Democrats and Republicans unite around criticism of Pakistan

By Josh Rogin

In a rare moment of bipartisan unity in the Senate, Democrats and Republicans joined together to admonish Pakistan for its treatment of the doctor who helped the United States find Osama bin Laden.

At a Senate Appropriations Committee markup this morning, senior senators from both sides of the aisle took turns accusing Pakistan of supporting terrorism, undermining the war in Afghanistan, extorting the U.S. taxpayer, and punishing Shakil Afridi, the doctor who worked with the CIA to find Bin Laden and was sentenced this week to 33 years in jail for treason. One senior senator predicted the Pakistani government was about to fall.

Continue reading Democrats and Republicans unite around criticism of Pakistan

Daily Times editorial on CJP’s Strange, ominous, unconstitutional pronouncement on emergency & martial law

EDITORIAL: Strange pronouncement

The Supreme Court (SC) three-member bench hearing the missing persons case in the Quetta Registry headed by Chief Justice (CJ) Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry has been scathing in its remarks during the proceedings about the seriousness of the situation in Balochistan and the obvious lack of the federal and provincial government’s seriousness in addressing the issue. The bench has been putting civil servants, junior government officials and police personnel on the mat regarding their failure to produce the missing persons. At the last hearing, the Deputy Attorney General got so much stick from the bench that he tendered his resignation. The CJ quoted former Balochistan advocate general Salauddin Mengal to portray a situation where no Pakistani flag could fly without the protection of the guns of the security forces more than 10 miles from Quetta. In the same vein of castigating the political, administrative and law enforcement leadership at the Centre and in the province, the CJ remarked that if the prime minister was not interested in acting to salvage the situation, the constitution envisaged other means, including the declaration of an emergency. Further, the CJ warned something must be done before another martial law is imposed.

Continue reading Daily Times editorial on CJP’s Strange, ominous, unconstitutional pronouncement on emergency & martial law

Jonathan Kay: Time to call Pakistan what it is – a state supporter of terrorism

By: Jonathan Kay

Here in the West, the killing of Osama Bin Laden was considered a triumph. In Pakistan, where the al-Qaeda leader lived out his final years, attitudes are very different: On Wednesday, a Pakistani court brought down a guilty verdict against the Pakistani doctor who helped the CIA locate bin Laden in May, 2011. Having been convicted of treason, Shakil Afridi now faces a 33-year prison sentence.

Each story like this brings fresh evidence that Pakistan, a nominal Western ally in the war on terrorism, actually is doing more to enable the jihadis than fight them. We don’t yet have definitive evidence to suggest that the Pakistani military and intelligence establishment was actively housing and protecting bin Laden in the garrison town of Abbottabad. But that certainly would have been in keeping with long-standing Pakistani policies.

And those policies won’t change any time soon: With the Americans, Canadians and others having announced their exit date in Afghanistan, Pakistan has less incentive to co-operate in the war on terrorism than at any time since 9/11. In coming years, the better way to deal with Pakistan will be to acknowledge the reality that the country is nothing less than a full-blown state sponsor of terrorism.

Continue reading Jonathan Kay: Time to call Pakistan what it is – a state supporter of terrorism

Gilani cannot be disqualified under Article 63: Speaker National Assembly

Speaker National Assembly Dr Fehmida Mirza, finalising her decision in Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani’s contempt case, said that Gilani cannot be disqualified under Article 63(1)(g) of the Constitution, Express News reported on Thursday.

The speaker said that according to Article 63 of the Constitution, the question of the prime minister’s qualification “does not arise”. She has also decided against forwarding the Supreme Court’s reference to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).

Quoting the Supreme Court’s order in her 11-point long ruling, Mirza wrote, “no specific charge regarding the propagation of any opinion or acting in any manner against the independence of the judiciary or defaming or ridiculing the judiciary as contemplated under Article 63 (1) (g) has been framed.”

She added: “I am of the view that the charges against Syed Yousaf Raza Gilani are not relatable to the grounds mentioned in paragraph (g) or (h) of clause (1) of Article 63, therefore, no question of disqualification of Syed Yousaf Raza Gilani from being a member arises under clause (2) of Article 63 of the Constitution.”

Sources affiliated with Express News revealed that Dr Mirza said the Supreme Court did not raise the issue of Gilani’s disqualification when it announced the verdict in the contempt case, hence there was no need to send the reference against Gilani to the ECP.

Dr Mirza consulted law experts including Aitzaz Ahsan, Fakhruddin G, Asma Jahangir and Justice (retd) Sajjad Ali for the decision, which she dictated to the secretary national assembly.

