[Pak Daily Times] The Taliban opened a political office in Doha on Tuesday, as Washington said it hoped to begin talks with its Afghan foe in the Qatari capital "in a couple of days."
The group, which has waged a deadly insurgency against US-led troops ever since its government in Kabul was tossed after the September 11, 2001 attacks in the United States, pledged it would never allow Afghan territory to be used to threaten a foreign country.
Taliban representatives and Qatari officials opened the "political bureau of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan" in Doha, an AFP photographer reported.
The office is intended to open dialogue with the international community and Afghan groups for a "peaceful solution" in Afghanistan, office front man Mohammed Naim told news hounds in Doha.
Afghanistan peace talks between representatives of the United States and the Taliban will take place on Thursday in Doha, a senior US official said on Tuesday.
The Taliban, whose Kabul government was targeted in 2001 because it sheltered now slain al Qaeda leader the late Osama bin Laden ... who is now neither a strong horse nor a weak horse, but a dead horse... , said it would not allow Afghan soil to be used as a launchpad to pose a similar threat again.
"The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan doesn't want any threats from Afghanistan soil to other countries, and neither permits anyone to threaten other countries using Afghanistan soil," the group said.
"We support a political and peaceful solution that ends Afghanistan's occupation, and guarantees the Islamic system and nationwide security."
Earlier, 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... , Afghanistan president on Tuesday said that Kabul will send a team to Qatar for peace talks with the Taliban. Karzai was speaking following a ceremony in which the international coalition marked the beginning of the end of the handover of security to Afghan forces.
"Afghanistan's High Peace Council will travel to Qatar to discuss peace talks with the Taliban," Karzai said in Kabul, referring to the council he formed in late 2010.
"We hope that our brothers the Taliban also understand that the process will move to our country soon," Karzai said of the fundamentalist Islamic group that ruled the country with an iron fist from 1996 to 2001.
[Tolo News] Afghanistan's National Journalist's Union (ANJU) on Monday strongly condemned the recent speech made by MP Abdul Satar Khawasi in the Lower House of the Afghan Parliament and his declaration of 'Jihad' against media organizations.
ANJU questioned the silence maintained over Khawasi's speech by the Ministry of Information and Culture.
The Union also criticised the Ministry of Information and Culture over its failure to establish the Mass Media Commission.
"First of all, declaring Jihad is not the authority of everyone, only certain religious holy mans have that authority and I can surely say that Mr Khawasi does not have it," President of the Afghanistan National Journalists Union Abdul Hamid Mobarez said.
Reactions from the Union came in after Khawasi announced 'Jihad' against a number of media outlets in his speech.
Khawasi said that several media organizations are acting irresponsibly and work only for the foreigner's interests.
On Sunday, the Nai Supporting Open Media in Afghanistan also condemned the recent speech made by Khawasi.
Nai taking a stance against Khawasi said that circles inside the Parliament and government are trying to attack media and curtail its freedom.
Meanwhile, ...back at the desert island, Bert was realizing to his horror that he'd had only one bottle for one message, and he'd forgotten to include a return address... officials talked about the role of Minister of Information and Culture Sayed Makhdoom Raheen in delaying the setting up of Mass Media Commission.
"The Minister of Culture and Information, Head of High Council of Media and Chairman of Media Violation Evaluation Commission want to control the media," Afghanistan Journalist Union Executive Director Fahim Dashty said.
[An Nahar] Sweden's parliament voted Tuesday in favor of sending up to 160 troops to Mali on July 1 for a maximum of one year in support of a U.N. peacekeeping mission to the country. Ja, sure!
Deputies adopted a proposal from the center-right government, which said that in "normal circumstances" the Swedish contingent would be around 70. "Ve bane here to keep the peace, yew betcha!"
The Swedish military will also provide materiel to the U.N. mission.
"Armed bad boy groups and criminal groups have since the beginning of 2012 committed extensive acts of cruelty which have caused great human suffering in Mali," parliament wrote in a statement, saying this justified the U.N. mission.
Parliament approved a maximum cost of 85 million kronor (10 million euros, $13 million) for the Swedish effort.
The U.N. force being deployed in Mali, known under the acronym MIASMA MINUSMA, is to take over security duties from French forces who entered Mali in January to halt an Islamist advance and help the government re-establish its authority over the vast country.
[MAGHAREBIA] Libya is working on improving security on university campuses after several incidents prompted student strikes in various cities.
