By Vaqar Ahmed
Here’s the routine for most people in Karachi:
They wake up in the morning and get ready for work. The lucky ones have enough water to take a bath but most have to make do with much less. If there is some gas, the stove is switched on, and some tea and bread is prepared for breakfast. Then, it is off to the bus stop with the hope of finding transport to make it to work in time. When the bus arrives, the object called human body is stuffed into it like a sardine joining other sardines in a tin box.
The same routine happens in reverse at the end of a long day. Also, during the day, those who went out for work and those who stayed at home need electricity to do their jobs or carry out the various tasks at home; if they are lucky, they will get it for a few hours.
Read more » DAWN
Baku-APA. Forty rioters died in a series of explosions in Luntai County of northwest China’s Xinjiang on Sunday, and six civilians, two police officers and two auxiliary policemen were killed, APA reports quoting Xinhua.
Another two rioters were captured by the police, according to the official Tianshan website.
The blasts hit a shop, an open fair and two police stations around 5 p.m. Sunday, the website said.
Xinjiang police said it was an “organized and serious” terrorist attack.
NEWARK, Del. — Shortly after the latest cease-fire expired in Gaza on Friday, Jacob Bender gingerly climbed the steps of the mimbar, the pulpit at the Islamic Society of Delaware here. A Jew in a mosque, his hands palpably quivering but his reedy voice steady, he read some brief comments to close the afternoon’s worship service, called Juma’a.
Mr. Bender offered both hope and censure, twinned: Muslims and Jews could still be “partners for peace and justice,” he said. Israel and Hamas bore shared responsibility for the current carnage, he added, and more hatred would lead to more violence, while love would lead to reconciliation.
Read more » The New York Times
ISLAMABAD — Reuters: A Pakistani mob killed a woman member of a religious sect and two of her granddaughters after a sect member was accused of posting blasphemous material on Facebook, police said Monday, the latest instance of growing violence against minorities.
The dead, including a seven-year-old girl and her baby sister, were Ahmadis, who consider themselves Muslim but believe in a prophet after Mohammed. A 1984 Pakistani law declared them non-Muslims and many Pakistanis consider them heretics.
Read more » The Globe And Mail
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More details » So what if she is 8-months old? She is Ahmadi, kill her!
Maqsood Qureshi killing sparks violence in Sindh
Discovery of bodies of JSQM leader and his friend in a burned-out car triggers gunfire and disorder
Karachi: Tension gripped areas of the interior Sindh province on Friday amid gunfire, burning of vehicles and the closure of shops and markets after the bodies of a Sindhi nationalist leader and his friend were found in a burned-out car.
Sources said Maqsood Qureshi, the brother of Bashir Qureshi, the late chairman of Jiye Sindh Qaumi Mahaz (JSQM), and his friend were discovered in the vehicle in Naushero Feroze city and identified at a government hospital in Bhiria.
Almost as soon as the news of Qureshi’s killing broke in the town shops were closed in Nawabshah and Naurshero Feroze and JSQM activists took the body to the national highway, where they blocked the road by staging a sit-in. Several vehicles on the road were set on fire.
Media reports said that a man was shot to death in the Gharibabad area of Nawabshah while another two people were injured.
The offices of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA), Pakistan Telecom, a private bank and a courier service were attacked.
Gunshots could also be heard in Kotri, while in Larkana a strike was declared and several areas of the town shut down.
In Ratodero, a Chandka Medical College bus and a police van were set on fire and examinations were called off at Mehran Engineering University and Liaqat Medical University in the Jamshoro district.
Sources said that the traffic was thin on the roads of interior Sindh and the towns and cities of Hyderabad, Badin, Thatto, Khairpur, Tando Allahyar, Tando Mohammad Khan and Ghotki also remained tensed over the killing of Qureshi and his friend.
A government spokesman said that if the need arose, a judicial inquiry would be held into the deaths and he condemned the incident, appealing to people to remain calm.
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The Taliban’s War on Women: Taliban violence against women in Afghanistan has never gone away. Disturbing stories of suppression and brutality show a society hanging in the balance.
The recent online video of the Taliban executing a 22-year-old woman in front of a crowd of cheering men shocked the world. As Taliban aggression intensifies, how much has actually changed in Afghanistan?
