Karachi: … On Thursday, the prime minister announced that they would launch the Metro Bus Project in the city and will have Rs15 billion set aside for it. “We have decided to take over the green line project in the city,” he said. “The metro bus service will start on the same pattern as Lahore.”
Read more » The Express Tribune
Terrorists attacked Karachi Airport today. Fortunately the airport security force managed to keep them away from the passenger terminal and the army responded effectively and now claims to have killed all the terrorists with relatively limited damage to the airport.
This is not the first major terrorist attack in Pakistan and unfortunately it will not be the last. Efforts to blame India for the attack have moved ahead remarkably quickly (both ARY news and Express News are highlighting that the weapons used by the attackers are of Indian manufacture).
Alhamdolillah, the script has not changed.
NOTHING it seems can ever change the script. Pakistan is always the innocent victims of conspiracies launched by RAW, MOSSAD and CIA. We are caught in someone else’s war. Yadda yadda yadda. You know the drill..
Who are we to challenge the geniuses who make policy in Pakistan, but is it possible that there could have been a different script? Let us try the following script (and dear Paknationalists, do take my word for it, its in YOUR interest to think about this version, it sounds harsh, but in the long run, it will help…a lot):
1. Pakistan was the base for an international operation directed against the Soviet/pro-Soviet regime in Afghanistan. For this operation we happily cooperated with the CIA, Saudi intelligence and others. We invited highly motivated mujahideen from all over the Muslim world to please come and join this effort. We provided them facilities, we provided them training and we provided them weapons. To improve the flow of Islamic fanatics, the CIA, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan spared no expense, building international networks of the same and building a network of thousands of Islamic seminaries across the length and breadth of Pakistan. In 1989, the Russians left Afghanistan and in 1992 the pro-Russian regime there collapsed and “our boys” won…and proceeded to rape and pillage across the length and breadth of the country. America having accomplished its mission of bleeding Russia and “avenging Vietnam”, left the place, but Pakistan’s strategic planners were not done.
2. The vast jihadist infrastructure created for the Afghan war was reoriented to Kashmir and towards internal “Islamization” in Pakistan, and continued to expand. More terrorists were trained in the 1990s AFTER the CIA had left than were trained during the Afghan war. An alphabet soup of terrorist organization was created and operated openly throughout the 1990s. Some of them went beyond the call of duty and attacked Shias in “settled areas” (attacking Shias in tribal areas was never a high-priority crime) and also attacked some “brother Arab regimes” (e.g. the Egyptian embassy). Such rogue elements were targeted by security agencies to various extents, but NO attempt was made to slow down (much less reverse) the larger Jihadi effort.
3. By chance or planning or both, a pro-Pakistan regime under the Taliban was established in most of Afghanistan and became a refuge for various groups of Islamic terrorists. Some of them were approved of, some were left alone, some were considered hostile by us. Details remains murky and confused.
4. In 2001 America was attacked in New York and Washington DC. The mainstream opinion is that this attack was launched by Islamist terrorists whose group was headquartered in Afghanistan. The US decided to invade Afghanistan to clear them out. Whatever other motivations the US may have had (let us assume there were some), it does seem that the US became more or less anti-Jihadist (at least in the Afpak region) at that point. Pakistan publicly announced it was switching sides and would henceforth support the US operation in Afghanistan and would no longer allow Jihadists to operate freely from Pakistan.
4. If various people who write about Pakistani security agencies are to be believed, we did not actually switch sides. In fact our president (Musharraf) even made a speech to the nation in which he gave the example of “sulah e Hudaybia” (a pact the prophet of Islam made with his enemies in Mecca, but which was followed a few years later by the complete defeat of the Meccan pagans; the link was EXPLICITLY made that we are making a similar deal with America; our aims remain unchanged, but we will adjust course temporarily). Instead of truly switching sides, our “strategic geniuses” decided to keep Afghanistan “simmering but not boiling” (to quote the most recent “authoritative” article by Waj Khan). We continued to support “good Taliban” in order to make sure the new regime did not stabilize in Afghanistan. We continued to maintain Kashmiri terrorist organizations in some sort of cold storage (these are not controversial claims. Bona fide patriotic strategic thinkers have said all this and more at various points). We cleared some areas of some terrorists but not all areas of all terrorists. We continue to try and separate good jihadis from bad jihadis etc etc.
Karachi (AFP) – Heavily armed militants attacked Pakistan’s busiest airport in the southern city of Karachi Sunday night, forcing the suspension of all flights, officials said.
Senior police official Rao Muhammad Anwar said the militants were armed with automatic weapons and grenades and were exchanging gunfire with security officials.
“Exchange of fire is continuing. We don’t know the exact number of the attackers but suspect four to six terrorists have attacked the airport,” he said.
Read more » Yahoo News
In an interview with a private news channel on Saturday, he said, “I face money laundering and other cases, which have not been presented in court so far. And without any proof, the British government has sealed all my bank accounts.”
The MQM chief admitted that the British authorities had conducted raids at his house and at his office. “No lawyer is willing to come forward because they are afraid of the British establishment. But I will continue to fight and face everything alone.” He said the British government can put him in jail and kill him but he will ‘continue to speak the truth’. “If I have to die, then why not in Pakistan?”
Regarding his national identity card, Altaf said he has warts on his legs and feet and therefore, cannot walk properly. However, he managed to come to the MQM’s secretariat in London where Nadra officials carried out the procedure.
