Tag Archives: alternative

Of course ‘socialism’ was most-searched term of 2015: its ideas fit our times

Since the Occupy movement, the dirty word as far as many millennials are concerned is not socialism, but capitalism

By 

 

There is a decisive mood of resistance in America – a backlash to the status quo. The Bernie Sanders campaign for president is capturing that mood, and it is no surprise that ‘socialism’ was the most looked-up word in 2015.

The American youth of today did not grow up in the shadow of the Cold War. The vilification of socialist ideas by Republicans anyway only serves, if anything, to pique their interest. Coupled with that is the future most young Americans face: a low-wage job market, proliferation of student debt and an escalating housing affordability crisis. Since the Occupy movement, the dirty word as far as many millennials are concerned is not socialism, but capitalism.

There is deep anger against gaping income inequality and systemic racism. People are hungry for political alternatives that will serve their interests for a change instead of the insatiable greed of Wall Street.

Our city council re-election victory in Seattle, Washington, this fall is a powerful indicator of the prevailing mood. The first time our Socialist Alternative Partywon, in 2013, the political and business establishment did not take us seriously. But we have shown that not only can a socialist win in the US, a socialist can drive the political agenda of a major city. This time around, big business and their political representatives mobilized a massive campaign against us, fueled with large amounts of corporate cash, disingenuous attack mailers, red baiting and red herrings.

Read more » The Guardian
See more »  http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/dec/19/socialism-definition-most-searched-word-of-2015?CMP=share_btn_fb

 

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A genuine alternative to capitalism is needed.

The pink tide

BY AASIM SAJJAD AKHTAR

MUCH has been made, and rightly so, of the Latin American left’s resurrection since the turn of the century. Which is why the resounding electoral defeat suffered last week in Venezuela by arguably the most well-known leftist current in the continent — what is known as Chavism — demands serious interrogation.

An opposition united only by its desire to overturn the ‘Bolivarian Revolution’ originally spearheaded by late president Hugo Chavez won two-thirds of the seats in parliament in the polls held on Dec 6, the first defeat for the ruling United Socialist Party since Chavez came to power in 1999. The setback is significant, but it is important to bear in mind that Venezuela’s is a presidential form of government so executive authority continues to lie with the ‘Chavistas’, and specifically the man who took power after Chavez died in 2013, Nicolas Maduro.

It might not be the best analogy but Venezuela’s politics will now be characterised by a dichotomy similar to that which exists in the US where a Democratic president regularly squares off against a Republican-controlled Congress. That having been said, political conflict in Washington pales in comparison to what has persisted in Venezuela in recent times — the electoral reverse will intensify what is already a heavily polarised political climate.

The first explanation for the setback is the most obvious one – Maduro is not Chavez. While I think it is misleading to exaggerate the roles that individuals play in fomenting political transformation, the successes of the Latin American left, both of the current variety and in previous eras, have always featured charismatic leadership. Think Arbenz, Castro, Guevara and Allende. Chavez was of the same mould. After his death, some of the lustre of the Bolivarian Revolution was inevitably bound to wear off.

Read more » DAWN
See more » http://www.dawn.com/news/1227059/the-pink-tide

Alternative barrages must for Sindh agriculture

By DR ABDUL QADEER MEMON, Naushahro Feroze

THE Sindh government should seriously explore the possibility of building alternative barrages to save the agricultural sector of the province.

Sindh had the best irrigation system with three barrages, but due to inattention of the authorities concerned it had fallen prey to degradation.

The Irsa team had warned that a delta had been created in the Sukkur barrage’s water storage area which was threatening its structure.

The Sukkur barrage is 85 years old and used to feed eight million acres through its seven major canals. But it is in bad shape now for the past many years. The condition of Kotri and Guddu barrages is even worse.

The British used to determine the flow of water with tail gauges. However, today there is no concept for such gauges in the irrigation department.

The Sukkur barrage often faces different technical issues. The barrage would outlive its utility, so the government should start planning accordingly to protect agriculture.

During floods, its water discharges downstream Sukkur couldn’t flow under the Larkana-Khairpur and Dadu-Moro bridges. Alternative barrages have already been built in Punjab.

It seems as if the Sindh governement is waiting for the destruction of our agricultural sector. The government should explore the option of building an alternative to the Sukkur barrage.

Such barrages are necessary to save Sindh’s agriculture. Honest and hard-working engineers of the federal, Sindh and Punjab governments should be hired for the process.