At the height of the Taliban’s rule in Afghanistan in 1999, a burqa-clad woman was executed in Kabul’s main football stadium. Footage of the killing shocked the world and galvanised international opposition to the Taliban’s brutal rule. Yet just two months ago, 22-year-old Najiba was mercilessly killed by the Taliban, just one hour’s drive from Kabul. The Taliban created a fake court and once they decided she was guilty, executed her within an hour. “It was tyrannical and barbaric – it is impossible that the law would allow what they did”, says Mullah Badam, who witnessed the killing. Speaking to Afghan women it’s evident that violent abuse is still commonplace. 18-year-old Mumtaz had acid thrown on her face by her would-be husband, who she had refused to marry. “They would not let me look in the mirror. I cried a lot”, she says. But there are women who are fighting back, including MP Fawzia Koofi, who plans to take on Hamid Karzai for the presidency. An outspoken champion of women’s rights, she has faced assassination attempts and numerous death threats. She argues that for her male political opposition, “women’s rights are a matter of sacrifice”. With the Allied forces set to withdraw by 2014, this disturbing report highlights just how precarious the situation remains for the future of Afghan society.
Read more » Journeyman.tv
The BBC’s Wyre Davies was reporting from Rio’s Central Station as the violence unfolded
Hundreds of people in Brazil have clashed with police during a protest against increased fares for public transport. Commuters were caught up in the violence at Rio de Janeiro’s Central Station during rush hour. Riot police fired tear gas and tried to disperse the crowd, while activists hurled stones and petrol bombs.
A cameraman is in a serious condition in hospital after suffering a head injury.
The BBC’s Wyre Davies was at the station and was among those who went to the cameraman’s aid.
He tweeted: “A fellow journalist suffered terrible head injuries when hit by explosive device. Did our best to save him.” Six other people were also injured and at least 20 protesters were arrested, O Globo newspaper reported.
(Reuters) – Protesters set fire to a government building and clashed with riot police in Bosnia on Friday in a third day of unrest over high unemployment and two decades of political inertia since the country’s 1992-95 war.
Demonstrators smashed windows and set fire to the offices of the local government in the northern town of Tuzla, while in the capital, Sarajevo, police fired rubber bullets and stun grenades to disperse a crowd of several thousand.
Protests were called for Friday in towns and cities across Bosnia, in a sign of growing anger over the lack of economic and political progress since the country broke from Yugoslavia in the early 1990s and descended into war. More than one in four of the country’s workforce were out of a job in 2013.
YANGON, Myanmar (AP) — Former U.S. President Bill Clinton said sectarian violence in newly opened Myanmar, also known as Burma, sickens the world as he met with political and civic leaders Thursday to discuss challenges facing the emerging democracy following a half-century of military rule.
The attacks on Muslims are a topic many in this predominantly Buddhist nation of 60 million try to avoid. Soon after President Thein Sein formed a quasi-civilian government in early 2011 and began making sweeping political and economic changes, deep-seated prejudices against the Muslim minority started to surface.
In the past year, more than 240 people have been killed and 240,000 others forced to flee their homes, most of them Muslims hunted down by stick- and machete-wielding Buddhist mobs. Members of the security forces have been accused of standing by, at times even abetting rioters, in some cases, but none has been punished.
And the government — together with much of the population — has been largely silent.
Clinton said the world has been pulling for Myanmar. “The whole world cheers every piece of good news and is sick every time they read about sectarian violence,” he said. “Because everywhere on earth, people are tired of people killing each other and fighting each other because of their differences.”
By Mike Thomson Presenter, Document, Radio 4
When India was partitioned in 1947, about 500,000 people died in communal rioting, mainly along the borders with Pakistan. But a year later another massacre occurred in central India, which until now has remained clouded in secrecy.
In September and October 1948, soon after independence from the British Empire, tens of thousands of people were brutally slaughtered in central India.
Some were lined up and shot by Indian Army soldiers. Yet a government-commissioned report into what happened was never published and few in India know about the massacre. Critics have accused successive Indian governments of continuing a cover-up.
The massacres took place a year after the violence of partition in what was then Hyderabad state, in the heart of India. It was one of 500 princely states that had enjoyed autonomy under British colonial rule.
