Dubai based Sindhies organized a historical event of “WAHDAT E SINDH” MEHFIL in Spring Dubai last night where The well known Sindhi Singer Ustad Shafi Faqeer performed “The Best” of his Sindhi Songs.
Ustaad Shafi Faqeer performed several times in different occasions in Dubai but the event of last night was Special and unforgettable. 5 hours long Sindhi Songs, chanting and dancing audience has given such power to all Sindhies who Loves motherland Sindh. He sang the poetry of Shah Abdul Latif Bhittai, Shaikh Ayaz, Ustad Bukhari, Akash Ansari and Kabeera till midnight and Everyone enjoyed each and every Song… Jeay Sindh Wat’n and Long live the Unity and Integrity of Sindh.
Hindus have remained a minority in Pakistan since the creation of the country in 1947 when India was partitioned into two separate countries: a new India and Pakistan. Since its inception Pakistan has struggled with supporting a democratic government from being overtaken by a military dictatorship, sectarian violence, and harsh treatment of its minorities including Hindus, Shias, Christians, Sikhs, and several other communities.
In particular Hindus in Pakistan have experienced harsh and severely inhumane living conditions. Kidnappings, physical and psychological torture, rapes, forced conversions to Islam, forced marriages of young Hindu girls to Muslim men, lack of police protection, bonded labor, and religious-based discrimination have become the norm for Hindus who involuntarily became citizens of the newly created Islamic Republic in 1947. Of late the rise in Islamic fundamentalism throughout Pakistan has created a viciously hostile environment, choking Hindus and other minorities of their basic rights to live in the land of their forefathers.
The army was constitutionally mandated to be an arm of the Pakistan state with elected civilians in control of the executive. But it has seized the commanding heights and subordinated the other organs of the state to its own unaccountable purposes.
In recent times, however, something even more sinister has been happening. This is the creeping growth of the ISI from a small arms-length intelligence directorate or department of the military (Inter Services Intelligence Directorate) in the initial decades of independent Pakistan to an omnipotent and invisible “deep state within the state” that now controls both military strategy and civilian policy.
General Pervez Musharraf’s unprecedented appointment of General Ashfaq Kayani, a former DG-ISI, as COAS was the first step in this direction. The second was General Kayani’s own decision to routinely rotate senior and serving ISI officers to positions of command and control in the army and vice-versa, coupled with his insistence on handpicking the DGISI and extending his service. Together, these decisions reflect a harsh new reality. The ISI has walked into GHQ and seized command and control of the armed forces.
This is a deeply troubling development because it violates the established norm-policy of all militaries in democratic societies – intelligence services must consciously be kept at arms length from GHQ because “field commanders must not get contaminated” or tainted by cloak and dagger operations in grey zones. That is why COAS Gen Zia ul Haq kicked Gen Akhtar Abdul Rehman, DGISI, upstairs to CJOSC rather than give him troops to command. That is why COAS Gen Asif Nawaz sidelined DGISI Gen Asad Durrani as IG Training and Evaluation. That is why COAS Gen Waheed Kakar prematurely retired Gen Durrani from service for playing politics in GHQ and then recommended Gen Jehangir Karamat as his successor rather than his close confidante and former DGISI Gen Javed Ashraf Qazi. Indeed, that is why the CIA, RAW, MI6, KGB, MOSSAD etc remain under full civilian operations and control even though soldiers may be seconded to them or head them occasionally.
The ISI’s meteoric rise in the 1980s is well documented. It became the official conduit for tens of billions of dollars of arms and slush funds from the US and Saudi Arabia to the Mujahideen against the Soviets in Afghanistan. Three serving generals of the time were billed as “the richest and most powerful generals in the world” by Time magazine in 1986. Two of them, Gen Akhtar Abdul Rehman and Gen Hameed Gul were in turn DGs-ISI while the third, General Fazle Haq, was the Peshawar gatekeeper to Afghanistan.
Three Prime Ministers have fallen victim to the ISI. PM Junejo ran afoul of DGs ISI Gen Hameed Gul and Gen Akhtar Abdul Rehman over the Ojhri Camp disaster. Benazir Bhutto was undermined by DGs ISI Gen Gul and General Asad Durrani. And Nawaz Sharif by DG ISI Gen Javed Ashraf Qazi and COAS Gen Waheed Kakar. Indeed, Mr Sharif might have survived in 1999 if Gen Musharraf had not earlier cunningly moved Gen Mohammad Aziz from the ISI to GHQ as CGS because it was the latter who nudged Corps Commander Pindi Gen Mahmood Ahmed to execute the coup in the absence of Gen Musharraf.