Courtesy: DAWN
http://dawn.com/news/1034404

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

Nawab Ali RahooBy: Nawab Ali Rahoo, Hyderabad,Sindh

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

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

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

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

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

By: Dr. Azhar A. Shah

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

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

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

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

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

The missing link to renewable energy

What’s the key to using alternative energy, like solar and wind? Storage — so we can have power on tap even when the sun’s not out and the wind’s not blowing. In this accessible, inspiring talk, Donald Sadoway takes to the blackboard to show us the future of large-scale batteries that store renewable energy. As he says: “We need to think about the problem differently. We need to think big.

Courtesy: Ted.com » YouTube

Should the US support an independent Balochistan? – Aljazeera

A handful of US congressmen support creating an independent Balochistan, carved out of mostly Pakistani land.

By: Eddie Walsh

Some US congressmen support Baloch nationalists in Pakistan and Afghanistan

Washington, DC – Over the last few months, a small faction of congressmen, minority Afghan groups, Baloch nationalists, and their supporters have laid out the framework for an alternative US policy approach for Southwest Asia.

This alternative policy centres on backing remnants of the Northern Alliance and Baloch insurgents, who seek to carve out semi-autonomous territories or independent states from Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Iran.

While supporters of this new approach are motivated by a variety of interests, they appear unified in their rejection of what they see as three cornerstones of the Obama administration’s current regional policy approach: 1) Normalising relations with Pakistan’s government and military; 2) Incorporating the Taliban into the current Afghan political system; 3) Overly accommodating an emerging Iran.

In one broad stroke, this new approach would attempt to advance US national interests by redrawing the political borders of Southwest Asia – contrary to the the sovereignty and territorial integrity of three existing states.

While its advocates clearly do not yet have broad support for their initiative, the campaign for an alternative Southwest Asian policy approach is maturing and garnering increased attention in Congress and beyond, especially as a result of three recent high-profile events: a Balochistan National Front strategy session in Berlin, a US congressional hearing on Balochistan, and the introduction of a Baloch self-determination bill before the US Congress.

Regardless of whether you agree or disagree, it’s nevertheless critical to understand how this alternative policy approach framework has evolved over the past few months.

The ‘Berlin Mandate’ as a loose framework

Continue reading Should the US support an independent Balochistan? – Aljazeera

America’s way out of dependence on Pakistan: Iran

By Neil Padukone

America’s dependence on Pakistan is a key source of regional instability. The only way out is to find an efficient alternative supply route for NATO supplies into Afghanistan. The Chabahar Road through Iran provides that alternative – if Washington will consider its benefits. ….

Read more » CSMONITOR

http://www.csmonitor.com/Commentary/Opinion/2012/0724/America-s-way-out-of-dependence-on-Pakistan-Iran

US contemplating reversal of its Pakistan policy

The United States is contemplating a total reversal of its highly ineffective Pakistan policy. This was stated by Prof Christine Fair, Assistant Professor at Georgetown University’s Edmund A Walsh School of Foreign Service while delivering a talk on “The situation in the Af-Pak region” at Observer Research Foundation on June 4, 2012.

Frankly expressing her views from both Pakistani as well as American perspectives, Prof. Fair said that the US does not have a long-term policy for Pakistan, and the present practice of granting aid with the aim of fighting the roots of terrorism has not yielded any results. Consequently, despite fighting the Taliban, the US has inadvertently supported them while alienating the civilian population.

Prof. Fair said that the Pakistan’s decision to close ground supply routes for NATO troops in Afghanistan backfired as the NATO forces soon developed alternative air routes. This, in turn, led many Western leaders to recognise the futility of engaging Pakistan in the war on terror. She also pointed out that the killing of Osama Bin Laden in Pakistan further convinced policy makers in Washington of its duplicity.

Asked about the Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s perceived lack of understanding about the situation in the West Asia and the Af-Pak region, Prof Fair said that presidential candidates learn very quickly once they take office. As an example, she pointed out Barack Obama’s similar naïveté four years ago and how he learnt and adapted his foreign policy within months into his presidency.

Prof. Fair said that President Obama is disappointed with Pakistan’s counter-terrorism performance, and that the US administration is contemplating containment to force it to abide to its obligations.

According to Prof. Fair, the futility of attempts to alter the pro-jihadist worldview of Pakistan’s foreign policy elite make a serious case of containment, which would hold Pakistan responsible for any terrorist attack with its ’signature’ on it.

Prof. Fair challenged the conventional wisdom that civilian governments in Islamabad are more responsible. She argued that past history suggests a linearity of foreign policy making between military and democratic regimes. This is compounded by a drastic transformation of the popular mindset towards fundamentalism and hatred against India.

