Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Pakistan Cooling Off

Let's heat it up first:

"260 die of heatstroke in Pakistan’s Karachi" New York Times  June 23, 2015

KARACHI — An intense heat wave has left at least 260 people dead over three days in southern Pakistan, mostly in the port city of Karachi, officials said Monday, prompting the government to declare an emergency at hospitals and to ask the military to help respond to the crisis.

Temperatures reaching 111 degrees have led to heatstroke, dehydration, stomach-related pains, and low blood pressure among residents, hospital officials said.

Most of the dead were men 50 and older. Hardest hit were those living in slums and other impoverished neighborhoods in this city of 20 million, Pakistan’s financial and economic hub.

The provincial government canceled time off for doctors and other medical staff and increased stocks of medical supplies, health officials said. Hundreds of people were being treated for heat-related illnesses.

A spokesman for the city’s morgue, run by Edhi Foundation, a nongovernment charity, said families were still bringing bodies there.

Frequent power failures in several parts of the city made the soaring temperatures even more unbearable. On Monday, a light rain fell and meteorologists said the extreme heat was expected to soon subside.


"Extreme heat creates large-scale crisis in Pakistan; Mortuaries full, thousands seek relief at clinics" by Nisar Mehdi and Tim Craig Washington Post   June 24, 2015

KARACHI — A severe heat wave has killed hundreds in Pakistan’s largest city, creating a public health emergency that has been exacerbated by a shortage of electricity and the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

Oh, they are not eating during the day.

Health officials in Karachi estimate that 500 to 600 people have died of heat stroke and related illnesses in Sindh province, the vast majority of them in Karachi.

With temperatures soaring past 100 degrees since late last week, hospitals in the city were at capacity Tuesday as officials struggled to open temporary health clinics and cooling centers. Thousands of people have been pouring into hospitals seeking treatment. Some people said their relatives died in their sweltering cars as they drove for hours in search of medical attention.

On Monday afternoon, mortuary operators in the city revealed they had run out of freezer space for the bodies. They pleaded with victims’ families to quickly retrieve the bodies so they could be buried.

Heat waves are common in Pakistan, but the past few days have been especially brutal. The temperature in Karachi reached 113 on Saturday, making it the hottest day in the city in at least 10 years, according to Pakistan’s meteorological service. High temperatures nearing 110 were reported the next three days.

The heat has greatly strained Pakistan’s already sluggish electricity grid, resulting in widespread outages. On Tuesday, some Karachi residents said they had been without power for two days. This sparked protests against the government and the city’s main energy supplier, the Dubai-based private company K-Electric.

Energy shortages force Pakistanis to scavenge for wood, threatening tree canopies.

The heat wave coincided with the start of Ramadan, when many Muslims fast between sunrise and sunset. Some Muslims, particularly in conservative countries such as Pakistan, refrain not only from eating while they fast but also from drinking water.

Doctors have been pleading with residents, particularly the elderly, to consider breaking their fast by at least drinking water to avoid dehydration.

Last month, a heat wave in neighboring India killed more than 2,000 people.

Already patrolled that, and will return I again.

In Pakistan, the crisis threatened to undermine two of the country’s largest political parties. Karachi residents have accused Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif of failing to live up to a promise made earlier this month to limit power cuts during Ramadan.

However, Sindh remains a stronghold of the Pakistan People’s Party, not Sharif’s Pakistan Muslim League-N party, which is in the opposition in the provincial assembly. Although officials rushed to open cooling centers and water stations on Monday, residents said the measures should have been set into motion earlier.

With scores of angry residents wandering the streets looking for a place to cool off, one police official told the Associated Press on Tuesday that some neighborhoods were sliding toward an ‘‘anarchy-like situation.’’

When will the troops be sent in?

‘‘The situation in Karachi is one of chaos and lawlessness with no visible writ of the government,’’ Imran Khan, leader of the Movement for Justice party, said in a statement. ‘‘The people of Karachi have been effectively abandoned by the provincial and federal governments, both of whom have failed to provide the basic necessities of life.’’

