Pakistani UN Peacekeeping troops rescued Turkish Ambassador at Ivory Coast

Apr 15, 2011

Pakistan Army troops rescued Turkish Ambassador at Ivory Coast Mr Yekcin Kaga Erensoi alongwith three other staff members, Mr Golant, Mr Mahmut (third Secretary) and Mr Ali Ahisk at Ivory Coast (Abijan) on 11 April 2011. Turkish Ambassador was trapped in a Hotel in a volatile situation where gun battle was going on in rival factions when he asked Pakistani troops for help Pakistani troops immediately rushed and rescued the Turkish Embassy staff.

Nine Nigerian citizens who were trapped in troubled area were also rescued by Pakistani troops.

It is pertinent to mention that Pakistan Army troops as part of UN Contingent are playing an active role in saving here the lives of the innocent people of Côte d'Ivoire.

Pakistani troops have performed extremely well by protecting foreign embassies and effectively controlling the situation in their area of responsibility. United Nations have greatly appreciated Pakistani Peacekeeper’s contributions in restoring peace in the country.

Pakistan troops are deployed in Ivory Coast since 2004 and their role has been commendable as UN Peacekeepers. During last Presidential elections an additional batch of Pakistani troops was specially moved from Liberia to establish law and order in the most turbulent areas of Ivory Coast. Pakistani troops executed the assigned task in a befitting manner which was highly appreciated by UN authorities.


Pakistan Partially Unblocks Access to YouTube

May 27, 2010

John Ribeiro, IDG News
May 27, 2010 6:10 am
Pakistan relaxed its block on YouTube on Wednesday evening, but a similar ban on Facebook remains in place. The country's telecommunications regulator, Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA), last week ordered operators to block YouTube, citing sacrilegious content on it.

While the authority is removing its blanket ban on YouTube, objectionable links on the site will remain blocked, PTA spokesman Khurram A. Mehran said in an email on Thursday.

On May 19, the Lahore High Court ordered the PTA to block Facebook until May 31. It was ruling on a petition by a lawyers' organization in Pakistan which objected to a page on the web site called "Everybody Draw Mohammed Day!" that invited users to draw cartoons of the prophet Mohammed.
There were also large protests on the streets of Pakistan against the page and Facebook.
Depictions of the prophet are prohibited in some Islamic traditions.

The block on Facebook on May 19 was followed the next day by a block of the YouTube web site. About 450 other links on the Internet were also blocked because of derogatory content, the PTA said.
In a post on Wednesday on his recently opened Twitter account, Pakistan's Interior Minister Rehman Malik said that the Pakistan cabinet accepted his proposal at a meeting on Wednesday to block only the objectionable sections on Facebook and YouTube.

However the block on Facebook is not likely to be removed until the Lahore High Court decides on the lawyers' petition on May 31, as it is still under judicial review, according to Mehran.
Facebook said in a statement last week that it was disappointed with the Pakistani court's decision to block Facebook without warning. It said that it was analyzing the situation and the legal considerations, and will take appropriate action, which may include making the content inaccessible to users in Pakistan.
Facebook has already made the page inaccessible in India, at the request of Indian authorities.


US Court Declares Dr Aafia Siddiqui Guilty

Feb 10, 2010


NEW YORK: US Court Wednesday held Dr Aafia Siddiqui–a US-educated Pakistani woman as guilty of trying to kill American servicemen in Afghanistan.

The court declared its verdict on Dr Siddiqui at 2pm (local time).

Aafia Siddiqui, 37, a neuroscientist trained at the prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology, was found guilty on all charges by a jury in federal court.

She was accused of being a would-be terrorist who in July 2008 grabbed a rifle at an Afghan police station where she was being interrogated and tried to gun down a group of US servicemen.

Dr Aafia was present at the time of the verdict. She listened to the verdict with great fortitude. Also, her brother was present on the occasion.


My Op:

No sufficient evidence has been presented against Dr. Aafia Siddiqui. Her accusers claim she had snatched an M4 rifle at baghram base which she allegedly tried to shoot her captors, NO finger prints of her or shell casings where ever found on the M4 rifle.

No beyond-a-reasonable doubt connection to Al-Qaeda and Dr. Aafia Siddiqui have been found.

I believe the Pakistan Government must exercise all it's might in forcing the US to set free Dr. Aafia Siddiqui. A strong message ought to be sent to the White House, on the diplomatic front and other vital fronts where pressure can be applied on Washington. This unjust court ruling must be turned over and Dr. Aafia Siddiqui must be set free.

What a lowly and miserable shame for our beloved nation of Pakistan both at home and abroad.

One of our educated, dignified, mother, and Doctor, Dr. Aafia Siddiqui tortured, imprisoned, falsely accused, and treated like a criminal/terrorist....

I don't understand how any true Pakistani will forever be able to forget and forgive such acts.

