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Post Info TOPIC: இஸ்லாமிய செய்திகள்-Muslim World- முஸ்லிம்


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RE: இஸ்லாமிய செய்திகள்-Muslim World- முஸ்லிம்
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Fracne mali 20130115aL013100006 20130115aL013100002 Pak 20130115aL013100007  20130115aI010100002



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Fracne mali 20130115aL013100006 20130115aL013100002 Pak 20130115aL013100007  20130115aI010100002



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Have govt schemes failed Muslims 

20% Of Minority Affairs Min Funds Unused;Schemes Cover Just 50% Of Muslims 

Subodh Varma TIG Source: RBI 


Six years ago,the Sachar Committee report showed that the Muslim community in India suffers from severe deprivations in education,employment,health services,public infrastructure,access to financial services leading to much higher poverty than other religious groups,somewhat like the condition of scheduled castes and tribes.The government responded by setting up aseparate ministry for minority affairs,and launching several programs to provide benefits to the Muslims.
How have these programs fared And,what is the condition of Muslims in the key areas that the Sachar committee had underlined A report authored by Abusaleh Sharif,member secretary of the Sachar committee and the man widely regarded as being the main author of that committees report,indicates that not much has changed.
The report has been released by the US-India Policy Institute of which Sharif is now the chief scholar.
In a unique exercise,Sharif has calculated that providing education to Muslim and SC/ST communities would on its own boost the GDP growth rate up to 12%.At present,Muslims contribute only 11.2% to the countrys GDP while dalits and adivasis contribute only 16.5%.
This is because these communities are poorly educated and forced to work in traditional and low value creating occupations.In traditional services,the share of Muslims and SC/STs in the workforce is about 18% each while in modern services their respective shares are just 8 and 14%.
Comparing NSSO data of 2004-05 with 2009-10,the report notes that in this period literacy levels of Muslim OBCs improved by 5.9 percentage points in rural areas and 5.3 points in urban areas.In the same period,literacy among dalits improved by 8.5 points in rural areas and 5.1 points in urban areas.Among tribal communities,literacy shot up by 11.3 points in rural areas and 8.6 points in urban areas.As a result,Muslims,who were earlier roughly at the same level as dalits and tribals,are now beginning to lag behind.
At the class 10 level,a similar situation exists.In both rural and urban areas,the number of students clearing class 10 has increased by 13% and 11% for STs and SCs respectively in urban areas,and 10% and 9%,respectively in rural areas.For Muslims,the change is only about 5% to 7% in rural and urban areas.
The share of 17 to 29 years old youths who are in higher education has increased by just 1.6 percentage points for Muslim OBCs over the same period.For other Muslims,it has increased by a minuscule 0.8 points.Compare this with a 9.4 points increase among Hindu upper castes and 5.3 points among Hindu OBCs.The improvement in dalits and tribals are similar to the Muslims.
Analysis of the nature of employment across different types of work shows that Muslims continue to be concentrated in lower paying jobs.The source of income for almost a quarter of Muslim households is self-employment in non-agricultural occupations,mainly artisanal work.
Only 14% of dalits and 6% of tribals earn their living from similar occupations.Another 23% of Muslims households earn by doing agricultural labour.Among dalits and tribals,the shares are 36% for this occupation.
In urban areas,over 45% of Muslims are self employed more than any other community.They are usually involved in petty trade and various services like repair,etc.
In the better paying and more secure salaried jobs,Muslims have the lowest share of all communities.
NSSO data from 2009-10 shows that in urban areas,over 88% of Muslims workers of age 15 years and above are in informal employment,the highest for any community.Muslims make up just over 6% of all government jobs,the lowest share of all communities and social groups.
Government schemes like the MGNREGS meant to provide a cushion for the unemployed too seem to have bypassed the Muslim community as Muslim households made up only 2.3% of those that got work under the scheme.
The report also points out that there is policy confusion about how minority communities are to be targeted for benefits under various schemes.Two sets of minority concentration districts (MCDs) have been flagged one set is of 90 districts having 52% Muslim and 3.3% Christian population while the other set of 121 districts is the target of the prime ministers 15-point programme and has 66% Muslim and 11% Christian population.
Financial inclusion by extending credit facilities to the minority community on a priority basis is one of the big planks of the 15-point program.RBI data shows that in the 121 districts,average per capita advances to Muslims increased from Rs 50,000 in 2008 to over Rs 100,000 in 2011.But in the same districts,advances to Hindus increased from around Rs 230,000 in 2008 to Rs 270,000 by 2011.
The report reviews expenditure by the ministry of minority affairs and shows that while allocation has increased from Rs 500 cr in 2008-09 to Rs 3,135 cr in 2012-13,the actual per capita expenditure was working out to just Rs 230 in 2011-12 because 20% of the funds remained unutilized and also because coverage of the schemes was only about 50% of the total Muslim population.

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Have govt schemes failed Muslims 

20% Of Minority Affairs Min Funds Unused;Schemes Cover Just 50% Of Muslims 

Subodh Varma TIG Source: RBI 


Six years ago,the Sachar Committee report showed that the Muslim community in India suffers from severe deprivations in education,employment,health services,public infrastructure,access to financial services leading to much higher poverty than other religious groups,somewhat like the condition of scheduled castes and tribes.The government responded by setting up aseparate ministry for minority affairs,and launching several programs to provide benefits to the Muslims.
How have these programs fared And,what is the condition of Muslims in the key areas that the Sachar committee had underlined A report authored by Abusaleh Sharif,member secretary of the Sachar committee and the man widely regarded as being the main author of that committees report,indicates that not much has changed.
The report has been released by the US-India Policy Institute of which Sharif is now the chief scholar.
In a unique exercise,Sharif has calculated that providing education to Muslim and SC/ST communities would on its own boost the GDP growth rate up to 12%.At present,Muslims contribute only 11.2% to the countrys GDP while dalits and adivasis contribute only 16.5%.
This is because these communities are poorly educated and forced to work in traditional and low value creating occupations.In traditional services,the share of Muslims and SC/STs in the workforce is about 18% each while in modern services their respective shares are just 8 and 14%.
Comparing NSSO data of 2004-05 with 2009-10,the report notes that in this period literacy levels of Muslim OBCs improved by 5.9 percentage points in rural areas and 5.3 points in urban areas.In the same period,literacy among dalits improved by 8.5 points in rural areas and 5.1 points in urban areas.Among tribal communities,literacy shot up by 11.3 points in rural areas and 8.6 points in urban areas.As a result,Muslims,who were earlier roughly at the same level as dalits and tribals,are now beginning to lag behind.
At the class 10 level,a similar situation exists.In both rural and urban areas,the number of students clearing class 10 has increased by 13% and 11% for STs and SCs respectively in urban areas,and 10% and 9%,respectively in rural areas.For Muslims,the change is only about 5% to 7% in rural and urban areas.
The share of 17 to 29 years old youths who are in higher education has increased by just 1.6 percentage points for Muslim OBCs over the same period.For other Muslims,it has increased by a minuscule 0.8 points.Compare this with a 9.4 points increase among Hindu upper castes and 5.3 points among Hindu OBCs.The improvement in dalits and tribals are similar to the Muslims.
Analysis of the nature of employment across different types of work shows that Muslims continue to be concentrated in lower paying jobs.The source of income for almost a quarter of Muslim households is self-employment in non-agricultural occupations,mainly artisanal work.
Only 14% of dalits and 6% of tribals earn their living from similar occupations.Another 23% of Muslims households earn by doing agricultural labour.Among dalits and tribals,the shares are 36% for this occupation.
In urban areas,over 45% of Muslims are self employed more than any other community.They are usually involved in petty trade and various services like repair,etc.
In the better paying and more secure salaried jobs,Muslims have the lowest share of all communities.
NSSO data from 2009-10 shows that in urban areas,over 88% of Muslims workers of age 15 years and above are in informal employment,the highest for any community.Muslims make up just over 6% of all government jobs,the lowest share of all communities and social groups.
Government schemes like the MGNREGS meant to provide a cushion for the unemployed too seem to have bypassed the Muslim community as Muslim households made up only 2.3% of those that got work under the scheme.
The report also points out that there is policy confusion about how minority communities are to be targeted for benefits under various schemes.Two sets of minority concentration districts (MCDs) have been flagged one set is of 90 districts having 52% Muslim and 3.3% Christian population while the other set of 121 districts is the target of the prime ministers 15-point programme and has 66% Muslim and 11% Christian population.
Financial inclusion by extending credit facilities to the minority community on a priority basis is one of the big planks of the 15-point program.RBI data shows that in the 121 districts,average per capita advances to Muslims increased from Rs 50,000 in 2008 to over Rs 100,000 in 2011.But in the same districts,advances to Hindus increased from around Rs 230,000 in 2008 to Rs 270,000 by 2011.
The report reviews expenditure by the ministry of minority affairs and shows that while allocation has increased from Rs 500 cr in 2008-09 to Rs 3,135 cr in 2012-13,the actual per capita expenditure was working out to just Rs 230 in 2011-12 because 20% of the funds remained unutilized and also because coverage of the schemes was only about 50% of the total Muslim population.

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Pak cleric leads thousands in anti-corruption march 

Omer Farooq Khan TNN 

Islamabad: Accompanied by thousands of supporters,Pakistani-Canadian scholar Tahir-ul-Qadri kicked off his million-man long march against corruption from Lahore to Islamabad on Sunday.
It is a march for democracy,against looters and plunderers ruling from Islamabad and Lahore.It is a march against the evil forces,against those exploiting poor people,oppressors and the corrupt, Qadri said before departing from Lahore.
He asked the federal government to dismiss the Balochistan government for failing to protect people.Around 124 people,92 of them Shias,were killed in blasts in Quetta city,capital of Balochistan province,on Thursday.
To block the march due to reach Islamabad on Monday,the government sealed Islamabads red zone by placing containers on all roads leading to important buildings.
Interior minister Rehman Malik warned of serious security threat to Qadri and his followers.If any untoward incident,including an act of terrorism occurred,during his long march,the responsibility would rest with Qadri, Malik said.He said that evidence could be produced at any forum,including the supreme court,which would prove that Qadri has brought heavy funding for this anti-democratic attack.
Qadri,a dual national of Canada and Pakistan,had founded Minhaj-ul-Quran,an educational and charity network working in 90 countries around the globe in 1981.
He recently returned to Pakistan with a revolutionary plan of changing the fate of the country after staying in Canada for almost seven years.

Shia stir spreads as PM offers balm 


Protests against attacks on Shias spread across Pakistan on Sunday as the PM flew to Quetta to meet mourners who refused to bury their dead until the government promised them better protection from Sunni militants.The protests were triggered by twin bombings on Thursday targetting Shias in Quetta.Thousands of Hazaras have been holding vigils at the site of the attacks beside the shrouded victims and were preparing for a third night outside in cold and rain.REUTERS 

14 soldiers killed in a roadside blast 


At least 14 Pakistani soldiers were killed and 25 injured when a roadside bomb went off in the countrys northwestern tribal region on Sunday,officials said.The bomb went off when a military convoy was passing near Dosali village on Miramshah-Razmak road in North Waziristan. The bomb was detonated by a remote control device when a military convoy was passing through the area, an intelligence official said.The incident came a day after Pakistan Taliban circulated leaflets in Waziristan calling for attacks on the military to cease.