The ISI’s creeping coup – ISI officers returning to command positions in the army – against GHQ is fraught with problems. It has eroded the credibility and capacity of both the current DG ISI and COAS within the military and civil society. The ISI’s spectacular failures (BB’s assassination, Mumbai, Raymond Davis case, missing persons, Memogate, Mehrangate, Abbotabad, Saleem Shehzad, Get-Zardari, etc) can all be laid at GHQ’s door just as the ISI’s anti-terrorist policy failures are responsible for the loss of over 3000 soldiers to the Pakistan Taliban and the terrorist attacks on GHQ and Mehran Navy Base. The fact that both the COAS and DG ISI have taken extensions in service has also undermined their credibility far and wide.
A court in Pakistan has ordered police to find a Hindu woman who was allegedly abducted and forced to marry her Muslim husband.
In a petition before the Sindh High Court, the family of Rinkle Kumari say that her abduction was supported by a powerful politician.
But her husband’s friends say that she voluntarily left home in Sindh province and willingly converted to Islam.
Judges at the court said that Ms Kumari must be produced before them next week.
Human rights activists say that other reported abductions of members of minority communities in Pakistan, which is overwhelmingly Muslim, have not been properly investigated by the authorities.
In the most recent case, Hindu community leaders say that an oath Ms Kumari made in front of a court in her home town that she had freely got married and converted to Islam was made under duress.
They say that many others like her have been forcibly taken away by powerful politicians – some allied to the governing Pakistan People’s Party (PPP).
The Hindu community has accused one of the party’s MPs, Mian Abdul Haq, of supporting the abduction and the forced conversion.
But in an interview with the BBC he strenuously denied the allegations.
“I contacted her family when Rinkle came to me last month,” he said.
“But they refused to respond – and then I was left with no choice but to convert her to Islam and get her married [according to] her will.”
Ms Kumari’s family say that she was kidnapped from her home on 24 February by Naveed Shah – who later married her.
They say that they have registered a police complaint against Mr Shah even though he appeared in court on 25 February with Ms Kumari, who made a statement before the magistrate that she had married him of her own free will.
The family and community leaders, however, say that the magistrate was under “a great deal of pressure” because hundreds of armed tribesmen loyal to Mr Haq were in the court premises.
Mr Haq said that his supporters would abide by the court ruling and that Ms Kumari would appear in court on 12 March.
Hindu protesters demand justice for 17-year-old girl, who they believe was forcefully converted to Islam, Blame PPP MNA Mian Abdul Haq alias Mian Mitho for her ‘abduction’
KARACHI – A sizable crowd of Hindu protesters gathered outside the Karachi Press Club on Sunday, demanding justice for a 17-year-old Hindu girl from Mirpur Mathelo in Ghotki district, Rinkle Kumari, who was allegedly abducted forcefully converted to Islam and renamed Faryal.
The relatives of the girl, who were among the protesters, blame one man for her alleged predicament – Pakistan People’s Party MNA Mian Abdul Haq alias Mian Mitho, who is also the spiritual leader of Bharchundi Sharif in Daharki.
The girl’s relatives claimed that the girl fell in love with her neighbour Naveed Shah, whose friend Hussam Kalwar is a supporter of the MNA.
Kalwar, a criminal, has been arrested several times but always manages to get released due to his ties to the influential MNA.
Giving details about the night when Kumari was “abducted”, her uncle, Daya Ram, said in the early hours of February 24 this year, Kumari was supposed to meet Naveed Shah, believing that he would be alone. But Shah was not alone and accompanied by armed men, who abducted her and took her to Bharchundi Sharif, where she was forcefully converted to Islam.
“She did not leave home out of free will. If she had, why was one of her shoes at the home’s entrance and her dupatta outside? She was kidnapped by armed men, who barged into the home,” Ram told Pakistan Today.
He further said on the morning of February 24, he reached the Mirpur Mathelo police station and had an FIR registered against Naveed Shah.
On the same day at 1 pm, Kumari’s family received a phone call from MNA Haq’s son Mian Aslam Shah, who told them that if they wish to meet the girl, they should come to his residence.
However, Ram claimed, the family told him that they do not wish to meet her at his residence and would instead want her brought to the DSP’s office or the Hindu Panchayat Hall, where she can talk with them freely. However, both these options were rejected.
Ram said the next day, Kumari’s family was told that they can meet the girl at the Ghotki DSP’s office, but they would have to come along with Jeay Sindh Mahaz Chairman Riaz Chandio.
When Chandio and the girl’s family entered the office of the DSP, they saw that Mian Shaman, the brother of the PPP MNA, was seated on the chair of the DSP. The family again refused to talk with the girl in Shaman’s presence and was again given an option that they can meet her in the presence of Naveed Shah. The family did not accept the offer and went to the Ghotki civil judge.
The first time Kumari met her family after the “abduction” was in the court. She told her family in the presence of counsels from both sides that she was kidnapped. “Some people entered our home and kidnapped me. I did not want to leave with Naveed Shah,” Kumari’s uncle quoted her as saying.
