|On February 23, 2010, Reuters reported that the Dubai police are virtually certain that the Israeli Mossad are responsible for murder by suffocation of Mahmoud al-Mabhouh, that at least 18 people may be involved and that the death squad used passports from European Union countries. So far, six have been identified as Britons living in Israel, but they deny any involvement and say their identities were stolen. The United Arab Emirates Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed vowed to bring those responsible to justice, but the Israeli foreign minister continues to insist there is no proof Israel carried out the killing.
Mahmoud Al-Mabhouh was murdered in his Dubai hotel on January 20, 2010 and Israel’s Mossad had attempted to take his life three times previously: in 1991, 2004 and 2008.
James Petras, a retired Bartle Professor Emeritus of Sociology who has published prolifically on Middle Eastern political issues, wrote:
“On January 19 Israel’s international secret police, the Mossad, sent an eighteen member death squad to Dubai using European passports, supposedly ‘stolen’ from Israeli dual citizens and altered with fake photos and signatures, in order to assassinate the Palestinian leader, Mahmoud al Mabhouh.
“The evidence is overwhelming: The Dubai police presentation of detailed security videos of the assassins was corroborated by the testimony of Israeli security experts and applauded by Israel’s leading newspapers and columnists. The Mossad openly stated that Mabhouh was a high priority target who had survived three previous assassination attempts. Israel did not even bother to deny the murder. Furthermore, the sophisticated communication system used by the killers, the logistics and planning surrounding their entry and exit from Dubai and the scope and scale of the operation have all the characteristics of a high-level state operation.
“Furthermore, only Mossad would have access to the European passports of its dual citizens! Only Mossad would have the capacity, motivation, stated intent and willingness to provoke a diplomatic row with its European allies, knowing full well that Western European governments’ anger would blow over because of their deep links to Israel. After meticulous investigation and the interrogation of 2 captured Palestinian Mossad collaborators, the Dubai police chief has stated he is sure the Mossad was behind the killing.”
Israel’s most recent stupidity exposes once again that their rule of law has more in common with the law of the jungle, for murder as well as the kidnapping of Mordechai Vanunu from Rome in 1986, is unrestrained when it comes to any deemed a threat to the security of the Jewish State.
Petras also wrote:
“Israel’s extra-territorial assassinations make a mockery of the very notion of national sovereignty. Extra-territorial secret police elimination of opponents was a common practice of the Nazi Gestapo, Stalin’s GPU and Pinochet’s DINA and has now become the sanctioned practice of the US “Special Forces” and the CIA clandestine division. Such policies are the hallmark of totalitarian, dictatorial and imperialist states, which systematically trample on the sovereign rights of peoples.
“The precedent of Israel killing its adversaries abroad, establishes the outer boundaries of repression by its overseas supporters in the leading Zionist organizations, most of whom have now and in the past supported Israel’s violation of national sovereignty via extra-judicial killings. If Israel physically eliminates its opponents and critics, the 51 major American Jewish organizations economically repress Israel’s critics in the US. They actively pressure employers, university presidents and public officials to fire employees, academics and professionals who dare to speak or write against Israeli torture, killing and systematic dispossession of Palestinians.”[Ibid]
The Mossad’s most recent incompetence affirms that Mordechai Vanunu’s labeling of them, as “Israeli Stupid Spies” is most accurate.
Israel’s so called Intelligence Agency has devolved into a deadly version of the incompetent silent film series the Keystone Kops, who were a bungling group of clumsy policemen in silent films; but the only thing comical about the Mossad is their incompetent employees sent to Dubai, who allowed their faces to be captured on multiple security videos while changing wigs and costumes.
The Mossad also has no qualms about using one’s own family! In 1986, Cheryl Hanin was a 26-year-old Mossad agent who traveled under her sister-in-laws name, Cindy Hanin to pose as an American tourist in London.
In 2005, I began a series of interviews with Mordechai Vanunu, the whistleblower of Israel’s WMD program. When I asked Vanunu what was he thinking when he took off from London to Rome with Cindy, Vanunu looked me directly in the eyes the entire time and readily replied:
“It wasn’t like THAT-when Maxwell’s paper published my photo without ever talking to me and some of the stolen Dimona photos with a very bad story against me, I knew the Mossad was after me. Cindy said she had a sister in Rome and I thought I would be safe there until I could return to London. We went to movies and art galleries, I trusted her. But, as soon as I got into the apartment, I was hit on the head and drugged. When I woke up and they took me for interrogation, they threw the Times article on the table and said, ‘Look, what you did.’ I was so relieved they had published it and that I had done what I did.”
On October 5, 1986, five days after Vanunu was kidnapped by the Mossad and while he was being transported back to Israel for a closed door trial that lead to 18 years in Ashkelon prison, The LondonSunday Times published a front-page photo of the Dimona reactor and a story that spread over three pages revealing Israel’s arsenal of upwards of 200 nuclear warheads.
This citizen journalist paid $20.00 to obtain Cheryl Hanin Ben Tov’s home address and phone number. I snail mailed Mrs. Hanin Ben Tov twice and live a short car drive from her gated community. Two days after posting my letter with my return address on the envelope, visits to my website increased dramatically, as they also have within twenty-four hours after departing Ben Gurion Airport, for I always tellSECURITY where I have been and what I was doing during my 7 trips to Israel Palestine since 2005.
As Petras points out,
“The Mossad’s acquisition and alteration of official British, French, German and Irish passports of dual Israeli citizen’s underscores the cynical and sinister nature of Israel’s exploitation of its dual citizens in the pursuit of its own bloody foreign policy goals.”[Ibid]
On November 24, 2008, I wrote, Dear Security: Secure This!
