Parliamentarians from various districts of Punjab met Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar in Lahore on Monday. They congratulated the Chief Minister on the appointment of staff in the secretariat of southern Punjab. Speaking on this occasion, the Chief Minister said that shortage of resources will not be allowed to hinder the journey of development in […]
Archive for February 17th, 2017
حفاظتی آپریشنز، ہم آہنگی، اور انتظامات کے لیے معروف تجربہ کار ماہر ادارے کو ترقی کے اگلے مراحل میں لے کر جائیں گے لاس اینجلس، 16 فروری 2017ء / پی آر نیوز وائر/ — آج ایئربورن وائرلیس نیٹ ورک (او ٹی سی کیو بی: ABWN) نے مائیکل (مائیک) جے وارن کو چیف ایگزیکٹیو آفیسر کے […]
Highly Regarded Senior Expert on Security Operations, Coordination, and Management to Lead Company into Next Phase of Growth LOS ANGELES, Feb. 16, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — Airborne Wireless Network (OTCQB: ABWN) today announces that it has appointed Michael (Mike) J. Warren as Chief Executive Officer. Mike has recently served as the Regional Operations and Security Director […]
ISLAMABAD � Pakistan’s security forces claim to have killed more than 100 suspected militants in a massive nationwide security operation Friday in the wake of a deadly suicide bombing at a Sufi shrine that left more than 80 dead.
The spokesman for Pakistan’s military, Major General Asif Ghafoor, tweeted that the killings, along with many arrests, were a result of intelligence-based or combing operations.
The attack Thursday night in Sindh province at the shrine of a famous Sufi saint, Laal Shahbaz Qalandar, was one of the biggest in a series of attacks the country has faced during the past week.
The militant group Islamic State took responsibility for that attack.
Another militant group called Jamaatul Ahrar, a faction of the Pakistani Taliban, claimed to have carried out most of the other attacks in the country last week, including one at a protest in the heart of Pakistan’s second largest city, Lahore, that left more than a dozen dead.
Through its social media platforms, the group announced that the attacks were the beginning of an operation against the state and its security agencies.
The wave of attacks has shattered the perception that the country has its terrorism problem under control.
Muhammad Amir Rana, a security analyst, said this is a technique to create a perception of chaos.
In my view the group is following the same strategy as other terrorist groups in the region. They collect all their resources and then they try to trigger a wave to achieve the maximum impact of the violence.
Nonetheless, this is a blow to Pakistan’s claims that its military operation called Zarb e Azb, to clear its lawless tribal areas in the north, along with intelligence based operations throughout the country, have managed to dismantle terrorism’s infrastructure.
Michael Kugelman, senior associate for South Asia at Washington-based research organization the Wilson Center, said the country would not be able to overcome its terrorism problem without a change in its long-term strategic thinking.
Pakistan’s war on terror has essentially been an effort to go after terrorists and not to go after the ideologies that drive terrorism and terrorists, he said.
The society in Pakistan, he added, was conducive to hateful narratives against India, the United States, or religious minorities inside Pakistan that was often perpetuated by significant influencers including some religious leaders, media personalities, even the state itself.
Meanwhile, Pakistan blamed the wave of terrorism on hostile powers, an often-used euphemism for India.
It also claimed that the attackers had sanctuaries in Afghanistan.
The leadership of the Pakistani Taliban and Daesh Khorasan, the local chapter of IS, is supposed to be hiding in Afghanistan.
The chief minister of Pakistan’s most populous Punjab province, at a press conference Friday, showed a video of a man he claimed was an abettor of the attack in Lahore. The man in the video confessed that he had come from Afghanistan’s Kunar province.
In response, Pakistan has, for the time being, closed the busiest border crossing with Afghanistan at Torkhem as well as handing a list of 76 terrorists to Afghan officials, demanding immediate action.
Afghan presidential spokesman Shah Hussain Murtazavi told VOA that the Afghan government considers Daesh and other terrorist groups common enemies of Afghanistan and Pakistan and is sincerely fighting terrorist groups. He also said that closing borders was not the answer.
Regional experts say Afghanistan, in turn, blames Pakistan for providing sanctuaries to the Afghan Taliban and the Haqqani group, that have wreaked havoc on its soil. It might not be inclined to help Pakistan until it sees action from the other side.
Source: Voice of America
WASHINGTON � With the Trump administration still stitching together its foreign policy, priorities and staff, Russia seems intent on expanding its once-shrunken sphere of influence by exploiting gaps in America’s overseas presence.
