No justification to detain Dr Shakil: Clinton

WASHINGTON: US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has said that Pakistan has no justification for holding Dr Shakil Afridi, who had a role in the CIA operation to hunt down Osama bin Laden in Abbotabad.

This she said while addressing US Congress Committee. Hillary Clinton said Dr Shakil Afridi provided key information to US before the Abbotabad operation, adding that he served for the interest of both Pakistan and the US.

Clinton said Pakistan has no basis for detaining Dr Shakil.

Courtesy: The News

http://www.thenews.com.pk/article-37643-No-justification-to-detain-Dr-Shakil–

DAWN – Hameed Gul a complimentary member of US intelligence

Hamid Gul a complimentary member of Stratfor, says report

KARACHI: Former spy chief of Pakistan General Hamid Gul was reportedly a member of the US intelligence firm Stratfor, it emerged on Wednesday.

A report published in the Indian daily Times of India says that approximately five million emails of the Texas-based think tank were revealed by WikiLeaks.

“Whereas seemingly large numbers of Stratfor’s subscribers and clients work in the US military and intelligence agencies, Stratfor gave complimentary membership to General Hamid Gul, the controversial former head of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), who, according to US diplomatic cables, planned an IED attack on international forces in Afghanistan in 2006,” the report said. ….

Read more » DAWN.COM

Waking up to the war in Balochistan – BBC

Attitudes are hardening in Pakistan’s restive Balochistan province against the government, but the state is now belatedly reaching out to the Baloch separatists. Writer Ahmed Rashid considers whether after years of civil war, talks could end the bloodshed.

It took an obscure United States congressman holding a controversial hearing in Washington on the civil war in Balochistan to awaken the conscience of the Pakistani government, military and public.

For years the civil war in Balochistan has either been forgotten by most Pakistanis or depicted as the forces of law and order battling Baloch tribesmen, who are described as “Indian agents”.

Just a few weeks ago, Interior Minister Rehman Malik even hinted that Israel and the US were supporting the Baloch separatists, while the army had totally ”Indianised” the Baloch problem.

On 23 February, Mr Malik did an about-face, saying that the government was withdrawing all cases against Baloch leaders living in exile and asking them to return home for talks. ”I will receive them in person,” he told journalists.

Don’t expect Baloch leaders to turn the other cheek at Mr Malik’s sudden shift – the Baloch have seen too many such U-turns before.

Brahamdagh Bugti, head of the separatist Baloch Republican Party and living in exile in Geneva, remains sceptical.

His grandfather Sardar Akbar Bugti, the head of the Bugti tribe, was killed in 2006 on the orders of former President Pervez Musharraf in a massive aerial bombardment, while his sister Zamur Domki and her 12-year old daughter were gunned down in Karachi in broad daylight just in late January – allegedly by government agents.

He told journalists last week: ”I have seen this all before… I am not an optimist.” Nevertheless, for the first time in years his face appeared on every Pakistani TV channel as he and other Baloch leaders gave interviews.

Broken promises

Continue reading Waking up to the war in Balochistan – BBC

Sufism [Sindhyat/ Humanity] binds millions of hearts in subcontinent: Abida Parveen

Sufi legend Abida Parveen, who is on a trip to New Delhi for the Jahan-e-Khusrau festival said Sufism binds millions of people in the subcontinent and that the forthcoming festival is an effort to create a spiritual mood. The 10th edition of the three-day festival starts March 2 in New Delhi at Humayun’s Tomb. “Sufism has evolved from the beginning of this universe. It bridges the gap between the hearts. This festival brings different colours together. This is a message from heart to heart. This is an effort to create a spiritual context for the common people,” she said. Organised by the Rumi foundation and designed and directed by filmmaker-painter Muzaffar Ali, the three-day festival was announced by Ali and Abida Parveen and Sharmila Tagore-members of the Rumi Foundation. Parveen had been a part of the festival since its beginning, but couldn’t attend the festival last year due to health reasons. Jahan-e-Khusrau 2012 will see performances by Abida Parveen, Ali Zafar, Hans Raj Hans, Andrea Griminelli (Italian flautist) and will also introduce new faces like Indra Naik, Vidhi Sharma, Rajesh Pandey, Vidhi Lal, and Shivani Varma. Reminiscing on her long association with the festival, Parveen said that whenever she comes to perform for Jahan e Khusrau “an extraordinary noorani (blissful) process begins. The Rumi Foundation knows how to collect different colours and create an atmosphere which is so pure and durgahi that no difference is felt between the one who’s singing and the one who’s listening. Even if one person gets attached with the Sufi saints in such an atmosphere, it’s enough to break all barriers of faith and territorial boundaries,” she said. “Tasawuf (a Sufi term that means focusing on one’s relationship with God) is God’s name. We don’t need any language or identity to understand Allah,” added the singer. Celebrating 10th year of Jahan-e-Khusrau, Muzaffar Ali maintained that the journey of Jahan e Khusrau began with the thought of bringing all pure souls together on one platform in Delhi, a city of great souls and saints. Over the last decade, Jahan e Khusrau has presented rare poetry of the mystics of the sub-continent. It has showcased Sufi singers, dancers and musicians, including Azam Ali, Masood Habibi, Shubha Mudgal, Shafqat Ali Khan, Shubjaat Hussain Khan to introducing fresh promising talent such as Zila Khan, Archana Shah, Indira Naik and Rajesh Pandey among others.