Continue reading Gilani cannot be disqualified under Article 63: Speaker National Assembly

Pakistan seeks face-saving formula in NATO talks

By Michael Georgy, ISLAMABAD

(Reuters) – Pakistan is unlikely to re-open supply routes to NATO troops in Afghanistan unless the United States offers a politically acceptable formula in talks on ending a six-month standoff on the issue, a Pakistani official said on Thursday. ….

Read more » Reuters

Massacre of innocent and peaceful people of Sindh

By: Ahmed Makhdoom

The indiscriminate firing on Mohabat-e-Sindh Rally, in which 12 killed, more than 30 injured was disgraceful and dehumanising act of fascist terrorists. This is RACISM far worst than any other anywhere in the world, including Bosnia and Serbia! It was the treacherous, venomous and vile act of INHUMANITY which surpasses even the acts of Nazis in Germany against the Jews!

We demand and urge the Human Rights Organisations, United Nations and other civilized powers to take notice of this butchery and massacre of innocent and peaceful, hapless and helpless indigenous people of Sindh.

Courtesy: Sindhi e-lists/ e-groups, May 23, 2012.

Shaheed Ghazala Siddiqui. A New Bakhtaawar of Sindh.

The Niece of Ex Labor Leader Usman Baloch, A great and Brave Sindhi daughter Shaheed Ghazala Siddiqui is killed by Coward fascist terrorist gangsters’ indiscriminate firing on a peaceful Mohabat-e-Sindh (Love of Sindh) rally.

This Great and Brave Daughter of mother Sindh has left his 8 months old son at home and attended Mohbat e Sindh rally.

Ghaza Shaheed was a lover of Sindh. She was actively helping flood affected victims in Karachi and was cooking food by herself and distributing among flood affected victim families.

Few minutes before her death, she gave a historical interview to KTN NEWS TV and says: Her Last golden words were; “SINDHI DAUGHTERS WILL GIVE THEIR LIVES FOR SINDH, BUT WILL NOT LET ANY TO DIVIDE MOTHER SINDH.”

GHAZALA SHAHEED’S FATHER IN LAW HAS  SAID THAT HE IS PROUD OF HER, AND HE IS READY TO GIVE SACRIFICES FOR HIS WHOLE FAMILY FOR SINDH.”

SHAHEED GHAZALA SIDDIQUI HAS MADE A NEW HISTORY, SHE WAS A NEW BIRTH OF BAKHTAAWAR SHAHEED.

SINDH WILL REMEMBER HER AS A NATIONAL HERO, SHE WILL BE A SOURCE OF INSPIRATION OF NATIONAL FREEDOM MOVEMENT.

She will be buried in Karachi, Sindh today at 6 PM.

AASMAN TUHENJEY LAH’D TEY GUL AFSHANEE KAREY, SINDH JEE AZEEM SHAHEED NIYANEE, TOUTEY SALAM.

Courtesy: Sindhi e-lists/ e-groups, 23 May 2012

Our request to our liberal urdu speaking brothers, sisters and friends to join hands with us in joint struggle against fascists

Comment by: Sahar Gul

We request our liberal Urdu speaking brothers, sisters and friends to come forward join hands with us and strongly condemn the attack on peaceful “Muhabbat-e-Sindh” Rally, leaving over a dozen peaceful protesters killed. With the support of our liberal urdu speaking brothers, sisters and friends we will narrow down the space gained by fascist terrorists.

Courtesy: Facebook

Sindhi nationalist leader Muzaffar Bhutto’s body found in Hyderabad

HYDERABAD: After 45 days of mysterious death of chairman, Jeay Sindh Qaumi Mahaz (JSQM) Bashir Khan Qureshi, the bullet riddled body of another nationalist leader Muzaffar Bhutto was found in the outskirts of Hyderabad on Tuesday. Bhutto was central secretary general of Jeay Sindh Muttahida Mahaz (JSMM) which is headed by Shafi Burfat.

His body was found stuffed in a gunny bag near Bukhari village in the limits of Hatri police station near Hyderabad.

Muzaffar Bhutto was among missing persons of Sindh, as he was kidnapped on February 25, 2011 from national highway near Saeedabad town.

The family members had been staging demonstrations for recovery of Bhutto while petition had also been filed in the apex court of Sindh. The slain leader has left a widow Saima Bhutto, two sons and a daughter.

The body of slain JSMM leader was brought to civil hospital Hyderabad late last night by some people who disappeared after leaving the body. Later, the relatives identified the body on Tuesday. The body of Muzaffar Bhutto was later sent to Sehwan, his hometown, where he would be laid to rest.

The reports of death of Muzaffar Bhutto sparked reaction in different cities and towns of Sindh. In Qasimabad,Hyderabadand Kotri, the activists of JSMM resorted to aerial firing after which the hops and other businesses were closed.

