Tag Archives: fight

Battle at home | Instant News


‘The heaviest of all battles is at home’ – is exactly what the Pashtun proverb says. Unfortunately, the brief consensus reached over the past two decades to find the origins of terrorism and extremism ‘inside’ is in danger of being lost.

The country is facing a new wave of violence. As we slowly emerged from mourning the brutal beheading of Shia Hazara miners in Balochistan, the killing of five soldiers and many female social workers in separate incidents in Fata’s past over the past few days once again shook the national mood.

While the government’s response to the ordeal of the Hazara workers was disappointing in many ways, especially around the story of the prime minister’s visit to condolences with the beleaguered community, it was quick to accuse India of involvement in the incident. Prime Minister Imran Khan attributed the bizarre incident to the “bigger game” played by Indian spy agencies aimed at spreading “anarchy in the country by killing Sunnis and Shiites”.

In November 2020, the government also released documents documenting links between the Pakistan-based terrorist group and Indian intelligence agencies. This was followed by the disclosure of India’s alleged involvement in the 2014 APS Peshawar attack as well as its efforts to sabotage the CPEC. Indeed, Kulbhushan Jadhav’s arrest and his ongoing trial do add credence to some of these statements.

The Pakistani government reserves the right to expose foreign involvement in incidents of terrorism in the country, but this must not be done at the expense of a view of violent extremism that burns at home.

In fact, exposing Indian designs and fixing internal fault lines must not be mutually exclusive positions. A disproportionate focus on the former, however, creates the impression that the latter is being neglected, or an attempt to externalize the problem at worst. Apart from being optical, it also calls into question the government’s ability to understand the structural causes of violence and its capacity to deal with them.

Take deteriorating sectarianism for example. The outlawed LeJ / ASWJ-affiliated extremists and their splinter group that changed their name to ISIS continue to attack members of the Shia community. Worse, TLP extremists have also joined the bandwagon recently, using different tactics. In September 2020, the TLP and ASWJ joined hands to organize coordinated demonstrations attended by thousands of supporters in Karachi and Islamabad chanting deeply disturbing anti-Shia slogans. More than 40 cases against Shia were registered on charges of blasphemy during and after Muharram last year.

While the number of terrorist incidents that appear to have sectarian motives remains the same in 2020 as it was the previous year, the aforementioned developments and the sharp rise in sectarian hate speech should shake the authorities into action.

However, there appears to be a complete paralysis at the policy level. The choice of leadership in the interior ministry, despite many changes, has failed to generate much confidence. It appears that partisan and short-term political objectives, rather than sound analysis and policy prowess, continue to guide this decision. As a result, even though it has been half-term in office, the government has failed to attend, let alone implement a coherent internal security strategy.

The National Internal Security Policy (2018), which was adopted after extensive consultation with all stakeholders including senior PTI leaders, has been shunned. The growth of NACTA, considered a top counter terrorism / extremism authority, has been drowned. The federal cabinet’s decision to form a commission in the midst of a government term “for the implementation of the national narrative (developed by NACTA in 2017) and structural development (reinventing the wheel?) Against violent extremism and radicalization” is too little, too late and still waiting implementation.

The current situation disproportionately places the burden on fighting terrorism and extremism on the military. While this was effective in terms of dismantling organized terrorist networks and buying time to tackle structural issues, a lack of civilian leadership and coordinated efforts threaten to erode this accomplishment.

Conflicts along sectarian, ethnic, religious and territorial lines of varying intensity simmer across the country’s urban and rural landscapes. Soft components of conflict resolution – reconciliation and rehabilitation; social and political inclusion; efficient justice system; education reform; and targeted economic development, among others – is still sorely missing.

Independent security analysts have long debated the importance of soft action and intervention (as opposed to kinetic action) in addressing extremism and other structural causes of terrorism. The problems are multifaceted and rooted both in the structure of the state and in policy and in the various undercurrents of society.

The government must re-prioritize ‘fighting within the country’ as the existential challenge facing the nation, rise above partisan lines and move swiftly towards implementing agreed measures. States must not waste valuable time reinventing the wheel, duplicating efforts or simply belittling challenges.

