Nation in mourning after suicide blast in Lahore kills 72, including 29 children

By Rana Tanveer / Agencies / Muhammad Shahzad / Ali Usman / Abdul Manan / Tahir Khan

LAHORE / ISLAMABAD: At least 72 people were killed and more than 233 injured when a suicide bomb ripped through the parking space of a crowded park in Lahore where Christians were celebrating Easter Sunday, officials said.

Dozens of ambulances were seen racing to the Gulshan-e-Iqbal Park, situated near Allama Iqbal Town, with many women and children among the dead and wounded.

Read more » The Express Tribune
See more » http://tribune.com.pk/story/1073825/blast-in-lahore-leaves-several-injured/

A striking and rare US tribute to the victims of Pakistan’s terrorist attack Sunday

by

On Easter Sunday, as families gathered at Gulshan-e-Iqbal Park in Lahore, Pakistan, a bomb targeting Christians killed at least 69 people, many of them women and children. Hundreds more were injured.

The bombings weren’t greeted with the outpouring of tributes and vigils that accompanied the attacks in Brussels, Belgium, on Tuesday. But there was at least one exception: A Dallas hotel, the Omni, was lit up with the Pakistani flag on Sunday night in honor of the victims.

Read more » Vox
See more » http://www.vox.com/2016/3/28/11318156/dallas-omni-pakistan-tribute

A fourth wave of terror predicted by Cyril Almeida a day before Lahore park carnage

A fourth wave?

BY CYRIL ALMEIDA

BRUSSELS is a world away from here. Different reasons, different trajectories. Plus, we’ve already had our Parises and Brussels several times over.

But Brussels is important because it confirms what Paris had revealed: a fourth wave of jihad. As we tamp down our own third wave of jihad, might we too face a fourth down the road?

Speculation is a dirty game, but worse is to be caught unawares and unprepared.

Before we get into the possible conditions for a fourth wave, let’s look at the first three that have gone by here in Pakistan. First, of course, was the Afghan jihad. The one that eventually morphed into Al Qaeda and the hell it unleashed on us.

Second was Kashmir and the anti-India lot. Redirected, re-energised and then mutated beyond recognition, parts of it turned on us, while other parts have flourished to the great distortion of the communities in which the networks have spread.

Third were the TTP and its cohorts. Triggered by a combination of events, partly rooted in the evolution of the first lot into Al Qaeda and partly resulting from the shockwave that the US war in Afghanistan sent through Fata, it may be on the verge of running its course.

But if the first three waves taught us anything, it is that jihad is influenced by events in the region and the world — the shadow of the Cold War; the unfinished business of Kashmir and Partition; the mixing of an earlier creation and a superpower’s later intervention.

Right now, jihad is really the only game in town — in the world. In the media. On the net. In the global discourse. Jihad is to the Muslim world what Donald Trump has become to the US: ubiquitous, cacophonous, impossible to ignore.

And you can bet there are some here willing to listen to what it has to say.

Read more » DAWN
See more » http://www.dawn.com/news/1248135

TTP’s Jamaatul Ahrar claims responsibility

Suicide blast kills at least 65 in Lahore park

By Rana Tanveer / Agencies / Muhammad Shahzad / Ali Usman / Abdul Manan / Tahir Khan

religion 5
Photo credits: Social media.

 

Excerpt:

…. A Pakistan Taliban splinter group claimed responsibility for the deadly suicide attack.

“We claim responsibility for the attack on Christians as they were celebrating Easter,” spokesperson for the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, Jamaat ul Ahrar, Ehansullah Ehsan said. ….

Read more » The Express Tribune
See more » http://tribune.com.pk/story/1073825/blast-in-lahore-leaves-several-injured/

At least 40 dead after explosion in Lahore park: Hospital sources

BY DAWN.COM

LAHORE: An explosion occurred in Gulshan-i-Iqbal Park of Iqbal Town on Sunday evening, killing at least 40 people and injuring over 200, hospital sources said.

