While insisting on war on terrorism, Afghanistan┬'s President Hamid Karzai said Saturday, Dec 15, he hopes for NATO-led troops to quit Afghan villages and remain confined to their bases, The Frontier Post reports.
During an annual conference of ambassadors and consuls-general, Karzai said the U.S. and its allies had come to Afghanistan for the war against terrorism.
The coalition ousted the Taliban from power and forced Al Qaeda from the country with the cooperation of the Afghan people, he told the conference aimed at developing Afghanistan's foreign policy strategy for the next three years.
The Afghans had suffered on a daily basis during the war on terrorism, and the world should not ignore their sacrifices, he insisted, suggesting the fight should be taken to areas where terrorists were shielded and financed.
┬"We want foreign troops to leave our villages, streets and bazaars, go to their bases and leave the country gradually by the end of 2014,┬" Karzai remarked.
'Roger Roger' Shipman. Seemed like a good idea at the time..... to some. We tried 10+ years of extensive immunosuppressant medication therapy, but we CONTINUE TO BE REJECTED BY THE HOST! Time to move on to those we have chance at saving.
[An Nahar] Tens of thousands of devotees gathered in Rabat on Friday for the funeral of Abdessalam Yassine, the founder of a radical Moroccan Islamist movement whose outspoken criticism of the monarchy landed him in jail.
Sheikh Yassine founded the Adl wal Ihsan (Justice and Charity) movement, which actively participated in Arab Spring protests that erupted in Morocco in February 2011, as revolutions swept Egypt and Tunisia.
But it distanced itself from the February 20 protest movement last December, considering its demands too limited, and analysts say that was a key reason why the street protests lost momentum.
"It is our father who has left us," Mohammed, a young supporter from Kentira, 40 kilometers (25 miles) north of Rabat, said at the funeral, which took place at the 18th-century Sunna mosque next to the royal palace.
The crowd said the Islamic prayer for the dead after midday prayers at the mosque in the capital's center, before heading to Martyrs Cemetery next to the Kasbah for the burial of Sheikh Yassine, who died on Thursday aged 84.
A large security detachment was deployed in the area.
[Al Ahram] Moslem Brüderbund leader Mohamed El-Beltagy has accused the US, Zionists and Gulf states of trying to ruin Egypt's democratic process.
El-Beltagy, secretary-general of the group's Freedom and Justice Party (FJP), said people who seek support from Western countries are misled.
"The people are the best judges," he added. "A revolt against the legitimate authorities will produce thousands of deaders."
People who say the constitution was rushed are "liars," he said.
The Islamist leader was speaking during a presser in the 10th of Ramadan suburb of Cairo.
Critics have accused the Islamist-led Constituent Assembly of rushing to finish the constitution after it held a 14-hour voting session on 30 November and presented the completed document to President Mohamed Morsi the next day.
El-Beltagy rejected the accusation, saying the assembly had looked at 70,000 recommendations and dealt with over 1.5 million amendments to the 236-article draft charter.
The draft stipulates that disabled and unemployed people will get social security payments and contains a minimum and maximum wage for workers, he added.
Article 80 of the constitution criminalises the violation any freedom covered by the constitution, he concluded.
[Magharebia] Street vendor Mohamed Bouazizi set himself on fire on December 17th, 2010 and ignited the Arab Spring. Two years gone, people are now asking whether their lives are better under Islamist rule.
Recent polls suggest that Tunisians today are less enthusiastic about political Islam than they were a year ago, when they elected the Ennahda party.
However, if you can't say something nice about a person some juicy gossip will go well... the ruling Islamist movement still holds a plurality in opinion surveys.
Young Tunis resident Moez Jabli says that the Tunisians who voted for Ennahda counted on moderate Islam and a safe state.
"Instead, they got a lack of security, threats to freedom, and a failure to achieve the demands of the people, especially youth," he tells Magharebia. "This explains the break in trust between Tunisians and Ennahda," he said.