When independence came in 1947 nearly all of these states agreed to become part of India.
But Hyderabad’s Muslim Nizam, or prince, insisted on remaining independent. This refusal to surrender sovereignty to the new democratic India outraged the country’s leaders in New Delhi.
After an acrimonious stand-off between Delhi and Hyderabad, the government finally lost patience.
The Dalai Lama speaks out against the killings.. “Killing people in the name of religion is unthinkable.. I pray for them (the Buddhists in Myanmar) to think of the face of Buddha.”
Dalai Lama Urges Peace In Myanmar, Asks Monks To ‘Remember The Buddhist Faith’
As the violence in Myanmar continues, the Dalai Lama urged monks to act according to the peaceful principles of their religion and told them to “remember the Buddhist faith.”
The Dalai Lama made his remarks to reporters at an annual human rights conference in Prague, capital of the Czech Republic. He went on to say that there was “too much emphasis on ‘we’ and ‘they’” in the world, and declared that “this century should be a century of dialogue, not wars.”
Myanmar’s Rohingya Muslim minority have been the main victims of the sectarian clashes that last year left around 200 people dead in the state of Rakhine, and a further 140,000 without homes. They are especially vulnerable as about 800,000 Rohingya Muslims are deprived of citizenship rights due to discriminatory policies.
Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro announced today that he would withdraw the country’s ambassador from Egypt because of the conflict there and confrontations between supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood and the defacto government, which has seen over 700 people killed.
“We have witnessed a blood bath in Egypt…We warned that the coup against Morsi was unconstitutional. Morsi was kidnapped and the responsible party for what is occuring in Egypt is the empire, which has its hands in it,” said the head of state.
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
LAHORE – In a renewed attack on minorities, a violent Muslim mob attacked a Christian locality in Gujranwala on Wednesday, damaging shops, houses and vehicles belonging to the local Christians following a clash between the youths of the two communities last night, Pakistan Today has learnt.
According to initial information, a group of Christian boys was snubbed by a local cleric for playing music on their cell phones while passing by a mosque on Tuesday evening.
“Our boys were passing the mosque when the prayer leader objected to their playing music on cell phones. The boys turned off the music at that moment but switched it on again after covering some distance. The cleric raised a clamour and accused the boys of showing disrespect to Islam. As word spread of the incident, we immediately went to the police post in our colony and shared our security concerns with them. The police told us not to worry and assured us that they would contain the situation but no measures were taken,” Pervaiz, a resident of Francis Colony in Gujranwala, told Pakistan Today.
Pakistan seems to be on the brink of religious anarchy. Talbanization of the country has turned Punjab province into a hell for the Christian and Ahmadiya religious minorities. Does country intend to adopt the path of harmony? Silence is the only answer, for now!
On the pretext of blasphemy, around two hundred houses of innocent Christians were set on fire a couple of weeks ago by a fanatic mob led by extremist organizations in Lahore, the capital of Punjab province of Pakistan. This has recently been followed by insurrecting Ahmadiya Muslim minority’s houses in the province. Violence against religious minorities has been on the increase in the most populous province of the country.
The shadow of continuous Hindu exodus has already created fury in Sindh province. Blazing a couple hundred houses of Christians has not only jolted the country, emotionally, but has also pointed towards insensitivity of liberal middle class towards minorities. In fact, the eastern-Indus Pakistan has lurched in the psychological chaos. Needless to mention, the western-Indus is already undergoing Taliban and Baloch insurgencies.
Burma: State of emergency imposed in Meiktila
A state of emergency has been imposed in the Burmese town of Meiktila following three days of communal violence between Buddhists and Muslims.
A statement announcing the decision on behalf of President Thein Sein was broadcast on state television.
He said that the move would enable the military to help restore order in the riot-hit town, south of Mandalay.
At least 20 people are reported to have been killed since the violence began, but exact figures are unclear.
A BBC reporter who has just returned from the town said he saw about 20 Muslim bodies, which local men were trying to destroy by burning.
Meiktila MP Win Thein told the BBC Burmese service that scores of mostly Buddhist people accused of being involved in the violence had been arrested by police.
He said that he saw the bodies of eight people who had been killed in violence in the town on Friday morning. Many Muslims had fled gangs of Buddhist youths, he said, while other Muslims were in hiding.