In conflicting figures, Iqbal Town Superintendent of Police Dr Muhammad Iqbal said the explosion has resulted in 53 deaths.

He added that this was a suicide attack and took place at a children’s park, where a large number of families, especially women and children, were present on a Sunday evening.

The area is a renowned residential area of Lahore. The blast was just outside the exit gate and a few feet (metres) away from the children’s swings.

Edhi sources said at least 200 are confirmed injured in the attack so far.

‘Dead bodies everywhere’

Eye witnesses said there were pools of blood and scattered body parts in the park.

An eyewitness, talking to DawnNews, said dead bodies and injured were on the ground everywhere.

Read more » DAWN
See more » http://www.dawn.com/news/1248259

More details » BBC urdu
http://www.bbc.com/urdu/pakistan/2016/03/160327_lahore_gulshan_iqbal_blast_sh

 

Then they came for me…

By Shamila Ghyas

 

Pakistan has never been safe for Hindus, Christians, Shias, Ahmadis, skeptics, and pretty much anyone who can walk by themselves on their own two feet. Scratch that, make it ‘everyone’ – the ones who can’t walk, who can’t see, can’t talk, little girls, babies; Pakistan is not safe for anyone.

A Christian simply walking happily outside a mosque is enough for him to be booked for blasphemy. An Ahmadi referring to himself as a Muslim is asking for a major beating by a dozen men at the very least. This could expand to a zealous mob burning his whole house down and smashing a washing machine screaming ecstatically “Yaaayyy” (this happened!) And as we all know, even a mock wedding on TV with a religious song playing in the background is enough to make everyone involved “wajibul qatal.”

The list is endless. Murder happy nation, we are.

Now, the one group of people, it had still been somewhat safe for had been the ‘debonair’ scholars that routinely came on TV to brainwash everyone. The likes of Amir Liaqat, Maulana Tariq Jameel, Hafiz Saeed, Junaid Jamshed and others.

Amir Liaqat has enticed people to kill, poked fun at his callers, given babies away like cellphones in his shows, fed mango to a poor victim like he was waterboarding him, and has acted like a complete buffoon (I am being polite here). Hafiz Saeed, considered a terrorist everywhere except in Pakistan, gets the best microphone and seat in the house when he is around. His Twitter account where he likes to rant (terrorists are so tech savvy these days) has been suspended but I am fairly certain, Pakistan had nothing to do with that. Terrorists are allowed to have a voice here, you see.

Junaid Jamshed, singer/heartthrob turned fashion designer/religious scholar also routinely came on TV preaching religion, singing naats, as well as stating his personal misogynistic views for all to watch, learn and follow.

No one had any issue. Not when he said women should not drive. Not when he said secular laws of the West are a curse.

No one also had any issues when he, along with the other scholars, did not speak up for people who had been accused (wrongly) of blasphemy. When they were brutally killed by the ‘crazed vigilante savage squads.’  When people were hacked, burnt and murdered. When a poor woman who was thrown into jail even after repeatedly apologizing for something she had not even done. None of them spoke up.

Not even when a Christian couple was thrown into a brick kiln. Shahzad Masih and Shama Bibi both had their legs broken by the mob so they could not run; they were dragged by a tractor, then thrown into the brick kiln. When the four-month pregnant woman did not burn properly, she was pulled out and wrapped in a cotton cloth before being thrown back in so she would burn faster – all this in front of their two children.

Continue reading Then they came for me…

Sindh CM celebrates Holi in Hindu Gymkhana

KARACHI – Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah has said that it is Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and its government in Sindh which has always struggled for rights of minorities.

While addressing a gathering organised by Hindu Community at the Hindu Gymkhana to celebrate Holi, he said “The respect, equal opportunities and the equal level playing field in the entire socio-political sector the party has provided to the minorities cannot traced in any other party or the government.”