However, it's easy to be generous with someone else's money... the ruling Islamist movement still holds a plurality in opinion surveys.
Ennahda made plenty of attractive promises during the election campaign. The movement promised to create 400,000 jobs within five years. It also promised to defend the modernist identity of the country and maintain the 1956 "Code of Personal Status", which protected women's rights.
But the party is paying a price for letting down its voters.
One year after winning the most seats in the new Constituent Assembly, Ennahda has lost 31% of its electorate.
A November survey conducted by Tunis-based marketing and public opinion research institute "3C Etudes" found that 31.4 per cent of Tunisians would vote for Ennahda if legislative elections were to be held now. That figure was estimated at 48 per cent in April.
The poll also found that the worst approval rating for the governing party came from respondents in Sidi Bouzid. Indeed, Ennahda realised its lowest approval score of any community in the country - just 19% - in the cradle of the revolution.
And when asked their choices for president, only one per cent of poll respondents chose Ennahda party leader Rachid Ghannouchi.
Ousted President-for-Life Zine El Abidine Ben Ali ...who departed by popular demand in January, 2011, precipitating the Arab Spring... ranked higher, with 1.2 per cent.
In an interview with al-Hayat last September, Ghannouchi attributed Ennahda's decline in popularity to the facts of governing.
"This is power," he told the paper. "It is known that power is an element of decay, and there is a difference between those who talk about high ideals and those who live up to them."
"There is a difference between those who are asked to deliver a speech and those who are required to provide the people with food, security and medication," the Ennahda leader added.
[Yemen Post] There are more than 100.000 fictitious soldiers in Yemen's elite forces ...that aren't so elite...
of the elite republican guard and the Special Forces ...which aren't so special...
commanded by the elder son of the former president Ahmed President-for-Life Ali Abdullah Saleh ... Saleh initially took power as a strongman of North Yemen in 1977, when disco was in flower, but he didn't invite Donna Summer to the inauguration and Blondie couldn't make it... , Alahale reported on Wednesday.
The website quoted presidential sources as saying President Abdrabu Mansour Hadi had obtained the information about the fictitious soldiers through the field committees in charge with counting and registering the Yemeni forces.
The committees were part of the plans to restructure the Yemeni armed and security sources.
Earlier, Hadi himself revealed huge corruption in the military, pointing there are about 52.000 fictitious soldiers in the elite republican guard receiving monthly salaries, about 50.000 YR each, from the state budget, according to Alahale.
The website also said Hadi met with a number of sheiks, holy mans and dignitaries and discussed the situation in Yemen quoting statements by some of the attendants that Hadi told them the committees found the number of the elite republican guard was 130.000 including the fictitious soldiers.
"The real number of the elite republican guard personnel is only 78.000 soldiers," the sources were quoted as saying.
The Yemeni government is now seeking to restructure the armed forces with a focus on the elite republican guard and, the first armored division which defected to the popular uprising early last year.
The Yemeni army has been divided since March 2011, and the government is facing big challenges to reunify the forces.
The restructuring comes under the West-backed power-transfer deal which was reached after the unrest.
Good news is that they found the 100K, bad news is that they got hit by Agent Grape and will need care for the rest of their virtual lives, along with their virtual progeny, 'lo down to the 7th generation.
[Bangla Daily Star] Twelve like-minded Islamist parties yesterday threatened to enforce a hartal ... a peculiarly Bangla combination of a general strike and a riot, used by both major political groups in lieu of actual governance ... on Thursday if the left-leaning political parties do not withdraw their Tuesday's hartal.
The Communist Party of Bangladesh (CPB) and Bangladesh Samajtantrik Dal (BSD) on December 7 called a countrywide daylong hartal for December 18 [Tuesday] demanding ban on communal politics including that of the Jamaat-e-Islami ...The Islamic Society, founded in 1941 in Lahore by Maulana Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi, aka The Great Apostosizer. The Jamaat opposed the independence of Bangladesh but has operated an independent branch there since 1975. It maintains close ties with international Mohammedan groups such as the Moslem Brotherhood. the Taliban, and al-Qaeda. The Jamaat's objectives are the establishment of a pure Islamic state, governed by Sharia law. It is distinguished by its xenophobia, and its opposition to Westernization, capitalism, socialism, secularism, and liberalist social mores... , and quick disposal of the war crimes trials.