A joint security committee including student union members, university security personnel, and representatives from the interior ministry was formed on Thursday (June 13th) following a student protest two days prior in Tripoli ...a confusing city, one end of which is located in Lebanon and the other end of which is the capital of Libya. Its chief distinction is being mentioned in the Marine Hymn...
During that meeting, Interior Minister Colonel Mohamed al-Sheikh, Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research Dr Mohammed Hassan Abubaker and Tripoli University Dean Almadani Dkheel discussed the deteriorating security situation in the university, as well as the recent student and university worker sit-ins.
The interior ministry will train university guards, according to Libya Herald. It remains unclear, however, whether previously unarmed security personnel will now have access to weapons.
Besides attacks on female students, shootouts have erupted on campus. At times, young men attended class with handguns on them. University security personnel have repeatedly said that they were powerless to disarm anyone. In recent weeks, several guards did not report for work.
"I urge all those concerned, whether from the university or from the outside to co-operate with so that the university can meet its obligations towards society and perform its noble message for which it has been established," Dkheel said.
In Sirte, the university remains closed until tomorrow, following deadly festivities last week.
Three people were killed last Thursday and six others maimed, including some at death's door. The fight started on Wednesday outside the university campus and moved inside the next day.
The festivities are said to have begun as a tribal quarrel between two families, before escalating, according to Libya Herald.
Firearms were used during the festivities, national security director Col. Jamal Atallah said. The incident is under investigation, he added.
"About 15 people, including seven girls, were maimed in these festivities," Sirte University student Youssef Ismali said. "Four of the girls received gunshot wounds, while the others sustained light shrapnel wounds."
In the meantime, the Zawiya Martyrs Brigade and the military police are assuming responsibility for the university's security.
Although last week's student strike was not total, student union leaders were satisfied of the impact they had.
Tripoli University student union leader Mohamed Qashut underlined the stark violations of the rights of students, teaching staff members and university workers.
"Tripoli University has turned into a den and a shelter for corrupters, saboteurs and outlaws," he said.
Qashut demanded that the interior ministry "provide all security capabilities for its members, issue special cards for them, set up electronic gates, and install a surveillance camera system".
He also demanded the removal of all illegal security groups that are currently present on university grounds.
[MAGHAREBIA] More than 200 Tunisia holy mans launched a distress call to save mosques from the risk of religious extremism. They plan to hold a hunger strike during Ramadan.
On Monday (June 17th), imams from mosques in Tunis and Ben Arous staged a pre-strike sit-in outside the Ministry of Religious Affairs.
They met at the week-end to draw up their list of demands. The imams want the ministry to break the salafists' grip on mosques before the holy month begins.
The religious leaders will also be protesting "the deterioration of financial and moral conditions", Union of Imams head Fadhel Achour said on June 6th.
Dozens of mosques remain outside the ministry's control, "after being captured by salafist jihadists, who practice all kinds of violence", Achour said.
More than 1,000 imams have suffered acts of violence at the hands of salafists, yet the supervising ministry has neither investigated nor prosecuted any of these cases, Achour added.
"The complacency of the Ministry of Religious Affairs in addressing a number of issues will lead to negative results, especially since 178 mosques remain ... under the control of salafists," Bechir Arfaoui, the imam union official in Ben Arous, told Al Maghreb.
The salafists rule these Tunisian mosques by their own laws, imposing punishment as they see fit, he said.
"This is in addition to a policy of excommunication inflicted on those abstaining from performing prayers," Arfaoui said.
Citizens have also complained about the radical discourse within mosques that have thus far evaded the control of the Ministry of Religious Affairs.
In the Tunis suburb of Debousville, many worshippers fled a neighbourhood mosque because of its imam's anarchic fatwas.
"A group claiming to belong to the salafi movement is controlling the mosque. In fact, one of them is accused in the murder of a security agent and is still wanted by the police," Kamal al-Hidri, a local resident in his twenties, told Magharebia.
"I can no longer pray behind a man who understands nothing in religion except for having a long beard, and for that I moved to pray in another mosque, despite its distance from my home," Hajj Taher said.
Better oversight of mosques is not the only demand citizens are making of their government. Tunisian authorities must also look at schools, participants at a Nidaa Tounes forum on "religion and co-existence" said this month in Gammarth.
"A revolution in the methods of education" is imperative, forum attendee Saloua Ghrissa said, "to establish the concepts of tolerance, citizenship and democracy, especially among youth".
