PAKISTAN – As a state and society, are we a basket case?

Comment by Shahab Usto

In Karachi–Jinnah’s Mausoleum has been shut for security reasons. Among a host of no-go areas, this new addition is the most tragic and shameful of all.

In Lahore–A poor christian has been sentenced to death on a cooked-up blasphemy charge. If the judiciary itself plays to the gallery, instead of following law and constitution, then from where would the ‘minority’ citizens seek justice and protection.

In Hyderabad–A Kali Mata temple has been set ablaze by the ‘soldiers of Islam‘. And then we expect the world to condemn Chief Minister Narendra Modi for enacting a pogrom against the Muslims in Indian Gujarat?

In Thar–for all the tall claims, the children continue to die of dearth and disease. Yet our ‘august’ rulers continue to harp on claiming that they are not dying of famine but malnourishment, and hence they are absolved of all their duties to protect the citizens!

In Waziristan–Our official interlocutors are grovelling before a bunch of terrorists and mass killers to extend the ‘cease-fire’ with the nuclear-armed state, possessing the sixth largest armed forces in the world and a land of 200 million people!

With the prevalence of such levels of apathy, injustice, absurdity and incorrigibility, is there any doubt that we as a state and society have completely turned into a hopeless basket case??

Courtesy: » via Facebook

“chaand meri zameen phool mera watan”

Comments of Sindhi intellectuals on social media about so-called Pakistani main stream national TV channels.

Comment by Naseer Memon

23rd March is being celebrated with zeal and fervor. So called national TV channels are airing national song “chaand meri zameen phool mera watan” and two charred bodies of brutally killed workers of a nationalist party are lying in a mortuary in Karachi. Hundreds of thousands of Sindhis are gathering in Karachi to bid them final adieu before the mausoleum of Jinnah. Two days ago they were mysteriously picked up, showered with bullets and dumped in a car that was set ablaze. Sindh is sobbing and wailing for its sons and national media is relentlessly airing “chaand meri zameen phool mera watan”.

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Muzaffar BhuttoComment by Mazhar Memon

Pakistani National media and establishment is reminding us that this watan and zameen belong to them and we are not one of them, this message has been broadcast in very clear words for more than 66 years, but its us who are not listening to it. Killing and burning of Sindhi leaders, Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, Benazir Bhutto, Shahnawaz Bhutto, Mir Murteza Bhutto, Fazil Rahu, Nazir Abasi,, Maqsood Qureshi, Bashir Qureshi, Muzafar Bhutto, Sirai Qurban Khuhawar, Rooplo Choliani and many others, is another way of conveying same message with little more clarification, they want the land not us.

Comment by Bakhshal Thalho

The days of any government (or the state) are numbered when its legitimacy rests purely upon the capacity of its brutal spy agencies to inspire dread among civilian population. Just coming back with comrades from the funeral prayers of JSQM leaders who were mysteriously picked up, shot with bullets and dumped in a car that was set ablaze.

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Comment by Rahmatullah Turk

Since long time we the Sindhis are continuously questioning our status in this state of Pakistan….???? We were not expecting that one day we will be asking our so-called national media that please tell us our status…????? Are we the people of Sindh not the equal citizens of this state? Was JSQM a banned party? Was JSQM freedom march not very peaceful..? Is it not the right of any citizen of this country to express his/her opinion? Was killing the leaders of the party and burning them not the violation of human rights? Shame on you the so-called national media of Pakistan on your role……..!!!! Are you compelling peace loving Sindh political parties to use same tactics the MQM, and Talban are using against media…???

Courtesy: Sindhi e-list/ e-groups + Social media, March 23-24th, 2014

Bilawal Bhutto Zardari condemns JSQM leaders killings

By Pakistan Peoples Party

KARACHI, March 21: Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, Patron-In-Chief, Pakistan Peoples Party has strongly condemned the brutal killings of Jeay Sindh Qaumi Mahaz (JSQM) leader Maqsood Qureshi and a worker in Naushehro Feroz.

In a press statement, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said inhuman act of burning the bodies of JSQM leader was the most heinous crime stressing that those committed it must not go scot-free at any cost.

He asked for thorough probe into the incident and fact-finding as PPP, being a democratic party, would never allow such incidents under any circumstances.

Bilawal Bhutto Zardari expressed sympathy to the family of JSQM leader and workers and asked the people to remain calm and assured full support to the bereaved family.

Courtesy: Media Cell PPP
http://mediacellppp.wordpress.com/2014/03/21/bilawal-bhutto-zardari-condemns-jsqm-leaders-killings/

Liberal newspaper Express Tribune cowed into silence by Pakistani Taliban

Media group opts for self-censorship on terrorism after Taliban admits murder of three employees for critical reports on militants

By Jon Boone, in Islamabad

When it was launched four years ago, the Express Tribune set out to become the house newspaper of liberal-minded Pakistanis.

A newcomer to a market dominated by conservative-inclined papers, it made a point of writing about everything from the relentless rise of religious extremism to gay rights.

But in recent weeks the paper has been cowed into silence by an unusually blatant display of power by the Pakistani Taliban.

