear deterrence, Pakistan could focus on its development.
He criticised the government’s economic and security policies. He assailed the prime minister for taking pride in a strong currency and remarked: “Where in the world does a country have a strong currency and a weak economy?”
Discussing India’s growing relations with countries such as the United States, Afghanistan and Iran, he claimed that even the United Arab Emirates, where Pakistanis had invested billions of dollars, had drifted to India’s side. “The UAE has even offered India its port to carry out ‘surgical strikes’ in Pakistan, though there has been no word on it from our government,” he said.
Ilhan Niaz, an author and teacher at the Quaid-i-Azam University in Islamabad, was the moderator.
Published in Dawn

Monday, January 30, 2017

Ch Parvez Elahi Address at Enthusiastic PML Workers Convention 2017

Entire nation should offer collective prayer like for rain for ouster of the rulers, patients are told to come to hospital bringing cot, bed, medicine from home: Address at enthusiastic workers convention
Pakistan Muslim League (PML) senior central leader and former Deputy Prime Minister Ch Parvez Elahi has said the nation will get riddance of incompetent rulers if whole of opposition is united, for their ouster entire nation needs to arrange for offering collective “dua” like was done for rain. Ch Parvez Elahi Address at Enthusiastic PML Workers Convention 2017 Addressing a very big quite enthusiastic Workers Convention in Gujranwala today, he said that during our tenure even poor patient was taken to the hospital on ambulance where free medicines were provided to him even injecting costing up to Rs 10 thousand was also given free, but now the patient is told to come to the hospital along with cot, bed and medicines from home. He said that there are neither beds nor medicines in the hospitals now, patients are breathing last lying on cold floor, Shehbaz Sharif has not been able to start our established 1122 Service even after ruling the Punjab for 15 years, we had provided free education up to matric, undertaken unparalleled works for welfare and well-being of the people of all fields including farmers and workers and provided revolutionary facilities, our established Wazirabad Cardiology Hospital is not being allowed to become functional due to personal ego by Shehbaz Sharif due to which so far more than 8 thousand persons hailing from Gujranwala and adjoining areas have died due to heart attacks, Shehbaz Sharif “suffers from blood pressure on seeing plaques of my tenure, he should remove plaques of my name but should not block projects of peoples’ welfare because our plaque is in the heart of the people”, if overhead bridge was being constructed in Lahore instead of Gujranwala it would have been completed long ago, Punjab allocated budget is being spent on show off and dollars making projects in Lahore. Ch Parvez Elahi Says Shehbaz Sharif Has Not Been Able to Start Our Established 1122 Service Even After Ruling The Punjab for 15 years   Continuing, he said that N-League has the greatest enmity with the farmers, Kisan Package was announced in the name of Patwari Package, “I earnestly appeal to every Pakistan to stay away from N-League in the next election otherwise even future generations will not forgive them.” Ch Parvez Elahi asked the opposition to brush aside personal ego and go together unitedly and Almighty Allah will bless them with “barkat in their work”, N-League will run away and prestige of opposition will be enhanced. Ch Parvez Elahi Says Wazirabad Cardiology Hospital is Not Being Allowed to Become Functional Due to Personal Ego by Shehbaz Sharif He pointedly stated that whichever scheme was started during our tenure is still functional, we were providing job opportunities to ten lakhs people every year, Shehbaz Sharif had started 9 schemes all of which have failed, Nandipur power Project, Bahawalpur Solar Power Project and Sahiwal projects all have failed, what other cities of Punjab will get from Orange Line, people do not need show off projects like jangla bus, they need medicines in hospitals and education in schools, N-League people are involved in Panama Case, all those who were mentioned in this case had resigned but they are sticking to the chair for last six months. Ch Parvez Elahi said N-League Kisan Package was Announced in The Name of Patwari Package He said that we had started Sialkot-Lahore Motorway on which two foreign universities were also to be established which were shifted to India because of their incompetency, incompetent Chief Minister has put Punjab under heavy debt of Rs 2000 billion. Paying rich tributes to active colleagues, he said that our party needs workers like Zain Ali Bhatti. Ch Parvez Elahi was enthusiastically welcome by chanting of loud slogans and showering on flower petals. The Convention was also addressed by Tariq Bashir Cheema, Ch Zaheeruddin and Khawaja Waqarul Hassan while those seated on the stage on this occasion included Muhammad Basharat Raja, Zain Ali Bhatti, Bao Rizwan, Mian Imran Masood, Tanveer Azam Cheema, Col (R) Abbas, Hussain Elahi, Zubeida Ehsan, Irfan Ehsan, Ch Zulfiqar Pappan, Haji Shakir Mobeen, Ch Nasir Inayat Sira advocate, Engineer Shehzad Ali and other party leaders. Venue of the convention was packed to capacity and large number of women were also seated on nearby houses roofs Earlier on arrival at the venue Ch Parvez Elahi was enthusiastically welcome by chanting of loud slogans and showering on flower petals. Convention participants kept raising repeatedly slogans of Ch Shujat Hussain, Moonis Elahi, Pakistan Muslim League Zindabad and Go Nawaz Go. Venue of the convention was packed to capacity and large number of women were also seated on nearby houses roofs

