In Parween Rehman, Sindh has lost a rare individual.

My Friend, Architect Parween Rehman, killed on 12th March 2013, in Karachi, Sindh

By Humaira Rahman

I met Parween in January 1981. I was 25 years old, and Parween a few years younger. I had just returned to Karachi armed with my degree in Architecture from University of California, Berkeley.Parween was a 4th year student of Architecture at Dawood College of Engineering and Technology, Karachi, Sindh.

Within a fortnight of returning home to Karachi, I was recruited by (late) Professor Kausar Bashir Ahmed, Dean of Architecture, to join D.C.E.T as visiting lecturer, to teach 2 courses a week for Rs 1500 per month.

I was thrilled and eager to introduce two new courses to the curriculum, from my experiences and time at Berkeley. I had saved all the course material and more.

The first was a 2nd year course tit;ed “Environmental Psychology” and the other was a 4th year course titled “Environmental Impact Assessment”.

In this latter course 4th year architecture students were asked to select a recently built building in the city and research its impact on its surroundings, and submit a report to fulfill the course requirement: They were asked to address the following questions: did the building add value to the surrounding environment or did it detract? How was the flaura and fauna affected? what happened to the extra needs generated by the building? what happened to the parking, sewerage, water supply, pedestrian rights , garbage collection etc etc ? what class of people did the building benefit , only the rich or some of the poor to?

My goal was to sensitise students to the environment , to look beyond their indvidual building projects to the overall fabric of the city. To look beyond the needs of the elite patrons who fund buildings and see the city as a place that belongs to all its residents.

Parween Rehman signed up for the EIA course. She was my most brilliant student. Her leading questions and critical approach made me feel I had a natural co teacher, in her.

Together we energised the class of 37 or so , many of who were young men from rural towns in Sindh, Balochistan and Khyber Pukhtunkhwa.

As Course Director, I decreed that reports could be submitted in any language not just English. Parween was very pleased and helped me with the translations of papers submitted in Urdu by the Baloch and Pushtun students. I handled the Sindhi and English ones myself and we had the most fascinating class discussions.

Later, soon after she graduated I learnt that she joined the Orangi Pilot Project (OPP) instead of a “successful” practice. I respected Parween’s decision to join OPP as I have respected few peoples decisions in their choices of career path.

Over the years , I watched her from a distance and never lost that sense of deep admiration and respect. Recenetly , I met post Urban Planning graduate students at University of Toronto, Canada who had visited the OPP in Karcahi, Sindh and came away mesmerized by what Parween had achieved.

In Parween Rehman, Sindh has lost a rare individual.

May her murderers rot in hell in their afterlife, and in the meanwhile live to suffer in ways they never dreamed would come their way.

Rest in peace always , Parween. Your memory shines a path. Sha’ aal khush hujeen sadaiiN

Courtesy: Sindhi e-lists/e-groups, March 13, 2013.

“Today They Sold Babies of Sindh (Twin Islands), Tomorrow They’ll Sale Mother Sindh!”

By Dr. Ahmed H. Makhdoom

For peanuts these savage sold the beautiful Twin Islands (Dingi and Bhandar (Bodha Island) of glorious Sindh to the Colonialists builder mafia! These Twin Islands were like ‘tiny babies’ in the lap of Mother Sindh, since centuries, which the noble Mother fed, cared for and preserved dear and near to her heart since times immemorial!

And, who are the perpetrators of this heinous crime, this shameless sale-out of Sindh, this perjury against the children of Mother Sindh, this criminal treachery against the Cradle of Civilization, Sindh, this apostasy against sacred Sindh, this back-stabbing and deception on the sanctimonious SOUL of Marvelous, Magnificent and Magnanimous Sindh! Yes, who are these perjures sinners, these perverted criminals who had sold their Mother for pittance?

Woebegone! These are the so-called ‘sons,’ the children of the vary mother that they have so obscenely SOLD in the market!

Courtesy: Sindhi e-lists/ e-groups, March 14, 2013.

Pakistan mourns murdered aid worker Parveen Rehman

The funeral of one of Pakistan’s top development workers – shot dead on Wednesday – has been held in Karachi. Parveen Rehman was killed by four gunmen while travelling in her car near the western Orangi area of the city. It is believed to be one of the largest squatter settlements in Asia. Ms Rehman was head of the Orangi Pilot Project, one of Pakistan’s most successful non-profit programmes, which helps local communities escape from poverty. ….

Read more » BBC
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-21783304

Sindh after the SPLGA

By Naseer Memon

Impregnated with ethnic strife, the Sindh Peoples Local Government Act (SPLGA) created an unprecedented anti-PPP sentiment in its stronghold, Sindh. Proceedings of the Supreme Court, hearing a petition seeking annulment of the law, were indicative of an inclement outcome for the government. The recent experience of by-elections also sent waves of consternation in the ruling camp as its candidates faced pillories from opponents and disgruntled masses on the same law. All these factors constrained the PPP to cajole its ally to rescind the politically incendiary law. The belated adieu by the MQM to the government is viewed as an overtly cosmetic move under a premeditated script. On the day that acting governor of Sindh, Nisar Ahmed Khuhro, signed to repeal the SPLGA, the Karachi Stock Exchange recorded bonanza business — unimaginable if it was not a mock war between the two parties. Nevertheless, the interment of a divisive law averted a lurking ethnic frenzy in the province, already mired with unremitting violence, especially in Karachi.

In the presence of this law, the next general elections could have been a nightmare for the PPP in Sindh. Although the opposition has been disarmed of its would-be most popular slogan of divisive law, the lacklustre performance of the PPP during the past five years has sufficiently exasperated its voters. Rampant corruption, brazen violation of merit in postings and transfers, displacement of several million flood affectees, substandard quality of social sector services, ubiquitous lawlessness, shabby infrastructure and scruffy towns can provide ample ammunition for the election campaign of opposition parties. For the PPP, the past platitude of victimisation and martyrdom of the Bhuttos has lost its lustre to fascinate the masses this time. Portending this ominous fact, the party has embarked upon a medley of actions, including cajoling feudal lords in Sindh.

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14th March – 130th anniversary of Karl Marx

Leader of oppressed people of the world died on 14th March 1883.

“The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways: the point, however, is to change it.” – KARL MARX

“Democracy is the road to socialism.” – Karl Marx

“Social progress can be measured by the social position of the female sex.” – Karl Marx

“Revolutions are the locomotives of history.” – Karl Marx

“The rich will do anything for the poor but get off their backs.” – Karl Marx

Continue reading 14th March – 130th anniversary of Karl Marx