Every life lost in violence is too many lives, and any prejudice felt in a society as diverse as ours on the basis of religion, sect, ethnicity, class or gender is too much prejudice. It’s about time we not only looked within, but finally did something about it as well.

The author is a public policy analyst based in Islamabad.

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @adnanrafiq

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FBR will strengthen IT systems to combat counterfeit tax invoices | Instant News



KARACHI: The Federal Revenue Council (FBR) has decided to further strengthen its information technology systems to combat the issuance of fake sales tax returns, sources said on Tuesday.

The decision to strengthen the IT system was taken at a tax management meeting with FBR Chairman Javed Ghani which was held Monday at the Karachi Large Taxpayer Office.

The meeting discussed one agenda item: “Fake Invoices – Actions taken so far and future strategies to combat them”. The main commissioners of all the tax offices located in Karachi attended the meeting.

The chief commissioner advised the chairman to improve the efficiency of IT systems to combat these threats. They said the system must ensure the issuance of invoices by the sector concerned.

The meeting discussed a hotfix in the IT system that prevents fake invoices and flying to claim refunds and input adjustments. However, more effort is needed to prevent revenue losses. The source said that the chairman agreed to the suggestion to strengthen the IT system and the necessary direction will be issued in the coming days.

The chairman directed the chief commissioners to submit their proposals for the 2021/22 budget with a focus on creating deterrence in sales tax evasion. The chairman said that some directives require parliamentary approval. The meeting also discussed possible measures to prevent fake and flying sales tax invoices. The chief commissioner suggested formulating a system whereby income withholding tax reports should be made available for cross-verification of sales tax invoices.

The source said the issuance of counterfeit refunds had given FBR a headache because billions of rupees had been drained in the past through fake and unexpected invoices.

Recently, the Federal Tax Ombudsman (FTO) has also paid serious attention to this issue and directed FBR to take firm action against companies and tax officials who are involved in refunding sales tax counterfeits.

To comply with FTO orders, FBR has initiated the launch of FIRs against the corporate entities involved and has also initiated disciplinary action against delinquent tax officials.

The source said about 80 officials had been nominated in the case of the issuance of counterfeit sales tax returns by the Karachi Corporate Tax Office and a list of officials had been sent to FBR headquarters for disciplinary action.

During the meeting, the Chairman of FBR directed the main commissioner to immediately take action if there was a complaint related to corruption by an official in his jurisdiction. Furthermore, the main commissioner must also forward a case to FBR where they find the integrity of the official in question.

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Covid-19 coronavirus: MIQ staff talk about the human costs of working on the front lines | Instant News


New Zealand’s first MIQ worker to receive a Covid-19 vaccination has spoken of the human costs of working on the front lines of fighting the deadly virus.

Lynette Faiva – who works in the Jet Park-run (MIQ) isolation and quarantine center that is used for Covid-positive cases – received her injection yesterday as part of the largest vaccination project in New Zealand history.

Shortly after she got vaccinated, the health boss confirmed there were no new community cases, but two more at the MIQ facility.

Speaking to the media, Faiva expressed how difficult it is to work in a stressful – and potentially dangerous – environment for what should be everyday family life.

“When I came home I couldn’t hug my family. I have to shower first, take off all my clothes and put them in the laundry.

“Those are things I have to follow up on when I come home because it will absolutely destroy me if I take the virus home and they will catch it,” said Faiva.

He said he was going home to tell his family that the vaccine was nothing to fear.

“I didn’t feel anything. It felt like a little prick. I would tell them it didn’t hurt and it was very easy,” said Faiva.

He said it was an honor to be the first to receive the vaccine and thanked him for the opportunity.

“It’s about providing another layer of protection.”

Other Jet Park staff who received the jabs spoke of the mental disadvantages and stigma attached to front-line jobs.

Drew Leafa said the stigma and how they could become victims by working on the front lines was difficult.

Drew Leafa is the third MIQ worker to receive a Covid-19 injection.  Photo / Brett Phibbs
Drew Leafa is the third MIQ worker to receive a Covid-19 injection. Photo / Brett Phibbs

“I love my rugby and I couldn’t play last year because I didn’t want the team to know where I was working. I realize if you see people coughing and you wear masks and the stigma you get around them, especially when people find out we are there. Jet Park. “

He said his team was trying to tell people what they were doing was for the country.

