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Category — Pakistan

Pak left red-faced at UN as envoy goofs up on picture

Report in The Times of India, Sept 25, 2017
NEW DELHI: In its zeal to rebuff India’s scathing indictment of Islamabad’s terror policy, Pakistan only managed to embarrass itself at the UN as it displayed a wrong picture of a purported Kashmiri pellet gun victim.

The photograph flashed by Pakistan’s permanent representative to the UN, Maleeha Lodhi, turned out to be that of a 17-year-old Palestinian girl, Rawya Abu Joma, who was injured in an Israeli airstrike in Gaza in 2014. Pakistan was attempting to get back at foreign minister Sushma Swaraj for slamming the neighbour for producing jihadis while India turned out “doctors and engineers”.

The photo was actually taken at Shifa hospital in Gaza by Jerusalem-based American freelance photojournalist Heidi Levine.

“This is the face of Indian democracy,” Pakistan’s permanent representative to the UN, Maleeha Lodhi said as she brandished a photograph while exercising Pakistan’s right to reply in response to Swaraj’s speech. The photo turned out to be that of a 17-year-old Palestinian girl, Rawya Abu Joma.

Screenshot of photojournalist Heidi Levine’s website shows the image of 17-year-old Rawya abu Jom, who was injured during the Gaza War.

Rawya was injured in an airstrike on her apartment in which her sister and three cousins were killed. So far, India has never used heavy military against its citizens in Jammu and Kashmir or elsewhere.

Lodhi had dramatically waved the photo in a misfired attempt to expose what Pakistan routinely describes as atrocities committed by Indian forces in J&K. In her response to Swaraj, Lodhi had described India as the “mother of terrorism” in South Asia. This was a big loss of face for Pakistan also because the right to reply in such cases is usually exercised by junior diplomats and Lodhi was fielded only to ensure that Pakistan’s message was heard loud and clear.

In her speech, Lodhi had invoked comments by celebrity Indian author Arundhati Roy to counter Swaraj’s assertion that Pakistan was the greatest exporter of terrorism.

“Much of what is in the air in India now is pure terror, in Kashmir, in other places,” Lodhi said, quoting Roy in her speech.

She also quoted the novelist —who is an activist for civil liberty causes —that “whole populations of Dalits, Adivasis, Muslims and Christians are being forced to live in terror”.

Lodhi further said, “A racist and fascist ideology is firmly embedded in Modi’s government and its leadership is drawn from the RSS which is accused of assassinating Mahatma Gandhi.”

She slammed the decision to appoint Yogi Adityanath as chief minister of UP, saying “the government has appointed a fanatic as the chief minister of India’s largest state”. “It is a government which has allowed the lynching of Muslims,” she said.

Lodhi took particular objection to Swaraj’s observation about Pakistan’s founder Mohammed Ali Jinnah who, Pakistani PM Shahid Khaqan Abbasi had said, bequeathed a foreign policy based on peace and friendship. Swaraj had said it “remains open to question whether Jinnah Sahab actually advocated such principles”.

Lodhi said Pakistan remained open to resuming a comprehensive dialogue with India but it should include Kashmir and end what she claimed was a “campaign of subversion and state-sponsored terrorism”.http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/pak-left-red-faced-at-un-as-envoy-goofs-up-on-picture/articleshow/60820650.cms

September 25, 2017   No Comments

Extension of FIA Act to Torkham gives more powers to political agent

by Waseem Ahmad Shah in Dawn, September 25th, 2017
As debate on mainstreaming of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas was going on, the Ministry of States and Frontier Regions (Safron) silently notified in Feb 2017 the extension of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) Act of 1974 to certain areas on Pak-Afghan border at Torkham.

Interesting situation emerged as mainstream media had presumed as if regular courts and Police Act had been extended to Fata. Even on social media experts have been making comments about the outcome of this notification.

The law was extended with certain amendments and the government has now empowered the federal Levies force to exercise the powers of FIA in the said areas in relation to eight laws mentioned in the schedule of

the FIA Act. These laws include The Foreigners Act 1946, Passport Act 1974, Emigration Ordinance 1979, Exit from Pakistan (Control) Ordinance 1981, Prevention and Control of Human Trafficking Ordinance 2002, Nadra Ordinance 2002, Electricity Act 1910 and Anti-Money Laundering Act 2010.

