Nov 302017
Al-Qaida Leader’s New Message Shows Increased Discord With Jihadists in Syria

WASHINGTON The al-Qaida terror organization has released a new audio message from its elusive leader in which he slams the Syrian Jihadi group Liberation of the Levant Organization, or more commonly known as Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), for going after senior jihadists loyal to al-Qaida in Syria.In the 35-minute undated audio video So Let Us Fight Them With Solid Foundations, Ayman al-Zawahiri denounced HTS’s decision to break off formal ties with al-Qaida last year and betray its oath of allegiance as the offshoot of the terror organization in Syria. VOA could not independently verify the video’s authenticity.Why did this love disappear among us and was replaced by roughness, conflict, cruelty of the heart, conspiracy to evade the oaths of allegiance, and the insubordination of the brothers and working to drive them out, curb them, and put them under captivity? al-Zawahiri said, addressing HTS leaders in the message, which was published by al-Qaida’s media propaganda al-Sahab Foundation on Tuesday.HTS, originally called al-Nusra Front, rebranded itself last year and later merged with several smaller rebel factions into a new alliance.A report by the Institute for the Study of War last week claimed that the group has exploited the international community’s focus on annihilating the Islamic State to significantly increase its influence in southern Syria, consolidating control over most of the northwestern province of Idlib.Al-Zawahiri said he did not approve the HTS departure from al-Qaida. He described as a fatal mistake offers by the HTS leaders to keep their loyalty to him secret [Read More…]

Oct 122017
What about the economy?

Whenever a new project is launched, the ruling party never misses a chance to boast about the prosperity it is bringing to the country. The party’s opponents, on the other hand, blame it for hoodwinking people with false promises for votes. Both the parties seem to forget that neither prosperity nor peace can be attained without strong sustainable economy, for which none of them seem to be serious. For example, our ruling elite on the both sides took no serious and concrete steps to preserve forests and build dams, which are essential for water storage and for generation of cheap electricity. Instead, when in power, they go for loans and aid from foreign financial institutions for projects that satisfy their egos and help them keep a grip on power. Our country has been driven to the brink of disaster in every sense. We now rank amongst the lowest few such as Angola, Sudan, Somalia, and Syria on almost every index, but our rulers seem to be oblivious of the fact that things are not as rosy as they project. They should understand that by constructing motorways, flyovers and underpasses in a few cities and running orange train in Lahore at the cost of health, education and human degradation are not prosperity. The government needs to curtail its expenditure, increase income, and save money for strengthening the economy. Raja Shafaatullah (Islamabad) Click for detailed story

Sep 062017

GENEVA: Syrian forces have used chemical weapons more than two dozen times during the country’s civil war, including in the deadly attack that led to US air strikes on government planes, UN war crimes investigators said on Wednesday. In the most conclusive findings to date from investigations into chemical weapons attacks during the conflict, the UN Commission of Inquiry on Syria said a government warplane dropped sarin on Khan Sheikhoun in Idlib province in April, killing more than 80 civilians. Outrage as Syria ‘chemical attack’ kills dozens in rebel-held town “Government forces continued the pattern of using chemical weapons against civilians in opposition-held areas. In the gravest incident, the Syrian air force used sarin in Khan Sheikhoun, Idlib, killing dozens, the majority of whom were women and children,” the report said, declaring it a war crime. The attack was previously identified as containing sarin, an odourless nerve agent. But that conclusion, reached by a fact-finding mission of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), did not say who carried it out. In all, UN investigators said they had documented 33 chemical weapons attacks to date. Twenty seven were by forces of the government of President Bashar al-Assad, including seven between March 1 and July 7. Perpetrators had not been identified yet in six early attacks, they said. The Assad government has repeatedly denied using chemical weapons. Syria ‘did not and will not’ use chemical weapons: FM It said that its strikes in Khan Sheikhoun hit a weapons depot belonging [Read More…]

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