At that moment, Ram said, Naveed Shah fainted and the judge, instead of letting the recording of her statement complete, remanded Kumari to police custody for two days.
“At the Sukkur police station, a policewoman handed her a cell phone on which she was threatened that if she did not change her statement, she and her relatives will be killed and the property of all Hindus in the area will be demolished,” Ram claimed.
“When Rinkle was brought to the court again, she was confused and upset and asked us to forgive her and allow her to sacrifice herself for our sake,” he added.
He said on February 26, President Asif Ali Zardari took notice of the incident and police again “kidnapped” Kumari and at 2 pm, she was shifted to Mirpur Mathelo from Sukkur.
On February 27, the day when Kumari had to appear in the court again, all routes to the court were blocked, but not for the “fanatic” followers of the MNA.
“If Rinkle was acting out of her own will, then why was she surrounded by armed men at the court?” Daya Rama questioned.
During the second hearing, Kumari gave a statement in favour of Naveed Shah and the court ordered her to be given into his custody.
In response to the family’s allegations, MNA Haq’s son Mian Aslam Shah has claimed that the couple had come to him seeking help and the girl wanted to convert to Islam so she could marry Shah.
MPA Petamber Sehwani, during the Sindh Assembly session on February 29, said Hindus’ daughters are being kidnapped and boys killed. “They are being forced to leave Sindh. But I want to make it clear that the Hindus of Sindh will not leave their motherland. Do not push us to the wall,” he said.
The pirs or spiritual leaders of Bharchundi Sharif have a history of religious extremism. On November 2, 1939, a famous Hindu Sufi singer Bhagat Kanwar Ram was killed in a train while travelling to Sukkur. The FIR of the murder was registered against MNA Haq’s father, Mian Abdul Rahim and his two followers.
Shah Latif took care of two stray puppies he found. He named them motii (pearl) and khenuu (ball) and they accompanied him on all his travels across Sindh.
An old Sindhi Syed once visited my house. I asked him if he wanted me to keep the dogs away. No, he replied with smile: “Please let them be. They says angels stay away where the dogs are. I am an old man with many illnesses, as long as the dogs are around, I may be safe from the angels of death!”
…. Visibly frail Abdul Majid was carrying a urine bag attached to the lower part of his stomach. He learnt only on Monday that one of his detained brothers, Abdul Saboor, had died long ago in imprisonment. …
… He was limping and needed assistance because he could not walk on his own. …
…. One thing is common among all. They are suffering from a common ailment of skin with the entire body covered with small blisters. ….
….. We were treated worse than animals. All during our confinement stretching over years we were given gram curry and dry bread,” Mazhar-ur-Haq said.
Dr Niaz complained: “We were kept blindfolded and given only two minutes time for toilets twice a day.”
Almost all of them said they had no idea why they had been picked and never interrogated. …
…. We have no right to live, we are not human beings,” said Murtaza in a choked voice …
Satyanand is a young patriot who just cannot tolerate the British Raj any longer. Responding to the Mahatma’s call for satyagraha, he scales up the flagpole at a government office one day and tries to pull down the Union Jack. The young revolutionary faces the wrath of the white cops, and the lathi blows he gets on his head send him into a coma.
The country subsequently gets its freedom at midnight, but, to borrow poet Faiz Ahmed Faiz’s famous description, the dawn, accompanied as it is by the horrors of Partition, is sooty and dark. Like millions on both sides of the Radcliffe line, Satyanand’s family gets uprooted. Still in a coma, he is brought to Mumbai where his wife and son work hard to build life anew. Forty years later, Satyanand gets his senses back. But much water has flowed under the bridge since his family left its beloved “Sindhu desh”. Sindh is now part of Pakistan, and nobody in Satyanand’sneighbourhood speaks Sindhi, his mother tongue. Few among his fellow Sindhis care to know that they trace their roots back to the basin of the mighty ancient Indus river which cradled a great civilization.
This, in sum, is the message of “Haath Na Lagaye” (“Don’t Touch Me”), a Sindhifilm released last month, which articulates the collective dilemma of a community which lost more than a geographical area many summers ago. It depicts, albeit in the genre of comedy, the identity crisis Sindhis in India suffer from. Deprived of the patronage of a state, the biggest victim, as the film powerfully hammers in, is the Sindhi language and culture.
“Hindus from Sindh, after losing their land, fought bravely and prospered. But the Sindhi language in India is on a ventilator, gasping for breath,” rues T Manwani, the film’s writer-director. “We want a landless Sindhi state with a budget which will protect our language and culture.” Manwani isn’t alone in his concerns. The one-million-strong Sindhi community in Mumbai and its neighbouring Sindhi hub, Ulhasnagar, are equally pained at the erosion of the Sindhi language, culture and ethos.