Continue reading US contemplating reversal of its Pakistan policy

Boston – People’s Parade for Peace, Equality, Jobs, Social & Economic Justice

St. Patrick’s Peace Parade, When: Sunday, March 18, 2012, 1:00 pm to 4:30 pm. Where: assemble on D Street between 1st and 3rd Street • Broadway MBTA stop • South Boston

Please join Veterans For Peace and other Peace and social / economic Justice organizations for this historic 2nd Annual “People’s Peace Parade” in South Boston.

Themes for the Day:

How is the War Economy Working for You

Bring the Troops Home and Take Care of Them When They Get Here

Cut Military Spending, Save Jobs, Teachers, Fireman & Police

Peace Is Patriotic! Not a Dirty Word

No War on Iran

Last year, Veterans For Peace were denied permission to walk in South Boston’s traditional St. Patrick’s Day Parade. The stated reason given by the Allied War Veterans Council was that the organizers “did not want the word peace associated with the word veteran”. ….

Read more » United for Justice with Peace (UJP)

Chinese bank pulls out of Pakistan-Iran pipeline project

Industrial and Commercial Bank of China won’t help finance the natural gas pipeline to Pakistan, apparently because of U.S. sanctions on Iran.

By Paul Richter and Alex Rodriguez, Los Angeles Times

Reporting from Washington and Islamabad, Pakistan—

China’s largest bank has backed out of a deal to finance a proposed Iran-to-Pakistan gas pipeline that is opposed by the United States, a potential sign of the lengthening reach of U.S. economic sanctions on Iran.

Pakistani officials confirmed Wednesday that Industrial and Commercial Bank of China had withdrawn from plans to head a consortium that would finance the $1.6-billion Pakistani portion of the cross-border pipeline, apparently over concern that the bank could be excluded from the U.S. economy.

Continue reading Chinese bank pulls out of Pakistan-Iran pipeline project

SINDH DELEGATION to attend Alternative World Water Forum in Marseille, France

World Sindhi Institute organizes SINDH DELEGATION to attend Alternative World Water Forum in Marseille France

Two of Sindh’s premier Water Experts on Rivers and Dams and renowned scholar activists Mr Naseer Memon and Mr Abrar Kazi to attend and speak at Forum Alternatif Mondiale de l’Eau “FAME” taking place in Marseille France on 16th March 2012

They will present the Case of Sindh and how the mega dams of Mangla, Tarbela and as well other structures on the Indus have devastated lowest riparian Sindh’s economy; In spite of this new dams are still being planned without Sindh’s permission.

http://www.fame2012.org/en/tag/marseille/

The alternative to the slow boat of democracy in Pakistan is failure

By Omar Ali

While the Zia-ul-Haq narrative promoted jihadist militias and covert foreign adventures, Pervez Musharraf’s regime led to open rebellion in Balochistan, an independent Islamic emirate in FATA, a nationwide terrorist problem and new compromises with the same corrupt politicians. And were Ashfaq Parvez Kayani to take over tomorrow, he will end up with the same compromises and the same old faces.

Before a democratic government can stabilise, the middle classes, schooled in the Pakistan Military Academy narrative, start aching for another saviour on horseback, but none exists.

In the current crisis in Pakistan, there has been some comment over what might work better for the country’s development — a “democratic” model or an “authoritarian” one. These categories may be misleading. Generalised arguments about “authoritarian regimes” and “democracies” hide far too many details under the hijab. There is vigorous debate about the shortcomings (real and imagined) of modern capitalist democracy and there is no reason to think that it is the final system under which mankind will live forever. But in the last 100 years, most absolute or dictatorial regimes have all either broken down, or seen capitalist development and evolved into some sort of democracy. The question then is not about democracy versus authoritarianism. It is about whether an “under-developed” state, such as Pakistan, can “develop” as a capitalist democracy without going through a fascist phase.

Continue reading The alternative to the slow boat of democracy in Pakistan is failure

It’s not a Recession, it’s a corporate Robbery – New spirit across the world

– Laurie Penny: Across the world, a new spirit took hold – power was taken back by the people

More than city squares are being occupied. What is being reoccupied is a sense of collective possibility

Something enormous happened on Saturday night. In over a thousand towns and cities around the world, people from all walks of life took to the streets and occupied the squares in an international “day of action” against austerity and corporate greed. In Madrid, I watched 60,000 stamp and cheer in Puerta del Sol as protesters took over a nearby building and dropped a banner reading “Somos El 99%” (“we are the 99 per cent”), a slogan from the Occupy Wall Street movement which has become a mantra for new global resistance.

As thousands streamed into the main square of the Spanish capital, a projector was showing hundreds facing down police to camp outside the London Stock Exchange. Protest, like profit, has become globalised.

The fact that politicians and pundits are asking what all these people want can be considered a victory for the “occupy everywhere” movement. It’s not a question many in public life have seemed much concerned with in the past decade.