Read more » DailyTimes
See more » http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/national/23-Mar-2016/sindh-cm-celebrates-holi-in-hindu-gymkhana

‘No-one told me I was going to be interviewed by a Muslim’: Moment Burma democracy heroine Suu Kyi lost her cool with BBC’s Mishal Husain after being quizzed over violence towards Muslim minority

By SEBASTIAN SHAKESPEARE FOR THE DAILY MAIL

She is a Nobel Peace Prize laureate and a beacon of saintly integrity in the West who remained under house arrest for 15 years in her native Burma.

However, there is another side to Burmese politician Aung San Suu Kyi that sits at odds with her iconic image.

After the BBC Today presenter Mishal Husain gave Suu Kyi a rough ride during a BBC interview, Suu Kyi lost her composure and was heard to mutter angrily off-air: ‘No one told me I was going to be interviewed by a Muslim.’

More » DailyMail
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3508710/Moment-Burma-heroine-lost-cool-Today-s-Mishal-Suu-Kyi-s-anger-no-one-told-going-interviewed-Muslim-heated-questioning-BBC.html#ixzz43v8bW0Uj

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3508710/Moment-Burma-heroine-lost-cool-Today-s-Mishal-Suu-Kyi-s-anger-no-one-told-going-interviewed-Muslim-heated-questioning-BBC.html#ixzz43vJXpoms
Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

Sindh observes public holiday to celebrate Holi

SINDH: KARACHI (Web Desk / AFP) – Sindh province is observing a public holiday to celebrate Holi today (Thursday), the first time the Hindu “festival of colours” is being officially marked in the overwhelmingly Muslim country.

The move comes days after the federal parliament passed a non-binding resolution that called for the country to observe Hindu and Christian holidays.

A government circular that was tweeted by Bakhtawar Bhutto-Zardari, daughter of the ex-president Asif Ali Zardari, added that all government bodies except essential services would be off for the day.

Read more » DunyaNews
See more » http://dunyanews.tv/en/Pakistan/328991-Sindh-observes-public-holiday-to-celebrate-Holi-

Iran’s Rouhani making first visit to Pakistan as president

BY KATHY GANNON

ISLAMABAD (AP) — Iran’s Hassan Rouhani arrived Friday in Pakistan on a landmark visit, his first since becoming president, at a time when Saudi Arabia is courting Islamabad to increase participation in a new Saudi-led military alliance of mostly Sunni nations, a coalition perceived by Tehran as an anti-Shiite block.

Pakistan, a majority Sunni country, has traditionally close ties with Saudi Arabia, which is hostile to Iran, a Shiite power. The kingdom accuses Tehran of supporting Shiite Houthi rebels in Yemen against the internationally recognized president, Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi.

Saudi Arabia has been leading a coalition of mostly Gulf Arab states in a blistering air-campaign against the Houthis in the conflict in Yemen, widely seen as a proxy Saudi-Iran war.

Last year, Pakistan refused a Saudi request to send troops into Yemen after a vote in Parliament delivered an overwhelming “no.” Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif visited the kingdom in January, expressing support for the alliance but without making any military commitment. Local Pakistani papers have carried unconfirmed reports that Saudi Arabia asked Pakistan’s military chief, Raheel Sharif, to head the alliance.

Rouhani’s visit is also a landmark moment for Iran, after international sanctions in the wake of the nuclear deal between Iran and world powers.

Read more » Yahoo News
See more » http://news.yahoo.com/iranian-president-expected-pakistan-2-day-visit-062346406.html

 

Women Get BORED With Their Monogamous Men – Even More Scientific Proof

by

It’s always nice when science reinforces the things I’ve been saying for years. It happens so often these days I’ve pretty much stopped reporting it. Yet I recently came across this New York Times article that’s quite wonderful. It’s got me written all over it.