"Including religion in educational institutions is worrisome because it could result in the establishment of takfiri ...an adherent of takfir wal hijra, an offshoot of Salafism that regards everybody who doesn't agree with them as apostates who most be killed... thought and closed readings of texts," the Zitouna University professor told Magharebia.
Nidaa Tounes head Beji Caid Essebsi opened the 2-day event on June 3rd by calling for a dialogue among religions.
"This is one of the best ways to establish solidarity and co-existence between peoples and cultures," the former prime minister said.
"We must believe in dignity, justice and tolerance as the supreme and common values," he added.
[An Nahar] At least 9,000 people have fled violence in northern Nigeria and crossed into neighboring countries as a government offensive aims to end a four-year Islamist insurgency, the U.N. said on Tuesday.
In addition to those refugees, a local official in northeastern Nigeria, where the violence has been concentrated, has said some 19,000 wheat and rice farmers have been chased away from fields, raising concerns over potential food shortages.
The United Nations ...an idea whose time has gone... said aid workers had found more than 3,000 people along the border inside Cameroon, which neighbors northeastern Nigeria, where the violence has been concentrated.
The number of those who have fled to neighboring Niger was recently put at more than 6,000.
"Most of those who have arrived so far are women and kiddies," Adrian Edwards, front man for the U.N. high commissioner for refugees, told news hounds in Geneva of the refugees in Cameroon.
"They are being hosted in churches and schools, and relying on food from the churches and local population,"
Those who have fled to Niger include Nigerians as well as citizens of Niger and Chad, Edwards said. The U.N. refugee agency has sent an aid convoy to the area of Niger where the refugees are located.
The Nigerian government imposed a state of emergency in three northeastern states in May and launched an offensive in an effort to crush the insurgency by Islamist Death Eater group Boko Haram ... not to be confused with Procol Harum, Harum Scarum, possibly to be confused with Helter Skelter. The Nigerian version of al-Qaeda and the Taliban rolled together and flavored with a smigeon of distinctly Subsaharan ignorance and brutality... The U.N. human rights ...which are often intentionally defined so widely as to be meaningless... office has in the past sounded the alarm over the impact of the conflict on civilians, who have fallen victim to abuses by both the hard boyz and the military.
Twenty North Korean defectors have recently arrived in Seoul after weeks under the protection of the South Korean Embassy in Laos.
They boarded in Vientiane and arrived safely, a diplomatic source said Monday. Once they have been questioned they will be resettled here.
Their safe arrival follows the high-profile repatriation from Laos to North Korea on May 27 of seven teenage defectors who had reportedly been coerced by North Korean agents while the South Korean Embassy twiddled its thumbs.
Following an outcry here, South Korea on June 4 moved 18 other defectors from a safe house in Vientiane to the embassy compound. It also sheltered two more defectors who arrived in Laos later. The group, which includes children, disabled people, cancer patients and the elderly, lived together in three rooms of a temporary building in the embassy compound. All are reportedly in good health.
Defectors are normally interviewed by Lao authorities to establish whether they want to go to South Korea, but until May 20 the 20 defectors had not been questioned, raising fears that the established escape route through Laos would be closed following the closure of a similar route through Vietnam. The worry was that the North Korean regime had in some way leaned on its fellow communist regime in the underdeveloped Southeast Asian country, which used to quietly let North Korean defectors go to South Korea.
Lawmaker Kim Jae-won of the ruling Saenuri Party later went to Laos to ask for cooperation.
In this case a bribe would be honorable...
The Foreign Ministry in Seoul declined to confirm whether the 20 have arrived.
As the famous American philosopher Wednesday Addams once said: wait...
The United States said North Korea's food shortages are limited to certain regions and do not constitute a food crisis.
Local media reports on Monday cited a paper by the U.S. Congressional Research Service earlier this month as showing that the lack of food could be termed chronic as of the middle of this year, but falls short of reaching the "crisis" level.
It added that while the U.S. is not considering providing food aid to the North at the present time, Seoul could bribe offer aid to help thaw long-frozen ties between the two Koreas.
That's a quaint way of offering a bribe...
The paper said the U.S. has provided over U.S.$13 billion in aid to North Korea since 1995.
