Journalists protest over Anusha Rahman’s alleged misbehaviour

ISLAMABAD: Khawaja Saad Rafique was caught in the middle of an angry protest by journalists, who claimed that their colleague Azam Gul was threatened by IT Minister Anusha Rahman, who had also snatched his phone.

When Khawaja Saad Rafique came to speak outside the Supreme Court on Wednesday, angry journalists did not stop chanting slogans and continued to protest against him. Journalist Azam Gul alleged that the federal IT minister had snatched his phone and threatened him. “She threatened to put me behind bars and hand me over to FIA,” alleged Azam Gul.

Khawaja Saad Rafique claimed that Anusha had taken the journalist’s phone since recording a video inside the Supreme Court was illegal and against the law. He said that everyone, from journalists to ministers, needed to respect the law. I resolved the issue between Anusha and Azam Gul. However, I would like to say that it is not appropriate for anyone to carry a phone inside the vicinity of the Supreme Court, he said.

Khawaja Saad Rafique said that it was not appropriate for anyone, whether it be a minister or an MNA, to snatch anyone’s belonging since it was illegal. I asked Anusha Rahman not to delete the video herself,” said Saad Rafique. “Will ask her to call Azam and apologise,” he said. Throughout his talk, Khawaja Saad Rafique faced extreme difficulty in speaking as his voice was drowned out by chants and slogans by angry journalists.

Army to launch Operation ‘Radd-ul- Fasaad’ all over Pakistan

RAWALPINDI: Pakistan Army has announced to launch operation “Radd ul Fasaad” against terrorists all over the country, said an ISPR press release here.

According to the press release, the operation aims at indiscriminately eliminating residual/latent threat to terrorism, consolidating gains of operations made thus far and further ensuring security of borders. Pakistan Air Force, Pakistan Navy, Civil Armed Forces (CAF) and other security/ law enforcing agencies (LEAs) will continue to actively participate / intimately support the efforts to eliminate the menace of terrorism from the country.

The decision has been taken at a high-level security meeting in Lahore on Wednesday. Chief of the Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa chaired the meeting, attended by all Corps Commanders, Pb Province, DG PR Pb & int heads. Troops and police have been on high alert in Pakistan after last week’s wave of attacks, including one in Lahore and another on a Sufi shrine in Sindh province killed more than 100 people.

After the attacks, Islamabad launched a violent crackdown, with Pakistani forces saying they had killed dozens of “terrorists” and carried out strikes on militant hideouts along the border with Afghanistan. Prior to last week’s attacks, Pakistani forces have been engaged in a series of offensives, mainly in the country’s troubled northwestern tribal region, in pursuit of Taliban and Al-Qaeda linked militants. Thursday’s devastating assault on the Sufi shrine was claimed by the Islamic State (IS) group and came after a series of violent attacks, including a Taliban suicide bomb in Lahore on February 13 which killed 13 people and wounded dozens.

Amit Roy’s “Running Shaadi” is the anti-Sairat.

MUMBAI: Amit Roy’s “Running Shaadi” is the anti-Sairat. Nagraj Manjule’s searing film from last year explored the repercussions of young love that flowers in the middle of a caste cauldron, earning more accolades than any Marathi movie in recent times. In contrast, Roy’s film trivialises the issues of caste, honour killings and barriers to love marriage in a largely conservative society. Worst, he doesn’t even manage to make it light-hearted and funny enough to elicit a few stray giggles.

In “Running Shaadi”, two friends run a wedding service and help couples, whose families are opposed to their relationship, elope and “live happily ever after”. The service usually involves hiring a car, finding a priest and then a lawyer who solemnizes the marriage. Why two fully functioning adults cannot do it themselves is a mystery that remains unsolved even after an excruciating 114-minute runtime.

Amit Sadh plays Bharose, an out-of-work salesman who is still able to wear designer clothes and drive a shiny red car. He is secretly in love with Nimmi (Taapsee Pannu), the daughter of his former boss, but cannot muster up the courage to tell her. Frustrated by his unemployment and hoping for a distraction from his unrequited love, Bharose decides to start a wedding service after witnessing a couple’s foiled bid to elope.

Along with his partner, Bharose solves many cases by getting couples married off with nary a thought about the possible consequences they might face.

The director assumes that everyone in the audience will know Punjabi (most of the dialogue has so many long-winding Punjabi sentences that even a crash course on Yash Chopra’s films will not help you grasp them), and takes the audience’s patience for granted by stretching an already thin screenplay to include boring half-hearted gags.

The performance of the leading pair doesn’t impress either. Sadh has a perpetual scowl on his face, and Pannu’s attempt at playing the gregarious Punjabi girl falls flat. This “shaadi” should have never happened.

