Category Archives: Pakistan

Terrorists ask Sindhi employee in Karachi to leave city or face consequences

Karachi wUnknown armed persons entered the office of Karachi Water Board (KWB) and threatened Sindhi speaking staff to leave Karachi immediately or face the consequences. The armed persons also talked abusive language against Khurshid Shah. They also said that after 10th of Muharaam they will do a kind of big bang against Sindhis in Karachi. Such threats were also given in the district offices of KWB where Sindhi are majority. (News Courtesy: Daily Kawish) Although daily Kawish has not mentioned that name of the political group to which these terorrists were associated; however its is generally assumed that they belonged to Mutahida Qomi Movement (MQM).[ Read version of the news in Daily Awami Awaz, Oct. 31, 2014]

Courtesy; RIGHTS AND MOVEMENTS

http://rightsupdate.blogspot.in/2014/10/terrorists-ask-sindhi-employee-in.html

‘I realised if we wore a Sindhi cap, we would be killed

Zufiqar Shah

Zufiqar Shah

By Zulfiqar Shah

It was the summer of 1987. I was in Kalhora colony, Hyderabad at my uncles’ place during school vacations. One morning when I got up and went to buy milk from the dairy of Chacha Deenu Soomro Shikarpuri, I found blood on the wooden gate of my uncle’s house. There was a printed note on the door fixed with glue – Jeay Muhajir. 
When I moved ahead, I found that almost all houses were carrying the same bloody note. I told this to my maternal uncle while handing over the milk-cane to my aunt. He said MQM (Muhajir Qomi Movement at that time, which is now Mutahida Qaumi Movement) wants to kill Sindhi. Later on, we came to know that if we wore Sindhi cap or Sindhi Ajrak (shawl) while visiting bazaar in Hyderabad and Karachi, we would be killed by MQM terrorists since dozens were killed until then due to that cultural weaning alone.
One of my friends had acquaintance with Khalid Bin Waleed. He was said to be the head of MQM militant wing. He was also known for his pro-Sindhi stance within MQM ranks and files. After Musharaf’s military coup, MQM patched up again with  the military establishment of Pakistan. The day MQM’s Sindh Governor Ishratul Ibad took oath, Khalid Bin Waleed was killed. I was freelance journalist in Karachi at that time.
Later, we were shocked when MQM terrorists embossed MQM stamps on the chests of Sindhi girls from Soomra para (settlement) of Hyderabad, while many others were pierced through the electronic drill machines. It was a period of nightmare of us all.

Terrorists apologize

In 1998, I was a senior sub-editor at the OPED pages of daily Ibrat. MQM had tendered apology to Sindhi of what they did in late 1980s. Now they want to bridge the gap between Sindhi speaking Sindhis and Urdu speaking Sindhis. In a talk with MQM supremo Altaf Hussain by Sindhi journalists, I asked him his views on freedom of Sindh. He replied that in a free Sindh, Sindhi and Urdu speaking Sindhi would live together like Cubecs and the rest in Canada.

Meeting with terrorists

In 2000, I was a contracted Sindhi translator with the Jaffer Brothers Pvt. Ltd. Karachi. I found many MQM persons among my friends circle. We use to take early morning tea at Café Piyala near Nagar Chorangi and have Sunday evening snacks at MQM outlets in various parts of Karachi.

I came to know one claiming to be the nephew of Rehan Kana, a notorious MQM terrorist involved in the killing of hundreds and was living in Pili Kothi near Dak Khana in Lalu Khet, Karachi. I heard many stories from his nephew about Kana’s encounters as well as terrorist actions, albeit in a heroic way.

Once I met some Urdu speaking Sindhis from outside Karachi, who were settled by MQM in Karachi and were being trained in “urban warfare” (terrorism). I was asked by MQM Karachi’s senior person to join the party, which I refused. 
 
Killing their own

One of my friends had acquaintance with Khalid Bin Waleed. He was said to be the head of MQM militant wing. He was also known for his pro-Sindhi stance within MQM ranks and files. After Musharaf’s military coup, MQM patched up again with  the military establishment of Pakistan. The day MQM’s Sindh Governor Ishratul Ibad took oath, Khalid Bin Waleed was killed. I was freelance journalist in Karachi at that time.

One of Urdu speaking journalist in Karachi told me that Waleed was killed by MQM itself on the demand of establishment after the patch-up because military establishment wanted to aside Sindhi-friendly MQM cadres.

Who formed MQM?

