[Al Ahram] The Taliban have denied that they had obtained permission from Pakistain to send representatives to Qatar to participate in initial talks that U.S. officials had hoped would lead to a peace deal in Afghanistan, saying they had acted independently.
In a statement posted on a Taliban website, the turban group said it made "decisions of its own likings in all matters and affairs in light of Islamic principles and national interests".
"We would like to once categorically state that the representatives of Islamic Emirate did not go to Qatar with the permission of Pakistain," the group said in the statement posted on Thursday, using the term the Taliban use to describe themselves. "The Islamic Emirate is completely free and independent in all of its affairs."
In an interview with Rooters this week, Pakistain's ambassador to Afghanistan, Mohammad Sadiq, said his government supported a possible peace agreement in Afghanistan, and said it had allowed some Taliban to travel to the Gulf for that purpose.
The B.O. regime's hopes for soon establishing peace talks between the Afghan government of President Hamid Maybe I'll join the Taliban Karzai ... A former Baltimore restaurateur, now 12th and current President of Afghanistan, displacing the legitimate president Rabbani in December 2004. He was installed as the dominant political figure after the removal of the Taliban regime in late 2001 in a vain attempt to put a Pashtun face on the successor state to the Taliban. After the 2004 presidential election, he was declared president regardless of what the actual vote count was. He won a second, even more dubious, five-year-term after the 2009 presidential election. His grip on reality has been slipping steadily since around 2007, probably from heavy drug use... and the Taliban faded in March when the reclusive Taliban leadership, believed to be based in Pakistain, suspended their participation in preliminary discussions run by U.S. diplomats.
U.S. officials had hoped their initial meetings with Taliban representatives would set in motion the transfer of former Taliban officials held in Guantanamo Bay military prison to Qatar, the release of a U.S. soldier held by the Taliban, and eventually authentic peace talks among the Afghan parties.
"The preliminary and confidence-building talks done by the representatives of Islamic Emirate with those of the United States of America in Qatar were initiated and then halted under the order of its leader," the Taliban said.
When they announced their suspension, the Taliban blamed the United States for an inconsistent negotiating position.
While the Afghan government says it has held its own, separate meetings with Taliban representatives, the turban group's leadership says it will not engage in negotiations with what it deems an illegitimate, "puppet" regime.
In a separate statement issued on Friday, the Taliban said they had sent a representative to an academic conference on Afghanistan's future in Japan this week, but said the purpose was only to "clarify" its positions.
"As long as the matter with America (talks which are currently suspended) is not addressed, talking with the administration of Karzai is pointless," the group said.
In an interview with Rooters this week, Pakistain's ambassador to Afghanistan, Mohammad Sadiq, said his government supported a possible peace agreement in Afghanistan, and said it had allowed some Taliban to travel to the Gulf for that purpose.
The Copts and other non-believers, of course, won't be considered 'Egyptian'...
CAIRO: Muhammad Mursi paid tribute on Friday to Egypt's Muslims and Christians alike and symbolically swore himself in as the country's first elected civilian president before a huge crowd at Tahrir Square.
Mursi, who won a run-off election earlier this month, was received with applause by the tens of thousands of people gathered in the birthplace of the revolt that overthrew his predecessor Hosni Mubarak last year. He promised a "civilian state" and praised "the square of the revolution, the square of freedom," in what he called an address to "the free world, Arabs, Muslims... the Muslims of Egypt, Christians of Egypt."
Mursi symbolically swore himself in before the crowd, saying: "I swear to preserve the republican system... and to preserve the independence" of Egypt.
In his speech Mursi, whose election has raised concerns among Egypt's sizeable Coptic Christian community, served the United States with advance warning that his politics will be markedly different from those of his ousted predecessor.
He told the Tahrir crowd he would work to secure freedom for Omar Abdul Rahman, a blind Egyptian cleric jailed for life over the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.
"I will do everything in my power to secure freedom for... detainees, including Sheikh Omar Abdul Rahman," Mursi said in his address to the throng packing the hub of the 2011 revolution.
