Nine office bearers, activists arrested in Karachi: MQM


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KARACHI: The Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) in a press statement released on Thursday claimed that nine of the party’s office bearers and activists were arrested from different areas of Karachi.

“Rangers and police arrested nine MQM office bearers and activists by raiding their houses. The raids were conducted without warrants and the arrested workers were shifted to an undisclosed location,” said the MQM press statement.

“Aijaz and Rana Maqsood, from Shah Faisal unit 108, Kamal and Arshad Naveed of unit 107, Altaf Haider of unit 106 and Nadeem and Zeeshan of unit 105 were arrested,” added the statement

The press statement released by the party also stated that Imran who is the area in-charge of Korangi unit 75, Qasim of unit 70 and Atif Fazal of Mehmoodabad UC-2 were also picked up by security forces.

“The family members of those arrested today are concerned for their safety,” added the statement.

Earlier in August, Rangers had conducted a surgical action in Ranchore Line area and arrested six alleged target killers having reported ties with MQM, according to a Rangers spokesperson.

A few days later, in another raid conducted in the city’s Landhi-VI area, Rangers had claimed to have arrested multiple alleged criminals including target killers in a surgical operation. According to the paramilitary force’s spokesperson, those arrested were also activists of MQM.

Condemning the arrests of its workers, the MQM had said that certain quarters were trying to sabotage its possible dialogue with the federal government.

The party blamed the Sindh Rangers for patronising its rival, Muhajir Qaumi Movement, better known as MQM-Haqiqi, and to allow its cadre to occupy parts of Landhi at gunpoint.

Earlier, the Karachi Corps Commander Lt Gen Naveed Mukhtar had reiterated his trust in Rangers and other law enforcement agencies leading the ‘Karachi operation’, which he said, was “apolitical, indiscriminate and free of any compromise” aimed at bringing the violence-hit city back to normality.

“Karachi operation is apolitical. It is indiscriminate and free of any compromise and pressure. Terrorists, their aides and facilitators are targets of the operation. We will not leave any stone unturned to achieve these targets,” he had said.

It is pertinent to mention here that the MQM resigned from Parliament last week in protest against the Rangers-led operation in Karachi. The political party claims it is being targeted under the garb of the Karachi security operation, whereby its workers are being detained and killed illegally.

No unregistered madressah sealed in Karachi, many other districts


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KARACHI: The closure of only 28 unregistered seminaries in Benazirabad and 139 in Hyderabad since the launch of a province-wide operation against 1,423 unregistered seminaries has displeased the authorities who have directed the law-enforcers to ‘go for a fierce hunt’, it emerged on Wednesday.

At least 579 unregistered madressahs — two dozens of them being allegedly involved in extremism — have been functioning in Karachi besides hundreds of others elsewhere in the province, but the law-enforcers appear to be reluctant to take action against them because of the street power many of them wield and the support they get from religious groups and parties, according to officials.

The progress was reviewed at the latest meeting of the apex committee which discussed the issue threadbare and such figures disappointed both Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah and Corps Commander Lt Gen Naveed Mukhtar who said the situation should have been much better than what was being presented before them.

A report prepared by the Sindh Police and submitted to the home department shows that just 167 unregistered madressahs — 139 in Hyderabad and 28 in Benazirabad — have been sealed by the authorities so far. They included 95 Barelvi madressahs, 63 Shia, five Deobandi and four Ahl-i-Hadith madressahs.

No seminary has been sealed in Karachi, Mirpurkhas, Sukkur and Larkana at all, according to the report

“This should be unacceptable to everyone who is striving to restore peace to Sindh,” said a senior official in the home department, adding that the chief minister asked them to go for a ‘fierce hunt’ against all unregistered madressahs.

The report identified a total of 4,021 madressahs in Sindh. Of them, 2,598 were registered and 1,423 unregistered. But the report mentioned that a list of unregistered madressahs was still being prepared by police.

The district-wise number of madressahs documented by the home department shows Tando Allahyar with the least seminaries (30) and Karachi West with the most of madressahs (1,358).

Officials said they had sealed 139 out of 286 unregistered madressahs in Hyderabad and 28 out of 61 in Benazirabad. None of over 1,200 unregistered madressahs elsewhere in Sindh, which included 559 unregistered madressahs only in Karachi West, have been touched so far.

A total of 1,887 madressahs have been identified in Karachi out of which 1,308 are registered. Divided in seven zones, the breakdown of the registered madressahs is: Karachi East (86), Korangi (138), Malir (108), Karachi Central (295), Karachi South (46), Karachi City (76) and Karachi West (559).

