Tag Archives: congress

Millionaires Are Now the Majority in Congress: The 1% Literally Rule Us

By: MARK KARLIN, EDITOR AT BUZZFLASH.COM

According to a new analysis by OpenSecretsBlog, “Millionaires’ Club: For First Time, Most Lawmakers are Worth $1 Million-Plus”:

Of 534 current members of Congress, at least 268 had an average net worth of $1 million or more in 2012, according to disclosures filed last year by all members of Congress and candidates. The median net worth for the 530 current lawmakers who were in Congress as of the May filing deadline was $1,008,767 — an increase from last year when it was $966,000. In addition, at least one of the members elected since then, Rep. Katherine Clark (D-Mass.), is a millionaire, according to forms she filed as a candidate. (There is currently one vacancy in Congress.)

Last year only 257 members, or about 48 percent of lawmakers, had a median net worth of at least $1 million.

Remember, of course, those in Congress who aren’t millionaires have a very good chance of becoming ones after leaving office — particularly senators — by becoming lobbyists or working for corporations.

Read more » http://www.truth-out.org/buzzflash/commentary/item/18411-millionaires-are-now-the-majority-in-congress-the-1-literally-rule-us

Sen. Bernie Sanders

“Many people think that Congress regulates Wall Street , but in fact it is Wall Street that regulates Congress.” ~ Sen. Bernie Sanders

Courtesy: Twitter » Sen. Bernie Sanders
https://twitter.com/SenSanders/status/414905840227741696/photo/1

India hits back, row with U.S. hots up

By Sandeep Dikshit

Withdraws some privileges in retaliation for arrest of Indian deputy consul

India on Tuesday set in motion an array of retaliatory steps against U.S. diplomats based across the country for the manner of arrest of an Indian diplomat in New York, signalling the escalation of an unprecedented bilateral row.

The government asked all U.S. consular officers to turn in their identity cards and the entire American diplomatic corps their airport passes while senior Congress leaders snubbed a visiting U.S. Congressional delegation for the second straight day by refusing to meet it.

The government also ordered the Delhi Police to remove concrete barricades on public land and roads that have existed for years around the U.S. embassy, sought salary details and bank accounts of all Indian staff employed at the missions and stopped all import clearances for the U.S. embassy, especially for liquor.

Read more » The Hindu
http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/india-hits-back-row-with-us-hots-up/article5469325.ece

Chilean student leader Camila Vallejo elected to Congress

Woman who led 2011 student uprising joins lower house as Michelle Bachelet comes top in first round of presidential election

By: Reuters in Santiago, theguardian.com

Camila Vallejo, who helped spearhead Chile‘s student uprising in 2011, has been elected to Congress alongside three other former university leaders, underscoring a generational shift in the country’s politics.

The 25-year-old communist shot to international fame as one of the most recognisable faces of a student movement seeking free and improved education in a country fettered by the worst income distribution among the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s 34 member states.

Vallejo’s victory is key for the presidential frontrunner Michelle Bachelet‘s attempt to have her Nueva Mayoria coalition gain a stronger foothold in both houses of Congress.

“We’re going to celebrate our triumph on the streets of La Florida,” Vallejo said on Twitter, referring to a district in Santiago.

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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/

Grand Congress of Sindhi writers and intellectuals against draconian & black ‘SPLGA’ law

Sindhi writers lend voice to opposition’s movement

HYDERABAD: Over a hundred Sindhi writers, poets and intellectuals who attended the Sindhi Writers and Thinkers Congress have criticised the Pakistan Peoples Party for enacting the new local government law that was detrimental to the unity of the province. The gathering on Sunday, arranged by the Sindhi Adabi Sangat, dealt another blow to the PPP, whose leaders have claimed in the past that opponents of the new law are “illiterate nationalists”.

PPP MNA Zafar Ali Shah was the only political leader who was invited to the event, and he did not disappoint the participants by going all-out against the policy of his own party. Shah termed the new local government system “a big injustice to Sindh” and said that it would “serve the interests of a minority [population]”. Outgoing Pakistani ambassador to the United Nations, Abdullah Hussain Haroon, said that the new law was passed contrary to the wishes of the people of Sindh.

Sindh Democratic Forum’s Zulfiqar Halepoto presented a list of “anti-Sindh” pieces of legislation that were adopted by the present government. They included the Zulfiqarabad Development Authrotiy Act, Thar Coal and Energy Board Act 2011, Colonisation of Government Lands (Amendment) Act 2010 and the Sindh Peoples Local Government Act 2012.

He added that the Sindh Assembly had passed a law in 2005 which asked the provincial government to ensure that multinational companies and other private enterprises in Karachi recruit people that have local domicile. “It meant that residents of 22 districts of Sindh were not allowed to come for jobs to Karachi, which is the only commercial and industrial city in the province.

Jami Chandio, a researcher, stressed upon his fellow intellectuals to continue to acquire knowledge and to impart that to the people. “We need to make people understand these things, so that they can choose their leadership while keeping in mind the threats and opportunities that we face.”

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Sindhi woman leader to brief US Congress on plight of Hindus, Christians

A highly respected Sindhi woman leader from the hometown of slain premier Benazir Bhutto would brief the American Congress on the slave-like status of Pakistan’s Hindu and Christian women Thursday.

Dr. Rubina Greenwood, who belongs to a family of scholars and intellectuals from Larkano, Sindh, and is a Briton now, will partake in the Congressional Briefing on Minority Women’s Rights in Pakistan. She will inform the congress of the daily abductions, forced conversions and rape in the garb of marriages of minority Hindu and Christian women in Pakistan.

The Washington DC based Hindu American Foundation has organized the briefing.

The status of Hindu and Christian women in Pakistan is like that of modern day slaves. These minorities are routinely hounded under the draconian blasphemy law that carries the death sentence.

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ELECTION OF THE WORLD SINDHI CONGRESS EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE AND OFFICE BEARERS FOR 2010-2012

LONDON: October 13th, 2012, World Sindhi Congress conducted the elections of its Executive

Committee for 2012-14. Mr. Bharat Dadlani of UK was the Election Commissioner and coordinated the election activities. The new Executive Committee comprises of 15 members: Ambreen Hisbani , Ali Memon, Gul Sanai, Hidayat Bhutto, Farhan Kaghzi , Mansoor Samo, RubinaShaikh, Lakhu Luhano, Saghir Shaikh, Abdul Rehman Kakepoto, Umed Laghari, Asif Panwhar, Sattar Zangejo, Hafeezan Wadhio, and Sultan Mahar.