Mr Win said that that violence that recurred on Friday morning has now receded, although the atmosphere in Meiktila remains tense.
Police say that at least 15 Buddhist monks on Friday burnt down a house belonging to a Muslim family on the outskirts of the town. There are no reports of any injuries.
The disturbances began on Wednesday when an argument in a gold shop escalated quickly, with mobs setting mainly Muslim buildings alight, including some mosques.
By: Asad Munir
Until the late 1970s Shias and Sunnis lived in complete harmony in this country. There were sporadic, minor incidents of Shia-Sunni violence but generally there was no hostility between the two sects. Muharram was sacred for Sunnis as well. Many attended Shia majalis, and on the tenth of Muharram cooked special foods, participated in Shia processions and revered the Zuljinah.
These good times were changed by three major events that took place in the late 1970s: Zia’s martial law, Khomeini’s revolution and the invasion of Afghanistan by the Soviets. Pakistan was no more the same moderate and tolerant country. Zia, after hanging an elected prime minister, wanted to use religion as a tool to prolong his rule. He tried to introduce Islamic laws as per the concept of the Islamic state envisioned by Maulana Maudoodi.
By: Abbas Nasir
WHO knows what a failed state is? Such definitions are for the academics and experts. But what one can easily ascertain is a state that is dysfunctional.
For what would you call a state that has neither the power to generate resources and tax those who need to be taxed, nor the system or even the need to ensure that it accounts for what it spends? It can keep piling up a huge deficit without question and have nothing to show for it.
What would you call a state that cannot deliver the very least: the safety of life and limb to its citizens? Where if you particularly happened to be in the smaller provinces the only thing you could get by on is your faith. Yes, God remains the only recourse.
By HEATHER TAN
SINGAPORE (AP) — A young Indian woman who was gang-raped and severely beaten on a bus in New Delhi died Saturday at a Singapore hospital, after her horrific ordeal galvanized Indians to demand greater protection from sexual violence that impacts thousands of women every day.
She “passed away peacefully” with her family and officials of the Indian embassy by her side,” said Dr. Kevin Loh, the chief executive of Mount Elizabeth hospital where she had been treated since Thursday. “The Mount Elizabeth Hospital team of doctors, nurses and staff join her family in mourning her loss,” he said in a statement.
He said the woman had remained in an extremely critical condition since Thursday when she was flown to Singapore from India. “Despite all efforts by a team of eight specialists in Mount Elizabeth Hospital to keep her stable, her condition continued to deteriorate over these two days. She had suffered from severe organ failure following serious injuries to her body and brain. She was courageous in fighting for her life for so long against the odds but the trauma to her body was too severe for her to overcome.”
The woman and a male friend, who have not been identified, were traveling in a public bus after watching a film on the evening of Dec. 16 when they were attacked by six men who took turns to rape her. They also beat the couple and inserted an iron rod into her body resulting in severe organ damage. Both of them were then stripped and thrown off the bus, according to police.
Indian police have arrested six people in connection with the attack, which left the victim with severe internal injuries, a lung infection and brain damage. She also suffered from a heart attack while in hospital in India.
Indian High Commissioner, or ambassador, T.C.A. Raghanvan told reporters that the scale of the injuries she suffered was “very grave” and in the end it “proved too much.
He said arrangements are being made to take her body back to India
The frightening nature of the crime shocked Indians, who have come out in their thousands for almost daily demonstrations, demanding stronger protection for women and death penalty for rape, which is now punishable by a maximum life imprisonment. Women face daily harassment across India, ranging from catcalls on the streets, groping and touching in public transport to rape.
But the tragedy has forced India to confront the reality that sexually assaulted women are often blamed for the crime, which forces them to keep quiet and not report it to authorities for fear of exposing their families to ridicule. Also, police often refuse to accept complaints from those who are courageous enough to report the rapes and the rare prosecutions that reach courts drag on for years.
By: Olivia Ward, Foreign Affairs Reporter
…. An Amnesty report released Wednesday says that committees on racial discrimination, prevention of torture and children’s rights found “a range” of “ongoing and serious human rights challenges,” especially for indigenous peoples.