What commentators fail to understand is that occupation is itself a demand. It’s a new, practical politics for those disillusioned with representative democracy, which demonstrators claim is a private club run by the rich, for the rich.

The recolonisation of public space, the forming of alternative communities based on direct democracy where people can meet and realise a common struggle, is an act of defiance with its own solution to the alienation and frustrations of life under capitalism. Those who attend occupations with individual grievances stay because they want to belong to a community built on mutual aid and shared values.

As political ambitions go, “occupy everywhere” is hardly modest. It is fitting that the most notable showdown of Saturday night took place in New York’s Times Square, where thousands of peaceful protesters clashed with mounted police under the glow of giant electric billboards in this temple to corporate power.

What is being occupied is far more than a few public squares for a few weeks. What’s being reoccupied is the collective political imagination, and a sense of collective possibility – beyond nationalism, beyond left and right – as millions of people lose faith in mainstream politics.

Power is not being petitioned here – it’s being reinvented. That’s what makes “occupy everywhere” so fascinating and also so exciting.

Courtesy » independent.co.uk

China Pullout Deals Blow to Pakistan

Mining Company Abandons $19 Billion Pact; Move Is Setback to Islamabad’s Effort to Establish Beijing as Foil to U.S.

By TOM WRIGHT in New Delhi and JEREMY PAGE in Beijing

A Chinese mining company pulled out of what was to be Pakistan’s largest foreign-investment deal because of security concerns, complicating Islamabad’s effort to position its giant neighbor as an alternative to the U.S. as its main ally.

An official at China Kingho Group, one of China’s largest private coal miners, said on Thursday it had backed out in August from a $19 billion deal in southern Sindh province because of concerns for its personnel after recent bombings in Pakistan’s major cities. …

Read more » The Wall Street Journal

China is not eager to jump in Afpak conflict

– Analysis: China to keep Pakistan embrace at arm’s length

By Sui-Lee Wee

BEIJING: (Reuters) – Pakistan, facing a crisis with the United States, has leaned closely to longtime partner China, offering its “all-weather friendship” with Beijing as an alternative to Washington.

But Pakistan will be disappointed if it hopes to replace American patronage with the same from China.

While China does not welcome the U.S. presence near its border, it wants stability on its western flank and believes an abrupt withdrawal of Washington’s support for Pakistan could imperil that. It also does not want to upset warming relations with India by getting mired in subcontinent security tension.

Maintaining that delicate balance, China will continue supporting economic cooperation with Pakistan but go slow on defense cooperation. While outwardly all smiles and warm pledges of friendship, China will quietly keep things at arms length.

“I think they see what’s going on in the U.S.-Pakistan front at the moment as reason to tread very carefully,” said Andrew Small, a researcher at the German Marshall Fund think-tank in Brussels who studies China-Pakistan ties and often visits both countries.

“They are taking extra care to make sure that what’s going on in the relationship is correctly understood, not reflecting any willingness to rush in or fill the gap or exploit differences.”

Pakistan’s brittle relationship with the United States, its major donor, has turned openly rancorous. Washington accused Pakistan’s powerful ISI spy agency of directly backing the Afghan Taliban-allied Haqqani network and of providing support for a September 13 attack on the U.S. mission in Kabul. ….

Read more → Reuters

The world is focused on Pak as a potential problem, some of India’s politician are trying to prove “we are stupid too, dear world” …

India deports radio broadcaster David Barsamian upon arrival at Delhi airport

by Shivam Vij

David Barsamian, founder director of Alternative Radio, and independent radio legend, was deported on arrival from New Delhi airport in the early hours of Sept 23. Details are awaited since David is probably still on the plane back. But between his arrival sometime after midnight, and his being “put back” on a flight at 3am, David was able to only make a quick call to his ‘home’ here in Delhi, to the family of his longtime sitar guru, Debu Chaudhuri.

At this point it can only be speculation, but since David has been visiting India almost every year since the early 1970s, one can guess that his attention to the Kashmir issue could well be the reason. On a recent trip to Kashmir he did a series of interviews and local events.

Less than a year ago, American academic Richard Shapiro was similarly deported upon arrival from the Indira Gandhi International airport. His crime, presumably, was an article on two on the human rights situation in Kashmir. Earlier this month, the journalist David Devadas was assaulted by the Jammu and Kashmir police.

India’s intolerance to dissent on Kashmir is not limited to foreigners. In May this year, Delhi-based journalist and human rights activist Gautam Navlakha was sent back to Delhi from Srinagar airport. Academic and activist Angana Chatterji has been threatened to not visit Kashmir. The J&K police had assaulted the noted Kashmiri human right defender Parvez Imroz in 2008. The media in Kashmir is tightly controlled by the state and press freedom is a matter of daily negotiation with the state.