An official of the home department said: “We are expediting our effort and orders have been placed to all the relevant departments including the industries ministry to amend its rules forthwith relating to granting permission for the construction of new madressahs.”

No action against new construction

Nearly half of the madressahs across the province were situated in Karachi, the officials said, admitting that no action had been taken so far to stop the construction of new madressahs without having formal permission and registration. “But we are trying to make all possible efforts to stop construction of unregistered seminaries and close the ones already open and spreading its influence and space,” the official added.

Sources privy to the apex committee meeting said that a pro forma had been finalized for the registration of seminaries in the province. They said the pro forma would require management of a madressah to fill in the details of students, teachers and sources of fund, if any, it received.

An official requesting anonymity told Dawn that the reluctance shown by the officials taking action against seminaries in Karachi and certain madressahs elsewhere in Sindh was because of the street power which a number of those seminaries manifested from time to time in the past and were considered to be the ‘reserve force’ for certain religious groups and parties.

“A large number of those seminaries are supported by some political and religious parties, which is the one greatest hurdle in our plan in addition to the street power,” the official said.

Official figures say 388,327 students are enrolled with madressahs in Sindh. Of them, 269,325 students were enrolled with 2,598 registered and around 119,002 enrolled with 1,423 unregistered madressahs.

Ten out of 663 foreign students are found to be enrolled with unregistered madressahs, according to the report.

Officials said majority of the madressahs were owned by Wafaq-ul-Madaris Arabia (Deoband), followed by Tanzeem-ul-Madaris Ahle Sunnat (Barelvi), Wafaq-ul-Madaris (Fiqh Jafria) and Wafaq Al-Sulfia (Ahle Hadith).

JI chief announces Rs1bn bounty for Modi’s arrest

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RAWALAKOT: Jamaat-i-Islami (JI) chief Senator Sirajul Haq on Monday announced Rs1 billion reward for anyone who arrests Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Addressing a gathering in Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK)’s Rawalakot region, the JI chief said that India has failed to arrest Hizbul Mujahideen chief Syed Salahuddin despite keeping a reward on his arrest.

“I want to say to Modi that you and your agents cannot arrest Salahuddin. And you say whoever will arrest Salahuddin, we will give him Rs 50 crore. I too say that whoever arrests Modi, we will give him Rs1 billion,” he added.

The JI chief was also critical of federal government for granting India the status of ‘Most favoured nation (MFN)’.

“Unless Kashmir issue is resolved, anyone who tries to befriend India is a traitor to both Pakistan and Kashmir,” he said, adding that, “If you want the friendship of Hindustan, then go to Hindustan, to Delhi and to Mumbai, there is no place for you in Islamabad.”

Haq blamed Modi for killing hundreds of civilians in Jammu and Kashmir and Gujrat and slammed the government for not paying heed to Indian atrocities in Jammu and Kashmir.

“Our relations with India are conditional to Kashmir’s freedom,” he said.

The Futility of the Strong Password Solution

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After experiencing a data breach, most companies take a number of measures to strengthen security, including advising users to change their passwords and to make them strong.

Although it stopped short of confirming that it was hacked or that any customer data had been exposed, Amazon-owned Twitch last week notified users that its network might have been hacked and that some user account information might have been exposed.

Among the actions Twitch took to protect its users were expiring passwords and stream keys, and disconnecting user accounts from Twitter and YouTube.

That meant users would have to create new passwords the next time they attempted to log into their accounts — and Twitch imposed new requirements that would force users to create strong ones.

One might think Twitch users would be upset at the possibility their data was stolen. However, the outcry that ensued was not due to fear of exposure. Users were angry that Twitch was attempting to force them to use unwieldy, difficult-to-remember passwords — like !70v3Gr33n@pple$auce?, which is the example the company provided of one it considered good.

Give Me a Break

“Why cant I pick my own passwords? I don’t care how strong or weak they are, i want to be able to chose. There’s no point on making it stronger if whoever is hacking into your database is going to get access to it anyways,” wrote NO SEK on the Twitch user forum.

“The password requirements are stupid. Its not our passwords that were bad – its THEIR SECURITY that is bad, and all the complex passwords in the world cant fix that. This wasn’t a brute force attack on passwords, this was YOU ***failing*** to secure your servers. You got owned, not us,” wrote Murdabenne.

“Twitch, your security people are idiots, tell them to take a human factors class and then rethink your requirements for your users. Fix the problem, _your_ problem — which is your security, not our passwords,” Murdabenne added.

