8 months ago

12 Feb 18

4 Monday,

4 Monday, February 12, 2018 National Five troops killed in IoK army camp attack KARACHI: Head office: 509, Land Mark Plaza, I.I Chundrigar Road, Karachi, Pakistan. Ph: +9221-32214988- 32214990, Fax: +9221-32214989, Chief Editor: Muhammad Taqi Alvi Associate Editor: Ali Razavi - Editor Special Reports: Muhammad Rafique Rajpar Hyderabad Bureau Chief: Abbas Kassar - Islamabad Bureau Chief: Hameedullah Khan ISLAMABAD –– LAHORE –– RAWALPINDI –– KARACHI EDITORIAL 'Bellitled' Pak Media Of 'Big' Leaders: Isn't Knowledge Power For Powerful Rulers? By Arvind Subramanian Fundamentally, the government has to deliver the country from the legacy of its socialist past Is India about to get its mojo back? As the country's exports accelerate on the back of today's synchronous global economic expansion, the negative effects of the November 2016 demonetisation of high-value bank notes and the enactment last July of a new goods and services tax (GST) are receding. Provided that macroeconomic pressures from high oil prices are contained, and sharp corrections to elevated asset prices are managed, India is poised to regain its status as the world's fastestgrowing major economy. But ongoing efforts by the government will be key to reviving private investment and sustaining medium-term growth. Specifically, economic policymakers must address the long-standing problem of over-indebted firms and under-capitalised public-sector banks - the so-called "twin-balance-sheet problem." To that end, many distressed companies have been forced to clean up their balance sheets under a new bankruptcy code that was adopted in December 2016, and more companies are likely to follow suit this year. Meanwhile, the government has also announced a large recapitalisation package (about 1.2 per cent of GDP) to shore up public-sector banks, so that they can write down their stressed assets. As these reforms take hold, Indian firms should finally be able to resume spending, and banks will once again be able to lend to the critical but currently indebted infrastructure and manufacturing sectors. India's economic reforms have taken a long time to implement. But if they continue to be a success, they will provide valuable lessons for future leaders about the proper role of the private sector not just in India, but around the world. In India, the private sector - and capitalism generally - evokes feelings of deep ambivalence. This is for good reason, given that India's private sector still bears the stigma of having been midwifed under the pre-1990s "License Raj" - an era remembered for its red tape and corruption. To this day, some of India's legendary entrepreneurs are believed to have built an empire simply by mastering the minutiae of India's tariff and tax codes, and then manipulating them brazenly to their advantage. Some of the private sector's stigma was cleansed by the boom in information and communications technology that started in the 1990s. The ICT sector had developed by virtue of its distance from, rather than proximity to, government. Indian ICT OPINION PRIME-MINISTER Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said he watches foreign channels like BBC and CNN for international news to know what all was going on worldwide but that he does not see Pakistani television and does not think it is important to watch it or waste time on breaking news, etc. SURPRISED Pakistani viewers were too astounded at their PM's such disinterest in mentioned Pakistani media and simply could not believe what they saw, heard and understood: Even common people watched Pakistani TV with interest, eager to know what was going on, the problems and its solutions, funding and developments, in their dear own homeland. They wonder how a PM would not want to know what was going on in his own country or why a PM does not think it is important to view domestic TV. Intellectuals remind that media gathers millions around common interests, for masses in general, and for leaders in particular to know and have required information on their fingertips. How PM can have such a low opinion and does not have time for domestic media simply baffles the mind. How can such a person be called Prime Minister of Pakistan? It is objected when common people see foreign news and dramas, do not view domestic news and do not know if and when bombs are set off or get exploded, killing and injuring a hundred people in their own city, province or country! If a PM views foreign television but does not care for domestic media, he lags behind first hand inter action with at least breaking news events, which is a dangerous thing, considering that Shahid Khaqan Abbasi was among highly informed persons before he was appointed as PM. Against problems, right solutions presented at TV helps government formulate better policies. Negative viewpoints helps government design strategic counter measures. Therefore, both positive as well as antigovernment news and views help leaders in dealing effectively with at least day to day issues. Since Panama Gate revelations of alleged irregular transfer of amounts to the tune of hundreds of billions and supreme court's disqualifying of the then PM Nawaz