I have said for many years, including in my free ebook about it, the following things:

  • Women are biologically wired to get BORED with their lover in long term relationships.
  • This happens even if her boyfriend/husband is perfect and does everything right.
  • This boredom usually begins in earnest around the three-year mark in a relationship.
  • This boredom is intensified if she is monogamous with her partner and/or if she lives with her partner.
  • Women will not tell men they do this. They all say “I won’t be like that”. When years go by and they do become like that, they deceptively blame the boredom on their husbands, or the effort involved in raising kids, or their work, or other external factors that have nothing whatsoever to do with the real reason, which is sexual boredom created by her own biology.
  • As soon as women get divorced and starting having sex with new men, this boredom magically vanishes. For “unknown” reasons. The reason is, of course, that she’s no longer monogamous.
  • The above facts are so horrific to people, so against everyone’s cherished Societal Programming, even scientists who know it’s true can’t bring themselves to come out and say what I just said.

Exhibit A is this NYT article. It’s about a new drug they’re testing that has been dubbed the “female Viagra”. It has been created to combat the exact boredom I talk about…that experienced by women in three-year or longer monogamous relationships.

Read more » Black Dragon Blog
See more  » http://www.blackdragonblog.com/2013/09/29/women-get-bored-with-their-monogamous-men-even-more-scientific-proof/

 

Minority member should be Pakistani head of state one day: Bilawal Bhutto

Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari greeted the Hindu community on Holi at a public rally at Umer Kot today.

While addressing the gathering the PPP chairman said that the party manifesto is based on equality for all. “PPP does not believe in division of people on the basis of color, creed, race and religion,” he said. “We are supporters of the rights of minorities and the poor.”

Bilawal also pointed out that PPP government in Sindh has passed the Hindu Marriage Act which no other government has done. “It is for the first time in Pakistan’s 68 year long history that a government has passed this bill and given legal protection to the Hindu community,” he said.

Bilawal added that soon his party will pass a bill against force conversion of Hindus so that the community becomes stronger. “We are the only government which has announced a public holiday on Holi.

“PPP is transforming the country into Quaid’s Pakistan who always supported complete freedom for all the minorities.”

The PPP chairman said that the party will not allow any divides between poor and rich, minorities and majorities, Hindus and Muslims. “We will make a united Pakistan for all,” Bilawal claimed adding that “all minorities have equal rights and opportunities in all factions of life”

Bilawal urged other provincial governments to follow PPP’s lead in legislation for empowering minorities.

“If a Muslim can become a president in India, why can’t an individual from minorities become one in Pakistan,” he exclaimed.

Read more » The Nation
See more » http://nation.com.pk/national/24-Mar-2016/minority-member-should-be-pakistani-head-of-state-one-day-bilawal

Take 100 MWs of power, give 10 Gbps Internet speed: India-Bangladesh deal

India will supply 100 megawatt of electricity to Bangladesh in return for 10 Gigabits per second Internet bandwidth.

By:  PTI | Agartala/new Delhi

Opening a new chapter in bilateral relations, India on Wednesday began supplying electricity to Bangladesh in return for Internet bandwidth that will help connect its North Eastern states, a move that Prime Minister Narendra Modi described as historic.

India will supply 100 megawatt of electricity in return for 10 Gigabits per second Internet bandwidth.

Modi and his Bangladesh counterpart Sheikh Hasina launched the twin links through video conference.

“In my opinion this is an historic occasion,” Modi said as he nudged Dhaka to join the space cooperation with India.

India, he said, is marching shoulder-to-shoulder with Bangladesh in its progress and today is the opening of a new chapter, he said.

Read more » The Indian Express
See more » http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-news-india/take-100-mws-of-power-give-10-gbps-internet-speed-indo-bangla-new-deal/

World leaders condemn Brussels attacks, landmarks lit up in Belgium’s colours

BRUSSELS: World leaders united on Tuesday in condemning the carnage in Brussels and vowed to combat terrorism after the strike by Islamic State jihadists on the symbolic heart of Europe.

As Belgians mourned, several global landmarks, including the Eiffel Tower in Paris and the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, were lit up in the black, yellow and red of the national flag.