Champ would lose New York in November if he did that, so don't look for it .. until December.
Abdul Rahman was convicted in 1995 for his role in the World Trade Center bombing, plotting to bomb other New York targets including the United Nations, and a plan to assassinate Mubarak.
After taking the oath, Mursi will have to contend with the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, headed by Mubarak's longtime defense minister Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi, that will retain broad powers after it formally transfers power. The liberal Wafd newspaper reported that Tantawi will remain defense minister in the new government.
North Korea has been experiencing unusually dry weather since late April and the South's Korea Meteorological Administration expects the dry spell on the peninsula to continue until the end of this month.
The state-run Korea Rural Economic Institute here expects the North's barley and wheat production yields to drop 20 percent this year, with overall crop production down around 15 percent. The institute added that if the drought continues, the regime may face a severe food shortage.
Local experts believe the drought, the worst seen in the Stalinist state in half a century, is putting it on the brink of widespread famine as the situation is expected to deteriorate when food production is affected.
North Koreans despise the Chinese even though China is the Stalinist country's sole ally, a former British ambassador to North Korea says. John Everard was promoting a book about his experience in North Korea titled "Only Beautiful, Please" at the Brookings Institution in Washington on Monday.
He said it North Korean hate the Chinese although or because they rely on massive economic assistance from China. Economic cooperation between the two countries keeps growing, but the belief that Chinese are arrogant as well as a deep-rooted North Korean sense of racial purity seems to be at play, he said.
He recalled that while numerous signs and billboards in North Korea display hostile slogans aimed at U.S. imperialism, ordinary North Koreans did not feel much animosity toward America. Not many North Koreans believed the U.S. would attack their country and very few of them thought that South Korea would attack since they consider South Korea a puppet state of the U.S., Everard added.
Everard said the opening of the British Embassy in Pyongyang in July 2001 met with significant opposition in the U.K. because of the cost and doubts over the influence London would actually be able to wield. But he claimed diplomatic missions run by the U.K. as well as Germany and Sweden in Pyongyang were able to take a huge amount of influence in the North.
Massive econ assistance which is barely enough for ordinary Norkies, + by most accounts is not getting any better, + scores of 000's of PLA Security forces in NOKOR [150-300,000?] to protect the Kims + Regime.
Speaking of massive econ assistance by China,
* DEFENCE.PK/FORUMS > THE [normal = regular]SCOPE OF CHINESE AID TO NORTH KOREA IS DISCERNED/DETERMINED BY CHINA.
90-100,000 TONS OF FOOD, 500,000 TONS OF FUEL OIL, approxi 20.0Milyuhn in Goods per Annum.
* SAME > GREAT WALL ESTIMATE ANGERS SOUTH KOREANS.
ARTIC > SOKORS = China should NOT be claiming as part of its historial "Great Wall" fortifications + other complexes which were contructed by the Govts-People of the ancient Korean States of GOGURYEO + BOHAI; nor to also claim those located in current NOKOR territory.
* WORLD NEWS > NORTH KOREA TESTS THE PATIENCE OF CHINA | .... ITS CLOSEST ALLY.
Germany's intelligence service has found itself at the center of a widening scandal after it was confirmed yesterday that its agents had destroyed files containing vital information about a neo-Nazi terrorist gang hours before the material was supposed to be handed to federal prosecutors.
The case involves the National Socialist Underground, a neo-Nazi group responsible for Germany's worst acts of far-right violence since World War Two. Its members murdered a policewoman, gunned down nine immigrants, carried out two bomb attacks and robbed 14 banks to finance their operations.
Police discovered the bodies of the gang's two ringleaders, Uwe Mundlos and Uwe Böhnhardt, in a burned-out caravan last November. Investigators established that they had committed suicide after robbing a bank. A third member of the gang, Beate Zschäpe, was caught and arrested. She is still being questioned.
