Category Archives: Islamabad

History of Forcible Occupation of Baluchistan – by Zafar Baloch

Zaffar Baloch Claims: Pakistan Occupies Balochistan. The language of the interview is urdu (Hindi).

Courtesy: Rawal Tv (BilaTakalluf with Tahir Gora Ep24)

Honorable Dana Rohrabacher a Chairman of US foreign affairs committee has announced to support Sindh’s Freedom movement

Honorable Dana Rohrabacher a Chairman of US foreign affairs committee has announced to support Sindh’s Freedom movement . A month ago he has tabled resolution for Baluchistan’s freedom. …..

آمريڪي سينٽ جي پرڏيھي معاملن جي ڪاميٽيءَ جي چيئرمين ڊانا روھرا بيڪر چيو آھي ته ھو بلوچن جيان جلد مظلوم سنڌين جي حقن لاءِ به آواز اٿاريندو ـ

Courtesy: Sindhi News Channel Sindh TV, Sindhi News Channel KTN » YouTube

Today the Baloch nation is observing black day, I cry with the Balochs?

27 March I celebrate or I cry with the Baloch? – by Salma Jafar

Today the Baloch nation is observing black day to mark its annexation to Pakistan. For me it is not a black day it is a day I want to celebrate. I want to celebrate because it gave me the occasion to grow up with these lovely people known as the Baloch. I want to celebrate my Baloch friends, my Baloch students, my Baloch relatives and many of them are my Baloch family. Had it not been for 27th March I wouldn’t have been a part of the Baloch culture, the Baloch music, the Baloch valour, the Baloch courage and the Baloch tolerance that when combined with the culture and valour of my own nation Pashtuns becomes the most beautiful combination ever. We have lived together, suffered togther hoped together, despaired together, dreamed together, and at times have been nasty to each other too – in this Baloch-Pashtun land. Well I would never want to live without them. So I don’t support Baloch independence for this very selfish reason of mine.

But yet the bitter-bitter truth is that for Baloch this is not a day of celebration it is a black day; by definition a day when something really bad and unpleasant has happened. They are observing it as a black day for being a part of Pakistan. They are angry and estranged and want freedom but why? Am not going to delve into the theory of forced annexation here but would share how Baloch have been treated, (I will today not say Balochistan as that covers Pashtun areas also and despite that Pashtuns have suffered equally but today is not our day) they have been treated as slaves (I hate to use this word but this is what Baloch think and feel) who should only obey the orders of their masters; in this case of course Punjab who has been running the shots. Unfortunately they didn’t understand the Baloch psychology they are not born to take orders or take dictations it is not in them. And that too not for any welfare but to usurp rights and carry out injustice. Balochistan is a dismal picture of social injustice all over. But if you visit the Baloch areas which I have; your definition of poverty and misery will change. People are subjugated to primitive lives with no development whatsoever.

But the Baloch did not ask you to give them anything; all they demanded is their right to their own resources. As if denying them that right and pushing them into abject poverty, illiteracy and disease was not enough the atrocious state bombarded them if they asked for controlling their own resources and controlling their own destinies, this is all they asked for; and bombarded them again and again and again. Trying new tactic to subjugate them further for last several years started the kill and dump policy, where young activists are picked up and after some time their dead mutilated bodies are found. There has been no end to this horrific game whereby hundreds of Baloch have been killed and dumped, many of them target killed and thousands are still missing; the internally displaced persons as a result of this conflict are mere refugees as the state has not granted them a refugee status to access humanitarian response; only cause they are Baloch. Raising voice for the Baloch is considered treachery by those in power; yes camouflaged as democrats.

What adds insult to injury is that amidst this very dreadful background Balochistan discourse remains as an economic and political discourse for most. There is a violent and ferocious insurgency going on in Balochistan; the Baloch are being shut up by killing them and they are killing in return too – their demand is now independence.

The wounds and scars of the Baloch are deep and the pain and agony are hard to touch – their silent screams I can hear; and a tear I shed with a prayer for their pain to end.

Courtesy: LUBP

What kind of justice is this?

By: From the facebook wall of Aziz Narejo

Kill me here in court, but don’t send me to Darul-Aman” The words of Rinkal Kumari: “Everyone in Pakistan is hand in glove, there is justice only for Muslims, there is no justice for Hindus. Kill me here in court, but don’t send me to Darul-Aman, all these people are hand in glove, they will kill us”.

