Malnutrition levels in Sindh reached 21% to 23%, according to the WFP. That is above African standards. The emergency standard is 15%

Pakistan ‘crop shortage’ warning

By M Ilyas Khan, BBC News, Islamabad

Lowering wheat prices would create food shortages in Pakistan and encourage smuggling, officials say, responding to criticism from the UN.

On Wednesday the UN’s food relief agency said the government set prices too high and malnutrition was rising.

But an official at Pakistan’s food ministry told the BBC farmers would simply switch to more lucrative crops if wheat prices went down.

Devastating floods across Pakistan in 2010 damaged acres of arable land.

Although crop yields in 2011 are projected to be healthy, prices are too high for an impoverished population, the director of the UN’s World Food Programme told journalists on the sidelines of humanitarian meetings in Geneva on Wednesday.

“The crop outlook is not bad but the food security situation remains difficult because prices remain so high,” Wolfgang Herbinger said.

Smuggling risk

Malnutrition levels in the southern province of Sindh had reached 21% to 23%, according to the WFP.

“That is well above African standards. The emergency standard is 15%,” Mr Herbinger said. …

Read more : BBC

Another trick by Punjab to oppose devolution

HEC’s devolution to provinces opposed

By Khawar Ghumman

ISLAMABAD, March 25: A former chairman of the Higher Education Commission (HEC) and incumbent president of the Pakistan Academy of Sciences, Dr Attaur Rehman has criticised the government`s decision to devolve the commission to the provinces.

Dr Rehman, the commission`s founding chairman who held the position from 2002 till late 2008, said at a press conference here on Friday that the decision would be a blow to the country`s higher education sector which had just started taking off after the huge investment that went into it over the past decade. …

Read more : DAWN

US soldier gets 24 years for murders of 3 Afghan

By ROBIN HINDERY, Associated Press Robin Hindery,

JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. – A U.S. soldier who pleaded guilty in the killings of three Afghan civilians has agreed to testify against four others whom he says were co-conspirators in a case that has raised some of the most serious criminal allegations to come from the Afghanistan War.

Spc. Jeremy Morlock, who was accused of taking a leading role in the killings last year, was sentenced to 24 years in prison Wednesday, the maximum sentence under a plea deal that also calls for him to testify against his co-defendants. He pleaded guilty hours before his sentencing to three counts of murder, and one count each of conspiracy, obstructing justice and illegal drug use. …

Read more : YahooNews

Bringing Punjabiyat Back

BY: SCHONA JOLLY

“PUNJABI IS MY MOTHER TONGUE, my blood, my soul, my language. I think, dream and feel in it. I will also die in it,” proclaims Amarjit Chandan, an acclaimed poet born in Kenya. “In pardes (abroad),” he explains of his adult life spent in London, “I invented the Punjabiland.”

For a land that has been home to some of the world’s richest civilisations, modern Punjabi culture remains remarkably little known outside the noisy clichés of Bollywood and music videos. As the Indian state of Punjab grapples with complex social and economic issues, the Pakistani province of Punjab collapses due to political woes, and a large diaspora stays settled all over the globe, Punjabi poets and storytellers of old seem to be disappearing along with the water levels in the land of the five rivers. But Punjabis are nothing if not adept at handling change—it is the legacy of their own turbulent history, after all—and there are small but significant signs, that this vibrant melting-pot culture is on the verge of reemergence.

History has not been kind to the people of Punjab. The brutal division of the state during Partition led to both carnage and to one of the biggest mass population movements during the 20th century. Amidst the riots, butchery, rape and devastation, Punjabis of all religious persuasions suddenly found that they had to create new identities. In Pakistan, those identities had to be established through a new, Urdu-speaking nationalist ethos that sought to reimagine the country’s history and culture by severing ties with its neighbour. In India, those identities had to be reshaped by millions of refugees whose culture, possessions, love and longing belonged to another place. In the decades after Partition, hundreds of thousands of Punjabis from both East Punjab, in India, and West Punjab, in Pakistan, left their homelands to seek sanctuary and a new life abroad. For all of these people, the historical and cultural ties to their motherland had to be reforged. The multi-hued complexion of both states had become altered radically overnight.

