Category Archives: Personalities

Trudeaumania: Will Canada’s new PM undo damage of Harperism?

By Hadani Ditmars

Like millions of Canadians, I allowed myself to bask in the warm after-glow of our recent federal election – one that saw the triumph of 43 year-old Justin Trudeau and the end of the Harper era.

Who could have resisted the image of the telegenic and triumphant young Trudeau, radiating warmth and humanity – qualities sorely lacking in ex-Prime Minister Stephen Harper- as he strode on-stage to make his victory speech.

Mere weeks earlier, it looked like Harper’s politics of fear and division – his odd but apparently vote garnering insistence on making the wearing of the niqab an election issue, his government’s establishment of a“hotline” to report “barbaric cultural practices” and his call for stripping dual citizens convicted of terrorist acts of their Canadian citizenship – were going to usher in another Conservative government. But October 19th’s victory speech was all about inclusiveness and diversity.

Trudeau spoke of “real change” and invoked the ghost of Prime Minister Wilfrid Laurier citing his comment on“sunny ways” over divisive politics. He reached out to First Nations Communities – who just enjoyed a precedent setting election of 10 members of parliament- and to Muslim Canadians – who had been targeted by Harper under Islamophobic “anti-terror” policies. He even held out an olive branch to Conservatives – who had targeted him in “attack ads”, calling them “our neighbors”, “not our enemies.”

His statements that “Canada was built by people from all corners of the world, all cultures and all faiths” – and“our enviable inclusive society didn’t happen by accident”– recalled the multiculturalist policies of his father Pierre. These were policies that ushered in an era of internationalism and diversity and one that earned Canada a global reputation as a place where human rights were upheld at home and abroad.

Read more » RT
See more » https://www.rt.com/op-edge/319487-canada-elections-justin-trudeau/

Americans can’t stop talking about how hot our new prime minister is

Hey, at least they’re finally paying attention to us.

We don’t think there has ever been a time Americans collectively paid this much attention to a Canadian federal election. Folks south of our border are showing an astonishing amount of interest, and it’s all because of, well, Justin Trudeau and his dashing good looks. ;;;;

Read more » the loop
See more » http://www.theloop.ca/americans-think-our-new-prime-minister-is-a-hottie/

Justin Trudeau unleashes his inner desi and Pakistan loves it

There’s just something about men in shalwar kameez and Justin Trudeau knows it.

The chiseled charmer, who just became the Prime Minister of Canada, has women all over the globe singing ‘Oh Canada’.

Read more » DAWN
See more » http://images.dawn.com/news/1174090/justin-trudeau-unleashes-his-inner-desi-and-pakistan-loves-what-it-sees

Naomi Klein: the hypocrisy behind the big business climate change battle

Richard Branson has pledged $3bn to fight climate change, and delivered just $230m. Naomi Klein looks at the ‘greenwashing’ of big business and its effects – on the planet, and our own bodies

By 

I denied climate change for longer than I care to admit. I knew it was happening, sure. But I stayed pretty hazy on the details and only skimmed most news stories. I told myself the science was too complicated and the environmentalists were dealing with it. And I continued to behave as if there was nothing wrong with the shiny card in my wallet attesting to my “elite” frequent-flyer status.

A great many of us engage in this kind of denial. We look for a split second and then we look away. Or maybe we do really look, but then we forget. We engage in this odd form of on-again-off-again ecological amnesia for perfectly rational reasons. We deny because we fear that letting in the full reality of this crisis will change everything.

And we are right. If we continue on our current path of allowing emissions to rise year after year, major cities will drown, ancient cultures will be swallowed by the seas; our children will spend much of their lives fleeing and recovering from vicious storms and extreme droughts. Yet we continue all the same.

What is wrong with us? I think the answer is far more simple than many have led us to believe: we have not done the things needed to cut emissions because those things fundamentally conflict with deregulated capitalism, the reigning ideology for the entire period we have struggled to find a way out of this crisis. We are stuck, because the actions that would give us the best chance of averting catastrophe – and benefit the vast majority – are threatening to an elite minority with a stranglehold over our economy, political process and media.

That problem might not have been insurmountable had it presented itself at another point in our history. But it is our collective misfortune that governments and scientists began talking seriously about radical cuts to greenhouse gas emissions in 1988 – the exact year that marked the dawning of “globalisation”. The numbers are striking: in the 1990s, as the market integration project ramped up, global emissions were going up an average of 1% a year; by the 2000s, with “emerging markets” such as China fully integrated into the world economy, emissions growth had sped up disastrously, reaching 3.4% a year.