Even after repeated pleas by Rinkal Kumari & her parents, the court didn’t allow her to go with her parents. Instead the court sent her to shelter home in Karachi where she said that she faces threat to her life. What kind of justice is this?

Who will be responsible now if something happens to her? I think the Chief Justice & the other two members of the bench should be held directly responsible if something happens to her. A direct FIR should be registered against them in case something happens to Rinkal Kumari.

After Rinkal Kumari’s statement in the Supreme Court today & her cries to go with her parents, it is established beyond any doubt that she is separated from her family against her will & that she had been kidnapped & forcibly converted to Islam. Now it is the duty of the govt & the Supreme Court to immediately order the arrest of kidnapper Naveed Shah, his accomplices, MNA Mian Mithoo, Mithoo’s family members & armed men who harassed a Sindhi Hindu girl.

Shame on those Sindhis & Pakistanis who still support Mian Mithoo brand of forced conversion to Islam of non-Muslim girls.

The Supreme Court should immediately order a complete inquiry in the case & punish all the culprits.

Courtesy: Aziz Narejo’s facebook wall.

RInkle Kumari and her precedents

Brides of contention- (article from 1994..the more things change..)

Also see this article from a few days ago..and don’t miss this video celebrating Rinke Kumari’s conversion (reversion?) to Islam, complete with poetry by Allama Iqbal Jihadi. Click here

By Hasan Mujtaba (btw, notice that communists and socialists in both India and Pakistan have been more consistent than most in fighting such evils, sometimes at great personal risk)

( I wrote this story about forced conversion of Hindu women in Pakistan of 1994. So far forced conversion of Hindu women nothing has been changed. Even the modus operandi of forced conversions and its operaters remain as the same)…… …… ……… …….

On January 19, a Hindu girl named Daya Bai disappeared from her house in Daharki, district Ghotki (Sindh, Pakistan). She surfaced ten days later outside the deputy commissioner’s office, wearing bridal clothes,and accompanied by several hundred strong gathering (MANY OF WHOM WERE ARMED WITH AUTOMATIC WEAPONS) led by pirs of Bharchundi chanting Allaho – Akbar. During the nikah (wedding) that followed, Daya Bai’s mother wept inconsolably, repeatedly striking her head on the floor in anguish,”let me meet my daughter even if she is getting married’ she implored but her pleas fell on deaf ears.

For the Hindu community in Sukkur and Larkano, Daya Bai’s disappearance, conversion to Islam and subsequent marriage with a Muslim in suspicious circumstances is not unpresedented occurance. Between January and February at least 3 Hindu girls, Daya Bai from Daharki, Shakuntala from Pano Aquil, and Bhagawanti, the daughter of a Larkano professor were allegedly kidnapped from from their homes at the gunpoint. Of the three, Daya Bai and Bahgawanti converted to Islam and married muslim men whereas Shakunatala’s whereabouts are not known. Shakuntala, allegedly kidnapped from her home by a man named Kalhoro, she embraced Islam and married to someone other than her abductor. Speculation abounds that she may have been sold. The story of the daughter of Koro Mal, Hindu trader from Larkana, is similar. THERE ARE SEVERAL SUCH INSTANCES IN WHICH GIRLS BELIEVED TO HAVE ELOPED WITH THEIR MUSLIM LOVERS ARE NOT MARRIED TO THEM BUT WERE EITHER MARRIED OFF TO SOMEONE ELSE OR KILLED.

The increasing incidents of forcible conversions and marriages of Hindu girls have compelled some Hindus to migrate to India to protect their daughters and family honor. ‘The parents of girls who have met this fate are like the living dead’ says Ghanshyam Das a social worker in Kashmore.

Similarly, as Mukhi Nihalchand, a Hindu community leader in Rohri points out forcible conversion of Hindu men continues unreported and unabated. The conversion at Bharchundi of a Hindu boy from a wealthy Umerkot family sometime back is a case in point. After a while, the boy reconverted to Hinduism and migrated to India with his family.

Continue reading RInkle Kumari and her precedents

In Pakistan, Hindus Say Woman’s Conversion to Islam Was Coerced

By DECLAN WALSH

GHOTKI, Pakistan — Banditry is an old scourge in this impoverished district of southern Pakistan, on the plains between the mighty river Indus and a sprawling desert, where roving gangs rob and kidnap with abandon. Lately, though, local passions have stirred with allegations of an unusual theft: that of a young woman’s heart.

