Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy wins Oscar Award

Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy's acclaimed documentary 'Saving Face' wins first Oscar for Pakistan at the glittering 84th Academy Award ceremony in Los Angeles

Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy's acclaimed documentary 'Saving Face' wins first Oscar for Pakistan.

It is the first time a Pakistani has won the prestigious Oscar at the glittering 84th Academy Award ceremony in Los Angeles on Monday morning.

After winning the award Sharmeen Obaid dedicated it to the women of Pakistan and those working for their rights.

‘Saving Face' is about women victims of acid attacks in Pakistan. Documentary narrates the horror of acid attacks‚ victims' endurance‚ recovery process and their reconciliation with the trauma. It is also a story of women's struggle for justice.

The documentary was filmed in Pakistan's Saraiki belt besides Rawalpindi‚ Karachi and Islamabad.
Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani has announced conferring a high Civil Award for Sharmeen Chinoy for winning Oscar Award.

President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani have congratulated Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy for winning the Oscar Award.

Describing the award as a great distinction for the nation‚ the President and Prime Minister said it will promote positive image of country. They said the nation is proud of her achievement.

Chairman Senate Farooq H Naek and Deputy Chairman Jan Muhammad Jamali have also greeted Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy for winning laurels for the country.

Information Minister Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan has also felicitated the winner of the prestigious award.

MNA Mohtarma Faryal Talpur in her felicitation message said winning Oscar by Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy reflects the change in the life of womenfolk.

Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif has also congratulated Srmin Ubaid for winning Oscar Award.

In his felilcitation message‚ he said that Oscar Award for Sharmin Ubaid is not only a matter of pride for the nation but also reognition of her talent on the international level.

He said it has proved that Pakistani nation does not lag behind anyone in any field and particularly Pakistani women are blessed with creative abilities.

Leading film and literary figures have described the Oscar for Pakistan as a moment of joy for the entire nation.

In the main categories movie "The Artist" won the Oscar in best film's category. Jean Dujardin won the Oscar in best actor category for his role in the same Movie. Michel Hazavanicius won best sdirector's Oscar for The Artist.

Meryl Streep took best actress Oscar for her leading role in The Iron Lady. It was her third Oscar in 17 nominations. Christopher Plummer was declared best supporting actor and Octavia Spencer bagged the Oscar for best supporting actress.

Monday, February 27, 2012

T-50 PakFA Will Be Superior Then Its Counter Parts

The Indo-Russian fifth generation fighter aircraft (FGFA) is superior than the similar Chinese and American rival fighter jets which include the J 20 Black Eagle and the F-22 Raptor, a top Russian military commander has claimed.

India and Russia are jointly developing the Sukhoi T-50 PAK FA FGFA for their respective air forces and have plans of producing over 400 of these highly-advanced fighter jets.

Commander of the Russian Air Force Colonel General Alexander Zelin told Russian news agency RIA Novosti that his country's government has decided to give top priority to the development of the joint venture aircraft.

"While comparing Russia's T-50 PAK FA with the US F-22 Raptor and China's Chengdu J-20 Black Eagle, one concludes that the T-50 is superior to its foreign analogues in terms of its maximum speed in afterburner and standard modes, maximum range and thrust-to-weight ratio," he said.

The Russian Air Force Commander said that despite the comparable dimensions and weight of the Chinese J20 Black Eagle and the F-22 raptor, "the T-50 has much shorter take-off and landing runs. Moreover, its on-board equipment has better specifications than its foreign equivalents."

India signed a preliminary design contract with Russia recently for the aircraft and is planning to induct around 250 of them starting from 2017.

Commenting on the flight tests schedule of the FGFA, Zelin said, "Tests are now taking place as planned in line with specific decisions.Over 100 flights have been performed and all the specifications obtained during the tests confirm T-50 project requirements."

"The tests involve three fixed-wing aircraft, and three more aircraft will arrive in the near future. All in all, the tests will involve 14 aircraft," he added.

Israeli Made Derby Air To Air Missile For LCA Tejas

India’s new Tejas fighter will be armed with Israel’s Derby missile, according to an Indian website. The Derby is medium-range active-radar seeker air-to-air missile, that can hit targets at about 50 km. away. Missiles that can achieve this range are known by the acronym BVR - beyond visual range.

A contract for supplying the Derby will be signed by March with Rafael Advanced Defense Systems. Rafael will also fit the missiles on about 200 jets, according to P.S. Subramanya, director of India’s Aeronautical Development Agency, which is developing the light combat aircraft.

The Indian Air Force (known, like its Israeli counterpart, as the IAF) has ordered 40 Tejas fighters to be built. The Indian Air Force also wants 100 units of the Mk-II version of the fighter, and the navy wants 60 of the naval versions, Subramanya said.

DRDO Advanced Seekers For Tactical Indian Missiles

A war scenario in which miniaturised missiles equipped with Precision-Guided Munitions (PGMs) are unleashed from a mother missile to take out select enemy targets like an ammunition depot while avoiding collateral damage.

A mother missile acts as a “force multiplier” and to achieve the desired result, each miniaturised missile will have a seeker to ensure its independent motion, irrespective of the mother missile's motion.
Seekers, which are of two types — radio-frequency and infra-red, enable a missile to acquire, track and home in on to the target. They are required for all tactical missiles (less than 300 km range).

Scientists at the Research Centre Imarat (RCI), a key laboratory of Defence Research and Development Organisation's (DRDO) missile complex here, have embarked on developing such seekers to eventually equip mother missiles with smaller missiles packed with PGMs.

The mandate of the RCI is to deliver avionic systems for all missiles, including anti-ballistic systems and anti-aircraft missiles.

In a bid to conduct trials without using the mother missile, a Remotely Piloted Vehicle (RPV) has been imported to be used as a Technology Demonstrator for the project. A flight trial was conducted at the Integrated Test Range using the RPV along with a recoverable tow body by providing the vehicle the same velocity of a mother missile.

