Nostagia at its zenith: A Trip to Sindh – A Journey to My Roots. Desh pehenjo visaaran dukhyo aa!

Courtesy: Following article has appeared in the ‘Femina’, ‘Bharat Ratna’, ‘Amil Samchar’ and in the Hindvasi (Translated into Sindhi)

A TRIP TO SINDH-A JOURNEY TO MY ROOTS

By Shakun Narain Kimatrai

Mid– 1986 – The Kimatrai Building still majestically stands in Hyderabad Sindh

We finally made it! To Hyderabad Sindh that is! My husband Narain and myself finally left on a trip that would make us set foot on the very soil that we had left 39 years ago.

When I told my Sindhi friends in Bombay that I was leaving for Pakistan, they showed a lot of interest-in fact more interest than had I told them that I was going to London, New York or to Timbuktu for that matter. But why was I surprised at their reaction? After all I was going back to the land of our birth, to the land and houses which we had left reluctantly with tears in our eyes and to which we had been denied access for so many seasons.

Those friends to whom I told about my trip to Pakistan, not only showed interest but a variety of emotions.

I sensed in them envy, apprehension and fear for my safety—as a matter of fact a friend of mine asked: “Going to Hyderabad Sindh, Shakun, are you sure you will be back?

Though I was a little apprehensive myself I was not really afraid. After all of whatever kind may have been the frenzy during partition-I had the confidence on the fact that we Sindhis having drank from the same Indus Sindhu water for centuries prior to the sad separating event, they would welcome us with the age-old ‘Sikka’ (affection) of the Sindhis.

From Bombay, we first landed at Lahore where the hotels are comparable to any other good 5-star hotel elsewhere in the world.

Whenever one goes out of India, one is midst strangers from a different land, so to speak-one looks different and talks a different tongue. While in Lahore, what struck me was that no-one could tell that I was a foreigner there-we looked alike and spoke the same language. Then why? Why did one have to go through customs and immigration at the airport like an outsider? I felt sad.

Amongst the elite, the ladies do not practice purdah as a rule. They wear salwar kameezes made in the latest style. The people of Pakistan enjoy good food, though alcoholic beverages are at least visibly absent.

My charming Pakistani hostess took me around sight-seeing and shopping and she proudly presented me everywhere around as her Indian friend from Bombay. Her friends and the sales people generally welcomed me warmly and even courteously gave me discounts on their goods.

Amongst the common citizens of Pakistan whom I met, I felt that there was competition with India as far as Economical progress or a game of cricket was concerned-which according to me is healthy and natural of any set of neighbors.

At a couple of parties that I attended and where my host learned that I enjoyed singing, they requested me, not to sing a ghazal or a film song, but a ‘Bhajan’! Is it possible that they subconsciously miss the Hindus and their culture in their midst?

I myself having lived in Bombay in cosmopolitan surroundings almost all my life, did feel rather restricted being surrounded by only Muslims in their country.

From Lahore we flew to Karachi from where it was a mere 2 hours drive to my birth-place Hyderabad in Sindh.

It was unfamiliar seeing the Arabic Sindhi script strewn all over on hoardings and advertisements and the milestones on the road ; though odd, the feeling was pleasant.

Once we approached Hyderabad I found my husband’s voice getting more emotional. He remembered the roads, as he was 9 years old when he had to leave his home-town. He instructed our friend who was driving to take us to a certain spot, to stop; after which he wanted to find the way up to his old house himself.

Continue reading Nostagia at its zenith: A Trip to Sindh – A Journey to My Roots. Desh pehenjo visaaran dukhyo aa!

Siraj Haqqani moved to ‘secure safe house’ outside FATA

By Ali K. Chishti

Daily Times can confirm that Siraj Haqqani, the operational commander of the Haqqani Network, who had earlier been moved from Miranshah, North Waziristan to Kurram Agency, has been moved to a secure “safe house” outside FATA. The decision was taken after the September 27 NATO incursion near the village of Mata Sanger, which left two Pakistani FC guards dead.

“Apparently, Siraj Haqqani was pretty close at a safe-house when the NATO incursion at Kurram took place,” confirmed a top Western diplomat. It should be noted that Siraj Haqqani was earlier moved to Kurram Agency from Miranshah in North Waziristan after his brother, Mohammed, was killed in a US predator strike and another military commander, Saifullah Haqqani, was killed earlier this year.

The Haqqani network, which is considered as a ‘strategic asset’ by the Pakistani security establishment due to their considerable influence in Afghanistan, had first been moved to Kurram Agency where a new operation centre had been set up to intensify attacks in Afghanistan in co-ordination with a break away section of the Lakhkar-e-Tayyaba and other groups. It is now reported that the Shia tribes that make up most of the base for the Frontier Corps, who had earlier given most of the resistance to Gubuddin Hekmatyar’s Hizb-e-Islami in Spina Shaga, have turned against the Haqqani network, who they see as an ideological threat to their existence. While most of the Pakistani mainstream media reported the recent clashes in Kurram Agency as ‘water wars’ between various tribal groups where more than 70 militants had been killed in strikes, it was in reality a section of the security establishment’s supporting pro-government tribal killings to pave a way for the Haqqanis. Daily Times can now confirm that it was a story to cover and allow the military to intervene on behalf of the Haqqanis, who are viewed as ‘strategic assets’ and ‘good Talibans’. ….