General Ziaul Haq in one of his speech said that he has given a gift to Sindhis. He also said that the time will come when Sindhi people would remember him, whenever they will see his gift. Sindhi political parties read this gift as MQM.

A dangerous divide

MohajirBy Zahid Hussain

It is not hard to guess why the MQM is often described as the enfant terrible of Pakistani politics. The party has once again stirred a hornet’s nest of ethnic politics by demanding the carving up of Sindh to create a new ‘Mohajir’ province [Refugees’ province]. After its failed experiment focusing on the creation of a new multi-ethnic identity for itself, the MQM has now returned to its original politics.

It is true that the division of Sindh on ethnic or even administrative lines is unacceptable

The MQM’s move to once again play the Mohajir card appears to be a desperate attempt to revitalise its support base that is being challenged by emerging political forces. This narrow political approach is a dangerous game that may further widen the divisions among various ethnic groups in the province.

It is a mistake on the part of the MQM to attempt to return to ethnic-based politics or use religion to settle political scores.

It is shocking the way the MQM has invoked the blasphemy law against PPP leader Khursheed Shah for making a rather benign remark on the term ‘Mohajir’. It is yet more surprising for it to mix religion with politics, since it is one of the very few political parties in Pakistan that genuinely espouses secularism.

This senseless campaign has only damaged the MQM’s own image and diverted attention from some more relevant issues that need to be addressed urgently to resolve the main source of discontent in Karachi. The old habit of throwing a tantrum and quitting the coalition government only to reverse the decision is making a mockery of the party. But this time the separation seems more serious, although one can never be sure it will agree to be the PPP’s political bedfellow again after some pampering.

Read more » DAWN

http://www.dawn.com/news/1141042/a-dangerous-divide

Re-imagining Pakistan

Hussain Haqqani

Hussain Haqqani

By Husain Haqqani

Almost every discussion of Pakistan, especially in India, inevitably tends to be about the logic and raison d’etre of the country’s creation.

The process of partitioning a sub-continent along religious lines did not prove as neat as Pakistan’s founder Muhammad Ali Jinnah had anticipated. Mr. Jinnah was a lawyer who saw partition as a solution to potential constitutional problems in an independent India.

Pakistan must also overcome archaic notions of national security. Instead of viewing ourselves as a ‘warrior nation’ we should see ourselves as a ‘trading nation’ that can take advantage of our location for economic purposes.

In his first address to Pakistan’s Constituent Assembly on August 11, 1947 –exactly 67 years ago today – Mr. Jinnah had said: “I know there are people who do not quite agree with the division of India and the partition of the Punjab and Bengal. Much has been said against it, but now that it has been accepted, it is the duty of every one of us to loyally abide by it and honorably act according to the agreement which is now final and binding on all…. One can quite understand the feeling that exists between the two communities wherever one community is in majority and the other is in minority. But the question is, whether it was possible or practicable to act otherwise than what has been done. A division had to take place. On both sides, in Hindustan and Pakistan, there are sections of people who may not agree with it, who may not like it; but in my judgement there was no other solution, and I am sure future history will record its verdict in favour of it. And what is more, it will be proved by actual experience as we go on that that was the only solution of India’s constitutional problem.”

Armed with nuclear weapons Pakistan does not need to live in fear or insecurity. The state of insecurity fostered in Pakistan is psychological and should now be replaced with a logical self-confidence. Once pluralism and secularism are no longer dirty words in my country, and all national discussions need not be framed within the confines of an Islamist ideology, it will become easier for Pakistan to tackle the Jihadi menace.

It is clear from Mr. Jinnah’s statement that he only saw partition as a constitutional way out of a political stalemate, as he saw it, and not the beginning of a permanent state of hostility between two countries or two nations.

The first step in reimagining Pakistan would be to abandon the narrow ideological paradigm of Pakistani nationalism. Pakistan is here to stay and no one in the world wants it dismembered if it functions effectively as a responsible international citizen.

This explains his expectation that India and Pakistan would live side by side “like the United States and Canada,” obviously with open borders, free flow of ideas and free trade. It is also the reason why the Quaid-e-Azam insisted that his Malabar Hills house in Bombay be kept as it was so that he could return to the city where he lived most of his life after retiring as Governor-General of Pakistan.

We all know now that partition and the birth of Pakistan were not simply the end of an argument about constitutional options, as Mr. Jinnah had thought.

The entire country was plunged into communal violence, hundreds of thousands of people from both sides were butchered and millions had to flee their homes.