Lahore, the united Punjab’s former capital, had long been considered the jewel in the crown of North India and had been developed as a cultural capital under both the Mughals and Maharaja Ranjit singh. “Jisne Lahore nahi dekhya, woh janmia nahi (Those who have not seen Lahore, have not lived),” proclaimed popular lore at the time. …

Read more : Wichaar

Nuclear CAN means catastrophe, especially in corruption prone countries like India and Pakistan

Nuclear power as the “shark attacks” of energy

I was at a coffee shop recently and a SWPL couple (woman had dreads to boot!) a number of tables away were reading a newspaper, and the husband expressed worry about the Fukushima disaster. The wife responded that “now other people will understand how dangerous nuclear power is,” with a sage nod. They then launched into twenty minutes of loud righteous gibberish about chemicals (I had a hard time making sense of it, despite the fact that I learned a lot about chemicals in the past due to my biochemistry background). Because they’d irritated me I was curious and I tailed them as they left. Naturally they had driven to get coffee in a S.U.V. of some sort (albeit, a modestly sized one which looked like it was more outfitted for the outdoors’ activities common in the Pacific Northwest; they’d probably done their cost vs. benefit about those chemicals!).

In terms of radiation fears, I suspect that if more people just automatically knew …

Read more : Discorver Magazine

Letter from a Syrian Socialist

by Syrian Socialist

Events are beginning to move in the direction of revolution in Syria. Prior to today’s day of action we received this letter from a Syrian socialist that gives some interesting insights into the difficulties the regime is facing.

The situation in Syria is reaching a boiling point. The regime has used brutal repression in the city of Darr’a. The so called “Saraya Al-Difa’ (Defense Brigades) which are paratroops under the command of Maher Al-Asad, the brother of the president, were the ones who stormed the Omary Mosque and are the ones besieging the city, terrorizing, arresting, and shooting. It is believed that more than 100 martyrs have fallen so far and hundreds more have been arrested. On top of that, locals have reported that Farsi is being spoken among some members of the security forces and there is widespread belief that these are Iranian “Revolutionary Guards”.

Today, Boutheyna Sha’aban, was on TV. She is a prominent face of the Syrian regime who has occupied a number of ministerial posts in the past and who is currently, some sort of a counselor for the president. She seemed shaky and was mumbling during parts of her speech, although she was trying to look strong. She repeated all kinds of rubbish that the regime has been saying along the lines that the President respected the legitimate demand of the protesters and is going to respond to them and that the violence that took place was caused by “agent provocateurs” who took advantage of the peaceful protests to advance their own agenda which has nothing to do with the demand of the Syrian people, but only aimed at striking at the stability and harmony the country enjoys. She finished her speech with the most ridiculous concessions, nonetheless very reflective of the fears of the regime, which included the immediate establishment of all sort of “committees” to “study” the different economic and political demands of the Syrian people (!) and also raising the wages of public sector workers (and improving benefits) to meet their needs. But how to meet “their needs” and by how much the wages are going to be increased she did not say! When she was asked who was behind this “conspiracy” in Darr’a she could not figure that one out either!

Tomorrow [Friday] is supposed to be the Syrian day of a rage and is going to be a decisive day that could very well mark the beginning of a full scale revolution. There have been many calls on people to take to the streets and protest but the response has been very meek so far. What happens tomorrow is significant because after the atrocities …

Read more : Wichaar

Syrian Troops Open Fire on Protesters in Several Cities

MICHAEL SLACKMAN

CAIRO — Military troops opened fire on protesters in the southern part of Syria on Friday, according to news reports quoting witnesses, hurtling the strategically important nation along the same trajectory that has altered the landscape of power across the Arab world.

Tens of thousands of demonstrators in the southern city of Dara’a, on the border with Jordan, and in some other cities and towns around the nation took to the streets in protest, defying a state that has once again demonstrated its willingness to use lethal force. It was the most serious challenge to 40 years of repressive rule by the Assad family since 1982, when the president at the time, Hafez al-Assad, massacred at least 10,000 protesters in the northern Syrian city of Hama. …

Read more : Wichaar

Incidentally, even today, like “Sindh regiment”, “Baloch regiment” is also predominantly staffed with Punjabi soldiers!

Love in the Time of 1971: The Furore over Meherjaan

The film Meherjaan, which was released in Dhaka in January 2011, was quickly pulled out of theatres after it created a furore among audiences. The hostile responses to the film from across generations highlight the discomfort about the portrayal of a raped woman, and its depiction of female and multiple sexualities during the Bangladesh liberation war of 1971. The furore also underscores the nationalist repoliticisation of the younger generation in Bangladesh and its support for the ongoing war crimes tribunal of the 1971 war.

