Tag Archives: government

US Senate shows united support for blocking Iran access to euros

The US Senate has demonstrated strong support for blockingIran’s access to euros, as Congress continues to push for additional measures to choke funding toTehran’s nuclear programme.

The Senate unanimously passed a non-binding amendment to the budget plan on March 23 that seeks to stop Iran from using a loophole allowing it use the European Central Bank’s interbank payment system to gain access to euros.

The amendment, sponsored by Illinois Republican Mark Kirk and West Virginia Democrat Joe Manchin, is symbolic, as the budget will not become law. It follows a letter signed last month and sent to the European Union by 36 senators, and could indicate the Senate would introduce legislation later on the issue.

Washington and the EU last year hitIranwith sanctions that slashed its crude exports by half. That led to inflation and pushed down the rial,Iran’s currency. Still,Iran’s government has access to vast foreign currency reserves, including supplies of euros, that senators say helps it stabilize the budget and circumvent the sanctions.

‘Closing the euro loophole in our sanctions policy is critical in our efforts to preventIranfrom acquiring a nuclear weapons capability,’ Kirk said. ‘The US Senate has spoken and now the European Union needs to act.’

Pakistan’s Great Game in Gilgit

The title of most worried man inPakistangoes not to President Asif Ali Zardari or his challenger Nawaz Sharif, a former prime minister, but to Syed Mehdi Shah, the Chief Minister of Gilgit Baltistan (G-B),Pakistan’s northernmost political entity that borders Afghanistan’s Wakhan Corridor to the north andChina’s troubled Xinjiang province to the east and northeast.

Western goading must not lead to Muslim masochism

The twin strategies of our adversaries – of both provoking and punishing Muslims – is the most effective way to cause incalculable and irreparable damage to Muslims the world over. Antagonists both in the West and within the Islamic world know very well that the slightest provocation aimed at Muslims is enough to make them inflict colossal harm upon their own as well as others’ property, economy and even lives. Yet any damage to the properties of minorities or foreigners in Pakistanis a violation not only of Islamic edicts, but also of the laws of our land. Such acts tarnish the image of our religion as well as our country.

Islam – Pakistan’s problem

Pakistan has been put on the back foot by the sudden surge in the number of families crossing the Wagha border post into India.  For its part, India finds itself on the horns of a new dilemma vis-à-vis its neighbour, as the demand to accept the ‘returnees’ fast becomes a chorus with prime time TV bringing into every drawing room tales of forced  conversions, kidnappings and murders from families who were Indians  65 years ago.

31 August 2012

Arrest marks Pak independence day

On the eve ofPakistan’s independence day on August 14, Ghulam Shehzad Agha, an emerging political leader in Gilgit Baltistan, was arrested in Skardo. Agha is the general secretary of the Gilgit Baltistan United Movement (GBUM), and has been very vocal in promoting the right to self determination for the occupied region.