This notification has further enhanced the powers of the officials of tribal administration of Khyber Agency, including the political agent, and the concerned assistant political agent, who have already been serving as administrative and judicial officers in the agency.

According to the notification, an SRO (Statutory Regulatory Order) was issued which states that under Article 247 (3) of the Constitution of Pakistan the President of Pakistan has directed that the FIA Act 1974 (VIII of 1975) as amended from time to time and in force in Pakistan, shall apply to the area of Torkham Khyber Agency bounded by village Bacha Mena, Torkham Gate, Shamshad Hill top watershed and Ayub FC Picket Kablo Mena in the Fata, subject to the modification.

Through the SRO certain changes have also been made in the said eight laws. Those amendments mostly relate to exercising judicial powers by the courts set up under the Frontier Crimes Regulation (FCR), which are presided over by the political agent and assistant political agent, while dealing with offences under these laws.

While the schedule of the FIA Act is having 28 offences regarding which the Agency was having jurisdiction, in the present SRO the government has omitted 20 of the laws in the said schedule and left the eight laws, wherein now the federal Levies force will be having jurisdiction to deal within the specified area.

Under Section 5 (2) of the FIA Act, a member of the FIA not below the rank of a sub-inspect may exercise any of the powers of an officer-in-charge of a police station in any area in which he is for the time being and he shall be deemed as officer-in-charge of a police station discharging his functions. However, in the present SRO the government has amended that section and instead of a sub-inspector of FIA a naib tehsildar (Passport) at Torkham is empowered to exercise those powers of officer-in-charge of a police station.

Moreover, while the director general of FIA was empowered to exercise powers in relation to the agency such of the powers of an inspector general of police under the Police Act, 1861, as prescribed by rules, now amendment has been made in Section 4 (2) under which the director general of the agency in relation to Torkham would exercise powers that of the commandant of the federal Levies force under the Federal Levies Force Regulation, 2012.

Under the said regulation the political agent of the agency is the commandant of the Levies force.

Another important amendment made in the FIA Act, in relation to Torkham border, and the eight other laws, is that instead of the Peshawar High Court, the Fata Tribunal, constituted under Section 55A of FCR will act as appellate court against the decisions of the trial court.

The powers of a sessions judge have now been assigned to the political agent, Khyber Agency, under the Anti- Money Laundering Act, 2010 and the Emigration Ordinance 1979. Though the FIA Act was not applicable to Fata in past, it has been having a symbolic presence near Torkham since 2004.

In 2015, the Supreme Court had also taken notice of the issue of non-extension of these laws to Khyber Agency in a Criminal Review titled Azhar Iqbal versus Abid Hussain and had discussed the matters related to smuggling and human trafficking between Pakistan and Afghanistan through Torkham and Chaman borders.

The then Chief Justice Jawwad S. Khwaja was heading a three-member bench and had passed several directives.

In a report submitted to the court by a commission in this regard, it was mentioned that Torkham border was a lucrative spot for different officials as daily around 15,000 to 30,000 had been crossing it.

An additional advocate general, Umer Farooq Adam, who was also member of the commission, had stated that the FIA staff was having only symbolic presence with 26 personnel.

He had stated that undocumented economy generated through Torkham border, which also included money laundering, was reported to be between Rs5 and Rs6 billion a month.

During those hearings the court had expressed astonishment over the non- extension of important laws to the Torkham border, including the FIA Act, Foreigners Act, Passport Act, Emigration Ordinance, etc.

“Instead of tinkering with the system the federal government should implement the proposed reforms and merge Fata with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa,” said Noor Alam Khan, an advocate of the Supreme Court. He said that from time to time issues relating to non-extension of different laws to tribal areas had been surfacing in the superior courts as under the Constitution the laws enacted by the parliament were not applicable there unless the President of Pakistan so directed.