That's everywhere now.


"Rains cool Pakistan as heat wave’s death toll climbs" Associated Press  June 25, 2015

KARACHI, Pakistan — A cool wind from the sea and pre-monsoon rains brought the first signs of respite to southern Pakistan on Wednesday as the death toll from a scorching heat wave climbed to 838 — a high figure even for a nation accustomed to sizzling hot summers.

Temperatures in hard-hit Karachi, the country’s largest city and its commercial hub where the overwhelming majority of the deaths were reported, dropped to 93 degrees, meteorologist Abdur Rasheed said.

The drop likely marked the end of the heat wave that began Sunday. Hospital officials said admittances were lower than in previous days, when dehydrated patients lay in corridors and outside on the streets.

As dusk fell Wednesday evening, volunteers on the streets of the port city handed out dates and provided drinks for iftar meals that break the daylight fast during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

Karachi has been in the epicenter of the heat wave, dubbed the worst in at least a decade, with temperatures reaching 113 degrees. Hours-long power outages, little running water, and the Ramadan fasting had worsened the situation.

Home to some 20 million people and the capital of the southern Sindh province, Karachi has long suffered under an inefficient power grid and a shortage of potable water. The power outages have also affected the city’s sporadic water supply, forcing those who can afford it to rely on tankers of water being delivered to their homes.

Major General Asghar Nawaz, chairman of the National Disaster Management Authority, said that in Karachi alone, 800 people died as a result of the heat wave. The authorities were simply not prepared to handle the heat wave — the worst he could remember in Sindh since 1979.

Another 38 people died in various other parts of the province, Nawaz said, warning that the death toll could rise further in the coming days because many of the sick are in critical condition.

The army has set up special heatstroke centers to help local officials deal with the situation, he said.

National Guard.


Not over yet:

"A devastating weeklong heat wave in the southern port city of Karachi killed 1,233 people, an official said. Nazar Mohammad Bozdar, operations director at the Provincial Disaster Management Authority, said about 65,000 heatstroke patients were treated by doctors at all of Karachi’s hospitals since June 20 when the heat wave struck Sindh province. Bozdar said 1,923 patients with heat-related ailments were still being treated (AP).

That is making people hot:

"Taliban threaten utility in Pakistan" New York Times   June 27, 2015

ISLAMABAD — The Pakistani Taliban on Friday warned that they would take action against an electricity company if power outages continued to plague Karachi, a southern port city that is reeling from a devastating heat wave that has killed at least 1,000 people in recent days.

In a statement, Muhammad Khurasani, the spokesman for Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, expressed sympathy for those who died in the heat wave, and placed blame for the deaths on K-Electric, a private utility company in the city.

Okay. For those not in the know, the TTP is the CIA's anti-Taliban Taliban. That is where the "threat" is coming from.

“Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan considers K-Electric to be completely responsible due to its unnecessary power outages and profiteering practices,” the statement said. It warned that the Taliban would take action if the power outages continued, but gave no specifics.

By issuing a warning to the electricity company, the Taliban seemed to be taking a new direction in their propaganda campaign aimed at regaining public support, after the slaughter of dozens of children at a school in Peshawar last year caused a backlash.

That school attack was a fake at worst, and obvious false flag at best. Gives "Taliban" -- you know, the people who live there -- a bad name, chi bono?

Of course, they are against US-supported IS and the enemy of my enemy is.... oh, I get so confused. Keeps the wars and global domination project going though.

The Pakistani military has the Taliban on the run in the country’s northwestern tribal regions after launching a campaign in the wake of the school attack. However, the militant Islamic group maintains a considerable presence amid Karachi’s vast urban sprawl.


Well, they did carry out there threat -- and all I got was this lousy photograph in my printed paper. 

