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At least 25 killed after blast at shrine in southwestern Pakistan | Reuters

At least 25 killed after blast at shrine in southwestern Pakistan | Reuters

Updated: Nov 12, 2016 20:23 IST

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By Gul Yousafzai
| QUETTA, Pakistan

QUETTA, Pakistan An explosion at a Muslim shrine in southwestern Pakistan killed at least 25 people and wounded dozens of others, local officials said. Hashim Ghalzai, a local district commissioner, told Reuters that the toll was based on initial reports, and could rise further.The blast occurred at the Shah Noorani shrine, located in Baluchistan province, about 100km (62 miles) north of the port city of Karachi. It took place while hundreds of people were inside, said Ghalzai.

Dozens of wounded people were being moved to the nearby town of Hub and to Karachi, rescue official Hakeem Nasi told Geo TV.The government dispatched 25 ambulances from Hub to the shrine, said Akbar Harifal, provincial home secretary for Baluchistan.

“Every day, around sunset, there is a dhamaal (ritual dance) here, and there are large numbers of people who come for this,” said Nawaz Ali, the shrine’s custodian. Baluchistan has seen some of the worst militant attacks this year in Pakistan, one of which was claimed by an Islamist movement that is allied to the Islamic State group.

The province is also key to a $46 billion transport and trade corridor between Pakistan and China, which hinges on a deep-water port in the southwestern city of Gwadar. (Writing by Kay Johnson; Editing by Jon Boyle)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

First Published On : Nov 12, 2016 20:23 IST

Nobel laureate Kailash Satyarthi plans campaign for child rights

‘The Laureates and Leaders Initiative for Children’ will be initiated by the Kailash Satyarthi Children’s Foundation which aims to bring Nobel laureates from all disciplines and not just the Peace Prize winners as well as world leaders together to use their “moral authority” for children’s rights and fight against child slavery and trafficking.Satyarthi, 62, who shared the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize with Pakistani girls’ rights activist Malala Yousafzai, 18, is also working on an ambitious ‘100 million for 100 million campaign’ that will bring together 100 million youth from across the world to channelise their energy for fighting for the rights of the nearly 100 million children who are left out and are denied basic rights like education and proper healthcare.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Satyarthi said he plans to launch the ‘100 million for 100 million’ campaign by end of this year. “I always believed in globalising compassion. This time I want to engage an entire generation. We should not waste the energy, enthusiasm, eagerness and the idealism of our youth,” Satyarthi told PTI in an interview in Minneapolis, where he is attending and participating in the 2016 Nobel Peace Prize Forum, he said the energy of the youth should be harnessed and channelised for the betterment of the 100 million young people who do not have the same opportunities to grow and learn.
ALSO READ Nobel laureate Kailash Satyarthi urges Modi to curb child slavery as India reels from drought”They must feel that they have some moral responsibility and obligation towards the 100 million children and youth left out,” he said. Satyarthi said he wants to launch the 100 million campaign along with ‘The Laureates and Leaders Initiative’ which will be a global campaign based in India.Explaining his reasoning behind the initiative, Satyarthi said after he won the Nobel prize, he realised that while the intellectual and academic knowledge of Nobel winners in other disciplines such as chemistry, physics, literature, economics and medicine had been utilised to advance human history, their “moral authority and outreach” had “not been utilised and harnessed for children.”

Happy birthday Sri Sri: Will his sixties include a Nobel Peace Prize (that he’ll decline)?

Rejoice, ladies and gentlemen. Because today is the birthday of the environment-loving, always smiling and the future Nobel laureate Sri Sri Ravi Shankar.

That’s right. Today, the great spiritual leader, who showed us all how magnanimous he really is by sending a ‘peace message’ to Islamic State (with disastrous results) and blowing all our minds by showing us why teenager activist Malala Yousafzai did not deserve the Nobel Prize, turns 60.

And just in case you’ve been living in a cave (on Mars with your hands cupped over your ears and your eyes shut tight) for the past few months, here’s a recap:

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar will get a Nobel Prize, whether he likes it or not (Although we suspect that he will like it). Reuters

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar will get a Nobel Prize, whether he likes it or not (Although we suspect that he will like it). Reuters

“Nowadays, there is no value to the Nobel Prize. When you award it to a 16-year-old girl who hasn’t done anything, what value is left? It has become a political prize,” Hindustan Times had quoted the great leader as saying when he was asked about Malala getting the Nobel Peace Prize.

