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Posts Tagged ‘Pakistan’

Malala Marches Toward the Nobel Peace Prize

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on October 11, 2013

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Malala Yousafzai said: 'I hope this book will reach people around the world, so they realise how difficult it is for some children to get access to education.' Photograph: Liz Cave/Getty

Malala Yousafzai said: ‘I hope this book will reach people around the world, so they realise how difficult it is for some children to get access to education.’ Photograph: Liz Cave/Getty

This Friday, the Nobel committee announces the 2013 recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. As far as global opinion is concerned, the award is a 16-year-old Pakistani girl’s to lose.

Long before she became a global symbol of children’s educationMalala Yousufzai was one girl squirming under the thumb of the Pakistani Taliban, whose draconian interpretation of Islamic law saw girls’ schools closed in her hometown of Mingora in early 2009. In a frank and witty blog published on the BBC Urdu  website under a pseudonym, Malala, then 11-years-old, chafed at the new regulations that limited her freedom, stopped her from learning and kept her from seeing her friends. The pseudonym, of course, was meant to protect her identity, but it was not long before her private persona—the outspoken daughter of a prominent school administrator—meshed with her public one, and she took her demand that a girls’ right to education be recognized across Pakistan to a national audience, appearing several times on TV talk shows and eventually in an international documentary. “I wanted to speak up for my rights,” she told the BBC on Monday, when reminiscing about her early activism. “And also I didn’t want my future to be just sitting in a room and be imprisoned in my four walls and just cooking and giving birth to children. I didn’t want to see my life in that way.” Read the rest of this entry »

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Malala Wins International Children’s Peace Prize

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on August 30, 2013

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AMSTERDAM — Pakistani teenager Malala Yousafzai, an outspoken proponent of girls’ education who survived a Taliban assassination attempt last year, has been awarded a top Dutch children’s honor for her activism.

Organizers announced Tuesday that 16-year-old Malala will be presented with the International Children’s Peace Prize next month in The Hague, Netherlands.

The foundation that awards the prize hailed Malala as “a brave and talented child who has demonstrated special dedication to children’s rights.” Read the rest of this entry »

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‘Kissinger Cables’ Offer Window Into Indian Politics of the 1970s

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on April 9, 2013

By NEHA THIRANI BAGRI
Indira Gandhi, then Indian prime minister, at the site of India's first underground nuclear test in Pokhran, Rajasthan, in Dec. 1974.ReutersIndira Gandhi, then Indian prime minister, at the site of India’s first underground nuclear test in Pokhran, Rajasthan, in Dec. 1974.
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The “Kissinger Cables,” a collection of U.S. diplomatic cables released on Monday by WikiLeaks, contain some fascinating revelations about the political scenario in India in the 1970s. Here are the five great insights about India in the WikiLeaks release:

India’s first nuclear test was possibly motivated by political considerations:

According to this cable, sent from New Delhi to the Department of State, India’s first nuclear test on May 18, 1974, was motivated by domestic politics. The cable says that the nuclear test had been done at a time when the Indian government was tackling an economic slowdown, increasing discontent and rising political unrest.

“We are inclined to believe that this general domestic gloom and uncertainty weighed significantly in the balance of India’s nuclear decision,” reads the cable sent on the date of the nuclear test. “The need for a psychological boost, the hope of recreated atmosphere of exhilaration and nationalism that swept the country after 1971 – contrary to our earlier expectation – may have tipped the scales.” Read the rest of this entry »

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Runner-Up: Malala Yousafzai, the Fighter

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on December 24, 2012

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Ayesha Mir didn’t go to school on Tuesday, Nov. 27, the day after a security guard found a shrapnel-packed bomb under her family’s car. The 17-year-old Pakistani girl assumed, as did most people who learned about the bomb, that it was intended for her father, the television news presenter Hamid Mir, who often takes on the Taliban in his nightly news broadcasts. Traumatized by the near miss, Ayesha spent most of the day curled up in a corner of her couch, unsure whom to be angrier with: the would-be assassins or her father for putting himself in danger. She desperately wanted someone to help her make sense of things.