Read more » The Guardian
See more » http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/sep/13/greenwashing-sticky-business-naomi-klein

Making of the Sindhi identity: From Shah Latif to GM Syed to Bhutto

BY NADEEM F. PARACHA

In a nutshell, between the 1930s and mid-2000s, the existential narrative that furnished the Sindhi identity in Pakistan was this: Sindhis were of a land and society that was largely shaped by the deeds of hundreds of Sufi saints (especially Shah Abdul Latif), who preached tolerance and co-existence, and were suspicious of those who were stripping Islam of its spiritual essence, while replacing it with a creed based on a rigid worldview and an obsession with rituals.

This narrative was essential for Sindhis because it helped them find an anchor for their ethnic identity and sense of history; especially in a country where (according to them) the state was attempting to bypass centuries-old identities based on ethnicity, on the back of a largely cosmetic ideology based on a myopic understanding of the ethnic, religious and sectarian complexities of Pakistan.

The 19th century British traveller, Richard Burton, in his prolific accounts of Sindh, described the province to be one of the calmest regions of British India, with its own unique blends of faith.

Writing in the mid-1800s, Burton described Sindh as a land dotted by numerous shrines of Sufi saints; frequented in large numbers, by both the Muslim, as well as the Hindu inhabitants of the region.

He described Sindhi Muslims to be somewhat different (in their beliefs and rituals) from the Muslims of the rest of India.

According to Burton, even the Hindus of Sindh were different because their Hinduism was more influenced by Buddhism.

Birth of the existential Sindhi identity

When Punjab was being ripped apart by violent and gruesome clashes between the Hindus, Sikhs and Muslims after the creation of Pakistan in 1947, Sindh remained peaceful.

In Interpreting the Sindh World, Vazira Fazila writes that Sindh’s British Governor, Francis Mudie, reported that the Hindus of Sindh were likely to stay behind (in Pakistan) because there was no chance of communal violence in the province that had exhibited ‘great communal harmony’.

Continue reading Making of the Sindhi identity: From Shah Latif to GM Syed to Bhutto

Former ISI chief Hamid Gul passes away in Murree

Former Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) chief Lt General (retd) Hamid Gul passed away in Murree on Saturday evening due to brain haemorrhage, Express News reported.

According to his daughter, Uzma Gul, the former spy master had been taken to the Combined Military hospital in Murree on Saturday after he suffered brain haemorrhage.

Despite efforts by the doctors, he could not be saved.

His body will be shifted to Rawalpindi, while details of his funeral prayers will be decided after his son, Abdullah, returns from Turkey.

Read more » The Express Tribune
See more » http://tribune.com.pk/story/938886/ex-spy-master-hamid-gul-passes-away-in-murree/

Living Saint Abdul Sattar Edhi, appeals for complete De-waponisation

‘Citizens Against Weapons’  is honoured  to receive  Abdul Sattar Edhi’s endorsement for complete deweaponisation  and for building a weapon-free society.

The day I met Abdul Sattar Edhi, a living saint

“Sixty years ago, Abdul Sattar Edhi, 82, gave up everything to devote his life to helping Pakistan’s poorest. Here, Peter Oborne hails a truly selfless spiritual sage

In the course of my duties as a reporter, I have met presidents, prime ministers and reigning monarchs.  Until meeting the Pakistani social worker Abdul Sattar Edhi, I had never met a saint. Within a few moments of shaking hands, I knew I was in the presence of moral and spiritual greatness.

Mr Edhi’s life story is awesome, as I learnt when I spent two weeks working at one of his ambulance centres in Karachi.

The 82-year-old lives in the austerity that has been his hallmark all his life. He wears blue overalls and sports a Jinnah cap, so named because it was the head gear of Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the founder of Pakistan.

Continue reading Living Saint Abdul Sattar Edhi, appeals for complete De-waponisation

JSQM-A chief Arisar passes away

By A.B. ARISAR | MOHAMMAD HUSSAIN KHAN

HYDERABAD/UMERKOT: Renowned scholar, writer, researcher and nationalist leader Abdul Wahid Arisar passed away in a hospital in Karachi after long illness on Sunday. He was 66. He has left a wife and a daughter.

Arisar had been suffering from a kidney ailment for quite some time and had remained under treatment in a private hospital in Hyderabad before being shifted to a Karachi hospital, where he died of renal failure.

His body was transported to his hometown, Unnarabad, near Chhore cantonment bordering India, and then taken to Aauri village graveyard for burial.

Chairman of his own faction of the Jeay Sindh Qaumi Mahaz, which was known as JSQM-Arisar, the deceased leader was born in on Oct 11, 1949 in a village in India while his parents were away visiting their relatives on the other side of the border.

A simple and soft-spoken person, Arisar received his basic education from religious seminaries in Sabho Sharif and Bhindo Sharif after his parents migrated to Pakistan. He also got education from Hashmi Madressah in Sujawal and Madressah Muftahul Uloom and Shah Waliullah Academy in Hyderabad. Allama Ghulam Mustafa Qasmi was one of his teachers.

During his early studies in a religious school in the Kangoro area, he wrote his first (Sindhi) write-up, Rabiul Awwal ja char chand (Four crescents of Rabiul Awwal) in 1966.