Now about the war they are winning:

"Pakistan’s military says it achieved a major strategic victory over Islamist militants hiding in the Shawal Valley, a forested area bordering Afghanistan that is thought to be among the last few refuges here for Al Qaeda and the Pakistani Taliban. Pakistan’s army chief, Raheel Sharif, visited the area Friday to congratulate troops for clearing ‘‘all peaks’’ that surround the valley. Now, Sharif said, the army will began a final assault on the lower elevations. ‘‘We will not stop unless we achieve our end objective of a terror-free Pakistan,’’ Sharif said."

I'm sure some are happy to see that.

"Pakistan citing benefits from its crackdown on militants; Terrorist attacks have dropped, but doubts linger" by Tim Craig Washington Post  June 20, 2015

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — One year after Pakistan’s army launched its offensive in the country’s northwestern tribal belt, Pakistani deaths from terrorist attacks are at an eight-year low, but US officials say more work is needed before the country can reverse its reputation as a top incubator of Islamist militancy.

Maybe not so happy.

After a decade of bloodshed that killed more than 50,000 civilians and soldiers, Pakistan’s military finally became fed up last June when a homegrown militant group, the Pakistan Taliban, attacked Karachi’s international airport.

Here is something to read if your flight is delayed.

In response, Pakistan’s air force and army began pounding North Waziristan, destroying two cities in the region while also ordering the evacuation of more than a million residents.

All been kept relatively quite by my war media, too.

Since then, the number of terrorist attacks in the country has plunged as the Pakistan Taliban and Al Qaeda appear to have fewer havens.

During the first five months of this year, 500 civilians died in terrorist attacks in Pakistan compared with 787 during the same period last year and 1,536 in 2013, according to the South Asia Terrorism Portal, which monitors violence in the region. The last time the start of a year was so peaceful was in 2007, before the Pakistan Taliban emerged as a serious threat to domestic security.

But analysts caution that Pakistan still remains vulnerable to major terrorist attacks similar to the Taliban assault on the school in Peshawar in December that killed about 150 teachers and students.

Whenever my war media constantly cites and flogs an event is the surest clue that it was a false flag or complete fake.

And whatever gains the Pakistan army has made are clouded by the perception that it simply shifted much of the problem across the border into Afghanistan, and the militants who are now there could easily migrate back into Pakistan with time.

Or it could be a golden era of peace talk?

‘‘Some people were displaced, but we should not be misled,’’ said Ijaz Khan Khattak, former chairman of the international relations department at the University of Peshawar. ‘‘This is a long war, and in long wars, lulls do happen. This is just a small lull.’’ 


Though US officials credit Pakistan for making serious gains against both the Pakistan Taliban and Al Qaeda, there is less optimism about its efforts in combating groups such as the Haqqani Network and Afghan Taliban, which focus attacks on Afghanistan.

Yeah, ha-ha

It's always some U.S. creation or asset.

And with tensions between Pakistan and neighboring India once again rising, few analysts expect Pakistani leaders to follow through on their promise to also crack down on militant groups with a history of carrying out attacks in India.


Of course, such things(!!!!) would put me in the Indian Ocean so back to shore.

There are also concerns that Pakistan still isn’t taking the threat posed by the Islamic State, which is trying to gain a foothold in the region, seriously.

‘‘We think the operation has absolutely eliminated” safe havens in North Waziristan, “which were real fundamental concerns for us, the Afghans, and also Pakistanis in recent years,’’ said one US official, who asked not to be identified in order to speak freely.

‘‘The focus for us as we move forward: First, some of these militants have dispersed around Pakistan and continue to plan attacks against not only Pakistanis, but also against Afghans, Americans, and others inside Afghanistan,’’ the official said. ‘‘And it’s is going to take a sustained effort to make sure these groups don’t reconstitute in the cleared areas.’’


For many Pakistanis, however, there is little doubt that the yearlong operation is starting to show signs of real success.

In Peshawar, which had been a center of violence, ambulance drivers say they are no longer being called out every other day to respond to attacks.

No, now it is the heat.

In the capital, Islamabad, which has not experienced a major terrorist attack in more than a year, some Westerners are again visiting shopping malls and cafes. And foreign leaders, business executives, and sports teams are slowly trickling back for official visits.