“Now they are saying the data has gone corrupt? Do the prime minister and the interior minister want me to beg for my Pakistaniat (Pakistani identity)? I don’t want this charity from them.” He said he was disappointed with the Sindh governor for remaining silent in the recent meeting with Nawaz Sharif. “They were putting false accusations on us, but the governor did not say anything and remained quiet.”
by Alan Jhons
Keti Bandar is a small fishing village situated about 150 kilometers east of Karachi. It is nestled in one of the many thousands of creeks, rivers and dykes which make up the mouth of the Indus River, It was one of the richest ports of the region. The residents of Keti Bandar proudly claim that this port granted a loan to Karachi Municipal Committee during nineteenth century. This is no more in operation since 1935. Now not even the ruins of the port are visible due to sea erosion. Most of the inhabitants believe that Keti Bandar is actually the port of Debal where Muhammad bin Qasim along with his army arrived through ships from Iraq. Dibla tribe settled at Keti Bandar which justifies their claim to some extents.
The ports of coastal belt of Thatto are Keti Bandar, Bagan, Kharo Chhan etc. and are located 160 kilometres south east from Karachi. Keti bandar was once a thriving river port in the indus river delta in southern pakistan, with impressive public buildings, a customs office and warehouse for exports. Today it can barely stay above water. Sea waves lash against its protective embankments on three sides, leaving only a thin, 2km long isthmus by way of a land bridge to the mainland. And the water levels keep rising. Two years ago, the high tide barely came up to the ruins of a rice mill located just outside the town. Now that has been completely submerged.The signs of a prosperous past are still visible,such as the crumbling pillars of a vast villa that belonged to a Hindu village head. But all the remains on island today are a few hundred fishermen’s huts, made of straw-mat walls and thatched roofs.
The area is low and sparse. Sparse in all ways, by which I mean little to no vegetation due to the saline waters, few people due to the simple fact there is nothing there to sustain them except fishing and flat like all delta regions. Even the drinking water is trucked in. There is also evidence of some power lines. Two lines, one had collapsed and a one was being built.
The only access to Keti Bandar is by road from Sakro or of course fishing boat. We did also see evidence of a helicopter pad marked out on the road. We suspected this was for military purposes as we are only about 100 kilometers from the Indian Boarder.
Given what I have just said I was surprised to see an asphalted road at all, I had been preparing myself for a long haul over rough terrain, being bumped from side to side for what would surely have seemed like hours. In fact we took an hour getting out of Karachi (that’s 20 kilometers !) due to traffic and here in the delta we were batting along at 120 plus!
A JSQM delegation headed by its Chairman Abdul Wahid Arisar met with MQM’s Rabita Committee members Haider Abbas Rizvi and Ashfaq Manghi. JSQM delegation condemned the extrajudicial killings of MQM workers and expressed deep concern over the workers who have become victims of enforced disappearances. They prayed for the MQM’s martyred workers and recovery of abducted workers. The two sides discussed the law and order situation of Karachi and the extrajudicial killings done by the law enforcement agencies. They also discussed the violations and abuses of power by the law enforcement agencies and growing crimes in the city.
MQM’s Rabita Committed members expressed heartfelt gratitude for sharing their grief. They said MQM has struggle for the rights of Sindh. They said that JSQM and MQM has supported each other in difficult times. They added that true leaders of Sindh had always condemned the extrajudicial killings whether they were carried out in urban or rural Sindh.
JSQM’s Chairman said, “ Sindh has been a peaceful land and people of Sindh are peaceful than western countries. Karachi was a city of lights. It has now become a powder-keg. Our brothers are being killed by people who have come here as job seekers. Our Country was a police and army state in the past. Now it has become a Rangers State. Rangers might say leaders and rulers of Sindh are inefficient. People who strife for peace are shot. We made efforts to bring peace here. However, enemies of peace live here. We cannot bring peace by guns and repression. We want peace in Sindh. JSQM shares the grief of MQM.
Excerpt; …. Referring to Altaf Hussain’s speeches in Hyderabad and Karachi, Bilawal said that neither “50/50” nor “Sindh 1” or “Sindh 2” formula is acceptable to the people of Sindh.
“No50/50,No number 1 or number 2, only Mother Sindh.All men are created equal.All Pakistanis should b treated equally in the eyes of the Law.”
Project to have two reactors with a capacity of 1,100 megawatts each I Construction to be completed by 2019
ISLAMABAD – China has committed $6.5 billion to finance the construction of a major nuclear power project in Karachi as it seeks to strengthen ties with its strategic partner, Pakistani officials said.
By DECLAN WALSH
LONDON — For two decades, Altaf Hussain has run his brutal Pakistani political empire by remote control, shrouded in luxurious exile in London and long beyond the reach of the law.
He follows events through satellite televisions in his walled-off home, manages millions of dollars in assets and issues decrees in ranting teleconferences that last for hours — all to command a network of influence and intimidation that stretches from North America to South Africa.
This global system serves a very localized goal: perpetuating Mr. Hussain’s reign as the political king of Karachi, the brooding port city of 20 million people at the heart of Pakistan’s economy.
“Distance does not matter,” reads the inscription on a monument near Mr. Hussain’s deserted former house in Karachi, where his name evokes both fear and favor.
Now, though, his painstakingly constructed web is fraying.