In Dokri town three people sustained injuries when the enraged people started firing. One of the injured Muhammad Zada succumbed to injuries at the hospital. The Larkana town was also completely shut after the reports of Bhutto’s death reached. The aerial firing was also reported from different areas.

Reports from Nawabshah said all the commercial activities came to standstill in Nawabshah, Sakrand and Qazi Ahmed towns where the aerial firing created panic.

The JSMM workers alleged that secret agencies were involved in killing of their leader. Meanwhile, Zain Bhutto, vice chairman, JSMM, condemned the murder of Muzaffar Bhutto and Dr Niaz Kalani, acting chairman, Jeay Sindh Qaumi Mahaz, has announced strike in Sindh on Wednesday to condemn the murder of nationalist leader.

Courtesy: DAWN.COM
R
ead more » http://dawn.com/2012/05/22/sindhi-nationalist-leader-muzaffar-bhuttos-body-found-in-hyderabad/
More » http://www.dawn.com/news/720472/sindhi-nationalist-leader-muzaffar-bhuttos-body-found-in-hyderabad

Lahore demo against Karachi massacre of Sindhis

Lahore: Labour Party of Pakistan announced a joint protest demonstration tomorrow on Wednesday May 23, 2012 in Lahore against the killings of political activists of Mohabat-e-Sindh rally. The demonstration is jointly organised by Workers Party, Labour Party and Awami Party in close associations with social movements and organisations and trade unions at 4.30pm at Shimla Pehari Lahore.

In a press statement, Younas Rahu general secretary Labour Party Pakistan condemned the attack of the MQM gangsters on a peaceful rally of Awami Tehreek killing over 12 and dozens were injured. Labour Party is in complete solidarity with people of Sindh and Awami Tehreek and calls on its activists to demonstrate every where in PAKISTAN, he said. LPP in cooperation with its sister organisations is also organising demonstrations in Hyderabad, and Faisalabad.

Labour Party Pakistan, 25 A Davis Road Lahore, Pakistan

http://www.laborpakistan.org

Ayaz Palijo says he will take revenge of the murders, not from innocent Urdu-speaking people, but from terrorists

Karachi violence: Awami Tehreek vows to ‘avenge every drop of blood shed’

By Web Desk

KARACHI: Awami Tehreek President Ayaz Latif Palijo vowed to avenge ‘every single drop of blood’ shed during riots in Karachi, which erupted after gunmen opened fire on a peaceful protest rally on Tuesday. “These murders will not go unnoticed. Those shedding blood on the streets of Karachi, Sindh will be held accountable.”

Palijo announced that his party will take revenge of the murders “not from innocent Urdu-speaking people, but from the terrorists. He added that the police left the areas as soon as firing began and the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) “stood there, watching Sindhis being killed”.

He told the media that his party received text messages from a certain political party last night, threatening a repeat of the May 12 scenario during the rally today. “During our rally, containers were placed to block our entry into certain areas. But when those supporting the Mohajir province were rallying, they were even allowed to enter the red zones, and were also given juices.”

“I thank PML-N and JI who supported us in the protest,” he said and also thanked the Urdu-speaking people who joined Awami Tehreek’s protest today.

Over 10 people were killed and 23 injured in violence that erupted after unidentified gunmen opened fire on a peaceful rally organised by the Awami Tehreek and …..

Read m0re  » The Express Tribune

A shameful attack against humanity in Karachi, Indiscriminate firing on peaceful Mohabbat-e-Sindh Rally, 12 killed, 30 injured, initial reports

Karachi plunges into violence; 11 killed

KARACHI: At least 11 people were killed and more than 30 injured as violence erupted in several parts of the old city following firing on Awami Tehreek’s ‘Mohabbat Sindh’ rally, Geo News reported.

Unknown armed men opened fire on the rally when it reached old city area. Hospital sources have confirmed receiving 11 dead bodies and many injured.

A reporter and a cameraman of a private news channel were among the injured. Several shops and vehicles have also been set ablaze by the miscreants. ….

Read more » The News

More details » BBC urdu

The combination of no apology and no meeting, Mr. Nasr said, “will send a powerfully humiliating message back to Pakistan.

Supply Lines Cast Shadow at NATO Meeting on Afghan War

By HELENE COOPER and MATTHEW ROSENBERG

CHICAGO — President Obama was struggling to balance the United States’ relationship with two crucial but difficult allies on Sunday, after a deal to reopen supply lines through Pakistan to Afghanistan fell apart just as Mr. Obama began talks on ending the NATO alliance’s combat role in the Afghan war.