“Sindhi medium schools downed shutters a decade ago. The new generation isn’t keen on learning the language,” says Subhadra Anand. As former principal of the RD National College, Anand made the learning of Sindhi mandatory for those students who came through the minority quota. However, she admits, this rule is not followed in many of the 24 educational institutions run by Hyderabad Sindh National Collegiate Board, the umbrella body of Sindhis’ educational initiative in Mumbai.
If few learn Sindhi, fewer speak it. Playwright-poet Anju Makhija, though not fluent in Sindhi herself, is acutely aware of the great cultural loss the community is witnessing. And she doesn’t blame indifferent youngsters alone. “The many moneybags in the community who have bankrolled hospitals and housing colonies must share the blame, as they seldom loosen their purse strings to promote Sindhi culture,” says Makhija, who has translated iconic Sindhi saint-poet Shah Abdul Latif into English with the help of a Sindhi scholar. “Building hospitals and colleges is good and necessary, but these rich Sindhis have done precious little to preserve Sindhi culture.”
Sindhis’ art scene is bleak also because it attracts very few buyers. “Whether you write books, stage plays, make films or cut albums in Sindhi, you are destined to lose money,” says singer Ghanshyam Bhaswani who crooned the evergreen “Itni shakti hamein dena daata…” for “Ankush”. Bhaswani, like many others, also blames the void on the lack of a Sindhi channel in India. “There are three channels in Sindhi in Pakistan, but we don’t have a single one here. How can we expect Sindhi to flourish?” he asks.
There are, however, optimists who believe that Sindhi will survive the tides of time. Baldev Matlani, head of the Sindhi department at Mumbai University, is one such. “Every year, we get 15 to 20 students for the Masters course,” says the academic who has supervised the publication of several tomes, including a history of Sindh, through his department. “Many may not know it but Sindhi is alive and kicking in literature.”
That may be a trifle over-optimistic, say community members. But if not a reality, it’s certainly a fervent wish for the future.
– Sindh, the land of Sufis, the hope and ultimate destination of my quest!
The time I’ve spent in Sindh, Pakistan over the last year and a half has been life changing. It’s taught me much about the history of South Asia, the cultural heritage of Sindh, our Sindhi brothers and sisters, the dynamics of the Muhajir- Sindhi relationship among a few things. But I believe these to be the more obvious lessons that every second generation removed Sindhi Indian American would also search for when they visit.
There’s been a deeper and much more personal journey involved for me as well: a spiritual one. I came to the land of Sufis to find myself with the hope to find my God as the grand triumph and ultimate destination of my quest.
I’ve learnt that I’m still learning and still looking. On this journey I’ve found beautiful hidden messages that I’ve read in books or inscribed on the walls of temples and Sufi durgahs:
“Ekam sat viprah bahuda vedanti.”
“Satyam amritasya putrah”
To give pleasure to a single heart by a single kind act is better than bowing your head in prayer a thousand times. -Shaykh Sa’di
I believe not in the outer religion,
I live ever in love.
Say Amen! When love comes to you.
Love is neither with the infidels nor with the faithful.
– Sachal Sarmast
If you are seeking Allah,
Then keep clear of religious formalities.
Those who have seen Allah
Are away from all religions!
Those who do not see Allah here,
How will they see Him beyond?
– Shah Abdul Latif Bhitai
My time in Sindh surrounded by Sindhi Muslims has shown me the other side of Sindh’s story and another side of Sufi Islam. The stories of the Sindhi who provided their Hindu counterparts their homes to hide out in during the violence that broke out, the Muslims that bid a final farewell to their Hindu friends with tears in their eyes, the Sindhis who still hold those memories close to their hearts and feel the loss of the Sindhi Hindus as something Sindh never recovered from.
On November 7, 2011 three Hindus were killed in Shikarpur district of Sindh, Pakistan. As many of you already know, I worked in Shikarpur at the start of my time in Sindh. I still maintain close contact with my co-workers. A member of my family also sits on the board of a Hindu association of Sindh. Here’s what I must say, as it is the other side of the truth that exists.
Immediately following the killings the religious (Hindu in this case) spokesperson jumped on the bandwagon to claim religious bias as a cause of the killing. I turned to my personal network in Shikarpur for answers: there had been an election recently in which the Hindu community had supported the ruling party which won due to the large number of Hindu votes they received. The opposing party didn’t take their loss lightly and instead decided to teach a lesson to the opposite party. The end result of which was the death of the three Sindhi Hindu of whom only one was a doctor. Religious bias was not the reason for their death, politics was. Anyone who follows politics closely shouldnt be shocked to learn of the ways in which politicians use religion as a political strategy. As they say, ” The road to hell is paved with good intentions.”