He was highly inspired by Congress luminary Maulana Abul Kalam Azad. He never missed any opportunity to quote Azad’s words or writings in his own speeches, according to his contemporary Abdul Khalique Junejo, the chief of the Jeay Sindh Mahaz. Arisar devoured books in Persian and Arabic languages, he said.

He led prayers in a mosque in Memon Mohallah, Hyderabad and also taught religion in Silawat Mohallah of the city for some time.

Impressed by the philosophy and political views of the late statesman, G.M. Syed, Arisar joined the Jeay Sindh Mahaz (JSM) founded by the veteran leader on June 18, 1972 and also managed a periodical Paigham later.

According to Mr Junejo, Arisar remained part of the JSM for many years and became convener of its organising committee in December 1977. Later he served as the committee’s chairman for around 15 years. His contemporaries, besides Mr Junejo, were Ghulam Shah, Ali Nawaz Butt, Hashim Khoso and Jam Saqi.

Mr Junejo said that Mr Arisar took the nationalist movement from educational institutions to the streets of cities and villages which helped broaden the political base of the JSM.

When the JSM witnessed a spilt after Syed’s death in 1995, Mr Arisar along with Gul Mohammad Jakhrani, Bashir Khan Qureshi and Shafi Mohammad Burfat founded the Jeay Sindh Qaumi Mahaz (JSQM).

He remained its chairman for one term. Later Mr Qureshi became its chairman and Mr Arisar the secretary general. In 2006, differences cropped up between the two and Mr Arisar formed his own faction of the JSQM.

Continue reading JSQM-A chief Arisar passes away

Who killed the girl saint of Karachi? By Hasan Mujtaba (translated from Urdu)

(An attempted translation of an Urdu column published at Jang, Pakistan, April 30, 2015)

Elite Mummies and Daddies, living across the Clifton Bridge of Karachi, get to know about the troubles and travails of most other citizens only when their maidservants or drivers from Baloch Colony, Liyari, or New Karachi, tell them about the misery that their own friends and acquaintances faced that day.

Or as my friend tells me, “the Mummies and Daddies felt the miseries only when  a shortage of fresh vegetable occurred at Agha super market.” Only then they realized that something bad has happened in the city. In such a situation a girl like Sabeen proved that they she was a saint.

Continue reading Who killed the girl saint of Karachi? By Hasan Mujtaba (translated from Urdu)

Murdered on the streets of Karachi: my friend who dared to believe in free speech

By 

Sabeen Mahmud singlehandedly created a counter-cultural haven for artists, writers and thinkers in her home city. And she paid for it with her life. Those of us left behind can only ask why

“Be careful,” I said to my childhood friend Sabeen Mahmud when I saw her in London in 2013, soon after she’d received a death threat – neither the first nor last. “Someone has to fight them,” she replied.

“Fear is just a line in your head,” Sabeen had once said in an interview with Wired magazine – and she and I lived on different sides of that line. On Friday night, Sabeen was murdered, gunned down in her car in Karachi as she drove home with her mother.

There aren’t too many people from Karachi with a clear conscience. It’s a city of many horrors powered by even more guns, and fear makes most people live in a silence that becomes complicity. But Sabeen was always a woman made of different stuff, thanks in large measure to the two great influences of her life: her mother, Mahnaz (shot twice during the attack), from whom she inherited her socialist tendencies, and her friend and mentor Zaheer Kidvai (Zak) who introduced her to the idea of counterculture, via everything from Abbie Hoffman to revolutionary Urdu poets. While most of us at our elite school in Karachi lived in a fairly apolitical bubble, Sabeen was developing class-consciousness and identifying political heroes. Post-university, when most of her schoolfriends were choosing not to return to an increasingly embattled city, she decided to take another approach.

Continue reading Murdered on the streets of Karachi: my friend who dared to believe in free speech

Director T2F Sabeen Mahmud shot dead in Karachi

BY DAWN.COM

KARACHI: The director of The Second Floor (T2F), Sabeen Mahmud, was shot dead by unidentified gunmen in Karachi on Friday.

Sabeen, accompanied by her mother, left T2F after 9pm on Friday evening and was on her way home when she was shot by unidentified gunmen in Defence Phase-II, sources confirmed. She died on her way to the hospital. Doctors said they retrieved five bullets from her body, which has now been shifted to Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre.

Her mother also sustained bullet wounds and is currently being treated at a hospital; she is said to be in critical condition.

T2F had on Friday organised a talk on Balochistan: ‘Unsilencing Balochistan Take 2: In Conversation with Mama Qadeer, Farzana Baloch & Mir Mohammad Ali Talpur.’

Sabeen had left T2F after attending the session, when she was targeted.

T2F, described as a community space for open dialogue, was Sabeen’s brainchild. In an interview with Aurora, she referred to it as “an inclusive space where different kinds of people can be comfortable.”