Last night I left occupied east Jerusalem for the seventeen hour return home trip to my sanctuary in Florida.
I wore my NAKBA t-shirt and was greeted with a smile by my first inquisitor at Ben Gurion Airport, who inquired, “May I have your passport? Why did you come to Israel?”
I readily replied as I handed it to her along with my WeAreWideAwake.org business card, “I came to Israel in order to go to occupied Palestine to learn more about Al Nakba and report it all on my website.”
“Yes, Al Nakba, which is Arabic for The Catastrophe, The Disaster; the other side of the story of what happened when Israel became a state, in 1948. No coincidence, I think that UN Resolution 194 affirms the Right of Return to Palestinian’s who became refugees when Zionists grabbed even more land than ‘civilized’ white men partitioned to them.”
“Oh, I see…Did anyone give you anything, anything at all? I must ask as even a harmless looking item can be made explosive.”
“Nobody in occupied Palestine gave me anything except food, drink and good company. The only things explosive about me are the words that I pound out on my computer, for I am a citizen journalist, not corporate controlled media.”
“I see. Please wait here.”
I did, and she went to converse with three colleagues a few yards from me. Within a minute, they were all looking at me. Ten minutes later, she returned with a smiling man who held my passport and business card and introduced himself as “Security.”
I smiled and replied, “Happy to know you, I am Eileen.”
“What was your reason to visit Israel?”
“Well, you can read all about it on my website, and I hope you will. I have been to Hebron, Erez Crossing and occupied east Jerusalem. I came to learn more and report the truth as I dissent from the way my American tax dollars are spent. Seven to ten million U.S.A. tax dollars every single day, go to support the military occupation of Palestine, and that ticks me off!”
He maintained his smile as he nodded to the woman who applied white stickers on my bags and onto the back of my passport. I was told to proceed to the first x-ray machine for Phase Two of Security:
A bank of x-ray machines in the center of a long rectangular counter.
I was waved over to the long side where four employees stood and not one smiled at me.
I was politely ordered to open up all my bags and with plastic gloves on their hands they emptied out all my neat packing and swabbed every surface and examined every item.
I asked with a smile, “So, what exactly are you swabbing for?”
“Yes, I have heard that one before, but please tell me more. What exactly are you looking for in my cosmetics and dirty laundry?”
“We cannot say.”
After my laptop was thoroughly swabbed I was politely asked to start it up and open up a program. I did as I was told as I inquired, “Why?”
“Security. I must take your computer away now.”
Oh great I thought as she disappeared from my site for at least five minutes. I am not one to give into paranoia, but I am having my laptop checked out by a geek asap.
After I was allowed to repack all my belongings, I embarked upon Phase Three of Security: The Strip Search.
I was told that I must be checked for metal and once again, I was led to the same door I had been led through twice before, marked SECURITY.
I knew the routine and as soon as I got behind the curtain I removed my shoes and belt and sat down until they were run through another x-ray machine.
When my ‘companion’ returned I stood without being told with arms extended from my sides and I was wanded all over and then thoroughly patted down on every inch of my body.
Once again the wand whined with intensity as it passed over the buttons on my jeans, and like every time before, I was told to sit down and wait while my companion went to fetch an unsmiling woman who entered the cubicle and introduced herself as “Security.”
She ordered me to drop my jeans to my knees and once more, my abdomen and pelvis were wanded over again.
After passing inspection I was led back to my belongings and my ‘companion’ wrote down my passport number on a log sheet. Then I was led to the Continental desk labeled “Security” to receive my boarding pass and accompanied to Customs as I wondered, why doesn’t SECURITY secure human rights of human beings?
The Vanunu Saga: 2005-2010: http://wearewideawake.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=blogcategory&id=50&Itemid=156
“The drugs are converted to cash in Dubai, where Dawood maintains a palatial mansion, similar to the one he maintains in Karachi.”
[FROM: Take Out The Hood]
“Though the US treasury didn’t list Dawood’s address, his passport mentions his permanent residence as: 6/A Khayabban Tanzeem, Phase 5, Defence Housing Area, Karachi. It’s a prestigious address to boast of in Karachi where retired army officials live luxuriously; it also underscores the intimate links between Dawood and the establishment there.”
Posted: 23 February 2010 1347 hrs
LONDON: British Prime Minister Gordon Brown has hit back over allegations he bullied his staff, in a row that has heaped pressure on the government months before elections.
In his first direct response to accusations that his fiery temper horrified his staff, Brown dismissed the story that the country’s top civil servant had been compelled to give him a verbal warning about his behaviour.
Gus O’Donnell “has made it clear that he has had no inquiries, there has been no reprimand, there has been no private message to me… (The) story is completely wrong,” Brown told the Economist magazine Monday.
Brown’s comments came hours after his spokesman issued a robust denial on behalf of the civil servant over the allegation which was published in book extracts in a Sunday newspaper.
