Saturday, July 28, 2012

USA Plans $4.2bn Patriot Missile Sale To Kuwait

WASHINGTON:- The Pentagon said Wednesday it planned to sell 60 Patriot missiles to Kuwait in a deal worth an estimated $4.2 billion, as the emirate tries to bolster its defenses against the threat from Iran.

The Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA), which is in charge of US weapon sales to foreign countries, notified the US Congress of the intended sale on July 20, the agency said in a statement on its website.

Congress has 30 days to raise any objections it may have. If nothing is said, the contract is deemed valid after that waiting period.

The deal involves the sale of 60 Patriot advanced capability (PAC-3) missiles, 20 launching stations, four radar systems and control stations, personnel training and training equipment, and spare parts, the DSCA said.

“Kuwait will use the PAC-3 missiles and equipment to improve its missile defense capability, strengthen its homeland defense, and deter regional threats,” the agency said.

Earlier this year at a forum that brought together the United States and the six members of the Gulf Cooperation Council — Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates — US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton promoted a missile shield to protect Gulf Arab states from Tehran.

The six GCC states are all major buyers of US arms.

Kuwait already has Patriot missiles. In 1992, it bought 210 of the earlier-generation Patriots, and 25 launchers. It then bought 140 more in 2007, according to the Congressional Research Service.

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Anti-Rohingya Violence: Pakistan Decries Myanmar Killings

Pakistan has expressed concern over the recent ethnic violence in Myanmar, where dozens of people – mostly Muslims – have died.

Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Moazzam Ali Khan, during the weekly news briefing on Thursday said: “We are concerned about the situation but there are reports that things have improved there.”

The spokesman hoped that the authorities in Myanmar would take necessary steps to control the situation.

Recent clashes in western Myanmar between Buddhist ethnic Rakhine and Muslim Rohingya have left dozens dead and tens of thousands homeless. Last week, Amnesty International said hundreds of people, mostly men and boys, have been detained in sweeps of areas heavily populated by the Rohingya.

Most arrests appear to have been “arbitrary and discriminatory” and Amnesty said there were “credible reports” of abuses, including rape, destruction of property and unlawful killings, by both Rakhine Buddhists and the security forces.

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Reason of Unrest In Karachi – Law & Order OR Political & Demographic Order

Just now I came across the news, A United Nations (UN) Doctor was attacked near Sohrab Goth, Karachi. No casualty was reported. Dr. Foston himself received minor injuries. The incident gives a glimpse how the city is engulfed in unrest & terrorism and has been made hostage by some miscreants. An obvious question, people have in minds when a Doctor of the United Nations & our own security agencies are not safe, how would they ensure the people’s security in the city?

Karachi, being the economic hub & the biggest metropolis of Pakistan always attracted the people around from the country for different purposes. Some are willing to carry on their studies in the Universities & Colleges while some wishes to excel their career in the city. Investors from around the country & abroad considered Karachi the best place to invest funds at. The poor friendly city always welcomed & embraced everyone. Needless to say, in turn the same people from different walk of life, belonging to the different areas contributed their share in the development & ecstasy of the city.

Karachi has seen three phases of its development. In the first phase it was developed by the British Empire from a small village to a port town. The population of the city grew from some hundreds to almost 100,000 in that period. In the second phase the immigrants, normally known as Muhajir, who migrated from Muslim Minority Provinces after partition of sub-continent, developed it, in this period the city experienced a boom in infrastructure, economy, industry, education, culture, population & all other sectors. The third phase wherein the city became the biggest metropolis & the centre of all economic activities & people from other parts of the country started taking part in its development. Their collective collaboration made this city world known, developed & dream of everyone to be lived in or work at.

Apart from the positives, there are always some dark sides too. Karachi while embracing the new comers also proved to be safe heaven for a number of goons & miscreants who contributed their share also, but to develop the underground economy instead. The same miscreants developed arms & ammunition markets, drugs markets, black markets & finally the same miscreants getting stronger by the time turned to be organized mafias. Extending their underground economy, they started land grabbing, armed robberies, kidnapping for ransom, even target killing for a few rupees or funding terrorists of banned outfits became their normal course of life.

Even some groups established state within the state. The law enforcement agencies seemed to be helpless & found looking for their own safety. The abduction & killing after torture became a routine & the worst part, it turned to be an “Ethnic Civil War” where people of different ethnic origin started to be abducted & killed tortured, specially the same Muhajir people who had already sacrificed for the creation of the country & contributed the most for its development. Evidence is there that the whole bloodshed was initiated, sponsored & directed by some high officials of the Govt. itself. History was repeating itself. In the past some officials from the then Govt. also staged such genocide, either to exercise or grab more power or to change the “Political & Demographic Order” of the city to extract benefits. The incidents of last 4 years appeared to be the sequel of the same state owned terrorism.

For law enforcement agencies, to change the “Political & Demographic Order” proved more important then to maintain the “Law & Order”. Surprisingly, the law enforcement agencies acted as silent spectators in whole episode. Perhaps the matter was bigger then the “law & order” only. As the subsequent incidents revealed the real issue “Political & Demographic Order”, it was also revealed that the law enforcers were not allowed to interfere & kept away from the scene.

The mafias active in the city are abducting common people by identifying them as Muhajir & killing them after torture. Traders are being kidnapped and released after receiving huge ransom. Investment & investors are fleeing from the city. The ecstasy of the city is getting dimmed. The city of lights has turned into city of darks. The political leadership is blaming each other. They all, rather we all are equally responsible irrespective of political affiliation, ethnic origin, in or out of the Govt, have powers or not. The Govt. & Law Enforcement Agencies are not fulfilling their duty to maintain law & order and book the criminals, the opposition parties are equally responsible with their criminal silence, parties which are out of assemblies also acting uncaringly by supporting the mafia directly or indirectly, & we the people of Pakistan are the real responsible for all the mess by supporting the wrong ! voice, wrong people & wrong instances just to get short term benefits & for this we have put our long run benefits, our future at stake!

The cold blood murders of thousands of the innocent people could not draw attention of the authorities, law enforcement agencies, judiciary & the media specially the international media. May be the incident of today would prove to be the turning point & the terrorism & genocide in Karachi would get attention of the authorities & innocent lives could be saved.

Authorized Post To Be Published Here On Demand By The Author/Writer Source : http://blogs.dunyanews.tv/?p=4844
Also Published On http://sknawaz.wordpress.com/
By : SK.Nawaz

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Friday, July 27, 2012

MQM Founder Altaf Hussain Given WakeUp Call In A Lecture At London Secretariat

Founder and Leader of Muttahida Quami Movement (MQM) Mr Altaf Hussain has said that the security, sovereignty and integrity of the country is under threat. He said that it is highly regrettable that instead of thinking about the survival of the country, the politicians were busy in power politics and not thinking about the country. He said this while giving a lecture in the International Secretariat of the MQM in London.

