Tag Archives: British

Energy secretary Amber Rudd plans to ‘unleash solar revolution’

Amber Rudd, the new energy secretary, says more households should have solar panels on their roofs

By , Energy Editor

Millions more homes should have solar panels on their roofs, the new energy secretary has suggested, vowing to “unleash a new solar revolution” across Britain.

Ms Rudd indicated she would back the continued expansion of household solar panels, which are heavily subsidised by consumers through levies on energy bills.

“I want to unleash a new solar revolution – we have a million people living under roofs with solar panels and that number needs to increase,” she told her local newspaper, the Hastings & St Leonards Observer.

Read more » The Telegraph
Learn more » http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/earth/energy/solarpower/11606820/Energy-secretary-Amber-Rudd-plans-to-unleash-solar-revolution.html?utm_content=buffer41fce&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer

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Argentina seizes Falkland Islands… with help of 50 pesos

More than 30 years after Argentinian forces made a failed attempt to seize the Falkland Islands from the British, Argentina’s Central Bank has announced the introduction of a 50 peso note with the archipelago emblazoned on the front.

On the reverse side of the colorful note is an image of Antonio Rivero, the Argentinian rebel leader who led an 1833 uprising in an effort to reclaim the islands from the British. Rivero, today a folk hero in the South American country, is pictured on horseback waving an Argentinian flag above his head.

The new banknote, which is worth £3.70 ($4.20), is scheduled to enter circulation next month.

Central Bank President Alejandro Vanoli explained that the goal of the new banknote is to “incorporate the Argentine nation’s unwavering claim over the Islas Malvinas [as they are known locally] into an element of daily use.”

Read more » http://rt.com/news/235279-argentina-banknote-falklands-britain/

‘Contingency plan’ needed for Greek eurozone exit – British govt

The UK is preparing for a possible Greek exit from the eurozone by taking measures to ensure British banks and companies are not exposed to risk.

Prime Minister David Cameron discussed plans to prepare the UK for a Greek exit from the eurozone with senior Treasury and Bank of England officials at a meeting on Monday.

They debated the possible impact an exit would have on markets and considered potential contingencies for the British businesses thought to be exposed to financial risk.

The meeting follows comments by the former chairman of the US Federal Reserve, Alan Greenspan, who told the BBC: “I believe [Greece] will eventually leave.”

Read more » http://rt.com/uk/230603-uk-begins-preparations-grexit/

Islamic radicalisation in UK frightening: Prince Charles

By PTI

London: Britain’s Prince Charles has described as “frightening” the growing radicalisation of British Muslim youth who have been joining the Islamic State extremists in Syria and Iraq, partly due to “crazy stuff” available on the internet.

The heir to Britain’s throne said the radicalisation was “one of the greatest worries” that could not be swept “under the carpet” but expressed his hope to build bridges between different faiths in an interview to the BBC broadcast today.

Asked about the radicalisation of young people in the UK, Prince Charles said: “Well, of course, this is one of the greatest worries, I think, and the extent to which this is happening is the alarming part. And particularly in a country like ours, where you know the values we hold dear.

“You think that the people who have come here, (are) born here, go to school here, would imbibe those values and outlooks.

“The frightening part is that people can be so radicalised either through contact with somebody else or through the internet, and the extraordinary amount of crazy stuff which is on the internet,” he said.

Read more » Hindustan Times
See more » http://www.hindustantimes.com/world-news/islamic-radicalisation-in-uk-frightening-prince-charles/article1-1314896.aspx

Faded glory: Sindh’s resolute fighters stand tall but forgotten

By Z Ali

HYDERABAD: Pakistan Peoples Party’s chairperson Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has put on the map the slogan ‘marsoon marsoon Sindh na desoon’ [we will die but will not give up Sindh]. What few people know is that the now-famous catchphrase was coined during a battle against the colonial British army in the 19th century.

The Talpur army’s general, Hosh Muhammad Sheedi, popularly known as Hoshu Sheedi, coined the term to inspire the soldiers who were faced with a well-armed and disciplined British army in the battle of Dabbo. He laid down his life in the fight along with his compatriots on March 24, 1843, in Miani Forest in Nerunkot (the old name for Hyderabad).

Sindh’s historians have always held Sheedi in great reverence. The Sindh government has also named some structures, such as flyovers and roads after him, besides introducing him into the academic curriculum. What is devastating is the fact that his monument in Hyderabad, inaugurated during the former Nazim Kanwar Naveed Jamil’s district government in April 2009, has been imperiled by sheer neglect since. The monument, built in a triangular enclosure on Risala Road in the centre of Hyderabad’s City tehsil, reflects his posture of leading the soldiers. The small piece of land where Sheedi sits mounted on a horse along with three companions, remains littered with garbage. The district government had placed five iron boxes for spotlights which were never installed. A few days ago, someone even stole the sword that Sheedi carried in his hand.

Continue reading Faded glory: Sindh’s resolute fighters stand tall but forgotten

British pensioner on Pakistan’s death row on blasphemy charge shot by policeman

A British pensioner who was sentenced to death after being convicted of blasphemy, has been shot and injured by a policeman inside the Pakistani jail where the 70-year-old was on death row. A Christian pastor was reportedly killed in the same incident. Muhammad Asghar, who is from Edinburgh and whose family says he has a history of mental illness, was shot in Adiala Jail in Rawalpindi on Thursday morning by a member of a specialist police unit allegedly using a concealed weapon. Pastor Zafar Bhatti was killed in the same incident, Reuters reported.

Mr Asghar was arrested in 2010 and sentenced to death in January this year after a disgruntled tenant presented letters he had written saying he was a prophet. During his trial, his family tried to present evidence that he was suffering from paranoid schizophrenia.

A lawyer for Mr Asghar, who asked not to be identified, said they had been told the pensioner had been shot in the back at 8.30am by a police constable attached to a specialist unit.