Courtesy: Pakistan Today

Zardari and the Generals’ consensus

By Praveen Swami

Pakistan’s civilian rulers seem to have averted a possible coup with a little help from inside the army itself.

Eight weeks ago, as rumours of an imminent coup swirled around Islamabad, few seemed to doubt democratic rule in Pakistan would soon be marched before a firing squad.

Husain Haqqani, Pakistan’s former Ambassador to the United States, had been recalled to face charges of conspiring to sack top military officials. There was even talk of a treason trial targeting President Asif Ali Zardari himself — with Mr. Haqqani as the Army’s star witness.

Events since, however, haven’t quite panned out as hardline Pakistani generals might have anticipated: instead of capturing power, the army has found itself in retreat.

Mr. Zardari, Pakistani media have reported, is almost certain to deny the Director-General of the Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate, Lieutenant-General Ahmad Shuja Pasha, an extension to serve until 2013 — a blow directed at Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, and a sign of civilian confidence.

In November, Pakistan’s military had shut down the Shamsi airbase, used to stage United States drone attacks against Islamist insurgents: actions intended to distinguish them from political rulers too-willing to please the United States. Last month, though, drone strikes resumed — directed by United States intelligence officers located at the Shahbaz airbase near Abbottabad.

Politicians have become increasingly defiant of ISI authority: even Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani, who has long shied away from controversy, warned against efforts to run “a state within a state”.

The Generals’ consensus

LONG held together by a Generals’ consensus on the direction Pakistan ought to head in, the army now seems divided as never before. Last month, at a January 13 meeting of the corps commanders conference, where Gen. Kayani briefed generals on the evolving political crisis , he ran into unexpected in-house resistance, leading to a 10-hour debate.

The toughest questioning, a Pakistani government source privy to the discussions told The Hindu, came from Lieutenant-General Tariq Khan — the commander of the Mangla-based 1 corps, and a veteran of counter-insurgency operations who is considered among the most competent of the army’s commanders

Gen. Khan, the source said, made clear the army was unprepared to take power, and demanded to know how the army chief intended to resolve the still-unfolding showdown with the civilian governments. He noted that the army had no coherent plan to address its increasingly-fragile relationship with the United States, too. Backed by other key officers, like Gujaranwala-based XXX corps commander Raheel Sharif, Gen. Khan pushed for the army to pull back from the brink.

Ever since the killing of military ruler Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq in 1998, the corps commanders conference has been a key instrument of what Mr. Haqqani once described as “military rule by other means”. The resistance faced by Gen. Kayani within the institution is, therefore, of great significance.

Ever since he took office, Pakistan’s army chief had worked to rebuild the army’s relationship with the jihadist groups it had patronised for decades. Terrorism in Pakistan, he argued, had come about because the country had become enmeshed in the United States’ war against jihadists in Afghanistan. Building peace, he argued, necessitated reviving this relationship — even at the cost of ties with the United States.

In 2008, Gen. Pasha delivered an off-the-record briefing to journalists, where he described Tehreek-e-Taliban commanders Baitullah Mehsud and Maulana Muhammad Fazlullah — responsible for hundreds of killings in Pakistanas “patriots”.

Following the raid that claimed Osama bin Laden last year, Mr. Pasha put the case for an aggressive anti-United States line to Pakistani legislators: “At every difficult moment in our history”, he said “the United States has let us down. This fear that we can’t live without the United States is wrong.

Gen. Kayani’s line, the government’s decision not to allow his spymaster to serve on suggests, no longer represents the army’s institutional consensus.

The path to peace he envisaged involved costs the army isn’t willing to pay.

Political resurgence?

Continue reading Zardari and the Generals’ consensus

Osama was in routine contact with ISI officials in Abbottabad: Report

LONDON: Osama bin Laden was in routine contact with senior members of Pakistan’s spy agency while hiding in his Abbottabad-safe house, secret intelligence documents have revealed.

E-mails from the private US security firm, Stratfor, which were published by WikiLeaks, revealed that up to 12 officials in Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency knew of the Al-Qaida leader’s safe house.

The internal email did not name the Pakistofficials involved, but said the US could use the information as a bargaining chip in post raid negotiations with Islamabad, The Telegraph reports.

“Mid to senior level ISI and Pak Mil with one retired Pak general that had knowledge of the OBL arrangements and safehouse,” the email said. ….

