Showing posts from August, 2008

Sarajevo marks anniversary of Bosnian massacre

SARAJEVO, Bosnia-Herzegovina: Sarajevo marks the 13th anniversary of a massacre, which prompted NATO's airstrikes and led to the end of Bosnia's 1992-95 war.

Hundreds are attending the ceremony held Thursday in downtown Sarajevo where a mortar shell fired from Serb positions tore through a crowded market, killing 43 and injuring 84 people in 1995.

The massacre came two months after Serb troops killed some 8,000 Muslim men and boys in the eastern Bosnian town of Srebrenica. It triggered NATO airstrikes against the Bosnian Serbs.

On Friday Bosnian Serb wartime leader and genocide suspect Radovan Karadzic will be asked to enter pleas on 11 counts of war crimes, including genocide, at the U.N. war crimes tribunal in The Hague, Netherlands.

Nausea (novel) By Jean Paul Satre

Nausea (orig. French La Nausée) is a novel by the existentialist philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre, published in 1938 and written while he was teaching at the lycée of Le Havre. It is one of Sartre's best-known novels.

The novel concerns a dejected historian in a town similar to Le Havre who becomes convinced that inanimate objects and situations encroach on his ability to define himself, on his intellectual and spiritual freedom, evoking in the protagonist a sense of nausea.

It is widely considered one of the canonical works of existentialism. Sartre was awarded (but declined) the Nobel Prize for literature in 1964. They recognized him, "for his work which, rich in ideas and filled with the spirit of freedom and the quest for truth, has exerted a far-reaching influence on our age." Sartre was one of the few people to ever decline the award, referring to it as merely a function of a bourgeois institution.

In her La Force de l'Âge (The Prime of Life - 1960), French writer Sim…

Hindus get Kashmir land despite Muslim protests

Hindus in Kashmir called off their two-month protest after the government allowed them temporary use of Muslim land at the centre of a row for an annual pilgrimage, officials said on Sunday.

The dispute began when India tried to give Kashmiri forest land to Hindus, then snowballed into some of the biggest pro-independence demonstrations in Kashmir since a battle against Indian occupation broke out in 1989.

Authorities relaxed a curfew in Srinagar, the summer capital on Sunday.

Muslims have vowed to continue their campaign.

Indian troops have been criticised by Kashmiris and international human rights groups for using excessive force.

On Sunday, officials and Hindu protesters reached an agreement to use the Kashmir forest land Muslims oppose to build temporary shelters, ending protests in Jammu city.

"We are temporarily suspending our strike," Leela Karan Sharma, a Hindu protest leader said, as Hindus burst fire crackers in the streets to celebrate the agreement.

Authorities imposed…

Kashmiris throng streets chanting Azadi slogans: Kashmir government hands over land to Shrine

NEW DELHI, Aug 31 (APP): Thousands of Kashmiris raising slogans of “Azadi” thronged Srinagar streets this morning when the authorities relaxed curfew restrictions for a brief period and in a relatively important development Kashmir government has agreed to hand over 800 kanals land to Amarnath Shrine Board in the Kashmir valley.

Media reports from Srinagar said within minutes of relaxation of curfew at 9 p.m thousands of people came out of their homes and clashed with security forces.

In Rajouri Kadal, Nowhatta, Malaratta, Saraf Kadal, Nawab Bazar,

Zaldager, Nallah Mar, Habba Kadal and Tankipora areas, the demonstrators fought

pitched battles with security forces. They were demanding release of all Kashmiri


After failing to disperse the demonstrators despite baton- charge and use of tear gas shells, the authorities immediately cut short the duration of curfew and re-clamped the restrictions.

The Kashmir valley is witnessing the longest curfew restrictions in its

history as it was cla…

Jammu Agreement is also against Kashmiris Mahbooba

Srinagar, August 31: Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) president Ms Mehbooba Mufti today said that the unilateral decision on land use for Amarnath Yatra is a move to disrespect the popular sentiments in Kashmir. She said any decision on this sensitive matter should have been taken only with consensus and after consultation with the Kashmir Coordination Committee and civil society here.

