In world’s largest democracy, even today, an Indian Muslim is not allowed to buy a property in Mumbai


Bollywood star Emran Hashmi says no house for him in Mumbai because he’s a Muslim

by Kingshuk Nag

The government of the day shouts from the rooftops that it wants to build an inclusive society. The Constitution of India guarantees equal rights for all its citizens. Yet, actor Emran Hashmi is unable to buy a property in Mumbai’s Pali Hills because he is a Muslim.

Well, nobody tells him that he is being denied the right to buy the flat because he is a Muslim, but for obvious reasons the housing society denies him a no-objection certificate. (more…)

Pakistan, a Suicidal Nation in the Crosshairs


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First a comment from a blogger friend (eideard.wordpress.com).
The North Carolina security contractor Blackwater Worldwide has changed its name to Xe, a company memo says. Company President Gary Jackson said in a memo that the company has been reorganizing for several months to “create unique brand identities for its products and services,”
As part of its rebranding, the company is jettisoning the name Blackwater and its red-and-black bear-claw logo.
Blackwater was involved in several controversies over its security work in Iraq on behalf of the U.S. government. There were high-profile investigations into alleged gun smuggling and the shooting of civilians in Baghdad.
Robert Passikoff, president of the New York marketing research firm Brand Keys Inc., said “There’s an old

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saying about brands: ‘When you can’t change the product, you change the packaging.’”

A mercenary thug by any other name…

Sleazy bastards. The right-wing politicians in bed with them could care less about the name. They’ll still roll over and spout greenbacks whenever they’re asked.

Destroying ourselves with a little help from the US


Shireen M Mazari


The chaos that is spreading within the country is frightening and a result of bad or lack of governance on one hand and the US intrusions and questionable activities in Pakistan on the other.In the first instance, there is no civilian governance infrastructure to take over and govern the “cleared” areas inMalakand – but then there is no governance even in more central parts of the country. That is why we have had the despicable attack on the poor and marginalised Christians in Gojra – once again under the shameful and protective guise of the Blasphemy Law. Never has a Law been so abused to wreak violence on our minorities’ whom the Founder of the Nation, Quaid-i-Azam, declared as equal citizens in the state of Pakistan. Clearly, there is so much hatred, intolerance and violence endemic within us that we do not need any Taliban to kill and harm our less fortunate fellow citizens. And where were the government and the law and order institutions when all this barbarism was being carried out?
As Pakistanis we must hang our heads once again in shame; but the main concern for us should not be simply our image internationally but what we are becoming within our own society. That is what should be of primary concern for the leadership. That is why in many previous columns I have been pointing to the dangers of bringing our marginalised population within the mainstream and delivering justice to the people so that they all have a stake in the system and the state – be they the marginalised Madrassah students or the marginalised minorities’. Otherwise extremism and violence will fester – Taliban or no Taliban – and as a desperate measure sending in the military will only aggravate not resolve the problem. And one has yet to talk of Balochistan where targeted killings continue while politicians continue to talk rather than act despite a seeming political consensus on what needs to be done. Why a beginning towards reconciliation cannot be made by declaring a general amnesty for all political prisoners and exiles only our bizarre ruling elites’ mindsets can understand but we are on a precipice here.
However, the other cause for chaos can be resolved more readily – that of the growing intrusiveness and questionable role of the US within Pakistan. For some time now one has been raising questions about the strange US presence in areas around Tarbela and in Peshawar. Then there was the news of the assassination squads controlled by the US Department of Defence rather than the CIA, of which the new US commander in Afghanistan, General McChrystal was a central actor. This information helped to link up differing pieces of a growing puzzle about the increasing US personnel in Pakistan. A cause for concern, given these developments, is the US plan to spend $1 billion to expand its presence in Islamabad – especially, since central to this plan is the importation of almost 400 Marines with hundreds of APCs. There is absolutely no logic to this, but who will tell our rulers who seem hell-bent on kowtowing before Washington? Incidentally already the US contingent in Pakistan is way over the sanctioned strength of 350 but does anyone in the corridors of power in Pakistan care?
Nor is the US Marines presence restricted to Islamabad. As some of us had been writing much earlier, they had been spotted in and around Tarbela also – where our military’s Special Operation Task Force is located. It now transpires that there are already 300 plus US military personnel in this area – the so-called “trainers”. Of course, given the poor counter insurgency record of the US, heaven knows what training they will impart to our much better trained army! Also, if they were only “trainers” why would the US buy a large plot of land around Tarbela and send twenty large containers there according to an investigative Asia Times Online report (3August 2009).

