Changes in Sindh

By Rauf Nizamani

THE perception about Sindhi nationalist politics is that it’s secular, progressive, anti-establishment and left-oriented. Is this view still valid?

In recent decades, many changes have occurred in the politics of the province. Though the political parties still claim to be fighting for the interests of Sindh and its people, is that true? Is their primary motive still the fight against feudal and tribal lords, landlords and the religious orthodoxy? Does securing rights for the downtrodden, especially peasants, remain part of their struggle for national rights as was the case in the past?

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The monster they created

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Drown, O people, drown. Do not try to escape. You cannot. Feel the burden of your sins. It will not let you swim. You never lived peacefully. So at least die peacefully. Let the water rise above your head and pull you down,” said the monster.

“I am no Noah. I have no boat. I cannot save any, man or animal. You followed me. Now pay the price,” the monster roared.

“But before you disappear, let me tell you a story. It is your story. Your indictment. You must hear it so that you know why you are dying.”

Once upon a time, there was a town with four neighbourhoods. Each had its own chief. They also had a chief protector to fight their real and perceived enemies.

All five knew magic. They could walk on water, eat fire and charm beasts. They could take a rabbit out of a hat and a hat out of a rabbit.

They could do many tricks, nothing useful though. I mean nothing that was useful for their people although whatever they did always benefitted them.

Everything they touched became theirs. They also seized what they did not touch. When they owned all there was to own in their town, they ventured out to seek more. They looted and plundered wherever they went.

They were smart, some would say cunning. Yet they had one drawback: they had no common sense. Common sense is for the common people, not for their chiefs.

So one day, while they were crossing a dense forest, they saw a heap of bones lying under a tree. They had never seen such bones. Some of the bones were larger than those of an elephant. Others were smaller than that of a rabbit. Some resembled a dragon’s teeth, others the backbone of a snake.

Some were sharp and pointed. Others were dull and heavy.

“Never saw such bones,” they said to one another. They inspected all the bones. Tested them with whatever tools they had in their magic bags. Argued over them for hours but could not decide what recent or prehistoric beast it was that died under the tree.

So they decided to try their magic.

“Let us bring it to life using our magic,” one of them said.

“Good, I will use my skills to assemble the bones into a skeleton,” said the other.

Then he chanted some incantation and charmed the bones into a skeleton.

All five inspected the skeleton but could not decide what it was.

So the second chief came forward and recited his mantra. When he snapped his fingers, flesh and skin grew on the skeleton.

The four chiefs and their protector inspected the skeleton again but failed to determine what it was.

The third chief tried his magic and caused the unknown beast’s heart to beat and pump blood. It was half alive.

This time they inspected the beast from every angle but could not solve the mystery.

So the fourth chief offered to try his charm. But before he could proceed, the chief protector said: “Let’s take some precautionary measure. How do we know it will not eat us when it comes to life?”

He climbed a large tree and hid behind its dense foliage. Aiming his weapon at the beast, he said: “I am ready.”

So the fourth chief took out a little box from his magic bag and put some powder into the beast’s nostrils.

First it moved its head, wagged its tail and then with a roar, it sprang to life. They had expected it to stand on its four feet, like most beasts do. But it was standing on its hind legs while his front legs stretched out like two huge and ugly hands.

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Pakistan: Where the Population Bomb is Exploding

by Wendell Cox

In much the developed, as well as developing world, population growth is slowing. Not so in Pakistan according to reported preliminary results of the 2011 Pakistan census. Here population is growing much faster than had been projected. Pakistan’s population stood at 197.4 million in 2011, an increase of 62.7 million from the last census in 1998 (Note 1). The new population is 20 million more than had been forecast in United Nations documents. Some of the additional growth is due to refugees fleeing Afghanistan, but this would not be enough to account for the majority of the under-projection error.

Pakistan: Moving Up the League Tables

As a result, Pakistan has passed Brazil and become the world’s 5th most populous nation, following China, India, the United States and Indonesia. Pakistan’s 11 year growth rate is estimated at 34.2 percent, nearly double that of second ranking Mexico, at 18.2 percent, where the birth rate (as indicated by the total fertility rate) is projected to drop to under replacement rate by the end of the decade. Perhaps most significantly, Pakistan’s growth rate is more than double the rates of India (15.9 percent) and Bangladesh (14.1 percent),which have long had reputations for strong growth (Table and Figure 1). At this growth rate, Pakistan could become the world’s fourth most populous nation by 2030, passing Indonesia. …

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http://www.newgeography.com/content/002940-pakistan-where-population-bomb-exploding