Ms Mufti said that Yatra has always been welcomed by Kashmiris through ages and it should be allowed to continue in the spirit of the traditional harmony that is perhaps unique to Kashmir and Amarnath Yatra. "Kashmiris have welcomed and taken due care of the Yatris for ages and we would continue to do so in future as well," she said.

Ms Mufti said the solution arrived at with the Shri Amarnath Sangarsh Samiti (SASS) in Jammu is not a Jammu and Kashmir peace formula as is being presented, but a purely Jammu appeasement policy which will only further increase the alienation of Kashmiris where the po…

Alphaville - Jean-Luc Godard

Amsterdam - Jacques Brel

Jacques Brel - Jef 1966

Shehzad Roys Laga Re From Qismat Apne Haath Mein

Cricket: Immigrants feel at home batting for Italy

Cricket, a game most Italians find baffling, is becoming one of the country's fastest-growing sports thanks to a wave of immigration from India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Bangladesh.

Around 20,000 people from the Indian subcontinent are regularly putting down stumps and padding up in Italy's parks, creating a groundswell of cricket which now sustains 33 teams in a three-division national league.

In a summer punctuated by inflammatory anti-immigrant rhetoric from prime minister Silvio Berlusconi's ministers, a generation of foreign-born cricketers are now playing under the Italian flag to propel the national team to greater success.

With a few hundred thousand people from the Indian subcontinent now in Italy, there are real quality players moving up from the parks into the league and national side, said Simone Gambino, an Italian who caught the cricket bug while visiting England in the 1970s and who now heads the Italian Cricket Federation.

Local councils have begun to provide sp…

Economy at 60-year low, says Darling. And it will get worse

Britain is facing "arguably the worst" economic downturn in 60 years which will be "more profound and long-lasting" than people had expected, Alistair Darling, the chancellor, tells the Guardian today.

In the government's gravest assessment of the economy, which follows a warning from a Bank of England policymaker that 2 million people could be out of work by Christmas, Darling admits he had no idea how serious the credit crunch would become.

His blunt remarks lay bare the unease in the highest ranks of the cabinet that the downturn is making it all but impossible for Gordon Brown to recover momentum after a series of setbacks.

His language is much starker than the tone adopted by the prime minister, who aims to revive his premiership this autumn by explaining how he will help struggling families through the downturn.

The chancellor, who says that Labour faces its toughest challenge in a generation, admits that Brown and the cabinet are partly to blame for Labour&#…

Vatican describes Hindu attack on Christian orphanage as a 'sin against God'

Monday's attack came after a strike by Hindu hardliners, who blamed Christians for a Communist insurgency in the east of the country in which a Hindu religious leader was killed last week.

A crowd had converged on the orphanage run by Christian missionaries, told nearly 20 residents to leave, and then set it alight with an elderly priest and a lay teacher locked inside.

The teacher, aged 21, died in the blaze while the priest was hospitalised with bad burns. The orphanage was located in Khuntapali, a village in Orissa state in the east of the country.

In an interview with the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera, Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran called the attack: "a sin against God and humanity". He said it had no possible justification.

"Certainly religion cannot be invoked for crimes of this type," he said. Cardinal Tauran heads the Vatican's council for inter-religious dialogue.

An official statement from the Vatican was less blunt. "The Holy See expresses r…

Bush kept fully briefed on situation in India, Pak

US President George W Bush has been kept “fully” abreast of the situation in Jammu and Kashmir and the rise in violence in Pakistan, the White House has said. “Yes, the President is kept fully briefed” on the situation in India and Pakistan, White House spokesperson Dana Perino told reporters on Thursday (August 28).

She was asked if the President is watching or has been briefed about the situation in the two neighbouring countries following the exit of key US ally Pervez Musharraf, who stepped down as Pakistan's President on August 18.

“I would refer you to Department of Defence, who would have more on their recent conversations with their military,” Perino said. Her comments came as the top US army commander met his Pakistani counterpart secretly on board an American aircraft carrier in the Indian Ocean and discussed efforts to slow the infiltration of militants from Pakistan.