Mr Hussain spoke at length about the effects of the geopolitical situation of Pakistan on its national security, the looming threats on the borders, relations with the neighboring countries and the internal and external challenges being faced by the country. Members of the Co-ordination Committee, elected representatives and members of the International Secretariat of the MQM were present on the occasion. He also answered the questions asked by the participants.

Mr Hussain said that Pakistan carried significant importance in the south Asian region during the era of cold war between the United States and the USSR. This was because India and China were considered big powers in region and they were inclined towards the Soviet Russia. Likewise Afghanistan was also friendly towards Russia and tilted towards India. Iran was being ruled by the Emperor who had a leaning towards United States. At that time, the policy-making institutions of Pakistan decided to support the United States and Pakistan emerged as a big allied country of the United States in the region.

In the ensuing cold war between Russia and United States our policy-making institutions largely concentrated on defeating Russia for pleasing the United States in return for dollars instead of taking decisions having far-reaching consequences for the country. They acted in a manner as if it was a war between Pakistan and Russian. They formed militant organizations and trained and supported them. The consequences of the horrible decisions taken by former rulers, senior bureaucrats, army and other policy-making institutions are affecting Pakistan even today. The militant organizations formed during that time have turned into Frankenstein monsters and have turned against our own army officers and men.

Mr Hussain said that the US Congress and Senate has recently declared a militant organization as a terrorist organization and has demanded action against it from Pakistan. He said that Pakistan could also be declared a terrorist country if any leader of this militant organization is found involved in any negative activity outside Pakistan. This would not be a good omen for Pakistan if it comes true. Mr Hussain regretted that the Pakistani politicians, intellectuals, anchor persons and columnist were not informing the public the real facts about the critical condition facing the country. Politicians aspiring to become president, prime minister or chief minister would never speak with such courage about the national security and integrity.

Mr Hussain said that it has been published in all the international newspapers and magazines that a number of US fleets that are equipped with latest missiles and batteries have reached near the Pakistani waters in the Arabian Sea but no one paid any attention. Citing defence analyses published in international magazines Mr Hussain said that in future war in the region would start from Afghanistan. Afghanistan, where the NATO forces are already present, would attack Pakistan.

Mr Hussain said that it is necessary to strengthen the country from within in order to save Pakistan and meeting the future challenge. He called for ending the confrontation between government, judiciary, defence institutions and the opposition. He said that a round table conference should be convened in which all the stakeholders including military leadership, religious and political leaders and intellectuals should be invited and concrete decisions should be taken in view of the prevailing circumstances.

Mr Hussain said that Pakistan is facing internal threats besides external aggression. The economy of the country is critical and the country is being run by printing currency. The law and order situation of the country is also precarious. There is the load-shedding of electricity and natural gas that has made the life of common people miserable. There is unemployment and poverty. He said that in the prevailing circumstances it is highly inappropriate on the part of politicians to pull each other’s legs.

Mr Hussain said that the present situation of the country is a point to ponder for every Pakistani for rising above party affiliations and thinking about the security, integrity and betterment of the country.

Answering the questions of the participants Mr Hussain said that Pakistan should establish friendly relations with all the neighbouring countries including India. He said that India should also play a positive role for bringing peace in the region.

Speaking about Balochistan he said that the rights of the Baloch people would have to be given for solving the Balochistan question. He said that if the security of the country could be guaranteed by accepting their tough conditions, it should be done.

Mr Hussain said that sectarianism is making a dent in our unity and it is the main cause of unrest. A nation that is divided in sects cannot stand against any enemy hence the Pakistani nation should exhibit unity instead of getting divided in sects.

Mr Hussain advised the MQM leaders, elected representatives and office-bearers to create awareness among Pakistani people and inform them about the difficult circumstances facing the country. He prayed Almighty Allah to bring Pakistan out of internal and external threats and crises.

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America's Conspiracy To Attack Pakistan Exposed In An Hollywood Movie

The United States film-making industry Hollywood is going all set to release a new action packed movie namely "Last Resort" in which the US film-maker picturised & advocates the situation in which USA nukes Pakistan. In the movie, one US nuclear missile submarine receives order to launch nuclear missile over Pakistan but the onboard submarine crew can not be able to identify and verify the authenticity of the order received so they decides not to act on this instruction. After that the submarine comes under attack from the enemy in the end leaving the submarine destroyed which eventually prompts Americans to use nuclear weapons against Pakistan. Networks : Pakistan News | Pakistan Today | VideoTube

Poland-US Closely Working For Deployment of Standard Missile - III Anti-Ballistic Missile Interceptor

Washington and Warsaw keep closely discussing the deployment of a U.S. new-generation ballistic missile defense interceptor site in Poland by 2018, Pentagon spokesman George Little said.

U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta met on Wednesday with his Polish counterpart Tomasz Siemoniak to discuss besides other issues the deployment of the U.S. missile shield elements in Europe.

“Panetta thanked Siemoniak for Poland’s leadership on NATO Ballistic Missile Defense [BMD]. Poland was the first nation to establish a BMD agreement with the United States… The two nations are working closely together to establish an SM-3 ballistic missile interceptor site in Poland by 2018,” Little said in a statement.

The Standard Missile-3 (SM-3) Block IB is designed to intercept and destroy short to intermediate-range ballistic missile threats and is an essential component of an anti-missile system the United States is building in and around Europe.

Moscow has long opposed the deployment of U.S. missile defenses near its borders, arguing they would be a security threat and could destroy the strategic balance of forces in Europe.

The United States scrapped plans in September of 2010 for an anti-ballistic-missile defense system in the Czech Republic and Poland. Moscow welcomed the move, and Russia’s then-President Dmitry Medvedev said later that Russia would drop plans to deploy Iskander-M tactical missiles in its Kaliningrad Region, which borders NATO members Poland and Lithuania.

Last year, however, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced Washington's plans to deploy missile defenses and Air Force units in Poland.

Russia and NATO agreed to cooperate on the so called Euro missile defense system at the Lisbon summit. NATO insists there should be two independent systems that exchange information, while Russia favors a joint system.

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India Currently Has 80 To 100 Nuke Warheads: Report

New Delhi, July 25, IRNA -- India is not converting all its weapons-grade plutonium into war heads but it currently has 80 to 100 nuclear warheads for its emerging Triad of air-, land-, and sea-based nuclear-capable delivery vehicles.

India is estimated to have produced approximately 520 kilograms of weapons-grade plutonium, sufficient for 100 to 130 atomic warheads; however, not all of the material has been converted into warheads, a pti report said quoting Director of the Nuclear Information Project Hans Kristensen and senior fellow for Nuclear Policy Robert S Norris wrote in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists.

Based on available information, Kristensen and Norris estimate that India currently has 80 to 100 nuclear warheads for its emerging Triad of air-, land-, and sea-based nuclear-capable delivery vehicles.