Good results were obtained from that exercise, RCI Director S.K. Chaudhuri told on Sunday. More such trials would be carried out in stages to check the guidance, control and inertial navigation systems.
By the end of 2013, a crucial trial of the RPV with missile-launched PGMs to hit a target with both IIR (Imaging infrared) and mmW (millimteric Wave) seekers was being planned. Later, a flight test with a mother missile would be conducted, he said.

Another frontier technology area in which scientists have begun work is to design and develop ‘Low Probability of Intercept Radar Seeker' to equip anti-ship and anti-aircraft missiles.

This seeker will enable the missile to escape detection and jamming by enemy radars. Currently, Russia and the U.S. have such seekers, a senior scientist said.

Monday, February 20, 2012

World's Biggest Women Jalsa in Political History

19 February 2012 at Bagh-e-Quaid-e-Azam, Karachi


Founder and Leader of Muttahida Quami Movement (MQM) Mr Altaf Hussain has said that Pakistan cannot become strong unless the women were empowered. He said that it was necessary to empower the women. He said this while addressing a mamoth public meeting of the women at the Bagh-i-Quaid-i-Azam beside the tomb of the father of the nation Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah on 19th February 2012.

Mr Hussain said that the historic women public meeting was the splendid display of national unity as women from all ethnic and religious backgrounds were present in the ground in the huge number. He said that it was a clear message for everyone that we are united and we will remain united under the flag of the MQM.

Mr Hussain said that a new chapter has been written in the political history of the world in the shadow of the tomb of the Quaid-i-Azam by this mammoth meeting. He said that other political parties had been making tall claims about holding large public meeting in the Bagh-i-Quaid-i-Azam, but the MQM has demonstrated that even the women of the MQM were sufficient to meet the challenge of the opponents.

Mr Hussain said that it was Allah alone who brings honour for whomsoever He wills and debases whomsoever He wills. He said that the public meeting of the women was the largest not only in Pakistan and south Asia but across the world.

Mr Hussain said that it was considered inappropriate for the women to take part in politics before the MQM, but the MQM brought women on the political landscape of the country. The MQM had held the first public meeting of the women on 15th July 1988, which was also a record at that time. Another historic meeting of the women was organized by the MQM in the Nishtar Park in June 2005.

Mr Hussain said that the women had played a historic role in the struggle of the MQM. It were the women who came forward and raised the flag of the MQM during the repressive state operation clean-up in 1992. They had opened Nine Zero and waged a relentless struggle when even taking the name of the MQM was made a serious crime. They had held the funeral of their loved ones, suffered hardships and went to jail but did not swerve from their path. They remained steadfast without losing hope.

Speaking about the protests by the women in Islamabad regarding the recovery of their missing loved ones Mr Hussain said that more than 15000 MQM workers were put to death during ruthless operation against the MQM and 28 workers of the MQM were still missing. He said that the missing workers of the MQM should also be found whose fate was still unknown despite the passage of such a long period of time. It was not even known if they were alive or dead.

He expressed his sympathy with the women and children protesting in Islamabad for the recovery of their loved ones and demanded for their speedy recovery.

Mr Hussain said that he could understand the pains of those who have lost their loved ones. He said that his elder brother and nephew were also killed in a brutal manner.

Mr Hussain said that it was only the MQM that had been raising voice for gross injustices committed against the women in the country. Whether it was Shaista Almani, Dr Shazia or Dr Afia Siddiqui, the MQM always raised its voice in a forceful manner. He demanded USA that Dr Afia Siddiqui should be released on humanitarian grounds.

Mr Hussain said that the enemies of the MQM not only committed injustices against the MQM but also spread vicious propaganda against it. He said that it was given out that the MQM was the enemies of the people whereas the MQM, in reality, was only the enemy of the oppressive feudal system in the country. MQM was the enemy of those only who committed injustices against common people, particularly the women of the country.

Mr Hussain said that the world had entered the 21st century and the women were working shoulder to shoulder with the men in other parts of the world. The situation was completely different in Pakistan where women were discriminated against in every sphere of liFE and forced to live a life of subjugation.

Mr Hussain regretted that there were places in Pakistan where women did not have even their basic human rights, and they were forced to live in subhuman conditions. He said that the condition of the women in the rural areas was particularly deplorable where they were treated like animals.

Mr Hussain said that there were areas in Pakistan where women did not have the right to vote or contest elections. He said that a woman had dared to file his nomination papers in the elections three years ago, but she was killed mercilessly.

Mr Hussain said that it was highly unfortunate that evil customs like karo-kari, honour killing, vani and marriage of the helpless women with the Holy Quran were not uncommon. He said that women had been buried alive in Pakistan, and it was given the name culture.

Mr Hussain said that incidents of karo-kari, gang rape, and throwing of acid on the faces of the women, shaving their hairs and cutting off their body parts was highly shameful and an ugly blot on the face of the society. He said that frequently women were paraded naked in the streets which were the worst form of indignity to women.

Mr Hussain said that the MQM was against these evil customs, cruelties and injustices and not against anyone in the country. He said that the MQM wanted to emancipate the women and restore their dignity in the society. He said that the MQM would deliver women from such cruel oppression by introducing stringent laws and ensuring their strict implementation.

Mr Hussain said that the MQM had been agitating about the rights of the women in all the legislative bodies of the country. Whether it was National Assembly, Senate or the Provincial Assembly of Sindh, the MQM raised voice for the rights of the women in a vigorous manner.

Mr Hussain said that it was because of the efforts of the MQM that the Women Protection Bill was passed by the parliament. He said that the MQM had also introduced legislation in the Sindh Assembly about karo-kari, honour killing and domestic violence. He said that the MQM had not only raised voice but done actual work.

Mr Hussain said that the women constituted over 52 per cent of the population. He said that they should be given equal share in every sphere of life, which was their due right. He said that the MQM was a democratic political party, and it wanted to establish a system in the country where everyone had equal right and equal access to opportunities, including women.

Mr Hussain termed the mammoth public meeting of the women at Bagh-i-Quaid-i-Azam a revolution in its own right and said that other parties merely talked about revolution. He said that all other parties could not organize such a huge gathering, even if they joined hands.