The European Union vowed to defend democracy and combat terrorism “with all necessary means” after the attacks on Brussels airport and as well as train at a metro station only a short walk from the EU’s core institutions.

Read more » The Times of India
See more » http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/World/Europe/World-condemns-Brussels-attacks-Eiffel-tower-lit-up-in-Belgiums-colours/articleshow/51520721.cms

Why are [India and Pakistan] living like divided Korea. Why can’t they live like United Europe? – Maryam Nawaz Sharif

Why are [India and Pakistan] living like divided Korea. Why can’t they live like United Europe? ~Maryam Nawaz Sharif

Read more » The Times of India, Chennai, May 26, 2014. Editorial: page 12
See more » http://epaper.timesofindia.com/Repository/getFiles.asp?Style=OliveXLib:LowLevelEntityToPrint_TOINEW&Type=text/html&Locale=english-skin-custom&Path=TOICH/2014/05/26&ID=Pc01212

More » Above news adopted from facebook

Sheikh Hasina staging a ‘symbolic trials’ of 195 Pak Officers

Bound by a history of turbulence

Even as India and Pakistan warm up to each other, ties between Pakistan and Bangladesh appear to be on a free fall, writes Subir Bhaumik

 

Two days after Narendra Modi’s surprise touchdown at Lahore to extend the spirit of friendship with Pakistan, the investigating agency of Bangladesh’s International Crimes Tribunal announced its decision to try 195 Pakistani officers and soldiers responsible for horrible atrocities during the liberation war. The chief coordinator of the agency, Abdul Hannan Khan, told media persons that formal charges against these 195 men will be framed. He said Pakistan had agreed to put them on trial during the 1974 tripartite agreement (Bangladesh, Pakistan, India), but had reneged on its commitment. This follows demands for their trial in Bangladesh by groups like the Sectors Commanders Forum that had submitted a memorandum to the envoy from Pakistan. Pakistan’s criticism of war crimes trials in Bangladesh has touched a raw nerve there amid evidence that the Inter-Services Intelligence has been funding Islamic militants to bring down the Sheikh Hasina Wajed regime.

Read more » The Telegraph
See more »  http://www.telegraphindia.com/1160119/jsp/opinion/story_64517.jsp#.Vu8BduIrLct

Sindh declares public holiday on Holi

In a first, Sindh declares public holiday on Holi

BY DAWN.COM

KARACHI: In an unprecedented move, the government of Sindh on Saturday notified Mar 24 as a public holiday throughout the province to mark the occasion of Holi – a religious festival of the Hindu community.

A spokesman for the Chief Minister House told Dawn.com that in the past, only the Hindu community was given a holiday on Holi.

“This is the first time Holi has been declared a public holiday anywhere in Pakistan.”

Read more » DAWN
See more » http://www.dawn.com/news/1246727/

I Love the U.N., but It Is Failing

BY ANTHONY BANBURY

I HAVE worked for the United Nations for most of the last three decades. I was a human rights officer in Haiti in the 1990s and served in the former Yugoslavia during the Srebrenica genocide. I helped lead the response to the Indian Ocean tsunami and the Haitian earthquake, planned the mission to eliminate Syrian chemical weapons, and most recently led the Ebola mission in West Africa. I care deeply for the principles the United Nations is designed to uphold.

And that’s why I have decided to leave.

The world faces a range of terrifying crises, from the threat of climate change to terrorist breeding grounds in places like Syria, Iraq and Somalia. The United Nations is uniquely placed to meet these challenges, and it is doing invaluable work, like protecting civilians and delivering humanitarian aid in South Sudan and elsewhere. But in terms of its overall mission, thanks to colossal mismanagement, the United Nations is failing.

Read more » THE NEW YORK TIMES
See more » http://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/20/opinion/sunday/i-love-the-un-but-it-is-failing.html?mwrsm=Facebook&_r=0

Picturing Pakistan’s Past: The Beatles, Booze And Bikinis

BY BEENISH AHMED

Pakistan today is a conservative, Islamic country, but it was a far different place in its younger days.