While paying tribute to the martyred intellectuals at Rayerbazar mass grave yesterday, the leaders of these two parties hoped that people would strongly response against Jamaat-e-Islami by making the hartal a success. They alleged that Jamaat was becoming desperate to foil the ongoing war crimes trial.
The Gonotantrik Bam Morcha also called a countrywide dawn-to-dusk shutdown for the same day [Tuesday] to realise their seven-point demand including that for stopping power, oil and gas price hike. The party yesterday held a procession and is also set to hold a rally today in front of the Jatiya Press Club in favour of the hartal.
Meanwhile, ...back at the hoedown, Bob finally got to dance with Sally... Zafarullah Khan, member of the 12 like-minded Islamist parties, yesterday told The Daily Star that they would formally announce their dawn-to-dusk hartal for Thursday at a presser on Tuesday if the left parties do not withdraw their hartal.
Against such backdrop, the city dwellers are likely to suffer three hartals next week while Sunday is going to be a holiday for the Victory Day.
An organization named Gorbo Bangladesh Biplobi Dal called a half-day hartal in the capital for December 17 [Monday] demanding Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina ...Bangla dynastic politician and current Prime Minister of Bangladesh. She has been the President of the Bangla Awami League since 1981. She is the eldest of five children of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the founding father of Bangladesh. Her party defeated the BNP-led Four-Party Alliance in the 2008 parliamentary elections. She has once before held the office, from 1996 to 2001, when she was defeated in a landslide... 's and BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia Three-term PM of Bangla, widow of deceased dictator Ziaur Rahman, head of the Bangla Nationalist Party, an apparent magnet for corruption ... 's retirement from politics.
On Wednesday, spokespersons of the organization Shaheda Obaid and Kamrul Hasan announced the eight-hour hartal at a presser in Dhaka Reporters Unity.
[Bangla Daily Star] LGRD and Cooperatives Minster Syed Ashraful Islam yesterday alleged that the BNP-Jamaat alliance was trying to push the country towards a civil war in a bid to save war criminals.
"The war crimes trial is going on and so is the conspiracy against it. In the name of hartal ... a peculiarly Bangla combination of a general strike and a riot, used by both major political groups in lieu of actual governance ... , they [the opposition alliance] are carrying out masked attacks. They want to push the country towards a civil war," he said.
The minister was talking to news hounds after placing wreaths at the Rayerbazar mass grave in the capital commemorating the martyred intellectuals on behalf of his party, the Awami League.
Party leaders Tofail Ahmed, Suranjit Sengupta, Matia Chowdhury, Mahbubul Alam Hanif, among others, accompanied him there.
Nine leaders of Jamaat-e-Islami ...The Islamic Society, founded in 1941 in Lahore by Maulana Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi, aka The Great Apostosizer. The Jamaat opposed the independence of Bangladesh but has operated an independent branch there since 1975. It maintains close ties with international Mohammedan groups such as the Moslem Brotherhood. the Taliban, and al-Qaeda. The Jamaat's objectives are the establishment of a pure Islamic state, governed by Sharia law. It is distinguished by its xenophobia, and its opposition to Westernization, capitalism, socialism, secularism, and liberalist social mores... and BNP are facing trials in two international crimes tribunals on charges of committing crimes against humanity during the Liberation War in 1971.
Terming Khaleda Zia Three-term PM of Bangla, widow of deceased dictator Ziaur Rahman, head of the Bangla Nationalist Party, an apparent magnet for corruption ... "saviour of the war criminals", Syed Ashraf, also general secretary of ruling AL, alleged that the opposition leader was trying her best to stop the trials.