A British murder investigation has been closing in on Mr. Hussain, 59, and his party, the Muttahida Qaumi Movement. His London home and offices have been raided, and the police have opened new investigations into accusations of money laundering and inciting violence in Pakistan.
The scrutiny has visibly rattled Mr. Hussain, who recently warned supporters that his arrest may be imminent. And in Karachi, it has raised a previously unthinkable question: Is the end near for the untouchable political machine that has been the city’s linchpin for three decades?
“This is a major crisis,” said Irfan Husain, the author of “Fatal Faultlines,” a book about Pakistan’s relationship with the United States. “The party has been weakened, and Altaf Hussain is being criticized like never before.”
By Ajmal Kamal
I have a happy dream. Sometimes, when I am particularly distressed by the politics that carries on in our sorrowful subcontinent adding to its various peoples’ misery, I allow myself to be lost in this delicious dream. I imagine myself sailing to Cox’s Bazar.
The small, beautiful ship starts every Saturday from the newly commissioned port of Gwadar on the western Makran coast. It passes through Karachi and picks up most of its Pakistani and some foreign passengers from here. But I have made it a point to travel on the coastal highway to the starting point and when the ship touches Karachi, look at the city of my residence without getting down, as someone travelling in a passing vessel would. I have a long and fascinating journey before me: we’ll pass through many ports and stop at some of them:
Dwarka, Porbandar, Diu, Surat, Daman, Bombay, Ratnagiri, Panjim (Goa), Mangalore, Kozhikode (Calicut), Kochi (Cochin), Trivandrum, Cape Comorin (Kanyakumari), Pondicherry, Chennai (Madras), Vishakhapatanam, Puri, Patuakhali, Noakhali, Chittagong and our final destination: Cox’s Bazar. Since such a thing is on no one’s agenda, it is safe to predict that it is not likely to be launched for as far as we can look into the future. Which gives me all the freedom to add delectable details without a care for whether they are sensible and practical.
By Mahir Ali
A COUPLE of months ago, it was reported that the ambulance conveying Nelson Mandela from Johannesburg to a hospital in Pretoria had broken down, entailing a 40-minute wait before he could be transferred to another ambulance amid the bitter chill.
The unfortunate event was inevitably reminiscent of a September afternoon many decades earlier when another founding father faced a similar predicament on the streets of Karachi. The weather was vastly different, though. And the consequences considerably more dire.
Pakistan was not yet even a year old when Mohammed Ali Jinnah lapsed into the fatal stage of his ailment, which remained something of a state secret unto the end. By the time Lieutenant-Colonel Ilahi Bakhsh, the principal of Lahore’s King Edward Medical College, was summoned to Jinnah’s bedside in Ziarat in late July 1948, it was already too late.
In a slim volume titled With the Quaid-e-Azam During His Last Days, based on a diary he kept during the time, Dr Ilahi Bakhsh says had a course of treatment been launched considerably earlier, the prognosis would likely have been notably better. Jinnah initially responded well to medication and an improved diet, but the will to live eventually seeped out of him.
He was reluctant to heed his doctors’ advice to move from Ziarat to Quetta on the eve of the first anniversary of Pakistan’s independence, but eventually gave in. The shift was predicated by Ziarat’s elevation, and the doctors felt Karachi would be even more conducive from the medical point of view, but Jinnah was extremely reluctant to return to the governor-general’s official residence as an invalid.
By the time he agreed, he was probably well aware that his hours were numbered. Minutes before he breathed his last, he responded to Dr Ilahi Bakhsh’s reassurance that “God willing, you are going to live” with a faint but seemingly unequivocal “No, I am not”.
In Quetta a couple of weeks earlier, he had shocked the good doctor by confiding in him: “You know, when you first came to Ziarat I wanted to live. Now, however, it does not matter whether I live or die.”
“I noticed,” Dr Ilahi Bakhsh writes, “tears in his eyes, and was startled by this manifestation of feeling in one generally looked upon as unemotional and unbending. I could not, moreover, account for his dejection at a time when he had been making excellent progress in all respects, and ventured to seek enlightenment from him.
“The explanation he offered was that he had completed his job, but I found it enigmatic and evasive. Was his job incomplete five weeks ago, and had he done something in the meanwhile which had given him a sense of fulfilment? I could not help feeling that something had happened which undermined his will to live.”
In his preface to the 2011 Oxford University Press edition of the treatise, the doctor’s son, Nasir Ilahi, notes that “based on information available” to his elder brother, Humayun, “there was an initial version of this book which the author had submitted to the Pakistan government for review … but which regrettably does not exist any longer.
“The author was required to delete certain passages from the book as they were considered to be politically inappropriate and sensitive. Essentially, these included, inter alia, information … which suggested that the patient was unhappy after some difficult meetings with his close political allies who he felt were departing from the cardinal concepts of the state of Pakistan that he had begun to visualise…
The establishment understands quite well that without turning Gwadar and large parts of Balochistan into a joint Chinese-Pakistani cantonment, they will not be able to move an inch
Passengers are relaxed in a cruising airliner all dreaming of their cherished destination and the pleasurable environment they would be in when suddenly the captain’s anxious voice breaks the calm. He says, “Ladies and gentlemen due to unavoidable circumstances a change of plans has been necessitated and we have been diverted to an uninhabited island. However, there is good news and bad news; which do you want first?” All demanded the bad news first. He said, “The bad news is that there is nothing to eat there except horse dung but the good news is that there is plenty of it.”