In the predawn darkness on Feb. 24, Rinkel Kumari, a 19-year-old student from a Hindu family, disappeared from her home in Mirpur Mathelo, a small village off a busy highway in Sindh Province. Hours later, she resurfaced 12 miles away, at the home of a prominent Muslim cleric who phoned her parents with news that distressed them: Their daughter wished to convert to Islam, he said.

Their protests were futile. By sunset, Ms. Kumari had become a Muslim, married a young Muslim man, and changed her name to Faryal Bibi.

Over the past month, this conversion has generated an acrid controversy that has reverberated far beyond its origins in small-town Pakistan, whipping up a news media frenzy that has traced ugly sectarian divisions and renewed a wider debate about the protection of vulnerable minorities in a country that has so often failed them.

At its heart, though, it is a head-on clash of narratives and motives.

Hindu leaders insist that Ms. Kumari was abducted at gunpoint and forced to abandon her religion. ….

Read more » The New York Times

Pak Must Stop Atrocities in Balochistan: Asma Jehangir

New Delhi: Prominent Pakistani human rights activist Asma Jehangir wants Pakistan to put its act together for a time-bound mechanism to address the unrest in Baluchistan while appealing for ending “hair-raising” atrocities in the troubled province.

Jehangir , who is in India as part of a delegation of Supreme Court Bar Association of Pakistan (SCBAP) attending a seminar organised by Supreme Court Bar Association, said her country was going through a “very difficult” phase which was not comprehended here properly.

“I think that the government (of Pakistan) has to put its act together. First of all, the atrocities which are very tragic, which are hair-raising have to stop,” Jehangir told PTI on the sidelines of a dinner hosted in her honour by South Asia Free Media Association (SAFMA) and South Asian Women in Media (SAWM) here.

Read more » http://news.in.msn.com/pakistan/article.aspx?cp-documentid=5939005

Mullah, Military and Media – ‘Punjabi Nationalism’ Dominates Pakistani National Discourse

‘Punjabi Nationalism’ Dominates National Discourse

Pakistan’s ‘jaundiced’ media is full of terms such as ‘Baloch, Pashtun, or Sindhi nationalism’ and ‘Mohajirs’. What is missing in defining Pakistan’s ethnic groups in the mainstream media is ‘Punjabi nationalism’.

The electronic media, newspapers and communication flood on the social media had printed on the masses’ minds that demands coming from Pakhtunkhwa, Sindh and Balochistan are speaking of the nationalists in those provinces. However, Punjab’s gains in development, education, health, and communication infrastructure are portrayed as national achievements of Pakistan.

In politics, a term like ‘Sindh card’ is widely used with PPP despite its presence in all four provinces, FATA and Gilgit-Baltistan. ANP is hardly defined in terms of its secular agenda or the only anti-Taliban forces in the volatile northwest Pakistan. Political forces from Balochistan—JWP, BNP and others are presented as soft names of the Baloch rebel groups in the national media. Political parties in Sindh are paraded in the media with the available negative tags attached to their names and causes.

All national traitors Pakistanis have known so far through media are either the Bengalis of the pre-71 Pakistan or the non-Pujabi nationalities of the post-71 era–Sindhis, Pashtuns, Balochis and Mohajirs. Starting from the latest case, Dr Shakil Afridi (the doctor whose small efforts had allegedly got rid the South Asian Islam off the terror godfather Osama bin Laden and Wahabism) is Pashtun. Former Prime Minister Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto (Sindh), former opposition leader late Khan Abdul Wali Khan (Pakhtunkhwa), late GM Syed (Sindh), late Ghaus Bakhsh Bizanjo (Balochistan), to name a few, all are defined as traitors in the mainstream media. Altaf Hussain of MQM can’t come back to Pakistan and leaders like Nawab Akbar Bugti don’t deserve life.

Contrary to this, the Indian-specific media and text books are defining Major Aziz Bhatti, Captain Muhammad Sarwar, Major Muhammad Tufail (a total of 11) as Pakistan’s national heroes. All of them died while defending Punjab in four wars against India from 1948-1999. However, the state and ‘yellow’ media of Pakistan have yet to produce a single hero in the 10- year war against Terrorism in a comparatively tough terrain and tricky battlefield known as the Wild Wild West of Pakistan.