'It will need more warheads to arm the new missiles it is currently developing,' they claimed.

'In addition to the Dhruva plutonium production reactor near Mumbai, India plans to construct a second reactor near Visakhapatnam, on the east coast. India is building an unsafeguarded prototype fast-breeder reactor at the Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research near Kalpakkam, which will significantly increase India's plutonium production capacity once it becomes operational,' they wrote.

They said India's drive to develop a nuclear triad proceeds apace, with New Delhi developing or deploying several weapon systems to realize its goal of achieving offensive nuclear forces on land, at sea, and in the air.

'India took a significant step forward with the successful test-launch of the Agni V ballistic missile on April 19, 2012. With a range reportedly greater than 5,000 kilometers, the Agni V can reach any target in China; however, the missile needs more testing and is still several years away from operational deployment,' they said.

Though India possesses nuclear weapons and maintains short-and- intermediate-range ballistic missiles, nuclear-capable aircraft, surface ships, and submarines under development as possible delivery systems and platforms, but India has a declared nuclear no-first-use policy and is in the process of developing a nuclear doctrine based on 'credible minimum deterrence.” In August 1999, the Indian government released a draft of the doctrine which asserts that nuclear weapons are solely for deterrence and that India will pursue a policy of 'retaliation only'. The document also maintains that India 'will not be the first to initiate a nuclear first strike, but will respond with punitive retaliation should deterrence fail' and that decisions to authorize the use of nuclear weapons would be made by the Prime Minister or his 'designated successor(s).

India’s first nuclear test occurred on 18 May 1974. Since then India has conducted another series of tests at the Pokhran test range in the state of Rajasthan in 1998.

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Indian Navy Started Building 2nd IAC-II Indigenious Aircraft Carrier

India has started working on its second indigenous aircraft carrier even as the construction of the first one has been marred by delay of over two years. The Indigenous Aircraft Carrier (IAC)-II would be the largest ship in terms of the weight and size to have ever been built by the Navy, Navy sources said here.

On the delays in the IAC-I, they said against the December 2010 timeline, the Navy was now planning to launch it by the end of this year or early next year. Sources said delays in the warship project were caused mainly due to problems in its gearbox, they said. The 40,000 tonne IAC-I is being constructed by the Kochin Shipyard in Kerala and is so far the biggest warship project undertaken in the country. At its now expected induction timeline of 2017, it would be the second largest warship after the Russian-origin Admiral Gorshkov, which is set to arrive in India by March next year.

They said the IAC-I has two very large gear boxes weighing around 90 tonnes each-- the largest-ever to have been handled by the Navy. Asked about the specifications of the IAC-2, Navy sources said the work was going on and a number of design options were being explored. Navy sources expressed hope that by the time the IAC-II would be ready, the indigenously-built Naval Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) would also be fully mature for operating on it. On the Shivalik Class frigate INS Sahyadri to be commissioned in to the Navy on July 21, Navy officials said it was the last ship of its class Project 17. They said the work on the next Project 17A has already started.

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Taiwan Signs F-16 Upgrade Contract

TAIPEI — Taiwan signed an the agreement with the U.S. government for a $3.7 billion upgrade to its existing 146 F-16A/B Block 20 fighter aircraft.

The letter of offer and acceptance (LOA) was signed on July 13 during a meeting in Taichung, said a defense industry source in Taipei. The U.S. Defense Security Cooperation Agency under the Foreign Military Sales program will administer the competition for the upgrade program.

The most heated competition will be between Northrop Grumman and Raytheon over who will win the active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar contract. Northrop is offering the Scalable Agile Beam Radar against the Raytheon Advanced Combat Radar. Both radars will also compete in South Korea’s upgrade for 135 KF-16C/D Block 52 fighters, and a possible AESA competition later for Singapore’s F-16s.

Over the past year, BAE Systems and Lockheed Martin have battled over the contract to upgrade the F-16s, but BAE’s efforts appear all for naught. Local defense industry sources say Lockheed has locked-down the deal for offset agreements for the upgrade with Taiwan’s state-run Aerospace Industrial Development Corporation (AIDC). AIDC and Lockheed signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on July 11 to form a strategic partnership to facilitate the F-16 upgrade program. Butch Hsu, AIDC president, and Ana Wugofski, Lockheed’s vice president of international business development, signed the MoU at the Farnborough International Airshow.

“Lockheed Martin and AIDC have been working together for many years supporting Taiwan’s F-16. We are impressed with AIDC’s capability, and we are looking forward to the opportunity to expand this relationship as we begin to implement the Taiwan F-16 upgrade program,” said Laura Siebert, Lockheed’s F-16 media representative.

AIDC manufactured the F-CK-1 Ching-kuo Indigenous Defense Fighter (IDF) and the A/T-3 Tzu Chiang attack trainer jet trainer during the 1980s and 1990s. Currently, AIDC is implementing a midlife upgrade for the IDF.

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Monday, July 16, 2012

PTI & Culture of Aggressive & Abusive Politics

Expressing her views on twitter, the Internet Social Media site, Ms. Shireen Mazari, leader & spokesperson on foreign affairs of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), said:

“Ok ppl have informed me that ANP Senator’s refusal to meet Raja Rental had nothing to do with principles! I was giving him benefit of doubt!

Wherein she had given name “Raja Rental” to the democratic & elected Prime Minister of Pakistan Mr. Raja Pervez Ashraf. A name definitely not associated or liked by him.

At a glance it doesn’t seems to be a big issue, worth writing a blog on, or give ample time to be discussed, but really it isn’t a matter of concern for all of us as the insulting name to the PM have suggested by a leader of a political party proclaiming to be the future of Pakistan, claims follower-ship of millions & believes in its strength of youth. These youth takes inspiration from their leaders & it already has been said ‘PTI’s youth are the most aggressive & abusive in the Pakistani Politics’.

It had started when PTI emerged as a party confronting the feudal & traditional politicians in Pakistan, especially in Punjab. It raised slogans of a corruption free Society. The supporters base it acquired was mostly of the fresh lot of youth aged b/w 15 to 25 years, lacking experience, without proper guidance, unaware of the diplomatic manners, above all considering themselves the most loyal & patriot Pakistanis declaring all others as traitors & terrorists. They learnt to label each & everyone as traitors & criminals if one doesn’t agree with their views, even they start calling names, abusing people with contrast views including their family members & start giving threats if one not agreed. Not only ordinary public but a lot of Newspaper Editors, Journalists, TV/Media Persons etc. have got threatening SMS messages, emails, phone calls & letters.

Later, the journalists, anchor persons, editors, columnists etc. shared their experiences how they were insulted by PTI supporters. Some of the Media Persons declared it Cyber Terrorism & hence PTI from the very beginning started the culture of aggressiveness, abuses & terrorism on Social Media Networks. Mr. Arif Alvi, Secretary General of PTI via the same Social Media urged their supporters to avoid such aggressive & abusive activities for which PTI would be marked with bad name but unheard.