At around 10:30 p.m., she got her wish. Ayesha’s father had just come home from work, and he handed her his BlackBerry. “She wants to speak to you,” he said. The voice on the phone was weak and cracked, but it still carried the confidence that Ayesha and millions of other Pakistanis had come to know through several high-profile speeches and TV appearances. Read the rest of this entry »

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Nobel Prize: A tale of ignoble peace laureates

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on December 11, 2012

One man introduced indefinite detention and expanded the deadly global drone war. Another was the architect of the deliberate mass killing of civilian populations in Indochina. What do they have in common? Both are Nobel Peace laureates.

Gandhi never got one. Al Gore did. In one of the stranger ironies befitting of both Kafka and Orwell, sometimes the makers of permanent war are awarded for bringing temporary peace. Sometimes they don’t even get that far.

With the winner of the 2012 Nobel Prize set to be announced in Oslo, Norway on Friday, the shadow of Barack Obama still looms large. In 2009, the committee awarded the current US president “for his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples.” Nominations for the award are due by February 1, meaning Obama had served as America’s executive for less than two weeks when the Norwegian Nobel Committee selected him. Perhaps it was wishful thinking.

Since then, Obama signed the National Defense Authorization Act into law, making it legal to indefinitely detain US citizens. There are also the deadly drone wars in Yemen and Pakistan, the war waged in Libya, the Afghan surge and a secret “kill list” revealed this year by The New York Times, which grants a select few American officials the option to mark perceived national security threats – foreign citizens or otherwise – for assassination. Ironic, yes, but they never could have known.  Read the rest of this entry »

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Malala Yousafzai should win Nobel Peace Prize, petition says MaLA

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on November 10, 2012

Malala speech:

More than 90,000 people have already signed an online petition calling for Malala Yousafzai to win the Nobel Peace Prize.

At Change.org, Canadian journalist Tarek Fatah said no person deserves the award more than the 15-year-old Pakistani girl who survived an assassination attempt. Read the rest of this entry »

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It’s Up to Us to Deliver for Malala

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on October 17, 2012

By Gordon Brown, Former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom; UN Special Envoy for Global Education

Today 14-year-old Malala Yousafzai, shot in the head by the Taliban for wanting to go to school, will arrive in the UK for medical treatment.

Medical experts say that Malala, fortunate to escape death from the assassin’s bullet, faces a long haul to recovery. I know the Birmingham hospital where Malala is to be treated. I have visited patients, doctors and nurses there on a number of occasions and I have seen at first hand their expertise in dealing with injuries caused by gunshot wounds.

I have also spoken this morning to Pakistan’s High Commissioner in the UK, who is travelling to meet Malala when she arrives in Birmingham. I have assured him of whatever help is needed for Malala and her family.

As Malala fights for her life, a worldwide campaign continues to grow around her in support of her demand for education for every girl.

In Pakistan, as well as India, Bangladesh and Afghanistan and along with the West, Malala’s courage is inspiring revulsion against the Taliban. She is becoming for millions of children their adopted sister and for millions of parents their adopted daughter.

This week leaders and celebrities are now joining the thousands of young supporters in signing the new ‘I am Malala’ petition on: www.educationenvoy.org.

The petition will be presented to the Pakistani President and the UN Secretary-General, demanding that Malala and every girl, is granted their right to education.

If leaders are now offering welcome support, it is children and young people who have led the waves of protest — and by demonstrating in droves, this new generation has done more to assert the right of every child to education than the leaders who promised to deliver it.

Behind the headlines, the protests are giving birth to a campaign of young people who are no longer willing to tolerate the gap between the promise of opportunity for all and the reality of millions of boys and girls shut out from even the most basic of primary schooling. Read the rest of this entry »

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Pakistan Opens NATO Supply Lines Into Afghanistan

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on July 4, 2012

By BRADLEY KLAPPER and REBECCA SANTANA  AP Share on Google+

Pakistan Nato Supply Lines

WASHINGTON — Ending a bitter seven-month standoff, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton apologized to Pakistan on Tuesday for the killing of 24 Pakistani troops last fall and won in return the reopening of critical NATO supply lines into Afghanistan. The agreement could save the U.S. hundreds of millions of dollars in war costs.

Resolution of the dispute also bandages a relationship with Pakistan that will be crucial in stabilizing the region. The ties have been torn in the past year and a half by everything from a CIA contractor who killed two Pakistanis to the unilateral U.S. raid on Osama bin Laden’s Pakistan compound.