Friday, January 13, 2017

Om Puri Tribute by Moonis Elahi, Meesha Shafi, Fahad Mustafa and Others



Om Puri, a veteran Bollywood actor passed away on 6th January 2017 after a massive heart attack which proved to be fatal for the 66 years old. His close friend and film maker Ashoke Pandit was the first to announce the sad news on Twitter. ashok
The new year 2017 proved to be a woeful start for the family and actors from both sides of the border mourned the great loss. The social media site Twitter was flooded with his admirers both Indians and Pakistani expressing grief over the news of the demise of the legendary actor. He was a versatile actor who had played many roles during his career and became liked by everyone who watched his movies. ompuri
According to Times of India, Om Puri has returned yesterday from a film shooting and in the morning, when he didn't answer the door bell, the driver became curious and raised the alarm. Puri's body was taken to Cooper Hospital where he was announced dead and a postmortem revealed the cause of his untimely death. According to his friends, his funeral will be held at 6 PM. shabana-azmi
His versatility knew no boundaries and he had worked with many Pakistani actors and actresses. The Actor In Law co-star Fahad Mustafa said — remembered him for his work and "humble and loving nature", it was a Pakistani film and OM Puri was a catalyst for its success. Others within the industry also poured in their love for the veteran saying he was a role model for spreading love and peace between the two countries. meesha-shafi
 Aside from his Bollywood activities, he is also known to have raised his voice against the ongoing brutalities in Kashmir at the hands of Indian Army. His statement in the favor of innocent Kashmiris and contradicting state policies left him in hot waters. It wasn't taken lightly and people from all walks of life started condemning him saying he had spoken ill against the Indian army. His brave move to speak up the truth landed him in a miserable condition. time-of-india
Moonis Elahi had appreciated his remarks and had said he had spoken for the unheard voices. He said the actor gave their media a frenzy and the Hindu extremists had a hay day over it. Nevertheless, a single person cannot fight against his nation and he had to apologize for it. The demise of the actor has caused grief on both sides of the border and people are paying tribute to the legend who not only did well in the movies, but also tried to be helpful to the helpless Kashmiris.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Moonis Elahi Condemns PIA Corruption Filled Airplane Purchases

Moonis Elahi Condemns PIA Corruption



The recent deal of Iran Air for the purchase of 100 passenger planes with Airbus has exposed the corruption within PIA. The deal clearly highlighted purchasing the new airplanes at half the cost of what the national flag carrier reported on the purchase of second hand air planes. Moonis Elahi condemned the corruption that has come to light in view of the deal with Iran's national flag carrier. Paying double the price of a new airplane to purchase second hand airplanes clearly exposes the level of corruption within the institution. The deal-makers should be apprehended and questioned for the waste of money.
PIA already suffers huge criticism on how it operates by the nation. The crash of PK661 has created an outrage by the public over the pathetic conditions of the planes being used. Moonis Elahi said PIA has thousands of staff who are being paid every month from the national exchequer but they aren't performing. Being hired on political affiliations has ruined the institution because there are not only more people appointed than is needed, they have formed unions within which do not let them work but indulge in politics. It is high time the government must take action against all those who do not meet the criteria and filter the black sheep within.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

what will happen to Junaid Jamshed's fashion empire After his death



When Junaid Jamshed passed away on December 7, he left behind an extensive legacy: a wealth of music, an exhaustive and controversial history as an evangelist and a divided set of fans.
Some have been reminiscing about his music, others recalling his sermons and amidst all these conflicting eulogies, there are the aficionados who frequent his J. stores.
By no length of the imagination can the J. – Junaid Jamshed – entourage of outlets be considered the savviest contenders in the local high-street. Although the brand has a hold over good quality fabric it has lately showed a predilection for a mish-mash of multi-colors that isn’t always aesthetically pleasing.


