Category Archives: Current Issues

Top Pak scientist warns of extremist threat to n-weapons

By Hasan Suroor

Pakistani nuclear scientist Pervez Hoodbhoy has spoken of growing fears in Pakistan that its nuclear arsenal could be “hijacked” by extremists as a result of “increasing radicalisation” of the Army.

He said such fears were initially expressed mostly in the west but were now widely shared within Pakistan after “repeated” extremist attacks on Army installations, including the ISI headquarters in Lahore. These could not have taken place without “some sort of inside information”.

“There’s a fair degree of concern that because of increasing radicalisation of Pakistani Army, the country’s nuclear weapons could be hijacked by extremists,” he said speaking to a group of Indian journalists at the launch of his book, Confronting the Bomb: Pakistani & Indian Scientists Speak Out, a collection of essays by Indian and Pakistani scientists who believe that the acquisition of nuclear weapons by the two countries was “undesirable” and had put the entire subcontinent in danger.

Mr. Hoodbhoy, who has often been a target of the Pakistani establishment, said Pakistan’s nuclear capability had given a new dimension to its campaign against India. Islamabad saw it as a “counter-force” to overcome India’s military superiority and was providing a “nuclear umbrella” to jihadis engaged in anti-India activities.

Pervez Hoodbhoy interview: The Mumbai massacres and Pakistan’s new nightmares

“If Pakistan did not have nuclear weapons, Kargil would not have happened. My contention is that it was the first instance that nuclear weapons actually caused a war, ‘’ he said.

Warning of continued jihadi threat to India, he said: “Today India is faced with a very difficult situation because jihadis are still operating in Pakistan with the sanction of the state and they are provided cover by the fact that Pakistan has nuclear weapons.”

Continue reading Top Pak scientist warns of extremist threat to n-weapons

The great Sindhi transformation

Swift changes in production and consumption are changing the society and politics in Sindh

By Dr Manzur Ejaz

Contrary to common belief that Sindh is a feudal-ruled primitive land, socio-economic transformation in Sindh is as fast as in Punjab. Rapid urbanization, mechanization of agricultural sector and commercialization has changed the very basis of Sindhi society. Such a transformation will have inevitable political consequences that may not be visible currently, but will materialize down the road.

The effects of this transformation are trickling down even to the common person, whether it is cellphone equipped goat herders or teens from small towns using motor vehicles. Colorful rickshaws have replaced tongas and tractors trollies have taken the place of centuries old wooden plows pulled by animals. Consumer goods have penetrated the Sindhi society deeply, uprooting and transforming the artisan classes and their skills. Consequently, the realignment of Sindhi class structure is duly underway.

Swift changes of economic production and consumption triggered mammoth urbanization from the 1980s onward. The newly urbanized masses have started playing their political roles as summed up by Zafar Junejo, chief executive officer of Thardeep – an NGO working for economic development – in an article published by Newsline.

He argues that recent protests against the new local governments system are led by these new urban masses rather than traditional nationalist groups.

Parallel to the great socio-economic transformation, Sindhi intelligentsia is cognizant of emergence of a neo-feudal class, led symbolically by Asif Ali Zardadri, Zulifqar Mirza, Pir Mazhar et al. These are people who do not come from the traditional feudal class but are rumored to have amassed huge tracts of land and industries by making money through illegal means, occupying public lands or forcing small land owners to sell their land. This is a class or type of ruling class which remains absent from their electoral constituencies and just show up at election times. They have nothing to do with the people and this is the main reason the major developmental projects are nowhere to be seen in the whole province. Hyderabad’s non existing metal roads are a manifestation of poor performance by the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) government in the province and the center. This may lead an ultimate downfall of the PPP in Sindh.

Continue reading The great Sindhi transformation

Language in Sindh schools

By Zubeida Mustafa

THE language dilemma in education remains unresolved in Pakistan because educationists fail to understand how basic language is to the child’s learning process, as also to the psyche of the speakers.

Those who ignore this fundamental truth can undermine national integrity. If they are running schools they cannot maximise the learning advantage of their students. Language has a political dimension as well. When our leaders fail to understand that imposing a language on a people amounts to linguistic imperialism, the consequences can be grave. We know what happened in 1971.

In this context, Sindh should be the last province to pose a problem. It has speakers of mainly two languages — Sindhi and Urdu. Geographically they are broadly divided between the rural and urban areas. Public-sector education follows this demographic feature in the medium of instruction policy. Unsurprisingly, from ASER 2012 (the annual report on the status of education) to be released in January it emerges that 90 per cent of the parents in Sindh want their children to be taught in Sindhi (presuming that is the language of their choice when they said no to Urdu and English and opted for “other” in a survey conducted there).

Continue reading Language in Sindh schools

GOVERNOR OF PUNJAB’S APPOINTMENT- A joint encounter of PML-F & PML-N

Nawab Ali RahooBy: Nawab Ali Rahoo, Hyderabad, Sindh

Recent move initiated by PPP led by President Zardari of appointing Makhdom Syed Ahmed Mehmood as Governor of Punjab Province is a multi purpose stroke jointly addressing the PML-F & PML-N both the parties. PML-F led by Pir Sahib Pagaro has recently conducted a mammoth public gathering in Hyderabad, Sindh which has lucidly placed PML-F as an emerging substitute to PPP in Sindh. The reputation & political strength of said party is increasing in leaps & bounds. People from all walks of life are joining PML-F. Since the day PPP- MQM coalition introduced SPLGO in Sindh Assembly, PML- F along with a few opposed it dynamically. This shift of PML-F from government batches to opposition was not only admired by the masses but was warmly welcomed also. Seeing this popular acceptance by the people of Sindh Pir Sahib gathered all nationalists & the parties who were against it instead of reviving previous alliance with PPP and vowed to fight with government till the withdrawal of Dual local Government Bill. PPP has tried a lot to settle the matters with PML-F but could not resolve.

As the momentum of criticizing PPP govt: in general & the Dual local Govt: Bill in particular is high. In this context a recent massive public gathering was organized by PML-F at Hyderabad on 14th of instant .Surprisingly to know that there a personality appeared as vehement & stiff critic of PPP that was nothing else but upcoming Governor Syed Ahmed Mehmood, who informed the audience that he, was coming directly from London chiefly to attend this public gathering. The said public gathering of PML-F caused PPP leadership restless. As Makhdom A. Mehmood was President of Punjab PML-F and is said to be relative of the former Prime Minister Yousif Raza Gilani as well as of Pir Sahib Pagara.

With in seven days (decision /consent of the incumbent reported on 21st of instant) of time the cards of game got quietly changed. The breeze of lust & power swept all affiliations and promises shortly made. The sources disclosed that despite refusal of Pir Pagaro for not attaining the post offered, Makhdom Mehmood was inclined to be the Governor calling it the wish of his father thus Pir Sahib demanded resignation which was tendered by him instantly.

Continue reading GOVERNOR OF PUNJAB’S APPOINTMENT- A joint encounter of PML-F & PML-N

JALSO of PML-F – A rejection to SPLGA – An emerging Alternative to get off forty years prison of PPP

Nawab Ali RahooBy: Nawab Ali Rahoo, Hyderabad,Sindh

Misfortune of one yields fortune for another. The prevailing leadership of PPP has provided an opportunity to PML-F to launch itself in a manner that deprived & betrayed masses by PPP-P Government may find rescue & comfort in the folds of PML-F. Since the day PPP- MQM coalition government tabled SPLGO in Sindh Assembly & got it passed hurriedly. The very moment PML-F on Assembly ground & the Nationalists on the roads opposed it with tooth & nail. The arrogant PPP neither paid attention towards public resentment nor responded to any political party opposing this barbaric bill.

