“NGO sector and Political parties”

by Jamil Junejo, Hyderabad- Sindh
NGOs emerge and flourish where state institutions become inefficient, and dysfunctional, where political parties are banned by government or degenerates because of their ideological and structural issues. Besides, due to inefficient performance of political parties and resultant generation of distrust people are compelled to eagerly look for substitute platforms to express their feelings, demands and aspiration. Emergence of NGOs in Zia era amply supports this view point. For political parties were banned .Political activities were suppressed. Resultantly people opted for substitute platforms in the form of NGOs to opine and to act collectively.

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Join Washington DC Pakistanis to pass resolution for action against Taliban

usaby Khalid Hashmani, McLean, Virginia, USA
The Pakistani community of Washington DC is holding a meeting on Sunday 3, 2009 to pass a resolution (see draft resolution below) demanding action against Taliban and restoration of constitutional law in all regions of Pakistan. The resolution also urges the US government to reconsider its current policy of drone attacks that has resulted in loss of many innocent lives. I urge all Pakistani Sindhis to initiate similar meetings in their cities and towns and pass similar resolutions.
I am also urging the authors of the proposed resolution to include a paragraphs to urge safeguarding the political, economic, and cultural rights of people of all provinces of Pakistan is a vital component of the fundamental constitution of Pakistan enshrined in the 1940 Resolution and the Government of Pakistan and political parties of Pakistan to come together to immediately stop  military action in Balochistan, amend constitution to restore complete provincial autonomy, and abolish the concurrent list. condemning the military action in Balochistan and demand full provincial autonomy according to the 1940 Lahore Resolution.
It is hoped that the ensuring solidarity of all Pakistanis will encourage Government to fight for the rule in FATA , Swat, and other areas of countries, where Taliban are flouting Pakistani laws.

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BHRC (Canada) held a protest rally

Toronto, April 17, 2009 – Baloch Human Rights Council (Canada) held a protest rally in Toronto to express their shock and concern over the abduction, torture, and extra judicial killings of the three Baloch leaders, Ghulam Mohammad Baloch, Lala Munir, and Sher Mohammad Baloch. The rally was attended by Baloch community of Toronto, World Sindhi Institute, Canadian Kashmiri Association, and Pakhtunkhwa Peace Forum.

The rally was addressed by Humaira Rahman of WSI, Javed Khan of Pakhtunkhwa Peace Forum, Mumtaz Khan of Canadian Kashmiri Association, and Zaffar Baloch of Baloch Human Rights Council ( Canada ).

The speakers expressed their concern over the worsening human rights situation in Balochistan and appealed to the international community to take notice of the deepening political crisis in Balochistan.

They demanded an immediate halt to the ongoing operation in Balochistan and the withdrawal of the 80,000 troops from the province. The rally asked for immediate release of the disappeared persons, political detainees, including the 141 Baloch women kidnapped by the intelligence agencies.

The speakers demanded that the Baloch peoples’ right and sovereignty over their lands and natural resources should be unconditionally accepted by the government in accordance to UN charter of rights of nations, including the political and economic freedoms and the right to self determination.

Calgary Sindhis Gather to Celebrate their Culture & Values of Peace & Tolerance

By Ali Memon

CALGARY: Several dozen Sindhis from Alberta gathered in a local community hall in Calgary this Saturday, April 18th, 2009 to celebrate their culture and heritage and to highlight the issues of Sindhi people in Sindh , Pakistan.

The first ever World Sindhi Congress (WSC) gathering in Calgary was a celebration of Sindhi culture and its values of tolerance and peace, and included an activism and human-rights education workshop.

Siraj Makhdoom, Organizer of the WSC Canada Chapter emphasized the importance of this gathering: “..we Sindhis must come together to emphasize tolerance, human rights and peace. These are Sindhi values that we must remember at this juncture of time.”

Ms. Janet Keeping, President of Sheldon Chumir Foundation for Ethics in Leadership of Calgary Chapter whose seminar titled “Mutual Understanding in a Highly Diverse Society” described her foundation’s work in promoting ethics in leadership in private and government sector. Ms. Keeping recognized that Canadian foreign policy is not always based on moral and ethical values, and she emphasized the need for Canadian Sindhis to reach out to government and civil society and highlight the situations in Pakistan.

Desmond Kary, a Human Rights Officer from the Alberta Human Rights and Citizenship Commission gave a detailed workshop on “Understanding Human Rights and Citizens Rights in Alberta”, in which he explained the procedures for filing and investigating citizens’ complaints on such issues as discrimination and denial of civil rights. Kerry distributed informative material among the audience regarding the Commissions’ scope and procedures.

In his opening speech, Dr. Saghir Shaikh, organizer of WSC USA Chapter and chief guest of the event, explained the importance of tolerance: “By understanding others we understand ourselves and by understanding ourselves we understand others.” He further added that “we must celebrate the hopeful aspects of our Nation by reaching out and getting involved in local community related activism.”

Asif Panhwar of WSC, highlighted the importance of seminars and activism in the WSC.

Other speakers include Zahid Makhdoom, a Judge in the Provincial Court of British Columbia, Fayaz Shaikh of Atlanta, Georgia, whose Sindhi-language presentation titled “Reflecting on the Essence of Sindhiyat,” included references to Sindhi Sufi poetry and underlined the value of Sindhi identity and its incorporation into day to day life.

Ms. Diane Diazen, Program Coordinator of Project Ploughshares Calgary spoke about the “Value of Peace and Non-Violence.”

All the speakers were presented appreciation certificates and Sindhi traditional scarfs (Ajraks) by the WSC.

Asim Kaghzi, a prominent Calgarian Sindhi welcomed the WSC efforts and acknowledged the individuals who helped organize the meet-up. Certificates of appreciation were also presented to Maqsood Memon, Zulfiqar Khuwaja, Nadeem Memon, Sanjay Panjwani, Asim Kaghzi and Samad Shaikh for their efforts in organizing this event.

Other Sindhis who attended the meeting included Mazhar Memon, Zarina Memon, Farida Memon, Sanam Sahito, Nawaz Panhwar, Ghulam Hussain Jamro, of Sindhi Association of North America.

Speakers condemned the increasing Talibanization in Pakistan and atrocities in Balochistan, and highlighted the importance of political outreach and regional activism by Canadian Sindhis in stopping the increasing violence and persecution of Sindhi Hindus. A dinner concluded the meeting.

Courtesy: Sindhi e-lists/ e-groups, 21st April 2009