The situation in Pakistan is not much different; there are horse dung islands instead of promised destinations and, above all, the good news is always that there is more of bad news. There are unending atrocities against the Baloch, loot of their resources, injustices against Sindhis, carnages against Hazaras, intensification of attacks against Shias, discrimination against Hindus and Christians, persecution of Ahmadis, neglect of displaced persons in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Dera Bugti. The list is far from complete and the establishment continually not only adds to it but also increases the perniciousness of prevailing problems.
In the first five months of this year 84 people were disappeared, whereas 79 disfigured bodies were recovered from different parts of Balochistan; the toll of the dead is over 700. Whilst unabated atrocities, abductions and dumping of the Baloch persist, the establishment prepares to further antagonise them with the so-called economic projects essentially detrimental to Baloch interests because of the demographic changes and increased economic injustices these will entail and naturally be a prelude to increased state atrocities against them who naturally will resist to preserve their rights.
BBC digs deep into Altaf Hussain’s antics
…. Meanwhile, the British government confirmed the existence of a letter from Altaf to Tony Blair in which he had suggested disbanding the ISI.
The letter, sent in September 2001 and signed by Hussain, offered help against al Qaeda in return for “participation in governing the province of Sindh and in disbanding the ISI”.
Hussain pressed for help disbanding the ISI, warning that the agency would “continue to produce many Osama bin Ladens and Taliban in future”. He offered to provide “unlimited human resources throughout the towns and villages in the province of Sindh and the province of Punjab to some extent, to monitor the activities of fundamentalists and Taliban-led organisations, and also to monitor the activities of madrassas” in return.
“The Prime Minister’s Office received a letter from Mr Altaf Hussain which was passed to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) for a response,” the Cabinet Office confirmed to the BBC. The government said that Hussain’s letter was not replied to.
In May, police confirmed they were investigating remarks allegedly made by Hussain following the conclusion of the Pakistani general election, in which he allegedly threatened violence against protesters in Karachi.
Courtesy: Pakistan Today
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via » Facebook
By: Asif Mehmood
After request of workers Altaf Hussain has taken back his resignation from party!
KARACHI: Few hours after announcing his surprise resignation as the chief of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), Altaf Hussain withdrew his earlier decision on the appeal of his party workers.
Moreover, the party had announced that its workers would stage a sit-in in front of the British High Commission to protest against what the MQM chief called as a conspiracy hatched against him by the British government to unnecessarily drag him in the investigation of Imran Farooq‘s murder.
Heavy contingent of police, rangers, and other security personnel reached the site. Water cannons and riot police were also deputed at the High Commission to avoid any untoward incident.
LONDON: In a major breakthrough, Metropolitan Police’s Counter Terrorism Command detectives investigating the murder of Dr Imran Farooq arrested a man on suspicion of conspiracy to murder the Pakistani politician on Thursday 16 September 2010.
The 52-year-old British Citizen of Pakistani origin was arrested at London’s Heathrow Airport at approx 10:10 AM on Monday morning after landing at the airport on a flight from Canada. The detectives lay in waiting for the man whose travel trail was being monitored for a long time. The detectives were interviewing him on Monday at a West London Police station where he was in custody.
Dr Farooq was on his way home from work when he was attacked outside his home in Green Lane, Edgware, by a group of Pakistani looking men who killed him using a kitchen knife and bricks. A post-mortem gave his cause of death as multiple stab wounds and blunt trauma to the head.
A five and a half inch-bladed kitchen knife and a house brick used in the attack were recovered at the scene. A spokesman at the Metropolitan Police told that detectives from “the Met Police Counter Terrorism Command remain committed to finding those responsible”.
The detectives believe that Dr Imran Farooq’s murder would have required careful planning and would have required help from other people, some of whom may have provided assistance or information unwittingly.
Flagship Indian retailer opens in Pakistan
SINDH – KARACHI: Raymond, an Indian suiting and fabrics conglomerate, will on Friday formally open its first shop in Pakistan, where business leaders welcomed it as a step towards closer trade ties between the two countries.
NexSource Pakistan, which acquired the rights to sell Raymond suiting in Clifton, one of the most upscale neighbourhoods in business capital Karachi, said it was a major acquisition.
“They wanted to bring Raymond to Pakistan and we offered to be their partner,” said one of its directors, Najmus Saqib.
Nexsource say they expect to reap good business after an aggressive advertising campaign in a city whose wealthier residents are sartorially obsessed and where fashion is a key driver of business.
“People are crazy about clothing and dressing, and they already know Raymond,” Saqib said. “We just have to let them know that it is here.”
NexSource executive Saqib said he believed the enormous Indian market represented massive business opportunities for Pakistan.
KARACHI: In what appears to be a major policy shift, Muttahida Qaumi Movement chief Altaf Hussain has invited the Taliban to join hands with their fellow countrymen, instead of disassociating themselves from Pakistan.
“I ask the Taliban leaders that this country came into being as a result of great sacrifices. Come and join Pakistanis…do not disassociate yourselves from Pakistan,” he said in a telephonic address at the 27th foundation day of the MQM on Friday.
The day was celebrated across Pakistan and Mr Hussain’s address was simultaneously relayed to 34 places in the country. Carrying MQM’s tri-coloured flags and portraits of Mr Hussain, a large number of people attended the main rally at Karachi’s Jinnah Ground.