It is a common observation, PTI’s conventions & events are end up with fights & disputes, and mismanagement is a common factor in all its activities. PTI’s workers or supporters are found indulged in Cyber Terrorism, going ahead, some central leader has also shown such a dreadful conduct practically in live tv talk shows. In January 2011 PTI Sindh President Mr. Naeem Ul Haq had used abusive words for Mr. Jamil Soomro of Pakistan People’s Party & thrown a Glass of Water at him after Mr. Soomro abused him the same way.

Another incident wherein PTI Youth Wing Lahore’s Ex-President Mr. Ali Bukhari was insulted & thrown out of the conference hall by Mr. Abrar-ul-Haq, Coordinator Youth Wing, PTI.

The Chairman of PTI Mr. Imran Khan in a message urged their online workers & supporters to be gentle & logical while arguing with political opponents

But surprisingly he himself found abusing leaders of different political / religious parties

During Abbotabad Convention, Imran Khan insulting Moulana Fazalur Rehman of JUI calling him Moulana Diesel

Imran Khan insulting MQM leaders & their millions of followers:

Imran Khan insulting President Asif Ali Zardari

Imran Khan insulting Mian Nawaz Shareef & other PMLN leaders

Above examples are enough to imagine the extent to which PTI leaders & followers has gone obnoxious. No one is safe from their filthy, abusive, threatening & sub-standard comments & the incidents of physical assault to their own people is a clear warning they might go aggressive with the opponents if needed.

PTI, in order to remain a democratic political party, should initiate counseling & training sessions not only for their workers & supporters but also for their leaders too. Democracy is all about to respect each and everyone’s freedom of expression, free will & in accepting others’ rights. Failing in compliance of the spirit of democracy PTI would be history either or would be known as a Gang of Rogues only.

Authorized Post To Be Published Here On Demand By The Author/Writer Written By : S.Kashif Nawaz
Published Originally At : http://blogs.dunyanews.tv/?p=4599 and http://sknawaz.wordpress.com/

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Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Supporting Same Sex Sexuality In Pakistan

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PTI Worker Dilawar Ali Awan Killed In Personal Brawl Over “Call Girl”

KARACHI: A member of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf’s student wing Insaf Students’ Federation (ISF) was shot dead in Karachi on Sunday.

ISF member Dilawar Ali Awan was shot in the chest thrice by unknown armed men on Zamzama Street within the Clifton police area.

ISF Sindh President Alamgir Khan confirmed that Awan was an ISF member and said that his party has announced a day of mourning for his death.

However, the police stated that the victim was not affiliated with any political party or student organisation and was killed in a personal brawl.

“He was neither a member of any party nor he was killed in a targeted assassination,” SHO Asif Ali Jakharani.

“Before claiming his affiliation with the party, the PTI or ISF should have at least confirmed the nature of the incident,” Jakharani said. “I don’t think any party will claim someone who is killed over a call girl as its member.”

While social media activists of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf alleged that MQM is involved in the killing of ISF's member. PTI cyber force has started campaign against MQM on social media sites and accusing that MQM is behind this killing.

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MQM Organizes A Programme In Memory Of Mehdi Hassan

A programme was held in memory of Mehdi Hassan, famous ghazal singer of the subcontinent, by the social forum of the MQM on 14thJuly 2012 in City Auditorium in Federal B Area, Karachi. Noted television and state artists including Omar Sharif, Munawwer Saeed, Sangeeta, Sana, Anwer Iqbal, Muhammad Ali Shehki, and Hassan Jahangir paid tribute to the celebrated ghazal singer and expressed their views on his life.

Speaking on the occasion Deputy Convener of the Co-ordination Committee of the MQM Dr Farooq Sattar said that Mehdi Hassan was a legend in ghazal singing. He said that a Mehdi Hassan Academy should be formed in order to produce many more like him. He also called for starting an award in honour of the deceased artist.

Dr Sattar said that MQM leader Mr Altaf Hussain was particularly concerned about the welfare of artists. He said that Mr Hussain is a great admirer of Mehdi Hassan and listens to his unmatched singing occasionally.

Dr Sattar said that Mehdi Hassan started his life by working on a cycle shop but he continued his singing despite odd circumstances. He said that Pakistan also needed self-made men like Mehdi Hassan who would make Pakistan.

Other speakers who spoke on the occasion included Muhammad Fatima Surayya Bajya, Ali Shehki, Saleem Jawed, Faisal Qazi, Tariq Mehdi and H Iqbal.

Members of the Co-ordination Committee Kunwar Khalid Yunus, Wasay Jalil, Ashfaq Mangi, MQM ministers, members of assemblies and office-bearers of the social forum of the MQM were also present on the occasion.

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MQM Is Working For Interfaith Harmony And Social Development

Founder and Leader of Muttahida Quami Movement (MQM) has said that the MQM has always strived for stability of democracy, political and interfaith harmony, and social development. The MQM believes in the principle of “live and let live” and considers all the people living in Pakistan belonging to various religions as equal citizens of Pakistan. He said this while talking to the visiting members of the Co-ordination Committee and ministers in the International Secretariat in London.

Governor Sindh Dr Ishrat-ul-Ebad, Federal Minister for Ports and Shipping Mr Babar Khan Ghouri, provincial ministers Mr Raza Haroon, Mr Shoaib Bukhari, Dr Sagheer Ahmed, Mr Adil Siddiqui, members of the Co-ordination Committee in London Mr Tariq Mir, Mr Muhammad Anwer, Mr Anis Ahmed Advocate, Mr Tariq Jawed, Mr Salim Shahzad, Mr Mustafa Azizabadi, Mr Muhammad Ashfaq, and Mr Qasim Ali Raza were present on the occasion.

Mr Hussain said that the MQM has always stood for and given the message of showing respect to all religions and faiths and their places of worship. The MQM has also done everything possible for their protection. Whenever there was any incident harming the places of worships of the non-Muslims the MQM came forward and gave them a sense of protection.

Mr Hussain said that the MQM wants that the term “minority” should not be used for the non-Muslims and they should be considered as equal Pakistanis and given equal opportunities in every sphere of life.

Mr Hussain said that it was because of the MQM’s quest for religious harmony and tolerance and the practical steps taken towards this end, that a large number of Christians, Hindus, Sikhs and followers of other faiths were joining the MQM in large numbers.

Mr Hussain said that the MQM would like to assure people belonging to all the religions in Pakistan that the MQM would continue to work for their rights by following the precept of “live and let live”.