The paper was forced to drastically tone down its coverage last month after three employees of the media group, which includes another newspaper and television channel, were killed in Karachi by men armed with pistols and silencers on 17 January.

The attack was later claimed by the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), a large coalition of militant groups, which accused the media group of disseminating anti-Taliban propaganda.

Read more » theguardian
http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/feb/28/liberal-newspaper-express-tribune-silenced-pakistani-taliban

PAKISTAN: A Sindh nationalist and political activist killed by law enforcement agencies after severe torture

By: ASIAN HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received information that officers of the law enforcement agencies abducted a young activist who was tortured to death in illegal detention. After the incident officers of these agencies threw the tortured and bullet riddled death body near the Bharia Road City Railway Station of District Naushero Feroz of Sindh Province. They also scattered some weapons near his dead body to give the appearance that his death was due to an encounter as well as to make him look like a terrorist.

The agencies officers then started intimidating the victim’s brothers not to reveal the incident and were also warned not to register a case against them. They were told that many false cases would be registered against them.

CASE NARRATIVE: Mr. Sahib Khan Ghoto (40), a resident of village Jalal Ghoto, Taluka and District Ghotki, Province Sindh was tortured to death in the custody of  law enforcement agencies during his illegal detention of three days. (warning to the reader: the photo of the deceased victim is graphic and may not be suitable for all viewers: http://www.humanrights.asia/news/urgent-appeals/images/2014/ahrc-uac-021-2014.01). Sahib Khan, son of Mr. Dhani Bux was a political activist, nationalist and central member of the Executive Committee of Shehri Etihad (Citizens Unity) Ghotki. Shehri Etihad is a organization working in Ghotki for the people and in this organization all Non- Governmental Organizations, political parties and the civil societies of the Ghotki District are collectively working together.He was also the president of Jiye Sindh MutthahidaMahaz (JSSM) a nationalist party,Ghotki District.

Read more » Asian Human Right Commission
http://www.humanrights.asia/news/urgent-appeals/AHRC-UAC-021-2014

Even India treated our soldiers better in 1971- Pervez Rashid

Minister questions Taliban’s Sharia

ISLAMABAD: Lashing out at Pakistani Taliban for slaughtering 23 paramilitary personnel, Information Minister Pervez Rashid on Wednesday questioned whether the militants’ action was in accordance with the Islamic Sharia.

Speaking to media representatives, he criticized the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) leadership for the inhuman killing of the captive Frontier Cops (FC) soldiers.

“People favouring enforcement of Sharia should tell what treatment captives deserve according to the Sharia …… and the treatment those (FC men) received was in accordance with the Islamic laws or not,” he questioned.

The minister said that TTP’s central spokesman Shahidullah Shahid should have conveyed their reservations to the negotiating team they formed. “But, they didn’t do it and firstly attacked policemen in Karachi and then killed FC personnel,” he added.

Taking a strong stand against the home grown militants, he said the government also has reservations which the Taliban must address first.

Referring to the 1971’s war against India, Rashid said, “Even our rival country treated our 90,000 war captives in accordance with the Geneva Convention.” “Did they (Indians) behead even a single Pakistani soldier,” he questioned.

Read more » DAWN
http://www.dawn.com/news/1088101

“Iron wills never bend”

by Mir Mohammad Ali Talpur

On February 4th, a day before Pakistan closes down ostentatiously for the rights of Kashmiris, Pakistani intelligence agencies’ personnel harassed the Voice of Baloch Missing Persons (VBMP) Long Marchers with intimidation and questions. They didn’t stop at that they even harassed a Baloch family which stopped to greet the Marchers by asking them for their National Identity Cards (NIC) numbers, telephone numbers address and the purpose of greeting the Marchers. They also harassed their host at 7 Chak Raowan Wala for that night with questions and threats. They took their NIC numbers, telephone numbers and asked how they knew these Baloch. This place was arranged by Comrade Irfan Ali of Communist Mazdoor Kissan Party (CMKP), who has now joined the march. This nuclear power is so scared out of its wits at these handful but brave and defiant Baloch that it is harassing not only them but even who come into their proximity.

Read more » http://www.nakedpunch.com/articles/202

The Eye-watering Truth About the Taliban’s War on Women

The Taliban’s War on Women: Taliban violence against women in Afghanistan has never gone away. Disturbing stories of suppression and brutality show a society hanging in the balance.

The recent online video of the Taliban executing a 22-year-old woman in front of a crowd of cheering men shocked the world. As Taliban aggression intensifies, how much has actually changed in Afghanistan?