“By every measure, be it respect for treaty and land rights, levels of poverty, average life spans, violence against women and girls, dramatically disproportionate levels of arrest and incarceration or access to government services such as housing, health care, education, water and child protection, indigenous peoples across Canada continue to face a grave human rights crisis,” it said. ….
Read more » The Toronto Star
By: Ismail Dilawar
KARACHI – Frequent incidents of violence and the consequent sense of paranoia in the country’s financial hub have seriously jeopardized businesses, and put a majority of the traders and businessmen under heavy debts during recent years.
The traders claim to have become insolvent due to violence, such as politically-motivated targeted killings, and frequent strikes that partially or completely cease the businesses activity in the port city. “Almost 80 percent of the traders in the city are breathing hard under heavy debts which they owe to the goods’ suppliers,” said Muhammad Atiq Mir, chairman of the All Karachi Tajir Ittehad (AKTI), a body representing around 400 city markets. This, he said, was because of the politically and religiously motivated violence, which is now the order of the day.
Mir said most of the traders’ shops were filled with suppliers’ goods. “Due to consistently increasing inflation and violence, the traders’ income has been going down,” he said. “Irrespective of the reasons, each day of suspended businesses activity costs the city traders at least Rs 2.5 to Rs 3 billion,” he said, adding that this amount reflected the revenues only. “Daily trading activity can roughly be estimated at over a trillion rupees,” said Mir, who also chairs the Federation of Pakistan Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s (FPCCI) standing committee on small traders and cottage industries.
Crimes against humanity in Sindh and Pakistan that have taken place during the last 4 years of PPP regime.
Crimes against humanity in Sindh and Pakistan
Pakistani Foreign Minister Hina Rabani Khar has presented a rosy human rights report in the periodical human rights review session of the United Nations in Geneva, which is an attempt to hide underway crimes against humanity in the country.
SHE HAS claimed remarkable achievements regarding rights regime in Pakistan. Her report and talk at Geneva gives an impression that Pakistan has undergone a huge transformation during last four years similar to a revolution in the governance, rights regime, and legal framework.
The realities in Pakistan are entirely opposite to that report. If an analysis of last four years in Sindh province alone is carried regarding the Hindus exodus and ethnic cleansing, involuntarily disappearances, extra-judicial killings, and ethnically discriminative legislations, the intensity of the violations as well as denial of the rights under various treaties and declarations of United Nations will no doubt prove to be the crime against humanity.
Hindu Exodus and other forms of ethnic cleansing in Sindh
Thousands of Sindhi Hindus have been forced to quit Sindh, Pakistan, who have refuge or settled in the various countries mostly in India. Nearly 8000 Hindus from Sanghar district of Sindh, Pakistan have sought asylum in Rajasthan state of India during October 2012. The other form of ethnic cleansing is the target killings of ethnic Sindhi, Baloch, and Pashtun in Karachi city, which is aimed to resist these peoples settlement and force the existing population to migrate from city. The state support to an ethnic violence-making group through administrative decisions and legislative initiatives is an established reality of violating the various international treaties and declarations, which are rectified by Pakistan.
In this regards, the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide’ in Article II reads:
“….genocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such: a. killing members of the group; b. causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; c. deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part…
According to the Article III of the convention, genocide; conspiracy to commit genocide; direct and public incitement to commit genocide; attempt to commit genocide; and complicity in genocide are punishable crimes. The article IV of the treaty clearly mentions, “Persons committing genocide or any of the other acts enumerated in article III shall be punished, whether they are constitutionally responsible rulers, public officials or private individuals.”
The U.S. Representative to the UN Human Rights Council has expressed “serious concern” over Pakistan’s violent response to separatists in southwestern Balochistan Province.
Ambassador Eileen Donahoe told the council in Geneva on October 30 that Washington has serious reservations about human rights situation in Balochistan.
She said Pakistan Army operations there are “aimed at silencing dissent.”
She said Pakistan should ensure that those guilty of torture, enforced disappearances, and extrajudicial killings must be prosecuted.
Donahoe made the remarks during Pakistan’s Universal Periodic Review.
All UN members are expect to undergo such a review of their human rights record every four years.
Thousands of civilians, soldiers, and guerillas have been killed in eight years of unrest in the vast desert region where numerous ethnic Balochi factions are fighting for independence from Pakistan.