Governor Sindh Dr Ebad informed Mr Hussain about the UK visit and the agreements signed with various Scottish companies for investing in different fields in the province of Sindh. He said that memorandums of understanding have been signed for desalinating the sea water for providing 100 MGD in Karachi, solid waste management and generating electricity from the waste, improvement in the sewerage system, and providing 50 ambulances to the health department. A memorandum of understanding has also been signed for providing training to the graduates of Mehran University of Engineering and Technology and NED University of Engineering and Technology at the University of Strathclyde Glasgow.

Governor Ebad also apprised Mr Hussain about talks held with the department of trade and industry for cooperation in the field of agriculture, health, education, higher education, information technology, fisheries, and livestock. He also informed him about the meetings held with the head of the Conservative Party Baroness Saeeda Warsi, officials of the Church of Scotland and other important personalities.

Mr Hussain said that the agreements signed with the Scottish companies for investments in Sindh would augur well for the province. He praised Governor Ebad and the MQM ministers for making efforts in this regard. He also thanked the British High Commissioner in Pakistan Mr Adam Thomson, British Foreign Office, and the UK government and assured his full cooperation.

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Social Media Emerging As ‘Critical Factor’ In Politics

Social media is emerging as a critical factor in politics while online activism helps to address certain specific issues of people like civic facilities and getting the salary, but it has limits to tackle the chronic problems of corruption and poverty. With more and more people using Twitter and Facebook, there is a need for ethical reporting in this hyper-connected world.

These views were expressed by speakers in three sessions on first day of the Pakistan-India Social Media Mela here on Friday.

In a session titled ‘Dhobi Ghat: the impact of party politics on social media’, Indian journalist Annie Zaidi said that in India even certain chief ministers of states/provinces used social media and it was a good thing to have access to such people. Another positive development was that some voices of the voters were available on it, she said.

Zaidi said lack of literacy or technology did not make social media invalid as now even newspapers carried comments of politicians and other personalities made on Twitter and Facebook.

The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI) social media strategist, Awab Alvi, said the PTI was extensively using social media since it was quite popular among youths of urban centres. However, one of the negative consequences of its popularity was that it was being “attacked and defamed” in the media.

He admitted that PTI leaders wanted to be on social media and he usually got their messages even late at night to repeat their twitters. Alvi said the PTI was cleared on certain things but it was not generating debate on it since it was not in power.

The MQM’s social media strategist, Syed Ali Raza Abidi, said their party considered social media a good platform for disseminating the party policies and countering any negative campaign. He said the MQM had a “sophisticated unit” for this purpose as “we do take everything very seriously”.

Human rights activist Marvi Sirmed regretted that the people’s issues were not being debated in social media; instead “dirty politics” and “shallow rhetoric” were being fed to the people. She said the PTI was being accused of being “very aggressive” on social media in responding to certain things. Sirmed called for mature politics as “the people take mood from their leaders”.

She was of the opinion that PTI activists may be “aggressive” for being less experienced in politics, especially electoral ones. She said people may have concerns as regards the MQM, but their leaders appeared “more civil and mature” on social media.

Sirmed said that even the ISPR had realised the importance of using social media. She revealed that one of her acquaintances in the ISPR once sent their news to her to spread it on social media.

Senior journalist Beena Sarwar said the elections were the deciding factor in politics, but politicians could not ignore the Twitter world as social media was emerging as a crucial factor. However, she stressed the need to be very careful as someone might be “misusing” it.

In another session titled ‘Saving the world: does online activism work?’, Indian online activist Raheel Khursheed said social media was resolving around 30 specific issues globally in a month.

He cited several recent incidents of online activism in different parts of India, which forced the government to give salaries to teachers after four years in Jharkhand, to reconstruct ponds for dogs in Hyderabad, to take action against misbehaviour of rickshaw drivers in Banglore and to regularise transport fares in Chennai.

Raheel said that it was “consolidated pressure” which compelled the authorities to act but it all started with online initiative by single person who elicited support of other online activists for online petitions.

He revealed that a slum boy in Mumbai had started a campaign for saving Kaliwadas (who are original citizens of Mumbai) and had got support from 789 people so far. Khursheed said that following the success of online activism in Chennai, online activists were planning to launch an online campaign in Delhi for the regularisation of transport fares.

Answering a question about quality control, Raheel said: “We believe in wisdom of the crowd.”

In the third session titled ‘The need for speed: ethical reporting in a hyper-connected world’, Indian online activist Karuna John said the issue of ethics arose with the breaking news phenomenon. She suggested that “social media needs to be handled with a lot of care”.

John called for the traditional way of reporting facts and cross-checking them on social media.

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MQM Signs $2 Billion Dollars Worth MoUs In England

LONDON/GLASGOW: A high-powered Pakistani delegation has signed 6 memoranda of understanding (MoUs) worth more than $2 billion with business groups and universities in Scotland.

Pakistani delegation led by Governor Sindh Dr Ishrat Ebad and comprised of provincial and federal ministers Babar Khan Ghauri, Pir Mazhar-ul-Haq, Raza Haroon, Faisal Subzwari, Saghir Ahmed, Adil Siddiqui, Karachi administrator Muhammd Hussain Sayyid, and Commissioner Roshan Sheikh signed the MoUs on Tuesday afternoon.

Four contracts were signed between the Scottish business groups, Government and Port Qasim Authority, Karachi Port Trust, Karachi Metropolitan Corporation and Karachi Water & Sewerage Board, ranging from 100 million gallons per day desalination plant to solid waste management etc. These contracts may have capital investment of around $2 billion and were unveiled on Tuesday after Pakistani delegation from Sindh held meetings with the Scottish officials over two days.

Two MoUs were exchanged between the Engineering University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, and NED Engineering University Karachi & Mehran Engineering University, Jamshoro. These will enable the universities in faculties exchange and research programmes.

It is expected that desalination plant will generate revenue of billions of dollars over its lifetime. The Pakistani delegation was busy meeting officials in Scotland yesterday to inform the potential investors and companies of the opportunities that exist in Pakistan. Speaking to The News over telephone from Edinburgh, the Sindh Governor hailed the signing of new contracts and hoped that the people of Karachi will greatly benefit from these deals. “These are breakthrough achievements for us. To fetch business to Pakistan in current circumstances is a difficult task but we have been able to convince the foreign investors that Pakistan is a land of business opportunities.

“There is no better place to start business than the port city of Karachi which is Pakistan’s main gateway. We are ready to facilitate businesses in every possible way.”

Faisal Subzwari told The News that the delegation was keen to learn more about the growth of Scotland’s renewable energy industry and see what can be done to address the crisis of energy in Pakistan. He said: “Since Karachi is facing acute shortage of water to the tune of more than 500 million gallons a day, the provision of 100 million gallons will bring a great relief to the lives of million of Karachiites.”

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Agni I Missile Test Launch

India on Friday successfully test-fired its indigenously developed nuclear capable Agni-I ballistic missile, with a strike range of 700 km, as part of the army's user trial from a test range at Wheeler Island off Odisha coast. The surface-to-surface, single-stage missile, powered by solid propellants, was test-fired from a mobile launcher at about 1010 hrs from launch pad-4 of the Integrated Test Range at Wheeler Island, about 100 km from here.