The New EC elected the office bearers as follows:

Chairman: Dr. Lakhu Luhano, Senior Vice Chairperson: Farhan Kaghzi, Vice Chairman: Sattar

Zangejo, Secretary General: Dr. Rubina Shaikh, Deputy Secretary General: Gul Sanai, Finance

Secretary: Ambreen Hisbani, Information Secretary: Ali Memon, Cultural Secretary: Hafeezan

Wadhio.

The New EC also elected the Chapter Organizers as follows:

UK and Europe: Hidayat Bhutto, USA: Mansoor Samo, and Canada: Asif Panwhar

In addition, EC has formed following Organizing Committees for WSC Chapters:

UK and Europe: Hidayat Bhutto, Jabir Shar, Sikandar Khaskeli, Sanjay Ahuja, Sadiq Bhambhro, Dr Mumtaz Bughio, and Vishnu Jairamani

USA: Mansoor Samo, Malik Dino Shaikh, Zubair Bhambhro, Saghir Shaikh, Mahboob Dahani, and Umed Laghari.

Canada: Asif Panhwar and Siraj Makhdoom

The new Office bearers will be taking oath at the WSC Annual Conference held on October 13th, 2012 in London.

Sindhi population under attack by Pak govt: US lawmakers

Sindhi population under attack by Pak govt bodies: US lawmakers

Washington: With the popularity of the United States inside Pakistan at an all-time low, an influential American lawmaker has asked the State Department to make efforts to reach out directly to the country’s population, in particular the Sindhis.

“Pakistan is a nuclear-armed Islamic state on the front line of several conflicts with so many extremist groups.

Pakistan is a pressing international problem for us. My hope is that you are reaching out to the Pakistani people not just in Urdu, which is the politically correct language that the government and the ISI in Pakistan would have you use, but also in the other languages, particularly Sindhi,” Congressman Brad Sherman, said during a Congressional hearing Thursday.

Sherman alleged that the people of Sindhi, predominantly those who speak Sindhi language, have been under attack by governmental bodies.

“That’s why the government of Pakistan would just as soon you not use that language. They’re so helpful in so many ways that perhaps you might want to ignore their advice,” he said.

“The US must reach out to Sindh, where the Sindhi language is spoken by more people than Urdu,” Sherman said in his remarks at the hearing of the Terrorism, Nonproliferation, and Trade Subcommittee of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

Courtesy: The Indian Express

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/sindhi-population-under-attack-by-pak-govt-bodies-us-lawmakers/983254/

Who orchestrated the exodus of Sindhi Hindus after Partition?

By Haider Nizamani

Excerpts;

….. The lone source Ajmal sahib has cited is not a thoroughly researched book but a ‘polemical brochure’ written by the then-secretary of the Sindh Assembly Congress Party, PV Tahalramani, in November 1947 to persuade the Indian state to intervene in Sindh. Let’s look at the role the Sindhi leadership in the days immediately following Partition and compare it with the role of some key figures of the central government on the matter of anti-Hindu riots. Because of space constraints I will only briefly refer to the political leanings and the role of the Sindhi Hindu leadership of that time in facilitating the migration of Hindus from Sindh. The exodus of Hindus from Sindh cannot be seen in isolation from the influx of refugees in Sindh and the setting up of the central government of the newly-founded state of Pakistan in Karachi, Sindh.

Sindh’s governor, Francis Mundie, described Sindh in the days leading up to Partition as a place which “characteristically carries on almost as if nothing had happened or was about to happen”. It changed when, according to Hamida Khuhro, Karachi rapidly became “a vast refugee camp”, making Jinnah “extremely worried about the mass exchange of population which was taking place and the bloodshed that accompanied it…. In fact Jinnah told Ayub Khuhro, premier of Sindh, categorically that he expected to retain the minority communities in Pakistan. Khuhro fully agreed with Jinnah. Hindus, he felt, ‘were an essential part of the society and economy of the province’. The events took an ugly turn in Karachi and Hyderabad (where) the new arrivals were entering and occupying houses where the owners, particularly Hindus, were still living, and throwing out the owners”.

Congress leaders advised Hindus to leave Sindh which was viewed by the Sindhi Muslim leadership as a ploy to deprive Sindh of its merchants, bankers, and sanitation workers. According to Brown University’s associate professor of history Vazira Zamindar’s book The Long Partition and the Making of Modern South Asia (Columbia University Press, 2007): Ayub Khuhro, the premier of Sindh, and other Sindhi leaders also attempted to retain Sindh’s minorities, for they also feared a loss of cultural identity with the Hindu exodus.” The Sindh government “attempted to use force to stem” the exodus “by passing the Sindh Maintenance of Public Safety Ordinance” in September 1947. On September 4, 1947 curfew had to be imposed in Nawabshah because of communal violence. It turned out that the policies of a local collector resulted in the exodus of a large Sikh community of Nawabshah to make room for an overflow of refugees from East Punjab. The Sindh government took stern action to suppress the violence.

The Sindh government set up a Peace Board comprising Hindu and Muslim members to maintain order in the troubled province. PV Tahilramani was secretary of the Peace Board. He is the one who rushed to Khuhro’s office on January 6, 1948, at around 11 am to inform the chief minister that the Sikhs in Guru Mandir areas of Karachi were being killed. According to Khuhro, senior bureaucrats and police officials were nowhere to be found and he rushed to the scene at around 12.30 pm where he saw “mobs of refugees armed with knives and sticks storming the temples”. Khuhro tried to stem the violence and Jinnah was pleased with his efforts.

The prime minister, Liaquat Ali Khan, was angry with Khuhro when he went to see him on January 9 or 10. Liaquat said to Khuhro: “What sort of Muslim are you that you protect Hindus here when Muslims are being killed in India. Aren’t you ashamed of yourself!In the third week of January 1948, Liaquat Ali Khan said the Sindh government must move out of Karachi and told Khuhro to “go make your capital in Hyderabad or somewhere else”. Liaquat said this during a cabinet meeting while Jinnah quietly listened. The Sindh Assembly passed a resolution on February 10, 1948, against the Centre’s impending move to annex Karachi. The central government had already taken over the power to allotment houses in Karachi. Khuhro was forced to quit and Karachi was handed over to the Centre in April 1948.

The above facts made me write that the violence against Sindhi Hindus and their mass migration to India was a tragic loss scripted, orchestrated and implemented by non-Sindhis in Sindh. I will happily withdraw my claim when furnished with the evidence to the contrary.

Courtesy: The Express Tribune, June 5th, 2012.

http://tribune.com.pk/story/388663/who-orchestrated-the-exodus-of-sindhi-hindus-after-partition/

US moving to punish Pakistan severely

By: Wajid Ali Syed

WASHINGTON: The United States House Armed Services Committee on Thursday approved a bill that will prohibit the preferential procurement of goods or services from Pakistan until the Nato supply lines are reopened.