Instead of living as good neighbours like the United States and Canada, India and Pakistan have gone on to become adversaries in a state of constant war, a situation that has not benefitted either country but has damaged Pakistan even more.

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World Sindhi Congress and Sindhi Association of North America condemn MQM demands, foresee adverse consequences for MQM

Sindh revolutionaryWorld Sindhi Congress (WSC) and Sindhi Association of North America (SANA) has condemned the nefarious demand by  Mutahida Qomi Movement (MQM) for creating a Muhajir province (Refugees’ province) out of Sindh. Both of the organizations have said that MQM would face severe consequences for its racist-fascist approach  and demand for the division of Sindh.  WSC leader Lakhu Mal Luhana said that those who love Muhajirism (Refugeeism) in Sindh may undergo an other migration from Sindh, as they earlier migrated and took refuge during the partition of India . Read WSC statement in daily Awami Awaz
Sindhi Association of North America (SANA) has condemned MQM demand for the separate province for Muhajirs (Refugees’ province). In an statement, SANA spokespersons said that the Nation of Sindh  knows to defend their motherland. SANA demanded that British Government should take action against MQM Supremo residing in London for his racist actions. Read SANA statement in daily Awami Awaz

Massive Protest – Thousands Out At Trafalgar Square LONDON For Free Kashmir

Thousands Out At Trafalgar Square LONDON For Free Kashmir

Thousands Out At Trafalgar Square LONDON For Free Kashmir

Courtesy: via Twitter

Sindh government announces to officially celebrate Diwali

DiwaliCM Sindh announces to officially celebrate Diwali

KARACHI (Web Desk) – Chief Minister of Sindh, Qaim Ali Shah of Pakistan People s Party (PPP) has announced to officially celebrate the Hindu festival of Diwali on October 23. All government employees from the Hindu community would be given an official holiday on Diwali, said Shah.

CM also promised to pay Diwali bonus to the government officials before the festival commences on October 23. Orders have been issued to the Sindh Finance Department regarding the advance salary payment to the Hindu government officials.

Read more » Dunya News

http://dunyanews.tv/index.php/en/Pakistan/241641-CM-Sindh-announces-to-officially-celebrate-Diwali

Political Islam: An evolutionary history

asafeBy Nadeem F. Paracha

The term ‘Political Islam’ is an academic concoction. It works as an analytical umbrella under which political analysts club together various political tendencies that claim to be using Muslim scriptures and historical traditions to achieve modern political goals.

The term most probably emerged in the 1940s in Europe, to define anti-colonial movements that described themselves as Islamic in orientation. It is a 20th century construct and its first prominent expression is believed to be Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, formed in 1927.

Even though as a political tendency, Political Islam covers a wide range of movements involving various Muslim sects, sub-sects, nationalities, leftist as well as rightist rhetoric and narratives; it is the commonalities in these varied movements that make analysts study them as a single ideological entity.

There is a rightist and a leftist side of Political Islam.

Till about the late 1960s, movements associated with rightest aspects of Political Islam were largely intellectual pursuits with limited political influence.

12th century Islamic thinker, Imam Ghazali, who advocated an end to ‘ijtihad’ (independent reasoning) with the view that Islamic thought had reached completion.

They were seen with suspicion, even by those movements and groups that adopted the main aspects of Political Islam and fused them with varied leftist ideologies.

Thus one can also suggest that during the Cold War era (1949-90), the central theological and political tussle in most Muslim countries was not exactly between ‘Islamists’ and secularists, or between religious political groups and communists; the main conflict was between the rightest expressions of Political Islam and its leftist versions.

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Ayaz Latif Palijo’s Press Conference

Shutter-down and wheel-jam Strike will be observed in Sindh on Oct 23 against MQM’s demand of division of Sindh.
We wont allow division of Sindh till death of 6 crore Sindhis.
Ayaz Latif Palijo
President Qomi Awami Tahreek -QAT
Press Conference on 22rd Oct 2014 Palijo House Hyderabad.

Exciting times…country on the move

Peace

Islamabad diary

By Ayaz Amir

Wordsworth would be a bit of an exaggeration: “Bliss was it in that dawn to be alive”…. But short of that, it’s an exciting time to be a Pakistani. Six months ago this seemed a dead country, beyond hope or redemption, the Sharifs in power, with little to offer beyond bizarre schemes of Margalla Hill tunnels and fast trains to Murree and Muzaffarabad. The opposition too seemed dead and politics looked no better than a doormat.

This was six months ago. It’s all so different now, the country shaken out of its somnolence and rocking to a new beat, rallies drawing record crowds and the Sharifs looking more dazed and clueless than ever, confined to their palaces and haunted by that cry which has caught on so much, “Go Nawaz Go”.