More » The Independent
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/british-pensioner-on-pakistans-death-row-shot-and-injured-9754963.html

Coming back?: Britain has frozen my bank accounts, says Altaf

KARACHI: Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) chief Altaf Hussain revealed that the British government has frozen all his bank accounts in the United Kingdom.

In an interview with a private news channel on Saturday, he said, “I face money laundering and other cases, which have not been presented in court so far. And without any proof, the British government has sealed all my bank accounts.”

The MQM chief admitted that the British authorities had conducted raids at his house and at his office. “No lawyer is willing to come forward because they are afraid of the British establishment. But I will continue to fight and face everything alone.” He said the British government can put him in jail and kill him but he will ‘continue to speak the truth’. “If I have to die, then why not in Pakistan?”

Regarding his national identity card, Altaf said he has warts on his legs and feet and therefore, cannot walk properly. However, he managed to come to the MQM’s secretariat in London where Nadra officials carried out the procedure.

“Now they are saying the data has gone corrupt? Do the prime minister and the interior minister want me to beg for my Pakistaniat (Pakistani identity)? I don’t want this charity from them.” He said he was disappointed with the Sindh governor for remaining silent in the recent meeting with Nawaz Sharif. “They were putting false accusations on us, but the governor did not say anything and remained quiet.”

Courtesy: The Express Tribune, May 18th, 2014.
http://tribune.com.pk/story/709892/coming-back-britain-has-frozen-my-bank-accounts-says-altaf/#.U3g8o8v9QJQ.facebook

Britain’s looming energy crisis

Over the last weeks and months, concerns about energy have become more and more widespread in Britain. Firstly the simmering controversy over “fracking” has become more prominent, with a series of demonstrations pushing this issue into the public eye. Then the pledge of Ed Miliband that the next Labour government will freeze energy prices was met with howls of protest from the coalition parties and threats by the energy companies that “the lights will go out”. In addition, the announcement that Britain will build the first new nuclear power station for decades has been overshadowed by the attempt to close the Grangemouth oil refinery. The question has to be asked: is Britain facing a serious energy crisis?

Read more » http://www.marxist.com/britains-looming-energy-crisis.htm

Voicing concerns: Sindhi activists ask British govt to take action against Altaf

KARACHI: Scores of Sindhi writers, poets, journalists and civil society activists staged a protest at the British High Commission, handing over a memorandum of compliant against the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) chief Altaf Hussain, asking the British government to ask Hussain to avoid provocative and seditious speech in Pakistan.

The rally, which started from Do Talwar, was not allowed to proceed towards the High Commission by law enforcers due to security reasons. After negotiations between the police and the participants, the rally was stopped at a distance from the commission and four representatives of the Sindhi Writers and Thinkers Forum were allowed to meet British officials.

Two officials of the British Commission met Dr Akash Ansari, Prof. Mushtaq Mirani, Jami Chandio and Dastaghir Bhatti at the office gate where they complained that Hussain was trying to incite ethnic violence in Sindh.

The officials assured that the complaint would be sent to the British government today ….

Read more » The Express Tribune
http://tribune.com.pk/story/655678/voicing-concerns-sindhi-activists-ask-british-govt-to-take-action-against-altaf/

Tablet computer launched in UK; priced at 30 pounds

Aakash 2 tablet launched in UK; priced at 30 pounds

Version of India’s low-cost Aakash 2 tablet computer has been launched in Britain at a cost of 30 pounds. The UbiSlate 7Ci, made by UK-based company Datawind, is based on Aakash 2, which is mainly used by students in India and was designed to provide cheap internet access to help improve education. The 7 inch Android tablet has wi-fi connectivity, 512MB of RAM, a microUSB connection and 4GB of storage, BBC reported yesterday.

Read more » ZeeNews
http://zeenews.india.com/business/gadgets/gadgets-news/aakash-2-tablet-launched-in-uk-priced-at-30-pounds_90859.html

British-based bank: SCB runs second largest Islamic window in Pakistan

KARACHI: As many as 14 conventional banks in Pakistan offer Shariah-compliant banking services through separate Islamic windows. Although many of these 14 banks are foreign ones, Standard Chartered Bank Pakistan happens to be the only banking institution with a western pedigree and a truly global presence across five continents.

And yet, it runs the largest Islamic banking window in Pakistan, only after Bank Alfalah, with an 8% share in revenues, 8% share in advances and 4% share in deposits of the entire Islamic banking industry as of December 2012.

“We believe that the kind of expertise and Shariah scholars we have for Islamic banking is far better than other conventional banks,” said Azhar Aslam, who heads Islamic banking at Standard Chartered Bank Pakistan, while speaking to The Express Tribune in a recent interview.

Read more » The Express Tribune
http://tribune.com.pk/story/582899/british-based-bank-scb-runs-second-largest-islamic-window-in-pakistan/

The bravest woman in all of UK. Cub scout leader Ingrid Loyau-Kennett confronts the London jihadi without fear for her own safety.

Brutal murder in Britain: ‘You’re going to lose’, said mum who ‘disarmed’ attackers

by

When confronted with random acts of violence, the first reflex of most humans is to seek safety. But when Ingrid Loyau-Kennett, a 48-year-old mother of two and a Cub scout leader, came  face-to-face with a knife-wielding Islamist attacker at Woolwich in southeast London who wanted to “start a war in London tonight”, she calmly talked to him – and urged him to surrender.

For her selfless act of bravery, overlooking the risk to her own life, she is being celebrated on social media platforms as a hero.

Loyau-Kennett was one of the first people to arrive at the scene in Woolwich where two men – evidently in a fit of jihadist rage – butchered a British soldier with machetes and butcher’s knives.

She told The Telegraph of London that she was in a passing bus and saw the bloodied body of the soldier on the streetside, and since she, as a Cub scout leader, had received training in administering first-aid and had a kit at hand, she hopped off the bus to attend to him. She had assumed it was an accident scene, but soon realised that the man was dead – and that it was not exactly an accident.

