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April 25, 2015 / 6 Iyar, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Pakistan’

On Israel’s President’s Conference

Sunday, June 9th, 2013

 I would, in retaliation, host Saudi Arabia, Iran and Pakistan “Apartheid Weeks.” Stephen Hawking has, apparently, no issues speaking in China and Iran, two countries with appalling human rights records. No one speaks about BDS of Saudi Arabia, where the list of human rights violations is endless. Where were their voices? Or Pakistan, with religious minorities facing persecution and violence against women? No one asked me to cancel my trip to Pakistan.

Recently I received an email from “a Palestinian in Vancouver,” in Canada, asking me to boycott Israel’s annual Presidential Conference, “Facing Tomorrow,” soon in Jerusalem, where I have been invited to speak.

The request for my boycott citied as reasons Israel’s human rights violations and mentioned that as Stephen Hawking boycotted the conference, perhaps I should, as well.

My response to my Palestinian friend is that the first time I was invited to speak at this conference three years ago, I went, hesitantly, not knowing what it was all about. I was so enthused by both my visit to Israel and the conference that I wrote extensively about the experience on my blog, and later named my own Not-for-Profit Organization “Muslims Facing Tomorrow” with an idea that one day, I would host a similar conference about ideas and a vision for a better tomorrow.

Upon my return, I praised the country and the people, but many of my Muslim friends were not interested in knowing these details. They only asked, “Were there any Palestinians at the conference and was the Israel-Palestinian issue discussed?” I was happy to respond that yes, there were Palestinians at the conference; I had even brought home a book on Islam from one of the Palestinian speakers there.

About human rights violations: granted that Israel, like every other country, has violations — but far fewer than those of the countries surrounding it. Israel is still the only liberal democracy in the area where one can find gender equality and freedom for its citizens. During my visits to Israel, I have, in fact, questioned Israeli Arabs and found that they are loath to leave the country where they enjoy freedom and human rights.

As I am accredited to the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva, where I attend its sessions twice a year, I have a close connection with human rights. At the UNHRC, I hear a lot about humanitarian crises, and these do not include Israel. The OIC (Organization of Islamic Co-operation), for instance, – a group of 57 Arab and Muslim States which has a permanent delegation to the United Nations and is the largest international organization outside the United Nations — continuously slams and blames Israel for everything happening in the Arab and Muslim world and beyond. This incrimination of Israel has become the norm, and can be seen as a ruse to deflect or move focus away from the real problems besetting the Arab world.

BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) against Israel is also not a new movement, but has taken on a life of its own at academic institutions all over North America. This movement has led to “Israel Apartheid Week” events, ugly and nonsensical, at many universities. If I were a student, I would, in retaliation, host Saudi Arabia, Iran and Pakistan “Apartheid Weeks.” But I know that is not the solution to the problems besetting these countries, and the crux of the issue is how freedom of speech can become the fine line between hate mongering and truth.

This incrimination also highlights the double standards held by academics such as Stephen Hawking: he had no issues, apparently, speaking in China and Iran, two countries that have appalling human rights records. But that is his problem.

My problem is that I am from Pakistan, a country where the word human rights has no meaning or recognition whatsoever. According to the Human Rights Watch World Report on Pakistan for 2012, Pakistan had a disastrous year — including increasing attacks on civilians by militant groups, religious minorities facing unprecedented insecurity and persecution, and where freedom of belief and expression are coming under severe threat as the presence of Islamists has grown by leaps and bounds. This does not even begin to address violations against women. The Aurat Foundation, a local women’s rights group in Pakistan, says the number of incidents of violence against women in Pakistan has increased at least seven percent over the past year.

UAV Kills Taliban Terrorists 4 Days After Obama Limits Drones

Wednesday, May 29th, 2013

At lest one Taliban terrorist and three others were killed in a drone strike in Pakistasn Wednesday, four days after President Barack Obama declared he would limit the use of the Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) in order to reduce civilian casualties.

The CIA maintained its usual policy of not commenting on specific attacks, but Taliban called the reports of the pre-dawn drone strike on one of is terrorists “totally false.”

The drone targeted the terrorist in a home used by terrorists for meetings. “Half of the compound has been destroyed,” according to a local official in the North Waziristan region, a terrorist stronghold.

A Policy in Search of Doctrine

Wednesday, May 8th, 2013

In the face of seemingly irrational threats from North Korea, at least one American conclusion should be obvious and prompt: Nuclear strategy is a “game” that sane world leaders must play, whether they like it, or not. President Obama can choose to play this complex game purposefully or inattentively. But, one way or another, he will have to play.

