PakAlumni Worldwide: The Global Social Network

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India-Pakistan Smog; Saudi Purge; MQM-PSP Tie

Why is there such thick smog enveloping Delhi and Lahore? What is the source of such high levels of particulate matter hitting PM2.5 of 500-800 micrograms per cubic meter? Is it the crop burning by the farmers in Indian Punjab? Are there other round-the-year sources that keep the PM2.5 concentration at around 100 micrograms per cubic meter, about 10X the safe levels? What can be done to bring it down? Do India and Pakistan need to act together to protect their citizens' health and well-being?

Satellite Image of Fires in South Asia. Source: NASA


What prompted Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman to carry out a major purge of top princes in Saudi Arabia? And why did Lebanese Prime Minister Hariri announce his resignation from the Saudi soil? What are its domestic and international implications? Will it lead to a serious internal instability? Will the young Crown Prince intensify the regional proxy war against Iran?

Saudi Royal Purge. Source: Al Jazeera

What is going on with the on-again off-again alliance between MQM and PSP in Karachi? Is this a shot-gun marriage arranged by the GHQ in Rawalpindi? Is there an anti-PPP alliance with MQM, PSP and Functional League being cobbled together to oust Zardari and his cronies from power in Sindh? Is this an attempt to end crime, corruption and violence in Karachi?

Why did Pakistan Army Chief Gen Bajwa visit Iran to meet its top leadership? Is there an Iran-Pakistan alliance in the offing? How will it affect the situation in the region vis-a-vis Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia?

Viewpoint From Overseas host Faraz Darvesh discusses these questions with Misbah Azam and Riaz Haq (www.riazhaq.com)

https://youtu.be/0icxVnqKQ6E




Related Links:

Haq's Musings

Smog in India and Pakistan

Will Saudi Arabia Change Peacefully?

Iran-Saudi Proxy War

Gangs of Karachi

MQM-RAW Link

Iran and Pakistan: Friends or Foes?

Talk4Pak Youtube Channel

Views: 52

Comment by Riaz Haq on November 24, 2017 at 9:01am

Saudi Crown Prince speaks on anti-corruption drive, Islam, women’s rights and ‘new Hitler’

http://saudigazette.com.sa/article/522610/SAUDI-ARABIA/Saudi-Crown-...

Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has called the Supreme Leader of Iran “the new Hitler of the Middle East”.

In an interview with the New York Times published on Thursday, Mohammed bin Salman, who is also Saudi defense minister, suggested the Islamic Republic’s alleged expansion under Ayatollah Ali Khamenei needed to be confronted.

“But we learned from Europe that appeasement doesn’t work. We don’t want the new Hitler in Iran to repeat what happened in Europe in the Middle East,” the paper quoted him as saying. Here is Mohammed bin Salman’s take on different issues:

— Anti-corruption campaign

It’s “ludicrous,” he said, to suggest that this anticorruption campaign was a power grab. He pointed out that many prominent members of the Ritz crowd had already publicly pledged allegiance to him and his reforms, and that “a majority of the royal family” is already behind him, the New York Times article said.

“Our country has suffered a lot from corruption from the 1980s until today. The calculation of our experts is that roughly 10 percent of all government spending was siphoned off by corruption each year, from the top levels to the bottom. Over the years the government launched more than one ‘war on corruption’ and they all failed. Why? Because they all started from the bottom up,” he is quoted to have said.

“We show them all the files that we have and as soon as they see those about 95 percent agree to a settlement,” which means signing over cash or shares of their business to the Saudi state treasury. According to him, the public prosecutor says it could eventually “be around $100 billion in settlements”.

— Yemen conflict

Mohammed bin Salman insisted that the Saudi-backed war in Yemen was tilting in the direction of the legitimate government there, which, he said is now in control of 85 percent of the country.

According to him, given the fact that pro-Iranian Houthi rebels, who hold the rest, launched a missile at Riyadh airport, anything less than 100 percent is still problematic.

— Women rights

According to the article, Mohammed bin Salman said: “Do not write that we are ‘reinterpreting’ Islam — we are ‘restoring’ Islam to its origins — and our biggest tools are the Prophet’s practices and [daily life in] Saudi Arabia before 1979.”

At the time of the Prophet Muhammad, he argued, there were musical theaters, there was mixing between men and women, there was respect for Christians and Jews in Arabia. “The first commercial judge in Medina was a woman!” So if the Prophet embraced all of this, Mohammed bin Salman asked, “Do you mean the Prophet was not a Muslim?”

— Donald Trump

He praised President Trump as “the right person at the right time” and added that with his support the Saudis and their Arab allies were slowly building a coalition to stand up to Iran. — Reuters

Comment by Riaz Haq on November 24, 2017 at 9:05am

Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman: "Do you mean the Prophet was not a Muslim?”

Mohammed bin Salman said: “Do not write that we are ‘reinterpreting’ Islam — we are ‘restoring’ Islam to its origins — and our biggest tools are the Prophet’s practices and [daily life in] Saudi Arabia before 1979.”

At the time of the Prophet Muhammad, he argued, there were musical theaters, there was mixing between men and women, there was respect for Christians and Jews in Arabia. “The first commercial judge in Medina was a woman!” So if the Prophet embraced all of this, Mohammed bin Salman asked, “Do you mean the Prophet was not a Muslim?”

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/23/opinion/saudi-prince-mbs-arab-sp...

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