“When I went up there, there was this black guy with a revolver and a kitchen knife… He had what looked like butcher’s tools and he had a little axe, to cut the bones, and two large knives. And he said, ‘Move off the body’,” Loyau-Kennett told newspaper.

She said she didn’t quite know what was going on, but she felt that it would be better to keep the blood-covered attacker distracted and keep him from attacking more people. She asked him if he had killed the man, and why. To which he said: “Because he has killed Muslim people in Muslim countries… I am fed up with people killing Muslims in Afghanistan…”

And when the attacker said that he wanted to “start a war in London tonight,” Loyau-Kennett patiently sought to dissuade him and urged him to surrender his weapons. “I said: ‘Right now it is only you versus many people, you are going to lose’,” she recalled.

She then went over to the other attacker – who seemed “much shier” – and urged him to hand over “what you have in your hands.”

“I did not want to say ‘weapons’, but I thought it was better having them aimed on one person like me rather than everybody there,” she told the newspaper.

The attackers didn’t quite hand over their knives, but in a larger sense, Loyau-Kennett had – by standing face-to-face with them and by plainly telling them that they would “lose” – metaphorically disarmed them and calmed them down and, most importantly, ensured they didn’t attack anyone else.

On Twitter, Loyau-Kennett’s selfless act of bravery has many people in awe.

Courtesy: FirstPost
http://www.firstpost.com/world/brutal-murder-in-britain-youre-going-to-lose-said-brave-mum-who-disarmed-attackers-807629.html?utm_source=hp-footer

Via – Facebook

Imran holds Altaf ‘directly responsible’ for Zarah’s killing

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LAHORE: Pakistan Tehreek e Insaf Chief Imran Khan Sunday strongly condemning the killing of PTI Sindh Vice President Zarah Shahid Hussain in Karachi said that he is “shocked” and “deeply saddened”.

On his Twitter account, Imran Khan wrote “I am shocked & deeply saddened by the brutal killing of Zara Shahid Hussain, Zara apa to us, in Karachi tonite. A targeted act of terror!”

He held Altaf Hussain “directly responsible” for the murder, saying that the MQM chief had openly threatened the PTI leaders and workers.

“I hold Altaf Hussain directly responsible for the murder as he had openly threatened PTI workers and leaders through public broadcasts.”

He also held British Government responsible in the murder of the PTI Sindh senior vice president, saying that he had already “warned” the British government about Altaf’s “open threats” to kill PTI workers.

“I also hold the British Govt responsible as I had warned them abt Br citizen Altaf Hussain after his open threats to kill PTI workers”, he said.

Addressing the participants of the sit-in in Lahore by telephone, Khan announced that the party would also protest the killing of the woman leader in London.

“You have laid foundation of New Pakistan, be firm as I will announce future course of action today, I congratulate you for fighting for your rights,” Khan, who has been recuperating at the Shaukat Khanam Hospital said.

Continue reading Imran holds Altaf ‘directly responsible’ for Zarah’s killing

Altaf Hussain; Godfather of Karachi, resident of Edgware

Yesterday I called upon the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police to arrest a British citizen for incitement to murder. It is an open and shut case. You can watch his lips move on television, broadcast from London, in the wake of the controversial election count in the giant port city of Karachi, Pakistan. Hussain openly threatened the young democracy protesters agitating for a re-run of the election there that he would have them cut them down with swords.

No-one should think this mere rhetoric, Hussain is already convicted in Pakistan for multiple murder extortion organised crime and terrorist offences. That’s why he lives in Edgware. In fact he is chief suspect in over 100 murder cases, including in England in the murder of one of his own leading comrades.

Five years ago I gave a speech in Parliament asking why the then New Labour government was not only tolerating the presence in this country of a mafia style chief making regular broadcasts from London ordering crimes to be committed in a friendly country, but had actually given the Don a British passport!

The previous, Conservative, government had, I believed, refused citizenship to Altaf Hussain. New Labour as just one of many crimes against the people of the Muslim world thought differently and conveyed upon a convicted murderer all the rights of citizen upon him.

Continue reading Altaf Hussain; Godfather of Karachi, resident of Edgware

Pak should take serious notice of Altaf’s remarks: UK HC

LONDON: British High Commissioner (HC), Adam Thomson has said that UK police have received countless complaints against Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) chief Altaf Hussain’s remarks about detaching Karachi from Pakistan, Geo News reported. In a statement, the British HC said Pakistan should take serious notice of Altaf Hussain’s statement. Thomson further said that strict laws are followed in Britain against hate speech and spreading violence, adding the UK police is currently investigating Altaf’s speech.

He added that if anyone is found guilty, the accused can face imprisonment.

Our correspondent from London, Murtaza Ali Shah adds: Metropolitan Police say they are aware of complaints made about Altaf Hussain’s remarks from London but currently there is no investigation. A spokesperson says complaints are still being made and ‘we are looking into but no investigation yet.’

Courtesy: The News
http://www.thenews.com.pk/article-101048-Pakistan-should-take-serious-notice-of-Altafs-remarks:-UK-HC–

Pakistani youth ‘cool on democracy’

 

More than half of those surveyed said democracy had not been good for them or the country

More Pakistani youth would prefer Islamic law or military rule than democracy, a survey suggests.

More than half of 5,000 18-29 year-old Pakistanis polled said democracy had not been good for them or the country.

Some 94% said Pakistan was going in the wrong direction, up from 50% in 2007, the British Council survey found.

Almost a third of registered voters in Pakistan are under 30 years old, and are expected to play a big part in a general election due in May.

When asked to pick the best political system, both Sharia and military rule were favoured over democracy.

The survey points towards a pessimistic generation, disenchanted with democracy after five years of civilian rule, says the BBC’s Orla Guerin in Islamabad.

Most of those surveyed had more faith in the army than any other institution.

Approval ratings for the military were about 70% compared with just 13% for the government.

Continue reading Pakistani youth ‘cool on democracy’

‘What is Pakistan? It is Punjab and Sindh, which is actually part of India’

New Delhi: Pakistan is a “fake” country which was created artificially by the Britishers who started the “bogus two-nation theory”, Press Council of India Chairman Justice (retd) Markandey Katju said in New Delhi on Tuesday.

