Monday, February 15, 2016

Headley Testimony in India; PIA Strike in Pakistan; Islamophobia in New Hampshire

Why did Pakistani-American David Coleman Headley (aka Daood Gilani) testify in an Indian Court via video link from a US prison? Why did he implicate Pakistan’s ISI and India’s Ishrat Jahan? Why did the US Court not accept his testimony implicating Tahawwur Rana in Mumbai terror attacks? Is Headley a credible witness?

Was Pakistan International Airline employees union strike politically motivated? Why is Pakistan’s federal government trying to privatize public sector units including Pakistan Steel and PIA? Were PPP and PTI trying to take political advantage of the PIA privatization dispute between federal government and PIA employees union? Why did the strike fail?

Why are two-thirds of New Hampshire Republican voters for banning entry of Muslims in America? How is the leading US Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump promoting Islamophobia in America? Why are so many Americans being inspired by Trump’s anti-Muslim rhetoric? What will be its consequences for America and the world? What should Muslim Americans do to combat anti-Muslim bigotry?

Viewpoint From Overseas host Faraz Darvesh discusses these questions with panelists Ali H. Cemendtaur and Riaz Haq (

Headley Testimony in India; PIA Strike in... by ViewpointFromOverseas

Headley Testimony in India; PIA Strike in Pakistan; Islamophobia in New Hampshire from WBT Productions on Vimeo.

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

Saving Pakistan's Education, Airlines and Railways

Trump's Muslim Ban

IATA: Pakistan Among Fastest Growing Air Travel Markets

Talk4Pak Think Tank

VPOS Youtube Channel

VPOS Vimeo Channel


Rks said...

Absolutely disagree with you, There is no Islamophobia in USA. Muslims in USA are free to practice their religion. They also rub it in others faces. Thus brings to mind the company where they wanted time for Namaz. Even many gulf states have stopped giving visas to Pakistan and other Muslim countries for the same reason. They do not want loss of productivity.

Anonymous said...

Tanveer Rana is in jail for his attack on Danish newspaper, something he collaborated with David H. So don't know what idiotic point you are trying to make.

Unknown said...

An airline refused service to a sikh because of his headgear .That was blatant racism and the airline apologised.the 190640909rk sounds like a duplicitous hindu who does not even have courage to even put his real name out there so he can kiss me where the sun never shines

Riaz Haq said...

Anon: "So don't know what idiotic point you are trying to make. "

The same "idiotic point" the following NDTV headline made:

Tahawwur Rana acquitted of 26/11 charges, found guilty of helping LeT

"Prosecutors alleged Rana was aware of the Mumbai terror strike and was in contact with the terrorist groups and their leaders in Pakistan. Rana's attorney, on the other hand, pleaded not guilty and said that Headley, an all time liar, had fooled him.

Pakistani-American Headley, 50, was the government's star witness during the trial.

Headley had entered into a plea bargain with US authorities to testify against other suspects in order to avoid the death penalty and being extradited to India, Pakistan and Denmark"

Ramesh said...

@Syed Qasim Abbas: The airlines apologized because their error affected a non muslim (Sikh). What have sikhs done to US to earn the same 'respect' like muslims.

I am waiting for the day when Trump becomes POTUS.

Riaz Haq said...

Is Donald #Trump2016 inspired by Pres. Andrew Jackson? Could Trump's Trail of Tears include #Muslims & #Mexicans

Needless to say, Jackson and his Democratic Party enforced a certain idea of America — an America for white people. Jackson was personally cordial to people of other races, but their rights did not concern him. When white Southerners grew tired of Indian nations in their midst, Jackson forced them into internal exile in the West. He could have defended this policy using a Trump phrase: “We either have a country or we don’t.”
Mr. Trump’s proposal for a “total and complete shutdown” of Muslims entering the United States until the government “can figure out what is going on” has a brutal simplicity that echoes Jackson. So does his promise to force Mexico to pay for a border wall. The people Mr. Trump favors are to be protected from all harm. Nobody else matters.