"But none will be able to do that. No matter how hard Khaleda Zia tries to save the war criminals, she won't succeed," said Ashraf, adding, "We are pledge-bound to the people and hence no power or whatsoever can foil the trial."
"We have heard that they are preparing, collecting weapons. They would not hesitate to use the weapons, if necessary, to foil the war crimes trials. They are getting ready for a mass killing," he said, urging people to remain as alert as the government is.
The trial was taking a little longer time for the sake of transparency and fairness, said Ashraf, hoping that the verdict delivery would start from this month.
[An Nahar] Hundreds of thousands of North Korean soldiers and civilians rallied Friday in the center of Pyongyang for a mass celebration of the country's long-range rocket launch, state television ... and if you can't believe state television who can you believe?
The huge crowd in Kim Il-Sung Square, standing in neat, organised ranks, applauded speeches by senior military, party and government officials hailing the success of Wednesday's launch and praising the country's young leader, Kim Jong-Un.
"This was achieved thanks to the Great Marshall Kim Jong-Un's endless loyalty, bravery and wisdom," said Jang Chol, president of the State Academy of Sciences.
The rally came hours after state media published a statement by Kim Jong-Un ordering more satellite launches in the future, despite the global outrage and U.N. condemnation triggered by Wednesday's launch.
North Korea says it placed a satellite in orbit for peaceful research, but critics say the launch amounted to a banned ballistic missile test that marked a major advance for the communist state's nuclear weapons program.
The U.N. Security Council held emergency talks on Wednesday after the North, already under international sanctions for nuclear tests in 2006 and 2009, ignored pleas from friends and foes and went ahead with the launch.
Meanwhile, ...back at the Council of Boskone, Helmuth had turned a paler shade of blue. Star-A-Star had struck again... South Korea's navy has retrieved debris from the first stage of the long-range rocket, which will be analyzed to determine its level of ballistic expertise, the defense ministry said Friday.
"This debris is expected to be an important piece of information in determining North Korea's rocket capability," said defense ministry front man Kim Min-Seok.
The section salvaged by the navy appears to be a fuel tank, inscribed with the name of the "Unha-3" rocket.
NATO accused Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's forces of firing Scud missiles that landed near to the Turkish border, in explaining why it was sending anti-missile batteries and troops to the bloc's frontier.
The Syrian government, which finds itself under attack from rebels in the capital Damascus and by a diplomatic alliance of Arab and Western powers, denies firing such long-range, Soviet-built rockets and had no immediate comment on the latest charge.
Admiral James Stavridis, the American who is NATO's military commander, wrote in a blog on Friday: "Over the past few days, a handful of Scud missiles were launched inside Syria, directed by the regime against opposition targets. Several landed fairly close to the Turkish border, which is very worrisome."
It was not clear how close they came. NATO member Turkey, once friendly toward Assad but now among the main allies of the rebels, has complained of occasional bullets and artillery fire, some of which has been fatal, for many months. It sought the installation of missile defenses on its border some weeks ago.
"Syria is clearly a chaotic and dangerous situation; but we have an absolute obligation to defend the borders of the alliance from any threat emanating from that troubled state," Stavridis wrote.
Batteries of U.S.-made Patriot missiles, designed to shoot down the likes of the Scuds popularly associated with Iraq's wars under Saddam Hussein in the 1990s, are about to be deployed by the U.S., German and Dutch armies, each of which is sending up to 400 troops to operate and protect the rocket systems.
The Supreme Court of Canada has declared the country's controversial anti-terror law constitutional in a series of unanimous, precedent-setting rulings Friday that affirm how terrorism is defined in the Criminal Code.
In a 7-0 ruling written by Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin, the court dismissed a series of charter appeals brought by three men, including terrorist Momin Khawaja -- the first person ever charged under the anti-terror law, which was passed in the wake of the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, in the United States.
McLachlin said an Ottawa trial judge erred by giving Khawaja too light a sentence at 101/2 years in prison and said the life sentence later imposed by the Ontario Court of Appeal sent a "clear and unmistakable message that terrorism is reprehensible and those who choose to engage in it (in Canada) will pay a very heavy price."