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As if all these US military and undercover officials crawling all over the sensitive parts of the country were not enough, it appears that the US is also using private covert setups to further a dubious and threatening agenda within Pakistan. The centre of these suspicious covert operations is Peshawar, and the central organisation is Creative Associates International Inc. (CAII – as opposed to CIA), which refers to itself as an NGO on its website but on further investigation it transpires that the organisation is registered as a private incorporated company in Washington D.C – not an NGO! A 27 July 2009 report by Sarwar and Yousafzai for Deutsche Presse-Agentur (DPA) reveals that CAII has been terrifying the residents of University Town Peshawar because of its US security guards – ostensibly from that notorious US security contractor Blackwater (now renamed Xe Worldwide) whose employees already face charges of murder, arms smuggling and child prostitution in Iraq.
What is very suspicious is that CAII’s website shows no identification of its owners although its staff is identified. Also, although it is supposed to be a private corporation, all its work around the world is totally funded by USAid and the US government and the projects are all in sensitive areas only – Sri Lanka, Gaza, Angola, Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan. CAII is working supposedly on a strange-sounding project in FATA – FATA Development Programme Government to Community. In reality, its staff goes around escorted by the killer Blackwater guards, meeting militants and other suspect people being sought by the Pakistani authorities in FATA and the Peshawar environs. Of the 30 job openings listed on its website presently, at least half are for Pakistan.
During the latter half of July, a US citizen, Craig Davis, was arrested from the CAII house in Peshawar, his visa cancelled and deported. Interestingly, when a journalist sought to verify this information from the US embassy, its spokesperson first declared that Davis had nothing to do with the US embassy but then stated that the embassy knew nothing about this man. So if they knew nothing of the man’s existence, how was it known that he did not work for the US embassy?
The point is, clearly there is a threatening US agenda including seeking out our nuclear sites and assassinating people thereby adding to our chaos and violence. But the question is: who has allowed us to be confronted with such a dubious and large US covert and overt presence in Pakistan? Some believe that during the previous regime, certain segments of certain institutions had orders from the top to allow this dangerous US infiltration into Pakistan but no one else was informed. However, now who is responsible for the continuing presence of these people in sensitive areas where they are also terrorising the local populations?
mouse-mission-impossible_002(Left) “A Dollar trap for Pakistani Job seekers”
When we as a society are facing our own problems of violence and terrorism, we can hardly afford to have such a volatile US presence here which will only aggravate our problems of violence and law and order. It is also sad to learn that Blackwater has been able to recruit dozens of retired commandos from the Pakistan army and elite police force through its local subcontractors according to the DPA report. Are Pakistanis so willing to knowingly act against their nation for dollars?
With increasing information about the dangerous US presence in Pakistan, it is not difficult to connect the dots also – with our nuclear assets, the institution of the military and the remaining strands of stability being the targets. Unless someone can stop the rot, it is only a matter of time before the US forces cross over physically on the ground from across Afghanistan. They may not get the triggers they plan on seizing but they can trigger a push towards total anarchy. Our rulers are certainly in self-destruct mode aided and abetted by the US.
The writer is a defence analyst. Email: callstr@hotmail.com
Source: therearenosunglasses Posted: August 16, 2009
Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the ‘Wonders of Pakistan’. The contents of this article too are the sole responsibility of the author(s). WoP will not be responsible or liable for any inaccurate or incorrect statements contained in this post.