Nation-states who deny access to foreign journalists, writers and academics – such as North Korea, Myanmar, China and Iran – usually have things to hide. What is it that India has to hide in Kashmir? I thought ‘peace’ was ‘returning’. ….

Read more → KALIFA

via → crdp, September 23, 2011.

More details → BBC urdu

Sindhis should rethink their priorities before it is too late!

by Khalid Hashmani, McLean, Virginia

The Sindhi political analysts and thinkers in Sindh continue to provide further insight into thinking of educated and middle class Sindhis who live in Sindh. These should help Sindhi Diaspora to better understand the ground realities in order to chalk out their actions about their supporting role in awakening of Sindhi society. Indeed, only the determined resolve and courageous actions by masses of Sindh would bring about enough changes to thwart the ill designs of internal and external anti-Sindh forces. Yesterday, I have shared my review on Naseer Memon’s article published in Sindhi daily Kawish on August 13, 2011 under the title “PPP’s recent decision to revive Local Government Ordinance 2001 is violation of its own manifesto‏”. Today, I am reviewing an article by Zulfiqar Halepoto that was published yesterday (13 August 2011) in Sindhi daily Awami Awaz. I am currently reviewing Jami Chandio’s article “PPP & a New Sindh” that was published in Sindhi daily Ibrat on 13-14th August, 2011. The purpose of these reviews is to provide a compilation of what Sindhis in Sindh so that Diaspora Sindhis can assess the need and formulate their actions in support of Sindh interests.

Zulfiqar Halepoto articulates the need for “paradigm shift” in Sindh where one political party has been looked upon as the only capable force that can protect their interests and Sindh’s integrity. Where once PPP leaders were honored and welcomed in their communities, most Sindhis are angry and hold PPP responsible for many of their problems.

According to Zulfiqar Halepoto, people of Sindh overwhelmingly voted for PPP in 2008 with the following four expectations:

1. The government of Sindh will be formed without the participation of those that had ruled Sindh for the several years in immediate past. During that time, the Sindhi interests suffered the most as the regimes became oblivious of the collective interests of Sindh and focused on only their personal gains. Sindhis expected PPP to adhere to its pledge not to share power with MQM and dissipate impression that in order to have peace and prosperity of the people of Sindh, MQM must be made a part of the government.

2. The PPP government will find the killers of Shaheed Benazir Bhutto and bring them to justice.

3. The PPP government will bring about the required constitutional and administrative changes that the dictatorial regime had brought to weaken native Sindhis and allow only one ethnic group to control Sindh’s larger cities.

4. The governance in Sindh that had suffered greatly in the last 12 years under the regimes that violated Sindhi Rights on all fronts will end. Sindh’s government would be an example of an exemplary governance in Pakistan ensuring welfare of all those who live in Sindh.

Unfortunately, the government of PPP has gone even beyond the status quo and has made sufferings of Sindhis much worse. Sindhis often express that they are now lost and wonder who will protect their interests? PPP thinks that Sindh vote bank is in their pocket and they are not afraid of any backlash from their actions that regularize injustices of previous regimes and further compromising on Sindhi Rights. Like the previous regime headed by a Sindh Chief Minister, PPP too has surrendered its power to MQM whose discriminatory policies against all groups of Sindh not only continues unabated but has worsened. There is an increasing feeling among the people of Sindh that PPP has become part of problem and looking at it as a solution provider is a big mistake!? Most Sindhis think it would be far easier to wedge struggle against a dictator and racist political parties without PPP’s presence.

It would seem to me that PPP had been, at minimum, a silent partners of those who do not wish Sindh & Sindhi identity to survive in Pakistan. These forces want Sindhis should leave their mother tongue and centuries old culture of peace & communal harmoney and to adapt the language of minority as their first language.

Sindhis are angry with PPP and with themselves for misplacing their trust and hopes in PPP. Sindhis do not understand why a PPP which won 90 seats in Sindh would forget their voters within a span of less than three years. Sindhis are disappointed that on the pretext of saving their regime at the center, they have been continually ignoring aspirations and hopes of Sindhis. Instead of creating more opportunities for Sindhis, doors for Sindhis continue to shut, particularly in those areas where they are controlled by MQM. People of Sindh can no longer tolerate this situation and a determined movement towards forming a genuine unity of Sindh on the point that “protection of interests of Sindh is their first priority” is fast spreading among Sindhis living in villages, towns, and cities.