On the one hand they started joking on opponents then criticized severely & finally conducted public meeting (jalso) in Hyderabad on 10th October 2012 which proved a flop show. On the other hand Sindh Bachayo Committee (SBC) under the convener ship of Syed Jalal Shah along with Jatoi Bros & Shahryar Mahar gathered at Pir Sahib Pagaro to accelerate the struggle against controversial Dual Local Government System. Due to Government’s tough & unfavorable stand on this controversial black bill there was a growing frustration among masses of Sindh.

In the mean time Pir Sahib Paggaro appeared as the gigantic voice of Sindh & Sindhis which raised a new hope among downtrodden masses of Sindh. His patriotic stand, vision, attitude & dealing with recently erupted political affairs earned for him a “leadership” role. Thus genial Pir Sahib Pagaro got consensus to lead all parties who are struggling against dual bill in particular and are willing to form a grand alliance against PPP in Sindh in coming elections in general.

Continue reading JALSO of PML-F – A rejection to SPLGA – An emerging Alternative to get off forty years prison of PPP

Enter PML-F: A turning point in Sindh’s politics

In Punjab, the PML-N is set to face competition from the emerging PTI, PML-Q and PPP. However, one never thought that the political scenario in Sindh would be similarly fraught with stiff competition. This is because PPP has historically enjoyed a monopoly over Sindh.

But nobody knew what December 14, 2012 would bring forth.

December 14, was the day when the unprecedented monopoly of PPP was finally challenged. It was not PML-N nor the PTI, but the Pakistan Muslim League – Functional (PML-F) led by Syed Sibghatullah Shah Rashdi, popularly known as Pir Pagaro, that did so.

Continue reading Enter PML-F: A turning point in Sindh’s politics

Sindh is changing; effects to be visible during polls: Ayaz Palijo

KARACHI: Awami Tehreek President Ayaz Latif Palijo has claimed that Sindh is changing and the effects of this change will be visible during the upcoming general election in the country. He feels the National Assembly should have at least 1,000 seats so that people from poor and middle class segments of society could also contest the elections.

He believes the PPP-led government may hand over charge to anyone to prolong its rule. He regrets that the government has not implemented even a single part of the Supreme Court verdict on the Karachi law and order situation.

Continue reading Sindh is changing; effects to be visible during polls: Ayaz Palijo

SPLGB 2012 announced in Sindh Assembly amid uproar

KARACHI: Speaker Sindh Assembly Nisar Khoro Thursday announced the approval of Sindh People’s Local Government Bill (SPLGB) 2012 amid opposition’s uproar in the assembly.

During the assembly session, the speaker announced that the Sindh Governor Ishratul Ebad signed the draft of SPLGB 2012 turning it into an act.

Following the announcement, member of the opposition Nusrat Sehr Abbasi tore copies of the agenda which lead to a heated exchange of words with Sharjeel Memon.

Abbasi was also told to shut up by Pir Mazhar-ul-Haq and by Murad Ali when she was interrupting his speech.

MPAs of the government also chanted slogans against the enemies of democracy.

Earlier, PML-F, PML-Q, ANP and NPP had staged walkout from the assembly session in a protest for failing to get opposition benches in the assembly.

Continue reading SPLGB 2012 announced in Sindh Assembly amid uproar

Ayaz Latif Palijo in Awaam ki Adalat on Geo news

The interview of Ayaz Latif Palejo available at ZEM-TV is quite interesting and worth listening in terms of content, articulation by Ayaz Latif Palejo, aggressiveness of interviewer and reaction of audience.

In my view, Ayaz Latif Palejo is one of the most able Sindhi leaders unmatched by any with an astute presence of mind and the ability to articulate very difficult points with ease and in an extremely audience-friendly manner. He explains very well the ill effects of discriminatory and black SPLGA, particularly SPLGA’s current aim at dividing Sindh and dividing Pakistan in the long term. Although, I do not agree with Ayaz’s assertion that SPLGA is part of grand scheme put-together by Western powers to create a separate country consisting of Karachi, Gawadar, and other areas of Baluchistan out of present-day Pakistan. How would Baloch nationalists and MQM-wallas are going to eat from the same plate is mind boggling! I believe there is not a single Baluch leader or common man who would opt for an arrangement that make Baluch to jump from Punjabi frying pan into the MQM fire. The cruelties the Baluch are suffering now would be a chicken feed when they have to deal with MQM having seen the brutality of MQM-wallas on Baloch-Sindhi areas of Karachi. However, his explanation that argues that SPLGA creates two different systems in Sindh just appease MQM is quite convincing. He makes an excellent case that the SPLGA is a discriminatory law comparable to South Africa’s apartheid regulations. He says how come Karachi mayor will have control over fisheries around Karachi’s shoreline but not the mayor of Thatto? He correctly argues that no mayor in the world has such insane powers and mind-boggling unaccountability as allowed in the SPLGA. Elected only by few Union Council members (in case of Karachi about 40-50), removing a mayor from office is more difficult than any other office including that of the President, Chief of Joint Staff, and Prime Minister of Pakistan and elsewhere in the world. On top of of this SPLGA imposes a draconian provision that in the event that an impeachment proceeding against a mayor fails, the union council member who introduces the impeachment motion will have to resign from his/her seat. There is no where in the world where such an undemocratic law exists. He also makes a clear case that PPP’s only manifesto is to prolong its rule. They would barter away any right of Sindhi people only if they can extend their rule for three more days – these three days would mean millions of more being transferred to Lisbon and other cities of Europe.

The interviewer of the discussion was extremely aggressive, often engaging in pressing Ayaz Latif Palijo and insisting on getting the answer he wanted from Ayaz Latif Palejo. I must compliment Ayaz Latif for not loosing his cool and while smiling and telling the interviewer again and again as to why he insists on receiving a reply that he likes. Nevertheless, in the end, one could see from the face of the interviewer that although he failed to ruffle Ayaz Latif Palejo, he had an expression on his face that showed that the interviewer felt that Ayaz’s arguments were rational and would resonate with all people except the die-hard MQM-wallas and their most ardent PPP supporters.

The reaction of audience when Ayaz made points was the most surprising aspect of this interview. I was pleasantly surprised to see majority of audience rooting for Ayaz Latif. They showed their support for annulment of SPLGA with each point Ayaz made. They laughed rousingly as Ayaz would joke about the foolishness of the arguments of the proponents of SPLGA.

Indeed, I would recommend that it would be worthwhile to invest 30 minutes of your valuable time to listen to crisp and crystal clear explanation of the arguments that SPLGA is indeed a black and apartheid law, only worthy of dust bin to which it rightfully belongs. Indeed, only the narrow-minded and shallow minds can conceive such a badly written law that violates many democratic norms, without any adequate checks and balances, and discrimination unseen thus far in Pakistan.

About the writer – Mr. Khalid Hashmani is a Washington DC-based veteran human rights activist. He is the founding President of Sindhi Association of North America (SANA) and Chief coordinator of Sindhi Excellence Team (SET) that participates in advocacy activities on behalf of the people of Sindh.

Grand Congress of Sindhi writers and intellectuals against draconian & black ‘SPLGA’ law

Sindhi writers lend voice to opposition’s movement

HYDERABAD: Over a hundred Sindhi writers, poets and intellectuals who attended the Sindhi Writers and Thinkers Congress have criticised the Pakistan Peoples Party for enacting the new local government law that was detrimental to the unity of the province. The gathering on Sunday, arranged by the Sindhi Adabi Sangat, dealt another blow to the PPP, whose leaders have claimed in the past that opponents of the new law are “illiterate nationalists”.

PPP MNA Zafar Ali Shah was the only political leader who was invited to the event, and he did not disappoint the participants by going all-out against the policy of his own party. Shah termed the new local government system “a big injustice to Sindh” and said that it would “serve the interests of a minority [population]”. Outgoing Pakistani ambassador to the United Nations, Abdullah Hussain Haroon, said that the new law was passed contrary to the wishes of the people of Sindh.