To read full article : http://epw.in/epw/uploads/articles/15845.pdf

Failure of Leadership in Pakistan

Review by Azhar Ali Shah

In oder to understand the root causes of the failure of leadership and parliamentary democracy in Pakistan, I will be sharing some important articles, for your comments and interaction. The idea is to detect the main causes of the faults and propose the remedy based on consensus of all of us. At the end we would try to synthesize these discussions in the form of a publishable document which could provide the bases for starting a public campaign for the implementation of political reforms in Pakistan.

To begin with, I am presenting my review of the Khalid bin Sayed’s article (Click here to read, COLLAPSE OF PARLIAMENTARY DEMOCRACY IN PAKISTAN ). This article provides some of the description of political setup during the very 1st decade of Pakistan and observes that it was Punjabi Machiavellianism (the political doctrine of Machiavelli: any means (however unscrupulous) can be used by a ruler in order to create and maintain his autocratic government) that caused the collapse of parliamentary democracy. The author then comments on the performance of the military regime and how it was dealing with politicians, civil servants and common people. The whole article is worth reading and is available online a: http://www.jstor.org/pss/4323166 .

Collapse of Parliamentary Democracy in Pakistan

Kahild bin Syed, Middle East Journal,Vol. 13, No. 4, Autumn, 1959

Review by Azhar Ali Shah
This article begins with the description of parliamentary democracy and its success in homogeneous communities. The article questions whether democracy could be a way of life in a country like Pakistan (consisting of heterogeneous communities)? It cites examples of Pakistani leaders (both at center and provinces) who flouted democracy and took arbitrary actions but there was no rally by any party/leader to defend the sovereignty of parliament!

Continue reading Failure of Leadership in Pakistan

Lessons from Japan

Some things that set the Japanese apart from others dealing with natural disasters

1. THE CALM

Not a single visual of chest-beating or wild grief. Sorrow itself has been elevated.

2. THE DIGNITY

Disciplined queues for water and groceries. Not a rough word or a crude gesture.

3. THE ABILITY

Responsible earthquake engineering. For instance, buildings swayed but didn’t fall.

4. THE GRACE

People bought only what they needed for the present, so everybody could get something.

5. THE ORDER

No looting in shops. No honking and no overtaking on the roads. Just understanding.

6. THE SACRIFICE

Fifty workers stayed back to pump sea water in the N-reactors. How will they ever be repaid?

7. THE TENDERNESS

Restaurants cut prices. An unguarded ATM is left alone. The strong cared for the weak.

8. THE TRAINING

The old and the children, everyone knew exactly what to do. And they did just that.

9. THE MEDIA

The Japanese showed magnificent restraint in the bulletins. No silly reporters. Only calm reportage.

10. THE CONSCIENCE

When the power went off in a store, people put things back on the shelves and left quietly.

Courtesy: Daily Ravi + Internet

‘Flood-hit women abandoned by govt, relief agencies

SINDH: KARACHI – The worst victims of the last year’s flood have been the women of the province as the government and other relief agencies did not give them priority while their issues still remain largely unaddressed.

This was pointed out by speakers at a dialogue held on women rights hosted by women wing of Sindhi Association of North America. SANA vice-president Noor Nisa Ghanghro presided over the session, which was attended by a large number of political and women rights’ activists.

The speakers emphasised that all poverty-alleviation programmes must address the gender poverty issue while particularly focusing on rural women

Expressing grave concern over a recent report from the flood-hit areas of Sindh that over a million rural women were suffering from blood anaemia, they demanded that the authorities concerned should take the issue seriously and immediately help the womenfolk of the province. …

Read more : Pakistan Today

Watch with caution, the language is very strong, adult and sexual (Nudity)

Warning: graphic content.

Place: Punjab, Pakistan, News Team: Geo TV Pakistan. Issue: a woman’s sister & brother have been locked on fake charges, the woman goes to the cops and they pull off her shalwar (pajamas) and tell one another to f**k her in the a**s because she is a prostitute. The Geo TV news team arrives after neighbours call the TV station and Geo TV team caught the Punjab Police culprits red handed. It is not confirm yet that if GEO telecast this video or not.

Source – You Tube

Obama’s White House: on-the-fly zone – Dr Mohammad Taqi

The US and the allies may call the military campaign what they want but the no-fly zone, for all practical purposes, is an act of war and the fact of the matter is that Qaddafi himself is the endpoint in this war that cannot be circumvented

Geostrategic planning and global leadership has been likened by the old grandmasters of US foreign policy to a grand chessboard, where the strategy is contemplated several moves in advance, with an eye on the endgame. But the knee-jerk responses of Barack Obama’s administration to the rapidly unravelling situation in the Middle East and North Africa give an impression that he and his team are playing chequers, albeit in a manner as erratic as Colonel Muammar Qaddafi, if not more. From dithering on the US role in Egypt to weeks of waffling about Libya before actually jumping on the no-fly zone bandwagon, it seems like the White House is literally an on-the-fly zone, making up policy as it goes along.