Read more : Daily Times

The world according to Imran Khan

By Michelle Shephard

The former cricket star has the support of Pakistan’s youth, yet is largely discounted as future political leader. Khan tells the Star, “Watch me.” …

…. Future for Pakistan?

We are on the brink now. We are completely destabilized, we’re basically just surviving on American dollars but the country is bankrupt and this war has done it.

To read full article : The Star

Ex-MI chief, commanders Quetta, Pindi involved

By Ansar Abbasi

ISLAMABAD: While Musharraf continues to embarrass Pakistan and its authorities, including the Pakistan Army, an important source has revealed that the General Headquarters (GHQ) and its most vital arm, the Military Operations Directorate, was bypassed by the former dictator, both in the Lal Masjid operation and Bugti killing.

The source said that none of these extremely controversial operations, which sowed the seeds of terrorism in Balochistan and the rest of the country, were the brainchild of the MO Directorate.

The source said that in both these military operations, the GHQ and concerned field command were not directly involved. “In both the cases, General Musharraf bypassed the GHQ and its MO Directorate, and gave direct orders to the relevant field commanders,” said the well-placed and well- informed source.

Ideally and as per the military’s established rules, no such operation could take place without being conceptualised and cleared by the MO Directorate. However, Musharraf, the all powerful dictator that he was, did not engage the MO Directorate.

In the case of Nawab Akbar Khan Bugti’s killing, the source said, General Musharraf involved the then Military Intelligence chief Major General Nadeem Ejaz and the top command of 12 Corps.

In a briefing on Balochistan issue by the then DGMO and much before the killing of the Baloch Nawab, General Musharraf once talked about the idea of killing Bugti but the idea was not agreed to by the DGMO, who warned that it would lead to unrest. Later, Musharraf never engaged the GHQ and executed his plot to kill Bugti through the MI and the Commander of the 12 Corps.

After the Bugti killing, some key generals in the GHQ in their in-house interactions expressed their dismay over the Kohlu military operation. The Lal Masjid operation, which killed over a hundred persons and led to the escalation of terrorism cases manifold, was no different from that of the military operation aimed at killing Bugti.

The source said that the planning of the Lal Masjid operation was done by Commander 10 Corps Tariq Majid on the direct instructions of the ousted dictator.

“The GHQ and its MO Directorate were not involved in any such planning,” the source said, adding that a day after Lieutenant Colonel Haroon became the first casualty of the pre-Lal Masjid operation, Musharraf convened a meeting of top political and military authorities and given his mind that a full-fledged operation had to be carried out. …

Read more : The News

Nawabzada Balaach Marri’s 3rd Martyrdom Anniversary in London

Baloch Human Rights Council (UK) and World Sindhi Congress will organise the third martyrdom anniversary on 28 November 2009 to remember and pay tribute to the great Baloch leader and hero Mir Balaach Marri, murdered by Security Forces on 20 Nov, 2007.

Pope Benedict weighs in : The Pakistani power corridors will act only when important foreign leaders weigh in. Otherwise, every person will be slaughtered like goats and chickens!

LAHORE: Minister for Minority Affairs Shahbaz Bhatti on Thursday called for a thorough re-investigation and fair appeal for Aasia Bibi, who was sentenced to death for blasphemy, after the pope called for her release.

On November 8, Aasia Bibi was sentenced to hang in after being accused of insulting the Prophet Muhammed (PBUH) in 2009.

Bhatti told AFP that Aasia had filed an appeal at the Lahore High Court (LHC).

“We have requested the Punjab government that the trial should be fair in the high court. She must also be provided security in jail,” he said.

Aasia’s supporters say the case is baseless and that her first trial “was not heard properly,” Bhatti said.

“We have, therefore, asked the Punjab government that the case be reinvestigated properly.”

Governor Punjab Salman Taseer also expressed his support for a fair trial for Aasia Bibi on Thursday when he tweeted:

Aasia bibi’s appeal has been filed in the High Court. I am personally supervising the case.inshallah I will ensure she is not victimised.

Pope Benedict XVI this week called for her release and said Christians in Pakistan were “often victims of violence and discrimination.”

“I feel close to Aasia Bibi and her family and I ask that she be released as soon as possible,” he said on Wednesday.

Italy’s Foreign Minister Franco Frattini has said he was told during a visit to Islamabad last week that Pakistan was committed to changing the blasphemy law and promised to join the fight to save Aasia. …

Read more : THE EXPRESS TRIBUNE

Sindh: Karachi turns deadly – Ethnic warfare in Karachi

Karachi Turns Deadly Amid Pakistan’s Rivalries – By JANE PERLEZ

KARACHI, Pakistan — This chaotic city of 18 million people on the shores of the Arabian Sea has never shrunk from violence. But this year, Karachi has outdone even itself.

