Pakistan supporting, financing religious extremism in Sindh: Lakhu Luhano

London, April 5 (ANI): Secretary General of World Sindhi Congress Lakhu Luhana has blamed Pakistan for supporting and financing religious extremism in Sindh, which has been in the news for targeted killings and sectarian violence.

Describing Pakistan as a country based on religious philosophy, Luhana said: “In recent years, they have been funding lot of madrasas and spending billions. They want to counter the nationalist philosophy, which inheritably is a secular philosophy. To counter that, they have to bring in another philosophy, which is religious philosophy. So, they have been patronizing, sponsoring, supporting and financing religious extremism in Sindh.”

With people from other provinces of Pakistan making a beeline for Sindh, the crime graph in the province is on the rise.

As per the Human Rights Commission Pakistan (HRCP), the year 2012 recorded 104 cases of sectarian killings, a 352 per cent rise from the year 2011.

In an interview given to ANI, Luhana said: “These forces want to control Karachi by replacing indigenous people. So, they used all the contradictions, including religious extremism, to fulfill their aims”.

He added: “It is a very dangerous situation, but Sindhi people have never participated in that and have always condemned that. And (Mahatma) Gandhi once said that in the whole (Indian) subcontinent, probably Sindhis are the most secular people. But the speed with which the Pakistani state has been working to support religious extremism, that is really a frightening situation.”

Luhana believes that the rising violence in Sindh, especially Karachi, is happening with the consent of the Pakistani military, the Rangers and the intelligence agencies.

Continue reading Pakistan supporting, financing religious extremism in Sindh: Lakhu Luhano

ECP urged to shun ‘dictatorial-era’ tactics

KARACHI: Members of the public, civil society, professional bodies and trade unions have expressed their strong disapproval of the tactics being used to push the election process in a certain direction, demanding that no attempt be made by any quarter to vitiate the atmosphere that can lead to subverting the will of the people as the upcoming elections are of crucial importance to the future of the country.

The statement issued on Thursday has been endorsed by I.A. Rehman of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, Mohammad Tahseen of the South Asia Partnership Pakistan, Karamat Ali of the Pakistan Institute of Labour Education and Research, Suleman Abro of the Sindh Agriculture Forestry Workers’ Coordination Organisation, Naseer Memon of the Strengthening Participatory Organisation, Jami Chandio of the Centre for Peace and Civil Society, Dr Tipu Sultan of the Pakistan Medical Association, Dr Manzoor Awan of the Sungi Development Foundation, Samson Salamat of the Centre for Human Rights Education, Farhat Parveen and Mir Zulfiqar of NOW Communities, Uzma Noorani of the Women’s Action Forum, Zahida Detho of the Sindh Rural Partners Organisation, Javed Qazi of the Forum for Secular Pakistan, Nasir Mansoor of the National Trade Unions Federation, Saeed Baloch of the Pakistan Fisherfolk Forum, Dr Kaiser Bengali, Dr A.H. Nayyar of the Pakistan Peace Coalition, B.M. Kutty, Zulfiqar Halepoto and others.

“We express particular concern at the process of scrutiny of the candidates by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), which amounts to Zia-era vigilantism and a disguised return to the ‘accountability before elections’ mantra. This whole exercise smells of mala fide intentions,” the statement read.

Continue reading ECP urged to shun ‘dictatorial-era’ tactics

Canadian dollar falls after highest job losses since recession 4 years ago

Canadian Dollar Tumbles After Unexpected March Employment Loss

By Ari Altstedter

The Canadian dollar fell in its biggest decline in nine months against its U.S. peer after the nation unexpectedly lost jobs last month by the most since the last recession four years ago.

The currency declined against 13 of its 16 major peers as Canada had 54,500 fewer jobs in March, compared with the 6,500 gain predicted in the median estimate of a Bloomberg survey of 24 economists. The nation’s jobless rate increased to 7.2 percent from 7 percent. The U.S. added 88,000 jobs in March, versus estimates of a 190,000 gain. The Bank of Canada’s March 6 policy statement called for the economy to “pick up through 2013” on its way to 2 percent annual growth.