"The trial of the sophisticated missile with a strike range of 700 km was successful," the Indian media quoting a defence scientist reported. Describing the launch as a routine user’s trial by the strategic force command of the Indian army, he said the main objective was to train the user team to launch the missile. "It was a practice-drill. The user-team picked a missile at random from the production lot and fired it with logistic support provided by Defence Research Development Organisation (DRDO) at ITR," he said.

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Indian Navy Cyber War Front

With the rise in cyber terrorism in india, the Indian Navy will soon induct an exclusive cyber cell to counter terror attacks on cyber space and to protect its computer-enabled communication networks from notorious hackers.

The Navy force recently has instituted an anti-hacking wing to guard its valuable information. The departments belonging to the Indian Defence have constantly faced several challenges while tackling cyber terror, while fire-walling its communication networks from espionage, mainly from China and Pakistan. Noting the requirement for experts in information technology, Indian Navy is raising a new crop of cyber warriors against hostile Chinese hackers and others as well.

Reports suggest that the recruiting process is already underway, and that he officials are considering men with information technology and engineering educational background for short-service commissioned officers in its cyber cadre. Women who are interested to be part of this special cyber security wing will have to wait as these positions are currently admissible to men.

The recruited cadets will be undergoing training at Naval Academy Ezhimala (NAVAC), which is located in the Kannur (Cannanore) district of Kerala, before they get posted on board warships and other establishments. They will be trained in maintaining the security of communication networks, which are used to send and receive sensitive information related to national security.

NAVAC is the premier training establishment of the Indian Navy, which conducts the basic training for all officers being commissioned into the Indian Navy under various schemes.

The commissioned officials will be handling state-of-the-art networks and niche applications, both in operational and administrative areas. Meanwhile, the officers will have to engineer and operate secure and critical networks, including manning of security operation and network operation centres.

The anti-hacking batch of the Indian Navy will be part of its executive branch.

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Indian Navy Mega Stealth Frigates

India's mammoth over Rs 50,000 crore plan to construct seven advanced stealth frigates, with all weapon and missile systems under the hull for a lower radar ``signature'', is finally gathering some momentum now in tune with the overall strategy to build a futuristic blue-water Navy indigenously.

This major plan, codenamed Project-17A'', will be a strong booster dose for defence shipyards since it will be shared between Mazagon Docks (MDL) at Mumbai and Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers (GRSE) at Kolkata.

The CNC (contract negotiation committee) is currently underway for P-17A, which has already been approved by the defence ministry. The contract will be awarded after the final nod from the Cabinet Committee on Security. While MDL will build four, GRSE will construct the other three,'' said a source.

This comes even as the third and the final stealth frigate INS Sahyadri built by MDL, under the long-delayed ``Project-17'' at a cost of Rs 8,101 crore, is now all set to be commissioned on July 21.

Defence minister A K Antony will be travelling to Mumbai to commission the frigate, commanded by Captain S Vatsayan, like he did for the first two INS Shivalik and INS Satpura in 2010 and 2011. The seven new frigates will be ``longer, broader, faster and stealthier'' than the three 6,100-tonne Shivalik-class frigates that have a range of 5,000 nautical miles at a cruising speed of 18 knots.

The new frigates will also have the 290-km BrahMos supersonic cruise missiles, apart from other advanced weapons and sensors, for a greater offensive punch in all the three dimensions (air, surface and underwater),'' said the source.

Both MDL and GRSE are undergoing modernisation, with new modular yards and 250-300 tonne goliath cranes, to enable integrated modular construction'' of the P-17A frigates in compressed shipbuilding time-frames''. The shipyards will also tie-up with a foreign know-how provider,'' he said.

The Navy is increasingly turning stealthy'' since surprise and deception are crucial in modern-day warfare. The three Talwar-class stealth frigates (Talwar, Trishul and Tabar) inducted from Russia in 2003-2004 as well as the Shivalik-class warships have already boosted the Navy's combat capabilities due to their ``vastly-reduced'' radar, infra-red, noise, frequency and magnetic signatures'' to beat enemy detection systems.

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Indian Nirbhay Cruise Missile

In contrast to how India promoted its Agni-V ballistic missile, New Delhi is unlikely to draw a lot of international attention to upcoming testing of the Nirbhay cruise missile, even as it holds far more significance for the nation's weapons program than is widely appreciated.

In August, the country is scheduled to conduct the first test of its little known Nirbhay (“fearless”), a subsonic weapon with a maximum range of 1,000 km (620 mi.). Designated “secret,” the weapon's development has remained concealed since its existence was revealed in 2006.

Like the Agni-V, the Nirbhay will be tested from India's missile range over the Bay of Bengal. The missile has two stages, is understood to be powered by a Russian-built NPO Saturn engine, will cruise at Mach 0.7 and is being developed to demonstrate loitering capabilities. Sources at the Hyderabad-based Advanced Systems Laboratory (ASL), which built the missile prototype, say the weapon is ready for its first flight.

ASL Director V.G. Sekaran recently said the Nirbhay was slated for a July-August debut. While the agency has refused to comment on the Nirbhay's capabilities, there remains some ambiguity about whether the “Nirbhay” name pertains only to the primary weapon—the subsonic cruise missile—or to a family, including a yet-unnamed, long-range, scramjet-powered supersonic cruise missile.

The ambiguity is an inevitable part of the project's secret status. The agency has worked with intrigue before; last July, it tested the Prahaar quick-reaction, surface-to-surface missile after first revealing the existence of the system barely two weeks before.

The Indian armed forces are watching the Nirbhay with perhaps greater focus than they did the Agni. While the country's weapons program has matured in the ballistic missile arena, it has little or nothing to show in cruise missiles. In the Indo-Russian BrahMos, Russia still builds critical technologies such as the engine and seeker, while India contributes the inertial navigation and fire control systems. On the Nirbhay, while Russia is understood to have contributed the engine, sources say it will be replaced with an Indian turbojet or tubofan in a later phase.

“In many ways, the Nirbhay is a more crucial weapon system than the Agni family,” says an officer with one of the Indian army's BrahMos missile regiments. “The lack of a long-range cruise missile has long been felt by the armed forces. The BrahMos is an excellent border weapon, but we need a terrain-hugging missile with a range of 750-1,000 kilometers for more potent deterrent value. That's why we're waiting for the Nirbhay more than we've perhaps waited for anything in the last 20 years.” The BrahMos supersonic cruise missile has a stated range of 290 km.