He questioned that while the FIA functioned under the ministry of interior and the tribal administration under the Safron ministry, how the matter would be reconciled in relation to extension of FIA Act to Torkham.https://www.dawn.com/news/1359891/view-from-the-courtroom-extension-of-fia-act-to-torkham-gives-more-powers-to-political-agent

September 25, 2017   No Comments

Girl forced to ‘pay’ for brother’s love marriage

by Sohail Khan in The Nation, Sept 25, 2017
BAHAWALNAGAR-An influential landlord abducted a girl and made her subject to gang-rape while later declared her as “vani” through a panchayat to avenge her brother for contracting love marrige with the landlord’s daughter.
The Takhat Mahal Police appeared to have colluded with the accused in the entire episode and did not take any action to avert the incident and bring the culprits to the book, despite complaints by the affected family.
According to the affected girl Tasleem, daughter of Allah Rakha, the incident occurred in Mauza Noor Muhammad Bhangran, tehsil and district, started with her abduction on January 31, 2017.
Tasleem informed that her brother Fayyaz got love marriage with Parveen Bibi, daughter of Hakim Ali, influential landlord of Mauza Noor Muhammad Bhangran, against the consent of elders of both the families.
The marriage took place on January 15, 2017, upon which Parveen’s family hurled threats to Fayyaz’s family of revenge. To settle a score with Fayyaz and his family “for the disgrace caused to the family,” Hakim Ali, Arif and some others members of the girl’s family raided house of Tasleem Bibi and abducted her at gunpoint on January 31, 2017. The victim informed that the culprits took her to an undisclosed location where she was gang-raped during six days captivity.
In meanwhile one Shabir reported the abduction to police through a call on emergency service 15, but the police did nothing to recover the girl or go after the influential culprits. The victim family also approached the Takht Mahal Police, in person, for justice, but the police turned a deaf ear to the complaint.
Seven days later, the abductors with the connivance of influential persons of the area, convened a panchayat and declared the abducted girl as “vani.” Influential landlord Muhammad Ali also forced Allah Rakha, Tasleem’s father to accept the panchayat decision, lest he would have to pay a penalty of Rs5 million. They also got sign of the affected father on a written reconciliation agreement forcibly. On the other hand, the abductors who had subjected Tasleem to gang rape, forcibly married off to Khuda Yar, nephew of Hakim Ali, in a bid “to sweep the entire episode under the carpet.” The victim family, however, managed to get an FIR registered through a court order, six months after the incident. Despite lodging the FIR, the Takhat Mahal Police “sided with the influential accused” and neither included appropriate sections i.e Vani and gang rape in the case, nor arrested any of the accused allegedly after receiving bribe.
The accused approached the court of Additional District and Sessions judge for bails, but the court rejected their application. Later, the accused approached the High Court Bahawalpur bench for bail, but the apex court rejected their petition and upheld the sessions court verdict. The learned court also directed the police to add vani section (310A) to the case.
When contacted newly-posted DPO Ataur Rehman claimed that justice would be done in the case and anybody found involved in the case would be bring to the book. He also ordered the police to add vani section to the FIR and arrested the panchayat head.
Meanwhile, District Police PRO Asif Saeed informed that that after rejection of bail pleas of 10 accused including Alam Ali, son of Haji Ghulam Ali; Zahoor Ahmad, son of Haji Ghulam Qadir; Hakim Ali, son of Haji Ghulam Qadir; Qasim Ali, son of Haji Ghulam Qadir; Muhammad Iqbal, son of Dhulay Khan; Muhammad Khan, son of Dhulay Khan; Dhulay Khan, son of Manjay Khan etc are on remand in police custody. He said that special team have been formed to arrest head and other members of the Panchayat, who are at large so far.http://nation.com.pk/national/25-Sep-2017/girl-forced-to-pay-for-brother-s-love-marriage

September 25, 2017   No Comments

5th grader arrested under FCR: report

KHYBER AGENCY – Tanzeem-e-Asateza Landi Kotal condemned the arrest of 5th grade student under territorial responsibility clause of the Frontier Crimes Regulations (FCR).

As per the details, after the incident of roadside bomb blast in Matha Khel area of tehsil Landi Kotal, the security agencies during search operation netted 31 tribesmen including the mentioned student.

Tanzeem-e-Asateza Landi Kotal President Sharifullah Afridi and Press Secretary Arshad Ali said that the administration along with forces had detained the student identified as Iqtedar, son of Gul Zad Khan, of Government High School, Latif Khan Kalley, which, they said, was a matter of concern.

