Chuck Hagel Addressing the Historical Indian Afghan Policy of “Financing Problems for Pakistan”

Pentagon Clarifies Hagel’s Position on U.S.-India Relations

Chuck Hagel’s 2011 gaffe sparks international incident

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Frontier Corps Seizes Large Stash of Pre-Positioned Weapons Near Chinese/Pakistani Port of Gwadar

FC seizes hoard of arms, ammunition in Dasht

express tribune

 

A Pakistani security personell examines bullets displayed at a security compound in Quetta late March 8, 2013. PHOTO: AFP

DASHT: Frontier Corps seized a large quantity of arms and ammunition in an operation in Dasht area of Balochistan on Friday, reported Radio PakistanAccording to AFP, eight suspected militants were also detained. 

The seized weapons included machine guns‚ sniper rifles‚ rocket propelled grenades‚ detonators and explosive material. The collection was displayed at a security compound in the city of Quetta on March 8.

Violence in Balochistan has escalated with recent terror attacks targeting the Hazara community residing in the province. A bomb at a market in Hazara Town, a Shia neighbourhood in the suburbs of Quetta, killed 89 people. The Supreme Court announced to take suo motu notice of the killings of the Hazara community.

There are reports of missing persons from the region as well, with numbers going as high as23,000 persons according to Nasrullah Baloch, the chairperson of the Voice for Baloch Missing Persons.

A Balochistan MPA was also kidnapped earlier in the week from Kuchlack, just outside of Quetta. A group of armed men dressed in Frontier Corps uniform kidnapped Balochistan Assembly member and leader of the Awami National Party (ANP) Malik Sultan Tareen in the Bostan area of Pishin district on Tuesday.

Violence continued to plague Balochistan on Wednesday when four people were killed and one was injured in separate incidents across the province, while a bomb also exploded in Chaman district.

The chief justice has taken the on-going violence into notice and security forces conduct raids to find miscreants and their supplies.

Protesters in Tokyo demand end to nuclear power

https://i2.wp.com/www.japantoday.com/images/size/x/2013/03/urn%3Apublicid%3Aap.org%3A1e50ff64bdba4150a3189ca4dc67b7a1.jpg

A protester holds an anti-nuclear power plant sign at a rally in Tokyo on Saturday. AP Photo/Itsuo Inouye

TOKYO —

Protesters in Tokyo demand end to nuclear power

japan today

By YURI KAGEYAMA

Thousands of people rallied in a Tokyo park Saturday, demanding an end to atomic power and vowing never to give up the fight, despite two years of little change after the nuclear disaster in northeastern Japan.

Gathering two days ahead of the second anniversary of the March 11 earthquake and tsunami that sent the Fukushima Daiichi plant into multiple meltdowns, demonstrators said they would never forget the nuclear catastrophe, and expressed alarm over the government’s eagerness to restart reactors.

“I can’t see what lies ahead. It looks hopeless, but if I give up now, it’s over,” said Akihiro Nakata, a 47-year-old owner of a construction company, who had a drum slung around his shoulder. “I’d rather die moving forward.”

Only two of Japan’s 50 working nuclear reactors have been put back online since the disaster, partly because of continuous protests like Saturday’s, the first time such demonstrations have popped up in this nation since the 1960s movement against the Vietnam War.

People have thronged Tokyo parks on national holidays, and have gathered outside the parliament building every Friday evening. The demonstrations have drawn people previously unseen at political rallies, such as commuter “salarymen” and housewives. Organizers said Saturday’s demonstration drew 13,000 people.

Two years after the disaster, 160,000 people have left their homes around the plant, entire sections of nearby communities are still ghost towns, and fears grow about cancer and other sicknesses the spewing radiation might bring.

Fukushima waste

Fukushima Waste waiting disposal.

But the new prime minister elected late last year, Shinzo Abe, hailing from a conservative party that fostered the pro-nuclear policies of modernizing Japan, wants to restart the reactors, and maybe even build new ones.

The protesters said they were shocked by how the government was ignoring them.

“I am going to fight against those who act as though Hiroshima, Nagasaki and Fukushima never happened,” Nobel Prize-winning writer Kenzaburo Oe told the crowd, referring to the atomic bombings preceding the end of World War II. “I am going to fight to prevent any more reactors from being restarted.”

The demonstrators applauded, waving signs and lanterns that read, “Let’s save the children” and “No nukes.” Some were handing out leaflets, pleading to save animals abandoned in the no-go zone.

Kazuko Nihei, 36, was selling trinkets and soap that mothers, like her, who had fled Fukushima had made, hoping to raise funds for children’s health check-ups and their new lives in Tokyo.