Drive-by shootings motivated by political and ethnic rivalries have reached new heights. Marauding gangs are grabbing tracts of land to fatten their electoral rolls. Drug barons are carving out fiefs, and political parties are commonly described as having a finger in all of it. …

Read more : THE NEW YORK TIMES

Chinese missiles for Pak’s new JF-17 fighters

Islamabad : Pakistan will buy Chinese air-to-air SD-10 missiles and avionics to arm its 250 JF-17 Thunder fighter fleet, the country’s air force chief has said, amid signs that the French had spurned offer to equip them. “Islamabad is seeking to deepen military cooperation with Beijing”, Air Chief Marshal Rao Qamar Suleman Chief of the Pakistani Air Force told the Global Times revealing that his country may also opt to acquire other advanced defence missile systems including Chinese Surface to Air Missiles (SAM) systems. …

Read more : Wichaar

Bharat Mahan : The Most Corrupt nation on this planet, say Jay Hind

$1.5 Trillion of India’s stolen money: Swiss Banking Association
Transparency International and the Freedom Foundation ignore the blatant and egregious theft of money from official coffers of the Government of India. The Most Corrupt nation on this planet Bharat (aka India).

Swiss Banking Association report, details bank deposits in the territory of Switzerland by nationals of following countries:

Top five: India—- $1,456 billion (Public loot since 1947), Russia —$ 470 billion, UK ——-$390 billion, Ukraine – $100 billion, China —–$ 96 billion

According to Global Financial Integrity Indian politicians, IAS, IRS, IPS and people from entertainment and sports industry have deposited $ 325 billion in last five years in Swiss accounts (say Jay Hind).

This may be the picture of deposits in Swiss banks only. What about other international destinations? There are presumably more than 70 Tax havens in the world. Indian wealth could be more in Switzerland and various British /US islands. At least forty countries market themselves aggressively as tax havens.

After Bharat mahan the second best Russia has 4 times lesser deposit in Swiss accounts. US is not even there in the counting in top five !! India has more money in swiss banks than all the other countries combined.

Interestingly Swiss government agreed to disclose the names of the account holders only if the respective governments formally asked for it but Indian govt. is not asking for the details. Annually more than 100,000 Indians travel to Switzerland, of whom 35,000 travel very frequently.

A few corrupt Indians have 1.5 trillion dollars of black money on other hand daily 3000-4000 children die from malnutrition in India and 1000 pregnant women die every day in India (say Jay Hind). More than 70% of population is anemic (In simple maths after 50 years there will be no Indian in India.) India got the gold medal in black money but they are competing with Angola and Congo in GHI (global hunger Index).

Chennai, The Switzerland government has not received any request from the Indian government for sharing the names of tax evaders who have stashed away their illicit money in Swiss banks, the Swiss Ambassador to India Philippe Weiti said Wednesday. …

Read more : Wichaar

More details : BBC urdu

The missing link in drone debate

by Dr. Mohammad Taqi

…. It is important not just for the US to hold the Pakistani Army’s feet to fire but for the Pakistani politicians to clearly state their position on the subject of drone attacks in FATA. Americans have the luxury to pack up and leave but most Pakistani politicians do not. They must seek a formal and public state policy on the drones operations preferably through the parliament. With the Pakistan Army’s reluctance to move against the jihadists holding the FATA hostage, the Predator drones remain the most viable option against terror. Only a bold political stance can clear the fog over the FATA skies; the politicians must speak up to regularize the drone campaign.

To read full article : ViewPoint

Home remains a distant dream for many flood-displaced Pakistanis

KAMBER SHADADKOT DISTRICT, Pakistan, November 18 (UNHCR) – When floods swept through their village in southern Pakistan’s Sindh province earlier this year, Mumtaz Ali and his pregnant wife lost their seven-year-old son. Weeks later, a weakened Zulekha gave birth, but the baby died soon afterwards.

On top of these tragic losses, the floods have destroyed the tenant farmer’s crops, costing him 150,000 Pakistani rupees (US$1,800). “My landlord will ask for money, but the rice crop was destroyed,” he said: “I will bear the brunt.”

And the family’s ordeal shows no sign of easing in the near future because winter is approaching and their village in Sindh’s Kamber Shadadkot district remains underwater. …

Read more : UNHCR

India’s dream of super power-dom

by B. R. GOWANI

Life has really changed in one decade! In 2000 the then President Bill Clinton, paid a five-hour visit to Pakistan (in an unmarked plane) where he lectured the citizens live on the national TV. In India, he spent five days. This was pre 9/11. Clinton’s visit to South Asia then seemed like Gora Bapa was in the land of Kali Mata, i.e., White Father in the land of (goddess) Mother Kali. …

…. Now India wants to be the Super Power with US as its role model. The positive factors for this status include: India’s territorial size, its population, the increasing pace of its technological advances, the entrepreneurship of its people, and the increasing interest of the west in its fashion and movie industry, particularly the Mumbai based Bollywood film industry …

To read full article : Globeistan