The grotesque, remorseless and relentless slaughter of the Shiite Hazaras in Baluchistan is yet another grim episode that lays bare the escalating conflagration in the region, the extreme complexity of the national question and the sectarian strife that is prevalent. This was an act of barbarity that is the outcome of a rotten state and a system that has failed miserably to bring any peace, prosperity or stability to the region. Rather, there is mounting evidence that sections of the state are involved in perpetuating this catastrophe. The Hazaras have been systematically targeted and killed for almost a decade now. None of the perpetrators have been arrested or prosecuted. The complicity of the religious terrorist outfits created by the state to expedite its ever increasing coercion is blatantly clear.

Islamabad has been witnessing “anti-corruption” protests led by Tahir ul Qadri recently returned from his long residence in Canada. He leads a reactionary movement that is actually being fomented by a section of the Pakistani ruling elite. Here we publish a comment on this phenomenon by Lal Khan that was first published in the Pakistan Daily Times.

The general elections in Japan, held on December 16, 2012, led to the victory of the right-wing Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), amidst the lowest voter turn-out in Japanese history. The ruling Democratic Party (DPJ) lost 173 seats and is now down to only 57. It only got 22.81 percent in the electoral districts around the country, a reduction of about 25 percent compared to the 47.43 percent it won in 2009. The LDP, on the other hand, got only slightly more votes than last time (43.01 percent compared to 38.68 percent) while it increased its number of seats from 176 to 294.

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