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Holi celebrations in Berlin See page 25 >>
Holi celebrations in
Berlin
See page 25 >>

South Asia

Tribune

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Year 2

Issue 03

Thursday, 02.08.12

www.satribune.co.uk

British Muslims Fighting in Syria “Fighters for Islamic law, the Shari’a, Syria force.” Are they
British Muslims
Fighting in Syria
“Fighters for Islamic law, the Shari’a,
Syria force.” Are they shria4uk Militants?
The British government has
launched a probe after the
revelation that Radical Islamists
with “British accents” are among
the coalition forces and some
British Muslims of Pakistani origin
have joined extremist groups in
Syria to overthrow the regime of
President Bashar al Assad.
British journalist John Cantlie and Jeroen
Oerlemans, who were captured and held
for a week at an extremist training camp in
northwestern Syria, revealed the extremists
were British with “Birmingham and South
London accents”, reports the Daily Times.
The accounts by two Western journalists
released from captivity in a jihadist camp in
northern Syria last week tally with numerous
other sources in the area, describing a
new wave of young jihadists, including
British men with London and Birmingham
accents, crossing the Turkish border to
fight the regime in Syria, often at odds with
indigenous Syrian rebels.
British photographer John Cantlie and a
Dutch national, Jeroen Oerlemans, were freed
last Thursday in an FSA rescue raid after
being threatened with execution during their
detention by a group of up to 100 young jihadists
from North Africa, Britain and the Caucasus. “I
don’t think they were al-Qa’ida, they seemed
too amateurish for that,” Mr Oerlemans said
after his release. “They said, ‘We are not al-
Continued on page 4 >>

Dewani still a suicide risk, UK court told

Dewani ‘NeedsAYear’ BeforeExtradition

The accusation that he murdered his wife on honeymoon is hanging over Shrien Dewani like “the sword of Damocles”. The judge presiding over the case of Shrien Dewani in a UK court has adjourned the case to 18 September to consider psychiatric reports from experts, according to reports. Defence lawyer Clare Montgomery QC asked the Westminster Magistrates Court for the case to be put on hold for a year to enable her client to recover from depression, the BBC reported. But the case was only adjourned until September, to allow for

the case was only adjourned until September, to allow for updated medical evidence to be put

updated medical evidence to be put before the court. Chief magistrate Howard Riddle said he wanted to see updated evidence before considering a longer adjournment. Tuesday’s hearing was supposed to determine whether Dewani, who is accused of masterminding the murder of his wife Anni while on honeymoon in Cape Town in November 2010, was healthy enough to be extradited to South Africa. According to an ITV news report, Dewani’s defence quoted his psychiatrist as saying that he had made some progress with his mental health, remains on drug treatment and is in

Continued on page 7 >>

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NEWS

South Asia Tribune I Thursday 02 August 2012

UN envoy in Myanmar amid threat of ethnic cleansing against Muslims

A United Nations human rights

expert began a weeklong visit to Myanmar on Monday by focusing

on deadly strife between Buddhists

and Muslim Rohingya that shook

a western area in June.

Tomas Ojea Quintana met with the minister of border affairs for a briefing on the situation in northwestern Rakhine state. At

least 78 people were killed and tens

of thousands made homeless when

their dwellings were burned. Although the violence apparently crested in June, human rights groups and several Islamic nations have recently called for an outside investigation and protection for

the Rohingya community, saying

it faces continuing abuse.

Senior Myanmar officials issued

a strong defense of their handling

of the issue Monday, with Foreign

Minister Wunnna Maung Lwin insisting that the government had “exercised maximum restraint

in order to restore law and

of Persian, Turkish, Bengali, and Pashtun origin, who migrated to Myanmar as early as the eighth century.

— which rights groups say mostly

targeted the Rohingya — as one of the “challenges” facing Myanmar despite recent political reforms.

recognize

Rohingya as one of its ethnic

some quarters to politicize and internationalize this situation as a religious issue.” “The Myanmar government

strongly rejects the accusations by some quarters that abuses and

excessive use of force were made by the authorities in dealing with

the situation,” he said, adding that

“The situation is now returning to

normal.”

The U.N. has a direct interest in

the Rakhine issue because five

workers for the world body’s

refugee agency are among 858 people still detained by authorities

in connection with the unrest. Five other workers for international aid

agencies are also in detention. Border Affairs Minister Lt. Gen. Thein Htay, also at the news conference, insisted the aid workers “were involved with violence.” “They were not concerned with U.N. responsibilities,” he said. “They themselves were involved in

setting fire to villages. We have the

and we have witnesses

and they are being put on trial.”

M y the t he g ro c on m The T he are a
M
y
the
t
he
g
ro
c
on
m
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he
are
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re
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y
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ui
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m
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e
lec
d
ec
order.” ”
or er.
d
Quintana Qu i n t ana has h as said sa id that th a t
rule. rule

Myanmar, ruled by former Army

Lieutenant General Thein Sein, who became president last year, is facing “ongoing human rights challenges.” “We do not know what they will discuss. But, of course, the Rakhine state situation will be the main issue,” a Myanmarese

Earlier E ar li er in i n the th e month, mon th , Sein S e i n said sa id the nearly-one-million-strong Rohingya population should be put in camps and sent across the border to Bangladesh. “We will send them away if any third country would accept them,” he announced on July 19. “This is what we are thinking is the

Myanmar

United

does

not

groups and many in the country

them to be illegal

immigrants i

says there

about 800,000 Rohingya in

Myanmar and considers them to

consider

from Bangladesh.

Nations

be among the most persecuted

people in the world.

Quintana’s

evaluation is likely

o be b regarded as a yardstick for

measuring reforms undertaken by

President Thein Sein after

repressive military

elected

decades

of

The human right groups Amnesty

recently said the

Rohingya are increasingly being hit with targeted attacks that have includedkillings, rapeandphysical abuse. The Organization of Islamic Cooperation has been asked by member states including Tunisia

International

evid e a nd clo a nd a ss T he p oli e le
evid
e
a
nd
clo
a
nd
a
ss
T
he
p
oli
e
le
to t
o
f
ro
R
oh
government government official official said. said.
solution solution to to the the issue.” issue.”
Ear

The government of Myanmar refuses to recognize Rohingyas, whom, it claims, are not natives and classifies them as illegal migrants, although, the Rohingyas are said to be Muslim descendants

Quintana plans to visit the area on Tuesday and told reporters he would reserve comment until after his trip. In a pre-arrival statement, he mentioned the violence in Rakhine

from

and and Iran Iran to to press press for for measures measures to to help the Rohingya, whom they say face systematic repression. At a news conference, Myanmar Foreign Minister Wunnna Maung Lwin said his country “totally rejects the attempts by

evidence

He H e said many Muslim clerics had

monitored and ordered

“closely

and persuaded people to carry out

assaults and burn houses.”

the

political plans of “some external

— whom he didn’t name

— for the trouble. It appeared

also

Thein

Htay

blamed

elements”

be a reference to Bangladesh,

where Myanmar claims the

Rohingya sneak into Myanmar.

Earlier Monday, Quintana visited

Yangon’s infamous Insein Prison, where he said he interviewed prisoners of conscience. His trip will also include meetings with

opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi and government officials.

Shafilea Ahmed murder trial judge tells jury put aside ‘feelings of sympathy and revulsion’

The judge in the Shafilea Ahmed murder trial has warned a jury to put aside any “feelings of sympathy and revulsion” when they retire to consider their verdicts after a three- month trial. Mr Justice Roderick Evans began summing up the case at Chester crown court on Tuesday of Shafilea’s parents, Iftikhar and Farzana Ahmed, who are jointly accused of

murderingtheir17-year-olddaughter

at the family home in Warrington, Cheshire, in September 2003. He told the jury: “Put aside any feelings of sympathy and revulsion. Discuss the evidence coolly and calmly.” He told them there was no

the evidence coolly and calmly.” He told them there was no “special way” or “secret formula”

“special way” or “secret formula” to reaching a verdict, and he urged them to rely on their common sense. “You come here from different backgrounds, brought at random,” he said. “You all have different life experiencesandyouallhavecommon

sense. The way to decide is ordinary, everyday common sense, and if you do that I have every confidence.” Shafilea’s body was found on the banks of the River Kent in Cumbria in February 2004, six months after she disappeared.

The prosecution claims she was murdered by her parents because she brought shame on the family with her desire to lead a “westernised” lifestyle. Shafilea’s sister Alesha gave evidence at the trial, claiming she and the rest of her siblings witnessed the killing at the family home in Liverpool Road. Taxi driver Mr Ahmed, 52, denies murder, saying Shafilea ran away from home in the middle of the night and he never saw her again. Mrs Ahmed, 49, also denies murder, but told the jury she sawher husband beat her eldest child and she believes he killed her.

South Asia Tribune I Thursday 02 August 2012

NEWS

3

Mitt Romney would support Israeli military strike against Iran, says aide

US presidential candidate to say in speech in Israel that stopping Iran’s nuclear arms capability must be ‘highest priority’

US Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney would support an Israeli decision to use military force to stop Iran from developing a nuclear weapon, one of his seniors aide has said. Mr Romney yesterday met Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem on the second leg of a trip to display his foreign policy credentials in his race to unseat President Barack Obama in this year’s election. Shortly before talks with Mr Netanyahu, Mr Romney’s senior national security aide, Dan Senor, told reporterstravellingwiththecandidate:

“If Israel has to take action on its own, in order to stop Iran from developing that [nuclear] capability, the governor would respect that decision.” The comment seemed to put Mr Romney at odds with Mr Obama’s efforts to press Israel to avoid any pre- emptive strike before tough Western sanctions against Iran run their course. Mr Senor later expanded on his

Iran run their course. Mr Senor later expanded on his remarks, saying Mr Romney felt “we

remarks, saying Mr Romney felt “we should employ any and all measures

to dissuade the Iranian regime from its nuclear course”.

It was Mr Romney’s “fervent hope that

diplomatic and economic measures will do so” and “no option should be

excluded”, Mr Senor said, adding that “Romney recognises Israel’s right to defend itself, and that it is right for America to stand with it”. Standing beside Mr Netanyahu at the Israeli leader’s office, Mr Romney said only that Iran’s effort to become

a nuclear power “is one which I take with great seriousness”.

The failure of talks between Iran and six world powers to secure a breakthrough in curbing what the West fears is a drive to develop nuclear

weapons has raised international concern that Israel may opt for a go- it-alone military strike. Iran insists its project is for peaceful purposes. “We have to be honest that sanctions have not set back the Tehran program one iota and that a strong military threat coupled with sanctions are needed to have a chance to change the

situation,” Mr Netanyahu said. Israel, widely assumed to be the

Mr Netanyahu said. Israel, widely assumed to be the Middle East’s only nuclear-armed state, has warned

Middle East’s only nuclear-armed state, has warned it is only a matter of time before Iran’s nuclear programme achieves a “zone of immunity” in which bombs will not be able to effectively strike uranium enrichment facilities buried deep underground. ThoughWashingtonhasbeenpressing Israel not to launch a solo strike on Iran, Mr Obama has not ruled out military action if diplomacy fails to curb Iran’s nuclear drive. The Israeli newspaper Haaretz said yesterday that Mr Obama’s national security adviser had briefed Mr Netanyahu on a US contingency plan

to attack Iran. A senior Israeli official denied the report. In an effort that appeared timed to upstage Mr Romney’s visit to Israel, Mr Obama signed a measure on Friday to strengthen US-Israeli military ties and defence secretary Leon Panetta is expected to visit Israel later this week. Mr Romney’s visit to Israel gives him the opportunity to appeal to both Jewish voters and pro-Israel evangelical voters and contrast himself with Mr Obama, who has a strained relationship with the Israeli prime minister.

has a strained relationship with the Israeli prime minister. Warsi cleared of expenses fiddle The Conservative
has a strained relationship with the Israeli prime minister. Warsi cleared of expenses fiddle The Conservative
has a strained relationship with the Israeli prime minister. Warsi cleared of expenses fiddle The Conservative

Warsi cleared of expenses fiddle

The Conservative Party says its co-chairman Baroness Warsi has been cleared of allegations she wrongly claimed Parliamentary expenses.

Baroness Warsi’s claims were probed by the Lord

Commissioner for Standards.

It was alleged that in 2008 she

claimed overnight expenses for staying in London while

living rent-free. Last month she was cleared of a breach of the ministerial

code after being accompanied by a business associate on an official visit to Pakistan.

In a statement, Lady Warsi said she was “delighted” to draw a line under the matter. Prime Minister David Cameron said he was “pleased” the allegations had

been dismissed and it cleared the way for Lady Warsi to lead the Tory campaign for the election of police and crime commissioners later this year.

the way for Lady Warsi to lead the Tory campaign for the election of police and

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NEWS

South Asia Tribune I Thursday 02 August 2012

EDITORIAL

Fear of Syrian Chemical Weapons May Trigger War

As the world’s eyes are on the London Olympics, the situation in Syria is escalating and its ramifications go well beyond another story of “as called Arab Spring” uprising. The former UN ambassador John Bolton is still looking for Iraq’s WMD, only this time he thinks they are in Syria. And like in Iraq, he wants the U.S. military to secure them. Israel prepares for battle to secure chemical weapons , Sources close to the Israel Defense Force told FoxNews.com soldiers have been put on standby and are ready to move, while civilian demand for gas masks has jumped 66 percent over the last few weeks from 2,200 to 3,700 per day. The fears center around the prospect of Hezbollah getting Syrian chemical weapons . Reports out of the Middle East suggest the Assad regime has removed chemical weapons from their main depots, triggering speculation that Damascus may be considering their use against the rebellion sweeping across that country. It appears that in the current ‘fog of war’ the Syrian administration has made a tactical blunder of accepting that it possesses chemical weapons. All these years there was only speculation about Syria’s possession of such weapons, but now the state has officially accepted it. Later on last Monday, Syria’s Foreign Ministry issued a statement, saying, “When the Foreign Ministry spokesman says that Syria will not use chemical weapons against its people… this doesn’t mean that Syria has such weapons in the first place.” Syria failed to ‘learn’ from the recent history of the Iraq conflict. The US had invaded Iraq on the pretext of WMD threats. By accepting the presence of such weapons now, Syria has ended up compromising the ‘potency’ of chemical weapons and also let go of the ‘deniability’ option. It could have used them discreetly and subsequently could have kept the deniability option open or could have even blamed the opposing forces! Now, with Syria accepting that it is a chemical weapon state, the mere presence of such weapons could be used as a reason to invade the country. It is also important to note that any chemical weapon use by Syria would also make it difficult for China, Russia, and Iran to continue their support for the Bashar Assad regime. Syria has not signed the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC), one of the most successful disarmament conventions.