Condemning the United States for drone attacks in tribal areas, Mr Hussain said that the US was violating Pakistan’s sovereignty and killing innocent people, adding that drone attacks were being carried out in clear violation of the UN charter.
He assured the government and the armed forces that every Pakistani would support them if they took ‘meaningful steps’ with courage and bravery to stop drone strikes and part ways with the carrot-and-stick game of superpowers.
By: Shujauddin Qureshi, Karachi, Sindh
Pakistan has broken not only India’s but world’s record of planting 8,47,275 saplings of mangroves in 12 hours along Kharo Chhaan, Keti Bander coast of Sindh (Arabian Sea) in Thatto district Sindh. World Guinness book of record officials were present to monitor it at Indus Delta.
Courtesy: Via Facebook
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More details » BBC urdu
The establishment and its intellectuals’ priority has never been the rights of the Baloch and Sindhis
The envisaged Gwadar-Khunjrab-Kashgar railway and oil pipeline, for which a feasibility report was completed by Chinese engineers before Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao’s 2010 visit to Pakistan, bodes evil for the Baloch people’s rights. This is but a part of the larger strategy aimed at ensuring that Balochistan becomes the Tibet and Xinjiang of Pakistan. Masood Khan, Pakistan’s Ambassador to China, had then stated, “We support China’s policy on Tibet, Xinjiang and human rights.” China-Pakistan relations are based on mutual support for human rights violations.
This is amply proved by the fact that during the 23rd regular session of the United Nations Human Rights Council’s general debate in Geneva on June 7, 2013, when Balochistan’s representative to the UN Mehran Marri spoke about Pakistan’s continuing human rights abuses and recent farcical elections in Balochistan, the Pakistani delegate objected, and was supported by the Chinese and Cuban delegates. However, much to their chagrin, the US and UK representatives taking strong exception to their objections, supported Marri and called on the session chair to allow him to complete his statement and be allowed on record. Ironically, the Cuban representative said it was unacceptable for an NGO, conveniently forgetting that they too were once an NGO (pun intended), to attack the territorial integrity and independence of a sovereign state.
The continuing Afghan influx has already changed the demographic balance in parts of Balochistan. This proposed railway will help Pakistan usher in engineered demographic changes to turn the Baloch into a minority in their own land. The recently installed extremely pliable government in Quetta — whose titular chief minister cannot even name a cabinet without Nawaz Sharif’s consent — fully supports these sham mega-projects to bring about required demographic changes. The systematic engineered demographic changes combined with the brutal killings of Baloch activists and ordinary people suspected of sympathies with the Sarmachars (insurgents) are the two-pronged attacks that the Pakistani establishment has unleashed on the Baloch people. The demography issue is a life and death issue as the Baloch people’s destiny hinges on it and the resistance they can muster.
The Pashtuns too are suffering because of the harebrained dreams of strategic depth, which the deep state refuses to abandon in the hope of becoming the arbiter of Afghanistan’s fate and the hope to keep India on the back foot with its non-state actors. This ludicrous policy also sustains sectarian terror.
Sindhis have had the worst of both worlds and are rapidly turning into a minority in Sindh. Once again demands for shifting Biharis there are being made. This does not mean that they have not been coming in slowly, steadily and surreptitiously; where even mechanics can get blue passports at a price, getting an NIC is not a big deal. Thousands of Afghans refugees are bona fide citizens of Sindh; an Afghan colony is slowly taking shape near Bhit Shah and may well become a Sohrab Goth.
Hon. Congressman Brad Sherman, Hon. Congressman Adam Schiff, and Hon. Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney have signed the letter to have the State Department produce a version of the website of the U.S. Consulate in Karachi in the Sindhi language. They have sent the letter below to Honorable Secretary John Kerry”:
Dear Secretary Kerry,
We write to respectfully request that the State Department produce a version of the website of the U.S. Consulate in Karachi in the Sindhi language. This modest goal has the potential for enormous benefits for the United States’ diplomacy efforts in Pakistan. The response from the Sindhi population, including Sindhi journalists and intellectuals, to previous U.S. outreach in their language has been extraordinarily positive.
The Sindh province is home to tens of millions of speakers of Sindhi, which is spoken by at least 12% of Pakistanis and has more native speakers than the national language of Urdu. The translated website will serve as an important source of news and understanding of U.S. policy in Pakistan for a large segment of the population.
It is in America’s national interests to reach out to this historically marginalized segment of the Pakistani population in their native language. Sindhis in Pakistan help advance U.S. interests in the region by opposing extremism and violence. Many Sindhis, highly influenced by rich Sufi traditions, share our core values and seek our help in a more secure and safe world. We strongly support the translation of the U.S. Consulate website in Karachi to Sindhi.
Thank you for your attention to this matter.
Courtesy: Sindhi e-lists/ e-groups, SAPAC and Social Media
Roots of Impunity
1. The Murder of Wali Khan Babar
On January 13, 2011, Wali Khan Babar, a 28-year-old correspondent for Geo TV, was driving home after covering another day of gang violence in Karachi. Babar was an unusual face on the airwaves: Popular and handsome, he was a Pashtun from Zhob in Baluchistan near the border with Afghanistan. For Geo, it was a rare boon to have a Pashtun in Karachi, and so the station planned to send him abroad for training to become an anchor.