At the height of the Taliban’s rule in Afghanistan in 1999, a burqa-clad woman was executed in Kabul’s main football stadium. Footage of the killing shocked the world and galvanised international opposition to the Taliban’s brutal rule. Yet just two months ago, 22-year-old Najiba was mercilessly killed by the Taliban, just one hour’s drive from Kabul. The Taliban created a fake court and once they decided she was guilty, executed her within an hour. “It was tyrannical and barbaric – it is impossible that the law would allow what they did”, says Mullah Badam, who witnessed the killing. Speaking to Afghan women it’s evident that violent abuse is still commonplace. 18-year-old Mumtaz had acid thrown on her face by her would-be husband, who she had refused to marry. “They would not let me look in the mirror. I cried a lot”, she says. But there are women who are fighting back, including MP Fawzia Koofi, who plans to take on Hamid Karzai for the presidency. An outspoken champion of women’s rights, she has faced assassination attempts and numerous death threats. She argues that for her male political opposition, “women’s rights are a matter of sacrifice”. With the Allied forces set to withdraw by 2014, this disturbing report highlights just how precarious the situation remains for the future of Afghan society.

Read more » Journeyman.tv

WSC DEMANDS INTERNATIONAL ENQUIRY OF THE MASS GRAVES IN BALOCHISTAN

London: (Press release) World Sindhi Congress (WSC), together with the entire world, is saddened and shocked at the uncovering of mass graves from Tootak area in Khuzdar District of Balochistan. No independent source is being allowed to visit the area, which is under strict control of Pakistani armed forces. However, a very grim picture is emerging suggesting 100s and possibly thousands of bodies in scores of mass graves. The discovery of mass graves is being viewed in the backdrop that since 2002 thousands of Baloch and scores of Sindhi political and human rights activists, intellectuals, writers and journalists have been forcibly abducted by armed forces and remain missing.

WSC believes that unearthing of the mass graves is the biggest crime against humanity of 21st century and shows that the establishment is bent to carry out genocide in Balochistan. The Baloch people are concerned that there may be many more mass graves that have to be uncovered and they believe that thousands of their loved ones missing since years have been brutally killed and inhumanely dumped in these graves.

WSC request the international community to take an urgent action on this one of the worst atrocities in recent history by sending an independent enquiry committee comprising of UN representatives, intentional experts and representatives of human rights organisations to uncover the remaining graves and identify the bodies.

Courtesy: Sindhi e-lists/ e-groups, 29th January 2014.

A country controlled by war criminals

PAKISTAN: More than 100 dead bodies from three mass graves were found in one district of Balochistan

The UN and international human rights organisations must send fact finding missions to probe the illegal disposal of Baloch people in mass graves

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) expresses shock and deep concern over the discovery of mass graves in Balochistan; it is suspected that these graves are of Baloch missing persons who were arrested and subsequently extrajudicially killed. A large number of family members gathered around the places of Tootak village, district Khuzdar to inquire about their loved ones who have been missing for many years. However, the police and other security forces refused them permission to try and identify the bodies and baton charged the people to disperse them.

On January 25, three mass graves were found after one of them was discovered by a shepherd who saw pieces of human bodies and bones. He informed the Levies, a private armed force organised by tribal leaders, and according to Assistant Commissioner, district Khuzdar, Mr. Afzal Supra, Balochistan, the grave was excavated and 15 bodies were found.

As the news of the mass grave spread throughout the district people gathered there and started digging in the nearby area where they found two more mass graves. In total 103 bodies were recovered from the graves. The bodies were too decomposed to be identified. From the three mass graves 17, 8 and 78 bodies were found but the local people say that a total of 169 bodies have been found. People have witnessed more than 100 human bodies in Tootak while they were digging the area. However, Pakistani military forces stopped the local people from unearthing the mass graves and took control of the area. Now, no one is allowed access to the location except military personnel.

According to the media, a security official who spoke on condition of anonymity said so far they have found around 56 unidentified graves and that there are many more. It is claimed that these bodies are those of Baloch missing persons.

Read more » Asian Human Rights Commission

http://www.humanrights.asia/news/ahrc-news/AHRC-STM-023-2014#.UubrcG-W1Xs.facebook

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PAKISTAN: The lives of the long marchers are in danger

The participants of the long march from Karachi to Islamabad for the recovery of Baloch missing persons are facing threats from the notorious intelligence agency. The marchers have been threatened not to enter Punjab province otherwise they would face serious consequences.

Read more » Asian Human Rights Commission
http://www.humanrights.asia/news/ahrc-news/AHRC-STM-020-2014#.Ut64w47BZK4.facebook

Pakistan’s State of Denial

By TAHMIMA ANAM

DHAKA, Bangladesh — It was a Pakistani journalist, Anthony Mascarenhas, who gave the world the first detailed account of Bangladesh’s war of independence. In April 1971, soon after the army of Pakistan started suppressing the secessionist movement in what was then still the eastern part of the country, it invited Mr. Mascarenhas to report on the conflict, believing he would buttress the false propaganda of a just war. Mr. Mascarenhas promptly moved his family, and then himself, to Britain knowing that soon he would no longer be able to live in Pakistan.

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A Blatant Campaign of Ethnic Cleansing – By Shawn Forbes

Mass abductions, torture and executions, target killing of Baloch have become daily routine in Balochistan, Where the state forces are alleged for conducting brutal and endless campaign of violence against the indigenous people of Balochistan.

Read more » http://thebalochistanpoint.com/a-blatant-campaign-of-ethnic-cleansing/

Sindhis should not need a visa to visit Sindh!

