Unidentified flying object (ufo) dropped from SKY in “Dadu, Sindh.”

One hundred Eighty Seven Kilograms heavy unidentified flying object full of complex electronic circuits dropped from SKY in “Dadu, Sindh.
Click ZemTv for more details in urdu/ Hindi.
More » http://www.zemtv.com/2012/11/29/undefined-machine-dropped-from-sky-in-dadu-sindh-pakistan/

More details » The News Tribe

Sindhi Hindu family’s heritage home in Hyderabad rescued from time

By Mahim Maher / Photo: Suresh K. Bhavnani / Photo: Ayesha Mir / Photo: Mahim Maher

HAWAI’I / HYDERABAD: This story starts in Hawai’i and ends in Hyderabad, spans half a century, includes a death threat and arson, 27 heirs, Rs28 million and a happy ending. (Jawaharlal Nehru makes an appearance too, although in passing.)

This December, if all goes according to plan, 79-year-old Indru Watumull will travel from her home in Hawai’i to see her family home in Hyderabad, Mukhi House, whose building has been 95% restored after five decades of abandonment. “Every time I hear[d] of something happening in Pakistan [over the years], I’d wonder what’s happened to Mukhi House,” she told The Express Tribune at her home this summer.

Mukhi House was built in 1920 by prominent Hyderabad figure Mukhi Jethanand (see box). “Mukhi wanted a real palace,” explains Kaleemullah Lashari of the antiquities department and the one-man army who has been working for five years to restore it. Indeed, one of the Mukhi family daughters, Dharam, who has incredibly sharp memories of the place even at 95 years of age, refers to it as ‘Mukhi Palace’ and not ‘house’ as the plaque says outside.

Unfortunately, Lashari’s searches of municipal archives and interviews with the family did not yield an architect’s name. But this much is clear: The house had all the trappings of a palace. It was built in the Renaissance style, but has strong influences from art deco in the form of murals, art nouveau via the stained glass windows and the Classical in the shape of its columns. And it looks magnificent.

Continue reading Sindhi Hindu family’s heritage home in Hyderabad rescued from time

Sindh nationalist parties to observe Nov 30 as ‘black day’

By Hassan Siddiqui

Karachi: The nationalist parties of Sindh have announced to observe PPP’s formation day (November 30) as ‘black day’ and lodge protest during the president’s address in Sindh Assembly.

Awami National Party, Functional League and opposition parties have agreed to support the protest. Moreover, chief PML-N, Nawaz Sharif has phoned Chairman Sindh Bachayo Committee (Safe Sindh Committee), Jalal Mehmood Shah and assured him of complete support on the issue.

The protest of nationalist parties seems to be against the controversial local government ordinance in the province.

Courtesy: The News Tribe

http://www.thenewstribe.com/2012/11/26/sindh-nationalist-parties-to-observe-nov-30-as-black-day/

Why Arab States align themselves with Israel against Shias?

By Shabana Syed

On tenth day of Ashura Muslims and in particular Shias commemorate the martyrdom of Imam Hussein, the Prophet Mohammed’s grandson about whom he said “Hussein is from me and I am from Hussein”.

Pictures of Shias beating themselves with hands and chains will be beamed around the world by western media, happy to perpetuate the myth that Muslims are violent.

And this year Americans in particular will be paying a closer attention, after the Oscar winning Jewish Director Oliver Stone’s son Sean Stone astonished America by articulating his conversion to being a Shia and accused Piers Morgan who tried to portray him as some nutter, ‘a warmonger’ while defending Iran.

Continue reading Why Arab States align themselves with Israel against Shias?

Sab Mitron Ko Gurpurab ki bohut badhai

Thinker and columnist, Prof. Dr Manzur Ejaz talks on the philosophy, poetry & teachings of Guru Nanak (Baba Nanak)

Guru Nanak (Baba Nanak) was the founder of the religion of Sikhism and the first of the ten Sikh Gurus. His life, philosophy, poetry and teachings are unique in every way possible.

Courtesy: Wichaar » YouTube

ISI should be accountable – No clue to Rs4.1bn paid to ISI for project

ISLAMABAD: Already in the eye of the storm for its political role, the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency came under criticism at a Public Accounts Committee meeting on Tuesday for having spent over Rs4 billion on a project which never materialised.

The PAC of the National Assembly was informed that the National Police Bureau (NPB) had handed over Rs2.1bn to the ISI in 2005-06 for setting up an automated fingerprints identification system and a police record and office management system.

The project also included the setting up of a national integrated trunk radio system for police. Later, the amount was increased to Rs4.1bn.

According to an audit report presented before the PAC, the project had to be completed during 2005-06. However, no progress was reported in 2006-07.