Sharif on grounds of his not being truthful and not being trustworthy led to a lot of criticism, knowing which could guide ruling Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) better. Ousted PM should have obeyed the law as no one is above the law. If PM disobeys highest judges and law, he sets a bad example for common people who will also not obey the law. He should have complied with what TV talk-shows were saying against his wrong attitude and should have righted his childish stance that insisted to know ''why did they throw me out'' of prime ministry? Even big leaders of big countries surrender before law of their country and bow out if the law says so. Shutting off television screens instead of listening to good advise was bad. May be even ousted PM Nawaz Sharif did not see TV and paid dearly for it. TVs were shouting that it was not good for a prime minister to go solo, not good to oppose a verdict of highest court of judgement, and not good to insist that SC-issued verdict was wrong, it was wrong for PM to insist that he was targetted (fact was his defense was weak, insufficient and not convincing) and that it was not good for PML-N's continued wrong stance against judiciary. If present PM Shahid Khaqan Abbas does not see TV, he also misses out on what may be compulsory information and a need to know it as ruler of Pakistan. A little consolation is that unhappy people watch TV more than happy people who are more practical. Benefits of watching television are many, first of which is that it increases positive intelligence of people and of course leaders. In a title tht Everything Bad Is Good For You it is argued how bad, but popular, culture is actually making people smarter. Watching a good comedy on TV can be a great way to find something to be happy about too. Perhaps leaders must pay more attention to media and what is good for themselves in media, including criticism, which can indeed save them and their seats. Crony socialism has failed, India needs more capitalism firms adopted exemplary governance standards, were listed on international stock exchanges, and thrived in the global marketplace. And, by extension, they improved the standing of Indian capital. But after that era of good capitalism, the stigma returned. During the infrastructure boom of the mid-to-late 2000s, public resources were captured under a "Rent Raj," which put terrestrial rents (land and environmental permits), sub-terrestrial rents (coal), and even ethereal rents (spectrum) up for grabs. Moreover, the infrastructure investments of this period were funded by reckless and imprudent lending by public-sector banks, which often funneled resources to high-risk, politically connected borrowers. As a result, the Indian public concluded that majority equity holders ("promoters") had little skin in the game, and that "limited liability" really meant no liability at all. And now that rapid technological change is threatening the ICT sector's business model - providing low-cost programming services to foreign clients - even India's "cleanest" capitalist industry is confronting governance challenges. More broadly, one could say that India has moved from "crony socialism" to "stigmatised capitalism." And under stigmatised capitalism, the prevailing zeitgeist has hobbled policymakers' efforts to address the legacy of the twin-balance-sheet problem, which, in turn, has constrained growth. Indeed, the mere thought that major shareholders' debts would be forgiven at taxpayers' expense has created political paralysis for years. After all, why should ordinary people bear the burden of fat cats who are laughing all the way to the bank? Seen against this background, it is easier to understand why India's economic reforms have taken so long to adopt, and why they have been so difficult to implement. At the same time that the government has had to resolve the twin-balance-sheet problem, it has had to ensure that promoters cannot regain access to their assets, driving up fiscal costs. India's early-stage experience with capitalism has lessons that other countries should heed in an age of rising tech giants. The Indian model, whereby public-sector-banks lent to private firms, proved so toxic and difficult to replace that public-sector bank ownership itself has lost much of its traditional socialist appeal. The irony is that after a long and bruising experience with crony capitalism, the best thing for India now might be more capitalism, starting in the financial sector. SRINAGAR: Five Indian soldiers and one civilian have been killed in the ongoing military operation to flush out militants holed up near the residential quarters inside the Sunjuwan Army camp in occupied Kashmir, Indian media reported on Sunday. Four militants have also been gunned down by the security forces. Earlier in the day, Indian Army Chief Bipin Rawat arrived in the disputed territory and met senior commanders to take a stock of the situation. Rajwat said that there was no firing during the night and the focus continued to be the evacuation of people from the family quarters. A group of heavily armed militants struck the sprawling camp of the 36 brigade of Abbas Kassar HYDERABAD: Girl