‘Sindhi’s should be exempted from visa for visiting Pakistan’

INDORE: Sindhi community on Sunday demanded that Sindhis of India and Pakistan should be exempted from getting visa for visiting each others’ countries.

The demand was raised on the third and last day of International Sindhi Conference in Indore. They urged the governments to relax visa rules so that Sindhis can visit Shindh, the place of their origin and come back after visiting their family members and relatives.

International Sindhi Community president Manohar Dev said demands were raised during the open session of the conference. He added that community has also appealed to the government of India to simplify the process of giving citizenship to people who come to India from Sindh Province of Pakistan. “There should be single-window system for giving citizenship to people who come to India from Sindh,” said Dev.

Secretary of the conference and city BJP president Shankar Lalwani said seats should be reserved for the community in Parliament and assembly so that they get a proper representation.

Courtesy: THE TIMES OF INDIA
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/indore/Sindhis-should-be-exempted-from-visa-for-visiting-Pakistan/articleshow/27470027.cms?fb_action_ids=10151736870271901&fb_action_types=og.recommends&fb_source=other_multiline&action_object_map=[532711570157297]&action_type_map=[%22og.recommends%22]&action_ref_map=[]

GENOCIDE: The June 1971 Sunday Times essay by Tony Mascarenhas about mass murders in Bangladesh that woke up the world

By Anthony Mascarenhas, The Sunday Times

June 13, 1971 – ABDUL BARI had run out of luck.  Like thousands of other people in East Bengal, he had made the mistake the fatal mistake-of running within sight of a [...] army patrol. He was 24 years old, a slight man surrounded by soldiers. He was trembling, because he was about to be shot.

“Normally we would have killed him as he ran,” I was informed chattily by Major Rathore, the G-2 Ops. of the 9th Division, as we stood on the out­skirts of a tiny village near Mudafarganj, about 20 miles south of Comilla. “But we are checking him out for your sake. You are new here and I see you have a squeamish stomach.”

“Why kill him?” I asked with mounting concern.

“Because he might be a Hindu or he might be a rebel, perhaps a student or an Awami Leaguer. They know we are sorting them out and they betray themselves by running.”

“But why are you killing them? And why pick on the Hindus?” I persisted.

“Must I remind you,” Rathore said severely, “how they have tried to des­troy Pakistan? Now under the cover of the fighting we have an excellent oppor­tunity of finishing them off.”

Read more » http://planthealth.org/article/genocide-june-1971-sunday-times-essay-tony-mascarenhas-about-pakistan%E2%80%99s-mass-murders

Via – Facebook

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More » BBC urdu
http://www.bbc.co.uk/urdu/mobile/world/2013/12/131212_mullah_hanged_fz.shtml

PAKISTAN: Two young scheduled caste Hindu women were raped by Muslim landlords; one of them was later murdered

ASIAN HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION -Urgent Appeal Case: AHRC-UAC-150-2013

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received information that two scheduled caste, Hindu women were raped by their Muslim landlords before their family members. Later on, one of them was murdered in revenge for making a report to the police. She and her mother were abducted by one of the landlords from outside the clinic of a doctor in broad daylight, close to the police station, and she was shot dead in front of her mother. The Shadi Pali Police Station of Umer Kot district, Sindh, took time to register the First Information Report (FIR) in order to give the rapists time to abscond. The family members of the victims are displaced from their village and are living on the roadside in the cold nights but the police and authorities have refused to help them. In providing protection to the rapists, the police and notables of the area forced the victims to reach to a settlement and give amnesty to the rapists. Once again the police have shown their efficiency to get approval from judicial magistrate so that perpetrators are freed.

Read more » ASIAN HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION
http://www.humanrights.asia/news/urgent-appeals/AHRC-UAC-150-2013#.Up95-1OgQkw.facebook

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Aung San Suu Kyi is turning a blind eye to human rights in the name of politics

The Burmese politician’s visit to Australia will spark praise from politicians – an unhelpful distraction from the extremely serious abuses taking place against Muslims in her homeland

By Emanuel Stoakes, theguardian.com

Burmese politician and international celebrity Aung San Suu Kyi flew into Sydney yesterday to begin a brief tour of Australia, during which time she will meet the prime minister and other members of the government.

If her recent visits to Europe are anything to go by, the Nobel laureate’s arrival will be a triumphal affair involving inevitable cheering crowds, mutual congratulation and much rhetoric about shared values on display. Politicians will no doubt wish to associate themselves with her image and bask in her fading effulgence, while ordinary Australians will very probably receive the heroine of Burma’s democracy movement with open arms.

Yet for all the deserved plaudits she will receive from her hosts, the sheer spectacle of her visit may amount to an unhelpful distraction from extremely serious abuses taking place in her homeland; indeed it may even seem unwarranted, given that the smiling icon has betrayed some of her country’s most vulnerable people.

The Rohingya of west Burma are the most needy, despised and endangered ethnic group in the country. The Muslim minority is stateless (unwanted by both Burma and Bangladesh), impoverished and has been subjected to at least three brutal pogroms over the past 40 years, two of them directly at the hands of Burmese government forces. The latest bout of extreme anti-Rohingya persecution in the country’s restive Rakhine state, where the group is remains subjected to ethnic cleansing, endures to this day.