NPB Director General Aleena Saeed Iqbal said she had repeatedly sought from the ISI information about the status of the project and details of the accounts, but there had been no response.

Continue reading ISI should be accountable – No clue to Rs4.1bn paid to ISI for project

Ardeshir Cowasjee – the brave son of Sindh rests in peace

Veteran Pakistani columnist Cowasjee passes away at 86

KARACHI: One of Pakistan’s oldest and most renowned columnists, Ardeshir Cowasjee, passed away in Karachi on Saturday at the age of 86.

Cowasjee, whose weekly columns graced the Dawn newspaper from 1988 to 2011, was suffering from chest illness and had been admitted in a Karachi hospital’s intensive care unit for the past 12 days.

Born on April 13, 1926 to Rustom Faqir Cowasjee and Mucca Rustomjee, Ardeshir joined the family shipping business after completing his education from the Bai Virbaiji Soparivala Parsi (BVS) High School and DJ Sindh Govt Science College.

He had two children with wife Nancy Dinshaw. His daughter lives in Karachi and works in the family business and his son is an architect in the US. Their mother passed away in 1992.

“Now, old at 85, tired, and disillusioned with a country that just cannot pull itself together in any way and get on with life in this day and age, I have decided to call it a day,” he wrote in a column in December 2011 for Dawn.

Continue reading Ardeshir Cowasjee – the brave son of Sindh rests in peace

200-yard house in Karachi has 639 registered voters

The apex court had said that over 40 million votes were found to be bogus. The court was informed that 37 million fake votes were cast in previous elections.

By Hassan Siddiqui

Karachi: While measures are being taken in Karachi to purge voter-lists of bogus members, a 200-yard house located in a posh locality in the city has been found to have 639 voters registered to it, reported local correspondent of British web-site The News Tribe.

The single storey residency located in block 2 of PECHS area is known as ‘Kashana-e-Zaheer’ and cannot house more than three families at a time. Half of these bogus voters are women while 333 among them men.

The said house is located in the NA 251 constituency, which is considered stronghold of the province’s second largest political party MQM.

In the previous elections, Waseem Akhtar and Raza Haroon of the same party were elected member National Assembly and member provincial assembly respectively.

Continue reading 200-yard house in Karachi has 639 registered voters

Female misogyny and cowardice in Pakistan

By Mariam Goraya

As if sexist men weren’t enough to judge us, at least I need a break from supposedly ‘pakeeza kahawateens’ to stop passing remarks at my back for something as personal as my dress

Forget male misogynists; let us first talk about female misogynists. Alice Albinia in her book ‘Empires of the Indus’ rightly points out, that most ardent upholders of traditional faith in Pakistan are the housewives.

No wonder that the first person to teach you (rather enforce upon you) how to compromise, when to keep your mouth shut and wait for your turn before putting food in your plate is indeed your own mother. The first one to proclaim you a slut for wearing jeans in college is your female class fellow and last but not the least; first one to judge you or reject you as potential Baho Rani on the basis of your character is a Rishta Aunty as uncles only come along to tell how tasty samosas were.

Continue reading Female misogyny and cowardice in Pakistan

PTI leader receives Rs40m US fund

By Tariq Butt

ISLAMABAD: Senior Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Jehangir Tareen has received American funding of over Rs40 million through the US Agency for International Development (USAID) for his private business firm and family NGO working in Lodhran from where he is poised to contest the upcoming general elections instead of Rahim Yar Khan.

When contacted, the PTI leader, who heads the party’s policy wing and think tank, confirmed that his Tareen Education Foundation (TEF) and Ali Tareen Farm got the money from the USAID, but said he received the funding before he joined Imran Khan’s squad.

Continue reading PTI leader receives Rs40m US fund

Sindh is changing; effects to be visible during polls: Ayaz Palijo

KARACHI: Awami Tehreek President Ayaz Latif Palijo has claimed that Sindh is changing and the effects of this change will be visible during the upcoming general election in the country. He feels the National Assembly should have at least 1,000 seats so that people from poor and middle class segments of society could also contest the elections.

He believes the PPP-led government may hand over charge to anyone to prolong its rule. He regrets that the government has not implemented even a single part of the Supreme Court verdict on the Karachi law and order situation.

Continue reading Sindh is changing; effects to be visible during polls: Ayaz Palijo

SPLGB 2012 announced in Sindh Assembly amid uproar

KARACHI: Speaker Sindh Assembly Nisar Khoro Thursday announced the approval of Sindh People’s Local Government Bill (SPLGB) 2012 amid opposition’s uproar in the assembly.

During the assembly session, the speaker announced that the Sindh Governor Ishratul Ebad signed the draft of SPLGB 2012 turning it into an act.