The committee fine-tuned the bill, also known as the National Defence Authorisation Act, all day on Wednesday and into the early hours of Thursday, when it was passed with an overwhelming majority by the committee members.

Confirming the passage of bill, a committee spokesman told The News, ìWe did three things, but they generally boil down to one theme ñ we are restricting or cutting funds until the Pakistani supply routes are reopened. When they are, we are pressing for greater accountability. We hope the US-Pakistan relationship will improve, but until that happens, we need to be conscious of our roles as stewards of the taxpayer dollar.î

A section of the bill extended the Pakistan Counterinsurgency Fund (PCF) through the 2013 fiscal year, but the modified sub-sections require the Secretary of Defence, with the concurrence of the Secretary of State, to submit an update to the report on the strategy to utilise the fund, and the metrics used to determine progress with respect to the fund. It also limits the authority of the Secretary of Defence to obligate or expend funds made available to the Pakistan Counterinsurgency Fund to not more than 10 percent of the amount available until such time as the update is submitted to the appropriate congressional committees.

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Elements of the ISI and Pakistan’s military operate radical Islamic groups that are actively murdering Americans

US Congress introduces Pak ‘terrorism accountability’ bill

A far-reaching legislation has been introduced in the US Congress that would deduct $50 million from the aid to Islamabad for every American killed by terrorists operating from the safe havens in Pakistan with the ”support” of ISI.

“Pakistan has for decades leveraged radical terrorist groups to carry out attacks in India and Afghanistan,” Congressman Dana Rohrabacher said introducing the ‘Pakistan Terrorism Accountability Act of 2012′.

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[US Congress] House panel cuts foreign aid, UN and military aid to Pakistan

House panel cuts foreign aid, UN and military aid to Pakistan

By Associated Press

WASHINGTON — A House panel on Wednesday moved to cut the foreign aid budget by some 9 percent, targeting economic aid and contributions to the United Nations and the World Bank.

Despite the cuts, the legislation won bipartisan backing from the Appropriations foreign aid panel, though it’s sure to draw a White House veto threat because it’s in line with a broader GOP spending plan that breaks faith with last summer’s budget and debt pact with President Barack Obama.

The panel maintains aid to Israel and Egypt at the administration’s requests but denies $800 million that was requested for a special fund for training and equipping Pakistan’s military in counterinsurgency tactics. The move appears to reflect wariness on the part of lawmakers toward the government of Pakistan, which failed to find Osama bin Laden for years until the U.S. military killed him a year ago.

Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., D-Ill., accused Pakistan of “harboring a fugitive” and likened the U.S.-Pakistan relationship to a “bad marriage.”

Given the animosity toward Pakistan, the $800 million request for counterinsurgency efforts was an easy target, though the measure would permit transfers from other accounts to make up for some or all of the shortfall. …

Read more » The Washington Post

Via – Wichaar.com

BBC – Enormous frustration in Washington regarding Pakistan which is now seen by many in the US Congress and the military as an enemy rather than a friend.

Afghan end game sees Pakistan ‘paralysed’ by US rift

Since US forces killed Osama Bin Laden in Pakistan a year ago, relations between the two countries have never recovered. Writer Ahmed Rashid looks at a relationship in crisis as US troops prepare to withdraw from Afghanistan in 2014.

The continuing breakdown in co-operation between the US and Pakistan is having a hugely detrimental effect on US and Nato resolve to withdraw from Afghanistan while trying to remain committed to the region’s stability.

Although the US has much to answer for in terms of mistakes made, the refusal of the Pakistani leadership – both military and civilian – to take responsibility and ownership for desperately needed decisions, is leading the country into a terrible sense of drift and despair.

The recent visit to Islamabad by a high-level US delegation, consisting of officials from the defence and state departments, the CIA, the White House, and led by US special envoy Marc Grossman failed to elicit any major breakthrough in resolving any of the major outstanding issues which could lead to improving relations.

Drone attacks

Pakistan insists on a US apology for the killing of 24 of its soldiers last November by US helicopters on the Afghan border – yet when a US apology was on the cards a few months ago, Pakistani officials declined to meet their US counterparts.

Pakistan also insists on an end to drone strikes which the US refuses to agree to.

Both sides have tried to explore different scenarios for co-operation so that drone attacks can continue.

If a co-operation mechanism can be found, the US wants Pakistan to be more transparent about drone attacks because Pakistani interests are also served when drones kill leading members of the Pakistani Taliban.

US officials say their own lack of transparency over drones was dictated by former President Pervez Musharraf who insisted that they never be admitted to, even though drones took off from Pakistani bases until last year.

Also stuck is the reopening of the road that is used to take supplies from the port of Karachi to Nato forces in Afghanistan.

The road should have reopened nearly a month ago after approval from Pakistan’s parliament, but threats by Islamic extremist groups to burn trucks and convoys of goods have played a part in the delay.

The US has already indicated that it is willing to pay generously for use of the road.

The talks were made more complicated by the Obama administration now refusing to issue an apology and US charges that Pakistan allowed the Haqqani group to launch the multiple suicide attacks on Kabul and other Afghan cities on 15 April.

‘Window on the West’

There is enormous frustration in Washington regarding Pakistan which is now seen by many in the US Congress and the military as an enemy rather than a friend.

Many leading Americans consider that Pakistan should cease being important for the US, or should no longer be considered an ally when the US gets over the 2014 withdrawal from Afghanistan.

Pakistan is doing little to stop this drift in negative opinion growing in the US.

Gone are the early days of the Obama administration when major efforts were made to woo Pakistan.

Now what Pakistan may lose as a US ally in the region, India will gain – something that should be worrying for the Pakistani ruling elite.

The failure of Pakistan to rebuild ties with the US is rooted in actual incidents, anger and real disputes.

But it is also down to the inability of the government or the military to make decisions that need to be taken collectively to preserve the state of relations with a powerful country which has acted in the past as Pakistan’s window to the West – especially in terms of loans, aid and business and exports.

Internal conflict

There has been an unprecedented growth in violence from north to south involving sectarian, ethnic, militant Islamic, criminal and other heavily armed groups which the government appears helpless to stop.

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Pakistan: Demand for Independence of Sindh

By Aamir Raz Soomro

It was not long ago that a bill was tabled in the US Congress in support of giving Balochistan – the land of the Baloch – the right to self-determination against their ‘forced accession’ into Pakistan on March 27, 1948. The day is still mourned as a Black Day throughout the Baloch land, including parts of the provincial capital, Quetta.