As the western intervention in Libya entered its fourth day, it appears that President Obama may have allowed himself and the US to get sucked into a very messy situation in yet another Muslim country. Mr Obama had stated a couple of weeks ago that Qaddafi must “step down from power and leave”. Just when the Tomahawk missiles were being unleashed on Libya, Vice Admiral William E Gortney said at the Pentagon that Qaddafi himself is not a target, but his safety could not be guaranteed. Speaking on Sunday morning talk shows, Admiral Mike Mullen took the line that the Libyan dictator must “make decisions regarding his future in the country” but reiterated that the goal of the attacks was not to oust him. Taken at face value, these comments appear somewhat innocuous and are designed to placate the war-weary American public but they also reflect the confusion and bickering within the various factions of the Obama administration. …

Read more : Daily Times

Bhagat Singh Anniversary in Brampton, Canada

Every year the Indo-Canadian Workers Association marks the anniversary of Bhagat Singh’s martyrdom at the hands of the British Raj (on March 23, 1931). This year’s commemoration will be held on Sunday, March 27 at 2 p.m. at the Lester B. Pearson Theatre, 150 Central Park Drive, Brampton, Ontario, Canada. He was quickly rose through the ranks of the Hindustan Republican Association (HRA) and became one of its leaders, converting it to the Hindustan Socialist Republican Association (HSRA). Singh gained support when he underwent a 64-days fast in jail, demanding equal rights for Indian and British political prisoners. He was hanged by British Raj government on 23 March 1931.

The organizers of the event hope many of Indo-Pakistani- Bangladeshi-Canadians will be able to attend to pay the tribute and respect to this great hero of the Indian sub-continent (South Asia).

Amar Shaheed Hemu Kalani : A shining and twinkling star of the history of Sindh

By Dr. Ahmed H. Makhdoom

23rd March 1923 is that glittering day in the glorious history of our Sindh when a worthy son was born to a proud and blessed mother, Cjetthi Bbai. This great son of a gifted mother grew up to help in changing History of our Motherland, Sindh, in particular and sub-continent of India, in general. He proudly sacrificed his life so that the lives of his kinsmen and countrymen will never again be spent in ignominious chains and demeaning fetters.

In the glorious History of our beloved Mother Sindh, there have been countless noble and worthy children of Jeejal Sindhrree, who had laid down their lives for the Freedom, Emancipation, Enlightenment and Effervescence of this venerable dhartee – land of our ancestors.

Sindhis had also been in the forefront in the valiant struggle against slavery, subjugation, oppression and tyranny. Remember the history that after Ashoka, for hundreds of years sub-continent of India were colonised, enslaved and terrorised by the brutal invaders. Gone were the independence, self-respect and peace of the peace-loving, secular-minded, Sufi and spiritual people of Sindh and India as a whole.

And, when turbulences become Tsunamis and the going gets tough, the pain and agony becomes unbearable and the ship flounders and is about to sink, the Helmsman, high above in Heavens, sends His worthy and noble, brave and valiant, true and real captains and helmsmen who, with His Help, take control of the wallowing and crippled ship.

In the 1940s, the ship of sub-continent of India was in dire straits and sinking! Mahatma, a courageous man, a veritable leader, pleaded to his countrymen to Rise, Stand Up and Be Counted! Thus began the Civil disobedience movement, throughout the sub-continent, against the British Raj. Mahatma Gandhi’s call was answered by everywhere in India, including Sindh. In 1942, Gandhiji started the “Quit India” Movement with a slogan and appeal to the entire people of the sub-continent, “Do or Die.”

People of Sindh gave whole-hearted support to that Movement. One such valiant and courageous young man was mitthrro suhnno Saaeen Hemu Kalani, a young man still in his teens.

Today, we pay our humble tributes to a valiant young man, a filial son of Mother Sindh, who did not even enter into his second decade of life on Earth, when he and his comrades proudly answered Mahatma Gandhi’s call and went on streets demanding the ouster of the Colonialists from Sindh and rest of India.

Shaheed Hemu Kalani, has just turned nineteen, but, there was a mountain of anger and anguish rising within him against the disgraceful and dishonourable Raj and an Ocean of longing, yearning and craving raging within him to bring the tyrant oppressors and the infamous tormentors, the Colonial Raj down.