Omer Farooq Khan TNN 



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RALLYING POINT: Pakistani cleric Tahir-ul-Qadri kicks off million-man long march from Lahore to Islamabad on Sunday 



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Uncertain Democratic Transition 

A stand-off between Bangladesh government and opposition is deepening tensions in Dhaka 

Subir Bhaumik 

Last month,the street protests were back with a vengeance in Bangladesh.The 18-party opposition alliance led by the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) said it would not return from the streets until the caretaker system for holding elections was restored.Two nationwide strikes and a countrywide road blockade marked the week ending with Victory Day celebrations on December 15-16.After a breather during the second half of December,to allow unhindered celebrations of the Victory Day that rekindles the passions of the 1971 Liberation War,the BNP-led opposition is back on confrontation course.
The BNP-led opposition alliance is upset with the Awami League governments decision to do away with the caretaker system for holding elections to the national parliament.The system provided for a non-partisan body to take over the reins of administration a few months before the elections,to ensure a fair poll.That would usually consist of retired judges,administrators and other eminent persons.This constitutional arrangement was challenged in court even when the BNP was in power.The caretaker government that took charge in 2006 weakened its case by not holding elections for two years.Instead,it sought to cleanse Bangladesh politics of pernicious influences under the influence of the countrys armed forces.
Finally,when elections were held in December 2008,it led to a sweeping victory for the Awami League and its allies.The Supreme Court ruled that the caretaker system should be scrapped because it had outlived its utility,though it said the system could be retained for another two elections.Given its huge parliamentary majority,the Awami League government wasted no time and immediately went ahead with the Fifteenth Amendment to scrap the caretaker system.Since democracy was restored in Bangladesh after the fall of President H M Ershads military regime,there has been a change of guard in almost every national parliament election,barring a brief 11-day stint by the BNP in 1996.The BNP came to power in 1991,the Awami League in 1996,the BNP again in 2001 and the Awami League was back with a huge mandate in 2008 when polls were held after a two-year delay.The BNP leadership fears that if polls are not held under a neutral dispensation now,the ruling coalition led by the Awami League will rig them.
So though the BNP experienced as much trouble at the hands of the 2006-08 caretaker administration as the Awami League (its leader Begum Khaleda Zia was jailed with her son Tareque,like Awami Leagues Hasina Wajed),it wants the caretaker system back for the elections that are due within a year.The BNP and its key ally Jamaat-e-Islami are all the more circumspect over the War Crimes Trial that started in 2010 after the Awami League came to power.The two tribunals trying war criminals for large-scale murder,rape,loot and arson during the 1971 Liberation War are primarily aimed at punishing the leading local collaborators who backed the Pakistan armys genocide.The two tribunals are nearing the end of the trial of seven top-ranking Jamaat leaders,including its present and former chief,and two senior leaders of the BNP.
The War Crimes Trials have resurrected the passions of an unfinished revolution in Bangladesh,as the title of Lawrence Lifschultzs book on its contemporary politics suggests.It exposes the Islamist Jamaat for its pro-Pakistan and anti-independence role in 1971 and leaves the Jamaats ally,the BNP,equally embarrassed.The Awami League alleges that the street protests for the caretaker system are actually meant to disrupt the War Crimes Trial and drag the country towards another civil war.Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina says she is determined not to overturn the courts verdict on the caretaker provision,but one of her ministers has hinted at back-room dialogues with the opposition to work out a solution to the current deadlock.The BNP has however said no dialogue is possible unless the Awami League agrees on principle to restore the caretaker system.
That leaves the international community including big neighbour India nervous about Bangladeshs democratic transition,considered key to any functional democracy.Bangladeshs business leaders are equally nervous.Even as the countrys commerce minister G M Quader has called for massive Indian investments to profit from the duty-free or low duty tariff tags that goods produced in Bangladesh enjoy in the worlds biggest economies,Bangladeshs business federations appealed for dialogue between the ruling and opposition alliances back home to end the political impasse that was disrupting trade and industrial production.The BNP,realising this could thwart their power through the streets strategy,promptly rubbished the business federations.Begum Zia reminded them of the 179 days of strike and blockades by the Awami League during her last five years in power (2001-06 ).
That means Bangladesh is heading towards an opposition boycott of the forthcoming elections unless the caretaker system is restored.Some secular groups like the communists are seeking a ban on the Jamaat for its religious radicalism in a move that will further polarise the countrys politics.All this may only intensify calls for outside intervention to end the impasse and undermine the legitimacy of Bangladeshs fledgling democracy,something that its proud people who earned their freedom through a sea of blood do not want.


The writer is a senior fellow at the Centre for Studies in International Relations and Development,Kolkata.



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The situation is making the international community nervous 



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Law prof to anti-terror Sufi voice to reforms crusader 

Sameer Arshad TNN 


Pakistani-Canadian scholar Tahir-ul Qadri was a fringe player in politics,known for his TV sermons on Sufi Islam,before he descended on Lahore last month,seeking reforms and ridding the country of the corrupt government.His call for saving the s tate and not politics ahead of his million-man march to Islamabad was interpreted as a move to derail national elections scheduled for May.This provoked outrage and made his a target of stinging criticism particularly on highly-popular primetime news shows.
The 61-year-olds earlier innings in politics was brief and uneventful.He was elected to parliament in 2002 but resigned three years later to settle in Canada,where he gained international acclaim after he issued a 500-page fatwa against terrorism in 2010.
Qadri was born in Punjabs Jhang in 1951 and belongs to one of Sufisms leading Qadriya school of thought.He has over the years emerged as a leading voice of Pakistan and the subcontinents dominant,moderate Barelvi (Sufi) sect that the west has of late presented as its quick-fix solution to counter extremism.
The scholar attended a Christian missionary school before studying and teaching law at Lahores prestigious Punjab University.
He quit teaching to form Minhajul Quran International,an educational and charity network spread over 80 countries,in 1981.He has since been known for his lectures across the globe and powerful oratory.All leading parties,barring Muttahida Quami Movement (MQM) representing Sindhs Urdu-speaking people,have opposed him.
The MQM backed out of his march at the eleventh hour while Pakistan Tehreeke-Insaf s Imran Khan maintained that he supports his call for reforms,but opposes his alleged attempts to derail the political process.
Imran is banking on elections at the earliest to cash in on his rising appeal and supports Qadris position on a non-partisan interim government to oversee the polls rather than the one that the ruling PPP and the opposition Muslim League (Nawaz Sharif) have agreed to choose.
The two have been opposing their monopoly on choosing the interim government and seen it as an attempt to perpetuate the corrupt and inept status quo.
MQMs support for Qadri,a dual Pakistani and Canadian citizen,was seen as its self-exiled leader Altaf Hussains attempts to offset criticism over his British nationality amid a campaign in the country to disqualify dual nationals from holding public offices.Qadris critics have dismissed him as a puppet in the hands of those seeking to derail political process forcing the army and the US ambassador to deny their association with him.
The army has meddled in politics in the past but has repeatedly expressed its commitment to allowing the democratic process to flourish.
The army is also overstretched countering Taliban,separatist violence in the countrys northwest and now with rising tensions on the eastern front with India.


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Imran bats for polls under interim set-up 

Lahore: Cashing in on the political turmoil generated by the Pakistan supreme courts order to arrest the PM Raja Pervez Ashraf,cricketerturned-politician Imran Khan on Tuesday demanded the immediate formation of a caretaker government and the holding of polls on time.
Khan,who heads the Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf party,presented a seven-point charter of demands to the government during a news conference here.Khan asked his party workers to be prepared for any eventuality,saying he could call on them to join protests at any time.
The government should immediately announce the election schedule as we dont want any collusion between the PPP and the PML-N in forming the caretaker setup, he said.The election should be held on time and there should be no delay of any kind... We will not allow a national government of any kind to be formed, he said.
The PPP-led government is set to complete its term in mid-March and the next general election is expected to be held by May.Khan further demanded that President Asif Ali Zardari,who also heads the PPP,should resign.He alleged free and fair polls could not be held if Zardari remained in the presidency.PTI
 


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SC order to arrest PM a judicial coup with army backing 

Omer Farooq Khan TNN 

Islamabad: The Pakistan supreme courts order to arrest PM Raja Pervez Ashraf and 16 others on graft charges has kicked up a storm in the country.The court has said that those booked in the case be arrested regardless of their rank. If someone leaves the country,then chairman of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) will be held responsible along with his investigating team. 
The order is reported to have baffled government officials.One of them was quoted as describing it as totally unexpected,saying the PM was watching the speech of cleric Tahir-ul Qadri,who has led a march to Islamabad,on TV when the news broke.
The government described any attempt to arrest Ashraf as unconstitutional,arguing that he enjoys immunity from prosecution while in office.Ashraf s adviser Fawad Chaudhry was quoted as describing the order as a judicial coup and part of a greater plan to derail democracy in the country.
Reuters quoted the aide as blaming the countrys once all-powerful military establishment for masterminding the courts verdict to pave the way for it to intervene.
Legal experts said the order would not necessarily bring Ashraf down and that he could remain prime minister even after his arrest.He would be disqualified only if convicted.PPP leader Chaudhry Aitzaz Ahsan said Ashraf would remain PM even if imprisoned.Ashraf will be the premier until a no-trust motion is moved against him. 
President Asif Ali Zardari has called a meeting of his ruling coalition partners in Karachi on Wednesday to discuss the verdict.The top court had earlier convicted Ashraf s predecessor,Yousaf Raza Gilani,of contempt of court for refusing to reopen corruption cases against Zardari and ousted him from office.
The court order has mounted pressure on the government that hopes to be the first to complete its full term and hold elections.
But it has weathered a series of crises and hopes to survive again.The government has the numbers to elect another prime minister.
Pakistans army has repeatedly meddled in politics and ruled the country for more than half of its history.But it has over the years shown little appetite for a coup given the dip in its popularity during Pervez Musharraf s nine-year rule and its overstretched commitments countering the Taliban and insurgency.The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan warned that threats to the democratic process have escalated after the order while Karachi Stock Exchange index fell by nearly 3%,highlighting investor anxiety over political uncertainty.

Protests in Karachi over SC order: 


Protests and firing incidents were witnessed in several parts of Karachi and in some interior areas of the Sindh province on Tuesday after the SC ordered to arrest PM Raja Pervaz Ashraf.Shortly after the judgement was announced,trouble started in parts of the city with mobs burning tyres,pelting passing vehicles and resorting to aerial firing causing harassment and fear in the areas.No casualty has been reported.

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Cleric brings whiff of Arab Spring to Pakistan 

Sets Deadline For Corrupt Govt To Go 

Omer Farooq Khan TNN 

Islamabad: A Pakistan-born Canadian Muslim cleric on Tuesday sent ripples through an already wobbly Pakistani establishment by threatening to unleash a mass movement to overthrow President Asif Ali Zardari and clean up national politics.
To prove he meant business,the ex-law professor Tahir-ul Qadri led a massive street protest of thousands in central Islamabad seeking electoral reforms,bar on corrupt politicians from holding office,and a caretaker setup of honest persons ahead of elections scheduled later this year.
His call for revolution has triggered an apprehension that he was trying to replicate an Arab Spring in Pakistan.
He delivered a frenzied address to an estimated 25,000 people waving flags and chanting near the parliament building,blaming a corrupt government for the ills of a country.Qadris supporters had begun to gather outside the parliament and presidential palace from Sunday,a day after the 61-year-old Sufi scholar began his march from Lahore to press for his demands that included the governments ouster.
The supreme courts order for the arrest of Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf over graft charges further enthused Qadris supporters.This president and prime minister are now ex-president and ex-prime minister.Their time is over, he told his supporters at the rally.
The man,many criticize as being a creation of the military,sought dissolution of the national and provincial assemblies by Wednesday.
I am giving you until 11am to step down or else the people will start making their own decisions, Qadri,who has also faced threats from the Pakistan Taliban,told his supporter before the courts ruling.He threatened to continue with his sit-in protest until all demands were met.
These millions of supporters have spoken.They have rejected your so-called mandate.You are no longer their representatives.There is no parliament.There is a group of looters,thieves and dacoits, he said pointing towards the parliament building behind him.
He described the lawmakers as law breakers.He praised the military and judiciary offering them full support.The government has wasted and brought a bad end to our armed forces,who are highly sincere,competent,capable and professional, he said.Even they cant do anything because the political government isnt able to deliver anything.Judgments are being passed by our great,independent judiciary but the government is not ready to implement them. 
Many believe Qadri enjoys tacit support of the countrys military establishment and judiciary,institutions that are at loggerheads with Zardaris government.Fawad Chaudhry,an aide to the PM,openly accused the military and the SC of conspiring together to topple the government.

PM lobbies with political leaders against Qadri 


With influential cleric Tahir-ul Qadri descending on Islamadad with swarms of his supporters,Pakistan PM Raja Pervez Ashraf on Tuesday lobbied with top political leaders,including PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif,for upholding the democratic system.Hours after Qadri gathered in Islamabad demanding sweeping electoral reforms,Ashraf telephoned political leaders to discuss the situation.During his conversation,there was a consensus on upholding the Constitution and the democratic system.The leaders noted that democracy has been achieved after great sacrifices and struggle by the people of Pakistan and it will be defended at all costs, said a statement issued by the PMs office.PTI

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This 'Bangladesh zodadpatti' houses rural Maharashtrians

This ‘Bangladesh’ houses rural Maharashtrians
TNN | Jan 15, 2013, 03.53 AM IST
ScreenShot873.bmpLast month, the mention of 'Chhota Pakistan' in the electricity bills of the residents of Santosh Bhuvan in Nalasopara (E) had led to uproar in the Vasai Virar Municipal Corporation ( VVMC) general body meeting.