Details of the scandal were leaked yesterday, prompting German Interior Ministry officials to admit that domestic intelligence agents, who had been keeping the terrorists under surveillance for more than a decade, had destroyed files containing information about the group.
They revealed to a parliamentary inquiry that the agents had shredded the documents on November 11 -- the day they were due to be handed to Germany's Federal Prosecutor, who had taken over the investigation.
WASHINGTON: The United States named two Afghanistan-Pakistan money changers as helping Taliban manage and move funds, setting sanctions against both that aim to hinder their business.
The US Treasury said the two hawalas, or money exchange businesses - the Haji Khairullah Haji Sattar Money Exchange (HKHS) and the Roshan Money Exchange -- "have been used by Taliban to facilitate money transfers in support of Taliban's narcotics trade and terrorist operations."
Up through last year, HKHS services were "a preferred method for Taliban leadership to transfer money to Taliban commanders in Afghanistan," the Treasury said. HKHS has 16 branches in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran and Dubai, while Roslan operates 11 branches in Pakistan and Afghanistan.
Blood money spills more blood
Reported in Jinnah the in-laws of Faizan who was killed by a CIA contractor in Lahore and whose family and wife received diyat or blood money for letting off the killer fell victim to another tragedy - that of who will get the money. Faizan's wife and her mother wanted her to remarry which the head of the family Shahzad Butt did not want. He killed both with his pistol. The police said he killed because he wanted to keep the crores of rupees received as blood money. Fahim was killed along with Faizan. His wife had earlier did away with himself.
Beautiful Downtown Peshawar without writ of state
Quoted in Jinnah chief justice of the Peshawar High Court stated that the writ of the Peshawar government did not run beyond 10 km and the people relied on courts to provide what the government could not provide: law and order.
Which courts cannot provide without the power of the government to enforce it, a neat dilemma for the philosophical.
'Osama bricks' sold for $10
Reported in Nawa-e-Waqt Osama was so dearly beloved of the people of Pakistain that the bricks of his abandoned house in Abbottabad ... A pleasant city located only 30 convenient miles from Islamabad. The city is noted for its nice weather and good schools. It is the site of Pakistain's military academy, which was within comfortable walking distance of the residence of the late Osama bin Laden.... - razed to the ground recently - were being sold for $10 apiece by visitors from all over Pakistain.
Like relics of the saints in Christendom, it is highly likely that a few of the bricks are indeed exactly what is claimed. The rest, as is traditional, acquire their holiness from the belief of the faithful.
Maulana Zahid goes back on his word
Writing in Express Nusrat Javeed referred to JUIS holy man Maulana Zahid who attended the parliamentary security committee formulating the foreign policy of Pakistain but later announced that contrary to the recommendations he accepted in the committee he would not allow the NATO ...the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. A single organization with differing goals, equipment, language, doctrine, and organization.... supplies to pass through Pakistain. Columnist reminds him that he should have abstained from going to the Raza Rabbani Committee if he had those convictions.
Nawab Sharif's flight to Soddy Arabia
Columnist Nusrat Javeed stated in Express that Nawaz Sharif ... served two non-consecutive terms as prime minister, heads the Pakistain Moslem League (Nawaz). Noted for his spectacular corruption, the 1998 Pak nuclear test, border war with India, and for being tossed by General Musharraf... should recall that under Musharraf he was not convicted by a military court but a civil court after which he left the country with the help of Soddy Arabia ...a kingdom taking up the bulk of the Arabian peninsula. Its primary economic activity involves exporting oil and soaking Islamic rubes on the annual hajj pilgrimage. The country supports a large number of princes in whatcha might call princely splendor. When the oil runs out the rest of the world is going to kick sand in their national face... and Lebanese prime minister Hariri and went and lived in a hotel suit in Saudi Arabia. He came back when the movement to restore the Supreme Court was raging under Musharraf who was forced to restore it. But he took care first to ask the Court if he could return. The Court told him he could. But on his return Prince Muqran arrived from Saudi Arabia saying Nawaz Sharif had vowed to stay away for ten years and took him back to his Sarwar suite in Saudi Arabia.