Washington has warned the regime against doing so but some Middle Eastern sources say the move was intended to protect them from possible seizure by rebel elements. However, Sky News reported on Saturday that “intelligence sources,” claimed the weapons had been moved to the Homs Region. Homs is both the center and primary recruiting ground of the current anti-regime rebellion and where military forces of current Syrian President. If Sky News’ sources are accurate, the weapons are being positioned for potential use against the rebels. The threat from chemical weapons has been looming large over West Asia and adjoining regions since the January 2011 uprising in Egypt. Particularly, in the case of Libya, fears were raised about the possibility of

the use of such weapons. Little is known about Syria’s chemical arsenal and the regime has never employed them. It is expected that the Syrian inventory could contain several thousand aerial bombs filled mostly with the chemical agent Sarin, and between 50 and 100 ballistic missile warheads. Most analysts believe Syria developed the weapons to deter Israel from employing its nuclear inventory. What is clear; however, is that Syria’s sudden movement of its chemical weapons indicates the regime is becoming increasingly insecure about its future and at least considering what it must do to survive. In so doing, Assad has also presented the international community, particularly the UN, with a need to determine its future course as well. Hopefully, Assad’s calculations will err on the side of moral pragmatism. Unfortunately, that is a choice desperate dictatorships rarely make. The war is close by and, whenever an Arab dictator falls, anxiety spreads throughout Israel.

Meanwhile there are also intelligence reports circulating through Europe’s capitals that maintainthattheSyrianshavealreadyprepared some of their poison gas for deployment. According to these reports, individual chemical weapons have been made ready for combat so that they only need to be mounted on launching systems, such as a Scud missile or a special military transport aircraft. However, no one can say how credible or reliable these various intelligence reports are. Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman and Prime Minister Netanyahu reaffirmed last week that it would be a casus belli if chemical weapons fell into the hands of Hezbollah. By saying that neither Israel nor the US could accept this, Netanyahu indirectly confirmed speculation that the US could give Israel a free hand to attack a Hezbollah convoy transporting chemical weapons from Syria to Lebanon. “If we have information that Hezbollah or al-Qaida are about to put hands on non- conventional weapons, we will spare no effort in preventing this,” adds Danny Yatom, a former chief of the Mossad. He adds that even airstrikes on a weapons depot could not be ruled out if Hezbollah was about to get its hands on poison gas. This was confirmed last week by a high-ranking official from Jerusalem: “If the Syrians pull out their missiles, arm them with chemical warheads or leave them to Hezbollah, this would be seen as a reason to attack Syria -- even if it led to a war. A country has to maintain its red lines.” Presently, there are only two violators of the chemical weapons convention, namely, the United States and Russia. They have failed to keep their promise of destroying their own chemical weapons stockpiles and may take 10 to 12 years more to do so. It is an irony that one of them backs the present Syrian government while the other opposes it. It is also important to note that any chemical weapon use by Syria would also make it difficult for China, Russia, and Iran to continue their support for the Bashar Assad regime.

British Muslims Fighting in Syria

Continued from page 1 >>

Muslims Fighting in Syria Continued from page 1 >> the Olympics. British authorities are concerned that

the Olympics. British authorities are concerned that some will do much more than that. Among those they’ve been monitoring is a suspected al Qaeda terrorist who’s visited the Olympic site at least five times. Anjem Choudry, MI5 & The Far Right – Whats The Connection? Anjem Choudhry who does not know Arabic and he also defines Islam as there is a place for Violence in Islam. Anjem Choudry and his

is a place for Violence in Islam. Anjem Choudry and his Qa’ida, but al-Qa’ida is down

Qa’ida, but al-Qa’ida is down the road’.” “One

of the black jihadists freaked out and shouted:

‘These are journalists and now they will see we are preparing an international jihad in this place.‘” Oerlemans told NRC Handelsblatt newspaper. He said that none of the fighters were Syrian. “My life was saved by the same Pakistani boy who spoke English. He convinced the others that it would be against Islam for me to make it hurt. “ “They all claimed they came from countries like Pakistan and Bangladesh and Chechnya and they said there was some vague ‘emir’ at the head of the group.” About 40 per cent of the militants spoke English. Infact, several apparentlytalkedwithrecognizable

collection of organisations, Hizb Tahrir, Al- Muhajiroun, or whichever front they are using these days Shariah4Belgium And Sharia4UK portray Muslims as a threat in order to continue government policies of war in Muslim countries, as well as inciting divisions in society. Anjem Choudary in a recent interview on CNN revealed violent attacks are a “peaceful” warning to countries like US and Israel. He also admits to encouraging Muslims in the US to carry these kind of attacks. Anjem Choudary came to public attention in 1999, when the Sunday Telegraph identified him as playing an instrumental role in the recruitment of Muslim trainees leaving Britain to fight abroad.

of Muslim trainees leaving Britain to fight abroad. regional British accents, from Birmingham and London. Mr.

regional British accents, from Birmingham and London. Mr. Cantlie has not yet spoken of his ordeal, but Mr. Oerlemans told Dutch media that some of the gang, which is reported to have been

He told the newspaper “before they go abroad to fight, the volunteers are trained in Britain. Some of the training does involve guns and live ammunition”. Evenmainstreamcommentators like Jon Gaunt have described Anjem Choudary as “probably an MI5 agent” because he appears so much like a James Bond villain. Choudary founded another Islamic group, al-Muhajiroun, with Omar Bakri Muhammed, who admitted in 1998 he shares a special relationship with British intelligence. It should be noted that authors Sean O’Neill and Daniel McGrory have documented a special relationship between Islamist leaders, including Abu Hamza al-Masri and Abu Qatada, and British intelligence. TheBritishSecret Service, MI6, protectedHaroon Rashid Aswat, the alleged mastermind of the 7/7 London bombings, according to counterterrorism expert John Loftus. Aswat was affiliated with al-Muhajiroun. In 2004, Sheikh Omar Bakri Mohammed said British intelligence handles all Islamist groups of note in the United Kingdom including the Muslim Brotherhood, the UK Islamic Mission, al-Gama’a al-Islamiyya, Iranian opposition groups, and the Iranian Ahlul Bait groups in Britain. The Muslim Brotherhood was corrupted early on by British intelligence, and later by the CIA. According to CIA agent Miles Copeland, the agency beganworking withthe Brotherhoodinthe 1950s. This signaled the beginning of an alliance between the traditional regimes and mass Islamic movements against Arab nationalism.

regimes and mass Islamic movements against Arab nationalism. between 30 and 100 strong, had “Birmingham accents”.

between 30 and 100 strong, had “Birmingham accents”.

A source close to the incident told The Sunday

Telegraph that there possibly at least six men

with British-sounding voices, including one with

a heavy south London accent.

Just week before Olympics ceremony British authorities have made a series of arrests in connection with terror plots against the Olympics. Others, like Islamic convert Richard Dart, were arrestedforseparateplotsagainstLondontargets. Dart is reportedly a follower of London-based MI6 asset and demoniser of Islam so called cleric

a demoniser of Islam Anjem Choudary. “The Olympics is about division. It’s about separation,” Choudary told CBN News. When asked if he and his followers would have a presence at the games, Choudary answered, “We will have a huge presence, wherever the people are gathering for the celebrations or watching the events.” Choudary said that true Muslims should oppose

South Asia Tribune I Thursday 02 August 2012

NEWS

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South Asia Tribune I Thursday 02 August 2012 NEWS 5 Arabprincethreatenedwith50,000-voltTaser gun on British Airways

Arabprincethreatenedwith50,000-voltTaser

gun on British Airways flight for being drunk

• The 28-year-old is believed to be a relative of Bahrain’s King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa

An Arab prince was thrown off a plane by police officers armed with 50,000 volt Taser guns because he was drunk. The 28-year-old, believed to be a close relative of Bahrain’s King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, had boarded a Boeing 777 at London Heathrow airport when he began shouting and complaining about the poor service on the BA125 flight to Doha, Qatar via Bahrain.

Members of the crew were forced to call the police who arrived with stun guns after he stormed the flight deck and refused to go back to his seat, The Sun reported. The billionaire was then dragged off the plane and taken to a West London police station near the airport where his DNA, mugshot and fingerprints were taken. A police spokeswoman confirmed the incident had

happened. She said: ‘We were called at 10.34am on Sunday July 22 to an outward bound flight to Doha, Qatar, via Bahrain at London Heathrow after a man was reported to be causing a disturbance. ‘A man who is 28 was arrested for being drunk and disorderly and failing to comply with the instructions of the cabin crew. He was taken to a west London police station and bailed to a date in September.’

Human rights campaigners have criticised King Hamad in the past whose regime has been accused of violently repressing pro-democracy activists

been accused of violently repressing pro-democracy activists Controversial Shaikh Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa attended
been accused of violently repressing pro-democracy activists Controversial Shaikh Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa attended

Controversial Shaikh Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa attended Friday’s Olympic Opening Ceremony despite protest. President of the Supreme Council for Youth and Sport (SCYS) and President of the Bahrain Olympic Committee (BOC) Shaikh Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa attended Friday’s Olympic Opening Ceremony and, earlier, a reception at Buckingham Palace hosted by the Queen. London Evening Standard reported as “Controversial characters attending Danny Boyle’s show will include Azerbaijan’s president Ilham Aliyev, Bahrain’s Prince Nasser bin Hamad al-Khalifa and Rwandan president

Paul Kagame.” BAHRAIN’s delegation last night attended a memorable opening ceremony of the summer Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium in London. Headed by Supreme Council for Youth and Sports chairman and president of the Bahrain Olympic Committee Shaikh Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa, the Bahrainis were among thousands of athletes who witnessed the ceremony and its theme ‘Isles of Wonder’. The 13-member athlete Bahraini delegation were present at the Olympic Stadium in London where 10,000 volunteers, cast and crew have been rehearsing day and night

over the last few months to make the opening ceremony a success. The ceremony kicked off with the sound of the largest harmonically tuned bell in Europe, produced by the Whitechapel Foundry, and the Stadium was transformed into the British countryside for opening scene ‘Green and Pleasant’, which included real farmyard animals. At the heart of the ceremony is the athletes’ parade, a procession of the participating teams in the Stadium, where Bahraini shooter Azza Al Qasmi hoisted her nation’s flag high. Meanwhile, Earlier Bahrain Foreign Affairs minister Shaikh Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khalifa visited the Olympic Village earlier yesterday and ahead of the opening ceremony. AccompaniedbyBOCgeneralsecretary Shaikh Ahmed bin Hamad Al Khalifa and Bahrain International Circuit chief executive Shaikh Salman bin Isa Al Khalifa, Shaikh Khalid toured the village facilities and met with members of the Bahrain delegation.

facilities and met with members of the Bahrain delegation. Obama releases $70 million in military aid

Obama releases $70 million in military aid for Israel

US defense law to equip Israel with refueling jets

Legislation aiming to enhance US-Israeli security cooperation was more than an attempt by Obama to upstage Romney; it allows Israel to buy equipment that could facilitate Iran strike Ehud Barak praises the administration’s decision, calls it evidence of ‘consistent support’ on part of White House and Congress

As Mitt Romney prepares to travel to Israel this weekend, President Obama announced today that he is releasing an additional $70 million in military aid for Israel. The new funding is intended to help Israel boost production of a short-range rocket defense system, known as Iron Dome. “This is a program that has been critical in terms of providing security and safety for Israeli families. It is a program that has been tested and has prevented missile strikes inside of Israel… We’re going to be able to lock in that funding to assure that that program continues and that

we are standing by our friends in Israel when it comes to these kinds of attacks,” Obama told reporters in the Oval Office today. Ashereiteratedhisadministration’s commitment to Israel, the president flubbed the amount of new aid, initially giving the correct $70 million figure and later saying it was actually $70 billion. The president made the announcement as he signed the United States-Israel Enhanced Security Cooperation Act. “What this legislation does is bring together all the outstanding cooperation that we have seen

together all the outstanding cooperation that we have seen really at an unprecedented level between our

really at an unprecedented level between our two countries to underscore our unshakable commitment to Israel’s security,”

Obama explained. The White House maintains the timing of announcement and bill signing was not intended to

upstage Romney’s foreign trip. “This was a historical landmark in the defense relations between the US and Israel,” said Amos Gilad, the director of policy and political- military affairs at the Defense Ministry.Thelegislation,knownsas the “UnitedStates-Israel Enhanced Security Cooperation Act of 2012,” allows Israel to purchase American KC-135 aerial refueling aircraft for the first time. Thus far, the Bush and Obama administrations refused to sell planes of this kind to the Jewish state, primarily in order to bar it from launching a massive aerial strike on Iran.

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South Asia Tribune I Thursday 02 August 2012

US presented Israel with an Iran strike plan, newspaper reports

THE Obama administration’s top security official has briefed Israel’s Prime Minister on US plans for a possible attack on Iran, an Israeli newspaper reports.

The Haaretz Daily says National SecurityAdviserTomDonilonsought to reassure Israel that Washington is prepared to act militarily should diplomacy and sanctions fail to pressure Iran to abandon its nuclear enrichment program. Haaretz said today that Donilon detailed the plans to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in a visit to Israel earlier this month. An Israeli government spokesman did not respond to a request for comment

spokesman did not respond to a request for comment A US Embassy spokesman could not be

A US Embassy spokesman could not be reached. Both Israel and the US believe Iran’s program is aimed at developing bombs, and not for peaceful

purposes as Tehran claims. US policy so far has focused on sanctions and diplomacy. Panetta heads to Mideast; Syria high on the agenda

Meanwhile US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta began a five-day Mideast trip Sunday to consult with the new Islamist leaders of Tunisia and Egypt and to meet with long- standing allies Israel and Jordan. High on the agenda at each stop is expected to be the accelerating crisis in Syria. President Barack Obama signed a measure on Friday to strengthen U.S.-Israeli military ties, a move that could score points with American Jewish voters on the eve of Republican rival Mitt Romney’s highly publicized visit to Israel. Obama also used the White House bill-signing ceremony to announce he was releasing $70 million in approved funding for Israel’s short- range rocket shield known as “Iron

Dome,” a project backed strongly by the powerful U.S. pro-Israel lobby. His reaffirmation of an “unshakeable commitment” to Israel’s security appeared timed to upstage Romney, who has accused the president of undermining Washington’s relationship with its No. 1 partner in the Middle East. The White House denied it was an election-year maneuver, even though senior administration officials have lavished attention on Israel in recent weeks. Romney, whose Olympics-week tour of London has been plagued by diplomatic stumbles, will travel on Saturday to Jerusalem and meet on Sunday with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has had

a strained relationship with Obama.