In the year 1971, the erstwhile East Pakistan had already witnessed a bloody independence war with Pakistan, which culminated in the creation of the country now known as Bangladesh – it was a real bloody war since hundreds of thousands of people were massacred in this ‘genocide’ to crush the Bengali freedom-fighters.

In the present times, however, it is not just Balochistan which has the separatist sentiments, but Sindh under the leadership of Mr. G.M. Syed, has also been fighting for independence soon after the creation of Pakistan. From the platform of various nationalist political parties, Sindhis demand separation from Pakistan and creation of proposed, Sindhudesh, the Land of Sindhu (River Indus). They support their demand with the arguments that, 1., the British had invaded the independent Sindh and, 2. that they have a distinct rich history and secular culture which dates back to 5000 years. ….

Read more » Global Voices Online

Tribute to Comrade Sobho Gianchandani

Sobho Gianchandani is a prominent Sindhi revolutionary who remains a source of inspiration for many generations of Sindhi activists, writers and social reformers. Mr. Gianchandani, known lovingly as Comrade Sobho, has been associated with many political  and campaign groups, including the Indian National Congress and Khudai Khidmatgar and is the founder of many progressive, democratic and nationalist campaigns in Sindh. After the partition, Pakistani authorities pressured himlike millions of other Sindhi Hindus — to leave Sindh and migrate to India, but Sobho refused, and in consequence he was forbidden to travel abroad until 1998. Sobho was imprisoned for more than a year during the British rule, and after the partition, he fell under the wrath of Pakistani establishment and has many jail sentences to his credit, including one in 1971 for opposing military sponsored genocide in Bangladesh. Comrade Sobho and G. M. Syed were close associates and comrades in different aspects of the Sindhi rights movement. The G. M. Syed Memorial Lifetime Achievement Award is bestowed on Mr. Gianchandani in appreciation of his life-long struggle for emancipation for Sindhis and other oppressed peoples of South Asia and in recognition of his grass-roots efforts to promote tolerance, justice, communal harmony and peace. …..

Read more » ChagataiKhan

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More » THE MAN FROM MOEN–JO-DARO – Interview with Comrade Sobho Gianchandani

Balochistan: Silence of the courts

By Yunas Samad

Balochistan has been burning in the background for sometime, but what made Congress — to the embarrassment of the State Department and the Government of Pakistan — take up this issue now? Some say this was just a stunt but there is a growing frustration in Washington that Pakistan is double-dealing with the US; taking substantial aid dollars and then pursuing a strategy in Afghanistan which is costing lives of US soldiers. American troops have now been in Afghanistan longer than the Vietnam War, and there is considerable unhappiness with Pakistan for the grief it has caused them and an increasing desire, in some quarters, to hit back.

What is interesting is that for the first time, the international community is now reflecting on the possibility of an independent Balochistan, is being sold to them as a package, which would break-up Iran and Pakistan and give over Gwadar as a facility for the US fleet. Let’s be clear that this is a minority view; it is more of an attempt to embarrass Pakistan, but such developments can generate their own momentum and with time become a reality. Who would have thought that South Sudan or East Timor would become independent states? But those who live by the sword die by the sword and, this could easily be applied to countries.

Pakistan of all countries should be familiar with this theme after resorting to military force to deny the Bangladeshi people their democratic rights. Military solutions to political problems results in disaster and invite foreign intervention and we are repeating these mistakes again in Balochistan. Failure to resolve the human rights situation is creating opportunities for foreign intervention. From the extrajudicial execution of Akbar Bugti to the deaths of activists (1,100 according to Human Rights Watch and 10,000 according to Baloch activists) and their torture and disappearances are — in eyes of those critical of Pakistan, evidence of — crimes against humanity. Pakistani generals were fortunate that they weren’t dragged into an international court and prosecuted for war crimes after the Bangladesh civil war, mainly because such bodies could not function during the Cold War. However, in the unipolar world of today, we have seen Ratko Mladic of the former Republic of Yugoslavia, President of Liberia, Charles Taylor and Nuon Chea, of the Khmer Rouge all end up in court to get their comeuppance.

Our political leaders are in a huddle, trying to figure out how to respond to the crisis in Balochistan; idle resolutions condemning foreign interference are being passed but our judiciary remains inactive and silent on this issue. It is tragic that our activist judges have not seen the abuse of fundamental rights in Balochistan to be given priority, particularly since the Baloch disappearance case was an important reason for the clash between former General Pervez Musharraf and Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry. Why cases about presidential corruption are considered more important than cases of extrajudicial killings, torture and disappearances beats me? It only resonates with the Baloch nationalist argument that they are not treated like Pakistani citizens and hence, want independence, even if it means becoming a satellite of the US. The best possible response to the Congressional hearing is for the judiciary to demonstrate that it actively safeguards the fundamental rights of all the citizens of Pakistan.

The judiciary needs to investigate the killing of Akbar Bugti and if necessary charge Musharraf, reopen the case on disappearances and threaten contempt charges against the agencies for ignoring their orders. The Supreme Court cannot sit idle and ignore these issues by risking greater foreign interference in the matter. It needs to demonstrate to the Baloch people and the world that they are, in fact, citizens of Pakistan and their rights are protected.

Courtesy: The Express Tribune, March 8th, 2012.

Sindhi American Political Action Committee (SAPAC) was recently informed about Rinkel’s case to members of Congress on Capitol Hill- State sponsored discrimination against Hindus in Pakistan

March 8, 2012 – Washington, DC – The Sindhi American Political Action Committee (SAPAC) was recently informed about the urgent and alarming case of a Hindu girl, Rinkel Kumari, who was abducted by Muslim fanatics from her home in Mirpur Mathelo and forced to convert her religion to Islam. We are in the process of arranging appointments with members of Congress and their staff to discuss Rinkel’s case as well as the plight of minorities in Pakistan. We would like to invite you to join us as we meet with members of Congress.

Sadly, Rinkel Kumari’s is one of many cases of abduction and forced religious conversion in Pakistan. We have gathered some information about Rinkel’s case and the situation of Hindus in Pakistan below:

· Rinkel Kumari was forcibly abducted from her home in the early hours of February 24, 2012 by Naveed Shah who was accompanied by three other armed men.

· Rinkel was held in custody by Mian Mohammad Aslam, the son of Pakistan Peoples’ Party MNA Miya Mithoo in Bharchundi Shareef where she was forced to marry Naveed Shah and convert to Islam.

· On the morning of February 24, Daya Ram, Rinkel’s uncle registered an FIR against Naveed Shah.

· On February 25, Rinkel’s case was brought before a Ghotki civil judge. Rinkel testified that she had been kidnapped and forced to change her religion against her will. However, the judge ruled in favor of Naveed Shah and Rinkel was taken into police custody for two days at Sukkur police station.