The important thing, however, is that something is happening in Pakistan. Things are not dead; the water is not stagnant. Old skin is being shed, a new light, even if flickering, can be espied on the mountains…this in a country where nothing good was ever expected to happen.

All this has happened without the least bit of violence or mayhem. For the most part, except for the stampede in the Multan stadium, the rallies and marches have been disciplined and orderly affairs, great enthusiasm on display but no disorder. The number of women attending these rallies has been amazing…young and old, housewives and school and college girls and no badtameezi, none whatsoever. If for nothing else, the rallies would be worth it for this reason alone, the way they have drawn women into the political arena and pulled the middle classes from their drawing rooms.

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More threats from India over cross-border crisis

Minister of Finance and Defence Arun Jaitley talks at a press conference in New Delhi on August 30, 2014. – AFP

Minister of Finance and Defence Arun Jaitley talks at a press conference in New Delhi on August 30, 2014. – AFP

By Dawn.com | Reuters

NEW DELHI: India warned Pakistan on Tuesday of more “pain” if it continued to violate a ceasefire on their disputed border in Kashmir and said it was up to Islamabad to create the conditions for a resumption of peace talks.

The two sides exchanged mortars and intense gunfire this month, killing at least 20 civilians and wounding dozens in the worst violation to date of a 2003 ceasefire. While the firing has abated, tension remains high along a 200-km (125-mile) stretch of the border dividing the nuclear-armed rivals.

“Our conventional strength is far more than theirs. So if they persist with this, they’ll feel the pain of this adventurism,” Indian Defence Minister Arun Jaitley told NDTV in an interview.

Read more » DAWN

http://www.dawn.com/news/1139420

Pakistan politics: The mythical feudal and the real elite

It is nothing more than a power grab for one group of elite from another. —Illustration by Khuda Bux Abro

It is nothing more than a power grab for one group of elite from another. —Illustration by Khuda Bux Abro

By Adnan Rasool

Reality is always hard to stomach. In the age of inflated self-worth and significance, societies start having delusions of grandeur. But when the delusions are questioned, the society either goes into denial or starts spinning a new narrative.

For the last two years, our people have been going through a process where there was initially a denial of the harsh realities of Pakistan, and then the passionate spinning of a false narrative. This narrative initially blamed the system, then blamed the government and now blames everyone for everything.

Too much time has been spent criticising this false narrative that many believe to be the truth. What has been ignored are the basic set of realities that Pakistan continues to face.

To start with, as much as I hate saying this, politics in Pakistan is not for the voter to decide.

Pakistan is a case of elite adjustment. It has never been a case where the voter will decide anything; the voters are simply not a significant enough part of the equation to leverage the situation.

Also read: ‘The real struggle in Pakistan is between the elite and the poor’

The form of governance does not matter either; be it a dictatorship or autocratic democracy, the political situation is a result of elite adjustment.

Read more » DAWN

http://www.dawn.com/news/1139412

Meet Dr Adib Rizvi – The man who brought free healthcare to Sindh’s poor

Dr Adib Rizvi says he and his team still has "a long way to go" to improve healthcare in Pakistan

Dr Adib Rizvi says he and his team still has “a long way to go” to improve healthcare in Pakistan

Pakistan’s ‘miracle’ doctor inspired by NHS

Pakistan’s shambolic public health system suffers from corruption, mismanagement and lack of resources. But one public sector hospital in Karachi provides free specialised healthcare to millions, led by a man whose dream was inspired by the UK’s National Health Service.

Dr Adib Rizvi’s most distinguishing feature is not just his grey hair. You can spot him in a crowd of people in a cramped hospital corridor by the respect he commands among patients and staff.

It doesn’t only come from being the founder and the head of one of Pakistan’s largest public health organisations.

Quite the opposite, for a man who’s spearheaded a life-long mission of providing “free public health care with dignity,” Dr Rizvi is unassuming as he walks around the hospital wards checking on his patients.

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Bilawal Re-Energizes PPP, Stuns Critics At Karachi Rally

PTI may be famous for it’s political rallies, but it was PPP that stunned the nation with its rally on Saturday. No matter whose numbers you want to believe, it is undeniable that the turnout was massive enough to put to bed silly questions about whether the party is ‘finished’. In fact, the question being asked today is whether or not Saturday’s rally – and more specifically Bilawal’s speech –  marks a turning point in a national politics that has grown stale and disheartening for so many.