- is a convincing, practised liar and when called to account, will make up anything spontaneously to fit their needs at that moment
- has a Jekyll and Hyde nature – is vile, vicious and vindictive in private, but innocent and charming in front of witnesses; no-one can (or wants to) believe this individual has a vindictive nature – only the current target of the serial bully’s aggression sees both sides; whilst the Jekyll side is described as “charming” and convincing enough to deceive personnel, management and a tribunal, the Hyde side is frequently described as “evil”; Hyde is the real person, Jekyll is an act
- excels at deception and should never be underestimated in their capacity to deceive
- uses excessive charm and is always plausible and convincing when peers, superiors or others are present (charm can be used to deceive as well as to cover for lack of empathy)
- is glib, shallow and superficial with plenty of fine words and lots of form – but there’s no substance
- is possessed of an exceptional verbal facility and will outmanoeuvre most people in verbal interaction, especially at times of conflict
- is often described as smooth, slippery, slimy, ingratiating, fawning, toadying, obsequious, sycophantic
- relies on mimicry, repetition and regurgitation to convince others that he or she is both a “normal” human being and a tough dynamic manager, as in extolling the virtues of the latest management fads and pouring forth the accompanying jargon
- is unusually skilled in being able to anticipate what people want to hear and then saying it plausibly
- cannot be trusted or relied upon
- fails to fulfil commitments
- is emotionally retarded with an arrested level of emotional development; whilst language and intellect may appear to be that of an adult, the bully displays the emotional age of a five-year-old
- is emotionally immature and emotionally untrustworthy
- exhibits unusual and inappropriate attitudes to sexual matters, sexual behaviour and bodily functions; underneath the charming exterior there are often suspicions or hints of sex discrimination and sexual harassment, perhaps also sexual dysfunction, sexual inadequacy, sexual perversion, sexual violence or sexual abuse
- in a relationship, is incapable of initiating or sustaining intimacy
- holds deep prejudices (eg against the opposite gender, people of a different sexual orientation, other cultures and religious beliefs, foreigners, etc – prejudiced people are unvaryingly unimaginative) but goes to great lengths to keep this prejudicial aspect of their personality secret
- is self-opinionated and displays arrogance, audacity, a superior sense of entitlement and sense of invulnerability and untouchability
- has a deep-seated contempt of clients in contrast to his or her professed compassion
- is a control freak and has a compulsive need to control everyone and everything you say, do, think and believe; for example, will launch an immediate personal attack attempting to restrict what you are permitted to say if you start talking knowledgeably about psychopathic personality or antisocial personality disorder in their presence – but aggressively maintains the right to talk (usually unknowledgeably) about anything they choose; serial bullies despise anyone who enables others to see through their deception and their mask of sanity
- displays a compulsive need to criticise whilst simultaneously refusing to value, praise and acknowledge others, their achievements, or their existence
- shows a lack of joined-up thinking with conversation that doesn’t flow and arguments that don’t hold water
- flits from topic to topic so that you come away feeling you’ve never had a proper conversation
- refuses to be specific and never gives a straight answer
- is evasive and has a Houdini-like ability to escape accountability
- undermines and destroys anyone who the bully perceives to be an adversary, a potential threat, or who can see through the bully’s mask
- is adept at creating conflict between those who would otherwise collate incriminating information about them
- is quick to discredit and neutralise anyone who can talk knowledgeably about antisocial or sociopathic behaviors
- may pursue a vindictive vendetta against anyone who dares to held them accountable, perhaps using others’ resources and contemptuous of the damage caused to other people and organisations in pursuance of the vendetta
- is also quick to belittle, undermine, denigrate and discredit anyone who calls, attempts to call, or might call the bully to account
- gains gratification from denying people what they are entitled to
- is highly manipulative, especially of people’s perceptions and emotions (eg guilt)
- poisons peoples’ minds by manipulating their perceptions
- when called upon to share or address the needs and concerns of others, responds with impatience, irritability and aggression
- is arrogant, haughty, high-handed, and a know-all
- often has an overwhelming, unhealthy and narcissistic attention-seeking need to portray themselves as a wonderful, kind, caring and compassionate person, in contrast to their behaviour and treatment of others; the bully sees nothing wrong with their behavior and chooses to remain oblivious to the discrepancy between how they like to be seen and how they are seen by others
- is spiritually dead although may loudly profess some religious belief or affiliation
- is mean-spirited, officious, and often unbelievably petty
- is mean, stingy, and financially untrustworthy
- is greedy, selfish, a parasite and an emotional vampire
- is always a taker and never a giver
- is convinced of their superiority and has an overbearing belief in their qualities of leadership but cannot distinguish between leadership (maturity, decisiveness, assertiveness, co-operation, trust, integrity) and bullying (immaturity, impulsiveness, aggression, manipulation, distrust, deceitfulness)
- often fraudulently claims qualifications, experience, titles, entitlements or affiliations which are ambiguous, misleading, or bogus
- often misses the semantic meaning of language, misinterprets what is said, sometimes wrongly thinking that comments of a satirical, ironic or general negative nature apply to him or herself
- knows the words but not the song
- is constantly imposing on others a false reality made up of distortion and fabrication
- sometimes displays a seemingly limitless demonic energy especially when engaged in attention-seeking activities or evasion of accountability and is often a committeeaholic or apparent workaholic
War game shows how attacking Iran could backfire
by Mohammad Alireza
The Brookings Institute recently conducted a war game between Iran, Israel, and America. You can read all about it here, “War game shows how attacking Iran could backfire.”
Well here is a leaked excerpt from a war game that was recently conducted in Iran at “Oops WW3 Institute”.
… as soon as Israeli jets were identified over Iranian airspace, and the bombing on Natanz was confirmed, Iran launches over ten missiles towards Damon, where Israel’s nuclear industry is based. Simultaneously a volley of five hundred missiles from southern Lebanon hit Damon and several Israeli military bases.
As Iranian missiles slam into Israel panic sets in after false rumors are spread that the missiles have biological warheads. A mob stampedes into the Knesset demanding a nuclear attack on Tehran.
America goes on full nuclear alert, as does Russia and China. North Korea announces that it has re-targeted its nuclear missiles towards Israel and would act as Iran’s nuclear deterrent. Millions of Pakistani’s go into the streets demanding that Pakistan also re-targets its nuclear missiles towards Israel as a show of solidarity with their Muslim brothers. India goes on full military alert, suspicious of Pakistan’s “re-targeting”.