It’s been a globe-spanning effort, with Russian leader Vladimir Putin using muscle in places like Ukraine and Syria and offering sweeteners to potential allies that he hopes will pay off later. The focus is on countries that have shaky ties with Washington, are strategically located or have abundant natural resources.
A key issue is how Putin’s relationship with new President Donald Trump will pan out. Can two cocky personalities truly be allies against common foes like Islamic State, which could usher in a new era of cooperation? Are the distrust and animosity that festered during the Cold War too much to overcome? And will there be long-term fallout over Russia’s efforts to bolster Trump’s election campaign?
Russia’s influence, which rivaled that of the United States during the Cold War, faded dramatically after the fall of communism and the breakup of the vast Soviet Union. But under Putin, it has sought to re-establish itself in an effort that has stretched from the North Sea to Antarctica.
In its latest initiative, Russia seeks to transform itself from an erstwhile warmonger in Afghanistan, during its failed decade-long invasion, into a peacemaker.
On Wednesday, Moscow hosted a second-round of peace talks on the resource-rich country. Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran, India and China were invited. The United States was conspicuously left out, despite its ongoing military intervention to repel Islamic terrorists and put Afghanistan solidly on the road to stability.
Afghanistan watchers in the region say Moscow wants to play a more active role closer to home after its actions in Syria.
“Russia has created a role for itself in the Middle East, particularly in Syria, and has carried out effective operations against Daesh [Islamic State],” said Rahimullah Yousafzai, a noted Pakistani journalist who has written extensively on Afghanistan and the Taliban.
“Russia will definitely be part of negotiations for peace or cease-fire” in Syria, Yousafzai told Voice of America’s Deewa Pashto service. “Now it seems Russia wants to be included in any consultations in the neighborhood, and they seem to have been successful to a great extent.”
The United States, China and Russia have interests in Afghanistan, some of which might pit them against one another. But Yousafzai said fighting against Islamic State could potentially be a common cause.
“I think they can be each other’s allies in the fight against Daesh,” Yousafzai said, using a common Arabic name for the group.
However, Russia has forged ties with Afghanistan’s rebel Taliban movement, seeing them as an ally against Islamic State, and that has put it at odds with Washington. Moscow claims it’s just trying to foster peace; the U.S. says Russia’s aid is helping the Taliban to wage its war against the U.S.-backed government in Kabul.
Russia’s intervention in Afghanistan may be driven in large part by its desire to stop the spread of Islamist extremism through the Muslim Central Asian states and the flow of narcotics from poppy-producing Afghanistan, said Sami Yousafzai, an Afghan correspondent who has been reporting for several international media organizations.
But the landlocked country also is strategically located, which was a major factor in Russia’s 1979 invasion.
Cozying up to Moscow might not yield the Taliban the benefits of international legitimacy or consideration as a political force within Afghanistan because Russia does not have a very influential global role and has angered many Sunni-Muslim states in the Middle East with its support for Shi’ite Iran, said Sami Yousafzai, who is not related to Rahimullah Yousafzai.
“If Taliban want to be recognized as a political power at the international level, if they want to have a political stand, they need to have backing by the U.S. and NATO,” he said.
The interest in Afghanistan only scratches the surface of Moscow’s interest and mirrors China’s aggressive efforts to build up its presence in the South China Sea. Some see the possibility of limited cooperation between Moscow and Beijing to counterbalance U.S. influence. Both have been taking advantage of a relatively hands-off approach to foreign policy in some areas under former President Barack Obama.
Russia has been accused of political meddling across the Balkans, reportedly countering U.S. interests to the point of disruption.
Moscow donated weapons and other military hardware a year ago to the Pacific nation of Fiji, which has been developing new allies after being isolated by sanctions for its military coup in 2006.
“It strikes me that we could see, in 10 or 15 years, regular visits by Russian naval ships to Suva,” Paul Buchanan, director of 36th Parallel Security Assessments, told The Guardian. “And perhaps in 20 years, China and/or Russian being granted forward basing rights in Fiji.”
Russia also has been cultivating a relationship with Libya, which could lead to cooperation with Washington or could develop into a point of conflict. And Moscow has been bolstering its presence as far away as Antarctica, which is believed to have vast stores of natural resources, while pursuing interests in the Arctic as the melting icecap provides access to previously blocked areas.
Source: Voice of America