Pakistan may adopt tough stance over Indian talks offer

Feb 9, 2010
* Diplomats say Islamabad could seek ‘result-oriented dialogue’ linked to timeline for resolution of outstanding issues

By Sajjad Malik

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan might adopt a tough stance over India’s offer for talks and press for “result-oriented dialogue” linked to a timeline for the resolution of all outstanding issues between the two countries, including the Kashmir dispute, according to diplomatic sources.

The sources said Pakistan was wary of an “open-ended” peace process that could linger on for years without any tangible progress on key issues that had been a thorn in the side of relations for decades.

“We are not interested in just talks ... [we are looking for] a fruitful engagement that will result in the solution of real problems and help bring peace,” said the sources.

Pakistan would also seek India’s assurance that New Delhi would not unilaterally suspend the peace process in case of a terrorist attack by “non-state actors”.

They said Pakistan was serious about addressing all issues with India, and would hold in-depth discussions on the offer for talks tomorrow (Wednesday) to decide the key issues related to dialogue with India.

“We are expecting a candid exchange of views on all aspects of relations with India, including the agenda of the talks ... there are several issues, such as India’s refusal to resume the composite dialogue immediately,” they said.

Some diplomats believe that India is not sincere in the context of the resumption of the peace process and New Delhi had only agreed to engage Pakistan under increased foreign pressure and the ”looming loss of its influence in Afghanistan” because of Pakistan’s new role in reintegrating “peace loving” Taliban in the Afghan society.

The sources said Pakistan had already called back Indian High Commissioner Shahid Malik – who is arriving today (Tuesday) to attend the consultations at the Foreign Office and brief the high-ups on his meetings with Indian diplomats.

The peace process was suspended after the Mumbai terror attacks in November 2008. While Pakistan had perpetually sought the resumption of the peace talks, India had been refusing to come to the negotiations table until Pakistan brought the perpetrators of the attacks to justice. India has said that it has made the offer with “an open and positive” mind. While India has now agreed to talks, it is reluctant to fully restore the composite dialogue under domestic compulsions.

Analysts believe that both countries would have to come out of their “fixation” for any solution to bilateral problems.


China mulls setting up military base in Pakistan

Feb 1, 2010

BEIJING: China has signaled it wants to go the US way and set up military bases in overseas locations that would possibly include Pakistan. The obvious purpose would be to exert pressure on India as well as counter US influence in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

"(So) it is baseless to say that we will not set up any military bases in future because we have never sent troops abroad," an article published on Thursday at a Chinese government website said. "It is our right," the article said and went on to suggest that it would be done in the neighborhood, possibly Pakistan.

"As for the military aspect, we should be able to conduct the retaliatory attack within the country or at the neighboring area of our potential enemies. We should also be able to put pressure on the potential enemies' overseas interests," it said.

A military base in Pakistan will also help China keep a check on Muslim Uighur separatists fighting for an independent nation in its western region of Xingjian, which borders the North West Frontier Province of Pakistan. Beijing recently signed an agreement with the local government of NWFP in order to keep a close watch on the movement of Uighur ultras.

"I have personally felt for sometime that China might one day build a military base in India's neighborhood. China built the Gadwar port in Pakistan and is now broadening the Karokoram highway. These facilities can always be put to military use when the need arises," Ramesh V Phadke, former Air Commodore and advisor to the Institute of Defense Studies told TNN.

Phadke said the article in very significant. "The purpose may be to see how the international community reacts to it," he said.

China, which has no military bases outside its territory, has often criticized the United States for operating such overseas bases. It has not just changed its standpoint but also wants to enter the lucrative protection business.

"With further development, China will be in great demand of the military protection," the article said. Pakistan, which buys 70% of its military hardware from China, is likely to be an eager buyer for such protection. Beijing may also be able to pressurize Islamabad to accept its diktat using the threat of withholding military supplies.

A Pakistani expert on China-Pakistan relationship has a different view on the subject. "The Americans had a base in the past and it caused a political stink. I don’t think it would be politically possible for the Pakistani government to openly allow China to set up a military base," he said while requesting anonymity. Pakistan might allow use of its military facilities without publicly announcing it, he said.

A Chinese military base can tackle several international relations issues, it said. One of them is "the relationship between the base troops and the countries neighboring to the host country." This is another indication that Beijing is considering Pakistan as a possible base. China’s argument is that a foreign base would actually help regional stability.

"If the base troops can maintain the regional stability, it will be probably welcomed by all the countries in the region," the article said. Beijing is conscious that the move might result in opposition from the US, UK and France which has overseas military bases.

“Thirdly, the relationship between the big countries in the world. The establishment of the troop bases is sensitive to those big countries which have already set up the bases abroad," the article said.


 My Op:

Such a monumental decision will take careful analysis and intense strategic planning on our part, before anything such as what is being allegedly being proposed can be finalized.

Several things must be taken into factor.