Over 160 million Pakistanis, today, can’t recall a man or a woman that they know who might have been fallen against the Arab, Central Asian or Pakistani fanatics in the mountains in FATA while defending Pakistan against militancy. One apparent reason for this nation-wide apathy towards soldiers fighting Terrorism is that Pakistan not owning the ongoing war despite its claims of higher causalities at international fora.

The decades long control of the Punjabi mindset and ‘Maulvis-turned-journalists’ on media has locked Pakistani journalism in ‘Punjabi Box’. The journalists living in that particular box can hardly imagine the sensitivities of people and regions existing out of the Punjabi Box. They don’t see Pakistan Muslim League (N) or (Q) as Punjabi nationalists nor they define Sharif brothers as leaders of Punjabi nationalism when they allocate more development funds for Punjab or deny due shares of the other three provinces from the national pool of resources.

Whether it’s a political fight between PPP or Muslim League, differences on NFC award (national resources), provincial autonomy, militancy, royalty rights, blasphemy law, or women rights, Pakistani media shows Punjab’s voice as protagonist and those of other provinces as antagonist in its narration of events.

As if that is not enough, they cover up Punjab’s causes as Pakistan hard core national interests and label others as Pashtun, Baloch, Sindhi or Mohajir nationalists in a bid to deny them a space on the minds of media viewers, listeners and readers.

The irony is that the state institutes and Pakistani intellectuals call it a ‘media revolution era’ of Pakistan though a reader of the Jang newspapers in 1970s and viewer of Geo TV in March 2012 doesn’t see a difference in contents and description of facts (Punjab vis-à-vis others). The media revolution in Pakistan has, unfortunately, reinvigorated the Punjabi voice and its outreach, however, and has successfully avoided the ‘Punjabi nationalism’ label for itself while defending the interests of one major ethnic group at all levels in a multi-ethnic country.

Courtesy: Mullah Military Media

http://mullahmilitarymedia.blogspot.ca/2012/03/punjabi-nationalism-dominates-national.html

The blurred vision of Imran Khan – Promising to end corruption in 90 days smacks more of autocracy than democracy

Eliminating corruption in 90 days

By Raza Rumi

Excerpts;

….  Much has been said about the great Khan’s sympathies for the militants who are resisting ‘America’s war’ in our region. Never mind that they also kill Pakistanis, attack mosques, shrines and funerals and are in bed with a global ideology that wants to decimate the ‘un-Islamic’ Pakistani state. The odd relationship between the PTI and the self-declared defenders of Pakistan — the ragtag Islamist parties, ex-servicemen and known terrorists — has also been highlighted. I will not dwell on these issues as several commentators have indicated the dangers of this populist discourse and the larger, intrinsic relationship between populism and authoritarianism.

My real worry is that Mr Khan is yet to offer an alternative agenda. His charisma, cricket connection, philanthropic record and the use of social media are at work. When it comes to policy, the plan ahead is almost farcical. Haven’t we heard of elimination of corruption in 90 days before? Corruption, as a slogan, has been used by almost every Pakistani government to undermine political opponents. As early as the 1950s, laws to disqualify politicians were enacted.

The 1990s saw the military establishment orchestrate a ridiculous anti-corruption charade. Nawaz Sharif’s second tenure had a Himmler-wannabe as the chief of accountability, who turned anti-corruption efforts into medieval witch-hunts. Former President General Pervez Musharraf’s illegitimate rule was welcomed by the same urban middle classes, which now cheer for Imran Khan to eliminate the ‘corrupt’, old guard politicians.

Tackling corruption is not a 90-day job, for it will only result in high-powered accountability operations stuck in a dysfunctional legal system. It is a medium to long-term process involving restructuring of institutions — laws, formal and informal rules and conventions — which shape societal interaction and determine state behaviour. Pakistani politics and economics are defined by the military’s hegemony. The biggest expenditure items — defence and debt servicing — are virtually unaccountable. Has Mr Khan thought about these issues or will these disappear through ‘moral legitimacy’ — another wooly construct cited like a totem. ‘Clean’ civilians will make the khakis give up power. One has to live in wonderland to accept such postulates as even half-credible. ….

