Tag Archive | "America"

Usama Bi Laden Killed, says President Obama

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Usama Bi Laden Killed, says President Obama

Posted on 02 May 2011 by PakBee - Total hits: 2,855

WASHINTON: Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden was killed on Sunday in a firefight with U.S. forces in Pakistan and his body was recovered, President Barack Obama announced on Sunday.

“Justice has been done,” Obama said in a dramatic, late-night White House speech announcing the death of the elusive mastermind of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the New York and Washington.

Obama said U.S. forces led the operation that killed bin Laden. No Americans were killed in the operation and they took care to avoid civilian casualties, he said. “The United States has conducted an operation that killed Osama bin Laden, the leader of al Qaeda and a terrorist who is responsible for the murder of thousands of men, women and children,” Obama said. It is a major accomplishment for Obama and his national security team, after many Americans had given up hope of ever finding bin Laden.

A crowd gathered outside the White House to celebrate, chanting, “USA, USA.” Obama’s predecessor, George W. Bush, had repeatedly vowed to bring bin Laden to justice “dead or alive” for the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on New York and Washington that killed nearly3,000 people, but never did before leaving office in early 2009.

U.S. officials said that after searching in vain for the al Qaeda leader since he disappeared in Afghanistan in late 2001, the Saudi-born extremist was killed in the Pakistani town of Abbotabad and his body recovered. Having the body may help convince any doubters that bin Laden is really dead.

He had been the subject of a search since he eluded U.S. soldiers and Afghan militia forces in a large-scale assault on the Tora Bora Mountains of Afghanistan in 2001. The trail quickly went cold after he disappeared and many intelligence officials believed he had been hiding in Pakistan.

While in hiding, bin Laden had taunted the West and advocated his militant Islamist views in videotapes spirited from his hideaway. Besides Sept. 11, Washington has also linked bin Laden to a string of attacks — including the 1998 bombings of American embassies in Kenya and Tanzania and the 2000 bombing of the warship USS Cole in Yemen.

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Pakistan Court Releases Raymond Davis

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Pakistan Court Releases Raymond Davis

Posted on 16 March 2011 by PakBee - Total hits: 1,929

ISLAMABAD: An Additional Sessions judge Wednesday set free CIA contractor Raymond Davis, who killed two Pakistanis on a busy road in Lahore, after payment of blood money (Diyat) in accordance with Sharia law of Pakistan, sources said.

Talking to Geo News, Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah said the court released Raymond Davis after the family members of the murdered men appeared in the court and pardoned the US National after an agreement was reached between the two sides. “He has been released from jail and now it is up to him to leave the country whenever he wants,” the Minister added.

The killings by Raymond Davis in Lahore in January strained relations between Pakistan and US, who repeatedly insisted Davis was an embassy employee and enjoyed diplomatic immunity, particularly after it emerged he was working for the CIA.

A spokesman for the US embassy in Islamabad said he could not immediately confirm the report. Lawyers for the families of the two men shot dead in a busy Lahore street on January 27 said they had been held for four hours at the jail court where Davis was being tried on Wednesday, but had not been allowed to witness proceedings.

Blood money, or ‘Diyat’ is a provision under Islamic sharia law in which compensation can be paid to relatives of those killed to secure a pardon, and is commonly used to resolve such cases in Pakistan.

The Davis case had sparked protests in Pakistan, with religious groups angrily denouncing the American who claimed he acted in self-defence to fend off an armed robbery when he shot dead the two men.

US authorities insisted Davis was protected by full diplomatic immunity, but the Pakistan government refused to back that claim and a decision on his status was on Monday deferred by the Lahore high court for criminal judges to decide.

Revelations that Davis was a CIA contractor heaped pressure on Pakistan’s embattled government and further ramped up burning public mistrust of Washington, damaging fragile relations between the two wary allies.

A third Pakistani was struck down and killed by a US diplomatic vehicle that came to Davis’ assistance in the January incident. US officials denied Pakistan access to the vehicle, and the occupants are widely believed to have left the country.

Police have said they recovered a Glock pistol, four loaded magazines, a GPS navigation system and a small telescope from Davis’ car after the January 27 shooting. The United States postponed a round of high-level talks with Afghanistan and Pakistan following failed attempts to free Davis, and US lawmakers threatened to cut payments to Pakistan unless he is released. (Geo/AFP)

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George ka Khuda Hafiz – 1

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George ka Khuda Hafiz – 1

Posted on 06 March 2011 by PakBee - Total hits: 2,494

For the past nine years, I have been in a dysfunctional relationship. My liaison started somewhat unexpectedly, quickly becoming an all-consuming passionate love affair. My partner reciprocated strongly, bestowing deep affection and adoration upon me. Blinded by love, I was naive to her failings. Yes, at times she was self-destructive, irrational and grossly irresponsible, but I hoped by appealing to her nature’s better angles she could change. Instead, as the years progressed, and, supported by her ‘friends’ in the media, she corroded, simultaneously displaying signs of megalomania and paranoia. Once the relationship turned abusive and I feared for my life, I decide to call it quits. Today, the divorce comes through. Her name is Pakistan. And today, I am leaving her for good.