Should he opt for the more sensible style of engagement, he will need to move significantly beyond his currently misconceived search for global denuclearization (“a world free of nuclear weapons”) to a far more thoroughly realistic plan for (1) controlling further nuclear proliferation and (2) improving America’s own nuclear posture. More than anything else, this indispensable move will require the creation of a more suitable U.S. strategic doctrine.

Earlier, at the start of the Cold War, the United States first began to codify vital orientations to nuclear deterrence and nuclear war. At that time, the world was tightly bipolar, and the indisputable enemy was the Soviet Union. Tempered by a shared knowledge of the unprecedented horror that finally ceased in 1945, each superpower had readily understood the core need for cooperation (or at least coordination), as well as for conflict preparedness.

With the start of the nuclear age, American national security was premised on seemingly primal threats of “massive retaliation.” Over time, especially during the Kennedy years, that calculated policy was softened by more subtle and nuanced threats of “flexible response.” Along the way, a coherent and generalized American strategic doctrine was crafted to accommodate every conceivable kind of adversary and enemy encounter. Systematic and historically grounded, this doctrine was developed self-consciously, to evolve prudently, and in carefully considered increments.

Strategic doctrine, defense intellectuals had already understood, is a “net.” Only those who cast can catch.

Today we live in an increasingly “multipolar” system. No longer is the world under the controlling ambit of either Washington or Moscow. Now, there are complex and sometimes intersecting axes of global conflict. Among other things, this means that we must construct our national nuclear strategies with a deliberate view toward impacting multiple and interdependent centers of global power. Moreover, this view still includes some of the usual suspects, especially Russia.

Moscow has continued to reinvigorate its production of intercontinental ballistic missiles and ICBM supporting infrastructures. In part, this represents an entirely predictable Russian response to expectations that America may yet push ahead with its plans for expanded ballistic missile defense in Europe. In Russian calculations, which are by no means eccentric or devoid of merit, such plans are actually offensive. This is because they would threaten to undermine the always-basic deterrence requirements of mutual vulnerability.

At this moment, we may at least hope, Obama’s primary strategic focus is on North Korea, Iran, and an already-nuclear Pakistan. There certainly is nothing wrong with such a focus (quite the contrary); the problem is that each case is likely being considered as if it were altogether singular, ad hoc, or unique. Instead, acknowledging that generality is a trait of all scientific meaning, the president should now be fashioning a comprehensive doctrine from which logically appropriate policies for each of these urgent cases could then be properly extrapolated.

In all three cases there are more-or-less plausible concerns of enemy irrationality. In such alarming situations, where leadership elites in Pyongyang, Tehran, or Islamabad might value certain presumed national or religious obligations more highly than physical survival, the logic of deterrence could fail. Such a scenario is improbable, but it is certainly not inconceivable.

Also important to understand are possible interactions or synergies between major adversaries. North Korea and Iran, both with documented ties to China, Syria, and Russia, have maintained a long-term and consequential strategic relationship.

Other major problems face us. These threats may even be unrelated to what is happening in Russia, North Korea, Iran, or Pakistan and might only be indirectly connected to the belligerent intentions of other nation-states. Such problems could stem, in part, from the effectively uncontrolled growth of certain virulently antagonistic sub-state guerrilla and/or terrorist organizations.

This sort of growth, moreover, is made more likely by ongoing events in Syria and also by the UN’s recent tilt to further formalizing Palestinian statehood. Now already a “nonmember observer state,” the Palestinian Authority is closer to becoming, together with Hamas in Gaza, a palpably more effective base for launching significant anti-Israel terror attacks.

Major Earthquake Strikes Iran, Rocks Pakistan (Video)

Tuesday, April 16th, 2013

A magnitude-7.8 earthquake struck the Sistan and Baluchistan province in southeastern Iran, on its border with Pakistan, according to the United States Geographical Survey. The quake began at 3:44 PM local time, 6:44 AM ET in southeastern Iran, about 50 miles east of the city of Khash and near the Pakistani border. The quake’s depth was reported at about 50 miles below the Earth’s surface.

Khash has a population of 70,000.

A state of emergency was declared in the region, and rescue teams were dispatched from the surrounding area to the remote site, Iran’s state news agency IRNA reported.

IRNA called the earthquake a huge disaster. State-run Press TV reported that at least 40 people were killed, including seven in Pakistan.

Accoding to Reuters, witnesses are saying that tall buildings shook as far as way as New Delhi, India, some 1,500 miles away, and people went running into the streets. southern Pakistan was also rocked.