Read more » TOI

Toronto Sun – Pakistan’s the problem, not Taliban

National Defence Minister Peter MacKay speaks during Question Period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa February 7, 2012. (REUTERS/Blair Gable)

By Peter Worthington

Whatever one thinks of Defence Minister Peter MacKay’s penchant for taking military helicopters on fishing trips, the country should support him chiding elements in Pakistan for helping the Taliban.

While there’s nothing new in NATO leaks that elements of Pakistan’s intelligence service and military are helping co-ordinate Taliban attacks on coalition forces, the fact these reports keep surfacing has to be upsetting.

Pakistani denials ring hollow — nearly 10 years of denials.

Good on MacKay for not brushing the NATO leaks aside. He said if such reports are reliable, and if Pakistan wants western allies to continue working for “peace and security” throughout the region, then Pakistan’s co-operation is not only required, but is demanded. And “demand” is what MacKay is doing. But is anyone listening?

That’s fairly tough talk. Ever since Navy SEALs took out Osama bin Laden at his Pakistani retreat, there’s been substantial evidence Pakistan is playing a double game.

There are even suggestions China hopes to exploit a rift between western allies and Pakistan — a possibility that makes traditional diplomats shudder. But, if true, Pakistan and China cuddling each other seems destined to be an enormous headache for both these hypersensitive, paranoid, nuclear states.

U.S. Defence Secretary Leon Panetta has made the curious observation that after next year, U.S. policy in Afghanistan will be one of “advise and assist,” rather than actually fighting. What on earth does that mean? One supposes it means that by 2014, Panetta hopes the Afghan National Army and National Police being trained by coalition troops, including Canadians, will be able to handle Taliban incursions.

Don’t bet on it.

By having a safe haven in Pakistan, and a seemingly endless supply of fighters, the future has got to look encouraging for the Taliban. They can lose battles indefinitely against American forces — and win the war once the Americans have had a bellyful.

Time is on the Taliban’s side. And patience is their virtue.

There’s not much that can be done. Clearly, coalition countries don’t intend to stay in Afghanistan, and the U.S. especially wants out with an election looming in November.

When Barack Obama’s predecessor, George Bush, was president and flailing away in Iraq, Obama made Afghanistan (relatively quiet at the time) the war he’d prosecute. Well, Afghanistan has turned bad for Obama. So he wants out, and has fired those generals who thought they could win the damn thing.

MacKay says he doesn’t give much credence to the so-called secret NATO report that says the Taliban are gaining confidence and are sure they’ll win in the end.

He thinks that’s what the Taliban would say no matter what — “an overly optimistic view of what’s happening on the ground … in battlefield skirmishes they always lose.” But the Taliban leadership is not in disarray — although coalition leadership may be approaching that state.

If the U.S. were realistic, it would consider cutting aid to Pakistan — $12 billion in military aid, $7 billion in economic aid over the last 10 years.

That may be the only way to get the attention of those who rule Pakistan.

Like hitting a mule on the head with a two-by-four.

The problem is not the Taliban, but the Pakistan leadership which seems hell-bent on wrecking relations with western allies, and gambling we are too timid to do anything about it.

Courtesy: Toronto sun

http://www.torontosun.com/2012/02/10/pakistans-the-problem-not-taliban?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=recommend-button&utm_campaign=Pakistan%27s+the+problem%2C+not+Taliban

DPC: a religious outfit with a political cover

By Durdana Najam

Why should the Pakistan Army borrow the mullah alliance to restore its image? Perhaps the language of Islam is the easiest to use as an exploitive tool for an emotionally charged Muslim community

The religious-politico parties have become active owing to the US’s increasing intrusion into Pakistan’s territorial precincts, the latest being the Salala checkpost attack that killed 24 soldiers in November 2011. The investigative report prepared by NATO, which revealed the determinants of the attack, termed the incident to be a joint sin committed by NATO and the Pakistan Army, suggesting that on a border as volatile as the one between Afghanistan and Pakistan’s tribal region, the rage of wrath can unleash itself at any time in any mode. Pakistan rejected the findings of the report, alleging it to be biased and obsessive. The attack irked even the government and, for a change, the NATO supply route was completely shut down — to this day. A parliamentary committee on national security is working to define new contours for Pak-America relations. In the meantime, Pakistan Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar is sending strong massages to the American government about the so-called sovereignty that we guard so close to our bosoms (depending largely on our whims and wishes).

The recent collaboration of 40 religious parties going by the name of Difa-i-Pakistan Council, comprising the likes of General (retd) Hamid Gul, Jamaat-ud-Dawa chief Hafiz Mohammad Saeed, President Awami Muslim League Sheikh Rashid Ahmed, JUI-S chief Maulana Samiul Haq and the Amir of Jamaat-e-Islami, Munawar Hasan, geared towards defending Pakistan against foreign aggression, has raised national and international concerns, especially since the definition of foreign aggression from the point of view of Difa-i-Pakistan relates to none other than the US and India. ….