The rulings also upheld extradition orders against two other men, Suresh Sriskandarajah and Piratheepan Nadarajah, who can now be sent to the U.S. to face trial on charges of supporting the Tamil Tigers, a banned terrorist group.
The court flatly rejected a series of constitutional challenges brought by the three men, dismissing arguments that the new law was too broad, criminalized harmless activity and violated the charter guarantee of freedom of expression.
The ruling essentially means the December 2001 anti-terror law, introduced by the then-Liberal government and supported by the two opposition parties that eventually became the Conservative party, contains no rights violations and doesn't have to be changed.
This will cause a bit of shuffling and gulping on the part of some . . . busy . . . people in the more heavily populated citiues. Them Supreme Court types tend not to have much of a sense of humour (note the Canuckistanian spelling).
Authorities say the ring was believed to have supplied the Sinaloa cartel with guns. Mexico's drug cartels often seek out guns in the U.S. because gun laws in Mexico are more restrictive than in the U.S.
Could we conduct an extensive 'deep dive' on the Sinaloa cartel please ?
[Dawn] A citizen on Thursday petitioned the Supreme Court of Pakistain to withdraw its decision of appointing a one-man commission on the causes of the 2007 military operation in Lal Masjid. Most people would consider a "one-man commission" to be "an investigator."
Shahhid Orakzai in his petition contended that under its rules the apex court cannot appoint a fact-finding body in criminal matters.
On December 4, the Supreme Court appointed the commission consisting of Justice Shahzada Sheikh of the Federal Shariat Court. The commission was given 45 days to probe the causes that led to the festivities between security forces and the Lal Masjid people, the number and gender of those killed, whether the dead were identified and bodies handed to legal heirs and whether it was possible to fix responsibility against those behind the entire incident.
However, facts are stubborn; statistics are more pliable... when Dawn approached legal experts to seek their opinions whether the petitioner was right in raising the question over formation of the commission, they expressed conflicting views.
Yasin Azad, a former president of the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA), said there was no harm or any legal hitch in the appointment of such a commission in criminal matters. Because the commission will point out who was responsible for the bloody operation, he said.
Senior lawyer Chaudhry Ramzan, who is also a member of the Pakistain Bar Council, said after the appointment of Dr Shoaib Suddle commission he did not think that a commission on criminal matters could not be appointed. The Suddle commission was formed to probe into the allegations of financial wrongdoing in a business deal between Dr Arsalan Iftikhar and property tycoon Malik Riaz.
Advocate Ahmed Raza Qasuri, however, observed that the petitioner was right since it was the first time in Pakistain's judicial history that the commission was appointed to investigate the incident in the criminal side which otherwise was a prerogative of the police and the FIA.
Another senior lawyer on the condition of anonymity also agreed that under the Commission of Inquiry Act 1956, only the federal government could appoint such a body in criminal matters. He referred to the commissions formed to probe the May 2, 2011, Abbottabad ... A pleasant city located only 30 convenient miles from Islamabad. The city is noted for its nice weather and good schools. It is the site of Pakistain's military academy, which was within comfortable walking distance of the residence of the late Osama bin Laden.... incident and the murder of journalist Saleem Shahzad.
Mr Orakzai in his petition argued that the 11-day-long armed encounter between a unit of the Special Services Group (SSG) and an armed band led by Ghazi Abdur Rashid and his brother Maulana Abdul Aziz was not a civil matter for which the court could form a commission.
He stated that the order of the Supreme Court was not binding on Justice Shahzado Sheikh, because it does not "enunciate a law or lay down a principle of law" as emphasised by Order 32 of the Supreme Court Rules 1980. He said the court under its rules cannot issue a commission like a magistrate or a sessions court.
Quoting several articles of the constitution, he emphasised the independence of the FSC, saying no judge thereof could be asked to do an assignment outside his oath.