“I can’t remember passwords with capitals or more than one or two numbers. I seriously can’t. This is so ridiculous,” wrote Lumakiri.

“Who the f*ck thought of this system, this isn’t personal banking, let me use whatever password I desire,” said chronicpayne.

Twitch’s response? After being pelted by its subscribers, it did an about-face: “We’ve heard your concerns about overly-restrictive password requirements, and have reduced them to an 8 character minimum. Best practices regarding password security remain true. ”

What’s at Risk

The degree to which users are at risk if hackers get their hands on passwords is highly variable.

“A lot of the risk threat is going to depend on what the criminals do with the information. There are two ways they can leverage it. One is decrypting the passwords. The other is using them on other social media sites, said J. Wolfgang Goerlich, cybersecurity strategist at CBI.

“Typically users keep the same passwords for five or six different websites,” he told the E-Commerce Times.

Provided users adequately reset passwords to a more secure form, they should not have any additional risk on the Twitch site, noted Goerlich — but so many users objected that Twitch felt compelled to cave on its stronger-password requirements.

“That just goes to show you — breach after breach, simple things like having a reasonably complex password just get pushed down,” he said.

The fact that hackers may have obtained login information puts some Twitch users at risk elsewhere, said Chris Knapik, Thundertech digital support services manager.

“Because a person is able to subscribe to streams, or a user receives monetization from subscribers, payment information might be at risk of being leaked. Compromised information may include names, birth dates, phone numbers, addresses, usernames, email addresses and the last IP address logged in from,” he told the E-Commerce Times.

Twitch does store limited credit card information such as card type, truncated card number and expiration date, Knapik noted — but that wouldn’t be enough to put a person’s credit card information at risk.

The Amazon Question

Amazon last year acquired Twitch for US$970 million. Twitch has about 100 million viewers, on average, per month.

“Because Twitch is still a separate physical entity from Amazon, this breach has not affected anything with Amazon’s security,” Knapik pointed out.

That said, Amazon’s payment information for Twitch account holders might still be at risk — depending on the Twitch password, warned CBI’s Goerlich.

“If the users password is the same, that could give the criminals access to the user’s credit card information on Amazon … . Much of a user’s personal information could be available to let the criminal get past the challenge questions at login,” he said.

What’s Next

Considering the user rebellion against Twitch’s stronger-password requirements, it appears likely that many also rejected the company’s advice to change their identical or similar passwords on other sites.

That could put them at serious risk, suggested Alisdair Faulkner, CPO atThreatMetrix.

“The issue is that if hackers capture an email and associated password, they can use that information anywhere users share that info,” he told the E-Commerce Times. “This makes it incredibly easy for them to begin purchasing goods in your name and have them shipped directly to a new drop-off site.”

Additionally, the leak of IP addresses can be useful for hackers. They can apply geolocation data information to use proxies in a similar proximity to a Twitch user’s IP address to make logins look authentic, Faulkner said.

“Twitch itself will most likely see an increase in fraud losses as previous purchases on their site made in their customer’s name start being reported and charged back,” he predicted.

However, the biggest concern is the impact this stolen information has downstream, added Faulkner. Hackers can use that information to directly buy and sell goods in your name, or even to escalate an attack elsewhere.

Unlock iCloud Activation Lock any iPhones Permanent

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NA246 By Election Mqm, PTI, JI

karachi: according to the unofficial and unconfirmed result of all polling stations in NA-246 obtained by Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) candidate kunwar Naveed Jamil is leading with the more than 93,122 Votes followed by Pakistan Tehreek-I-Insaf’s PTI Imran Ismail and Jamaat-I-islami’s JI Rashid Naseem to fill the second and third spot respectively.

By Election was held in Na-246 on Thursday after the seat fell vacant when Mqm Nabeel Gabol resigned from the National Assembly a few month Ago.

PTI’s Imran Ismail Bagged 22,885 votes while Ji’s Candidate Rashid Naseem managed to get around 9,000 votes.

There were reports of clash between the supporters of rival political parties at Karimabad, where PTI’s central Election office was located.

PTI Karachi president Ali Zaidi denounced the hooliganism of MQM wokers who reportedly attack PTI camp office in Karimabad, hurled stones and set the PatI flag on fire.

In a statement issued from PTI media cell, Ali Zaidi condemned the behaviour of MQM which, According to him “welcomes PTI on one hand, while on the other hand, it send party activists to attack the PTI office and workers” .