MUMBAI: A settlement in Bhayander (W), named as 'Bangladesh zopadpatti' on government documents, has recently come to light. Interestingly, the slum has been carrying the name for over 35 years and is occupied mostly by people from the interiors of Maharashtra.

Civic officials and residents of the slum, however, have not found anything objectionable in the use of the word 'Bangladesh' while referring to the locality. Two other 'Bangladesh' exist in Utan and Chowk villages of Bhayander (W). Here too, the occupants are from rural Maharashtra and have
been staying in the locality post-Independence.

Last month, the mention of 'Chhota Pakistan' in the electricity bills of the residents of Santosh Bhuvan in Nalasopara (E) had led to uproar in the Vasai Virar Municipal Corporation ( VVMC) general body meeting.

The 'Bangladesh' came to light when the health department of the Mira Bhayander Municipal Corporation ( MBMC) issued a birth certificate last month to a resident of a Gandhinagar slum, near the Subhash Chandra Bose ground in Bhayander (W). The 700-odd hutments have been in existence since the past 35 years. The slums here have names like Ambedkar Nagar, Bholanagar and Anandnagar.

Over 4,000 people reside in the hutment and have ration cards, Unique Identification ( UID) cards, PAN cards all carrying the address with the word 'Bangladesh'. Said Leo Colasao, Mira-Bhayander district president of Congress, "The occupants of the slums are from Amravati, Yavatmal, Nanded and other districts of Maharashtra. No one knows how these places came to be referred to as Bangladesh. No one has ever raised any objection."

Residents say that no Bangladesh national lives in any of these slums. A number of illegal Bangladeshis, however, have been fished out of various hutments in Mira-Bhayander.

Civic officials said that the term Bangladesh was being used even before the municipality came into existence. Officials said that no objections were ever raised by the residents of these slums. A few corporators have now hinted at taking up the issue in the civic house.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/mumbai/This-Bangladesh-houses-rural-Maharashtrians/articleshow/18026714.cms


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This 'Bangladesh zodadpatti' houses rural Maharashtrians

This ‘Bangladesh’ houses rural Maharashtrians
TNN | Jan 15, 2013, 03.53 AM IST
ScreenShot873.bmpLast month, the mention of 'Chhota Pakistan' in the electricity bills of the residents of Santosh Bhuvan in Nalasopara (E) had led to uproar in the Vasai Virar Municipal Corporation ( VVMC) general body meeting.

MUMBAI: A settlement in Bhayander (W), named as 'Bangladesh zopadpatti' on government documents, has recently come to light. Interestingly, the slum has been carrying the name for over 35 years and is occupied mostly by people from the interiors of Maharashtra.

Civic officials and residents of the slum, however, have not found anything objectionable in the use of the word 'Bangladesh' while referring to the locality. Two other 'Bangladesh' exist in Utan and Chowk villages of Bhayander (W). Here too, the occupants are from rural Maharashtra and have
been staying in the locality post-Independence.

Last month, the mention of 'Chhota Pakistan' in the electricity bills of the residents of Santosh Bhuvan in Nalasopara (E) had led to uproar in the Vasai Virar Municipal Corporation ( VVMC) general body meeting.

The 'Bangladesh' came to light when the health department of the Mira Bhayander Municipal Corporation ( MBMC) issued a birth certificate last month to a resident of a Gandhinagar slum, near the Subhash Chandra Bose ground in Bhayander (W). The 700-odd hutments have been in existence since the past 35 years. The slums here have names like Ambedkar Nagar, Bholanagar and Anandnagar.

Over 4,000 people reside in the hutment and have ration cards, Unique Identification ( UID) cards, PAN cards all carrying the address with the word 'Bangladesh'. Said Leo Colasao, Mira-Bhayander district president of Congress, "The occupants of the slums are from Amravati, Yavatmal, Nanded and other districts of Maharashtra. No one knows how these places came to be referred to as Bangladesh. No one has ever raised any objection."

Residents say that no Bangladesh national lives in any of these slums. A number of illegal Bangladeshis, however, have been fished out of various hutments in Mira-Bhayander.

Civic officials said that the term Bangladesh was being used even before the municipality came into existence. Officials said that no objections were ever raised by the residents of these slums. A few corporators have now hinted at taking up the issue in the civic house.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/mumbai/This-Bangladesh-houses-rural-Maharashtrians/articleshow/18026714.cms


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Playing The Long Game 

We must not allow hostile elements in Pakistan to distract us from the need for peace 

Jyoti Malhotra 

The decision to send back Pakistani music artistes and sports people as if they were responsible for the despicable beheading of the Indian soldier on the Line of Control (LoC) last week and to put on hold the visaon-arrival facility for Pakistani citizens 65 years and above,is not only to be afraid of an army of old men and women hoping to melt Indias hearts and minds,but is to be afraid of oneself.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is a man of integrity and intelligence.He clearly understands why this hysteria is being whipped up along the LoC,but he doesnt seem to have the courage to stop it.Four years after he took back a joint statement issued with Pakistan at the Egyptian resort town of Sharm-el Sheikh for better or for worse,thats another story the prime minister has repeatedly shown an inability to stand up for what he believes in,or at least what India must believe in.
In both instances,Sharm-el Sheikh as well as today,the PM and his Congress party have ceded precious ground to the BJP,which has lulled itself into believing that virulent jingoism is an alternative to the hard-nosed business of foreign policy.Note how the BJP is demanding 10 Pakistani skulls for one Indian head,10 eyes for an eye,even as it smacks its lips at the growing inability of the Congress party to deliver a super-Israel moment.
But first,a look at the facts.The beheading of Lance Naik Hemraj,a gruesome,ghastly and horrendous act that no selfrespecting army can condone,has rightly stirred considerable anger.And second,army sources accept,off-the-record,that this kind of unacceptable violence has taken place in the past,for instance,during Kargil.
Of course it isnt business as usual.It would diminish the intelligence of millions of Indians to ask them to ignore what happened on the LoC last week and return to the minutiae of their lives.Instead,let us ask ourselves just one question before we press our policy-paralysed government into making hasty decisions that affect real people on both sides of the border: Who benefits from this recent rising tension 
The answer to this is connected with Indias self-image,growing economically from anywhere between 5-8 % in recent years.If India wants to become the leader of South Asia and represent the region in world affairs,if it wants to be seen as an Asian power whose time has come,alongside China,then it must understand the delicate shifting of power that is taking place in each country in the region,including Pakistan.
Inside Pakistan,people will surely look back on the last few days as one of those turning points in the life of a nation: After more than 72 hours,a protesting Shia Hazara community in Quetta on Monday began to bury over a hundred people killed in serial bomb blasts carried out by the terrorist group Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ) last week.And as the Canadareturned cleric,Tahir-ul Qadri,arrived in Islamabad with several thousand fellow-marchers,demanding that the army and the judiciary be consulted in the formation of a caretaker government that will oversee elections in Pakistan in a few months,Pakistans Supreme Court ordered the arrest of the prime minister.
The Pakistani media has dubbed Qadri an army puppet.The Pakistani medias focus on Quettas elders refusing to bury their dead shamed Islamabad into sacking the chief minister of the province he was holidaying in London and returned the focus on how terrorist groups like the LeJ are eating into the nations vitals.It is the Pakistani media that continues to articulate the view that the people of Pakistan must engage with India much more,not less,if only to neutralise the invasive impact of the army as well as religious fundamentalism and terrorism on the life of their country.
It is exactly to address the constituency of the people in Pakistan and hope they will begin to resist this unhealthy covert alliance that India delinked progress on the Mumbai attacks with progress on trade and greater people-to-people relations.But by cutting the ground from beneath the feet of the Pakistani aam admi hockey players,singers,65-year-old senior citizens the Congress party is not only showing itself to be the B team of the BJP,but also that it has little understanding of the complex goings-on in its neighbourhood.
If India wants to be a regional player,it must first understand the region.Pakistani terrorists in army uniform have targeted army headquarters in Rawalpindi as well as its naval headquarters in Mehran.Could they have beheaded Lance Naik Hemraj last week If,indeed,the Pakistan army and certain terrorist groups benefit from rising tension on the LoC as a means to distract from the growing tension within the state,the only answer is to quietly continue to support the democratic constituency inside Pakistan.
With the Americans perhaps leaving Afghanistan this year,the neighbourhood is going to be aflame with several agonies.India has to learn to absorb pain.Hysteria is never the hallmark of great nationhood.At the rate the government is going,it may end up diminishing itself in the eyes of its own people.


The writer is a commentator on foreign affairs.



Pc0121600.jpg 

Pc0121100.jpg 
When will the guns fall silent 
 


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Playing The Long Game 

We must not allow hostile elements in Pakistan to distract us from the need for peace 

Jyoti Malhotra 

The decision to send back Pakistani music artistes and sports people as if they were responsible for the despicable beheading of the Indian soldier on the Line of Control (LoC) last week and to put on hold the visaon-arrival facility for Pakistani citizens 65 years and above,is not only to be afraid of an army of old men and women hoping to melt Indias hearts and minds,but is to be afraid of oneself.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is a man of integrity and intelligence.He clearly understands why this hysteria is being whipped up along the LoC,but he doesnt seem to have the courage to stop it.Four years after he took back a joint statement issued with Pakistan at the Egyptian resort town of Sharm-el Sheikh for better or for worse,thats another story the prime minister has repeatedly shown an inability to stand up for what he believes in,or at least what India must believe in.
In both instances,Sharm-el Sheikh as well as today,the PM and his Congress party have ceded precious ground to the BJP,which has lulled itself into believing that virulent jingoism is an alternative to the hard-nosed business of foreign policy.Note how the BJP is demanding 10 Pakistani skulls for one Indian head,10 eyes for an eye,even as it smacks its lips at the growing inability of the Congress party to deliver a super-Israel moment.
But first,a look at the facts.The beheading of Lance Naik Hemraj,a gruesome,ghastly and horrendous act that no selfrespecting army can condone,has rightly stirred considerable anger.And second,army sources accept,off-the-record,that this kind of unacceptable violence has taken place in the past,for instance,during Kargil.
Of course it isnt business as usual.It would diminish the intelligence of millions of Indians to ask them to ignore what happened on the LoC last week and return to the minutiae of their lives.Instead,let us ask ourselves just one question before we press our policy-paralysed government into making hasty decisions that affect real people on both sides of the border: Who benefits from this recent rising tension 
The answer to this is connected with Indias self-image,growing economically from anywhere between 5-8 % in recent years.If India wants to become the leader of South Asia and represent the region in world affairs,if it wants to be seen as an Asian power whose time has come,alongside China,then it must understand the delicate shifting of power that is taking place in each country in the region,including Pakistan.
Inside Pakistan,people will surely look back on the last few days as one of those turning points in the life of a nation: After more than 72 hours,a protesting Shia Hazara community in Quetta on Monday began to bury over a hundred people killed in serial bomb blasts carried out by the terrorist group Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ) last week.And as the Canadareturned cleric,Tahir-ul Qadri,arrived in Islamabad with several thousand fellow-marchers,demanding that the army and the judiciary be consulted in the formation of a caretaker government that will oversee elections in Pakistan in a few months,Pakistans Supreme Court ordered the arrest of the prime minister.
The Pakistani media has dubbed Qadri an army puppet.The Pakistani medias focus on Quettas elders refusing to bury their dead shamed Islamabad into sacking the chief minister of the province he was holidaying in London and returned the focus on how terrorist groups like the LeJ are eating into the nations vitals.It is the Pakistani media that continues to articulate the view that the people of Pakistan must engage with India much more,not less,if only to neutralise the invasive impact of the army as well as religious fundamentalism and terrorism on the life of their country.
It is exactly to address the constituency of the people in Pakistan and hope they will begin to resist this unhealthy covert alliance that India delinked progress on the Mumbai attacks with progress on trade and greater people-to-people relations.But by cutting the ground from beneath the feet of the Pakistani aam admi hockey players,singers,65-year-old senior citizens the Congress party is not only showing itself to be the B team of the BJP,but also that it has little understanding of the complex goings-on in its neighbourhood.
If India wants to be a regional player,it must first understand the region.Pakistani terrorists in army uniform have targeted army headquarters in Rawalpindi as well as its naval headquarters in Mehran.Could they have beheaded Lance Naik Hemraj last week If,indeed,the Pakistan army and certain terrorist groups benefit from rising tension on the LoC as a means to distract from the growing tension within the state,the only answer is to quietly continue to support the democratic constituency inside Pakistan.
With the Americans perhaps leaving Afghanistan this year,the neighbourhood is going to be aflame with several agonies.India has to learn to absorb pain.Hysteria is never the hallmark of great nationhood.At the rate the government is going,it may end up diminishing itself in the eyes of its own people.


