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Former Military Ruler Pervez Musharraf wanted ‘underhand’ deal in 2007, says Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif

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PM Nawaz Sharrif
Pakistan Prime Minister to set up nuclear power plant in collaboration with China, wikimedia

Islamabad, March 22, 2017: Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has said that former military ruler Pervez Musharraf offered him an ‘underhand’ deal to form a joint government but he turned it down. Addressing the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz parliamentary committee on Tuesday, Sharif said, “Musharraf wanted a secret deal with me in 2007, but I declined.”

Musharraf was the then Pakistan president and Sharif had just returned from exile. The Dawn on Wednesday quoted Sharif as saying that he didn’t believe in making clandestine deals with people who had ruined people’s aspirations.

He said his family did not want to leave Pakistan after the Musharraf-led military coup but was forced to go into exile by the military dictator. “We left the country in a miserable condition and were not allowed to return for a long time,” he said.

The prime minister noted that Musharraf, a former Pakistan army chief, was now facing a similar fate and had left the country in disgrace. “Now, Musharraf is willing to return to the country, but he cannot… it’s divine retribution for his actions,” Sharif said.

Sharif was toppled by Musharraf in a 1999 coup, after which Sharif and his family went to live in Saudi Arabia. However, Sharif’s assertions were disputed by former Musharraf aide and All Pakistan Muslim League member Ahmed Raza Kasuri, the Dawn reported. “I have been working with General Musharraf for a long time and I have never heard any such thing,” he said. (IANS)

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#BalochGenocide: An Unfortunate Reality to which the World must Pay Attention to

The United Nations has failed to break the ice. Human right violations have failed to bring the attention of global organizations

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Balochistan Genocide
Pakistan is committing inhumane crimes against its own people in the Balochistan province creating an environment of genocide. Twitter
  • The Balochistan province of Pakistan is going through the worst Humanitarian crisis
  • The atrocities committed by the Pakistani forces as well insurgent groups have resulted in destruction of families of the Baloch community
  • It is important that the world community stands with Balochistan and investigate the human rights violations

Balochistan, August 18, 2017: The Balochistan province of Pakistan is in dire need of help from the international community. Ignored by its government at the center and oppressed by the military, the Baloch community is taking desperate measures to call for help from outside.

Balochistan has been an area of instability. Additionally, the coming of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is estimated to have adverse consequences for Balochistan.

ALSO READ: World Baloch Organisation Activist Azghar Baloch brings Human Rights Violations to the notice of International Community

The United Nations has failed to break the ice. Human right violations have failed to bring the attention of global organizations.

Abductions and murders surround the lives of Balochistan people. The Chairman of Human Rights Commission in Balochistan, Taj Baloch, has blamed the Pakistan army behind the Balochistan Genocide.

In Berlin, exiled Baloch activists and leaders organized an event titled ‘China’s One Belt One Road Initiative – It’s Adverse Impact on Balochistan & the region’ in which speakers expressed their concerns over the economic reform.

Even the World Balochistan organization has made serious attempts in gathering support for Balochistan from foreign nations. Recently, Azghar Baloch, an activist for the organization, made an appeal from outside the White House called on the international community to stand for the human rights of Baloch people.

Nawab Akbar Bugti was a strong opposer to Pakistan atrocities in Balochistan. He was vocal about the need for Balochistan to separate itself from the inhumane behavior of Pakistan. Nawab Bugti was assassinated on 26 August 2006 by the Pakistani military. To commemorate the anniversary of the martyr, Baloch Republican Party has called for a Balochistan wide strike.

This year when the G20 Summit was held in Germany, Baloch activists turned up outside the venue to protest for Baloch genocides and investigation into

– Compiled by Saksham Narula of NewsGram. Twitter: @Saksham2394


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Nawaz Sharif Debarred, but Who will Cage the Fat and Mighty Corrupt Indians Featured in the Panama Papers?

Will the stature of India's mighty postpone the probe caused by Panama papers indefinitely?

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Nawaz Sharif, Panama scandal
Pakistan's Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. Wikimedia
  • Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif constrained out of office, on account of the Panama Papers
  • Sharif’s leave comes after a long-drawn fight in court which finished ominously for him
  • This raised questions about whether India’s mighty are at all prone to meet a similar destiny that Nawaz Sharif did

New Delhi, August 3, 2017: Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson of Iceland and Nawaz Sharif of Pakistan are similar in ways that they cannot be proud of. Both of them are prime ministers who were constrained out of office, on account of the Panama Papers, which is an investigative news coverage activity that revealed offshore shell organizations and tax shelters in light of spilled records from Panamanian law office Mossack Fonseca.

