Category Archives: Technology

Some See Trump Pressure Tilting Pakistan’s Afghan Policy

U.S. President Donald Trump’s new policy on Afghanistan, which pressures Pakistan to take more action against terrorists or face consequences, may be having an effect on Islamabad’s thinking, experts say.

“Trump’s statement triggered severe resistance from the Pakistani side and complaints of unfair treatment by the Americans,” said Malik Siraj, a political analyst in Washington.

“They have, nonetheless, alarmed the Pakistanis and cautioned them of the consequences that will come with continued presence of and support for extremists inside Pakistan,” Siraj said. “Hence, this has generated some serious internal calls to review Pakistan’s overall policy toward extremist groups.”

Trump’s position might have helped bring about a visit to Afghanistan by Pakistan’s military leader, and may have influenced Pakistan’s effort Thursday to free an American woman, her Canadian husband and their three children who were being held by the Haqqani network, which is considered the most lethal terror group in the region.

Pakistani Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif, during a recent visit to New York, called terrorist groups like the Haqqani network and Lashkar-e-Taiba a liability and said officials need some time to get rid of them, which seemed to reflect a change in policy. Up to now, Pakistan has always denied any links with the Haqqanis or any other terror group, including the Afghan Taliban.

In addition, Pakistan’s Election Commission on Wednesday rejected the registration application of a newly established political party with alleged ties to a banned militant group.

The events have fostered some optimism about the U.S. relationship with Pakistan, which has been rocky at times during the 16-year war in Afghanistan. Pakistan still needs the United States on its side, as Pakistan fears India and wants continued financial aid and military materiel.

To avoid global isolation, Pakistan will need to modify its security policies and break any links with terror groups that pose a threat to regional security. Pakistan also has lost a huge number of civilians and troops to terrorism.

‘The right step’

“It’s a positive and the right step for all the right reasons,” said Mona Naseer, a columnist for Daily News Pakistan. “We need to stop playing a cat-and-mouse game on our Afghan policy, or otherwise we risk global isolation.”

“What prompted the [military chief’s] visit might be for different reasons, not only the Trump administration. I feel the other significant aspect is the Chinese government’s recent stance in the BRICS summit, too,” said Naseer, referring to the countries that make up the five major emerging economies: Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. The BRICS nations called for patrons of the Pakistan-based militant groups to be held to account.

“What happens in the future, its effect or visible change, I’m not so sure about,” Naseer said.

Still, some experts don’t think Trump can pressure Pakistan to the point that it feels it must change.

“I do not think we should assume that U.S. pressure is the reason for [military chief General Qamar Javed] Bajwa’s visit. Pakistan has its own reasons for wanting to push for a detente with Kabul,” Michael Kugelman, deputy director of the Wilson Center’s Asia program, told VOA.

“It will want to build trust to get Afghanistan to do more to cut down on cross-border terror,” Kugelman said. “But the big issue is the border itself. Pakistan has a strong interest in pushing for better cross-border management in order to move toward a legitimization of the Durand Line [the de facto border], which Afghanistan does not recognize.

“All this said, the U.S. wants better relations between Afghanistan and Pakistan, so there is some reason to believe that the COAS’s [chief of army staff] trip was meant at least in part to appease growing U.S. impatience about Pakistan’s inaction on Afghanistan-focused terrorists on Pakistani soil.”

Rahimullah Yousufzai, a senior journalist based in Peshawar, agreed, telling VOA that even before Trump announced his Afghan policy, there were efforts between Pakistan and Afghanistan to improve relations and cooperate to wipe out terrorists on both sides of the border.

Source: Voice of America

Pakistan Rescues Western Couple, 3 Children Held by Militants

ISLAMABAD A U.S.-Canadian couple and their three children were apparently still in Pakistan late Thursday, preparing to return to the West after five years in Taliban captivity.

Acting on a tip from U.S. intelligence, Pakistani troops on Wednesday rescued U.S. national Caitlan Coleman and her Canadian husband, Joshua Boyle, from the Kurram tribal region near the Afghan border.

A U.S. plane standing by was expected to fly them to a U.S. military base in Germany for a medical checkup. For reasons that were unclear, Boyle had so far refused to board the jet.