The writer is a commentator on foreign affairs.



Pc0121600.jpg 

Pc0121100.jpg 
When will the guns fall silent 
 


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Stung by Qadri,Pak govt whips out arrest warrant 

Islamabad/Lahore: An arrest warrant has been issued for the fiery cleric Tahirul Qadri,who is leading thousands of supporters in a protest demanding the ouster of the Pakistan government,after police here registered a case against him.A case was registered against Qadri and some 70 unidentified people at Kohsar police station for attacking police officials during the protest in Islamabad.
A source privy to the development said that an arrest warrant for Qadri had been issued by a local magistrate.Authorities were awaiting a go-ahead from interior minister Rehman Malik to arrest Qadri,the source said.
There have been deliberations on the issue and,at the moment,the government is in two minds whether to start negotiations with Qadri or arrest him, the source said.Other sources said Qadri and the others were booked under provisions of the law related to attempted murder,interfering in the functioning of the government,snatching weapons from the police disturbing the peace.
Meanwhile,thousands of protesters led Qadri,rallied in Islamabad for the third day in a row on Wednesday,giving the government time till Wednesday night to quit and dissolve the national and provincial assemblies to pave the way for electoral reforms.
Qadri,who began a protest near parliament,outlined four demands during his speech on Wednesday,including electoral reforms according to the Constitution before polls and reconstitution of the election commission.He said there should be no secret compromise between the ruling Pakistan Peoples Party and main opposition PML-N on forming a caretaker government.
The government should decide by Wednesday night (on these demands), said Qadri.This so-called democratic government will end today or tomorrow,God willing ... Now we cant accept corruption anymore in this country.We want true democracy, he said.In a three-hour speech,Qadri repeatedly attacked politicians.At one stage,he urged his supporters to be ready to disrobe corrupt leaders and expose their tattoos.He incited officials to defy the government,saying it would be removed in a day or two.AGENCIES 

PM unlikely to be arrested soon 


Pakistan PM Raja Parvez Ashraf is unlikely to be arrested soon on graft charges in power projects despite a SC order for the same as sources and government maintained that the court had not set any deadline.The government will act according to the law though several procedures will have to be completed before any arrest warrant can be issued,a minister said.PTI 

Govt firm,says polls by May 15 


The Pakistan government said it is determined to complete its five-year term and to hold the polls by May 15. All the parties and real stakeholders have agreed that assemblies will complete their term on March 16, information minister Qamar Zaman Kaira said.Earlier,oppposition parties had demanded that government should announce the schedule for the polls.PTI

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In Af,Taliban attacks spy HQ in Kabul 

Kabul: A squad of suicide bombers attacked the national intelligence agency headquarters in heavily-fortified central Kabul on Wednesday,killing at least two guards and wounding dozens of civilians,officials have said.
Five attackers were killed in the brazen midday attack on the National Directorate of Security,which is playing an increasingly important role in the war against Taliban insurgents as Nato forces prepare to withdraw.
The Taliban claimed responsibility in a text message,saying a large number of intelligence workers were killed and wounded.AFP
 
41 foreigners abducted in Algeria 

Algiers: Islamist militants attacked a gas field in Algeria on Wednesday,claiming to have kidnapped up to 41 foreigners including seven Americans in a dawn raid in retaliation for Frances intervention in Mali,regional media reports said.
The raiders were also reported to have killed three people,including a Briton and a French national.
An al-Qaida affiliated group,al-Qaida in Islamic Maghreb (AQIM),said the raid at In Amenas gas facility had been carried out over Algerias decision to let France use its air space to attack Islamists in Mali.The attack also raised fears that the French action in Mali could prompt further revenge attacks on Western targets in Africa.REUTERS
Blasts in Syria university kill 87: 

Syria closed universities and suspended classes for college students across the country on Wednesday as anti-regime activists reported that the death toll from two massive blasts that ravaged a campus in the city of Aleppo reached 87.The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the toll in blasts at Aleppo University could rise.


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In Af,Taliban attacks spy HQ in Kabul 

Kabul: A squad of suicide bombers attacked the national intelligence agency headquarters in heavily-fortified central Kabul on Wednesday,killing at least two guards and wounding dozens of civilians,officials have said.
Five attackers were killed in the brazen midday attack on the National Directorate of Security,which is playing an increasingly important role in the war against Taliban insurgents as Nato forces prepare to withdraw.
The Taliban claimed responsibility in a text message,saying a large number of intelligence workers were killed and wounded.AFP
 
41 foreigners abducted in Algeria 

Algiers: Islamist militants attacked a gas field in Algeria on Wednesday,claiming to have kidnapped up to 41 foreigners including seven Americans in a dawn raid in retaliation for Frances intervention in Mali,regional media reports said.
The raiders were also reported to have killed three people,including a Briton and a French national.
An al-Qaida affiliated group,al-Qaida in Islamic Maghreb (AQIM),said the raid at In Amenas gas facility had been carried out over Algerias decision to let France use its air space to attack Islamists in Mali.The attack also raised fears that the French action in Mali could prompt further revenge attacks on Western targets in Africa.REUTERS
Blasts in Syria university kill 87: 

Syria closed universities and suspended classes for college students across the country on Wednesday as anti-regime activists reported that the death toll from two massive blasts that ravaged a campus in the city of Aleppo reached 87.The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the toll in blasts at Aleppo University could rise.


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In Af,Taliban attacks spy HQ in Kabul 

Kabul: A squad of suicide bombers attacked the national intelligence agency headquarters in heavily-fortified central Kabul on Wednesday,killing at least two guards and wounding dozens of civilians,officials have said.
Five attackers were killed in the brazen midday attack on the National Directorate of Security,which is playing an increasingly important role in the war against Taliban insurgents as Nato forces prepare to withdraw.
The Taliban claimed responsibility in a text message,saying a large number of intelligence workers were killed and wounded.AFP
 
41 foreigners abducted in Algeria 

Algiers: Islamist militants attacked a gas field in Algeria on Wednesday,claiming to have kidnapped up to 41 foreigners including seven Americans in a dawn raid in retaliation for Frances intervention in Mali,regional media reports said.
The raiders were also reported to have killed three people,including a Briton and a French national.
An al-Qaida affiliated group,al-Qaida in Islamic Maghreb (AQIM),said the raid at In Amenas gas facility had been carried out over Algerias decision to let France use its air space to attack Islamists in Mali.The attack also raised fears that the French action in Mali could prompt further revenge attacks on Western targets in Africa.REUTERS
Blasts in Syria university kill 87: 

Syria closed universities and suspended classes for college students across the country on Wednesday as anti-regime activists reported that the death toll from two massive blasts that ravaged a campus in the city of Aleppo reached 87.The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the toll in blasts at Aleppo University could rise.


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12 bloodiest year for Shias in Pak 

Sonya Fatah 


There are guns ablaze and bombs aplenty across the border these days.The targets vary,but one fissure that goes back some decades is a particularly vile brand of sectarianism that pits Sunni against Shia across Pakistans terrain.
The US-based,Human Rights Watch records 2012 as the bloodiest year for the Pakistani Shia community with over 400 targeted deaths;some 120 of these were in Balochistan.Commenting on the issue,HRWs Pakistan specialist,Ali Dayan Hasan told Dawn,As Shia community members continue to be slaughtered in cold blood,the callousness and indifference of authorities offer a damning indictment of the state,its military and security agencies. 
Sectarianism is not new to Pakistan though strategies of attack have become increasingly brutal.However,some responsibility must fall on the average citizens of our complex polity.Though civil society groups are active in small constituencies,its not deep enough to create serious civil unrest.
Sadly,over time,various forces in Pakistan have collaborated in the downfall of this rich and important tradition.Such a series of anti Shia atrocities reflect the sentiments of a larger public,much as Aung San Su Kyis deliberate silence on the mistreatment of the Rohingyas in Myanmar reflects the quiet assent of the countrys larger population.
One tragic impact of the Shia-Sunni conflict is its influence on the average individuals psyche,giving large space for the birth,rebirth and flowering of pitiful biases.I recall,a paranoid relative asking my mother if she was really going to send my sister and me to a majlis at a friends house.The frantic woman told us not to eat anything that was offered to us,especially the kheer,You know they spit in their food and they serve it to you. 
I couldnt erase the image of my friends mother with a black dupatta on her head hovering over a pot of kheer and spitting her heart out,smiling evilly as she thought of her innocent Sunni guests gulping down mouthfuls.
One other memory dates back to 1986,a verbal tug-ofwar in a sunless fourth grade classroom of a Karachi Convent school where allegiances were being struck along sectarian lines.
The backdrop must have been some urban sectarian gun battle but the discussion evolved into segregation,along sectarian lines,in the classroom.Most of us were thoroughly uneducated on the finer points of dissent between Sunni and Shia communities;we were merely spreading Home Gospel.I do remember thinking that I was ashamed that grownups could stoke such petty fires and impose them on us,their children.
Many Pakistanis still dont realize that the man they worship for creating their nation,Mohammad Ali Jinnah,was a Shia himself.One only has to know this to read the bloody events of our current times as a signal that the country has been hijacked by ideologues of a deranged politico-religious variety.But now,what do we do about that 
The author is a New Delhibased Pakistani journalist


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NRI charged with sedition for hitting like on Facebook 

Mahir Haneer TNN 

Kochi: Clicking on the like button on Facebook has landed KH Muhammed Ali,who hails from Eloor near here and is a Dubai municipality employee,in trouble.He has been charged with sedition and insulting national honour.
The only crime that Ali remembers doing is clicking like on the Facebook profiles of friends,including a few Pakistanis,he has in Dubai.The Kochi police have booked him for sedition,sending offensive messages (under 66A of Information Technology Act,2000),and for insulting the national flag (section 2 of the Prevention of Insults to National Honour Act,1971).
In the FIR filed in September last,it was alleged that Ali clicked like on a Facebook page I Love Pakistan and that a picture showing a dog covered with the national flag was seen in his profile page.
On Tuesday,Ali filed a petition in the Kerala high court,challenging the FIR.Ali contended that his Facebook account didnt bear the message I Love Pakistan and didnt have any pictures showing disrespect to the national flag.Nor had he sent any offensive messages or pictures showing any disrespect to the national flag.
He pointed out that registration of an FIR without preinvestigation inquiry by an investigative agency with expertise in information technology was against the rules stipulated in the cyber crime investigation manual.
After the police registered the FIR alleging sedition,he and his family had been facing social stigma,Alis petition said.His family had been isolated by the local community and relatives,and they were being treated like traitors.His wife and younger child had been traumatized by the ordeal,the petition stated.
The Kochi police commissioner had arrived at a hypothetical inference that amounted to character assassination,the petitioner said.
He cited the commissioner as saying,As petitioner was working in the UAE and his remark in the Facebook I Love Pakistan and his close relation with Pakistanis in UAE... may indulge in antisocial activities.

NET DISASTER 


Kochi police claim Alis Facebook page showed a dog clothed in the national flag They also allege Ali clicked like on a Facebook page titled I Love Pakistan Ali says he only clicked like on the Facebook profiles of Pakistani friends In Kerala HC,Ali said a FIR has been filed without proper legal procedures being followed
 


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Kingpin escapes as 5 lakh fake notes seized in city 

A Selvaraj TNN 

Chennai: In one of the biggest single hauls of fake currency in recent times,police on Friday seized counterfeit currency notes with a face value of 5.03 lakh from a gang in north Chennai.The kingpin managed to escape but three of his associates were nabbed,police said.
The notes,in denominations of 500 and 1,000,had most security features stipulated by the reserve bank,an investigating officer said,adding,They could have been printed in Pakistan. 
Acting on a tip-off,teams led by MKB Nagar assistant commissioner of police Govi Manoharan and two inspectors intercepted a car near Moolakadai on Erukancherry High Road at 9.30pm.
The four occupants abandoned the car and fled.Police managed to nab one of them,I Abdul Munaf (20) of Washermenpet,and seized fake notes adding up to 1.42 lakh.Based on the information provided by Munaf about S Rafeeque,the brain behind the racket,special teams went to a building near Kodungaiyur,where he was staying for two months.When our teams surrounded the building,Rafeeque got out through a window and jumped on to the terrace of an adjacent building,went on to the next and escaped, joint commissioner (west zone) K Shanmugavel said.