The former Chief Justice of India was confident that in next 15-20 years India and Pakistan would reunite and a strong, powerful, secular and modern minded government would come to power.

He condemned the recent war hysteria created by media in the wake of beheading of an Indian soldier by Pakistanis troops in a cross LoC attack in Jammu and Kashmir.

“First of all let me tell you one thing Pakistan is no country. It’s a fake country, it’s artificially created country by the British who had the policy of divide and rule by starting this bogus two-nation theory that Hindus and Muslims have two separate nations,” he said at a panel discussion here.

“And we are fools and were taken for a ride by the Britishers. Same artificial entity Pakistan was created. What is Pakistan? It is Punjab and Sindh, which is actually part of India,” he said at the discussion on “Fuelling Indo-Pak Crisis: Mutilation or the media” at Delhi University.

Continue reading ‘What is Pakistan? It is Punjab and Sindh, which is actually part of India’

Pakistan still global jihad hub

By

PESHAWAR: Pakistan is still a major destination for radicalised Muslims bent on a life of jihad, despite hundreds of US drone strikes, the death of Osama bin Laden and the fracturing of Al-Qaeda.

New battlegrounds have sprung up in Africa and the Middle East, but the number of foreign recruits smuggled into the northwestern tribal belt is increasing and they come from more diverse countries.

Since the 1980s “jihad” to expel Soviet troops from Afghanistan, Muslim fighters from all over the world have lived and trained on the Afghan-Pakistan border, moulded into Al-Qaeda and a host of spin-off militant networks.

After US-led forces in late 2001 evicted the Taliban in Kabul for sheltering Al-Qaeda, Afghan Taliban fled across the border into Pakistan.

But Washington and Nato will end their combat mission in Afghanistan next year and these days the Taliban say their foreign allies are drawn to other conflicts, despite their support networks in a region outside direct government control.

“Al-Qaeda is shifting its focus to Syria, Libya, Iraq or Mali,” one member of the Afghan Taliban told AFP on condition of anonymity in northwest Pakistan.

Local officials estimate the number of Arab fighters has fallen by more than a half or two thirds in the last 10 years, to below 1,000.

In the last two years, some Al-Qaeda Arabs, particularly Libyans and Syrians, left to take part in the civil war in Syria and the violent uprising that overthrew Libya’s dictator Muammar Qadhafi in 2011.

Others migrated to Iraq in 2003, and others to Somalia and Yemen.

But Saifullah Khan Mehsud, executive director of the Fata Research Center, a think-tank focused on the tribal belt, says uprisings in the Middle East have had a minimal effect on the Arab presence in Pakistan.

“Arab fighters are not leaving in big numbers,” he told AFP. “They have been there for 30 years and it continues,” he added.

The number of fighters from other countries is also rising, say witnesses in Miramshah, the main town of North Waziristan — the district with the largest concentration of Taliban and Al-Qaeda fighters.

“The overall number of foreign jihadis has increased in the last two years. Every week we see new faces,” says one regular visitor.

There could be around 2,000 to 3,500 foreign fighters in the border areas from around 30 different countries. During the 1980s, the number was also estimated to have been several thousand.

More nationalities, same problems

Most of the current crop are Turkmens and Uzbeks, numbering between 1,000 and 3,000 fighters according to local officials, who have fled authoritarian secular regimes in their home countries to set up their own groups.

The Islamic Jihad Union, which splintered from the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, is based in Pakistan’s border areas. It is committed to toppling the government in Uzbekistan, and fights alongside insurgents in Afghanistan.

It has also plotted an attack in Germany, which was foiled.

US officials say covert drone strikes have played a huge role in destroying training camps and disrupting Al-Qaeda in Pakistan.

According to the London-based Bureau of Investigative Journalism, 362 US drone strikes have been reported in Pakistan since 2004 — 310 of them since US President Barack Obama took office in 2009.

Although North Waziristan locals say the strikes kill more Taliban than Al-Qaeda operatives, they have condemned foreign fighters to a life underground.

“They are low profile, they dress like locals, they avoid big meetings and above all they move all the time,” a local journalist told AFP.

Mehsud says that foreigners are coming from a more diverse number of countries than in years past.

“A few months ago, we even welcomed some (two or three) people from Fiji for the first time!” says the Taliban member who spoke with AFP.

“There are more nationalities because they face the same problems. They tell us that they feel left aside by capitalism and discriminated by unfair laws, like the Swiss one on minarets or the French one on hijabs,” he adds.

Local and Western officials say the number of Western militants have fallen to dozens compared to the several hundreds of a few years ago.

A Canadian, who uses the name Mohammad Ibrahim, told AFP that he had been in Pakistan for three years but was now preparing to leave to wage jihad at home.

“Foreigners are now afraid to come to Pakistan because of the drone strikes,” he says, putting the number of his compatriots at 14, compared to “60 to 85 three years ago”.

A mechanical engineer by training, he says he works in “technical and logistic affairs” but does not elaborate further.

“I often met British, Spanish, Italians, Algerians and Germans. But now…our movements have been limited because of the drone strikes,” he says.

Courtesy: DAWN
http://dawn.com/2013/01/27/pakistan-still-global-jihad-hub/

‘They can shoot me, but I will not let them in with shoes’

Karachi – When Laxman saw four men entering the Hindu temple with their shoes on, he instantly yelled at them to stop in their tracks. But the only reward he got for trying to protect the sanctity of his place of worship was a beating. With every punch and kick, he was called names like Bhangi (sweeper) and Kafir (infidel).

“I can’t explain how I felt at that moment. I was both enraged and terrified,” said the 35-year-old resident of the Shri Rama Mandir compound in Soldier Bazaar.

The demolition of the century-old temple stirred a sense of insecurity among the already frightened Hindu community in the city and reaffirmed its belief that people practicing the religion existed as second-class citizens in Pakistan.