Read more » Daily Times

Are we wrong about Pakistan?

When Peter Oborne first arrived in Pakistan, he expected a ‘savage’ backwater scarred by terrorism.

Years later, he describes the Pakistan that is barely documented – and that he came to fall in love with

It was my first evening in Pakistan. My hosts, a Lahore banker and his charming wife, wanted to show me the sights, so they took me to a restaurant on the roof of a town house in the Old City.

My food was delicious, the conversation sparky – and from our vantage point we enjoyed a perfect view of the Badshahi Mosque, which was commissioned by the emperor Aurangzeb in 1671.

It was my first inkling of a problem. I had been dispatched to write a report reflecting the common perception that Pakistan is one of the most backward and savage countries in the world. This attitude has been hard-wired into Western reporting for years and is best summed up by the writing of the iconic journalist Christopher Hitchens. Shortly before he died last December, Hitchens wrote a piece in Vanity Fair that bordered on racism.

Pakistan, he said, was “humourless, paranoid, insecure, eager to take offence and suffering from self-righteousness, self-pity and self-hatred”. In summary, asserted Hitchens, Pakistan was one of the “vilest and most dangerous regions on Earth”.

Since my first night in that Lahore restaurant I have travelled through most of Pakistan, got to know its cities, its remote rural regions and even parts of the lawless north. Of course there is some truth in Hitchens’s brash assertions. Since 2006 alone, more than 14,000 Pakistani civilians have been killed in terrorist attacks. The Pakistan political elite is corrupt, self-serving, hypocritical and cowardly – as Pakistanis themselves are well aware. And a cruel intolerance is entering public discourse, as the appalling murder last year of minorities minister Shahbaz Bhatti after he spoke out for Christians so graphically proves. Parts of the country have become impassable except at risk of kidnap or attack.

Yet the reality is far more complex. Indeed, the Pakistan that is barely documented in the West – and that I have come to know and love – is a wonderful, warm and fabulously hospitable country. And every writer who (unlike Hitchens), has ventured out of the prism of received opinion and the suffocating five-star hotels, has ended up celebrating rather than denigrating Pakistan.

Continue reading Are we wrong about Pakistan?

Bangladesh and now Independent Baluchistan

by Syed Atiq ul Hassan

Pakistani politicians and army officials blamed people of East Pakistan as being burden on Pakistan’s treasury. They were called coward and beggars. Today, Bangladeshi economy is better than Pakistan’s. Today Bangladeshi Taka is better than the Pakistani Rupee in international market. Today, Pakistan is begging Bangladesh to play cricket in Pakistan with assurance to provide them full security so that the Pakistani image can be restored for holding international cricket events in Pakistan.

There is no question that the situation in Baluchistan is alarming and needs urgent attention….Military operation cannot be the solution – Pakistan should not forget what happened in East Pakistan.”

First East Pakistan to Bangladesh and now towards Baluchistan to Independent Baluchistan, political reasons may be un-identical but the tale of injustices; ignorance and autocratic behaviour of Pakistani establishment and civilian federal bureaucracy remain the same.

Continue reading Bangladesh and now Independent Baluchistan

Ayesha Siddiqa : The Mullah Military Nexus is the mother of all evil – BBC urdu

Ayesha Siddiqua on the connection between Shia killings and the deep state. Here she speaks it all ! [ ہر حادثے پر گماں ہوتا ہے کہ شاید اب ہوش آ جائے انٹرویو ڈاکٹر عائشہ صدیقہ ]  The Mullah Military Nexus is the mother of all evil. [ شاید اب ہوش آجائے‘ ‏ فرقہ وارانہ واقعات پر بی بی سی اردو میں دفاعی امور کی ماہر ڈاکٹر عائشہ صدیقہ سے بات کی]The language of the interview is urdu (Hindi).

Courtesy: BBC urdu

http://www.bbc.co.uk/urdu/pakistan/2012/02/120228_interview_aiyshah_fz.shtml

Politics of Azad – Haider Nizamani

YOU have to take a maulana seriously when he says that founding a modern state on the basis of religion is no guarantee of its success.

Continue reading Politics of Azad – Haider Nizamani

Sindh ‘n Balochistan

By Dr. Ahmed Makhdoom, Malaysia

Balochistan has been fighting a War of Independence since its colonisation by an illegitimate occupation by the deep state in 1947. After tremendous sacrifices and having lost thousands of brave sons and daughters, Balochistan is on its way to becoming a Free Nation.

Today, that struggle for Free Balochistan, fought with the indefatigable and inexhaustible strength of the entire Baloch Nation. And, “when the Baloch nation began its struggle for national independence, its basis was national enslavement,” says a Baloch freedom fighter, Dr. Allah Nazar Baloch. “Whenever, if there is a nation that has a homeland, has a language, has a culture, that has been stolen, its national history is being wiped out, then that nation begins its struggle for national independence, he so aptly and rightly explains. “War is not necessarily to be fought with the gun. However, the gun is the means for that war, is the means for that politics,” he adds.

