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Pakistan Faces Rising Criticism over Inability to Curb Extremism and threat it poses to its Neighbours
Sept 23, 2016: As two U.S. lawmakers pursue legislation to designate Pakistan a terror state, Islamabad is facing the threat of increasing diplomatic isolation over its inability to curb homegrown militancy and the threat it poses to its neighbours.
The legislation, introduced this week by Republican Representatives Ted Poe of Texas and Dana Rohrabacher of California, accuses Pakistan of harbouring global terrorist leaders and supporting terror groups. Among those groups is the Haqqani network, a U.S.-designated terrorist entity that opposes the Afghanistan government and U.S.-led NATO forces in the country.
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“Not only is Pakistan an untrustworthy ally, Islamabad has also aided and abetted enemies of the United States for years,” the proposed legislation said. “From harbouring Osama bin Laden to its cozy relationship with the Haqqani network, there is more than enough evidence to determine whose side Pakistan is on in the war on terror. And it’s not America’s.”
Pakistan accuses U.S. lawmakers of diplomatic theater, saying the harsh anti-Pakistani rhetoric belies that government’s efforts to root out extremism. Pakistani officials also say thousands of Pakistani lives have been lost in terror attacks.
“Pakistan is not supporting terrorism, it is rather a victim,” Rohail Dar, a leading member of the ruling Muslim League party, told VOA’s Urdu service. “Pakistan has suffered the most in the war against terrorism.”
In his speech before the United Nations on Wednesday, Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said his government has a “comprehensive strategy of law enforcement and targeted military operations that has produced remarkable results and enabled Pakistan to turn the tide against terrorism.”
He did not address the issue of terrorist groups targeting neighbouring countries from Pakistan.
American lawmakers recently urged the U.S. government to cut off financial and military aid to Pakistan because its “military and intelligence services are still linked to terrorist groups.”
While the U.S. bill has a long way to go before becoming law — a version of it must pass both houses of Congress and be signed by the president — Washington’s tough stance shows the level of global and regional isolation that Islamabad is facing, analysts said.
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“Pakistan has not satisfied the U.S. on the question of its alleged support to the Haqqani network, and that is deteriorating the relations with the U.S.,” Peshawar University professor Ijaz Khattak told VOA’s Deewa service. “Pakistan’s relations with Afghanistan also are not good. It has tensions with India.”
A deadly attack on Indian soldiers in Kashmir this week increased the tension between Pakistan and India to levels not seen since the terror attack on Mumbai in 2008.
India blames Pakistan for allowing the attack. Indian Home Minister Rajnath Singh called Pakistan a terrorist state and said it “should be identified and isolated as such.”
The Pakistan government has rejected the allegations and accuses India of oppressing Kashmiris and violating their human rights.
U.S., Afghan opposition
Islamabad is also at odds with Washington and Kabul over Pakistan’s support of Afghan militant groups.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry asked Sharif, during a meeting this week on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly, to prevent Pakistan from being used as a harbor for terrorists.
“We have repeatedly asked our neighboring country Pakistan to destroy the known terrorist safe havens, but we unfortunately are yet to witness any change in the situation,” Afghan Vice President Sarwar Danesh said Wednesday at the United Nations. “Terrorist attacks are being planned on Pakistani territory.”
Danesh’s comments came days after bombings in New York and New Jersey.
The bombing suspect, Ahmad Khan Rahami, a naturalized U.S. citizen born in Afghanistan, traveled to Afghanistan and Pakistan several years ago. While in Pakistan, he reportedly spent time in Quetta and Karachi, which are considered hubs for the Taliban and other militant groups.
The two U.S. lawmakers are pushing the bill now “because of the recent Kashmir attack, though perhaps also coupled with the fact that the man accused of staging the recent New York City blasts had spent time in Pakistan,” said Michael Kugelman, an analyst at Washington’s Wilson Center, a global policy research group. “For these two congressmen, this man’s connections to Pakistan likely reinforced the fact that terrorism has many links to Pakistan.” (VOA)
Rapper Cardi B has been named Playboy's first-ever creative director in residence. The 'WAP' hitmaker took to social media to share the news, which will see her become the very first person to be creative director in residence of the iconic brand, reports femalefirst.co.uk. Sharing the news on Instagram, she said: "Introducing the FIRST EVER Creative Director In Residence at the legendary @playboy, it's ME!!! Joining the @playboy family is a dream and I know y'all are going to love what we put together. "I'm startin this party right as the Founding Creative Director and a founding member of Centerfold the new creator-led platform from Playboy coming soon!! We're going to have soooooo much fun."