students have outshined in almost all disciplines the degrees of which were given away at Liaquat University of Medical and Health Sciences 17th convocation held at Jamshoro. In all 336 students passed in MBBS,89 in BDS,41 in DPT, 37 in Bio Medical engineering and 79 in Post Shutdown observed on Maqbool Butt’s martyrdom day SRINAGAR: In occupied Kashmir, complete shutdown was observed, Sunday, to mark the martyrdom anniversary of prominent Kashmiri liberation leader, Muhammad Maqbool Butt. According to Kashmir Media Service (KMS), call for the shutdown and a march towards the UN office at Sonawar in Srinagar was given by the Joint Resistance Leadership comprising Syed Ali Gilani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Muhammad Yasin Malik. The objective of the strike and the march is to press the demand for the return of the mortal remains of Muhammad Maqbool Butt and Muhammad Afzal Guru to their families. India had hanged Muhammad Maqbool Butt in New Delhi’s Tihar Jail on 11th February in 1984 and Muhammad Afzal Guru in the same jail on 9th February, 2013, for their role in the Kashmir freedom movement. Their bodies remain buried in the premises of the jail. Indian Occupied Kashmir (IoK) Light Infantry in the early hours of Saturday, triggering a gun battle which left two junior commissioned officers and one non-commissioned officer of the army dead. A high alert has been graduation. Convocation held under chair of vice chancellor LUMHS professor Bhika Ram Devrajani was attended among others by Sindh chief minister Syed Murad Ali Shah, Sindh ministers Dr. Sikendar Mandhro, Imdad Ali Pittafi and others. Apart from degrees gold and silver medals were also given away to ongoing students sounded in the Himalayan region and security beefed up in and around the city. The militants had struck before dawn on Saturday and managed to sneak into the camp from the rear side of the base after a brief exchange of fire with the majority of these medals was also captured by girls. Out of 577 degree receipients 294 were girls. Out of 17 top positions in MBBS, 12 were girls; In BDS 13 were girls out of 15 top 10 position holders;in similar way in Dr of physiotherapy and bio medical engineering all 12 and all 11 positions among top 10 were captured by girls. sentry on its periphery. “The militants entered the family accommodation complex after which quick response teams cordoned off the area and isolated the attackers, who are holed up in a few houses [inside the camp],” officials said. Allied Hospitals poor LUMHS 17TH convocation: Girls sanitation condition create outshine in every discipline problems for patients RAWALPINDI: The Former Chief Scientific Officer sends notice to Minister ISLAMABAD: Former Chief Scientific Officer Dr. Sher Mohammad of National Agricultural Research Council (NARC) has sent a defamation notice of Rs. 105 million to Federal Minister for Food Sikandar Hayat Bosan on the charge of leveling baseless charges against him (Sher Mohammad) to stop his posting. The creditable sources said that Sher Mohammad made it cleared in his submitted notice that if the allegations were not withdrawn within 14 days then he will avail his legal rights to bring the Minister Sikandar Hayat Bosan before the court. Ministry committed to bring more consumers under tax Network ISLAMABAD: Ministry of Energy and Power Division has expressed willingness to provide detail of nearly 25 million consumers of different power distribution companies to Finance ministry so that more and more people could bring under tax network.According to details, ministry of finance has decided to include more people under tax network, for this it was recommended to avail the assistance of Ministry of Energy and Power Division. Staff Reporter BADIN: Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Badin has organized a massive welcome rally in the honour of newly elected PPP Taluka Office Bearers including Haji Taj Muhammad Mallah, President, Khan Sahib Abdul Rehman Baloch, General Secretary and Haji Hanif Khaskheli, Information Secretary Hundreds participants and party workers hailing from different cities and towns gathered at Thar Coal by pass road Badin and while marching main way-fairs of city Badin concluded at Badin Press Club. While addressing the party workers representatives of PPP Badin chapter including Haji Ramzan Chandio, President, Haji Sain Bux ISLAMABAD: In response to reports in a small section of the press regarding remuneration of the Managing Director (MD) and CEO of PSO, the company strongly rejected the figures quoted in reports and confirmed that the facts were misleading and exaggerated. In a statement on Sunday, PSO stated that the MD and CEO were hired following a competitive process as per policies and procedures with requisite approval of the competent authority. It said, the company profit grew by 165% in last two years, and hit Rs 18 billion in fiscal year 2017. The company has been consistently delivering positive growth including reviving ‘dormant’ lines of the business. Based on the high performance, PSO declared Rs. 25 per share (250%) cash dividend and 20% stock dividend in FY2017 only. The statement stated that- “FY2017 