· Rinkel was allegedly threatened while in police custody that if she did not change her statement, she and her family would be killed.

· On February 27, Rinkel appeared in court again. This time, her relatives were not allowed inside the court. Additionally, there were armed followers of the MNA surrounding the court.

· During this second hearing, Rinkel was under pressure and changed her statement in favor of Naveed Shah. She was given into his custody. Rinkel’s family is not aware of the whereabouts of their daughter.

· On March 2, the Hindu community protested in front of the Press Club against the abductions and forced conversions of Hindu girls to Islam. The family of Rinkel also participated in the protest.

· Hindus are a minority group in Pakistan, making up approximately 2% of the population.

· According to the Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC), around 20 to 25 forced kidnappings and conversions of Hindu girls take place every month in Sindh.

· The Hindu American Foundation states that “many Hindus in Pakistan are compelled to pay regular sums, as a type of ransom, to extortionists and local leaders in exchange for the physical security of their families and themselves.”

· As a result of Pakistan’s Blasphemy Laws, minority groups in Pakistan are not free to express their own religions and ideologies without fear of persecution.

· State sponsored discrimination against minority groups in Pakistan is rampant. This state sponsored discrimination has caused several Hindus to migrate out of Pakistan. In March 2011, Hindu politician in Pakistan Jaipal Chabria, said that “every month a Hindu family leaves for neighboring India. Insecurity, killings, kidnappings and forcible conversion of women to Islam are the major causes.”

We humbly request that you contact us to join us in presenting Rinkel’s case to members of Congress on Capitol Hill. Please let us know as soon as possible if you plan to participate. We hope to work together to bring justice to Rinkel and her family and to bring an end to state sponsored discrimination in Pakistan.

Email: sapac.sindh@gmail.com

Baloch solidarity rally paid gratification to US Government and Congressmen

London, 5 March 2012 – According to the press Release issued by Samad Baloch, General Secretary, Baloch Human Rights Council (UK);  A Baloch solidarity protest rally was held in front of US embassy in London on Sunday 4 March 2012. Rally was organised by Baloch Human Rights Council (UK), Balochistan Raaji Zrombesh, Balochistan Libration Organisation and World Sindhi Congress. A large number of the Baloch and Sindhis despite of cold and severe rainy weather attended the rally.

Rally was organized to express gratefulness of the Baloch to congressional representatives Dana Rohrabacher, Louie Gohmert and Steve king and the US government for their support for human rights of the Baloch and the right of self-determination of Balochistan ie Free Balochistan. Speakers requested the congressional representatives to continue their efforts in this respect in order to save the Baloch from the brutalities of Iran and Pakistan. They requested the US government to support the bill asking for the right of self-determination of the Baloch including free sovereign Balochistan.

Participants of the rally expressed their solidarity with the Baloch and Sindhi national struggles. They condemned the state crimes against humanity being committed against the Baloch and Sindhi people.

Speakers condemned disappearances, torture and extra-judicial killings of innocent Baloch and Sindhi people by Pakistani security agencies. They termed this as a systematic genocide of Baloch nation. They requested the international community, the USA and the UK to intervene in Balochistan. They urged UN to put stringent sanctions on Pakistan … and pressurize these governments to end heinous crimes against Baloch and Sindhi people.

Rahim Bandovi, Mir Ghulam Hussain (Mir of UK), Mustafa Baloch, Faiz Baloch, Hassan Hamdam, Abdullah Baloch, Mir Ometan Baloch and Samad Baloch were among those who spoke on the occasion.

No justification to detain Dr Shakil: Clinton

WASHINGTON: US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has said that Pakistan has no justification for holding Dr Shakil Afridi, who had a role in the CIA operation to hunt down Osama bin Laden in Abbotabad.

This she said while addressing US Congress Committee. Hillary Clinton said Dr Shakil Afridi provided key information to US before the Abbotabad operation, adding that he served for the interest of both Pakistan and the US.

Clinton said Pakistan has no basis for detaining Dr Shakil.

Courtesy: The News

http://www.thenews.com.pk/article-37643-No-justification-to-detain-Dr-Shakil–

Is Rohrabacher wrong on Balochistan? By Pervez Hoodbhoy

Excerpts;

…. Dana Rohrabacher’s resolution in the US Congress states that the Baloch people “have the right to self-determination and to their own sovereign country”. Expectedly, this unleashed a torrent of anger in Pakistan’s government and media which overwhelmingly saw this as a conspiracy to break up the country. Pakistan-US relations have descended another notch; attempts by the US State Department, as well as the currently visiting group of Congressmen, to distance themselves from the resolution have not worked. …

…. The official Pakistani response to Rohrabacher is still more flawed. Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar termed the tabling of his bill “a violation of UN charter” and of Pakistan’s sovereignty. But this line of defence could forfeit Pakistan’s moral right to criticise other states, Syria and India included.

Consider the fact that on February 17 Pakistan voted for an Arab League-sponsored resolution in the UN General Assembly which calls upon Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad to step down. This surely constitutes interference in the internal matter of a sovereign country. But Pakistan did well. In a civilised world national sovereignty must come second, and human rights first.

Pakistan has also long criticised India — and justly so — for its human rights abuses. But more people are dying in Balochistan today than in Kashmir. For all their brutality against stone-throwing Kashmiri boys, the Indians have not yet used helicopter gunships and fighter jets against Kashmiris. Pakistan, on the other hand, uses airpower as a matter of course in Balochistan and Fata. ….

To read complete article » The Express Tribune

Pakistan’s festering wound – TOI

On February 8, representatives of Human Rights Watch (HRW) and Amnesty International testified before the Foreign Affairs Sub-Committee on Oversight and Investigations at the US Congress against grave human rights abuses committed by Pakistan’s security forces in the restive province of Balochistan. Since then, Islamabadhas used as many as 10 different channels to strongly protest against what it calls America’s “blatant interference” in its “internal affairs”.The issue has flared up further following the introduction of a House Concurrent Resolution by Republican Congressman Dana Rohrabacher seeking the right of self-determination for the native Balochs. Pakistan has summoned the acting US ambassador to Islamabad twice in a single week at the foreign office, passed a parliamentary resolution and protested through its ambassadors in Washington DC and at the UN. Wasim Sajjad, a former Pakistan Senate chairman, while referring to HRW, has called for “immediately taking action against those NGOs or persons who are accepting dollars from the US and are pursuing their agenda on the lands of Pakistan and destabilising Balochistan.”