Pc0011700.jpg 
The fake currency on display at the commissioners office in the city on Saturday 

Kingpin was arrested 2 years ago 


Policesearchedthe area but couldnt trace him.We later foundbloodstainson the terrace of the building adjacenthis and near thespotwhere helanded.Wesuspecthewasinjured and are checking all private hospitals in the area, a police officer said.Counterfeit notes adding up to 2,65 lakh,a computer,a data card,two iPads and a credit cardswiping machine were seized from Rafeeques house.Police then nabbed A Abdul Ismail,22,of Mannadi and B Wasim Raja alias Wasim,24,of Putty Sahib Street in Mannadi and seized fake notes adding up to 96,000.
Rafeeque,who was initially involved with gangsters P T Ramesh and Tokyo Mani near Red Hills andlater workedfor a rival gang of Ennore Dhanasekaran,was arrested a couple of years ago,policesaid.
In prison,Rafeeque mingled with some of those involved in fake currency rackets.After his release,he often visited Howrah in West Bengal to meet fake currency racketeers,police said.Wefoundsome receiptsof lodges and rooming houses in Howrah.He may also have been in touch with racketeers from Pakistan to pump fakecurrency into India, a senior police officer said.Police said Rafeeque paid the racketeers 100 for a fake 1,000 note and distributing the notestohis associates at 200 per each 1,000 fake currency note.The gang mostly supplied the fake notes to the Tasmac shops in the city.We have asked all Tasmacshopstocheckthe notes while tendering change to customers,theofficer added.


Pc0041400.jpg 



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CB-CID unearths 7cr worth materials from video pirate 

A Selvaraj TNN 

Chennai:The video piracy cell of the city police has suffered an image blow after CB-CID raids at a video pirates den suggested how the cell might have let the kingpin off with just a rap on theknuckles.
The cell had raided one of the shops of video piracy accused Khaja Mohideen on Wallace Road and seized 1,900 pirated DVDs and VCDs of movies in Tamil,Telugu and other regional languages.Mohideen,who was arrested,looked like he was getting his comeuppance when the video piracy unit of the CB-CID unearthed a huge pile of Mohideens contraband on Thursday.
The CB-CID team seized tens of thousands of pirated DVDs and VCDs from five of Mohideens godowns.So huge was the seizure that they stopped counting and started weighing the discs before estimating their worth at 7crore.
Even before the raids,Mohideen could not have been considered a small fish.He had deposited 2crore as guarantee before a court to bail out former CEO of Sun Pictures Hansraj Saxena andT amilfilm producer Iyyappan who were arrested on charges of cheating film distributorslast year.
Superintendent of police,CB-CID video piracy cell,B Vijayakumari said her team acted on the tip-off from film producer S Jaganathan that Mohideen was in possession of ahuge pileof piratedfilms.
We found out that Mohideen had several godowns wherehe received parcelsfrom Mumbai through couriers, she said.Further inquiries revealed details about SB Printing Solutions in Royapettah,where Mohideen had been printing several wrappers for theCDs.
Police teams raided the printing press and arrested employees Bala,24,Karuna,25 and Suresh,28.
Police also arrested Mohideen,andhis associateLiyakat Ali and Shamsudeen.They also seized printing machines,wrappers,CD stickers,DVDs andVCDs,policesaid.

Pc0021100.jpg 
The CB-CID team seized thousands of pirated DVDs and VCDs from five of Mohideens godowns in the city 


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Equality for women demand unnatural: Muslim scholar 

M P Prashanth TNN 

Kozhikode: RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat has got an unexpected supporter in Kerala.Sunni scholar and general secretary of All India Sunni Jam-Iyyathul Ulema,Kanthapuram A P Aboobacker Musaliyar,has come out with a statement supporting Bhagwats reported remarks on the role of women in Indian society.
In an interview published in the Friday edition of Siraj,the mouthpiece of Kanthapuram faction of Sunnis,he said: The demand for male-female equality is against nature.Man and woman have different faculties and different responsibilities. 
According to the Sunni leader,the problem is with the perception that men and women can be equal.Arguing that feminism is a western concept,he said,When we accept ideas from outside,we need to consider whether they are acceptable to our society. Kanthapuram,who established Markazu Ssquafathi Ssunniyya after he came out of the Samastha Kerala Jam-Iyyathul Ulema,a body of Sunni scholars,in 1989,is perceived to be close to the Left.Supporting Bhagwat,Kanthapuram said,He has shown the space that should be occupied by women in society.Though I do not agree with his entire statement,the basic issue he raised needs to be discussed. 

Times View 


All religious fundamentalists are birds of a feather when it comes to,well,fundamental issues like womens rights.However,it was shocking that someone like Kanthapuram,whose Markaz movement has for the past 30 years stressed on education as the hallmark of social progress,should speak so patronisingly about women.Both his logic and idiom belong to some nomadic or Neanderthal past and would be laughable were it not a scary reminder of how such thoughts not only exist but are so freely expressed.Since unlimited freedom seems to be the fundamentalists main grouse,should there be a ban on the gender equivalent of flat-earth theory as well Mr Kanthapuram,any thoughts

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Arabian Nights: Version 2 


There is a party on.Guests men and women arrive.There is music and dancing.Cigarettes and alcohol flow freely.It starts late and goes on till early the next morning.
Whats unusual,you may ask.The fact that it took place in a country where such things are forbidden by law the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Saudi law is notorious.On New Years eve,50 men and women were arrested in a coffee shop in Jeddah for the crime of being together.
But there are places where Saudi law does not apply.Think of it as a social experiment: The government builds gated,liberal communities and promotes them as an attempt to change the culture of a conservative society.But at the same time,it punishes those who attempt to replicate these communities values outside their walls, writes Ahmed Al Omran in Foreign Policy.Even the feared Saudi religious police,the muttaween officially the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vices have been ordered to avoid these enclaves.
One of the most important of these enclaved spaces is the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST),the Saudi kings personal pet project,inaugurated in 2009 with tieups with prestigious universities around the world.According to Al Omran,[ It] is more than a school;it is supposed to be a vehicle for change.As the first and only co-educational learning institution in the country,KAUST promised to promote academic freedom and critical thinking to an environment severely lacking of them. 
But,the question is,are these enclaves escape vents or the experiments that will determine the future face of the kingdom Are they there to keep the conservatives out,or the rest of the world in For more: foreignpolicy.com

Pc0111600.jpg 
TILL KINGDOM COME: A few Saudi enclaves enjoy immunity from restrictive laws 


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Pak babu found dead wanted to exit PM probe 

Islamabad: Relatives of a senior anti-graft investigator,who was found dead in mysterious circumstances,on Saturday alleged that his body bore marks of injuries though a preliminary autopsy report concluded that he had committed suicide.
Kamran Faisal,an assistant director of the National Accountability Bureau,was on Friday found hanging from a fan in his room at the Federal Lodges,a government hostel in Islamabad.He was part of the team investigating allegations that Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf had accepted bribes to clear power projects.
Faisals uncle Tariq Masood told reporters at Mian Channu in Punjab province that he had seen injuries on Faisals arms,wrists and back while bathing his body ahead of the funeral.
There are marks on the wrists as if he had been tied.There are marks on the back and below the neck.It looks as if his right arm was tightly held, Masood said.
One of Faisals cousins too said he had seen the bruises.Geo News channels aired footage of what it said were marks of injuries on the body.News channels also reported Faisals father Abdul Hamid had shown the marks to reporters and demanded a judicial inquiry into his sons death.
Media reports have said Faisal had been under pressure and had written to his superior last November,asking to be taken off the team investigating the power projects case.
A preliminary autopsy report concluded that Faisal had committed suicide,said Sahrif Astori,a spokesman for the state-run Polyclinic Hospital.Following the autopsy and examination,the boards interim report said this was case of suicide.There were no marks of injury or bruises on the body except the rope marks on the neck, Astori said.
A final autopsy report is expected to be compiled in about 10 days.Faisals colleagues demanded that the chief justice of the supreme court should take suo moto notice of the death and order a judicial inquiry.PTI

Pc0121600.jpg 
Reports have said Kamran Faisal had written to his superior last November asking to be taken off the team investigating the power projects case against Pak PM Raja Pervez Ashraf (above) 


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On Day 4,Algeria crisis ends 

Special Forces Storm Facility;7 Hostages,11 Militants Killed 

In Amenas (Algeria): Algerian special forces stormed a natural gas complex in the middle of the Sahara desert on Saturday in a final assault that ended a four-dayold hostage crisis,according to the state news agency and two foreign governments.At least 19 hostages and 29 militants have been killed.
The report,quoting a security source,didnt say whether any hostages or militants remained alive,and it didnt give the nationalities of the dead.It said the army was forced to intervene after a fire broke out in the plant and said the militants killed the hostages.It wasnt immediately possible to verify who killed the captives.
Seven hostages and 11 militants were killed in Saturdays operation,adding to the previous tally of 12 captives and 18 kidnappers.
The In Amenas plant is jointly run by BP,Norways Statoil and Algerias stateowned oil company.The governments of Norway and Britain said they received confirmation the siege was over.
The entire refinery was mined with explosives and set to blow up,the Algerian state oil company Sonatrach said in a statement,adding that the process of clearing the explosives had begun.The Algerian media reported that the militants had planned to blow up the complex.
The siege transfixed the world after al-Qaida-linked Islamist militants stormed the complex,which contained hundreds of plant workers from all over the world.
Algerias response to the crisis was typical of the countrys history in confronting terrorists military action over negotiation and caused an international outcry from countries worried about their citizens.Algerian military forces twice assaulted the areas where the hostages were being held with minimal apparent negotiation first on Thursday and then on Saturday.
The latest deaths bring the official Algerian tally of dead to 19 hostages and 29 militants,although reports on the number of dead,injured and freed have been contradictory throughout the crisis.
Militants originally said they had seized 41 foreign hostages.
The al-Qaida-linked militants attacked the plant Wednesday morning.They crept across the border from Libya,100 kilometres away,and fell on a pair of buses taking foreign workers to the airport.The buses military escort drove off the attackers in a blaze of gunfire that sent bullets zinging over the heads of crouching workers.
A Briton and an Algerian,probably a security guard,were killed.
Frustrated,the militants turned to the vast gas complex,divided between the workers living quarters and the refinery itself,and seized hostages,the Algerian government said.
The gas flowing to the site was cut off.On Thursday,Algerian helicopters opened fire on a convoy carrying both kidnappers and their hostages,resulting in many deaths,according to witnesses.
In their final communications,the militants said they were holding seven hostages: three Belgian,two Americans,a Japanese and a Briton.They had even threatened to kill them if the Algerian army attacked.
The militants initially said their operation was intended to stop a French attack on Islamist militants in neighbouring Mali though they later said it was two months in the planning,long before the French military intervention.AP 

DESERT SIEGE 




Four days on,hostage crisis in the Algerian gas plant was ended by the special forces in a final assault on Saturday.Terror outfit Al Mulathameen was behind the kidnapping drama 




HOW THE CRISIS UNFOLDED 




Jan 16| 


Gunmen attack 2 buses carrying gas fi eld workers towards In Amenas airfi eld.A Briton and an Algerian killed 
The militants drive to the installation at Tigantourine,take Algerian and foreign workers hostage in the residential area and the main gas facility 
Algerian army surrounds abductors 

Jan 17| 


Algerian forces attack as militants try to move some captives from the facility;some hostages escape,others killed 

Jan 18| 


Algerian forces retake living quarters,the hostages and their kidnappers ensconced in the refi nery 
Around 100 of the 135 foreign workers and 573 Algerians freed,offi cials say 

Jan 19| 


Special forces launch fi nal assault on the gas plant 
7 hostages,11 militants killed 
It is not clear if all the kidnappers are dead or whether the hostages have been freed 

TOTAL RECALL 


An Algerian man who escaped says captors armed with AK-47 s,machine guns and rocket-propelled grenades;they told him they only wanted to keep foreigners hostage Another rescued man says hostages forced to wear explosives on their bodies;some hid under beds and on rooftops 
In Amenas plant in Algeria.It is jointly run by BP,Norways Statoil and Algerias state-owned oil company.The site of the gas plant spreads out over several acres with dozens of buildings

Pc0121300.jpg 
NARROW ESCAPE: Hostages rescued from the In Amenas gas plant 
Pc0122000.jpg 