And yet, there’s no denying J.’s growing strength. The brand, at present, has a whopping 100 stores, stocking unstitched women’s fabric, prĂȘt for men, women and children, perfumes and a recently launched makeup range. According to the official website, 57 of these stores are scattered about the country while the rest are international standpoints, dotted about the U.S.A., the Middle East and even ‘down under’ in Melbourne, Australia.
In the clustered PR wars that perpetually rage through the high street, one often takes note of a Khaadi or a Sapphire spreading its wings, but in the meantime, J. has been expanding quietly and much more impressively than its competitors.
J, rings in Independence Day in one of their international stores

J, rings in Independence Day in one of their international stores

“Most other brands have franchises abroad,” points out J.’s CEO Sohail Hamid, “while we own all our stores.” That’s quite an achievement – one lauds local retailers for expanding but most of them merely strike deal with international franchisees. The fact that the brand owns all its stores is indicative of its retail strength.
It’s also indicative of how a lot of people love multi-colours.



There’s also no denying that a considerable segment of the label’s fan following are enamored by the late Mr Jamshed’s persona. He may have had switched focus from a musical career to a religious one but Junaid Jamshed continued to remain in the spotlight.
“The mike has stayed with me,” he was known to say. “Earlier, it would be used to sing songs and now, to relay religious messages.”
Amongst the usual milieu that frequents the high-street, one especially observes a strong religious contingent at the J. stores: women with veils and hijabs, bearded men, the avid audience of Junaid’s sermons who extend their love by buying from the man’s eponymously named store.
The brand itself has often made allusions towards religion. While all and sundry chose top models for their lawn shoots, J. billboards have been known to feature brilliantly coloured kites in lawn prints and more recently, the unfathomable images of cars festooned with lawn designs. This was also the brand that initiated the use of beheaded models on their billboards – since images of faces are ‘unreligious’ – eliciting wisecracks but also starting off a trend that was later followed by other brands like Tarzz.



But what will become of the burgeoning J. empire now that the brand’s representative and shareholder Junaid Jamshed has passed away?
“Over the past few years, Junaid Bhai wasn’t very involved in the day to day running of the business,” tells Hamid, who was Junaid’s partner in the business. “He was busy with his religious work that would involve a great deal of traveling. Nevertheless, he was a director and a shareholder and we were using his name for which he would be given a royalty."
"I do believe that our business has thrived because of his personality and the sacrifices he made in his life. People truly loved him and will continue to do so and it is obvious that he is one of the main reasons why customers have been drawn to our brand. They keep coming, though, because they like our product lines.”
“Now that he is no more, we will continue to use his name to represent our label and hope to grow from strength to strength.”
Following Junaid Jamshed’s death, the brand observed a three-day mourning period during which the stores remained closed. They are now up and running again. “We will persist with staying true to the values that have always defined our brand,” promised Hamid.
 

The J. store at Dolmen Mall, Karachi
The J. store at Dolmen Mall, Karachi
Overshadowed by Junaid Jamshed’s persona, the J. stores are a retail success story that have often been overlooked. Or perhaps it’s just the blinding effusion of multi-colours that they tend to use. Without Junaid Jamshed’s celebrity status to propel it forward, perhaps J. should now endeavor to hold on to its considerable market by focusing on better fashion; stronger aesthetics and more coherent colour schemes.
In our fluctuating economy, we can only boast a few bona fide success stories. J.’s story is inspirational and reflective of Pakistan’s growing predilection for the high-street – one would want to see it continue to grow and become more aesthetically sound.

Women safety app to be launched today 2016


Women safety app to be launched today 2016


LAHORE: The Chief Minister’s Special Monitoring Unit, in collaboration with the Punjab Safe Cities Authority and the Punjab Commission on the Status of Women (PCSW), will launch the Women Safety Smart Phone Application on Wednesday (tomorrow).

The application will allow women to notify the Police Integrated Command, Control and Communication (PPIC3) officials regarding the kind of harassment they are subjected to along with their exact geographic location.

The law enforcement agencies will dispatch a team of first responders to immediately tackle the situation upon receiving the notification.
The application has been comprehensively designed to allow women to report any experiences that renders the public space unsafe for them.
Published in Dawn January