“I said they can shoot me if they like, but I won’t let them go in with shoes,” said Laxman, a man partially paralysed by a stroke.

Half of my body does not work, but at that moment, Rama Pir gave me the strength to fight, and I did what I could,” he said.

The men put the statues and tridents from the temple out on the ground. Then a bulldozer reduced the pre-partition Mandir to rubble. A number of houses in the compound were also demolished, rendering around a dozen families homeless. They even pried opened the donation box and took away the cash and jewellery, the residents alleged.

“We have been living in this compound since the British era”, said Maharaj Badriram, the priest of the Shri Rama Pir Mandir. “We never had any problems with the larger community, but the treatment meted out on this occasion was inhumane. People look to me for help, but now, I find myself helpless,” he said.

A 17-year-old Hindu boy, who took video footage of the planned demolition, claimed that some bearded men associated with a political party oversaw the destruction. “I don’t understand how people can insult the religion of others and expect respect in return,” he said.

The President of the Schedule Caste Federation Pakistan, Kalidas Khandara, said that people in the country take Hindus for granted. “They think we are weak, so they can intimidate us, but this time, it won’t happen.”

Protest

Hundreds of people from the Hindu community staged a peaceful rally from Doli Khata, Soldier Bazaar, to the Karachi Press Club to protest against the demolition of the Shri Rama Pir Mandir, which was illegally demolished on Saturday.

“Every time a temple is threatened, we have to run to the courts. It is the third time it has happened this year,” said Ramesh Kumar Wakwani, the head of the Pakistan Hindu Council.

“There should be a stipulated policy for our properties in this country; we are also a part of Pakistan.”

The protestors demanded that the government immediately restore the temple with all its dignity.

Wakwani said that the double standards against Hindus in the city could be gauged from the fact that those coming from outside and building shanty towns in Karachi get leases, but Hindus living here for more than a century were still considered illegal.

Speaking about the demolished temple, Kalidas Khandara of the Scheduled Caste Federation said that Ramapir Mandir was restored by the government in the year 2000, which went to show that the place of worship was not only registered, but received government grants as it was a\deserving heritage site.

Continue reading ‘They can shoot me, but I will not let them in with shoes’

Nationalists urge Sindh govt to bury the new LG ordinance

HYDERABAD / SUKKUR: The nationalists claimed that they would continue to protest against the new local government ordinance till the government rescinds it.

According to the chairperson of the Sindh Taraqi Pasand Party (STPP), Dr Qadir Magsi, they planned to stage sit-ins every Wednesday till the ordinance is ‘buried’.

Leaders of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (Functional), Awami Tehreek (AT), Jeay Sindh Qaumi Mahaz (JSQM), Sindh National Movement and Awami Jamhoori Party met at the Hyderabad Bypass for a four-hour long sit-in. Protesters blocked the National and Indus Highways in Matiari, Shaheed Benazirabad and Sehwan. They also carried placards and burnt tyres in Hyderabad and Mirpurkhas.

There will be bloodshed if the Sindh Assembly votes in favour of the ordinance,” said Magsi. “The Sindhis are prepared to bleed to save their province from being divided. The ordinance is a conspiracy to divide Sindh.” JSQM’s Aakash Mallah chanted a slogan made famous by Hosh Muhammad Sheedi, a military general from the Talpur dynasty who died fighting the British Raj in 1843, “we will die, but we will not give you Sindh.”

In Sukkur

Workers of Sindh United Party, STTP, JSQM, Jeay Sindh Tehreek and other nationalists blocked the National Highway and major roads leading into cities. The Shah Hussain Bypass near Khairpur and Kandhkot was also blocked. In Daharki, hundreds of nationalists and workers of the PML-N carried placards and chanted slogans against the government. They were led by STPP’s Jam Fatah, PML-N’s Hafiz Mohammad Sadiq Samejo and Jeay Sindh Qaumi Mahaz’s Dr Niaz Kalani. The protesters burnt tyres and blocked the traffic flow for three hours.

Continue reading Nationalists urge Sindh govt to bury the new LG ordinance

British-Pakistani father who killed his daughter, loved discos, sexy clothes and white girls when he was single!

He loved discos, sexy clothes and white girls, says first wife of Shafilea Ahmed’s killer father

By Helen Weathers

Yesterday Farzana and Iftikhar Ahmed were jailed for 25 years for the murder of their 17-year-old daughter, who they considered too Western.

Now Mr Ahmed’s first wife, a Danish women who he met in the 1980s, has revealed that the killer was formerly a fun-loving and gregarious young man with a love of Western life and white women.

As a young man, Iftikhar Ahmed — or ‘Bazza’ as he liked to be known back then — could not have embraced Western life more enthusiastically.

Fun-loving and gregarious, he cut quite a dash at parties and discos in his tight jeans and sunglasses.

Born into a strict Muslim Pakistani family, but raised in Britain, he shunned tradition by dating white girls and rejected an arranged marriage for a love match with a woman outside his culture.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2183453/Shafilea-Ahmed-father-He-loved-discos-sexy-clothes-white-girls-says-wife-Iftikhar-Ahmed.html#ixzz22bn7bFFT

Via – Twitter » TF’s tweet

Hell and al-Qaida descend on Syria

By: Tarek Fatah

Who would have thought a Canadian mother of two would leave her children behind and join the international jihad unfolding in Syria?

Meet Thwaiba Kanafani. She left the comforts of her apartment in downtown Toronto, soon to appear in a YouTube video dressed in camouflaged battle gear, holding an automatic assault rifle, to declare: “I came from Canada to answer the call of my homeland” as the men surrounding her chanted “Allah O Akbar.”

Kanafani is not alone. A Dutch journalist who was kidnapped by rebels inside Syria, along with his British colleague, reports some of his abductors had “Birmingham accents,” while others were from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Chechnya, with no Syrians present.