Conceived as a bookstore and café patterned after the old coffeehouse culture of Lahore and Karachi, The Second Floor — or T2F, as everyone calls it — says on its website that it was born out of a desire to enact transformational change in urban Pakistani society.

Muttahida Qaumi Movement leader Nasreen Jalil, while talking to DawnNews, condemned Sabeen Mahmud’s killing and demanded the government to bring the perpetrators to justice.

Sindh Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah, taking notice of the incident, has asked the Additional Inspector-General Karachi Police to submit a report on the brutal murder, DawnNews reported.

Read more » DAWN
See more » http://www.dawn.com/news/1177956/director-t2f-sabeen-mahmud-shot-dead

Karachi’s Avatar

Karachi, Sindh has been home to a long, red history of communists, Avatar Hangal is one of them. Akhtar Balouch, Blogger

BY AKHTAR BALOUCH

Every time the generous people at Dawn publish one of my blogs, I start receiving phone calls from friends in the dozens. Write about this, one would say, as another would insist on a different topic.

Many complain: why haven’t you written about this or that so far? Why did you miss this or that great personality from Karachi?

It always pleases me to receive these messages and calls, while at the same time I am saddened by the limitation of resources. But as our dear Hasrat Mohani said:

Hai mashq-e-sukhan jaarii aur chakkii kii mushaqqat bhi
[As the pen’s labour continues, so does the labour to survive.]

A senior journalist and a serious human rights activist Zaman Khan phoned me from Lahore, asking me to write about A.K Hangal. He was also kind enough to forward me an interview with Mr Hangal.

The name might not be as well-known in Pakistan, but the face would certainly look familiar to many. Hangal was seen in more than 300 Bollywood films, playing supporting roles. Apart from being an actor, Hangal was also a staunch communist.

He wished to see India transform into a communist state after the Partition. Because of his views, he had to spend two years in jail in Karachi. He also spent some time in the Hyderabad Central Jail, Sindh.

Continue reading Karachi’s Avatar

Tahira Mazhar Ali’s death a profound loss to many

By XARI JALIL

LAHORE: Veteran leader of the left movement, Tahira Mazhar Ali, passed away on Monday. Though she had been unwell for some time, her death has been met with a profound sense of loss by those who knew her.

Born in Lahore in a prominent family, Tahira’s father was Sir Sikander Hayat Khan, the prime minister of united Punjab from 1937 to 1942, while her maternal grandfather was Nawab Muzaffar Ali Khan, a prominent landlord of Punjab. She studied at Queen Mary School in Lahore and later married Mazhar Ali Khan at the age of 16. Marrying a student leader may have been a turning point in her life and her political life began after marriage.

Being born in an affluent family did not deter her from struggling for the rights of the marginalised. She carried on her activism for labour and women’s rights for over 60 years.

It was Tahira who for the first time in Pakistan observed the International Women’s Day publicly, where it was openly demanded that women be given their equal status and their rights be established. When it came to fighting for human rights, Tahira was unbending and her marked resistance made her a threat to the establishment.

In 1950, the Democratic Women’s Association (DWA) was formed and led by Tahira. It is considered the country’s first women’s rights organisation that ran with the support of the Communist Party, something that Tahira was proud of, often comparing it to internationally run organisations today. Other members of the DWA included Hajra Masood, Khadija Omar, Amatul Rehman and Alys Faiz. Its work was based in the grassroots in small neighbourhoods and involved mobilisation of women and workers.

It is because of her work in this regard that Tahira is seen as one of the greatest women of the subcontinent. Those who knew her well recall her active role in protests and rallies.

Continue reading Tahira Mazhar Ali’s death a profound loss to many

TED 2015: Bill Gates warns on future disease epidemic

The world needs to prepare for the next major health crisis, Bill Gates has told delegates at the Ted (Technology, Entertainment and Design) conference.

While Ebola seems to be being kept under control currently, next time “we may not be so lucky” the Microsoft co-founder warned.

He said that there were plenty of technology tools that could be used to contain the spread of a virus.

And, he added, governments should learn from how nations prepare for war.

“Nato plays war games to check that people are well-trained and prepared. Now we need germ games,” he said.

He also called for a reserve “medical corps” similar to the reserve armies that civilians can join.

Technology can play a big role in helping prevent the spread of a virus, he told the Ted audience.

The proliferation of mobile phones mean that citizens can easily report where disease breaks out and satellite mapping can quickly collate where the problem areas are.

Meanwhile advances in biology have drastically cut the time it takes to develop vaccines for new viruses

During the Ebola crisis, technology firms such as IBM contributed tracking systems that allowed the authorities to create detailed maps of outbreaks based on text messages from citizens.