Coleman and Boyle went missing while backpacking in Afghanistan in 2012. The Afghan Taliban later claimed responsibility for kidnapping them.

Prisoner exchange sought

The group, which released two videos of the hostages while they were in captivity, had been demanding the release of their prisoners in exchange for Boyle and his wife. While in captivity, the couple had three children, who were rescued with them.

President Donald Trump praised the release of the family from “captivity from the Haqqani network, a terrorist organization with ties to the Taliban.” He also called the development a “positive moment” in U.S.-Pakistan relations.

“The Pakistani government’s cooperation is a sign that it is honoring America’s wishes for it to do more to provide security in the region,” he said in a statement. “We hope to see this type of cooperation and teamwork in helping secure the release of remaining hostages and in our future joint counterterrorism operations.”

He later told reporters that he thought Pakistan had “started to respect the United States again.”

U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis gave reporters almost no information on the operation that led to the family’s freedom, other than to say, “It’s a very good moment and we intend to work with Pakistan in a collaborative way in the future to stop terrorism that includes kidnapping.”

Pakistani Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal, speaking to VOA’s Urdu service, said, “The operation was carried out on the basis of intelligence shared with us. When these people who were abducted by the Afghan group were being transferred from Afghanistan to Pakistan, our security institutions swiftly acted on that intelligence and we were able to recover them safely.

“This is proof that if the United States and Pakistan work together in partnership, we can achieve so much to bring peace to Afghanistan and the region.”

Terrorist group designation

The Haqqani network, whose leader is also deputy chief of the Afghan Taliban, is considered a terrorist group by the U.S.

Pakistani army spokesman Major General Asif Ghafoor provided VOA with details of the operation to rescue the captives.

We swiftly deployed our troops soon after U.S. officials informed us at around 4 p.m. (local time) Wednesday the Taliban were transporting the hostages in a vehicle to the Pakistani side of the border. We traced the vehicle and safely recovered the hostages, Ghafoor said, adding that U.S.-Pakistani cooperation was key to the mission.

A U.S. defense official said the hostages were not in U.S. custody. “A U.S. plane was available for them and they chose not to depart on it,” he told VOA.

Coleman, 31, and Boyle, 33, in their last video message released in December 2016, urged then-President-elect Trump to negotiate with the Taliban to secure their release in return for Taliban prisoners.

Word of the couple’s release came as Lisa Curtis, National Security Council senior director for South and Central Asia, visited Islamabad as the head of a high-level U.S. delegation and held talks with Pakistani officials at the Foreign Ministry.

An official statement issued at the end of the visit Thursday said the two sides reviewed the state of their bilateral relationship in the wake of the new U.S. strategy on Afghanistan and South Asia and agreed to continue discussions on all matters of mutual interest.

Meanwhile, American Kevin King, 60, and Australian Timothy Weeks, 48, were being held hostage in Afghanistan. The two teachers, with the American University of Afghanistan in Kabul, were kidnapped at gunpoint near the campus in August 2016.

In a video the Taliban released in June, the hostages begged Trump to negotiate their freedom with the Islamist insurgent group.

Source: Voice of America

Pakistan Rescues Western Couple, 3 Children Held by Militants

ISLAMABAD A U.S.-Canadian couple and their three children were apparently still in Pakistan late Thursday, preparing to return to the West after five years in Taliban captivity.

Acting on a tip from U.S. intelligence, Pakistani troops on Wednesday rescued U.S. national Caitlan Coleman and her Canadian husband, Joshua Boyle, from the Kurram tribal region near the Afghan border.

A U.S. plane standing by was expected to fly them to a U.S. military base in Germany for a medical checkup. For reasons that were unclear, Boyle had so far refused to board the jet.

Coleman and Boyle went missing while backpacking in Afghanistan in 2012. The Afghan Taliban later claimed responsibility for kidnapping them.

Prisoner exchange sought

The group, which released two videos of the hostages while they were in captivity, had been demanding the release of their prisoners in exchange for Boyle and his wife. While in captivity, the couple had three children, who were rescued with them.

President Donald Trump praised the release of the family from “captivity from the Haqqani network, a terrorist organization with ties to the Taliban.” He also called the development a “positive moment” in U.S.-Pakistan relations.