Reports of non-Syrian jihadis have been confirmed by correspondents of both the Guardian and the New York Times who say foreign fighters under the banner of al-Qaida’s black flags bearing the Islamic declaration of faith, “There is no god but God,” are taking a bigger role.

The jihadis are the best-funded and well-equipped of the groups fighting the Bashar al-Assad regime.

While the American-backed Syrian National Council (SNC) had its own share of U.S.-based Islamists pulling the strings, it is now clear these jihadis-in-suits will not be the ones determining the future of Syria when the doctor dictator is gone. Very soon, Damascus will get a taste of al-Qaida’s hatred of life and their yearning for death as they have demonstrated in the last couple of months.

In one attack by the al-Qaida fighters on the historic Damascus district of Zainabiya, the fighters made no effort to hide the al- Qaida flag. Some wore the black head bands while others wore the flags of Pakistan, Somalia, and other Muslim countries. They killed Shia residents and pilgrims as they tried to destroy the shrines of Prophet Muhammad’s granddaughter Hazrat Zainab and Ruqaiya. At least one Afghan family was slaughtered inside their home.

One al-Qaida commander inside Syria, Abu Khuder, had this to say about foreign jihadis: “In the beginning there were very few. Now, mashallah, there are immigrants joining us and bringing their experience … Men from Yemen, Saudi, Iraq and Jordan … (al-Qaida’s) goal is establishing an Islamic state and not a Syrian state.”

The role of America in Syria seems at best incompetent and disastrous.

However, evidence suggests there is a method in the madness of the Obama Administration. Instead of helping the democratic forces of Syria it has dilly-dallied on the sidelines until the Islamists managed to get an upper hand. The same cowardice was demonstrated when Iran’s democrats rose up in 2009.

One of the leaders of the Syrian al-Qaida is Abdelhakim Belhadj, a Libyan accomplice of Osama bin Laden who, according to former Spanish prime minister Jose Maria Aznar, was suspected of complicity in the 2004 Madrid train bombings.

Belhadj was arrested by the CIA, but then released under mysterious circumstances and returned to Libya where he facilitated the U.S.-NATO overthrowing of Col. Moammar Gahdafi.

Now the same Libyan ally of NATO has been parachuted inside Syria with the help of the Turkish government.

Reportedly, 15,000 Syrians have given their lives to fight a dictator, and Belhadj’s presence in the war-torn country could make it a hell on earth.

Courtesy: Toronto Sun

http://www.torontosun.com/2012/07/31/hell-and-al-qaida-descend-on-syria

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A great Sindhi-Englishman!

Ex-Commissioner Sindh, Mr. Bartal Frair (29 March 1815 – 29 May 1884). He remained Commissioner during 1851-1859. He established a committee to make & recommend Sindhi Alphabet. He recommended Sindhi Alphabet. He made Sindhi Compulsory for all Officers appointed in Sindh. Sindhi became Official Language Of Sindh in his period. He got prepared the Text Books in Sindhi. He proposed Railway Track from Karachi to Kotri & also developed the Karachi, Sindh Sea Port. He established the Postal System in Sindh and gave the idea of Postal Stamp namely “Sindh District Daak”.

Courtesy: Sindhi e-lists/ e-groups, July 27, 2012

 

What’s Wrong with Pakistan?

Why geography — unfortunately — is destiny for South Asia’s troubled heartland.

BY ROBERT D. KAPLAN

Perversity characterizes Pakistan. Only the worst African hellholes, Afghanistan, Haiti, Yemen, and Iraq rank higher on this year’s Failed States Index. The country is run by a military obsessed with — and, for decades, invested in — the conflict with India, and by a civilian elite that steals all it can and pays almost no taxes. But despite an overbearing military, tribes “defined by a near-universal male participation in organized violence,” as the late European anthropologist Ernest Gellner put it, dominate massive swaths of territory. The absence of the state makes for 20-hour daily electricity blackouts and an almost nonexistent education system in many areas.

Who orchestrated the exodus of Sindhi Hindus after Partition?

By Haider Nizamani

Excerpts;

….. The lone source Ajmal sahib has cited is not a thoroughly researched book but a ‘polemical brochure’ written by the then-secretary of the Sindh Assembly Congress Party, PV Tahalramani, in November 1947 to persuade the Indian state to intervene in Sindh. Let’s look at the role the Sindhi leadership in the days immediately following Partition and compare it with the role of some key figures of the central government on the matter of anti-Hindu riots. Because of space constraints I will only briefly refer to the political leanings and the role of the Sindhi Hindu leadership of that time in facilitating the migration of Hindus from Sindh. The exodus of Hindus from Sindh cannot be seen in isolation from the influx of refugees in Sindh and the setting up of the central government of the newly-founded state of Pakistan in Karachi, Sindh.

Sindh’s governor, Francis Mundie, described Sindh in the days leading up to Partition as a place which “characteristically carries on almost as if nothing had happened or was about to happen”. It changed when, according to Hamida Khuhro, Karachi rapidly became “a vast refugee camp”, making Jinnah “extremely worried about the mass exchange of population which was taking place and the bloodshed that accompanied it…. In fact Jinnah told Ayub Khuhro, premier of Sindh, categorically that he expected to retain the minority communities in Pakistan. Khuhro fully agreed with Jinnah. Hindus, he felt, ‘were an essential part of the society and economy of the province’. The events took an ugly turn in Karachi and Hyderabad (where) the new arrivals were entering and occupying houses where the owners, particularly Hindus, were still living, and throwing out the owners”.

Congress leaders advised Hindus to leave Sindh which was viewed by the Sindhi Muslim leadership as a ploy to deprive Sindh of its merchants, bankers, and sanitation workers. According to Brown University’s associate professor of history Vazira Zamindar’s book The Long Partition and the Making of Modern South Asia (Columbia University Press, 2007): Ayub Khuhro, the premier of Sindh, and other Sindhi leaders also attempted to retain Sindh’s minorities, for they also feared a loss of cultural identity with the Hindu exodus.” The Sindh government “attempted to use force to stem” the exodus “by passing the Sindh Maintenance of Public Safety Ordinance” in September 1947. On September 4, 1947 curfew had to be imposed in Nawabshah because of communal violence. It turned out that the policies of a local collector resulted in the exodus of a large Sikh community of Nawabshah to make room for an overflow of refugees from East Punjab. The Sindh government took stern action to suppress the violence.

