What happens in Mecca, stays in Mecca

While it seems that the ambiguity over the role Pakistan will play in the Yemen crisis is going nowhere any time soon, there are two questions that come to mind. When did it start? And more importantly, when will it end? Though I would like to think that only the Prime Minister would be able to answer the latter, one can never be too sure taking into account how things have panned out in the last couple of weeks. As far as the first question is concerned, sources reveal that the Saudi King first made the proposal while he was helping Nawaz Sharif put on the Ihraam on March 4th. All we can say for sure is that the Prime Minister visited the kingdom to perform ‘political’ pilgrimage, whether the Yemen issue was discussed and in what capacity remains a mystery; because what happens in Mecca, stays in Mecca.

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Understanding the Cybercrime Bill

Regulating internet through the backdoor 

There are approximately 30 million internet users in Pakistan and the country is said to have the highest growth rate of internet users in the region. This is more than the population of many countries. It is also interesting to note that half of these people access internet through mobile devices. This means there are growing opportunities for economic development and technological advancement in Pakistan owing to this growth in the country’s internet population.

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Canada visit – Modi’s dark past and even darker present

When Stephen Harper hosts Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on his visit to Canada this week, they will be greeted both with adoring fans and with protests. Modi, an extremist Hindu nationalist, has support within a section of Canadian Indians. But his past comes back to haunt him. A human rights organization called Sikhs for Justice has appealed to the Canadian government to prosecute Modi for his alleged role in the massacre of Muslims in Gujarat, a western state of India.

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Freedom of speech restricted by new cybercrime bill

Disseminating obscene or immoral messages on Facebook, Twitter or other social networks has been made an offence under Section 20 without defining ‘obscenity’ or ‘immorality’. — AFP/fileUploading photos on Instagram and Facebook or sending emails or text messages to a recipient without their consent may be considered harmless online behaviour, but under the new Prevention of Electronic Crimes Bill (PECB) 2015, these actions and many more could land unsuspecting Internet users in jail.

“The bill criminalises all such activities. Nowhere in the world is spam a criminal offence, but it is about to become one in Pakistan,” said Internet Service Providers Association of Pakistan (ISPAK) Convener Wahajus Siraj.

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Balochistan to be cleared of all terrorists

PHOTO: ONLINEPrime Minister Nawaz Sharif met Army chief General Raheel Sharif on Wednesday to discuss national security and the law and order situation of Quetta, Express News reported.

Sources privy to the development told The Express Tribune that Operation Zarb-e-Azb might be expanded to Balochistan to fight against Baloch insurgents as well.

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The ash rain from India’s Mundra power plant

Tata Mundra was supposed to herald a new era of cheap energy for India. Instead, to date, it has served as an example of the tension between development and traditional ways of life.

The first of 16 “ultra mega power projects” (UMPP) planned by the Indian government, Mundra – an enormous 4,150MW coal-fired power station named after the coastal area that is its planned site – would use modern technology to provide affordable electricity to five Indian states.

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Turkey, UAE and Kuwait prove to be deadbeat donors

Dozens of aid agencies have called for international sanctions on Israel over its continued illegal blockade of the occupied Gaza Strip and the fact that six months after its deadly and devastating assault, there has been virtually no reconstruction in the territory.

The report, “Charting a New Course: Overcoming the stalemate in Gaza,” signed by 46 international nongovernmental organizations working in Palestine, says that Israel must lift the blockade and allow free movement between the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip or face punitive consequences.

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Gwadar Port handed over to China for 40 years

With strong military possibilities, China has won the right to operate Pakistan’s Gwadar port for a period of 40 years.

This move will give China access to Gulf countries, and the possibility of building a naval base on the Arabian Sea in future, sources revealed.

Dostain Khan Jamaldini, chairman of the Gwadar Port Authority, on a Hong-King based news channel was quoted to have said the port could be put into full use by 2015 end because the infrastructure construction was nearly complete. Continue reading Gwadar Port handed over to China for 40 years

No Christian safe in new India

Hindu terrorists in India approached a church in India’s Uttar Pradesh region, with this message: We will burn down the whole church if you do not leave. According to the report:

Under pressure from Hindu extremists, local officials kept a church from meeting on Good Friday (April 3) in India’s Uttar Pradesh state and ordered the pastor to vacate the property, the church leader said.

Pastor Daniel Singh of Salvation for Asia Church in Swar, near Rampur, told Morning Star News his two-year lease of the land allowed him to build a worship site, but Hindu extremists in the northern state have been threatening to burn his church building if he does not leave the property.

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No respect for honesty

SSP Mohammad Ali Nekokara - Photo courtesy Google PlusFollowing the unceremonious dismissal of Mohammad Ali Nekokara, the police officer who refused to use force against demonstrators on Constitution Avenue during anti-government protests, several other officials have also come forward in defence of the former Islamabad senior superintendent of police (SSP).

The episode has also given one such officer the courage to come forward with his own story of nepotism within the government that eventually cost him his job.

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