Activists launch leaflets into N. Korea after nuclear test

Activists launch leaflets into N. Korea after nuclear test

Activists launch leaflets into N. Korea after nuclear test

SEOUL: South Korean activists launched tens of thousands of anti-Pyongyang leaflets across the border into North Korea on Thursday, denouncing its latest nuclear test and defying threats of retaliation.

The leaflets, criticising leader Kim Jong-Un for putting nuclear weapons before the wellbeing of his people, were launched with helium balloons from the border city of Paju.

The propaganda exercise, organised by North Korean defector-turned-activist Park Sang-Hak, came amid surging military tensions on the divided Korean peninsula following the North’s fifth and largest-ever nuclear test last week.

Hours before the balloon launch was scheduled to begin, the North’s official KCNA news agency published a commentary describing Park as “human scum without an equal in the world.”

KCNA said the balloon launch was a desperate response to the success of last week’s test, and a bid by Seoul to “stoke confrontation” over the holiday period.

The launch came in the middle of the three-day Chuseok harvest festival holiday — celebrated on both sides of the border.

Conservative South Korean activists, including many North Korean defectors, have been carrying out leafleting exercises using giant helium balloons for years — a practice that infuriates Pyongyang which has threatened military strikes in response.

Source The nation

Trump acknowledges Obama was born in the United States

Trump acknowledges Obama was born in the United States

Trump acknowledges Obama was born in the United States



US Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, who has long questioned President Barack Obama’s US citizenship, on Friday said he believes the president was born in the United States.

“President Barack Obama was born in the United States, period,” Trump said at a campaign event.

Source The nation

Asad Shafiq wants ODI, T20I comebacks

Asad Shafiq wants ODI, T20I comebacks

Asad Shafiq wants ODI, T20I comebacks

Pakistan right-hand batsman Asad Shafiq has expressed his desire to represent the country in ODIs and T20Is as well.

Shafiq was the man-of-the-match in the first semi-final of the on-going National T20 Cup where Karachi Whites beat Peshawar courtesy his unbeaten 92 off 55 balls.

National T20 Cup: Karachi Whites stun Peshawar to reach final

“We felt that if we had a good start then it will help the middle order but luckily we were able to reach the target with eight wickets remaining,” said Shafiq. “I always try to perform in all formats of the game and I am glad to do so in the shortest format today. I am trying to comeback in national ODI and T20I teams again.”

Karachi captain Akbarur Rehman lauded Shafiq’s performance which helped the team to reach the final of the tournament. “We also had the experienced Shafiq to guide us,” he said.

Asad Shafiq reminds Mickey Arthur of Sachin Tendulkar

Karachi Whites will face Karachi Blues in the final of the tournament after the latter beat Lahore Whites by nine wickets in the second semi-final on Thursday.

Mickey all-praise for Shafiq

Pakistan head coach Mickey Arthur earlier on Wednesday said middle-order batsman Asad Shafiq is one player in the national team who reminds him of Indian batting legend Sachin Tendulkar.

Asad Shafiq: Rise of an unnoticed star

“Technically, Asad Shafiq is our best batsman,” said Arthur while talking to ESPNcricinfo. “When he gets forward he is sideways on. Look at him: short, balanced, punches well off the front foot, cuts exceptionally well. At times I could almost visualise Sachin Tendulkar. That is high praise, and I have told him that.”

I dedicate my century to Hanif Mohammad: Asad Shafiq

When asked if he is going to promote Shafiq up the order, Mickey said: “Technically your best player should be batting at No. 3. I was really impressed with Asad, who really wanted the opportunity to bat up the order. He batted up the order at The Oval after getting a pair in Birmingham. And then got a hundred, and that says so much for his temperament and skill.”

Source Tribune

London's Muslim mayor backs Clinton for US president

London’s Muslim mayor backs Clinton for US president

London’s Muslim mayor backs Clinton for US president

London’s first Muslim mayor, Sadiq Khan, voiced support for Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton on Thursday, warning that anti-Muslim views like those espoused by Republican Donald Trump “plays into the hands” of Islamic State.

