Friday, May 14, 2010

US will burn soon: Taliban claimed

Pakistan Taliban militants have warned America that it will soon "burn" while calling for Pakistan's rulers to be overthrown for following "America's agenda".The United States is convinced Pakistani Taliban militants allied with al-Qaida and operating out of northwestern Pakistani border regions were behind an attempted car bomb attack in New York's Times Square on May 1.

The Pakistan Taliban had claimed responsibility for the attempted bombing. If confirmed, it would be the first time their members were involved in an an attempted attack in the West.A Pakistan Taliban spokesman, in a video message said, repeated a claim of responsibility, saying: "The movement proved what America could not have even imagined ... It was just an explosive-laden vehicle which did not explode. "But it (America) will see, all imperialist forces will see that it will explode also and America will also burn," said the spokesman, Azim Tariq, sitting cross-legged on the ground in front of a rock face and speaking in Urdu.

America's allies would meet the same fate, he said. "They can neither eliminate the mujahideen nor jihad, nor they can harm Islam," he said, referring to Muslim holy warriors and holy war. "Instead, they will have to die themselves, they will be burnt themselves, they will have to dig their own graves," said the spokesman, sporting a long black beard and turban.Pakistan has been battling its homegrown Taliban, who are allied with the Afghan Taliban, and who have been accused of numerous suicide bombings killing hundreds of people across the nuclear-armed country. But Tariq denied responsibility for bombings in public places, saying authorities wanted to malign the militants with such attacks. Tariq spoke of fighting in various places in Pakistan saying his men were holding their own and the security forces, which he said were being paid with US aid money, were suffering significant losses. "They are being defeated," he said.

Tariq did not refer specifically to any attacks abroad, but said mujahideen "wherever they were, in any part of the world" were supporting each other.
Analysts have long doubted the Pakistan Taliban, operating out of remote mountains along the Afghan border, had the sophistication to plan and execute a bomb attack in a Western country on their own. They can, however, support and train people who are able to travel to the West and carry out attacks.Tariq said the Pakistani people were being sacrificed for the sake of the United States by their own government, which he called un-Islamic.

"Now is a time to remove them from power as soon as possible. All their policies are anti-Islam, anti-people," he said. "Jihad will continue as long as the ruling coterie and the unholy army continue to follow the American agenda," he said. Pakistan has been cooperating with US investigators trying to determine what links the Pakistani-American man suspected of carrying out the attempted Times Square bombing, Faisal Shahzad, had with militants in Pakistan.

Dhoni has last chance in Asia Cup

He's had a six-year honeymoon since his international debut in 2004, been hailed as 'Captain Cool' and led India to the inaugural T20 World Cup title and the No. 1 ranking in Tests. But Mahendra Singh Dhoni may be about to suffer the first major setback of his career.With India failing to win a single Super 8 match in two straight T20 World Cups, there is talk of replacing Dhoni as captain in both one-dayers and T20. However, sources have told TIMES NOW that after India's shocking exit, the BCCI is now going to put captain MS Dhoni under probation.

Sources told TIMES NOW that Asia Cup in June will be Dhoni's last chance to redeem himself as skipper. If Dhoni fails to lead India to win in Asia Cup then he may face the axe.The BCCI is now going to closely monitor Dhoni's performances as skipper in the tournaments to come and decide on his fate as the captain of the T20 & ODI side.

India have had some high profile crashes in World Cup's under Dhoni specially the T20 World Cup and the ICC Champions Trophy last year and now BCCI's patience seems to be running out on Dhoni specially with the ODI World Cup at home less than an year away.Sources have also told TIMES NOW that the man most likely to replace Dhoni will be Virender Sehwag. Viru has been the leader of India's batting lineup for the last decade and his carefree attitude and fresh ideas may work in his favour, but Viru's poor fitness record is well known and that may work against him.Gautam Gambhir is the other contender for Dhoni's throne. Gauti is a team-man and popular in the dressing room, but his inexperience of leading sides at the highest level may work against him.

It is possible that India will have a new captain as early as next month when the selectors name the squad for Asia Cup in Sri Lanka. While Sehwag seems the front-runner for the top job, Dhoni will continue to lead the team in Tests, where India is No. 1 in ICC rankings.The series of "blunders" by Dhoni in team selection, batting order and tactics are likely to be held against him.