Uss ladki ne kuch bhi nahin kiya (That girl did nothing),” ANI had quoted Sri Sri as saying.

Of course, standing up for education for women and girls in the region of Swat Valley in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province in Pakistan (a region infamous for being controlled by local Taliban where girls had been banned at times from attending school) amounts to “nothing”.

Malala Yousafzai clearly did not do anything to deserve the Nobel Peace Prize. Thanks, Sri Sri.

So, what does a person need to do to win a Nobel Prize? The answer is simple: Pollute, silly!

Even though the great Sri Sri had made it very clear that he had rejected the Nobel Prize offered to him earlier, we really think he will unwillingly accept one which will obviously be offered to him for getting two contempt notices for violating the orders of the National Green Tribunal (NGT), with regard to the World Culture Festival (WCF) he organised on the banks of the Yamuna in March 2016.

Sri Sri might also be just a bit worried that his chance to win a Nobel is running out. But there have been a lot of people (Kailash Satyarthi, Woodrow Wilson, Kofi Annan) who were 60 or above when they got a Nobel Peace Prize.

Moreover, because his 50s were full of amazing achievements like making petty remarks against a teenager or fighting allegations of polluting the environment, we’re pretty sure that his 60s will also be full of such greatness.

For example, maybe Sri Sri will now say that Sunny Leone did nothing to share her birthday with a man as great as him. “Uss ladki ne kuch bhi nahin kiya” could be a remark used against Sunny Leone now. After all, for a person so great that his ‘achievements’ are better than standing up for women’s education, one should also have certain qualifications to share a birthday with him.

Considering his love for sending ‘peace messages’, Sri Sri might also send one to Donald Trump, asking him to get rid of his racist and communal thoughts. We’re not sure how Trump would respond though. He might just propose banning Sri Sri from entering the United States too.

Or maybe the World Culture Festival will actually live up to its name now and go global. Maybe Sri Sri will decide that facing allegations of polluting the environment next to the Yamuna was not enough and that this needs to happen globally. After all, as we earlier said, nothing gets you a Nobel Prize faster than pollution.

So don’t worry, Sri Sri. There are still enough opportunities for you to win — or maybe continuously reject — the Nobel Peace Prize.

Take a deep breath! Sri Sri’s comments on Malala aren’t hypocritical… at all

No, no, Sri, Sri is not god, god.

In the Indian belief system, it takes 1,008 Sris to attain divinity. And since Ravishankar has only doubled his Sris so far, he has a long way to go.

Double Sri, I presume, knows this. So he is competing with lesser mortals like Malala Yousafzai. Good for him. Malala has still not started insisting on an extra Mohtarma before her name, so Ravishankar has a decent start over the teenager in the battle of titles.

The only problem is the Nobel Peace Prize the teenager already has in her kitty.

But, on Monday, Sri Square brushed that achievement aside like a trinket won at a kindergarten sack race to re-establish his lead. That girl did nothing to deserve it and is, thus, an unworthy achiever, he argued.

File image of Sri Sri Ravishankar. Image courtesy: Art of Living website

File image of Sri Sri Ravishankar. Image courtesy: Art of Living website

No, I don’t think this has anything to do with the Art of Envying. Also, nobody saw him eating sour grapes, considering the fact that he was in drought-stricken Latur, where such succulent fruits are more precious than a Nobel.

In the universe that Ravishankar lords over, not breathing deep enough pretty much amounts to doing nothing. Since Malala would not have taken enough deep breaths while on the ventilator after taking a bullet in the neck from the Taliban, Double Sri is perfectly entitled to hold her in contempt.

In fact, even before she defied death and breath, Sri may have found Malala unworthy for holding her breath while going to school in spite of fighting a fatwa from the Taliban against schooling for girls.

Such is our life and it’s an interesting time when someone who teaches us our natural instincts — deep breathing for instance — considers himself worthy of a Nobel. In a parallel universe, even Vātsyāyana could have done so for teaching us the 56 ways of performing Sudarshan Sex.

A friend recently shared his formula for happiness on Facebook.