Mr Hussain said that if the citizens had equal rights, the concept of minority will cease to exist. He said that the MQM wanted to bring the system in the country based on pure merit. The MQM wanted to bring to an end the prevailing dynastic political culture from the country that was a monstrosity of the highest order.

Mr Hussain asked the women to equip themselves about the political philosophy and ideology of the MQM. He said that the manifesto of the MQM was based upon the last address of the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) which clearly enunciated that all people were equal.

Mr Hussain said that the age-old feudal system should be abolished from the country and educated people from the poor and middle class should also have the right to take part in politics. He said that political landscape should not be monopolized by the rich feudal lords only.

Mr Hussain said that the MQM wanted to end gender discrimination and give equal opportunities to women. He said that the MQM would make a society where women going out for education or for job were not looked at with an evil eye.

Mr Hussain particularly spoke about the explosive situation in Balochistan and said that the policies of the establishment had brought the largest province of Pakistan on the brink of separation from the country. He said that he had been crying to solve the Balochistan problem, but no one paid attention. The situation has worsened to such an extent that resolutions were being passed in the parliaments of other countries for the grant of the right of self-determination for the Balochi people. He warned that it was already late and bold steps would have to be taken if Balochistan was to be kept inside Pakistan. He said that all legitimate rights of the people of Balochistan should be granted without further delay. He said that if no solution was found then Balochistan might be lost.

In the end Mr Hussain appealed to men to show dignity to women. He particularly asked the people living in the rural areas not to condemn women for giving birth to the female children.

Mr Hussain thanked everyone to organized this mammoth gathering including the ladies wing and other departments of MQM. He also pays tribute to media personals and anchor persons specially the women anchor persons who tried their best for the coverage of this historical event.

Women power: Records tumble as MQM holds female-only rally

While linking women empowerment to the prosperity of the country, Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) chief Altaf Hussain added another milestone to the country’s political history by supposedly hosting the largest congregation of women in the world.
Addressing the large gathering of his female followers, Altaf Hussain galvanised the audience even further by claiming that this congregation alone was enough to counter the claims about big rallies by other political parties.
The sea of women waving the traditional red, green and white flags indeed seemed larger than the crowd that had thronged Bagh-e-Jinnah to listen to Pakistan Thereek-e-Insaaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan. MQM officials put the number of attendees at one million. The crowd contained women from all socio-economic backgrounds, most of whom came with their children. It seemed that the party’s male members heeded to their leader’s advice, after all.
The party’s numerical claims gained credibility after the BBC declared the rally to be the largest congregation of women ever organised in the world. Nasreen Jalil and other party members also claimed that it was the largest crowd ever assembled that sung a national anthem and that they intended to get it recorded in the Guiness Book of World Records.
One political analyst, while comparing the event with the recent PTI rally, said that it was like observing two different receptions, one hosted by a family in its own house and the other by a stranger at a new place. “It was their (MQM’s) home city, the party knew everything inside out and also had ample experience in organising large-scale events like this one,” he said. The party had made traffic arrangements, parking and security arrangements and provided 100 mobile toilets, food stalls, a media help desk, an information desk occupied by ra1bita committee members. A high proportion of female police officers were also present at the occasion. A male volunteer, Rasheed, said that the organisers planned the event to conclude early, keeping in view the fact that women from all over the city came to attend the event.
The mammoth stage provided room for the party’s women members from all over the country, who gave short speeches at the beginning. Some of these included Nadia Gabol, Nasreen Jalil, 1Khushbakht Shujaat, Bilquis Mukhtar, Laila Parveen and Kishwer Zehra. Altaf Hussain later addressed the public meeting via phone line from London. Although the event lacked musicians to liven up the crowd, Altaf Hussain more than made up for their by singing “Leke pehla pehla pyar, leke acha acha pyar jadoo nagri se aya hao koi jadogar.” However, towards the end, the attendees were treated to a 20-minute spell of spectacular fireworks, along with songs by Shazia Khushk.
Umaima Jaffer, a resident from Defence Phase V, said that she was drawn to the event by the worthy cause it was supposed to address. “Our political parties are forgetting that they need to come up with clear cut and well defined strategies for various issues in order to get votes, instead of just relying their usual fans voting in their favour” she said.
The speech
According to Hussain, the country could never prosper or strengthen unless the women were empowered. While talking about the condition of women in Pakistan, he said that women did not have basic human rights as they were buried alive or treated like animals. He added that the MQM had changed the perceptions and showed that women could participate in politics. “We held the first rally for women on July 15, 1988,” he said. “Another historic rally for women was organised by the MQM at Nishtar Park in June 2005.” He added women had played a important role in Operation Clean-up in 1992. “They opened Nine Zero and held the funeral of their loved ones, suffered hardships and went to jail but remained steadfast,” he said. “More than 15,000 MQM workers were killed and to date 28 workers are still missing.” He added that his party had campaigned for the rights of women in all the legislative bodies of the country. It introduced legislation in the Sindh Assembly against karo kari and domestic violence and got the Women Protection Bill passed in parliament.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 20th, 2012.