America announces that any further missile strike by Iran at Israel will automatically trigger a declaration of war against Iran. In response Iran launches its Hoot anti-ship missiles at the two American aircraft carriers in the Persian Gulf, sinking one of them. This is followed by Silkworm missiles sinking a dozen tankers and cargo ships in the Straits of Hormuz, blocking all shipping in and out of the Persian Gulf.
America’s entire fleet of long range bombers with 10,000 pre-targeted smart bombs on board take off for Iran. But before they reach Iran Ahmadinejad orders the launch of its entire arsenal of missiles at American targets in the Persian Gulf, Iraq, and Afghanistan. Iran also uses its long range artillery and rocket batteries to flatten the Green Zone in Iraq.
As Iran is carpet bombed and its dams and power plants are destroyed the Iranian military command disappears into deeply buried bunkers in the Alborz mountains and asymmetrical warfare is initiated. Before the military leadership disappeared into their secure bunkers millions of plastic keys to heaven were distributed to the Basij.
The price of oil soars above $300 per barrel and the world economic order collapses given that 35% of the world’s oil supply passes through the Straits of Hormuz.
It was reported that after Ahmadinejad read this report he said, “At last, Mahdi is coming!”
The crisis of the judiciary versus the executive in the NRO case and the judges appointment case as well as the judiciary versus the super-establishment predicament in the missing persons case have once again highlighted Pakistan’s fragile institutional relations.
Although inflexible and barely implemented, Pakistan’s constitution does provide basic guarantees to the rights of individuals and institutions. However, historical accounts and empirical evidence paint a bleak picture in which the superior judiciary has been unable to handle or resolve delicate political, constitutional and conflicting matters regarding the delineation of centre-province relations, resource distribution, the division of power, equal representation, free and fair elections and human rights.
Full-fledged conflicts have resulted at a heavy cost to individuals and institutions. Though the existing judiciary is trying hard to repair its institutional credibility it lacks the capacity and strength to regulate, monitor and prevent a range of institutional and regional conflicts and to protect individual rights.
Although the judiciary took strong and urgent action against the government’s desire and design in the appointment of judges, in matters related to the provinces, people, rights and guarantees it stays well within certain limits. To give an idea of the complexity of the subject one can take the example of the Peshawar High Court which recommended that NWFP legislators take up the issue of gas supply from the province’s own reserves with the National Assembly — despite Article 158 of the constitution. It was further said that nobody could keep the courts from taking note of constitutional violations but that some verdicts could lead to political complications.
Nevertheless, all courts in civilised societies apply constitutional provisions and the law without fear, favour or prejudice. Parliament in Pakistan is no longer a representative institution to rectify existing socio-economic and political imbalances. Dozens of resolutions have been passed by the Balochistan Assembly to no effect while decisions by parliamentary committees to address Balochistan’s longstanding grievances with regard to outstanding liabilities and gas provision have remained ineffective.
In democracies worth their salt such violations are addressed through established institutions like federal constitutional courts. In more than 60 countries constitutional courts play the role of umpire as well as guardians of the rights of institutions and individuals to discourage any adventurism by the state.Understanding the political need for reform in Pakistan’s inflexible state structure, the PPP and PML-N jointly signed the Charter of Democracy in 2006 to reaffirm their commitment to “undiluted democracy” and universally recognised fundamental rights that would include among other things the creation of a cooperative federation where there was no discrimination regarding the federating units, decentralisation and devolution of power, maximum provincial autonomy and the empowerment of the people.
The charter clearly envisioned the establishment of a federal constitutional court to resolve constitutional issues, giving equal representation to each federating unit, members of which could be judges or persons who qualified to be judges of the Supreme Court. The deed redefined the role of the Supreme Court and the high courts and also mentioned that existing courts would hear regular civil and criminal cases.
Had Pakistan had a constitution spelling out the mandate of a constitutional court in conflict resolution, the country would not have been in the political turmoil it faces today. For decades the manner in which constitutional issues have been dealt with has changed the course of history and paved the way for the powerful, and not the legitimate, to rule the country.The absence of unambiguous institutions that can resolve various legal and constitutional disputes and keep a check on government bodies has resulted in the misuse and abuse of authority. Widespread human rights abuses must be seen in a broader perspective where the establishment, civil bureaucracy and the law-enforcement and security agencies have remained above legal and judicial accountability.
Citizens from marginalised provinces such as Balochistan, Sindh and the NWFP hardly approach the apex courts for any political and social remedies, as the superior judiciary has often been seen to provide legitimacy to the extra constitutional acts of our rulers.
International experience indicates that federal constitutional courts are an essential component of a smoothly run democratic political system. As the custodian of basic law, the constitutional court could play a significant role in umpiring the federal system, resolving conflicts among various branches of the government, overseeing the process of parliamentary democracy, monitoring political parties and reviewing restrictions on basic rights and liberties.
Constitutional courts or their equivalent operate in 62 countries to resolve conflicts among the various government branches. They oversee the process of parliamentary democracy and review restrictions on fundamental rights. These courts are not an integral part of the regular judicial system, but installed as a separate judicial institution.
A constitutional court is regarded as the highest court when it comes to the interpretation, protection and enforcement of the constitution. The German, French, Spanish and Italian constitutional courts have played a pivotal role in reducing and preventing institutional conflicts and in promoting a cooperative federal system. The role of a constitutional court in Italy includes monitoring and addressing economic and social discrimination. The one in Spain is the supreme interpreter of the constitution. Such a court has the power to safeguard all fundamental rights.