The leading actors in the day-long conference yesterday (August 28) were Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of S…

12 policemen dead in mine blast in eastern India

RANCHI, India (AFP) — Twelve policemen were killed in a landmine blast triggered by suspected Maoist rebels Saturday in eastern India, a police spokesman said.

The victims were on their way back after a routine patrol when the mine, planted near Puridih Dam, 240 kilometres (150 miles) from Jharkhand state capital Ranchi, exploded killing most of them on the spot, police spokesman S.N. Pradhan said.

"All the personnel belonged to Jharkhand Armed Police," Pradhan said.

Jharkhand is a known hotbed of the Maoist insurgency which grew out of a peasant uprising in 1967.

The leftwing guerrillas are active in over half of India's 29 states and the rebels use a heavily forested region in the neighbouring state of Chhattisgarh as their headquarters.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has described the Maoists as the biggest threat to India's internal security.

The Maoists often target the overstretched and poorly trained security forces operating in the east of the country.

The national g…

How India lost the Kashmiris

30 August 2008

With the prime minister determined to maintain his vow of silence, with the home ministry determined to negotiate with criminals in Jammu, while it shoots their victims in Kashmir, only the absurdly optimistic can believe that the Kashmir movement will fizzle out when the curfew is lifted. By Prem Shankar Jha

Prem Shankar Jha

On 25 August the Indian State 'reasserted its authority' over the valley of Kashmir. The 'authorities' gave Praveen Swami of The Hindu a detailed explanation of why it had become necessary to do so. The valley-wide crackdown that occurred on Sunday and Monday August 24 and 25 , was crafted by one man: M.K Narayanan , the National Security Adviser to the Prime minister.

On Wednesday August 20 he descended upon Srinagar accompanied by a team of security chiefs including P C Haldar, the director general of the Intelligence Bureau, and (reading between the lines of Swamy's report) roundly criticised the governor, N N Vohra for ta…

JKLF Hails UN, Flays “Martial Law” In Kashmir

The Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) has welcomed the recent UN and US statements on Kashmir, expressing the belief that the world body and pro-democracy countries would rise above rhetoric and take practical measures to curb Indian moves to suppress the democratic voice of peaceful Kashmiris.
Condemning the arrest of JKLF chairman, Muhammad Yasin Malik, and other leaders, and their detention at some undisclosed location, the Front’s deputy chief, Bashir Ahmad Bhat, said that arresting the popular leader of Kashmiris and concealing his place of detention from the world was an extremely reprehensible and anti-democratic step.
The JKLF has appealed to the pro-democracy forces of the world and international human rights bodies to exert pressure on the government of India for the immediate release of Malik and other leaders.
Bhat also condemned the use of suppression and force on protesting Kashmiris and paid tribute to those killed during curfew.
He said that the manner in which Ka…

Security Agencies Spewing Venom in Kashmir: PDP

Srinagar, Aug 30, KONS- Pro-India Peoples Democratic Party today came down heavily on the security agencies saying they have failed to uphold the rule of law in the state and have instead resorted to indiscriminate arrests of youth across Kashmir valley. Party also blamed security agencies working in Kashmir for spewing out venom in desperation.
This was stated by the PDP General Secretary, Nizamudin Bhat and General Secretary Youth Wing Bashir Assad in a joint statement here today.
Taking a strong exception to the indiscriminate arrests made by law enforcing agencies in rural and urban areas of Kashmir, PDP leaders said that in repeat of what was done in 1989, the law enforcing agencies clamped down on the local media, thrash demonstrators and journalists broke into the homes and intimidate the inhabitants including elderly, children and women. "There was no difference between the attitude of the state then and now" PDP leaders said and maintained that the unprecedented peac…

Indian strategists' still have a wrong calculation on Kashmir

Dr Abdul Ruff Colachal

As before, the Indian media and strategists try to play down the effect of the current Kashmir rebellion for freedom and independece. They try to divert the attention of Indians and world masses form the ghastily inhuman experience in Kashmir under Indian militaryoccupation and destruction. Even those charges with security issues of the ocutnry also try to help India by elittling the Kashmir tragedy.

