Monday, August 03, 2015

PAKISTAN: No place for slum dwellers — Asian Human Rights Commission

Asian Human Rights Commission,  July 31, 2015

In urban planning, slums are thought of as a tumor; an alien growth that can risk the overall development of an urban mega project. The notion ignores the fact that the labor force needed to materialize the urban dream often comes from this underbelly, which provides shelter to lives lived in the shadow of ostentation. Militancy, terrorism, natural calamity, and operation against militants, are driving mass migration to the cities of Pakistan at an unprecedented rate.

According to UN Habitat report, in 2000, nearly 50 percent of Pakistan’s most populated city, Karachi, lived in slums. Around 40 million of Pakistan’s urban population lives in katchi abadis, where they are deprived basic facilities like water, sewerage and electricity.
Islamabad, the capital, has witnessed mass migration from other provinces, particularly from Khyber Pakhtunkhuwa (KPK), following operation Zarb-e-Azab that intends to root out militants. Those evicted so have turned to urban centers for job opportunities and better educational facilities for their children.

Continues >>

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Science, Magic and Truth

Nasir Khan, July 22, 2015

The reality of something is also the truth about it. Therefore, the reality of something and the truth about that thing are not two different things. The question is: How do we know the truth about something? The answer is: In the correspondence of any propositions/statements we make with the facts. If there is no such correspondence, then there is something lacking in the propositions we make when they cannot be validated. But there is a rational method rooted in empiricism to approach the facts about a given entity that ultimately may be the reality of that thing.

If we don’t get bogged down in irrational claims (magic and miracles included) on which any proposition is based to find the ‘reality’ of something, then we stand on some firmer ground when our propositions can be validated by corroborative evidence. If we don’t do that then we remain mired in the mud of confusion and make-believe fantasies. Science and magic cannot be put in the same category as both being ‘means to approach reality’. However, magic, miracles and fairy-tales are interesting and entertaining but they have nothing to do with what constitutes public knowledge about the reality of something.


NATO is used by the US to exert pressure on Europe. Here’s how it’s done

July 20, posted by Morning Star in Features
 
ALAN MACKINNON explains how the military alliance is geared to promote Washington’s interests

IN MY previous article (Nato is the menace not Russia, M Star June 20) we examined the case study of Ukraine and discussed the rapid expansion of Nato over the past 20 years.
In this piece we focus on how the United States exercises its power over Europe — and why.

Firstly, it is often asserted that Nato is a purely defensive alliance.

Certainly, the original Washington Treaty which established Nato in 1949 was framed as a mutual defence pact with the emphasis on defence, security and protection.

Yet the reality of recent practice is different.

Over the past two decades an enlarged Nato has fought wars against a range of adversaries on three continents. None of these was in response to any threat to its members in Europe or North America.

Continues >>

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

No scientific evidence of GM food safety: Norwegian Govt Study

By   OpEdNews 7/14/2015,  Permalink
 
Reprinted from medium.com

From flickr.com/photos/68859904@N02/8854166005/: March Against Monsanto Salt Lake City, UT 5.25.13 March Against Monsanto Salt Lake City, UT 5.25.13
(image by SarahBethB1)   License   DMCA
A new study commissioned by the Norwegian government, and conducted by a nationally recognised scientific authority on the safety of biotechnologies, concludes that available scientific data on GM crops is inadequate to prove their safety.

Absence of evidence

The new study analyses a dossier by giant agribusiness conglomerate, Monsanto, submitted to the Brazilian government, and also conducts a comprehensive review of the available scientific literature from other sources.

Its focus is on Monsanto’s GM soybean Intacta Roundup Ready 2 Pro, which is grown in Brazil, and also authorised in Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay, and probably also present in Bolivia due to illegal introductions from neighbouring countries.

 The report, titled ‘Sustainability Assessment of Genetically Modified Herbicide Tolerant Crops’ concludes that due to major gaps in the scientific literature, it is not possible to give a scientific verdict on their safety. Monsanto’s dossier, the report concludes, demonstrates a range of methodological weaknesses, and highlights the problem of incomplete information and research on GM crops in the available literature.
 