Pashtuns, represented by the Pashtun nationalist Awami National Party, and Muhajirs, represented by the Muttahida Qaumi Movement, have been enmeshed in violent attacks and counterattacks at a level not seen since the 1990s, and Babar was passionate about covering and stopping them. For a time, he was able to mingle easily among the competing forces. He reported on clashes, extortion, drug dealing, and land grabbing. He knew he was in treacherous water, but he was optimistic and, as he told one of his colleagues, he thought he could forge a truce between the ANP and MQM. But lately he was nervous. He told his boss that the MQM was after him. He told a Pashtun colleague that he thought people were following him home and watching his movements. “I get phone calls every day with threats,” said a Geo supervisor, “and unfortunately we didn’t realize the gravity of why he was saying that.”
The day before, on January 12, 2011, Mohammad Shahrukh Khan, aka Mani, was ordered to follow Babar home, but he couldn’t find the reporter. Mani, a young Muhajir and MQM member, had worked in his father’s paan and confectionary shop until he got involved with the MQM’s Faisal Mota, a community organizer and squad leader. Once Mani joined the MQM he did various jobs—selling cigarettes, brokering, election campaigning. On January 13, he got another call from Mota, who told him to go back to Geo offices where another MQM comrade would give him a car to follow Babar.
Mani arrived outside the offices of Geo around Asr, the afternoon prayer. Two MQM guys named Zeeshan and Liaqat were already there and gave him the keys to a silver Suzuki, parked behind Babar’s car. They had put a 50-rupee credit on Mani’s mobile and told him to call when Babar pulled out. Around 8:30 p.m., Babar got in his car and began his drive home. Mani called Zeeshan: “He’s leaving.” He then called his boss, Faisal Mota, who kept him on the phone to narrate the exact route—through the Saddar area, by the lines for cricket, past the post office and the Esso station. And then suddenly there was Zeeshan. Babar was stuck in traffic in Liaquatabad, an exclusively Muhajir neighborhood, with Mani behind him. Zeeshan, wearing a cap, went in front of Mani up to Babar’s car, raised a black pistol, and fired six or seven times through the window. We know all this from Mani’s videotaped confession, which can be found online.
Mani panicked and fled. He called Faisal Mota. What’s going on? By the time he got to Faisal Mota’s house several MQM guys were already there—men with names like Waseem Commando and Shahid Commando. Zeeshan arrived soon after and then Mota walked in. Mota told Mani to relax and say not a word, but Mani left the next day for Lahore, where he stayed for two months. Upon his return to Karachi he went to Mota’s office in Gulshan. By now the police were on to them, and Mota ordered them to head to Hyderabad where Liaqat, another plotter, was in hiding. It was too late. Shortly after they left Mota’s office, Mani and four others saw the police moving in. A firefight broke out. Somehow Mota, the ringleader, got away.
On April 7, 2011, the police held a news conference announcing the arrest of Mani and four others. Twelve days later, stories began appearing in Pakistan Today with details of the murder culled from the suspects’ statements to a Joint Investigation Team. According to the team’s report, Mota had apparently received the assassination order around January 1 from Agha Murtaza, a South Africa-based MQM operative who investigators said has controlled several hit cells for years. Mota had convened a meeting at his house on January 7 and assigned different MQM members to monitor Babar at various locations, including the reporter’s residence and a Peshawari ice cream shop near the reporter’s house.
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LAHORE: Pakistan Tehreek e Insaf Chief Imran Khan Sunday strongly condemning the killing of PTI Sindh Vice President Zarah Shahid Hussain in Karachi said that he is “shocked” and “deeply saddened”.
On his Twitter account, Imran Khan wrote “I am shocked & deeply saddened by the brutal killing of Zara Shahid Hussain, Zara apa to us, in Karachi tonite. A targeted act of terror!”
He held Altaf Hussain “directly responsible” for the murder, saying that the MQM chief had openly threatened the PTI leaders and workers.
“I hold Altaf Hussain directly responsible for the murder as he had openly threatened PTI workers and leaders through public broadcasts.”
He also held British Government responsible in the murder of the PTI Sindh senior vice president, saying that he had already “warned” the British government about Altaf’s “open threats” to kill PTI workers.
“I also hold the British Govt responsible as I had warned them abt Br citizen Altaf Hussain after his open threats to kill PTI workers”, he said.
Addressing the participants of the sit-in in Lahore by telephone, Khan announced that the party would also protest the killing of the woman leader in London.
“You have laid foundation of New Pakistan, be firm as I will announce future course of action today, I congratulate you for fighting for your rights,” Khan, who has been recuperating at the Shaukat Khanam Hospital said.
Yesterday I called upon the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police to arrest a British citizen for incitement to murder. It is an open and shut case. You can watch his lips move on television, broadcast from London, in the wake of the controversial election count in the giant port city of Karachi, Pakistan. Hussain openly threatened the young democracy protesters agitating for a re-run of the election there that he would have them cut them down with swords.
No-one should think this mere rhetoric, Hussain is already convicted in Pakistan for multiple murder extortion organised crime and terrorist offences. That’s why he lives in Edgware. In fact he is chief suspect in over 100 murder cases, including in England in the murder of one of his own leading comrades.
Five years ago I gave a speech in Parliament asking why the then New Labour government was not only tolerating the presence in this country of a mafia style chief making regular broadcasts from London ordering crimes to be committed in a friendly country, but had actually given the Don a British passport!