Sindh Democratic Forum’s Zulfiqar Halepoto presented a list of “anti-Sindh” pieces of legislation that were adopted by the present government. They included the Zulfiqarabad Development Authrotiy Act, Thar Coal and Energy Board Act 2011, Colonisation of Government Lands (Amendment) Act 2010 and the Sindh Peoples Local Government Act 2012.

He added that the Sindh Assembly had passed a law in 2005 which asked the provincial government to ensure that multinational companies and other private enterprises in Karachi recruit people that have local domicile. “It meant that residents of 22 districts of Sindh were not allowed to come for jobs to Karachi, which is the only commercial and industrial city in the province.

Jami Chandio, a researcher, stressed upon his fellow intellectuals to continue to acquire knowledge and to impart that to the people. “We need to make people understand these things, so that they can choose their leadership while keeping in mind the threats and opportunities that we face.”

Continue reading Grand Congress of Sindhi writers and intellectuals against draconian & black ‘SPLGA’ law

Human-chain from Karachi Press Club to Sindh Assembly Building to protest discriminatory, dual, black and apartheid SPLGA-2012.

Sindhi Adabi Sangat and Sindh Writers and Thinkers Forum jointly organized a human chain from Karachi Press Club to Sindh Assembly Building on Sunday to protest against passage of Sindh Peoples Local Government Ordinance (SPLGO) 2012. A large number of writers, poets, journalists, civil society activists and politicians took part in making the human chain. Amid tight security by police around the Sindh Assembly building the participants also comprised of women and children who were restricted at the Arts Council round-about, where they gathered and the leaders addressed to the participants. The police had closed down the gates along the road leading towards Sindh Secretariat and Sindh Assembly. Dr. Mushtaq Phul, General Secretary of Sindhi Adabi Sangat, noted writers and authors Agha Saleem, Irshad Memon, Noor Ahmed Memon, Inam Shaikh, Ishtiaq Ansari, Gul Hassan Kalmati, Qabool Abro, Manzoor Solangi, Murtaza Sial, veteran Sindhi poets Akash Ansari, Hidayat Baloch, authors journalist Dastagir Bhatti and G. N. Mughal, Hamsafar Gadahi politicians Ismail Rahu, Ali Hassan Chandio, Shafi Mohammad Jamote, civil society activists Prof. Mushtaq Mirani, Muzaffar Chandio and Zulfiqar Halepoto were the prominent among the participants of the human chain.

Sindh journalists deny PPP minister in protest

Today on November 10, 2012 in Hyderabad Press Club’s SAFMA Media training Workshop, three journalists, Mehwish Abbasi, Haseen Musarat Shah and Ameen Lakho, refused to receive award Certificates from the PPP Senator & Minister in protest because the PPP has imposed a black, dual and apartheid SPLGA on Sindh that has effectively separated Karachi from the rest of Sindh. Later Advocate Hussain Bux Thebo put Ajrak in recognition of Miss Mahwish Abbasi’s refusal to accept certificate from PPP Senator at Hyderabd press club.

Source – Above news based on facebook

‘Local govts have hindered any real devolution of power to the provinces’

By Usman Liaquat

KARACHI: Local government systems are meant to empower, but experts referring to recent Save Sindh rallies pointed out that in this country, they are not sufficient for democracy and have led to feelings of alienation among some ethnic groups.

At a seminar on the devolution of power organised as a part of Karachi University’s international conference on federalism, academics argued that the country’s political landscape is more complex than most people believe and that local government systems turn a blind eye towards the aspirations of some groups.

Dr Aasim Sajjad Akhtar from Quaid-e-Azam University, Islamabad, highlighted the historical tension between local government systems and the provinces in Pakistan. “Unfortunately, almost all of the local government system experiments in the country have been conducted under military regimes. They have been used to legitimise fundamentally undemocratic rules.” Through these pliant local regimes, the authoritarian regimes at the centre bypassed the provincial governments altogether, protecting themselves from any challenges. Dr Akhtar claimed that in doing so, local government systems had actually hindered any real devolution of power to provinces in Pakistan and aggravated ethno-national movements.

SPLGA 2012

“Historically, local government systems have been used as a means to co-opt the middle and lower classes. But at the same time, they have ignored the demand of certain ethnic groups and alienated them,” said Dr Akhtar. “The democratic material was removed from local government systems and they were simply converted into instruments to distribute patronage.” Because the systems have been so apolitical, ethnic groups have viewed them with great suspicion. The spate of protests that nationalists organised against the Sindh Peoples Government Act (SPLGA) is the most recent manifestation of this.

Dr Akhtar also lamented the fact that people fail to recognise the numerous claimants to power in Pakistan – the SPLGA is the result of negotiation between only two groups and hence cannot claim to accommodate the needs of other ones in Sindh. “In military regimes, leaders co-opt only the groups they want to. But [with the SPLGA] we are still seeing various claimants to power, saying that they have been left out. This points out that we are simply ignoring the numerous divisions that exist in Pakistan.”

Continue reading ‘Local govts have hindered any real devolution of power to the provinces’

What price honour… – Mohammad Ali Mahar

For the last four years, hardly a single job has been given to a deserving Sindhi candidate in the federal or the provincial government

Remember Howard Hughes, anyone? The notorious, debauched playboy of yesteryears, whose business, aside from designing and flying new airplanes and making third-rate films, was procuring the services of exotic beauties for his amorous escapades in return for money. That debonair millionaire once made an indecent proposal to the young and budding actress Elizabeth Taylor’s mother asking for her daughter in return for one million dollars. He was flatly refused. Years after that journalists asked Elizabeth Taylor whether she should have accepted the offer had she been directly approached. “No way,” replied Taylor, “his socks stink.” Please keep in mind this was in the early 1950s and a million dollars meant truly a lot of money at that time.

Now, for a moment, let us suppose this offer is made to one of our politicians or generals or journalists. How many of them do you think will think twice before accepting the bet without considering the fact that the proposer’s socks stink?

Take, for example, the Sindh People’s Local Government Act (SPLGA-2012) presented and passed by the Sindh Assembly that has effectively separated Karachi from the rest of Sindh. How many of the Sindh Assembly members belonging to the ruling Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) bothered to consider the ramifications of the bill for the province? According to news reports, they did not even know what the bill contained when they chanted ‘aye’ in the Assembly. A bill passed in five minutes (the PPP members disagree. According to them, it is an exaggeration by the anti-PPP Mian Nawaz Sharif-funded opposition. It took a whopping ‘30 minutes’ to discuss and pass the bill, they proudly proclaim!) will continue to cause harm to Sindh for many years to come, until the bill is repealed. Which it will be sooner or later considering the fate of the One Unit bill, but will ruin the career of many an opportunist in politics.

The current PPP leadership, which is trying to woo the Seraiki population of southern Punjab, has probably read the writing on the wall in Sindh and is trying to shift its powerbase to the Seraiki waseb. It seems that they already know that they have lost Sindh. Completely ignoring the sensitivities of the people of the province, they have alienated the indigenous Sindhi. The party’s appeasement of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) at the cost of Sindhi votes and the recent espousal of the sworn enemies of the PPP and Bhuttos, such as the Shirazis of Thatta, and even Arbab Rahim, in the name of the ‘policy of reconciliation’, is a testament to the fact that the party has realised the situation on the ground and has decided to rely upon the fly-by-night characters of politics. What they are ignoring is the fact that these chameleons would ditch the party, as they have repeatedly done before, at the first sign of changing winds. Where will Mr Zardari and his party go then, having lost their powerbase, Sindh, already?