Continue reading TED 2015: Bill Gates warns on future disease epidemic

My party wants a socialist society in Pakistan: Ghinwa

PPP-SB chief says Junior Bhutto, Fatima Bhutto will join politics at the right time

By Faizan Ali Warraich

LAHORE: Pakistan People’s Party-Shaheed Bhutto (PPP-SB) faction Chairperson Ghinwa Bhutto has announced that her party is struggling for socialist revolution, and Junior Bhutto and Fatma Bhutto will join politics at the right time.

She has said that only socialism can serve the nation, as parliamentary democracy has failed to solve problems of a common man in Pakistan. Talking to Daily Times exclusively during her visit and stay here at the home of Dr Mubashar Hasan (former minister and her party’s chief in Punjab), she confirmed that her party wanted socialist society in Pakistan, which provides equal opportunities to all. ‘People get upset from the parliamentary form of politics as voice of a common man was not being heard, even they have no representative in the existing parliament and parliamentarians, and are being treated only as slaves’, she said.

Continue reading My party wants a socialist society in Pakistan: Ghinwa

How Stephen Hawking, diagnosed with ALS decades ago, is still alive

By Terrence McCoy

On April 20, 2009, a moment arrived that doctors had foretold for decades. Stephen Hawking, a scientist who overcame debilitating disease to become the world’s most renowned living physicist, was on the cusp of death. The University of Cambridge released grim prognoses. Hawking, diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) at the age of 21, was described as “very ill” and “undergoing tests” at the hospital. Newspapers ran obituary-esque articles. It seemed time was up for the man who so eloquently explained it.

But, as is his custom, Hawking survived.

Hawking shouldn’t be able to do the things he now does. The 73-year-old shouldn’t be able to deliver meditations on the existence of God. He shouldn’t be able to fret over artificial intelligence or humanity’s capacity for self-destruction. And he most definitely shouldn’t be able to attend the BAFTAs — Britain’s academy awards — settled inside the wheelchair that has carried him for decades, expressing admiration for a recent biopic that paid homage to his struggle. But yet, he is. And he does.

[Stephen Hawking says that ‘aggression,’ humanity’s greatest vice, will destroy civilization]

It’s difficult to overstate the lethality of ALS, the condition with which Hawking lives. The disorder can befall anyone. It first brings muscle weakness, then wasting, then paralysis, ripping away the ability to speak and swallow and even breathe. The ALS Association says the average lifespan of someone diagnosed with the condition is between two and five years. More than 50 percent make it past year three. Twenty percent make it past year five. From there, the number plummets. Less than 5 percent make it past two decades.

And then there’s Hawking. He has passed that two-decade mark twice — first in 1983, then in 2003. It’s now 2015. His capacity for survival is so great some experts say he can’t possibly suffer from ALS given the ease with which the disease traditionally dispatches victims. And others say they’ve simply never seen anyone like Hawking.

Read more » The Washington Post
Learn more » http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2015/02/24/how-stephen-hawking-survived-longer-than-possibly-any-other-als-patient/?tid=sm_fb

Civil society protesters, led by Jibran Nasir, ‘arrested’ during Karachi sit-in

KARACHI: Jibran Nasir and members of the civil society weer reportedly arrested after resuming the Shikarpur sit-in  outside the CM house in Karachi, pressing the government to take swift action against Ahl-e-Sunnat-wal Jamaat’s (ASWJ) solidarity rally on Kashmir Day.

At the Kashmir Day rally, ASWJ allegedly threatened members of the civil society as well as the Sindh government for unnecessarily terming them a banned organisation.

https://soundcloud.com/moh…/aswj-threatening-civil-society

The civil society’s 31-hour-long protest outside the CM house, from earlier this week, came to an end Tuesday night, after Special Assistant to the Chief Minister on Culture Sharmila Farooqi promised that the provincial government will take stern action against “banned” militant organisations, including ASWJ.

No official notification, however, has been taken out by the home department to outlaw ASWJ.

Speaking to The Express Tribune, “The charter of demands we came with initially has failed. But this time, we won’t stop. We will continue our sit-in till justice is served,” Nasir said.

“We’ll do a hunger strike if we have to. Allowing ASWJ, or any other outfit that insights violence, to carry out political activities openly, is a violation of the law,” he added.

Read more » The Express Tribune
Learn more » http://tribune.com.pk/story/833400/civil-society-protesters-led-by-jibran-nasir-arrested-during-sit-in-outside-cm-house/#.VNOCf7JOr_E.facebook

I am a Marxist, Dalai Lama says

KOLKATA: Describing himself as a Marxist, Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama on Tuesday said many Marxist leaders have now become capitalists in thinking.

“As far as social-economic theory is concerned, I am still a Marxist,” the spiritual leader said adding that he admires Marxism because of its focus on reducing gap between the rich and the poor.

“Many Marxist leaders are now capitalists in their thinking. It depends on their motivation, thinking, wider perspective,” the spiritual leader said during a lecture on world peace in Presidency University.