In the 1960s and ’70s, Pakistan’s elite, many of them educated in the West, could publicly indulge in more liberal acts, including drinking alcohol. Pakistan was also part of the “hippie trail,” from Turkey to India, which young Westerners traveled.

Once a major stop on the backpacking route, Western tourists don’t exist in the Peshawar that I have come to know through my visits to family in the northwest corner of Pakistan, near the border with Afghanistan.

Read more » NPR
See more » http://www.npr.org/sections/pictureshow/2012/08/20/159338659/picturing-pakistans-past-the-beatles-booze-and-bikinis

For The First Time, Pakistan Will Declare Public Holidays On Holi, Diwali And Easter

 |  By

For the first time in the history of Pakistan, the country will get public holidays on Holi, Diwali and Easter after its parliament on Tuesday adopted a resolution to this effect.

The resolution, which was moved by lawmaker Dr.Ramesh Kumar Vankwani, was adopted by the National Assembly to take steps to declare the festivals as holidays for minorities.

According to The Tribune, the Pakistan government has agreed to accept the resolution.

Read more » The Huffington Post
See more » http://www.huffingtonpost.in/2016/03/16/pakistan-holi-diwali_n_9474512.html?ncid=fcbklnkinhpmg00000001

Uh-Oh, Survey Says Half Of Married Women Have A ‘Backup Husband’ In Mind

It’s always good to have a plan B, especially when it comes to restaurant reservations, travel arrangements and babysitters. But what about spouses?

A new, not-so-scientific survey of 1,000 married women conducted by the Daily Mailfound that 50 percent have a “fall-back partner” should their current marriage take a turn for the worse.

So who exactly is their plan B? The most common backup husbands, according to the survey, tended to be old friends with romantic intentions, ex-boyfriends, ex-husbands, colleagues or someone from the gym.

Read more » Huffington Post
See more » http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/10/02/backup-husband_n_5923700.html

Sindhi entrepreneur invents power bank that charges in just 14 minutes

By Osman Husain

Young Pakistani entrepreneur Abdullah Soomro noticed a very real problem while building his first startup, a hyperlocal delivery business. His delivery riders would be on the road for hours on end and in constant touch with customers on their smartphones. This activity drained their batteries far too quickly, but with charging facilities few and far between, there wasn’t an easy solution in sight.

Abdullah, who’s a mechanical engineer by training, didn’t think existing battery packs were a viable solution. They required hours to charge on their own and were too unwieldy to be lugged around. Realising that this was a problem undoubtedly faced by others, he took it upon himself to figure things out.

Pakistani scientist couple leads the way with underwater drones in Australia

After speaking to some professors at his university to validate his idea, Abdullah forged ahead with his plans and started Micropowerlabs with the aim to build a better, more efficient power bank. He was accepted at an incubation program run by the government of Chile, which gave him US$35,000 as seed capital, and spent six months in the country along with his co-founder.

More juice

What he came up with is Flashpack – a power bank that is able to charge fully in just 14 minutes. Abdullah claims he was inspired by the tech behind batteries for electric vehicles as they are capable of charging ten times faster than regular batteries.

However, the tech hasn’t been properly applied for use in smaller, consumer products yet, he says. “I took the technology that was larger in scale, applied the same principles, and shrunk it down,” explains Abdullah.

Read more » The Express Tribune
See more » http://tribune.com.pk/story/1063306/pakistani-entrepreneur-invents-power-bank-that-charges-in-just-14-minutes/

Escaping the Shadow of Pakistan

The current diplomatic row between Bangladesh and Pakistan is about more than opening old wounds from 45 years ago – it is about the threat to pluralistic democracy in South Asia posed by Pakistan’s security policies.

