IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT

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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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Apple, Surveillance Technology, and The Police State

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By Prof. Jon Kofas *

In the battle between a giant multinational corporation known for its record of tax evasion around the world as well as its hypocrisy of manufacturing in Asia not because of low wages but “talent availability”, APPLE is not yielding to the FBI/Justice Department request for hacking into the cell phones because the big winner will be SAMSUNG and the other ten largest cell phone companies in the world. APPLE has argued that the US government wants to unlock the cell phone that the shooters in the San Bernardino killings used. However, the goal of the US government under Obama claiming to be the protector of civil liberties is to gain access to all cell phones and carry out surveillance for all users at will.

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Apple Won’t Create Universal iPhone Backdoor For FBI

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By Jon Russell

Apple CEO Tim Cook has confirmed that the company will appeal a California judge’s order to unlock an iPhone belonging to one of the terrorists involved in the San Bernardino shooting. Following the request, Cook argued, would “threaten the security of our customers.”

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INDIA - PAKISTAN - Siachen: The High-Altitude Madness!

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By M.Ashraf

There have been many attempts to sort out the dispute but so far these have failed. Manmohan Singh was the first Indian Prime Minister to visit Siachen. He suggested peaceful resolution of the dispute. In fact, environmentalists have suggested that Siachen should be declared a Peace Park. The resolution of the dispute is stuck up. The Indian side wants Pakistanis to authenticate on a map the positions held by them at present. It may be worthwhile to ask the top Political and Army brass to hold the talks on the glacier itself so that they realize the actual ground conditions. Both sides may then agree to leave the area alone and bring an end to this high-altitude madness! The sooner it happens, the better for both the suffering soldiers and the fragile environment.

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Afghanistan: Women and Children Worst Hit in Conflict

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By Devinder Kumar | IDN-InDepthNews Analysis

The ongoing conflict in Afghanistan is causing extreme harm to the civilian population and taking huge toll particularly on women and children, says the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), which blames anti-government elements such as the Taliban and Islamic State, the country’s government and the international military forces.

Civilian deaths and injuries caused by pro-government forces resulted in 17 per cent of civilian casualties – 14 per cent from Afghan security forces, two per cent from international military forces, and one per cent from pro-government armed groups.

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America’s Twenty-First-Century Opium Wars in Afghanistan

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By Alfred McCoy

In October 2001, the U.S. launched its invasion of Afghanistan largely through proxy Afghan fighters with the help of Special Operations forces, American air power, and CIA dollars. The results were swift and stunning. The Taliban was whipped, a new government headed by Hamid Karzai soon installed in Kabul, and the country declared “liberated.”

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Bangladesh: Political Wranglings and a Spike in Extremism

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By S. Binodkumar Singh
Research Associate, Institute for Conflict Management

On January 25, 2016, a Dhaka Court ordered Bangladesh’s former Prime Minister (PM) and head of the main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) Begum Khaleda Zia to appear in court on March 3, 2016, to answer the charge of sedition. Momtaz Uddin Ahmad Mehdi, a lawyer with the Bangladesh Supreme Court (SC) and a supporter of the ruling Awami League (AL) had filed a case alleging that Zia’s remarks about the Liberation War of 1971 were seditious.

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BANGLADESH News Briefs

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Don't recruit JeI-ICS 'terrorists' in Police force, says PM Sheikh Hasina: Prime Minister (PM) Sheikh Hasina Wajed on February 24 asked the authorities concerned to stay alert so that the Jamaat-e-Islami (JeI) and its student wing Islami Chhatra Shibir (ICS) cadres and those involved in terrorist and militant activities could not be recruited in the Police force. "I hope the police officials concerned would be more watchful so that the Jamaat-Shibir activists and those involved in terrorist and militant acts and arson attacks could not sneak into a disciplined force like Bangladesh Police," she told parliament. Daily Star, February 25, 2016.

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NEPAL: News Briefs

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'New constitution had no future', says FSF-Nepal Chairman Upendra Yadav: Chairman of Federal Socialist Forum (FSF)-Nepal Upendra Yadav on February 24 said the new constitution had no future as it was discriminatory and favoured only the ruling class. Yadav said the new constitution had failed to protect the rights of Madhesis, Janajatis, Dalits, Muslims, women, and deprived and oppressed communities. He said the party was ready to pay any price for securing the rights of oppressed communities. The Himalayan Times, February 25, 2016.

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Pakistan: Balochistan Unending Misery

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By Tushar Ranjan Mohanty
Research Associate, Institute for Conflict Management

At least 12 persons, including four Frontier Corps (FC) officials, were killed and another 38 persons injured on February 6, 2016, when a suicide bomber blew himself up near an FC vehicle in the Multan Chowk area of Quetta, the provincial capital of Balochistan. The Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP)'s ‘central spokesperson’ Mohammad Khorasani claimed the incident, declaring, in an email statement, “The TTP’s Special Task Force (STF)'s unit carried out the attack that targeted the convoy of Security Forces.”

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Capital Punishment In Pakistan

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By Ali Mohsin

In Pakistan the state has been carrying out executions at the rate of nearly one per day since the moratorium on the death penalty was lifted following the horrific attack on the Army Public School in Peshawar in December 2014. As many as 345 people have been put to death since the resumption of executions, according to Reprieve, an international organization that opposes capital punishment. Earlier this month, Gallup Pakistan released the findings of survey it conducted which showed that 92 percent of Pakistanis support the use of the death penalty against terrorists

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Sindh: Fear's Frontrunner

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By Ambreen Agha
Research Associate, Institute for Conflict Management

On February 11, 2016, Karachi Special Investigation Unit (SIU) personnel shot dead two bank robbers, identified as Arsalan Iqbal and Dilawer aka Murad aka Tiger, in an encounter in Korangi Town in Karachi, the provincial capital of Sindh. The Sindh Government had announced a reward of PKR 1 million for their arrest. Giving details of the robberies, Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Mohammed Farooq Awan of SIU Karachi disclosed that during the current year the duo had committed three bank robberies. They had looted PKR 1.2 million from the Allied Bank Branch in Korangi Town on January 8, 2016, the first robbery incident of the year. In the second incident on January 20, 2016, the two, along with over half a dozen other robbers, looted PKR 375,000 from JS Bank in Block-7, in the Gulistan-e-Jauhar area of Gulshan Town. The third case of robbery was reported on January 28, 2016, when nine armed robbers, including Iqbal and Dilawar, barged into JS Bank branch near Sohrab Goth in Gadap Town and looted PKR 4 million.

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