PPP didn’t trot out aging rock stars and sports celebrities to draw a crowd. What drew cheers from both jiyalas and critics alike was the substance of Bilawal’s speech.

Read more » newPakistan

http://new-pakistan.com/2014/10/20/bilawal-re-energizes-ppp-stuns-critics-at-karachi-rally/

When Jews found refuge in an unlikely place: Pakistan

Instead of fleeing 1930s Europe to British-controlled Palestine like many other Jews, the Kahan family moved to Lahore on a whim.

By and Gabe Friedman

When Hazel Kahan went back to Lahore, Pakistan, in 2011 for the first time in 40 years, her childhood homes were completely different. Her first home, formerly a tan stone mansion covered in flowery vines, was now completely painted in white and inhabited by the Rokhri family, one of Pakistan’s most powerful political clans. Her second home, where her parents had run a medical clinic, had become the Sanjan Nagar Institute of Philosophy and Arts.

Pakistan is still close to Kahan’s heart. She explained that she has been graciously welcomed back into the Pakistani community every time she has visited. “I feel because I was born there that in a very profound way it’s my home,” she said. “Even though I’m not of it, I’m from there.”

After living in England, Australia and Israel, and having worked in market research in Manhattan for years, Kahan, 75, now lives in Mattituck, on the North Fork of Long Island. She produces interviews for WPKN radio in Bridgeport, Connecticut, and has recently begun discussing her family history in public presentations, telling a story that illustrates how complicated citizenship and allegiances were for Jews during and after World War II in Pakistan and beyond. She has presented her piece “The Other Pakistan” in Woodstock and Greenport, New York and twice in Berlin. She plans to bring her performance to Montreal in November.

Kahan said that her parents wanted to spend their entire life in Pakistan, and dreamt of dispensing free medical care to people throughout the Middle East after they retired.

“I never really cared about it, I never bothered, until [my father] died [in 2007],” Kahan said of the project. “Then I realized there’s no one left to tell this story. He did his best to pass it on to us. And we’re responsible, you know?”

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Pakistan: Bilawal Bhutto Zardari leads first PPP rally

Tens of thousands of Pakistanis have attended the first mass rally held by the son of murdered Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto.

By Shahzeb Jillani, BBC News, Karachi, Sindh

Karachi has not seen such a huge PPP rally for years. The party is trying to show that it still has mass appeal, and can compete with other opposition politicians such as Imran Khan. It is, after all, a party that has fought military dictatorships in Pakistan time and again over the last four decades.

Read more » BBC

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-29673493

The Gulf Today – PTI leader receives Rs. 40 m US fund

By Tariq Butt

ISLAMABAD: Senior Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Jehangir Tareen has received American funding of over Rs40 million through the US Agency for International Development (USAID) for his private business firm and family NGO working in Lodhran from where he is poised to contest the upcoming general elections instead of Rahim Yar Khan.

When contacted, the PTI leader, who heads the party’s policy wing and think tank, confirmed that his Tareen Education Foundation (TEF) and Ali Tareen Farm got the money from the USAID, but said he received the funding before he joined Imran Khan’s squad.

The TEF got approximately Rs20.75 million grant from the USAID’s Small Grants and Ambassador’s Fund Programme (SGAFP). The Ali Tareen Farm (ATF) received Rs20 million from another USAID project called FIRMS.

Documents show that the TEF is a society, set up by Tareen in 2010, to work for improvement of education in Lodhran. In the same year of 2010, the two-time member of the National Assembly, Tareen, fell out with his close relative, Makhdoom Ahmad Mahmood, a powerful political figure of Rahim Yar Khan, and decided to contest elections from Lodhran where he also has the ATF.

Tareen started working through the TEF for improvement of schools in six union councils of Lodhran in order to improve his visibility in NA-154 constituency.

While the SGAFP provided the grant of about Rs20.75 million to the TEF, the NGO’s contribution to project is proposed to be Rs14 million, which will be spared by Tareen’s business concerns. Tareen launched himself in this constituency in a gathering of TEF in 2011, using the US funds to further his political prospects, according to the available record. The board of management of the TEF, registered in Lahore under 1860 Societies Act in April 2010, comprises Tareen’s daughter Mareem, and some friends and employees.

The SGAFP are two grant programmes launched by the USAID to help Pakistani communities implement their initiatives. Grants under the US Ambassador’s Fund for projects of up to one year time duration support broad impact community level initiatives. Grants under the USAID’s Small Grants Programme for projects of one to three-years time duration support promising proposals and pilot initiatives, which are consistent with USAID’s strategic priorities.