There was a train loaded with Tanks, Guns, Bullets, Bombs and Arms and Ammunition, together with the Armed Personnel, and soldiers, heading towards Sindh to contain the disturbances and civil disobedience movement in Sindh. Young Hemu and his comrades, decided to derail the train. With hastily collected simple tools, started to dismantle the fish plates from tracks of the Railway and unplugging their nuts and bolts.

Inexperienced, naïve, simple young men were not able to successfully cripple the Railway tracks as the colonial forces came after them. Hemu Kalani saved his comrades by asking them to run for their lives. In his brave efforts to save his comrades, Hemu was caught by the soldiers of colonial Raj, hand-cuffed and imprisoned.

He was brutally tortured in the prison to name the rest of the comrades who were with him on that fateful day when they tried to derail the train. He was also asked to name his comrades for his freedom. He screamed in agony, suffered in pain, but did not divulge any name of his comrades. This valiant son of Sindh stood firm on his convictions and beliefs. Despite pleas and appeals from his mother to viceroy, Hemo was sentenced to death by the colonial Court and subsequently sent to gallows on 21st Januray, 1943. At the age of only nineteen years, Hemu attained Martyrdom, Shahadat! Hemu Kalani Shaheed who will always remain a shining and twinkling star on the bright and brilliant sky of Sindh. We salute Amar Shaheed Hemu Kalani for his struggle and Martyrdom for the freedom of Sindh.

Courtesy: Sindhi e-lists/ e-groups, 22 March, 2011.

The military’s risky game – Dr Manzur Ejaz

Each time an-anti American spell is created, the religious right becomes stronger and bolder. It may not have fatally bitten the deep state directly but it has created havoc with Pakistan’s economy

It is likely that Pakistan’s military and intelligence agencies have been involved in whipping up the Raymond Davis case and then getting him released on quasi-legal grounds. Now, the military has put its foot down to stop drone attacks after several years of silent acquiescence. The push-back against the Americans could be a smokescreen to attract the anti-American fervour of the nation’s public and eventually enter North Waziristan (NW), but the rhetoric may further empower the religious right and extremist groups.

Pakistan’s ‘deep state’ — that is what some people have started calling the sum total of the military and its agencies — has been playing the anti-American game through the religious right and wandering patriots like Imran Khan to pursue its policy objectives. Seemingly, the strategy has worked in the short-run but the monster of religious extremism and irrational nationalism has been growing and taking on a life of its own.

It is reasonable to assume the highest levels of US leadership would have contacted the Pakistan military’s top brass and ISI chief to have Raymond Davis released immediately after his arrest. Obviously, not only did the military refuse to intervene but it also prompted its media auxiliaries to hype up the matter. Jamaat-e-Islami, Jamiat-e-Ulema-e-Islam (JUI) and other religious parties, keen to provide some kind of political cover to the Taliban and other jihadi groups, picked up the issue and created anti-American street hysteria in Pakistan. Arguably, the deep state may have done this to assert itself against its American partners, some cynics saying this was a ploy to get more money.

The sudden release of Raymond Davis has probably come after the outstanding issues were resolved. We know what amount of diyat (blood money) was paid to Fahim and Faizan’s families but we have no information on what the deep state got in return. We do not want to belabour this point too much because the Pakistan military may have very genuine issues that the US was not listening to, and using the Raymond Davis card meant protecting the state’s interests. But, immediately after the Davis deal, the US foolishly caused the death of citizens who were holding a jirga in Datta Khel. Pakistan’s military chief reacted sharply and, according to recent reports, the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) has begun patrolling the Pak-Afghan border to repulse future drone attacks.

Pakistan’s military may have been genuinely angered by US ungratefulness; the dust from the Raymond Davis case has not yet cleared and the US has bombed citizens in an area where anti-Americanism is already a serious threat to the establishment. However, it is hard to believe that Pakistan will begin shooting down US drones to stop the attacks that it has silently condoned and cooperated with for years. Due to economic and other needs, Pakistan is not in a position to alienate the US to the extent that it is perceived as a hostile force. …

Read more : Wichaar

The gains by ISI / Pakistan seem to be too much to digest. A retired Brig is all praise for Kiyani.

Admiral Mullen’s Secret Deal

How the Pentagon Supervised Raymond Davis’ Release and How the CIA Took Its Revenge

By SHAUKAT QADIR

[Please note : The writer is a retired brigadier and a former president of the Islamabad Policy Research Institute.]