According to a press release obtained by People magazine, Cardi's role will involve providing "artistic direction" across the Playboy brand. | IANS
According to a press release obtained by People magazine, Cardi's role will involve providing "artistic direction" across the Playboy brand. The release stated: "Cardi will provide artistic direction across co-branded fashion and sexual wellness merchandise collections, digital editorial, experiential activations and more. "In addition, Cardi B will serve as the Founding Creative Director and a founding member of Playboy's upcoming creator-led platform, Centerfold."
According to People, Centerfold is expected to launch this month and will be Playboy's social content platform that will offer creators tools to directly interact with fans. In the release, 29-year-old Cardi said: "It is a dream come true to officially join the Playboy family. I can't believe this is real. For as long as I can remember, I've felt connected to Playboy. It's truly the original platform for uncensored creativity and I'm inspired by its incredible legacy of fighting for personal freedoms. I have so many ideas already - I can't wait! "I'm also excited to launch our new creator-led platform, Centerfold. Creators today deserve to express themselves freely and unfiltered. They deserve to feel safe in their creativity and sexuality. And they deserve to own their future. "This is what Centerfold is all about. For all those creators out there doing bold, revolutionary, truly culture-shifting things, come join me." (IANS/ MBI)
(Keywords: Instagram, WAP, residence, creative director, Playboy, Cardi B, Rapper)
As the Omicron variant threat looms, Google is reconsidering its plans to ask full-time employees to return to offices by January 10. According to an email from Google VP Chris Rackow, seen by CNBC, Google will not be requiring its employees to return to offices on January 10 as expected after all. The company has changed its return to work plans several times as the pandemic evolved.
In August, when the delta variant was a top concern, Google had announced plans for hybrid return-to-work till January 10, 2022. Rackow said in the email that full-time employees will wait until the new year to assess when US offices can safely return to a "stable, long-term working environment. "None of the US locations will adopt the hybrid working mandate on January 10 as planned," he added. Rackow said that Google will allow specific locations to decide their timelines for returning their respective local workforces to the office.
Apple is reportedly asking employees to return to offices starting February 1 as part of a hybrid work pilot who will be able to work remotely for four weeks a year. After the first US case of the Omicron Covid-19 variant was reported in California, the federal government was set to announce a bunch of measures to help counter the virus, including campaigns to increase vaccinations and booster shots, additional testing requirements for travellers entering the country from abroad and plans to make rapid at-home coronavirus testing free for more people. International travellers coming to the US will have to test within a day of departure, regardless of vaccination status, rather than the 72 hours currently required for vaccinated travellers, under new protocols early next week. The new testing rules will apply both to US citizens and foreign nationals entering the country. (IANS/ MBI)
(Keywords: Office, Google, Omicron variant, apple, january, employees)
Winter weather is harsh on the skin and one needs more than just moisturising to see you through the season. Skin ageing is natural, but you can make it graceful! Kama Ayurveda's newly launched Amarrupa Face Oil accelerates the production of skin collagen and increases the skin's elasticity. It should be applied on the face and specific concerning areas like the neck, crow's feet, and the under-eye.
The Amarrupa Wrinkle Repair & Firming Face Oil is specially formulated for mature skin, enriched with antioxidants and natural actives that nourish and repair skin. The Face Oil is a true multi-tasker since it not only moisturises and firms skin but also reduces signs of ageing like wrinkles and the development of crow's feet. The best part? This highly potent formulation is clinically tested to reduce under-eye dark circles by 31 percent. Clinical trials reveal consistent use results in 15 per cent firmer skin, 36 per cent smoother skin, 31 per cent reduction in under eye dark circles.
Enriched with ingredients that promote collagen synthesis to reduce fine lines and wrinkles it intensely nourishes the skin. | Photo by Soroush Karimi on Unsplash
Ingredients include Centella Asiatica, an anti-inflammatory and anti-ageing herb that stimulates the skin's own collagen production and also repairs skin damage. Indian Gooseberry and Citron Fruit are a powerhouse of Vitamin C that not only improves the complexion but also enhances and nurtures the skin. Oleic Acid, an Omega-9 fatty acid that replenishes lost moisture without clogging pores. Natural actives such as Arjuna Extracts strengthen the skin barrier, reduce dryness, and protects the skin from external aggravators. Carrot Seed Oil plumps skin, reducing the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines, giving an even skin tone.
It firms lose, wrinkled skin improving skin texture, locking in hydration and defends skin against pollution and cold weather through its natural actives. Enriched with ingredients that promote collagen synthesis to reduce fine lines and wrinkles it intensely nourishes the skin.
*Based on clinical trials conducted over 28 days
*Based on a 4-week clinical study conducted on men and women between 36-55 years with loose skin, pigmentary spots, crow's feet, wrinkles, uneven skin tone and visible under-eye puffiness. (IANS/ MBI)
(Keywords: Firming Face Oil , Wrinkle Repair, Amarrupa Face Oil , Kama Ayurveda, skin , Winter, Youthful, Skin, Firming Oil )