Pc0121500.jpg 
Algeria faces flak over rescue tactics 

Paris: The crisis created by Islamists seizure of one of Algerias most valuable gas fields and the ruthless response from the army has left its government facing lasting,damaging fallout,analysts have said.
The prospect of any fresh investment from Japan,in particular,do not look good in the short-term given the furious reaction in Tokyo to the speed with which the army resorted to force having spurned offers of assistance from British and US special forces.OM Shinzo Abe on Saturday branded the hostage takers despicable but Tokyos wrath was also focused on the Algerian authorities,whom they accuse of blundering into military action without any consideration of the implications for the lives of the hostages.
Britain,whose oil giant BP partly operates the gas field,has also made clear its displeasure at not being consulted on the tactics.BP is seen as unlikely to give up any of its Algerian assets,but security concerns will now,inevitably,weigh heavily on future investment decisions.
Only France has refrained from any form of implied criticism,a stance that reflects the permanently fraught nature of relations between Paris and its former colony,and the fact that the French airforce requires access to Algerian airspace for its bombing campaign in neighbouring Mali.AFP


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POLITICALLY INCORRECT 
Have we finally had it with war games 

SHOBHAA DE 

Have we finally had it Last week was a particularly disturbing one.The number of mixed signals coming our way from assorted sources added to the aggravation.Suddenly,the trauma of rape was out and Pakistani atrocities were in.The deeply shocking story of Lance Naik Hemraj Singhs brutal beheading took over every conceivable space in media.And we had gauche,inarticulate anchors blabbing away incoherently about how bizarre and obnoxious all this was and how India must retaliate.Retaliate How Sushma Swaraj promptly provided an answer.Rashly and impetuously she thundered that for every Indian head we lose to Pakistan,we should bring back ten! Coming from a senior politician,this was a seriously dumb statement.Fortunately,the average citizens response was far more sober,intelligent and considered.Soon we had a cacophony of voices banging on about the signals we need to send out to our neighbour to America to the world.Nobody made much sense,least of all our Prime Minister who finally opened his mouth to declare it was not business as usual with Pakistan.Really No kidding! Everybody wanted to know what exactly he meant by that ambiguous,entirely vague remark.What business What is usual when it comes to Pakistan As always,it was left to Pakistani spokespersons to smoothly ride over the crisis pass the buck and move on.All of this while the perfectly matched chiffon dupatta stayed demurely in place without once slipping off the coiffed head.The Birkin offensive worked yet again! 
Meanwhile,our bewildered citizens suddenly discovered the identities of a few hitherto unknown top brass of the army,who came out guns blazing,all bristling moustaches and belligerent words.They fire.We fire, declared Army Chief Gen Bikram Singh.While one gentleman spoke about retaliatory action at the appropriate time (and when would that be,Sir).The other spoke ominously about his hope that our government would extend support to the army.Huh Iska matlab Were we meant to read between the lines and draw our own conclusions Was the Government holding back on required support And support for what Did a Lt Gen need to send out such a crucial message using television channels to convey it Who was this message meant for Those in power in Delhi Their counterparts in Pakistan The Americans,who are once again leaning just that much more towards our (un) friendly neighbours these days The world at large Bhagwan only knows.
Meanwhile,our hard working anchors were relentlessly at it.An emotional storm was being systematically whipped up.Panelists were frothing at the mouth.And everybody was in overdrive covering the grisly minutiae of the heinous beheading and milking every tiny detail in a way that was embarrassing,morbid and insensitive.Suddenly,Nirbhaya and those 67 daily rapes across India the ones that get reported became stale news.There were no new angles to exploit.India had swiftly moved on.Hemraj Singh was the new martyr.And Pakistan had to be whipped once more in public.The flogging seems to be on hold for now.Pakistani actress Meera has planned a peace march in Delhi.Her agenda involves the granting of 5 year visas to Pakistani artists,and has nothing to do with heavier issues.A particularly clumsy gesture involved Pakistani hockey players being unceremoniously packed off.Raj Thackeray got into the act and accused our government of playing up the beheading of a brave soldier as a diversionary tactic.The rather pathetic truth is that countless people believed Raj! Thats how low our morale is right now.We are prepared to accept the worst charges against the ruling class.Even charges as grim as this one.Lots of loud noises later,the Hemraj story,too,is limping along,with non-committal comments from both sides of the border,after the shrill war-mongering charges made by the beauteous Ms Birkin herself.Everybody is backing off .The daily routine of strutting and posturing is over.Soon it will indeed be back to business as usual.Sorry,Manmohan Singh.Youll have to come up with a better line and quickly at that!

Pc0141400.jpg 

Pc0141000.jpg 
BAG HAND The Birkin offensive worked.Pakistani spokespersons smoothly passed the buck to India 
 
OUT OF TURN 
Is nuclear capability being used as a safety net 

M J AKBAR 

Ever since India and Pakistan confirmed,in 1998,what the world knew,that they were both nuclear weapon powers,there has been a paradoxical calm in the background each time the foreground has lit up with fireworks on their hot-and-cold frontier.This stems from an ingrained conviction that since full-scale war has become too dangerous neither country will tempt fate beyond manageable provocations.
The evidence since Hiroshima deserves a thought or two.Nuclear power has not prevented conventional wars from changing the destiny of nations and shape of maps.Atomic bombs sat idly in megapower arsenals while war crawled to victory or defeat through its independent quagmires.Nuclear weapons have only established a contradiction: they are too powerful to be potent.
Just five years after Hiroshima,Korea went to war with itself,and America's nuclear domination could not ensure victory for its troops or prevent bifurcation of Korea.France tested its bomb,ironically,in the Algeria Sahara on 13 February 1960.It was four times as powerful as that which flattened Hiroshima,but it made no difference in colonialism's bloodiest war: Algeria defeated France and became independent on 5 July 1962.Nuclear might did not prevent America humiliation in Vietnam or a Soviet catastrophe in Afghanistan.Argentina invaded the Falkland Islands despite Britain's nuclear missiles.In 1973,Egypt and Syria were aware that Israel had the ultimate weapons of mass destruction,but went ahead with the Yom Kippur offensive.The Pakistan army attempted its daring gambit in Kargil after the nuclear race with India had been well and truly launched.
In fact,our subcontinent induces a perverse question: has the reassurance of nuclear capability become an encouragement for military mischief Now that it is certain that there cannot be another 1971,when defeat split Pakistan,does this tempt the more radical or ultra elements in Pakistan,within and outside the army,to test the limits of conventional conflict 
Such questions become acute at a time of disarray in Islamabad,such as now.Events have unhinged the principal verticals of the Pakistan establishment an elected executive,the self-perpetuating armed forces and judiciary from any common mooring.
Pakistan's current dilemma is not a disoriented democracy but a dysfunctional state.To lose one Prime Minister on a corruption offence,as President Asif Zardari has done,might be a misfortune,but to lose two within seven months is,as they say,distinctly careless.Zardari can hardly afford to be careful about corruption,otherwise he would have to go before the electorate took any decision.His first Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani was sacked by the Supreme Court for refusing to reopen corruption cases against Zardari.The second,Pervaiz Ashraf,has just been convicted of receiving kickbacks while handing out contracts for Rental Power Plants.Interesting as this is,the more point is elsewhere.Zardari has,so far,shrugged off the court order.
If the Supreme Court is not the last word in law,then there is no rule of law.Authority in Pakistan is not interlinked through the clauses of a Constitution in which supremacy of sectors is defined.It is a long-established fact that the armed forces run an independent empire,and the cursory interface with government exists largely for notional purposes.The most powerful intelligence agency,ISI,is not run by the elected government,but the army.ISI intervenes where it wishes,and operates its own security and foreign policies.Zardari did make an attempt to bring ISI under his control but he was slapped down sharply.He did not try again.Inevitably,the common speculation when a silver-tongued maverick like Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri storms political citadels is that he is the vanguard of a "soft coup" : "Soft" means an indirect takeover,as opposed to the pistol-waving sort last seen in the heyday of Pervez Musharraf.
The Army is divided about the best strategy for Pakistan.Pragmatists,led by the chief General Ashfaq Kayani,follow the American prescription of concentrating on the western front.Ideologues,conversely,believe they share some common cause objectives with those America considers terrorists;terrorists are at best an irritation,India is the true enemy.This debate has frayed the Pak army's unity under command,and spread into the political discourse as well.But politicians are second-class citizens when it comes to India policy.
Is there a pattern in the strands spread between cantonment and street Talk of a "soft coup" did not begin in Delhi.But a coup needs justification.The army does not disguise its contempt for Zardari,or its lacerating confrontation with the judiciary;nor do summer elections offer any great prospect of stability.A nuclear safety net eliminates the possibility of any existential threat if things go wrong,and confrontation along the Indian border raises the need for armed forces at the centre of power.
As theories go,this is perhaps worth a ponder..

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POLITICALLY INCORRECT 
Have we finally had it with war games 

SHOBHAA DE 

Have we finally had it Last week was a particularly disturbing one.The number of mixed signals coming our way from assorted sources added to the aggravation.Suddenly,the trauma of rape was out and Pakistani atrocities were in.The deeply shocking story of Lance Naik Hemraj Singhs brutal beheading took over every conceivable space in media.And we had gauche,inarticulate anchors blabbing away incoherently about how bizarre and obnoxious all this was and how India must retaliate.Retaliate How Sushma Swaraj promptly provided an answer.Rashly and impetuously she thundered that for every Indian head we lose to Pakistan,we should bring back ten! Coming from a senior politician,this was a seriously dumb statement.Fortunately,the average citizens response was far more sober,intelligent and considered.Soon we had a cacophony of voices banging on about the signals we need to send out to our neighbour to America to the world.Nobody made much sense,least of all our Prime Minister who finally opened his mouth to declare it was not business as usual with Pakistan.Really No kidding! Everybody wanted to know what exactly he meant by that ambiguous,entirely vague remark.What business What is usual when it comes to Pakistan As always,it was left to Pakistani spokespersons to smoothly ride over the crisis pass the buck and move on.All of this while the perfectly matched chiffon dupatta stayed demurely in place without once slipping off the coiffed head.The Birkin offensive worked yet again! 
Meanwhile,our bewildered citizens suddenly discovered the identities of a few hitherto unknown top brass of the army,who came out guns blazing,all bristling moustaches and belligerent words.They fire.We fire, declared Army Chief Gen Bikram Singh.While one gentleman spoke about retaliatory action at the appropriate time (and when would that be,Sir).The other spoke ominously about his hope that our government would extend support to the army.Huh Iska matlab Were we meant to read between the lines and draw our own conclusions Was the Government holding back on required support And support for what Did a Lt Gen need to send out such a crucial message using television channels to convey it Who was this message meant for Those in power in Delhi Their counterparts in Pakistan The Americans,who are once again leaning just that much more towards our (un) friendly neighbours these days The world at large Bhagwan only knows.
Meanwhile,our hard working anchors were relentlessly at it.An emotional storm was being systematically whipped up.Panelists were frothing at the mouth.And everybody was in overdrive covering the grisly minutiae of the heinous beheading and milking every tiny detail in a way that was embarrassing,morbid and insensitive.Suddenly,Nirbhaya and those 67 daily rapes across India the ones that get reported became stale news.There were no new angles to exploit.India had swiftly moved on.Hemraj Singh was the new martyr.And Pakistan had to be whipped once more in public.The flogging seems to be on hold for now.Pakistani actress Meera has planned a peace march in Delhi.Her agenda involves the granting of 5 year visas to Pakistani artists,and has nothing to do with heavier issues.A particularly clumsy gesture involved Pakistani hockey players being unceremoniously packed off.Raj Thackeray got into the act and accused our government of playing up the beheading of a brave soldier as a diversionary tactic.The rather pathetic truth is that countless people believed Raj! Thats how low our morale is right now.We are prepared to accept the worst charges against the ruling class.Even charges as grim as this one.Lots of loud noises later,the Hemraj story,too,is limping along,with non-committal comments from both sides of the border,after the shrill war-mongering charges made by the beauteous Ms Birkin herself.Everybody is backing off .The daily routine of strutting and posturing is over.Soon it will indeed be back to business as usual.Sorry,Manmohan Singh.Youll have to come up with a better line and quickly at that!

