Pakistan warns of fitting response to Indian aggression

New Delhi must answer for ‘state-sponsored espionage’ against Pakistan, says defense minister. (Photo courtesy: social media)
Updated 13 February 2018
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Pakistan warns of fitting response to Indian aggression

ISLAMABAD: “Any Indian aggression, strategic miscalculation, or misadventure… shall be met with an equal and proportionate response,” Pakistan’s Defense Minister Khurram Dastgir said on Tuesday.
His Indian counterpart Nirmala Sitharaman on Monday blamed Islamabad for Saturday’s attack on an army camp in Indian-administered Kashmir that killed five soldiers and a civilian and wounded nearly a dozen.
The attackers “derived support” from Pakistan, which “would pay for this adventure,” Sitharaman said.
Pakistan’s Foreign Office on Sunday condemned “India’s smear campaign… and the deliberate creation of war hysteria.”
Foreign Office spokesman Dr. Mohammed Faisal on Tuesday said India’s “tendency of apportioning blame to Pakistan, without a shred of evidence, is regrettable” and carries “no credibility.”
He added: “More deplorable is (India’s) threatening tone (that) further vitiates the already tense environment marked by unprecedented cease-fire violations by India.”
Foreign relations expert Qamar Cheema told Arab News that “the reduced role of the international community on the Kashmir issue” has contributed to a deterioration in Indian-Pakistani relations and a “chaotic” regional situation.
Pakistan’s Defense Ministry vowed to defend the country’s sovereignty, and condemned New Delhi’s “silence” over Indian naval officer Kulbushan Yadev, who was arrested last year by Pakistani security forces on charges of subversive activity.
“Instead of the knee-jerk reaction of blaming Pakistan without substantiation, India must answer for state-sponsored espionage against Pakistan,” said Dastgir.
He accused India of “destabilizing regional peace” and escalating cease-fire violations along the two countries’ disputed border.
Cheema said the impasse “may lead this region to a miscalculation,” and mounting public and media pressure for all-out conflict.


Philippine Senators oppose president’s push to lower criminal age to 9

President Rodrigo Duterte speaks in front of housewives and mothers, that participate in the anti-illegal drugs campaign of the provincial government and Duterte's war on drugs at Clark Freeport Zone in Pampanga province, Philippines December 22, 2016. (REUTERS)
Updated 55 min 19 sec ago
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Philippine Senators oppose president’s push to lower criminal age to 9

  • International organizations have expressed alarm, including UNICEF and Save the Children, while domestic activists said children should be protected from criminals

MANILA: Senators in the Philippines on Tuesday joined activists and child protection groups in condemning a lower house move to reduce the age of criminal liability from 15 to nine, calling it extreme and unjust.
The proposal has President Rodrigo Duterte’s support and is being revived by his Congressional allies, having been filed on his inauguration day in 2016 along with a bid to re-introduce the death penalty — moves touting his crime-busting credentials.
The plan was approved on Monday by the lower house’s justice committee, but still needs several readings before a house vote. It would then require counterpart legislation and approval of the Senate, members of which appear less supportive.
“It is anti-family, anti-poor and simply unjust. Moreover, it will promote a heartless and ruthless society that has no regard for its own people,” said Antonio Trillanes, one of Duterte’s biggest critics.
Risa Hontiveros said the idea went against Philippines’ international commitments and a global trend of raising, not lowering, the criminal age.
“Why do we want to slide back to the minimum, or even below the minimum? Is this a race to the bottom?” she told a Senate hearing.
Duterte campaigned aggressively on eliminating crime, drugs and corruption and has said he has since realized they were all on a greater scale than he had imagined.
Despite a war on drugs that has killed thousands of people and graft-related scandals and resignations of his own appointees, Duterte has not lost his lustre among Filipinos, who polls show back his morality-centered approach to law and order.
Senator Panfilo Lacson said nine was too young, but he supported lowering the age “to a certain level.” Joel Villanueva said the bill needed a rethink, to target parents more.
“Children in general have different levels of maturity and discernment,” he added.
International organizations have expressed alarm, including UNICEF and Save the Children, while domestic activists said children should be protected from criminals, not held liable for things they were forced to do.
Agnes Callamard, a United Nations special rapporteur who has frequently locked horns with Duterte, called it a “dangerous and potentially deadly proposal. Just shameful.”
Justice committee chairman Salvador Leachon, however, said the bill was misunderstood, and was rehabilitation-centered, and “pro-children,” with non-compliant parents the ones who would go to jail.
“The point here is there is no punishment,” he told news channel ANC. “It’s rehabilitation, reformative, taking care of the family.”