What followed next was an absolute uproar within the Sindhi community and an alternate backlash against the government for their inadequate response and towards Sindh warning all Sindhis that this type of violence and is anti Sindhiyat and will not be tolerated by the residents of Sindh. They further emphasized that Sindh is the land of Sufis and believes in living in a tolerant society. Unfortunately, I was unable to attend as I was in Islamabad on official business. A young activist was kind enough to send me pictures.
Following the killings thousands of Pakistanis, both Hindu and Muslim, gathered publically across Pakistan to stand against the death of the three victims and the inaccurate message of intolerance it displayed. There was also a hunger strike that followed.
Sayings in books thousands of years old that we claim as ours aren’t good enough. It is far more necessary to put those words to action and there is no better time than now. Hate only breeds hate. History is meant to learn from not to regurgitate. It’s wrong to paint today’s canvas with yesterday’s paint. When you reach into the paint jar you may end up with dried out, useless paint. This is perhaps why they say one should not live today in the past of yesterday.
No one is saying that the sentiments of the Hindu Sindhis are wrong. Anger for being removed from motherland and from sacred river Sindhu is justified. But another truth follows suit: there’s a time for anger and then there’s a time to let go, to change and to move on.
Tides must turn. Peace must prevail.
Only then will their be prosperity in South Asia again.
KABUL: Afghanistan said on Sunday that the suicide bomber who assassinated Afghan peace negotiator Burhanuddin Rabbani was a Pakistani national.
Tensions between the neighbours have been rising amid allegations from Afghan officials that Pakistan and its powerful ISI intelligence agency masterminded Rabbani’s assassination and are seeking to destabilise Afghanistan.
An investigative delegation established by President Hamid Karzai said evidence and a confession provided by a man involved in Rabbani’s killing on Sept. 20 had revealed that the bomber was from Chaman and the assassination had been plotted in Quetta, both on the Pakistani side of the border.
“It proves that the assassination of Professor Rabbani was hatched in Quetta and the man who carried out the suicide bombing is a Pakistani national,” the delegation, led by Defence Minister Abdul Rahim Wardak, said in a statement issued by the presidential palace.
“The documents and evidence in hand, details of other accomplices and their phone numbers have been handed over to Pakistan to make arrests,” it said.
Rabbani’s killing derailed efforts to forge dialogue with the Taliban to end the 10-year war, and raised fears of a dangerous widening of Afghanistan’s ethnic rifts.
The High Peace Council, which Rabbani headed, reiterated earlier comments by Karzai that negotiations should continue, but with Pakistan, rather than the Taliban.
“For the groups that are tired of conflict and want to end the killings and destruction inside the country, peace efforts must continue,” the council said in a separate statement issued late on Sunday.
“But because of those who hide in Pakistan with no known address, who send killers (to Afghanistan), we must negotiate with Pakistan instead.”
Hundreds of Afghans took to the streets of Kabul on Sunday to condemn recent shelling of border towns by Pakistan’s army and accuse the ISI of involvement in Rabbani’s killing.
BEIJING: A jihadist group has released a video on the recent violence in western Xinjiang province while providing China new evidence that terrorists involved in the bloodbath were trained in Pakistan. The violence in two towns in Xinjiang bordering Pakistan left 40 dead.
But the Chinese foreign ministry refrained from naming Pakistan in its closely calibrated response to a question about the 10-minute video showing Turkestan Islamic Party leader Abdul Shakoor Damla claiming responsibility for the violence.
“I haven’t seen the video you mentioned. Our principled position is that at present, a small handful of terrorist forces..,out of motives of splitting China, are conducting rampant violent terrorist activities within China’s border [to] seriously undermine China’s national unity, and regional peace and stability,” Liu Weimin, the spokesperson, said. ….
WASHINGTON — The emergence of a single-page letter supposedly written by a senior North Korean official 13 years ago has become the strongest evidence yet suggesting that Pakistan’s top military officials were involved in a secret sale of equipment to North Korea that enabled it, years later, to begin enriching uranium.
The letter is said to have been written to Abdul Qadeer Khan, the Pakistani who built the world’s largest black market in nuclear weapons technology, by Jon Byong Ho, a North Korean whom American intelligence has long put at the center of the North’s trade in missile and nuclear technologies. It reports that the chief of the Pakistani Army at the time, Gen. Jehangir Karamat, had been paid $3 million and asked that “the agreed documents, components, etc.” be placed on a North Korean plane that was returning to Pyongyang, the North’s capital, after delivering missile parts to Pakistan.
The publication of the letter comes at a particularly inopportune moment for the Pakistani military. Already discredited inside Pakistan for its failure to detect the American commando raid that killed Osama bin Laden in May, the military has veered from crisis to crisis since then. ….
– The nuclear scientist considered the father of Pakistan’s atomic bomb has claimed that North Korea gave millions of dollars in bribes to senior military figures in exchange for weapons secrets.
