Suicide attack in Quetta kills 55

QUETTA: A suicide attack on an Al-Quds day procession of the Imamia Student Organisation (ISO) at Meezan Chowk in Quetta on Friday killed 55 people and injured over 100 others.

The casualty figure is expected to rise due to the intensity of the explosion as around 2,500 people were present in the rally. ..

Read more >> PakistanNewsBlog

Pakistan : ‘Military’s predation is an institutional feature’ – Ayesha Siddiqa

Today, we face a state of military hegemony: political, economic and intellectual control. There is not a single young scholar who is not on the military’s payroll or network. Shahbaz Sharif used to instruct the police to facilitate Hamid Gul’s Varan bus service.

A dissident’s job is always fraught with dangers. In case of Pakistan, the risks involved in criticizing all-powerful Khakis and their proxy Taliban hardly need an elucidation. Still, dissident voices keep tormenting military establishment. Ayesha Siddiqa is one such ‘tormenter’. In an interview with Viewpoint, she candidly exposes the Khaki myths painstakingly built by indoctrinating outlets.

Read more >> ViewPoint

SOCIAL CRISIS STALKS PAKISTAN

People fleeing rising floodwaters with what possessions they can carry.

The catastrophe is being shaped by powerful political and economic forces–and the most vulnerable have been left to fend for themselves, reports Snehal Shingavi.

IT HAS been nearly a month since the floods tore through the Swat valley in the northern part of Pakistan. The water has begun flowing into the ocean, and water levels have begun to fall in most places, but the sheer magnitude of the devastation left in its wake is overwhelming.

Read more >> NewRedIndians

God did not create the universe – Stephen Hawking

By Michael Holden

London : (Reuters) – God did not create the universe and the “Big Bang” was an inevitable consequence of the laws of physics, the eminent British theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking argues in a new book.

In “The Grand Design,” co-authored with U.S. physicist Leonard Mlodinow, Hawking says a new series of theories made a creator of the universe redundant, according to the Times newspaper which published extracts on Thursday.

“Because there is a law such as gravity, the universe can and will create itself from nothing. Spontaneous creation is the reason there is something rather than nothing, why the universe exists, why we exist,” Hawking writes.

“It is not necessary to invoke God to light the blue touch paper and set the universe going.”

Hawking, 68, who won global recognition with his 1988 book “A Brief History of Time,” an account of the origins of the universe, is renowned for his work on black holes, cosmology and quantum gravity.

Since 1974, the scientist has worked on marrying the two cornerstones of modern physics — Albert Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity, which concerns gravity and large-scale phenomena, and quantum theory, which covers subatomic particles.

Read more >> Reuters

“Bacha Baz” Culture

Afghanistan’s dirty little secret – By Joel Brinkley

“How can you fall in love if you can’t see her face,” 29-year-old Mohammed Daud told reporters. “We can see the boys, so we can tell which are beautiful.”

Western forces fighting in southern Afghanistan had a problem. Too often, soldiers on patrol passed an older man walking hand-in-hand with a pretty young boy. Their behavior suggested he was not the boy’s father. Then, British soldiers found that young Afghan men were actually trying to “touch and fondle them,” military investigator AnnaMaria Cardinalli told me. “The soldiers didn’t understand.”

All of this was so disconcerting that the Defense Department hired Cardinalli, a social scientist, to examine this mystery. Her report, “Pashtun Sexuality,” startled not even one Afghan. But Western forces were shocked – and repulsed.

For centuries, Afghan men have taken boys, roughly 9 to 15 years old, as lovers. Some research suggests that half the Pashtun tribal members in Kandahar and other southern towns are bacha baz, the term for an older man with a boy lover. Literally it means “boy player.” The men like to boast about it.

Read more >> SFGate

Landlords ‘diverted flood water’

Pakistan landlords ‘diverted flood water’

A senior Pakistani diplomat has called for an inquiry into allegations that rich landowners diverted water into unprotected villages during the floods to save their own crops.

UN ambassador Abdullah Hussain Haroon said there was evidence that landowners had allowed embankments to burst.

This led to waters flowing away from their land, he said.

More than 1,600 people have died in the floods, which have affected about 17 million people.

Read more >> BBC

Sindhi film “Trapada Teshan te”

India – Ulhasnagar –  Premier show of the New hilarious Comedy Sindhi film “Trapada Teshan te” was arranged at Ashok Anil Theatre of Ulhasnagar one day before the film was being released. The Show was organised by Saeen Balram of Dharamdas Darbar, Ulhasnagar.

Prominent dignitaries of Ulhasnagar, Director Mohan Sachdev and many artistes of the Film graced the occassion.

The film is presented by Loveen arts, Nagpur. Rajesh Chhabrani, Pahlaj Sachani, Narayan Demble and Vinod Ramani are producers of the film.

The film is out and out comedy written by Kishor Lalwani and Directed by Mohan Sachdev.

Many drama artistes Aarti Jadwani, Jeetu Vazirani,Sanjay rohra, Rakesh Karda, Ashok PunjabiVijay Bhawnani (from Mumbai ), Gopal Khemani,Kishor Lalwani, Tulsi Setiya, Ashok Jeswani,Vinod Ramani,Naresh Mohnani, Laxman Thawani, Vijay Widhani ,Parso Chelani, (From Nagpur)have played their characters nicely.

The film is released by the same group which released the well marketed and successful film “vaeesara Ee Gum” which is still running in many cities.

September 1, 2010

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.

Continue reading An untimely invitation

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.

Read more >> ThaindianNews

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.

Continue reading MQM Chief’s Remarks