Based on reporting by Reuters and BBC Urdu
Via – Facebook, Twitter » TF’s tweet
Must read article to understand the impact of PPP-MQM’s attack on Sindh in the form of new local govt system in Sindh
‘Bantustanaisation’ of Sindh — Mir Mohammad Ali Talpur
The 18th Amendment had ostentatiously devolved powers to the provinces but the First Schedule of the new ordinance reintroduces a hybrid concurrent list in Sindh
I never thought that Sindh, the land of the legendary Makhdoom Bilawal who preferred pulverisation by the Arghun ruler’s oil seed grinder to submission in 1523 AD (929 AH); where on February 17, 1843 in Miani, 6,000 plus martyrs, including Mir Jan Mohammad Talpur who was buried there as his wounds made shifting impossible, would see this day when it would capitulate to selfishness and abandon the rights of Sindhis just to retain their privileges. The Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) has done just that by passing the Sindh People’s Local Government Ordinance (splgo) 2012 in an indecent haste.
The perfidious ordinance sounds the death knell for Sindhis’ rights by giving the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) the unchallenged right to rule urban Sindh and confines Sindhis to rural areas. The ordinance is unadulterated mischief because only the First Schedule has been published yet, and it is mischief personified, while all other schedules still under wraps must certainly carry more trouble and harm. The people of Sindh are resisting this perfidy but it seems the PPP government and party is bent upon inflicting this deadly wound on Sindh, bartering away its destiny.
This skewed ordinance weakens the already emasculated provincial government by creating the Metropolitan Corporation with Mayoral office, which in many respects is more powerful than the chief minister and his ministries. That would thus create a diarchy but not a simple diarchy for as per the ordinance, the urban local government has untrammelled powers in cities where the gerrymandered constituencies and bogus elections ensure that the MQM has the sole right to rule while the rural areas where decrepit governance prevails, languish.
Under this ordinance, the mayor with unbridled powers heads the Metropolitan Corporation with its separate bureaucracy under a Chief Officer, chosen or requisitioned by him. His autonomy from the provincial government in matters of administration, planning, allocation, taxation, supervision, audit, budgeting, works, communication, environment, transport, works, execution, inspection, enforcement, etc, will create a parallel power centre. He enjoys some magisterial powers plus Section 144 CRPC. His removal requires a two-thirds majority; the mover/seconder loses his seat if the motion fails. Even if he is prima facie guilty of transgressing laws, the chief minister cannot remove him but refers to the Provincial Local Government Commission with a 90-day inquiry deadline. A mayoral autocracy will thrive in the name of democracy.
The NFC Award, supposedly the guarantor of fiscal independence, has been nullified by this ordinance. Its section 124 establishes a Provincial Finance Commission, headed by the provincial finance minister and ‘shall comprise of such other members as may be prescribed, and would recommend the distribution of funds between the provincial and local governments on the basis of such vague, subjective and potentially contentious principles as “fiscal need, fiscal capacity, fiscal effort and performance.” The finance portfolio will not be difficult for the MQM to pry away from the spineless PPP government. It ensures perpetual deprivation for Sindhis and hostility along the ethnic fault lines.
The 18th Amendment had ostentatiously devolved powers to the provinces but the First Schedule of the new ordinance reintroduces a hybrid concurrent list in Sindh. That will allow the metropolitan areas, particularly Karachi and Hyderabad, to exercise almost the same range of powers and functions as are enjoyed by the provincial government, thus accentuating the urban-rural divide for all intents and purposes. This means that the urban centres will be ruled at the whim of the MQM muscled in by bogus elections. Under an unfettered MQM rule, they will become increasingly active and dangerous.
The warped ordinance will allow the MQM to forge laws and create conditions that will exclude people of other ethnicities from all political and economic benefits and force them into ghettoes in the cities it will control. The rural areas as it is receive only crumbs from the urban rulers. This inequitable ordinance creates conditions for political and economic apartheid for all ethnic groups with the exception of urban muhajirs and this is the first systematic step for creating ‘Bantustans’ for Sindhis in Sindh so that the indigenous Sindhis do not even get half a chance to progress.