Video of stumbling Hillary Clinton leaving 9/11 memorial goes viral

During a stop in Chicago on his first visit to the United States, Khan said he was “a big fan” of Clinton and hoped she would win the presidential election in November. “She’s arguably the most experienced candidate to run to be the president,” Khan told reporters following a speech to more than 250 academics, diplomats and business people.

Clinton and the vanishing press conference

“As the father of two daughters, I think the message it sends when the most powerful politician in the world is a woman is phenomenal, and hope she wins,” said Khan, who as mayor of London is arguably one the most influential member of his faith in western Europe. Immediately after taking office in May, Khan tangled with Trump over his proposed ban on allowing Muslim immigrants and refugees into America, deriding his plan as “ignorant.”

Clinton regrets calling ‘half’ of Trump backers ‘deplorable’

During his roughly 45-minute speech before the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, Khan did not mention Trump by name but attacked the positions the New York developer has staked, such as tightening Muslim immigration into the United States. “I think to suggest somehow that Muslims aren’t welcome in the USA, to suggest somehow that being a Muslim isn’t compatible with being western, unintentionally plays into the hands of daesh or so-called ISIS,” Khan said.

Trump has offered an evolving stance on Muslim immigration into the United States since his original December 2015 call for a ban on Muslims entering the country. Earlier this summer, he voiced support for limiting the ban to only countries with known terrorist links. Last month, he appeared to moderate somewhat on an outright ban by touting the idea of the United States undertaking “extreme vetting” of incoming Muslim immigrants, refugees or visitors.

source Tribune

Poll shows Ireland most supportive of Syrian refugees

Poll shows Ireland most supportive of Syrian refugees

Poll shows Ireland most supportive of Syrian refugees


More than three quarters of Europeans sympathize with Syrian refugees coming to their countries, a poll found on Friday, challenging reports of growing anti-immigration sentiment across the continent.

EU nations must not to refuse Muslim migrants: Merkel

Ireland topped the poll of European countries that are most supportive of Syrian refugees with 87 percent of people interviewed there showing sympathy for them, while Slovakia ranked bottom.

The Ipsos MORI survey also showed that less than a third of the roughly 12,000 people polled across 12 EU countries believe refugees are a risk to national security despite a number of recent attacks involving migrants. “These findings show that Europeans have not lost their hearts,” said David Miliband, CEO of International Rescue Committee (IRC), an aid organisation which commissioned the poll.

Merkel ‘firmly’ rejects reversing refugee policy after attacks

The survey comes as Europe grapples with its worst migration crisis since World War Two. More than one million people fleeing war and poverty in the Middle East, Africa and elsewhere reached Europe last year. Syrians made up 28 percent of the 2015 arrivals, according to the UN refugee agency UNHCR. Of the people polled, 30 percent said one of their top three concerns was that refugees posed a security threat.

US will welcome target of 10,000 Syria refugees: Kerry

The survey was published as anti-immigration parties make gains in several EU countries. Earlier this month, German Chancellor Angela Merkel acknowledged that her liberal migrant policy contributed to a humiliating state election rout on Sept. 4, where her Christian Democrats (CDU) finished third behind the surging anti-immigrant Alternative for Germany (AfD) party.

Nationalist, anti-immigration parties are also leading opinion polls in France and the Netherlands ahead of general elections next year. “At a time when toxic rhetoric has found its way into the political mainstream, there is a clear call here for governments to combine compassion with competence in responding to the refugee crisis,” Miliband said in a statement. “The refugee crisis is a human tragedy but it does not need to become a political disaster.

