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Archive for July, 2012

Rare video of Dr. Aafia Siddiqi (1991-Houston)

Below is a rare video of Dr. Aafia Siddiqi, recorded in 1991 in Houston.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Skmj16h40wE

Lady of this physique is facing 86 years sentence in USA jail for snatching gun from more than one USA marine soldiers during her arrest in Afghanistan. In the process she left no finger print on the gun (as accepted by FBI official) and got shot herself.

The main allegations on her for which she was abducted (or at least CIA/ISI/FBI spread these allegations through their pets in media) were never presented in the court as they didn’t have presentable evidence. These allegations were:

1- Links with Al-Qaida
2-Invovlvement in activities like Blood Diamonds

After looking at Brian Banks case, one can easily see how much jury can be influenced by alien appearance of the person presented in front of them. Even for many Pakistani pseudo liberals or social class fascists, her head scarf and affection with religion are enough to declare her terrorist.

In Brian Banks story, he was made to go for no-contest in an allegation of rape to face less sentence as opposed to 41 years imprisonment. According to recent evidence he didn’t commit the rape. He  had to go for no-contest because his lawyer suggested that if he goes for contesting the case, the jury will see him as a big black guy and will be automatically considered as guilty.

 

For Brian Banks story, visit the link below :

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-18266118

 

 

 

Sheikh Mujeeb ki Na mukammil Yaddashtain–> A good column by Hamid Mir in Jang

July 30, 2012 1 comment

A good article by hamid mir on Sheikh Mujib ur Rahman, Pakistan and Bangladesh.

Source : http://e.jang.com.pk/pic.asp?npic=07-30-2012%2FLahore%2Fimages%2F06_04.gif

Another pseudo liberal method: Using sectarian violence in Pakistan issue to downplay Syrian and Burma situation.

Another pseudo liberal method: Using sectarian violence in Pakistan issue to downplay Syrian and Burma situation.
My view : Sectarian violence is a result of unjust policies and war crimes committed by sectarian and social class fascists sitting in so called Pak army and government. People who oppose this war, which has been given sectarian and social-class clash direction, are opposing this war do it for many reasons and one of the main reasons is that this war is promoting sectarian violence.

The people who use sectarian violence issue to undermine Syrian and Burma situation are mostly those who support this fake war on terror. In other words those who oppose this war on terror, Bashar al Assad in Syria and Burma Muslim massacre are those who oppose killings of innocent people whether in drones, military operations or resulting violence/suicide attacks. This policy of only opposing resulting violence and not drones/military operations/Burma killings/Bashar al Assad violence shows that these sectarian and social-class fascists don’t consider others as human beings and only support the human rights of those who they think are humans based on their sectarian and social-class prejudices.

 

Aafia Siddiqui Issue–>Shameful attempt by some anchors to give it another twist using the same old nationality rant

July 29, 2012 2 comments

Recently some anchors, including reputed anchor like Kamran Khan (Aaj Kamran Khan Kay Sath host) and not so reputed anchor Sana Bucha (Lekin host), have tried to show that Aafia Siddiqui is an American national or she is a dual national. Aafia’s family has repeatedly denied these allegations. It was also interesting to see that how an international lawyer like Ahmer Bilal Sufi (also affiliated with PILDAT) didn’t discuss the real aspect of the case i.e. her abduction and reasons behind her abduction.

My views on this issue are that dual national or not, the reality is that she was illegally abducted from Pakistani soil and she was a daughter of a Pakistani family. This is a ridiculous argument again trying to cash in false nationalism over single nationality or dual nationality which is not proved and most importantly was never contested in USA court in fake Afia trial. They also didn’t discuss the main accusation on the media on her i.e. her links with Al-Qaida as they didn’t have enough grounds for that. Shame on these social class fascists.

How can you allow someone to be abducted without due process if that person (national or not) has entered legally in Pakistan? The case on her was prosecuted for a stupid charge that she snatched gun from USA marines and then in the process got shot herself. No finger prints were there on the gun as was admitted by US official who gave the testimony in the case.

Apparently the momentum is being created to make a ground for the release of Dr. Shakeel afridi.

It is really shameful how things are being presented in the media. Either it is an act or irresponsibility and lack of prudence or lack of honesty, in both cases media organizations should see the professionalism standard of their anchors and opinion makers. Civil society should raise the issue on any forum.