Following the announcement, member of the opposition Nusrat Sehr Abbasi tore copies of the agenda which lead to a heated exchange of words with Sharjeel Memon.

Abbasi was also told to shut up by Pir Mazhar-ul-Haq and by Murad Ali when she was interrupting his speech.

MPAs of the government also chanted slogans against the enemies of democracy.

Earlier, PML-F, PML-Q, ANP and NPP had staged walkout from the assembly session in a protest for failing to get opposition benches in the assembly.

Continue reading SPLGB 2012 announced in Sindh Assembly amid uproar

Indian, Pakistani guards exchange Diwali sweets

Amritsar, Nov 13: Border Security Force (BSF) officials Tuesday exchanged sweets with Pakistan Rangers at the India-Pakistan land border check post to mark Diwali.

BSF officials went up to the zero line and offered sweets to their counterparts in Pakistan Rangers. The border check post lies around 30 km from Amritsar.

The Pakistani side also offered sweets to the BSF. Officials from both sides shook hands and greeted each other.

Continue reading Indian, Pakistani guards exchange Diwali sweets

Ayaz Latif Palijo in Awaam ki Adalat on Geo news

The interview of Ayaz Latif Palejo available at ZEM-TV is quite interesting and worth listening in terms of content, articulation by Ayaz Latif Palejo, aggressiveness of interviewer and reaction of audience.

In my view, Ayaz Latif Palejo is one of the most able Sindhi leaders unmatched by any with an astute presence of mind and the ability to articulate very difficult points with ease and in an extremely audience-friendly manner. He explains very well the ill effects of discriminatory and black SPLGA, particularly SPLGA’s current aim at dividing Sindh and dividing Pakistan in the long term. Although, I do not agree with Ayaz’s assertion that SPLGA is part of grand scheme put-together by Western powers to create a separate country consisting of Karachi, Gawadar, and other areas of Baluchistan out of present-day Pakistan. How would Baloch nationalists and MQM-wallas are going to eat from the same plate is mind boggling! I believe there is not a single Baluch leader or common man who would opt for an arrangement that make Baluch to jump from Punjabi frying pan into the MQM fire. The cruelties the Baluch are suffering now would be a chicken feed when they have to deal with MQM having seen the brutality of MQM-wallas on Baloch-Sindhi areas of Karachi. However, his explanation that argues that SPLGA creates two different systems in Sindh just appease MQM is quite convincing. He makes an excellent case that the SPLGA is a discriminatory law comparable to South Africa’s apartheid regulations. He says how come Karachi mayor will have control over fisheries around Karachi’s shoreline but not the mayor of Thatto? He correctly argues that no mayor in the world has such insane powers and mind-boggling unaccountability as allowed in the SPLGA. Elected only by few Union Council members (in case of Karachi about 40-50), removing a mayor from office is more difficult than any other office including that of the President, Chief of Joint Staff, and Prime Minister of Pakistan and elsewhere in the world. On top of of this SPLGA imposes a draconian provision that in the event that an impeachment proceeding against a mayor fails, the union council member who introduces the impeachment motion will have to resign from his/her seat. There is no where in the world where such an undemocratic law exists. He also makes a clear case that PPP’s only manifesto is to prolong its rule. They would barter away any right of Sindhi people only if they can extend their rule for three more days – these three days would mean millions of more being transferred to Lisbon and other cities of Europe.

The interviewer of the discussion was extremely aggressive, often engaging in pressing Ayaz Latif Palijo and insisting on getting the answer he wanted from Ayaz Latif Palejo. I must compliment Ayaz Latif for not loosing his cool and while smiling and telling the interviewer again and again as to why he insists on receiving a reply that he likes. Nevertheless, in the end, one could see from the face of the interviewer that although he failed to ruffle Ayaz Latif Palejo, he had an expression on his face that showed that the interviewer felt that Ayaz’s arguments were rational and would resonate with all people except the die-hard MQM-wallas and their most ardent PPP supporters.

The reaction of audience when Ayaz made points was the most surprising aspect of this interview. I was pleasantly surprised to see majority of audience rooting for Ayaz Latif. They showed their support for annulment of SPLGA with each point Ayaz made. They laughed rousingly as Ayaz would joke about the foolishness of the arguments of the proponents of SPLGA.

Indeed, I would recommend that it would be worthwhile to invest 30 minutes of your valuable time to listen to crisp and crystal clear explanation of the arguments that SPLGA is indeed a black and apartheid law, only worthy of dust bin to which it rightfully belongs. Indeed, only the narrow-minded and shallow minds can conceive such a badly written law that violates many democratic norms, without any adequate checks and balances, and discrimination unseen thus far in Pakistan.