It is national shame that the paid Indian Security Advisor says Kashmir situation is not as grave as it is portrayed or as it should have been. But one of his advisors writing in Delhi English daily says the Indian terror forces don’t rape Kashmiri women regularly as if rape is a routine thing in his own family circles he is not at all puzzled. Or do these terror causers think it is the prerogative f the Indian terrorists in uniforms to rape women and kill men of freely? Are Hindu women are also raped in other parts of India by the terrorist security forces? Asked who…

Mufti warns of bigger rebellion in Kashmir


Srinagar, Aug 29: Former chief minister and patron of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mufti Muhammad Sayeed on Friday warned Prime Minister Manmohan Singh of a “bigger rebellion” in the Kashmir Valley if any unilateral decision was taken on land row. He also asked New Delhi to review its Kashmir policy to prevent further alienation of Kashmiris.
According to the PDP insiders, Sayeed who is presently camping in New Delhi was invited over lunch by the Prime Minister this afternoon. “If any unilateral decision about handing over the land back to Amarnath Shrine Board is taken it will have far reaching consequences,” sources quoted Mufti as telling the Prime Minister.
Mufti is understood to have told the PM that Coordination Committee (CC), an amalgam of separatist parties, lawyers, traders, transporters and members of the civil society, should be taken into confidence before taking any decision on land row. “If CC is ignored and land is transferred back to the board, it can lea…

Another Kashmir separatist held

Another separatist leader, Shabir Shah, has been arrested in Indian-administered Kashmir as part of efforts to stop anti-India protests.

A six-day old curfew has been strictly enforced in Muslim-majority areas, preventing traditional large gatherings at mosques for Friday prayers.

The protests began in June in a dispute over the transfer of land to a trust in charge of an important Hindu shrine.

They escalated into some of Kashmir's biggest separatist protests in years.

Shabir Shah had been in hiding for more than a week, the BBC's Altaf Hussain reports from Kashmir's summer capital, Srinagar.

He was arrested in an area close to the city. He has spent some 20 years in prison for his separatist activities.

Earlier this week the police arrested four other prominent separatist leaders, Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Mirwaiz Omar Farooq, Yasin Malik and Asiya Andrabi.

Ms Andrabi has been charged under the Public Safety Act which allows for detention without trial for up to two years.

Our corr…

Failed Media and Fake Democrats in Pakistan

If there was even an iota of patriotism in the PPP, they would have shredded Benazir Bhutto’s royal will to pieces and would have elected an educated and capable party member to lead Pakistan’s People Party. Democracy and feudalism cannot go together. Both Nawaz Sharif and Asif Zardari are actually dictators wearing cloaks of democracy to fool the nation. Oh, and please give a big hand to the Pakistani media for ‘achieving’ this perfect democracy for Pakistan and for biting the hand that fed it.

We Pakistanis are about to make the biggest mistake of our lives. We think we are about to embark on a beautiful journey toward democracy where all our dreams of a better Pakistan will come true. But little do we know that this dream is only an illusion created by some opportunists aided by unfortunately none other than our very own media; the media which played the most pathetically vile role throughout the past year.

By literally biting the very hand that fed it, it gave positive coverage to t…

Uzbekistan wants access to Pakistani ports

ISLAMABAD: Uzbek Ambassador Oybek Arif Umanov has said Uzbekistan will consider entering into a tri-partite agreement with Pakistan and Afghanistan in order to gain access to Pakistani ports at Karachi and Gwadar.

In a special interview ahead of the 17th anniversary of Uzbekistan Independence on September 1, Umanov said Pakistan and Uzbekistan had great potential to increase bilateral economic, political, cultural and diplomatic ties. He said, “Trilateral agreement will help increase volume of bilateral trade.”

He said the two countries had already signed more than 29 agreements and MOUs. He was optimistic for enhancement in joint ventures and FDI. He said an agreement on transit trade, signed by former prime minister Shaukat Aziz in Tashkent, had opened broad perspectives for exchange of trade.