Read also:

https://united4justice.wordpress.com/2010/09/24/aafias-sentencing-a-question-mark-over-usa-justice-system-shame-for-pakistan-army-and-government/

https://united4justice.wordpress.com/2010/02/05/aafia-siddiqui-indictment/

 

 

 

 

 

New NADRA Smart ID cards:Another way to invade privacy

July 22, 2012 4 comments

I have just read a news on NADRA’s plan to launch smart NIC card. They are starting it with overseas Pakistanis which will eventually be enforced on locals as well.

http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-2-120967-Nadra-introduces-smart-ID-cards-for-overseas-Pakistanis

http://www.onepakistan.com/finance/news/general/10139-nadra-set-to-launch-new-smart-nic-for-overseas-pakistanis-in-europe.html

I feel this will be a real big attack on privacy and they will use it for tracking/monitoring people they want to monitor. This will be bad news for honest journalists, judges and any other person who doesn’t want to give up his/her freedom. They will share the information with their foreign masters like they already do for many other things.

Please consult with some honest person who is an expert in the area (and also not a puppet of security agencies) and start an awareness campaign through media on this issue. Its not necessary to accept any thing in the name of technology. Privacy is a right given to us by our religion and constitution and we shouldn’t give it up so easily in the name of welfare services, security or whatever fancy terms governments use to enslave their population.

Also if you link it with the fact that people like Rehman Malik run private security and intelligence firms overseas then things will look worse.

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Nadra introduces smart ID cards for overseas Pakistanis — The News

by Murtaza Ali Shah

Source : http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-2-120967-Nadra-introduces-smart-ID-cards-for-overseas-Pakistanis

LONDON: The official launch of the National Database and Registration Authority’s new ID Card — the Smart National Identity Card for Overseas Pakistanis (Nicop) — descended into a complete ruckus on Sunday night as Pakistani journalists and community leaders walked out of the launch ceremony.

Tariq Malik, Nadra’s new Director General, Pakistan’s High Commissioner to the UK Wajid Shamsul Hasan and various senior Nadra officials from Pakistan and Europe were present for the launch, dinner and musical evening which was attended by over 200 invited guests.

Tariq Malik, Nadra’s new Director General who took charge a couple of days ago, told the gathering that the Smart card is a 3rd Generation chip-based identity document that is built according to international standards, has over 36 physical security features that uses latest encryption codes making it the safest card in the world.

He informed the audience that Nadra plans to open its public facilitation centres in London, Birmingham, Manchester, Bradford and Glasgow and later will expand into the rest of Europe. But ugly scenes erupted when Nadra officials refused to take questions from media and community leaders about various aspects of the new scheme and made it to the dinner hall, where singer Raheem Shah performed with a live band.

Journalists protested that there were too many controversial and critical issues surrounding the launch of the new scheme and it was important to ask searching questions and that Nadra officials must address the anxiety of the community as they had deep-rooted security concerns about their personal details being manipulated and fiddled with.

It was then agreed that Tariq Malik will answer questions of journalists after the dinner. The new Nadra DG gave an assured performance before the journalists and did his best to provide satisfactory answers but he admitted that there were some areas about the bidding process and the takeover by the UK based company in which he had no involvement and decisions were made at the top. But he assured that stringent action will be taken against the partners if they failed to meet the strict criteria set by the Nadra, failing which their contract will be terminated after a year.

It also became clear during the launch that the company that International Identity Services (UK) Limited (“IIS”) made responsible to assist Nadra actually belongs to the son of Mian Afzal Khalid, a veteran Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) leader in the UK who is also Chairman of PPP’s Federal Council (UK).

It was not immediately clear how, of all the people and companies, the contract went into the hands of a diehard PPP leader. Mian Khalid, who was present at the launch along with other PPP leaders, told The News that he had nothing to do with his son’s business. “Politics has played no part and my son has secured the contract on the basis of merit,” he said.

Tariq Malik said that Smart Nicop will provide 2.5 million overseas Pakistanis in Europe with priority travel, banking facilities and increased security as well as the existing visa-free entry to Pakistan.

He said Nadra’s top concern remained protecting public information and no one other than a select number of Nadra staff will be allowed access to the data of citizens.After The News highlighted the issue of the Nadra contract for issuance of the Nicop cards, Nadra was at pains to point out that IIS has been awarded the contract to provide marketing and support facilities for the centres, with all processing for the Smart Nicop being carried out by Nadra, with approximately 500,000 Pakistani holders of the existing card in Europe will eventually need to upgrade.

But it was not clear immediately whether the community will happily pay more than three times the amount it is currently paying for the same services. Pakistanis in Europe have felt the fee was raised without consulting them in times of austerity when economic conditions in Western Europe have made Pakistanis amongst the worst hit migrant groups.

Both Nadra and IIS said that the decision to make IIS a partner was followed by a public tender “under internationally recognised procedures and was made after extensive consultation with key stakeholders” but the latest discovery of a senior PPP leader’s involvement in the scheme will raise further questions about the whole tender and bidding process, therefore the questions around the whole scheme are unlikely to go away.