MQM shows ‘Liberal Face’ of Pakistan

KARACHI- Addressing ‘country’s biggest-ever women exclusive’ rally at Bagh-i-Quaid on Sunday, MQM chief Altaf Hussain declared that Pakistan was a liberal country where women are ‘empowered in all sphere of life’ and this rally proves that point to the hilt.
In his address to thousands of women and children who had gathered for the ‘Ba’iktiar Aurat, Mazboot Pakistan’ (Empowered Women, Strong Pakistan) rally, the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) leader said that to make Pakistan stronger and more prosperous it was essential to ensure the empowerment of its women.
He claimed the rally to be the biggest women-only rally in the world, saying that his party has added a new chapter of history by holding the mammoth rally. He claimed over one million women’s participation in the public meeting.
Over past few days country’s religio-political parties, known for their hardline stance on different national and international issues, had also organised their rallies at the same venue.
Altaf Hussain asserted that no other political party had managed to organise such a huge public meeting even when men and women were in attendance. “Through this historical public gathering, we have sent out a message to our political opponents that only our women are strong enough to compete with them,” he said as he paid a verbose tribute to the women in attendance. The rally has also sent a positive signal to the international community which has always charged that Pakistani society is dominated by extremists and hardliners, he said.
Altaf Hussain said that MQM had come out to challenge the antiquated customs that had been in practice to suppress women and other weak segments of the society. “It was MQM that staged a ‘million march’ for the rights of Baloch people and also got the bill for women empowerment passed by the parliament.”
In his hour-long telephonic address from London, the MQM chief mostly spoke about the empowerment of women and liberal aspects of Pakistani society, but he also talked about some other issues.
On Balochistan issue, he said it should be taken up with all sincerity and seriousness to address the grievances of the Balochi people and assuage their hurt feelings so they could be brought into the national mainstream. About the US Congress resolution on Balochistan, Altaf questioned as to why the civil society and intelligentsia of Pakistan had failed to pay heed to the pressing situation of the province, allowing it to degrade to a point where foreign powers found a pretext to intervene and challenge the sovereignty of this country.
Altaf feared that Balochistan would be lost if the problems facing the province were not addressed. He termed the unrest in the province as a failure of government and warned that the province had been pushed to the brink of disaster.
The MQM chief declared his party stood with women struggling for recovery of their missing relatives and demanded of the government secure their release and expose the abductors. He said the missing persons of Balochistan should also be united with their mothers and other loved ones.
Altaf Hussain said if very citizen was ensured his rights, the concept of minority would automatically fade away. He said MQM wanted politics to be done in the country on the basis of merit and that it wanted an end to hereditary politics, terming it no less than ‘a thuggery’.
He said MQM ensured increased woman participation in the country’s politics and described the Sunday’s rally as the biggest show of people’s solidarity. He said that MQM mammoth women’s meeting was a clear message for everyone that we are united and we will remain united under the flag of the MQM.
He said that a new chapter has been written in the political history of the country in the shadow of the tomb of the Quaid-i-Azam by this huge public meeting. He said that other political parties had been making tall claims about holding large public meeting at the Bagh-i-Jinnah, but the MQM has demonstrated that even the women of the MQM were sufficient to meet the challenge of the opponents.
The rally was an ethnic-mix as Balochi, Sindhi, Pushtoon and Seraki women and children were in attendance. It was well-organised and disciplined and ended with huge display of fire works and with a musical concert. (By The Nation)

What a show! Just unbelievable

A MQM’s ‘Empowered women, strong Pakistan’ rally

By Sohail Rab Khan

KARACHI: The MQM’s rally with the slogan of ‘Empowered women, strong Pakistan’ held yesterday could without any doubt be termed as the biggest one in the history of Pakistan and it may not be untrue to term it as the largest one held on earth by any single political party on one point agenda and that too with the participation of just… and just women. The scene yesterday witnessed at Bagh-e-Jinnah was unbelievable no matter how much the audience was but it would be true to say that it must go the Guiness Book of World Record.
Addressing the mammoth rally of women titled ‘Empowered women, strong Pakistan’, Altaf Hussain said that the massive rally has proved that even the women supporters of MQM ‘are enough to compete against other politicians’. Altaf Hussain yesterday linked a strong Pakistan to empowered women.
The MQM Chief claimed that Sunday’s rally of women was the biggest not only in the history of Pakistan or the Asian continent but the entire world. He said the aim of today’s rally was to ensure women’s empowerment in the country and that those who meted out ill treatment to women should be hanged.
Altaf Hussain said that MQM had come out to challenge the antiquated customs that had been in practice to suppress women and other weak segments of society. “It was MQM that staged a million march for the rights of Baloch people and also got the bill for women empowerment passed by the Parliament.”
The MQM Chief put the number of women who turned up at Sunday’s public meeting near Mazar-e-Quaid at one million.
He regretted that even today, women in rural areas of the country were deprived of their basic rights and that is why MQM, instead of paying only lip service, took practical steps to safeguard their rights.
The MQM chief said that black tribal customs should be put aside now and Pakistani women should be given freedom and empowerment.
He called for solving the problems of womenfolk living in the rural areas and stressed for boosting female literacy.
MQM chief Altaf Hussain says party has been working for women emancipation against all odds.
He recalled a number of incidents involving subjugation of women, including Dr Shazia case in Balochistan, where the MQM stepped in to the rescue of the women.

Altaf said the MQM women workers lost their loved ones in the political struggle of the party. He said that today it has become a fashion to raise slogan of change at political rallies. He said if anyone wants to see change, one needs to see the MQM women rally which is the largest in the country.
The MQM chief says it is the time to wake up as parliaments of foreign countries are taking up resolutions on Balochistan issues. He said the people of Balochistan need to be given due rights.
MQM chief Altaf Hussain said that mother, sisters and daughters of MQM are sufficient for defeating political rivals.
Women of all religions, nationality and segment of society are present in this rally, he said. He applauded the MQM women worker for being firm in every situation and circumstances.
He said that when taking MQM’s name was impossible, women came forward and took up the movement.
Altaf said it was only the MQM that had been raising voice for gross injustices committed against the women in the country. Whether it was Shaista Almani, Dr Shazia or Dr Afia Siddiqui, the MQM always raised its voice in a forceful manner. He said that Dr Afia Siddiqui should be released on humanitarian grounds.
He said it was highly unfortunate that evil customs like ‘karo-kari’, ‘vani’ and marriage of the helpless women with the Holy Quran were not uncommon.
He said incidents of karo-kari, gang rape, and throwing of acid on the faces of the women, shaving their hairs and cutting off their body parts was highly shameful and an ugly blot on the face of the society. He said that frequently women were paraded naked in the streets which were the worst form of indignity to women.
He particularly spoke about the explosive situation in Balochistan and said that the policies of the establishment had brought the largest province of Pakistan on the brink of separation from the country. He said that he had been crying to solve the Balochistan problem, but no one paid attention. The situation has worsened to such an extent that resolutions were being passed in the parliaments of other countries for the grant of the right of self-determination for the Balochi people. He warned that it was already late and bold steps would have to be taken if Balochistan was to be kept inside Pakistan. He said that all legitimate rights of the people of Balochistan should be granted without further delay. He said that if no solution was found then Balochistan might be lost. (www.pstimes.com)