Mr. Trump cannot fully impersonate Jackson. Unlike Mr. Trump, the Tennessean rose from modest beginnings and risked his life in war; he also served for decades in government before running for president. But Mr. Trump captures Jackson’s tone, and voters clearly respond.

Could Mr. Trump ride the Jackson vote to ultimate victory? Not unless he adds to it. Jackson’s old coalition no longer dominates the electorate. Nonwhite voters are growing in numbers, and many white voters have told pollsters they would be embarrassed by Mr. Trump as president. Mr. Trump would have to reckon with one of Andrew Jackson’s cherished principles: In America, the majority rules. Assembling a majority today is not the same as it used to be.

Riaz Haq said...

#Pakistan Airways registered as #PIA subsidiary as #PPP backed employees union strike fails …

In order to improve the service standards of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA), a subsidiary of the national flag carrier has been registered in the Security and Exchange Commission of Pakistan as Pakistan Airways.

“Reference media queries, please note that Pakistan Airways has been registered as a premium service subsidiary of PIA,” PIA spokesperson Danyal Gillani said in a statement.

“This would help improve the service standard and image of the national airline,” the spokesperson added. The national flag carrier had earlier been transformed into a limited company instead of a corporation.

The development comes over a week after Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif vowed to bring the PIA at par with the Qatar Airways. “Now that Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) workers’ strike has ended, we will work towards bringing it at par with Qatar Airways” the premier said while addressing Pakistani community in Qatar’s capital of Doha.

The premier’s statement came a day after scoring a victory against the unions of PIA. The Joint Action Committee of PIA Employees (JACPIAE) called off its months-long series of protests and a subsequent strike on Tuesday (February 9), after eight days, against the government’s decision to privatise the national carrier.

The strike and protest demonstrations saw cancellation of hundreds of flights, killing of two PIA employees and eight others receiving injuries during skirmishes with the security personnel.

Two killed, several injured as security forces open fire on protesting PIA workers

Once a source of pride for Pakistan, flights of the loss-making carrier are now frequently cancelled and many of its aircraft have been cannibalised to keep others flying.

PIA, one of the world’s leading airlines until the 1970s, now suffers from frequent cancellations and delays and has been involved in numerous controversies over the years, including the jailing of a drunk pilot in Britain in 2013.

Riaz Haq said...

We must stop #Trump2016. Silence and inaction of good people in the face of evil is inexcusable #Islamophobia

Like any number of us raised in the late 20th century, I have spent my life perplexed about exactly how Hitler could have come to power in Germany. Watching Donald Trump’s rise, I now understand. Leave aside whether a direct comparison of Trump to Hitler is accurate. That is not my point. My point rather is about how a demagogic opportunist can exploit a divided country.

To understand the rise of Hitler and the spread of Nazism, I have generally relied on the German-Jewish √©migr√© philosopher Hannah Arendt and her arguments about the banality of evil. Somehow people can understand themselves as “just doing their job,” yet act as cogs in the wheel of a murderous machine. Arendt also offered a second answer in a small but powerful book called “Men in Dark Times.” In this book, she described all those who thought that Hitler’s rise was a terrible thing but chose “internal exile,” or staying invisible and out of the way as their strategy for coping with the situation. They knew evil was evil, but they too facilitated it, by departing from the battlefield out of a sense of hopelessness.

One can see both of these phenomena unfolding now. The first shows itself, for instance, when journalists cover every crude and cruel thing that comes out of Trump’s mouth and thereby help acculturate all of us to what we are hearing. Are they not just doing their jobs, they will ask, in covering the Republican front-runner? Have we not already been acculturated by 30 years of popular culture to offensive and inciting comments? Yes, both of these things are true. But that doesn’t mean journalists ought to be Trump’s megaphone. Perhaps we should just shut the lights out on offensiveness; turn off the mic when someone tries to shout down others; reestablish standards for what counts as a worthwhile contribution to the public debate. That will seem counter to journalistic norms, yes, but why not let Trump pay for his own ads when he wants to broadcast foul and incendiary ideas? He’ll still have plenty of access to freedom of expression. It is time to draw a bright line.

