Category Archives: Pakistan

100km long Industrial Zone between Karachi and Hyderabad

Karachi, May 14, 2008 (Asia Pulse Data Source via COMTEX) — — Sindh Minister for Industries and Commerce, Rauf Siddiqui has suggested establishing 100km long industrial zone at the land lying between Karachi and Hyderabad.

Speaking at the Business & Industry, Trade Convention organized by his ministry at a local hotel in Karachi on Tuesday evening, Rauf Siddiqui said that Sindh government was preparing a report identifying the problems being faced by the industrialists to resolve them.

He said that a seven-member committee was also being constituted to recommend suggestions for promoting industrialization in Sindh province.

He said that plots in allocated land for industrial purpose by Sindh government would be handed over to those industrialists, who would deposit half of its total price.

He said that ban on land utilization in Karachi badly harmed industrialization in the city.

Minister said that to eliminate rising unemployment in the country and strengthening local economy, we had to convince foreign investors including from European Union, Japan, China, Korea and other countries to invest in Pakistan.

Dr Junaid Ahmed, Advisor to Finance Ministry said that about 55,000 MW electricity could be generated through available resources in Ghharo.

He said that Thar and Lakhra coal resources were also major source to generate thousands of MW electricity.

He said that industrialization could not be promoted without setting up more industrial zones in country like Korangi, Landhi, SITE and North Karachi industrial zones.

He called up on government to establish Pak-China, Pak-Korea, Pak-Iran, Pak-Arab Economic Zones, in which industrialists from these countries could be provided opportunities to invest here. He said that with printing over packed Pakistani food items the words like Hilal Food and Made in Islamic Republic of Pakistan; billions of rupees could be earned from Islamic countries market. He said that more than 50 percent of our fruits and vegetables go waste due to non-presence of proper processing system to convert them into juices and exporting to other countries.

He said that Sindh government should pay heed to setting up agro-based industry in interior Sindh.

Larkana District Nazim, Muhammad Bux Narejo criticized Sindh government for concentrating industrialization only in Karachi and ignoring other cities of this province for many decades. He said that only in 1947, Sindh government allocated 12,00 acres of land in Hyderabad for industrialization purpose after allocating 4,000 acres in Karachi for same target. He regretted that many governments had ignored interior Sindh in this regard and concentrated to promote industrialization only in one city Karachi.

He said that billions of rupees were spent by different governments in industrial zones like Korangi, Landhi, North Karachi but other cities of province were not considered for industrialization to eradicate crime, poverty and unemployment. He said that we are ready to provide all possible facilities to investors, who intend to invest in agro-based industry in Larkana. He urged Sindh government to distribute thousands acres land lying near Moen jo Daro Airport Larkana to investors free of cost who could provide guarantee to invest there.

He said that Sindh government should not only patronize industrialization process in Karachi but also pay heed to interior Sindh in this connection.

Noted Industrialist Zubair Motiwala said that industrial sector in Sindh was not getting sufficient growth due to the unresolved issues being faced by the industrialists here. He said that investors were heading to Punjab province owing to higher cost of land in Karachi. He said that Sindh government should offer tax holiday to industrialists to promote industrialization here.

He stressed to establish vocational training institutes in collaboration with private sector.

Iftikhar Ahmed Sheikh, Acting President Karachi Chamber of Commerce & Industry said that improving infrastructure including roads, water, electricity and gas could also promote industrialization.

Mian Zahid said that economy depended on both agricultural development and industrial development. He said that our farmer could provide us more crops if he would be provided prices of his crops as per international rates.

He said that five to six year banking financing on six percent mark up in raising building structure and purchasing machinery could promote industrialization.

Haji Muhammad Yaqub, President Hyderabad Chambers of Commerce & Industry said that Sindh government never paid heed to interior Sindh as it paid to Karachi for industrialization. He called on government to allot plots to investors, which were allocated for industrialization in Hyderabad so that they could start their investment there. He said that Sindh government should arrange investment in agro-based industry in interior Sindh in order to bring prosperity here. He said that poor law and orders were also a major hurdle in industrialization.

Shakil Mukhtar, representative Sukkur Chamber of Commerce & Industry said that government had allocated 46 acres of land in Rohri, 50 in Sukkur and in Nawabshah for setting up industrial zones but not paid heed to create atmosphere of industrialization, resultantly these lands were still lying unused.

He demanded a water filter plant for Sukkur SITE Area. Dr Mirza Ikhtiar Baig said that private sector should be allowed to establish industrial zones like SITE, Korangi and others. Sheikh Fazl-e-Jalil, Chairman Korangi Association of Trade and Industry said that many industrial units were set on fire soon after the assassination of Ms Benazir Bhutto. He said that investment could not be attracted here without improving law and order. Muhammad Nisar Shahwani, Chairman SITE Industry Association said that India was generating 48,000 MW electricity through wind power. He said that monopoly of KESC on electricity distribution should be ended as it was affecting industry.

Masood Naqi, former president Korangi Association of Trade and Industry said that billions of rupees could be earned through investing in agro-based, sea food based and livestock based industries in Sindh province.

Sindh Minister for Information Technology, Raza Haroon said that within two years people could lodge their online FIR report to Sindh police after completion of E-Policing Project. At the end, the KCCI leaders presented gold medal to minister Rauf Siddiqui.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Courtesy: TradingMarkets.com

source: http://www.tradingmarkets.com/.site/news/Stock%20News/1559532/

Sindh Thar Coal Reserves; Ownership; Centre-Sindh rift; Assets equivalent 400 billion barrel of oil

ISLAMABAD, PAK: The dispute between the Pakistan People’s Party-led governments in Sindh and at the centre has resurfaced once again over the constitutional ownership of the 5th largest coal reserves in the world. In a recent communique with the central government, the Sindh government has raised serious objections on the announcement made by the federal water and power minister to hold an international conference on coal energy in Islamabad during the month of June to attract foreign investment. Sources terming it a first conventional dispute between provincial and federal governments run by PPP on the ownership of natural resources.

May 11/08

12th May a black day

by Aziz Narejo, TX, USA

Lawyers, political groups, human rights activists and pro-democracy elements will be observing black day tomorrow to condemn the terrorism on the day a year ago to block the Chief Justice, Mr. Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhary’s visit to Karachi at the bidding of military dictator Pervez Musharraf.

The fascist group’s violence that day had resulted in a large number of casualties and huge loss to properties. It was a brutal attack on the lawyers, journalists, political activists and general public to stop them from welcoming the CJ and to hamper their struggle for non partisan independence of judiciary, freedom of media, democracy and rule of law.

It is essential that all of us join in to observe the black day and demand that all culprits who launched a reign of terror on the people must be brought to justice. There should be no compromise with the criminals if we don’t want death to principles, justice and fairness. (May 11, 2007)

May 11, 2009

Munhji Dil Moen-Jo-Daro- Aror Jo Massat- Qurban Ali Kangle Jo Rooh

By Khalid Hashmani

Washington DC — The Pakistani community of the greater Washington DC area once again witnessed a unique event aimed at bringing two founding nations of Pakistan, Sindhis and Punjabis, to better understand each other. The occasion was the formal introduction of “Amar Kahanian”, translation of several short stories of great Sindhi writer Amaar Jalil published by Dr. Manzur Ejaz from Fairfax, Virginia, USA. The function was held in Fairfax, Virginia on Saturday, 24th November and attended by several members of Sindhis, Punjabis, and other Pakistanis.

In addition to reading of beautiful story “Arror Da Massat” (Aror Jo Massat), Dr. Ejaz gave a short briefing on the activities and programs of “Wichaar” that includes a very impressive Web site and publishing books in Punjabi. He said that Sindh and Punjab have from time immemorial lived side by side and shared a wealth of common culture and literature. Lately, for some right and wrong reasons, the two communities are moving away from each other. He expressed his belief that renewing cultural and literary relationship has great potential for eliminating many misunderstandings. He added that the great Sindhi and Punjabi poets from 12th to 18th centuries, Sachal Sarmast, Buleh Shah, Shah Abdul Latif, Wasris shah, and others shortened many cultural gaps between the two communities and it is time again to renew those links again. Dr. Ejaz, who himself has a mastery of both Punjabi and Sindhi languages, explained the plans of “Wichaar” to further this objective. He said, Wichaar web site has been frequently translation of Sindhi articles into Punjab and vice versa and has become very popular with those who are interested in Punjabi and Sindhi literature. On the publication side, the first book “Amaar Kahanian” was published last last and another Sindhi book that will contain Punjabi translation of short stories by Nasim Kharal is under preparation. The second phase will include translation of two Punjabi books into Sindhis. He said that one of the challenges that “Wichaar” faces is lack of volunteer translators and computer linguist computer experts and any help provided to Wichaar in those contexts will be a great boost to increase the opportunities for literary exchange between Sindhi and Punjabi communities.

During Question-and- answer session, a proposal was made that it will bring Sindhi and Punjabi communities much closer if instead of using Gur-Mukhi or Shah-Mukhi (Persian) scripts, it makes much greater sense to adapt the Sindhi script in Punjabi literature. Another member of audience said that the Sindhi script is a rich script and just like rich array of sounds in Sindhi language, it coves all sounds of the Punjabi language. The Sindhi script has been existence for more than a century and has been the language of the court system and government of Sindh for many years. This step will be a great boost to national integration in Pakistan and help in creating a true national language as Siraiki, Balochi, Pushto, and Urdu too can easily be adapted to the Sindhi script.

The “Amaar Kahanian” book contains the following 11 stories:

Punjabi Name — Sindhi Name

Aror Da Massat — Aror Jo Massat

Tarikh Da Kafan — Tarikh Jo Kafan

Addam Di Maa — Adam Ji Maa

Ik Doar Da Matam — Hik Doar Jo Matam

Mera Dil Moen-Jo-Daro — Munhjo Dil Moen-Jo-Daro

Eis Jaal Which — Hin Jaaria Mei

Qurban Ali Kangle Di Rooh — Qarban Ali Kangle Ji Rooh

Dil Di Dunya — Dil Ji Dunya

Mera Putar Menhdi — Munhjo Puta Menhdi

Barnes Street Da Ghundaa – Barness Street Jo Ghundo

Dharti Di Dhoar, Asman De Tare — Dahrti Ji Doar, Asman Ja Sitara

Visit http://www.wichaar.com to learn more about the mission and objectives of Wichaar Publishers.