“When the government talks about recovery, they are talking about infrastructure. When we talk about recovery, we are talking about the future of our children,” she said.

Another big Tokyo rally was planned for Sunday. A concert Saturday evening featured Oscar and Grammy-winning musician Ryuichi Sakamoto, one of the most vocal opponents of nuclear power. Commemorative services will be held Monday throughout the nation to remember the nearly 19,000 people who died in the disaster.

Less under the spotlight Monday will be a class-action lawsuit being filed against the government and Tokyo Electric Power Co, the utility that operates Fukushima Daiichi, demanding all land, the natural environment and homes be restored to their state before March 11, 2011.

The lawsuit in Fukushima District Court is unusual in drawing people from all walks of life, including farmers, fishermen and housewives, because of the wording of the damage demand.

It has drawn 800 plaintiffs so far, a remarkable number in a conformist culture that frowns upon any challenge to the status quo, especially lawsuits. That number may grow as people join the lawsuit in coming months. A verdict is not expected for more than a year.

“We can’t believe the government is thinking about restarting the reactors after the horrendous damage and human pain the accident has caused,” Izutaro Managi, one of the lawyers, said by telephone. “It is tantamount to victimizing the victims one more time.”

Kazuko Ishige, a 66-year-old apartment manager who was at the rally with a friend from Fukushima, said she was sick of the government’s lies about the safety of nuclear plants.

“I am really angry,” she said. “I am going to have to keep at it until I die.”

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Another UnIslamic Pakistani Preacher Incites Mob Attack Upon Christians, Dozens of Homes Burned In Lahore

[SEE:  Almost Rwanda?]

Alleged blasphemy: Mob burns scores of Christian homes in Lahore

A protester burns belongings from Christian houses in Lahore on Saturday. PHOTO: ABID NAWAZ/ EXPRESS

LAHORE: A highly-charged mob of thousands burnt more than 40 Christian houses in Badami Bagh area of Lahore on Saturday to “take revenge of the blasphemy” allegedly committed by a Christian two days earlier.

Express News had earlier reported that around 100 houses were burnt by the mob.

Eyewitnesses said that the mob broke into the houses, looted them and burnt the remaining belongings on the roads.

SSP Operations Suhail Sukhera and the SHO of Badami Bagh were also reportedly injured when the mob pelted a police party with stones.

Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah told Express News that he saw no reason for the mob’s violence especially after the person accused of blasphemy had been arrested on Friday. He added that cases have been registered against those responsible for Saturday’s vandalism and that they will be prosecuted.

Sanaullah added that all those whose property had been damaged will be compensated within five days.

Shahi Imran, who had filed the blasphemy FIR, told The Express Tribune that he was not responsible for the incident and he had left the area when the mob arrived to burn the houses. He maintained that the accused should be taught a lesson but the other Christian families should not be harmed.

SSP Sukhera, when contacted, denied that the houses were set on fire and said that the police personnel was present in the area.

President Asif Ali Zardari took notice of the incident and sought a report from authorities,reported Radio Pakistan.

On Friday, a mob of almost 3,000 people forced the Christian community to flee for their lives, leaving behind their houses and possessions unprotected.

The charged group had gathered around Joseph Colony on Noor Road, led by Shafiq Ahmed, who was in search of the accused Savan, alias Bubby. The mob then attacked Savan’s house, setting it on fire and pelting it with stones. Other houses in the locality – home to about 150 Christian families – were also attacked.  Many residents, including women and children, hastily fled to save themselves.

Savan was arrested and shifted to an undisclosed location.

Report details flaws in Army’s handling of PTSD

[The Army’s flawed approach to treating battle-related stress disabilities has been apparent for many years (SEE:  Human Nature Is the Enemy of the State).  Developing better, more efficient behavioral control techniques, that will allow soldiers to get over their mental hang-ups and teach them ways to “man-up” has not helped to stop the escalation of war-related military suicides and violent crime sprees.  The reason that so many returning veterans cannot live with their memories is the shame and guilt for the things that they have seen and done.  There is no way to disconnect a man from well-earned remorse and no reliable method for ensuring that he can forget his past.  Until this happens, decent men will return home to their families, which eerily resemble the decimated families seen by the soldier in Afghanistan and Iraq.  There will continue to be a fairly large percentage of American recruits who cannot rationalize the killing of foreign families to keep American fuel prices low.  Their minds will continue to snap like overstretched, sun-dried rubber bands, as long as they are used and abused to wage wars of aggression.]