About the writer – Mr. Khalid Hashmani is a Washington DC-based veteran human rights activist. He is the founding President of Sindhi Association of North America (SANA) and Chief coordinator of Sindhi Excellence Team (SET) that participates in advocacy activities on behalf of the people of Sindh.

Grand Congress of Sindhi writers and intellectuals against draconian & black ‘SPLGA’ law

Sindhi writers lend voice to opposition’s movement

HYDERABAD: Over a hundred Sindhi writers, poets and intellectuals who attended the Sindhi Writers and Thinkers Congress have criticised the Pakistan Peoples Party for enacting the new local government law that was detrimental to the unity of the province. The gathering on Sunday, arranged by the Sindhi Adabi Sangat, dealt another blow to the PPP, whose leaders have claimed in the past that opponents of the new law are “illiterate nationalists”.

PPP MNA Zafar Ali Shah was the only political leader who was invited to the event, and he did not disappoint the participants by going all-out against the policy of his own party. Shah termed the new local government system “a big injustice to Sindh” and said that it would “serve the interests of a minority [population]”. Outgoing Pakistani ambassador to the United Nations, Abdullah Hussain Haroon, said that the new law was passed contrary to the wishes of the people of Sindh.

Sindh Democratic Forum’s Zulfiqar Halepoto presented a list of “anti-Sindh” pieces of legislation that were adopted by the present government. They included the Zulfiqarabad Development Authrotiy Act, Thar Coal and Energy Board Act 2011, Colonisation of Government Lands (Amendment) Act 2010 and the Sindh Peoples Local Government Act 2012.

He added that the Sindh Assembly had passed a law in 2005 which asked the provincial government to ensure that multinational companies and other private enterprises in Karachi recruit people that have local domicile. “It meant that residents of 22 districts of Sindh were not allowed to come for jobs to Karachi, which is the only commercial and industrial city in the province.

Jami Chandio, a researcher, stressed upon his fellow intellectuals to continue to acquire knowledge and to impart that to the people. “We need to make people understand these things, so that they can choose their leadership while keeping in mind the threats and opportunities that we face.”

Continue reading Grand Congress of Sindhi writers and intellectuals against draconian & black ‘SPLGA’ law

Human-chain from Karachi Press Club to Sindh Assembly Building to protest discriminatory, dual, black and apartheid SPLGA-2012.

Sindhi Adabi Sangat and Sindh Writers and Thinkers Forum jointly organized a human chain from Karachi Press Club to Sindh Assembly Building on Sunday to protest against passage of Sindh Peoples Local Government Ordinance (SPLGO) 2012. A large number of writers, poets, journalists, civil society activists and politicians took part in making the human chain. Amid tight security by police around the Sindh Assembly building the participants also comprised of women and children who were restricted at the Arts Council round-about, where they gathered and the leaders addressed to the participants. The police had closed down the gates along the road leading towards Sindh Secretariat and Sindh Assembly. Dr. Mushtaq Phul, General Secretary of Sindhi Adabi Sangat, noted writers and authors Agha Saleem, Irshad Memon, Noor Ahmed Memon, Inam Shaikh, Ishtiaq Ansari, Gul Hassan Kalmati, Qabool Abro, Manzoor Solangi, Murtaza Sial, veteran Sindhi poets Akash Ansari, Hidayat Baloch, authors journalist Dastagir Bhatti and G. N. Mughal, Hamsafar Gadahi politicians Ismail Rahu, Ali Hassan Chandio, Shafi Mohammad Jamote, civil society activists Prof. Mushtaq Mirani, Muzaffar Chandio and Zulfiqar Halepoto were the prominent among the participants of the human chain.

‘Mumbai case suspects trained at LeT camps’

By: Malik Asad

RAWALPINDI: Intelligence officials informed an anti-terrorism court (ATC) on Saturday that suspects in the Mumbai attacks case got training at various centres of the banned Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) militant organisation, including navigational training in Karachi.

In their statements recorded before ATC judge Chaudhry Habibur Rehman, five inspectors of the Crime Investigation Department, who are prosecution witnesses in the case, informed the court about the training details and capabilities of suspects Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi (the alleged mastermind), Abdul Wajid, Mazhar Iqbal, Hammad Amin Sadiq, Shahid Jameel Riaz, Jamil Ahmed and Younas Anjum.

The officials were in charge of CID stations in Okara, Bahawalpur, Rahimyar Khan, Mandi Bahauddin and Sheikhupura. They said the suspects, who allegedly participated in the attacks, were trained at the LeT training centres at Yousaf Goth in Karachi, Buttle in Mansehra, Mirpur Sakro in Thatta and Muzaffarabad.