May 10, 2010

A 5 year plan for Primary Education and Adult Literacy

By Mohammad Ibrahim Joyo / Fakir Abdul Ghafoor Alasti

Courtesy: Daily Ibrat, May 7, 2008

[How to Achieve 100% Primary Education and 50% Adult Literacy for Rural Areas and Katchi Abadies of Sindh within 5 years And also to facilitate Access to Elementary Education (From Class VI to Class VIII) for all those who pass their 5 year primary and 2 year adult literacy exams from their village schools/centres in the rural areas and Katchi Abadies, of Sindh, by 2015.]

Our first plea, as an introduction to the proposal is:

The present day definition of literacy:

Anyone who could read and write with reasonable ease and do simple arithmetic with numbers, that is, passes 3Rs one of ‘Read’, one of ‘write’ and one of ‘arithmetic’ is considered to be literate, may he or she be a small baby or a Harvard University professor. The former is always innocent but not the later, who could also be maker of Atom Bomb and boast to be the president or prime minister of a country.

To us literacy is access to ‘knowledge’ and through it access to ‘humanity”. All sciences, formulas, QEDs bring knowledge to the seeker of objective truth, our request and appeal to him or her is “please Know Thyself,” as a human person.

After such a definition of literary. (Knowledge i.e. light of life, love and joy on earth), we proceed to the proposal for a viable access to it.

Where does our country stand now in its access to literacy? Fortunately for us, His Excellence the UNO Head here in our country – the chief of UNESCO answered this question to us and also for all our countrymen & women. It is reproduced in full text as reported in Dawn, dated April 20, 2008.

Pakistan’s literacy ratio still at 50pc: Unesco

By Bakhtawar Mian

ISLAMABAD, April 19: Literacy ratio in Pakistan still remains at 50 per cent, mainly because of small budgetary allocations, lack of political will and delays in disbursement of funds, according to the Unesco.

In the region, Pakistan has been ranked higher only than Nepal and Bangladesh, which have literacy rates of 49 and 43 per cent, respectively. Other countries have far better ratios: the Maldives, 96 per cent; Sri Lanka, 91 per cent; and India, 61 per cent.

Addressing a function organized by the Parliamentary Caucus on Literacy in Pakistan, Unesco’s representative Arshad Saeed Khan said there were about 55 million illiterate people in the country because of which the country risked failing to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

If corrective measures were not taken, the percentage of illiterates might even rise to 60 per cent of the population by 2010, he said.

Sindh has the highest percentage in education which stands at 54 per cent followed by Punjab (52 per cent) and the NWFP (40 per cent). Balochistan has the lowest ratio – 33 per cent.

The Unesco attributed the low level of literacy rate to factors like weak organizational infrastructure, low professional capacity, lack of research, non-availability of proper training institutes, low public awareness and lack of evaluation and monitoring system.

“The state shall be responsible for eradication of illiteracy and provision of free and compulsory education up to secondary level, within minimum possible time,” says article 37-B of the 1973 constitution.

Mr Arshad Saeed said that 16 political parties – including the PPP, PML-N, ANP, JUI-F and BNP (Awami), BNP (Mengal), Jamaat-i-Islami, Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party and National Party – had signed Education For All Declaration on February 5, 2008 in which they had pledged to increase education budget up to 4 per cent of GDP, at least 10 per cent of the education budget for literacy and non-formal education, free and compulsory primary education – achieving 100 per cent enrolment rate, 86 per cent adult literacy by 2015, eradicate political interference and favouritism in appointments, transfers of education staff and uniform core curriculum and similar facilities in all schools.

Unesco stressed the need for legislation for free secondary education as a fundamental right, increasing education budget to 4 per cent of GDP, ensuring equal opportunities for all children because Pakistan has ratified Unesco Convention Against Discrimination in Education.

From the above it is clear that our Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) as regards our education and literacy are now at higher risk if we do not shake up ourselves from our present national lethargy. Failing to do so, we may be branded in time as the most illiterate nation in the world. Thus it is the political will that is needed at the present juncture. So let us be sincere to read (“IQRA”). The Good written WORD! And involve ourselves one and all in EFA, i.e. the Education for All.

Having said this, we also note with a measure of joy the highest literary rate claimed for Sindh in the above report, among all federation units of Pakistan. But it is perhaps due to Karachi and other big cities in Sindh where combined literacy rate in these cities stands around 60%. The 40% Population living in katchi abadies and in the rural areas is still stark illiterate. Going by population formula, Karachi and the 3 other major urban cities viz. Hyderabad, Nawabshah & Sukkur compose 10 million literate, what about the rest of rural population of Sindh which is made up of 30 million including those living in katchi abadies and rural areas where literacy is at most 5%. So when we tally or balance the figures the overall situation of literacy in Sindh comes to 18.75% say 18%, 3 times lower than 54% what is said in the above report. That is the miracle of our bureaucrats of Pakistan. They are masters of figure fudging. They inflate or deflate these figures at will. As to poverty, one day they say it is 33% in Pakistan and next day 23%. Similarly all statistics of literacy are the legerdeomain at their hands: they enhance them without giving thought to the facts. The world knows that literacy and poverty are interrelated. If one increases other decreases. They are inversely proportional to each other. If they were to attend specifically to rural areas and katchi abadies of Sindh, they will find that 95% of the masses are illiterate. So we would ask his Excellency the Chief of UNESCO kindly to instruct his subordinate organizations of UN not to blind-foldedly follow figures supplied to them by our bureaucrats but go themselves to rural areas and katchi abadies and unregistered villages of Pakistan to conduct surveys on literacy i.e. the state of 3Rs, themselves. They will wonder to find that illiteracy and poverty are exactly the same, not 1% less, not 1% more! The illiteracy and poverty are one monster with two faces, those of ignorance and of indigence.

The factual state of education & literacy in Rural Sindh and its Katchi Abadies:

According to 1973 constitution of Pakistan, “The state shall be responsible for eradication of illiteracy and provision of free and compulsory education up to secondary level within a given minimum possible time” that goes on getting extended in time. About the functioning of the Primary schools, particularly the Sindhi medium ones, the less said the better. The life of many exists on paper but has no trace on ground. And what to tell of corruption in education all over Sindh from primary through elementary to secondary! There is no further room left for more of it.

Now the factual State of Poverty in Rural Sindh:

The quasi divide created by political interests between urban and rural Sindh presents the horrible look. Wherever you turn your eyes to see. If you will only come to Thatta from Karachi, after Ghagar Phatak (20 kms distance from Quaidabad) you will see indigenous people living in medieval ages. They residing in straw and indifferent abodes, their women old pitchers on their heads going by foot for miles in to get drinking water. All of them clothed in rags and barefeet. Their children and old people going to Karachi or to other towns TO BEG! One is ashamed seeing such differences created by this divide. On one side there is abundance and affluence only 20 kms away from the phatak and on the other indigence and poverty at its shamefulness. This state of poverty is more or less same in all rural areas of Sindh.

Now the lay-out of the PLAN to achieve 100% primary education and 50% Adult literacy within 5 years, affording access to Elementary education and near full adult literacy in rural areas and katchi abadies of Sindh, by 2015. And Measures to be taken under the direction, supervision and financial support of the present Government of Sindh to fight the two-face monster, poverty and ignorance, in one go:

Pre Primary, primary, elementary and secondary education:

The education be made compulsory and free from pre-primary to secondary level, and Government bear all educational expenditures of poor children of rural areas and katchi abadies in Sindh.

As incentive to bring all children up to 18 years under the cover of school education, to give stipend of Rs: 100/month/child of 3-5 ages, for preprimary education. Rs: 300/child/month of 6-10 years for attending primary education. Rs: 400/month/child of 11-14 years for continuing elementary education, and Rs: 500/month/child of 15-18 years for getting secondary education.

Government to provide premises for primary schools at every village and settlement at most 2 furlongs from it. The premises may even be of improvised material.

The schools for elementary and secondary education will be provided by Government for every 5000 and 10,000 populations respectively in every rural area.

The posts for recruiting teachers and staff for schools shall be immediately advertised and jobless educated youth appointed after due procedure on merit.

The education to be quality education, the teachers shall be given a six months training to start with by trained teachers (primary, middle, secondary and higher secondary) to be made free for the purpose of the six – month training of freshly appointed teachers.

Adult Literacy:

It will be compulsory too for all adults from 19 to any highest age the learner is desirous to enroll for it.

Each learner will be given Rs: 200/month as stipend (males and women both).

The literacy centres will be run in the same premises as for primary, elementary or secondary schools in evening time by the same teacher as posted in these schools with increased allowances.

The duration of these literacy centres will be 2 hours daily.

For males & females there shall be separate classes.

This type of education will be non formal and shall be each time for 2 months and executed through NGOs/CBOs. Separate syllabus shall be prepared for this type of education.

In all adult literacy centres, provisions for skill-training in local crafts be made for men and women entrants, who will be given micro-credits to pursue their skills as life profession to their choice.

Both those compulsory education programs, one for all children and adolescents up to 18 and the other for the literate adults from 19 years and above shall involve nearly all of rural areas and katchi abadies population. And if carried out through 5 years shall make us nearer to MDGs goals of 2015 and bring whole population of rural Sindh and its katchi Abadies at par with urban Sindh in eliminating the divide and promoting their progress as one people.

How to implement and administer both the program:

Both the programs primary through elementary to secondary and adult literacy be given directly with all their infrastructures, administrations, and staff to District Committee for implementation, each to be designated the District Basic Education and Poverty Alleviation Committee and be constituted from local education and literacy officers / Local Government representative / one umbrella NGO each – reputed for educational work in the district.

Monitoring and Evaluation:

There will also be a separate committee of local literary men and women and educationists of district to report directly to education minister on progress of the programs. Evaluation as to expenses be done by Auditors every 3 months sent by Education Minister.

Under the two programs, if started in like earnest and without losing any time, and carried out diligently, some 20 million adults, mainly daily wage earners and landless share croppers will be made literate in addition to almost equal number of the 5 years’ newborns of Sindh will have covered their 5 years primary education, literally amounting to reach the full literacy in Sindh approximately touching thus the MDGs goals by 2015.