Fighting escalates in Aleppo as Syrian FM seeks Iranian support

As fighting continues in the Syrian city of Aleppo, the country’s Foreign Minister is seeking support from Iran. During Sunday’s visit to Tehran, Walid al-Muallem accused Israel, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar of conspiring against Syrians. Muallem said his country is “capable of defending itself and that the latest attack of foreign pressure in Aleppo will be deflected,” while speaking at a news conferencewithhis Iraniancounterpart, Ali Akbar Salehi. Fighting between rebel and government forces escalated on Sunday, just as Salehi expressed doubts that a managed Syrian power transition would ever work. According to Reuters, he called the very idea an “illusion.” “Thinking naively and wrongly that if there is a power vacuum perhaps in Syria and if there is a transition of power in Syria, simply another government

is a transition of power in Syria, simply another government will come to power, that I

will come to power, that I think is just a dream,” Salehi said. According to reports from Al Arabiya, Muallem said, “We believe that all the anti-Syrian forces have gathered in Aleppo to fight the government…and they will definitely be defeated.” Intense fighting continued in Aleppo on Sunday, as government troops aimed to regain control in the southwestern neighborhoods of Salaheddine and parts

of Saif al-Dawla, which were seized by rebels last week. Aleppo is Syria’s commercial hub, and is seen as a critical city for both the regime and the opposition. Rebels are believed to control between a third and half of the neighborhoods in Aleppo. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported heavy fighting and explosions there, including fighting in

the Bab al-Hadeed, al-Zahraa and al- Arqoub neighborhoods. Sarkis Kassargian, a local reporter for Al-Khabar TV, told RT, “The rebels were controlling the area of Salaheddine. They’ve moved out of the area, and the Syrian army is in control of the region now.” Aleppo-based opposition activist Mohammed Saeed told AP that around

But while the Iranian government calls on other countries to stop supporting the rebels, the head of the opposition Syrian National Council is sending a different message. According to AFP, Abdulbaset Sayda urged “Arab brothers and friends to support the Free Syrian Army.” “Wewant weaponsthat wouldstoptanks and jet fighters. That is what we want,”

sides – as the first stage in the transition

200fightersenteredthecityearlySunday

Sayda said in a news conference.

to join the 1,000 fighters who poured into the city over the past fewdays. Saeed also said rebels have received “a new batch of weapons and ammunition,” but declined to say from where. Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi has called on regional powers to

During his visit, Muallemsaid that Syria was committed to Kofi Annan’s six-point plan to end 16 months of violence in the country. Theplancallsforaceasefire–something that has been widely ignored by both

stop supporting the Syrian opposition,

to

ending the violence.

arguing that the power vacuum which

It

also calls for access to aid, the release of

would open up should the government in Damascus fall would result in dire

detained people, freedom of movement for journalists, and the freedom to

consequences for the whole region.

protest peacefully.

‘Psycho’ Stapleton gets life in prison

A killer who labelled himself as a "Psycho"

after murdering an Indian student has been jailed for life with a minimum term of 30 years. Kiaran Stapleton walked up to stranger Anuj

Bidve, 23, in the street in Salford and shot him in the head at point blank range. Stapleton, 21, had admitted manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility but a jury at Manchester Crown Court rejected that argument and convicted him

of murder.

Witnesses to the murder say Stapleton laughed as he stood over the body of his

victim before he ran off. He also found amusement in police interviews over the murder and regularly grinned and laughed throughout his five-

and regularly grinned and laughed throughout his five- weekmurder trial. The defendant beamed as he came

weekmurder trial. The defendant beamed as he came into court for the verdict and again towards a family member as he was led from the dock. Following the verdict, Mr Bidve's father, Subhash, said the antics of Stapleton "openly

laughed at the memory of our son". He said he believed Stapleton should never be released from prison. His son had arrived in the UK to study micro-electronics at Lancaster University and was visiting Manchester with a group of friends last Christmas. They left their hotel in the early hours of Boxing Day to queue early for the sales when their paths crossedwithStapleton's. He calmly walked across the road and repeatedlyaskedforthetime,whensomeone finally answered he pulled a handgun out of his pocket and fired one shot to Mr Bidve's left temple. Stapleton told one psychologist in prison that he picked out his victim because "he hadthe biggest head", the court heard.

because "he hadthe biggest head", the court heard. The defendant's callousness and audacity was stark in

The defendant's callousness and audacity was stark in the days he remained at large after the shooting. First he bookedinto a hotel whichoverlooked the crime scene in Ordsall Lane to keep pace with the investigation and revel in the chaos he had created. Then he went to a tattoo parlour and had a teardrop design placed belowhis right eye -

a symbol used by some gangs to mark that the wearer has killedsomeone. After he was arrested and charged with murder he made his first appearance at Manchester Magistrates' Court andgave his name as "Psycho Stapleton". Mr Justice King said Stapleton would only be released if he was considered to no longer pose a danger to the public.

South Asia Tribune I Thursday 02 August 2012

NEWS

7

Olympic visa scam accused comes out of hiding

The main accused in the Olympic visa scandal, Abid Chaudhry, came out of hiding after his brother’s death on Saturday. Talking to media representatives, Chaudhry alleged the scandal had badly impacted the health of his elder brother Arif Chaudhry, who passed had away after a heart attack. He said his family had been in constant agony since the start of the scandal. “The tension even took my brother’s life,” he said, pleading the government and judiciary for justice. He had gone into hiding after a joint investigation team of FIA and NADRA launched a crackdown.

Visa scam: Rehman Malik directs FIA not to arrest Abid Chaudhry

Interior Minister Rehman Malik has directed the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) to not arrest Abid Chaudhry, a central character in the UK visa scam who is associated with the Dream Land travel agency, DawnNews reported. Malikreportedlydirected FIA authorities to investigate the matter and present a report on it without arresting Chaudhry. He ordered a report on the subject to be presented before

He ordered a report on the subject to be presented before forged documents – with alleged
He ordered a report on the subject to be presented before forged documents – with alleged

forged documents – with alleged links to the passport and identity card offices. The paper said the officials first provided its undercover investigator with a genuine Pakistani passport in a false name. The information was backed by a footage of Abid Chaudhry (Dream Land’s travel agent) claiming how for around £7,000 he could get its man a two-month visa…and smuggle him into London 2012 as part of Pakistan’s Olympic squad.

Malik given briefing on visa scam

Federal Minister for Interior Senator A Rehman Malik here on Friday chaireda highlevel meeting, in which matters pertaining to FIA operations, administration

the following decisions were taken in the meeting: Provision of 150 vehicles to FIA to cater the investigation, persecution and other needs, the workforce will be increased and 5,000 employees at various levels will be recruited, revival of Link offices of FIAabroad, the status of FIA Academy will be raised at University level and the Secretary Interior was directed to ensure that FIA employees will get salary package committed with them last year.

Rehman Malik was also briefed by Joint Investigation Team (JIT) of Nadra and FIA, the progress pertaining to the alleged visa scandal. The Minister for Interior showed satisfaction on the investigations. FIA DG Muhammad Anwar Virk briefed

related to Nadra and passports. The Minister for Interior announced that a new passport office will be established in Tank, which will be inaugurated by the Federal Minister for Interior himself after Eid-ul-Fitr.

Olympic ‘visa scam’:

Confusion persists despite NADRA clarification

The undercover man, whose name was purportedly ‘Asad Ali’ could haveobtainedtheNICandpassport of one ‘Muhammad Ali Asad’ – who has an entirely different date of birth and place of birth. While the names are fairly similar, Ali Asad was born in Sahiwal not Lahore.

have no record of a visa application being made in association with passport No BD1876301.”

UK high commissioner asserts trust in Pakistan

British High Commissioner in Pakistan Adam Thomson assured that the UK trusted Pakistan’s passport issuance system and the National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) and added there was no evidence of anyone travelling to Britain as part of the Olympic visa scandal. He said the visa scandal issue was of global significance; however, Britain was satisfied with Pakistan’s visa and passport issuance mechanisms. “We are satisfied with the passport issuance system of NADRA and no country is free of defect,” he stated. Addressing a press conference on Thursday at the National Press Club (NPC), Thomson said that anyone who was part of the national sports delegation going to take part in UK Olympic had to apply months in advance. “Each and every thing was checked and there was no chance to proceed to the UK on fake documents,” he said.

chance to proceed to the UK on fake documents,” he said. him by Saturday evening and
chance to proceed to the UK on fake documents,” he said. him by Saturday evening and

him by Saturday evening and directed authorities to not harass Chaudhry. Chaudhry’s name came to the fore when a British tabloid, The Sun, claimed to have unearthed a ‘UK visa scam’. The Sun’s report revolved around an undercover investigator and a network of Pakistani agents – Malik Bashir and company known for sending people abroad on

and performance were discussed. Secretary Interior, Additional Secretary Interior, DG FIA, DG Immigration and Passports, DG Nadra and senior officers of FIA and the Ministry attended the meeting.

During the meeting it was felt that provision of additional workforce and transport including strengthening the prosecution wing of FIA a must. In this regard,

Federal Minister for Interior about the performance of FIA. Minister for Interior directed him to further improve the performance of FIA especially to control human smuggling and drug trafficking. Earlier,FaisalKarimKundi,Deputy Speaker, National Assembly called on Federal Minister for Interior and congratulated him on talking the oath of Federal Minister. He also discussed problems of his area

In its reply to the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), however, the UK Border Agency stated: “In response to your fax dated July 25, 2012 … we have a record of a working holiday maker visa being issued to Muhammad Ali Asad, s/o Muhammad Anwar Siddiqui (Date of Birth November 8, 1977). It was issued to passport No J609802 on April 25, 2002; valid until April 25, 2004. [We]

He accepted that incidents of fake visa seekers were at its high and that last year they found 4,000 fake travelling documents and passports. He said that every country has visa scam incidents. “We don’t claim to be perfect ourselves of course. There are flaws in passport issuance but it does not mean the whole country is responsible for one incident,’’ he added.

Dewani ‘Needs A Year’ Before Extradition

<< Continued from page 1 compulsory detention in a psychiatric unit until May 2013. With both his mental conditions - a depressive illness and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder - he has moved from a severe to a moderate diagnosis, the court was reportedly told on

Tuesday. He remains at risk of suicide, though this is decreasing. His recovery is slow and they argue that it will be impeded by more court hearings at this time. Dewani’s defence told the court that his best prospects of

recovery were if there was an adjournment of 12 months, the court was told. Dewani remains, according to his psychiatrist, unable to give an account of himself, with his memory loss possibly linked to his PTSD condition, the court was reportedly told.

8

NEWS

South Asia Tribune I Thursday 02 August 2012

Fake ‘attackIran’ story, distractionfrom Mossad’s exposed spying program : Press TV

Israeli media is reporting that the US and Israel have shared attack plans for Iran, expecting the P5+1 talks to fail, but this report has been fabricated says insiders.

Israeli newspaper Haaretz made the claim that preemptive strike plans on Iran’s nuclear sites were shared between Prime Minister Netanyahu and US National Security Advisor Tom Donilon two weeks ago and that the message was that should upcoming P5+1 talks fail military action will become necessary. A senior Israeli official though denies that such an exchange has taken place. We do know however that special bunker buster bombs have been built specifically for bombing of Iran’s underground nuclear plants according to statements from the Secretary of the US Air force. Press TV has conducted an interview with Franklin Lamb, international lawyer from Beirut to get his opinion on the legitimacy and seriousness of the claim and why it was made or what it is covering up. The following is an approximate transcription of the interview. Press TV: I’d like to get your assessment in other reports of the US getting ready for a military attack on Iran. We’ve gotten many such reports

a military attack on Iran. We’ve gotten many such reports in the past, is this one

in the past, is this one more serious do you think or is this again political posturing because of the November elections? Lamb: Well I think you hit the nail on the head. It’s absolutely a fake story. According to a contact who has sent an email from the US Senate of Foreign Relations Committee, that story is another hoax. It’s designed by the Israelis who are on the defensive because the Syrian chaos is taking pressure off Iran. It’s designed as Mitt Romney, the

choice now of the Zionist lobby for the coming election, which remember is only three months away, over Obama. And even though Obama was forced on Friday as you saw to stand in front of the AIPAC who are foreign agents of a foreign government and sign over another 70 million dollars under campaign pressure, this tactic is aimed at also the American taxpayers and the Obama administration to force concessions before the coming election.

So I think it’s another psychological warfare kind of ploy by the Israelis. And the second point I was told from the Senate of Foreign Relations Committee source is that Friday or Saturday’s early report by the CIA that the Israeli intelligence has been hacking the CIA station chief in Tel Aviv and in fact has done that consistently.

I think this effort is trying to squelch

that story that will be of concern, no doubt, to the American tax payers as

it spreads through the media.

So I think this is one of those boiler-

room real quick response stories to grab some headlines from the Israelis. Lieberman, who you showed on your program, absolutelyfailedyouknow… last week before the EU as he ran around and visited ten countries, paid for by the American taxpayers, to try to put Hezbollah on the terrorist list and the EU turned him down. So I think the Zionist regime is cornered; they’re feeling the pressure and so they lash out with this kind of fake story, which is now being

reported. Press TV: Then why would the US be arming many of these Persian Gulf

monarchies as well as Israel of course under the guise of a “threat” from Iran? Lamb: I missed the first part of the question, but I think I understand

the gist of it

For the Americans of

course the bottom line isn’t regime

change in Syria. That, they presume will happen, but the bottom line is neutralizing and defeating in a sense

diplomatically and militarily, Iran. And so using the Saudis to help this and to fund this has been the policy

of the US for years and that’s why

we see so much involvement today here in Lebanon with Saudi money arranging to buy votes not in the American election, but the Lebanese

election that will happen on schedule presumable early next year.

I think the alliance between the

American administration, the Saudis andeventheIsraelis andthe[Persian] Gulf countries is as strong as ever and given the opportunity they see in Syria it may even become stronger yet.

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Saarc international I Thursday 02 August 2012

Work displayed in saarc int. are a review of southasianmedia.net. The information on this page is for information purposes only. The South Asia Tribune and SAARC International Ltd. assume no liability for any inaccurate, delayed, or incomplete information, nor for any actions taken in reliance thereon. The full story can be viewed at www.southasianmedia.net

S international

aarc

Thursday, 02.08.12

Power: Half of India in dark 60 crore people affected Over 20 states in power
Power: Half of India in dark
60 crore people affected
Over 20 states in power crisis as 3 grids collapse
The country faced a major power
crisis for the second consecutive
day on Tuesday as three grids
serving Northern, Eastern and
North-Easternregionsfailedthis
afternoon, leading to 200 coal
miners getting trapped in West
Bengal and throwing normal life
out of gear in 20 states and 2
union territories.
As the grids collapsed around 1
PM, miners in Eastern Coalfields
got
trapped
in
Sodepur
and
Satgram in Burdwan districts
of West Bengal, according to
officials who said rescue efforts
are on.
“All miners are safe and they
have been moved to well
ventilated areas inside the
underground mines. Rescue
operations are on,” General
Manager, Technical, Eastern
Coalfields (ECL), Niladri Roy
said.
“We are trying to rescue them.
There is no threat to their lives.
We have provided them with
adequate food and water,” he
added.
Meanwhile, 65 miners were
reportedly trapped in Jharkhand
food and water,” he added. Meanwhile, 65 miners were reportedly trapped in Jharkhand Continued on page

Continued on page 26 >>

ElectionCommission

makesvoterlistspublic

The Election Commission of Pakistan

on Tuesday made the voter lists public

and available for correction,

report.

voter lists public and available for correction, report. Speaking to media representatives in Islamabad, Chief

Speaking to media representatives in Islamabad, Chief Election Commissioner Justice (retd) Fakhruddin G. Ebrahim said the people wanted a change and that the ECP would do its best so that no objections could be raised over its role during the elections. Ebrahim moreover said that no one would be able to vote without a computerised national identity card, adding that, the minimum voting age was 18 years. He said the ECP had prepared

objections could be raised over them. The CEC said that the public could now get information on voting simply by sending an SMS message. EbrahimsaidtheECPandNadra’suse of latest technology in its operations was commendable, adding that, changes could still be made to voter lists. He further said that 84360000 voters had been registered and that the ECP was working in collaboration with the Nadra for this purpose. The CEC said that the lists were prepared comprehensively and after

the voter lists in a manner that no

house-to-house visits.