According to Monsanto, genetically modified organisms do not harm human or animal health, and therefore do not have any adverse effects on crops and the environment.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Killing of the Shia Muslims in Kuwait on June 26, 2015


Nasir Khan, June 27,  2015

Those who commit such crimes have no concern for humans and humanity. They think what they are doing is for Allah and his ‘only true religion’, Islam. They see it as their Jihad, the holy war, for their version of ‘true Islam’ that excludes Shia Muslims and Ahmadis from the fold of Islam. That’s what they have been told by their preachers, teachers and their Muslim political leaders and that’s what they believe in. The depth of ignorance and toxic indoctrination they have defies description.


Let’s have those Muslim teachers, preachers, leaders, theologians, clerics and the laity who have some concern for humans and humanity to speak loudly from their mosques and prayer halls, from the public places, from colleges, universities and madrassas that these killers of other people including the Shia Muslims do NOT stand for Islam in general or Sunni Islam in particular. All people of good will people should unite to eradicate these criminals and murderers.

Unless there is a coordinated campaign against them on a broad scale with a view to ‘educate’ people against these misguided people, killing of ordinary people in the name of Allah and Islam will continue and the blood of innocent will continue to flow. We know that only a minority commits such crimes but all Muslims have to take the blame for the crimes of this minority.

In this struggle, the Sunni people have a lot of responsibility and constructive work to do. It is a fact that we don’t see that happening in any concrete way. So, the field for the killers is open and they know there is no serious effort to stop them.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

The Relationship of the United States and Israel

Nasir Khan, June 25, 2015

In a comment on a short article of mine, Comrade Bill Benfield raises an important point about the relationship between the US and Zionist Israel. In fact, our views have much in common while we are looking at different aspects of the same issue. US imperialism is a militaristic world power, which uses large parts of its resources to perpetuate its hegemonic domination. Transnational capital has bolstered that power. For instance, the Saudi investments in the United States amounting to hundreds of billions of dollars and China’s lending of billions of dollars to the United States show the easy flow of capital there.

But how the Zionists of Israel enter in this power game? They had found an easy way. By closely aligning themselves with the US imperial power and its objectives, they became the main supporters of the US in the Middle East. At the same time, they systematically used their influence to create a powerful Israeli lobby in the United Sates that played divergent cultural and religious cords to gain support. Their success has been phenomenal.


It is obvious to everybody that the US government, Congress and its policymakers support whatever Israel does in the occupied Palestine. Israel’s wars of aggression, its violations of human rights of the Palestinians, the demolition of Palestinian homes, illegal settlements in the occupied land, etc, are all in the service of a higher cause: for the ‘security of the land of Israel’! The United States supports this lie and protects Israel whenever the matter of its criminal actions comes before the United Nations.


In fact, the influence of Zionists in the US is so great that America has to do what the Zionists say. No one can go against the wishes of the Israeli leaders. American administration and power elite know it fully well. These are some bare facts. Thus, Israel has created a unique place for itself in the centre of US power. From this privileged position, it can get whatever it wants from the United States including military weapons, money and ‘protection’ to carry out whatever it wants to do in the Middle East.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Ramadan mubarak, 2015

Nasir Khan, June 19, 2015

Ramadan mubarak!

Ramadan mubarak to all Muslims including my Facebook Muslim friends. With the coming of this holy month, many good things happen. I will mention only one here. In this month, Satan is chained and he is not able to do any harm. That is a great news for all of us. But for the rest of the year he is free to do as he chooses, like creating his steadfast disciples and activists who dutifully carry on the mission on his behalf. Therefore, the believers should be aware of the actions of his followers.

What is interesting about Satan is that he does not work only through some invisible agents but also with the help of human beings. Such people are amongst us. Unlike Satan, they are not chained in this holy month either. They operate freely to carry out the mission when the Fallen One is not around for a few weeks. Their work involves them in diverse activities, such as, hoarding, black-marketing, oppressing the weak and marginalised people, creating problems for religious minorities, fomenting communal hatred, misusing religion, inciting violence, supporting wars and warmongers, bargaining the destinies of nations for money, which only Uncle Sam and his Saudi ally give to some Islamic countries for some specific tasks.

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Ronda, Andalucia (Spain)

Photo by: Nasir Khan, October 2011


Nasir Khan's photo.
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