“The Pakistani government’s cooperation is a sign that it is honoring America’s wishes for it to do more to provide security in the region,” he said in a statement. “We hope to see this type of cooperation and teamwork in helping secure the release of remaining hostages and in our future joint counterterrorism operations.”

He later told reporters that he thought Pakistan had “started to respect the United States again.”

U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis gave reporters almost no information on the operation that led to the family’s freedom, other than to say, “It’s a very good moment and we intend to work with Pakistan in a collaborative way in the future to stop terrorism that includes kidnapping.”

Pakistani Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal, speaking to VOA’s Urdu service, said, “The operation was carried out on the basis of intelligence shared with us. When these people who were abducted by the Afghan group were being transferred from Afghanistan to Pakistan, our security institutions swiftly acted on that intelligence and we were able to recover them safely.

“This is proof that if the United States and Pakistan work together in partnership, we can achieve so much to bring peace to Afghanistan and the region.”

Terrorist group designation

The Haqqani network, whose leader is also deputy chief of the Afghan Taliban, is considered a terrorist group by the U.S.

Pakistani army spokesman Major General Asif Ghafoor provided VOA with details of the operation to rescue the captives.

We swiftly deployed our troops soon after U.S. officials informed us at around 4 p.m. (local time) Wednesday the Taliban were transporting the hostages in a vehicle to the Pakistani side of the border. We traced the vehicle and safely recovered the hostages, Ghafoor said, adding that U.S.-Pakistani cooperation was key to the mission.

A U.S. defense official said the hostages were not in U.S. custody. “A U.S. plane was available for them and they chose not to depart on it,” he told VOA.

Coleman, 31, and Boyle, 33, in their last video message released in December 2016, urged then-President-elect Trump to negotiate with the Taliban to secure their release in return for Taliban prisoners.

Word of the couple’s release came as Lisa Curtis, National Security Council senior director for South and Central Asia, visited Islamabad as the head of a high-level U.S. delegation and held talks with Pakistani officials at the Foreign Ministry.

An official statement issued at the end of the visit Thursday said the two sides reviewed the state of their bilateral relationship in the wake of the new U.S. strategy on Afghanistan and South Asia and agreed to continue discussions on all matters of mutual interest.

Meanwhile, American Kevin King, 60, and Australian Timothy Weeks, 48, were being held hostage in Afghanistan. The two teachers, with the American University of Afghanistan in Kabul, were kidnapped at gunpoint near the campus in August 2016.

In a video the Taliban released in June, the hostages begged Trump to negotiate their freedom with the Islamist insurgent group.

Source: Voice of America

Mimecast Launches the Market’s Leading Multipurpose Archive Solution

Mimecast Cloud Archive Offers Enhanced Features Including Mobility, Data Recovery & Preservation Needed to Manage Email Today

WATERTOWN, Mass., Oct. 10, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Mimecast Limited (NASDAQ:MIME), a leading email and data security company, today announced the launch of Mimecast Cloud Archive, the leading multipurpose archive solution built for the cloud. Mimecast Cloud Archive delivers an all-in-one cloud service that integrates: a secure data repository, built-in data recovery, storage management, e-discovery and compliance capabilities. Mimecast Cloud Archive enables customers to access their email archive anywhere, anytime, and on any device in record speed. Latest innovations will be featured at the Mimecast Cloud Archive global virtual event on October 11, 2017. Mimecast also revealed new data, revealing organizations’ top challenges with archiving solutions.

Eighty-eight Percent of Organizations Struggle with Existing Archive Solutions: Get New-School About Archiving

Legacy on-premises and first generation cloud email archiving platforms have become obsolete, as the way organizations use email has completely changed since archiving’s inception nearly two decades ago. According to new global data from Mimecast and Vanson Bourne, 88 percent of organizations responded that they have experienced problems with their existing archiving solution. Nearly 60 percent cite administrative complexity as a top challenge, while 48 percent experience a lack of scalability. Another 56 percent are plagued by slow search performance. Mimecast Cloud Archive is designed and optimized for the cloud, offering the scale, performance and advanced features needed to manage email today.

“Most email archiving technology was built when email usage was much different. With email being the top communications channel for business, it’s growing at a rate where these on-premises solutions can’t keep up,” said Peter Bauer, chief executive officer, Mimecast.  “Archive needs to be thought of as a digital memory– with multiple dimensions that secure corporate data, empower employees with anywhere, anytime access to email, and ensure regulatory and compliance obligations are met. With Cloud Archive, we’re able to give customers the confidence and control they need, with the industry’s fastest search speeds, to get more value from their email data today.”