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The PPP jiyala: An existentialist history

By Nadeem F. Paracha

The word ‘jiyala‘ has come down to become an iconic term in the realm of Pakistan’s populist politics. Almost entirely associated (in this context) with diehard supporters and members of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP).

So, who or what is a PPP jiyala and where did he or she appear from; and why can such people only be found among the PPP’s supporters, in spite of the fact that in the last two decades, almost all mainstream political parties have successfully adopted the antics of the country’s first ever purveyor of populist politics, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto (the founder of the PPP).

But as a former PSF comrade of mine who quit politics altogether in 1990 recently told me, ‘No matter how much of a distance a jiyala would like to put between himself and the party, a jiyala will always remain a jiyala. It’s a spiritual state, as well as an existentialist dilemma.’

A jiyala is a PPP supporter who is bound to stick with the party or with the Bhutto family’s overriding claim over the leadership of the PPP no matter what state the party is in. He or she would defend it passionately, even fight on the streets and campuses for it, and there have also been cases in which jiyalas have died for the party.

Also read: Stage set to launch Bhutto scion into practical politics

Contrary to belief, especially among the party’s opponents, that jiyalas are ‘blind followers of the PPP ‘ who unquestionably nod at everything that is dished out to them by the party, the fact is that jiyalas have also been some of the harshest critics of the party that they so intensely love.

There have been a number of reported cases in which jiyalas have publicly confronted the party’s leadership over various issues. According to political economist and researcher, Haris Gazdar, the party’s traditional voters remain passive and almost impersonal to the fate of the party when it is in power, but become highly active when it is in the opposition or facing a challenge from the establishment or the opposition.

Of course, the traditional voters of the PPP that Gazdar was talking about – mainly the rural peasants, small farmers and folks from the urban working classes – are not all jiyalas, but this shift from going passive to active in the context of Gazdar’s initial findings is also reflective of the general jiyala mindset.

Jiyalas are at their most active and passionate when their party is in a political or existentialist crises.

My own experience as an active member of the PPP’s student-wing, the Peoples Students Federation (PSF), between 1984 and 1989, facilitated my understanding of the above-mentioned mindset associated with jiyalas.

My close interaction with the party’s leadership and support (in Karachi and the interior of Sindh), in the mid- and late 1980s, saw me being left rather baffled by the way many jiyalasswitched from being daring, impassioned and uncritical activists and street fighters during the reactionary Ziaul Haq dictatorship to becoming either disinterested or severely critical of the PPP leadership once the party was voted back into power in November 1988.

Read more » DAWN

http://www.dawn.com/news/1138808/the-ppp-jiyala-an-existentialist-history

Sending Pakistan to Mars

By Pervez Hoodbhoy

When spacecraft Mangalyaan successfully entered the Martian orbit in late September after a 10-month journey, India erupted in joy. Costing more than an F-16 but less than a Rafale, Mangalyaan’s meticulous planning and execution established India as a space-faring country. Although Indians had falsely celebrated their five nuclear tests of 1998 — which were based upon well-known physics of the 1940s — the Mars mission is a true accomplishment.

Pakistanis may well ask: can we do it too? What will it take? Seen in the proper spirit, India’s foray into the solar system could be Pakistan’s sputnik moment — an opportunity to reflect upon what’s important. Let’s see how India did it: First, space travel is all about science and India’s young ones are a huge reservoir of enthusiasm for science. Surveys show that 12-16 year olds practically worship Albert Einstein and Stephen Hawking, are fascinated by black holes and Schrödinger cats, and most want a career in science. They see more prestige in this than becoming doctors, lawyers, financial managers, or army officers. Although most eventually settle for more conventional professions, this eagerness leads India’s very best students towards science.

Read more » DAWN

http://www.dawn.com/news/1138678/sending-pakistan-to-mars

 

Punjab Assembly approves resolution to make Guru Nanak’s birthday a public holiday

By Abdul Manan

LAHORE: Sardar Ramesh Singh, the first Sikh member of the Punjab Assembly, tabled a resolution requesting that the birthday of Guru Nanak, founder of Sikhism, be made a public holiday.

Ramesh Singh is a member of Pakistan Muslim League — Nawaz (PML-N) and the resolution was approved in the Punjab Assembly on Wednesday.

