L.K. Advani – A leading political personality of our times

L.K.Advani, the leader of BJP, is resigning from the leadership of the Party, and possibly from politics, altogether. I am sad that this great Sindhi will no longer be in the political arena. His immense love for Sindhis and his utmost respect for Sindhi values and Sindhi ethos is great and I feel extremely sad that he will be away from the political scene in India. I take this opportunity to reproduce here under a Review by Gul Karamchandani which appeared in Sindhishaan on L.K.Advani’s recently published autobiography . The review bears testimony to Advani’s affection for Sindh & Sindhi values.

Submitted by Arjun Sippy

REVIEW: My Country My Life – an autobiography, By: L. K. Advani

(Former, Deputy Prime Minister of India and Present, Leader of Opposition)

By Gul Karamchandani

My Country, My Life is an extraordinary autobiography by a leading political personality of our times–L.K. Advani – which has been brought out by Rupa Publishers this month in India (Number: ISBN 978-81-291-1363- 4)..This nearly thousand-page book presents a candid self-portrait to what Advani’s admirers and critics have always known him for: the gift for clarity of thought, strong convictions and forceful articulation.

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Sindh education department – Hold every one responsible

Khalid Hashmani
Khalid Hashmani

by Khalid Hashmani, McLean, Virginia, USA

In my view, it is good that the Sindh Education Minister has warned the teachers of government schools to fulfill their responsibilities and improve their performance. However, to rebuilt and ensure quality in Sindh’s schools, we would need to hold every one responsible including the Sindh Education Minister himself.

I am sure if the political party in power is courageous enough to take all necessary actions to improve education system in Sindh, particularly in rural areas, where only the government schools exist. I believe that actions that are required are as follows:

1. Eradication of corruption, nepotism, and influence paddling in the Sindh Education department. All recruitment and teacher performance evaluation processes should be transparent to public. The Minister himself should openly commit to achieve measurable targets by certain deadlines and pledge to resign if he cannot achieve them by those dates.

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The real threat for Pakistan is from the enemies within

From News post of today’s The News, Monday, June 01, 2009

The army in Bahrain

by Zubair Torwali, From Bahrain and now in Islamabad

Bahrain is a scenic town in upper Swat generally known as Swat Kohistan. Swat Kohistan comprises the narrow valley beyond Madyan, another scenic town in upper Swat. Bahrain is the main business hub of the adjacent villages with a collective population of over 90,000. The people of Swat Kohistan are ethnically distinct from the rest of Swat. The people of Bahrain speak Torwali while the people of Kalam have their own language called Gawri. The people of both the communities have their own culture as well. The whole valley beyond Madyan is the most visited tourist resort with its tributary valleys such as Daral, Jabba, Ushu and Utrot.

On May 28 the Pakistan army entered Bahrain and was greeted by the local people who came forward with white flags and kept on chanting “Pak Fauj Zindabad’. This is unique in that something like this has happened for the first time in the whole of the troubled Swat valley. It was also unique as Bahrain had been under the control of the Taliban since the beginning of April. When the brave soldiers of the Pakistan army saw this scene they also became emotional and began chanting slogans in favour of the army and the people. The people were so happy at this spectacle of the state forces that they happily carried the ammunition, guns and other luggage of the soldiers to their positions. Even a big gun was carried by 20 local people to a small hilltop above the main town of Bahrain . This was a pleasant surprise for the army as they thought that the people would despise them because, they say, they have gone through such experiences in some parts of the tortured valley.

The people and the soldiers later mixed with each other and exchanged stories. The soldiers then flocked to the shops in order to get the SIM cards of the sole functional cell phone provider. Those who are still in Bahrain told me that initially a curfew was imposed but seeing the enthusiasm and warmth of the people it was lifted after two hours. The locals have even tried to invite the soldiers for dinner despite the fact that food is still short in the whole area. In the wake of this, the army has abandoned shelling of the area and whenever they shell the nearby hills they inform the people before. The people are so jubilant that they have now forgotten about the food crisis and really regard the army as true saviours. This change is important because initially in the previous phases of the military operation — carried out last year and the year before that — the people were most disheartened by what they saw the army’s ambiguity regarding the Taliban militants. And it is in that context that what has happened in Bahrain must be replicated in the whole valley. The war against the militants can only be won by winning the hearts and minds of the local population — and this has been done in Bahrain .

And this will be done only if the armed forces realise that their only real assets are the people of Pakistan and not those who have till now been regarded as ‘assets’ against India or Afghanistan. The real threat for Pakistan is from the enemies within. Of course, there is one major flaw with the current operation and that is of intelligence — proved by the fact that no one among the top leadership of the Swat Taliban have yet been arrested or killed. The people of Pakistan pay for a regular well-equipped and trained army and therefore they are justified in demanding that the said force carry out its constitutional responsibility to protect them from all enemies — from within or without.

Courtesy: Pakistani e-lists/ e-groups, June 2, 2009

Demographic explosions, Sindh and strategic vision

by: Prof. Aftab Kazi, PhD (Pittsburgh)

Please note: The writer is HEC (Higher Education Commission) Foreign Professor, FCS, National Defense University of Pakistan.

..In my opinion, despite the demographic dilemmas, the situation in Sindh can be managed in short-term to be controlled in long term. Not through the kind of political activism of a nationalist/ sub-nationalist nature, but by the government of Sindh, if it has the will and strategic vision, because politics is often in fluid; hence subjected to constant change. Unfortunately y the Sindh Government and cohorts lacl strategic vision, just like most, if not all Sindhi politicians did during 1950s. Migrations and demographic explosions are common to every society cross-continentaly. Wise societies and civilizations have attempted to incorporate demographic changes to their advantage by implementing specific political socialization processes through certain policy mechanisms. Why politicians in the Sindh government are holding up from introducing Sindhi language and Culture as a compulsory part of the curriculum for all Sindhis and non-Sindhi speakers, aimed at incorporating all newer elements within the societal mainstream? Pathans won’t object to this and by now, under the constantly changing demographic environment MQM is likely to approve albeit with some short-term hesitation. This political socialization mechanism, if adapted, could be the insurance for Sindhis that they will not converted into a minority by naturalizing all non-Sindhis within their cultural fold.

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What’s wrong with a 30-hour work week?

By Don Fitz

Courtesy: Links International

May 30, 2009 — With millions of jobs lost during the first part of 2009, who is calling for a shorter work week to spread the work around? Not the Republicans. Not even the Democrats. But why is there nary a peep from unions?

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