The CID inspector from Okara alleged that Lakhvi was LeT’s ‘operational commander’ who trained other militants. Lakhvi went to Kunar and participated in Afghan jihad against the Soviet forces, he said.

Continue reading ‘Mumbai case suspects trained at LeT camps’

Proud of Sindhi Veterans of U.S.

By: Hanif Sangi

American Sindhis have proudly served all branches of U.S Armed Forces and have been very successful in all fields. Sindhis have proven to perform exceedingly well at front lines, we are proud of our vets.

Veterans Day is on 11/11. please take few minutes out of your busy schedule to THANK a veteran or a service member for their service to country, we all owe them a debt of gratitude. These past and present heroes have protected us 24×7. Let’s honor them for the sacrifices they have made. It is no easy choice to leave the family behind and go to war, but our men and women in uniform have done everything to protect us regardless of our race, color, religious preference and language.

We want to take this opportunity to THANK all our fellow Sindhi Americans who have served, still serving or willing to serve our adopted country. I share the pride of being able to count myself among few Sindhis who made the right choice of serving our country in uniform.

Courtesy: Sindhi e-lists/ e-groups, November 11th, 2012

We will miss Iqbal Haidar. A brave urdu speaking Sindhi who never hesitated in raising voice against terrorism, fanaticism & urban fascism

Former PPP Law Minister Iqbal Haider passes away

By: INP

Former Law Minister, and co-chairman of Human Rights Commission of Pakistan Iqbal Haider passed away on Sunday in a local hospital here in Karachi. He was suffering from lungs ailment.

His funeral prayer will be offered after Zuhar prayer on Monday at Imambargah Yasrub in phase IV Defence Housing Society, Karachi.

Continue reading We will miss Iqbal Haidar. A brave urdu speaking Sindhi who never hesitated in raising voice against terrorism, fanaticism & urban fascism

Even Faryal Talpur is scared

KARACHI: While the city continues to lose its citizens by the dozens to sectarian and targeted attacks, MNA Faryal Talpur, who is the sister of President Asif Ali Zardari and head of the Pakistan People’s women wing, has filed a petition at the Sindh High Court and complained that she has not been provided adequate security. ….

Read more » The Express Tribune

http://tribune.com.pk/story/463925/even-faryal-talpur-is-scared/

 

Sindh journalists deny PPP minister in protest

Today on November 10, 2012 in Hyderabad Press Club’s SAFMA Media training Workshop, three journalists, Mehwish Abbasi, Haseen Musarat Shah and Ameen Lakho, refused to receive award Certificates from the PPP Senator & Minister in protest because the PPP has imposed a black, dual and apartheid SPLGA on Sindh that has effectively separated Karachi from the rest of Sindh. Later Advocate Hussain Bux Thebo put Ajrak in recognition of Miss Mahwish Abbasi’s refusal to accept certificate from PPP Senator at Hyderabd press club.

Source – Above news based on facebook

Bangladesh asks Pakistan to apologise for 1971 genocide

Bangladesh on Friday demanded a formal apology from Pakistan for the genocide committed by its troops during the 1971 liberation war, but Islamabad said it’s time to carry forward ties “burying the past”.

During a meeting with her Pakistani counterpart Hina Rabbani Khar, Foreign Minister Dipu Moni said “Bangladesh expects an apology from Pakistan for the genocide carried out by their troops in 1971”.

Continue reading Bangladesh asks Pakistan to apologise for 1971 genocide

Every night in America, about 70,000 veterans sleep on the streets

Veteran who found his way circles back to help others

By Petula Dvorak

Every night in America, about 70,000 veterans sleep on the streets. For 30 years, Gerard Thomas was one of them.

A paranoid schizophrenic, Thomas took a long time to get back indoors after serving in a stateside military hospital during the Vietnam War.

In and out of prison, mental institutions and straitjackets for decades, sleeping on park benches, in doorways or in the woods, Thomas was living proof of the holes in our social safety net.

He kept looking for help, he said, but like many veterans of that war, all he heard was “No.”

“Back then, people didn’t understand how damaged we were,” said Thomas, 62, who now devotes his life to helping homeless veterans.

Continue reading Every night in America, about 70,000 veterans sleep on the streets

SANA Toronto Chapter met with Tim Hudak

SANA Toronto Chapter met with Tim Hudak – (the opposition leader of Ontario), and other MPPs earlier this past evening at Chandni Banquet Hall, in Brampton, an adjoining city of Toronto. Mr. Hudak was briefed about SANA, Sindh, its culture and background. He was very happy to have met our delegation, and was interested in knowing more about SANA, The Sindhi Culture & Sindh etc,.