It is to be understood that both of these programmes shall be conducted in and for the mother tongue – with Sindhi and Urdu to be introduced from class III respectively for Urdu and Sindhi children upto class V, and English is to be taught as a foreign language from class VI onwards.

It is also to be understood that the present Government of Sindh shall own up the subject of Education solely as the provincial subject at least upto higher secondary stage i.e. class XII in the first instance.

It is also to be remembered that nothing worthwhile in matter of Education as in any other sphere of development can be achieved in provinces without full measure of genuine political and fiscal autonomy.

MQM got big share in Sindh cabinet

Sindh: Karachi- PPP and MQM power-sharing formula under which the MQM will join the Sindh Government with 13 ministers, one adviser and one special assistant. With the induction of the MQM ministers, the strength of the Sindh cabinet would reach 38, including four advisers.

Addressing a press conference at the Chief Minister’s House, Senior Minister Pir Mazhar-ul-Haq, who led the PPP negotiating team, said: “For us ministries have no importance. It is the spirit of reconciliation that matters most.” The deputy convener of the MQM Coordination Committee, Dr. Farooq Sattar, who said: “Our basic objective of power sharing is to have friendly and good relations with the PPP and continue the process of national reconciliation.” The portfolios allotted to MQM ministers include: health, industries and commerce, information, technology, environment and alternate energy, sports, youth affairs, rural development, public health engineering, Auqaf, bureau of supply and prices and human rights. Two portfolios are yet to be decided.

May 04, 2008

Pakistan: Doctor Released After 2 Years

By SALMAN MASOOD

A Pakistani-American doctor has been released after being held by the authorities for more than two years, the local news media reported. Dr. Safdar Sarki, an advocate for greater autonomy for Sindh Province, was taken to a hospital in Quetta after the provincial government of Baluchistan withdrew weapons charges against him. Dr. Sarki, who lives in Texas, was arrested during a visit to Karachi in February 2006.

The police in Baluchistan did not announce his arrest or any charges until last October. Pakistan’s Supreme Court identified him as one of the people held in a secret detention system.

May 2, 2008

Courtesy: The New York Times

Source: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/02/world/asia/02briefs-DOCTORRELEAS_BRF.html?ex=1210478400&en=c3e44deef1bd1bbe&ei=5070&emc=eta1

Glowing Tributes Paid to G.M. Sayed, Balouchistan CM Nawab Alsam Raisani Thanked

London, 29th April 2008 – World Sindhi Congress commemorated the 13th death anniversary of great Sindhi leader, Saeen G.M. Sayed on 26th April at Sindhi Centre, London.

The occasion was attended by Sindhis from all over UK, Balouchs and many others.

The programme started with the recitation of the Sindhi song written by Shaikh Ayaz. Awais Mahar and Nisar Ahmed Gilal sang the anthem in their melodious voice.

Programme Chair, Dr Hidayat Bhutto welcomed and thanked the participants, who came from far-flung areas to attend the event.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr Munir Hyder Shah, the great grandson of G.M. Sayed said that Sayed sacrificed his very existence to serve motherland. His only priority in life was Sindh, her institutions, the people, the language and culture.

World Sindhi Congress Chairman, Dr Haleem Bhatti presented a brief account of Sayed life and contributions. He said Sayed started his political career at a very young age. The focus of his politics and indeed entire life was Sindh. He fought for and achieved Sindh’s separation from Bombay Presidency. He moved the Pakistan Resolution in Sindh Assembly, but when he saw that joining was not in the interests of Sindh, he started campaigning against that union right since 1946. He stood for the right of self-determination of Sindh.

Dr Haleem Bhatti also spoke about Sayed’s literary contributions, the books Sayed wrote on different subjects. He said Saeen G. M. Sayed faced all the troubles because of his ideology and his love for the land of Sindh, Sindhi people and Sindhi language and culture. Being an embodiment of Sindhi thought and culture, Saeen G M Sayed has preached the principles of Sufism, love, tolerance and non-violence.

Concluding his tribute Dr Bhatti said Sindhis will always remember their great leader. He said, “G.M. Sayed died in the unfortunate land of his love but he will live in the hearts of every one forever, who calls himself a Sindhi”.

Ms Suraiya Makhdoom, Senior vice Chair, WSC, who moderated the Session, paid glowing tributes to the great leader. She said Sayed started his political career at such a young age that he had to stand on the table to deliver speeches. The then British establishment took notice of his anti imperialist stance. But nothing would deter Sayed fight against imperialism and for the freedom of Sindh. Sayed served Sindh in very respect, political, social and language and literature.

Ms Makhdoom thanked Balouchistan Chief Minister, Nawab Alsam Raisani for his solidarity with Dr Safdar Sarki, the ex Chairman of WSC, by sending Dr Sarki a bouquet of flowers and providing him medical and other humane facilities in prison, which were denied to him. She asked the Sindh CM and the government to reciprocate the favour and allow same facilities to Akhtar Mengal, who is in prison in Sindh.

Mir Ghulam Hussain of Balouchistan Action Committee said that we pay tribute to Sayed for spending his whole life behind bars and under house arrest, but never compromising on the principles. He said Sayed’s mission could only be fulfilled by actions and not the words. He urged upon Sindhi and Balouch mothers and sisters to come forward and join in the struggle.

Mr Sujan Sindhi said that G.M. Sayed was the first political prisoner in Pakistan. He said Sindh remained the focus of Sayed’s entire life and for his beloved country prepared to offer any sacrifice. He said Sayed work had a great spiritual aspect. He said we could only gain something if we are prepared to sacrifice.

Speaking on G. M. Syed’s various contributions, Shahzado Wadhyo said Sayed gave the awareness to Sindhi people about their identity. Shahzado mentioned Saeen’s written work and said Saeen challenged religious fundamentalism in this book, “Jeeana Ditho ah moon”.

Samad Balouch of Balouchistan Action Committee said Sayed we should fulfill Saeen’s mission by fighting for the genuine rights of the oppressed people. He mentioned the martyrdoms of Nawab Akbar Khan Bugti and Mir Balaach Marri, who sacrificed their lives for the cause of their land and people

Abdul Jabbar Qureshi, President Sindhi Sangat UK, said we should follow in the footsteps of Saeen G.M. Sayed and commit ourselves to cause of Sindh.

Concluding the speeches session, Dr Lakhu Luhana, Secretary General of WSC, said the best way to pay tribute to G.M. Sayed is to fight for the rights of Sindh on all fronts. He spoke at length on the current situation. He said we are being alienated in our own cities, especially in Karachi. He said the previous MQM led government in Sindh passed a law, which prohibited Sindhi from outside Karachi from applying for the jobs in the NGO and other agencies in Karachi. Sindhis are living in apartheid conditions in their own country.

The doors of educational institutions in Karachi have been shut to Sindhis domiciled in other towns and villages of Sindh. The MQM led Sindh government shut down many Sindhi medium schools and the whole of the Sindh Assembly remained silent witnesses. Dr Lakhu said we got to struggle for our survival.

The speeches session was followed by the Sufi music programme, in which Harbans Singh and his group sang the inspirational Sufi and national poetry of Shah Abdul Latif and other poets.

A sumptuous dinner concluded the programme.

Problems being faced by Sindhi People

Dr Ali Akbar M. Dhakan, Karachi

People of Sindh not only prayed for ppp success but sacrificed their every thing for the support of PPP on account of Shaheeds of Bhutto Family who all gave their lives for Pakistan.

They thought Democracy is the best revenge to be taken from the Dictators and their stooges. All doors of employment, prosperity and well-being were closed for Sindhi people. Sindhi people therefore felt themselves orphans and destitute till the PPP got success in general elections and formed Government in the centre and Sindh Province. It is why they work for and pray for PPP success because PPP leaders or Ministers belonging to Punjab and other Provinces even MQM Ministers do not support or extend their symphathies and help to Sindhi people. Sindhi people visit to PPP Ministers for help and support. PPP is the only source of help and sympathy for people of Sindh. This time only two federal Ministers have been taken from rural Sindh i.e. Khurshid Shah and Syed Naveed Qamar but all the rest belong to the Punjab who neither contact Sindhi people nor oblige them. Therefore this time, Sindhi people are worried as to when their genuine works will be done and who will support or show sympathy with them for getting them their constitutional rights and justice done to them in lieu of the injustice done. Would the PPP leaders give their attention towards difficulties and problems being faced by People of Sindh?

April 26, 2010

Improve Education in Rural Sindh

By Khalid Hashmani, McLean, Virginia

About 12 days ago, the federal Education Ministry issued a policy draft containing several policy statements about the future Education Policy of Pakistan. I urge you to reject this draft and demand the changes recommended below. The rural areas of Sindh, Balochistan and FATA have poorest of poor educational facilities and opportunities and the people there are substantially lagging behind the rest of Pakistan.

The Ministry of Education of Government of Pakistan issued a draft of the National Education Policy on April 14, 2008. The draft available at http://www.moe. gov.pk/nepr/ new.pdf. Although the draft policy is comprehensive in many respects and clearly recognizes the inequities between rural and urban areas, it fails to mention that the conditions of educational facilities and opportunities in RURAL SINDH are as bad as in rural Balochistan and FATA. A synopsis of the key points from the draft is given at the end of this letter. The key points on the draft policy and suggested improvements are as follows:

1. The policy unfairly and irrationally pushes for centralization of Pakistan’s educational system. The centralization is one of the main reasons that has kept Pakistan from progressing. The over centralization has resulted in various forms of discrimination that the draft policy has itself recognized. However, the draft policy wrongfully says that modern states have one national education system. In fact, in most modern and progressing countries (including USA, India, Canada, etc.), the federal governments simply creates some high-level guidelines, national standards and assessments systems but otherwise the matter of education is considered totally a provincial subject. This is the reason that constitution of Pakistan emphasizes gives the responsibility of education to the provinces. Unfortunately, the over-zealous proponents of the centralization have succeeded in continuing the “education” to be largely a federally controlled subject. But, we all know that the days of concurrent list are likely to end soon. The education policy makers must realize this reality and make changes to the policy to comply with the new era of decentralization.