Pc0141400.jpg 

Pc0141000.jpg 
BAG HAND The Birkin offensive worked.Pakistani spokespersons smoothly passed the buck to India 
 
OUT OF TURN 
Is nuclear capability being used as a safety net 

M J AKBAR 

Ever since India and Pakistan confirmed,in 1998,what the world knew,that they were both nuclear weapon powers,there has been a paradoxical calm in the background each time the foreground has lit up with fireworks on their hot-and-cold frontier.This stems from an ingrained conviction that since full-scale war has become too dangerous neither country will tempt fate beyond manageable provocations.
The evidence since Hiroshima deserves a thought or two.Nuclear power has not prevented conventional wars from changing the destiny of nations and shape of maps.Atomic bombs sat idly in megapower arsenals while war crawled to victory or defeat through its independent quagmires.Nuclear weapons have only established a contradiction: they are too powerful to be potent.
Just five years after Hiroshima,Korea went to war with itself,and America's nuclear domination could not ensure victory for its troops or prevent bifurcation of Korea.France tested its bomb,ironically,in the Algeria Sahara on 13 February 1960.It was four times as powerful as that which flattened Hiroshima,but it made no difference in colonialism's bloodiest war: Algeria defeated France and became independent on 5 July 1962.Nuclear might did not prevent America humiliation in Vietnam or a Soviet catastrophe in Afghanistan.Argentina invaded the Falkland Islands despite Britain's nuclear missiles.In 1973,Egypt and Syria were aware that Israel had the ultimate weapons of mass destruction,but went ahead with the Yom Kippur offensive.The Pakistan army attempted its daring gambit in Kargil after the nuclear race with India had been well and truly launched.
In fact,our subcontinent induces a perverse question: has the reassurance of nuclear capability become an encouragement for military mischief Now that it is certain that there cannot be another 1971,when defeat split Pakistan,does this tempt the more radical or ultra elements in Pakistan,within and outside the army,to test the limits of conventional conflict 
Such questions become acute at a time of disarray in Islamabad,such as now.Events have unhinged the principal verticals of the Pakistan establishment an elected executive,the self-perpetuating armed forces and judiciary from any common mooring.
Pakistan's current dilemma is not a disoriented democracy but a dysfunctional state.To lose one Prime Minister on a corruption offence,as President Asif Zardari has done,might be a misfortune,but to lose two within seven months is,as they say,distinctly careless.Zardari can hardly afford to be careful about corruption,otherwise he would have to go before the electorate took any decision.His first Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani was sacked by the Supreme Court for refusing to reopen corruption cases against Zardari.The second,Pervaiz Ashraf,has just been convicted of receiving kickbacks while handing out contracts for Rental Power Plants.Interesting as this is,the more point is elsewhere.Zardari has,so far,shrugged off the court order.
If the Supreme Court is not the last word in law,then there is no rule of law.Authority in Pakistan is not interlinked through the clauses of a Constitution in which supremacy of sectors is defined.It is a long-established fact that the armed forces run an independent empire,and the cursory interface with government exists largely for notional purposes.The most powerful intelligence agency,ISI,is not run by the elected government,but the army.ISI intervenes where it wishes,and operates its own security and foreign policies.Zardari did make an attempt to bring ISI under his control but he was slapped down sharply.He did not try again.Inevitably,the common speculation when a silver-tongued maverick like Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri storms political citadels is that he is the vanguard of a "soft coup" : "Soft" means an indirect takeover,as opposed to the pistol-waving sort last seen in the heyday of Pervez Musharraf.
The Army is divided about the best strategy for Pakistan.Pragmatists,led by the chief General Ashfaq Kayani,follow the American prescription of concentrating on the western front.Ideologues,conversely,believe they share some common cause objectives with those America considers terrorists;terrorists are at best an irritation,India is the true enemy.This debate has frayed the Pak army's unity under command,and spread into the political discourse as well.But politicians are second-class citizens when it comes to India policy.
Is there a pattern in the strands spread between cantonment and street Talk of a "soft coup" did not begin in Delhi.But a coup needs justification.The army does not disguise its contempt for Zardari,or its lacerating confrontation with the judiciary;nor do summer elections offer any great prospect of stability.A nuclear safety net eliminates the possibility of any existential threat if things go wrong,and confrontation along the Indian border raises the need for armed forces at the centre of power.
As theories go,this is perhaps worth a ponder..

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 Saeeds threat poses new challenges 

US Afghanistan Exit May Divert Terror To India 

Rajeev Deshpande TNN 

New Delhi: Fresh challenges are brewing for India in Jammu & Kashmir with Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) chief Hafiz Saeeds threat to step up terror in the border state being complimented by increased activity in LeT camps in eastern Afghanistan not far from Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK).
The shift of assets to camps run in the remote provinces of Kunar and Nuristan are being read alongside the Lashkar bosss reported remarks to a Hurriyat delegation,which visited Pakistan recently,that armed struggle was the only solution to the Kashmir tangle.
Indian agencies feel Saeeds assurance that militancy is poised to flare up in Kashmir in a years time needs to be seen in the context of the expected drawdown of US forces from Afghanistan in 2014 and Pakistan reactivating its strategic depth strategy against India.
Sources said Lashkar camps in eastern Afghanistan that have been working in tandem with Taliban against US and NATO forces can easily redirect their energies against India,supplementing LeTs terror launch pads in PoK not far from the Line of Control (LoC).
The two provinces,bordering Pakistans tribal and northwestern regions,are seen to be ungovernable and have had a growing presence of LeT.The areas can provide a route to Kashmir with Alexanders armies believed to have passed through Konar too.
Hurriyat leaders,who were in Pakistan last December,have neither confirmed nor denied their meetings with Saeed and United Jihad Council leader Syed Salahuddin.
The Lashkar bosss remarks after the beheading of an Indian soldier along the LoC that border tensions can turn into an ugly situation like war are seen in the context of the incident but the terror group clearly sees violence as a means to force concessions from India.
Saeeds aggressive statements,doubts about the Pakistani Armys commitment to the bilateral peace process and the evolving LeT strategy are posing tough choices for the Indian security and foreign policy establishment in the run-up to the US disengagement in Afghanistan.
There is a real threat of billions of dollars of Indian development assistance in Afghanistan,including an important highway in the west,being written off unless New Delhi ensures it has a say in the post-US scenario.
It is felt that although the US is keen to draw down in Afghanistan,it will not leave the country for Pakistan and Taliban to run as this has implications for its own security.But India may well need to accelerate its hunt for allies and friends,even if this at times runs counter to US interests.
The more hard line view seen as a pragmatic approach by the security community is that Pakistans asymmetric tactics,including alternating hot and cold diplomacy,must be countered with an unwavering insistence on a clamp down on terror.


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 Jihadi puts Qaida stamp on siege 

Nouakchott: Veteran jihadi Mokhtar Belmokhtar has claimed responsibility in the name of al-Qaida for the mass hostage-taking in Algeria and called on France to halt air strikes in Mali,Mauritanian news website Sahara Media said on Sunday,citing a video.
We in al-Qaida announce this blessed operation, Belmokhtar said in the video.We are ready to negotiate with the West and the Algerian government provided they stop their bombing of Malis Muslims. Sahara Media did not display the video itself on its site and it was not immediately possible to verify the information.
We had around 40 jihadis,most of them from Muslim countries and some even from the West, Belmokhtar said in the video,according to Sahara Media.
Mauritanias ANI news agency had reported that members of Belmokhtars Mulathameen brigade,whose name means The Masked Ones,had said the attack was retaliation for French air strikes against the Islamist rebels who seized control of northern Mali.REUTERS 

5 militants caught alive in Algeria 


Twenty-five bodies were discovered and five militants were captured alive by the Algerian army cleaning up the In Amenas gas facility attacked by Islamists,Algerian TV station Ennahar said on Sunday.The bodies are believed to belong to hostages who were executed.Meanwhile,the capture of the militants has taken the number of attackers to 37.AGENCIES


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FLIGHT TO SAFETY: Filipinos working at Algerias gas facility which was attacked by terrorists recently return to Manila on Sunday 

ALARM BELL 
Pakistans nukes face threat from army insiders 

Ashis Ray TNN 

London: The threat to Pakistans nuclear arsenal is from within the Pakistani army and theres no way external powers can destroy or seize these as long as Islamabad doesnt make the mistake of attacking India,writes MIT-educated Pakistani nuclear scientist Pervez Hoodbhoy in his book,Confronting the Bomb.
Hoodbhoy writes that Pakistani army insiders in collusion with an external Islamic group could be plotting to appropriate nuclear assets,unknown to authorities entrusted with protecting these.
In February 2000,Pervez Musharraf,then chief of army staff and head of Pakistan government,created a nuclear command,which included a strategic plans division (SPD),which has physical custody of the weapons.Hoodbhoy argues,Whatever the procedures and equipment Pakistan may adopt,they can only be as good as the men who operate them.Mindsets and intentions matter more than anything else. 
He adds,The fear of loose weapons comes from the fact that Pakistans armed forces harbour a hidden enemy within their ranks.Those wearing the cloak of religion freely walk in and out of top security nuclear installations every day. He emphasizes,The fear of the insider is ubiquitous and well-founded, and describes the Pakistani army as a heavily Islamicised rank-and-file brimming with seditious thoughts. 
There are two Pakistani armies,he maintains.One led by General Pervez Ashraf Kayani and the other by Allah.It is difficult to find another example where the defence apparatus of a modern state has been rendered so vulnerable by the threat posed by military insiders. Even non-fundamentalist elements are soft Islamists,he says.
It is,however,possible that Pakistan possesses USsupplied technology to enhance protection against unauthorised use or accidental nuclear detonations.
A former director of SPD,Feroz Khan,is quoted as saying that to meet the insider threat,SPD has adopted a US programme which carries out checks on personnel.The system knows how to distinguish who is a fundoo (fundamentalist) and who is simply pious.
Hoodbhoy reacts,But this does not really reassure. He illustrates,Long beards and prayer marks on the forehead are common and religious zeal is especially apparent during the month of Ramzan.



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 சவுதி கஃபாலா சட்டப்படி சிக்கல் ஏற்படுவதால் 50 நேபாளிகளின் பிணங்கள் சவுதியில் நாறிக் கொண்டு இருக்கின்றன. கொடுமை. படியுங்கள்!!!


http://www.ekantipur.com/the-kathmandu-post/2011/03/08/top-story/the-saudi-trap-dozens-of-nepalis-bodies-rot-in-arabia/219209.html


KATHMANDU, MAR 08 - Over 50 dead bodies of Nepali migrant workers are waiting in Riyadh to be ferried to Nepal. The workers had died of various reasons in the past one year and more. 
Officials said the situation is precarious as neither the Nepal government, which supplies a large number of unskilled labourers, nor the Saudi government, which receives them, has proper legislation in place to protect the rights of the migrant workers. Moreover, the victims’ families in Nepal are having a tough time receiving compensation for the deaths as many of them were illegally trafficked to the Gulf country.
Officials at the Ministry of Home Affairs (MoFA) and the Nepali Embassy in Riyadh said it may take more than eight months before the bodies could be ferried to Nepal, as “many of the corpses reveal illegal residency status.”
“It is a very complicated job. We don’t have the exact data, but our rough estimate is that there could be around 50 bodies waiting to be given to their families in Nepal for the past one, and in some cases, more than two years,” an official at the Nepali Embassy in Riyadh said. “The death rate is alarming. It is estimated that around 200 Nepali migrant workers die every month.” Statistics with the embassy in Riyadh show the office issued “No Objection Letters” to 12 dead bodies in just seven days in January. “Workers’ legality is always at stake. Once you change your first employer without permission, you are rendered illegal,” the official said.
Under the Saudi kafala law, it requires 13 different documents in Urdu and English, including police and postmortem reports, for a dead body to be given an “exit visa.” 
“This is probably the only country which requires exit visa for even the dead bodies,” Charge d’ Affaires of the Nepali Embassy in Riyadh Paras Ghimire told the Post. 
The same legal system is said to have been trapping most of the 90,000 Nepali workers, who want to return home, but are denied exit visa.

சவுதியில் பிணத்துக்கு எக்சிட் விசா வேணுமாம்!!!