Report details flaws in Army’s handling of PTSD 

seattletime times

An Army report released Friday finds the service still has trouble diagnosing and treating soldiers for post-traumatic stress disorder, despite more than doubling its number of military and civilian behavioral health workers over the past five years.

By GENE JOHNSON

Associated Press

SEATTLE —

An Army report released Friday finds the service still has trouble diagnosing and treating soldiers for post-traumatic stress disorder, despite more than doubling its number of military and civilian behavioral health workers over the past five years.

Confusing paperwork, inconsistent training and guidelines, and incompatible data systems have hindered the service as it tries to deal with behavioral health issues, the report said. It’s a crucial issue: After a decade of war, soldier suicides outpace combat deaths.

Last May, the Army commissioned a task force to conduct a sweeping review of how it evaluates soldiers for mental health problems at all its facilities. The review came under pressure from Democratic Sen. Patty Murray, of Washington, who was upset to learn that hundreds of soldiers at Madigan Army Medical Center south of Seattle had had their PTSD diagnoses reversed by a forensic psychiatry team, resulting in a potential cut to their benefits and questions about whether the changes were made to save money.

About 150 of those soldiers eventually had their diagnoses restored.

“I am pleased that the Army completed this review and has vowed to make fixes over the next year, though I am disappointed it has taken more than a decade of war to get to this point,” Murray said in a statement. “Many of the 24 findings and 47 recommendations in this report are not new. Creating a universal electronic health record, providing better rural health access, and standardizing the way diagnoses are made, for instance, have been lingering problems for far too long. Our service members and their families deserve better.”

The report noted that the Army had made strides in some areas, including cutting how long it takes soldiers to obtain a disability evaluation and publishing a guide to the process.

On a conference call with reporters, Army brass emphasized that many of the report’s recommendations are already being put into effect. For example, over the past year the Army has been assigning behavioral health workers to brigade combat teams so soldiers will feel more familiar with them and more comfortable about getting help, said Lt. Gen. Patricia D. Horoho, who heads the Army’s Medical Command.

Horoho also stressed that there was no evidence that malice motivated the altered diagnoses at Madigan; rather, the changes amounted to difference of opinion, she said.

The task force interviewed 750 people stationed around the globe, conducted listening sessions with 6,400 others and reviewed more than 140,000 records. The Medical Command reviewed diagnoses for all soldiers evaluated for behavioral health problems from October 2001 until last April.

Since September 2001, the report found, 4.1 percent of all soldiers deployed wound up in the disability system with a behavioral health diagnosis such as PTSD or traumatic brain injury.

Nationwide, the report said, 6,400 soldiers had behavioral health diagnoses “adjusted” by medical evaluation boards, with approximately equal numbers having PTSD added as a diagnosis and removed as a diagnosis.

Two locations where medical evaluation boards are held had slightly higher rates of diagnosis changes than the Army-wide average – Fort Polk in Louisiana and Fort Irwin in California, Horoho said. Cases from those locations are being reviewed to ensure no soldiers were improperly affected, but part of the reason for the higher rates may be because those bases rely heavily on civilian health workers, she said.

Last year the Army – and the military as a whole – suffered the highest number of suicides ever recorded, prompting then-Defense Secretary Leon Panetta to declare it an epidemic. The Army had 183 suicides among active-duty soldiers, up from 167 in 2011, and the military as a whole had 350 suicides, up from 301 the year before.

Among the problems the report documented was that Army bases don’t have a person on site dedicated to overseeing behavioral health issues, despite the many problems they can cause: suicide, alcohol abuse, drug abuse, and child and spouse abuse. Each installation needs someone with a view of all those programs to make recommendations to the commander, the report said.

Army Secretary John M. McHugh said in a statement that the Army will work to place behavioral health experts “at the command and installation levels to provide better consultation, guidance, coordination and recommendations to improve behavioral health care for our soldiers.”

The task force found that of the soldiers surveyed, 37 percent had never received any information about the Army’s disability evaluation system or had to seek the information out on their own. It also said it was confusing and inefficient for troops to navigate the vastly different disability systems maintained by the Army and the Veterans Administration.

The Army and VA plan to have a joint disability system, by which health care providers in either organization will have access to records, by 2017.

“Some changes can be made immediately,” McHugh said. “Others will require more time and coordination. Importantly, this report reviewed our systems holistically – recommending not only short-term solutions, but longer term, systemic changes that will make care and treatment of our soldiers and family members more effective.”

Associated Press writer Pauline Jelinek in Washington contributed to this report.

Johnson can be reached at https://twitter.com/GeneAPseattle