Although the congressional hearing and subsequent resolutions were not sponsored by the Obama administration, American diplomats still face the wrath of Pakistani officials due to utter ignorance of the American poli-tical system. Anti-Americanism is not unfamiliar in Pakistan, but bashing the Obama administration for a ‘crime’ it has not committed simply means there is something fishy in Islamabad’s cupboard.
Continue reading →

Balochistan resolution in US Congress drives Pakistan crazy

By Chidanand Rajghatta

WASHINGTON: A resolution moved by a group of US Congressmen calling for right to self-determination for the Baloch people has driven Pakistan to hysteria, with its leaders from the Prime Minister down questioning Washington’s commitment to the country’s sovereignty.

Following a Congressional hearing last week on the human rights situation in Balochistan, the Obama administration had assured Islamabad that it is committed to the country’s unity and integrity, but suspicion runs deep in Pakistan that Washington is intent on fingering the country on account of its covert support for terrorists.

Some hardline American analysts have suggested that the Washington help the Baloch break away from the federation so that American and Nato forces can have unfettered access to landlocked Afghanistan, given how Pakistan has been holding the US to ransom.

While the hearing itself had caused much disquiet in Islamabad and pushed an angry Pakistan into lodging formal protests, the latest resolution has driven its establishment to hysteria and distraction. Pakistan’s prime minister Yousef Raza Gilani condemned the resolution as a move to undermine the country’s sovereignty, and the Pakistani foreign office and the embassy in Washington took exception to it, saying it was against the “very fundamentals of US-Pakistan relations.”

Politics behind the resolution: Introduced by California Republican Dana Rohrabacher and co-sponsored by two other Republican Congressmen Louie Gohmert (Texas) and Steve King (Iowa), the House Concurrent Resolution says that the Baluchi nation has a “historic right to self-determination.”

Stating that Baluchistan is currently divided between Pakistan, Iran, and Afghanistan with no sovereign rights of its own, the resolution explains that “in Pakistan especially, the Baluchi people are subjected to violence and extrajudicial killing,” and therefore, the Baluchi people “have the right to self-determination and to their own sovereign country; and they should be afforded the opportunity to choose their own status.”

The Baluchi, like other nations of people, have an innate right to self-determination,” Congressman Rohrabacher said in a statement. “The political and ethnic discrimination they suffer is tragic and made more so because America is financing and selling arms to their oppressors in Islamabad.”

The statement explained that historically Baluchistan was an independently governed entity known as the Baluch Khanate of Kalat which came to an end after invasions from both British and Persian armies. An attempt to regain independence in 1947 was crushed by an invasion by Pakistan.

“Today the Baluchistan province of Pakistan is rich in natural resources but has been subjugated and exploited by Punjabi and Pashtun elites in Islamabad, leaving Baluchistan the country’s poorest province,” it said.

Continue reading →

A case of double standards

By Murtaza Razvi

It’s not only the West, but also Muslims who have double standards, Pakistanis and Arabs more so than others. While the West keeps mum over Israel’s excesses against Palestinians, its Nato ally Turkey’s suppression of Kurds, India’s policy towards Kashmiris, Bahrain’s and Saudi Arabia’s oppression of their Shia citizens, Western leaders cry from the rooftops for the rights of Syrian, Chinese, Iranian and North Korean people living under a tyranny.

The Yemeni president too comes across as an OK guy to Washington regardless of how much blood of his own people he has on his hands, but the Pakistan Army is singled out for assaulting the Baloch. The same army was a special, close ally outside Nato under Gen Musharraf, who had ordered the killing of the octogenarian Baloch leader, Nawab Akbar Bugti, and which in the first place sent Baloch nationalists into an open revolt against Islamabad. The US Congress back then did not give two hoots about the large number of Baloch youth who went ‘missing’— a euphemism for extra-judicial confinement or killing, which goes on in Balochistan. Ditto for the Guantanamo Bay inmates, who still languish in Camp X-Ray without trial.

And now about us and our double standards. We want our madressahs and hijabs and missionaries preaching in the UK, which readily obliges because it respects your right to practise your faith (France and even Turkey will not allow half as much freedom to their Muslim populations), but here in Pakistan we won’t have the Ahmadis call themselves Muslim even though they recite the same kalema and pray the same prayer; we won’t allow Christian missionaries either.

According to a thin but a loud minority in Pakistan, anyone who does not believe in the Taliban or the Saudi-like reading of Islam is a heretic, who must be converted or ‘banished to hell’, as the expression in Urdu goes. Farhat Hashmis of the world also go around preaching that even greeting a non-Muslim is akin to heresy.

The Gulf is another story altogether. Most our of brotherly oil-rich people — read very honourable men, for women hardly count — have their rules of engagement listed according to your nationalities, rather the race. A white man from the US, say a doctor, draws a much higher salary than his plebian Bangladeshi counterpart even if both are graduates of the same American medical school! But neither can go to church in the holy kingdom, for no such place exists there.

A friend narrates that whilst he was in Riyadha, a Hindu chap was picked by the religious police along with him because they were found loitering in the marketplace while a muezzin had already called the faithful to the prayer. The Muslim friend says that he went down on his knees and begged forgiveness for his felony from the officer who hit him on the head and let him go with a warning that next time Allah will not forgive him, while the Hindu fellow found himself in a bigger mess. When he, too, was tauntingly asked if he was Muslim, he replied in the negative and prompt came the next question in all its fury: ‘Why are you not Muslim?’ To which the poor chap had no answer. He too was eventually let go with a long and hard kick in the back, but with the warning that next time if he dared say he was a non-Muslim, he’d have to face a bit more than the wrath of Allah. This, my friend says, is not Islam but is definitely quite the Muslim conduct, for which many will, perhaps very wrongly, cite the backing of their religion.

Double standards abound. In the UAE Muslims can drink alcohol in a bar, but taking liquor is a punishable offence for them; in Qatar, it is your nationality, and not your faith, that decides whether you can legally consume alcohol: a Muslim from UAE, Turkey, Indonesia or India can, but a Muslim from Bangladesh, Saudi Arabia or Iran cannot.

Yes, Islam emphasises on equality in social justice, as was enshrined in the de facto constitution which the Prophet of Islam hammered out in consultation with all concerned, and which became the basis of running the first Islamic state at Madina. He declared the neighbouring Jews and Christian tribes with whom he entered into a truce as part of the Ummah, in which each individual was bound by the same set of rules, obligations and privileges regardless of his/her faith. This was a true pluralistic aspect of Islam which its Prophet implemented and enforced by consensus in his own lifetime in the 7th century CE.