On February 23, at a beach resort, Gen Ashfaq Kiyani, Pakistan army’s chief assisted by a two star officer met with Admiral Mike Mullen, US Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff, assisted by Gen. David Petraeus, and three other high ranking officials, to find a military-diplomatic solution to untangle this web that CIA operatives had spun around both governments. This has been a fairly consistent tradition. On every occasion when relations between Pakistan and the United States have soured (a not infrequent occurrence) the militaries have remained in contact and, invariably, have found a way forward.

The day after this meeting, a military officer posted at the US Embassy in Islamabad travelled to Lahore and met Davis in Kot Lakpat jail. Within 48 hours of this meeting, almost 50 individuals associated with the Tehreek-eTaliban Pakistan (TTP), including Pashtuns, Punjabis, and some foreigners (nationalities unknown, though one of them is said to be an Aryan) who had been in contact with Davis were arrested. Presumably, Davis ‘sang’, though probably to only a limited degree, on instructions.

Within the same period, a large number of Americans, estimated at between 30 to 45, who had been residing in rented accommodations (like Davis and his associates who had killed a motorcyclist while unsuccessfully attempting to rescue Davis) outside the Embassy/Consulate premises in Islamabad, Peshawar, Lahore, Karachi, and Quetta left for the US. It is safe to conclude that these were either CIA, Black ops, or associated personnel from security agencies like Xe.

The intelligence business is broadly divided into two categories: human intelligence, known as HUMINT and electronic intelligence, known as ELINT. The latter has numerous subdivisions: SIGINT (Signals intelligence, also known as COMINT; communication intelligence), Imagery intelligence etc. It appears, therefore, that the deal struck between the military leadership included a shut down of CIA’s HUMINT operations in Pakistan, retaining only ELINT, Davis would ‘sing’, within limits, of course, and only then could Blood Money be negotiated for his release. And the US would be bled in that final deal also so as to ensure the safety and the future of the immediate families of both Davis’s victims.

At the height of the debate on the question of Raymond Davis’ immunity from trial for murder, this writer emphasized that Pakistan could not release him without a trial. A trial took duly place and, in accordance with prevalent law in Pakistan, the next of kin of the deceased young men, pardoned Davis in return for ‘Blood Money’. However outlandish this law might seem to those peoples whose countries have their based on Anglo-Saxon principles, such is the law in Pakistan and so there was nothing underhand in what transpired.

Amongst analysts and journalists there were basically two opposing responses to his release, though there was (and is) an occasional sane voice to be heard, throughout the saga. One category of people had been arguing since Davis’ arrest that he should be granted immunity since Pakistan, given its precarious economy, weak government, and the prevalent security situation, could not afford to fall afoul of the US. For this factionhis release through the judicial system was the next best outcome of the disastrous mistake that had been committed in arresting him!

The opposing view was that it is time and more, that Pakistan asserts its sovereignty and national pride to ensure that Davis is awarded no less than his due: the death penalty. It is ironic that the bulk of those who held this view are all supporters of the imposition of Islamic laws including those on blasphemy, Blood Money (the law that ensured Davis’ pardon), and a host of other issues and, even after Davis’ release under these laws, any attempt to get rid of such laws would be opposed by them, tooth and nail.

While the accusations leveled by the prosecution that the families of Faizan and Faheem, the two men killed by Davis, were coerced into accepting the deal offered to them in exchange for their pardoning Davis, is a pack of nonsense, since the entire family was under the active protection of the Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence, there is absolutely no doubt that the ISI (and, therefore, GHQ) assisted in brokering the deal. In fact, I would be very surprised if both families had not been continuously advised by fairly senior-level representatives of the ISI as to what and how much they should ask for. ….

Read more : Counterpunch

Mourning and Grieving Baloch nation while Pakistan celebrates its 23th March: Report

Balochistan: 23 March perhaps a day the Pakistani’s celebrate their “First Resolution Day” but 23 March 2011 brought mourning and grieving for Baloch nation, as such two bullet riddled bodies of Baloch missing persons were found from Vinder, District Hub. ….

Read more : frontierindia.org

Threat to Durga Mata Temple Nagarparkar, Sindh

Today, Pakistan is facing terror as it has in-dignified its own roots. Any nation who adopts an alien culture is bound for no peace. This is time to accept the roots. Hindus are indigenous people of Pakistan and Hindu temples and their culture is part of Pakistan’s cultural heritage. Hence all Pakistanis, especially Muslim Pakistanis should help preserve this heritage. People of Durga Mata Temple, Village Choryo, Taluko Nagarparkar, District Tharparkar, Sindh, Pakistan are demanding help to preserve their temples, heritage & culture.