By Rob Crilly, Islamabad
Abdul Qadeer Khan signed a confession in 2004 admitting that he had handed classified information to Iran, Libya and North Korea but his supporters have long claimed he was made a scapegoat by a government which cast him as a rogue operator.
Now documents passed to a US nuclear weapons analyst by Dr Khan suggest that high-level Pakistani military officials knew about – and personally profited from – his sales of nuclear weapons technology.
In a written statement, Dr Khan describes helping transfer more than $3m to senior officers, delivering the cash in a canvas bag and cartons, including one in which it was hidden under fruit.
The revelations, which have been denied by Pakistani officials, will only heighten already difficult relations between Islamabad and Washington. …
– Pakistan’s nuclear-bomb maker says North Korea paid bribes for know-how
By R. Jeffrey Smith
The founder of Pakistan’s nuclear bomb program asserts that the government of North Korea bribed top military officials in Islamabad to obtain access to sensitive nuclear technology in the late 1990s.
Abdul Qadeer Khan has made available documents that he says support his claim that he personally transferred more than $3 million in payments by North Korea to senior officers in the Pakistani military, which he says subsequently approved his sharing of technical know-how and equipment with North Korean scientists.
Khan also has released what he says is a copy of a North Korean official’s 1998 letter to him, written in English, that spells out details of the clandestine deal.
Some Western intelligence officials and other experts have said that they think the letter is authentic and that it offers confirmation of a transaction they have long suspected but could never prove. Pakistani officials, including those named as recipients of the cash, have called the letter a fake. Khan, whom some in his country have hailed as a national hero, is at odds with many Pakistani officials, who have said he acted alone in selling nuclear secrets.
Nevertheless, if the letter is genuine, it would reveal a remarkable instance of corruption related to nuclear weapons. U.S. officials have worried for decades about the potential involvement of elements of Pakistan’s military in illicit nuclear proliferation, partly because terrorist groups in the region and governments of other countries are eager to acquire an atomic bomb or the capacity to build one.
Q. Have you ever been approached by political or other groups for support?
A. [Abdul Sattar Edhi] Once, I was approached by General Hamid Gul, Imran Khan and few others, mostly military and intelligence officials, who were conspiring to overthrow Benazir Bhutto`s second government and wanted me to get involved. I declined because I am a social worker and not a politician. I also did not want to tarnish the credibility of my organisation by getting embroiled in something that obviously seemed quite disturbing. Eventually, I was made to feel threatened enough to temporarily leave the country. http://archives.dawn.com/archives/66970
“Dust of Their Earthly Remains, Abdul Latif affirms, Surely Esteemed”
By Dr. Ahmed H. Makhdoom, Singapore
Today is that day in the glorious, glittering and grand History of the Great Nation of Sindh, when her most illustrious, filial, worthy and noble son, Shah Abdul Latif of Bhitt, was born. We celebrate today is the 330th Birth Anniversary. His sanctified and sacred soul eternally resting in the Garden of his Beloved and his earthly remains interned permanently in the warm, divine and hallowed lap of venerable and Blessed Mother Sindh, Bhittai, till today, 267 years after his passage into Eternity, remains an iconic, and saintly figure.
Thousands, from far and wide (even as far as from Berlin, Germany) throng to his Shrine at Bhittshah to attend his annual Urs (Festival of Love, Peace, Longing and Reverence), which lasts for three days, to pay homage to the memory of this great Saint, Sage and Sufi of Sindh. His remains may be mortal but his legacy, spirit and message is surely immortal and evergreen.
Pakistani politician, Syeda Abida Hussain calling Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan “LIAR”. Everyone knows Abdul Qadeer Khan apologized to nation on national media for proliferating nuclear technology to other countries. General Musharaf gave pardon to him after his apology. She is right, we should go with facts. The language of the talk show is urdu (Hindi).
Courtesy: Duniya TV (In Session with Asma Chaudhry, 28 May 2011)
Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan has spent the last few years confined by the Pakistan Army to one of his palatial Islamabad residences where he whiles away his days writing weekly columns in newspapers. This venerable metallurgist, who claims paternity rights over Pakistan’s bomb, says it alone saves Pakistan. In a recent article, he wistfully wrote: “If we had had nuclear capability before 1971, we would not have lost half of our country – present-day Bangladesh – after disgraceful defeat.”
Given that 30,000 nuclear weapons failed to save the Soviet Union from decay, defeat and collapse, could the Bomb really have saved Pakistan in 1971? Can it do so now?
Let’s revisit 1971. Those of us who grew up in those times know in our hearts that East and West Pakistan were one country but never one nation. Young people today cannot imagine the rampant anti-Bengali racism among West Pakistanis then. With great shame, I must admit that as a thoughtless young boy I too felt embarrassed about small and dark people being among our compatriots. Victims of a delusion, we thought that good Muslims and Pakistanis were tall, fair, and spoke chaste Urdu. Some schoolmates would laugh at the strange sounding Bengali news broadcasts from Radio Pakistan.