As Sindhis, we are your brothers, we love you, Oh Baloch Nation! Sindh, too, is struggling for its national rights from the dark forces of the security establishment. Very soon, together, hand-in-hand and shoulder-to-shoulder we shall bury these evil dark forces of deep state in the ignominious graveyard of history!

Although the youth of Sindhi Nation is well-awake and well-aware of the extinction of Sindhi language, culture, heritage, values, history and freedom – the feudal lords of Sindh are shamelessly licking the feet of the ‘colonisers’ and not all but  most of the fake leadership of so-called Sindhi Nationalists is still roaming for their self interests and self-preservation.

Courtesy: Sindhi e-lists/ e-groups, February 28, 2012.

Shia genocide in Pakistan

Shia massacre in Gilgit: Media apathy and misrepresentation of Shia genocide in Pakistan

Today’s massacre of at least 20 Shia Muslims in Gilgit brings the tally of murdered and injured Shias close to 250 since the beginning of 2012 and aside from two dedicated articles, both in the Daily Times, and both by two honourable Pashtuns, Pakistan’s “progressive”, “liberal” and “secular” media remains defeaningly silent on this topic. While Pakistan’s social media networks have been abuzz with Oscar awards, cricket matches, Maya Khan and Veena Malik, aside from the token tweet and sentence, Pakistan’s liberal media continues to ignore the ongoing Shia Genocide in Pakistan.

The PPP-led government remains both clueless and helpless to stop this ongoing genocide – while some of its elected representatives have spoken out against this but the world knows that it is not the elected Government in Pakistan that has enabled Shia Genocide – it is the military establishment. The ISI’s partnership with the nexus of interconnected extremist … groups (TTP, Jundullah, SSP-ASWJ-LeJ, JM, LeT) responsible for this has been formalized via Difa-e-Pakistan Council (DPC). Furthermore, alternate political groups like Imran Khan’s PTI are also complicit as evidenced by their open support for DPC. ….

Read more » LUBP

We lost our identity first and then we lost our faith. Does it matter now what we lost first? We know we have lost both.

by Anwar Iqbal

We don’t know how it happened but it did. Somehow our generation became a faceless generation. But before that we lost our faith. Or perhaps, we lost our identity first and then we lost our faith. Does it matter now what we lost first? We know we have lost both.

Like other people we too had names; names that showed we had parents who cared for us. Our names reflected our bound to a family, a community and above all to humanity. But first we adopted new idols, those that sipped blood and spat fire and brimstone.

Those were fearsome deities that loved suicide-bombings, beheadings, and firing-squads.

And all of this was not done in the name of religion alone. We had many idols, each named after a sect, an ethnic group, or a political cult. They had one common trait, an insatiable lust for power.

Soon after we adopted those new idols, we lost our identity, or we may have lost our identity first and then we took these new symbols of worship, abandoning the loving, merciful and benevolent God.

Yes, we still lived in cities, towns and villages. But living was our only distinction. We had nothing to be proud of. There was no bond, no love among us. We did not trust each other. But did it only happen to those living in our city? No. People in cities around us stopped trusting each other too. It was a strange disease that spread across the region and affected everybody.

Continue reading We lost our identity first and then we lost our faith. Does it matter now what we lost first? We know we have lost both.

Sindh follows Balochistan in missing persons – 82 missing from Balochistan, 69 from Sindh in recent months

82 missing from Balochistan, 69 from Sindh in recent years: National Crisis Management Cell

The National Crisis Management Cell of the Interior Ministry holds a list of 468 persons who went missing in recent years and, of them 82 are from Balochistan and 69 from Sindh. The figures which have come before the higher judiciary are however different and higher too. A cell in Sindh High Court (SHC) puts the figure over 200 in Sindh.

Continue reading Sindh follows Balochistan in missing persons – 82 missing from Balochistan, 69 from Sindh in recent months

Dr. Allah Nazar Baloch, leader of the Balochistan Independence movement, on the US Congressional Hearing

Dr. Allah Nazar Baloch delivers a speech to Baloch freedom fighters on February 9, 2012 with reference to the U.S. House of Representatives, Committee on Foreign Affairs, Oversight and Investigations Sub-Committee Hearing on Balochistan held on February 8, 2012.

Everywhere, when the war for national independence breaks out, it is fought with national strength. And when the Baloch nation began its war for national independence, its basis was national enslavement. Whenever, if there is a nation that has a homeland, has a language, has a culture, that has been stolen, its national history is being wiped out, then that nation begins its war for national independence. War is not necessarily to be fought with the gun. However, the gun is the means for that war, is the means for that politics.