Tahir Khalid, head of operations for IIS said in a statement: “The new Nicop card is a milestone for Pakistan. The launch has been a carefully considered journey for IIS and Nadra, which was necessary given the highly sensitive nature of this product. IIS has worked to meet all the demands of Nadra without compromising data security and we are looking forward to promoting the benefits of Smart Nicop to local Pakistani communities.”

Murtaza Ali Shah
Tuesday, July 17, 2012
From Print Edition
 154  18  3  5

LONDON: The official launch of the National Database and Registration Authority’s new ID Card — the Smart National Identity Card for Overseas Pakistanis (Nicop) — descended into a complete ruckus on Sunday night as Pakistani journalists and community leaders walked out of the launch ceremony.

Tariq Malik, Nadra’s new Director General, Pakistan’s High Commissioner to the UK Wajid Shamsul Hasan and various senior Nadra officials from Pakistan and Europe were present for the launch, dinner and musical evening which was attended by over 200 invited guests.

Tariq Malik, Nadra’s new Director General who took charge a couple of days ago, told the gathering that the Smart card is a 3rd Generation chip-based identity document that is built according to international standards, has over 36 physical security features that uses latest encryption codes making it the safest card in the world.

He informed the audience that Nadra plans to open its public facilitation centres in London, Birmingham, Manchester, Bradford and Glasgow and later will expand into the rest of Europe. But ugly scenes erupted when Nadra officials refused to take questions from media and community leaders about various aspects of the new scheme and made it to the dinner hall, where singer Raheem Shah performed with a live band.

Journalists protested that there were too many controversial and critical issues surrounding the launch of the new scheme and it was important to ask searching questions and that Nadra officials must address the anxiety of the community as they had deep-rooted security concerns about their personal details being manipulated and fiddled with.

It was then agreed that Tariq Malik will answer questions of journalists after the dinner. The new Nadra DG gave an assured performance before the journalists and did his best to provide satisfactory answers but he admitted that there were some areas about the bidding process and the takeover by the UK based company in which he had no involvement and decisions were made at the top. But he assured that stringent action will be taken against the partners if they failed to meet the strict criteria set by the Nadra, failing which their contract will be terminated after a year.

It also became clear during the launch that the company that International Identity Services (UK) Limited (“IIS”) made responsible to assist Nadra actually belongs to the son of Mian Afzal Khalid, a veteran Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) leader in the UK who is also Chairman of PPP’s Federal Council (UK).

It was not immediately clear how, of all the people and companies, the contract went into the hands of a diehard PPP leader. Mian Khalid, who was present at the launch along with other PPP leaders, told The News that he had nothing to do with his son’s business. “Politics has played no part and my son has secured the contract on the basis of merit,” he said.

Tariq Malik said that Smart Nicop will provide 2.5 million overseas Pakistanis in Europe with priority travel, banking facilities and increased security as well as the existing visa-free entry to Pakistan.

He said Nadra’s top concern remained protecting public information and no one other than a select number of Nadra staff will be allowed access to the data of citizens.After The News highlighted the issue of the Nadra contract for issuance of the Nicop cards, Nadra was at pains to point out that IIS has been awarded the contract to provide marketing and support facilities for the centres, with all processing for the Smart Nicop being carried out by Nadra, with approximately 500,000 Pakistani holders of the existing card in Europe will eventually need to upgrade.

But it was not clear immediately whether the community will happily pay more than three times the amount it is currently paying for the same services. Pakistanis in Europe have felt the fee was raised without consulting them in times of austerity when economic conditions in Western Europe have made Pakistanis amongst the worst hit migrant groups.

Both Nadra and IIS said that the decision to make IIS a partner was followed by a public tender “under internationally recognised procedures and was made after extensive consultation with key stakeholders” but the latest discovery of a senior PPP leader’s involvement in the scheme will raise further questions about the whole tender and bidding process, therefore the questions around the whole scheme are unlikely to go away.

Tahir Khalid, head of operations for IIS said in a statement: “The new Nicop card is a milestone for Pakistan. The launch has been a carefully considered journey for IIS and Nadra, which was necessary given the highly sensitive nature of this product. IIS has worked to meet all the demands of Nadra without compromising data security and we are looking forward to promoting the benefits of Smart Nicop to local Pakistani communities.”

Burmese Muslims under threat of extinction–> A thought proviking article by Tariq A. Al-Maeena of Saudi Gazette

We have been hearing some news about the massacre of Muslim minority community going on Burma but due to restrictions on media, not much is coming out. There have been some fake images circulating in the social media but that doesn’t make the real issue fake. Tariq A. Al-Maeena has tried to put some light in his article written for Saudi Gazette.