US initiates process for resolving Pakistan-India water dispute

US initiates process for resolving Pakistan-India water dispute



WASHINGTON: The US administration has initiated the process for peacefully resolving the current water dispute between India and Pakistan without waiting for an invitation to do so, official sources told Dawn.
The latest dispute concerns two hydroelectric power plants — Kishanganga and Ratle — that India is building on the Indus rivers system. Pakistan believes that the projects violate the design parameters of the Indus Waters Treaty (IWT), which provides specific criteria for such plants.
Earlier this week, US Secretary of State John Kerry called Finance Minister Ishaq Dar and discussed with him different options for an amicable settlement of the dispute. After the call, US Ambassador to Pakistan David Hale also met Mr Dar in Islamabad at the finance ministry for further talks.
The initiative stems from the fear the US administration shares with the World Bank that the dispute, if dragged, may harm the treaty that has effectively resolved water disputes between India and Pakistan for more than half a century.
The IWT is a water-distribution agreement between India and Pakistan, brokered by the World Bank and signed in Karachi on Sept 19, 1960. It recognises the bank as the main arbitrator and suggests appointing neutral experts and a court of arbitration for resolving disputes.
Pakistan has asked the World Bank to appoint chairman of the court of arbitration while India has demanded appointment of a neutral expert.
World Bank President Jim Yong Kim wrote to the finance ministers of India and Pakistan, informing them that he has ‘paused’ the requested arbitration and asked them to decide by the end of January how they wanted to settle the dispute.
On Dec 23, Finance Minister Dar told the bank that Pakistan was not withdrawing its request and since the process had already been “inordinately delayed,” the bank should appoint chairman of the court of arbitration as soon as possible.
Two days later, Dr Kim called Mr Dar for further talks, followed by Secretary Kerry who called the finance minister during the Christmas holidays.
It is unusual for a US official to do so, particularly because the Obama administration completes its final tenure on Jan 20.
Usually, the outgoing administration leaves such issues for the incoming administration to tackle.
“But seriousness of this dispute, particularly the fear that it may harm the treaty, forced Mr. Kerry to make this call,” an official source told Dawn.
Diplomatic observers in Washington say that since the United States has facilitated the Indus Waters Treaty, it feels obliged to take a proactive role in this matter.
The treaty requires appointment of chairman of the court of arbitration and its three members within 60 days after a disputing party asks for arbitration.
If the two countries fail to appoint umpires, the two parties prepare a draw of lots and request a “person” mentioned in the treaty to select the umpire.
While the chairman can be selected by either the secretary general of the United Nations or president of the World Bank, technical members can be selected from a draw of lots by president of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology or rector of the Imperial College of Science and Technology, London.
The legal umpire can be selected from a draw of lots by either chief justice of the United States or lord chief justice of England.
Pakistan took its case to the World Bank in Sept 2016, urging the bank to prevent India from making illegal constructions on Neelum and Chenab rivers.
The differences on the designs of the two plants were discussed but could not be resolved in the 108th, 109th, 110th, 111th and 112th meetings of the Permanent Commission for Indus Waters, comprising one commissioner from each country, which is responsible for the implementation of the treaty.
Secretary-level talks followed but they also failed.
On Aug 19, Pakistan formally requested the government of India to refer the dispute to the court of arbitration, as provided in Article IX of the treaty.
The Indian media reported in September that New Delhi had decided to suspend water talks until “Pakistan-sponsored terror” in India ends.
And last month, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi also threatened to choke the flow of water into Pakistan if it does not stop terrorists. This caused Islamabad to fear that India was determined to complete the two plants and was buying time to do so by dragging the talks.
Pakistan wants a court of arbitration, instead of a neutral expert, because only the court can take a decision that’s legally binding.
An expert can only give a technical opinion, giving India more time to complete the projects.
Published in Dawn, January 3rd, 2017

Why Fridays were my worst nightmare as a child abuse story

Why Fridays were my worst nightmare as a child abuse story


It happened on Fridays for three years straight. I remember the kids in my fourth grade class being so happy for the weekend. From 7am to 3pm, all I would hear is them screaming “TGIF (Thank God it’s Friday).” But for me, this day was my worst nightmare.
I would do whatever I could to go home late. Sometimes I was the last one to leave, even after all the staff members. I would call home to inform my parents that I had extra schoolwork in order to delay my father picking me up.
Every Friday after getting back home from school, my father would lock me in his room and beat me up. I wasn't allowed to cry. If I did, I would get hit harder.
My mother and sister would try to control my father by saying, “She’s just a kid”. It never worked. They would bang on the locked door as he took swings at me. After he was done, he would unlock the door, and my mother would rush in with tears in her eyes to find me on the floor. It was as though she felt the exact pain I did.
She would hug me, and I would ask, “Why is he doing this to me?” She never had an answer, but she always reassured me that it wasn't my fault.
I would walk out the door limping, trying to get support from a table, the railing, or anything around me.
After getting thrashed, I would have two days for the bruises to heal before I could go back to school on Monday.
I would spend hours crying in my bed, refusing to speak to anyone. My mother would come to my room to check up on me, but I always pretended I was asleep so as to avoid any conversation. She would sit by me on the bed and trace the bruises with her fingers, as if that would make them magically heal.
At school, I would laugh and be normal with my friends, acting as if nothing had happened.
At first, my father apologised for what he was doing. I resisted, but I forgave him and even felt relieved as I thought he would not touch me again. Yet, the beatings didn’t stop. He apologised for a second time, and I forgave him again. But it didn’t take me long to figure out that it was becoming a pattern.
Soon, he started denying what was happening. As I tried to avoid him everytime he beat me, he would ask me why I wasn’t talking to him.
I was told that he had high blood pressure and needed to take his rage out somehow – as if it was right to do that by beating up a child. I also wondered why not my other siblings? Why just me?
Once, when I was in fifth grade, the bruises remained for longer than usual. I had school the next morning and didn’t have a choice but to wear a long sleeved shirt in 54°C.
My family warned me not to tell anyone about the abuse. When a classmate spotted the bruises and asked what happened, I told her that I was hit by a car.
I got away with it the first time, but as the beatings went on, it became difficult to hide the marks on my body. My classmates kept asking, and I confessed to one of the girls about it. She told me to go to the teacher, but I was afraid that my father would find out and things would get worse.
A few weeks later, my counsellor asked me if everything was okay at home. I nodded yes, but she could tell I was holding back my tears. I told her the truth, but I knew there was nothing she could do about it.
At the end of every school year, students would count down the days left until summer. As they would do that, I would just sit on my chair and cry.
My vacation would start very differently. As we would get home, my father would demand that I go straight to his room. Before going, I would try to hide the three-foot-long cane he used to beat me with. But if it wasn't the cane, it was the metal or plastic hangers, or my mother's heels. He would hit me right on the head with them.
But after three years, he suddenly stopped. I never knew how or why. Did he get tired of hitting me, or was there something else? I never found out.
It has been seven years since he last hit me, but my relationship with my father will forever be scarred. I still fear him and when he’s around me, I try not to say or do anything that will trigger those impulses in him again.
The bruises may have faded, but the pain still remains. He put his hands on someone who thought he loved her. And because of that, I am scared to let anyone love me again.
Source