The Bengali people suffered under West Pakistani rule. They believed their historical destiny was to be a Bengali-speaking nation, not the Urdu-speaking East Pakistan which Jinnah wanted. The East was rightfully bitter on other grounds too. It had 54% of Pakistan’s population and was the biggest earner of foreign exchange. But West Pakistani generals, bureaucrats, and politicians such as Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, feared a democratic system would transfer power and national resources to the East.
Denied democracy and justice, the people of East Pakistan helplessly watched the cash flow from East to fund government, industry, schools and dams in the West. When the Bhola cyclone killed half a million people in 1970, President Yahya Khan and his fellow generals in Rawalpindi’s GHQ could not have cared less.
The decisive break came with the elections. The Awami League won a majority in Pakistan’s parliament. Bhutto and the generals would not accept the peoples’ verdict. The Bengalis finally rose up for independence. When the West Pakistan army was sent in, massacre followed massacre. Political activists, intellectuals, trade unionists, and students were slaughtered. Blood ran in street gutters, and millions fled across the border. After India intervened to support the East, the army surrendered. Bangladesh was born.
That Pakistan did not have the bomb in 1971 must surely be among the greatest of blessings. It is hard for me to see what Dr AQ Khan has in mind when he suggests that it could have saved Pakistan.
Would the good doctor have dropped the bomb on the raging pro-independence mobs in Dhaka? Or used it to incinerate Calcutta and Delhi, and have the favour duly returned to Lahore and Karachi? Or should we have threatened India with nuclear attack to keep it out of the war so that we could endlessly kill East Pakistanis?Even without the bomb, estimated civilian deaths numbered in the hundreds of thousands if not a million. How many more East Pakistanis would he have liked to see killed for keeping Pakistan together?
Some might argue that regardless of the death and destruction, using the bomb to keep Pakistan together would have been a good thing for the people of East Pakistan in the long term. A look at developmental statistics can help decide.
Bangladesh is ranked 96th out of 110 countries in a 2010 prosperity index compiled by an independent London-based think-tank, the Legatum Institute, using governance, education, health, security, personal freedom, and social capital as criteria. Pakistan is at the 109th position, just one notch above Zimbabwe. By this measure the people of the East have benefited from independence. ….
First of all, let me congratulate all Muslims, all Pakistanis, all Americans, all peace loving people on this planet (who want to live a life free of terror) on the death of the most vile and most dangerous terrorist the world has ever seen, Osama Bin Laden, a product of the evil ideologies ….
Shabnam Virmani is a filmmaker and artist in residence at the Srishti School of Art, Design and Technology in Bangalore, India. 7 years ago she started travelling with folk singers in Malwa, Rajasthan and Pakistan in a quest for the spiritual and socio-political resonances of the 15th century mystic poet Kabir in our contemporary worlds. Among the tangible outcomes of these journeys were a series of 4 musical documentary films, several music CDs and books of the poetry in translation (www.kabirproject.org). Inspired by the inclusive spirit of folk music, she has begun to play the tambura and sing folk songs of Kabir herself. Currently she is working on co-creating a web-museum of Kabir poetry & music with folk singer communities in India and developing ideas for taking mystic poetry and folk music to school classrooms. She continues to journey to new areas such as Kutch, Gujarat and draw inspiration not only from Kabir, but also other mystic poets of the sub-continent [such as Shah Abdul Latif] and the oral folk traditions that carry them to us. Her earlier work consisted of several video and radio programs created in close partnership with grassroots women’s groups in India.
ISLAMABAD: In the backdrop of the current political uprisings in the Arab world, Pakistan has decided to play a significant role in the region by supporting Saudi Arabia, sources told The Express Tribune.
The decision came following a string of meetings that Prince Bandar bin Sultan bin Abdulaziz, special emissary of the Saudi king, had with the Pakistani leadership over the weekend.
The Saudi royal family scion met the top political and military leaders ….
HYDERABAD: Renowned historian and research scholar of Sindh and Pakistan, Dr. Nabi Bux Baloch passed away on Wednesday. He was 94. He was born on December 16, 1917, in Jaffer Khan Laghari village, Taluka Sinjhoro, Sanghar District. He was scholar of Sindhi, Persian, Arabic and Urdu languages. He was author of a number of books on Sindh history, and about 42 volumes on Sindhi Folklore. He also compiled and published Sindhi dictionary in five volumes. Moreover, he compiled Sindhi-to-Urdu, Urdu-to-Sindhi dictionaries co-authored with Dr. Ghulam Mustafa Khan. He has compiled works of Classical Sindhi poets including Shah Inayat, Qadi Qadan, Khalifo Nabibakhsh, Hamal Faqir and compiled works of Shah Abdul Latif Bhittai in ten volumes. He rose to the positions of the first Dean of Education Department and Vice-Chancellor of University of Sindh. He also worked as first Chairman of Sindhi Language Authority and Chairman of Allama I.I. Kazi Chair. His works in Sindhi Language has been published by Sindh Moti Manik Tanzeem Hyderabad and Institute of Sindhology, University of Sindh.