The previous, Conservative, government had, I believed, refused citizenship to Altaf Hussain. New Labour as just one of many crimes against the people of the Muslim world thought differently and conveyed upon a convicted murderer all the rights of citizen upon him.
LONDON: British High Commissioner (HC), Adam Thomson has said that UK police have received countless complaints against Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) chief Altaf Hussain’s remarks about detaching Karachi from Pakistan, Geo News reported. In a statement, the British HC said Pakistan should take serious notice of Altaf Hussain’s statement. Thomson further said that strict laws are followed in Britain against hate speech and spreading violence, adding the UK police is currently investigating Altaf’s speech.
He added that if anyone is found guilty, the accused can face imprisonment.
Our correspondent from London, Murtaza Ali Shah adds: Metropolitan Police say they are aware of complaints made about Altaf Hussain’s remarks from London but currently there is no investigation. A spokesperson says complaints are still being made and ‘we are looking into but no investigation yet.’
Thousands took to the streets across Sindh province against election rigging. Thousands citizens gathered at Teen Talwar area of Karachi protesting against MQM rigging in Karachi. Hundreds of protesters also protested in the various parts of Karachi, Hyderabad, Larakano and other parts of Sindh against the election rigging in Karachi. Hyderabad and other parts of Sindh by MQM and PPP.
By Amir Mateen
The good news is that the NAB finally woke up to stop Port Qasim Authority from giving further concessions to Malik Riaz of Bahria Town to build, if at all he plans to do that, the alleged Island City, 3.5 km off the Karachi coast.
Of course, Malik will continue to publish ads showing fabulous pictures of Dubai’s man-made islands besides announcements about building the world’s biggest Mall and the tallest building. No explanation is given about the equity; who will put in how much money and how. And this is about a whopping sum of $ 45 billion. But Malik Riaz keeps changing his figures as pennies in his pocket. After the Abu Dhabi Group backed out, Malik Riaz brought the figure down to Rs 15 billion investment through a news report from his ‘chosen’ editor and newspaper.
The figure was ballooned to $ 15 billion in six hours and then to $ 20 within 24 hours–interestingly propagated by the same media groups. Bahria rose the figure back to its original claim of raising $ 45 billion in its ads published by almost all mainstream newspaper. Only this time there was no name and face of the investor, except the promise that a consortium of Arab and Europeans will descend upon Pakistan soon to pledge the $ 45 billion just because “Bahria commits, Bahria delivers.”
Thousands of cases exist where Bahria has not delivered at all with people running from pillar to post to recover their life-savings– Awami Villas (DHA phase-2 extension), Bahria Town Phase 9, DHA Valley, REHC, just to name a few.
What we have on the table is the grand arrival of controversial US investor, Thomas Kramer, whose net worth is $ 90 million. How will he bring in the promised money is yet to be seen. Malik Riaz shows a loss of Rs 107 million in his personal income declaration for the last three years (2010-12). He owes another Rs 107 billion in taxes as documented by the Federal Tax Ombudsman (FTO) and much more to investors whom he is yet to ‘deliver’ despite taking billions in advance illegally. Yet he keeps buying jet planes, the latest being a $ 20 million worth hawker Beech craft that he bought last month, perhaps to facilitate the electoral candidates that he is supposed to ‘deliver’ from every political party. The likelihood is that he may not declare this as he has not declared the Rs 850 million that he declared on TV to have spent on Shahbaz Sharif’s Ashiana Scheme or the Rs 2 billion that he claims to spend on feeding people.
So the only concrete thing on ground is the dubiously acquired State land for which he invites investors.
The NAB, we are told, took notice of complaints under the Prevention of Corruption Initiatives regarding the award of contract by the PQA. This was done after several complaints from Transparency International, consumer watchdogs and nationalists. The Sindh Assembly opposition lodged explosive protest against the sale of the ‘motherland.’ It got provoked because nobody consulted the Assembly about giving the project, which, among other things, entails building the world’s tallest building on its soil. Sindhi nationalists got incensed over Prime Minister Pervaiz Ashraf receiving the US tycoon who is accused of rape, child-molestation and many other traits that he shares with his hosts here.
He was also received by the MQM contingent including Governor Ishratul Ibad, who went a step forward by offering him 4500 acres over and above the 1200 acres ‘delivered’ by the PQA. Malik seems everybody in his pocket. Who else can bring an alleged rapist and make the high and the mighty of this land receive him without any notice. “What is going on here?,” asked Sindhi activist Zulfiqar Halipoto who led a protest rally in Islamabad. A placard in the rally asked: “How stupid can we become?”
Endlessly, we think. The NAB surprised everybody by advising “the PQA not to sign any concession agreement in violation of RFP, government rules and regulations.” It bragged that it has made mandatory for the PQA to get the contract vetted by a panel of experts also “give a presentation regarding compliance of all terms and conditions of agreement by the Bahria Town.”
The bad news is that nobody trusts the NAB, which is accused as “Bahria’s laundry shop” where they like to take their difficult cases to get a tag of piety. NAB Chairman Fasih Bokhari had his daughter working for Bahria Town earlier. Bokhari, who served in Pakistan Navy when Bahria was in partnership with it, was accused of having clandestine arrangements with Malik Riaz in a court of law. Many think that the NAB shows the interest to take the charge and give a clean chit t Malik Riaz. Only in movies, you might say.