As a two-day NATO summit meeting opened in Chicago, Mr. Obama remained at loggerheads with President Asif Ali Zardari of Pakistan, refusing even to meet with him without an agreement on the supply routes, which officials in both countries acknowledged would not be coming soon.

Mr. Zardari, who flew to Chicago with hopes of lifting his stature with a meeting with Mr. Obama, was preparing to leave empty-handed as the two countries continued to feel the repercussions of a fatal American airstrike last November, for which Mr. Obama has offered condolences but no apology. Mr. Zardari did, however, meet with Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton to discuss the supply routes.

Pakistan closed the routes into Afghanistan after the strike, heightening tensions with Pakistani officials who say that the United States has repeatedly infringed on their sovereignty with drone strikes and other activities.

“This whole breakdown in the relationship between the U.S. and Pakistan has come down to a fixation of this apology issue,” said Vali Nasr, a former State Department adviser on Pakistan. The combination of no apology and no meeting, Mr. Nasr said, “will send a powerfully humiliating message back to Pakistan.” …

Read more » The New York Times

Pakistan is showing its helplessness in the face of those who carry guns & bombs

Lal Masjid: rewarding an insurrection

By Pervez Hoodbhoy

The honourable Chief Justice of Pakistan says he is losing patience with the Capital Development Authority (CDA). In a court-initiated (suo motu) action, he wants a quick rebuilding of the Jamia Hafsa madrassa, flattened by bulldozers in 2007, after it became the centre of an insurgency. A three-judge bench of the Supreme Court, headed by the CJ, is now dragging procrastinators over the coals by issuing notices to the CDA chairman, Islamabad’s chief commissioner and the interior secretary. The Court has also expressed its “displeasure” over the status of police cases against the Lal Masjid clerics and ordered the deputy attorney general to appear before it next week.

It is dangerous to comment on Pakistan’s highest level of judiciary. So let me solemnly declare that the highest wisdom must lie behind this extraordinary judicial activism. Nevertheless, I must confess my puzzlement because — as was seen by all — Lal Masjid and the adjoining Jamia Hafsa had engaged in a full-scale bloody insurrection against the Pakistani government, state, and public. Hundreds died. That those who led the insurrection should be gifted 20 kanals of the choicest land in sector H-11 of Islamabad is, I think, slightly odd.

Such thoughts crossed my mind last week when a flat tyre occasioned me to walk along the outer periphery of the freshly-painted and rebuilt Red Mosque. I momentarily stopped to read a large wind and rain-weathered monument which, placed on the government-owned land that Jamia Hafsa once stood upon, declares (in Urdu) that “The sacred Islamic worship place here was destroyed by a tyrannical ruler to prevent Sharia from becoming the law”.

The story of the insurrection and its tragic end is well-known. In early January 2007, the Lal Masjid had demanded the immediate rebuilding of eight illegally-constructed mosques that had been knocked down by the CDA. Days later, an immediate enforcement of the Sharia system in Islamabad was demanded. Thereafter, armed vigilante groups from this madrassa roamed the streets and bazaars. They kidnapped ordinary citizens and policemen, threatened shopkeepers, and repeated the demands of the Taliban and other tribal militants fighting the Pakistan Army.

At a meeting held in Lal Masjid on April 6, 2007, it was reported that 100 guest religious leaders from across the country pledged to die for the cause of Islam and Sharia. On April 12, in an FM broadcast, the clerics issued a threat to the government: “There will be suicide blasts in the nook and cranny of the country. We have weapons, grenades and we are expert in manufacturing bombs. We are not afraid of death….”

Lal Masjid was headed by two clerics, the brothers Maulana Abdul Aziz and Maulana Abdur Rashid Ghazi. They had attracted a core of militant organisations around them, including the pioneer of suicide bombings in the region, Jaish-e-Muhammad. Also on April 12 2007, Rashid Ghazi, a former student of my university, broadcast the following chilling message to our female students:

The government should abolish co-education. Quaid-e-Azam University has become a brothel. Its female professors and students roam in objectionable dresses. They will have to hide themselves in hijab otherwise they will be punished according to Islam…. Our female students have not issued the threat of throwing acid on the uncovered faces of women. However, such a threat could be used for creating the fear of Islam among sinful women. There is no harm in it. There are far more horrible punishments in the Hereafter for such women.”

For months, unhindered by General Musharraf’s government, the Lal Masjid operated a parallel government that was barely a mile or two away from the presidency and parliament. Its minions ran an unlicenced FM radio station, occupied a government building, set up a parallel system of justice, made bonfires out of seized cassettes and CDs, received the Saudi Arabian ambassador on the mosque premises, and negotiated with the Chinese ambassador for the release of his country’s kidnapped nationals. But for the subsequent outrage expressed by Pakistan’s all-weather ally, the status quo would have continued indefinitely.