Mimecast Cloud Archive latest innovations enable:

  1. E-Discovery and compliance are made easy by leveraging the fastest search performance in the industry. Robust, intuitive tools simplify administrative and e-discovery searches for IT administrators, compliance teams, and legal professionals.
  2. Data recovery with Sync & Recover offers independent, immutable, always-available archives to hedge against data loss or corruption, giving organizations a means to restore their Outlook content – including email, personal folders, calendar entries and contacts – should misfortune strike.
  3. Business insights found in Case Review App allow for fast, effective search of email and attachment data to serve myriad missions, including compliance reviews, litigation case assessments, and internal policy audits. Additionally, Mimecast’s latest integration with Salesforce.com allows for Cloud Archive access and fast search capabilities within the CRM tool.
  4. Long-term data preservation with the archiving of email and attachment data into perpetuity, with no additional fees or charges for storage or retention duration.

“Archiving is intended to perform two vital functions: preserve data and simplify data management functions like search and e-discovery. However, many archiving platforms use on-premises architecture that isn’t able to cost-effectively handle the growing volume of email communications that is the ‘norm’ for businesses today,” said Andrew Smith, senior research analyst at IDC. Buyers – and the market as a whole – are quickly moving to cloud-based archiving solutions that allow for better scale, performance and value.”

The Need for Anywhere, Anytime Archive Access

Mimecast’s new research also found that fifty percent of organizations noted mobility, faster search speed and end-user accessibility as top priorities. Organizations that give employees access to their own email archives enable them to work anytime, anywhere and increase productivity and streamline collaboration. This access also reduces the burden on IT. Ninety-four percent of organizations reported that if their email archiving solution included mobile apps for employees to access personal archives, they would roll them out, with one-fifth saying they would roll them out “without a doubt.”

Mimecast Cloud Archive includes new capabilities that empower employees with fully integrated email management from anywhere, and enhances security by ensuring full IT control over deployment, content access and revocation using their chosen Enterprise Mobility Management solution. Employees can self-serve for rapid archive search, security controls and always-on email whether using a corporate device or their own, increasing productivity.

Mimecast has partnered with BlackBerry, a leader in Enterprise Mobility Management, to ensure Mimecast Mobile can be deployed securely and with the management, access and content controls required. Support for other leading mobility management platforms will follow.

“We live in an always-connected world, and employees have grown to expect access to their corporate email archives anytime, from anywhere,” said Mark Wilson, SVP and Chief Evangelist, BlackBerry. “While this helps drive productivity and collaboration, organizations need to ensure that corporate data is secured in line with policy no matter the device used or if the employee is on or off the corporate network. We’re excited to help Mimecast give IT and security teams the ultimate control over employee access and authentication, while enabling employees to stay productive.”

Want to learn more? Join the Mimecast Cloud Archive live virtual event taking place in three sessions around the globe on Wednesday, Oct. 11th. Attendees will get to hear from Amanda Crew, actress from the hit HBO series Silicon Valley who will present key challenges in archiving plus insights and perspectives from Mimecast CEO Peter Bauer and Mimecast CTO Neil Murray. Attendees also get access to deep-dive demonstrations of the latest product innovations and live technical chat sessions with experts.

Register for the live virtual event in your region here.

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About Mimecast
Mimecast Limited (NASDAQ:MIME) makes business email and data safer for more than 27,300 customers with millions of employees worldwide. Founded in 2003, the company’s next-generation cloud-based security, archiving and continuity services protect email, and deliver comprehensive email risk management in a single, fully-integrated subscription service.