Empowerment is real honour for women

By Farheen Rizvi
Recently in Chiniot a Panchayat decided to gang rape a 14-year-old girl Saleem Bibi for 26 days whose crime was to marry with the man she likes. The local administration took action and arrested six men who were involved in kidnapping and raping her after the Panchayat’s decision. Two Police officials were also allegedly involved in kidnapping and raping that 14 year old girl.
In Oct. 2011, Chiniot police was held responsible in torturing a woman who was protesting against the murder of a man of her family. CM Punjab Shahbaz Sharif took action against the crime and sent the delegation for the investigation in which Chiniot city Police SHO Sheikh Tahir and SHO Sadar Zafar Ahmad were responsible.
In July 2010, Chiniot Punchayat declared an eight-year-old girl and her mother for honour killing. Police officials recovered the two women from the custody of Rana Basharat, a local village land lord and registered a case against the culprit.
In 2008, five women were buried alive in Baluchistan because they wanted to choose their own husbands. Israr Ullah Zehri told parliament that northwestern tribesman had done nothing wrong in first shooting the women and then dumping them in a ditch. “These are centuries-old traditions, and I will continue to defend them,” he said. “Only those who indulge in immoral acts should be afraid.”
Mehnaz Rehman, Resident Director of “Aurat Foundation”, said to a local newspaper that honour killings are on the rise, especially in Sindh. In 2010, 147 cases were reported in the first half of the year because of weak laws. She said “Despite a ban, jirgas are still being held. The criminals can easily escape and there are no strict punishments”.
These crimes against women in Pakistan are on rise. Women are more than half in population but are not treated like a human being especially in rural areas. The lack of education and the feudal mindset imposed by the powerful junta has become an integral part of the system of Pakistan. Above crimes show the local Police involvement with the high profile locals and failed judiciary system.
The 2010 report of Human Right Commission said “rape, domestic violence, sexual harassment, honou crimes, abuse, and discrimination against women remained serious problems in Pakistan”. The report further said, “there were accusations of security forces raping women during interrogations. The government rarely took action against those responsible.”
The “Global voices” stated that One third of women in Pakistan are uneducated and have very little concept about making their own choices.”
Have we forgotten the role of Madam Fatima Jinnah in Pakistan movement? She was not accepted by the male dominated society as a ruler and was defeated by Ayub Khan in the election. Shaheed BB was twice elected PM of Pakistan but she experienced a lot of gender discrimination as the first Muslim woman prime minister by an extreme mindset. She said once “I found that a whole series of people opposed me simply on the grounds that I was a woman. The clerics took to the mosque saying that Pakistan had thrown itself outside the Muslim world and the Muslim Ummah by voting for a woman, that a woman had usurped a man’s place in the Islamic society.”
The reports from different areas showed that no government has ever taken interest in empowering the women. Here MQM is the prominent party which has taken powerful steps for women rights whether supporting Women Protection Act in 2007 and Protection against Harassment of Women in the Workplace Act in 2010; or rally against women got flogged in the public by extremists in Swat valley. MQM has always nominated women equally with men for the Houses on merit. ex- senator and ex- deputy mayor Nasreen Jalil, Senator Shirala Malik, MNA Khushbakht Shujaat, MPA Bilquis Mukhtar, MPA Zareen Majeed, Baloch Minister Nadia Gabol ,Sindhi MPA Heer Soho and woman from Hazara Community Laila Perveen as CEC member are the examples who are working vocally for the women in all parliamentary level. MQM has always been vocal against honour killings, marriages with Quran and it is the part of their manifesto. Now MQM is the first party which is raising voice on women rights on February 19 by holding a grand meeting at Bagh-e-Quaid-e-Azam.
The step of empowering women will not only bring the strength and security to their lives but will create a better and stronger Pakistan, the Pakistan which was the dream of the Quaid; as he said once: “I have always maintained that no nation can ever be worthy of its existence that cannot take its women along with men. No struggle can ever succeed without women participating side by side with men. There are two powers in the world. One is the sword and the other the pen. However, there is a third power stronger than both, that of the women.”
(Source : www.pstimes.com)

Amid tens of thousands of cheering women, Altaf rattles off topics lost in political rallies

KARACHI: In a country where women continue to be marginalised politically, the Muttahida Qaumi Movement put its best foot forward on Sunday by organising a mammoth all-women public rally themed ‘Empowered Women, Strong Pakistan’.

MQM chief Altaf Hussain, in his hour-long address to women and children who had flocked to the Mazar-i-Quaid grounds for the rally, paid a verbose tribute to the women in attendance. “Through this historical public gathering, we have sent out a message to our political opponents that only our women are strong enough to compete with them,” he said.
Altaf claimed that no other political party had managed to organise such a huge event even when men and women were in attendance. “Over one million women of Pakistan are in attendance in this rally.”

The MQM, he said, has the honour of being the first party to include women in its political movement. “We organised a similar rally on July 16, 1988. When, in 1987, I was in jail and most party leaders were forced into hiding, it was the party’s women who stepped up and brought MQM victory in the general elections that year.”

In 1992-93, he said, the women were left to take over the party’s affairs when thousands of male workers were arrested and taken into state torture cells. “They [the women] opened Nine Zero, they buried the bodies of their kin,” he said, also paying tribute to the mothers who had given birth to sons who sacrificed their lives for the MQM’s cause.

Moving on to address women who were campaigning for Baloch missing persons, Altaf claimed that 28 MQM members were still missing from the 1992-93 army operation against the party. “We empathise with you. We feel your pain,” he told them.
Altaf also thanked women from the Bengali community who he said were present in huge numbers at the rally.

Violence against women
Altaf’s speech touched all the right notes. He mentioned honour killing, Karo Kari, acid crimes and domestic violence and even brought up topics like dowry and gender discrimination which are considered the social norm.