2. The draft policy claims that new National Educational Policy supports the reflection of the local cultural contexts through curricula, etc. It forgets that only educational system that is run by provinces can truly reflect the real cultural context of their provinces.

3. The draft policy lumps all regional dialects and languages into one category. The education policy must recognize that the Sindhi language is the historical language of Sindh. Unlike other provinces, Sindhi has been used as the main medium of instruction for more than a century. The education policies must be amended to ensure that this historical role of the Sindhi language is preserved for generations to come.

4. The federation of Pakistan is composed of four (4) federating units with their distinct history and heritage. The draft policy does not recognize this important fact. Relevant policy changes must be made so that students are not only taught the modern history of Pakistan but they are also taught about their province’s distinct history and heritage.

5. The report distinctly refers to the “Federal” government but lumps provincial governments and other local governments under one phrase “Provincial/Area Governments” . The education policy makers must realize that during these times when the need for “provincial autonomy” has become the cry of almost all Pakistanis and because “education” is a provincial subject, such references in policy recommendations be changed to recognize the prominent role of provincial governments in meeting the educational objectives of Pakistan. The policy draft should recommend that jurisdiction between the local areas located in a province is to set by the provincial governments and the federal government must not interfere in such matters.

6. A policy action must include a provision that starting next year, additional 0.5% of GDP will be spent on improving education facilities in rural Sindh, rural Balochistan, and FATA areas until the the educational facilities and opportunities in those areas are brought to be apar with rest of Pakistan.

7. A policy recommendation must be made to allow provincial governments to negotiate foreign assistance for improving education facilities for their provinces.

8. The federal role in education should be limited to creating high-level guidelines, setting of national quality standards, and establishing assessment tests. The federal government must not interfere more than that in the education matters and let the provincial government meet their responsibility in education sector as the founding fathers had envisioned. There is no need for Inter-Provincial Education Ministers’ (IPEM) Conference to be used as a tool to deny further provincial autonomy.

I hope you will also take time to read this policy draft, whose aim appears to be to further the yoke of centralization on the federating units of Pakistan.

You probably receive several appeals each year to make a donation to an individual school, project, or scholarship. You probably always wished that you had a lot of money to give scholarships to one or more poor students in rural Sindh. Most likely you could not respond to each and every appeal as you could not afford it. However, this is your opportunity to do something extra-ordinarily important for the cause of education in rural Sindh. It will take only few minutes of your time to send few emails to the right people, but your action could result billions of additional funding for education in rural Sindh.

Please write letters or send emails to high officials of the federal and provincial governments and as well other leaders of PPP, PML-N, and other political parties and ask them to get the suggested improvements incorporated in the Education Policy. In addition go to the web site of Pakistan Fedral Education Ministry (http://www.moe. gov.pk/) and submit your comments and suggestions for improvement by clicking the “Contact Us” button.

I tried my best to get e-mail addresses of current Ministers, Prime Minister, Education Minister, and members of two chambers of Pakistani Parliament on the web site of the federal government (http://www.pakistan .gov.pk/). However, it appears that the officials of the new government are shy about listing their e-mail addresses. Only the following two women members of Parliament had listed their e-mail addresses:

PPP — Ms. Fauzia Wahab fawahab@orientale. com

PML-Q — Mr. Riaz Fatiana riazfatyana@ hotmail.com

————

SYNPOSIS FROM THE DRAFT EDUCATION POLICY REPORT

——— ——-

MAJOR CONCERNS EXPRESSED IN THE DRAFT EDUCATION POLICY

——— ———

The draft policy rightfully points out the following major concerns:

1. The current Pakistani policy framework has not served as a satisfactory guide and has not generated desired results in the context of access rates, quality and equity in educational opportunities.

2. The current policy will fail as the new challenges triggered by globalization and Pakistan’s desire to become a “knowledge society” are faced.

3. Although Gross Enrollment Ratio, at the primary level has improved, the achieved 66% rate is below the target rate of 79% for 2005-06. One-third of primary school age and three-quarters of the secondary school age children remain out of school. THE DRAFT SAYS, “CLEARLY, PAKISTAN IS SOME DISTANCE AWAY FROM ACHIEVING UNIVERSAL SCHOOLING, EVEN AT THE PRIMARY LEVEL”.

4. Pakistan performance on enrollments lacks behind both in the context of education and literacy rates. PAKISTAN’S LITERACY RATES (49.9%) IS LOWER THAN FOR COUNTRIES LIKE INDIA (61%), IRAN (82.4%), and SRI LANKA (90.7%).

5. The low access primarily results from lack of confidence in the public sector schools due to POLITICAL INTERFERFERENCE AND CORRUPTION THAT HAS PREMEATED THE ENTIRE SECTOR. RECRUITMENTS, TRANSFERS and POSTINGS ARE POLITICALLY DRIVEN CAUSING THE ISSUES OF ABSENTEE TEACHERS, GHOST SCHOOLS AND CHEATING IN EXAMINATIONS.

6. There is a large difference in ACCESS ACROSS GENDER, ETHNIC MINORITIES, PROVINCES, REGIONS, and RURAL-URBAN DIVIDE.

7. It is common knowledge and proven by many studies that DISCRIMINATION EXISTS IN EDUCATION SYSTEM IN VARIOUS FORMS. This inequity is the result of poor implementation and social customs.

8. The girls continue to face SIGNIFICANT DISADVANTAGES IN ACCESS AS THEY REACH ADULTHOOD. THE FEMALES ARE PARTICULARLY UNDER REPRESENTED IN RURAL AREAS.

9. The RURAL DISADVANTAGE AT THE SECONDARY LEVEL IS RATHER LARGE (48% URBAN vs. 22% RURAL). THE PRECENTAGE GAP BETWEEN URBAN AND RURAL AREAS HAS WIDENED 20 POINTS IN 2001-02 to 2005-06. The SURVIVAL RATE TO GRADE 5 IS 67% in RURAL AREAS VS. 94% IN URBAN AREAS. THE PUPIL TEACHER RATIO IS 12 PUPILS PER TEACHER IN URBAN AREAS VS. 18 PUPILS PER TEACHER IN RURAL AREAS. WHILE 90% OF URBAN SCHOOLS HAS WATER SOURCES, ONLY 63% RURAL SCHOOLS DO SO. WHERE AS, URBAN SCHOOLS HAVE 88% SANITATION FACILITIES VS. 56% SCHOOLS HAVE SIMILAR FACILITIES IN OF RURAL AREAS.

10. The study says that PUNJAB and SINDH are leading are at the top of league, however, as usual poor BALOCHISTAN IS LAGGING FAR BEHIND with the following percentages:

Primary School Net Enrolment Ratio (NER)

— Punjab 68%

— Sindh 67%

— NWFP 66%

— Balochistan 40%

Secondary School Net Enrolment Ratio (NER) – Punjab (26%) vs. 11% for Balochistan and FATA.

The Literacy rate for adults is 55% in Sindh vs. 37% in Balochistan.

11. An international comparison confirms the relative POOR QUALITY of Pakistan’s education. The National Education Assessment System (NEAS) 2005 scores of Pakistani students are well below many other countries.

12. Only about 47% of teaching staff had the required teaching qualifications.

DRAFT POLICY ON FUNDING SOURCES FOR EDUCATION IN PAKISTAN

——— —

1. In 2005-6, the governments funding amounted to about 2.5% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) on education. A further 0.5% is estimated to be the contribution of the private sector for 3% of GDP. It is slight improvement from 2000-01 when it was 2.2%.

2. Pakistan spends relatively LESS on education (2.3%) than countries like Iran (4.7%), Malaysia (6.2%), India (3.8%), and Bangladesh (2.5%).

MAJOR DRAFT POLICY RECOMMENDATIONS

———— –

The draft policy recommendations in numerous areas including:

1. Provinces and local areas to affirm the goal of achieving universal and free primary education by 2015 and up to class 10 by 2025.

2. The Government shall commit to allocating 7% of GDP to education by 2015.

3. The federal and Provincial/Area Governments shall develop consensus on needs and priorities for foreign assistance in education.

4. The federal role shall be facilitator and coordinator. The federal government will be responsible for National Education policy. The Inter-Provincial Education Ministers’ (IPEM) Conference will have the jurisdiction over reviewing progress and implementation.

Sindh faces Rs 12.3b deficit in 2007-08 budget

– Associated Press of Pakistan

KARACHI: Sindh is faced with a 12.3 billion rupees deficit in the 2007-08 budget which reflects total recoveries at Rs 223.8 billion as against an expenditure of Rs 236.1 billion.

This was informed by Provincial Finance Secretary Ghulam Ali Pasha in a briefing given to Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah.

The secretary said that this year Rs 3972.9 million are being spent on construction and repair of irrigation dams and canals besides salaries.

He said the expenditure on police department is estimated at Rs 16663.9 million. He said during the period from 2003-04 to 2007-08, Rs 1218.7 million were spent on the purchase of 1314 vehicles.

He maintained that ADP outlay stands at Rs 40 billion while Rs 0.5 billion allocated for Drought Emergency Relief Assistance, 1.1 billion for DSSP, 5.6 billion for foreign project assistance and Rs 14.4 billion for other grants.

It was informed that Rs 10 billion have been provided for ADP of District Governments while Rs 28 billion released for ongoing schemes, Rs 4.5 billion for new schemes and Rs 2.9 billion allocated outside the budget.

The meeting was informed that Sindh has 510,665 employees which include 231,495 employees of the provincial setup and 279,170 in the district governments.

The chief minister was informed about an allocation of Rs 50 billion for Karachi Mega City, Rs 18.75 billion for Sindh Investment programme, Rs 5.38 billion for construction of rural roads with Japan’s cooperation and Rs 2.68 billion for new steel flyovers in Karachi.

In order to check the funds used for repair of irrigation canals, the chief minister directed that a committee be formed for this purpose and submit report within one week. He sought information about the number of operative and inoperative tube wells.

April 25, 2010

Kharif Water Sharing in Pakistan: Challenge for new regime

Water sharing for Kharif crops – By Zulfiqar Halepoto

After securing a historic unanimous vote of trust from the National Assembly, Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani said the country is now beset with crises, on the top of the list being the crises of electricity and water.