He added that he was the first to move the apex court on the Lal Masjid standoff in June 2007 but his petition was not heard.
On the contrary, the court took up an "anonymous petition" on the subject when there was no provision under the Supreme Court Rules for that.
[Dawn] The Pakistain Mohammedan League-Nawaz is likely to form electoral alliance with Jamaat-e-Islami ...The Islamic Society, founded in 1941 in Lahore by Maulana Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi, aka The Great Apostosizer. The Jamaat opposed the independence of Bangladesh but has operated an independent branch there since 1975. It maintains close ties with international Mohammedan groups such as the Moslem Brotherhood. the Taliban, and al-Qaeda. The Jamaat's objectives are the establishment of a pure Islamic state, governed by Sharia law. It is distinguished by its xenophobia, and its opposition to Westernization, capitalism, socialism, secularism, and liberalist social mores... in the next general polls in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa ... formerly NWFP, still Terrorism Central... , according to sources.
They said that PML-N leaders had contacted Jamaat-e-Islami to hold negotiations with it for entering into an electoral alliance.
PML-N provincial general secretary Rehmat Salam Khattak, when contacted, though rejected reports about negotiations with political parties for electoral alliance, yet said that Jamaat-e-Islami could be suitable ally for them in the province.
He said that provincial chapter of the party had to follow instructions of central leadership in that regard. He said that they would talk to other parties if central leadership directed them to do so.
"We have informal contacts with some of JI leaders but formal meeting in this connection has so far not been held," Mr Khattak said.
He said that PML-N had completed homework for selection of candidates on recommendations of survey committees. The final decision would be taken with approval of central leadership, he added.
"No doubt some of the candidates are weak and need assistance of another political party. However, a good lie finds more believers than a bad truth... we will not leave any seat vacant and suitable candidates will be fielded in all constituencies in the province," the PML-N leader said. About a possible visit of PML-N central president Mian Nawaz Sharif ... served two non-consecutive terms as prime minister, heads the Pakistain Moslem League (Nawaz). Noted for his spectacular corruption, the 1998 Pak nuclear test, border war with India, and for being tossed by General Musharraf... to Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, he said that the visit was due for the past one month and preparations were completed for holding public meetings in different districts.
Mr Khattak said that main public meetings would be held in Karak, Dera Ismail Khan ... the Pearl of Pashtunistan ... , Dir, Swat, Abbottabad ... A pleasant city located only 30 convenient miles from Islamabad. The city is noted for its nice weather and good schools. It is the site of Pakistain's military academy, which was within comfortable walking distance of the residence of the late Osama bin Laden.... , Kohat and Bannu. He said that election campaign had already been initiated and it would formally be launched by the party's president.
Punjab Chief Minister Mian Shahbaz Sharif, he said, would also visit some districts of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa to address public meetings.
Meanwhile, ...back at the wreckage, Captain Poindexter wished he had a cup of coffee. Even instant would do... PML-N has decided to unseat former central general secretary of its women wing Shazia Aurangzeb from Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Assembly for joining Pakistain People's Party.
"We have issued her show cause notice to reply within three days as to why she has joined PPP despite the fact that she is still member of provincial assembly on the reserved seat of PML-N," said Mr Khattak.He said that after three days the party would issue another statement to declare that she would be removed from the seat and thus as per procedure the speaker would have to send recommendations to election commission for unseating her.
[The Hindu] Conceding that "non-state actors" were hampering India-Pakistain relationship, the visiting Interior Minister Rehman Malik Pak politician, Interior Minister under the Gilani government. Malik is a former Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) intelligence officer who rose to head the FIA during Benazir Bhutto's second tenure. Malik was tossed from his FIA job in 1998 after documenting the breath-taking corruption of the Sharif family. By unhappy coincidence Nawaz Sharif became PM at just that moment and Malik moved to London one step ahead of the button men. He had to give up the interior ministry job because he held dual Brit citizenship. on Friday said he would order the arrest of Hafiz Muhammad Saeed ...who would be wearing a canvas jacket with very long sleeves anyplace but Pakistain... , the criminal mastermind of the Mumbai terror attacks, the moment he got credible evidence.