Pakistan supports Azerbaijan on Nagorno Karabakh issue: speakers


ISLAMBAD: The Khojaly genocide of the 20th century is one of the most serious crimes in history not only against the people of Azerbaijan but humanity as a whole. This was stated by Ali Alizada, Ambassador of the Republic of Azerbaijan, during his keynote address, at a Seminar on “Genocide and Ethnic Cleansing – Khojaly 25” organized by the Institute of Strategic Studies Islamabad (ISSI) in collaboration with the Embassy of Azerbaijan.

The chief guest on the occasion was Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed, Chairman, Senate Defence Committee. Other dignitaries of the seminar included Ms. Shaza Fatima Khawaja, MNA and Convener of the Pakistan-Azerbaijan Parliamentary Friendship Group and Dr. Muhammad Khan, former HoD, Dept. of IR, NDU. Senator Mushahid HussainSayed stated that Pakistan has given unreserved support to Azerbaijan. He highlighted the commonality between the situations in Kashmir and Nagorno-Karabakh.

Pakistan and Azerbaijan have a solid history and in the future there needs to be greater coordination between both countries especially on the issues of Kashmir and Nagorno-Karabakh. He stressed on the urgency of both countries taking up a joint research initiative so as not to be left behind in the battle of ideas.

Ambassador Khalid Mahmood, Chairman Board of Governors of ISSI, in his welcome remarks stated that the Khojaly genocide was one of the most tragic events of Azerbaijan’s history. He said that Pakistan and Azerbaijan are linked by histories and intense exchange of thinkers. Pakistan has provided endless support to Azerbaijan and has consulted its efforts with Azerbaijan in highlighting this tragedy.

Ali Alizada gave a brief overview of the events of the genocide – the Khojaly graveyard is a symbol of all the atrocities that took place during this incident. He highlighted that more than fourteen countries have recognized the incidents as genocide and relevant parliamentary resolutions have been passed. He stated that history provides evidence that such events can occur in the future too, and to avoid this repetition he said that there has to be a uniform stand against this crime and the perpetrators need to be brought to justice.

The Ambassador was very appreciative of the friendship between the two countries and the solidarity between the two nations and acknowledged that Pakistan was one of the first countries which recognized this massacre as genocide.

Ms. Shaza Fatima Khawaja in her speech stated that Pakistan and Azerbaijan have always been on the same page. She stated that Pakistan faces a similar situation in Kashmir, so Pakistan is well aware of what the people of Azerbaijan sense and is very grateful to the people of Azerbaijan for their support on the Kashmir issue.

The Khojaly genocide is most definitely one of the worst massacres the world has seen- the gravity and enormity of the situation is overwhelming and cannot be justified and the way the people of Azerbaijan have come out of this bilateral issue is highly commendable.

Dr. Muhammad Khan in his presentation drew parallels between the atrocities in Kashmir and  Nagorno-Karabakh and stated that the Khojaly massacre is a bloody episode of human history and a bloody page of the policy of ethnic cleansing and genocide pursued by the Armenian  nationalists against Azerbaijani people over a hundred years. He also drew attention to the Human Rights report which described the event in Khojaly as “the largest massacre to date in the conflict”. He also highlighted the insensitivity of the international community, the silence of global media, and, no major actions from major powers.

Concluding the Seminar, the Chairman ISSI, Ambassador Khalid Mahmood, stated that the refugees need to be rehabilitated immediately to their homes and the atrocities need to end. He stated that the principle position of both countries on humanitarian issues demonstrates their fidelity to international law and upholding of human rights and international human law and serves to reinforce the deep bonds of friendship between the two nations.

Army officers have finally been allowed wearing headscarves as the ban was removed


LAHORE: In a landmark development today in Turkey, the army officers have finally been allowed wearing headscarves as the ban was removed on Wednesday. The ban had been imposed through a regulation in 1982 that banned wearing headscarves at all workplaces including the army. However, the regulation has remained a subject of much debate during the last few years. It was extended to the universities in 1997 and that was when the argument against it started gaining momentum.

However, the ban has been removed today according to the state media in the army as well. Previously, it had been lifted at the university campuses in 2010 and then from high schools in 2014 but the Turkish army that has traditionally been more secular than the overall population never approved of lifting the ban.

Today, this ban has been lifted. The secular ideologues have always criticized the Erdogan government over its conservative outlook and decisions but the government rejected the criticism today saying that it has only allowed people to wear whatever they want to. It is pertinent to mention here that several European countries have already allowed their policewomen to wear headscarves when on work.