Be that as it may, while Gunnlaugsson surrendered, not long after the Panama Papers report prompted dissents in Iceland a year ago, Sharif’s leave today arrives after a fight that was long-drawn in court which finished ominously for him.

Also read: Chat With Donald Trump won’t Save PM Nawaz Sharif from Panama Papers scandal, says Imran Khan

In India as well, there is not lack of prominent names that were included in the list of Panama Papers. Indian Panama incorporates best legal counselor Harish Salve, industrialist Gautam Adani’s senior sibling Vinod Adani, and Bollywood hotshot Amitabh Bachchan. But contrasted with the speed at which Pakistan’s offices and judiciary followed up on the case of Sharif, is the pace of India on the subject of Panama Papers impressively slower?

Amitabh Bachchan was listed in Panama Papers. Wikimedia

The following is a passage from an article in Indian Express by Ritu Sarin in March 2017, one of the writers who was a part of the group exploring the Panama Papers.

“Nearly a year after The Indian Express published the Panama Papers, tax authorities have succeeded in obtaining 165 replies — partial or complete — from among 13 jurisdictions where Indian nationals had incorporated offshore companies through the Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca. According to data made available at the latest meeting of the Multi Agency Group (MAG) last month, the number of Indian clients of Mossack Fonseca, whose PAN numbers had been traced, has swelled to 424. Of these, 205 have accepted links to offshore entities named in the global expose. However, 60 other Indians named in the Panama Papers remain untraced.”

Sarin feels that it would be unfair to put an allegation on the Indian agencies of being relaxed in tackling the Panama Papers.
Rita Sarin added that she had hardly noticed the tax department act in such a swift manner. She compared investing offshore to the long process of peeling an onion, where you have to go layer by layer.

It is a fact that Pakistan managed to finish the Nawaz Sharif Panama case in barely a year, but what about the procedures on the prominent names of Indians displayed in the Panama Papers?

Sarin mentioned that all the individuals named in the Panama Papers, including the famous people were sent a notice. There will be a PIL in the Supreme Court. Notwithstanding when the duty dept is giving status reports to the SC. So in the event that they are not obliged to let even the SC know, there is no compulsion on them to tell us. Tax probes are exceptionally private, that is the idea of a duty examination. We will just become more acquainted with when individuals are prosecuted.

“All I can say is that each one of the people named by us were given tax notices. They must have been subsequently summoned and the case is in progress. Whenever there was a requirement or a suspicion of tax evasion, those requests were sent to the offshore jurisdictions. So that process is underway” she elaborated.

Indeed, even if the jokes proceed with it is worth asking if India’s mighty are prone to meet a similar destiny as Nawaz Sharif. Or, on the other hand, will their position and status postpone this test indefinitely?

-prepared by Harsimran Kaur of Newsgram. Twitter Hkaur1025

 

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Can Flourishing Islamic State (ISIS) be Stopped in Afghanistan?

The truth about IS and Afghanistan is definitely no picnic

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Taliban fighters react to a speech by their senior leader in the Shindand district of Herat province, Afghanistan, May 27, 2016.
Taliban fighters react to a speech by their senior leader in the Shindand district of Herat province, Afghanistan, May 27, 2016. The rise of IS in Afghanistan has become such a priority that U.S. and Afghan forces sometimes support the Taliban while battling IS, VOA
  • Depending on the location, the proliferation of IS has drawn varied resistance from the Afghan military, U.S. air support and ground troops, local militias, Taliban forces and other militant groups
  • Afghan army planes on Wednesday night accidentally air dropped vital supplies of food and water to IS militants in the Darzab district of northern Jouzjan province instead of to their own besieged troops
  • In the Tora Bora area, where IS has made a strong stand in recent days, local villagers and militias joined with Taliban to rout IS

June 25, 2017: The Islamic State group is rapidly expanding in parts of Afghanistan, advancing militarily into areas where it once had a weak presence and strengthening its forces in core regions, according to Afghan and U.S. officials.

Depending on the location, the proliferation of IS has drawn varied resistance from the Afghan military, U.S. air support and ground troops, local militias, Taliban forces and other militant groups.

Attacking IS has become such a priority in the country, that disparate forces sometimes join together in the ad-hoc fight, with Afghan and U.S. forces finding themselves inadvertently supporting the enemy Taliban in battling IS.

Confusion leads to mistakes

All too often, officials say, mistakes are made due to confusion on the ground.