Bantustans, the black homelands, were created by the South African apartheid regime to ensure that the blacks and coloureds were excluded from all benefits that the whites enjoyed. These Bantustans were a major administrative device for the exclusion of blacks from the South African political and economic system under the policy of apartheid. The new ordinance in Sindh follows Hendrik Verwoerd’s apartheid policy principle known as “separate development”. It will ensure that the development in rural, read Sindhi, areas will be condemned to absolute neglect.
The Bantustans of rural areas here under the ordinance are a double whammy for Sindhis as it benefits the MQM by making cities Pretoria and Johannesburg for them; and secondly, making the rural areas Vendaland, Transkei, Kwa-Zulu, etc, for Sindhis, thus depriving them of their rights and opportunities and keeping them mired in the Middle Ages. This ordinance creates the optimum conditions for dividing Sindh between the Urdu-speaking and Sindhi-speaking people, initiating a perpetual conflict between them. The PPP in its anxiety to retain power has recklessly forsaken Sindhis and agreed to the Bantustanaisation of Sindh.
This ordinance will exacerbate the already acute ethnic conflicts. Inevitably, along the existing ethnic fault-lines, tectonic scale fissures will appear and result in an irreversible ethnic and social meltdown because when a single ethnic group pockets all the rewards and the rest are denied even the basic essentials, there is bound to be unprecedented turmoil. It carries the germ of division and can only result in violence. During the civil war in Cyprus, the Greek and Turkish populations generally inhabited separate areas while here they intermingle, which means more bloodshed.
There however is a glitch in this plan. The people of Sindh have realised that their rights have been bartered away for personal benefits by the PPP and MQM and its beneficiaries stand to prosper further, therefore they are bravely resisting the attempt to permanently consign them to ghettoes. They have to understand, if they have not yet, that once they are corralled in their Bantustans there is no escape because they have neither a Nelson Mandela nor an ANC to lead them. They will have to man the barricades for the salvation of Sindh and Sindhis themselves.
The Awami National Party (ANP) and National Party had earlier announced their separation from the provincial government last month in protest against the issuance of the new local government ordinance.
KARACHI- SINDH: Protests in interior Sindh entered their second day on Tuesday against a new local government law passed by the Sindh Assembly the previous day.
According to reports, protesters torched several cars while a wild goose chase ensued between police and the protesters at some locations. Sindhi nationalist parties had called for a strike when the Chief Minister of Sindh, Syed Qaim Ali Shah announced the bill to be presented for approval by the provincial assembly. The Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz (PML-N) had also supported the call for the strike.
One person was killed Monday in the violence that occurred during the strike in Nawabshah, where the Sindh Bachayo Committee appealed for a strike. The activists of nationalist parties continued to stage demonstrations on Tuesday at various locations in Nawabshah.
Nawabshah – which is also the hometown of PPP chairman President Asif Ali Zardari – witnessed the most intense protests during the province-wide strike call, which seemed to have little effect on Karachi.
From being a prayer and reflection day, Friday, over the years, has effectively become a day of rage and rampage in the Muslim countries. Protests and mayhem are planned around this day of the week, when the rabblerousing clerics can and do unleash hate-mongering congregations utilising the well-oiled infrastructure of violence. This past Friday was no exception in Pakistan. Over 20 lives were lost and a church was burnt protesting the infamous video Innocence of Muslims. Fortunately, major diplomatic disasters were averted as the law enforcement agencies thwarted the attempts by the Islamist parties and banned terrorist groups to reach and potentially destroy western embassies in Islamabad’s diplomatic enclave.
The federal government capitulated to the rightwing parties by declaring a national holiday on September 21, setting an extremely dangerous precedent. Government not just ceded the narrative to the mullahs and media but some of the most ominous calls came from within its own ranks. Minister of State for Labour and Manpower, Sheikh Waqas Akram was perhaps the first one to go on primetime television stating that if he had his way he would have killed the maker of the offensive video. Not content with just that, Akram then said that he refuses to accept anyone as a bona fide Muslim if that person is not infuriated at the video. Not to be outdone, the host of the show stated that he agreed with Akram. In the same show, Senator Hasil Bizenjo, while brandishing his liberal credentials, claimed that he was once so enraged by a Dutch artist’s sacrilegious work that he could have killed him. In the next breath, Bizenjo lamented that due to radicalisation under the late General Ziaul-Haq, Pakistani society had become very violent. The show ended with calls for peaceful protest!