For the last four years, hardly a single job has been given to a deserving Sindhi candidate in the federal or the provincial government. Even the small jobs are being sold for hundreds of thousands of rupees. All the transfers and postings within the government departments have a price tag. While there has been zero development in rural Sindh, Sindhi people accuse this government of being an accessory to the excesses committed against them in urban Sindh. By handing over Karachi and Hyderabad to the MQM, this government has ensured that the door to employment in these two cities remain closed for Sindhis. Even the people hired during the PPP regimes in the government departments in Karachi are being fired, with this government remaining a silent spectator. Hardly has there been a Sindhi hired in the ministries held by the MQM during this regime or the regimes before.

The doors of educational institutions in Karachi remain shut to the rural population, where the seats in schools are allocated in such a way that it is easier for a person from, say, Gilgit-Baltistan, to get admission in Karachi than a person from Dadu. Recently, when the Sindh government granted the status of university to the Sindh Medical College and named it the Sindh Medical University, the MQM mounted so much pressure on the week and submissive government of Sindh that Mr Zardari had the name changed to Jinnah Sindh Medical University. Why? Because the party of Altaf Hussain, who claims to be a Sindhi in his speeches, while addressing a sponsored crowd of vendible Sindhi intellectuals, did not want a university name starting with the name of the province it is situated in. Reminds me of the times in 1951 when the University of Sindh, originally based in Karachi, had to be moved to Hyderabad because it contained ‘Sindh’ in its name! A new university in the place of the University of Sindh was opened in Karachi the same year through an act of the federal government and was named the University of Karachi!

Corruption is so rampant in the province that a minister from upper Sindh holding a powerful ministry was removed some time ago due to his ineptitude. The public was sick of this man and demanded his removal for a long time. After remaining without a portfolio, the person in question approached the right person and greased a pair of ‘bangled’ hands. He got the ministry back. However, since the bugles of elections have started sounding now, the minister in question has been removed again, giving the impression that he has been removed due to the public outcry. Another powerful, though notoriously opportunistic bunch of feudal lords from the area, who until recently were part of an allied party, is being lured to strengthen the fast eroding base of the party in the area.

Continue reading What price honour… – Mohammad Ali Mahar

Petition Challenging SPLGA – Support from North American Sindhis

By: Khalid Hashmani

I have read the article of adi Sarah Zaman a couple of times but I still do not see any argument against the legal challenge except that the Supreme Court may give a decision of rejecting the argument of Barrister Ghumro and that it will weaken the case of Sindh against SPLGA. The argument made is also that this legal challenge will weaken Nawaz Sharif and strengthen MQM. My view is that if we Sindhis are afraid of even challenging a violation of our rights in Pakistan’s supreme court, how are we going to file the case of Sindhi rights at the International Court and the UN? Do we expect Nawaz Sharif to guarantee Sindh rights?

Whether or not Nawaz Sharif wins the next election should not digress us from taking the actions that we believe are in the larger interest of Sindh. At best, Nawaz Sharif can guarantee us the same deal that he gave us when he won the election last time and became Prime Minister and imposed his Chief Minister on Sindh just as the PPP did it. It would be a grave mistake if Sindhis assumed that any political leader would help resolve this issue for them. The civil society has to take it upon itself to beat the crisis. It does not matter who the winner of election is. Sindhis will keep losing until they are able to get up on their own to safeguard their interests. We simply cannot afford any more to depend that a political party that is popular in Punjab to protect Sindh rights.

In objecting to the Barrister Ghumro’s legal petition, adi Sarah Zaman raises the following seven (7) questions: 1. Was the decision to file a petition by Barrister Ghumro approved by the Sindh Bachayo Committee? 2. Is the legal petition in the interest of Sindhis? 3. Does the Sindh Bachayo Committee agree with the main argument of the Barrister Ghumro’s petition? 4. Is this not an action to protect MQM and hurt Nawaz Sharif’s Muslim League? 5. Is the present government in Islamabad doing what one would say the “back foot playing” game to push back Nawaz Sharif? 6. Can Sindh afford to bear the loss if the Supreme Court gives the decision that is not acceptable by Sindhis? 7. Were the intellectuals, writers, and poets consulted on the filing of the legal petition and were they in agreement?

Other than pointing out another legal point, adi Zaman has neither analyzed nor provided any answers to the questions raised by her. On the legal point, if I am reading correctly, she says “Since the (SPLGA) Ordinance was sent on October 11th in the form of a ‘Bill’ to the Governor of Sindh for his approval. That bill, according to newspaper reports was signed by the Governor and sent to Ministry of law on 18th October. For this reason the petition can be nullified. The attorney of Barrister sahib should have waited when the representative of Sindh would have come on November 8th”. Frankly I cannot make head and tail of this argument and would appreciate anyone to clarify as to what adi Zaman means by this argument?

I am in 100% agreement adi Zaman’s advice to Sindh intellectuals and leaders that it is their duty to awaken the people and not to mislead Sindhis in taking the steps that would lead them to further misery.

She also says that Barrister Ghumro has taken 180 degrees turn from what he said before on the issue of SPLGA and his action of filing petition. I have tried to researched this alleged “turn about” by Barrister Ghumro but cannot find any evidence. Once again, I would appreciate anyone to clarify as to what adi Zaman means by this allegation?

Another point that adi Zama makes is that Sindhis in London decided to focus on awakening people in Sindh instead of demonstrating in front of 10 Downing Street and shouting “Balle Balle..” or going to international forums and courts. First of all, Sindhis never shout “Balle, Balle…”, second, to the best of my recollection WSC held an impressive demonstration against SPLGA in London and many SANA GTA Chapter members gathered to tell Canadian authorities about how SPLGA violated human rights of Sindhis.

I am very much concerned about the campaign against one of the most active champion of Sindh Rights Barrister Ghumro. He has fought for Sindhi Rights in many innovative ways and has been source of most intelligent and thoroughly researched legal advice to Sindhis. I would trust him any day more than any urban or rural wadero or any political party in Pakistan. I abhor any attempts to create rift among Sindh’s intellectuals, poets, and writers. I believe that we should talk to every one and any one but please do not insist that Sindhis refrain from adapting an independent line of action and get on the bandwagon of Nawaz Sharif, Pir Pagaro, Altaf Hussain, Imran Khan, or Asif Zardari. This would hurt Sindhis both in the long term and short term.

Our intellectuals, poets, and writers had been in slumber for quite sometime and now that they are wakening and activating themselves, it will be a unforgivable crime to create a rift among them so that one or other political party wins the next elections in Pakistan. In the long run, only Sindh’s intellectuals, poets, writers, and other civil society will keep the candle of Sindhiat alive and help Sindhis to defeat SPLGA just like they defeated “one unit”.

Continue reading Petition Challenging SPLGA – Support from North American Sindhis

International Community Raises Grave Concerns Over the Forced Disappearance and Killings of Political Activists In Pakistan

LONDON, World Sindhi Congress delegation participated in 14th session of Universal Periodic Review working group at United Nations on 30th October. WSC delegation was represented by Dr. Hidayat Bhutto and Dr. Rubina Shaikh.

The Universal Periodic Review (UPR) is a process which involves a review of the human rights records of all 192 UN Member States once every four years. This year Pakistan was under review on 30th October 2012.

World Sindhi Congress submitted two UPRs on Forced Disappearance and Extra Judicial Killings of Sindhi Political Activists and Violence Against Lesser Known Minorities in Sindh. Both UPRs were submitted on behalf of Liberation, an ECOSOC accredited NGOs. Information from both UPR was referred by a number of countries and became part of UN recommendations.

During UPR review a large number of countries expressed their grave concerns over Pakistan’s Human Rights situation in particularly forced disappearance of political activist, and human rights campaigners. Countries also shown their concerns over forced conversion of religions of young girls and bonded labor practices in Pakistan and called for abolition of death penalty and Blasphemy Law.

