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January 25, 2015 / 5 Shevat, 5775
 
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Posts Tagged ‘Pakistan’

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.

India Evaluating Iron Dome as Israel Expands its Defensive Range

Tuesday, February 26th, 2013

Rafael is offering its “Iron Dome” rocket interceptor to the Indian army, which would be using it against both government and rogue attacks anticipated from its Muslim neighbor Pakistan.

The “Iron Dome” has achieved an amazing 90 % kill rate in the last fighting in Gaza during Operation Pillar of Defense. And Rafael is developing its longer range rocket and missile interceptor – the “David’s Sling,” scheduled for completion in late 2014.

Last November, Rafael and the Israeli missile defense organization (IMDO) performed a successful test of the “David’s Sling” long range rocket interceptor system.

During the test, Israel’s homeland security portal iHLS reports, the Elta radar was operated in “shadow” mode while the target was detected by other sensors. In future tests, the Elta radar will be used as the main sensor.

The sensors detected the incoming long range rocket and, seconds, later the “Stunner” interceptor was launched and destroyed the target rocket. Sources said that the inert interceptor achieved a kinetic hit.

The “David’s Sling” is being developed as a “kinetic kill” system that will allow to verify that the threat has been eliminated.

The “David’s Sling” system is an additional part of the multi layered system Israel is building to defend itself against rockets and missiles. The essential layer in the system is the “Iron Dome.”

The “David’s Sling” will serve as the second layer, intercepting incoming rockets and cruise missiles from a range of 45 to 150 miles (this range is going to increase in the future), with the Arrow-2 and Arrow-3 functioning as the third layer—against ballistic missiles.

Many countries in the world have realized that rockets of all types are not only a threat for troops but for civilians. That might affect the potential size of the market for anti rockets systems.

Obama’s Careful Phrasing Conceals Disasters

Friday, February 15th, 2013

Originally published at Rubin Reports.

While President Obama’s State of the Union message was overwhelmingly domestically oriented, the foreign policy sections were most interesting.

The president began in the same neo-patriotic mode used in the second inaugural address, with a special emphasis on thanking U.S. troops. He used the imagery of the end of World War II paralleling the return of troops from Iraq to promote his idea that the American economy must be totally restructured.

Obama defined his main successes—careful to credit the military (whose budget he seeks to cut deeply and whose health benefits he’s already reduced) rather than his usual emphasis on taking the credit for himself—were the following points:

For the first time in nine years, there are no Americans fighting in Iraq.
For the first time in two decades, Osama bin Laden is not a threat to this country.
Most of Al Qaida’s top lieutenants have been defeated. The Taliban’s momentum has been broken. And some troops in Afghanistan have begun to come home.Now there certainly have been accomplishments on these three fronts but these claims are also profoundly misleading and very carefully worded. Let’s take them one at a time.

Iraq Withdrawal. It is true that U.S. forces are largely out of Iraq yet this was inevitable, with one key reservation. There was no likelihood they would be there in a large combat role forever. Whatever one thinks of the invasion of Iraq, the American forces were staying for an interim period until the Iraqi army was ready. Any successor to George W. Bush would have pulled out the combat forces.

The reservation, of course, is that it was the success of the surge—which Obama and his new secretary of defense (yes, he will be confirmed) Chuck Hagel opposed. So he is taking credit for a policy that was inevitable and that was made possible by a success that he was against.

Lest you think that assessment is unfair to Obama consider this: he did absolutely nothing to make this outcome happen. No policy or strategy of his administration made the withdrawal faster or more certain.

Osama Bin Laden. This is a strange phrase: “For the first time in two decades, Osama bin Laden is not a threat to this country.” It is a new way of putting the “Obama killed Osama” meme while hinting that al-Qaida is not a threat to the United States. Well, as Benghazi shows, al-Qaida is still a threat but wording the sentence the way Obama did implies otherwise without saying so and looking foolish at making an obviously false claim.

Al Qaeda. Notice a very strange and ungrammatical formulation: “Most of Al Qaida’s top lieutenants have been defeated.” I think this can only be understood as an incomplete change in the traditional slogan that al-Qaida has been defeated. The administration can no longer make this argument so it is looking for something that gets in bin Ladin’s assassination and that of other al-Qaida leaders (al-Qaida has been decapitated) with hinting that al-Qaida has been defeated.

In other words, someone did a bad job of proofreading the speech. Of course, all of this glosses over the fact that al-Qaida hasn’t been defeated. It is on the march in Mali, the Gaza Strip, Somalia, Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula, Yemen, and other places.

Incidentally, al-Qaida will always be defeated politically because it has no strong political program or structure. That’s why al-Qaida kills but the Muslim Brotherhood wins. And Obama is helping the Muslim Brotherhood.