There was once a time when muslims were just another demographic in a vast and varied world. Those days have taken on the sepia tinge of memory. The global consciousness is now saturated with daily headlines and images of righteous muslim indignation. This is the new normal.
Stuck on replay
After the senseless murders of the US embassy staff in Libya, protests erupted worldwide. Each day brought new scenes of mob violence and destruction. The story is as tired as an over-used soap-opera plotline; someone “insults” Islam or it’s prophet, muslims go on a destructive rampage while the rest of the world rubbernecks.
US President Barack Obama has delivered his speech to the 67th United Nations General Assembly at its headquarters in New York.
He urged global leaders to rally against extremism, saying it was the obligation of all leaders to speak out forcefully against violence and extremism, as he framed his speech with references to the US ambassador murdered in Libya. ….
Read more » BBC
By NICHOLAS D. KRISTOF
“PISS CHRIST,” a famous photograph partly financed by taxpayers, depicted a crucifix immersed in what the artist said was his own urine. But conservative Christians did not riot on the Washington Mall.
“The Book of Mormon,” a huge hit on Broadway, mocks the church’s beliefs as hocus-pocus. But Mormons haven’t burned down any theaters.
So why do parts of the Islamic world erupt in violence over insults to the Prophet Muhammad?
Let me try to address that indelicate question, and a related one: Should we curb the freedom to insult religions that are twitchy?
First, a few caveats. For starters, television images can magnify (and empower) crazies. In Libya, the few jihadis who killed Ambassador Chris Stevens were vastly outnumbered by the throngs of Libyan mourners who apologized afterward.
Remember also that it’s not just Muslims who periodically go berserk, but everybody — particularly in societies with large numbers of poorly educated young men. Upheavals are often more about demography than about religion: the best predictor of civil conflict is the share of a population that is aged 15 to 24. In the 19th century, when the United States brimmed with poorly educated young men, Protestants rioted against Catholics.
For much of the postwar period, it was the secular nationalists in the Middle East who were seen as the extremists, while Islam was seen as a calming influence. That’s why Israel helped nurture Hamas in Gaza.
That said, for a self-described “religion of peace,” Islam does claim a lot of lives.
In conservative Muslim countries, sensitivities sometimes seem ludicrous. I once covered a Pakistani college teacher who was imprisoned and threatened with execution for speculating that the Prophet Muhammad’s parents weren’t Muslims. (They couldn’t have been, since Islam began with him.)
What was supposed to be a day for Pakistanis to show their love, respect and reverence of the Holy Prophet (pbuh), instead turned out to be a day of murder, arson, looting and much mayhem. The government may have thought that by declaring September 21 “Youm-e-Ishq-e-Rasool”, it may have grabbed the initiative from the religious and conservative elements and that the protests and outrage may perhaps have channelled into one single day. However, the events of the past two days, in particular Friday, suggest that this was a grave miscalculation. The decision seems to have only galvanised and emboldened those elements in society who believe that by burning public and private property, destroying cars and injuring and killing innocent passers-by, they are somehow expressing their love for the Holy Prophet (pbuh). To many of those who we saw burning public and private property on our television screens on Friday, the government’s holiday announcement translated into a licence to do as they saw fit, and in most cases, this was to damage and destroy whatever they could find at arm’s reach.
By Tarek Fatah
In recent history, every few years the Muslim ummah breaks out into a spasmodic convulsion of uncontrollable hysteria and violence that defies reason, leaving the rest of humanity bewildered.
The burning and killing continue unabated across the Islamic world as we Muslims, provoked by a pathetic amateurish film mocking the Prophet Mohammed (P.B.U.H), validate every negative stereotype about us.
Muslims like me revere Mohammed (P.B.U.H) not just as a Prophet, a Messenger of God to humanity, but also as a beloved father-figure, greatly admired and adored. However, what we Muslims fail to recognize is that the rest of the world does not share our opinion and have the right to disagree with our beliefs.
At best, non-Muslims consider Mohammed (P.B.U.H) a mere historical figure who laid the foundation of the first-ever Arab empire in the 7th and 8th centuries. ….
Read more » Toronto Sun