“In capitalist countries, there is an increasing gap between the rich and the poor. In Marxism, there is emphasis on equal distribution. That is very crucial to me,” he said.

He blamed discrimination against women and those from low-castes for hampering peace in India, but said, “Muslims in India are living more safely than the Shias of Pakistan.”

The Dalai Lama greets the audience as he arrives to speak on “A Human Approach to World Peace” at Presidency Univeristy in Kolkata, on January 13, 2015.

Continue reading I am a Marxist, Dalai Lama says

Benazir Bhutto — The Muslim Leader Who Saw Jihadis Coming

By Former member of Pakistan’s parliament

Two years after being elected, the world’s first female Muslim prime minister, Benazir Bhutto, received intelligence that a man called Osama bin Laden had given orders to kill her. The year was 1990. Al-Qaeda had not yet officially been formed, but the organizers of global jihad had already determined that Afghanistan and Pakistan, where they launched their first modern jihad against the Soviet Union, would be crucial to their plans for restoring the medieval caliphate across the Muslim world.

Bhutto narrated the bin Laden threat to her life in the second edition of her book The Daughter of the East. In the first edition, she had spoken of threats to her life at the time of her first return to Pakistan from exile, in 1986, while the jihadist dictator General Zia-ul-Haq still ruled the country. Bhutto conveyed her concerns about Zia to U.S. officials then as she did about bin Laden four years later. But before 9/11, warnings about radical Islamists were not taken seriously.

Benazir Bhutto will be mourned on the anniversary of her assassination at her burial place in her family shrine in Garhi Khuda Bakhsh in Sindh and all over Pakistan. This year, with the turmoil, strife and violence spreading all over Muslim lands by the extremists, it would be worthwhile to pay attention to her words, experience and recommendations for fighting the jihadi extremists.

Benazir Bhutto was assassinated by the jihadis on December 27, 2007 after addressing a rally where she repeated her warnings about the Taliban and other extremist groups. Today, events such as the recent massacre of school children in Peshawar, reflect what Bhutto was warning against. Extremist Islamist ideologues opposed her because as a western-educated Muslim woman leader she symbolized all that the jihadis hate.

Bhutto was physically brave beyond comprehension. She had a commanding personality, was extremely intelligent and well read. Her charisma, combined with her compassion towards the poor of Pakistan, helped her win elections in a conservative Muslim majority country. Zia-ul-Haq, the brutal military dictator, rued that he had not “finished her off” along with her father Zulfikar Ali Bhutto — a former president and prime minister of Pakistan executed by Zia after a military coup.

Continue reading Benazir Bhutto — The Muslim Leader Who Saw Jihadis Coming

Malala Yousafzai receives Nobel Peace Prize 2014

The 2014 Nobel Prizes are presented, including the Peace Prize, which has been awarded to Pakistani teenager Malala Yousafzai. This live stream has now ended

By Telegraph Video and PA, video source APTN

Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani teenager who survived being shot in the head by a Taliban gunman for speaking up in favour of girls’ education, has been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

The 17-year-old, who is the youngest person ever to receive the honour, was handed at gold medal and a diploma at a ceremony in Oslo, joining the ranks of laureates including Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King and Aung San Suu Kyi.

The teenager was jointly awarded the peace prize with Indian children’s rights activist Kailash Satyarthi for her “heroic struggle” in favour of girls’ access to learning.

Malala began speaking out for the rights of girls at the age of 11, and came to prominence after surviving an assassination attempt in October 2012.

Read more » The Telegraph
See more » http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/pakistan/11284445/Watch-live-Malala-Yousafzai-receives-Nobel-Peace-Prize-2014.html

 

Comrade Sobho, an iconic figure

By Aziz Narejo

We, the people of Sindh have been very fortunate to have a giant of a man like Comrade Sobho among us. He was an iconic figure. No doubt about it. A humanist, a communist & the friend of the poor. His love for Sindh – the land & the people – and his struggle for the rights of the downtrodden is of legendary proportions. Through the years, he had attained a mythological stature in Sindh.
Post-Pakistan authorities, specially during the draconian rule of Ayub Khan, exerted tremendous pressure on Comrade Sobho to Leave Sindh. But he didn’t. This courageous man withstood all the pressures & faced hardships but didn’t move away from his motherland. He suffered for it. Years of jail, house arrests & trials & tribulations didn’t break his spirit.
Today we in SANA, remember him again. We will always remember him. Whole Sindh will remember him for all the times to come. All the progressive & humanist people will remember him. He will always live with us, in our heart & our soul. With the sweet breeze of Sindh & the fragrance of the clay. On the Banks of Sindhu & in the mountains of Khirthar. He will be with us. Forever.

Comrade Sobho had love & special relationship with SANA (Sindhi Association of North America) too. He attended a SANA convention in USA. About eight years later, he was Chief Guest & Keynote speaker at our first SANA Sindh Convention. Actually Comrade Sobho had officially declared open our first SANA Sindh Convention. He was awarded Lifetime Achievement Award at our second SANA Sindh Convention.