The passing of the resolution comes just a few days after members of the Sikh community stormed through the gates of Parliament House to protest …

Read more » The Express Tribune

http://tribune.com.pk/story/714317/punjab-assembly-approves-resolution-to-make-guru-nanaks-birthday-a-public-holiday/

Iran issues fresh warning to Pakistan: Deal with terrorists within your borders or we will.

Iran again warns of crossing into Pakistan if border is not secured

Iran issued a veiled threat to Pakistan on Thursday that it might cross the border to contain terrorists if Pakistan fails protect its border and stop terrorists from entering into Iran, Iranian state media reported.

Second-in-command of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC), Brigadier General Hossein Salami on Thursday said that border security is a common and pressing need for neighbouring countries. He warned that if any neighbouring country fails to fulfill their obligation to protect their border than Iran will have no choice but to act on its own.

We are, in principle, against intervening in the affairs of any country, but if they fail to abide by their obligations we will have [no choice but] to act,” said Salami, adding that “Terrorists, wherever they may be, even on the soil of neighbouring countries, we will find them, and if they do not give up acts of terrorism, we will deal with them without reservation.”

In May this year, Iranian border guards trespassed three kilometres into Pakistani territory and shot dead a Pakistani citizen while injuring another in the Prom tehsil of Panjgur district in Balochistan.

Iran, on many counts, has threatened to send forces into Pakistani territories.

Read more » The Express Tribune

http://tribune.com.pk/story/776867/iran-again-warns-of-crossing-into-pakistan-if-border-is-not-secured/

What Pakistan can learn from the economics Nobel laureate

By Murtaza Haider

From food items to consumer products, Pakistanis pay significantly higher prices than others in the region.

Being left at the mercy of oligopolies, which have controlled markets since Pakistan’s creation in 1947, the consumers have been forced to pay higher prices for, at times, inferior quality goods.

Another newly minted Nobel laureate’s efforts may help Pakistanis break free of the tyrannical control of State monopolies and private oligopolies.

Professor Jean Tirole of France has received the 2014 Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel for his work on market power and regulation. His research has shown how firms gain market power and set prices at the detriment of consumers. His work is as relevant to privatisation-happy Pakistan as it is to developed economies.

Read more » DAWN

http://www.dawn.com/news/1138136

Men are Delighted while Women are Skeptical – Pakistani Expats Reactions on Malala’s Nobel Peace Prize – By: Faiz Al-Najdi

Friday the 10th of October must have been the happiest day in Malala Yousafzai’s life as on this day, at a tender age of 17 years only, she became the youngest person to have been awarded with the prestigious & coveted Nobel Peace prize for the year 2014. She thus became the second Pakistani to have won this honor – after the decorated Pakistani Dr. Abdus Salam had won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1979.

Read more » South Asia Plus

http://www.sapulse.com/new_comments.php?id=9415_0_1_0_C

Karachi ruled by everyone, run by no one

By Vaqar Ahmed

Here’s the routine for most people in Karachi:

They wake up in the morning and get ready for work. The lucky ones have enough water to take a bath but most have to make do with much less. If there is some gas, the stove is switched on, and some tea and bread is prepared for breakfast. Then, it is off to the bus stop with the hope of finding transport to make it to work in time. When the bus arrives, the object called human body is stuffed into it like a sardine joining other sardines in a tin box.

The same routine happens in reverse at the end of a long day. Also, during the day, those who went out for work and those who stayed at home need electricity to do their jobs or carry out the various tasks at home; if they are lucky, they will get it for a few hours.

Read more » DAWN

Can Pakistan’s new ISI spy chief Rizwan Akhtar restore security?

Pakistan’s army has chosen a new head of the country’s controversial spy agency. Seen as experienced in counter-insurgency operations, Lieutenant-General Rizwan Akhtar is being called “a professional soldier”. But as M Ilyas Khan reports, the question is whether he will be able to restore internal security.

Lt-Gen Akhtar’s appointment as head of Pakistan’s feared Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) makes him the second most powerful man in the military – and possibly in the country, some would say – after the army chief.

Read more » BBC

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-29340680

Pakistan’s women cricket team storm Asian Games, win first Gold medal for the country

cricketby Asfia Afzal

Pakistan’s women cricket team fought their way to victory in the final of the Asian Games women twenty 20 cricket tournament beating Bangladesh by 59 runs.

The women’s team outclassed defending champion China with a nine-wicket win in the semi final of Asian Games 2014 played at Yeonhui Cricket Ground, in Inheon on Thursday.

With the victory the team was through to the final of the Incheon Asian Games to face Bangladesh, where they successfully won the first gold medal for the Pakistani nation in the Asian games.

