Thursday June 21, 2018

Afghan Taliban studying in Balochistan: Pakistan

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Balochistan
Student studying at a madarsa in Balochistan, image from Facebook
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New Delhi, March 21, 2017: Sarfaraz Bugti, Balochistan’s minister for home and tribal affairs, has spoken to the Voice of America (VOA) radio that thousands of Afghan Taliban were still studying in seminaries across Balochistan. The province infamous for the headquarter of Afghan Taliban at Quetta. It was an open secret. “There are many seminaries where Afghan Taliban are studying, and many are owned by the Afghan Taliban group”, Bugti speaking to VOA’s Deewa Afghan service.

According to report, Pakistan consisted of more than 30,000 madarsas, of which some were legal adhering strictly to religious teaching. But thousands of them were not registered with the government. These were the potential places for recruiting points for militants and Taliban’.

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Ihsan Ghani, chief of the National Counter Terrorism Authority stated that as part of a new national counter-extremism policy the government had vowed to register all unregistered madrassas. Amin-ul-Hasnat Shah, the minister of state for religious affairs, admitted that these madrassas are mostly funded by Arab countries. The VOA stated that it is because of thousands of unregistered madrassas, they have been consequent of accruing militancy in Afghan-Pakistan region.

The schools nurture militants’ ideology and provide foot soldiers for the Taliban,’ who have been engaged in a bloody insurgency with the US-backed Afghan government for more than a decade. Much of the militant activity was accrued in Balochistan, oblivious of government scrutiny, where 5,500 madrassas operate as boarding schools, many of them breeding spots for terror.

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Sediq Seddiqi, a spokesperson for the Afghan Ministry of Interior, spoke to VOA about last month’s terrorist attack in Kandahar that killed five UAE diplomats, was planned in Mawlawi Ahmad Madressah in Chaman. Balochistan government’s statistics estimated that more than 5,000 Afghans were studying at madrassas there with Taliban’s supreme leader, Mullah Haibatullah, himself operating a seminary in Kuchlak, Quetta. The Balochistan government in Pakistan has never paid an iota of attention to shut these Madrassas, run and funded for Taliban. It always coming out with some great excuse to justify this.

Pakistan army, self-proclaimed best security force of the world, has never taken any action against these madrassas under the National Action Plan (NAP). It seems the incumbent government is very much comfortable with these cash cows and offer them several extensions provided the mess is in other provinces but not in Punjab specially Lahore. Afghan Government does not need any proof and evidence to present. The registration of religious schools was undertaken many years ago and still not finished as Pakistan government is probably not interested. All the funding must be halted immediately and the teaching needs to be monitored.

Pakistan tells the world that there isn’t any Taliban there and then issues statements like these that make the country a laughing stock. Pakistan allows its soil to be used for such violent acts both domestically and abroad and promulgates cave age extremism.

– prepared by Sabhyata Badhwar of NewsGram. Twitter: @SabbyDarkhorse

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FIFA World Cup 2018: Indian Cuisine becomes the most sought after in Moscow

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Indian cuisine in FIFA World cup
Indian dishes available in Moscow during FIFA World Cup 2018, representational image, wikimedia commons

June 17, 2018:

Restaurateurs Prodyut and Sumana Mukherjee have not only brought Indian cuisine to the ongoing FIFA World Cup 2018 here but also plan to dish out free dinner to countrymen if Argentina wins the trophy on July 15.

Based in Moscow for the last 27 years, Prodyut and Sumana run two Indian eateries, “Talk Of The Town” and “Fusion Plaza”.

You may like to read more on Indian cuisine: Indian ‘masala’, among other condiments spicing up global food palate.

Both restaurants serve popular Indian dishes like butter chicken, kebabs and a varied vegetarian spread.

During the ongoing FIFA World Cup 2018, there will be 25 per cent discount for those who will possess a Fan ID (required to watch World Cup games).

There will also be gifts and contests on offers during matches in both the restaurants to celebrate the event.

The Mukherjees, hailing from Kolkata, are die-hard fans of Argentina. Despite Albiceleste drawing 1-1 with Iceland in their group opener with Lionel Messi failing to sparkle, they believe Jorge Sampaoli’s team can go the distance.

“I am an Argentina fan. I have booked tickets for a quarterfinal match, a semifinal and of course the final. If Argentina goes on to lift

During the World Cup, there will be 25 per cent discount for those who will possess a Fan ID (required to watch World Cup games).

There will also be gifts and contests on offers during matches in both the restaurants to celebrate the event.

FIFA World Cup 2018 Russia
FIFA World Cup 2018, Wikimedia Commons.

“We have been waiting for this World Cup. Indians come in large numbers during the World Cup and we wanted these eateries to be a melting point,” he added.

According to Cutting Edge Events, FIFA’s official sales agency in India for the 2018 World Cup, India is amongst the top 10 countries in terms of number of match tickets bought.

Read more about Indian cuisine abroad: Hindoostane Coffee House: London’s First Indian Restaurant.

Prodyut came to Moscow to study engineering and later started working for a pharmaceutical company here before trying his hand in business. Besides running the two restaurants with the help of his wife, he was into the distribution of pharmaceutical products.

“After Russia won the first match of the World Cup, the footfall has gone up considerably. The Indians are also flooding in after the 6-9 p.m. game. That is the time both my restaurants remain full,” Prodyut said.

There are also plans to rope in registered fan clubs of Latin American countries, who will throng the restaurants during matches and then follow it up with after-game parties till the wee hours.

“I did get in touch with some of the fan clubs I had prior idea about. They agreed to come over and celebrate the games at our joints. Those will be gala nights when both eateries will remain open all night for them to enjoy,” Prodyut said.

Watching the World Cup is a dream come true for the couple, Sumana said.

“We want to make the Indians who have come here to witness the spectacle and feel at home too. We always extend a helping hand and since we are from West Bengal, we make special dishes for those who come from Bengal,” she added. (IANS)