Woman dies ‘unattended’ on hospital floor in Lahore

Woman dies ‘unattended’ on hospital floor in Lahore


LAHORE: A 60-year-old woman breathed her last on the floor of Jinnah Hospital on Monday evening after she was allegedly denied treatment at three state-run hospitals.
Zahra complained of severe pain in chest early in the morning and was brought to the Punjab Institute of Cardiology (PIC) from a Kasur village on a taxi at around 11am.
Doctors at the emergency ward ‘diagnosed’ her with some kidney problem and referred her to Services Hospital, a male relative accompanying the body in an Edhi ambulance told Dawn outside the Jinnah Hospital mortuary.
Not willing to be named, the relative said the medics at the Services Hospital examined Zahra on a stretcher near the entrance to the medical emergency ward and referred her to Jinnah Hospital on account of unavailability of any bed.
Doctors examined her at the Jinnah emergency at around 3pm and referred her to Medical Unit I.
“Since no bed was available in the unit, a doctor asked us to wait outside. The patient was kept waiting for three hours or so until she breathed her last,” said the relative.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif has taken notice of the death of the woman due to non-provision of medical aid and ordered an inquiry.
He directed that the matter should be thoroughly investigated and a report be presented.
The chief minister said the persons responsible for negligence should be identified and action be taken.
Published in Dawn January 3rd, 2017

North Korea’s claim on ICBM test plausible

North Korea’s claim on ICBM test plausible


SEOUL: North Korea has been working through 2016 on developing components for an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), making the isolated nation’s claim that it was close to a test-launch plausible, international weapons experts said on Monday.
North Korea has been testing rocket engines and heat-shields for an ICBM while developing the technology to guide a missile after re-entry into the atmosphere following a lift-off, the experts said.
While Pyongyang is close to a test, it is likely to take some years to perfect the weapon.
Once fully developed, a North Korean ICBM could threaten the continental United States, which is around 9,000 km from the North. ICBMs have a minimum range of about 5,500 km, but some are designed to travel 10,000 km or further.
North Korea’s state media regularly threatens the United States with a nuclear strike, but before 2016 Pyongyang had been assumed to be a long way from being capable of doing so.
“The bottom line is Pyongyang is much further along in their missile development than most people realise,” said Melissa Hanham, a senior research associate at the US-based Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey, California.
She said the North’s test in April of a large liquid-fuel engine that could propel an ICBM was a major development. “The liquid engine test was astounding,” Hanham said.
“For years, we knew that North Korea had a Soviet R-27 missile engine design. They re-engineered the design of that engine to double its propulsion”.
North Korea has said it is capable of mounting a nuclear warhead on a ballistic missile but it claims to be able to miniaturise a nuclear device have never been independently verified.
The isolated nation has achieved this progress despite UN Security Council imposed sanctions for its nuclear tests and long-range rocket launches dating back to 2006. The sanctions ban arms trade and money flows that can fund the country’s arms programme.
North Korea has enough uranium for six bombs a year and much of what it needs for its nuclear and missile programmes relies on Soviet-era design and technology. Labour is virtually free.
It can produce much of its missile parts domestically and invested heavily in its missile development infrastructure last year, funded by small arms sales and by taxing wealthy traders in its unofficial market economy.
Throughout the year, North Korean state media showed images of numerous missile component tests, some of which revealed close-up details of engines and heat shields designed to protect a rocket upon re-entry into the earth’s atmosphere.
The propaganda offensive may have revealed some military secrets, but it may have also been a bid to silence outside analysts, many of whom had remained sceptical of the North’s missile programme.
Published in Dawn