One spots the second experience in any number of water-cooler conversations or dinner-party dialogues. “Yes, yes, it is terrible. Can you believe it? Have you seen anything like it? Has America come to this?” “Agreed, agreed.” But when someone asks what is to be done, silence falls. Very many of us, too many of us, are starting to contemplate accepting internal exile. Or we joke about moving to Canada more seriously than usually.

But over the course of the past few months, I’ve learned something else that goes beyond Arendt’s ideas about the banality of evil and feelings of impotence in the face of danger.

Trump is rising by taking advantage of a divided country. The truth is that the vast majority of voting Americans think that Trump is unacceptable as a presidential candidate, but we are split by strong partisan ideologies and cannot coordinate a solution to stop him. Similarly, a significant part of voting Republicans think that Trump is unacceptable, but they too, thus far, have been unable to coordinate a solution. Trump is exploiting the fact that we cannot unite across our ideological divides.

The only way to stop him, then, is to achieve just that kind of coordination across party lines and across divisions within parties. We have reached that moment of truth.

Riaz Haq said...

#Pakistan-#US strategic dialogue: Both nations agree to counter #terrorism but differ on #nukes. #Afghanistan #India …

Pakistan and the US are on the same page when it comes to countering terrorism and extremism. The Americans realise that Pakistan has made great sacrifices as they push to eliminate terrorism in the country; and Pakistan appreciates the American support in this ongoing fight.

But the two are on different planets when it comes to Pakistan’s nuclear weapons programme. Media speculations hold that the Americans want Pakistan to reduce their nuclear arsenal and show restraint in expanding their nuclear weapons programme. Reportedly, the Pakistanis have ruled this out citing India as a top security concern.

The only reason Pakistan has nuclear weapons is because of the security threat posed by India’s nuclear arsenal. No matter how many times Pakistani officials repeat themselves, their American counterparts perhaps find comfort in cozying up to India than publically acknowledging Islamabad’s principled position. India poses a legitimate security concern and if it continues to have nuclear weapons, so will Pakistan. For all their brilliance, the Americans don’t seem to understand.

Why is it easy for the US to live with a nuclear India and not a nuclear Pakistan? The greater economic incentives India offers the US is blinding them to Pakistan’s genuine security concerns.

You will read headlines that say, ‘US asks Pakistan to reduce its nuclear arsenal’ but will never read a headline calling for India to stop proliferating. This notwithstanding the fact that in 1974 India tested a nuclear weapon, which they developed illegally. And despite the fact that Adrian Levy, an investigative journalist for the Guardian recently wrote about India building an entire city devoted to producing thermonuclear weapons, the US has made no demands of India.

It is bizarre that the country that introduced nuclear weapons in South Asia is allowed to construct an entire city for the sole purpose of building more nuclear weapons. And outrageous that instead of American leaders asking India to show restraint, they are helping them massively proliferate by giving them an exemption to the Nuclear Suppliers Group requirements; what terrible irony that the group, which was created to stop India from further proliferating following their 1974 test, is the same group that the US now hopes will make India a member.

India has the US’ blessings to import uranium from pretty much anyone willing to sell, including Canada, Australia, Mongolia, and a dozen other countries – freeing up their entire indigenous supply to build more nuclear bombs.

These facts beg the question: are American leaders dumb or are they blind? Their double standards and free hand to India have destroyed the nonproliferation regime, and threaten to destabilise South Asia. Why is it so hard for them to comprehend this fact?

It is absurd that the US is helping India arm itself to the teeth with nuclear weapons while asking Pakistan to disarm. Prime Minister Modi, his National Security Adviser Ajit Doval and countless other leaders in India have stated that they want to destroy Pakistan.

Riaz Haq said...