‘‘The politicians from this province were always facing a serious threat, but now those political leaders are roaming freely without any fear,’’ said Shah Farman, a lawmaker in Pakistan’s northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, where police report a 50 percent drop in attacks. 

Looks like victory.

In December, Pakistani units killed Al Qaeda’s global operations chief, Adnan el Shukrijumah, who had been on the FBI’s most-wanted list. This spring, Pakistan also arrested top Al Qaeda operative Muhanad Mahmoud al Farekh, and handed him over to US authorities. 

They got back their agent!

Ashraf Ali, former president of the FATA Research Center, said many high-value targets simply fled North Waziristan as the Pakistan military moved in. As a result, security has steadily worsened in Afghanistan, with record numbers of troop and civilian casualties this year.

What will be know as the Golden Era of Afghanistan.

‘‘According to unconfirmed reports, 70,000 to 80,000 fighters may have just crossed the border,’’ Ali said.



The ones left behind:

"Gunmen hijack two buses in Pakistan, kill 19" Associated Press  May 30, 2015

QUETTA, Pakistan — Around 20 armed men hijacked two buses in Pakistan’s southwestern Baluchistan province, killed 19 passengers, and battled with security forces on Friday, a Pakistani official said.

Baluchistan Home Minister Sarfaraz Bugti said the gunmen let around 50 passengers go and took at least 25 into the mountains. Security forces surrounded and battled the gunmen, and were able to recover six passengers, one of whom was wounded.

Baluchistan Information Minister Abdur Rahim Ziaratwal said the abductors killed the 19 passengers and left their bodies behind as they escaped deeper into the mountains. He said the assailants still hold some passengers, without giving an exact number, and that the operation to recover them is underway.

Baluchistan is the scene of a low-intensity insurgency by Baluch nationalists, separatists and other groups demanding more autonomy and a greater share of the province’s gas and mineral resources.

Oh, Baluchistan. That gets even less mention, one reason being it's a CIA hub for terrorism (Jundallah), another being a real people's revolt, and the third being part of the plane to carve up Pakistan at some point.

Elsewhere in Pakistan, a suicide bomber blew himself up near a stadium in Lahore where a cricket match was underway between Pakistan and Zimbabwe, Information Minister Pervez Rashid said on Geo TV.

That was three weeks before people started flowing back.

He said the bomber had tried to get closer to the stadium but was stopped by police. The bomber then detonated his payload, killing a police officer and wounding six others.

No one immediately claimed responsibility for the suicide bombing, but the Pakistani Taliban, which has been at war with the government for years, has carried out past suicide bombings targeting civilians.

Yeah, my lying, agenda-pushing, war-promoting, Jewish War Pre$$ has already identified the culprit.


God help us all:

"Giant cross rises in Pakistan, home to a Christian minority" Associated Press  June 01, 2015

KARACHI — Now towering over this violent port city in Pakistan, where Islamic militant attacks and gangland shootings remain common, is an uncommon sight in this Muslim-majority country: a 140-foot Christian cross.

The cross, being built by a businessman who said the idea came to him in a dream, is rising as Christians here often face discrimination. A tiny minority of Pakistan’s 180 million people are Christians who eke out livings in menial jobs like garbage collection. 

I'm not biting on the religious division anymore.

Christians have faced mob violence in blasphemy cases, which often turn out to be false allegations over personal disputes. Under Pakistan’s harsh blasphemy laws, anyone accused of insulting Islam, the Prophet Muhammad or other religious Islamic figures can be sentenced to death.

Christians also face extremist attacks. A Taliban suicide attack outside two churches in Lahore in March killed 15 people during services. In 2013, another Taliban suicide attack killed over 80 people at the All Saints Church in Peshawar.

The persecution has forced some Christians to flee, though some remain, like businessman Parvez Henry Gill. Gill said he had a dream some two years ago in which God told him to do something for his community.

I'm always leery of those claiming to speak for God.

Likely to be completed in a few months, the cross stands at the entrance of a Christian cemetery.