In 2007, India's Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) revealed that the Nirbhay would be capable of delivering 24 different warhead types. DRDO sources say that while the engine is Russian, the rest of Nirbhay is fully indigenous, including sensors, guidance and flight-control systems. In 2008, reports suggested the Nirbhay was a loose derivative of the indigenous Lakshya target drone, which is operational with the armed forces. A mockup of the Nirbhay was to have been displayed at Aero India in February 2011, but was pulled at the last moment after a change of heart at DRDO.

A former rear admiral from the Indian navy's gunnery says, “The Nirbhay is rightly a hushed-up program. It shouldn't draw too much attention until it has begun testing in earnest. Three years ago, there was a lot of confidence in the program and scientists were confident they could deliver such an ambitious weapon. It is a clean break from anything India has developed before.”

The Nirbhay has never been seen or photographed, and India wants to keep it that way until the actual debut test. DRDO sources say the missile is being built to be used from land, sea and air. The Center for Military Airworthiness and Certification has revealed that it has been asked to integrate the Nirbhay to an Indian air force Sukhoi Su-30 MKI airframe, while the land variant's mobile launcher was recently revealed to be an Indian-built Tata Prahaar vehicle unveiled at New Delhi's DefExpo trade event in March.

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Monday, July 9, 2012

2013: Elections Are Coming

By:Ali Aftab Saeed
Let’s put on our pundit hats...for national interest, of course

There was a time not too long ago when a lot of people, including even the most die-hard haters of Zia and his spiritual heirs, couldn’t figure out the good cop-bad cop game played by Nawaz and Shahbaz. This is despite the fact that this game was pioneered and played to great effect by Zardari and Gilani. For a time, Sharif brothers too pulled it off beautifully. To the extent that the tweeples (almost all of whom are liberals) – of all people – started praising N league for Nawaz’s anti-establishment stance. This anti-establishment facade suffered its first major blow after Memogate, when Nawaz rushed to the Supreme Court like a toddler does towards candy. The second blow followed soon after, with the N-league’s “isteefa do” campaign immediately after Gilani was convicted (when even Imran Khan was willing to concede Gilani’s right of appeal).

I too plead guilty to believing – for a short time – that he had evolved into a great statesman after his views about India in his address to SAFMA officials, but he thoroughly disappointed me thereafter. I believe he foresees the hurdles he would face after (and before) coming to power from the Ghairat Brigade if he takes decisions that every democrat considers best for the country. Let’s examine what chances there are of that eventuality (Nawaz coming to power) after the coming general elections:

Keeping Pakistani history in perspective, the situation at the moment is very interesting. The party ruling the Punjab is in opposition while all the other relevant parties in the “smaller” provinces constitute the government in Islamabad; and for this reason, for the first time they are in command too. See for yourself the hours of loadshedding each province has to bear. Punjab suffers from it the most. The reason given by the other provinces is that Punjab produces far too little electricity as compared to what it consumes. Which is absolutely right but in this country, who cares what is right! The point is that for the first time smaller provinces are not really letting Punjab have the best of everything. This is something we have never witnessed before.

PPP spent years mourning the loss of Punjab, and Benazir expended great time and energy to win it back because the Punjab has always been perceived to lead to power in Islamabad. N-League also became a “national” party mainly due to its power in Punjab. Zardari has been the first person who actually came up with the idea of isolating Punjab. While IK looks determined in putting a dent in N in Punjab (and perhaps to some extent to PPP too), this again causes no worry to Zardari since he knows he can form a government without Punjab, letting different parties divide the booty so to speak. All this is with due regard to the seats Q will take, mainly due to seat adjustment.

There are predictions of IK putting a major dent in ANP’s votebank in KP. I would be surprised if that happened, because ANP have seen power after a long time and they have promoted the Bacha Khan romance massively. Secondly, the most likely scenario is that it will be the anti-ANP votes that will split between JI and PTI, keeping JUI’s share untouched. Even if some young followers of ANP do vote for IK, the small number is most likely to make no difference as far as the national assembly is concerned.

Ironically, the ongoing NATO supply line fiasco might also go in favour of PPP since it is trying to patch up with the US despite the fear of going against public demand (read sloganeering) in the election year; because the military is desperate to get onboard with US as soon as possible. All the political parties and Difa-e-Pakistan jokers are playing politics on it, except Imran Khan, who went away to England. It is very important in this country to be on good terms with the army in the election year.

The election commission most probably will sanitise the voters list before elections but if they fail to do so, the fake votes might not be cast against the PPP for a change. Also, for obvious reasons, the establishment will love to have a coalition government like the one we have now. While this coalition between parties from all provinces was not the establishment’s idea and was a result of Zardari’s all-inclusive-and-forgiving politics, this kind of formula suits the establishment just fine. After all, happiness and contentment on the part of the smaller provinces cannot be a bad thing for national interest, can it now?

The PPP won fewer seats than it was expected to last time. With Benazir Income Support Programme and other initiatives like these they have secured their areas of support. Result of by-elections is another indicator. Still, considering the incumbency factor, and with all the bad governance and corruption charges; even if they lose 20 to 25 seats in the next elections, they can successfully form the next government. We might see a stronger federal cabinet next time around; don’t be shocked if you see Nawaz or even Imran sitting in the coalition government, all in the national interest of course.

The writer is a member of the band Beygairat Brigade.

Source : Pakistantoday.com.pk/2012/05/22/comment/columns/2013-elections-are-coming

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Friday, July 6, 2012

NATO Supply Trucks Crossed Pakistan Territory

CHAMAN, Pakistan (AP) — Trucks carrying NATO supplies rolled into Afghanistan for the first time in more than seven months Thursday, ending a painful chapter in U.S.-Pakistan relations that saw the border closed until Washington apologized for an airstrike that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers.

Thousands of trucks have been waiting at ports in Karachi for the transit ban to be lifted as the diplomatic wrangling dragged on. Drivers are eager to get behind the wheel and start earning a lucrative salary again in what can be a deadly journey because of attacks from the Taliban.

"I risk my life for my family, and I risk my life because I get better pay for taking NATO supplies," said Tajawal Khan, who has been driving the dangerous route for the past few years.

"I know the Taliban may attack our trucks. But I tell the Taliban that we are doing this job for our family," he said by telephone from the cab of his tanker in Karachi, waiting to be loaded with oil before driving north toward Afghanistan.

Pakistan closed the routes in retaliation for the U.S. airstrikes in November that killed the two dozen border troops. The decision to reopen them, after the U.S. apology, marked an easing of strains in the relationship between Washington and Islamabad in recent months. The Americans have said they did not intentionally target Pakistani forces, but Pakistan disputed that.

Pakistan and the U.S. also differed over how much Islamabad should be paid for trucks to move through its territory. In the end, they appeared to compromise with the U.S. issuing an apology but paying no extra fees from the $250 per truck that it was previously paying.

Pakistan faces a domestic backlash, given rampant anti-American sentiment in the country and the government's failure to force the U.S. to stop drone strikes targeting militants and meet other demands made by parliament.