South Africa’s constitution delegates exclusive jurisdiction to the constitutional court in deciding disputes about powers and the constitutional status of branches of the government. This court is also empowered to decide the legitimacy of any amendment to the constitution. Meanwhile, the German federal constitutional court, a widely respected institution in the country, is located in the city of Karlsruhe intentionally to avoid the political, social and institutional influence of the executive.
Pakistanis need effective institutions to regulate, mediate between, prevent and resolve the many unfolding political and constitutional crises. The federal constitutional court is a key element of any working democracy and must be located far from the orbit of power and have equal representation from the four provinces. It should be endorsed by the provincial assemblies to protect human, social, economic and political rights.
The writer is a former senator and a research fellow at the Inter-Parliamentary Union, Geneva, Switzerland.
First Day of the Conference
Bangkok , 22nd February ,2009
Paris-based Baloch Voice Foundation is hosting a three-day international conference on 22-24 February 2010 in Bangkok. It is being attended by leading Baloch activists from Pakistan and from around the world. Human Rights activists from Hong Kong, the U.S. and Europe are also attending it.
The first day of conference began with a protest by some Pakistanis in front of the hotel where the conference is being held. There were about a dozen protesters carrying placards which said “Stop the Event”, and “We reject Feudal Lords”, assuming the meeting was a forum for Baloch sardars and feudal lords. Ironically, inside the conference hall, there was an unanimous position that the days of the Sardars were over and a new generation of Baloch leadership is emerging on the horizon to lead the Baloch resistance movement.
Marino Budsachin, Secretary General of United Nations and Peoples Organisation (UNPO), the international NGO based in New York, delivered the keynote address and held that the Baloch grievances against the Pakistan state were genuine and their demand for independence was justified. However, he made an assessment of the regional and global scenario and advised the Baloch leadership to take note of the hurdles on the way. Pointing out the brutal records of the Pakistan army and the lack of international concern for the Blaoch cause, Mr Busdachin said that the Baloch should aim at autonomy first and then think of independence for themselves. In his message to the conference, Selig Harrison, noted American political analysts and expert on Balochistan, deplored the acts of repression by the Pakistani state and harped on the critical necessity of raising a common political front and consensus on programme of action for the Baloch movement to be successful.
In his initial presentation, Munir Mengal summarised the five different phases of the Baloch struggle for independence and held that the salient features of the movement were: Baloch constitute a “nation” in fullest sense of the term and had a common ethnic bond and common historical experience; from the 17th century until 1948 Balochistan maintained its independent status, when it was annexed forcibly into Pakistan; despite the use of brutal force to suppress the Baloch movement, the Balochis have shown greater devotion and commitment to their just cause; Pakistan wanted the territory and not the people of Balochistan; and that There is an increasing realisation that we need to come together, forget our differences and work towards the singular goal of ‘Independence’. He quoted the statement of Baloch rebel leader Allah Nazar to indicate that Balochis would prefer death to living under indignity and suppression.
The message of Khan of Kalat Suleman Dawood, which was read out by Tariq Baluch, his representative to the conference, held that independence was the only way available for the Balochis at this critical juncture of history. He emphasised the need for unity and said that armies can defeat armies but can never defeat a nation. Mr Baluch argued forcefully that the Baloch nation was deceived by Pakistan throughout history. He was critical about the role played by the Sardars and held that the situation had changed a lot during the last few years and especially after the killing of Nawab Bugti in 2006. He hoped that the new generation of leadership would be able to show the way forward.
Ismail Amiri, Baloch activist from Seistan-Balochistan in Iran, argued that the condition of over 4 million Balochis in Iran was also equally bad and urged international community to take note of the miseries and sufferings of the Baloch people at large.
The second working session was devoted to the impact of Baloch conflict on human rights situation. It began with an emotional appeal by Ali Arjumandi, brother of one Ehsan Arjumandi, who disappeared under custody, to take note of the excesses being perpetrated in Balochistan by the Pakistan security forces. Baseer Naweed from the Asian Human Rights Council (AHRC) made a detailed presentation of the cases of human rights violation in Balochistan and said that study of several cases of missing persons and torture by the AHRC revealed state complicity in most of the cases. He was critical of the justice delivery system in Pakistan and said that it required public awareness and constant vigilance and appeal to put pressure on the security forces and the government. The participants in the conference agreed that it was difficult to get justice in Pakistan in the prevailing circumstances in Baochistan. Munir Mengal, who had himself experienced forced detention and torture held that Baloch nation had lost all its faith in Pakistan and had no other alternative but to take radical measures to protect their identity and genuine rights and interests.
In a statement, Busdachin criticized Thai authorities for their role in preventing 18 invited participants from attending the conference. He denounced the increasingly common phenomena of forced disappearances of individuals in Balochistan as illegal and immoral, especially when partnered with a systematic use of torture and the atmosphere of impunity enjoyed by the Pakistan military.
Busdachin further denounced the gross violations of human rights in Pakistan as “criminal” and demanded that they no longer by tolerated by the international community. He added that the UN Human Rights Council needed to take these issues seriously at the next plenary session of the Human Rights Council if it seeks to preserve its status as a mechanism worthy of its title.
The conference seeks to provide a platform for debate on self-determination in Balochistan where little dialogue currently exists. It is argued that the government must acknowledge that the implementation and maintenance of rule of law, democracy and accountability would help allay some of the fears of the Baloch people and assuage some of the frustration which perpetuates some of the more forceful calls for greater self-determination.
The conference ends on February 24 2010. Please refer to the UNPO website for further information in the coming days.
|Monday, February 22, 2010
By By Dilshad Azeem
|ISLAMABAD: The Jamhoori Watan Party (JWP) has decided to directly approach the Army chief, General Kayani, to seek a resolution of their unsettled issues because “the civilians have expressed their total inability to help”.