[An Nahar] Dozens of Syrians gathered in the capital Damascus on Tuesday for a rare demonstration in support of Turkish protests against the government of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
"Erdogan leave," the demonstrators chanted, waving Syrian flags and pictures of Hereditary President-for-Life Bashir Pencilneck al-Assad Before going into the family business Pencilneck was an eye doctor. If he'd stuck with it he'd have had a good practice by now... in front of the Turkish embassy in Damascus.
The demonstration was a rare public protest in Syria, which has been roiled for more than two years now by a conflict that began with peaceful demonstrations calling for regime change.
Those demonstrations, which began in March 2011, were forcibly put down, with Syrian security forces firing on unarmed protesters.
But the protest movement in Turkey has been embraced by the Syrian regime, which has seen once-warm ties with Erdogan's government disintegrate over Ankara's support for the Syrian uprising.
"American military bases (in Turkey) are incapable of protecting that arrogant sultan," one demonstrator, Abdel Salam Harrash, told Syrian state television ... and if you can't believe state television who can you believe?.
The station described the demonstrations as "against Erdogan's policy, which is hostile to freedom and supports gunnies acting in Syria".
The Syrian government routinely describes all those involved in the anti-Assad uprising as "terrorists," and has strongly criticized Ankara for supporting the rebellion.
* DEFENCE.PK/FORUMS > AND NOW ITS BRAZIL ... | BRAZIL RIOTS: TENS OF THOUSANDS OF DEMOSTRATORS RUSH INTO CITY STREETS IN WIDESPREAD ANGER AGZ [Brasilia'] GOVT, as per having reliable basic services + costs of the World Cup.
Boston Marathon bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev, who was run over by his brother after a gunfight with police, was named as a victim of gun violence during an event held by Mayors Against Illegal Guns, the anti-gun violence group run by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
Tsarnaev's name was listed during one of the gun group's "No More Names" bus events in Concord, N.H., where it read the names of the people who have been killed in connection with gun violence, the New Hampshire Union Leader reported Tuesday.
"Some of the loudest shouts came when a reader spoke the name of Tamerlan Tsarnaev, one of the Boston Marathon bombing suspects who was killed by police during a gunfight," the Union Leader reported Tuesday.
Several protestors shouted, "He's a terrorist," according to the Union Leader.
Mayors Against Illegal Guns used a list compiled by Slate.com, titled "How Many People Have Been Killed by Guns Since Newtown?" Bloomberg's gun group called the inclusion of Tsarnaev in its list of gun violence victims a mistake and apologized for the error.
So how many others were 'accidentally' included when they control c control p latte sip?
Either they obviously do not care about the names on the list, just reading with the passion of narrating the phone book, padding the stats with murderers killed in the act of murdering, or they left him there on purpose. Which is it?
Jahwn Kerry: second smartest man in a room when it's him and a chair. Perhaps next time he'll ask his lucky hat...
Twenty years ago, in a debate over the war in Bosnia, Madeleine Albright, then the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, issued a challenge to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Colin Powell. Albright wanted the U.S. to confront an aggressive Serbia; Powell and the Pentagon were hesitant. Albright grew frustrated: "What's the point of having this superb military that you're always talking about if we can't use it?" Albright asked. Powell later said that he thought Albright was going to give him an aneurysm.
Flash-forward to this past Wednesday. At a principals meeting in the White House situation room, Secretary of State John Kerry began arguing, vociferously, for immediate U.S. airstrikes against airfields under the control of Bashar al-Assad's Syrian regime -- specifically, those fields it has used to launch chemical weapons raids against rebel forces.
It was at this point that the current chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the usually mild-mannered Army General Martin Dempsey, spoke up, loudly. According to several sources, Dempsey threw a series of brushback pitches at Kerry, demanding to know just exactly what the post-strike plan would be and pointing out that the State Department didn't fully grasp the complexity of such an operation.
Dempsey informed Kerry that the Air Force could not simply drop a few bombs, or fire a few missiles, at targets inside Syria: To be safe, the U.S. would have to neutralize Syria's integrated air-defense system, an operation that would require 700 or more sorties. At a time when the U.S. military is exhausted, and when sequestration is ripping into the Pentagon budget, Dempsey is said to have argued that a demand by the State Department for precipitous military action in a murky civil war wasn't welcome.
Posted by: Frank G ||
I guess we could just attack from the jungle, they would never expect that.
I like it! Even this plan will require planning, we're going to need rain, lots of rain and time, I figure if we can get 120 inches/yr and the warming holds in 40 yrs or so we ought to have enough cover to launch our little surprise, they won't know what hit 'em.