“Pakistan has ratified a several UN Human Rights Convents and Treaties, but continues to violate many of its fundamental clauses,” Said Rubina Shaikh, Secretary General of WSC. “International Community is greatly concerned over this lack of adherence during this review process,” she further said.

Continue reading International Community Raises Grave Concerns Over the Forced Disappearance and Killings of Political Activists In Pakistan

United front to oppose the controversial SPLGA

MY VISIT TO MOTHERLAND

By: Dr. Valeed A. Shaikh

I was able to visit Karachi, Hyderabad and Larkano. Stopped multiple time to visit and talk to folks on the road, shops and schools. The overwhelming feeling of betrayal is evident and obvious. Sindhis did not expect this from the PPP they thought was their saviour. People are upset. One teacher made the following observation ” If PPP had performed in the last four and half years and life was somewhat better for ordinary folks, we may have given them a pass” Sindhis have been stung by their own and don’t know who to trust. ….

I must say the voice of Sindhi Diaspora also played a very important part in this equation. … We were able to give our Advertisement in Sindhi Media both print and electronic.  ….

I did get the chance to meet most of the stake holders and exchanged ideas. In fact I did most of the listening. Following is my observation.

. There is a very strong feeling that if Sindhis are unable to revert this controversial & black law now, they will be behind the curve for a very long time. Something needs to happen and happen NOW.

…. I was unable to arrange conference of stakeholders during this trip. Logistics and time constrains were the limiting factors. We are extremely fortunate to have reservoir of goodwill in Sindh. We must use this to the advantage of our motherland Sindh.

I propose that we hold a grand conference of all stake holders in Karachi, Sindh in February. Given enough time to arrange, we will be able to move the dialogue. I am more than willing to arrange this with permission of incoming SANA EC and whoever wants to volunteer.

I will be arranging a teleconference soon to continue our efforts and seek your advise and input.

Courtesy: SANA list, October 31, 2012

What is to be done for Sindh?

By: Shahab Usto

These days a very interesting discourse is going on among the Sindhi intelligentsia and public intellectuals as regards the need and creation of an alternative political platform/forum to fill in a potential gap that is supposedly to be left by the ‘dwindling popularity’ and ‘mass appeal’ of the PPP. This is primarily a courtesy to the controversial and ‘perfidious’ Sindh Peoples Local Government Ordinance 2012 (SPLGO) and the ruling party’s failures on its socio-economic and governance-related score card.

One can sum up the gamut of the discourse in three possible questions:

. Is there any other political alternative available, or which can be created, to replace the PPP in Sindh? If yes then, then the next question that arises is:

. What are the other possible players who can play a pivotal role in the creation of an alternative leadership?

. A related question has also cropped up as to whether the people of Sindh throw their weight behind the PML-F, NPP et al to get rid of the divisive SPGLO?

.Is there any other political alternative available, or which can be created, to replace the PPP in Sindh?

Obviously, the immediate answer that comes in the mind is, of course, the Sindh nationalist parties. After all, it is their moment of truth. The people are probably for the first time clearly resentful of the PPP’s policy of ‘appeasing’ the MQM. Sindhi nationalism is finally speaking out whether through the media, intelligentsia, political workers, academia and men in the street. The long-awaited train has finally pulled up in the nationalists’ terminal. Whether they board it, or leave its cozy compartments to be occupied by the recently pro-establishment-turned-Sindhi-nationalists parties, is yet to be seen.

Continue reading What is to be done for Sindh?

Sindh local govt law intensifies polarisation

By: Sohail Sangi

The situation in Sindh is grim after the recent passage of the Sindh People’s Local Government Act 2012 by the provincial assembly. Differences over the law have pitted the ruling Pakistan People’s Party against nationalist parties and other opponents of the law in the province.

Both supporters and detractors of the new law have tried to demonstrate their political strength by staging public meetings. The PPP – considered the most popular party in Sindh – held a rally in Hyderabad on Oct 15 while the Sindh Bachayo Committee (SBC), a grouping of forces opposed to the local government law, and its component parties also staged similar shows.

The law, which envisages six powerful metropolitan corporations, has been reportedly passed to appease the Muttahida Qaumi Movement. It is believed that the MQM, an important ally of the PPP, wanted more powers in Karachi and Hyderabad. However, it has been opposed by many Sindhi leaders who term it a ‘dual system’ which may deepen the ethnic divide in Sindh. They have apprehensions that mayors of the two cities will be given the same powers as enjoyed by a chief minister.

Protests started on Oct 1 when the controversial bill was adopted by the Sindh Assembly without considering the objections raised by the PPP’s estranged allies in the house. The protests turned violent when gunmen opened fire on a PPP rally in Khairpur killing several people and improvised explosive devices were left outside the houses of PPP’s ministers and MPAs.

Some observers say People’s Party’s mandate in Sindh has suffered a setback.

In order to counter growing opposition to the new law, the PPP showed its political strength by holding the public meeting in Hyderabad on Oct 15. Some political pundits, however, termed holding the rally another PPP blunder after the passage of the local government law, claiming that the party’s stance on the new law was against popular opinion. The law has been opposed not only by the nationalists but also by writers, intellectuals and common people.

Jalal Mehmood Shah, head of the Sindh United Party and convener of the SBC, says people have rejected the local government law and rulers should respect public opinion and withdraw it. Awami Tehrik’s Ayaz Latif Palejo believes the law insults the sentiments of people. Riaz Chandio of the Jeay Sindh Mahaz also opposes the new law.

Although a PPP core committee’s meeting presided over by President Asif Ali Zardari decided to hold talks with the estranged allies and nationalists. However, so far neither has the PPP approached the protesting parties nor has a conducive environment been created for talks.

Nationalists are not ready to hold any talks till the law is withdrawn. The situation is worsening because provocative statements are being issued from both sides.

Saner elements are trying to find a middle path. They say the MQM can help the PPP get out of hot water by accommodating Sindhi people’s viewpoint on the new law.

Barrister Zameer Ghumro, an SBC member, suggests that by altering three sections and one schedule this ‘divide’ can be bridged, provided the MQM gives up its ‘obstinacy’.

Uncertainty in Sindh continues as a popular party and the popular discourse are in conflict with each other. How can this clash between the two be averted?

Jami Chandio, a writer, says an alternative political party is an ideal solution but he thinks that in the present case such an idea cannot be implemented. A broad-based forum modelled along the lines of the Palestine Liberation Organisation or African National Congress can fill the gap for a transition period, but this seems too idealistic, as for one the nationalists themselves have failed to resolve differences among themselves. However, the Anti-One Unit Movement, when people had created an alternative leadership, may serve as a model that can be emulated to deal with the prevailing crisis.

Courtesy: DAWN.COM

http://dawn.com/2012/10/27/sindh-local-govt-law-intensifies-polarisation/

SANA Toronto Briefs Imran Khan (PTI Chief) on SPLGA

By: Khalid Hashmani

Although I believe that the manifesto of PTI and certain statements of Imran Khan that he has made in the past have elements that hurt Sindh & Sindhi interests, the courageous step by SANA GTA chapter deserves thanks and praises. The PPP is taking Sindhi support as granted and is bartering away Sindhi interests for their short-term gain to remain in power at all costs. This initiative of SANA GTA chapter reflects the sentiment that Sindhis will neither forget nor forgive those who betray our trust.

In the whole scheme of things and as policies of PTI (as expressed in it’s manifesto and the statements of PTI leaders) that favor the building large dams, having one national language, and more centralization at the cost of provinces, Imran Khan’s party is not a natural partner of Sindhis. Nevertheless, meeting of Toronto Sindhis with Imran Khan yells PPP that since they have put Sindh & Sindhi Rights on an auction block, Sindhis will work with traditional adversaries to block PPP from further sell-out of Sindh Rights.