President Asif Zardari has played Sindh as “Sindh card” whenever his rule faced a threat from opposition and the Pakistani security establishment. The “Sindhi Topi Day” was also a part of that gimmickry. It is said that most people in Pakistan think that regardless of what happens, Sindhis will continue to support PPP? This myth is now to great extent shattered as people of Sindh are able to see through the politics of exploitation of Sindhis by internal and external forces. Some non-Sindhi Pakistanis are noticing that a change is brewing among Sindh. Sindhis are now condemning the decisions of PPP that are counter to the interests of Sindh. They are also realizing that Sindhis are not against the integrity of Pakistan and that main demand is to secure equitable rights in Pakistan and preserve their identity, culture, and language.

The anger of Sindh is lost on other political parties in Pakistan as most are now taking steps to seek support of Sindhis. Awami National Party, Jamat-e-Islami, and Sunni Tahrik are now supporting Sindhi demand for cancellation of former dictator Musharraf’s undemocratic, black, repressive, & discriminatory Local Government Ordinance. MQM is staying silent about the demands of Sindhis. On other side, Sindhis have notice support of Pir Pagaro on this issue. However, Sindhis have not forgiven for his pro-Kala Bagh stand and his support of General Musharraf’s policies that hurt the interests of Sindh.

The Sindhi nationalist parties are remain divided. Although most Sindhis respect those nationalist parties for their their stand on the interests of Sindh, some of these political parties are likely to keep themselves away from the upcoming elections. Their divergent views including the separatist leaning of some have kept their voter bank constrained.

Zulfiqar Halepoto urges Sindhis to look at all aspects of this complicated situation, weigh all options before jumping on any bandwagon. Sindhis should think and formulate strategy, long-term plans and be ready to effectively respond to any tactical challenges. One should look at the success of Pakhoons, who have more than one credible options for exercising their vote. Without a fundamental change in the political landscape of Sindh, Sindhis still only have two serious options – Muslim League and PPP. The Sindh chapters of these two parties are dominated by anti-Sindh waderas, who together with MQM and anti-Sindhi business owners will continue to damage the interests of Sindh.

It is imperative that Sindh nationalist parties create a formidable political party or group that will become a credible second alternative for Sindhis. If this is achieved, it will be an important paradigm jump for Sindhis that will likely bring about a positive development for not only Sindh but also for Pakistan.

Courtesy: → Sindh e-lists/ e-groups, August 14, 2011.

Pakistan has been playing us all for suckers

Britain is spending millions bolstering Pakistan, but it is a nation in thrall to radical Islam and is using its instability to blackmail the West

by Christina Lamb

When David Cameron announced £650m in education aid for Pakistan last week, I guess the same thought occurred to many British people as it did to me: why are we doing this?

While we are slashing our social services and making our children pay hefty university fees, why should we be giving all this money to a country that has reduced its education budget to 1.5% of GDP while spending several times as much on defence? A country where only 1.7m of a population of 180m pay tax? A country that is stepping up its production of nuclear weapons so much that its arsenal will soon outnumber Britain’s? A country so corrupt that when its embassy in Washington held an auction to raise money for flood victims, and a phone rang, one Pakistani said loudly: “That’s the president calling for his cut”? A country which has so alienated powerful friends in America that they now want to abandon it?

As someone who has spent almost as much time in Pakistan as in Britain over the past 24 years, I feel particularly conflicted, as I have long argued we should be investing more in education there.

That there is a crisis in Pakistan’s education system is beyond doubt. A report out last month by the Pakistan education taskforce, a non-partisan body, shows that at least 7m children are not in school. Indeed, one-tenth of the world’s children not in school are in Pakistan. The first time I went to Pakistan in 1987 I was astonished to see that while billions of pounds’ worth of weapons from the West were going to Pakistan’s intelligence service to distribute to the Afghan mujaheddin, there was nothing for schools.

The Saudis filled the gap by opening religious schools, some of which became breeding grounds for militants and trained the Taliban. Cameron hopes that investing in secular education will provide Pakistan’s children with an alternative to radicalism and reduce the flow of young men who want to come and bomb the West.

“I would struggle to find a country that it is more in Britain’s interests to see progress and succeed than Pakistan,” he said. “If Pakistan is a success, we will have a good friend to trade with and deal with in the future … If we fail, we will have all the problems of migration and extremism that we don’t want to see.”

As the sixth most populous country, with an arsenal of between 100 and 120 nuclear weapons, as the base of both Osama Bin Laden and the Taliban leadership, and as homeland to a large population in Britain, Pakistan is far more important to our security than Afghanistan. But after spending two weeks travelling in Pakistan last month, I feel the situation has gone far beyond anything that a long-term strategy of building schools and training teachers can hope to restrain.