Thereon, we invited Mr.Hudak, as a Chief Guest for our next Toronto function. He thanked for such hospitality and promised that he would love to and would try his best to attend our gathering.

We also requested a follow up meeting with him in his Queens Park Office ( Provincial Legislation Assembly ), where SANA EC may present him, Sindhi Cap, Ajrak and may inform him about national issues as well.

EC Toronto, has always tried its best and has introduced SANA from Provincial level to Federal level. We hope and trust that one day, SANA will be a popular and a well-known organization in Canada at every level of Government.

Those who attended were, Rajesh Rathi, Vishnu Lohano, Ramesh Lekhwani, Kanwar Maheshwari, Khair Muhammad Kolachi, Dr, Hafiz Abro and Aijaz Kolachi.

Ram was a ‘bad husband’, says Ram Jethmalani

By Sabyasachi Dasgupta

New Delhi: In a major embarrassment to the BJP, which has spearheaded the Ram Temple movement and Hindutva agenda, the party’s Rajya Sabha member Ram Jethmalani today termed Ram, the protagonist of Ramayana, as a “bad husband”.

Speaking at a function to launch a book on a man-woman relationship, Mr Jethmalani said “Ram was a bad husband. I don’t like him at all. Just because some fisherman said something, he sent that poor woman (Sita) to exile.”

He went on to take a jibe at Lakshman by saying he was “even worse”. He said, “When Sita was abducted, Ram asked him to go and find her as she was abducted during his watch. Lakshman simply excused himself saying she was his sister-in-law and he never looked at her face, so he wouldn’t be able to identify her”, Mr Jethmalani said.

Mr Jethmalani’s remarks came only days after his party president Nitin Gadkari’s faux pas when he equated the IQ of spiritual leader and patriot Swami Vivekananda and underworld don Dawood Ibrahim in Bhopal on Sunday. Mr Gadkari later regretted his remarks but said he was quoted out of context.

Ironically, Mr Jethmalani had supported his son Mahesh’s decision to quit BJP’s National Executive Committee after Mr Gadkari’s remarks. He said, “I fully approve of the action of my son after this Vivekananda episode. I think we don’t need to be associated with the party which he (Gadkari) is leading… nothing against him personally.”

Continue reading Ram was a ‘bad husband’, says Ram Jethmalani

‘Local govts have hindered any real devolution of power to the provinces’

By Usman Liaquat

KARACHI: Local government systems are meant to empower, but experts referring to recent Save Sindh rallies pointed out that in this country, they are not sufficient for democracy and have led to feelings of alienation among some ethnic groups.

At a seminar on the devolution of power organised as a part of Karachi University’s international conference on federalism, academics argued that the country’s political landscape is more complex than most people believe and that local government systems turn a blind eye towards the aspirations of some groups.

Dr Aasim Sajjad Akhtar from Quaid-e-Azam University, Islamabad, highlighted the historical tension between local government systems and the provinces in Pakistan. “Unfortunately, almost all of the local government system experiments in the country have been conducted under military regimes. They have been used to legitimise fundamentally undemocratic rules.” Through these pliant local regimes, the authoritarian regimes at the centre bypassed the provincial governments altogether, protecting themselves from any challenges. Dr Akhtar claimed that in doing so, local government systems had actually hindered any real devolution of power to provinces in Pakistan and aggravated ethno-national movements.

SPLGA 2012

“Historically, local government systems have been used as a means to co-opt the middle and lower classes. But at the same time, they have ignored the demand of certain ethnic groups and alienated them,” said Dr Akhtar. “The democratic material was removed from local government systems and they were simply converted into instruments to distribute patronage.” Because the systems have been so apolitical, ethnic groups have viewed them with great suspicion. The spate of protests that nationalists organised against the Sindh Peoples Government Act (SPLGA) is the most recent manifestation of this.

Dr Akhtar also lamented the fact that people fail to recognise the numerous claimants to power in Pakistan – the SPLGA is the result of negotiation between only two groups and hence cannot claim to accommodate the needs of other ones in Sindh. “In military regimes, leaders co-opt only the groups they want to. But [with the SPLGA] we are still seeing various claimants to power, saying that they have been left out. This points out that we are simply ignoring the numerous divisions that exist in Pakistan.”

Continue reading ‘Local govts have hindered any real devolution of power to the provinces’

Invasion of the “Jihadist” barbarians in Sindh today continues to take a greater toll. The last gasp of a secular civilization under siege by the fanatic state of Pakistan?