Thank you Abdul-Razzaq Khushk, Jam Muneer, Rajesh Rathi, Vishnu Lohano, Aijaz Kolachi, Naeem Khatree & other friends for their bold step.

– – – – – – – – – –

SINDHI ASSOCIATION OF NORTH AMERICA (Toronto Chapter)

Memorandum: October 25, 2012

To: Mr. Imran Khan, Chairman Pakistan Tehreek-E-Insaf.

Regarding: SINDH NEEDS YOUR SUPPORT IN THE STRUGGLE AGAINST SPLGA2012.

Dear Sir,

We, Sindhi speaking immigrants from Pakistan living in North America feel that PPP has violated the mandate of the people of Sindh by Passing this divisive and very controversial, black Law called “SPLGA 2012.

We want to bring following facts in your kind consideration & perusal.

· Under Article 137 of the Constitution, Sindh Assembly has no power to transfer the executive authority of the Provincial Government to any other authority, but PPP did not care and still passed this act.

· Since there is triangle of the powers under the constitution, one organ of the state, particularly a legislative organ cannot snatch executive authority from the provincial government.

· Under Section 14(5) Mayer has been empowered to establish any office or activity which power even the Federal Government does not possess.

· Under Schedule 1, the Metropolitan Corporations will have 43 departments with their own administration that is equal to all departments of Sindh government, hence state with in state has been created.

· Mayer had been made supreme as under Section 23, Mayor could only be removed by two third majority when the Chief Minister & Prime minister can be removed by simple majority of the house.

· Section 109 pertains to preventive detention, 133 and 143 to public nuisances, section 144 to ban any sort of activity including freedom of movement given in this act, Mayer will silence freedom of expression & assembly , which is against the spirit of democracy & will be the cause of silencing the voice of opponents.

· Under section 145, Mayor has been empowered to attach a property of any citizen in case of dispute over title of the property, which will legitimize bulldozing all of properties & seizing them for the city, hence making the way for one party rule in karachi.

· Metropolitan corporations will have their own taxes, plus property tax as well as right over the finances of the Provincial Government but they will not be answerable to provincial government.

· The administration headed by Mayor will be all resourceful and powerful whereas the administration working under Chief Minister will be nominal, weak and toothless having no authority whatsoever.

· Section 8 of the SPLG Act, 2012, creates a single Metropolitan Corporation by abolishing five districts.

· District Council, Karachi which comprised of 70% of the rural areas of Karachi has been done away with, thus dealing a severe blow to Sindhi and Balochi,Pashtun,panjabi,Katchi population of Karachi.

· Mayer will be elected indirectly on the basis of fraudulent electoral system and will belong to a particular ethnic community not forming majority of the population in Karachi.

· Under Section 9, eighteen towns have been created without respecting the boundaries of the revenue districts as for the rest of sindh & a dual system has been created to benefit MQM.

· The town boundaries, at present, run across district boundaries only in Karachi to favor MQM, whereas in other districts of Sindh, town or Talukas are the part and parcel of the same district.

· Thus a dual system has been enforced which gives complete control to one ethnic community in Karachi at the cost of others. In Karachi, 18 towns have been created in such a way as to make minority population as a majority to benefit MQM.

· This is also a violation of Supreme Court of Pakistan orders which has already held that constituencies in Karachi may be demarcated afresh giving representation to all communities living there.

· In the name of decentralization, Karachi has been completely centralized eliminating the representation of indigenous and other communities by handing over them to the terrorist Party of the city.

All conscious & patriot people & civil society along with all nationalist parties of Sindh are on the roads and struggling against this treacherous act of PPP through which they have handed over absolute powers to MQM and has thus laid the foundations of “State with in state” and muted the voice of all other nationalities.

We urge you to raise your voice against this black law at all forums & Media and support people of Sindh against this betrayal, tyranny & arrogance of PPP in Sindh.

Best Regards,

Abdul Razzak Khushk

President, SANA,Toronto.

President Zardari and Sindh

By Mohammad Khan Sial

KARACHI: The people of Sindh were shocked by President Asif Ali Zardari’s remarks while speaking at the fifth South Asian Free Media Association conference in which he complained that nationalists were not ready to talk to the government over the new local government law in Sindh as they were getting money from Punjab for behaving in such a manner. The president also claimed that the controversial Zulfikarabad project is in favour of Sindh and that the nationalists are opposed to the province’s development.

Firstly, I would like to point out that the government has always claimed that the nationalists have no backing in Sindh as they have never been able to win even a single seat in elections. I am unable to understand if that is the case then why is President Zardari so worried about their protests? His claim that Punjab is financing this protest movement in Sindh is unacceptable. The PML-F’s Pir Pagaro is also a staunch opponent of the new law so much so that according to press reports, he did not accept the president’s request to meet him. Can the president please clarify whether Pir Pagara is also receiving funding from Punjab in exchange for opposing the law? I would like to inform the president that the people of Sindh as a whole oppose this system. The government cannot be successful in portraying that only nationalists are opposed to it.

Regarding Zulfikarabad, the president’s claim that “opponents of the project are opponents of development of Sindh” is unacceptable for the simple reason that this project is bound to bring demographic changes in Sindh, increasing fears among Sindhis that after its completion, they would be reduced to a minority in their own province. If the president was really keen on alleviating the plight of Sindh, he would have diverted the funds allocated to Zulfikarabad to the less-developed areas of the province.

Continue reading President Zardari and Sindh

Veteran politician Rasool Bux Palijo has claimed that the Thar coal project was being delayed to pave the way for the Kalabagh dam

Veteran politician fears Kalabagh dam project being revived

HYDERABAD, Oct 23: Awami Tehreek (AT) chairman Rasool Bux Palijo has claimed that the Thar coal project was being delayed to pave the way for the Kalabagh dam.

Speaking to reporters at the Palijo House in Qasimabad on Tuesday, he said that a petition had recently been filed in the Lahore High Court to seek the go-ahead for the Kalabagh dam project but the PPP government, which had been opposing it for years, was taking no notice of the move.

The Kalabagh dam plan is a matter of life and death for Sindh,” he reminded the PPP, and told the media that under a conspiracy water downstream Kotri barrage was to be stopped and this would render Sindh’s agricultural lands barren forcing the affected landowners to dispose of their lands at cheap rates.

This [Kalabagh] is the plan is for the destruction of Sindh,” he remarked, and said that millions of Sindhi people would oppose it tooth and nail.

Quoting the Lahore High Court observation that the government was not serious about building the dam, Mr Palijo apprehended that the court was going to give its verdict in favour of the petitioner.

“The PPP is very likely to continue with its lip service to the issue,” the veteran politician predicted. He spoke about the strong resistance to the project put up by the PPP when it was led by Benazir Bhutto, and said that the PPP along with the Awami Tehreek had staged a historical sit-in at Kammo Shaheed in Aug 1998 and declared that it would never allow construction of any dam on the Indus.

Continue reading Veteran politician Rasool Bux Palijo has claimed that the Thar coal project was being delayed to pave the way for the Kalabagh dam

PPP policies have put Sindh’s integrity at stake: AT chief Ayaz Latif Palijo

THATTO, Oct 21: Awami Tehreek (AT) staged a big public meeting near Thatto Press Club on Sunday to mobilise the masses against the Sindh People’s Local Government Act, 2012. AT chief Ayaz Latif Palijo spoke at the rally which was attended by members and supporters of its different wings, including Sindhyani Tehreek and Hindu Sujaaq Tehreek, besides a large number of AT activists.