“Huge miss on both numbers, but particularly the Canadian number after many months of surprisingly strong employment data, we’ve finally seen some give back, so pretty swift reaction for the Canadian dollar,” said Blake Jespersen, managing director of foreign exchange at Bank of Montreal, by phone from Toronto. “There’s a lot more room for this to run, I think this is just the beginning of what could be a series of weaker employment numbers in Canada.”

The loonie, as the Canadian dollar is known for the image of the C$1 coin, fell 0.5 percent to C$1.0176 at 5 p.m. in Toronto. Earlier, it fell 1.1 percent to C$1.0236 per U.S. dollar, the largest drop since June 28. One loonie buys 98.27 U.S. cents.

Bonds Gain

Canada’s benchmark 10-year government bonds rose, with yields falling four basis points or 0.04 percentage point to 1.75 percent, touching the lowest level since Dec. 11. The 1.5 percent security maturing in June 2023 rose 36 cents to C$97.68.

Crude oil, the country’s biggest export, fell 0.3 percent to $93.02 per barrel in New York, after touching its lowest point since March 7. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index of U.S. stocks fell 0.4 percent.

Canada’s jobs figures brings the labor market more in line with other parts of the economy, where output growth slowed to a 0.6 percent annualized pace in the fourth quarter and inflation has lagged the central bank’s 2 percent target since May. Last month’s figures mean Canada posted a net loss of 25,700 jobs in the first three months of the year.

’Ugly Across’

“It was ugly across the board, there wasn’t one redeeming feature for the Canadian employment report,” said Mark Frey, chief market strategist at Cambridge Mercantile Group, a corporate currency broker, by phone from Victoria British Columbia. “When you look at the overall employment figures for Q1 in Canada, you’re seeing a pretty bleak outlook that has turned almost on a dime from the last five months of 2012.”

A separate report showed Canada recorded its 11th straight merchandise trade deficit in February, the longest streak in at least 25 years, with the shortfall unexpectedly widening as exports of metals declined.

The deficit of C$1.02 billion ($1 billion) followed a January figure that was revised to C$746 million from C$237 million, Statistics Canada said today in Ottawa. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg forecast the string would end with a C$100 million surplus, based on the median of 21 forecasts.

“Obviously disappointment on both sides of the border,” said David Tulk, chief macro strategist at Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD)’s TD Securities unit by phone from Toronto. “The labor market is sort of catching up to the wider economic backdrop that we’ve always argued is still quite subdued, so this helps a little bit.” ….

Read more » Bloomberg
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-04-05/canadian-dollar-extends-loss-after-unexpected-march-jobs-decline.html

CBC News – Canada loses 54,500 jobs in March

Jobless rate ticks higher to 7.2% as private-sector hiring slumps

By CBC News

Canada’s economy lost 54,500 jobs in March, bleak new data from Statistics Canada showed Friday.

That’s the worst month for Canadian employment since the recession of 2009. When added to the numbers for January and February, they show that Canada’s economy has lost 26,000 jobs so far in 2013 as a whole

The job losses pushed Canada’s jobless rate higher to 7.2 per cent.

“Official unemployment would have increased even more but for 12,300 Canadians dropping out of the labour force altogether and consequently not being counted as unemployed,” United Steelworkers economist Erin Weir said of the data.

Provincially, Quebec, British Columbia and Alberta lost jobs, and employment edged down in Ontario. The only province with an increase was Nova Scotia.

Loonie sinks on news

Private sector hiring, the engine of growth that policymakers keep a close eye on, actually fared even worse. There were 85,000 fewer private sector workers in March, while the public sector was largely unchanged,

There was an increase of 39,000 among self-employed people that counteracted the decline.

Overall, economists had been expecting about 6,500 new jobs, so a loss of 54,500 represents a considerable miss.

Much of the losses came among those in the core working-age group of those between 25 and 54. Among those younger than 25 and older than 54, the job numbers were pretty steady.

The Canadian dollar lost half a cent to trade below 98 cents US in reaction to the news.

Courtesy: CBC News
http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/story/2013/04/05/business-jobs-canada.html