JANUARY 2017

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- Suresh Jaura
Publisher and Managing Editor

MORE SMOKE & MIRRORS

0712 flag pakistanSectarian violence in Karachi is just another chapter in Pakistan’s long history of violence against minorities, has afflicted Pakistan virtually from its moment of birth...

TRUMP'S FOREIGN POLICY

U.S. allies in Europe, Asia and the Middle East, smiling through their teeth, are feverishly hoping that Washington will maintain its security commitments. The Russians are ... . . ..   

AFGHANISTAN-PAKISTAN-USA

A US revaluation of its Af-Pak policy appears likely under Trump... It is, however, unlikely that US AfPak policy under Trump will be ‘more of the same’. Crucially, Pakistan’s role in supporting terrorism in Afghanistan . . .

NUCLEAR WWWIII

Escalation of hostility may become a thermonuclear WWIII.

ARM & TRAIN

Non-Muslims in violent conflict areas to enhance the security...

HYDRO BOOM & CONFLICTS

With approval of power plants, conflicts have arisen ...

SUICIDE TERRORISM

Growing support for suicide terrorism

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Nepal: Hydro Boom Sparks Violent Conflicts

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By Louise Voller – DanWatch

A state of emergency in Nepal has paved the way for green energy projects intended to relieve the country’s energy crisis. But following the approval of new hydroelectric power plants, conflicts have arisen between the government and local communities who feel their voices were not heard in the process, leading to several violent clashes between police and locals in 2016 alone.

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Balochistan: Reaping the Whirlwind

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By Tushar Ranjan Mohanty
Research Associate, Institute for Conflict Management

At least 61 Security Force (SF) personnel were killed, and another 164 were injured as terrorists stormed the New Sariab Police Training College (PTC), some 13 kilometres from Quetta, the provincial capital of Balochistan, in the night of October 24, 2016. Three militants entered the PTC and headed straight for the hostel, where around 700 Police recruits were sleeping. The attack began at around 11:10 pm, with gunfire continuing to ring out at the site for several hours. Major causalities were inflicted when two suicide bombers blew themselves up. One of the militants wearing suicide vest was killed by the SFs. 250 cadets who were held hostage were rescued by the SFs. SFs were able to clear the area after five hours. Entry and exit routes to the area were opened for traffic the next morning. 

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Derailing the Railways

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By Tushar Ranjan Mohanty
Research Associate, Institute for Conflict Management

Two coordinated blasts targeting railway tracks hit near the Rawalpindi-bound Jaffar Express on October 7, 2016, in the Ab-e-Gum area of the Bolan District in Balochistan, killing at least six people and leaving another 18 injured. Initial reports suggest that a bomb had been planted along the railway track. The second explosion took place in the same area 20 minutes later.

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More Smoke and Mirrors

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By Tushar Ranjan Mohanty
Research Associate, Institute for Conflict Management

Three Shia students at Karachi University (KU) came under sectarian attack on November 11, 2016, when unidentified assailants opened fire on them in Block 4 of the Gulistan-e-Jauhar area in Gulshan Town, Karachi, the provincial capital of Sindh. One student, identified as Murtaza, died instantly while his colleagues Shahid and Ehsan were critically injured. Gulistan-e-Johar Police Station officials confirmed the sectarian nature of attack.

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The Shadow of Daesh

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By Tushar Ranjan Mohanty
Research Associate, Institute for Conflict Management

At least 52 persons were killed and more than hundred were injured when a teenage suicide bomber detonated his explosive vest in the midst of devotees at the shrine of Sufi saint Shah Noorani in the Khuzdar District of Balochistan in the evening of November 12, 2016. The explosion took place at the spot where the dhamaal (Sufi ritual of devotional dance) was being performed, within the premises of the shrine. “The bomber appeared to be 14 to 16 years old,” said Muhammad Hashim Ghalzai, the Commissioner of Kalat Division, of which Khuzdar is a District. Nawaz Ali, the shrine's custodian, added, "Every day, around sunset, there is a dhamaal here, and there are large numbers of people who come for this." According to Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Jafar Khan, at the time of the blast, around 1,000 devotees were present in the shrine to view the performance. The Daesh (Islamic State, IS, previously Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, ISIS) claimed responsibility for the attack via Amaq, its affiliated news agency.  