marked a growth of 5% in White Oil and 10.5% in Black Oil over FY2016. PSO’s business grew by 9% in MOGAS, 11% in Jamali, General Secretary, Haji Taj Muhammad Mallah, Haji Hanif Khaskheli expressed that it is a triumph of the people of Badin that patients visiting Allied Hospitals of Rawalpindi city were facing severe problems due to negligence of hospitals administration. Sources said that adverse condition of cleanliness in hospitals causing various diseases like skin infection, respiratory and allergy diseases. Heaps of used syringes and items used in surgery and operation can be witnessed everywhere in the premises of hospitals. Due to unhygienic condition of cleanliness, even the attendants of the patients have become victim of these diseases. Talking to “Online” Medical Superintendent of Holy Family Hospital Rawalpindi Dr. Shahzad said that in 2007 a plant had been installed for the wastage of infection material and this material is being wasted on daily basis while inspiration plant wastes 120 kilogram of material in 2 to 3 hours daily. PSO rejects news about remuneration of its MD, CEO Fuel Oil, 19% in JP-1, 28% in Lubricants and 106% in LPG in FY2017 vs FY2016. During this span PSO showed an extraordinary growth in all the businesses including Non-Fuel Retail segment that was revitalized to offer customer convenience.” It further stated that: “Needless to mention that PSO maintained uninterrupted POL supplies to all its customers including Defence, Power, Retail, Industrial, Aviation and Marine throughout the year despite all the challenges.” It said-“PSO vehemently refutes this baseless allegation and reserves the right to take legal action against the petitioner who has resorted to willfully misguiding the court for the sake of fulfilling some ulterior motives.” It said PSO's share price of Rs 486 per share in February 2017 was the highest recorded since 2009. Current market capitalization of the company stands at Rs 84 billion. It said KSE index reduction of over 15% since May 2017 has had impact of all the companies listed on the stock exchange. PPP organizes a welcome rally in honour of newly elected PPP office bearers office bearers of Party were selected from them adding that PPP will get historical victory in the General election 2018.

Russia passenger aircraft crashes, leaves no survivors BOLLYWOOD: MOSCOW: A Russian Antonov An-148 passenger plane carrying 71 people has crashed after taking off from Moscow's Domodedovo airport killing all people on board, Russian media report. The jet belonging to the domestic Saratov Airlines was flying to Orsk city, located about 100 kilometers southeast of the southern tip of the Ural Mountains, and crashed in the Ramensky district outside Moscow on Sunday. According to Russian news agencies, the plane was carrying 65 passengers and six crewmembers. News agencies said witnesses in the village of Argunovo saw a burning plane falling from the sky. Russia's Ministry of Emergency Situation said it has dispatched crews to the reported crash site to probe the case. JAKARTA: At least 27 people have died after the brakes failed on a bus in Indonesia before it rolled down a hill, hit a motorbike and crashed into a field. According to media reports, a packed tourist bus returning from an outing has collided with a motorbike and plunged off a hill on Indonesia's main island of Java after its brakes apparently failed, killing at least 27 people. At least 18 others were hospitalised with injuries, some in critical condition, following the crash on Saturday on a winding slope in Subang in West Java province, said local police chief Muhammad Joni. Television footage showed police, Russian news agencies, citing sources in the emergency services, reported that the wreckage of the plane was spread over a wide area around the crash site. "Debris has been found, there are no survivors," Russia's TASS news agency quoted a source as saying. According to Interfax, the Russian Transport Ministry is considering various possible reasons, including weather conditions and human error for the incident. The following video shows screenshots of Flightradar tracking of Saratov airlines flight, screenshot of speed and altitude graph before signal lost. The governor of the Orenburg region, where the soldiers and medical personnel evacuating the victims from the upsidedown bus, which was carrying more than 40 local tourists. The bus was plane was flying to, has been quoted by Russian media as saying that "more than 60 people" on board the plane were from the region. Russian prosecutors have opened an investigation into Saratov Airlines following the crash. Russia's President Vladimir Putin has offered his condolences to the families of those on board with 27 Indonesian killed in bus crash “ISLAMIC STATE-INSPIRED” Woman charged over stabbing in Melbourne By SJA Jafri Bureau Chief Australia MELBOURNE: A 24- year-old Bangladeshi woman has been remanded in custody after appearing in court charged over what police allege was an "Islamic State-inspired attack" following a stabbing incident at Mill Park, in Melbourne's north yesterday. Police allege the woman, identified as Momena Shoma, is a Bangladeshi national