The security agencies violated fundamental human rights by putting the student behind the bars, they said. Coming hard on the administration, they added that it was the duty of the Khasadar and Levies forces to maintained peace in the area and in case of any miscreants’ act, they should be held responsible and not the tribesmen.

The union office bearers stressed the authorities to release the student immediately and take legal action against those who violated the law.

Tehsildar Landi Kotal Tehseenullah confirmed the imprisonment of the student and said that he would be set free after clearing by the investigation agencies.http://nation.com.pk/national/25-Sep-2017/5th-grader-arrested-under-fcr

September 25, 2017   No Comments

Pakistan’s requests to remove Twitter accounts doubled in six months: report

by Tooba Masood in Dawn, September 25th, 2017
KARACHI: The number of requests made by Pakistani authorities to Twitter for removal of accounts and information has doubled since last year, according to a bi-annual transparency report of the social networking website.

Between January and June 30, the government asked Twitter to remove 24 accounts, and over 80 accounts were reported, with zero compliance.

According to Nighat Dad from the Digital Rights Foundation, there has been strict monitoring of Twitter and other social networking websites since some bloggers disappeared earlier this year.

Turkey leads with highest number of calls for accounts’ removal and information

“Several people reported that they had received notices from the Federal Investigation Agency…regarding what they had posted on social media,” she said, adding that while monitoring was a reality, Pakistan was following bad examples set by its neighbours as well as countries such as the US, Russia and Turkey.

The report, available on the website, is aimed at highlighting trends in legal requests received by Twitter, intellectual property-related requests and email privacy practices. It provides an insight into whether or not the website took any action on the requests made.

According to the report, removal requests include worldwide legal requests Twitter received from governments and authorised reporters seeking removal of or withholding content.

It claimed that from January to June this year, India had two account removal requests from the court [Pakistan had none] and more than 100 from the government.

Last year, India had one court-ordered account removal request, 96 by the government and agencies while 295 accounts were reported. Pakistan had zero court requests, 13 account removal requests made by the government and agencies while only 19 accounts were reported.

The highest number of court-ordered removals this year came from Turkey (715) while requests to remove accounts from the government stood at 1,995, followed by Russia (1,213) and France (1,038).

The highest number of accounts was reported from Turkey at 9,289, followed by Russia (1,225) and France (1,177).

Turkey also had the highest number of accounts withheld at 204, followed by Russia at 87, while Pakistan and India had none. Russia took the lead in tweets withheld at 566, followed by Turkey at 497.https://www.dawn.com/news/1359906/pakistans-requests-to-remove-twitter-accounts-doubled-in-six-months-report

September 25, 2017   No Comments

Waqt News anchor attacked in Islamabad : report in The Nation, Sept 25, 2017

ISLAMABAD – Unidentified persons attacked senior journalist and Waqt News anchor Matiullah Jan near Bhara Kahu when he was on his way to his residence on Sunday.

The unidentified persons riding a motorbike suddenly appeared from a street near Shahpur Bridge in the area of Bhara Kahu and threw a stone towards Matiullah’s car that hit the windscreen.

The attackers fled the scene leaving no clue behind.

Matiullah reported the matter to Bhara Kahu police and the matter is under investigation.

The senior journalist informed The Nation that the rider was wearing a helmet and the person sitting behind him threw a brick-like piece of concrete at his car.

The incident took place near Phulgran.

Matiullah turned the car around and tried to chase the two motorcyclists but they fled.

He suspected that it was a pre-planned attack.

Matiullah did not rule out the possibility that he was attacked by “vested interests” unhappy with his journalism and social media activism.

He said, “an attack on a journalist does not affect him or herself only, rather the whole society is affected.”

“[Any attempt] To gag a journalist is [an attempt] to gag a society,” Matiullah remarked.

He said that this was the second time he had been attacked by unidentified persons.

A few years ago, Matiullah said, he was chased by another car at night and his windscreen was smashed in a similar way.

In those days he was working on a story along with another journalist who had also been attacked in the same fashion around the same time.

Meanwhile, the journalists’ community of the twin cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad had condemned the attack on Matiullah Jan in the harshest words and termed it an attack on the whole journalist community.

The National Press Club, the Federal Union of Journalists and other journalists’ bodies had condemned the attack and demanded of the federal interior minister to hunt down those involved and award them exemplary punishment.