Today the word Ummah has been robbed of its original meaning and popularly connotes Muslims only. Muslims who feel free to discriminate against non-Muslims in Muslim-majority countries, whilst demanding and enjoying equal rights in Muslim-minority countries. Thus, the modern pluralistic, secular state is more Islamic in its social justice regime than the few Islamic republics which have their minorities on tenterhooks.

Courtesy: DAWN.COM

PETITION: Stand Behind President Obama’s Budget

By Iqbal Tareen

President Obama just sent his budget plan to Congress. It would ensure that the top 1% pays their fair share.

As President Obama said in his State of the Union:

“Tax reform should follow the Buffett rule: If you make more than $1 million a year, you should not pay less than 30 percent in taxes… In fact, if you’re earning a million dollars a year, you shouldn’t get special tax subsidies or deductions…

Now, you can call this class warfare all you want. But asking a billionaire to pay at least as much as his secretary in taxes? Most Americans would call that common sense.”

Sign our petition to stand behind President Obama’s budget  to end special tax breaks for millionaires and billionaires.

SIGN THE PETITION: http://dccc.org/Budget

Rights violations shame Pakistanis at Congress hearing

By Anwar Iqbal

WASHINGTON: Guilt and shame were the two dominant feelings that overwhelmed many Pakistanis at a US congressional hearing room on Wednesday as witnesses detailed human rights abuses in Balochistan. Some were also troubled – while some felt elated – as all five US lawmakers who attended this unusual hearing of the House Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations stressed the Baloch right to self-determination.

But this emotive session – which often drew warm applause from Baloch nationalists – offered little insight into how to resolve this difficult issue. Perhaps, that’s not even the intention of those who had organised the meeting. They wanted to highlight Balochistan as a possibly explosive spot close to a US war-theatre and they succeeded in doing so. …

Read more » DAWN.COM

Congress starts formal push to slap terrorist designation on Haqqani network

By Josh Rogin

State Department officials say that they are considering whether to add Pakistan’s Haqqani network to their list of foreign terrorist organizations, and now Congress is moving to force them to show their work.

“We are continuing to review whether to designate the entire [Haqqani] organization,” State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland told reporters in September, only days after then Joint Chiefs Chairman Adm. Mike Mullen testified to Congress that the group was directly responsible for a deadly Sept. 13 attack on the U.S. embassy and NATO headquarters in Kabul that left nine dead and 23 injured.

Mullen also said that the Haqqani network was a “veritable arm” of Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), Pakistan’s premier spy agency. That accusation encapsulates the State Department’s conundrum over designating the Haqqani network as terrorists: If it does, it is only one short step away from being pressured into naming Pakistan as a State Sponsor of Terror, a move that would shatter whatever is left of the U.S.-Pakistan relationship.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made a show out of naming and shaming the Haqqani network during her recent trip to Pakistan in October. But does she really intend to designate it as a foreign terrorist organization? Several senators moved on Wednesday to force her to say one way or the other.

Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC) introduced on Wednesday the “Haqqani Network Terrorist Designation Act,” ….

Read more » Foreign Policy (FP)

http://thecable.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2011/12/08/congress_starts_formal_push_to_slap_terrorist_designation_on_haqqani_network

FACTS ARE FACTS – The Untold Story of India’s Partition. By WALI KHAN

Translation by Dr. Syeda Saiyidain Hameed

Second Edition, November 2004

Excerpt;

[ page 194 & 195] … Pakistan was a different story. The Muslim League had taken no part in the country’s freedom. They never launched any movement or struggled for freedom. So engrossed were they in opposing the Congress Party that they sought British help in fulfilling their objective. The British were aware that in the whole of Pakistan there was only one organisation which had participated in the struggle against British imperialism, the Khudai Khidmatgars of the North West Frontier Province. The British and the Khudai Khidmatgars were naturally not kindly disposed towards each other. On these two scores, the MuslimLeague and the British were on common ground; therefore, whoever opposed the British, was also opposed to the Muslim League. Consequently, a Muslim League Government was expected to fall in line with the British, and would allow the British to use it in taking revenge on behalf of the allies. The British viewed Pakistan as a totally new country, which would take a while to stand on its own. For years to come the Government of Pakistan would have to look up to the British for assistance. Another reason for British complacency about Pakistan was that her rulers were not locally born, but had migrated from India. They were immigrants who did not have their roots in the new country. Their authority was derived from the Muslim League. Based on empirical evidence the British realised thatthe Muslim League could not acquire political power even inMuslim Punjab. It is axiomatic that if a political party is not properly organised and disciplined, the political power slips outof its hands and passes on to the bureaucracy. The Governmentof Pakistan did precisely what the British had expected them to do. Almost all key positions were given to the British. Whenthe names of the new Governors of the Provinces were announced, with the exception of Sind all the provinces hadBritish Governors: (1) Sir Frederick Bourne, East Bengal; (2)Sir Francis Mudie, Punjab; (3) Sir George Cunningham, NWFP; and (4) An Englishman as Agent in Baluchistan. Sir Ghulam Husain Hidayatullah was the only Pakistani, who was appointed the Governor of Sindh. This appointmentwas made because the capital of Sind was Karachi which alsohappened to be the capital of Pakistan. The Government Houseof Sind was occupied by Jinnah, the Governor-General of Pakistan. Therefore another residence had to be arranged for the Governor of Sindh!The British were appointed the Chiefs of the PakistanArmy, Air Force and Navy: (1) General Sir Frank Messervy,Commander-in-Chief, Army; (2) Air Vice-Marshal Perry Keane, Chief of Air Force; and (3) Rear Admiral Jefford, Chief of Naval Staff …

[page 199] It is curious logic that when we participated in thestruggle for freedom with the Congress against the British rule, the gutless Muslim League leaders used to taunt us by calling us the children of the Hindus. Now when the Hindus have left behind properties worth crores of rupees, those very leaders are the first to arrive, take possession of them, and assert their right on them. ….

Courtesy: scribd

http://www.scribd.com/doc/73921691/Wali-Khan-s-Book-Facts-Are-Facts-The-Untold-Story-of-India-s-Partition-in-1947

World Sindhi Congress (WSC) Appeals for an Independent Enquiry to Investigate the Murders and Disappearances of Sindhi Political activists at UN

LONDON,  (Press release NOVEMBER 10, 2011) World Sindhi Congress (WSC) participated and took floor in a meeting with Committee on Enforced Disappearances by Office of High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) at United Nations, held on 10th November, 2011 in Geneva. Dr. Rubina Greenwood, Vice Chairperson of WSC presented a statement on recently killed and disappeared Sindhi political activists.

In her statement she informed OHCHR that security forces and other security agencies have been actively engaged in hundreds of forced disappearances and targeted killings of political activists and ordinary peace loving people of Sindh and Blochistan. Media sources in Sindh have reported the official count of missing people who were picked up by the various security agencies is to be close to 175.