Pakistan’s minority Hindus feel under attack

By REBECCA SANTANA

KARACHI, Pakistan (AP) — They came after dusk and chanted into the night sky “Kill the Hindus, kill the children of the Hindus,” as they smashed religious icons, ripped golden bangles off women’s arms and flashed pistols. It wasn’t the first time that the Hindu temple on the outskirts of Pakistan’s largest city was attacked, and residents here fear it will not be the last.

“People don’t consider us as equal citizens. They beat us whenever they want,” said Mol Chand, one of the teenage boys gathered at the temple. “We have no place to worship now.”

It was the second time the Sri Krishna Ram temple has been attacked, and this time the mob didn’t even bother to disguise their faces. The small temple, surrounded by a stone wall, is a tiny religious outpost in a dusty, hardscrabble neighborhood so far on the outskirts of the city that a sign on the main road wishes people leaving Karachi a good journey.

Local Muslim residents blamed people from a nearby ethnic Pashtun village for the attack, which took place in late September on the Day of Love for the Prophet, a national holiday declared by the government in response to an anti-Islam film made in the U.S. No one was seriously injured in the attack.

It was the latest in a rising tide of violence and discrimination against Hindus in this 95 percent Muslim country, where Islamic extremism is growing. Pakistan’s Hindu community says it faces forced conversions of Hindu girls to Islam, a lack of legal recognition for their marriages, discrimination in services and physical abuse when they venture into the streets.

Continue reading Invasion of the “Jihadist” barbarians in Sindh today continues to take a greater toll. The last gasp of a secular civilization under siege by the fanatic state of Pakistan?

What price honour… – Mohammad Ali Mahar

For the last four years, hardly a single job has been given to a deserving Sindhi candidate in the federal or the provincial government

Remember Howard Hughes, anyone? The notorious, debauched playboy of yesteryears, whose business, aside from designing and flying new airplanes and making third-rate films, was procuring the services of exotic beauties for his amorous escapades in return for money. That debonair millionaire once made an indecent proposal to the young and budding actress Elizabeth Taylor’s mother asking for her daughter in return for one million dollars. He was flatly refused. Years after that journalists asked Elizabeth Taylor whether she should have accepted the offer had she been directly approached. “No way,” replied Taylor, “his socks stink.” Please keep in mind this was in the early 1950s and a million dollars meant truly a lot of money at that time.

Now, for a moment, let us suppose this offer is made to one of our politicians or generals or journalists. How many of them do you think will think twice before accepting the bet without considering the fact that the proposer’s socks stink?

Take, for example, the Sindh People’s Local Government Act (SPLGA-2012) presented and passed by the Sindh Assembly that has effectively separated Karachi from the rest of Sindh. How many of the Sindh Assembly members belonging to the ruling Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) bothered to consider the ramifications of the bill for the province? According to news reports, they did not even know what the bill contained when they chanted ‘aye’ in the Assembly. A bill passed in five minutes (the PPP members disagree. According to them, it is an exaggeration by the anti-PPP Mian Nawaz Sharif-funded opposition. It took a whopping ‘30 minutes’ to discuss and pass the bill, they proudly proclaim!) will continue to cause harm to Sindh for many years to come, until the bill is repealed. Which it will be sooner or later considering the fate of the One Unit bill, but will ruin the career of many an opportunist in politics.

The current PPP leadership, which is trying to woo the Seraiki population of southern Punjab, has probably read the writing on the wall in Sindh and is trying to shift its powerbase to the Seraiki waseb. It seems that they already know that they have lost Sindh. Completely ignoring the sensitivities of the people of the province, they have alienated the indigenous Sindhi. The party’s appeasement of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) at the cost of Sindhi votes and the recent espousal of the sworn enemies of the PPP and Bhuttos, such as the Shirazis of Thatta, and even Arbab Rahim, in the name of the ‘policy of reconciliation’, is a testament to the fact that the party has realised the situation on the ground and has decided to rely upon the fly-by-night characters of politics. What they are ignoring is the fact that these chameleons would ditch the party, as they have repeatedly done before, at the first sign of changing winds. Where will Mr Zardari and his party go then, having lost their powerbase, Sindh, already?

For the last four years, hardly a single job has been given to a deserving Sindhi candidate in the federal or the provincial government. Even the small jobs are being sold for hundreds of thousands of rupees. All the transfers and postings within the government departments have a price tag. While there has been zero development in rural Sindh, Sindhi people accuse this government of being an accessory to the excesses committed against them in urban Sindh. By handing over Karachi and Hyderabad to the MQM, this government has ensured that the door to employment in these two cities remain closed for Sindhis. Even the people hired during the PPP regimes in the government departments in Karachi are being fired, with this government remaining a silent spectator. Hardly has there been a Sindhi hired in the ministries held by the MQM during this regime or the regimes before.

