Category Archives: Fund News

Pakistan Postpones US Visit After Trump Speech

ISLAMABAD Pakistan postponed a visit by a U.S. acting assistant secretary of state, officials said, as small protests broke out against President Donald Trump’s accusations that Islamabad was prolonging the war in Afghanistan.

The visit of Alice Wells, acting assistant Secretary of State for South and Asian Affairs, scheduled for Monday, would have been the first high-profile visit by a U.S. official since Trump’s Afghan policy speech on Aug. 21.

“At the request of the Government of Pakistan, Acting Assistant Secretary Wells’ trip has been postponed until a mutually convenient time,” a U.S. Embassy spokesperson told Reuters in Islamabad on Sunday.

Pakistan’s foreign ministry released a statement with similar wording.

Neither side gave a reason for the postponement, but U.S. officials working in Pakistan have been on high-alert since Monday’s speech.

Trump accused Pakistan of harboring “agents of chaos” and providing safe havens to militant groups waging an insurgency against a U.S.-backed government in Kabul.

Pakistani officials responded by saying the U.S. should not “scapegoat” Pakistan and accused the American military of failing to eliminate militant sanctuaries inside Afghanistan.

In the southern metropolis of Karachi, police fired tear gas at protesters from a religious student group as they began moving toward the U.S. consulate building.

Between 100 and 150 protesters carrying placards bearing pictures of President Trump and chanting anti-U.S. slogans were kept at bay by police and not allowed within 3 km (2 miles) of the consulate.

On Friday, banned Islamist organization Jamaat-ud-Dawa, held responsible by Washington and New Delhi for a series of coordinated attacks in the Indian city of Mumbai in 2008, staged nationwide protests but also failed to draw large numbers.

Source: Voice of America

US Military Commanders Reject Extremists in the Ranks

While American white supremacists and ultra-nationalists have been appearing in public and the news more often recently, the heads of the U.S. military have made clear such individuals have no place in the ranks.

The commanders of the U.S. Army, Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps last week issued strong statements condemning intolerance and racism after protests in the city of Charlottesville, Virginia turned deadly. Organizers and participants in the original demonstration espoused racist, white nationalist positions.

That’s a crucial message for those in uniform, say some military experts and veterans.

It was important, I think, for the service chiefs to get on record with what had happened and to show that what was being represented in Charlottesville as people standing up for their culture really had no place in our armed forces. It wasn’t our [military] culture, said Peter Mansoor, a retired U.S. Army colonel and professor of military history at Ohio State University.

The message was clear, said Steven Leonard, a retired U.S. Army colonel now teaching at the University of Kansas School of Business. If you can’t live by the values of our institutions, then you don’t have a place in the ranks. Leonard also runs the popular Doctrine Man micro-blog and social media platform, which discusses military and veterans’ issues.

The Department of Defense bans actively advocating supremacist, extremist or criminal gang causes. Doing so can result in dismissal from military service.

While the military is one of the most socially integrated communities in the United States, it has had a problem with extremists in the ranks. Some current leaders of racist organizations have served, and veterans have committed several hate and terror crimes in recent years.

The military has acknowledged it has a problem, most notably after Army veteran Timothy McVeigh blew up a federal office building in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma in 1995, killing 168 people. The Department of Defense went on a campaign to oust militants.

And it made progress, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks U.S. hate groups; but, in less than a decade, that ground was lost because the military relaxed recruiting standards to meet demand as the U.S. fought wars in Afghanistan and Pakistan, the center said in reports issued in 2006 and 2012.

The military is a reflection of American society, Mansoor said � which means it has members of all backgrounds and beliefs. You get this sliver that comes in; they may have grown up in a gang culture, or white nationalist culture.

Some criminal gangs and white nationalist groups in the U.S. encourage adherents to join the military, particularly Army and Marine Corps combat, according to Southern Poverty Law Center studies. Some nationalist groups advocate a race war against African Americans, Jews and other minorities, and they want members with weapons and tactical experience.

They’ve been doing that for years, Leonard said, as have criminal gangs. Where else can you get the skills?

But that creates a challenge. A service member who holds allegiance to a hate group or gang is likely to stay quiet, and remain in place.

If they don’t pop up, what can you do? Leonard said.

While DOD training emphasizes tolerance, Mansoor notes that it’s not possible to train away unwanted beliefs. You sort of have to live it day to day and model the values and drive it home at every opportunity.

And, it’s essential to do so, said Mansoor, who served as a brigade commander in Iraq in 2003. If you have division in the ranks based on the color of one’s skin or their religious creed or their gender, it’s like a cancer that grows and causes division and eventually will cause a reduction in the combat effectiveness of the unit.

That is why commanders train troops from the very start that they are all one force � to do otherwise weakens it, former commanders said.