"We have to follow the law of the land. And of course [satisfy] the [Pak] court ... There has been a lot of propaganda about Hafiz Muhammad Saeed. I assure you that we are still investigating the [Indian] evidence. And if that evidence can stand the test of courts of international standards, I will order his arrest even before returning home. We have no love lost for Hafiz Muhammad Saeed," Mr. Malik told journalists here on arrival. He is on a three-day visit to operationalise the historic visa agreement between the two neighbours that was signed in September.
Mr. Malik noted that Pakistain was receiving dossiers that had only information and no evidence. The statement of Ajmal Kasab, the Pak national and Lashkar-e-Taiba ...the Army of the Pure, an Ahl-e-Hadith terror organization founded by Hafiz Saeed. LeT masquerades behind the Jamaat-ud-Dawa facade within Pakistain and periodically blows things up and kills people in India. Despite the fact that it is banned, always an interesting concept in Pakistain, the organization remains an blatant tool and perhaps an arm of the ISI... terrorist who was hanged last month after having been convicted in the 26/11 case, on Saeed's involvement in the Mumbai attacks was not enough, he said. "It needs further corroboration ... I will make public official documents from the court's judgment where Hafiz Muhammad Saeed has been declared innocent."
Referring to the execution of the gunman, he said: "When Ajmal Kasab was hanged. I was the first one to come on television and [I] gave the statement that we respect the judgments coming from your courts. Similarly when the trial is going on [in Pakistain] I have already told you that it is on fast track and of course we have gone to every level to make it on the fast track."
Mr. Malik said non-state actors were playing havoc with the relationship between the two countries, both facing the scourge of terrorism for many years. "I come with a message of love and peace from the people of Pakistain. I do not want any negativity today. What I want is a positive message, positive view forward ... Let's forget the dark days, let's enter with shining stars, with smiling faces and clear hearts."
The Pak Minister, however, raised the issues of Babri mosque demolition and Samjhauta train blasts. "We do not want any 9/11. We do not want any Bombay blasts, we do not want any Samjhauta Express, we do not want any Babri mosque issue and we can work together not only for peace in Pakistain and India, but also for the region."
Mr. Malik said the "journey to peace is progressing very well" because of the meetings between the leaders of the two countries. For this, I must give full credit to my leader, President [Asif Ali] Zardari, the Prime Minister, and equal credit to the Prime Minister [Manmohan Singh] and [former Home Minister and now Finance Minister] P. Chidambaram."
[An Nahar] Russia said on Friday that it had not changed and would not change its controversial stance on Syria, after a top Russian diplomat said the defeat of the Syrian regime was possible.
"We have never changed our position (on Syria) and we never will," foreign ministry front man Alexander Lukashevich said.
Deputy Foreign Minister Bogdanov said earlier this week the Syrian regime "is losing more and more control" and it was not excluded that Hereditary President-for-Life Bashir Pencilneck al-Assad Supressor of the Damascenes... could lose the conflict with the rebels.
The United States swiftly welcomed Bogdanov's comments, saying it appeared Moscow was "finally waking up to the reality."
Lukashevich retorted Friday that "we were never sleeping to begin with."
"Our position remains in effect," he told news hounds. "It is unchanged."
It is not clear if Bogdanov -- who is also the Kremlin's special envoy for the Middle East -- was aware that his remarks Thursday were on the record and would be reported by Russia's news agencies.
Russia has so far refused to turn against Assad's regime despite the conflict, which according to rights groups has killed 42,000 people since March last year.
It infuriated the West and anti-Assad Arab states by refusing to cut military and other ties with Damascus ...Capital of the last overtly fascist regime in the world... established during the Soviet era with the president's father and predecessor Hafez Assad.