Print copy ended there.

‘‘I want to show the world the Christian community in Pakistan has religious freedom,’’ he said.

Gill said some people have criticized the cross, but ‘‘I leave that to God.’’

The cemetery, built under British rule, is nearly 200 years old and its administrators will take care of the cross once it’s constructed.

The construction of the cross came as a surprise to many living around it, neighbor Adnan Ali said. But Bishop Sadiq Danial of Church of Pakistan, an Episcopal church, said he offered to demolish the cross if it becomes too divisive, though he doubted it would come to pass.

‘‘We spread peace,’’ he said.

I don't if religion is the best vehicle for that.

I mean, just imagine.


Looks like the schools aren't much better:

"Axact chief executive arrested in Pakistan after blank diplomas found; 5 charged with fraud and forgery" by Saba Imtiaz and Declan Walsh New York Times  May 27, 2015

KARACHI, Pakistan — Pakistani investigators arrested the chief executive of Axact, a software firm accused of running a global diploma mill, Wednesday after discovering blank fake degrees in a storage room.

Shoaib Ahmed Shaikh and four other Axact executives were charged with fraud, forgery, and illegal electronic money transfers. The charges were later expanded to include money laundering and violating Pakistan’s electronic crimes act.

The arrests were a sharp blow to a company that claimed to be Pakistan’s biggest software exporter and that was on the cusp of starting a major television network. Axact has been under investigation since May 19, after The New York Times described how the company had made millions of dollars by running hundreds of fake online education websites.

Investigators have sealed Axact offices in Karachi and Islamabad and requested help from Interpol and the FBI. Shaikh sought to defend himself in interviews and video appeals, and asked the courts to halt the investigation.

But his move proved unsuccessful, and Tuesday, after hours of questioning, he led investigators to a building next to Axact headquarters in the upscale neighborhood of Defence.

They found a room filled with blank certificates bearing the letterheads of dozens of fake universities and high schools operated by Axact under names like Bay View, Cambell State, Oxdell, and Nixon.

“There were hundreds of thousands of documents,” said Shahid Hayat, head of the local Federal Investigation Agency office.

Television networks broadcast images of the room and of Shaikh, in a black polo shirt with the Axact logo, being led to a car. As he got in, he could be heard telling investigators that he will “see to every one.”

Hayat expressed surprise at the remark. “I don’t think he can threaten us,” he said.

Shaikh appeared in court later on Wednesday. A judge granted the Federal Investigation Agency custody of Shaikh and the four other executives until June 4. Investigators had said that they will try to extend his detention by 14 days while they examined the Axact network, which spans a number of countries and includes several offshore companies.

Axact’s online activities appear to have effectively shut down. Attempts by a reporter to contact sales agents at 221 of the company’s websites in recent days produced no response. Several of the fake accreditation bodies set up by the company, in a bid to bestow legitimacy on the universities, have gone offline.

Pakistan requested FBI assistance because many of the universities run by Axact purported to be based in the United States, operated bank accounts and mailboxes there, and sold fake degrees to Americans.

Axact sales agents also sold State Department authentication certificates bearing Secretary of State John F. Kerry’s signature.

Not his finest moment, but terrorist could have just learned something!!

Specialists say that fake degrees can pose dangers to public safety and national security in many parts of the world and can enable immigration fraud. They can also have serious consequences for customers who are caught using them.

The scandal has cast a cloud over Bol, the Axact television and newspaper group that had planned to begin broadcasting in June.

On Saturday, the network’s editor in chief and several leading journalists resigned.


This will make you ladies angry:

"Malala attackers actually acquitted" by Sherin Zada Associated Press  June 06, 2015

MINGORA, Pakistan — The Pakistani police and the country’s public prosecutor said Friday that eight out of 10 militants charged with involvement in the 2012 attack on teenage activist Malala Yousafzai were actually acquitted in April — and not sentenced to life in prison as reported at the time.

OMG, the pre$$ lied!