The Pakistani crisis has reached the point where Washington — its paymaster to the tune of billions of dollars over the past 10 years — is being urged to tear up the strategic alliance underpinning the war in Afghanistan.

Dana Rohrabacher, a Republican congressman from California who sits on the House foreign affairs committee and has been dealing with Pakistan since working in the Reagan White House, says he now realises “they were playing us for suckers all along”.

“I used to be Pakistan’s best friend on the Hill but I now consider Pakistan to be an unfriendly country to the US,” he said. “Pakistan has literally been getting away with murder and when you tie that with the realisation that they went ahead and used their scarce resources to build nuclear weapons, it is perhaps the most frightening of all the things that have been going on over the last few years.

“We were snookered. For a long time we bought into this vision that Pakistan’s military was a moderate force and we were supporting moderates by supporting the military. In fact the military is in alliance with radical militants. Just because they shave their beards and look western they fooled a lot of people.”

Christine Fair, assistant professor at the centre for peace and security studies at Georgetown University in Washington, is equally scathing. “Pakistan’s development strategy is to rent out its strategic scariness and not pay taxes itself,” she said. “We should let them fail.”The Pakistani crisis has reached the point where Washington is being urged to tear up the strategic alliance underpinning the war in Afghanistan

Pakistan’s prime minister, Yousuf Gilani, comes from one of Punjab’s largest land-owning families. Watching Cameron sign over the £650m, he said: “I think the root cause of terrorism and extremism is illiteracy. Therefore we are giving a lot of importance to education.”

If that were the case one might expect Lahore University of Management Sciences, one of the most elite universities in the country, to be a bastion of liberalism. Yet in the physics department Pervez Hoodbhoy, professor of nuclear physics, sits with his head in his hands staring out at a sea of burqas. “People used to imagine there was only a lunatic fringe in Pakistan society of these ultra-religious people,” he said. “Now we’re learning that this is not a fringe but a majority.”

What brought this home to him was the murder earlier this year of Salman Taseer, the half-British governor of Punjab who had called for the pardoning of a Christian woman sentenced to death under the blasphemy law. The woman, Aasia Bibi, had been convicted after a mullah had accused her of impugning Islam when she shouted at two girls who refused to drink water after she had touched it because they said it was unclean.

Taseer had been a key figure in Pakistan’s politics for decades and had suffered prison and torture, yet when he said the Aasia case showed the law needed reforming, he was vilified by the mullahs and the media. In January he was shot 27 times by one of his own guards. His murderer, Mumtaz Qadri, became a hero, showered with rose petals by lawyers when he appeared in public.

After the killing, Hoodbhoy was asked to take part in a televised debate at the Islamabad Press Club in front of students. His fellow panellists were Farid Piracha, spokesman for the country’s biggest religious party, Jamaat-e-Islami, and Maulana Sialvi, a supposed moderate mullah from the Barelvi sect. Both began by saying that the governor brought the killing on himself, as “he who blasphemes his prophet shall be killed”. The students clapped.

Hoodbhoy then took the microphone. “Even as the mullahs frothed and screamed I managed to say that the culture of religious extremism was resulting in a bloodbath in which the majority of victims were Muslims; that non-Muslims were fleeing Pakistan. I said I’m not an Islamic scholar but I know there are Muslim countries that don’t think the Koran says blasphemy carries the death sentence, such as Indonesia, Malaysia and Egypt.

“I didn’t get a single clap. When I directly addressed Sialvi and said you have Salman Taseer’s blood on your hands, he looked at them and exclaimed: how I wish I had done it! He got thunderous applause.”

Afterwards, “I came back and wanted to dig a hole in the ground,” he said. “I can’t figure out why this country has gone so mad. I’ve seen my department change and change and change. There wasn’t one burqa-clad woman in the 1980s but today the non-hijabi, non-burqa student is an exception. As for the male students, they all come in turbans and beards with these fierce looks on their faces.”

Yet, he points out, these students are the super-elite, paying high fees to attend the university: “It’s nothing to do with causes normally associated with radicalism; it’s that the mullah is allowed complete freedom to spread the message of hate and liberals are bunkering down. Those who speak out are gone and the government has abdicated its responsibility and doesn’t even pretend to protect life and property.”

Raza Rumi, a young development worker and artist who blogs regularly, agrees. As we sat in a lively coffee bar in Lahore that could have been in the West until the lights went off in one of the frequent power cuts, he said: “Radicalism in Pakistan isn’t equated with poverty and backwardness — we’re seeing more radicalisation of the urban middle and upper class. I look at my own extended family. When I was growing up, maybe one or two people had a beard. Last time I went to a family wedding I was shell-shocked. All these uncles and aunts who were regular Pakistanis watching cricket and Indian movies now all have beards or are in hijabs.

