India: Communal riots occurred in May 1987 in Meerut, U.P. the Provincial Armed Constabulary ( P.A.C.) rounded up 42 Muslim youth in Hashimpur, took them on trucks to a remote place, shot them in cold blood, and dumped their bodies in water canals.
16 P.A.C. constables were charge sheeted, but recording of evidence began only in July 2006, that is, more than 19 years after the incident. On 21.3.2015 all the accused, except those who had already died, were acquitted. ~
Read more » BBC report
See More » Sohail Haleem’s report at BBC
More details » Salman Ravi report at BBC
Voters are losing trust in the way Canada’s democracy works.
By: Bob Hepburn
EDMONTON—In findings that should disturb every politician across the country, a series of new national surveys suggest record numbers of Canadians are fed up with the state of our democracy.
Worse for elected leaders, more and more Canadians believe that politicians, regardless of their party affiliation, don’t listen to them, don’t care about the issues that really concern them and aren’t willing to act to preserve and improve our democratic institutions and traditions.
Indeed, the surveys indicate Canadians are more cynical now than at any time in recent history about politicians and how our democracy is working.
“There is an eroding confidence in government, in our political institutions,” pollster Keith Neuman of the Environics Institute said at a conference in Edmonton last week sponsored by the Montreal-based Trudeau Foundation.
The conference — entitled “The Common Good: Who Decides?” — attracted 350 participants, including politicians, government bureaucrats, academics and public policy experts.
Neuman told the delegates that growing numbers of Canadians are disillusioned with elected officials and have now turned to supporting grassroots citizen actions, such as the last fall’s Occupy Movement, the B.C. referendum on the HST and this summer’s Quebec student protests, as a way to make their voices heard.
On the eve of the conference, the Trudeau Foundation released a survey by the Environics Institute that indicated Canadians are placing less confidence in the ability of politicians to solve the country’s problems and balance competing interests when there are big differences on key issues.
Importantly, almost as many people (39 per cent) said they place greater faith in citizens taking grassroots actions through protests and other means as the best way to get action as those who said they still have confidence in politicians (45 per cent) to settle issues with competing interests.
Another survey released two weeks earlier by the Environics Institute found “clear evidence” of a decline in approval of political institutions since a similar poll in 2006.
The AmericasBarometer, which examined public opinion relating to democracy in Canada and 25 other countries in North and South America, indicated trust in Parliament and our politicians is at abysmally low levels.
Only 17 per cent of Canadians trust Parliament and only 10 per cent trust political parties.
A third poll, which is to be released on Dec. 3 by Samara, a non-profit group devoted to promoting citizen engagement, is expected to reinforce the view that the level of Canadians’ satisfaction with our democracy and in particular with our elected politicians is in free fall.
Continue reading Canadians increasingly cynical about state of democracy: Hepburn
By XARI JALIL
LAHORE: Veteran leader of the left movement, Tahira Mazhar Ali, passed away on Monday. Though she had been unwell for some time, her death has been met with a profound sense of loss by those who knew her.
Born in Lahore in a prominent family, Tahira’s father was Sir Sikander Hayat Khan, the prime minister of united Punjab from 1937 to 1942, while her maternal grandfather was Nawab Muzaffar Ali Khan, a prominent landlord of Punjab. She studied at Queen Mary School in Lahore and later married Mazhar Ali Khan at the age of 16. Marrying a student leader may have been a turning point in her life and her political life began after marriage.
Being born in an affluent family did not deter her from struggling for the rights of the marginalised. She carried on her activism for labour and women’s rights for over 60 years.
It was Tahira who for the first time in Pakistan observed the International Women’s Day publicly, where it was openly demanded that women be given their equal status and their rights be established. When it came to fighting for human rights, Tahira was unbending and her marked resistance made her a threat to the establishment.
In 1950, the Democratic Women’s Association (DWA) was formed and led by Tahira. It is considered the country’s first women’s rights organisation that ran with the support of the Communist Party, something that Tahira was proud of, often comparing it to internationally run organisations today. Other members of the DWA included Hajra Masood, Khadija Omar, Amatul Rehman and Alys Faiz. Its work was based in the grassroots in small neighbourhoods and involved mobilisation of women and workers.
It is because of her work in this regard that Tahira is seen as one of the greatest women of the subcontinent. Those who knew her well recall her active role in protests and rallies.
Continue reading Tahira Mazhar Ali’s death a profound loss to many
KARACHI: The Sindh education department on Tuesday signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Chinese education department of Sichuan province of China for their cooperation in teaching the Chinese language in schools of Sindh.
The ceremony was held in the committee room of the Sindh Assembly and the MoU was signed by Sindh Education Secretary Dr Fazalullah Pechucho and Liu Dong, vice director general of the education department of China. Sindh Senior Minister for Education Nisar Ahmed Khuhro, Consul General of China Ma Yaou and other officials also attended the ceremony.
According to the MoU, the teaching of Chinese would be made compulsory from class six onwards in all schools of Sindh within three years. Students learning the language will get extra marks, scholarships and foreign visit opportunities for education and skills training in China for those students who would pass Chinese as a subject till matriculation and higher classes.
Take a look: Sindh to teach Chinese language in schools from 2013
Education Minister Nisar Khuhro said that making the teaching of Chinese compulsory was aimed at promoting Chinese language and culture in Pakistan as “we have over the years maintained long-lasting culture and economic relations in China”.
Continue reading Accord signed to teach Chinese in Sindh schools