Continue reading Dr. Allah Nazar Baloch, leader of the Balochistan Independence movement, on the US Congressional Hearing

“Shameful indeed” PPP candidate Waheeda Shah slaps polling staff

Watch PPP candidate Waheeda Shah is physically abusing polling staff and she is slapping the presiding officers. Waheeda Shah is just the repeat of power hungry politicans!! She doesn’t deserve to be graded as”Sane” and MPA! Why the election commission is waiting for to take action against her. She doesn’t deserve to be a representative of the people. Her act is most uncivilized and she has ashamed not only Sindhis but entire Pakistan. We hope that the PPP government and PPP high command takes a serious notice of her action.The language of the report is urdu (Hindi).

Courtesy: Geo Tv » YouTube

PAKISTAN – The burden of radicalisation

By Raoof Hasan

The radicalisation of society in Pakistan is an undeniable phenomenon which has gathered in pace and intensity in the recent past. Its gruesome symptoms are a daily occurrence which symbolise the regression shaping the way people have started reacting to events and situations. It is violent and wicked. It is abominable and depressing. Even worse is the extensively pervasive nonchalance with which it is greeted at every appearance.

The fragmentation of society on religious, ethnic, sectarian, social and economic basis has become a norm. For the rulers, it is a convenient means of securing and perpetuating their hold on power and for the ruled, it is a method for manifesting their allegiance to accrue benefits. It works to the mutual advancement of both. Should it, therefore, follow that this is the best that we have and this is the way it is always going to be? A scary thought of what one may actually have to live with! ….

Read more » The Express Tribune

Balochistan is Pakistan’s internal issue, says EU envoy

Excerpts;

“… what is important is to say that in Balochistan, like in all other parts of Pakistan, international standards of human rights and fundamental democratic principles must be adhered to…. Trying to provide a democratic framework would ensure more stability and cohesion and would reduce conflict. This is essential anywhere in the world be it Balochistan, Sindh or anywhere else” — Ambassador Lars-Gunnar Wigemark of the European Union

To read complete News » Pakistan Today

http://www.pakistantoday.com.pk/2012/02/balochistan-is-pakistan%E2%80%99s-internal-issue-says-eu-envoy/

Pakistan Predictions 2012 – by Omar Ali

Punditry without predictions is like a fish without a bicycle and who would ever want that? But if one does make predictions, one’s predictions can be checked. That, perhaps, is why no paid pundit makes too many predictions. But, with nothing at stake, I will not only make predictions, I will also recall predictions from 3 years ago for criticism. And dear socialist friends, please remember these are not prescriptions, they are predictions. I don’t like them much either.

In March of 2009 I took a road trip across the Eastern United States and asked several generally well informed Pakistani friends what they thought was likely to happen in Pakistan in the days to come. I am reproducing that article unchanged below; the first few theories are what my friends proposed would happen, followed by my own predictions from 2009. I consulted two of the same friends again this week and their current predictions and my own 2012 predictions follow.  It is, of course, a very small and unrepresentative sample, biased towards liberals, infidels and leftists with no other input. And it is not expressed in University-Speak. So please, be gentle.

Continue reading Pakistan Predictions 2012 – by Omar Ali

PAKISTAN – Four Danish nationals booked under blasphemy law

By Khalid Hurral

JHANG: Four Danish nationals have been booked under the blasphemy law in Jhang. According to the FIR No 133, logged with the Kotwali police station, Zahid Saeed Bhutta Advocate filed a petition in the court of Jhang District and Sessions Judge for registration of a case against four Danish citizens.

He alleged that they published blasphemous material in Denmark and uploaded on the Internet, that could be accessed and read all-over Pakistan, including his city Jhang. The judge ordered the police to registrar a case under Section 295/C against the accused, and the police complied with the court orders.

Additional SP Jhang Abdul Qadir Qamar confirmed registration of the case and said such cases were investigated by a senior police officer.

Courtesy: The News

Congratulations Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy for excellent work and winning Pakistan’s first Oscar ever for her Documentary, “Saving Face” about acid attack victims

Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy became Pakistan’s first Oscar winner for her documentary “Saving Face” on Feb. 26, 2012. Watch the trailer here: http://bit.ly/whEdQZ

Via » Facebook → YouTube

 

Pakistan Today – Sindhi separatists announce comeback

BY AAMIR MAJEED

Excerpts;

KARACHI – Taking strength from the Baloch freedom movement, the Sindhi separatists have also started their own struggle for the eventual separation of Sindh province from Pakistan, starting off by planting several bombs along the railway tracks in the province.

Railway tracks at around 14 different locations across Sindh were damaged in a series of bomb blasts in the wee hours of Saturday by presumably politically motivated miscreants.

When a team of Pakistan Railways engineering department arrived at the Bin Qasim Railway Station to repair the tracks damaged by two minor blasts, they found a pamphlet from the site.

The paper printed on both sides, carried the name of “Sindhu Desh Liberation Army (SDLA)” at the top. The pamphlet was later forwarded to the Pakistan Railways Karachi Division SSP Muzzaffar Sheikh.