The Sindh government set up a Peace Board comprising Hindu and Muslim members to maintain order in the troubled province. PV Tahilramani was secretary of the Peace Board. He is the one who rushed to Khuhro’s office on January 6, 1948, at around 11 am to inform the chief minister that the Sikhs in Guru Mandir areas of Karachi were being killed. According to Khuhro, senior bureaucrats and police officials were nowhere to be found and he rushed to the scene at around 12.30 pm where he saw “mobs of refugees armed with knives and sticks storming the temples”. Khuhro tried to stem the violence and Jinnah was pleased with his efforts.

The prime minister, Liaquat Ali Khan, was angry with Khuhro when he went to see him on January 9 or 10. Liaquat said to Khuhro: “What sort of Muslim are you that you protect Hindus here when Muslims are being killed in India. Aren’t you ashamed of yourself!In the third week of January 1948, Liaquat Ali Khan said the Sindh government must move out of Karachi and told Khuhro to “go make your capital in Hyderabad or somewhere else”. Liaquat said this during a cabinet meeting while Jinnah quietly listened. The Sindh Assembly passed a resolution on February 10, 1948, against the Centre’s impending move to annex Karachi. The central government had already taken over the power to allotment houses in Karachi. Khuhro was forced to quit and Karachi was handed over to the Centre in April 1948.

The above facts made me write that the violence against Sindhi Hindus and their mass migration to India was a tragic loss scripted, orchestrated and implemented by non-Sindhis in Sindh. I will happily withdraw my claim when furnished with the evidence to the contrary.

Courtesy: The Express Tribune, June 5th, 2012.

http://tribune.com.pk/story/388663/who-orchestrated-the-exodus-of-sindhi-hindus-after-partition/

If there is a birthday present Pakistanis and Indians can jointly give Manto, it is to admit the reality of the problems he spelt out in his writings on partition

Curator of a hollowed conscience

By: Ayesha Jalal

Saadat Hasan Manto, whose birth centenary is being celebrated in Pakistan and India today, once remarked that any attempt to fathom the murderous hatred that erupted with such devastating effect at the time of the British retreat from the subcontinent had to begin with an exploration of human nature itself.

Continue reading If there is a birthday present Pakistanis and Indians can jointly give Manto, it is to admit the reality of the problems he spelt out in his writings on partition

Taliban are Pak Army proxies, not Pashtun nationalists – By Farhat Taj

One of the media and academia’s axiomatic constructions about Pashtun is that Taliban are Pashtun nationalists. This construction is based on distorted one-sided information and selective references to the Pashtun history that too are misrepresented to concur with the notion that Taliban are Pashtun nationalists. Drawing upon the current Pashtun ground realities and history, I will argue that Taliban, both in Pakistan and Afghanistan, are mere proxies of the Pakistani state to wipe out forces of entho-nationalism among the Pashtun as well as temper with Pashtun cultural identity on both sides of the Durand line in the state pursuit of the foreign and domestic policy objectives set and controlled by the military establishment of Pakistan.

Let me say on the outset that the Pashtun experience of having been assaulted with state proxies in garb of religion is not new. In the past the Mughal and the British states have done the same in order to force the Pashtun to behave in line with the states’ strategic interests. There are basically three big pan Pashtun nationalist movements in the Pashtun history. All the three movements were perceived as clashing with the contemporary states’ interests. Thus all the three were assaulted with states’ proxies and propaganda skillfully camouflaged with religion.

The first movement was initiated by mystic, Bayazeed Ansari, from Kaniguram, South Waziristan. He was called ‘Pir-Rooshan’ (the saint of light) by his followers. He lived during the reign of the Mughal Indian Emperor Jalaludin Akbar (1542-1605). The Mughal emperor imposed a ban on him and his followers. Above all the supposedly secular Mughal ruler, Akbar, tasked mullahs to launch a politically-motivated religious campaign against the teachings of Pir-Rooshan. Prominent among the those mullahs are Akhund Darveza (a mullah of Tajik origin) and another Pir Ali Tirmizi (of Uzbek origin). These two state sponsored mullahs declared him Peer-Tareek (the saint of darkness) and assaulted his movement with a sustained malicious propaganda apparently rooted in Islam.

The second Pashtun nationalist movement was launched and led by Khushal Khan Khattak, well-known Pashtun poet, political leader and warrior. The nationalist movement led by him was fully supported by two other influential Pashtun tribal leaders, Darya Khan in Khyber agency and Aimal Khan in Mohmand agency. Arguably, Khushal Khan can be regarded as the founder of modern Pashtun nationalism. For the ethno-nationalist inspiration of future generations of Pashtun, Khushal Khan, also known as lord of pen, has left volumes of his Pashto poetry that is full of Pashtun nationalistic motivation, aim and expression. In one of his well-known couplets, he says this: ‘Drast Pashtun la Kandahara tar Attoca sara yo da nang pa kar pat ao ashkar, pa yowa zhaba wail sara Pashto kro walay nashoo la yo bal khabardar’ ( All Pashtun from Qandahar to Attock speak Pashto language (and) are (socio-culturally) one and the same, but are (politically) oblivion to one another). Khushal Khan’s movement was suppressed by the most bigoted Mughal ruler of India, Aurangzeb Alamgir (1618-1707). One of the Khushal Khan’s couplets in which he condemns the Mugahl ruler’s atrocities is this in. ‘Che pa noom Pakhtanay ghuseegi pray khawkheegi, Aurangzeb dasay badshah de da Islam’ (He (Aurangzeb) derives pleasure from massacre of Pashtun, such is Aurangzeb’s kingdom of Islam).