The doors of educational institutions in Karachi remain shut to the rural population, where the seats in schools are allocated in such a way that it is easier for a person from, say, Gilgit-Baltistan, to get admission in Karachi than a person from Dadu. Recently, when the Sindh government granted the status of university to the Sindh Medical College and named it the Sindh Medical University, the MQM mounted so much pressure on the week and submissive government of Sindh that Mr Zardari had the name changed to Jinnah Sindh Medical University. Why? Because the party of Altaf Hussain, who claims to be a Sindhi in his speeches, while addressing a sponsored crowd of vendible Sindhi intellectuals, did not want a university name starting with the name of the province it is situated in. Reminds me of the times in 1951 when the University of Sindh, originally based in Karachi, had to be moved to Hyderabad because it contained ‘Sindh’ in its name! A new university in the place of the University of Sindh was opened in Karachi the same year through an act of the federal government and was named the University of Karachi!

Corruption is so rampant in the province that a minister from upper Sindh holding a powerful ministry was removed some time ago due to his ineptitude. The public was sick of this man and demanded his removal for a long time. After remaining without a portfolio, the person in question approached the right person and greased a pair of ‘bangled’ hands. He got the ministry back. However, since the bugles of elections have started sounding now, the minister in question has been removed again, giving the impression that he has been removed due to the public outcry. Another powerful, though notoriously opportunistic bunch of feudal lords from the area, who until recently were part of an allied party, is being lured to strengthen the fast eroding base of the party in the area.

Continue reading What price honour… – Mohammad Ali Mahar

The Pakistan Challenge for India and America

By: Bruce Riedel

As the United States and India grow ever closer as partners, they cannot escape the challenges posed by Pakistan, which has been a complication in the bilateral relationship between Washington and New Delhi since 1947. The next American President and his Indian counterpart will find it impossible to ignore the dangers and opportunities posed by Pakistan today. Cooperation between Washington and New Delhi on how to deal with these challenges is crucial and fortunately seems to be improving especially as we prepare for the 2014 transition in Afghanistan.

Continue reading The Pakistan Challenge for India and America

‘Thank you, my dear Pakistan’ – By: PROF. JETHA NAND RAHI

MOST of the times we read and talk all the stuff that is against our sweet homeland. Here, I tell you a true story that is to thank Pakistan.

I was born in a very poor family in 1952 in Mirpurkhas district. My maternal uncles were educated up to the final class (i.e., equal to Class VII).

That inspired my mother to send me to school. At my village, ‘Dengan Bhurgri’, the birthplace of Raees Ghulam Muhammad Khan Bhurgri (the first graduate of Sindh), I studied up to Class VI. The great and selfess teachers taught very well. I studied from Class VI to Class X at Tando Jam Muhammad.

To earn for my studies, I started working when I was in Class V. The first wage was 25 paisa for a half day. It increased to Rs15, Rs50, Rs125 and finally to Rs200 a month in 1975.

Domestic circumstances compelled me to marry at the age of 20. I could not continue my engineering classes after HSC (Pre – Engineering) because of financial constraints. I did many odd jobs — at a restaurant, a fruit shop, a paan – bedi shop, a shoe shop, a cotton factory, a flour mill and at a trading company.

In January 1975 I took a bold step of quitting the job that meant losing Rs200 a month and sought admission in M.A. English literature at the University of Sindh. It all became possible because of Mr Fayaz Ahmad — my best friend — who gave me Rs200 a month for two years. His salary was only 350 and he was married too.

I studied 14 hours a day at the university hostel because there was no room for any sluggishness. I did my MA and got second position.

The great Principal, the late Capatin Shukuruddin, and the late Prof. Tariq Mustafa Khan selected me for the post of lecture in English in 1977 on merit.

I taught English at Cadet College, Petaro, for 35 years, and retired as Vice Principal this year.

The boy who earned Rs25 a day in 1962 was receiving Rs133,000 a month in 2012. Now, I am receiving a pension of Rs55,000 a month.

My head bows down to God Almighty, all the time.

Thank you, my dear Pakistan. Thank you, Cadet College, Petaro. Thanks to all those who helped me, especially Mr Fayaz and my late mother.

The moral of the story is: never be without hope, never be discouraged. Just keep working hard with a total faith. Time does not remain the same. Stop talking and writing against Pakistan.

We have, recently, been declared the 16th happiest country in the world while India is 32nd and the US is 105th.

We do have our problems but it is we who have to rise above the self and steer the ship out of the troubled waters to the island of safety, happiness and prosperity. Just keep the faith. Things have changed for the better — you must try further to make more good changes to make Pakistan great and strong.

Continue reading ‘Thank you, my dear Pakistan’ – By: PROF. JETHA NAND RAHI