When asked about the plight of Muslims during her recent visit to the UK, Suu Kyi told BBC journalist Mishal Husain that there was “no ethnic cleansing” and equivocated about the suffering of both Buddhists and Muslims in a manner that at least one other writer found “chilling” to watch.

For the record, there is no parity. Muslims in general, and the Rohingya in particular, have suffered far more from inter-religious clashes over the past two years, during which time children in Meiktila, Central Burma, were burnt alive and well over 100,000 Rohingya have been confined to squalid camps where they are systematically denied aid and where disease is rife. There have been organised attacks on the minority that amounted to crimes against humanity committed by ethnic Rakhine Buddhists, whom Suu Kyi is keen to remind us are suffering too – from fear, not mass slaughter.

Read more » The Guardian
http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/nov/27/aung-san-suu-kyi-is-turning-a-blind-eye-to-human-rights-in-the-name-of-politics

Sindhis Welcome Their Valiant Baloch Brothers ‘n Sisters in Sindh

By Dr. Ahmed Makhdoom

… Indeed, onward they marched from their beloved Motherland, Balochistan, to the Sacred ‘n Sanctified, hallowed and noble Land of Sindh! And, they marched on foot – men, women and children – some even without shoes or slippers! They marched in a glorious Caravan – the 25 families of missing sons of Balochisatn and finally reached Karachi, the worthy Capital of Sindh, on Friday 22nd November, 2013, covering 780 kilometres of an inhospitable landscape of Balochistan and Sindh!

This march of the Balochs for the Freedom and safe return home of their sons, brothers, fathers, uncles and even grandfathers, who had gone missing since their abduction by the barbarians Forces and venomous Intelligence Services will go down in the annals of bravado, courage and determination in the History of Mankind!

These families spent cold and freezing nights on roadsides shivering and just getting warmth from each other’s hugs and embraces. They spent days striding forward and carrying on – onward, forward and ahead through the : the journey, it seems, only hardened their commitment to remain steadfast in their cause.

These valiant and verdant Baloch families have pitched their tents in Karachi. However, their struggle for justice and peaceful protests against tyranny, terror and torment, is far from over. It will continue peacefully, according to the families spokesman, “until their beloved sons, fathers, brothers and grandfathers return.”

The Voice for Baloch Missing Persons (VBMP) long march reached Karachi from Quetta on Friday 22nd November, 2013, after walking for 27 days. VBMP Long March culminates in Karachi, the struggle against abductions to continue: Qadeer Baloch. Read more here:

Brave Baloch families reached the Karachi Press Club, exhausted! Their shared with Press and all Sindhis who welcomed them the macabre tales of intimidation, threats and violence of the Intelligence Agencies. Families all are full of zeal, confidence and commitment to continuing their resistance against the repression.

Those who watched a Balochi language private TV channel saw a huge mass of around 20,000 people from 25 Baloch families participating in the Voice for Baloch Missing Persons protest rally in Karachi on Friday. Apart from Baloch activists, it is indeed, very heartening and inspiring to know, that a large number of Sindhi and other human rights and political activists also came to support the Baloch in their hour of pain and suffering.

750 kms March of missing Baloch’s kin ends at Karachi, Sindh. Verdant and veritable sons and daughters of Mother Sindh welcomed their brave Baloch brothers and sisters with great honour and dignity and presented gifts to the families with traditional honour of Sindhi Ajrak and Topee (cap) and showered them with flowers and garlands.

We raise our voice to condemn the barbaric behaviour of the agencies by continually abducting the innocent, peace-loving and simple sons of Balochistan! We appeal, plead and urge the United Nations, International and Asian Human Rights Organisations, the Super Power Nations of the World and the International Courts of Justice to please take note and Save Baloch people, Save Balochistan and STOP genocide being perpetrated by the savages of the failed state!

Sindh has always been a hospitable, welcoming and gracious Nation! The valiant, veritable and verdant sons and daughters of grand, great and glorious Mother Sindh must open their arms, hearts and souls to welcome these tortured, troubled and tormented Baloch families who are now camped in Karachi! Sindhi MUST provide sustenance, shelter, clothing and ALL the Support, Help and Assistance that they need.

Balochistan, we Love you! Long Live Balochistan! Long Live Sindh!

Courtesy: via Sindhi e-lists/ e-groups, and facebook, 24th November, 2013.

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For more details » BBC urdu
http://www.bbc.co.uk/urdu/pakistan/2013/11/131124_baat_se_baat_rh.shtml

Bill Clinton: Violence in Myanmar sickens world

YANGON, Myanmar (AP) — Former U.S. President Bill Clinton said sectarian violence in newly opened Myanmar, also known as Burma, sickens the world as he met with political and civic leaders Thursday to discuss challenges facing the emerging democracy following a half-century of military rule.

The attacks on Muslims are a topic many in this predominantly Buddhist nation of 60 million try to avoid. Soon after President Thein Sein formed a quasi-civilian government in early 2011 and began making sweeping political and economic changes, deep-seated prejudices against the Muslim minority started to surface.