Mr Palijo told the gathering that Sindh was passing through the most crucial phase in the history of the subcontinent as it was facing dismemberment by virtue of the newly introduced law. He asked the people of Sindh to join in the peaceful struggle launched by the Sindh Bachayo Committee (SBC) in order to wage a vigorous battle to defend the province and safeguard the legitimate rights of its people.

Mr Palijo severely criticised the Pakistan People’s Party for “betraying the political forces which had always been helping it to reach the power corridors,” and observed that the party’s so called policy of reconciliation had put Sindh’s integrity at stake while the political expediency during its tenure has earned the country a bad name.

Continue reading PPP policies have put Sindh’s integrity at stake: AT chief Ayaz Latif Palijo

Betrayals from within – Analysis by Mohammad Ali Mahar

What the ruling party has achieved through the SPLG bill is not clear except for a few more days in power and the wrath of the common Sindhi

In the 14th century, Chanesar Soomro, a disgruntled elder brother of the king of Sindh, Dodo Soomro, invited Alauddin Khilji to invade Sindh in order to help him seize the throne from Dodo. The elders, despite Chanesar being older, elected Dodo as the king. The story has it that the elders went to Chanesar first and when they informed him that he was being enthroned, Chanesar making a grave error of judgment said to them, “Wait until I consult with my mother.” Sindh being a patriarchal society then as it is now, the elders, saying that one who could not make his own decisions, having to rely on his womenfolk’s wisdom, cannot be a capable king, rejected him instantaneously and crowned Dodo.

Chanesar contacted Allaudin Khilji to help him gain the throne, which he thought was his by right. In return, he is said to have offered Khilji his sister, Baghi Bai’s hand. Khilji accepted the offer and invaded Sindh. When Khilji attacked Sindh, Dodo encountered him head on and died valiantly defending his land. After Dodo, his only sister, Baghi Bai, hiding her face in a turban, led the battle and was martyred in the battlefield. To this day, Sindhis do not name their sons Chanesar. Dodo as well as Baghi Bai are still alive in the Sindhis’ hearts, while Chanesar has become a cuss word. Being called ‘Chanesar’ is one of the biggest insults to a Sindhi. Shaikh Ayaz, eulogising Dodo, wrote in his famous ballad, Dodo Soomro’s Death, “Doda tunhinjo Saah ta weendo, Dharti jo wesaah na weendo” (Dodo, by sacrificing your life, you will renew this soil’s faith in her sons).

For centuries now, hardly has there been a period when the Sindhi nation has seen one full year of solace. Right from the days when the Aryans invaded the land and drove the indigenous people out — even though Bhagwan Das Gidwani, in his magnum opus, Return of the Aryans, says that it was not an invasion but a homecoming for the Aryans, who had left the Indus land earlier — never has there been much peace in this unfortunate land. Sindh has suffered as much at the hands of foreign invaders as it has from the ingrate lot eating from its fruits and drinking from its waters, but harming it for their petty interests.

While the history of Sindh is full of epic deeds of its heroes who laid down their lives for the honour of their motherland, there has been no dearth of traitors, who either sold their motherland for power, money, or both. And, while the Sindhi nation sings the praises of its valiant sons, it never forgets its traitors.

The honourable members of the Sindh Assembly, by passing the Sindh People’s Local Government Order, 2012 (SPLGO-2012), have reminded me of a number of incidents from the history of Sindh. But I will delve into one instance, for not only does it perfectly fit the paradigm here but refreshes the memories of a time when a similar decision was imposed on the people of Sindh and how the Sindhi people reacted to it.

On September 11, 1954, Muhammad Ayub Khuhro, the uncle of the current speaker of the Sindh Assembly, Honourable Nisar Khuhro, facilitated the passage of the One Unit bill in the Sindh Assembly. Previously, Chief Minister Abdul Satter Pirzada’s government had been dismissed when he, considering the scheme to be detrimental to Sindh’s interests, had refused to get the bill passed through the assembly. An unelected Ayub Khuhro, who had been unceremoniously dismissed on the charges of corruption and maladministration previously, had to be reinstalled as the chief minister of the province when he agreed to toe the line of the central government and get the bill passed. The One Unit bill did pass even though the Khuhro government had to abduct the speaker of the house, Mir Ghulam Ali Khan Talpur, who had refused to get the bill admitted and passed by the assembly. How Ayub Khuhro is remembered in Sindh to this day is no secret and the fact was acknowledged not very long ago by the honourable speaker, Nisar Ahmed Khuhro himself.

What the ruling party has achieved through the SPLG bill is not clear except for a few more days in power and the wrath of the common Sindhi. What is certain, however, is that they have lost all the credibility their party enjoyed in the eyes of the Sindhi people, which had taken Mr Bhutto and Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto decades to build, forever. Sindhi people feel that with Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto and Benazir Bhutto gone; this party does not represent Sindh’s people and has failed to protect the interests of Sindh.

If there is one person who has come out to be the real hero through this whole game, it is Pir Sahab Pagaro. Sindhis feel that they owe him not only their respect but their votes in the coming elections. Sindhis hardly forget their true sons and never forgive those who betray them. The elections of 1988 proved that. The next elections are not far and the results will demonstrate the fact.

The Sindhi nation also bows its head in gratitude, offering respects to the two honourable lady representatives of Sindhis, Marvi Rashdi and Nusrat Seher Abbasi who opposed the bill. They have become legends. The entire Sindhi nation feels proud of them. They will be sung for centuries in the Sindhi folk poetry.

After the passage of the hated SPLGO 2012, it remains to be seen whether the Sindhi PPP representative will ever be able to read Shah again with the same pride as they recited the poetry in their election speeches before.

Continue reading Betrayals from within – Analysis by Mohammad Ali Mahar

Sindhis in UK demand to revoke Sindh local bodies law

LONDON: The 24th International Conference on Sindh organised by World Sindhi Congress has called on the PPP government to revoke the controversial Sindh People’s Local Government Ordinance (SPLGO) as it’s a conspiracy against Sindh. The conference warned that actions of the PPP government had harmed Sindhis and had given too much influence to Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM).

The speakers said MQM is the sole beneficiary of this ordinance and allows the party to “rule Karachi and Hyderabad without any challenges”. The conference was attended by a large number of delegates from Sindh, UK, US, India and Europe. A keynote speech by Baloch leader Sardar Akhtar Mengal was the special feature of the moot.

The speakers advised all Sindhi nationalist parties to make Karachi centre of their political activities and believe in mass mobilisation of people. Sardar Akhtar Mengal said Sindhis gave huge mandate to PPP but in return it betrayed them and the recent local bodies act is the latest example. He said Sindhis should think beyond PPP.

Dr Lakhu Luhano said it was unprecedented time for Sindhi people in terms of danger and threat that never has existed to this level in the entire history of Sindh. Syed Jalal Shah said ground realities are very tough for Sindhis and called for a “fight back to repeal the act and take this struggle to wider demands of Sindhis”.

Hidayat Bhutto said Sindhis joined Pakistan based on the 1940 Resolution which clearly said, “Federating units shall be sovereign and independent” but that has not happened. “Since 1947, Sindh’s rights are being violated, its water is being diverted, its natural resources are used without any compensation and now its integrity is at stake,” he said.

Continue reading Sindhis in UK demand to revoke Sindh local bodies law

Hollywood Celebrities Blanca Blanco and John Savage support Sindh & Sindhi community

It’s an honor to be here. Thank you Sufi. I was very pleased when we met Sufi Sindhi and when he talked about his organization I thought it was very impressive because we need people like him that encourage helping others. I think that it was for us, very important to be here. I wanted to come and talk to you about my documentary because it relates a lot to the Sindhi community in the sense that I grew up in Mexico and we experienced poverty and there was an increase in the lack of jobs and women didn’t have rights. So as a kid I would keep track of all my experiences and I wanted to do something when I got older, either a documentary or a book or a movie. I thought when I’m older I’ll be able to do that. So I’m going to show you the documentary and when I’m done I can continue talking about that.