Donald #Trump: #US needs to stay in #Afghanistan to protect #Pakistan's nuclear weapons. #India via @timesofindia

he US needs to stay in Afghanistan because its immediate neighbour Pakistan has nuclear weapons which have to be protected, Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump has said.
"I think you have to stay in Afghanistan for a while, because of the fact that you are right next to Pakistan, which has nuclear weapons and we have to protect that. Nuclear weapons change the game," he said.
Trump was responding to a question on Afghanistan during the Republican presidential debate on Thursday.
Last year, Trump had called Pakistan the most dangerous country in the world. In an interview, he had indicated that Pakistan needs to be denuclearise.

"You have to get India involved. India's the check to Pakistan," he said in a radio address in September last year when asked what he would do if Pakistan "the most dangerous country in the world other than Iran" became unstable.
"They (India) have their own nukes and have a very powerful army. They seem to be the real check... I think we have to deal very closely with India to deal with it (Pakistan)," Trump had said, setting off intense chatter among Pakistani experts whose approach to Islamabad's recklessness so far has been one of caution and discretion.
US concerned over Pak's growing nuclear weapons: Pentagon
The US is concerned over Pakistan's fast-expanding stockpile of nuclear weapons which combined with its evolving doctrine increases the risk of an "accident", Pentagon's top spy master said on Wednesday.
"Pakistan's nuclear stockpile continues to grow. We are concerned that this growth, as well as the evolving doctrine associated with tactical nuclear weapons, increases the risk of an incident or accident," Lt Gen Vincent Stewart, director of Defence Intelligence Agency had told lawmakers on Wednesday during a Congressional hearing.

"Islamabad continues to take steps to improve its nuclear security, and is aware of the threat presented by extremists to its programme," Stewart said during his testimony before the house armed services committee on worldwide threats.
Pakistan will face internal security threats from militant, sectarian and separatist groups this year, he said, adding that ISIS in Khorasan and al-Qaida in the Indian subcontinent will also remain significant security concerns for Islamabad.
Pak minister rules out rollback of nuke programme
Pakistan's finance minister on Thursday said that his country will never roll back its nuclear programme despite financial hardship and threat of mounting external debt

Ishaq Dar was briefing the Senate, the upper house of parliament, on the country's economy.
"We did not start this (nuclear) programme to roll it back. This is a programme of our security, and it is a national responsibility to protect it. All political parties of Pakistan share the ownership of our nuclear programme," he said.
"Even if our debts swell to USD 100 billion or USD 100 trillion, we will not roll back our nuclear

Riaz Haq said...

Here's an excerpt from The Salon on Bill Buckley, the father of Republican Conservatism:

In 1957, Buckley wrote National Review’s most infamous editorial, entitled “Why the South Must Prevail.” Is the white community in the South, he asked, “entitled to take such measures as are necessary to prevail, politically and culturally, in areas in which it does not predominate numerically?” His answer was crystal clear: “The sobering answer is Yes—the White community is so entitled because for the time being, it is the advanced race.” Buckley cited unfounded statistics demonstrating the superiority of white over black, and concluded that, “it is more important for any community, anywhere in the world, to affirm and live by civilized standards, than to bow to the demands of the numerical majority.” He added definitively: “the claims of civilization supersede those of universal suffrage.”

Riaz Haq said...

Sartaj Aziz: "A #Trump presidency doesn't worry #Pakistan" #MuslimBan #Trump2016 #GOP @CNNPolitics

Pakistan, a U.S. ally and majority-Muslim country, is not overly concerned about the possibility of Donald Trump occupying the White House or his proposal to ban all Muslims from entering the United States, according to a top official.

"What you do in the campaign doesn't mean that it becomes policy," said Sartaj Aziz, Pakistan's adviser to the Prime Minister on foreign affairs, in an exclusive interview with CNN.

Trump's plan to block Muslims from the United States was "not well-received," according to Aziz. But Pakistan, he said, views America as a multicultural society that is too rooted in the ideals of tolerance for such a ban to ever be enacted.

"The strength of these values in America is very strong," said Aziz. "Even if, you know, for political reasons or short-term popularity somebody espouses these ideas to appeal to one segment of the population, the broad spectrum of America ... will not buy this," said Aziz.