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Brexit Stumbling: The High Court, British Parliament and...

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Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty

By Dr. Binoy Kampmark

Parliamentary supremacy in British law and politics is akin to the fetish of the union in the United States. Challenge it at your peril; question it to your misfortune. The point was tested, with rumbling consequences, by the May government in its latest Brexit stumble dealing with Britain’s painful and at times confused response to exiting the European Union.

The way Theresa May’s government has respected that referendum result so far is open to question. Behind closed doors, it has promised various versions of what it might do, when in truth, it may well not know what it is doing at all. Terms such as “hard Brexit” and “soft Brexit” change hands with meal like regularity; positions are foggily unclear. The only matter sovereign at this point is solid confusion.

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Vladimir Putin Moves Missiles Closer to Europe While…

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Donald Trump and Gen. Mattis disagree on NATO

By Sarah Lee – The Blaze

As discussion of who might be the next Secretary of Defense under President-elect Donald Trump ramps up, Russian President Vladimir Putin is reportedly moving nuclear-capable missiles closer to Europe as a response to what he calls “concern[s] by NATO decision-making.” From The Telegraph:

   In a bold display of force against Western allies, Russian S-400 surface-to-air missiles and a ballistic Iskander system will be deployed in Kaliningrad, which is situated between Lithuania and Poland.

   Iskander missiles have a range of 450 miles, which means they could hit Berlin if launched from Kaliningrad.

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German Decree Banishing Trump's Grandfather

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Historian finds Royal decree ordered Friedrich Trump to leave Bavaria and never come back after he failed to do military service

By Kate Connolly in Berlin - The Guardian

A historian has discovered a royal decree issued to Donald Trump’s grandfather ordering him to leave Germany and never come back.

Friedrich Trump, a German, was issued with the document in February 1905, and ordered to leave the kingdom of Bavaria within eight weeks as punishment for having failed to do mandatory military service and failing to give authorities notice of his departure to the US when he first emigrated in 1885.

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Which Trump? Early Signs Not Good

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By Ralph Nader – Common Dreams

Optimists are hoping for a Trump makeover. They cling to his brief victory remarks suggesting that he wants to be the “president of all the people.” In his 60 Minutes interview following the election Trump said that the protestors were out in the streets because “they do not know me.” They recall his statement some months ago that he had to say outlandish things in order to get greater media attention and reach more people than his Republican primary competitors.

Character and personality are not prone to change in most people. Especially in the case of Trump, who sees these campaign tactics as reasons for his “successes.” However, the assumption to exalted, higher offices of public trust and power sometimes brings out the better angels.

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Rand Paul Heroically Warns Trump Against Hiring Neocons

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By Eric Zuesse

U.S. Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky), who voted against Obama’s TPP and virtually every other Obama sell-out to the international corporations which control the U.S. federal government, publicly warned the Republican President-Elect Donald Trump, on Tuesday November 15th, that John Bolton, whom many allege is being seriously considered for a high position in a Trump Administration such as Secretary of State, is a rabid neoconservative who “is a longtime member of the failed Washington elite that Trump vowed to oppose, hell-bent on repeating virtually every foreign policy mistake the U.S. has made in the last 15 years — particularly those Trump promised to avoid as president.”

His statement, which was published on the news-site “Rare U.S.”, headlined (and can be read in full at) “Rand Paul: Will Donald Trump betray voters by hiring John Bolton?”

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The Trump Effect: Protesting the Result

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By Dr. Binoy Kampmark – Global Research

Donald Trump, even without raising a single pen, or signing a single legal document, has already had a profound effect on activism in the United States. Much of this has taken form among the student body of various schools, a brushfire reaction of fury that has seen empty classrooms and vacated schools. Walkouts have taken place over two days. Instructors have followed.

Two days after the result, San Francisco witnessed gatherings of young protesters, most below voting age, marshalling themselves at the Civic Centre and effectively shutting down Market Street. Local journalists repaired to the scene in hurried enthusiasm, and helicopters were dispatched to film the gathering crowd. Would Trump’s America flare up, notably in parts of the country where his support was minimal?

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