I grew up in Washington State. We moved from Mexico and we crossed the border. Now we are all citizens. I was a citizen, but I couldn’t cross the border by myself. I know that this is something that is happening in the Sindhi community. They are migrating to India because they want a better future. I can relate to this organization and the community. So let’s show the video and then we can continue.

Continue reading Hollywood Celebrities Blanca Blanco and John Savage support Sindh & Sindhi community

SANA Toronto rejects the SPLG in Sindh

Toronto: Sindhi Association of North America (SANA) members gathered in Toronto, Canada to stage a protest against the evil designs of PPP in the shape of SPLGA. SANA Toronto completely rejected the act and termed it an administrative division of the motherland Sindh.

In addition, the GTA chapter has conducted a meeting to analyze SPLGA, its impact on Sindh, the strategy and an action plan to ensure that Sindhis do not fall into a trap of another Bhotaar Party that after winning the seats would become the new home of the same old Bhotars.

The event was simple, focused and very educational: All participants took part in discussion and also were kept abreast of SANA initiatives on the ground in Sindh these days.

Many suggestions were put forth as to how pressure on PPPP-MQM coalition can be maintained. Some very practical ideas were fielded. One suggestion was ..a blitz of emails, snail mail and phone calls will be made to Sindh to PPPP MPAs to resign or withdraw support to SPLGA.

Urdu speaking Sindhis also reject the controversial & apartheid Sindh local govt. law

Dr. S. Akhtar Ehtisham, a veteran progressive activists, intellectual & writer rejects “splgo.”

By: Dr. S. Akhtar Ehtisham

…. What is happening is truly tragic and I do not believe it even helps ‘Mohajirs’. It helps MQM fascist ranks and is aimed at garnering Mohajir vote for PPP which is facing a great challenge from Imran aka Taliban Khan.

I was in Sindh when MQM was launched. Altaf met G.M. Syed many times. An understanding was reportedly reached, but was vetoed by Zia, whose creation MQM was. .’Nationalist’ Sindhis and MQM wallahs opposed it too. I was told this by Zaidi Sahib, the political guru of Altaf.-forget the first name, it may have been Ijlal. Altaf also met Pir Pagara, but that is neither here or there.

Fahmida Riaz, an intellectual, writer & poet rejects “splgo.’

When Mohajirs fled India, they were heartily welcomed by Sindhis. My uncle, a member of the communist party, worked as a teacher in Jacobabad. He was a poet too and sported the title Jacobabadi. My other uncle worked in railways and worked in villages like Haibat Shaheed.

In the early years mohajirs and Sindhis had started intermarrying.

But Pakistan was ruled by the Mohajir-Punjabi civil servants (out of 83, one Bengali and no Pathan, Baluch or Sindhi. 82 nearly equally divided between Punjabis and Mohajirs) developed a love-hate relationship and looked down upon every one else-Bengali/Baloch/Pathan and Sindhi. Mind you ordinary Punjabis and mohajirs were in nearly as bad a shape as the others.

It is an impasse. The only way out is for Sindhis, other ethnicities and Mohajirs to get together.

I understand Mohjirs are not in actual numerical majority in Karachi or Hyderabad. A considerable number of people hate MQM. They together with Sindhis, Pashtoons and Baluchs may be able to outvote Altaf followers.

A United Front would have to be launched.

There is a problem though. Sindhis would find it hard to oppose PPP and it requires political sophistication to support one party in general elections and another in local ones.

About the Author – Dr. S. Akhtar Ehtisham is a veteran progressive activists & intellectual who was one of the members of the University of Karachi Students who participated in the meeting of NSF in Karachi, Sindh in 1955 when the process of takeover of NSF by progressive students started. Later he moved to Dow Medical College and participated actively in left-wing students’ politics. He is also author of a book titled “A medical Doctor Looks at Life on Three Continents”

Courtesy: Pakistani e-lists/ e-groups, 21 Oct. 2012

Sindh rejects “SPLGO” – Statement of writers, intellectuals and civil society of Sindh

Press Release – We the writers, poets, intellectuals, artists, and civil society members of Sindh strongly condemn the government of Sindh for unlawfully passing SPLGO-2012 in the Sindh Assembly. This act (illegal) exposes PPP of betraying Sindh and Sindhi people. This act has virtually created state within state in Sindh and has encroached upon the sovereignty of Sindh over its big cities.

This act has seeded permanent division and conflicts among different people living in Sindh. The PPP government did not realize that through this act, Sindh

has been plunged into chaos, unrest and conflicts, making the lives of people of Sindh unbearable. The PPP government in the name of reconciliation

has destroyed the governance, social and economic fabric of Sindh. No peace will return to cities in the presence of the act. This act has given limitless power to mayors and has created big cities as fiefdoms for them.

The PPP government was given mandate to curb terrorism, introduce good governance, promote economic development and protect the rights of Sindh and Sindhi people. But it has sold the people of Sindh and created the division of Sindh. The new political developments indicate that the PPP government is creating conditions, which may destroy peace in Sindh. The responsibility squarely rest on the PPP government.

Sindhi writers and intellectuals have gathered here to take firm stand against the act and pledge to fight against it like they fought against One-Unit.

They will not only struggle against this act in Sindh and Pakistan but all over the world. They will raise voice against the black act in international forums including-the UN. We feel that this black act will not only lead to the division of Sindh. But specially so called metropolitan corporations in Karachi, Hyderabad and Mirpur Khas will facilitate illegal migration from India, converting Sindhis in a minority in their own land, which we will never allow and will prefer to die.

This black act will support terrorism, target killing, ethnic cleansing of Sindhis in Karachi, Hyderabad and MirpurKhas. It will promote all types of organized crimes in these cities.

We appeal to the people of Sindh to be united against this black act. We demand from the PPP government to withdraw the black act and leave to next government to introduce local government bill observing all democratic norms including consultation with the all stakeholders. We do not have trust on the PPP government and it has already betrayed the people of Sindh on all fronts.

We notice that recent events may cause highly tense among Sindhis and the PPP government will be squarely responsible for it. Once again we demand to avert the situation if she calls herself democratic by withdrawing this act immediately, call all stakeholders to concern and introduce new bill acceptable to all.

PPP’s Oct 15 Hyderabad Public Gathering yet another big Disappointment

By: Dr. Azhar A. Shah

PPP’s Oct 15, 2012 Hyderabad Public Gathering was yet another big disappointment indeed. None of the speakers’ could dare to justify the controversial & infamous SPLG Act 2012 and to refute the criticism logically. All they did was unethical character assassination of the nationalist leaders! They conveyed the message that PPP is not in a position to have dialogue on the SPLGA but it is ready for len den (political bribe)!

The feudal lords of PPP gathered their peasants and workers only to tell them that they had nothing to say about SPLGA 2012. Even the minister for Local Government and the Sindh Chief Minister didn’t bother to justify how SPLGA and its various provisions would be beneficial for the people of Sindh and how the criticism of nationalist leaders was invalid! They couldn’t cite any working examples of the newly passed controversial law anywhere in the world.

Having listened to all the speeches of PPP leaders one could easily conclude that they are no more eligible to be called people’s representatives. One of the PPP leader publicly says that he has firm belief that ‘aik zardari sab pe bhari(one zardari more than all). When this is the norm that one person is more than all then what do we expect about democracy! He indeed publicly confessed that it is Mr. Zardari who engages in all this game and he and other members of PPP have no role what so ever!

The take home message of PPPs public gathering for the people of Sindh was to go and get ready for revolution; we have nothing to offer you; elect your proper alternatives who could Save Sindh. That’s a good message indeed!

Courtesy: Sindhi e-lists/ e-groups, 16 Oct. 2012