The ambassador said first Pakistani truck of Pak Caspian Trade Links Company reached Uzbekistan on 17 April 2008 and opened up a corridor for transit cargo to Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan through Uz…

Pakistan qualify for World Junior Volleyball Championship

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan thrashed defending champions South Korea 3-0 in the ongoing 14th Asian Junior Men’s Volleyball Championship in Iran on Friday to qualify for the World Junior Men’s Volleyball Championship.

According to the Pakistan Vollyball Federation (PVF), in the last match of Super-Eight stage, Pakistan dominated the proceedings from the word go and won the first set 25-20. The Pakistani spikers excelled in all departments of the game. The green shirts kept their pressure against strong Koreans through out the second set. Pakistani ace spikers Ali Abbas, Mohib Rasool, Zaheer Khan and Zaheer Abbas sparkled to help their team won the second set 25-22. In the third and final set, brilliant volleyball was witnessed as both teams exchanged powerful spikes and blocking but Pakistan never allowed their rivals to narrow the lead and quickly reached the match point and won the set 27-25.

Congressional move to block funds for Pakistan’s F-16 upgrade fails

By Khalid Hasan

WASHINGTON: The attempt by two key congressional leaders to block the transfer of $227 million from foreign military funds (FMF) to be given to Pakistan in financial year 2008 to support Islamabad’s F-16 mid-life update programme has been defeated and $116 million in reprogrammed funds disbursed to Islamabad earlier this month.
According to Alan Kronstadt of the Congressional Research Service, in 2006, Pakistan vowed to use its national funds for the bulk of such upgradations. However, when Pakistan wanted to review what it had vowed to do, the request was met with “anger and dismay” by some in Congress who said the move would do little to enhance Pakistan’s counter-terrorism capabilities. Two senior House Members, Howard L Berman, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and Nita M Lowey, concerned that the proposal would “divert funds from more effective counter-terrorism tools,” requested a hold to be placed on the planned reprogramming and proposed that Cong…

First Sikh to graduate from Punjab University Pakistan

he first Pakistani Sikh to graduate from the Punjab University (PU) since partition says that there should be reserved seats for Sikhs at the university.

Talking on Friday, Juswinder Singh, who has passed his Bachelor’s in Arts (honours) programme, said that he belonged to the North Federal Administered Tribal Area (NAFATA), and got admission to the PU in 2004 on a seat reserved for NAFATA students. Juswinder said that he had scored a 3.4 GPA (grade point average) in his honours programme. He said that he would do his Masters in Business Administration in finance from the PU.

He demanded that the government reserve seats for Sikhs intending to take admission to the PU, as it was one of the most prestigious and oldest universities of Pakistan.

He said that the PU had reserved seats for children of army personnel and teachers, university employees and on the basis of sports and debate. “They have also reserved seats for students coming from NAFATA, Waziristan and Balochistan, but no seat h…

Slate Set for Pakistan's Presidential Election

By VOA News
30 August 2008

Pakistan's election commission has announced the final list of three candidates for the upcoming presidential election.

The commission said Saturday regional and national lawmakers will be able to choose from Pakistan Peoples Party co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari, retired judge Said-uz Zaman Siddiqui and Mushahid Hussain Sayed.

Siddiqui is aligned with the Pakistan Muslim League-N party of former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, while Sayed represents the party of former President Pervez Musharraf.

Mr. Musharraf resigned last week following a series of carefully orchestrated no-confidence votes in parliament.

He lost public support after he declared a state of emergency and fired several judges who planned to rule on the legitimacy of his presidency.

The election is set for September 6.

Indian Kashmir curfew enters 6th day

The Associated Press
Friday, August 29, 2008

SRINAGAR, India: Streets were deserted Friday as thousands of police and paramilitary troops patrolled and a curfew in Indian Kashmir entered a sixth day.

Two months of angry protests have left at least 42 people dead, most of them killed as soldiers opened fire on Muslim protesters demanding an end to Indian rule in the disputed Himalayan region. The violence is the worst to hit Kashmir in more than a decade.