Talking with Pakistan Today, Sheikh said the pamphlet was issued by SDLA Chief Commander Darya Khan Marri. …..

….. “Marri claims that the Centre was exploiting the natural resources of Sindh against a very low royalty to facilitate Punjab,” the SSP said, adding that the government’s pro-Punjab policies have also been criticised.

“Terming the ruling Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) as ‘opportunists’, the SDLA blamed the party for using the Sindh card for attaining power, trying to impress upon the nationalists that Sindh is the country’s most poor province,” Sheikh said. “In the pamphlet, the SDLA has requested the Sindhis to stand up against the government, Pakistan Army and Inter-Services Intelligence.”…..

Read more » Pakistan Today

Who will demand justice for Sindhi victims of Enforced Disappearance?

By Khalid Hashmani

Sindhi Victims of Enforced Disappearances

It looks like the powers that fully or partially control Pakistan have found a new target to vent their anger – the Sindhi nationalists! With Baloch nationalists continuing to win more and more public relations battles against those who are bent upon enforced control of Balochistan, these forces have now unleashed their fury on Sindhis. Not a single day goes by without a story about a Sindhi nationalist disappearing or a bullet-riddled body of a Sindhi young man being found. The federal and provincial governments that won largely because of support of Sindhi masses are pre-occupied with looting more and more and/or saving their government from another group of looters and dictators. They seldom find courage to come to the rescue of Sindhis whether they are victims of severe floods or victims of enforced disappearances. Sindhis must realize that they cannot solely rely on international human rights’ organizations to fight for their human rights and the time has come for them to get involved and demand justice for Sindhi victims of Enforced Disappearances. A partial list of missing persons who are presumed to have fallen victims of enforced disappearances include:

Sources:
http://rightsnowpak.wordpress.com/2011/11/23/three-more-enforcedinvoluntary-disappearances-in-sindh-will-that-ever-end/
http://www.balawaristan.net/Latest-news/four-activists-also-disappeared-after-their-abduction-by-the-law-enforcement-agencies.html
http://www.worldsindhicongress.net/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=347&Itemid=1

1. Sanaullah Bhatti – He was kidnapped on February 7, 2011 from the city of Hyderabad.
2. Muzafar Bhutto – Kidnapped on February 24, 2011.
3. Riaz Kakepoto – Kidnapped from Rainbow Center Karachi on April 11, 2011.
4. Ali Nawab Mahar – Also kidnapped from Rainbow Center Karachi on April 11, 2011.
5. Shah Nawaz Bhutto – Also kidnapped from Rainbow Center Karachi on April 11, 2011.
6. Jam Bhutto – Also kidnapped from Rainbow Center Karachi on April 11, 2011.
7. Lala Yasir – Kdnapped from Karachi.
8. Shafqat Brohi He is a clerk of Maleer Court Karachi and was kidnapped from Karachi.
9. Afzal Pahnwar – A student of the University of Sindh, kidnapped on June 26, 2011.
10. Mukhtiar Pahnwar – kidnapped on September 28, 2011 from Chandni Chowk, Hyderabad.
11. Babar Jamali – Kidnapped on December 8, 2011 near Hyderabad by-pass Gas Station.
12. Mohummad Bashir Arisar disappeared on 17 November, 2011.
13. Ahsan Malano disappeared on 17 November, 2011.
14. Mohsin Shah disappeared on 17 November, 2011.
15. Noor Muhammed Khaskheli.
16. Shahid Notayar.
17. Shoukat Brohi.
18. Faisal Wagan.
19. Mohammed Brohi.
20. Nadeem Lashari.
21. G M Abro.
22. Noor Abro.
23. Anwar Depar.
24. Yasir Notiar.
25. Zulfiqar Jamali.
26. Hameed Shar.
27. Ali Bachal Themor.
28. Ghulam Kadir Boryio.
29. Taj Mohammed Themor.
30. Mohammed Boryio.

In a recent press statement, Dr. Rubina Greenwood, Vice Chairperson of World Sindhi Congress (WSC) said that a number of prominent political leaders and activists have been killed. Those who lost their lives in 2011 include:

1. Zulfiqar Kolachi
2. Aijaz Solangi
3. Sirai Qurban Khuhawr
4. Roplo Choliani
5. Nadir Bugti
6. Noorullah Tunio
7. Haji Abubakar
8. Abdul Ganai Mirbahar

Abduction Details about some Sindhi victims

Continue reading Who will demand justice for Sindhi victims of Enforced Disappearance?