Nevertheless, our courts say that they cannot find any evidence of wrongdoing during the entire six-month long saga. They say there are no witnesses or acceptable evidence. Abdul Aziz and Umme Hassan (his wife, who heads Jamia Hafsa), therefore, stand exonerated. Also lacking, they say, is proof that the Lal Masjid accused possessed heavy weaponry.

But Islamabad’s residents know better. When the showdown came in July 2007, machine guns chattered away as mortars and rocket launchers exchanged their deadly fire. Copious TV coverage shows armed madrassa students putting on gas masks to avoid the dense smoke. The final push left 10 of Pakistan’s crack SSG commandos dead, together with scores of defenders. A tidal wave of suicide attacks — as promised by the clerics — promptly followed.

Some speculate that the land gifted to Aziz and Hassan is actually the price for keeping hornets inside their nest. This is not impossible because suicide bomb attacks inside Pakistan’s major cities have decreased dramatically in the last two years. The authorities claim credit, saying the reason is better intelligence about violent groups and better policing. But anyone driving through Islamabad knows how trivially easy it is to conceal weapons and explosives; the security measures are certainly a nuisance to citizens but hopelessly ineffective otherwise. So, could the H-11 land offer be part of a much wider peace deal with various militant groups?

The temptation to make deals has grown after the battle for Lal Masjid. It is clear who won and who lost. Even as they fought tooth and nail against the Pakistan Army, the madrassa clerics were never dismissed and continued to receive their full government salaries. On the other hand, General Musharraf — who acted only after things went out of control — now sulks in exile. All madrassa curriculum reform plans are dead; the government does not talk about them anymore — let the clerics teach what they want.

Appeasement is the hallmark of a weak state and dithering leadership. Once again, Pakistan is showing its helplessness in the face of those who carry guns and bombs. For a country alleged to have the world’s fastest growing nuclear arsenal, this is surely ironical.

Courtesy: The Express Tribune, May 21st, 2012.

http://tribune.com.pk/story/381761/lal-masjid-rewarding-an-insurrection/

Heavily armed jihadi groups clash in Pakistan: 5 killed, 5 injured in clash between rival Islamic militants

5 killed, 5 injured in clash between rival militants groups

Firefight between Lashkar-e-Islam and Ansarul Islam began when latter’s fighters attacked stronghold of LI militants.

PESHAWAR: At least five militants were killed and five others were injured when clashes erupted between Lashkar-e-Islam (LI) and Ansarul Islam (AI) in the Sanda Pal area of Tirah Valley, Khyber Agency.

According to locals, the firefight between the two groups began in the early hours of Monday when fighters of AI attacked Sanda Pal, a stronghold of LI militants.

They claimed that four militants of the Mangal Bagh-led LI had been killed and two were injured, while one fighter of AI was killed and three were injured.

Clashes between the two groups occur frequently as AI fights the LI to gain control of the area.

According to sources, heavy weapons were used in the fight and AI fighters took control of a number of small outposts to reach Sanda Pal – the main outpost.

Residents living in the secluded valley have little communication with the world.

The area has been under the influence of militants, including the LI, Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and Ansarul Islam, who have consistently targeted each other over territorial disputes and sectarian differences.

Courtesy: The Express Tribune

Via – Twitter » TF’s Tweet

Tensions rise in Sindh after Jinnahupur/ Mohajir Suba/ Refugees province rhetoric

Tensions rise after Mohajir Suba rhetoric, Nationalists demand action against patrons of division, Ten nationalist parties warn taking action if govt. fails

Urdu-speaking people should not support evil design

Sindh’s nationalist parties on Sunday demanded of the government to take stern action against those responsible for organizing rallies, putting up billboards and banners and graffiti in different parts of Karachi, Hyderabad and Sukkur for carving out a new province out of Sindh.

Leaders of almost ten nationalist parties also warned that Sindhi people would themselves take action against such people if the government failed in stopping them.

The parties included Sindh National Movement, Jeay Sindh Tehreek, Awami Jamhori Party, Sindh United Party, Awami Tehreek, Jeay Sindh Qaumi Mahaz, Sindh National Party, Jeay Sindh Mahaz, Sindh Dost Democratic Party and Karachi Sindh Shehri Ittehad.

The leaders warned of serious consequences if any attempt was made to divide the province or to carve out another province out of Sindh.

They said Urdu-speaking community should not support any evil design of dividing Sindh adding they (Urdu-speaking people) are their brothers but if they continue to demand a separate homeland here or support anti-Sindh elements, they are advised and warned to leave Sindh.