Read more » The Express Tribune

via – Twitter

Brig Ali approaches Abbottabad commission to record statement: Sources

By Sumera Khan

ISLAMABAD: Brigadier (retd) Ali Khan – who is accused of conspiring to overthrow the government and currently facing court martial proceedings – sent a request to the Abbottabad commission to record his testimony and to make revelations pertaining to the Kargil Operation and the 1999 military coup, sources have revealed.

Sources have said that Brig Ali has requested the Abbottabad commission to allow him to appear in a hearing as he has sensitive information pertaining to national security, which he think should be shared with them. He has, in his written request, stated that he is the one who was most affected by the May 2 raid in which Osama bin Laden was killed.

The application from Brig Ali had been sent though courier dispatch by his family.

Brig Ali, who is accused of having links with Hizb-ut-Tahrir (HuT), had earlier claimed that the court martial is to malign him because he had asked the military brass to fix responsibility for the May 2 raid. Charges of planning an air raid on the General Headquarters using F-16s had also earlier been dropped.

Courtesy: The Express Tribune

http://tribune.com.pk/story/354493/brig-ali-approaches-abbottabad-commission-to-record-statement/

JSQM Calls For Independent Sindh

Hundreds of thousands attend JSQM ‘Freedom March’

* Demonstrators denounce Pakistan Resolution of 1940 and chant slogans in favour of ‘Sindhu Desh

By Asghar Azad

Excerpts;

…. JSQM Calls For Independent Sindh: “We Sindhis now disown the Pakistan Resolution, say it good bye and demand independence of Sindh according to historical status”.

Hundreds of thousands attend JSQM ‘Freedom March’ in Karachi, Sindh.

Demonstrators denounce Pakistan Resolution of 1940 and chant slogans in favour of ‘Sindhu Desh’

Addressing the participants, Jeay Sindh Qaumi Muhaz Chairman, Bashir Qureshi said that Sindh had voluntarily merged itself into the country under 1940’s Pakistan Resolution but now its people were disowning it as the resolution had failed to protect rights and autonomy of the province during last 65 years.

The Sindhi nationalist leader announced that his party accepted Urdu speaking population in Sindh during the partition and considered them part of Sindh, adding, the Urdu speaking population would have to take steps for Sindh and its people sincerely and would prove their attachment with Sindh. …..

To read complete report » Daily Times

http://dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=20123\24\story_24-3-2012_pg12_5

Slogans of Independence

JSQM rally

By Dr. Ahmed Makhdoom

Leading a ‘march against slavery,’ in Karachi, the capital of Sindh,‘Nationalist Party ’ of Sindh, JSQM demanded an independence of Sindh from the deep state of Punjab-dominated, Punjab-ruled, and Punjab-manipulated state. The idolized chieftain, leading his flag-waving, slogans-screaming, ferociously hands-waving and menacingly arms-flailing collection of turbulent and animated mechanised Sindhi supporters passed peacefully and harmoniously through the wide streets of the business-centres and the busy thoroughfares of the heavily-populated metropolis of Sindh.

And, today, in Karachi, Sindh, the Sindh nationalist leader Bashir Khan Qureshi, who is Chairman of Jeay Sindh Qaumi Mahaz (JSQM), proclaimed: “Sindhis are ready to protect their motherland and to defend every inch of Sindh.”

However, is this ‘march,’ proclamations, speeches and the chanting of the ‘demands’ enough? My honest and straightforward, frank and candid, prudent and sincere answer is a blunt, “No!” Why? But, first things first – the bravado and enthusiasm, love and genuineness, honesty and integrity, loyalty and patriotism of the nationalist leader, Bashir Qureshi of the Jeay Sindh and his thousands of Sindhi supporters, is manifestly praise-worthy, highly commendable and extremely laudable! My humble head bows down to your remarkable sense of purpose and my hands rise up to my forehead to salute you for this great show of faithfulness and allegiance for Motherland and constancy and passion for our Ancestral Land, Jeejal Sindhrree.

However, is this ‘march’ and the chanting of the ‘demands’ enough? Are these highly animated hoarse-voiced speeches for Sindh’s sovereignty enough? My honest and straightforward, frank and candid, prudent and sincere answer is a blunt, “No!” Why, because, the voice for the rights of Sindh, sadly, pathetically, disgustingly and unfortunately, none will hear this murmur  for the glorious and gregarious Land of Sindh! The voice for the rights of Sindh will turn into the deafening by the Punjab dominated establishment. Therefore, we should UNITE and FIGHT FOR THE EQUAL RIGHTS FOR THE PEOPLE OF SINDH.