who travelled to Melbourne on February 1 on a student visa and was renting a room in the home of a man identified by neighbours as a 56-year-old nurse. She was charged with one count of engaging in an act of terrorism and was remanded in custody. She did not make any application for bail. Police were called to a home in Callistemon Rise about 4:20pm on Friday where they found the man with neck and shoulder injuries after being stabbed while he was asleep. The man underwent surgery and is in a serious but stable condition. His young daughter was present at the time but was not injured. Lesson in endurance: Syrian refugee teacher enters German school FURSTENWALDE: Working at a German school is not just about reading and writing, maths and singing songs, says newly minted Syrian assistant teacher Hend al-Khabbaz. She was surprised to discover there is also a mountain of paperwork and administrative tasks to perform. The school “is better for the children, but it’s a lot of work for the teachers,” the 35-year-old says with a laugh, speaking in German which she has learnt since fleeing her war-torn homeland less than three years ago. headed for Tangerang, a satellite city just south of the capital, Jakarta, from West Java's Tangkuban Perahu, a popular mountainous resort. Egyptian army says 16 militants killed in Sinai operation CAIRO: Sixteen militants were killed and 4 others arrested in a major crackdown launched by Egypt on Friday, the Egyptian army said in a statement carried by state TV early on Sunday. Another 30 suspects were arrested, it said. The Egyptian president Abdel Fattah al-Sisi on Nov. 29 ordered the military to defeat militants in North Sinai within three months, after an attack on a mosque which killed more than 300 people, the deadliest such incident in the Arab world’s most populous country. 1266 terrorists 'neutralized' in operation olive branch in Syria SYRIA: At least 1266 terrorists have been "neutralized" since the beginning of Operation Olive Branch in Syria's Afrin, the Turkish military said Sunday. Media reported that he Turkish military uses the term "neutralized" in reference to terrorists captured dead or alive, or those who surrender during the operations. However, the term is usually used for the terrorists who have been killed in the operations. his spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, saying, "The president offers his profound condolences to those who lost their relatives in the crash." The new incident is the latest in a string of plane crashes in Russia. A light aircraft crashed in November in Russia's far east, killing six people on board, AFP reported. A military plane carrying Russia's Red Army Choir crashed in December 2016 after taking off from the Black Sea resort of Sochi, killing all 92 people on board. The choir was due to give a concert to Russian troops operating in Syria. Pilot error was blamed for that crash. Moreover, all 62 passengers died when a FlyDubia jet crashed in March 2016 in bad weather during an aborted landing at Rostovon-Don airport. Three tourists dead in Grand Canyon helicopter crash WASHINGTON: At least three people were killed and four others injured Saturday when a helicopter carrying tourists in Arizona went down in the Grand Canyon, authorities said. The accident took place at around 5:20 pm in Grand Canyon West, located in northwestern Arizona, said Hualapai Nation police chief Francis Bradley. Local media reported the Eurocopter EC130 helicopter, whose operator was unknown, was traveling on a tour. “The investigation is ongoing,” Bradley told, noting that there was no information immediately available on the circumstances surrounding the tragedy. Allen Kenitzer, of the Federal Aviation Authority’s Office of Communications, told the aircraft sustained “substantial damage.” The FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board will investigate the crash, he added. DUBAI: Saudi women need not wear the abaya – the loose-fitting, fulllength robes symbolic of religious faith – a senior member of the top Muslim clerical body said, another indication of the Kingdom’s efforts towards modernization. On his radio program, Sheikh Abdullah al-Mutlaq, a member of the Council of Senior Scholars, said Muslim women should dress modestly, but this did not necessitate wearing the abaya. “More than 90 percent of pious Muslim women in the Muslim world do not wear Actress Jacqueline Fernandez said she has tried to pay tribute to Bollywood's dancing diva Madhuri Dixit Nene through her version of foot-tapping number 'Ek do teen' in 'Baaghi 2'. Asked if there was any pressure when she first heard that she was going to recreate Madhuri's iconic song, Jacqueline said: "I think that was my first stress that how can we recreate something so iconic like 'is it even possible'. It made a lot easier for me when I understood that it's not possible, we are not trying to match up to what Madhuri Dixit and Saroj (Khan) ji did. "We are honestly here as big fans of their work and more than anything, this is honestly a tribute to the amazing, iconic number that they gave to us. For me as an actress, this is such an honour and a lot of my actress friends were like, 'we