“We are doing our job to protect all the Kiwis who return home, make them feel welcome and when they leave they feel like they are being taken care of.

“It’s hard because everywhere you go, you scan your QR code, I have cleaners in my car, I have cleaners in my bag. Be careful in everything to make sure we have to lead by example,” Leafa said.

About 12,000 border and MIQ workers will be vaccinated over the next few weeks prior to their household contact and then the remaining general population.

Deatil from a broader public rollout, which will start in the second half of this year, is still being finalized.

Health director general Dr Ashley Bloomfield said yesterday’s vaccinations marked a significant step forward in the fight against Covid-19.

Director General of Health Dr. Ashley Bloomfield at a press conference today.  Photo / Brett Phibbs
Director General of Health Dr. Ashley Bloomfield at a press conference today. Photo / Brett Phibbs

“A milestone that protects those at highest risk of contracting the virus and helps reduce the risk of spreading it to the community.”

Bloomfield said New Zealanders need to remember this pandemic is the most significant global public health challenge in a century and managing it will require all of our efforts for the foreseeable future.

“Even though vaccinations have started, it is important for everyone to remain vigilant and stick to the basics: stay home if unwell and get advice on testing, wash hands and cough and sneeze into elbows, and wear a mask or face covering on all transportation. general. “

Dr. Nikki Turner at a press conference today.  Photo / Brett Phibbs
Dr. Nikki Turner at a press conference today. Photo / Brett Phibbs

Dr Nikki Turner, director of the Immunization Advisory Center, said people keep asking how safe the vaccine is and he wants to reassure the public that it is very safe.

“We are confident about the safety of this vaccine … there is nothing to worry about with this vaccine,” Turner said.

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Prospect Watch: Brendo Bispo from Brazil | Instant News


Brendo Bispo Credits: Youtube / SFT

There are many MMA talents that emerge from Brazil every year. The South American nation is one of the longest running venues in the sport, thanks to former and current champions Royce Gracie, Anderson Silva, Jose Aldo, and now Amanda Nunes and Deiveson Figueiredo. Two months into 2021, Brendo Bispo is an underrated prospect destined to experience his year of breakout.

Tale of the Tape

Fighting in Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo, Brazil
Age: 27
Weight class: Light
Height: 5’8 “
Training from Chute Boxe Diego Lima
Record: 17-4
11 KO / TKO, 5 Posts’

Pro

  • Heavy ground and hitting / Fight-stop
  • Heavy leg kicks
  • Solid jab stitch
  • Nice elbow
  • Underrated wrestling / grappling

Counter

  • TDD is questionable
  • Flat leg
  • Lack of head movement

Striking / Kickboxing: A.

Bispo is a terrifying striker. He has the speed, technique, and strength to be a real problem. The Brazilian is a tough fighter with a high level of control who always raises his hands and maintains a very technical style. Bispo fights behind the jab and the textbook throws with a very tight straight punch. The leg kick is a big weapon for Bispo. He put it all into his hip when he shot him and when they hooked up, you could tell he had a lot of power. At times, Bispo will be a little more dangerous at throwing knees, doing spin attacks, and more, but cunning in his attacks. You can really see the style of Chute Boxe that Bispo has.

Movement: C

The Bispo movement is a small writing tool. Being a fighter who puts his feet in the majority of the time to generate as much power as possible, he won’t get too light on his feet. So far, this has not been a problem for Bispo.

Clinch: B +

In the clinch, at least as long as Bispo has been there, he has proved very strong. He does a fine job controlling the cage. He frames well and strikes with short, knee and elbow punches.

Wrestling: B

Billed more than a striker, Bispo has some underrated wrestling. He made opponents worry so much about his ability in the leg that when he shot, it caught them off guard. Bispo is almost 100% at wipe. He cuts corners well as soon as he gets into the leg and is able to adjust and finish the fight. I’m not sure at what level exactly the wrestling is, but for secondary weapons, it’s pretty good.

Grappling: B

Bispo has some underrated grapplings but he shows it more and more with every fight. He holds five posts on his record catching four different types of submissions. He is very smooth in transitions and finds dominant position easily. The ground and pound he displayed was heavy, active, fast, and most importantly the fight ended. Overall he’s a dangerous person on the mat.