The scarcity of water; construction of small and carryover dams, equitable water sharing, quality of the water discharged to Sindh from upstream, efficient water management at the provincial level, brick-lining of irrigation channels, alternative energy resources and acute shortages of electricity are enormous challenges for the new government to tackle.

Of these, the one related to water is caused by exponential increase in population which has risen from about 20 million to 145 million since the construction of the Mangla dam and is estimated to go up to 280 million by 2025.

Pakistan�s economy relies on agriculture, which contributes nearly 21 per cent of the GDP and employs 44 per cent of the workforce. It is a major source of raw material to the industry and also of foreign exchange.

Water shortage affects agriculture in a way that not only food security is threatened — especially in arid and semi-arid areas where irrigation is the main source of water– but also employment and industry.

The Musharraf government had unilaterally initiated various visions and plans to address water sector development, including the Ten -Year Perspective Plan (Planning Commission, 2001), Vision 2025 (Water and Power Development Authority, 2001), the National Water Policy (Ministry of Water and Power, Draft, 2002) and the Pakistan Water Sector Strategy Study. But the small provinces were not taken into confidence on the water sector development strategy. All feasibility reports and strategies have supported the construction of large dams including the controversial Kalabagh dam.

In August 2002, General Pervez Musharraf addressed technocrats, water experts, writers and intellectuals of Sindh to convince them to get agreed on the construction of KBD.

At that time, he had formed a technical committee (and political committee) on water resources under the chairmanship of Mr A.N.G Abbasi to establish a consensus to resolve water dispute and dams controversy among the provinces.

Abbasi had clearly highlighted the significance of an integrated approach to conserve water resources and manage it at both national and provincial levels without going for major water reservoirs or dams.

The report noticeably stressed the need for legal and constitutional safeguarding of equity and rights of the provinces. His report criticised link canal operational criteria, the criterion of filling Mangla dam and total water availability in the system. Mr Abbasi has given a viable formula for equitable sharing of available water and emphasised on the functional role of the Indus River System Authority (IRSA).

Mr Gilani’s announcement was made at the time when the provinces had locked horns over the unresolved water sharing mechanism, each coming up with its own water availability figures for the Kharif season.

The federating units particularly Punjab and Sindh plan to demand water distribution in accordance with their suitable options with IRSA and table their own calculations to sort out a way for the Kharif season starting from April 1, 2008.

There is an acute shortage of water in Sindh for early Kharif crops and on the other hand Punjab is filling the Mangla dam for its next Rabi. Rabi season concluded on March 31 with low price of wheat crop in Sindh and with no subsidy and the Advisory Committee of IRSA failed to finalise the Kharif 2008 Water Distribution Plan.

The total needs of all the provinces in Kharif season stands at 71 MAF. The Punjab province wants that the water be shared under 1977-82 ten dallies (historic uses) in case of shortage and under para 2 of the accord, if there is no scarcity.

The Sindh province will require 80-90 per cent of total water availability in April because the Kharif sowing period in Sindh starts much before Punjab, and this also creates problem in water distribution.

Punjab always takes advantage of the Water Apportionment Accord 1991 with the 1994 inter-ministerial ad hoc decision that provided water distribution in two different ways– when the country suffers shortage or when it has the commodity in surplus.

Punjab and Sindh often come up with different contentions on the water availability figures and thus arises the question of implementing the para 2, 4 of 1991 accord or distribution under 1977-82 historic uses basis. The fulfilment of the legal and constitutional demands of Sindh strictly under the 1991 accord is a great challenge for 100- day plan of the coalition government’s package.

Now it is a great test for the new regime to settle the water scarcity issue.

The writer is secretary of the Sindh Democratic Forum, a civil society think-tank.

Courtesy: daily Dawn

http://www.dawn.com/2008/04/20/ebr.htm

Commemoration of 13th Anniversary of GM Syed

London- Press Release: World Sindhi Congress (WSC) has organised 13th anniversary of  G M Syed, who struggled all his life for human rights, democracy, secularism and freedom of people.

Over three decades, Saeen was repeatedly detained in various prisons without trial until his death in 1995. The Amnesty International adopted him as a Prisoner of Conscience.

Saturday, April 26th, 2008

2008 Education Policy- Rural-Urban Gap

By Khalid Hashmani, McLean, Virginia

Last week, the federal Education Ministry issued a policy draft containing several policy statements about the future Education Policy of Pakistan. I urge the Peoples’ Party of Pakistan (PPP) to reject this draft and appoint a commission composed of representatives from all provinces, ensuring that true representation from rural Sindh, Balochistan, and FATA. These three regions have poorest of poor educational facilities and opportunities and the people there are substantially lagging behind the rest of Pakistan.

The Ministry of Education of Government of Pakistan issued a draft of the National Education Policy on April 14, 2008. The draft available at http://www.moe. gov.pk/nepr/ new.pdf. Although the draft policy is comprehensive in many respects and clearly recognizes the inequities between rural and urban areas, it fails to mention that the conditions of educational facilities and opportunities in RURAL SINDH are as bad as in rural Balochistan and FATA. A synopsis of the key points from the draft is given at the end of this letter. My arguments for asking PPP to reject the draft policy are as follows:

1. The policy unfairly and irrationally pushes for centralization of Pakistan’s educational system. The centralization is one of the main reasons that has kept Pakistan from progressing. The over centralization has resulted in various forms of discrimination that the draft policy has itself recognized. However, the draft policy wrongfully says that modern states have one national education system. In fact, in most modern and progressing countries (including USA, India, Canada, etc.), the federal governments simply create some high-level guidelines, national standards and assessments systems but otherwise the matter of education is considered totally a provincial subject. This is the reason that constitution of Pakistan emphasizes gives the responsibility of education to the provinces. Unfortunately, the over-zealous proponents of the centralization have succeeded in continuing the “education” to be largely a federally controlled subject. But, we all know that the days of concurrent list are likely to end soon. The education policy makers must realize this reality and make changes to the policy to comply with the new era of decentralization.

2. The draft policy claims that new National Educational Policy supports the reflection of the local cultural contexts through curricula, etc. It forgets that only educational system that is run by provinces can truly reflect the real cultural context of their provinces.

3. The draft policy lumps all regional dialects and languages into one category. The education policy must recognize that the Sindhi language is the historical language of Sindh. Unlike other provinces, Sindhi has been used as the main medium of instruction for more than a century. The education policies must be amended to ensure that this historical role of the Sindhi language is preserved for generations to come.

4. The federation of Pakistan is composed of four (4) federating units with their distinct history and heritage. The draft policy does not recognize this important fact. Relevant policy changes must be made so that students are not only taught the modern history of Pakistan but they are also taught about their province’s distinct history and heritage.

5. The report distinctly refers to the “Federal” government but lumps provincial governments and other local governments under one phrase “Provincial/Area Governments” . The education policy makers must realize that during these times when the need for “provincial autonomy” has become the cry of almost all Pakistanis and because “education” is a provincial subject, such references in policy recommendations be changed to recognize the prominent role of provincial governments in meeting the educational objectives of Pakistan. The policy draft should recommend that jurisdiction between the local areas located in a province is to set by the provincial governments and the federal government must not interfere in such matters.

6. A policy action must include a provision that starting next year, additional 0.5% of GDP will be spent on improving education facilities in rural Sindh, rural Balochistan, and FATA areas until the the educational facilities and opportunities in those areas are brought to be apar with rest of Pakistan.

7. A policy recommendation must be made to allow provincial governments to negotiate foreign assistance for improving education facilities for their provinces.

8. The federal role in education should be limited to creating high-level guidelines, setting of national quality standards, and establishing assessment tests. The federal government must not interfere more than that in the education matters and let the provincial government meet their responsibility in education sector as the founding fathers had envisioned. There is no need for Inter-Provincial Education Ministers’ (IPEM) Conference to be used as a tool to deny further provincial autonomy.

I hope some of you will also take time to read this dreadful policy draft, whose aim seems to be to further the yoke of centralization on federating units.

I look forward to hearing soon that PPP will create a new education commission to create guidelines that will empower provinces to improve education in their provinces and allocate substantial funding towards bringing educational equity between urban and rural areas of their province.

——— ——

SYNPOSIS FROM THE DRAFT POLICY REPORT

—– ——— —

MAJOR CONCERNS ON EDUCATION EXPRESSED IN DRAFT POLICY

——— ———

The draft policy rightfully points out the following major concerns:

1. The current Pakistani policy framework has not served as a satisfactory guide and has not generated desired results in the context of access rates, quality and equity in educational opportunities.

2. The current policy will fail as the new challenges triggered by globalization and Pakistan’s desire to become a “knowledge society” are faced.

3. Although Gross Enrollment Ratio, at the primary level has improved, the achieved 66% rate is below the target rate of 79% for 2005-06. One-third of primary school age and three-quarters of the secondary school age children remain out of school. THE DRAFT SAYS, “CLEARLY, PAKISTAN IS SOME DISTANCE AWAY FROM ACHIEVING UNIVERSAL SCHOOLING, EVEN AT THE PRIMARY LEVEL”.

4. Pakistan performance on enrollments lacks behind both in the context of education and literacy rates. PAKISTAN’S LITERACY RATES (49.9%) IS LOWER THAN FOR COUNTRIES LIKE INDIA (61%), IRAN (82.4%), and SRI LANKA (90.7%).

5. The low access primarily results from lack of confidence in the public sector schools due to POLITICAL INTERFERFERENCE AND CORRUPTION THAT HAS PREMEATED THE ENTIRE SECTOR. RECRUITMENTS, TRANSFERS and POSTINGS ARE POLITICALLY DRIVEN CAUSING THE ISSUES OF ABSENTEE TEACHERS, GHOST SCHOOLS AND CHEATING IN EXAMINATIONS.

6. There is a large difference in ACCESS ACROSS GENDER, ETHNIC MINORITIES, PROVINCES, REGIONS, and RURAL-URBAN DIVIDE.

7. It is common knowledge and proven by many studies that DISCRIMINATION EXISTS IN EDUCATION SYSTEM IN VARIOUS FORMS. This inequity is the result of poor implementation and social customs.

