Taliban are generating funds through bank robberies, protection rackets and kidnappings – BBC

Taliban’s brisk trade of kidnapping in Karachi

In Pakistan’s largest city, Karachi, police say the Taliban are generating funds through bank robberies, protection rackets and kidnappings.

Abductions are particularly lucrative, with ransom demands sometimes running to millions of dollars. The BBC’s Orla Guerin reports on how the militants are making inroads in Pakistan’s financial capital.

When the doctor had a gun put to his head by a man on motorbike in the evening traffic last month, he thought it was a robbery. He readily handed over his mobile phone and his wallet.

But when he was forced from his car, he realised that he was the prize. A routine journey to his clinic ended with imprisonment in a Taliban hideout.

“They blindfolded me and tied my hands behind my back. I was kept in a small space, with a low roof, but they gave me food and a pillow to rest on,” said the softly spoken father of four. For security reasons, we are not revealing his identity. ….

Read more » BBC

New gift for Balochistan on Pakistan Day!

Security: Cell phone services in Balochistan suspended on Pakistan Day

By Zahid Gishkori

ISLAMBAD: The government shut down cell phone services in Balochistan on Pakistan Day, an action that some officials claimed was taken to keep a check on militants in the province.

“Cellular services were suspended from 8am to 12am in Balochistan in an order to implement national security policy,” said Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) Chairman Dr Mohammad Yasin. ….

Read more » The Express Tribune

Twin blasts hit transmission line in Sindh – The News Tribe report

By Abdullah Zafar

Jamshoro: Police on Thursday said that two bombs exploded in Jamshoro near Hyderabad damaged electricity towers.

District Police Officer (DPO) Farooq Jamali told media that twin bombs out of five planted on electricity poles exploded in the area, partially damaging 5500 KV transmission line. He said that three bombs were defused by the bomb disposal squad.

No organization has claimed responsibility so far. However, an obscure terrorist organization Sindudesh Liberation Front had claimed responsibility for series of blasts targeting rail track across the province this month.

Sindhi nationalists inclined toward separation from Pakistan have become active in Sindh following the US Congress resolution, espousing self-determination for Balochistan.

It is to mention here that the Sindhi nationalists regard Raja Dahir as hero of Sindhis and describe Muhammad bin Qasim, a Muslim conqueror, as robber.

Continue reading Twin blasts hit transmission line in Sindh – The News Tribe report

Challenges for the new DG ISI – Dr Moeed Pirzada

Did General Pasha and his colleagues ever realise that their mid-20th century organisation, built on ‘paradigms of control and fear’ and buttressed through old fashioned notions of ‘national security’ and ‘patriotism’ needs a strategic rethink to face the challenges of a new interactive age? …

Read more » Daily Times

Betraying the 1940 spirit?

The Pakistan Resolution promised to safeguard the rights of the Muslim minorities living in the Muslim-majority provinces of British India; it sought independence and sovereignty for those provinces outside the independent Indian Union.

However, the struggle took a new turn after the creation of Pakistan, when Bengali, Pashtun, and subsequently Sindhi and Baloch nationalist movements rose to press for provincial autonomy. Later, a powerful federation embracing the idea of the ideological state also led to alienating the country’s religious minorities. Many have come to live in fear because discrimination against them has been given legal cover, in effect, depriving them of equal rights. Here, leaders from various political parties speak of their respective party’s stance on the issues that haunt Pakistan’s minorities, and on ways to redress the problem…

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Mir Hasil Bizenjo, National Party

National party is secular, democratic & secular. We do not believe in minorities, all citizens are equal & must not be discriminated against on the basis of caste, creed or religion. It is matter of great concern for us that the state discriminate against own people in the name of religion.

We have to fight against this constitutionally by making Pakistan a secular state. National party has protested in each & every case of discrimination against Hindus & Christian. Hindus in Balochistan are being victimised by religious groups & criminals. Religious fundamentalism is a major threat to non-Muslim communities, against which political parties & civil society must rise. The solution is a strong, secular & democratic Pakistan.

Courtesy: http://www.dawn.com/2012/03/23/betraying-the-1940-spirit.html

Pakistan heading towards anarchy, cautions author

By: Reuters

Excerpts;

…. Pakistan’s escalating problems are rooted in its reliance on US aid, its complex politics, the government’s lack of control over both its military and intelligence service and its failure to protect minorities and secure regions controlled by the Pakistani Taliban and other militant groups, the book maintains. That spells more trouble for Washington if such groups gain further control in a nuclear-armed country where the military now largely controls foreign and security policies and has taken the lead in relations with the United States, he said. “Pakistan has all the potential of becoming a failing state,” Rashid, 63, said in an interview, explaining the title of the book that follows bestsellers including “Taliban” and “Descent Into Chaos” that were translated into dozens of languages. “I feel very much that the lack of state control, the lack of state authority is going to mean there is going to be increasing anarchy in many different parts of the country,” said Rashid, who has received numerous death threats and was named by Foreign Policy magazine as one of the top 100 global thinkers. ….

