US not to desert Pakistan in aftermath of Afghan war: Biden

ISLAMABAD:–Vice President Biden said that the United States will not desert Pakistan in the aftermath of Afghan war. He rejected the notions of many who believe that the US is seeking help of Pakistan for the sake of own interests in the region and will ditch its ties once its objective is attained.

During his unexpected one-day visit to Islamabad, Biden said that both countries are successfully fighting war against terror and it is in the interest of both the United States and Pakistan that al-Qaeda and other militant groups are defeated. While addressing media persons along with Pakistan Prime Minister Yousuf Taza Gillani, Biden said that the Islamist extremists are defaming the country’s name and threatening its sovereignty. He further said that the main objective of the US administration is to strengthen sovereignty in the region and bring back peace and normalcy in the lives of Pakistani people.

The US vice president reached Islamabad on Wednesday and it is being said that the objective behind the visit could be pressurizing Pakistan to review its economic policy and making its government think seriously about tackling extremists. During his visit, Biden had a detailed discussion with Pakistan Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gillani, President Asif Ali Zardari and Army Chief Ashfaq Kayani.

According to president office, President Zardari assured Biden that Pakistan will keep fighting against all odds and come out a winner in its war against terror and a handful of militants cannot enforce their inhuman agenda on the people of Pakistan.

Obama signs on 9/11 Health and Compensation Bill from Hawaii

9/11 attack on world trade center, New York

President Barack Obama clears way for the 9/11 health bill with his signature to make it into law in Hawaii on January 2. The US President signed the bill while on vacation in Hawaii therefore no celebrations followed the signature. Obama issued a statement regarding the bill expressing his gladness for signing the bill and said that he felt ‘honored’

The bill includes compensation for the victims of attack on World Trade Centre on September 11, 2001.

The President paid gratitude toward security officials, firefighters and volunteers who took initiatives to save people’s lives. He added that the health bill aimed to help those victims who were physically affected by the pollution caused by the 9/11 attacks.

A copy of 9/11 health care bill was sent to Oahu island of Hawaii, where Obama is spending his vacation with family. He is staying there in a rented vacation home in Kailua, where the bill was signed.

Formally known as the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act also covers aid for the workers who cleared the debris of World trade center towers after the attack. The bill involves a package of $4.2 billion for providing compensation to victims and families of those who lost their lives in the attack. 9/11 remains worst terrorist attack on USA killing 2700 people in New York.

Egyptians agitated following bomb attack on Christians

Saints Church Alexandria, Egypt

The New Year bomb blast in a Church that killed 21 Christians and injured hundreds of them has left Egyptians in outrage. There was intense clash between the security forces and angry crowd that faulted government for the attack targeting a particular religion.

Riot police used tear gas to remove people from the site and people threw stones on the security personnel. There have been demonstrations on the bomb blast site on Sunday.

The Christians in Egypt largely believe that the administration would have taken some stern steps to stop terrorist activities had the attack have been on a mosque—Muslim’s religious place.

The Saturday attack is being considered most severe in terms of casualties and impact so far in recent four decades. The bomb exploded when Christians were doing New Year mass worship at Saints Church in Alexandria on Saturday.

The blast symbolized violence against Coptic Christians in Egypt. Coptic Christians account for 10 percent of the total population of Egypt. Security officials revealed that the attack indicated that communal harmony was totally lost between Christians and Muslim communities in Egypt and there was increasing tension and intra-communal violence.

Experts claimed that within 30 years of President Hosni Mubarak’s rule communal violence was on rise.

Egypt faults foreign elements for New Year bomb blasts

Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak claims involvement of foreigners in the blast that killed 21 people. The statement has ignited criticism from all over the Middle East.

The attack on Coptic Church on New Year in Alexandria caused a dispute between riot police and agitated Christians in Egypt. The bomb was kept in a car that exploded at the Saints Church last night when a huge gathering of Christians were celebrating New Year leaving around 79 people injured. People threw stones on police when cops tried to control the agitated crowd at the Church.

Police has surrounded the area and scattered the crowd by using tear gas. Priest of the Church tried to calm down people and requested them to stay in the church.

This was the worst attack on Christians in Egypt since 2006. There have been similar attacks recently in Iraq too.

Egyptian health ministry also confirmed that all victims of the Saturday bomb blast—both dead and injured—were Christians. No terrorist group has claimed for the attack so far, however, the way the attack had been staged to kill maximum people suggests a hand of Al Qaeda behind it.

Hosni Mubarak, Egyptian President suspected foreign militants’ role in the attack. He further stated that the attack was an indication of entire Egypt being targeted by some group, while giving condolence to people.

Bomb Blast Kills 42 at food distribution center in Pakistan

Aftermath of suicide bomb attack in Pakistan

Clad in a veil and burqa, a suicide bomber attacked a food distribution center in Pakistan causing 42 deaths and injuring many others. The bomber attacked Khar town of Bajaur tribal area while there is a continuous fight among security forces and extremists at Afghanistan border. There was a clash also in Mohnad tribal region and more than 20 militant were killed.

The food distribution center was crowded with more than 1000 people gathered for receiving food aid. The attacker threw hand-grenades on people and then detonated explosives attached in his or her body. The identity of suicide bomber is yet unknown and it is not clear whether it was a woman or man.

There was a terrible chaotic scene visible after the explosion with bodies mangles and scattered everywhere. More than 60 people have been severely injured and hospitalized in the Peshawar hospital. The food distribution center shelters refugees coming from Afghanistan who have fled their homes or have been forcibly evacuated by the military forces.  The number of refugees has reached 300,000 due to military actions against militants since 2008.

NATO’s International Security officials revealed that they had killiedtwo militants on Friday clashes in Khowst and Logar provinces. Both Taliban and the Haqqani militants use Pakistan as a safe heaven for attacking Western troops in Afghanistan.

US says to step up attacks on Al Qaeda, Taliban; asks Pak to do more

Osama Bin Laden, leader Al Queda

WASHINGTON: In a major move that is part of Obama administration’s new Afghan strategies, its leadership has decided to increase military attacks on terror outfits like Al Qaeda and Taliban in the region. US administration has shown concern over insurgent activities in the tribal regions of Pakistan.

It is important to notice that the United States has taken the decision to step up assaults on terror groups across the border areas only after the continued refusal of action by the Pakistan government.

In a statement released by the Obama administration, it has said that Pakistan is now slowly realizing the threat from extremists who have been moving freely till date. The US report says that the extremists operating in the North Waziristan of Pakistan have been indulged in attacks on allied forces.

The US administration, however, has said that it would keep insisting Pakistan government to take actions against terror outfits operating within its territory. US officials have stated that they would ask Pakistani military to launch attacks on extremists’ safe havens in the North Waziristan region.

The majority of work needs to be taken care of by the United States itself at least till the time Pakistani forces really steps in.

However, US Defense Secretary Robert Gates praised Pakistan and said it was good to see that Pakistani forces were coordination form their side of border to increase the scrutiny over the militant activities in the areas.