“We have contacted the military chief for a detailed meeting in the coming days as civilian authorities always refer us to the Army for all our problems,” JWP President Talal Bugti told The News here on Sunday.
To a query, the JWP president emphatically said that he would bring to the notice of the COAS the overall matters. Asked whether he wanted an Army intervention, he denied any such plan and said that he would take up with the military chief directly the compulsions mentioned by the civilian authorities.
“We have conveyed a desire to meet General Kayani and have been told by his staff that it may happen sometime this week,” JWP president said.Besides the Army chief, the JWP would also knock at the doors of the Supreme Court to seek the implementation of a number of decisions of the Balochistan High Court (BHC).
Arrest of nominees in Nawab Akber Bugti’s assassination, violation of the BHC’s orders, law enforcers’ actions, non-payment of agreed rent against the Sui fields and the government’s silence are important points of a suo moto plea to be filed before the apex court, Bugti said.
Bugti said many who were named as his father’s killers were still at large and many were holding key positions within the ruling clique. At least, the executive should take steps to arrest those roaming freely in Pakistan and initiate a process of bringing back those who have fled the country, Talal said. The JWP president referred to the BHC’s stay orders on shifting the construction material from the lands under his control, and claimed that the same material was being picked under official patronage, a clear violation of the court decision.
Another issue is related to the agreed rent of the Sui lands from where the gas is being extracted for the last many decades. “The major portion of the Sui fields is located on the lands Nawab Akber Bugti had given to my sons in his life,” he said. “But unfortunately, the present government is also holding up this rent amount piled up to the tune of Rs 2.5 billion.” The JWP is being pushed to the wall instead of ensuring that it continues to believe in national politics for a strong federation on the pattern of late Nawab Akber Bugti Shaheed, he said.
[This could have been done years ago; why did Pakistan wait until Now? Obviously something has changed. Was it because the London conference legitimized Pakistan as the key to Afghanistan and de-legitimized India? Has Pakistan hurt its own children, the Afghan Taliban, so that America will trust its leaders and willingly hand over the keys to Afghanistan to it, when it makes its move into central Asia? Or has Pakistan hurt the Taliban in order to interfere with American negotiations with the Taliban which were outside of Pakistan's area of influence? The answer depends upon whether Pakistan is truly "owned" by America or merely rented with our billions.
With Pakistan's ongoing anti-Taliban offensive in the tribal region and the many successful recent Predator strikes, which were only made possible with the assistance of Pakistan's local spy network and now this Taliban police sweep--we are left wondering whether Pakistan has recently had a big change of heart about its place in America's war on terror, or if we are suddenly seeing the true face of Pakistan's true-blue American-owned military, and all of these alleged confrontations with the US have been merely stage-acting.]
Mullah Abdul Kabir is believed to have played a significant role in the insurgency’s operations in eastern Afghanistan. He is the fourth top Taliban figure to be seized in Pakistan in the last month.
Mullah Abdul Kabir was arrested last week, the sources said. They would not disclose where, but CNN and Fox News reported that he was captured in Nowshera, a largely Pashtun city near Peshawar.
During the Taliban regime, Kabir was a finance minister and governor of Nangarhar province. He is believed to have played a significant role in the insurgency’s operations in eastern Afghanistan.
Kabir’s arrest provides further evidence of a change of course for the Pakistani government. Officials here have been reluctant to pursue Afghan Taliban leaders who use Pakistan as a sanctuary and base from which to launch attacks on U.S. and NATO forces battling militants in Afghanistan.
Pakistani security forces recently captured Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, the Afghan Taliban’s second in command and the insurgency’s military operations chief. The arrest is regarded as the most significant of a Taliban leader since the war to root out the insurgents began in 2001.
Baradar’s arrest was followed by seizures of Taliban shadow governors for northern Afghanistan’s Kunduz and Baghlan provinces.
Washington officials have hailed the recent arrests as indication of growing Pakistani cooperation with the U.S. in tracking down Afghan Taliban leaders hiding in Pakistan. Speaking to reporters in Islamabad this week, Richard C. Holbrooke, U.S. special envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan, called Baradar’s arrest “a tremendous event. It’s a real achievement for Pakistani intelligence with American collaboration.”
News of Kabir’s arrest came as police investigated a suicide bombing in the Swat Valley city of Mingora that killed seven people and wounded 37. The bomber detonated explosives near a military convoy at a busy intersection, police said.
The Swat Valley has seen sporadic suicide bombings and other acts of terrorism since a Pakistani military offensive last summer drove Taliban militants from the region.
[This is the shape of things to come--the Obama team's new approach to shaping popular opinion. Issues will no longer be simply thrown out there, to begin public debate on a new issue. The bone that will be thrown to the partisan dogs, will be shaped so that the political hacks cannot get a good solid bite on it, but will have to, instead, nibble away at it over a period of time. The idea is not to find quick resolution of political issues, but to stir the pot and see what rises to the top. Obama's boys want to know what we think, so that they can be all things to all men. We are being studied, just like lab rats.
By framing these issues in a manner intended to cause public debate, Obama's behaviorists can get the American people to debate the core of these issues outside of the limiting framework of Congress. In this way, they can know how to form the new issues so that most of the political resistance can be eliminated before they are given to the polarized argumentative legislature.]
His plan isn’t a blueprint for a new approach to revamping the system and will likely be used as a guide to modifying existing legislation.
Does the president’s plan replace the bills that had passed in the House and Senate?