Is Rohrabacher wrong on Balochistan? By Pervez Hoodbhoy

Excerpts;

…. Dana Rohrabacher’s resolution in the US Congress states that the Baloch people “have the right to self-determination and to their own sovereign country”. Expectedly, this unleashed a torrent of anger in Pakistan’s government and media which overwhelmingly saw this as a conspiracy to break up the country. Pakistan-US relations have descended another notch; attempts by the US State Department, as well as the currently visiting group of Congressmen, to distance themselves from the resolution have not worked. …

…. The official Pakistani response to Rohrabacher is still more flawed. Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar termed the tabling of his bill “a violation of UN charter” and of Pakistan’s sovereignty. But this line of defence could forfeit Pakistan’s moral right to criticise other states, Syria and India included.

Consider the fact that on February 17 Pakistan voted for an Arab League-sponsored resolution in the UN General Assembly which calls upon Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad to step down. This surely constitutes interference in the internal matter of a sovereign country. But Pakistan did well. In a civilised world national sovereignty must come second, and human rights first.

Pakistan has also long criticised India — and justly so — for its human rights abuses. But more people are dying in Balochistan today than in Kashmir. For all their brutality against stone-throwing Kashmiri boys, the Indians have not yet used helicopter gunships and fighter jets against Kashmiris. Pakistan, on the other hand, uses airpower as a matter of course in Balochistan and Fata. ….

To read complete article » The Express Tribune

Bloody Fridays and Sundays – Mir Mohammad Ali Talpur

Excerpts;

Demographic changes sustained ‘with a dagger at their throat’ since 1542 brought about the partition of Ireland. The Pakistani state envisages the same solution for Balochistan by holding the Baloch nation hostage with ‘a dagger at their throat’. However, the Baloch have not acquiesced and continue to resist at a great price of Baloch blood

“Should a robber break into my house, and, with a dagger at my throat, make me seal deeds to convey my estate to him, would this give him any title? Just such a title by his sword has an unjust conqueror who forces me into submission. The injury and the crime is equal, whether committed by the wearer of a crown or some petty villain” — John Locke.

The Baloch fears of the lethal impact of demographic changes being overtly and covertly engineered by the state are certainly not unfounded. There has been a consistent effort on part of Pakistan to undo the Baloch majority to undermine the support for those resisting Pakistan’s attempts to exploit Balochistan’s natural resources and its large land mass. The so-called development programmes like the Gwadar port or infrastructures like the Mirani Dam, highways, etc, are just a fig leaf for engineering demographic changes that are now supplemented by slow track genocide; the cantonments and naval bases being the ‘sword to force them into submission’.

Read more » Daily Times

The ‘anti-state’ Sarmachars of Balochistan – Marvi Sirmed

Excerpt;

After US Congressman Dana Rohrabacher’s sudden attention to Balochistan, the Pakistani media went bonkers to protect the proverbial ‘sovereignty’ of our country — a cause championed by the security establishment and most of its mouthpieces in the media as well as political circles and civil society. Emerging from the fathoms of near oblivion to almost a dozen Op-Eds in the mainstream press daily, Balochistan is now the darling of the prime time TV cupola as well.

If the anchors and columnists want to sound more profound, and if they run out of words to express the imperiousness of the US Congress for interfering in Pakistan’s internal matters, they would endlessly repeat almost clichéd references to 1971 with emphasis on giving ‘due importance to the Baloch problem’. The umpteen ‘political analysts’ and ‘Balochistan experts’ religiously recount the current government’s failure to address the issue despite the latter’s trumpeted mantra of ‘democracy, the greatest revenge’. Such talk would be garnished with admonishing the ‘irresponsibility’ of the Baloch nationalists in attacking innocent citizens of ethnicities other than the Baloch.

What goes completely missing from this narrative is the origins of the conflict, the response of the state to the centrifugal nature of Baloch nationalism and the ever deteriorating civil-military relations in Balochistan, which now seem to have reached the point of no return. The way Balochistan was made to accede to Pakistan goes missing from the textbooks alongside any reference to the military operations carried out in 1948, 1958-59, 1962-68, 1973-77 and the current surge starting from 2002 to date. The result is a general apathy towards Balochistan in the rest of the country with almost no understanding of the surges in historically seeded ethno-nationalism in Balochistan, described as ‘Baloch insurgencies’ in the mainstream media. The same media gives prime space to opinion makers who describe Taliban insurgents as ‘freedom fighters’. No wonder one finds so many people in upper Punjab and Islamabad who take Baloch nationalists as ‘traitors’, while the Taliban militants as flag bearers of Muslim nationalism. ….

Read more » Daily Times

Mehmood Khan Achakzai

“Yesterday freedom voice raised from Balochs, today from Sindh, but fear of the day, when Pashtoon said that, no more Pakistan and it will make a history, therefore, I (Mehmood Khan Achakzai) again warns these forces [security establishment of the deep state] that, do not play with Pashtoon nation.” – Pashtoon Leader MAHMOOD KHAN ACHAKZAI.

The language of the interview is urdu (Hindi).

Courtesy: Geo Tv News (Jirga – Mehmood Khan Achakzai’s Exclusive interview with Saleem Saafi – Part 1)

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