Courtesy: Social media (Facebook) + Sindhi e-lists/ e-groups, 9 Dec. 2014.

Sobho Gianchandani passes away in Larkano

By Hafeez Tunio

LARKANO: Renowned Sindhi writer and leftist Comrade Sobho Gianchandani passed away at the age of 95 in Larkana Monday morning at Chandka Medical Hospital.

Comrade Gianchandani was the first non-Muslim and non-Urdu recipient of the Kamal-e-Fun Award – a top literary award given to writers in the field of literature.

During his study in Shantiniketan College in West Bengal, India,

Rabindranath Tagore used to call him “A man from Moen Jo Daro” because of his village, located near this historical site, which is widely recognised as ancient Indus Valley Civilisation metropolis.

After news of Gianchandani’s death was made public, a large number of people belonging to various parts of Sindh traveled to Larkano where his final ritual will take place.

Prominent personalities of Sindh and politicians including Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah, former president Asif Ali Zardari, writers, intellectuals and poets of Sindh condoled his death and paid tribute to him.

Born on May 3, 1920 in Bindi village near Moen Jo Daro, Gianchandani got his primary and secondary education from Kamber High School and Pilot School in Larkana before he went to India for higher education.

He was one of the pioneers of the Marxist movement in Sindh and went to jail many times. Till his death, he did not give up his Marxist beliefs.

Apart from his political affiliation, Gianchandani was a poet, writer and journalist and worked with many prominent personalities including, Tagore Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, Mahatma Gadhi, Jawaharlal Nehru, Goband Malhi and Hyder Bux Jatoi. He was famous because of his struggle for the peasant and labour class.

Courtesy: The Express Tribune
Learn more » http://tribune.com.pk/story/803556/sobho-gianchandani-passes-away-in-larkana/

Gorbachev warns of ‘new cold war’

Ex-USSR leader Gorbachev: World on brink of new Cold War

The world is on the brink of a new Cold War, and trust should be restored by dialogue with Russia, former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev has said.

At an event to mark the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall on Sunday, Mr Gorbachev said the West had “succumbed to triumphalism”.

He expressed alarm about recent Middle Eastern and European conflicts.

Tensions have been raised between the West and Russia over Ukraine, which was part of the Soviet Union.

More than 4,000 people have died in fighting between Ukrainian forces and pro-Russian separatists, who seized control in the eastern regions of Donetsk and Luhansk in April.

A fragile ceasefire has been in place since September, but elections in rebel-held areas last weekend have prompted fears of a return to full-scale conflict.

Courtesy: BBC
See more » http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-29966852

Meet Dr Adib Rizvi – The man who brought free healthcare to Sindh’s poor

Pakistan’s ‘miracle’ doctor inspired by NHS

Pakistan’s shambolic public health system suffers from corruption, mismanagement and lack of resources. But one public sector hospital in Karachi provides free specialised healthcare to millions, led by a man whose dream was inspired by the UK’s National Health Service.

Dr Adib Rizvi’s most distinguishing feature is not just his grey hair. You can spot him in a crowd of people in a cramped hospital corridor by the respect he commands among patients and staff.

It doesn’t only come from being the founder and the head of one of Pakistan’s largest public health organisations.

Quite the opposite, for a man who’s spearheaded a life-long mission of providing “free public health care with dignity,” Dr Rizvi is unassuming as he walks around the hospital wards checking on his patients.

Continue reading Meet Dr Adib Rizvi – The man who brought free healthcare to Sindh’s poor

Pakistan: Bilawal Bhutto Zardari leads first PPP rally

Tens of thousands of Pakistanis have attended the first mass rally held by the son of murdered Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto.

By Shahzeb Jillani, BBC News, Karachi, Sindh

Karachi has not seen such a huge PPP rally for years. The party is trying to show that it still has mass appeal, and can compete with other opposition politicians such as Imran Khan. It is, after all, a party that has fought military dictatorships in Pakistan time and again over the last four decades.

Read more » BBC
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-29673493

HOW BILL GATES HAS BEEN QUIETLY TRYING TO TRANSFORM GLOBAL HEALTH

You’re probably lucky. You probably don’t have to worry about how clean your water is, if you’ll be able to get vaccinated this year, or if you’ll ever get to see a doctor. You’re lucky, but much of the world isn’t. Many parts of the globe still lack the infrastructure and resources to get on par with modern health care. Bill Gates – Microsoft monolith turned philanthropist – wants to change that.

Ten years ago, Bill and his wife Melinda Gates launched the Grand Challenges in Global Health initiative. Initially bolstered by 450 million dollars from their nonprofit foundation, this initiative was set up to give a monetary incentive for scientists and researchers to pursue radical or transformative ideas in public health.