Afghan army planes on Wednesday night accidentally air dropped vital supplies of food and water to IS militants in the Darzab district of northern Jouzjan province instead of to their own besieged troops, provincial police chief, Rahmatullah Turkistani told VOA. The supplies were meant to help Afghan forces that are countering twin attacks by IS and Taliban militants but were used instead by IS.

“It’s not getting better in Afghanistan in terms of IS,” U.S. Chief Pentagon Spokeswoman Dana White told VOA this week. “We have a problem, and we have to defeat them and we have to be focused on that problem.”

Reinforcements for the IS cause reportedly are streaming into isolated areas of the country from far and wide. There are reports of fighters from varied nationalities joining the ranks, including militants from Pakistan, India, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Russia and Central Asian neighbors.

Confusing scenarios

Still, the Islamic State-Khorasan (ISK) as IS is known in Afghanistan remains a fragmented group composed of differing regional forces with different agendas in different parts of the country.

“IS-K is still conducting low-level recruiting and distribution of propaganda in various provinces across Afghanistan, but it does not have the ability or authority to conduct multiple operations across the country,” a recent Pentagon report said. But where it operates, IS is inflicting chaos and casualties and causing confusing scenarios for disparate opponents.

In the Tora Bora area, where IS has made a strong stand in recent days, local villagers and militias joined with Taliban to rout IS. IS regained ground after a few days, leading to U.S. military air attacks on IS positions in conjunction with Afghan intelligence instructions and army operations.

IS fighters reportedly have fled from mountain caves of Tora Bora, where al-Qaida’s leader Osama bin Laden hid from U.S. attack in 2001.

Families displaced

IS fighters were also reportedly advancing in neighboring Khogyani district, displacing hundreds of families, according to district officials. It is one of several areas in Nangarhar province, near the Pakistani border, where IS has been active for over two years.

Fierce clashes in the Chaparhar district of Nangarhar last month left 21 Taliban fighters and seven IS militants dead, according to a provincial spokesman. At least three civilians who were caught in the crossfire were killed and five others wounded.

“IS has overpowered Taliban in some parts of Nangarhar because the Taliban dispatched its elite commando force called Sara Qeta (Red Brigade) to other parts of the country, including some northern provinces to contain the growing influence of IS there,” Wahid Muzhda, a Taliban expert in Kabul, told VOA.

ALSO READ: Flashback to Terror: 1993 Mumbai Blasts Judgement to Hail on June 27 After 24 Years

Recruiting unemployed youths

IS has also expanded in neighboring Kunar province, where, according to provincial police chief, it has a presence in at least eight districts and runs a training base, where foreign members of IS, train new recruits.

Hundreds of miles from Nangarhar, IS is attempting to establish a persistent presence in several northern provinces where it has found a fertile ground for attracting militants and recruiting unemployed youths, mostly between the age of 13 and 20.

IS has been able to draw its members from the Pakistani Taliban fighters, former Afghan Taliban, and other militants who “believe that associating with or pledging allegiance” to IS will further their interests, according to the Pentagon report.

Hundreds of militants have joined IS ranks in northern Jouzjan and Sar-e-Pul province where local militant commanders lead IS-affiliate groups in several districts.

Darzab district

Qari Hekmat, an ethnic Uzbek and former Taliban militant who joined IS a year ago, claims to have up to 500 members, including around 50 Uzbek nationals who are affiliated with the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU) — previously associated with al-Qaida and Taliban in Afghanistan.

IS and Taliban are reportedly fighting over the control of Darzab district in Jouzjan which they stormed this week from two different directions and besieged scores of government forces. The Taliban has reportedly captured the center of the district while IS militants control the city outskirts.

Afghanistan faces a continuing threat from as many as 20 insurgent and terrorist networks present or operating in the Afghanistan-Pakistan region, including IS, the Pentagon said.

“In areas where the government has limited influence and control, IS attempts to emerge and expand there,” Ateequllah Amarkhail, an analysts and former Army general in Kabul told VOA.

Hit-and-hide strategy

IS has also claimed responsibility for several recent attacks in urban areas, however, with a hit-and-hide strategy that is proving effective. And it is engaging too in more skirmishes with U.S. forces that initially were sent to the country to help Afghan forces halt the spread of Taliban.

Three American service members based in eastern Afghanistan were killed in April during operations targeting IS militants, according to the Pentagon.

“ISIS-K remains a threat to Afghan and regional security, a threat to U.S. and coalition forces, and it retains the ability to conduct high-profile attacks in urban centers,” the Pentagon said. (VOA)