No. The plan is separate from the House and Senate bills that passed last year, but it follows the framework of the Senate bill — with some suggested changes borrowed from the House version, plus tweaks that blend elements of both bills.
The purpose of the proposal is not to start over with a new healthcare blueprint, but rather to restart the healthcare debate that stalled after the Democrats lost their supermajority in the Senate last month.
Will the Obama plan be submitted to Congress?
It’s more likely to be used as a guide to negotiations over modifying the existing legislation, because the partisan atmosphere on Capitol Hill would make it very hard to start the legislative process from scratch again.
What are the key differences between this plan and the bills in Congress?
One new item is a proposal to create a Health Insurance Rate Authority to assist and oversee state efforts to review “unreasonable rate increases” and “unfair practices” in the industry.
What would this authority do?
The Obama proposal is vague on details, but some have suggested that the authority is being modeled off a bill that was proposed last week by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) in response to news of insurance premium increases as high as 39% in her state.
Feinstein’s proposal would require insurers to justify rate increases, and would give the federal government the authority to reject or modify “unreasonable” rate hikes.
Don’t states already regulate health insurance?
States do regulate insurance, but the outcome is uneven and not always effective. In many states, regulators cannot evaluate and reject rate increases before they take effect. In California, other forms of insurance are regulated this way, but health insurance is not.
Auto insurers, for example, are required to submit increases to a regulatory body for approval before they can start charging customers higher premiums. Consumers can request hearings to examine rate increases of more than 7%.
This regulation has saved California drivers $62 billion since 1988, according to Consumer Watchdog, a consumer advocacy group.
Copyright © 2010, The Los Angeles Times
|[Let's see....Iran nabs the leader of their most hated terrorist infestation, based in Pakistan (probably on a heads-up from ISI), while Pakistan simultaneously cleans-up on many Afghan Taliban leaders........All of these arrests, especially that of Abdolmalek Rigi, years ago, but suddenly it becomes worthwhile to end these threats.
Either Pakistan is turning-over a new leaf, or it is setting-up for a new phase in its great game.]
Rigi was reportedly captured on a flight from Dubai, the United Arab Emirates, to Kyrgyzstan, Press TV said, without providing any further details.
However, Press TV’s website quoted the public relations department of the Iranian Intelligence Ministry as saying that Rigi had been arrested in an operation in eastern Iran.
Jundallah, or Peoples Resistant Movement of Iran, is an insurgent Sunni Islamic organization based in Balochistan of Pakistan that claims to fight for the rights of Sunni Muslims in Iran.
The group was founded by and had been under the command of Rigi. It has been identified as a terrorist organization by Iran and Pakistan and has been behind numerous acts of terror, kidnapping and smuggling narcotics.
In August, Abdolhamid Rigi, the brother of Abdolmalek Rigi, told reporters in Zahedan, the capital city of Iran’s southeastern province of Sistan-Balouchestan, that the United States had a supporting role in launching terrorist plots inside Iran.
“After meeting with the U.S. officials in the U.S. embassy in Pakistan four years ago, they (the U.S. officials) promised to help us with everything we needed,” said Abdolhamid Rigi, who had been captured by Pakistani forces and extradited to Iran.
“We were deceived by them (the U.S. officials) … We received monetary and armed supports from the United States … We received orders from them” to carry out the terrors inside Iran, he said.
TOKYO, Feb 23 (Reuters) – Toyota Motor Corp’s (7203.T) woes deepened ahead of its testimony to Congress on safety issues, as it revealed it faces a U.S. criminal probe into the handling of its massive recalls, while Japan voiced concern over the economic impact of the automakers’ problems.
New U.S. documents showed on Monday how the company beat back U.S. safety regulators’ efforts for a wider probe in 2007 and disclosure of a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission request for documents. [ID:nN22203240] [ID:nN22198413]
It all comes as Toyota’s top executive prepared for a hearing on Capitol Hill over unintended acceleration problems that have been linked to at least five U.S. deaths, with 29 other fatality reports being examined.
In a gesture it said was intended to reassure customers, Toyota said it would install brake-override systems on three more models of vehicles already on U.S. roads: the Tacoma truck going back to 2005 model year, the Venza crossover from 2009 and the Sequoia SUV.
Shares of Toyota fell 0.5 percent to 3,325 yen on Tuesday in Tokyo, matching the Nikkei 225′s .N225 fall, suggesting little investor reaction to news of the criminal investigation and the plan for an additional brake override upgrade.
“Investors are not worried about such one-time costs. Instead they welcome Toyota’s efforts to restore confidence in its products and its relations with the U.S. government regardless of the costs,” said Yoshihiko Tabei, analyst at Kazaka Securities.
He said the earnings forecast Toyota gave on Feb. 4 for the year ending next month will likely be unaffected by the costs of the recalls and voluntary upgrades, while investors are more worried whether Toyota can revamp its brand and avoid a sales slump next business year.
A Japanese government official expressed concern about the effect Toyota’s problems could have on Japan’s exports.
“Strong growth in Asia-bound exports seems to be slowing, and we also have to consider Toyota’s recalls, so we’ve given a cautious judgment on exports,” Keisuke Tsumura, a parliamentary secretary on economic affairs, said as the government issued a report on the economy. [ID:nTOE61M003]
Toyota has recalled more than 8.5 million vehicles globally in recent months for problems including sticky accelerators, accelerators that can be pinned down by loose floor mats and a braking glitch affecting its hybrid models.
It is also investigating reports of steering problems in the Corolla, its second most popular U.S. model.
Toyota’s extra installation of the brake-override systems extends the scope and cost of a recall that had already targeted five models including the top-selling Camry. Toyota said it would have the same safety technology on most new models sold in the United States by the end of 2010.