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American NGO Covers For Blackwater In Pakistan?


In May, a US diplomat was caught arranging a meeting between a suspected Indian spy and senior Pakistani officials in the privacy of her house.  In June when Pakistani officials confronted Washington with evidence that terrorists in Pakistan were using sophisticated American weapons, US media quickly leaked stories about American weapons missing from the US-trained Afghan army. 
And now reports confirm that the dirty secret arm of the US government – the mercenaries of Blackwater – have infiltrated sensitive regions of Pakistan.  Blackwater works as an extension of the US military and CIA, taking care of dirty jobs that the US government cannot associate itself with in faraway strategic places.  The question: Who let them in? And who deported one of them, if at all?


REPORTS SUGGEST PAKISTAN HAS EXPELLED A US BLACKWATER MERCENARY, BUT PAKISTANIS ASK”WHO RULES OUR STREETS, THE PAKISTANI GOVERNMENT OR THE AMERICANS?” AND WHO LET THEM IN?

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byAhmed Quraishi

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Last month a group of concerned Pakistani citizens in Peshawar wrote to the federal interior ministry to complain about the suspicious activities of a group of shadowy Americans in a rented house in their neighborhood, the upscale University Town area of Peshawar.

An NGO calling itself Creative Associates International, Inc. leased the house.  CAII, as it is known by its acronym, is a Washington DC-based private firm.  According to its Web site,the company describes itself as “a privately-owned non-governmental organization that addresses urgent challenges facing societies today …Creative views change as an opportunity to improve, transform and renew …”

The description makes no sense.  It is more or less a perfect cover for the American NGO’s real work: espionage. (more…)

Happy Independence Day India


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Happy Independence Day to all our Indian readers! May this day enable the two nations sit around a table and sort out all outstanding issues between them, turning this subcontinent into a zone of peace and tranquility, such that it becomes a model for other nations to emulate.


My good wishes, as they say in Hindi “Shubh KamanayaiN” go to my friends Sudhusaaheb, Mayank Austen Soofi and Ramaswami, who have kindled the light of friendship between our two countries by inserting excellent content in their respective weblogs.

Pakistan Zindabad

India Pakistan Dosti Paindabad

Afghan elections: 80% puppetry, 20% political drama


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“Despite these sham elections, eventually the Pashtuns will kick out the Yankees, just as they did to the Soviets,” says an analyst on Afghan affairs