What Hamid Gul told Gilani
Columnist Hamid Mir wrote in Jang that Prime Minister Gilani became the strongest prime minister of Pakistain after President Zardari surrendered all the presidential powers to him through 18th, 19th and 20th amendments of the Constitution. But it was an irony that as he got more powerful his family became more and more embroiled in controversies. In 1989 ISI boss Hamid Gul The nutty former head of Pakistain's ISI, now Godfather to Mullah Omar's Talibs and good buddy and consultant to al-Qaeda's high command... told him that if had not decided to join the PPP the powers-that-be had decided to make him the prime minister in place of Nawaz Sharif.
Gilani nearly Musharraf's PM
According to Hamid Mir in Jang Musharraf sent his favoured politicians Humayun Akhtar to meet Yousaf Raza Gilani who was serving his sentence in jail after being convicted for malpractices as speaker of National assembly to ask him to leave PPP in order to become free again. But he refused as he refused the advances of a friend of Musharraf and adviser, Tariq Aziz.
Jamali PM by one vote
Daily Jang had Hamid Mir relate that one Arbab Raheem was sent to meet Gilani in jail to ask him to deliver his nephew Asad Murtaza MNA's vote so that he could be freed. After Gilani refused Arbab Raheem got someone else to change the loyalty of Gilani's nephew to gain the majority by one vote that made Zafrullah Jamali the prime minister of Pakistain by a single vote in the National Assembly.
'Courts favour despots, punish politicians'
Quoted in Mashriq human rights ...which are usually entirely different from personal liberty... lawyer Asma Jahangir stated that the courts in Pakistain generally favoured despots while targeting politicians. She said PM Gilani was being congratulated for being convicted by the Court and this was a not a good sign. She said the judges should think about the reputation of the country. Mashriq also quoted attorney general Irfan Qadir that the punishment meted out to Gilani was contrary to the Constitution and that there was no contempt law existing in the country. He said the government will obey only if the decisions of the Court that were lawful.
Dr Sher Afgan on Supreme Court verdict
Talking to Jinnah legal eagle politician Dr Sher Afgan stated that even if the National Assembly was dissolved PM Gilani could go on being PM for six months. He said there was a rule of issuing short order in a criminal cases wherein testimonies are recorded, which did not happen in the contempt case against PM Gilani who was punished unheard. No court can punish a person outside the framework of its indictment. He said he could not find the Article under which Mr Gilani could be disqualified for five years.
Nawaz Sharif's blunder
Writing in Jang Hamid Mir stated that PMLN lost the last election in Multan because its leader had given the ticket to a turncoat who was swinging like a pendulum between PPP and Tehrik Insaf. The PMLN ignored its faithfuls and issued the ticket to a turncoat feudal who did not even hold any big rallies before defeated by the PPP candidate.
Afia Siddiqi betrayed by Al Qaeda
Daily Jang reported that Afia Siddiqi was not betrayed by Pakistain but by the Al Qaeda leader Khaled Sheikh Muhammad from his captivity at Guantanamo Bay to the Americans to save his own skin. Afia Siddiqi was claimed as a terrorist working for Al Qaeda while being married to a nephew of Khaled Sheikh Muhammad after separating from her first husband.
What does Pakistain want?
Columnist Saleem Safi wrote in Jang that Pakistain did not know what it wanted. Did it want an apology from the US? Yet when after Salala incident the Americans were willing to apologise Pakistain told them to hold on. Later the US was no longer willing to apologise. And now Pakistain had linked NATO supply route to an apology. Pakistain was doing all this while at the same time saying that delay in negotiations with America will be damaging to Pakistain's forthcoming budget and may throw Pak people into more suffering.
Don't give land to US embassy!