But the accord carries risks for both governments – threatening to make Pakistan’s already fragile civilian leadership look weak and subservient to the United States while offering fodder to Republicans, including presidential candidate Mitt Romney, who contend that President Barack Obama says “sorry” too easily.

The first trucks carrying NATO goods should move across the border on Wednesday, U.S. officials said. It could take days to ramp up supplies to pre-attack levels, but around two dozen impatient truck drivers celebrated the news in a parking lot in the southern city of Karachi by singing, dancing and drumming on empty fuel cans.

“We are sorry for the losses suffered by the Pakistani military,” Clinton said, recounting a telephone conversation she had with Pakistani Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar concerning the deaths that led Pakistan to close the supply routes. “I offered our sincere condolences to the families of the Pakistani soldiers who lost their lives. Foreign Minister Khar and I acknowledged the mistakes that resulted in the loss of Pakistani military lives.” Read the rest of this entry »

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Does India Want to Be a Part of America’s Plan for Asia?

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on June 9, 2012

The U.S. Secretary of Defense swung through New Delhi on his eight-day visit to Asia to encourage Indian leaders to help the U.S. with its military and strategic goals in the region
image: U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta walks to lay a wreath at India Gate in New Delhi during a visit on June 6, 2012.

JIM WATSON / POOL VIA REUTERS
U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta walks to lay a wreath at India Gate in New Delhi during a visit on June 6, 2012

U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta wrapped up a short visit to India this week, calling for Washington and New Delhi to deepen security ties and defense cooperation in the region. As NATO-led troops get ready to leave Afghanistan and the Obama Administration continues its effort to counterbalance China’s growing military heft, Panetta’s goal was to shore up India’s support in the region during his meetings with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Defense Minister A.K. Antony, among others.

In a speech on Wednesday at the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses, an Indian defense think tank, Panetta urged India to help Afghanistan during and after NATO’s exit by supporting its neighbor through trade and investment, reconstruction and help for Afghan security forces. “We both realize how important it is to ultimately have a stable Afghanistan if we are to have peace and prosperity in this region,” he said. To achieve that, Panetta said both India and the U.S. “will need to continue to engage Pakistan, overcoming our respective and often deep differences.” He applauded India’s recent progress in boosting trade ties with its neighbor as being key to “helping Pakistan turn around its economy and counter extremism within its borders.”  Read the rest of this entry »

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Going Ballistic: Pakistan prepares nuclear-capable missile test

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on May 20, 2012

image from http://www.defence.pk

Pakistan will yet again test a ballistic missile by the end of the month, heating up the burgeoning arms race on the Indian subcontinent.

This is the third missile test to be conducted by the Pakistani Armed Forces in recent times.

News of the nuclear-capable ballistic missile launch broke on the Pakistani-based Geo News Saturday, Pakistan Defense reports.

Nasr, the Arabic word for “victory’, is a Battlefield Range Ballistic Missile (BRBM) that uses the solid fuel propellant system. It has an effective operation range of up to 110 miles and is capable of being armed with both nuclear and conventional high-explosive warheads.

The Pakistani military says the next generation system was specially designed to quickly react to a variety of threats. Read the rest of this entry »

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Will Pakistan and India’s Back-to-Back Missile Tests Spoil the Mood?

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on April 26, 2012

Reuters

REUTERS
A Hatf-VI (Shaheen-II) missile with a range of 2,000 km (1,242 miles) takes off during a test flight from an undisclosed location in Pakistan, April 21, 2008.

Another nation decided to flex its ballistic muscle this week in what is shaping up to be a missile-happy month in Asia. On Wednesday, Pakistan announced it had successfully launched what it called an intermediate-range ballistic missile into the Indian Ocean, just days after India conducted a similar test launch of its long-range missile, the Agni-V. Like that weapon, Pakistan’s Hatf IV Shaheen IA is capable of carrying a nuclear warhead and is part of Islamabad’s ongoing strategy of deterrence in the region.