are so jealous that you doing 'Ek do teen'. So for any girl this would be a dream song to do." The actress, who interacted with media after wrapping up the song on Saturday at studios, also said that she feels blessed to get an opportunity to dance on the foot-tapping number from the 1988 film 'Tezaab' for 'Baaghi 2'. "I feel really blessed that Monday, February 12, 2018 International I have been given this opportunity by director Ahmed Khan, Sajid Nadiadwala and master ji Ganesh Acharya. I always knew that I never ever 5 Jacqueline: My version of 'Ek do teen' tribute to Madhuri Dixit TUCSON: Former USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar has been transferred to a high security federal prison in Tucson, Arizona, after being convicted of molesting scores of young women who went to him for treatment, authorities said on Saturday. The Federal Bureau of Prisons said the 54-year-old Nassar was at the United States Penitentiary, Tucson, which holds about 1,390 male inmates. The bureau’s website listed his release date as March 23, 2069. would be able to match up Madhuri Dixit and that's not even something I am going to even attempt because you can not replicate someone like Madhuri Dixit. Disgraced former USA Gymnastics doctor sent to Arizona federal prison JAKARTA: Indonesian police have shot a swordwielding man who attacked church congregation during Sunday Mass, injuring four people including a priest. Around 100 people After weeks of horrifying testimony from nearly 200 victims about his decades of abuse, Nassar was sentenced on Monday in Michigan to 40 to 125 years in prison. He had already received a 40-to-175- year sentence in a neighboring Michigan county, and was sentenced to a 60-year federal term for child pornography convictions. Prosecutors have said there are about 265 known victims in total, including Olympic gold medalists McKayla Maroney and Aly Raisman. Police shoot man during sword attack on Indonesian church were attending the mass at the church in Sleman town, Yogyakarta province when a man barged in wielding a onemetre-long sword and began attacking people seemingly indiscriminately. “Four people have been injured in the incident — quite seriously — but we still cannot determine the perpetrator’s motive,” Yogyakarta police spokesman Yulianto told . Abayas not compulsory for Saudi women: senior cleric abayas,” Sheikh Mutlaq said on Friday. “So we should not force people to wear abayas.” While not necessarily signaling a change in the law, the statement is the first of its kind from a senior religious figure. It follows the recent pattern of freedoms the Kingdom has been witnessing with the ascent of young Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman to power. Only the governmentappointed clerics associated with the Council of Senior Scholars are allowed to issue fatwas, or Islamic legal opinions. Millions of Iranians took to street to mark 39th anniversary of Islamic Revolution TEHRAN: Millions of Iranians Sunday took to the streets nationwide to mark the 39th anniversary of the Islamic Revolution in 1979. People from all walks of life rally in different cities and towns across Iran each year to celebrate the nation’s victory that put an end to the monarchical rule of the US-backed Pahlavi regime. Each year on the 22nd of the month of Bahman on the Persian calendar (11th of February), Iranians turn out to renew their allegiance to the Islamic establishment and Imam Khomeini, the late founder of the Islamic Republic. Ammar al-Hakim, the leader of Iraq's National Wisdom Movement, told the Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) that Iran's Islamic Revolution led by late Imam Khomeini has kept Quds cause alive. Reminding the deep effects of Iran's revolution at the international, Islamic and regional levels as well as its resistance to 'evil powers', he also hailed Imam Khomeini's endeavors for fighting against the bullying of hegemonic powers. The 10-day period from the Imam Khomeini's return on February 1, 1979 until the revolution’s victory on February 11 is celebrated in Iran annually and is dubbed as the Ten-Day Fajr (Dawn). In the meantime, Iraq's Sunni Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdul Mahdi al-Sumaidaie appreciated Iran's status in the region and the world. Iran is the biggest supporter of Palestine and Palestinians, al-Sumaidaie told IRNA. In spite of sanctions imposed by foreigners and arrogant powers' attempts to interfere in Iran's internal affairs, the country has taken major strides in development path, al- Sumaidaie said. Also, Vladimir Galchkin, head of Latvia-Iran Friendship Association said that Islamic Revolution introduced a new model of the government to the world. He said Islamic Revolution under leadership of late Imam Khomeini was the most important event of the 20th Century, which was as a determining element in international equations. Gerald Horne, professor of history at the Houston University, Texas said that the fall of Shah, who was a supporter of the suppressive regimes, like Apartheid of South Africa, was an important opportunity for the oppressed people of Africa.

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