BY SETH OLDMIXON

 

Pakistan’s dysfunctional relationship with India and its symbiotic relationship with the Afghan Taliban often overshadow the country’s troubled relations with other regional neighbors. Iran has long complained about militants carrying out cross-border attacks from Balochistan, and even Pakistan’s “all weather friend” China has blamed it for Islamist terrorist attacks in Xinjiang province. Recently, though, tension has risen to dangerous levels with another South Asian country: Bangladesh.

Read more » Foreign Policy
See more » https://foreignpolicy.com/2016/03/10/escaping-the-shadow-of-pakistan/

Stephen Hawking Warns Humanity: Leave Earth Before the Ruling Class Destroys It

by hqanon

 

Excerpt:

In fact, taken collectively, Hawking’s numerous warnings are aimed directly at the careless hubris of the ruling elites and their tendency to act in favor of profit — in a variety of fields — without consideration given to long-term consequences resulting from such hastily implemented projects.

Despite the numerous cautionary scenarios Hawking has proffered, he claims society will likely discover the means to cope.

“We are not going to stop making progress, or reverse it, so we have to recognize the dangers and control them,” he stated. “I’m an optimist, and I believe we can.

“It’s important to ensure that these changes are heading in the right directions. In a democratic society, this means that everyone needs to have a basic understanding of science to make informed decisions about the future.

“So communicate plainly what you are trying to do in science, and who knows, you might even end up understanding it yourself.”

Read more » Anonymous
See more » http://anonhq.com/stephen-hawking-warns-humanity-leave-earth-before-the-ruling-class-destroys-it/

Sindhi Language Authority

By Emily Hauze

On a bright November morning during my most recent stay in Sindh, my buddies (Inam and Naz) took me to a place I had long been wanting to visit: the Sindhi Language Authority in Hyderabad. And soon I will describe all the interesting things I found there. But I also hope to convey here some sense of what I find so extraordinary about the Sindhi language, and by extension, about the Sindhi people. I am still very far away from my goal of being a true speaker of Sindhi, but I am beginning to make progress. And as I gradually learn to navigate the landscape of the language, more of the inner character and spirit of Sindh is revealing itself to me.

I have been learning about Sindh for only four years, but noticed the unusually intense love among Sindhis for their language very early in that time. When I began to respond to my online friends using even the most basic Sindhi phrases of greeting or farewell, I was amazed at the fireworks of appreciation I received in return. Previously, when trying out a few Urdu phrases, I had also been greeted with surprise and joy — but there was something different and deeper-felt in the reactions to my attempts at Sindhi. And if that was true for my online interactions, how much more emotional and delighted were the responses when I came to utter some of my practiced phrases in Sindh, in person!

​This can be partly explained by the rarity of the situation, since it almost never happens that any non-Sindhi (especially a white Anglo type like myself) learns Sindhi in the first place. It is also unusual for a foreigner to learn Urdu, but not nearly so astonishing, because Hindi-Urdu after all is the language of Bollywood, which is enjoyed around the world. Meanwhile, the cultural treasures of the Sindhi language have not (yet) learned to export themselves so widely. Therefore it is rare a foreigner to encounter the language by chance, and to be drawn into it enough to learn even a phrase or two.

And yet, that is precisely what has happened to me–a chance encounter with a language and a culture, which has resulted in a lasting connection. I am not the first of these rare and lucky souls who discover Sindhi — the beloved Elsa Qazi and others have already blazed the trail — but perhaps I can help open the door for others who may similarly be enriched by it. The Sindhi love of the native language is, I believe, a contagious kind of joy, and the gentle, rolling sound of spoken Sindhi could bring a smile to even the least comprehending face.

Smiling at the sounds is not enough, of course. But learning to comprehend is no easy matter. The challenge is especially great for a non-Asian like myself, who must learn the entirety of the language from the beginning, having nearly no earlier contact with any aspect of its grammar, its alphabet, its phrase structure, its vocabulary, etc.

Continue reading Sindhi Language Authority