President Barack Obama, in a re-election battle, faces criticism from Republicans who are angry that his administration apologized to a country allegedly giving safe haven to militants attacking U.S. troops in Afghanistan.

During the closure, the U.S. was forced to use more costly and lengthy routes into Afghanistan through Central Asia. Pakistan is also expected to gain financially, since the U.S. intends to free up $1.1 billion in military aid that has been frozen for the past year.

When the routes were closed, trucking companies pulled almost all of their vehicles back to Karachi to better protect them. Getting from the southern port city to the border at Chaman can take days, and they must also be loaded with supplies and cleared through customs, which can take time.

Only two trucks crossed the border Thursday, both at the Chaman frontier in the province of Baluchistan. The other, known as the Torkham crossing, is farther north in the Khyber Pass, a high mountainous area far from waiting shipments. Before the closure, an estimated 150-200 trucks crossed the border daily, said U.S. spokesman Navy Lt. Cmdr. Brian Badura, speaking from Kabul.

Few trucks had been expected to cross in the first days following the reopening. The decision to reopen the routes sparked protest with many conservative Pakistani religious parties, but there was dancing and celebrating in Karachi on Tuesday night when the decision was announced. The reason is fairly straightforward: Driving a truck, even one that gets shot at or blown up, pays a decent wage in Pakistan. Zahid Khan bought a truck two years ago so that he could ferry NATO supplies to Afghanistan.

"I got a loan from someone to buy this truck. I had hoped that I would pay back the loan in two to three years, and everything was going well until the government blocked the supply routes," he said, adding that he makes about 20,000 rupees — a little over $200 — a month when driving.

Gunmen last year opened fire on a convoy of trucks in which he was driving but he and the others managed to escape unharmed.

Suspected militants have destroyed hundreds of trucks carrying NATO supplies in the past few years, and often the drivers are killed or wounded. In one particularly deadly attack in June 2010, militants destroyed dozens of trucks near Islamabad and killed seven people.

Attacks spiked when Pakistan closed one of its border crossings in fall 2010 for about 10 days in response to a U.S. helicopter strike that killed two Pakistani soldiers. The trucks were sitting targets because many of them were lined up along the road as they waited for the crossing to reopen.

There were relatively few attacks after Pakistan closed both crossings in November because the trucks were ordered to terminals away from the border where they would be less vulnerable.

Companies shipping NATO supplies met with police in Karachi to discuss security arrangements for convoys headed to Afghanistan, said Israr Khan Shinwari, spokesman for the All Pakistan Oil Tankers Owners Association.

Police vans will accompany the convoys north from Karachi toward the border through Sindh province, he said. Companies have urged the government to provide security in the other provinces that will be crossed on the way, Shinwari said.

The most dangerous part of the drive comes when the trucks get close to the Chaman crossing in Baluchistan or near the Torkham crossing in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.

It could take several days for oil tankers to begin leaving Karachi in large numbers because companies are still waiting for NATO to pay for the fuel that is to be shipped, Shinwari said.

Many drivers say they have had a hard time providing for their families during the closure and are eager to start earning money again. While the closure dragged on, most lived in their trucks as they stood idle in Karachi.
Source : Associated Press

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Finally, United States Apologised To Pakistan

WASHINGTON: The United States of America has apologized to Pakistan for its attack on Salala base camps on Tuesday.

According to foreign news sources, Hillary Clinton was reported to have used the word “sorry” to express regret over the Salala base incident which claimed the lives of 24 Pakistani soldiers.

“The attack on Pakistani troops (which claimed 24 lives) was a severe mistake committed by the US,” stated Hillary Clinton while talking to Hina Rabbani Khar on telephone. Clinton added that US was sorry for the loss suffered by Pakistani military and that her deepest condolence were with the families of the martyred soldiers.

Following the admission of guilt and apology, Hillary Clinton also expressed that, Pakistan is willing to reinstate the NATO supply by reopening its routes and would not be charging the transit fees.

Pakistan’s Foreign Minister also endorsed this comment of Hillary Clinton by stating that Pakistan would not charge any transit fees on re-opening the NATO supplies.

The Salala base incident occurred when US-led NATO forces engaged Pakistani security forces at two Pakistani military check-posts along the Pak-Afghan border on Saturday, 26 November 2011.Two NATO Apache helicopters, an AC-130 gunship and two F-15E Eagle fighter jets entered, by varying estimates as little as 200 meters(660 ft) to up to 2.5 kilometers (1.6 miles) into the Pakistani border area of Salala in the Baizai subdivision of Mohmand Agency, FATA at 2 a.m. local time, from across the border in Afghanistan and opened fire at two border patrol check-posts, killing up to 24 Pakistani soldiers and wounding 13 others.

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New AWACS India

In India Clearances are underway to initially develop two AWACS aircraft, with four more to follow at a later stage, under the new `AWACS-India' project to be executed by DRDO and its Bangalore-based Centre for Air Borne Systems (CABS).

Under it, 360-degree AESA (active electronically scanned array) radars will be mounted on large aircraft like IL-76, Boeing or Airbus said a DRDO source.

Potent force-multipliers like AWACS or AEW&C (airborne early warning and control) systems have changed the entire nature of air warfare because they can detect incoming aerial threats, ranging from fighters to cruise missiles, much before ground-based radars.

They also serve to direct air defence fighters during combat operations with enemy jets and also help in tracking troop build-ups.

Pakistan already has four Swedish Saab-2000 AEW&C aircraft, with four more Chinese ZDK-03 AWACS in the pipeline. China has around 20 AWACS, a mix of new and old systems, say sources.

But IAF has only three Phalcon AWACS mounted on IL-76 aircraft, under the $1.1 billion tripartite agreement among India, Israel and Russia finalized in 2004, despite being confronted with two potentially hostile fronts.

The case for two additional "follow-on" Phalcon AWACS, with a range of over 400-km and 360-degree coverage like the first three, has run into some rough weather due to sharp cost escalation.

Moreover, DRDO's ongoing mini-AWACS project, under which indigenous AEW&C systems are to be mounted on three Embraer-145 jets obtained from Brazil for $210-million, has also slipped after being approved in October, 2004, at a cost of Rs 1,800 crore.

DRDO, however, contends the project is now on track. "CABS will get the first Embraer, modified with antenna units and other structures mounted on its fuselage, in July," said an official.

"All electronic systems, with a normal radar range of 250-km and a 240-degree coverage, will then be integrated. The first flight should take place in early-2013. The project completion date is April 2014," said an official.

IAF is awaiting the completion of the mini-AWACS project as well as the launch of the larger 'AWACS-India' programme with crossed fingers. AWACS also constitute a crucial constituent of its IACCS (integrated air command and control system) programme, the fully-automated network being set up to integrate the wide array of military radars with each other as well as with civilian radars to plug surveillance gaps in Indian airspace.

Source : timesofindia.indiatimes.com

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