While there might be white supremacists in the ranks, overall, the military has become one of the most ethnically mixed segments of the country since it was integrated nearly 70 years ago. Service members of all backgrounds live and work in tight quarters on ships and in barracks, while housing and schools for their families reflect the full range of the nation’s population.

We’re supposed to be a better example of what it is to be a good citizen, said Margaret Witt, a retired Air Force major who was dismissed because of her sexual orientation. Now a physical therapist for the Veterans Administration in Portland, Oregon, Witt’s successful lawsuit over her dismissal paved the way for the DOD decision to allow gays and lesbians to serve in the military.

The military really has made a tremendous effort to lead the way on tolerance, including on the acceptance of gays and lesbians, she said, although it takes time to change attitudes in such a large organization.

The military does adapt to social change, Leonard said, because the measure that matters is how well a service member performs.

Can you do your job and will you do your job when the bullets start to fly? he said. Because if you can’t, you start to put people’s lives at risk.

Source: Voice of America

OPERATION RADD-UL-FASAAD: 15 SUSPECTS ARRESTED IN PUNJAB, SINDH

In operation Raddul Fasaad, security forces have arrested fifteen suspects in Punjab and Sindh provinces.

SINDH

Pakistan Rangers Sindh has arrested eight suspected criminals in various parts of Karachi.

A statement issued by Rangers in Karachi said the accused were involved in target killings, forced closure of shops and arson.

In a separate action, Rangers arrested alleged Lyari gangsters, Muhammad Hanif alias Annu and Zishan Danish.

They were involved in target killings, extortion, kidnapping for ransom, supply of unlicensed weapons and other crimes.

Arms and ammunition have also been recovered from them.

PUNJAB

Punjab Rangers and Counter Terrorism Department have also arrested five terrorists during a search operation in Lahore.

According to an ISPR statement, the arrested terrorists were affiliated with banned organizations Tehrik-e-Taliban Swat and Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan.

Source: Radio Pakistan

Govt committed to develop modern infrastructure in Azad Kashmir to promote tourism: PM

Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif says government is focusing on infrastructure and tourism development in Azad Kashmir which is manifested by two fold increase of federal funding for these sectors.

He was talking to Minister for Information and Tourism of Azad Kashmir Mushtaq Minhas,who called on him in Islamabad on Monday.

The Prime Minister said that our government aims at making Azad Kashmir the hub of tourism.

With regard to human rights violations in occupied Kashmir, the Prime Minister said that Pakistan has always strongly condemned the use of force on innocent people in held valley.

Source: Ministry of Information, Broadcasting and National Heritage

Saudi aviation student dies in plane crash in US

Florida, (IINA) – A Saudi flight school student died on Thursday along with his instructor in an airplane crash in Florida.

The student, Mohammed Al-Enezi, 27, was working toward his third pilot’s license in order to become a commercial pilot. According to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), the 1979 Piper PA Seminole 44 Al-Enezi and his instructor were in, had taken off from Brunswick, Georgia and was on its way to Ormond Beach, Florida, when it fell off the radar shortly after 11 p.m. local time, 22 miles away from its final destination.

The plane was located the following day after a 12-hour search in a densely wooded area of the River to Sea Preserve near the Flagler and St. Johns county lines, according to Flagler County law enforcement.

We’ll continue looking at the recovered debris and wreckage, NTSB investigator Joshua Cawthra told the Daytona Beach News Journal. From there, I will draw in on whatever areas we need to focus on to figure out what happened.

Al-Enezi was studying at his own expense and was not under a Saudi government scholarship. The Saudi Arabian Embassy in Washington, DC, is working with US authorities to have Al-Enezi’s remains repatriated.

Source: International Islamic News Agency

Israeli committee approves bill prohibiting Jerusalem division in any political settlement

Tel Aviv (IINA) � Israel’s Ministerial Committee on Legislation Affairs on Sunday approved a bill that prohibits the division of Jerusalem city in any future peace deal with the Palestinians.

The bill, which was reportedly unanimously approved by the committee, prohibits any division of Jerusalem with the Palestinians unless at least 80 members of the Israeli parliament � the Knesset � vote in favor of such a move.

For his part, Dr. Hanna Issa, secretary general of the Islamic-Christian Commission for Supporting Jerusalem and Holy Sites, stressed that East Jerusalem is an occupied Palestinian land in accordance with the resolutions of international legitimacy, particularly the resolutions of 242 (1967), 338 (1973) and 478 (1980). He pointed out that all the measures of the Israeli occupation in East Jerusalem are null and void, and that Israel must withdraw from the city unconditionally.

Issa, a professor of international law, said Israel has no legal right to any part of East Jerusalem, based on the rules of international law.

Source: International Islamic News Agency