Chief Editor of Jinnah Khushnood Ali Khan stated that government had done a great disservice to Pakistain to give 148 additional acres to the US embassy in Islamabad so that the Americans could make their plans to kill more Paks while hiding in this new acreage. The US had employed 200 men to construct this new structure and they are suspect because most of them including a superintendent were Qadianis
...a Pakistani term of insult used by Sunnis against Ahmadiyyas...
which proved that the Americans were using Qadianis as their tools to harm Pakistain.
[VOA News] The international envoy charged with bringing peace to Syria is warning world powers they could soon have more blood on their hands.
Former United Nations ...Parkinson's Law on an international scale... Secretary-General Kofi Annan ...Ghanaian diplomat who served as the seventh and so far the worst Secretary-General of the UN. Annan and the UN were the co-recipients of the 2001 Nobel Peace Prize for something or other that probably sounded good at the time. In December 2004, reports surfaced that Kofi's son Kojo received payments from the Swiss company Cotecna, which had won a lucrative contract under the UN Oil-for-Food Program. Kofi Annan called for an investigation to look into the allegations, which stirred up the expected cesspool but couldn't seem to come up with enough evidence to indict Kofi himself, or even Kojo... spoke to Security Council members in Geneva Saturday as activists said that Syrian government troops had retaken control of a suburb of Damascus ...The City of Jasmin is the oldest continuously-inhabited city in the world. It has not always been inhabited by the same set of fascisti... , leaving dozens dead.
Annan lamented that his six-point cease-fire plan had not been implemented and said the time has come for the international community to do more. If not, he said the mounting corpse count "will be the consequence of not only the acts of killers on the ground but also your inability to bridge the divisions between you."
The talks, including representatives from the United States, Russia, China, Britannia, La Belle France and envoys from Arab countries, are aimed at salvaging Annan's peace plan and finding a political solution to the crisis.
Before the meeting, British Foreign Secretary William Hague was cautiously hopeful.
"And so there is the opportunity for the international community to be much stronger and to act much more robustly but we can only do that with the agreement of the Russians and the Chinese," said Hague.
Russia, a long-time ally of Syria, has said any solution to the crisis must be decided by the Syrians themselves and has spurned calls for Syrian Hereditary President-for-Life Bashir Pencilneck al-Assad Before going into the family business Pencilneck was an eye doctor... to step down. China has taken a similar stance.
WAFF > THE AMERICANS NOW SAY SYRIAN TAKEDOWN OF THE TURKISH F-4[RF-4] WAS A LEGAL HIT | [WSJ.com] DOUBTS CAST ON TURKEY'S STORY OF JET [RF-4 shootdown], US INTELLIGENCE, CONTRADICTING ANKARA, INDICATES AIRCRAFT WAS SHOT DOWN BY SYRIA IN ITS OWN AIRSPACE, OFFICIALS SAY.
SAT RECCE, etc. aside, put another way the shootdown would had to have occurred inside Syrian airspace + via Syrian conventional AD Tube Arty as the USDOD believes Syrian AD Missles, Network is not accurate enough to hit or kill anything that far out???
[Al Ahram] International mediator Kofi Annan ...Ghanaian diplomat who served as the seventh and so far the worst Secretary-General of the UN. Annan and the UN were the co-recipients of the 2001 Nobel Peace Prize for something or other that probably sounded good at the time. In December 2004, reports surfaced that Kofi's son Kojo received payments from the Swiss company Cotecna, which had won a lucrative contract under the UN Oil-for-Food Program. Kofi Annan called for an investigation to look into the allegations, which stirred up the expected cesspool but couldn't seem to come up with enough evidence to indict Kofi himself, or even Kojo... said on Friday he was "optimistic" that ministerial crisis talks on Syria being held on Saturday would produce an acceptable outcome. And I'm optimistic that twenty of the pounds hanging over my belt buckle are gonna melt away...
"I think we are going to have a good meeting tomorrow (Saturday). I am optimistic," Annan told Reuters TV in Geneva after Russia proposed changes to his plan for a national unity government. The talks would end "with an acceptable result", he said.