Chidambaramback as Finance Minister,ShindegetsHome

visits. Chidambaramback as Finance Minister,ShindegetsHome Home Minister P Chidambaram will be the next Finance

Home Minister P Chidambaram will be the next Finance Minister of India; on Tuesday, his predecessor and now President of India Pranab Mukherjee signed a notification effecting the change, sources said. Sushil Kumar Shinde, who is the power minister, will get Mr Chidambaram’s portfolio of the

Home Ministry while Corporate Affairs minister Veerappa Moily will take additional charge of the Power Ministry. This is the third time Mr Chidambaram will assume the role of Finance Minister. He first

Continued on page 10 >>

India train fire: As many as 47 dead

As many as 47 people have been killed in a fire on a passenger train traveling in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh.

train traveling in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. As many as 47 people have been

As many as 47 people have been killed and 28 injured in a fire on a passenger train traveling in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. Investigators found charred

remains of passengers still in their

sleeping berths and were having difficulties identifying them report. The AP also reported that a railway station worker noticed the burning

car as the train — traveling

overnight from New Delhi to the southeastern city of Chennai — passed through the town of Nellore at about 4 a.m. Once the alarm was raised, the train was stopped and Continued on page 28 >>

10

SAARC

Saarc international I Thursday 02 August 2012

Govt committed to early rehabilitation of 2005 earthquake victims: PM

Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf

has said that the PPP led coalition government is firmly committed to earlyrestorationandrehabilitation

of all the victims of October 2005

earthquake. This, he said, during a briefing by the Earthquake Rehabilitation and

Under the present government, it has completed over 8600 projects six times more compared to 2008 due to allocation of Rs. 83 billion in 4 years. This, the Prime Minister said speaks volumes of the commitment and priority placed by this government for the

their fellow citizens. The Prime Minister said that the most significant challenge today is to strategize sustainable development through reconstruction and rehabilitation

The Prime Minister said that it was necessary for ERRA to come up to the expectations of the calamity hit people as they envisage ERRA’s performance not as mere obligation but a spirit of serving

expressed

concern

construction of new Balakot City Development project and directed ERRA and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa

The

the

the

Prime

over

Minister

delay

in

government to resolve the issues

to the project within ten

relating

r ela days d ay s ug p ro The T he S ec J
r
ela
days
d
ay
s
ug
p
ro
The
T
he
S
ec
J
av
&
D
A
dd
D
ev
Chief
C
hi
D
as
Regulatory Authority (ERRA) at
Regulatory Authority (ERRA) at
early
early rehabilitation of October
rehabilitation
of
October
M
r.
the Prime Minister’s House here
the Prime Minister’s House here
2005 2005 earthquake earthquake victims victims.
ERRA
E
R
in Islamabad on Monday.
D
ep
the humanity. The Prime Minister
t
h
e
h
uman ty. T e Pr me M n ster
i
h
i
i
i
M

The Prime Minister said that when the present government took over, ERRA had completed barely 1627 projects against its total portfolio of 14000 projects.

The Prime Minister recalled that the devastating earth quake of October 2005, rejuvenated the nation and created a new fervor which mobalized the entire nation to come to the help and rescue of

workintheaffectedareastoconvert wor ki nt h ea ff ecte d areastoconvert theadversityintoanopportunityby adopting humanitarian approach in line with the manifesto of the government.

maintained that he expected completion of all the projects at various stages of completion on fast track basis.

and come up with concrete

to move ahead with the

project.

attended by

of Finance Mr. Abdul

Wajid Waj Rana, Secretary EAD Mr.

suggestion

meeting

was

Secretary

Javed Iqbal, Secretary Planning

& Development Mr. Javed Malik,

Additional Secretary Planning &

Mr. Haseeb Akhtar,

Secretary KPK Mr. Ghulam

Chief Secretary AJ&K

Mr. M Shahzad Arbab, Chairman

Mr. Hamid Yar Hiraj,

Chairman ERRA Maj. Gen

M Azeem Asif, COS ERRA, Brig

DG Finance

ERRA, Mr. M. Anwar Khan Rana, and other senior officers.

Syed

Deputy

Dastagir,

Development

Wajid

Raza,

officers. Syed Deputy Dastagir, Development Wajid Raza, Electronic balloting for overseas Pakistanis as $40 a vote

Electronic balloting for overseas Pakistanis as $40 a vote if it facilitates postal balloting for expatriate Pakistanis.

Dualnationalities:ANPconditionally drops oppositionto legislation

ional Jadam Jada that that decided decid the the dual dual be be y r
ional
Jadam Jada
that that
decided decid
the the
dual dual
be be
y
r
Senate Se nat
en
ey
But Bu t
nd
Committee Committee
ch
position

parliamentary parli a

chairperson chair p

on on Overseas Overseas Pakistanis Paki met on Friday to frame recommendations on the proposed constitutional amendment the government had

introduced in parliament – aimed at allowing expats to contest elections. The government’s move came after the Supreme Court disqualified several members of the National Assembly, Senate and provincial assemblies because of their dual nationalities. The most prominent among them is Rehman Malik. But the opposition from ANP forced the government to postpone its passage because it lacked the required two-thirds majority. Talking to reporters, the

The Awami

Party (ANP) has withdrawn its objection to dual national Pakistanis becoming members of parliament but with a condition –

National

panel’s

Muhammad

said

the committee had

to forward its

to

that

nationals should

Mangrio

recommendations reco

government

parliamentarians parl i

assemblies. ass em

all dual nationals s should relinquish h

their

citizenship

being elected.

The new position taken

allowed to become

including incl u being members

secondary

after

of of the t he National Assembly,

and provincial

by the government’s key

two provinces, is much

according to the

ally, both at the centre and

in

milder than the hard-line position

it previous had on the issue when

it forced the postponement of

a constitutional amendment in

parliament. The ANP’s willingness to support dual nationals as parliamentarians may end a deadlock on a constitutional amendment to allow expats to become MPs. The development took place during the meeting of a parliamentary committeewhenmembersfromthe ANPendorsedrecommendationsof the panel it sent to the government, which suggests allowing overseas Pakistanis to become lawmakers. The National Assembly Standing

draft dr aft suggestions agreed

at at the the meeting, meet the panel would

not support propositions of dual nationals holding important public offices like the president, prime minister,chiefministers,governors or even cabinet members. Another member of the committee, Engineer Usman Tarakai, said the panel also recommended the government to initiate the system of electronic balloting for overseas Pakistanis. The proposal was made after an official of the Election Commission of Pakistan told the committee that the government would have to bear an exorbitant cost of $40 a vote if it facilitates postal balloting for expatriate Pakistanis.

Chidambaram back as Finance Minister, Shinde gets Home

held the position in 1996 in

the United Front government and later became finance minister in the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government in 2004, led by Manmohan Singh, who is credited with India’s first major round of economic reforms in 1991. Along with Reserve Bank Governor D Subbarao, his handling of the economy helped India avoid the worst of the global financial crisis that followed the late 2008 collapse of investment bank Lehman Brothers. The Congress also needs to decide and announce, before Parliament meets next week, who will replace Mr Mukherjee as Leader of the Lok Sabha. There has been a demand from some Congressmen that two-term MP Rahul Gandhi be elevated to that role. Congress president Sonia Gandhi is expected to take a decision soon; among those whose names have reportedly been considered is Mr Shinde. Parliament sits next week for the monsoon session and the government had indicated that before the session began, that it would fill the important Finance Ministry. The Prime Minister has held interim charge for a little over a month now, but was clear that the job needed a full-time minister with the economy struggling with slow growth and high inflation. Following the re-allocation, however, much noise can be expected from the opposition benches. The BJP-led opposition has targeted Mr Chidambaram, even boycotting him in Parliament, or what it alleges is his role in the 2G scam. That dates back to 2008, when Mr Chidambaram was finance minister. In the face of such vociferous opposition, Mr Chidambaram’s appointment as Finance Minister indicates that his party backs him to the hilt. It is also being seen as an indication of a shift in policy. The biggest criticism of the UPA 2 government, and the finance ministry under Mr Mukherjee, has been what is called its policy paralysis. Mr Chidambaram’s appointment will be interpreted as a thumbs up to reforms, seen as critical by industry. Mr Shinde has suddenly been the man in the hot seat over the last two days, with the Northern Grid collapsing yesterday, plunging 300 million people in darkness and then three grids – Northern, Eastern and North Eastern – collapsing today, leaving 19 states and 600 million people without power. If he is appointed Home Minister, Mr Shinde is likely to confront crises more frequently. It is a much bigger appointment and will come to him despite the Adarsh scam cloud and an average performance as power minister. But Mr Shinde, apart from being a veteran Congressman, is also a prominent Dalit leader. This exercise is being looked at more as a re-allocation of tasks and a bigger cabinet reshuffle is expected in a couple of months. Mr Chidambaram first became Finance Minister in 1996 as part of the short- lived United Front government. He later returned to the Finance Ministry in 2004 when the United Progressive Alliance came to power.

Continued from page 9 >>

Saarc international I Thursday 02 August 2012

SAARC

11

WEEKLY REVIEW OF AFGHANISTAN NEWS

02 August 2012 SAARC 1 1 WEEKLY REVIEW OF AFGHANISTAN NEWS U.S. Fund to Rebuild Afghanistan
02 August 2012 SAARC 1 1 WEEKLY REVIEW OF AFGHANISTAN NEWS U.S. Fund to Rebuild Afghanistan

U.S. Fund to Rebuild Afghanistan Is Criticized

million from Congress for what was christened the Afghanistan Infrastructure Fund and drew up plans for seven projects, five of them aimed at increasing the electricity supply in southern Afghanistan to light shops and power factories. The projects were to be completed by mid-2013, just as the NATO combat mission was to wind down.

A in i d es C on the t he T he c om s
A
in i
d
es
C
on
the
t
he
T
he
c
om
s
tat
fi
nd
e
ng
of o
f
i
nfr
The
T
he
Yet as the remaining surge forces
Yet as the remaining surge forces
in American reconstruction funds
in American reconstruction funds
to to
prepare
prepare
to
to
leave
leave
Afghanistan,
Afghanistan,
are being spent.
are being spent.

significant work on five of the seven projects has not yet begun and is unlikely to be completed until well after the NATO mission ends in 2014, according to a new report by

the Special Inspector General for

the

agency charged with

government

Reconstruction,

As a result, a program that was intendedtobringsoldiersandcivilians together to buttress the Obama administration’s counterinsurgency strategy could end up undercutting

it, according to the report, which is released Monday. The difficulties the report describes provide insight into why the results of the surge have

appearedambiguousandthebroader a pp

American-led m reconstruction effort

n Afghanistan A has often foundered,

despite the nearly $90 billion that

Congress has appropriated for it over

past decade.

The American Embassy and military

in a joint

rebutted the report’s

command

in

Kabul,

statement,

findings, saying that officials had

engaged

reviewing and refining the

infrastructure projects.

“have signaled

Afghan population the government’s long-term

U.S.

commitment to Afghanistan,” the statement said.

reached a

starkly

potential help for counterinsurgency

envisioned by officials is

“based on completed projects that are years away from completion.”

efforts

The

the

process”

in

a

“rigorous

projects

the

inspector

general

different

conclusion:

Two years ago, as the final pieces of the Obama administration’s troop surge were moving into place in southern Afghanistan, American officials identified a handful of infrastructure projects that they hoped would build popular support for the Afghan government in the Taliban’s heartland. The Pentagon and State Department secured $400

Mosque explosion kill 5 people in Uruzgan province

According to local authorities in southern Uruzgan province of Afghanistan, at least five people including an Afghan judge was killed following an explosion in

militants have so far claimed responsibility behind the incident. Local officials blame Taliban group for such incidents as the Taliban fighters frequently use

e Afg gov doc Afg Pre
e
Afg
gov
doc
Afg
Pre

this thi s province. prov i nce. The officials further added the incident took place early Monday morning in Tarinkot district after an explosive device went off in a mosque, killing the Afghan judge Taj Mohammad and four civilians. No group including the Taliban

explosive exp l os i ve devices d ev i ces as as the th e weapon weapon of their choice to target Afghan and coalition security forces and Afghan government officials. This comes as the district chief for Chak was asssassinated by unknown gunmen in Maidan Wardak province on Sunday.

Afghanpoliceofficerjailed over espionage charges to Iran

An Afghan court in western Afghanistan sentenced an Afghan police officer to 16 years jail over espionage charges to a neighboring country.

further information regarding the exact nation to which the accused

Afghan police officer was providing

information

a local

official speaking on the condition

been

accused of providing information

however

said he

officer

of o of a cc t o n The T he a cc fi na
of o
of
a
cc
t
o
n
The
T
he
a
cc
fi
na
h
as
r
eco
i
n
n
T
hi
ec
h
av
c
ha
a
nd
GhulamRassoul GhulamRassoul chief chief of of the the primary primary
ano
a
t
id th
Af h
li
ffi

court said the Afghan police officer

was accused of national treason.

The officials did not diclose

anonymity

court

police

has

to neighboring Iran.

verdict against the

was not

final and Afghan officials said he

for the

has the right to appeal

accused

reconsideration of the court verdict

in next court hearings.

This comes as a number of Afghan

s security and government officials

have been arrested over espionage

to neighboring Pakistan

and Iran during the recent years.

charges

another Afghan national was also

sentenced

espionage charges to neighboring Iran.

over

to

16

years

jail

Afghanistan

documenting how billions of dollars

Afghan president warns of corruption crackdown

K ar m ed to s se n b y e E nd fu el
K
ar
m
ed
to
s
se
n
b
y e
E
nd
fu
el
in
to
si
nc
th
e
A
l-
af
te
A
nd
a
dm
ra
n
poorest poorest
countries, countries,
Afghanistan Afghanistan
ranks k
among
the th
most
t
corrupt t

nations in the world. NATO has some 130,000 troops in the country fighting an insurgency by Taliban Islamists, but they are due to withdraw by the end of 2014 and there are widespread fears that civil war could follow their departure. In an attempt to prevent that, the 50 NATO-led countries involved in the war pledged $4.1 billion dollars in annual security aid at a summit in Chicago in May, while in Tokyo earlier this month donor nations said they would provide $16 billion in civilian aid through 2015 -- with several pre-conditions, including a clampdown on corruption. In his statement, Karzai called on the finance ministry to “prepare and implement within two months the plan for the follow-up of commitments made in the Tokyo conference”.