Another report adds: They said that a conspiracy was being hatched for the last couple of months. “We did not take any action fearing bloodshed but enough is enough. We are peaceful people but know how to fight for our motherland,” said Ameer Bhanbhro.

“Our elders welcomed Mohajirs at the time of partition and Urdu-speaking people enjoy all kinds of rights and privileges in Sindh today. They were elected as Nazims in major cities and are members of the national and provincial assemblies and governors as well. On the contrary, Sindhis are not given entry in the educational institutions and are denied jobs in Karachi,” said Elahi Bux Bikik.

It merits mentioning that Sindh Taraqi Pasand Party (STPP) on Saturday issued a 72-hour ultimatum to the Sindh government to remove the wall chalking, posters, banners and posters carrying maps of Mohajir Suba (Refugees Province) from all parts of Sindh. In case of failure, the party declared to its workers would do it in every city from Karachi to Larkano.

Courtesy: The Point

http://www.thepoint.com.pk/sindh355.php

We will not allow betrayal of Sindh: Only ONE SINDH – there can be NO OTHER!

By: Dr. Ahmed H. Makhdoom & Khalid Hashmani

What is Sindhyat, my friends, my brothers and sisters, my sons and daughters? Sindhyat is when thee FIRST know thy “SAAEEN” – whatever you may call Him: “Allah, Ishwar, God, Waaheguru, Ahura-Mazda!”

Then – and ONLY THEN – thee must know thy Motherland, land of thy ancestors, land of thy forefathers – that great, grand and gregarious land is known as “SINDH!” And, there is only ONE SINDH – there can be NO OTHER!

Yes, this is VERY IMPORTANT – to know thy Creator ‘n thy Mother before thee go ‘n find anyone else!

And, the Sun emerges from the East, they go grazing out in the green fields and rich pastures – the herds of cows and buffalos of my Motherland, Sindh! And, when the same Sun hides itself in the West, they go back where they are most required and needed to their tranquil abodes to rest and quench the thirst of so many thirsty beings!

Saeen Ahmed Hussain Makhdoom urges us (overseas Sindhis) to go back to Sindh as Sindh needs their help. I echo Makhoom sahib’s words that Sindh needs help of everyone as some of its recently-born sons and daughters are betraying it by calling for its division (Balkanization of Pakistan/ Jinnahpur/ Mohajir Sooba/ Refugee province conspiracy). However, I believe that we Overseas Sindhis can help Sindh much more effectively from our new homelands provided we inspire ourselves and become active in protecting the integrity of Sindh.

Instead of getting ourselves in petty issues that are of no consequences, we should welcome cooperation and collaboration and form alliances on one single point that “we will not allow betrayal of Sindh“. Let us not waste our energy on putting each other down or focusing on differences but give all our attention to protect Sindhiat.

Courtesy: Sindhi e-lists/ e-groups, 20 May 2012.

Twitter blocked across Pakistan

Twitter blocked across Pakistan over ‘blasphemous drawings’

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan blocked the social networking website Twitter on Sunday because it refused to remove material considered offensive to Islam, said one of the country’s top telecommunications officials. …

Read more » The Express Tribune

“Censor” Republic of Pakistan.

“The authorities here are big fans of China and how it filters the Internet,” said Sana Saleem, chief executive of Bolo Bhi, a group that campaigns against restrictions on the Internet. “They overlook the fact that China is an autocratic regime and we are a democracy.” “What makes this kind of censorship so insidious is that they always use national security, pornography or blasphemy as an explanation for blocking other kinds of speech,” Ms. Saleem said, adding that her site had been blocked for several months in 2010 when it made reference to a ban on Facebook. ….

Read more » ChagataiKhan

Top U.S. officials say no apology to Pakistan

A second senior U.S. official is saying the Obama administration has definitively decided not to apologize to Pakistan for the recent accidental killings of Pakistani troops by U.S.-led forces — following months of top-level discussions about making such a high-stakes foreign policy decision.

The second official told Fox News on Friday morning many factors played into the decision, including that Pakistan appears to have “moved on” from its initial anger.

The official also asked: “When are they going to apologize to us” for a series of grievances, most notably that high-level terrorists such as Usama bin Laden gained safe harbor inside Pakistan in recent years.

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2012/05/18/top-us-officials-say-no-apology-to-pakistan/#ixzz1vMX8ZA2V

 

Bravo, France!