You Tube

— — —  — —

Human Rights Commission of Pakistan requests your urgent intervention in the following situation

Description of the situation:

It has been brought to the knowledge of Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) that extraction of granite in district Tharparkar, Sindh is posing a threat to a highly revered Hindu temple which is also a part of our precious cultural heritage. According to media the path leading up to the Durga Mata Mandir, situated on a hill in Nagarparkar, has been destroyed after a contractor used heavy machinery and dynamite to extract granite. This affront to a heritage site had greatly encumbered pilgrims who had visited the temple to celebrate their annual Shivratri Mela last month. Many of these pilgrims had come after a long journey from Nepal and India.

HRCP urges the Sindh government to take immediate notice of this important matter that relates to the preservation of the religious and cultural heritage of a Sindhi Hindu community. It is a basic right of every community to freely practice its religious rituals and preserve its religious heritage.

In a wider context, old temples that are located in Tharparkar are an integral part of Pakistan’s cultural and archeological heritage and must be preserved as a treasure that also asserts the identity of a religious minority. In fact, the threat to the Durga Mata temple should underline the need to preserve and protect many archeological sites that certify the cultural diversity and values of tolerance and brotherhood in this ancient land that is now Pakistan.

Action requested

* Extraction of granite from this area should immediately be stopped

* Concrete and urgent steps should be taken to preserve all cultural and religious heritages of all communities living in Pakistan

* Immediate special measures should be taken for the preserve Durga Mata Mandir

A tribute to Amar Shaheed Hemu Kalani

Amar Shaheed Hemu Kalani. [امر شهيد هيمون ڪالاڻي], who took active part in the SWARAJ SENA [سوراج سينا] to fight against British Crown and gave his life for self rule [سوراج]. He is our hero, whom we have forgotten and even given up to write on, though he deserves enough to be paid heed and tribute. Martyred Hemu Kalani, who is our hero and freedom fighter. The year 1942 was an era of socio-political upheaval, Quit India Movement was in the torrents and British Raj was very much angry on the freedom fighters for their movements.

Hemu Kalani had executed by British Raj authorities in Sukkur jail on 21 January 1943. On 26 January 1943, Jawaharlal Nehru, who later became Prime Minister of India, paid tribute to Hemu Kalani in these words; “My mind traveled to sindh where a few days ago a young boy Hemo aged 20 was sent to scaffold by a martial law court for the offence of tampering or attempting to tamper with railway lines. This execution struck me as something which will have far reaching consequences all over India , especially among the youth. The blood of Hemu and others will long stand witness.”

After two years, when Jawaharlal Nehru Nehru was came to Karachi, Sindh 1945 he especially visited Sukkur and met with the mother of Amar Shaheed Hemu Kalani and had paid tribute to this hero of Sindh. There is a huge statue of Amar Shaheed Hemu Kalani at Lok Sabha (federal Parliament)  in Delhi in front of deputy speaker chamber. There are several roads, streets and schools in Mumbai, Ullhas Nagar (Sindhu Nagar)  and other cites that are named on Amar Shaheed Hemu Kalani to pay tribute to this hero of Sindh and sub-continent.

Shaikh Ayaz had written his immortal opera in the background of freedom fighters and Bhagat Singh remained the most inspiring man for Ayaz. So for the Hemu Kalani is concerned, we have been hearing the name by the nationalists and especially from the activists of Jeay Sindh. They used to make speeches and deliver the names of the heroes of Sindh.

The role of Jeay Sindh remained active in this regard, the youth followed them and some booklets were also published, when Jeay Sindh was at its peak; the party boosted up their heroes and sang songs for those.

People do not know about Hemu more, they just have heard the name; no concrete material is provided, he should be worked out and published.

“We urge minister of tourism and culture to make his memorial, preserve his home and inscribe a road. Invite Tekchand Kalani to visit Sindh to inaugurate that road and memorial. His brother tekchand’s last wish is to see Sindh before death.”

We would also request to Teckchand, the brother of Hemu should also write his memories and get his memories published not only in a book form but on the internet also.

Jesus was a socialist and also the world’s greatest revolutionary

What would Jesus do? – by Mehdi Hasan

Conservatives claim Christ as one of their own. But in word and deed, the son of God was much more left-wing than the religious right likes to believe.