Karzai’s move comes amid local

media reports that he is planning

to shuffle his cabinet -- a highly

sensitive issue in a country riven

by ethnic and ideological divides.

been

fuelled by the cash that has poured

Endemic

corruption

has

into the country in the decade

since the US-led invasion toppled

the Taliban regime for harbouring

Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden

after the 9/11 attacks.

And while the Afghan government

admits corruption is rife within its

ranks, it has also in the past pointed

a a finger fi at the contract systems of

the international community. “All government institutions are emphaticallyinstructedtoseriously avoid signing construction, logistic (and) services contracts with high- ranking officials and the people they support,” Karzai said. “Such an action will be regarded as a crime and the perpetrators will be prosecuted,” he said. But as NATO combat troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, desperately needed cash is already making its own way out -- $4.6 billion left through Kabul airport in 2011, almost double the amount in the previous year, the finance ministry says. The scandal-plagued Kabul Bank, the country’s largest private lender, almost collapsed in 2010, with owners including one of Karzai’s brothers accused of pocketing $900 million in illegal loans.

Western-backed

President Hamid Karzai admitted

Afghanistan’s

Thursday Th that his government was

and issued a sweeping

directive dir for reform ahead of the

corrupt cor

withdrawal of international troops in 2014. Karzai’s move came just weeks after donor nations pledged $16 billion for Afghanistan to prevent the country from sliding back into turmoil when foreign combat forces depart but called on Kabul to implement reforms to fight graft. “Despite major achievements we have confronted problems in governance, the fight against

corruption, strengthening the rule of law and economic self- sufficiency,” Karzai said in a statement. The president -- who has faced

accusations he is part of the

problem rather than its solution

-- called on the Supreme Court

to “work on and finalise all the

cases regarding administrative

corruption, land-grabbing

within

six months”. “The high-ranking officials of

the government should distance themselves from supporting the criminals, law-breakers (and)

regardless of the

corrupt officials

government post or authority of

such persons,” he said. More than 10 years after a US-led invasion led to billions of dollars in aid flowing into one of the world’s

12

SAARC

Saarc international I Thursday 02 August 2012

WEEKLY REVIEW OF BANGLADESH NEWS

I Thursday 02 August 2012 WEEKLY REVIEW OF BANGLADESH NEWS DhakashouldworkdirectlywithWashington:Mozena The US
I Thursday 02 August 2012 WEEKLY REVIEW OF BANGLADESH NEWS DhakashouldworkdirectlywithWashington:Mozena The US

DhakashouldworkdirectlywithWashington:Mozena

The US ambassador in Dhaka, Dan

W Mozena, on Saturday said that

Bangladesh should create a good

climate in bilateral relations favourable to Washington to get GSP facility and duty-free access of its product to the

US

‘The issue of the GSP facility and duty- free access of Bangladeshi products to the US market is a totally political process. So I advise the government to work with the US government directly,’

he said at a discussion at the Dhaka

Chamber of Commerce and Industry. ‘Pursuing the ambassador on this issue is just wasting your time.’ The DCCI organised the meeting on US-Bangladesh bilateral trade. The organisation’s president Asif Ibrahim read out the keynote paper on the issue.

Business leaders and economists at the meeting urged the US government to continue with the generalised system

of preference facility and duty-free

access of Bangladeshi products to the

US market and to import products

other than apparels. Mozena hinted that Bangladesh should sign the Trade and Investment Cooperation Forum Agreement (Ticfa) with the United States to get GSP and duty-free access. ‘After four years of negotiation on Ticfa, there is a perception in the United States that Bangladesh would not sign Ticfa and walk back from its international labour obligations,’ he said. Bangladesh should send a strong message to the United States that it does support labour rights and there would be no more labour rights violation in the country, he said. Bangladesh can, however, file a petition with the US congress on GSP facility and duty-free access as a US labour rights organisation AFLCIO applied to the US Trade Representative to cancel GSP facility for Bangladesh over an

allegation of labour rights violation, he said.

i ssu a dd to t o i nve the he t i nst ‘
i
ssu
a
dd
to t o
i
nve
the he
t
i
nst
Ban
in i n
i
nfr
weak
w
ea
e
ne
b
ur
The
T
he
port
p
port
US US
ambassador ambassador
also also
expressed expressed
his his
Bangladesh Bangladesh as as the the bridge bridge would would link link the the
tran
disa
ointment that Ban ladesh and

disappointment that Bangladesh and

the World Bank could not reach a solution to the problem over financing the Padma bridge project. ‘I am deeply disappointed that both parties were not able to find ways to come up with a resolution on the issue,’ he said at the discussion. Mozena hoped that Bangladesh and the World Bank would find a solution as efforts were on to do so. He termed the Padma bridge vital for

energy

country’s countr ’s southwest southwest to to the the the the capital ca ital

and contribute to economic growth. Mozena also expressed concern about political instability and uncertainty, corruption, law and order, and labour

issues,

and stressed the need for

the issues to boost export

the t US market and attract more

in Bangladesh from

United States. ‘Investors hate

addressing

investments

instability.’

‘Bangladesh

market.

has some other challenges

attracting a FDI such as inadequate

infrastructure,

transport system, shortage of

and power and prolonged

bureaucratic

government has to improve

facilities, communications and

especially the

Dhaka–Chittagong Highway which is

a big barrier for investors, energy and power generation, transparency and corruption issues, he said.

transport

including port facilities,

process.

system,

Bangladesh can’t help Rohingya: PM

Hasina says her country can not afford to accommodate more refugees

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has told Al Jazeera that her country cannot afford to accommodate more Rohingya Muslim refugees fleeing persecution in neighbouring Myanmar. During an interview to Al Jazeera in London on Friday Hasina said this. The statement follows reports that Bangladeshi authorities have been rejecting many of the asylum seekers. Sheikh Hasina defended the policy, saying Bangladesh is already

Al Jazeera: But in the last two months, we have seen the pictures ourselves, Bangladeshi guards physically turning people back, returning them to danger… Hasina: No, listen, listen, Bangladeshi guards, they behaved humanitarianly; they provided food for them, medicine for them, they provided money and they just allowed them to return to their own home. Al Jazeera: Not allow but they forced

them to return….

Hasina: No, it is not true. They did not

force them, rather they pursued them

that, ‘you should go back to your own

country,’ and they went back.

Al Jazeera: PM, you know full well that

they are being persecuted in their own

country, they tried to run away and they

were refused entry to your country.

Hasina: Well, why we should allow

to enter our country? We just pursue

and we provided them all,

everything what they needed. Why you are asking these questions? You should ask these questions to the Myanmar

government. It is not our responsibility,

it is their responsibility.

Al Jazeera: And have you ever expressed concern to the government of Myanmar about how the Rohingya are treated in Arakan province? Hasina: Of course, we do. Al Jazeera: And what do they say? Hasina: Well, they are creating congenial atmosphere, they are providing all the assistance everything. Al Jazeera: Do you actually believe that? Hasina: Yes, why not? Al Jazeera: Do you think, the Rohingya are treated fairly in Arakan province? Hasina: Ah, I told you that it is their citizen! So, it is up to them.

them,

t the H as f orc t hat c ou A l J t hey
t
the
H
as
f
orc
t
hat
c
ou
A
l J
t
hey
c
ou
w
er
H
as
overpopulated. overpopulated. There There are are already already about about
t
o
e
300,000 300,000 Rohingya Rohingya living living in in refugee refugee
the

camps in the country.

Hasina said that it is not her country’s responsibility to help all of the refugees.

Here is the interview posted by Al Jazeera on its website:

Hasina: It is up to their government, so you should put pressure or you should talk to the Myanmar government not

to Bangladesh. It is not the Bangladesh

people’s responsibility, right? Al Jazeera: These are people in a desperate humanitarian situation and surely there are basic principles, human principles, moral principles, that compel you to help them. Hasina: Bangladesh is already an overpopulated country, we cannot bear this burden. You should realise that. But now things are okay. Things are improving, so no refugees are coming.

Bangladesh PM for greater contract with UK parliamentarians

The Bangladesh prime minister, Sheikh Hasina, has underlined the importance of greater institutional contact between the parliamentarians of Bangladesh and Britain to further

strengthen historic relations between

the two countries.

Sheikh Hasina, now in London to attend opening ceremony of Olympic Games 2012, expressed this view when leader of the opposition and Labour Party leader Edward Samuel Miliband called on the prime minister

democratic governance and the rule of law. She also informed the Labour Party leader of the development achieved by Bangladesh over the last few years in different sectors including food production, health and education, information and communication technology and poverty reduction. Hasina said British Labour Party and Bangladesh Awami League share a history and commonality in objectives and approach. So, both parties may

and fair polls, our government is making relentless efforts to keep the country’s electoral process completely neutral and free from government interference,’ she said. Referring to the elections held in Bangladesh in the last three and a half years, she said all the polls at local and national levels were held peacefully without any influence of the government. All future election in

Bangladesh will also be held in a free, fair and neutral manner, she said.

popularity

Acknowledging

Labour Party among British

the prime minister

leadership in

Bangladeshis,

Ack A of o f B an p rai r eva p oli In I
Ack
A
of o f
B
an
p
rai
r
eva
p
oli
In I
c
itiz
the
t
he
n
iec
c
ou
o
f L
L
ab
a t
er
o e
t l
su
it
on on
F id
ay
and and

at her h hotel h suite e in i n London L d Friday r afternoon. PM’s press secretary Abul KalamAzad told the news agency that the prime minister apprised Miliband of the

latest political situation of Bangladesh

as well

processes,

functioning of Jatiya Sangsad and her government’s continuous stride to strengthen institutions related to

as the political

formaliseinstitutionallinkagethrough f orma li se i ns tit u ti ona l li n k age th roug h better engagement in future, she said. She thanked the British Labour Party leader for his continued interest in Bangladesh and support to its people

for

flourishing

democracy.Shementionedthesupport of British government for holding a

free and fair election in 2008.

‘In continuation of

free

development

and

those

the

praised

Miliband’s

revamping

politics.

his party within British

n this t regard, she mentioned election

of o f first-ever fi Bangladesh origin British

Rushanara Ali as a member of

House of Commons, her (PM’s)

niece Rezwana Siddiqui Tulip as a

of London, and others as

citizen

councilor

mayor m ay andcouncillors intwoboroughs

of London City.

LabourPartyleaderDouglasAlexander

accompanied

Miliband during the meeting. Foreign minister Dipu Moni, ambassador- at-large M Ziauddin and Bangladesh

ambassador in London M Sayeedur Rahman Khan, were present. Earlier, noted journalist and writer

Gaffar Chowdhury met the

Abdul

prime minister. Rehana, youngest daughter of Sheikh

Rushanara

Ali

Saarc international I Thursday 02 August 2012

SAARC

13

WEEKLY REVIEW OF BHUTAN NEWS

02 August 2012 SAARC 1 3 WEEKLY REVIEW OF BHUTAN NEWS Powerfailure:DelhiMetroservicesresume
02 August 2012 SAARC 1 3 WEEKLY REVIEW OF BHUTAN NEWS Powerfailure:DelhiMetroservicesresume
Powerfailure:DelhiMetroservicesresume afterelectricitysupplyfromBhutan Services on all six lines of the Delhi Metro
Powerfailure:DelhiMetroservicesresume
afterelectricitysupplyfromBhutan
Services on all six lines of the Delhi
Metro resumed by 8.45 a.m. after
almost three hours of disruption
due to tripping of the power
supply across northern India, an
official said here on Monday.
“Services in all the six lines
became normal by 8.45 a.m. We
are receiving hydel power from
Bhutan on priority basis,” a Delhi
Metro official said.
He added that Delhi Metro was
amongst the emergency services,
including the Prime Minister’s
residence and the All India
Institute of Medical Sciences
(AIIMS), being provided power.
“We were unable to operate any of
the lines for an hour from 6 a.m.
to 7 a.m. due to tripping of power
supply. At 7 a.m. we restored
25 percent of the trains on all
the lines, and now all the trains
are plying as usual,” the official
added.
The Northern Grid failure also
caused power cuts in most parts
of Delhi. Delhi Metro normally
operates over 2,700 trips a day,
covering about 70,000 km and
carrying around 1.8 million
passengers on week days.
Thousands of commuters faced
severe hardship in the morning
hours on Monday when Delhi
Metro services were largely
be be restored restored after after 9 9 am am on on all all lines lines
except the Gurgaon corridor,
which might take some more
time, they said.
As majority of the trains were
taken off services due to power
failure, the frequency of trains
became an all-time low of 20
minutes on a few corridors in the
first few hours in the morning,
people were stranded at several
Metro stations.
Sources said that though the
failure in the Northern Grid is
As services were not available in
the morning, people were forced
to take over-crowded buses
and auto rickshaws. Passengers
alleged that there were no proper
announcements about the power
failure at Metro stations.
The disruption in services came
as a jolt to thousands of office-
goers who depend on Metro to
reach their workplace without
any hassle. Delhi Metro carries
around 18 lakh passengers a day.

Bhutan focuses on preventing Hepatitis B

With more than 700 cases annually, it’s the most dominant type in the country Concerned with the fluctuating

Themed “It’s closer than you think,” health ministry officials said Bhutan’s focus is on Hepatitis B, which is dominant in the country.

it was replaced with pentavalent vaccine. Health officials said pentavalent

vaccine is effective when an infant

“There are

two forms of vaccines, one is the

i is s t wo birt 24 24 mo an t hre pen wee “
i is
s
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wo
birt
24 24
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t
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pen
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“ “If If
t
im
l
ike
t
eta
t
ub
i
ncl
number of cases it sees ever
number of cases it sees every year;
y y
ear;
Bhutan
Bhutan
introduced
introduced
Hepatitis
Hepatitis
B
B
had
Bhutan joined the world yesterday
Bhutan joined the world
esterda
vaccine
vaccine
into
into
its
its
immunisation
immunisation
bab

to observe World Hepatitis Day. On an average, about 770 cases of viral Hepatitis were seen annually in Bhutan in the last seven years.

schedule in 1997, which in 2003 was combined in the tetravalent vaccine with diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis vaccines. In 2009,

below

hours

doses

one

after

year.

birth dose which is given within

birth called the

monovalent Hepatitis B vaccine,”

an official said. “In the other form,

are integrated with

pentavalent vaccine which should

three

be be g given in the sixth, 10th and 14th

week after birth.”

vaccination is not done on

time, infants are prone to diseases

like malaria, measles, diphtheria,

tetanus, pertussis, hepatitis B and

the

offi official said.

among

tuberculosis

others,”

Of Of t the 15,000 babies born annually

includingstillbirths,healthministry

had targeted to vaccinate 13,693

They achieved

93.4 percent with 12,796 babies receiving the complete dose. The ministry is targeting to immunise more than 95 percent this year.

babies

last

year.