[Al Ahram] Syrian leader Hereditary President-for-Life Bashir Pencilneck al-Assad Oppressor of the Syrians and the Lebs... is losing the fight against rebel forces and must be made to leave as quickly as possible, French President Francois Hollande ...the Socialist president of La Belle France, and a fine job he's doing of it... said Friday.
"On the ground, the war is now turning against Assad and we should set ourselves this objective -- make Assad leave as quickly as possible," Hollande said as he went into a meeting of EU leaders where the Syrian conflict will be discussed.
Hollande said La Belle France had been the first to recognise fully the recently formed Syrian opposition coalition and that most countries now do so.
The European Union ...the successor to the Holy Roman Empire, only without the Hapsburgs and the nifty uniforms and the dancing... so far has stopped short of full recognition although earlier this week EU foreign ministers met the leader of the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces at talks in Brussels.
Some EU member states are cautious about extending full recognition to the National Coalition because of doubts over how representative it is and its democratic credentials.
[An Nahar] Doing nothing is not an option in Syria, British Prime Minister David Cameron ... has stated that he is certainly a big Thatcher fan, but I don't know whether that makes me a Thatcherite, which means he's not. Since he is not deeply ideological he lacks core principles and is easily led. He has been described as certainly not a Pitt, Elder or Younger, but he does wear a nice suit so maybe he's Beau Brummel ... said Friday as his European Union ...the successor to the Holy Roman Empire, only without the Hapsburgs and the nifty uniforms and the dancing... counterparts pledged to look at "all options" available to support the opposition and civilians.
"Inaction and indifference are not options," said Cameron, whose government has formally recognized a recently formed Syrian opposition coalition.
The situation in Syria, with more than 40,000 now dead, was "truly dreadful and getting worse," he said, adding that there was "no single, simple answer."
In a statement issued at the close of an EU summit, leaders said they were "appalled by the increasingly deteriorating situation in Syria" and urged their foreign ministers to "work on all options to support and help the opposition and to enable greater support for the protection of civilians."
They said Hereditary President-for-Life Bashir Pencilneck al-Assad Oppressor of the Syrians and the Lebs... had to go, with Cameron wanting the "speediest transition possible" to avoid more bloodshed.
Earlier, French President Francois Hollande ...the Socialist president of La Belle France, and a fine job he's doing of it... had said Assad was losing and must be made to leave as quickly as possible.
"On the ground, the war is now turning against Assad and we should set ourselves this objective -- make Assad leave as quickly as possible," he said.
The EU so far has stopped short of full recognition of the opposition, although earlier this week EU foreign ministers met the leader of the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces at talks in Brussels.
Some EU member states are cautious about extending full recognition to the coalition because of doubts over how representative it is and its democratic credentials.
In their statement Friday, EU leaders said they supported a future Syria that "is democratic and inclusive with full support for human rights ...not to be confused with individual rights, mind you... and the rights of minorities.
"The European Council will continue to address the situation in Syria as a matter of priority," they added.
[NY Times] Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta signed an official deployment order on Friday to send 400 American military personnel and two Patriot air defense batteries to Turkey as its tensions intensify with neighboring Syria, where government forces have increasingly resorted to aerial attacks, including the use of ballistic missiles, to fight a spreading insurgency.
The American batteries will be part of a broader push to strengthen Turkey┬'s defenses┬...
Pencilneck has absolutely no reason to expand into cross-border attacks. Let┬'s cut the crapolla. The US is now providing cover for the Ratlines coming out the Turkish ┬"refugee┬" camps. It makes sense when one realizes that, after the Libyan junket, the NATO charter has been overridden and replaced with ┬'Unity of Vision┬'.
A multi-volume chronology and reference guide set detailing three years of the Mexican Drug War between 2010 and 2012.
Rantburg.com and borderlandbeat.com correspondent and author Chris Covert presents his first non-fiction work detailing
the drug and gang related violence in Mexico.
Chris gives us Mexican press dispatches of drug and gang war violence
over three years, presented in a multi volume set intended to chronicle the death, violence and mayhem which has
dominated Mexico for six years.