And how much money has been blown, since the official conclusion was announced, on installing inert gas systems in aircraft fuel tanks? This will turn into another "Who shot JFK?" episode as the years go by with no conclusive answer.
Posted by: Redneck Jim ||
Based on open source information, there were no known MANPADS with the capabilty to reach TWA 800 at the 15-16,000 it was reported to be at when it exploded. Additionally MANPADS are heat seekers so they would likely have impacted in one of the engines and they do not have warheads large enough to cause the plane to explode in the manner it did.
NTSB says initiating event was 13,800 altitude and the Stinger, fielded in 1974 has this performance data according to the FAS:
The Stinger is similar in capabilities to the Russian Igla series. More recent versions are equipped with a cooled two-color, infrared-ultraviolet detector that discriminates between flares and the target. Stingers are able to effectively engage targets head-on, from behind and from the side. The missile's maximum range is 4800 meters......
Maximum range does not equal maximum altitude. Per http://www.fas.org/man/dod-101/sys/land/stinger.htm the maximum altitude of a Stinger is 10,000 feet
(and I made the above post about MANPADS, forgot to use my screenname)
Senators on Tuesday rejected building the 700 miles of double-tier border fencing Congress authorized just seven years ago, with a majority of the Senate saying they didn't want to delay granting illegal immigrants legal status while the fence was being built.
The 54-39 vote to reject the fence shows the core of the immigration deal is holding. The vote broke mostly along party lines, though five Republicans, including Sen. Marco Rubio and the rest of the bill's authors, voted against the fence, and two Democrats voted for it.
McCain voted against, but in 2008 he called for the fence to be completed as he campaigned for the Presidency...
Republicans had offered the fence as a way to build the confidence of voters skeptical that the government will enforce its laws, but opponents said building more fencing is costly, would take too long, and shouldn't be dictated by Washington.
"I think we should leave that to the best judgment of the Border Patrol," said Sen. John McCain, one of the eight senators who wrote the immigration bill.
Unless they want it...
Sen. John Thune, South Dakota Republican, proposed the border fence amendment, which would have prevented the administration from granting any illegal immigrants legal status under the bill until at least 350 miles of double-tier fencing has been erected, and would withhold full citizenship rights until 700 total miles have been built.
What this says is that the Democrats have won the debate in the Senate. For whatever reason, there will be no delays in legalizing the eleven million plus illegal immigrants in our country and no checks on millions more coming in.
Minutes after the border fence, senators also voted to weaken current law that requires the government to have biometric checks such as fingerprints or eye-scans for every visitor to the U.S. -- a recommendation of the 9/11 commission that looked into the terrorist attacks on Washington and New York.
So they're truly for open borders, security be damned...
Senators said it is too expensive to check fingerprints at all air, land and sea ports of entry.
What have we been spending $3 trillion a year plus on then?
Instead, the bill calls for photographic checks at air and sea ports, but excludes land ports.
"When is our federal government going to keep its promises when it comes to the issue of border security?" said Mr. Thune, the sponsor of the fence proposal.
Mr. Rubio said he supports building a border fence, and pointed to $1.5 billion included in his bill for more infrastructure, which he said will go to a fence plan. Mr. Rubio said Mr. Thune's amendment didn't lay out the details for "a specific border plan."
Rubio doesn't have a plan, either, and he doesn't have any threshold for a border fence. He's for open borders even as he says he isn't.
"Therefore, I will oppose his amendment and instead continue to work with my Republican colleagues to arrive at a new measure that improves on the significant border security measures already in the bill," the Florida Republican siad.
One that says nothing but lets him campaign for the Presidency...
The border now has 651 miles of barriers, but only 36 miles are at least double-tier fencing. Another 316 miles are single-tier pedestrian fencing, and the rest -- 299 miles -- are vehicle barriers that still allow wildlife, and people, to cross.
By most accounts, 11.0Milyuhn illegals is conservative + subjective estimate, wid the actual number likely to be times higher.
* IIRC STARS-N-STRIPES > US SENATORS: IMMIGRATION REFORM BILL KEY FOR GOP IN 2016.
* RELATED CNN > BOEHNER: NO WAY TO GET IMMIGRATION BILL TO HOUSE FLOOR WIDOUT MAJORITY GOP SUPPORT.
* NATIONAL PUBLIC RADIO > CBO: 8.0MILYUHN TO GAIN LEGAL STATUS IN BUDGET BILL.