His spokesman Ahmad Fawzi said: "The talks are on course and the preparatory meeting is going ahead this morning
DUBAI: Iran expects to equip its ships in the Strait of Hormuz soon with shorter-range missiles, a Revolutionary Guards commander was quoted as saying, in the latest apparent warning to the West not to attack it over its disputed nuclear program.
The Islamic Republic has threatened to shut the Strait, the conduit out of the Gulf for 40 percent of the world's seaborne oil trade, if Western sanctions aimed at curbing its nuclear works block its own crude exports.
The European Union plans to impose a total embargo on Iranian oil from tomorrow and has told Tehran that more punitive steps could follow if it keeps defying UN demands for limits nuclear activity that could be of use in developing bombs.
"We have already equipped our vessels with missiles with a range of 220 km and we hope to introduce missiles with a range of over 300 km soon," Ali Fadavi said, the semi-official Mehr news agency reported yesterday. "We could target from our shores all areas in the Gulf region, the Strait of Hormuz and the Sea of Oman."
Iran is about 225 km at its nearest point from Bahrain, where the US Fifth Fleet is based, and about 1,000 km from its arch-enemy Israel. Tehran's longest-range missile, the Sajjil-2, can fly up to 2,400 km. Iran's military and security establishment often asserts its strength in the region, particularly in the Strait of Hormuz, the world's most important oil transit channel carrying supplies from Gulf producers to the West.
But it has increasingly flexed its military muscle in the face of US and Israeli warnings that last-resort military action against Iran cannot be ruled out if diplomacy and sanctions fail to resolve the nuclear dispute. In January, Tehran said it had successfully test-fired what it called two long-range missiles. Earlier this month, the Iranian Navy announced plans to build more warships and increase its presence in international waters such as the Gulf of Aden and northern Indian Ocean.
If un-fired, they're just a gift to the "Pirates".
If you can't guarantee they're used as needed (Fired AT the pirate), that's just a huge waste.
Posted by: Redneck Jim ||
FREEREPUBLIC, DRUDGEREPORT > [Deputy Chief of IRGC Gen. Hossein Salami] IRAN: THERE WILL BE WAR [very] SOON ... AND [by Allah]WE WILL WIN.
ARTIC > Gen. Salami also sezzes ...
> Iran has "complete control" of all its Enemies' interests around the World, + is a path to reach equivalency wid World Powers.
HHHHHMMMMM - iff true, gotta wonder how Iran pulled it off?
> Iran's defense inventory is so great that at times the IRGC are restricted only by the "limitations of Space".
Vewry Intehwesting comments.
The USDOD is expanding the USN Fifth Fleet base in Bahrain, which IMO infers that, in the absence of anti-US Regime Change in same, they are aware that Bahrain will Target #1 during a US-Iran shooting war in the Persian Gulf per se. DITTO AS PER USDOD MULLING FOR THE US PRESENCE IN KUWAIT [MilTechs/MilSys, notsomuch Troops], WID KUWAIT AKA TARGET #2 IN THE PERSIAN GULF THEATER. In addition, Iran appears to be overly confident they can close the Strait of Hormuz + limit the US CVNS, Gator Boyz + Allied to the Sea of Oman/Arabian Gulf + beyond.
* TOPIX > COMBINED MARITIME FORCES: US's GLOBAL NAVAL FORCE IN THE ARABIAN GULF. All but one are either US-NATO per se, or else Partner or in working Mutual Cooperation wid NATO.
Iran's gotta know they may be shooting at Muslim Navies, not just the US-NATO.
A multi-volume chronology and reference guide set detailing three years of the Mexican Drug War between 2010 and 2012.
Rantburg.com and borderlandbeat.com correspondent and author Chris Covert presents his first non-fiction work detailing
the drug and gang related violence in Mexico.
Chris gives us Mexican press dispatches of drug and gang war violence
over three years, presented in a multi volume set intended to chronicle the death, violence and mayhem which has
dominated Mexico for six years.