The stunning announcement, which first came from Pakistan’s deputy police chief, Azad Khan, offered no explanation as to why authorities had remained silent for so many weeks or why they had failed to correct the facts earlier.

They don't have to offer one. You can deduce why.

In April, public prosecutor Sayed Naeem said 10 militants charged over the attack were all convicted by an antiterrorism court and sentenced to life in prison. At the time, he said the court announced the ruling at an undisclosed location because of security concerns.

On Friday, Naeem said only two of the militants were imprisoned for life while the others were acquitted due to lack of evidence.

The prosecutor claimed reporters misquoted him at the time. He refused to further discuss the case and only added that he had already filed an appeal against the acquittal of the eight men.

Khan said he did not know why the government or the public prosecutor had not clarified media reports about the sentencing of the men involved in the attack on Malala earlier.

Another senior Pakistani police officer, Salim Marwat, confirmed to AP on Friday that eight were acquitted in the April 30 court ruling but refused to elaborate on details.

‘‘We will continue our efforts to arrest all those who were linked to the attack on Malala and who are at large,’’ he said.

Malala’s press representatives in London declined to comment on the reports.

Malala was shot in the head by the Pakistani Taliban when she was returning in a vehicle along with several other students from school. The militants targeted her because she advocated education for women. She was initially treated in Pakistan, but was later flown to a hospital in Britain, where she now lives with her family.

One begins to wonder the event happened at all.

Malala won world acclaim for her campaign and last year was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. The 17-year-old laureate has expressed an interest in going into politics in Pakistan once her education is finished.

Malala enjoys huge popularity in Pakistan, and the attack on her had created nationwide hate against militants.

I guess hate can be good in certain circumstances.


Remember above when we were told tensions are increasing with India?

"Pakistan, India vow to target terrorism" Associated Press  July 11, 2015

ISLAMABAD — The prime ministers of nuclear-armed rivals Pakistan and India agreed at a rare meeting on Friday to cooperate on eliminating terrorism in South Asia, Pakistan’s foreign ministry said.

In a sign of easing relations, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi also accepted his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif’s invitation to attend a South Asian regional summit to be held in Islamabad next year.

‘‘Both sides condemned terrorism in all its forms and agreed to cooperate with each other to eliminate the menace of terrorism from South Asia,’’ Pakistani Foreign Secretary Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry said.

Sharif and Modi met in the Russian city of Ufa, where they are attending summits.

Oh, really? What is going on there?


"Putin terms Afghan war a failure" New York Times   July 11, 2015

MOSCOW — President Vladimir Putin on Friday sharply criticized the US-led war effort in Afghanistan, telling a gathering of regional leaders that a decade of Western military intervention had failed to improve security in the country.

“The deterioration of the situation in Afghanistan, where a 10-year presence of the international military contingent has not brought any qualitative improvement of the situation, raises serious concern,” Putin said in a speech to heads of state, including President Ashraf Ghani of Afghanistan.

What the hell is he talking about?

“The situation is aggravated by the growing activity of the so-called Islamic State, a terrorist organization striving to extend its influence,” Putin said, according to a Kremlin transcript, at a gathering in Ufa, Russia, for a meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. 

Oh, that group.

(larger image)

An organization committed to "resist israeli american aggression," huh? 

Related(?): Russian Politician Predicts U.S. Coup Ousting Putin Soon

Russia had shown support for the US-led military effort in Afghanistan, including by allowing supply shipments along a route of more than 3,200 miles through Russia and the former Soviet Union, called the Northern Distribution Network.

And look at how the US treats him.

In May, however, Russia formally rescinded its permission for NATO to use the route, and Putin’s remarks Friday signaled a new, tougher assessment of the legacy that US forces are leaving behind.

While the US-led combat operation in Afghanistan formally ended on Dec. 31, about 10,000 US troops remain in the country, and plans for a further withdrawal have been delayed because of the worsening security situation.


The former Afghan commander and soon chairman of Joint Chief of Staff says Russia is now the threat. 

That ought to heat things up.