Meanwhile, Margalla police have arrested a thief and recovered gold ornaments, mobile phones, laptops, cash, stolen valuables and weapon from him, a police spokesman said on Sunday.

Following directions of Senior Superintendent of Police Islamabad Sajid Kiani, the SP constituted a police team to trace those involved in theft cases.

This team succeeded to apprehend Abbas Khan, a resident of Haripur who was involved in various theft cases.

Police team recovered gold ornaments, mobile phones, laptops, cash, stolen valuables and weapon from him.

Further investigation is underway.

SSP Islamabad Sajid Kiani have appreciated the efforts of Margalla police and announced commendation certificates along with cash reward for the police team as encouragement.

Furthermore, Islamabad police on Sunday conducted search operation in various areas of Aabpara Police Station and arrested five suspects and impounded two bikes from them.

The officials of Islamabad Police, Pakistan Rangers and intelligence agencies conducted search operation in areas of Aabpara Police Station.

This search operation was also participated by police commandos, lady commandos and staff of bomb disposal SQUAD.

During search operation, the police arrested five suspects and impounded two bikes. http://nation.com.pk/national/25-Sep-2017/waqt-news-anchor-attacked-in-islamabad

September 25, 2017   No Comments

Doctor gunned down in Quetta: report in The Nation, Sept 25, 2017

Quetta – Armed assailants shot dead a doctor in Quetta on Sunday.

The two attackers reached the clinic of 50-year-old Dr Halim Domki, situated at Bangulzai Stop near Jattak Stop, on a motorcycle and restored to indiscriminate fire on him in a hit and run felony, said the sources.

Dr Domki received bullet injuries and succumbed to his wounds shortly. The incident sent a wave of fear and panic in the area.

The clinic, where the offence was reported, falls into the jurisdiction of Satellite Town Police Station.

A police team reached the crime scene and shifted the body of the victim to Civil Hospital Quetta for medico-legal formalities. Later, the body was handed over to the heirs.

Police registered a murder case against unidentified assailants with Satellite Town Police Station and launched a search operation against the perpetrators.

September 25, 2017   No Comments

Three terrorists killed in DI Khan: Report in The Nation, Sept 25, 2017

PESHAWAR – At least three terrorists were gunned down in a shootout with security forces on Sunday in Dera Ismail Khan in the ongoing Operation Raddul Fasaad.

According to the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), the media wing of the Pakistan Army, in a statement said that the security forces carried out a search operation at Gara Madda near DI Khan during which motorcycle riders started firing at troops when they were signalled to stop. Resultantly, during exchange of fire, at least three terrorists were killed.

Besides, suicide jackets were also recovered from their possession. The terrorists killed were identified as Iqbal, Majid, and Waheed.

The statement further said that Iqbal was wanted in many cases and carried a head money of Rs1 million.

The law enforcement agencies (LEAs) cordoned off the area and have a launched search operation.

TERROR BID FOILED IN PESHAWAR: The law enforcement agencies personnel foiled a terror bid to sabotage peace during Muharram after arresting a terrorist and recovering five kilogrammes of explosives, a pistol and two hand grenades during an operation on Sunday.

CCPO Peshawar Tahir Khan, while speaking at a news conference said that an intelligence-based operation by security forces personnel and police was carried out in Khazana area on information that a terrorist was transporting explosives from a suburb to the main city to sabotage peace during Muharram. A team of law enforcement agencies personnel signalled a bike rider in Khazana area to stop.

One of the riders managed to escape in the nearby fields, while the other identified as Ihsanullah son of Abdul Mateen was apprehended along with the bike, the police officer explained.

At least five kilogrammes of explosives, two hand grenades, and a pistol were recovered from his possession.

The CCPO said that after preliminary interrogation, the arrested terrorist identified his companion as Rizwan aka Ahmad who he said hailed from Afghanistan.http://nation.com.pk/national/25-Sep-2017/three-terrorists-killed-in-di-khan

September 25, 2017   No Comments

Pak nukes hidden at nine places, at risk of being stolen by terrorists

by Sachin Parashar in The Times of India, Sept 25, 2017
NEW DELHI: Pakistan PM Shahid Khaqan Abbasi last week yet again flaunted+ his country’s tactical or nonstrategic nuclear weapons, saying they were meant to deter the Indian Army’s ‘cold start’ doctrine.