Authorities allowed small breaks in the curfew Thursday to let people buy food, medicines and other essential supplies. On Friday, the day Muslims usually congregate to pray together, the curfew was relaxed briefly in the evening. Police vehicles drove through neighborhoods announcing a two-hour break.

Mosques have been at the heart of several protests in the region. In Srinagar, the largest city in the region, the chief priest of the main Jamia Mosque was put under house arrest Friday, a police officer said on condition of anonymity as he…

U.S. leaders meet secretly with Pakistanis

WASHINGTON - With violence worsening in Afghanistan and Pakistan, top U.S. military officers conducted a secret strategy session with commanders from Islamabad on an aircraft carrier in the Indian Ocean.

Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said Thursday that he came away from the meeting encouraged that Pakistanis are focused on the problem of militants using the country as a safe haven. But he indicated he's not satisfied that Islamabad and Washington are doing the best job they can against the growing threat.

He also said he had no new details on the investigation into an operation that Afghan officials say killed between 76 and 90 Afghan civilians last Friday. The U.S. has said it killed 25 militants and five civilians during the raid and resulting air strikes on a compound in the Shindand district of Herat province.

"We work exceptionally hard to minimize any collateral damage — zero collateral damage is the goal," Mullen said, adding that the U.S. …

Alaska Gov. Palin is GOP's first female VP candidate

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Cold Cash, Not Cold War

Russia's occupation of Georgia and the U.S. signing of a missile-defense deal with Poland have grizzled Cold Warriors partying like it's 1979. Once again, hard-liners are ratcheting up rhetoric and threatening sanctions because the Russian bear has stomped on one of its freedom-loving neighbors. But don't go dusting off your copies of George Kennan's "X" Foreign Affairs article and NSC 68 just yet. It's going to be a lot harder to have a Cold War between Russia and the West in 2008 than it was in 1948.

During the Cold War (this is for all the under-40 set), the world was to a large degree divided between the Communist world—the Soviet Bloc and China—and the free world. And while there were exchanges and a limited amount of trade (in the 1970s, Pepsi began bartering Pepsi-Cola for Stolichnaya vodka, and the United States exported grain to the Soviet Union), commercial ties between the Eastern Bloc and the West were extremely limited.

Today, nearly 20 years a…

McCain's New Palin

McCain's decision prompts one important question: Huh?
By John Dickerson
Posted Friday, Aug. 29, 2008, at 2:29 PM ET

Initial reactions to vice-presidential picks generally come in two forms: "Smart!" and "Huh?" Al Gore: Smart. Joe Biden: Smart. Dick Cheney: Smart (or seemed so at the time). Jack Kemp and, perhaps quintessentially, Dan Quayle: Huh?

John McCain has picked Sarah Palin to be his running mate. Huh?

Palin may turn out to be a smart choice—buzz-generating and bolstering McCain's claim to change—but the first hurdle is getting over the fact that she's not very well-known. This opens up the possibility for distracting and potentially damning mischief as her biography is filled out. The one thing people do know about her is her gender. On my early-morning flight from Denver to Minneapolis, as the news appeared on BlackBerrys before takeoff, passengers shared the news this way: "McCain picked a woman." Several months ago, when my colleagues a…

The Case For India To Quit Kashmir

By Sikander Hayat

Indian government has banned all Kashmir based TV channels from airing their programmes.

This step has been taken to stop them from airing the successful pro independence rallies and Indian Army’s atrocities on the general public.

A march towards Pakistan by 50000 Kashmiris to tell the world where there heart lies and then a congregation of 500000 in Eidgah, Srinagar has made the Indian government insane out of all proportions and no amount of protest by bodies like United Nation is going to stop them from doing what they do best which is killing and raping their way through to the hearts and minds of Kashmiri people.

After 62 years of calling Kashmir an integral part of India, Indian government has convinced itself and its people that Kashmir is Indian and nothing can happen to take it away from India. A lot of very intelligent people in India talk about death of secularism, snowball effect and if Kashmir given independence other states following suit theory but there a…