For the latest news and political buzz get the CNN Politics Nightcap | Sign up

Aziz spoke to CNN on Tuesday while in Washington for meeting with U.S. officials and a speech at the Council on Foreign Relations.

At the CFR event, he said that peace negotiations between the Afghan government and Taliban could begin in the coming week or two.

As part of the peace process, the United States, China and Pakistan had facilitated talks between the Afghan government and Taliban in July, but further talks were derailed by news of the death of Taliban leader Mullah Omar.

Aziz said that some progress had been made by preparing the terms of reference for the talks and the road map for moving forward, but he cautioned that the success of the talks hinges upon the situation on the ground remaining stable. At this point, it's not clear that there will be more success in moving forward with talks than there has been in previous months.

Aziz also acknowledged that the Taliban leadership is inside Pakistan, giving leverage to his government to pressure them to come to the table.

"We have some influence in them because their leadership is in Pakistan," he said. They get some medical facilities. Their families are here."

Mexican President: Donald Trump damaging U.S.-Mexico relations

Pakistan wants U.S. to stay in Afghanistan
Trump, for his part, spoke on Pakistan in the Fox News debate on Thursday night, citing Pakistan's nuclear arsenal as the reason for the United States to stay in Afghanistan.

"I think you have to stay in Afghanistan for a while, because of the fact that you're right next to Pakistan, which has nuclear weapons and we have to protect that," said Trump. "Nuclear weapons change the game."

The United States announced a delay in withdrawing from Afghanistan in October after months of discussions with Afghanistan's president, Ashraf Ghani, and the nation's chief executive officer, Abdullah Abdullah.

The new plan keeps 9,800 troops in Afghanistan until late 2016. That force will then draw down to 5,500 U.S. military personnel, more than five times the number of troops previously set to remain in the country at the start of 2017.

Aziz told CNN that the United States should stay in Afghanistan but not because of his country's nuclear weapons.

"In our view, a sudden withdrawal would not be advisable," Aziz said.

Some 195,000 Afghan troops have been trained by the U.S. military, but Aziz cited the country's lack of an air force to support ground forces in operations against the Taliban as a leading reason for U.S. forces to stay in the country.

Riaz Haq said...

Inclination for Authoritarianism: The One Weird Trait That Predicts Whether You’re a #Trump Supporter. #GOP

If I asked you what most defines Donald Trump supporters, what would you say? They’re white? They’re poor? They’re uneducated?
You’d be wrong.

In fact, I’ve found a single statistically significant variable predicts whether a voter supports Trump—and it’s not race, income or education levels: It’s authoritarianism.
That’s right, Trump’s electoral strength—and his staying power—have been buoyed, above all, by Americans with authoritarian inclinations. And because of the prevalence of authoritarians in the American electorate, among Democrats as well as Republicans, it’s very possible that Trump’s fan base will continue to grow.
My finding is the result of a national poll I conducted in the last five days of December under the auspices of the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, sampling 1,800 registered voters across the country and the political spectrum. Running a standard statistical analysis, I found that education, income, gender, age, ideology and religiosity had no significant bearing on a Republican voter’s preferred candidate. Only two of the variables I looked at were statistically significant: authoritarianism, followed by fear of terrorism, though the former was far more significant than the latter.
Authoritarianism is not a new, untested concept in the American electorate. Since the rise of Nazi Germany, it has been one of the most widely studied ideas in social science. While its causes are still debated, the political behavior of authoritarians is not. Authoritarians obey. They rally to and follow strong leaders. And they respond aggressively to outsiders, especially when they feel threatened. From pledging to “make America great again” by building a wall on the border to promising to close mosques and ban Muslims from visiting the United States, Trump is playing directly to authoritarian inclinations.
Not all authoritarians are Republicans by any means; in national surveys since 1992, many authoritarians have also self-identified as independents and Democrats. And in the 2008 Democratic primary, the political scientist Marc Hetherington found that authoritarianism mattered more than income, ideology, gender, age and education in predicting whether voters preferred Hillary Clinton over Barack Obama. But Hetherington has also found, based on 14 years of polling, that authoritarians have steadily moved from the Democratic to the Republican Party over time. He hypothesizes that the trend began decades ago, as Democrats embraced civil rights, gay rights, employment protections and other political positions valuing freedom and equality. In my poll results, authoritarianism was not a statistically significant factor in the Democratic primary race, at least not so far, but it does appear to be playing an important role on the Republican side. Indeed, 49 percent of likely Republican primary voters I surveyed score in the top quarter of the authoritarian scale—more than twice as many as Democratic voters.