While Abbasi declared that Pakistan’s nuclear assets, including the tactical nukes, were under a robust command-and-control system, the short-range weapons meant to be used early in a conventional conflict with India are vulnerable to accidents and risk of landing up with terrorists.

According to a recent report by the Federation of American Scientists (FAS), Pakistan has stored its nuclear forces at nine different locations across the country.

Renowned US nuclear weapon expert and co-author of the report Hans Kristensen said Pakistan’s nuclear warheads may be located in storage facilities near the bases the report identifies, and that these bases themselves appear to house nuclear-capable launchers that would use those warheads.

The report describes the launcher bases to give readers an impression of the extent to which Pakistan’s nuclear forces are being dispersed across the country.

Kristensen told TOI that because Pakistan was building a short-range sub-strategic nuclear arsenal (in addition to its longer-range force), the warheads would likely be distributed to regional storage sites from which they could be assembled and transported to the launcher bases.

“Since the shorter-range systems are intended to be used earlier in a conflict below the strategic level, weapons for these systems would likely be distributed early in a crisis and raise the risk of accident and incidents. If used against conventional attacks, use of the tactical nuclear weapons would likely lead to escalation to a wider nuclear war quickly,” said Kristensen.

A Trump administration official was quoted last month as saying that the US was particularly concerned by the development of tactical nuclear weapons that were designed for use in the battlefield, and that Washington believed these systems were more susceptible to terrorist theft and increased the likelihood of nuclear exchange in the region.

The report by Kristensen and Robert Norris also says that Pakistan has a rapidly expanding nuclear arsenal of 130-140 warheads and an increasing portfolio of delivery systems.

The report says Islamabad is quantitatively and qualitatively strengthening its arsenal and deploying weapons at more sites and yet the locations are difficult to pinpoint.

“For example, no reliable public information exists on where Pakistan produces or stores its nuclear weapons. Thus, we have used commercial satellite images, expert studies, and local news reports and articles to make the assumption that nuclear weapons are likely to be at, or near, wherever nuclear-capable weapon systems are deployed,” it says.

September 25, 2017   No Comments

Pak Terrorism Scene – Sept 24, 2017

Two arrested; arms, ammunition recovered
Report in Dawn, September 24th, 2017

CHINIOT: Police claim to have arrested two alleged smugglers, recovering a cache of arms and ammunition from them.

City Deputy Superintendent of Police Hassan Iftikhar told the media on Saturday that police teams set up pickets at entry points to the city on a tip-off that some arms dealers were smuggling weapons from tribal areas to various parts of Punjab, including Chiniot.

During the picketing, Rajoa police intercepted a car and during checking recovered 16 pistols, nine rifles and 25,000 rounds of cartridges from the vehicle.

He said two occupants of the car identified as Kamran Khan and Ahmad Zareef Khan, both residents of Swabi district of Khyber Pakhtumkhwa, were arrested.

The DSP said the investigation was on to know whether the recovered weapons, being smuggled to Lahore and Faisalabad, were to be used in any terrorist activity during Muharram.https://www.dawn.com/news/1359659/two-arrested-arms-ammunition-recovered

4 suspected terrorists netted: Report in The Nation, Sept 24, 2017

Rawalpindi – As many as four suspected terrorists have been rounded up by the operational wings of two intelligence agencies during operations in different parts of the federal capital, sources disclosed to The Nation on Saturday. The four suspected terrorists are said to be linked with the banned outfit Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP). The suspects were shifted to undisclosed locations for further investigation, they said. According to sources, the operational wings of two intelligence agencies have reportedly carried out intelligence-based operations in different localities of the federal capital and rounded up four suspected terrorists. They said the suspects were allegedly planning to target processions and Malajis of Muharram-ul-Haram in Islamabad.

The identities of the suspected terrorists could not be revealed because of security reasons, sources said. Sources also claimed manhunt has been launched to arrest other accomplices of the detainees hiding in suburbs of Islamabad to avert any toward incident and to maintain law and order situation during Muharram. http://nation.com.pk/national/24-Sep-2017/4-suspected-terrorists-netted

September 24, 2017   No Comments