The Taliban. As for the Taliban, again there is a cute formulation: its “momentum has been broken.” In other words, the Taliban has survived, it is still launching attacks, and it might even take over large parts of Afghanistan after American troops leave. Momentum has been broken is just a fancy way of saying that its gaining power has been slowed down. Of course, after American troops leave, that momentum will probably speed up again.

In his second mention of foreign affairs, Obama spoke of economic issues, he says:

My message is simple. It is time to stop rewarding businesses that ship jobs overseas and start rewarding companies that create jobs right here in America. Send me these tax reforms, and I will sign them right away.In fact, though, businesses are not fleeing the United States because the wages are lower there while the Obama Administration puts into effect increasingly tight and costly regulations and imposes higher costs (including the impact of Obamacare). Moreover, wages are lower overseas.

US, West, Ignoring Pakistan’s Nuclear Threat

Monday, February 4th, 2013

For more than two decades now, the West has been occupied with nuclear 
programs of classic anti-Western forces, such as Iran, the now-toppled
 Gaddafi regime of Libya and North Korea. Nonetheless, the West has
 been overlooking an Islamic country that already has nuclear arms 
rather than nuclear ambitions: Pakistan.

Pakistan is a nuclear power that might swiftly fall into the hands of Islamists.  If that happens, Pakistan might well be the most dangerous country in the world.  That is so because if the Islamists take control of Pakistan, they will not worry about the consequences of launching a nuclear attack even on other nuclear powers.

In fact, the prospect of retaliation action might feed into their sense of being on a martyrdom mission.   They would consider a global nuclear catastrophe as saving the world from its sins.

American diplomacy is indeed concerned with Pakistan’s nuclear power falling into the wrong hands.  A U.S. embassy cable –made public by Wikileaks–discussed the possibility of Islamists gaining power in Pakistan, leading to a tense nuclear stand-off with India. This reveals, however, that the U.S. concern for Pakistan’s nuclear power is still limited to the
 regional level.

That is naïve.

Pakistan is already developing a long-range delivery system for its nuclear weapons, particularly the Hatf-7 – a missile with an estimated range of 1,500 miles. The missiles name translates as “Doom” in both Arabic and Urdu.  The Pakistani Air Force also operates state of the art F-16 fighters; Pakistan’s F-16Cs are very advanced and are capable of carrying and delivering nuclear missiles.

So, will Pakistan’s Islamists actually come to power? Is there much the world can do to prevent to prevent it?

The biggest difference between Pakistan and most Muslim states is that Pakistan has a functional electoral system that actually works. That also means it could bring the Islamists to power. Luckily, thus far, the Islamists have not yet been able to control the Pakistani electoral scene.  A 2008 poll showed a minority of Pakistanis supported Islamist militants, were critical of the U.S. and sought a “moderate Islamic state.” That minority, however, is window for the Islamists waiting to be opened.

Another warning sign is that Pakistan’s Taliban is considered a unified entity with Afghanistan’s Taliban and is not by any stretch less active.

On the other hand, Pakistan has a strong military institution that seems to control the country’s politics.  In 2008, Al-Jazeera aired a documentary about Pakistan titled, “An Army That Owns a State,” in which it argued that the entire Pakistani state is just a façade for the
 military institution which actually has the final say on the country’s politics.  True or not, the Pakistani army has been successful at keeping the Islamists out of controlling the government as well as a serious partner of the West in its war on terrorism.

Nonetheless, some say the Pakistani military has also been supporting the Islamists at the same time.  For example, the former commander of the British forces in Afghanistan, Col. Richard Kemp, told this author that both the Pakistani Army and the Pakistani
 Intelligence– better known as the Inter-Services Intelligence — had been supporting the Islamists at the same time they were supporting NATO operations against them.

 There seems to be much to support General Kemps’ views.  Countless reports seem to confirm Pakistan’s involvement in supporting the Taliban, including a U.S. cable made public by Wikileaks, which was circulated by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Last May, the killing of Osama Bin Laden, for example raised more questions regarding Pakistan’s true stance on terror. Bin Laden was located in an suburban area barely 30 miles away from Pakistan’s capital, and only a few hundred yards away from Pakistan’s top military academy, the Pakistani version of West Point.

At the time, some U.S. officials said the Pakistani government will have a lot
 of explaining to do, though no serious questioning or explaining it seems was ever done. The U.S. and NATO apparently feel that Pakistan was too important of an ally in its war on terror to offend.

It is safe to assume that the Pakistani military and intelligence officers realize their importance to the U.S. in its war on terror, and are not afraid to push the envelope in both aiding the terrorists and joining the war on terror at the same time in order to gain more significance to the U.S.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/us-west-ignoring-pakistans-nuclear-threat/2013/02/04/

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