“The perpetrators of Karo Kari and acid crime should be hanged,” Hussain said passionately to women who listened with rapt attention. “Women in Pakistan are subjected to treatment meted out to second- or third-class citizens. Worse yet, they are treated like animals. Crimes like honour killing, wani and marriage to the Quran are rampant under the veil of tradition.”

The MQM, he said, wanted to create a Pakistan which was free from discrimination against women and where women had the freedom to make their own decisions. “We support not only strong legislation [for women’s rights] but also proper implementation of it. The MQM has raised its voice on every parliamentary forum like no other political party has. We want women to have the status in society that they truly deserve.”

As evidence of MQM’s commitment to protecting women from violence, he mentioned the cases of Shaista Almani, whose family was hunting to kill her for marrying of her own will, and Dr Shazia, who survived rape at the hands of doctors at Karachi’s Jinnah Hospital. “MQM protected Shaista Almani and Dr Shazia and ensured that they and their husbands are safely sent abroad.”

Balochistan issue
Dedicating a portion of his speech to the burning Balochistan issue, Altaf said that due to wrong policies and use of force to stifle voices for Baloch rights, the province is now standing at the point of secession from Pakistan. “We are still not willing to accept that robbing people of their rights intensifies feelings of depravation in people which can then not be solved through mere assurances.”
He said he had continuously raised his voice against the situation in Balochistan, the operation in the province and the enforced disappearances.

“Baloch people have lost confidence in Pakistani leaders. We will now have to take brave decisions and give them all their justified rights,” Altaf said, adding that a roundtable conference will have little impact on solving the problem. (By Express Tribune)

Monday, February 13, 2012

India Successfully Tested Supersonic Interceptor Missile

New Delhi, Feb 10, IRNA -- As part of its plan to deploy a two-layer ballistic missile defence system, India Friday successfully test-fired its indigenously developed supersonic interceptor missile from the Integrated Test Range off Odisha coast.

A surface-to-surface target missile - a modified 'Prithvi' - was first lifted from the launch Complex–III in ITR at Chandipur, 15 km from Balasore today morning, pti reported quoting defence sources.

The missile tracking network consisting of long range and multi-function radars and other range sensors positioned at different locations detected and identified the incoming missile.

The interceptor missile at Wheeler Island, about 70 km across the sea from Chandipur, with a directional warhead was launched and ground and on board control guided it to the target, the sources said.

The last flight of interceptor missile was conducted on March 6, 2011

India's Rapidly Transforming Armed Forces

India has decided to buy 126 fighter jets from France, taken delivery of a nuclear-powered submarine from Russia.

India and China have had tensions since a 1962 border war, and New Delhi has watched with dismay in recent years as Beijing has increased its influence in the Indian Ocean.

With its recent purchases, running into tens of billions of dollars, India is finally working to counter what it sees as aggressive incursions into a region India has long dominated.

"The Indian military is strengthening its forces in preparation to fight a limited conflict along the disputed border, and is working to balance Chinese power projection in the Indian Ocean," James Clapper, the U.S. director of national intelligence, told a Senate committee last week.

India has created new infantry mountain divisions and plans to raise a strike corps aimed at countering aggression by China. Their border still has not been set despite 15 rounds of talks, and patrols frequently face off on the ground.

Analysts say that although the probability of a conflict between the two Asian giants is remote, a short, sharp conflict in the disputed Himalayan heights can't be ruled out.

"Over the last couple of years, the Chinese have been acting more and more aggressively in the political, diplomatic and military arena," said retired Brig. Gurmeet Kanwal, director of the Indian army-funded Centre for Land Warfare Studies in New Delhi.

Indian leaders and defense strategists have fretted as China modernized its forces and extended its military advantage over India. For some in India, countering China is taking precedence even over checking longtime rival Pakistan.

"Of late, there has been a realization (in India) that China is the real danger of the future," Kanwal said.

The drive to modernize Indian forces was long overdue as much of the equipment was obselete Soviet-era weapons, and the orders for fighter jets, naval frigates, helicopters and armaments have made India the world's largest importer of arms. The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute said India accounted for 9 percent of all the world's weapon imports in 2010, the latest year for which figures were available. (PHOTOS: China's Investments in Africa)

Last week's order of 126 combat aircraft, won by France's Dassault, followed a bitter battle by global jet manufacturers. The initial cost for the fighter jets is estimated as $11 billion, but on-board weaponry, technology transfers, maintenance, warranties and other costs are expected to almost double the price.

The Indian navy last week took command of a Russian Nerpa nuclear submarine, renamed INS Chakra-II, at the Russian port of Vladivostok, propelling India into an elite group of countries operating underwater nuclear-powered vessels. It joins the United States, France, Russia, Britain and China.

The Chakra-II, on lease for 10 years at a cost of nearly $1 billion, is expected to be inducted into the navy by March. Later this year, India is expected to take delivery of a retrofitted Soviet-built aircraft carrier.

In addition, six Scorpene subs being built in India under license from France in a $5 billion deal are expected to start going into service in 2015, three years behind schedule, said Defense Minister A.K. Antony. Labor problems and difficulties procuring needed technology have hampered the project, he told the Indian Parliament recently. Critics also blame India's sluggish bureaucracy for the delays.

"India's efforts at modernizing its forces have been very slow," said Rajeswari Pillai Rajagopalan, a defense analyst at the New Delhi-based Observer Research Foundation.

Some Indian military experts complain that the country is not doing enough to upgrade its forces to the level befitting the regional power it aspires to be.

"It's not only China that is rising. India is on the ascent too, and it's a trend that will continue for some decades," said retired Air Vice Marshal Kapil Kak at the Centre for Air Power Studies in New Delhi.

India may be worrying over China's overtures to its neighbors, but New Delhi is reaching out to the Southeast Asian and East Asian countries in Beijing's backyard as well.

India has struck a strategic partnership with Vietnam, including helping Hanoi beef up its defense capabilities. Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has been actively pursuing a "Look East" policy, engaging the leaders of South Korea, Japan, Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand, among others. The policy has resulted in a troupe of high-level visits to India, bolstering trade and economic cooperation.