HisMajestygrantsland Kidu to people of Wangdue

disrupted owing to a major failure in the Northern Grid that supplies power to the
disrupted owing to a major failure
in the Northern Grid that supplies
power to the modern transport
system.
The train services are expected to
expected to be rectified only in
the evening, Delhi Metro was
getting hydel power from Bhutan
on priority basis along with power
from AIIMS and Prime Minister’s
Bhutan
Bhutan
King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck
Kin
g
Ji me Khesar Nam
g
gy
el Wan chuck
g
granted 1,989 acres of
g
ranted 1
,9
8
9
acres of
House House to to run run the the services

land as Kidu to the people of Wangdue Dzongkhag. In Wangdue, there are a total of 8,211 land cases. In addition to granting the land, the excess land cost will be waived. Those who have already paid the cost shall be reimbursed. The Kidu in Wangdue in excess land is 2,752 acres of land and a total cost of Nu 28.4 million. The total excess land Kidu in the dzongkhag was 7,610 acres, including chhuzhing excess of 4,857 acres Granting the Kidu, His Majesty said the Kidu was granted so that the people’s lives are made easier and in the hope that they will utilize the land to bring great benefit to the lives of their children and grandchildren. His Majesty told the people that he understands the difficulties of life in rural Bhutan. “Homes have to be built, families must be looked after and children must be put to school. The simple task of buying CGI sheets for the roof of a small house is an immense undertaking in remote villages,” His Majesty said. A king’s sacred duty, His Majesty said, is looking after the wellbeing and Kidu of the people. “I pray that my people will utilize to the fullest the Kidu I strive to bring to them, and ensure that its benefits accrue, not only to them

but to the future generations,” His Majesty said. “I do so wholeheartedly in the knowledge that this land Kidu is going to none other than our humble, hardworking and committed farmers. I am most happy if it is of benefit to them, the back bone of our nation.”

Bhutan’sfirstwomandzongda

(governor)makeshistory

b ase c ivil Fro Nga She deg j oin 99 divi a ssi a
b
ase
c
ivil
Fro
Nga
She
deg
j
oin
99
divi
a
ssi
a
nd
She
Poli
Ngawang
Ngawang
Pem,
Pem,
the
the
chief
chief
human
human
On
resource
resource
officer
officer
in
in
the
the
agriculture
agriculture

From

ministry, has been appointed as the dzongda (governor) of Tsirang, making her the first woman dzongda in Bhutan. “I have mixedfeelings about it, because I’m excited for this opportunity but, at thesametime, I’manxiouswhetherI’ll

be able to do my job up to the mark,” Ngawang Pem said in an interview last evening. She received her appointment earlier in the afternoon, when His Majesty appointed three other dzongdas on the recommendation of prime minister,

based on nominations of the royal

civil service commission.

Trashigang,

Pem graduated from

Sherubtse with a Bachelors of Arts

Kanglung

in

Ngawang

degree in the summer of 1993. She

joined the civil service in February

1 1994 as a trainee officer in home

min ministry’s administration and finance

She was promoted to

assistant personnel officer a year later,

division.

and then as assistant director.

She went for her Master’s in Public

Policy in 2004.

On returning in 2006, she served as

the the chief human resource officer in

the home ministry for four years, and another two years in the agriculture ministry. NgawangPemsaidshewasanticipating this event for the past three to four years, after she was nominated for the third time for this post. With 18 years of experience behind her, Ngawang Pem, 41, is nervous yet ready to step into what has always been men’s shoes. “I’ll be working on the public level with public issues, rather than human resource that I’ve

been doing until now,” she said.

14

SAARC

Saarc international I Thursday 02 August 2012

WEEKLY REVIEW OF INDIA NEWS
WEEKLY REVIEW OF
INDIA NEWS

Court convicts 22, acquits 61 in Deepda Darwaza riots case

Twenty one of 22 people found guilty in the Deepda Darwaza 2002 Gujarat riots case have been sentenced to life imprisonment. One, a policeman, has been handed a one-year jail term for dereliction of duty. A former BJP MLA, Prahlad Gosa, is among 61 people acquitted. On February 28, 2002, an entire family of 11, including two children, were hacked to death by a rioting mob at Deepda Darwaza area of Visnagar town in Mehsana district. The bodies were then set on fire. Of the 22 people convicted earlier this morning, 21 were found guilty of attempt to murder under Section 307 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC); none was convicted for murder under Section 302. The police inspector, MK Patel, was held guilty of dereliction of duty.

The The judge judge gave gave the the former former BJP BJP The Deepda Darwaza
The The judge judge gave gave the the former former BJP BJP
The Deepda Darwaza massacre is
The
Deepda
Darwaza massacre
is
in which is expected next month.
in
which
is
expected
next
month.
hurt), hurt), 324 324 (voluntarily (voluntarily causing causing hurt hurt
MLA, MLA,
Mr Mr
Gosa, Gosa,
the the
benefit benefit
of of
one of the nine cases, including
one
of
the
nine
cases,
including
During the course of trial, the court
During the course of trial, the court
by by dangerous dangerous weapons weapons or or means), means),

doubt while acquitting him. Charges had initially been framed against 83 accused, including three women, but the court later allowed the application of complainant Mohammad Iqbal Baloch, listing the Mr Gosa and the policeman Mr Patel, as additional accused in the case, taking the total number to 85. Later, one accused was found to be a minor and one died during trial.

the Godhra train burning case, that was investigated by the Special Investigation Team (SIT) on orders of the Supreme Court. It is the second case of rioting where among the accused there are three women who were charged with murder and other crimes. Former Gujarat minister Maya Kodnani and other two women were tried in the Naroda Patiya case, verdict

had examined 167 witnesses, out of whom 12 were prime witnesses. Among the accused in the Deepda Darwaza case, three were women who had been charged with murder and other crimes, but they were also acquitted. Earlier, all 83 accused were charged under sections 302 (murder), 307 (attempted murder), 323 (punishmentforvoluntarilycausing

325 (causing grievous hurt with deadly weapons), 367 (kidnapping in order to cause grievous hurt) of Indian Penal Code among other sections. Deepda Darwaza is one of the nine cases, including the Godhra train burning case, that was probed by the Special Investigation Team (SIT) on orders of the Supreme Court.

Hazare begins fast, demands passage of Jan Lokpal bill

Septuagenarian social activist Anna Hazare began an indefinite fast against corruption here Sunday brushing away concerns about his health, saying people would not let him die till the Jan Lokpal bill for setting up an ombudsman was passed. Hazare, 75, began his fast at 10.30 a.m. at the Jantar Mantar in the heart of the capital, very near the seat of the Indian government. It is his third

indefinite fast inthe capital injust over

a year. The soldier-turned-activist’s

12-day long-fast in August last year had attracted massive following and forced the government to get working on a Lokpal bill.

Some 350 others, including three Team Anna members, have been fasting at the site since Wednesday.

Fifteen of them had to be hospitalized after their condition deteriorated. Addressing the crowd of a few thousands, Hazare said: “I am ready to sacrifice my life for the cause. I am confident that people will not let me die.” “People will not let me die till Jan Lokpal bill is passed,” said Hazare as his supporters cheered. He also said that though India was a democracy, the people had forgotten the real meaning of the word and it was time

to awaken the people for a return to

real people’s power. “They (politicians) are servants and we

people are the owners; but the picture today is that people have become the servant and the politicians are the owner,” he thundered to loud cheers. “This movement is to awaken the people,” Hazare said. Hazare denied accusations that Team Anna was

d ay d om also a lso S hil t old t he c om
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ay
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om
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oin
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eti
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ny
t
hat
deviating deviating
from from
its its
stated stated
aim aim
of of
He said the protest was a reaction by
He said the protest was a reaction by
t
this
getting getting the the Jan Jan Lokpal Lokpal Bill Bill passed passed
people angry with the government.
people angry with the government.
A A

in parliament. “It is the government which is moving away from its path. Our main demand is to get the Jan Lokpal Bill passed.” He quickly added that as long as all 15 ministers in the Manmohan Singh government who Hazare alleges are corrupt remain in parliament, the Lokpal Bill will not be passed. He also touched on yoga guru Baba Ramdev sharing the dais with Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi in Ahmedabad, saying: “I do not want to be dragged into this muddy debate”, and then warned: “Don’t try to divide us.” He added immediately that if he saw themovement becomingdirectionless “I will stop it right there.” Later Hazare

launched a book titled “Swaraj” by Team Anna member Arvind Kejriwal, who is also on fast at the venue. Besides Kejriwal, two other team members on fast are Manish Sisodia, and Gopal Rai. Earlier, Hazare used diplomatic language to criticise Saturday’s surprise protest by some of his supporters outside Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s official residence.

However he advised his supporters to

“think before doing any such things”

The crowds appeared to

be more Sunday compared to earlier

in future.

Anna

days. While the crowd was largely

dominated by youngsters, the elderly

turned up in huge numbers.

Shilpa Gupta, an Anna supporter,

told IANS: “I was not able to come

I decided to

come to Jantar Mantar today to

the last four days.

join the fight against corruption.”

a 69-year-old

retired

“The government can say

anything it wants to, but the fact is

told

IANS:

H Harkishan ar

Gupta,

government

official,

that somebody has been keeping up

this fight against corruption.”

group of young chartered

have volunteered to

manage

Against Corruption, run by Team

at the venue.

accountants

India

the

donations

for

members,

Saksham Mittal, 32, an accountant

with a private firm, said he could not join the movement last August “but

this time I did not want to miss the

opportunity,” Mittal said.

The Lokpal Bill was passed by the

Lok Sabha in the winter session last

year, but got stuck in the Rajya Sabha and was referred to a parliamentary

select committee. It was expected to

be tabled during the budget session

but was not. Team Anna members

are demanding that their version of the bill be incorporated and passed

by parliament. Team Anna has permission to fast at Jantar Mantar till Aug 8, the day the parliament’s monsoon session is expected to begin.

Anna has permission to fast at Jantar Mantar till Aug 8, the day the parliament’s monsoon

Saarc international I Thursday 02 August 2012

NEWS

15

AssamViolence: ManmohanSinghVisitsRiot- Hit Kokrajhar, Assures Full Support to Victims

Prime Minister Manmoahn Singh reached out to the victims of Assam riots in relief camps on Saturday and assured that the Centre will do everything possible to help the victims. PM Manmohan Singh meeting victims of violence in Kokrajhar relief camp in Assam “I have come here to share your sorrow and pain. This is a time for healing,” said Singh, while meeting the victims of Assam ethnic riots that lasted for a week. “My government will do everything possible to help the victims. We are here to talk to the people directly”. The Prime Minister reached the riot-hit Kokrajhar on an IAF chopper after his helicopter returned to the Lokopriyo Bordoloi

“ Th r eh K ok o f A p eo h om h av
Th
r
eh
K
ok
o
f A
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eo
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om
h
av
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am
B
es
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en
h
av
t
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he
b
i
nci
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er
International International Airport Airport in in Ghuwati, Ghuwati,
but but
reports reports
suggested suggested
that that
the the
IAF IAF aircraft. aircraft. The The Prime Prime Minister’s Minister’s
t
he
just just
minutes minutes
after after
its its
take take
off. off.
chopper chopper encountered encountered a a technical technical
office office is is expected expected to to give give further further

Initially, the airport officials informed that the PM’s chopper was called back due to bad weather

problem. The Prime Minister reached the relief camps in Kokrajhar by an

details about the aircraft problem. While talking to the reporters at Kokrajhar relief camps, the PMsaid,

“This is no time for recriminations,

w we e need to first help the people to

rehabilitate and bring peace”

Kokrajhar district was the epicentre

of Assam riots, which killed over 50

people besides leaving about 2 lakh

homeless. Since last week, villagers

have taken shelter at the relief

camps fearing a meltdown.

and

parliamentary forces

have also been deployed across

stand-

by y to prevent any further rioting

Besides

Centre

state

forces,

villages

army

on

affected

incidents. No fresh rioting incidents

were reported since Thursday. As

the state gradually getting back

to to i its normalcy, the officials have eased the indefinite curfew in the

morning but the night curfew still remains.

Imran Khan awarded honorary fellowship by Royal College of Physicians

the Royal College of Physicians of

Edinburgh(RCPE)inrecognitionfor

his contribution to cancer services.

The fellowship has been awarded

for his contribution through the

Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer

Hospital and Research Centre. The

RCPE is a professional membership

organisation with a membership

over 10,000 “fellows” in 91

Imran Khan founded Khanum on December

2 29, 1994. The inspiration for the

countries.

Shaukat

hospital and research centre came

after the death of his mother, Mrs

Shaukat Khanum, due to cancer.

The trust uses donations to help

patients with cancer through the

application of modern methods of

curative and palliative therapy free

of cost.

Padma Bridge a must: Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said

that if the expatriate Bangladeshis

send more remittance, there will be no

need to collect subscriptions to build

the multi-purpose Padma Bridge. ‘If we could liberate the country and

put the war criminals in the dock,

why won’t we be able to build a

bridge? The Padma Bridge must be

built,’ she said at a discussion after an

iftar party hosted by the UK chapter of Awami League at Park Plaza Hotel

in Westminster on Saturday evening.

Recounting the contribution of the

Bangladeshi expatriates in the UK, Hasina

said England is the birthplace of all

movements in Bangladesh.

‘From this city of London Rehana and I had protested against the assassination of Bangabandhu in

t he E di h is T he f or S ha H os R
t
he
E
di
h
is
T
he
f
or
S
ha
H
os
R
C
o
rg
o of f
c
ou
S
ha
9,
h
os
a
fte
S
ha
T
he
p
ati
The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI)
The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI)
a
pp
founder
founder
Imran
Imran
Khan
Khan
has
has
been
been
cur

awarded an honorary fellowship by

1980 1980 and and launched launched the the movement movement demand. demand. The The Bangladesh
1980 1980 and and launched launched the the movement movement
demand. demand.
The The Bangladesh Bangladesh Bank Bank is is
for for
democracy democracy
in in
Bangladesh Bangladesh
giving giving loans loans at at
only only 4.5 4.5 per per cent cent

in cooperation with expatriate Bangladeshis,’ she said. Hasina expressed her gratitude to leaders and workers of UK Awami League and the expatriates for encouraging her to return to Bangladesh in 2007 when the then caretaker government did not want

her back.

Inviting investment from the expatriate Bangladeshis, she said they can invest in sectors like food

processing and small- and medium-

scale industries. Hasina said the country has been divided into seven economic zones

for encouraging foreign investment and the opening of foreign currency

accounts has been eased.

Besides, she said Expatriate Welfare Bank has been established and approval given to set up three NRB banks in Bangladesh.