Political pollsters have missed this key component of Trump’s support because they simply don’t include questions about authoritarianism in their polls. In addition to the typical battery of demographic, horse race, thermometer-scale and policy questions, my poll asked a set of four simple survey questions that political scientists have employed since 1992 to measure inclination toward authoritarianism. These questions pertain to child-rearing: whether it is more important for the voter to have a child who is respectful or independent; obedient or self-reliant; well-behaved or considerate; and well-mannered or curious. Respondents who pick the first option in each of these questions are strongly authoritarian.

Read more:

Riaz Haq said...

Vrinda Grover: Ishrat Jahan abducted, illegally detained, murdered by #Gujarat police in #India. Janta Ka Reporter

Kiran Rjiju – Minister of State for Home, the latest to join the Modi govt. factory of lies and distortions in the Ishrat Jahan murder case.

Kiran Rjiju, who are you working in tandem with? Not the Indian Constitution for sure.

Also Read| What David Headley said on Ishrat Jahan is double hearsay, has no legal significance

On 27th May 2016, speaking to India Today TV channel Kiran Rjiju, Minister of State for Home said that Ishrat Jahan was an LeT aide.

How does this minister in the ministry of home affairs know this?

No, not from any files or documents that he may have access to. But the LeT website, that in 2004 called her a martyr. But the same organisation in 2007 retracted and apologised and said Ishrat was not part of LeT. Why does the Mos Home not believe LeT now?

Rjiju said that the police officer who investigated the Ishrat encounter killing was at the time of the retraction by LeT (2007) sent on Central deputation to CBI.

The CBI in 2013 held it to be a fake encounter – a cold blooded murder carried out in conspiracy with Gujarat police officers and IB men.

Thus the charge -Breaking News- on India Today by Gaurav Sawant, where Kiran Rjiju says “UPA was working in tandem with LeT.”!!!

Gaurav Sawant is so excited that he has got this quote that he does not bother to cross check any dates or facts. He of course repeatedly says Kiran Rjiju as MoS has access to files which we don’t .Really?? Is that how Rjiju came to this explosive finding.

Few facts and dates.

In November 2011 the SIT appointed by Division Bench of Gujarat High Court, of which Satish Verma was a part, concluded that it was a fake encounter. Gujarat High Court in its order of December 2011 asked for investigation to be handed over and eventually it was handed over to the CBI in 2012.

Satish Verma was and is an IPS officer of Gujarat cadre. He was never sent on central deputation. Satish Verma assisted the CBI investigation on the directions of the Gujarat High Court.
The investigation was carried out by the CBI and charge-sheet filed against 11 Gujarat police officers in July 2013 and four IB men in February 2014.

A humble appeal to MoS Rjiju, please read Indian documents, Gujarat High Court judgments and the CBI chargesheet.

Please have faith in the Indian courts. Please count correctly.

Between 2007 and 2012 there is a gap of 5 years. You are lying and distorting facts and abusing your office. You still have nothing , I repeat nothing to show that Ishrat Jahan was a LeT terrorist.

The facts and evidence still hold that Ishrat Jahan was abducted, illegally detained and murdered by Gujarat police. Rana Ayyub’s sting reaffirms this truth.

Gaurav Sawant -India Today – Put the true facts out now and confront Kiran Rjiju.

Riaz Haq said...

Bilal I Gilani
In one decade PIA has lost 25% of its fleet

2 / 3 rd of available seat and passengers who got on to a PIA

Yet we continue to put tax money to save this