Nowhere is the contest between China and India more evident than in Myanmar, where both of the energy-seeking Asian giants are caught in a race to gain access to the country's natural gas sources.

India has regularly conducted defense exercises with countries in the region. It is scheduled to host the navies of 14 Asian countries in maritime exercises later this week; the Chinese and Pakistani navies have not been invited.

And, while India is increasing its defense capabilities, China is doing the same, but faster, making it difficult for India to catch up. The Chinese government's military budget is the second largest in the world after the United States.

India has raised two mountain divisions of soldiers to add to its existing high-altitude troops. Around 36,000 soldiers and officers of the divisions have been posted in the remote northeast, not far from India's Arunachal Pradesh state, which China claims as part of its territory.

A proposal for a mountain strike corps is awaiting clearance by India's Cabinet, and an independent armored brigade for the mountain region also is in the works. India hopes to show it can strike deep beyond its neighbor's borders to serve as a deterrent for any Chinese aggression, Kanwal said.

Rafale Partnered With Reliance In India

New Delhi. Dassault Aviation has selected Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) as its private sector partner to manufacture the Rafale Combat jets in India.

Details are not known but Dassault confirmed the agreement with the Mumbai-based Mukesh Ambani-led Indian conglomerate. It was signed a week or so after the Government announced the Rafale as the winner in the Medium Multi Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA).
In a statement, the French company said: Dassault Aviation, a major player in the global aerospace industry has entered into an MoU with Reliance Industries Ltd., India’s largest private sector company, for pursuing in strategic opportunities of collaboration in the area of complex manufacturing and support in India.

Dassault manufactures Rafale combat jets and Falcon business jets, and the proposed venture should foray into both these sectors.

Company sources also pointed out that much of the tooling and weapons of IAF’s Mirage 2000, which are being upgraded to Mirage 2000-5 standards, are common with those of the Rafale, and therefore it would be easier to absorb the new generation technologies, both in manufacturing and operations.

Authoritative sources told India Strategic that the two partners had also informed the Ministry of Defence (MoD).

Any such venture has to be cleared by the Government and several procedural and security clearances would be needed in due course as Reliance gets into the technology induction and manufacturing process.

As HAL is the lead integrator for the MMRCA project, the two companies will have to involve it also.

While in-principle approval for such collaborations already exists as per the Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP), the Government has just cleared an important proposal permitting the Defence Public Sector Undertakings (DPSUs) like HAL to forge partnerships with private sector companies to speed up technology induction as well as production of strategic systems for the armed forces.

RIL, already the top group in India, should become the biggest Indian player in combat jets and allied military systems.

Notably, RIL had inducted Boeing India’s former head for defence systems, Dr Vivek Lall, to lead a security and defence subsidiary. The intention apparently was to utilize the opportunities offered by India’s growing defence requirements, and the business that offsets would generate for the Indian industry.

Dr Lall, an Indian with US citizenship, has the distinction to have worked in the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the war systems US giant Raytheon and then the civil and military aviation world leader Boeing. He is credited as being one of the 2000 outstanding scientists in the entire world, and he was inducted as a Distinguished Fellow recently at the RIL-funded think tank, the Observer Research Foundation (ORF), apparently for initiating hi tech aviation studies.

The cash rich Reliance should infuse billions of dollars in its new partnership. There are timelines in the delivery of MMRCA, and this venture should be able to exceed the turnover of HAL within five years or so.

RIL has already gone into sophisticated Homeland Security systems to make cities secure, and signed agreements with Raytheon and German Siemens in this regard.

As per the terms of the Request for Proposals (RfP), issued by the Indian Air Force (IAF) in 2007, HAL will be the prime integrator for the selected aircraft. But the winning vendor would have the choice to go in for private or public sector companies, for the 50 per cent offsets commitments mandatory for the deal.

It may be recalled that there was a time when the defence industries were open only to the private sector. But gradually, there has been relaxation as the Indian private industry has been seeking a level playing field with public sector companies in defence manufacturing.

There has also been the inability of some of the Defence Public Sector Undertakings (DPSUs) to stick to time lines due to persistent labour trouble, and in some cases poor workmanship resulting from seemingly innocuous but otherwise serious problems like tobacco addiction among employees. The armed forces have been looking at the private sector for quality and timely delivery assurances.

How the Dassault-Reliance venture proceeds will depend on the finalisation of the MoD’s negotiations over the acquisition of Rafale. The RfP is for 126 aircraft with an option for 63 more. But over the years, this number should go up to 300 as IAF is looking for 42 to 45 combat aircraft squadrons by 2022 or so.

Notably, IAF, Army and Navy also need transport aircraft. For instance, IAF is looking for replacements for about 60 of its very old Avro aircraft. The Dassault-RIL venture should also open the doors for production of transport aircraft in India.


Brahmos Supersonic Cruise Missile Deployed Along with China and Pakistan Border Areas

India has given the go-ahead for the deployment of the supersonic Brahmos cruise missiles in Arunachal Pradesh.

The report said that with a range of 290 km, these cruise missiles were being deployed to improve India’s military reach into the Tibet Autonomous Region and counter China’s elaborate missile deployment along the India-Tibet border. The report cited sources as saying the decision was in keeping with India’s second border force expansion plan but was being fast-tracked because of urgency shown by the armed forces.

The five-year expansion plan includes fresh accretion of 89,000 troops, with 400 officers, in one of India’s biggest one-time military expansion effort. The report said the Brahmos missile regiment to be set up in Arunachal Pradesh will be India’s fourth, with the previous three being deployed in the country’s western sector to counter the Pakistan.

The report added that the second Army expansion on the Chinese occupied Tibet border will include the setting up of a corps headquarter in Panagarh, West Bengal, along with two more divisions. This will include the setting up of an independent armoured brigade along with an artillery division. It seems that things are moving at last, and fast!

FC-1 Fierce Dragon/JF-17 Thunder

JF-17 is the only modern day lightweight fighter providing world class performance at low operating expenditures.