In the past year, more than 240 people have been killed and 240,000 others forced to flee their homes, most of them Muslims hunted down by stick- and machete-wielding Buddhist mobs. Members of the security forces have been accused of standing by, at times even abetting rioters, in some cases, but none has been punished.

And the government — together with much of the population — has been largely silent.

Clinton said the world has been pulling for Myanmar. “The whole world cheers every piece of good news and is sick every time they read about sectarian violence,” he said. “Because everywhere on earth, people are tired of people killing each other and fighting each other because of their differences.”

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Muslims buried alive in Myanmar: UN report

Naypyidaw: United Nations (U.N) revealed in a report related to Anti Muslim riots in Myanmar that several Muslims were buried alive in the riots, ARY News reported.

United Nations in a report on Muslims genocide in Myanmar revealed that even security institutors were involved in the killings of Muslims.

Mass graves were discovered from several areas in which the bodies buried were found with tied hands and legs.

Bodies of 28 children were also found from these graves.

According to the report, the followers of Buddhism entered in the Muslim majority areas and caused huge damage to their properties and also tortured them. During this the local security institutions provided full support to the rioters.

Courtesy: ARY NEWS
http://www.arynews.tv/en/index.php/international/12333-muslims-buried-alive-in-myanmar-un-report

A no ordinary long march

by Mir Mohammad Ali Talpur

This isn’t an ordinary march because it is the expression of the pain and sufferings of the families of the many thousands missing and of 700 plus who have been victims of death squads and who suffer in silence

A protest long march organized by the Voice for Baloch Missing Persons, or (VBMP), and led by Mama Qadir Reki, vice chairman of VBMP, with as many as 20 families, including women and children, carrying placards, photographs of missing persons and banners inscribed with slogans in support of their demands started their journey from Quetta Press Club on Sunday 27th; it will culminate with a sit-in at Karachi Press Club.

Many relatives even fear protesting in fear of further retribution. This isn’t a march to secure justice because the relatives of missing and dead had sought all avenues but were let down by all including the Supreme Court (SC) which has been long on rhetoric and miserably short on action. This 700 plus kilometer journey which the relatives of the missing and dead have undertaken is to highlight the injustices to Baloch people. The agencies, the army and Frontier Corps (FC) naturally couldn’t be expected to provide justice because even the most partial SC reluctantly admits that these are responsible for the missing and the mutilated dead. The civil society is expected to stand up for human rights violation but their enthusiasm regarding missing Baloch persons is quite uninspiring.

Read more » ViewPointOnline
http://www.viewpointonline.net/a-no-ordinary-long-march.html

PAKISTAN: New draconian laws provide legal cover to disappearances, extrajudicial killings, torture, & unfair trial

The government of Pakistan has – within a short period of less than two weeks – promulgated two draconian laws, ostensibly, to combat terrorism.

The first ordinance was promulgated on October 11. It has amended the Anti-Terrorist Act, 1997, and curtailed fundamental rights of citizens. Now the government has gone ahead and promulgated another ordinance on October 20. This one is called “Pakistan Protection Ordinance.” It hands even greater powers to law enforcement authorities (LEA). Now LEA can enter and search any premises without warrant and confiscate any property without permission from any lawful authority.

The ill intentions of the government have not been disguised. Parliament, and thereby open debate on the provisions of law, has been avoided to unilaterally push through these decisions. Both ordinances are manifestly ultra virus and unconstitutional.

The October 11 ordinance, which amends the Anti-Terrorist Act, 1997, provides extraordinary powers to LEA. It allows LEA to detain suspects up to three months, and thereby to curb the process of fair trial by such long detention. It allows for conviction on the basis of incriminating text messages, phone calls, and email. It grants LEA powers to shoot at sight. Telephones and internet facilities can be freely tapped and monitored. The ordinance has become a grave threat to right to privacy.

The October 20 ordinance, ‘Pakistan Protection ordinance’, covers issues related to the security of the people and attempts to clamp down on anti-state elements with swift justice and timely LEA action. This ordinance allows the constitution of joint investigation teams so investigations by security agencies and police can be conducted in all heinous crimes.

The October 11 ordinance was issued by the President of Pakistan while he was travelling in Saudi Arabia, whereas official copies of the October 20 ordinance have not been provided to the media. The presidential secretariat has only disclosed its key features and justification, in a detailed hand out to the media.

The Daily Dawn, quoting official sources, has reported that under the October 20 ordinance, LEA – including police, military and para-military forces, Pakistan rangers, Frontier Corp and Frontier Constabulary – would be able to enter and search any premises without warrant. The arrested suspects would not be entitled to bail. These forces, on suspicion, can confiscate property, arms, and other household goods without permission from any lawful authority. And anyone found guilty of resisting enforcement of law or legal process will spend 10 years behind bars.

Separate police stations will be designated for professional and expeditious investigations of specified crime. The cases will be prosecuted by federal prosecutors – a new force of prosecutors will be created, parallel to the existing prosecution branch. And special jails have been designated to detain hardened criminals.