She said since the expatriate Bangladeshis are engaged in the restaurant business in UK, they can invest in spice processing factories in Bangladesh and meet their own

interest for establishment of spice factories. Hasina praised the Bangladeshi restaurant owners in UK for sending a huge amount of remittance to Bangladesh. She assured the people from Sylhet, now living in the UK, that direct London-Sylhet air flights would be introduced soon. She reiterated her government’s pledge to turn Bangladesh into a middle-income economy by 2021. UK Awami League president Sultan Sharif presided over the discussion. Awami League general secretary and LGRD minister Syed Ashraful Islam, foreign minister Dipu Moni, Labour Party MPs Vallery Vaz and Mike Gaipse, ex- Minister Jerald Kafman, Sylhet AL general secretary Shafiqur Rahman MP and European AL president Anil Das Gupta were among those who spoke at the function. Sheikh Hasina’s son Sajeev Wajed Joy and Sheikh Rehana’s daughter labour councillor Tulip Siddique were present on the occasion.

Zardari invites Singh to visit Pakistan

President Asif Ali Zardari formally invites the Indian prime minister to visit Pakistan, an official said, the latest sign that tensions are easing between the two countries. “I can confirm that President Asif Ali Zardari has sent a letter to the Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and invited him to visit Pakistan,” Zardari’s spokesman, Farhatullah Babar, told AFP. “The letter has been sent through the High Commission (of Pakistan in India) and the president also invited PM Manmohan Singh to visit his ancestral hometown in Pakistan.” It was not immediately clear when the visit would take place,

N ov T he r ela The T he have h av i nd r
N
ov
T
he
r
ela
The
T
he
have
h
av
i
nd
r
esu
p
ea
P
ak
E
ar
c
hie
in i
C
ric
the
t
he
but but the the Press Press Trust Trust of of India India news news
166 66
1
agency agency suggested suggested that that it it could could be be
cap

chiefs

November.

The invitation is the latest bid

by b y the neighbours to normalise

relations.

nuclear-armed rivals

since

independence in 1947, but in 2010

a fragile and slow-moving

peace process suspended by the

fought

three

wars

resumed

2008 2 00 Mumbai attacks blamed on

Pakistani gunmen.

Earlier this month, Indian cricket

invited Pakistan for a series

n December-January D -- the rivals’

first fi rst in five years.

Cricket ties were also severed after

Mumbai attacks, which killed people in India’s financial

capital.

16

South Asia Tribune I Thursday 02 August 2012

South Asia Tribune I Thursday 02 August 2012

17

The opening ceremony of the London 2012

Olympic Games starts at the Olympic Stadium in London, Britain, July 27, 2012

sweep sweep through through British British history history by by grassing grassing over over the
sweep sweep through through British British history history by by grassing grassing over over the the
was was his his priority. priority.
Archery Archery world world record record
The Games’ first medals will be decided in the
The
Games’
first
medals
will
be
decided
in
the
record eight gold medals four years ago in Beijing is
record eight gold medals four years ago in Beijing, is
,
arena in a d depiction of the pastoral t idyll mythologized l i d
are
i
i ti
f th
l id ll
th
S S
Suicide i i attacks k on L London d on J July l 7, 2005, the
i id
tt
200
th
women’s 10 meters air rifle final on Saturda
women’s 10 meters air rifle final on Saturday, with
with
biddin
bidding to become the first swimmer to win gold in
to become the first swimmer to win
old in
by by the romantic poet William Blake as “England’s
day after London was awarded the Games, killed
gre green and pleasant land”.
52 people. This year the Games will mark the 40th
Idy Idyll turned swiftly to inferno as the Industrial
anniversary of the 1972 Munich massacre, when
Re Revolution’s “dark Satanic mills” burst from the
11 Israeli Olympic team members were killed by
gro ground, before those same mills forged the last of
five five giant rings that interlocked and were carried
alo aloft by balloons.
Britain’s Queen Elizabeth declared the London
Britain’s Queen Elizabeth declared the London
times. times.
“Over recent months many in these islands have
“Over recent months, many in these islands have
,
Ma Many sequences turned the entire stadium into a
Palestinian militants.
“This is the biggest security operation in our
peacetime history, bar none,” Cameron said, “and
we are leaving nothing to chance.”
Alth Although h no medals d l will ill b be awarded d d until til S Saturday, t d
the women’s soccer tournament started on
Wednesday, and on Friday South Korean archers set
the first world records of the Games.
Im Dong-hyun, who suffers from severe myopia and
just aims at “a blob of yellow colour”, broke his own
72-arrow world record with a score of 699 out of a
possible 720, leading his two colleagues to a record
combined score as well.
the big action coming in the men’s cycling road race,
where world champion Mark Cavendish is favorite
to become Britain’s first gold medallist.
In the evening, Americans Michael Phelps and
Ryan Lochte are scheduled to line up for a classic
confrontation in the men’s 400 meters individual
medley final.
Phelps, competing in seven events after winning a
the same discipline three times in a row.
“This is going to be a special race,” said Gregg Troy,
head coach of the American men’s team. “I can’t
imagine a better way to promote our sport than a
race like this on the first day.”
Chinese shooter Yi Siling shot down the first London
Olympics gold medal in women’s 10-meter air rifle
Saturday with a score of 502.9 points on Saturday.
Olympicsopenafterplayingacameoroleinadizzying
Ol m ics o
en after
la in a cameo role in a dizz in
Most Most
of of
them them
were were
there there
for for
the the
traditional traditional
watched watched with with growing rowin excitement excitement the the journe journey of of the the

ceremony designed to highlight the grandeur and eccentricities of the nation that invented modern sport. Children’s voices intertwining from the four corners of her United Kingdom ushered in an exuberant historical pageant of meadows, steel mills and megapixels before an audience of 60,000 in the Olympic Stadium and a probable billion television viewers around the globe. Many of them gasped at the sight of the 86-year- old queen, marking her Diamond Jubilee this year, putting aside royal reserve in a video where she stepped onto a helicopter with James Bond actor Daniel Craig to be carried aloft from Buckingham Palace. A film clip showed doubles of her and Bond skydiving towards the stadium and, moments later, she made her entrance in person. “Great Britain was the cradle of modern sport,” International Olympic Committee President Jacques Rogge told reporters. “You invented modern sport in the second half of the 19th century.” To underline the point, Bradley Wiggins, crowned five days earlier as Britain’s first winner of the Tour de France and hoping to add more road cycling gold in London, tolled the world’s largest tuned bell to begin the ceremony. David Beckham, the English soccer icon who helped to convince the IOC to grant London the Games, sped down the Thames in a speedboat bearing the Olympic flame on the penultimate leg of a torch relay that inspired many ordinary people around Britain. And in one moment of simple drama, the stadium fell silent as five giant, incandescent Olympic rings, symbolically forged from British steel mills, were lifted slowly out of the stadium by weather balloons, destined for the stratosphere. More than 10,000 athletes from 204 countries will compete in 26 sports over 17 days of competition in the only city to have staged the modern Games three

vast video screen made up of tens of thousands of

“pixels” attached to the seats. One giant message,

unveiled by Tim Berners-Lee, British inventor of the

alphabetical parade of the national teams, not least the athletes from Egypt, Tunisia, Libya and Yemen

Olympic torch around the United Kingdom. As the torch has passed through villages and towns, it has

London Olympics 2012: Fear of further empty seats at Olympic venues is due to threats
London Olympics 2012: Fear of further empty
seats at Olympic venues is due to threats of attack?
Olympic opening ceremony scenes axed over security fears
March Last year Sky Television reported
Terrorists could use a “blended attack”
to simultaneously hit physical targets
and cyber systems during the London
Olympic Games, a security expert has
warned. Weeks earlier, the Sunday Times
claimed Al Qaeda was believed to be
planning an Olympics attack. Quoting
unnamed intelligence sources, a recruited
Norwegian Muslim allegedly intended
“to hijack a US passenger plane and
crash it on a suicide mission.” Later The
Sunday Times published an inflammatory
propaganda piece. It headlined “Israel
fears Iran attack at Games,” saying:
London in order to defend the Olympic
Games from an airborne terrorist attack,
the Ministry of Defence confirmed.
Britain’s defense secretary has confirmed
the six sites that will host surface-to-air
missiles as part of security measures to
protect the Games.
MI5andNewScotlandYardarereportedly
thought to have raised their threat
million Olympic opening ceremony show
has been cut by half an hour, claims The
Sun. In the wake of the G4S security snafu,
a London 2012 source said the cuts had
been ordered because more time was now
needed to get the crowd in and out of the
stadium. Half-a-million Olympic football
tickets have been withdrawn from sale as
London 2012 organisers have been forced
Olympic organisers have brought in
soldiers to fill the empty seats that have
been blighting some Olympic venues
. Lord Coe revealed members of the
military are being brought in at the last
minute and students and teachers from
the local area are also being invited to
watch various sporting events.
The move comes after hundreds of seats
get people from local communities along
to watch the games including selling
more tickets online, some at heavily
discounted prices.
He said: “We can clearly sell more tickets,
which we did yesterday (Saturday). We
sold something like 1,000 tickets over
three sessions. The other thing is we can
tactically upgrade and move people.”
“I d don’t think you will be seeing this as
I
a
an i issue, long-term through the Games.”
n
T
The
he
head
of
the British Olympic
A
Association has called for new measures
sso
t
to a avoid swathes of empty seats at some
o
of the most popular events during the
o
f t
London is militarized with thousands of
troops, police and private security guards.
Information suggesting a potential
terrorist attack is lacking. The Times based
its report on what Israeli officials claim,
real or otherwise. The Sunday Times
reported Israeli officials have warned that
an Iranian terror squad in Europe may
be planning to attack its athletes at the
2012 Olympic Games, sparking the largest
security operation in peacetime Britain,
The Sunday Times reports further that
“panic rooms have been installed beneath
the stadium as a haven for VIPs and
spectators in the event of an attack.”
Rapier and Starstreak surface-to-air
missiles are to be deployed at sites around
London Games.
L
on
Lord Moynihan wants to bring in a 30-
L
or
m minute in rule on ticketing so that people
w
who fail to turn up on time lose their
ho
s
seats.
eat
assessment assessment in in light light of of the the terrorist terrorist attack attack in in
to admit that the r
to admit that there will be swathes of
e
will b
e swathes of
were were left left unfilled unfilled this this weekend weekend at at a a
“ “We “We need every seat filled,” he said. “We
Bulgaria Bulgaria on on Wednesday. Wednesday. The The Mossad Mossad, says says
empty seats at matches outsid ethecapital
empty seats at matches outside the capital,
chesoutsid
number number of of events events including including swimming, swimming
owe owe it to the team, we owe it to British
the Sunday Times, “is hunting a group of
white Europeans who are thought to have
converted to Islam and to be working with
the Iranian Quds force and Hezbollah, the
terrorist group backed by Tehran. Hyping
non-existent London threats advance the
ball for more Middle East war. But all
threats and fear created one visible result
and that was empty seats.
DANNY BOYLE’S controversial £27
reports The Independent. With a million
tickets still unsold Locog has decided
to close off some parts of the grounds
that are most undersold, including the
entire top tier of Millennium Stadium
in Cardiff. Despite pulling the tickets,
Locog claimed it was “delighted” with
demand and said they had sold more
football tickets than the organisers of
Euro 2012.
rowing, tennis and basketball.
At some venues, seats in the accreditted
“Olympic family” areas, which often with
the best views, have gone unused. The
seats are reserved for groups including
officials, sports federations, athletes and
sponsors.
Lord Coe said he refused to “name and
shame” the people who did not turn up
and instead was looking at new ways to
sports fans the length and breadth of he
country.”
Games boss Lord Coe has urged that
the seating row be kept in perspective,
saying it was early days and steps could
be taken to tackle the problem.
He also insisted it was wrong to blame
sponsors as they only accounted for 8%
of tickets, while 75% were in the hands
of the public.
unve e y y T m Berners-Lee, Br t s T mB nventor o t
unve e
y y
T m Berners-Lee, Br t s
T mB
nventor o t e
competing in their first Olympics since
competing in their first Olympics since their peoples
their peoples
drawn people together a
drawn people together as families and communities.
s familie
s and communities.
wor
world wide web, read “This is for Everyone”.
ld
w
i d
e
we
b
b
, r ea
d “Thi
s
i
s
f
or
E
veryone .
overthrew autocrats in Arab Spring revolutions.
overthrew autocrats in Arab Spring revolutions.
volutions.
“To me, this spirit of togetherness is a most important
“To me, this spirit of togetherness is a most important
etherness
The
performance
included
surreal
and
often

Brunei and Qatar were led in by their countries’ first ever female Olympians and so, along with Saudi

Arabia, ended their status as the only countries to

part of the Olympic ideal. And the British people can be proud of the part they have played in keeping the spirit alive.”

humorous

especially in social reform and the arts, and was due

to

achievements,

references

British

, exclude exclude women women from from their their teams The opening show cos ting
,
exclude exclude women women from from their their teams
The opening show cos ting an
The opening show, costing an estimated 27 million
,
ing an e
stimated 27 million
to to conclude conclude with with a a performance performance by by former former Beatle Beatle
d
($
illi
)
i i
i
d
b
Willi

R Royal l role l At a reception earlier in the day, the queen spelled out the role played by her family after the Olympics were revived in Athens in 1896. “This will be the third London Olympiad. My great grandfather opened the 1908 Games at White City. My father opened the 1948 Games at Wembley Stadium. And, later this evening, I will take pleasure in declaring open the 2012 London Olympic Games at Stratford in the east of London,” she said.

pounds ($42 million), was inspired by William Shakespeare’s play “The Tempest”, his late-life meditation on age and mortality. Children were center-stage throughout, starting from the moment when live pictures of junior choirs singing in the landscapes of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland were beamed into the stadium’sgiant screens, fourtraditional songswoven together into a musical tapestry of Britain. Oscar-winning film director Danny Boyle began his

Paul McCartney. Until the last few days, media coverage had been dominated by security firm G4S’s admission that it couldnotprovideenoughguardsforOlympicvenues. Thousands of extra soldiers had to be deployed at the last minute, despite the company’s multi-million- dollar contract from the government. Counter-terrorism chiefs have played down fears of a major attack on the Games, and Prime Minister David Cameron said that a safe and secure Olympics

18

SAARC

Saarc international I Thursday 02 August 2012

Gursharan Kaur, wife of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and daughter Upinder Singh

Don’t employ children: Gursharan

Individuals need to come forward and report about child abuse as it is difficult for the government and rights groups to tackle the issue alone, said Gursharan Kaur, wife of the Prime Minister, at a national summit to ban all forms of child labour held in Delhi on Saturday. “We have to wake up. We have to make sure that no one employs children,” said Kaur at this summit organised by Save The Children. She added that it is unfortunate to know that over 40 million children are working as labourers across India. “This is mainly because of poverty which needs to be addressed,” she said. Shanta Sinha, chairperson of nNational Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) said that many urban families believe they were doing children a favour by hiring them as domestic help. “However, they are not doing any favour

t o e ntr C hil s ha 4, t o p c om Ma
t
o
e
ntr
C
hil
s
ha
4,
t
o
p
c
om
Ma
R
an
w
or
w
as
g
ath
w
as
“My
My
m
ot
w
ha
t
o
b
s
he
C
hil
ove

Gursharan Kaur, wife of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and daughter Upinder Singh on their way to the Golden Temple in Amritsar on Sunday.

to t the child as the child is captive and

entrapped in that home,” she said.