Drink single malts and dance, he said, looking a good 10 years younger than he actually is. At 40, his tresses are not as black and long as Double Sri’s at 59. But he too appears to be completely at peace with himself. If Nitish Kumar doesn’t become the Prime Minister of India, I foresee this proponent of drunken dancing — as against Sri’s formula of breathing and dancing — as a perfectly legitimate guru of happiness in a few years.

The point is, when you can ensure people are completely at peace with themselves by teaching them to breathe, fornicate, drink, dance — essentially the things that make us humans happy — those like Malala who get the Nobel for resisting terrorists and getting a bullet in return are simply wasting their time.

Ravishankar has proved this many times. A few years ago, Double Sri made a surprise visit to meet the violent Gujjars demanding reservation in Rajasthan. He taught them to breathe, dance and left the same evening.

Unfortunately the Gujjars didn’t. They continued to block roads, highways and railway tracks till Chief minister Vasundhara Raje gave them more than a few extra breaths: The promise of reservation and the luxury of home-cooked food to their leader Kirori Singh at her official residence.

A few years later, they returned on the tracks. But Sri Sri didn’t.

Similarly, Guruji is believed to have offered to calm the agitated minds of Islamic State fighters in Iraq and Syria. Ravishankar claims he had sent a missive to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and his fighters for peace through dialogue. Unfortunately, the IS sent him a photo of a decapitated head that vaguely resembled his own in return.

“I tried to initiate peace talks with the (IS) recently but they sent me a photograph of a beheaded body of a man. Thus, my effort for a peace dialogue with the IS ended,” he said.

In many ways, Ravishankar can do with a Nobel, if not for the honour, at least for the money. Last heard, his organisation was still to pay the fine imposed by the National Green Tribunal for meddling with the ecology around the Yamuna.

But, Sri Sri has vowed to never accept the Nobel. It is political, he told farmers at Latur while quenching their thirst with deep breaths and yogic postures.

He may not yet be Sri Sri 1,008 god incarnate.

But you can certainly not accuse Padma Vibhushan Ravishankar of hypocrisy.

Nobel laureate Kailash Satyarthi urges Modi to curb child slavery as India reels from drought

Nobel Peace Laureate Kailash Satyarthi has appealed to the prime minister of India to prioritise children and ensure they are not trafficked, forced into marriage or put into bonded labour as the country reels from its worst drought in decades.In a letter to Narendra Modi, the child rights activist urged him to declare the drought a national emergency, saying that the lives of more than 160 million children were at stake.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Reports of children being forced into child labour, trafficking, child marriage, and the devadasi (dedicating girls to service in temples) system are coming to light with children increasingly dropping out from school … and large scale migration due to this crisis,” Satyarthi wrote.
ALSO READ Drought relief: Maharashtra seeks Rs 9,200 crore, Centre grants it to the last pennyThe letter was circulated to the media on Tuesday by his office.”Owing to this drought and the on-going water crisis, children are becoming increasingly vulnerable. In the coming months, there is an increased risk of lakhs (hundreds of thousands) of children becoming victims of these circumstances.”
ALSO READ Daughters of drought: The vicious cycle of poverty in the parched lands of Karnataka and Maharashtra The government estimates more than 330 million people – almost a quarter of India’s population – have been hit by the scarcity of water in states such as Maharashtra in the west and Karnataka in the south.As crops wither and livestock perish, ten of thousands of people are migrating in search of food, water and jobs, leaving behind women, children and older family members who are vulnerable to exploitation by traffickers.
ALSO READ In times of drought, sugar beet is economically more viable than sugarcaneFigures given by Satyarthi’s office showed the number of children dropping out of school in the ten drought-affected states had risen by 22 percent, while child trafficking cases had increased by 24%.Satyarthi, who was awarded the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize jointly with Pakistani schoolgirl Malala Yousafzai, ended his letter calling upon Modi make children “a top priority” in the government’s relief and rehabilitation efforts.

Nobel laureate urges Modi to curb child slavery as India reels from drought | Reuters

NEW DELHI (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Nobel Peace Laureate Kailash Satyarthi has appealed to the prime minister of India to prioritise children and ensure they are not trafficked, forced into marriage or put into bonded labour as the country reels from its worst drought in decades.

In a letter to Narendra Modi, the child rights activist urged him to declare the drought a national emergency, saying that the lives of more than 160 million children were at stake.