The government has been authorised to create a parallel judiciary through these ordinances. Anti-Terrorist Courts and special prosecutors for terrorist crimes are already in operation. However, through the October 20 ‘Pakistan Protection Ordinance’, the government will make “special courts and special prosecutors” to protect the country. By issuing these ordinances, the government has made the courts under the constitution as redundant.

Read more » Asian Human Rights Commission
http://www.humanrights.asia/news/ahrc-news/AHRC-STM-190-2013

McDowell County, USA Has Close to Haiti’s Life Expectancy: Welcome to Third World America

Many Americans, especially in the South, can look forward to dying far younger than their counterparts in Japan, Australia, New Zealand and much of Europe.

The Affordable Care Act is merely a small step in the direction of universal healthcare. One need only look at the data on life expectancy among Americans to realize how badly health care reform is needed in the United States. People in much of Europe are, on the whole, outliving residents of the U.S., which in some places, is looking more and more like a Third World country when it comes to life expectancy.

Read more » AlterNet
http://www.alternet.org/corporate-accountability-and-workplace/mcdowell-county-usa-has-close-haitis-life-expectancy-welcome

IN MEMORIES OF THE THOORI PHATAK MARTYRS OF SINDH

By Naseer Memon

On 17th October 1984, five young Sindhis were brutally killed and scores were injured when an army contingent sprayed two buses of students with bullets. Sindh University students were on their way to Larkano to attend an event when they were stopped near Thorri railway crossing in the then Dadu district. These buses were fired upon indiscriminately by Marshal-law force of Gen. dictator Zia, the biggest enemy of Pakistan. Five young men namely Malik Khushk, Zakrya Memon, Amanullah Vistro, Anwar Abbassi and Mitho Buledi died on spot and several were injured. More than 100 students were arrested and subjected to inhuman torture. Seven of them served prison for more than five years. A judicial inquiry was conducted but the report was never made public because it is believed that the inquiry concluded that the act was shear barbarity.  Sindh remembers and salutes great heroes of this day.

مٹی کی محبت میں ہم آشفتہ سروں نے

وہ قرض چکائے ہیں جو واجب بہی نہیں تھے

Courtesy: Via Naseer Memon’s Facebook wall

US Congressman backs Balochistan’s right of self determination.

BRUSSELS: A member the U.S. House of Representatives has called upon the Pakistan government to stop its authoritarian measures in Balochistan and to respect the right to self-determination of the Baloch people.

In a message to an event organized at the European Parliament in Brussels titled Balochistan: Destiny Denied, Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner, who is member of the House Judiciary Committee and member of the Crime, Terror and Homeland Security Sub-Commitee, called on the Pakistan government to “cease its authoritarian operations” in Balochistan. He said, “Americans empathize with Balochistan’s call for self-determination.”

The congressman from Wisconsin added, “The Baloch people have passed for nearly seven decades to throw the yoke of Pakistani rule … Baloch activism had been met by Pakistani armor, artillery and air strikes.”

Rep. Sessenbrenner said in his statement, “I support … freedom and liberty for the Baloch people. It is their right to determine their future and how best to protect the rights of Balochistan’s citizens.”

Read more » http://tarekfatah.com/us-congressman-backs-balochistans-right-of-self-determination/

The International Day Against State Religion

The Secretary-General, United Nations: Recognize “The International Day Against State Religion”

Petition by G. M. Lakho, Karachi, Sindh

To,

The Secretary-General,

United Nations,

UN Headquarters,

New York.

Please take active, effective and meaningful steps for recognizing “The International Day Against State Religion” by the United Nations in solidarity with victims of the State Religion, namely, non-Muslims and non-believers of Pakistan.

Read more » Change.org

http://www.change.org/petitions/the-secretary-general-united-nations-recognize-the-international-day-against-state-religion-5?share_id=rGSZgPuCHQ&utm_campaign=signature_receipt&utm_medium=email&utm_source=share_petition

Religious tension in Pakistan as Muslims dig up Hindu grave

ISLAMABAD: (Reuters) – A crowd of Islamic fundamentalists dug up the grave of a Hindu man in Pakistan, police said on Tuesday, in the latest sign of growing religious tension in the increasingly unstable province of Sindh.

Shouting “Allahu Akbar”, or “God is greatest”, the crowd dug out the body and dragged it through the streets of the southern town of Pangrio in a dispute over the location of the grave.

“Tensions are still running high, but we are in control of the situation,” district police chief Shaukat Ali Khatian said.

“The incident was caused by some clerics of the extremist outfit of Ahle Sunaat Wal Jamaat, but later other Muslims joined in and dug up the body and threw it away.”

Hindus and Muslims have lived side by side and shared graveyards in Sindh for centuries, but tension has been on the rise recently as extremists make increasingly aggressive inroads into the rural parts of the province.

Sindh is home to most of Pakistan’s small Hindu community, which numbers about 2 million among a population of roughly 180 million.

Pakistan’s rocky relationship with neighboring India, a predominantly Hindu country, has fed tension between the two communities in smaller towns, such as Pangrio.