Kunwar Mahendra Singh Bedi Sahar, Phir chaley baad’e bahaari. Guru Nanak Ji was a Sufi and he taught Sikhs to respect all, and love all with truthfulness, if someone disrespects any faith, he is disrespecting himself. Love and respects to all nations, all races and all creeds. Live and let live that’s the way, the future is peace, there is no other way.
Bedi Saheb is Extra ordinary and lajawaab person. His Hindi/ urdu poetry recitation is beautiful. Listen to him and think what are you fighting for. All the true Sufis are above the sectarianism. Like Baba Guru Nanak Ji, Shah Abdul Latif, Sachal Sarmast, Sami, Bulleh Shah, Rahman Baba and others. True Sufis are open minded people. They emphasised on love, peace and communal harmony with Allah/ Eshwar/ God within yourself and most of the times the religious scholars didn’t understand their way of thinking and love with God. Mazhab nahi sikhaata aapas mein bair rakhna.
We are with our brothers and sisters in Egypt. We Salute you and want you to know that we are by your side in this struggle against Tyranny. Be strong, we are with you. The whole world is watching you and it is by your side. Dictators of the Arab world listen the voice of the people. People will Prevail, and Tyrants in the Arab world will Fall. We are with you People of Egypt.
Associated Press Writer Munir Ahmed contributed to this report.
ISLAMABAD (AP) — A Pakistani actress castigated for appearing to cuddle with an Indian actor on a reality show lashed out at a Muslim cleric who had criticized her during a widely watched television exchange this week.
The unusual outburst, punctuated by tears, came at a sensitive time in a country where Islamic fundamentalism is spreading and liberals are increasingly afraid to express their views.
“What is your problem with me? You tell me your problem!” an angry Veena Malik asked the Muslim scholar, who accused her of insulting Islam.
Earlier this month, a liberal Pakistani governor was shot dead for opposing the country’s harsh laws against blasphemy. In the aftermath, his killer was cheered as a hero among many in the public, shocking the country’s small liberal establishment.
Malik, 26, participated recently on Bigg Boss, an Indian version of “Big Brother.” Clips of the show on the Internet include ones in which she appears cozy with Indian actor Ashmit Patel. Those scenes, and her involvement with a show in Pakistan’s archrival India, prompted criticism online and on the air.
“You have insulted Pakistan and Islam,” Mufti Abdul Qawi accused her on the Express TV channel talk show via a television link. The exchange first aired Friday and then again Saturday.
A furious Malik shot back, saying Qawi targeted her because she is a woman, reminding him that the Quran admonishes men not to stare at a woman’s beauty beyond a first glance, and telling him there were bigger problems in Pakistan, including the alleged rape of children at mosques.
During the exchange, Qawi admitted he had not seen the clips of the show but had heard about it from others.
“What does your Islam say, mufti sir?” the actress asked. “You issue edicts on the basis of hearsay.”
Malik said she had read the Quran and she knew what lines not to cross as a Muslim as well as an entertainer in South Asia. She pointed out that she never kissed Patel, for instance.
“I am a Muslim woman, and I know my limits,” she said. The cleric seemed unable to respond to her flood of words.
Malik’s fierce outburst sparked a barrage of comments on Twitter. While some writers said they didn’t agree with her and one called her a “porn star,” others said she was brave for standing up to the Pakistani clerical establishment, especially when such an act can mean personal danger.
Wrote one supporter: “The only way to talk to these bloody clerics is to talk down to them. Veena Malik did just that, and how. Good for her!”
Karachi – Sindh Culture Minister Sassui Palijo said on Sunday that she had approached Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi for issuing visas to the poets, writers and intellectuals from India and other South Asian countries who wanted to participate in the 267th annual Urs of Sufi poet Shah Abdul Latif Bhittai.
She said a similar facility was granted to the participants of the recently held International Urdu Conference.
Ms Palijo said this during a meeting of officials of her department to review the arrangements of the annual Urs.
She said her department would erect a monument of Shah Abdul Latif at Sea
View in Karachi, while a cultural village would be set up at Bhit Shah on the occasion of the Urs. “A round-the-clock Sufi Mehfil will also be organised.”
Secretary Culture Ilmuddin Bulo apprised the minister of arrangements, including face-lifting of the historical Karrar lake, setting up of 12 different entrance points and security arrangements. …