8. The girls continue to face SIGNIFICANT DISADVANTAGES IN ACCESS AS THEY REACH ADULTHOOD. THE FEMALES ARE PARTICULARLY UNDER REPRESENTED IN RURAL AREAS.

9. The RURAL DISADVANTAGE AT THE SECONDARY LEVEL IS RATHER LARGE (48% URBAN vs. 22% RURAL). THE PRECENTAGE GAP BETWEEN URBAN AND RURAL AREAS HAS WIDENED 20 POINTS IN 2001-02 to 2005-06. The SURVIVAL RATE TO GRADE 5 IS 67% in RURAL AREAS VS. 94% IN URBAN AREAS. THE PUPIL TEACHER RATIO IS 12 PUPILS PER TEACHER IN URBAN AREAS VS. 18 PUPILS PER TEACHER IN RURAL AREAS. WHILE 90% OF URBAN SCHOOLS HAS WATER SOURCES, ONLY 63% RURAL SCHOOLS DO SO. WHERE AS, URBAN SCHOOLS HAVE 88% SANITATION FACILITIES VS. 56% SCHOOLS HAVE SIMILAR FACILITIES IN OF RURAL AREAS.

10. The study says that PUNJAB and SINDH are leading are at the top of league, however, as usual poor BALOCHISTAN IS LAGGING FAR BEHIND with the following percentages:

Primary School Net Enrolment Ratio (NER)

— Punjab 68%

— Sindh 67%

— NWFP 66%

— Balochistan 40%

Secondary School Net Enrolment Ratio (NER) – Punjab (26%) vs. 11% for Balochistan and FATA.

The Literacy rate for adults is 55% in Sindh vs. 37% in Balochistan.

11. An international comparison confirms the relative POOR QUALITY of Pakistan’s education. The National Education Assessment System (NEAS) 2005 scores of Pakistani students are well below many other countries.

12. Only about 47% of teaching staff had the required teaching qualifications.

DRAFT POLICY ON FUNDING SOURCES FOR EDUCATION IN PAKISTAN

——— ——— —

1. In 2005-6, the governments funding amounted to about 2.5% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) on education. A further 0.5% is estimated to be the contribution of the private sector for 3% of GDP. It is slight improvement from 2000-01 when it was 2.2%.

2. Pakistan spends relatively LESS on education (2.3%) than countries like Iran (4.7%), Malaysia (6.2%), India (3.8%), and Bangladesh (2.5%).

MAJOR DRAFT POLICY RECOMMENDATIONS

——— ——— ——— –

The draft policy recommendations in numerous areas including:

1. Provinces and local areas to affirm the goal of achieving universal and free primary education by 2015 and up to class 10 by 2025.

2. The Government shall commit to allocating 7% of GDP to education by 2015.

3. The federal and Provincial/Area Governments shall develop consensus on needs and priorities for foreign assistance in education.

4. The federal role shall be facilitator and coordinator. The federal government will be responsible for National Education policy. The Inter-Provincial Education Ministers’ (IPEM) Conference will have the jurisdiction over reviewing progress and implementation.

April 23, 2008

Courtesy: Sindhi e-lists/ e-groups,

Oil discovery in Sindh

While due to international oil prices, oil-producing countries are flourishing but Sindh has not benefit …

News : With a successful discovery of a new exploratory well in District Hyderabad, Sindh, the average daily production of Oil and Gas Development Company (OGDC) including the share from the joint ventures has touched 45,235 barrels of crude oil per day.The Company has succeeded to discover an exploratory well near Lashari lease, Molan area in District Hyderabad. Initially the production of the well will be 1,150 barrel per day, the specification of this oil is 45 degree API,.. OGDC is also producing 963 million cubic feet of natural gas and 382 metric tons of LPG per day… Aaj News

State-owned Oil and Gas Development Co Ltd (OGDCL), the country’s biggest listed firm, announced on Friday a small oil discovery in southern Sindh province, raising its oil output by 1,150 barrels per day (bpd)… Last week, Pakistan finalised plans to issue an exchangeable bond with an option for OGDCL shares, to be jointly managed by ABN AMRO, Barclays and JP Morgan…

April 21, 2008

Praiseworthy decision: Hindu Gymkhana to be restored to Hindhu community

Hindu Gymkhana to be handed over to Hindu community: a good decision by Sindh government

Sindh Culture and Tourism Minister Sassui Palijo has said that the Hindu Gymkhana will be handed over to the Hindu community after getting it vacated from the National Academy of Performing Arts, which will be shifted to some other place.

http://thenews. jang.com. pk/daily_ detail.asp? id=107408

http://dawn. com/2008/04/18/local12. htm

It is a good decision and one hopes that it would really happen and would not remain just a public relation statement. Sindh government needs to take immediate and comprehensive measures to preserve the national heritage of Sindh and put an end to occupation of historic buildings.

It may be recalled that the previous government had handed over the historic building to Zia Mohiuddin ignoring the protests by the Hindu community and others.

Here is a letter by this scribe published in daily Dawn on 6 September, 2004 on the subject:

http://www.dawn. com/2004/09/06/letted. htm#2

Hindu Gymkhana

A report in a Sindhi daily (Aug 30) says some influential people are trying to take over the historical Hindu Gymkhana building in Karachi. According to the report, some people had acquired two rooms in the building some time back for establishing a dance and music centre.

Now they are trying to occupy the whole building and the provincial culture department is said to have sent a summary in this regard to the chief minister for approval.

According to the report, the city landmark spread over 8,400 sq meters was built in 1927. A noted Shikarpur architect Agha Ahmed Hussain had prepared the design and Seth Ram Gopaldas Mehta was the man behind the project.

After independence, the building housed the offices of the Federal Public Service Commission. It was vacated when the capital was moved to Islamabad in the 1960s.

The Sindh culture Department took the building under its control in 1993 and proclaimed it a heritage site. The department planned to establish a College of Art and Design at the site following the example of the Lahore Arts College . A sum of Rs4.05 million was sanctioned. No one knows the fate of the proposal.

It is a matter of great concern that historical and archaeological sites are being ignored. Many a building has deteriorated, been occupied by people, demolished or desecrated one way or the other.

The government had some time back announced plans to vacate the Pucca Qila, Hyderabad , and restore the great archeological site as a befitting national monument with a museum inside. Nobody knows the fate of that announcement either.

One appeals to the governor, the CM, the chief secretary and other concerned people to show some respect to historical buildings and national heritage sites and take measures to protect and preserve them.

Source – Courtesy: Aziz Narejo, Sindhi-elists/ e-grousps, April 18, 2008

A new Sindhi book QANOON SABHNEE LAE” (Law for All)

Book on Human, Women, Prisoner, Child & Minority Rights

A new Sindhi / Urdu book of eminent writer and lawyer Ayaz Latif Palijo is published by South Asia Partnership (SAP) Pakistan. The book “QANOON SABHNEE LAE” (Law for All) covers the laws related to Human Rights, Civil Liberties and Constitutional Rights.

The book includes the prefaces and forewords by scholars and writes like Rasool Bux Palijo, Muhammad Yousif Leghari Advocate, Hidayatullah Abbasi Advocate, Provincial Minister Sassui Palijo, Zulfiqar Shah and Dean Faulty of Law Sindh University Ahmed Ali Shaikh Advocate. In their words it is the first detailed book on laws and Human Rights in Sindhi language. They have said that this book would be a powerful democratic weapon in the hands of oppressed masses of Sindh. They have further suggested that other organizations and individuals should follow the path of SAP and reprint and distribute thousands of copies of this book in the remote rural areas of Sindh, Balochistan and Seraiki. They have emphasized upon the need of legal awareness campaign in Sindh which should include initiatives like legal clinics, lectures in Jail, lobbying for legislation, display of banners, writing of thousands of letters to concerned officers, personal meetings with women, peasants and children, awareness meetings among factory workers, communities and engagements and interaction with activists, parliamentarians, journalists and councilors.

The book is comprised of 20 Sindhi and 11 Urdu well-researched articles / write-ups on Fundamental Rights, Land Grabbing, Environmental Law, Women Rights and Pakistani Laws, Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Muslim Family Laws, Child Abuses and Law, Guardianship & Ward Laws, Declaration Against the

Discrimination to Women, Juvenile Justice System Ordinance, Women Protection Bill, Peasant Rights and WTO, Child Marriage Restraint Laws, Probation, Procedure of Criminal Proceedings, Legal Importance of Nikahnama, Rights of Consumers, Compensation of Fatal Road Accidents, Honor Killings, Prison Rules, Minority Right, Laws for Aggrieved Govt. Servants, Laws for Protection of Animals, Laws for Dower & Dowry, Defamation Laws, Bonded Labor, Laws Against Public Nuisance, Wages for Factory Workers, Compulsory Free Education for the Children of Labor and the Procedure for Protection of Fundamental Rights.

The price of this 200 pages book is Rs. 120/- but it would be given free of cost to the afectees of Human Rights violations and to children, women and minority activists and prisoners. Qanoon Sabhnee Lai (Law for All) also incorporates a detailed chart of all the important sections of the Constitution of Pakistan, Civil Procedure Code, Pakistan Penal Code, Criminal Procedure Code, Specific Relief Act and Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Nayyab Hain Hum (Rare We Are)

By Zulfiqar Halepoto

I feel honored to share with you all that a new book in Urdu language, compiled and edited by me on Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto Shaheed is published. Title of the book is Nayyab Hain Hum (Rare We Are)

It is a great privilege too share with you all that Syed Murad Ali Shah provincial Minister for Revenue and Land Utilization, Government of Sindh member of Sayed Abdullah Shah Foundation has published this book.

This book is comprised of more than 100 selected articles written in Urdu language by the leading writers, intellectuals, political analyst, columnists, poets, her spouse, party leaders and workers, which are published in various leading Urdu dailies of Pakistan. Book is published by Sindh’s leading publication unit Sindhika Academy This 400 pages book has five sections: – Section 01: Introduction by Syed Murad Al Shah. – A detailed Preface on MBB Shaheed written by me as compiler and editor

Section 02: Selected Poems on MBB Shaheed by Hasan Mujtaba, Aitzaz Ahsan, Kishwar Naheed, Mehmood Sham etc

Section 03: Columns, write-ups, profiles, obituaries, comments, personal notes from dairies, memories and personal profile

Section 04 :Selected editorials of leading Urdu daily newspapers and magazines

Section 05: Selected colored photographs of MBB Shaheed

Book will soon be launched in Karachi

Courtesy: Sindhi lists/ e-groups, April 17, 2008

Jamshoro – The spirit of Sindh

By: Niilofur Farrukh

FOR someone who was born and brought up in Karachi, I must confess the cultural distance between the metropolis and the hinterland exists not just in miles. The inhabitants of the city, especially as young and brash as Karachi, have built a hybrid identity from the experience of constant change, chaos and cultural interface.