The Hindu man, Bhoro Bheel, 30, had died in a road accident and was buried on Saturday, in line with caste tradition. The subsequent desecration sparked demonstrations and forced police to step up street patrols.

“Even our dead are not safe anymore in their graves,” Narayan Das Bheel, a member of the Hindu community, told Reuters.

(Reporting by Syed Raza Hassan; Editing by Maria Golovnina and Clarence Fernandez)

Courtesy: Reuters
http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/10/08/us-pakistan-hindus-grave-idUSBRE9970EF20131008

Roots of Sindhi-Hindu Exodus from Pakistan

By Zulfiqar Shah

The morning of August 10, 2012 carried news of exodus of Hindus from Pakistan. Immigration authorities detained 250 families having valid documents and visas at Wagah-Atari border of India and Pakistan near Lahore. Later on, they were allowed to travel to India after signing commitment bonds for returning. More families thereafter have also left Pakistan for India.

The news went viral. Media on either side of the border ran heated debates on the issue which occupied the front pages of many dailies for the next three days. Pakistan’s Interior Minister, Rehman Malik tuned the same old mantra of ‘Indian conspiracy against Pakistan’. President Asif Zardari immediately formed a three-member committee of parliamentarians to resist possibilities of an exodus. They held meetings with the Hindu community leaders and civil society representatives in Sukkur, Hyderabad and Karachi, but the latter declared that meetings were not enough, some concrete steps regarding the protection of Hindus and all necessary legislations should be made. Sindhi nationalists also launched a movement against forced exodus of Hindus.

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Scheduled castes give voice to woes

SADIQABAD – Arjun Das Advocate, chairman of Pakistan Meghwar Council, has regretted that the representative of a caste having only 3,500 votes is present in the National Assembly but the scheduled castes which have 1.4 million votes has no representative in the assembly on the 10 seats reserved for minorities in Pakistan.

Likewise in Sindh province, 75 percent people of the minority belonged to the scheduled castes while their no representative is present in the Sindh Assembly and the same situation was in the Senate, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly and the Balochistan Assembly. He said that it was proved that the process of getting representatives from the minorities in the assemblies was non-democratic, discriminatory and unjust. Therefore, he demanded, the method should be changed immediately. He also said that the communities’ members belonged to their respective parties and they do not represent the public thus they had no courage to raise a voice for the communities’ welfare nor they could heel their wounds by solving their problems.

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Reuters – Special Report: The struggle Pakistan does not want reported

By Matthew Green, Reuter

KARACHI, Pakistan | Tue Sep 24, 2013 11:10am EDT – (Reuters) – Abdul Razzaq Baloch worked nights. After dinner, he would start his shift as a proofreader at the Daily Tawar, a newspaper published on a shoe-string from a cramped office in Karachi, Pakistan’s commercial capital. At 2 a.m., the 42-year-old would make the short journey home on his new Super Star motorbike.

One night in March, Baloch did not return. His phone was switched off and his bike was missing. His family made enquiries with the police, then hospitals, and finally in the lanes of Lyari, the gritty neighborhood where they live.

The word on the street was that Baloch had been kidnapped, his relatives said. He had last been seen as he was bundled into a white SUV with a blanket over his head.

Speaking to Reuters two months later, Saeeda Sarbazi, Baloch’s outspoken sister, was in no doubt as to the identities of the culprits: Pakistan’s intelligence services.

“This case is like a bombshell – nobody we go to wants to touch it,” Sarbazi said at the family home in Lyari, where his wife and four children awaited his return. “People are scared that the agencies will harm them.”

On August 21, Baloch’s body was found dumped amid the brambles overrunning wasteground in Suranji Town, a scrappy neighborhood on Karachi’s northwestern fringe. A piece of paper bearing his name had been stuffed into his pocket. His hands were tied; he had been strangled. Pakistan’s military, which has repeatedly denied involvement in extra-judicial killings, did not respond to a request for comment on Baloch’s death.

Read more » Reuter
http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/09/24/us-pakistan-disappearances-specialreport-idUSBRE98N0OA20130924

Brutality of Syrian Rebels Posing Dilemma in West – New York Times

By

The Syrian rebels posed casually, standing over their prisoners with firearms pointed down at the shirtless and terrified men. The prisoners, seven in all, were captured Syrian soldiers. Five were trussed, their backs marked with red welts. They kept their faces pressed to the dirt as the rebels’ commander recited a bitter revolutionary verse.

Read more » The New York Times
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/05/world/middleeast/brutality-of-syrian-rebels-pose-dilemma-in-west.html?pagewanted=1&_r=1

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Via – News adopted from Facebook

Sindh: Three Activists Killed On Independence Day

On the 66th celebration of the Independence Day of Pakistan, three Sindh activists were gunned down in a fake encounter in Karachi. Many young Sindhi activists were also arrested from different districts of Sindh province and their whereabouts are unknown.

Below is an article published by the Asian Human Rights Commission:

- See more at: http://www.unpo.org/article/16319#sthash.MFlHM1Nh.0h5LNTEF.dpuf