“The day will come when men will recognize woman as his peer, not only at the fireside, but in councils of the nation. Then, and not until then, will there be the perfect comradeship, the ideal union between the sexes that shall result in the highest development of the race. ” -Susan B. Anthony

“Men rule because women let them. Male misogyny is real enough, and it has dreadful consequences, but female misogyny is what keeps women out of power.” – Germaine Greer

There is a tendency to compare women with snails. Some people in UK say, ‘A snail could crawl the entire length of the Great Wall of China in 212 years, just slightly longer than the 200 years it will take for women to be equally represented in Parliament.’ Women are not like snails. But male-dominated systems try to make them like snails.

Today women constitute 19 percent of the members of parliaments around the world. Women have been deprived of equal access to education, health care, capital,decision making powers in the political, social, and business sectors only because they are women. The number of women in politics is now growing but the speed is very slow. But we need a gender balance in political institutions. The introduction of quota systems for women represents a qualitative jump into a policy of exact goals. Many people are against quotas for women. But there are many people who believe that:

Continue reading Bravo, France!

Pakistan: ‘Jihadi danger is from the elite, not the poor’

Muslims and modernity: ‘Jihadi danger is from the elite, not the poor’

By Aroosa Shaukat

LAHORE: Most global jihadis are not illiterates raised in poor slums, but from well-off families and with advanced education degrees. “Most of the danger comes from us,” said Majid Nawaz, founder of Khudi, at a seminar titled ‘Muslims and the Modern World The State of the Muslim Ummah’. Young people being educated at “elite” schools and colleges were joining the extremists, he said.

“Terrorists are not just from slums – statistically, a disproportionate number of global jihadis come from a higher education background,” said Nawaz, who was formerly a member of the Hizbut Tahrir (HT). He quit the group to found Khudi, which works to counter extremism.

Nawaz said there was a difference between the political and the religious definitions of the word ‘ummah’. He said there was no contradiction between being a Pakistani and being a Muslim. Pakistanis could carry multiple identities, he said, owing to religious or social affiliations. “People themselves organically determine who they are, as a group or a nation,” he said.

He said it was “politically naive” to demand the implementation of the Sharia, the main aim of the HT. He said that when imposing Sharia, a society chooses a particular interpretation of Islam and closes the door on ijtehad. “Islam must be kept free of political interference,” he said.

He called for a comprehensive national strategy to counter extremism. All political and religious factions should agree on “basic social principles”, he said.

He said that the National Counter Terrorism Authority needed to be activated. He said that the government had not even started the “de-radicalisation of society”.

Science and religion

Science requires free thinking, a mind that questions,” said Pervez Hoodbhoy in his talk on ‘The intellectual decline of the Muslims’. He said that Muslims had moved away from progressive scientific approaches over the last 700-800 years.

Continue reading Pakistan: ‘Jihadi danger is from the elite, not the poor’

Preying on Poverty: How Government and Corporations Use the Poor as Piggy Banks

by Barbara Ehrenreich
Individually the poor are not too tempting to thieves, for obvious reasons. Mug a banker and you might score a wallet containing a month’s rent. Mug a janitor and you will be lucky to get away with bus fare to flee the crime scene. But as Business Week helpfully pointed out in 2007, the poor in aggregate provide a juicy target for anyone depraved enough to make a business of stealing from them.

The trick is to rob them in ways that are systematic, impersonal, and almost impossible to trace to individual perpetrators. Employers, for example, can simply program their computers to shave a few dollars off each paycheck, or they can require workers to show up 30 minutes or more before the time clock starts ticking.

Lenders, including major credit companies as well as payday lenders, have taken over the traditional role of the street-corner loan shark, charging the poor insanely high rates of interest. When supplemented with late fees (themselves subject to interest), the resulting effective interest rate can be as high as 600% a year, which is perfectly legal in many states.

It’s not just the private sector that’s preying on the poor. Local governments are discovering that they can partially make up for declining tax revenues through fines, fees, and other costs imposed on indigent defendants, often for crimes no more dastardly than driving with a suspended license. And if that seems like an inefficient way to make money, given the high cost of locking people up, a growing number of jurisdictions have taken to charging defendants for their court costs and even the price of occupying a jail cell. ….

Read more » Common Dreams

The Punjabi hegemony on Pakistan

The Punjabi hegemony

By Raza Habib Raja

The selective way of presenting history in Pakistan conveniently ignores the fact that at its creation, there were two large sometimes contrasting and sometimes overlapping movements. The first was primarily centred around Muslim identity and tried to actually bargain a better position for its bearers. This movement though ended up in carving a separate homeland for the Muslims, nevertheless did not have that strong separatist thrust at least in the beginning.