Press Contacts
Alison Raymond Walsh
Press@Mimecast.com
617-393-7126

Investor Contact
Robert Sanders
Investors@Mimecast.com
617-393-7074

Statements in this press release regarding management’s future expectations, beliefs, intentions, goals, strategies, plans or prospects, including without limitation, the sales and marketing efforts and strategy described herein, and the success of those efforts and strategies, may constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and other federal securities laws. Mimecast intends all such forward-looking statements to be covered by the safe harbor provisions for forward-looking statements contained in Section 21E of the Exchange Act and the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks. As a result of such risks, Mimecast’s actual results may differ materially from any future results, performance or achievements discussed in or implied by the forward-looking statements contained herein. Mimecast is providing the information in this press release as of this date and assumes no obligations to update the information included in this press release or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

Pakistan’s Persecuted Minority in Line of Fire

ISLAMABAD, PAKISTAN The son-in-law of Pakistan’s recently ousted prime minister lambasted a minority that human rights groups consider one of the most persecuted in the country.

Mohammed Safdar said members of the Ahmadiyya sect are a “danger to this country, this nation, its constitution and its identity.”

Speaking in the national assembly, of which he is a member, Safdar demanded that Ahmadiyyas, along with the minority Bohra community, be barred from joining the armed forces of the country because their “false religions do not include the concept of jihad in the name of God.”

Safdar is the son-in-law of Nawaz Sharif, who was forced to resign from premiership in July after a court ruled against him in a corruption case. Sharif alleged that the ruling was a conspiracy to remove him from power by the establishment, a euphemism for the country’s powerful military.

A member of Sharif’s ruling Pakistan Muslim League party, Safdar is married to his daughter Maryam Nawaz, who has been widely reported in the news as his potential successor.

In his statement Tuesday, Safdar also demanded that the name of the physics department of the Quaid e Azam University in Islamabad be changed. The department is named after Dr. Abdul Salam, an Ahmadiyya who is also one of Pakistan’s two Nobel laureates. The other one is Malala Yousufzai, who became the youngest person to win a Nobel Peace Prize for her activism in favor of girls’ education.

“If the name of the department is not changed, I would protest here every day,” Safdar said.

His outburst in the assembly followed days of uproar by the opposition parties over a minor amendment in the election law that was deemed to be pro-Ahmadiyya. The government declared it a clerical error and reinstated the original draft of the law.

Ahmadiyyas in Pakistan face a peculiar dilemma. They insist they are Muslims, but the country’s constitution declares them non-Muslims. Officials say Ahmadiyyas are welcome to all the rights afforded to other minorities in the country as long as they do not call themselves followers of the Islamic faith. Ahmadiyyas, on the other hand, insist that doing so would go against their religious beliefs.

Source: Voice of America

Pakistan’s Persecuted Minority in Line of Fire

ISLAMABAD, PAKISTAN The son-in-law of Pakistan’s recently ousted prime minister lambasted a minority that human rights groups consider one of the most persecuted in the country.

Mohammed Safdar said members of the Ahmadiyya sect are a “danger to this country, this nation, its constitution and its identity.”

Speaking in the national assembly, of which he is a member, Safdar demanded that Ahmadiyyas, along with the minority Bohra community, be barred from joining the armed forces of the country because their “false religions do not include the concept of jihad in the name of God.”

Safdar is the son-in-law of Nawaz Sharif, who was forced to resign from premiership in July after a court ruled against him in a corruption case. Sharif alleged that the ruling was a conspiracy to remove him from power by the establishment, a euphemism for the country’s powerful military.

A member of Sharif’s ruling Pakistan Muslim League party, Safdar is married to his daughter Maryam Nawaz, who has been widely reported in the news as his potential successor.

In his statement Tuesday, Safdar also demanded that the name of the physics department of the Quaid e Azam University in Islamabad be changed. The department is named after Dr. Abdul Salam, an Ahmadiyya who is also one of Pakistan’s two Nobel laureates. The other one is Malala Yousufzai, who became the youngest person to win a Nobel Peace Prize for her activism in favor of girls’ education.

“If the name of the department is not changed, I would protest here every day,” Safdar said.

His outburst in the assembly followed days of uproar by the opposition parties over a minor amendment in the election law that was deemed to be pro-Ahmadiyya. The government declared it a clerical error and reinstated the original draft of the law.

Ahmadiyyas in Pakistan face a peculiar dilemma. They insist they are Muslims, but the country’s constitution declares them non-Muslims. Officials say Ahmadiyyas are welcome to all the rights afforded to other minorities in the country as long as they do not call themselves followers of the Islamic faith. Ahmadiyyas, on the other hand, insist that doing so would go against their religious beliefs.

Source: Voice of America