Source Tribune


Pakistan: PEMRA takes notice of airing provocative content against Ahmadi religious minority

Pakistan: PEMRA takes notice of airing provocative content against Ahmadi religious minority

Pakistan: PEMRA takes notice of airing provocative content against Ahmadi religious minority


Anjuman Ahmadiyya Pakistan president alleges that NEO TV and Channel 92 aired some content which was against minority

ISLAMABAD: Media watchdog, Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra), on Thursday took notice of airing provocative content allegedly aimed to target a religious minority by two private television channels.

The complaint, filed by the President of Anjuman Ahmadiyya Pakistan, alleges that two satellite TV channels – NEO TV and Channel 92 – aired some content which was against the minority whose members have already been threatened, harassed and targeted for their religious beliefs.

A statement issued by the media regulator said that not only Anjuman Ahmadiyya, but the general public too lodged complaints against the two separate programmes aired by these TV channels.

Army won’t leave until peace is restored, says Gen Raheel

Army won’t leave until peace is restored, says Gen Raheel

Army won’t leave until peace is restored, says Gen Raheel


Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Raheel Sharif visited the Bajaur Agency and offered Eid prayers with Army and FC troops, an ISPR press release said.

The COAS, the ISPR stated, also reviewed the ongoing stablisation operations, rehabilitation/reconstruction efforts and measures to enforce border management along Pakistan-Afghanistan border in the agency.

Commending the soldiers for rendering countless sacrifices, he appreciated their high state of morale regardless of remoteness of the area and celebrating the Eid away from their families.

According to the ISPR statement, tribal elders also joined the Army Chief in offering Eid prayers and spent time with him.

While talking with tribal elders, the COAS praised their sacrifices in the cause of eliminating terrorists and restoring peace in the area. He urged them to continue supporting the security forces for keeping the writ of the state which “is now helping us bring about development and prosperity in the Agency”.

The COAS reiterated the nation’s resolve and said that the armed forces would not leave the area without completing the job of bringing peace, completing rehabilitation and transferring administrative control to an institutionalised mechanism.

Later, tribal elders thanked Pakistan Army and the COAS for eliminating terrorists and assured him that
they would continue to support the security forces for keeping peace in the agency and would never allow terrorists to return to their areas.

 Source The Express Tribune, September 16th, 2016.


Honour killings: Murders on rise as govt sits on pro-women bills

Honour killings: Murders on rise as govt sits on pro-women bills


Honour killings: Murders on rise as govt sits on pro-women bills


As the government continues to drag its feet on two crucial women’s protection bills, previously unpublished data has revealed that an overwhelming majority of those killing women in Punjab are husbands, brothers or fathers.

According to data compiled by the NGO Aurat Foundation, of the 724 women murdered in the province last year, 190 were killed by their husbands, 50 by their brothers and 24 by their fathers. The pattern was prevalent especially in honour killing cases, where 75 out of 170 women were killed by their brothers, 36 by their husbands and 20 by their fathers.

Mother of three, boyfriend killed over ‘honour’ in Punjab

Despite calls for the swift passage of the anti-honour killing and anti-rape bills, the government has appeared unwilling to expedite the legislations even as incidents of violence against women increase across the country. Deepening political turmoil in the shape of anti-government protests by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf and other parties has effectively kept the two pro-women bills on the backburner.

Talking to The Express Tribune last week, Pakistan Peoples Party Senator Farhatullah Babar accused the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz government of not being serious about legislating on important issues. “After the Panama leaks, the government has become vulnerable and is pandering to the demands of religious parties,” he suggested.

Prime Minister’s Special Assistant on Law and Justice Zafarullah Khan, however, disagreed with the notion of delay and said instead the reason was building consensus of all the stakeholders.

The two bills were originally presented in Senate in January 2014 by former senator Sughra Imam. However, they could not be presented during a joint sitting of parliament in April this year, in the face of opposition from the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F).

A special parliamentary panel finally passed the bills unanimously on July 21, paving the way for them to be adopted during a joint parliamentary session in August. But the joint sitting was delayed amid political bickering between the government and opposition.