This was not a difficult decision to make. In fact, I didn’t make the decision. It was made for me. You do not chart your own destiny in Pakistan; Pakistan charts it for you. It’s emigration by a thousand news stories. I am aware that bemoaning the state of Pakistan as a final shot appears churlish and arrogant. After all, I have the luxury to leave — many others do not. Nor do I want to discredit the tireless work of the thousands who remain to improve the lives of millions of Pakistanis. They are better men and women than I. Pakistan has also given me so much over the years. It was Pakistan who introduced me to the love of my life. And it was upon her manicured lawns that we married, and upon her reclaimed soil that we set up our first home. She brought the love of a new family and new friends into my life. And it was Pakistan that witnessed the birth of my son, Faiz — named after one of her greatest sons.

She embraced me like no other gora post-9/11. I appeared in a documentary/reality series titled “George Ka Pakistan”. It allowed me to explore the country. I ploughed fields in the Punjab, built Kalashnikovs in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (probably couldn’t do that now), and mended fishing boats in Balochistan. The culmination of the series saw the then prime minister, Shaukat Aziz, confer Pakistani citizenship upon me, after the viewing public voted overwhelmingly to make me one of them. I was their George. Fame and affection followed.

But that love was conditional. Conditional upon me playing the role cast — the naïve gora. The moment I abandoned the Uncle Tom persona and questioned the defined establishment narratives — whether through my television work or columns — excommunication began. No longer a Pakistani in the eyes of others, my citizenship evidently was not equitable to others.

So, as I depart, I could go with my reputation tarnished, but still largely intact. Or I could leave you with some final words of honesty. Well, true love values honesty far more than a feel-good legacy. So here goes.

Pakistan, you are on a precipice. A wafer-thin sliver is all that stands between you and becoming a failed state. A state that was the culmination of a search for a ‘Muslim space’ by the wealthy Muslims of Northern India has ended up, as MJ Akbar recently pointed out, becoming “one of the most violent nations on earth, not because Hindus were killing Muslims but because Muslims were killings Muslims”.

The assassination of Salmaan Taseer saw not only the death of a man but also represented for me the death of hope in Pakistan. I did not mourn Taseer’s death. I did not know the man. But I mourned what he represented — the death of liberal Pakistan. The governor’s murder reminded us how far the extremist cancer has spread in our society. A cancer in which I saw colleagues and friends on Facebook celebrate his murder. A man murdered for standing up for the most vulnerable in our society — a Christian woman accused of blasphemy. He committed no crime. Instead, he questioned the validity of a man-made law — a law created by the British — that was being used as a tool of repression.

In death, the governor was shunned, unlike his killer, who was praised, garlanded and lionised for shooting Taseer in the back. Mumtaz Qadri became a hero overnight. But Qadri is not just a man — he’s a mindset, as eloquently put by Fifi Haroon. Fascism with an Islamic face is no longer a political or an economic problem in Pakistan, it’s now become a cultural issue. Extremism permeates all strata and socio-economic groups within society. Violent extremists may still make up a minority but extremism now enjoys popular support. As for the dwindling moderates and liberals, they are scared.

Pakistan does not require a secret police, we are in the process of turning upon ourselves. But then what do you expect when your military/intelligence nexus — and their jihadi proxies — have used religious bigotry as a tool of both foreign and domestic policy. It is ironic that the one institution that was designed to protect the idea of Pakistan is the catalyst for its cannibalisation. Christians, Ahmadis, Shias and Barelvis have all been attacked in the past year. Who will be next? Groups once funded and supported by the state have carried out many of these attacks. And many jihadi groups still remain in cahoots with the agencies.

So as I leave Pakistan, I leave her with a sense of melancholy. Personally, for all my early wide-eyed excitement and love for the country and its people, Pakistan has made me cynical, disillusioned and bitter over time. I came here with high hopes, adopting the country, its people and the language. I did find redemption here — but no longer.

Published in The Express Tribune, March 2nd, 2011.

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Raymond Davis enjoys diplomatic immunity: Fauzia Wahab

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Raymond Davis enjoys diplomatic immunity: Fauzia Wahab

Posted on 14 February 2011 by PakBee - Total hits: 2,408

Pakistan People’s Party’s (PPP) Information Secretary Fauzia Wahab on Monday said that Raymond Davis, the American citizen who killed two people in a crowded area of Lahore last month, enjoys diplomatic immunity
Wahab said that diplomats as well as technical staff of foreign missions enjoy immunity under the Vienna Convention, and Raymond Davis is no exception.

Regarding claims made by the former foreign minister, Shah Mehmood Qureshi, that he had refused to grant a diplomatic visa to Raymond Davis, the information secretary said that Qureshi had violated the party’s discipline by making those claims.
She said that the government has to handle this case with care as the United States is the largest donor of foreign aid to Pakistan.

Shah Mehmood Qureshi, who was dropped from the cabinet when a new, smaller cabinet was announced last week, is said to have annoyed the party leadership “over his divergent opinion on the Raymond Davis issue”.

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Zardari meets Bill Gates

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Zardari meets Bill Gates

Posted on 16 January 2011 by PakBee - Total hits: 2,477

ISLAMABAD/ WASHINGTON: Chairman of Microsoft Company Bill Gates has met with President Asif Ali Zardari on Saturday.

The issues about health and education in Pakistan were discussed in the meeting.

Gates assured full cooperation to the president of Pakistan in eradication of polio.

The social welfare organization of Bill Gates will provide polio vaccines to the country.

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