“Reports of children being forced into child labour, trafficking, child marriage, and the devadasi (dedicating girls to service in temples) system are coming to light with children increasingly dropping out from school … and large scale migration due to this crisis,” Satyarthi wrote.

The letter was circulated to the media on Tuesday by his office.

“Owing to this drought and the on-going water crisis, children are becoming increasingly vulnerable. In the coming months, there is an increased risk of lakhs (hundreds of thousands) of children becoming victims of these circumstances.”

The government estimates more than 330 million people – almost a quarter of India’s population – have been hit by the scarcity of water in states such as Maharashtra in the west and Karnataka in the south.

As crops wither and livestock perish, ten of thousands of people are migrating in search of food, water and jobs, leaving behind women, children and older family members who are vulnerable to exploitation by traffickers.

Figures given by Satyarthi’s office showed the number of children dropping out of school in the ten drought-affected states had risen by 22 percent, while child trafficking cases had increased by 24 percent.

Satyarthi, who was awarded the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize jointly with Pakistani schoolgirl Malala Yousafzai, ended his letter calling upon Modi make children “a top priority” in the government’s relief and rehabilitation efforts.

(Reporting by Nita Bhalla, Editing by Ellen Wulfhorst. Please credit the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, that covers humanitarian news, women’s rights, trafficking, property rights and climate change. Visit news.trust.org)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Malala Yousafzai has done nothing to get Nobel Peace Prize, says Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

In a shocking incident, spiritual leader Sri Sri Ravi Shankar of Art of Living and the World Cultural Festival controversy has said that Nobel Malala Yousafzai did not deserve the prestigious award. The spiritual guru also said that he would never accept the Nobel Peace Prize. “That girl (Malala) has done nothing to get the Nobel prize,” said the Sri Sri. He was quoted by the Deccan Chronicle saying, “I was in the past offered the Nobel Peace Prize, but I had rejected it as I only believe in working and not in being honoured for my work. We should always honour only to those who deserve it and I am totally against honouring Malala Yousafzai with the prize and it is of no use,” he said.The leader was on a visit to drought-hit areas in Maharashtra. He was at Latur while speaking about the Nobel Peace Prize. Malala Yousafzai is the youngest recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize award. She, who was working on girls’ right to go to school, was targeted in an assassination attempt by the Taliban in Swat who opposed education of girls.

Kanhaiya Kumar v/s Jhanvi Behal: Mixed reaction on Twitter to 15-year-old challenger

Jhanvi Behal, who took social media by storm by challenging JNUSU president Kanhaiya Kumar to an open debate, has ignited a new debate.On Twitter, people are divided over whether it’s proper for a 15-year-old girl to take part in a political debate. Some are concerned that the girl may soon get involved in a political tug of war which may affect her career. Others believe that media is wrong to give so much coverage to a 15-year-old and is diluting the struggles of Kanhaiya Kumar, who was arrested and later released on bail for allegedly raising ‘anti-national’ slogans on JNU campus.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Many, though, have strongly defended the Jhanvi’s right to give her opinion, highlighting the social work done by her. Some have even equated her to Nobel-winning peace activist Malala Yousafzai. They say that people cracking jokes on Jhanvi are resorting to child bullying and trying to suppress freedom of expression. On Sunday, the 15-year-old activist, who has been awarded for her contribution to ‘Swachh Bharat Abhiyan’, criticised JNU Students’ Union president Kanhaiya Kumar and challenged him to an open debate on freedom of expression. “What Kanhaiya ji said about Prime Minister Modi wasn’t appreciable at all. Instead of criticising the Prime Minister, he should have something on those who raised anti-national slogans in the campus,” Jhanvi said. She also said that Prime Minister Modi had been working tirelessly for the nation’s betterment, adding that it was very easy to scorn at someone by sitting at home. “I invite him for an open debate on what he said on Prime Minister Modi,” she said.Here’s how the debate is panning out.Rohan Joshi from AIB gave his two bits. After outrage over his comments, Joshi clarified his stance in a series of tweets. Others too were not amused with the media attention given to Jhanvi’s remarks.Head of News and Politics at Twitter India, Raheel Khursheed posted a tweet which attracted massive outrage. He later deleted it. Some even tagged his bosses, including Jack Dorsey.Comparing with Malala! Is that going too far? A valid point. It finally boils down to some good old liberal bashing.