Children who were working as labourers

shared their previous experience. Arjun,

1 14, who is now studying in class 9, used

t to o p plough fields where he was exposed

to pesticides and would skip lunch to

complete the work.

Many are abused

had

worked as a domestic help in Bangalore

Ranjita,

a

15-year-old

girl

who

was physically tortured. She somehow

gathered courage to call her village and

was rescued by some activists.

was a drunkard and my

used to run the house with

whatever she could earn but even I had

father

mother

to begin working to support my family,”

she said.

Children expressed their unhappiness

over parents’ pressure towards making

them work at an early age.

“We want to study like other children do. We want better lives,” a child said. Actor Farooq Sheikh expressed his concern over the country not doing enough towardseradicatingchildlabour.“India’s problems are varied and vast but why do we need to remind and be reminded of child rights? We are referring to the future of the country and we have no right to play with their lives,” he said. Bhuvan Ribhu, advocate and activist added that the Child Labour Prohibition Act should include education as an elementary part of the act to ensure their safety. Children presented a memorandum to Shanta Sinha asking her to ensure that all villages have schools and playgrounds for a better future for children from financially weaker backgrounds.

future for children from financially weaker backgrounds. PM announces Rs 300cr relief for victims of Assam
PM announces Rs 300cr relief for victims of Assam crore special central assistance for relief
PM announces Rs 300cr
relief for victims of Assam
crore special central assistance
for relief and rehabilitation of
people affected and displaced
in the four riot-hit districts of
Bodoland after visiting two relief
camps near Kokrajhar.
The PM said he would also order
a probe into the trigger for the
ethnic and communal clashes.
“We must also address the causes
of the conflict. If the conflict has
been instigated, the guilty must
be punished. I will order an
inquiry and the Centre will work
closely with the state,” he said.
The PM visited two relief camps
in the vicinity of Kokrajhar town
— one housing Muslims and the
other having Bodo inmates. “I am
very sad,” he said, after visiting
the relief camp at Bhotgaon. He
added, “It will take a few days to
restore complete normalcy. This
conflict iss desh ke mathe par
kalangk (a blot on nation).”
The situation in the four worst-
remained calm for the third day
on Saturday but the tension was
as high after eight more bodies
were recovered. The death toll
now at 53 in the violence that
erupted on July 20. The number
of inmates in the 270 relief camps
has also increased to four lakhs
on Saturday.
The assistance package includes
Rs 100 crore for relief and
rehabilitation efforts, another
Rs 100 crore as special plan
assistance for development in
the affected areas and Rs 100
crore more under Indira Awas
Yojana.
Singh also announced Rs 2 lakh
for families of those who died
in the violence and Rs 50,000
to those injured from the PM’s
National Relief Fund. He said Rs
30,000 would be given to rebuild
houses that have been completely
damaged and Rs 20,000 for the
partially damaged ones.

Indian cabinet clears Bangladesh border pact

Bangladesh’s Sheikh Hasina last

year, the political climate in India is fragile enough for uncertainty to cloud the positive nature of the endeavour.

West Bengal, Assam, Tripura, Meghalaya and Mizoram. The constitutional amendment will have to be passed by two-thirds of members “present and voting”

a PrimeMinisterManmohanSingh Prime Minister Manmohan Singh hit hit districts districts of of Kokrajhar, Kokrajhar,
a
PrimeMinisterManmohanSingh
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh
hit hit
districts districts
of of
Kokrajhar, Kokrajhar,
on Saturday announced a Rs 300-
on Saturday announced a Rs 300-
Chirang Chirang, Bongaigaon Bongaigaon and and Dhubri Dhubri

Stalled since September last year,

constitutional amendment

to ratify the India-Bangladesh boundary agreement gets the nod from the Cabinet committee on

security (CCS) and is likely to be placed before Parliament in the monsoon session. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is looking to push through one of his big-ticket foreign policy initiatives, a bid to seal the Indian and Bangladeshi positions on enclaves and areas under adverse possession. Singh

his Bangladeshi counterpart

and

For For the the agreement agreement to to pass pass muster, muster , and and
For For the the agreement agreement to to pass pass muster, muster ,
and and ratified ratified by by state state legislatures
the the BJP BJP has has
to to be be
on on board board as as
The The Parliamentary Parliamentar and and legislative le islative

without the main opposition, the constitutional amendment may not succeed. Sources said the government has been assiduously working with the BJP to ensure support, and the effort will be intensified in coming days as the government plans to engage with the saffron outfit’s leadership.

Mamata Banerjee will have to be taken into confidence too, and sources said foreign minister S M Krishna had been assigned the task who is likely to travel to Kolkata. India and Bangladesh share a 4,096km land boundary covering

processes are subject to disruption, but Singh needs to make some

strenuous efforts in the coming months. The LBA will not only change contours of India’s map, but will be the first resolved boundary with any neighbour. The agreement will formalize status quo on enclaves and areas under adverse possession, entailing neither transfer of territory nor people.Around 53,000 people residing in the enclaves, who have just been counted in the first ever census in these areas, will get the citizenship of the country they are living in.

Sheikh Hasina had signed the land boundary agreement (LBA)

in Dhaka last year.

An updated version of the Indira- Mujib agreement of 1974, the

accord’s ratification will require

a constitutional amendment of

Article 368. While the Teesta water treaty — blocked by West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee

— raised a lot of heat, the LBA has

greater strategic importance for the neighbours. If the LBA makes it through Parliament, it will be a boost for

bilateral ties and ease the pressure

on the Hasina government as

India’s inability to proceed with the

Teesta treaty led to considerable heartburn in Bangladesh.

Government works for consensus While the government looks to concretize the land boundary agreement (LBA) reached by PM Manmohan Singh and

Saarc international I Thursday 02 August 2012

SAARC

19

OIC must take immediate stance on Muslim killing in Myanmar: Iran MP

UN Urges Inquiry over Rohingya Killings

Blasting the military crackdown on Rohingya Muslim minority in Burma’s Arakan state, UN human rights chief Navi Pillay has called for an independent investigation into rising claims of abuses by security forces amid reports that some 80,000 people have been displaced in the recent inter-communal clashes. “We have been receiving a stream of reports from independent sources alleging discriminatory and arbitrary

nations to unite against the crackdown on Myanmarese Muslims, saying the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) should announce its stance on this issue as soon as possible.

“The Organization of Islamic Cooperation and all international institutions should take a swift, serious and firmaction to put an end to this genocide [in Myanmar],” Rouhollah Beigi said on Saturday.

Muslimworld, but an issue for all free and justice-seeking peoples of the world.” Sectarian violence plagued the western Arakan state last month after the killing of 10 Muslims in an attack by Buddhist vigilantes on their bus. The attack came following the rape and killing of a Buddhist woman, for which Buddhists blame Muslims. The violence has left dozens of people dead and tens of thousands homeless.

resume work, but fear for their safety,” spokesman Andrej Mahecic said. Thousands of Rohingya Muslims fled their homes after ethnic tensions rocked the western state of Arakan. Observers have saidthat Burmese monks were seen blocking international aid to Muslim refugees, who fled their homes in the recent bout of violence. Muslim Pressures Getting an increased attention from

western Arakan state has long been

a concern of the global Muslim

community. But attention has intensified in recent weeks after longstanding tensions erupted between Rohingya Muslims and Buddhists. Amnesty International said Friday that Rohingya Muslims are increasingly being hit with targeted attacks that have included killings, rape and physical

responses by security forces, and even responses y b secur y it f orces, an
responses by security forces, and even
responses y
b
secur y
it
f
orces,
an even
d
The meaningful silence of the United
Th
e mean ng u
i
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l
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o
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U it d
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e
The official death toll of the rioting and
Th
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ffi i l d
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th t
o
ll
o
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i
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th
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M
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ld
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ngya p
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abuse. a b use. Condemning the anti-Muslim abuses, Iran termed the conflict as a religiously inspired “genocide.” Several groups have also joined the

their

in clashes,” said Pillay, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, the

and involvement

instigation of

Nations and other international bodies towardcrimes committedbytheextremist Buddhistshasledtowidespreadmassacre

of oppressed [Rohingya] Muslims in

its aftermath has been put at 78, although the real figure may be much higher. Questioning the official death toll, Pillay welcomed a government decision to allow

received support from Muslim groups worldwide who increased pressure on the Burmese government to stop human rights abuses.

BBC reported on Saturday, July 28.

, a a UN UN envoy envoy access access to to Rakhine Rakhine state state
,
a a UN UN envoy envoy access access to to Rakhine Rakhine state state next next
“This “This is is an an issue iss ue around around which which Burmese Burmese
conversation, conversation,
including including
the the
Pakistani Pakistani
week, but said it was “no substitute for a
wee k, but said it was “no substitute for a
or or
ethnically Burman nationals rally
ethnically
Burman nationals rally
Burman
Taliban, Taliban, which which on on Thursday Thursday threatened threatened
fully-fledged
f
ull
independent investigation”.
to attack Burma to avenge the abuses
Pillay’s
Pill
comments followed the
“Reports indicate that the initial swift
Reports indicate that the initial swift
Myanmar, Myanmar, he he added. added.
announcement of the UN refugee agency
ann

response of the authorities to the communal violence may have turned into a crackdown targeting Muslims, in particular members of the Rohingya community.” An Iranian lawmaker has urged Muslim

The Iranian lawmaker emphasized that all Muslim nations across the world are duty-bound to defend Muslims in Myanmar, saying, “The catastrophe in Myanmar is not only an issue for the

(UNHCR) that about 80,000 people have been displaced following inter- communal violence in and around the towns of Sittwe and Maungdaw. “Some displaced Muslims tell UNHCR staff they would also like to go home to

around, and that is part of the problem,” Jim Della-Giacoma of the International Crisis Group told Voice of America on Friday. “So any sort of threats from outside

groups would only enforce or harden that nationalism and definitely not help the problem.” The plight of the Muslims in Burma’s

help the problem.” The plight of the Muslims in Burma’s against the Rohingya population. Despite the

against the Rohingya population. Despite the rejection from some prominent Rohingyas, Chris Lewa of the Arakan Project, an NGO that monitors Rohingya issues, said that Burma’s military reportedly arrested 38 Muslim religious leaders in northern Rakhine

state Thursday following Taliban threats.

“It appears that [the Burmese military]

has responded in arresting a number of imams and mullahs from Maungdaw and Buthidaung along the border with Bangladesh,” said Lewa. Described by the UN as one of the world’s most persecuted minorities, Burma’s ethnic-BengaliMuslims,generallyknown as the Rohingyas, are facing a catalogue of discrimination in their homeland They have been denied citizenship rights since an amendment to the citizenship laws in 1982 and are treated as illegal immigrants in their own home. The Burmese government as well as the Buddhist majority refuse to recognize the term “Rohingya”, referring to them as “Bengalis”.

20

SAARC

Saarc international I Thursday 02 August 2012

WEEKLY REVIEW OF PAKISTAN NEWS

I Thursday 02 August 2012 WEEKLY REVIEW OF PAKISTAN NEWS ArsalanIftikhar counsel expresses no-trust inJIT it
I Thursday 02 August 2012 WEEKLY REVIEW OF PAKISTAN NEWS ArsalanIftikhar counsel expresses no-trust inJIT it

ArsalanIftikhar counsel expresses no-trust inJIT

it h ad J JIT IT S ou h ow t he c ou T
it
h
ad
J
JIT
IT
S
ou
h
ow
t
he
c
ou
T
ea
f
avo
R
ia
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oi
Since the constitution of Joint probe Malik Riaz-Arsalan Iftikhar Iftikhar informed reporters that
Since
the
constitution
of
Joint
probe Malik Riaz-Arsalan Iftikhar
Iftikhar informed reporters that
t
rea
Investigation Investigation
Team Team
(JIT) (JIT)
by by
graft graft case, case, Arsalan Arsalan Iftikhar Iftikhar had had
all all
the the
members members
in in
the the
Joint Joint
Ria

National Accountability Bureau to

not only challenged the legality of the JIT under NAB but also questioned the credibility of the team members. The counsel of Arsalan Iftikhar had challenged the constitution of JIT under National Accountability Ordinance in the Supreme Court terming the whole exercise as illegal and beyond the purview of the NAB.

Earlier, he had served legal notice on NAB Chairman to refrain him from constituting Joint InvestigationTeamonthedirection

Investigation Team constituted under Director General, Financial Crimes Investigation Wing (FCIW) Malik Kousar Iqbal, one way or the other, were under the influence of the complainant against him Malik Riaz Hussain, so the findings of investigation into the matter could not be trustworthy. These sources further said that the head of the JIT Malik Kousar Iqbal is the close confidante of Attorney General of Pakistan and his allegiance with PPP is well established.

Senior lawyer Sardar Ishaq, who

is counsel of Arsalan Iftikhar in the case declined to comment on

the matter taking the plea as the

matter is subjudice before the apex court so he could not comment on

Expressing no-trust on the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) probing into Malik Riaz-Arsalan Iftikhar

graft case, the counsel for Arsalan Iftikhar has demanded a probe into the matter under the supervision of some retired bureaucrat or

a retired judge of impeccable credentials and character.

A review petition was already

pending with the Supreme Court of Pakistan where the composition as well as credibility of the members of JIT and its head was questioned.

H However, o he confirmed that they

had challenged the legality of the

impartiality.

Sources close to Arsalan Iftikhar,

as

well

as

its

however,saidthattheywouldprove

the bias of the JIT before the apex

court as the Joint Investigation

Team head was clearly leaning in

favour of property mogul Malik

Riaz Hussain.

affectionate

treatment of JIT towards Malik

Pointing

out

the

Riaz these sources said that after

the recording of the statement of Malik Riaz, the JIT had given him time till July 26th to furnish more evidence and proofs of his

allegations against Arsalan Iftikhar but Malik Riaz did not furnish the documents by that date and now to facilitate him Joint Investigation

given him another

Team

chance to present the same on July

30th.

Similarly, the language of the

served on him and his

notices

son-in-law showed as if they were not accused and just acquainted

with the case and just providing evidence whereas the apex court

had

Arsalan

Iftikhar, Malik Riaz and his son- in-law Salman Ahmed as accused in the case.

has

clearly

dubbed

Zardari eyes rule inPunjab

President Asif Ali Zardari Sunday declared Sindh as fortress of the PPP and vowed to rule Punjab after upcoming general election, which he said will be ‘free and fair’ and held on time. Addressing party workers at the residence of PPP (Pakistan People’s Party) leader Manzoor Wasaan, in Kot DG are