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Pakistan political situation 2017


pakistan political situation 2017

‘Panamagate’ refuses to die as the New Year has begun with new bench of the Supreme Court, which will start hearing petitions of Imran Khan and others from Wednesday. However, the new chief justice of Pakistan, Justice Saqib Nisar, has recused himself from the case. In all probability, the outcome of the case will dominate the emerging political scenario in 2017, which even otherwise is the electioneering year and we will witness lots of political happenings in the next 12 months.

Both, the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-N (PML-N) and the main opposition party, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) are confident of winning the case, but it is good that both will accept the judgement, at least this is what they say right now.
However, Imran Khan was disappointed when the previous bench, headed by former chief justice, Anwar Zaheer Jamali, adjourned the hearing till the first week of January, and said, the new bench would hear the petitions.

When the senior most judge, Justice Saqib Nisar, took the oath, he ended all kinds of speculations over 'Panama case’, by keeping himself out of the bench. Whether elections will be held as per schedule in 2018 or earlier, the battle for Islamabad will be between the ruling PML-N and opposition PTI, the SC verdict on Panama will also determine the political career of both Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, his daughter Maryam Nawaz and also of Imran Khan.

Imran, who had lost his campaign over election rigging in 2013 after the Judicial Commission findings in 2015, wants to win 'Panama case’, as his chances of victory in the next general elections has a lot to do with the court verdict.

Defeat in this case will further reduce his chances of winning the upcoming elections, but a victory could give a new lease of life to his party and he could go into polls with high spirits. On the other hand, stakes are also high in the other camp. There’s a lot more than the political career of PM Sharif which is under threat.
Any adverse ruling would seriously dent his political legacy, as he often sees his daughter taking over power from him in future. But, the PML-N is ready to take the challenge, as the political battle between the PML and the PTI has now entered the crucial phase and political temperature has also soared.

The kind of language being used by both sides during TV talk shows and in public meetings also reflects rising tensions. The battle for Punjab is the battle for Islamabad. The PML-N has been ruling the province since 1985 and has retired General Pervez Musharraf not staged a coup on Oct 12, 1999, Sharifs could have enjoyed an uninterrupted rule. Musharraf's era had created a split in the party and Chaudhrys of Gujrat and Moonis Elahi sided with the former president as an alley.

However, for the first time, the Muslim League emerged as an opposition party, unlike in the past when leaguers had the reputation of changing loyalties. But many who changed their loyalties during Musharraf's period are now part of PML-N, something which went against Shairfs’ post-Musharraf politics.

Imran Khan, who also supported Musharraf from 1999 to 2002, not only regretted his association with him but is also seriously challenging Sharifs’ political supremacy now. Thus, in 2017, the battlefield will be Lahore, which since 1970s had witnessed major political transformation. Once it was the stronghold of Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), under Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. It is the city where three major political parties, PPP, PML and PTI were founded.

So, the city will witness one of the most crucial political battles in the next elections between the 'might of Sharifs’, and the rise of Imran. Some PML-N leaders conceded that for the first time the party faced serious political challenge in 2013 elections in Lahore, and the PTI did jolt the party. "In a way it was good for the party, as competition always helps you correct your mistakes, said a PML-N leader on condition of anonymity, as he criticised some of the party leaders.

Now where would stand the other mainstream political parties in this 'two-party battle’? The PTI has practically replaced the PPP in Punjab, and the latter may witness some important party leaders leaving it before the elections.

The decision of former president, Asif Ali Zardari, to take the centre-stage is something which had been opposed by many leaders of the PPP Punjab. They had even suggested to Mr Zardari to either stay away from the party or become the party's 'Rahbar’ (patron).

The only option for the PPP is the post-election scenario, as they are unlikely to stage a big comeback in near future. In 2017, the party would try to regain some of its lost glory in southern Punjab and sweep in Sindh including improving its position in Karachi.

While Imran Khan is confident that the PTI would retain its position in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, only an anti-PTI alliance comprising PML-N, JUI-F, ANP and PPP could pose challenge to the PTI-JI alliance.
Therefore, we may see hectic political manoeuvring in 2017, in the post-Panama scenario. But, for the first time, Karachi will be most unpredictable in the aftermath of a split in the MQM, between the MQM-Pakistan, MQM-London and Pak Sarzameen Party (PSP). Will this split help any of the three or parties like PPP, JI and PTI, is yet to be seen.