Continue reading The Punjabi hegemony on Pakistan

Pakistan’s leading intellectual, Prof. Parvez Hoodbhoy on the rise of jihadi terrorism and its acceptance in Pakistan

Courtesy: News Click In » via – Twitter (TF’s tweet)

Pakistan’s super-elite cannot find a piano tuner

A requiem for music

By: F.S.Aijazuddin

WHAT was a Czech violinist Jaroslav Sveceny doing in Lahore recently?

Was he just another Raymond Davis-type of subversive, camouflaging his weaponry like an Italian mafia hit man in a violin case? Or was he something more sinister, a musical reactionary intent on disturbing our cultural complacency?

The moment Sveceny tucked his prized violin under his chin that evening and began playing, he reminded his audience (all graying and on the wrong side of 40) that he did not simply come from another country. He came from a different world, a world in which its citizens express themselves in sound, in colour and in musical notes. We in Pakistan by contrast are reconciled to thinking in silence. We view life in monochrome. We speak in a monotone. The only notes we recognise are bank notes.

It was not always like this. For thousands of years, we have laughed and sang and danced. One needs to remind oneself that the female figurine discovered at Mohenjodaro was a dancing girl, not some lacquered doll pouting on talk shows.

Continue reading Pakistan’s super-elite cannot find a piano tuner

Abolish the death penalty

‘The death penalty is the ultimate, irreversible denial of human rights. It is the premeditated and cold-blooded killing of a human being by the state. This cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment is done in the name of justice. It violates the right to life as proclaimed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

We oppose the death penalty in all cases without exception regardless of the nature of the crime, the characteristics of the offender, or the method used by the state to kill the prisoner.’

There is a hope. We are getting closer to a death penalty-free world.

Read more » Free Thought Blogs

Left-wing Greek politician Alexis Tsipras says that austerity will send Europe “directly to the hell”

Alexis Tsipras: Austerity will send us ‘directly to the hell’

By Lucky Gold

Going directly to the hell

Alexis Tsipras, head of Syriza, Greece’s extreme left-wing political party, appeared on Amanpour Wednesday.

Speaking from Athens, where he currently leads in the presidential polls, Mr. Tsipras responded to German Chancellor Merkel’s ultimatum – either Greece seeks economic reform and embraces austerity, or it will be shown the door of the European Union.

“I don’t know what Madame Merkel wants to do but I know what we want to do,” said Tsipras. “We don’t want outside the Eurozone. But we believe that Madame Merkel put the euro and the Eurozone in big danger by keeping these austerity measures.”

He added, “We want to change the austerity measures in Greece, also in Europe. We want to do this with the incorporation of other forces and people of Europe, the people who want a big change. Because everybody now understands that with this policy we are going directly to the hell. And we want to change this way.”

Rich people to buy everything with euros

He was asked the consequences if Greece abandons the euro and returns to the drachma as its currency: “If Greece goes back to the drachma, the second day the other countries in Europe will have the same problem,” said Tsipras. ….

Read more » CNN

Pakistan blew its chance for security

By: David Ignatius

As America begins to pull back its troops from Afghanistan, one consequence gets little notice but is likely to have lasting impact: Pakistan is losing the best chance in its history to gain political control over all of its territory — including the warlike tribal areas along the frontier.

Pakistan has squandered the opportunity presented by having a large U.S.-led army just over the border in Afghanistan. Rather than work with the United States to stabilize a lawless sanctuary full of warlords and terrorists, the Pakistanis decided to play games with these outlaw groups. As a result, Pakistan and its neighbors will be less secure, probably for decades.

This is a catastrophic mistake for Pakistan. Instead of drawing the tribal areas into a nation that finally, for the first time since independence in 1947, could be integrated and unified, the Pakistani military decided to keep the ethnic pot boiling. It was a triumph of short-term thinking over long-term; of scheming over strategy.

America has made many blunders in Afghanistan, which will have their own consequences. But U.S. problems are modest compared with those of Pakistan, which nearly 65 years after independence still doesn’t have existential security as a nation. Like most big mistakes people make in life, this is one that Pakistan’s military leaders made with their eyes wide open.

The Group of Eight and NATO will hold summits in the coming days and announce the exit strategy from Afghanistan. Fortunately, President Obama is planning a gradual transition, with at least 20,000 U.S. troops remaining until 2024, if necessary, to train the Afghan army, hunt al-Qaeda and steady Afghans against the danger of civil war.

But what can Western leaders say when it comes to Pakistan? Basically, the Pakistanis blew it. By playing a hedging game, they missed a moment that’s not likely to return, when a big Western army of well over 100,000 soldiers was prepared to help them. Instead, Islamabad used the inevitability that America would be leaving eventually as an argument for creating a buffer zone that was inhabited by a murderous melange of the Taliban, the Haqqani network and other Pashtun warlords.

Continue reading Pakistan blew its chance for security