There should be a Sindh where everyone should be an equal citizen, without any hegemony of any religious dogma or practices – A Secular Sindh. Feudalism and Peeree Mureedee must be abolished – freedom from Feudal Lords, Peers, Paathaareedaars, Chiefs, Wadderaas, and hereditary crooked politicians and their ruling families – a Socialists Sindh! A Sindh with its own culture, history, heritage civilisation, music and arts, norms and traditions, language and literature: A Sindhi Sindh, a Sufi Sindh, a Progressive Sindh! a Sindh that co-exists with other communities and nations of the world and play its positive role for the peace and betterment of the world and humanity.

Sindhi leadership must also come out, immediately, with Constitution and Flag of Sindh! Those living in Sindh should learn Sindhi language, Sindhi way of peaceful life, Sindhi food, Sindhi values, Sindhi music, and Sindhi culture of love and communal harmony.

And, let us ‘march’ not alone, but TOGETHER for Sindh and Sindhyat (Humanity). Let us speak with the real, true, noble and worthy ‘Sindhyat,’ which our Murshid (mentor, guide, teacher, guru), Shah Abdul Latif Bhittai, the True Leader, Sufi, Saint and Sage of Sindh has taught his (followers, adherents, devotees, pupils) thus:

Continue reading Slogans of Independence

‘Face the truth, Musharraf’ – Mark Siegel on BB’s assassination

‘Face the truth, Musharraf’ – Will there be justice for Benazir Bhutto?

By Mark Siegel / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

I was with Benazir Bhutto on Sept. 25, 2007, when she received a call from Gen. Pervez Musharraf, who was then Pakistan’s president. She was visibly shaken when she hung up the phone: Musharraf had threatened her with dire consequences if she returned to Pakistan to lead her Pakistan Peoples Party in the upcoming elections, where she was the major threat to defeat him. Bhutto quoted him as saying that she would be responsible for what happened to her.

Three weeks later, she returned to Pakistan after eight years in exile. She was greeted in Karachi by 3 million people — and two suicide assassin bombers. Within hours of her arrival, a failed assassination attempt took the lives of 170 of her party workers. Afterward, she emailed me to say that if anything happened to her, she would hold Musharraf responsible. Two months later, she was dead.

Earlier this month, Pakistan’s government, after a four-year investigation, requested that Interpol issue an international warrant for the arrest of Musharraf for Bhutto’s murder. He has been summoned before the Supreme Court of Pakistan tomorrow. No one expects him to appear.

Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/opinion/face-truth-musharraf-article-1.1047729#ixzz1pl4l6Kq5

Al Qaeda and its apologists in Pakistan

Al Qaeda and its apologists

By Raza Rumi

The new al Qaeda chief, Ayman al-Zawahiri in his new video statement has urged the people of Pakistan to overthrow the “corrupt” government in Islamabad. Interestingly, he has also asked the people to rise against the Pakistan Army, which has been fighting a battle against some extremist groups in the north west of the country. Al Qaeda has been making such desperate calls for a decade now. But the worrying part is that the message — or its operative part — has gained currency in many middle class Pakistanis. Despite the crackdown, Hizbut Tahreer (HuT) continues to operate like several other militant groups. The extent of its advocacy for overthrowing the generals and the politicians is such that a HuT affiliated senior army official is on trial these days.

But these trials and military interventions are pointless when Islamabad, virtually a security zone, displays HuT posters and stickers almost everywhere. Why are the activists not tracked down and why do the government and the all-powerful intelligence agencies allow proliferation of such propaganda? A partial explanation is that elements of the state are also steeped in this a similar mindset. It is an established fact that the composition of the officers’ corps in the army and civilian bureaucracy is overwhelmingly middle class.

In his latest statement, again al-Zawahiri has mentioned the 70-year-old American aid worker Dr Warren Weinstein, who was kidnapped in August 2011 from Lahore. The message from al Qaeda is that Weinstein will not be released until their demands are met. Among others, a key demand is the release of Aafia Siddiqui, a Pakistani scientist sentenced by the US courts and currently languishing in an American prison. Ms Aafia’s story is still incomplete and there are competing claims over her role in perpetrating ‘terrorism’ as well as her innocence. ….