Most of the above illegals are more likely than not to vote Democrat anyway, so IMO the GOP-Right gains little or nothing by voting "safe" wid the Democrats as opposed to a dedicated Conservative platform.
The Democrats or DemoLeft are out to ensure the GOP is destroyed as a political force + movement in "Globalist" OWG Amerika + Washington 2020-2025.
I left a rather caustic email at Rubio's site, telling him that his traitorous participation as McCain's and Schumer boy has made him unfit for national office...well, I said more than that, but this is a family site
Posted by: Frank G ||
Talk about your meteoric career path... I don't know WTF he was thinking.
[Tolo News] Pakistain's Foreign Affairs Ministry on Tuesday issued a statement and raised its concerns over Afghanistan's Caped PresidentHamid 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... 's recent remarks against one of the Pak state institutions.
In an interview with Pak private TV channel Geo, President Karzai said that the military and intelligence agency of Pakistain are adopting krazed killer methods based on religion to destabilise Afghanistan.
President Karzai said, "I have no complaints against the people of Pakistain because they shared their home and food with Afghans during the 'Jehad' years but we seriously have issues with the military and intelligence agency of Pakistain because they are using krazed killer methods based on religion to destabilize Afghanistan."
"The use of extremism as a tool against Afghanistan will one day put Pakistain itself into trouble," Karzai's office said in a statement on Sunday.
President Karzai said that the military apparatus of Pakistain and its intelligence agency has been always misusing the Afghan good-will to make Afghanistan's government work as their puppet and surrender to the evil will of that country (Pakistain).
The statement released by Pakistain's Foreign Affairs Ministry said, "The Government of Pakistain has noted with concern a recent remark by President Hamid Karzai against one of the Pakistain state institutions. In an interview to a local channel, the President has attempted to create an impression as if some institutions of Pakistain are not fully supporting the objectives of bringing peace to Afghanistan."
The statement further added, "The Government of Pakistain and all its institutions have unanimity of views on issues of national security and foreign policy. In this context, promoting peace and stability to Afghanistan is an important pillar of Pakistain's foreign policy which is supported by all state institutions. However, nothing needs reforming like other people's bad habits... the success of this policy requires reciprocal action and good will on the part of Afghan government."
"It is in our common interest to jointly address the common challenges of terrorism and extremism being faced by our region. The newly elected leadership of Pakistain has reiterated its resolve to fully support an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned grinding of the peace processor. Pakistain will continue to support reconciliation efforts in Afghanistan in all its earnest for achieving durable peace, stability and development in our region," the statement said.
[Pak Daily Times] Pakistain has told the UN Security Council that use of armed drones violates illusory sovereignty, causes civilian casualties, and puts communities at risk of reprisal attacks.
"Drone strikes radicalise disaffected communities and increase the number of terrorists. Urgent and intense negotiations are needed to address the issue of armed drones".
Pakistain's concern over drone attacks was highlighted at the United Nation's Security Council by Ambassador Masood Khan here on Monday while speaking at the Security Council debate on 'Children in Armed Conflict'.
We know that millions of children are trapped in wars and conflicts, he said, adding, they are killed, maimed, raped, and subjected to sexual violence. They are recruited, kidnapped and tossed in the slammer ... anything you say can and will be used against you, whether you say it or not... ; and are coerced into becoming part of armed conflicts.
Noting some progress in slowing down this scourage, especially in developing norms and standards, Ambassador Khan said much more needed to be done to ensure compliance, fight impunity and protect children's rights in the face of new risks because of the evolving nature of the conflict.
He also referred to the deployment of children as jacket wallahs and human shields, and said that schools continue to be attacked, particularly affecting girls' education. Persistent perpetrators of violence against children must be brought to justice through national judicial systems and where applicable through the use of international justice mechanisms, the Pak envoy told the 15-member Council.
He called for strengthening of the mandate of children and armed conflict, including its reporting and monitoring procedures. The focus, he said, should continue to be on situations of armed conflict and those threatening global peace and security.
Khan also called for efforts to ensure information collected through monitoring and reporting mechanism was accurate and verifiable. The Council should finalise objective, balanced listing and delisting criteria.
The terms "armed attacks" and "gangs" should be replaced with "terrorist attacks" and "terrorist groups" in cases where a clear determination had been made that the attacks were launched by terrorist groups.
[Pak Daily Times] The Supreme Court has been moved on Tuesday to stop the drone attacks in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA).