Meanwhile, the people of the interior of Sindh, steeped in the folklore and poetry of its Sufis, zealously guard the purity of their language and interpret life through the prism of conventions shaped by ancient history.

What Pakistan, a county that brought together heterogeneous people from all over South Asia, has needed since its inception is an education policy to unify cultures through knowledge and respect for pluralism. While this dream of the founding fathers is forgotten in the midst of political volatility and confrontation, opportunities for reconciliation and an understanding of Pakistan’s diverse traditions are lost.

As someone who was born in the decade that followed Partition, I grew up without the language skills to understand Bhitai and Bulleh Shah. It took a study of world cultures to feel the need to seek what was so close to me at Moenjodaro, Harappa, Sukkur, Taxila, Kohistan, Thar and Sibi.

A recent opportunity to visit Jamshoro, where I was invited to participate in the First International Art Seminar hosted by the Institute of Art and Design, Sindh University, led to three days of enriching dialogue.

To experience both intellectuals and fakir singers quoting Shah Latif’s verse like a mantra, almost like a verbal and musical talisman not unlike the black thread that is rubbed on the ‘sacred’ instruments of the mendicants at the shrine of the great saint, it took the urban cynic in me some time to understand how deeply woven in the social and cultural fabric is the Sufi message. No theoretical text or debate can convey the intrinsic connection with a timeless philosophy that expresses the concerns of the people in a language that resonates in them.

A renewed optimism among the students and faculty at the Institute of Art and Design seems to have come with the new building that the department recently got after years of struggle. With it appeared a desire to build a bridge between received knowledge and the dynamic ideas of the new century.

The seminar seemed to set the tone for this change by creating space for debate and discussion on a wide range of issues that confront artists as national and international scholars read their papers.

The exchange with poets, writers, scholars, artists and journalists on the artist’s role in society, however fundamental, was important in a society that exists on so many planes of social awareness. The multiple viewpoints presented by the participants communicated how art has moved from the linear thought process of modernism to a lateral embrace of visual culture which recognises context as a critical force.

It was refreshing to see the inclusion of two papers based on the field research of archeologists who are putting together fragments of the history of development of the image and its significance in prehistoric times. Dr Salim claimed the flint tools created from quartz in the Potohar Plateau were one of the earliest creative acts as the maker used his intelligence to select the material and then perfected a technique to craft its serrated edge.

Information on rock carving and cave drawings presented by Dr Ihsan Ali concentrated on the iconography of early man in Pakistan that art historians cannot ignore. The same was true of Dr Misbah Rasheed’s study on the hybrid symbolic imagery of the ceramic mosaic murals at the Lahore Fort that has yet to be studied in-depth and included in the art history curriculum which continues to be predominantly eurocentric.

Dr Ejaz Ikram’s thought-provoking talk focused on the crisis of beauty in the world created by the de-linking of art from intuition, intellect and spirituality that were once responsible for the meditative harmony of Islamic art. According to him, since beauty rests not in innovation but the truth, he urged artists not to abandon tradition but to perfect it if they wanted to rediscover beauty.

Presenting an opposing view was the talk on European design presented by ceramist Maliha Paracha. She highlighted innovative ceramics by the Dutch company Droog that has gained worldwide reputation for its unusual and unpredictable designs that do not compromise functionality.

The artists’ perspective at the seminar, among others, came from Sheherezade, the country’s pioneer potter. With her exquisite visuals, she elaborated on the influence of historical and cultural Lahore on her personal and professional life. The labyrinth of the walled city, Mughal minars that dominate the skyline and the timeless skill of artisans that creates traditional pottery all combined to give her a sense of identity which, along with a global interface, has helped her develop a contemporary vocabulary which has won her global recognition.

This brings to my mind the renowned artist Mona Hartoum whose art is unique to her life. Hartoum, a Palestinian who grew up as a refugee in Lebanon, was stranded in London for a long period due to the war in Lebanon before she decided to pursue her art education in the UK. The trauma of displacement made her restless. According to her, she finds it difficult to stay in one place for too long. This angst is evoked in her work as ideas are translated through material to convey anxiety and restlessness.

Centrality of context was a common thread that ran through the papers. The message for the new entrants in the art community seemed to be that as they learned what constituted art in the studio, and while learning theory, they would also have to remember that the most powerful expression and strongest voice come from lived experience.

In the soul of Jamshoro dwell many untold stories, both ancient and modern. Artists just need to discover them.

Coutesy: Daily Dawn

Source – http://www.dawn.com/2008/04/16/op.htm#3

Asha Chand is a daughter of prominent and well known Sindhi writer Sundri Uttamchandani

By Ramesh Kateja, India

Ms. Asha is daughter of prominent and well known Sindhi writer par excellence Madam Sundri Uttamchandani, who has scores of Sindhi Novels and Stories to her credit, many of those have been translated in numerous languages globally.

In spite of constraints Sindhi language is facing in India, when the language can only survive through spoken medium, Ms Asha’s initiative to produce sleek and smooth Sindhi programmes for television media is indeed commendable and is certainly a right step in right direction.

Although Half an hour a week is too small a slot allotted for Sindhi ( i am sure that too must have been some kind of favour) is good enough for time being.

Its my appeal to Sindhis worldwide to encourage their children to see these TV programmes and create interest in their mind for their Mother Tongue. When I remember those lines of some Indian Sindhi writer:

Allah, iyen ma thiye, jo kitaaban men paRhije,

Hui Sindh ain Sindhi waaran ji Boli.

Translation of the above poetry: Lord, let that not happen, when we would be reading in the books, There was Sindh and their language Sindhi!

Courtesy: Sindhi e-lists/e-groups, April 14, 2008

Officers to learn Sindhi

By: Porf. Gul Agha

Police Chiefs and all other bureaucrats in Sindh should be appointed by the Government of Sindh and should be residents of Sindh. They serve the Sindh. Moreover, officials in Sindh must be fluent in speaking, reading and writing the official language of Sindh, namely Sindhi. Even the British required their officers to learn Sindhi if they served in Sindh. The current set up treats Sindh as a colony of an unenlightened country.

Courtesy: Sindhi e-lists/e-groups, April 13, 2008

DEMOCRACY IN PAKISTAN

Iqbal Tareen’s speech in front of White House, Washington, DC on June 3, 2007.

Mr. Tareen, presented profile of forces, which are the constant threat to freedoms and democracy. He said regimented, small, clandestine, narrowly focused, and power-hungry extremist forces, which can’t ordinarily capture power without disruptive and chaotic conditions will always be found working against establishment of democracy.

These forces are eager to collaborate with military and bureaucracy (Nation’s most powerful institutions) to act as a conduit creating desired conditions to overthrow elected governments. Under representative governance, these forces remain hyper-active, distasteful, and demeaning to elected governments and are quick to unite with dictatorships to backdoor into power.

Although smaller in numbers but these forces are usually concentrated in population clusters and are located in large cities or in strategically important geographic locations. Through the power of disruption these forces can lock-down major industrial cities thus wreaking a massive logistic and economic havoc on any nation.

Mr. Tareen categorically pointed to MQM and religious extremist groups, which play out this role in Pakistan. He said “MQM was created by Zia-ul-Haq as a counter balancing force against influence of Pakistan Peoples Party. Its one-point agenda was and remains to dilute constituencies of all pro-democracy forces especially the one of Pakistan Peoples Party in province of Sindh”

He said “Arming of MQM and its enforcement terrorism against peaceful citizens of major cities of Sindh ensured suppression of any uprising that might have occurred after the execution of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. MQM was nurtured and groomed by General Aslam Beg, financed by moneys of notorious dons and bankers, and graduated into power by General Musharraf”

He reminded all those who were present in the rally how supporters of dictatorship distributed sweets and candies at the death of first Pakistani democracy under Z. A. Bhutto. It also distributed sweets celebrating fall of 2nd democracy under Benazir Bhutto, and it organized Nimaz-e-Shukranas when 3rd democracy under Mian Nawaz Sharif was ousted.

He challenged everyone present to prove if MQM had ever mobilized mass opinion against any dictatorship in Pakistan. He said that “As a matter of fact MQM has remained permanently embedded into Pakistani dictatorships”

Mr. Tareen said that MQM AND DEMOCRACY IN PAKISTAN ARE MUTUALLY EXCLUSIVE. ONE CAN’T SURVIVE WITHOUT FALL OF THE OTHER.

Expanding on his thoughts, he said “Whenever there is a representative government in Pakistan, MQM demeans and rejects rule of democracy as a rule of Choudhries, Khans, Sardars, and “Waderas”. If you look into MQM’s track record, it has always teamed up with the worst kind of Choudhries, Sardars, Khans and Waderas when serving their client dictators”

He said that “May 12th Massacre” saw a glimpse of a new kind of lord, which is most ferocious and merciless than Pakistani nation has ever seen. He called them “Shaderas” who planned, executed, condoned, and praised the May 12th Massacre in Karachi. Explaining the term coined by Mr. Tareen, he said Shaderas are new breed of city (Shahar) waderas. On May 12th, MQM Shaderas declared exclusivity on city of Karachi. They declared Karachi as their “Jaagir” by denying right of entry to Pakistan’s Chief Justice and hundreds and thousands of his supporters.