PRELUDE TO TESTIMONY
Akio Toyoda, who took the helm at the world No. 1 automaker last June, is scheduled to testify before the U.S. House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on Wednesday.
In a preview of the line he could take in his testimony, Toyoda said in a statement published in the Wall Street Journal that he was committed to making sure that Toyota learned from the crisis and changed its ways.
“It is clear to me that in recent years we didn’t listen as carefully as we should — or respond as quickly as we must — to our customers’ concerns,” Toyoda said. “While we investigated malfunctions in good faith, we focused too narrowly on technical issues without taking full account of how our customers use our vehicles.”
The extended apology from Toyoda, a grandson of the company’s founder, came hours after Toyota said it had received a federal grand jury subpoena from the U.S. attorney’s office in Manhattan on Feb. 8.
The automaker also said the SEC had asked for documents related to unintended acceleration of Toyota vehicles and the company’s disclosure policies.
Toyota said it would cooperate with the investigations. (Reporting by Yumiko Nishitani; Editing byHugh Lawson)
By SELCAN HACAOGLU
The Associated Press
ANKARA, Turkey — Once they were untouchable. Some were members of Turkey’s elite military class known as "pashas," a title of respect harking back to Ottoman times. For decades, Turkey’s senior officers, self-appointed guardians of the country’s secular tradition, called the shots.
Turkish soldiers stand at the entrance of the War Academy as police search the residence of a retired army commander in Istanbul, Turkey, Monday, Feb. 22, 2010. Turkish police detained about 50 military commanders Monday for allegedly planning to blow up mosques in order to trigger a military takeover and overthrow the Islamic-rooted government. The nationwide sweep highlighted the ongoing struggle between the secular establishment and the Islamic-oriented government _ and left many wondering if the military no longer called the shots in a nation accustomed to viewing it as the pillar of the secular state. (AP Photo Photo/Ibrahim Usta)
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, left, and Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero stand during the playing of the national anthems at the Moncloa Palace in in Madrid, Monday, Feb. 22, 2010. (AP Photo/Daniel Ochoa de Olza)
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, right, and Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, left, review troops during a welcome ceremony at the Moncloa Palace in in Madrid, Monday, Feb. 22, 2010. (AP Photo/Daniel Ochoa de Olza)
But Monday, the balance of power in this EU candidate appeared to have undergone a major shift. Turkish police detained 52 military commanders for allegedly planning to blow up mosques in order to trigger a military takeover and overthrow the Islamic-oriented government.
The detentions showed that the elected government is trying to take the upper hand against the military, which has ousted four governments since 1960 and held influence since Mustafa Kemal Ataturk created the secular republic from the ashes of the Ottoman Empire.
With strong electoral backing and support from the European Union, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has curtailed military power and signaled further tough steps to rein in the generals. But Monday’s detentions, following the gathering of wiretap evidence and the discovery of secret weapons caches, marks the highest-profile crackdown to date.
Police in simultaneous operations in eight cities detained 21 generals and admirals, including ex-deputy chief Gen. Ergin Saygun, former Air Force chief Gen. Ibrahim Firtina and Navy Chief Adm. Ozden Ornek. The rest were mostly colonels.
They are also accused of conspiring to plan shooting down a Turkish warplane to trigger armed conflict with Greece in a bid to destabilize the Turkish government. The military strongly denies the allegations.
Erdogan declined to comment Monday on the raids, saying they had been carried out on prosecutors’ orders. However on Sunday, Erdogan said his government had not given "a chance to those who tried to fly a course for Turkey outside the law."
A spokesman for the main opposition Republican People’s Party, expressed concern over the detentions.
"These are grave incidents, severe incidents for society, for the Turkish armed forces," Mustafa Ozyurek said. "Legally,and from a human rights perspective, there must be a speedy trial."
Erdogan denies the ongoing crackdown is politically motivated or designed to silence government critics, as is claimed by opposition parties.
Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc on Monday denounced the 1961 hanging by coup leaders of a prime minister and two of his ministers. But he said that those days are over and that Turkey now was going through a normalization process.
"Things will get better when those who were never accountable for their deeds begin to account for them," Arinc told CNN-Turk television Monday.
Conflict over Turkey’s national identity has simmered since Ataturk, an army officer in World War I, founded the republic and abolished the Caliphate. He gave the vote to women, restricted Islamic dress and replaced the Arabic script with the Roman alphabet, but Islam remains a potent force.
Since taking power in 2002, Erdogan’s Islamic-rooted party has repeatedly denied that it is trying to impose religion on politics and society. However, secularists view its attempts to permit Islamic style head scarves at universities and a past push to criminalize adultery as alarming.
The military’s self-declared mission to protect the secular regime has pitted it in a bitter fight with Erdogan’s government. His July 2007 re-election with 46.6 percent of the votes buoyed the pragmatic leader to investigate people accused of secret military plots, when the first of a series surfaced in 2008.
So far, prosecutors have jailed more than 400 people, including soldiers, academics, journalists and politicians. No one has yet been convicted.
In 2008, Turkey’s top court narrowly voted against disbanding Erdogan’s ruling party over accusations it is plotting to impose Islamic rule, but in a warning the judges cut off millions of dollars in state aid to the ruling Justice and Development Party.
Nihat Ali Ozcan, an analyst at the Economic Policy Research Institute in Ankara, said that despite the arrests, military influence is not likely to disappear.
"It is not the military that makes itself important, it is the present state of the country," Ozcan told the AP. "As long there is no consolidation of democracy, the military will remain a main power in Turkey."
Associated Press Writer Gulden Alp in Ankara contributed to this report.