Moving the petition in person under Article 184(3) of the constitution, Mando Jan, a resident of South Wazoo, has claimed that this is the first ever petition in the SC on drone attacks, filed by a son of the soil. The petitioner made secretaries of interior, foreign affairs, defence and information ministries and United States Ambassador to Pakistain as respondents in his petition.
The petitioner told Daily Times that though the SC's institution branch raised objection to the inclusion of US Ambassador to Pakistain as respondent but he removed this objection by excluding his name in the petition.
Meanwhile, ...back at the bunker, his Excellency called a hurried meeting of his closest advisors. It was to be his last. They discussed the officers's efficiency rating system... it has been learnt that Wukala Mahaz (lawyers front) had also filed a petition against drone strikes two years ago as Dr Abdul Basit, counsel for the applicant said the SC had fixed that petition twice but could not be taken up due to time constraints. He also urged the court to hear petitions against drone strikes.
Mando Jan submitted in his petition that according to the report, based on physical verification, submitted by the political authorities of North Waziristan Agency, 896 Pak non-combatants were killed during the last five years till December 2012 adding that in these drone attacks only 47 foreigners were killed and 6 were maimed.
The petitioner complained that unfortunately, none of the civil society, NGOs, media and even superior judiciary of Pakistain had taken serious notice of brutal killings through drone strikes. He contended that killing and causing serious bodily and mental harm to inhabitants of Pakistain and failure to protect their lives and systematically causing the denial of their right of life and liberty tantamount practically in derogation of their right guaranteed to them by Article 4, 9 and 14 of the constitution.
The petitioner also stated that American drone attacks with or without the consent of respondents against the citizens was in derogation of Article 245 of the constitution, adding that the constitution does not permit foreign forces to attack the civilians and take their lives with or without the consent of civil or military power.
Referring to the Geneva Convention of 1949, he also contended that external aggression committed by USA through drone strikes was tantamount to crime of murder under the law of the land and crime of genocide and apartheid under the international law.
"The people of Pakistain had expressed happiness over the successful experiment of Air Defence Unit of the Pak Army. Brig (Retd) Masood had also said Pakistain has capability of downing drones but the government does not want to spoil relations with USA. In such circumstances, the respondent No1 is, duty bound to take the issue of drone attacks to the United Nations ...a lucrative dumping ground for the relatives of dictators and party hacks... Security Council to immediately stop the drone attacks", he added.
Mando Jan said that the SC being obliged under the constitution and its code of conduct to protect defend and preserve the constitution might issue the notice to the respondents to file a comprehensive report about the number of drone strikes done so far and the law under which such strikes were being done.
"It is believed that merely by a simple notice, the drone strikes would be stopped as the US government is vigilant and respectful to the judiciary", he added. The petitioner requested the SC to direct respondents to stop the drone attacks causing deaths of innocent people of FATA.
The terrorists want those drone attacks stopped real bad. Because it's the only attacks against them that really work and could come against them at any time.
I say double or triple said attacks. make them scared to try and plant even 1 IED or attack even one NATO installation.
[An Nahar] Jordan's King Abdullah II has endorsed a treaty with Britannia expected to pave the way for the extradition of radical holy man Abu Qatada who has resisted deportation for the past decade, official Petra news agency reported Tuesday.
Petra said the king issued a royal decree "endorsing the Treaty on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters between Jordan and the United Kingdom of Great Britannia and Northern Ireland".
The king's decision comes a week after parliament approved the treaty. But the vote needed King Abdullah's approval to become law.
Britannia expects the treaty to be ratified by June 21.
Deputy House Speaker Khalil Attieh told Agence La Belle France Presse last week that the text of the treaty approved by parliament "does not specifically mention Abu Qatada but it includes him and others".
Abu Qatada is wanted in Jordan where he was convicted in his absence of terror charges.
A Spanish judge once branded Abu Qatada the right-hand man in Europe of the late Osama bin Laden ... who is no longer with us, and won't be again... , although Abu Qatada denies ever having met the late al-Qaeda leader.
The Jordanian terror suspect has been in and out of British prisons since 2002 as he fights successive government attempts to deport him to the tiny desert kingdom.
The 52-year-old holy man, who has been resident in Britannia since claiming asylum in 1993, is likely to face a retrial if he is returned to Jordan.