Describing a historic irony, Mr. Tareen said “Before rise of MQM, citizens of Karachi stood like a rock facing dictatorship of Ayub Khan. Today Karachi has been placed on the wrong side of history. Not by choice but by terror. Karachi deserves freedom from fear and tyranny. Witnessing Aaj TV and GEO trashed by street scavengers; when we see Pakistan’s oldest and leading newspaper Dawn poured in blood; when we see opposing members of the media coming under MQM-Musharraf fire, we know Karachi is yearning for freedom”

Addressing citizens of Karachi in Urdu, he said “Karachi, we can hear you loud and clear. Your calling for rescue from ransom and intimidation has touched millions of hearts in Pakistan and around the world. Once again you want to lead the nation to a new dawn of freedom from fear, tyranny and dictatorship. You want to join millions of your brothers and sisters in this holy struggle to restore individual and collective dignity in Pakistan”

He continued addressing in Urdu and said “My brothers and sister of Karachi, the moment has arrived to break your silence. Break away from the chains to claim your rightful place in history. Just remember MQM  and democracy in Pakistan are mutually exclusive. There is only MQM between you and your freedom”

Addressing President Bush and facing White House he said “Mr. President you know this era will end and it will end soon. The new dawn will bring democracy and freedom to 160 million Pakistanis. It is up to you to decide whether you want to side with weak dictator or 160 Million Pakistanis? He added “Siding with the people you can seal US-Pakistani friendship until eternity”

Meet the ‘new’ Asif Zardari

By Karan Thapar

NEW DELHI- Most people, I believe, grow to fill the responsibility placed on them. Promotions are, therefore, an act of faith. But that said and done I’m flabbergasted by the change in Asif Zardari. He’s literally become a different person.

The Asif I remember was a jovial tease, informal, chatty, fond of the good life and determined not to be boring or even serious. We first met the night after his wedding. “Benazir has told me all about you,” he said with mock gravity. “I’m on my best behaviour!” He then spent the evening pulling my leg and, frequently, his wife’s too. Weeks after Benazir first became prime minister we were together on her special flight from Islamabad to Karachi. It was an aged propeller plane which flew at a sedate speed. Sitting in the prime ministerial drawing room at the front, Asif looked at his watch. We’d been traveling for nearly two hours. “If you’d stuck to PIA not only would you have arrived but you’d be in the hotel pool by now!” I protested I wasn’t in a hurry. “Yeah? Let’s see if you return with us!” I didn’t. The Asif I meet two weeks ago was very different. Now the adjectives I would use are measured, emollient and deliberately self-effacing. Of course, he’s still charming, chatty and can’t resist teasing but there’s new gravitas, a consciousness of responsibility and a convincing sense of wisdom. Consider two examples. I pointed out that Nawaz Sharif would keep the PPP-led government unstable. Benazir’s reply would have been defensive. Asif chose to turn my question on its head. “And I welcome that,” he said. “I need people to keep me in check.”

“You need to be kept in check?” I asked, puzzled. “Power is a tricky thing,” he responded. “What better can I ask for than my own ally should check me?”

It was a winning answer but also utterly unexpected. How many politicians on the brink of power welcome the prospect of being kept uncertain and unstable? Even if he didn’t mean it, it was the perfect thing to say. However, it wasn’t just fluent cleverness that made Asif so engagingly different. He also showed vision and courage. When I asked about Kashmir and the role it has played separating. India and Pakistan, Asif, in a simple heartfelt reply, reversed Pakistan’s stand.

Let’s put Kashmir aside for a wiser generation to sort out, he said. Let’s not be hostage to the UN resolutions, he added. Let’s get on with the rest of the relationship and once we’ve learnt live and love each other then tackle Kashmir. Stunned, I made Asif repeat this three times. Not once did he use the opportunity to resile. Each time he re-affirmed what he’d said.

Finally, I asked: “Can you carry your countrymen? Can you handle the backlash this would provoke?”

Asif’s reply was simple. There were no flourishes or braggadocio. “That’s the test of leadership,” and he left it at that.

I can’t predict what sort of government the PPP under Asif Zardari will give Pakistan. I can’t even state Asif won’t change this position. Politicians often do and Asif has faced flak from the Jamaat at home and the Hurriayat in Kashmir. But I do know that Asif did not get carried away. This was not indiscretion or impetuousness. He meant what he said and, what’s more, he meant to say it.

In fact, when I asked if Dr. Manmohan Singh chooses to invite the new PM what the response would be, Asif said not only would the prime minister come but so too Nawaz Sharif, Asfandyar Wali Khan, Fazlur Rehman, Altaf Hussain and Asif Himself. A new Pakistan would seek to be friend India.

I’m therefore full of hope. And whilst I accept hope can easily be dashed, I would say there’s need to encourage this one. That’s the challenge facing our government. How do we assist Asif Zardari without embarrassing or undermining him?

Courtesy: Hindustan Times

Sindhu Putra, Spiritual Leader of Sindhu Civilization in 5000 BC

By: Gul Karamchand

It was with utmost interest that I read Theme no. 9 at about Sindhu Putra, the Spiritual Leader of Sindh and the subcontinent in 5,000 BCE.

It is a marvelous account, with dramatic highlights, and touches the heart. Certainly it is worth reading, circulating. and reprinting.

The brutal assassination of Sindhu Putra in 5,000 BC brings home to us with sadness that the sacred soil of Sindh has, from time immemorial, suffered from brutality, violence, murder as also executions under false legal cover and assai nation of the best and brightest by hired guns.

To see this theme 9, please open http://www.sindhulogy.org and a click of the top heading of ‘Projects’, will list the themes from Return of the Aryans – and among those is Theme 9 about Sindhu Putra.

Jeay Sindh Mahaz (JSM) paid tribute to Punjab for its leading role for the independence of judiciary

HYDERABAD, March 10: National congress of the Jeay Sindh Mahaz held in Radhan, Dadu district, on Sunday paid tribute to the Punjab for its leading role in the struggle for independence of judiciary and said that it was for the first time that the Punjab had risen against dictatorship.

It observed that during the February 18 elections, the people of Sindh had unanimously voted against the Musharraf government due to his dictatorial and anti-Sindh polices.

It said that it was now the responsibility of elected members of the assemblies to come up to expectations of the masses and ameliorate their lot.

The congress called upon the new government to discard the Kalabagh dam project and announce a judicious National Finance Commission award according to international principles.

It demanded abolition of local bodies system, saying that it was a ‘conspiracy against national unity and development of Sindh.’

Announcing support to lawyers’ struggle, it called for reinstatement of sacked judges of superior judiciary.

The congress introduced some amendments to the JSM constitution and manifesto and observed two-minute silence on the death of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto.

The congress was presided over by JSM convener Abdul Khaliq Junejo. Noted intellectual comrade Rochi Ram attended the congress as an observer. In his speech, he said that true democracy would remain a misnomer unless the constitution of the country was made secular.

Courtesy: Sindhi e-lists/ e-groups, March 12, 2008

Scholarships for higher studies in South Korean Universities

All of those who have passed Bachelor’s/Master’s course and now wishing to continue your studies further in MS /PhD course then please come forward, South Korean universities are waiting for you.

As South Korean high-tech research institutes and universities are now emerging with the implementation of latest and advanced technologies. An imaginative research work is going on rapidly for becoming future’s hub of engineering research and technologies. It is now policy of all the high-tech research institutes, Universities along with the Government to increase the number of foreign students. Many students from Punjab and NWFP have tried to search those institutes/universities for getting scholarships and they succeed and now they are studying here with the total support of universities but unfortunately no one from Sindh has tried to avail these opportunities.

This is my request indeed I emphasize that Please search universities, appropriate Labs and forward your documents along with resume and research proposal to the concerned professors and If you were accepted by professor then write to universities international cooperation offices or professor to bear your living expenses along with tuition and dormitory fees in shape of scholarship or any other package. I am sure if you guys seriously and sincerely tried you will definitely avail that chance.

Courtesy:  Sindhi e-lists/e-groups, March 09, 2008

Bombay Presidency, Sindh & Sindhis

USA, TX: The president of the Sindhi Association of North America, Aziz Narejo has been invited to speak at an international seminar at the University of Mumbai. The seminar is being organized by the Department of Sindhi, University of Mumbai, at the Vidyanagari Campus on 11th March on ‘Bombay Presidency, Sindh & Sindhis’. Mr. Narejo is invited to present a paper on ‘Bombay Presidency, Sindh & Sindhis, Political Implications’.

March 07, 2008

4th March – A Day to renew pledges for Sindhi Rights

By Khalid Hashmani

Today is March 4th, a day to celebrate Sindhiat, Sindhi language and Sindhi struggle. Exactly, forty one (41) years ago, the last generation of Sindhis refused to give up on their rights by sacrificing their blood on this day of 1967. The legacy of their resolve and commitment has taken unto a new meaning.

Today, is the day when the the next generation of Sindhis should be renewing their vow to keep the light of Sindhiat alive for ever. Sindh has survived many troubles and cruelties.

Today, we must:

Remember the great student movement of late 1960’s which never gave up on their motherland.

Remember the journalists and staff of the Sindhi newspaper who sacrificed their jobs but did not bow to the rulers who wanted them to stop writing against the Kala Bagh and other dreadful dams on the River Indus.

Remember the Sindhi sons and daughters who lost their lives and underwent torture, imprisonment and other cruelties for betterment of Sindh and Pakistan. Several sons Of Sindh including Dr. Safdar Sarki remains behind bars.

Pledge to re-energize Sindhi struggle for their rights, justice, and control over their natural resources.

Our struggle has survived so far because all succeeding generations continue to fight any and all injustices. The new generation of Sindhis must show the same resolve.

For the last five thousand years, Sindh has seen many cruel invaders and many peaceful migrants who, in their own way, have tried to destroy or enrich Sindhi civilization. Sindh’s history clearly shows that those who came in peace, contributed not only to the civilization of Sindh but left an ever lasting mark of their culture on it. But, those who came in violence, ultimately perished leaving nothing tangible to appreciate or remember.

Today Sindh too is the home of many people of diverse cultures. It is up to these newcomers to realize that only by joining the rich and all encompassing culture of Sindh, they will enrich themselves from the peaceful and sufi nature of it and make it more richer. If they choose the politics of confrontation and cruelty in their deeds such as denying water to the inhabitants of Sindh or imposing their culture on peaceful Sindhis, they too will perish without leaving any significant mark on the civilization.

Let Sindh live for ever! let Sindhi language foster for ever! Let other languages and cultures of Sindh enrich and add their beauty to Sindh’s culture and language!

Courtesy: Sindhi e-lists/ e-groups, March 4, 2008