by Ben Tanosborn

In less than two weeks, Afghanistan will hold its second presidential elections since the United States occupied that country in November 2001.
Democratic elections, we deem them to be, although many Afghans and foreigners alike consider the process more of an American coronation of another vassal-monarch from that celebrated dynasty: the House of Dollar. Of course, the title is one of president; Zahir Shah being the last king, one never to lay claim to the throne since deposed in 1973 — now dead for two years.
As much as I have always been drawn to both culture and history from that part of the world, I have never visited the land, and have known but a few Afghans that I never considered being representative of that nation; all from the upper class, either university students or well-off professionals choosing their own exile. And during the last six years in which I have extended notes and commentary in my columns about this rugged, exotic (to me) land, I have relied greatly on briefings/discussions by/with my European journalist friend, Mingo, whose judgment and impartiality I trust, an unquestionable Afghanphile who has spent almost eight years of the last decade in that country, speaks fluent Dari and has innumerable friends and connections throughout that land.
“Americans’ ill-placed honor,” Mingo tells me, “may force the White House, Pentagon and Congress to stay on with this war in the manner they did with Vietnam four decades ago; but your stay in Afghanistan, if that’s the path Obama chooses, will be as painful or worse . . . and eventually, just as they did to the Russians, the Pashtun will kick you out.”
Americans shouldn’t count on a round one victory for Pres. Hamid Karzai on August 20; that is, unless the turnout in the southern Pashtun region is very strong, or the fraud that has been perpetrated in voter registration was deeply rigged to favor the present leader, more so than any of the other 35 candidates. As far as Mingo sees it, corruption is so pervasive in government — at both federal and provincial levels — that some voters could end up going to the polls several times. But whether Karzai comes out the victor, or one of his top two rivals — former foreign minister Abdullah Abdullah and ex-finance minister Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai — is able to muster a coalition to dethrone him, the country will remain in the “good hands of corruption” that seems to be part of everyone’s life, and one of the fundamental reasons for the rebellion of so many Afghans against the West and those amongst them who benefit from the occupiers’ presence.
Mingo is convinced that, overwhelmingly, the population looks back with nostalgia at the days of peace and Islamic justice, sharia, when the Taliban ruled Afghanistan.
During the past half century, Afghans have been exposed to both the preaching and the practices of three distinct political philosophies: socialism “Soviet Union -style,” fundamentalist Islam from the Taliban, and that democratic capitalism espoused by the West — more specifically, American capitalism. To Mingo, their choice and loyalty may be split from time to time, but the latter clearly emerges as a poor third choice.
So if Americans insist in staying there, it is to secure their own interests . . . and not the overall interests of the Afghan people, no matter how many places Americans help secure in schools for women, or how much is spent in public relations when Afghans’ eyes and ears are tuned to the number of civilian casualties our military inflicts in the process of killing the Taliban. Not a pretty picture, particularly when compared to the Russian “collateral experience” there . . . and from a military with such accurate weaponry as the Pentagon claims. And, of course, sartorial Hamid Karzai is always caught in the middle, defending the occupiers, yet trying to appear to his people as their ombudsman.
The White House, Pentagon and even the Afghan government may downplay the concerns expressed by think-tanks — the International Council on Security and Development (ICOS) topping them all — as to how significant the presence of the Taliban is in most parts of Afghanistan. But casualties that both America and other NATO members are likely to suffer will eventually tell it all. And, Mingo claims, the 2007 plan of the Taliban to have this geometric progression in hostilities in their campaign to retake the country by 2011 is running like clockwork. So far, their overall strategy and nature of their tactics are proving them to be right on the money.
But if our CIA is inefficient or derelict in bringing this reality to the White House, Israel’s Mossad is not, and they have their Zionist marionettes in the top slots of the appropriate committees of the US Senate trying to get the White House to double (or triple) the number of Afghan forces in the next two years, at whatever cost “they” (a Senate that obviously will work for AIPAC and not the interests of the American people) would be willing to fund, perhaps as much as $30 billion in the next two years. Yep, Israel can count on Senators Carl Levin, chairman of the Armed Services Committee, and Joseph Lieberman, chairman of the Homeland Security Committee, to get the job done. And a Rahm Emanuel at the White House is ready to cram it down the president’s throat!
But a 400,000 or 500,000 Afghan combined military-police force won’t stop the Taliban, says Mingo, and most of such “trained force” is likely to defect to the Taliban, at the proper time, against their nation’s puppet regime.
Is America’s military presence in Afghanistan one of economic and military interests, or is it just Americans’ instinct to ask “how high” when the Israelis ask them to jump? A rather easy but embarrassing question that needs to be asked!

© 2009 Ben Tanosborn

Ben Tanosborn, columnist, poet and writer, resides in Vancouver, Washington (USA), where he is principal of a business consulting firm. Contact him at ben@tanosborn.com
Source : online journal.com Cross posted at: Mathaba.net Posted: August 14, 2009
Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the ‘Wonders of Pakistan’. The contents of this article too are the sole responsibility of the author(s). WoP will not be responsible or liable for any inaccurate or incorrect statements contained in this post.

YOUR COMMENT IS IMPORTANT

DO NOT UNDERESTIMATE THE POWER OF YOUR COMMENT

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