The year would determine the future political discourse for 2018. Thus, the visit of Imran Khan and his stay in the city for three days clearly showed that he sees the party chances and has decided to hold public meetings here in the next few months.

While there are little chances of any grand opposition alliance before the election, the PPP is at crossroad right now. The only positive response which Mr Zardari has got was from the PML-Q’s Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain, who met him recently. But, his own party's position in Punjab and elsewhere is not much different from that of the PPP in Punjab.

The Supreme Court, since the historic lawyer movement, had taken some historic decisions. It has done what the successive governments and Parliament have failed to do, like holding of local government elections or population census on time as a constitutional obligation. In fact, they failed and put the burden on the SC.
While the mainstream opposition parties, led by Imran Khan, and even persons like Sirajul Haq, have stated that if they did not get justice from the SC, they would settle the issue on roads, i.e. agitation. For them, ‘justice’ means decision in their favour.

Thus, in many ways we have not only tried to politicize the case but also the judiciary, something which could have negative repercussion on the independence of judiciary.

The year 2017 will be the test of political maturity, independence of judiciary, autonomous Election Commission of Pakistan, constituted with consensus and the test of parliament to adopt consensus 'electoral reforms’, and implement it before the next polls.

Source;

https://www.geo.tv/latest/

Afghan leadership invited COAS Pakistan for a visit to Afghanistan 2017

Afghan leadership invited COAS Pakistan for a visit to Afghanistan 2017

The invitation was extended on the New Year eve when General Bajwa reached the Afghan leaders over telephone.

Pakistan’s new army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa has been invited by Afghan leaders to visit the war-torn country and work together for regional peace.
The invitation was extended on the New Year eve when General Bajwa reached the Afghan leaders over telephone, Pakistan Army said yesterday.

Army spokesman Major General Asif Ghafoor said in a tweet that General Bajwa called Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah and “conveyed best wishes for 2017 and pledged to work together for peace in the region“.

 Ghafoor also said that “peace in both countries is in greater interest of the region“.
“Afghan leadership invited COAS for a visit to Afghanistan,” he said in the tweet.
It was, however, not known when General Bajwa will pay the visit, which would be his first since taking over the charge of Pakistan Army in November.

The development comes amid tensions between the two countries over militant attacks in Afghanistan. PTI SH SUA SAI 01011507

Hashmi says Imran conspired with 'disgruntled elements in the army' during 2014 sit-in

Hashmi says Imran conspired with 'disgruntled elements in the army' during 2014 sit-in


Former president of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) Javed Hashmi and PTI Chairman Imran Khan on Sunday traded barbs after Hashmi on a TV show accused the PTI chief of conspiring against the government during the 2014 sit-in because he had failed to win enough votes in the election.
Imran, in response, accused the veteran politician of lying. "What response can I give to Hashmi's jhoot plus?" he asked.

Hashmi's allegations








Javed Hashmi speaks to journalists in Multan.

In a fiery diatribe against his old party, Hashmi made the allegation that, "Disgruntled elements in the army wanted to make Raheel Sharif unsuccessful at any cost, and through Imran Khan, they wanted to destroy the parliament."
The former PTI leader even alleged that senior party members had not been convinced that there had been rigging on a large scale in Punjab during the 2014 election, despite the PTI's public stance during their historic sit-in the same year that large-scale election rigging had resulted in the party's loss.
"The parliamentary leader was Shah Mahmood Qureshi. Presiding over the parliamentary leaders, he [had] said that there had been no rigging in Punjab. At most, in one or two constituencies," Hashmi claimed.
Hashmi also accused Imran Khan of working in league with non-political forces working against the government, whom Hashmi referred to as 'script writers'.
"Our script writers, whoever they were, wrote that Tahir-ul-Qadri would go to parliament and we [the PTI] would sit behind them. That was the main script," he claimed.
"Imran said [former Chief Justice of Pakistan] Tasadduq Jillani would leave and then Nasir-ul-Mulk would [be sworn in]. He would [listen to us] and dissolve the assemblies. And after that, there would be elections in 90 days. During that time, he said, the Supreme Court will take over and then we [the PTI] will win," Hashmi alleged.
"I said, Imran Khan, this is not how it happens. This sit-in will not be successful."
"If you're not winning, don't destroy the entire country because you are frustrated," Hashmi said, recalling his conversation with the PTI chief.
"I resigned because the Supreme Court's holidays were [suddenly] cancelled ... This seemed like a very big conspiracy to me," he said.
"This seemed like the last item [on the script]. Because the generals had already told Imran Khan that Nawaz Sharif would not sign his resignation letter," Hashmi claimed.
The veteran politician was referring to an incident in 1999, when General Mahmood had allegedly asked PM Nawaz Sharif to sign his resignation, but the premier chose not to sign the letter and told the general to kill him instead.
"It was [Imran Khan's] second step to get everything done by the Supreme Court," Hashmi added, referring possibly to a move to force the prime minister's resignation through the Supreme Court.
Hashmi also said he has always been against the PTI's strategy of sit-ins against the government. "It isn't the right strategy as it will only produce more struggle for the young political workers in your party," he said, adding that he had warned Imran his party workers would struggle on the streets for five years without any outcome.
"Young people see things in black and white," he said. "I am more experienced than he is in politics. I know what I am saying."