Islamabad gave New Delhi due warning that it would be testing the new missile this week, as did New Delhi before its test of the Agni-V, in accordance with a 2005 agreement that the neighbors would notify each other before missile tests. Like India, Pakistan has been developing an indigenous missile program since the 1980s, but analysts have questioned the the veracity of some of Islamabad’s claims about its military’s homegrown technological achievements in the past. Read the rest of this entry »

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Pakistan tests missile days after India’s launch

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on April 25, 2012

SEBASTIAN ABBOT |


ISLAMABAD — Pakistan successfully launched an upgraded ballistic missile capable of carrying a nuclear warhead Wednesday, days after its neighbor and archenemy India conducted its own missile test, the Pakistani military said.

The Hatf IV Shaheen-1A missile was fired into the sea, the military said in a written statement.

It was described as an intermediate-range missile having a longer range than its predecessor, the Shaheen-1, which is believed to fly up to 750 kilometers (465 miles).

“The improved version of Shaheen-1A will further consolidate and strengthen Pakistan’s deterrence abilities,” said Lt. Gen. Khalid Ahmed Kidwai, who witnessed the launch and is responsible for the country’s nuclear program.

Intermediate-range ballistic missiles have a range of 3,000 to 5,000 kilometers (1,865 to 3,110 miles), according to the website GlobalSecurity.org. Read the rest of this entry »

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Six-Legged Baby Has Four Limbs Amputated After Successful Surgery In Karachi, Pakistan (PICTURES)

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on April 21, 2012

By Sara C Nelson

A baby has had four of the six legs he was born with successfully removed, surgeons have announced.

The little boy, born in Sukkur, a city in Sindh Province earlier this month, underwent eight hours of surgery at Pakistan’s National Institute of Child Health (NICH), in Karachi.

On Thursday Dr Jamal Raza announced the operation had been a success. He told a press conference the extra limbs had been the result of a genetic disease which affects just one in a million babies.

There had been speculation the child’s condition was due to the presence of a conjoined twin.

Six-Legged Baby Born In Pakistan, ‘Could Be Conjoined Twins’ (PICTURES) Read the rest of this entry »

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Pakistan Avalanche Buries 100 Soldiers On Himalayan Glacier

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on April 7, 2012

ISLAMABAD — Pakistani soldiers dug into a massive avalanche in a mountain battleground close to the Indian border on Saturday, searching for at least 135 people buried when the wall of snow engulfed a military complex.

More than 12 hours after the disaster at the entrance to the Siachen Glacier, no survivors had been found.

“We are waiting for news and keeping our fingers crossed,” said army spokesman Maj. Gen. Athar Abbas.

Hundreds of troops, sniffer dogs and mechanical equipment were at the scene, but were struggling to make much headway into the avalanche, which crashed down onto the rear headquarters building in the Gayari sector early in the morning, burying it under some 21 meters (70 feet) of snow, Abbas said.

“It’s on a massive scale,” he added. “Everything is completely covered.”

The military said in a statement that at least 124 soldiers and 11 civilian contractors were missing.

Siachen is on the northern tip of the divided Kashmir region claimed by both India and Pakistan.

The accident highlighted the risks of deploying troops to one of the most inhospitable places on earth.

The thousands of troops from both nations stationed there brave viciously cold temperatures, altitude sickness, high winds and isolation for months at a time. Troops have been deployed at elevations of up to 6,700 meters (22,000 feet) and have skirmished intermittently since 1984, though the area has been quiet since a cease-fire in 2003. The glacier is known as the world’s highest battlefield. Read the rest of this entry »

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Must-Reads from Around the World: March 20, 2012

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on March 20, 2012

Syrian President Bashar Assad speaking during a Ramadan Iftar banquet in honor of Muslim clergymen, in Damascus, Syria, 24 August 2011. (Photo: SANA / EPA)

SYRIAN PRESIDENT BASHAR ASSAD SPEAKING DURING A RAMADAN IFTAR BANQUET IN HONOR OF MUSLIM CLERGYMEN, IN DAMASCUS, SYRIA, 24 AUGUST 2011. (PHOTO: SANA / EPA)

More Syria Leaks – Al Jazeera reveals details from confidential Syrian intelligence and security documents handed over by one of the government’s most trusted officials who recently fled to Turkey. The trove shows President Bashar Assad’s strategy to suppress anti-government protests, including orders to stop protesters from getting into Damascus and detailed security plans for crushing protests in the cities of Aleppo and Idlib, as well as warnings about countries trying to influence Syrian diplomats to defect and indications the government spied on last year’s Arab League monitoring mission in Syria. Read the rest of this entry »

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