Was Jesus Christ a lefty? Philosophers, politicians, theologians and lay members of the various Christian churches have long been divided on the subject. The former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev once declared: “Jesus was the first socialist, the first to seek a better life for mankind.” The Venezuelan president, Hugo Chávez, went further, describing Christ as “the greatest socialist in history”. But it’s not just Russian ex-communists and Bolivarian socialists who consider Jesus to be a fellow-traveller. Even the Daily Mail sketch-writer Quentin Letts once confessed: “Jesus preached fairness – you could almost call him a lefty.”

That conservatives have succeeded in claiming Christ as one of their own in recent years – especially in the US, where the Christian right is in the ascendancy – is a tragedy for the modern left. Throughout history, Jesus’s teachings have inspired radical social and political movements: Christian pacifism (think the Quakers, Martin Luther King or Bruce Kent in CND), Christian socialism (Keir Hardie or Tony Benn), liberation theology (in South America) and even “Christian communism“. In the words of the 19th-century French utopian philosopher Étienne Cabet, “Communism is Christianity . . . it is pure Christianity, ” …

Read more : Newstatesman

Spiritual Reflection

You shall know the truth and the truth shall make thee free. – Jesus Christ

It is our very search for perfection outside ourselves that causes our suffering. –Buddha

Where is there anyone that is not you? You are the soul of the universe. -Swami Vivekananda

– All I have seen teaches me to trust the Creator, for all I have not seen. –Ralph Waldo Emerson

I did not go to my master to learn his words of wisdom, but to see how he tied and untied his shoes. –Hasidic Rabbi

We want PEACE, and No war between religions

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadi Nejad meets leaders of Neturei Karta International (www.nkusa.org) an anti-Zionist Jewish group on Monday, September 24, 2007, at the start of a visit to New York for the U.N. General Assembly meeting.

– via Siasat.pkYou Tube

WSC delegate participated in Amnesty International-USA’s 50th Annual GENERAL MEETING in San Francisco

Press release : 19 March 2010 – San Francisco, CA, A delegation of World Sindhi Congress (WSC) comprising of Mr. Rehman Kakepoto, Dr Saghir Shaikh, Dr Iftikhar Soomro and Amber Kakepoto attended the 50th Annual General Body Meeting and Conference held on March 18-20th, 2011 in San Francisco.

Continue reading WSC delegate participated in Amnesty International-USA’s 50th Annual GENERAL MEETING in San Francisco

States formed on the basis of religion can never survive a peaceful future (Bertrand Russell) e.g; Pakistan and Israel!

Pakistan’s identity war — II

By Saleem H Ali

What does it mean to be an Islamic state? Was there ever such an entity? Can modernity, as it pertains to developing a functional society in a globalised world, be realised within the context of a theocracy? These are fundamental questions which Pakistanis need to resolve, within this generation, in order for Pakistan to develop and reach its potential.

Pakistan shares the distinction, along with Israel, as being one of only two states to have been crafted, in the post-colonial worlds, on the basis of religion. In both cases enormous migrations were involved with questionable legitimacy for the migrants. The ‘muhajir’ identity continues to be perpetuated, as such, on this basis. The creation of both Israel and Pakistan present a perplexing paradox: Created on the basis of religion, their champions were largely secular individuals. The founders of Zionism as a political force, such as Israel’s first prime minister, David Ben Gurion, were secular. So too were Pakistan’s founders, most notably the Quaid-i-Azam. I would argue that Ben Gurion and Jinnah made a dangerous bargain when it came to conflating cultural identity on the basis of religious adherence.

Pakistan and Israel — two states which don’t recognise each other diplomatically — are facing a similar radicalisation because of that initial crisis of identity which was never fully resolved. Theocratic forces are gaining power in both countries. …

Read more : The Express Tribune

Heart touching Punjabi poem by Amrita Pritam narrated by Gulzar

Heart touching poem with such a depth and imagination, blood flows instead of tears, Amrita’s lyrics and Gulzar’s voice has made it immortal. Culture is much more real then religion. Religion is like an imagination or opinion but culture is more attached with person’s way of life.

Aaj aakhan waris shah nu,

Kiton kabraan vichchon bol,

Te aaj kitab-e ishq daa

Koi aglaa varkaa phol

You Tube

Government opens peace talks with local Taliban

By Qaiser Butt

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has started peace talks with the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), and other militant groups across the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata), in anticipation of early withdrawal of Nato troops from Afghanistan, informed sources told The Express Tribune. …

Read more : The Express Tribune