Cardio: B

Bispo had multiple first-lap finishes and only covered the distance once. From the available footage, it looks like the cardio is not a problem.

Defense: C +

As I said above, his leg movements are motionless and most of the time. Because of that, his movements were never a problem so he got into trouble. Bispo has been taken down before but his overall takedown defense is still unclear. My biggest concern with Bispo is the lack of head movement. He was not hit very often but when he was pressed back, his head sat in the center line.

Overall: B

I’ve known Bispo for a long time, but once I took the time to watch the recordings, I was even more impressed. He’s a sharp striker who produces lots of power and lots of explosions. If he didn’t finish it with his hands, he would do it with his kick with the power of a boom. If Bispo’s technical prowess wasn’t enough, he has good, solid wrestling on the mat. He can beat you to clear TKOs or take you down at any time. Bispo is young and is someone I really like. He needs to be talked about more because he is one of Brazil’s best prospects which means a lot.

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After the fight? | Instant News


As Prime Minister Imran Khan and his PTI clash with the country’s opposition parties ahead of this year’s Senate vote, both sides run the risk of ultimately facing an increasingly skeptical public.

The contestants have entered the race to the Senate, crossing swords for the rules of the game. For ordinary Pakistanis, the debate over voting either in secret or via a publicly verifiable hand raise is a bummer.

Logically and importantly, against the backdrop of the Pakistani controversy that engulfed the previous election, a publicly verifiable vote by hand should be seen as the best guarantee of a free and transparent process. However, the means used by Khan and his PTI to support change to a show of hands have clearly raised questions about the permissibility of this measure under Pakistan’s constitution.

At the very least, can the president of Pakistan issue an ordinance or decree like he did recently to make change happen? That central question will spark debate after debate between political rivals ahead of senate elections and beyond.

In the meantime, however, Pakistan’s political rivals appear to be doing little to address real-life problems. These range from matters of urgency such as the state of education, health care and basic housing to sources of livelihood for the mainstream Pakistani population. Together, these challenges of daily life together with other challenges that surround mainstream Pakistan will determine the direction of policy and the fate of the country in the years to come.

Going forward, Pakistan’s political rivals need to step back from just fighting for a bigger fight. Political parties must return to the drawing board and pay attention to the public expectations of their political leaders.

Tragically, for now it appears that neither the government nor the opposition is capable or willing to make changes. In recent months, Pakistan’s opposition parties working under the banner of the Pakistan Democratic Movement have redoubled their calls for new elections.

They did so on the grounds that the 2018 elections that brought Khan to power were manipulated to ensure his victory. However, beyond calls for new national opinion polls, there are few alternative ways of looking at the world or even a blueprint from the opposition that outlines exactly how Pakistan will turn out for the better under their rule.

Indeed, complicating matters was the performance of the Khan government during his first term. Chosen for the first time in 2018, Khan’s PTI is widely expected to set the course for qualitative improvements to the way Pakistan is run. But roughly after completing half of its tenure, the PTI is still far from establishing a new ‘naya’ or Pakistan.

Although PTI’s travel at work has been partially disrupted by the impact of Covid-19, there is much more that can be done to meet Pakistani public expectations. Across Pakistan today, the lament that is most heard among low- and middle-income households is only one: the problem of sharp price increases of essential commodities, especially food grains, vegetables and medicines.

Providing affordability in this area remains a formidable challenge. At the same time, reinvigorating economic growth across Pakistan has been a key way of judging Khan by Pakistani voters when the country holds its next vote in 2023.

Although Khan still has a chance to lift his sagging political credentials if he chooses a mid-term course correction, the problem of correcting course is much easier said than done. Although the writing on the wall suggests a strong push to revitalize Pakistan’s agriculture, so far little has been done in the sector apart from pleasantries. Meanwhile, other options such as the incentive package that Khan has announced to revive Pakistan’s construction industry for now do not appear to be doing much for the revival of the national economy as a whole.

As Pakistan’s political enemies intensify their battle ahead of the senate elections, there is a feeling of calm, popular disapproval around. Unless rival politicians immediately get a feel for the mood on the Pakistani streets, their battle for control of the corridors of power will remain meaningless.

The author is a journalist based in Islamabad who writes on political and economic affairs.

Email: [email protected]

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