Read more » DAWN.COM

The many meanings of March 23

By: Haider Nizamani

AS always, March 23 will be celebrated by official ceremonies at home and abroad. Iqbal’s dream will get due mention as will the political acumen of those who passed the Lahore Resolution in 1940 calling for a separate country.

Rarely, though, do we hear about the actual contents of the historic resolution. The annual celebrations are routine, but voices calling attention to the contents drown in the din of fervent patriotism. Why is that the case?

The operative section of the resolution says: “no constitutional plan would be workable in this country or acceptable to Muslims unless it is designed on the following basic principles, viz., that geographically contiguous units are demarcated into regions which should be so constituted, with such territorial readjustments as may be necessary, that the areas in which Muslims are numerically in a majority, as in the north-western and eastern zones of India, should be grouped to constitute ‘Independent States’ in which the constituent units shall be autonomous and sovereign.”

Present-day nationalists in Pakistan, particularly in Sindh, embrace the contents of the resolution. Sindhi nationalists argue that the contents of the 1940 resolution constitute key elements of the pledge on which Muslim-majority regions opted for Pakistan.

In their assessment, the 1940 resolution envisaged a country where the constituent units would be autonomous and sovereign. The All India Muslim League was able to secure the support of Muslim-majority regions by opposing the centralist platform of the Congress.

Some who had been supporters of the Muslim League at the time of the Lahore Resolution, such as G.M. Syed, later turned against the party and eventually against the country. Why did they switch from being pro-Pakistan to anti-Pakistan?

The official Pakistani reply accuses people such as G.M. Syed of working on the instructions of India to weaken Pakistan. In reality, the opposition concerned the handing down of a product that was markedly different from the one promised in the 1940 resolution.

Instead of autonomous units forming the union, what transpired was a highly centralised state that trampled on the rights of the provinces.

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Slogans of Independence

JSQM rally

By Dr. Ahmed Makhdoom

Leading a ‘march against slavery,’ in Karachi, the capital of Sindh,‘Nationalist Party ’ of Sindh, JSQM demanded an independence of Sindh from the deep state of Punjab-dominated, Punjab-ruled, and Punjab-manipulated state. The idolized chieftain, leading his flag-waving, slogans-screaming, ferociously hands-waving and menacingly arms-flailing collection of turbulent and animated mechanised Sindhi supporters passed peacefully and harmoniously through the wide streets of the business-centres and the busy thoroughfares of the heavily-populated metropolis of Sindh.

And, today, in Karachi, Sindh, the Sindh nationalist leader Bashir Khan Qureshi, who is Chairman of Jeay Sindh Qaumi Mahaz (JSQM), proclaimed: “Sindhis are ready to protect their motherland and to defend every inch of Sindh.”

However, is this ‘march,’ proclamations, speeches and the chanting of the ‘demands’ enough? My honest and straightforward, frank and candid, prudent and sincere answer is a blunt, “No!” Why? But, first things first – the bravado and enthusiasm, love and genuineness, honesty and integrity, loyalty and patriotism of the nationalist leader, Bashir Qureshi of the Jeay Sindh and his thousands of Sindhi supporters, is manifestly praise-worthy, highly commendable and extremely laudable! My humble head bows down to your remarkable sense of purpose and my hands rise up to my forehead to salute you for this great show of faithfulness and allegiance for Motherland and constancy and passion for our Ancestral Land, Jeejal Sindhrree.

However, is this ‘march’ and the chanting of the ‘demands’ enough? Are these highly animated hoarse-voiced speeches for Sindh’s sovereignty enough? My honest and straightforward, frank and candid, prudent and sincere answer is a blunt, “No!” Why, because, the voice for the rights of Sindh, sadly, pathetically, disgustingly and unfortunately, none will hear this murmur  for the glorious and gregarious Land of Sindh! The voice for the rights of Sindh will turn into the deafening by the Punjab dominated establishment. Therefore, we should UNITE and FIGHT FOR THE EQUAL RIGHTS FOR THE PEOPLE OF SINDH.

There should be a Sindh where everyone should be an equal citizen, without any hegemony of any religious dogma or practices – A Secular Sindh. Feudalism and Peeree Mureedee must be abolished – freedom from Feudal Lords, Peers, Paathaareedaars, Chiefs, Wadderaas, and hereditary crooked politicians and their ruling families – a Socialists Sindh! A Sindh with its own culture, history, heritage civilisation, music and arts, norms and traditions, language and literature: A Sindhi Sindh, a Sufi Sindh, a Progressive Sindh! a Sindh that co-exists with other communities and nations of the world and play its positive role for the peace and betterment of the world and humanity.

Sindhi leadership must also come out, immediately, with Constitution and Flag of Sindh! Those living in Sindh should learn Sindhi language, Sindhi way of peaceful life, Sindhi food, Sindhi values, Sindhi music, and Sindhi culture of love and communal harmony.

And, let us ‘march’ not alone, but TOGETHER for Sindh and Sindhyat (Humanity). Let us speak with the real, true, noble and worthy ‘Sindhyat,’ which our Murshid (mentor, guide, teacher, guru), Shah Abdul Latif Bhittai, the True Leader, Sufi, Saint and Sage of Sindh has taught his (followers, adherents, devotees, pupils) thus:

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