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 Algeria siege toll crosses 80 as more bodies found 


Algiers: The death toll from the terrorist siege at a natural gas plant in the Sahara has climbed past 80 as Algerian forces searching the refinery for explosives found dozens more bodies,many so badly disfigured it was unclear whether they were hostages or militants,a security official said.
Among those that other official sources have already confirmed to have died in the siege were one Frenchman,one American,two Romanians,three Britons,six Filipinos and seven Japanese.The kidnappers had six foreign nationalities,Canadian,Egyptian,Tunisian,Malian,Nigerien and Mauritanian.
Algerian special forces stormed the plant on Saturday to end the four-day siege,moving in to thwart what government officials said was a plot by the Islamic extremists to blow up the complex and kill all their captives with mines sown throughout the site.
In a statement,the Masked Brigade,the group that has claimed to have masterminded the takeover,warned of more such attacks against any country backing Frances military intervention in neighbouring Mali,where French are trying to stop an advance by Islamic extremists.We stress to our Muslim brothers the necessity to stay away from all the Western companies and complexes for their own safety, the statement said.AGENCIES

Taliban attack traffic police HQ in Kabul 

Kabul(Afghanistan):Two Taliban suicide bombers blew themselves up at the gates of the Kabul traffic police headquarters early on Monday before another group of militants stormed the compound,battling security forces for nine hours in an attack that left three policemen and all five attackers dead,authorities said.
The coordinated assault was the second brazen raid in the heart of the Afghan capital in less than a week,a sign that the insurgency is determined to keep carrying out such spectacular attacks even as the United States and Afghan governments try to coax the Taliban into holding peace talks.
Nine hours after Mondays insurgent attack began with two of the five attackers blowing themselves up,police commandos killed the last two insurgents holed up in the police headquarters,interior ministry spokesman Sediq Sediqi said.He added that four traffic policemen and 10 civilians were also been wounded in the fighting.
Kabul police chief Mohammad Ayub Salangi said two Taliban suicide bombers died at the gate when their vests exploded,another blew himself up inside the building and two more were killed by security forces before they managed to detonate their explosive vests.
He said a sedan packed with explosives blew up near the gate a short time later.Such secondary devices are rigged to timers and designed to kill as many first responders as possible.Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid claimed responsibility for the attack,which he said was targeting a police training facility run by foreign military forces.
The traffic police headquarters is not heavily guarded,though it is located on a square leading to the parliament and is also next to the citys zoo.AP


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BRAZEN STRIKE: Smoke billows from the traffic police HQ in Kabul on Monday 



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Muslim board evicts ten residents from Triplicane 

Pratiksha Ramkumar TNN 

Chennai:In the heart of Triplicane,around the historic Amir Mahal,are hundreds of tiny lanes that form the oldest parts of the city.The streets,congested through the day,are home to some of the citys oldest residents.Unfortunately,the families have been living there for so many years that most of them lack proper ownership papers.
The ambiguity over ownership was highlighted again on Wednesday evening,when Ameerunnisa Begum Sahiba Endowment a registered and notified waqf with the help of a few policemen evicted 10 residents from their houses.
A few men forcibly entered their houses and began throwing out vessels and things, said R Tara,a resident.They brought huge machines to show people that they could even demolish the houses, she says.Nearly 107 families,who are part of the House Owners Association in Triplicane,spent the night out in the open.
The endowment board began issuing eviction notices to the 107 houses on Monday.You have defaulted on payment of rent from July 2003 and lost rights over the superstructure,and therefore our client has terminated the lease and filed for eviction against you, said the notice.It called people unathorized occupants of wakf property and asked them to vacate the land.
The irony though is that land on which the houses are located belongs to the Chennai Corporation,or is poromboke land,and not the endowment board.The old survey number of the land is 329.The resurvey numbers of the houses are 110,125,187 to 215,228,231,240 390,391,395 and 2,875.According to the Madras Survey Registrar,13 of those survey numbers belong to the Chennai Corporation and another seven do not have records,which means they are poromboke land.This was again confirmed in an RTI reply given by the district revenue officer on March 23,2008.
The endowment board,however,insists that the land was handed over to the it by Ameerunissa Begum in 1959.The board has been charging the residents,who have been living there for decades,land rent.Land rent is what tenants pay to occupy the ground,so even people who have built or bought houses continue to pay land rent.
Repeated attempts to contact officials of the Ameerunissa Begum Sahiba Endowment proved futile.The corporation has promised to look into the issue.The mayor is meeting the residents on Friday afternoon.Once we verify the survey numbers and claims,action will be taken, said a corporation official.The residents on Thursday met the joint commissioner of police,complaining about the police involvement.


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The Ameerunnisa Begum Sahiba Endowment has issued eviction notices to 107 families 



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ANGER ON THE STREETS 
Moderate Muslims disapprove of protests 

Karthick S | TNN 


While a group of Muslim organisations have been opposing the release of Kamal Haasans Vishwaroopam,moderate Muslims in the state have condemned what they termed pressure politics by some sections.Though they condemn filmmakers for stereotyping terrorism plots,they have expressed disapproval of protests against films being taken to streets or what they describe as a non-legal approach.Some progressive Muslim bloggers have opposed the ban on the film.They have backed Kamal Haasan on social networking sites.
None of these protesting Muslim organisations represent the majority.The protestors are trying to get mileage with their protests as many of these outfits are struggling to survive, said well-known Tamil writer Manushyaputhiran.While the state governments decision to impose a two-week ban on the film was unacceptable,anybody could resort to legal action and move the courts instead of resorting to a parallel censorship,he said.
Kamal Haasans screening of the film for representatives of some Muslim organisations was not practical,said Manushyaputhiran.It implies that he sought their permission.He should have avoided the screening since clearance from the censor board was all he needed to release the film, he said,If we bow to such pressures,it would prove a hurdle for freedom of expression. 
Indian Union Muslim league general secretary K M Khader Mohideen urged the actor to remove a few scenes if sections felt they tarnished the image of the community.If anyone has any objection to a film,they can appeal to the censor board or approach the courts, said Mohideen.Some Muslim leaders urged the government to include members with cultural and political sensitivity in the censor board.

Controversy propels little known outfits into spotlight 


The controversy over Vishwaroopam and the states decision to ban it for two weeks have brought Manithaneya Makkal Katchi MLA M H Jawahirullah into the spotlight.While 24 Muslim organizations demanded the ban,only three,including the Tamil Nadu Muslim Munnetra Kazhagam (whose political outfit is Manithaneya Makkal Katchi),the Indian Tauheed Jamaat and the Social Democratic Party of India,are outfits of some significance.And,Jawahirullah is undoubtedly the most articulate among the leaders spearheading the protests.What is significant is that his plea has been heeded by his erstwhile alliance leader and chief minister J Jayalalithaa.By choosing to contest alone in the last local body polls,she had alienated all her allies.While some are warming up to DMK in anticipation of a new political realignment,the MMK leader has been maintaining equidistance from the two parties.Writer Gnani Sankaran,who feels the government ban has a political tenor,said,Once the censor board clears a movie,it is wrong on the part of a state government to ban it.Those who have problems with the content of the movie cannot argue with the filmmaker,who has subjected himself to the law.Instead,they should ask the censor board why it is insensitive to such issues.The government can ask the censor board to review its clearance.


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Kamal gets support from nation,silence from Tamil film industry 

TIMES NEWS NETWORK 


As high drama played out in the courts over the two-week ban on Kamal Haasans film Vishwaroopam,the Tamil film industry remained largely unmoved though the actor-director has got support from celebrities across the country.
I stand up for Kamal Haasans right to show the world Vishwaroopam.Let the people decide.The censor board has already passed the film, said Shekhar Kapoor,veteran actor and filmmaker on Thursday.
National award-winning director Madhur Bhandarkar went one step further and said: I am appalled by the Tamil Nadu governments decision to ban Kamal Haasans Vishwaroopam,after it was passed by the censor board. 
Barring a few people like Tamil actor Prakash Raj,no strong voice has come out in support of Haasan from the Tamil film industry.
This is not the first time the industry has stepped back when members of their fraternity run into trouble.In 2005,when actor Khushboo was pilloried for her remarks about pre-marital sex,there was silence from the Tamil film fraternity.In an interview to a magazine she said people should be safe and avoid sexually transmitted diseases and pregnancy during pre-marital sex.Political organizations waged a war against her,but most of the industry kept quiet.Khushboo said her remarks on premarital sex were taken out of context,but it took five years for her to fight and finally win the case in the Supreme Court,which dismissed all the criminal cases against her.
I am against the ban,but I am also surprised by the silence of the people in the industry.People in the Tamil film industry take things personally and solidarity is missing.It is time we united for the sake of good cinema, said Amshan Kumar,Tamil film director.


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Politics of approval might tone down themes of films 

Sandhya Soman | TNN 


Earlier,censorship was about nipping steamy scenes or pulling out racy songs.But the politics of getting approval for films depicting terrorism is so murky it might erode space for political films,say film historians.
The fate of Kamal Haasans Vishwaroopam,which is awaiting judicial review before a release in Tamil Nadu,will have an impact on other films with similar themes.
Around 30 years ago,one could poke fun at any community.After the Babri Masjid demolition,people have become more sensitive about religious identities and small groups are taking advantage of it, says writer and film historian Theodore Bhaskaran.
So,while Gulebakavali Katha,1962 Telugu fantasy,could have comic lines ribbing gods and prophets,now filmmakers quietly agree to nips and cuts to avoid problems.Though criticism of Unnai Pol Oruvan,the 2009 Tamil remake of Hindi movie A Wednesday! was muted,in November 2012,makers of the Vijay-starrer Thuppakki faced strident protest from Muslim organisations just like in the case of Vishwaroopam.
We showed the film to around 50 people,then met them and listened to their concerns, says Thuppakki producer Kalaipulli S Thanu.He and the director found that some of the concerns were fair though the movie,set in Mumbai,was based on the terrorist attack on the Taj Mahal hotel.We showed them the film after we made the changes.They were happy and we dealt with it smoothly, he says.
Bhaskaran says the issue is not that simple. Vishwaroopam was passed by the Censor Board.If these organisations had complaints,they should have appealed to the board,which has a system to address such issues, he says.
Filmmaker K Hariharan says the groups are looking for soft targets.They have no idea what they are opposing.If they had,they would have prevented the release of Hurt Locker and Argo.As Kamal is a star,it gives them publicity, he says.
Producers fear that such instances will be repeated.How do we listen to each and every group The Supreme Court had clearly said that the Censor Board should be obeyed when states banned the Hindi film Akarshan.This incident will make our jobs more complicated, says producer L Suresh.

Scenes Of Discord 


Muslim groups have objected to specific scenes in Kamal Haasans Vishwaroopam The film shows Mullah Omar,the most wanted Taliban leader,taking refuge in Coimbatore and Madurai for a year.Muslim organisations say this portrays local Muslims in poor light Muslim children depicted as potential terrorists,with a scene showing them using arms and ammunition Fundamentalists in the film utter Allahu Akhbar before winding up their conversations with and ahead of bombing assignments Taliban chant verses from the Quran while beheading an American

Kamal faces expensive screen test 

JUDGE TO SEE VISHWAROOPAM BEFORE JAN 28 TO DECIDE WHETHER SCENES WILL OFFEND SENTIMENTS OF MINORITY COMMUNITY 

A Subramani | TNN 


Actor Kamal Haasans fans will have to wait longer to watch Vishwaroopam,as the Madras high court on Thursday ordered postponement of its scheduled release on Friday.The release stands postponed till January 28.A judge and others will view the film on January 26 to ascertain if it has scenes that will offend the sentiments of any community.
Declining to stay the governments decision to prohibit the screening of the film in theatres on Friday,and instead,defer its release by two weeks,Justice K Venkataraman said: The postponement of the release of the film,no doubt,will cause not only mental agony to the petitioners (S Chandrahasan,Kamals brother ) but also a loss to them monetarily.The interest of the public at large,that too during Republic Day,has to be viewed. He directed the home secretary and police commissioner to take steps to prevent piracy.
Senior advocate P S Raman said the producers were not informed before the prohibitory orders were issued.Claiming that the home secretary had instructed all district collectors to issue individual prohibitory orders banning screening of the film,he said 
that once the Central Board for Film Certification clears a film the state government cannot sit in judgment.
Advocate-general A Navaneethakrishnan questioned the maintainability of the petition,pointing out that the home secretary had not issued any instructions.A total of 23 Muslim organisations objected to the film,and the district collectors issued prohibitory orders taking into account the situation in their respective districts,he said.
Pointing out that the prohibitory orders were issued only to theatre-owners,Navaneethakrishnan asked how the petition filed by the producer,who is not an aggrieved party,could be entertained when neither the district collectors nor the theatre owners were party to the proceedings.He said that on Thursday the apex court had dismissed a petition against the Tamil Nadu governments ban order against another film,Dam 999.
While advocate S Prabakaran wanted the grievance of DTH subscribers who had paid money to watch the film before its release in theatres,to be taken into account,advocate Stalin said those who had purchased tickets could not be compensated.Advocate Sankarasubbu,representing a group of Muslim community organizations that watched a special screening,said most of the film contained objectionable material.
Justice Venkataraman said he could not grant any injunction order against the instructions of the home secretary because no such direction had been given to district collectors.

Intolerance up 


Author Salman Rushdie joined the fight for Vishwaroopam in New Delhi on Thursday saying India needs to ask itself why its becoming a culturally intolerant country that bans books and movies that offend some people.During an interview to a television news channel,Rushdie said India needed to ask itself why it was so easy in this society to shut things down.Last year,Rushdie had to cancel his appearance at the Jaipur Literature Festival amid protests and threats linked to his book The Satanic Verses,which some Muslims consider blasphemous.The book is banned in India,where Rushdie was born.


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