“Our peacefulness shouldn’t be considered as our weakness,” Zaidi asserted. We don’t want to spoil the peace of karachi, he added

Rangers personnel reaches karimabad to keep the crowd in check and disperse the mob which had gathered outside PTI election office. They batton-charged the protestor and aided the police’s effort to control the mob, several arrest were also made. 

   

Don’t bring the Saudi imperialist war to my home

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Last time it happened, the Saudis sided with Zaidi Imam Muhammad al-Badr.

It was the year 1962, when revolutionaries inspired by ideas of Arab nationalism deposed the last king of Mutawakilite Kingdom of Yemen, Muhammad al-Badr, and put an end to the rule of Zaidi Imams who had been kings of Yemen for the most part of past one thousand years.

Inspired by socialist ideals, Arab nationalism had emerged as a potent ideology around the Arab world and Yemen was no exception. Jamal Abdel Nasser, the then socialist Egyptian president, backed the republicans in Yemen through military support while Saudis, along with Britain, supported the deposed Zaidi king who spearheaded insurgency against the new government.

Not many people outside Yemen know about the Zaidi sect of Islam that exists in the southern part of Arabian Peninsula.

The Zaidiyyah, who are also known as ‘Fivers’, are named after Zaid ibn Ali, the grandson of Hussain ibn Ali. Zaidis follow the jurisprudence that is more similar to Hanafi school as compared to the ‘Twelver’ Shia school of jurisprudence.

Houthis, mostly Zaidis, started as a theological movement in 1992 and spearheaded insurgency in 2004 against the then president Ali Abdullah Saleh, who himself belongs to the Zaidi sect. The Houthis, along with students and Joint Meeting Parties, participated in 2011 Yemeni revolution that followed the Tunisian revolution.

In 1962, Zaidi Shias were friends while nationalists, socialists, and communists were pronounced as foes by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. In 2015, they have been declared as foes and an imminent danger to Saudi sovereignty and territorial integrity.

It is most convenient to paint the whole conflict with broad brushstrokes of Shia/Sunni and Arab/Ajam binaries while ignoring the role of imperial baggage, complex socio-political realities, and all-powerful ruling Arab dynasties.

Also see: Bad Saudi vibes

These simplistic binaries serve as a smokescreen to conceal the ulterior motives of ruling dynasties and autocratic regimes that have come down hard on voices of dissent in the wake of Arab Spring.

This is not a war waged by Sunnis against Shias nor is it the battle between Ajam and Arab – it is simply an act of dynastic self-preservation.

Not unlike the rest of the world, the Muslim world is not a monolith. Muslim societies are diverse on many different levels, with myriad divisions on national, ethnic, linguistic and sectarian lines. The majority of Muslims living in this world are neither Arab nor Persian. And if history has taught us anything, it is that identities cannot be stripped forcefully. It’s a bloody path to tread.

Pakistan is a country with a diverse population. People speak so many different languages, adhere to many different religious schools of thought, and come from different ethnic backgrounds. The state’s miscalculated adventures inside and outside the country have only exacerbated the sense of alienation in many of the communities here.

The state’s obsession with colouring the populace with the same ideological colour has gone terribly wrong.

Read: Foreign funding of militancy

Saudi Arabia and Iran are the only two Muslim majority states whose raison d’être is interlinked with particular Muslim sects. Former adheres to Wahabism, while latter adheres to Twelver Shi’ism.

Owing to the Pakistani state’s obsession with doing away with Indian identity and ideological tilting towards Arabs, Saudi Arabia wields a way more consequential influence over Pakistan.

According to one WikiLeaks cable, Saudi ambassador to the US once proudly asserted that, “we in Saudi Arabia are not observers in Pakistan, we are participants”.

After getting rid of British imperialism, there is a new kind of socio-cultural imperialism that has made inroads into Pakistani society: Arab imperialism

From the illegal funding of madrassahs and the TV evangelists to pop stars, to cricketers, to politicians, to language; the imprints are unmistakable. With each shrine blown up, and every imambargah torched; there’s a bit of indigenous Pakistan that dies silently.

Instead of becoming a part of another Saudi-led war, it is probably the time to ask all the right questions.

It is probably the time to ponder why all the Muslim cities that have diverse populations are burning.

It is probably time to reflect on why Beirut is in flames, and Cairo is bleeding, and Kabul is ravaged, and Aleppo is sacked, and Peshawar is crying, and Baghdad is bruised, and Sana’a is trembling. Why not Tehran, Riyadh, and Doha?

Instead of bringing another war home for the sake of a ruling dynasty, it is probably time to clean the blood and tears brought about by ‘strategic depth’.