Interestingly, Malik Riaz identifies himself with movie characters. His web site actually shows a long note in his own writing comparing his life with the hero of Bollywoods movie Guru (Abhishek Bachan). He writes, the chapter is titled “Guru or king-maker,” that as Guru he also grew against all odds. He particularly mentions the climax, where Guru thunders before an inquiry board that “I tried to play it straight but I was obstructed because nothing happened without bribery and corruption.” He goes on to describe that, as Guru, Malik Riaz also had to “open the doors” whatever it took from ‘sifarish’ to bribery to violence. In the process, he says, he made himself rich and everybody else. The crux is that, as Guru, that the ordinary courts could not judge him as it is for the people to decide.
My Friend, Architect Parween Rehman, killed on 12th March 2013, in Karachi, Sindh
By Humaira Rahman
I met Parween in January 1981. I was 25 years old, and Parween a few years younger. I had just returned to Karachi armed with my degree in Architecture from University of California, Berkeley.Parween was a 4th year student of Architecture at Dawood College of Engineering and Technology, Karachi, Sindh.
Within a fortnight of returning home to Karachi, I was recruited by (late) Professor Kausar Bashir Ahmed, Dean of Architecture, to join D.C.E.T as visiting lecturer, to teach 2 courses a week for Rs 1500 per month.
I was thrilled and eager to introduce two new courses to the curriculum, from my experiences and time at Berkeley. I had saved all the course material and more.
The first was a 2nd year course tit;ed “Environmental Psychology” and the other was a 4th year course titled “Environmental Impact Assessment”.
In this latter course 4th year architecture students were asked to select a recently built building in the city and research its impact on its surroundings, and submit a report to fulfill the course requirement: They were asked to address the following questions: did the building add value to the surrounding environment or did it detract? How was the flaura and fauna affected? what happened to the extra needs generated by the building? what happened to the parking, sewerage, water supply, pedestrian rights , garbage collection etc etc ? what class of people did the building benefit , only the rich or some of the poor to?
My goal was to sensitise students to the environment , to look beyond their indvidual building projects to the overall fabric of the city. To look beyond the needs of the elite patrons who fund buildings and see the city as a place that belongs to all its residents.
Parween Rehman signed up for the EIA course. She was my most brilliant student. Her leading questions and critical approach made me feel I had a natural co teacher, in her.
Together we energised the class of 37 or so , many of who were young men from rural towns in Sindh, Balochistan and Khyber Pukhtunkhwa.
As Course Director, I decreed that reports could be submitted in any language not just English. Parween was very pleased and helped me with the translations of papers submitted in Urdu by the Baloch and Pushtun students. I handled the Sindhi and English ones myself and we had the most fascinating class discussions.
Later, soon after she graduated I learnt that she joined the Orangi Pilot Project (OPP) instead of a “successful” practice. I respected Parween’s decision to join OPP as I have respected few peoples decisions in their choices of career path.
Over the years , I watched her from a distance and never lost that sense of deep admiration and respect. Recenetly , I met post Urban Planning graduate students at University of Toronto, Canada who had visited the OPP in Karcahi, Sindh and came away mesmerized by what Parween had achieved.
In Parween Rehman, Sindh has lost a rare individual.
May her murderers rot in hell in their afterlife, and in the meanwhile live to suffer in ways they never dreamed would come their way.
Rest in peace always , Parween. Your memory shines a path. Sha’ aal khush hujeen sadaiiN
Courtesy: Sindhi e-lists/e-groups, March 13, 2013.
The funeral of one of Pakistan’s top development workers – shot dead on Wednesday – has been held in Karachi. Parveen Rehman was killed by four gunmen while travelling in her car near the western Orangi area of the city. It is believed to be one of the largest squatter settlements in Asia. Ms Rehman was head of the Orangi Pilot Project, one of Pakistan’s most successful non-profit programmes, which helps local communities escape from poverty. ….
Read more » BBC
By Naseer Memon
Impregnated with ethnic strife, the Sindh Peoples Local Government Act (SPLGA) created an unprecedented anti-PPP sentiment in its stronghold, Sindh. Proceedings of the Supreme Court, hearing a petition seeking annulment of the law, were indicative of an inclement outcome for the government. The recent experience of by-elections also sent waves of consternation in the ruling camp as its candidates faced pillories from opponents and disgruntled masses on the same law. All these factors constrained the PPP to cajole its ally to rescind the politically incendiary law. The belated adieu by the MQM to the government is viewed as an overtly cosmetic move under a premeditated script. On the day that acting governor of Sindh, Nisar Ahmed Khuhro, signed to repeal the SPLGA, the Karachi Stock Exchange recorded bonanza business — unimaginable if it was not a mock war between the two parties. Nevertheless, the interment of a divisive law averted a lurking ethnic frenzy in the province, already mired with unremitting violence, especially in Karachi.
In the presence of this law, the next general elections could have been a nightmare for the PPP in Sindh. Although the opposition has been disarmed of its would-be most popular slogan of divisive law, the lacklustre performance of the PPP during the past five years has sufficiently exasperated its voters. Rampant corruption, brazen violation of merit in postings and transfers, displacement of several million flood affectees, substandard quality of social sector services, ubiquitous lawlessness, shabby infrastructure and scruffy towns can provide ample ammunition for the election campaign of opposition parties. For the PPP, the past platitude of victimisation and martyrdom of the Bhuttos has lost its lustre to fascinate the masses this time. Portending this ominous fact, the party has embarked upon a medley of actions, including cajoling feudal lords in Sindh.