The third great Pashtun nationalist movement was launched by Khan Ghafar Khan, popularly known as Bacha Khan. A prominent difference between Khushal Khan and Bacha Khan is that the former ran his movement with sword in form of armed struggle against the Mugahl army led by a fanatic Muslim ruler and the latter’s movement was non-violent. Essentially, Bacha Khan’s movement was for mass-scale social reformations in the Pashtun society in order to cleanse it from socio-cultural practices that hindered wide spread human development in the society, such as revenge or the inhibition towards modern education.

The British-Indian and the successor Pakistan states used religious proxies to oppress Bacha Khan’s movement. Wali Khan’s book, Facts are Facts, contains interesting research about the role of mullahs against the Pashtun nationalist movement under the British Raj. Both the British-Indian and the Pakistani states never allowed Bacha Khan to enter the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) although despite all the states’ opposition, his movement did inspire countless people across FATA, including many parents who sent their children to the schools established by Bacha Khan in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa areas on the border with FATA.

Linked with Bacha Khan’s movement was the mass scale social reform and state building agendas of Amanullah Khan, the great Pashtun King of Afghanistan (1919-1929). The king made arrangements for compulsory education for all Afghans and gave right to vote to women. Pashto was declared the official language of Afghanistan. He began to build a strong Afghan armed force, including the air force with help of the Russians, and initiated a process of industrialization. He tasked the Russians to build a road linking Tashkand with Kabul and Khyber agency in FATA. The king regularly used to read Pakhtun, a Pashto language magazine launched by Bacha Khan, and used to advise other people in Afghanistan to do so. The Pashtun, although divided by the British drawn artificial Durand Line, had turned their faces towards progress, development and ethno-national unity.

All this was too much for the British rulers of India to bear because it was happening in the area that the British had assumed their buffer zones vis-a-vis Russia. Their first buffer zone, Afghanistan, and their second buffer zone, FATA, along with the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (formally NWFP) seemed going out of the British control coupled with a possible tilt towards the Russians. The British had to act to eliminate the reforms undertaken on both sides of the Durand Line. The British knew they could not do it militarily. It could have brought the British face to face with the Russians that the British never wanted. Secondly, the harsh experiences of the three Afghan wars had taught them that military intervention in Afghanistan is pointless. Thus they unleashed mullahs on Bacha Khan and King Amanullah Khan to rob their reform agendas of religious legitimacy. In case of the king the British lowered themselves to such an extent they made fake photos of his wife, Queen Soraya, showing her half naked. The photos were distributed in Afghanistan with the malicious propaganda that the king is not a Muslim in his personal and political life and hence cannot be king of the Pashtun, who are Muslim. Deadly chaos was created in Afghanistan in which Bacha Saqa took power who did with Afghanistan what the ISI backed Taliban did during their reign (1996-2001). Girls’ schools were closed down, Afghan Shias were massacred, the state building agenda was rolled backed and Kabul was ravaged. Similarly, mullahs were also unleashed by the British to discredit Bacha Khan’s movement as well.

King Amanullah Khan’s agenda for social reforms, imposed from above, was very vulnerable to conspiracies by anti-Pashtun forces, who exploited the vulnerability to the full. Contrary to this, Bacha Khan’s movement for social reforms was firmly rooted in people’s confidence that he and his followers had successfully won through direct interaction people in villages and towns. Thus his movement could be never rolled backed despite severe and prolonged oppression by the British-Indian and Pakistani states. Nevertheless, the implantation of the social reforms that both Bacha Khan wanted was thwarted by the successive states’ oppressions. Imagine where the Pashtun as nation would have been today if the reform agendas undertaken on both side of the Durand Line had been carried forward.

To be continued

Courtesy: The Friday Times

http://www.thefridaytimes.com/beta2/tft/article.php?issue=20120330&page=8

Tribute to Comrade Sobho Gianchandani

Sobho Gianchandani is a prominent Sindhi revolutionary who remains a source of inspiration for many generations of Sindhi activists, writers and social reformers. Mr. Gianchandani, known lovingly as Comrade Sobho, has been associated with many political  and campaign groups, including the Indian National Congress and Khudai Khidmatgar and is the founder of many progressive, democratic and nationalist campaigns in Sindh. After the partition, Pakistani authorities pressured himlike millions of other Sindhi Hindus — to leave Sindh and migrate to India, but Sobho refused, and in consequence he was forbidden to travel abroad until 1998. Sobho was imprisoned for more than a year during the British rule, and after the partition, he fell under the wrath of Pakistani establishment and has many jail sentences to his credit, including one in 1971 for opposing military sponsored genocide in Bangladesh. Comrade Sobho and G. M. Syed were close associates and comrades in different aspects of the Sindhi rights movement. The G. M. Syed Memorial Lifetime Achievement Award is bestowed on Mr. Gianchandani in appreciation of his life-long struggle for emancipation for Sindhis and other oppressed peoples of South Asia and in recognition of his grass-roots efforts to promote tolerance, justice, communal harmony and peace. …..

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More » THE MAN FROM MOEN–JO-DARO – Interview with Comrade Sobho Gianchandani

81st death anniversary of Bhagat Sing in Brampton, Canada

(Desk News) – Every year the Indo-Canadians marks the anniversary of Bhagat Singh’s martyrdom at the hands of the British Raj (on March 23, 1931). This year’s commemoration will be held on Sunday, March 25 at 2 p.m. at the Lester B. Pearson Theatre, 150 Central Park Drive, Brampton, Ontario, Canada. Comrade Bhagat Sing was quickly rose through the ranks of the Hindustan Republican Association (HRA) and became one of its leaders, converting it to the Hindustan Socialist Republican Association (HSRA). Singh gained support when he underwent a 64-days fast in jail, demanding equal rights for Indian and British political prisoners. He was hanged by British Raj government on 23 March 1931.

The organizers of the event hope many of Indo-Pakistani- Bangladeshi-Canadians will be able to attend to pay the tribute and respect to this great hero of the Indian sub-continent (South Asia).