This advanced fighter will be poised as a lower budget alternative for countries gearing up for the 21st century Net Centric Warfare Environment, especially for those who cannot afford the massive price tags of other similarly performing fighters. The fourth prototype saw major design upgrades, indicating that the capabilities required by the PAF for a baseline fighter had increased significantly. This prototype emerged as a potent BVR platform capable of undertaking precision strike, escort, interdiction, air patrol, reconnaissance and anti-ship roles. It can operate in dense, hostile electronic warfare environment thus ensuring the provision of deterrence against existing and future threats.

The JF-17 evolved into a fighter with advanced aerodynamic features such as diverter-less supersonic inlets (DSI). DSI improved the performance, reduced weight and cut down the frontal radar cross section (RCS) of the fighter. Large Leading edge extension provided higher angle of attack and more lift to the mid mounted wings. It has impressive instantaneous and sustained turn rates. The flight control surfaces are operated by a computerised flight control system (FCS).The fighter has digital quad-redundant Fly-by-wire (FBW) system in the pitch axis and dual-redundant FBW system in the roll and yaw axis

It’s enhanced man-machine interface, advanced cockpit layout and good all round field of view reduce the work load of the pilot thus providing greater operational effectiveness. The pilot can access vital cockpit functions and fly the fighter without having to remove his hands from throttle and flight control.

The cockpit has a smart Heads Up Display with a large field of vision and three large interchangeable smart Multifunctional displays. JF-17′s electronics use dual redundant MIL-STD-1553B, MIL-STD-1760 architecture. The dual redundant mission computers are integrated with the MFDs and control one databus each. The pilot also fields a helmet mounted system of speculated Chinese origin.

The KLJ-7 radar is a long range, multimode pulse doppler radar with look down shoot down capability. It can see forty targets, track ten of them and engage two simultaneously. An expanded electronic warfare equipment is accomodated in the tail fin. The JF-17 has a defensive aids system which incoporates various subsystems including a radar warning reciever, ECM aswell as a missile approach warning system.

The klimov RD93 with a maximum output of 96kN gives JF-17 a thrust to weight ratio of 1.It is equipped with Digital Electronic Engine Control (DEEC) system. . The engine provides the fighter with high acceleration and an instantaneous response while consuming less fuel. The engine can be replaced at the airbases within few hours with little logistical inconvenience.

High number of sorties can be generated due to the single point pressure refuelling system, which reduces turn around time. This aspect is particularly important as it allows an airforce with less aircrafts to continuously keep considerably more fighters in the air, when needed. Another key feature is the markedly low operating cost of JF-17 thus ensuring more flying hours on the machine for pilots to hone their skills.

JF-17 has the capability to operate from motorways, simple road bases and short improvised airfields thus giving another dimension for the PAF to exploit. The fighter can securely datalink to other fighters, ground centre and AWACS thus giving enhanced situational awareness which is of integral importance in modern day warfare.

JF-17 is in the process of integrating a long list of weapons systems and pods. PAF has shown great confidence in SD-10A and is using it in the frontline , side by side the state-of-the-art US AIM-120C5. Special importance is being given to the standoff precision strike capability.The fighter can effectively carry out it’s mission with an endurance of 3.5 hours, more than 4000kg of weapons load and an extended range of 3000km.

The production and incorporation of upgrades are occurring simultaneously, thanks to the modular design of the fighter. Another aspect often overlooked is the ability to upgrade the initial batches with new technology in the upcoming years to ensure their continued relevance in future conflicts. Full Operational Clearance may be achieved by the end of 2012.

Later blocks are aligned to be enhanced versions of the ‘already in service’ JF-17 block-1. Speculations exist about AESA radars; Forward looking infra red cameras along with Infra red search & track for detecting the target without revealing itself. Other features like In-flight refueling is on the cards for longer range, a modified frontal fuselage to further reduce RCS, more powerful mission computers, greater sensor fusion, improved RWR/ECM, satellite link, multiple launch rails, upgraded engine and a greater use of composites. These future blocks might share some core technology with the J-10b. A two seat trainer is also envisioned.

JF-17 , once considered as a third generation fighter for merely filling in the numbers , now boasts of state of the art capabilities causing serious concern for adversaries and competing vendors alike. The fighter’s substantial growth capability as well as the will and funding for its continued growth and enhancements are critical factors for choosing this weapons system from a historically reliable vendor, China.

JF-17 thus gives the pilot a non-shattering confidence in the face of its more expensive contemporaries and a unique pride to be one of the select few of the ”THUNDER RIDERS”.

Its flight control includes a Type 634 quadruplex digital FBW in pitch axis and a duplex analog FBW in roll axis” Two enlarged F/A-18 style LERX are thought to offer higher AOA as well.

Aakhri Round.......?

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Rafale Bags IAF's $10.40 Billion USD Contract

New Delhi: After being initially ruled out of the race for IAF's USD 10.40 billion deal for supplying 126 Medium Multirole Combat Aircraft (MMRCA), French contender Rafale has reportedly bagged the prestigious contract.

In the process, French contender Rafale beat European consortium EADS’ Cassidian (Eurofighter Typhoon).

This has finally ended suspense over the speculated winner of the USD 10.4 billion deal to equip Indian Air Force with 126 medium multi-role combat aircraft.

The French fighter aircraft was earlier declared out of the race after it was found lacking on certain requirements of the IAF during the technical evaluation phase of the contract.

The deal was awarded to Rafale after evaluation of bids of the European consortium from Germany, Britain, Italy, Spain and EADS Cassidian by the Indian officials to figure out the fly-away cost, life cycle cost, technology transfer cost and the offset offers before the winner of the contract will be known.

The offset clause in the tender, included under the Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP) of 2006, requires the winner of the tender to reinvest 50 percent of the deal amount in the Indian defence industry in an effort to energise it.

India had in April down-selected the Eurofighter Typhoon and the Rafale and asked the manufacturers to extend their commercial bids that were on the point of expiring, till the middle of December.

The down-select had resulted in the rejection of four other contending aircraft -- the Lockheed Martin F-16, the Boeing F/A-18, Russian United Aircraft Corp's MiG-35 and Swedish SAAB's Gripen.

Zeenews Bureau