In fact, some insiders say that the change of guard is aimed at achieving two objectives — one, signalling the BCCI's deep displeasure with Dhoni for speaking "out of turn", and two, deflecting attention from the BCCI which can't be absolved of blame for its failure to prepare the team.What's making it easier for the administrators to seriously think of axing Dhoni is his below-average form. His tendency to frequently promote himself in the batting order has apparently led to murmurs amongst batsmen who find themselves being constantly shunted up and down the order.

Those claiming to know the selectors' also point out 'shortcomings' like Dhoni's inability these days to come up with his trademark big hits. They cite the crunch match against Sri Lanka in which Dhoni walked in with Gambhir and Raina having provided a perfect platform, but failed to provide impetus. Worse, someone like Yusuf Pathan, who could have taken on the Lankan spinners, got just a few balls to face.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Kasab gets death penalty

Judge M L Tahaliyani has awarded the death sentence to Pakistani terrorist, Ajmal Amir Kasab. The judge felt Kasab’s crime fell under the judicial definition of "rarest of rare" and death by hanging was well deserved.Kasab was given the death penalty on four counts. The court said there was no chance of Kasab reforming.

Kasab will now set out on a long journey where legal and moral issues will be considered by authorities for years, even decades, before he is finally put to death.Immediately after pronouncement of the death sentence judge Tahaliyani will have to send his order for confirmation to the Bombay HC. He is bound by the Section 366 of the Criminal Procedure Code to do so. In normal cases it is the convicted man who goes in appeal to the HC but where it is the case of his life being taken away, the trial court must send the case papers to the high court.

The Bombay HC will call for all the evidence and weigh it at its own discretion. It is a practice for the high court to be satisfied on the facts as well as the law of the case, that the conviction is right, before it proceeds to confirm the sentence. This could take a few months.Even after the high court has given its nod to the death sentence, Kasab has the option of going in appeal to the Supreme Court. For instance last year Surinder Koli, the man whose death sentence in the Nithari case was confirmed by the Allahabad High Court, went in appeal to the Supreme Court. His petition is still pending. Similarly, Kasab's appeal too would be considered in detail by the highest court as it looks at all the arguments in favour of and against the death sentence.

Going by past record, the longest wait in execution of the death sentence will start once it is out of hands of the judiciary and into the domain of the government. After the Supreme Court too gives assent to the death sentence, Kasab will have the legal right to file a mercy petition before the President of India under article 72 of the Constitution. While this petition is pending Kasab's execution will stay suspended — maybe for decades.

When Kasab will hang????

Hanging 26/11 terrorist Ajmal Amir Kasab may be sooner said than done as the death sentence given by the special court in Mumbai on Thursday will now have to be endorsed by the Supreme Court and, in case of a mercy petition, will require the president's assent.The entire process could take years if not decades as there are at least 52 people still waiting for presidential assent on their execution, while nearly 300 others condemned to the gallows by lower courts are awaiting the apex court's endorsement.

As Kasab, the lone Pakistan-based terrorist caught alive in the Mumbai terror attack, has been tried under various charges of terrorism under India's latest anti-terror law, the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 2004, by a special anti-terror court, he will be entitled to approach the Supreme Court directly to challenge the trial court verdict, including his death sentence.
And even if the apex court conducts an expeditious hearing over his appeal, it is highly unlikely that the final decision in the case will be taken in less than five years, say legal experts.

For, even if the apex court decides in favour of the death sentence, Kasab will be entitled to seek a review of the verdict. And in case, if the apex court sticks to its stand, he may approach it a third time with what is known as a curative petition, raising some question of law.In case the apex court again decides against Kasab, he will still have the freedom to approach the President of India with a mercy petition to seek commutation of his death sentence into life or outright release under Article 72 of the constitution.Kasab was among 10 Pakistani gunmen who struck in Mumbai in November 2008 in India's worst terror attack that left 166 people dead. Other than Kasab, the nine others gunmen were killed by security forces.The list of prisoners already condemned to the gallows in India but waiting presidential assent for execution includes Mohammed Afzal Guru, convicted for his role in the December 2001 parliament attack case.