Bangladesh’s team played their best in the semis and defeated the Sri Lankan Women side by 25 runs in the second semi-final to seal their spot in the finals but Pakistan’s team stole their win in finals with 97 runs against Bangladesh’s 38 runs.

Read more » Business Recorder

http://www.brecorder.com/sports/cricket/197250-pakistan%E2%80%99s-women-cricket-team-storm-asian-games-win-first-gold-medal-for-the-country.html

Sindh Assembly passes resolution against division of Sindh

By Agencies

KARACHI: In the absence of members of the opposition and the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), the Pakistan Peoples Party on Thursday managed to unanimously pass a resolution in the Sindh Assembly against the division of the province or formation of new administrative units.

The resolution was jointly moved by Sohail Akbar and other PPP members in the backdrop of a recent demand by the MQM to create more administrative units in Sindh.

Read more » DAWN

http://www.dawn.com/news/1134279/sindh-assembly-passes-resolution-against-division-of-sindh

Marsoon Marsoon Sindh na desoon resolution  passed by Sindh Assembly

Altaf poses 14 questions to army chief over MQM workers’ arrest

By Dawn.com

Excerpt;

He asked why the Rangers did not act against anti-government protesters in Islamabad who were involved in attacks on government buildings in the capital.

Raising questions concerning the recent arrests of MQM workers carried out by Rangers in Karachi, Altaf asked if the MQM, like some political parties, would be similarly allowed to protest in the high-security Red Zone of Islamabad for a period of 40 days?

Read more » DAWN

http://www.dawn.com/news/1134488

Metro Bus or Mars: The problem with our priorities

By Bilal Karim Mughal

1969 was the year, when the United States succeeded in landing humans on the moon – our closest neighbour in space – and safely bringing them back to Earth.

The United States, being the most technologically advanced country on Earth, put that feather in its hat about 45 years ago.

What was the condition of India and Pakistan at that time? The two countries had already fought two battles, and were about to plunge into another one in 1971.

While the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) was established in 1969, the same year when humans set foot on the moon, Pakistan’s Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission (SUPARCO) was established in 1961 – eight years before its Indian counterpart.

Explore: Space: Above and Beyond

SUPARCO was set up by the most famous of all Pakistani scientists and the country’s only Nobel Laureate: Dr Abdus Salam.

Dr Salam had advised Field Marshal Muhammad Ayub Khan, then President of Pakistan to establish a Space Sciences Research Wing within Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission. This later turned into SUPARCO in 1964.

Read more » DAWN

http://www.dawn.com/news/1134488

British pensioner on Pakistan’s death row on blasphemy charge shot by policeman

A British pensioner who was sentenced to death after being convicted of blasphemy, has been shot and injured by a policeman inside the Pakistani jail where the 70-year-old was on death row. A Christian pastor was reportedly killed in the same incident. Muhammad Asghar, who is from Edinburgh and whose family says he has a history of mental illness, was shot in Adiala Jail in Rawalpindi on Thursday morning by a member of a specialist police unit allegedly using a concealed weapon. Pastor Zafar Bhatti was killed in the same incident, Reuters reported.

Mr Asghar was arrested in 2010 and sentenced to death in January this year after a disgruntled tenant presented letters he had written saying he was a prophet. During his trial, his family tried to present evidence that he was suffering from paranoid schizophrenia.

A lawyer for Mr Asghar, who asked not to be identified, said they had been told the pensioner had been shot in the back at 8.30am by a police constable attached to a specialist unit.

More » The Independent

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/british-pensioner-on-pakistans-death-row-shot-and-injured-9754963.html

BBC urdu column: Mohammad Hanif on new DG ISI Appointment

Read more » BBC urdu
See more » http://www.bbc.co.uk/urdu/pakistan/2014/09/140924_new_isi_chief_analysis_rk.shtml

Pakistani movie – Operation 021 Teaser

Operation 021 is upcoming Pakistani spy-action thriller movie — to be released on Eid-ul-Azha

Courtesy: Daily Motion

Lt-Gen Rizwan Akhtar named new ISI chief

By Dawn.com | Reuters

RAWALPINDI: Lieutenant General Rizwan Akhtar, considered a close ally of Army Chief Gen Raheel Sharif, has been promoted to the post of Director General Inter Service Intelligence (ISI) on Monday among other promotions within the army ranks. The announcement was made by Director General Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) Major Asim Bajwa on Twitter:

Read more » DAWN

http://www.dawn.com/news/1133581/lt-gen-rizwan-akhtar-named-new-isi-chief