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Burmese Muslims under threat of extinction

Source : www.saudigazette.com.sa/index.cfm?method=home.regcon&contentid=20120718130312

Tariq A. Al-Maeena

While most of the media’s attention is focused on Syria, the state of the euro or the US presidential elections, very little is being said about state sponsored ethnic cleansing in Myanmar or Burma.  Perhaps it is because the unfortunate victims happen to be Muslims and there are no strategic gains to be garnered by allying with them.

Ten Burmese Muslims on their way to a spiritual place of worship last month were attacked by a large number of Rakhine Buddhists who butchered and killed them with knives.  Five others escaped.  One man from the village where the attack took place said a mob of ethnic Rakhines set upon the bus carrying the pilgrims and carried out the massacre.

“More than a hundred people beat and killed those people. The residents even torched the bus,” he said, adding that the police arrived but were unable to control the baying crowd. “There are not many people at the scene now, only dead bodies on the road. The senior town residents are trying to comfort the people,” the man added.  The Rakhine Buddhists are also threatening Muslims from the other towns of Rakhine state with the same fate.

There was a lot of fanfare and noise by the West on the repressions by the military regime against its people.  The pressure by Western governments intensified in the form of sanctions against the regime which resulted in the generals allowing a small amount of democracy to creep in.

This also brought notable Burmese activists working for democracy such as Aung San Suu Kyi to the front pages and television screens and calls for the continued democratization of the country.  Amidst this fanfare of publicity, the plight of the minority Muslims somehow failed to attract any headlines or generate any sanctions.

A government statement following the massacre of the Muslims last month which was published in the New Light of Myanmar added more fuel to the burning embers when it warned against “anarchic and lawless” acts, but referred to the victims as “kalar” (blackie), a racial slur used for persons of Indian appearance.

Dozens of people marched in Yangon to protest growing anti-Muslim violence and accused the government of stoking the flames of sectarian tensions. Political leaders and civil society groups appealed for calm and called on the government to issue an apology.

“The newspapers should not stoke this conflict. Are they trying to suggest that one race is more violent than another?” said an MP from the Rakhine Nationalities Development Party.  The state media has since issued a retraction for the use of racially offensive language in its official appeal for calm and urged readers to refer to the victims as “Islamic residents”.

In the past, the Nobel Prize winner and democratic icon Aung San Suu Kyi and her National League for Democracy have gone to great lengths to avoid discussing the country’s Muslim minority, especially the Rohingyas, for fear of alienating many of their supporters. But following the brutal slayings, which was one more chapter of targeted violence against the Muslim minority, she was compelled to speak out.

Finally breaking her silence, she joined the fray in the debate by calling for the perpetrators to be held to account in accordance with the rule of law. She added that “the majority of the people in a society should have sympathy for the minority.”

“Maybe some people would not like me saying this but I have to say what I must say regardless of whether they like it or not. When you are the majority in a society, then you are the strong party. If you are strong then you must be generous and sympathetic. I would like to see all people in Burma get along with each other regardless of their religion and ethnicity.”

This pattern of violence against the Muslim minority should be brought to light.  The safety and security of all minorities in any society must be guaranteed.

World governments and international human rights organizations that were so focused on the democratization of the Burmese in the past must now focus their attention on saving one of the country’s minorities in the present.

— The author can be reached at talmaeena@aol.com

We must come out of this war to control sectarian violence

The biggest contributors to the current sectarian violence mess from public and media side are those who forwarded ISI’s agenda of exploiting sufi/salafi, shia/sunni differences to bring war theater in Pakistan and justify invasion of FATA. For me unrelated or innocent people dying in military operations or resulting sectarianism are same and I condemn both. But my focus is more on the root cause which is this war and military operations. Now the policies are giving their fruits and people are whining over the results. Mentality like this from the decision makers to jump into the war and settle sectarian/social class scores with tribal and other area populations has brought us into the point that much of the war theater has moved from Afghanistan to Pakistan. Even current Zardari govt. through their scumbags like Faisal Reza Abidi or LUBP type cheap blogs are playing the same dirty sectarian games.

The problem with these scumbags and the likes sitting in the top decision making posts of Army and government is that their decision making bring those to firing lines who are not decision makers or hate mongers themselves but had few commonalities with them, which is a wrong thing in itself as you cannot put decision makers and those who are just supporters due to some prejudices or don’t support the wrong decisions but have some commonalities in beliefs or social classes in the same category. I have seen this type of bull shit on Karachi’s walls saying Mullah Umar ki aankh dajjal ki aankh hai or saying this war is against Yazeedis. Come on guys come out of these 1400 years old vague desert stories for which not much credible account is available or at least don’t mix it with decisions for today’s world.

People should know that if they support wrong principles then it will be just a matter of time when they will hurt them too. Way out of this mess is to come out of this war.

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