1) The sentiment of the Balochi people and what they think about a Chinese MB in their province, obviously the base would be in a remote part of Balochistan nonetheless their support or tolerance of a foreign MB will be critical.

2) Time-span

3) Roles and regulations on the activity of a foreign MB in Pakistan territory.

4) The purpose of this Chinese MB must be clearly defined.

"The time is right to revive Balochistan's geopolitical importance on national and international level and a chinese base is the perfect tool to serve mutual interests."- Dutch commentator on Pakistan Affairs.

Is it possible to revive Balochistan's geopolitical importance on a national and international level without a Chinese base? Also I got news for you, Balochistan's geopolitical importance on the inter/national stage has already been revived, not by us, not by the Chinese, but by other powers and factors.

You seriously have to think about these things before finalizing such a major plan and maneuver.

Pakistan offers training to Afghanistan army and police: Qureshi

Jan 29, 2010

LONDON: Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said that Pakistan has offered training to Afghanistan army and police and also offered to increase cooperation in various fields with Afghanistan. 

Talking to a private TV channel He said that in the conference the importance of Pakistan was admitted and besides military options, other options for the solution of Afghanistan issue were also discussed." We would have to move forward by keeping the ground realities in mind, " adding, " the Afghanistan government has sought help from Pakistan and Saudi Arab in talks with Taliban". 

Qureshi said that Afghanistan has to prepare 0.3 million army and police officials by 2011.
"According to Pakistan point of view, the conference was very successful and addressing our reservations in it is our great success", he added. He said that Hamid Karzai has sought five years time for normalizing the situation in his country. 

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown said the international conference in London on Afghanistan’s future, marked a "decisive" moment in Afghanistan’s history.

While he warned that British and international troops fighting the Taliban would face more "tough times" ahead, he said a process was being put in place that would enable them to return home.

"It will take time but I believe that the conditions set out in the plan that we will sign up to today can be met sooner than many expect and, as a result, the process of handover district-by-district will begin later this year," he said Speaking to a 60-nation conference in London.

"It will mark the beginning of a new phase and a decisive step towards Afghans taking responsibility for their own security."

Mr Brown backed President Hamid Karzai’s plan to re-integrate Taliban fighters who are prepared to lay down their arms and renounce violence. 

"As an international community responding to President Karzai’s leadership, we are today establishing an international trust fund to finance this peace and re-integration programme to provide an economic alternative to those who have none," he said.

"But for those insurgents who refuse to accept the conditions for re-integration, we have no choice but to pursue them militarily."

In his opening address, Mr Karzai said a national council for peace, reconciliation and re-integration would be established in Afghanistan.
Afghan President Hamid Karzai called on Saudi Arabia on Thursday to play a prominent role in bringing peace to Afghanistan.He said he would call a loya jirga, or council of elders, to discuss how to bring about reconciliation in Afghanistan. 

"We will establish a national council for peace and reconciliation and reintegration, followed by a peace jirga in Afghanistan," he said. "We hope His Majesty (Saudi) King Abdullah bin Abdul-Aziz will kindly play a prominent role to guide and assist the peace process."
Karzai also said stability in Afghanistan depended not just on what happened inside the country but also on its neighbours. "We ask all our neighbours, particularly Pakistan, to support our peace and reconciliation effort," he said. He also urged Afghan insurgents to sever ties with al Qaeda.
The Afghan Foreign minister of Afghanistan Rangeen Dadfur Spanta has termed the, establishing of peace in Afghanistan as a great challenge.

UK Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs David Miliband has also announced U$. 140 million dollars for Afghanistan. He said that the aim of the conference was to unite the neighboring countries of Afghanistan.

He elaborated that the situation of Pakistan and Afghanistan were different from each other. And said that more powers would have to be given to Afghan people, as the poor prevalent situation could be improved with dialogue and not only by war.
However, the Taliban have rejected the declaration of London conference, saying, it was nothing more than a western propaganda. 

Mullah Zaeef said that relieving the occupation of Afghanistan by foreign forces was the first priority, and stressed that US would have to leave Afghanistan.


Govt decides to expand Pak missile program

Jan 20, 2010

Upadated on: 20 Jan 10 09:29 PM

Staff Report

ISLAMABAD: The government has decided to expand its nuclear program, sources told SAMAA on Wednesday.

The government has asked the Finance Ministry tto provide funds to upgrade the missile program of the country.

Prime Minister Syed yousuf Raza Gilani presided the meeting of the strategic planing division on January 19, 2010. Finance Minister Shaukat Tareen, Chairman Joints Chief of Staff Committee General Tariq Majeed and Director General Strategic and Planning Division also joined the meeting, sources added.

The members of the meeting approved to supgrade the missile program of the country to maintain balance of power in the region, sources added.

The Finance Ministry has been instructed to provide resources for upgradation of the missile program, sources added. SAMAA