“I think we’re in an existential crisis. The moderate political parties have taken a back seat and chickened out as they just want to protect their positions. What is Pakistan’s identity? Is it an Islamist identity as defined by Salman Taseer’s murder, ISI [the intelligence service], the jihadists? Is that really what we want to be?”

He does not know how much longer he will write about such things. “I’ve been getting repeated emails that I should leave the country or shut up,” he said.

When I left the cafe I was followed for the rest of the day by a small yellow car.

Courtesy: thesundaytimes.co.uk

Genetically modified cows produce ‘human’ milk

Scientists have created genetically modified cattle that produce “human” milk in a bid to make cows’ milk more nutritious.

By Richard Gray

The scientists have successfully introduced human genes into 300 dairy cows to produce milk with the same properties as human breast milk.

Human milk contains high quantities of key nutrients that can help to boost the immune system of babies and reduce the risk of infections.

The scientists behind the research believe milk from herds of genetically modified cows could provide an alternative to human breast milk ….

Read more : The Telegraph

Pakistan remains a military-dominated rentier state

Failed state or Weimar Republic?

Pakistan remains a military-dominated rentier state, still committed to American and Gulf Arab alliances

By Omar Ali

A friend recently wrote to me that Pakistan reminded him of the Weimar republic; an anarchic and poorly managed democracy with some real freedoms and an explosion of artistic creativity, but also with a dangerous fascist ideology attracting more and more adherents as people tire of economic hardship and social disorder and yearn for a savior. Others (much more numerous than the single friend who suggested the Weimar comparison) insist that Pakistan is a failed state. So which is it? Is Pakistan the Weimar republic of the day or is it a failed state?

Continue reading Pakistan remains a military-dominated rentier state

World War III: One Nation at a Time

Look past the puppets and above the globalists’ stage.

commentary by Tony Cartalucci

The globalists are infiltrating, corrupting, and turning the entire planet, one nation at a time in a combined scientific-geopolitical dictatorship that will be effectively impossible to reverse once it is completed. The latest Western-fueled conflagration in the Arab world indicates an accelerated regional strategy of destabilizing and taking over target nations. Nations like Russia and China, whose interests are being directly threatened and stripped away in this malicious melee, appear powerless and unprepared.

Some nations succumb in silence behind the scenes, others are invaded, mercilessly brutalized, and assimilated into the globalist combine. The civil society overlay the globalists use to establish what amounts to a subversive shadow government is always creeping forward no matter how hard a target nation may try to ward it off. Only in the most extreme cases, such as Qaddafi’s Libya has civil society been uprooted entirely – making military intervention an acceptable and inevitable alternative from a globalist perspective. …

Read more : Info Wars

Toledo-Hyderabad Sister City

The Honorable Michael. P. Bell, Mayor of Toledo, Ohio; Toledo Sister City International Organization and Toledo-Hyderabad Sister City Committee to celebrate the auspicious occasion of the signing of a Sister City agreement between the two great cities, Toledo, Ohio and Hyderabad, Sindh.

Sister City relationships involve cultural, economic, and educational partnerships. Members of the delegation from Hyderabad want to invest in medicine, alternative energy, media, and other industries in Toledo.

Read more : Toledo

Possibility of “revolution” in Pakistan?

Ripe for revolution? – By Mahreen Khan

…. Despite a wave of public protests, Egypt is unlikely to emulate Tunisia, due to factors also present in Pakistan. Egypt has a sharp religious divide between Coptics and Muslims as well as numerous Islamic groups pitted against each other. Arab analysts cite low levels of literacy and a general feeling of apathy and defeatism in the population as further reasons that Egypt will continue to fester rather than revolt. Pakistan has these and additional factors which militate against a revolution: deep and multiple ethnic, linguistic, tribal and sectarian fault lines; a paucity of alternative intellectual narratives, radical leaders or strong unions; and an elected government and freedom of speech. Ironically, democratic elections and free speech help perpetuate the corrupt, unjust stranglehold of the feudal-industrial power elite. Revolutionary forces require a moral impetus that illegitimate dictatorship provides but elected government does not. Secondly, frustration needs to simmer under a repressive regime until it reaches the temperature for mass revolt. Pakistan’s free media allows an outlet for public dissatisfaction. The often harsh treatment of politicians and police officials at the hands of journalists and judges ameliorates public anger. Vocal opposition parties, unhindered street protests and strikes allow a regular release of fury, draining the momentum necessary for the emotional surge that revolutionary zeal requires. …

Read more : The Express Tribune