Congressman Sherman writes to Secretary Clinton for Support to Sindh

Congressman Sherman writes to Secretary Clinton on Unique Challenges Faced by the Sindh Province

by Khalid Hashmani, McLean, Virginia, USA

Thanks to the efforts by Sindhi-American Political Action Committee (SAPAC), last week Congressman Brad Sherman wrote a letter to the U.S. Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton on the unique challenges faced by flood victims in Sindh.  Following are the excerpts :

” …… However, I remain concerned that U.S. assistance will not reach those who need it most. Reports of corruption arose in the aftermath of 2005 earthquake in Kashmir. Many survivors continued to await internationally-funded Pakistani assistance to rebuild their homes more than one year after the earthquake. We must ensure that all assistance reaches those most severely impacted by this disaster in as timely and efficient manner as possible.”

“The widespread devastation wrought by this disaster cannot be overstated. Further, the populations impacted are spread throughout multiple provinces, including the Sindh, the Punjab, and Balochistan. On August 10th, estimates from the Sindh alone included almost 1.4 million people and 2,534 villages affected by the floods. As of August 17, one week later, 176,000 homeless families in the Sindh had yet to receive temporary shelter materials. Over this past year, through communications with the Sindhi-American community, I have learned of the unique challenges faced by the Sindh. The flooding was further exacerbated these challenges. I urge you to ensure that U.S. efforts reach all affected Pakistanis and particularly those in the Sindh.

Please join me in thanking the leaders of SAPAC for their efforts to get the concerns of Sindhi flood victims to be visible to the highest leadership of the United States.

An untimely invitation

By Haider Nizamani

AS many as 150 members of India’s 541-strong Lok Sabha (the equivalent of Pakistan’s National Assembly) have criminal records. More than 300 of these members are millionaires. More than 50 political parties have elected members in India’s national and provincial legislatures.

Corruption and crime are endemic in its political system. Yet none of these parties, from communists to communalists, can muster up the courage to invite the Indian armed forces to kick out the politicians and take up the reins of power in the country.

Pakistan is in a different league. Altaf Hussain, the long-distance leader of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), recently extended an invitation to the Pakistan Army’s ‘patriotic generals’ to come forward to remove feudal politicians and root out corruption from the country. When the invitation received more criticism than accolades, the MQM leader roped in the Supreme Court on Aug 28 to team up with the army to do the needful.

The MQM is a partner in the coalition at both the federal and provincial levels, and ordinarily a party in power requesting the undoing of the system would sound scandalous. On both counts, feudalism and corruption, history and the present realities suggest that the military is not the answer. ‘Feudalism’ is the term used by the MQM to refer to the country’s land-owning classes. Either Mr Hussain is politically naive and has little grasp on the country’s history, or worse, he issued the statement taking the cue from authoritarian forces. More importantly, the stance of the MQM in raking up the ghost of feudalism in the manner that it has shows the party’s lack of seriousness about putting in the hard political work needed to meaningfully confront the landed elite of Pakistan.

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18 dead, 162 injured in Lahore suicide blasts

By Awais Saleem

Islamabad, Sep 1 (IANS) Three back-to-back blasts in a largely attended Shia congregation rocked Lahore, the capital of Pakistan’s Punjab province Wednesday, killing at least 18 people and injuring more than 160, police and eyewitnesses said.

District Coordination Officer (DCO) Lahore Sajjad Bhutta confirmed the death of 18 people in the blast while a health official said that 162 injured people were taken to several hospitals. SP City Faisal Gulzar said that the first two blasts were suicide hits and the nature of third blast was still uncertain.

The first blast occurred near Karbala Gamay Shah in the Lower Mall area while the second and third blasts were near Bhatti Chowk, just a few paces away. Lahore Commissioner Khusro Pervez told reporters that the ages of both suicide attackers were between 15 and 18 years.

Angry mobs pelted stones at the security officials and media crews. They torched the building of the Lower Mall police station and also set two vehicles on fire.

The law and order situation worsened following the blasts. Police had to resort to aerial firing to disperse the mobs.

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MQM Chief’s Remarks

by Majid Maqsood, Karachi, Sindh

It’s not difficult to understand the remarks of MQM Chief Altaf Huusain, seeking military intervention in democratic Govt, because MQM has been the baby of Establishment and it has to be loyal with it, Pakistan getting aid from the World and pledges have been made for flood victims. Therefore, MQM cannot see democratic government to give  relief to the flood victims of the country. Media has always been partial about MQM and they always project one side of party and always kept things under carpet.

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