Pakistan state television said aftershocks were rattling the region at 7:30 AM ET.

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Pakistani Jewish Vote?

Wednesday, April 3rd, 2013

The Pakistani Election Commission lists approximately 800 voters as Jewish although there are virtually no Jews in the country, according to the country’s The News website contributor Dr. Abdul Majeed Abid.

He facetiously asked, “We can only wait to see which way the ‘Jewish vote’ goes, if it goes anywhere.”

He noted that no Jews are running for public office and no political party has tried to woo the supposed Jewish voters, leaving open the question why the Elections Commission bothers to list Jews as a minority.

Pakistan Nabs Terrorist Involved in Daniel Pearl Murder

Tuesday, March 19th, 2013

Pakistani officials have said they arrested a terrorist who may provide the key for unlocking the mystery of who masterminded and carried out the brutal 2002 kidnapping and beheading of Wall Street Journal journalist Daniel Pearl.

Pearl, who was Jewish, was murdered one month after he was taken into captivity on January 23, 2002 while traveling to interview a Muslim extremist in Pakistan. The beheading was filmed by the terrorists and sent to the U.S. Consulate. It was seen on the Internet, sending shock waves throughout the Western world.

Pearl’s body was found dismembered three months later.

The latest suspect in the kidnap-murder is Qari Abdul Hayee, whose name is similar to a suspect in a 2011 Georgetown student investigation called the Daniel Pearl Project.

Ruth and Judea Pearl, the parents of Daniel, stated after the report of the latest arrest, “We are gratified with this latest arrest and hope that justice will be served in a timely manner on all those who were involved in the abduction and murder of our son, Danny.”

“As with every journalist murder, any and all perpetrators in the slaying of Daniel Pearl must be prosecuted and punished,” said Committee for Protecting Journalists (CPS) Asia Program Coordinator Bob Dietz. “In order to curb growing impunity in Pakistan, it is imperative that authorities send the strongest possible signal that acts of anti-press violence will not go unpunished.”

Hayee, also known as Asadullah, was arrested on Sunday during a raid in Karachi.

It was not the first time he was arrested on suspicion of involvement with the murder of Pearl.

In May 2003, he was taken into custody for allegedly murdering six Shiite Muslims and was linked in the planning and carrying out of Pearl’s kidnapping and murder.

He was sentenced to death for the murders of the Shiites but was not charged in the Pearl murder. Hayee was freed for some unknown reason.

A recent report by the Center for Public Integrity reveals that only four of the 27 men allegedly involved in his kidnapping and murder were charged and convicted, according to CPS.

Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, one of the 9/11 masterminds and who was questioned at Guantanamo Bay, claimed he ordered the kidnapping of Pearl and also claimed he personally beheaded him, but he never was charged in the case.

Ahmad Omar Saeed Sheikh, a British-born Muslim terrorist, was sentenced to death for Pearl’s murder, but no one really knows who actually killed the journalist.

Hayee may provide the answers.

What Sanctions? Iran Gas Exports to Europe at $7 Billion

Thursday, March 7th, 2013

Despite EU gas sanctions, EU members Spain, Netherlands, Belgium, Turkey and Romania are among Iran’s most important gas customers produced in south Pars terminals.

According to MNA, despite EU sanctions banning the importation of natural gas and other gas liquid products to Europe, Iran have exported more than $7 billion of liquid gas products.

According to the repots, last year, eight million ton of gas condensate (low-density mixture of hydrocarbon liquids) exported from the Assaluyeh oil and gas terminals to international markets.

Also during this period, more than 15 million tons of petrochemical and polymer products, including light and heavy polyethylene, benzene and liquid gas, worth $12,856 million, have been exported from Assaluyeh terminals to international markets.

The report also revealed that China, Japan, United Arabic Emirates, India, Indonesia, the Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, Turkey, Romania, Taiwan, Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam and Afghanistan are among the main customers of Iran’s petrochemical and gas products coming out of Assaluyeh terminals.

According to the same report, Iran’s export of liquid gas to south Korea in the last few months has been doubled, compare to last year same time.

Meanwhile, on Thursday afternoon, the AP reported that Pakistan intends to complete a gas pipeline from Iran despite U.S. opposition.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Moazzam Ali Khan said Thursday that President Asif Ali Zardari is planning to travel to Tehran on Monday for the groundbreaking ceremony.

Khan said the pipeline is in Pakistan’s interest.

Pakistan is facing severe energy shortages, and hopes the pipeline would deliver natural gas from Iran to Pakistan by 2014.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/what-sanctions-iran-gas-exports-to-europe-at-7-billion/2013/03/07/

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