'What response to Hashmi's jhoot plus?'









Imran responded to Hashmi's allegations by implying the veteran politician had lost his senses and was lying.
"I think Javed Hashmi has reached the age where his mental state is not sound. What response can I give his madness, his jhoot plus?" he asked.
Hashmi, responding to Imran Khan's jibe at his age, said, "Imran Khan is only a year and a half younger than I am ... A board should examine his mental state and mine too. Then it will be clear who is sharper."
"If a mental health institution [tested us] and released a report, then the country would be free of Imran Khan ... They will be surprised to learn what a liar he is."
"I think there should be a commission. There has been such a big fraud with the people. I guarantee you, he will not dare to sit and say otherwise in front of me."

Hashmi's resignation from the PTI

In 2014, Javed Hashmi had announced his resignation from the party presidency and its membership following his suspension after various allegations against Imran Khan which the party leadership said he had failed to explain.
Hashmi had said that he could no longer continue his membership with a party 'conspiring' to dismantle democracy in Pakistan.
In a memorable speech to a joint session of Parliament in 2014, the seasoned politician had claimed that a system existed in the country "to engineer [the] making and breaking of governments."
He made the claims shortly after alleging that "a scripted plan to overthrow the government, using violent protests as a pretext" had influenced the 2014 sit-in against the government.
Source:
http://www.dawn.com/

Monday, January 2, 2017

Which Pakistani celebrities and politicians were reading about in 2016

Which Pakistani celebrities and politicians like moonis elahi were reading about in 2016
The Wikimedia Foundation affiliate in Pakistan crunched numbers to find out who the most searched-for Pakistanis on Wikipedia were this year.
There are about 3,500 Pakistani entrants on Wikipedia and the website is home to nearly 500 million unique visitors a month.
Which Pakistanis were people reading about in 2016? Here's a complete list:

1. Malala Yousafzai





Pageviews: 2,685,301

Malala in the news:


2. Fawad Khan





Pageviews: 2,087,313

Why Fawad made headlines:


3. Mawra Hocane





Pageviews: 1,774,724

Mawra in the news:


4. Qandeel Baloch





Pageviews: 1,496,633

Remembering Qandeel:


5. Muhammad Ali Jinnah





Pageviews: 1,314,372

Looking back at Jinnah:


6. Junaid Jamshed





Pageviews: 1,209,140

Remembering Junaid:


7. Mahira Khan





Pageviews: 1,187,601

Mahira in the news:


8. Imran Khan





Pageviews: 968,992

Imran makes headlines:


9. Shahid Afridi





Pageviews: 907,268

Afridi in the news:


10. Abdul Sattar Edhi





Pageviews: 852,706

Remembering Edhi:


11. Atif Aslam





Pageviews: 843,469

Atif makes headlines:


12. Benazir Bhutto





Pageviews: 809,260

Remembering Benazir:


13. Rahat Fateh Ali Khan





Pageviews: 690,985

Rahat in the news:


14. Nawaz Sharif





Pageviews: 687,778

Nawaz in the news:


15. Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan





Pageviews: 679,935

Nusrat's legacy:


16. Imran Abbas





Pageviews: 642,419

Imran in the news:


17. Wasim Akram





Pageviews: 576,463

A look at Wasim's year:


18. Urwa Hocane





Pageviews: 573,694

Looking back at Urwa's year:


19. Momina Mustehsan





Pageviews: 547,746

Momina makes headlines:


20. Gen (retd) Raheel Sharif





Pageviews: 541,708

Gen (r) Raheel in the news:


21. Ali Zafar





Pageviews: 536,465

Ali in the news:


22. Mohammad Amir





Pageviews: 501,046

Mohammad Amir returns to cricket:


23. Pervez Musharraf





Pageviews: 470,114

Musharraf's year:


24. Maya Ali





Pageviews: 439,268

Maya in the news


25. Zulfikar Ali Bhutto





Pageviews: 437,992

Looking back at Zulfikar:



26. Moonis Elahi





moonis elahi Pageviews: 437,992

Looking back at Zulfikar:


Source:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1304978/which-pakistanis-dominated-wikipedia-searches-in-2016