Dr. Greenwood reported that more than 45 Sindhi political activists belonging to various students’, labors’ and other political organizations have disappeared in recent years. Amongst them are Mr. Muzaffar Bhutto, Mr. Noor Muhammed Khaskheli, Mr Shahid Notayar, Lala Yasser, Shoukat Brohi, Faisal Wagan, Riaz Kakepoto, Shah Nawaz Bhutto, Jam Bhutto, Yasir Notiar, Ali Nawab Mahar, Zulfiqar Jamalim Hameed Shar are some of the prominent names. She also said that number of ordinary law abiding Sindhis who belong to Shah Bandir and Jati areas (border villages to India) have been illegally captured by Intelligence agencies too. Among those who are also abducted include Ali Bachal Themor, Ghulam Kadir Boryio, Taj Mohammed Themor and Mohammed Boryio to name a few.

Recent appeals made by Asian Human Rights Commission which was issued on 11th October 2011 with names of students who were taken by Pakistani Agencies from Sindh University including Afzal Pahnwar, Sanaullah Bhatti and Mukhtiar Pahnwar was presented as a supporting document to OHCHR by Dr. Greenwood.

“As recently as in last two weeks i.e. 6th November and 29th October 2011 five prominent political activists including Mohammed Brohi, Nadeem

Lashari, G M Abro, Noor Abro and Anwar Depar were arrested and their whereabouts are unknown since then,” said Dr. Greenwood in her statement.

Security agencies and Police regularly engages in the murder and killing of political activists. She said that from February to April 2011 a number of prominent political leaders and activists have been killed including Zulfiqar Kolachi, Aijaz Solangi, Sirai Qurban Khuhawr, Roplo Choliani and Nadir Bugti and Noorullah Tunio. She also reported the

murders of two active leaders of Pakistan Fisher folk Forum (PFF): Haji Abubakar and Abdul Ganai Mirbahar in May 2011.

She said that this callousness of security agencies completely ignores the commitments Pakistan made just last year when it signed the UN International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights in which Article One very clearly states, “All peoples have the right to the self-determination.”

Rubina appealed to the OHCHR Committee on Forced Disappearance to put pressure on government to set up an independent investigation of the recent killings and disappearances of political activists andordinary Sindhis in line with Pakistan’s commitments to the UN Treaties addressing freedom of speech and association.

In an email message, Dr Hidayat Bhutto, the Chairperson of the WSC said, “It is important for International Community to know about the atrocities towards progressive and secular human rights and democracy workers.”

WSC regularly attends UN events where it comments on the human rights situations in Sindh and other parts of Pakistan.

World Sindhi Congress Condemns and Mourns the Brutal Murder of Sindhi Hindu Doctors

London (Press release) – World Sindhi Congress (WSC) alongside the entire Sindhi nation is deeply shocked, saddened and mourns the barbaric and inhuman murder of three young Sindhi Hindu doctors in the town of Chakk, district Shikarpuron 7th November. Dr Ashok, Dr Naresh and Dr Ajeet were gunned down and Dr Satia Paul was critically wounded when people of Bhaya tribe opened fire on them while they were working in their clinic in their native town Chakk.

The initial reports suggest that these doctors along with other Sindhi communities were taking a stand against the harassment and potential abduction and forcible conversion of Sindhi Hindu girls in Chakk. The menace of abduction, rape and forcible conversion of religious minority community girls, particularly from poor Sindhi Hindu communities in Sindh have increased exponentially in last couple of years in the atmosphere of rising religious extremism and intolerance. Scores of such events remain completely unreported because of fear of persecution by the powerful perpetrators and religious zealots. The state apparatus and those responsible for providing the security are widely seen as companion culprits in these crimes.

WSC believes that it is a systematic policy of the establishment since its inception to create an atmosphere of fear, persecution and insecurity to force Sindhi Hindus to migrate. This is in part a strategy to convert Sindhis in minority and to devoid Sindh of professional and middle class in order to suffocate its societal progress. Resulting from the fears and insecurities the Sindhi Hindus have been continuously migrating from their motherland the process has only significantly sped up in recent years.

WSC views this gruesome event as a conspiracy to send a deep and wide-ranging wave of terror among already frightened Sindhi Hindus to migrate. The perpetrators include the shameless sardar of Bhaya tribe, local police, civil administration and agencies. The criminals have attacked the secular fabric of Sindhi society, but they will fail as the entire Sindhi nation mourns the death of these three martyrs. WSC strongly demands that the culprits particularly those behind the atrocities should be brought to justice.

WSC at this saddest moment in their lives, send its heartfelt condolences to the families and friends of those who have been taken away by the evil forces of darkness. We know that nothing can lessen the pain of this loss, but let we reiterate that WSC and the entire Sindhi nation share their pain, sadness and grief, not only them but the entire secular Sindhi nation is grieving.

WSC is in contact with the UN Human Rights Council and other international human rights organisations requesting them to press upon the Pakistani government in order to investigate and stop systematically on going gross violations of human rights of religious minorities.

New bill in congress against alternate media

New Bill In Congress Could Turn Alternative Media Outlets and YouTube Singers Into Felons

By Julianne Escobedo Shepherd

SB 978 is just one more bullet in a broader government effort to end the web as we know it.

In June, Senator Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., introduced SB 978, specifically “to amend the criminal penalty provision for criminal infringement of a copyright, and for other purposes.” ….

Read more » AlterNet

Members of US Congress Pledge Support for Flood Victims in Sindh

- Several Members of US Congress Pledge Support for Flood Victims in Sindh – SAPAC Advocacy Campaign

By Khalid Hashmani

A two-day event dedicated to the flood victims in Sindh by Sindhi-American Political Action Committee (SAPAC) was hugely successful. The event was held in Washington DC from October 13 and October 14, 2011. The activities were held in several locations around the US congressional offices. The Sindhi-American community was joined by their friends participated in this focused campaign to draw attention of the US government and the US legislature to the destruction caused by recent floods in Sindh province of Pakistan. They urged members of congress for immediate help to the flood victims. The campaign began with meetings with the staff of 100 Congress members and cumulated in a congressional briefing with testimony from several academicians and NGO officials with eyewitness accounts. …

Courtesy: Sindhi e-lists/ e-groups, October 16, 2011.

Save Sindh Rally London

London: “Save Sindh Rally London” Was held jointly By world Sindhi Congress & Baloch Human Rights Council with others on 21 August in front of British prime minister’s official residence 10 Downing Street London. A petition was handed over by a delegation.

Courtesy: → Sindhi e-lists/ e-groups, 25 August, 2011.