Pakistan Observer


Kingdom at the forefront in fight against IS

THE world has finally decided to confront the threat of the Islamic State. It was just about time. Waves of jet fighters coming from an international coalition have started to roam the skies above Syria and Iraq targeting locations and supply lines the IS is using to sustain its terror. Since the IS started to attract media attention, it spared no effort to demonstrate how a human being can stoop so low. ... Tuesday, September 30, 2014 Details

Is there a new crack in the West’s sanctions regime against Russia?

PRESIDENT Barack Obama’s speech at the United Nations Wednesday offered to roll back the U.S. sanctions if Russia takes the “path of diplomacy and peace.” This overture comes on the heels of an emerging ceasefire between Russia and Ukraine and continuing discussions in Minsk to find a political solution to the turmoil in eastern Ukraine. ... Tuesday, September 30, 2014 Details

Manila sends more troops after threats to kill hostage

Manila—The Philippines dispatched an estimated 1,000-plus extra soldiers to its troubled south on Sunday to strengthen security after militants threatened to kill one of two German hostages, the military said. ... Tuesday, September 30, 2014 Details

Panneerselvam sworn in as Tamil Nadu CM

Chennai—Tamil Nadu Finance Minister O. Panneerselvam was on Monday sworn in as the new chief minister of Tamil Nadu. Panneerselvam, 63, elected leader of the AIADMK legislature party Sunday evening, succeeds J. Jayalalithaa, who was sentenced to four years in prison Saturday for indulging in corruption. ... Tuesday, September 30, 2014 Details

US may keep secret prisoners in custody after Afghan exit

Kabul—The fate of a group of prisoners held in near-total secrecy by U.S. forces at a prison in Afghanistan is hanging in limbo, the facility’s commander said, as Washington gropes for options after its legal right to hold them there expires in December. The inmates - all foreign nationals captured on battlefields around the world - could be transferred to the U.S. court system or, as a last resort, to the Guantanamo Bay prison in Cuba, Brigadier General Patrick J. Reinert told Reuters. ... Tuesday, September 30, 2014 Details

Criminalizing policy rifts

When the Berlin Wall fell a quarter-century ago this November, pundits led by Francis Fukuyama proclaimed the end of history the triumph of democratic capitalism over all rival systems. America’s economic success and the collapse of communism fed the narrative. The long political, intellectual, and, at times, military confrontation that we knew as the Cold War was over. Indeed, at a meeting in Warsaw in the winter of 1990, General Wojciech Jaruzelski, Poland’s president and Communist Party boss, declared to me and my cabinet colleagues that “The forces of history have inevitably led us to capitalism.” He could not free himself of the Hegelian dialectic, but he now admitted that communism had gotten history’s end point entirely wrong. ... Tuesday, September 30, 2014 Details

Police use tear gas on Hong Kong protesters

Hong Kong—Hong Kong police used tear gas Sunday and warned of further measures as they tried to clear thousands of pro-democracy protesters gathered at government headquarters in a challenge to Beijing over its decision to restrict democratic reforms for the semiautonomous city. After spending hours holding the protesters at bay, police lobbed canisters of tear gas into the crowd on Sunday evening. ... Tuesday, September 30, 2014 Details

Philippines Moro Islamic Liberation Front starts difficult disarming process

Kuala Lumpur—The difficult process of disarming the Philippines Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) after a decades-long insurgency has started, negotiators said Sunday, with the decommissioning of a first batch of firearms expected before year-end. Philippine government and MILF negotiators started meeting in Malaysia on Saturday to discuss the disarmament process, key to ending the insurgency in the country’s south and sealing a peace deal. ... Tuesday, September 30, 2014 Details

NGOs Shouldn’t Suffer in Sanction War

MEDIA coverage of the U.S. and EU sanctions against Russia as punishment for its annexation of Crimea and alleged designs on southeastern Ukraine focuses on the impact on business. What started out as pin pricks directed at Kremlin insiders has evolved into prohibitions affecting key economic sectors that promise to do serious damage to both sides. Years of investment in people and industry are now at jeopardy, justifying the media attention. ... Monday, September 29, 2014 Details

Why is Asia so quiet on the ISIS front?

ASIA’S role in the battle against ISIS is increasingly coming into question as governments in the region continue to sit on the sidelines of the fight. Not a single Southeast Asian country is part of the United States-led coalition against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria militant group, and Asean has thus far been silent on it. China is also staying out of the fray despite concerted courting by Washington, with experts saying Beijing will not join the coalition because it sees greater advantage in being a passive bystander. ... Monday, September 29, 2014 Details

Subcontinent Connections

IN what the media described as “riverfront diplomacy,” visiting Chinese President Xi Jinping and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi caught international attention as they took a riverbank stroll on September 17 in Gujarat. Wearing a traditional Indian vest presented to him by Modi, Xi, who was on his first state visit to India, talked with his host while they sat side by side on a swing chair as they visited a riverside park development project in Modi’s hometown. ... Monday, September 29, 2014 Details

Mobiles cleared for use on Europe flights

Berlin—Passengers on European airlines may soon be able to use portable electronics including cell phones and tablet computers any time during flights, under new safety guidelines issued. The Cologne-based European Aviation Safety Agency said that starting immediately, European airlines can, at their own discretion, allow passengers to leave electronics on the entire flight, without the putting them into “airplane mode.” ... Monday, September 29, 2014 Details

Philippines UN peacekeepers to guard pope’s visit

Manila—The Philippines has assigned a thousand-strong force of its United Nations peacekeepers to help guard Pope Francis when he visits Asia’s main Catholic outpost next January, the military said Sunday. ... Monday, September 29, 2014 Details

Over 30 believed dead at Nippon volcano

Tokyo—Rescue workers have found 30 or more people unconscious and believed to be dead near the peak of an erupting volcano in central Japan, local government and police said Sunday. Nagano prefecture posted on its website that about 30 people had heart and lung failure, the customary way for Japanese authorities to describe a body until police doctors can examine it. At least four of the victims were being brought down from Mount Ontake on Sunday afternoon, one day after the volcano erupted. ... Monday, September 29, 2014 Details

Mubarak verdict postponed

Cairo—An Egyptian court postponed to Nov. 29 its verdict on whether former president Hosni Mubarak ordered the killing of protesters during the 2011 uprising that ended his three-decade rule. Before adjourning the hearing on Saturday, the judge said he and members of the prosecution team had not finished reviewing all the evidence in the case, which amounted to 160,000 pages. ... Monday, September 29, 2014 Details


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