Read more » The Express Tribune

The bloody civilians and the almighty generals

Baaghi: Caviar to the general – By Marvi Sirmed

Even if the agencies in other countries play this ‘august’ role of interrupting the democratic process in their countries, does it justify ISI’s doling out money to keep a certain political party of the people’s choice out of government?

“Tacitly registering his concern over the debate in the media on the role of the army and the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Ashfaq Kayani on Wednesday said, ‘The national institutions should not be undermined’”, said a news item in an English language daily newspaper on March 15. What merited this royal annoyance was open to discussion in the media about the re-eruption of a long simmering ‘Mehrangate’ that should be best described as ISI-gate. According to this case, some Rs 140 million had been doled out to politicians to rig the elections in 1990. The rest of the money out of Rs 350 million, as claimed by one Younas Habib, Zonal Manager of Habib Bank at that time, who was allegedly asked by the ISI to generate these funds, eventually went to the coffers of ISI and its officials and General Aslam Beg, the then army chief.

Continue reading The bloody civilians and the almighty generals

Have you heard of any country where the apex court wants to hand over a sitting president to a foreign magistrate?

Will not write letter to Swiss authorities, PM tells SC

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani on Monday submitted his reply to the Supreme Court in the contempt of court case, DawnNews reported.

In the reply, the prime minister formally informed the SC that he would not write the letter to the Swiss authorities to reopen graft cases against President Asif Ali Zardari.

The prime minister’s lawyer Chaudhry Aitzaz Ahsen’s associate Barrister Gauhar submitted the reply, consisting of 24 pages, to the apex court.

The PM claimed in his reply that he completely trusts the SC, but expressed reservations on the bench.

Gilani stated that he was wrongly convicted by courts for eight and ten years earlier too, but that he was as innocent then as he is today.

The prime minister claims that his decision to not write to the Swiss authorities was in good faith, and that the constitution does not allow him to write the letter. The reply further argues that presenting the president before a foreign would be in violation of the Constitution.

Earlier today, Aitzaz had said that it was not necessary that court’s verdict against Gilani would result in the premier’s disqualification.

Aitzaz said that Supreme Court should not take any decision on March 21 without hearing him.

Moreover, he also said that a sentence of less than two years could not disqualify the prime minister. Aitzaz added that following the constitution of Pakistan does not indicate that they are at odds with the judiciary.

He said that certain elements were trying to create a rift between the government and judiciary however they would not be allowed to succeed.

Courtesy: DAWN.COM

Via » Twitter

Pakistan, Iran jockey for influence after bombings

* Iran says Jundallah group operates from Pakistan, * Pakistan promises to hand over terrorists to Iran, * Ahmed Rashid says there is mistrust for Pakistan all over

ISLAMABAD: As tension grows between Pakistan and Iran after a mosque bombing in Iran, Pakistan could find itself increasingly isolated as its western neighbour looks to increase its influence in the region, analysts say.

Jundallah, a terrorist group Iran says is based in Balochistan, claimed responsibility for a December 15 double suicide bombing in the Iranian town of Chahbahar that killed 39 people and wounded more than 100.

Iran has demanded Pakistan take action with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad calling this week on his Pakistani counterpart, Asif Ali Zardari, to arrest “identified terrorists” and hand them over to Iran.

Iran says Jundallah fighters find shelter in Pakistan. Pakistan denies providing shelter for the group.

But in an echo of US demands regarding Taliban sanctuaries in northwest Pakistan, a member of the Iranian parliament’s national security and foreign policy committee suggested that if Pakistan did not act, Iran would. …

Read more : Daily Times
http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2010\12\23\story_23-12-2010_pg7_6

Thar coal take over: How Sindh govt. is playing fiddle

By Aziz Narejo

Contrary to Sindh government’s statements in the press that it is opposed to the establishment of Thar Coal Authority, it has actually become an accomplice to the take over of Thar coal, a precious Sindh resource, by the federal government. It has surpassed the duly established Sindh Coal Authority through an act of Sindh Assembly and has established Thar Coal & Energy Board giving away more powers to the federal government than even the Thar Coal Authority had.

This is unacceptable and all should raise voice against this robbery of an invaluable Sindh resources. ..

Courtesy: Sindhi e-lists/ e-groups.