“That’s the idea behind Grand Challenges—to focus bright scientists on the problems of the poorest, take some risks, and deliver results,” Gates said in a press release.

Since 2005, the Grand Challenges in Global Health grant program has delivered 458 million dollars to researchers from 33 countries. And these grants have been focused on issues the Gates Foundation believes to be fundamental in bringing the rest of the world up to the medical standard. Of the 16 overarching challenges listed by the foundation, many focus on vaccination — one of if not the most cost effective disease prevention program we have. Grants have been awarded for projects trying to develop needless delivery systems, vaccine formulas that do not require refrigeration, and single-dose vaccines for use shortly after birth.

Read more » Nerdist
http://www.nerdist.com/2014/10/how-bill-gates-has-been-quietly-trying-to-transform-global-health/

Men are Delighted while Women are Skeptical – Pakistani Expats Reactions on Malala’s Nobel Peace Prize – By: Faiz Al-Najdi

Friday the 10th of October must have been the happiest day in Malala Yousafzai’s life as on this day, at a tender age of 17 years only, she became the youngest person to have been awarded with the prestigious & coveted Nobel Peace prize for the year 2014. She thus became the second Pakistani to have won this honor – after the decorated Pakistani Dr. Abdus Salam had won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1979.

Read more » South Asia Plus
http://www.sapulse.com/new_comments.php?id=9415_0_1_0_C

Can Civilization Survive “Really Existing Capitalism”? An Interview With Noam Chomsky

By C.J. Polychroniou, Truthout | Interview

More than four decades of Noam Chomsky’s writings are available in a new anthology from Haymarket Books. Get this collection from the master of opposing the hubris of US empire. Click here now.

For decades now, Noam Chomsky has been widely regarded as the most important intellectual alive (linguist, philosopher, social and political critic) and the leading US dissident since the Vietnam War. Chomsky has published over 100 books and thousands of articles and essays, and is the recipient of dozens of honorary doctorate degrees by some of the world’s greatest academic institutions. His latest book,Masters of Mankind: Essays and Lectures, 1969-2013, has just been published by Haymarket Books. On the occasion of the release of his last book, Chomsky gave an exclusive and wide-ranging interview to C.J. Polychroniou for Truthout, parts of which will also appear in The Sunday Eleftherotypia, a major national Greek newspaper.

C.J. Polychroniou: In a nationally televised address on the eve of the 13th anniversary of the September 11th attacks on the United States, Obama announced to the American people and the rest of the world that the United States is going back to war in Iraq, this time against the self-proclaimed Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). Is Iraq an unfinished business of the US invasion of 2003, or is the situation there merely the inevitable outcome of the strategic agenda of the Empire of Chaos?

It’s worth noting that religious fanaticism is spreading in the West as well, as democracy erodes.”

Noam Chomsky: “Inevitable” is a strong word, but the appearance of ISIS and the general spread of radical jihadism is a fairly natural outgrowth of Washington wielding its sledgehammer at the fragile society of Iraq, which was barely hanging together after a decade of US-UK sanctions so onerous that the respected international diplomats who administered them via the UN both resigned in protest, charging that they were “genocidal.” One of the most respected mainstream US Middle East analysts, former CIA operative Graham Fuller, recently wrote that “I think the United States is one of the key creators of [ISIS]. The United States did not plan the formation of ISIS, but its destructive interventions in the Middle East and the war in Iraq were the basic causes of the birth of ISIS.”

Read more » Truth-out.org

See more » http://truth-out.org/news/item/26538-can-civilization-survive-really-existing-capitalism-an-interview-with-noam-chomsky

Madonna’s ‘dream school’ opens in Karachi, Sindh

SINDH – KARACHI: Pop icon and social activist Madonna took to Instagram on Monday to announce the opening of  her ‘dream school’ in Karachi that she pledged to help build last year.

“The Revolution of Love continues in Pakistan! The Dream School is finally finished. 1,200 kids attending. Knowledge is Power! #rayoflight #livingforlove,” read her caption.

Last year, Madonna announced that she is raising money to expand a school in an impoverished area on the outskirts of Karachi, according to a press release on her official website.

The starlet went on stage at a live concert in London and publicised that she is supporting girls’ education in Pakistan through her Ray of Light Foundation, and urged people to support her cause.  She was joined on stage by Humaira Bachal, an education activist from Karachi.

Madonna has long spoken about her admiration for Humaira Bachal, a Pakistani woman who has campaigned for better education for young girls.

Speaking at the Chime For Change event in London last year, Madonna said, “Let’s help Humaira build a bigger school in Pakistan! How ‘bout this? You build the first floor, I’ll build the rest of the school. Let’s do this together!”

The Dream Model Street School is located in Mawach Goth, Karachi and was founded by the Dream Foundation Trust (DFT), a Pakistani non-governmental organisation.

Read more » The Express Tribune
http://tribune.com.pk/story/768771/madonnas-dream-school-opens-in-karachi/