[Pak Daily Times] As the hot weather arrives in Gaza, teenagers head to the town of Rafah for summer camp -- not to play sports but to join war games organised by radical Palestinian group Islamic Jihad.
Abu Khaled insists it is like any other "youth camp, (but) includes combat training."
Youngsters wearing military fatigues and the movement's black insignia capture a fellow camper posing as an Israeli soldier and drag him away -- all part of being trained to "resist" the enemy.
Around 100 children under the age of 16 learn from members of Islamic Jihad's armed wing al Quds Brigades how to strip down an AK-47 assault rifle, crawl through tunnels and run across burning tyres amid the sound of explosions on their assault course.
"When I'm older I want to fight in al Quds Brigades and capture Israeli troops," said 12-year-old Ezz, who was this time playing the role of the unfortunate enemy soldier taken from his position atop a scorching sand dune.
Ezz is a pupil at a school in the Gaza Strip run by the UN's Palestinian refugee agency UNRWA.
Fellow camper Osama, holding a rifle, explains: "We learn to fight so that we're ready for our resistance against the Zionist enemy (Israel) who occupies our land and kills us."
The head military trainer at the camp, Abu Khaled, insists it is like any other "youth camp, (but) includes combat training."
[An Nahar] A delegation from the March 14 alliance on Tuesday handed President Michel Suleiman ...before assuming office as President, he held the position of commander of the Leb Armed Forces. That was after the previous commander, the loathesome Emile Lahoud, took office as president in November of 1998. Likely the next president of Leb will be whoever's commander of the armed forces, too... a memo that calls for Hizbullah's "immediate" pullout from Syria and the deployment of the Lebanese army along the border with the war-torn country.
The delegation to Baabda Palace was headed by al-Mustaqbal ... the Future Movement, political party led by Saad Hariri... bloc leader MP Fouad Saniora, who later held a presser at the parliament along with several March 14 MPs to reveal the details of the memo, its second to Suleiman in nine months.
Around 50 signatories called for "Hizbullah's full and immediate withdrawal from Syria pending a solution to the problem of its arms."
[An Nahar] Lebanese Democratic Party leader MP Talal Arslan considered on Tuesday that accusing Hizbullah of of inciting sedition in Leb "is unjust and an infringement on the deaders' blood."
"Accusing Hizbullah's resistance of inciting strife in the country is unfair and an infringement on every honorable countryman and on the blood shed by the deaders," Arslan said in a statement.
He stressed: "Stop the distortion, the lies and the offenses."
"We understand that not everyone agrees with some or most of the resistance's ideas in Leb. But we do not understand how a group can resort to manipulating facts and distorting the truth in such an unacceptable manner that does not serve Leb's interests."
Arslan expressed: "We are at a stage when there are no morals in political relations. The political speech has tanked."
"This indicates that some factions want to link the situation in Leb to regional and foreign interests, no matter what was the price," he noted.
A delegation from the March 14 alliance on Tuesday handed President Michel Suleiman ...before assuming office as President, he held the position of commander of the Leb Armed Forces. That was after the previous commander, the loathesome Emile Lahoud, took office as president in November of 1998. Likely the next president of Leb will be whoever's commander of the armed forces, too... a memo that calls for Hizbullah's "immediate" pullout from Syria and the deployment of the Lebanese army along the border with the war-torn country.
The signatories claimed that the party's role in the fighting is a clear violation of the Constitution, the illusory sovereignty of the Lebanese state and international resolutions.
[An Nahar] Quitting power while his government battles a countrywide uprising would be a "national betrayal," Syria's Hereditary President-for-Life Bashir Pencilneck al-Assad Before going into the family business Pencilneck was an eye doctor. If he'd stuck with it he'd have had a good practice by now... has told a German newspaper in an interview.
"If I decided to leave office under these circumstances, it would be national betrayal. But it's another question if that's what the people want," he told Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.
"Elections or a referendum are the way to know if the people want you to quit your post," said Assad.
His remarks were published in full on state news agency SANA a day after the German daily published extracts from the interview.
Assad's departure has been a key demand since the early days of the uprising that began in March 2011 with peaceful demonstrations, before devolving into a brutal armed conflict.
The violence has killed more than 93,000 people, according to the United Nations ...the Oyster Bay money pit... , but Assad has repeatedly insisted he will not step down and will be in office at least until the 2014 presidential election.
"The presidential mandate finishes in 2014. (We're) in a time of crisis... and it is normal not to leave the country," Assad said.
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.