Underage girl challenges jirga’s decision in court

The two bills have proposed amendments in sections 302, 309, 310, 338-E of PPC and Section 345 CrPC to do away with the waiver of Qisas by a wali and include the offence committed in the name or on the pretext of honour. Similarly, existing provisions of sections 336-A and 336-B of PPC have also been proposed by the Cabinet Committee on Law Reforms for amendments.

Violence against women remains a serious issue in Pakistan and Punjab seems to be leading in this heinous practice.  As many as 5,827 cases were reported in 2015 and Faisalabad topped the list with 1,158 cases. According to the data, Rahimyar Khan trailed behind Faisalabad with 439 cases. Rawalpindi and Lahore reported 321 cases each while Sahiwal reported 254 cases.

Violence against women included incidents of kidnappings, acid-throwing, burning, torture, Vani, Watta-Satta, murders, honour killings, rapes/gang rapes, Karo-Kari, early and forced marriages.

Beating women appeared to be the preferred mode of maiming and murdering women and 832 cases were reported in this connection while use of gun was reported in 725 cases. The use of poison stood at third position with 623 cases while there were 612 cases of kidnapping at gunpoint.

Coercion, harassment, threats and deception were also used in violence against women.

Acid was used in 84 attacks, knives in 120 incidents. Axe and other sharp implements were used on 90 occasions, while there were 99 cases of strangulation.

Man who killed wife for ‘honour’ decade ago slays second for same reason

The data also showed that involvement of husbands in cases of crimes against women remained the highest with 384 cases, fathers were involved in 80 such cases, 170 by brothers, 51 by parents, 43 by in-laws, 50 by former husbands, nine by step-fathers, five by step-brothers, 35 by sons, 10 by step-sons, 676 local residents, 148 neighbours, 435 by strangers, 100 by relatives, 36 by police, 19 by Pirs, 156 by influential persons.

Director Advocacy, Aurat Foundation, Rabeea Hadi said that in urban areas, specifically in industrial cities, more cases of violence against women were reported because of easy media access.

She said the factor of poverty also played an important role in these crimes.

“Women are not allowed to do things of their free will and men want to control their lives. This control mechanism generally generates domestic violence against women irrespective of the victim’s relation: she may be a wife, daughter, mother, sister or any other relative,” she maintained.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 16th, 2016.

At least 16 killed in suicide blast at Mohmand Agency mosque

At least 16 killed in suicide blast at Mohmand Agency mosque

At least 16 killed in suicide blast at Mohmand Agency mosque


At least 16 people were killed while another 24 injured in a suspected suicide blast inside a local mosque in Mohmand Agency during Friday prayers.

Confirming the incident, assistant political agent told The Express Tribune that the mosque was located in village Paye Khan in Anbar tehsil of the agency. “It was a suicide blast,” the assistant political agent quoted a witness as saying.

“The suicide bomber was in crowded mosque, he shouted
‘Allahu Akbar’, and then there was a huge blast,” Naveed Akbar,
deputy administrator of Mohmand agency, told Reuters. Another regional official confirmed the blast and said at
least 24 people were wounded.

Rescue teams and police arrived at the site of the explosion. The bodies and the injured are being shifted to local hospitals for medical treatment.

At least 14 killed, 52 wounded in suicide blast at Mardan district courts

On Thursday, a woman was killed in a hand grenade attack in Lower Mohmand Agency. An official of political administration said unidentified militants lobbed grenades and opened fire at the house of a pro-government tribal elder Malik Nasir Khan in Shah Alam Sali, Michni. As a result, a woman who was inside the house was killed. However, the militants fled the site after retaliatory fire from the neighbouring houses.

Earlier this month, at least 14 people were killed and 52 others injured in a suicide attack at Mardan’s district courts. Six lawyers and two policemen were among the dead. The attacker lobbed a hand grenade at the entrance of the court before exploding himself at the main gate of Mardan district courts, DPO Mardan told The Express Tribune.


Source express